Monday, June 1, 1846

Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

It rained very hard during the night and continued until noon.  Patty Sessions wrote:  “I got wet to my skin last night milking.  I went to bed with my clothes wet.  12 oclock the sun came out dried my bed and clothes, but my tears will not dry up.”

This day was President Brigham Young's forty‑fifth birthday.  Helen Mar Whitney made mention of this event in her journal.  But President Young was probably too busy making preparations to leave Mount Pisgah to stop and celebrate this anniversary.

Hosea Stout finally arrived at Mount Pisgah.  He gave this description:


This place was called Mount Pisgah and the main settlement was situated on a long ridge running North & South.  To the west was a large deep valley or bottom land of good prairie and was now being plowed & planted while all the adjoining glades and groves were teeming with men & cattle engaged in the busy hum of improving and planting.  The whole woods & prairie seemed alive to business & a continue stream of emegration pouring in which looked like the entire country would be inhabited as a city in a short time.


George W. Hickerson1 left with eight letters to Nauvoo.  Ezra T. Benson paid 12 ½ cents for postage which impressed the postmaster, Willard Richards.  This was the first time anyone had offered to pay for postage.  Horace Rockwell2 arrived with twenty letters from Nauvoo.  Before leaving Mount Pisgah, Brigham Young wrote letters of authority for William Huntington, Ezra T. Benson, and Charles C. Rich.  They were given authority to regulate all matters in the branches, to gather the Saints, and to take charge of the guns and other public property.  President Young also read a letter from Edmund Ellsworth3 stating that people back in Nauvoo had stoned Dr. Richards’ buggy.

Sister Eliza R. Snow noted the chilly wet weather in her journal, “The month [of June] commences with a volley of natures tears quite cold.  D. Gleason & I are in the wagon with a kettle of coals.”  She was feeling somewhat sad that she would not be able to go on with the advance group of pioneers.


I do not know why some are called to more self denial than others‑‑I pray that I may live to see the time when patience & submission will be rewarded in righteousness. . . . I prefer stopping behind for the present that every possible means may be appropriated to liberate the Twelve from the oppression of selfish ones who never have made sacrifices for the truth's sake- ‑yet I find a trial to my feelings in being separated from those whom I have ever been associated in the church.


A baby was born at Mount Pisgah.  Hyrum D Buys Jr. was born to Hyrum and Elizabeth Buys.4


At 4 p.m., Brigham Young's fifty began to move across the river.  The company traveled three to four miles and camped for the night on another branch of Grand River.  It rained somewhat during the evening.


Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

John Butler regulated the Emmett company and obtained some meal to last the camp for several days.  Camp members repaired wagons to get ready for the expected journey across the Missouri River, when the main Camp of Israel would arrive at Council Bluffs.


Bonaparte, Iowa:

Louisa Pratt’s company crossed over the Des Moines River at Bonaparte.  She wrote: “Across the Des Moines River the boat was drawn by pulleys. I was in great fear that the ropes would break. We got safely over.”  Her teamster, a young man stopped to see his mother.  He had been living with his father in Nauvoo.  His mother was very opposed to having her son drive Louisa Pratt’s wagon to the west, even though her the young man received permission from his father.  Sister Pratt pled with the mother and many tears were shed.  Finally the mother consented.  Sister Pratt concluded the day with:  “That night we camped where there were 40 wagons. It looked cheerful after traveling all day over a desolate country and intolerable roads, to salute a company of our brethren.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

There were still hundreds of Saints in Nauvoo, preparing to leave.  Sister Sally Randall5 wrote in a letter:


We expect to start in a few days for the West.  Where we shall go I know not, but we are going into the wilderness.  We go as Abraham went, not knowing whither we go, but the Lord will go before us, and be our front and rearward.  The Saints have been going steady since last February and are still going by hundreds.  They cross the river in several places and cross day and night. . . .

You think there is no need of going from here, but the mob are threatening continually to come upon us.  We heard they were coming today but I have not seen anything in the least, for I believe there is faith enough in the city to keep them back until the Saints all get away.  We have to make a great sacrifice in order to get away.  The most of the Saints are selling out although at a very low price.  I expect the temple will be sold.  The Roman Catholics talk of buying it.


A non-Mormon Nauvoo resident wrote about this time to her fiance in Minnesota, commenting on the possible sale of property to the Catholics:


Now methinks were I an inhabitant of Hancock County, I would much rather the Mormons would have possession than the Catholics.  Doubtless they have deep designing well laid plans and when once they get a foothold, there is no telling what they may do connected as they are with a foreign power.


Thomas Bullock, who had served as a clerk for the Church, was still in Nauvoo preparing to leave.  He took his two oxen to the woods and hauled out a log to be made into a wagon tongue.  This was his first attempt to drive oxen and he thought he did very well.  A great wind storm arrived in the evening.


Washington D.C.:

Elder Jesse C. Little, the leader of the Church in the East, in Washington to appeal to the government for help, was frustrated with the slowness of the process.  He decided to write a dispatch directly to President James K. Polk.  He recited the injustices which the Saints had suffered because of religion and stated:


I come to you fully believing that you will not suffer me to depart without rendering me some pecuniary assistance, and be it large or small, you shall not lose your reward. . . . Our brethren in the west are compelled to go, and we in the eastern country are determined to go and live, and, if necessary, to suffer and die with them.  Our determinations are fixed and cannot be changed.


He testified of the Saints' loyalty to America and their desire to go west “under the outstretched wings of the American eagle.”  He appealed for assistance from the President.  He believed that the Saints would answer a call to defend the country.


Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 175-77; “Patty Sessions Diary,” June 1, 1846; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 87; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 173; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:165; Sally Randall Letters in Godfrey et al.,Women's Voices: An Untold History of the Latter‑day Saints, 1830‑1900, 146; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 135; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 205; Willard Richards’ Journal, June 1, 1846; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:72‑3; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 64; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Our Pioneer Heritage, 12:366; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:699; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 159; Letter from Nancy Aiton to John Felix Aiton; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:238


                          Tuesday, June 2, 1846

Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

The morning was cold and the day was windy.  At 10 a.m., Brigham Young rejoined his company across the river, but returned to Mount Pisgah in the afternoon to attend to some business, including signing the letters of authority for the presidency of Mount Pisgah.

A young Indian brave came into camp carrying a small spotted fawn in his arms.  Heber C. Kimball bought it from the Indian, paying him one dollar in silver.  Sadly, a day or two later the fawn died.

Charles C. Rich took his signed order to Hosea Stout to let Brother Rich take possession of the public arms.  He counseled Brother Stout to remain at Mount Pisgah because of his family sickness and released him from his public duty.  Brother Stout commented in his journal, “It released me from all public care and responsibility and I felt like a free man with nothing on my mind but to contrive how to take care of my family for the best.”  Brothers Stout and Hunter went and laid a foundation of a house on a beautiful location.

President Brigham Young came to them and expressed his desire to have them go on with the guns and leave their families for now.  They both pledged their support to obey him.  He found out that they were both destitute and gave them some money to buy provisions for their families.  Brother Stout, somewhat frustrated with this flip‑flop of plans commented:


Here again we were entirely disconcerted and now all together gave up the idea of raising a crop and it seemed that it was designed by some over ruling power that we should not 'sow nore reap' neither enjoy the peace and happiness of a private life anymore.  We saw nothing but a long train of public cares and responsibility hanging over us for we knew it would not end at the Bluffs.


President Young delivered all of the papers belonging to the settlement to President Huntington and then crossed back over the river at 6:45 p.m.  Others also left Mount Pisgah.  About five hundred wagons would move out over the next few days.  Sister Eliza Snow bid several of her friends good-bye.  Sister Kimball gave her a little present.  In the evening, a thunder shower started, but only a little rain fell.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock helped his father‑in‑law, Brother Clayton, hunt for his sheep in the Big Field.  He returned home after he found them.  He wrote in his journal, “Very tired having seen a country desolate, houses empty, and inhabitants gone.  Prairies deserted of cattle and people.  Such is the blasting effect of mob misrule.”  Nauvoo also experienced a severe wind storm during the night.

A son, Nathaniel Preston Felt, was born to Nathaniel and Eliza Felt.6


Washington D.C.:

At noon, Elder Jesse C. Little met with President Polk's adviser, Amos Kendall.  Mr. Kendall informed Elder Little that the president had received his communication written the day before and that the president desired to meet with Elder Little on the next day, at noon.

The Cabinet met together and discussed plans relating to conducting the war against Mexico.  They had settled on an expedition to Mexico.  A draft order was written to Colonel Kearny of the U.S. Army, to take possession of Santa Fe and then to go to California.

That night, President Polk wrote in his diary: “Col. Kearny was also authorized to receive into service as volunteers a few hundred of the Mormons who are now on their way to California, with a view to conciliate them, attach them to our country, & prevent them from taking part against us”



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 177; Willard Richards’ Journal, William Clayton’s Journal, 41; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:140; The Diary of Hosea Stout June 2, 1846, 165; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 135; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:73; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, MORMON BATTALION; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 64; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Mormons at the Missouri, 44; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 174; Diary of James K. Polk, 1:443‑4;  Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 89‑90


                       Wednesday, June 3, 1846

West Fork of Grand River, Iowa:

Elder Willard Richards arrived at the main camp early in the morning, at 7 a.m.  He continued on and crossed over the west fork of Grand River at 9:00 a.m.

Brigham Young conducted some business, and met in council with members of the Twelve and others at 12 p.m.  They discussed a British “Joint Stock” scheme which had been created by Reuben Hedlock and Thomas Ward, who had been left in charge of the British Mission by Elder Wilford Woodruff.  Brigham Young was very worried about this scheme and remarked that if Elders Hedlock and Ward did not repent and turn about, they would destroy themselves.  The Twelve were very concerned that this “Joint Stock Company” was being associated with the Church.  Nevertheless, if investments were to be made, they felt it best that they purchase the Great Basin for the Church on long credit.

Brigham Young's company traveled seven miles and camped on the prairie.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout traveled to the camp on the West Fork and counseled with Brigham Young before he left.  Brother Stout was advised to move on with his family.  This would be much easier than going alone and returning later to retrieve them.  President Young sent orders to Charles C. Rich, to provide what would be needed for the Stout family to move on.

William Clayton decided to move on.  His teams were scattered and disorganized, but he started with what he had.  He crossed the river at 3 p.m., still missing one yoke of oxen.  He sent men out to hunt for them, but they were not found.

Orson Pratt's wife, Louisa was very sick with a fever.  Doctor Sprague had been hired to attend to her and give her medicine.  She was diagnosed with Typhus fever.  Elder Pratt asked the Doctor's advise regarding taking her on the journey.  The doctor felt that the journey would not injure her and might even do her good.

Eliza R. Snow continued to bid farewell to her friends.  She recorded:  “Sister W[hitney] came to our wagon & sang me a beautiful song of Zion, which I rejoic'd in a parting blessing‑‑it is a season not to be forgotten.”  At about noon, Sister Snow's sister‑in‑law, Harriet, brought Eliza to her brother's bedside.  Lorenzo Snow was still very ill.  Eliza had sent medication which seemed to help a little, but he was still very sick.  She wrote:  “I pray the Lord to restore him to health‑‑I feel the worth of his unremitting kindness to myself & others.”  After her visit, she walked back to her “home.”

A daughter, Elizabeth Horne, was born  to Joseph and Mary Horne.7


Fox River, Iowa:

Far to the east, on his way to Mount Pisgah, Wilford Woodruff went into the town Bloomfield.  He bought two yoke of oxen for $50.

Between Richardson's Point and Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

The company that Mary Richards was traveling with, were following a new northern route that bypassed Garden Grove, heading directly to Mount Pisgah.  On this day, she started a letter to her husband Samuel W. Richards, still in Nauvoo, waiting to leave on his mission to England.  Mary first expressed her loneliness for him


Oh! would it had been my lot to have gone with you.  Me thinks I would gladly have past through the perils of the ocean & the trials through which I might have been called to pass could I only have been blest with your society.  But alass! for me Providance has provided it otherwise and I must submit to my lonely fate.  But forgive me, for why should I thus complain seeing I am among Friends who are always ready to administer to my wants & who are interested for my welfare.


She also wrote words of encouragement:


May the Lord bless & preserve you from the evils of temptation of this wicked world & from the power of the adversary of your soul, that he may not be able to afflict you but that you may be able to go forth and accomplish the work that is for you to accomplish.  Be a usefull instrument in the hand of God in doing a great work & may the time soon come when you shall return to the bosem of your anxious friends, is the sincere prayer of companion.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock bought a wagon cover, nails, a tongue bolt, and other items.  He took his oxen into the woods and brought back wood for “ox bows.”


Washington D.C.:

Jesse C. Little met with the president of the United States, President James K. Polk.  President Polk stated that he believed the Mormons were good citizens and he was willing to help them.  The Mormons should be protected and he was happy to meet with Elder Little.  President Polk wrote in his journal, “I told Mr. Little that by our constitution the Mormons would be treated as all other American citizens were, without regard to sect to which they belonged or the religious creed which they professed, and that I had no prejudices towards them which could induce a different course of treatment.”

President Polk asked Elder Little if he thought 500 or more of the Mormons would be willing to volunteer and enter the U.S. army.  Elder Little was certain they would.  Elder Little said he would personally go with speed to the camp and see that the volunteers were raised.

President Polk promised to do something for them but said he had not yet decided the details.  He said that he wished to talk with the secretary of the navy and would get word back to Elder Little on the next day.  Polk wrote in his journal,


I told him I would see him on to‑morrow on the subject.  I did not deem it prudent to tell him of the projected expedition into California under the command of Col. Kearney .  .  . the main object of taking them into service would be to conciliate them, and prevent them from assuming a hostile attitude towards the U.S. after their arrival in California.


President Polk did issue orders that day to Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


It is known that a large body of Mormon emigrants are en route to California, for the purpose of settling in that country.  You are desired to use all proper means to have a good understanding with them, to the end that the United States may have their cooperation in taking possession of, and holding, that country.  It has been suggested here that many of these Mormons would willingly enter into the service of the United States, and aid us in our expedition against California.  You are hereby authorized to muster into service such as can be induced to volunteer; not, however, to a number exceeding one‑third of your entire force.  Should they enter the service they will be paid as other volunteers, and you can allow them to designate, so far as it can be properly done, the persons to act as officers thereof.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 177‑78; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:51; William Clayton’s Journal, 41; Watson, The Journals of Orson Pratt, 352; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:165; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 135; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 65; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:73, 76‑7; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848;  Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly 5:2:36; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:106; Diary of James K. Polk, 1:445‑56; Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 91‑2; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 72


                         Thursday, June 4, 1846

West of Grand River to Broomberry Hill Camp, Iowa:

It was a cold and windy day.  The lead camp traveled twenty miles.  They passed through present‑day Orient, which is 28 miles northwest of Mount Pisgah.8

Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

An important meeting was held in the settlement.  Elder Orson Hyde and his company arrived into camp.  Elder Hyde and Elder Orson Pratt urged the congregation to sacrifice “for the general good” and asked for teams and men for the advance company.  Elder Pratt asked, “How many are there running off instead of fitting out the Twelve? You know [the Twelve] ought not to be divided on this important expedition.”  President Huntington spoke, “I have done my duty‑‑I had enough to fit myself out comfortable, but I gave it up to help off the Twelve.  The Widows and the Orphans have to be left with the poor of this place.  Is it not better to be left without the Twelve than to go ourselves?”

Charles C. Rich added, “You have heard the remarks that have been made and you know the duty you have to do and the sacrifices you will have to make.  We want several waggons.  Brothers Brigham & Kimball want some teams and the brethren here want help, not only teams and waggons, but money also.”

The donations were meager: Two yoke of cattle, 2 wagons, a blind mule, about twenty dollars, a bushel of meal, and fifty pounds of flour.

William Clayton again sent men to hunt for missing cattle.  They still could not find them.  Brother Clayton recorded:  “Towards the evening it rained and there was one of the most beautiful rainbows I ever saw in my life.  We could see its brilliant reflection within a few rods of us.”

