Isaiah M. Coombs collection, 1835-1938, Diaries, Volume 1, 1855 April-1856 April 27.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, MS 1198
- Related Companies
- Isaac Allred Company (1855)
- Related Persons
- Milo Andrus
- Henry Ashcroft
- Mary Ashcroft
- Richard Ballantyne
- Jesse Bond
- Edmund Cameron Brand
- [Sister] Brown
- John [or G.] Brown
- Thomas Colborn
- Julia Cole
- Isaiah Moses Coombs
- James Gallant
- Elias Gardner
- William Glover
- Nephi Hampton
- Samuel Hardy
- Caleb Hartley
- Amos Lower
- Francis Manwaring
- George Mayer
- William Vaughan Morris
- William Pitt
- Joseph Redfern
- Isaac Richards
- James Calvin Sly
- William Stewart
- William West
- L. Woolman
May, Wednesday, 16 Arrived at Atchison 4 o’clock this evening.
Thursday 17 As I sit here among the tents of Israel I have a fine view of the surrounding country which is the finest I ever beheld. Oh if those I love best were here with me I would be of all beings the happiest. I am reminded that this is Sarah’s birth day and oh how sad are my feelings to think that she is so far away. She was born in the year 1839 which deducted from 1855 leaves 16 years which is her age.
Friday, 18 Went up to the Grove and got my cattle. Had a very hard days work but arrived safely in camp at 3 oclock
Sunday, 20 Sabbath, the day of rest has again rolled around but to the poor emigrant it brings no rest for his is a continual life of toil[.] I am now out herding the cattle which are quietly feeding just before me. I am thinking of home[,] of wife[,] parents & friends. Oh how soon would I haste back to my home if I were engaged in any other work, how soon would I be with those I love. Through the providence of God I am here without a team or any means of getting to the valley. God however who has provided for me thus far will not forsake me now.
Monday, 21 I attended at the baptism of a sister and a brother this evening. I have as yet got no situation but the brethren and sisters have been very kind to me especially bros. Siler, Bywater, Corbitt and sisters A. Young, M. L. Hardy & Worley. If I only had good health I would get along very well but I feel sick half the time and am consequently less able to do the things necessary to be done.
Tuesday, 22 Went out to the grove and spent the day with the saints there. Returning home I came across brother Wentz with whom I had a pleasant conversation. On arriving at camp bro Siler told me I might go to work for him tomorrow, till I made enough to fit myself out for the plains. It is settled that I shall go as teamster for brother Bywater[.] Thus, I find that God always provides for his
Wednesday, 23 I have done a hard days work to day and am very tired[.] Yea more than that I am almost sick. I have not been used to hard labor and it goes very hard with me now. If I were only well I shouldn’t mind what I have to do but my cough affects my health very much and makes me weak and unable to do the work which I ought[.] I confidently believe that when I get out on the plains I shall get well[.] [illegible sentence]
Received a letter from Sarah. All well at home
Thursday, 24 I have been sick nearly all day. This evening I was called upon to administer in the healing ordinance to a sick sister who was immediately healed of her pain. I have felt much better ever since myself and am enabled to rejoice in hopes of salvation. I came up to the grove this evening. I know that my redeemer liveth. I came up to the grove late this evening and found the saints well.
Friday, 25 Our encampment has been visited today by the most severe storm I ever wittnessed. Some of the tents among which was bro Worley’s, were blown down. 3 very bad and everything was completely saturated with the rain. I remark that there was no cursing about the storms but everyone takes it pleasantly and laughs to see each other running around in the rain.
Saturday, 26 The wind continued to blow very strong all night. I returned this evening to the first encampment but had just strength enough to do so. My cough is not any better and I have got the diarrhea very bad which has reduced me to almost childish weakness.
Sunday 27, I have spent the most of the day in the woods reading some old numbers of the “Star”. Attended meeting at 11 oclock, and listened to some instructions
some remarks from bro. Corbitt
Monday, 28 I feel much better than I have for some time, but still I am far from being well. I have been at work all day assisting bro. Bywater.
Tuesday, 29 Bro. Snow arrived in camp sometime last night on the Aubry.
Wednesday, 30 I have assisted Brother Bywater to move up to the Grove. [blank space] at which encampment we arrived safely although we had some difficulty on the road. The oxen came to a stand still about ½ mile from here and we had to send for another yoke before we could get out of the mud hole in which our wagon was stuck.
Thursday, 31 I slept in bro. Riley’s tent last night on the bare ground and felt first rate when I got up. But during the day the diarrhea had come on me again as bad as ever. I am so weak & low spirited I hardly know what to do with myself. I don’t want to die until I finish my work of redeeming myself & my dead, though if I continue to be as frail & no account as I now am I don’t care how soon the grave may claim this body. Death has no terrors to a saint of God neither has the grave for he knows that Christ conquered them & that he can do the same
June, Friday 1 This has been a very windy day so much so that we had to tie our hats on to keep them from blowing away. Bro Snow sent me to Atchison this morning to do some errands for him one of which was to delivery a check on a certain
house to Mr. Challis for 300 dollars which paid up for br Snow[.] on my return the first company started from the grove at about 12 o’clock and halted at noon [illegible] distance to organize
Monday, 4 This is one day past in which I haven’t done much. You see what I have done. I have carried some water from the spring for sister Brown[,] cut a lot of stove wood & walked about the camp the rest of the time. I paid a visit this evening to the camp of the first company one which are the St. Louis saints. It is the postustion [position] for them to start out in the morning and have perhaps looked upon this fair country for the last time. I saw brother Wentz again to day. He too is going to start tomorrow in Wardles train though he is not very well pleased with his <large> comp[any]
Tuesday, 5 Have been herding cattle for brother [Milo] Andrus all day with bros. [Edmund C.] Brand & Wolman & feel first rate this evening. The first company hasn’t gone on yet & it isn’t known when it will start on account of some difficulty in trading for the cattle. [blank space] To me it seems as if we had been here a twelve month[.] I am so anxious to be on the way but I suppose when the time comes that the Lord wants [us to] be gone we will just be moving along. Bro Snow thinks I shall not go until the last trains.
Wednesday, 6 I haven’t had anything to do to day except keeping guard over a tent where bro. Snow, Andrus, Wardle & others were settling up their accounts. In the evening I started to Atchison to mail some letters and here I am at bro Corbitts for the night. I am a great deal better than I have been for some time[.] I feel stronger and more like myself. Since I left my home, I have learned a great many things which will be useful for me in after life. One thing is to trust in God who has promised to provide for his saints in these days
Thursday, 7 Last night is the first time I have had a bed to sleep on since I left St Louis. I returned this evening to the grove but too late to bid my St. Louis brethren & sisters goodbye as they started on their long journey this morning. Bro Phelps has left our company and is gone to the Texan camp under S[eth]. M. Blair with which he intends crossing the plains. Bro McGaw has promised to set me to work in the morning.
Friday, 8 Part of to day [today] I have spent clerking for bro. Mc Gaw but as bro. [Richard] Ballantyne chose me for his scribe I have began writing for him this evening. Bro. Snow left
us this evening for St. Louis via Independence after having called us all together & given us some general instruction & blessed us in the name of the Lord. We met after dark in front of the store house and had a pleasant time together. The spirit of Peace and unity is in our midst. The destroyer is in our midst & has carried off our esteemed brother Bills
Saturday, 9 Bro. Ballantyne has been too busy to give me any writing to do; so I have passed the day writing a letter to my wife, reading &c.
On account of <As> the wind blowing <:blew> so hard last night I expected to find the heavens obscured with clouds this morning but how was I surprised when I awoke to find that the sun was unveiled and shining in full splendor[.] The heat has been oppressive all day untill about an hour by sun when the wind arose again and we have now every appearance of a storm.
Sunday, 10 Another Sabbath is past and Mormon Grove is still my home & I am still blest. Attended meeting this morning and listened to addresses from bros. Glover, Gardner[,] Pit[t] & other[.] The sacriment [sacrament] of the Lords supper was attended to at3 oclock P.M. after which we were addressed by bros. Ballantyne[,] Glover & [Isaac] Allred. All appeared to enjoy the spirit of the Lord. I contrast the manner in which I spend my Sunday now with the manner I used to spend them. How wide the difference now in associ[ation] with saints & list[ened.] to the voice of right. then we associ. with the wicked and list. to hypocritical liars deceiving the weak. Thank my God for the change.
