Blake, F. W., Diary, 1861 Apr.-Dec., 30 p.
- Source Locations
- Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Related Companies
- Ira Eldredge Company (1861)
- Related Persons
- [Brother] Randall
- [Brother] McDonald
- Rolly Haslam
- Tom Harding
- Thomas Michael Wallace
- Ann Gordon Blunt Alldridge
- Isabella Lindsay McGhie
- Benjamin Grundy Raybould
- Annie Rebecca McGhie
- Ira Eldredge Poulton
- John Cook
- Thomas Thorley
- Frederick William Blake
- James David Hirst
- James McGhie
- Thomas Poulton
- Mary Hyde Poulton
- Charles Chambers Woodhouse
- Richard Alldridge
- Willet Shave Harder
- Ira Eldredge
- John Skerry
- Elizabeth Ann Coles Baldwin Cutler
- William Harvey Crosby
- Solomon Parks McIntosh
June 7—Again engaged in dealing out Waggons & endorsing orders—Bro Talbot invited me to dine with him & I accepted his kind proposal—Went to Gates's & took tea—
slept at Florence Hotel. Moved to a New abode by the River side.
June 8th (Saturday) Went to the River side received Bills of Lading from Bro Gates, went upon the Omaha Boat, searched for my lost Coat, alas in vain—engaged the most of this day in landing, chequing & helping to put together the various parts of Waggons—
June 9th Sunday—At 2.30 the Saints were mustering for the meeting which takes place on the green at the Back of the church Store
this Bros Andrus, Gates & Martindale entertained us with a good speech each we had lively times—I learn to day that I am standing on the spot where the Saints camped when driven; this place was called Winter Quarters—500 men were selected from the Camp & went to Mexico to the Wars from this very place—It is sacred to the memory of many who laid down their persecuted bodies to rest. Milo [Andrus] was as usual particularly interesting—
June 10th Monday. Waggon Covers dealt out. Bro Spencer came home—
June 11th Visited the Bowery saw Milo Andrus. told me about the Cattle & that he wanted me to Clerk for him on the morrow
June 12th Sisters Clark & Ann Mitchell going to place to day at Council Bluffs[.] Bro Milo started away to buy Cattle &c[.] I overhauled the papers from N.V Jones & from Brigham, begin to see the business arrangements better—Much of the stock sent from N. York from N.V. Jones & each book Gates & Jones are making in purchase for the Emign. [Emigration]
June 13th [(]Thursday—) During the past night & up to the hour of 8 we have had a fearful storm & tempest[.] the Lightning & rain & heavy wind, shook, illuminated & deluged our house very much but produced no damage—At Gates house by 10, sat & read some time[.] nothing stirring demanding my labour—
June 14th Friday. Weighing Boxes at the Store,
engaged my busy with Gates at packing &c—Bro Andrus came June 15th Gates home this evening with a herd of Cows—39 Cows, 21 Calves, & 2 Oxen. I went down to the grazing spot & got the Boys to drive them up to Carol [corral]. after this the Boat Sunshine came in and I started to see if my consignments had arrived for us[.] none arrived—about 30 in Total of Saints landed[.] They principally came from Pittsburgh & St. Louis—we berthed them in the Waggons for the night—I went[sentence unfinished] Engaged in business from June the 14th)— on the 17th I drew out an agreement for Cattle. 18th Wrote a letter to N.V. Jones for Bro Gates.
June 19th Left the Clerkship under Gates and was succeeded by Geo Teasdale—I felt pleased to get set free so that I might rest & get braced up for the journey as I find myself very weak now. I am 12 lb lighter than when in England. The voyage weakened me & my journey by Cars & Boat to this place gave me no chance of resting, responsibilities upon me all the journey & while here as well & constant working upon men running in all directions on errands, increased
instead of my weakness. I want rest & must take proper care of myself or I shall be free from flesh entirely presently—
June 20th—From this date I took rest and fed up, grew stronger & happier, continued to reside in our Cottage by the River side a most pleasant place but infested with Snakes[.] I had the agreeable treat of laying with one, one night. in the morning I found the rascal coiled up in the Bed clothes. I gave him a greeting with a stick which resulted in his death[.] I was his last bedfellow—
About the 27th Sis Emma Bloomfield[,] Mary Isom & others came to lodge at our Cottage—they came on the Omaha Boat with about 900 or 1000 people. the Boat was crowded to excess & was dangerous to travel upon—Sis Emma became as a Mother to us & we began to fare better than we had done through her knowledge of Cooking & willingness to oblige[.] Sis Mary Isom went to live at Jacob Gates house. I tried to get hired to go to Utah by the aid of the Telegraph Company under the management of Mr. Creighton, and I went to Omaha with 5 of the Boys, but received no encouragement from him although he took down our names. he wanted experienced Teamsters & of course we would not lie to pass as such as it would have resulted unfavourably to us when we made the start onward. The man Creighton had sought for 12 men & had applied to Milo Andrus for them—Milo advised me to get the names of men[.] I included my own, but as no definite arrangement was made, the affair broke through & most of the men were deprived of the chance of going—The Bishop came to me & asked if I would go in the first company to Zion. I consented to go & I was berthed in Alldridges crowd. on the 30th June I took my luggage down to the weighing machine & passed it at 50 lbs weight, I had fixed up 23 lbs. in Howards Bags. We
moved layed down in our Tents near the Bowery & enjoyed rest on this night. Many incidents occurred of interest but I was busy & neglected writing down a good deal. From July 1st to July 4th Moved out of Florence & Camped on the usual Camping ground. Bro Ira Elldridge [Eldredge] is our Captain and seems a good fatherly man. we enjoyed ourselves in singing and reading, Slept in Tent, am getting quite acoustomed to this life & begin to like it. Wrote to Bro Pynor and Arnie Evans.
