The morning was foggy, the camp was muddy, but it shaped up to be a fine day. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Sister Kimball, and Brother Whitney called on Lorenzo Dow Young for a nice visit.
Work continued in the Garden Grove settlement. The survey of the farm was completed and the first log house was raised. Sister Anna Jones came into Garden Grove and informed the brethren that she had not heard from her husband, Benjamin Jones, since he went to the settlements to trade. Their belongings were at Pleasant Point and she needed help to bring them to Garden Grove.
Charles Shumway and George Langley left camp to go westward. They were to bring George Herring to Council Bluffs to serve as an Indian interpreter. Brothers Howard Egan and Jackson Redding also left camp with $288.00 of church property to trade.
Ezra T. Benson's wife, Adeline gave birth to a son, George Taft Benson.1
In the morning, a public dedication of the Nauvoo temple was held. About 3,000 Saints attended the service. A one dollar admission was charged to help pay some of the temple construction workers. Elder Wilford Woodruff opened the meeting with prayer. Elder Orson Hyde shared some remarks and then offered the dedicatory prayer:
Holy and Everlasting Father, before Thee this morning we present ourselves and acknowledge Thy mercy that has been extended to us since we have been on Thy footstool, and for this opportunity of dedicating this house. . . . By the authority of the Holy Priesthood now we offer this building as a sanctuary to Thy Worthy Name. We ask Thee to take the guardianship into Thy hands and grant that Thy Spirit shall dwell here and may all feel a sacred influence on their hearts that His Hand has helped this work. Accept of our offering this morning. . . . Let Thy Spirit rest upon those who have contributed to the building of this temple, the laborers on it that they may come forth to receive kingdoms and dominions and glory and immortal power. Accept of us we pray Thee, inspire every bosom to do Thy will, cause that truth may lead them for the glorious coming of the Son of God when you come in the name of the King, the Lord of Hosts shall be the King. Gather us in Thy Kingdom through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
After the prayer, Brother Almon W. Babbitt spoke.
Orrin Porter Rockwell returned to Nauvoo with mail from the Camp of Israel. (See April 22, 1846.) The Quincy Whig claimed that he was roaming about the street of Nauvoo with his weapons belted around him, swearing that because the state troops were now disbanded, he intended to regulate the county and boasted that he would gun down certain individuals.
Tensions were very high in the city because this was a deadline date declared by some of the mob. Major William B. Warren (leader of the state troops in the county) had earlier learned that a group of twelve men had notified a number of Mormon families that they had to leave the county by May 1, or else be burned out of their homes. They claimed that they had the governor's support. Major Warren stated, “The declaration that they were authorized to give such notice by Gov. Ford is false and slanderous.” Nevertheless, Major Warren was given orders by the governor to withdraw his troops from the county on May 1, and they did start to leave.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 148‑49; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:42; Minutes of Thomas Bullock; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:158; William Clayton’s Journal, 27; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 344; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:244; “Aroet Hale Autobiography,” typescript, 10; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 363; The Instructor, May 1945, 216; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Hughes, The Life of Archibald Gardner, 32‑3; Quincy Whig, May 6, 1846; Schindler, Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder, 41‑2; Mulder, Among the Mormons, 167
The weather was warm and pleasant. At 8 a.m., the temperature was sixty degrees.
Many brethren were busy making fence rails and building a bridge. Hosea Stout was quite sick, but he still went out to herd cattle. This task was quite a change from his usually activity of working with the people and their problems. He wrote: “It was a lonesome day to me after being so much accustomed to the hum of public life to be in the prairie confined to a herd of cattle and sick at that. I came in before night almost fainting with the sick headache.”
Brigham Young wrote to the Nauvoo Trustees, requesting that they issue credit for Elder John Taylor, to help him settle his debts in Nauvoo. Elder Taylor left Garden Grove to return to the city. In the evening, President Young and Elder Willard Richards met with Elijah Averett who reported that the feelings of the Missourians were softened towards the camp. Elijah, his brother Elisha, and thirty brothers had received about one hundred dollars worth the grain and bacon in exchange for clearing land and building two barns.
Samuel Thompson, one of the guard, died at 8 p.m. of consumption (tuberculosis).
A buffalo hunt pulled many of the Indians away from the Camp Vermillion area. This was good, because some of the Indians would be upset to see the Saints leave the camp. James Emmett had unwisely promised the Sioux that if the Saints left, they would leave a blacksmith behind.
A second dedicatory service was held in the temple.
Orrin Porter Rockwell paused at a local inn and learned that his old enemy, Chauncy Higbee, was in town under the protection of Sheriff Backenstos. According to the Quincy Whig, Rockwell found Higbee and followed him, “threatening his life, firing pistols over his head, etc., until it became apparent that [Sheriff] Backenstos could not much longer protect him; thereupon a messenger was despatched to Maj. Warren asking for a force to arrest him.” Six riflemen volunteered and surrounded the house where he was staying in an upper room. “He surrendered after a short parley with the officers . . . and he had any number of shooting irons and other deadly weapons in abundance, on and about his person.” The Daily Missouri Republican reported that he had enough guns to fire seventy-one rounds without reloading, plus knives. The Lee Count Democrat added that Rockwell “was amusing the citizens with some of his characteristic antics.” He was taken to Quincy and a large crowd came to the jail, hoping to see the famed gunman. He was charged with the murder of anti‑Mormon Frank Worrell.5 Many people were amazed that Rockwell was finally caught. Some speculated that he turned himself in so that he and Sheriff Backenstos could split the $2,000 reward offered for his arrest.
A daughter, Rebecca H. Rodeback, was born to James and Phebe Rodeback. Also born, Zebina Starr to Edward and Amanda Starr.6 Amos Northrop and Mary Adelia Carbine were married.
After disbanding Major Warren's company of state troops in Carthage the day before, Governor Thomas Ford changed his mind and ordered them to be assembled once more. He had concluded that many Saints could be killed by the mob and did not want their blood to stain his record.
The violence had already started. Outside of Nauvoo, a mob of eighteen people rode up to the home of Brother Allen Compton. They ordered Brother Compton and his family out of the house and then set fire to it. The family was not allowed to take anything with them.7
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 149; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1:159 Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 87; Journal History; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Allen Compton; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 199; Quincy Whig, May 6, 1846; Schindler, Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder, 41‑2; Dewey, Porter Rockwell, 120‑21; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138
The morning was warm, sixty‑four degrees at 8 a.m. The Saints at Garden Grove met for a morning Sabbath meeting at 10 a.m. Orson Spencer preached a sermon. President Brigham Young also addressed the congregation. He asked the Saints to be united and bear each others’ burdens. Many of the poor families from Nauvoo would be arriving in the near future to Garden Grove. The camp must prepare for their arrival by planting crops so they would have food when they arrived. He encouraged the camp to sell some beds, silks, dresses, or a wagon for provisions to sustain them for a few weeks while building up Garden Grove. He announced that they would also prepare another settlement.
President Young somewhat scolded the Saints. The Lord had directed them to outfit a company of men, without families, to go over the mountains. Instead, most of them brought large families with them. “But instead of taking this course, the Saints have crowded on us all the while, and have completely tied our hands by importuning and saying, do not leave us behind, wherever you go we want to go and be with you, and thus our hands and feet have been bound which has caused our delay to the present time.” President Young was exhausted in serving the Saints, “I am reduced in flesh so that my coat that would scarcely meet around me last Winter now laps over twelve inches. It is with much ado that I can keep from lying down and sleeping to wait the resurrection.”
He testified that he knew the Lord was leading the camp. The Lord had led them across Iowa, into Missouri and back to Iowa. He did not care about the consequences, as long as the Lord was leading the camp. He concluded his instructions by asking the brethren to go to work in the morning‑‑to build fences and plant the fields. When they were through fencing in the south field and building some more houses, they would move on.
It started to rain near the end of the meeting. In the afternoon, the rain fell in torrents, which caused the planned afternoon meeting to be cancelled. At 5 p.m., the weather cleared and the Council met together. They discussed sending Henry G. Sherwood and Orson Pratt to the northwest, to select another location for a settlement. Brigham Young's fifty should build a bridge on the following day and the rest of the camp should make rails.
A conflict arose between a Mr. Bewyer (trader) and a fur company employee, Charles Puckett. Mr. Puckett had married a Mormon lady, and earlier had moved her to Fort Vermillion. Sister Puckett now wished to leave with the Saints for Council Bluffs. Mr. Puckett was under contract until July. When Sister Puckett packed up her things and moved out of the Fort, Mr. Brewyer suspected that Mr. Puckett would desert the post. So three men came from the fort and verbally attacked the Pucketts, took Charles Puckett back to the fort, and wouldn't let Sister Puckett come with him.8
The Saints gathered at an early hour to the temple. By ten o'clock, the temple was filled. Elder Wilford Woodruff and Elder Orson Hyde sat on the upper stand. Elder Joseph A. Stratton, who had recently returned with Elder Woodruff from a mission to England, opened the meeting with prayer.
Orson Hyde was the first speaker. He spoke of the eternal nature of man. God wishes to teach his children, “He gives gifts and knowledge to his children and the more intelligence men get, the more refined are their feelings. . . . The world may oppose revelation but God does not. We have received revelation and visions and God hath shown us many things.” He mentioned that they were now being driven into the wilderness. Why did they go to the trouble to complete the temple?
If we moved forward and finished this house we should be received and accepted as a church with our dead, but if not we should be rejected with our dead. These things have inspired and stimulated us to action in the finishing of it which through the blessing of God we have been enabled to accomplish and prepared it for dedication. In doing this we have only been saved as it were by the skin of our teeth.
He talked about the persecution that they had experienced and testified that the Twelve Apostles would sit in judgement against their enemies at the Second Coming of the Savior. He also mentioned some interesting things about angels. He believed that “every Saint has a guardian angel with him, so death cannot kill him. The angels accompanied the ancients. So they do us. . . . When the guardian angel is called away we are left to grapple with death. So with Jesus.”
Before Elder Hyde sat down, he discussed selling the temple.
Will we now sell? A vote was taken last fall not to sell it, but a key that will not open a door and shut it again is not a good one. So if we have to sell the temple to remove the poor, the people that make us do it must pay the bill and meet the consequences. All who are in favor of selling this house if it meets with the Council of the Twelve manifest it by the raising the right hand.
All were in favor except one person.
Elder Woodruff concluded the meeting by testifying of the truthfulness of Elder Hyde's words. “The Saints had labored faithfully and finished the temple and were now received as a Church with our dead. This is glory enough for building the temple and thousands of the Saints have received their endowment in it. And the light will not go out.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 149‑151; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:42‑47; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:159; William Clayton’s Journal, 27‑8; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 199‑200
It was a very pleasant day. This was the first day that it had not rained at Garden Grove since the Saints arrived. Brother William G. Young arrived into camp from the Missouri settlements. He had to leave his wagons back on the prairie about five miles because of all the mud. The water was so high, that the mills in the settlement could not grind grain. It would take about a week of dry weather for the water level to come down far enough. Brother Young reported that companies were at Miller's Mill with enough articles to trade for all of the cows and provisions that they wanted. President Young has satisfied with the number of traders that were out from the camp and decided not to send any more until they arrived at the next location. He labored all day helping to build a bridge. Other men started fencing in the northwest corner of the farm. Three bears were brought into camp.