Log houses continued to be built.  Sister Eliza R. Snow wrote:


Moved into a house built of logs some peeled and some with the bark on, laid up cob fashion from 3 to 8 inches apart‑‑the roof formed by stretching the tent cloth over the ridge pole and fastening at the bottom on the outside, which, carpetting, blankets &c.  fastened up at the north end to prevent the wind which is almost cold as winter.  We find ourselves very comfortably and commodiously situated.


Sister Snow also understood better, the wise decision of having many stop in Mount Pisgah.  Some brethren sent for a yoke of cattle belonging to Brother Markham.  She wrote:  “I not only feel reconciled, but rejoice that we stopped that others may have the means.  Brother M[arkham] having given up all his cattle and one wagon for the benefit of the cause.”


Garden Grove, Iowa:

A daughter, Mary Isabell Hales, was born to Charles and Julia Hales.9


Between Richardson's Point and Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Mary Richards continued her letter to her husband Samuel W. Richards, back in Nauvoo.  She wrote that they traveled eight miles on very muddy roads.  “Very hard traveling, the weather cold, wore my shawl & cloak all day and have never felt warm til now.  We can see nothing but prairie for several miles.”  Samuel's brother Joseph, had spent the last two days up to his knees in the mud along the trail.  His father, Phinehas Richards was quite sick and confined to bed.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a beautiful day.  Thomas Bullock cut out a new wagon cover and helped his wife to make it.  He hauled logs from the woods with his oxen which was very hard work.


Washington D.C.:

Elder Jesse C. Little went for his appointment with President Polk, but because of other pressing business, the meeting was postponed until the following day.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 178; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 29; William Clayton’s Journal, 41‑2; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 136; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 65; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:73; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Mount Pisgah Journal, June 4, 1846; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 72-3


                            Friday, June 5, 1846

Broomberry Hill Camp to Shoal Creek, Iowa:

The weather was cold but fair.  The camp traveled fourteen miles and camped on the prairie near Shoal Creek.  They had forded what they supposed was another west branch of Grand River and found the Indian trail to Council Bluffs at about 10 a.m.  Horace Whitney recorded that they


passed through some very romantic spots and quite a diversity of scenery. . . . We saw the remains of a good many Indian Wigwams which had the appearance of being constructed some time since.  They were composed of boughs of trees curiously interwoven.  Just before reaching our place of encampment for the night we saw a large number of them which had fallen down and were dried, and as we intended going on a little farther before stopping, and there being nothing but prairie before us as far as the eye could extend, everyone gathered a bundle for firewood.10


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout was frustrated that Charles C. Rich didn't help him as much as he expected.  He had hoped that Brother Rich would help him to obtain the things necessary to move on and catch up with Brigham Young.

Near Mount Pisgah, William Clayton finally located his cattle.  He now had eleven wagons, sixteen yoke of oxen, six cows, five horses, and six teamsters.  At 2 p.m., his company moved out.  The men took two teams each and Brother Clayton drove the cows on foot.  They traveled about six miles and at about 6 p.m., camped on a hill beyond some nice timber.  Also located there was William Pitt and John Taylor's company.  Amos Fielding passed through the camp.  He was returning to Nauvoo to leave for a mission to England.  He stayed awhile and talked with Brother Clayton.


In Davis County, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff traveled eight miles.  A tongue broke on one of his wagons and he stopped and put on another one.


Near Richardson’s Point:

Louisa Pratt was camping near a creek.  Her company was organized with others into a traveling camp.  The brethren met and chose a president without consulting the women.  Sister Pratt wrote: “This evening the sisters proposed to organize themselves into a distinct body to prove to the men that we are competent to govern ourselves. If they see the example of separate interests, we must help carry it out.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock tried to obtain two more yoke of oxen that the Nauvoo Trustees had promised him, but they went back on their promise which frustrated him.  They instead told him that he could have two hundred pounds of flour and promised him some money to purchase other items.


Washington D.C.:

Elder Jesse C. Little recorded:


I visited President Polk; he informed me that we should be protected in California, and that five hundred or one thousand of our people should be taken into the service, officered by our own men; said that I should have letters from him, and from the secretary of the navy to the squadron.  I waived the president's proposal until evening, when I wrote a letter of acceptance.11


President Polk had been having second thoughts about the idea of having Mormons march into California.  Some key Democratic senators were opposed to the plan to send thousands of Mormons to California.  Senator Thomas H. Benton from Missouri contended that the Mormons were disloyal and did not believe that they would answer the call to service.  President Polk wrote in his journal, “After Mr. Little retired, I explained to Mr. Kendall that I did not think it safe to communicate to Mr. Little [that] Col. Kearney was ordered to proceed from Santa Fe . . . [and] would reach California this season.”  He did not feel it very wise to only have Mormon troops in California.


I told Mr. Kendall that the citizens now settled in California at Sutter's settlement and elsewhere had learned that a large body of Mormons were emigrating to that country and were alarmed at it, and that this alarm would be increased if the first organized troops of the U.S.  that entered the country were Mormons.  To avoid this and at the same time to conciliate the Mormons, Col. K. [was authorized] to receive Mormons into the service after he reached the country.


Still, for some reason Polk later changed his mind and authorized the raising of the Mormon Battalion to march to California.  Historian Richard E. Bennett believed that “the Polk administration had a last minute change of mind and ordered Kearney to call Mormons immediately.  More worried about securing California that season than offending it.” 

It was later reported that Senator Benton received a promise from President Polk that if the Mormons refused to serve, that Senator Benton could raise volunteers in Missouri to go against the Mormons.  Benton was said to have told the President, “Sir, they are a pestilential race, and ought to become extinct.” 



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 178; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:51; William Clayton’s Journal, 42; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:166; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 64; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:73; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 30; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 175; The March of the Mormon Battalion, 91‑2; Diary of James K. Polk 1:449‑50; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 55; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:238


                         Saturday, June 6, 1846

Shoal Creek to camp near Reno, Iowa:

In the morning, the camp discovered that there were eleven oxen missing.  They were found seven miles ahead.  In the afternoon it rained.  This group traveled a total of fifteen miles and camped in a circle of seventy‑two wagons and carriages.  Fifteen others were in sight of the main camp.12

Further ahead to the west, Lorenzo Dow Young came to an Indian settlement where Bishop George Miller and Elder Parley P. Pratt had built a large bridge over the Nishnabotna River.  Elder Pratt had been there for a few days.  The Pottawatomie Indians there, were very friendly.  Brother Young then went on a short distance and forded a stream called the Sleeping Rock.  After another half mile the company halted and camped for the night.  Bishop Miller camped nearby and the smoke from his camp affected Harriet Young's lungs.13


Near Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

William Clayton's company moved out at 8 a.m.  It rained a little in the morning.  After about seven miles, they arrived at some timber and found Patriarch John Smith resting.  William Clayton also rested his teams at this spot and then pressed on at 1 p.m.  They were soon slowed down by a heavy thunder shower which completely drenched them and it became very cold.  They stopped until the shower was over and then continued on until 6 p.m, where they camped on the open prairie.

At Mount Pisgah, Elijah Brailey was born to Jesse and Sally Brailey.14


Garden Grove, Iowa:

Luman Shurtliff arrived at Garden Grove after his long one month journey from Nauvoo.  (See May 6, 1846.)   His family stopped near the edge of some timber and later agreed to put in a crop.  If any of his company would go west before the crop matured, the crop would belong to those who were left behind.  They soon got to work plowing and planting seeds.  They also made a fence around their field.


Between Richardson’s Point and Garden Grove, Iowa:

Louisa Pratt wrote an amusing entry in her journal about some problems with the cattle in her company:


The loose cattle were very unruly and hindered us. We have in our company a young man whom the girls have named "Green Horn.”  He blundered into a mudhole and broke his axle. So here the whole crowd must be hindered to wait for repairs. My two cows are very docile and willing to be driven, but we have one in the herd our captain says is not a Mormon; she has nothing of a gathering spirit, seems determined to go back, and he says, "If she was mine I would never take her to Zion."


The ladies in her company met to organize a form of a pioneer woman’s organization.  Sister Phoebe Chase, wife of Isaac Chase, was appointed president with Louisa Pratt as one of her counselors.  They adopted several resolutions:


first, resolved that when the brethren call on us to attend prayers, get engaged in conversation and forget what they called us for, that the sisters retire to some convenient place, pray by themselves and go about their business. Second, if the men wish to hold control over women, let them be on the alert. We believe in equal rights.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock spent a very busy day, helping Albern Allen15 load his wagon, hunting for his cattle, fixing hinges to boxes, making wooden rivets, feeding his cattle, and milking his cows.


Carthage, Illinois:

A public meeting was held to make arrangements for the July 4th celebration, but the meeting soon degenerated into an anti‑Mormon meeting.  It had been commented that because all of the Mormons had not yet left the state, Hancock County could not be considered free, and therefore they should not celebrate the 4th of July.  They decided that another meeting should be held on June 12.  A committee was appointed to call upon the new (non‑Mormon) citizens of Nauvoo, who had recently arrived.  William E. Clifford met with several of the new citizens, who informed him that they had nothing to do with the anti‑Mormon movement, but they would discuss the subject at a public meeting on June 11.


Grand Island, Nebraska:

The “Mississippi Company” of Saints (see April 8, 1846), traveling on the Oregon Trail, arrived at Grand Island about this time.  This had been their destination, but they did not find the Camp of Israel.  They would wait about two weeks and then continue their journey west toward Fort Laramie.


Pacific Ocean:

The ship Brooklyn, loaded with Saints from New York continued to travel toward the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).  As they reached tropical waters, the winds died and the sails drooped for days.  One passenger described the scene “as silent as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.”  This was a great trial to the Saints who had suffered so much in cramped quarters.  Sister Caroline A. Joyce wrote:  “We were so closely crowded that the heat of the Tropics was terrible, but 'mid all our trials the object of our journey was never forgotten.  The living faith was there and was often manifested.”  In a few days the breeze soon started to blow and a joyous shout went up.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 179; William Clayton’s Journal, 42‑3; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 30; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 64; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 343; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, 66; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Journal History, June 6, 1846; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 38; Ashbel Green Haskell, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:531; Caroline A. Joyce, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:505; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 37; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:.226; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:239


                           Sunday, June 7, 1846

Reno to Pleasant Valley, Iowa:

It was a beautiful day.  At about 11 a.m., a Sabbath meeting was called by Elder Heber C. Kimball inside a circle of seventy‑two wagons.  A temporary stand was built.  He spoke to an assembly that included eight Indians, who were camping four or file miles from the camp.  They came into camp, mounted on their ponies and horses, decorated with their native apparel.  Elder Kimball spoke of the ancient Saints, of their tribulations and journeys.  He spoke of the latter‑day Camp of Israel and encouraged all to be united and seek after each other's interests.

Brigham Young next spoke at 11:45 a.m., and counseled the brethren to continue on, only if they had ample provisions.  When they reached the Missouri River, the counsel would be even more strict.  He commended many of the brethren for their faithfulness, but he chastised many for saying, “I am poor, I have done all I could for the church; now, for Heaven's sake, don't leave me.  I want to go with the Church.”  This attitude and these actions continued to jeopardize the success of the entire camp.  President Young said, “I can safely prophesy that we will not cross the mountains this season, and that is what many of the brethren wish, they would rather go to hell than be left behind.”  He also instructed the sisters to keep the tents clean and to raise their children to the Lord.  They should keep them from harm and sickness.  They should support their husbands in their callings.  The brethren should be kind and affectionate to their wives.

Plans were announced to select men to go to the settlements for more supplies.  No one would be allowed to go buy grain until instructed to leave.  The wagon companies would travel in groups of ten.  The camp moved out at 3 p.m. and traveled seven miles to Pleasant Valley.  The weather was very pleasant.16

Ahead at Parley P. Pratt's company, Lorenzo Dow Young's wife, Harriet, was still very sick.  Brother Young called on Elder Pratt to lay hands on her and bless her.  He administered to her.  Before night fell, she felt better and had a good night's rest.


Near Broomberry Hill, Iowa:

William Clayton's company started at 8 a.m. and traveled nine miles until they arrived at a little grove of timber, just beyond some swampy prairies.  They decided to continue on to a camp on a nearby ridge.  Brother Clayton wrote in his journal, “I drove the cows all day on foot.  My feet were sore and blistered.”  Patriarch John Smith came up and camped near this group.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

A Sabbath meeting was held at the Mount Pisgah settlement.  Elder Orson Hyde spoke to the people.  It was mostly a business meeting, as most of the time was taken up discussing procuring teams and provisions for the Twelve.  Orson Pratt spoke on living the Celestial Law and being governed by the priesthood as the ancients were.  Following the meeting, Orson Pratt left Mount Pisgah, after a ten‑day stay.  Eliza R. Snow went to visit her brother, Lorenzo Snow, who was much worse.  His family and friends were very worried that they were going to lose him.


About fifty miles east of Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Phinehas Richards’ company, which included his daughter-in-law Mary Richards, traveled about four miles and then stopped to do some washing.  In the afternoon, they spread out their crackers to dry, because some of them were spoiling.  Mary Richards deeply missed her husband, Samuel W. Richards.  She wrote:


Felt very unhappy through the day.  Went into the woods twice.  Sat down under an oak tree.  Offered up a prayer to the Lord.  Wept about an hour & returned.”  She later wrote to her husband about this day.  “I think last Sunday was the gloomiest day to me that I have seen since you left me.  .  .  .  I went into the woods twice, offered up a prayer to the Lord & gave vent to my tears.  I can't help but feel bad some times, but I always feel better when I get over it


Near Davis County, Iowa:

Further to the east, Wilford Woodruff's company continued their journey at about 10 a.m.  Near dusk, they came to a very large, swampy area.  It was one and a half miles across it.  He wrote that it was


the worst peace of road on the whole journey.  My Carriage & family went through it.  I got my waggons half through by dark.  I attempted to go through & the wheels of my waggon cut to the hub in turf & mud & with 8 yoke of cattle I could not get through.  Two of my waggons remained fast in the swamp all night.  Cousin Betsey was in one waggon & remained all night.  I was in the mud & water to my knees till 2 oclock at night.  I was among the cattle near all night.  At day light I rolled up in a buffalo robe & got some sleep.


Between Richardson’s Point and Garden Grove, Iowa:

Louisa Pratt described some activities that her camp engaged in for amusement:


When we camped near a level spot of earth where water had been standing and dried away. The young men would propose a dance, the older ones, feeling the absolute need of diversion, would accede as it would cost nothing and would cheer and enliven us on our wearisome journey. In the midst of our amusements we did not forget our prayers. We have large campfires around which we all gather, sing songs, both spiritual and comic, then all unite in prayer.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The Saints who remained at Nauvoo met in the temple.  Elder Erastus Snow preached.  Another, smaller meeting was held at 3 p.m. ,where the sacrament was administered and passed.  Zebedee Coltrin, Erastus Snow, and Thomas Bullock were present.


Washington, D.C.:

Colonel Thomas L. Kane and Elder Jesse C. Little called upon Amos Kendall, and the secretary of state,  James Buchanan.  Col. Kane came to Washington still quite sick.  Elder Little had sent a letter, asking him to come.  He promised Colonel Kane that if he got up from his couch, his pains would leave him.  Colonel Kane decided to go despite objections from his doctors and family.  He would be sick for months.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 179‑80, 219; Willard Richards Diary, June 7, 1846; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:166; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 94‑5; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 352; William Clayton’s Journal, 43; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:51; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 136; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 65; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:74;  Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 31; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 65; ; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:239


                          Monday, June 8, 1846

Pleasant Valley to Manottawa Creek, Iowa:

The camp started their day's journey at 8:00 a.m. and passed through a Pottawatomie Indian village.17  They crossed the Nishnabotna River on a bridge that was built a few days earlier by George Miller, Parley P. Pratt, and others.

