On Monday the High Council authorized Parley P. Pratt to raise a company of twenty volunteers to go to Utah Valley. They were to fish and make a treaty with the Indians to settle in the valley. Forty‑four men had recently returned from Utah Valley after visiting the Indians on the east side of Utah Lake. The brethren had complained about seventeen head of cattle that had been driven off by the Indians. The chief whipped the offenders and promised better conduct from his tribe.
On Tuesday a company of six men, under the leadership of Levi Hancock, started their journey toward Winter Quarters. They carried with them a letter from the High Council to Brigham Young. The letter included news from the valley. There were 1,671 people settled there, in 423 houses. There had been twelve deaths during the past few months. A grist mill and saw mill were in operation. John Neff was starting a flouring mill and another sawmill was nearly ready on Mill Creek. Two other saw mills were being built. There were 872 acres of winter wheat planted. Spring gardens were being prepared to plant tomatoes, cabbage, and other plants. During the winter months, the brethren had been very busy working on roads and bridges. Bridges over Mill Creek and Jordan River were almost complete. The Council reported on the various groups that had left the valley, bound for California or Winter Quarters. Captain Brown of the battalion had purchased the Miles Goodyear property for $1,950 [at present‑day Ogden]. Several families had moved to the ranch.
On Saturday several topics were discussed by the Council. Henry G. Sherwood reported on the progress to establish a cemetery. A potential site on the "table" proved to be too hard for digging. The committee was ordered to continue their search. The progress on the public works was discussed. Abraham O. Smoot and Daniel Spencer were appointed to be on a committee to establish more roads. Work on the bridges was halted because of deep snow in the canyons. Charles C. Rich was authorized to procure a building to store the public property and firearms.
On Sunday evening Wilford Woodruff experienced a dream. He wrote: "I had one of the most interesting dreams of my life during the night. Most of it was taken from me when I awoke. I flew through the air from state to state & escaped from the hands of my enemies. I went to Heaven and saw the Saints in their employment. I saw Joseph & Hyrum Smith & many others who had died of the Latter Day Saints. The innumerable company of Saints which I saw seemed to be preparing for some grand & important event which I could not understand. Many were busily engaged in making crowns for the Saints. . . . The Saints were all dressed in white robes both male and female. My soul was filled with joy & glory which I gazed upon the scenery that surrounded me but I awoke and behold it was a dream."
On Monday Andrew W. Perkins and Henry W. Miller returned from their visit to the Iowa legislature. They reported promising news that a county would be organized on the Pottawatomie lands. The politicians expressed a great desire for the Saints to stay in Iowa and develop the land. They were anxious to have roads and bridges built, and to establish a postal route to the Council Bluffs area.
On Friday, Mary and Jane Richards heard a rumor that their missionary husbands, Samuel and Franklin Richards had arrived in New Orleans. [In reality, they were still on a ship enroute from Liverpool and would not arrive until April. Their voyage began on February 20.] Mary hoped that the news was true and wrote: "It seemed as though it put new life with us and caused our hearts to rejoice in the prospect of so soon being permitted to enjoy the society of those we so dearly love. Oh! Lord grant that the news may be true and we soon see their much loved faces again in peace and enjoy thy smiles."
Brigham Young preached at the Russell home. He said that every man had power according to his faith and faithfulness. This power could not be taken from him as long as he remained righteous. He also taught that rich men in the Church and Kingdom would be brought down poor. He said that men could only rise and be exalted after they had descended below and made poor.
The ship, "Sailor Prince" sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with a company of eighty Saints. They were led by Moses Martin and Uriah Hulme.
On Saturday, Sutter's sawmill was put into operation. Henry Bigler wrote: "This afternoon we started to saw, but it cuts slow there being so much back water in the race, and the race has got to be cut deeper to give more fall. The starting of the saw is to the Indians a great curiosity. The Indians told Brown he lied, when he told we were making a thing that would saw by itself, laid down on his belly for two hours, watching the same cutting boards, when at last he got up and said "it was bueno," meaning it was good and wanted to learn to be a sawyer, as before he could not conceive how a saw could run without a man at one end of it."
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.105‑06; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 221; Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1847‑1850, 89‑93; Ward, Winter Quarters, 194; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 327‑29; Carter, The Mormon Battalion, 49
On Sunday the High Council wrote a letter to the Saints in California, to be delivered by Levi E. Riter. The Council urged the California Saints to gather to the valley as soon as possible, to help build up the settlement. They were warned against settling with ease in California, where the world would distract them from the cause of Zion.
The six men who had started out for Winter Quarters during the previous week returned because the road through the canyons was impassable. On Monday they started their journey again, this time traveling up Weber Canyon. One of these men was twenty‑three‑year‑old Ammi R. Jackman, a son of Levi Jackman. His father Levi wrote: "Ammi was one of them. It was a hard and hazardous undertaking. Over one thousand miles to go at this season of the year, without an inhabitant only at Bridger and Laramie, liable to lose their way in the mountains or on the plains or to be killed by the Indians. But the mail must go. I felt bad for him under such circumstances but I believed the Lord would preserve them although they might have to suffer much."
