After a frosty, early morning, the camp arose. The first fifty and the band moved out of the Chariton River Camp, their home for the past ten days, at about 9 a.m. Other companies, including Heber C. Kimball's company, would stay behind another day.
Early in the morning, a search for the lost traps was conducted. Another trap was found in a hollow tree, a quarter mile from the camp. Some of the men found a bee hive in another tree but only found a little bit of honey.
After they traveled for about six miles, they came to the east fork of Shoal Creek. On the way, the roads were still soft and bad and several wagons broke down. Helen Mar Whitney, the daughter of Heber C. Kimball wrote: “The road lay over a prairie, and the earth being soft and inundated with the previous rains, all that could were obliged to walk to favor the poor animals. Our feet would sink into the deep mud at every step, and some of us came near being minus of shoes.”
At Shoal Creek, they crossed over the water using a bridge which had been constructed by Brother Elisha Averett and his company of pioneers. On the other side of the river, they found Benjamin F. Johnson's company camped. The main body continued on for about a mile and camped on a rise in the prairie. Others camped about five hundred feet to the east, where George A. Smith was camping in the edge of some woods containing beautiful oak.
John D. Lee had some success hunting. He brought in a thirty‑pound wild turkey. William Clayton had very sore muscles and joints during the day's journal. After he set up camp, he tried wrestling and jumping, hoping to loosen up his sore muscles. Instead, he over‑exerted himself without even perspiration. He then was so sick that he had to go to bed.
Elisha Averett's company of pioneers was busy constructing two bridges over Locust Creek. One was seventy feet long, the other twenty feet.
Robert Cowden Egbert and Seviah Cunningham were married.1
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 115‑118; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout; Nibley Exodus to Greatness, 144‑45; William Clayton’s Journal; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848
There was a slight frost overnight, but the morning was clear and pleasant. At 6 a.m., the temperature was thirty‑four degrees. A Council meeting was held, at which a letter was written to Elder Orson Hyde in Nauvoo. It contained news of the camp's movements and the counsel he requested regarding the difficulties back in Nauvoo. (See March 27, 1846.) Brigham Young counseled Elder Hyde to prepare to move the poor of Nauvoo out of the city to farms in Iowa, as far west as possible, where they could put in a crop. Orrin Porter Rockwell was assigned to return to Nauvoo with a load of mail. He would travel with Shadrach Roundy and Charles Decker.
The Council decided to move the Camp of Israel another seven miles. Brigham Young rode ahead and found the roads to be very bad. Because many from his company were out finding grain and work, he decided to keep his company at Shoal Creek for another day. John Taylor's company, and a few others, did move on. Now that the companies were better organized, they could travel and camp as more separate groups. Brigham Young's company of fifty camped in a square. The guard and the artillery arrived into camp in the afternoon and formed the west part of the square.
Heber C. Kimball's company arrived at Shoal Creek, but decided to continue pressing on five more miles. They camped on the opposite bank of the west fork of Shoal Creek, where Orson Pratt was camping.
The company at Shoal Creek did have some good success hunting, finding corn, and getting hired for work. Four fine turkeys were brought into camp by the hunters. John D. Lee shot at, but missed an elk. Sixty‑five bushels of corn were purchased. Four hundred pounds of flour and five bushels of meal were brought in from Chariton Mill. Work was found for sixteen men to split rails. Others who remained at Shoal Creek during the day, took teams down to the creek to browse on grass. In the evening it started to become very windy, signaling that a new storm was on its way. The band played for some citizens for payment of eight bushels of corn.
Eliza Partridge Lyman, wife of Amasa M. Lyman, arrived at Chariton River. She wrote:
At the river we came across Henry Jacob’s wagon in the mud. His wife Zina, sick in bed on top of the load, so near the wet cover she could hardly raise her head, a babe in her arms, but a few days old, and no other wagon near or friend to do any thing for her except her husband.
The Lymans were helped to reach the main camp by some men from Elder Pratt’s company.
James Cummings and John Butler continued their journey to the Emmett Company on the Missouri River. Their breakfast consisted of a squirrel that had been killed the day before. A serious misfortune struck during the night. John Butler's horse caught its foot in a rope, causing it to fall on tree roots. The horse died because of this accident. This was a devastating blow to their plans. They decided that they would have to travel by putting all their baggage on the remaining horse while they both traveled on foot. The high point for their day was when Brother Butler shot a duck which they had for supper. They were able to cover fifteen miles during the day.
A daughter, Isabella Jan Forsyth, was born to Thomas and Isabella Forsyth. Also born was Julia Ann West to Charlotte West.2
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 120‑121; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 124; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout; William Clayton’s Journal; Eliza Marie Partridge Lyman Diaries; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 169-70
Shortly after sunrise, before breakfast, the camp started to move on. The first fifty moved out by 7 a.m. It was a dark, dreary, and windy morning. After five miles they reached the west fork of Shoal Creek and crossed over the creek on a bridge built by the advance group of pioneers. This was the location where Orson Pratt had been camping for some time. Heber C. Kimball had arrived there the day before. Brigham Young had breakfast with Elder Kimball in his tent. Some of the company ended up stopping at this point while others continued on for two miles where George Miller was camping at a creek lined with timber. This was the first time in many weeks that Brigham Young had caught up with Bishop Miller.
Brigham Young's lead company continued to press on. They soon came to a long hill which required doubling the teams, causing delays and waiting for the wagons in the rear. Heber C. Kimball's company and the band camped on top of this bluff. Brigham Young's lead company was able to travel much further, a total distance of twenty miles. They stopped at Hickory Grove, about one mile east of the east fork of Locust Creek. Some of the guard and artillery went on to Locust Creek and quickly built some fires to warm themselves.
During their day's journey, rain and hail fell in the morning and then a steady rain started at noon, continuing until about 5 p.m. This caused many wagons to become stuck in deep mud. They worked hard to double up teams to pull wagons out of the mud. Many of the wagons continued traveling after dark. Willard Richards stopped three or four miles behind, separated from his wagon that contained his tent and food. Others shared their food with Elder Richards’ family, who spent the night sitting in their carriage. For this dreary night, the Camp of Israel was scattered in many groups across the prairie.
About this time, Eliza P. Lyman wrote:
Our beds and our provisions were out on the prairie with D[aniel] P. Clark and wife and Pricilla Lyman, without fire nor food for their teams. We had to sleep as best we could, some on boxes, some on chairs, some in wet beds. . . . I do not know why I did not freeze, for I had no bed and very little covering.
Brigham Young received a message from Henry G. Sherwood at Grand River. He stated that there was work available, but corn was scarce. Jobs could be contracted in exchange for oxen. The roads were good and dry in that area (or they were before this most recent rain).
The evening was rainy and very windy, causing much discomfort in all the camps across the prairie. Hosea Stout recorded: “The wind blew uncommonly hard and beat the rain into the tents but we rested well.”
James Cummings and John Butler pressed on. They too, were severely affected by the storms which caused them to stop at 3 p.m. They crossed a road that ran southwest between “the barracks”3 and Missouri. At this point they met a man who told them they were forty miles from “the barracks” and forty miles from Missouri. At night, they pitched their tents in some scattered timber and built a fire to dry themselves out after being soaked all afternoon from the rain. Brother Butler tried to hunt, but had no luck, so they boiled some corn for dinner.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 121‑123; Stanley B. Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846"; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 124‑125; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190; “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, 24-5; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals; Lyman Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 153
Many in the camp woke up completely soaked from rain that had leaked into the tents. The temperature in the morning stood at thirty-nine degrees. Willard Richards arrived into camp during the morning. The roads were so muddy that his wagon required two yoke of oxen to haul it in. Brigham Young's large wagon also arrived, requiring eight yoke of oxen. Teams were sent back to help those who were stuck in the mud across the prairie. Moving the camp further west on this day was totally out of the question because of the weather.
There was very little corn in the camp and none to be found in the neighborhood, but some work was found splitting rails. The payment was in bacon.4
The rain continued to fall in scattered showers throughout the day. Brigham Young rode down by Locust Creek to search for a dryer place to camp. The creek had risen several feet since the day before. He also spent time cutting wood and fixing his tent.
In the evening, the clouds broke away allowing the moon to shine down on the camp. William Clayton was quite sick. He wrote: “I was so distressed with pain it seemed as though I could not live. I went to bed and put a bag of hot salt on my chest which seemed to give me some ease but I suffered much through the night, and it continued to rain until after midnight. We put an extra cover on our sleeping wagon, which kept out the rain.”
James Cummings and John Butler also halted during the day because of the weather. Brother Butler was feeling ill because of rheumatism.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 124; William Clayton's Journal; Haven, Hollon and Rister, Western America, 265; Reed C. Durham Jr., “The Iowa Experience: A Blessing in Disguise,” BYU Studies 21:4, 467; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:148; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 334; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190
The camp was greeted with white frost on the ground in the morning. It was a welcome change from all of the rain. The skies were clear and the day warmed up to be very nice. John Taylor rode into camp and ate breakfast at Willard Richards’ tent. Elder Taylor had spent the previous night, five miles back on the prairie. After breakfast, he continued on to Locust Creek. His company was totally out of corn.
Brigham Young received a letter from George Miller, who was back on Shoal Creek. Bishop Miller mentioned that a friend of his, Mr. Cochran, sold a yoke of oxen to a camp member and it was discovered later that part of the fifty dollars was counterfeit. Bishop Miller was referring Mr. Cochran to President Young to solve the problem. President Young wrote back to Bishop Miller expressing his surprise that Bishop Miller would refer this man to him. He knew that Mr. Cochran was swearing out vengeance against the camp and President Young was displeased that Bishop Miller would even describe President Young's wagons to the man. He condemned anyone involved with this bogus money and he counseled Bishop Miller to settle the affair quickly by having the oxen returned. He then asked for Bishop Miller's company to join the main camp as soon as possible.
Because the camp was severely low on corn, the cattle were sent off to browse. Several brethren went throughout the camp to collect money to purchase corn.
Stephen Markham became injured when an axe fell out of his wagon, landing on his foot.
Hosea Stout and Jesse Hunter took a long walk north of the camp. He wrote: “We went over rolling prairie of very rich soil and came to a beautiful grove of trees which had all been killed by the fire and presented a striking sensation of destroyed loveliness and made us think on the destruction of our enemies.” As they were walking, they ran into John Taylor's company moving on. They were “astonished” because they did not think anyone would move on ahead of Brigham Young after the Bishop Miller incident. (See March 26, 1846.) They observed that Elder Taylor's wagons were cutting up the road so deep that it would make it impossible for others to use it.
At 3 p.m., Brigham Young and others rode on the prairie across the middle branch of Locust Creek and arrived at the east fork of the Creek, where many were camping. They camped on a beautiful, high, dry and rolling prairie, but the timbered land was very soft. He returned to Hickory Grove at sunset.
In the evening, instructions were given to the camp to be ready to move at sunrise. President Young wrote several letters instructing brethren to catch up with the main camp. He also wrote to the Nauvoo Trustees, asking them to send several reams of ruled foolscap paper with the next company.
At Heber C. Kimball's camp, the companies were instructed to hold Sacrament Meetings for the first time since leaving Nauvoo. Eliza R. Snow recorded: “We attended to the ordinance for the first time since we left the City. My heart was made to rejoice in the privilege of once more commemorating the death of him whom I desire to behold.” At 4 p.m., William Clayton called the band together for their Sacrament Service held in front of his tent. Brother Clayton spoke for forty‑five minutes, followed by Brother Haws.
Eliza R. Snow wrote this poem in the front of her wagon. She entitled it, “Song for the Camp of Israel.”
O ye! toss'd to & fro and afflicted
Rejoice in the hope of your lot;
For you're truly the children of Israel
But the gentiles know you not.
And it matters not when or whither
You go, neither whom you're among
Only so that you follow closely
Your great leader, Brigham Young.
Let the spirit of peace & union,
And the practice of righteousness
Be your prominent characteristics
As you go to the wilderness.
And the blessings of heaven will attend you
Both in time & eternity
If you strictly adhere to the counsel
Of Brigham & Heber C.
The spirit and pow'r of Jehovah
Will be guiding your feet along:
For the Lords & the Gods are with you,
They are number'd in Israel's throng
In the sunshine, in storms & in tempests‑‑
In all changes console yourselves
That your sharers in sorrow & joy are
Brigham, Heber & all the Twelve.
At the camp of Orson Pratt and George Miller, a Sunday service was held. Elder Pratt and Bishop Miller spoke, after which the Sacrament was blessed and passed. In the evening, arrangements were made to send men out for corn.