President Young wrote a letter to Elisha Averett and other pioneers working at some settlements. He expressed to them that the number one priority for the camp was to put in crops at Garden Grove. The little time spent on this task now, would have significant benefits later in the season. He encouraged them to sell goods for provisions, to support the camp during this period while they were planting crops. They could part with some goods, but if they did not plant crops now, in the winter they would be without food and would have to sell half of what they owned to make it through the winter. So it was wise for them to come as soon as possible to Garden Grove to assist in the effort to plant the crops.
William Clayton worried about his wife Diantha, back in Nauvoo. He had a bad dream the night before which made him worry about his wife and new baby. It was very difficult for many in the camp to be separated from other family members.
Wilford Woodruff went to visit Brother and Sister Scammans, about thirty miles out in the country. When he had only traveled about four miles, his mules and carriage got stuck in a mud hole and had to be pulled out with oxen. He gave up going on the trip, returned home covered with mud, and spent the rest of the day cleaning his mules and harnesses.
After three months of sailing, the Brooklyn dropped anchor in the cove of the Island of Juan Fernandez. This is the island on which Alexander Selkirk (Robinson Crusoe) lived from 1704 to 1709. Sister Caroline A. Joyce later wrote (as told by her daughter), “The memory of the place will never fade from our minds. As we approached, being yet a great distance away, the island looked like a mass of immensely high rocks covered with moss; which moss, on nearer scrutiny, turned out to be heavy forests covering lofty peaks.”
Here, they were permitted to load up with 18,000 gallons of fresh water and all sorts of fruits and vegetables free of charge. The items were graciously given to them by two families who were living there. The water was obtained only thirty feet from the beach and there was plenty of firewood. They saw goats, hares and pigs. They were told that the last settlement on the island had been abandoned four years earlier when an earthquake caused the island to sink and rise about fifty feet.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 151‑52; William Clayton’s Journal, 28; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:47; Rich, Ensign to the Nations; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 35; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 163‑64; Caroline A. Joyce, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:505
The day was a very pleasant day. Everyone in the camp was very busy. Brigham Young “shouldered” his axe and worked at chopping and building the bridge during the morning. Orson Pratt spent the day working on the fence and hauling rails with two yoke of his oxen.
It was on a pleasant day like this, that Helen Mar Whitney remembered Garden Grove:
I took an early stroll to enjoy the scene, and I was almost enchanted as I stood there alone, gazing at the glorious sight as the sun was peeping over the hills‑‑and to lend still more to the scene of enchantment, here came a beautiful fawn, and also an antelope, skipping fearlessly over hill and dale and out of sight, with naught to disturb them nor the peace and tranquility of my thoughts, but the knowledge that the spell was soon to be broken. . . . Our tent was pitched on a gentle slope, and below, some distance away, was a crystal stream of water, babbling over the rocks, down through a little grove of trees and willows, where I accompanied Horace the next day to fish, taking along our books to read.
The band was almost destitute of provisions and William Clayton's flour was almost gone. He decided to start eating biscuit (crackers) and gave much of it to the band.
There was a heavy rain shower at 10 p.m., with thunder and lightning.
The Saints were finally ready to leave for their trip south to Council Bluffs. The company consisted of 12 families, 59 wagons, 19 yoke of oxen, 1 mule, 1 horse, and 29 cows. The wagons pulled out in the afternoon. Immediately, Frenchman and Indians moved in and picked through the deserted cabins to claim things that they left behind. Sister Emmett and her children decided to go with the camp, rather than wait for her husband to return to camp. The company traveled twelve miles. Caroline Butler was very close to an elderly Indian lady, who they called, “Grandmother Squaw.” It was very difficult to part from her. After the company settled down for the night in their camp, Sister Butler heard a low moaning cry coming nearer and nearer. The old squaw had followed them all the way to say goodby. She brought a pouch filled with dried deer meat as a gift for Sister Butler and told her how to make soup with it. All night long she sat by the camp fire to finish a pair of beaded moccasins for Caroline.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 152; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 160; William Clayton’s Journal, 29; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 200‑01
The men were very busy fencing in the farm. Brigham Young worked to get his wagons ready for the trip over the mountains.
Hosea Stout's family was out of food. His children were seriously ill with whooping cough and black canker (similar to scurvy). He hunted for flour until noon, could not find any, and then went to work in the afternoon.
At about 4 p.m., a violent wind storm blew down many trees. One tree fell on John D. Lee's mule, another on a cow, and almost everyone in the camp was working to hold their tents down. But despite these efforts, many tents blew over, including the William Clayton’s tent. Most of their things became wet and some things were spoiled. A large tree fell within five inches of Parley P. Pratt's wagon without touching it. Charles C. Rich's family also barely escaped injury. In about ten minutes, a heavy thunder shower fell with some hail. After the storm, Brigham Young went around the camp to survey the damage. He was very grateful that there were no serious injuries. William Clayton commented, “The wind was very severe, almost as bad as I ever saw it.” Lorenzo Dow Young was very worried about his son who was out herding cattle when the storm came in. He went out to look for him, missed him, and ended out getting drenched by the shower.
William Clayton heard that a sister in his company felt that their family was not being treated as well as others. This concerned him deeply, so much that he sent a pair of shoes and a large bag of biscuits to the family. He had given nearly everything he had to his company and it grieved him that still some were dissatisfied.
The Emmett company continued their journey toward Council Bluffs. They arrived at the Big Sioux River, where they stopped to build a raft from cottonwood logs and willows. Two lodges of Indians crossed the river and camped by them. There was some good spring grass for the teams to graze on.
Many of the Saints continued to leave Nauvoo. As they did, they would organize themselves into companies. Luman Shurtliff left on this day and explained that John Murdock was chosen as captain of the company. Brother Shurtliff served as one of his counselors, along with Levi Murdock. Brother Shurtliff later recalled his exodus from Nauvoo:
Our way led through a prairie county and as we passed along I carried a heavy heart. I had now been a member of this Church nearly ten years and had been compelled to move my family four times and start anew. I had lived in Nauvoo the longest by half of any other place since I belonged to the Church. This place was endeared to me for the sweet association I had enjoyed with the Prophet, patriarch and the apostles of the most high. Here I was leaving the body of my dear wife and child, never to behold those places again in the flesh. I turned my back to the west and took a last look at the Nauvoo Temple and its surroundings and bade them good-bye forever.
Shortly before the ship arrived to this paradise, Sister Laura Goodwin's sickness became worse and she sadly died of scurvy and sickness since a miscarriage. She left behind seven children. On May 6, the Saints attended to her burial on Goat Island. Samuel Brannan delivered the funeral sermon which was attended by many of the Saints and the crew of the Brooklyn. He spoke about motherhood and its place in the eternal worlds even before the worlds were created. The few families that lived on the little island attended the service, even though they did not understand English.
Sister Joyce wrote:
Although the occasion was so sorrowful, the presence of the seven little children sobbing in their uncontrollable grief and the father in his loneliness trying to comfort them, still, such was our weariness of the voyage that the sight of . . . terra firma once more was such a relief from the ship life, that we gratefully realized and enjoyed it.
The passengers bathed and washed their clothing in the fresh water, gathered fruit and potatoes, caught fish, some eels‑‑great spotted creatures that looked so much like snakes that some members of the company could not eat them when cooked. We rambled about the island, visited the caves, one of which was pointed out to us as the veritable Robinson Crusoe cave, and it was my good fortune to take a sound nap there one pleasant afternoon. Many mementoes and souveniers were gathered, and after strewing our dead sister's grave anew with parting tokens of love, regret and remembrance, we departed from the island, bearing away a serene, though shaded picture of our brief sojourn.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 153; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:160; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; William Clayton’s Journal, 29;Rich, Ensign to the Nations; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 201; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:636; Caroline A. Joyce, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:505; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, 66
On this cool day, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards examined the new bridge and the country nearby. The rain started to fall again during the morning. One of the wagons sent to the Missouri settlements returned with some much needed provisions, including thirty‑five bushels of flour and four bushels of meal.
Rattlesnakes continued to be a problem. Brigham Young's horse was bit by a rattlesnake. Brother James Hendrick's horse died after being bitten the night before. Brother Whitney also lost a horse because of a snake bite. Several of Heber C. Kimball's animals were bit, but he doctored them, prayed for them, and they recovered.
Sister Fidelia Green, wife of Ephraim Green died of canker near Miller's Mills, where a pioneer company was working.9 She was brought back to Garden Grove in the morning and buried near Samuel Thompson.
Hosea Stout finally found enough parched meal to feed his sick family one meal.
Elder John Taylor arrived back in Nauvoo and met with Elder Wilford Woodruff. Elder Taylor noticed changes in the city, “The place has altered very much . . . they have built a ten‑pin alley opposite the Temple, in Mullholland Street. Groggeries are plentiful; at night you can hear drunkards yelling and whooping through the streets‑‑a thing formerly unknown.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 154; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young”, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:47; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 171‑72; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:160; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848
The weather was clear, not a cloud in the sky. A number of men were very busy gathering items to take with them to trade for cows. They loaded two or three wagons with beds, harnesses, saddles, and other items, and left camp at about 9 a.m. Orson and Parley P. Pratt went about six miles northwest of the camp to check out the country ahead.
Brother Andrew Cahoon arrived from Nauvoo with twenty‑three letters.10 He reported that Orrin Porter Rockwell had been arrested and taken to Quincy jail. (See May 2, 1846.)
The fence around the south field was completed. Hosea Stout helped Ezra T. Benson hew some timber to be sawed into planks to fix his wagons. William Clayton was busy fixing wagon covers. His mare delivered a colt.
During the very early morning hours, Brother Andrew A. Ray, a sixty‑year‑old farmer, living eight miles from Nauvoo, was dragged from his house my a mob. They stripped him to the skin, tied him to a fence, and whipped his back with ox goads, causing many deep cuts over his entire back. One of the men held a pistol to Brother Ray's head, threatening to shoot if he made any noise. It was believed that the men who did this deed were anxious for Brother Ray to be driven away before he could sell his farm. They warned him to leave within ten days or they would do something worse. A few nights before this, a neighbor had also been whipped so severely that it was thought he would not recover.
Hundreds of Saints began leaving Nauvoo. James S. Brown recorded:
About the 8th of May we crossed the great “father of waters” and joined the “rolling kingdom” on its westward journey. We found friends and acquaintances, made up a company of our own, and passed and were repassed on the trip. Climbing an eminence from which we looked east and west, covered wagons could be seen as far as the eye could reach.
General Zachary Taylor battled with Mexicans in the Battle of Palo Alto. The United States troops were victorious.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 154‑56; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:160; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; William Clayton’s Journal, 30; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young”, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:138; Brown, Life of a Pioneer, 21; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:69‑70
It was another pleasant day in Garden Grove. It had been three days since the last rain! Many of the men started to build houses on the east and west side of the south field. Stephen Markham directed the building of four houses on the west side. Orson Pratt helped with the effort.
