Silas Richards reminiscences and journal, circa 1849-1871, transcribed by Ailcy C. Morrell, 4-12.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, MS 5030
- Related Companies
- Silas Richards Company (1849)
- Related Persons
- William Ivins Appleby
- J. F. Bell
- Hiram Clark
- Samuel Gilman Clark Sr.
- Lucinda Hutchings
- Moses Clawson
- Francillo Durfey
- Augustus Alwin Farnham
- Phillip Garner
- Ann Martha Green
- Charles Lamoni Green
- Lavina Kaye Green
- Samuel S. Gully
- Joel Harvey
- William Dresser Huntington
- Amanda Aunneta Hutchings
- Erwin Harlow Hutchings
- Esther Louisa Hutchings
- Paulina Hutchings
- Shepherd Pierce Hutchings
- Elam Luddington
- Justin J. Merrill
- Philemon Christopher Merrill
- Samuel Whitney Richards
- Silas Richards
- Albert Perry Rockwood
- Lyman Stevens
- John Crow Thompson
In the spring of 1849 I made preparation to move to the Salt Lake Valley and was appointed by Bros. George A. Smith and Exra [Ezra] T. Benson to lead a company to the valley. (Across the plains and mountains.)
We started from Winter Quarters July 10, 1849, fully organized. Captains of 10 were, Isaac [Hiram] Clark, William B. Huntington, Elam Luddington, Agustus [Augustus] Farnham, and Moses Clawson. A[lbert]. P[erry]. Rockwood, Marshall. We had 72 wagons heavily loaded with our families, provisions, merchandise, household goods, farming and mechanical tools etc. After a long and weary journey of hardship and fatigue, through a dreary wilderness without any inhabitants, except Indians, we arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley, 25, Oct. 1839, a distance of over 1000 miles without any very serious accident, there being but one death (that of a little sickly child) and very little sickness in our company, on the route, though we encountered heat, cold, rain and snow, In one snowstorm at Willow Creek, the snow fell 18 inches deep and we lost 62 head of cattle and pigs and chickens froze to death.
TRAVELS OF SILAS RICHARDS AND FAMILY. Notes by the way.
Arrival and settlement in Salt Lake Valley.
In the spring of 1849 I made preparation to move to Salt Lake Valley, and was appointed by Pres. G[eorge]. A[lbert]. Smith and E[zra]. T. Benson to lead a company of fifty to Salt Lake Valley.
We started from Winter quarters on the tenth day of July, fully organized by Bro. Smith and Benson, having 72 wagons in camp.
Captains of tens were Wm. B. [D.] Huntington, Elam Luddington, Augustus Farnham and Isaac [Hiram] Clark, Samuel Clark, Moses Clawson; President, Albert P. Rockwood Marshall of Camp. Lyman Stevens Captain of Guard. _________ [Joel] Harvey Captain of Herds.
Traveled twelve miles, camped on prairie.
Delightful morning, started at 8 o’clock, nooned at (pap[p]ea) seven miles, started on at two o’clock, traveled seven miles to Elkhorn River. Very warm. Our manner of encampment is to form a corral with the wagong [wagons], into which we put our cattle, horses and sheep, and keep a sufficient armed guard, dividing the night into two watches.
Morning very warm and clear. Prepared for crossing our wagons on a raft, and at six o’clock P.M. had thirty-five wagons safe over the river, and some of our cattle and horses crossed by swimming. Our camp being a portion on each side of the river, and the corral broken, we placed a strong guard to keep the stock.
Morning cool, N. wind, all the wagons (34) and stock over at two o’clock. Started forward at four o’clock, went about three miles to a delightful camping place, a small still creek. Weather delightful.
Morning clear and fine. Called a council of officers. Gave some instructions and adopted more speedy and efficient regulations for the guard. Directed the Marshall to call all the men of the camp together at four o’clock P.M. and inspected their arms. Council dismissed. Evening beautiful. Marshall made report of inspection of arms as follows: Sixty-one men in camp. Fifty-four on parade. Forty-four well armed. Four in bad order. Three without arms.