July 2nd Finished letter to above persons. spoke of Howard's Boys in this Latter letter, and of Bro Andrus' acts towards them, they have been industrious good Boys & deserve a better character than he feels to give them. I have spoken well of them. There is a prejudice sometimes creeps into the minds of
some men against others which alone springs from presumed evil—The objects of prejudice are oftimes undeserving of the statements made about them.
June [July] 3rd Moved 8 miles. The scenery is becoming more interesting. hills are seen in all directions with scarce any brush upon them. we pitched near a creek with good water & containing some large fish. took a search after wood & got a good shock from the scanty lot near the creek.
June [July] 4th The day of America's independence, we were awakened by the report of guns firing in all directions[.] the Boys came round & aroused the folks in the Tents & Waggons at daybreak. had a fine day. In the middle of the day, dancing some of the Valley dances. it was very hot & but few of the girls could be enticed out by the Teamsters who were the principal sue-ers for their companionship in the dance—At night dancing was renewed. had some instructions from Bro Cook our Chaplain.
July 5th Still in Valley selected on the 3rd moved to form a better Carol [corral]. Some of the
campers Farmers living around gave us a visit & seemed interested. A heavy gale at night—
July 6th Up at daybreak, have a good appetite[.] am getting stronger, but am troubled with en[n]ui. our stationary position gives us no chance for exercise[.] several complaining of sickness. diahrea is the principal disease amongst us. Dancing this evening.
indications had a heavy storm of rain during the day. sought refuge from it in the Waggon. the Tents are found to be not waterproof & the wet state of the ground after the storm induced the women to sleep at night in the waggon. I slept for the first time out of doors, slept but little the first part of the night, stung by Musquitoes & Flies.
rested well, slept soundly towards morning of the 7th Sunday) Moved our Camp about a half mile to insure good health as the residence of upwards of 570 people in one spot for a few days engenders disease from the effluvia consequent
p upon to their natural obligations. we are now positioned by the side of a running stream and 2 or 3 springs of cold refreshing waters gush out of small crevices in the embankment by the side of the road. The Americans seek the very coldest water they can get, & set an high estimate upon it. surely it cannot be much of a boon to the body. The heat is oppressive & the pores of the body are open & freely give vent to the steam which without any exertion passes forth. The chilly coldness of the water upon the body must affect it detrimentally. Held a meeting this afternoon, listened to remarks from Elders [John] Skerry, [John] Cook & MacKintosh [Solomon McIntosh]. This is a lovely day. went about 4 miles to fetch wood. had to cross a stream, took off Boots & stockings & paddled through it. quite a refreshing process—At night went to meeting[.] was called upon to pray[.] several brethren spoke and we all enjoyed the truth they spoke. The American Boys evidently have had no practice in speaking & seem deficient of thought upon the facts of Mormonism. a few simple anecdotes are related by them about their chat with men, but for the control of a people & for the enlightenment of mind they are far behind the times-
A prospect of a storm, clouds look black and Threatening. lightning flashes over spread the sky[.] Thunder peals are heard & every sign of rain is seen, the wind blows furiously & upturns a Tent
severl in which severl were sleeping. An old chap come into our Waggon & slept. I sat down near the front of the Waggon & slept uncomfortably
8th Morning fine, we are generally favoured with fine weather during the day time but at night the flashes of lightning & watery clouds are almost constantly seen, true the rain frequently
passes away to waters other soil than that where we pitch our Camp and we alone get wind rushing in furious gusts about our Tents to our discomfiture, but the prospect is contemplated of a wetting is contemplated & every necessary preparation is made for it. I often wished myself the possessor of Waterproof clothing. [Richard] Alldridge & [James David] Hirst overpowered by the heat when out chopping wood by the side of a creek[.] Two of us had to go to their assistance
I am still blessed with an excellent appetite although our food only consists of Bread & Ham & our drink of Tea & Coffee without sugar, every
thing mouthful goes to our digestive warehouse with relish. Some are a little troubled with diarrhea & feverish complaints, water is too freely drank—
9th At 3.30 A.M. the Guards came around shouting out, "time to rise" & reported that we should not move out to day. Captain's Waggon came into Camp to day. Mail from Utah reached Florence. private letters report that Brigham & Heber Wells & a company of celebrities are travelling through the Southern settlements, encouraging home manufacturies, & saying that he would like to see them more thickly populated, it is supposed here that the most of the people in the Church Trains for this year will be recommended to proceed to the Southern settlements—provisions dealt out among them that
long much desired luxury—Sugar—Capt [Joseph] Hornes company about 1 Mile away from us—When passing over the Elk Horn Bridge yesterday we saw the Wigwams of quite a number of Indians[.] After our Tents were fixed up they came into Camp and sought relief. many fed them & tried to barter with them for Mocasins (slippers covered with different colored beads) We had to keep our eyes upon them or possibly their thieving propensity would have been exercised to our loss. They were of the Pawne [Pawnee] Tribe, of middle stature but muscular in body. There is often something repulsive about them but there always is about [illegible] Beggars.
