Old diaries and journals of early Western settlers and travelers furnish later generations with valuable historical data and information which serve to create a greater appreciation for the hardships and sacrifices made by those sturdy pioneers.
Danger was their constant companion; suffering was their regular portion; tragedy stalked every footstep; and hard work was a daily necessity shared by all. With the weapons of industry and resourcefulness they proposed to carve a civilization from the wilds of alternating mountains and plains — and neither by the fear of God, man nor beast were they deterred from their worthy purpose.
Such a pioneer was JESSE W. CROSBY when he traveled across the trackless stretch now known as Wyoming and into Utah in 1847. An ardent adherent of the Mormon faith, he was inspired by a religions fervor which gave him a placid outlook upon the turmoil and strife with which he was surrounded. He was one of the very first settlers in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, Mormon community founded by Brigham Young, following persecutions by the Gentiles in the east, and is the ancestor of three successive generations of progressive citizens of Utah and Wyoming.
His journal is a record of events from his birth in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. November 25, 1820, to the time of final entries at Salt Lake in 1869, when "slavery" and "polygamy" were vying for headline prominence in Eastern newspapers. It includes a description of his conversion to Mormonism in his home State, New York, at the age of eighteen; his ordination; his leavetaking to join the body of the Church in west Missouri when the "Mormon War" was at its height; a special mission journey to the British Provinces of nearly two year duration; the westward emigration trek to Utah; the building of a town; a three-year mission journey to England and return; troubles with the United States Government; Indians and crickets and miraculous delivery from the latter.
The day-by-day notes of the journal author during the laborious journey to his Utah destination with an oxen-drawn wagon train, paint a graphic panoramic view of the Wyoming and Utah of nearly, a century ago.
While Jesse W. Crosby lived in Wyoming only a short time at Fort Supply, a Mormon supply station located south of Fort Bridger near the present town of Millburne, Uinta County, he provided Wyoming with two of his sons, namely, George H. Crosby, Sr., and Jesse W. Crosby, Jr., who were among the founders of the town of Cowley, Big Horn County, and otherwise were active and valuable citizens of the
146Big Horn Basin and of the State. Four other children by his first marriage were Samuel Obed, Thankful Amelia, Joseph, Joshua A. and Elida. Brief biographical sketches of the two sons who were Wyoming pioneers, follow:
GEORGE HENRY CROSBY, SR., born October 25, 1846, was married to Sarah H. Brown in 1869. He lived at St. George and other localities in Utah, as well as in Arizona, and in 1901 he moved to the Big Horn Basin to make his home at Cowley until 1914, after which he returned to St. George to do Temple work and died in 1916. In 1885 he married a plural wife, Amelia Laney, and by this marriage he had a son and daughter, Fred Crosby and Elizabeth Crosby Partridge, the late Mrs. Clayton Partridge, both of Cowley.
The majority of the children by his first wife live in Arizona, though a son, George H. Crosby, Jr., moved to Wyoming where he lived at Evanston and Lyman and practiced his legal profession. He died in a Salt Lake City hospital in January, 1938. His son, Kent M. Crosby, great grandson of the journal author, is an attorney at Basin, Wyoming.
The following children of George H. Crosby, Sr., and grandchildren of the writer of the journal now live in Wyoming; Fred Crosby, rancher at Cody, and Josh Crosby, Thermopolis. A number of others have died, including George S. Crosby for whom the town of Crosby (about eight miles north of Thermopolis) was named. There are also several great grandchildren, besides Kent M. Crosby, living throughout the State.
During his life, George H. Crosby, Sr., was Bishop of four separate Latter Day Saints Wards. He was the first patriarch
JESSE W. CROSBY, JR., was born on June 22, 1848, in Salt Lake City. He died at Cowley, Wyoming, in February, 1915. In 1900, from Panguitch, Utah, where he had become wealthy, he was sent to the Big Horn Basin as a leader of the Mormon settlers. He was Counselor to the Stake
He was head of the firm of Crosby, Willis and Welch which built a large portion of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in the Big Horn Basin and has been referred to as "a great pioneer and business man of the Big Horn Basin."
In 1877 he married Sarah Frances Jacobs as a plural wife, who is still living and resides at Cowley, Wyoming. Several of his children, and grandchildren of the journal author, moved to the Big Horn Basin. Amelia Crosby Keats lives in Worland, Wyoming, Marion Willis and Jesse Crosby live at Cowley and other descendants also live in this State.
The History and Journal of the Life and Travels of Jesse W. Crosby.
When between one and two years of age my parents, with my two brothers John and Obed, and my three sisters Hannah, Eliza and Fanny, emigrated to Chautauqua County, New York, then a new country bordering on the State of Pennsylvania on the West, and Lake Erie on the North, situated in Lat. 42° 30' north.
In the midst of these wilds, and accustomed to the toils and hardships of a new country, I spent the days of my boyhood.
As for religious teachings and ceremonies, I knew but little, having a mind free and untrammeled by the idolatries of the 19th century. I was accustomed to think for myself, yet my parents were of a religious turn of mind and I was taught especially by my mother, whose tender care was always over me, for good, from the earliest period of my recollection, to practice virtue and lead an upright and honest life; to speak the truth and deal justly with all men. In connection with this I was also taught to pray, to believe in and worship God as the Maker and Preserver of all things, and as I increased in years faith and spiritual strength increased within
148me, till I learned to call upon the Lord, in faith, who heard and answered my prayers, visibly and sensibly, at various times, and my whole soul was filled with love and gratitude toward God the Father of the Spirits of all men.
By this time I had arrived at the 16th year of my age, and I began to see and feel the necessity of joining some people, and belonging to some church. I, as it were, awoke from sleep, looked around me and beheld the state of the religious world, and meditated upon it for the first time in my life. Said I to myself, which of all the churches is the Church of the Living God who has heard and answered my prayers? Let me see and hear for myself. I attended churches of different persuasions with a prayerful heart, but there was an aching void still. I retired day after day to the woods and there, where no human eye could behold, I poured out my prayers and supplications to Almighty God that He would send some kind messenger, called and ordained of Him to guide my footsteps in the path of truth.
In answer to repeated supplications, I received that assurance that calmed my mind and gave me to understand that the truth in its fulness should be unfolded to me. My feelings were known to God and to Him alone, for I told them to no one on earth.
The time passed on till the summer of 1838; I was now in my eighteenth year when two Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
I paused, I considered, I thought upon the prayers and desires I had poured out to God, and of the visions of my mind, and as the speaker proceeded to the Spirit of God fastened the truth upon my heart, and though many mocked and cried out "Delusion," I felt within me that the message was true, that it was from the great Jehovah, and that it would penetrate the darkest corners of the earth, that no power could stand against it. In this joyful news I beheld an
149answer to my prayers, and that the words of inspiration had saluted my ears which brought peace and joy, I straightway obeyed the message, and realized its power. Many others followed the example, and a branch of the Church was organized. The Holy Ghost was poured out, insomuch that many were healed of their infirmities, some prophesied, some saw visions, others spoke different languages by the gift and power of God as on the day of Pentecost. The language, or dialect of various tribes of the American Indians was spoken, and that, too, by persons who had never spoken with an Indian in their lives. I will own, that though I believed, I was much astonished, but will add that I have since traveled among various tribes of Indians in the Central and uncultivated parts of America and have recognized not only the language but the gestures and very manner in which it was spoken. One may inquire why it was that the spirit of God dictated these individuals to speak in the language of these wandering outcasts. Oh, here is the mystery that the world hath not seen. These are a remnant of Israel, the decendants of Joseph, and heirs to the promises made to their fathers; See Book of Mormon. But I must return to the thread of my narrative.
It was now the Autumn of 1838 — I determined to go west to join the body of the Church, then located in West Missouri. The doctrine of the "gathering" was strongly grounded in my mind, and I set to work with my might to prepare for the journey; in this I was prospered, for means, almost miraculously came into my hands. The Spring drew near and the time of our departure approached when, one day as I with my brother and brother-in-law was working in the forest, the wind being high, a branch from a high tree some six inches in diameter fell, and struck one end upon the ground, the other upon my head which struck me lifeless to the earth. I was taken up for dead and conveyed to my father's dwelling. The family Doctor was sent for, but my mother and others of my friends being firm in the faith of the Gospel, sent a messenger for the Elders of the Church, living some six miles distant. The Doctor came first, examined my wounds and said in my hearing of Witnesses "that my case was a doubtful one, and that without medical aid I could not recover." But my mother begged him to let me alone, and said "that when the Elders came I should come to myself and live, and not die." The Doctor accordingly left not a little surprised and with all offended. The Elders came, annointed me with oil and laid their hands upon me in the name of the Lord and prayed. When my reason returned I recognized the inmates of the room, and on being asked if I knew anyone, I replied, "that I knew
150them all." This was the first that I had seemed to know or understand since the accident. I found that I had been severely injured and that I was extremely weak, but the whole affair seemed like a dream. However, I was able in about three weeks to follow my former avocation, and driving teams. The time passed it was now April; and all things being ready we set about for Missouri one thousand miles (1,000) distance, traveling by land with horse teams and lodging in our wagons; but before leaving our neighbors called often and remonstrated with us for taking, as they thought, such a random journey. One said, "Have you read the News? Why, the Missourians and the Mormons are at war; they are killing and destroying, and will you persist in going, and running into danger and death?" The reply was, "We have warned you by words, we now warn you by flight." If danger or death gets in our way, we intend by the help of God to face the same like men of God, and show all men by example that we have embraced no friction but an eternal reality, and when the secrets of all hearts are revealed; then, if not till then, you shall know that we are not deceived."
We are now under way, April 13th, 1839. Our wagons were so arranged with boxes some 12 feet in length, and with projections over the wheels, as to make them commodious eating and sleeping rooms. In this manner we moved on, and at the rate of about 25 miles per day, meeting reports constantly, that the Mormons were driven, broken up, and destroyed, and that if we persisted in going to the seat of war, we should meet with the same fate. But nothing could daunt our courage; Our course was onward, and we at length arrived at Kirtland, Ohio, the first place of gathering for the Saints as pointed out by revelation from God to be a stronghold for five years; here stood a fine stone building with these words neatly engraved in front:
Built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was now unoccupied, together with most of the private dwellings of the town. The Saints had previously left for the same locality to which we were journeying. We entered the Temple, and beheld the fixtures, the curtains, the seats, etc. with astonishment being so different from anything we had before seen, and being, as we believed built by revelation and commandment of God. Here the Saints, though few in number and poor, in the infancy of the Church surrounded by opposition, never the less, rich in faith and in the knowledge of God, united their efforts, some toiling for a whole
151year together, without pay and with scanty food until this fine edifice was completed, being the first building on the face of the earth at that time built by revelation from Heaven. Our hearts were filled with gratitude to God, that we thus highly favored to live in the day when the voice of the Lord was again heard out of the Heavens, and with bosoms burning with the intelligence of God, we still prosecuted our journey westward in order to join the presidency and main body of the Church with whom the oracles of God had been entrusted. We now came into prairie country. The first we entered is in extent, about 16 miles wide and 100 miles in length; we drove through a fine forest for several miles and then at once came into the mighty "Fields of the Woods," a vast plain, stretching out before us as far as the eye could reach. Not a tree, not a shrub met our eye; no abrupt hills or rock, naught but a rich luxuriant growth of grass and flowers of almost every hue, which presented themselves on every hand. Men, women and children might be seen running in every direction to gather themselves a nosegay. We passed on through these beauties of Nature till we arrived near the center of the prairie when we met with some trouble in crossing a stream of water here. Night overtook us, and we pitched our tents on the opposite bank of the water. We here made our horses secure by tying them with long ropes attached picket pines driven in the ground, and spent the night in the midst of this wonderful garden of Nature. Before going to bed a wild deer came near the camp, and seemed to look anxious as though he would like to know what stranger had invaded his territory and had taken possession of his pleasure ground. But the crack of two or three rifles at the same time gave him to understand that he was in imminent danger, and he immediately took his departure. We separated, everyone to his tent or wagon, and were soon in the embraces of sleep. The stillness of night universally prevailed till towards morning when we were a little disturbed by the howling of some wolves that came near.
The morning came and the sun arose with its usual brilliancy. When our camp duties were done, breakfast over, and the usual devotions passed, we were again under way, continuing our course westward with the intention of crossing the Mississippi at Quincy City; but upon arriving within two or three hundred miles of that place, we met several of our brethern, traveling east of Missions, and that they were authorized to consul all Saints traveling west to direct their
152course to Commerce,
After the dreadful persecutions through which they had just passed, called the "Missouri Prosecution," wherein 11,000 persons had been driven from their homes which they had purchasd with their own money, and compelled to leave a Republican State, robbed of their all, while many were martyred and many others died of exposure, having been compelled to leave their homes in the dead of winter — All this for Christ's sake and the Gospel's. We accordingly turned our course two or three points and arrived at Commerce June 6, 1839. Here, instead of meeting the Saints in comfortable circumstances as we had expected to find them in Missouri, they were, as many as had been able to get through, living in tents and wagons for want of houses, some 400 miles from the place whence they had been driven — many in straightened circumstances, some sick and overcome with hardships and fatigue. I walked about the place. The sight was beautiful. Though uncultivated and for the most part covered with timber, brush and grapevines, I concluded to stop and share with the people of the Lord, while some of the company chose rather to go where they could fare better. I procured a lot and commenced to build a house for myself, mother and sister, who had journeyed with me, a short distance back from the Mississippi and near the residence of Joseph Smith
153until several were cut off. However, the brush and incumbrances soon melted away before the persevering hand of industry, and houses sprung into being on every hand. At length we were checked a little, for the sickness season came on and many, very many felt its withering influence. The place had been known years before to be very sickly and our enemies had been known to say that we would die, all of us, if attempted to settle there. Such was not the case; but yet many who on account of their great exposures were easily overcome and fell victims to the destroyer, amongst whom was my mother and brother, and for months together there were not well ones enough to administer to the sick. I, myself, was taken sick in July and was laid up till late in September, and the house which I had commenced was not finished for the season. By and by the scene changed more favorably. As the Winter approached the sickness disappeared, and plans were laid for draining some parts of the land which lay low, etc.
In the Spring of 1840 our strength was greatly augmented by the arrival of Saints from various parts, and the City, for so it had become, grew apace. Large tracts of land were purchased on both sides of the great Father of Waters, and settlements were arriving from various parts.
During this season a delegation was sent to Washington to the President of the United States, Mr. Van Buren; Joseph Smith and several other Brethren comprised the delegation. They presented in legal form (affidavits, etc.) an impartial statement of all the enormities that had been perpetrated against the Latter Day Saints. After a hearing, which was difficult to obtain. The President replied: "Gentlemen, your cause is just, you have been deprived of your lawful rights as American Citizens; but it is an individaul State affair, and does not come under the supervision of the General Government;" Thus our petition went unheeded, and, though property was destroyed to the amount of millions and hundreds of lives sacrificed, yet no remuneration has been made to this
154day; yet the petitions which were presented from time to time answered the requirements of the revelation which says: "Petition at the feet of the Judges; if they heed you not petition at the feet of the governor; if he heed you not Petition at the feet of the President, and if he heed you not I will come out of my hiding-place and vex the nations." (The word of the Lord to Joseph).
But to return. During the Summer of 1840 a Charter was obtained and Nauvoo
April 6, 1841, the Corner-Stones were laid in the presence of many thousands of people. It was a day long to be remembered.
April 13th, 1841. Having been called and previously ordained (October 1840) I left on a mission to the East, to the British Provinces, journeyed by land through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom by the way.
At Toledo took steamboat for Cleveland, thence to Kirtland and thence to Buffalo, N. Y., preaching as I went; thence to New York City, thence by shipping to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; carried a quantity of books which I circulated, and after stopping with my friends during the Winter of 1841 and preaching round about tidings of Salvation, I again took shipping for Boston; the whole distance from Nauvoo to New York is 1400 miles, thence to Yarmouth 600 miles; Entire distance, 2000 miles, distance across the Bay of Fundi, from thence home by way of New York City, Albany, Erie Canal, thence up the lakes to Chicago, thence to Nauvoo, — arrived in August 1842, journey home 2000 miles long. During this
155mission — baptized a number. About the time of my arrival there was a demand from Missouri on Illinois to surrender Joseph Smith and others.
In September a special conference was called upon to go abroad, preach the Gospel and endeavor to allay excitement, etc. I set off in N. E. course towards Michigan, crossing the head waters of the Illinois at Ottawa, thence up the Kankakee River, preaching in every village, and all the principal settlements as I passed, and contending earnestly for the constitutional rights of the Latter Day Saints. I was remarkably prospered, and this undertaking resulted in lasting good, for the Lord was with me in word and in every deed. Arrived in Ypsilanti, Michigan, 30 miles from Detroit and 500 miles from Nauvoo. Here I was tarried and labored for a time around about with some success, initiated such as received the word into the Kingdom. Thence on a more southern route through the north of Indiana and interior of Illinois to Nauvoo; arrived in March, 1843. In this mission I traveled rising of one thousand miles, much of it through a prarie country. — Five-eighths of Illinois is said to be composed of Praries; Indiana also abounds with the same. The north of Indiana as well as Michigan abounds with small lakes and frequent sandy plains. But to return:
After my arrival in Nauvoo, sometime in June, there was a general excitement raised in consequence of an attempt to take Joseph Smith and others to Missouri. He happened at the time to be on Rock River, one hundred miles from home. The attempt was fruitless, for Joseph returned in triumph to Nauvoo, and was met in the prairie by a great many of the inhabitants who went out on horses and in carriages — a great company — with colors flying, and music playing to welcome the prophet. The scene was animating in the extreme!
