07/25/1847 - Crockett
Date: July 25, 1847
Salt Lake Valley, Utah:
Wilford Woodruff wrote: "This is the first Sunday that the Latter Day Saints ever spent in the Great Salt Lake Valley. We washed, shaved & cleaned up & met in the circle of the encampment." The Bishops opened the meeting with singing and prayer. Then George A. Smith preached the first sermon standing on a cannon. He proclaimed that the House of the Lord was being established on the tops of the Mountains. He was followed by Heber C. Kimball and Ezra T. Benson. They all expressed positive feelings about the valley. Heber C. Kimball made mention of wonderful blessings that they had received during their historic journey. "Not a man, woman, or child has died on the journey, not even a horse, mule, ox, cow or chicken has died during the whole journey." The brethren were encouraged to stay faithful and obey the counsel of their leaders.
At 1 p.m., Heber C. Kimball held a special meeting with those brethren who were part of his family by adoptive sealing. He mentioned that those who planned to spend the winter in the valley might need to return to the Sweetwater to hunt buffalo for winter meat. He also said: "We shall go tomorrow if Brigham is well enough, in search of a better location--if indeed, such can be found--if not, we shall remain here. There should be an enclosure made for the purpose of keeping the horses and cattle in nights for there are plenty of Indians in the vicinity. I should advise you to keep the Sabbath day holy whether others do or not. . . . " If you wish to go hunting or to see the country, seek a week day for that purpose. Do not let us get giddy and light-minded, as the Nephites did of old, but strive to work righteousness in the beginning."
He asked Robert Baird and Hans Hansen to make garments of buckskins. Thomas Cloward was asked to make shoes, Philo Johnson to make hats. "If you wish to go hunting, fishing, or to see the country, select a week day and not the Lord's day for that purpose. Do not let us get giddy and light minded as the Nephites did of old, but strive to work righteousness in the beginning, inasmuch as we have reached the promised land. . . . I am not going to take anything back with me to Winter Quarters except what is actually necessary,--even some of my clothes I shall leave behind. I shall leave Bishop [Edson] Whipple with you. He is quite a steady and economical man, and as such I recommend him to you."
Elder Kimball offered a prayer. Charles Harper recorded: "[It] appeared as though the spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon him, asking Heavenly Father to pour his blessings upon us and our families and that we might be guided by his spirit and be preserved from all evil."
At 2 p.m., the whole camp was again assembled for another meeting. The sacrament was blessed and passed. They were addressed by Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Lorenzo Young, John Pack, and others. Elder Richards said that in order to go and proclaim the gospel to the Lamanites, it would be necessary for the elder to enjoy the gifts of speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and the discerning of spirits. They would obtain those gifts by following the counsel of their leaders.
Brigham Young, still feeble, was able to share a few thoughts. "Those that do not like our look and customs are at liberty to go where they please, but if they remain with us, they must obey the laws sanctioned by us. There must be no work done on the Sabbath." He warned them that they would lose five times as much as they would gain by trying to work on the holy day. "As soon as we select a place of permanent location, we shall take the compass and chain and lay out a city and every man shall have his inheritance therein. We shall also lay out ground for cultivation and every man shall have his inheritance and cultivate it as he pleases, only he must be industrious. We do not intend to buy any land or sell any." He spoke out against dishonesty. If any of the pioneers had found articles of any kind on the road, they must make it known so that they may be returned to the rightful owners. He said that a dishonest man was a curse to the Saints. He anyone tried to keep something that wasn't his, "it would prove a curse to him, and would be a stain on him and his posterity that never would be wiped out in time and throughout eternity, and the stain never would be wiped out until it was burned out in hell." He announced that they would have a meeting every Sabbath.
The brethren discussed sending back some wagons to help lighten the loads of the second pioneer company. It was reported that there was much timber in the canyons above the valley, especially in the mountain to the northeast. They decided to delay the start of a northern expedition to Bear River and Cache Valleys because Brigham Young was still ill. A company would be sent to the south to explore Utah Lake.
Echo Canyon, Utah:
The detachments of the Mormon Battalion and Mississippi Saints probably reached Echo Canyon. Abner Blackburn wrote: "Crossed to Echo Canion, that celebrated place where every noise makes an echo. The boys made all the noise they could going through. It was truely wonderful.