Sunday. Camp assembled for meeting at ten o’clock A.M. Much good instruction was given and a good spirit prevailed. The Pres., his counsel [council], and all the captains spoke, and expressed themselves satisfied with the camp rules which had been read, and recommended a strict adherence to them. In the evening Capt. Dan Jones and Capt. Hopkins arrived at the Horn.
I went to the Horn River with a number of our most efficient men, to assist our brethren of the back companies in crossing. About ten o’clock a violent thunderstorm, with hard wind was upon us, which lasted about one hour, but the sun was soon shining again, and our faithful men were hurrying the wagons over, when I left them at noon. Wind strong from the S.E. Another heavy rain storm about midnight.
I went to the Horn with some letters to send to Kane[s]ville By Mr. Hewett who had come to camp for the purpose of carrying the mail. Pres. G.A. Smith directed me to move my company forward and a little before noon our camp was in motion, except Capt. Clark’s Company, which waited for some wagons that were behind. We traveled about eleven miles to the Platte River and encamped, good water, wood plenty.
Morning very foggy. Capt. Clark’s company not having arrived we lay in camp till noon, when the company came up and we went five miles and encamped at the head of a long lake. Evening fair and beautiful. Near this place there was an old Indian encampment, which appeared to have been made about six to eight weeks ago. There are a number of fresh Indian graves near. We saw three skulls, and other human bones lying about the wigwams, also a number of old buffalo skins. It appeared the bodies had been left without any other burial than being covered with skins and grass.
Morning cloudy, S. Wind. At a quarter past seven o’clock our camp started, and before noon halted where the road strikes the Platte, opposite an island of heavy cottonwood timber. Here we determined to remain till the next morning, that the companies that we left at the Horn might gain on us. Heavy thunder shower about six o’clock.
Morning clear, cool. N. Wind. Traveled ten miles to Shell Creek, road good, evening clear, this is a good place to camp.
Morning cloudy, some rain. Camp started at nine o’clock. Cloudy all day, road very bad. Reached the Platte at six o’clock and camped, having traveled 12 miles. Rain through the night.
Sunday, raining. Did not travel. Cattle restless. Some of them got off six miles.
Morning and day cloudy. Traveled eleven miles and camped on the South Fork of the Platte near Sarpses old trading post, now not occupied. A beautiful place and good for camping. Here we sent a detachment of men to examine the river to see if a ford could be found. One of the men, Marshall Rockwood, came very near being drowned. They reported no chance of fording.
Morning cloudy. We traveled about five miles and encamped on the prairie, near a long pond on the south side of the road. 15 miles.
Morning foggy, but soon cleared. We started at eight o’clock. Encamped on the prairie, near Pioneer Ford. Made thirteen miles. Heavy rain tonight.
Started at eight o’clock. Some rain about nine. Crossed Cedar Creek which was very deep, blocked up the wagon beds, and was over by ten o’clock. Encamped at old Pawnee village, having traveled thirteen miles. No wood except willow bushes.
Morning fair, we sent several men to examine for a ford. About seven o’clock they returned to camp and reported that the bottom of the river through the deepest water was rock, and that the fording was the best known on the river though it had never been used. The bank being about forty feet high, this river, like the Platte is very broad, though not deep. The quick sands making crossing very dangerous. We concluded to dig the high bank down enough to pass our wagons down and avail our selves of the advantages of the rock bottom. The men went to digging the bank down, and by eleven o’clock began to let the wagons down with one yoke of oxen on the tongue only and holding on by ropes. We put four or five yoke of oxen to each wagon with two teamsters who had to wade, holding to the ox-bows to keep on their feet. The water was very cold and river rising rapidly. It was getting dark before we got all over. My three wagons and carriage, I kept to the last, having to raise the wagon beds by placing ox yokes under them to keep the water out.
