Christian Nielsen diary, 1853 February-1858 April.
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In Indian territory.
July 10. Sunday In the afternoon we had a gospel meeting. Several of our appointed captains left our wagons in the evening in order to go to some river, we <next> should over and have a ferry built, on which to go over. We are now in Indian territory where only Indians live, and they are not under dictatorship from the United States government.
July 11. The English emigrants are camping near our camp place.
July 12. Our wagon and the families, or church members, in 10 other wagons, journeyed from this place at 7[:]30 in the morning and next we camped in open field at 2[:]45 o’clock in the afternoon. I have decided to mark down the distance of miles that we are traveling, or journeying, each day after we left Canesville on the opposite side of the river, and I will make a special notation of these miles.
Our Journey to day . . . 2 3/4 miles
July 13. Yesterday it rained some and <again> to day it rained, accompanieng light and thunders, until 10 o’clock in the forenoon. We are yet near the Mississippi river. We can see that immensely great river from our camping place. At 11 o clock we journeyed from here until sunset, when we camped on a hill near a forest. It rained on our way to here. My wagon was the back wagon, and we
were had a lightning strike between us, or near us, without anyone getting hurt. My wife felt a pressure on her head; my daughter on her chest; Anders Nielsen, same drove our oxen on the right arm; and the oxen fell on their knees. The Lord truly protected us. As we laid down to go to sleep, they were repeatedly bothered with myg-bites (a small flying insect), as they did not get much sleep that night. (4 1/2) the mygs, mosquitoes, We have now journed a total of <(8 1/2 miles)> 4 1/2 miles
July 14. We continued our journey at sun-rise, and between 8 and 9 o’clock we came to a big stream, where the brethren were found that had gone to this place before us, in order to build a <ferry> bridge up, so we could be taken over the water. A man at the place claimed that he had bought the privilege <to build the ferri-bridge> from the Indians (we were in Indian territory), so we went up got higher at <the> river to make a ferry—arrangement, and when the man saw, that we meant "business", without hurting him, then he offered to ferry us all over the little <Alcoon> river gratis. (1 3/4 miles)
July 15. Towards noon our president came to us in his wagon, and the other car[t]s followed, and we went now right away over <the mentioned>
this man’s ferrie-bridge and camped <there> in the big grass.
July 16. At 8 o’clock in the morning we journeyed from the Alcoon
a river and all day we had no hills to drive up on, og <or> drive down on, but we had thundering and light[n]ing in the sky nearly all day, and it also rained some; but God protected us! (3 1/2 hours <miles>[)]
<July 17.> Sunday Sunday afternoon we held a gospel meeting, and after <(1 hour)> 7 o’clock in the afternoon we journeyed a couple of hours. I shall now describe a wonderful miracle that happened, w[h]i[c]h Gods Almight[y] mercifully bestowed. In last week was the power of Almighty God manifest in the following fearful accident case: In one of the first <five> wagons that journeyed ahead from Missouri to Alcoona, that a boy fell out of a wagon that was heavily loaded and one of the hind wheels went <run> over his face, so it was pressed
flat; and his father took a boon [bone] out of his nose; but the boy was blessed, according to gospel teaching and instruction, and a couple of days after <there> he was out of his wagon (or tent), and is now that far healed to day; and to day, <July 17> it sadly happened, that one of the brethren had both the front wheel and the hind wheel of a wagon run over his chest. He was immediately blessed. He raised himself up from the ground and stepped himself up in the wagon. (See Book)
July 18. At 7 o’clock we journeyed from here. Since we left Alco<o>na the road has been so fine to drive on as a house floor <a long distance> and we had no hills to clime; but now we have journeyed forward in mudder [mud] about a whole mile. We camped at La Plato at Sunset. (4 1/2 hours <miles>)
July 19. <At La Plato river.> In the morning a big company of English emigrants came
to camp <and camped> with us, in order to rest a few more hours (3 <hours> miles) We left this place at 11 o’clock, but we had to drive through water and mudded road nearly the whole day. (3 <miles> hours)
July 20. At 5 o’clock in the morning we journeyed from that place until we at 11 o clock came to Luk [Loup] Fork river. We thought that we could drive over the river, but it was too deep water for that, so it was necessary that we should be ferried over; but as we were money-broke, the English emigrants (mentioned under report for July 19) paid for us. Another big company of English emigrants (—that company was most likely not church members, not Mormons); they camped near our place. There camp-wagons were pulled by mules. They were seemingly rich people, comparatively. The[y] had ten wagons, and some extra mules that carried bundles, and some were riding on horses. We camped at that place. (3 <miles> hours)
July 21. We camped here until in the afternoon. One of our wagons had broke; but a wheel-repairer from the English company was able to put the wagon in repairs for us[.] We went from that place at 3[:]15 <o clock> in the afternoon, and at evening camped at another place; but where we could not find <either> water
and wood <or wood, or grass> plentiful. (2 1/2 <miles> hours)
July 22nd—.We went away from that place in the early morning at 3[:]15 oclock, and in the afternoon at 5 o clock we camped at <Fork> Lake Fork (?) [Loup Fork.] We commenced now <when we were out of forest regions,> to use plants, that gave good fire <to cook with> in stead of ordinary wood. We were to day in company with a company of English people, that took a drove of cattle to California. (4 3/4) miles
July 23. We journeyed away in the morning at 7[:]30 o clock and in the evening at 9 o clock we went to camp,
but The Ground was <had been> wet and muddy the first part <stretch> of the way, but later it became more clear sandy, finally we drove over some sandy hills.(5 3/4 miles)
July 24. Sunday. In the morning a man from the isle of Bornholm, Denmark, D. Piil (or Pil) [Hans Andersen Peel] died and was immediately buried near the road. We drove from that place at 10[:]30 o’clock in the forenoon. The road was very sandy. In the evening we held a gospel meeting. About one hour after the death of Piil a boy [Denmark Jensen] was born.
