Snow, Erastus, Journal 1835-1851; 1856-1857, vol. 4, 3-91.
- Related Companies
- Brigham Young Vanguard Company (1847)
- Related Persons
- Ezra Taft Benson
- Thomas Bullock
- Albert Carrington
- James Craig
- John Sunderlin Eldredge
- Thomas Grover III
- Appleton Milo Harmon
- Heber Chase Kimball
- Jesse Carter Little
- Amasa Mason Lyman Sr.
- Joseph Lazarus Matthews
- John Pack
- Orson Pratt
- Tunis Rappleye
- Orrin Porter Rockwell
- Albert Perry Rockwood
- Shadrach Roundy
- George Albert Smith
- Erastus Snow
- Thomas Tanner
- Wilford Woodruff
- Brigham Young
Wednesday 7th Pres[iden]t. [Brigham] Young and those belonging to his family with many others of the Pioneers started and moved out 4 miles and camped. I loaded my wagon and prepared for starting.
8th I called my family together and dedicated them unto the Lord and commanded them to serve the Lord with all their hearts and cultivate Peace and love and hearken to the whisperings of the holy spirit and pray mutch and they inasmuch as they
done this they should have power over disease and death and we should all meet again in the due time of the Lord.
I then laid my hands upon my children and blessed them beginning with the youngest Mahonri
according to the feelings of my heart in the power of the holy ghost.
I then administered to my wife Artemesia blessing her and rebukeing her weaknesses and giving her a charge toward her family[.] also Blessed Minerva giving her a a similar charge. My temporal Business I committed to the care of Bro. Cabel Edwards. All things being now ready I started about 3 oclock P.M. taking with me James Craig an Irishman by birth who had spent many years of his life in Canida [Canada] where also he embraced the fullness of the Gospel. We joined the main camp that evening 7 miles out in time for me to return on horseback with the twelve and others to meet in council Elder P[arley]. P. Pratt who had just arrived from England. He informed the council that Elder John Taylor was on his way of[f] the river with about $500 worth of Astronomical and other instruments very usefull to the Pioneers on their Journey. The council noted that the Pioneers move on and cross the Elkhorn river and the council then return and meet Elder Taylor next Tuesday in council and receive from him the instruments and that he arrive
Accordingly today Friday 9th we all returned to camp and the company started and went up the divide near the Mt. watters a few miles and bore off to the west and camped in the open Prairie about 10 miles from our first encampment.
10th Haveing no fuel with which to cook was [with] this morning took an early start and soon crossed the Poppy [Pappea] Creek where a few scattering trees afforded fuel for that portion of the company who were under the necessity of stopping to cook. The Balance of us taking a southwestern course from
Sunday morning they arrived and during the day all crossed and camped together on the west side the Horn where the Broad Bottom extended across to the Platt[e]
like to have neglected to state that we crossed our waggons on a raft Prepared by a few of our company who hade been sent a few days previous for the purpose; and <(forded)> the stream with our horses it being only about 4 feet deep.
12th the company started up the Platt[e] with instructions to stop at a part of timber about 12 miles up\ be doing some Blacksmithing and other necessary work until the twelve returned from winter quarters. I returned on horseback with the twelve and a few others and arrived home about 5 oclock of the same evening. Elder Taylor had not yet arrived But all hands made arrangements to return on Wednesday and waited in faith for the accomplishment of the vote of the former councilor about Sunset on Tuesday[.] Elder T. arrived with the instruments and
Wednesday 14th All returned to the Horn 15th overtook our teams and the company who were waiting according to instructions
(16th) In the forenoon the Whole company were called together and numbered 143 men 3 women & 2 children besides a few brethren who had accompanied us thus far intending to return to Winter Quarters. The company was then addressed by Prest. Young and others on the necessity of a strict organization and attending strictly to our duties and he promised them moreover that if they would abide his council and observe his directions they should go safe and
They then proceeded to organize by appointing captains of tens fifties and hundreds. A Guard of fifty men were selected for a constant night guard and Stephen Markham appointed their captain. At 3 oclock P.M. we took our march each ten moveing in their
17th We traveld only about 8 miles and halted at a convenient point of timber on the Platt[e] and prepared for Sunday. a little before sunset we were called together and organized for military operations by appointing Prest. Young General. S[tephen]. Markham Col. Shadrack Roundy and John Pack[,] Majors & the seve[ra]l captains of tens to stand as the captain of their companies respectfully <& Bro. [Thomas] Tanner[,] Gunner with 8 artillery>, and all were instructed to move by tens and in a solid column every man with his gun upon his shoulder or where he can put his hand upon it at a moments warning.
Sunday 18th Today was passed quietly away without any meetings except in our waggons on account of its being cold and chilly. A train of 7 waggons belonging to Mr. Sarpee of the fur company passed us on their way from Pawnee to the Bluffs.
19th At 5 oclock My Partner (who by the way was the Bugler) sounded the call for prayers and prepertions for moving. at 7 he sounded for moveing. We moved by tens every man except teamsters walking by his wagon with his gun upon his shoulders.
We traveled about 22 miles and camped a little before sunset on the banks of the Platt forming with our waggons a half circle on the River. While Bateing our teams at noon opposite diamond Island. O[rrin]. P[orter]. Rockwell and Elder J[esse]. C[arter]. Little and the notorious James Brown came up with us; the two former haveing left camp on Friday previous to return to winter Quarters on business.