About this time I was called upon to accept a mission, but declined being somewhat worned down with traveling. I accordingly tarried in Nauvoo until July when a special mission was tendered me by the Quorum of the Twelve to go in company with Elder B. Brown
156labored; but as there was not an effectual field upon here, and our mission being to the east, we accordingly proceeded to Chicago, took steamboat "Illinois" bound to Buffalo, got under way in the morning of the 24th of August. The lakes were calm, and we had a very agreeable passage in company with Bros. P. P. Pratt and O. Hyde.
Here we parted with our Brother and set off for Lewiston. We did not stop to examine the Cataract of Niagara, as I had visited the Falls before. At Lewiston we had a view of "BROCK'S MONUMENT" standing a little above Queenstown on the Canada side. This is as high up the River or as near the Falls as boats can approach. Thence by steamboat, Rochester. Just before we entered Lake Ontario we had a view of two Forts, situated on each side of the river, which forms the National Boundary. Crossed the head of the lake to Toronto City, the seat of Government for upper Canada. This place is singularly situated — the Harbor is formed by a neck of land extending a great distance, in shape like an Elipse; thence across the Lake, which was still and quiet, arrived in Rochester in the morning. Calling at intermediate Ports, arrived in Sacket's Harbor September 1st, 1843. This
157is 1450 or 1500 miles from Nauvoo; Here commenced our ministerial labors. At first there was but little opening, but prejudice gave way directly, and our field of labor extended far and wide until the cry from all parts of the country was; "Come over and help us." We labored incessantly day and night, sparing no pains. I frequently had 12 or 15 appointments out at a time, extending a long distance. Assembled in Conference December 30, and 31, 1843, in Jefferson Co. at that time had baptized 50 persons into the Kingdom and organized a number of Churches. Conference now over, we designed prosecuting our journey to the Provinces, but pressing invitations called us into the field, from time to time our influence was increased and our labors extended still wider. Held a number of public debates. One in particular, which was published, being held with the Champion of the Country and resulted greatly in favor of the Saints. Thus passed the Winter and Spring; but a few days passed without meetings. My circuit was large and required much traveling, which I estimated at 2500 miles.
Assembled in Conference May 25th and 26th, 1844, in Adams, Jeferson County, New York. There were present on that occasion about three hundred Saints, seven or eight hundred spectators; A number of Elders were present and branches were represented as follows:
During our sojourn here we baptized one hundred and fifty souls (150) there about; Ordained eight or ten Elders, etc.
Conference now over, time would not permit us to stay longer, consequently we prepared. May 29th, to leave.
Proceeded to Lockport, thence to Alexandria Bay, here took passage on board steamboat "Rochester" June 3rd. I left at 6:00 P. M. and arrived at Ogdensburgh at ten. Thirty miles from Kingston. (75) miles. The River presents a rugged appearance, being interspersed with numerous rocky islands producing low shrubs, etc. Current moderate; passed Chippewa and other small towns. At 12 O'clock took passage on board the small steamer "CHARLOTTE" belonging to a line of small boats that ply between Kingston and Montreal; they pass down the St. Lawrence and up the Redean Canal, touched at Prescott, a fine town opposite Ogdens burgh, thence down the river, passed Cornwall, a fine town on the Canada side, — here the river is more rapid; thence through Lake St.
158Francis, twenty-five miles long; here the prospect is more pleasant.
Passed Carto, French town, and rapids of the same name. The quick descent causes a tremendous confusion of the water. The Country here is inhabited by French people, small French houses, quite compact, appear on either side. From here to Montreal the river is interspersed with islands and rapid currents. Catholic steeples appear frequently: huge crosses are seen occasionally in front of individual doors. Passed Cedar Town and rapids; here the water appears to be literally mad for three miles, presenting a mass of white foaming water. Next, came to the Cascades, another rapid two miles long; up this it seemed impossible for our boat to live, but she struggled through the foaming water and brought us safely through. Next came LaChine, a town principally French; opposite is an Indian town called Cocknawagon, 11 miles from Montreal; thence Lachine rapids, which surpass any and everything of the kind I ever saw. Here all the waters of no less than eight lakes, the greatest chain on the globe, draining a vast country of three thousand miles, are hurried over rocks, forming almost a second cataract. Our boat passed through a narrow Channel, at times almost buried, while rocks were visible at no great distance on either side. After a struggle of three minutes, came through safe. For some distance the mighty river goes foaming along towards is great reservoir; passed LaPrarie on the right and arrived in Montreal June 4, 1844, at 3:00 P. M. Our boat was locked into the canal immediately, we landed, passed through the City to the lower part, procured a house in which we preached twice while there.
June 5th, 1844: spent the day in viewing the city; passed through the principal streets; they are narrow and irregular; in the best parts the buildings are high and covered with tin; all the back part is inhabited by French. Their buildings are small, irregular and compact. The incorporation extends three miles (three miles square); contains fifty thousand inhabitants — two-thirds French.
One trait in the history of this city is that a four-wheeled carriage is scarcely ever seen, while calashes
159contains 1363 pews, capable of seating 15,000 persons. The Sanctuary is adorned in superior style, tinged with gold. We ascended the tower — 260 feet high, by means of 25 stair cases forming 285 steps; from this observatory the whole city is seen at one glance. Spy glasses, etc. are at hand; the square-rigged vessels, about 100 in number, lay along the shore in full view. Men, horses, etc. hurry to and fro along the streets, appear like swarms of Ants. Having satisfied ourselves in viewing the City, we next examined the monster bell. It weighs about ten tons, cast in London at an expense of twelve hundred pounds sterling. It is suspended in the Western Tower; the opposite one contains thirteen smaller bells. This Fabric is built of hewn stone, and exclusive of bells cost one hundred and fifty thousand pounds in sterling.
June 6th, 1844, left our lodgings Mr. Griffis's Hotel and repaired to Parish Church; saw High Mass performed and other Catholic ceremonies — great splendor was exhibited. Two or three hundred wax candles were burning, some of them six feet long; one or two hundred priests were present, some of them dressed in garments gilded, others in white robes. Next visited the "Grey Nunnery." The day was spent agreeably. At 6: 00 P. M. took passage on board the "CHARLVOX" for Quebec; Bid farewell to the Catholic Metropolis, probably forever. I viewed the country very carefully. It is level, inhabited entirely by French, Houses white, very compact; along the banks of the river Catholic steeples, crosses, are seen as we pass along. The river is broad and beautiful the whole way —, 180 miles. Arrived in Quebec at 9 A. M. June 7th, put up at Meriams Hotel; proceeded to examine the City. The lower town is situated along the water's edge, under a high cliff on which is situated what is called the Upper Town. Besides these there are three suburbs of entire French. The Upper Town is surrounded by a wall of twenty or thirty feet in thickness. We passed through Prescott Gate, obtained a pass from the commanding officer, and attended by a soldier entered the citadel; it contains military stores, etc. — six thousand stand of arms, three thousand barrels of powder, and provisions for seven years. One thousand five hundred troops are stationed here. The walls are mounted with thirty-two-pounders, etc. not only around the citadel, but around the entire Upper Town; two hundred and fifty heavy pieces on the walls, besides hundreds of heavy cannon, and scores, if not hundreds, of cords of shot or balls and bombs of all kinds in the citadel ready for use. Magazine batteries, etc. all numbered in regular order. This fortress to all appearance impregnable.
After spending some hours in our search, passed out through a strong gateway. Next, examined the old French ruins, then proceeded to the Plains of Abraham. The clash of arms, the groans of the dying had long since ceased — all was silence. The roar of the cannon the crack of musketry no longer fill the plains with blood and carnage; Here fell two brave warriors — Wolfe and Montcalm. I seated myself beside a monument bearing this inscription: "Here died brave Wolfe." We passed over the battle-ground and descended the bluff where Wolfe and his men ascended, dragging their cannon after them. All was silent and lonely.
June 8th, 1844, Spent the day in reviewing the citadel and all Military works, public buildings.
June 9th, 1844, being Sunday attended Catholic services in the afternoon; thousands of Catholics were assembled and formed a grand procession displaying much pomp and show. The procession commenced their march from the Church which was adorned in the greatest splender, the sanctuary with its images tinged with gold was lighted up with hundreds of wax candles; the Priests, some in gilded garments, others in robes of white; ahead went boys dressed in white — some with pots of incense, others with baskets of flowers to strew the street; then followed the Altar, the Ark of the Covenant, then the Bishop and a long train. Smoke issued from the pots and the Altar as they passed. The streets were adorned with bushes and flowers and filled with thousands of people. We visited two Churches in Montreal, two in Quebec. They were all built in similar style, being built in a very grand and extravagant manner, especially the sanctuary — thirty or forty feet high, twenty broad, forming a concave front in the middle, stands at the height of twelve feet the Virgin Mary with the Infant in her arms, next above is Jesus on a Cross, on either side around about stand the Twelve Apostles, while above all on the top of the Sanctuary stands God, on a ball, representing the earth as his footstool, holding a sceptre in His hand. The whole front is regularly arranged with candles, when lit up the whole appears like a mass of gold.
Quebec is a large city, but meanly built; quite populous, wealth and poverty, pride and misery abound there. There were three to five hundred square-rigged vessels lying in port; the aspect is rather gloomy. Cabs and calashes are in use instead of four-wheeled carriages, plenty of good teams may be seen running to and fro through the streets. After a stop of four days we engaged a passage on board a French vessel — not a soul could speak English; set off June 11th
161with ebb tide sun down with a fine breeze until flood tide, then down anchor, held on till ebb, thence on; the country below Quebec is gloomy, lofty, and precipitious banks, while blue ranges of mountains are seen in the distance, their small white spots scattered over the hills and mountains. Arrived at St. Andre June 12th. This is one hundred miles from Quebec — here the country is rocky and very broken; thence to River DeLoup, 15 miles. This is a great place for fishing with wiers; the tide rises at rapidly and high, extends one hundred miles above Quebec to Three Rivers, rises at Quebec 15 feet. From River DeLoup proceeded back from the St. Lawrence, crossed the Lake 15 miles, thence down the Madwaska to its junction with the St. John at Little Falls, twenty-two miles thence by means of our canoe to Grand Falls; 36 miles, hired it drawn around the Falls, thence on our journey as before. Inhabitants nearly all French, till we reached the Grand Falls; below that English people; lumbering is the chief employment; the river is rapid and we passed down swiftly; arrived at Fredericktown June 19th, 1844. Distance from Grand Falls to Fredericktown 130 miles; whole distance from Kingston 768 miles. On our arrival invitations were received for preaching. We accordingly entered the field of labor. We were the first Latter-Day Saints that ever journeyed that way. Our undertaking was an arduous one. We had to clear the ground of heaps of superstition before any seed could be sown to advantage. Priestcraft had reigned predominant and had become strongly rooted. At first it seemed impossible that any of these captives should be made free through the truth.
Hireling priests labored to save their craft. One modern Pharisee prophecied that we would not find one individual who would receive our testimony in the Province. One or two preachers attempted to discuss, as challenges were given by us, but were put to flight and shame. Those who prophesied against, were soon proved to be liars, for about the 15th of July, twelve individuals who had received our testimony in Queensbury County of York, came forward for baptism. The Lord confirmed the word with signs following according to promise. By this time certain persons seeing that none dare stand before us and that we were likely to prosper notwithstanding all their exertions, were moved to anger against us, and began to lay plots. The first thing was to enter complaints to the Governor against us, such as that we were baptizing those who had once been baptized, influencing the people to leave the Province and go to the States, believing in spiritual gifts, speaking against the established church common
162prayer book, tearing down churches, going against British laws, etc etc.
At first we paid but little attention to them; continued preaching till we had baptized twenty, when we were informed that the Governor had ordered the Magistrates to meet in Council and inquire into the truth of these complaints. Consequently three met, — their names were Parent, Earls and Morehouse, — having given public notice previously for all who knew of our being guilty of the before-mentioned charges to attend. Two only were sworn; two testified to what we acknowledged our names, place of residence, to what nation we belonged, etc etc. The other, a negro, testified to all intentions and purposes that we preached false doctrine, such as; that we had power to raise the dead, cast out devils, also that we were building a temple that should not be thrown down somewhere in the States, a place of safety, while the residue of mankind should be destroyed. The proceedings of this meeting were forwarded to the Governor. Things having arrived at this pitch we thought it wisdom to take some steps to counteract their proceedings. We accordingly prepared ourselves with documents from Judge Beardsley and Doctor Shelton. We repaired to Fredericktown, appeared before his Excellency the Governor; Our names were recorded and our place of residence. Our documents underwent an investigation. The Governor was very inquisitive. I was somewhat surprised that the Governor should enter into a debate with us, but this he did, and it lasted about two hours. Many points of our doctrine were taken up; At last, finding himself hard run for arguments accused us of being acquainted with the dead languages. Thus closed our interview without any positive answer; wether we should be allowed our rights or not. Lawyer Wilmot, the Governor's chief counselor, treated us kindly, and told us that there was no law that could harm us. This blowed up the whole affair, and frustrated their plans. We returned to our labors and continued preaching and baptizing. Many were reports were flying abroad about warrants, prisons, etc. The whole country was greatly agitated.
Elder Brown went to Maine a short time. During his absence there was some mob talk. These desperadoes, finding themselves defeated in all their plots, were determined to have revenge. Brother Brown soon returned. Our number had by this time increased to twenty-five.
September the 2nd, 1844: Soon after Dr. Shelton and his family were baptized, he being a man of influence and a Magistrate in the County of York. The excitement seemed to rise
163higher than before, and things appeared to converge to a point. The 11th of September is a day long to be remembered. In the afternoon I preached in Dr. Shelton's neighborhood; Text, Rev. 12; 14, and labored to show all the fallen-away, the rise of great Babylon and the coming forth of the great work of God in the last days. I had great liberty and spoke at length. Brother Brown and others bore testimony. The spirit of God was there. The meeting closed about sunset. We repaired to the Doctor's house for Supper, everything did not appear just right. Some designing persons walked up street, made use of some hard speeches, and appeared to manifest a hostile spirit. Supper over, Brother Brown left the house and walked down street towards Mr. Foster's. Just before he reached the house, he was met by seven or eight ruffians who knocked him down and beat him most inhumanly, mangled his body by jumping on him, etc. etc. On the appearance of a friend the mob ran off. Brother Brown was brought back half dead covered with blood and dirt. I washed his wounds, found him cut and bruised in a horrible manner, got him in bed in a front room in the lower story. About twelve o'clock at night I laid down with him, fell into a drowse for a moment, to be roused by a prowling mob. I sprang from my bed, seized a chair and held over the bedroom door. The mobbers had possession of the front room and attempted to open our door, but I withstood them. At this moment by means of stones and rails our windows were broken in with a noise like that of thunder. This gave me to understand that there was no other alternative. We must either fall into the hands of a merciless mob, or I must do my best. Elder Brown was scarcely able to get out of bed; all the weapons we had were a chair and cane; The chair appeared to be the heaviest, so I drew it and stood ready for a charge; but none dared to put his head in my reach. I am thankful that they did not. I stood there in suspense not knowing what my fate might be, but was determined to defend myself to the last; for there was no hope of mercy if once in their hands. Our room was small, about ten feet square; stones, rails, etc. were thrown into the room, but as good luck would have it, we were not hurt by them. By this time Mrs. Shelton broke through, for the mob before they commenced their operations crept in and fastened the family into their rooms to prevent them from lending a hand of assistance, and came to our door. Her voice was as the voice of an angel; she bid us come quickly; we did so, and that too was undiscovered by the mob. The night was spent in this deplorable manner. However, about the time we left the bedroom the Doctor left the house by a back door, and after a
164while returned with twelve men to protect the house. On examination found the windows broken in a most deplorable manner. Our bed from which we had escaped was covered with stones, rails, etc. One room in the second story had all the windows broken thinking we might be there. The room in which I had taken refuge was searched once, but in vain; the chief enmity seemed to center in me, but miraculously I escaped unhurt. For months the least noise would disturb me, and I would imagine that I heard the breaking of glass, etc. My feelings were such as are not easily described. The mob consisted of about thirty men. The next day we attended our appointments, some miles below, but Elder Brown was not able to appear in public for some time. All this did not discourage us, or the Saints we continued to preach and baptize. For some days we preached and baptized during the day, and slept in the woods in the night-time. During all this we had many more invitations for preaching than we were able to fill.
Having an appointment up the river some miles, our friends assembled for meeting. As we were detained later than was expected, and having heard that a mob was lying in wait for us, thirty or forty of our friends armed themselves with clubs and whatever came to hand, and came rushing to meet us. Wether there was a mob or not, I never learned, however. We returned with them, had a good meeting, large and attentive congregation who treated us with all the kindness in their power. We did not lack for friends.