Monday, 11 I have been busy all day writing or bro. Ballantyne making out balance sheets squaring up accounts[,] filing paper &c. This kind of work suits me a little better than attending to cattle & wagons so I have been happy
at as a King while at my work.
Tuesday, 12 Brother Ballantyne went to town this morning without giving me anything to do so I have occupied the day in marking my shirts &c putting my things to rights and reading the rest of the time. I went down to the branch this evening & took a cool bath & feel like a new born babe since I have to regret but one action today
Wednesday, 13 Have been writing for my president until this hour and I feel very bad with being humped up so long at a time. I have no table or stand but have to write on my knee which is not so very comfortable. I am now waiting for brother Allred to call for me to go with him to his tent to make an inventory of a little orphan boy’s effects which are to be placed in his charge till their arrival in the Valley.
Thursday, 14 At about 3 oclock this evening bro. Spencer came to me as I was sitting cramped up with the diarrhea on my trunk & said “Bro. [Isaiah Moses] Coombs <do> you think you are well enough to ride 10 or 12 m. out Seichrit’s [Jacob Fm. Secrist’s] camp for me.” I don’t know I answered if you say go I am on hand any how[.] Well said he if you will you shall be blest & you shant have the cholera. So I started and after a long ride came up with bro. Seichrist [Secrist] about sun down and <was> received by him with out stretched arms. My mission to this camp is to get a list of every soul in it & to borrow as much money for the P.E. Fund as I can, payable in the valley. This is a delightful spot & I have felt to rejoice ever since I have been here
Friday, 15 It is evening and I am again in Mormon Grove. I transacted my business with bro. Secrist & company this morning and departed from their camp at 12 oclock with their blessing upon me. Although until yesterday evening Bro Secrist and I had never seen each other yet when we met it was as brothers of the same family, we continued together in this same spirit & parted the same. The total amount of money I succeeded in getting was $465.65 cts. part of which I gave drafts for & part was donated. I delivered the above sum over to bro McGaw on my return. I have had a long but beautiful ride over the prairie and feel much better than I did yesterday.
Saturday, 16 I have been engaged writing for bro. Ballantyne all day. Bro. Willes arrived here this evening from the East India mission
Sunday, 17 My soul has been made to rejoice while listening to the voice of inspiration to day as it proceeded from Bros. Andrus & Willes. A person never tires listening to bro. Milo, for he always has something new, as it were, to talk about, something interesting and laughable. The spirit of God seems always to be upon him so mighty and rapid do the ponderous truths of eternity flow from his lips in every sentence. Brother Willes is a good speaker[.] his voice is well adapted to public speaking and has been well cultivated. But still with all his accomplishments his speaking wouldn’t interest me if he had not the Holy Ghost.
Monday, 18 Wrote all morning and helped brother Ballantyne move about ten mile from the Grove in the evening where we are now encamped for a few days. When this company makes another move I am going back to the Grove to wait untill my company gets ready to start and then I hope we shall not halt another day, sundays excepted, ‘till we pass through the last canyon.
Tuesday, 19 I had writing to do all evening for bro. Ballantyne and in the evening as I had nothing else to do I went back to the grove and spent two or three hours with bros. McGaw & Hardy.
Wednesday, 20 Have <been> taking down the amount of luggage each person has in the camp[.] It is now late in the evening and we have quit work before we have got more than two thirds of the names down.
Thursday, 21 Have been following the same business I was yesterday and am very much fatigued so much so that I shant write any more this evening
Friday, 22 Have been weighing freight this forenoon but as it rains this evening I am sitting in the tent writing.
Saturday, 23 I am too busy writing for some one else to write a record of anything to day.
Sunday, 24 I have been more delighted with Mormonism to day than I ever have been before. My whole soul was entranced this morning while listening to Br. Andrus speaking and to the elders from the Valley as they described the afflictions and persecutions through which in former days they had passed. I pray God to prosper these elders who are going on various missions over the earth and grant them a safe return to their mountain home.
Monday, 25 Brother Ballantyne has made another move this evening of about ¼ of a mile from his former encampment. I have been too busy writing to help him move. The wind blows very briskly to day though the sun is out in all its splendor. I long to be on my journey, to be out in the open prairie. I fancy I shall like it better, when I get used to it, than writing in the tent where I have no accommodation for writing at all.
Tuesday, 26 Haven’t had very much writing to do to day but nothing has occurred worthy of record. The health of the camp continues excellent for which we are truly grateful to our heavenly Father. We have sad news from Br Blair’s Co. 25 deaths in it since he left here, and is but 65 miles distant. Bro. Ed. Stevenson has been sent to preside over them and to comfort them and to rebuke the destroyer from among them.
Wednesday, 27 Been writing all day. This is all I have to say
Thursday, 28 Been very busy making out accounts, lists[,] weighing luggage, &c[.] Br. Ballantyne intends starting one day this week.
Friday, 29 Was up last night with Bros. [Richard] Ballantyne, Fullmer, & Lynch making a final settlement of our affairs with the Fund here. On account of being up so late last night I got up late this morning but I feel refreshed & prepared for the duties of the day. 4 o’clock P.M. We have had a very heavy storm this evening and it is not over yet. The rain descends in torrents though the wind has abated. Some of the tents are blown down and quite a dismal sight is presented in the camp. The men are running round pick-up the things and appear to rather enjoy getting their hides wet than otherwise. Of course the Co. will not start this evening.
Saturday, 30 <7 months married> Last night was appointed Captain of the guard from 10 to 1 oclock. I got wet to the skin and had to stay so ‘till morning. Slept but 2 hours and that time in a sitting position. Feel very well to day and have taken a walk to Atchison and back to see if there was any letters for me and to mail some. No news from home & I so anxious to hear from them. Bro Ballantyne’s Co. moved about 200 yards off to day with the intention of starting out on Monday next. Carried some of my things to Al[l]red’s camp but received no definite answer as to whether any services were needed at present.
This does not disc[o]urage me for God whose business it is to provide for his saints will provide for me although I am undeserving of that little for I have faith in his providence.
Sunday, July 1 Was at a meeting held by Ballantyne’s Co. & received much instruction from Pres. Fuller, Ballantyne and Andrus. The officers of this Co. are as follows[:] Viz R. Ballantyne[,] Pres. John [William] Glover Capt. of the Guard, Elias Gardner Capt of 1st 10[,] Wm Pitt of the 2nd[,] George Meyer of the 3rd & Wm West of the 4th.
An alarm was given this evening that the Indians were driveing away our cattle. Every gun in the camp was immediately brought into requisition and as soon [as] they could be charged we marched out against the enemy. We found that although there were 15 or 20 naked Indians in close proximity they had not attempted a seizure of the cattle. The guard were frightened lest though [they] should and drove the cattle in. Bro Andrus took the opportunity of reminding us how necessary it was for us to be always read[y] with arms to defend ourselves and cattle [a]gainst the enemy. Borrowed $9.50 of br. Ballantyne.
Monday, 2 Was up with bro. Ballantyne ‘till 12 o’clock last night. Enjoyed meeting first rate and at parting invoked the blessing of God on each other. Said he you shall be blessed to your heart’s content morning[,] noon and night. Slept with br. Glover. This morning at 12 o’clock the train started on its journey and I had to bid adieu to many warm hearted friends. I could not help the tears from rising to my eyes as Brother Ballantyne grasped me by the hand and said, “Good bye brother Coombs. God bless you for ever and may we meet in Zion! I feel lost but not discouraged for something whispers in my ear that this wish will be realized.
Am engaged by Bro. McGaw to write until we start
Have been writing for Bro McGaw. Am well pleased with my present situation and am still blessed with health & happiness
Wednesday, 4 To day is the anniversary of Americas Independence[.] 79 years ago our forefathers cast off the Brittish [British] yoke and proclaimed to all the world that they were and of right ought to be free. That was a glorious day and has ever since been celebrated by all true hearted Americans who love & appreciate liberty. To day by me can not be celebrated only at the desk but I know that thousands are now having jubilee. I have been wondering what my relatives are about to day at home. I guess they think of me who am for the first time absent. God bless them. I hope they are having a happy time. O! sons of “76 where is now the liberty for which you died?” 1 yr ago was in Lebanon
Thursday, 5 Been idle during most of the day as there was nothing to be done. Bro. John Wilson & I commenced cooking on our own account this evening. We first washed up everything about the tent & set every thing in order.
