George Black (1823-1872) – Crossing the Plains to Salt Lake City, Utah

George Black crossed the frozen Mississippi river, along with family and others, the first day of the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo, Illinoise in 1846. After crossing the frozen river, George went to St Louis Missouri where he gained employment on a steamship that travelled from St Louis Missouri to New Orleans, Louisiana in order to earn money for the trip West to Salt Lake city. While in St Louis he met a young lady by the name of Susannah Jacaway from Maury County, Tennessee. They were married on 6 April, 1850. Shorty after being married they started the trek accross the plains to Salt Lake leaving from Omaha, Nebraska in a James Pace company. George’s travel company consisted of his wife Susannah, Parents brothers William and Joseph, Nephew Johnson McDowell, and later to be wife Mary Ann Donnelly and baby. After arraiving in Salt Lake city on 15 September, 1850, they departed for Manti, Utah. After a short stay, they moved to Kanosh, Utah where they established residency. George died in Kanosh.

“A Word to the Wise,” Frontier Guardian, 23 Jan. 1850, 2.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

A Word to the Wise. We are placed here to give counsel to the Church in the States, and to act as an agent, in many things, for the Church in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Any document from that place, executed by the proper authorities of the Church, and addressed to us, will meet with the most prompt attention that our circumstances and ability may allow us to give it. It cannot be expected, neither would it be a safe principle for the Council here to lend all their aid and influence to sustain and carry out a measure that would effect the whole Church here and also at the Salt Lake Valley, upon verbal testimony only, when the authorities there can as easily write as speak. If men coming from the Valley to this section, have received their orders there verbally, the fault is theirs if they do not execute them in the regions where they are sent. But if any particular move is required of us in Pottawatamie we expect to see that requisition in writing from under the hands of the Presidency of the whole church; until we see that, we cannot feel authorized to digress from our former written instructions, however respectfully we may regard the verbal testimony of individuals. Instructions and commandments given to Br. Thos. S. Johnson by word of mouth in the Valley, are not commandments to the authorities of the Church here. We consider it in due season for us to lend our aid and influence in favor of any measure, after we get positive instructions to do so. Before the Council here could say to the people as Br. Johnson did, that every person who could raise enough to cross the Plains, and barely have provisions enough to last him to the Valley, even if he should have nothing to purchase with when he arrived there, ought to go, and that he would take the responsibility of providing for them. However charitable and benevolent his feelings might have been, the Council could not feel to rely upon his responsibility without the concurrent testimony of the Church in the Valley, which was daily looked for by our last mail. He might have been right, and he might have been wrong: We did not know until the mail came through, but that if we should send a great many poor people, it might prove disastrous to them and ruinous to the settlement. We considered that a little cool calculation would be better and safer than an extravagant zeal and heated words which were altogether unnecessary; for if we were not officially instructed to crowd the emigration faster than its natural current, no individual zeal, however burning, could influence us to do it. Since the mail has arrived, we learn, by various letters, and by the testimony of some thirty or forty men, that they will be prepared to receive all the emigrants that we can send there, rich and poor together. Well, God be thanked for their prosperity in the wilderness. If there is fertility enough in any soil to produce a living, the Mormons are just the folks that will have it! We would say, however, that we do not believe that those in the Valley can give away their eatables without a compensation,–take therefore, all that you can to buy with; and it is our opinion that a few extra groceries–a few barrels of flour, and several odd things in the eating line, would be no serious detriment to any poor person after he arrives there, to last him while he can situate himself in a house, and prepare to labor for more. But up for the Valley! While the tide and current flow, push off your boat,–dash over the sea of prairie, and land in your desired haven. Cows and Work Oxen,

” Frontier Guardian, 6 Mar. 1850, 2.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Cows and Work Oxen. There will evidently be a scarcity of the above kind of stock in this section to meet the demand this coming Spring for the emigration. We would advise every one to bring all the good work steers, milch cows and young stock that he can. Mules are dear and not so profitable to go to the Salt Lake as five and six year old steers. Mules would be best to cross the Plains and Mountains, provided the emigrant goes to the Mines or to the Pacific Coast. Ponies, good horses and indifferent ones will sell here for what they are worth. Prime work oxen are worth from – $50 to $70 do. cows dodo- – $12 to $15 do horses, dodo- $65,$80 and $100. Common horses do do– $40 to $55. Young Cattle are as good property as can be brought here, or as can be taken to the mountains. The above kinds of stock are perfectly good here to buy farms and improvements. We presume that every claim in Pottawatamie county might be bought with cows, oxen, horses, and young cattle, only bring enough of them.

“Emigrants for the Valley,” Frontier Guardian, 20 Feb. 1850, 2. Trail Excerpt

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Emigrants for the Valley. Such emigrants as come from abroad and may be desirous of removing to the Valley this Spring would do well, as a general thing, to purchase their oxen, cows, horses and mules before they get here. The running geers of wagons only need be purchased abroad if sent here by boat. We have any quantity of the best kind of linn or basswood lumber for making wagons beds, and we have just the men and boys ready to trim them off, in the latest, most approved and most convenient style. The lumber is now on hand, and will be properly seasoned by the time you will need it. Sawyers, remember what we say, and have your lumber on hand; and wagons bed makers, have every thing in order and be ready to do up jobs on short notice. Many entire wagons can be furnished here, but not enough to supply the emigration. Wagon bows should be made and ready, so that when a customer comes, he may be completely rigged in twenty-four hours. Our friends in Texas would do well to drive good young oxen, good cows, horses and mules to this point; as many of them can sell their farms for this kind of stock when they could not sell them, perhaps, for ready cash.

“Emigration,” Frontier Guardian, 12 June 1850,

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Emigration.

We have attended the organization of 350 wagons of Salt Lake Emigrants up to Saturday 8th inst. Capt Milo Andrews is ahead with fifty wagons. Next follows, Capt. Benjamin Hawkins with one hundred; Thos S. Johnson, Capt. of 1st Division, and–Capt. of Second Division. We left them at Council Grove 12 miles from Bethlehem west of the Missouri river, on the morning of the 7th inst. Next in succession is Bishop Aaron Johnson with a train of one hundred wagons. Elisha Everett, Captain of 1st Division, and Matthew Caldwell, Captain of 2d Division. Next in order is Capt. James Pace with one hundred. Richard Session, Captain of 1st Division, and David Bennett, Captain of Second Division. The Emigrants are generally well fitted out with wagons and teams, provisions, &c., &c. There are some wagons quite too heavy. Those brought from St. Louis are good, but too heavy. A heavy wagon with a stiff tongue is unsuitable for the journey. Let no person hereafter buy a wagon for this trip unless its tongue has a joint in the [h?] forward of the axletree. Light wagons that will bear from sixteen to twenty hundred pounds, are the most suitable for this service. These heavy lumber concerns should be left here, and not used by our people, neither by anybody else, unless they choose. The number of California wagons that have crossed at this point, is about 4,500, averaging 3 men to the wagon, making 13,500 men, and about 22,000 head of horses, mules, oxen and cows. Our own Emigration to Salt Lake Valley will amount to about 700 wagons as nearly as we, at present, can determine. They take two new carding machines in addition to one sent last year, besides much other valuable machinery. They also take about 4000 sheep and 5000 head of cattle, horses and mules. With the facilities for improvement that are already in the Valley, and those that are now going, we may expect to see that hitherto, desolate region growing rapidly into importance, and consideration. Success to the West, and to Western enterprize, to Western men and measures! “Let the Wilderness and the solitary place be glad for them, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose.

” “Emigration,” Frontier Guardian, 26 June 1850, 2.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Emigration.

We feel highly gratified to see our emigrants so well fitted out as they are. They generally have two good yoke of oxen, and from one to three yoke of cows to each wagon. The average freight of each wagon is 1850 pounds. The average amount of bread stuffs to the person, old or young, is one hundred and twenty-five pounds–bacon, sugar, coffee, tea, rice, dried fruit, and other little necessaries in proportion. To see a people who, three or four years ago, had to sell their all to get bread to last till they could raise it; and now see them with from one to four wagons each, with plenty of good team, thousands of sheep and loose cattle, horses, mules and machinery of various kinds; wagons all new and stock all young and thrifty, is gratifying in the extreme. This people are naturally industrious; necessity has forced them to acquire this habit. Public frown upon a poor miserable lounger in our streets is so severe, that he is compelled to go to work or clear out. This is just as it should be. A lounger should be served as drones are served in the hive, or the vagrant law put in force against them. It has been our aim continually to encourage industry, and inspire every able person to labor steadily and faithfully, in the most advantageous way, pointing out a field for every man to labor in. And it affords us unbounded satisfaction to behold the result in part. Between seven and eight hundred wagons well fitted out for the mountains, are gone from this point this year. May the Guardian ever continue to encourage industry and economy–to suppress vice and promote virtue –to exalt the honest and industrious,–and to scourge and abase the viscious, the idle, and such as are too short of good and redeeming qualities! And may those who love this stand which the Guardian has taken, subscribe for it themselves, and influence as many others to follow their example as they can. It is true that some have found fault with the strictness of our course, and pronounced us overbearing and tyrannical. But we have this consolation that such as find fault with us, are either idle and wish to live at the expense of others, that are always borrowing, begging, lounging, and never producing anything useful by their own industry and economy. They can sell whisky, and by it, corrupt the morals of society. They can gather pecuniary strength enough by this foul traffic to become very insolent and saucy, as least some of them; they can see every thing but the hook they are swallowing, which, one day, will pull them out of the water, and hold them up in the sun’s rays to dry in the sight of all. All men living are now on the stage and are acting their part. Happy is he that chooses that part that will secure to himself the applauses of wise and competent judges!

“Extraordinary Arrival from Salt Lake,” Frontier Guardian, 22 Jan. 1851, 3.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Extraordinary Arrival FROM SALT LAKE. MR. JAMES MONROE, left Salt Lake Valley on express business to the States on the 1st day of December, and arrived at this point on the 16th inst., in good health and spirits, making the entire journey in 47 days, and in the most perlious period of the year. Br. Monroe is certainly an adventurer, and clearly shows what kind of men they are for bravery on the other side of the mountains. He brought no letters, or papers with him, because it was feared that he perhaps would not reach the States this winter. He left Salt Lake City, accompanied by two of the brethren, and three animals of his own, and upon arrival at Fort Bridger they overtook the U. S. Mail, that left the Valley on the 22d of November. The Two that came with him, then returned back to the Valley, having only tendered their services to keep him company to the Fort, and he came through with the mail to Fort Kearney, where he left the mail, and came to this place alone, making the journey of 200 miles in 4 days and 1 hours. Mr. M. lost two of his animals before he reached Fort Laramie, the other was so much jaded down he was forced to leave it. From Fort Laramie he hired his passage with the mail. The mail which left Independence in September last, and met by Kinkade & Livingston, as they came in this fall at Strawberry Creek in a storm, Mr. Monroe says that they lost all their animals, and were five days without food, before they reached Fort Bridger; they hired a horse at the Fort and that one they lost, so that they had to go into the Valley on foot; the same carries that went out came back with the mail with him, and they may be expected to reach Independence in a few days. Their animals however have been fatigued in a great measure owing to the long and tedious journey at this season of the year. He reports to have travelled over ten feet snow on the first mountains, but after that he says that the weather was remarkably good for travelling. Previous to his departure from the Valley, Gen. Rich, and his company came in from California, bringing with them rather a scanty supply of the shining ore, but an abundance of news rather of an unfavorable character from the mines, which had a tendency to render the circulation of money rather more scarce than usual, Elders G. A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson were about to leave for Little Salt Lake settlement, where an abundance of coal and iron ore have been discovered, and Elder Pratt was expected to leave on the 1st of January for the Sandwich Islands on a mission by the way of the Colorado Territory, and Gen. Rich was to leave soon with a large company for the latter place. The news of the appointments for Utah were received previous to Mr. M’s departure, and a degree of of satisfaction seemed to prevail among the people respecting them. He represents the mercantile business in the valley as very flourishing, and the health of the inhabitants good. The Indians about the valley and on the route are said to be peaceably disposed and friendly. Just as we were finishing the foregoing a friend of ours handed us a note containing the following additional intelligences: The mail for Salt Lake and Independence had arrived at Fort Kearney, a days out. At Fort Laramie, he would leave his wagon and animals, and make snow shoes and a sledge. Mr. Arnold the person in charge, says he can go through. He is an old mountaineer.