On Friday sad news was received about their progress. Some men traveling from Fort Laramie met three of the six. The brethren were in a sad condition with their feet badly frozen. They had resorted to eating one of their horses. The other three men had proceeded on.
Levi Jackman wrote further about the conditions in the Salt Lake Valley: "The winter has been very mild with but little snow in the valley. Cattle have lived well by grazing. The large wolves have killed some of our oxen and cows, and the Indians near Utah Lake drove off some which was truly a loss to us under our impoverished circumstances. But we hope for better times. Notwithstanding the little dissensions and covetousness that was among us, take us as a whole, we enjoyed ourselves and were as happy a people as could be found in any place."
On Saturday the High Council adopted a new law to deal with the problem of stray animals. The Council also decided that all those who had settled beyond the boundaries of "the big field" without permission, must appear before the Council on the following Saturday. Thomas Williams was granted permission to travel to the upper crossing on Green River, to trade with the emigrants. He was instructed to act like an elder in Israel at all times.
On Friday there was trouble at Strode's Store. Police chief Hosea Stout became angry at Isaac Hill, who was speaking out against the police, using abusive language. Brother Stout became enraged and began to physically assault Brother Hill. As he was choking him, the fight was broken up by John Lyttle. Later that evening, Brother Stout was called before the High Council on charges pressed by Brother Hill.
The Council heard the case, and before ruling, President Brigham Young addressed the gathering. He spoke critically against the conduct of both of these brethren, but he was particularly displeased with Hosea Stout's conduct as chief of police. He was entrusted as a peace‑maker, yet he lashed out with violence. He understood that Brother Stout's desires were to put down crimes and apostasy. Rather then just condemning others, he should try to help them. "If I saw a man that I knew would fall, I would not tell him so, but would try to save him as well as I could." President Young told the police to clean up their act, to pray when they came together.
President Young said: "We have good men & bad men among us but if I see a bad man or a good man that needs reproof, I will give it to him, but will I go into a store & strike a man? No. Would it make him any better? No. But we should be saviors benevolent and kind and imitate the example of the Savior." Both of the men made a confession of their mistakes and they were reproved by the High Council.
On Saturday Wilford Woodruff celebrated his son's birthday. Wilford Woodruff Jr. turned eight years old. Elder Woodruff took his son to the water and baptized him. Afterwards the family gathered at his home for the confirmation.
On Tuesday, eighty‑two members of the Mormon Battalion who had re‑enlisted, were formally disbanded. They did not receive their promised pay allowance to travel home, but did receive beef rations. Henry Boyle wrote: "The citizens [of San Diego] became so attached to us that before our term of service expired, they got up a petition to the governor of California to use his influence to keep us in the service. The petition was signed by every citizen in the town. The governor tried hard to keep us for six months longer, but this latter offer was declined."
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.106‑07; Levi Jackman Autobiography, typescript, BYU‑S, p.44; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 221; Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1847‑1850, 93‑4; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:329‑33; Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:305‑06; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion: US Army of the West, 264
On Thursday a funeral was held for little Lorenzo Dow Young Jr. He had been the first male child born among the Saints in the valley. He was six months old when he died.
On Saturday Daniel Spencer reported on the progress of the road committee before the High Council. Henry G. Sherwood, Shadrach Roundy, and Edson Whipple were appointed to a committee, to fix the price of lumber and the rate of sawing. Because of stormy weather and deep snow, those asked to appear before the High Council during the previous week, did not come.
Saturday was the eleventh birthday of Parley P. Pratt Jr., son of Elder Parley P. Pratt. The family held a birthday party. Elder Pratt wrote: "After dinner, in presence of the assembled family, I related the circumstances of his being a promised child, with an account of his birth, his history, and the death of his mother. I reminded him that he was my first born ‑‑ my heir, both to estate and Priesthood. I exhorted him to prepare to walk in my footsteps, and to do good and serve God and his fellow men by a well ordered life, and by laying hold of knowledge and a good education. I rehearsed to him my own sufferings, and the sufferings of my family, and of the Church while in the States ‑‑ telling him of the murder of our prophets and Saints, and how we had been driven to the mountains, robbed and plundered of a very large amount of property and possessions. The day was spent most pleasantly and profitably by all." [Parley P. Pratt Jr. would later serve as a missionary to the British mission in 1862‑63. His missionary companion was Joseph F. Smith, who later was the president of the Church.]
On Sunday Orson Pratt addressed a public meeting at the Winter Quarters stand. He spoke about the plurality of Gods. Mary Richards wrote that he taught: "As a child grows up and becomes like his father, so we grow up like our Heavenly Father and partake of all his attributes and in time shall become just like him, even gods. He said that God himself was once man like unto us."
Also on this day, a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Stout, was born to Hosea and Louisa Taylor Stout. This came as a great joy because they had lost all three of their children to sickness and death since leaving Nauvoo.