Friday, 6 Was sick all night and was scarcely able to get breakfast this morning and when it was ready could not eat any of it. Could eat nothing till 3 o’clock P.M. when I ate a few cakes and have felt much better since. Have just returned from a spring distant about 1 mile with some good water which is very scarce about here. I am still in Mormon Grove and don’t know when I shall get away[.] God grant it may be soon for I long to be on the plains on my journeye [journey]
Saturday, 7 Nothing to do to day but cook and brother McGaw says I’ve got to cook until I can find someone willing to take my place. Well I don’t care; had as lief cook as herd cattle, I shall only be learning anyhow,
Bro. D. Spencer arrived this evening
Sunday, 8 I have been alone all day and have employed a good portion of the time in sleeping as I had nothing else to do. Went over to bro. Corbitts about 5 o’clock this evening and stayed untill dark & returned to the grove.
Monday, 9 This has been an extremely warm day though the evening is pleasant. The face of the sky presents the appearance of a storm for the night while the weathering thunder which “in the distance is heard” goes to prove that such an occurance is very probable.
Bro. McGaw left for St. Joseph this evening whither he is gone on important business to the Church.
It is time to retire to rest and I do so with a thankful heart to my heavenly father for his goodness, May I sleep in peace.
Tuesday, 10 Had a refreshing sleep last night as I had a softer bed than usually. Took a walk this morning over to Al[l]reds Co. and from thence to bro Corbitts where I spent a pleasant hour and returned to the Grove via Ballantyne’s first Camping ground and got an excellent drink of coldwater, which I well know how to appreciate. Have just finished stewing some apples with which I design making some pies before bro Mack’s return.
Wednesday, 11 This has been a very warm day. Have had nothing particular to do except cooking. As I continue working at [half page illegible]
Thursday 12 <1/2 past 3 o’clock>: Brother Andrus has hired some Missourians to come and help yoke cattle to day so they are all very busy over at the corell [corrall]. The appearance of the sky indicates a heavy storm close at hand.
5 ocl The storm came sure enough & I have to thank my Indianrubbers that I am not wet, as I had to get supper in the heaviest of it
Friday, 13 <Mary is 19 years old.> I know they think of Isaiah to day at home. I have been fitting bows to my wagon to day preparatory to starting across the plains. Nothing unusual going on in camp to day except yoking up some wild cattle and taming them.
Mary was born A.D. 1836
Saturday, 14 Went to town this morning to see if there was any thing for me in the Post but was again disappointed. No news from home. I had a very good time and made a very good dinner on wine, crackers & cheese at one of the stores. Some of our boys who had been sent there for some freight got drunk & went to fighting where upon Br. Andrus put them with their teams in my charge to bring home which I have done in safety & so endeth the chapter
Sunday 15 Went to two meetings to day[,] one at 11 o clock & 1 at 5, at the last of which brother Andrus preached. Took a walk in the evening down to Denmark & got an excellent drink of cold water.
Br. Bassett arrived at the levee this evening.
Monday, 16 Went down to the levee and brought up bro. Gregory’s remains. Had a first rate trek & returned safely. Brother Charlie tells me that father & family have moved into St Louis. This I suppose accounts for my not receiving any letters from him.
Father lives on the corner of Market & 15th
Tuesday, 17 <12 weeks from home> Put on my waggon cover & loaded up. Late in the evening I took a walk with brothers D. Spencer, J. McGaw & C.H. Bassett over to Denmark where we got a good cold drink of spring water & took a bathe in the creek close by. Had a nice time. We returned to the Grove 1 hour after dark.
Wednesday, 18 Haven’t had much to do to day except take time listening to others talk. Oh! how I love the society of the saints for it is only with them that I can obtain a knowledge of God and win a celestial crown. Br. Charlie went to the post office this evening but got nothing for me. Though it would give me pleasure to receive a letter from home before I start, and I am determined it shall do no harm if I don’t receive one[.] All is right and God will take care of my family if they are worthy
Thursday, 19 Went to Atchison with br. Bassett in his carriage. Had a good nice ride. A lot of the merry Mormons met this evening and had a regular dance which all enjoyed well. The Lord was not forgotten in our mirth but we were thankful unto him, for his goodness in allowing us to thus meet & enjoy ourselves in the innocent dance.
Friday, 20 Have been very busy all day making the ends of my wagon covers fastening them on etc. Had a long conversation with br. Charlie this evening; he invites me to visit him at his home on my arrival at the Valley.
This has been a very pleasant day, cool & delightful.
The poem titled Ravitta Bennitta.
Saturday, 21 Have received my provisions for the journey to day and have packed them up. It was raining this morning when I got up and has continued to rain throughout the day with a few, short intermissions.
Sunday, 22 Brother Snow arrived at our camp at about one oclock A.M. I didn’t know that he was here ‘till I got up and was agreeably surprised at receiving the intelligence. He says he had a letter for me from father but hasn’t time to look for it just now.
Have just read my letter. It is from Mary. All’s well.
Monday, 23 Have been keeping <guard> over the tent that the Clerks were writing in.
Tuesday 24 This is the 8th anniversary of the entering of the pioneers into the Valley and as such we have celebrated it. Br. Wm Willes[,] speaker, Br Bills [,] Poet, Br. T[homas]. Colborn, Marshall, [Isaiah Moses] Coombs & [Samuel] Hardy, dept. M. Speaking also by Pres. Snow & Spencer also by Milo Andrus.
Regular Toasts by Isaiah M. Coombs. Volunteer toasts followed. The process informed us at 4 oclock; the speaking commenced at 5 P.M. A Dance at night in which bros. Snow[,] Spencer & Andrus joined, A Jolly 24th we have had truly
Wednesday, 25 Br Bassett went to Weston this morning to get the rest of our outfit Settled up. br. Gregory’s estate as committed to my care.
Thursday, 26 Loaded & moved a freight wagon over to the Church Train. Bro. [James Calvin] Sly assisted me to grease my wagon this evening & I contemplate going with my team over to the Church Train tomorrow. Brother Orson Spencer honors our camp with his presence. He arrived from St Louis this evening en route to the Cherokee nation whither brother McGaw is going to accompany him on a mission.
Friday, 27 Borrowed a yoke of cattle early this morning and moved my wagon and all my things over to the Church Train under Capt. I. Allred. This is a very warm day especially for idlers like myself. I reported my<self> as soon as I came over but br. Allred hasn’t set me to work yet. I expect however he will make me make up for it all before I get through[.] Since I have got acquainted with our Captain I had rather go with his Co than any other
Saturday, 28 Got my cattle this morning but they were so wild I could have done nothing with them if br. Snow had not helped me. Hitched my team in with four others yoke onto a fraight [freight] wagon and drove out 12 miles from Mormon Grove wither we encamped. We all competing to unhitch a California ox, he kicked me square in the breast & [........] rock. No harm done; all in the way of duty.
Sunday, 29 Went back to the Grove with my team, bro. Snow & Andrus put it on my wagon and in company with 10 others returned to camp. On the way my front near ox kicked me in the breast sending me some distance & breaking loose away the tongue[.] cattle went with my wagon. After some time we got all right & went on and arrived safely in our camp on the Little Grasshopper. I never was so tired in my life & I have to stand guard part of the night.
Monday, 30 I felt very sore this morning and although our captain allowed us an unusually long morning nap I felt quite unrested. Herded cattle in the forenoon and had nothing to do in the after part of the day except putting things to rights in my wagon in which I am now seated while the tempest rages without. The thunder is astounding & sometimes quite startles me while the vivid lightening almost blinds me where I sit. Br Allred is at the grove
Tuesday, 31 Helped herd cattle this morning. Went about a mile to a farm <house> after cool water. Br. Allred returned with the rest of the wagons[.] A raw Englishman shot off a pistol which burst and came very near killing his own child, & several of the brothers & sisters standing by[.] I have to guard again to night ’till 12 o clock
August Wednesday, 1 Moved 1 mile down close to the Little Grasshopper this morning & formed a cor[r]al. Good water is very scarce & what we do get we have to carry ½ a mile. Wood and grass plentiful. This surely is life upon the plains a rough hard life, one which no earthly consideration would tempt me to lead. The knowledge that this is the only way God designs gathering his people at this time makes me endure it. Took a good bathie[.] Had supper at a farmer’s house consisting of corn bread[,] butter[,] & milk
Thursday, 2 Yoked up some of our oxen intending to roll on 6 miles further but 1 yoke getting out run off and it took us ‘till 2 o’clock to get it up again. Br Allred allowed then that it was too late to start to day so we turned out the cattle to feed & intend making a new start in the morning.