“Ferry Over the Missouri,” Frontier Guardian, 6 Feb. 1850, 2.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Ferry over the Missouri. The Legislature of Iowa granted the right of ferry we are told, to Messrs. Clark, Townsend & Brophy across the Missouri river at Council Bluffs. If we are correctly informed, they were to locate their ferry at some point, and from that point their charter privileges were to extend ten miles up and ten miles down the river. We have understood that they located their ferry last year at Trading Point, and then it became the load star that guided the “wise men of the East,” in their survey of the State Road whose terminus, interest and consistency decreed should meet the Ferry at the point of its location. Now it is more than probable that the tide of Salt Lake and California Emigration will cross the Missouri river at or near the mouth of the Great Platte and the question arises in our mind, whether the chartered privileges of the above named gentlemen are elastic enough to stretch down to the mouth the Platte or below? If they are, what will become of the State road? That will have to be shifted all in order that the road may agree with the ferry. We want a good Ferry at the mouth of the Platte; and one, too that is responsible, and that may be depended upon, so as to enable our emigration to pass up on the south side of that river, avoid the dangerous crossing of the Loup Fork, matters little to us who keeps it. All the interest that we have in it, or that we wish to have is to s[ee] a safe and commodious ferry established there. It is rumored that there is only one right of way through the Indian country from this point, secured by treaty stipulations; and that way is said to be on the north side of the Platte. Concerning this matter, we have no knowledge; but we have supposed that the right of way to the emigrant through the Indian country was as free and diverse as the right and diversity of way on the ocean to the storm-beaten mariner. We will take some little pains to inform ourself on this subject, and if we find that there is no right of way on the South side of the Platte, nearer than old Fort Kearney, then old Fort Kearney is the point that our emigration will make for. “From Elder Orson Hyde,” Frontier Guardian, 2 Oct. 1850, From Elder Orson Hyde. The following letter we received per mail on Monday evening 23d ult., from our much esteemed friend and brother, Elder Orson Hyde. Our friends and readers at home and abroad, no doubt will be anxious to hear of his progress and welfare, and also his company; we therefore submit it for their perusal:

UPPER CROSSING OF THE PLATTE, July 30th, 1850. BROTHER MACKINTOSH, DEAR SIR:-We crossed the Platte yesterday, ferried over wagons and swam our horses, leaving Capt. Milo Andrus and company on the banks crossing, all well. We came on about nine miles through sand and encamped-turned out our animals and drove them about half a mile from the road to find grass, and in the night they wandered off. Bros. Miller and Kelly are after them on their back track. They may go back to the ferry. Bro. Daniels who is in company with us, has just come in off the hills and says that the men and horses are coming in the distance. Indeed, they have just fired a gun to let us know they are coming. All is right, we have only been hindered about three hours. This will learn us a lesson-no more to trust our horses to run at large during the night. Grass is very scarce, through the rains through the black hills have been constant and powerful. But how the vast multitudes of cattle and horses are to get through, God only knows There will be no lack of water, but grass is eaten out root and branch, and in many cases the animals have even eaten out the wild sage. Our health is good, but the mountain air is too strong for me, yet I think that I shall soon become accustomed to it. The health of the emigrants is generally good, and their teams have improved on the journey until they crossed the Black Hills. Since then, they have fallen away a little. Bros. Miller and Kelley have just come in with all the animals safe sand sound. They wandered back about seven miles. The word now is, “pack up and hitch up,” so I must stop writing for the present, but will resume it again when opportunity offers. August 1st. at Independence Rock on the Sweet Water-all well. We have just passed through the Valley and Shadow of Death,-a country of about fifty miles in extent where the waters are deeply impregnated with Nitre, Saleratus, Sulphur, &c., &c. There is little or no grass at all through this region, but is mostly a sandy desert. The carcasses of horses and cattle lying along the road side are very numerous, having perished through fatigue, hunger, and through drinking poisonous waters. This country lies between the upper crossing of the Platte and the Sweet Water River, on the banks of which, we are now comfortably encamped. We have proven that horse teams will stand the journey from Fort Laramie, westward, far better than oxen. We are now beginning to overtake the California and Oregon emigration. They have suffered much in the loss of teams and animals: And oh! the sacrifice of wagons, clothing, fire arms, beds, bedding, Buffalo skins, trunks, chests, harnesses, and in the loss of life. The road to gold is strewed with destruction, wretchedness and woe; and yet, thousands and tens of thousands follow on in the way with the hope of securing the wealth of this world. Many will succeed no doubt; yet when it is obtained, it makes not its possessor happy here, nor secures to himself happiness beyond the grave. There are riches that are durable,-there is gold that will not perish. For it, we need not seek in mines of California, but in those mines far more valuable where truth lies hidden from the vulgar eye, but is found of those who dig for her and who seek her with all their heart. Those mines are on every man’s farm-in every man’s house, and even in the kitchen of the servant maid, and the printing office should be a rich place. That this may be the case with the office of the Frontier Guardian, you have my best wishes and most ardent prayers. We have not progressed quite so rapidly as we anticipated when we left home. The trains of emigrants have held to our skirts as we passed them, and we have stopped and given the most of them a lecture or discourse. They have been greatly afflicted, and feel themselves chastened of the Lord. They are humble and child-like generally-familiar and generous. We felt it our duty to give them all a word of comfort so far as we had an opportunity. There are about five hundred new graves on the route south of the Platte, and but three deaths are reported at Laramie as having occurred on the north side. We intend to return on the north side of the Platte and faithfully examine every foot of the entire distance on both routes. We are taking points and distances, and making observations which we think will be of essential service to the emigrating public another year. If wood were as plentiful as tools, wagon tire and iron in general on the road, we could have our hot dodger, coffee and fried or broiled bacon whenever we pleased. We are now on the Sweet Water, about thirty miles east of the South Pass. It is Monday, Aug. 5th, if we have not lost our reckoning-one month and one day out. We have broken an axletree to our wagon to day and have been engaged in putting in another. This is all done and we are in full rig again, ready to start in the morning for the South Pass. There is no grass through his country only on the margin of the creeks and streams. I portioned out our last horse feed to-day; but fortunately we have borrowed two sacks of flour of some Californians to be repaid in the Valley. This well help us through. We have left three horses on the way that had given out.

“From Elder Orson Hyde,” Frontier Guardian, 21 Aug. 1850, 2.

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Orson Hyde Company (1850) Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City From Elder Orson Hyde.

We have received a letter from Elder Orson Hyde, editor of this paper, written 15 miles on this side of Fort Kearney, date July 11th. He states that himself and his company are well and getting on finely; but that the emigrants have suffered much from cholera; about 60 of our people have died between the Missouri river and the Fort. (names not given.) He also states that sickness was abating pretty much. Grass and water plenty, and musketoes by the wholesale. Just as we were writing the above, another letter was laid on our table from Joseph Kelly, one of Elder Hyde’s company written on the banks of the Platte, beyond Fort Laramie, date, July 23d. It also contains the cheering news that they are all well and in sight of the mountains, and that they expect to complete the journey in 35 days from the time of starting. We are glad to hear from our friends, and it increases our joy to learn that our much esteemed friend and fellow citizen, Elder Orson Hyde, and his company are well, and in good spirits: and we hope that they will continue to enjoy the same blessing until they return, and we have the pleasure of receiving them again into our midst to share of the hospitality and kindness of our citizens.

“From Salt Lake City,” Frontier Guardian, 23 Jan. 1850, 2

Trail Excerpt RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City From Salt Lake City.

The following interesting letter from the Valley, written to Judge Holly, was published in the St. Joseph Gazette and forwarded to us by Judge H. He has our thanks for this favor in advance of the mail. We are glad to hear good news from the Mormons in the Valley, God bless them! They have labored–they have toiled–and have not fainted. May they live forever!! We publish the letter with the remarks of the editor of the Gazette. Judge Holly of Andrew county, has kindly furnished us with the following extracts of a letter written by Mr. Frederick Rohrer, formerly a citizen of that county, who left for California some four weeks after the foremost trains had left the States. Mr. R. is well known in Andrew and his statements may be relied on. The letter is dated “City of the Great Salt Lake, August 9th, 1849.” * * * The only bad road to this place is about 40 miles, running across the “Utah Mountains.” We could travel but 10 miles each day. From Fort Kearny to the mountains–say 1000 miles, the road is as good as any in the States, and for 200 miles after leaving the South Pass, it is as good as any turnpike. * * This is a beautiful country, and one of the finest climates in the world–equal to that of Italy. The City is laid out in large wards, the houses being about 100 yards apart. Each ward is enclosed with a straight fence and in profuse cultivation–which gives to the city somewhat the appearance of a town. The wards are all irrigated by leading water from the mountains, in small channels, running in every directing. The crops look well. Corn, though as good as ours, grows finely. Wheat is as good, if not better than ours, yielding from twenty to sixty bushels per acre. Barley and Oats are also cultivated and yield abundantly. Indeed, all kinds, and every variety of vegetables flourish profusely. The harvest being over, the Mormons are stacking their grain–of which they have a considerable surplus–but owning to the great rush of emigrants–thousands of whom will have to abide here until spring–a high price is asked for it. Wheat $4 per bushel flour $12 per hundred. We are boarding at a private house and are vegetating upon the luxuries of the Valley–such as milk, butter, cheese, green corn, peas, beans, turnips, &c–the beef is the best I ever tasted. The water is sweet free stone, cold as ice and the best I ever tasted. Any quantity of it can be drank without injury–which cannot be said of any other liquid. There are several sulphur springs of pure water, near the city, and a warm white sulphur one, used for bathing– which would make a hydropathist laugh. The water running from it would turn a mill and is very warm giving from its surface a continual cloud of vapour. Its medical virtues are very great curing nearly every kind of disease, such as scurvy, itch, mange, sore eyes, rheumatism, &c., &c. In fact the most that is known in the “Valley.” The grasses are various and luxurious; blue grass, grows of the best quality and in abundance, -also, wild flax. I can scarcely realise that I am a thousand miles from home! The cultivation of an old settled county–the bustle and activity of a city–the necessaries and even the refinements of civilized life–together with the habits and manners of an educated race of people are all around me! I am in the midst of a desert, and yet I see a large city, teeming with life and enterprise–with an exhaustless soil to sustain it–destined to become the metropolis of a mighty empire! I am away from home, and yet home influences are around and about me; and, in imagination. I forget the distance that intervenes between us! The Mormons are a great people, and whatever may be though of the peculiarities of their religious creed, the rapidity with which they increase, the oneness of their councils–their discipline–all foreshadow their ultimate destiny.

