Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

William Clayton Journals

June 8, 1847

Location: Douglas, Wyoming - Location: 42:45:35N 105:22:54W

Summary: Pioneers travel over the steepest bluffs yet.

Journal entry: TUESDAY, 8TH. Morning fine though cool. At half past seven we proceeded on our journey crossing the Horseshoe creek, which is about a rod wide. We traveled two and a quarter miles, winding around the foot of high bluffs and then began to ascend them. We found this ascent the worst we have ever had, being three quarters of a mile up, and having in that distance seven very steep rises. On most of them the teams had to double. We saw a buffalo about a half a mile to the south which is the first we have seen since about the 21st of May..

Two and a half miles from the wast food of the last bluff we passed over a small creek, nearly dry, and then ascended another high bluff but not nearly so bad a rise as the other one. At 11:45 we halted for noon near a very small creek with but little water in it, having traveled six and three quarters miles over hills and valleys, the roads being very crooked. About half an hour before we halted, Harriet Crow got run over with one of their wagons. The teams had stopped near the descent from the bluffs and she stepped on the wagon tongue to get a drink. The cattle started suddenly, threw her under the wheel which passed over her leg below the knee and downwards, passing over her foot above the toes. She screamed and appeared in great agony. We thought her leg was broken, but were soon satisfied to the contrary. Her foot was badly bruised but I think there was nothing broken. One of the women washed it with camphor. She was then put into a wagon and we proceeded on. Latitude 42 degrees 29' 58".

At 1:40 we proceeded. After traveling a little over a mile and a half we passed another small creek, and again ascended a high bluff. We found this ridge more uneven than the other, it being a perfect succession of hills and hollows for five miles. The road was good and hard. While traveling on the top the wind blew very strong from the west and it was so cold that we suffered some. The road over was indeed very crooked but mostly bending to the north. We could see a long distance from the top. The country to the north looks more even but south and southwest very hilly and broken. At five miles we began to descend gradually, and while watching the roadometer I discovered it did not work right which made me pay more attention to it.

At ten minutes past six we crossed a stream about thirty feet wide and nearly two feet deep with a very swift current. It is named on Fremont's map as La Bonte river. We formed our encampment on the west bank in the timber having traveled this afternoon 8 3/4 miles and during the day 15 1/2. The evening is very cold and much appearance of rain. Porter Rockwell has killed a deer and someone else an antelope. Porter says he has been on the Platte which is about four miles from here following the La Bonte. Soon after we stopped, the men came into camp who were expected to carry a letter. They are camped about a mile west of us. I finished my letter to my family by candle light, as it is contemplated to start in the morning before breakfast and go a few miles to better feed.

Source: William Clayton's Journal

Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.