Br Barlows <Br Harper’s I mean> Co lies about ½ a mile back on the road waiting for some more cattle & wagons.
We had a glorious meeting this morning.
Friday, 3 Pulled up stakes and removed 6 miles further all safe. Br. Snow & Bassett are stopping with us for the night. We have just had a meeting and been organized. Br. Allred is our Captain[,] br Pace our chaplain, br Colborn is captain of the guard, and IM Coombs is appointed clerk.
We are deficient in cattle but br. E. Snow says we shall all go in safety. This creek is called Big Grasshopper
Saturday, 4 Bright & early this morning the mail passed taking with it our beloved brethren Snow & Bassett[.] May God bless them. Travelled 6 miles and camped for the night[.] Plenty of wood, water and grass of an inferior quality. One of the teamsters by the name of [blank space] run against a stump & broke his wagon tongue. Br Allred and others have been all evening mending it[.] We were called together for prayers this evening as usual by br. Pace. Br Allred spoke at some length, reproving some
for on slothfulness.
Sunday, 5 We had considerable rain this morning & I got wet while herding. Br. Allred concluded not to move to day but lie still & rest. It has been a pleasant day. Br Andrus & Co. are now encamped just on the opposite side the river ¼ of a mile distant. They also are deficient in point of oxen so we can get no relief from that quarter.
This has been a day of rest to me and I thank God for it.
Monday, 6 Moved 7 miles & formed a coral for the night. Broke 1 wagon tongue[.] Plenty of good water[,] wood and grass. Here is where so many died [in] Blair’s Co. At almost every step we come upon their graves, many of which have been dug open by the wolves & their occupants dug out[,] their flesh eaten & their bones left upon the prairie to bleach. Melancholy spectacle. Oh God preserve me from their fate. A large government train passed us from Ft Laramie at 2 oclock. At a late hour this evening I went down to br. Andrus’s Co and saw all my old friends who are going with him
Tuesday 7 <15 weeks from home> Moved 10 miles with half of the wagons. Br. Allred remained behind to bring on the rest tomorrow. Nothing broke to day but all went safely. There is a company of U.S. troop of horse 200 strong beside officers and teamsters encamped close to us this evening. They are on their way to Ft. Laramie under the command of Gen. Kearney. Wood[,] water & and grass of a inferior quality are obtained here.
Wednesday 8 Through the carelessness of some of the guard most all of our cattle strayed from the herd last night but after a dilligent search were at last found and driven back. Br. Andrus is camping not 300 yds from us to night. He says he can’t assist us any and intends to roll on tomorrow.
Br. Allred has returned with the rest of the wagons. He intends loading all that he can take and go as quick as possible.
Thursday 9 Hauled five wagons containing the enjine [engine] into a farmers yard & placed them in his care till next spring. Didn’t get started with the whole company untill past 2 oclock P.M. so we moved but 1 mile and coralled.
Bought some butter & milk.
Friday 10 Had to leave 3 more wagons behind which we took to the same place as the others: we then hitched on to all the rest and went 10 miles to the next encampment where we arrived safely before 3 o’clock.
Received 6 yoke of oxen & 5 teamsters from brother [Charles A.] Harper[’s Company]. Sent back for the 3 wagons we left this morning. The brethren’s names are as follows, Viz. Robt. Sneider[,] Joseph Reynolds, Alexander Calderwood, Morgan Jones & George Panglois [Langois].
Saturday 11 It has rained very hard all day so that it has been impossible for us to move. I came on guard untill 12 o clock and from appearances will have rather a rough time of it.
Sunday 12 The rain was incessant during the night & poured through my wagon cover as through a sieve wetting every thing completely.
It being so muddy Capt A. has concluded not to move to day.
Monday 13 The rain somewhat abated this morning and the cattle were hitched up to go if possible to the next creek 15 miles. Owing to bad luck however we are coralled but 9 miles from the old camping ground with the rain pouring upon us. The night is intensely dark so much so that br. Sly has thought fit to double the guard for fear some of the cattle may be lost. My cattle have done well to day, they are fast becoming submissive
Tuesday 14 It is still raining but it has been thought wise to push on to the creek 6 miles distant and there to lay by untill dry weather. We are all here except 4 wagons which have been sent back for and will be here to night[.] The name of the creek is The Nimehaw [Nemaha]. Plenty of good water, wood, and grass. A small trading house is established not many yards distant from our camp.
Wednesday 15 Was on guard last night till 12 o’clock during the whole of which time the rain poured in torrents. The heavens at times seemed one living blaze of light while the thunder rocked most terribly thus making it a hard job to keep the cattle together. The clouds have at last dispersed [.] the rain has ceased and we poor drowned rats are removed a little further of[f] the hills to a wide, dry spot where we have encamped. The scenery around is most beautiful
Thursday 16 Some little rain this morning. Moved 10 miles and are again encamped. One of the iron axel tree wagons broke down & was taken back though the goods were reloaded into other wagons & it brought on. Plenty of stalling on the road to day in consequence of the recent rains which have rendered the roads very muddy in places.
Friday 17 The weather has been fair today: we have moved 15 miles since 8 o’clock A.M. and are now encamped near the Vermillion a small stream the banks of which are very abrupt. Turned my wagon over but no serious injury received. One or two others got mired down but we are all safely in camp. It is my turn to stand guard again. I have had what I had so long prayed for a drink of cool well water.
Saturday 18 Moved another 15 miles to day and are camped about 3 miles from the Big Blue. I had considerable trouble with my team to day. At one time the chain <broke> and away went the cattle as hard as they could run giving me a good run to get them again. I secured them at last but by this time the train was 2 miles a head so I had to hitch on by myself and follow. I ran at last 4 miles before I overtook them. I unhitched them at another time to water them and they again got loose. I rolled safely into camp but no sooner had I stopped then smash came a wagon against my wheel playing smash sure enough. I can’t tell how much damage is done
Sunday 19 This has been the most trying <day> I have ever experienced. We have been all day moving 3 miles to the Blue which we have at last crossed. Mine was very near the last wagon that crossed for I could get no one to help me so there I had to stand holding my cattle which were every moment trying to break away. The river is very rapid; it is 3 feet deep. Every thing is over safely at last[.] I have got on some dry clothes and am ready to go to bed as here goes for all night.
Monday 20 Was occupied in the forenoon in unloading a lot of goods which with 2 wagons we left with Mr [blank space] for we could take them no further. Started at 1 o’clock and travelled 5 miles through a heavy rain. Have got to do without supper to night, as there is neither wood or water to be had here. Mr. Lower stayed behind this morning.
Tuesday 21 Got up early this morning and started before breakfast. Went about 4 miles to where we could obtain fuel and stopped to get breakfast. We then went 19 more miles making 23 in all. We are camped on Turkey creek. Br [James Calvin] Sly & [Amos] Lower had some difficulty this morning the consequence of which was that Lower has stayed behind. He has had the spirit of apostasy ever since he has been among us so his conduct is nothing unexpected.
One of my oxen is so lame I have had to turn him out.
Wednesday 22 Moved 15 miles today[.] Br. Hardy broke his king bolt & we had to stop. We don’t know the name of this creek; good wood[,] water, and grass in abundance
Thursday 23 We beat the sun up this morning and got off at 6 o’clock: travelled 20 miles before night and camped near what we think is the Little Blue. We have passed over a beautiful district of country to day a great many beautiful sites for
a farms near the road. In walking near the river a little while ago I discovered the grave of Capt Jacob Secrist of the 2nd Co of L.D.S. Emigration. I little thought when I bid him good bye at the Big Grasshopper that so soon I should look upon his grave. His remains are undisturbed by wolves or any thing else
Friday 24 We are 16 miles nearer the Valley than we were this morning. About noon Capt. Allred killed a buffalo but in skinning it was found too poor to eat notwithstanding some of the people took of it so anxious they were to get fresh meat. No accident has happened us to day but every thing has moved on smoothly and safely untill we are at last coralled in safety. We have been in sight of the L. Blue all day[.] We have been told we shall travel 4 more days in this bottom before the road will lead us out.
