Andrus, Milo, "Extracts of a Letter from Elder Andrus," St. Louis Luminary, 12 May 1855, 99.
CAMP OF ISRAEL, near Atchison, K.T.
Sunday, April 29, 1855
DEAR BRO. SNOW:—Through the tender mercies of our Father that is in Heaven. I am spared to address you once more upon the subject of the common salvation, that relates to the gathering of the people of God.
We arrived here at 12 o'clock P. M., Friday, 27th ult., with the same number that we left St. Louis with, so far as the Latter-day Saints are concerned, although many others, through fear, left the boat. Three deaths occurred on board, and several were put off on account of sickness. We have three cases of sickness in camp that are still very bad, and we are not fully prepared to say how they will terminate, but we hope and pray for the best. We found on our arrival, Br. [Richard] Ballantyne out at the Grove; Br. [Mark] Fletcher, his counselor, and Br. Siler were working with teams, who readily responded to our wishes, and hauled us and our luggage from the levee to our first camping ground, where we pitched our tents, and when night came on, we had a peacable and quiet place to lay down; the green grass around us, the rolling prairies in the distance, clad in their mantles of green, was a change from the muddy Missouri that all ssemed to enjoy with much delight. To add to our happiness, we met with Br. Ballantyne and the members of his little camp, under the open canopy of Heaven , and the shining beauties that the delightful moon gave to these prairie fields, and the singing of the sweet singers of Israel, as they died away in the distance, under Heaven's high-arched halls that were spread above our heads, caused all hearts that were not past feeling to rejoice, while we returned thanks unto the Lord for all past blessings.
We found Br. Ballantyne's camp in good health. Four or five families had moved out to Mormon Grove, and commenced putting in early garden seeds early on the morning of the 28th. In company with Elders Ballantyne and [James] McGaw, I started for Mormon Grove and vicinity, to search further in regard to water for stock, and to make further preparations concerning the opening of a farm, and also to systematize something that we could submit to you for your approval or disapproval, as the spirit may lead you[.] We found, in our travels out, that there was plenty of grass to sustain our stock, which made all feel, whose faces are set Zionward, as though they would like to be off, and I came to the conclusion that I would start after the stock on Monday morning, the 30th, and see to the getting down the flour and bacon, hoping by that time that the balance of the company that we left in St. Louis and our freight will be ready, and according to the spirit that is working in us, we should like to see them on the road.
Any suggestions you may feel to make or counsel, will be gladly received and cheerfully complied with. I am in hopes that we shall be able to get this letter into the hands of the clerk of the Polar Star, if not, I hope it will get to you without delay.
In council with Elders Ballantyne and McGaw, it was resolved that we would fence in one hundred and sixty acres, to be called the P. E. Fund Farm; that the entire farm and its interests be under the immediate control of the P. E. Fund Company. Any suggestions or instructions will be gladly received.
I remain your brother and servant in the Gospel of peace.