Brother Lewis returned from Missouri. He had been bitten by a rattlesnake on his big toe. William Clayton spent the morning fixing a wagon cover, read some letters to Brigham Young, and then went fishing in the afternoon.
Sister Eliza R. Snow went to visit Sister Elizabeth Whitney's tent. She found her quite ill with a lame wrist and quite discouraged. She was administered to by John Smith, Newel K. Whitney, and Heber C. Kimball.
Great sadness hit the family of Hosea Stout. In the morning, he was in the woods with Benjamin Jones, sharing some of his feelings. Word came to him that his one‑year‑old son, Hyrum, was dying. He later wrote:
I returned immediately home and found the poor little afflicted child in the last agonies of death. He died in my arms about four o'clock. This was the second child which I had lost, both dying in my arms. He died with the whooping cough & black canker. He had worn down ever since he first took it as before mentioned. . . . My wife is yet unable to go about & little Hosea my only son now is wearing down with the same complaint and what will be the end thereof. I have fearful forboding of coming evil on my family yet. We are truly desolate and afflicted and entirely destitute of any thing even to eat, much less to nourish the sick.
The child was buried in the evening.
After two days, the company finally floated all the wagons across the Big Sioux River on the raft that they built. The oxen and cows swam across. The company moved on for another three miles, crossed a creek, and camped in the bluffs of the Missouri River. A meeting was held in the evening, during which the camp sustained John Butler and James Cummings as their leaders until they reached the main Camp of Israel.
At nearby Pontoosuc, about one hundred and fifty of the mob met together. They resolved to visit Nauvoo on May 16, to burn down the houses, and drive out all the Mormons who had not already left the city. Placards were put on the doors of the Saints' homes with notices to leave.
The Brooklyn set sail again, now fully stocked with provisions including many barrels of fish that had been caught and salted. The captain set a course for the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 156‑57; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 160; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; William Clayton’s Journal, 30; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 132; Mulder, Among the Mormons, 173-89; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 20;
Hosea Stout held a small funeral service for his dead child at about 10 a.m. At the same time, a Sunday morning service was held at Garden Grove with about four hundred people in attendance. There were many nonmembers present. Jedediah M. Grant of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke on the first principles of the Gospel. He was followed by Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Twelve.
In the afternoon, the sacrament was administered to the camp by Samuel Bent and Aaron Johnson.11 Brigham Young spoke to the gathering. He expressed his delight that this was the first Sabbath since they had left Nauvoo, which had not been interrupted by rain or storm. He spoke about a problem that he was observing. Apparently, there were some in the camp who were not working. He said that those who had helped to build the houses, fences, and bridges would be entitled to property for their families. Those who went back to Nauvoo to bring their families to Garden Grove would have claim on the land when they returned. But if some people left Garden Grove for other places without helping to build it up, they should not come back to beg, when things became difficult for them. The poor, who would be coming from Nauvoo, would be able to settle and use the property in Garden Grove.
An important item of business was presented. The settlement of Garden Grove was officially organized. Elder Samuel Bent (age 68) was appointed to be the President of Garden Grove settlement. He chose his counselors, Ezra T. Benson12 and David Fullmer. This presidency would stay in Garden Grove and look after the temporal and spiritual welfare of the community.
In the evening, a Council meeting was held with many of the leaders in the camp, in Heber C. Kimball's tent. Charles C. Rich and Parley P. Pratt were appointed to go on to the next location with those in their companies who were ready. It was decided to assign land to each man according to the number of people in his family. Brigham Young said that if a man would not till his land, it should be taken from him. Those who refused to work, but stayed in Garden Grove, would be cast out as idlers. Orson Pratt was impressed with the progress of the settlement. He recorded: “the whole place assumes the appearance of having been occupied for years.”
Brother Keller returned to camp, after being gone twelve days, with thirteen bushels of meal and 250 pounds of bacon.
About three thousand saints met in the temple in the morning. Brother W.W. Phelps opened the meeting with prayer. Elder Wilford Woodruff preached from the words of Solomon, “There is a time to all things, and for every purpose under heavens there is a season.” He was followed by Brothers Amos Fielding, Benjamin Clapp, and Noah Packard. Elder Woodruff reflected in his journal that perhaps that was the last time that he would preach in the temple.
Addison Pratt continued to preach the gospel on his mission to the islands. He recorded on this day, “Sabbath. Still at Temarie. Today 7 persons offered themselves for baptism. Among them are Hamae and his wife. They came from the Tuamotus some 2 months since for to be baptized, but had delayed on account of failings they saw in the church. They had a child some 8 months old that was at the point of death with the lung complaint.” Elder Pratt had reasoned with them that maybe the child was not getting better because they were not obeying the gospel. He continued, “I asked what was to be done? Said they wisht me to baptize them and lay hands on the child and anoint it in the name of the Lord Jesus. I told them I would baptize them now, and if they wisht me to anoint the child, they must go with me to Tukuhora tomorrow, for I had left my consecrated oil there. I attended to baptizing them with the rest of the seven, and preacht three times.” On the following day he blessed the child and it soon began to recover.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 157‑58; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 345; William Clayton’s Journal, 30‑1; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:47; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1:160‑61; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Arrington, Charles C. Rich, 95; Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 278; Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1:262
It was another pleasant day at Garden Grove. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and many others, prepared to get their wagons ready for moving out of the settlement. This task consisted of weighing and loading provisions and goods into the wagons. Several companies did cross the river, traveled six miles, and camped on the prairie at some timber. These companies included Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt. Several companies including Amasa Lyman, George A. Smith, arrived from Locust Creek and pressed on across the river. Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote in his journal,
After assisting to fence this farm and build some log houses, I was dispatched ahead by the Presidency with a small company to try to find another location. Crossing this branch of Grand River, I now steered through the vast and fertile prairies and groves without a track or anything but a compass to guide me‑‑the country being entirely wild and without inhabitants. Our course was west, a little north.
Andrew Cahoon started for Nauvoo with the mail. Many of the brethren were busy building houses.
Hosea Stout was very sick and was given Lobelia (an herb that was used to induce vomiting) by Doctor Chandler Rogers. It made him so weak and nervous that he could not raise his had and made his stomach irritable. But he felt that it did help him. William Hunter came into camp and brought some meal for Brother Stout.
Elder Wilford Woodruff crossed the river to Montrose and purchased two yoke of oxen for a total of $100. Many traders would bring oxen to this point to sell or trade them to the Saints. Later, Elder Woodruff crossed back over the river and met with Elder Orson Hyde.
As the mob continued to persecute the Saints, Major Warren, leader of the state troops in Hancock County, felt it necessary to issue a proclamation on this day. It was published in the Quincy Whig on May 20. He proclaimed that the state militia was again organized, and would stay in the county until further notice.
I have now been in Nauvoo with my detachment a week, and can say to you with perfect assurance, that the demonstrations made by the Mormon population, are unequivocal. They are leaving the state, and preparing to leave, with every means that God and nature has placed in their hands. Five ferry boats are running at this place night and day, and many are crossing at Nashville and Fort Madison. This ought to be satisfactory.
Major Warren condemned the violent activities among some of the anti‑Mormons, including the beating of Brother Ray. (See May 8, 1846.) He concluded the proclamation with, “To the Mormons I would say, go on with your preparations, and leave as fast as you can. Leave the fighting to be done by my detachment. If we are overpowered, then re‑cross the river and defend yourselves and property.”
President James K. Polk addressed Congress announcing that “Mexico had invaded our territory and shed the blood of our citizens on our own soil.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 158; The Diary of Hosea Stout 161; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:47; William Clayton’s Journal, 31; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 346; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 132; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 342; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:69‑70
The weather during the day continued to be pleasant and warm. While Brigham Young was visiting at Heber C. Kimball's tent, he heard an outcry from Peter Haws’ camp. They found Brothers Haws, Thomas Williams and two others quarrelling about property. President Young reproved Brother Haws for his dealings.
The Camp Council met at the post office in the morning. Ezra T. Benson had been called to serve as a counselor in the Garden Grove Presidency. However, Brother Benson had expressed his desire to move on from Garden Grove. It was decided to rescind the action and appoint Aaron Johnson in his place. Brother Ezra T. Benson wrote in his life history:
This was a great place for rattle snakes. Either an ox or a horse came up almost every night with a swelled head, etc. I became very dissatisfied with this place, and it seemed as though I could not tarry there under any consideration. Brother Brigham Young told me if I could get a team to go on, I might do so, providing I could find a man to take my place, which Bro. Aaron Johnson agreed to do. Bro. Phippen let me have a yoke of very large cattle and a wagon with the promise that I should pay him in a future day . . . I truly felt as though this was the happiest day I had seen, to think that the Lord under such circumstances should provide me with such a team in a wilderness country.
A letter of authority was given to President Samuel Bent to preside over the Garden Grove settlement, “to divide out the land fenced by the advanced companies, to see that no man has the use of land which he does not till, to tithe the saints for the benefit of the poor and sick, and to see that the crops are secured and nothing lost.”
William Clayton made a copy of this letter. He expressed in his journal some frustration regarding all the writing work that had piled up, in his duties as camp clerk. In addition, Elder Willard Richards, camp historian, had been asking him to write many things for him. Brother Clayton was also frustrated because he had five tons of stuff, including Church goods, but only had five yoke of oxen and six wagons to take it. It was difficult for him to see how well prepared others were for the journey, while he still had so many things to do before leaving Garden Grove.
Brigham Young wrote a letter to the Nauvoo Trustees asking that twenty‑four ox teams and wagons be sent, with all the flour they could spare. It would be used by the advance group which would cross over the mountains.
Those in the camp, who were going to move on were very busy making preparations. Lorenzo Dow Young wrote: “This morning finished my buggy and covered both waggons and packed them. We was all tired out tonight. We were threatened with a dreadful shower, but the Lord had mercy on us and it went round.” Hosea Stout wrote that some of the camp crossed the bridge on this day, but most were still preparing to go. He stated that it did rain at dark, “to the great anoyance of those who intended to move.” About two hundred people would be left at Garden Grove to continue preparations for the hundreds who would soon be arriving from Nauvoo. Eliza R. Snow was disappointed that she had to stay behind because of her health.
Heber C. Kimball was among those who left Garden Grove on this day. Before he left, he wrote a letter to Joseph Heywood, in which he wrote: “Here I am with thirty in my family and not one mouth full of meal nor have had for two weeks . . . I am brought to this along with hundreds of others on account of so many coming on this journey without provisions to last them one week.”
Orson Pratt went out several miles hunting. He saw about eight wolves and one deer but did not catch anything.
Far to the northwest, the Saints who had spent the winter at camp Vermillion, continued their journey to the south. They had reached Sergeant Hill.13 During the previous few days, the Saints had traveled over rough land, causing them to follow a very crooked route. They had to stop for a time to build a bridge at Willow Creek14 using long timbers and willows covered with dirt.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 158‑59; Ezra T. Benson History, Instructor, May 1945, 216; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 346; William Clayton’s Journal, 32; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young”, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:139; The Diary of Hosea Stout , 1:161; Kimble, Heber C. Kimball ‑ Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 136; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 132; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 201
It was cloudy and warm, with a little rain. Brigham Young and others moved out of Garden Grove. Others remained behind to plant crops. Before Brigham Young left the camp, he stopped by Hosea Stout's camp to check on how he was doing. He told Brother Stout that he wanted him to move on as soon as he could, and to continue to keep charge of the public arms. This changed Brother Stout's plans. He had been planning to stay at Garden Grove to raise crops, but he would follow President Young's wishes to find a way to move on.