“From the Plains,” Frontier Guardian, 4 Sep. 1850

From the Plains. We received the following from our friend and fellow citizen, Mr. Joseph E. Johnson, one of Elder Hyde’s company; and though not of so late a date, as letters which we published in our last issue, still the matter may be interesting to our patrons and friends, therefore we give it a place in our columns: PLATTE RIVER, 50 MILES ABOVE FORT KEARNEY., Encamped July 14, 1850, 2 o’clock, P.M. EDITORS FRONTIER GUARDIAN–Dear Sirs: on Friday, July the 5th, I left Kanesville with W. D. Johnson and F. Hall, (who kindly volunteered to take me forward to overtake the Express company for the Salt Lake Valley.) I crossed at Martin’s Ferry and overtook the company, viz: Mr. Orson Hyde, Henry Miller and Joseph Kelley about five miles from the river encamped. In the morning our escort returned and we pursued our journey over a beautiful country, though with but little timber yet well watered. Passed hunters company about 25 miles from the river, and generally in good health but getting along rather slow waiting for Brs. Haywood and Wooley’s train to come up. Encamped at night on a very pretty stream called Weeping water, passed 12 graves, and 4 in sight of camp. 7th day–Fair, started 8 1/2 o’clock. Crossed Salt Creek about 10, found part of the Government train, the rest has gone on; part of the country more flat, our horses rather fractious and balky. Encamped on the Platte bottom, with our California wagons. Strong signs of rain at night. 8th day–Morning fair, an axletree broke about 10, and came up with Middleton & Riley’s train, and Capt. Markham’s company at 12. A few cases of sickness and one death occurred (G. G. Johnson) [George Givens Johnston] while we were with them; traveled 25 miles to day and encamped on the bank of the river which is about 3 miles wide on an average; passed 50 graves up to this time; strong signs of rain to night. July 9th–Some rain last night. Left our company behind, as they conclude they cannot keep up with us; passed brother Snow with a part of his company; health of the camp improving; encamped among the bluffs near the river; traveled 40 miles; health all good. 10th day–Morning pleasant. Had rained some in the night. Passed several small companies through the day and traveled over some bad roads; encamped after traveling some 40 miles on a high sandy knoll on the bottom without any wood; very heavy black clouds with thunder, lightning and rain; after it had ceased an immense swarm of musquitoes rushed upon us in the most severe manner that I ever before experienced. Bros. Miller and Kelley were obliged to take the horses back two miles to another encampment, leaving Bro. Hyde and myself to do the best we could; neither running, fighting nor wrapping up defended us from their attack and we suffered most severely. 12th day–Horses came up and drove swiftly 6 or 8 miles before stopping to feed. Passed Bro. Grant’s train about 11, all well; passed Fort Kearney at 12; encamped on the bank of the river traveled 35 miles; heavy wind and rain. 13th day–Wet, and roads heavy and muddy; flies very bad in the afternoon. Express mail overtook us at night and propose to keep us company; heavy rain, wind thunder and lightning. Have seen some elk and antelope on the way. 14th day–Still raining hard. Br. Kelley has been quite sick since yesterday. Has rained all the forenoon; roads very muddy, wet and bad. 6 o’clock; encamped on a beautiful site on the bank of the river; traveled 25 or 30 miles. Bro. Kelley is better; cooked a good supper with Buffalo chips; heavy black clouds in the South. with wind, thunder and lightning. We are in the midst of a Buffalo country and expect to try and kill one to-morrow. I am writing up this little sketch on account of expecting the Fort Laramie mail to meet us to-morrow, and we do not know when we shall have a chance to send back again. We have passed as many as 25 graves to-day and near as many yesterday; among the number we knew was the wife of Isaac Hill, Edward Wilcox, the wife of Peter Shirts, the widow Browitt, besides a number I do not now recollect. Our healths are all first rate. Our animals are doing well considering the wet weather and bad roads. We hope to get a change at Laramie. The health of the companies of emigrants are improving, but they are generally getting along slow on account of the wet and bad roads. We have concluded that this is the wrong side of the Platte and shall probably return on the other side. I must close for want of news interesting. In haste, I am respectfully, &c, J. E. JOHNSON

“From the Salt Lake Express Mail Company,” Frontier Guardian, 2 Oct. 1850

RELATED COMPANIES Benjamin Hawkins Company (1850) Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City From the Salt Lake Express Mail Company.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS, 70 Miles west of Fort Laramie, July 28th 1850. DEAR EDITOTS [EDITORS]:–Here we are encamped among the Red Hills so called, the earth nearly red as pains, caused by calcination this being the crater of some vast eruption; and we find the peaks, hills and rocks, thrown into admirable confusion by a tremendous effort of nature. We have been three days from the Fort, and have had almost constant rain, at least once in twenty-four hours if not all the time, which makes the road very heavy. Yesterday the weather was exceedingly cold, inasmuch, that a good overcoat and mittens felt well; some hard showers yesterday, and all last night. Yesterday we passed Thomas Johnson’s company of fifty wagons, all in good health and teams in good order–left them five miles at the Le-Bonte. Grass was very scarce all day. We left Bishop Johnson’s company on the 24th, near the Fort, in fine health and spirits, and teams in good order rolling along fast; and the companies behind are in like good condition and health. We are daily passing tons of Iron strewed all along the road; wagons, carriages, harnesses, saddles, trunks, chests, kegs,–every thing burnt, and the iron strewing on the plains ’tis really a sickening sight. For curiosity we throwed together in a pile, when it was near, and there was more then a wagon load, besides the tire that lie around in every direction. Friday forenoon we passed a country beautifully sprinkled over with pins; timber to-day has been scarce–only in the creeks, and that is willow. Fort Laramie is a very pretty and a growing place; with a store at hand as well filled as any you can find in the States. A number of deserters from the Fort were re-captured on Horse Creek, and we met them coming back the next morning. Our captain brought one into camp and gave him food on condition of his returning to the Fort; he said he had eaten nothing for three days, and we learn that there are more still ahead, but pursued. We saw a fine Buffalo yesterday, but did not succeed in capturing him. We have seen no Indians but a few in a village near the Fort; nor do we expect to see any soon. I must close, an opportunity offers for sending this back. More Anon. AMICUS. Interesting News from the Plains. Kanesville, July 7, 1850. MESSRS EDITORS: Having just arrived from Great Salt Lake City, the home of the saints, with the mail, and being requested to give a brief synopsis of the news from the West, while waiting for conveyance further East, I cheerfully do so. The last of the mail company left Great Salt Lake City on the morning of the 20th of April. Weather in the Valley mild and agreeable. Gardening and putting in spring crops, was the principle employment of the people. Grass was beginning to be plentiful. Early Pea Vines were up. Some fall wheat was jointed, though the spring was called a late one in the Valley of the Mountains. On the same day we found ourselves over the first mountain and safely encamped on Kanyon [Canyon] creek, 12 1/2 miles from the city. After beating a track through the snow to the summit of the second mountain and seeing the Platte River Ferry Company showe their waggons; at day dawn of the 24th we descended the mountain and succeeded in getting 2 miles down the East side, coming over snow (on the crust) drifted about 20 feet deep, on the East side of the summit. After other two days wallowing in the snow and shovelling a track upwards of a mile, we got to the mouth of Kanyon [Canyon] creek, four miles from the summit of the second mountain. Some were snow blind, others with swolen faces, most of the company having bad colds. We found Kanyon [Canyon] Creek crossing very deep. The last crossing-three inches depth of water ran through our wagon beds. At Yellow Creek-two rods wide-the water so deep that it ran over our wagon beds into or wagons. Weber and Bear rivers were low; easy fording. On the evening of the 8th of May, we found ourselves comfortably encamped at Fort Bridger, 113 1/2 miles from our city in eighteen days. Here we heard, from the Snake Indians, the welcome news that there had been but little snow East this winter; though there had been so much West of Bridger, even in the months of March. Our cattle, while in the snow, and afterwards in the mud, were sustained by the dry and green grass on the South side of the mountains, which were generally bare and free from snow. We were informed at Bridger, cattle had wintered well in the vicinity of Hams Fork, about twenty miles east of Bridger. Mr. Bridger, Batteez, and other traders, had two or three hundred head of horses for sale. The Fort Hall express had just passed and bought two suitable for their trip at $50 each. On the 11th we forded Hams Fork-four rods wide-swam our cattle over; put our effects &c., on boards laid across our projections, and by connecting chains reached our cattle on the East side; drew our wagons across in safety, and in very little time, having a lariett fastened to the ends of the chain to draw back again. On the 13th we forded Green River-sixteen rods wide-in one place, for about a rod, swimming our cattle and wagons. The ferry company had not their boats ready. On the 14th we passed Snake (Indian) village on the move. They had wintered on the Wind river; had much fur, peltry, skins &c., which they were taking to Bridger to exchange for ammunition, blankets, &c. &c.; all were on horseback, young and old; colts unable to travel, packed; dogs and eagles, packed; and we espied a rooster (which now they had packed up) and that had got so used to Indian life that we thought he seemed as graceful and dignified on horseback as if setting on the old barn yard fence at home. On the 15th we met S. B. Craw’s company, of Kendall county Ill., within 1 1/2 miles of Dry Sandy, over the South pass eleven miles. They were well and hearty; their animals were in good travelling order, much to our astonishment. But they had fed them grain and when that was exhausted they had fed their flour, depending on supplies at Salt Lake, which no doubt they would receive, being the first gold diggers on the road, and which would pass through Salt Lake this season. When our company left the city flour was plenty at $10 per hundred. On the evening of the 16th, we encamped at the last crossing (to us the first crossing) of Sweetwater; found Capt. Denison, from Ohio, with a company of two hundred, who had just encamped; and in a few minutes a small company rolls up, crosses the river and encamps on the other side. The animals in Denison’s company were much used up and not to be at all compared with those in Craw’s company, On the 21st we passed a few ox teams that had wintered at Laramie; also a man with a wheelbarrow (said to be a Scotchman.) He had been asked by several to join their company and they would haul his provisions and bedding. He thanked them kindly, but wished to be excused, as he could not wait on the tardy movements of a camp. He never was afraid of the Indians stealing his horses, and he never lost any rest dreading a stampede. One of our company, Bro. John O. Angus told him he had in beholding him, seen the fulfillment of a Mormon prophecy. Three years ago he had heard a Mormon prophet declare that they would travel the plains with wheelbarrows. Many camps now pass us daily-roads thronged three hundred miles from Great Salt Lake City; seven hundred and thirty one miles from Council Bluffs. Crossing of Sweetwater tolerable high; but wagon beds blocked three or four inches go over safe. On the 25th we reached Upper Platte Ferry and forded. The road now was completely covered with wagons and emigrants for the Diggins. We found here some harness laying on camp grounds; some casks, axes, augers, stoves, &c.; but nothing at all in comparison to the amount of articles left and thrown away by the emigrants last season. We found the emigrants had learned wisdom by the things their friends last year had suffered, and come on in quite a different style. Light wagons, first rate horses and mules; in short; light loads and good teams, without any surplus property or clothing to leave for destruction on the plains. Here we found a Mr. Hickman and others from Missouri, who had succeeded in establishing a ferry boat at the old Mormon Ferry. Twenty of our company turned in and helped the old pioneers (ferrymen) to build and launch a couple of good substantial boats, while we traded our oxen for horses and recruited up a little for the journey. The last two weeks after being out of the snow and mud, we travelled with our ox teams two hundred and twenty six miles. We started from the ferry on the 3rd of May. Passing a continual train of emigration, we reached Fort Laramie on the 10th. We avoided most of the Black Hills and came the river road from the La Bonte, which, although the longest way, we preferred on account of the better road. The travel generally this season has went the river road. The feed, we must say, was much better than we anticipated. Having been on the route now for three successive years, I feel safe in saying it was much better that the two previous seasons; though the emigrants could hardly be made to believe they were on good feed, not being acquainted with mountain grasses. Here Mr. Somerville, the Clerk at Laramie, appointed to keep the statistics relative to emigration, presented us with the following schedule: “Total number of emigrants passed this post up to June 10th, 1850, inclusive. Sixteen thousand nine hundred and fifteen, men; two hundred and thirty-five, women; two hundred and forty-two, children; four thousand six hundred and seventy two, wagons; fourteen thousand nine hundred and seventy four, horses; four thousand six hundred and forty one, mules; seven thousand four hundred and seventy-five oxen; one thousand six hundred and fifty three, cows. CALVIN C. SOMMERVILLE Clerk.” On the 12th of June we encamped at Robidou[x]’s Trading Point, by Scotts Bluffs. Here we came into the cholera. Robidou[x] says the Sioux Indians have all gone over to White river, afraid that the white men would bring cholera among them this year as they had last. From this point to the South Fork of the Platte, which we reached on the 18th, we passed mostly ox teams with several hundred head of loose stock, (oxen, cows, heifers, and yearlings,) en route for California. We forded with our horses and wagons with little difficulty, having to boat our effects about four miles below what is called the Upper Crossing. We felt thankful indeed to get over so easily; our effects secure; and passing down nearly one half miles through camps with many cases of cholera, we encamped on the East bank by sunset, having spent the day profitably in finding so convenient a ford and a kind Welchman, (Mr. Pritcher) who voluntered the services of his boys and his tight wagon bed for our convenience. Several of our company were attacked with the disease; but feeling unskillful in using medicine prepared by strangers, and realizing that God had not changed, and, furthermore, believing the scriptures which read thus: “Is any sick among you let him call for the Elders o[f] the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick.” They had hands laid on them and all recovered, though we were daily meeting and passing right through cholera in its most fearful stages. Graves by the wayside were common; sometimes two side by side, and three, yes five; and as many as seven have we seen side by side, right by the road. Two cases did we see of bodies we believe, not interred two feet deep, which the wolves had dug up, and their bones were bleaching in the sun. We noticed it was mostly from Missouri, and some from Illinois, (who were late and generally with oxen) in whose camps cholera had made its most direful ravages. We soon came into camps which we now (20th) met much more scattering, who called themselves Oregon emigrants; however many of them were unsettled as to their destination; but anticipated they could go to Oregon this season easier than California and winter their stock better; then in the spring have their choice whether to continue there or proceed to California and settle. The cholera had proved fatal among them. We could not refrain sometimes from sympathizing with some of the sufferers. Captain Haight bought some tea from a woman who said she had just seen her father, mother, and sister interred within a few days. We saw a wagon alone on the river bank-mess all reported to have died. The road here runs a couple of miles from the river. Bought some sugar of a gentleman who said he was alone in his mess, his two friends had died. The emigrants had called this, or somewhere in this vicinity, “the valley of death.” Graves by the wayside were reckoned at an average of one per mile; and who can tell the number on camping spots along down on the river banks! On the 21st musketos and horseflies became numerous; and to give a correct account of the annoyance they gratuitously bestowed upon us and our horses, I feel inadequate to the task. On the evening of the 24th, we camped with Bro’s. Lorenzo Young and Charles Decker, having passed an unorganized company of saints in the morning, gathered from St. Louis and other places. On the 25th we reached Fort Kearney, where Livingston & Kinkade’s [Kinkead’s] train were encamped, and also Capt. Lakes Fifty. From this Fort, we have met, we may say, all the “Mormon” emigration, numbering about eight hundred wagons. They were generally in good health and spirits, though cholera, or, in other words, death, had penetrated their camps also. Bro. Appleton Harmon believes that sixty two were reported to him to have died; the names of many of them he has in his journal. When we came to the camps of our brethren we had an alphabetically arranged list of our letters, which we read to the camps, and in a few minutes were able to hand them out, as they were also arranged and tied up alphabetically. We were just in time to deliver to President Hyde his despatches and letters, at Hyde Park, on the evening of the 4th of July, and to accompany him to Mr. Brownings, on the morning of the 5th, where his company were waiting his arrival, and to bid him goodbye and wish him good luck on his mountain trip. Now, Messrs Editors, I have had but a couple of hours to sit down and comply with your requisition; but what I have written I have written in my own style. If you it will do any good; be interesting to the saints, or instruction to mankind, you can use it, and I’ll back it all up by signing my name under it all. What has first come to my mind you have, and as to my heart, it’s filled with good will and kindness towards my brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. ROBERT CAMPBELL.