The Summer was now spent, and the time drew near for us to depart. We called the Saints together and organized them into two branches — forty seven in all. We were in the Province about three months. Some had seen us in visions six months before our arrival, and after hearing the Word convinced of the truth and testified that all was fulfilled to the letter; even our dress and appearance they recognized.
All things being now ready we set off for Houlson, Maine; were cordially received preached a few times; procured a passage with the Teamster, and set off October 9th for Bangor, 120 miles; thence by steamboat to Portland, thence by cars to Boston, 400 miles.
October 15th, 1844. Found the Saints in good spirits, between two and three hundred in Boston; was cordially received.
After a short time was called upon to go and visit the Saints in New Hampshire on business, 70 or 80 miles distance. Returned again to Boston being much worn down with excessive labors; concluded to tarry during the Winter and
165recruit my health. By invitation consented to take the Presidency of a small branch in Lowell, City 30 miles from Boston, and to take up my abode there. Came into the City December 1st, 1844; kept up regular meetings during the Winter, gave my attention partly to the studying of some useful sciences; baptized a number during my stay.
On the 20th of January, 1845, paid Andover a visit. This is a village about ten miles from Lowell; went in Company with about 200 persons — ten large sleighs. I had the privilege of examining a very large library containing nearly fifteen thousand Volumes. I examined one that was published in 1492 in English.
On the 25th, we had a dreadful storm during the night; the snow drove through the air in almost solid columns. About three o'clock we were aroused by the ringing of bells — every one in the city was ringing, the cry was fire: fire: I dressed myself and went out to witness the most terrific scenery that my eyes ever beheld. Fire engines were in the street but buried in snow; it was impossible to get them to the fire. The Wind blew a hurrican; the air was full; It was difficult to breathe. The reflection caused everything to appear red; the buildings burned down — no assistance could be rendered; the inhabitants escaped with their lives.
Lowell is a manufacturing town — 33 Mills, looms 6304; Spindles 204,076; Number of Persons employed 8735 — Females 6,320. Yards of cloth manufactured weekly, 6,459,100 — Annually 75,873,200.
Made a visit to Boston; had the opportunity of ascending the Bunkerhill Monument, the State House and all other objects of note in the town. Saw a number of small brass cannon that were used on Bunker Hill during the first hostilities with England. Spent the Winter very agreeably up to this date.
March 12th, 1845, Left Lowell, March 29, proceeded to Boston, thence to N. Y. thence to Philadelphia, thence to Pittsburgh, thence down the Ohio and up the Mississippi; arrived in Nauvoo April the 26th, 1845.
By council of P. P. Pratt nearly all the Elders were called in at that time. Journey home 2168 miles, found all things quiet. On the 29th of May was present at the laying of the last stone of the Temple.
On the 19th of June 1845, had a settlement with Temple Committee — Paid Tithing up to that date from the 12th of October 1840, at which time the Temple was commenced. On the 1st of July, 1845, joined the Second Quorum of Seventies.
167of leading and bearing off the Church and Kingdom fell upon the 12 who proceeded to organize and set all things in order. The names of the Quorum are as follows:
President of the Quorum, Brigham Young; Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, P. P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, John E. Page, Lyman White, George A. Smith, William Smith.
During the Summer of 1845 the work of organization continued till 30 quorums were set in order. I remianed at home and worked on the Temple this season. There were but very few Elders sent abroad this Summer — the main object of the Church being to build the Temple and Nauvoo House, which works were rushed on with great spirits.
The season glided away swiftly while all was peace and quietude, until all at once, without any notice, or the least cause, while the Saints were pursuing their common associations, a gang of ruffians on the 10th of September, 1845, commenced an attack upon a settlement — Marly settlement, South of Nauvoo, by burning their houses and driving defenseless families from their homes. This burning continued and spread in the Country branches, until 70 or 80 houses were consumed. During all this insult the Sheriff (Backentas) thinking that forbearance was no longer a virtue, organized a posse, set off for the burning district; found a company engaged in firing, and attacked them, killing some and driving the rest over the River, or rather they rushed over through fear. The Sheriff, at one time on his route from Warsaw to Nauvoo escaped narrowly, being pursued closely by four or five Ruffians on horseback; the sheriff coming up with friends called on them to save his life, whereupon one man, P. Rockwell, fired and killed a ruffian dead by the name of Warrell. Upon this they retreated. The sheriff with his possee took possession of the principal parties in the country. The Governor, seeing we were likely to overcome our enemies, sent a force of 400 men who paraded the county, and instead of bringing the burners to justice they came to Nauvoo in search of stolen goods, dead bodies, etc. At length troops were dismissed, except 50 men who remained at Carthage to protect the mob. The destruction of property ceased after 10 or 12 thousand dollars loss on our part, and all things remained quiet.
On the 6th of October 1845; we had a General Conference in the Temple. The main business of the Conference was to lay before the Brethren the propriety of removing as a Church and people into the Wilderness, out of reach of Gentile
At the opening of the Conference the standing of the Officers throughout the entire Church was tested by vote;
169All stood fast except Lyman Wight and William Smith; the former was laid over, but the latter lost his standing either as an Apostle or Patriarch, and directly after was cut off from the Church. Nothing strange or important transpired in Nauvoo, during the Autumn and Winter; the Companies turned their attention to building wagons, etc. The Nauvoo House being discontinued immediately after the commencement of the Hancock riots; the whole force was turned to the completion of the Temple, as also every necessary preparation for our contemplated removal in the spring.
I continued as a regular laborer on the Temple and witnessed the completion of the Upper Room in which the Endowments commenced about the 1st of December, 1845. From this period the Temple was thronged, things being rushed on with the greatest haste. As many as 500 went through in twenty-four hours, this not common. Received my endowments in January, 1846. The work continued till the 8th of February when all was stopped; and immediate preparations entered into for a removal. The crossing commenced on or about the 2nd of February, 1846, and continued till the 16th; as fast as they crossed removed back four or five miles and camped, waiting for all to cross.
April 24, 1846: The ferrys are crowded; the Brethren are crossing with all diligence and going on to join the main camp. The works on the Temple ceased April 23rd, 1846; that is, the Joiner work — the painters and masons continued a few days longer.
Since June 1845 I have labored 202 days on the Temple.
May 24th, 1846; we packed our things and removed to the river-bank; on the 25th crossed the Mississippi and moved back in the Territory 2 or 3 miles and camped.
May 26, 1846: we ascended the bluffs, and some six miles from Nauvoo we found ourselves on a high and sightly place where we had a most splendid view of the Temple and every house almost in Nauvoo; this was a farewell view; thence proceeded on our journey, slowly, at the rate of 12 miles a day. Perhaps reached the Des Moines River on the 28th, crossed the 29th, then onward slowly, found a great number of brethren on the road, as many as forty wagons, tents, herds of cattle, flocks of sheep were seen in abundance; moving onward we traveled through a country interspersed with small prairies well adopted to husbandry, and somewhat improved.
June 5th, 1846; we entered a large prairie about one hundred miles from Nauvoo and very nearly beyond white settlements. This prairie continued all the way to the camp.
170We traveled on a high deviding ridge heading the streams and passing near points of timber.
June 15th, 1846; About 8 miles from camp, Mount Pisgah,
June 16th; reached the camp, crossed Grand River and pitched tent; here are many people camped in every direction, many ploughing, planting, etc.
On Sunday June 21st, 1846; two messengers returned from the camp of the Twelve on the Missouri River, and brought favorable tidings of the journey to the Mountains, plenty of Buffalo. The principal men at Council Bluffs as well as the big Chief of the Pottawatamies are favorable. One hundred men, mounted, armed and equipped were called for to go from this place with baggage wagons, provisions to serve as a front and rear guard, flanking parties, buffalo hunters, etc. etc. for the camp that moved on this Spring.
June 26th, 1846; Captain Allan attended by some four or six soldiers, arrived here from Leavenworth with documents from General Kearney of the West, who had received similar orders from the President of the United States, calling for 500 Mormons to volunteer to serve U. S. and operate against the Republic of Mexico in the now existing war, the declaration of which is dated May 13th, 1846. They were told after a hearing that all our men were needed to carry out our own measures, but were referred to the Authorities of the Church then to Council Bluffs.
July 3rd, 1846: owing to the disappointments, etc. found myself unable to go and consequently set out on my return to the settlement to procure means at the time of our departure. The Brethren were moving on by scores and hundreds. Arrived at Keokuk, Iowa, on the 10th, where and when my wife set off for the State of Maine, the home of her father. She went on business expecting to return in September, but was taken sick, the news of which reached me by means of letter.
On the 23rd of September I immediately packed my goods, and took them with me to St. Louis, stored them, proceeded
171on my journey to her relief. There was at that time a considerable number of Saints in St. Louis; some 60 families arrived during my stay. There were a part of the remnant left in Nauvoo, lately exiled by September mob. Proceeded by way of Illinois River, the chain of Lakes, Canal, Railroad, steamboat, to Clinton, Maine, 200 miles from Boston. Whole journey from Iowa 2400 miles. Arrived on the 21st of October at 5:00 o'clock. In consequence of her previous illness, was of course some time in gaining strength sufficient to return to the West, and even when recovered we found it impossible to set the means we expected because of rascality in those who should have been our friends; finding it impossible for us to get our rights we set off on our way Westward, January 14th, 1847, as a company intended leaving Boston, March 1st, 1847. I thought it best to tarry in Lowell for company, freight and passage being increased; the time of our departure was again postponed till April 12th. Proceeded by land across the country by way of Philadelphia, Pittsburg, etc. arrived in St. Louis May 1st. Here detained for a boat to the Bluff till May 11th; whole distance from Maine to the Bluff 2900 miles. Arrived there May 24th, and prepared immediately for a tour of the Rocky Mountains. The Church is in a scattered state, vet a strong body organized themselves and called the town Winter Quarters.
A company of Pioneers left Winter Quarters April 1st, 300 strong to open the way and select a spot for a resting-place for the people of God. All things now ready I set off June 5th, in company with about 50 wagons, and arrived at the Horn, built a raft and prepared to cross. 9th, all across, but more coming. On the 14th, about 200 wagons camped side by side; here we burned coal, set fires, built bridges, remained in camp till the 19th; thence to the Platte there stopped for all to come on. The same day of our encampment some men on their way to Winter Quarters were attacked by three Indians — Omahaws — one named Weatherby was shot through and died soon after. On the first wagon arriving on the Platte the relics of a man were found. By means of a letter found with him, he was found to be a bearer of dispatches from the Indian agent at the Bluffs to the Pawnee station, evidently
172an Indian. It was not ascertained by whom he was killed.
While in Camp on the Platte our organization was completed; we kept up a guard by day and night; our cattle are herded in compacts; and the cattle of each 50 by themselves. We are numbered, men and boys from 12 years and upwards, the whole body being organized into hundreds, fifties and tens —
25th, 1847; Came to Loup Fork, camped on its banks in the evening. Five men from Pawnee passed on their way to Council Bluffs.
Sunday, June 28, 1847: Remained in Camp — 130 miles from Winter Quarters; six miles from Pawnee village. The country through which we pass is quite destitute of timber, level and quite sandy, for the most part. There are some small streams to pass, but none of magnitude. The village of the Pawnees seemed a work of some magnitude, but now in ruins, being burned by the Sioux last year. The roofs of their wigwams are round, formed of poles, covered with grass and earth. We saw and examined the cells in the earth where they conceal their corn. We saw no Indians yet some few seemed lurking around. A calf which had lagged behind came up with an arrow shot through his back. A few whites at the station forming for the Indians.
June 30, 1847: Still on the north side of Loup Fork — but finding deep ravines we determined to cross.
July 1st, 1847: All on the side, south, of Loup Fork — 18 miles above the Pawnee station a few buffalo seen for the first time.
Sunday, July 6th, 1847, camped on the Platte at Grand
173Island — 170 miles from Winter Quarters. The whole camp of near 600 wagons arranged in order on a fine plain, beautifully adorned with roses. The plant called the prickly pear, grown spontaneously; our cattle are seen in herds in the distance; the whole scene is grand and delightful. Good health and good spirits prevail in the camp. Our labors are more than they otherwise would be, on account of the scarcity of men — 500 being in the army, and about 200 Pioneers ahead of us. We were one day going from Loup Fork to the Platte, the land somewhat broken.
July 6th, camped on the old camping-ground of the Pioneers; found a guide-board with inscription as follows:
"April 29th, 30th, 1847, Pioneers all well, short grass, rushes plenty, fine weather, watch Indians, 217 miles from Winter Quarters."
July 7th, 1847, saw herds of antelopes, very wild; shot one. Fine camping ground, good grass.
July 8th, 1847: Weather fine, for three days we have passed multitudes of Prairie-dog villages — they are certainly a curiosity to the traveler; they live in cells, the entrance of which is guarded against the rain. Thousands of these little creatures dwell in composts, and as we pass great numbers of them set themselves up to look at us; they resemble a ground-hog, or wood chuck, but smaller. Passed another Pioneer camping ground; found inscriptions on Buffalo Heads, or skulls. They had killed 11 Buffalo 250 miles from Winter Quarters.
July 10th, 1847: Camped on the Platte which I crossed; found it one mile wide, three feet deep, one foot on an average, current three miles an hour.
July 11, 1847: Killed six buffalo. It was supposed that 1500 hundred were seen at one time. The grass in places is eaten close by them. Those killed weighed from four to ten hundred each, one thing worthy of notice. The ground here and a week's journey back is in many places covered with a something called Salt Petre; the ground is crushed with it. Weather warm, good health.
July 15th, 1847: Camped by a large spring of water 200 or 300 miles from Winter Quarters. Buffalo in abundance; killed all we wanted. Two horses found some distance back and obtained; one had a bridle on, the other a halter. Two found yesterday but could not be taken. With the exception of the Platte bottom the country on this side north of the river is a continual succession of sand-hills, small valleys between.
July 16th, 1847: 216 miles from Fort Laramie, 15 miles from the Forks of the Platte; have seen today many thousand
174head of buffalo. On each side of the river hills and valleys were literally covered with them. Their meat is good and wholesome. At evening while our herd was feeding on the plain, some twenty buffalo came running to them; our cattle were frightened and ran. In the meantime our men fired upon them, killed one and wounded three.
July 17, 1847: Traveled 14 miles and camped; at noon killed one buffalo.
Sunday, July 18th, 1847: Remained in camp; were somewhat troubled to keep the buffalo out of the herds. During the night they bellowed about us and an alarm was given by the guard to keep the buffalo out of camp. News reached us that 73 head of cattle were strayed from the third hundred, who were some twenty miles behind; they broke out on the night of the 16th, being frightened. Men being called for to search after them we were still detained in camp daring the 19th. We are now in a country entirely destitute of timber — buffalo dung dried on the plain is our only substitute. Yesterday six stray horses were seen, one taken. Some letters reached us from the Morman Ferry,
175Emigrants. Our men found four oxen and drove them in — strays.
July 20th, 1847: Concluded to raise the oxen lost from other companies, and go on as no trace of the 70 head had been found. Traveled 8 miles to find grass, camped, crossed Rugged Bluffs. Talk of crossing the Platte; for many days we have scarcely been out of sight of herds of Buffalo.
July 21st, 1847; Country sandy, while crossing some Rugged Bluffs we at once came in sight of Buffalo, almost without number, the river for miles swarming with them; as we approached they ran in multitudes over the Bluffs; traved 12 miles, — camped.
July 22, 1847: Saw the carcasses of 13 Buffalo just killed, which gave us to understand that a large body of Indians were near. At mid-day we came in sight of 100 or 110 Indian Lodges. We were no sooner in camp at evening, than they came running on horseback to our camp, about 100 in number. Report rang through the camp that a body of Indians were coming with a red flag, but on near approach it proved to be the Stars and Stripes. They are of the Sioux nation — the neatest and most cleanly Indians I ever saw. They were friendly; we gave them a feast of bread, etc. after firing a cannon, the Indians retired to their lodges about 2 miles distance.
July 23rd, 1847: remained in camp awaiting the arrival of the third hundred. The Indians again visited us in greater numbers; our people traded with them — gave them bread, meal and corn, etc. for the Moccasins Buffalo robes, and after the usual feast was over they commenced a dance. That over, our people got up a dance also with martial music. After firing two cannons they returned to their lodge in peace.
July 24th, 1847: Traveled 13 miles. As soon as we were under way the Indians were with us by scores to trade. They followed us for some miles; some of our men went over to their lodges and were kindly received and invited to dine, which invitation they accepted. Their meal consisted of dried meat pounded. Our men bought some oxen of them which they had found with the Buffalo. All the dishes which the Indians had were earth shells; skins of beasts are used to carry water, corn, etc. This nation can, we are told, mount thirty or forty-thousand warriors — very wealthy in horses. This body of which we speak is merely a hunting party, 2 or 3 hundred strong, with considerable number of horses, for pack-horses.
July 25th, 1847; Lay in camp. Brethren met us from Pioneers; brought us cheering tidings;
July 26th, 1847: Traveled 20 miles; a considerable number of Indians were seen on the other side of the river going on. No timber except some small cedars. We have seen no buffalo for some days.