July 25. After driving from our camping place in the morning we at about 11 o’clock <in the forenoon> we came to a narrow, but <quite> deep stream, that it was difficult to cross over, and we had to make a bridge of <our> tent sticks to take our different bundles <by hand> over the stream on, before we with difficulty got our wagons over, pulled by the oxen. (1 1/2 miles)
July 26. To day nobody had <fully> got their good sleep, before we were called out to get ready for our next drive, and we drove away from our camp at 5[:]45 in the morning. We came soon to another river stream; but we had to drive alongside the river stream a long distance, before we came to a place, where it became possible for us to drive over the river floor; but we succeeded in coming well over the river; but we had muddy ground to drive through after we came over the river, where no one before us had drove a wagon; and we had not yet come back
to <in line with> the road which we moved from, <left> when we, at 6 o’clock camped at a very pleasant place, where we could find plenty of would [wood] to burn (4 miles)
July 27. At our camping place we had some bread baked; and we collected some wood to take with us, as
the we likely would not have a change [chance] to find wood <before we came> at a distance of <about> 50 miles from here. We journeyed from here at 10[:]30 in the forenoon, and during three hours we had good ground to drive on; but after that time the ground was not good to drive on at several places. Finally we came to a big river, where two english companies were camped, but one of these compani[e]s were already on the opposite side of the river. We commenced immedidately to cut down big trees in order to make somewhat of a bridge to cross over the river on. (1 3/4 hours)
July 28. We met at this place 27 brethren from Zion (Utah) that should go to
the Europe to perform missionary work for the church . In company unison with the English emigrants—it is not recorded to what place these emigrants intended to go to—we finally got the bridge built, upon which the English company <first> came over, and next the 27 brethren from Zion went over the bridge to our side, and next we went over the bridge. At this place a great many people and the great herd of cattle, spoken of were seen.
July 29. At 5 o’clock we came out of our bedding, and at 8[:]15 we commenced our day’s journey. The road was good, but it rained in the afternoon. We camped at 7[:]30 in the evening with a great river. (4 1/2 miles)
AG.30 <July 30.> At 5[:]45 o’clock we started soon our day’s journey, and we did camp again after sunset on a great field with some <river.> We drove over many quite deep water streams. With Buffalo Vig (?) was built a bridge by an English company that we met; and we camped at the place and eat a noon lunch. They told us that in the morning 11 Indians had met them and had eaten their breakfast with them. We had met some gold diggers, that were riding on horses with their packets; but they had <(seemingly) also> one wagon drawn by horses. We had now come to the big <land> country, where the buffalo-animals live, and I have this afternoon seen several. We pass each day graves, that emigrants have dug for their dead; and, as a rule, graves for only one person, whose names and date of death is written on a board of wood. At one place 4 persons were buried. (5 1/2 miles)
July 31. Sunday After we had started from here in the morning, an English company of emigrants passed us in their forward journey. At noon time we met four gold diggers, thus called, from California. They <were riding on, and> had several mules along with them, to carry their packs. One of those men was a Dane from Kiel. While in Denmark he had been a soldier in the Danish army. He told us that we would soon come to a place in the road, where we could hardly come through for a great horde of Buffaloes. After a short rest we continued our journey <at 5[:]30 o’clock> until later <in the> evening. (1 1/4 miles) (and additional 4 3/4 miles)
August 1. We went from our camping place at 7[:]30 o’clock in the morning and continued our journey until sunset; but in the afternoon a big storm came up with thunder and ligh[t]ning <and with> rain and hail and cold winds. Then we camped during the night.
August 2. We continued our journey at 8[:]15 o-clock. About the noon hour we saw two buffaloes (but not the big horde) and we saw an animal as big as a greyhound, with a wide, yellow stripe at its back, with a long, hairy tail, which it held over
the <its> back. The animal stinked offelly [awfully] bad, and my clothes have still the smell. The nearest I was the animal was <about> 6 feet. (4 1/4 miles)
August 3. We drove from here at 10 o’clock in the forenoon. We had some tall <(3 miles)> sand hills to go over, and the pull was very hard on the oxen. In the afternoon the weather was fine. We met
and had company six gold diggers, riding on mules, and with extra mules, carr[y]ing bundles. In the evening we camped under the mountains at the north side of the La Plato river where there was a stream of clear, <running> water.
