William Snow/Joseph Young Company (1850)
Departure: 21 June 1850
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Coray, Mary Ettie, Reminiscence, in Nelson Winch Green, Fifteen Years among the Mormons; Being the Narrative of Mrs. Mary Ettie V. Smith, Late of Great Salt Lake City (New York: H. Dayton, 1859), 140-44.
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I was anxious to go on to New Fort Karney [Kearny], where my mother and brothers were. Joseph Young, the brother of the Prophet, was now about to leave, with his family, for Utah, and his first wife, that is, the one he first married-his lawful wife-was very anxious I should travel with them; and I therefore went to her house to prepare for the journey.
Everything was now ready, and in June, 1849 , we commenced a journey that was to last for months, over a wild stretch of prairie and desert, and among bleak and snow-capped mountains-a journey memorable for its hardships, from fatigue, hunger and sickness. The cholera raged that season with uncommon fury on the plains, among all classes of emigrants, and the entire route was almost an unbroken succession of burying-grounds. Newly made graves met the eye at every step; and there, amidst these, and the loneliness and solitude of the great desert, we struggled on. Alone with the one great God, of whose mysterious existence we knew but little, and between whom and us stood our own Prophet, as our guide over the wide plains, sublime in their vastness.
When we arrived at New Fort Karney [Kearny], I was again disappointed at finding my mother and brothers had gone on to the valley, and I was under the necessity of making the entire journey with the family of Joseph Young. The company in which we travelled, were uncommonly fortunate in losing but few of its members by cholera, while other parties were in some cases nearly cut off by it.
But the Gentile emigrants were still more unfortunate. Whole companies were swept off, and their cattle and other effects fell into the hands of the Mormons. Their teams, too, were liable to become worn down, and would often die; and then, the emigrant who had loaded his wagon with such articles of furniture and tools as he had deemed indispensable to him, would be under the necessity of leaving them on the way. Of course they could not be sold, as no one would buy, when the chances were, that sooner or later he could find more than he could carry, abandoned on the way. The Mormons were generally well provided with teams, and owing to their experience in the hardships of such migrations, and the better discipline introduced by the Prophet, among their various companies of ten wagons each, their cattle seldom gave out, and they were thus always prepared to appropriate anything valuable to be found on the route.
This state of things was soon understood among the Gentiles, and they adopted the plan of privately burying their most valuable property when obliged to leave it, among the graves of the dead, and erecting over it a headstone, and marking thereon some name to indicate the locality of a stranger's grave-so that one unversed in the secret, might unwittingly walk among real graves, mingled with valuable property "cached" among them, and if sentimentally inclined, might drop a silent tear of sympathy over a valuable stove, or plow, or the like, purporting to be the grave of Amos Brown, or Hackaliah Thompson, of Connecticut or Kentucky. . . .
I do not propose to give a detailed account of our journey to Salt Lake, as I kept no journal of it. It was long and tiresome, occupying four months for its accomplishment, every day bringing with it a new adventure. Now harassed with the fear of an attack from the Indian bands, that roam the boundless plains through which our route lay, who are governed by no law save that of a strongest arm; parched one day by thirst under a scorching sun, and the next, drenched by soaking rains. Suffocated by the hot airs of the plains during the day, and at night, chilled by the cold breath of the mountains: in short, suffering all the chances and mischances of a wandering life in the open air. Joyous and glad when the sun and the heavens were propitious, and sternly resolute to protect the aged, and the frail women and little children, when the face of nature frowned upon us, we struggled through to the end, and about the middle of September, 1849 , arrived at Great Salt Lake City.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Gallup, Luke William, Reminiscences and diary 1842 May-1891 Mar., 122-41.
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Monday [June]10  Rose early— had a long hunt for our old cow Pink, and at 7 o’clock AM we were ready to start and bid adieu to the old place in Missouri. with all its varied scenes. We shook hands with those not soon to follow us; and Brother. Daniel was much affected and sorrowful at our parting. He hated to see us go and leave and tears rolled down his face. We were soon rolling away on the road and I felt to say adieu to scenes behind. Fell in company with 6 other wagons and kept with them about 2 hours and halting, we drove on and saw them no more. Crossed the new bridge on Nishnabottana and found a stopping place by a house 3 miles above Argyles ferry
11th - journeyed on and took a noon spell near the house of Mr. Rose—then drove on till we came to Elm Creek where we passed the 2d night—gathered a mess of pig weed for greens[.] No inhabitant lived there.
12th - A 4 mile drive brought us to the houses on Keg Creek—called at the grist mill and got our flour and meal, paying the money for grinding it. A short
13th - Moved one mile southwest and joined 6 other wagons and were 1½ miles from the Bethlehem ferry, then went over there to see what was going on and saw Wilford Woodruff for the first time. He was organizing a company for the plains.
14th - Made a move with our wagon ½ mile farther south and were opposite the lower road leading through the timber to the ferry —were now on Mr. Johnsons’ land, and by permission we repaired up an old yard to keep our cattle in at night. Went to the river and assisted the ferry man two trips over. Father [Daniel] Cook and family arrived near sunset. He wished to know what was going on over there to the ferry so we went. I bought a 5 gallon water keg of Brother Woodruff.
Monday 17th - Again went to the river with our teams and made out to get across about noon. I then went back and purchased a few things—was gone about 3 hours. We then ascended the hill from the river and found some tight pulling. On the hill we found Capt. Woodruff and Mr. Carter. I agreed, and took on some glass and nails for Brother Woodruff and received 102 lbs sugar and 20 lbs coffee on payment and the balance of our pay $4.15 to be paid in Great Salt Lake City. 145 lbs corn meal in Bethlehem cost us $3. pr. cwt. I now commenced a new note book dated at our crossing. Our freight being on we drove 6 miles from the river and made our first camping place over the Missouri and we expected Brother Woodruff to organize a company here and take charge of it.
18th - Some wagons got along and camped on the opposite side of the Stream by us, and at last Brother Woodruff arrived and camped there too. They had some heavy loaded wagons over there with freight and it seemed quite uncertain when they would get ready to move.
19th - The company where we were finally began to grow impatient to move West and so concluded to form a comp[any] of our own. We held a meeting to arrange matters and accordingly elected our officers. The vote was unanimous for the following officers.
Justus Morse Capt, John Banks, A. J. Stewart for his councilors. L.W. Gallup Clerk and John Banks for Chaplain.
Brother Woodruff was present and gave us some counsel—thought we should be able to reach the Valley in safety though we were running some risk; and said he did not feel disposed to counsel or advise in the matter—he probably thought it would do no good if contrary to our wishes and if so he was about right. He requested a list of persons etc. belonging to our Company which we gave him—as follows—
No. Wagons [and] Names of Owners
Nine wagons and 41 persons in all. Sixteen male members were capable of doing military duty. We had One horse, Seventy Two head of cattle, Six dogs and 4 doves—Also our implements of war were 11 guns, 2 pistols and 3 swords
June 20th - We commenced our march to cross the plains[.] As soon as we got over the small bridge between us and Woodruffs camp 3 Cal. wagons left his company and joined ours. At 6 miles out we passed by a camp of 12 wagons. Saw by the roadside the first new made grave. Sprinkling of rain and showery away South. Another 6 miles and halted for dinner, where we were joined by a 13th wagon owned by Mr. Norton. Started on again at 3 P.M. Were detained a short time crossing Weeping Water or Willow Cr. and camped on its West side at sunset. 16 miles 1st day.
21st - We met and held a council before starting to arrange matters and make our organization more perfect. It was voted that Brother John Banks should write an article of agreement for our com. to be governed by; whereupon he wrote the following.—
“This certifies that the undersigned mutually agreed to form into a company, to travel together to the City of the Great Salt Lake, pledging themselves to abide by such rules and regulations as should be adopted by a majority of votes of the whole company—such company being on all occasions consulted.
2nd That the Captain shall be fully empowered to give such instructions as he may deem requisite, and to command and direct the movements of the company from day to day without control, save that he be assisted by two councilors whom he may consult as circumstances require.—
3rd That this company shall not consist of more than 15 wagons except by the unanimous approbation of the owners of such wagons
4th any person or persons forming a portion of this company willfully breaking any rule which may now or hereafter be adopted, resisting the authority and refusing to obey the command of the Captain shall no longer be permitted to corral] or partake of the privileges arising from this organization.” This article was signed by—Justus Morse, John Banks, A. J. Stewart, Daniel Cook, David Cook, David H. Neal, David Webb, Luke W. Gallup, Thomas Winter Jr., Ja. W. Neal, Rey Ambroise, Sam’l Huffman, & John C. Neal
Our former proceedings were again sanctioned unanimously in relation to company officers. Some others were expecting to sign the above document but neglected to do it for some cause. Names of them were—Nathan Orton, James Carrigan, Wm. H. Mc.Gary, J. H. Gilpatrick, John Orton, Harvey Morse, Riley Morse, Geo. Staples, Wm. Hooley, John Neal, James Neal Jr. and Thomas Winter Jr.
And for convenience we divided the company into 3 divisions, under Morse, Banks and Stewart. Each division taking its turn every third night on guard. Other rules were adopted but never written.
We got started off at 8 AM. At noon we got to a creek where we had to help each other up the bank. Here we saw 5 new made graves and one cell dug all ready for some one. A mile farther on found another bad crossing place and at both places we worked with spades and axes to mend the road. A stray calf was found and drove along. Country broken and hilly, scarcity of timber[.] camped at 6 P.M.—13 miles—29 in all, for the two days
Saturday 22nd - Another stray calf was drove into camp this morning to be taken along. We rolled on till noon and then laid by on account of a rainy P.M. After the thunder shower it was some cooler. We had a fine ridge road and some good scenery and an excellent camp ground. A Government train of 27 wagons camped near by just before dark. We were again near the Weeping Water—a small amount of timber lined the banks and gooseberries were found. 8 miles. Total 37.
Sunday 23 - A rainy morn prevented an early start and was late before we crossed the Creek—then 2 hours longer it rained. followed by cloudy day with a fair breeze of wind. Selected a camp ground by the road side one mile from Salt Creek. An ox that died lately was not far off. Just after dark a man (a stranger) passed the camp on whom a suspicion of evil design rested. On asking him where he was going, said he was bound for Salt Lake. He had a bundle of clothes on his back. Mr. A. J. Stewart thought he resembled a certain horse thief who resided part of his time among the Indians. It was then moonlight and some of our company wanted to have him arrested and put under guard for the night but nothing was done. 12 miles today—total 49.
24th - Just at daybreak our camp was a little bit alarmed by two of
25 - Up and down hill road for 10 miles and our teams suffered for want of water. P.M. took in some wood and. water near an old camp ground Saw 6 graves there, and heard some talk of Cholera. Thunder shower at 6 o’clock in the evening followed by a rainy night. Camped in open prairie. 14 miles total 72.
27th - The lone team of 3 men (ones name was Beech) started and we saw them no more. At noon we saw the first Antelope. At 3 P.M. met 3 wagons from the Valley—a level and good road—scarcity of water—the landscape view was broad and extensive. Camped 2 miles from Platte bottom—found some strawberries. 20 miles total 107.
28th - Thunder shower about daylight, and the wind blew down one of our tents. At 11 AM. passed Walls company]. They were washing and airing their things and sickness was in their midst—some had already died, 10 since they started, had lost. Some of our Macedonia folks were there. Brother [Horace] Spaffords family had lost most of any. They called on us for medicine and we let them have some; and then went on—suffered some for want of water and the great heat. Learned that Brother [Warren] Foot[e]s Company was ahead. Tedious going the last mile on account of late rains. 6 P.M. reached our camp ground not far from the river, and by a stream whose clear and sandy bottom invited some of us to go in and bathe, which was an excellent treat. 13 miles. total 120.
29th - Last night was stormy with sharp and vivid lightning and every tent was blown down for the wind was heavy. Today our Company did some washing and gave the cattle a rest. P.M. Walls Company passed on by us. Our Company thus far have enjoyed good health—only slight sickness and nothing serious. Brother Banks and some of father's folks have been slightly unwell but are getting better. Had some good singing in the evening by Brothers Banks and Webb. Appearance of fair weather yet had another blow out before the next morn with light rain. Began our mile Count 6 miles West of the Missouri river. So we must be now 126 miles on the route.
30th - cloudy morning and very light rain. The Valley Mail passed, on their way East and Robert Campbell came to see us ½ mile off the road with a letter from B. F. Stewart to his Brother in our Company. The Mail Company had 2 wagons and the following persons going on a mission to England and all well—Isaac C. Height, Wm. Burton, John O. Angus, A. M. Harmon, C. V. Spencer, J. M. Works, J. W. Crosby & Robert Campbell—also Thomas Grover and family bound for the States and said to be sick.
Some dissatisfaction appeared in our Company in the P.M. The majority manifested a disposition to move on, but the Captain and a few others were for staying a while longer. Held a council towards evening and divided the men in the three divisions equally making 8 in each. The 1st Division herd the cattle and stands guard the first 24 hours and then the other Divisions in their turn – the Captain still controlling the Company as before.
