Transcript of George A. Smith autobiography and journals, 1839-1875.
View this source online
- Related Companies
- Brigham Young Vanguard Company (1847)
- Related Persons
- George Albert Smith Sr.
Thurs. Apr 8th Parley P. Pratt returned from England. I started my wagon on the pioneer trip.
Fri. 9th I started myself. One of my horses would not work and I sent him back. Traveled eleven miles.
Sat. 10th Camped seven miles east of the Horn Fork. I found my team too light and so got a yoke of cattle to help me on.
Sun. 11th Came up and crossed the Horn on a raft built by T[arleton]. Lewis; and S[tephen]. A. [H.] Godard. My wagon came near going off the raft. We feed our horses on cottonwood, brush and corn. Dr. W[illard]. Richards and my self were the last wagons that crossed the Horn. In all there were one hundred and seventy two wagons and one hundred and thirty six pioneers that crossed the Horn. We passed down the Horn about half a mile and formed a line. Myself on the extreme right.
Mon 12th Returned to Winter Quarters. Met in Council in the evening and continued to council until twelve o'clock. I went to bed feeling very tired and much bruised by riding horseback thirty five miles on a rough going nag.
Tues 13th John Taylor arrived from England. We met in council in the evening, and continued till one a.m. Prestnt [President] Brig. Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P Pratt, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Geo[rge]. A. Smith (A[masa]. Lyman sick) and E. T. Benson. Elders [John] Taylor and P[arley]. P. Pratt presented to the council some instruments which they had procured in England for the benefit of the pioneer company.
Apl. 13th two artificial horizons, two sex[tants], one circle of reflection, two borometers [barometers], one telescopes and several thermometers.
Wed. 14th Took leave of my family and started for my camp at about nine a.m. Left my youngest child Nancy Adelia with inflamation of the brain. It was the opinion of most that she would not live but a few hours. Two others of my family were sick. I left corn meal enough to last my family three days and no other provisions. My father let me have a yoke of cattle; rather poor and not well matched to help me on. I delivered them in charge of A[ddison]. Everett to take to camp. I reached the camp in the evening very tired and eat a hearty meal of catfish, honey and milk.
Thurs 15th My oxen came up & Several teams came in from Winter Quarters. We all hitched up and came up to the cam main camp, which is about eleven miles on the banks of the Platt[e]. Jesse C. Little came up with us in the evening from New Hampshire. The camp was called to gether and addressed by the President.
Friday After breakfast the camp was called to gether[.] One hundred and forty three men three women and two children. Opened by prayer by Prest. B. Young. Remarks by Geo. A. Smith, H. C. Kimball, and Bishops Whitney and Noble. Commenced organizing by appointing Cols. Markham, A Porter and Rockwood captains of hundreds or of seventy two or seventy one.
Tarleton Lewis, Addison Everett, Br. [James] Case, and John Pack captains of fifties. Charles Shumway, B[arnabas]. L. Adams, John Brown, Howard Egan, Seth Taft and the twelve who are along (8) Captains of tens. Col. [Stephen] Markham was appointed captain of a standing guard and he picked out forty eight men, twelve on a time to stand one half of the night. & Seventy two wagons besides the boat. At two p.m. we started and traveled up the Platt[e] four miles and camped in line at four o'clock. Weather cool and cloudy. The road keeps up the [Platte]. Rushes for our cattle. Geo[rge]. Wardle a native of Staffordshire, England is with me, he has an impediment in his speech and has charge of my teams: which consists of four cattle in poor order and a horse: he is occupies the offices of cook, bottle washer, &tc.
Sat. Started soon after nine a.m. and traveled up the Platt, on a sandy road, seven miles and camped, by a cotton grove, about eleven o'clock. Windy, and cold and cloudy. At eight a.m. the Thermometer stood a[t] twenty-six. At five p.m. the conference called to gether and formed in companies of tens. Prest. B. Young proposed that we organize as a military body. Brig. Young was elected Leut. General: S. Markham, Colonel, John Pack, first Major: Shadrac[h] Roundy, second Major.
Prest. B. Young then told every man who walked to carry a loaded gun and every teamster to have his where he could easily lay his hands on it: teams to travel by tens and not seperate: no man to leave his ten unless sent.
Tho[ma]s. Tanner was appointed captain of the Cannon with eight men. Tho[ma]s. Bullock clerk of the company. Geo[rge]. A. Smith was formed into the line next to E. T. Benson, Wilford Woodruff, Captain of the first ten, composed of nine men. Barometer twenty nine inches and eighteen hundredth. Feed, cotton wood and corn.
Sun. Cattle picked over the bottom being headed grass and short.
Barometer twenty eight and seventy eight hundredths at five p.m. Thermometer fifty three and five tenths, Mercury fifty two and nine tenths.
Ellis Eames returned in company with S [blank space] trading wagon[.] he was disheartened on account of being sick, and of some hurt by the falling of a tree.
Captains of tens, W. Woodruff 1st; E. T. Bensons 2nd; P[hinehas]. H[owe]. Young, 3rd; Johnson 4th; S[tephen]. H. Goddard 5th; C[harles]. Shumway 6th; [James] Case 7th; S[eth]. Taft 8th; H[oward]. Egan 9th; A[ppleton]. S. [Milo] Harmon 10th; J[ohn]. [S.] Higby [Higbee] 11th; L[evi]. Jackman, 12th: J[ohn]. Brown 13th; J[oseph]. Mathews 14th. Instructions from head quarters were, for every one to be at prayers at the sound of the bugled at half past eight to be in bed and the fires put out by nine. At five a.m. at bugle sound all to rise in their beds and pray and be ready to start at seven. Every man who does not drive a team to walk by the side of his wagon with his gun loaded and [blank space] and caps handy. The sound at of the bugle at any other hours but those named to be an alarm & Camp to form in a circle.
Mon Started at half past seven and traveled up the Platte bottom traveling twelve miles, Good road, and formed in a circle on the bank of the river. After resting and [blank space] traveled eight miles more roads as usual, Camped in a semi-circle on the north bank of the Platt at half past five o'clock. While we were resting O[rrin]. P[orter]. Rockwell, Jackson Redding, Thomas Brown and J[esse]. C. Little came up on horseback. Feed, corn and a few spears of grass. Latitude 41°24'5". Received a letter from John L. and the news that Nancy Adelia daughter of Nancy Clement died March 17th at midnight 12 o'clock. Received from Tho[ma]s. L. Kane by the hands of J. C. Little the present of a beautiful hunting whip with a dogs head and whistle upon the end of the whip. handle. My teamster having the head ache and I had most of the work to do. Just as I was getting in bed O. P. Rockwell called me out to taste some good brandy presented to him by Thos. L. Kane. I gave him a toast "that his goods and especially towards his enemies might increase a thousand fold yearly."
Tues Started at quarter to eight a.m. in two or three miles crossed Shell Creek stoped awhile. At noon. Latitude 41°25'2" camped in a semi circle on the bank of the Platt. Roads very level and good. Warm and fine breeze cloudy. Feed Cotton wood brouse and corn. The fishers brought in a fine lot of fishes (213) buffalo and camp. Distance eighteen miles.
Wed. 21st Started ox teams in line to themselves first: met some Pawnees who seemed very friendly-- Passed their village and a trading house off on or left about a mile. Stoped on the Loup Fork and camped in a line on the Fork at about five p.m., distance twenty two miles. Some presents were made to the indians while we rested and the chief appeared dissatisfied either with our presents or our not stoping or both. In the forenoon it was cloudy and sprinkled a little & About three p.m. it lightened [lightninged] and sprinkled a little over an hour quite hard: then the wind raised and continued blowing till bed time. A strong guard was set tonight on account of our nearness to the Paw sanees. I was on gaurd the first half of the night. All slept with their clothes on. Feed some new and old grass and corn.
Thurs 22nd Traveled about one and three fourths of a mile and crossed looking glass creek, which is about six yards wide, at a good ford. Came on to Beaver Creek (about yards wide) crossed into a good ford and rested. Latitude of ford 41°25'13": Meridian observation by Prof Orson Pratt. Camped at the Missionary station on Plum Creek. Feed good. Hay put up by our brethren last summer and corn fodder.
Warm and clear with a pleasant breeze. Distance eighteen miles.
As I was watering my horse in Plum Creek it commenced raising to group the bank when my foot slipped and went into the mud and at the same time my horse steped his hind foot on my right instep and still kept restive and as I was thus fastened down he steped his fore foot on my brest twice; once where it used to be so sore when I was subject to spitting blood. Dr. Willard Richards, and Elder W. Woodruff relieved me.
Friday 23rd Visited the Government station, for the Pawnees, which was burnt down last summer by the S[i]oux. It is situated on the west side of Plum Creek about half a mile below Missionary Station. The buildings were on three sides of a hollow square with the south side picketed. There had been apparently some six or seven. The blacksmiths shop was about two hundred yards lower down[.] Father Case, who is now in our company, was a government farmer at the time of the burning. The Pawnees were all away at the time, but about twenty children which the Missionaries secreted and soon after left for fear the S[i]oux would find them and burn them out.
The Missionary Station is situated on the second bottom of the Loup Fork and Plum Creek with a low range of hills skirting round on the north and west and a wide open view east and south of the Loup and its bottom and islands and the dividing ridge beyond. Most of the timber is Cottonwood and confined mainly to the island. The Missionaries sent a message to Bro. Geo. Miller and his company, who were camped about twenty miles below here. He sent on ninteen men who traveled in the night and arrived about daylight. The S[i]oux seeing them left.
For this piece of voluntary and good service in time of Need: the missionaries not so much as asked them to eat.
The station has six log houses: two of them one and a half stories high, besides several out houses with about nine hundred acres of ground fenced and broken. It is a very beautiful location for the Prairie Country and the first one of this kind I ever visited in the far west. Lying about the Government Station were several some seventeen good ploughs irons, some iron for ploughs, three wagon wheels &tc., &tc. The Missionaries Station was under the direction of the Rev. J. Dunbar . A good surface of ground was broken around the Government Station. At a quarter past twelve we started and crossed Plum Creek at good ford, with quite steep banks. In About four miles crossed Ash Creek at a ford came on to the Loup. Prof. Orson Pratt crossed over with his carriage and then hitched my oxen to Bro. W. Woodruffs wagon before his horses and went back over and helped haul two other wagons over part way over with the drag rope. I then returned to my wagon and we went up the Loup about a half mile further and camped at about half past five p.m. Within half a mile of the Pawnee town that was burned last winter by the S[i]oux[.] there are three wagons the other side.
The ford we crossed was very bad owing to the quick sand. I of suffered no particular inconvenience from my hurt, yesterday evening, except a pain in my instep. Weather clear and very pleasant: the leaves begin to show quite green on the Elm and Coffee nut trees. Distance six miles.