20th we traveled about 20 miles crossed shell creek about 10 oclock A.M. camped about 4 oclock P.M. forming our semicircle opposite a small Island near the Prairie shore on bank where we turned our teams for the night. Near this camp our fishermen drew the seine and caught upwards of 200 fish from a small lake which afforded our camp a rich repast. By the way I had forgot to mention that when we returned from Winter Quarters to the Horn Prest. Young secured and brought with him Father Eldridge's leather skiff for the use of the fishermen. It was placed upon the running gheir [gears] of a light waggon in the stead of a box and carried the fishing apparatus
21st About one oclock we passed the new trading post on the loup fork and halted to bait about a mile above where we were thronged by the Pawnees. Among others was the Grand Pawnee Chief with a certificate from Sarpee the trader. He with the rest was very friendly and wanted presents. After collecting a quantity of Powder & lead, Tobacco & Salt Flour and other trinkets, & presenting to the chief Prest. Young proposed to shake hands and part in friendship. But he refused and appeared very angry. Upon inquiring into the cause of his passion He said through his interpreter that the heap was two [too] little. The whites were rich had tea, coffee & sugar and an abundance of everything and we had given them but little &tc. He said we would kill and drive away their Buffaloo [buffalo] and that we should go back and should not go on and other talk of the same import all of which showed to us the influence the traders, Missionaries and others were using with the Indians against us and bid us to be on our watch. We traveveld [traveled] about 8 miles in the afternoon and at night prepared the camp for action and placed out a guard of fifty at a time including 10 picket guards. The Indian fires we seen all around us and near our camp opposite on the other side the Loup Fork, but a few guns and other demonstrations let them know that we were on hand. The morning came in quietness and we resumed our Journey as usual.
We crossed Looking Glass creek early in the morning and Baited at noon at the crossings of Beaver creek and camped at night at the old Missionary station having traveled sixteen miles.
Here we find an abundance of hay and corn fodder for our teams, saved by the brethren who were here last fall. This is a place of surpassing beauty and the selection of the seite [site], the arrangements of the farms, buildings and fixtures shows much taste in the former occupants. The farm houses and shops and all Government improvements had been burned by the Souxs [Sioux], a few months previous to our arrival & the Missionary buildings above were standing.
23d We did not leave our encampment until afternoon. a portion of our men were engaged in examineing the different fords in the Loup Fork to find the best crossing. In the afternoon we moved up to the old ford four miles above the Missionary station and commenced to cross some of our best teams with light loads but the current was so rappid and the quicksand so bad that it was very difficult crossing. We therefore camped for the night and concluded to build a raft with which by the aid of our leather Skiff to cross most of our loading that our teams might be able by doubleing to go through without difficulty. The stream
was is about 80 rods wide in this place but we were oblighed to go diaggonally up the stream about a mile to get out.
In the morning of the 25th the Skiff began to ply between shore and a sand bar across the main channel and the teams with four or five yoke oxen and 2 or 3 spans of horses attached to parts of loads began to cross at the ford and by following in the same track they found the tracks packed and became harder so that the teams began to move over with more ease and finally the most of the company at last froded [forded] with their loads by putting on about 3 times the amount of the ordinary team but many of the wagon beds had to be raised from the bolsters and rails put under to prevent the water from entering. about four oclock we were all safely over and moved up the river about 4 miles where we found considerable green grass for our teams.
There we spent a pleasant Sabbath and had an interesting meeting. All the camp appeared in first rate spirtits [spirits]
a little before daylight on Monday morning our guards discovered 6 Indians who crept along the margin of the river into the very border of our encampment. They were doughtless after horses. The g[u]ard fired upon them and they broke and run. The Bugler sounded and alarm and in about 15 minutes all hands were under arms ready to repel any attack that might be made by the Indians but the first fire of the guards and the sounds of the Bugle was all the fighting we had to do. When the Sun arose, there were various conjectures as to their identity but we possessing some knowledge in the matter pronounced their tracks to be that of S[i]oux Indians instead of Pawnees. This day we traveled up the river
with any trial. Stoped at noon nearly opposite an old dilapidated Pawnee village situated on the north bank of the river. About 4 o'clock P.M. we passed directly
Early in the evening while camped on sand creek it was ascertained that two horses were either strayed or stolen. Some 10 or 15 horsemen myself with the number made diligent
by aided by a clear sky and bright moon but found them not. Next morning O[rrin]. P[orter]. Rockwell, Thomas Brown, Joseph [Lazarus] Mat[t]hews and John [Sutherland] Eldredge Started on horseback on the back track in quest of them; the company crossed this creek and moved in a direction about 20 deg to the west of South towards the Platt[e]. We traveld about 12 miles and baited on the heights of the land where we had a fair view of the broad Platt[e] in the distance; near here our hunters killed and [an]Antelope. We traveled about 8 miles further and found a beautiful Prairie stream where
To day we had good roads, but very dry and sandy most of the way and no watter for our teams. Some of the ox teams failed before night and we had to send back horses and half them up. As we were camping for the night the four horsemen who left us in the morning came up and reported that they found not the horses but went back most to our last encampment and were surprised by 15 Pawnees near a point of timber on the river. The Indians made a rush upon them with a view to get their horses but they leveled their pieces
them our men without taking any effect and then broke for the timber hard as they could run. At Pra[i]rie Creek one of the most valuable mares in camp was Shot through the accidental discharge of a gun.
28th We crossed Prairie creek this morning and traveld nearly south about 10 miles and struck the Platt[e.] Baited in good feed and traveled about 6 miles up the river and camped upon a beautiful site where we found excellent feed and a small stream of clear water running on the north side of what we supposed to be Grand Island. This is probably from the river. The country we have passed over today is the most we had beautifull I ever beheld. A continous onbroken plain covered with green grass from 1 to 6 inches high as far as the eye can
29th 7 oclock P.M. I am now watching my horses as they fill themselves with rushes on the borders of Grand Island; our camp is tonight on waters that are evedently out of the Platt[e] above. The clear stream we camped on last night proved to be Wood creek, which we crossed after 4 miles travel this morning and have followed up about an equal distance between it and Grand Island all day haveing traveled about 18 miles[.] Wood Creek is a beautifull stream with gravel Bottom slightly skirted with timber as far as we have followed its course today and runs parralell with Grand Island; Which is said to extend about 75 miles; it is mostly covered with rushes and the timber usually found on the Island and bottom of all these western Streams.
30th We followed the courses of the Platt[e] until the timber of Wood river bore to the north and was lost in the distance. The day was very long and the cold North blast made us resort to overcoats. We traveld about 18 miles, found a small Prairie stream putting into the Platt[e] at noon. But found none at night and a soft bottom between us and the Platt[e] made it expedient for us to camp on the background without wood or watter; Here for the first time we resorted to Buffaloo manure for fuel and found it better than we had expected. We also sunk a well about 6 feet and found watter.