First Division of 3 wagons had the following men - J. Morse, H. Morse, R. Morse, A. Ray, Wm. H. Mc. Gary, N. Orton, J. Orton, & J. Carrigan.
Second Division, 6 wagons and the following men - John Banks, G. Staples, T. Winter, D. Webb, Ja. Neal, D. H. Neal, J. Neal Jr. & John Neal.
Third Division, 4 wagons and the following men - A. J. Stewart, S. Hoffman, L. W. Gallup, T. Winter Jr., Daniel Cook, D. Cook, J. H. Gilpatrick & Wm. Hooly
Monday 1st - A.M. cool and cloudy and one light shower. Had many miry slews to cross and Brother Webbs wagon tongue was broke in getting out of one—only got 14 miles total 140.
2nd - The road got better in the P.M. becoming dryer. At 10 A.M. we got along side the river and continued near it the remainder of the day. The Platte bottom from bluff to bluff appears now about 20 miles wide. Saw many small islands in the river. Some beautiful landscape scenes. Had some musquetoe at our evening camp ground for our amusement.
This evening Brother Banks went to the Captain and tendered his resignation and would not take charge of his division any longer as things didn’t suit him. 20 miles total 160.
July 3rd - A calf was lost this morning. Short pitchands & sloughs made bad going in places. Warm and a small cloud gathered overhead at noon and thunder for a while but no rain where we were. Plenty of wood on the Platte islands and opposite bank. Romantic scenery along the river and beautiful views for the landscape painter. Our camp ground we thought would some day make a fine site for a city. 20 miles, total 180.
Thursday 4th of July - Our road was an up and down one to-day—fire wood scarce but plenty on the islands out of reach. Cattle suffered some from excessive heat. Plenty of musquitoes visited us in the evening and night and were quite free and made us feel not quite so independant. 4 young men in search of lost cattle slept in our Camp.
5th - Got a late start on account of lame cattle. The Neals received $2. for the use of 2 horses to hunt lost cattle by another Company. Road tolerable good yet we got over only 12 miles, total 212.
6th - Moved slow and steady. A spirit of dissatisfaction is on the increase in our Company and if no better order there may be a break up. Our horsemen went ahead and camped with a small Company of 8 wagons 3 miles in advance. Road level and good. This evening began to use Buffalo chips for the first time. 15 miles, total 227.
Sunday 7th - The Bottom land is now very wide and extensive. Eight miles out halted for noon a short distance opposite New Ft. Kearney. Copy of a letter sent from the Fort directed to Cousin E. H. Williams. We are on our way to Salt Lake and having a few spare moments at this station I hasten to give you a short sketch. We have a Company of 13 wagons, 25 men and 35 women and children. We have 10 horses, 110 head of cattle etc., etc. Left Missouri river June 17th. Mormon emigration commenced to roll out the first of last Month. Most of the Californians started in April and May. Some of whom had to return though they took feed for their teams we have been told.
Crowds of wagons were around Bethlehem on the Missouri. this season waiting to get over, and have waited, some of them a week before their turn to cross. 50 wagons make a regular company and Captains are chosen for 10, Tens Fifties and Hundreds to see and care for them that all goes right. We traveled over 100 miles before reaching Platte bottom which so far as I have seen was from 15 to 25 miles wide. The first 50 miles had a narrow strip of timber along its banks and sometimes only a narrow row, and a few broken places or none at all. And many a fine landscape view we could see. The Platte in appearance seems twice the size of Upper Mississippi yet may be inferior—is muddy like the Missouri with a sandy shallow water. Has many islands covered with shrubs and bushes. The second 50 miles by the river saw more woodland chiefly on large islands and good locations for Nine Sec. farms on the South side.
Then followed a few questions about the folks.—Long life to you and a merry one with peace and contentment when you seek for it in the right way.
Very Truly your Friend Luke Wm. Gallup.
Very little order prevailed in our Camp, yet rolled on 5 miles farther and after some trouble about it, we camped not far from the river. This evening Captain J. Morse resigned his command of the Company and called on Stewart to take charge who also resigned his office and so the company was disbanded. 13 miles, 240.
Monday 8th - Our Company has broke up at last after a considerable disagreement, and this morning J. Morse and his 2 wagons drove on and left us. At noon Captain Roundy's Company of 26 wagons went by and was followed by Orton and Carrigan who had one wagon. These 2 men were always finding fault and so were glad to get rid of them. Captain Morse had the habit of swearing some and did not seem to have sufficient control over the company. Brothers Banks & Webb had each a lame animal and the latter had only two large black oxen.
At 2 P.M. the 3 California wagons rolled on being unwilling to assist the weak teams. They had got tired of stopping and our pursuasions to help the weak was of no avail. Winters followed them without a word said; he was another disatisfied person—complained of having more than others to do and on the contrary side, from the Captian Stewart's teams also left with the Californians as they all had a herd of cattle that ran together. He promised to use his endeavors to get the others to wait for us, so we could overtake them a few miles ahead; but we never overtook them. Mc. Gary and Hoffman quit the Company and hired out to drive team for a Government train, and now only 4 wagons remain. Stormy night.
9th - J. Gilpatrick called to see us on his way back to the Fort. Reported Stewart and others ten miles ahead. He returned and staid all night with us, and went on next morning after the Company. Webb found a speculator (who farms it here on a large scale to supply the Fort) to whom he traded his big black ox (lame) for a good sized black cow.—Warm night—a host of musquetoes tormented us and got so bad that about 1 o.clock in the night we had to loose our cattle from our wagons, to give them some chance for their lives.
10th - started on with our 4 wagons at 6 A.M. and drove 15 miles, 255.
11th - A Thunder shower at 1 A.M. followed by an increase of musquetoes and before daylight our cattle started back on the road. I pursued in the darkness and overtook them 2 miles away—Day part cloudy—halted about sunset and had swarms of musquetoes to fight in the night, and suffered considerable from their depredations. 17 miles, total 272.
12th - foggy and very warm morn. Had 2 hours nooning. At 4 P.M. overtook 3 heavy loaded Government wagons going to Ft. Larime in charge of Mr. Wm. Tuttle. They were resting when we came along and had been all day for they traveled all last night. We joined companies and went on together, and at sunset camped in the open prairie away from the river—Passed by a lame ox today whose chance was good to die and furnish feed for the wolves. Distant thunder showers today—a comfortable night breeze kept off the musquetoes. 16 miles, 288.
13th - started at 7 A.M. An hour after found a scrap of writing by Gilpatrick saying they were in Roundys Company and desired us to hurry on and overtake them, telling us we could soon do it—that they had good health etc. and were but a day ahead. But few musquitoes at night. 16 miles, 304.
Sunday 14th - Thunder shower at 2 A.M. David Cook hired out to drive team for Mr. Wm. Tuttle at $20. pr. mo. At noon found some wood and took in a supply, but found plenty of wood and water at our evening camp ground East wind after a cloudy day. Had a cattle hunt after dark a little extra. 15 miles, 319.
15th - At 6 A.M. a team with 4 mules passed by us in a great hurry going East. We held on and had a washing day. At 3 P.M the mail for Salt Lake passed going West. Brother O. Hyde and others were aboard. Purchased of them a No. of the Frontier Guardian. Some of our party went out to the Bluffs on a hunt and one of them shot at 2 Buffalo but it did no good. Cloudy and light sprinkling; clear sunset.
16th - quit our encampment at 10 A.M. and shortly after met a Government train of 6 horsemen and 4 teams with mules. Some scattering trees along the road. At 2 P.M. we met a man from Foots Company in search of a lost animal. Said their Company was 15 miles ahead attending the sick and hunting Buffalo. 14 miles, total 333.
17th - We saw our first Buffalo which came quite near the wagons,—many Buffalo paths and grass very short. Soft limestone to be seen on the points of the low Bluffs. Was hindered part of the P.M. by one of our men shooting a Buffalo. It was 2 miles behind their train so a yoke of cattle were sent back to haul it into camp but when they got to the place it was not to be found. 11 miles, total 344.
18th - By neglect of our herdsman this morning the cattle strayed over 2 miles and out of sight and had to hunt for them quite awhile. Shortly after a Buffalo was shot (this time for certain) detaining us a while longer. Just before noon we saw swarms of Buffalo—not less than 3000. At noon another Buffalo was shot and its meat being better the other was thrown away. It got unequally divided for some acted hogish and took all the best part and so the balance of the company would not take the remnant and some went off hunting again. At 5 P.M. we saw the greatest sight of all. Being on a rise of ground we saw about 8000 at one view. We saw about 15000 in all this day. In the P.M. our course was towards the river and found a good spring to camp by. An Oregon Company of 3 wagons and plenty of horses and mules camped with us half an hour after stopping. 11 miles. Total 355.
19th - It was said to be a hoggish game some folks helping themselves to all the best Buffalo meat but the most of it spoilt on their hands and they had to throw it away soon after, the weather was so warm for it would not keep over 2 or 3 days. A drive of 3 miles brought us along side the river and then we passed among the Bluffs and had a slightly hilly road for 5 miles after which it was level as usual. To day the bottom land appeared only 3 or 4 miles wide. Saw some Buffalo this AM and last night at the springs they kept up a terrible bellowing all night. Father Cook found a lame ox and drove it along but the 2d night being outside the carelle it strayed off and we saw it no more. 15 miles, total 370.
20th - At 10, AM we met 5 teams from Larimie. Met 2 wagons at noon supposed to be Californians returning. A shower at dark. 18 miles, 388.
21st - The camp ground of the Oregon Companyilewas 1 m. ahead of ours and we got started first and so overtook them but they soon left us behind. P.M. passed a Gov. Train camped half mile off the road. They had 4 wagons and upwards 100 head of cattle near the river. The Bluffs today have a very gradual slope down to the river bottom which is quite narrow. Some Musquitoes to trouble us. 15 miles, total 403.
Monday 22nd - Reached the Platte ford at noon. Six horse teams overtook us at the ford part of whom had left Brother Woodruffs Company at Kearney with 30 wagons. They reported an accident in his company by lightning—one man and several cattle were killed. The river here is half a mile wide and the ford ¾ of a mile. Some of us had a tedious time of it wading near all the P.M.; having to go back and forth several times to assist each other with extra cattle. Some few things in our wagons got slightly wet, and near sunset we were all safe over and camped on the North side of the South Platte. 8 miles, total 411.
23rd - A train in charge of Mr. Dorothy of 6 wagons from Larimie passed—Buffalo robes was a part of the loading. We let our cattle rest and feed till 6 P.M. and then traveled all night. The mail from Kearney to Laramie by two horsemen and a pack mule accompanied us as far as Ash hollow.
24th - Had a good road till near daylight and then rather dangerous going down the Bluffs. Father Cook and Banks were called on and went and assisted a lone wagon up the hill, off on another road where they had staid a whole day—were going East. Reached North Platte sun half an hour
25 - Today road bad going through much sand—very warm. Better grass than usual at nooning place. A few antelope were seen. Camped half a mile off the river—musquetoes quite bad. 11 miles, 442.
26 More sand and hard hauling—good grass. River seems to widen and bluffs to diminish in size less rocks to be seen. Camped on the river bank and found musquetoes as bad as ever. 10 miles, 452.
July 27th - Road some better. At 3 P.M. we met 3 wagons from Laramie. Cloudy cool and windy—Shower at noon & some rain in the night. Camp ground on an eminence near the river. 13 miles, total 465.
28th - A 4-mule team passed us going West. The carriage contained 4 men and one was a merchant named Kinkead. Found a clear stream at noon and filled our water kegs as we generally have to use the muddy river water. 2 o’clock. P.M we met an express of 3 horsemen from Laramie in search of deserters who had fled for California or the States. Camp place was half a mile off the river, on a bench 40 to 50 ft high which gave us a fair view of surrounding scenery. Had a fine spring of water for our convenience. Cloudy A.M. fair P.M. Some good singing we had in the evening to cheer our hearts. 14 miles, 479.
29th - This morn we saw a pyramid rock in the distance which we passed in the P.M. scituated 2 miles off on our left. At 11 A.M. Mr. Tuttle found a horse badly injured in the shoulder. At 3 P.M. crossed Smith’s fork near its mouth—very low water. After this the face of the country seemed to change and the atmosphere too. Past 4 P.M. a cold cloud hung over us—sprinkled some followed by a gust of wind of short duration. Musquetoes as usual. 17. 496.
30th - At 9 AM. we met a Government train of 3 wagons. Mr. Tuttle found another horse that was sick (with Government brand) 5 o’clock. P.M. camped by the river and opposite to Chimney Rock which we visited before dark and saw thousands of names engraved in the soft rock. Scarcity of wood and few musquetoes. 13 miles, 509.