I left my boots on the bank when I went into the water and L[orenzo] Young thinking some one had forgotten them put them into his wagon which put me to the inconvenience of walking half a mile over a burning Prarrie to the camp. The Council decided to build a raft in the morning to aid the boat in crossing our goods. The horse that the Omaha's stole from me in Winter Quarters died last night. apparently choked to death by his chain halters being hitched too long and near a bad hole by one of the teamsters. He was worked out this far by Prest. B. Young, who remarked to me before we started that he did not think he would be of much use to me and so I delivered him up. The range of the Pawnee town just above our camp occupies some ten acres of ground and were partially fortified by an embankment of earth and sod nearly finished and there were upwards of two hundred lodges built in a circular form averaging from twenty to sixty feet in diameter inside and from fifteen to thirty ft n in h[e]ight with a covered entrance of some five to ten feet all covered with earth. Interspersed promiscuously were the stables for the horses made of poles fastened in the ground upright and close together and bound at the h[e]ighth of one head by poles lashed around horizontally: their cache holes for securing their corn and [blank space] also dug promiscuously, the opening being from eighteen inches to two feet and the cache lined with grass, matting or puncheon. This town was the noted village of 1st Grand Band of the 2nd Division of the Grand Pawnee Nation and contained as Father Case says about six thousand inhabitants. The Pawnees have been and are yet a terror to all the western tribes. Their town was burned when they were all away and only two of the lodges were left entire. It was beautifully situated on the north bank of the Loup, at a point where the river comes directly into the bluff of the second bottom, and about one mile east of Willow Creek, rising about fifty feet: the bottom extends about very level back about eleven miles and there the land gradualy rises to the general elevation of the prarrie north east and west: upon this slope and elevation are the graves of their braves and noted men who were placed in their graves in a sitting posture, the whole was then covered with poles and matting and a circular mound of earth and sod raised over it to the highth of from four to six feet. A Pawnee could have as many wives as he could buy: but after a girl was once sold and became a widow or was deserted she then married, if at all, without price. The waters of the Platt are visible from this point at an apparent distance of fifteen miles.
Sat. 24th Helped to carry two logs for the raft then got my oxen and yoked them for the brethren to haul the raft timber. Looked about the ruins some time and returned to the wagon about ten a.m. quite exhausted by with the labors of the morning and the effects of my water works yesterday. The brethren were crossing the river. Prest. B. Young and some others were unloading and passing their goods into the boat and crossing their wagons at the ford. The majority went directly to the ford with all their loading and many crossed without taking out any[thing] doubling their teams. They traveled all keeping one track, the better the ford became, the quick sand packing and becoming smooth and hard. At between three and four p.m. we were all safe over and felt to thank the Lord. Rolled on up the Loup four miles and camped on its margin. Weather very pleasant and the grass showing quite green. The rafts were finished in good season and done all the good that our old raftsmen said they would. A man crossed over on the raft and left it on a sand bar; it shipped a good deal of water: the other was let loose and floated down the current.
Sun. 25th Very pleasant weather but a little cloudy and a fine breeze. The grass affords quite a bit of feed. In the evening the brethren were called together by the horn and addressed by Prest. B. Young and others myself and others upon the principal of saving the game that we kill. Prest. B. Young remarked that he was perfectly satisfied with the men and their movements.
Mon. 26th We were all aroused just before daybreak by the bugle. Caused by three guards firing upon some indians who were creeping in to steal our horses. There were six indians. Started and traveled up the Loup along the edge of the second bottom, over unburnt prarrie with no wagon tracks, but our own and camped on the margin of a small creek with a limestone bed about one mile from its entrance to the Loup. Beautiful weather. Soil sandy. Vegetation short, both on account of the sand and the dryness of the climate. Occasionaly patches of buffalo and musket grass and artimesia (or wild sage) Timber much scarce in the Loup and ats is on the creek only a few short willows and elms. About dark Bro. Little and Dr. W. Richards horses were missing. Some search was made by moonlight but they were not found. Traveled seven hours; distance nin[e]teen miles.
Apl. 27th Started quartering for the Platt at the same time [blank space] Rockwell, Mathews, Eldridge and Thos. Brown started back to look for the missing horses. We soon reached the burnt prarrie which looked quite green. Along our route buffalo dung and bones were quite plentiful. Buffalo and musket grass frequent: Passed a prarrie dog village, a rattlesnake was in one of their holes and an owl in another. Soil sandy, vegetation principally grass in short bunches. Route, general direction of S.W. by S. over the ground between the Loup and Platte the general elevation is level but rendered more or less uneven by the effect of the high winds in the sand. Most of the time there was neither tree or bush in sight but a good deal of masonite and a few rose bushes. No road but what we made. Camped by a small creek two yards wide with a sand bed, & running into the Platt. Grass pretty good. Weather very pleasant. Soon after we camped the wind raised quite high and sprinkled a little but it soon blew over. An antelope was killed by Bros. J. Brown and R. C. Stevens, two of our hunters. I got a mess of very good meat. About dark the brethren went for the horses returned; they found the trail of both horses and followed it within a short distance of our Indian camp when they were stoped by fifteen indians rising to their feet, at a distance of about one hundred yards, from behind a mound. The indians made toward them and tried to get their horses, but failing, they made for a wicket on the Loup about half a mile off and as they went they fired six times upon our men without damage. Our men did not fire. Rockwell & the rest of the men knew them to be Pawnees. Soon after we camped a horse belonging to Lewis Barney was accidently shot in the fore leg the bone being broken badly. Time of travel seven hours for the horse teams, distance eighteen miles.
Wed. 28th Yesterday and today I read a book of 212 pages, as I rode along in my wagon, all without my glasses which being more than I have read without them in the same length of time since I left the Missouri. Crossed the creek before us at a muddy ford. Traveling time of horse teams, six hours distance fifteen miles. Up the Platte and as we supposed opposite Grand Island to which all the timber is confined. The roads and country around has been very level even for this level region. Soil not quite so sandy would to all appearance be quick and fertile for crops if the rain falls seasonably. The horse that was accidently shot last evening was shot dead this morning to put him out of misery. Weather some cooler their being quite a breeze, & cloudy.
Thurs. 29th Followed an old trading trail with occasionally as wagon track. Crossed a creek at a good ford, about eight yards wide, supposed to be the Wood River of Mitchels map. There is a large body of beautiful level land between this creek and the Platte with a quick soil and sufficient timber if used carefully for quite a large settlement.
Cloudy, and windy and cool in the evening. Feed, rushes on the island, cotton, brouse, grass and corn when we have it. Not a sufficient quantity of grass to sustain teams without hay.
Travel time seven hours, distance eighteen miles.
Apl. 30th Started up the Platte on the old trail w[h]ere ox teams in summer should stop over night: rolled on and camped without wood and no water except the little we had to dig for.
Wind, high and cold from the west. Air full of haze by smoke.
Thermometer at sundown 41°.
Scenery and soil as usual, no timber except on the Island. Travel time seven hours, distance seventeen miles.
May 1st Thermometer at sunrise 30°.
Cloudy and very cool with high winds.
About ten o'clock came in sight of the first buffalo we had seen. At a little past noon several of the men started for them on horseback. We had a fine view of the chase from our line. They killed seven calves, four cows and one bull. We had plenty of good meat for supper; it is much better than beef. Travel time nine hours distance eighteen miles. We traveled quite slowly as some ox teams were weak for want of food.
Sun. Thermometer at sunrise 20°. Ice in the water bucket one forth of an inch thick. Road some rough on account of ravines made by the water as it came from the bluffs in rainy seasons and by the prarrie dog holes which cover one thousand acres of land and by the buffalo licks, caused by the buffalo licking up the saltish white deposit (saline efforescence of Fremont) the which have covered the soil thickly for the last forty miles. Most of the men are busy taking care of their meat. Started at four p.m. and went two miles for better feed and camped by a prarrie [blank space] close by the Platte with no wood but small willows. Distance three miles. Clear and pleasant in the morning tho cool: It soon became cloudy, more wind and cooler.
I eat very heartily of buffalo meat but got rousted out very early by its effects.
Latitude. Two miles above the head of Grand Island.
Observation by Prof. Orson Pratt 40°41'42".
Mon. 3rd Cloudy but warm in the forenoon. Strong wind and quite cool in the afternoon. A party went out to hunt buffalo, and killed two antelopes and returned.
<1847> A party went up the river to look at the rout[e] and feed. One of the head ones saw some Indians and they returned. Distance up, ten or eleven miles. A party was then sent out to call in the hunters. We layed by to rest our teams and let them feed while we hunt buffalo. The hunters of the hunters came in about dark and brought two calves they had killed. The cannon was fired about nine p.m. to let the Indians know we had one.
Tues. 4th At four a.m. the cannon was again fired. The sun rose clearly and pleasantly. We crossed the small [blank space] at its outlet. Passed over about three miles and tarried a little. Three trading wagons passed opposite us on the Oregon routes. One of their men named Charles Beaumont waded over to us in water knee deep: A width about two miles. They were loaded with putty & Had been sixteen days from Fort Laramie. We improved the few momets he would wait and furnished him fifty one letters for Winter Quarters and presented him with about half a bushel of bread and flour. An article he said he had not eaten for two years. He would not take money for carrying our letters and appeared very friendly and left us with his good wishes. Bros. J Brown and [blank space] Woolsey accompanied him to see his leader.
Wind quite high but warm. Grass poor the prarrie being but recently burned by the Indians.
Traveled eleven miles and camped near the Platte by a clear, prarrie run and in good feed not burned.
J. [blank space] Brown and company came back and reported pretty good feed and a hard road (Oregon route). An [blank space] .
Camp was called together, and after hearing the pros and cons, it was voted unanimously to keep up the north side of the Platte to Larimie. No fresh signs of indians except the prarrie fires, near and among the bluffs opposite, ahead and behind in places as far as we can see. They are probably, burning it for buffalo range.
Wed. 5th Sun rose clear, and Warm wind from the south. Buffalo feeding at a little distance, like tame cattle. We crossed the run before us at a good graveled ford our rout being over fresh burned ground between the old trail and the river. Soil soft. Turned towards the old trail about noon and turned out to rest. Grass poor.
In the afternoon five calves and one cow was killed: the calf was taken and roasted alive. We rolled on and was stoped about four p.m. by a wall of fire reaching from the river to the bluffs. We turned, quartering back about a mile and camped, by the Platte. Found a patch of good feed. I was within three or four rods of an old bull this afternoon who seemed to [be] asleep or resting. He was thin in flesh and his coat was shabby[.] after a few minutes he got up and put off quite smart. Distance fourteen miles.
Thur. 6th Sun rose, clear and pleasant. Started at half past five and took the old trail. Soon passed the fire which burnt slow from the dankness of the night and a shower an hour or two before daylight[.] also a narrow strip of grass and turned out to feed. The calf was kicked to death last night by a horse or mule. Just before noon a very young calf followed Luke Johnson into the line and was put into a wagon.
Large and small herds of buffalos in sight all around and on both sides of the river. No timber on either bank nor on the small islands: it is getting scarce: there are a few trees skirting along towards the foot of the bluffs. North bottom much wider for a short distance, then south.
Quite a breeze. Camped in a semi-circle on the bank of the Platte. Distance twenty miles. Feed poor and the teams failing.
Fri. 7th Our fuel last night and this morning was buffalo dung. Camp called together to see about [blank space] for the cannon &tc. Wind high from the north. West Waiting for a [blank space] to be fixed and our teams to fill themselves. Started at quarter to eleven and stoped at three making eight miles. Camped in a circle on the Platte. Buffalo very plentiful, passing in large and small herds continually, to and from the river to drink. Large herds all around. Feed tolerably good. Prest. Brig. Young's spy glass found by O. P. Rockwell. Camp inspected.
Very cloudy and quite cool towards evening sprinkled a little.
Sat. May 8th. Clear and pleasant. Course up the Platte. There are countless numbers of buffaloes on both sides of the river covering both bottoms a width of from four to five miles, and in length eight miles to our nooning halt and in places they were so thick that the surface of the ground appeared black with them and, the grass is so eaten out that weeds are getting possession, as in an old pasture, and their dung is as plentiful as it commonly is about a barnyard: in fact and the bottom today looks like an old yankee pasture that needs turning over without requiring any manure to be hauled on it. O. P. Rockwell killed a cow. While nooning, two of Smoot's horses went out to see the buffalo a few hundred yards off: they soon commenced running with them. Grover and J. Brown had quite a race on their horses to get them back. Rolled on and camped in a semi-circle on the Platte, just below where the bluffs make to the river for a short distance. Feed eat off. Distance 11 miles.
