Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer Date Summary

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04/01/1847 - Crockett

Date: April 1, 1847

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
The weather was clear and warm. The wind kicked up later in the day. During the morning, Wilford Woodruff sat and had a portrait taken which was to be put into a work with other portraits of the Twelve. Hosea Stout went digging for "Hartachokes." [This was the Jerusalem artichoke, a large sunflower. The roots were good in combating the malnutrition problems in Winter Quarters. Many people continued to suffer from scurvy.]

In the afternoon, the Twelve met with Joseph A. Stratton, who recently arrived from St. Louis, where more than two thousand Saints were spending the winter. The minutes of the St. Louis Conference were read. Brother Stratton read all the names of the St. Louis Branch.

Brigham Young officially turned the Winter Quarters flouring mill over to John Neff, who recently purchased it for $2,600.

In the evening, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards read newspapers and met with brethren who came to visit. They were particularly interested in newspaper articles about the war with Mexico. A special council meeting was held at the home of city marshal, Horace S. Eldredge. Rodney Badger confessed that he had stolen a horse from Missouri. The council decided the he should take two men with him, return the horse, and pay all the expenses and damage. [Rodney Badger was later in the original pioneer company. He later served as sheriff in Salt Lake County. In 1853, he drowned while trying to rescue a family whose wagon capsized in the Weber River.]

A letter of recommendation was composed to the Nauvoo Trustees for W.W. Phelps. Brother Phelps was about to travel to the east to procure a printing press for Winter Quarters. Included in the letter was recent news. "The Council, with as many as can fit themselves out, will start as pioneers in a few days, to find a location west of the mountains, leaving their families here till they have prepared a place, then come and take them forward. Brethren who have small families, and means to take with them from 300 to 500 lbs., of bread stuff per soul, will follow our trail, when grass will warrant; others will tarry here, raise grain, and prepare for another spring's march; and no doubt many will gather in this place this season and be preparing for their departure for the wilderness. . . . Any company of seventy-five men, with or without families, can leave this place for the west as late as the first of July, if they have good teams and eighteen month's provisions."

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
During the morning, John D. Lee laid the foundation for two houses. Afterwards, he started heading back to Winter Quarters (About thirteen miles to the south.) He arrived at 4 p.m. Brother Lee gave Charles Shumway a span of mules, a wagon, and grain to help them prepare for the pioneer journey.

Between Nishnabotna River and Keg Creek, Iowa:
Mary Richards continued her journey to return to Winter Quarters with the Duel family. They arrived at a large settlement of Saints about four miles east of Keg Creek and camped with Brother Allen. Mary Richards wrote in her journal, "After supper I took a short walk from the waggon, and kneeled down under a tree and offered up a prayer."

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
The battalion drilled as usual. News arrived from San Luis Rey mission that Private David Smith died there on March 23, 1847. He was part of the small detachment of sick and others left behind to guard the mission. The men blamed the death on medicine administered by Doctor Sanderson before he left the mission. Private Smith's illness became worse. Two days before his death he was speechless. Daniel Tyler commented, "He died as he had lived, true to his God, his country and his religion."

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
It rained and was quite cool. This was refreshing to the men and the first rain seen for many weeks. Azariah Smith wrote, "I feel very lonesum and want to see home but comfort myself thinking that it is only a little more than three months more till our discharge." A "Young Men's Club" was organized for lecturing, debating, and reciting poetry. An express came in from Monterey, covering 1,000 miles in just ten days. The express delivered government papers.


  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 544
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:145
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 140-41
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:245
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 115
  • Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 349-50
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 216
  • Private Journal of Thomas Dunn, typescript, 23
  • Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 82
  • Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848, 135
  • Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 274
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:90
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.