Stopt at this Camping Ground till the 12th when we began our march again[.] we were passed by Captain Hooper & Compy[,] Judge Stoddard & some few private Teams[.] Our Captain seemed anxious to push ahead as quickly as possible, he was waiting by order for Camp Kettles & Bake Ovens &c. (Skellits) These articles came into Camp on Sunday morning & at their appearance the Captain expressed regret that he had staid so long for such a few almost unrequired utensils—We started away from Camp early this morning & performed the longest journey we had as yet gone—namely 17 miles—On the Road we were addressed by Erastus Snow who spoke in quite a jocular way of his experience during the 10 times he had Crossed the plains & gave some good sensible advice to his hearers
13th We allowed the two Companies Hornes & Murdocks to pass us as t'was reported that their Flour was nearly used up & they needed a fresh supply which they could not get before they reached Wood River[.] This act was mortifying to us as we much desired to take the lead but we are expecting soon to overtake them—
15th Monday—From this date to the 19th we travelled from 16 to 20 miles a day. occasionally the forward Camps were in sight & we were told by some of the Guard that they were stimulated to shift out of Carol & hasten on always as soon as we came in sight. We passed through several Cities (so named I presume from the great expectations the Americans have of making them look like cities <at> some future day[)]. at present they contain generally from one to six mud or Wooden houses. We passed Columbus City—a poor tribute of honour for a name so Valued by the lovers of science, or the students of history. there are a few houses stationed in it & a Ferry over which we passed. The platte River runs very shallow in most places & at this place it is inconveniently so. we were brought out into about the middle of the stream then told to go on foot
through the remainder distance. we pulled our Boots off, enjoyed our plodding business, the Girls pulled their dresses up to their knees (some above) & they paddled away in fine fun through the two streams in connection with the one the Ferry Boat passed partly over. On our way were we met several returning from the Valley. they were fixed up with plenty of Stock[.] we said but little to them but they spoke in bitter terms of the Valley to some who made enquiries about their movements—
No Indians about us but some houses were vacant[.] the inmates had run away & their store had been robbed by the Indians, so t'was reported[.] A Regiment of Soldiers
met were stationed on the road, about three Tents & 60 men & mules [illegible] composed the company. We were told by them that they had been sent from Fort Kearney to hunt some Indians who had been a terror to this neighborhood for some few weeks past, robbing & driving the Store Keepers & all householders out of their homes, rumours had spread of their warlike intentions upon other places & this posse of men were supposed to have power enough to suppress the & prevent the Indians from doing further damage. I had poor faith in their power th although they were fine looking fellows—
20th July. Travelled about 15 miles, as usual Camped at noon, walked over the <Wood> River Bridge formed of a few planks very uneven, I got over without stumbling but many fell into the water, which was only about ankle deep. Rain coming down most unpleasantly wet & fast, I got wet through for the first time on these plains, Camped again about 4 oclock, pitched our Tent on a nice spot & laid down tired & wet feeling comparatively peaceful & happy when we consider our condition. The Captain had spoken against the habit of the people riding so numerously, (some had not got from their waggons up to this time to walk.) the previous night, so that they got baptized for the remission of their sins by the pouring rain from heaven
Sunday 21st July. Walked about 8 or 10 miles
were are 170 miles from Florence and 5 miles from Wood River Centre, thoughts of home & the business of a Sunday come to the mind & an expressed wish is heard by more than one, "I would like to go to meeting to night & see old faces" & we talk of the good times we used to have together. A regular washing & cooking afternoon—Bro Lines unwell. he is my bedmate—
July 22nd Travelled 5 miles to Wood River Centre—(or <Johnsons> Ranch)[.] Hornes Camp is here taking in Flour from the Building in which it was deposited—We have to do the same—Every familiar face & there are many among Hornes Company with whom I am familiar, looks healthy & ruddy, they speak of Camp life being pleasant to them & are perfectly at home at the business of Camp life—The scenery around here is common & not particularly fascinating—A few Farms are scattered about, miles apart from each other, rather solitary for lovers of excitement & company—We are on the bank of Wood River. this river is like a large ditch or small creek in many places but fish of various kinds have been caught by many of the Boys in it—Some little sport produced by the hunt after two Horses, one caught the other escaped (Note: Written on the side of the page in the other direction is the following: Robinson, Boddington's relation lives here) Got supplied with fresh Flour—had the Company of Bros. Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow & Joseph Young[.] each gave teaching of a most interesting nature to the Camp. their presence cheered us & the power of their words were felt by all—Heard that as soon as the last family of the Saints
were had passed the Hannibal Railway that the Secessionists Burnt down the Bridges & Orson pratt had who was behind had to take Stage to complete his journey.
23rd Travelling onward, the praries begin to look more like the description given by Russells song <as Broad as the nations &> ,
the empires of old for space, as the waters of the sea appear in glory rolling, capped like a large globe, so <is> the prairie land. objects which seem to be but a very short distance deceive us much when we travel towards them. they are far more remote than we in vision fancy—
24th July—Guns firing in commemoration of the
indepen arrival of the pioneers in Utah, at 7 a.m. we started away from Camp ground and travelled about 17 miles. Talk among the Teamsters about the grand proceedings in Salt Lake in celebration of it, they do so by feasting, parade, exposure of Flags & inscriptions—Saw a Rattlesnake Killed—
25th performed the longest journey we have as yet done, 24 miles, over fine prairie land up the Platte Valley, on each side the Bluffs extend for miles. we were told that our Captain intended to Camp by the side of the river at night[.] we saw it forward but a days tramping untill the hour of 9 pm had to be done before we had the pleasure of sitting down to wait for the Waggons to Carol. When I got to the Carol spot several Boys were smoking to drive away the Musquitoes which infested the place in young hosts, seizing hold of noses & various parts of the exposed flesh & lancing it, to the sudden stimulation of our hands to strike & Kill them. we have learned to damn them, but the animosity we bear to them, & they bear to us, affords some recreation & prevents the dangerous inclination we have to sleep so that their existence may in some way be profitable to us though we can well do without them—
Saw for the first time some Buffalo, they were a long way from gun shot—
26th As we pass along the remains of oxen and Buffalo lay strewn about over the plains. Bones whitened by lapse of time lay crumbling to dust, an occasional grave is seen of some past Emigrant. A dread stillness hangs over them[.] the sleep of death seems to live in the atmosphere. Camped near the other two Trains last night[.] when morning broke upon us we had a good view of the other Trains which were only a few yards from us - they took the lead this morning[.] we started unusually late namely 8 oclock[.] Camped at 10:30 a m. by the side of the platte—my health good to day
Sunday Started about 8 about [Richard] Alldridge poorly & had to ride. I felt very <well>—Saw some Buffalo Berries & went accross the platte to get some from an Island on which they were growing[.] got dissappointed as I found the boughs stripped of all the good & none but a few poor half sized things left[.] these I plucked, also some wild green grapes & eat them to quench thirst— 28th Sunday—Travelled 8 miles in the morning through a very sandy soil which presses heavy on the feet as we plod along—Scenery looking more interesting—the Bluffs run in irregular heights and the Islands in the midst of the River are of various sizes & covered with Brushwood[.] The River is divided into several streams by the sands which drift up & run coiling along most interestingly, this with the Islands the other Camps in sight
Wednesday Aug 7th The same routine of Camp exercise carried on each day—gathering Buffalo Chips, lighting fires, carrying water from the river, unpacking & packing Wagon[,] fixing up & taking down Tent
each day tha[.] this business with the travelling each day of from 12 to 20 miles gives us plenty of motion, makes us tired & disqualifies us for writing to any length upon trifling incidents which occur in the camp during the day—If I were to do so the many accounts of conduct among the saints would not bear in some few instances evidence of Brotherly love or of divine influence living in some minds. Cases of stealing food are coming to light [.] an occasional war of words is heard—and selfish spirits give annoyance to the meek & lowly spirited
But the majority are enjoying peace and live together joyously.