Sun. May 9th. Rolled on 7 miles and passed the bluffs by going down the back, and keeping up on the sand beach and low bottom a short distance very easily. But should the water rise there is no difficulty in passing over the hills about a mile. Some of the boys had quite a play with the head and horns of a two-year old bull, rather poor. Camped in a semi-circle on the bank. Camp called together; remarks made, and rules read. The bottom is one mile wide. Soil sandy. Feed eat out.
Mon. May 10th. A board was put up on a stake and written on it "look in this and you will find a letter." The letter was put there for the next company.
Cool and cloudy. Wind from the north east.
On the other side of the above named board was written "Three hundred and sixteen miles from Winter Quarters, westward bound, Pioneers."
Road, over unburnt grass; no wagon track but our own; bottom widening out from one to three miles. Crossed a gravel run from one to three six miles wide. Clear vegetation [blank space] soil good, quick, and well watered. Plenty of buffalo in sight along the foot of the bluffs. J[oseph]. Hancock killed a three-year old heifer. Meat good. A deer was also killed. Rolled on and crossed a small run and camped in a semi-circle on the bank, opposite a small island, with plenty of brouse grass plenty and wood, and water plentiful.
Warm with but little wind. Distance, 10 miles. The bluffs are low but moderately high hills rising and falling quite uniformly to certain elevations: and as a general thing they are considerably lower on this side than on the other, all the way from the point. We struck the Platte.
It Barren and cut up in many places on their sides and tops by the effect of the wind and rain on the light soil: in other places covered with a scanty growth of grass. Two gorges through the ridge for the passage of the runs we crossed.
Tues. May 11th. The horn blowed at four a.m. Sun rose clear. Air cool: no wind. Light clouds. Blacksmithing going on. Rolled on. Watered the cattle at a point just below where a low spur of the bluffs comes to the river. Passed over the spur and crossed a gravelly run five yards wide. Rolled on and camped in a circle about half a mile from water. Grass middleing good. No wood. Buffalo chips for fuel. A few buffalo seen.
Cloudy wind from the south. Distance 9 miles. The bluffs lay to our right, about a mile. We passed, today, an island of some length with a few large cottonwood and several smaller trees on it. The bottom on the south side has been quite narrow and the buffs quite abrupt and cut up very much into points and ravines opposite our camp. The bottom on the south begins to widen again and the bluffs slope down and become smoother with more grass on them. Prof. Pratt took an observation.
Latitude half mile west. Prof. Pratt took an observation, Latitude 40°7'1".
Wed. May 12th Quite cool with a south east wind. Crossed a small run and rolled on.
Clear and warm. Soil good and grass much better than it has been. Width of bottom from one hundred and fifty one to three miles. Elevation of bluffs from one to one hundred and fifty feet. Soil good and light colored. Distance 12 miles. Camped in a circle near the mouth of a small run about one mile from the location of an Indian camp (probably S[i]oux) which had been vacated from seven to ten days. They had killed several buffalos, and had left a good many old moccasins.
Thurs. May 13th. Cold and cloudy. High north east wind. Crossed a small run and on, and passed a clear sand bottom creek, junction of Bluff creek, about 10 rods wide: supposed to be the rawhide of the traders. Camped in a semi-circle on its bank near its outlet. Distance 11 miles.
Fri. May 14th. Cloudy and cool with a south east wind. Lightning and rain early in the morning. Our route lay across the narrow bottom and wound among the hills a few miles towards a point a mile and a half above our camp where the bluffs make to the river. Quite bold for half a mile. Turned to the edge of the bottom again and nooned. Not a tree and hardly a bush in sight. Bluffs very sandy today but still afford pretty good pasture. J. Higbee killed an antelope and a badger. Passed on and camped in the form of an S. owing to a mistake. J. Brown killed an antelope as did P. H. Young. Luke Johnson and E. Glines killed a bull. Meat brought in next morning in pretty good order. O. P. Rockwell shot a bull and Amasa Lyman, J. Brown, [Roswell] Stevens and others followed it some distance in the bluffs and killed it. Only brought in a little that night as it was late and far off from camp. Camp is about half a mile from the river and the same distance from a low spur of the bluffs which makes to the river. Feed pretty good. Distance 8 miles. Route crooked and among the hills. Roads sandy.
Sat. May 15th. Cloudy with a cool north west wind. Quite a shower at breakfast time. Started in the rain and rolled over the low hills; the roads being very sandy and crooked. Passed on to the bottoms: they are narrow and wet and sandy at the edge. Stop[p]ed to feed the grass being quite good. Rodney Badger fired at what we supposed to be an indian creeping on the horses. It made off without even saying Good by. In the after noon Cool and cloudy, with a north west wind and a little shower. Rolled in and camped in a circle about half a mile from the Fork. O. P. Rockwell killed a bull. Grass good. Distance seven miles.
Sun. May 16th. I have not been well for the last three days, but feel better today. Cloudy and very cool with a north west wind. In the afternoon not so cloudy but some warmer. Camped assembled for meeting. Remarks were made by Col. Markham and Rockwood and Heber C. Kimball, E. Glines killed a bull and an antelope with two young ones. The small runs we crossed rise a mile or two in the bluffs and are more numerous than heretofore. The country for some distance back is [so] closely pastured that there is no appearance of fire having run over it for years. Dug four wells the water being shallow and iron rusty. Plenty of buffalo all the time.
Mon. May 17th. Very cool, cloudy and windy. A. M. Harmon put another wheel to his roadometer gaged for ten miles. We have counted our distances by this roadometer since the twelfth; When it was put in operation with one wheel for one mile. Passed over a low spur of the bluffs about two miles in length. We then took a route along the foot of the bluffs. The bottoms for ten miles average width of three miles. Crossed several runs, some sloughs and quite a length of wet ground. Quartered over for the river and camped in a circle within one mile of the wet ground. Passed a point where the bluffs came to the water on the south side for the first time and continued on for about one mile to a space of very narrow bottom; then, the bluffs came down again quite bold; with a good number of small cedar trees among them and the appearance of rock for the first time. Three bulls and two antelopes were killed and brought in. It was quite warm from ten a.m. till three p.m; Dug three or four wells, about four feet deep. The water was good. Distance, twelve and three fourth miles.
Tues. May 18th. Cloudy and warm with a south east wind. Captains of ten called together and the camp and horsemen especially received a lecture from Prest. B. Young. Route quartered for the bank and came on it, just below the cedar bluffs. Crossed a clear run directly, about one rod wide (rattlesnakes); more old grass than usual. Nooned. Cloudy, heard a report of thunder from W. S. W. Sprinkled a little occasionally. Camped on the west bank of a pretty clear run two or three yards wide (Eagle) and about half a mile from its outlet. Through the night it rained quite moderately most of the time. North wind. Feed poor. Distance fifteen and three forth miles.
Wed. May 19th. Started at five a.m. to find better feed. Crossed a small run and turned out. Grass tolerably good. the bottom being narrow and whiteish. Started about eight a.m. when it began to rain quite steady and fast. Wind from e the east. Soon crossed another run. Clear and about one rod wide, and began to rise the sand bluffs before us which come to the water for about three forthe of a mile. Road up and through a sandy place. Hard pulling. Passed on to the bottom and crossed a small run. Went a short distance and turned out on account of the rain: it still continueing quite hard at times, but more or less all the time. Started again at three p.m. and rolled on two miles and then camped in a semi-circle on the bank of the river. It is still raining hard and continued to do so till nearly dark. Wind N. N. E.
Thurs. May 20th. Cool and cloudy. Wind N. N. W. Feed middleing. Started at eight a.m. and soon crossed a small run. Rolled over withgood ground for our road. Stoped at half past eleven. Average width of bottom two miles. Soil good. On the south side bluffs and hills come to the water nearly all the way with with a good many small cedars. There was one cedar on the north side with a young indian laid on its top covered in a buffalo hide with his wooden bowl and spoon, and a small bag or pouch. Appearance of a horizontal strata of rocks on both sides much more on the south side (probably lime stone). Just before we stoped we passed a large patch of pigweeds. Cool. Feed good. Several very small islands scattered along all the way but hardly supporting bushes, until now a few have small cedar, trees. Four men went over in a boat and found the Oregon trail, or road to come on the South Fork down the hollow and opposite our noon point. Plenty rock, limestone, (small hence called "Ash Hollow",). Rolled on and passed between a low spur of hills and the outlet of a small run three or four yards wide. Stoped directly on its bank in an oval form. The bluffs opposite are called Casele [Castle] Bluffs, and are just eight miles from "Ash Hollow" and a half a mile from the river with. A low range of mountains just back of our camp. A few buffalo seen. Distance fifteen and three fourth miles.
Fri. May 21st. Pleasant. No wind. Clouds breaking. Started at eight a.m. and stoped at half past eleven in the middle of the bottom. A book of distances was put up in camp. The hills are retreating. Width of bottom from three to four miles. Soil good and quite wet in some places from the rain on the 19th inst. South side no bottom. Distance in the forenoon seven and three forth miles. Three or four deere seen. The limestone strata of the south side continue very regular as to higtht and appearance. Feed good. Plenty pigweed to be seen yesterday. Started a quarter to two and kept along the centre of the bottom., There seems to be much tall old grass resembling timothy or redtop. Turned to the right and crossed a low hill which leads to the river. Passed on through a fine pig weed patch near the base of the low hill on our right and the river a mile or two to our left. Stoped the line of march at falf past five in view of our fast horsemen and two s[i]oux. Soon started again for the river a short distance and camped in a circle on the south side. A little above our camped were a few ash trees in a hollow, at whose back the rocky ledges terminate, and on the west the elevation is lower. Hills more rounded and smoother for some distance up the river. Seen a few buffalo up the river on the south side where there is but little bottom. Distance this afternoon seven and three forth miles. A portion of the leg bone of a very large animal was petrified and weighed twenty seven pounds. It was found by the roadside as we crossed the low hills in a dry and gravelly channel caused by the rain water of the hilly country.
Sat. May 22nd. Pleasant but a little cloudy and a breese from the south. Started at a quarter past eight. At about eleven a.m. crossed a clear run three or four yards wide, emptying just above the cedar bush bank, opposite. Stoped to rest at half past eleven opposite the lower end of a line of small scattering pine trees on[e] mile long on the south ridge. Roads good. Soil gravely. A weed called, "Old man" also "Rag weed" plentiful. Come across prickely pears occasionally. There are of narrow bottom on the south side. On the north the average width is about one mile. Feed rather short and scattering. Points of the Oregon road visible occasionally. Started about two p.m. and crossed the gravel beds of several [blank space] pulling over them, for four and one forth miles[.] Began to wind around the hills for about three miles. The roads were good except crossing the dry bed of a run three times. Rolled on a half mile from the river side and the same from bluffs north: called by the Prest. Bluff Ruins, from their resemblance to old fortification, with their turrets, towers, walls etc. caused by the giving way of the Morley fortification: and then the limestone strata above, tender the constant effect of rain, sun, wind etc. Distance fifteen and one half miles. The gravel of the dry runs and that are scattered about on the hillsides and tops, are of all the usual sizes of gravel and mostly of foreign rock such as several kinds of granite, quartz, greenstone etc. etc a great variety of beautiful flint.
Sun. May 23rd. Sunday A little cloudy but quite warm. Nathaniel Fairbanks was bit[t]en by a rattlesnake and was quite sick after it. About noon the camp assemblIed. Meeting began by singing. Prayer by the President. Singing by the assembly. E. Snow made a few remarks after which the President made a few remarks spoke some time, and advanced many excelent ideas. More remarks by Geo. A. Smith and some other brethren. All were doing and felt well. About 5 a.m. the wind raised and blew hard and about one p.m. it began to rain hard and continued untill ten p.m. The wind kept blowing hard through the night. Latitude observation 41°33'03". Barometer highth of bluff above the surface of the river 235 feet. A board with a letter plugged on it put up.
