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Pioneer Date Summary

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04/09/1847 - Crockett

Location: Washington, Nebraska - Location: 41:23:51N 96:12:28W Elevation: 1124 feet

Date: April 9, 1847

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
The weather was fine. Brigham Young met with the Twelve at 8 a.m. and hear more about Parley P. Pratt's mission. He mentioned that the British Parliament supported an idea to colonize the Saints on Vancouver Island at the expense of England. Elder Pratt related news of the Mexican War. He heard at New Orleans that Zachary Taylor's army had been hemmed in by Santa Ana, cutting off their supplies. Taylor refused to surrender and a battle took place.

At noon, Brigham Young and the other members of the Twelve rode out to the Pioneer camp. William Kimball (Heber's son) drove the Kimball's carriage containing Brigham Young, Newel K. Whitney (going for the ride), Willard Richards, and Heber C. Kimball.

Mary Richards went to see Parley P. Pratt, hoping that he might have a letter for her from her husband. She was disappointed that he did not have one, but Elder Pratt told her that Samuel was doing well on his mission in England. Eliza R. Snow was quite sick in bed. Sister Swan brought her "a fine mess of wild onions." Sister Snow wrote: "The weather . . . is now fine -- cattle have been brows'd for several days, in marshy places the grass affords them a fresh bite." William Clayton and the Quadrille Band crossed over the Missouri River on the ferry. They played in the boat as they crossed, but when they made a return trip, the wind was so strong that it made the crossing dangerous.

Pioneer Camp on Little Papillion Creek:
Wilford Woodruff mounted his horse in the morning and started to ride back to Winter Quarters to meet with the Twelve. The rest of the pioneers engaged in a little dancing to pass the time. When Elder Woodruff was within a half mile of the city, he met the rest of the Twelve heading toward the camp. He turned his horse around and returned to camp with them.

At 1:50 p.m., George A. Smith and Luke S. Johnson brought word that the Twelve were on the road and the pioneer company should be ready to move out of camp. Orson Pratt gave orders for the teams to be hitched up.

When the Twelve arrived at 3 p.m., the camp consisting of sixty-four wagons resumed their journey. John D. Lee, who was along for the ride, commented about the procession, "When the waggons were all on the road in a line they made a sublime appearance." There was one bad muddy spot that required some doubling of teams but most of the wagons made it through by being pulled by ropes by about 30 pioneers. Brother Lee parted with the pioneers in the afternoon. He now had second thoughts about not joining them. "I should like to have been in Co[mpany] with them, had wisdom ordered it so."

The pioneers continued to a spot fourteen miles west of Winter Quarters, near a beautiful spring, "in a little valley where there was no wood, but water, and a sprinkling of grass." Brigham Young and Willard Richards cut grass with their knives to provide feed for their horses. Heber C. Kimball lodged in Brigham Young's wagon. They had prepared the wagon such that they would both sleep in the wagon throughout the journey.

Heber C. Kimball recorded: "In the course of the evening Bishop Whitney and myself went some distance upon the prairie, where we bowed down before the Lord and both offered up our prayers to the Most High God in behalf of the pioneers and the Twelve, that they might be protected and upheld and sustained by the Almighty; that His angels might go before them to lead them to a land which the Lord should designate to be a resting place for His people, Israel; also in behalf of our families, our wives and children, and all Israel that are left behind."

Wilford Woodruff camped about three miles ahead. Erastus Snow also went further. He recorded: "Went up the divide near the Missouri waters a few miles, and bore off to the west and camped in the open prairie about ten miles from our first encampment." Others including Howard Egan and Charles Harper camped near this location on the prairie.

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
At about 6 p.m., John D. Lee arrived back to Summer Quarters with David Young and Rodney Swazey. Charles Kennedy and George Laub had moved their property to the camp. William Clayton and the Quadrille Band crossed over the river in the raft. They played in the boat as they crossed, but when they made a return trip, the wind was so strong that it made the crossing dangerous. Pueblo, Colorado: James Brown and Nelson Higgins returned from Santa Fe. They reported that there was no one there who had the power to discharge the Pueblo detachment, or give them any orders to leave until General Kearny returned from California. John Steele recorded that they "brought some barrels of whiskey from Taos that they paid $2.50 for and sold it at $8 per gallon and the boys are getting themselves drunk as fools." Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California: Some of the men went to put flour in the storehouse which had arrived the previous day on the ship "Barnstable." Robert S. Bliss wrote, "We are getting acquainted with the Spaniards here they are verry friendly & intiligent, many of them they live like gentlemen." The Indians were their servants and their sport was to ride on horseback with lassos. He added, "Figs are now full size on the trees & pears & peaches are as large as the end of my finger."


  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 547
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:147
  • "Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney," Improvement Era, 50:203
  • William Clayton's Journal, 73
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:634
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 146-47
  • Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 356
  • Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p.365
  • Jenson, Day By Day With the Utah Pioneers, 5
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 118
  • Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 164
  • John Steele Diary
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:91

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.