They saw many Indians on the way who were friendly.  One brave near the village, did try to start some trouble.  He informed the camp that they must pay to pass through the village, for all the grass that the cattle would destroy.  But he was satisfied when the brethren told him that instead of hostilities, they would do them good by making bridges.  The brave then consented to let them pass.  The camp then forded another branch of the Nishnabotna River.

After an additional fourteen miles, they crossed the Manottawa Creek and camped at a shady spot where they found Brigham Young's brother, Lorenzo Dow Young.  President Young, his wife Lucy, and Sister Whitney, had supper with Brother Young.

After they established camp for the night, President Young gave some instructions to the captains of tens.  He asked them to move out in a certain order, to help their companies over the creeks, and to see that the guns and pistols in their companies were all cleaned and conveniently placed.


Near Broomberry Hill to Shoal Creek, Iowa:

William Clayton's company traveled about ten miles on hilly and uneven roads and camped near some timber on Shoal Creek.  He went fishing and caught many fish.


About forty miles east of Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Amos Fielding, on his way back to Nauvoo to prepare for his mission to England, stayed most of the morning with the Phinehas Richards camp, sharing with them news about the Camp of Israel.


Near Garden Grove, Iowa:

In the evening, Stephen Markham camped with Isaac Chase’s company.  Brother Markham was returning to Nauvoo.  He informed the camp that the Twelve had gone on to Council Bluffs.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock still struggled and was frustrated by what he viewed as unfair treatment from Almon W. Babbitt, one of the Nauvoo Trustees.  Since Brother Bullock had been employed by the Church as a clerk, he needed to look to the Trustees for assistance in his preparations to move west.  He felt that Brother Babbitt disliked him because he was an Englishman, and held a grudge against him because Willard Richards had counseled Thomas Bullock to not get involved with a local Nauvoo newspaper, The Nauvoo Eagle.18

During the day, a delegation of the mob came into the city, which caused great worry and excitement.  Many of the brethren packed up and crossed the river.  A meeting was called in the Temple to defend it against the mob.  Brother Bullock put the cover on his wagon and in the evening met in the temple for a prayer meeting.


Washington, D.C.:

Elder Jesse C. Little visited President Polk for the final time.  He gave the following account:


I called on the president, he was busy but sent me word to call on the secretary of war.  I went to the war department, but as the secretary was busy, I did not see him.  The president wished me to call at two p.m., which I did, and had an interview with him; he expressed his good feelings to our people‑‑regarded us as good citizens, said he had received our suffrages, and we should be remembered; he had instructed the secretary of war to make out our papers, and that I could get away tomorrow.


Thomas L. Kane met with President Polk and Secretary of War, W.L.  Marcy, probably to review the Mormon Battalion matter.  Kane offered to carry dispatches to Colonel Kearny at Fort Leavenworth.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 181, 220; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 31; William Clayton’s Journal, 43; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 66; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:74; Bennett,  Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852; Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences, 182‑183; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:239

                          Tuesday, June 9, 1846

Manottawa Creek to Mid Branch Nishnabotna, Iowa:

The morning was clear and the day was hot.  The camp was delayed because some of Brigham Young's teams had strayed.  President Young and John D. Lee went ahead and scouted out the best road to take.

The camp moved out and traveled thirteen miles.  They rested at noon, at a creek, where they finished a bridge.  At 3 p.m., President Young and others rode ahead three more miles to the middle branch of the Nishnabotna River where Bishop George Miller's company was camping.  The rest of Brigham Young's company arrived at 5 p.m.  Heber C. Kimball camped three miles behind to prevent the stock from mixing with President Young's stock.

In the evening, Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards, George Miller, John D. Lee, and others rode to the river to find a place to build a bridge.  They crossed the river in a skiff to check out the opposite side.

Part of the brass band met at John D. Lee's tent and held a concert until 11 p.m.  A large number of spectators were present.


Near the Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

William Clayton went fishing at dawn and again had good luck.  At 9 p.m., his company pressed on.  In the afternoon they met three Indians who begged for some bread.  The company traveled about twelve miles and arrived at a point about three miles from the Indian village.  Two Indians visited them in the camp.  Brother Clayton received a message from Brigham Young, counseling them to travel together in companies from that point, to avoid being plundered by the Indians.  The cattle were tied up that night and a guard set over them.


Near Garden Grove, Iowa:

Louisa Pratt’s company struggled through a three-mile mudhole and arrived at a what she described as a “Mormon city of tents and wagons, white with black spots, emblematical of the lives we live in this world of change.”  She took a long ride on horseback with Sister Eldredge, taking in a nice view of the country.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock again had a busy day.  He packed up a medicine chest, gathered some sage and dried it, bought a yoke of oxen, and helped George Wardle fix ox bows and a wagon box.  There was a spectacular rainbow in the evening.

The new citizens of Nauvoo met at the Seventies Hall, probably to discuss the pressure being put on them to join the anti‑Mormon movement.


Washington, D.C.:

Elder Jesse C. Little left Washington and went to Philadelphia.  He arrived the following day.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 181‑82, 220; Willard Richards Journal, June 9, 1846; William Clayton’s Journal, 43‑4; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 66; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:239


                      Wednesday, June 10, 1846

Middle Branch of Nishnabotna River Iowa:

The camp stayed at this spot while George Miller and his company built a “flood‑wood” bridge over the Nishnabotna River.  About one hundred other spare men in the camp were busy making a road through the woods.

Wild Strawberries were now plentiful across Iowa.  Brigham Young's brother, Lorenzo wrote:


Bro. Brigham and wife came over in their carriage and Bro. Kimball, Bro. Whitney and myself with our wives went a strawberring, and had a rich repast, being liberated from the bustle and cares of the camp.  We returned sun about an hour high.  Found a table spread with the luxuries of life such as biscuit and butter . . . plenty of strawberries sweetened, together with a little pickled pork.”  They had found about three or four quarts of strawberries.19


The bridge was completed at about 6 p.m.  Horace Whitney wrote:  “Tonight we boys returned, having finished the bridge.  We had quite a pleasant time this evening, which we spent in dancing on the grass until bed‑time‑‑the bright orb of night singing in all its glory over our heads.” 


Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

William Clayton again went fishing at daybreak and caught thirty‑six fish!  The morning was hot as the company broke camp at 9 a.m.  The roads were good but there were many hills and ravines all day.  At 6 p.m., they camped within sight of the Pottawatomie Indian village.  He wrote in his journal:


When about two miles from it, they discovered us coming and we soon saw a number of them riding towards us.  Some had bells on their horses which frightened our horses and cattle. . . . We had to pass some timber and a river before we arrived at their village which is situated on a very beautiful ridge skirted by timber and beautiful rolling prairie.  Before we arrived at the timber, it seemed that the whole village had turned out, men, women, and children, some on horses and many on foot.  Their musicians came and played while we passed them.  They seemed to escort our wagons and asked if we were Mormons.  When we told them we were, they seemed highly pleased.  It took us some time to cross the bridge over the river and then we were perfectly surrounded by Indians apparently from curiosity and friendship.


Soon after they crossed the bridge, they were met by James Cummings who was coming back from Council Bluffs to report to Brigham Young regarding the retrieval of the Emmett company from Camp Vermillion.  The Emmett company was still near Council Bluffs and John L. Butler was looking after them.  James Cummings had been down to Missouri, helping a group of Saints, coming from St. Louis, make their way to the main camp.  Some U.S. agents were refusing to let them pass into Iowa territory.  At that point, he started heading west to Brigham Young's company, who were about thirty miles west of the point he met William Clayton.

Brother Clayton wanted to take his company about two miles past the Indian Village, but soon came to a stream that was difficult to ford.  They decided to camp on a ridge within sight of the village.  Many Indians watched their progress, but when night came, they went back to their village.


Near Garden Grove, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff's company set out in the morning.  They went through some very bad, swampy, muddy land.  He wrote:  “My men broke another tong out of one of my waggons.  We went to timber, cut a stick & put in A new one & spend the day.”  Lucian Woodworth camped near them.  Elder Woodruff spoke with him for several hours in the evening.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The tensions in Nauvoo were increasing.  Thomas Bullock packed up his goods in case he needed to leave the city quickly.  He heard that the mob was whipping and driving out Mormons four miles from the city.  It was reported that all the houses now owned by the new non‑Mormon citizens must have a sign on them.  Brother Bullock mentioned to a man, “I suppose like the custom of the Jews, to sprinkle the lintels and door posts with blood in order that the Destroying Angel might pass over all in that house.”  He went to the temple to find out if they were supposed to run or stay and fight.  He learned that rumors were false and had been circulated to stir up fear.

Brother John Bernhisel discovered that Emma Smith held the title to the lot on which the unfinished Nauvoo House stood.  He had a conversation with Emma, that morning, about it.  He quickly wrote a letter to Brigham Young, in which he stated, “she would not give me a decisive answer, what she would do, or what she would take for her interest in it, in case it was concluded to sell it, she stated however that she had been offered a thousand dollars for it.”  She told Brother Bernhisel that she planned to sell or lease her own property as soon as possible and move her children to Quincy.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 182; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 205; William Clayton’s Journal, 44‑5; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 176; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 66‑7; Isaac Galland, Iowa Emigrant, 20; Newell,  Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 233;


                        Thursday, June 11, 1846

Mid Branch to the West Branch of Nishnabotna, Iowa:

The weather was very hot.  The Saints traveled ten miles and camped to build a bridge over the west fork of the Nishnabotna River.  George Miller and his company had gone ahead to get an early start on the bridge.  Heber C. Kimball called the camp together and selected twenty‑five men to also work on the bridge.  Brigham Young was one of those who assisted.  Lorenzo Dow Young camped about three miles back.  He lost his hens while crossing a river.  One of them swam the river.

James Cummings arrived into the camp and gave a report of his trip with John L. Butler to retrieve the Emmett Company.  He reported that Emmett had left the camp before they arrived, taking seven horses, jewelry and a young squaw.  He had apparently deserted the company.  The Emmett company was about thirty miles below the bluffs with Brother Butler.


Near Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

Many Indians came into William Clayton's camp again, showing friendly feelings and desires to trade.  The company moved out at about 9:00 a.m.  The roads were uneven for about five miles, but the rest of the day’s journey was good.  They camped on a small creek after traveling fourteen miles.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout's preparations to take the public arms ahead met another roadblock.  Brother Robert Johnson came to claim his wagon which contained many of the guns.20  Charles C. Rich gave him permission to take it.  Brother Stout was left with just one wagon to haul all of the guns.

Lorenzo Snow was feeling somewhat better.  His sister, Eliza R. Snow, had been trying to nurse him back to health.  She observed that every day, many Saints arrived from Nauvoo, and every day many Saints left Mount Pisgah.  Amasa M. Lyman crossed over the river on this day.


Between Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Louisa Pratt wrote: “For the first time my wagon had to be dug out of the mud. One wheel ran off a bridge. It made racking work and broke my table, which was tied on behind.”   That evening, her camp had some wild entertainment: “The young man we call captain, Ephraim Hanks, dressed in woman's attire, danced to amuse us. Several in the crowd did not know who it was, thought it was some strange lady who had come in from another company.” 


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Fear was spreading all over Nauvoo.  Thomas Bullock went to the temple office, to obtain some goods to help him leave Nauvoo, but he was told that they wanted the Saints to remain and fight.  Panic was taking hold, as hundreds were fleeing this city.  In addition to the regular ferries, four more boats were used to carry the Saints across the river.  Some of the Saints were on banks of the river with their belongings and had very little to eat.  It was reported that a Sister Sandford had been driven into the city by the mob in the outlying areas.  The mob was threatening to come into the city on the next day.  The merchants had packed up their goods and were leaving as fast as they could.  The new non‑Mormon citizens in Nauvoo met and selected Mr. Furness and Morrell to attend the requested meeting with the mob on the following day.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 182; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 176; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea.  1:166; William Clayton’s Journal, 45‑6; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 136; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 67; Journal History (the Golden's Point expedition); “Joseph Hovey Autobiography,” 36; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia,  4:536; “Louisa Pratt autobiography” in Heart Throbs 8:239


                           Friday, June 12, 1846

West Branch of Nishnabotna River to Keg Creek, Iowa:

At 9 a.m., Brother William Porter left the camp with a letter of instruction from the Twelve to the Emmett company, who were south of Council Bluffs.  They were told to prepare themselves to move west, but to stay where they were until they received further instructions.  They were cautioned to tell no outsiders about the exodus to the mountains.

The main camp crossed the river on the newly built bridge, traveled nine miles, and camped on the east bank of Keg Creek,21 where another bridge was needed.  The banks of the creek were very muddy.  About forty or fifty cattle had to be pulled out of the mire, which prevented them from building a bridge across Keg Creek on this day.  Lorenzo Dow Young and his wife had the treat of being taken on a splendid ride in Heber C. Kimball's carriage.  He wrote:  “We enjoyed it first rate.” 


Manottawa Creek, Iowa:

To the east, William Clayton's company traveled for another three miles, in the very hot weather.  They camped on a beautiful ridge where they could tell the main company had earlier camped.  They were next to a large rapid stream which was probably Manottawa Creek.  Brother Clayton decided to stay at this location unto Monday, to rest the teams and give the animals’ shoulders a chance to heal.


Near Platte River, Iowa:

Further back, near the Platte River, Orson Pratt's wife, Louisa, was dangerously sick.  Elder Pratt halted the company and pitched their tent on a narrow neck of land, on the west bank of the Platte, which was shaded by a large, black walnut tree.  At that point they thought Louisa would only live a few more hours.  By sundown, she was speechless.  At 10:30 p.m., sadly, she passed away.  At her request, she was laid out in her temple robes.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

During the day a group of non‑Mormons came into the camp. This created great excitement because the camp’s guns had been taken out of the wagon and were lying on the ground near Hosea Stout's tent.  They were quickly covered up and a guard placed over them.  This group of non‑Mormons had come to the settlement to investigate a rumor that the Saints were preparing for war.  They left satisfied that the rumor was false.

Phinehas Richards’ company arrived at Mount Pisgah.  They went to visit Charles C. Rich.  The brethren in the company were asked to press on across the river, without their families, to assist Brigham Young’s advance company.  They left a wagon behind for the women, including Mary Richards, who wrote:  “Was very sorry to part with them.  Felt very lonesome all day.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The Nauvoo new citizen delegates, Furness and Morrell, went toward Carthage for a meeting that was appointed at 9 a.m.  To their surprise, they discovered an armed force which was getting ready to march on Nauvoo.  The group was initially supposed to assemble to raise a militia in the county of volunteers for the Mexican war.  But it was pointed out by someone that they could also use it for another purpose: for a demonstration against the remaining Mormons in Nauvoo, to quicken their departure.  Many of the several hundred men who assembled did not know about the anti‑Mormon purpose.  The leaders didn't have a clear plan, but it was decided that they would camp at Golden Point for a few days.  Many men wanted to march into Nauvoo to have the city cleared of Mormons in two or three days.  They claimed that it could be accomplished without violence.

The Nauvoo new citizens were told to send a committee of nine and the anti‑Mormons would also send nine people, to meet in conference the following day.  The new citizens met in the evening to organize for a defense of the city and to appoint the committee for the conference.  The Saints also met and chose their counselors that they might consult with the Citizens Committee which had full control of the city businesses.  Stephen Markham arrived in Nauvoo from the Camp of Israel.  He met with the remaining Church leaders at this meeting.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Elder Jesse C. Little left Philadelphia on a train with Thomas L. Kane, for the west.  Colonel Kane's father, Judge Kane, traveled with them as far as Harrisburg and offered his influence to help the Mormons.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 183, 581‑82, 220‑21; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; William Clayton’s Journal, 46; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 353; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 176; Journal History (the Golden's Point expedition); “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 67; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 205; “Joseph Hovey Autobiography,” 36; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66


                        Saturday, June 13, 1846

Keg Creek to Mosquito Creek, Iowa:

The men worked on the bridge over Keg Creek during the morning.  The main camp then traveled ten miles and camped on a hill near Mosquito Creek to build another bridge.  From this hill, the Missouri river, a long awaited destination, was visible in the distance.22  George Miller and Parley P. Pratt camped with their companies down near the creek.