Mon. May 24th. Very cloudy and cool, the wind being N.N.W. the same as last night and middling high. Some snow flakes flying. I put off my flannel yesterday morning it was so warm: this morning put on both cotton and flannel it was so cold. Started at eighteen minutes past eight and stoped at thirty-five minutes past twelve. Distance ten miles. Still cool and cloudy. The bottom is more rolling than usual. Road hard and good. and A singular shaped and lone bluff opposite on the south side, called by the President an old court house. Two S[i]oux came to us while we were resting. I lay awake most of the night, towards morning I dreamed about my family and that my children were in fine fun and glee. Started at a quarter to three and rolled on six miles and a half and camped in a circle about one forth of a mile from the river. Feed poor but roads good. Bottom wide and more level. Just as we camped thirty-five Dakota men, women and children mounted, and visited us. They seemed very friendly & clean and well dressed and, well behaved. They had a U.S. flag. Albert Carrington was sent out to them to read two letter they had written in French both found to be recommends. One O Washtecha ow le belle journec who understood four languages and was a good pilot and a good indian, etc. signed P.D. Papin. The other was for Brave Bear a good hunter and robe dresser but not signed.
Tues. May 25th. Quite a frost, clear and mild. The Indians all came into our camp from their resting place, a half mile above, and stoped till we started. They behaved perfectly satisfactorily. They are a good size and very good looking. Traveled twelve miles. Roads good and very level, though rough from inequalities through the centre of a wide bottom the widest point being about six miles. Camped in a circle about four miles E.N.E from Chimney rock, composed of Marley clay. On the south, by barometer calculation, by Prof. Orson Pratt at our last nights camp, highth above ocean 3371 feet and 686 feet above the junction, being a rise from that point of five ft & six and one eight inches to the mile. Latitude by observation 41°41'46". O. P. Rockwell killed two antelopes. Quite warm. Grass middleing good, but mostly buffalo grass. The widest place in the bottom is about six miles. We dug a few wells.
Wed. May 26th. Some cloudy but warm. A fine breeze from the west. Started at eight a.m. and stoped at twelve; making seven and one forth miles this morning. Four antelopes killed. Started again at half past two. and Camped in a circle near the river at five p.m. Bottom very wide, level and dry. Grass pretty good. Sprinkled a little at sunset. Made five miles this afternoon. Our campe is nearly opposite Terrace Bluffs of morely clay constantly wasting away. Now 260 feet high by rough calculation.
Thurs. May 27th. Cloudy but quite pleasant with a fine breese. Started at eight o'clock a.m. and stoped at twelve, making eight miles. Route near the bank. road grassy and soil good. We are nearly opposite Scotts Bluffs on the south side. From "Ash Hollow" to "Chimney Rock" by our count seventy two and one half miles. Width of river, opposite our last nights camp, seven hundred and ninety two yards.
Started at two and stoped at five a.m. as the grass looked bad for some distance ahead. Camped in a circle near the river and just above the point where Scotts bluffs come the nearest to the river. A few bushes on the opposite side or bank. Two antelopes killed. It began to rain quite fast about six p.m. Wind high from the north west. Soil, road and grass good. Bottom still very wide. Scott's bluffs and those below and above of the common morly clay formation and cut into all sorts of curious and fantastic forms by the action of the elements and fast wearing down. The best grass since we left Bluff Ruins has been confined mostly to the river bank in a belt varying from one fourth to one half mile in width. Then a slight elevation of from four to five feet and the land runs back dry and level with scanty grass from four to five miles to a low range of hills then still further back, dry etc., three or four miles to the main bluffs.
Fri. May 28th. Cool and cloudy. About seven began to blow from the E.W.E. The river takes a sharp turn from Scotts bluffs to the N.W. and almost north for a short distance. We laid by till about eleven for fear of rain. Rolled on at half past eleven until five then camped in a circle near the river. Plenty of drift wood but very poor grass the new being mixed up with the old. The Prest. made some remarks against so much levity, card playing, dancing, etc., as it would lead to bad results.
Sat. May 29th. Cool and cloudy, began to mist and sprinkle about five, Wind N.E. held up misting about ten, Wind E. At quarter to twelve the Prest. began to lecture and teach the assemblied camp upon the subject of their fiddling & dancing, card playing, light mindedness, loud laughing and talking etc. After teaching us for some time touching the evil tendency of such practices and remarking that he did not wish to go one step further with such a spirit in the camp. He called upon us all to covenant with the Lord, by quorums, that we would return to him with renewed purpose of heart and put of[f] all evil practices, the Lord being our helper, which we all did: Commencing with the Twelve, then the High Priests and Bishops, Seventies, Elders and those that did not belong to the Church Covenanted to abide all laws of a temporal motive nature.
Started at half past one and camped in a circle near the river, at half past five, a short distance above the camp a clear run about four yards wide. Grass good. Roads good. Passed the mouth of Horse creek emptying on the south side, not far above Scotts Bluffs, near the large stump of a cotton wood tree, close by on the left, then some small ledges of gray sandstone close on our right. Several small islands fringed with willow bushes and just below our several good sized trees are some islands, from a gravelly knob close by Sandstone Bluffs you discover a Serpentine course in the North Fork for the first time, the river running to and fro across its bottom like a small creek only with larger turns three and one half miles.
Sunday, May 30th. Today was appointed by the President a day for fasting and prayer.
Cool, Cloudy and windy. About nine camps assembled for prayer meeting. Bishop T Lewis presiding.
Prayer, Singing, Remarks, Confessions etc. by the brethren. All feeling good. Dismissed at half past ten. Stock gathered for next meeting so that all may attend. About twelve o'clock camp assembled to partake of the sacrament. Bishop Lewis [blank space] presiding. at the same time the twelve and nine others repaired to a [blank space] in the hills, and clothed themselves after the manner of the Priesthood. O. P. Rockwell and A. Carrington stationed as lookouts. Prest. Young mouth. It began to sprinkle a little so we started back and as we got to the camp about half past one it rained quite hard for a short time. About four o'clock the Prest. invited the Twelve and Bros. Snow, Shumway and Carrington to take a walk: We ascended the ridge and proceeded across the place the plain towards a high sandy peak. About two and one half miles from Camp, which we also ascended and had a fine view of the main bluffs in either side of the river from twenty to thirty miles apart and if the intervening, level, rolling and tumbled up surface along the course of the river for some distance and down: Also the towering black hills between the points W. N. W. & S.W. Chimney rock S.E. Brother Geo. A. Smith offered up a prayer. Reached camp about dusk. About seven we had a fine view of a [blank space] rainbow. It has been a day of much joy and satisfaction to us, peace, quiet and harmony prevailing in the camp And our stock full fed and well rested and we all felt well and and thankful for the sudden change for the better, since our covenant.
Mon. May 31st. Clear and pleasant: the breeze being from the W.N.W. We started about eight. I walked with the road pilots. Turned off our course a little to find grass. Stoped at half past twelve and traveled nine and one half miles. Grass thin. Course very direct and road good. Bottom very much in breadth owing to the windings of the river. Generaly scanty grass and plenty of prickley pears. Ridge quite broken and many of the peaks covered with sand, others with gravel and pebble stones. Distance across the bottom and river from ridge to ridge five or six miles on an average. Started at quarter to three and camped in two parallel lines on the gravely bank of a swift run twenty to thirty feet wide and about one mile above its outlet. Course quite direct. Road sandy. Grass thin. Passed several good sized cottonwood trees and old stumps and trunks on these islands and banks accompanied by long fringes of willow and young cotton bushes. J. Higbee killed a deer. Distance seven miles and one half. Much of the road lying on the north side of the bottom.
June 1 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Started soon after breakfast. Crossed the run before us and soon came on to a dry <&> hard bottom from two to four miles wide. Grass scanty. Trees, alive and some dead, but more numerous with a large number of small pine and cedar trees on both sides of the bluff. I walked ahead and carried my gun. At quarter past Twelve latitude was 42°9'24". Just before we stoped we passed five old chimney stacks near the south bank. Distance four and one half miles. Afternoon traveled four seven miles and a half and camped in a semi-circle on the river bank nearly opposite Fort St. John, one and one forth miles south on the west side of Larimus [Laramie] Fork. Road quite sandy. Grass scattering. Bottom from one to two miles wide. The river is much narrower one hundred and eight yards wide. Channel much deeper and current strong. The camp fires have quite a chearful appearance and old fashioned look tonight. Wood good and plentiful. Sprinkled a little just after dark. Soon after we camped two of the Prublo [Pueblo] brethren visited us. They had been waiting for us at the Fort since the 16th of May and were fifteen days on the way. We traveled at leisure and laid by. Distance twenty five miles.
Wed. June 2nd. Warm but some cloudy. Between nine and ten oclock the twelve and several others crossed the north fork and were two or three yards to the ruins of Fort Platt. They consist of unburnt brick walls one hundred and forty four by one hundred and eight feet long, eleven ft. high and two and one half ft. thick with two entrances one for stock and one for loads. An inner wall divided the space allotted to stock from the other portion which contained a hollow square or open court around which and against the walls was the store house, ware rooms, cook rooms, blacksmith shop etc. We then proceeded about two miles over the plain to Fort St. John which was built of the same material and after a similar plan with two projections or square towers. One at the southeast corner and the other at the Northwest corner.
Mr. Beaudeux & Co, seventeen in all, received us very civily and politely showed us their establishment. Mr. Baudeux told us it was three hundred miles to Fort Bridger in Black's Fort of Green River, where the Oregon and California Forks are. They sent six hundred bales of robes (10 in bl.) this spring over land four hundred miles to Fort Pierne [Pierre] on the Missouri, where they are taken on steerage boats.
Latitude of Fort St. John by M observation by Orson Pratt 42°12'13". Barometer highth 40.90. Width of Fork at Fort fourty one yards, three or four miles above its outlet by its windings. We then chartered the companies flat boat, and all got aboard and took a fine ride down the rapid current of Laramie to its mouth, about half a mile below our camp [blank space] up and crossed over.
Thurs. 3rd. Pleasant with a strong wind from the E.S.E. We began to ferry about 5 p.m. A. Lyman started for Prublo in company with Steven Woolsey and [blank space] Tippetts of the army (Mormon Battalion), Amasa Lyman went to council the movements of the men and things at that place. Ferrying ceased at half past one on account of a hard storm of rain and hail accompanied by sharp lightning and heavy thunder, which lasted one hour. It sprinkled at times. Began to ferry again at half past three. Rained considerable through the night.
Fr. 4th Cloudy but pleasant. All the wagons were over the river by eight a.m. Left a letter here for my father and one to be sent to my wife by Fort Pierre and down the Missouri. Started at twelve on the Oregon Road. stoped at half past one to let the teams pick on some patches of good grass. The company from Pueblo joined our line with three wagons, several loose horses, several fine cows and calfs calves, and three fine large bulls. Today we began to travel in what are called the Black Hills so called on account of the dark shade given them by the large number of small pine and cedar trees growing upon them. The bottom is confined to narrow stripes and small curves and in many places. The road is in many places hilly and quite sandy. We can look down on steep hills the worst since we left Winter Quarters. Started at half past two and camped in a circle near the river at half past six. Had quite a shower just as we camped. Grass good but scanty. Rode two miles and a half ahead of camp and got a wet. Distance eight and one fourth miles. Mr. Beaudeux, Superintendent, [blank space], clerk, said our company was the most civil and best behaved Company that had traveled this road. Bottom covered with timber and hilly but pretty evenly divided among between the North and South sides. Carrying fuel to-day. Stand and look all around our camp and you can hardly tell how we or the river got here. It being the most circumscribed view we ever had. The new-commers had five wagons and one cart, nine men, five women and three children. They were organized into a company by themselves. Robert Crew [Crow] was captain. We now have seventy-nine wagons, including a cannon boat and cart. Ninety six horses, fifty one mules, ninety oxen, forty three cows, three bulls, nine calves, sixteen dogs, and sixteen chickens. Archibald Lytle one of the new comers, abused his oxen by beating them.
