Date: July 7, 1847
On the road to Fort Bridger, Wyoming:
The pioneers restarted their journey at 7:45 and once again crossed Black's Fork after about two miles. The wind blew very strong which made the road dusty and unpleasant for traveling. They rested at noon on the banks of a swift stream.
In the afternoon they saw a number of Indian lodges on the south side of the road. They were occupied by trappers and hunters who had taken squaws as wives. Children were seen playing around the lodges. Many horses were seen grazing nearby. Soon they saw American traders as they approached Fort Bridger. After crossing four more streams, they arrived at the historic Fort Bridger.
Howard Egan described: "Bridger's Fort is composed of two log houses, about forty feet long each, and joined by a pen for horses, about ten feet high, and constructed by placing poles upright in the ground close together." Orson Pratt wrote: "Bridger's post consists of two adjoining log-houses, dirt roofs, and a small picket yard of logs set in the ground, and about 8 feet high. The roadometer indicated that Fort Bridger was 397 miles from Fort Laramie.
They made their camp about a half mile west of the fort. Some of the pioneers caught several trout in the brooks. Erastus Snow wrote: "It is about the first pleasant looking spot I have seen west of the pass. This is the country of the Snake Indians, some of whom were at the fort. They bear a good reputation among the mountaineers for honesty and integrity." William Clayton had a different view of their location. "The country all around looks bleak and cold."
The advance guard of the battalion found the horse thief at the fort who had helped to steal ten of their horses. They had previously recovered eight of the horses and asked about the remaining two. The thief said they were gone to Oregon.
Mormon Ferry, Wyoming:
Captain Magone's company of thirty-six wagons were crossed over the river for one dollar each. Captain Magone asked for the names of all the captains of the companies, and the number of wagons. He said he would publish this information in a history. There was a Catholic Bishop and seven priests in this company. Eight men from Oregon arrived with pack mules and horses heading east. They were ferried across and hired the men to do some blacksmithing.
On the Platte River, Nebraska:
The second pioneer company traveled fifteen miles and found another guide board left by Brigham Young's pioneers. It said that they had killed eleven buffalo. A wagon ran over one of Perrigrine Sessions's feet. His foot hurt so much that he could not drive his team. The companies passed by a large prairie dog village. [The first pioneer company passed by this location on May 1, 1847]. Jesse W. Crosby described these villages: "They are certainly a curiosity to the travelor; they live in cells, the entrance of which is guarded against the rain. Thousands of these little creatures dwell in composts, and as we pass great numbers of them set themselves up to look at us, they resemble a ground hog, or wood chuck, but smaller."
During the morning, the Joseph Noble fifty were ordered to leave the "beaten path" and break a new trail. Eliza R. Snow wrote: "It made hard riding for me, yet I felt like submitting to 'the pow'rs that be' & endure it altho' the 2 roads were unoccupied." Her company passed by the Charles C. Rich company who were repairing two wagons.
Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
Isaac Morley arrived from Winter Quarters and notified John D. Lee to come to Winter Quarters on July 10 to reorganize the Summer Quarters company.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
On this warm day, Mary Richards took her bed and bedding outside, scaled the beadstead and the log around her bed, and scrubbed the floor. This treatment was needed because she had been bothered by bed bugs.
Daniel Russell, a member of the High Council, went to see Hosea Stout to inform him that he had consulted with the High Council and it had been decided to disband the Winter Quarters police guard led by Brother Stout. The was shocking news, and Brother Stout questioned in his mind if it was true, since Daniel Russell had had recent run-ins with the guard.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 92-3
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 39-40
- Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, The 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Bartlett Sessions, 90
- Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 183
- Jesse W. Crosby Journal, typescript, BYU, 35
- Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 186
- Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:249
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:224
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 439-40
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 220
- William Clayton's Journal, 285
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:265
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 151