Horace Whitney enjoyed this camping spot and wrote,


We found another beautiful spring of water in this place; in fact the ground here appears to be full of springs.  The scenery around us is entirely different from that through which we had hitherto been traveling, abounding in hills and dales and murmuring rivulets, and considerably resembles that of the New England States.


Lorenzo Dow Young added, “The scenery is truly romantic.”  Many in the camp spent time gathering many bushels of wild strawberries.

Manottawa Creek, Iowa:

To the east, still hoping to catch up, William Clayton's company spent the day fixing wagons.  The weather was hot and Brother Clayton wrote:  “The mosquitoes here began to be very troublesome, there being so many of them and so bloodthirsty.” 


Platte River, Iowa:

Orson Pratt, suffering the great loss of his wife, Louisa Chandler Pratt, searched during the morning for a place to bury her body.  He found a peaceful spot on the east bank of the Platte, about fifty feet south of the road and bridge.  There were two Indian graves seen nearby.  Her coffin consisted of four slabs of basswood with thick bark at the head and foot.  The funeral was held at noon with a large company of Saints from Michigan attending.  Brother Richard D. Sprague23 gave the eulogy and prayer, after which a funeral procession was held to the grave.  As soon as the people were dismissed, Elder Pratt, with his knife, cut letters in a tree which stood at the foot of the grave.  He carved, “L.C.P.  Died Jun.  12, 1846.” 

In the late afternoon Elder Pratt, knowing that he needed to continue the journey, moved his camp on about five miles and camped.  They fed several friendly Pottawatomie Indians who came to visit.  An axle‑tree was broken on one of the wagons, just as they arrived at the camping spot.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout had the opportunity of moving on with  John Van Cott (arrived with Phinehas Richards the day before) who had an empty wagon.  But Brother Stout's cows strayed and this prevented him from going.  Instead, in the evening he laid a foundation for a house that he planned to leave his family in, while he went ahead with the guns.  Sister Eliza R. Snow went to visit her sick brother, Lorenzo Snow, and found him getting worse.  Mary Richards helped her mother-in-law do the washing and in the afternoon had a pleasant walk.


Garden Grove, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff arrived at Garden Grove but didn't stop long.  Some of his company remained there, but Elder Woodruff pressed on for Mount Pisgah.  They camped that night, in a grove, about six miles to the east.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

At 11 a.m., the committee of non‑Mormon citizens of Nauvoo attended a conference with the anti‑Mormon delegates and requested to know the purpose of the gathering.24  The representative of the mob informed the committee that they wished to march their forces into Nauvoo to see if the Mormons were leaving.  The new citizen’s committee objected to this.  The anti‑Mormons proposed that they would send into the city fifty men at a time.  The committee also rejected this idea and informed them that no armed force without legal authority would be permitted to enter into the city.  It was finally proposed that thirty men could visit the city without arms and that three of these men could remain in the city until the Mormons were gone.  The Mormons would be permitted to remain another week.  This proposition would be submitted for a vote by each side.

Sheriff Jacob Backenstos had been away from the county, but he returned to Nauvoo and called a meeting at 4 p.m.  He swore in three hundred deputies to maintain law and order.  The brethren started training for self‑defense.  A report was received that the mob at Golden Point numbered four hundred men. They were said to have a cannon which was to be used to storm the temple.

In the evening, word came to the mob at Golden Point that the sheriff had summoned up a large posse.25  They were told that the posse was as large as nine hundred men.  At this point about one hundred of those gathered at Golden Creek fled from home.  John McAuley, one of the leaders of the mob was very frustrated with this desertion.

Back in the city, Thomas Bullock continued to have great difficulty with his cattle.  On the prior day, his two oxen strayed because he did not have a yoke to yoke them together.  He got up at sunrise to look for them, but returned home disappointed.  Then his other cattle ran away after a cow.  Brother Bullock raced after them through the fields and woods until he was exhausted.  He finally found them and brought them home.  However, he had over‑exerted himself and was ill for the rest of the day.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 183, 582; Journal History (the Golden's Point expedition); “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 67‑9; History of Hancock County, Gregg, P. 473; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 177; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:167; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 353‑54; William Clayton’s Journal, 46; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:52; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:141; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 32; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66

                          Sunday, June 14, 1846

Mosquito Creek to Council Point Camp, Iowa:

At 8 a.m., Brigham Young and a few others rode ahead seven miles to choose the next campsite.  By 11 a.m., the bridge was completed and the camp moved on across Mosquito Creek.  With joy, at 5 p.m., the lead company of the Camp of Israel finally reached the banks of the Missouri River.  Originally it had been planned to reach this point two months earlier, but the bad weather and other problems greatly slowed down the lead company.  It had taken them almost four months to cross Iowa.26

Heber C. Kimball's journalist described the view from the encampment:


[The river] is here only about 1/4 of a mile wide and the bank on the side is about 15 feet high and rest up and down so that somebody had to dig out steps so as to get down to get water.  The hills which incloses this great meadow are consisting of yellow clay.  On the other side the river is thick with willows and cotton trees but the higher up seemeth to be good timber.


George Miller met earlier in the day with trader Peter Sarpy, who operated the American Fur Company trading post about six miles south at Trader’s Point, on the east side of the river, across from Bellevue.  He also met with Pottawatomie Indian leaders and government Indian agency officials located near Sarpy's post, to discuss Indian trading regulations.

At 8 p.m., the horn was sounded and a general meeting was held.  Bishop George Miller instructed the brethren regarding rules for the camp.  He stated that he had learned, according to U.S. laws, that the Church had no right to trade with the Indians, but had to use official traders.  Guards would be posted at night around the camp and brethren would be assigned to watch the stock for the whole camp.  All the brethren were asked to sustain the rules of order for the camp.

Newel Whitney, George Miller, and Albert P. Rockwood were appointed as a committee to confer with the Indian traders at Trader's Point.  They were also to find building materials to build a ferry.  In return, they would promise free use of the boat for the traders’ needs, if it wasn't in use by the Saints.  One fourth of the brethren were assigned to build the ferry boat.

The camp council wrote to President William Huntington at Mount Pisgah to inform him about the trading regulations with the Indians.

A son, Cyrus Rawson, was born to Horace and Elizabeth Rawson.27

Manottawa Creek, Iowa:

The weather was  hot and the mosquitoes were very pesky at this spot.  In the morning, Brother Clayton weighed out food rations for his teamsters, but they were very dissatisfied even though Brother Clayton gave the six of them the same amount that he gave his own family of ten.  Because of the mosquito problem, Brother Clayton decided to move the camp.  They traveled six miles and camped near a clear stream.


Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

After Orson Pratt finished making a new axel‑tree for a wagon, his company moved on and passed through the Indian village.  He wrote:  “Scores of their men, women and children collected around us as we were crossing the two forks of the Nishnabotna River.”  They continued on for two more miles and camped on the prairie.  Orson Hyde came up and camped about a half mile behind them.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

A Sabbath meeting was held at the Mount Pisgah Settlement.  The speakers included:  William Huntington, Isaac Morley, and Charles C. Rich.  There was much said about stealing in the settlement and a sustaining vote was taken to deal with this evil practice.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

In the morning, men gathered at the temple with their fire arms because of an expected attack on the temple.  Sheriff Jacob Backenstos was commander‑in‑chief of these deputies.  Benjamin Clifford, a non‑Mormon citizen, was appointed in charge of the cavalry.  Brother Stephen Markham and William Pickett were appointed in charge of the infantry.28  After the large group paraded for some time, it marched in double file to the Mansion House where they all discharged their guns in the air.

In the mean time, across the river in Iowa, this loud shot was heard by several of the brethren.  They thought that the mob had attacked the City.  Brother John Bair was determined to cross the river to help the brethren, but no one would ferry him across.29  He bought a skiff and rowed over, fully armed.  Charles W. Patten also came over.

From the Mansion House, the large group marched back to the green.  They formed a hollow square and listened to their leaders.  Stephen Markham expressed his thanks for this military appointment and for the faithfulness of the men who had come to put down the mob rule.  Benjamin Clifford next spoke and thanked the men for their promptness in getting organized.  William Pickett said that they had come up to be perfected and he hoped the mob would not disperse, so that they could “prove them.”  Three cheers were offered for the leaders, the ladies, and for law and order.

Stephen Markham led the troops into the temple and preached to them some more.  While on the watch tower, Thomas Bullock counted the group: 488 foot soldiers, 68 horsemen, 17 wagons with about 102 people in them and about 50 in the temple, making a total force of about 700 men.

During the morning, the Nauvoo citizens’ committee had traveled to Golden Point to escort thirty men to come to Nauvoo.  But they found the camp deserted, except for two or three men, who they found hiding behind a thicket.  At 2 p.m., the Nauvoo citizens’ committee returned and reported what they had discovered.  Joseph Hovey wrote:  “Some of our brethren who lived out on the prairie said the members of the mob were running in all directions all night and morning.  Some of the mob came to their houses for water and seemed to be very much frightened.”  It was said, “The swiftest race ever run in Hancock Co. was between Golden Point and Carthage by the mob.” 


Pacific Ocean:

On the ship Brooklyn, traveling toward Hawaii, a baby was born.  Georgianna Pacific Robbins was born to John and Phebe Robbins.  The captain wished that they name the baby Helen Brooklyn Pacific, Helen being the name of the captain's wife.  He didn't get his wish.  During the voyage, the Robbins' had lost two of their sons to death.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 185‑86, 582; William Clayton’s Journal, 46; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 354; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:167; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 69; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 210; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 33; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia 4:117‑18; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Joseph Hovey Autobiography,” 36; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 47; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66; Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:194; Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 730


                         Monday, June 15, 1846

Council Point Camp, Iowa:

In the morning, many of the brethren went out to gather all the cattle together.  There had been a report that the Indians had killed part of the herd, but only one turned up missing.

Brigham Young and others went to meet with the Indian agent, Major Robert B. Mitchell at Pointe‑aux‑Poules (Traders Point).  This village was inhabited by some French people and “half‑breeds.”  They priced their goods 50 percent lower than the price offered to the natives.  Several articles were purchased.

At 8 p.m., the camp met together in a general meeting.  Brigham Young repeated the rules given the night before regarding trading.  He counseled the brethren to hold their tongues and say nothing against the government.  At that time, most of the brethren had bitter feelings toward the government and felt they had been driven from the United States.  President Young wanted them to “say nothing about the government or about our organization or church rules; let them find these things out by their learning.” 

He explained that the main reason for the meeting was to discuss the policy of moving the camp back to the bluffs, where they could obtain good spring water and would also be further away from the Omaha Indians.30

It was decided that George Miller's company would continue to work on the ferry.  Bishop Miller would also start a fishery.

To the south, James Emmett rejoined his company that John Butler and James Cummings had brought to the Council Bluffs area.  Emmett “was as mad as he well could be, for he said that he had bought a squaw and he intended to end his days at the Vermillion Fort.”  He was forbidden to take the squaw away from her tribe and was very angry to find out that his company had been taken away from Vermillion.  He finally decided to rejoin the group and traded his squaw for a horse.  On this day, he rejoined his company and things were worked out.  John Butler wrote to Brigham Young, “Br.  James Emmett has returned and all is right, as such we recommend him as being in full fellowship in the branch.” 

Lorenzo Dow Young started out to the south with his family for an excursion to take wheat to the mills in Missouri.  They traveled four miles and camped for the night.

A son, Jacob Flynn Hutchinson, was born to Jacob and Constantia Hutchinson.31  Also born was, Alvah Tippets, to Alvah and Caroline Tippets.32


Between the Branches of the Nishnabotna, Iowa:

Still pushing toward Council Bluffs, William Clayton's camp was battling mosquitoes.  One of the horses was missing.  It had gone back to their camp of the previous day.  They finally broke camp at 10 a.m. and traveled about twelve miles, and camped near Clark L. Whitney,  probably at Keg Creek.

Orson Pratt's camp overtook George A. Smith's wagons, traveled 12‑15 miles, and spent their noon rest at a branch of the Nishnabotna River.  There, they saw a rattlesnake under one of the wagons, but they let it live.  In the afternoon they traveled four more miles and camped for the night.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff's camp started early and overtook Brother Abraham O. Smoot's company at 11 a.m.  They next crossed over a rough road and bridges for the rest of the day and finally arrived at Mount Pisgah.  Elder Woodruff met with President Huntington and Charles C. Rich.  He also was pleased to see many other friends that he had not seen for many months, but was sad to learn of the death of Noah Rogers.  Samuel Turnbow, a member of Elder Woodruff's company lost a child to death on this day.33  Also, Sister Sarah Ann Higbee, the wife of John Higbee, died.

Lorenzo Snow's wife, Harriet, went to fetch his sister, Eliza R. Snow.  She said he was very sick and raving.  Sister Snow went to their camp and found Lorenzo Snow dangerously sick.  The future prophet later wrote,


In my sickness I went through in my mind the most singular scenes that any man ever did.  My family generally believed that I was not in my right mind.  But the scenes thro' wich my spirit travelled are yet fresh in my memory as tho' they occured but yesterday.  And when my people supposed me in the greatest pain and danger, I am conscious of having a great many spiritual exercises sometimes partaking of the most accute suffering that heart can conceive and others the most rapterous enjoyment that heart ever felt or immagination ever conceived.


At one point he was left in the hands of an evil spirit and had a terrifying experience.  But then he had the wonderful experience of being introduced into heaven.


I heard a voice calling me by name saying, 'he is worthy, take away his filthy garments . . . let him be clothed, let him be clothed.' Immediately I found a celestial body gradually growing upon me untill at length I found myself crowned with all its glory and power. . . . I conversed with Joseph, Father Smith and others, and mingled in the society of the Holy One.  I saw my family all saved and observed the dispensations of God with mankind untill at last a perfect redemption was effected. . .


During this time, President Huntington and Charles C. Rich came, clothed in their temple clothes, administered to him, and said they would go and pray for him.  He soon became calm and rested quietly.  His devoted sister, Eliza sat beside him all night.  Lorenzo Snow later recorded in his journal, “My friends and family had given up most all hopes of my recovery.  Father Huntington, the President of the Place called on his Congregation to pray for me.” 

Hosea Stout decided to take his family with him from Mount Pisgah.  He discovered that Charles Rich was probably going to take their wagon from them if he left them behind.  He just had not been able to get along with Brother Rich and felt that it was best to take them with him, even if it took him all summer to reach Council Bluffs.

Louisa Pratt (wife of Addison Pratt who was on a mission to the South Pacific) arrived with her company to Mount Pisgah.  She wrote a very interesting description:


We have at last arrived at Mount Pisgah.  The tents are scattered everywhere.  Poor people here; they are in the sun without houses.  I pity them.  May the Lord reward them for all their sacrifices.  I have just returned from a long walk, having made a survey of the place.  On the bluffs is a beautiful grove of oak trees.  Beneath the towering branches we can pitch our tents and be sheltered from the sun's scorching rays.  Several little cabins begin to make their appearance.  The post office is laughable, a little log pen, 10 x 8, covered with bark.


Mary Richards’ mother-in-law took the wagon cover off the wagon and used it to construct a tent for the family to live in.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The non‑Mormon new citizens met together and issued an anti‑violence circular.  They also made assignments to visit the nine surrounding counties and see how the other citizens felt about the recent actions of the mob.  The circular pleaded with the mobs not to attack the fleeing Saints.  If they didn't, the Saints would be able to leave faster.

Anson Call and his family left Nauvoo, to start the trek across Iowa.  Not only was it sad to leave Nauvoo, but they were in deep grief because in the morning, he found his infant son dead in bed.

Several of the brethren met in the temple for a prayer meeting.  Stephen Markham related interesting experiences and descriptions of the Camp of Israel.  The frogs and crickets were making a terrible noise in the evening along the banks of the Mississippi.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 185, 582; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 183; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:167; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 354; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:52‑3; William Clayton’s Journal, 56‑7; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 136, 279; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 210; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 69‑70; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 138; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Historical Atlas of Mormonism 74; Bennett,  Mormons at the Missouri, 47; “Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow,” BYU Studies, 24:3:268‑69; Louisa Pratt, auto in Heart Throbs 8:240; Whitney, History of Utah, Vol.  4, p.14; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66


                         Tuesday, June 16, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

In the morning, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards went to Peter Sarpy's trading store, which was down‑river a few miles.  They returned at noon.