Sat. 5th. Quite cloudy and sprinkled a few drops. Started late and haulted at a quarter to twelve having traveled six miles and a half. The road lay across a bad point of rock. We then kept by the dry bottom and gravely bed of a spring run. The warm, spring water sinking just below its outlet. Bluffs consist mostly of a very fine grit sandstone easily crumbled by exposure. In some places perpendicular in others [blank space] and in most presenting a resemblance to the terraced plats of Stop Side Hill garden. Considerable bunch grass. After resting we rolled on and soon ascended a steep and long rock hill. Road then, good. Passed an emigrant Company of nine wagons, one carriage, and one cart. Crossed Cotton Wood, or Bitter Creek and camped in a circle on its west bank. Traveled ten miles and a half. Grass good. I guarded cattle on a high point just back of camp. It began to rain just after dark and rained considerable through the night.
Sun. 6th. Cloudy. Today appointed for fasting and prayer. Met in prayer at about 9 a.m. Just before our meeting the Emigrant Co. passed by. Meet again at eleven for preaching after prayer, by E. T. Benson, meeting dispersed by a heavy shower of rain, lightning and thunder. Which last about one hour. During the rain another Emigrant Co., mostly from Illinois, and Mississippi, passed, with twenty wagons and two carriages. Between two and three we started to shorten the distance between here and the next water. Crossed a creek and camped in a semi-circle on its bank. being five miles from our last camping place. Leaving the road open in the midst of the circle. Passed the larger Emigrant Company Camp. Then drove our third ten mile stake before be [we] camped. The other Company camped just ahead of us. Grass good. Mr. Pruidamn of the Missionary Station in St. Marys a trib story of the Columbia, tells us that we are now as near Laramie Mountains as we will be. We have had a view of them from time to time from Chimney Rock to this camp. Brother [Burr] Frost is blacksmith for both companies of Emigrants. Little Cloudy.
Mon. 7th . Some cloudy. The Emigrant Company that camped back of us passed while we were hitching up. Started about seven and turned off Cottonwood Creek. Thirteen wagons from Andrew City, Mo. came up to us. Wind E.S.E. Crossed the dry bed of a gravely run six times. Noon halt at quarter past eleven by a spring. Made seven miles and three fourths. Grass short. Road good, except the gravel bed in the run crossing. Latitude at this point 41°21'51". We have a fine view of Laramie little mountains spots of snow, or white quartz. Started at half past twelve. Rolled over two ridges, of the general highth of the country all around, except Laramie mountains and its ridge,. We had a fine view of an extensive, very broken and barren country. Stuck up the fourth ten mile stake. Camped at four p.m. in a circle on the bank of Horse Shoe Creek. Made five miles and a half since noon.
It showered several times quite hard with a little hail, lightning and thunder while we were coming. Grass good. On a good spring. Cottonwood, willow and ash trees plentiful and a good size. Killed two black tailed deers and one lope.
Tues. 8th. Cloudy. Started at half past seven. Crossed the creek on a good ford. Seen several buffalos, the first for some time. Soon began to turn from the creek and ascend the hills until we attained the general elevation of the surrounding country. Laramie Mountains on the left with its their snow banks. Some places on the hills pretty hard to pull up, and had to double some teams.
A. Carrington saw a chipmont [chipmonk], or yankee squirrel, while passing the hills. Crossed the bed of two small bed runs. The hills look green but the grass is short. Roads good for a hilly country except the first rise. Wormwood, Southern wood, Wild sage, and a nice or sweet scent occur from time to time in abundance.
One lope killed. One of the women in Crow's ten, got her leg or foot hurt by a wagon wheel. Nooned at half past twelve. Distance six miles and three quarters. I stoped behind to hunt for Bishop Lewis' horses oxen. and found them. Started again at about quarter to three two. Put up the fifth ten miles stake. Crossed two dry bed of runs. All small, except one which we crossed four times. All very gravely and pebbly with plenty of Cottonwood trees and willows growing on their banks. Wind very high from the W.S.W. and very cool. Crossed the river LaBonte or Big Timber Creek which is about two feet and one half feet deep. Clear and rapid. Camped in a circle on its bank at about half past six o'clock. Five traders and trapers rode into camp. I handed one of them a letter addressed to Mr. Eugene Mortalort, clerk at [Ft.] John, with the result of Prof. Orson Pratt's observations at that place. Albert Carrington with several others worked on the road all day throwing away pebbles, etc. Distance, eight and three forth miles. Killed one lope and one deer.
Wed. 9th. Clear and pleasant. Hitched up about five o'clock and rolled on a short distance to find better grass. Stoped by a traders camp of three carts, two wagons, several men and one squaw etc. loaded with [blank space]. Started again at quarter to seven. Fifteen wagons sent on to the fort crossing. A high sharp ridge of fine sandstone stone: color white and redish on our left. Several specimens of iron stone from the lower hills as far as one can see, are composed of light, color red and redish clay and limestone with an occasional show of sandstone on the ridge. The roads are very good for a hilly country. No very bad hills. Crossed a small gravely run. Stopped at half past twelve o'clock near a run. Grass good but scattering. Flag found. Distance, eleven and one forth miles. Started at two p.m. Passed a good spring close by the road. Crossed a dry run or two. At half past five p.m. cross camped in a semi-circle on the bank of the river La Prele a clear and quick stream about one and a half or two feet deep and from three to four yards wide. Grass good on the margins. Distance eight miles. We camped in sight of an Emigrant Co. ahead and our fifteen wagons close upon them. A few traders passed west just as we camped. Quite a cool breeze from the west and Cloudy. Roads good with a few exceptions. There is a grave just back of our camp with a headstone marked J. Hembree, 1843.
Thurs. 10th. Some cloudy otherwise very pleasant there being a light fine breeze from the W.S.W. Started at seven a.m. Crossed two wet and two dry runs. about Fourche Boisee a fine stream now about half a foot deep and three or four rods wide: Halted to noon at about eleven a.m. on its banks. Grass tolerable. Roads good with the exception of a few sharp patches. Hills and ridges smoother. Cottonwood trees and willows in abundance for camping purposes on all these runs, wet or dry, so far from Laramie. Distance eight and three forths miles. Started again at two: ascended the hill west and turned gradually toward the west fork. At quarter to three came into the bottom, but a small portion of low bottom, but the elevated bottom is quite level and from half to one whole mile or more wide. Artemesia in abundance. Crossed a small run and Deer Creek a beautiful stream with plenty of herring, succers [suckers] and cat[fish]: about two feet deep and from four to five rods wide. Camped in a circle three fourths of a mile from the bank of the river. Distance nine miles. Ninth ten mile stake put up.
Fork is about two thirds its breadth at Laramie and not so swift or deep.
Latitude of mouth of Deer Creek calculated by Prof. Orson Pratt 41°52'56". Heighth above sea by barometer 4864 feet. A coal bed was discovered by A. Carrington, the first ever reported to our knowledge on the Platte or any of its tributaries.
Fri. 11th. Clear and very pleasant. A fine breeze from the North west. Soon after breakfast myself and Albert Carrington the Coal bed and after examining it as long as our time hatchet would admit, we came to the conclusion that it would work from eight to ten feet thick and traced it for about one mile then stoped for want of time. From what we could see it is of excellent quality and very extensive. To all appearances this would be a good location for a small settlement. Soil lime and clay. Cottonwoods plenty and good. Coal in abundance for fuel for generations. Started at half past seven a.m. and kept up the river. Roads good. Crossed a dry run. Hills throwing low spurs to the river occasionally. Halted to noon at twenty minutes to twelve on a small meadow. Grass tolerable. A few light clouds. Wind from the west. Distance nine miles and a quarter. Saw several rattlesnakes. Tenth ten mile stake put up this forenoon. Latitute 12°51'47". Rolled on over a good road. Crossed two small clay runs. Main bluff or ridge between north and south forks apparently from five to eight miles off on our left, with snow banks on its summit in spots, and at the head of the ravines contrasting vividly with the dark green of its pines and the light green of its grass. It looks quite smooth for a highth divided by hills on both sides, and quite smooth and low. Camped in a circle near the river on a small meadow. Grass pretty good. Distance seven and three fourths miles. Eleventh ten mile stake put up. A fine breeze from the north west. Started at quarter Evening very mild and pleasant. Eight lopes killed.
Sat. 12th. Clear and pleasant with a fine breeze from the north west. Started at quarter to eight and crossed some ravines with steep pitches and one clay run. Stoped at quarter to twelve. Making seven and one forth miles this forenoon. Roads good (with the exception of a few ravine pitches) over a rolling prarrie bottom. Grass tolerable. Cottonwood scarcer and more stunted. Twelfth ten mile stake put up. Rolled on after resting & crossed one small clay run, and camped in a semi-circle on the river bank near the common crossing. Grass pretty good. Quite warm. We came up with the company in advance of us who had done a good business in passing the Emigrant Co. doing their smithing and wagon fixing, and trading wagons for which they received for crossing. flour, two dollars and fifty cents a hundred, and for trade and work bacon, cash one
One of the Emigrant companies named Childs would have been drowned had he not been picked up by some of our men in our leather boats. One of our men brought in from the bluffs a few small specimens of brown limestone histumous [hist] mica; one of snow and one of coal: estimated to be from a bed from eight to ten ft. thick of the same kind as that discovered and reported for the first time, on Dear [Deer] Creek twenty and one forth miles back from here, by showing Albert Carrington, showing if even usually continuous in inexhaustable supply of fuel for Whitney's railroad or any other project that requires a large quantity of fuel and and very handy to the whole tide of emigration that rolls and will roll through the south pass, varying in distance from the Common road from three forths to ten miles.
Sun. 13th. Little cloudy, but still and warm. Horn blowed for meeting at nine. Good teaching by Elders Kimball, Young and Pratt. After meeting operations, set afoot for crossing.
Mon. 14th. Began to cross at quarter to 5 a.m. Wind east and east by south and from twelve to two west by south. Between three and four o'clock it rained and hailed: wind high for about half an hour. The worst storm we have had. After the storm the wind was cool and high from the north east by east.
I worked quite hard unloading wagons passing the loads to the boat and then loading up on this side and stood guard the first half of the night.
Captains Fowler's and Grover's ten, put over their loads in the boats at about nine and finished crossing our wagons at a little past two on a raft all dry and safe. Brother Adams crossed seven and Grover four, and we were all loaded safe before the storm for which we felt to thank the Lord. Thirteen other wagons pulled over by ropes badly wet and some rolled over and damaged and bows broken. Bros. Packs wagon in rolling over, lost one set of plough irons and some bar iron and steel but no very serious loss or injury to any. It has been a busy day for all who crossed and very fatiguing.
Tues. 15th. Some cloudy. Wind south west by west but quite warm. Began crossing quite early, with boats and rafts. Quite a number of loads and wagons got over all safe. In swimming some stock R. Crow had an Indian pony drowned. They started it with a long rawhide rope, a piece of chain and a billet of wood, but he got tangled.
