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 22, 1847

Location: Independence Rock - 314 miles left, Wyoming - [Sweetwater River]. (In low water the river is easily forded.) It has a peculiar shape and magnitude. There are many names of visitors painted in various places. on the southeast corner. 698 3/4 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: The Missouri Company has once again passed the Pioneer Companies on their journeys to the West.

Journal entry: TUESDAY, 22ND. Morning fine; At 7:20 we continued our journey and about 200 yards from where we camped, crossed a very crooked creek about six feet wide descending from the southwest. After traveling three miles over heavy, sandy roads, we crossed another creek a-bout six feet wide; and three and three quarters miles farther, a creek two feet wide. Somewhere near this last creek, Brother Lorenzo Young broke one of his axle trees which detained him some time. One of the Missourian companies came up soon after the accident and took his load into one of their wagons and by splicing a piece of wood on his axle tree, he was enabled to follow our camp.

At 11:55 we halted on the banks of the river. having traveled ten miles over a very sandy, barren land, there being no grass only on the creeks and river banks. During the halt, Elder Pratt took an observation and found the latitude of this place 42' X 25'.

President Young went back to meet Lorenzo but soon found he was coming on with the Missourian company who were approaching near us. He immediately turned about and on arriving back gave orders to get up the teams and proceed so as to keep ahead of the other company who say they have traveled from Independence Rock without baiting. However, they passed before we could start and got ahead of us.

The day has been hot and a little wind. At 2:25 we continued, finding the road again leaving the river. At half a mile, we passed a very large lake on our left which covers an area of over 80 acres of land. Its banks are mostly white with the alkali or saleratus. After passing this lake the road runs south, passing between high sandy bluffs after which it again turns around gradually towards the west and descending a steep bluff over very heavy, sandy land. After traveling five and three quarters miles crossed a creek about six feet wide and a foot deep. The bank on each side is very steep and sandy, making it difficult for teams to get up. Here Sterling Driggs had his harness broken to pieces by his horses springing suddenly when attempting to rise out of the creek. They cleared themselves from the wagon which was hauled up by a yoke of oxen so as not to hinder the rest from crossing. The banks of this creek are well lined with sage instead of grass which is very large and thick on the ground on account of which Elder Kimball named this Sage creek.

After passing this creek one and three quarters miles we again arrived on the banks of the river and continued to travel near to it. At two and a quarter miles farther crossed a creek three feet wide, but not much to be depended on for water. At 7:50 we formed our encampment at the foot of a very high gravelly bluff and near the river, having traveled this afternoon ten and three quarters miles and during the day twenty and three quarters miles over mostly a very sandy road. This is a very good camp ground, there being plenty of grass for our teams which is well worth traveling a few miles extra. From this place the country seems fortified by hills and mountains especially on the west. Lewis Barney and Joseph Hancock have each killed an antelope during the day, but there appears to be no buffalo in the neighborhood.

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.