May 1st Today has been a Romantic day for our little company. The Sun arose clear and Beautifull upon us about as we started and with it the cold chilling Blast of the North which went down also with the setting sun. Our
up the Platt[e] we were scarcely out of sight of sight of Buffaloo all day. They were grazing along the side of the Bluff[.] about 4 oclock P.M. some 12 or 15 horsemen left xx the wagon train and struck to the Bluffaloo also to give chase to a herd of about 200. We viewed the chase from our waggons as we passed along with much interest. Difvideing into companies of from 2 to 4 they si passed
2nd. This morning he came into camp having killed and dressed a buffalo but too late to find his way to camp last night. Some horsemen returned with him to get his meat and the camp moved today about 2 miles it being Sunday to where they could find better grazing for our teams.
Here we remained upon a creek putting in from the Bluffs until Tuesday for the purpose of drying our meat and resting ourselves and teams[.] our hunters also killed some more Buffaloo calves and antelope.
On Monday I was directed by Col Markham to take fifteen horsemen and proceed up the river some 10 or 12 miles to ascertain if possible whether there were Indians near us and whether their fires which seemed to sweep the whole country before us and which had reached within a mile of our encampment; had so far destroyed the feed that our teams could not be sustained. We went according to directions about 10 miles found only here and there a patch of grass not burned; the fire still
Soon after we started on Tuesday we discovered on the south side the river 3 trading waggons bound downwards. The traders also discovered us and dispached one of their number across the river and reported themselves as connected in trade with Mr. Sarpee that they were 16 days from Fort Larrimie [Laramie] and bound for the Missourie [Missouri] River below council Bluffs[.] By them we sent out about fifty letters back to our families. The river here was about a mile [and] a quarter wide and in one place more than about two feet watter. 3 of our horsemen crossed over and conversed with Mr. Passan their leader who thought it adviseable for our company to ford the river and take the origon [Oregon] road to Fort Larrimie [Laramie] as the prairies he said were all burnt over on the South side last fall and the feed was now good and on the north side the prairies were not being burned.
On the return of our horsemen a council was called to consider the question of crossing and it was voted to continue on the north side and make a road for our brethren who should follow as the mountain freshits [freshets] would render the river impassable to the Summer companies. This detained us so that we only traveled about 12 miles on Tuesday and
Wednesday the 5th we traveled today about 15 miles chiefly over soft praiarie where has been hard wheeling and our teams fair [fare] hard for grazing. Our hunters have killed one Buffaloo cow and a number of calves today.
6th a light shower nearly extinguished the fires last night so that today we passed over onto the unburnt grass again but where we have traveled today we are but little better off for feed for it is nearly all eat up by the Buffaloo which have been driven here either by the fires or something else in most herds. I presume in traveling 16 miles[.] today we have past from 5 to 10 thousand Buffaloo. Some of our teams are beginning to fail for want of feed.
7th One circumstance I must not fail to mention[.] that is the fact that Prest. B. Young in riding fast with others to head our drove of cows to prevent them mixing with a herd of Buffaloo that was making towards them lost a valuable Spy glass out of his pocket last evening. I mention this fact not only because it was a great loss to himself and the company but because connected with it is a regular built dressing which I got from him this morning in consequence of being with the camp to see to them last night as it was my turn to drive the cows lost yesterday afternoon. In attempting to exhonorate myself from blame I drew from him a severer chastisement; it is the first I have had since I have been in this church, which is nearly fifteen years and I hope it may last me fifteen years to come.
We had an axletree to put in the wagon this morning and we wished to give our teams more time to eat as the feed was very poor and the grain we had brought with us was nearly exhausted; we therefore did not start till about noon and only traveld 6 miles, and camped near an Island where we found better feed.
Saturday was traveld about 11 miles over an old sheep pasture perfectly used up; at least it had such an appearence from the fact that the ground was nearly covered with Buffaloo dunk [dung] and the whole country seemed alive with these wild cattle. We were obliged to camp upon a perfectly barren Spot on the river bank.
Next morning we moved up the river 4 miles opposite a small Island of cotten [cotton] woods on which we fed our teams, and where we tarried over Sunday and had a meeting in the afternoon. Here also a small Box was made and nailed to a tall post in which was placed a written history of our organization and journing [journeying] up to this time for the benefit of our brethren who should follow us.
10th We crossed a small clear stream this morning and came into a little better feed and the feed has been improveing a little through the day and the Buffaloo not so plenty and we are not a little glad now account of it, for we
Tuesday 11th Today we have traveld about 8 miles and camped a little above a clear and beutifull Prarie creek. The feed is so short and teams so weak we are unable to travel but a small portion of the day. We have seen but few Buffaloo today but it is evident that they have left this range very recently.
12th We have traveled 12 miles today have had a warm South wind and good roads; crossed this afternoon on a small clear stream and we are now camped upon another pretty good small creek and in sight of the bluffs that separate the North and South forks of the Platt[e] the most Southearn point of which is still a few miles
little above us. The South Fork appears to come in from the South West nearly opposite our camp and then runs along
13th We have traveled today 10 3/4 miles have crossed the largest
stream xxxxxxxxxxxx The President named it Junction Bluff River .
We have had a sudden change in the weather and we are scarcely comfortable around the fires with Top coats. The feed is the best here that we have found since we came into the Buffaloe range. A mile and a half west of us the Bluffs extend abruptly into the Platt[e]. They are sand ridges and broken nobs [knobs.] our horsemen are searching for a route through.
14th I was a guard last night and it was far from being a warm birth [berth] but the weather began to moderate about 7 Oclock and today it has been warm enough to rain [illegible][.] We have had several slight showers during the day which seem truly reviveing to this thirsty land. We found a very good but circuitous route through the sand hills and made our way to the bottom again; have traveled today 8 miles; have now before us another range of sand hills to try in the morning; they appear worse than those we have passed today. We found good feed here and thought it best that our teams enjoy the benefit of it before ventureing among the sandhills Else we should have traveled farther.
15th We found it about 2 1/2 miles through the sand hills. Sand deep and very heavy wheeling. We have traveled 7 miles & camped for Sunday. We have another range of Sand hills about 3 miles before us. The Bluffaloo have eat down the feed between us and the hills which is the cause of
Sunday 16th The Sky was overcast with clouds and wind blew cold from the north but in the middle of the day it cleard up warm and pleasant. had a meeting in the afternoon, all appeared in fine spirits. Two Buffaloo and one Antelope Killed near camp.