July 27th, 1847: Traveled 18 miles. Country level with some exceptions. Met another body of Indians. Seemed friendly; good grass.
July 28th, 1847: Traveled 17 miles; saw timber to our left across the river. For some days rocks have shown themselves in the bluffs, but today Lodges appear in some places 20 feet high; at evening we had a gale and thunderstorm — and rain.
July 29th, 1847: Traveled 20 miles; camped near Chimney rock about 90 miles from Ft. Laramie: met a party of men from Oregon on horseback. Saw High Bluffs in the distance; weather fine.
July 30th, 1847: Traveled 18 miles through a country almost barren and camped on a fine bottom of rich grass and rushes. Exceeding high Bluffs, and shelving rocks found some creatures and killed them; that they called Mountain Goats; they resemble our sheep except the wool.
July 31st, 1847: Traveled 13 miles. This high range continues and places resemble wind castles and towers of immense magnitude. Some timber about two miles from the river in the Bluffs, Pine Cedars, etc.
August 1st, 1847: Sunday lay in camp; some of our cattle sick, supposed to be poisoned with Saltpetre spoken of, two died. General health with people. 2nd: Traveled 25 miles — poor grass, sandy plain. 3rd: Traveled 12 miles, going sandy very hard; came in sight of some high peaks of the Black Hills. August 4th: Traveled 12 miles over sandy plains; some men passed us from California on their way to the States — about fifty in number. General Kearney and his attendents horse back, many pack horses, camped within a few miles of Laramie, thence up the south side; not enter the Black Hills: 5th: Traveled 8 miles, crossed the Platte at Laramie, thence up the south side; now enter the Black Hills, a range of the Rocky Mountains. These heights are covered with a growth of small pitch-pine; valleys small, land very broken, grass poor, and but little of it. Fort Laramie, so called, is on the Platte. At the foot of the Black Hills, occupied by some Frenchmen. They build for dwellings of some kind of Ft. built of unburnt brick. This does well. As some of our cattle gave out we exchanged with the traders for fresh ones — they sell and buy cattle. At Laramie we struck the Oregon track.
August 6th, 1847: Traveled 6 miles. August 7th remained in camp to recruit and repair for the mountains.
August 8th, 1847: Moved four miles; some men in search of game saw a bear who returned to his den with threatening hard to give battle. The land with the exception of the valleys along the river is one continual succession of hills, rugged in their appearance.
August 9th, 1847: Traveled 16 miles; broke two wagons, crossed rugged hills and craggy rocks.
August 10th, 1847: Traveled 18 miles; we obliged to travel so far and no farther on account of stopping places. Since we left the Platte on the 9th we have no water except at these places where there are brooks and springs; some number. Pitch-pine on the hills, a species of willow on the water courses, the grass what little there is, is as dry as if cured like hay.
August 11th, 1847: Ascended a very high hill and camped on the top, having broke two wagons; found some grass in deep ravines, gravel roads, some stone and rocks, wearing on our cattle's feet. Traveled three miles.
August 12th, 1847: Traveled 17 miles — one continual succession of hills, quite difficult, lofty blue peaks are seen in the distance; new species of fowl was brought in called the sage bird.
August 13, 1847: Traveled 18 miles; arrived at our camping grounds late in the evening; roads very bad, broke two wagons camped on a creek of spring water, some timber, good grass a mile up the creek; country very broken and rocky, a plant called sage is about the only thing seen growing except water course.
August 14 and 15th, 1847: Lay in camp to repair and recruit. Killed three buffalo, saw hundreds, almost the 1st of some weeks. A man from the Mormon Ferry met us,
178brought tidings from the Pioneers that they had pitched upon a place for the Saints to locate — had laid off a City and Temple lot near Salt Lake, 450 miles from us.
August 16th, 1847: Traveled 12 miles; arrived at the Platte — roads a little more level; met E. T. Benson; he confirmed the tidings from the Pioneers.
August 17th, 1847:. Traveled 12 miles on the Bank of the Platte.
August 18th, 1847: Traveled 13 miles and camped at the Mormon Ferry, 120 miles from (Fort) Laramie, 400 miles from Salt Lake. Grass very scarce, rainy weather, quite cool.
August 19th, 1847: Traveled 7 miles, crossed the Platte, and camped on the north bank; here met five men waiting for us.
August 20th, 1847: Traveled 14 miles, left the Platte, which here is quite a small stream, and struck off for the Sweetwater 50 miles distant. Saw Buffalo plenty, killed two; camped by a spring, saltpetre here. Three oxen died, one cow, numbers sick; timber seen on the mountains, said to be none on the road for 200 miles. Sage used for fuel; ledges of rock seen here and there; roads hard and good; camped on a brook two miles and a half from its head.
August 21st, 1847; Traveled 12 miles; roads sandy.
August 22nd, 1847: Traveled 14 miles and camped on a fine creek well stored with fish. Grass scarce; the country begins to look mountainous and rocky.
August 23rd, 1847: Lay in Camp. 24th, traveled 12 miles at 12 o'clock arrived at Saleratus Lake — was found dried down to a crust of from one to six inches in thickness, which we broke with axes and gathered all we wanted, tons of white and pure, so far as we know, Saleratus lay here a wonder and an astonishment to the passersby. The earth under this crust appeared to us like potash, equally as strong. There is considerable heat in it. Two miles further we arrived at Independence Rock, a place of moment with travelers, where hundreds of names are painted or engraved; here we enter the pass to the mountains, rocky points appear on every side with a narrow defile. Before arriving at this rock we strike the Sweetwater — a branch of the Platte.
August 25th, 1847: Traveled 14 miles up the Sweetwater. After going two miles passed thru the Devils Gate, a defile with rocky heights on either side; here the river passes thru a split in a high rock or mountain.
August 26th, 1847: Traveled 10 miles; roads very sandy, a heavy white frost; saw camp grounds where, to appearance, near one hundred Indians had been a few days since.
August 27th, 1847: Frost; traveled 10 miles. 28th: Traveled 10 miles; traced the Sweetwater thru deep defiles with very high rocky summits on either side. A messenger from companies behind came up with us with dispatches from Brother Taylor, stating that their cattle were sick and dying, and requesting help, but as we could render none, we moved on. This mineral, whatever it may be, proves to be destructive to cattle. At one time being turned out to feed, our cattle came in nearly all sick; Some died; early in the Season this difficulty is avoided, but now the streams are low and the grass short, so that cattle eat the salt-petre with grass; the waters are tinctured with it also.
August 29th, 1847: Traveled 18 miles, roads sandy, without feed or water, met about fifteen pioneers on their return; Ascertained the distance to be less than we expected.
August 30, 1847: Traveled 10 miles; camped at the foot of a large hill.
August 31, 1847: Traveled 8 miles; camped by a springs; snowy mountains seen in the distance; met more Pioneers on their return.
September 1st, 1847: Traveled 15 miles. 2nd: Traveled 12 miles; went through South Pass, the waters turn towards the Pacific; camped by the Pacific Springs, very miry. 3rd: Traveled 24 miles without water or grass; passed the Oregon road. We turn South on the California track; camped on Little Sandy. 4th: Lay in camp. The Twelve and others came up with us; in the evening had an interesting meeting where they gave full description of the land, a good report. 5th: Traveled 8 miles and camped in Big Sandy; country level and sandy. 6th: Traveled 17 miles. Big Sandy again. 7th: Traveled 12 miles and camped on Green River, snow and rain — cold. 8th: Lay in camp to recruit and repair, and dry goods wet in crossing — found an abundance of black currants on other streams; also we found and dried putty.
September 9th, 1847: Traveled 15 miles and camped on Ham's Fork. 10th: Traveled 10 miles, 11th: Traveled 15 miles and camped on Black's Fork, 18 miles from Fort Bridger, a trading post occupied by some French traders. This is near
180two small rapid streams of pure cold water. The traders keep a considerable number of cattle and horses, very good horses which are used for riding and carrying burdens from place to place. Furs are carried in this way to water navigation on the Yellowstone; goods bought in this way and sold at a very high price.
September 14th, 1847; Traveled 13 miles and camped on Muddy Creek about 100 miles from the valley. The country is somewhat broken, sandy and barren; some scrub cedars on the high lands, some timber on the creeks. The weather is quite cool; hard frost last night.
September 15th, 1847: Traveled 10 miles and camped on a mountain; night overtook us there.
September 16th, 1847: Traveled 10 miles and camped on Bear River. One mile and a half before arriving at our camp ground we passed a Tar Spring; it is an oily substance resembling tar which we use on our wagon axles.
Sept. 17, 1847: Traveled 5 miles; had trouble about finding our cattle in thickets. Came over a mountain and camped by spring in a deep defile. Traveled 10 miles and camped at a cave rock; killed some antelope; grass somewhat dried and frost-bitten, yet plenty. The country appears more beautiful after crossing the Bear River Mountains.
Sept. 19, 1847: Traveled 10 miles and nearly all day in a narrow defile with high mountains on either side; camped on the head waters of a small stream leading into Weber River.
Sept. 20, 1847; Traveled 15 miles in the before named canyon. Echo; very high rocks, which in places tower for hundreds of feet above, and in places nearby over us as we passed in or near the bed stream. Toward evening struck Weber River and followed it down to our camp ground. This is a small rapid river, well stored with fish; some timber called "Balm of Gilead." Met men and oxen on their way from the valley to meet the camps.
Sept. 21, 1847: Entered Pratt's Pass, traveled 9 miles, having been troubled to find our cattle; got a late start, consequently was out late in the evening. Broke three wagons, tipped one over by moonlight, which with its load rolled down hill. In the morning it was considered best to break up into small companies, which we did.
Sept. 22, 1847: Traveled 9 miles and broke one wagon, left it; roads very bad and dusty.
Sept. 23, 1847; Traveled 10 miles, bad roads; crossed a high mountain; saw the Valley from its top; camped at the foot of another mountain; grass plenty; our view of the Valley
181just named reminded me of the space between mighty billows at sea.
Sept. 24, 1847: Ascended the second mountain, very high and steep; in descending it were compelled to chain two wheels. At sunset found ourselves camped within the bounds of Great Salt Lake, in the Great Basin of North America — 22 miles from Salt Lake. This valley is said to be about 100 by 20 miles in extent, with a deep rich soil covered with grass, the whole being beautifully diversified with springs and streams of the very best of water, the largest of which runs West of the City, and is called Western Jordan. This Valley is on or near the boundary between the Utah and Snake or Shoshone nations of Indians. There are at no great distance from the City warm and hot springs of both fresh and salt water; four measures of water out of Salt Lake make one of the very best salt, when evaporated, an abundance of salt is procured about the shore at this time of the year. I was led to exclaim when first viewing this beautiful space, hemmed in with lofty mountains, "Behold a resting place prepared and had in reserve for the Saints." There is but little timber in the valley, and that little is found along the streams and is called "Cottonwood" or "Balm of Gilead;" in the Canyons or deep cuts between, we find Oak, Maple, Balsam, Fir, etc. This last named timber resembles Pine: from these Canyons we have to haul nearly all our wood and timber from 6 to 10 miles. The weather continued warm until the 20th of October, when a little snow fell in the Valley and made the mountains appear white; from this: the cold increased very fast. The 1st day of November the snow fell about four inches deep, but soon melted. November 16th; snow fell four or five inches deep, frost pretty severe. Thus far in November, since our arrival all have been busily engaged in hauling wood, timber, building houses, sowing wheat. In October a part of the Brethren in the Battalion arrived; some continued their journey to Winter Quarters, others remained with us. About the middle of November a company fitted out for lower California to procure seed, shrubs, etc. etc.
Dec. 15, 1847: Weather cold. Many men complaining of frost bitten feet, though the weather thus far has changed, after cold a few days, pleasant again.
Jan. 2, 1848: Weather cool, though pleasant for winter weather; the ground being dry at the commencement of cold weather did not freeze, but is now frozen to the depth of 8 inches or more, being moistened by melting snow.
Some Indians have been in and out of camp, but as yet have done no harm. Yesterday, New Year's, a public meeting was held — a few laws framed by a committee and sanctioned by the High Council, were presented to the people, and adopted for the time being. They are as follows: ORDINANCE 1st. Respecting Vagrants, that no exertion be spared respecting cultivating the earth. ORDINANCE 2nd. Respecting disorderly persons or disturbers of the peace, to be punished with stripes not exceeding thirty-nine or fined at the discretion of the judges. ORDINANCE 3rd. Respecting Adultery or Fornification. Any persons or person convicted of the above crime to receive on the bare back lashes not to exceed thirty nine, or to be fined in the sum of, not to exceed $1,000. ORDINANCE 4th. Concerning stealing, robbing, housebreaking, etc., any person or persons convicted of any of the above crimes to be punished with lashes not exceeding thirty nine, and to restore four fold. ORDINANCE 5th. Respecting drunkenness, swearing, cursing, etc., any person or persons convicted of these charges to be fined not to exceed $25.00 nor less than $1.00. Passed in behalf of the High Council and people of Great Salt Lake City, Dec. 27, 1847.
Through February and March we had considerable falling weather. Heavy rains and frosts in April. A somewhat severe frost on the 27th of May destroyed all our gardens. Light rains on the first of May; about the middle, the dry season set in.
June 22nd, 1848: Jesse Wentworth Crosby born. When harvest was over a public feast was held — A Liberty Pole raised on which a sheaf of wheat, one of barley, rye, and oats were raised. Public thanks offered and all the people with one accord shouted HALLELUAH TO GOD AND THE LAMB"; The entertainment closed with music and dancing.
We had to depend mostly on irrigation, though we had light rains, during the season of raising crops. A kind of cricket, which are our greatest annoyance, destroyed or more of all planted; and would have destroyed more or all, had it not been for the timely interference of the Gulls who came in Myriads, and dispelled the enemy, to our great joy, which was considered a direct interposition of Providence.
The High Council convened and made it a fineable offence to shoot one, not withstanding our harvest was quite abundant.
The emigration came on in the Fall, some 600 or 800 wagons strong. They brought us news of great revolution in Europe; no particular change in the U. S. Our Winter for 1848 came on early and quite severe, which was very hard on the Brethren — many of whom lived in wagons, tents, etc. during the Winter. The snow fell deep which increased the suffering of the people. The winter finally broke and the Spring opened pleasantly. Things moved on harmoniously, except a few dissenting spirits who left us for California Gold Mines. Some Indians killed some of our cattle and on refusing to give themselves up four of them were killed by a party of our men.
On the 24th of July, 1849: a public anniversary was held in honor of the day on which the Pioneers entered the Valley; several thousand persons were present and a public dinner was prepared, and all invited to partake, rich and poor, black and white. The day was spent very magnificently and the firing of cannon, etc. etc. 24 Bishops with as many banners with very appropriate mottoes, such as
"HAIL TO OUR MARTY
"HAIL TO OUR CHIEFTAN"
"HOLINESS TO THE LORD"
"GOD AND LIBERTY" etc. etc.
I had the honor of acting as captain of our division of the people of the 17th ward. Many strangers were present on their way to the Gold Mines, who were invited to come and
184partake without money or price of the sumptuous dinner, which consisted chiefly of the fruit of the valley.
Many thousand men passed through the Valley this season on their way to the Gold regions, which the Saints discovered in 1847, but they received as little credit for their discovery as Columbus did for his discovery of America.
Very great improvements were made on every hand and an abundance was raised to supply ourselves and the thousands of Saints that come to our standard. All things passed on steadily till towards spring 1850. A company of renegade Indians committed depredations on a company of the Saints settled in Utah Valley. These grievances had been of long continuance, and could be born no longer. The Indians were a company of thieves and murderers collected out of several Tribes and universally hated by their own people. A company of men were ordered to go in search of these desperadoes to hunt them out and destroy them. There were several hard fights — in one of these one of our men were killed, some two or three wounded slightly. The skirmishes continued some two or three weeks; and ended in the almost entire destruction of the Indians except the women and children who were brought to the city as prisoners of war. They were kept for a while and then set at liberty. Throughout this affair the Providence of God was manifested to a great degree, for the Indians were well armed and had plenty of ammunition; some 40 of them were killed, and only one of our men, and that by his own imprudence.
Spring came, and at the April Conference, I was called in company with seven others, to go on Missions to England. We had 16 days notice to get ready for a journey of some 8,000 miles. I accordingly set about the work and made every provision within my reach for my wife and children, three in number, the youngest Samuel Obed, born August 26th, 1849, but 8 months old. I got ready to leave my family, my farm, city lot, house, etc. that I had toiled so hard to improve; and on the 19th of April bid farewell to the beautiful Valley, and left all for Christ's sake, and the Gospel's to go to a foreign nation and travel without purse or script, in the midst of this unfriendly and uncharitable generation, far away from kind friends and Happy Home.