The camps of Bro. G.A. Smith and E.T. Benson came up to the ford.
The above named companies, 115 wagons all crossed.
Sunday. The camps met together for meeting and received much instruction from Bros. Smith and Benson. In the afternoon a discourse was delivered by Judge Wm. I[vins]. Appleby on the signs of the times.
Morning clear and cool, Having left the road at this crossing, we had to travel a route without a road for twelve miles. I accordingly sent Lieutenant Merrill ahead on my horse to look out the way. The camp followed at eight o’clock. In the evening we had to turn off our course about one mile to get water, having traveled about ten miles, not reaching the road.
Morning fair and very cool. Started at seven o’clock. Reached the main road in about three miles. Here we struck sand hills and we met the other companies, which had struck the road a little farther back. They traveled on the right hand track, we on the left. Made eighteen miles to Prairie Creek today. The forepart of the day over heavy sandy roads, in the evening over broad, wet flats.
Started a little after seven o’clock. Crossed the creek which was very soft and muddy. Traveled twelve miles to Wood River.
Morning fair. Pres. G.A. Smith came to our camp, in consequence of some dissatisfaction that existed in the camp towards Pres. [Moses] Clawson. After talking the matter over, Pres. Clawson resigned the Presidency of the company. Pres. Smith proposed that the first ten of our company, of which Moses Clawson was captain should travel in his company, leaving the company of fifty without a President or Captain, as both belonged to the first ten. The company expressed a wish to retain their captain. Pres. Smith then asked the company if they were willing to have Captain Richards for “Captain, King and Ruler.” And they submit to and do what he said, and they voted unanimously that they were willing. Then it was determined that all the first ten that wished to might remain with me, and I should lead the whole company except Bro. Clawson. Pres. Smith told him to fall in the rear of his (Pres. Smith’s Company, and remain there.) We proceeded on our journey. We traveled sixteen miles and camped on the prairie, about one mile from the Platte. Timber. A heavy thunder shower to-night with hard wind.
Morning rainy. Started at eight o’clock. Fair through out the day. Roads very bad for eight miles. Then we came to dry ground. Also, we came to the grave of Capt. S[amuel]. H. Gully who died of cholera, July 5, 1849. He was well known to most of our camp and coming to his grave by the wayside before we had heard of his death caused a general halt and we gazed with emotion on the spot of ground that contained his body. This evening we camped on the prairie, having brought a little wood with us. Fifteen miles today.
A heavy thunder shower began about six o’clock with hail and hard wind. After the storm cleared, we started a little after eight o’clock. Weather fair by ten and roads good. Traveled about fifteen miles and encamped a little above the head of Grand Island. More rain and wind tonight.
Sunday. Our situation not being good for remaining in camp over Sunday, there being no wood, we traveled about eight miles to Elm Creek and stopped at twelve o’clock, called a meeting of the camp in the evening, gave some instructions relative to cattle, which we thought safest to tie up at night. The Cleveland Ohio Company, Captain A.W. Rathbu[r]n, with thirteen other men on the way to California gold mines, requested permission to join our camp for safety. They travel with horses and carts.
Morning cloudy and appearance of rain. Became partly clear about eight o’clock. Lay in camp till noon, for the purpose of baking and making other preparations for traveling. Our camp was in motion at one o’clock. We traveled seven miles, camped on the prairie, plenty of water for teams. We dug well and got good water for camp use.
Morning clear. Traveled eleven miles by eleven o’clock and stopped for noon on the bank of the Platte River. A little timber on the Island near, road good today. Went six and one-half miles. Camped on the bank of the river opposite to a long island, covered with willows. Thunder and lightening to-night.
Morning fair, wind N.W., day comfortable. Stopped for noon at Willow Lake, camped in the evening, having traveled fifteen miles. No timber for two days. Buffalo sign.
Morning fair, day fair. Stopped at four o’clock, camped at a large marsh, in the prairie, having made twelve and one-half miles.