17th Started half past eight o'clock this morning, found it about 2 1/2 miles through the Sand hills before we struck the bottom again. About mideway of which we crossed a small clear Stream running into the river. During the afternoon we passed several spring fountains coming out at the foot of the Bluffs and spread over the
and many sloughs as the marshy places on the prairie are called. Route bearing nearer the river bank we soon struck hard grounds again and camped for the night haveing traveled 12 3/4 miles. The hunters killed 4 Buffaloo and some small game which detained the camp some to secure the meat.
18th This morning Prest. Young gave some good instructions to the camp and sharp admonishments to some for being wasteful of flesh and to the hunters for killing more than we really needed and to the horsemen for takeing so little interest in looking out our roads and to the officers for neglecting to enforce the rules of the camp upon their men. We have had good roads and fine weather and have traveled 15 3/4 miles today and camped at the mouth of a small creek. Today we begin to find for the first time ledges of rock in the bluff on both sides the river.
19th It rained gently nearly all day But was cold; winds in the North. We traveled 8 miles, passed over another of those sand ridges that extend abruptly to the rivers brink about 1 1/2 miles over, wheels rolled in the sand nearly to the hub, found on both sides this ridge a clear stream puting into the river.
20th We have had good roads along the river bank today or rather a good chance to make a road in which we
play with seems to pack by tramping so that the last teams pass over with much more ease than the first. We camped tonight at 6 o'clock on a small stream which we found plenty of drift wood for fuel. Have traveled 15 3/4 miles. By the way I wish it understood that during the forepart of our Journey we had to guess at the distance
21st Today has seemed the most like spring of any day since we left Winter Quarters, not only warm and pleasant but on every hand have
earlier later here than in the same latitude on the Missouri river. We have seen no Buffaloo either yesterday or today except
22nd This morning near our camp we found a large bone supposed to be out of the foreleg of a mammoth[.] it weighted 27 pounds and was left for the inspection of other companies being buried with a description of it upon a board put up at its grave. At our noon encampment we first discovered through the telescope what is commonly called chimney Rock which seemed about 20 miles ahead of us on the South side the river. Towards night we passed over another range of hills about two miles over. This was different from the former ones. Instead of being deep sand it was chiefly hard ground the [k]nobs covered with Rock and pebble stone. The side of the deep ravines and gullies were clay. We passed over the beds of several creeks in which at some seasons of the year evidently flows much watter but which are not perfectly dry with gravel bottoms. We are now camped upon another of these lost creeks about two miles from the last range of hills. We have
various no reason to believe that there has been any rain here this spring. There is consequently little or no feed except on the low bottoms of the river. We have traveled today 15 1/2 miles.
Sunday 23rd Had an interesting meeting this afternoon and excellent instructions from Prest. B. Young. During the forepart of the day. The Twelve, myself and several others gratified ourselves with a survey of the Bluffs and hills to the North East of us. The Scenery is picturesque and Romantic in the extreme. At a distance of 2 or 3 miles they greatly resemble the Ruins of Ancient towers and castles and Pleasure grounds of Nobelmen. We called the place Ancient Bluff Ruins. From the top of one of these detached Peaks one of our young men obtained from its nest a young Eagle. Upon the top of another O. Pratt discovered a small Pool of water in a basin of a Rock about 200 feet above the level of River. Quite an extensive cave was also discovered on one of those dry creeks but we had not time to explore it. These hills are favourite resorts of Rattleslakes [rattlesnakes] and visitors will do well to beware of them. Brother Fairbanks was bit upon the leg with one today and is quite sick and under medical treatment.
24thLast night about sun set the wind shifted suddenly and blew up cold from the North and brought upon us a heavier storm of wind, rain and some hail. Cold night and this morning it snowed a little. We traveled in the forenoon 10 miles. At noon two Sous [Sioux] visited us. We fed them and they passed on making signs to us
that there was a camp of them not far off. They soon crossed the river above us and we moved on 6 1/2 miles in the afternoon and formed our circle at 6 o'clock P.M. While camping we observed a party of about 30 Sous [Sioux] riding up on the
Traveled next day 12 miles. Had much soft roads and camped for the night a little east of north from Chimney Rock and about 3 miles distant from it. We have traveled about 36 miles since we first discovered it which we then supposed to be about 20 miles only. This is not the first instance in which we have been deceived in measuring distance with the eye. We are enabled to distinguish objects for more clearly and at a much greater distance then we could in the east on account of the difference in the atmosphere which may account for our being deceived in distance. Professor Pratt reports from an observation taken today noon that we were in Lat. N. 41 - 42' - 46". Barometrical height above the level of the 3371 feet and the average rise per mile since and passed the Junction of the river has been 5 feet 6 in 9/10
26th Today has been very warm and we had traveled only 12 1/2
we have we have had for some days past.
Winds & Showering tonight 27th Pleasant weather good traveling tolerable feed teams yet feeble though not failing at present. We have plenty of fresh meat, chiefly Antilope. Have traveled today 13 3/4 miles. Passed what is called Scots Bluff on the other side the river which presents a very Romantic appearance. One object standing alone which seems to attract particular attention is a tower
of about 150
28th Rather cool weather today. Sky overcast with clouds moderate rain during the forenoon so that we did not start till nearly noon. Traveled 11 1/2 mile followinig the course of the river which has been nearly North.
29th cool and cloudy winds N.E. rained a little during forenoon . we remained in our place. about noon the Pres[iden]t. called the camp together and admonished us with much feeling and spirit because of growing evils in our midst and spirits cherished by many that were calculated to involve us in the snares of the Devil. He said now that we were driven forth from among the Gentiles so that the Devils could not harrass us by them, they were now the more vigilant in Stiring up strife and introducing various evils among ourselves to draw away our minds from the things of God. He said their was with many in camp an excess of amusement such as Dancing, scuffling, cardplaying, checkurs, Dominos &tc besides loud laughing, loud talking, telling funny stories and finding fault one with another &tc. All of which were leading the minds away from the Lord to the neglect of their prayers and other duties and if these things were suffered in this church and carried out to their ultimation they would lead to insubordination and rebellion against the Priesthood and to dissensions and finally to organized bands like the Gadiantons of old to destoy the Pure in heart.