Our first day's journey took us over the first mountain, on the top of which we found snow some 10 feet deep — a great change from the City, only some 8 or 10 miles distance; garden vegetables were up and thriving. We were compelled to stop two days and break a road with our feet, forming ourselves into two lines (there being some 30 men in all traveling
185east with us) Treading the snow with our feet in the middle of the day when the snow was soft. Then at night the frost formed a hard road, especially where we had trodden, so as to bear our horses, oxen and wagons. By this means we crossed over snow at least 20 feet deep, and with safety scaled the summit of the second mountain, and proceeded on our journey, but with much toil, as we often found ourselves in deep snow and were compelled to shovel our way, that is, throwing the snow before our teams and wagons for miles together, thus heaping up the snow on either side so that the teams could pass. It seemed a great undertaking being rather early in the season. But as we had started, all to a man refused to turn back, calling to mind the promises of God made to us through his servants when we were set apart by the laying on of hands to go on the mission. (I will here insert a copy of the blessing pronounced upon my head by President Brigham Young, at the time I was set apart for my mission to England:
"BROTHER JESSE W. O. CROSBY: We bless and set thee apart to go on the mission to England in the name of Jesus Christ; and we pray our Heavenly Father to enlighten thy mind that thou mayest comprehend all the arts and sciences. Thou shalt have power over the wicked. Thy enemies shall flee before thee.
Lift up thy voice to the nations of the earth and the Lord will give thee language that thou shalt be able to confound the wisdom of the wise.
The Angel of the Lord shall go before thee that thy feet slip not. Thou shalt have all that thy hear desires in righteousness, and thou shalt return to thy family in peace and be mighty in Israel; The elements will be subject to thee, and thv soul will be satisfied.
We seal these blessings upon thee in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN."
Those on missions with me to Europe are as follows:
Moses Clawson, William Burton, James Works, I. C. Haight, Appleton M. Harmon, Robert Campbell, John O. Angus, C. V. Spencer. Some were of weakly constitutions and our toils were very great, but every man nerved himself up and bared his breast to the storm. Brother Thomas Grover traveled with us, and had his family, but the remainder of the company soon left us, being stronger handed. We had several snow-storms, and on the 28th we were compelled to leave the road on account of the snow and take to the hills, which were so soft that our wheels cut in half way to the axle-trees. Some of our
186oxen tired out.
April 29th, 1850: Came to the Weber River; forded it and camped to let our teams rest, having come forty miles in eleven days, by incessant toil. In the afternoon drove four miles and camped at the mouth of the Red Fork of the Weber.
April 30, 1850: Came up Red Fork 15 miles and camped near a deep ravine; Teams weak; Feed poor, weather fine.
May 1st, 1850:. Came about nine miles, roads soft, snow deep in places; some complaining of ill health.
May 2, 1850: Came over a hill divide one and one-half miles, and camped in a snow storm.
May 3, 1850: Snow deep; in places deep mud, heavy roads; came about 9 miles and camped without water, wood or grass of any consequence. Weather cold; shoveled half mile through snow after camping.
May 4, 1850: Came to Bear River, crossed it and same up with a party that had left us; weather clear and fine.
May 5, 1850: Sunday remained in camp. 80 miles from home; having been 17 days performing the journey: All hands wearied and fatigued, and our teams somewhat worn down, yet all in good spirits. We have our devotions morning and evening, singing and prayer.
May 6, 1850: Left Bear River, came 5 miles and camped at the foot of the mountain; roads bad, had to travel on the sides of the hills. Snow deep.
May 7, 1850: Traveled 16 miles, crossed the mountains and camped on Spring Creek; roads rather better, not much snow; weather fine; all well.
May 8th, 1850: Traveled 10 miles; came to Fort Bridger. 113 miles from Salt Lake City. Thus after 20 days of hard and incessant toil we found ourselves out of the snow and in little better footing. After trading a little with the mountaineers; moved onto a camping place of some Frenchmen, with whom we traded cattle, bought provisions, etc.
May 9, 1850: Came to Muddy Creek and camped; 128 miles from the Valley. The snow has disappeared; roads good, but streams very high.
May 10th, 1850: Came 15 miles; crossed several creeks. very high; camped on Ham's Fork.
May 11th, 1850: Crossed Ham's Fork; had to raise our wagon beds and crossed by means of stretching chains across the stream and hitching our teams on the opposite side. Came 13 miles and camped without water.
May 12, 1850: Came 10 miles and camped on Green River; weather fine; traveling good.
May 13, 1850: Crossed, water almost over our wagons,
187foods and provisions wet. Met a large body of Snake Indians. Came 17 miles and camped on Big Sandy; feed poor.
May 14, 1850: Traveled 12 miles and camped on Little Sandy. Feed poor.
May 15, 1850: Traveled 20 miles; met a company of "Gold Diggers" on their way to the mines. Camped on Pacific Creek, so called from the fact that from this divide the stream runs westward toward the Pacific.
May 16, 1850: Came 4 miles and were caught in a thunder storm, very violent. Storm over, moved on — 16 1/2 miles in all; camped on the Sweetwater; rain storm; A large company of "Gold Diggers" camped with us, from 100 to 150 men.
May 17, 1850: Came four miles and camped on Small Creek.
May 18, 1850: Traveled down Sweet Water, crossed stream, deep and rapid.
May 19, 1850: Sunday, thought best to travel as there was but poor grass for our teams. Crossed a very bad "Alkali" swamp and by reason of taking a wrong road camped at Alkali Springs, after traveling 10 1/2 miles.
May 20, 1850: Traveled 7 miles and camped on the River Bank.
May 21st, 1850: Road very sandy, and a large train of Emigrants for the mines. Amongst others we saw a man with a wheelbarrow, which he had rolled some 800 and was still in good spirits moving on, having some 1200 miles before him yet through the wilds of nature, carrying with him his scanty supply of provisions, bedding, arms and ammunition, etc. Traveled 8 miles and camped at Gravel Bluffs.
May 22, 1850: Wind high, road sandy: came 19 1/2 miles and camped two miles west of Devils Gate. At this gate the Sweet Water River passes through a mountain of rocks which rise some hundreds of feet on either side, in perpendicular form; the sight is grand, standing on a level with the river and viewing men on the summit they seem but mere specks.
May 23rd, 1850: Traveled 17 miles; met several trains of "Gold Diggers"; camped on Grease Wood Creek.
May 24, 1850: Came 19 miles; passed Alkali Swamp and Creek, and camped on dry creek. Brother Grover very sick; the road thronged with gold diggers.
May 25, 1850: Came 21 miles to the Platte; wind high, very dusty.
May 26, 1850: Resolved to stop a few days and recruit and exchange our oxen for horses, etc. In the meantime all went to work, except two that were appointed to trade with like Gold Diggers, and helped tile Ferrymen. Sixteen of the
188Brethren who came from the Valley for the purpose of establishing a ferry, to build two boats, which was done by going to the mountains for timber some miles distant and hewing large trees down to four inches gunwales, for the sides, and sawing boards with pit-saws for the bottom, etc. These boats were managed by means of large ropes stretched across the stream, then with pully blocks working on the before named rope, then Guy ropes attached to each end of the boat, and to the two blocks with pulleys, then drop one end of the boat so that the force of the current pressing against it will push the boat across, then reverse the process and the boat will recross and make in about five minutes. The stream is very deep and rapid. After a stop of eight days, having assisted the Brethren till the last boat was launched, and our wagons (having left the most of our camp, equipage and wagons, except one) and teams constituted the first load.
Early in the morning of June 3rd, 1850: bid farewell to our friends and two of our party. Father Eldredge and Molen, who had journeyed thus far with us on their way to the States, but concluded to return to the Valley, not able to stand the journey, and we prosecuted the journey with good horse teams: All were well pleased. Traveled 13 miles and camped on Muddy Creek.
June 4, 1850: Came 24 miles; camped on a creek.
June 5, 1850: Came 27 miles and camped on the Labonte. Roads good, and all pleased to be able to expedite our journey onwards.
June 6, 1850: Came 30 miles; Camped on Horse Creek:The road swarming with "Gold Diggers."
June 7, 1850: Arose early in the morning; horses gone; camp rallied; bought a horse to search for the missing. One of the party mounted the horse and rode several miles on the road west but could get no trace of the lost; diligent search was made, and at length a trail was found leading into the mountains which we followed with all diligence and came up with the horses in the evening. All very thankful that we were again able to move on.
June 8th, 1850: Came 24 miles and camped on the Platte.
June 9th, 1850: Sunday, remained in camp — eight or ten miles west of Ft. Laramie.
June 10th, 1850: Traveled 18 miles, passed the Fort which is now a government post. It is surprising to see the whole country teeming with "gold diggers."
The whole number that have passed this Fort are as follows: 16,915 Men, 235 Women, 242 Children, 4,627 Wagons,
1894,642 Mules, 14,974 Horses, 7,475 Oxen, 1,052 Cows, as reported to us officially.
This was not supposed to be more than one-fourth of the emigration on the move.
June 11th, 1850: Traveled half the day and stopped to recruit.
June 12th, 1850: Met with two cases of cholera, both fatal; reports of sickness and death before us; great press of wagons insomuch that we seldom see the road.
June 13th, 1850: Traveled about 24 miles. Great number sick.
June 14th, 1850: Still traveling down the south side of the Platte; the stream too high to ford.
June 15th, 1850: Passed two new graves; were told of dreadful havoc with Cholera ahead, one man died near us at night; one of the Brethren dreamed he saw destroying angels in great numbers traveling west, with the gold diggers; he saw that we were compelled to meet these destroyers and he wondered within himself how we should escape, but was told that they had charge not to harm us, he saw that as we met them and came in close contact they turned out and gave us the road, etc.
June 17th, 1850: Traveled 20 miles; heavy trains passing on both sides of the river, almost continually, were saluted with reports of great mortality ahead, and seldom pass a train but what has lost from one to six men — more sick, which they have faith to believe will die soon. This I infer from their own answer. I ask: "Have you lost men?" "Yes, six, and three more sick, which we think will die today." One company of twelve lost 5 and the rest turned back; one company from Ohio lost 6 men; one small company of men all died; some women left alone with teams.
June 18th, 1850: Traveled some 20 miles, camped on the South Fork of the Platte; passed several new graves interred
190today, yesterday and day before, as we learn from inscriptions.
June 19th, 1850: Crossed the South Platte, all safe; several emigrant wagons became unaccupied and went rolling down the stream with the current. Quite unwell, several of the Brethren complaining.
June 20th, 1850: Traveled 25 miles; passed many graves — five new ones in one place. We had regular hours of devotion, prayer and singing morning and evening: thousands looked upon us with astonishment, wondering how we escaped the destroyer to a man having little or no sickness, and cheerfully united in singing the songs of Zion to the multitudes that came to talk to us.
One day as we passed a large train the Brethren united in singing as we traveled; all faces were turned towards us; many observations was heard; one said, "They are a cheerful lot, and the first that I have seen for weeks; who are they?"
June 21st, 1850: Traveled some 30 miles. Passed some graves that had been opened by wolves. Passed several heavy trains belonging to Government, bound for Fort Hall, also 100 mounted men, soldiers. Most of the emigrants that we meet now are bound for Oregon; the great mass of the gold diggers have passed the Cholera; still bad, nearly every wagon has lost some; one wagon of 8 men had lost two; one woman said she had lost her father, mother and sister; herself and another sister remained alone.
June 22nd, 1850: All well; met Holiday's train from Western Missouri, some families of Saints, all bound for the Valley. Traveled 18 miles; very few emigrants. The road quite clear.
June 23rd, 1850: Traveled 16 miles. Roads good.
June 24th, 1850: Traveled 20 miles; met a company of Saints from St. Louis and elsewhere; camped with Lorenzo Young and two other families traveling in company with men bound for the mines. Brother Young had some 427 head of sheep, and 70 head of cattle bound for the Valley.
June 25th, 1850: Met Captain Milo Andrus' company, 50 wagons strong, from Kanesville, bound for the Valley, all well and in good spirits, Traveled 20 miles and camped at Fort Kearney 200 miles from the Bluffs.
June 26th, 1850: Heavy rain during the night, the earth covered with water. Met with Captain Lake's company of 50 Saints; met another train of merchandise, Keincades' all bound
191for the Valley of the Saints. Camped with a company of the Saints — 68 wagons. Captain Thomas Johnson from Kanesville.
June 27th, 1850: Met Captain Aaron Johnson and company of 100 organized men, Saints all bound for the Valley; they had lost some by sickness — the first we heard of among the Saints. Met with Brother William Cameron, Brother Moses Tracy, Calvin, etc.
June 28th, 1850: Met Brother Flemming's Company of 23 wagons, including Blair's goods, all for the Valley; also met Captain James Pace and Sessions
June 30th, 1850: Traveled 27 miles along a very wet bottom; passed Captain Moss and 25 men, 13 wagons, and camped with Brother Roundy and company of 30 wagons.
July 1st, 1850: Traveled 27 miles; met 9 wagons belonging to Brother Snow's company of 100 organized men, and camped with Captain Woodruff's company of 62 wagons.
July 2nd, 1850: Met Brother Snow's company of 62 wagons; Brother Stephen Markham's company of 50 wagons, Saints bound for the Valley; traveled 25 miles and camped at Salt Creek.
July 3rd, 1850: Started on as usual: met 5 wagons — Government Stores bound for Fort Kearney. Met 15 wagons loaded with goods for the Valley, Middleton & Riley's. Passed 15 wagons, camped off the road; Government train. Some of the men had died, some had run away, and had the train unable to move. Crossed Weeping Water and stopped to Noon; passed nine graves in a row, all dated from June 15th to 29th.
July 4th, 1850: Started on in good season; met Brother Hunter, Woolley and Heywood with 27 wagons, 18 of them loaded with merchandise for the Valley — 28 tons weight; stopped to dinner with them, came on and crossed the Missouri River at Bethlehem. The weather intensely warm; fed our horses and came on ten miles and stopped at Brother Jonathan Browning's with Brother O. Hyde, who started that day for the Valley.
July 5th, 1850: Arrived in Kanesville; all well.
July 6th, 1850: Sold our teams and got ready to ship for St. Louis per steamer, but were obliged to stop on account of Boat which was every day expected, in this way we were detained till the 15th, when all hands tired of delay, we hired a man with a team to take me to St. Joseph 150 miles.
July 15th, 1850: Got under way and traveled some 20 miles to Keg Creek and stopped with some Brethren.
July 16th, 1850: Traveled 33 miles and stopped with Squire Palmer, a worthy man and well situated.
July 17th, 1850: Traveled 35 miles.
July 18th, 1850: Crossed the Nediway and camped five miles west of Savannah; here we heard of the death of President Taylor, that happened eleven day since; also of the commotion in Cuba. This is a good country, well improved.
July 19th, 1850: Friday morning; very sick, started on, though unable to travel; high fever and severe pain in right side; at length arrived in St. Joseph and went to bed till evening. Thence on board the Steamer "SACRAMENTO" bound for St. Louis, Missouri. As I walked down to the Steamer a gentleman walked by my side and wished to converse with me about the mountain country; as we were about to part he said: "I understand you are on your way to England." I replied in the affirmative. Said he, "Are you aware that the Cholera is very bad below?" Said I, "It cannot be worse than what we have already passed through." "Well," said he, "I have just come up and would not return to St. Louis at this time for the whole city. I would advise you to stop awhile." "No, I said, "I think we shall not stop; we started on a mission to England, whither we were sent." He said, "Well, I think there is ten chances for some if not all of you to die where there is one for all to get to England." I said, "All you say may be true but we shall go on or die trying." "Well, well," said he, "you have good courage." "Well, we are engaged in a good cause," replied I. These were my feelings, though at the same time I was scarcely able to sit up, and as soon as I had bid the gentleman and others "goodbye" returned to my state room and kept it most of the way down to St. Louis, and for whole days scarcely got out of my berth. Our gallant boat run down that night to Weston (June 19th) lay up till morning; got under way about ten A. M., touched at Fort Leavenworth, Independence, and the Missouri at a good height of water.
July 21st, 1850: Passed Jefferson City.
July 22nd, 1850: After touching at St. Charles (where we got some ripe apples, the first we had seen for three years) arrived at the mouth of the river at 7 A. M., and to St. Louis
193at Nine. Stopped till evening; got passage on board the "SENATOR," bound for LaSalle, Illinois River. Left St. Louis at 6 P. M. having parted with four of our company there.
July 23rd, 1850: Passed fine scenery, fine towns. Naples, Meridotia, Beardstown, etc. Met several boats on their way to St. Louis.
July 24th, 1850: Arrived at daylight at Peoria, beautiful prairie bordering on the river; rich farms; the scenery still more delightful; arrived at LaSalle at 4 P. M. Got on board the evening "Packet" "PRAIRIE." State drawn by three horses on Canal; left at 6 P. M., made good speed.
July 25th, 1850: Heat oppressive, health poor; arrived at Chicago 6 P. M. Put up at the New York House; in the evening searched out a few Saints that lived in the town.
July 26th, 1850: Brother Haight and Spencer left on board the "JULIUS MORTON" via Central Railroad to Buffalo. Myself in company with Brother A. M. Herman took passage on steamer "CANADA" for Southport and arrived in the evening. July 27th and 28th, remained at Southport with Brother Herman's friend. A beautiful country, elegant farms, etc. but the chastening hand of God seems to be on the track. The potato crop is cut off with the Rot; The wheat is diseased, it rots in the head; the cholera is amongst the peoples. Six died the day we left; we heard of 30 cases in a day at Chicago.
