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

Previous | Next

05/31/1847 - Crockett

Date: May 31, 1847

On the North Platte River, Wyoming:
The morning was colder, thirty-eight degrees. Orson Pratt wrote: "A very gentle breeze from the north west, with a clear blue sky and a frosty carpet of grass, renders the morning serene and pleasant."

The cattle strayed so far that it took two hours to gather them. The pioneer company traveled into present-day Wyoming. Wilford Woodruff wrote: "There are many portions of this country very barren. We travel over several miles at a time of level prairie with little or no grass upon it. In this ground we find great quantities of the prickly pear & they are an excellent plant to eat, though covered with thorns like needles, which have to be carefully paired off with a knife & fork. They are quite delicious. Have a little tart but very pleasant."

They passed what used to look like a large grove of cottonwood trees. But the Sioux had wintered in it and cut down most of the trees. They found and joined a wagon trail that they believed headed to Fort Laramie. After nine and a half miles, they rested on a green flat.

In the afternoon, they camp traveled seven miles and camped on the bank of a Rawhide Creek, in two lines of wagons. The last four miles of traveling was through deep, soft, yellow sand. [Their camp was east of present-day Lingle, Wyoming.]

William Clayton recorded: "John S. Higbee has killed a deer and some of the brethren wounded two others. This deer which Brother Higbee killed is of the long tailed species, having a tail more than a half a yard long, and is the first one I ever saw of the kind. A while after we camped, President Young and Kimball went to the bluffs and again saw the Black Hills in the distance. They bowed before the Lord and offered up their prayers together." He summed up the month of May with: "The month of May has passed over and we have been permitted to proceed so far on our journey, being 531 1/4 miles from our families in Winter Quarters, with the camp generally enjoying good health and good spirits, and although some things have passed which have merited chastisement, we have the privilege at the closing of the month of seeing a better feeling, a more noble spirit, and a more general desire to do right than we have before witnessed. I feel to humble myself and give God thanks for his continued mercies to me and my brethren and may His spirit fill our hearts and may His angels administer comfort, health, peace and prosperity to all our families and all the Saints henceforth and forever. Amen."

John D. Lee continued his journey to Missouri. He traveled 25 miles and made camp at a point of timber that was called Point Convenience.

The Sick detachments of the Mormon Battalion crossed several rocky ridges north of Fountain Creek [near present-day Colorado Springs] and arrived at the headwaters of Cherry Creek.

Monterey, California:
General Stephen F. Kearney's detachment of the Mormon Battalion left Monterey.


  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:191-92
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:54
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 413
  • William Clayton's Journal, 204-05
  • Yurtinus, Ram in the Thicket, 319
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 171-72
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.