James Cummings and John Butler resumed their journey on this day. They first had to find their remaining horse which had wandered about a mile away. Their breakfast consisted of boiled corn and a little bacon. They walked twenty miles across very rough country and entered Pottawatomie Indian hunting grounds.
A public meeting was held in the temple. Orson Hyde and Joseph Young were among the speakers. Elder Hyde wrote to Brother Ward in England. His letter was later published in the Church periodical, Millennial Star. He reported that the followers of James Strang were telling “the most horrid lies that men ever did tell in creation.” The Strangites claimed that hundreds of Saints had joined them, but Elder Hyde discounted this as false. He only knew of a few, former followers of Sidney Rigdon.
Elder Hyde reported that John E. Page had been disfellowshipped.5
Returning to Elder Hyde's letter, he reported, “Every thing in relation to this church goes well; many are coming to Nauvoo and being baptized daily . . . hundreds of families are coming here from other States, and fitting out for a campaign in the wilderness.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 123‑125; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 334; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:148‑49; William Clayton's Journal, 13‑14; Delila Gardner Hughes, The Life of Archibald Gardner, 32; Millennial Star, Vol. 7 No. 10, May 15, 1846, 157‑58; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 127; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190
It rained again during the night and continued all day. Part of the camp still moved out on this sixteenth anniversary of the organization of the Church. Brigham Young decided to move some of the camp because a new pasture was needed for the cattle. Erastus Snow explained that this move was made for two reasons, “first because there was a prospect of a long storm,” and they had learned that it was better to be near stream bottoms than on a ridge. “Secondly, because these bottoms were extensive and well‑timbered and afforded Browse for our teams, which was our only means of sustaining them.” The first teams started moving out at about 6 a.m. By noon, the ground where Brigham Young's company had camped was cleared except for Willard Richards’ tent and wagons. He was not able to leave because the creek had risen so high, making it impossible to cross.
The companies traveled three miles, passing over the east and middle forks of Locust Creek. They made their camp on the west bank of the middle fork. At the east fork, they used a bridge that had been built by the advance pioneers. They had intended to reach the west fork of Locust Creek, but the weather caused them to halt three miles short of their goal. Locust Creek was thickly skirted with timber.6
The traveling was very difficult in the pouring rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Hosea Stout recorded: “This day capped the climax of all days for travelling. The road was the worst that I had yet witnessed up hill and down through sloughs on spouty oak ridges and deep marshes, raining hard, the creek rising. The horses would sometimes sink to their bellies.” Brigham Young had to make two trips, doubling his teams, because of the terrible, muddy roads. Patty Sessions saw Brother Brigham at work and wrote: “Brother Brigham came up with his company driving his team in the rain and mud to his knees; was happy as a king.”
There was still no corn in the camp, so the cattle were sent out to browse on trees. Back at Hickory Grove, when the weather cleared a little bit in the afternoon, the band played for some of those who remained. A company of men had been sent out in the morning to finish a job splitting rails. They worked all day in the rain and joined the camp at Locust Creek, “all dripping wet and merry.”
At Locust Creek, a strong wind blew over a tree across Brother Tanner's wagon containing three people. No one was injured. Many of the companies camped in a dense forest which provided some protection from the storm. Those without this protection had many of their tents blown down. Willard Richards’ tent stakes were seen “flying in the air.” Elder Richards worked hard to get the stakes back in, sometimes lying flat on the ground holding the tent while the stakes were being driven into the ground. He ended up “wet to the skin.” In the evening, another terrible storm brought strong winds, heavy rain, hail, lightning and thunder. William Clayton wrote: “The rain beat through the wagon covers and drenched the families and effect. It was the most severe storm we have experienced and with such wind it seems impossible to preserve our little clothing and provisions from being spoiled. But in the midst of all, the camp seems cheerful and happy and there are but few sick.” During this storm, Hosea Stout had to get out of bed, go outside and hold his tent down until someone came to help him secure it.
Nine or ten wagons left Orson Pratt's camp to obtain corn in nearby settlements. In three days, they would return mostly empty. In the evening, the storm blew down most of the tents. The water in Shoal Creek rose so high that it threatened to overflow its banks and flood the camp.
Many miles to the west, James Cummings and John Butler skipped breakfast in order to put in some miles before the rains came. They traveled twelve miles and then camped in some timber where they found some Indian wickiups which had probably been used a month before.
A conference of the church was held in the basement of the Nauvoo temple, where the baptismal font was located. They could not meet in the upper levels because the workmen were painting and could not meet in the grove near the temple because of the rainy weather. Elder Hyde prayed and the conference was quickly adjourned until the following day because of their cramped conditions. Elder Hyde conducted a baptism of ten people in the Mississippi River at Main Street. Included were probably: Benjamin and Margaret Cherry, Susanna Evertson, and Mary Hadlock
The first church conference of the followers of James Strang was held in a grove of oak trees on the banks of White River. This conference was more like a political convention. John E. Page and William Marks (former Nauvoo Stake President) were in attendance. James J. Strang was sustained as President of the Church, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator. William Marks and Aaron Smith were sustained as counselors. Reuben Miller was appointed president over the Voree Stake. Several men were appointed as “missionary Apostles” including Zenos H. Gurley (one of the later founders of the RLDS church). John E. Page was appointed “Chief Apostle and President of the College of Apostles.” Strang, next boldly “excommunicated” Brigham Young and the rest of the Twelve from his church. He then pronounced a curse on the followers of Brigham Young full of blood and gore, asking for their misery and gruesome deaths.
Sidney Rigdon's Church of Christ held their general conference. Rigdon told of a recent vision where he saw that thousands of honorable men of Pittsburgh, who would help with the redemption of Zion. He also mentioned that “the devil had sought to overthrow this kingdom.” At this conference it was agreed to purchase a farm in Antrim Township, Pennsylvania. Sidney Rigdon peached that “he was treading upon ground unexplored by man, for he had no predecessor, either in ancient or modern times. He had been assailed by malice, and the tongue of slander had poured its poisonous and vindictive tide upon his head.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 125‑126; The Orson Pratt Journals, 334‑35; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 149‑50; William Clayton’s Journal, 14‑15; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 145; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190; Lason, Erastus Snow, 107‑08; Little, From Kirtland to Salt Lake City, 51; Riegel, Crown of Glory, 67‑9; “Isaac Haight Autobiography,” typescript, 30; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball ‑ Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 133; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Messenger and Advocate (Greencastle) June 1846, 466; Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 380‑81
It became very cold overnight. The morning temperature was twenty‑nine degrees which caused the ground to freeze. Many of the puddles had iced up and a light snow fell. The creek rose six feet during the night creating an island where the cattle were located. They had plenty of grass on this temporary island and were left there until the water level lowered. However, during the day, the water level continued to rise to a point where the bridge was in danger of floating away. The roads were impossible to travel, but a few men were still able to go out on a job to split rails.
Sister Marie Stewart, wife of Rufus Putman Stewart delivered a son. On the previous evening, Sister Stewart had walked two miles through the dark and crossed the creek on a log. When her labor pains started, she was taken to a vacant house where she was shielded from the storm. While she waited there, Brother Stewart rode on his horse through the darkness and rain to find the midwife, Patty Sessions. Sister Sessions mounted the horse behind Brother Stewart and the poor horse made its way back through the mud and water, “some of the way belly deep.” They did not make it in time. While her husband was away, Sister Stewart gave birth to her son.
Brigham Young spent the day repairing wagons in his company. In the afternoon, he wrote letters, including several to Nauvoo encouraging people to help the families of the guard leave Nauvoo.
As the camp awoke, they saw that many of the tents were still lying flat on the ground where they had been abandoned during the storm. Many of the Saints, including the band, were running low on provisions. The band played for the camp in the evening.
James Cummings and John Butler arose after a chilly night on the frozen ground. They started their journey late because the horse had again wandered off. It was found eight miles from their camp. They finally were off and followed an Indian trail for some time. During their journey, they saw a flock of turkeys but could not catch any. They soon noticed some fresh tracks on the trail and after following the tracks, they spotted a wild pony ahead. They tried hard to catch it, but were not successful.
The conference was again postponed until the following day. One of Brigham Young's wives back in Nauvoo, Harriet Cook, wrote a letter to him describing Nauvoo, “It seems like an old house deserted of all its inhabitants. I have been up into the Temple. I looked west as far as I could see, but could see nothing of the camp.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 126‑27; William Clayton’s Journal, 15; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 335; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 150; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 190‑1; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 146; Dean C. Jesse, “Brigham Young's Family: The Wilderness Years,” in BYU Studies, 19:4:485; Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 743; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:375
The morning was clear and cold. The temperature at 7 a.m. was thirty‑four degrees. At about 8 a.m., Brigham Young and a couple other brothers rode out to the west fork of Locust Creek to examine the roads which were still bad. There were several men working on the road, cutting down the bank of the river, and putting logs across the road on the hill for wagons to travel over. Brigham Young returned to camp at about 1:30 p.m.
While they were away, Willard Richards arrived from Hickory Grove. The hunters brought in a turkey and a deer. The company of artillery completed their job of making 3,000 rails in exchange for a milk cow and 100 pounds of bacon. Many in the camp stayed very busy doing blacksmithing, wagon repairing, and rearranging loads.
Heber C. Kimball decided to move their camp about a quarter mile west to a dryer spot. It took the company all day to make this move. Some of the loads required triple-teaming to drag them through the mud. Elder Kimball had wanted to move further, but it was decided to wait for the men to return with the corn. At 5 p.m., Howard Egan brought in fifty‑seven bushels of much needed corn. Heber C. Kimball went to get some of the corn but Parley P. Pratt arrived in the evening and asked for some. He reported that his teams had not eaten since the day before. Elder Kimball felt that it was more important for Elder Pratt to be given one of the loads for his company. The camp received a letter from President Young requesting that they all go on and join him in the main camp.
Eliza R. Snow wrote:
Elder [Heber C.] Kimball was passing my 'study' to day when after the usual compliments, I told him as I was number'd among his children [Elder Kimball's Hundred], I wished to know if he would acknowledge me as one. He said he would & I told him that I should claim a father's blessing. He said he would give me one. I asked when? to which he replied 'now' I told him I was ready; he said to me then, 'A father's blessing shall rest upon you from this time forth.' From this time I call him father.
Seven miles behind, at Orson Pratt's camp, many of his company arrived from Chariton River. William Rice came in. Brother Rice was going to leave Elder Pratt's goods at Evan's Camp and return to Nauvoo but decided to continue on. He said that he would only take six hundred pounds of Elder Pratt's load in his wagon. Elder Pratt had to crowd six to eight hundred pounds of good onto his other already very heavy wagons. Orson Pratt sent back three yoke of oxen to help his brother, Parley, to travel through the mud from the east fork of Shoal Creek. Parley P. Pratt continued on to Hickory Grove.
William Huntington moved out of camp traveling about eight miles. He caught up with his daughter, Zina Huntington Jacobs, who had given birth to his grandson on the bank of the Chariton River on March 28. It was the first time he saw his grandson, because he had stopped on the Fox River to work on a job to obtain provisions.
In the morning, John Butler got up early and rode for five miles trying again to catch the wild pony. His companion, James Cummings recorded: “It was very wild at first but he succeeded in catching it.” The pony was only about two years old and was too small to ride. They decided to load some baggage on it which made room for one of the men to ride on the horse. They resumed their journey at about 1 p.m. with one riding and the other walking. They covered eight miles and camped in some timber, at an Indian campsite, by a stream that they thought was the east fork of the Grand River.9 There was a fresh grave nearby. They were able to shoot a duck for dinner.
The Church's General Conference was held at the grove, west of the temple. Mephiboseth Serrine offered the opening prayer. Elder Orson Hyde spoke in the morning. In the afternoon he again spoke and was followed by Almon W. Babbitt. The conference adjourned until the following April which they hoped would be held in the Rocky Mountains. At the close of the meeting, Elder Hyde was delivered a threatening blank letter containing a bullet. Isaac Haight wrote that this “created some excitement and hurt our feelings to think that anyone could be so depraved as to threaten the lives of the servants of God when in the discharge of their duty.” A baptism was later held at which Elder Hyde baptized twenty people.