“Late from the Salt Lake,” Frontier Guardian, 8 Jan. 1851

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Late from the Salt Lake.

On Tuesday evening last, several persons arrived at this place from the Salt Lake. They experienced much difficulty in getting in, a full account of which we publish below, handed us by one of the gentlemen who came in: The merchants who left Salt Lake on the 22d of October have arrived, after a long and tedious trip. They had cold weather nearly all the way, and were in the snow twenty-seven days. The party consisted of fifteen men, Messrs. Livingston, Kinkade, Middleton, Thompson, Horner, Cogswell, Barnes, Homer, Waldon, Sledge, Antonio Selman, and four men with the United States Mail, under charge of Mr. Miligan. They brought in from 75 to $80,000. The first snow that fell was on Pacific Creek, but the next night on Strawberry Creek, a few miles this side of the South Pass, it commenced in earnest, and snowed for three days and nights. They traveled each day to keep from being closed in among the mountains, having to pass through the notorious Hells Gate, Devils Gate, and over the Devils Backbone, before they reached the open country. This snow extended for ten days travel. They then had fine weather until they got within about twenty-five miles of Fort Kearney, when one of the most tremendous snow storms that ever fell, came down on them like a “thousand of brick,” they however reached Kearney safely after losing seven mules, five of which were found frozen next day. From Kearney to St. Joseph they were in the snow, except a few miles all the way. The merchants left the mail at Scotts Bluffs, but it reached Kearney before they left, and is now somewhere between Kearney and St. Joseph–it being impossible to get to Independence by the usual route along the Blue. The Sept. outward mail was met at Strawberry Creek in the storm, in rather a bad fix. Their mules having begun to give out, and they out of provisions. They were supplied with enough to take them to Fort Bridger, which will be about as far as they will get his winter, unless they go in on snow shoes. This mail had the appointment of Brigham Young, and the other officers for Utah, and will be very welcome to the Valley. The October mail went as far as South Fork, and then returned to Kearney, reporting it to be impossible to cross, but the merchants crossed within three days after without much difficulty. Several parties of Gold Diggers had returned before they left the Salt Lake, but did not bring as much dust as their brethren expected. Mr. Rich’s company which was said to have been the most successful, was expected every day. The Indians had robbed a party of seventeen man who got in the day before the merchants left. Money was very plenty, but the bad success of the Gold Diggers had made business a little dull. Messrs. Middleton and Thompson were much pleased with the kindness they met among the Mormons, and Mr. Horner being a member of their Church, of course met a brother’s welcome. The officers at Forts Laramie and Kearney extended every favor and kindness that lay in their power, and are spoken of by the merchants as gentlemen, who do honor to the Army, and deserve every one of them a brevet and extra pay.–[St. Joseph Gazette.

“Late from the Salt Lake,” Frontier Guardian, 8 Jan. 1851

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Late from the Salt Lake.

On Tuesday evening last, several persons arrived at this place from the Salt Lake. They experienced much difficulty in getting in, a full account of which we publish below, handed us by one of the gentlemen who came in: The merchants who left Salt Lake on the 22d of October have arrived, after a long and tedious trip. They had cold weather nearly all the way, and were in the snow twenty-seven days. The party consisted of fifteen men, Messrs. Livingston, Kinkade, Middleton, Thompson, Horner, Cogswell, Barnes, Homer, Waldon, Sledge, Antonio Selman, and four men with the United States Mail, under charge of Mr. Miligan. They brought in from 75 to $80,000. The first snow that fell was on Pacific Creek, but the next night on Strawberry Creek, a few miles this side of the South Pass, it commenced in earnest, and snowed for three days and nights. They traveled each day to keep from being closed in among the mountains, having to pass through the notorious Hells Gate, Devils Gate, and over the Devils Backbone, before they reached the open country. This snow extended for ten days travel. They then had fine weather until they got within about twenty-five miles of Fort Kearney, when one of the most tremendous snow storms that ever fell, came down on them like a “thousand of brick,” they however reached Kearney safely after losing seven mules, five of which were found frozen next day. From Kearney to St. Joseph they were in the snow, except a few miles all the way. The merchants left the mail at Scotts Bluffs, but it reached Kearney before they left, and is now somewhere between Kearney and St. Joseph–it being impossible to get to Independence by the usual route along the Blue. The Sept. outward mail was met at Strawberry Creek in the storm, in rather a bad fix. Their mules having begun to give out, and they out of provisions. They were supplied with enough to take them to Fort Bridger, which will be about as far as they will get his winter, unless they go in on snow shoes. This mail had the appointment of Brigham Young, and the other officers for Utah, and will be very welcome to the Valley. The October mail went as far as South Fork, and then returned to Kearney, reporting it to be impossible to cross, but the merchants crossed within three days after without much difficulty. Several parties of Gold Diggers had returned before they left the Salt Lake, but did not bring as much dust as their brethren expected. Mr. Rich’s company which was said to have been the most successful, was expected every day. The Indians had robbed a party of seventeen man who got in the day before the merchants left. Money was very plenty, but the bad success of the Gold Diggers had made business a little dull. Messrs. Middleton and Thompson were much pleased with the kindness they met among the Mormons, and Mr. Horner being a member of their Church, of course met a brother’s welcome. The officers at Forts Laramie and Kearney extended every favor and kindness that lay in their power, and are spoken of by the merchants as gentlemen, who do honor to the Army, and deserve every one of them a brevet and extra pay.–[St. Joseph Gazette. “Letter from John Taylor,

” Frontier Guardian, 9 Jan. 1850

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Letter from John Taylor-Incidents of Travel from Salt Lake, &c. BR. ORSON HYDE:

I take great pleasure in communicating to you for the Guardian some of the incidents of our travels and the objects of our journey from the City of the Great Salt Lake to your beautiful little village on the frontier. The company principally left the Valley on the 19th October, with the exception of the mail and a few who accompanied it, which left on the 22d. We arrived at Old Fort Kearney on the 7th day of December all in good health and spirits. The following is a list of the names of the persons composing the company with their destination: Of the Quorum of the Twelve on Missions.-John Taylor, to France; Lorenzo Snow, to Italy; Erastus Snow, to Denmark; F. D. Richards, to England. Church Business.-Edward Hunter, E. D. Wooley, Joseph L. Heywood. On Missions to England.-Jacob Gates, G. B. Wallace, Joseph W. Young, Joseph Johnson, Job Smith, H. W. Church, John S. Higbee, Levi Stewart. On Missions to France-Curtis E. Bolton, and John Pack. On Mission to Italy-Joseph Toronto. On Mission to Denmark-Peter Hanson. On Mission to Sweden-John Fosgreen. On Business-Robert Peirce, G. W. Hill, W. J. Steward, Dr. Ezekeil Lee, Shadrack Roundy, Russel Homer, P. Sessions, A. O. Smoot, J. M. Grant, Charles Decker, Robt. Graham. Col. John Reese, Merchant of New York; John H. Kinkade, Merchant of St. Louis. Antonio S. Duval, Mr. Kinkades driver. Benj. Homer, returning home. We found our journey to be very toilsome and unpleasant at this inclement season of the year, and were it not for the missions of a public nature in which many of us were engaged, we should have felt great reluctance at leaving our comfortable homes and firesides, to combat the chilling winds and pitiless storms of the Rocky Mountains and the desert plains. Our journey, on the whole, considering the season, has been a pleasant one. We have scarcely encountered a storm on the way. The snows have fallen on our right and left, before and behind, but with the exception of a slight fall on the Sweet Water, and another on the day of our arrival at Fort Kearney we have escaped unharmed. Nothing very remarkable occurred on our journey out, except what is common in an Indian country. Between the upper crossing of the Platte and Independence rock we met a company of four men; who were carrying a mail from Fort Laramie to Fort Hall. They had been robbed the day before, (or, the 6th Nov.) by a war party of Crow Indians. The following are the circumstances as they detailed them to us. As they were traveling on the road, whey were attacked by a band of thirty Crows, who took from them their blankets, some of their provisions, one mules, and a quantity of clothing belonging to a gold digger, who accompanied them. After the first shearing they encountered another band who saus ceremonie, subjected them to another fleecing. They did not disturb the mail, nor injure them personally; but according to their testimony, were on the contrary very loving to them; hugging them in their blankets, &c. The gentlemen after getting free from their tormentors made the best of their way, night and day, till they met with us; not wishing again to partake of their loving embraces. They were of course pleased under those circumstances to meet with us, and were full of fiery indignation against their red brethren for subjecting them to such an unceremonious tything. They stated that in their opinion there were about 300 Indians in all, and that they were a war party on a horse thieving excursion against the shyanns (spelt erroneously Cheyannes) [Cheyennes], ans Siouxs. Upon the whole we felt a little amused rather than otherwise at the circumstances which they detailed to us. On looking at their equiptments we found that their red friends had not dealt very unmercifully with them-they had let them their guns, ammunition, saddles, bridles, seven horses, the principal part of their clothing, buffalo robes, and some provisions. We supposed that it was merely a tax or toll they had put upon them as lords of the soil. Being always liberal themselves, and ready to divide, they naturally supposed that the white man ought to possess the same principles; and as they considered according to their nation of things, that they had a quantity of superfluous clothing, provisions, &c. they thought it but right that their more needy brethren should share of their abundance, and no doubt but they thought they had dealt very liberally with them. We though differently, and consequently furnished them bedding and provisions. The above occurrence made us more vigilant in guarding our horses, as we rather preferred to be tythed by our own bishops, whom we had with us, than be subject to the ordeal of those who officiate without authority. Two days journey on the other side of Laramie, while we were baiting our horses at noon, on the banks of the Platte we espied a large body or Indians, who came sweeping down a gentle sloping hill east of us. When they first appeared they were about three quarters of a miles from us, an as they were mounted upon excellent chargers, they came with the rapidity of an arrow. It gave us little time enough to gather our horses and prepare ourselves to meet our belligerent visitors. Capt. Roundy ordered the horses to be gathered and securely tied to the wagons. Gen. Grant acted with great promptness and decision on the occasion; immediately forming us into line, leaving two of our number to tie the horses up. The men showed great intrepidity, every man standing at his post undaunted. The efforts of the Indians were to either break our line or turn our flank; but being repulsed at all points, they were brought to a dead halt, about a rod and a half in front of us. During all this and for sometime after they were shaking out the priming from their fire-arms and priming them anew. Many placed their arrows to their bow strings-their lances in rest-and were wetting the ends of their arrows with their mouths that they might not slip too quick from the finger and thumb. Their chiefs, whom we supposed kept intentionally behind came up after a while, and showed signs of peace; but as they understood neither French nor English, nor we their language, and neither party having interpreters, we could only convey our ideas by signs. One of the chiefs presented a paper which had been given him by Major Sanderson, commanding at Fort Laramie, certifying that “this tribe was friendly to the whites,” upon which, I told him to withdraw his men a little, which as done immediately. We presented them some crackers, dried meat, tobacco, &c., of which they partook, sat down and had a smoke, and thus everything concluded amiably. We then harnessed up our horses and pursued our journey. They very courteously filed to the right and left, and escorted us on our road till we came opposite their village. They were about two hundred in number and were of the tribe of Shyanns [Cheyennes], (as they pronounce it.) They presented the most respectable appearance of any Indians I have met with. Many of them were dressed in American style which clothes of the best broadcloth, beaver hats, caps, &c. And those who were dressed in Indian costume displayed the greatest elegance of taste in their attire. They were adorned with head dresses of feathers of the richest hues-and their various insignia’s of office displayed a taste which is at once wild, romantic and beautiful. They were mounted on excellent horses-richly caparisoned in many instances, and painted off in the most fantastic style-they pawed the ground and champed their bits, and seem as impatient of restraint as their riders. The whole affair was truly grand. and notwithstanding the peculiar situation in which we were placed, we could not but admire the magnificent display which the lords of the prairie presented as they dashed with lightning speed upon us, arrayed in all the gaudiness and pride of Indian holiday attire. The scene was rich, and exceeded any theatrical representation we have ever witnessed. Messrs. Edward Hunter, Lorenzo Snow and myself, at the request of their chief, visited their encampment which was about three miles off the road-we found there a large number of lodges, and was informed by a Frenchman that they numbered six hundred warriors-they appeared to be wealthy, and I should think had about three thousand horses seen by us. We visited many of their lodges-they appeared very friendly, but a little chagrined at the occurrence of the morning. The same evening the Crows made a break upon two of their outposts and stole twelve horses from one and nine from the other. One of the places where the Crows stole from was within a quarter of a miles of our encampment, and nothing saved us from a like fate but the strictness and faithfulness of our guard. These Crows stole a number of horses from a trader in our neighborhood the same night. Mr. Shadrac[h] Roundy, our Captain, kept up a guard of four men at a time with scarce and exception all the way through. On our arrival at Fort Laramie we obtained supplies for ourselves and horses. Those of our number who had passed this Fort the present summer were astonished at the great improvements which have been made here in a few months time. There was an air of quietness and contentment of neatness and taste, which in connection with the kind reception given by the polite and gentlemanly commander, Major Sanderson, made us feel as if we had found an oasis in the Desert. This same feeling of kindness and gentlemanly deportment seemed to pervade all ranks at the Fort. The route from Laramie to New Kearney was performed without snow, until within 50 miles of the last named Fort and that snow had fallen before our arrival. Here we again obtained fresh supplies. The Major in command and the Quartermaster cheerfully accommodated us with such things as we needed. I mention these acts of kindness because of our peculiar situation. No one can appreciate fully such acts, unless, they, like us, shall have traversed these desert regions in this inclement season of the year. On our arrival at Kanesville, we were very much pleased to strike hands again with our brethren and friends from whom we had been separated by the western wilds, and if we may judge from appearances these feelings were reciprocal. We were hailed upon our arrival with songs of rejoicing, firing of guns and other tokens of joy. We feel to tender to them our warmest thanks for their kindness, hospitality and benevolence. We here meet a kindred spirit, and find that the presiding genius of this place drinks from the same fountain, breathes the same air and revels in the same intelligence as do the master spirits of the Great Salt Lake Valley. Relative to the situation of affairs in the Valley, it is unnecessary for me to enter into details, as the “General Epistle” will be published, containing all the important items pertaining to this matter. Suffice it to say that the crops are sufficient to sustain the inhabitants. Wheat, barley, oats, rye, buckwheat, and the small grains, and peas, beans, turnips, potatoes, beets, and other vegetables grow as well there, as in the Eastern or Western States. The system of irrigation is something new to our farmers, and it will require experience to enable them to cope with the Californians or the inhabitants of the country of the Nile. It is an excellent grazing country, the grass is very rich and nutritious, cattle an[d] stock of all kinds will become as fat as the best “stall fed” in the east. We have of course had many inconveniences to cope with, owing to the position we occupy, so far remote from supplies. The emigration the past summer brought many things with them which they found to be superfluous upon their arrival at the Valley, and were glad to give them in exchange for horses, oxen, &c.; besides, there were many small merchants who brought from two to ten thousand dollars worth of goods with them, who found it indispensably necessary to sell out in the Valley, owing to the loss of team and “pack” from thence to the mines. The Messrs. Pomeroy of Missouri, with about fifty thousand dollars worth were of the number who found it impracticable to proceed. And, here, Mr. Editor, allow me to correct a mistake which I perceive Mr. Babbitt has fallen into in a communication to your paper. Mr. Babbitt was in the valley at the time when the before mentioned goods were being sold out, and supposed very naturally that there would be an abundant supply of goods for the inhabitants from those sources, and that Messrs. Livingston & Kinkade [Kinkead], of St. Louis; Col. John Reese, of New York, and other merchants who were carrying goods laid in expressly for the Valley, would be likely to sustain a “heavy loss,” which proved to be very different. Mr. Babbitt, perhaps was not aware that the goods which had arrived in the Valley during his short sojourn were intended expressly for the gold diggings and consisted mostly of men’s ready made clothing. As Mr. Babbitt was a butchelor when he was among us, and overhead and ears in politics he of course could know nothing of the wants of a household. Consequently when Messrs. Livingston and Kinkade [Kinkead], Col. Reese and others arrived with an assortment of goods adapted to the wants of the people; they found a very ready sale and large profits; so much so, that if you had been at Deseret you would have though the ladies were bees and their stores the hives-though unlike in one respect, or the bee goes in full an comes out empty, but in this case it was reversed. I am assured by Mr. Pack who rented a store to Messrs. Livingston & Kinkade [Kinkead] that they took from two to three thousand dollars a day for several days after they commenced sale. Col. Reese, of New York, and others were partaking at the same time with them of the GOLDEN HARVEST. And as the yellow stream continues to flow from the Pacific coast to the Valley, the cry of the people is, goods! GOODS!! GOODS!!! While on the subject of goods I many as well mention that we were accompanies here by Messrs. Roundy, Grant, Smoot, and others, who have associated for the purpose of forming a carrying company, to convey goods from this place to the Valley. They also intend establishing a Swiftsure Passenger line, to convey persons from this place to Suters Fort. The company were selected and organized by the Government of the State of Deseret; part of their number are in the Valley, part of them here, and part of them are going to the Pacific coast. And as their location and knowledge of the route affords them a facility of obtaining horses, mules, &c., to recruit with-and as they are men of energy, enterprise and respectability, they are more competent to carry out an enterprise of this kind and to establish a cheap, speedy and sage conveyance to and from the diggings than any company that could be organized on this side of the plains. It is not at present necessary for us to say anything about the “Perpetual Fund” which is under the direction of Bishop Hunter, who came out with us; further than we would remind our brethren who have entered into a covenant along with us, in the Temple of the Lord to emulate our example and fulfil their covenants in helping to gather the poor to Zion. The plan adopted is the best and most satisfactory for those that give and those that receive blessings of any that has yet been designed. As the funds will principally if not entirely be laid out in cattle, which soon after their arrival at the Valley will command full as high a price as they do here. The cattle can be sold and the funds together with the additions both there and here will furnish fresh outfits from year to year in an increased ratio according to the exigency of those requiring aid, and the liberality of the Saints, without being subject to so heavy a loss in cattle and breakage of wagons as we have heretofore sustained. And as Br. Hunter is a very careful and thorough business man, and is every way competent for the arduous task reposed in him. It appears to be the general conceived opinion of the people in the States that there would be a large body of gold diggers who would have to winter in the Valley-this idea is incorrect-there are scarce any of them remaining, as the Southern route has been taken by those who arrived too late for the Northern one. In relation to the various missions in which we are engaged, the peculiar position in which we are placed in the Valley-the little time we have had to settle our families, and the inconveniences we had to labor under, make these as great and important as any that have been entered upon since the commencement of this work. A few years ago a few of the Twelve accompanied by three or four elders visited England for the first time. The Church of Latter-day Saints was then unknown in that kingdom, now they number in that country as near as we can judge, about 50,000. In the then infantile state of the Church a mission of that kind seemed Herculian; but the power of truth prevailed, superstition and fled before the luminous beams of the Son of Righteousness. And where darkness once reigned, many thousands now rejoice in the fullness of the gospel of peace. That mission, however, was to a people whose language we were acquainted with; whose habits and customs were congenial with our own; whose commercial relations rendered them familiar; and whose blood still flowed in our veins. It was a visit to our father land, the home of our grandsires and friends. It was started from Kirtland, Ohio. But now we have left our friends and homes in the Valley of the distant west; we left on six days notice, wound up our business affairs, bid farewell to our wives an families, and started without purse or script in an inclement season of the year to cross a howling wilderness, having to cope with the mountain storms, the wintry blasts and the savage Indian; and then to wend our way through this vast continent in the winter season, and all this to carry the gospel to nations who know us not, with those whose language we are unacquainted, and who are at present wrapped about with the cloak of mystery and superstition, this is a task which nothing but the “thus saith the Lord” could cause man to encounter. The nations to which we are now destined, have recently been convulsed with revolutions; the thrones of which still sicken the whole system, and render life, person and property insecure. This is literally a “distress of nations with perplexity.” Denmark, Sweden, Italy and France have been, or are weltering under the sickening influences of this eastern tornado, which, while it sickens, has not power to throw from the body that disease which has been generating for ages, and what with-bigotry, superstition and political frenzy, the nations are mad. Yet to these nations we are sent to unfurl the banner of truth, and publish the glad tidings of salvation; and while the waves of tribulation roll high, and the national earthquake bellows destruction, to whisper to the honest in heart, “what, dost thou hear Elijah.” We go therefore in the strength of Israel’s God, our trust is in him, we lean upon his arm and all is well. The nations must hear the joyful sound. The power of truth must prevail; the Kingdom of God must be established and all nations flock to her standard. And as the truth has spread in England, Scotland, Wales and on the Islands of the seas, so shall it continue to spread from kingdom to kingdom, until all nations shall bask in the sunbeams of truth till salvation is sounded on every continent, proclaimed on every isle, echoed on every sea and whispered in every breeze; and the “kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ,” even so, Amen. Yours, in the E. C., JOHN TAYLOR.