August 4. We commenced to get ready for our day’s drive at 8 o’clock in the morning and continued our forward drive until after sunset, when we camped at La Plato. A couple of days ago we found a lame oxen, which an English immigrating company had left out, and early in the morning we butchered the oxen, and the meat was divided between the <occupants of the> different wagons, to our common joy, as we hardly ever can get fresh meat to eat. Each person in our company could get 2 pounds. We are now coming to
met the prairie land, where we find the big, wild buffaloes. When we left our camping place to day, we saw two buffaloes, and this afternoon we saw them by the hundreds. Our president will not yet allow us to shoot any of these big beasts, in order to get fresh meat to eat. Seemingly xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx? At noon time, <as> we passed into <by> the mountains, we saw under the mountains (at the foot of the mountains a remarcable big springwater, seemingly coming clear from Canesville [Kanesville] to this place cirka [circa] 293 English miles— <away> and from this place to Salt Lake City is 738 English miles).
August 5. We left our camp at 7[:]30 in the morning. In the afternoon we had several muddy grounds to drive over, so it went very slow for us. Shortly after sunset we camped at the La Plato river. I was to day with others of our men out from our wagons to find some buffalo (or bison) to shoot (in order to get additional meat for the company,[)] but we did not find any to shoot. On both sides of the mountains, that we are driving by, <
apear> are wide prairie—<land> where there are no hills whatever, and <the distance> into the next mountain range is about one Danish mile (four English miles), and likely that stretch of land <between these mountains> once was a great lake. On each side of the river there is a wagon road. The buffaloes are found between the mountain ranges, but they come also down on the wide prairie-land. A hunter, riding on horse can easely ride to a horde of buffaloes and shoot one. I and brother were There are also Antelopes <and Elks> on the mountains for hunters to shoot; but these pretty animals are also hunted by the wolves. Among the trees in the mountains are growing <growing> bushes and <even> small trees of wilo that bear beautiful, eatable fruit (2 3/4 miles)
August 6. This forenoon at 8[:]15 o’clock, after we had left our camping place we came to a point, where the floodwater runs in under the mountains, and it was <very> hard for us to drive forward at that place, as the water stream had carried a <deep> layer of sand to that place. We came down on the regular prairie land again at 2[:]30 o’clock in the afternoon and had a lunch and noon rest. But we had again to drive between sandhills, and at sunset time we camped below the sandhills, but as soon, as we had out tents put up made ready for occupation, a fearful <combined> lightning and thundering broke out in the air over our heads; and it was so light in our tents and wagon, that we could have seen to read in a book.
Luckily there was no heavy wind.
August 7. Sunday It had rained so much During the night that my wagon stood deep in water. After 12 o’clock in the night I had to be a watchman at our camp, and I had to wade in water at many places. After we went from our wet camp place in the morning, and with things unfavorable to us, we went first about 1/2 mile, next we drove forward until we came to a creek with clear running water, where we then
capt camped at sundown. (3 miles)
August 8. We drove from our camp in the forenoon, and when we took rest at noon time, an English company passed our company at the time, and we followed after them. They camped first, in open space, and we drove through their encampment, while a heavy thunder and lightning, with rain, were enacted from the sky; and a ligh[t]ning flash struck between our wagons without doing <us> any hurt. We have to day journeyed between the mountains, where there at places were so deep sand, that it almost reached up to the center of the wheels. A brother by the name of C[hristian]. Christiansen [Jr.] died one hour before sundown, and he was immediately buried. (3 miles) We camped during the night at the La Plato river.
August 9. We continued our journey from the morning hours and drove over several narrow streams and muddy-land stretches. In the afternoon we had a better road to drive on, but it was <a> very hot afternoon. At noon time five indians came riding to us, begging. It was big, stout men. They were half naked, but were decorated with little chains of pearls. We camped as usual during the night.
1853 August 10 Our company was visited by Indians.
In the morning came
about <more than> 50 Indians to our camp <from the mountains>. Many of them were on horse back and stood immediately of[f] their horses, and they all sat down in a half-moon circle by us. One of the Indians, who wore an overcoat of waxcloth, and could speak a little English inquired about who our leader was, and we pointed to Brother [John Erik] Forsgren, who, after being called, came to, where we were sitting. We gave each other the hand clasp, at last “representative,” whereafter some chief handed Brother Forsgren a sheet of paper, on which was written in English, that they were peaceable, wherefore there wish <only> was, that we would give them <some> bread and sugar. They spread their carpets out, on which we put our donations. Thereafter the Indians went to the wagons and would trade their Indian shoes for bread, sugar, tea, coffe[e], etc. The Indians, or most of them, evidently came to ride barefooted <back> to their homes (or tent-homes), as quite a few bargainings were made. They were all bodily strongly built men, without whiskers, but with long, black hair, that was “twisted” like rope and hung down over their legs, and with strings of pearls attached to these “hair embroideries.” On the top of their heads was placed a roset[te], with a pretty fe[a]ther sticking up; and some of the Indians had in their hand a big wing of some bird, as they used instead of a parasol. Nearly all of them were bareheaded, but their “scalps” were decorated with pearls and rings of brass, and from their ears hang brass rings, about 3 inches in diameter. Their dress was like a nice carpet, that was <loosely> wrapped around their <bodies> and up around their right shoulder. Some wore pants, and others some kind of vest around their chests, and some wore a woollen cap on their head, like many do <on the farms> in Jutland, Denmark. They had cleanwashed faces and were about as white in their faces, as we are.—Their horses are small. They [there] are also strong mules. (3 1/2 miles)
The English company that we during several days have camped near by, drove to day through our camp and are now far ahead of us. We came from <this place> here late to day and had to drive through some <deep> sand banks; and after we had driven over [illegible] of our wagons broke down. The mountains on both side of our drive [illegible] composed of Chalkstone, and at this place are only <a> few green bushes and trees to be seen. We camped a short time after sundown.