July 29th, 1850: Took passage on board the "LOUISIANA" bound for Cleveland, Ohio. Got under way at 6 P. M. All things went off smoothly till the night of the 31st. About ten P. M. Stern struck on a ledge of rock; all was confusion for a moment; gamblers forsook their games and ran with consternation to the main deck. Attempts were made to back off but to no effect. The Captain then ordered the deck load thrown over board. The order was obeyed — 300 barrels of flour, 160 bbls. of fish, beside potash and other freight was discharged with all possible speed; she then by help of the Engine backed off, and our noble and gallant steamer glided onward through the Lake and River till we were about to enter Lake St. Clair, when we were hailed by the steamer "NIAGARA" lying aground. We were detained 7 hours in getting her afloat; thence onward we glided, touched at Detroit; thence to Cleveland.
AUGUST 2nd, 1850: Repaired to the house of Brother Williams, tarried here till 2 P. M.
August 5th, 1850: Preached once; baptized two; Mary Elizabeth Logan, and Lucy Ann Brown. I was well received and treated with the utmost kindness; the brethren and sisters
194and friends manifested their faith by their works in assisting me on my mission; they gave me some $22.00. Thomas Wilson, President John Hawkins, and William Copener and others set off per Steamer and arrived in Buffalo next morning.
August 6th, 1850: At 6 A. M. waited here for Elder Harman till next day. Elder Harman had called at Sandusky to see his friends.
August 7th, 1850: Took the train for New York, via Seneca Lake, got off at 6 :30 A. M. and arrived in New York on the 8th. The brethren constituting the delegation for England, though they had taken different routes from St. Louis through the States, and ready to take passage on the same ship. We accordingly engaged our passage on board the new and splendid ship "LADY FRANKLIN" of two thousand tons burden, first trip to sea. Ship not ready for Sea till 14th.
I will now give a summary of distances and first class fare so far as steamers and railroads go:
From Salt Lake City to New York City, from Great Salt Lake City to Kanesville, Council Bluffs on Missouri River, from 1000 to 1060 miles. Land carriage journey performed with oxen, mules, or horses; road leads through the territory of six Indian tribes, — 600 tribes, mountainous, abounding with game; the remainder of the distance mostly a level country, abounding with buffalo, etc. Journey performed with horses, in rare cases in 16 days; heavy trains require three months; from the Bluffs to St. Louis 800 miles by water, fare Ten dollars; from St. Louis to LaSalle 800 miles — fare 3 dollars by steamer; from LaSalle to Chicago, 100 miles by packet on canal, $4.00; from Chicago to Buffalo by steamer, 1000 miles — fare $8.00; from Buffalo to New York by railroad, 500 miles, fare $10. Thence to Liverpool, 3,500 — common passage per sail ship, 30 days; Steamship from 10 to 30 days; fare from $150.00 down to $15.00, to return.
August 14th, 1850: Ship now ready; we hauled off into the stream next morning, towed by steamer out of harbor and put to sea.
August 16th, 1850: Somewhat stormy; high wind sprang up; large school of porpoises along side.
August 17th, 1850: Strong wind in our favor; shoal of porpoises working with the wind; sail seen far to windward; the wind increased to a gale, continued all night; two sails to seaward.
August 18th, 1850: Becalmed with heavy sea rolling; nearly all seasick; dull music, the blue ocean beneath, the blue sky above, not else to be seen except a few Mother
195Carey's chickens sporting about the vessel. Toward evening the wind sprang up from the West; a passenger — a Mr. Roach — died and was buried in the Ocean after being sewed up in a strong can, with 50 pounds of sand attached to his feet, then laid on a plank — one end of which was raised till the body slipped into the briny deep, and in a moment disappeared.
August 19th, 1850; Becalmed; wind toward evening.
August 20th, 1850: Wind favorable; 22nd, fine gale; drawing near the grand banks of Newfoundland.
August 23, 1850: Brisk wind; sail seen to windward, and two or more whales spouting water to leeward.
August 24th, 1850: Fine wind; sail seen to windward. 25th: Weather pleasant. 26th Wind fair; sea smooth and delightful; passengers all on deck; 107 souls on board.
August 27th, 1850: Wind still favorable; two sails seen during the day.
August 28th, 1850: Three sails seen, one ship with the topmast carried away.
August 29th, 1850: Wind from the north; ship to the windward.
August 30th, 1850: Wind a little more westerly; ship passed hard by to windward, a large shoal of porpoises sporting about our ship delightfully; they were in the height of enjoyment, while our gallant ship dashed through the foaming brine with great rapidity.
August 31st, 1850: Strong east wind, two barques seen to windward.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1850: Wind the same; Captain Yeaton and Mates — Ward and Noon, fearing a long voyage, put passengers on rations of 2 quarts of water per day each.
September 2nd, 1850: Falling of mercury in the barometer foretold an approaching storm, which proved to be more rain than wind; wind easterly, ship heading east by north.
September 3rd, 1850: Strong head wind; weather dreary; several ships and barques seen. 4th. Head wind, sail to windward, several shoals or porpoises.
September 5th, 1850: Wind the same. A British Barque, "SIR HENRY SMITH," on the larboard tack; passed hard by, showed colors; our Captain in turn showed Stars and Stripes; and another flag with ship's name "LADY FRANKLIN."
September 6th, 1850: Wind increased to gale; sea tempestuous, but our lovely ship spread her canvas to the gale and rides proudly on the troubled bosom fearless of the ragged
196deep, striking the minds with awe and portraying power and greatness almost divine.
September 7th, 1850: Passed several sails; wind the same; tacked ship at 4 P. M. in full view of Calloway, Ireland. The shore seemed to consist of rugged rocks of a most gloomy aspect, yet all rejoiced to see "Terra Firma;" ship standing off an hour or two, hid the land from our view.
September 8th, 1850: Wind the same heating against each starboard tack brings us in sight of land; steamship passed bound to New York. Great numbers of sails in view.
September 9th, 1850: Wind the same at 12 o'clock on starboard tack, made Cape Clear, the whole coast so far as we have seen presents a rocky, barren waste; Off Cape Clear is a rugged rock rising out of the sea with lighthouse in course of erection; several pilot boats hailed us, others seen driving about entered the Irish Channel.
September 10th, 1850: Wind ahead as usual; made slow progress up the Channel; Ireland in full view; on the west farms and fields of grain in the distance. At night wind increased to a gale; sea very tempestuous. Retired to our room; attended to our usual devotions and turned in for the night.
September 11th, 1850: Wind more favorable; sailed well till evening; becalmed.
September 12th, 1850: Breeze till Noon; becalmed off Holy Head, Coast of Wales in full view; on the east tine fields of grain, and a high range of mountains stretching along. A Yawl came along side, told of a ship being lost the night before by running on rocks. Steamers cross from here to Dublin in five hours. At evening was hailed by ship "MONTEZUMA" that left two days after us from New York; all well. At 4 A. M. fired two Cannon for a signal; late in the day got a steam tug-boat; the Captain fearing that he would not get over the bar. Hired a second one so as to pass before the tide went down; got into the stream all safe,
September 14th, 1850: Hauled into the dock early in the morning, and all over joyed and hearts filled with gratitude to God that we all had arrived in safety to the end of our long and tedious journey, and were once more permitted to set foot on "Terra Firma;" repaired to the house of C. Pratt's, Wilton Street; was well received, and after a few days stop at Liverpool, we repaired to our friends of labor; — mine in Warwickshire, center of England. This Conference extends over several shires, includes several large towns and cities, and contains 21 branches of the Church. Immediately on my arrival commenced traveling and preaching the Gospel to
197Saints and sinners; traveled through most parts of the Conference preaching almost every night, twice and three times on Sunday, baptizing too, up to October 10th. Went to Rugby to attend my appointment there, and on hearing that Queen Victoria would pass that day, went in company with seven Saints to get a sight of Her Majesty. Thousands assemble waiting the arrival; at length the royal train arrived at the station, Her Majesty with Prince Albert and the children six in number, all rode in a very fine carriage prepared for their accomodation. The train was detained some twenty minutes, during which time the Queen was cheered with low voices which rent the air, while she stood erect in the carriage and bowed gracefully to the assembled thousands. She is plain looking person and dresses plainly. Thence to Learnington, thence through the south part of the conference, called Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. I visited his birthplace, a round old house, likewise his burying place in the old church. The spot is covered with a flat stone slab with these words inscribed in ancient English: "Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here:" "Blessed be the man that laid these stones; Cursed by the man that moves my bones." The slab forms part of the church floor This town and church are very ancient, dates back to the Conquest. Many gravestones date back to the beginning of the Sixteenth century. Some ten or twelve miles beyond this is a very ancient place called Reggley; near Alcester; it was once the abode of the Kings of England; it has as many windows as there are days in the year. The present owner, it is said, came into possession of the property by the shedding of blood, so they are compelled to this day to wear a hand painted bloody on their carriages Everything about the country seems to indicate age; altogether it seems like an old garment nearly worn out. The life and mirth of the land is gone, and the people in fulfillment of the words of Jesus Christ are looking for these things that are coming on the earth; yet they are zealous of the traditions of their fathers and are slow to hearken to the revelations of God. Great exertions are being made to bring the truth within the read of all. Tracts, illustrative of the principles of the Gospel and the mind and will of God respecting this generation are being carried from house to house through the country so far as possible, thus fulfilling the command of God, that where we cannot go we are to send, and many of the aristocracy of this land will not go to hear anything that is unpopular in the eyes of this wicked generation. There are many hundred of thousands of tracts that are carried from house to house,
198exchanged weekly in England in this Conference alone, consisting only of some 800 Saints. We have some twelve or fifteen thousand tracts in circulation, which are exchanged weekly. In spite of all opposition, the truth gaining ground, and is established in the hearts of thousands notwithstanding the discord of the sectarian world, and the jarring elements of Christendom. Some time in October England was divided into twelve Bishoprics by the Roman Catholics under the supervision of Cardinal Wiseman and twelve Suffragans. This, of course, gave great offense to the Clergy of the Church of England and other parties; petitions were sent to her Majesty, calling on her loudly to put down Popery. The poor Pope was burned in effigy in all the towns; on every wall may be seen these Words: "Down with Popery," "Down with the Pope," "No Pope."
December 25th, 1850: Assembled in Conference at Leamington; much business of interest disposed of, thence to Coventry to attend a Tea Party; thence to Birmingham to attend a conference, at which time some 1600 persons assembled in Livery Street Chapel, mostly Saints. After Conference a Tea Meeting was held; much valuable instruction was given to illustrate the necessity of obeying counsel strictly. The story was related of a man hiring two laborers to work in his garden; he set them at work setting out cabbage plants, with orders that they should be set out with leaves downwards and roots upwards. One man thinking this to be wrong, said to the other, "Let us reverse the plants and set them out properly" but not being able to prevail on his comrade, he set about it alone. But the master returned shortly and discharged one for his disobedience, but told the other he had done well and was to continue, but was now to go to work and set the plants properly. The hearts of the Saints were comforted and all went off well. The season is now very disagreeable and dreary, a deal of rain and fog. The Hall in Birmingham was lighted with gas till 11 A. M. and again at 2 P. M. The day was so dark, and this is a common thing in this country during the winter season; yet the winter is very mild indeed, little or no snow, but little frost; some leaves hung on the hedges all winter. During the winter some 2000 Saints emigrated to America. About 100 were from Warwickshire Conference, of which I have charge. The last Ship with Saints sailed in February, and took Brother C. Pratt from our midst; his labors in England have been productive of much good. He is succeeded by Brother F. D. Richards. The half Annual Report showed 42 Conferences, and 82,000 Saints in England. The Gospel was first introduced into France early in 1850, and a church
199organized on the 6th of April, consisting of six members. The Gospel was introduced by Brother John Taylor, he having been appointed to open the door of the Kingdom of God to the French Nation. The Gospel was also introduced into Italy in 1850, by Brother Lorenzo Snow, and others. The Gospel was also introduced into Denmark by Brother Erastus Snow, same year. Much opposition has been manifested against the truth in France, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway, yet the Elders have been preserved from harm and have been able to establish the truth in these benighted regions, and set up the standard of Zion. A few humble souls gathered around it.
Some time in February I saw a most beautiful panorama of the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers exhibited, painted on canvas, one mile in length; also panorama of the Falls of Niagara, of the Mammoth Cave, several prairie views, prairie on fire.
April 6th, 1851: Attended a Conference in Birmingham; Brother John Taylor was present and F. D. Richards. The Church was declared to be of age.
May 14th, 1850: Assembled in Conference in Leamington — over 60 had been baptized during the quarter. The dreary winter had passed away and all nature had assumed a more lively aspect. I still continue my labors, preaching almost every day from city to city and from town to town, but my health has been second rate, as the climate does not agree with me, it being too damp and consumptive.
June 1st, 1851: Went to London to attend a Festival to which all the Elders in England and Europe were invited. The Presidents of 40 Conferences were present, 4 of the Twelve, viz : John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow and F. D. Richards. The Conference represented a little more than 2000 Saints. Meeting came off well. The Festival was held on Monday, June 2nd, in the Masonic Hall, Queen Street, London; 1100 persons were present and as many excluded for want of room. The meeting was opened by prayer and singing; a band was in attendance; several songs were sung as the performances of the day were being carried into effect. Twenty-four Young Ladies marched round the room dressed in white, with wreaths of flowers on their heads; Twenty-four Young Men with staves in their hands marched in like manner, while the Mountain standard was sung: "Lo, the Gentile chain is broken; Freedom's banner waves on high; List ye nations, by this token, know that your redemption is nigh."
"See on yonder distant mountain, Zion's standard wide unfurled; Far above Missouri's fountain, let it wave for all the world.
"Freedom, peace and full salvation. Are the blessings guaranteed; Liberty to every nation. Every tongue and every creed.
"Come ye Christian sects and Pagan; Pope and Protestant and Priest; Worshipers of God or Dragon; Come ye to fair freedom's feast.
"Come ye some of doubt and wonder; Indian, Moslem, Greek or Jew; All your shackles burst asunder. Freedom's banner waves for you.
"Cease to butcher one another; Join the covenant of peace; Be to all a friend, a brother. This will bring the world release.
"To our Kind the Great Messiah; Prince of Peace shall come to reign; Sound again ye heavenly choir; "Peace on earth, good will to men.
Then 12 young men with the Bible in the right hand and Book of Mormon in the left, then 12 young ladies with bouquets of flowers; then 12 aged men with staves. A piece was sung "Say What Is Truth."
That the riches of worlds can produce;
And priceless the value of truth will be when
The proud monarch's costliest diadem
Is counted but dross and refuse.
To which mortals or Gods can aspire;
Go search in the depths where it glittering lies
Or Ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies,
'Tis an aim for the noblest desire.
Then with winds of stern justice he copes;
But the pillar of truth will endure to the last
And its firm-rooted bulwarks outstand the rude blast,
And the wreck of the fell tyrant's hopes.
Though the heavens depart, and the earth's fountains burst,
Truth the sum of existence will weather the worst,
Eternal, Unchanged, evermore."
Refreshments were served up consisting of oranges, raisins, cakes ,and cold water. Several speeches were made — one in favor of the young men — and of the assembly, wherein a synopsis of the history of the Church was given, its rise and organization, which took place April 6, 1880, Ontario County, and State of New York, its rapid progress and spread throughout the United States, the building of a Temple in Kirtland, Ohio, settlements and improvements in Missouri, the persecution, the removal of the Church to Illinois; the building of Nauvoo City; the death of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith, martyred in Carthage Jail, June 27th, 1844; the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, etc.
The introduction of the Gospel into England in 1837 by Elder Heber C. Kimball and others who landed in Liverpool in the month of July, 1837, in a land of strangers without a farthing in their pockets and proceeded to several parts of England. Preston was the first place thus highly favored to receive the Gospel in England; multitudes hearkened and scores were baptised, as many as 130 at one time is mentioned. Thus the work prospered mightily, so that at the end of the three months 700 Saints met in Conference. The work of God also prospered in other parts to which the Elders went till 1840, three years from the time it was first introduced, there were represented at Conference assembled in Manchester 4,019 Saints, and though the combined powers of earth and hell have brought a storm of persecution unparalelled upon the Saints, yet truth has gained a ground steadily and thousands have enlisted under its banner, until 32 Conferences have been organized consisting of about 33,000 Saints, including some 2000 Elders.
A young lady spoke in favor of the Young Ladies; much useful instruction was given by several of the Elders present, and a fair account of the whole appeared in the "Daily Times" the next day, as taken by a reporter present.
June 3rd, 1851: Went to the Chrystal Palace, and viewed the wonderful exhibition of all nations. The building was built by royal commission, and is a wonder to behold, bearing flags of all nations, waving to attract the assembled multitude from every portion of the habitable globe. No less than one hundred different nations were contributors. It was commenced early in the winter of 1850, and finished in May 1851. The
202materials used in the construction of this building were iron, wood, glass; of the first about 4000 tons were used, and about 1200 loads of timber were required for the wood-work. The weight of glass in the roof and upright sash-frames is about 400 tons.
