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 29, 1847

Location: Little Sandy River - 204 miles left, Wyoming - [Near here, Brigham Young met Jim Bridger and talked about the Salt Lake Valley]. (20 feet wide, 2 feet deep. Muddy water - swift current. Plenty of willows and wild sage. After this, barren and sandy land.) - 826 3/4 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: The Bretheren have come down with an illness; possibly due to the saleratus.

Journal entry: TUESDAY, 29TH. Morning very pleasant till the sun got up a little, then it was very hot. We started at 7:40 and traveled over very good roads through barren land till 10:45 then halted for noon on the banks of - the Big Sandy, having traveled six and three - quarters miles. The second division have passed over the river but the first division halted on the north side. This stream appears to be about seven rods wide at this place and about two feet deep in the channel, but it is not generally so wide, but deeper. There is some timber on its banks and plenty of grass in places for teams.

At 1:30 we again proceeded, President Young and some others going ahead in the cutter wagon to look out a camp ground for the night. Our course still lies about southwest, the road generally good over gently rolling, hard, sandy land and in some places the surface is covered with loose fragments of hard rock. After traveling nine and a half miles President Young rode up and reported that we would have to go at least six miles farther before we could get feed. It was then a quarter after six, but the teamsters spurred tip in order to get through. Most of the road after this for four miles was very hilly and uneven and in places the loose fragments of rocks made it very bad traveling, but many were thrown from the road by the spare men. The weather grew cooler towards evening, some large clouds rising in the west which favored the teams considerably.

At 9:05 we found ourselves on the lowlands on the banks of the river again and formed our encampment, having traveled since noon seventeen miles and during the day twenty - three and three - quarters, which is the greatest day's journey we have made since leaving Winter Quarters. The camp was formed by moonlight. There seems to be plenty of feed for teams but no wood for fuel.

Many of the brethren have gone down sick within the past three days and a number more this evening. They generally begin with headache, succeeded by violent fever, and some go delirious for a while. Brother Fowler was seized this afternoon and this evening is raving. It is supposed by some that this sickness is caused by the use of the mineral saleratus or alkali picked up on the lakes and surface of the land and it is considered poisonous. Some consider also that we inhale the effluvium arising from it, which has the like effect. It appears to be an article which ought to be used with great care if used at all. There has been no case considered dangerous yet, nor any of long duration.

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.