Morning cloudy and cool. Traveled over sandy bluffs. Heavy drawing. We drove into corral at six o’clock in a violent storm of rain and wind. We were thoroughly drenched with rain, and took every precaution to secure our horses and cattle. The rain continued violently till twelve o’clock. We anxiously waited the appearance of daylight, finding our animals safe though many of them were standing deep in water. Also many wagons.
Morning clear and beautiful. We remained in camp till three o’clock, to dry our loading and rest our teams. During this time our hunters succeeded in capturing three buffalo bulls, the first we had taken. Traveled five miles in the evening and camped on the prairie.
Morning cloudy with a little rain, and cool, north wind. Started at one-half past ten o’clock. Traveled eleven and one-half miles and stopped a little before five near the river and some small timber. Several buffalo killed today.
Morning clear and cool N.W. wind. Lay in camp till noon, resting and cooking. Then traveled to Black Mud Creek, passed over one-half mile and camped at five o’clock. This afternoon a wagon ran over a girl of Mr. [Charles] Green’s, hurting her considerably.
Morning cloudy and cool. A dragoon came into camp three days from Fort Laramie, one day from Capt. Taylor’s company. Reported the roads very bad for sixty miles. He said he was going on express to Fort Childs. Day cool, road good. Traveled fifteen miles. Camped at the west foot of sand bluffs, a good place for grass. Passed a number of large herds of buffalos on each side of the river. We were scarcely out of sight of them during the day. Cloudy and cool at sundown.
This morning was cloudy with fog and mist of rain. We traveled to Bluff Creek five and one-half miles, encamped and procured some buffalo meat. We arrived at the creek about noon. Soon some of our hunters came in, having killed three buffalo, (two cows and one calf) immediately we sent a wagon to bring the meat in.
Morning still and foggy, very warm. Traveled six miles to east foot third sand bluffs, stopped for noon. In the afternoon went over the bluffs (two and one-half miles) to the river bottom. By three o’clock our teams being very hot and weary we drove them into the river to rest and cool. There being no feed here, we were obliged to go a mile farther where we found good grass, at Petit Creek, nine and one-half miles.
Morning clear and warm. Only traveled four and one-half miles to Duck Weed Creek today in consequence of heat.
Morning, some clouds, and quite warm. About eight o’clock a cool breeze blew up from the north and we traveled on. Day pleasant, roads good. Made thirteen miles by four o’clock, and camped on the river bank in a pleasant place.
Sunday morning cool, fair and beautiful. Lay in camp today. Held meeting, had a very able interesting discourse by Elder Sam’l [Samuel] W. Richards. Night: cool.
Morning fair, wind west. Started about seven o’clock. At eleven met A[mon]. W. Babbitt from Salt Lake with the U.S. mail to Kane, Iowa. Stopped with him two hours for the purpose of hearing the news from Salt Lake Valley, and writing to Kanesville. Bro. Robt. L. Campbell was in company with the mail. He read to the company a number of letters and interesting documents, which were interesting and gratifying to the Company. We were pleased to hear of the happenings and prosperity of the brethren in the west. We bade adieu to our passing brethren and passed over a sand bluffwhich was very hard on our teams, many having to double team. After traveling ten and one-half miles we camped.
Morning foggy, grass good. Made fifteen miles and encamped two miles west of Castle Creek.
Morning foggy, day very warm. Traveled six miles to the grave of Sister Hawke who was killed by a stampede of the teams of a company in advance of us. Camped on the bank of the Platte, only nine miles today. Good feed.
Morning fair, air west, day very warm. Traveled nine miles. Camped on the banks of the platte. Feed good. Thunderstorm.
Morning cloudy, air south. Stay in camp till one o’clock for the purpose of washing and baking. Afternoon very warm till four o’clock when the wind suddenly blew up from the north and it was cool and pleasant. Traveled seven miles and again camped on the river bank. There was good grass, the first since leaving our last camp.