A son, Easton Kelsey Jr., was born to Easton and Abigail Kelsey.10
A company of fourteen families of Saints led by William Crosby, George W. Bankhead, and John Brown left their homes to travel to the Camp of Israel.11
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 127‑28; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 150; The Orson Pratt Journals, 335‑36; William Clayton’s Journal, 15‑6; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 126; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 191; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Isaac Haight Autobiography,” typescript, 30; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 53; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:225
The morning was cloudy and cool. At about 10 a.m., John Taylor moved his company across the creek and ahead about one mile, near the edge of the creek. This movement took all day. On about this day, Sister Ann Pitchforth lost her prized possession. Three teams and a dozen men struggled in knee-deep mud with the wagon Ann Pitchforth was riding in, trying to steady her piano. John Taylor recommended that Ann should get out at this troubling spot. She insisted on staying inside. As the wagon was pulled forward, the right front end hit a hidden boulder and the left wheel plunged into a hidden hole. Elder Taylor yelled a word of warning but it was too late, the wagon tipped over. Ann found herself face down in the mud, helpless, unable to breathe. Elder Taylor quickly slashed the wagon cover and dragged her out. The piano lay deep in the mud. Poles were used to pry the piano out of the muck and The front panels had shattered and it was full of mud. Ann told them to leave it where it was. She remarked that she should have brought a cooking stove instead.
One of the hunters brought a turkey into the camp. Another hunter, Edmund Ellsworth, shot a turkey and a deer, but he lost his way back to camp and ended up leaving the game on the prairie.
Employment was found nearby, herding cattle. Many in camp spent the day repairing wagons. The rain started to fall again at noon, causing the water in the creek to rise. Hosea Stout wrote, sarcastically, “it started raining again for a rarity.”
Heber C. Kimball's company moved out of camp at 7 a.m. He had received a message from Brigham Young requesting him to move forward. Because of the hasty departure, Hannah Markham had to do her butter churning in the wagon. Parley P. Pratt and William Clayton's companies were also soon on their way. The roads were very muddy and the rain that started at noon made matters much worse. George A. Smith wrote: “About noon it began to rain in torrents and every driver soon got wet to the hide. It seemed as though the bottom of the road had now fallen out, for wagons sunk in the mud up to their beds and the women and the children had to get out in the rain so that their teams might pull the wagons through the mud.” They frequently had to use eight to ten yoke of oxen to pull one wagon out of the mud. There would be a dozen or more wagons all sunk in the mud at once.
Elder Kimball's son‑in‑law, Horace Whitney, a twenty-three-year old school teacher, found it necessary to drive the oxen for the first time. “Started this morning about eight o'clock‑‑took my first lesson in the science of oxology.” His wife, Helen, described: “On taking the ox whip to driver, the first thing he did was to go on the wrong side, and then had to endure the roars of laughter from several of the boys who were standing ready to witness his first effort.”
They had planned to go about eight miles, but by late afternoon, the camp had only traveled four miles. The animals were totally worn out. Benjamin F. Johnson remembered, “our mules' feet, like pegs, could find no bottom and could go no farther.” So they decided to turn off the road and camp near a small stream. Several of William Clayton's teams were stuck in the mud and they had to work until dark to get one of the two teams into camp. The other team had to camp out on the prairie with several others who couldn't make it all the way. Parley P. Pratt and most of George Miller's company were able to make it to the camp. They spent the night wet and cold, without fires, because there was nothing to burn. William Clayton wrote: “This is the most severe time we have had but yet the camp seems in good spirits.”
Heber C. Kimball pressed on a mile and a half further, and camped on the prairie. Eliza R. Snow wrote: “We had not sufficient wood to keep warm and the teams were let loose without food to shirk for themselves. There we pass'd a dreary night of wind & rain.” There were about two hundred teams scattered across the wet prairie over a three mile stretch. William Huntington wrote that they “spent one of the most uncomfortable nights that so many of the Church ever suffered in one night. The ground filled with water. The mud knee deep around our tents and little or no feed for our teams. One cow, through fatigue, laid down by the wagon on the prairie, chilled and died. A general scene of suffering for man and beast.”
Further back to the east, after staying at Shoal Creek for three weeks, Orson Pratt's camp moved on. Sadly, a cow had just given birth to a calf. They had to sacrifice the calf in order to move on. The company traveled for about six miles through the deep mud and continual rain. They made their camp at sunset in some timber. Orson Pratt recorded: “The mud and water in and around our tent was ankle-deep. The rain poured down in torrents and continued through the night.” They cut brush and limbs from the trees and placed them on the ground in their tents to keep the beds from sinking into the mud. Many wagons in his company could not reach the timber and ended up camping on the prairie in the mud, unable to start fires. The suffering was intense. The animals were turned loose to find food for themselves, dry prairie grass, bark, and tree limbs.
James Cummings and John Butler moved twenty‑five miles on a trail that led them to the middle fork of the Grand River. They had covered many miles in the cold and rain taking turns riding and walking.
The Canadian Saints (who had been “greeted” by the Strangites) arrived in Nauvoo in good health and spirits. Archibald Gardner described the city: “There were plenty of homes open to us. We could have brick, frame, log or stone houses without cost. The Saints had nearly all left who were able to go, and their homes were standing empty and unsold. They had been driven out and what could not readily be disposed of was left behind. Some had furniture in‑‑chairs, bedsteads, etc.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 128; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 150; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 336; William Clayton’s Journal, 16; Hughes, The Life of Archibald Gardner, 32; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 148‑49; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 126; Johnson, My Life's Review, 111; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 191; Taylor, The Kingdom or Nothing, 109‑10; Woman's Exponent, 12:126; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 37; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 53
The rain showers continued in the morning. During the night the creek rose five feet and was still climbing in the morning. At 10 a.m., the brethren in Brigham Young's company met together. Brigham Young discussed with them a proposal to send as many men and some families as could be spared, to the Weldon fork of the Grand River. There, they could find jobs and get grain for the teams. Others would wait for the roads to get better and for the grass to grow. It was decided to start traveling further north, back into Iowa. They had recently traveled into an area which was disputed land between Missouri and Iowa.
President Young suggested that Orson Pratt and some others be sent to the Grand River to select a location for a settlement. While the weather was improving, they could spend their time clearing and fencing one hundred acres. Those families who were not ready to move on would plant a crop. This settlement would also serve as a resting place or “way‑station” for those who would follow. The poor from Nauvoo could travel there, find work, and prepare for the journey further west.
President Young was concerned about the spirituality of his company. He asked each group of ten families to select a “fatherly man” who would serve as “teacher” to see that prayers were offered in all the tents. He recognized some of the companies were having a difficult time keeping up with the lead company because they did not have as many teams. Some teams would be sent back to the rear companies to help them come forward.
In the late morning, a terrible wind arose, followed by rain. Many quickly ran for cover in their tents.
At 11:38 a.m., many of the leaders of the Camp of Israel met in the Post Office for a council meeting. Brigham Young proposed that the camp wait a day or two before moving on, giving the rest of the camp time to catch up.
Work was found thirteen miles ahead at Big Medicine Creek. The job consisted of making one thousand rails for $5.00 and board, and to thresh one hundred bushels of oats for fourteen bushels and the straw. A man pledged $5.00 if a bridge would be built over Medicine Creek. Brigham Young decided to send a messenger to the location to close on a contract for the work.
It was very windy in the morning causing many tents to blow over. The rain and the wind made it very uncomfortable for everyone, especially the women and children. Teams were sent back to bring in the wagons that were left out in the mud the day before. Theodore Turley’s buggy tipped over and injured his teams. At 4 p.m., a gale of snow started causing it to become bitter cold.
Heber C. Kimball's company pressed on after they gathered their cattle and horses which had wandered off during the night. They doubled their teams, leaving some wagons behind and arrived at Hickory Grove after dark. Eliza R. Snow wrote that they “were once more on 'Terra Firma' before us with plenty of wood, & fires blazing, & browse for the beasts together with the blessing of an unburnt sod for our carpet which was very delightful.”
Back about five miles, Orson Pratt's company continued to struggle in the mud. The beds inside their tents were sunken into the mire. Elder Pratt was determined to find a dryer spot. He located a spot nearby on a ridge where the ground was sand and gravel. He moved his wagons to that spot and was soon followed by many others.
The weather turned colder. James Cummings and John Butler ran into freezing rain and snow. They did not travel because of the poor weather. They killed a squirrel and two ducks and Brother Cummings wrote: “for which we were very thankful having lived on boiled corn for several days.” The winds that night were “very tedious.”
A son, Asahel A. Lathrop Jr., was born to Asahel Albert and Jane Lathrop.12 Also, a son, John Henry Worsley, was born to John and Sarah Worsley. Henson Walker Jr. was married to Elizabeth Foutz. The marriage was performed by Orson Hyde.13
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 130‑33; William Clayton’s Journal, 16‑7; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 151‑52; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 336‑37; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 191; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 127; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑ 1848; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 54
It was much colder. The camp woke up to hard, frozen mud on the ground. At 8 a.m., the temperature was thirty‑three degrees. At about 10 a.m., Brigham Young and some other leaders of the camp walked back three miles to Hickory Grove where Heber C. Kimball was camping. President Young wanted to determine the situation of Elder Kimball’s camp and to set up a council meeting for the following day.
Brigham Young returned to his camp at Locust Creek in the afternoon, spending time trying to locate three of his cows that had strayed. Due to the lack of grain, many of the men were cutting down elm trees, giving their cattle something to eat. There were several cases of measles reported in the various camps, which was always a serious concern. Many members of the camp stayed busy hunting, watching over the cattle, cleaning guns, and repairing bridges.
William Clayton and others traveled back to help Jacob Peart get his wagon out of a mud slough. It took five yoke of oxen and twelve men to drag it out. Twelve yoke of oxen were sent back to bring others forward to William Clayton's camp, about four miles from Hickory Grove.
The situation in Orson Pratt's camp, about five miles back, started to become serious. The animals were starting to starve. Many would wander off in an attempt to find food. Orson Pratt lost two of his horses. Many of the people were destitute for food. Women and children were suffering from exposure to the weather. Several wagons were sent to the Missouri settlements for corn and other provisions. Elder Pratt wrote: “But in the midst of all these temporal afflictions, the Saints were comforted in anticipation of better days; they looked forward to the time when these light afflictions should cease, and when they should have the privilege of sitting under their own vine and fig trees, with none to molest them or make them afraid.”
Brothers Cummings and Butler awoke to find the ground frozen and the trees coated in ice. As the ground thawed, it became very slippery, making travel very difficult. After eight miles they came to the west fork of the Grand River.14 They camped that night on a branch of the Nodaway River.
Isaac Haight watched several families cross the river to the west and he wished he could also leave. He wrote: “I have but little prospect of getting away very soon as we have no chance to sell our land. My mind is filled with great anxiety about getting away, but my trust is in the Lord that he will open the way for us to get away from this wicked nation stained with the blood of the prophet.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 130‑31; The Orson Pratt Journals, 337; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 151; “Sarah Leavitt History,” 29; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 191; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Isaac Haight Autobiography,” typescript, 30-31; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 54
The ground froze again overnight. The temperature at sunrise was a chilly, twenty‑five degrees. The day was windy and cold, but there was no rain, which was a welcome relief. Brigham Young, other members of the Twelve, and the bishops, traveled back three miles to Heber C. Kimball's camp near Hickory Grove for a council meeting.
George Miller's camp arrived at the Locust Creek Camp. They set up their camp on the side of the hill above Brigham Young's camp.
The council meeting at Heber C. Kimball’s camp began about 10 a.m. Thirty brethren attended. Brigham Young expressed his approval of the camp, “I did not think there had ever been a body of people since the days of Enoch, placed under the same unpleasant circumstances that this people have been, where there was so little grumbling, and I was satisfied that the Lord was pleased with the majority of the Camp of Israel.” He did however condemn some activities that were taking place including the passing of counterfeit money and stealing. He proposed that the current plan to travel southwest into Missouri be changed. Instead, the camp would proceed to the northwest, to the east fork of Grand River and build about twenty log cabins on two square miles of land, part of an area recently purchased by the government from the Indians. They would plow and put in a spring crop. Some of the camp would stay there while others would proceed westward to Council Bluffs. This forward company would include Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and other members of the Twelve.
He also proposed that men be sent back from Grand River to find a better route from Richardson's Point. It would be wise to find a route that did not dip into Missouri and would follow better roads. He proposed the men be sent on ahead the next day to Judge Miller's neighborhood on the Grand River to find work, to get corn and other provisions. A company would also be sent to scout out roads in a northwesterly direction. President Young still hoped that they would cross the mountains this year, but only one hundred wagons should be sent. All of President Young's proposals were accepted.
After the meeting, Heber C. Kimball invited President Young and William Clayton for dinner. They wrote a letter to the Nauvoo Trustees and then returned to their camps.
In the afternoon, Heber C. Kimball conducted an open‑air Sacrament Meeting in his camp. It was chilly during the meeting but the camp received excellent instructions. He expressed his disappointment that some had hurt feelings because their teams were needed to be sent back to help others. He warned “that those who were selfish about helping others would find their teams weakening and dying.” During the meeting, Eliza R. Snow felt a strong impression that she would one day be able to visit the land of Palestine (Israel) despite her present feeble health.15
While Orson Pratt was away at the council meeting, he sent men back toward Shoal Creek in search of his lost horses. After sundown, to his delight, his horses were brought into camp. They had been found two miles to the south.
