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 12, 1847

Location: Casper, Wyoming - Location: 42:52:00N 106:18:45W

Summary: The pioneers and the Missouri Company barter.

Journal entry: SATURDAY, 12TH. Morning very fine with nice east breeze. Brother Markham has learned this morning that Obadiah Jennings was the principal in killing Bowman in Missouri. Bowman was one of the guard who let Joseph and Hyrum and the others get away when prisoners in Missouri. The mob suspected him and rode him on a bar of iron till they killed him. At a quarter past eight o'clock we continued our journey.

At one and a half miles crossed a deep gulch pretty difficult to descent but not bad to ascend. One and three-quarters miles farther, we crossed a small creek about two feet wide on a bridge which the brethren fixed, they having started ahead of the wagons for that purpose. One mile beyond the last mentioned creek we crossed another muddy stream about five feet wide, and one and a half feet deep.

At a quarter to 12:00, we halted after crossing another large ravine, having traveled seven and three-quarters miles over a sandy, barren prairie. In some places it is soft, although the soul is much like clay in appearance. The road somewhat crooked, and the day fine and warm. During the halt, Brother Rockwood called upon the brethren to help fix another ravine immediately west of us. Many turned out and it was soon done.

James Case and S. Markham went to the river opposite here to see if it could be forded. They waded their horses over and found the water about four feet six inches deep in the channel and the current very swift. Of course it could not be forded with loads in the wagons, but the loading would have to be ferried in the boat. They made a report of this kind of their return to camp and about the same time Brother Chesley came down from the brethren ahead and reported their progress and the nature of the crossing place, etc. A number of the brethren in company with Elder Kimball and Chesley went to the river opposite the camp to decide whether to cross here or go on. Brother Markham and Case again went over, but it was finally concluded to go up to the other ferry. We accordingly started at half past two. I went ahead on foot. At three and a quarter miles, crossed a creek about five feet wide. At half past four the encampment was formed on the banks of the river, having come four miles, and during the day eleven and a quarter. It is about a half a mile from our camp to the place where they ferry.

I arrived at the brethren's camp at four o'clock and learned that they arrived here yesterday about noon. Two of the Missourian companies arrived about the same time. The brethren concluded that a raft would be of no use on account of the swiftness of the current. The Missourian company offered to pay them well if they could carry their company over in the boat and a contract was made to do so for $1.50 per load, the brethren to receive their pay in flour at $2.50 per hundred. They commenced soon after and this evening finished their work, and received the pay mostly in flour, a little meal and some bacon. They have made $34.00 with the cutter all in provisions which is a great blessing to the camp inasmuch as a number of the brethren have had no bread stuff for some days.

During the afternoon yesterday, one of the men of the Missourian company undertook to swim across the river with his clothes on. When he reached the current he became frightened and began to moan. Some of our men went to him with the cutter and arrived in time to save his life. The Missourian company seem to feel well toward us and express their joy at having got across the river so soon. Rodney Badger exchanged wagons with one of them and got a wagon as good as his own, only the tire wants setting. He got a horse, 100 lbs. flour, 25 lbs. of bacon and some crackers to boot. The provisions and horse are considered to be worth as much as his wagon.

Since the brethren arrived here they have killed three buffalo, a grizzly bear and three cubs, and two antelope. The buffalo are very fat and the meat is good and sweet. According to the idea of some French travelers camped here, the buffalo are making down east behind the hills opposite here, which they say is a certain sign that the Indians are on Sweet Water hunting them. The brethren say that the buffalo are very plentiful back of these hills.

When I returned to camp I learned that Tunis Rappleyee and Artemas Johnson were missing, the former having started for the hills to get a little snow; the latter having been hunting all day. A company were sent out with the bugle to find them. Brother Rappleye returned about eleven o'clock. Johnson was found by the brethren who returned still later. All agreeing with the report that the hills are eight or ten miles distance, although they do not appear more than one mile. There were four antelope killed by the brethren but divided according to the feelings of those who killed them.

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.