Erastus Snow journals, 1835-1851; 1856-1857, 1847 December-1850 September.
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About the middle of May the teams began to Rendesvoux [Rendezvous] at a point of Timber about 7 miles out from town and thence to move across the Elkhorn onto the Platt[e] Bottoms (The general Rendousvoux) where about 625 teams were collected and organized into companies of about 100 each; the first of which left the Elkhorn River for the mountains the 1st of June and the last on the 7th inst. I was organized with my family and teams in the company with Prest. B[righam].Young Capt Allen Taylor which company left the Elkhorn June 5th.
We were all very short for teams and they were consequently heavy laden—My own three teams particularly, for I had to use great exertion & economy in the disposition of my effects to procure the team and outfit necessary for my family so that I was obliged from the day I left Winter Quarters (May 27th) to put into my teams every hoof I had both horses, oxen, cows, and heifers and then had often to be helped by other teams in hard places before I reached the Platt[e] Bottoms—
While waiting here as the companies were crossing the Elkhorn and being organized preparitory to starting, I made exertions to Procure more team for my waggons or to shift some of my load onto others, but without effect most every one thought their teams already overloaded.
But as we had the Platt[e] Bottoms for some hundreds of miles before us, which afforded a good road, our teams soon became innured to their work which they performed without much difficulty.
As we traveld the same route (with but trifling variation) which is detailed minutely in my Journal of the Pioneer Trip of last year I shall be brief in the history of this one.
Those who wish to know the more minute details of this Journey and of the history of the church after our arrival in the Salt Lake Valley I would refer to the Church History as we had the general clerk for the church in our Camp. Let this suffice for me to say that general Peace union & Harmony and prosperity attended our camps, But few accidents & little or no sickness.
Before we reached Fort Larimie [Laramie] we were recruited by a small company of Brethren with cattle sent to our assistance from the Salt Lake Valley according to their promise of last year—
This we felt the benefit of more particularly as our cattle began to sicken and die soon after we passed Larimie [Laramie] and we continued to loose [lose] more & more of our cattle untill we crossed the South Pass. This mortality among cattle (which is common in this part of the route during July, August & Septr) may be attributeable to various causes. But chiefly, it is believed, to the Alkali and other Poisenous substances which in many places seems to rise from the ground during the dry season and cover the grass & impregnates the water of which the cattle partake.
We halted & rested ourselves & teams about two weeks near the head of the Sweet Water from which place a part of our teamsters with a large number of teams which we had borrowed of our brethren who tarried in Pottowattomie were released & sent back and their places supplied by fresh teams sent from the valley for that purpose in compliance with a call made by an express-mail, sent in advance of our waggon trains—
Thus recruited we reached the Valley on the 20th of Sept—Some of the other companies a few days later And Happy we were!!