Brothers Cummings and Butler traveled twelve more miles. In the afternoon they met a Pottawatomie Indian named Wacakasuck. John Butler could speak in one of his languages. Wacakasuck claimed that the pony they had found belonged to an Indian woman in his camp. He invited them to his wickiup three miles ahead where he treated them very kindly. He gave them some maple sugar and corn mush. They took their baggage inside and were given mats to sleep on. They noticed that the Indian had pots, pans, cups, saucers, knives, and forks. Wacakasuck told them that they were one day from an Indian village named Polawas. Other Indians arrived during the afternoon.
A Sunday meeting was held at the stand in the Temple. Joseph A. Stratton and Orson Hyde spoke. During this time in April, one of the Trustees, Almon W. Babbitt started to persuade many of the Saints to stay in Nauvoo for a while. Some felt Brother Babbitt wanted the Saints to stay for his own protection until he could complete the business of the Trustees. An article appeared in the St. Louis American which warned that if Almon W. Babbitt and others were successful in persuading the Saints to remain in Nauvoo, “there would be trouble after June next, and it will not be so easy to allay the storm as it was last year.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 131‑33; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 151; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 337‑38; William Clayton’s Journal, 17‑18; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 15‑16; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 127; Crockett, The Life and Journal of Robert Clarkson, 101; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Barron, Orson Hyde, Missionary, Apostle, Colonizer, 164‑65; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 191, 192; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 54
The morning was cold, with a temperature of twenty‑nine degrees, but the day warmed up to be very pleasant. Brigham Young sent a letter of instruction to Elisha Averett and John Gleason, instructing them to not build a bridge over the west fork of Locust Creek as planned. Instead, they were to complete their other contracts and travel to Judge Miller's on Grand River to get a job there. They were to leave as much corn as possible at Locust Creek. Four wagons were sent back to the west fork to pick up the corn.
Albert P. Rockwood, George Miller, Erastus Snow, John D. Lee, and others, went with Brigham Young to examine the route to the next campground at Medicine Creek.
On their return, Brigham Young moved most of his company to the edge of the prairie, on top of a hill, about a half mile from the main camp. It took Hosea Stout three trips to get his wagons up the hill, using extra oxen for each trip.18
William Clayton's company had planned to stay for another day, but when extra teams arrived to help them on, they started moving out at about noon. Three wagons still had to be left behind. Several members of his family had to walk all the way. After four miles, they arrived at Heber C. Kimball's camp near Hickory Grove and the east fork of Locust Creek.
Some wagons arrived at Orson Pratt's company, bringing in badly needed corn for their starving animals. The company later moved on over bad roads and arrived at the main camp on the middle fork of Locust Creek.
Brother Cummings and Butler spent the day with the Pottawatomie Indians. The Indians cooked a duck that John Butler had killed the day before and baked some cornbread. The breakfast consisted of the old stand-by: boiled corn and bacon. Soon Indian hunters arrived and built more than a dozen wickiups and “formed quite a village.” All the families were very kind to the two brethren. They gave them sugar and honey. When the chief arrived from the nearby village, he dined with the two men.
Elder Wilford Woodruff approached Nauvoo by boat. He was with his father, Aphek Woodruff, stepmother, daughter Phebe and other friends. He wrote:
We stopped at Warsaw. I gazed upon the place for a time and thought of their wickedness, opression and cruelty towards the Saints. . . . At about 2 o'clock we started to ascend the rapids. In about 2 hours we came in sight of the splendid Temple built by the Latter‑day Saints and also the city of Nauvoo. Immediately got my spy glass and examined the city. The Temple truly looked splendid. We stopped at Montrose and then crossed to Nauvoo at the upper landing.19
It was a very happy reunion for him to greet the rest of his family in Nauvoo. He wrote: “I had the Happy Privilege of meeting with my Dear wife & children. I found them all well as could be expected. They like myself had a hard voyage across the ocean.”20
The Nauvoo Trustees gave Lucy Mack Smith a deed of a house and lot which had been occupied by Joseph B. Noble, valued at twelve hundred dollars. Earlier, the Trustees wanted to place a condition on the deal. They were worried that William Smith would inherit the property from Mother Smith. They wanted to deed Mother Smith a home if either William gave his support to the Twelve, or she refused to let him live with her. Mother Smith responded, “I am wronged out of a home, long promised to me by my son . . . you . . . put limits to my affections, threaten me with poverty, if I do not drive my children from the door.” Apparently the Trustees withdrew this condition and Mother Smith accepted the home and moved in.
A article appeared in the Warsaw Signal, apparently written by a sister in the Church, which blasted the ordinances performed in the temple.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 133; William Clayton’s Journal, 18; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 339; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 151; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 192; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Cowley, Wilford Woodruff, 245; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:38; Stanley B. Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846"; Newell, Mormon Enigma‑‑Emma Hale Smith, 233; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 159
The weather was quite a bit warmer. At 7 a.m., the temperature was forty‑five degrees. Brigham Young sent out orders for the various camps to gather near his camp on the edge of the prairie. Orson Pratt's company also joined the camp. A number of teams were sent back to Hickory Grove to help bring forward Heber C. Kimball's company and William Clayton's company (the band). William Clayton was away hunting when the teams arrived. When he came in with five squirrels, he discovered most of the camp was gone. He quickly broke camp and made the difficult journey over muddy roads.
At this point there was a large number of campers on the ridge. For the first time in many weeks, nearly the entire Camp of Israel was together in one location. Hosea Stout described the scene, “It formed a beautiful sight to see so many waggons & tents together and could be seen for miles on the prairie.” William Huntington wrote that it was “as beautiful a sight as ever was seen in this region of country. A city of tents and wagons inhabited by the Saints of the last days.”
George Patten, a seventeen-year-old young man, was traveling with the Charles C. Rich family, driving one of their wagons. George's mother had died several years earlier. Young George had become very sick with “mountain fever” which caused Charles C. Rich to have his family stay near Hickory Grove for another day.
Charles Decker came in from Nauvoo with about thirty letters. He had traveled from Nauvoo in four days.23 At 2 p.m., Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, and others met to read several of the letters.
Hosea Stout and his brother Allen Stout went hunting and killed two plovers (birds) and a snake. He then went with Jesse Hunter to gather ground nuts and filled a basket. The cattle were driven about one and a half miles to feed on new spring grass that had started to grow on the wettest portions of the prairie.
On about this day, Erastus Snow and Albert P. Rockwood traveled fifteen miles to a small settlement at the junction of the east and west forks of Locust Creek to purchase cows. On their return journey, darkness overtook them and they lost their way. They had to stay out all night without fire because neither of them brought a flint to start one. Brother Snow wrote: “From this lesson, I learned not to be caught away from camp again without fireworks.”
Hosea Stout's wife, Louisa continued to be very sick with pleurisy, at times near death. Brigham Young came to their tent in the evening, laid hands on her, and gave her a blessing. Also in the evening, a package was delivered to Eliza R. Snow from Sister Kimball. It contained a roll of gimp (silk twist or edging).
During the night, the guard was not doing its job. The cattle and the horses started to break into the tents and wagons.
Brother Cummings and Butler traveled fifteen miles to an Indian village by the Nishnabotna River. The houses there were built of bark and “shaped considerable like a house but very irregularly situated, no two of them fronting the same way.” Some Indians there, who had been to Nauvoo, asked them if they were from “Smith Town.” When the brethren told them they were, the Indians were pleased and treated them well. They also met a couple of traders who said part of the Emmett company had been to Council Bluffs.
Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde met together to discuss the progress of removing the Saints from Nauvoo. Elder Woodruff was very grieved to find out that his sister Eunice and her husband Dwight Webster were following after James J. Strang. The Websters had even received their temple ordinances in January.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 339; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 151‑52; William Clayton’s Journal, 18‑9; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, 52-53; Larson, Erastus Snow, 108; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 128; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:38‑9; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 55
The morning was still a chilly thirty degrees. Little did the camp know, but a historic moment occurred in the camp on this morning, which would have a spiritual impact on the Church for decades in the future. William Clayton composed the words to the hymn, “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” He recorded in his journal,
This morning Ellen Kimball came to me and wishes me much joy. She said Diantha has a son.24 I told her I was afraid it was not so but she said Brother Pond had received a letter. I went over to Pond's and he read that she had a fine fat boy on the 30th (see March 31, 1846) but she was very sick with ague and mumps. Truly I feel to rejoice at this intelligence but feel sorry to hear of her sickness. . . . This morning I composed a new song, “All is well.” I feel to thank my heavenly father for my boy and pray that he will spare and preserve his life and that of his mother and so order it so that we may soon meet again. O Lord bless thine handmaid and fill her with thy spirit, make her healthy that her life may be prolonged and that we may live upon the earth and honor the cause of truth. In the evening I asked the President if he would not suffer me to send for Diantha. He consented and said we would send when we got to Grand River.”25
Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell‑‑
All is well! All is well!
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell‑‑
All is well! All is well!
We'll find a place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We'll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we'll tell‑‑
All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow too:
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
O how we'll make this chorus swell‑‑
All is well! All is well!
During the morning, a number of companies, including the Orson Pratt, John Taylor, and George A. Smith companies, moved out of the camp, pressing on toward the west. William Huntington was impressed by the view which he wrote was “one of the most splendid sights I ever witnessed. So great a number of wagons spread out on one of the most splendid wide prairies that ever was seen.” They left the road and traveled to the northwest, over the prairie for about six miles and camped next to some timber. Others camped about two miles behind. The animals were turned loose to feed upon the new spring grass.
Twenty‑eight bushels of corn were brought into the camp. Jeremiah Willey started for Nauvoo with about 150 letters. Hosea Stout had to again deal with problems among the guard. Some in the guard did not recognize the authority of others to make assignments. Brother Stout had a difficult time finding enough brethren willing to stand guard that night.
Eliza R. Snow was very pleased to see her brother Lorenzo for the first time since the Chariton River.26 He had been delayed for several reasons. His wife, Sarah Ann, was sick, the axel on his wagon broke, and his wagon became stuck in the mud. To free the wagon, Lorenzo Snow had to unload everything out of the wagon, to lighten the load.
In the evening, the band played. Afterward, William Clayton invited several people to his tent for a celebration and the naming of his son. He named him William Adriel Benoni Clayton. They celebrated by playing and singing until midnight.
Helen Whitney may have really been the sister to bring the birth news to Brother Clayton. She recorded: “I bore the tidings to William, whose delight knew no bounds, and that evening Horace, myself and a number were invited over to their camp . . . and which event Horace mentions thus: ‘In the evening there was a grand christening held at Bro. Clayton's camp, in celebration of the birth of his child in Nauvoo.’”
After a breakfast of boiled corn with the Indians, Brothers Cummings and Butler bid good-bye to the Indians. They traveled twenty‑five miles and passed through the Pottawatomie Village.27 As they traveled, they helped a trader free his mule loaded with goods from a muddy stream bottom. Their dinner consisted of two small ducks.
Wilford Woodruff, with his parents, wife, cousin and others, visited the temple. He was taken on a tour of all the rooms, from the basement where the font was located, to the top of the tower. Family records indicate that he was also married on this day to Mary Ann Jackson.
Anson Call and his brother-in-law, Joseph Holbrook, sold their farm for 25 bushels or corn worth $2.50. The farm had been worth $300 a few months earlier. Joseph Holbrook described Nauvoo:
The city of Nauvoo now presented a scene of desolation: broken down fences, with covered wagons, every man making every effort in his power to leave his home and a great many of the Saints were obliged to go without realizing one cent for their dwellings. Thus the hand of persecution had prevailed over the honest industry of our beloved and prosperous city.
Here in Nauvoo lay buried many of our friends: our Prophet Joseph Smith . . . also his brother Hyrum Smith, our patriarch . . . and scores of others with my wife Nancy Holbrook and our daughter Nancy Jane Holbrook. With their memories sacred upon our minds, we could not but dedicate the place of their sepulcher to the God of heaven, hoping that their remains might rest in peace, unmolested until the morning of the first resurrection where all the Saints can rest and come forth to meet a full and complete redemption under the counsel of their prophet, priest and king.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 339; William Clayton’s Journal, 19‑2; Whitney, “Our Travels beyond the Mississippi”; Ben E. Rich, Conference Report, April 1909, 48; Reed Smoot, Conference Report, October 1912, 51; Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, April 1918, 24; Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, October 1919, 3; Paul E. Dahl, “'All Is Well. . .': The Story of 'the Hymn That Went around the World,'” BYU Studies, 21:4, 515‑27; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 16; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout , 1:152; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 128, 277; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 192; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:39; Gordon W. Romney, “Pioneer Song Inspires Generations,” Church News, April 9, 1996; “Joseph Holbrook Autobiography,” typescript, 76-7
The weather was warm, clear, and pleasant with a few gentle rain showers during the day. The rest of the camp at Locust Creek started moving out around 8 a.m. By 10 a.m., the ground was clear. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards remained behind until all had left Missouri.
