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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04/04/1847 - Crockett

Date: April 4, 1847

Elk Horn River, Nebraska:
The first two pioneers to leave Winter Quarters, Tarlton Lewis and Stephen H. Goddard, arrived on the east bank of the Elk Horn River. They began to build a raft that would be used to ferry the pioneer wagons across.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Hosea Stout wrote that the day was "Dark, Damp, Warm, Pleasant." In the morning, Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson preached at a Sabbath Service. Wilford Woodruff did not attend the meeting because he was busy with a baptismal service down by the river. He baptized three members of Brother Dewey's family and also confirmed them.

In the afternoon, Brigham Young, Lorenzo Young, and Amasa M. Lyman spoke to the Saints.

John Y. Greene arrived with mail from Nauvoo, Mount Pisgah, and other places in between. Thomas Bullock made a copy of John C. Fremont's topographical map of the road to Oregon which would be of valuable uses to the pioneer company. Lyman Stoddard was given a letter of recommendation and certificate of authority to enable him to preach on Pottawatomie Indian lands. The bishops were asked to work with the presidencies of the emigration companies to help supervise the stockading of the city. Brigham Young proposed that eight to ten men go and raise a crop for the Omahas to keep them away from the Winter Quarter's crops in the fall.

Mary Richards returned to Winter Quarters after a six week visit with families in Iowa. She found her mother-in-law Weathy Richards quite sick and feeble. Joseph Stratton met Mary and mentioned that he had brought her some letters from St. Louis. One was a letter that her husband, Samuel W. Richards had written to her parents in St. Louis, which had been forwarded to her. Mary wrote: "I was glad to have one line more from my dear Absent Husband for near six months had past since I had a line from him." [Samuel W. Richards was currently serving a mission in England.]

The Twelve wrote a long letter to Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the Prophet. It began, "Beloved mother in Israel, Our thoughts, our feelings, our desires and our prayers to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, are often drawn out in your behalf, and we can truly say, unceasingly; for we can never forget our beloved brother Joseph." They were not sure where Mother Smith was, but they wanted to be sure to tell her about the pioneer plans. "We are speedily to depart from this place, with other pioneers, and go westward over the mountains, as we shall be led by the spirit of the lord, to find a location for a stake of Zion, we felt that we could not take our leave without addressing a line to mother Smith, to let her know that her children in the Gospel have not forgotten her. . . . If our dear Mother Smith should at any time wish to come where the Saints are located, and she will make it manifest to us, there is no sacrifice we will count too great to bring her forward, and we ever have been, now are and shall continue to be, ready to divide with her the last loaf."

A letter was also written to Nathaniel H. Felt, the leader over the Church in St. Louis. The Twelve advised some of the brethren there to emigrate to the west during the spring. They were cautioned to leave dancing alone, that it would be a snare and a trap used by Satan to carry way souls. Dr. Darwin Richardson was invited to leave for the west immediately, and to bring with him his medicines. Brother Felt was encouraged to keep the Church free from sin and to disfellowship those who were disorderly.

Hosea Stout wrote: "Had quite a rain in the night which is the first since I have been in my house, which is not far short of five months.

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
John D. Lee escorted Isaac Morley and Edwin Woolley to examine the location chosen for the Brigham Young family farm. "Father" Morley approved of the location chosen and spoke to the family members assembled there. He appointed John D. Lee to preside over the farm in his absence and asked that they settle together in a block and fortify it against possible Indian aggression. He mentioned the Brigham Young would likely visit the site before he left with the pioneers. John D. Lee was authorized to survey the location, divide and assign lots to the brethren. John D. Lee, A.D. Young and Miles Anderson measured the land consisting of 140 acres. During the night a heavy rain storm blew in, dumping rain on the campers all night.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
In the afternoon, Captain Jefferson Hunt led a dress parade of the battalion companies. About twenty ladies from Los Angeles were present. They later visited with Captain Davis' wife and the other battalion ladies. Henry Standage observed that these Los Angeles ladies were the most richly dressed of any thing he had yet seen.

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Robert Bliss, while thinking about his family who he left at the Missouri River, wrote: "I think my Family with the first Camp is on their way by this time for California. I pray the Eternal Father to Bless them & give them a safe & pleasant Journey." Thomas Dunn had similar feelings: "The hours seem to pass slowly the nearer the time of our discharge appears. My mind is almost constantly reflecting on my wife and little one who are anxiously looking for my return to their embrace."

A meeting was held at which Sergeant William Hyde preached to the men from the scriptures. Many of the non-Mormon citizens, officers, and sailors of the ships attended.


  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 545-46
  • Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 350-52
  • James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 1:319-21
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:145
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 142-43
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:246
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:90
  • Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler, 5:59
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 216
  • Private Journal of Thomas Dunn, typescript, 23
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 115-16