The Kearney detachment traveled seventeen miles down the Sweetwater and camped for breakfast. They saw many buffalo and antelope.
Mormon Ferry, Wyoming:
The men at the ferry were becoming quite anxious for the second pioneer company to arrive. Little did they know that the company was still far away, about 260 miles down the trail. William Empey wrote: "This day passed of very lonesome as we can get no news of or from the long expected co[mpany] of our brethren & the matter for journalism is rather scarce of this day unless I should record the expressions of anxiety now & then dropped from the brethren of the long looked for appearance of our comp[any] from Winter Quarters."
On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
In the morning, the second company of pioneers were excited about the arrival of those brethren sent back by the pioneers: Phinehas Young, ferrymen Edmond Ellsworth, battalion member Jonathan Pugmire, and six others. [They probably included Aaron Farr, George Woodward, Francis M. Pomeroy, Benjamin Stewart, and battalion members William Walker and John Cazier.] They held a meeting and read letters from Brigham Young and Willard Richards. William Scearce wrote that it "much rejoiced our hearts to see them and to hear from the brethren ahead." Eliza R. Snow wrote: "It was truly like clusters of grapes by the wayside."
Jonathan Pugmire and another man were returning to Winter Quarters, so many of the pioneers wrote letters for him to take back with them. Phinehas Young was thinking of returning but soon changed his mind.
Elders Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor wrote a letter to Orson Hyde, back at Winter Quarters: "We were agreeably surprised this morning with the arrival of Elder P[hinehas] Young and four others of the Pioneers. We were glad to hear that those of the Mormon Battalion left at Pueblo were enroute to join the Pioneers. We have travelled as expeditiously as could be expected of so large a company, indeed almost as fast as the Pioneers. We have had the pleasure of receiving several letters from different post offices which they have established on their route, giving us the particulars of their journey, the news of course in the wilderness was highly interesting. We have had only two deaths since we left, and those, children; several children have been run over by wagons, but no serious injury sustained. We have been greatly blessed as a camp and people, and bless the God of Israel for this preserving care. Elder Grant's't company had the misfortune to lose thirty-six head of cattle, besides several milch cows. All the companies assisted in searching for them, and as that was unavailing, they supplied them with thirty yoke of cattle and all proceeded on our journey."
Parley P. Pratt recommended to the companies that they start traveling in fifties. Some of the companies started to move out in the evening.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Benjamin Clapp, Isaac Morley, and Brother Major spoke at a public Sabbath meeting. They instructed the Saints to be faithful and to fulfill their covenants. They were told to stop taking the name of the Lord in vain.
Orson Hyde proposed to the High Council that the people of Garden Grove, Iowa, should have to enter into a special covenant before they would be allowed back into the church. He wanted them to swear that they had not stolen from anyone since they had left the Mississippi River and that they would inform the leaders about anyone they knew who had stolen good. The proposal was totally vetoed by the High Council. In the evening a trial was held between a Brother Young and Daniel H. Wells. Brother Young claimed that Brother Wells had brought in a span of mules from Nauvoo that belonged to him.
North of Los Angeles, California:
Levi Hancock passed over the Mountain Ridge. [Tejon Pass in the Tehachapi Mountains] He wrote: "We had got to the top of what is seen we had not got half up and we had to go winding our course around on the tops untill we had gained the sumit then turned to the left and went down into another canion. While on the top the sea breeses blew cool & good we followed down an easterly course and come to the ranch of the Arcaldies." They found there two companies of men who had previously arrived. [This ranch was located on the Santa Clara River near the present-day junction of I-5 and State Highway 126.]
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.
- William Clayton's Journal, 315-18
- Norton Jacob Journal, typescript, 110
- Charles Harper Journal, 31
- Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 108
- Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 565
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:235-36
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 238
- Journal of William Empey, Annals of Wyoming, 21:143
- Issac C. Haight Journal, typescript, 45
- William Scearce Journal, typescript, 2
- Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, The 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Bartlett Sessions, 93
- Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 186
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:267
- Ward, Winter Quarters, 152-53
- Bagley, ed., Frontiersman, 61-2
- The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:21
- Hoshide & Bagley, eds., The 1847 Donner Camp Diary of Levi Hancock
- Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 95