Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer Date Summary

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06/16/1847 - Crockett

Date: June 16, 1847

On the Oregon Trail, Wyoming:
More efforts were made to ferry over the wagons. A group of men were sent four miles downriver to make some canoes for a large ferryboat. Others were sent to get get timber for a new raft. Brigham Young worked very hard with this detail to make a raft made from white pine and cottonwood. A Missouri company of ten wagons came to the crossing and they hired the pioneers to ferry them over for $1.50 per wagon, with a $5.00 bonus if they were taken over before evening.

Orson Pratt described the raft being contructed. "We made two large cottonwood canoes, and placing them parallel to each other, a few feet asunder, firmly pinned on cross pieces and flat slabs running lengthwise of the canoes, and having attached a rudder and oars, with a little iron work, we had a boat of sufficient strength to carry over the loaded wagons of the emigrants."

William Clayton wrote about the day's river crossings: "When they started over with Brother Goddard's wagon the wind was blowing strong. James Craig and Wordsworth were on the raft with poles and when they got nearly half way across Brother Craig's pole stuck in the sand and threw him overboard. He swam back to shore and in spite of Brother Wordsworth's exertions, the wind and current carried the raft about two miles down the river. It was finally landed by the help of the cutter and without accident. They have had three rafts working today, two of which they now work by oars which are proving to be far superior to poles in this strong current. At the close of day there were still a number of wagons on the south shore." Wagons were scattered all over the north bank for about a mile. The "Revenue Cutter" filled partially with water and nearly sank during the day.

By evening, the group of men constructing canoes returned with their task nearly complete to construct two twenty-five foot dug-out canoes.

The Sick Detachments on the way to Fort Laramie, Wyoming
The Sick Detachments and Mississippi Saints arrived at Fort Laramie. Some of the men wanted to head east to their families at Winter Quarters, but the plan was for them all to follow the pioneers. Amasa Lyman wrote a letter to Brigham Young: "I laid the instruction before them which had the effect of quelling the spirit of mutiny, and instead of leaving as they intended, they followed the counsel."

Elkhorn River, Nebraska:
Eliza R. Snow visited Parley P. Pratt. She sang a song of Zion to his family in tongues. Patty Sessions interpreted. Sister Snow wrote a poem from Mary Ann Angell Young, wife of Brigham Young, who was still in Winter Quarters. It included:

Mother of mothers! Queen of queens
For such thou truly art --
I pray the Lord to strengthen thee
And to console thy heart.
From infancy thou hast been led
And guided by his hand
That thou in Zion's courts may tread
And in thy station stand.
Thou'rt highly favor'd of the Lord
And thou art greatly blest;
Most glorious will be thy reward
In peace & joy & rest

Altho' thou hast been call'd to share
In sorrow and distress
That thou thro' suff'ring might prepare
The broken heart to bless,

Thou wilt arise o'er ev'ry ill --
O'er ev'ry weakness too
For God will in they path distil
His grace like morning dew

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Hosea Stout sent word to the Elkhorn camp that he decided to turn down his appointment as captain of the guard and not go with the second pioneer company. He wrote that he did not think it was fair to ask him to make this sacrifice after he had been neglected so long. "Thus my expidition west was brought to a close." He heard much discussion and surprise from others at his decision to reject the order from the Apostles.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Henry Standage wrote: "Many suffering from colds. No rain in this country.l Heavy dews, very warm at noontimes and very cold nights especially for June. High winds generally from the North till night. Many horses purchased daily by the Battalion, all preparing to go home."

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Robert S. Bliss wrote: "One month more & we hope to be on our way to our beloved famileys & the Church."


  • Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 34
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 426
  • William Clayton's Journal, 238-40
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:206
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 194
  • Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 178-79
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:261
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 227
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 95
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, crockett@goodnet.com.