The camp traveled on a zigzag road over the prairie for about six miles and camped at a beautiful prairie which called, Rolling Prairie Camp. Brigham Young's company camped on a slight rise. Heber C. Kimball's company camped about three quarters of a mile to the north and William Clayton's company would later camp a quarter mile to the east. Eliza R. Snow described Heber C. Kimball's camp: “The 50 wagons being arrang'd in double file, with the appearance of a public square between.”
William Clayton's company had a late start because they sent out men to find Henry Terry's missing horses. Soon, another man brought the horses into camp. It was 2 p.m. before all the men returned. They were far behind the camp and traveled slowly because the teams were so weak. They finally arrived at 6 p.m. George Hale's cattle were so worn out that they stopped about a mile from camp. Fifteen brethren were sent out to help. They took a rope, tied it to the wagon, freed the cattle and then brought in the wagon themselves, singing all the way.
The band played in the evening. Soon, a cold wind started to blow. The cattle were sent out on the prairie to browse, with guards posted so they would not stray. Rattlesnakes were becoming a problem. Several had bitten the cattle as they were browsing. Horace Whitney wrote: “Today eight rattlesnakes were killed by our company, and two of the oxen . . . were bitten. One of William Kimball's horse’s lips was swelled considerably, supposed to be occasioned by the bite of a rattlesnake. Today is the first time we have seen any of these reptiles on our journey.” His wife, Helen recalled, “I remember that day of seeing our men killing snakes in the grass where our tents were afterwards pitched, and it was enough to give one nervous spasms to see them, and then to think of sleeping in the neighborhood of such dangerous enemies.”
Orson Pratt moved on for another eight miles to a very beautiful timbered ridge, not far from Medicine Creek, that they called Paradise. There was very good grass there for the animals. Elder Pratt saw several rattlesnakes during the day.
Finally the two men arrived at the Council Bluffs area. They crossed over many hills and small creeks. By sunset they reached the bluffs. Below them the Missouri bottoms spread from eight to ten miles across. Brother Cummings and Butler camped that night without a tent and became soaked from the rain. John Lowe Butler and James Cummings were the first Latter‑day Saints from the Nauvoo exodus to traverse Iowa and reach Council Bluffs.
Word was received that Governor Ford would be withdrawing his troops from the county on May 1. Those in Nauvoo felt that this would be a signal for the mob to start doing their evil deeds again. Some of the troops were in town showing a “spirit of hostility.”
Jesse Turpin and Jane Louisa Smith were married.28
At about this time, the ship Brooklyn with about two hundred thirty‑five Saints headed into the treacherous waters of Drake's Passage. Through the skilful seamanship of Captain Richardson, Cape Horn was rounded, and they safely passed by the feared graveyard of ships. One passenger wrote: “We had a quick passage to Cape Horn and found that the terrors of the passage round it were all imaginary.” However, it was very cold. Ice formed on the sails and rigging. Another passenger wrote, "The days were very short; we could hardly get a glimpse of the sun for several days but we got around first rate."
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 339‑40; Stanley B. Kimball, The Iowa Trek of 1846; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:153; William Clayton’s Journal, 20; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 128; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 192‑93; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 34‑5; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 153; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:39; Journal History, May 8, 1846; Mulder, Among the Mormons, 189; Emmaline Lane letter, Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:514
The morning was clear, cold and windy. At 8 a.m., the camp moved out. After eight miles, they reached Paradise Camp where Orson Pratt and Parley P. Pratt were camping. Many stopped at this location. Others pressed on further, including Brigham Young's company. They crossed Medicine Creek, and after another two miles camped at a high and dry location on the prairie which they named Pleasant Point. It was just north of the disputed Missouri state line, on a wide prairie where there was no road except for the one made by the wagons.
When the first fifty came into the new camp, the dry grass caught fire. Lorenzo Dow Young described the horrible scene:
. . .crossed a creek and beheld a scene that was indiscribable. Some one had set fire in the long grass and we were almost surrounded by fire and it seemed as if there was no chance for retreat for the road behind us was blockaded with teams and the scene was awful but the men succeeded in puting out the fire with whips and water. We then proceeded a half a mile and encamped for the night.
Some hunters in the camp found a treat. They cut down two “bee trees” and brought in three pails of sweet honey. They also killed two deer and some turkeys.
Late in the evening, two of Brother and Sister Boswick's children died and were buried. Their death was caused by measles. There were many cases of measles and mumps in the camp.
Brothers Cummings and Butler faced the difficult task of descending from the bluffs to the Missouri River bottom. They could not find a road, but followed a trail, winding along the sides of the bluffs. At one point their horse slid on its side into mud, so they had to unpack it in order to pull it out. Soon they reached a creek which they could not cross. They had to backtrack and went five or six miles climbing over bluffs. They finally found a road which led them down to a settlement which was eight miles north of Trader’s Point and would have been at the center of today's Council Bluffs. There, they also found four families from Emmett's company who had made the long journey south from Camp Vermillion on February 19, arriving March 15. It was a happy reunion for John L. Butler to see these Saints. They were all still firm in the faith, working to obtain supplies. They told him that the Emmett company, far to the north, was nearly out of provisions when they had left. In the evening, the small group of Saints assembled together to hear the letter from Brigham Young and the other members of the Twelve. (See March 26, 1846.)
Wilford Woodruff started preparing for the journey to the west. He sold some property and tried to buy a stove. In the evening he started to pack his trunks.
A daughter, Emma Cordon, was born to Alfred and Emma Cordon.29
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 340; William Clayton’s Journal, 20‑1; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:153; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young” in Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:136; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 128‑29; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 193‑94; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 153; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, April 17, 1846; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 56
The weather was warm and pleasant. The cattle rested and found plenty of good grass. A meeting for all the captains in the Camp of Israel was held at 10 a.m. Fifty‑three men attended the meeting. The Spirit whispered to President Brigham Young that men should be selected to cross over the mountains. The rest of the company should go to the Grand River to stay for the season. Teams then would be sent back to Nauvoo to help other families leave the city. President Young expressed the frustration that the Twelve needed help to be able to go over the mountains. The teams that had been put aside for Church use, were now being used by individuals. These teams were needed to haul the public property. The Twelve continued to deplete their food to help others who left Nauvoo ill‑prepared. The question was asked, who should go? Brigham Young suggested that anyone could go who was properly outfitted. The Council decided that the captains should make an inventory of all the company property to find out who still had the resources to make the trip over the mountains. All families who had been using public teams and wagons must be unloaded by Monday morning, and they should be turned back over to the Church. The families would then be helped ahead to the contemplated settlement and be left there until they had means to continue their journey.
William Huntington was one of those who had been using Church‑owned teams for his family. When he learned that the teams must be returned he wrote:
Here, I have one of the most trying scenes I ever have had as I have no team nor waggon here of my own. I expect on Monday morning to unload the waggon here of my own I put my goods on the ground and be helped up to the stopping place having agreable to councel previous to leaving Nauvoo, given a deed of my lot to the trustees in order to fulfill my covenant made at October conference . . . therefore I am now according to the President's order to be left on the campground and my effects to be carried up to Grand River settlement and fit out myself.”30
Hosea Stout had to report that he was totally out of provisions. He had used many of his goods to help support others in the guard. Looking for any way to obtain provisions, he gave some of his books to some men going out hunting and asked them to try to sell the books to any local people whom they might meet. The books were sold for some bacon.
The camp was very busy repairing wagons, particularly those repairs that required blacksmithing. They would burn coal (charcoal) in portable forges.
John D. Lee returned from a trading expedition. While he was away, he had met a man, Patrick Dorsey, who was suffering with very sore eyes. Brother Lee explained to him about being healed by faith in God. He then laid hands on the sick man's head and asked the Lord to restore his health. He was miraculously healed. Mr. Dorsey was so overjoyed that he was ready to do any business he could with Brother Lee. Mr. Dorsey agreed to exchange provisions for Brother Lee's property back in Nauvoo. John D. Lee wrote: “I reflected a little and gave him a list of city property at Nauvoo that I would turn out to him at one‑fourth its value. . . . He said he had twelve yoke of oxen and some twenty-five cows and other stock.” He also had wagons, blankets, rifles, plows, beds, and many other items which he exchanged for the deeds to the Nauvoo property.
There was trouble in the Woodruff household. Elder Woodruff's sister, Eunice, and her husband, Dwight Webster, were working hard to prejudice his parents' minds against the Church in favor of Strangism.
Elder Woodruff called the family together and made clear what his feelings were on the subject.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 135‑36; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:153; Larson, Erastus Snow, 109; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 129; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 83‑84; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:39‑40; Stegner, The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail, 28; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 56
The Saints assembled for a Sabbath meeting at 10 a.m. in a beautiful grove, north of the encampment. The grove had been prepared beforehand for this special meeting. The weather was cool, windy, but very pleasant. This was the first Sabbath meeting for the whole camp since the exodus began. William Pitt and John Kay sang for the congregation. Bishop Miller offered the prayer. Brigham Young expressed his thanks that the weather permitted them to hold a meeting like this one. He commended the camp for their faithfulness, “I never felt a sweeter spirit than that which I have enjoyed since we started.” He mentioned that there have been problems and things that he has disapproved, “but I could not get angry, when I saw any of this people taking a course that would finally destroy them it caused me to rise in the strength of the Lord and admonish them using the authority of the priesthood.”
He then presented the current plan to locate a settlement on the Grand River for those who did not have provisions to go over the mountains during this season. Crops would be planted and resting places established. Men who did have provisions would be assigned to move forward. Elder John Taylor spoke about their trials and reminded them of the important mission to raise a standard of liberty around which the nations of the earth would assemble. Elder Heber C. Kimball condemned the practice of continuing to waste provisions. If this practice was continued, destruction would be brought upon the camp and it would be scattered.
President Young warned that if they continued their journey short on provisions, there would be much sickness. But if they prepared carefully, he prophesied that many who could not walk a mile when they started this journey would be able to walk twenty miles in a day before their journey's end. He made reference to Elder Willard Richards, who had been so ill. He promised that before they passed over the mountains that he would skip and run like a boy, with a gun on his shoulder, hunting after deer, elk and buffalo. He stated that provisions must be rationed. He asked for a rule to be established that flour be rationed at only one half pound for each person per day. This was voted upon, but some thought the amount was too small.
Several of the brethren bore testimony regarding President Young's words. Elder Kimball testified that while on his mission in England they lived for three days on a penny loaf of bread not larger than his fist and they did not feel hunger. George A. Smith confessed that he wished they had more, but promised not to murmur. He said, “I find that smoke, rain, snow, wind or hail is good for my health for I am feeling it improving.” George Miller boasted that he could survive on one quarter pound of flour per day, and added, “I don't mean to brag but I can outrun any horse in the camp.” Lorenzo Dow Young cautioned the group with an important reminder of those who started this journey thinking that it could be accomplished on two or three bushels of parched meal. “Have they been able to sustain themselves thus far‑‑no, they have not only eaten all the food in the camp and have complained of hunger already. Therefore brethren‑‑don't let the bump of ideality get so high and be carried away in anticipation.”
William Clayton did not attend the meeting, but instead took an inventory of the Church's property. He worked on it all day. At 3 p.m., Orson and Daniel Spencer arrived into camp with their company. At 5 p.m., Orrin Porter Rockwell arrived from Nauvoo with a package of three hundred and six letters. William Clayton finally received a letter from his wife, Diantha confirming the birth of his son. The brethren spent the evening reading letters, including one from Wilford Woodruff reporting on his mission to England.
Word was received that the men who had been sent to the east fork of Grand River on April 13, were busy building a jail and storehouse.
James Cummings and John Butler left the Mormon encampment at Council Bluffs and headed north toward Camp Vermillion where the rest of the Emmett company had spent the winter.31 Still with one horse, they traveled eight miles and crossed Pigeon Creek. After eight more miles, they reached the Boyer River which was fifty feet wide and ten feet deep. They could not find a place to ford the river, so they had to unload the horse and swim it across. They then hand‑carried their baggage across a fallen tree. After ten more miles they camped for the night.
