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

August 2, 1847

Location: Salt Lake Valley (the right place), Utah - The end destination for the trek across the plains.

Summary: The Brethren compose a letter that is sent to the remaining emigrating companies. The established Brethren in the Salt Lake Valley can help.

Journal entry: MONDAY, 2ND. We have had another cool night, but morning fine. The other companies commenced moving their wagons up and we also moved a little farther east. During the day the whole camp was formed in an oblong circle.

About noon Ezra T. Benson and several others started back to meet the next company. They carried a letter, the following being a copy of the same : " Pioneer camp. Valley of the Great Salt Lake, August 2, 1847. To General Chas. C. Rich and the Presidents and Officers of the emigrating company. Beloved Brethren : We have delegated our beloved Brother Ezra T. Benson and escort to communicate to you and express the cheering intelligence that we have arrived in the most beautiful valley of the Great Salt Lake and that every soul who left Winter Quarters with us is alive and almost everyone enjoying good health. That portion of the battalion that was at Pueblo is here with us together with the Mississippi company that accompanied them and they are generally well. We number about 450 souls and we know of no one but who is pleased with our situation.

We have commenced the survey of a city this morning, We feel that the time is fast approaching when those teams that are going to Winter Quarters this fall should be on the way. Every individual here would be glad to tarry if his friends were here, but as many of the battalion, as well as the pioneers, have not their families here and do not expect that they are in your camp, we wish to learn by express from you, the situation of your camp as speedily as possible that we may be prepared to counsel and act in the whole matter. We want you to send us the names of every individual in your camp, or in other words, a copy of your camp roll, including the names, number of wagons, horses, mules, oxen, cows, etc., and the health of your camp, your location, prospects, etc. If your teams are worn out, if your camp is sick and not able to take care of themselves, if you are short of teamsters or any other circumstance impelling your progress. We want to know it immediately for we have help for you, and if your teams are in good plight and will be able to return to Winter Quarters this season or any portion of them, we want to know it.

We also want the mail, which will include all letters and papers, and packages belonging, to our camp, general and particular. Should circumstances permit, we would gladly meet you some distance from this, but our time is very much occupied. Not withstanding, we think you will see us before you see other valleys. Let all the brethren and sisters cheer up their hearts and know assuredly that God has heard and answered their prayers and ours and led us to a goodly land, and our hotels are satisfied therewith. Brother Benson can give you many particulars that will be gratifying and cheering to you which we have not time to write, and we feel to bless all the Saints. In behalf of the council. Willard Richards, Clerk. Brigham Young, President.

This morning, Elders Pratt and Sherwood commenced surveying the city to lay it off in lots but finally concluded to wait until the chain could be tested by a standard pole which will have to be gotten from the mountains. Some of the brethren are preparing to make molds for adobes. In the evening, Elder Kimball's teams returned from the mountains with some good house logs and poles for measuring, etc.

The day has been very warm but the nights begin to be very cool, The northeast winds seem to prevail here at this season and coming from the mountains of snow are cold when the sun is down. After dark President Young sent for me to come to his wagon and told his calculations about our starting back. He wants me to start - with the ox teams next Monday so as to have a better privilege of taking the distances, etc. He calculates the horse teams to start two weeks later, and if the first company arrives at Grand Island before the other comes up to wait for them there, kill and dry buffalo, etc. He wants the roadometer fixed this week and Elder Kimball has selected William King to do the work.

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.