The scenery has been without change. Bluffs and Plains alone with the Platte River are to be seen—some have gathered Cherries & Currants from the Bluffs & found them very relishable—Speaking of relishable food I have often regretted that I had no gun with which to cheque the run of the Hare or Rabbit which abound on these plains, many are thus favoured and smack their lips often over a plate of Stew made from these active animals—An accident occurred to a Sister when jumping from a Waggon while in motion
which The wheels passed over her thigh & chest& seriously injured her—
On Monday the 5th we saw Chimney Rock & came opposite it on the 7th—this Rock is 72 miles from Laramie[.] this is about the true sketch of it[.] [illustration] the shape of a candle stick with a long tube at the top—much of it has fallen off from it through decay during the past 10 years—I should suppose it to be the heart or remnant of an old Rock that has been for ages decaying—We saw Castle Rock, looks like an old fort in Castle shape—We came to Castle Rock first, and it appears about 16 miles from Chimney Rock—Now the Rugged appearance of the earth better pleases me—Buffalo chips rather short in this region, the Buffalo have not approached us—we have no near sight of any so oxen chips are picked up & with sticks we light our fires with them. They burn admirably—
Thursday Friday Aug 9th As we were passing the Scotts Bluffs we were favoured with one of the most grand displays of Thunder shocks & lightning flashes that I have ever seen. The rain comes down most furiously beating against our Wagon cover & the crowd belonging to our Waggon are huddled together closely for shelter. Read Davidsons Grammar with Frank Benj[amin] Raybould. Ben is a good & intelligent companion & I have formed an attachment for him from my past intimacy with him whilst in Birmingham[.] we think of improving each other whilst going over the plains in the study of Grammar[.] We have taken our reading from our Book of study this morning & been quite pleased with Davidsons simple method of teaching the usual dry & uninteresting art.
Read Chambers Pictures of War with Bro Thos Wallace this afternoon. they are certainly very graphic in the exposure of the horrors of war and shows England to be in debt to an enormous amount upwards of 800 Million pounds sterling— (in 1816 the sum of 864.822.461[.] interest 28.311,461 per Annum[.]
Aug 10th Saturday Last To night had the Compy of Thos Thorley one of the Teamsters. Three of us were placed in bed rather closely together—a I took the middle position & slept so soundly that the sounds of the terrific storm which awakened almost everybody in the Camp about 2 A.M. wh were unheard by me—
Our Teamster Chas Woodhouse sleeps also in the Waggon. he is a favourite amongst us on account of his honourable conduct—
Two Indians met our Train yesterday, they were mounted on ponies. One of them enraptured I suppose with the sight of the girls offered to barter his poney away for one of them, he wanted one with dark hair, poor chap[.] he was doomed to disappointment—he might have struck a bargain with some poor henpecked fellow.
I spoke to him, asked if he was a Souix [Sioux] Indian & he replied yes—Did you fight pawnee & his countenance brightened as he answered yes again, I put more questions but he did not understand them—
An Antelope came bounding past us at full speed, several unsuccesful shots were fired at it by the boys but owing to the long range & the poor aim taken at it, it escaped—
August 10th Saturday—We can see Telegraph poles recently erected on the other side of the river, likewise a Train of Emigrants—came 10 miles this morning, time passes quickly thro' being busy with grammar—Stopped on a barren spot, grass very scarce[.] Trees in view[.] have not seen any for several days—had a storm while cooking cakes, I was holding a frying pan with a cake in it & got a wet back—In the afternoon pursued our journey, several snakes killed, & one on two hunts after hares—
Aug 11—Sunday no service in tongue talk but plenty of lip service, rose at 3 oclock and started from Coral at 5, a fast had been proclaimed and off we trudged without breakfast. The Captain on the previous night had been speaking about the increase of hungry feeling—among—the saints, the necessity of economy in the use of food, the injury realized by the body through the digestive organs having too much work to do—spoke of his position as the controler of the provisions in the Camp & his determination to use all hoarded by, by the sparing for the supply of the peoples wants if required—Conversed with Tom Harding & was surprised to hear the mistaken & extravagant notions deduced from his remarks (the Captains remarks).