In the afternoon, Brigham Young moved his camp back up to the bluff where Heber C. Kimball was camping.  This camp was located about seven miles to the northeast, up Mosquito Creek at a spot they named, “Redemption Hill.”  The availability of spring water, and the desire to escape the swarms of mosquitoes, contributed to their decision to move the camp.

Ezra T. Benson arrived from Mount Pisgah with the mail, twenty‑one letters.  Included was a letter from Charles C. Rich who reported that the public arms were in good condition and would soon be on the way with Hosea Stout.  Brother Stout would have been surprised to hear of this letter because he felt that he was not getting support from Brother Rich to fulfill this assignment.


To the South, in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young traveled twenty miles, heading for the Missouri mills.  He wrote that they traveled “through the most unhealthy bottoms and slues in abundance and musquetoes O forever.” 


Nearing Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

William Clayton's company traveled about twelve miles and came in sight of the Missouri River.  He soon learned that the main camp was coming back to the bluffs, so he decided to camp for the night near a spring until it was learned where the main camp would be located.  Orson Pratt's company traveled about 12‑15 miles and camped a few miles behind Brother Clayton's camp.


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

Eliza M. Partridge Lyman, wife of Amasa Lyman, wrote a letter to her mother and sisters who were at Mount Pisgah.  Amasa Lyman left Mount Pisgah, with his family, five days before this day.


We are all well and enjoy ourselves quite well.  We have beautiful weather, good roads, so there is not much to hinder us from going ahead, taking us farther from you every day.  Our cattle strayed off Monday night, and hindered us till noon yesterday.  We had an abundance of strawberries Sunday noon where we stopped.  There was a six quart pail full came to us before we stopped, which, with what the girls picked, made us a fine meal.  Yesterday there was a young Indian came to see us. . . . I do want to see you very much, but must not think of that.  Do write every chance you have . . .


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff attended the burial of the child of Brother Samuel Turnbow.  He also went to give Lorenzo Snow a blessing.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock had trouble sleeping during the night because of the bugs and mosquitoes.  A man came and offered him $150 for his lot.  He refused the offer.  At sundown he went to the temple to meet for the regular prayer meeting.  Stephen Markham told them much more about the Camp of Israel which Thomas Bullock said, “made us rejoice.”  Brother Markham requested to preach to the people, to put down some of the false reports that were circulating about the camp.


Quincy, Illinois:

Members of the Nauvoo new‑citizens’ committee met with the citizens of Quincy to discuss the affairs of Nauvoo.  The Quincy citizens tried to get Mr. Geddes, a member of the mob, to attend, but he could not.  The Quincy citizens decided to stop the meeting because they feared that the mob interests were not fairly represented.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 186, 582; Kimball, in The Exodus and Beyond, 20; Bennett,  Mormons at the Missouri, 47; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:53; William Clayton’s Journal, 47; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 355; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 183‑84; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 137; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” BYU Studies 31:70; Claire Noall, Intimate Disciple, A portrait of Willard Richards, 499‑500


                      Wednesday, June 17, 1846

Mosquito Creek Camp, Iowa:

In the morning, George Miller came up to the new camp and informed Brigham Young that the brethren were invited to dine in the village, at noon, with the Indian trader, Robert B. Mitchell.  Brothers John Kay and Edward Duzette were quickly sent to William Clayton's camp, asking him to come with the band to the dinner.  Brother Clayton brought his wagons to the main camp and was pleased to again see Heber C. Kimball.  Members of the Twelve, other leaders, and the band, took carriages down to the village at Trader’s Point.  They arrived at Mr. Mitchell's home and were introduced to him one by one.  They were too late for dinner, but the band played and Brother Kay sang.  After a very pleasant visit, they left the village at 5:00 and returned to camp about dusk.

Brother Clayton described the Trader's Point:


This village is situated but a little distance from the river, probably fifty rods [800 feet].  It is composed of twelve or fifteen blocks, houses without glass in the windows, and is the noted place where the Lamanites for years held their council.  The inhabitants are composed of Lamanites, half breeds and a few white folk.


While they were away, Elder Orson Hyde arrived into camp with his company of about fifty wagons.  He had made the entire trip across Iowa in a little more than one month.  Orson Pratt also arrived.


To the South, in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young continued south for sixteen miles and camped for the night.  Some of their oxen had very sore feet.  Sister Young had become very sick soon after they stopped.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff rode thirty miles to buy a ton of flour for his company.  Lorenzo Snow was still very sick.  Phineas Richards assisted other brethren took him from his bed, placed him in a carriage, and drove him to a stream of water.  There, they baptized him in the name of the Lord for his recovery.  His fever immediately abated.

Hosea Stout finally left Mount Pisgah with the public guns.  He had three wagons, but no one to help him drive them.  He would have to drive one and come back to drive another.  Finally some brethren offered to help.  He only had three days of provisions with him.  It certainly looked bleak as he was trying to fulfill the assignment that President Young gave him to bring the guns forward.  It indeed was frustrating and disappointing that the leadership at Mount Pisgah didn't help him, but they certainly had many other difficulties to deal with.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Tensions in Nauvoo had eased.  The new citizens started to put their goods back in their stores.  The weather was still very warm.  Norton Jacob crossed the Mississippi with his family to start their journey to the west.  In the evening, his father's horse strayed and this would end up delaying them for several days until it was found.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 187; William Clayton’s Journal, 57; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:167‑68; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 185; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 137; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:53; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 70; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” 32; Snow, Lorenzo Snow, 89


                        Thursday, June 18, 1846

Mosquito Creek, Iowa:

At 10 a.m., members of the Twelve met at the post office and received a report from Orson Hyde regarding the state of affairs at Nauvoo.  Elder Hyde reported that he had counseled the Saints to push on as far as they could go into Iowa and then to stop and go to work.  He had told them not to wander off the main trail.  He counseled them to pray for help and to work together to move west.  He reported that Almon W. Babbitt, one of the Nauvoo Trustees, was very anxious to have Elder Hyde use his influence to have the Saints stay in Nauvoo for his protection against the mob until he could finish the Church's business.  Elder Hyde mentioned that an angel appeared to him in a vision and made it clear that the people could not stay there.  Others, even nonmembers, tried to persuade Elder Hyde to keep a large number of Saints in Nauvoo for another season.  Elder Hyde refused and pledged to use all his influence to urge the Saints to follow their leaders west as quickly as possible.

At noon, the Council rode to the creek with Pieme La Clair, the great chief of the Pottawatomies.  He was part French and spoke good English.  He gave them permission to use the timber on the Indian lands for fuel or other purposes while they camped there.  After parting with him, the brethren went north about a half mile and picked strawberries.

The Council was soon called to go to Orson Pratt's to hear a message from the American Fur Company.  The company had offered George Miller $1,000 plus fifteen or twenty barrels of pork and bread, to send wagons up the Platte River, 120 miles into present-day Nebraska, to haul back 90,000 pounds of furs.  The brethren would approve of this contract and assigned Bishop Miller to task.  John L. Butler and members of the Emmett company were also assigned to go.34

Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., several of the Twelve chatted on the prairie.  George A. Smith and his father, John Smith, arrived into camp with a company of about one hundred wagons.  William Clayton spent the day fixing a wagon and in the evening went fishing.


To the South, in Missouri:

On his trading expedition, Lorenzo Dow Young traveled four more miles into Missouri.  His wife was still very sick.  When he was able to leave her, he went to look for corn and wheat for which to trade.  They reached Lindon, Missouri.  He wrote:  “My wife had a most wreched night.  It was as much as I could do to keep the breath of life in her, but about daylight she got easier.” 


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff was not feeling well, but still was able to get out and work.  He had trouble keeping his cattle together.  He went to see Lorenzo Snow and found him still very sick.  After administering to him again, he seemed better.  Eliza R. Snow's group finished planting their garden plot.  Louisa Pratt had her camp moved onto a ridge.  She wrote:  “My tent is pitched under the shade of three oak trees.  The children are delighted.  A pleasant family by the name of Hallet are very near.  The man has gone with the pioneers and the woman is sick.”  Mary Richards whet with a group of sisters to visit the Mount Pisgah cemetery, consisting of five graves.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock obtained a yoke and a pair of bows for his oxen.  He mended a net and then went fishing until midnight at Laws Mill.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 187‑89; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal ,3:53; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 355; William Clayton’s Journal, 48; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 210; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 137; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 70; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 50; Louisa Pratt, auto in Heart Throbs 8:240; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66


                           Friday, June 19, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

It was a very warm and pleasant day.  At 9 a.m., Indian traders, Peter Sarpy and Mr. Gyren arrived into the camp and went to the post office looking for Brigham Young and other of the leaders.  They had a long conversation about roads, country, and climate to the Rocky Mountains.  They especially talked about the Great Bear River Valley, discussing the Indians, the feasibility of sending out an advanced party to the mountains, and where this party could camp for the winter.

In the afternoon, about 1 p.m., Brigham Young went to pick strawberries until 5 p.m.  William Clayton continued to fix wagons and prepared to send off some things to trade.  In the evening he went fishing.

The Council wrote a letter to President William Huntington at Mount  Pisgah, instructing him to send the public tents and to raise one hundred men to serve in the guard.  Thomas Williams started east with seven letters.

To the South, in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young kept his camp at Lindon Missouri.  He traveled to Rock Creek to take thirty-five pounds of wheat to the mill.


West of Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

A boy named Peter Manning volunteered to help Hosea Stout drive his teams.  This was a very welcome blessing to Brother Stout and he greatly appreciated it.  They moved on about eight or nine miles to a creek.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

On this warm day, Thomas Bullock continued to make preparations to leave the city.  Since this was washing day, he also helped his wife carry water and lay out clothes to dry all morning.  In the afternoon he went to the Mississippi River to bathe.  He spent the evening in the Temple in a prayer meeting.  A sick man came to be anointed which was done.


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas:

Colonel Stephen W. Kearny of the United States army, and commander of the “Army of the West,” wrote a letter to Captain James Allen of the United States army.  The letter included instructions for Captain Allen to form what would become known as the Mormon Battalion.


It is understood that there is a large body of Mormons who are desirous of emigrating to California, for the purpose of settling in that country, and I have therefore to direct that you will proceed to their camps and endeavor to raise from amongst them four or five companies of volunteers, to join me in my expedition to that country, each company to consist of any number between 73 and 109. . . . The companies, upon being thus organized, will be mustered by you into the service of the United States, and from that day will commence to receive the pay, rations and other allowances given to the other infantry volunteers, each according to his rank. . . . The companies, after being organized, will be marched to this post, where they will be armed and prepared for the field, after which they will, under your command, follow on my trail in the direction of Santa Fe, and where you will receive further orders from me. . . . You will have the Mormons distinctly to understand that I wish to have them as volunteers for twelve months; that they will be marched to California, receiving pay and allowances during the above time, and at its expiration they will be discharged, and allowed to retain, as their private property, the guns and accoutrements furnished to them at this post.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 189, 586; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 49; William Clayton’s Journal, 48; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 168; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 70‑1; Willard Richards’ Journal.


                        Saturday, June 20, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

In the morning, members of the twelve with their families, the band, and others, went to Traders Point.  At noon, they arrived at U.S. Indian Agent Major Robert Mitchell's house.  Many Indians and others were gathered included Halfday and Hoby who were chiefs.  After a few tunes from the band, the group dined with Major Mitchell at six tables.  Afterwards the band continued to play.  There was dancing and Brother John Kay sang.  The social concluded at 6 p.m.  The Indians and others collected $10.10 for the band.  Everyone who attended seemed to have a great time and showed warm feelings toward the Church leaders.  President Young did some trading at a store and then the company started their journey back to camp. On the way, one of Heber C. Kimball's carriages broke.  They finally rolled into camp at about 8:30 p.m.

Helen Mar Whitney wrote of this festive occasion:


It was a delightful affair, especially to the young people. . . . This was the first time that our chests had been disturbed or opened since packing them in Nauvoo, being the first time that we had needed anything but common apparel, and it was really delightful to once more see the inside of our chests and to bring out the pretty bonnets, laces, ribbons, parasols and kid gloves, etc., that had been packed away; and to think that we were again to attend a ball.  And I rather think we astonished the good folks at the Point to see so many well dressed and merry hearted boys and girls, and gentle people, who were exiles from civilization.


A fence around the camp of the first and second ten of Brigham Young's company was completed.  Many more teams arrived into camp.  President Young's best mule died.  A report was received at the camp from a lady from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  She reported a rumor that former governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri, had started with a company of emigrants for Oregon.  But when he heard that 4,000 Mormons were on their way west, he began to fear for his life and returned home to Independence, Missouri.35


West of Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout's family was totally out of meal and was getting very hungry.  He went ahead to try to obtain some meal from another company, but could not get any.  He wrote:

so my wife went to preparing our dinner which might be properly called our 'ultimatum.' It consisted of a small portion of seed beans & a little bacon boiled and made into soup.  We had flour enough to set it out & in fact we this last time as it seemed had a more luxurious & sumptious table than usual which made to a stranger an appearance of plenty.


Just as they were about to eat, Henry G. Sherwood and James W. Cummings rode up on their way to Nauvoo.  Even though this was the last of the food, Brother Stout did not turn them away.  He invited them to join the family for dinner.  They had an enjoyable time listening to Brother Cummings tell of his mission to retrieve the Emmett company.  After dinner, the Stout family moved on and traveled about eight miles.  They spent the night on the open prairie.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff had purchased a large load of flour and needed to repack his wagon loads.  He was having some trouble with his stepmother.  Her attitude had changed greatly, ever since she had arrived at Nauvoo, and had been influenced by Elder Woodruff's sister and husband, who had become followers of James Strang.  Mother Woodruff came with Elder Woodruff's company to Mount Pisgah, but “she has manifested much of a spirit of fault finding & watching for iniquity.”  She presented him a book of thirty pages of complaints against several people.  Elder Woodruff considered it “a tempest in a tea pot or a bubble not worthy of notice.” 

Eliza R. Snow received a letter from Brother Markham's company (her former company) telling her that they were at Council Bluffs.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock went down to take a walk along the river and watched a wagon start across it on a ferry.  He also stopped to see a circus that was held near the building which used to be Joseph Smith's red brick store.

A daughter, Martha Ann Hale, was born to James and Lucy Hale.36


Honolulu, Sandwich Islands (Hawaii):

The ship, Brooklyn, put into port for the second time of the voyage, landing at Honolulu, Sandwich Island (Hawaii).  As they came into the harbor, they noticed a number of American warships in the harbor including the Congress, with Commodore Robert F. Stockton in charge.  There were also a number of whale ships in the port.  They soon learned from Commodore Stockton that the United States was at war with Mexico and would likely seize California.  The Congress was about to set sail for Monterey, California.

Stockton expressed the possibility that they might have to help with the fight against Mexico when they arrived.  At his suggestion, Samuel Brannan purchased and brought on board a hundred and fifty outdated military arms for three to four dollars a piece.  He also brought on board some blue denim to be made into uniforms.  Commodore Stockton advised Brannan to sail to Yerba Buena Bay to help secure that area in the name of the United States.  This thought brought fear into the hearts of some of the Saints.  A few wanted to stay in Honolulu while others suggested that they return to their homes in the East.  Samuel Brannan was determined and reminded them that they were to meet Brigham Young in the west.

While at Honolulu, the Brooklyn took on fresh vegetables, meat, fruits, and casks of fresh water.  The Saints welcomed the opportunity to leave the ship and to visit some of the natives.  Hundreds of friendly natives waited to see the Saints land.  The Americans on the island were also glad to see the Saints and invited them to come and see them.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 189, 586; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 49; William Clayton’s Journal, 48; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 168; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 70‑1; Willard Richards’ Journal; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 38‑9; Emmaline Lane letter, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:514; Caroline A. Joyce, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:506.