Morning fair and cool. Passed over cobble hills and by ancient bluff ruins and country being dry and sterile, no good grass. Encamped on the bank of the river about five o’clock in the midst of a thunder shower, having traveled ten miles.
Sunday morning fair and very cool, hard west wind. Did not travel today. Here Messrs, [John Crow] Thompson, Poor, [Joel] Harvey and [S.] Hutchens, left our camp and traveled on without our council or permission. They were not willing to comply with our camp rules or tie up their oxen at night. They were obstinate and profane, and left on their own responsibility. We have a meeting in the afternoon. Bro. R[obert]. L. Campbell (the express for the valley) came up this evening and stayed over night.
Morning fair and cool, day pleasant. Traveled thirteen miles and encamped on the river bank. Feed not good.
Morning fair and cool, evening cloudy and cool. Traveled sixteen miles and encamped about one mile from the river. Drove the cattle to the river for water and guarded them near it through the night, where there was good grass.
Morning cloudy and cool, with mist and rain. Evening very cool and fair. Encamped near Scotts Bluffs, having traveled sixteen miles. Grass good near the river.
Morning fair, heavy with frost, ice one-half inch thick in vessels. Feed scarce today along the road. Traveled fourteen and one-half miles. Camped near the river. Good feed.
Morning fair and cool some ice, good grass along the road. Stopped for noon at a creek eight miles. Traveled about five miles. Crossed the Platte River and incamped on the south side near the grave of Chas. Bishop of Washington City.
Morning fair, some frost. Traveled about five miles. Came to a large village of Cheyenne. Indians lately located here, several traders with them. The Indians flocked around us in great numbers. We passed on about six miles and encamped, the Indians following in great numbers. The chief, Bony Frenchman, presented a recommend from Major Sanderson and others soliciting presents as usual. The request and a note was sent to the traders that they bring an interpreter the next day if they wanted any business transactions with us. They left our camp about dark. I would not admit them inside our corral.
Sunday morning clear. This place being the first timber where we could burn coal, we improved the opportunity, and set a great number of wagon tires. The Indians crowded our camp and Mr. Reynolds came as interpretor. I called a council inside the corral, placing a guard at the entrance. We had a talk, a smoke, and gave them a variety of presents, consisting of flour, meal, tobacco, sugar, coffee, lead, matches, handkerchiefs, calico, clothing, etc. They were a band of Sioux, with their chief, Whirl Wind, and a band of Cheyenne, with their chief, Bony Frenchman. This bonus was demanded for the privilege of traveling through their country.
Morning clear. Lay in camp today for the purpose of setting tires, repairing etc. In the evening Bro. Benson’s company came up with us, all well. They intend stopping a day or two to set tires etc. Feed scarce. Two of our oxen died here.
Bro. Smith’s company came up about eight o’clock, just as we were starting, all well. About nine o’clock we met a large train of traders with horses, mule and ox teams, together with a vast number of Indians, hauling their lodge poles and other effects with horses, dogs, etc. They were going to Scotts Bluff. We crossed Laramie Fork near the mouth. It was deep and rapid. We encamped on the Platte, having traveled fourteen miles, very little feed.
Morning fair, north wind. Traveled eleven miles and encamped on an island near the fork of the road. Found a little feed by driving our cattle over the river.
Morning fair and pleasant. Took the right hand, or river road which was hilly and rocky for several miles. Turned off the road one-half mile where water, timber and pretty good feed.
Traveled about six miles and turned off the road to the river by noon. Here we found plenty of timber and good feed on the opposite side of the river. Here we held a council and determined to stop a day or two, burn coal for ourselves and Bro’s Smith and Benson Companies, set tires etc. Thirteen men were detailed from the several tens, under the direction of Col. [Albert Perry] Rockwood, the marshall, to chop the wood and burn the coal. The blacksmith went to work with some coal we had brought along. Our cattle fareing finely on the excellent pasturage near by. Feed had been very scarce for several days.