Monday and Tuesday were rainy days. Mary Richards wrote about an enjoyable gathering on Tuesday evening, at the home of Phinehas Richards. "Father [Phinehas Richards] brought in Brother [William] McIntire and his wife to play a few tunes for us on his violin. These put the spirit of dance into the company, and finally we danced four French‑fours. After which a part of the company took their leave, appearing well satisfied with their visit. Brother McIntire and his wife stayed longer and took some refreshments, talked about Brother Joseph Smith's death and the results."
On Wednesday Wilford Woodruff crossed the river and traveled to Rollins settlement, in Iowa. He preached to the Saints and had a good time with them.
On Friday the members of the Twelve met with Sidney Roberts who had been sent by the Whigs in Iowa to enlist the political support of the Mormons. His offers were accepted.
On Saturday Brigham Young authorized the police to raise volunteers to stand guard every night for one month because of Indian problems. The guards were to prevent the Indians from entering Winter Quarters. No one was to trade with the Indians and would be fined if they did.
On Tuesday thirty‑five of the recently discharged Mormon Battalion re‑enlisted soldiers, left San Diego on their journey to the Salt Lake Valley. They were led by Henry G. Boyle. [They would meet up with Orrin Porter Rockwell who would guide them to the valley via a southern route through present‑day Las Vegas, Nevada. They would arrive on June 5, 1848. Interstate 15 would later follow much of the route they blazed.]
Parley Pratt Autobiography(1985), p.334; Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.107; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 221; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:333‑34; Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:306‑07; Ward, Winter Quarters, 196; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion: US Army of the West, 265;
Heavy snow continued to fall on the valley. On Tuesday Eliza R. Snow wrote: "The storm continues sometimes rain & then snow. Most of the houses are leaking profusely. Ours kept dry til this eve; but pour'd down thro' the night without intermission." Patty Sessions wrote: "We have had a wet bad time. One night we sat up most all night. It rained down through the house so I dipped up much water in the house and carried out. We had no floor and it was very muddy and our things wet. Today [Friday} we have got most of our things dry. Not a house in the fort but what leaked. But we feel to thank the Lord for the rain and snow for the land needed it very much."
Later, Sister Snow recalled this uncomfortable week: "The roof of our dwelling was covered deeper with earth than the adjoining ones, consequently did not leak as soon, and some of my neighbors huddled in for shelter. One evening as several were sitting socially conversing in my room, the water commenced dropping in one place and then in another, and so on. They dodged it for a while, but it increased so rapidly, they concluded to return to their own wet houses. After they left . . . I spread my umbrella over my head and shoulders as I ensconced myself in bed, the lower part being unshielded, was wet enough before morning. During the night, despite all discomfitures, I laughed involuntarily while alone in the darkness of the night I lay reflecting the ludicrous scene. . . . As the water coursed through the willows and patter on the floor, washed the stones from the earth above, and they went clink, clink, while the numerous mice which the storm had driven in the shelter, ran squealing back and forth."
A couple cases were brought before the High Council. Lorenzo D. Young brought a complaint against Simon Baker for taking a cow from Sister Leavitt. Ira Eldredge issued a complaint against Parley P. Pratt for cutting green timber or saplings. William Tubbs was given permission to make sun bricks near the warm spring.
By Saturday the storm had left. John Steele wrote about the grist mill operating on City Creek: "I could get a bushel of sweepings at the millstones where corn was ground for $5.00 from Brother [Charles] Crismon, who had his little corn cracker at the mouth of City Creek. After I got it and made a cake, we couldn't bite it for the grit, so we made mush and used it that way."
On Monday members of the Twelve crossed the river and met with many of the brethren at the log tabernacle in Miller's Hollow for a political caucus. They discussed organizing Pottawatomie County. Representative from the Whig party tried to enlist the political support of the Saints. The brethren agreed to support the Whigs if they would pledge that they would use their power to protect the Saints from mobocracy. The brethren returned to Winter Quarters on Tuesday.
On Wednesday about a dozen Pawnee Indians came into Winter Quarters. They had returned from war with the Sioux and were going to hold a council with the Omahas and Otoes. The Pawnees put on a "very animated dance" in front of one of the stores.
On Thursday, Jonathan C. Wright returned from his mission through Iowa, to Nauvoo, and then to St. Louis. He had baptized two people and did his best to strengthen and comfort the Saints. He visited Emma Smith Bidamon, but was received "coolly."
Azariah Smith received a letter from his father in the Salt Lake Valley. Azariah wrote in his journal: "Mother is not there at present, but will be next Summer. Father wrote that provision was very scarce; corn is from six to seven and wheat from nine to ten dollars a bushel. He is going to get corn and wheat so that when the rest of the family get there we will have something to subsist on."
The "Missouri Republican" published five thousand copies of William Clayton's "The Latter‑day Saints' Emigrants' Guide: Being a Table of Distances, Showing all the Springs, Creeks, Rivers, Hills, Mountains, Camping Places, and All Other Notable Places, from Council Bluffs, to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake."
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.107; Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 5, p.120; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 30‑1, 222; Smart, Mormon Midwife, 110; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:335; Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:307; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 112