The following account is taken from the "Illustrated Exhibitor" for 1851 : "This building, designed by Mr. Paxton, is 1851 feet long by 456 broad and 66 feet high. The number of columns varying in length from 14 feet to 6 inches to 20 feet, is 3,300. There are 2,224 cast-iron girders for supporting galleries and roofs, besides 1128 intermediate bearers of binders; 358 wrought-iron trusses for supporting the roof; 34 miles of gutter for carrying water to the columns; 205 miles of sash bars, and 900,000 superficial feet of glass. The building occupies about 18 acres of ground. The Gallery is 24 feet wide, and extends nearly a mile. The length of tables or table space for exhibiting, is about 8 miles. Any idea may be formed of the unprecedented quantity of materials employed in the edifice from the fact that the glass alone used weighs upwards of 400 tons. The total amount of the contract for use, waste, and maintenance was 70,000 pounds. The total value of the building, if it be permanently retained, is 150,000 pounds."
It is the only building in the world that permits the rays of the sunlight to penetrate to it from every part without interruption.
It is situated in Hyde Park, London, which is the largest city on the Globe and by far the most conspicuous in elegance, wealth, and trade, containing no less than 2,600,000 inhabitants, and is now on the increase, notwithstanding there are nearly one thousand deaths recorded in it weekly. There are many scenes of interest in London, such as the British Museum, containing the greatest collection of curiosities in the world, being a vast building and requiring more than one day to go through all the departments and take but a hasty glance at all the objects which have required ages to collect, from every part of the Globe known to the world. The space allotted to books contains 500,000 or halt a million volumes. Admission free to this wonderful place of Wonders.
The Tower of London, and the Thames Tunnel are also marks of admiration. The Tower contains Coats of Arms of every ancient date, numerous instruments of cruelty such as was in use centuries ago. One was noticed by all; it was taken from the Spaniards and lodged in the Tower as a specimen of "Catholic Court Inquisition." It was iron; there were screws so arranged as to confine each thumb, the limbs could be
203stretched and joints dislocated, etc. Immense quantities of arms — small arms and cannon.
The Zoological Gardens and the Kew Gardens are also worthy of attention. Tile former contains animals from every part of the Globe from the inferior, creeping lizard, up to the King of animals and the King of birds, with all the varied species of insects, serpents, quadrupeds and amphibious animals. The Gardens are extensive, abounding with shrubs and evergreens; They were got up and are kept in repair at great expense.
The Kew Gardens contain vegetables of every species and flowers of every hue; here may be seen fruits growing from every clime and every zone. This interesting garden is situated in the Thames below London; artificial heat is extensively used by means of coal fires and flues.
During my stay in London of about three weeks my attention was much taken up with new objects of interest, such as the multitude of assembled people from almost every nation under Heaven who had come hither to see the World's Fair — the greatest exhibition that the world ever saw in all probability. The city was thronged and the multitudes were barbarians one to another, as many languages were spoken.
I spent two days in the Crystal Palace, and looked upon the work and specimens of art from no less than one hundred different nations, with interest. Here wealth and beauty presented itself on every hand. Thence to Brighton, 50 miles, situated on the Channel that separated France from England. This is a beautiful town of some 70,000 inhabitants. After a stop of one week, during which time I met with the Saints several times: they are a good people and my visit (designed particularly for the improvement of my health, to bathe in the ocean and get the sea breeze) was an agreeable one. Thence my return to London, where I spent some 4 or 5 days; took another view of the Exhibition; made a visit to Buckingham Palace, the Queen's residence when in London. It is a great edifice, built at the expense of the Government, and cost much merely to enlarge it.
The daily expenses of this establishment saying nothing of Windsor Castle, situated on the banks of the Thames about 40 miles from London, which is the residence of the Royal Family when out of London. These two establishments are kept up at an enormous expense, which I am informed is paid by the Government, independent of the salaries paid to the Queen and her royal consort Prince Albert and their children. From London I proceeded by train to Coventry about 100 miles distant, in time to attend a festival of the Saints
204held in that ancient city, said to be the oldest except two in England, and numbers about 40,000 inhabitants. The chief occupation of the people are Watch and Ribbon making. Three very ancient churches with immense spires, the tallest of which is 303 feet in height, make this city conspicuous. These churches like most of the ancient ones were built by the Catholics, and taken from them during or immediately after the reign of "Henry the Eighth."
1851 — On the 24th of June, the Coventry Fair took place, which is celebrated once in three years in memory of a most singular occurence that is said to have transpired in the fourth century. England was then divided into districts; this city is in that part that was called Meria and Earl Laffrick imposed a grievous tax upon the people, who besought him in vain to release them from the annoyance. His wife was then appealed to, and she begged of him time after time to grant the people's request. At last he hastily said, "If you will ride round and through the town naked it shall be done." Contrary to his expectations the lady agreed to ride; an order was then issued that all houses were to be closed and no one to look out on pain of death. The lady rode, and one man notwithstanding the order ventured to look out and was struck blind. He, or his bust, stands in one of the most popular streets of the town looking out to this day. At these fairs, in memory of this transaction, two ladies ride as nearly naked as possible and not be so. Those who rode upon the occasion of which we speak were French ladies. It was considered a moderate estimate to say that 100,000 persons were present. This, in a manner, shows the state of morals in the old world. It is startling to look abroad upon the face of the earth and see the state of things in their true light.
It is estimated that there are in England alone 200,000 public prostitutes, out of 25,000,000 inhabitants. France and other parts are still worse. It is admitted by all that crime is on the increase to a wonderful extent. Mothers cutting their childrens throats and then their own is no unusual thing; secret and public wholesale murders, assassinations, wars, and commotions make up a great portion of the news of the day. A little addition to the present enormities will fulfill the saying of the Prophet, viz. "It is a vexation only to understand the report."
The present inhabitants of the earth are variously estimated from 8 to 960,000,000, and the number that die annually at 18,000,000, and the weight of this mass of human bodies annually cast into the grave is no less than 624,400.
Human life is but slightly valued, especially by the rulers
205who control the mass of the people.
I, as before, continued traveling through the Conference, preaching the word and baptizing, etc., till September when I went to Tifton iron and coal where the country is literally dug hollow, and is settling down frequently, to the great peril of the people. Near here is the Dudley Castle, the old "Fortress" of great strength, but ruined by Oliver Cromell, by cannonading and is situated on a hill of some magnitude, which is dug hollow, there being subterraneous passages through for some miles. I spent two days with the Saints here, thence on my way to Liverpool — 100 miles — spent a few days, thence to my field of labor again. Continued till January 4, 1852; when I resigned the Presidency of the Warwickshire Conference in favor of William Speakman, and as soon as arrangements could be made I proceeded to Liverpool, thence by ship "EMPIRE STATE," Captain Russell, for New York City. After going on board was detained in the Channel seven days by a head wind. Finally we got under way on the 21st of February, and after a voyage of 33 days arrived in New York in safety, though much worn down with fatigue and sickness. After a few days' stop I proceeded to Lowell, Massachusettes, about 200 miles distance, to transact some business and try and get some friends started for the Valley. April, 1852 From thence by Packet to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to fulfill my appointment as published in the Star, No. 1, Volume 14, January 1st, 1852, viz. "To go on a Gospel to Strangers," etc.
I will now return to some general remarks on my mission to England. I was in that country from the 14th of September, 1850 till the 14th of February, 1852 — in all 518 days. The climate was trying to my constitution, and my health for a considerable portion of the time — was but second-rate. However, I made the best use of my time I could under the circumstances and traveled according to my daily journal while in England; by railway train 2939 and walked 2735 miles, meaning only journeys from town to town and from village to village and preached during said time over 400 public discourses, saying nothing of those of a more private nature; and some 300 were baptized under my direction, though mostly by those Elders laboring under my charge, my calling being more particularly to preach the Gospel, to counsel and direct those under my charge, etc.
But to return, I arrived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, April 26, 1852; and labored about three weeks with tolerable success, holding meetings almost daily, and much valuable seed was sown as I have reason to believe, though but few were
206baptized. Thence, by brig "Thetis" Captain Kenaby to St. John, N. B. thence by steamer up the St. John River to Southampton, 150 miles to visit a branch of the Church there. After a few days stop, back to St. John 160 miles, thence to Boston, 490 miles, and New York, 250 miles. There, after some deliberation, resolved on giving up going home till another spring, for though anxious to go home yet felt that my labor was not thoroughly done and commenced getting up a company to go through with me to the Valley, and therefore took a cruise through the States to inform the scattered Saints of my intent and to invite them to fall in the ranks, and went as far south as Toms River, New York, thence visited through some parts of New York, thence through New England some 200 miles, and thence by Steamer "Wail of Erin" to St. John. On our trip down had frolic with two whales, who gave us chase and made much sport for the passengers. During my short stay in the States I aroused many who expressed a firm desire to renew their covenants and gather up for Zion; also baptized several. I arrived in St. John June 25, 1852; thence to Sackville, 120 miles — in all from Boston to Sackville, 620 miles. Remained till July 5th 1852; preached several times and baptized four. There is a small branch of the Church here; thence by carriage to Shediac — 30 miles; thence to Bedeck by Schooner, preached twice; thence to Charlotte Town, about 40 miles, stopped one day, had much conversation with some lawyers, Masons, etc. They offered me a home and their Hall, but I declined thinking to come again; took passage on board the "MARGARET" for Halifax some 400 miles distance — was nine days on the passage; several times becalmed, twice went on shore and preached. Arrived on the 19th of July, 1852; Got the Saints together and held several meetings.
August 3rd, 1852; Left Halifax in schooner "MARY ANN" for Popes Harbor, 40 miles to the eastward, over 40 miles; one family of Saints here. Remained till the 12th, thence to Halifax by schooner and arrived the same day — 40 miles; stopped one day, thence to Chester, 40 miles, and arrived the same day by coach.
August 13th, 1852: Preached once at Brother Calkum's, walked one day 10 or 12 miles to get a hall in Chester but without effect.
August 18th, 1852: Returned to Halifax by carriage, 40 miles. Next day received a parcel of books from Liverpool, $55.00 worth.
August 25th, 1852: Crossed the river and went five miles by
207carriage, held meeting, blessed some children; returned to Halifax.
August 26th, 1852: Went by coach to Windsor, 40 miles; got Temperance Hall and lectured at night; next day lectured again, thence by coach and packet to Sackville, by way of Parsboro and Amherst, in all 100 miles; stopped several days, preached and baptized, thence by private carriage 50 miles to Wallace River, stopped several days, preached and baptized, thence again to Sackville — 50 miles — stopped and preached on the way at Amherst, traveled to Herbert River and several small towns and held meetings some 70 miles journey; baptized and ordained, and prepared to leave per steamer for St. John, 120 miles. Procured a hall and preached several times, thence to Eastport 69 miles and delivered a course of lectures; thence to St. Andrew's per steamer in search of my wife's people; lectured at Algers Hall in the evening and at some private houses for several days; thence to St. George by schooner, 20 miles, preached in Temperance Hall several times to wife's friends and a promiscuous crowd of hearers; thence to St. John.
October 23rd, 1852: Per Schooner "CAPTAIN HALLAM" 60 miles, thence up the St. John River to Southampton — 150 miles — Reorganized the branch, held several meetings, baptized several persons, was threatened by mob violence, thence per steamer to Fredrickton — 50 miles; thence per carriage with Benjamin Hanson, wife's uncle, to his home; talked nearly all night with the family, thence next day to Fredrickton 12 miles, tried for a Hall — failed — thence to St. John, 100 miles, procured a Hall and delivered a course of lectures; prejudice strong; thence to Yarmouth, N. S., per Schooner LaSalle.
November 24th, 1852: Encountered a heavy gale and snow storm; dare not make the land; stood out for the open sea, and lay too. The night was terrible; the sea broke over us with great violence and swept the deck; in the morning nothing remained but one barrel crammed between the companion way and the bulwarks, even the levers for working the capstan were gone. However, we made the port the next day in safety, 100 miles, labored till about the 20th of January 1853; Baptized two of my mother's sisters: Thankful Amelia Bancroft and Sarah Shaw, and a few others. Thence to St. John per Brig, velocity 100 miles; thence to Sackville per coach, 130 miles; met with the Saints, counselled and helped them to sell their property prior to leaving in the spring. Delivered a course of lectures at Amherst and Herbert River and other places around about; thence to Halifax, from 100
208to 150 miles by coach. Arranged some matters with the Saints there and agreed to meet all the Saints from the province at New York City, April 20th, 1883; there organize for our journey to Utah, thence intended to go directly to Boston, but the Steamer had quit the route and I was obliged to go by way of St. John by coach to Digby; thence by Steamer from 150 to 200 miles; thence to Portland, 300 miles; thence to Bloomfield, Essex County, Vermont, distance about 100 miles. Arrived some time in March; did some business for parties in Utah; preached several times to crowded houses; thence by way of Portland to Boston; called together the Saints and met with them; went to Lowell and did the same; thence to Boston, 60 miles in all. Thence to New Bedford, Fall River, and other places where a few Saints were residing; thence to New York; in all including roundabout 300 miles or more. Thence to Haverstraw; held meeting; thence to New York, 80 miles; waited a few days for the arrival of the Saints from the East, thence on our way to Utah. Left New York April 20, 1853, per steamer to Albany; thence to Buffalo, N. Y. Got the families and goods on board the steamer for Cleveland, and thence I proceeded by cars through the country. Stopped at dear old Portland where I spent my early days; expected my father to accompany me but he had gone. Thence to Cleveland, 200 miles, waited one day for the steamer to arrive, thence to St. Louis 700 miles; thence to Keokuk, about 200 miles; brought our wagons per steamer; here we joined the English emigration. Proceeded to Illinois and bought our cattle, and as soon as convenient commenced our move through Iowa. While in Illinois stopped two nights as the Mansion House at Nauvoo; conversed with Emma Smith.
To return; we left Keokuk in advance of the trains, except one that was two weeks ahead of us; we passed that on Wood River, and beat them about four weeks into the Valley
209of the Great Salt Lake, and arrived at my home September 10th, 1853, having been absent from my mountain home three years, four months and 22 days, and traveled according to Journal by land and water, by cars, steamers, sailing packet, canals, coaches, wagons, etc., 24,744 miles, and if small journeys were counted the figures would be increased to 30,000 in all probability.
The Utah Indians had been troublesome during the summer previous to my arrival, set on by Mountaineers who sought the downfall of the Saints. Many of the Brethren were under arms at the time of our arrival. One or two companies we met on Green River in search of Desperadoes. Walker was the leading Chief at the time — a great War Chief — since dead. The troubles were brought to a close and peace restored that fall. The winter passed smoothly but was hard on stock; the spring brought its usual cares.
I engaged in farming to the extent of my means; the season seemed favorable till some time in the month of June, as I was at work with my hired man and little boys, we noticed something occasionally dropping near us, on examining it it was "GRASSHOPPERS," and before evening of that day the air literally swarmed with them; day after day they continued to increase till the air was filled to that extent that at times it was difficult to breathe. Our crops and every green thing was threatened with entire destruction, but before they had completed their work, they had miraculously disappeared, leaving us barely enough to supply the wants of the people, including the emigration and a small detachment of U. S. troops under Colonel Steptoe who wintered with us and left in the spring for California. In October of this year, 1854, was married to Ann Shelton, of New Brunswick. December 30, 1854, ELIDA was born.
The next year, 1855 was a trying year to the Saints. The "GRASSHOPPERS" in great numbers appeared everywhere; hatched in the fields, and commenced their depredations. As soon as the pain had fairly commenced to grow, field after field was laid waste and destroyed, root and branch; even after the grain had obtained the height of a foot or more they moved like armies, sweeping the country of every green thing. And the courage of many failed. My crop was entirely destroyed; and late in June I plowed my wheat land and planted it to corn. The corn was all we had to subsist on. We depended much on our cattle, but the Lord seemed determined to try us. The winter was dreadfully severe and our stock died at wholesale. I lost one-half of all I had. Many were reduced to straightened circumstances; even Bran bread was used and famine seemed to stare us in the face, but those that had provisions divided with those who had nothing and none died of want. Some of the eastern papers rejoiced at our calamities and speculated upon seeing the Mormon bones bleaching upon the Plains; but the Lord ordered it otherwise; he did not wish to destroy but to make us feel after him. He effectually removed the grasshoppers with a great wind which swept them en masse into Salt Lake as they arose in the air in the middle of each day. The destruction was so great winrows of dead grasshoppers were seen along the shores of the Lake for scores of miles. Thus was the army removed effectually, and the heavens seemed to smile upon us again.
The Spring of 1856 opened delightfully; our crops grew well and we had a good harvest.
April 30th, 1856: THANKFUL AMELIA was born, the summer was one of scarcity, but the autumn brought us plenty, and our enemies in the States and throughout the world were again disappointed and the Saints rejoiced.
It is strange to see the growing prejudice against the Saints; the papers teem with foul misrepresentations, and plots are being laid in Congress to bring the Saints into trouble.
In September, 1856, the first Hand-Cart company arrived — men, women and children walked all the way and drew their provisions, clothing, etc., on carts 1000 or 1200 miles. This fall a reformation was commenced; the effects thereof was felt in the world abroad as well as at home; the Saints drew nearer to the Lord and their enemies raged the more.