We were the Pioneers for the whole camp of Israel going like Abraham by faith knowing not whether we go to seek a home for the camp where the Lord has promised to to locate a stake of Zion, which place we never should find for the Lord would not lead us so long as these spirits ruled in our hearts and he should not proceed any further with this company unless they forthwith turned unto the Lord with all their [hearts?] and put away the evels [evils] from their midst. Whereupon we all with one voice beginning with the twelve, then the High priests & Bishops, seventies, Elders & members entered into a covenant to return unto the Lord with all
At one Oclock we started and traveled 8 1/2 miles and camped for sunday a little above the mouth of a small prairie creek. The fruits of our mornings lecture was clearly seen, a very different Spirit brooded over the camp.
30th This morning at 8 oclock was held a general meeting for prayers, confessions & exhortations, and at eleven Oclock for the Sacrament. The Lord seemed to accept the offerings of our hearts and poured out his Spirit upon us.
About noon I accompanied the twelve and a few others to the number of fifteen; to a retired place in the adjacent Bluff, where we
offe presented ourselves before the Lord in a Prayer circle, and felt our spirit greatly refreshed by the manifestation of his Blessing upon us. About 6 Oclock we took another walk glasses and ascended the highest point within our reach which was about 3 miles North West of camp where near the time of the setting of the sun we viewed the surrounding country[.] Chimney Rock was still visible down the river at the towering height of the long range of Black hills above us. To the N and N.E. of us the country was little else but Sand hills as far as we could see. After gratifying our eyes, the Prest. proposed Prayer upon this the highest ground we have stood upon. After bowing before the Lord upon those heights we descended and returned to camp at Dark weary in body and retired to rest, satisfied with the proceedings of the day.
Monday 31st we traveled 16 1/2 miles over a Barren country the last four miles being deep sand and camped upon quite a large creek that came winding its way from the Bluffs through this sandy Bottom to the River. Here we find grass spindleing up but very thin. 558 [miles] to Fort Larimie [Laramie.]
June 1st. very warm day and Pleasant yesterday and today we are beginning to find a little timber chiefly a small growth of cottonwood thinly scattered along the Islands and river bank. This, I believe is the first that we have seen on this side [of] the river (except one or two cedar shrubs) since the 11th of May. Buffaloo chips and drift wood being our only fuel good in dry but poor in wet weather. Today we have traveled 12 miles and are now camped opposite Fort Larimie a little above the mouth of Larimie [Laramie] River which comes in from the south and on which the fort is situated about two miles from the Platt[e]. Here we have to cross the River on account of the Black hills coming
2nd Today a colepit is on fire within [illegible] our circle and three portable Blacksmith shops in operation. Smiths shoeing horses, repairing waggons &&38;c, &c. The use of a very good Flat Boat owned by the Fur company has been secured to [too] for our company for the sum of fifteen dollars.
3rd Today Elder A[masa.] [Mason] Lyman has started with three others on horseback with dispatches to Pueblo. We are busily engaged in crossing the river. Lone horsemen just arrived at the Fort
4th A heavey storm of wind and rain yesterday afternoon caused a cessation in our ferrying so that our teams were not all over until about 9 Oclock this morning. We started directly up the south bank of the Platt[e] and passing some low sand ridges we ascended a steep hill onto a low bottom 8 miles from the fort where we found good feed and camped for the night.
5th After traveling a few miles we came in sight of where the river forces a passage through a defile in a high range of the Black hills where we were compelled to leave the river and taking a circuitous route and a rough and hilly road we struck the bed of a creek and followed up the same till noon when our trail intersected the main Origon [Oregon] road. We soon rose <(ascended)> a steep hill on to a gently undulating plane and found a good road. Struck the dry bed of
willow creek followed it up till we found wood and water and good feed and halted for Sunday
6thThis morning they moved on and their Pilot who was acquainted with the route informed us that after following up this creek, a few miles we should leave it and find no more more [duplicate wording] water for about a day's drive. We therefore thought it wisdom to move on a few miles so that we could with ease make the next point tomorrow. But we remained in our place, had an interesting and Proffitable meeting and about 3 Oclock P.M. we gathered our teams and moved up the creek 5 miles and camped near the small company who had preceeded us. 1/2 mile in our rear also camped another party of Origon [Oregon] emigrants (numbering 19 waggons) who came up with us today.
7th We continued gradually to ascend through a hollow [bottom] following the course of a dry creek. 9 1/2 miles on to the heights which commanded an interesting view of an extensive landscape. Here we were opposite the Principle Peak of the Black Hills some 10 or 15 miles south west of us which appeared to be still partly covered with snow. From these heights we descended 3 1/2 miles to Willow Creek and found a fine camping place.
8th Today our road has been little else but up hill and down yet smooth. This forenoon I had the Ill luck to break a wagon tire which however Bro Frost welded and set during our noon halt without detaining the camp. We have traveld 15 1/2 miles today and are tonight on Big Timber creek. A company of traders from Fort Bridger Bound for the Missourie
are is camped near us.
9th We re[a]ched Alapier creek a distance of 19 miles, about 20 of our best teams and some horsemen left us this morning and are in advance of us being sent to the crossing of the Platt[e] to make some preparations for crossing. We were overtaken today by 5 mountaineers with about 20 horses and Pack mules direct from Santa Fee [Fe] bound for Green River. They report that the Mormon Battallion crossed the Mountains and went on to California last winter and that the detachment at Fort Pueblo will soon be on our track.
10th We have traveled today 18 miles crossed several creeks. Struck the Platt[e] at 3 Oclock P.M. and are camped tonight on Deer Creek 1/2 miles from the Platt[e]. This is the most delightfull place we have seen since we left the states. A large creek of clear water stony bottom and the way our boys are hauling out the fish is not slow, excellent feed, thrifty timber, Plenty of game, Beautifull scenery and added to this one of our Miners has discovered a very extensive bed of excellent Bituminous coal up the creek a sample of which he has brot into camp also a quary of equally excellent sand stone.
