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 7, 1847

Location: Glendo, Wyoming - Location: 42:30:10N 105:01:32W Elevation: 4714 feet

Summary: The pioneers rest in the best feeding camp yet.

Journal entry: MONDAY, 7TH. Morning fine. Elder Prate gave me some instructions on the use of the sextant and showed me how to take an observation. He has promised to teach me to take observations and calculate latitude and longtitude and I intend to improve the opportunity.

At 6:30 the Missouri company passed through again. And at ten minutes past seven we commenced our onward course. Dr. Richards left a letter in a guide board 30 1/4 miles to Fort John. I walked about five miles mostly in company with Elder prate conversing on astronomy and philosophical subjects.

Elder Cambial then let me have his horse to ride. We traveled till eleven o'clock and then halted to feed on the west bank of a small stream and spring of clear water, having traveled 7 3/4 miles, mostly a north of northwest course. The road more even and good traveling. Soon after we halted, another company of Missourians passed us, having thirteen wagons and mostly four yoke of oxen to each. They say they are from Andrew County, Missouri.

At 12:35 we moved forward. At a quarter of a mile began to ascend a bluff which was a quarter of a mile from the bottom to the top, the ascent gradual and tolerable steep. From the top of this hill we had as pleasant a view of the surrounding country as I have ever witnessed. Laramie peak appears only a few miles to the southwest, and from that around to the west, north, and northeast, a very extensive view of a beautiful country for many miles, indeed, as far as the eye could survey. From a fair view of the peak I am satisfied that the Black Hills, of which this is a prominent part, are so named from the vast forests of pine trees covering their surface and being of a dark green color within a few miles of them. The pine grows in the most rocky places and abounds on the highest hills, while on the lower bluffs it is sparsely scattered and in the bottom land, which looks rich and good, there are none. We have passed many noble trees and there is no lack of good pine timber in this region. The peak is very high, and very broken and craggy, the snow still lying on its summit and plainly visible with the naked eye.

The ridge over which we passed was a half a mile over from the southeast to the northwest foot. At that distance we began to descend and had to lock the wagons in several places. The descent was rendered unpleasant by the many large cobble stones scattered in the road. Many of the brethren threw them out of the road as we went along and the road is much improved. They have also dug down some places and leveled others, which will make the road much better for other companies.

At half past three we arrived at Horse Creek and formed our encampment on the bottom land near the timber or rather in the midst of a grove of ash, cottonwood, etc., having traveled five and a quarter miles this afternoon over crooked road and during the day, thirteen miles. On this camp ground is one of the clearest and largest springs of water I have seen for a long time. Elder Cambial having discovered it, he calls it his spring or Hewer's spring. The creek is also clear and said to have trout in it. The feed is much better and more plentiful than we have ever met with on this journey. there is abundance of wild mint and sage growing here; the mint seems to perfume the air. The sage grows in abundance on all this sandy land. There are also many wild currant bushes in full bloom and prickley pears all along the road. The other companies were all within two miles when we arrived here, but mostly going on a few miles farther.

A little before we stopped, we had a thunder storm which lasted upwards of an hour. During the latter part of it, it rained very heavily accompanied by hail and thunder and lightning.

Our hunters have killed a long tailed deer and an antelope, which were distributed as usual. Brother Crow's hunter also killed a deer, but they are unwilling to conform to the rules of the camp in dividing and reserve it all to themselves. Brother Crow observed that if they got more than they could use they would be willing to let the camp have some. Some of the other companies killed an antelope, took off the quarters and left the balance on the ground. Brother Pack picked it up and brought it along.

After we stopped Brother Crow came near meeting with an accident while endeavoring to yoke up a pair of wild steers. It took a number of men to hold them, having lariats on their saddle-horns. They got the lariats entangled round their legs and Brother Crow also, throwing one of the steers down and he fast with it. They cut the rope and he was liberated without injury. Myers, the hunter, roasts the young antlers of the deer and eats them. In regard to Brother Crow's meat, etc., I afterwards learned that the whole family had to depend on Myers for what they eat, having no bread stuff, nor anything only what he kills, and the little flour and meal paid to him for a part of the ferryage, he having a small claim on Bordeau. After supper, walked out with Elder Kimball and was joined by George A. Smith. Brother Smith told me of a good opportunity of sending a letter to my family by some traders who are expected down every day and I feel to improve the opportunity. We had a very strong wind at night, so much that I could not write.

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.