Saturday 25 Travelled 15 miles to day. Passed an Indian summer village deserted. Met a company of about 12 Indians Pawnees who demanded rather than asked for some provisions. Capt. A. ordered each mess to give them what they could spare but still the Indians wanted more. Capt. A. told them they should have no more whereupon they became very wroth and laid hold of the Capt. who was on his horse and drew their bows[.] The capt. succeeded at last in getting rid of them but for some miles they followed us. I must stand guard from 12 to 4 o’clock to night.
Sunday 26 We have travelled 10 miles to day and are encamped we don’t know where but it is not on the L Blue. We have camped very early. A herd of buffalo is near by and we intend killing some of them if we can before night. Have seen nothing more of Indians. A government train has just passed us. They say that these Indians are more hostile than ever and that in less than 2 months, they will be in possession of Ft Kearney.
Monday 27 We have come 20 miles to day and are encamped 8 miles from Ft[.] Kearney which we will reach by noon tomorrow. All are well and in safety arrived in camp with every thing we have. Good wood[,] water and grass but no wood. Buffalo chips will come in requisitions untill we reach Ft Laramie
Tuesday 28 Travelled 20 miles again and passed Fort Kearney about noon in flying colors. Brother Andrus passed the Fort last Sunday. We are camped within a few yards of the Platte which furnishes us with delicious water. No wood or but very little of it in this vicinity though there is an abundance of good grass for our cattle, which is the main requisite to a good camping place. A great many of the cattle are getting lame.
Wednesday 29 According to our judgement we have come 18 miles to day notwithstanding our late start. Brother Pace thinks we are camped on Plums creek but can’t tell for certain untill morning. Alls well and getting better
Thursday 30 We lay by this forenoon to make some ox yokes and to let the cattle rest. Hitched up at 12 o’clock and travelled 12 miles which took us untill sundown. We are again camped on the Platte. A company of returning Californians passed us about 7 o’clock this evening.
Friday 31 One of our oxen strayed from the herd last night and was found with some buffalo this morning. In vain we tried to get [him] back, away he went. br. Morris killed a buffalo but we hadn’t time to skin him so we left him to the wolves. It was 9 o’clock before we got started; we then travelled 18 miles breaking one axel tree on the way. Our camp is some distance from the road on the river[.] grass[,] water & wood in abundance
Saturday Sept 1 The heat was oppressive at noon to day & continued so untill Past 2 o’clock. My near leader in consequence of the extreme heat came very near giving out. I had to stop severel times to let him rest. Bros Nephi Ha<m>pton & Z. Colborn killed a buffalo this evening part of which was served out to the camp. Our days journey is 15 miles: we are camped near the Cotton wood springs from which we get the best water I have drank since I left home[.] wood and grass not very plentiful in this region.
Sunday 2 Started very early this morning and travelled till noon when we halted 2 hours to let the cattle rest. We then passed Kinkead & Co’s train and halted not till sundown[.] We are camped on a small stream of water 20 miles from our last night’s corall. Plenty of water, grass and buffalo chips about here. This has been a very hot day again, i.e, since noon.
Monday 3 Didn’t get started untill 10 oclock this morning on account of various antics about the camp necessary to attend to. Kinkead & Co’s train passed before we got under way and we repassed them at noon. Travelled 15 miles before 5 oclock. A dry buffalo skull tells us that Andrus has passed here on the 1st Inst.
Tuesday 4 The air has been oppressively hot to day in consequence of which our progress has been extremely slow. We have travelled over
about 17 miles we think and are camped within sight of the S. Fork of Platte which we purpose crossing tomorrow, if we are not mistaken as to the distance to the ford. Another buffalo skull informs us that Andrus Co. passed here yesterday.
Wednesday 5 15 miles travel brought us to the crossing of the South Platte where doubling teams we crossed without difficulty. The river is very low.
Thursday 6 As many of the cattle are tender footed the Capt. concluded to lay by to day and shoe them. He with some others have been engaged in that business[.] some have been hunting though without success as yet[.] others have been greasing the wagons and the women have been washing. As for myself I have been doing a little of every thing though for the most part reading and writing has occupied my time.
Friday 7 Good road to Ash hollow 16 miles. The descent into the hollow is very steep and dangerous, but we got down by turning but one wagon over nothing injured. The road is then very sandy all the way to our present camp 6 miles[.] this makes 22 miles for one days travel. A Co. of U.S. Troops are camped near the hollow. They had a fight with the Shians [Cheyennes] on the 3rd Inst[.] 200 of the Ind. killed[,] 75 found immediately after the fight & others are being found every day[.] But 6 killed and 4 wounded of the Soldiers. They are creating a fort near the hollow. Troops are stationed all the way to Laramie to protect the trains. L. K. & Cos train are camped but a few rods from us to night.
Saturday 8 Travelled 10 miles over a very sandy road. Some of the teams stalled ½ a mile from which kept back more than half the train. Capt. Sly appointed 2 men to guard the out wagons who were to be relieved every hour. Mine did the 5th watch. We are now travelling in company with L.K. & Co’s train and the escort of a company of wagons, who are to go with us to Laramie.
Sunday 9 Started off at 10 A.M. and travelled in sight of L. Kinkead train untill 6 P.M. when we coralled having journeyed 15 miles
at over a sandy road[.] We had quite a lengthy procession in all to day 80 wagons and 40 mounted Soldiers who are accompanying us to Laramie.
Monday 10 Started early and soon over took the other train & troops and at noon lay by to let the cattle eat & drink. A complaint was entered against sister Ashcroft by her mess but being unable to substantiate their charge the captain dismissed them with a severe reprimand. Travelled 18 miles over a tolerably good road and coralled in sight of the other camps. I have been afflicted for some time with sore lips. The soreness has extended to my tongue then and the whole of my mouth so I feel very badly indeed[.] We travel now according to the watches. Chimney Rock has been in sight.
Tuesday 11 Travelled 20 miles, passed castle rock and we camped near chimney rock on the Platte. I was quite unwell last night and sister [Julia Foster] Hampton hearing the groans I was making in my feverish slumber came and waked me up to see what was the matter. She very kindly offered me some medicine she had which on taking relieved me considerably. This is not the first time sister Hampton has acted as a mother to me. Ungrateful indeed I shall be if I forget such kindness or neglect to show my gratitude for her goodness, God bless.
Wednesday 12 Passed Chimney rock. L.K. Co’s train and the soldiers, travelled 25 miles and at ½ past 5 P.M. camped near Scott’s bluffs, without wood[,] water[,] grass or any thing else. An empty belly is the word for to night. It is my guard till 12 o’clock. This is or has been a very cold day: overcoats & gloves, are come in play in such weather.
Thursday 13 Brother Joseph Redfern of [blank space] Conference Eng. went to sleep on his wagon tongue and falling off the wheels passed over his breast and head mangling him dreadfully. This was at 5 A.M. He lingered till ½ past 4 P.M. when he died. One of our best yoke of oxen fell into a ditch at noon and one of the oxen was killed: we succeeded in saving the other. We are now on horse creek in sight of Laramie Peak . We arrived at 10 o’clock P.M. having travelled but 17 miles since morning. This is a delightful Country over which we are now passing.
Friday 14 Buried brother Redfern first thing. Started at 10 A.M. and travelled till 3 P.M. when we coralled for the night. The road has been very hilly and in places sandy, we are camped on the Platte. Took an inventory of Redfern’s effects this evening. We have come 10 miles
Saturday 15 Some were driving in the cattle this morning [when] the U.S. Mail came up. We were agreeably surprised to see the Hon. J.M. Bernhisel on his return to Washington. He is the bearer of a letter from pres. Snow and of general good news about the other trains. Passed two trading posts and the place where the soldiers killed by the Indians last year are buried. Met a co. of soldiers going out to cut grass.
We have travelled 18 miles and are camped 1 mile from the river and 6 from Laramie. Two wheels of my wagon are by being tried against the other by the dry weather are nearly to pieces.
Sunday 16 Passed Ft. Laramie at 11 o’clock and camped 10 miles side on the Platte making our days journey 16 miles. Br. Ballantyne passed here just 1 month ago. In going down a hill one of my wheels gave away so much that we will have to fix it before we start again
Monday 17 The first I went at this morning was my wheel. Br. Allred helped me fix it as well as we could but in a mile it was as bad as ever. Stopped at a trading post and bought another wheel for $6. I got on the Capt pony and went on to camp to get money to pay for it: going back met Brother Nephi [Thaxton] with my wagon. Went on and gave br. Allred the money which was not enough. Coming back overtook Br. Nephi who had broke the coupling pole of my wagon in two places. Had to go back to the post on foot to take the balance due for my wheel. Met severel [several] Indians going and returning.