Monday Aug 12th
scenery of the City of Laramie in sight, it consists of a few houses (Wooden) a garrison of Soldiers kept here, the United States Flag unfurled to the breeze at the top of the Garrison[.] A young soldier came among us to make enquiry for a friend. he told us that Colonel Cook wants [to] be at Laramie with the remainder of the troops who were sent in the Utah Expedition 1500 in number on the 22nd Inst on their way to the States to engage in the present fuss—He also said that the appointed of a new Governor for Utah was left to the choice of the Mormons. Governor Cummings is in the States East. Crossed a deep branch of the platte, took boots & pants off. quite a pleasant business. passed Reeds & Murdocks Trains. they were stationed in quite romantic spots[.] The moon shone with its soft pale light upon the Trees & rocks around them and the fires from the Camps with their reflected glare upon the Waggons & Tents was enough to inspire an Artist to exertion—
Tuesday 13th Travelled about 5 miles over hills of sand & free stone. hard work for the Cattle but we roll along quickly—had to cross the river, oh what a blessed treat[.] took boots off & marched off with pants on. was nearly crippled with Stones which lay in quantities all along the bed of the river. Two of the Boys & one Woman carried down through the force of the current, but rescued through the bold efforts of Macdonald our second Captain & one of the Teamsters—got upon the California Road on the South side of the platte, this road appears
much beaten in good order for travelling, being the general track chosen by emigrants to California[.] likewise the Mail route, a Station at which the Poney Express stays to change or recruit & which has now (through the labour of Mormon Boys who are employed by the government,[)] become a Telegraph Station. It is a long Building formed of Wood, a range of rooms, with Windows & a door in the middle of the building leading to each range of rooms—
They appear to be well furnished, the Station <master> sat at the door upon an easy chair and looked quite comfortable. On going a short distance further we came to a store on which a Number of men were loitering—found Whiskey to be one dollar pr pint[.] At the back of the store some Indians were fixing up their Wigwam—There were three Women & four or five children, one of the Women & one child evidently hers were White—out of curiosity we approached close to her & tried to get a view of her face, but she kept it closed from view in her hands & her kerchief and by her motions seemed angry at our presence and wonder at her
pre appearance there[.] The Indian Women were employed busily & every one of us were looking with much interest at their movements - First they formed a circle of goods & chattles then placed their young on seats & put their two dogs in the ring to play with them. then they formed a Triangle of three poles & fixed other poles against them so that a round formed house was soon made, a string was wound round the top of the poles & made tight & secure, the next job was to tie a large skin to the top of one of the poles & draw it round over the poles[.] the spot of entrance was closed by the aid of wooden skewers. the top was open for the issue of smoke which would pass from their fire that they have in the middle of their Wigwam[.] the women looked good tempered & went about their work in quite a business manner, I was much pleased with this sight—
Wednesday Aug 14th delighted with the scenery[.] Every hill we pass over bring a fresh picture to our eyes. These uneven hills covered with small shrub Trees the rolling vales & occasional green spots which appear—how pleasant! The breezes blow upon us & strengthen us for our exercise —The Cattle tramp along quicker than they do on flat ground[.] poor animals they are short of feed, none to be got, only stuff that any other animals would reject—Came to a good Spring, quite cold & good & clear—What a quantity of Bones be in all directions here, many an Ox has died through exhaustion about this place[.] Came to another Telegraph Station Store[.] passed Hornes & Murdocks Companies[.] talked with Mother Foreman & Lang <&> with several old acquaintances[.] several sick with Measles & diarhea in Hornes Company—Some of the Telegraph Boys
with came among us, some to pay visits, some to stay—Enjoyed Currant pudding for supper—quite a relish—
Thursday Aug. 15th A report that the Captains horse & four other good horses are missing. The supposition is that some loafers or horse thieves have been at work. others think that the horses are
in the distance grazing among distant hills[.] We should not have one horse in the Camp had not the Captain exchanged oxen &c. for one—Bro [William] Crosby Captain of the Guard remained behind to seek for the lost ones—Rolled about 6 miles & came to the river side where we stopped to noon—very little feed for Cattle—after refreshment & rest we rolled out again & continued our journey untill the pale moon played upon the Waters before our eyes—The Captain talked in a condemning strain about the mounted Guard who herd the Cattle. Complained of their inattention to duty & general carlesness[.] He seemed much annoyed at the loss of his horse.