“Mouth of the Great Platte River,” Frontier Guardian, 23 Jan. 1850

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Mouth of the Great Platte River. Near the mouth of the above stream, on the East side of the Missouri river, a town is destined to be built up. A ferry is about being established there, and the emigration will cross there most likely this coming season, as the route has been surveyed from the Mouth of the Platte to the point where it will intersect the road leading from Old Fort Kearney, on the Missouri river to New For Kearney at the head of Grand Island, and found to be good. By this route on the south side of the Great Platte River, the Elk Horn and the Loup Fork of the Platte will be avoided. Both of which are difficult, streams to cross, particularly the latter which is not only difficult, but dangerous for those who are unacquainted with it. Our men who have journeyed up and down the Platte, on both sides, several times, recommend decidedly, the route south of the Platte. To avoid the crossing of the two rivers before mentioned, it is decided that our emigration cross the Missouri a little below the mouth of the Great Platte River. Goods destined for the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, and coming up the Missouri river, should be landed and stored at that point, where we learn that commodious storehouses are in progress of erection. Kanesville is the point that has the capital and facilities which must necessarily make it the rallying point for emigrants to get and complete their outfits for two or three years to come. By that time, we shall expect to see some passes towards making a Railroad about the mouth of the Platte. “Nearest, Best, & Healthiest Road to Salt Lake and California

,” Frontier Guardian, 20 Feb. 1850 RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

“NEAREST, BEST, & HEALTHIEST ROAD TO SALT LAKE AND CALIFORNIA. The difficulties of crossing the Horn and Loup Fork of the Platte, have been entirely removed by the subscribers placing upon each of those streams large and substantial flat boats. Heretofore emigrants have had to lose several days in constructing rafts which at last made it rather a hazardous undertaking. Besides these considerations it is an undeniable fact that hundreds of person who went up on the South side of the Platte fell victims to the dreadful pestilence while nearly all those who took the north side escaped unharmed. This is the Mormon trail and it is a subject of remark that so few of those people have suffered from disease while on the route. Another thing the emigrant must have in view, and that is their feed and camping places; the routes from Independence, Kansas, Weston, St. Joseph, and all other places below the Platte before going one hundred and fifty miles emerge into one road consequently when there is such an immense amount of travel, grass and wood become scarce. This too is the very end of the road where it is most needed, because emigrants expect to leave early and it is necessary that both “man and beast” should fare well in the beginning. The above is a very important advantage to those who take the north side and is a consideration compared with which all other sink into insignificance for grass is the only subsistence for stock on the plains. In addition to these facts emigrants will avoid crossing the dangerous streams of the Saline, the South Fork of the Great Platter, and the Great Platte itself. To sum up the whole in a very few words, the subscribers would respectfully say to the public generally, and all those who contemplate taking this route, particularly, that at the Kanesville Ferry on the Missouri river, they will find two good boats, each capable of crossing one wagon and team. At the Ferry on the Horn they have one large and substantial boat capable of crossing a wagon and team every five minutes. At the Ferry on the Loup Fork of the Platte we will have one excellent boat, which, with the men we will have in charge will ensure to all a safe and speedy crossing. Emigrants who wish plenty of grass for their stock, and camping places for themselves, besides the best chance of escaping all epidemics will find this route far preferable over all others. Out boats with competent hands will be at their places on the 1st of April; and all may rest assured that what we have said may be relied on with the utmost confidence. In the Kanesville Market, Emigrants will find every thing necessary for their outfits at as reasonable rates as can be procured in the Western country. SARPY, MARTIN & GINGRY. Kanesville, Feb. 20, 1850. “Perpetual Fund System,

” Frontier Guardian, 3 Apr. 1850 RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Perpetual Fund System.

This is a wise and generous move of the friends in the Valley to aid the poor to go from this place to the Salt Lake Country. Prest. Young was the originator of it. Let no one be jealous because he cannot be helped now, but be thankful that any one can be helped, and if you do right, perhaps you will be helped next time. Patience and perseverance are bound to draw the prize sooner or later. Whoever can throw in an ox, a cow, a horse, a mule, or a pair of each, can have the gratification and honor of doing so. Cash will not be refused. Bishop Hunter is now here. He is the agent of the fund, and will receive and disburse the same among the poor according to his judgment and discretion.

“Salt Lake Mail,” Frontier Guardian, 13 Nov. 1850 RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Salt Lake Mail.

The first mail from Salt Lake City, due the first of the month, arrived on Thursday 21st. The mail was a heavy one. From the manager we learn that he reached Salt Lake with mail on the 9th ult. going out he was detained a few days by the jaded condition of his animals, and on his return he was delayed eight days–six by sickness and two by stopping to show mules, &c. Considering that this was the first trip, with no previous arrangement for change of animals, we imagine that there will be but little difficulty, with proper arrangements, in going through in the time allotted–thirty days. They met September mail on the 28th ult. 65 miles beyond Fort Laramie, and the October mail on the 10th inst. at Kearney. The rumor that the September mail was attacked by the Indians is untrue, and originated from thoughtlessness of some of the carriers, who wrote back to that effect in order to play off a hoax. We understand that one of them has written to the St. Louis Organ, that they were attacked near Kearney by the Pawnees. Mr. Scroggins informs us that this is untrue, and that on the contrary, all the Indians seen were entirely friendly. No news of interest from Salt Lake. The country is remarkably healthy. Traders there this season have all done well.–[Independence Messenger. From Mr. Thos. D. Scroggins we got the following additional items of news from Salt Lake. On the way out he passed 600 Mormon wagons of emigrants and merchandize. There were still a few California emigrants in the valley recruiting their stock and preparing to go by the Southern route. Barney Ward, an old mountaineer, was going with them as pilot. Brown & Thompson’s stock of cattle, numbering 300 or 400, were in the Valley, but they expected to leave with them on the 13th, ult., by the Southern route. Their stock looks remarkably well, as did all stock that had been in the Valley a month. Finest grazing grounds there he ever saw. Can have stock kept there by the month at 30 cts. per head. With regard to grass on the Northern route to California, the reports were unfavorable. It was ascertained that there would be immense loss of stock and much suffering on that route. After leaving Platte River the health of the emigrants was good. Seldom saw any beyond Black Hills. The Mormons were very healthy on the road and in the Valley. Didn’t see a pale countenance among them. Crops were very fine. Finest wheat he ever saw-yielding this season 40 bushels to the acre. Oats, barley and vegetables succeed well. Season too short for corn. Wheat was worth $4.00 per bushel, oats $2.00-board $3.50 per week-common day labor $1.50 and board-mechanical labor from $3.00 to $5.00 per day and board. Provisions bore a fair price, flour $10.00 per cwt.-beef, as good as ever ate 12 1/2 cts. per lb.-potatoes $1.00 per bushel, and other vegetables in proportion. Groceries were paying a fine freight-coffee 50 cts. Per lb.-sugar, 40 cts.-rice 35 cts.-tea $4.00. All the merchants there doing well. Stock exorbitantly high. Mules from $125.00 to $200.00 and can’t be had at that. Californians swept the Valley. Paid at Fort Bridger $110 for mules and $100 for American horses.Population of the Valley is from 23,000 to 25,000. On his return, met the last Mormons at the Pacific Springs, 227 miles this side Salt Lake, getting on well but slowly on account of the grass being eat out. On the head of Sweet Water saw a war party of 300 or 400 Snake Indians, who were anxious to trade for powder, lead and caps. Saw a party of Pawnees near Cotton Wood Spring, 30 in number. Friendly disposed and wanted to beg. The Indians all friendly, and no danger to be apprehended from them. Went out and came in with four men.–[Independence Messenger. Andrus, Milo, to Orson Hyde, 19 July 1850.

From the Plains,” Frontier Guardian, 2 Oct. 1850

RELATED COMPANIES Milo Andrus Company (1850) Company Unknown (1850) SOURCE LOCATIONS Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah Church History Library, Salt Lake City From the Plains.

