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 14, 1847

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

Summary: Twenty three wagons have difficulty in ferrying across river.

Journal entry: MONDAY, 14TH. Morning cloudy and cool. At four o'clock the first division commenced ferrying their goods over the river in the cater and some time afterwards commenced taking the wagons across on a raft which proved to be very slow work.

The second division also began to take their goods over on a raft but the current was so strong they only took two loads over in it and then quit. The second division then got a rope stretched across the river from shore to shore and lashing two wagons fast together to keep them from rolling over, they dragged them over - by the rope, letting them drift with the current to save breaking the rope. When the wagons struck on the sand on the other side the upper one keeled over, and finally rolled over the other one, breaking the bows considerably and losing iron, etc., in the wagon to the amount of $30.00 belonging to John Pack.

The other wagon had the reach broken and some of the bows. They next lashed four wagons together abreast and dragged them over the same way. All got over well except the upper one which turned on its side, but it was righted again without damage. They next tried one wagon alone, but as soon as it got into the current it rolled over and over, breaking the bows pretty badly.

The plan of taking one wagon at a time on a raft is the safest, no accident having occurred with it and the wagons got over dry but it is very slow and would take us three or four days to get all the wagons across.

The wind blows strong from the southwest which is much to our disadvantage. At 3:30 we had a very heavy thunder storm. The rain was heavy indeed, accompanied by hail and as strong a wind as I ever witnessed.

After the storm was over the ferrying was continued, getting my trunk, etc., and the loads in Brother Johnson and Harmon's wagons over, and also Harmon's wagon, Johnson's being got over just before the storm. It took till nearly ten o'clock to get the loading into the wagons and get regulated. The river has been rising all day and has risen very fast since the storm. The men have tried hard, much of the time being in the water and sometimes up to their armpits which is very fatiguing indeed. When they quit at night the first division had got eleven wagons over, the second division twelve, making twenty - three wagons after a very hard day's labor. There was no difficulty in getting the freight over for one man can carry it in the cutter faster than all the rest of the camp can get the wagons over.

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.