Friday Aug 16th The first business of this morning was to cross the River. to do this without wetting
.I took any clothes I took my Trowsers from my legs and waded through. quite a regiment of us passed through by this process. The Women rode in the Waggons. Travelled through the most barren spots I have as yet seen on this land: rock & heaps of sand surround us, not a green spot seen for several miles—After a lengthy walk, we arrived at the top of a hill from which, we could discern some green Trees & grass: Agreable sight to us! what must the oasis be to the traveler of the desert! Camped again by the side of a the river at night. What a lovely night! fine scene of heavenly & Earthly decorations—
Saturday Aug 17th Rose at sunrise. Prepared breakfast. While engaged at breakfast a number of Indians on horseback came into Camp: they presented a paper to the Captain, the usual begging petition, alighted from their horses and commenced begging—They appear dirty & bad looking—Waggons rolled out at 7 A.M. the boys ahead of the Waggons crossed in the same way as yesterday morning. Bottom of the river sandy & stoney: water about a yard deep—Went to the river side & picked Buffalo Berries, Goosberries & Black Currants. this fruit grows in abundance along the banks of the river only. the forward camps have the advantage of getting the first picking of all the bushes: however we get enough to make a few pies & pudding
Sunday Aug 18th Started for Deer Creek and arrived about noon, took in flour which was deposited there & run two miles for feed for the Cattle. This day gathered the largest quantity of Fruit I have as yet seen. it was choice fruit and I favoured my stomach with a good treat—Orson pratt, Erastus Snow & Joseph Young run into Camp
last this evening. They expressed surprise at the distance we had travelled—
Monday Aug 19th I am now seated upon a hilly spot from which I get a full view of the Camp & the surrounding Country. Our Carol is
[-] arranged in quite an orderly & uniform manner in the shape of an Egg & has an opening or passable space at each end. one row of waggons has the Tongues outside; the other inside. The Tents are fixed according to the state of the ground. some they are in consequence unevenly placed: but the general order is to put them all on the outside of the Waggons. Groups of men & women are seen in all directions at various duties; children playing about in freedom; horses grazing; the grotesque figure of an Indian Visitor on horseback or mingling with the people to trade, is often seen: the river runs coiling around the the Tree decked soil within twenty yards from us, and the constant range of Bluffs with their grassy covering run from East to West in the distance. The Sun shines down its bright reflections on the picture & gives a finish which shows out the connection between heaven & earth & how the latter is improved by the property of the former—
Our Cattle are grazing amid
some a fine cluster of Trees, which looks from this spot like an Orchard. The Tribe of Indians living in the part (Deer Creek) are named Arrapees. They are warlike; but not a very powerful tribe—
Two young men, White men, accompanied some Indians into tour Camp. they took food with our Teamsters: & stated that they live among the Indians, who treat them kindly. one of the men owns Three ponies & was respectfully attired. the other appeared to be a reckless & worthless fellow: was ragged & did not possess any property—The latter remarked that our bread reminded him of that which his mother used to make, that he had not tasted any like it for four years—Bro Young returned by mail to his company, Bros Orson Pratt & Snow continued in our company& this evening we had a speech from Orson in which he previewed our priviledges & gave encouraging councel—
Tuesday Aug 20th Travelled about two miles[.] rain came down & prevented us from going further. Startid to the River side and plucked Buffalo Berries[.] these are the best I have as yet seen. Had the company of Orson & Erastus
[-] through this day—Prayer at night from a Brother who spoke so low that I did not hear a word he said. I asked a Bro next to me who wether anyone was praying: he said he didn't know, so we continued to Kneel untill we heard the Amen—Had a fine fire this night—noticed Orson pratt carry up pieces of wood for burning at our Captain's fire: a good proof of humility—Sat singing with Ann [Gordon Blunt] Alldridge some musical pieces which by the side of our blazing fire: Orson & Erastus were attracted & stood and listened untill prayer time—
Wednesday Aug 21st Our two illustrious visitors left our company this morning. Had to pass some very uneven passes, which would perhaps blanch the cheek of an English Teamster to go over; but our mountain Boys went along full of boldness & without accident—
Thursday Aug 22nd A thick Fog, as dense as any English fog, greeted our
a view when we rose this morning: the air is becoming much colder so that Rugs, Blankets, Coats & wrappers of all kinds are brushed up and worn night and day. As the whe weather was so foggy it was impossible to collect the Cattle together before 8 oclock—Met the Troops returning from Utah: the distant sight of them excited exultant feelings amongst us: here, were the boasted lovers of freedom and independence returning from a crusade against an innocent and law abiding people[.] Here in this band of vice & ignorance is displayed the sagacious wisdom & the liberty loving nature of the Congress of this great nation! The equipment of an Army of 3000 men to press respect out of the Mormons towards the government & to force observance of the laws of the Constitution from them; for the Mormons have been rebels to both according to report. This laudible undertaking cost millions of dollars; beside many lives & much property—I did not expect so formidable a sight, surely they expected a strong resistance & hot work: they are respectably clad, blue is the prevailing colour of the cloth. They are of various heights quite a Common feature in the American Army. They all look healthy, a good omen to new visitors in Utah. Some jokes were expressed as they passed us for to for which they were favoured with some satirical retorts. The Pony Mail Express passed at a galloping rate, there are stations along the route at which they change horses or Mules—The Poney Express also passed. The mail stations are 10 & 15 miles apart—
Friday Aug 23rd Rose at 3 oclock, packed our waggon and rolled out at 5 oclock to obtain feed for the Cattle as it is very scarce at this place—We run about 2 hours, and then carolled upon a few green spots in a Vale surrounded on every side by mountains. It bears the name of Goose Creek. We took no breakfast before starting a fact which became evident to us by the affectionate yearnings of our intestines for food, whilst walking: and by the hearty way in which we paid our respects to it when we got it prepared for mastication—At 11 Oclock two children were born to the gratification of the [James and Isabella Lindsay] McGhie family which had added to it a female and to the [Thomas and Mary Hyde] Poulton family which was favoured with a male—These delicate emissions from nature's generative caverns caused a stoppage of six waggons for a few hours to prevent damage occurring to the mothers