I have been agreeably disappointed in the country of the Black hills over which we have traveld a distance of 20 miles from Fort Larimie [Laramie.] Instead of sand and continual barrenness without water as I had expected we have found hard roads through hilly, and at convenient distances, beautifull creeks skirted with timber and bottoms covered with grass though the country otherwise presents generally a rough and barren appearance.
11th We have traveld 17 miles today up the Platt[e]. have overtaken one party of emigrants who are preparing to cross the river here. The rivulets we have crossed today were all lush with water from the melting snow which whiten
12th Twelve miles travel today Bro[ugh]t us to the ferry where our advance party were engated [engaged] in ferrying over a party of Origon [Oregon] Emigrants and their effects in the Leather skiff[,] Swimming the horses and cattle and floating the empty waggons by means of long ropes. They finished their Job this evening for which they got $30.00 in Provisions. Brothers Rapplelee [Tunis Rappleye] & Johnson takeing different directions to visit the Mountains south of us wandered so far away that when night overtook them they were still from 6 to 8 miles from camp and the face of the country exceedingly rough & night dark horns were sounded guns fired and brisk fire kept up in camp. A file of horsemen with the Bugler
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent in crossing the river which
Saturday 19th We again took up our line of march leaving Thomas Grover and eight other men and a blacksmith with instructions to continue ferrying emigrants until the arrival of our other companies and after crossing them to cash [cache] their boats and come to us. We traveled today 21 1/2 miles over a barren country and we
Sunday morning 20th we thought this a poor place of rest and put out. Finding no wood we continued our march through the day. Passed the noted willow spring at noon and camped at night half a mile off the main road on a beautifull creek which empties into Sweetwater having traveled 20 1/2 miles. Here we again had to resort to the roots of the Mountain Sage for fuel. This herb nearly covers this barren country from Fort Larrimie [Laramie] onward as far as we have traveled and in fertile spots grows rank and becomes quite a shrub.
21st 7½ miles travel brot us to Sweetwater near the celebrated Independence Rock where we baited at noon. We forded the river a mile above the Rock. The water ran into our lowest waggon beds though it appeared to be rapidly falling. This is a beautifull little river and flows rapidly through narrow bottoms forming the most numerous and curious crooks of any stream I ever saw. Directly before us is one of the Spurs of the Rocky Mts. A chain which seems to run Parrallell with the river but crosses it again miles above[.] From the ford we gradually ascended about 5 miles. Passed through an opening in this chain of rocks & descended to the river bottom again and camped about a mile above what is commonly called the Devils Gate (having traveled 15 miles today) which is an apperture in the mountains or chain through which the river forms itself about 100 feet wide with perpendicular rocks on either side. the Barometrical height of which was ascertained by Professor Pratt to be 400 feet. From the lower end of this apperture followed a foot path on the brink of the river about half a mile till I was directly under the highest point of the rocks where the river roaring furiously among the huge rocks fills its narrow channel and compelled me to retreat by the way I entered
22nd Today we have traveled 21 miles. We are camped tonight on the river at the base of an imposing But[t]e about 250 feet high, with a company of Origon [Oregon] Emigrants about 5 miles in advance of us and another about the same distance in the rear. These two companies left the Platte, one about an hour before and the other about an hour after we did. our roads today laying off from the river, chiefly has been sandy and rough, no particular change in the products or face of the country.
23rd We have traveled today 17 miles good weather[.] roads about the same as yesterday. The main road this afternoon should have led us across the river four times in 10 miles, anticipating difficulties in fording at this stage of water; we took a less frequent trail which led off from the river but found deep sand and very heavy wheeling. We are again upon the river in a convenient camping ground with two companies of Emigrants in view before us, and one in our rear, a small detachment from which
24th This morning we left the river took about a west course traveled over a good road 17 3/4 miles before we struck the river again. Here we camped about 3 oclock P.M. our teams being nearly exhausted from fatigue[,] hunger and thirst for it has been warm and we found neither feed nor water to induce us to stop till we reached this point, except about 9 oclock we passed two small lakes or ponds, one of which was very strongly impregnated with Salt & Sulphur & the other with Salt and Alkali, so that our teams refused both. One curiosity worthy of note is the swail where we found these lakes is what is called the Ice Spring. The water of the spring is the same as that of the lake but all around the spring is Ice about 18 inches thick which seems pure and entirely free from those ingredients with which the water is impregnated, and is covered with a soil or turf about 8 inches thick while the Earth around seems entirely free from frost. The reason why this impregnated water remains in its chrystaline state while surrounded with the other water I leave for chemists to determine.
25th While gathering the stock last night The Presidents saddle horse was shot through the body through the carelessness of a young man and died during the night. He was the most highly priced of any horse in the camp. This was the second accident of the kind both of which was the result of a disregard of the rules of the camp. This morning our road crossed the rivers & lead over the hills occasionally strighing [striking] the river again for 10 miles[.] then
then leaving the river again we began to ascend long and steep hills and continued with but little variation to ascend for 10 miles[.] some of the way very rocky and found a tolerable camping place on a mountain rivulet. It was quite warm in the morning but as we began to rise and meet the cold blasts from the mountains of snow & Ice we began to gather our vests, then our coats and finally before night our overcoats and were cold at that. We passed drifts of snow and large bodies of Ice about the rivulets and during the night our milk and water froze as if it were winter. Two of our horsemen who followed the course of the Sweetwater up to about 2 miles of this encampment report that its fall is very great presenting little less than a catterac [cataract] most of the way.
26th continuing our ascent up the small stream on which we had camped about 2 miles and passing once another ridge we came to a large c[r]eek which at first we supposed to be the Sweetwater but after crossing it and in a few miles another quite as large
27th This morning some men from Origon [Oregon] bound for the states passed by whom we sent back letters. We passed the ridge and in about 6 miles we crossed a small stream running west. We traveled 15 1/4 miles today and camped upon another small tributary of the Sweet [blank space] [water.]
28th We bore a little south of West crossed the Little Sandy and camped upon it about 4 miles below the ford. Traveled about 15 1/4 miles and camped early in consequence of meeting Mr. Bridger & two of his men bound for Fort Larrimie [Laramie] who also camped with us & gave us much information relative to the roads, Streams and country generally.