August 11. We journeyed from here at 8[:]30 in the morning and camped in evening shortly before sunset.
We have to day had pleasant weather. In the afternoon we saw on the southern river shore some riders, with packs, that we supposed were gold diggers, that were on their way to their homes. Although we have no ordinary wood to burn, we have bushes of the sage plant, or other plants to make fires from to cooking use and baking use. (3 1/2 miles)
August 12. We journeyed from here at 7[:]30 and camped at sundown at the Plato [Platte] river, where the <clear and pure> water from a creek was running into the river.
During the forenoon the road was quite good to drive on. In the afternoon the road was sandy at some places, but the millions of the little “myg” insect in the air often irritate our skin. (4 3/4 miles)
August 13. We journeyed from here at 8 o’clock in the forenoon and camped in the afternoon at 6 o’clock at a park. We had to fetch water <to drink and to cook with> from the river some distant away. There is good grassing, but at some places it begins now to be too thinly growing. In the forenoon we had a good road to drive on. At the noon hour, and a short time after, we were driving up and over a low mountain where the road was smooth and hard and fine for driving. In the afternoon the road was disagreeably sandy at places. The mountains have from
now here <west> many different <forms and> shapes. On the south side of the river at this place is a big forest, but the trees did not grow closer to each other than we could eye the sky clear through the trees. (4 miles).
Aug. 14, Sunday We journeyed to day through an English camp. Southwest from our camping place we saw <in the distance> a mountain, that looked like a colossal big two story house; and further out west are mountain formations of different shapes, <and> with protruding big rocks. Many of us have now to go barefooted, our stockings are worn out. I have now walked barefooted nearly 100 miles, and the hide under my feet
are <is> so thick and “durable” as leather; but many of we men must look fierce, as we have not been shaved a long time, and, of course, we are all more or less sunburned. ( 3/4 miles)
Towards evening we held a gospel meeting.
August 15. We journeyed from the place, where we camped at 7[:]30 o’clock in the morning and camped again in the evening shortly before sundown. <It was a hot day.> In the forenoon the road was sandy, but in the afternoon the ground was good for driving. (4 3/4 miles)
August 16. We had a good road to drive on all day and went to camp shortly after
August 17. We drove from our camping place at 7[:]30 and camped in the evening at 8[:]30 o clock. The sun rays were <felt> burning hot during the day. In the middle of the day we rested about one hour at a fresh water spring. We were to day visited by some Indians, that had their little tents at <the> river shore on the south side. Some of the Indians were riding, and some <men and women> were walking, and they had their children with them. Many of the Indians were naked, with exception of that they had a cloth around their <benders> upper leggings. A short distance up the road a woman sat by the road with a half year old child, and by them was placed some bread that had been given to the woman. The child
had a cloth was wrapped in an old wo[o]llen cloth and had already rings in the ears. The men and their women were about dressed the same—if dressed—but seemingly the men[’]s long hair had received better care and <was> nicer ribboned then the women[’]s. The[y] had two rings in each ear. The woman carried their children on their back. One Indian, who was riding was naked, which looked comical. (5 miles hours)
August 18. We left our camp at 8 o’clock in the morning and went to camp already at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, as we could get good drinking water and water for the oxen at that place, and which we were told we could not have at some long distance from that place (we were told). The <
English> other English company, that we <a> long time had been near to, came followed after us; but the company passed us. It has been a very hot day. The road was good. (2 3/4 miles)
August 19. We journeyed from our camping places in the morning and during the first part of the forenoon the road was good, but during the other part of the forenoon we had <quite> sandy road to drive in; also in the afternoon. We camped after sundown, and the English company, that had passed us the day before, is also camping here. We were again visited by Indians, and we can from our camp see an Indian set[t]lement at the south side of the river. Over some mountain region we can see smoke from a big grass fire in the air, and some think that the sun heat can have put <the> dry grass on fire. We have now millions of gras[s]hoppers in the grasses, and the hoppers <joining> and with swarms of mosquitoes in the air look like clouds or smoke from fire in the air. The grass hoppers hang tick
oveon our wagon, and the flying pest produce a sound like wind in the air. In the afternoon we went over ground, where no grasshoppers were seen. (4 miles)
Aug. 20. We broke up camp at 8 o’clock in the morning; but we had a sandy road to drive on all day. We passed some Indian huts. We drove past a tree, in the top of which a dead Indian was placed, with a red quilt put over him. At noon time we passed over the river with Fort <Island(?)> Laramie. Here we <first> saw, after having traveled hundreds of miles, houses, that looked like they could be used for people to live in. Here I saw <among almost naked Indian men,> an Indian woman, riding a horse, who was dressed like Europeans, excepting her head dress. As soon as we had crossed the river, we continued our journey on the south side of the river. We soon passed a company of emigrants that were headed for California that had along a big flock of sheep; later we passed an English company and then took a short rest, about one hour, during which time the English company passed us. They had a negro woman in their company, who was riding a horse. We camped at sundown a short distance from the river.
