Pioneer Date Summary
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06/12/1847 - Crockett
Date: June 12, 1847
On the Oregon Trail, Wyoming:
At 8 a.m., the pioneers continued their journey along the North
Platte River. Wilford Woodruff recorded how he was bit by a horse: "I
started in the morning to go forward in company with Br. Albert
P. Rockwood who was riding President Young's stud when suddenly
he sprung upon my horse but instead of striking my horse, he
took my knee into his Jaw & bruised me considerable. Sunk one
took to the bone through three thicknesses of clothing & one
of them buck skin.
After crossing over two creek, they halted for the mid-day rest
at noon. One of the creeks was crossed over on a bridge the the
advance group of pioneers had previously built.
News came from the advance group at the ferry crossing four
miles ahead that they were busy helping two small bands of emigrants
ferry over the river. Brother Alexander Chesley had traveled
back and reported that they were receiving thirty-four dollars
for the service. The goods were loaded in the "Revenue Cutter" and
the wagons were pulled over by a rope fastened to the end of
the wagon tongue. Frequently the wagons would roll over because
of the fierce current. The river crossing was about 100 yards
across, and fifteen feet deep. Some of the horses almost drowned
as they were swimming across. The payment for the crossing service
was made in desperately needed flour. "It looked as much of a
miracle to me," wrote Wilford Woodruff, "to see our flour and
meal bags replenished in the Black Hills as it did to have the
children of Israel fed with manna in the wilderness. But the
Lord has been truly with us on our journey and wonderfully blessed
and preserved us."
Rodney Badger traded a wagon for a horse, one hundred pounds
of flour, twenty-eight pounds of bacon, and some crackers. William
Clayton remarked: "The Missourian company seem to feel well toward
us and express their joy at having got across the river so soon." They
made quite a feast for the brethren to thank them.
Stephen Markham learned from Judge Bowman, the leader of one
of the Missouri companies, that his son, William Bowman had been
murdered for aiding in the escape of Joseph and Hyrum Smith from
Liberty Jail, Missouri, in 1839. The mob had been led by Obediah
Jennings. [Jennings was said to be one of the murderers who also
participated in the Haun's Mill Massacre.] The Missouri mob had
rode William Bowman on a bar of iron until he died. [Hyrum Smith
told the tale that while Joseph and Hyrum were being transported
from Davies County to Boone County, in a change of venue, Sheriff
William Morgan and the guard, William Bowman let them escape.
The Sheriff purposely drank freely from a jug of whiskey and
three other guards did too. "They also went to bed, and were
soon asleep and the other guard went along with us, and helped
to saddle the horses. Two of us mounted the horses, and the other
three started on foot, and we took our change of venue for the
State of Illinois; and in the course of nine or ten days arrived
safely at Quincy, Adams county, where we found our families in
a state of poverty, although in good health." The story told
in the History of Davies County states: "The sheriff reported
that the prisoners had all escaped in the night, taking the horses
with them, and that a search made for them proved unavailing.
The people of Gallatin were greatly exercised, and they disgraced
themselves by very ruffianly conduct. They rode the sheriff on
a rail, and Bowman was dragged over the square by the hair of
his head." Judge Bowman told Brother Markham that Sheriff Morgan
was in Oregon.]
The main pioneer company debated for a half hour whether or
not they should cross the river at this point or travel four
miles more to join the advance group. They had been able to ford
the river on horses, but they decided to travel on.
After four miles, they made a half circle with the wagons on
the bank of the river, one half mile east of the ferry location.
[Their camp was located in present-day Casper, Wyoming.] The
hunter killed three buffalo, a black bear, some cubs, and several
antelope. Seeley Owen killed a mountain goat and said that there
were plenty in the mountains. Wilford Woodruff visited the camp
of some of the traders and saw a bear foot that measured seven
and a half inches long.
Tunis Rappleyee and Artemas Johnson were reported missing. Brother
Rappleyee returned at 11 p.m. He had foolishly tried to hike
up to the mountains to get some snow, but the mountains were
much further than he thought. Brother Johnson was found by some
of the men. He had become lost while hunting. A company of horseman
with the bugler were sent out to search for them. Guns were fired
and a large bonfire built to help them find the camp. Erastus
Snow recorded the two men's reaction after they finally returned
to camp: "Their extreme mortification at being the cause of so
much trouble and anxiety in camp served greatly to heighten the
merited chastisement which they received from the president.
They reported the mountains to be full of bear, elk antelope
and sheep, and snow from six to ten feet deep in places." Thomas
Bullock said that Tunis Rappleyee said he would not go on another
such journey after a snow ball for one hundred dollars."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Eliza R. Snow started her journey to the mountain west. She wrote
in her journal: "Bade farewell to many who seem dearer to me than
life & seated in the carriage with [Margarent Pierce] & [Edith
Evaline Pierce] I took my departure from Winter Quarters." It soon
started raining and shortly after that one of the wagons in her
company broke their wagon tongue and had to be repaired. They traveled
seven miles toward the Elkhorn River and camped with a company
of fourteen wagons. Sister Snow continued: "I felt a loneliness
for a while after parting with my friends but the spirit of consolation & rejoicing
return'd & I journey'd with good cheer." Later, Sister Snow recalled: "Previous
to starting for an indefinite point -- probably one thousand miles
into the interior, and far from all supplies, the idea of an outfit
was a very important consideration. Some of our brethren had purchased
and brought from St. Louis a few articles of Merchandise, which
supplied our local store with some of the necessaries and comforts
for journeying. I was to start immediately, and what about my outfit?
Its extent must be determined by the amount of means. On examining
my purse, I found it contained one dime -- I was nearly minus ink
-- I could not go without that article: one dime was just the price
of a bottle, and I made the purchase."
Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
Because the Winter Quarters mill was no longer functioning, John D. Lee resorted
using a mortar with a spring pole to beat corn into meal. There was some trouble
in the settlement as the stock were destroying crops.
Elder Lyman O. Littlefield, on the way to England on a mission met up with his
companion, Brother Fox. Elder Littlefield wrote of Kirtland at that time: "We
found there several members of the Church -- some of them firm in the faith,
some rather lukewarm. There were plenty of apostates, the leader of whom was
William E. M'Lellin, once one of the Twelve Apostles."
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
John Spidle was thrown from his horse and was badly injured.
Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 33
History of the Church, Vol.3, p.321
Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 72-3
Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 424
Watson, ed., The Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 558-59
Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:166
Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:201-02
Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 191
Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 175
William Clayton's Journal, 233-36
Journal of Albert P. Rockwood, typescript, BYU, 54
Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 177
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.335
Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences (1888), p.192
Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion,
- Source: 150
Years Ago Today
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