Saturday July 3rd All being safely over the camp moved 3 miles down the River and camped for Sunday. The day we reached Green River I had a violent attack of the Mountain fever and within the week past about one half the camp have been attacked with the same complaint. Its first appearance is like that of a severe cold producing soreness in the flesh; and pain in the head and all parts of the body and as the fever increases the pain in the head & back becomes almost insufferable but an active portion of Physic accompanied with warming & stimulating drinks such as ginger & pepper tea Cayen[ne] &&tc taken freely before and after the operation of the Physic seldom failed to break it up though it left the patient sore and weak & feeble. All are now recovering except some fresh cases.
July 4th 5 men were back with letters to our brethren of the next company & to Pilot them over. In the afternoon 12 mounted soldiers arrived having left the Pueblo detachment at the crossing of the Platt[e] last Monday.
The day we arrived at Green River Samuel Branan [Brannan] and two others arrived from the Bay of San Francisco. They came 800 miles to meet expecting us to go into that country. They informed us that the Mormon Battallion had taken and when they left were in the possession of the Spanish City Pueblos Angelos de Los [Pueblo de los Angeles.]
July 6 Followed up the stream a few miles and forded it where it was about 4 rods wide[.] crossed over a divide 2 miles & struck Black river another tributary of Green river & forded at [it] on a riffle where our wagon beds scarcely clear the water. The current strong stream about 6 rods wide. Bearing westward about 12 miles without water we struck the same stream again, crossed it again & camped for the night, haveing traveled 18 miles
July 7th In a few miles we crossed back again and kept up on the South till nearly opposite Fort Bridger. Here the river separated into 7 or 8 riffles and creeks which flow over an extensive bottom which divide it into numerous Islands. crossing these streams & Islands; and camped a little above its trading house haveing traveld 18 miles today. Here we rested ourselves & teams one day. There being timber and a plenty of good feed and indeed
This is the country of the Snake Indians some of whom were at the Fort. They bear a good reputation among mountaineers for honestry and integraty. We traded some with the traders at the fort & with the French & Indians that were camped near there, but we found that their skins & Peltry were quite as high as they were in the States, though they allowed a liberal price for the commodities we had to exchange.
July 9th We resumed our Journey leaving the Origon [Oregon] road which from this place bears North of west to Fort Hall; we took a blind trail the general course of which is a little South of west, leading in the direction of the Southern extremity of the Salt Lake which is the region we wish to explore. Fortunately for us a party of Emigrants bound for the coast of California passed this way last fall though their trail is now in many places scarcely discernable. We left the waters of the Black River and gradually ascended some 8 or 10 miles, passed some large drifts of Snow in the heads of hollow, crossed the divide, descended a long steep hill wound our way down a hollow to a creek called Muddy Fork which runs North and winds round the hills to the north of Fort Bridger forms a Junction with Ham's Fork & so flows to Green river. Before the stream we camped 13 1/2 miles from Bridger.
10th Today we passed through several fertile vallies & over two the most rugged hills we have passed on our Journey; Spurs of the Bear River Mountains on the last of which we saw 3 grizzly Bear and what is of more importance: Professor [Albert] Carrington discovoured what he positively pronounced the Blossom of Stone coal which has heretofore been supposed not to exist in this region of country. We traveled 18 miles today and camped upon a creek running into Bear river, 2 miles from the latter. Perceiveing a smoke on the river, myself & several others rode down this evening and found it proceeded from a camp of men with Pack animals direct from the settlements in California. From them we obtained late papers & news of the Mexican war &tc.
Sunday 11th We remained in our place[.] a Sulphur Springs was discovered near our camp, Also a Spring of what is called mineral Tar or Bituminous Pitch, being in the opinion of Professor Carrington about 16.7 per cent Carbon. Some of our men filled up their Tar bucket & used it for wheel grease.
12th We crossed Bear river about 2 feet deep, rappid currant running north. we continued our course a little South of west 16½ miles over a country somewhat mountainous though generally of a smoothe surface. There has been a very evident improvement in the soil productions & general appearance of the country since we left Fort Bridger but more particularly since we crossed Bear river. The mountain Sage has in a great measure given place to grasses a variety of Prairie flowers and shrub [scrub] ceders [cedars] upon the sides of the hills. We crossed the bear river divide this afternoon & descended from the head of a narrow vale about 3 miles and camped at the head of a Broad and Beautifull opening of the val[l]ey where two small spring runs meet. There are found excellent spring water. Deep Black soil & the best feed for our stock we have had on our route.
crissoned named it Matthews Vale. On our right in the sight of the Bluff were curious cave extending under a broad shelving rouch which by some means among the Boys, gained the tittle [title] of Redings cave. Today we have had 10 Antelope brought into camp and there seems to be Plenty of game west of Bear river but between the Pass & bear river we saw but little. We saw Bones & ancient signs of Buffaloo But
Down this narrow vale runs a small creek fed by the springs of the valley which
we had we had to cross about every half mile. Towards night for about 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile the whole camp seemed perfectly Immerged in a Dense thicket of large Shrubbery and weeds, with scattering trees which filled the valley. As we emerged from the thicket we passed through some extensive Patches of what Mountainers call wild wheat. Small Patches of which we have seen all the way from Bear River. On the right hand from the thicket down to the river is a range (nearly perpendicular) of conglomerate Rock or Pudding stone of immense heighths. On the left the Bluffs though equally high, were a little more slooping and covered with vegitation.
17th We followed down the creek to where it forms a Junction, at right angles, with the river which here runs about N.W. down which we traveled about 1 1/2 miles when the President growing worse became unable to ride, and we camped upon the right bank of the river 2 1/2 miles from our last night's encampment. This afternoon a Q[u]orum of Priesthood ascended the heights about 2 miles and appeared before the Lord and offered up their united Prayers, in behalf of Pres[iden]t. Young & the sick in our camp, and the Saints who are following us and our wifes & children whom we have left behind. As we descended, we discovered in the head of a deep ravine that opens into the river valley, a conglomerate column about 125 feet high 30 feet in Diameter at the base & 10 at the top. The round stone composing the column various size from the pebble to those that would weigh 500 lbs. Its top may be seen from the road about 1 1/2 mile below the mouth of the small creek. Upon a further examination of the hills we found numerous small towers of a similar kind resembling old factory or furnace chimneys; all situated in the heads of hollows, extending up near high points of the hills and masses of stones held in them, showing the continual wearing down of these columns. Though in the wearing down of the hills, those had so far resisted the operation of the Elements yet in many other places we found where similar columns had been prostrated, & sliding down rugged steeps had formed win[d]rows of stone resembling a prostrated wall.
