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

July 28, 1847

Summary: President Young explores the Great Salt Lake; Plans are set for the city.

Journal entry: WEDNESDAY. 28TH. Morning fine and warm. Several of the Indians have remained in camp over night. They seem very peaceable and gentle and anxious to trade. The brethren are making a saw pit to saw lumber for a skiff. Joseph Hancock and Lewis Barney have been off hunting in the mountains two days. They state there is abundance of good timber for building in the mountains but difficult to get at it. The timber is mostly balsam fir and poplar and many sticks will make two good logs.

At half past three President Young and company returned. They have been at the Salt Lake and report it to be about twenty - five miles distance. No water after they leave the river except salt water. The lake is very clear and the water heavy, so much so, that a man cannot possibly sink. Even not where more than four feet deep and they tried to fall down on their knees but could not touch the bottom. They can sit or lie in the water perfectly easily without touching the bottom. One of the brethren lay down on the water and another got on him but could not sink him. They Suppose the water will yield 357,1 pure salt. They gathered some off the rocks which is as pure, white and fine as the best that can be bought in market.

There is a cave in the mountain west of the camp which is sixty feet from the entrance to the far end. The Indians appear to have frequently visited it and there are yet the remains of their fires. There appears to be no fresh water beyond the river and the brethren are more and more satisfied that we are already on the right spot.

At eight o'clock the brethren were called together and addressed by President Young on various subjects, pointing out items of law which would lie put in force here, his feelings towards the miles, etc. He said they intended to divide the city into blocks of ten acres each with eight lots in a block of one and a quarter acres each. The streets to be wide. No house will be permitted to be built on the corners of the streets, neither petty shops. Each house will have to be built so many feet back from the street and all the houses parallel with each other. The fronts are to be beautified with fruit trees, etc. No filth will be allowed to stand in the city but the water will be conducted through in such a manner as to carry all tile right off to the River Jordan. No man will be suffered to cut tip his lot and sell a part to speculate out of his brethren. Each man must keep his lot whole, for the Lord has given it to us without price.

The temple lot will be forty acres and adorned with trees, ponds, etc. the whole subject was interesting to the brethren and the items will probably be given more fully hereafter. The Twelve were appointed a committee to lay off the city, etc.

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.