After traveling about eight miles on a divide, the camp found a spot at a hickory grove where some other brethren were camping. They named the place Hickory Thunder, because before they could pitch a tent, a severe thunderstorm rolled in. Elder Willard Richards went from wagon to wagon fastening covers in a gallant effort to try to protect his family from the rain and wind that blew until 11 p.m. Despite these efforts, his family, like many others in the camp, became wet to the skin. The rain fell at one inch per hour for two and a half hours.
William Clayton wasn't ready to leave Garden Grove. Brigham Young sent word back to Garden Grove, instructing President Samuel Bent to find enough cattle to take Brother Clayton's load to the new camp in the morning. But Brother Clayton knew that he couldn't leave because his horses were away from camp. They were in use to bring meal from the mill. Some of the brethren returned from trading in Missouri. They brought back with them ten bushels of corn meal and one thousand pounds of bacon.
The people in Missouri were well informed that Mormons were nearby. In Mercer County Missouri, on this day, an Alfred L. Rockhold wrote to a Thomas Rockhold regarding the Mormons in northern Missouri. He stated, “The Mormons is as thick as hops about here they have been drove from Nauvoo.” He reported that there were three to four hundred wagons on their way to California.
William Edwards died at Garden Grove. He had been sick with a fever for many weeks.15
Theodore Turley's three‑year‑old son, Jonathan, died during the night. Eliza R. Snow wrote in her journal, “I saw the funeral train following to its wilderness grave a little child of Br. Turley. It was a lonely sight‑‑my feelings truly sympathize with those who are call'd to leave their dear relatives by the way.”
Orson, Parley Pratt, and others of the advance group pressed on and traveled all day. They could not find timber and had to camp on the open prairie without camp fires.
An article appeared in St. Louis's Daily Missouri Republican that gave an interesting description of the current conditions in Nauvoo.
There are no crops, either growing or being planted. In many instances, the fences have been destroyed, houses have been deserted, and the whole aspect of the country is one of extreme desolation and desertion. At nearly every dwelling, where the owners have not sold out and moved off, preparations were making to go. Nearly every workshop in the city has been converted into a wagon maker's shop. . . . Generally, they are providing themselves with light wagons, with strong, wide bodies, covered with cotton cloth‑‑in some instances painted, but mostly white. . . .
They appear to be going in neighborhoods, or companies, of four to six and ten wagons . . . a very large portion present the appearance of being illy provided for so long a trip . . . the spectator cannot fail to be struck with the lightness of heart, apparent cheerfulness, and sanguine hopes with which families bid adieu to their friends, and set out on their journey . . . the great mass go forth, sustained and cheered by the promises of their leaders, and, strange as it may seem, a most devout conviction of the truth of their religion, and the rewards which they are to receive from heaven for their present sacrifice.
From the best information we could obtain, this Camp [of Israel] includes about 3000 souls. Between the Camp and the Mississippi river, there is said to be about 1500 wagons. Major Warren, who on Friday last, visited the Camps within ten miles of Montrose, estimates the number of teams at about one thousand. Allowing five or six souls to a wagon . . . it would give about seven thousand persons between the Mississippi and Grand River.
A son, Urban Jacobs Stewart, was born to Urban and Lydia Stewart.16
Elder Jesse C. Little, who presided over the Church in the eastern states, held a conference of the church in Philadelphia. After listening to his discourse, Colonel Thomas L. Kane sought out Elder Little.17
After the meeting, Thomas Kane invited Elder Little into his home. Thus started a long and important friendship between Thomas Kane and the Saints. Colonel Kane's influence would have an important impact on the history of the Church. Elder Little did go to the Kane home and told him of the ship Brooklyn, which was on its way to California. He also told him of his instructions from Brigham Young, to enlist the assistance of the federal government in the move to the West. Their conversation lasted so long that Elder Little failed to return for the evening session of the conference at which he was supposed to speak.
Sidney Rigdon, his family, and between 150‑200 followers left Pittsburgh for the 300‑mile journey to their next land of promise, Antrim Township.
The United States Congress officially declared war on Mexico.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 159‑60; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 162; William Clayton’s Journal, 32; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 165‑66; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 346; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 133; Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.3:68‑70; Stanley B. Kimball, BYU Studies, 14:4:482; Leonard J. Arrington, “In Honorable Remembrance”: Thomas L. Kane's Services to the Mormons, BYU Studies, 21:4:389‑90; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 388; Mulder, Among the Mormons, 169‑72
The early morning was cloudy, but the skies cleared by 9 a.m. The rain during the night had caused the creek, which ran through the camp, to rise so high that it could not be forded. Men went to work building a bridge over the creek which they named Peters Bridge. The leaders of the camp decided to remain at Hickory Thunder for another day to let the roads dry. Brigham Young, George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman rode ahead to find another camp. George A. Smith took his field‑glass with him to search for a good camp site.
Orson and Parley P. Pratt pressed on. Orson Pratt wrote in his journal, “The prairies being much broken, and the small streams very high, we were obliged to deviate a little from our course. At noon we stopped and baited our cattle and made a bridge across a small stream and then proceeded upon our journey some 2 or 3 miles, and encamped for the night.”
William Clayton made preparations for moving on. President Samuel Bent was having trouble finding the teams and wagons which were supposed to be provided from Brother Clayton.
The Emmett Company continued their trip south, toward Council Bluffs. They reached the Little Sioux river which was five feet higher than it had been a few weeks earlier, when John Butler and James Cummings had crossed it. Men went up the river and built a raft from cottonwood. They floated it down and brought it to shore before dark. That evening, a Brother Stewart found a bee tree that had forty‑five pounds of honey in it.
Rain fell in the morning. Wilford Woodruff bought a stove for the journey to the west. He was disappointed in a few of his friends who were having fears about suffering on the journey.
Orrin Porter Rockwell remained in jail. Additional charges of counterfeiting and passing bogus money were added. His lawyer did not feel that Brother Rockwell would receive a fair trial in Hancock County and he was seeking to have the trial moved.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 160; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 346; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 166; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:48; William Clayton’s Journal, 32‑33; Dewey, Porter Rockwell, 122; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 202
The weather was pleasant. Brigham Young's company traveled about five miles and camped in a valley by a creek, over which they built a willow bridge. Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards camped two miles back at Cream Encampment. Elder Kimball's daughter, Helen Whitney explained how the camp was given this name. It was “the cream of all the encampments that we have hitherto had, in consequence of the beautiful rolling prairie and the rich verdure for our cattle that abounds in such plenty around us.”
Orson Pratt and Parley P. Pratt's advance group built a bridge across a small stream in the morning. While they were doing this, a messenger arrived from Brigham Young's camp that was about twelve to fifteen miles behind them. The message instructed them to bear a little more to the south.
The roads were very bad. Lorenzo Dow Young left Garden Grove, traveled ten miles and camped near the Willow Bridge Camp. Soon after they stopped, his wife had a severe pain in her stomach and bowels. “We laid hands on her three times and gave her medicine and she got better, but was obliged to be carried on a bed.”
William Clayton still could not find the teams and wagons he needed but decided to move on. He crossed over the river, traveled up a bluff, and let his teams feed. He moved on another half mile and camped near some timber.
It was very difficult for Eliza R. Snow to see others leave Garden Grove. She wrote: “Bishop W[hitney] & family leave us this mor[ning]‑‑every departure makes us more & more lonely‑‑it seems almost like the days of Peleg when the earth was divided but we hope to follow soon‑‑may be the pleasure of meeting compensates for the parting.”
Others were just too tired to move on. Allen Stout recorded: “The camp rolled on, but I still stayed at camp for I was quite sick and worn out by continually herding stock and waiting on the sick.”
The wind was blowing hard, causing the Emmett Company to stay where they were that day, on the bank for the Little Sioux River. They had an intense discussion about common property. One of the sisters was trying to claim certain property which others did not think she was entitled to. Brother John Butler encouraged the company to abandon their common property practices, but the group still did not want to.
A mob of about forty held a meeting at Pontoosuc. They paraded around, damning the Mormons, drinking, swearing, and quarrelling among themselves. It was rumored that the mob demanded that Major Warren must recall his favorable words toward the Mormons (See May 11, 1846) or “they would give him hell.” They also passed a resolution that all those Mormons that showed efforts to leave, could depart in peace. But those who did not, would be driven out of the city.
Thomas L. Kane appeared at Elder Jesse C. Little's hotel room and asked for a letter of introduction to Brigham Young. He had decided to go to California with the Mormons and wished to use his influence to help the Saints in their plight. Thomas L. Kane gave Elder Little a letter of introduction to George M. Dallas, the Vice President of the United States.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 160; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:139; William Clayton’s Journal, 33; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 166; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 347; Leonard J. Arrington, “In Honorable Remembrance”: Thomas L. Kane's Services to the Mormons. BYU Studies, 21:4:390; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 133; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 202; “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, 25; “George Laub Journal,” T. Edgar Lyon, BYU Studies, 18:2:171
Brigham Young moved on four miles to White‑breast Creek and helped to build a bridge. Elders Kimball and Richards also moved on from their location and ended up on the prairie about a mile behind Brigham Young.
At about 4:00 a.m., Orson Pratt started out on foot to hunt and to look at the country. He traveled about ten or eleven miles to the south and arrived on the bank of the middle fork of the Grand River. He did not see any game at all and concluded it had been thinned out by the Pottawatomie Indians in the area. He returned to camp, arriving at 12:30 p.m., after traveling about twenty miles before breakfast.
In the meantime, Parley P. Pratt was also on the lookout for a new camp. He recorded:
I took my horse and rode ahead some three miles in search of one of the main forks of Grand River, which we had expected to find for some time. Riding about three or four miles through beautiful prairies, I came suddenly to some round and sloping hills, grassy and crowned with beautiful groves of timber; while alternate open groves and forests seemed blended in all the beauty and harmony of an English park. While beneath and beyond, on the west, rolled a main branch of Grand River, with its rich bottoms of alternate forest and prairie. As I approached this lovely scenery, several deer and wolves, being startled at the sight of me, abandoned the place and bounded away till lost from my sight amid the groves. Being pleased and excited at the varied beauty before me, I cried out, “this is Mount Pisgah.” I returned to my camp, with the report of having found the long sought river.18
Orson Pratt recorded: “P. P. Pratt had in the meantime been some 4 or 5 miles west and finding a very beautiful place on the middle fork of Grand River resolved to remove forthwith upon the same and there await the arrival of the main camp.” The Pratts arrived at Mount Pisgah, shortly after sundown and fenced in a door yard in front of their tents and wagons to prevent the cattle from coming into the camp.
Back at the Garden Grove settlement, Sister Eliza R. Snow had an enjoyable quilting/tea party with several sisters.