of these new-comers, who certainly were much weakened by the movements of their late prisoners for freedom - Our waggon was one of the six. We caught our We joined the main stock of Waggons after a brisk run, leaving behind us an ox belonging to Wm. Hunter, to become food for wolves which abound in this region. Our notice was directed to several mangled carcasses, as we travelled along the roadway. Oxen, worn out with fatigue and the victims of disease are left by the way to be torn to pieces by these ferocious havoc making demons of the mountains, a poor reward for faithful service; but perhaps they get their pay after death has done its work. The wolf in all cases where the remains of his work are seen has invariably seized the entrails for his gluttonous feasting in preference to any other part of the victim to his mutilation. Often their barking sounds rend the air whilst the shades of night preside over the sleepers of the Tents & Waggons; our fear seizes them at mans approach; they would rather deface the dead than face the living—
Saturday Aug 24th After a short walk in the Train, [James] David Hirst, Bro Randall & myself resolved to make a mountain ascent, so off we jogged at a good pace to mount one which appeared about a half mile from the Roadway: As we went along I noticed a large number of small
sand mounds, formed evidently by insects & composed of sand and tiny pebble stones: I stood & watched these mounds for some time & was highly interested in noticing quite a going army of ants busily employed in the carriage of stones heavier than them larger & far more weighty [than] their own frail little bodies: here was a picture of industry which the indolent could view with profit! The erection of their heap, must have taken occupied them for a long period: indeed it must be almost incessant labour for them, as the falling rains & powerful winds must <constantly> put their well placed blocks out of position. Their are sandy homes are raised from the ground in the form of a cone, [---] about a half yard high[.] the base is circular & from two to three yards in circumference. they are raised about a half yard from the ground I noticed also, whether it was from accident or design, that I cannot say, that their heaps <which> were quite numerously fixed upon the ground were in [-] a very uniform position, about the same distance from each other & forming several circles—We passed through a river bare footed & tramped towards the mountain which we found far exceeded the distance, we expected it to be from the Road—After sundry slips we reached the Top which was about 500 feet high. had an excellent view of the scenery in the distance. The Train looked small as it rolled along in the Valley below. We found that this mountain with one was composed entirely of alabaster & white marble. we descended this & went to the next which was formed of a mixture of marble <colours> Black, White, Green, Red & White, &c, &c. I felt that these mounts in England would be considered valuable; they are located about 4 miles from Devils Gate. Saw Independence Rock in the distance: as we were from the Road—It stands alone from the range of Rock & Mountain in the midst of the plain, or Valley. Thus the name of Independence Rock is given to it. The Gate named in honour of Hells King, namely: Devils Gate was the next sight of interest: I can't say whether it was formed by him or not, it would require someone or some thing of terrible power to produce a shock with force enough to split a Mountain in twain: as all mis-chief and tricks are ascribed to him, I am willing that he should have the honour of doing it. This gate as before said, is a split in the range of Mountain; about 300 feet high, and from six to Ten yards wide; and about a half mile from end to end—I did not go into this ravine as I felt too much fatigued with our mountain ramble—The river Sweet water [Sweetwater] passes through it but it is sufficiently low and for passengers to pass without getting wet.
Sunday Aug 25 to
Friday Thursday 29th Continued to travel by the side of the Sweet Water which on Monday we crossed three times, we found the road a good; in some places surpassing the English roads
Wednesday David Hirst went out hunting game[.] he shot a fine Hare: this we much enjoyed for supper & Breakfast[.] the following morning the Company are unfortunate in the loss of Cattle. several of the Oxen have died during the past few days—Thursday saw Hawkins & company[.] they were Camped near to us heavily frieghted with goods: they had left [ Milo] Andrus Company because (they said), they could not travel as fast.
Friday Aug 30. out full of anxious hope to capture a hare; but the morning passed & David & I returned to Camp without Game & with one of the hammers of our Gun lost—Our boots were so badly worn and our pants so ragged through the prickly nature of the brushwood that we had to pass through, that we resolved to give up hunting—during this afternoon we rested & the Cattle were shod. good feed at this place which the Cattle appeared to devour with relish[.] took boots off & waded the river Sweetwater to get brush for firing—
Saturday Aug 31st Started at 7 A.M Read the Lardners Museum of Science on Latitudes & Long<tuds> & Popular fallacies—was much interested with both subjects—This day I find my boots unfit for wear[.] I travelled in much pain, blisters rose broke & the sand mixed in the wet skin & raw flesh giving me severe paines in the feet—
We travelled got water after a roll of six miles—Stopped again three miles dist further for feed—We then were told we should have to go to Little Sandy before we could get any more water; thus our journey did not come far short of 30 miles—We were overtaken by Joseph Youngs Mule Freight Train in which Betsey [Elizabeth Ann Cole Baldwin] Cutler, Sis Fowler, Rolly Haslam were wending home to Zion. I got into their Waggon & rode a few miles[.] passed afterwards, two Companies of six Waggons each – Hawkins' Company and—night shades appear & we still walk in [-] on tired & ready to lay by the way[.] at last a I espied a horse harnessed by the side of a Waggon & no one riding up[.] I jumped astride the saddle & rode the balance of the journey which as I regarded as a boon[.] Got in at 11 Oclock PM—
Sunday Sept 1st On account of our very late run yesterday we remained at the place Little Sandy untill noon—journeyed on a few miles & Camped at Sundown[.] put my best Boots on for the first days use on the plains—
Monday Sept 2nd Appointed to drive the Cattle which limp through sickness lameness[.] David Hirst was my Companion & with me felt dusted & tired through our position behind the Train & Cattle having to chase those
who that strayed into the brush by the road edging—I noticed that the waters turn in the opposite direction now that we have passed the Rocky ridge—They run westward towards the Pacific—
Tuesday Sept. 3rd Started to Green River & arrived about 12.30 A.M—here we found a Store kept by a man who was[,] before the fuss with the United States[,] president of the Settlement which the Saints had formed a few miles further up the river[.] This river appears deep & well deserves its name as it bears a Green appearance[.] Its current
