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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06/09/1847 - Crockett

Date: June 9, 1997

On the Oregon Trail, Wyoming:
The feed was not good at the campsite, so the pioneers started early, at 5 a.m., and went one mile to a better location near the traders' camp. Some of the men traded with their company for robes, shirts, pants and other items. At 7 a.m., a company of 40 men and 15 wagons were chosen to travel ahead of the main camp to the river crossing at the Platte River. The traders mentioned that they had left a boat made from buffalo skins hanging in a tree at the river and the brethren were interested in obtaining that boat before the Missouri emigration companies did. This small company would also make preparations for the river crossing ahead by building a raft. They took "Revenue Cutter" with them. The company consisted of all of Robert Crow's Mississippi families, Aaron Farr, Jackson Redden, John Brown and others.

Letters were left with the traders to take back to the Missouri River. Thomas Bullock wrote a letter to his wife that included: "We are now about 300 miles from Fort Bridger, but where we go, we know not." He mentoned that he was "up before the sun every morning praying for you & long to clasp you feverently in my arms again." William Clayton put up another guide board that read: "To Fort John 60 miles."

Appleton Harmon described the morning journey. "After one and a half hours' refreshment, we started on traveling over a rough, broken country as before, changing our direction every few minutes to wind around some point or gutter, to pass some creek or confused mass of rocks which lay in fragments, or to avoid some steep that is too rugged for our times. . . . We came to a valley some two miles wide which was somewhat picturesque. Along each side there were high ranges of hills. The soil in the valley and on the sides of the hills is, a major part of it, a dark red, while here upon the sided of these hills and nearer the summit it is white."

Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball saw a curious creature to them. It was a large toad with horns on its head and a tail. Instead of hoping, it crawled like a mouse.

While the main camp was traveling during the morning, they were overtaken by a company of French mountaineers with fifteen pack horses and mules who had traveled from Santa Fe. They were heading to the Green River, Great Salt Lake, and San Francisco. They informed the brethren that the Mormon Battalion had arrived in California in January. They had seen Captain James Brown recently in Santa Fe obtaining pay for the sick detachments of the battalion. They believed these detachments would be moving on very soon. They mentioned that the Mormons at Pueblo were much dissatisfied and many of them talked about returning to the States to their families.

At the noon stopping point, the ground was covered with crickets which were so numerous, that it was impossible to walk without stepping on some. In the afternoon, the pioneers traveled eight miles and camped on A'la'parele (Le Prele) Creek. Some brethren rode ahead on horses and overtook the little lead pioneer group, who were not far behind the Missouri companies. Sterling Driggs killed an antelope and a deer. Some of the men viewed a river flowing under a mountain causing a natural bridge.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A meeting was held to appoint a time for the next company to start from Winter Quarters to head for the Elkhorn River. Because the mill dam had broken, further grinding would be delayed. Those who had already had their grain ground were asked to divide it with those who would not be able to have it done before they left. Hosea Stout wrote that this "made a great disappointment to many and caused a great stir."

Kirtland, Ohio
Elder Lyman O. Littlefield arrived at Kirtland after walking for many day. His feet were swollen and blistered. He stayed with this father-in-law, John Andrews, who were very kind.

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Robert S. Bliss started out with others for San Isabel, a fifty to sixty mile journey in the mountains to go buy horses and mules for the journey home. They rode over difficult mountains and after about forty miles camped for the night. During the day they had seen hundreds of horses and mules as they passed a ranch called Cahoe.


  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:199
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:56
  • Autobiography of John Brown, 76
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 422
  • Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 31
  • William Clayton's Journal, 225-28
  • Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences (1888), p.192
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:260
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 186-87
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:95

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.