31st - Merchant Rees and 3 other men drove up and got breakfast with us. Made a short halt at noon and then went on. Brother Banks got ready as usual to start but changed his notion and turned his cattle loose again—one was slightly lame and we went too fast for him—he must have been afraid the lame one would give out and even if it did he would still have more team than we (except Tuttles teams) Webb’s Black Cow from Boothe of Kearney was left behind this morning and Tuttle furnished him an ox to work in her place. She was a headstrong brute and fractious in the yoke and some days ago had to give up working her and at last she got so bad off as to be unable to get her head down to eat grass, the neck was so sore and stiff. Banks was left to move as he liked. A lone wagon of 5 yoke cattle accompanied us most all day and camped with us at night half mile off the river. Bluffs on our left were somewhat broken and some high knobs of a pyramid shape 12 miles, total 521.
Thursday 1st - we moved on and left the river—Several dead cattle were seen. Bluffs on both sides of us. begin to resemble mountains. The range on our right put me in mind of a picture representation of a Mexican walled city, full of old castles and towers. One peak resembled a grain stack in one direction
[Drawings of Chimney Rock, Pyramid Peakand other unnamed peaks and bluffs]
At 2 P.M. August 1st we reached a pass in these mountain bluffs, and found water, but none for 13 miles back Here we found a sort of trading establishment whose things sold very high. Saw some old iron and other remains of a Blacksmith shop, also the first Indians since leaving Missouri river. Rested 2 hours and then resumed our journey. On descending, over the Pass we saw an Indian Camp 1 mile off the road. Camped by a spring at dusk; feed scarce and road very dry. A couple of traders from Laramie got supper with us and paid well for it. Shortly after two men from the States for Cal got a day and a half provisions from us. 18 miles, 539.
Friday 2nd - At 10 AM. we met 12 wagons and about 300 head of loose cattle. 2 P.M. we camped by Horse Creek and let our cattle rest the balance of the day. The lone wagon went on. One mile from our camp a dead Indian was seen and said to have died of Smallpox. Sunset Brother Banks arrived—his lame ox had got better[.] had traveled all one night and laid by as much in the day time. 8 miles, total 547.
3 - This morning the Mail for Laramie passed. Platte river is now bordered by a growth of small trees. Found two lame animals but were unable to drive either. Warm day and hard hauling in places of sand. One of my oxen began to grow lame and so turned him among the loose cattle. Also let Brother Webb have a cow to use and got a yoke of cows of father Cook. This plan we followed only to Laramie. Camp near a good stream of water. Two Indians on horseback visited us. Some Musquetoes. 12 miles, 551.
4th - A company of old and young Indians visited us and we gave them some vituals. The express from Kearney to Laramie—two horsemen passed us and two other horsemen in the P.M. Some Indians sick with the small pox; it was said were left in a house at Ash point. At 1 o’clock P.M. a wagon passed at a very rapid rate drawn by Mules. Some Indians in the P.M. and traded a few trinkets. Weather warm—Road good and romantic scenery. 14 miles, 565.
5th - Mr. Tuttle Pd. D. Cook $15 for driving team. Came in sight of the blue hills. 2½ miles East of Larime river we passed a French trading establishment for the Sioux Indians. 7 miles brought us to the mouth of Laramie river 1 mile below the Fort—the water much clearer than the Platte and caught some fish after camping there. 7 miles, total 572.
6 - crossed the river Laramiand & journeyed ¼ mile this day. The country about Laramie seems better than usual and yet seems barren and to produce little of any kind of vegetation. Pine and Juniper in places on the hill sides and the rivers are bordered by a young growth of Cotton wood. Laramie is yet small but on the increase. Provisions very high Flour $18, pr. hund. Bacon $18, sugar and coffee 50 cts pr. lb.—other things in proportion. Iron is worth almost nothing, yet Blacksmith work is very high. Shoes for a yoke of oxen will cost $8. Nails 75 cts pr doz or over $13 a yoke besides the labor of setting them on. Wagons and guns are of little account here. Tuttle having onloaded camped with us for the last time. Webb thinks he will have to stay here all winter for want of a team. We all concluded to stay several days, set our wagon tire and got some of the cattle shod. At noon some freighters arrived for Laramie—28 wagons belonging to Waldo & McCoy.
7th - Tuttle and company started back for Kearney. His hired man John would not do as he was told and so got turned off and so the poor fellow had to return with Mr. Tuttle and settle with Boothe of Kearney. Tuttle liked his two other men Williams and his son Lyman, and they coaxed and laid a plan and got away. Banks boy George Staples who had frequently been scolded at considerable. He slipped off so sly that Banks and his wife did not miss him till he had been gone a few hours. We found the two Ortons at Laramie and they had one yoke of cattle; they had been turned off by Carrigan who could not agree with them.
We started at 11 AM. and drove 3 miles and camped where the grass was better. Found the lone wagon that kept our Company about a week ago for two days—the 5 men divided, and Simon P. Gerty and his two brothers went on. 3 miles, total 575.
8th - 4 wagons passed.—shower in the P.M. We began a small coalpit.
9th - father Cook caught 2 mess of fish—7 wagons camped with us.
10th - A.M. 24 wagons passed being a part of Captain Snow’s Company under Leonard and Pierson. Hooping wheels and setting tires going on. Three large catfish were caught out of the Platte. Brother Grant's Company of 20 wagons arrived and camped 1¾ miles below.
11th - It threatened us a shower yesterday and today but we only got a sprinkling and gust of wind. We put 2 letters in the Laramie P.O. one going to my father in Connecticut. Here is the most of it.—
After leaving Missour. river we journeyed over 300 miles before we saw any Buffalo—then not less than 8000 at one view & over 20 000 during the day—vast herds of them feeding together and for several days a scarcity of grass for our cattle. Sometimes lame ones have to be left behind for the wolves to devour. It was over 500 miles before we saw any Indians and then we saw hundreds of the Sioux, many of them on horses and mules and a strange set of beings they were. The ford in South Platte was half a mile wide very shallow and swift and not over 4 feet deep. Larimie ford was 10 rods wide and 2½ feet deep. We have got to Laramie 575 miles and many are the long and desolate plains behind us—the Blackhills of the mountains are before us in sight and Laramie peak can be seen 60 miles off. We are waiting to recruit our cattle and get the lame ones shod. The Government blacksmith only wants per yoke $8, for shoes and 75 cts per dozen nails. This will make $12, to 14, and we put them on. Laramie is quite a thriving village and is more for the benefit of a few Big Bugs. They should assist the emigrant and I suppose they do when they are well paid. Sugaand & coffee sells at 50 cts pr lb. candles $1, lb. Flour $18. pr hund. or $30, pr bbl. Pork-o & other things in proportion; except wagons, guns, & a few other things left by the emigrant. Iron is very abundant and tons of it is strewn along the road left by Californians who destroyed many of their wagons and burnt the wood and threw the iron in the river while it was high water. The river has fallen and gives us a view of the iron strewn along the bank. Was Clerk of the Company and kept a journal and have given you a few items of it. Our teams are not very strong but we are in no way disheartened. We should be glad to hear from you and the rest of our folks, and would be glad to be with you and talk over the past but the time has not yet come. Do write soon—Direct Salt Lake City Deseret. My best wishes to you all. May God bless you is the prayer of your Son Luke Wm. Gallup
P.S. Brother J. M. Grant has come along with a company and now we can get our blacksmithing done and don't care a fig for Uncle Sam’s Fort. The leaders of our people are doing a good work. They have instructed Brother Hunter to bring up the rear and help the needy with his loose cattle on to Deseret. Pd 10 cts postage on this letter to carry it as far as the frontier.
12th - We were busy tire setting. Exchanged with Brother Grant's Company some charcoal for ox shoes. P.M. ten wagons of Wm. Snows company passeother. Br. Gardiner Snows Company camped 1 mile below us this evening.
13th - We got Botherr. Stone a blacksmith (of Gardners Company) to come to our company and do some work. We assisted to fix his bellows and found him coal and in 6 hours he made $10, and charged one third as much as the Fort men and he staid the longer as his company had lost an ox—and left us at noon. 33 wagons passed and 16 more among whom was J. Carter. Some are using leather shoes for their cattle. P.M. thunder shower and sharp lightning.
14th - Three wagons left our camp ground two of which were Sam C. Pines also a company of 7 others said to be Adamsonand& Farleys. At 10 A.M. Wm. Snows Comany of 43 wagons passed followed by Brother Grants of 20 wagons. Brother Webb of our Company was fortunate as he expected to have to winter at Laramie. He found an odd cow some days ago and we found today another stray cow and let him have and so he was provided. We started at noon after a 9 days stay at Laramie. Overtook and followed in the rear of Grants Company some hard hauling through a piece of sand. Brother Banks boy had run away and so he had to do his own driving and made awkward work for the first time and near camping time, drove against a tree which smashed his wagon bows on one side. This irritated him some and so he went on ahead of us and camped with Brother Grants Company but joined us next day. We camped with Wm. Snows Company 1/4 mile off the river. 9 miles, total 584.
15th - David Cooand & I had a long walk of 3½ miles down the river for our cattle that were moving back for Laramie. Banks cattle had strayed too and he came back 2 miles to us to find them. At 8 AM. we started on in Wm. Snow company. Eight miles and we halted by a small creek. We got permission to go with Brother Snows Company 6 miles farther in the P.M. Some light showers. Hilly road. Some pine on the bluffs and hill sides—grass scarce.] 15 miles, 598.
16th - Eight miles and we came to a creek with a little water, then 4 miles to nooning but no water and short stop. A mile farther we found an excellent spring and staid an hour there—Then 3 miles and camped by a Creek[.] some timber & bushes, grass good. Visited one of the red sand and clay hills in this vicinity. 12 miles, total 610.
17 - Soon after leaving our encampment while journeying along a large body of Indians visited us and kept our company for a few miles. They seemed friendly, traded a little and begged much. 8 miles to the river where we had a noon-spell. A Thunder shower in the P.M. detained us half an hour. The rain laid the dust which was bad and the wind blew very hard so we made 5 miles farther and got to the river and camped just before dark—saw some Buffalo on the opposite bank. Most of the Company met in Council in the evening, about the best course to pursue etc. agreed to spend Sunday here. Brother Banks sung the hymn “Hail to the Prophet” 13 miles today, total 623.
Sunday 18th August. Cloudy morning and Easterly wind. Rained nearly all day and night.
19th - A drizzling rain cold and wind East all day and night—hauled up old dry cottonwood logs and made good fires—grass good here. A few went out Buffalo hunting and got in late, with a small quantity of meat on horseback. Our little company belongs in Brother. Nobles Ten. We have in the company Three organized Tens with 48 wagons. The other half of the company are ahead. It fell to my lot to be on a watch tour last Saturday night. Brother A. Stodard gave me a list of guardsmen in his ten, as follows—Sam’l McClelan, Amos Stodard, W.C. McClelan, Hugh Day, G. W. Cliff [Clift], Cyrus Sanford, Wm. Parker, Nathan Cheney, John Fassett, Warren Burgess, Charles Brown, Wm. Walker, Charles Barnum, and Ja[mes] McClel[l]an. 14 in all.
Guardsmen in [Lucian] Nobles Ten—Wm. Snow, Lucian Noble, H. H. Cole, Ja. A. Cole, A. I. Cole, Leonard Wines, John Levrett [Leavitt], Henry Woodard, Mr. Winfield, David Webb, Geo. Catlin, John Simmons, J. Simmons Jr, Wm. Stephens[,] Wm. Stephens Jr., Walter Stephens, Albert Stephens, David Cook, Daniel Cook & Luke W. Gallup. I have also obtained a List of names etc. in Captain Wm. Snow’s Hundred which I copied from his papers.
