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 16, 1847

Location: Casper, Wyoming - Location: 42:52:00N 106:18:45W

Summary: Rafts are built to ferry companies across the Platte.

Journal entry: WEDNESDAY, 16TH. The morning fine but strong west wind. The brethren continue ferrying. A company have gone back about three miles to make two canoes on which they intend to build a boat to be used here till the next company comes up. Another company also went about half a mile up the river to make slabs or puncheons to lay on the canoes. A while before dark the brethren returned from below with two good canoes twenty - five feet long each and nearly finished and ready to put together.

The ferrying continued all day but with great difficulty on account of the strong wind blowing down stream. When they started over with Brother Goddard's wagon the wind was blowing strong. James Craig and Wordsworth were on the raft with poles and when they got nearly half. way across Brother Craig's pole stuck in the sand and threw him overboard. He swam back to shore and in spite of Brother Wordsworth's exertions, the wind and current carried the raft about two miles down the river. It was finally landed by the help of the cutter and without accident.

They have had three rafts working today, two of which they now work by oars which are proving to be far superior to poles in this strong current. At the close of day there were still a number of wagons on the south shore. Those which had been brought over could not be easily counted on account of their being scattered all along the banks of the river for about a mile in length.

It was now contemplated to leave a company of brethren at this ferry to ferry over the gentile companies for a dollar and a half a load till the next company of our brethren arrive. This is the object for which the new boat is being built. They will thus earn a good stock of provisions for themselves and be prepared to set the brethren of the next company over without delay and will also be able to preserve the boat for our use, for it is the instructions of the President that when they have forced our brethren over to cache the boat and come on with them.

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.