August 21. Sunday. To day we continued to be resting at our camp, as time and conditions allowed same. I will relate a sample of comical happenings. Anders Nielsen, who has been in our company since we left Denmark, yesterday, after we had commenced to drive our ox teams forward, wanted me to drive the oxen a few minutes, and he would then be back; but he did not come back before about 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and then he came riding on an Indian horse, that he claimed to have found. He had come to some Indian huts, but found no one “at home” there (the same huts that I mentioned in my report yesterday [blank space] were built beside the road), and when he saw an Indian town on the other side of the river bed—there was not much water in the river at the time, and at that place—then he also wanted to find out, what these “dwelling places” looked like on the inside; but only the women were home, and as he had a pair of Danish <heavy> wooden shoes on his feet, the Indian women <lifted the shoes and> pitie him, that he had to walk around with such heavy footwear, and
wood <were anxious> give him a pair of light Indian shoes, that their shoes were all too smaal [small] for his feet, —and when he went back, he found the lonely horse, and he (the horse had perhaps a short rope around its nick [neck], by which he could guide it) jumped on its back and rode it, unhindered by the Indians on the opposite side of the river; but our president thought that we had better let two Indians that came to us take care of the horse. One of our oxen got a bad leg. We tried to take it along with us, by letting a boy drive it <when needed>, But not <one night> the wolves killed and ate it.
In the evening we
held had a gospel meeting.
In the late evening a comet-star was seen.
August 22. We left our camp at 8 o’clock in the morning, and on our drive forward we passed two towns, where as well Indians as Americans lived. We met a company of Indians, with their horses and <with> bundles on their horses back and with tent-stakes roped and drawn on the ground after their horses. The women had a <kind of> sack
sted tied to their back, in which their small children sat. Their chief was very prettily dressed. We were driving on mountain ground all day. In the afternoon at 3 o’clock we rested a couple of hours at a place where there was pure spring water. We had plenty of wood, as trees were plentiful grown on the mountains, but there was a scarcity of grass (4 miles)
August 23. We drove from our camp at 8 o’clock in the morning
at and had at the longest stretch of the way a good road and we camped again at sunset, where there was a little spring of clear water, was <but> there was poor grassing at the place. Another company of emigrants followed after us. 3 1/4 h<or> miles
August 24. We drove from our camping place at 7 o’clock and had continually a good road ahead of us. We passed an English company at the La Plato [Platte] river. They had a big wash-day and were repairing their wagons. We met a wagon that had six pairs of oxen to pull their wagon, and some single horses and mules and cows. We rested at the river a couple of hours between trees that gave a good shade, while <the> oxen were unhitc[h]ed and grassing. Then we drove further a short distance, before we camped. (3 miles)
August 25. We drove from our camping place at 7 A.M. until we, near evening, came to a place, where there was water for us and for the oxen; but grass was not seen for many miles. In the forenoon we met some gold diggers. A sister that had been with us from St Louis were very sadly drove in to, and she has possibly some ribs broken. (4 1/2 miles)
August 26. After 7[:]30 <o’clock> in the morning we journeyed the whole day up high hills and down hills, until we
in the evening <after sundown> came to water; but after sundown we had to proceed forward again another mile and a half (6 English miles), before we could come to a terrain, where there was grass for the oxen. The wolves came near to our grassing oxen, and <our> watchmen had to drive them away by shooting at them. The night before the wolves had run a sick ox of ours to death near our camping place. (4 3/4 miles).
August 27. After 8[:]15 in the morning we drove over mountain stretches all day and had with few exceptions a good road to drive on, but the grasses were very scarce. In the forenoon we met some indians. At sundown we camped at a place called Deer Creek, where during the night four different companies were camping. One company took sheep to California, which company sometimes have been before our company, and sometimes after. These sheepherders say that they every day are loosing [losing] about 20 sheep out of their big flock, as some sheep got tired and are attacked of wolves, and killed, and if the wolves got the chance, eat by them. A wolf came <running> down from the mountain side one day and bit a sheep in the flock near our teams; and we have during the week taken two <bitten> sheeps away from the wolves before they had then killed, and further one, that had died. (5 miles)
August 28. Sunday. It is decided that we shall stay at this place and have everything washed and cleaned and our clothing repaired, and further wagons and harnishes [harnesses] repaired. We had a meeting in the evening, and a couple were married.
August 29. During the night a brother du Plat died (Herman du Plat) [De Place]. He was a tailor from Copenhagen.
August 30. Near this place is found coal in fine quality and also fine sandstone, but also other stones of different colors. There are a great many wolves in this mountain region, and they make an offel [awful] whine-barking during the night. In the evening a troop of Indians camped beside us.