is runs with as much force as the Missouri. I passed over upon a Boat—the Waggons waded thro it[.] A young man started away from our Train this morning, accompanied by his Mother & her neice[.] he arrived in Camp last evening from the Valley purposely to meet his mother & to hasten home with her—The news spread round that this young man had brought potatoes & Eggs with him for their feed & a most disreputable act to the disgrace of our Camp was done by some black hearted thief. All the eggs which had been deposited under the waggons during the night were absent in the morning—The Camp had not been favoured with Bacon for nearly two weeks. The cry "Oh yes let a man from each Waggon come for Bacon" was greatly appreciated. 1 lb only a head was dealt out. We are in the habit of having 8 lb of Flour each person. This allowance is all devoured by any mess even before the time appointed—Sold my play books to Charles Woodhouse of Beaver for some Flour this week—If I had not done so, we should have had several fast days—Our appetites have greatly increased, almost any kind of food is devoured now; but Bread & Coffee alone fall to our lot now, we have no choice of various food[.] To cross these plains in a Buggy with mules with plenty of food, is no hard matter, indeed it would be a trip of pleasure; we are growing tired of our long journey & the sameness of our exertions each day, but we are brightening up now as we are within the boundary of Utah Territory—A laughable circumstance took place today—a young fellow regarded as a Fop by the most of the Camp wanted to ride in the Waggon across the river. The Teamster tol had told him to cross in the in the Boat & he had refused[.] When about the deepest part of the river the Teamster walked up to him & pulled him out giving him a complete immersion—Listened to a conversation upon English jurisprudence. one old man, a perfect old Tory defended England against the condemning language of a crowd of opponents by remarks on both sides was inflammatory and fierce, no good feeling towards the old man, certainly he deserved censure—dry Camp onto night—
Wednesday Sept 4th Roused up very early by the unexpected cry of the Captain. 'Boys bring in the Cattle' a general stir followed, breakfast swallowed—Waggons packed & all prepared for rolling at 6:15 A.M. After we had got out some
dist short distance espied another Train in the distance a long way off—Arrived at Hams Fork after a long & dusty journey & how pleasant the Valley appears after the sandy desert like appearance of the land we have just passed over. We come down a rugged stoney pass & then with joy behold the Sparkling waters. There is a station there & some Indian Wigwams—with the winding rim of the river and the green verdure on the banks the Valley has a very picturesqe appearance. Got some currants. Went two miles & camped—
Thursday Sept 5th Had the favor of walking before the policeman. Hirst & Raybould accompanied me aside from the road for some distance and then we darted onward at a rapid pace quite lighthearted & full of vigour feeling that we could go at our own pace. The mail passed us, one of the fellows said he thought I must be a good wrestler or I should have fell down in my attempt to mount a bank as it was steep & I slipt but recovered my footing. said he would be in Salt Lake City by tomorrow night—reached Black Fork & waited two hours for the Train[.] a few miles East of Millers Ville we saw a large number of bones the remains of Ox carcases—They formed part of the Expedition to Utah with the Troops in 1857—but through the severe privations to which they were subject, the scarcity of feed & fatigue through constant travelling quite a herd of the poor things breathed their last upon this spot—The river banks look extremely verdant & interesting[.] We
a stood & admired some mounds (or butes as they are here called) they bore the appearance of works of art, standing like ing an old ruin of a monster buildings with figures of (grotesque) stationed all round—Camped by the side of the muddy river (I think Black Fork—)
Friday Sept 6th Thinking as the priviledge was granted us yesterday that we should have the favour of an onward walk before the general herd of Boys, David & I started off &
go after crossing a river made headway through our rapid walking above a mile beyond them. We had reached Millers Ville when we heard the voice of [Willet Shave] Harder our policeman & soon saw his figure growing in the distance. up he came & grumbled about our forwardness in preceeding him. of course we kept behind him the remaining distance[.] There is a Station here & property belonging to Bro Miller & to the States Troops—Continued our journey untill we reached Fort Bridger the one of the principal Military Stations of the States Army—Quite a good shock of houses, built on the square principle are reared here—we went to the Store, had some buscuit given one, heard some few particulars of the war—in the States favourable to the North—Camped a mile or two from the Fort—This place is named after an old Mountainer bearing the name of Bridger—
Saturday Sept 7th Continue our travel, troubled with sore feet—tired at night—made ourselves merry after supper, listened to some good Songs from David Hirst—
Sunday Sept 8
Monday Sept 9th Travelled till past noon. As we could not find water, blessed with a halt at last and after taking supper witnessed the death of an ox by rifle shot. This ox has been travelling in the rear for several days & has been a subject of talk with many whose desires were directed to Beef meat. The night of doom has come, the rifle is lifted, the shot flies & almost before the report
was is heard down drops the ox quite dead. Perks acted as butcher—Camped in the midst of some mountains & partook of a good substantial dinner of Beef & Suit [suet] dumplings. Travelled on again through some groves of trees having to cross some streams, a how beautiful the mountains are here, pieces of rock point up between them like grotto work—
Tuesday Sept 10th As soon as the watch had given the signal for the folks to rise I reluctantly gave an adieu to my warm berth & started from the Camp after wood[.] Twas a frosty morning—gave the fingeres no very warm greeting. After baking &c our commissary shouted out a passenger from each waggon for Beef—13 oz per head was dealt out—Started from Camp at 8.30 AM—and as we
sta journeyed on the mountains & vales & passed the streams & rocks we could not but observe the pleasing advantages which the free of Utah enjoy beyond those of some States we have passed through[.] The soil seems superior & less barren & doubtless will be rendered fruitful by the perseverence of the Saints—Our company grow more cheerful[.] the songs of Zion echo through the mountain passes—we pass on thanking God for freedom—
Thursday Sept 12th Called upon a Bro Bates, a man & family from Birmingham Confce. was in the Walsall Wood Branch. he entertained us quite hospitably. I enjoyed my dinner with him more than any meal that I have had since I left Florence—Talked about the folks in Walsall. Stopped till our train had passed then had the pleasure of walking several miles to Camp—
Friday Sept 13th At Bro Kimballs Ranch Clerks here from the City to settle accounts with the passengers—I was called to assist them. Bro's Musser & Sims were Clerks[.] Bro Maiben came & succeeded me in writing as he is Emigr. agent—My debt is 42.65.
Friday Sept 13th Started with Hirst[,] [Benjamin Grundy] Raybould[,] Boulstey & Randall from Kimballs Ranch to the City of Salt Lake—arrived at 3 oclock P.M—