Tuesday 18 <21 w from home> The cattle got away from the guard last night and we had hard work to get them together this morning. Capt. Allred bought of Messers Ward & Guersier at the trading post we passed yesterday 7 yoke of oxen at $90 a yoke and a buffalo robe at $5 all $635. Put a new coupling pole in my wagon. Brother Allred sold to the traders 5 head of lame cows and oxen for 10 buffalo robes at 5 dollars a robe and found a number of Indians have visited our camp to day.
Wednesday 19 Drove in our cattle early this morning but those that we bought yesterday being wild it was late when we got started. Took the river road over the black hills and traveled 10 miles. We are camped on the top of a high hill from which the scenery that presents itself is delightful. Any one that has passed through these hills passes what sights have attracted our attention to day.
Thursday 20 Traveled 12 miles to day and are encamped on Box Elder Creek which is now perfectly dry. No water to be had to night The grass is of an inferior quality of which our cattle are feasting finely. Wood plenty and handy. Passed over a very hilly country road to day.
Friday 21 Started this morning before breakfast and traveled to the Platte 6 miles distant where we coralled for dinner as it was near that time of day. Started again after we had dined and went 10 miles more[.] crossed the river and camped for the night having come in all since morning 10 miles which is very good travelling over this hilly road. Passed through the first grove since we started on our journey. Found a human skull supposed to have belonged to a white female. One of our oxen died last night.
Saturday 22 Was on guard the last watch waked up the camp at 4 o’clock[.] Got our breakfast as quick as possible and started. Travelled till 1 o’clock when we camped for dinner opposite the mouth of Labontee [La Bonte] Creek having come 12 miles as near as we can guess. Brother Allred thinks we have saved 2½ miles by crossing the river i.e. if the rest of the roads are equal. In starting after dinner Bro. [Henry] Ashcroft broke his wagon tongue and the train was delayed till past 4 o’clock in repairing it. We then moved but about 3 miles making our days journey 15 miles. Provisions are now [be]coming very short & our allowance is considerably restricted.
Sunday 23 Hitched up my cattle by my self this morning and was the first to hitch on. Three miles travel brought us to the river again which we with much difficulty again forded. Travelled 12 miles further making 15 in all and again camped for the night. Made no stop for dinner at all. As I was driving the cattle to water a hare started up some distance from me which the boys drove directly towards me. As it got opposite I shot; hit it just behind the shoulder & killed it. The English thought it an excellent shot to kill a hare on the run with a rifle. Br. Caleb [Hartley] killed one too so we shall have a fine feast in our mess tomorrow.
Monday 24 We have come 15 miles on our journey and are camped on Deer creek. The water is delightful, wood plenty, grass scarce. One of the oxen that had been turned out of the train some days ago gave out this morning & we were obliged to leave him. At this place 3 Indians joined us and travelled in company untill noon. they were on horse back. Just as we turned off the main road to coral this evening one of the oxen fell in the yoke. We were obliged to leave him also.
Tuesday 25 Travelled but 10 m. to day. Met a Crow warrior at about 11 oclock who was very friendly[.] He stopped to shake hands with every one as though we were old acquaintances. This brought him to the rear of the train; He then put his horse to the run and dashed along as hard as he could go. This frightened some of the cattle and a stampede was the result. Br. [Francis] Manwarring was run over and badly hurt. Nothing broke except 1 yoke. Came to the Indian camp and they all thronged the road to look at us. No hostile demonstration was made. Br. Allred thinks the Indian didn’t mean any mischief.
Wednesday 26 Br. Sly saw some 20 or 30 mountain sheep this morning. Passed another Crow lodge. At the bridge we learned that Andrus passed yesterday. The wind blew hard all day and the dust and sand was so thick we could hardly see. Travelled 10 miles to day and camped as near the river as we could get. It is now 5 oclock and our camp is surrounded by the Indians who have come to beg and trade but the Capt has prohibited us having any thing to do with them. It is now past 9 oclock and we have had the best meeting this evening that we’ve enjoyed on our journey. Bros. Allred, Pace and Sly spoke to some length on the most glorious principles of our religion & edifying all who Accept
Thursday 27 Crossed the Platte as we supposed for the last time this morning but many of us team owners were disappointed this evening[.] Travelled through clouds of dust and sand all day and camped once more on the Platte opposite Red Butte Mts. Had scarcely coralled here a co. of missionaries under bro. Cunningham came up and camped on the opposite side the road. They bring glorious news from the Valley. Called the two camps together at night and bro. Cunningham and some other elders addressed us ealdifyingly [edifyingly] for some time. Bros. Sly & Pace followed in a few appropriate remarks and we then dispersed. Our cattle were driven over the river to feed so we had to again cross.
Friday 28 Was called up at 12 oclock A.M. to guard and had to wade the river which was a bitter pill. About 4 o’clock a bear got into the herd and was eating a dead ox when discovered. Joshua Winie shot at him but it being dark we missed and he escaped. We parted with our brethren early and pursued our journey to Willow Springs 15 miles and camped. Wood & water plentiful, grass scarce. Many of our cattle are weak with hunger. Bro. Allred left the train in the charge of br. Pace and has gone on to Devil’s gate to secure some provisions before the other trains get it. brother Harper upset his wagon in a ditch as he turned off the [r]oad to coral.
Saturday 29 It was very cold this morning and in consequence we got a late start. Travelled 3 miles beyond the ford of Greasewood creek and camped on that stream for the night having come 13 miles. Plenty of good water[.] some grass but no wood. One of my leaders Blueskin came very near giving out, I don’t think he could have gone 2 miles further. In crossing the creek br. Bond upset a wagon and so blocked up the road that those behind him could not pass. He got his out at last losing 1 box of salaeratus [saleratus]. All else they think is safe. The other wagons are coming in now. Brother Allred has just returned from Devil’s gate.
Sunday 30 Left Greasewood & arrived at a trading post on Sweetwater at ½ past 12 o’clock. Crossed that stream and nooned at Independence rock. Br. Sly says this rock took its name from the following circumstances. The 1st Co. to Oregon arrived there on the 3rd of July and they laid by the next day to celebrate the anniversary of American independence on the top of the rock. From this great distance and that of it standing alone on the open plain sloping away over time [illegible] they called it Independence rock which is why it was [illegible] over to retain. We stayed here 1 hour and then went on and passed Devil’s gate, which is a huge rent in a mountain of rock through which the Sweetwater passes and another post ½ mile from the Gate. There we were joined by 2 brethren from the Valley with 1 wagon, 9 yoke of oxen & 7 sacks of flour. Went a mile further and it being sundown we camped for the night having come 5 miles since morning. In the suburbs as it were of the everlasting mountains we are at last camped. The scenery which we gaze upon is good; it is what I having prayed to behold and now [illegible] and blessed with the sight and I am thankful to my Heavenly Father that he has preserved my life and brought me thus far on my journey to Zion & that is looking to make me perfectly happy is the presence of my family who are far away in the world of Babylon. I long to see them but I know God will preserve them if they are faithful untill we meet again. Sarah A.G. Coombs. John Dobies & John Heath are the names of our help
Monday October 1 H had a very sandy road today[.] Travelled 16 miles and are camped on Sweetwater. Turned out Blueskin and took another ox to rest him. The names of the brethren who joined us yesterday from the Valley are John Dobie and John Heath.
Tuesday 2 Met 2 men from Capt. Harpers Co. this morning who report that train as laying by untill noon some 6 miles ahead. They also said that the camp is in good health and spirits. Travelled but 10 miles to day and caralled early to shoe a lot of oxen. The prairie grass caught fire from Harpers camp which the wind drove directly towards us. The whole camp had to turn out to fight it with bags, spades and whatsoever we could get to smother the flames. Succeeded in putting it out not 5 steps from the wagons.
Wednesday 3 Crossed Sweetwater 4 times[.] Travelled 15 miles and had to camp without much grass or any wood. Brother Colborn in trying to find Harpers camp yesterday evening got lost and after travelling about 35 miles got to camp nearly froze as he set out without even a coat. It was ½ past 1 oclock when he returned. Met some men from Harpers camp who are in search of a man lost. Br Harper himself came to our camp this evening and stayed awhile. Says all are well with him. It is tarnation cold this evening and no mistake[.] I thank God I have a warm nest to creep into.