August 31. We journeyed from here at 8[:]45 in the morning and camped in the afternoon with a creek (small water stream). At the north side of the river we saw to day many buffaloes, but some hunters that had
had gone out to shoot one, came back without having shooten any. We had stormy weather, with Thunder and lightning, but it did not rain much. On our forward journey we met some again some golddiggers. (2 1/4 miles).
September 1. We drove away from our camping place at 8[:]15 o’clock and had a good road to drive ahead on all day. The last three days we have journeyed along the river and at 6 o’clock in the afternoon we camped again. We had a little better grassing here than we have had for some time; but we were surrounded by wolves that barked all night. (4 1/4 miles)
September 2d—. We drove away at 8[:]15, and now we crossed the second time over the La Plato [Platte]river and up on the mountain side, where we had a quite good road to drive on. We drove 12 miles without seeing either water or grass, where we camped at 4[:]30 o clock; but the water at this place were somewhat poisoned (from <likely> minerals in the mountain) and we had, as warned to drive the oxen quite a distance from our camp in order to find fresh and drincable (drinkable) water. (3 miles)
September 3. We drove away at 8[:]45. Our oxen had nothing to eat to day, and we could not camp, before it got dark; and there was but a very little grass for the oxen to eat at this place. We met again to day a company of gold diggers, and there was an Indian with them. The wind has been blowing every day and has blown dust and sand, and even little stones in our face, so we must have a cloth tied for our mouth and nose. To day we had a good rain, that set[t]led the dust; but the air got so cold, as it could have been winter. 4 1/2 (miles)
September 4. Sunday. We drove from our camping place at 7 o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock in the forenoon; and then we
drove rested until 1 o’clock in the afternoon at a creek, where there was fresh water and some green plants for the oxen to eat, but hardly a very little grass. In the afternoon the roadway was very sandy and made heavy pulling; and one of the oxen got so tired that we had to take it out of the team. At sundown we camped at a <quite> big stream, that probable was the head stream of the different streams that formed the big La Plato river. We have occationally at different places seen a dead oxen lay at the side of the road.
During the last four days we have seen many dead creature[s] laying dead near the road. But the hundreds of wolves in the mountain eat the dead animals in the field as fast as they can swallow them; but the wolves leave the hides of the animals, that we can make sandals from. (3 1/2 miles)
September 5. Last nigh[t] a cow died for us. It had probable been drinking poisoned water. Another cow we butchered, as it had a bad leg, and the meat was parted between us. We journeyed from our camping place at 11[:]30 in the forenoon and came soon to a place, where a big new house was built, but it was not finished yet. There was a couple of Indian tents, and there were different kinds of wagons seen at the place; also some ordinary tents and a small store. We passed a place in the mountain region that they called hellgate, where the water stream runs through an open stone formation in the mountain. Near here were fine grass planes [plains], and here we camped at sunset. (3 1/4 miles)
September 6. We journeyed from here at 8 o clock in the morning. The road was quite sandy. We drove between, and besides, many different stone formations, and our oxen are very tired out as they do not get enough grass to eat. At sun down we camped at the same big water stream, by which we have camped the last two nights. (4 1/4 miles)
September 7. We journeyed from our camping place at 8[:]30 o’clock. We drove between colossal stone-formations, on which a great many names were painted; and we pass occationally a grave, but <usually> not newly dug. Yesterday I saw the year 1845 painted. We saw some great snakes on the road. We are driving our wagon with two oxen on a sandy road. (4 1/2 miles)
September 8. We journeyed from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M., without our oxen had a mouthful of grass, as no grass fields were seen, but they were watered once. In the evening we camped at some big stream. It is now biting cold both evening and morning, and sometimes it is freesing during the night. I am tire<d>, when night comes and stif[f] in my limbs and have to go early to bed. (6 miles).
September 9. We journeyed from our camp at 10 o’clock A.M. and about one hour after that time we met some gold diggers and Indians. Some were in wagon, and others were riding. They
behinds acted as crazy people, in their way of driving. In the afternoon we drove over high hills and rocky ground. It was hard on our wagons, but we succeeded in getting over these rocky planes [plains] without breaking the wagons. We camped at 7[:]30 on a level spot of ground between hills, where there was a little creek with good water and some good grass for the oxen to eat. (4 miles)
September 10. We drove from our camping place at 9[:]15 A.M. The road was good. In the middle of the day we rested with a creek, where there was good water and some grass. We camped at sundown at the same stream that we lately have camped by, and its name is the Sweet Water river. The water stream is not deep, and we have on our journey forward crossed the stream several times. There are big grass field at places, but the grasses have been well bitten off by cattle and sheep. (3 miles)
September 11. Sunday. We are resting to day. One of my oxen is very weak and starved for want of grass and may not be able to go with the wagons (without having to pull in a team). This forenoon 4 wagons came from Salt Lake City with proviant (food stuff etc.) to take to the post office place at hell gate, where we, as recorded, had camped. In the afternoon came 10 wagons from Canesville [Kanesville], with Mormon emigrants. We had a gospel meeting in the afternoon. Two couples were married. Among the married sisters were Sorine.