Wed. 16th. Warm and cloudy with quite a breeze from the west by south and west south west. Several men started to go and rough out several two or three canoes and bring them here. In the afternoon the wind was quite high with some thunder and a few drops of rain. Busy crossing. Twenty-one emigrant wagons crossed below us four or five miles below us. They are mostly from Pike and Adams Counties, Illinois. The emigrants have buried two of their number within 150 miles of this place; the first deaths to our knowledge in any of the Emigration Companies. The canoe company returned about dark with two good logs <23 feet long>.
Thurs. 17th. Prest. Youngs wagon crossed. We finished crossing our loads. Wind strictly from the west by south. Water high. The boys are busy at the two canoes: got them all done and ready for planking. At about 4 p.m. wind shifted and blew a stiff cold breeze from the north by east.
Fri. 18th. Clear and pleasant. Wind from the west by south. We passed one Emigration Company of ten wagons and most all of another with eighteen or ninteen wagons. Launched our canoes at half past twelve and put them in operation owing to their being green and some larger than others they could not be taken on a wagon with a full load if very heavy, but it made much quicker and better trips than our rafts.
Sat. 19th. Showered a little at daybreak, but soon ceased and cleared up. Nine of our men left here to ferry under Bro. Grover also Eric Gliners stoped, with our counsel, making ten. Started and rolled on over a good road. Clay in the rolling vallies or basins with mail ferrying standstone, brown calcareous <[cal]ciferous> stone and orgillaceous limestone and slate, in the adjacent hills with strong indications of coal beds in many places. Noon halt a short time, within a half or three forths of a mile of a large spring. Distance eleven miles and three forths within sight of the high red banks of the Platte, and or Red Butt[e]s when it comes up from the south. Rolled over a good road with the usual scenery. Traveled ten miles and one half with the usual scenery and camped just after sundown near a small spring on one side and brackish water on the other side. Grass scanty. Fuel sage and other brushes with a little buffalo chips.
Sun. 20th. Quite cool. Wind from the south east. Started before feeding to find better grass. The ridge near camp composed of first clay second light gray conglomerate, third, ferryimous [ferr]eous limerate, the whole overlaid by the usual quantity and variety of gravel, pebles and boulders. Made three miles and three forthe and stoped by a spring run with some grass and got breakfast. Started about noon and passed a beautiful cold spring called Willow Spring. Its course being fringed with shrubbery it looked like an oasis in this barren country. Climbed quite a long hill directly and came in view of the ragged outline of the left ridge of the Sweet Water distinctly defined against the blue sky and, of its detached and ragged spurs streaching into the basin below us. Sage in abundance. Stoped again at three: making nine miles. Having crossed two spots of water with their accompanying grass and found good and tolerable good grass. Roads good. Quite clear and warm. Rolled on, four or five miles and crossed a clear quick run about three yards wide. After going two or three miles we turned to the left, a quarter of a mile and camped at dark near the run we last mentioned. Making in all seven and one forth miles. Grass indifferent. Some teams very tired. Geo.A. Smith I walked the whole distance being twenty miles today. W. Woodruff and John Brown out. Cannon fired for them at midnight.
Mon., June 21. Clear still and warm. Wilford Woodruff and J. Brown still out. Sage for fuel last night and this morning. Started at quarter to nine. Road over clay formation but badly sprinkled in some places with sand and gravel. Noon halt on the left bank of the Sweet Water, quarter of a mile from the road side on Rock Independence, an isolated quadrary [quadr]ine rock of coarsish gray massive granite, seamed, furrowed and broken like its neighboring and kindred ranges in every direction. Distance seven miles and a half. Rolled on close by Rock Island with its numerous names and opposite its center a board was put up marked 'To Fort John one hundred and seventy five miles and one forth.' In a mile or so crossed the Sweet Water now about two and one half feet deep. Passed through a gap in the point of a granite spur with 'Devil Gate' from half to three forths of a mile on our right in the same spur. Continued on a short distance and camped in a semi-circle on the left bank of Sweet Water just below the outlet of a quick, clear rivulet three miles yards wide. Grass good. Distance seven and three forth miles. Latitude of Rock Independence (back between five and six miles from Devils Gate) meridian observation by Prof. O Pratt taken a little north of Rock Island, 40°30'18". Just below our camp the Sweet Water rushes through a granite spur with its channel much choked by fallen masses and in some places only about three yards wide to all appearances and with a fall all together of from ten to fifteen feet. Both walls rise vertical with corresponding faces seamed etc. as before described. The right to the hight of four hundred feet. Barometrical measurement by Prof. O Pratt, the left soon slopes up to a highth elevation of the main range to judge without a compass (which was left in the wagons). The general direction of the river gap is north east and south west. Crossed diagonally near its center by another vertical rent about ten yards wide and filled on the right side by with trap rock and on the left by masses fallen from the adjacent walls. As you crossed the summit from the river up to the road pass you cross four successive dikes of trap from fifteen to forty in width running E. north east W. south west. Then crossing the road ascended the next slope we meet. Coarse conglomerate higher granite: then another dike of traps which was as much as our time would permit us to examine.
Tues. 22nd Some cloudy but quite warm. Started at a quarter to seven. Road level over clay, and sprinkled occasionally with sand and fine gravel. Soon crossed a clear rivulet. Camped . After traveling two or three miles further on we made a similar noon halt on the right bank of the river with good grass. Distance ten miles. Low bottom narrow and continually crossed by the winding channel of the river, which this forenoon has kept close to the base of the left range. Prarrie bottom gently rolling and producing scanty grass but an abundance of sage and absinthine. A gap in the left range and one nearly opposite the right to appearances, from this distance. Average width of bottom from six to eight miles, right range densly timbered in some places, from base to summit with pine and cedar and studied in many places with banks of snow. L. Young broke an axletree, load shifted and wagon fixed a little and rolled on. While nooning I learned that a young man eighteen or nineteen years old belonging to the Emigrant Co. just behind named Columbus Austin of Morson Co., Ill., was drowned on the 18th by swimming a horse across the north Fork. Rolled on and soon passed a pond on our left and began to wind among the hills of the prarrie bottom which is now quite hilly from right hard range to the river. Crossed two small rivulets about two or three yards wide. Passed two isolated granite masses one on either hand and camped at eight p.m. in a circle near the river and at the foot of a high hill. One narrow strip of low bottom with good grass the first we have seen since noon halt. Road was tolerable level but quite gravely and in some places large pebbles and bolders. Main width of bottom as in the forenoon. River still running close to the left range which as in the forenoon ragged and bare, while the right side is smoother with quite a level outline. There is a narrow gap just opposite our camp through the left range. Distance ten and three forths miles.
Wed. 23rd Some cloudy but quite warm. Started at seven a.m. and passed just at our left the head board of a grave marked Matilda Crowly B. July 16th 1830 D July 7th 1846. In one mile and a half crossed a run five feet wide, called Cottonwood Creek passed just on our right a short low isolated wall of calcareous sandstone opposite this point the left range is entirely a [blank space] a for some distance affording an extended view of the country beyond which appears dry treeless a quite level by its outline against the sky. The bottom is quite level to the base of the right ridge and densly covered with thrifty absinthe. Passed a low range of granite on our right and just beyond it turned to the river again. Noon halt at the issuing of the river between two sloping granite walls fast abrading. Grass good. Road heavy from sand and gravel although pretty good. Distance eight miles and one half. Started at about half past one and took a detour to the [text missing] and rose a slight ascent to the upper or second bottom. Rolled on over a sandy and gravely road till half past five when we struck the river again and passed on a little further and camped in a circle on the river bank at a quarter to six p.m. Distance eight and one half miles. Grass good. One small Emigration Co. camped about half a mile below above us and another about a mile and a half: being the second that left the river Platte before we did. Nothing new in the river scenery except that its ranges are more broken. A fine view of the Wind river and a chain of the Rocky mountains from our camp.
Thurs. 24th Fleecy clouds. Wind from the south west. Cooler. Started again at about six p.m. Grass good on the river for a mile and a half or two miles. Road then took on to the second bottom again to cut off a head. Six miles and a half from camp. Road running across across a valley from the bluffs to the river. A few yards below the crossing is a spring. and several pools of water both above and below the road. Grass indifferent. Spring water sulphery from [blank space] with ice in some places from sixteen and one half feet below the surface some of the pools brackish from the saline deposit. The valley has a slight smell like a salt marsh. Both ranges loose their rocky character and lower down into bluffs table summits and long swells and look quite green and smooth. Intervening bottom quite hilly. Sage and absinthine plentiful and in some places very thrifty. At three reached Sweet water again and camped in a semicircle on its bank. Distance seventeen and three forth miles. Grass tolerable. Road, except clay in the spring valley, sandy and gravely, but, quite level for a hilly bottom. I walked the seventeen half miles and got quite fatigued. Just about sun down John Hollman was accidently shot Prest. Youngs John horse and killed him. It was considered the best horse in the camp. I bled at the lungs some last night and this morning and did not sleep much. A Sage hen was killed. They are the size and build of a Prarrie hen only the feathers are more finely mottled and are either very dark or gray.
Fri. 25th Clear. Wind high and cool from the S. south west. Started at half past six and crossed a run and ascended a spur of its hills into a Prarrietown. (or little meadow) good for camping. Cut off just above by another hill of clay which we also crossed and kept up the river Crossed a small spring run of good water and turned out for noon halt at half past eleven a.m. Distance eight and three forth miles. Grass good. Course conglomerate or pudding stone in the hills and on each side of the river at our halt are dandelions and strawberries in full bloom also very large wild onions. Rolled on again and soon turned to the right a little, from the river and began to ascend a very long and high hill. First clay and marl Alternating and a whiteish earthy limestone in their broken strata covered its summit: here the wind blew very strong and cool. A fine view of Wind River Mountains gleaming with snow and ice. You then cross an extensive bed of white and redish fine grained sandstone of an excellent grit, then a very compact blueish brown limestone: then numerous and heavy bars of ferreyinous and a light gray compact sandstone, croping out, and overlaping at an angle of about thirty degrees from this point you have a fine view of the two Table rocks on the South side of the pass and Rocky Mountains. On South side of the pass Myself and A. Carrington here turned to the right a little and passed about two thirds of the way down the northern slope where we found a bank of snow and a fine bed of red mineral clay distinced into a hill basin with three pounds on our left apparently of snow water. Roads again tolerably level. Passed two small spring runs. Some trap rock cropping out. Crossed two small runs again, and a fine snow bank on our left. Camped on the bank of a clear, quick rivulet from six to eight feet wide with two or three snow banks near the tops of the low hills around us. Quite cool. Grass good. Distance eleven and one half miles. About half a mile below camp is a grove of quaking asps covering five or six acres: some of then [them] from eight to ten inches in diameter. Espar ette or wild or Spanish clover plentiful and in full bloom as are the dandelions and strawberries.
Sat. 26th Thermometer at sunrise 28°. Ice formed in the water pails. Started about eight a.m. and crossed the rivulet before us, and one small spring run, two good sized branches of the Sweet water, then crossed the Sweet water and turned out to noon. Every thing blooming and grass good on the narrow bottom. While our stock were grazing our boys and girls were snow balling on some deep snow bank at the foot of the low hill just at its edge. Distance eleven miles. Started again and ascended the low hill and kept on over level ground. After traveling seven miles we crossed one culminateing line, on the southern road through the pass and made a slight ascent into a small green basin and then turned a little to the right over a low ridge and camped on the Sweet water about half a mile from the road. Grass good and plentiful. Red willows in abundance fringing the stream. Distance seven and three forths of miles. Myself, Prof. Pratt, Bros. Egbert and Brown had passed on thinking We should follow and seeing a smoke ahead they made for it and found an old hunter named Moses Harris who came to meet emigrants and pilot them and seven others who were returning to the states,. They were camped at what is called Muddy Springs, the first water on the southern road and west of the Pass. Today is my birthday and I sat up with Prof. Orson Pratt and read California and Oregon papers till one o'clock by the light of a sage fire.
