Pratt, Parley Parker, Journal, 1855 Jul-1856 Mar.
Tuesday 3rd—Journeyed about 22 miles & camped on the great Road Leading from Sacramento to Placerville.
Wennesday 4th Travel a few miles & camped at a House & bought hay & grain
Thursday 5th The team of Sister Bruce (formerly the widdow green,) being entirely insufficient for the journey she was admonished to go no further so herself, daughter & Br. Sherman, parted with us here, by councel, & common concent. Our com[pany] was now reduced to 16 animals, 5 waggons, & seven men & 2 women.
The road had already commenced to be hilly & rough. We traveled a few miles, & get some blacksmithing done & camped for the night.
Friday 6th traveled a few miles & camped under the shade of some tall oaks while the brethren got some blacksmithing & other repairs. The country hilly & variously timbered with oak & pine. friday traveled 12 M.S. over a rough road[.] met some of the Co. Steptoe hacks from Salt Lake & several other emigrants from the same place, among others[:] John Taylors daughter, Mrs. Wheelock & her brother & her mother & sisters, & Porter Rockwell.
Satturday Traveled 15 ms over a Mountanious heavey timbered Country of oak pine & redwood & camped at sundown at a mountain vally & spring after climing some of the most tremendous hills of which a waggon ever passed[.] very rocky road most of the day[.] For the last two or 3 days I had walked mostly, & lifted hard at waggons up the Mountains[.] I was now wholy exhausted & all were very weary arriving so late in camp with hungry mules they were not brot in before dark. The concequence was, some of the mules could not be found, & the others were not found till near 11 O. C. & after miles of travel in search of them. Five were missing and all but the gua[r]d retired to rest with heavy hearts.
Sunday, July 8th Arose at break of day and went in search of the mules, that is several of us while others took the mules to feed, & wattter them and others [to] the camp[.] I felt as though we were chastened for our neglect & for our sins & when I traveled on foot about 3 miles, without finding any signs of the Lost mules, I kneeled down
I & prayed, confessing my sins, & the sins of the Camp asking forgiveness & for the Lord to inspire some of us to find the Strayed or to restue [rescue] the stolen mules[.] I then returned unsuccessful to the Camp & found one of the missing animals had come in[.] Exhausted I went to bed & after all had retired time and again without success—all save one this one came in exausted, having found all the Missing animals & brought in 2 while he left the other 2 tied to a tree he had walked for many miles over mountains an thrue kenyons [canyons] & forest & found them at Last where none would have expected them to be. Thus my prayers had been answered & how great was our Joy.
The other 2 were soon brot in[.] we now commenced to rest for the day except to guard our animals, and other necessary labores, Evening all came togather & thanked God for deliverence.
Monday, July 9th traveled 12 m.s.—Road very rocky & hilly, & camped at Rock Creek
Tuesday 10 assended the principle summet of the Sier[r]a Nevada. Ascent 5 m.s. very Rough. Commenced descending and arrived the most horible Rocky Steeps, Snows Mud & Roaring torrent, & sidling precipices, we descended near one mile, Broke an Excel & Camped for the night on a wooded eminence with a hundred foot debth of snow, hanging above us, within gun Shot, and sending it Roaring torrents all around us[.] We found good grass.
Wennesday 11th made a new Excel here. & traveled 4 miles
dou down the mountain Camped at Red Lake.
Thursday 12th traveled up & down
the another summit of awful steeps & Rocky precpices. & cor 10 miles, to a beautiful valley, which formed the head waters of Carson River west fork. good feed this day. I had to call the camp togather & reprove them sharply for not stoping to help each other at the hard places. & for a disposition not to help others.
Friday. 13th traveled seven m.s. along a beautiful valley, & then entered a rough Kenyon where the stream, which had now become Large makes its way through a Mountain pass, 5 m.s. very Rough Road about midway of this Kenyon, Br Jenkins
bre broke a waggon tyre and a little further on Br. Merrick turned his Waggen Bottom upward.
We were now met By a Br Peck, Hesting & Stiles, from the Camp of Br. Hyde, & were assisted, to get out of the Kenyon & camp at its mouth where we found a Blacksmiths Shop, Mill etc. But all did not get to camp till next Morning.
Saty July 14th Welded & set the Tyre & Br. Merrick repaired his waggon so we started at noon and traveled about 4 miles to a fine farm, where El Hyde had stoped, the man being familiarly Known as Lucky Bill. This man had a good house & barn, and some fine crops, & below on the north ward, Expanded to a risen the broad valley of Carson, shaped by the timber of the East & west fork of the R. and bounded on the west by the timbered Range of the Si[er]ra Nevada, with pines down to its Base, and fine clear streams rolling down its table—and on the east by the Barren naked hills of sage, etc. so caracteristic of the Great Basin. Here we camped on good feed.