Morning fair and pleasant. Today all hands were busy repairing wagons, hunting, washing, etc. About noon Captain [Dan] Jones and Everett [Elisha Averett] came up, a little in advance of Bro. [George A.] Smith’s Company, which soon arrived and stopped for noon, but declined doing any smithing here, as they intended to go to Deer Creek where they could get stone coal. They reported Bro. Benson’s Company seven or eight miles behind. Bro. Smith was in good health and spirits, advised us not to divide our company yet on account of feed, as A.W. Babbitt had advised. Thought there was as much danger of Indians now as there was two years ago. The opinion of the member of congress to the contrary, notwithstanding, and if we found it necessary to divide, then only into two divisions. Bro. Smith’s Company drove on about three miles to a spring and encamped. One oxen and one cow died here.
Morning fair and pleasant. Our work being done, our cattle rested, we started on in good health and spirits. As we passed Bro. Smith’s camp we were informed that a man, a weak man, was lost the night before, he having rambled off from camp, and many were engaged in hunting him. Bro. Smith requested me to go ahead of our company and examine for the old man’s tracks, which I did. About eleven o’clock I discovered the man on foot about one-half a mile from the road. I took him and took him to our wagons and immediately dispatched a messenger, Mr. Stickney, on horseback to Bro. Smith’s camp to let them know that the old man was found, that they might cease hunting and travel on. After giving the old man some refreshment, we left Mr. [J.F.] Bell with him to remain till the company came up. They waited till four o’clock and the back company not being in sight they started on to make their way to us on foot. It became dark before they discovered our camp fires. Mr. Bell left the old man at the road and ascended a hill to see if he could discover our fires. When he returned to the road his man was gone and Bell could not find him. After searching for some time, the night being dark and windy, he made his way to our camp and reported. When Bro’s Samuel G. Clark and Phillip Garner went in search, and after diligent hunting for some time, found the old man about three miles back, some distance from the road, and took him into camp. The next morning I requested Col Rockwood to take him back to the train instructing him not to give the old man more rope than the length of a lariat till he delivered him up, which he did, about five miles back, and returned to our camp at night after we had stopped.
Morning cloudy and warm, an appearance of rain. Traveled about three miles, left the traveled road and crossed the river, to the north side, taking the trail made by the Pioneers two years before, as they returned from the valley. The river being fordable, we kept on the north side, of the river for sixty miles, finding better feed and when a bluff came to the river on the side we were on we dug the banks down and crossing over, always finding bottom land on the other side. Thus we made comparatively a new road for sixty miles which the after companies continued to travel ever after when the river was fordable, avoiding the rocky black ridges on the south side. Camped this evening early, near the river, rained a little after we stopped. Game very plenty, several antelope and one buffalo killed today.
Morning cloudy and very cool. Road very rough today. Saw many antelope and killed several. Only traveled about ten miles, in consequence of the rough roads and the breaking of two axle-trees. New one[s] were soon put in. Encamped on the river bank. Evening clear and cool. North wind.
Bro. Benson’s company within three miles of us. Bro. Smith’s company came up with us this morning and traveled with us today. Crossed the river about ten o’clock, to avoid crossing twice, traveled ten miles and encamped near the river, good feed, a bank of stone coal of excellent quality was found. Bro. Smith’s company continued here a day to do smithing.
Fair and warm, late start, traveled slow, having to work road. Camped on Bourse Creek about two miles above its mouth, only making eight or nine miles. Feed scarce.
Traveled about sixteen miles and encamped on the bank of the river. Feed short but green and fresh.
Morning clear and warm. Some cattle missing, found up the river about three miles. Late start, traveled about ten miles in low timbered bottom, feed good and extensive. The encampment was about one and one-half miles west of Muddy Creek.
