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

May 16, 1847

Summary: Sunday hunting, odometer refined, and a present of candles.

Journal entry: SUNDAY: Morning fine, but chilly and cold. Wind north.

Eric Glines killed an antelope near the camp which was cut up and distributed. Soon after breakfast, President Young, Elders Kimball, Woodruff and Benson went on horseback to look out the best road over the bluffs. They returned at half past twelve and reported that we can pass through a valley between and around the bluffs, which will be about four miles across them.

About 5:00 p. m. several buffalo were seen making their way from the bluffs towards our horses, some of which were very near them. Brother Eric Glines started out with the intention of driving the buffalo away, and bringing the horses nearer camp. When he got near, the buffalo did not seem much disposed to move and he shot at one of them and wounded him. He moved a little farther and Brother Glines followed him and shot three times more at him. The buffalo then ran about forty rods, fell, and soon expired. I went to look at him- He is a large one, judged to weigh about 700 pounds, and in pretty good order.

I left the brethren skinning him and returned to camp where a meeting had been called at 5:00 p.m., and the brethren addressed by Elders Richards, Markham, Rockwood and Kimball, chiefly on the subject of obeying counsel, and Elder Kimball remarked in regard to hunting on the Sabbath. He would not do it even in case of necessity, but he did not feel disposed to find fault with the brethren.

The laws and regulations for the camp of April 18th were then read by Brother Bullock and the meeting dismissed.

About noon today, Brother Appleton Harmon completed the machinery on the wagon called a roadometerÓ by adding a wheel to revolve once in ten miles, showing each mile and also each quarter mile we travel, and the casing the whole over so as to secure it from the weather. We are now prepared to tell accurately, the distance we travel from day to day which will supercede the idea of guessing, and be a satisfaction not only to this camp, but to all who hereafter travel this way.

I have prepared another board to put up here on which the distance from Winter Quarters is marked at 356 3/4 miles. I have also written on it that the last seventy miles are measured, and we shall continue to measure and put up guide posts as often as circumstances will permit through the journey.

The whole machinery consists of a shaft about 19 inches long placed on gudgeons, one in the axle tree of the wagon, near which are six arms placed at equal distances around it, and in which a cog works which is fastened on the hub of the wagon wheel, turning the shaft once round at every six revolutions of the wagon wheel. The upper gudgeon plays in a piece of wood nailed to the wagon box, and near this gudgeon on the shaft a screwis cut. The shaft lays at an angle of about forty-five degrees. In this screw, a wheel of sixty cogs works on an axle fixed in the side of the wagon, and which makes one revolution each mile. In the saft on which this wheel runs, four cogs are cut on the fore part which plays in another wheel of forty cogs which shows the miles and quarters to ten miles. The whole is cased over and occupies a space of about 18 inches long, 15 inches high, and 3 inches thick.

After the meeting was dismissed, the cutter was sent to fetch the meat in, killed by Brother Glines. They soon returned and the meat was distributed as usual.

Presidents Young and Kimball have walked out together towards the bluffs.

After supper Elder Whipple made me a present of a half a candle made from buffalo tallow, by the light of which I continue this journal. Although, as may be expected, the buffalo are generally poorer at this season of the year, yet Brother Whipple has obtained sufficient to make two candies from his portion of meat received yesterday morning. The candle burns very clear and pleasant. The tallow smells sweet and rich. I imagine it has a more pleasant smell than the tallow of domestic cattle.

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.