Sunday, September 2, 1849 - Saturday, September 8, 1849
On Sunday the First Presidency addressed many Saints assembled at Brown's Fort on the Weber River. On Monday the Church leaders climbed a sand hill and designated the spot for a city, which would later be named Ogden. They chose a spot on the south side of Ogden River, where the water from both the Weber and Ogden Rivers could be used for irrigation. That evening a dance was held at the fort. The brethren returned to Great Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
On Thursday Brigham Young wrote a letter to Amasa Lyman, in California, informing him that General John Wilson arrived in the valley and would soon continue on to California. Elder Lyman was asked to act as a delegate for the Saints to work with General Wilson in meetings to discuss the formation of a large western state. On Saturday General Wilson wrote a letter to Senator Truman Smith of Connecticut. He reported on his visit to Salt Lake City. "A more orderly, earnest, industrious and civil people, I have never been among than these, and it is incredible how much they have done here in the wilderness in so short a time. In this city which contains about from four to five thousand inhabitants, I have not met in a citizen a single idler, or any person who looks like a loafer. Their prospects for crops are fair, and there is a spirit and energy in all that you see that cannot be equaled in any city of any size that I have ever been in, and I will add, not even in old Connecticut."
On Sunday Tooele, about twenty-five miles southwest of Great Salt Lake City, was first settled by John Rowberry and Cyrus Tolman. The unusual name came from the word "tule" or bulrushes. However, Brigham Young's clerk, Thomas Bullock misspelled it "Tooele" in the Church records and that spelling was used ever since.
On Monday evening, Brother Almon W. Babbitt arrived at Kanesville from the valley. He had made the entire journey in thirty-six days. The "Frontier Guardian" shared some of his news from the valley: "News from the valley is quite encouraging. The crickets entirely disappear where fowls and swine are permitted to range. They have suffered comparatively none this year by those insects. Their wheat crops are good, corn looks prosperousbeets, carrots, squash, pumpkin, and other vegetables are excellent. The health of the citizens there was good, and great activity in business prevailed. About twelve or fifteen thousand California emigrants passed through the valley, and about three thousand calculated to winter there."
Elder Wilford Woodruff traveled to the Fall River Branch to hear a difficult case in an attempt to settle a serious problem there. He wrote: "I heard it until my head, heart, and brains ached. It last until night." On Tuesday he rode to New Bedford and organized a branch of the Church there. On Wednesday he returned to Boston by train.
On Sunday, the ship "James Pennell" sailed from Liverpool, England, with 236 Saints, under the direction of Thomas H. Clark. On Wednesday, the ship "Berlin" also sailed from Liverpool with 253 Saints, led by James G. Brown. [This ship would later become a death ship, as many Saints died of cholera.]
B.H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor, p.202 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 20, p.171 B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.3, Ch.91, p.485 Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 278 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 11, p.536 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:479
On Sunday a guest Presbyterian speaker, Reverend Henry Kroh, a German, delivered a sermon to the people in the bowery on Temple Square. His talk was on John 17:17, "Sanctify them through they truth, they word is truth."
President Brigham Young proposed that a "Perpetual Emigration Fund" be collected to help the needy travel to the valley. A committee was set up to establish and collect these funds. Jedediah M. Grant was appointed to be in charge of the fund in the east.
On Monday Daniel H. Wells and Thomas Bullock took out of circulation about four thousand dollars worth of paper currency. They burned this money in preparation for minting gold coinage. On Wednesday Thomas Bullock and John Kay put the mint into operation. They melted gold, rolled bars, and on Thursday cut out and stamped coins.
On Wednesday Captain Howard Stansbury and his company of topographical corps departed from the city, heading for Fort Hall [present-day Pocatello]. They would remain there until their supplies arrived on October 6.
After visiting the Ogden area during the previous week, the First Presidency traveled south to visit the Saints living at Fort Utah on the Provo River and the "cottonwood settlement." They departed from Great Salt Lake City on Friday and entered Utah Valley on Saturday. They went there to reassure themselves that the Provo site was suitable for a settlement.
