06/04/1847 - Crockett
Date: June 4, 1847
On the North Platte River, Wyoming:
It was a clear, pleasant morning. The snow-capped Laramie Peak could be seen clearly in the distance. The ferrying of wagons started early, at 4:30 a.m. The last of the wagons were brought over by 8:00 a.m. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and others, went up to Fort Laramie for one more visit. They brought back good reports from traders about Bear River Valley. It was described as being well-timbered, plenty of grass, and mild winters. There were many fish in the streams. Wilford Woodruff recorded: "I conversed with a mountaineer who had wintered at the great Basin of the Salt and Utah Lakes & he recommends the country very highly for a healthy, fertile Country, the lakes and streams abounding with trout and other fish, a good supply of sugar maple & other timber."
Levi Jackman described the fort: "The walls are made of adobes with door attached to the walls on the inside and one two stories high. A row of houses also runs through the center of the fort."
Porter Rockwell traded a horse with James Bordeaux for two cows and calves, one heifer, two pair of moccasin shoes, and two lariats. John Pack traded a lame horse for three robes. Luke S. Johnson provided his dental services to several people in the fort in exchange for some moccasins and skins. Many letters were left behind for love-ones back at Winter Quarters. They would be sent back to Peter Sarpy at Trader's Point and then delivered to Winter Quarters. [These letters did arrive safely]
Appleton Harmon and Albert P. Rockwood used a yoke of oxen to tow the ferry boat back up to the fort. Brother Rockwood paid the fifteen dollars fee, seven in cash, one dollar's worth of potatoes, and Robert Crow of the Mississippi Saints paid the other seven dollars. Mr Bordeaux was very pleased to see that the Saints settled up with him. He remarked that he had never had a group of people pass Fort Laramie who first made sure they had settled up with him.
At 11:30, the three families from the Mississippi Saints came from the fort and took their place in the pioneer company. The seventeen new members of the camp were, Robert Crow, Elizabeth Crow, Benjamin B. Crow, Harriet Crow, Elizabeth Jane Crow, John McHenry Crow, Walter H. Crow, George W. Therlkill, Matills Jane Therlkill, Milton Howard Therlkill, James William Therlkill, William Parker Crow, Isa Vinda Exene Crow, Ira Minda Almarene Crow, Archibald Little, James Chesney and Lewis B. Myers. This brought the current number of the camp to 161 (148 men, eight women, and five children). [The total would be 165, if we include the four men who left the day before for Pueblo]. Certainly the three sisters traveling in the pioneer company were delighted to welcome five new sisters and three children. Lewis B. Myers was a valuable addition to the pioneer company because he had in years past traveled in the rocky mountains. The Mississippi Saints brought with them five wagons, one cart, eleven horses, twenty-four oxen, twenty-two cows, three bulls, and seven calves. This brought the camp totals to ninety-six horses, fifty-one mules, ninety oxen, forty-three cows, nine calves, three bulls, sixteen chickens, sixteen dogs, seventy-nine wagons, and one cart.
William Clayton put up a sign board at the ferry crossing that read: "Winter Quarters, 561 1/4 miles. 227 1/2 miles from the Junction of the Platte. 142 1/4 miles from Ash Hollow. 70 1/4 miles from Chimney Rock. 50 1/2 miles from Scotts Bluff"
At noon, the pioneers again started their journey, now on the south side of the North Platte River. After three miles, at 1:20, they halted to feed the cattle. Horace K. Whitney wrote: "At this place the grass was the most luxuriant that we have seen for a long time -- here to our right, a short distance, the river winding in a serpentine direction, glides gracefully by, while immediately to our left are large crags & masses of rock, as it were, suspended over our heads."
As they traveled, they noticed Archibald Little, a new-comer with the Mississippi group, whipping his oxen very bad. Brigham Young and others went to help him but he treated them with contempt and continued to whip his animals. President Young commented that there had been more abuse of cattle in those few minutes than by all the brethren since they left Winter Quarters.
The journey continued at 2:30. About eight miles from Fort Laramie, they descended a very steep hill [Mexican Hill] and had to lock the wheels on the wagons for the first time. At 5:30 the night's camp was established. Soon a heavy thunder shower rolled through. Thomas Bullock wrote: "We saw two perfect rainbows in the heavens and an Eagle flying in the Air."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
The weather was very warm. Mary Richards traveled around the city with the Burtons. "We went into store & traded, afterwards we went to the Mill and the Miller took & shewed us through every department of the same, it was then in Motion. We were well pleased with our visit there."
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
The Pueblo was having trouble with mad wild dogs. A man had recently died because of a bite. Colonel Stevenson asked a some men from the battalion to go and kill all of the stray dogs that they could find.
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
A large drove of horses were brought into town to sell to the battalion.
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, email@example.com.
- Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 64-65
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 28
- Excerpts from the Hitherto Unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney, Improvement Era, June, 1947, 407
- Elden Watson ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 557
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:196
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 179-81
- Levi Jackman Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.34
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 146
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:258-59
- The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:94
- Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 290