06/26/1847 - Crockett
Date: June 26, 1997
On the Sweetwater, Wyoming:
It was very cold overnight, twenty-eight degrees. Milk and water jugs froze. Orson Pratt wrote: "The grass is whitened with frost, and the sudden change from the high temperatures of the sandy vallies below us is most severly felt by both man and beast."
During the morning the pioneers crossed back over the Sweetwater. It was quite deep causing water to run into the wagon beds. They rested for the noon on the banks of the river. Orson Pratt observed: "It was quite interesting to see an abundance of good grass intermixed with various plants and flowers upon the bottoms of this stream, while upon the same bottoms, and only a few yards distant, were large banks of snow several feet in depth." William Clayton added: "Some of the boys and girls amused themselves by snowballing each other on one of the large snow banks a few rods below the camp." Even Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock joined in the fun.
During the day, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, and Albert Carrington walked together and discussed some of the mysteries of the Kingdom. They made it clear to each other that they were not stating any doctrine but were throwing out ideas. They discussed how neither God nor man has always existed in their present form. They went on to discuss how God was formed over a long period of time by a combination of intelligences.
At noon, Eric Glines caught up with the pioneer company. He reported that the ferry had moved eight miles down the river. Brother Glines had camped each night with companies of Missourians, except for one night. Evidently he did not make a confession to the brethren as he said he would to the men at the ferry. William Clayton wrote: "He does not assign any reason why he followed us, but evidently considering to repent and obey council than to continue obstinate and rebellious."
The road was excellent. Wilford Woodruff wrote: "It was the best road we had had for many days & had it not have been for the wind river range of mountains full in view on our right & the table covered with eternal snow, & some snow banks 10 feet deep by the side of the road as we passed along & the table rock on the left, I should have thought myself traveling over the beautiful prairies of Illinois & Missouri. . . . I saw more in one hour this evening than I ever saw during my whole life either in the rude state or polished & set in breast pins is all the jewellers shops I ever saw in my travels in the world from the size of a goose egg to a pea."
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, and John Brown drove ahead in Elder Pratt's carriage to take observations with the barometer. Fremont had been unable to identify the point of the continental divide with certainty, so Orson Pratt made his attempt. He believe he found it and measured it to be 7085 feet above sea level.
They thought the main company would be joining them, so they didn't return and established camp at Pacific Springs. After the main camp was established on the banks of the Sweetwater, several men were sent out on horses to find them.
The advance group had met a small company of men journeying from Oregon back to the States. This group was guided by a Major Moses Harris, an experienced trapper in the Rockies for twenty-five years. He shared information about the Great Basin and gave un unfavorable report about the idea of establishing a colony in the basin because of the scarcity of timber. He had traveled all the way around Great Salt Lake, and had not found any outlet. He showed the brethren a copy of the California Star, published by Brother Samuel Brannan in San Francisco. The brethren camped for the night with this company. Heber C. Kimball returned to the mail camp with the horseman who came searching for them.
The Mormon Ferry, Nebraska:
The ferrymen took over forty wagons and did about $15 of blacksmithing. At noon, they noticed the ferry boat from the upper site floating down the river all cut to pieces. The company that had been running the upper ferry were not getting enough business and decided to move on. Rather that leave the ferry behind to be used by others, they destroyed it.
At 6 p.m., Amasa Lyman, Roswell Stephens, Thomas Woolsey, and two members of the battalion arrived. Captain James Brown and the rest of the battalion and Mississippi Saints were camped a few miles back.
On the Loup Fork, Nebraska:
During the morning, the Abraham O. Smoot hundred held a meeeting. Brother Smoot instructed them in their duties. He exhorted the company to faithfully attend to their prayers. The pioneer companies crossed over Looking Glass Creek on a bridge and traveled to Beaver Creek where they found many wild berries to eat.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
It rained in the afternoon. Mary Richards was suffering terribly from an illness and she greatly missed her missionary husband. "Oh how much through these dys of suffering did I miss the kindly look and sympathizing words of my beloved companion. True, I had a kind mother who seemed willing to do all she could for me, but she needed to be waited upon rather than to attend upon me, and the thought that she had so much to do rather added to than deminished my suffering. But thanks be to the Lord who still continues to bless me with patieance & strenth to endure all my trials, and oh! that I may ever continue to find favor in his sight."
Kearny detachment of battalion, in Nevada:
The detachment camped by an Indian Village that consisted of some brush that had been cut and stuck in the ground. "There were about two hundred Indians in number, some ran to the mountains and others laid in the brush. Some of them came out after we had been there a short time."
Source: 150 Years Ago Today ©These materials have been created by David R. Crockett. Copies of these materials may be reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit must be given to David R. Crockett. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of Mr. Crockett, Tucson Az, email@example.com.
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 37-8
- The Journal of William Empey, Annals of Wyoming, 21:136
- Cook, Joseph C. Kingsbury, 117
- The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:20
- Albert P. Rockwood Journal, typescript, BYU, 59
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 432-34
- Autobiography of John Brown, 77
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:215-18
- William Clayton's Journal, 266-69
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 202
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 150