CAMP OF ISRAEL, FORT LARAMIE, July 19th, 1850. BROTHER HYDE: agreeable to your request and as opportunity offers we have thought proper to address you from this point and give you a general outline of our journey, thus far, and our present condition as we informed you we left the river on the 3d day of June moved on without interruption till we arrived at Salt Creek, there we had to build a raft to cross our wagons on, which detained as two days and a half–got all over safe. Here we had two cases of measles but they did not spread in the camp, although numbers were exposed, from here we pursued our journey again over fine roads, plenty of water and grass, and reached the Platte Bottom on the 14th, all in good health. On the 23 we reached Fort Kearney[.] here a spirit of Division crept in among us. But by the energy and eloquence of Capt. Andras [Andrus], union was soon restored, and now we are all here in general good health, and a good spirit prevailing amongst us. We have had no sickness, with the exception of two or three cases of diarhoea, which was soon checked. On the 2d day of July, we reached the South Fork, Lower Crossing–found the water in places four feet deep and very wide. On the 3d, we succeeded in crossing nearly all our wagons over without accident or injury to our goods; next day we got all over, dried our wagons, and moved out a few miles. Until now the grass has been abundant; but since we have been on the north Fork, it is only in places we find sufficient for our teams. A number of our cattle have become lame, and we have been under the necessity of erecting a blacksmith’s forge to make shoes in order to shoe them; we have been obliged to leave several, and two or three very old oxen, that when the grass began to fail could go no farther. But still we are in good traveling condition, and intend to prosecute our journey as fast as circumstances will permit. When it is possible we rest every Sabbath day, meet together, to hear a discourse partake of the sacrament, &c., and every two weeks we stop Saturday and Sunday; clean out our wagons, wash, &c. The roads have been very good with the exception of a few places heavy dragging in sand; our teams look well; and we think we are in a prosperous condition. We send you the number of persons and animals belonging to the camp: We number 51 wagons, 206 persons, 9 horses, 6 mules, 184 head of oxen, 122 cows, 46 sheep, 6 yearlings, 19 dogs, 1 pig, 2 ducks. We have found that a great many of our wagons are too heavy loaded. We would advise by all means to bring light strong wagons with from 1200 to 1800 pounds. and sufficient team, that if one yoke should give out the others could draw it. Our heavy cattle from six to ten years old that were not broke down have stood the trip equally it not better than younger. A[s] near as we can judge from what graves we have seen, and we have not been able to see half of them; that from Fort Kearney to this place, they have averaged one to every mile; about nine tenths of them from the State of Missouri.With sentiments of respect, we subscribe ourselves your brethren in the Gospel, MILO ANDRAS [ANDRUS], Capt. JAMES LEITHEAD, Clerk. ___________________________________________ Eight miles below Fort Laramie. June 13, 1850 Mr. F. J. Wheeling: According to promise I sit on the ground, 11 o’clock at night, to write that the road from Council Bluffs here up the Valley of the Platte is the best I ever saw. We arrived here yesterday all in good health, made the trip in 21 days, laid over 4–say traveled 17 days. We are 8 days in advance of the trains that crossed at the Kanesville Ferry at the same time that we crossed at the Council Bluffs Ferry; and 10 days ahead of them that crossed at the same time below the mouth of Platte; the road south side of the Platte is a very hard road to travel. I cannot tell the reason why so many are advised to go that road, when those who do it know it to be the worst road by half; their teams are poor their men sick and drilled down from the fatigue they have had on that road. I would say to all who come after us, by all means take the road north side of the Platte. One large train crossed just behind us at the head of Grand Island over to this side. The two roads are in site of each other for 300 miles, frequently in hailing distance. Our teams would pass them on a slow walk by hundreds; one day we passed over 500 wagons, often from 100 to 300 wagons. We are now ahead of the main body of emigration; 3 days in advance of the St. Joseph Trains. We have killed some Buffalo. I am very tired and must rest you shall hear from me again first chance. Give my respect to Dr. Clark, Decator, and all my friends. Yours, & G. Clark A. B.Brimhall, Noah, Reminiscence in Journal of Noah Brimhall, 10-15. I started in company with my brother John from Kanesville, Iowa about the twelth of April for Salt Lake City. We had only proceded on our journey about four or five miles when we met our Brother George who had left his wife and children in Knoxville, Illinois and was going to gather with the Saints in Salt Lake Valley. His wife had apostatized and favored Strangs beliefs. So we took him in to our own wagon and brought him to Salt Lake Valley. Incidents of travel while crossing the plains: On one occasion we had a stampede while traveling up the Platte River. A saddle horse galloped from the rear of the train with the pads of the saddle fluttering, and as fast as he came past the teams of oxen, for they were nearly all ox teams, they took fright and about thirty wagons or teams stampeded. Instance of a Runaway over the plains: Shortly after the teams commenced to run, they came to a deep creek, and for a moment it seemed that the people, men, women, and children, would be precipitated down the steep banks of the creek, but all at once they plunged in to the narrow ford, and teams and wagons piled into that ford one on top of the other until the jam was made so large that it finally stopped the train. Some wagons were broken, some oxen were drown, and some were dragged to death, but no lives of the people were lost. My team escaped by cutting the bow trees and driving the oxen out of the yokes. The stampede was a common occurrance in those days, but terrible is the sight to see a madened and terrified train of teams run, led on as impelled by some invisible spirit, rushing wildly over the plains, oxen bellowing, women and children crying for help, men holloring, whoa, whoa, whoa, sometimes circling around for miles and only when perfectly exhausted will they stop at all. Runaway Oxen: At a certain camp near the head of the Sweetwater our oxen broke the corral that was formed by putting our wagons close together. Some jumping over the wagons and some got away. Some of the oxen running 15 or more miles. One yoke of our team went back 18 miles on the road, and Brother John and myself traveled back 18 miles from eleven o’clock in the morning and returned about 6 o’clock in the afternoon having traveled a distance in excess of thirty-six miles. When we got back to camp, Brother John fell down exhausted and was sick for a long week. Note: Brother John and myself started on the plains a few days ahead of the main Mormon camp and traveled with a company of gold diggers to Salt Lake. I will relate another incident: This incident happened when our camp got to Fort Laramie. We took the new road up North Platte. Our company consisted of about ten men at that time and four wagons, and we were all strangers to the road and country. When we left Laramie about two o’clock p.m., all but the drivers walked in advance of the teams to hunt water. We had traveled until about 10 o’clock p.m., all tired and almost famishing for water. Strong men cried for water. Some rocks near the road drew my attention, and when I had got to the top of one of those large rocks, I reached down in the top of a large one that was hollow, and to my great joy and to the joy of our company, I found a few gallons of water that had been deposited by the rain, which enabled us to continue our search. When I found the water in the rock, the story of Moses came to my mind, and I felt to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in our behalf. It being very dark, we had passed the spring of water that we expected to find near the road. About two o’clock a.m. we heard the sound of a waterfall from a recent shower and were soon filled. Various are the incidents that persons who have traveled across the plains might relate of adventures with bear and buffalo, thirty years before the great railroads crossed the plains through cities and on to the great Pacific Ocean. But now, the Buffalo are gone and the numerous tribes of Indians that inhabited the whole line for a thousand miles have removed or been killed off by wars, until there are but few left, and the vast plains are covered by the teams and the settlements of the whites. Another striking incident will be worthy of note: One day while conversing in relation to the stampeding of our teams, it was proposed by one of our company that we should so fasten ropes on the horns of each near ox, so that one person could catch the ox and could hold on to these ropes and so prevent a runaway. About two o’clock, that being the rehersal time for the stampede, three of us took hold of the ropes and while walking leisurely, our teams took fright, and the three of us were thrown down and narrowly escaped being run over. Our teams took a circle of about four miles and then came back to the road again without any particular damage, and we resumed our journey about the 24th of July 1850. ARRIVAL IN THE SALT LAKE VALLEY Brother John had not yet recovered from his fatigue caused by the 36 mile run after our oxen, and seemed to be nigh unto death. He was so badly weakened down with the diarreah [diarrhea] that he could scarcely speak a loud word. We did not know, but we would have to leave him, but by giving him some herb tea, the herb we found by the roadside, and the exercise of our faith, he recovered so as to travel to Salt Lake at which place we arrived July the 27, 1850. Butler, William, Autobiography 1850-1875, 3-5.

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) RELATED PERSONS William Butler SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

Myself and another man left the camp, packed our provisions and Blankets, and started on foot for Salt Lake Valley.—we had traveled one day—and at night the India[ns] Headed us just after we had crossed the Platte River. The Indians were on horseback.—we both saw them at the [sa]me time.—we dropped down amongst the sage brush, in a …w hollow place.—the Indians going north to head us.—we [to]ok the contrary course, and traveled all night and thereby [m]ade our escape.—we suffered very much for want of wa[te]r, and also on account of the heavy loads we each had to [p]ack.—the first water we came to was alkali springs, w[e] [d]rank freely of it being then ignorant of bad effects, which[h] [r]esulted therefrom.—we became very sick and tired.—we [tra]velled on to the Willow Springs where we struck the roads [and] made some coffee, drank it, and laid down to rest in [the] blazing hot sun in August, after a while we heard a [voic]e calling on us to awake, we sat looking at each in sur[pri]ze.—we ask each other the question, did you hear anything?…[B]oth said we heard it.—which caused us to think and [ref]lect what to do.—we both thought it best, to get up and [pro]ceed on our journey, so we traveled and overtook a mormon company in the evening.—led by Captain Lake we stayed with them.—they gave us some milk, which helped [c]ure us of the bad effects produced by drinking the Alkali [wat]er. [T]his year there was great destruction of life [and property among] the peo[ple] who were [mostly] …tes of Illinois and Missouri.—traveling on the plains to the gol[d] [mi]nes of California. the next morning we left the train, and in [th]e evening passed by devils gate on sweetwater—we travelle[d] [a]ll night, because of the howling of the wolves who were very nu[m]erous, and followed on our track.— on the morrow we overtook [a]nd camped with a small train.—they gave me some bone linement to rub my feet with which did me much good. We traveled on till we come to two men traveling alone.—we [tr]avelled in company with them untill night, and then camped [I] in a low place amongst the brush.—one of the men was an Irish man, who got up, about midnight to light his pipe.—his comrade woke me and exclaimed, there is a Bear! Whereupon [I] called my comrade, when we got a pistol and a knife, with the [in]tention of going for the Bear, as we supposed. When to our [s]urprize, we found it to be the Irishman.—who seeing the dan[g]er he was in exclaimed—I am not a Bear! Whereat we had a hearty laugh. Next morning at dawn of day, we prepared to travel again[.] this was about the sixth of August <1850>—We had not proceeded far on our way when we came across a man (from the State of Illinois) in a dying condition,— and no one near him—he [o]ffered me all he had, if I would but take care of him and see hi[m] safe to Salt Lake city.—life being as sweet to me as to him,— and wishing to make my journey as short as possible—I engage[d] the other two men to stay with him.—A day or two afte[ r]wards I heard that the man had died.—and left for the wolves [to] [pl]uck his bones. I kept gaining strength daily, so that I was enabled [to tr]avel with ease.—my companion kept getting worse al[l] the ti[me].—with great difficulty I got him along as far as Gr[een] River, when we began to be short of provisions.—here [w]e found a Cow that had been left by a company on accou[nt] [of] its lameness.—we drove it about a mile to a camp, and sold it for five pounds of Bacon, and fifty cents in money which enabled me to get to my journey’s end.—otherwise I sh[ould] [h]ave perished with hunger.—at the Green River crossin[g] the ferry man had been murdered for his mon[ey and the ferry boat] sunk by so[m]e m[oun]tain[eer] which necessitated us to make a raft of logs which we contrive[ed] to fasten together with willows. previous to this we tried to ford the stream, but found it impracticable. I took a pole and ferried ourselves across. the Logs sunk under the water up to our knee[s] and in this plight we got across.—our provisions also got wet.—we had to dry them the best we could. We travelled on till we came to the head of echo Kanyon[.] here I left my companion (he being sick) with a company we had overtook.—I then took my knife and Pistol,— tightened up my belt,—(my provisions being about give out) and started out on a trot, realizing the importance of getting to the valley as soon as possible.— the last day of my journey, I had but an oun[ce] of Pork (when I was in Parley’s Park) on this I made my way t[o] the first House in the valley, where I was treated to a good supper and Bed—being the first bed I had lain on since the first of April <1850> (the time I started from Canada) till I [la]nded in the valley, on the 16th of August <1850> it was just sixteen days since I left Deer Creek on the Platte—a distance of four hundred and twenty miles.—making twenty five miles per day, carrying my provisions Blankets pistol and a knife. Whilst travelling through Echo Kanyon.—it was terrible to see, and hear the echoing of the wolves, and to fee[l] the desolate situation I was in—in a strange country an[d] all alone at that.—(the company that I left at Deer Creek did not arrive till about the last of September)[.] it was sa[t]urday when I arrived— Dalton, Mathew W., Excerpts from a biography of Mathew W. Dalton, 1918. RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) RELATED PERSONS Mathew William Dalton SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City Matthew W. Dalton left Wisconsin in 1850 bound for the gold mines in California, but on his arrival at Fort Hall he learned that the Indians were making trouble. he was advised to go by way of Salt Lake City. On his way thither he arrived on the present site of Ogden, Sept. 5, 1850. Bro Dalton writes: At this time at a place known as “Ham’s Fort” a little east of Fort Hall I made the acquaintance of a gentleman named Major Singer. He was a genial man, had been a Quartermaster in the U.S. Army and I took a liking to him at once, and our relations became quite friendly. I found, upon inquiry, that he was just about to travel to Salt Lake City in order to winter over there with his family, then proceed in the spring to California by the “Overland” route for the “Gold Fields.” “Our friend, John Grant” of Fort Hall told us we could easily find the trail to Salt Lake City. It seems that a company consisting of nineteen wagons, had made the trip from the fort to Salt Lake the previous fall and that their wagon trails would plainly show. Major Singer, upon hearing this, decided to set out for the City and invited me to accompany him and his family upon the trip. I eagerly embraced the opportunity and while Mr. Hickey and his company were pursuing their way across the plains to Washington, I was journeying with the genial Major and his family on the trail from Ft. Hall to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. We were told that the distance from the fort to Salt Lake City was about 180 miles. By careful examination we were able to keep on the trail pursued by the fall company. From Fort Hall southward, in places of course the winter rains and storms had almost oblitered the trail[.] by riding ahead and making careful scrutiny we would pick up the trail and follow it. Naturally we were suspicious of Indians and constantly on the look out for the hostile “Red Man;” but happily for us, we were entirely unmolested by any man, either white or red. Indeed we found no trace, in our entire journey, of any hostile “Redskin” whatever. In coming through the valley now known as Box Elder County, we found no trace of a white man anywhere from Fort Hall to the site now occupied by Ogden City, except one solitary individual I found near the place called South Willard, of which more anon. The whole country was at that time, unowned and unoccupied by the White man; but given over to the primeval savagery of the elements and was a barren wilderness. In due time Major Singer and his company arrived just north of the site now occupied by Brigham City. By this time the cattle were jaded and weary by travel so he decided to stop and rest them for a few days and let them browse upon the bunch grass then so abundant at that place. I naturally was anxious to get to my destination, and the prospect of waiting did not seem good to me. I concluded, therefore to leave the Major to follow at his leisure, while I passed on by foot to the site of Ogden City, where I had heard that a few settlers and pioneers would be found. So bidding adieu to my genial and worthy friend and his interesting family I went ahead of his company on foot and alone. I was now twenty-two years of age and being inured to a life of toil and hardship was possessed of a strong iron like constitution and in the pink of condition. I passed alone and afoot through a country solitary and desolate in its primeval barrenness and savagery. Not a man nor a house along my line of march. On foot I passed the delta upon which Brigham City, the present “City of Homes” is now built. Little did I dream then that in the years to come, it would be transformed from the wilderness to smiling orchards[,] fruitful fields and happy homes!” From its site I looked out west and south and beholding, for the first time, the briny waters of the Great Salt Lake, the Dead Sea of America, glistening in the sunshine I wondered at the scene. There was no man; no life anywhere, just barrenness and desolation. Passing still further south I walked through the present site of Perry and then on further south to where the beautiful and productive City of Willard now stands. But still the same silence and desolation of “ages” hovered over the spot. Little did I dream then; that where my feet now trod a beautiful settlement would spring up; fertile and productive and where silence now reigned unbroken but a few short years would pass, ere it would echo with the strong tones of men, and the sweet gladsome voices of women and children. Little too, did I think, then that this place, also would be the scene of my home life and the activities of early manhood and mature life! But to resume, still walking south, at a large spring about two miles south of Willard as we now know it, on a spot which afterwards became part of the farm of Brother George Marsh, I met the first White man encountered in my journey from Fort Hall to this spot. It was to me a most surprising sight. For there, encamped by the spring I saw a solitary man, single and alone. He had a wheelbarrow, which he had been trundling across the plains. In it he had a sack containing a little supply of “hard tack” and bacon. A piece of wagon cover, which he used at night to sleep in completed his equipment. I looked at him and marveled! In answer to my enquiry I found him to be a “gold seeker” bound for the “diggins.” I asked him where he was going, and he replied “he was going to California” to get his share of gold.” In reply to my question as to whether he was not afraid of being molested by the Indians, he said he expected a company traveling west to overtake him; then he would travel with them and be protected. But I marveled at his courage and temerity, and that he had long since been “scalped” by Indians far back on the “Plains.” As it was then near night and he gladly offered to share his scanty food with me, I accepted his offer and camped with him at that spot. The Indians were still reputed to be on the “war path” so after supper I agreed to keep watch for the night while he slept as a precaution against surprise and attack. To this he gladly assented. Thus my lonely watch was kept upon the place afterwards known as South Willard, in the dead of the night, with only the sky overhead as a canopy; litle dreaming, then how my future life would be so closely identified with that locality. He slept soundly till morning. We took a scanty breakfast together and parted, never to meet again in time. He to continue his lonely journey toward the west; I to find a refuge and a welcome among the “strange” band of adventurers, known as the “Mormons” who had migrated from the East, and made their stand in the “wilderness” savage nature and more savage men! A walk of about 14 miles took young “Dalton” from the spring at “South Willard” to the “site” of the city, we now know as Ogden. Thus on the morning of the 5th day of September, 1850, our young friend and pioneer, first beheld with natural eye, the then small beginnings” of that now populous City, and gazed with astonishment upon the very few scattered “settlers” who had braved the dangers of the desert to find a place where they could reach a “refuge” and a home!” Martineau, James H., Autobiography and journal, vol. 1, 22-25.

