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

May 31, 1847

Location: Torrington, Wyoming - Location: 42:03:54N 104:10:52W Elevation: 4098 feet

Summary: Barren countryside. Antelope. End of a month.

Journal entry:The morning fine but cool. I feel quite unwell yet and have been sick all night..

At a quarter past eight we proceeded onward, found good level traveling, the day cool and pleasantWe soon struck a wagon trail which evidently leads direct to Fort Laramie. At four miles, passed some high sandy bluffs..

Traveled till after twelve and then turned off a little to the southwest and at half past twelve o'clock halted for noon at the edge of lower land where there is some short green grass for our teams. The land we have traveled over this morning is naked and barren, course west of northwest, distance nine and a half miles. A high wind from northwest. Latitude 42 degrees 04' 30".

Started again at 3:00 p.m., weather warm and wind ceased. At 6:45 p.m. formed our encampment on the east bank of a shoal stream about ten feet wide, having traveled this afternoon seven and a quarter miles, and during the day sixteen and three quarters. Our course this afternoon a little north of west. About four miles back, passed some timber on this side of the river which is the first since the 10th inst., being a distance of 215 miles without wood for fire, except driftwood, and much of the time nothing but buffalo chips..

The last four or five miles have been sandy, the ground uneven and very heavy on our teams. The country looks perfectly barren; in some places there is nothing but a few weeds and garlick. Some of the brethren picked considerable of the latter to eat..

The feed is very poor indeed, but a little better than for four miles back. John S. Higbee has killed a deer and some of the brethren wounded two others. This deer which Brother Higbee killed is of the long tailed species, having a tail more than a half a yard long, and is the first one I ever saw of the kind..

A while after we camped, President Young and Cambial went to the bluffs and again saw the Black Hills in the distance. They bowed before the Lord and offered up their prayers together..

The month of May has passed over and we have been permitted to proceed so far on our journey, being 531 1/4 miles from our families in Winter Quarters, with the camp generally enjoying good health and good spirits, and although some things have passed which have merited chastisement, we have the privilege at the closing of the month of seeing a better feeling, a more noble spirit, and a more general desire to do right than we have before witnessed.

I feel to humble myself and give God thanks for his continued mercies to me and my brethren and may His spirit fill our hearts and may His angels administer comfort, health, peace and prosperity to all our families and all the Saints henceforth and forever. Amen.

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.