Sunday. Stopped on the bank of the river about two o’clock, in a grove of timber, three miles below the upper crossing of the Platte. Messrs. [A.P.] Rockwood, Rathburn, [Francillo] Durphy, Vandike and myself set out to search for a new route from the Platte to the Sweetwater, expecting to find better feed farther south than the common traveled road. We soon met a train of wagons from Fort Bridger that came the route we anticipated searching. They said that the feed was good. Then farther search was abandoned.
We set out this morning as usual, followed the main road about three miles after crossing the river and struck the Platte in about three miles, the route very sandy and rough, over sage brush, descent steep, but not very bad. We continued up the river about two miles and encamped late, the last part of the road being difficult for the first wagons. This encampment was about one mile below the Red Buttes. The feed being good though not extensive. Capt. S[amuel]. G. Clark proposed stopping for the night where we descended to the river as they had a sick cow and there was a small patch of good feed over the river. After we stopped at night it was ascertained that Captain [Elam] Luddington’s Co. had also stopped with Capt. Clark.
This was Capt. Clark’s day to lead, he being behind, we waited till he came up, then traveled about three miles and our route leaving the river, we thought it best to stop till morning. Bro. Smith’s Co. came up near us this evening. Weather fair warm and pleasant.
Both companies started on, Capt. Richard’s Company ahead. Men went ahead from both companies to look for feed. Bro. Smith and myself rode ahead most of the day and had a very pleasant social day. We came to the main road between Mineral Springs and Rock Avenue, but found no feed except that impregnated with alkali, on the north side of the road, and thinking it unsafe to use it we drove on to the Willow Springs which we reached a little after dark. Feed Scarce.
Morning fair. We were some time gathering up the cattle, as some had wandered off several miles in search of feed. The night being dark the guard did not keep them in bounds. Both companies traveled to Greasewood Creek, crossed it and camped about four miles below the ford, on the right bank. Feed good about one mile from the road.
Morning fair and cool, some frost and ice. Our two companies traveled about four miles and corralled together. Appointed meeting at one o’clock. Just as the congregation was assembling for meeting Bro’s. David Fullmer and Joseph W. Young rode into our large corral, having come from Salt Lake. They were greeted with joy, and soon informed us that a train of sixteen wagons, sixty or seventy yoke of oxen were near by coming to assist us. This was welcome news to us, as also was the good news from the valley. In the evening we had a dance and general time of rejoicing. At the meeting it was proposed that we reamin [remain] in camp tomorrow and send fifty to one hundred yoke of oxen to assist Bro. Benson’s Company up to us, which we did.
Morning fair and pleasant, day warm. Sent sixty-five yoke of oxen back to meet Bro. Benson and his company. Came into camp about two o’clock. We then distributed the wagons, teams and teamsters among the three companies, six wagons, six teamsters and twenty-three yoke of oxen to Bro. Smith, six wagons, seven teamsters and twenty-two yoke of oxen to Br. Benson, four wagons, seven teamsters and twenty yoke of oxen to my company.
Sunday. Morning fair, day warm. The entire camp started between ten and twelve o’clock. Bro. Benson’s Co. ahead, Bro. Smith’s behind. We camped one mile above Independence Rock. Feed not good.
Morning fair. Bro. Fullmer and Young left with the mail for the valley. Late start. Encamped about five miles above Devil’s Gate on the Sweetwater, feed plenty.
Morning fair, day pleasant, road very sandy and dusty. Traveled ten miles and camped on the Sweetwater, two miles west of Sage Creek. Feed short.
Day fair, road sandy and dusty. Traveled about ten miles, turned to the right, camped on the Sweetwater, two miles below the first of the three crossings. Feed good.
Lay in camp today to rest and send assistance to Bro. Smith’s Co. Met them seven miles back. They camped three miles below us.
Morning fair and warm. Traveled to Ford No. four. Bro. Benson, having left this place this morning, left a notice for us directing to good feed, one mile N.W.
Day pleasant. Traveled fifteen miles and camped one mile below ford. No. five. Feed short. Night very windy.