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) RELATED PERSONS James Henry Martineau SOURCE LOCATIONS Church History Library, Salt Lake City

In the spring myself, Russell, and a man living then named Peter Keener, got ready to start for California. We bought our bacon, the very best quality, for 1¼ cents pr pound. We crossed the Missouri river on the 13th of May 1850, and waited a day. during which we cut down an immense Cottonwood tree for honey, or which we got two tubs full. The tree was about 8 feet in diameter. We left the River May 15th on our long march. When out about ten days, I took the cholera, from eating too much dried beef and bathing in Wolf creek while warm. I was taken at noon, and fainted away before I knew I was sick. I took treble doses of cholera medicine, of which we had plenty, but all to no purpose—it had no effect, and by bed time I was given up to die. I was not afraid, but felt lonesome at the thought of lying there alone in the desolate prairie, where my sisters could never see even my grave. I made disposition of my property among my companions, and at midnight as I lay thinking, having long ceased to take any medicine the thought <a voice> came to me “plainly, “You will not die,” and <I said in answer> “if so, I will take it as a sign from the Lord that he has a work for me to do; if not, and I die, all right.” <The voice said again “you will not die.” I surely heard the voice, and knew it was[.]> My disease ceased at once, and in the morning I was perfectly well, except weakness, from which I did not recover until two weeks. On the road I often wondered what work I would have to do, feeling that I had a work to perform because I had recovered, but finally concluded my work would be that of a missionary to the heathen. We passed up on the south side of the Platte, and saw some most terrible thunder storms, for which that valley is justly celebrated. I visited Chimney Rock and engraved my initials upon it. and also Independence Rock. At the Devil’s Gate, I narrouly escaped death in the folowing manner: I had been to the top of the rock—four hundred feet in perpendicular height, and thought I would come down another way. I commenced climbing down a narrow gully, and I suddenly found myself on a narrow ledge 350 feet above the ground—a perpendicular precipice. I tried to go back, but could not. My train had gone on and I was alone with no one to help me. I found impossible to go back. Aro[u]nd a sharp corner of the rock was a ledge, which, if I could reach, would lead me to safety; but how to reach it: My only chance was to swing by a small root growing in a crevice. about as thick as my finger. I pulled on it to try its firmness, but it seemed not very firm, and I was afraid my weight would pull it out as I should swing round over the precipice. But there was no other way, and if I fell, my death would be quick. So I grasped it, swung around the crag, and just succeeded in catching the ledge with my foot—and I was safe. Thanking God for my escape, I hastened down, and got to camp about 9 o’clock P.M. They thought I was lost. At the next-to-the-last crossing of the Sweetwater, our company lay by a day to fix the wagons, lighten up, &c, as our teams were getting weak and giving out. I went south to hunt, and after traveling about 3 or 4 miles, I saw an antelope. He was too far off, so I lay down, and used my red handkerchief to toll him up to me. He came about 100 yards nearer and I fired, but missed him. I followed him about five miles, and almost gave him up, when I came to some large rocks, among which I hid until I got a good shot and killed him. I took the four quarters and some of the tender loin. Being hungry and very thirsty, I built a fire, and tried to cook some meat on the end of my ramrod, but the wind blowing hard, the fire spread and got so hot I could not come near it, and had to eat my meat raw. I started back to camp, but suffered greatly with thirst. One quarter fell to the ground, and I left it. Next I threw away the tender loin. I looked all round for some sign of moisture, but could see nothing but a small green spot of grass about a mile off. I went to it, and eat some of it in hope to dampen my mouth, but the grass stuck all round my mouth as though glued there, and I worked long to get it out again. I started back again for camp, but soon threw down another quarter. By this time my tongue was swelled very much, and was as dry as a chip. Finally, almost given out, I reached the river and lay down to drink. I knew the danger of drinking too much, but did not care for the consequence. I drank as long as I could,— rested a little, and drank again, then forded the river and got to camp with two hind quarters of my antelope. After supper, as I sat on the front end of the wagon, talking with a companion, I suddenly fainted and fell forward into his arms, remaining insensible until the next day as we journeyed onward. I was sick until near G.S. Lake. it was caused by my hunting adventure’s hardships. Another day <previously>, on the sweetwater, I crossed a high range of hills on the south, and pursued four buffalo until finally I got ahead of them in a hollow up which they were coming, led by a magnificent bull. As I lay there in weight, my heart almost failed me. I could see the ferocious glare of his eye—and he looked the incarnation of fury and strength. He weighed about 1200 lbs. was fat and glossy. I knew that when wounded they often turn upon their assailant, and there was not the slightest place of refuge for me—not a rock or bush. If I wounded him, and he should turn on me my death was sure, for my rifle carried a small ball just right for rabbits, squirils &c. But to follow game nearly a day—and then not shoot—I could not stand it. and as he came within about four rods, I shot him through his ribs, but too high to hit his heart. Away he and the rest dashed,—I after them, but they soon got out of sight. When I got back to camp, the men gave me a severe reprimand for my foolhardiness, saying it was a wonder they did not turn and trample me to death. Thousands of wagons crossed the plains this season, and probably a million dollars worth of Cattle, wagons, provisions, clothing, goods, and in fact, almost every thing was strewn along the road. Sometimes we would see a huge pile of good bacon and other things. Our company and I also, threw away much property, as our team weakened. I kept a journal, and had in it many sketches which I made, but before reaching Salt Lake City, some one stole it. I took and wore a jacket, which had belonged to a cholera dead man. We arrived at the South Pass July 7th 1850, and in the night had a heavy snow storm. Here we debated hours as to our future route;—whether to go by Fort Hall or by Salt Lake City. I and Mr. Peter Keener, a Pensylvanian with whom I boarded some <time> in Missouri, wished to go through the latter place: all the rest being Missourians, advocated the Fort Hall route, saying the Mormons would surely kill or at least rob us. I argued that if we minded our own business and were careful, we would not be molested, and I wanted in future years to say I had “seen the Mormons.” We traveled on, and at the junction of the Fort Hall road, we halted and argued for several hours, until Keener and I carried our point, and we took the Salt Lake Road. Soon after this, I was taken sick, and was hauled about 150 miles. We entered Salt Lake Valley through Parley’s Cañon [canyon], a new and wretched road. The scenery through the Wahsatch [Wasatch] mountains was sublime. In some places towering cliffs rose perpendicularly a thousand feet. When we entered the valley, it seemed as if we had entered fairy-land. We got in on the 22nd of July, and the fields of waving grain. of fine gardens and flowers,—after seeing nothing but grass and sage plains for three months—were charming to the senses. We entered the city, which was stragglingly built, drove through Emigration Street west to near the Old Fort in the 6th Ward, and camped near the Jordan to rest a week and recuperate. The Old Fort was still inhabited. While driving through town people came out to know if we had any thing to sell, as cows, clothing, provisions, wagons, oxen. &c offering to sell us vegetables, butter &c. Pilling, Catherine Adams, [Reminiscence], in Susan Arrington Madsen, I Walked to Zion [1994], 122-23.

RELATED COMPANIES Company Unknown (1850) RELATED PERSONS Catherine Adams SOURCE LOCATIONS Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah Church History Library, Salt Lake City

It was in the spring of 1850 that we started for Utah. Our party was the smallest that ever crossed the plains. There were seventeen or eighteen wagons. The buffalo were thick in those days. We used to kill one now and again, but we had to wait till one wandered away from the herd. Instead of frightening them away, the sound of the gun seemed to infuriate them so that they stampeded and charged right for camp, where they’d go pell-mell over everything in their way, wagons, animals, everything. The buffalo doesn’t run, you know, he lopes. And when a large herd is moving in the distance, it looks like a small, dark mountain swaying. They stay close together and seldom stray. They didn’t try to keep out of our way. We were always afraid of Indians. But our party was fortunate in not running into many of them nor having them run into us. Once we had quite a fright: eight or ten warriors came into camp. They were painted in all their savage, hideous war paint, but they were sober, which was a blessing. It was the liquor that made the Indians so dangerous in those days. Father [Elias Adams] got talking with them and gave them some food. It wasn’t food they were after; it was ammunition. But we only had enough for our own use, and Father didn’t give them any. My father was fairly well-to-do, and we traveled in covered wagons. We didn’t have to use the pushcart (handcart) in our outfit, as so many had to do. The pushcart, you know, is almost like a big wheelbarrow, but it holds a mighty heavy load. The men would get between the handles and pull it while the women and children pushed. The widows who crossed had to pull their own. It was terribly tiring and tedious in the hot and rainy weather, especially through the part of the country where one could travel for days without seeing even a bunch of willows. We had many good times, though. In the evenings after the horses were tethered the men would light a big bonfire, clear off a level piece of ground, dampen it down to pack it a bit and have a dance. There were some fine musicians along who played the fiddle, mouth organ, and accordion, and we used to enjoy sitting around the fire listening to them or having a sing-song. Instead of cooking on a stove, father used to dig a trench about a foot wide in the sod to set the kettle on. We’d fill the trench with buffalo chips and cook our meals over it. The way we made our butter was we’d milk the cows in the morning and strain the milk into large churns, which were put in the back of the wagons. At night, through the constant motion of the wagon all day, there would be pieces of rich yellow butter clinging to the sides of the churn; some of them would be the size of goose eggs. We reached Utah in September.