"Our Emigration on the Plains," St. Louis Luminary, 8 September 1855, 166.
Our Emigration on the Plains—Organization of a Branch at Atchison—Arrival of Missionaries in Texas.
We have received interesting communications from our brethren on the Plains, from which we learn that general good health prevails in all the companies, now journeying upon the prairies. Elder Edward Stevenson writes from Platte Bridge, 135 miles from Fort Laramie, and says: "As the mail is about leaving for the States, I hasten to inform you that the company from Texas is in good health and fine spirits, and our cattle is in good condition. We have had no trouble with the Indians, only to feed a few of them that came into camp, who seemed friendly. The feed from Laramie is rather poor for the season has been very dry. Most of the traders have left for the States, and those who remain are taken with a fearfulness of the Indians, who may come upon them. Reports are not favorable concerning the Indians, but we do not fear anything only to offend our God." Brief communications from the first and last companies will be found in another column, which though short will not fail to interest those whose friends are journeying in those companies. It will be interesting for our brethren in St. Louis, to remember that we have sent the first company from our own immediate ranks, comprising our very Bishop and Parson; the last company is conducted by our worthy President and brave General, Milo Andrus. With such pioneers and such a rear guard we think the Emigration is highly favored.
When the companies first entered upon the Plains it was rumored up and down the country that they were killed and scalped by the Indians. It is now rumored that Governor Young has dispatched messengers from the valley to send back the emigrants to the stakes, so that they be not starved to death—and every rumor no matter how stupid and ridiculous, never fails to secure its dupes, who would stretch their stomachs infinitum to swallow something crude and extravagant concerning the Mormons.
We have been favored with a brief communication from Elder A. L. [Andrew L.] Siler, from which we learn that the brethren of Atchison have organized themselves into a branch of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, consisting of thirty members. Andrew L. Siler, was chosen President who called upon John A. Jost and Albert Shaw, to be his counselors. It is desirable that the brethren who are scattered around the upper country, should feel after the spirit of God, gather themselves together, as much as possible, report themselves to the Presidency in this city, and organize themselves if it be wisdom, and in all cases communicate their proceedings to us, that a correct record may be kept in this city of all the Saints who come within the limits of this stake of Zion. Elder Jas. [James] McGaw, will probably attend to the general regulation of the affairs of the church in Weston, Leavenworth, St. Joseph, Atchison, &c., as soon as possible after his return from the Cherokee Nation; in the meantime let the brethren seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, keeping the commandments of God, and they will not walk in darkness.
Elder James Cooper writes us from Texas where he has recently arrived in company of W. C. Moody from Salt Lake City, by way of the Cherokee Nation. After describing their visit, among their old Texian friends in the "Nation," and the organization of the Cherokee branch, he says: "The door seemed to be open in that country for a great and glorious work to be done." We shall be happy to hear from brothers Cooper and Moody as often as they have anything interesting to communicate, in the meantime we suggest that they correspond with Elder B. [Benjamin] L. Clapp, Troy, Freestone Co., Texas, who will direct them in their future labors in that country.