06/30/1847 - Crockett
Date: June 30, 1847
On the road to Fort Bridger, Wyoming:
The pioneers traveled eight miles and arrived at the Green River about noon. The immediately went to work building a raft and preparing the banks for wharfs. Harriet Young wrote: "Camped on the bank under the shade of some trees, which was a treat I assure you, they being the only ones we had seen for some hundred miles." Orson Pratt described the river: "Green River is very high, there being in the channel from 12 to 15 feet of water; the width of the water is about 180 yards, with a very rapid current." [The crossing point was near present-day Lombard Buttes, near the Highway 28 bridge.]
At 2 p.m., Samuel Brannan, the leader of the Saints who sailed around Cape Horn in the Brooklyn to California, arrived. Wilford Woodruff wrote: "We were truly glad to meet with him that we might hear from him & the Saints who were with him. He gave us an account of their landing, their travels & the present settlement which was 200 miles up the river from the bay. They were putting in wheat & preparing for us. He had come all the way with only two men to meet with us." [One of the men Charles Smith "of the firm of Jackson Heaton & Bonney, bogus makers of Nauvoo." Historians have erroneously thought the other man to be Isaac Goodwin, but Addison Pratt's journal reveals the Brother Goodwin was at New Hope, California.]
Brother Brannan later wrote of his recent journey: "We crossed the Snowy Mountains of California, a distance of 40 miles . . . in one day and two hours, a thing that has never been done before in less than three days. We traveled on foot and drove our animals before us, the snow from twenty to one hundred feet deep. When we arrive through, not one of us could scarcely stand on our feet. The people from California told us we could not cross them under two months, there being more snow on the mountains than had ever been known before, but God knows best, and was kind enough to prepare the way before us."
Brother Brannan also told them that the Mormon Battalion was at Los Angeles and that Elder Addison Pratt had arrived from the Society Islands. He told them that a whole island of 3,000 inhabitants were baptized. He brought with him the sixteen issues of the California Star, a newspaper he published in California. Brother Brannan had traveled by way of Fort Hall [in present-day Idaho] and did not go through the Great Salt Lake Valley. He described his journey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he went through the camp ground of the Donner-Reed party. He had seen their skulls, bones, and carcasses strewed in every direction. He also met one of the survivors making his way to the settlements. Samuel Brannan tried his best to convince the brethren that California was the right place for the Saints to settle.
The rafts were completed before dark. They were rigged with oars and rudders. More members of the camp were sick with what they called Mountain Fever, including George Billings, and Edson Whipple. Howard Egan baptized Brother Billings for his health and he immediately improved. [They probably had Colorado tick fever.]
William Clayton wrote: "There is a slough a little down the river where some of the brethren have caught some very nice fish, but the mosquitoes are so very troublesome it is difficult abiding out of doors."
The Mormon Ferry, Nebraska:
Captain James Brown and the Mormon Battalion detachment left the ferry crossing and continued west. Privates Marcus N. Eastman and Jonathon Pugmire Jr. were permitted to stay behind at the ferry on furlough. The ferrymen crossed over seventy-three wagons during the day. Included in this number were twelve wagons belonging to the company that refused to accept the offer to ferry over their wagons for seventy-five cents. They went off and tried for two days, but could only get two wagons across. They returned and had to wait unto ninety other wagons were taken across and then they were taken across for one dollar per wagon.
On the Loup Fork, Nebraska:
As the second pioneer company traveled up Loup Fork they came upon deep ravines that were difficult to pass through. Parley P. Pratt decided that it was time to cross over the river. Eliza R. Snow wrote: "We are on an extensive prairie with little shrubbery & the Camp can be view'd at once which presents a very imposing sight -- had the pleasure of seeing a herd of antelopes running in every direction."
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Robert S. Bliss recorded his his journal that Company B was mustered for the last time in the service of the United States.
- Luke S. Johnson Journal, typescript, BYU, 14
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:221
- Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 561
- Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:163
- Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 90
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 436-37
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 214
- William Clayton's Journal, 279
- Millennial Star 9 (15 October 1947): 305
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 38
- Jesse W. Crosby Journal, typescript, BYU, 34
- Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 181
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:264
- The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:96
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, email@example.com.