Names of those at the head of families [and] No[.] Persons in each
___________________Total, 7 [Families], 50 People, 13 Wagons, 82 Cattle, 8 Horses
Tory [Thore] Thirston [Thurston], 5 People, 1 Wagon, 4 Cattle
______________Total, 17 Families, 103 People, 25 Wagons, 149 Cattle, 13 Horses, 25 Sheep
Alfred Bibee [Bybee], 3 People, 1 Wagon, 6 Cattle
_____________Total, 24 Families, 145 People, 35 Wagons, 209 Cattle, 15 Horses, 25 Sheep
Ja[mes] McClelan, 11 People, 3 Wagons, 18 Cattle
______________Total, 33 Families, 203 People, 47 Wagons, 288 Cattle, 17 Horses, 25 Sheep
John Fosset, 6 People, 1 Wagon, 7 Cattle
________Total, 37 Families, 231 People, 57 Wagons, 345 Cattle, 21 Horses, 2 Mules, 25 Sheep
Gardner Snow, 10 People, 2 Wagons, 11 Cattle
________Total, 49 Families, 315 People, 77 Wagons, 451 Cattle, 26 Horses, 2 Mules, 38 Sheep
Warren Smith, 13 People, 2 Wagons, 13 Cattle
________Total, 57 Families, 366 People, 91 Wagons, 543 Cattle, 35 Horses, 2 Mules, 38 Sheep
Truman Leonard, 3 People, 2 Wagons, 14 Cattle
_______Total, 63 Families, 390 People, 101 Wagons, 592 Cattle, 39 Horses, 2 Mules, 38 Sheep
Harmon D. Persons [Pierson], 3 People, 1 Wagon, 6 Cattle, 4 Sheep
___________ 73 Families, 446 People, 114 Wagons, 667 Cattle, 40 Horses, 2 Mules, 58 Sheep
Thomas Rich, 5 People, 1 Wagon, 4 Cattle
___________87 Families, 509 People, 133 Wagons, 758 Cattle, 42 Horses, 4 Mules, 58 Sheep
August - 20 After some consultation thepanycom. agreed to stop today and wash and dry their things. In our council here Saturday we among other things some few men were to go out and hunt Buffalo (but not on Sunday)[.] Too many men would scare away the Buffalo and it was not safe for the majority to leave camp. So when the hunters returned Monday evening they claimed the meat they got and gave to a few of their particular friends which caused some dissafaction. The hunters grumbled because some horse owners were unwilling their horses should go to ride on, and pack meat. Some meat drying by fires today and more was brought in at dusk when a consultation was held about it. Brothers. Snow and McClelan talked plain to those out of the way and settled the matter about right. A few men hunting on this side of the river shot a Buffalo, they returned to Camp and got a team and went to haul it in, but just before reaching it, it rose and ran off, cheating them badly. Some pies were made of choke cherry and a small sour berry growing here. AM. showery – sun shone at intervals.
21st - A dense fog early. At 10 AM. resumed our journey. The river is on the rise and gained 2 feet since the storm. Our course was away from the river towards Laramie Peak, over a broken and hilly country. Scattering groves of timber down the ravines. Made a short halt at 2 P.M making 7 miles. One of Brother McCl'ellans work oxen died and detained us 2 hours. Just as we started on Brother Mark'hamspanycom. of over 30 wagons overtook us. Late in the P.M. it was a beautiful sight to see the wagons rolling up the long gradual hill slope, Markhams train following ours. On the top of the highest hill we could see before us, the bold and rugged mountains, steep hills and deep valleys before descending the road forked one being used about as much as the other. We followed the right hand one and descended into the valley and camped by the site of the “La Bonte” a large stream. One of Markhams wagons broke an axle tree. Scarcity of grass. 15 miles, 638.
22 - The cattle rambled ofand & so all that could turned out to hunt them and it got late before they were found, except 3 of Brother Stodards. So we left all the spare men we could to hunt with him and then rolled on being noon before we started. Drove 5 miles and camped by a small Creek. Some choke cherrys but little grass short of a mile down the creek. Much red sand and clay soil especially on the hill side and some chalk. The two head wagons belonging to Mr. Bigelow had got some distance ahead of us and so kept on and went 2 miles supposing we were coming after them. They turned about and drove back just at dark and while away an accident happened to one of these two wagons taking fire from some cause and getting to some powder an explosion took place and burned two persons badly—they were administered to by Brother Snow and others. Some wild hops about here. 5 miles, 643.
23rd - Got ready to move on, when the 5 men came to us who had staid behind to hunt cattle, reported all right. We then rolled on to find a better place for our cattle. Met 13 men with 25 mules, supposed to be Californians returning. Rough country and road too. Slowly Laramie Peak is receding from view. Just at dark we camped by A La Prele Creek. Gardner with the second 50 was here. Some had been out Buffalo hunting. Cattle feed rather scarce. 14 miles, 657 miles.
August 24 - Gardner's Company started early and we got off late. Warm day and rough road. Some teams hung behind considerable. Camped by the Fourche Boise, and grass scarce. In many places where Claytons guide book from Laramie to the Valley states good grass there is scarcely any—The cattle of the early companies having eaten it up. Herded our cattle over 2 miles up the creek. Choke cherries in abundance—also the sour “woolberry.” Large quantities of Pine on the high and distant hills. 9 miles, 666.
Sunday 25th - A small cmpany. going West passed with two wagons and some pack mules, said. to be Indian traders .Told us they had shot a couple of Buffalo 2 miles back on the road. A few of our men went back and got some of the meat which was divided all round. At noon Markhams Company overtook us. Evening meeting to worship God. Brothers Snow, Markham, and Banks addressed us.
26th - Found an excellent spring of water under the bank of the creek. It was difficult to find our cattle so got a late start—rolled 6 miles and camped on the bank of the river at 1 P.M. and joined Stoddards ten that was sent forward yesterday. Markham camped half mile above on the river and the cattle were all drove over to get good feed. Abundance of prickly pear nearly covering the ground in places. A dance late in the evening but did not see it, going to bed early. 6 miles, 672.
27th - Rolled on three miles up the river bottom and crossed Deer Creek where a part of Gardners Snow's Company were shoeing their cattle. 3½ miles farther on and we halted and had our nooning on the Platte banks. P.M. 5 1/2 miles and camped half mile off the river. Light thunder shower—Plenty of dry wood and woolberrys in abundance. 12 miles, 684.
28th - cloudy morning. 1½ miles and we came to a creek—very muddy and bad crossing. Nooning place not far from the river. Thunder shower at half past 3 P.M. Much old iron to-day. At 5 o’clock a Stampede occurred which resulted rather bad to some and detained us an hour on the spot and also next day. As we were rolling along with a feeling of security, Brother Nobles colt suddenly started up with fright and ran up to one of the ox teams which also took fright followed by several others rushing ahead at full speed; and a short distance ahead was a deep ditch or runway for water in the wet season of the year from 12 to 15 feet wide and 5 to 8 deep, which received them. They had only about 25 rods to run and went at full jump. To start on some oxen and wagon ran over Brother Nobles and a girl was taken from under a wagon down in the ditch – some were badly frightened and to complete the scene of confusion some of the dogs went to fighting. The oxen in the ditch were soon extricated by cutting bow keys. The colt that caused the fright was killed on the spot, also a cow, and one ox had his hip put out of joint, and the Dutchman who owned it killed it next day to put it out of its misery. Five wagons were more or less injured. No. 1 in 8 feet deep ditch bottom upwards – bows and projections smashed. No. 2 in ditch 7 feet deep side down and slightly damaged. No. 3 in 6 foot ditch went square down with the fore wheels, injured some. No. 4 in 5½ foot deep ditch, wagon tongue was shoved in opposite bank and broken except the iron bar on it the whole length; was easily rolled out. No. 5 landed fairly in the ditch at the crossing place 5 foot deep and got a broken axletree. The wagon No. 1 belonged to Noble, No. 2 Wm. Snows, No. 3 the Dutchman who joined the Company at Laramie and lost the ox above named, No. 4 John Banks, No. 5 Sister Wines in Wm. Snow charge. The girl in the wagon upset had a narrow escape. It was fortunate that all were stopped but the five runaways and were thankful it was no worse and felt that we had got off better than we expected. Rolled 1 mile fartheand & camped by the river for the night. 14 miles, 698.
29th - spent the day repairing wagons, washing, picking woolberrys etc.Turned our cattle over the river. P.M. Carters ten seen on Deer Creek passed by us.
Aug 30th - At 11 o’occlk AM. passed by a ten of G. Snow’s at their Camp place. It was 7 to 8 miles to the Platte ford which we soon crossed but just before we got there we met a man from the Valley Salt Lake with a span of horses and wagon. Rough and hilly road this P.M. At evening we were divided in 3 companies. The head wagons ascended some steep pitches and drove on to find a better Camping Place. We were in the 2d Company or division and camped on the ground above the pitches so the hindmost Company was not far back. Scarcity of grass and wood. A lofty range of mountains S.E. of us, high hills around us and deep below us was the Platte winding its way among them, apparantly sneaking and crawling along as if to hide itself from our view. 14 miles, 712.
31st - We rolled oand & went by the 1st Division who had a good place but had not yet found their cattle. Soon after we left the Platte for the last time and passed over a common sized creek, and found a tolerable level country beyond though broken by dry gully ravines. Rough road, caused by wagons cutting deep in wet weather and is now drand & hard. Plenty of woolberrys in the AM. and Hannah Cook in trying to put some of the bushes in her father's wagon got run over and badly hurt. At noon 3 of Gardner's wagons passed by and camped just ahead of us. In the P.M. a prarie dog was shot; many of us had never seen one before. Country apparently barren with ranges of hills to be seen. Camped 1 mile off the road—grass midling good,—plenty of old iron. The ravines contained some slauratus and some of the springs were tinctured with alkali. Had sage brush and Buffalo chips for fuel. We rested here next day which was Sunday. Summers ended. 14miles, 726.
Sunday 1st - Brother Banks preached us a sermon and Brothers Snow and McClelan followed with some good remarks. In the P.M. a squall cloud passed over and gave us a sprinkling followed by a cooler atmosphere. Two of the men went hunting. Cold night.
2nd - Rolled on 7 miles and took our nooning at Willow Spring. Plenty of old iron. Road good yet very dusty. P.M a few long hill side slopes and very gradual in ascent. Woodward;s lame cow was left behind. Several ranges of distant hills in sight yet much obscured by smoky air. At 4 P.M. we passed G. Snow's company and camped by a creek 2 miles beyond them. 14 miles, 740.
3rd - More old iron here. Here is the outline of a distant range of mountains seen through the smoky air this morning. [drawing of mountain outline] 7 miles of hard pulling through sand this AM. P.M. went 2 m.iles and halted at the Salaratus Lake or pond which had 3 to 4 acres surface and was like ice when rotten and broken up. We took in a sack of the article. Rolled 3½ miles farther and camped near by Independance Rock and observed many names on it. Gardner's Fifty traveled with us today. We crossed Sweet Water &andcamped. Sage brush for fuel 12½ miles, 752½.
4th - some sandy road. Noon place 1 mile above Devils Gate and found abundance old iron. At 2 P.M met 8 men with 20 mules and at 4 P.M. met an ox team with a horseman driving 10 loose oxen going to meet Reese’ comp. Good grass at the camp place. Some huge piles of rock in view—young Rocky mountains and at the foot of one (1 1/12 miles) distant we found and hauled away some dry pine—10 miles, 762½ .
5th - Loose sandy roaand & hard pulling. Forded Sweet Water twice in the P.M. and& camped at 4 o’clock. No wood, grass average. Three footmen from Markham’s Company overtook and staid all night with us. 8 miles, 770½.
6th - More bad going through the sand C.P. at Cottonwood spring. 7½ miles, 778.
7th - Rolled 9 miles before nooning after which forded Sweet Water two or three times. We now daily see the bones of cattle that died early in the season, also old iron still abundant. Eleven wagons in Nobles ten (ours included) got this evening 2 miles ahead of the main company. 13 miles, 791.
Sunday 8 - We rested as usual. Camp ½ mile off the road. Three horsemen from Salt Lake Valley visited us on their way back East and wanted to know our conditioand & how many were bound for the Valley. Shortly after Noble received a letter by Brother Banks (who came on horseback). Brother Snow’s letter gave us to understand that he did not have the best of feelings towards Noble or it was thus construed. He wanted 3 yoke of cattle out of our ten for the use of the other tens to help the weaker teams to the Valley and then return them providential accidents excepted. Nobles and Stephens were the men to furnish them but they thought it would be sufficient if they provided for their own ten. It was said that a call had been previously made indirectly and those who could spare the cattle did not feel like volunteering after some persons had circulated an evil report. We had traveled slow lately because some people had neglected doing up their morning duties in season and kept others waiting when all ready to move. Noble's Companyandheld a council in the P.M. & concluded to leave the other two tens as the best course to pursue. The men called on had strong teams and other folks were too slow for them and they seemed afraid of having to help others. I was sorry afterwards that I had not joined Wm. Snows and left them. Fire wood 1½ miles distant. Two wind squalls in the P.M and& sprinkling.
9th - At 9 AM. we crossed Sweet Water ford No. 7. Drove 10 miles before nooning by some alkali ponds. Rolled on and reached Sweet Water again as the sun was setting. Carters Company camped ¼ mile ahead of us. Grass scarce andandsome old iron here. Cold & uncomfortable night. 19 miles, 810.
10th - The horses strayed off and were not found till 10 AM. Some thought men had come on from Snow's Company and stole them because we had left them behind. Cloudy morning. ½ mile and forded S.W. No. 8. Then ascended a long high hill and down again—took 2 hours nooning. At 4 P.M. crossed S.W. No. 9 & 10. Camped at 5 P.M. Grass some better. 8 miles, 818.