About one thousand Saints met together in the grove, near the temple. The speakers included, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Hyde, Almon Babbitt and Hyrum Clark. Elder Woodruff expressed his feelings “in plainness upon some subjects.” He was very thankful for the privilege of speaking to the Saints in Nauvoo in view of the Temple.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 136‑37; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 84‑85; William Clayton’s Journal, 21, Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:153‑54; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 129; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 195; Journal of Horace K. Whitney, April 19, 1846; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:40;
The weather was beautiful. Horace Whitney wrote: “The birds begin to sing, the grass to grow, and everything assumes a pleasant aspect.” Brigham Young met with 148 brethren at 10 a.m. A report was read listing those who had enough provisions to go to the mountains. Several letters from Nauvoo were read including articles from the Nauvoo newspaper. One of the letters reported the activities of Sidney Rigdon and his followers. They were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and would soon be moving to a new gathering place at Antrim, Pennsylvania. One of the newspaper articles included a description of the temple endowment which was ridiculous and clearly the work of an apostate.
It was announced that a Mr. Binley was building a large block house locally and wanted help. It was decided that help should be sent. Apparently there many disruptions during this meeting because President Young had to lay down the law by stating that if anyone interrupts the Council from then on, by talking or otherwise, they would be deprived of the privilege of meeting with the Council.
All of the letters from Nauvoo caused a great feeling of homesickness in the camp. Many men started to come to Brigham Young asking that they be permitted to go back for the rest of their families. He replied to these men, “Let your families be! What can you do at Nauvoo now? Nothing but eat . . . Go and do what I command you‑‑that you open a farm and raise something to feed them when they arrive.” He recommended that the companies send out men with wagons loaded with property that could be spared, such as beds, chests, and other items that could be traded for oxen, cows, and provisions.
The meeting was adjourned. The Twelve and Bishops went to headquarters to discuss other matters. The inventory of the Church's provisions, wagons, and teams was presented. It was decided to sell many of the items for provisions. Willard Richards’ suggested moving the camp to Grand River, where the farm would be located. Brigham Young agreed and plans were made to move the camp in the morning. A company of men was sent out from the camp to go to settlements to work and trade for provisions.
While at this camp, one of Heber C. Kimball's horses was bit by a rattlesnake. Elder Kimball quieted the animal, laid his hands on the horse’s head, and blessed him, rebuking the poison. The horse recovered. Some brethren asked Elder Kimball if this was proper use of the priesthood. He replied, “It is just as proper to lay hands on a horse or an ox and administer to them in the name of the Lord, and of such utility, as it is to a human being, both being creatures of His creation, both consequently having a claim to this attentions.”
During the day, Brother Whitney gave Lorenzo Dow Young's boys, John and Perry a fishhook. They went off to Medicine Creek, excited, with visions of catching a fish. Soon, little Perry returned crying as if his heart was broken because he lost the fishhook before he could even get it on the line. Brother Whitney gave him another one which made little Perry happy.
Brothers Cummings and Butler were well stocked with food. Their travels for this day took them across Soldier Creek and at noon they rested by a beautiful lake covered with ducks and geese. They later came to the Little Sioux River, which they followed upstream for four miles until they found a place to cross. After traveling about fifty miles, they camped on a prairie without wood or water.
Elders Addison Pratt and Benjamin Grouard continued to labor among the natives on the Islands, bringing many into the Church. Elder Grouard caused quite a stir among the natives when he married a native girl who was a member of the Church. Addison Pratt wrote: “The commotion it made in the church and on the island, I need not try to describe. Suffice it to say that the natives delight in excitement, and a small matter makes a great noise among them.” He added, “I presume that if my account of Brother Grouard's bride falls into the hands of some of our American sisters, who are acquainted with his fair face, they will think he has made a rude choice.”
A son, William Waterman Phelps, was born to William and Lydia Phelps.32
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 137‑38; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 84‑85; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball, Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 135; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 154; William Clayton’s Journal, 21; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 195; Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 276‑77; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 380; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 154; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly 14:136; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 57
The weather was warm and cloudy, with a few rain showers. Most of the Camp of Israel, including Brigham Young’s company, moved out of Pleasant Point. William Clayton stayed behind packing up the public goods, reloading and weighing wagons. This task took all day and into the night. They traveled nine miles to the next patch of timber at Camp Creek (or Clem Creek) and first formed a camp on the south side of the creek.
The grass nearby caught fire and it required a lot of effort to control the flames. It almost ran through George Miller's company, which was carrying two loads of gun powder. To control how the fire spread, they started controlled fires to burn the grass around the wagons. A bridge was built over the creek and then the camp was moved over to the north side.
Brigham Young rode on to scout out the route for the following day. He returned in the evening. Two bears and two hogs were brought into the camp. An Indian was seen for the first time passing through the camp.
James Cummings and John Butler started early to find water. They reached a pond at 11 a.m. The trail disappeared, so they were forced to blaze their own trail across the bottomlands of the Missouri River. Their horse became very tired which caused them to slow their pace.
Emma Smith, the widow of the prophet, was asked by a Mr. Thomas Gregg to send him some historical information about Nauvoo and the Church. She replied to his letter on this day, explaining that she did not have any historical documents in her possession.
All the records of Mr. Smith’s of that nature were left with Willard Richards and Wm Clayton and they have carried them off with them. I do not know that I am acquainted with any event of importance that is not already before the publick. . . . I am Convinced that there is no confidence to be placed in the word of those who have acted conspicuously in this place. For this reason, everything that has not come within my immediate observation remains doubtful in my mind until some circumstances occurs to prove report either true or false.
After crossing the Mississippi River, a son, George McKay Pugmire, was born to Jonathan and Elizabeth Pugmire.33
A conference of the church was held with 435 members in attendance. William Gibson served as the conference president.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 137‑38; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 340; William Clayton’s Journal, 22; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:155‑56; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 129‑30; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 195; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 154; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 57; Newell, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 234;
The weather was warm, “sultry with a damp heavy air and broken clouds.” The camp started to move out very early. At 8 a.m., just as Hosea Stout was about to move his wagon out, his wife Louisa went into labor and delivered a daughter, who they named Louisa. He wrote: “This was my first born in the wilderness as some of the old prophets once said and from the situation of our dwelling might be called a 'Prairie chicken.'” He decided not move out this day.34
At 9 a.m., Orrin Porter Rockwell started back to Nauvoo with forty letters.
Brigham Young rode ahead ten miles and selected the next campsite at Pleasant Grove. His horse was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake. He cut the snake into pieces and applied them to the wound. He believed that this drew out the poison, leaving the horse uninjured.
Brigham Young's company, and others, moved out of Camp Creek at about noon. They arrived into Pleasant Grove at 3 p.m. The hunters brought in two deer, four turkeys and a woodchuck.
Back at Camp Creek, in the late afternoon, a prairie fire was seen coming toward the camp. Hosea Stout and others crossed the creek and set a long string of grass on fire to burn a broader space around the encampment. Eliza R. Snow described,
After getting ourselves secured we gaz'd with admiration & astonishment at the terrific & majestic spread of the devouring elements‑‑the flames rising at times to the incredible height of 30 & 40 feet. I had often listen'd to and read descriptions of 'Prairies on fire' & thought them too highly painted, but can now say that the reality 'beggars all description.'
In the evening it clouded up and rained very hard, causing bedding to become very wet. The thunder was very loud during the night.
William Clayton, Orson Pratt and others moved out of the camp in the morning. At 11:30 a.m., William Clayton stopped to rest his company's teams. The sun was very warm. Word came that Orrin Porter Rockwell was on his way, calling for letters. They decided to wait until he arrived and spent the time writing letters. But Brother Rockwell never showed up, so they started on their way at 2 p.m. After an hour, they passed Orson Pratt who was camping east of Camp Creek Camp because all the grass had been eaten up by the campsite. Brother Clayton chose to continue on. When they arrived at the creek, they watered their animals and then moved on about one more mile. A nice camp was found 6 p.m., which Brother Clayton thought was “the best campground we have had for some time.” They had seen many rattlesnakes during the day. Some of the animals had been bitten, but most were cured.
James Cummings and John Butler moved through an area that had been burned over by fire, but in the afternoon came to tall grass and bushes that made it very difficult to travel. At 3 p.m., they came to the Missouri River for the first time. Thick brush forced them to travel back to the bluffs. During the day they saw deer, turkey, and all kinds of game. Brother Cummings became quite ill in the evening.
There was much excitement in the city concerning threats from the mob to destroy the remainder of the Saints. Editor Thomas Sharp, of the Warsaw Signal, claimed that Orrin Porter Rockwell was on his way back to Nauvoo and he planned to take Sharp's life and the lives of some others.
A daughter, Jeanetta Kay, was born to William and Mary Kay. Also, a son, John Oakley McIntire, was born to William and Anna McIntire.35
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 139; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 130; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1:155; William Clayton’s Journal, 22‑3; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 195; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 340; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:40; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Dewey, Porter Rockwell, 120
At 9 a.m., Brigham Young went with George Miller and other brethren to check out a road to the east branch of Grand River. They returned at 4 p.m. and reported that the road to the next timber would be difficult to travel because of the ridges and hollows. At 5 p.m., Brigham Young's company left Pleasant Grove and traveled one mile, camping on Muddy Creek.
The hunters brought in two bears, four turkeys, and a bee tree. In the evening there was a thunder shower with a beautiful rainbow.
Most of the companies at Camp Creek traveled eight miles to Pleasant Grove. They let their teams feed on the grass for a couple hours on the way. At Pleasant Grove, they had to drive their animals about a mile further because the grass nearby had already been eaten. William Clayton took his company an additional mile to camp near Brigham Young's company on Muddy Creek. A number of the horses had been bitten by rattlesnakes during the day, causing one horse to die.
Hosea Stout remained at Camp Creek because of the newborn baby. He weighed his children: Hosea Jr. (age 3) was thirty‑three pounds, Hyrum (age 1) was fifteen pounds, and baby Louisa was eight pounds (age 1 day). He went hunting during the day, but did not have any luck. In the evening, John Scott returned from Grand River and brought back some alarming news. He said that he and other members of the artillery were almost mobbed and that the citizens there were very hostile toward them. He seemed very agitated from of this experience and he predicted that the men at work there would soon be driven away.
Stephen Markham's company (including Eliza Snow) also stayed at Camp Creek, waiting for the rest of the Heber C. Kimball company to catch up.
Even though James Cummings was ill, they pressed on toward the north along the Missouri River bottoms. They reached what is now called Floyd River and crossed it where today's Sioux City is now located. Where the river was too deep, John Butler would strip off his clothes and carry them on his shoulders. They traveled twenty‑five miles through showers, hail, and thunder.
The work on the temple was nearing completion. The carpenters completed their work, swept up their shavings, and told Brother Truman Angell to tell the Trustees the good news. The painters and masons were still hard at work. Wilford Woodruff bought a pair of mules for $115. He weighed his loads for the wagons. His baggage weighed 2,400 pounds and his provisions weighed 1,600 pounds.
Jesse Crosby Autobiography, typescript, 30; Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 139; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:40; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 340‑41; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 155; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 130; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 195‑96; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 86
The weather was warm and dry. This was an important, historic day for the Camp of Israel. The location for the first permanent “way station” was selected and named Garden Grove. Brigham Young's company built a bridge over Muddy Creek. Lorenzo Dow Young wrote of his experience crossing it:
The banks were very steep, consequently was obliged to lock the wheel. The mare crossed the bridge before I had a chance to unlock it. While stopping to, the mare began to sink into the mire, and she comenced flouncing; threw herself with her back down hill and come very near getting her head into the creek, but by the help of John Campbell and myself, we succeeded in keeping her out while the rest got the harness off of her, and as good luck was on our side, she was not hurt nor the buggy broke.
They traveled on for five miles to the east fork of Grand River, where they established the camp. William Clayton's horses were missing, so he couldn't leave until they were found at 10 a.m. As his company traveled, they would stop to let the teams graze for a couple hours and then move on. Orson Pratt led his company toward Garden Grove. On the way, while they were resting the animals, they went out hunting. William Rice shot a turkey that weighed nineteen pounds.
At 2:30 p.m., Brigham Young and Henry G. Sherwood rode up the river to decide if they had picked the best place for the settlement. Evidently, they were content with the location. They returned in the evening to the camp and found the men busy planting, digging a well, and preparing wood for a coal pit. The camp was about 144 miles west of Nauvoo. Garden Grove would serve as an important resting place for those lacking provisions to continue on. It would also serve as a gathering place for the Saints still in Nauvoo who would need to flee the persecutions of the mob.36
The grass at Garden Grove was eight inches tall. The ground was very rich. Wild onions were growing in abundance. The leaves were already on the oak and maple trees. In the evening, the band went to George Miller's tent to play for Brigham Young and a Mr. Bryant who lived nearby. Many of the band were still back with Heber C. Kimball's company which arrived at Camp Creek on this day.
