William L. N. Allen journal extract, 1853 July.
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Thursd July 14th Winter Quarters[.] Started on our journey for the Valley of the G[rea]t Salt Lake at 11 A.M. being 1031 miles from our journey end, we stayed for dinner, and to bait our cattle at 2. O, Clock. after Dinner we saw 18 waggons.
I along with another Brother I went ahead and found it was a detachement of the Danish Camp, I went up to Brot[her] Christiansen Capt of fifty with whom I was formerly acqua boat ferry over across the Elk Horn.
Friday July 15 Started this morning at 8. O. clock travelled till ½ past 11 A.M. crossed Pappea [Papillion] Creek and stopt for dinner. being 18 miles from Winter Quarters and 1013 miles from the Valley. We travelled this afternoon about 7 miles and camped in a Valley with the Elk Horn on the west and plenty of timber and water, also. In this valley we found the remmants of an Indian Camp
Saturday July 16th. we started at 7 A. M. crossed a bridge over a running stream and ascended a high hill untill we came in sight of the Elk Horn <and here we sighted the Danes> [.] we descended a side hill to the ferry and ferried over 50 waggons in about 3½ hours and then stayed for dinner, We learned from the ferryman that 2 weeks ago 500 of the Pawnees passed there having been pursued by the Suhs [Siouxs], and that now he had learned from an old Sqwa [squaw] that the Pawnees Omahas and Suhs were at War. travelled 8½ miles this afternoon and camped about 1 mile from the road by the side of the Elk Horn. about 7 O Clock it came on a very heavy thunder storm with Lightning and
thund rain which continued untill 11 at night.
Sunday July 17th was called up at 12. O. Clock A.M. to go on watch untill 4 A.M. about 20 minutes past one <A.M.> a young girl named Fanny Bickington died. after Breakfast I made her Coffin, This afternoon we met together to serve the Lord. Brot Shurtliffs company having arrived about an hour previous he attended our meeting[.] we enjoyed ourselves first rate in testimony[,] Singing and Counsel from Capt Wheelock[,] D Shurtliff and others, we afterwards attended to the interment of the young girl which was about ½ a mile from the road side 4 Stakes where put in the ground to mark the spot
Mond 18th We pursued our journey at ½ past 7 A.M. Stopt for dinner and then purssued our journey untill ½ past 10 P.M. we traveled this day about 30 miles[.] the reason was we could find no water, this day we passed 3 Oxen by the roadside that had died. their carcases Stink for a considerable distance
July 19th we started this morning at ¼ past 5 O Clock[.] after traveling about 4 miles we came to a small stream of Water. about 50 of us went to work to make a dam and likewise a bridge of long grass and clods which made the best bridge I have seen on this journey[.] at 1 O clock we arrived at shell Creek which is about 12 feet wide by 3 feet deep[.] here we staid for breakfast, The Danish Saints were all camped here[.] they started off immediately after our arrival[.] 2 O Clock PM continued our journey[.] for the first mile the road was much flooded by the overflowing of the creek or River.
July 20th Travelled over a heavy road this morning <5¾ miles> and stopt for Dinner where the Platte River joins the road, passed Pawnee Creek and the road to the Pawnee village, which strikes to the left hand, came in sight of Brot Shurtliffs and the Danish camp
July 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th
Those days were spent in hard labour for our Cattle and likewise men, having to cross numerous sandy bluffs and Sloughs for about 283 miles, and with but very little bread as our women could not cook having little wood and some not <any> at all, however we found a partial substitute, their being in som places plenty of Buffalo chips[.] on the 25th about 2 O Clock we came to Wood River, where the Danes were putting their wagons over the bridge which was overflowed 2 feet[.] their been about 5 feet of water in the river, a Meeting was called together and addressed by Captn Wheelock to instruct the Bretheren how to form themselves into companys to get over the waggons unload them, and to carry the goods across, In 2 hours we put half the waggons over and goods, and then return for the night
July 26th was called up at 4, O,Clock and got the remainder of the wagons over in 2 hours more, N.B. The quantity of work that was got through in so short a time and without breaking a single thing is certainly marvellous, We <re>commenced our journey at 10 O Clock A.M. over low swampy land and had to cross several Sloughs, I never saw the Bretheren work better[.] they pushed the waggons over and scarcely one stuck[.] we arrived at a river about 10 O Clock at night with plenty of wood on its banks and thus closed a day of hard toil, but all in good spirits and rejoicing though we had to go to bed without supper,
July 27 we spent this day in cooking, washing, and cleaning oxen, in the afternoon Brot Gates company arrived and encamped a little way of us, A meeting was called