Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer Date Summary

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05/15/1847 - Crockett

Description: Crayon drawing by Kellee a 5th grader at Barnett Elementary.
Image courtesy of: Heritage Gateway Project Images, These images have been gathered to support the Sesquicentennial celebration of the immigration to Utah.

Location: Paxton, Nebraska - Location: 41:07:27N 101:21:21W Elevation: 3054 feet

Date: May 15, 1847

On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
The morning was cloudy and cold. Howard Egan wrote that it "feels like a morning in January." Levi Jackman added: "Overcoats, robes, blankets and mittens all in order today." The brethren who were sent back to get the killed buffalo did not arrive back into camp until 7:30 a.m. They had lost their way in the dark. At 8 a.m. the rain fell again but clear as the camp started out at 9 a.m.

After less than a mile, the pioneers began ascending some sandy bluffs. It started raining again, making it very hard to make progress. A zigzag road was made up over the bluffs. Many barefoot tracks were seen which were believed to belong to Indians trying to steal the pioneers' horses. William Clayton wrote: "It is plain that whole families are amongst their number as the foot prints and moccasins of children have several times been seen. They evidently make use of the buffalo dung for fuel, and for seats, they dig up sods and lay them in a circle around their fire which is in the center. We have passed a number of these little temporary camping spots this afternoon."

They descended back to the bottoms and soon decided to turn their teams out at 10:30 a.m. to feed because the rain was making traveling so difficult. Orson Pratt explained: "While our teams are grazing, about fourteen me usually encircle them on all sides, to prevent them from straying or being suddenly frightened away in case of any sudden incursion of Indians."

The weather cleared by noon and in a half hour the pioneers continued their westward journey. They halted at 2:45 to make their camp. The feed was good but the wood was scarce. The buffalo chips were not very usable because of the rain. The Revenue Cutter was sent out to bring back a load of wood. Hunters were also sent out and one killed a fat buffalo which was brought into camp.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Mary Richards recorded: "A fine day. In the AM was scouring and cleaning the tin ware chests Boxs &c &c gave the house a good cleaning. PM was ironing felt very heavy and dull. Sister Matson one of our neighbors came in and eat a while with us. In the evening I cut out some blocks of Calico for a bed quilt."

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
A large bell was hung up to be rung every night at 8 p.m. At that time a patrol would be sent out to disperse gatherings and prevent distrubances. In the evening, a Mexican child was buried. Azariah Smith wrote: The corpse was carried on a table, adorned in the most splendid manner which was carried by women, and an Indian with the coffin followed in the crowd, two fiddlers going in front of the Priest kept fiddling. Two men in the rear with rifles kept firing over their heads."


  • Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 39
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:177
  • Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:158
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 397
  • Levi Jackman Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.31
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 125
  • The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:17
  • Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 83
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.