06/10/1847 - Crockett
Date: June 10, 1847
On the Oregon Trail, Wyoming:
Thomas Bullock recorded in his journal: "Opened with a lovely morning. The place I had to stand guard was on a hill where I had a beautiful view & delightful company, the Birds were singing merrily. The country looked Green. I could see a great distance in some directions. A solemnity prevailed near me & altogether to praise their Creator. Two Deer galloped by in their happy manner & 'the Brook murmured by' in its course to the Father of Waters." He observed a grave near the camp with a name written on a stone: "J. Umbree 1843." [This was the grave of six-year-old Joel Hembree who had been run over by a wagon.]
At 7:30 a.m., the pioneers moved out of camp. The morning was warm, fifty-seven degrees. They were fascinated seeing a stream flow through a natural tunnel in a mountain. Howard Egan recorded: "It runs through a tunnel from ten to twenty rods under the high bluffs. The tunnel is high enough for a man to stand upright in it, and the light can be seen through from the other side.
After traveling almost nine miles and crossing three streams, they halted for the noon rest on the east side of a stream about thirty feet wide. [Box Elder Creek.] They had crossed over several steep bluffs and the streams had been difficult to ford. One of the Missouri companies could be seen a few miles ahead of them. William Clayton said: "We have learned today from one of the travelers that there is one man living and making a farm in the Bear River valley."
At 1:45 p.m., the wagons rolled out. During the afternoon, they came within sight of the North Platte River for the first time in several days. They came upon a sick horse that had been left to die by the Missouri companies ahead. The men tried to treat it, but also had to leave it behind.
William Clayton recorded: "At a quarter to six we passed another stream about thirty feet wide and two feet deep, swift current and clear water. Name is Deer Creek. There is plenty of timber on its banks and abundance of good, rich grass for our teams. We formed our encampment on the west bank in a grove of large timber." [They camped on Deer Creek south of the future site of Glenrock, Wyoming which was established several years later as a way-station for the Mormon pioneers. On the return trip in August, Brigham Young would be chased by a grizzly bear on Deer Creek.]
In the creek there were plenty of fish. William Clayton caught twenty-four herring with a hook and line. A few catfish were caught by others. A bed of stone coal was found a quarter mile upstream. The coal vein was about ten feet thick and about 300 feet long. George A. Smith and Albert Carrington brought samples back into camp. The hunters killed several antelope.
The Twelve walked down to the North Platte to examine the river and have prayers.
Erastus Snow wrote: "I have been agreeably surprised in the country of the Black Hills, over which we have travelled a distance of ninety miles from Fort Laramie. Instead of sand and continual barrenness, without water, as I had expected, we have found hard roads through the hills, and at convenient distances beautiful creeks skirted with timber, and bottoms covered with grass, though the country otherwise presents generally a rough and barren appearance."
Wilford Woodruff recorded this experience: "At the blowing of the horn I did not feel much like retiring to bed so I walked 1/2 mile from the camp on the bank of Deer Creek & found Br Clayton fishing with a hook. He had caught about two dozen good fish. Another Br Harmon had caught some. They resembled the eastern Herrin. They were about to leave & they left their lines for me to fish with so I sat down for half an hour musing alone as unconcerned as though I had been sitting upon the banks of Farmington river. Very suddenly I heard a rustling in the bushes near me & for the first time the thought flashed across my mine that I was in a country abounding with grizzly bear, wolves, & Indians and was liable to be attacked by either of them at any moment & was half a mile from any company & had no weapon not even enough to have defend myself against a badger & I thought wisdom dictated for me to return to camp so I took up my polls & fish & walked leasurely home & retired to rest which closed the business of the day."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Mary Richards visited Sister Taylor to bid her good-bye. Sister Taylor was about to leave with the second pioneer company. Hosea Stout delivered the public arms to Alpheus Cutler, as ordered, and the wagon to Charles C. Rich to be used for his journey west.
Brother Stout was getting frustrated in his efforts to figure out what was going to be done with the guard in the second pioneer company, and whether or not he would be going with them. He wrote: "[I] could not learn anything about it nor as much as get any of them [the leaders] to talk on the subject to any satisfaction but to refer me to the other. [Isaac] Morley refered me to [Charles C.] Rich & he to [John] Taylor, who requested me not to trouble him about it for he said he had never considered it before, and refered me to [Alpheus] Cutler & he said he had not time to talk & [Newel K.] Whitney knew nothing about it. Thus I was sent around all day and learning nothing so seeing that there was no arrangement for either me or a guard on the journey, I now give up the idea of going & bought a house of Br A[braham] O. Smoot which was more spacious & comfortable than the one I now occupied."
Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
Those at Summer Quarters were busy plowing and harrowing corn. At 2 p.m., Isaac Morley came for a short business. [John D. Lee listed those men in his family who were working this day at Summer Quarters: A.D. Young, Allen Weeks, George W. Hickerson, James Woolsey, Levi North, William Swap, Jacob Woolsey, Hyrum Rheu, Allanson Allen, Marshal Allen, William Woolsey, David Young, and Eli Bennett.]
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Several men were detailed to go to San Pedro to guard a military store.
- Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 69-71
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 32
- Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:164
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:199-200
- William Clayton's Journal, 228-30
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 188-89
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 147
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:260
- Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 175
- Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 225
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.