I enjoy'd the novel scenery of a quilting out‑of‑doors, after which with much conviviality & agreeable sociability the party took tea with Sister Dalton, the mistress of the quilting. . . . Our treat was serv'd in the tent, around a table of bark, spread on bars, supported by four crotches drove into the ground; and consisted of light biscuits & butter, Dutch cheese, peach sauce, custard pie & tea.
Wilford Woodruff crossed over the Mississippi River with his family, and camped about one mile west of Montrose with Elder Orson Hyde, who had crossed a few days earlier. Major Warren reported in a bulletin that about 450 teams and 1,350 people had left Nauvoo during the week. Erastus Snow was on his way back to Nauvoo from Garden Grove and he wrote, "We met many teams between there and Nauvoo loaded with Saints who were upon our tracks."
Elder Jesse C. Little made arrangements with a printer to print a circular to the members of the church in the Eastern States that would include the proceedings of the recent conference. In the afternoon he again met with Thomas L. Kane and spent two hours preaching the Gospel to him.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 160‑61, 213; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 347; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 168; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:48; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 20; Larson, Erastus Snow, 110; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 133
Brigham Young and other captains rode out to the prairie, on this beautiful warm day, to locate a road on which the camp could travel. After finding a suitable route, the lead company moved on at about 4 p.m. for two to three miles. They camped on a small creek that emptied into the Grand River. John D. Lee and others returned from a trading expedition with thirteen milk cows, three yoke of oxen, and three loads of provisions.
Orson Pratt caught a few small fish with a hook which he mentioned “was quite a rarity to us wanderers in a wild country, especially as we had now for several months been deprived of the luxuries of life.”
The Emmett company, now led by John Butler and James Cummings, crossed the Little Sioux River and camped at a three‑mile long lake which they named “Lighthouse Lake” because of a structure they saw built by the Indians that looked like a lighthouse. They had a dinner of fish that night.
William Clayton was still stalled without enough teams. George Miller passed by him, but did not leave any cattle, even though he had plenty. Brother Clayton was clearly bothered by this and wrote: “This agrees with his course, for from about two months before we left Nauvoo to the present, he has done nothing but for himself.”
Wilford Woodruff was immediately, and rudely greeted with the harsh conditions which many of the Saints ahead had already experienced. He wrote,
This was one of the worst days of my life or most perplexing. . . . As soon as we started, the calves and cows all run various ways and while I was trying to get them together the oxen broke the tong out of my carriage. After that was mended by leaving part of our stock, we got started. We had not got far until Father drove into a mud hole & the oxen mired down. We put on 8 yoke of oxen to draw the wagon out & we broke 4 chains and had to dig the wagon out.
Jesse Snyder and Elsie Jacob, daughter of Norton Jacob, were married.
Elder Jesse C. Little preached to two large congregations. He wrote a letter of introduction for Thomas L. Kane to Brigham Young and Almon W. Babbitt. He went to see Colonel Kane, but found him sick. He had given instructions to not receive visitors. However when he discovered Elder Little came to visit, he asked him to stay. Elder Little wrote:
He would get up, which he did, and soon came down stairs. I talked with him three hours upon the work of God, and upon the subject of emigration; to which he listened with great attention. He gave me much information in relation to our affairs with California, and of affairs at Washington, proffering at any future time to aid me in getting appropriations.
A conference of the Church was held, attended by seven hundred and fifty members from thirteen branches of the church.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 161, 214; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:139; William Clayton’s Journal, 34; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:48; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 348; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” 3-4; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 202;
In the morning, thirty men from the various companies were assigned to quickly build a bridge. While they were working, Brigham Young and other captains went ahead to scout the trail. The camp was supposed to wait until they returned, but after the bridge was completed, they moved on without a pilot to guide them. The wagon train ended up taking a very crooked route across the prairie. They finally stopped at another creek where an additional bridge needed to be built.
While work was progressing on the second bridge, several men ascended a hill to check out a massive rock of grey granite which had the appearance of an ancient altar. This was curious to them, because there was no other rock in this area of open prairie.
Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt went on horseback to see if they could find the main camp. After traveling about 8‑10 miles, they saw the wagon train moving 3‑4 miles north of them. They concluded that the camp had lost the trail, or were looking for a better one. They sent a messenger with a fresh horse to the north, to inform the main camp where the Pratt’s camp was located. After President Young located Parley P. Pratt's trail, he returned, and the camp was guided to the Pratt’s encampment.
The company traveled about a total of thirteen miles and arrived at the middle fork of Grand River. This would be the site of the second important temporary settlement, Mount Pisgah. This camp was located in a beautiful grove of small hickory trees, 172 miles from Nauvoo.19
The Emmett company traveled twelve miles and stopped at a creek to build another raft. John Butler called a meeting to again discuss the “common property” problem. He spoke firmly that Brother Emmett would not be overtaking the camp and was no longer leading it. Brother Butler had been in the main Camp of Israel and understood how property was being handled there. A vote was taken and this time the company agreed to let John Butler and James Cummings divide up the property for the camp.
Eliza R. Snow had lonely feelings watching others move on from this settlement. Her poor health required her to remain behind. She wrote in her journal: “My health is daily improving & my spirits buoyant‑‑I feel that the blessings of the Lord & the blessings of many who have gone on, attend me. Surely happiness is not altogether the product of circumstances‑‑our Father who watches over His children's welfare will order all things for good if we will put our trust in Him, we need not fear.”
Wilford Woodruff returned to Nauvoo. He sold his prairie land and stayed at Mr. Clayton's home. Many families continued to cross over the Mississippi.
There were at least two births. Esther Chidester was born to John and Mary Chidester at Montrose.20 Also born, in Nauvoo, John Havey Tippets to John and Caroline Tippets.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 161‑62; Rich, Ensign to the Nations; Stanley B. Kimball, The Iowa Trek of 1846; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 348; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:139; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 133; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 202‑03; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848
The day was cloudy. At 9 a.m., Brigham Young and other leaders in the camp went exploring to the west, across Grand River. They traveled fifteen miles and found the country to be very rough, but with good farming land, no swamps. Best of all, there were no rattlesnakes! Two Pottawatomie Indians later came into camp to obtain a stray horse that the brethren had found loose on the prairie. Mount Pisgah was located on their tribal lands. The Indians mentioned that their chief would be coming to discuss the cultivation of the land.
President Young received several letters from men in Nauvoo requesting aid to leave the city. He felt sympathy for their situation and made arrangements to send back as many teams and wagons that he could spare. A company of Saints led by Solomon Hancock arrived from Nauvoo with eighteen teams after a very quick two‑week journey.21 Many brethren at Mount Pisgah were busy repairing wagons, stocking plows, and engaged in other activities.
Brigham Young received word that a Brother James W. Binley had taken several jobs and contracts.22 But to obtain them, he drank and caroused with the nonmembers. President Young wrote a firm letter:
Close your contracts and take no more new ones at present, but hasten to this place and assist us in getting in a crop. We would also say that if it is absolutely necessary for Saints to lay aside the principle of morality and act like the devil in order to deal with them to advantage it will be better to lay aside your saints‑ship and become a devil in reality without acting the hypocrite and stay and associate with them.
Hosea Stout thought he would put projections on the gun wagons to allow him to have more room in the wagon. He brought up the matter with Charles C. Rich, but Brother Rich did not show much interest in the idea, to the disappointment of Brother Stout.
Sister Eliza R. Snow's company crossed the creek and moved on three miles toward Mount Pisgah. Her group consisted of three wagons.
Wilford Woodruff again crossed over the river to Montrose. He met with a company of Saints who had come in from Pennsylvania. Among them was Joseph Sidwell who brought $700 for the camp and $100 each for Elders Hyde and Woodruff.23 Elder Woodruff returned to Nauvoo to conduct some business. He saw his sister Eunice and her husband Dwight Webster. They were still advocating the cause of James J. Strang.24 Elder Woodruff wrote: “Some unpleasant feelings were manifest upon the subject. I parted with Dwight & Unice perhaps for the last time & again crossed the river and rode to the camp.”
The Saints continued to stream out of Nauvoo in large numbers. Among those who left this day were Samuel Bennion, Phinehas Richards, and Samuel W. Richards. Samuel's wife, Mary Richards wrote that the family “had a pleasant sail across the Mississippy River and arived at the camp one mile from the landing . . . a little after 5.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 164‑65; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 169; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:162; William Clayton’s Journal, 34; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:49; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 349; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 134; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Ward, Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 63; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia; Van Noord, King of Beaver Island, 40
The rain started again and it was colder. Brigham Young met in council with members of the Twelve and the bishops at the post office. Henry G. Sherwood, Hazen Kimball, and George S. Clark25 were assigned and departed to go confer with the Pottawatomie chiefs, fifty miles away, regarding establishing a temporary settlement on their lands.
Elder Heber C. Kimball spoke frankly at the council meeting. He commented that at their current rate of travel, with their current number of teams, they would not make it over the mountains this season. Ideas were openly discussed. Some brethren offered to stay behind and give their teams to others. After sufficient discussion, President Brigham Young proposed that the Twelve and a few others would go on over the mountains. The remainder of the camp would stay in the area of Mount Pisgah to raise crops. The Council also decided that the Saints currently at Garden Grove could move on, if they wished, to Mount Pisgah. A number of families would stay behind at Garden Grove to maintain the settlement. It was proposed to hold general council with the whole camp on the next morning to present these important matters.
William Clayton continued to hear news of teams arriving from Nauvoo. He heard that his Father was on the way. Brother Clayton expressed some frustration in his journal about his teamsters who were driving the Church wagons. They continued to come to him for food, even after they were through driving his wagons. He would feed them from his own provisions which were almost gone. Three thousand pounds of provisions were used up.
Hosea Stout saw teams arrive from Mount Pisgah to take others on. But he did not see any come for him or others of the guard. This made him feel that he had been forgotten. On top of these feelings, he had to deal with some of the strong egos among his men. He wrote about one man in particular who “has manifested strong symtoms of the 'big head' which I fear will yet prove fatal to him.”
Sickness was a severe problem at Garden Grove. A boy, George Patten who was traveling west with the Charles C. Rich family was still very sick with what probably was scurvy. He became so sick that he became unconscious. Brother Rich looked after him for hours and finally called his wife Sarah to take over, while Brother Rich rested. They both felt the boy was near death. After awhile Sarah offered a prayer for this sick boy. After she got up from praying, she felt prompted to put a teaspoonful of consecrated oil in his mouth. His tongue was very black and his breathing heavy. She continued to care for the boy and after awhile, she noticed that George opened his eyes. She asked him if he knew her. He whispered yes. Brother Rich soon came to the bedside and was astonished to see George awake. He asked his wife what had caused this change. She told him that it was through prayer and faith. Sarah wrote in her autobiography:
So I told my husband what I had done and how humble I felt while praying to the Lord to spare the boy's life. My husband was truly affected, and told the boy's life would be spared to yet be a blessing to me in some future time.26
Major Warren's report appeared in the Quincy Whig. Among the hundreds still leaving Nauvoo was David Pettigrew and family. There was a tremendous rain storm in the evening.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 165‑66; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 349; William Clayton’s Journal, 35; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:163; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, 53‑55; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 63
After a heavy rain storm, the skies cleared in time for a meeting with all the brethren in the camp, held in front of Brigham Young's tent. Heber C. Kimball presented the current situation of the camp. He informed them that at the rate they were going, they would not make it over the mountains that season. The Twelve were low on provisions and other leaders were without teams. President Young had started the journey with a year's supply of provisions for his family. That supply was gone. He had used the food to feed many in the camp who had not come prepared. The decision needed to be made whether the Twelve should remain behind or be outfitted to move on. President Young testified that “the Lord's house must be established in the tops of the mountains where the people may gather.” The Council decided to outfit the Twelve, to enable them to continue their important journey. Seven or eight yoke of oxen and two wagons were offered to be used for the mountain expedition.
