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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05/27/1847 - Crockett

Location: Scottsbluff - 541 miles left, Nebraska - Location: 41:52:00N 103:40:00W Elevation: 3880 feet

Date: May 27, 1847

On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
It was a delightful spring morning. Stephen Markham's troublesome Indian pony strayed away. He soon secured it after much difficulty. The pioneers broke camp at 7:45. They traveled eight miles and then rested the cattle at some good grass. Orson Pratt observed: "To-day the bottoms near the river have looked refreshingly green, affording a luxuriant herbage for our animals. As you recede from the river, the bottoms assume a more sterile aspect -- they produce but little grass or vegetation, with the exception of the prickly pear, which here flourishes in great abundance."

In the afternoon, Wilford Woodruff took over the duty from Heber C. Kimball of choosing the road for the pioneer company. He said, "I piloted the road in the afternoon as strait as any road that had been made on the whole route. . . . It should be understood that we re piloting a road for the House of Israel to travel in for many years to come. Therefore it requires the greater care." Heber C. Kimball rode with William Clayton in Luke Johnson's wagon while Brother Clayton read to Elder Kimball the journal entries he had written for Elder Kimball.

They camped near the river opposite Scotts Bluff. [Scotts Bluff was named for an American Fur Company clerk named Hiram Scott, who died there in 1828.] Erastus Snow described: "One object standing alone which seems to attract particular attention is a tower of about one hundred and fifty feet high in three distinct sections, having the appearance of very hard clay with a petrified dome. Its appearance is so artificial at first that the mind is scarcely willing to believe that the rude hand of nature so formed it. The tops and sides of this cragged and imposing tower are sparsely mottled with small shrubbery, but whether pine or cedar I was unable to distinguish."

The hunters brought in five antelope. A thunderstorm rolled through but only a little rain fell in camp. Erastus Snow concluded the day by writing: "While I write I hear the sound of music and dancing on the other side of the circle. This is a very common recreation in camp, though we have to dispense with the ladies, a very great desideratum."


  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:185
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:1102
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 409
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 169
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.