Thursday 4 Got up early this morning and went out to look up the cattle which we found much scattered in search of feed. 2 of them died in the night and 1 of Harpers died in our carol [corral]. Got our breakfast and rolled out. Travelled 16½ miles and again camped naught but the river separates us from Harpers camp to night. Snow fell two inches deep last night. Prospects are dull for getting the train through this year. Our cattle are failing fast.
Friday 5 Went up in the mountains for the cattle this morning. Hitched on at ½ past 10 oclock and started just behind Harpers train. Travelled 10 miles and caralled in a good camping place. Plenty of wood and grass. Passed Williams & Hoopers train about 1 mile back & Harpers ½ mile. I killed 2 antelope this evening as we came along which have been cut up since we camped and divided among the severel messes.
Richards[,] Munro & others of our camp ate part of an ox today that died with poison. Let Shame be upon such men who will eat such when there is plenty of bread to be had.
Saturday 6 3more oxen died last night. Captain Allred concluded to remain here to day that the cattle may feed and rest. I went out this morning with brother Heath to hunt antelope[.] hunted all day long without success and returned to camp both weary & hungry. Brother Heath discovered on the top of a mountain a square hole which was about ¼ filled with earth. He dug down with his knife and found small bits of woolen cloth and pieces of rotten shoes, & at last bones of some human being. There must be severel buried in the hole. They have been shoeing oxen all day in camp.
Sunday 7 Some more of our cattle died last night and 2 others are unable to travel. I have just found out that bro. Gregorys blue ox was left behind day before yesterday[,] he being unable to come any further. Started early this morning climbed a steep rugged mountain, passed over the Devils back bone which is very rough indeed and camped on the Strawberry having come as near as we can guess 12 miles[.] As an Englishman would say I feel quite knocked up to day with the effects of yesterday’s walk. My feet are very sore.
Monday 8 Two more cattle died last night. Crossed the Big and the Little Willow creek to day. The road has been very good and the scenery most grand and delightful through which we have passed. Travelled according to Claytons Guide 11 miles being camped on the Sweetwater at the upper and last crossing.
Acted as an amanuensis to brother Allred in writing a letter to Pres E Snow acquainting him with one situation and requesting aid. Our situation is truly trying: and unless we receive help we certainly must suffer greatly.
Tuesday 9 Travelled through the South pass and are camped on the Pacific Springs having come 12 miles[.] Livingstone is camped about 1 mi from here, Harper ½ mile below him and Hooper ½ a mile above him. Have been busy ever since we carralled pulling cattle out of the bog. This was not a very pleasant job; the water is as cold as ice and to get them out we had to wade sometimes knee deep.
Wednesday 10 Drove the cattle up into the mountains early this morning where we found very good grass for them. As it was not my turn to herd I returned to camp. Found brother T. Colborn preparing to set alone for the Valley. He started off at 8 o’clock with a buffalo robe[,] a few provisions and one extra pair of boots expecting to reach home in 5 days. The cattle were brought up at 12 o’clock and we got started about 1 o’clock P.M. Travelled to the forks of the road 5 miles distant here we found a tolerable good place to camp. Passed L.K. & Co’s train about ½ a mile back. My cattle are very weak notwithstanding they were filled up very well when we started. I had to keep guard half the night.
Thursday 11 Lay by till 1 o’clock P.M. L.K. & Co’s train repassed this morning. Hitched up at 1 oclock and travelled to Big Sandy 7 miles where we found L.K. Co’s train just starting out having stayed there all day. Turned out our cattle to water but they wouldn’t drink. Hitched on again and traveled 10 miles further and caralled at 9 o’clock. As there is no grass to be had here we have turned the cattle into the cor[r]al intending to start early in the morning for Little Sandy. Our days journey is 17 miles.
My feet are very sore with walking so much to day.
Friday 12 Started before sun up and travelled 5 miles & cor[r]aled on Little Sandy in sight of the other two merchant trains. Two of my oxen fell with weakness but I managed to get to camp with them by driving slowly. Started again ½ hour by sun and traveled 3 miles crossing the Little Sandy and camped for the night. A meeting was called after supper to consider what is to be done in our present circumstances. Bros. Allred, Pace & Sly spoke considerably on this subject but could not come to a definite conclusion. We feel determined to carry out our captains plans as near as we can let them be what they may. It is doubtful whether we can move at all in the morning [to] cross it
Saturday 13 Hitched up this morning at early hour and travelled 7 miles to Big Sandy where stopped to noon and rest our cattle. As for grass there is but little. Less than was ever known before to be on this road.
Started again at 4 oclock and travelled till 8 though but slowly; came but 6 miles this evening 13 in all.
Some 7 or 8 more of our cattle gave out to day some of which can not go at all. I have had hard work to get 2 of mine along, am looking every day to have to leave one or both of them. We have to coral them again to night to keep them from eating the Greasewood.
Sunday 14 Started some time before sun rise and went 2 miles, and turned the cattle down on the creek bottom 1¼ <miles> from the road. Drove in the cattle at 12 o’clock and found that sixe were missing. On search being made for them they were found though unable to travel. We have come 6 miles this evening and lost 5 more oxen which makes 8 miles journey for to day and a loss of 11 head of cattle. It is two miles from here to water and in trying to get to the river this evening after dark a [I] had like to have got lost. I however got my water and returned in safety to the camp.
Monday 15 Was with two others in charge of three wagon[s] till tomorrow when they promise to return for us. All of my cattle except one has give out. Went back to our yesterdays camp in company with Bro Richards to get the cattle left yesterday[.] We found six and started back with them but 3 of them lay down again and all our power of persuasion could not get them up again so we left them and came on with the other three. I am very unwell to day in consequence of cold caught by having my hair cut. Br. Allred was just sent teams for us. He is camped about 4 miles from here
Tuesday 16 Bros. [John] Brown, [Isaac] Richards, myself were left behind again this morning. I had some difficulty with Richards and others this morning. We have spent the day finely together and having asked a blessing on ourselves during the night we are about to retire to repose.
The train moved 8 miles to Green river and there encamp
Wednesday 17 I arose at a late hour this morning waked up the other boys went to the creek to wash myself and get some water for breakfast. When I returned brother Brown got breakfast and we sat down and ate what little we had left. After breakfast having nothing else to do we out to hunt but could find nothing. Had to do without any dinner.
About sundown two of the boys arrived with 16 yoke of oxen to take us on to Green river. After dark two others arrived with provisions to last us till tomorrow as we shall stay here till then. Br. Allred has sent all the train ahead with 10 wagons & he has gone to the Ft [Bridger] to get cattle to take the rest. Had a jolly time around the fire till late when we said a prayer and went to bed
Thursday 18 Got up early morning ate breakfast drove up our cattle and started for Green river 8 miles distant. Three of the brethren stayed behind to look up the loose cattle. We got to camp in good time but before we made it we had to cross Green river and I can testify that its waters are pretty cold. Found brother Sly in command of the following named men John Brown, John Harper, J[ames]. Gallant, I. Richards, Wm. Stewart, S.
Pond, <J[esse]. Bond[,]> I[saiah]. M[oses]. Coombs and a little boy Caleb Hartley. All are in good health & spirits.
Friday 19 Hitched up 4 teams this morning and by returning twice have moved our corall about a mile down the river to a nice grassy spot close to wood and water. We then made a nice beautiful bowery about 10 feet square among the willows which prevents the wind in a great measure from getting at us. In the center we have build a good fire and around it we enjoy ourselves as mormons always do in brotherly conversations &c.
Saturday 20 On going out to look after our cattle this morning we found 1 dead and 1 mired in a marsh. Got a rope & pulled the mired ox out and drove all the cattle below the camp to feed. Assembled around our fire br Sly told us the story of the chip muck [chipmunk] & preached us an old fashioned Methodist sermon from the following text, Viz.
when those caught living “The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest bring with thee[”]
Sunday 21 I have been reading and writing very near all day. The weather continues fine
Captain Allred returned late this morning from Bridger but brings no cattle as there was none to be had. He says we must stay here till relief comes from the Valley and he doubts not it is on the way by this time.
Monday 22 Went out hunting this evening with brother Allred, killed but 1 duck. Drove the cattle to water and returned to camp. Two men were sent to the post for a bag of flour who returned very late so our supper was still later.
Tuesday 23 Passed the day in writing to my wife & to my father & family part of the time and in reading the rest. My cough is getting much better.