Before the meeting was closed, the Mount Pisgah settlement was formally organized. The brethren sustained William Huntington as president, with Ezra T. Benson and Charles C. Rich to serve as counselors. President Huntington felt a deep commitment to serve well in his calling. William Huntington wrote in his journal, “My hands are now completely tied as my time will necessarily be taken up in the oversight of the concerns of the church.”
After the meeting closed, members of the Twelve and several others traveled about four miles to the west to check out the road and determine where bridges would be built over the swollen creeks. They decided to build a bridge over the next creek that was located about four miles west of Mount Pisgah. John D. Lee left the camp for a trading expedition to Missouri. He took with him beds and other property which would be traded for provisions.
In the evening it rained and blew very hard. Thunderstorm after thunderstorm rolled in all night. The Council wrote a letter to the Saints still in Nauvoo, informing them of the hindrances that had been experienced by the authorities of the Church because of the poor weather and the “lack of confidence manifested by those who had loaned teams [to the Church] and sent for them to be returned.” This certainly was a frustrating dilemma. The Camp of Israel desperately needed more teams, but those left behind in Nauvoo doubted that they would see their teams returned to help bring them leave the city boiling with persecution.
Samuel Amos Woolley and Catherine Elizabeth Mehring were married.27
Mary Richards spent most of the day in the wagon with her husband, Samuel W. Richards. She enjoyed hearing him read while she braided a “rislet.” In the evening there was another rain storm.
Elder Jesse C. Little arrived on his historic trip to the nation's capitol. He found lodgings at Brown's hotel. The meals were “indiferently cooked, bread heavy.”
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 166, 215; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 350; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:163; William Clayton’s Journal, 35; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Journal of William D. Huntington,” May 22, 1846; Arrington, Charles C. Rich, 105; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 63
A large amount of rain fell overnight, which caused the streams to rise, and delayed any plans to move on. The day was warm and cloudy. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met with President Huntington to decide on the location for a farm at Mount Pisgah. In the afternoon, the horn was sounded, calling the entire camp to assemble for a meeting. President Young asked everyone to separate into two groups‑‑those who desired to continue on immediately, and those who would need to remain at Mount Pisgah. The large majority were in the first group that desired to go with the Twelve. It was made clear to them that if they did continue, they must be fully supplied with provisions.
The members of the Twelve sent a letter back to Nauvoo to help stop some false rumors. It had been learned that Brother William Higginbotham had returned to the city and had been reporting that Elder Orson Pratt was being disobedient. The letter made it clear that these rumors were false and the Brother Higgenbotham had returned to Nauvoo contrary to counsel.
William Clayton continued to make slow progress toward Mount Pisgah. He moved his camp about three more miles. He wrote: “We are now camped on a very pleasant spot not far from timber. We have camped near the summit of a ridge where we can see a long way on both the roads leading to Miller's mill and to the next camp.” Horace Whitney passed by. Brother Clayton and gave him a message asking Brigham Young to send more teams. Provisions were almost out in the Clayton camp. He had been borrowing from others and only had a little corn left. Ten days earlier he had sent two men in his company to obtain provisions from the settlements. He could not understand why they had not returned. Just as he was discussing with others what should be done, his men returned with a load of provisions. He wrote: “This was joyful news to us and I felt my heart much relieved.”
Wilford Woodruff went to both Montrose and back over to Nauvoo. With sad feelings he wrote: “I left Nauvoo for the last time perhaps in this life. I looked upon the Temple & City of Nauvoo as I retired from it & felt to ask the Lord to preserve it as a monument of the sacrifice of His Saints.”
Major Warren, leader of the state troops in the county reported, “The Mormons still continue to leave the city in large numbers. The ferry at this place averages about 32 teams per day, and at Fort Madison, 45. Thus it will be seen that 539 teams have left during the week, which average about three persons to each, making in all 1,617 souls.”
Samuel W. Richard and his family left the camp by the river, starting their trek across Iowa. They passed through Montrose, after which one of the wagons got stuck in a deep mud slue. It had to be pulled out with four yoke of oxen. Later they broke one of their wagon tongues. After traveling about ten miles, they made their camp for the night.
About twelve miles west of Montrose, Sister Jane Gardner gave birth to a son, William Gardner. His father was Robert Gardner.28
Elder Jesse C. Little proceeded to the Capitol Building. He went into the house of Representatives. He wrote: “I found too much confusion for a decent, civilized assembly; I went into the Senate, where good order prevailed, after transacting some business, the Oregon question was taken up by Senator Benton [from Missouri] who spoke at considerable length.” In the evening, he went with two congressmen from Massachusetts to be introduced to President James K. Polk at a social. General Sam Houston and other distinguished men were present.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 169, 215; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 350; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:49; William Clayton’s Journal, 35‑36; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly 14:139; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Robert Gardner Autobiography,” typescript, 12-13; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 63-4
Mount Pisgah was a beehive of activity. Camp members were hard at work plowing hundreds of acres, cutting down trees for fencing, and building a house for President Huntington. Many teams continued to arrive by the hour into the new settlement. John Taylor arrived from Nauvoo with seventy‑two letters. He reported that on his journey back to camp, he passed eight hundred teams on the road and saw four hundred additional teams that had just crossed the Mississippi.
There were still many teams on the road from Garden Grove. As William Clayton was scouting the road ahead, he met some members of the camp guard who had just bought about thirty‑six bushels of meal and two hundred pounds of bacon. They offered some to Brother Clayton, who tried to pay them for it. They kindly refused payment. Brother Clayton brought his teams forward and loaded meal into his wagons. He traveled a mile further and camped at Peter's Bridge for the night.
Wilford Woodruff spent the day painting his wagon covers and preparing for the journey onward to the west.
Several miles to the west, Samuel W. Richards parted from his wife, Mary, to return to Nauvoo, to prepare for his mission to England. Mary wrote: “This indeed was one of the most trying Scenes that I ever witnessed. To part with him to whome alone I look for protection & comfert & who alone is the most dear to my heart. To wander for hundereds of miles in a dreary wilderness while he is traveling for thousands of miles in another direction is a trial beyond description.” They parted at 8 a.m. Mary went on to Sugar Creek.
Far to the west, John Butler's company of Saints continued their journey to the south, toward Council Bluffs. At noon, they crossed Boyer River. They then stopped for two hours, cut down a bee tree, and collected forty‑five pounds of honey. They continued on and reached Pigeon Creek, where they stopped because of the heavy rain. While there, they divided up the camp tools equally, abandoning their practice of common property.
Elder Jesse C. Little met with Amos Kendall, former U.S. Postmaster and an advisor to President Polk. “We talked upon the subject of emigration, and he thought arrangements could be made to assist our emigration by enlisting one thousand of our men, arming, equipping and establishing them in California to defend the country; he said he would be able to inform me on Tuesday morning, what could be done.” There was great excitement in the city as news spread the General Zachary Taylor had fought and won two battles with the Mexicans.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 169, 215; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:70‑1; William Clayton’s Journal, 36‑37; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:49; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 203; Ward, The Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 64
After a rainy morning at the new settlement of Mount Pisgah, the camp horn sounded at noon, signaling that the camp should gather together for the Sabbath meeting. Brigham Young and several others spoke, including John Smith, the Prophet Joseph Smith's uncle. The theme of the meeting was on the plan of salvation. President Young also gave some clear instructions. Those who were not completely outfitted with provisions must stay for a season at Mount Pisgah. These words were no doubt disappointing for many of the Saints who wished to travel with the lead company on this historic journey. But President Young's instructions were full of wisdom for the safety of the camp and necessary if a company was to still cross over the mountains that season.
William Clayton and others struggled on their way toward Mount Pisgah. The rain during the day slowed down travel and a wagon tongue broke off a wagon. Brother Clayton worked hard all day to move his teams just five miles, arriving at a camp at 9:30 p.m.
The Saints who still remained at Nauvoo met in the Temple for a meeting. Brother Almon W. Babbitt spoke.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 170; William Clayton’s Journal, 38
Heavy rain fell during the night and into the morning which made traveling difficult for those who were still inching their way across Iowa toward Mount Pisgah. The streams were overflowing onto the bridges, making them impassible. Sister Eliza R. Snow recorded: “After crossing one [a stream] where the men carried the women over (Br. W[illiam] Cahoon liberally contributing his services as a ferryboat) we ascended a hill on which we had the novel pleasure of viewing a huge pile of stones. We arrived into [Mt. Pisgah] Camp situated in a small grove with a beautiful prospect.” Sister Snow experienced a happy reunion with her friends and family, including her brother, the future President of the Church, Lorenzo Snow. She had been separated from them for two weeks while recovering from her illness at Garden Grove.
President Brigham Young met in council with other members of the Twelve and the Presiding Bishop, Newel K. Whitney. President Young suggested that they should again load up wagons with goods to be sent off to trade at the settlements. After provisions and grain were obtained, the wagons should meet the camp at Council Bluffs on the Missouri River.
William Clayton continued pressing on toward Mount Pisgah. Members of the camp guard assisted him with two of his loads. Brother Clayton received a letter from his wife, Diantha, in Nauvoo, who had recently given birth to their son. He stated, “it gave me painful feelings to hear of her situation.” Brother Clayton met several men going back to Nauvoo to pick up their families.
Wilford Woodruff took down his tents and started the long journey to the west. He traveled six miles and made camp at Charlestown, Iowa. He had sprained his shoulder and thumb, a few days earlier while working among some cattle, and it was giving him much pain.
A few miles to the west, Mary Richards, wife of Samuel W. Richards, left Sugar Creek at 5 a.m. Her company arrived at Farmington in the afternoon and crossed the Des Moines River at 6 p.m. They camped in a grove for the night after a journey of about twelve miles for the day.
As Elder Jesse C. Little waited to hear news of the President's advisor, Amos Kendall, he did a little sightseeing. He went to the telegraph office and saw how they operated. He was very impressed that his name was sent to Baltimore and returned back in twenty seconds. He visited the Capitol and heard Senator Benton discuss the Oregon boundary question. He then went to a fair and returned to his hotel to write letters.
William Clayton’s Journal, 38; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:50; Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 170, 215; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 134; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 64;
“This morning the sun rose clear, which seemed to cheer our hearts, “ wrote Lorenzo Dow Young in his diary. The day became very warm and muggy. He spent the day putting a new axletree on his ox wagon.
Many families took inventory of their provisions and then came to Brigham Young and the Twelve seeking their counsel whether they should continue on or stay at Mount Pisgah. In one instance, President Brigham Young told Brothers Daniel and Orson Spencer that the Spirit said to him, “Tell Daniel to gather up what teams, tools, seeds, and men he can and go on and let Orson stay and take care of the families and bring them on.”