11th - Rolled on 2½ miles and found a guide board,—so we took “Andres” new route leading up some long hills. At 3 P.M. the snowy peaks of the distant Rocky Mountain Chain were in full view. Yon lofty peaks emersed in the clear light blue of heaven—the monuments of time long ago present to us their rocky sides and declare an existence for thousands of ages yet to come.—After which a strong head wind and dusty road. The sun shone dimly through clouds at times—Passed over some flint and gravel ridges, with rocky hills around us—some dry pines on them. At 5 P.M. we passed Carters Company on their Camp ground, a place destitute of wood.—Camped ¾ mile beyond and had plenty of poplar and willow fuel in groves nearby.—13 ½ miles, 831½.
September 12th - Ice ¼ inch thick in our pails. A down hill road 2¼ miles. Got on the old road again. ¾ of a mile farther on we crossed a branch of Sweet Water. After this rather more dry bones than usual—most of which were remains of cattle that had died in the early part of the season. Nooning by Willow Creek. Grasshoppers very thick. P.M. Rolled 4½ miles—crossed Sweet Water No.11 & found a C.P. Reese’ Company camped near us, but Carters went on beyond. 9½ miles of good road. Total 841.
13th - T-day—rolled over the South Pass or Divide in the Rocky Mountains. Cloudy till 2 P.M. threatening a snow storm—then clear and warm. Reese’s Company passed by us at the Twin Mounds—At noon met a team with 13 yoke cattle going to meet Wooleys train—saw more dry bones than any day yet. Camped at half past 4 P.M. Our cattle had a wet miry piece of bottom land to graze on. Drove rather too fast for our weaker teams this day. 15 miles, total 856.
14th - Simmons’ two wagons with Brother. Webb and myself, got some behind today—Our teams rather lagged behind and are getting dull, and it seems that some of the company care very little about us. Camped by a muddy creek—fine weather yet hard hauling. 12 miles, total 868.
Sunday 15th - Early fog and difficult finding cattle—climate more mild and fair prospect of a delightful Autumn.
[drawing of South Pass, Outline of the Range, View looking East and South of the Pass, High Peak on Chain N. of the Pass, East view, South Pass, North end of the Chain in the distance, a continuation of the Chain N. of the Pass]
We met 3 Indians going East. Crossed Little Sandy at noon. At 1 P.M. met an ox team, sent to assist Hunters company. Level road and quite Sandy. 13 miles, total 881.
September 16th - A strong West wind and very dusty—hard road on teams. Noon place by the Big Sandy and journeyed along side of it in the P.M. and camped ¼ mile away from it. 13½ miles, 894½.
17th - It seemed like one vast plain around us—a very extensive view and has been about the same every day since we came over the Pass. Mountains can be seen over a hundred miles distant. The first 3 miles today we kept not far off the Sandy—and after 3 miles farther going we turned off the road at an old Camp place and took a wrong road and lost ¾ mile by it. Four men from Brother Snow's Company overtook us, on foot for the Valley. Road good yet windy and very dusty. Camped by Big Sandy with Father Cook and Webb. Our other 8 wagons staid 1¼ miles ahead of us. 11 miles, total 905½. miles.
18th - It was 7½ miles to Green river—had a noon spell after crossing. Overtook Carters Company. Met the Valley Mail at 2 P.M.—dusty and windy—many cattle bones as usual. Brother Webb unfortunately broke his ox yoke. Timber along the river, but scarcity of grass. Our old cow named Pink suddenly died at the C.P. 11½ miles, total 917.
19th - otherr. Stevens let me have a cow to fill the place of our lost one. At 9 A.M. we started on. At noon Brother Webbs’ old cow gave out and was left in a dying state—no water for 13 miles, but plenty of cattle bones.—windy and. dusty. C.P. on Black’s Fork 13 miles, total 930.
20th - Brother Webb and I was of the opinion that Brothers Noble and Stevens ought to help us in the team line for taking our turns in guarding their horses in the night time, to prevent their being stolen. Our cattle are not guarded and we would not give a fig to have our wagons watched. Windy—5½ miles to our Nooning on Ham’s Fork. P.M. heavy wind and very dusty. Crossed Black’s Fork and camped among some sand hills—We named the place Wind Break. We have not yet lost sight of the Rocky Mountain Peaks. 10½ miles, total 940½. miles.
21st - A warm day, yet windy and dusty P.M. We saw some curious Bluffs today resembling ancient Castles and fortifications. Crossed Blacks Fork twice and at evening camped within 8 feet of it. Plenty of small Black thorn apples along its banks. 13½ total 954.
22nd - We let out teams rest till 4 P.M. Journeyed ¾ mile and crossed a large creek emptying into Blacks Fork—met a team of 7 yoke going to meet Haywood and Wooley.—Comfortable C.P. on a clear spot nearly surrounded by willows.—A cloudy morning and light rain in the P.M.—4 miles, total 958.
23rd - Good road to Fort Bridger yet some stony places. Crossed 2 streams—one before we got there and the other soon after passing the Fort. The first one had a very swift current. Simmons sold an ox that had near given out for little or nothing. Plenty of willows about the Fort and lots of scrub cedars on the Bluff sides. Met 3 horsemen from the Valley on business relating to the Indians—also a horse team going back. 1½ miles past the Fort, we commenced the ascent of a long hill, and from the top of the ridge at 5 P.M. we saw the Rocky mountain ridge or range once more. A squall cloud passed over leaving a beautiful rainbow. Pleasant C.P. by a small creek—sage brush fuel. 15½ miles, 973½.
24th - There was a terrible howling among the wolves last night.—Plenty of bones about, where they have probably feasted. A fine morning but the wind soon rose followed by dust. 1½ miles and then descended a very long hill—stoney and bad going,—crossed a Creek in the valley below—then went over a high ridge, into another Valley where we had our nooning. P.M. saw a steer that Carter’s Company had left behind.
September 24th - We next had a hill 2 miles long of gradual ascent to go up—then a ridge road—deep ravines on both sides. Had a light shower of rain and hail. Camped on the ridge, and found the nearest water half a mile North of the road in a deep ravine. It was a Sulphur Spring. Carter’s Camp was ¾ mile ahead. 13¼ miles, total 986¾.
25th - ¾ of a mile brought us to Quakenasp Mountain, and soon after we descended a steep slope ¾ mile long. Passed by Carter’s Company. Saw some of them making beef of a cow that the wolves had bitten badly last night. Here was a beautiful valley one mile long surrounded by high hills—above and beyond which were the tops of mountains which seemed as if peeping over these hills to look down upon us in this warm Valley. We passed through two more such openings or valleys by a short turn or sort of narrows connecting them with each other, with not quite as pleasant an appearance. After which, over a hill into another valley. Noon place by a creek and Spring. Some good land by us. Next 2 miles was rough road—Crossed Bear river, and then ascended a hill,—thence part way down a valley leading into Yellow Creek. Pleasant C.P. to look upon, yet the wolves howled much in the night, making, a not very agreeable sound. 12¼ miles, total 999 miles.
26th - Heavy frost. Drove 5 miles and passed Rough Rock Point. We then crossed Yellow Creek,—thence over a long hill to Noon Place—thence down a ravine and passed Catche or Cache Cave and camped a little way beyond it. Found plenty of dry cedar by ascending the Bluff. 14 miles, total 1013 miles.
27th - Our road was down Echo Canyon—high bluffs on both sides. Some good springs along this valley or canyon, and some very fine and beautiful specimens of natural architecture on the North side. Crossed Echo Creek many times, and were often detained at the steep fording places. Carters’ Company camped near us. Three horsemen from the Valley slept in Simmons’ tent. Dry Quakenasp firewood off the South Bluff side. 14 miles, 1027.
28th - Carters Company was left behind as their cattle strayed off. A cold frosty morning, yet a fine day. About 5 miles and we came into Weber Valley, then down it, some 4 miles and crossed over, and then about 3 miles up a small Kanyon having some willows and brush by a small Creek Camp Place surrounded by high mountain scenery. Here we found a Notice left by G. Snows train or Company. It stated they had left here today noon and also it read—“We had a sort of stampede and our cattle driven 8 miles by the wolves.—One ox and one cow were killed.” 11½ miles, 1038½ miles.
Sunday—September 29th - We ascended up the canyon to the top of a ridge and then down a bad road into Kanyon Creek and 3 miles up stream we found a C.P. Noble and Catlin got over a mile ahead of the others in our Company. Carters Company were also separated—some both sides of us. Wood and water plentiful. Grass average and mostly on the mountain side. 10 miles, total 1048½.
30th - Our company got together again about noon. It was tough hauling for the cattle up the Kanyon and still worse up the Mountain through a little side canyon. Saw much Balsam or Fir as we ascended.—Had to double teams near the top and on which we had our first view of Salt Lake Valley. It waked up our feelings of the promised land. On descending the dust was very bad, so we could scarcely see only as it cleared one side or the other by spells. Plenty of wood and water but a scarcity of grass at our C.P. Mr. Rogers and Brother from the City of Salt Lake was out here for logs and camped with us, and kept our company next day. 10½ miles, total 1059 miles.
Tuesday 1st - We had to double teams up the mountain, called the Last Mountain, where we met Brother Hyde and company going East. Here was our first view of Salt Lake. On entering the canyon below we passed some wagons. One was upset, another had a broken axletree and others broken more or less. It was said their destination was Fort Bridger. Our road was rough and dusty. 10 miles to C.P. Total 1069.
2nd - one mile brought us to the mouth of the canyon and 5 more into the City Great Salt Lake, where we arrived at noon. 6 miles, total 1075 miles. We were 107½ days on the journey. We laid by near 26 days of the time leaving 81½ days traveling time. Were very near out of provisions, when we got in the City; and some got entirely out, before they arrived, and purchased of others. I paid Mr. Noble some store pay for the use of his cow, which was worked from Green river to this City, He ought not to have charged me a cent. On Green river September 18th we commenced on a bread and water diet; yet made coffee of bread crusts, morning and evening with only milk enough to color it. Some days after, had a few messes of rice and sugar, with a change of corn mush and sugar for dinner.—The last week of our journey we had nothing but corn bread; except a little flour on the last days journey, we borrowed of Mr. Stevens.
One thing more I do not wish to forget—a favorite hymn of mine commencing with the words—“Praise to the man who commun’d with Jehovah”. It was often sung on the road to this Valley by Brothers Banks and Webb .
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
McBride, James, Autobiography 1874-1876, 52-58.
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On the 17th, day of May 1850; having disposed of our homes in Apponoose county, we again started West. In company with myself, were Captain James Dayley, Harrison Severe, and William Pope and families. Also my Sister Mary and her children.
Having traveled about Three hundred miles, we came to Bluff City – then called Kanesville. We staid there a few days, during which time it was decided that the entire company could not safely venture to cross the plains that season.
A council was held. Two families could go on, but the rest would have to stay there, ‘till they could obtain more means.
Harrison Severe, having a better traveling outfit than either of the men of the company, was determined to cross the plains that Season.
One family could go with him. Who should it be? It was finally decided that I should go.
James Dayley, Wm. Pope with their families, and sister Mary Biddlecome and her children, were left to follow on as soon as possible.
We bade our friends good-bye until we should again meet them in a future day, and Harrison Severe, myself and families again started Westward.
Having t[r]aveled about fifteen miles, we got to the ferry on the Missouri river. There we joined a company of fifty families, under Captain Gardner Snow. Joseph Young, a brother of President Brigham Young, was president of the company. Thomas Rich was cap[t]ain of the ten in which we were included.
The organization, and all the necessary arrangements having been made, we crossed the river on the third day of June 1850—on our way to Salt Lake; a distance of more than One thousand miles—over an uncivilized Country.
About the first days travel after we crossed the river, there was a case of Cholera in the Company, which proved fatal.
In all, there were eight cases of cholera in our company, during the first month—from which seven of that number died.
While traveling up the Platte River, much might be said that would be of interest – but I will pass over the principle, and only make mention of a few incidents which transpired.
One forenoon, as the company was quietly traveling along, Suddenly the front teams started—in an instant, the first—Eight-teams were stampeded. Women and children were in the wagons, but most of the drivers were on the ground. For the drivers to keep up with the teams was impossible—Away went the teams—Helter Skelter. Those who have not seen the like, can hardly realize the excitement of the moment.
For perhaps forty rods or more, wheels were whirling rapidly, and wagon sheets were cracking in the wind—when, almost as simultaneous as was the start, the teams—principally in a breast, Stopped. Some of the oxen had been dragged to the ground, chains were wrapped around yokes—and some of the oxen were astraddle of chains.
The stampede was as equally unaccounted for, as was the sudden stopping of so many frightened teams.
The drivers hurrying up—and putting their teams in order, were all anxious to know if anyone was hurt. It was found, that Lyman Severe, son of Dorcas and Harrison Severe, at the time the teams started, was standing on the tongue of my wagon, which was very common for children to do crossing the plains—and in trying to Jump from the wagon, fell, and was run over by the next wagon coming up. He was not so badly hurt, but that he soon recovered.
There were many narrow escapes by drivers—who, in trying to follow their teams, were crowded between oxen and wagons, while being overtaken and passed by them. None however were much hurt.
