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

James Armitstead Journals

June 18, 1853

Summary: From a letter to Almira Warner: Kanesville, June 18, 1853

Journal entry: Dear Sister:

I wrote to you about 4 weeks ago from Spring Creek, and mailed it at Princeton, which probably you have received. And we hope this may come save to hand and you all well, as it leaves us at present.

We came here on the 11th inst. There are about 100 wagons of the Saints here, and some 400 Saints more expected every day.

I will now notice a few incidents connected with our journey to this place, and some of the principal places on the route so that you may know the way to come. According to the best information we could obtain, we have come the nearest and best route.

We arrived at Cambridge 3 days after leaving Princeton. Crossed Rock River at Canden, 3 miles from the city of Rock Island. Where we crossed the Mississippi. From there we proceed direct to Hickery Grove, from thence to Piston's Grove, from thence to Tippton, a pretty little town, from there to Cedar River, which we crossed at Washington ferry; the next day passed trough Iowa City, crossed the river there on the new floating bridge; next day came to Warsawville, and there crossed the English River, on the bridge; from thence to Segorna, and from there to the North Skunk, crossed on a miserable bridge. Here broke my wagon tongue. Same day crossed the big Skunk River, at the lower ferry. From there we came to Oskaloosa, a flourishing town. There we had our wagons repaired; and fitted up more convenient for traveling. There we learned, by a man who had just come to town, that thirty or forty Mormon wagons had passed about 30 or 40 miles south of us the day before. From Oskaloosa we took a south west course, in order to fall in with them. The next day crossed the Des Moines River at Tally's ford. From thence to Sheriden Point, where we struck the Mormon trail and learned that a train had passed the day before.

Two days later we overtook them at Mount Pisgah. We have travelled with them to this place. The day we fell in with them we had a stampede, occasioned by the fighting of dogs. It is a fearful sight to witness, about 150 head of cattle rushing headlong and bellowing, and madly confused together, dogs barking, men halooing, women and children screaming and running in all directions in the whirling commotion. But no one was hurt or any thing the worse.

We are now encamped about 8 miles above Kanesville. We expect to cross the river in a few days. We all want to be going forward.

Source: James Armitstead Letters (1853)