Sunday, August 4, 1850 - Saturday, August 10, 1850
As Peter Maughan's company approached the Black Hills, Sister Maughan became ill with "Mountain Fever." She wrote, "As I lay in my wagon today I thought the wheels went over every rock there was in the road. Camped in the Black Hills. After camping, Mr. Maughan laid my bed in the shade of the wagon. On the outside, chains were fastened across the wheels to keep some sheep in. Thinking my bed would stop them, my wagon wheels were not chained. Seeing a open place, the sheep darted through and every one sprang over me. I clasped my baby close to me, lay still and was not hurt, not even touched by one of them. I think the sheep were worse frightened than I was."
Back at Ash Hollow Elder Woodruff decided to send the first division of his company ahead while he mended some wagons. The captains did not wish to leave Elder Woodruff behind, but with much reluctance went ahead on Monday. After two days laboring to fix wagons, Elder Woodruff's group again took up their journey. They spent the rest of the week traveling through the region with impressive bluffs that looked like Castle ruins. On Friday some U.S. soldiers who had been to Fort Laramie camped near the company. They shared news that President Zachary Taylor had died in office at the white house on July 9th. Vice President Millard Fillmore became president.
On Sunday morning President Brigham Young and his traveling party entered the Sanpete Valley. They were greeted by several Indians who gave them bread. The brethren arrived at the fort in the evening and were saluted by the firing of a cannon. The settlers at the Fort were very happy to see them.
On Monday President Brigham Young pointed out the spot on a hill where the Manti temple would eventually be built. William M. Lemon started the work of surveying the city of Manti. [Surveyors soon marked out a city with eleven blocks, including a temple site. By the end of 1850, the settlement numbered 365 people.]
On Wednesday a feast was held in the school house at the Fort. Toward the end of the dinner, a terrible wind and rain storm rocked the fort. Nevertheless the Saints continued their feast and afterwards heard remarks from Heber C. Kimball, Bishop Newel K. Whitney, and Isaac Morley. President Brigham Young then preached a long sermon "full of comfort and cheer."
Brigham Young and his party left Manti on Thursday.
Lousia Barnes Pratt and the other missionaries bound for the Society Islands continued to float down the river on a bark (a small sailing ship). After a terrible week suffering from mosquitoes, part of the company were able to transfer over to a steamer. Sister Pratt wrote, "We rejoiced greatly that we were leaving the musketoes behind and were in hope that the loss of blood would be regained when we gained the residences of our friends in San Francisco. We looked about the boat, found it very comfortable. We put on clean clothes and took seats in the cabin."
While on the steamer, Sister Pratt had a missionary experience. A gentleman started to ask her about the Mormons. Sister Pratt told him about Joseph Smith and bore testimony that he was a prophet. The explained about the restoration of the Church and bore a strong testimony. "He appeared astonished that I should speak with so much confidence, said he could not belief it. I replied his disbelieving it could not make it untrue; he appeared disturbed and left the cabin. I had with me one of Orson Pratt's pamphlets concerning the origin of this work. I laid it on the table covered it with a bible lying there, that some one might find it when I was gone, and perhaps the same gentleman as he belongs to the boat."
Sister Pratt went to her stateroom and laid down to sleep. "I had not closed my eyes till I discovered that I was in a nest of bedbugs. I removed my bed to the floor and even there I could not keep clear of them."
Elder John Forsgren continued to teach the gospel to his family and friends. He translated a pamphlet by Orson Pratt into Swedish but could not find any printers in town who would agree to publish it. He visited a ship load of farmers about to sail to New York and he preached the gospel among them. About seventeen of the farmers accepted the gospel and on Wednesday a baptism was held. That afternoon Elder Forsgren preached in some woods just outside of town. After he closed the meeting, the marshal, with priests and police arrested him, "variously insulted him, marched him through the town, and proclaimed 'the dipper' and etc. and arraigned him before the governor of the city, and all the priests." Since he had an American passport he was sent to Stockholm to be arraigned before the king. But the king was not in the city. Elder Forsgren was not permitted to preach or leave the city. The newspapers stirred up excitement and many people flocked to see him. He was invited to meet in private with many people.