Sunday 18th We had a prayer meeting in camp remembering before the Lord the case of the Prest. & the sick in camp and also in the
Monday 19th the President and the twelve thou[gh]t it not advisable for the camp to wait longer for him and about forty teams left our encampment on the Weber accompanied by the Apostles Willard Richards & G[eorge]. A[lbert]. Smith, with instruction to follow the advance company lead by Elder [Orson] Pratt and halt at the first suitable Spot after reaching the [Salt] Lake valley and put in our seed Potatoes, Buckwheat Turnips and regardless of our final location. Elders [Heber Chase] Kimball, [Wilford] Woodruff, [Ezra Taft] Benson and others remained with the President and the sick. We followed down the river about 3 miles, forded it. Came in sight of the canion [canyon] where, turning to the left we took Pratt's Pass and ascended the mountain, which was a gradual rise, frequently crossing the rivulet that flowed down the valley. Passed several excellent Springs and reached the Summit a little afternoon which was about 6 miles from the River. Our descent was over a rough road, which we found necessary often to stop and repair. Though our advance company had worked it much. We descended near five miles and struck quite a large creek which Proved to be a branch of the Weber, Which Elder Pratt named Canyon Creek, from the fact of its entering a treme[n]dous impassable Canyon Just below where the road strikes it and also winds its way between these mountain clifts and
emp empties into the Weber between the upper and lower canyon on that Stream. Here the road took up the creek and the Snowy mountains, encircling us on the south and West showing their White heads above the intervening mountains, Showed us Plainly that our climbing was not yet at an end. We stoped tonight upon a small patch of grass surrounded by the thick shrubbery upon this creek haveing traveled 13 3/4 miles.
20th This morning some of the sick felt unable to ride over so rough a road and three waggons were left to wait until the Prest. and the rear company should overtake them. We followed up Canyon Creek 8 miles mostly through dense thickets often crossing the creek and often stoping to repair roads cutting away Brush &tc and camped where Elder Pratts company camped last night at the base of the next mountains. Here we found a letter left by Elder Pratt for us,on the perusal of which Elders Richards and Smith determined on Sending me in the morning with a letter to overtake Elder Pratt & accompany him to the valley & assist in exploreing & searching out a suitable place for putting in our seed.
21st This morning I started on horseback & leaving Canyon Creek I ascended westward five miles to the Summit of the Mountains
valley mountain on the West side is very steep & through a well timbered valley chiefly Rock, maple, quaking asp. A creek originates in this valley which by the time it opens into the Lake valley becomes quite an extensive stream. I followed this creek down about seven miles & overtook Elder Pratt Just above where it enters a rocky canyon. There we had to turn to the right and ascend a very steep hill about 3/4 of a mile long and descended another equally steep long one into another ravine equally well timberd and supplied with a creek sumwhat smaller than that of the other valley. As mutch labour was necessary to make a passable road through its thickets and down this valley Elder Pratt & Myself left the company performing this task and made our way down the valley 6 or 7 miles and came to a small canyon Just above where the creek opens into the valley of the Utah outlet. To avoid this canyon the old Pack trail crossed the creek and leads up an exceedingly steep hill onto a But[t]e that commands the valley & a v[i]ew of the Salt Lake. From the view we had of the valley from the top of the mountain we had supposed it to be only an arm of Prairie extending up from the Utah valley. But on ascending this But[t]e We involuntarily Both at the same instant uttered a shout of Joy at finding it to be the very Place of our destination & the broad Bason [basin] of the Salt Lake Spreading itself Before us.
We descended a gradual sloop [slope] some 4 miles towards the center of the valley and visited several small creeks flowing from the Mountains into the Utah outlet
22nd This Morning we started again with seven others to explore the valley further. The company united their efforts to mark a road down the creek and make their way into the valley which was only about 4 miles. As we rode down this morning we dismounted and examined the small canyon and found it
Practable Practicable to make a road down the Bed of the creek through the Canyon and thus avoid the dangerous & almost impassable Hill upon the other sides of the Precipice.
We left a note upon a pole recommending it to the company who acting upon our suggestion made the road through the Canyon and before Sunset found themselves camped upon a creek in the great valley 4 miles from the canyon. Our little exploring party took down the valley a few miles toward the Salt Lake bearing a little West of north struck a Salt marsh fed by numerous warm Springs that come out at the Base of the mountains on the East. The cane Brake [canebrake], Bull Rushes & a kind of large three cornered grass was up to our shoulders on horseback & the immense body of old grass and rushes formed a bridge over the Marsh which our animals crossed without difficulty. Passing next a dry Salt Plane which is evidently covered with water when the springs are flush; we came to a small lake also fed by warm Springs which evidently spreads over the Plane & Marsh in the Spring of the year. The largest and warmest Spring we found was near the Margin of this Lake. It bursts forth from the base of a purpendicular ledge of Rocks about 40 feet high and emits a volume of water sufficient for a Mill. We had no instrument to determine the degree of Temperature but suffice it to say that it was about right for scalding hogs. Here are the greatest facilities for a Steam Doctor I ever saw and a stone in the center of the stream before the apperture in the Rocks seemed to say this is the seat for the Patient; at any rate I tried it, but had little desire to remain long upon it. All these main Springs are very strongly impregnated with Salt & Sulphur and some of them with coperos [coppers] & other ingredients. Finding no Place equal to that east of the Eutah [Utah] outlet we returned to camp that night and the next day
Saturday 24th the President & all the rear of the Pioneer company arrived, their health much improved. By tonight we have the creek dam[m]ed up and water turned onto our land and several acres of Potatoes & early corn Planted.