From the time we left the Missouri river, near Bluff City, there were no white inhabitants, ‘till we got to Fort Kearney—at Grand Island. A distance of one hundred and fifty miles or more.
While traveling up the Platte River a distance of Twenty-five miles, the Buffalo were as numerous as a well collected herd of cattle. To estimate their numbers would be impossible by us. We could see them on each side of the road, for a great distance. It was necessary that someone should be kept ahead to turn them out of the road, in order that the teams could pass with Safety. As fast as the wagons would pass, the Buffalo would close in thickly behind us.
Over a vast space of country—where to-day fields of golden grain are dotting the lands—the hum of busy laborers are heard—and the Iron horse protected by the hand of Civilization whirls thousands of people across unmolested—then only roamed the indian and wild beasts. Indeed the Scenes on the plains in those days were wild and romantic.
Among the many curiosities that attracted the gaze of the traveler; was one called the ‘Chimney rock’—which was about two hundred miles from Fort Kearney. It was not a rock, but a kind of Adobie Clay. We t[r]aveled in sight of the chimney Rock about two days, before we got to it. In the great distance it looked very much like a flag Pole, but gradually grew larger until we camped at the nearest point—to it—from the road. We were then about two miles off.
Harrison Severe and myself went to examine the Curiosity. It was a column more than one hundred
On a fragment laying near the column, I cut my name. This was on the 5, day of August—1850.
Having climbed the main hill, a distance to the South, we could see on the top of the Column what we supposed to be Raspberry Briars growing.
I have since heard that the Chimney Rock has crumbled down.
Perhaps a hundred and fifty miles more, brought us to fort Laramie. We were yet on the Platte River. From fort Laramie, we traveled over a wild, Mountainous country, for about four hundred miles.
We then came to a place called Fort Bridger. A white man, fleeing from justice, with changed name, had sought refuge among the Indians—and built a home there.
From Bridger, a distance of about One hundred and thirteen miles brought us to the City of Salt Lake—the destined place for the Latter-Day-Saints.
We arrived in Salt Lake City, on the 4, of October 1850.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
McClellan, William Carroll, Autobiography 1907 Jan. 12, 3.
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Very early in the spring Father and I moved down on the road a mile and a half below, put up a temporary shop for fitting up wagons and other work and all most before we were ready for work, here came the goldhunters wanting corn, cornfodder, Hay, straw, any thing in the shape of feed, and all wanted more or less work done, wood or iron. I got hold of an old 3¼ wagon that was not considered worth fixing up and went to work on it at odd times. Got new lumber, made a projection box with door in the side, beadstead on the projection load under and in front. Painted wagon and box, had a fly outfit. During the winter the boys and I had broke a pair of two year old steers and father told me to use them as leaders in crossing the plains, so my team was a yoke of two year old steers, a yoke of cows and a yoke of small oxen and my load was even lighter than my team, but this was easily got along with, as A. O. Smoot & J. L. Haywood had freight at the Ferry for which they would pay in advance $25.00 per hundred, so I took on nails and glass to about 400 pounds. This enabled us to get clothing and other needed articles that would not have been possible to get otherwise.
About the 12th of June we left our homes, Father's, Day's and my families, mine consisting of self, wife and one child a month old. We crossed the Missouri River below the mouth of the Platte and traveled up the south side to Ash Hollow. From using the stagnant spring water, because of wet weather, between the Missouri and Platte, the Cholera broke out in our Camp, that is in W[illia]m. Snow's Company in which we were organized, there was several deaths, my little brother of the number. I had quite a severe attack, but pulled through. Had a sister born in Black Hills.
We reached the valley early in October, I think it was. Found our old friends the Rigbys, well, and doing well.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Rawson, Eliza Jane Cheney, Historical letters and sketches, 1919, 24.
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In the spring of 1850 we started on our long journey to Utah: in crossing the plains we had two yoke of oxen and two yoke of cows and a camp wagon.
We were very comfortable on this journey, there were six in the family. My father [Nathan Cheney] would have to take his turn standing guard at night. One morning after he had been on guard all night he lay down to rest, and my little brother was driving the oxen when he fell out and was run over by the heavily loaded wagon; he was picked up for dead. One of the brethern said, “Your son is gone Bro. Cheney”, they felt like they could’nt give him up, so they had him anointed and administered to, and he was healed through the blessings of the Lord, and was able to run around and play the next day.
After travelling four months we arrived in Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 1850. We all enjoyed the journey very much. Mother [Eliza Ann] never enjoyed better health, as she had always been rather delicate. It was a great pleasure to be with the Church again.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Smith, Elizabeth J. Bybee, [Interview], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 26:51-53.
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We finally started West again. In traveling up the Platte River, we found many Indians and buffalo by the thousands. The Indians didn't bother us as they thought the Mormon people were alright. The moving buffalo would make the earth shake, while the noise was deafening. My husband [Daniel] was appointed hunter of the company and always drove ahead of the rest of the wagons. I had to drive the team while he was out hunting.
Our baby girl took sick and died which was very grievous to us. She
One morning my husband brought in a large buffalo calf. We drove several miles ahead of the rest of the company in search of water to dress the meat and finally saw a pond of water about a half of a mile from the main road. Turning the horses loose we dressed the meat. It was warm weather and the flies were very bad. The horese strayed to the foothills several miles away so that my husband had to go after them leaving me and two children alone. He didn't know whether we would be dead or alive when he returned. Before my husband reached the hills he met a large buffalo bull coming to water. He had left his rifle in the wagon and had nothing to protect him. After trying every way to scare him away my husband decided to take off his shoes and give the old fellow a race to the wagon. As luck would have it the buffalo suddenly decided to go the other way. During this time, a pack of wolves had smelled the fresh meat and were howling around on the other side of the pond several rods away. The sun was going down and it was a very gloomy and desolated sight. I saw a man going along the road not knowing whether he was an Indian or a white man. He went on without bothering us. By the time my husband returned with the horses it was so dark that we couldn't follow the road. Some of the men were searching for us, shooting their guns for a signal. We answered the shot and were soon reunited with the camp amid much rejoicing.
A few days later, when we were camped near a spring, we heard a terrible bellowing and roaring. The very ground that we were standing on shook. The men and boys went to a nearby hill and looking over the plains saw a herd of thousands of buffalo on the stampede for water. Most of the people were terribly frightened. Some were laughing, some singing some crying, others yelling and praying, while the more level headed brought torches to frighten the buffalo and held the horses and oxen to keep them from stampeding. The leaders of the herd seemed frightened when they saw us and turned off in another direction. I think the Lord was surely with us in protecting his pe[o]ple.
Farther west the Indians were fighting among themselves so Brigham Young thought it best to send word for the company to get together and look out for trouble. The Indians bothered no white people this time.
I was never happier in my life than the day we arrived in Utah and found peace, although, it was a terribly lonesome and desolate looking place.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Snow, Gardner, to First Presidency, 28 Aug. 1850, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 31, box 22, fd. 3.
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To the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the City of the Great Salt Lake
Your humble Petitioners have thought it expedient to send to you a short memorial stating our circumstances &c[.] We are the second Fifty of Wm. Snows One hundred. Whereas Gardner Snow is Capt. Joseph Young President[,] Winslow Farr Counselor. Lucius N Scovil & Geo Parrish Marshalls, Aaron M York, John Carter & Thomas Rich are Captains of Tens & Samuel Pollock Clerk of the fifty. And by the counsel of our bretheren from the Valley. We by mutual consent have divided our Co. for our advantage in traveling. Bros Truman Leonard & Harmon Parsons [Harmon Dudley Pierson] are the Capts. of the Tens that are not with us they are in our advance and we cannot give an account of their situation
We was met by Bro[']s Stratton & Hanks at the Branch of La Bonta [Bonte] on Tuesday the 20th of August. They read to us a document from the Presidency & counsel in the Valley.
And we was truly thankful to hear from you, and have concluded to send a messenger forthwith (Bro David Lewis) in advance of bro[']s Stratton & Hanks, to represent to you our situation as early as possible.
When we left the Missouri River as a Camp we were short for Teams and no extra ones. We have 42 waggons in our Co. besides Bros [Truman] Leonard & Pearsons [Harmon Dudley Pierson]. And there is about Twenty head of Cattle which is crippled[.] And if any more should give out we shall be under the necessity of Leaving some of our substance by the way side. And we feel as if we needed all that we have got as we are among the poorest yet rich in faith[.] If you can send to our assistance as soon as possible from Twelve to Sixteen yoke of oxen & [illegible text] waggons, you will confer on us a lasting favor that we will duly appreciate[.] That we may extricate ourselves our Wives and our little ones from these mountains that we may strike hands with our bretheren in the Valley that we may all rejoice together Is the humble prayers of your unworthy Servants in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ even so Amen[.]
JOSEPH YOUNG Prest. GARDNER SNOW Capt
Camp of Israel Upper Platt FerryWednesday August 28th 1850
Lucius N. Scovill Marshall
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Snow, Gardner, to To Whom It May Concern, 28 Aug. 1850, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 31, box 22, fd. 3.
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Upper Platt Ferry Camp of Israel August 28th 1850
To Whom it may Concern
This may Certify that Capt. Gardner Snows 50 of Wm. Snows 100 have sent the Bearer Bro David Lewis with an express to City of the Great Salt Lake and any assistance that the Bretheren on the road can render to him to forward him on his journey Will be thankfully rec'd by your humble Servants, and may the Lord bless you & him and all be blest together is our undeviating prayer in the name of Jesus Christ
GARDNER SNOW CaptJOSEPH YOUNG Prest. L[UCIUS]. N[ELSON]. SCOVIL Marshall
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Snow, William, Journal, 1832-1833 and 1850, 3-8.
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Gardner Snow, Capt. 2nd 50. We then appointed 7 capts. of 10 and ajourned untill Sunday fornoon when we held a meeting of worship. Asked Br. Joseph Young to speak. He did so for a short time, when we adjourned untill afternoon, when we met and appointed 3 more capts of 10. Asked Br. Joseph Young if he would like to act as capt. of 10 waggons and choos such of his friends as he wished to travel with, as I had previsly understood he had said would sute him. He said no. He did not want to be capt. of 10 nor of 50. The council had appointed him two years ago to leed a company to the mountains and now they had ---- there own words and went on to considerable length manifesting a spirit anything but good. However, our waggons and co we finished our organization and same evening commenced crossing our waggons and continued with but little ceasation untill we had crossed 136 waggons.
Friday morning, 21st, we started from the river. Traveled about 12 miles to water and timber. Br. J.M. Grant was just leaving the ground with his waggons. Br. Roundays teams were there. Same evening Br. Woodruf[f] came up with his company.
This day Br. Cole had a child die with boul complaint. About two years old. Was buried that evening.
Next morning, Sat. 22nd, we met to arrang our traviling when Br. Warren Smith left the company unseremonously without the consent of the company with 14 waggons as capt. of the same. When I discovered he was going, I went to him and asked him if he was going acording to order. He said he was not. I told him if he left in this way he went without the sanction of this company and without the good feelings, prayers and faith. He still went on. Same morning we started with 60 waggons by a unanimous vote of company, leaving 62 in the 2nd 50 to follow. We traviled about 10 miles to Rock Creek, Overtook Br. Grants company. Camped here over Sunday. Some raney. Br Grant moved of. We remained on the ground.
Monday 24. Rainy. We didnot start. I went back 3 miles to Squaw Creek where 2nd 50 was camped. Found some sick with bowl complaint. One case of colery, Father [John] Sweet [Sweat], but he was getting better. When I returned to our camp I found several of the company was sick. We remained untill Tuesday morning,
25th, when we started. Tr. 3 miles to the first creek. Overtook some of Elder Woodrufs camp that had gone ahead. We passed 6 graves newly made on the hill. We had two bad places to cross this day. Camped 6 miles from the upper crossing of Rock Creek on the Prairie.
Wednesday, 26th. We traviled 6 miles to Rock Creek. Crosed over foornoon. On the west bank of this creek we saw three graves of the Saints, viz. M. McDougal, Alfred Brown, a child by the name of Webb. Continued our journey on this afternoon to where we found water on the prairie without timber, about 4 miles from the creek. Here we camped. This night Clark Campbell, aged 26 years, died with chol[e]ra. Also a little girl of Geo. Catlins 4 years old [Sarah Altana Catlin].
Thursday 27th. Continued our journey. Came to Salt Creek. Crosed over. Passed Br. Whipple and company. Tr. about 5 miles where we encamped for the night. Here 2 children died with cholra, Br. [Charles David] Barnhams [Fanny Ester Barnham] and Br. Samuel Smiths.
Friday 28. Tr. about 10 miles. Camped on prarie without wood. Had a heavy shower.
Sat. 29th Traviled about 5 miles to wood and water where we camped for the night. Here Wm. Fox died with cholra, aged 18 years. Sister Bibee [Bybee] was confined same night. Gave birth to a fine girl.