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 2, p.379 Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:566-67 Brigham Young, The Man and His Work, p. 152 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 317-19 Ellsworth, The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt, 119-20
Wilford Woodruff's company rested for the Sabbath, camped about 25 miles east of Chimney Rock. A meeting was held in the afternoon. Brother Whipple preached on the difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. Elder Woodruff also shared some excellent instructions.
On Tuesday the company reached Chimney Rock. Several members of the company went to climb the rock. Elder Woodruff wrote, "Mrs Woodruff, myself and many others engraved our names as high up the piller as possible. The whole appearance of Chimney Rock would indicate that the ancient Nephites or some on else had built the mound and erected a great tower upon the top of it."
On Wednesday Elder Woodruff and Alexander Badlam explored Scotts Bluffs from the top to bottom. "They had many grand formations of nature. In some places we rolled off large rocks off near a tons weight that would go thundering down the mountains and into the valley beneath levelling the cedars to the earth and startling the wolves from their hiding places as it bounded its way for half a mile from the starting point."
Back with the rest of the company, Sophia Goodridge wrote: "We saw some Indians for the first time since we started. Their wigwams were spread along the road. They were Sioux. They looked very neat and clean for Indians. The men came out on horses to look at us. The squaws with their papooses stood along the road and tried to sell us some moccasins. One of the men wanted to trade a horse for a white squaw." The company ended the week a few miles east of Fort Laramie.
Brigham Young and his traveling party returned from Manti on Monday. On Thursday Elder Orson Hyde arrived in the valley. He had journeyed from Kanesville, Iowa and reported that there were eight hundred wagons loaded with Saints on their way to the valley.
On Sunday Patty Sessions had the sad experience watching her husband David die. Sunday she wrote, "He grows worse, has not spoke since Friday but I think he knows what we say. Ten o'clock he died very easy, lost the use of his hands yesterday morning. We are quite sure it was numb palsy came on gradually." On Monday she added, "We buried him. I now feel my loss but do not mourn as one that has no hope for I do feel that my loss is his gain, yet I cannot help weeping and feeling bad."
On Monday, August 12, 1850, Elder Erastus Snow conducted the first baptisms in Denmark. Fifteen people were baptized. The first man was Ole U. C. Monster and the first woman was Anna Beckstrom. During the week an additional eleven people joined the Church. Most of them had been followers of Peter C. Monster, a Baptist reformer. Elder Snow wrote, "Many more of them are believing; while the rest of them are full of wrath and indignation. Mr. [Peter] Monster himself, who received us at first, and opened the way for us to form acquaintances with his people, now stands as it were upon a pinnacle, undecided whether to forsake his people or the truth; still he will not turn against us and those who have left him; his influence is exerted for good, and I still hope and pray that he may follow. Among those who are baptized are Germans, Swedes and Danes. . . . The Lord has visited these believers with many visions and dreams and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and some have told us that they had seen us in visions before we came."
Elder Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich started with a company of thirty-four men bound for the Salt Lake Valley. As they traveled they encountered many companies with gold fever making their way to California.
Lousia Barnes Pratt and the other missionaries bound for the Society Islands finally arrived in San Francisco. They found many of their friends, members of the Church who had traveled to California on the ship "Brooklyn" in 1846. These families took them into their homes. Sister Pratt wrote, "Sister Corwin invited me to her house which was at Mr. Samuel Brannan's a most splendid situation: the house was like a king's palace; I remarked to Mrs. B. that such a house would do me but little good in that place, but if I had it in the church at Salt Lake, I should enjoy it." About San Francisco, Sister Pratt wrote, "I cannot say I was pleased with the place; the city is built in a bed of sands and the wind blows a gale every afternoon; so there is always a cloud of dust which makes it disagreeable going out. A large fleet of ships were in the harbor, they looked to me like a funeral procession; all was bustle and, confusion; the streets narrow and dirty; there had been a great burning a little before we arrived there, but repairs were soon made; it is one of the greatest commercial cities in the world."
Elder John Forsgren had been arrested and taken to Stockholm. There, he was instructed not to leave the city. On Monday the judges and police tried to persuade him to quit his preaching. But Elder Forsgren said that it was the Lord's will that he should continue. The officials finally started to make plans to capture Elder Forsgren and put him on a ship headed back to America. In the mean time, with all the public attention, many people flocked to hear the gospel message. He instructed many in private and made many friends. As some expressed a desire to be baptized, the police capture him by night and put him on an American ship bound for New York. [Elder Forsgren would befriend the captain who let him escape. He eventually made his way to Denmark.]