Brother John M. Bernhisel wrote a letter reporting on his travels to the east. On his way, he visited their once beloved city of Nauvoo.
Nauvoo presents a most gloomy and desolate appearance. The lots and streets, with a few exceptions, are overgrown with weeds and grass. Few of the houses, comparatively speaking, are inhabited; the remainder are in a state of desolation and utter ruin. Though the walls of the temple are standing, yet they are much cracked, especially the east one, and not a visage of the once beautiful font remains. There has been nothing done to rebuild it, except clearing away some rubbish, and it is highly probable there will never be anything more done. The temple is enclosed with a rude fence, and is used as a sheepfold and cow pen. I was informed by a person who witnessed the conflagration of this sacred and magnificent edifice, that when the flames first burst out through the steeple, a most profound silence reigned over this devoted city, then the dogs began to bark, and the cattle to low.
Brother Bernhisel wrote of Emma Smith and her family, including her sixteen-year-old son, Joseph Smith III.
Though Emma received me in the kindest and entertained me in the most hospitable manner, yet she did not make a single inquiry in relation to the valley, the church, or any of its members. She has become quite corpulent. She has not united with the Methodist church. Joseph has grown surprisingly, indeed so much so that I did not recognize him. His little brothers have also grown rapidly. Emma has employed a teacher, who is residing in the house and is instruction the children. . . . Mother Smith's health is very feeble, and in all human probability she will not survive another winter. She inquired after you and others. [Lucy Mack Smith did not until May 5, 1855].
[Last week I mentioned that Tooele was settled and wrote
that the name came from the word "tule" or bulrushes. The origin of
the unusual name has been an interesting mystery, even to the city itself. Dirk
The name "Tooele" is an Anglicization of a native Gosiute personal name _Tuu-weeta_, meaning 'black bear' (the "e" in _weeta_ is pronounced much like the "e" in 'roses'). To this day, the Bear family is very prominent in the Gosiute community of Tooele county (the tribal chair of the Skull Valley band of the Goshute Tribe is Leon Bear).]
Sister Ellen Stoddart, age 27, died on Thursday abord the ship "Berlin," loaded with 253 Saints. She was the first of many to die of cholera.
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 2, p.160 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 8, p.259-60 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 11, p.432 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 245-46 THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 279 email from Dirk Elzinga
On Wednesday, Robert L. Campbell, William W. Patten, and Bradford W. Elliot arrived in the city, bringing letters from the pioneer companies approaching the valley. Robert Campbell had been traveling east with Almon W. Babbitt, heading for Washington D.C. When he met the rear pioneer companies 684 miles east of the valley, he parted with Brother Babbitt and started his return journey to the west.
These messengers had many interesting tales to tell about their journey. While at the Green River, they met some a company of California emigrants which included two men who participated in the Haun's Mill Massacre, Jim Allen and a Mr. Silvers. The emigrant company wanted to travel through Great Salt Lake City, but these two men were very fearful. Their company even teased them about an incident along the trail when they had become scared when a Mormon woman held them at "gun point" with a sweet potato cut into the form of a pistol.
On Thursday a pioneer company from Winter Quarters, led by Orson Spencer, started to arrive in the valley. The company consisted of about 350 people, including many British Saints.
Sister Louisa Barnes Pratt was alarmed to learn that her husband, Addison Pratt soon would be leaving for his mission. She had hoped that he would stay in the valley until spring. But a California emigrant company had enlisted Jefferson Hunt to pilot them to California along the southern route. It was decided to have Charles C. Rich and Addison Pratt go with them, so they could begin their missions. Sister Pratt was devastated by this news. She wrote, "It seemed cruel in extreme, but not a word was to be said. It was for the gospel we were called to make sacrifices, we must have like, 'Moses' respect for recompense and reward. We were in not situation to be left. No house built on our city lot, wood at a great distance. I ground down the rebellion of my heart, determined to let it break rather than murmur at my fate. I expressed my entire willingness to have my husband go."
