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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04/05/1847 - Crockett

Date: April 5, 1847

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
The weather was cloudy, with occasional thunder showers on this historic day. Heber C. Kimball officially started the pioneer journey. He left Winter Quarters with six teams, traveled four miles to the west and made an encampment for the night near the hay stacks. [A marker is located at the intersection of Old 36 and 72nd street near the North Omaha Airport.] Elder Kimball wrote about this historic day: "On the 5th day of April, 1847, I started with six of my teams and went out about four miles, where I formed an encampment with several others of my division. The same day I returned home."

Wilford Woodruff intended to start the journey but delayed his start because of heavy rain during the morning. Horace K. Whitney loaded his wagon during the afternoon after the skies cleared.

A letter was received from Almon W. Babbitt, one of the Nauvoo Trustees. He stated that he had visited many cities in the east and that $100,000 was the largest offer that he had received for the temple and Church property. In addition, forty law suits had been issued against the Church for debts claimed during the Kirtland period.

In the evening, Mary Richards went to visit her uncle Willard Richards' family. In the office she was read the letter written to Lucy Mack Smith. Elder Richards asked Mary about her visit with the Burtons on the Nishnabotna River. Then he then spoke of the Richards family and told Mary, "You have been a good girl. You have not come a whining around because your husband is gone but you have endured his absence patiently and you shall be blessed for it. I know your desires are to do right, and to do whatsoever is right in the sight of God." Elder Richards said that he was going to talk to Brigham Young about sending her husband, Samuel W. Richards, home from his mission in England. Mary made it clear that she wanted him to come home when his mission was through, not because she missed him so much. "I want to see him so bad I scarcely know how to wait til the time comes, but I trust the Lord will give me strength and patience to endure all things through which I may be called to pass." Later in the evening, after talking with President Young, Willard Richards told Mary that Samuel would be given permission to return home in the fall.

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
John D. Lee and others cut down trees for their cattle to browse on. They also built a bridge over a small stream to help them haul timber back to the farm site.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Colonel Mason arrived at the mouth of the San Pedro river in a ship and a letter was brought to Captain Jefferson Hunt from Monterey. This letter probably spoke of two cannons that would soon be arriving. They had been taken from Fremont's rebellious volunteers.

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Henry W. Bigler wrote: "Spent the day mending my ragged clothes, made a pair of trousers out of old sail duck or sail cloth."


  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 546
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 144
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:145
  • "Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney," Improvement Era, 50:203
  • Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers Along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 54
  • Jenson, Day By Day With the Utah Pioneers, 1
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 117
  • Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p.363
  • Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler, Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:59
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 216
  • Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848, 147