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

July 7, 1847

Location: Fort Bridger - 96 miles left, Wyoming - (You cross four gushing creeks, within half a mile, before you reach the Fort, and by traveling half a mile beyond the Fort, you will cross three others, and then find a good place to camp.) - 917 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: The Pioneers set up camp right outside of Fort Bridger.

Journal entry: WEDNESDAY, 7TH. This morning we proceeded at 7:35 and after traveling two and a half miles, forded Black's Fork once more. Here also is abundance of good grass, wild flax and handsome flowers. After traveling two and three - quarters miles farther, forded a stream about two rods wide and two feet deep, very swift current, also lined on its banks is bunch grass.

At twelve o'clock we halted for noon on the banks of the last stream, having traveled nine miles over pretty rough road. The day very windy and filling the wagons with dust. Some of the wagons have gone on expecting to reach Bridger's Fort before they halt.

At 1:40 we moved forward and found the road more even, though in many places rendered bad by the cobble stones. After traveling seven and a half miles we arrived opposite to nine Indian lodges erected on the south of the road. Here we halted a while and found Tim Goodale here, one of the trappers who passed us at the Platte ferry. There are not many Indians here but they appear to have a great many handsome ponies.

We then continued on and after fording four creeks on an average about a rod wide, we arrived at Fort Bridger which is proved by the roadometer to be 397 miles from Fort John. We went half a mile beyond the fort and formed our encampment after crossing three more creeks, having traveled this afternoon eight and three - quarters miles and during the day seventeen and three - quarters. The grass is very plentiful in this neighborhood and much higher than we have generally seen it. The whole region seems filled with rapid streams all bending their way to the principal fork. They doubtless originate from the melting of the snow on the mountains and roar down their cobbly beds till they join Black's Fork.

Bridger's Fort is composed of two double log houses about forty feet long each and joined by a pen for horses about ten feet high constructed by placing poles upright in the ground close together, which is all the appearance of a fort in sight. There are several Indian lodges close by and a full crop of young children playing around the door. These Indians are said to be of the Snake tribe, the Utahs inhabiting beyond the mountains.

The latitude of Fort Bridger is 41' 19' 13' and its height above the level of the sea according to Elder Pratt's observations is 6,665 feet. It is doubtless a very cold region and little calculated for farming purposes. To the west is a pretty high mountain which appears well covered with timber. The country all around looks bleak and cold.

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.