Sun, July 15th Traveled 14 M.S. and arrived about noon to Colonel Reese, where we found El Hyde and most of his com, & the Brs Reese[.] Here we camped, & Myself—Wife, El H & others were invited to dine at Br [text missing] who prepared a sumptuous dinner. Evening a meeting was convened at his house & well attended—El H, preached & I added my testimony & exhorted them to repentance. Here also I read a paper from S. L. City date June 6th and was highly edified.
Mon, July 16th Spent the day in blacksmithing, & other preperations
Wennesday 18th called the com[pany] togather for morning devotion as usual & while togather, we voted to disfellowship a Br Jenkins who with his wife had been turned out of our Com, on the 16th for abusive language
and to El Muns, & for striking him with his fist— Berry Jones and By Br Hamilton, & five others, our com now consisting of 12 men & one woman started on, biding fare well to Col. Reese & others. who had Kindly assisted us—in 9 m.s. we met El Hyde & Enoch Rees & others who had been to explore a new valley. We bid them fare well—& continued our journey. Camping on C. River at evening having traveld about 20 M.S. Br Jenkins having Repented of his Sins & asked forgiveness was again admitted—So our Com, at last consisted of 13 men—2 women—6 carrieges, & 22 horses & mules.
we now continued to descend Carson R, for several days without much worth Recording. The River is about as large as Jordan at Salt Lake, and is good sweet water Plenty of grass and some cotten wood along its vally
Sunday—22d having traveld about 80 m.s. from Col. Reeses’s we now Left C. R. & crossed the 40 Mile desart [desert] in which there is no grass, & but little water which ought not to be drank—The whole way was strewed with the carcuses of dead animals, bones & Iron, & several Large Merchant wagons were left standing on the desart. We camped at evening on a slew of stagnant water—in which were thousands of dead fish. tollerable feed.
Monday 23d traveled 20 ms. six of which was along the shore of the Lake formed by Maries R, which is a beautiful Sheet of water about 6 m.s. Long by 5 broad, a little warm & brackish but tolerable for use—Shores bald, & barren. we camped at night on a slew of running water amid Snakes & Musketos [mosquitoes] there we spent the most miserable night of all, the musketoes forbiding all sleep.
Tuesday 24th traveled ten miles & camped on the borders of a swamp formed by
tar Maries River[.] here we were anoyed by the Musketoes, so as to prevent all sleep. I was so poisoned with them in my face & eyes, that I could see with but one eye, & but a little with it. Here about 30 Pahutes [Paiutes], consisting men Women & children, were about our camp—They were Civil, & well disposed as were all the Indians we had yet se[e]n, one of the Ladies was dressed in a figured silk dress, one in Calico, & others in old cloths, li Skins etc. some of them talked a little English & others a little Spanish, etc. They had 2 or 3 horses, & one of them wished to take his wife & child & go with us to the Lake but we had no horse for him. we fed them & gave them presents of clothing, N[e]edle, thread, etc. Here I gathered cow dung & green wood for fewel [fuel], & my wife Elizebeth got up an extra supper to I celebrate the 24th July, & also our wedding day.
Thursday [Wednesday] 25th 13 m.s. & camped on the Maries River proper, we found it about as Large as the western Jordan a little Riley a gentle current with grass, willows & sunflowers on the immediate bottom and a worthless desert in all directions; banded by barren hills or mountains of volcanic Rock[.] Here we were free from musketoes, and rested well.
Thursday 25 —Startd early, morning cool, air balmy &
hra bracing, with a fresh breese from the north[.] saw in the distance on the other side the R, several waggons which were said to be from the States. Halted to noon on the R, 12 m.s. having camped at eve, 20 m.s.
Friday 27th 22 miles
Saturday 28th 10 m.s. over heavy sand much of the <way> halted to noon—one of my animals is to lame to work, and is driven slowly & with difficulty. Camped at eve, having traveld 20 M.S.
Sunday 29th 23 miles, much heavy road
Monday 30th 20 m.s. every day there are indians in camp. and now there are 10 of them in camp. Some of them armed with Rifles and mounted on horses. we Keep our arms in hand and watch closely. Although they appear to be friendly.