Sun. 27th Clear, and cool and pleasant. Rolled on to keep ahead of the Emigration Co's. Crossed muddy springs and then its run it being the first tributary of the Pacific we have crossed and made a noon halt on its bank. Grass good. Distance six and one forth miles. Rolled on again and crossed a quicksand bed called "Dry Sandy" with a little water running. Camped on its bank. Distance nine miles. Grass scanty. Mr. Harris came with us. North and south breadth of grass from twenty to twenty five miles by our judgment and so gently rolling that independent of a our geographical knowledge you would hardly suspect you were crossing the back bone of North America. Road gravely as usual and for the last thirty-four miles much more level that the same distance in most of the states. Sage and absinthine or grease bush in abundance and we are using it for fuel. Soil redish and yellowish clay alternating: limestone fernyinious [fer][ous] sandstone cropping out occasionally.
Mon. 28th Clear and pleasant. Started at half past seven a.m. Road hard and some gravely as usual but quite level. Passed over a bed of limestone showing in them strata. Came to a fork in the road & We took the left fort Ft. Bridger: the right going on more direct to Bear River bend. Scenery, that of a gentle rolling plain with low hills occasionally sprinkled with gravel and covered with sage and and a very scant growth of grass: Main soil clay, either redish or yellowish alternating. Noon halt on little Sandy which is thickly fringed with willows now about ten or twelve yards wide. Distance thirteen and one half miles. Grass scanty. At half past four crossed little Sandy and in a short time met Mr. [Jim] Bridger and two men with him. Prest. Young wished to go with converse with him we soon turned turned to the left and camped at six p.m. near little Sandy. Grass good and plentiful. Distance one and three forths of a mile. Cloudy.
Prest. Brig. Young and the twelve had a conversation with Mr. Bridger: Wm. Clayton, Thos. Bullock and Albert Carrington took notes. He spoke very favorably of our being able to find a good location on or near a lake and again south of it in the Piute County where they raise wheat, corn &c of the best quality. He bought of Moses Harris three deer skins and one elk skin. Our boys bought several.
Tues. 29th Mr. Bridger and men continued on to Ft. John. Clear and pleasant. View very extensive over a level plain, bounded at a long distance by the horizon and low hills and table mounds and snow capped mountains. Soil and vegetation as usual. Started at quarter to eight and rolled on over a level gravely road to Big Sandy, six miles and three quarters and about sixty yards wide. Noon halt at eleven o'clock. Grass good. From the ford in Little Sandy to that in Big Sandy eight miles and one half. These two streams are said to be perfectly dry in the fall when you have to go dig for it. Scattering clouds.
Latitude of the Ford by Prof. Orson Pratte observation 42°06'42". There are a few scattering cottonwood trees on the stream. Crossed Big Sandy at half past one and made a slight ascent into a very extensive plain. Quite warm. Road level and gravely in many places. Limestone in the strata and thickly strown over the ground. At about four p.m. cloudy and cool. Plain more rolling. At half past nine we camped in a circle on Big Sandy. Distance seventeen miles.
Wed. 30th Clear and warm. Started at half past eight a.m. and camped at quarter to Twelve on Green River. Distance eight miles. After dinner we were all busy washing, smithing, coal burning, and raft making. For two or three hours the wind blew very hard from the South west and it is very cloudy. At about five p.m. Bro. S[am]. Brannam [Brannan] and two other men came into our camp from California. He brought along a file of the "California Star" published by himself. Reports our battalion in California. Green River is now about one hundred and sixty yards wide and swimmingly deep with a rapid current. Quite a number of tolerable sized narrow leafed cottonwoods on its banks. Our camp is about three miles above the mouth of Sandy.
George Wardle is quite unwell with a severe cold and high fever. Many others are complaining owing in some measure probably to over fatigue and exposure to the cool night air after so hot a day. In many places from South Pass to this crossing strong indications of iron, coal, lead and copper. Both of our rafts were finished about dark.
Thurs. July 1st Fleecy clouds and very pleasant. After breakfast drove some cattle in twice to swim in the river but they would not. Our raft sat over five wagons and the other when the wind got so high they had to quit. Second division raft abandoned and another built from twenty five to ten feet. First division crossed over towards evening four more wagons. Making ten in all over.
Fri. 2nd Clear, warm and still. Both rafts busy. Just before sunrise we swam over quite a number of cattle and horses. Some of the sick getting better and others taking sick which with what is called in this country, camp fever. Geo. Wardle is a little better. I was considerably unwell. Nearly all the stock all all the wagons but eighteen over safe and sound.
Sat. 3rd I am much better as is Bro. Geo. Wardle. Cloudy & cool with a strong breeze from the west. Thundered and showered a little at times. We are all over safe. Started to travel between three and four keeping near the river, the clay, sand and gravely road making it heavy traveling. Camped in a semi-circle on the river at five p.m. Distance three miles. Grass good. Wind low. Clouds breaking away. Musquetoes very thick nearly opposite on the cliffs sloping vertically and overhanging of indurated green clay or marl from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet high.
Sun 4th Clear and pleasant. low clouds skirting the horizon. Sent a letter to my father. P. Young, E. Glines, R. Badger, A. Farr and G. Woodward went back to meet our next company and tell then [them] about camp places and help their own places families. One of Bro. John Brown's oxen died. About three p.m. twelve of our battalion from Pueblo came into our camp well armed and mounted. They had left their company at North Fork, crossing. A Lyman is with them.
Mon. 5th Clear and pleasant. The sick are getting better. Started at eight and Camped on Blacks Fork at five p.m. Distance twenty miles. From water to water from fifteen to sixteen miles. Grass en route to none in a manner and very poor around camp. The edges of the table mounds where they show and the bluffs of Blacks Fork are composed of indurated green clay and gray marl and in, occasionally their strata of earthy limestone. H[e]ighth of table and bluffs from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet. Road good.
Tues. 6th Clear and pleasant. A fine fish resembling salmon trout caught last night. Started about eight a.m: kept up Black's fork and then Ham's for about four miles. Crossed Hams fork at a good ford about twenty yards wide. Grass good here and fuel plenty. Crossed the divide and about a mile further Blacks fork thirty five yards wide. Ford good. Passed close on our left some naked isolated ridges from two to four hundred feet high. Fast decomposing, rec[k]oning from base to summit or vice versa: composed of thick horizontal beds of indurated green clay and brown micacesus [micace] sandstone interspersed with thin layers of earthy marl. Crossed Black fork again at a good ford and camped on its bank at half past four. Distance eighteen and three forth miles. Grass good and of several kinds. Cottonwoods scattering, red willows plentiful, currant bushes thrifty berries of good size, rose bushes, dandelions seeding, flax seeding and thrifty, thistle in bloom, small trees very like crab apples. Road is usual but with less sand, and gravely and stones. A fine breeze from the south west. The names of the fords are according to Fremonts map. Geo. A. Smith is quite unwell with the Mountain fever.
Wed. 7th Clear and pleasant with a fine breeze. Started at about eight a.m. and after traveling about three miles Crossed Blacks fork. Ford and grass good. Crossed a creek about eight yards wide and soon came to Blacks fork again, and halted at half past twelve. Distance hve nine miles. Grass good. Road in some places rough from gravely hills and dry ravines. Wind, high and cool from the north west. Some distance on our left a long range of snowy mountains, extending north west and south east and sloping down at their eastern extremity below the snow line. Started at two p.m. course up Black's fork. Road stony in places. Two miles below Farr's Bridger[,] the Oregon portion of travel turn off. Crossed seven mountain streams from three to twelve yards wide and very swift. All within one mile and a half. While crossing these Streams passed seventeen Snake lodges of Ft. Bridger's Fork. Camped on the bank of the seventh stream at one o'clock. Distance eight and three forth miles. Grass good and plentiful in this neighborhood. Quite a number of Cottonwood streams fringed with willows. The boys have caught several fine black spotted trout. Bridgers Fort, so called, consists of two long, rows of
Thurs. 8th Clear and pleasant. Quite a frost. Snow range Eute Mountains, part of Bear River Chain about fifteen miles south of us. Wind south west. Lying by to fix wagons, shoe horses, trade &c I feel better.
Latitude of Fort Bridger by observation of Prof. Orson Pratt 41°19'13". Barometrical of Fort Bridger 6665 ft.
Fri 9th Clear and warm. Started at about eight a.m. and took Hastings new road. After six and one quarter miles travel stoped to water our stock at a fine spring run with a few cottonwoods boards bordering its bank. Grass good though little of it. Cool breeze from the south west. Soon crossed a run through near a high square table mound with thick beds of indurated green clay. Quaking asps and snow banks. Ascended a long stony hill to an elevated sage plain to which we passed over and descended a long steep hill and continued to descent to muddy Creek which is six yards wide and two feet deep with a stony bed fringed with willows and scattering Cottonwoods. Forded and camped on its bank at half past three. Distance three forths of a mile. Roads good except two hills and the stony places. Soil clay. Grass at camp good and plentiful especially a rank broad leafed leaved bunch grass resembling wheat or rye; now from three to four and one half and five feet high and in fall head. Several, in camp, sick. Scrub[b]y white cedars scattered in spots seldom fifteen feet high.
Latitude by roadside at the top of the ascent, from spring run, 41°16'11", observation by Prof. Orson Pratt.
Grind and sythe stone of excellent quality: close by the road side as you cross Muddy Creek going west.
Sat 10th July
Fleecy clouds and very pleasant. Started at about 8 a.m. I am quite slim yet. After three miles and a half came to a red mineral spring with a strong [blank space] of copperas and alum and a deep bed of redish brown calcareous tufa. Directly rose the divide between two vallies discarded into a narrow valley. A similiar tasting spring as the one above recorded on our the left side of the roadside.
Proceeded five miles and halted in a valley opposite another red mineral spring and a large gunpowder spring. There are two good springs back of us on the same side of the valley the road is both with calcareous stufa. Grass good. The stock water is not like the gunpowder water although some drink it. On both sides of the valley divide and on each side of the valleys through which the road passes there is an abundance of clay and sandstone of any degree of fineness or coarseness for grind or sythe stone of excellent grit. Also, excellent sandstone in abundance. Started again in a mile and a half or so began to ascend the divide between the Muddy and Bear Rivers. Barometric hight 7700 ft by observation of Prof. Orson Pratt. De[s]cent rapid and very steep in two points. Small quaking asps thickets both sides of the divide. On the west side are strong indications of coal in several places. On the top of the divide is a vertical and dripping strata of limestone. Road through a narrow valley. Turned to the left at one gorge and then over a low hill into another narrow valley. Passed onions seeding. In About two miles from the turn crossed a rivulet three yards wide; it is a shallow stony bed, and camped by twilight on its bank. Distance nine miles.
Cool and cloudy. Myself and several others rode in about a mile and a half to smoke on Bear River and there found Miles Goodyear, two other men and a Mr. Craig and Truitt and two others direct from California by Hastings route. They had a long drive of seventy-five miles over a salt plain without water. They lost five horses. T Goodyear and men are for Ft. Bridger: Craig and men for the states. They call this point on Bear River half way from San Francisco to St. Joseph, Missouri. West of the divide there is less red clay and more vertical strata.
