04/18/1847 - CrockettLocation: Fremont, Nebraska - Location: 41:26:00N 96:29:52W Elevation: 1195 feet
Date: April 18, 1847
On the Platte River, Nebraska:
The morning was "snowy, blustering, and cold." Ellis Eames left the pioneer company to return back to Winter Quarters. He traveled with the traders who had camped nearby, and took letters back for some of the pioneers. The rest of the camp rested on this Sabbath day. Horace K. Whitney wrote, "Today being set apart by the Lord for his people to rest, we do not intend to travel."
At 10 a.m., seven more trader's wagons arrived from the west, loaded with buffalo robes and furs, heading toward Council Bluffs. They shared with the pioneers some buffalo meat. The weather cleared in the afternoon.
At 4:30 p.m., James case was chopping down a cottonwood tree when the wind blew it the wrong way. One of the limbs struck an ox on the neck, knocked it down, and poked an eye but it seemed to recover alright.
At 5:00 p.m., the officers gathered to meet with Brigham Young to officially write the rules for governing the camp. "At 8:30 p.m. the bugle would sound and all should retire to their wagons and bow before the Lord and offer up their supplications before going to bed, and all fires should be put out; also the bugle would sound at 5 a.m., when all would arise and offer up their thanks to the Lord, and at 7 o'clock be ready to start. All the spare hands were to walk by the off side of their wagons with their rifles loaded."
Wilford Woodruff wrote about the Platte River: "It is the most singular river I ever beheld. It is from a quarter to a mile wide & its shores & bed one universal body of quick sand. It is a rapid stream yet many places a person can wade across it. Frequently nearly the whole bed of the river is covered with but few inches of water & at other places it is deep & Rapid. Notwithstanding it is quick sand. Horses & cattle can walk down to the edge of the river & drink like walking on the edge of a smooth sea beach & some times while walking on the apparent hard beach or bed of the river a man or hose will suddenly sink into the quick sand & the more he struggles to get out the more he will sink & will soon perish if assistance is not near. Many horses & men have been lost in this way on the Platte."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A Sabbath meeting was held in the morning. John Taylor gave a history of his journey and mission to England. He told that Saints how the Saints in England were be drained of their money by the Joint Stock Company under the pretense that it would help them emigrate to America. But Reuben Hedlock had taken the money for his own use. He reported that this association had been dissolved.
Hosea Stout attended a meeting at the Council House. He heard a letter read from the Twelve, written on April 16. The High Council then discussed problems with the Omaha Indians driving off the Saints cattle.
Hosea Stout recorded: "They will lay around in the grass and groves untill an oppertunity offers and then sally forth and drive all the cattle in their power, even some times they will rush in among the herds, when there is no men present and attempt to drive them off before our eyes or they will appear on horse back and run all the cattle that stray off, away. The amount of cattle killed by them the past winter & spring is incredible."
In the Evening, Mary Richards took a walk with Lyman O. Littlefield who was about to leave on his mission to England. Sister Richards wrote, "Spent the evening very plesently. I tried to appear as happy as possable so the he might carry the news to my Samuel, thinking perhaps it might add to his comfort to know that I was well and appearing happy." [Her husband, Samuel W. Richards was away in England on a mission.]
Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
A cattle drive passed by on the way to Winter Quarters from the northern herding grounds. John D. Lee found a few of his cattle in the herd. In the afternoon, he started for Winter Quarters with four yoke of oxen to obtain provisions and to move some of the families in his care up to Summer Quarters. Moses M. Sanders and G. Lemons went with him. They arrived at Winter Quarters after dark but could find very few provisions. A young man from the other side of the river informed them that a load had just come in from Missouri.
Between Tahiti And Hawaii:
Elder Addison Pratt, in a ship that crossed the equator a few days earlier, viewed for the first time since 1843, the North Star. He was anxious to return home from his long mission and wrote: "This reminds me that I am draing near my native latitude."
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.
- Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 540
- Luke S. Johnson, Pioneers Journal of 1847, typescript, BYU, 2
- William Clayton's Journal, 79-81
- "Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney," Improvement Era, 50:203
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:151
- Howard Egan's Diary, Pioneering the West, 25-6
- Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 151-52
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:250
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 119
- The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:15
- Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 218
- Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 82
- Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 326