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

Pioneer Date Summary

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04/07/1847 - Crockett

Date: April 7, 1847

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Orson Pratt started their historic pioneer journey for the Rocky Mountains. Wilford Woodruff left with his company of eight wagons. He wrote: "When we were on the top of the ridge west of the city, I took a view of the Place & looked at my wife & children through my glass. I then led the company to the old camp ground [Cutler's Park] from thence on the Ponkan road about 7 miles & camped for the night 10 miles from Winter Quarters." Soon, Orson Pratt arrived with is company, followed by Brigham Young and his company. They all camped together with about twenty-five wagons near a west branch of Little Papillion Creek. Heber C. Kimball was still camped about four miles to the east at the haystacks.

Lorenzo Dow Young, his wife Harriet, and their children, left Winter Quarters at about 4 p.m., with their milk cow in tow. They only traveled about a half mile and camped for the night. Thomas Bullock, with Willard Richards' teams left Winter Quarters at 5 p.m., traveled by the cemeteries and camped on the prairie. The pioneers took with them a package of nearly four hundred letters for the Mormon Battalion. The wind blew quite hard during the night.

For many of the pioneers, it was very difficult to leave their families behind. Sylvester Henry Earl wrote: "It is hard to leave my family here, sick and among howling wolves and the roaming savages of the west, but the servants of the Lord says go, and I feel as ever to leave all for the Gospel and the salvation of the people."

Heber C. Kimball held a meeting with his family. He warned them against those who might try to come in the family and saw discord among them while he was gone. He told them to place their complete confidence in Bishop Newel K. Whitney while he was gone, that he was "a worthy, good and exemplary man." Horace K. Whitney recorded: "He [Elder Kimball] told his wife Vilate that if any person should presume to come into his house and speak against him, or any member of his family, while he was gone, to arise and command them to leave the house, in the name of Heber C. Kimball!"

Ezra T. Benson and Lyman O. Littlefield visited with Mary Richards. Elder Littlefield informed her that he was about to leave for England in a few days and would take letters or anything that Mary wished to send to her husband, Samuel W. Richards.

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
The day was spent in cutting and hauling timber for houses. John D. Lee, Alfred D. Young, and several of Brother Lee's wives, raised the body of one house. Isaac Houston and Jacob F. Secrist arrived from Winter Quarters. Brother Houston reported that the rest of the pioneers were leaving Winter Quarters during the morning. Brigham Young and Isaac Morley intended to visit Summer Quarters on the following day.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
A petition was organized by the enlisted men to be presented to the battalion officers asking for the discharge of the battalion, since the war appeared to be over. Most of the men signed it, but the officers rejected it. One of their reasons is that they wanted to extend the service of the battalion to build forts for the army for further pay. The enlisted men were very angry. Nathaniel Jones wrote: "This evening the officers met and counselled together about the matter, and the honorable body threw the bill under the table." The officers who supported the petition were Daniel Davis, James Pace, Andrew Lytle, and Samuel Thompson. Those who argued against it were, Jefferson Hunt, Lorenzo Clark, George Rosecrans, and George Dykes.

Two cannons were brought from the San Gabriel Mission. They had been taken from Colonel Fremont's volunteers and started to be guarded by the battalion. Two wagons returned from San Pedro loaded with flour and clothing.

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Azariah Smith wrote: "I and Thomas [Dutcher] went down to the Coast again, and there are fish in the Ocean which have a stinger on the tail. We went in swiming and one of them stung Thomas on the foot, and he ws in great pain four or five hours when it ceased to pain him, and got well."


  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 546-47
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 144-45
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:146
  • Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:155
  • Egan, Pioneering the West, 21
  • Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 8, p.243
  • Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 2, p.532
  • Jenson, Day By Day With the Utah Pioneers, 3
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 117
  • The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:14-5
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 217
  • Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p.364
  • Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 82
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.