04/24/1847 - Crockett
Location: Fullerton, Nebraska - Location: 41:21:48N 97:58:08W Elevation: 1630 feet
Date: April 24, 1847
On the Loup Fork, Nebraska:
As the pioneers arose for they day, they discovered that one of Brigham Young's horses had choked to death during the night. It had been chained to a stake and had stepped back into a hole, causing the chain to pull tight. This was a significant loss.
Lorenzo Young got up early and rode into the old Pawnee Village. Lorenzo wrote: "It looked desolate, I assure you. It is beautiful for situation. I counted 30 skulls that lay on the ground to bleach, beside a number of graves. My feelings were peculiar. While walking among the ruins I picked up a skull bone and took to camp and showed it as a curiosity." Thomas Bullock also was in the village and wrote: "Some of the brethren went thro' their burial ground & saw about 40 skulls & bones scattered about, no doubt dug up by Wolves. I went up the high hill about a mile North & went round several graves on the highest tip. There were also graves scattered about on the side of the hill."
William Clayton also went into the old Pawnee Village and described: "On the east and west of the village is a beautiful level bench of prairie extending many miles, and to the ridge of bluffs which run east and west touching within a mile of the village. On the top of the bluffs can be seen a number of Indian graves. To the northwest about a mile distant, and at the foot of the bluffs is an extensive corn field, the stalks still standing. On the south is a beautiful view of the nice level prairie extending to the main branch of the Platte, the timber on the banks can be faintly, but plainly seen."
After William Clayton finished a sketch of the village, he went back to camp because he saw that the pioneers had started to cross the river. Wagons were unloaded and put into the boat "Revenue Cutter" to be taken across. Horses and cattle were driven back and forth across the river to pack down the sand. Stakes were driven at intervals across the river to guide the teamsters to cross where the sand was firm. After awhile, they were able to take loaded wagons across by doubling teams.
William Clayton wrote: "I prepared to wade over the river, inasmuch as the wagon I am with was gone over, and in fact, all Heber's wagons were over except one, but Jackson Redden brought me Porter Rockwell's horse to ride over, and I mounted and proceeded. I found the current strong indeed, and about as much as a horse could do to ford it without a load. I soon got over safe and wet only my feet. At 3:00 p.m. the last wagon was over on the solid sand bar, and about four o'clock all the wagons and teams were safely landed on the bank on the south side of the Loop Fork without any loss or accident, which made the brethren feel thankful indeed." Thomas Bullock added: "The last Wagon crossed over at 20 minutes to 3, thus passing our greatest obstacle on our route without any accident for which blessing from our Heavenly Father all the camp felt to render thanks & praise to the Lord, & rejoicing at the prosperity of our journey to this place."
Shortly after this, one of the completed rafts, which no longer was needed, floated down the river and arrived at the crossing. The pioneers started their journey to find the next encampment. Both men and animals were very tired from the crossing of Loup Fork, and looked forward to resting on the Sabbath. Howard Egan wrote: "I thank the Lord the morrow is a day of rest." The trail was sandy, but the grass appeared higher on this side of the river. They passed the remains of several Indian wickiups. After about three miles, they camped by a small lake, not far from the river. Porter Rockwell discovered that there were sun fish in the lake. The men caught many nice fish and had a great supper.
Fresh foot prints were discovered on the bluffs to the south, so the pioneers knew that they were being watched. The cannon was again prepared to guard the camp.
William Clayton wrote: "Evening I walked over to Orson Pratt's wagon, and through his telescope saw Jupiter's four moons very distinctly never having seen them before. I went over to my wagon and looked through my glass and could see them with it, but not so distinct as with Orson's."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A meeting was held at the Council House to meet with the Otoe Chief, Big Caw. The land on the west of the Missouri was disputed between the Otoes and the Omahas. The Otoe chief stated that the Saints were on their land and he was satisfied with letting the Saints stay where they were, because he knew they were his friends. He felt strongly that the Saints should not give payment to the Omahas, instead he wished the the Saints would haul corn for the Otoes, but if they didn't want to, it would be all right. He had hard feelings against the Omahas and condemned their actions in killing the Saints' cattle. The Otoes went to Hosea Stout's home to spend the night.
After Big Caw left, the council discussed the Otoes' proposal and voted to haul corn to both the Otoe and the Omaha, agreeing that "$60 to $80 is nothing to get peace for we lose that amount in two or three days by their killing our cattle!!"
Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
At 5 p.m., Cornelius P. Lott and nine other men arrived at Summer Quarters on their way to provide more protection for the herds against the Omahas.
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Colonel Cooke issued a new order: "The Mormon Battalion will erect a small fort on the eminence which commands the town of Los Angeles. Company A will encamp on the ground to-morow forenoon. The whole company will be employed in the diligent prosecution of the labors for one week, but there will be a daily detail of non-commissioned oficer and six privates for the camp guard, which, with the cooks absolutely necessary, will not labor during their detail. The hours of labor will be from half past six o'clock until 12 o'clock, and from 1 o'clock until 6 o'clock."
Sandwich Islands (Hawaii):
Elder Addison Pratt's ship, "Providence," came within sight of Hawaii. He wrote: "A pleasant sight to see land again."
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.
- Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 551-52
- William Clayton's Journal, 94-102
- Howard Egan's Diary, Pioneering the West, 29
- Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:156
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 131-32
- Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 326
- Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 155
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:252
- Stephen F. Pratt; BYU Studies Vol. 24, No. 3, pg.377
- Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 279