Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer Date Summary

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05/07/1847 - Crockett

Location: Gothenburg, Nebraska - Location: 40:55:46N 100:09:37W Elevation: 2567 feet

Date: May 7, 1847

On the Platte River, Nebraska:
The pioneers did not start their journey until about 11 a.m. It was cold and uncomfortable because of a high wind. The animals were giving out and needed some extra time to feed. Also, an axle-tree needed to be replaced on a wagon. Erastus Snow was reproved severely by Brigham Young for not doing his duty the previous day driving the cows. President Young lost his spy glass in attempting to gather the cows back together. Brother Snow defended his actions but President Young was firm in his reprovement. Brother Snow wrote that this was his first rebuke during his fifteen years in the church and that he hoped that it would be his last." President Young also cautioned the men to no longer go out among the buffalo on foot. He again told the men to not kill anymore game until the meat was needed by the camp. More teams were raised to pull the cannon.

As the pioneer traveled, they saw "one continued string of buffalo." Wolves could be seen following the large herds to pick off any of the weak or old.' Thomas Bullock recorded, "About 1 the camp came in view of thousands & thousands of the Lord's cattle, yea the cattle on a thousand hills as the scriptures speak of -- surely the Fat Bulls of Bashan are here."

Appleton M. Harmon described: "On the opposite side of the river there is a tall range of bluffs, in appearance not more than two miles from the river. The bottom looks green from here and immense herds of buffalo are there. The river is between a mile and a mile and a half wide."

The company traveled about six miles and camped near an island. [The camp was near Willow Island, between present-day Cozad and Gothenburg, Nebraska.]

Porter Rockwell, Thomas Brown, and Joseph Matthews went back and found Brigham Young's prized spy glass. During the late afternoon, the entire camp was called out to be exercised in military tactics. Brigham Young and others rode on ahead to scout the trail ahead. [Since leaving Loup Fork, the pioneers had be creating their own road.] They spotted a skunk for the first time.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
The Omaha Indians again tried to drive off seven or eight oxen belonging to the Saints. About twenty men went after them and brought some back. Hosea Stout was having difficulty raising a nightly guard to protect the city. He wrote, "The spirits of the people is dull about their own protection and safety & seem unwilling to do anything to keep up the guard." At about 10 p.m., a report was received that Omahas were near the south end of the city. Brother Stout quickly asked the bishops to raise men to guard the south end of town.

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
News was received that the Saints in Winter Quarters were reduced to only eating one meal per day because of scarce provisions. Also, it was reported that George Miller and others were leaving to join Lyman Wight in Texas.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
An order was read from General Kearny appointing Colonel Stephenson, of the New York volunteers to command the post at Los Angeles. Colonel Cooke was relieved to return to the United States with General Kearny.


  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:1020
  • Charles Harper Diary, 21
  • Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:157
  • Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 18
  • Luke S. Johnson Journal, typescript, BYU 7
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 388
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:170-71
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 148-50
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:253-54
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 162
  • The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, 4:16
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