After a nice visit with the Saints in Utah Valley, the First Presidency bid good-bye and started their return journey. Zina Young, who had spent a month visiting with her brother in Provo, traveled back with Brigham Young. She wrote: "There were six or seven carriages in the company. A lovely day. Stopped at Brother Bills and took supper. It was very nice indeed. All things were prepared in style and ready to be seated at the table." The company arrived back at Great Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Elder Wilford Woodruff and his family participated in a wonderful social with the Bradford Branch of the Church. They conducted their annual ride to Plum Island. The branch assembled at 8:30 a.m. and formed a parade of eighteen carriages, with seventy-eight people. The company was led by a waggon drawn by six cream-colored horses. They paraded to Newburyport and then proceeded on to Plum Island.
Elder Woodruff wrote: "On our arrival at the island we went into a romantic valley surrounded by hills of sand and plum bushes. A spot of half an acre in the centre of the valley was well covered with nice grass. Around this spot we formed our coral or carriages, upon the green grass the females spread their table cloths and loaded them with every dainty of meats, pies, cakes, fruits and vegetables that heart could wish." Elder Woodruff asked a blessing on the food and then the feast began. Before returning, the company all walked to the sea shore and spent an hour enjoying the beach.
Orson Pratt published in the Church's periodical, "Millennial Star," an "Epistle to the Saints" in the British Isles and other countries. He urged the Saints to gather to the valley. He cautioned them against apostates in New Orleans, St. Louis, and other towns along the Mississippi River. He gave the Saints specific instructions for emigration across the ocean and encouraged them to bring tools and machinery.
Death from cholera continued to plague the ship "Berlin." During the week those Saints who died included Eliza Hopkins, age 23 and her two children, William. Smith, age 50, William. Brindley, age 46, Patience Smith, age 2, John Mason, age 63, and William Harrison Birch, age 2.
THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 279 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 246-49 Diary of Zina D.H. Young, in Journal of Mormon History, 19:2:114 Ellsworth, The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt, 102-03 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:481-82
At the public meeting on Sunday, President Brigham Young rebuked the Saints for inflating the prices of grain and other items as emigrants arrived into the valley. He also warned the Saints that they needed to be faithful in paying their tithing. Patty Sessions observed that President Young preached like Joseph Smith, "plain and to the point." Heber C. Kimball and Parley P. Pratt also spoke. Many nonmember emigrants attended the meeting and found it to be very interesting.
During the week, the Orson Spencer company continued to arrive in the valley. William Cahoon, son of Reynolds Cahoon wrote: "We traveled day after day, for six months and on 24th day September 1849, we entered the valley in company with my father and Andrew's family who came to meet us. Was it not a joyful meeting! Only those separated from their families for a long time, can tell."
On Thursday a company arrived from California with mail from the California Saints and tithing money.
Lucinda Haws Holdaway was living with her in-laws while her husband prepared for the long journey to the west. On Sunday she gave birth to their first child, a son, who they named George Bradford Holdaway. Sister Holdaway later related the sad event shared by so many sisters in the Church during that time. "I was taken sick with congestive fever. . . . I was sick for three months. . . . To make my trials and troubles worse, my little baby died when I was asleep. Oh, how I felt when I awoke and found my little babe, dead, in my arms. He had lived four months. I was very lonely there among strangers. My husband was away much of the time, buying up oxen preparatory to starting back to Salt Lake Valley."
Elder Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal, "The late news from the valley informs us that 15,000 of the emigration after gold have passed through the valley and 3,000 have stopped to winter in the valley and many have joined the Church." On Thursday John M. Bernhisel arrived and Elder Woodruff asked him many questions about the Saints in the valley.