Morning cloudy, cold and windy. Squalls of snow from the north. Traveled six miles and came up with Bro. Benson’s Company where they had encamped for the last twenty-four hours, feed being good. They moved on and we encamped about one mile up the river on excellent feed.
Morning cloudy and very cool. Freezing considerably. Crossed over the rough rocky ridges, and camped on a creek one foot wide. Drove our cattle down one mile for feed.
Morning pleasant. Started at eleven o’clock. Clouded up, cold wind from the N.E., snow falling on the mountains. Camped on Willow Creek at four o’clock. Bro. [Ezra T.] Benson’s Company was here. Began to blow and snow violently. Continued for thirty-six hours from the N.E. Snow very deep in drifts, probably one foot of snow fell. Continued in camp four days. The snow not melting. Many of our cattle perished in the storm. In our company seventeen were found dead and six missing. Pigs and chickens froze to death in coops and cages on the back end of wagons. I had three horses.
They were brought in this morning shaking violently with cold. I tied them to the wagons, put a buffalo skin on each and fed a sack of oats to them to save their lives. The oats, I was taking along for seed. The little dry willow brush that was our dependence for fuel was all covered with snow, so that it was difficult to keep fires.
The day being fair and pleasant for winter, we concluded to make the effort to pursue our journey, yoked up our teams, shoveled the snow away from the wagon tongues, hitched on about eleven o’clock and beat the way five miles to the Sweetwater and encamped. The night was keen and frosty. Here the snow was only about five inches deep.
Morning fair, and after nine o’clock very pleasant. In a few miles the snow was gone. Traveled seven and one-half miles and camped on the Sweetwater, near the South Pass.
Day fair, and pleasant. Traveled eleven miles. Encamped on Pacific Creek, five miles below the crossing. Feed good.
Morning fair, day pleasant. Traveled sixteen miles and encamped on Little Sandy, one mile above the ford. Plenty of dry bench feed near by, sandy.
Morning pleasant, day warm. Traveled eleven miles. Camped on Big Sandy three miles below ford. Plenty of dry bench feed.
Day cloudy and cool. Traveled eleven miles and camped on Big Sandy one-half mile south of the road with Bro. Smith’s Company. Some rain and hail in the evening. Feed plenty.
Morning cool and cloudy. Traveled thirteen miles to Green River. Cross over and encamped. Ford deep and rapid. Had a meeting at night. Bro. Smith preached. He advised traveling in companies of tens.
Morning cool, day cloudy and windy. My company started ahead. Capt. Hiram Clark’s Co., in which I traveled, leading out. Traveled six miles and camped at one o’clock where the road leaves Green River. Some snow fell tonight.
Morning cool and cloudy, very chilly south wind. Through the day snow melted off. Traveled fourteen miles. Camped on Black’s Fork.
Morning cool, day cloudy, cold west wind, some rain through the day. Traveled Sixteen miles. Camped one mile below Fort Bridger on the willows[.]
Morning cloudy, day very windy. Traveled eleven miles to Muddy Creek.
Day fair and cool. Traveled seventeen miles to Sulphur Creek. Night clear, cold and frosty.
Morning fair, day pleasant. Traveled sixteen miles to Cache Cave.
Started about ten o’clock. Day pleasant. Traveled ten miles. Camped on Echo Creek. Grass water and wood plenty.
Sunday. Traveled to the mouth of Echo. Huntington’s Company in one-half mile.
Morning fair and frosty. Crossed Bear River. Deep and rapid. Traveled to Kanyon [Canyon] Creek.
Day fair, road bad, many steep places crossing creek. Had to ascend the Bluffs which are very steep, the be[a]ver dams being impassable in the road. Camped in ravine two miles east of the summit of the Big Mountain, making twelve miles today.
The descent of the Big Mountain being very steep, had to rough lock wagons. Traveled to west fork of Little Mountain.
Arrive in Salt Lake City about two o’clock.