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 15, p.257 Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:567-69 Brigham Young, The Man and His Work, p. 153 Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology, August 15, 1850 (Thursday) Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 4, p.369 Smart, Mormon Midwife, 149 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 317-19 Ellsworth, The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt, 120-21
The Wilford Woodruff company traveled on Sunday because the grass was so poor, nothing for the animals to eat. They reached Fort Laramie and continued on. Sophia Goodridge wrote on Tuesday, "A company of Cheyenne Indians came along in the afternoon and camped beside us. They had been out on a buffalo hunt and were returning to Ft. Laramie to sell their skins. They looked very friendly. We traded some with them. Bro. Woodruff lost an ox last night and had to go back to the Fort to get some more, which delayed us some." Elder Woodruff bought three yoke of oxen for $60 each.
On Saturday the company reached the Black Hills. They met Brother Joseph A. Stratton and Brother Hanks from the valley. These brethren had been sent out to meet the pioneer companies to bring them encouragement. They shared potatoes from the valley which were a great treat and read a letter from President Brigham Young. Sister Goodridge wrote, "It was truly cheering to us to hear from the Valley and know that we were not forgotten by the Saints in the Valley, while we are traveling in the wilderness. It caused us to rejoice and feel like starting anew on our journey."
Wagon trains of gold seekers continued to arrive in the valley. A messenger also arrived from the east bringing a letter from Brother John M. Bernhisel who shared news from Washington D.C.
Brother Thomas Tompkins worked to find a ship to take the group of missionaries to the Society Islands. Sister Louis Pratt wrote, "Brother Tompkins, though a good main in many respects, is subject to little flurries of temper and impatience; he felt it was draining very strong on his means to procure a passage for so many, and so it was, and whenever I heard his making any complaint it was bitterness to me. There is something so humiliating in the idea of being dependent that although he was called and duly authorized by the Church to go with us, and I knew we both engaged in the same common cause, yet so much did I regret that I had not means of my own to go on an errand for the Lord at my own expense, that at times it made me quite unhappy. What I do for the cause of Christ I desire to do wholly at my own expense; and I pray for the means, that I may show my liberality and my willingness to do those things necessary to be done."
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 15, p.257 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 320 Ellsworth, The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt, 121-22
Elder Wilford Woodruff and several companies continued their trek toward the valley, traveling along the North Platte River. On Monday they traveled over seventeen miles of the worst road they had yet seen during their journey. During the night, ninety-two head of oxen wandered from camp and were lost. Elder Woodruff wrote, "I went on to a high mountain and with my glass could explore the country for many miles. I saw many herds of buffalo on the Platte bottom. Brother Stratton and Atwood followed a grizzly bear a distance but did not kill him. Sommers shot at a panther near camp. Did not kill him. The country abounds with buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, bear, panther, and wolves etc."
On Wednesday the oxen were still lost. Several brethren went out on horseback to search and other went out on foot. On Thursday the brethren returned with thirty-nine oxen. While they waited, several sisters went out and picked fourteen quarts of cherries along the river. On Friday all but four of the remaining oxen were found. Elder Woodruff remarked, "We were all much rejoiced to hear that our cattle were found so that we could continue our journey."
On Sunday evening a meeting was called by the Twelve for all those who could speak German. The brethren wished to determine how many could speak the language and who might be candidates to go on a mission to Germany.
On Wednesday Presidents Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, Elder Orson Hyde, Bishop Newel K. Whitney, Daniel H. Wells and others left traveled north to determine the location for a city on the Weber River. President Young counseled the settlers in that area to not settle out in the country, but rather move to city lots, build good houses, schools, meeting houses, and other buildings, that Ogden might be a permanent city. They returned on Saturday after establishing a plan for the city of Ogden.
On Wednesday the Hollady-Warner wagon train entered the valley with a few families who were members of the Church. On Friday the first pioneer company arrived with fifty wagons, led by Milo Andrus. On Brother Andrus' wagon waved a large flag inscribed with "Holiness to the Lord."
On Sunday the Sacrament was administered for the first time in Denmark at a meeting held in Copenhagen.
Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:569-71 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 15, p.261 Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 2, p. 240 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 327 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:378-79