Sunday 30. We remained in camp. Br. Joseph King taken with cholera and died same evening. This evening camp came together. Prayed for health of camp and the weather.
Monday morning, July 1st, berried Br. King, Br. James Mcleland [McClellan] had 2 children very sick, but we started on. Traveled about 13 miles. This day we met the mail from the valley. One of Br. McClelans children [James Travers McClellan] died.
Tues. 2d. Buried Br. McCleland child. Tr. 10 miles. Camped for the night. Br. Whipple camped one side of us. Br. Woodruff the other. Health of camp very good.
Wednesday 3. Tr. about 14 miles to Platt[e] bottom where we camped. Weather fine. Health much better than had been for some time.
Thursday, 4th of July. Tr. 12 miles to Clear Creek. Stoped. Women commenced to wash. This evening camp met to see if we should divide camp but could not agree to separate. A few wished to goo. We agreed to give untill morning & all who wished to start in the morning with Br. [Lucian] Noble might do so.
Friday 5. Morning we caled on all who wished to go on to come out, but a few came out. Br. Geo. Catlin came, but not enough to make a company. So non started untill noon when Br. McClelan took 2 tens and started. Soon after he started I learned Sister [Elizabeth M. Emery] Catlin was taken sick. She lived but a few hours. One camp of 13 waggons stayed untill Sat. Morning, 6th, when we started early and overtook the camp. Stoped and fed and started the camp on. We followed soon.
Sund. 7. We camped on the bank of the Platt[e]. Had a meeting. I baptized Br. John Moon for his health, Sister Utl[e]y, Br. [John] Fox, Br. Shipley. Evening baptised Br. [Edward] Farley [Jr.]. I had forgot to say Friday we found Br. John Moon on the prarie so bad he could not walk to his waggon. We laid hands on him, helped him to his wagon and baptised him 7 times, anointed him and he was much better, after which I baptised Norman Hines, Joseph Robins, Carline [Caroline] Roberts, Charles Cole, [Mary] Lucinda Cole, James Cole, Ellin Smith.
Sunday 7th. Br. Woodrifs [Woodruff’s] company came up. Also Br. Garner with 10 waggons, 2-10 from the 2nd division of our company.
Monday morning we started early. Tr. about 16 miles. Br. Day broke his waggon wheel down.
Tuesday 9. Mother Moon died early in the morning. We started the main body of camp. The rest stoped. Buried Sister Moon. Mended Br. Days waggon. We came on and overtook the camp about 10 miles.
Wednesday 10th. Tr. 16 miles. Camped on the Platt[e].
Thirsday 11th. Tr. 16 miles to Clear Creek. This day Br. O. Hyde passed us. Ira got run over with the gib waggon, both wheels.
Friday 12. Tr. passed Garners 10. Sister Price very sick. Also her babe. Sister [Nancy Kittle] Barnham took her little babe 2 years old. Brought it on with us. It died that afternoon. Br. John Moon died this evening. Had a very heavy thunder shower. Buryed Br. Moon in the evening, also the child of Sister Prices.
Sat. morning 13. About 8 miles from the fort Br. [Alfred] Walton went back after a cow of Sister [Mahala] Kings that had been left the day before because she was lame, but could not drive her. She was so bad had to leave her. This night camped about 1½ mile from the fort at Grand Island. Very heavy rain. Stayed over Sunday. Meet in evening and talked some about our journey and our religion. This night a very heavy shower.
Monday 15. Rainy in the morning. Started about 10 o’clock. Passed Br. Grant, Br. [Truman] Leonard and [Harmon Dudley] Pearsons [Pierson] just ahead. Tr. about 12 miles. Charles M. Johnson died Sunday morning 14th out of Br. Leonards camp of 10.
Tuesday 16th. Traviled about 18 miles to Plum Creek. Found flies bad this afternoon here. We stoped and washed and dried out things.
Wednesday 17. Afternoon Br. Woodrufs company came in sight and camped on the River.
Thursday 18. Half past 7 morning started from Plum Creek. This day passed 15 graves, mostly gold diggers. Traviled about 16 miles.
Friday, 19. Traviled about 16 miles. Pased 14 graves.
Sat. 20. Tr. about 18 miles. Passed 12 graves. Passed Br. Grant. Camped about one mile ½ from him. Here there begins to be bufaloe near the road. Stayd over Sunday about 4 miles from the the Cotton Wood Springs.
Monday, 22nd. Pased the Spring. Drove about 8 miles. stoped for noon. The bufalo became so plenty our camp thought they must have some, and while we were getting up our cattle, Br. McClel[l]an with 5 or 6 more men started off requesting that the teams should stop. We then drove about two miles to the river. Got some wood, the next morning, Burnt coal to fix some waggons this morning.
Tuesday, 23. The men brought in two bufalo. We fixed our waggons and
Wednesday 24, started on. Drove about 16 miles this day. Met a large drove of government cattle going from L----- down.
Thirsday. Tr. about 10 miles this day. Kiled 2 bufalo. Our 2nd division came up with us.
Friday, 26. Traviled about 16 miles. This eve one bufalo kiled and brought into camp by Smith and [Joseph] Hardy. Did not divide as usuall.
Next morning, Sat. 27, they stoped unbeknown to the majority of the company to lay in meet for themselves, contrary hunting regulations. We traviled about 17 miles this day. At noon my cows was missing. I rode back about 16 miles. Found them. Came on and overtook the camp before night.
Sunday 28. We hitched up, drove about 12 miles, and camped.
Monday. Traviled 3 miles. Crosed the Plat[te] and camped. Our 2nd division came on the oposite bank and camped.
Tuesday, 30th. Traviled about 16 miles to the N. fork of Platt[e].
Wednesday 31. Traviled about 12 miles. Came into the Sandroads.
Thirsday 1st. August. This morning two carages and one six mule team pased us from the fort. We traviled through sand.
Friday 2nd. Traviled about 14 miles.
Sat. 3rd. Travled about 16 miles. This evening cow died.
Sunday. Lay by. Held Meet.
Monday. Drove 15 miles to Chimney Rock. 2nd division camped about one mile ahead of us.
Tuesday 6. Traviled about 12 miles to where the road turned over the Blufs.
Wednesday 7. Traviled about 18 miles. Camped in a canion where was pine and seder plenty and good water. Feed not the best. We stayed 2 days. Washed and set tyre. 2nd division left here Friday 9th. Also Br. Bibee [Bybee] left with 8 waggons.
Sat. 10. We traviled 17 miles to the river. Found good feed a mile and ½ below camp.
Sunday. Father Bigalo [Bigelow] came up with us from Bishop Hunters company. Cunningham and [Thomas] Bird left because we would stay over Sunday. This day we held meeting in camp. Had very good turnout and good meeting.
Monday 12th. Father Bigalo joined our company. We traviled about 15 miles.
Tuesday 13. Traviled 14 miles. Pased Ft. Laramie one mile this evening. Had to cross our cattle over the River for feed. Also had a heavy shower. This day pased som Indians that has the smallpox. Came up with Br. Grant and Farley that had left us at Salt Creek with nine waggons.
Wednesday 14. Traviled about 12 miles. Road hilly. This evening Br. Grant pased us where the Claton road left the river.
Thursday 15. Traviled about 12 miles.
Friday 16. Traviled about 14. Camped on a creek. Had good feed.
Sat. 17. Tr. 16 miles this day. Met about 150 or 200 Shion [Cheyenne] Indions [Indians], all on horses, some first rate. Camped on the river bottom. Very heavy shower just before we got in carell here. We stoped until Wednesday on the acount of rain.
It rained Sunday and Monday and some Tuesday morning here. We washed. Kiled 5 bufalo and [Lucian] Noble[,] Stevens and Cole had the majority of it, or what belonged in their tens, not doing as company had previously agreed to do, to devide equally in the camp, because they had done something tords kiling and bringing in more than some others who had to stay and take care of cattle and camp.
Wednesday 21. Traviled 15 miles to Labonta this day. Markham came up with us.
Thursday 22. When we gethered our cattle 3 of Br. [Amos] Stoddards cattle missing. We stoped, hunted untill eleven, then started the teams of and left 5 waggons and 6 extra hands to hunt them. We traviled 5 miles to little Labonta. Stayd untill next morning.
Started Friday 23. Just as we were leaving the 5 waggons came in sight, having found there cattle. We traviled 14 m. to Laprele. Sister [Cynthia Stewart] McClel[l]an was confined last night. Here we found Br. Gardner Snows 50 in camp.
Sat. 24th. Traviled 8 miles this day. Br. Fox had a cow die by eating choke cherries. Br. Parken had to leave one that got a leg broke. Br. McCleland came up with the waggons that had stoped back.
Sunday 25. We thought to travil 6 miles to get to better feed, but come to get our cattle, some was missing. Br. Stoddards ten went on. the rest stayed. Had a meeting in the evening. Br. Markhams company came up. Met with us.
Monday 26. Traviled 6 miles to where Br. Stoddards ten was stoped. Kiled a bufaloe.
Tuesday 27. Traviled 13 miles.
Wednesday 28. Traviled 12 miles this day. 5 of our teams got scared and runaway. Kiled one cow for Br. Noble and one colt. Broke 3 or 4 waggons. Hirt Br. Noble some and one of his daughters and Abigail.
Thursday, 29. Repaired our waggons.
Friday, 30. Traviled 17 miles.
Sat 31st. Traviled 13 miles. Camped on a small crek to the Northwest of rode. Found good feed.
Sunday, Sept. 1st. Lay by. Had a meeting. Br. Banks preached. I followed with remarks to incourage the Saints to do right.
Monday, 2nd Sept. Traviled 13 miles. Camped just beyond Gardner Snows division.
Tues. 3rd. Traviled 12¼ miles to Independence Rock. Camped on one side of Sweetwater. Gardner Snow on the other. John Leavitt and myself both sick.
Wednesday 4th. Traviled about 10 miles.
Thirsday 5. Traviled 10.
Friday 6th. Traviled 8.
Sat. 7th. Morning I herded. When I came in with cattle, sat down to my breakfast. Br. McClelan came to me. Said that Tory [Thore] Thirston [Thurston] wanted a yoke of cows that day to help him because one of his cattle was to lame to work. I told him to go to Bro. Noble and Stevens. They both had good fat loos cows driving. They both refused to let them go. Afterwards Stevens concented to put one in. Noble did not, but drove out of correll first of anyone, not wating for my teams, that belonged ahead, when Catlin, Stevens, Cook, [-] Webb and [John] Sim[m]ons followed leaving us to make up our teams as we could. Drove on some to miles ahead of our camping place. At night Webb came back. Said they were going on next morning. Mr. [William] Walker said Noble had tryed to have him go on and drive teams for him. We, feeling that they wished to go to get rid of helping the camp to teames or provisions, I wrote the following letter to them:
Sept. 7, 1850In camp on Sweetwater, 6 miles below 4thCrossing
Capt. L. Noble
I am informed that you and the company with you are calculating to go on in the morning and leave the company that could not come up with you last night because of their lame and worn down cattle. You refused us this morning the poor pittance of the use of a loos cow to help an unfortinate Brother. One day, now, if you intend to leave because you are afrade you will have to help the company, you may go with your cattle and your provisions and the abundance you have and prosper so long as Israels God will let you, but be it known unto you that cursings instead of blessings shall follow and I say it in the name of Israels God. Now if you do not intend to go for the reasons I have said, but wish to go ahead to travil faster then we do or can, just send us three yoke of cattle in the morning from that company, which you can do and be better off for teams than we are, then you can go with the blessing and prayres of the poor upon your heads and the blessing of the Lord and I shall think myself mistaken in the cause for which you were about to leave. If you and company or any part of it wish to travil longer with us, stay where you are or return to us as you please. We shall leave here Monday morning-----. If you fall in again with us, we wish you to keep and observe the rules and regulations of the camp, and every man keep and observe his place in starting out of carrell and traveling threw the day and ceas complaining whining, and growling, for we have had enough of it. If the 3 yoke of cattle are sent to us, I pledge my word to have them returned to you in the valley, provedential acidents excepted.
Capt. of So. Company: Read this to the company and let every man act as he pleases.
The above was sent by Br. Banks. When he returned, Br. Noble came with him. Denied having any intention of going, but went back and early the next morning they all started on and we have not seen them since.
Monday, 9th. Traviled 12 to Ice Springs.
Tuesday 10. Traviled 10 miles to 5th crossing of Sweetwater this evening. Markham and company and 2 divisions of Woodruffs company came up and camped close by and also Cornel Reeses train.
Wednesday 11. Traviled 14 miles to Pine Springs on new rode.
Thirsday 12. Tr. 14 miles to Willow Creek.
Friday 13. Traviled 12 miles to Sweetwater. 3 miles from the pass this evening after dark, Markham came in and camped.
Sat. 14. Tr. 17 miles. Took new road at Pacifick [Pacific] Creek Crossing. Camped on So. Creek 10 miles below.