William Clayton was trying to finally reach Mount Pisgah. The roads were very bad and the creeks had washed away many of the bridges that had been built earlier. After he had traveled two miles, one of his wagons sank into a deep hole and tipped over. He spent another hour reloading the wagon. Just as his teams became too exhausted to go on, six yoke of oxen arrived. President Young had sent the teams to help Brother Clayton make it to the camp. At dusk, after a weary day, he rolled into Mount Pisgah camp. Brigham Young was happy to see him again after a two‑week separation.
Hosea Stout's little three‑year‑old son was becoming very ill from the effects of whooping cough. Knowing that he would soon be leaving Garden Grove, Brother Stout went to his other little boy's fresh grave, repaired it, and expected to never see it again.
The city was becoming deserted. Jesse Crosby recalled his feelings as they traveled away from the city. “We ascended the bluffs, and some six miles from Nauvoo, we found ourselves on a high and sightly place where we had a most splendid view of the temple and almost every house in Nauvoo. This was a farewell view.”
The “Mississippi Company” company of Saints reached Independence. (See April 8, 1846.)29
Elder Jesse C. Little again met with Amos Kendall, President Polk's advisor. Mr. Kendall told Elder Little that he had met with the President of the United States and laid the Church's request for aid before him. Kendall reported that the President was determined to take possession of California, and would employ men in the Church to help fortify the country. The President would lay the subject before the cabinet later in the day. The plans to raise a Mormon Battalion were coming together.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 170‑71; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; William Clayton’s Journal, 38‑9; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout May 26 1846, 163; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:71, 225; “Jesse Crosby Autobiography,” typescript, 30
The morning was cloudy, but the skies cleared up later. William Clayton discovered that one of his cows and several oxen were missing. He went to Bishop Whitney to ask for some teams to go back and get the remaining Church property that was in his charge. Bishop Whitney could not help him. Brother Clayton decided that he would just have to empty out a wagon onto the ground and use that wagon to bring the property to the camp. As he was doing this, Brigham Young came by and said that he would make arrangements to retrieve the property. President Young and Heber C. Kimball both sent wagons to help Brother Clayton.
Several of the brethren went to find a location to build a bridge over Grand River. Brother Baker and two others rode into camp on horseback announcing the arrival of their company which had made the journey from Nauvoo in four weeks. In the evening, a thunder shower rolled in.
At Garden Grove, Hosea Stout battled the elements when an unusually hard rain storm appeared that he said “came down in torrents, wetting almost every thing in the tents.” News arrived to his camp that the United States had declared war on Mexico. A great effort was underway to raise troops to that would march to Texas.
There were many dangers lurking while traveling by wagon train. The Saints had to be cautious and alert to avoid accidents. As Wilford Woodruff continued his westward journey, about twenty-five miles west of Nauvoo, a serious accident occurred near Farmington, involving his sixty-seven-year-old father, Aphek Woodruff. Elder Woodruff wrote,
He [Father Woodruff] went to get into the waggon while the oxen were travelling. The foreboard gave way that he took hold of & he instantly fell upon his back & both wheels of the waggon loaded with 25 cwt [2500 pounds] passed over his legs and arms and came near passing over his head. I expected it had killed him but we soon found it had not broaken any bones but had brused his flesh badley.
Mary Richards wrote a letter to her husband, Samuel W. Richards that would be sent Nauvoo with John Van Cott.30 “Dear Samuel the time seems long [to] me. Although I have indured the trial better than I could have expected, yet my Dear you are never [absent] from my mind.” She wrote about their journey to the grove across the Des Moines River. Her loneliness was again expressed, “Oh my Deary, I am lonley without you & were it not that I have all confidence in you Love & affectiong I could never indure the trial. Oh Samuel do write as often as you can. I do want to hear from you. I wish I would see your Face once more before you go. . . . Bro. Vancot is about to start & I just come to a close.” Her company arrived at Richardson's Point in the afternoon.
The Emmett company was becoming low on provisions. They went out to dig up “Sioux roots” which grew abundantly on the bluffs. Pigeon Creek was still too high to cross, so the camp spent their day off dividing up the property according to their agreement to reestablish private property among the camp. This was accomplished smoothly.31
Elder Jesse C. Little again met with President Polk's advisor, Amos Kendall. Elder Little records that Mr. Kendall:
informed me the cabinet had not fully decided; the plan offered was for me to go directly to the camp, and have one thousand men fitted out and plunge into California, officered by our own men, the commanding officer to be appointed by President Polk; and to send one thousand more by way of Cape Horn, who will take cannon and everything needed in preparing defense; those by land to receive pay from the time I should see them, and those going by water from September 1st.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 171; William Clayton’s Journal, 39; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:163‑64; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:50; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 203‑04; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:71; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 65, 71
The camp was very busy on this warm and pleasant day at Mount Pisgah. Many of the men were hard at work repairing wagons, plowing the soil, and building a bridge over Grand River. Weary Saints continued to arrive during the day to this beautiful resting place. William Clayton's cow and oxen were found.
Ezra T. Benson later recalled his feelings as he made his temporary home in Mount Pisgah, “This was the first place where I felt willing in my heart to stay at, since I left Nauvoo.”
William Clayton spent a pleasant evening playing musical instruments with his fellow band members, William Pitt and J.T Hutchinson. It started to rain in the evening.
Hosea Stout finally left Garden Grove. His company traveled about eight or nine miles and camped in the prairie. His wife was able to walk a short distance, which was the first time she was able to leave the wagon for several weeks after being so sick. Brother Stout commented, “It seemed like new life to see her even thus recovering from a long sickness.”
The Presidency of Garden Grove was constantly trying to raise teams and provisions to send to the advance company. To do so, they asked for an inventory of the effects at the settlement. Some families had hundreds of pounds of flour and many teams and wagons. Other families had as little as one dollar in cash, one wagon and five pounds of bacon.
Mary Richards visited the grave of Brigham Young's nephew, Edwin S. Little who had died on March 18, 1846.
Wilford Woodruff arrived at Farmington. The company bought several barrels of flour and then crossed the Des Moines River at the Farmington ferry.
Far to the west along the Missouri River, the stream levels fell enough to let the Emmett company of Saints cross Pigeon Creek. James Cummings rode ahead to obtain food from the settlement ahead and purchased three bushels of corn. He learned the Brigham Young and the main company of Saints had not yet arrived at Council Bluffs.
Thomas L. Kane met privately with President Polk and told him all that he knew of the Mormons. He mentioned that he was worry about them becoming influenced by the British. Polk encouraged Kane to travel to Council Bluffs and secure the Mormon's loyalty.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 171; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:50; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:164; William Clayton’s Journal, 40; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 204; Arrington, Charles C. Rich, 101; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 64
The weather was cloudy, cool and windy. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards went into the woods to hold a Council meeting. Afterwards, they went to inspect the progress on the new bridge built over Grand River. The men had finished it.
One of the important items of Church property contained in the heavy wagons was the historical records for the Church. On this day, Elder Willard Richards, who served as Church Historian delivered into the care of Henry Fairbanks two boxes of records, together weighing 586 pounds.32
Sister Patty Sessions was very pleased to receive some tallow from Sister Rockwood which she used to pan seventeen candles. Sister Davis also gave her some butter. She wrote in her journal, “Thank the Lord for friends.”
Hosea Stout traveled eight or nine miles on quite muddy roads toward Mount Pisgah and camped in some beautiful country.
Wilford Woodruff's company didn't travel this day. Elder Woodruff reloaded his wagons and sent them back to Farmington for some rods and other items. His father was still quite lame but doing well. Jesse Crosby crossed the Des Moines River and found a large number of brethren on the road.33 He counted as many as 40 wagons, and saw tents, herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep in abundance.
John Butler led the company of Saints another ten miles to Mosquito Creek. James Cummings met with an Indian agency seeking help to find some horses that were stolen from the Saints who had been spending the last few months near Council Bluffs. The horses had been stolen by a Frenchman named Narsis. James Cummings spent the evening preaching the gospel to several Missourians, traders, and half‑breeds. He also preached to a large number of Indians, including Chief Joseph Laflumboy. A Major Andrews bought copies of the Book of Mormon.
Louisa Pratt had crossed over the river, but returned this day to get a cow she had been promised. She went to the tithing office and was directed to go see Joseph L. Heywood, one of the Nauvoo Trustees. She wrote:
I went direct to Brother Haywood's where I was surprised in finding a pleasant company assembled to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their marriage. I was on the point of making apologies for intruding, but Brother Haywood placed me a chair at his right hand, at the same time repeating the passage of scripture: “Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” I felt honored and free to partake of their bounties. I spent the night, obtained a good cow to take back.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 171; William Clayton’s Journal, 40; Dean C. Jesse, “The Writing of Joseph Smith's History,” BYU Studies, (11:3:469); The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:164; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:50; Patty Sessions Diary, May 29, 1846; Jesse Crosby Autobiography, typescript, 30; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 204; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:238
On this pleasant morning, seeking for guidance and blessings from the Lord, a special prayer meeting was held three miles north of the camp. Members of the Twelve, along with several other leaders in the Camp of Israel, humbly gathered together in a tent. In this peaceful setting on the prairie, they unitedly turned their hearts to the Lord in solemn prayer. President Brigham Young, Elders Heber C. Kimball, and Elder George A. Smith each offered prayers. They prayed for the Church, for the thousands of Saints who were scattered across the prairies of Iowa, including their fellow Quorum members, Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde. They asked for the Lord's help and guidance to continue their important journey. Their prayers were heard. President Young recorded in his history, “We returned with renewed assurance that the Lord was with us and were comforted.”
Elder John Taylor wrote a letter to his brother-in-law, Joseph Cain, serving a mission in Liverpool, England.34 He described Mount Pisgah: “The place is situated about forty miles north (west) of the last farm, and is beautifully situated, abundance of wood and water being convenient. We calculate to start from here in a few days for Council Bluffs, and from there to the mountains, that is, the Twelve and their families and such men as they shall select.”
Lorenzo Dow Young and his company crossed the bridge over Grand River and camped a half mile at a place called Cold Spring. Brother Young recorded in his journal, “Shortly after we camped, I shot a bird in one of the slues that resembled an Ostrich. It was white as snow, and measured five feet from the end of his feet to the end of his bill.”
Hosea Stout had a frustrating day traveling toward Mount Pisgah. He led his teams along a very bad stretch of road, only to discover that they had been heading in the wrong direction. In the afternoon, he finally found the right road, but ended up traveling a total of eighteen miles, making very little progress. His patience was rewarded with joy in the evening. His wife's family including her mother, Elizabeth Taylor came into camp along with many of the Stout's old neighbors from Nauvoo. It was a wonderful reunion. That night, in this camp on the Prairie, fifteen miles east of Mount Pisgah, Sister Stout's brother's wife, Sarah Taylor gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Nancy Melvina Taylor.