                          Sunday, June 21, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

A morning Sabbath meeting was held in a small grove, near a stream that runs west, emptying into Mosquito Creek.  Elder Orson Hyde addressed the large assembly followed by Elder Amasa M. Lyman.

Letters and papers were received from Nauvoo including the letter written by John M. Bernhisel. (See June 10, 1846.)

At 5:30 p.m., a camp council was held.  Many assignments were made for building boats, and to serve as carpenters, choppers, spadesmen, and teamsters to haul materials for constructing the ferry.  Each company was assigned to burn a coal pit.  President Young emphasized rules such as not riding another man's horse without permission and not sleeping while on guard duty.  All dogs must be chained during the night.

President Young also spoke of the journey that was accomplished coming across Iowa.  They had been led by the hand of the Lord.  He reported that Amos Fielding had returned to Nauvoo on his way back to England.  On three of the many days of his long journey from Mount Pisgah to Nauvoo, Brother Amos Fielding had counted 902 wagons.  President Young asked for a sustaining vote of the brethren to do as he asked them to.  Most of the hands went up.

President Young mentioned that the Pottawatomie Indians had killed an ox in retaliation for a piece of bogus money being palmed off on them.  He felt they were justified in their actions.

Many others arrived into camp including Levi Richards.  The Twelve met together until 9 p.m.


To the South in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young had taken some wheat to nearby mills.  He also went and traded his overcoat for a yoke of steers.  A Mr. Meeks who lived in the area, had been treating the Young family very well.  In the afternoon the Youngs had dinner with the Meeks family.  They had a feast of bacon, lettuce, short cake, butter, and “baked pudding custard stirred cake.”  Their host told them that about three weeks earlier, a little boy, about ten days old, was abandoned by strangers in one of their out houses with very little clothes.  He suffered much from the cold and the dogs had bit him.  They were nursing him with great tenderness and believed he would survive.


West of Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Hosea Stout met Thomas Williams on his way to Mount Pisgah with a message. (See June 19, 1846.)  Brigham Young wanted to raise a company of men to send over the mountains.  He needed more than one hundred men to serve as guards to protect the company from the Indians.  The goal was to go in time to put in the winter wheat.  He also wanted men to serve as buffalo hunters.  After Brother Williams left, Hosea Stout's company traveled until about noon when they reached a beautiful grove.  They stopped to wash and decided to camp there for the day.  Soon, they were joined by Orson Spencer and a very large company.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff preached to a large congregation.  The Spirit was strong.  He started by saying that he rejoiced to see this day, for it was a day that he had long desired to see when he could meet with his brethren away from what is called the Christian World.  He said that he had never seen a time when he felt better.  He warned that those who rushed on ahead were “overflowing the Twelve” and “hedging up their way,” and stated that no one should go on without the necessary means.  He said, “What would it matter if the few got there to find a location and raise the Standard, that you may all gather.”  President Huntington, Charles C. Rich, Ezra T. Benson, and Henry Sherwood also spoke.  A collection was taken to help Elder Woodruff continue his trip to the west.  After the meeting, Thomas Williams arrived with the message from Brigham Young.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a cool day.  The Saints met in the temple for a meeting.  President Joseph Young preached on the necessity of the rich to help the poor emigrate to the mountains.  Erastus Snow spoke and called the Saints to follow the counsel of Joseph Young.


St.  Louis, Missouri:

Jesse C. Little and Thomas L. Kane arrived at St. Louis and stayed at the Planters House.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 190‑92, 221; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:53‑4; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 169; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:142; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 71; Mount Pisgah Journal, June 21, 1846; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 66‑7


                         Monday, June 22, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The day was windy and cold.  A letter was written to President William Huntington in Mt.  Pisgah, asking him to send on the public tents.  A letter was also written to Elder Wilford Woodruff, asking him to come ahead to Council Bluffs.

Brigham Young rode in his carriage to Mr. Wicks’ at the Indian Sawmill.  He purchased some boards and returned home about sunset.  Orson Pratt spent most of the day making preparations to send wagons and teams sixty to eighty miles down the river, to the Missouri settlements to obtain cows and provisions for the western expedition.

In the evening, President Young wrote a letter to John M. Bernhisel, back in Nauvoo, in reply to his letter.  (See June 10, 1846.)  Included in the letter was news of the camp.


The health of the Camp in general is good, much better than when in the city [of Nauvoo], and there are several births to one death.  Sometimes two or three births in a day.  There are probably five hundred or more wagons at this encampment, and as many more, are expected in a few days.  Nine of the Twelve are at this place, the tenth [Wilford Woodruff] is daily expected.37

We are building a large ferry boat which will be ready for use, we expect, in two or three days, which will save all expense of crossing except labor, and the boat will be left for the benefit of the brethren who shall come after. . . . The Indians and citizens up to this point are very kind and the Saints can emigrate in small or large bodies this far, but when they pass the Missouri River, they will be among uncivilized beings and must move only in large compact and well‑guarded bodies. . . . The Missouri river has been rising a day or two though there has been no rain here for some weeks.

He also gave Brother Bernhisel counsel regarding selling the Nauvoo House and Emma Smith's claim to the lot.

William Clayton received word that his wife, Diantha, was twenty miles east of Mount Pisgah.  He decided that he would go back to help bring her to Council Bluffs.

A son, James Reeves, was born to Celia Reeves.38


To the South in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young, on a trading expedition, obtained his flour from the mill and intended to start the journey north, back to Council Bluffs.  Tragedy struck.


Charles, in attempting to help yoke the steers got badly hurt; the steer jumped and struck the end of the yoke against the side of his head just above his temple; knocked him down and cut it to the bone.  I caught hold of him, for truly he was in a sad predicament under the steer, and he aflouncing at a great rate.  We succeeded in getting them yoked.  Remained on the bank of the Creek that night.


Little Platte River, Iowa:

Hosea Stout traveled about twenty miles, crossed the Little Platte River, and camped on the prairie near a little stream.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Elder Wilford Woodruff worked hard most of the day doing blacksmithing.  In the evening he met with the settlement to raise the one hundred volunteers of mounted men.  “I addressed them (filled with the spirit of God) on the importance of complying with the request made & of assisting the Twelve & those associated with them to go to the Mountains & lift up the standard of Zion.  I then called for volunteers & about 60 followed me out in line.” 

Ambrose Shaw and Pamelia Dunn were married.39


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock went to his in‑laws, the Claytons (William Clayton's parents) and found out that they were being evicted from their house because the new owner had come.  Brother Bullock hunted for a house for them to stay in.  He found an abandoned house owned by Osman M. Duel and took Sister Clayton to check it out.  She was satisfied, so plans were made to move the family into this house.

St.  Louis, Missouri:

Elder Jesse C. Little and Thomas L. Kane parted company.  Kane went toward Fort Leavenworth and Elder Little proceeded toward Nauvoo.  Thomas L. Kane was delivering a dispatch to Colonel Stephen W. Kearny that  included news of his promotion to brevet brigadier general and an order to raise volunteers among the Mormons.


Society Islands, in the South Pacific:

On his mission to the Islands in the South Pacific, Addison Pratt stopped at a place called Tekahora.  He had not visited this place before, but one of his companions had.  There were a number of church members there who belonged to the Otia branch.  He wrote in his journal,


They expressed their joy at seeing me by bringing me a large supply of coconuts, 2 live hens, and a roasting pig.  As is agreeable to custom, I had the hog cut up and a portion of it divided among the friends.  After supper the roasted pieces were bound up in leaves as is the way they cook, put into a basket and hung up in the house.  In the night there came in a thief and stole [the] basket and all its contents.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 192‑94, 221; William Clayton’s Journal, 48; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 169; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:54; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:143; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 357; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 71; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848


                         Tuesday, June 23, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

In the morning, Orson Pratt sent three men with 2 wagons, 3 yoke of oxen, 3 horses, a 15‑shooter, and $90 for a trading expedition to the Missouri settlements.  The rain began to fall in the morning.

William Clayton started to get ready for his trip to meet his wife Diantha, but his eighteen‑month‑old daughter, Vilate Ruth, was very sick so he decided to wait another day.  He took his teams and went to Trader's Point to pick gooseberries, but could not because the rain would not stop.  He took his gold watch to trade with Major Robert Mitchell, who offered him three yoke for it.  Brother Clayton returned to camp and asked Brigham Young what he thought about the trade offer.  President Young counseled him to sell the watch.  Brother Clayton received two letters from his wife, Diantha, which made him even more determined to start off to meet her.

In the afternoon, a strong storm blew in.  Two of Brigham Young's tents were blown down.  Members of the Twelve spent the time in the post office reading newspapers, that had been sent from Nauvoo.  At 5 p.m., John Y. Green arrived from Mount Pisgah with a load of mail from Nauvoo, forty‑six letters.40  President Young traveled to John Taylor's camp which was across Mosquito Creek.  The night was very stormy with strong winds.

Brigham Young wrote a letter to one of his wives, Harriet, who was back in Nauvoo.  Harriet had been thinking of going east, probably to be with her family who opposed the Church.  He wrote to her,


Now I pray you harken to my councel and come to the west.  If you have no way to come with the Brethren where I have made provision, write to me the first opportunity and I will send a team after you or come my self. . . . I cannot bare the thought of your going East.  You will not enjoy your self if you go.  Come here.  Your friends are here.  We enjoy ourselves first rate.  I long to see you safe to camp with your babe.41


To the South in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young yoked up his cattle and turned them out into the fields to feed.  They slipped out of his sight and went into some timber during the rain.  He tried to find them until he was totally soaked and gave up.  Toward evening, he went out again and found them, but one of his steers was dead.  It had sat down and the other decided to get up and choked the old steer to death.


Further to the South in Independence, Missouri:

On this day, a member of the Missouri Militia in Independence Missouri, wrote a letter to G.A. Parsons, an Adjutant General.  He wrote about a body of 1,000 armed Mormons who were at Council Bluffs.  “They pretend to have stopped to raise a crop to enable them to move their families to Oregon, or California next year.  If so, let us inquire why they are armed to the teeth, and supported by batteries of heavy ordnance.  I would suggest that this matter be investigated.” 


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs:

Hosea Stout pressed on and passed Henry W. Miller's company, who were camping for several days while men were at the settlements trading for provisions.42  At this point they saw Indians for the first time since leaving Nauvoo.

Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff worked on his wagons and met with the Saints.  It was reported at the meeting that former Missouri governor, Lilburn Boggs was ahead to the west with troops.43  Elder Woodruff wrote a letter to President Young, reporting on his success in raising a company of mounted men to serve as pioneers and guards.

The storm also affected those at Mount Pisgah.  Louisa Pratt wrote:  “It seems as though the very heavens would come down to earth.  The tent is pinned down or it would be carried away.  The elements are in great commotion.” 

In the morning, Mary Richards received an invitation to attend the wedding of William Coray and Melissa Burton at 4 p.m.  They were married at 4:45 by Charles C. Rich.  A nice wedding supper was held with singing and good company.44


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a hot day in Nauvoo, without the rain that was falling far to the west.  Thomas Bullock and his wife, Lucy (Clayton) Bullock, went to help Father and Mother Clayton move into their new house.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 194; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:54; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 357; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:143; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:169; William Clayton’s Journal, 48‑9; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 137, 281; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 71; Brigham Young's Family: The Wilderness Years, BYU Studies; Louisa Pratt, autobiography in Heart Throbs 8:240; Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 94‑5; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 67


                      Wednesday, June 24, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The rain continued to fall on and off, making it another wet and cool day.  William Clayton visited with Brigham Young, asking permission to travel west to help his wife Diantha come to Council Bluffs.  President Young offered to load the cattle Brother Clayton would need and Heber C. Kimball said, “Go and prosper.”  At 11 a.m., the council met and discussed retrieving the cannon from Mount Pisgah.

William Clayton left the camp at 2 p.m.  As he headed east, he passed several companies making their way west.  He asked them about his wife, Diantha, but could not learn anything new.  He also met Ezra Bickford who had been sent the day before from Council Bluffs to take mail to Nauvoo.  Brother Bickford complained that he was already tired from riding on horseback and asked if he could ride in the wagon with Brother Clayton.  Brother Clayton consented and they went on two more miles and stopped in the middle of a prairie without water.


To the South in Missouri:

Lorenzo Dow Young started his long journey back to Council Bluffs after a successful trading expedition to the Missouri settlements.  He loaded up his flour and meal and started about noon.  They came to Lindon, Missouri, took supper at Mr. Wolf's, and went on to a Mr. Beal's house for the night.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Jesse C. Little arrived at Nauvoo and called upon President Joseph Young and Bishop Edward Hunter.  They were delighted to see him again.  It started to rain in the city.  Thomas Bullock met with the Nauvoo Trustees to discuss further arrangements for assisting him to make the trek to the west.  They informed him that he must give the wagon and oxen back to the Church.  Brother Bullock protested, that he was under the understanding that they should be delivered to Elder Willard Richards.  To this they replied that Elder Richards' account was overdrawn.  They also mentioned that William Clayton's account was overdrawn and thus his parents could not be assisted for several weeks.  They encouraged Brother Bullock to try to sell his house, but did let him take some goods.

A son, Joseph Charlesworth, was born to Thomas and Alice Charlesworth.45  Also born was John Heber Harrison to Richard and Mary Harrison.46



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 195; William Clayton’s Journal, 49; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:143; “Thomas Bullock Journal,”


                        Thursday, June 25, 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The weather was gloomy with fog and rain until the afternoon when it started to clear up.  Brigham Young rode to Trader's Point with Charles Bird.  Peter Sarpy told him the alarming news that Indian agent, Major Robert Mitchell, had written to the commander of the troops at Fort Kearney, that the Mormons were “conniving with the Indians, committing deprivations” at Pottawatomie town, and that he wanted troops to come keep the peace to prevent an Indian rebellion.

Brigham Young returned to camp in the evening traveling over very muddy roads.  He spent the evening talking in the post office, reflecting back two years earlier when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred at Carthage.


To the South in Missouri:

The Lorenzo Young family continued their journey north, back to Council Bluffs.  They traveled eight miles and then stopped at a house at 2 in the afternoon because Sister Young was very sick.  Lorenzo wrote,


The people were very kind indeed to us, and did everything they could.  She continued to grow worse every minute, and about 8 o'clock she became senseless and speechless, and to all appearance in the agonies of death.  I prayed for her and laid hands on her and administered such medicine as I thought beneficial, and towards morning she got better, but remained very weak.


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

William Clayton, traveling east, made about twenty‑one miles and camped just beyond the Indian village.

Further to the east, Hosea Stout's last little boy was very sick.  The priesthood was called in to administer to him.  Brother Stout wrote that


we felt encouraged that he thus seemed to appear to be under the influence of the ordinances of the Priesthood and we now had hope again that he would yet be delivered from the power of the destroyer.  But our hopes were destined to be a short duration for in the evening there came one of the hardest rains that had been this summer.  The water came in torrents & the wind blew hard.  In a few minutes our tent was down & water ran through the waggon covers and thus every thing we had was set almost before we knew it.  The beds were also wet and [little] Hosea was soon discovered by his mother to be lying in water so fast did it come in on the bed.  He was immediately taken worse and these our last hopes for him vanished.


The rain continued and the water overran the banks of the stream that they were camping next to.  The tents and wagons were left standing in water.

Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Amos Rogers died at Mount Pisgah.47  Word arrived at Mount Pisgah about the incident with the mob at Golden Point, near Nauvoo.  (See June 13, 1846.)

Louisa Pratt wrote:  “We have just experienced one of the severest storms of thunder and rain I ever knew.  We were all drenched, so here we are wading in mud trying to get our breakfast.”  Mary Richards added:   “At 5 commenced to rain very heavy & continued to do so most of the night.  Went to bed, covered my self with a quilt & slept sound.” 