In the morning, John Butler shot a deer which they packed and took with them. They soon reached the Big Sioux River and searched for a crossing point. John Butler built a raft from green cottonwood poles tied together with branches. By dark the raft was not finished, so they camped for the night.
John Pyper and Madeline Gardner were married.37
An important event took place that would later have far-reaching effects on the Saints' trek to the west. General Zachary Taylor had marched to the Rio Grande with 2,000 troops, to assert the claims of the United States in that disputed territory with Mexico. Mexican Troops crossed the river, attacked and killed a number of Americans and captured many others.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 139; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 155; Kimble, Heber C. Kimball ‑ Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 135; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 155; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 341; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 17‑8; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 130; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 196; “The Iowa Trek of 1846,” in The Exodus and Beyond, 17; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 26‑27; “Lorenzo Dow Young Diary,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:137
The day was cold and windy. Four hunters returned to the camp. Two of them, John D. Lee and Levi Stewart, had been away since Thursday and had found very little game. They were very hungry on their return trip because all that they had eaten was one squirrel and two small owls.
William Clayton returned to camp after a morning of fishing to discover that one of his horses had been bitten by a rattlesnake. The horse’s nose had begun to swell up quite big. Brother Clayton bathed the wound with turpentine and washed the horse's face in salt and water. Finally, he gave him some “snakes master root boiled in milk.” But these remedies did not seem to help. The horse was so sick that it could barely stand.
While Lorenzo Dow Young was sitting on a log to rest, he heard something rattle and mentioned to Henry Sherwood that it sounded like a rattlesnake. They looked around, but could not see anything, and decided it was just the rustling of a leaf. But soon he discovered the snake between his feet, all coiled up, and ready to jump. Brother Young wrote: “I soon despached him.”
Henry G. Sherwood started to survey the land around Garden Grove. Men were constructing a pen for the cattle. Orson Pratt moved his camp about one hundred feet to dryer ground, closer to good water.
William Pitt arrived into camp and the band played a few tunes in the evening. At about 9 p.m., warm rain started to fall and continued all night.
Hosea Stout moved on, about eight miles, and camped near Pleasant Grove. The traveling was very difficult on the hilly roads. Brother Stout's wife, Louisa, was getting better, but he soon learned the shocking news that his children came down with whooping‑cough. He wrote: “This seemed to draw back the dark curtain of coming evil on my family which I so anxiously anticipated would be now so soon entirely withdrawn.”
Heber C. Kimball's company with Eliza R. Snow also moved on to Pleasant Grove, which she described as “a beautiful green prairie lawn by the side of a small, timber'd stream.” She was so ill that she had to ride all the way on her bed. But she was able to write a poem in honor of Sister Vilate Kimball:
Thou much belov'd in Zion!
Remember life is made
A double‑sided picture,
Contrasting light and shade.
Our Father means to prove us‑‑
And here we're fully tried.
He will reverse the drawing
And show the better side.
And then we'll be astonish'd
That ignorance could throw
Such dismal shades of darkness,
Where light and beauty glow.
The mists that hide the future
Are round our vision thrown;
But when, as seen, we're seeing,
And know as we are known.
Whatever seems forbidding,
And tending to annoy;
Will, like dull shadows vanish,
Or turn to crowns of joy.
In the morning, John Butler completed the raft, but when they put it in the water, they discovered that it would only carry their baggage. So they put the horse in the water to swim, stripped their clothes, and swam across the river, pushing the raft. They then traveled the remaining twenty miles and finally arrived at their destination, Camp Vermillion in present-day South Dakota.
John Butler had been away from his family for almost seven months. He immediately spotted Caroline across the Missouri River. What he did not know at that time, was that she had been abandoned over there for four days. Some men had taken her over there to gather roots for her children and they did not bother bringing her back, even though she called for them. She made a fire and gathered leaves for a bed. When the man who had taken Sister Butler across the river spotted John Butler on his way to camp, he quickly went to his canoe to bring Sister Butler back. Brother Butler was very angry when he discovered the truth. He wrote: “I did not know hardly how to keep my hands off Hall, I felt like I could tear him to pieces.” He learned about several other instances of mistreatment to his family while he was away.
Brothers Butler and Cummings found out that James Emmett was not in the camp. He had taken seven horses east to sell. They later found out that Emmett had traded for a squaw, and had gone to St. Peters. Brother Butler told the camp that they were to head for Council Bluffs. The Saints at Camp Vermillion had suffered much during the winter under James Emmett's leadership and abuses.
In the evening, the camp gathered in the Emmett family's two story house and there read together the letter from the Twelve Apostles. The letter instructed them to head for Fort Laramie, but because of the destitute condition of the camp, it was thought best to instead head south for Council Bluffs. When the members of the camp heard the news, many felt “new life” and were “happy to know that we would soon be with the main body of Saints and traveling toward the Rocky Mountains.” Some in the camp felt that they should not leave until Emmett returned, but John Butler spoke against this idea, stating that they should leave as soon as possible.
A daughter, Ellen Harper, was born to Charles and Lavinia Harper.38
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 140; William Clayton’s Journal, 25; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 342; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1;156; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 196‑98; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:137
William Clayton awoke to find out that his snake‑bitten horse had died during the night. He was already short on teams. With this loss, he felt that there was little chance that he could move on with the Twelve.
The first Sabbath meeting at Garden Grove was held during the morning, in the rain. John Taylor preached a sermon. The rain soon stopped and the skies cleared.
At 3 p.m., the Saints again assembled. About three hundred and twenty‑five people attended. Brigham Young was the first speaker. “Some have started with us and have turned back, and perhaps more will, but I hope better things of you my brethren. We have set out to find a land and a resting place, where we can serve the Lord in peace.” He presented the plan of establishing a settlement at Garden Grove. Some would be left at Garden Grove for a season because they did not have the means to continue. Crops would be planted and houses would be built. As soon as the leaders established their new home over the mountains, the rest would be gathered to that place. “But let any person turn from us and go back to Nauvoo or Voree [Wisconsin to James J. Strang] because we have allowanced him and he shall hunger and thirst and shall yet long for the privilege of eating a piece of cold johnny cake with us.” He encouraged the camp to stop wasting food and to live on less provisions. He asked the Saints to all be united and to hearken to counsel. If they would, the Lord would bless them with every desire of their hearts.
Elder Orson Pratt next spoke, “Joseph [Smith] had this mission in contemplation, to find a location west of the Rocky Mountains. Whenever Joseph spoke on that subject he proposed to send a company of young men as pioneers to seek a location and raise a crop previous to sending families.”
Elder Heber C. Kimball warned that the provisions of the camp were nearly exhausted. It would take the camp years to cross the mountains at the rate that they had been traveling.
Eliza R. Snow arrived into camp in time to attend the meeting. She seemed somewhat disappointed to learn that only men would be going over the mountains that season. She described Garden Grove: “Our location is a beautiful, undulating grove, which apparently may become a garden of fruits in a short time. But my spirit rests not here.”
Shadrach Roundy arrived at Garden Grove with twenty‑eight letters. He had left Nauvoo three and a half days earlier. One of the letters was from Orson Pratt, who informed the Twelve that a wealthy Catholic bachelor wished to purchase the temple and in doing so, immortalize his name. He would probably pay $200,000 and also buy other properties. Elder Hyde suggested to the other members of the Twelve that it might be wise to sell both temples in Nauvoo and Kirtland. The funds could be used to assist the Saints to emigrate to the west. Before they left Nauvoo, the Twelve had agreed that the temple should not be sold, rather it should be rented. George A. Smith and Amasa M. Lyman were stalled at Pleasant Point for a time, but they sent word that they thought it was wise to sell the temple to assist the poor. They wrote,
We have felt much anxiety on that subject until we all agreed in council not to sell it last winter. But if you in your wisdom should think it best to sell the same to help the poor in the present emergency we frankly concur, notwithstanding we feel opposed to a Methodist congregation ever listening to a mob Priest in that holy Place, but are willing to sacrifice our feelings at all times for the good of the saints.
The Council felt that they should not make a decision until the morning.
At 8 p.m., a council meeting was held with the leaders of the camp, to organize the work assignments at Garden Grove. It was reported that 359 able men were on hand. One hundred were selected to make rails under the leadership of Charles C. Rich, James Pace,39 Lewis D. Wilson40 and Stephen Markham. Ten men were appointed to build a fence with James Allred. Forty‑eight men were to build houses under the leadership of John Smith. Twelve men would dig wells with Jacob Peart.41 Ten men, under the leadership of Albert P. Rockwood, would build bridges. A few would serve as herdsmen to watch the flocks, and others would be sent to the settlements to trade horses and feather beds for corn and provisions. The rest would clear land, plow and plant under the leadership of Daniel Spencer.
A letter from Joseph L. Heywood was read. Heber C. Kimball's impressive home in Nauvoo had been sold for thirty‑five yoke of oxen. Brother Roundy informed the Council that Joseph Young's home was sold for six hundred and fifty dollars.
Members of the artillery came into camp from their work on the Grand River. They said that they had been ordered away by the mob from Missouri and expected an outbreak of violence against the Saints. Teams from Brigham Young arrived to bring Hosea Stout and John Scott to Garden Grove.
John Butler met again with the Saints expressing an urgency to leave immediately for Council Bluffs. The Saints agreed, but explained that it would take time to prepare because their wagons needed repairing and they had some plowing commitments to fulfill with the people at Fort Vermillion. It rained much of the day so no serious preparations could be made.
A Sabbath meeting was held in the Grove near the temple. Orson Hyde preached to the congregation, giving them some good instruction. In the evening, Elders Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde met together with the Trustees to read a letter from Governor Thomas Ford. The governor stated that he would withdraw his troops from the county on May 1. Elder Woodruff wrote: “He will no more attempt to protect us but will let the mob loose upon the remainder of the Saints.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 140‑144; “Isaac Haight Autobiography,” typescript, 31; “Aroet Hale Autobiography,” typescript, 10; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:41; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1:156; William Clayton’s Journal, 25‑6; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 131; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 198‑99; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 342; Bennet, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:759; “Autobiography of Lewis Dunbar Wilson Sr.”; Guide to Mormon Diaries & Autobiographies
Early in the morning, at 6 a.m., the horn sounded calling the work crews to assemble to receive their work assignments. During this meeting, the men became drenched from the rain. They went to work right away. Soon the sound of axes and mauls was echoing over the countryside “keeping perfect time.” But it continued to rain all day, causing them to stop working after awhile.
At 9 a.m., The Camp Council met together. It was decided that George Shumway and George W. Langley should go immediately to Fort Leavenworth to send word to Elders Lewis Dana (Oneida nation) and George Herring (Shawnee tribe) to return from their missions to the Lamanites. They were needed to serve as interpreters for the journey west.
The Council also decided that the Trustees in Nauvoo could sell the Nauvoo and Kirtland temples to help the poor Saints move westward. They felt that the temples would be better protected if they were sold rather than retained by the Church.
Bishop Newel K. Whitney was reluctant to agree to have the temples sold. Brigham Young related a dream he had the previous night. He was employed by an elderly man to look over the affairs of his dominions. President Young directed that some steps should taken that he felt were important, yet he had not been specifically instructed to do so by his employer. Soon the elderly man returned. President Young told him what he had done. His master smiled and said, “You have done well. I intend to buy a large store filled with all kinds of commodities, all of which shall be under your control as you understand the affairs of my government and will do my people good.” After President Young related this dream, Bishop Whitney voted in favor of selling the temple.
A letter was composed to Elder Orson Hyde, giving him permission to sell the temple. Of the proceeds, $25,000 should be sent to the camp. The rest should be used to help those who had labored on the temple and the poor.
The council also officially decided that the name of their present location should be called Garden Grove. Previous to this they were calling it, “the farm.”
Hosea Stout left Pleasant Grove at about 1 p.m. The roads were terrible because of the rain. At times they were nearly impassible. It took them three hours to cover the five miles to Garden Grove. Brother Stout describes his first impressions of the new settlement:
When I came to the edge of the timber I found a number of men at work clearing and cutting house logs. It was a pleasantly situated place from the first appearance and presented a beutiful thick wood of tall shell bark hickory. The soil uncommonly rich and so loose now that our teams could but draw their loads through. Farther in the timber commenced white oak land and a harder soil where I found the camp. All seemed to be engaged at work. I had already been classed in a company of plough makers . . . I was well pleased with the good order and businesslike appearance which the camp had assumed so quick in the 'Magic City of the Woods' as it seemed to be.
