William Woodward, "Iowa Correspondence," The Mormon, 28 June 1856, 2.
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CAMP, NEAR IOWA CITY,
June 19, 1856.
PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR—Dear Brother :
Thinking you would like to hear from the Mormon camp induced me to write this letter.
The Mormon camp for the European emigration to Utah is situated about two miles west of Iowa City; it is a pleasant location. The site was selected by Bishop Cunningham, under the direction of President Taylor. Elder Spencer is President of the emigration department, assisted by James Ferguson. Daniel Tyler is Bishop of the camp; Daniel Spencer and James Ferguson are his counselors. Chancey [Chauncey] G. Webb superintends the making of hand-carts. Edward Bunker superintends the making of ox-yokes, ox-bows and the hauling of timber. David Grant is captain of the guard. John D.
T. McAllister is commissary. William Woodward is clerk to the camp. Besides the above named, the following returning missionaries are in camp : Dan. Jones, William Walker, John A. Hunt, G. D. Grant, John McDonald and B. W. Hodgetts.
G. D. Grant came into camp on the 17th, with 16 mules. Mr. Thatcher accompanied him to this place. John Van Cott is expected in camp in a few days with a large herd of cattle, numbering from 450 to 475 head.
Elders Erastus Snow and Daniel Spencer came into camp last night about ten o'clock. Brother Spencer has been on business to St. Louis.The first hand-cart company of Mormon emigrants left the camp on the 9th inst., under the charge of Capt. Edmund Ellsworth; he is assisted by John Oakley and William Butler. This company numbered 275 souls; they took with them 55 hand-carts, 3 wagons, 3 mules, one horse and 6 yoke of cattle. This company is accompanied with a brass band. Capt. Ellsworth's company left this point in fine spirits.The second hand-cart company rolled out of camp on the 11th. Inst. under the charge of Capt. D. D. McArthur; he is assisted by Spicer W. Crandell and Truman Leonard. This company numbers 222 souls; they took with them 44 hand-carts, two wagons and six yoke of oxen.
These two companies are prospering on their journey. They can out-travel the ox-teams that are along with them. James Ferguson has visited them on the road; they are in fine spirits and panting to cross the plains.The next hand-cart company that will start from this place will be composed mostly of Welsh Saints.
An ox-team company will leave in some eight or ten days time, under the charge of Capt. B. W. Hodgetts.
The camp is full of business. Health and peace prevail in our midst. Meetings are held on Sundays; much good instruction is given; many strangers attend. Some few are baptized into the Church.
The b'hoys desire a kind remembrance to you and wish you much success in editing THE MORMON and representing Deseret's interests at Washington.