There was a catechism got up and the people questioned as to their morality; their general course of life, love for the
211truth, etc. And while this was going on and the Saints laboring most diligently to correct their ways and live their religion, our enemies waxed worse and worse; Memorials were sent to Congress, but were treated with contempt, and it seemed that we were approaching an important crisis, for the Nation seemed drunk with rage against the Saints; and from one end of the United States to the other, one continual stream of lies proceeded from the press and pulpit. All that could be said was said and done to break up the Mormons. The Overland Mail contract had been let to a Mormon between Great Salt Lake City and the States, and when the men went down with the July Mail they were threatened with Mob violence at Independence, and not allowed to bring the mail, but were told an army was on the way to hang, kill and break up the Mormons. The men returned and brought the news.
July 24th, 1857, It was resolved that this army should not enter the Valley. A small company of horsemen under R. T. Burton were sent to meet them, watch their movements, stampede their animals, etc. The army was regarded as a mob, Governor Young having had no official information of troops being sent.
I will here observe that on the 24th of July, 1857, the news arrived at the approach of the hostile army. Governor Young issued a proclamation declaring the Territory under Martial law, and ordering the entire militia to be ready at a moments warning to proceed to any point to check the invaders and forbidding the troops to enter the territory.
The Company under Burton met, the troops kept out of their way, and by means of flanking parties kept strict watch of them day by day and reported to us by expresses, constantly going to and from over the road. It was thought our enemies intended to separate and approach at different points, but they did not attempt it. At or near the Pacific Springs, our boys prepared with horses, cowbells, etc., rode into the enemies camp, making all sorts of noises in their power. They rode through and through the camp before any one could be aroused. The bugles at length made a faint noise, and the men began to turn out. It was at night and the horses and mules seemed inclined to run to the tents and wagons instead of running away; the plan of stampeding was therefore abandoned. The officer in command fearing for the safety of his baggage, which was in advance, commenced a forced march, and made the best of their way to Ham's Fork of Green River undisturbed; here overtaking their baggage trains they encamped to wait orders. At this period some thousand of our men were ordered out and pitched upon Echo Canyon as the
212best place to attack the invaders temporary breast-works were thrown up, batteries of rocks made on high precipies and two deep ditches dug across the canyon to fill with water. Here the enemy could be raked from all our positions, and immense rocks were pried up and fixed in readiness to down some hundreds of feet at a given signal; here the main body of our men took up their quarters; but the horse companies formed themselves into scouting parties and proceeded near the enemies camp. Myself and the company to which I belonged left Salt Lake City September 25th, 1857; we were called in haste and left at 12 o'clock at night, and proceeded to the mouth of Emigration; thence at night on our way and camped at night on the east side of Big Mountain. Our horses were troublesome, and we passed the night without sleep. At daylight got under way and reached Echo Canyon and camped for the night. It was Sunday night; we had a meeting and retired to rest, or some of us had, when an express arrived stating that the troops were approaching rapidly. We immediatley got under way and rode all night. We arrived at Cache Cave early in the morning, chilled with cold; our guns, stirrups, etc. covered to some extent with frozen mud and ice. Here we stopped a short time, gathered what little fuel we could find, and made some fires, those that had no balls, ran some, etc. Here we left our baggage and everything except what could be carried about our persons and again pressed our way and reached the "Muddy" after a long and weary march at dark, having traveled 100 miles without sleep on horseback. Next morning reached (Fort) Bridger and found it in possession of a few men that had come out before us. They received us most gladly, being few in number and being within a few hours march of several thousand disciplined troops in hostile array. Scouting parties out constantly to reconnoiter the enemy and burn the grass in all directions as near their camp as practicable. I went to Fort Supply with a small company of men to help take care of the crops, and to make ready to burn everything if found necessary. After finishing the third day's labor and posting our guards we retired to rest, but were soon disturbed by the arrival of an Express from Bridger, ordering everything destroyed. We took out our wagons, horses, etc., and at 12 o'clock set fire to the buildings at once, consisting of 100 or more good hewed-log houses, one sawmill, one grist mill and thrashing machine; and after going out of the Fort, we did set fire to the Stockade work, straw and grain stacks, etc. After looking a few minutes at the bonfire we had made, thence on by the light thereof.
I will mention that owners of property in several cases begged the privilege of setting fire to their own, which they freely did, thus destroying at once what they had labored for years to build, and that without a word. Thence on the way a few miles we stopped and set fire to the City Supply — a new place just commenced — 10 or 16 buildings perhaps, and warmed ourselves by the flames. Thus was laid waste in a few hours all the labor of a settlement for three or four years, with some 500 or 600 acres of land fenced and improved.
Our work of destruction was now finished and we moved silently onward and reached Bridger a little after daylight and found it in ashes, having been fired the night before. We now joined our companions in arms, who, with us, after some deliberation evacuated the place and moved back in the brush to await orders on the approach of the enemy. After waiting some myself and a small division of men with disabled horses we left for the main camp in Echo, and again joined Col. Burton's command. We were drilled in climbing the Bluffs and occupying the batteries, going through the maneuvers of an engagement, etc. At this time we had about 5000 men in and about Echo watching the movements and ready for any emergency should the troops persist in coming in. All were determined to stop them, and firm in the faith that we could do it and not half try, but we waited and waited in vain. No enemy approached; express after express arrived stating that the troops were moving up Ham's Fork, and it was supposed that they intended to go down the Weber and enter the Valley that way; we expected to be called to go around and stop them. At length we got an express stating that they were going down Ham's Fork again; our scouting parties were then all the time watched and reported every move, and occasionally drove off what cattle and mules they could which came to our camp, and thence on to the Valley to the amount of 1000 or thereabout in all. The troops fired at our men several times, but the fire was not returned, strict orders having been given to that effect.
At length, the rear companies having come up they took the common trail for Bridger, and after two or three days spent in getting ready for fight, reconnoitering the place, etc. they came up in order of battle and deliberately shot some old clothes stuffed with straw stuck about, and finally took possession of the desolate stone walls of Bridger and went into Winter Quarters. When this was ascertained most of our troops returned home and finally all, except a few companies that remained till spring. I was out some four weeks and returned with Col. Burton's command. On our arrival the people
214came out in groups to welcome us home; all were glad to get home, and the excitement gradually subsided.
December 15th, 1857, Joseph was born; the winter was spent agreeably in our usual avocations. Many social dances were indulged in throughout the country; and but little was said about the army, although they were encamped within 113 miles from us — full of hell, and breathing out threats against the Mormons, about whose real character they knew but little, and while all was peace and harmony with us, all was strife and bitterness with our enemies, who must have passed a very unpleasant winter, as their animals nearly all died from the severity of the winter and the poverty of their stock as they were very late, near the first of December, when they arrived at Bridger.
President Young sent them a load of salt on hearing they were out, but they would not receive it, and our men scattered it in the snow outside their guards, and returned home. Salt was sold at Ten dollars per handful.
President Young caused it to be published that all who wished to go to the army should have an escort and a carriage to ride in. One woman only expressed a wish to go to their camp, although the army was sent to rescue the oppressed.
During the winter Dr. Osborn (Col. Kane) arrived from Washington via California, as a Peacemaker, and finally two gentlemen direct from Washington — McCulloch and Powell arrived with a Proclamation from President Buchanan to the Mormons — an Oracle to Govern Them. The Peace Commissioners, in making peace with the Mormons, said Proclamation consisted of a routine of slanders and abuses, accusing us of murder, treason and all kinds of meanness, and finally granting us a full and free pardon unasked for on our part. The object of this seemed to be to justify the Administration in their blunder and make the world believe they had committed no blunder. Yet, it was easy to see they felt whipped and anxious to get out of the scrape. After two or three days council with the leading men of the Church all was settled,
215and an Express was sent to Camp and to the States with the tidings of Peace. Governor Powell and President Buchanan would give more to hear of peace being made with the Mormons than any other one thing in the world. All this about nothing. For there was no war, only on their part.
Before it was known how the thing would terminate, the Saints were counselled to move south some time in March and the Move commenced about the 1st of April, 1858, when I took my first load of goods. By counting it would appear there were about 600 loads daily moving from the north around the point of the mountain, separating Utah and Great SaIt Lake Counties. This continued two months or more. Night and day the roads were thronged with wagons and loose herds. To guess from what I saw there could not have been less than 75,000 wagon loads; it might have exceeded 100,000 loads of grain, goods and household furniture, etc., taken south during the "Grand Move" of all moves of the kind since the world was! So that when the army came in the entire people except what was called the "detailed guard," to which body I belonged and was in the City when the Army came in and passed through the City with their big brass cannon, ammunition, wagons, shining sabers, and rifles, all designed for our destruction, but the Lord ruled it otherwise. They passed harmlessly on to their camp, disturbing nothing, and paying a big price for all they got of us. They moved on to Camp Floyd 40 miles southwest of the City, and there took up their abode. When this was done permission was given for us to return to our homes, and a complete rush ensued. Salt Lake City and the Northern settlements were soon thronged with their former inhabitants. A Gentile paper was started in Salt Lake City. Freight wagons to the amount of 4004 came in during the fall with five or six yoke of oxen to a wagon and bringing all sorts of supplies to the amount of 60 or 70 hundred to the wagon; this beside the supply wagon sent out in 1849 with the troops, some of which our men burned to convince them we were in earnest. Thus terminated the first and second year of this war of words wherein the Nation was impoverished and the Administration disgraced, while the Mormons were made rich by this useless outlay of money — Millions.
Thus the Lord can make the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder of wrath He will restrain.
While the troops were at Bridger the excitement throughout the States was immense, and all sorts of speculations was indulgled in with regard to the issue. The prejudice finally gave way; and I believe the Nation is ashamed of the affair.
216Yet many are and have been laboring to keep up the excitement and bring about the destruction of the Mormons.
In 1859 more supplies arrived. Whole acres of big wagons are to be seen here and there in the City and Camp. Of all crusades against any people since the World was this is the most singular wherein the power of God was most wonderfully displayed that all who had any knowledge of God might see His work and acknowledge His care for His covenant people. But it is written: "The righteous shall understand but the wicked shall none of them understand." And thus it seems, for our enemies are not satisfied but still seek to stir up new subjects of strife and fill the papers with the lying slanderous abuses to excite the Nation to further acts of wickedness for the destruction of this people. Some excitement continued at Camp Scott, supposing the Mormons might suddenly attack and destroy them. But on our part all have attended to their own business, except a few who have partaken of the spirit of the army and its followers and are converted to the habit of swearing, drinking, stealing, etc.
When it was known that the Army was to be sent here, the Elders abroad were called home, and but few have been sent out since; yet the gathering has continued, and thousands of Elders have continued to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth, notwithwstanding the jarring elements, and the faithful Saints have been able to see most clearly the hand of a kind and merciful God in turning the evil designs of our enemies into good, inasmuch as they have supplied us to overflowing with good mules, oxen, wagons, and iron in abundance, and money to purchase them with. Big wagons that cost $150.00 have sold here for ten to forty dollars each; oxen, mules, etc. for half of the first cost. Money, which was very scarce when the Army came in was soon so plenty that any man with industry could fill his pockets with gold. This done, a general sale of mules was ordered, and our people bought themselves good mule teams at half or less than the first cost. Iron, which was hard to get at $10 per hundred weight, was now offered at $2.50 and much less than that. In similar ways has the Lord sustained this people from the beginning and it is indeed mysterious to all beholders, and as wonderful as the leading of Israel in ancient times.
The Nation, seeing that they had accomplished nothing by this vain endeavor to civilize the Mormons, new subjects arose. The U. S. Judges tried hard to bring the Troops and the Mormons in collision. Soldiers were in attendance to guard prisoners at their courts, and many were taken to Camp Floyd, the head quarters of the judges and their associates, their
217families, etc., who came to civilize or destroy us; but after trying in vain they began to leave. Towards the close of the season of 1859, Judge Eccles alone remained to do what he could among us by releasing prisoners convicted by the Probate courts for stealing, etc., not acknowledging the jurisdiction of said court. Several individual encounters occurred — one in which a Sergeant was killed in open daylight by a young man who enquired his name and then shot him. The Sergeant had before struck this young man over the head in Rush Valley. This caused a great excitement at camp; they mustered, ground their swords, and made ready to come to Salt Lake City and kill the Mormons, but General Johnson quashed the move. The eastern papers teem with reports from lying scribblers at Camp Floyd. The sutlers and other Gentile merchants fanned the flame to keep up the excitement and cause more and more money to be expanded here, but the Administration determined to remove the troops as it threw money into the Mormons' hands and done no good, as nothing was accomplished. Orders readied us some time in March of 1860 for the removal of the troops to New Mexico and other points, except ten companies.
The great Mormon War, which with the subject of Slavery has occupied the public attention since 1847, but now seems to be winding up, it is said, at a cost of $20,000,000. At the meeting of the Congress in December, 1859, the House spent about eight weeks quarreling and disputing before the House was organized by choosing a Speaker.
The Harper's Ferry affair seemed first in their minds, and "Mormons" and "Polygamy" next. This Harper's Ferry came up in the fall of 1859, and was led by one John Brown, a Northern man, who with a few followers undertook to liberate the slaves of the South. He privately conveyed arms and ammunition to this place and got possession of one of the U. S. Armories, and could not be dislodged till the U. S. Marines came down from Washington City. He was then taken prisoner and with those who were not killed was afterwards hung. The affair cost Virginia a deal of trouble and expense, and has been among the most interesting topics of this day. Congressmen have several times come near a general fight.
Some time in April one Lovejoy from Illinois got so excited over the subject of Slavery in his speech that he pronounced it the leading sin in the world, and advanced to the opposite side of the House with doubled fists. A general row ensued, and the most bitter language made use of. The Polygamy
218bill was also warmly discussed, and finally passed, supporters being Methodist preachers.
William H. Hooper, our Delegate, inquired if this Congress was prepared to enforce the bill in case it becomes a law, as the entire people of Utah would refuse to allow Congress to meddle with their private affairs.
Biographical Sketch of Jesse W. Crosby from the Time of Final Entries in the Journal to Time of Death, 1893.
The author of the journal lived in Salt Lake City fourteen years (1847-1861) when he sold his property and moved to Utah's "Dixie" (St. George and vicinity) making his home at St. George. Having gained renown as a molasses maker he had been called by Brigham Young to that place to teach the art to others, molasses being a valuable commodity on the Frontier. Previous to discovery of cane as a source of the molasses product, Mr. Crosby utilized carrots, beets and parsnips. His two eldest sons, Jesse W., Jr., and George H. accompanied him to the new location, spending the winter at Toquerville and continuing to St. George in the spring. Later they were joined by the remainder of the family.
It was said of him that he was the hardest working man in the Rocky Mountain Region, retiring at 11:00 P. M. and arising at 3 :00 A. M. The Crosby home in St. George was for many years considered the finest residence in the community.
He was navigator of the expedition sent by the Mormon Church to investigate the possibility of steam boat traffic on the Colorado River, having gained his experience on
219Lake Erie and on fishing boats while living in Nova Scotia. The report of the expedition was unfavorable because of silt and sand bars.
In 1882 he married a plural wife, Minnie Karl, and by this marriage two children were born who now reside in Los Angeles, Calif. In the same year he moved his family to Overton
‘If the first Seventy are all employed, and there is a call for more labourers, it will be the duty of the seven Presidents of the first Seventy to call and ordain other seventy, and send them forth to labour in the vineyard, until, if need be, they set apart seventy times seventy, and even until they are one hundred and forty-four thousand.’ — "The Rocky Mountain Saints," by Stenhouse.
"Let all the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and those who journey with them, be organized into companies, with a covenant and a promise to keep all the commandments and statutes of the Lord our God. Let the companies be organized with captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, with a president and counsellor at their head, under direction of the Twelve Apostles: and this shall be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord.
"Let each company provide itself with all the teams, wagons, provisions, and all other necessaries for the journey, that they can. When the companies are organized, let them go to with all their might, to prepare for those who are to tarry. Let each company, with their captains and presidents, decide how many can go next spring; then choose out a sufficient number of able-bodied and expert men to take teams, seed, and farming utensils to go as PIONEERS to prepare for putting in the spring crops. Let each company bear an equal proportion, according to the dividend of their property, in taking the poor, the widows, and the fatherless, and the families of those who have gone with the army, that the cries of the widow and the fatherless come not up into the ears of the Lord against his people.
"Let each company prepare houses, and fields for raising grain for those who are to remain behind this season; and this is the will of the Lord concerning this people.
"Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this people to the place where the Lord shall locate a stake of Zion; and if ye do this with a pure heart, with all faithfulness, ye shall be blessed in your flocks, and in your herds and in your fields, and in your houses, and in your families ...***
The site was reoccupied during the Civil War and re-named Fort Caspar by General Pope in honor of Lieutenant Caspar Collins, killed in action with Indians at Platte Bridge on July 26, 1865. The site was abandoned on October 19, 1867, when the troops withdrew.
The fort, located three miles west of the present city of Casper, has been reconstructed in exact replica of the original buildings and is one of the most interesting spots on the route of the old Oregon Trail.