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 3, 1847

Location: Fort John/Laramie - 508 m. left, Wyoming - Location: 42:12:46N 104:31:00W Elevation: 4250 feet (Fort lays about 1-1/2 miles west from the river. Ford is good in low water. River 108 yards wide. Wall and houses are adobe, or Spanish brick. Altitude, 4,090 feet) -522 miles from Winter Quarters

Summary: Ferrying across the river. Many bluffs.

Journal entry: THURSDAY: The morning cold with strong southeast wind.

The first division commenced ferrying over the river at five o'clock and took a wagon over every fifteen minutes.

After breakfast I went over and wrote a letter for Elder Cambial to James Brown at Pueblo, then walked up to a high bluff on the northwest to view the country, but not being able to see far from it, I went to another over a mile farther northwest. Although this last was very high I could see nothing but a succession of high ranges of bluffs as far as I could see, except the narrow space through which the river winds its course.

Seeing some heavy thunder clouds rising very rapidly from the northwest I returned to camp and arrived just before the rain commenced.

Elders A. Lyman, Thomas Woolsey, John H. tippets and Roswell Stevens started at 11:15 on horses and mules for Pueblo. President Young, Cambial, Richards and Prate accompanied them to the Laramie fork and then held a council, kneeled down and dedicated them to God and blessed them. The four then forded the river and went on their journey, the others returned to camp.

At half past 1:00 p.m. it commenced raining heavily accompanied by hail, lightning and very loud thunder, which lasted till 3:30 p.m. During the loud thunder, the horses were mostly secured in the old fort.

The ferrying ceased till it was fair again, and about five o'clock the first division were all over. The boat was then manned by the second division, John S. Higbee, captain. They averaged a wagon across in eleven minutes and one in ten minutes and one in ten minutes and twenty seconds. The quickest trip made by the first division was thirteen minutes.

About seven o'clock it commenced raining again from the southeast and rained heavily, consequently the brethren quit ferrying, leaving three companies of about fifteen wagons on the other side. All the wagons would have been taken over today if it had not been stormy.

There is a report come in that there are 2,000 wagons on the road to Oregon, but a little distance behind, but we are satisfied the report is exaggerated. There are eighteen wagons camped about three miles below and one of the men who has come to the fort says that they have counted over 500 wagons. They have lost four horses by the Indians.

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.