September 12. We drove from here at 8[:]00 A.M. and had a good road to drive on all day. We camped at 4 o’clock in the afternoon at a small creek (water stream), where there was a big level streets with plenty of grass for the oxen. It was freezing during the night. The wolves made their noisy barking during the night. (3 1/2 miles)
September 13. We journeyed to day 12 hours without our oxen had any thing to eat or drink, and we camped a long time after sundown with a big water stream (a small river), where there had been grass, but now there was none; and my tired ox (mentioned before) could not follow up with the wagons, but came in to our camp a long time after we had camped. The road was good. (5 3/4 miles).
September 14. At 6 o’clock in the morning, we hitched our oxen for their wagons, although they were as hungry, as they were that night, and we had about 6 1/4 Danish miles to drive (25 English miles) until we came to another small river. We rested at that place two hours. The grass had been eaten. We continued our journey until 9[:]30 in the evening,
at when we camped at a big water stream, where there was a big grassfield, but the grasses were thinly ground, so there was but little grass for the oxen to eat. My tired ox it was impossible for us to take with us, and we had to leave the ox 2 English miles from our new camping place. In the morning <we found out that> the wolves had torn the ox down <to deaths> and ate part of her. The road had been good. (6 1/4 miles)
September 15. We went from our camping place in the forenoon and at noon time we came to Green River, where we found more grass. During the night I had about 2 English miles east for our camping place seen some wagons, that I went to, and with those wagons more brethren from Salt Lake City that should go <as missionaries> to Europe[.] They handed to me two letters, that should be sent to their families (or relations) in Wales. The road had been good. (2 miles)
September 16. Last night it rained, and this morning it is biting cold. We journeyed from our camping place at 9 o’clock A.M. and drove over the river and then drove down with the river in south-easterly direction. The first wagons out camped about at noon time, and our wagon about one hour later. Our oxen had had some good grass to eat <during the extra hour,> and we were glad for that[.] We are camping here in the afternoon[.] Here is some grass. (1 1/4 miles)
September 17. Our oxen had only <at this camping place> had a small part of the grass they could have eaten and still they pulled us eleven hours without food or water until we came to Black Fort [Fork] River late in the morning. We journeyed over some mountains and over some sandbanks. In the afternoon the wind was blowing and it was very cold, so we had to dress in our winter clothes. It was very disagreeable, that the
sand <wind> blowed sand in our eyes. (5 miles)
September 18. Sunday. At this place our oxen could find plenty grass. At 10 o’clock we drove
we drove further down <another road> with the little river. Here was Goth’s company camping. (1 1/2 miles).
September 19. At 7 o’clock in the morning we drove over some sand banks at the Black Fort [Fork] terrain. After we were over these sand banks the road was good. We came nearer to a mount with a high mountain point, <covered with snow> that we had been able to see several days. Some grass here. The weather is fine; but it is freezing during the night. We camped a couple of hours before sunset. (4 1/4 miles)
September 20. We drove from our camping place in the forenoon and came to Bridger Fort, at 2[:]30 o clock in the afternoon, where we found good grassing. There was soldier quartered by the government in order to protect emigrants and tourist against attacks from Indians. Some Indians had of late stolen
creatures horses and cattle from the set[t]lers at the place <we were told> but some horses had been returned. Some Indians are living near the fort. After we had camped, some <poor> travelers, and among them some had their wife and children with them, camped and erected their tents near our place; and we were visited by some of those people. These travelers were very poorly dressed. (3 3/4 miles) Their dresses were <seemingly> made of old carpets and <of> the hides of buffaloes. The[y] had no rings in their ears, but some of the women had rings on their arms, but no ribbons in their hair. The weather is pleasant at this time. One of the women would sell her child for a gun, if she meant, what she said.
September 21. We drove from our camping place at 8 o’clock in the morning and stopped our drive forward in order to camp at 4[:]30 P.M. on the outside of a hill, where we could find neither grass no[r] water; and we had to go one English mile back in order to get drinking water. Goths company passed us the second time to day (as we already had camped). They came last night to camp with us. Things went lively with this fort. We were a total of about 600 persons camping here, beside those that lived at the fort. Each morning at sunrise, the soldiers[’] trumpeter at Fort Bridger blows musically the time to a hymn verse, and that is interesting to listen to here in this great deseret [desert]. (3 1/2 miles)
September 22. Our oxen were last night turned loose,
at as there was no water for them to drink here at our camping place, and grass could scarcely be seen, so it took some time, before we in the morning could get them back to the camp. We drove away at 9[:]15 o clock in the forenoon and continued our forward journey until in the afternoon at 3[:]15 o’clock, when we camped at a high bank plateau, and our oxen were driven down in a deep valley to the right from us, where there was water and grass. The spring, from which the water came, was called Black Spring. When we in the morning went for our oxen, several were laying down, and one of the oxen was either sick or dead so tired that we could not get her <that oxen> with us. The Goth’s company, that in their wagons had pas[s]ed in the day before, came back to the place, where we camped and camped with us (2 1/2 miles) September 23. The The Goth’s company <of English emigrants> carried with them the body of a <certain> woman, that they had in one of their wagons, and which they had promised an<other> English company <that they had met> to take down to the valley to get buried, and as we by this time had some empty wagons, we agreed to take the body in our wagons to have the lady buried <in a grave yard> with other people, which was their wish.