John Butler and James Cummings led their company of Saints fifteen to twenty miles to Keg Creek, near present‑day Glenwood, Iowa
Sister Ursulia Hascall and her company left Nauvoo and started for the west. She described her outfit:
Three yoke of oxen with flour enough to last us one year, ham, Sausages, dry fish, lard, two cans hundred pounds of sugar . . . I will describe our waggons and tent as well as I can. . . . The waggon is long enough for both our beds made on the flour barrels chests and other things. . . . It is painted red. It has eight bows eighteen inches apart, a hen coop on the end with four hens. . . . Our tent is made of drilling sixteen breadths in the shape of an umbrella. A cord three feet long on the end of every seam and a pin on that to drive into the ground. The pole in the middle that holds it up carries it three feet from the ground, then a breadth of sheeting put on the edge to let down in cool weather and fasten with loops and pins in the ground.
Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 171‑72; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 171; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:164; William Clayton’s Journal, 40‑1; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 204; Stegner, The Gathering of Zion, 70‑1; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:750
During the early morning at 5 a.m., Sister Patty Sessions helped with the arrival of a baby boy to Parley P. and Mary Pratt. They named the little boy after the Book of Mormon prophet, Helaman.35
Soon, the sun rose bright and clear, but rain was on the way. A special conference was held in the morning at the Mount Pisgah camp. President Brigham Young urged the brethren to work together for the good of the Camp of Israel, equally sharing the important missions to preach the gospel and perfect the Saints. Three men were called to serve missions later in the day. He commented on rumors that had been sent back to Nauvoo that the Twelve would command the people and take everything from them. President Young said he would command what God told him to command.
Many Saints had recently arrived into the Camp of Israel from Nauvoo. President Young encouraged them to work together for the good of the camp and not desire to be separate.
Elder George A. Smith proposed that a fence be built around the field at Mount Pisgah. Brigham Young encouraged all the brethren to help build the fence around a farm of 500‑1000 acres. They should plow all that they can at the same time, and it would be divided up under the direction of President William Huntington.
As the meeting was about to adjourn, the rain came down in torrents, with thunder and lightning. Many of the leading brethren in the camp met together at 3 p.m. to conduct some camp business. Robert Campbell was sustained as the clerk and postmaster at Mount Pisgah. Brigham Young instructed the Mount Pisgah Presidency to divide the lots after the land was fenced. It should be divided up into five, ten and twenty acre lots. The brethren would cast lots for the land. Those brethren who would be continuing on toward Council Bluffs must carry no less than two hundred pounds of provisions per person. If they didn't have these provisions, they would not be permitted to continue on. A blacksmith was needed to go with the advance group. All the public tents that could be spared were to be given up and brought to the Presidency. Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards both needed additional yoke of oxen.
Brigham Young exhorted all who would remain behind in Mount Pisgah to be united. No one should take things from another person without asking. Items that were borrowed should be returned. The camp had been having a problem taking too much liberties with each other's property.
William Clayton heard that Howard Egan was returning from a trading expedition. Brother Clayton went out to meet him. But after traveling two miles, he was caught in the rain and turned back without finding him. He ended up very wet. It rained nearly all afternoon.
Eliza R. Snow learned that her brother, Lorenzo Snow was very sick. Since arriving at Mount Pisgah, he had been very busy chopping and helping to put up a house. He soon came down with a severe fever. He recorded: “I never had such a severe fit of sickness before.”
Brother Noah Rogers died at 11:50 p.m. He was the first among the Saints to die at Mount Pisgah.36
Hosea Stout decided to ride on horseback fifteen miles to Mount Pisgah, to see Brigham Young. He had heard that President Young would be leaving Mount Pisgah on the next day. Brother Stout wanted to understand if he supposed to stay at Mount Pisgah or press on with President Young.
Wilford Woodruff's company traveled fifteen miles and reached a branch of the Fox River. Sister Susan Cornelia was very sick with bowel problems. Elder Woodruff and other elders laid hands on her and blessed her.
Phinehas Richards’ company, which included Samuel W. Richards’ wife, Mary, left Richardson's Point at 8 a.m. Mary Richards wrote: “Traveled for several miles through a beutiful prairie. The weather pleasant until 5 in the PM when the rain began to pour down in torents. Waited til the storm began to abate. Then went about one mile & stopt for the night. The weather very uncomfortable.”
James Cummings rode south another fifteen miles and found a company of Saints who had once been part of the Emmett company. They were on Indian land, near the Missouri border, and were well stocked with provisions for the journey to the Rocky Mountains. He learned that Charles Shumway and George W. Langley had recently visited this group from the main Camp of Israel.
William Clayton’s Journal, 41; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 172‑75; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:164; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 3:50‑1; “Patty Sessions Diary”, May 31, 1846; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 279; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 205; Lealand H. Gentry, “The Mormon Way Stations: Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah, BYU Studies (21:4:458); Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 64-5
1George Taft Benson would later served as the bishop in Whitney, Idaho, for twenty years, and was the grandfather of President Ezra Taft Benson.
2The Barlows would later settle in Bountiful, Utah.
3Rhoda would later marry George Burgess and raise a large family in Pine Valley, Utah.
4Chauncey West would later serve a mission to Calcutta, India, and would settle in Ogden, Utah.
5In September 1845, Sheriff Backenstos was being pursued by about twenty men. He enlisted the help of three men to resist his perusers and one of his deputies ended up killing Frank Worrell who was the person in charge of the Carthage Greys at the prison when Joseph and Hyrum were murdered.
6The Starr family would settle in St. George, Utah.
7Allen Compton would take his family on the steamer St. Croix and start their journey west. He would later serve in the Mormon Battalion. After his return, he operated ferries on the Missouri River as the Saints crossed over during their pioneer travels. He died in Council Bluffs, in 1854.
8The Pucketts would end up fleeing the area, leaving their possessions behind.
9Ephraim Green joined the Church in 1841. He would later serve in the Mormon Battalion. He settled in Salt Lake City, where he served in the presidency of the 16th Quorum of Seventies.
10Andrew Cahoon was the twenty-one year-old son of Reynolds Cahoon. He was baptized in 1832, at the age of eight. He would later serve as a missionary to Scotland
11Aaron Johnson joined the Church in 1836. He later served in the Nauvoo High Council. He would serve as a bishop in Garden Grove and later as the first bishop in Springville, Utah.
12Ezra T. Benson was the great-grand father of future president of the Church, Ezra Taft Benson. Ezra T. Benson joined the Church in 1840. He served a mission to the Eastern States and served in the Nauvoo High Council. He was a counselor in the Quincy Stake Presidency. Later, in 1846, he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
13This place is located four miles south of present‑day Sioux City, Iowa. At the top of Sergeant's Bluff is a stone monument honoring Charles Floyd who was the only person to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition many years earlier.
14 Willow Creek is present-day Floyd River, where Sioux City is located.
15William Edwards was one of the original members of the Nauvoo Legion organized by Joseph Smith. After Joseph's death, he left Nauvoo with the Emmett company but returned to Nauvoo in 1845.
16The Stewart family would later settle in Parowan, Beaver and Grover, Utah.
17Thomas L. Kane was the son of Judge John K. Kane of Philadelphia. The Kanes were a well respected family in the area. The twenty‑four year‑old Kane had read in eastern papers the accounts of the persecution of the Mormons, and knew that they had been driven from Nauvoo. When he read of Elder Little's meeting in Philadelphia he went to attend the conference.
18Elder Pratt derived the name from the ancient mountain in the Holy Land, from which Moses is said to have viewed the Promised Land. Mt. Pisgah was on the middle fork of the Grand River, about 172 miles from Nauvoo.
19Mount Pisgah was maintained as a settlement until at least 1852. At its peak, it had more than 2,000 settlers. Today there is little left of the camp but a cemetery and a monument to the hundreds who died there between 1846 and 1852. There also is a nine‑acre park and picnic area. The cemetery is located in Jones Township, on a county road, a mile and a half north of U.S. Highway 34, at Talmadge.
20The Chidester family would settle first at Spanish Fork and later move to southern Utah.
21Solomon Hancock joined the Church in 1830. He served a mission to Jackson County, Missouri in 1831. He served as a member of the Far West High Council. He would die near Council Bluffs on December 2, 1847
22James Wesley Binley joined the Church in 1838. He had served as a body guard for Joseph Smith. He later served in the Mormon Battalion.
23Joseph Sidwell apparently was still a non-Member. He was baptized in June, 1846. He later settled his family in Tooele, Utah.
24James J. Strang was busy trying to persuade the remaining Saints to stay in the east. In his Voree Herald, Strang published a wicked rumor that Parley P. Pratt had been assassinated and Brigham Young had been wounded and was not expected to live. “Many entire families are dead.” He wrote that those who left Nauvoo were starving and their clothing was “falling to pieces.”
25George Shaver Clark was baptized in the Mississippi River, at Nauvoo, in 1843. He later served in the Mormon Battalion. He was the first bishop of Pleasant Grove, Utah. He served a mission to Australia in 1856-59.
26From that time, George continued to get better and would bless the lives of the Rich family. When Charles C. Rich was away from home on a mission, George would bring Sarah and her family loads of provisions and say, “Mam, I owe my life to you, for your faith and prayers saved me from death.” George Patten later settled in Payson, Utah.
27The Woolley family would help settle Parowan Utah and later move back to Salt Lake City. Samuel would serve as bishop in the Ninth Ward.
28Later on their journey when William Gardner was only six months old, he fell out of the wagon and was run over by the wheels. Somehow, he was not hurt. The family would later settle in Mill Creek, Utah and later go to Saint George, Utah where Robert Gardner would serve as Stake President. William would grow up to serve a mission in New Zealand and later as a Church leader in St. George, Utah.
29This group had no idea that the main body of Saints were at Mount Pisgah. They would soon travel further west along the Oregon Trail to try to reach the Camp of Israel.
30John Van Cott was baptized in 1843, in Nauvoo. He supplied outfits to Levi and Phinehas Richards. He later served as the President of the Scandinavian Mission.
31Their camp was located a few miles east of today's “Mormon Bridge” which carries U.S. Interstate 680 across the Missouri River into Nebraska.
32Henry Fairbanks joined the Church in 1843. He later enlisted in the Mormon Battalion. In 1861, he left Utah and returned to live in Quincy, Illinois. Later he moved to Kansas where he lived out his life.
33Jesse Wentworth Crosby joined the Church in 1838. He served several missions including to Canada and Britain. He arrived in Utah, in 1847 and settled in Salt Lake City. Later he moved to St. George, Utah.
34Joseph Cain joined the Church in 1840, in England. He emigrated to America in 1844. In early 1846, he was called on a mission to England. He later worked on the Deseret News in Utah.
35Helaman Pratt would later serve as the president of the Mexico mission and later as a counselor in the Juarez Stake presidency.
36Brother Rogers had was the first Church member to circumnavigate to globe. He had recently returned from a mission (see Nov 29, 1845) to the Society Islands, where he had labored with Addison Pratt and Benjamin Grouard. During the next six months, about 150 people would die at Mount Pisgah. Before the settlement was abandoned, many years later, about 300 total deaths would occur. In 1885, the cemetery was purchased by President John Taylor with funds collected by President Huntington's son, Oliver B. Huntington. A small monument marks the site of these early burial grounds.