Death from cholera continued to plague the ship "Berlin." During the week 14 Saints died including: Agnes Smith, age 10 months, Martha Stoddart, age 9 months, Mary Ann Wilson, age 18 months, Ellen Fife, aged 5 years, Wm. Farnsworth, age 18 months, Thomas Warburton, age 53, William Fielder, age 21, John Fletcher, age 26, Charles Timmings, age 22, Sarah Ann West, age 2 years, Ann Farnsworth, age 42, Richard Lester, age 25, John Buckley, age 28, James Dawson, age 28,
THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 279 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.256 William Cahoon Autobiography, in Reynolds Cahoon and Sons (1960), p.89 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:357 Smart, Mormon Midwife, 136 Diary of Zina D.H. Young, in Journal of Mormon History, 19:2:114 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:483-84
On Tuesday Jefferson Hunt's wagon train consisting of four hundred California emigrants rendezvoused at Hobble Creek in Utah Valley. Brother Hunt had been contracted to guide them to California along the southern route through present-day Las Vegas. Brother Hunt had to return to Salt Lake in order to hurry others along to join the company. The others included Elder Charles C. Rich, Addison Pratt, James S. Brown, and Frances M. Pomeroy.
On Wednesday Addison Pratt, bound for a second mission to the Society Islands, began his journey. The time of parting with his family was difficult. His wife, Sister Louisa Pratt wrote: "All was bustle and confusion, a very little time allotted for preparation. I happened to say something in the tone of complaint, my companion having already more on his mind than he knew how to bear, gave me short answer, and appeared exceedingly irritated. I felt for a moment that heaven and earth were combined against me. I indulged in a profusion of tears, struggled to suppress them, resolved to cherish no unkindness in my heart towards him. He gave us the parting hand, and at the instant I felt quite comforted."
Brother Pratt bid good-bye to his family near Orson Spencer's home. Sister Pratt continued, "The children were with me, and we made our way back to our lonely dwelling. Brother James Brown though appointed on the mission was not ready to start with the company, but would follow on. He walked home with us, seemed much affected in view of our bereavement. He bade us a kind good night, and we were again alone. I struck a light in the house, but so vacant did it seem we all sat down outside. The light was burning in the empty room; truly it was like the night of death. . . . When the evening was far spent we went into our desolate house. Soon the children feeling exhausted sank into profound slumber. Then it was I gave vent to feelings of my heart in a torrent of complaints. I wept, I groaned, I prayed, exclaiming 'will my sufferings never come to an end?'"
Addison Pratt's company traveled ten miles that evening and camped at a settlement on Cottonwood Creek. John Brown lived there along with many other Saints from Mississippi. The company was delayed there until Friday because one of their cattle became lame. On Friday they continued, traveled around the "point of the mountain," and saw their first view of Utah Lake. Brother Pratt wrote, "This is a beautiful sheet of waters, some forty miles long, and lies in a sort of triangle. It is surrounded by a wide valley, covered with a heavy growth of excellent grass." They camped that night at Fort Utah on the Provo River. The Saints in Prove were very kind to them. On Saturday the company caught up with Jefferson Hunt's emigrants on Election Creek [present-day Payson].
On Saturday, back in Great Salt Lake City, the General Conference of the Church commenced. It was held under the bowery on Temple Square. Daniel Spencer, president of the Salt Lake Stake, conducted the Saturday session. The Choir sang "The Jubilee Hymn" and President Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor in the First Presidency, offered the invocation.
During the Saturday session of Conference, President Brigham Young described a new program to help the needy Saints make their way to the valley. It was called the "Perpetual Emigration Fund." Funds would be raised to help the poor. After these Saints arrived, they would give back the wagons, and pay back into the fund to help others also make their trek west. President Young explained, "We wish all to understand that this fund is PERPETUAL and is never to be diverted from the object of gathering the poor to Zion while there are Saints to be gathered."
On Tuesday the George A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson pioneer companies, located on the Sweetwater, west of Rocky Ridge, were overtaken by a furious wind and snowstorm. The storm lasted for thirty-six hours and snow drifts in many places were three to four feet high. The pioneers took shelter in their wagons, and stayed in their beds to find warmth. Many of their cattle strayed and fifty-six head of cattle perished during the storm. On Friday and Saturday the companies were able to advance a few miles further, where they found a pasture for their surviving cattle.
Five more children died from cholera continued on the ship "Berlin." During the past month, more people died on the ship than any other ship since the Saints started to emigrate from Europe in 1840.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 249, 264 Ellsworth, The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt, 103-04 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 377-79 THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 279