John Butler continued to make preparations to evacuate the camp. He proposed that the camp disband their “all things in common” system, and rather divide the property among the fifty‑six people. Everyone was against this proposal and wanted to keep common property. They felt they were organized according to the Kingdom of God and wanted to keep living this system until they joined the main camp.
A son, Thomas Grafton Steele, was born Richard and Mary Ann Steele.42
Heber Kimball Journal in Woman’s Exponent, 11:185; Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 144‑46; William Clayton’s Journal, 27; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 342; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:156; “Aroet Hale Autobiography, typescript,” 10; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 86; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 199
The rain continued all through the night and during the morning. Hosea Stout described the scene: “The mud from one end of the camp to the other was so deep that it was almost impossible to get around.” Brigham Young was feeling ill and stayed in bed until 8 a.m. Several companies moved their camping locations to higher ground. The men in the camp went to work on their assignments.
At 9 a.m., a council meeting was held in President Young's tent. The hostile feelings of some of the nearby Missouri settlers were discussed. It was decided not to send out the traders to the Missouri settlements, but to instead send them to the settlements on the Des Moines River, in Iowa. Brother Howard Egan was told to delay his trading trip until the weather got better. William Clayton was busy unloading a wagon that could be used to carry the goods to trade.
At 1:30 p.m., another council meeting was held. The discussion centered on sending a company of one hundred young men, without families, over the mountains.
William Huntington, like many others, was running low on provisions. He wrote that he was “out of provisions or I have none of consiquence, have no meat, no flour, no meal save a few quarts of parched corn meal . . . have a few crakers. How I shall be provided for, the Lord knows, I do not.”
The “quadrille band” left to go give concerts in the Platte River country. Grand River was so high that ropes had to be used to pull their wagons across.
Frances Selinda Spilsbury was born to George and Fanny Spilsbury.43
As the Brooklyn headed north, drinking water was becoming so scarce that it was rationed in pints. Firewood for the galley was almost gone. It was time to go into port. Everyone on the ship was looking forward to the port of Valparaiso, Chile after being at sea for so long. When they were within the reach of the harbor, an offshore gale started to rage. For three days and nights it raged and blew the ship back. At least one child died during the storm and one of the sailors was washed overboard. Captain Richardson decided to make no more attempts to enter to harbor. The ship had been blown so far south that icebergs were sighted. The Captain turned for the island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles to the west.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 146; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:157; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 343; William Clayton’s Journal, 26‑7; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 35; Stegner The Gathering of Zion, 62; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 30
It rained all night and continued during the morning. Hosea Stout described: “This was an uncommonly wet rainy, muddy, miry, disagreeable day . . . the ground flooded in water.” Lorenzo Dow Young felt the settlement looked “lonesome.”
Brigham Young was not feeling well. At noon, the horn sounded calling the camp together. Parley P. Pratt relayed the plan to outfit one hundred young men to go over the mountains to put in crops. President Young explained what would be needed. Each man would need 250 pounds of flour. One wagon with four oxen or mules, and one cow would be needed for every four men. The captains of fifty were requested to see what could be raised within their companies for these men. Elder Heber C. Kimball announced the decision to sell the temples in Nauvoo and Kirtland to help the poor and called for a sustaining vote. The support was unanimous.
The weather cleared up enabling the men to go to work in the afternoon. Hosea Stout went with some men to survey the north field for fencing.
A son, Wilbur J. Earl, was born to Wilbur and Harriet Earl.44
The buffalo returned to the area. An Indian killed one. The Saints in Camp Vermillion were still dragging their feet in efforts to leave the camp. This frustrated John Butler and James Cummings, who were trying to fulfill their mission to bring the group to the main Camp of Israel.
A group of temple construction workers met with their wives in the attic of the temple and had a feast of cakes, pies, and other items to celebrate the completion of the temple. They enjoyed themselves in prayer, preaching, blessing children, music, and dancing until midnight.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 146‑47; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 343; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:158; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 199; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 86‑7;
The rains still fell and the creeks were so high that the teams could not cross them. The camp was very low in flour.
Shadrach Roundy left Garden Grove for Nauvoo with fifty‑nine letters. Letters were written to Elders Woodruff and Hyde, requesting that money be sent to the camp. They also mentioned the decision to establish the way station at Garden Grove: “After feeding an nourishing and nursing them [the Saints] as a mother does her infant till the last breast is sucked dry, we will give them a good farm, send their teams back to Nauvoo, bless them, and leave them.”
Word was received that there were several hundred wagons that had recently left Nauvoo. They were at this time strung out across Iowa as far as one hundred miles from the city. Plans were discussed to establish another settlement like Garden Grove, about thirty‑five or forty miles to the northwest, and then another one on the Big Platte River, one hundred miles west of the Missouri River.
Wilford Woodruff finished loading his wagons and ferried them over the river.
In the evening, Elder Woodruff, Elder Orson Hyde, and twenty others went to the temple for a private dedication of that sacred building. A private service was held because of the possibility of mob interference during the service. Brother Joseph Young (Brigham's brother) offered the dedicatory prayer. He offered the temple to the Lord as a witness that His people sacrificed to fulfill His commandments. He prayed for the Twelve and other authorities of the Church. He prayed for the workmen who worked amidst persecution, for the leaders of the Camp of Israel that the way would be opened up for them to find a gathering place for the Saints.
This was a very significant event because so many people had predicted that the temple would never be completed. Elder Woodruff wrote: “Notwithstanding the many false prophesies of Sidney Rigdon and others that the roof should not go on nor the House be finished, and the threats of the mob that we should not dedicate it, yet we have done both and we had an interesting time.”
At the close of the dedication, they offered up Hosannas to the Lord. Prayers were offered for the Camp of Israel, for good weather, and that the mob would not disturb them during the public dedication of the temple.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 147‑48; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 344; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 42; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, April 30, 1846; Talmage, The House of the Lord, p.111
1Robert Cowden Egbert would serve in the Mormon Battalion. The Egbert family settled in Millard County, Utah.
2Julia would die August 16, 1847 in Winter Quarters.
3Present‑day Des Moines, Iowa.
4There was an abundance of hogs throughout Iowa and Northern Missouri at this time. Because hogs were fed with corn, there was usually also plenty of corn. In Iowa, the number of hogs produced was about 300,000 in a year. During this time, “Many herds of swine. . .were driven great distances to market, and travelers observed that the Iowa roads were alive with hogs.”
5John E. Page had left Nauvoo and met a company of Saints from Canada. He told them that he was one of the Twelve, sent to tell them that they should travel to Voree, Wisconsin (Strang's gathering place). They did not believe him and sent a messenger to Nauvoo to ask for the truth. Archibald Gardner was part of this company and reported, “On the way we encountered a small company of Strangites. They extended their sympathy. We did not argue with them but when they became impertinent, told them that if they did not leave we would have to cast out devils.”
6At this time the Missouri boundary was ten miles north of its present day location and it is quite probable that this camp was located in Missouri. Hosea Stout wrote that they were in Missouri.
7Zimri Hafford Baxter joined the Church in 1842. He would later build flouring mills and also a grist mill at Big Cottonwood, Utah. He also built a nail factory in Nephi, Utah. He helped build the Nephi tabernacle in 1871.
8Philemon Christopher Merrill was baptized in 1830 by Joel H. Johnson. He later served in the Mormon Battalion. He served a mission to Europe in 1853-56. He helped settle Morgan County, Utah and later went to Arizona.
9If they were correct, this would have been located near the site of the future settlement of Garden Grove.
10Easton Kelsey Jr. would die at the age of eight. His father joined the Church in 1836, in Kirkland. His family later settle in St. George, Utah.
11This group would far out-travel the main camp during this season and would end up spending the winter at Fort Pueblo, Colorado.
12Asahel Sr. was traveling with the Camp of Israel, probably serving as a pioneer.
13Henson Walker would later serve as mayor of Pleasant Grove, Utah.
14They were near the site of the future settlement of Mount Pisgah.
15She later did travel to the Holy Land in 1872‑73.
16John Fullmer was one of the Nauvoo Trustees. His son would later settle in Springville, Beaver, and Marysvale, Utah.
17Alexander McRae had spent time in Liberty Jail with Joseph Smith and later served as the bishop of the 11th Ward in Salt Lake City.
18 This camp was probably about five miles southeast of present‑day Sewell, south of where county road J 54 crosses Locust Creek.
19After reaching the United States, Elder Woodruff had gone to his old home in Connecticut, where his father and step‑mother were preparing to leave for Nauvoo. He also went to Maine to pick up his daughter, who had remained there while he was on his mission to England.
20Elder Woodruff has sent his family ahead on a different ship. (See January 16, 1846.)
21The Guymon family would later settle in Springville and Fountain Green, Utah, where Robert would serve as Bishop.
22The Smith family would later settle in Draper and Kaysville, Utah where John Smith served in the bishopric.
23Charles Franklin Decker was a single, twenty-one year-old man. He later married Vilate Young. He later was one of the handcart rescue teams. He raised his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
24Diantha had been left behind in Nauvoo because she was pregnant.
25It should be noted that this event has been connected with what appears to be some Mormon folklore. For example, Ben E. Rich, President of the Eastern States mission, told the following in the April 1909 General Conference: “Before they started from Council Bluffs (Winter Quarters), President Young called him and said, 'Brother Clayton, I want you to write a hymn that these pioneers may sing as we travel into the unknown west.' In two hours' time, William Clayton had written, set to music, and sung, to President Young that famous hymn.” Reed Smoot told a similar story in October 1912 conference. And again, Heber J. Grant in April 1918, said “Brigham Young, told him to write a hymn that should cheer and bless the Saints in their great pioneer journey to these fair valleys.” He told a similar account in October 1919. However, William Clayton's daughter wrote to President Grant and corrected him. President Grant replied, thanking her, stating that “I do not know where I read or where I heard that the poem was written at the special request of President Young at Winter Quarters.” He promised to no longer tell this version of the story. Also, there is no evidence found in early pioneer journals that this hymn was sung by the very early pioneer groups around camp fires. It was sung on the day before Christmas, 1847, at Winter Quarters, at a Church Conference. After the hymn appeared in the Church's hymn book of 1851, it grew in popularity and has been the source of great inspiration and spiritual experiences. In later years as the Saints crossed the plains, it was sung often around campfires.
26Lorenzo Snow would later serve as the fifth President of the Church.
27This was the Pottowatomie Indian village that so many of the Saints would later pass through on their way to Council Bluffs. The village would never be the same as they learned how to sell wares to the Mormon travelers. The site is near Lewis, Iowa. It can be found by going west out of Lewis on Minnesota Avenue for about one mile. The Indian town was located on the west bank of the river, to the north of the bridge.
28The Turpins settle in Salt Lake City. Jesse Turpin later served a mission to the West Indies. While returning from his mission he died of cholera on the plains.
29The Cordon family later settled in Willard, Utah, where Alfred Cordon served as bishop.
30On the following day, Brigham Young understood Brother Huntington's situation and told him he could use the team.
31They traveled generally along the route of today's I‑29.
32Little William was the grandson of W.W. Phelps, early member and leader of the Church.
33The Pugmire family would later settle in St. Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho.
34Little Louisa would die on August 5, 1847 in Winter Quarters.
35The McIntires would later settle in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah.
36A community by the name of Garden Grove still exists on the site of the old campsite on county road 204. In the small town park is a large boulder with a brass marker that reads, “In memory of the Mormons who founded Garden Grove, Iowa.” One mile west of this plaque is a small monument, just north of an A‑frame shelter, in the Trailside Historical Park which honors the Saints buried there.
37The Pypers later settled in Nephi, Utah.
38Little Ellen would die at Winter Quarters on August 27, 1847.
39James Pace joined the Church in 1839 in Shelby Illinois. He went to Nauvoo and worked on the temple. Joseph Smith appointed him to serve as a policeman. He later was a member of the Mormon Battalion. He was one of the first settlers in Payson, Utah, and would later settle in Harmony, Utah.
40Lewis Danbar Wilson joined the Church in 1836. He served in the High Council in Nauvoo. His family remained at Garden Grove until 1851. He later settled in Ogden, Utah.
41Jacob Peart joined the Church in 1837, in England. He emigrated to Nauvoo and opened a cabinet shop. He later settled in Salt Lake City.
42The Steele family later settled in American Fork, Utah.
43The Spilsbury family later settled in Draper, Utah and then moved to Toquerville in southern Utah.
44Wilbur Joseph Earl joined the Church in 1838. His family would later settle in Springville and Leeds, Utah.