Wednesday 24 6 Months From Home.
Wrote till about 10 o’clock A.M. I then took my rifle and went out to hunt, could see nothing but a few ducks, killed one of them and returned to camp.
Thursday 25 Have spent the day in study.
One of the under wagon masters of Williams & Hoopers last train is stopping with us to night. He says their train is about 50 miles back on the Sweetwater & that he has been sent forward to procure cattle if any can be had.
Friday 26 Ate the last mouthful of bread stuff we had this morning at breakfast.
The Lord opened the heart of a gentile trader to let us have a bag (100 lbs) of flour with a promise of paying him $15 at some future time. So we have had supper if we didn’t have dinner.
Saturday 27 The weather still continues fine and I enjoy good health for which I am ever grateful.
Sunday 28 Severel Crow warriors passed our camp this morning. Killed the fatted calf.
We had a glorious conversation in our bowery this evening upon principles. I learned a great many things, from brothers Allred & Sly. The various topics on which we conversed were “Materiality, Celestial Marriage, Adam the God of this earth, tithing, & consecration.[”]
In order to get a complete endowment all that is required of a man is to consecrate himself with all he has to the Lord. This I have long understood but have heard it explained better this evening then I ever did before.
I have not felt happier since I have been on this journey than I do this evening. O, God I thank thee for thy goodness & mercy
Monday 29 Passed the day as usual in reading and writing. Took my gun and went down the river to drive up the cattle for the night. I have prophesied in my own name that we shall have news from the Valley by tomorrow night. Brother Allred says he hopes I am a true prophet still he is afraid I am not.
Tuesday 30 About noon time by the sun a horseman was seen coming from towards the Valley under full run. We immediately concluded he must be some messenger and some of the boys went out to meet him who on coming up to him gave a shout of joy. The travellers first inquiry was for the captain and being told that he was in the bowery he dashed down the bank and looking through the willows he cried out “How are you father?” He proved to be the captain’s son. Joyful indeed was the meeting after 3 years separation. He said that half the Saints was on the road with 42 yoke of cattle which had been sent to our relief. About 7 oclock we were hailed by a party of horsemen and in going out we found that they were all bishop, Mr. Jackman and Williams wagon masters. The cattle will be here by tomorrow evening. “Hail Columbia”
Wednesday 31 Our relief teams arrived at 3 o’clock this evening with them came 15 teamsters. This is their 9th day from the City and the third from Bridger. The cattle that has been sent to us are not in the best condition as they have been working all summer and fall in the Kanyons [canyons], still brother Smoot thinks we shall dine in the Valley in less than 20 days unless we have a very severe snow storm. The boys brought some potatoes with them which are quite a rarity to us who have not had any for 4 or 5 months. They are worth in the Valley from 50 to 75 cts per bushel which is very cheap.
Thursday Nov 1 This has been a windy cold day. About 4 o’clock I took the Captains pony and with his son and one of the boys from the Valley crossed the river to see if the cattle were all right. Turned them all down to the river. As we were crossing back we saw Morris Train crossing at the ford. We rode up to see if there was any one we knew. I saw br. & sister Bryson & another man & woman that I knew at Atchison. After supper 4 of us crossed over again to stay with the cattle all night. Turned them all above us, built a fire in the willows and about 12 o’clock we lay down.
Friday 2 We found ourselves covered with snow this <morning> Drove our cattle over to the caral [corral] and started out at 10 oclock. Very cold day. The coldest we have had. Travelled 25 miles and camped at 9 o’clock over Ham’s fork of Green river[.] We stopped at the Fort and paid for the flour we got there, in coffee 69 lbs and the rest for money. This has been the coldest day we have had this fall. The wind which was strong, was luckily in our rear, but cold & piercing. The sand blew so thick that at times we could not see, especially after dark. For the last 3 miles I let the cattle take their own course for I could not see the road half the time.
Saturday 3 Crossed Ham’s fork at Blacks fork & are camped on the latter. Have travelled 14 miles to day and feel very tired. Helped drive loose cattle.
Sunday 4 We have had a good day for travelling though rather cold. I loaded my wagon and put my things into another. The captain intends leaving my wagon at Bridger so it is not able to go farther. We have come 20 miles to day and are camped 1½ miles from the Fort. All well. Three men were left to bring on my wagon and then [things] to fort Bridger where they will be left.
Monday 5 Everything indicated a storm of snow this morning and a few flakes actually fell but it passed off without snowing much. We stopped at Bridger untill past 12 o’clock and got some beef &c. There was quite a number of Indians at the fort at present. The wind has been very severe all day and we have had to face it every step. I went on with M.J. Sly and arrived at the camping ground full two hours before the wagons drove up. We are 12 miles from the fort which being added to 1½ miles our distance from it this morning meters 13½ miles that we have travelled to day. We are camped in the bed of the muddy, which is at present perfect dry in places. Had to have Gregory wagon & ox with the rest of the herd <at the Ft>
Tuesday 6 Got a late start this morning but travelled 19 miles and we camped 2 miles from the Tar springs. Our journey has been over a very hilly road. Walked most of the way and enjoyed myself looking at the scenery which is truly sublime. Br. Brown was at my side part of the time and made many observations on what we saw. Passed Soda springs and Quaking asp spring[.] Tis now 9 o’[c]lock and the rain is pattering on the cover finely. Br. Brown is bothering me so I can hardly write. I will box his jaw and put <put> up my writing.
Wednesday 7 The rain fell at intervals during the whole of the night. Captain Allred concluded to go with his son & send out more teams to help us over the big mountain. He offered me his invite to ride if I wanted to go along, but I thought I had better stay with my things. So they went alone. We have passed over a very wild rough country to day[.] Many grand and beautiful objects have been presented to our view, lofty and immense columns of solid rock, snow capped mountains, & vales and mountain streams of surpassing loveliness are the objects which have enraptured me. We are camped in Echo kanyon [Canyon] about 2 miles from Cash [Cache] cave having come 18 miles from Sulphur Spring last nights encampment.
Thursday 8 We have travelled all day in Echo Kanyon [Canyon] and are again camped in it, near Beaver dams. The road has been very rough in places, and one of the boys in going over a bad place broke his wagon tongue. We have come 16 miles. This kanyon is said to be 25 miles long: it certainly has its right name for if a noise is made it seems to be echoed by a thousand more from the rock and hollows around. After we caralled I went up the side of a mountain to get wood, and had from my elevated position a fine view of the surrounding hills and the valley in which we are camped. It is not near as cold as it was.
Friday 9 It rained all night and has been raining all day very nearly and in consequence Bishop Smoot concluded not to move to day. I went up on the mountain again this evening to get wood and clambering to the top I had most a splendid view. Every thing around looked red, rocks, grass, trees and every thing else indeed it was beautiful.
Saturday 10 When I got up this morning it was snowing very hard and it has continued to do so all day. Got breakfast and set out in company with brother Brown ahead of the wagons. We walked for some time untill we got tired when we stopped to wait for the teams. In consequence of the snow it has been very hard going all day. About noon we met brother John Sharpe and another man who say that more teams are awaiting us at the foot of big mountain[.] We are camped two miles from East Kanyon [Canyon] having come 16 miles since morning.
Sunday 11 Snow fell to the depth of six inches last night. Got up late. Didn’t start untill 11 oclock and then travelled 10 miles, and are now encamped half a mile from the ford of the big mountain. We find bros. Warner & Stolworthy here in charge of the cattle sent back to help us in. We are now 22 miles from the City. We have come over the mountain with br. Sly. We divided our mess into two this evening. The big mountain is 4 miles from its base to its summit. It has now quit snowing but is colder than ever.
Monday 12 We arose at an early hour this morning[,] ate breakfast [,] drove up the cattle and were off before 8 o clock A.M. Crossed the big mountain passed through West Kanyon [Canyon] and we camped close to the old man Hatch’s about 2 miles from little mount[ain.] Our days journey is 10 miles[.] It is now 11 oclock at night and I am ½ a mile from camp with 11 others herding the cattle and here we have got to stay till day break. The snow is falling thick & fast.
Tuesday 13 <29 weeks from home> Arose from my snowy bed early and helped drive up the cattle. My last night in the mountains proved to be my worst for I suffered much from the cold.
We got over the little mountain in safety[,] passed through Emigration Kanyon [Canyon] and rolled into the City of the Great Salt Lake at 5 o’clock P.M. Thank God for so much.