September 23. <Our oxen had last night good grass to feed on.> We drove from our camp at 7[:]30 A.M. We journeyed first for some little time up on hilly land, about two English miles, where we made a temporary stop. From this point we saw sump-land below, with places where <there stood> water,
was that we knew that the oxen would go to for a drink, but when we went to examine the place closer we found that three loose oxen (or cows) had sunk in the mud at one place, so they could not get away from the place, and they laid dead, and we could see some <more> dead oxen in the sump-land about one English mile down the big sump; and two yet living oxen of Goth’s company were by their men drawn up on fast ground. Consequently we could not let our oxen water at that place. One of the oxen, belonging to Goth’s company, had one of its legs broken, and they butchered that oxen and gave us a part of the meat, which was very welcome to us, as we were quite short of proviant. After a brief stop at that place we continued our journey <now> between mountain parts, <often> with big rocks on both sides, and finally we had a very difficult down-hill drive, at the foot of which Goth’s company that we formerly had passed, already had camped; but we passed the company and drove over a big, but not deep water stream (a river), from which place we had to drive up on a hill; and we had to hitch 8 oxen (four sets of oxen) in and for each wagon, in order to get the wagons pulled up that hill; and when that work was accomplished, we rested a couple of hours. Thereafter we drove about 4 English miles and camped in a very pleasant valley at sundown; and there were plenty of fresh water and grass at that place. It was warm weather. (3 1/2 miles)
September 24. We hitched up our oxen at 8[:]15 <o clock> in the morning in order to continue our journey forward. During our long drive we rested a coupole [couple] of hours at one place, and camped shortly after sundown. Our journey during the day took us over mountain hills and between mountain cliffs and through valleyes <vallaies> below. Nearly at the whole stretch the ground was hard and good to get the wagons over. We had a little wind with snow clouds spraying snow on the mountain tops. (4 miles)
September 25, Sunday. At our forward journey we had to day to drive at <several> very risky places, passing deep tumbling down places; and especially was this the case at a protruding mountain cliff; but the wagons came well through at all these places. A landscape painter could picture some great paintings from the mountains,
landscape that we have journeyed through. Goth’s company has camped back of the place, where we are camping. It has rained to almost all day. (2 1/2 miles)
September 26. We drove from our camping place at 8 o’clock in the forenoon, an in our forward journey we had to drive through a mountain pass in which a creek with no deep water were rushing, and in order to come forward, as mountain rocks at different places reached out to the creek, we had to cross the stream 13 times, so that we could get ground to drive on. In the evening we drove over a big stream, but not very deep water. The Goth’s company <English> has the [w]hole day followed after us; and late in the evening <at 8 o’clock> we camped. The mountains are not as high at this place. Some brethren had found 3 oxen. Two of these were lame, and they were butchered; and we were given a big chunk of meat. Six horses were found between some mountain cliffs by men in the Goth’s company. We had some rain, but the bigger part of the road was good for driving. On the long stretch we saw a couple of houses built, and at one of the houses some ground was plowed, which we had not seen, since we left Canesville [Kanesville]. (4 miles)
September 27. We drove up through a narrow pass and drove downward through another and some of the oxen were in weak shape. We camped at a mountain stream. (2 1/4 miles)
September 28. We <had> nearly all way a miserable road before us and a rushing mountain stream to cross over, to our left, or to our right, 11 times, in order to proceed forward, and we finally had to drive in a mountain cliff over rocky ground, so our company got separated, and as well many of our oxen, as well as <many of> the oxen in the Goth’s company could not stand the pulling but laid down. 10 wagons were driven to one place, where we camped. (2 1/4 miles)
September 29. At 7[:]30 A.M. we proceeded on our journey forward and we had to drive over several little water streams and over stony ground, but our wagons were <already> separated, after we had driven about one mile (
fourEnglish miles). We were now on the top of the low mountain; but other wagons were still in the mountain cliffs, where but not together; but they had camped, waiting for assistance, as well the English company as the drivers of our company. Some oxen were dead; others very weak. Some were killed and the meat devided between our companies (the Goth’s English company and ours). At ten o’clock in the evening I had succeeded to come up on the mountain with our time team and from the mountain top we <between mountain openings joyously> could view the Utah vallies, that for our eyes appeared as green desert country. But some mountains <yet> stretched out west from us, and on their tops <the white> snow was already whirveled, and the clouds were “hanging” on the mountain tops. As soon as we <at 1[:]30 o’clock, had> can have all our different teams brought together, we proceeded forward down a <the> very steep hill, with partly blocked wheels, for not to go too fast, but slow and careful, which was necessary, and 10 times we had to cross over small water streams, but finally we came to a good road to drive on, and we camped at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The Goth’s company had succeeded to come down to the foot of the steep hill mentioned ahead of us. We camped at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but the last wagons of our company did not <succeed to> come to our camp before in the evening. When we camped at 4 o’clock we were sucking [soaking] wet from rain, but they had not had any rain. (2 miles)