05/25/1847 - Crockett
Date: May 25, 1847
On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
The pioneers fed the Sioux Indians breakfast in the morning. They stayed in camp and traded until the pioneer camp was ready to leave. Chief "Wash te ha" asked for a letter of recommendation which Thomas Bullock wrote for him. "This is to Certify that Wash te h of the Dacotah tribe of Indians, with Wash te cha the principal Chief, and thirty three other men, women and children, visited our Camp, on the 24th and 25th May 1847, behaved themselves civilly and peaceably; we gave them bread. They were very friendly to us, and the best behaved Indians we have yet seen." Stephen Markham traded a mule for a pony. The Indians bid good-bye and then crossed back over the river. Levi Jackman commented: "They were fine looking and good behaved and a happy company. They were dressed neat and clean and truly gentlemen and ladies."
William Clayton recorded: "One mile from where we started, we began to ascend a low range of bluffs to avoid a large, high sandy ridge which projects to the river. We traveled three quarters of a mile and descended again to the level prairie." At 9:40 they halted to let the cattle feed for awhile. Brother Clayton continued: "The sun is very hot, the roads sandy and hard teaming. The river is probably three quarters of a mile wide here and on this side there are many small islands."
They then continued on until the noon rest at 11:30 a.m. The road was soft and wet from the recent rains. No buffalo were seen in this region and the other game was becoming sparse. One of the hunters did shoot an antelope which was distributed throughout the camp.
At 6 p.m., they camped three miles east of Chimney Rock, about a half mile from the river. The campground was low and wet, making it "very disagreeable." The mosquitoes were bothersome. They had decided to camp at a wetter spot because the feed was better for the animals. Howard Egan wrote: "The evening was very pleasant and the brethren were in good spirit." They spent the evening hours dancing.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Wilford Woodruff's wife, Mary Ann Jackson Woodruff gave birth to her first child. She named him James Jackson Woodruff.
Some Omaha Indians approached the city and were stopped six miles to the south by Hosea Stout and others. The Indians wanted to enter Winter Quarters to deliver some horses which had been stolen and receive the reward payment for them. They were told that they could not enter the city because of orders issued by Parley P. Pratt. The Indians were chagrined and argued for the right to enter the city. After some debate, and promises to live in peace with the Saints, the brethren agreed to let Young Elk and two of his chiefs to take the horses in and receive the pay. They insited on going with six instead of three. They brought in six horses.
After they entered the city, Hosea Stout went to see Parley P. Pratt and reported to him what has transpired. Elder Pratt refused to see the Omahas and told Brother Stout to inform them that "Our chiefs were mad & did not want to see them, nor have any thing to do with them." He said the local leaders could deal with them. Brother Stout next went to see John Taylor. When Elder Taylor learned of Elder Pratt's reaction, he also took the same position and referred him to Cornelius Lott and John Smith. Brother Stout saw Brother Lott outside Elder Taylor's house and was told that he would have nothing to do with the Omahas. At this point, Brother Stout became frustrated and said if the leaders would not deal with the situation, he would just leave the Omahas in the city where they were. Brother Lott finally decided to go see John Smith about the situation. It was decided to sent Brother Lott and Brother Stout to meet with the Indians.
The Omahas delivered the six horses, received their pay, and then were escorted back to the rest of the Omahas who were waiting impatiently six miles to the south. When they arrive, a council was formed with the Omahas on one side and the brethren on the other. Cornelius Lott began by saying angrily that there was nothing to talk about because the Omahas had not lived up to their agreements, that it was no use talking. Young Elk remained calm and stated that he had been sent by his father to deliver the horses to improve relations with the Saints. He said he had very wounded feelings for being stopped on the prairie like wild beasts and was not admitted into a hearing with their leaders. He had gone through much effort to convince his people to return the horses and now he was treated badly. Brother Stout wrote: "He spoke very sharp at this ill treatment & laid it to our chiefs & said that if the 'Big Red headed' chief (Brigham) was here it would not be so but he would have taken them in & fed them & spoke friendly." He wished the Brigham Young would come back because he knew they would then all live in peace. He stated that the Omahas would have never stopped the head chiefs from entering their village.
Brother Lott calmed down his harsh rhetoric and spoke in more reasonable terms with Young Elk. The meeting was concluded and the Omahas asked for presents to take back to Old Elk. The brethren stated that they could not do this, but agreed to take Young Elk's words back to Alpheus Cutler. They left, still not satisfied, and the brethren started for home at 6 p.m.
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Captain Daniel Davis returned from a trip to the country. He was able to see ranches, farms, and gave an excellent report of the valleys that he visited.
Kearny Mormon Battalion detachment, Monterey, California:
The Kearny detachment arrived at Monterey at about noon. General Kearny had not yet arrived by sea. They set up their quarters in a building on the southern end of the town which was also occupied by some of Colonel Stevenson's New York regiment. Sixty of the regiment had been ordered to go out and fight the Indians in the mountains.
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
The Indians who had come into town the previous day departed in the morning for their home in the Mountains. During the previous night, the battlaion had been put on alert and ordered to load their guns. They were to be ready for a possible attack from the Mexicans and Indians, but no hostilities ever took place.
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.
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:183-84
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 23
- Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 50
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 407
- William Clayton's Journal, 182-83
- Levi Jackman Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.33
- Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 10, p.234
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 167-68
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:257-58
- The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:94
- The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:17
- Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 223