Dear Belinda & family I am now within 457 m.s. of you by the traveled road & every day brings me 20 m.s. neare. O how slow. But can you not sense and realize that I am drawing sensibly & feeling near
Tuesday 31st 30 m.s. The river is now clea, and good and there are broad vallies of good farming Land along it, Indians abundant, and plenty of fish. Some of which are Sammon [salmon] trout from 18 inches to 2 feet long, abundant pasturage, But no timber except willows & a small tree, yearling animal four Red— Wensday Aug 1st 20 miles—nooning at stoney point. above this point the furtile & grassy bottoms expanded into a beautiful valley several miles wide & some 20 long—Rich in soil, grass & a variety of productions, such as willows wild Rue, wiregrass, Rabbit weed—Brushes. all grass etc—The wild Rye abounds & is frequently six feet high. But the whole country is destitute of timber, & the mountains show no furtility much less of timber[.] if the good land of this River is ever settled it must be by rafting timber from the Mountains near its head—as it rises about 6 feet, and would in high water undoubtedly float a raft or even a small steamer, or other Craft
Thurs, Aug 2d—17 m.s.
Friday 3d, 23 m.s.
Saturday 4th 9 m.s. to noon—Broke a waggon—Mended it while we noond[.] Indians numerous. Bot some Ttout [trout]. made 7 in afternoon in all 16 m.s.
Sunday 5th 28 m.s. Road excellent. Land good plenty of Indians and sammon trout all we could eat, met 3 trains of waggons from the States Bound for Cal. This evening we camped in the Broad valley
at at the base of the Humbold[t] Mts. They lay on our east in plain view about 18 m.s. distant—they resemble the Wasatch Range in which borders Salt Lake—It is now estimated that 318 miles of Road separates us from our homes in the Beloved City—How sweet to the heart is the thought of tomorrow.
Monday 6th 25 M.S.—Left the main humboldt, of the R, and traveled 5 M.S. up a small Branch of the same, through a beautiful meadow. 2 Indians on horseback one a brave looking Chief Staid with us this night, puting their horses into our hurd, and in care of our guards.
Tuesday 7th 21 miles—15 of which continued along the beautiful meadow described [-] which proved to be a mile or 2 wide & 20 long. 3 miles of rough Road through a Kenyon,—3 along a rich mountain meadow on the same stream. The last two nights very cool & this night ice appeared in the water. The whole country is high & frosty but the hills abound in rich grass & in some places with thick Ceders and the vales are rich in meadow grasses. A number of Prairie chickens were killed this day, and our fresh salmon trout still held out.
Wednesday 8th 16 m.s. to a noon halt in a beautiful meadow & cold spring water. day cool & pleasant. Briese [Breeze] fresh. goose creek mountains are in sight at some 80 miles distant having been joined some days since by 3 packers, hard [headed] for the states, our Com now consists of 15 men & 2 women[.] M S Hadley—A Thompson, C Dodge & C Dotson had previously joined us at Carson. these appear to be good men but not themselves of the Church of the Saints. The names of the other 12 are as follows—P. P. Pratt, Rhanaldo Mowrey, James Hawkins, Thomas <O> King, M D Hamilton, Thos Morris, Joseph W. Peck, James Peck, Mr Jenkins & lady,—Henry Coltrin, Samuel Neslen, M. D. Merrick. In the afternoon 12 miles making 28.
Thursday 9th 20 M.S. camped at dark on Goose Creek.—
friday 10th 22 M.S. camped at evening on goose Creek opposite to where the road leaves the Creek & passes over the mountains[.] This day at the noon halt a spirit of disorder, or of insubordination, manifested itself in our Captain Rhanaldo Mowrey who chose to camp by himself and drew off a number with him. They halted to noon about a half mile from the place where the president halted & most of the Company. this being in an Indian Country, & contrary to all the rules
of the and covenants of the company was very wrong. At eve, I called the Com. together & reproved that Spirit and all was amicably settled and the camp com again united.
Saturday 11th 20 miles passing the Goose creek mountains, & camped at Du Cashure.
Sunday—12th 18 M.S. Camped on Stoney creek. the country is utterly worthless, only for water & grass, it is mostly a sage Desert of altering Mountains & vallies.
Saturday July 18
Wednesday 15th Aug, Since last date traveled every day,—this day crossed the Bear River & camped 4 miles, from it within five m.s. of the Settlements met several of our acquaintances and learned about families & friends also a taste of new cheese, Poatatoes & eggs from the vally.
Thursday 16th joined with Br Lorenzo Snow Box Elder & stoped over night at Willow Creek with Bishop Hubbard, there I met a band from the City & attended a concert given by them.
Friday 17th arrived at Keys Creek 25 M. S. from the City where I unexpectedly met with my wife Phebe & child, stayed over night with her at her fathers,—all well.
Saturday 18th Aug Dined at P Sessions—I then met my son Parley mounted on a mule & coming to meet me 5 miles out. Arrived home at 6 oclock P. M.—found all the family well.