Sun. July 11th Clear and pleasant. Frost last night and thin ice in the bucket this morning. A fine spring of excellent water between our camp and the first rise. The road forks at this ford and goes down the creek further and crossing over to Bear River the other bearing off south. About a mile and a half nearly due south and about two hundred yards to the left where the southern road begins its second rise and near a Black Alder bush is a fine spring of mineral tar exudeing from the slope of the hill among sandstone boulders and covering with its deposit of pitch and asphalthon a Surface thirty feet by three yards, and near it an abundance of starch root and an excellent edible root, white and about the size of a pheasants egg. Plenty antelopes on the Muddy and Beaver Rivers and an abundance of trout in the last named river. Very warm. About dusk camp assembled to vote for the road to be taken. The right hand or northern route was carried. A fine sulphur spring about two hundred yards south of where the road comes to the rivulet.
Mon. 12th Started at about seven a.m. Cloudy and warm. Between the rivulet and Bear river are two low stone hills. The second has a steep rise and fall. Forded Bear River which is about forty rods wide and two feet deep. Current rapid and the bed stony. Soil redish, yellowish and white clay. Vegetation more abundant. Noon halt at needle cliff. Distance nine and three forth miles. Grass and road good. Three lopes killed. Started and soon began to wind gradually up a long ascent to quite an elevation where we had a fine view of the mountain, hill, dale and valley. All free from snow and looking green and beautiful with quite a rank and general vegetation. Descended as moderately steep hill and came to a fine spring close on our left. Grass good. Kept descending gradually by slopes and inclined vales. Camped about six p.m. In the vale (Matthews) abounding in good grasses sufficient for a large camp. There is a good spring two or three hundred yards south of camp. Prest. Young and a few wagons stayed at noon halt. He was sick. Several lopes killed. Distance six and three forth miles. Road good. Soil in many places a dark loam. A fine cave (Reddings) just back of camp. Silicious sandstone. Near sunset a few dark clouds, some thunder and a few drops of rain, sufficient to cause a brilliant full arched rainbow.
Tues 13th Some clouds but very pleasant. The President did not come up last night. This morning some men on horseback went back to see him. I am much better. At half past eleven some in Elder Heber C. Kimball came up to us on horseback and reported the President better but Col. Rockwood worse. Soon after twelve we had a slight shower from the south west and thunder. At one p.m. camp gathered and from by council from Prest. Young twenty three wagons with Prof. Orson Pratt leader, started on at three p.m. to fix the road to Weber river Kanyon and Survey Reeds cut off &c while the sick are recovering. I went to see the Prest. and returned about dark and reported to the camp that Prest. B. Young and Colonel A. P. Rockwood quite sick.
Wed, 14th Some cloudy but quite warm. Pleasant breeze from the South West. Several in camp sick with the fever. Decided to form a new camp in the morning. A slight shower after dark.
Thurs. 15th Some cloudy otherwise very pleasant. A light thunder shower at eleven. At half past twelve Prest Young came up. The sick are nearly all better. More light thunder showers. Started at two p.m. and proceeded two miles and passed two good springs one by the roadside the other opposite. Grass good and plentiful. Camped at quarter to four making four miles and a half. Three good spring and plenty good grass. Plenty willows, sage and dwarf white cedar. I went to the top of the hill north of camp. View west cutt off by high ridges. One lope killed. Clear.
Fri, 16th At five a.m. had a short thunder shower. At seven another shower. At half past eight some clouds left but quite warm. Started at about nine, and kept on in the narrow vale. Springs and quaking asps saplings at several point on the road. Very high and steep hills on each side of the road. Noon halt at half past twelve. Distance six and three forth miles. Two fine springs here and quaking asps, plenty of good grass and dwarf cedars. Very high cliffs and nearly vertical of yellow, gray and redish sandstone various degrees of fineness capped with pud[d]ing [stone]. Beds thick and some of them dip[p]ing. No means of ascertaining the strike or dip. O. P. Rockwell returned from the advance company and reported it above twenty miles to the fork of Reeds cut of[f] Kanyon road. Started, the road down the same vale: good except crossing spring runs six times at steep banks. Camped about seven miles travel. Distance nine miles and a half. Grass tolerable. Water from a run.
Sat. 17th Clear and warm. Prest. Young is quite sick last night and this morning. Got an axle tree mended. Started at ten and soon came to the mouth of Red Fork and took down Bear River and camped at quarter to twelve on Bear River. Prest. Brigham Young not able to travel. Distance made two miles and a half. This river is about forty rods wide and an averave [average] of from one to one half foot deep. Current very rapid. Channel meanndering. Bed stony with plenty of narrow leaved Cotton woods on its bank, also goose and June berries begin to ripen. At about 2 p.m. the Pioneers twelve (except Prest. Young, who was sick) Amasa Lyman with Browns detachment and W. Woodruff were hunting horses. A few brethren ten in all repaired to the mountains, clothed and prayer by W. Richards, signs &c. &c and prayer by H. C. Kimball, signs &tc and prayer by Geo. A. Smith, signs &c. All rolled stones going up and returning and got back about five o'clock. Grass tolerable.
Sun. 18th Thin ice in the bucket. At seven p.m. [a.m.] clear and warm. Prest. Some better. At ten o'clock a.m. prayer meeting. Voted that all go on in the morning except a few wagons that the President may be more retired. Dismissed till two p.m. Quite warm. Met at two p.m. according to adjournment. Sacrament administered. Elder H. C. Kimball gave some good teachings and remarked that the Prest. had been washed and anointed all over and then slept and woke when he looked like a new man and would be able to go on in a day or so. Both meetings [blank space] good. Bishop Lewis presiding.
July 19th Frost near the river. At seven a.m. quite clear and warm. President Young better. Started at about eight a.m. Soon after the President and the few in company came on a short distance. Kept down Weber River and traveled three miles and three quarters when we crossed the river. Soon struck a spring rim. Kept up it some distance and crossed it two or three times and then rose to the top of Platte Pass. From Bridger struck over into the head of a spring run, and kept going down it a mile or so. Stoped to water our cattle and turned to the right to avoid a long kanyon or rim. Rose a hill then descended and at its foot crossed a branch of the Weber about six yards wide and very large. Camped on its bank. Distance thirteen and three forths miles. With a little more labor, the road for a mountain one, would be excellent. It is now quite rough and stony in places. Grass indifferent. and Small willows in abundance.
Myself and Elder W. Richards visited the kanyon of this branch just below our camp it is very rough. This branch empties into the Weber River between its two kanyons which are reported to be some some five or six miles apart. R [text missing] From this ridge you can see snow mountains, about two or three twenty miles ahead, streaching across our route. Pudding stone prevailing in the out crop.
Red Fork springs and this fork shut in quite close by hills and cliffs.
Tues 20th Frost, ice in the bucket. At seven a.m. clear and warm. Nights cool, days hot. Walker out all night came in safe this morning. A small coal pit burnt last night [blank space] this sitting this morning. Geo. Wardle quite unwell this morning .
Started at about half past ten a.m. Crossed kanyon fork eleven times, passing one bitter Cottonwood and quaking asp grove and growing going through one. Camped after five on the same fork. Distance seven and one forth mile. Road work at fords and cutting willows. Road stony and the hardest we have had on wagons and so narrow in groves and willows that one cannot walk and drive. Little or no grass here or on this fork, except wheat grass which the animals do not like. Very warm at noon. Bro. Wardle is much better. I was at work on the road. Three wagons and six men (three well and three sick men) tarried.
Wed. July 21st Clear and warm. Started at about seven a.m. Geo. A. Smith superintended road work. Some crossed the fork and turned to the right to ascend the kanyon. Kept up a dry spring run, shut in close by steep hills. Ascent gradual. Road good. Quaking asp, bitter cottonwood, balsam fir and spruce pine in abundance. Reached the top at eleven from which we had a fine view of spurred and ragged mountains ranges, some with snow on and also of a fine valley. Descent straight, smooth and quite steep for about five hundred yards then a good spring. This run is close in shut in by hills. Kept down the run some distance through a burnt quaking asp grove. Soil rich and quick. Vegetation rank. A. Carrington worked on the road from before we stoped till one p.m. Some oak and sugar maple shrubs. Had to cross the run often. Got clear of timber and thickets. Kept down the run some further then turned to the right to avoid the kanyon. Made a long tolerable rapid ascent to the top of the divide between this and another run. Cannon wagon on Bro. Froste [Frost's] team gave out here. Descent long and uniformily very steep. Kept down the run. Road rough and camped after dark teams on wagons about thirteen hours. Distance fourteen hours miles. Within half a mile of advance company. Nearly all wheat grass. Cottonwood, fir and a few small sugar, trees, oak, box elder trees, &c Service berries plentiful and beginning to ripen. Limestone creeping over if but faintly in many places on last ascent, and descent. Pudding stone plentiful in this run. Red clay in places. Some small rushes. All the teams are tired. Cloudy towards evening but quite warm all night. Very dusty.
Thurs. 22nd Clouds thick and dark. Started a little before nine down the run. At a quarter past nine we overtook the advance company. Passed on a short distance and found where the emigrants had turned to the left over a steep hill: having got tired of cutting brush and poles just as they were almost out. Some of the boys picked out some whiteish and very [blank space] tufa near here. We cut on about one hundred and fifty yards and came out of the narrowest part of the kanyon. Hills sloped back high and steep and in many places craggy. They soon took a lower elevation. We soon emerged into a fair view of the south east part of the Great Salt Lake with three quite long and high ranges of mountains in sight in its waters. The valley including a portion of the slopes is some eight or ten miles across. As we proceed down the run towards the lake the small timber and brush give out and a few clumps and fringes of willows and scattering cottonwoods and Box Elder trees on the runs is all the timber or shrubbery in the valley. Kept on down a run and camped at six o'clock on the bank. Here a pretty stream about two or three yards wide. Distance seven miles and a quarter. Clouds mostly disapeared. Good few musquetoes plenty after dark. Soil quick and fertile. Vegetation fir [blank space] from drought. Grass good although getting some dry and tough. Myself, Orson Pratt and a few others started on horseback in the morning and explored down the kanyon <&> then turned north keeping the edge of the valley. Crossed two clear runs about the size of this, stony beds, and came to a saline portion of valley abounding in hot mineral springs: one very large and very hot. Distance traveled and seen ahead judged to be about twenty miles north of camp. Deep banks of snow on the Rocky peaks a few miles south east from camp. Killed several rattlesnakes A grove of small trees. A few trees nearly one foot through near the mouth of the kanyon.
Fri 23rd Clear and warm. Started to travel about seven a.m. Went north near the edge of the valley and camped on another small run about nine. And at quarter past nine meeting of camp. Prayer by Prof. Orson Pratt. Remarks were made by Bros. Pratt and Richards, S. Roundy, S. Tafft, S. Markham, Bro. Crow and Albert Carrington. A committee was appointed to pick out ground for potatoes, buck wheat, turnips &c Reported good ground and forty by twenty rods stalked off for potato patch at half past eleven. At twelve first furrow turned. Dam on run for irrigation began at two. Three ploughs running and one harrow. Two acres and a half ploughed. Grass mowing for turnip patch. Prarrie hens. Wandering and silk poded milkweed. About six quite cloudy, some thunder and a slight shower. Breeze from the south. At dark meeting at camp. Major Pack reported the President and his company this side of the mountains a few miles back on the last run and all better. Regulations about teams &c Teams to come on tours of four hours each from four a.m. to eight p.m. four tours.
Sat. 24th Some cloudy but quite warm. Potatoes all planted. I planted first. At about two the President and his company came up, all better. Water let on the ground. Towards evening a slight shower.
[Abridged version also in George A. Smith, "My Journal," Instructor, May 1949, 227-29, 233; ibid., June 1949, 283-85; ibid., July 1949, 331-32.]