To the west, on the Oregon Trail, Nebraska:

The Mississippi Company of Saints (see April 8, 1846), continued their journey up the south side of the Platte River, hoping to find the main camp of Israel who they supposed might have traveled on the north side of the Platte.  They, of course did not know that the camp was back to the east, at the Missouri River.  On this day, they killed some buffalo.  John Brown, their leader recorded:  “We were very much delighted with buffalo hunting.  Our eyes never had beheld such a sight‑‑the whole country was covered with them.”



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 195; William Clayton’s Journal, 49; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:143; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 71; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1: 170; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 137; “John Brown Journal,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:426; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 67


                           Friday, June 26 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The weather cleared up and was quite pleasant.  A council meeting was held at 11 a.m. on the prairie, north of the main camp.  They discussed the reported letter from Major Robert Mitchell, asking for troops to drive off the Mormon leaders.  It was decided to sent Orson Hyde and Newel K. Whitney to ask Major Mitchell if he really wrote this letter and if so, to determine the reason for sending false information.

After the meeting, the council went two miles to the north for dinner at Major Jefferson Hunt's camp.48  Elder Hyde and Bishop Whitney went to visit with Major Mitchell.  Brigham Young and others later went to see how the work was progressing on the ferry.  While there, Elder Hyde and Bishop Whitney reported that Major Mitchell had only written one letter to Fort Kearney.  That letter had been sent two months earlier reporting some problems with the Emmett company of Saints who had been camping nearby.  Since that time, his feelings had changed and he said he would do all in his power to do good for the Saints.

A Mr. S. Chamberlain left Council Bluffs bound for Nauvoo.  He reported that there was a train of one thousand wagons encamped in the Council Bluffs area.


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

After William Clayton traveled six more miles to the east on bad roads, he found Hosea Stout, Horace Clark, Orson Spencer, and others camped on a small stream called the Nodaway.  The creek was very full, more than six feet over the bridge which had been partially washed away.  He stayed until 3 p.m., when he decided to try to cross it.  Brother Clayton was helped by Walter L. Davis49 and William D. Huntington.  He unloaded the wagon box and used it as a boat, taking a few things over at a time.  They then had the horses swim across.  By 5 p.m., everything was loaded up again and they were able to travel another sixteen miles.

Hosea Stout's son continued to be very ill.  Brother Stout watched William Clayton use his wagon like a boat.  He also watched many Indians swim their horses across the stream.  By evening, the stream had fallen about five or six feet.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Captain James Allen and a few other officers of the U.S.  Army, arrived at Mount Pisgah from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and had a meeting with Elder Wilford Woodruff and President William Huntington.  President Huntington let Captain Allen mount a stand and address the Saints.  He presented a circular which instructed him to visit the Mormon camp “to accept the services, for Twelve months, of four or five companies of the Mormon men who may be willing to serve their country for that period in our present war with Mexico.  This force to unite with the army of the West at Santa Fe and be marched thence to California, where they will be discharged.”  The service would include pay and rations.  “Those of the Mormons who are desirous of serving their country, on the conditions here enumerated, are requested to meet me without delay at their principal camp at the Council Bluffs . . . I will receive all healthy able men of from eighteen to forty‑five years of age.” 

The council deliberated and advised Captain Allen to visit with the leaders at Council Bluffs.  They gave him a letter of introduction.  Elder Woodruff sent an express letter via Thomas Grover to Brigham Young, informing him about the proposal.  “We directed them to call upon you at Council Bluffs and to lay the subject before you that you might have an understanding of the same. . . . We treated them with respect and manifested to them our thankfulness for the interest the President has manifested in our behalf.”  Thomas Grover was also to make sure that all the cannons and artillery were hidden from Captain Allen's view.

It shouldn't be too surprising that initial reaction to this request was met with great skepticism because of the bitter feelings toward the government.  Many would initially feel this was yet another form of persecution to hinder the movement of the Saints to the west.  When Captain Allen first appeared, it caused great “confusion and excitement” in the settlement.  “The report had gone from tent to tent that the United States troops are upon us.”  In his history, President Huntington wrote:  “Captain Allen delivered an address to the brethren appropriate to his foolish errand.  I followed him with an address, as the old saying is 'by answering a fool according to his folly.'”  Wilford Woodruff had similar thoughts and wrote:  “I had some reasons to believe them to be spies & that the president [of the United States] had no hand in it.”  When Hosea Stout had learned about the war with Mexico a few weeks earlier, he wrote in his journal,  “I confess that I was glad to learn of war against the United States and was in hopes that it might never end untill they were entirely destroyed for they had driven us into the wilderness & was now laughing at our calamities.” 


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock wrote:  “The thunder shook my house pretty severe in the night, much lightning and rain and heavy wind which ript one of the covers off my waggon.” 

One of the Nauvoo Trustees, John S. Fullmer, wrote a letter to Brigham Young.  In it, he reported,:


We have still a prospect of making a sale of the Temple, and also of  'all the Mormon interest in Hancock County,' and that for cash down, but at what prices, we do not as yet know.  Bros. Babbitt and Heywood have started to St. Louis this morning to receive any propositions that might be made for deliberation.  Our means are running so low that unless we can sell the Temple we shall not be able to meet all demands and help the poor away.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 195‑98, 211 Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 189; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 170; William Clayton’s Journal, 50; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 51; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:54‑55; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 72; Mulder, Among the Mormons, 178; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia.4:747

                         Saturday, June 27 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

At 9:30 a.m., members of the Twelve met in council at the post office.  President Brigham Young gave a report on Elder Hyde and Bishop Whitney's visit with Major Robert Mitchell.  He explained that the alleged letter against the Church was just a misunderstanding.  The Council also discussed the camp organization.  President Young wished to travel in divisions that could form their wagons into a square, when needed.  He also desired to have the Twelve in the first division.

The Twelve voted unanimously to drop John E. Page from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and excommunicated him from the Church because of apostasy.50


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The water level on the Nodaway was still covering the bridge which further delayed Hosea Stout from moving on.  A few brethren went ahead to check out the next creek, and found it even larger than the Nodaway, and still rising.  The bridge there had been washed away.  Many Indians passed by, on their way to hunt buffalo for their winter meat.  It was also a war expedition because the Pottawatomies were at war with the Sioux.

Hosea Stout's little child was still deathly sick.  He had been making very strange gestures and frightening faces that made the Stouts conclude that an evil spirit was influencing him.  With a priesthood blessing, Brother Stout rebuked the spirit and his son immediately became free of this suffering.  Brother Stout recorded,


He ceased to manifest a desire to talk & his ghastly and frightful gestures and with a set and determined eye gazed at me as if conscious of what had been done.  We thus beheld him a long time until finally he became easy and went to sleep.  Late at night we went to sleep also, leaving a burning candle in the waggons.


William Clayton traveled about thirty‑eight miles, back toward Mount Pisgah.  During the day he passed U.S. Army Captain Allen and the other troops, who were on their way to Council Bluffs, hoping to get Brigham Young's support to raise a Mormon Battalion.  Brother Clayton camped about eight miles from Mount Pisgah.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

Wilford Woodruff made preparations for leaving Mount Pisgah.  Nearly his whole camp was sick including his father and stepmother.  Thomas Grover left in the morning with the letter from Wilford Woodruff to Brigham Young telling him about Captain Allen's arrival and intentions to raise a battalion.


To the west, on the Oregon Trail, Nebraska:

John Brown, the leader of the Mississippi Company of Saints recorded,


On the 27th, a buffalo calf came running into the train of wagons.  The dogs, teamsters and everyone else took after it, running through the train several times, and it finally got into the loose herd, and the dogs driven out, it became contented.  A Spaniard whom we had taken in a few days before, caught it with a lasso and tied it up, but it killed itself in a few minutes.  It made good veal.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Thomas Bullock recognized in his journal that this day was the two‑ year anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  He marvelled at the changes that had taken place in Nauvoo since that day.


Surely it has fallen . . . Wherever you now look, taverns, groceries, bowling alleys, ten pin alleys, whorehouses, lawyers and doctors salute your eyes and ears.  The reeling drunkard, the boisterous laugh, the giddy dance, confusion and riot rule supreme.  Hundreds, I might say thousands of houses empty where once happy Saints dwelt, sung and prayed.  Fences nearly all down, gardens laid waste, fruit trees destroyed by cattle, and all again running to destruction and its late wildness.  In the last few years has this spot been translated from a wilderness to a garden and the most delightful spot on the River and now again running to its native wildness and desolation.


Voree, Wisconsin

Reuben Miller, once a faithful church member, had been led away by James J. Strang, and had been serving as the Voree stake president in the Strangite church.  He soon realized that Strang had never been ordained an elder.  When Strang manufactured a story that he had been ordained by an angel, Reuben Miller discovered that the story


was entirely contradictory to his former remarks (on this subject) to myself and others . . .  I came to the conclusion, irresistibly, that I had embraced an error, a delusion, and one that would be handed down on the pages of history, as a monument of his folly and of the corruption and wickedness of the human heart; and that it was a duty which I owed to God and to his people, to resign my station as President over the Stake, and my place on the High Council, and give my reasons for the same to the brethren.  This I done on the 27th of June . . . at the meeting ground in Voree.51


Sandwich Islands (Hawaii):

Several of the Saints from the Brooklyn visited a native church and listened to the American (non‑Mormon) missionaries preach in the native tongue.  One Sister commented,


I don't think the missionaries have done much good here; they degrade the natives.  Here the white ladies are drawn around in two‑wheeled vehicles by the natives.  I saw a great many of them drawn to church by them and men too.  I think it would have looked better had they gone on foot.  Many of the natives wear scarcely any clothing at all.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 198; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:55; Brooks,  The Diary of Hosea Stout , 1:171; William Clayton’s Journal, 50; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 72‑3; Emmaline Lane letter, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:515; Richard Lloyd Anderson, BYU Studies, 8:3:284; John Brown Journal, Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:426;


                          Sunday, June 28 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

Very early in the morning, the camp was awakened by a very severe storm of wind and rain.  Many tents were blown down.  By daybreak, everything was pleasant and calm.  At 11 a.m., Thomas Williams arrived from Mount Pisgah with some mail.  He reported that Hosea Stout and the artillery were on their way and that Wilford Woodruff was still at Mount Pisgah.  He also reported that some of the bridges that the pioneers had constructed, were washed away by the recent storms.

At 11:30 a.m., a Sabbath meeting was held in the camp.  Brigham Young addressed about three hundred Saints.  He spoke on the gathering of Israel and building up the Kingdom of God.  He also spoke about perfecting the Saints and the overthrow of the wicked.  Elder Heber C. Kimball spoke, followed by Elder Willard Richards who mentioned that two years from this date, that the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were brought back to Nauvoo from Carthage.

In the afternoon, President Young met with members of the Twelve in council and read a newspaper account about the wicked deeds of the mob in Hancock County earlier in the month.  The Council also proposed sending a company of men, without families, immediately to Bear River Valley in the Great Basin.  It was also decided to send two men back to Mount Pisgah, to raise the men and means to go on to the mountains.

Another general meeting was held.  George A. Smith made arrangements to herd all of the camp's sheep together to protect them from the wolves.  Another meeting would be held to discuss the herding of stock.  Twenty‑one men volunteered to serve as spadesmen, to help prepare to launch the ferry that was just about complete.  President Young said that the season was so far advanced that there must be something done quickly.  Because the people were not willing to let the Twelve go ahead, an advance group of brethren, without families must be sent to plow and plant, otherwise they would have to buy another year's worth of provisions.  He called for a vote of support for the plan to send a group without families immediately over the mountains.  He warned that “all that men and hell could invent to hedge up the way of the camp, would be hatched up.”  He asked for volunteers to go and about forty were counted, but many were not at the meeting.  The group would need to travel about thirty miles a day and take grain and corn with them.

In the evening, the Twelve met together to work out more details for the mountain mission.


Between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

Hosea Stout wrote:


I awoke very early this morning and immediately discovered my child to be dying.  He seemed perfectly easy and now had given up to the struggle of death and lay breathing out his life sweetly . . . He gradually and slowly declined until forty minutes after seven when its spirit took its leave of its body without any apparent pain but seemed to go to sleep.  Thus died my only son and one too on whom I had placed my own name and was truly the dearest object of my heart.  Gone too in the midst of affliction, sorrow, & disappointment in the wild solitary wilderness.


He and his wife now were left only with their infant daughter who had been born on the trail.  He mourned the loss greatly.  “I have often heard people tell of losing the darling object of their heart.  I have often heard of people mourning as for the loss of an only son.  But never until now did I fully feel and realize the keen & heart rendering force of their words.”  People in his camp offered their kindness and help.  A coffin was made for the child and little Hosea Stout was buried on a hill in the prairie about one mile from the Nodaway near the grave of an infant of John Smith.

Hosea Stout's camp traveled on four miles and came within sight of the Pottawatomie Indian village.  Some of the brethren went on to the next stream, the Nishnabotna, and discovered the bridge had been washed away.  They immediately went to work building another bridge.

News came to this small group of Saints about the U.S. officers, who had visited Mount Pisgah, attempting to recruit a Mormon Battalion.  Hosea Stout's reaction was typical of most of the Saints at that time,


We were all very indignant at this requisition and only looked on it as a plot laid to bring trouble on us as a people.  For in the event that we did not comply with the requisition we supposed they would now make a protest to denounce us as enemies to our country and if we did comply that they would then have 500 of our men in their power to be destroyed as they had done our leaders at Carthage.  I confess that my feelings was uncommonly wrought up against them.  This was the universal feeling as Pisgah and Genl Rich sent me word by Brother Wright to keep a sharp look out for him [Captain Allen] as he passed and see that he did not get any knowledge of the public arms which I had.


They did see Captain Allen pass by that day, but he did not come to see them because they were camped some distance from the road.  In the evening, a large company of friendly Indians came into the camp.  They were all very knowledgeable by this time about the Mormon migration.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

William Clayton was very anxious to meet up with his wife Diantha.  He continued his journey at 4 a.m. and reached Mount Pisgah at 8 a.m.  He met briefly with President William Huntington and Charles C. Rich.  As he continued his journey to the east, he met up with Elder Wilford Woodruff.  Elder Woodruff told him that recently the settlers in Missouri sent a committee to Mount Pisgah to search for forts and cannons.  He said the Missourians were terrified and many were moving back into the interior settlements.  Brother Clayton pressed on and asked the travelers if they knew where Diantha was located on the trail.

At 2 p.m., he finally met his wife Diantha for the first time in four months.  He wrote:


Diantha was very glad to see me and burst into tears.  My little boy52 is far beyond all my expectations.  He is very fat and well formed and has a noble countenance.  They are both well and I feel to thank my Heavenly Father for his mercies to them and Father Chase [who Diantha was traveling with] and to his family and may the Lord bless them for it, and oh Lord, bless my family and preserve them forever.  Bless my Diantha and my boy and preserve their lives on earth to bring honor to Thy name and give us a prosperous journey back again is the prayer of they servant William.  Amen.


At Mount Pisgah, a Sabbath meeting was held.  There was a very high wind in the morning, but by 2 p.m., the weather cleared.  The meeting was excellent.  The speakers included Ezra T. Benson, Charles C. Rich, William Huntington, and Wilford Woodruff.  Mary Richards wrote:  “I was cheered by their remarks.” 


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The Saints who were still in Nauvoo met in the temple.  Stephen Markham, Jesse C. Little, Erastus Snow, and Joseph A. Stratton preached to the congregation.