Sunday. Laid by. Had meeting.
Monday. Tr. 12 miles. Came up with Markham. He had traviled Sunday.
Tuesday. Tr. 13 miles. Camped on big Sandy on new rode. Here [James] Robins and [Levi] Roberts stoped for -----.
Wednesday. Tr. 16 miles. Camped on big Sandy.
Thirsday 19. Tr. 15 miles. Camped on Green River where the road leaves the river.
Friday 20th. Tr. 16½ miles to Bla[c]ks Fork. Here Markham and one division of Woodrufs company was camped.
We started out Sat. 21st before either of the companies. Traviled 17 miles to Blacks Fork. Br. Cole and McClel[l]an stoped back. Some of the boys had gon out to hunt.
Sunday morning 22nd. One devision of Br. Woodrufs company under Capt. Moffit pased. Had an ox that Father Bigalow had left about 5 miles out of camp. The mans name was Sheets that was driving the ox. Father Bigalow told him that it was his ox and wanted him, but Sheets wanted 5 dollars for driving him 5 miles to where we was in camp to stay over Sunday. Bigalo, not having the money and not satisfied with such an extortion. The man drove the ox on and would not let him have him. The same man had the day before drove a cow of Brother [Cyrus] Sanfords to our camp at noon that the little girl had left a half mile behind and wanted 50 cts. for that, but he barked up the rong saplin that time and he may think so in the case of the ox.
This evening Br. Cole and McClalan came up, having got an elk. Markham pased us just after.
Monday. Traviled behind Markham within 3 miles of Bridger, it being 15 miles.
Tuesday. Traviled about 13 miles. Overtook Markham. We concluded to travil together on the acount of the information we got from the Valley of the Indian difficulty.
Wednesday. Tra 7 miles foor noon. Afternoon had Markham go ahead to find a camp ground and we followed on. Came up to him at half past 9 on the evening, having traviled about 15 miles this afternoon, passing one or two very good camp places.
Thursday, Started half pased 11. Traviled 6 miles and half to Small Creek. The boys had a dance evening.
Friday 27th. [End of journal entries]
[Scanned images of diary and text transcription also available on "Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869" web site, http://overlandtrails.lib.byu.edu/.]
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Stone, Minerva Leantine Jones, Letters 1850-1851.
Read Trail Excerpt:
The Fort at Grand Island July 16, 1850
This afternoon we arrived at this place, Grand Island. We are expecting to leave tomorrow morning; therefore, I improve the present opportunity of writing you a few lines. The watchmen of this camp have just cried the hour of ten as I commence.
Our family are all well and have enjoyed very good health since we left Pottawatomie. My health has improved all the way. as I told you it would, until now I have a cold. Little Amos’s health has improved very much: he has had no fits since we left. He has two upper teeth cut through. He cries to me continually.
We sent you a letter by Bro. Clawson the last of June, which I suppose you have received. We were then at Salt Creek. In that we informed you that Bro. [John] Sweat and Dr. [Jesse C.] Brayley had died of Cholera. The 4th of July we arrived at the Platt[e] Bottom. Our company of fifty divided into three companies. The first and last tens formed into one. Capt. York, captain of the first ten, Bro. [Thomas] Rich, captain of the fifth or last ten. He is our captain. Bro. [Truman] Leonard and Bro. [Harmon Dudley] Peirson [Pierson] and Bro. John Carter were captains of the other three tens. It was thought wisdom to divide in smaller companies in order to travel faster.
Sister [Catherine Rebecca] Foy and two sisters with Bro. [Winslow] Farr have had the cholora, but have recovered: there has been one or two children die with it. There have been several cases of bowel complaints in the camp which would have terminated in cholorea if it had not been for the medicine which we brought along, especially the third preparation of Lobelia administered by injections. I have heard some say that if Mr. Stone had not been there in this company there would have been a great many more deaths. Bro. Farr says he is confident that the syringe with proper medicine has saved his life and two others in his family and he is as grateful as anybody can be.
July 9th we passed an old deserted Indian Village containing 30 or 40 wigwams. The middle one was a prison where Bro. Castro and those with him were imprisoned on their return from the valley with the mail a year ago last spring. The wigwams had the appearance of being quite comfortable when in good repair. They were made of sticks, grass and dirt, with a long low entry made of the same material which led into them. There were large holes in the ground where they had burried their corn. Our company found three live sheep in one of them. Some company before us had lost them. The Indians left their place last fall.
I will here observe that we have traveled 237 miles and have not seen an Indian this side of the Missouri River to Fort Laramie. We have got along very slow, but we have had a great deal of rain, consequently bad roads. Bro. [Wilford] Woodruff’s company left this place just as we came in sight. Bro. Hyde passed us last Wednesday, the 10th, with three others with him on his way to the Valley. Last Sunday between the hours of two and three Bro. [Ezra] Bickford was taken with cholorea [cholera] and before two o’clock in the morning he was a corpse. We were camped where no timber could be obtained of any kind. Of course, he was buried without any coffin whatever. I believed they mowed grass and laid underneath and over him. Sister B. takes it very hard: says her all is gone. She left her wagon and came to Bishop Snow’s wagon, and said she could never stay in her wagon any more. They were afraid she would be crazy.
Yesterday we had passed 55 graves, and I don’t know how many today, but enough probably to make near sixty. It is as Bro. Joseph Young says, “Our road is a perfect burying ground.” Joseph says he feels like weeping when he sees his brethren and sisters laid by the wayside by the destroyer, but it is all right. These things go to prove that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Lord. It is only a beginning of the judgment of God, what shall the end be with those who reject his servants and obey not his gospel?
Sister Sweat has had the smallpox in a light form. She has had the cholorea but, has recovered. There are no cases of sickness at present in our camp. There have been two births, all parties getting along first rate.
It is nearly one o’clock at night. My sheet nearly full, and I must draw my letter to a close. You will see at once that my writing and order of composition is the worst I have ever sent you, but I have done the best I could under present circumstances.
The children are all well. When we came in sight of the Fort today Olive Ann [Stone] said, “There is Grandmother’s house.” Merub [Stone] wanted to know what they were. I told them they were houses. They were very much pleased to see some houses for the first time in their life. There are some very good houses two and three stories high. One has four chimneys.
Father, Mother, Ruth, and Miles, I bid you farewell fondly anticipating a time when we shall all see each other.
I suppose you would like to know something about me. I got along very well, but I think sometimes I should like to step in and see what you all are about and get a piece of your baked pig, for I suppose nearly harvest. I wish I could see you all.
Sweet Water River13 miles from South PassSeptember 11, 1850
Dear Mother and Father:
We are daily expecting to meet Bro. Hyde on his return from the Valley to the Bluffs, therefore, I improve few moments in penning a few lines to send you for I know you will be anxious to hear from us as often as possible. We are all well and getting along first rate. Ann has had the ague in her face, but has had her tooth extracted and is getting better. Our cattle are all in good order. We stopped at Deer Creek 28 miles before crossing the Platt[e] River the last time, and had all of our cattle shod except the white steers. We have not worked our cows but a very little, and can get along without them very well.
Some time before we came to Laramie we saw thousands of buffalo. Our company shot several of them. Buffalo beef is very nice meat, but antelope exceeds everything else of the kind I ever saw. We have seen some buffalow this side of the Black Hills, but not very many.
Today we have camped on Sweet Water for the last time, I believe. We are 14 miles from the place where Bro. George A. Smith and company were caught in the snow storm last year. We have had very pleasant weather for several weeks, but as we approach the tops of the mountains we have cold nights but warm days. Last night water froze some, and yesterday we could see snow on the distant mountains. Today we have had strong wind and very cold, but I must stop here and tell you how comfortable we are situated in our wagon. Mr. Stone has fixed up our cooking stove in good order by fastening it on two pieces of wagon from the floor. We do all our cooking by it, and if necessary, we have a fire in it while traveling. Since we corralled today, Mr. Stone has been out with his gun, saw three antelope together, but did not have the good luck to shoot any. Meat is an article that would be very acceptable in this camp, and they are mostly destitute. I don’t know of any in the camp but our own. Milk is very scarce. Most of the cows are worked in the yoke. We have a very good supply at present.
You requested me to inform you what things were the most needed on this route. Well, one thing is a good supply of spirituous liquor; if ever it is needed it is when traveling this journey. We had olny[only] two quarts of whiskey, and it was soon used up for the sick. Mr. Stone paid $2.00 for two quarts more and that was soon gone. He tried to get some of one of the brethren in Wy. Snow’s company. He charged $8.00 per gallon. He has since bought a quart of alcohol of some merchants at a more reasonable rate. Another thing is a good supply of tea. There is so much bad water and so many changes that it is necessary to boil the water and make tea or coffee. I think we have used about half of our tea. Now we have beautiful water. Sweet Water River is a beautiful water. Sweet water River is a beautiful stream. I think it surpasses any of its size I ever saw. Bring any quantities of saleratus and do not depend on this at the mountains. We gathered more than a bushel as we passed Saleratus Lake, but there is too much salt petre in it to suit my fancy, but I shall have to use it some, as I brought but very little with me. We forgot to get a supply before we left, and we had to pay 50 cents per pound at Laramie.
Mr. Stone has earned some money at his trade (blacksmithing) on the road. One company paid him $12 for what he did in one day for them.
Sunday, September 15.We are now 175 miles from the Valley on the big Sande [Sandy] River. We have crossed the pass and have had no snow storm, but could see the snow on the tops of the mountains. The weather for two or three days has been warm. Bro. J. A. Stratton and Bro. Hanks have been back as far as Laramie. They were sent out to search out new routes and were to obtain the best feed for cattle, and wether[whether] any needed help from the Valley. They passed us last Sunday on their way back to the Valley. Bro. Stratton recollects you all, and said he might have traveled for weeks in the same company with me and should not have known that he had ever seen me.
We have met some teams going back to Hayward’s and Hunter’s company to assist them. They report plenty of provisions in the valley: wheat from 4 to 5 dollars per bushel—no pound. Adobes 1 dollaar per hundred. One thousand will make a good sized room.
Ann and I have gathered a kind of fruit called bull berries. They are very much like bar-berries. I have preserved my glass jar full and I think we have a pan full that are dried. We sewed them in bags and quilted them across a few times, then pinned them on the top of our wagons and they dried beautifully. There are great quantities of choke cherries on the road, and the best I ever saw. We have dried some.
We have been greatly favored with health—have lost no cattle, nor met with serious accident, but Merub and Olive narrowly escaped being crushed to death under the wagon. They attempted to get out of the wagon unnoticed. Merub succeeded in getting safe but Olive Ann fell from out the tongue, forward of the forewheel, she rolled over and the wheels ran so near her that they took the skin off her leg from her knee to her ankle, leaving the flesh black and blue. Since that she has been more timid than efer [ever] where riding is concerned. She grows poor in flesh every day; she is very nervous and I think that fearful excitement wears upon her. But we have got almost to our journey’s end and we are all glad, I tell you. Little Amos Ives is as fat as a pig. He doesn’t walk alone, but stands alone and walks around by things; would soon walk alone if he had a chance.
I saw Bro. Blanchard and family at Deer Creek. They are in a part of Bro. [Wilford] Woodruff’s company. She said she looked everywhere for Doctor’s grave; thought he would be frightened to death certainly. We have heard nothing from them since we started.
Wednesday Sept. 18 Minerva L Stone
[The following notations were written on margins of the above letter:]Be sure and gather a great supply of raspberry leaves; get a syringe; hot drops, and third preparation of Lobelia when you come, also ginger.
Oh, Ruth, I want to know if you have got married yet, and when you are coming to the valley.
We have passed a great many graves of gold hunters, mostly from Missouri. There must be many a widow and orphan back in Missouri while their Husbands and Fathers are laid by the wayside in the wilderness. Many of their bodies disinterred by wolves and their bones bleaching on the prairie. We have seen their bones and clothing disinterred and the head board lying near, telling who they were and where from and we know it.
The gold diggers left a great deal of property this season on the road, but destroyed it as much as possible; burnt all the wood-walk to wagons and threw a great deal of the iron on the road; sheet iron stoves in any quantity but spoiled by bullet holes.
Since my saleratus has air-slacked, it is much better than I expected. A good supply of ready made shoes is needed on this road. Not necessary to bring as much crackers as we did. We have a large trunk full now and plenty of flour, but we should like more beans; they are first rate since the weather became cool.
Sunday 22ndWe are now at Fort Bridger. All well, and in good spirits. Met David Rogers here going to meet Woolus (Wooley’s) company with cattle to assist them. He is aunt Edna’s son. Says Matilda is married to Samuel Rogers; all is well and doing well. She had a letter from her Father last spring stating Marcus’s death.
Mr. Stone recommends shoeing all heavy cattle to the commencment of the journey, especially their forefeet.
Sept. 30thWe are just about to enter the Valley. Met Jacob Terry’s brother going back and send this by him. We are all well.
Minerva L. Stone