Joseph Hovey and his family left Nauvoo.  He wrote,


We went down to the ferry boat landing.  It was difficult to get a boat started.  I ran around until I was very much fatigued and my wife was also very tired and nervous, having to watch the cattle.  I had two yoke, and one wagon and one cow.  My oxen were quite unruly while I was running around for a boat . . . . I got my wagon on the boat but left my wife and cattle.  My wife felt timid about staying in the wagon because the boat was so heavily loaded we could not take them.  We finally got across safely by hard work.  I never worked harder in my life than I did on those oars trying to get across the river.  I was in a great hurry to get back to my wife.  Brother Rogers took me over.  I arranged for passage for my wife, Joseph and Elizabeth to cross and stop in the wagon I had previously taken over.  I was detained for sometime before I got my cattle over on a boat.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 198‑201, 587; John Taylor's Journal quoted in CHC 3:63, note 10; William Clayton’s Journal, 50‑1; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 171‑72; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 73; “Joseph Hovey Autobiography,” .37; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 67


                          Monday, June 29 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

The Twelve met together in council.  Thirty-five-year-old, Ezra T. Benson (the great‑grandfather of President Ezra Taft Benson) was chosen to be the new apostle, taking the place of John E. Page.  The brethren wrote a letter to Elder Benson at Mount Pisgah, telling him of his call to the Twelve.  This letter read,


Elder Ezra T. Benson: This is to inform you that you have been nominated by the Council of the Twelve to take the place of John E. Page.  If you accept the nomination you will please come and see us without delay, with your family or without, as you please.  But come prepared to go to the mountains.  (Signed) Brigham Young, Prest.


Parley P. Pratt was sent with letters, back to Mount Pisgah.  He was also asked to raise a company of pioneers for the planned advance journey to the mountains.  One of the letters was written to President William Huntington.  Brigham Young mentioned that the main body of the Saints with the women and children would winter either at Grand Island of the Platte River or perhaps at Fort Laramie.  Heber C. Kimball recorded that the Twelve would go with a company of pioneers “over the mountains to set up the Kingdom of God or its Standard yet this year.” 

In the afternoon, the new ferry was launched on the Missouri River.  A large number of Saints were on hand to witness to event.  The building of the ferry had been supervised by Frederick Kesler.53  Brother Scott was instructed to ship the ammunition over the river during the night.54

Word was received at Council Bluffs that U.S. officers were on their way to Council Bluffs, to raise a battalion, and soon President Young received Wilford Woodruff's letter telling of Captain Allen's visit to Mount Pisgah.  The members of the Twelve were immediately called together to help Brother Scott ferry over a heavy wagon, probably loaded with artillery.  The Council then went to the Prairie, west of the main camp, and held important discussions late into the night about what to do with Captain Allen's request for a battalion.

At Trader's Point, Major Robert B. Mitchell wrote a letter to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in St. Louis.  He wrote,


I am gratified to say that since their [the Mormons] arrival, I have seen nothing to which exception could be taken.  The principal men seem determined to hold themselves aloof from the Indians.  They admit no intercourse after night particularly with the Indians.  They complain that they have been badly treated, but declare their intentions to bear the American Flag to whatever country they cast their lot.


Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

Hosea Stout's company spent the day building a new bridge.  Brother Stout, still in great mourning over the loss of his son, spent the time with his family.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

After a rain storm during the morning, Wilford Woodruff gathered his cattle, company, and bid farewell to his friends at Mount Pisgah.  His company traveled five miles on very bad roads and camped near a creek.  The flood had carried away the bridge at that location, which necessitated the building of a new one.

William Clayton took his wife Diantha from Issac Chase's company and returned twelve miles to Mount Pisgah.  He camped near President Huntington's house.

Mary Richards put things out to dry during the morning and then washed a large amount of clothes.  The weather was very hot.


To the west, on the Oregon Trail, Nebraska:

The Mississippi Saints, traveling far to the west, crossed the South Fork of the Platte River.  There, they encountered a terrible storm during the night.  John Brown recorded:  “There were five of us sleeping in a tent which blew down.  We tried in vain to pitch the tent again.  The wind was so violent that we had to find shelter in the wagon, seven of us together, and when morning came, we were almost frozen.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a hot day in Nauvoo.  The gnats were numerous and bothersome.  Thomas Bullock had to search for his stray oxen and then spent the day watching them while they fed.  A member of the mob chased him out of the woods.

A son, Thomas Barnes was born to James and Charlotte Barnes.55  Edward Hunter and  Laura Shimer were married.56



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 202; John F. Yurtinus, “'Here Is One Man Who Will Not Go, Dam'um': Recruiting the Mormon Battalion”, BYU Studies 21:4:478; Journal of Heber C. Kimball, 29 June 1846; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 51; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:55; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball, 138; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 172; William Clayton’s Journal, 52; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 191; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:339; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 73; John Brown Journal, Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:426; Ward, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 67


                         Tuesday, June 30 1846

Council Bluffs region, in Iowa:

With the ferry in operation, the leaders of the Camp of Israel moved their families down to the Missouri River bottoms, a little bit north of the original camp.  It started to rain in the afternoon and this slowed down the move somewhat.

Jesse B. Martin and Henry W. Bigler were hunting for lost cattle near the camp when they were met by U.S. Captain James Allen.  He asked them if they knew Brigham Young and if he was in camp.  They didn't trust him and replied that they knew Brigham Young but could not say if he was in the camp at that moment.  They observed that the Captain had five men with him and a baggage wagon.  He was riding his horse a little ahead of his men.  Word was spreading around the camp about Captain Allen's intentions to raise a battalion.  Abraham Day wrote in his journal, “Here is one man who will not go, dam'um.”57

In the evening, Thomas Grover, just in from Mount Pisgah, came down from the main camp on the bluff and informed Brigham Young that Captain Allen of the U.S. Army had arrived and was seeking volunteers.  The Captain had agreed to meet with the Council in the morning.

Brigham Young met in the evening with other members of the Twelve at Orson Pratt's tent.  Even before they met with Captain Allen, it had already been decided to raise the Mormon Battalion.


Pottawatomie Indian Village, Iowa:

Parley P. Pratt and Solomon Hancock passed the town, on their way to Mount Pisgah, to raise an expedition to the Mountains.  They instructed the brethren to press on as fast as they could to Council Bluffs.  As they were crossing the creek on the east side of the village, Elder Pratt and his horse almost drown as they were swimming across.  He wrote in his autobiography:


My horse refused to swim, reared on his hind feet to try to touch the bottom, and caused me to slide off behind him in the middle of a very strong current with all my clothes on, including hat, coat and boots, and a large parcel under my arm.  The parcel contained letters and important documents.  I therefore, clung to it and to my hat also, and stemming the current with the other hand, swam to shore, a distance of several rods.


Hosea Stout added:


He floated to shore and was so much exhausted that he could not get out.  After resting awhile he attempted it again and came near being drowned the second time.  I believe he was finally assisted over by some Indian boys, not however until they were satisfied that they were “Good Mormonee” as they call us.


Elder Pratt traveled two more miles, camped with some Saints and dried his letters and clothing.


Hosea Stout and others worked on the bridge all day, but the company was very disorganized and weren't unified in their work.  Consequently in the evening the bridge broke and they lost all the work that had been done so far.


Mount Pisgah, Iowa:

In the morning, William Clayton met in council with the presidency of Mount Pisgah.  After breakfast with Charles C. Rich, he started for Council Bluffs.  After about twelve miles, he passed Wilford Woodruff and his company.  Elder Woodruff had 6 wagons, 1 carriage, 16 yoke of cattle, 2 mules and one horse.  Brother Clayton traveled fourteen more miles and camped on the big prairie for the night.  Elder Woodruff and his company finished the bridge in the morning and pressed on, west of Mount Pisgah.  He wrote,


I stoped my carriage on the top of a rolling prairie and I had most a splendid view.  I could stand and gaze to the east, west, north & south & behold the Saints pouring out & gathering like clouds from the hills & dales, grove & prairie with their teams, waggons, flocks, & herds by hundreds & thousands as it were until it looked like the movements of a great nation.


They traveled ten miles and camped near some timber.


Garden Grove, Iowa:

Allen Stout arrived at Garden Grove the day before and was very sick with a fever.  He moved into Brother Duncan McArthur's house, who was very kind to him during his illness.



Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 202; William Clayton’s Journal, 52; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 343‑44; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 173; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:53; “Extracts from the Journal of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:35; “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, 26; “Abraham Day III Journal,” typescript, 6



1George Washington Hickerson learned of the gospel while stationed as a soldier in Fort Leavenworth.  He later was baptized with his wife in 1841.  They arrived in Utah in 1848.  He later served a mission to the southern states.

2Horace Rockwell was the twenty-one-year-old brother of Orrin Porter Rockwell.  He later joined the RLDS church.

3Edmund Lovell Ellsworth was Brigham Young’s son-in-law.  He was married to  Elizabeth Young.  He later served a mission to England in 1854-56.  On the way back, he took charge of the first handcart company.  In 1880 he moved his families to Prescott, Arizona.

4The Buys family would later settle in Bountiful, Utah.

5Sally Carlisle Randall was the wife of James Randall.

6The Felt family would settle in Salt Lake City.  Little Nathaniel would die at the age of nine.

7Joseph Horne would later help locate and dedicate the site for Manti, Utah.  He also helped settle Parowan.  The family spent most of their years in Salt Lake City.  Joseph was later ordained a Patriarch.

8In Orient, on the west side of the public school ground, on Highway 25, is a bronze plaque set in red sandstone that recognizes the Mormon Trail.

9The Hales family would later settle in Spanish Fork, Utah where Charles would serve on the city council.  Julia would later marry Robert Berry.

10On this day, they had traveled near the 160 acre “Mormon Trail Park and Mormon Lake.  The park is two miles east of Bridgewater.  Nearby, there are some of the very few Mormon Trail ruts in Iowa.

11 The plan that Elder Little accepted was a plan to have the Mormons be enlisted AFTER they arrived to California. 

12Just east of this camp on county road G 61, the trail passed the site of a former town named Reno.  All that is left of this town is a small cemetery which has a bronze plaque, about 200 feet east of the cemetery gate.  It was placed there in 1926 that reads, “in memory of those who traveled the Old Mormon Trail.”

13Harriet Young suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis.

14Elijah would later die at Winter Quarters on July 30, 1847.

15Albern Allen was baptized in 1835 in Cattaraugus, New York.  He would later settle in Ogden, Utah.

16This camp was near present day, Cold Spring State Park.  It is located one mile south of Lewis, Iowa.  Near the parking area in the camping area there is a National Park Service sign near a set of four swings.  About 100 feet west of this point is a fence separating the park from some fields.  Dim traces of the old trail can be seen crossing the fields.  One mile north of Cold Spring Park, in Lewis Town Park, is a marker that mentions the Mormon Trail.

17This village was located about one mile west of present‑day Lewis, Iowa on Minnesota Avenue, on the west bank of the Nishnabotna River.  The marker that now stands in Lewis Town Park used to be located at this point.

18The Nauvoo Eagle was started up after the Twelve left Nauvoo and discontinued Times and Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor.  Almon W. Babbitt funded the Nauvoo Eagle, and it was edited by a Mr. Matlock, who was a non-Mormon “new citizen.”  Babbitt had requested Thomas Bullock’s services to write for the paper, but following the counsel of Willard Richards, Thomas Bullock decided to have nothing to do with the paper.

19Isaac Galland, in Iowa Emigrant, explains, “The earliest fruit, which pipes in the last of May or the first of June, is the strawberry.  It grows in barren land, or adjoining the timber in prairies, and often on the second bottoms, which are of sandy soil.  This fruit is of an excellent flavor, and in some seasons can be obtained in almost any quantity.

20Robert Lewis Johnson later became the bishop of the Fountain Green Ward, Moroni Stake, Utah, from 1862 to 1883.

21This creek was later named, Silver Creek.

22This site was on the bluffs just northwest of the point where state highway 375 crosses Mosquito Creek today.  The Iowa School of the Deaf is near this site.

23Richard Demont Sprague joined the Church in 1840.  He later served as a musician in the Mormon Battalion.  He settled his family in Ogden, and later Brigham City, Utah.

24This committee included Lewis C. Bidamon, the future second husband of Emma Smith.

25Golden Point was a point of timber projecting into the prairie near Larry's Creek, six miles down the river, and was named after a Abram Golding, an early settler.

26This camp was named Council Point Camp and was located near the spot where highway 92 crosses the Missouri River.  There is a marker  recognizing the Saints encampment on the north side of Bayliss Park, on South Main Street, in downtown Council Bluffs..  It is a bronze marker in a large, seventeen‑ton boulder.

27Cyrus would later raise a family in Kanesville, Utah.

28William Pickett was married to the widow of Don Carlos Smith.  He later left the Church, leaving another wife, Susanna Rogers, who was near childbirth, at Winter Quarters.

29John Bair was baptized in 1834.  He later built and operated the first ferryboat in Utah on the Bear River.  He also built the first saw mill in Davis County.

30Three Indian tribes occupied the Middle Missouri Valley at this time.  Chiefs of about 2,250 Pottawatomie‑Ottawa‑Chippewas, in five villages of southwest Iowa, had agreed just weeks before in Washington, D.C., to sell their lands and to move to the northeastern part of Kansas territory.  About 1,300 Omaha and 930 Otoe‑Missouri Indians lived west of the Missouri River in five or six villages near the junction of the Platte and Missouri rivers.

31Jacob would help build the Salt Lake Tabernacle and would later raise his family in Randolf, Utah and Rockland, Idaho.

32Little Alvah would die in Winter Quarters on July 28, 1847.

33Samuel Turnbow joined the Church in 1840, in Kentucky.  He later served a counselor in the bishopric of the 14th Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah.

34Before the company would roll west, Peter Sarpy suddenly canceled the deal.

35Governor Boggs did lead a company to California.  They traveled ahead of the ill-fated Donner Party, and arrived in the fall.

36The Hale family would later settle in South Weber, Utah.

37The other two, John E. Page and Lyman Wight had left their callings.

38The child would later die in Winter Quarters on August 15, 1847. 

39The Shaws would later settle in Ogden, Utah

40John Young Green was nineteen years old at this time.  He was baptized in 1835.  He later was in the original pioneer company of 1847.  In 1857, he left for a mission to Europe.

41Harriet would join Brigham Young later in the year.

42Henry William Miller joined the Church in 1839 and moved to Nauvoo.  He was a member of the Mormon Battalion.  He later served on a high council in Iowa.  He settled in Farmington, Utah

43Governor Boggs didn't really have troops.  He was with an emigrant company that included the Donners and the Reeds at Fort Bernard on the North Platte, in Nebraska.

44William Coray would serve in the Mormon Battalion.  Eighteen year‑old Melissa would join her husband on the march as a cook and a laundress.  She was one of only four women to complete the march.  William would die in 1849 at Salt Lake City.  Melissa would marry again to William Henry Kimball in 1851.

45Joseph would later die in Winter Quarters on August 13, 1847.  The Charlesworth family would settle in Fillmore, Utah.

46The Harrisons would later raise a family in Pinto, Utah.

47He had served on the Nauvoo police force and had been a captain of ten in the guard when he left Nauvoo in February.

48Jefferson Hunt joined the Church in 1835.  He held the rank of Major in the Nauvoo legion.  He later served as the captain of Company A, in the Mormon Battalion.  In 1849, he helped settle Provo, Utah.  In 1851, he helped settle San Bernardino, California.  He returned to Utah in 1857 and settled in Ogden.  Huntsville, Utah was named in his honor.

49Walter L. Davis later served in the Mormon Battalion.

50John E. Page recently followed after James J. Strang and had been leading many Saints away from the Church.  He had been disfellowshipped back in February.

51Reuben Miller would be re‑baptized into the LDS church in October, 1846.

52The birth of this little boy inspired William Clayton to write “Come, Come Ye Saints”

53 Frederick Kesler would later serve as bishop of the Sixteenth Ward in Salt Lake City where Joseph F. Smith's family would live.

54The ferry crossed over to about to place where present day “L” street in Omaha is situated.  Dugways were cut into the banks on both sides of the river to allow the ferry to be loaded and unloaded without being affected by river currents.  A rope was stretched across the river.  After it was loaded, the ferry was launched from the dugway and then using the rope, guided across the river somewhat downstream.  On the return trip, the ferry was first pulled up river by oxen and then it used another rope to guide it back across to the original ferry dugout on the east bank.

55The Barnes Family would later settle in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Thomas would die in 1848.

56Edward Hunter would later serve as the Presiding Bishop of the Church from 1851‑1883.

57However, he did later serve in the Mormon Battalion.