Pioneers from Jersey on an 1852 Mormon caravan journey across America
Having endured sea passages from Jersey to Liverpool, a transatlantic crossing and then travelled up river on paddle steamers, Mormon pioneers heading for Utah then had to survive the hardships of the final stage of their journey, overland in a wagon train.
These journeys, during which the pioneers often had to survive attacks by Indians, took place from 1847 to 1868. One, between July and November 1852, was led by Philip de la Mare, who, as his name suggests, came from Jersey.
This company transported machinery for the first beet sugar refinery ever brought to the western hemisphere; with it were a number of emigrant families, including some from Jersey.
(The number shown in brackets next to each name is the age of the pioneer at the time of the journey.) Anderson, Otto and William; Andrews, Thomas (18); Bollwinkel, John (41); John Murray (15) and Frederick (9); Bridgewood, Mrs; Burnett, Thomas; Burrows, William Creeland (23); Cannon, Abner ; Carlisle, Richard (54); Thomas Fields (29), John (19); Chapman, Robert ; Clift, Alfred Francis (23); Cornwell, William; De La Mare, Philip (29), Mary Ann Parkin (31), Marie Chevalier (29); Philip Francis, Jr. (3); Theophilus (1); Dixon, Charles; Elwills, Martha; Evans, John; Flinn, Thomas; George, John (34); Goodman, Joseph; Hanson, John ; Harding, Samuel (23), Mary Jenette Stowe (25), Jessie (1), Mary Jeanette (infant); Harkinson, Charles; Hartley, Henry; Hocquard, Fanny Sophia (22); Holladay, William (20); Jackson, Hardy ; Jeune, Philippe (55), Fanny Le Fevre (52); Fanny Esther (9), Julia Mary (11); Jewkes, Samuel (29); Sophia Lewis (30); Jones, James N ; Kelly, Thomas; Kinsman, Marshall Corridon (30); LeBaron, Alonzo Harrington (34); Long, George ; Love, James ; McColleck, William; Meeks, Arthur; Moeller, Charles William; Morgan, J Morris, Elias (27), Mary Parry (17); Nuttall, William (55), Mary Langhorn (53), Joseph Lewis (15); Leonard John (17), Rosamond Watson (23), William Ephraim (26); Owen, John ; Palmer, James ; Parry, Mary (29); Reynolds, Cornelius (22); Mary Ann (22); Roberts, Robert ; Smith, Charles ; Stokes, Christopher (21); Stratton, Edward (20); Taylor, Margaret (23); William (20); Terrell, John (27); Vaughan, Thomas ; Vernon, John Venables (20); Watson, James ; Welch, Edward ; White, James ; Wilde, Henry.
4 July 1852, saw the beginning of the great journey across the plains. From Fort Leavenworth Philip de La Mare directed his caravan, which, in addition to his own wagons, now consisted of a number of emigrant families who had joined them at Fort Leavenworth and along the way, directly west.
Out into the great uninhabited plains they traveled. Each day they drew further away from civilisation. The first beet sugar refining machinery that had ever been brought to the Western Hemisphere was being transported across the great western plains in forty ponderous Sante Fe Wagons, each drawn by from four to eight yoke of oxen and carrying from 5,000 to 9,000 pounds each of iron machinery.
What a splendid sight it must have been to see this great train en route. It was the realization of the poet when he wrote "Westward the course of Empire takes its way." Days, weeks and months came and still they traveled. The long hot days of summer were now drawing shorter and cooler and the falling of the leaves from the trees predicted winter.
At Sweetwater river they experienced their first severe snow storm. Snow fell to the depth of two feet and the thermometer dropped below zero. The night of the storm many of the cattle got away and ran in every direction. Most of them were rounded up but some were never seen again.
The commissary got low and they were compelled to kill some of the remaining cattle. Necessarily they were forced to travel far slower. While traveling through Wyoming they were met by Joseph Horne who had been sent by President Taylor to meet them. The provisions and articles he brought were of great assistance to the almost famished emigrants.
At Green River in South Western Wyoming they purchased some cattle from trappers Descamp and Garnier, to replace the ones they had eaten. These trappers had purchased their cattle from people traveling in that section. At Ford Bridger more assistance was received. Abram Smoot brought from Salt Lake City a load of flour, which at this time was selling for $50 per 100 pounds.
After a few days rest Mr Smoot began his return journey taking with him several of the emigrants.
Shortly after reaching Bear River the mountainous trails were found to be so rugged and the snow on them so deep that several of the largest boilers of machinery had to be left behind. They were fetched the next spring.
The emigrants then continued their journey. After crossing Bear River they followed the trail of the pioneers of 1847 and came through Emigration Canyon into Salt Lake. Their destination was at last reached and their journey almost ended. The families who had accompanied the train stopped off in Salt Lake and the machinery was taken to Provo City, fifty miles south. It was now the latter part of November 1852; five months having been spent in making the journey from Fort Leavenworth, a distance of 1200 miles.
At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, where Captain Russell hired workmen and constructed 52 wagons,Philip de La Mare had searched the surrounding country for oxen, carrying as much as $6,000 in gold in his money belt. He traveled 1,000 miles and managed to purchase 400 oxen from over 100 different people. Many of these oxen were wild and untamed to the yoke. Philip de La Mare paid a total of $6,000 for these 200 yoke of oxen.
Thomas de La Mare records that after his father had obtained the cattle, "he saw before him a task that looked almost beyond the power of man to accomplish. A thousand miles of uninhabited plains lay before him and beyond that rose great chains of almost unexplored mountains."
Fred Taylor commented on the magnitude of this venture as follows:
- ”To de La Mare the project might well have been appalling. Here was a young man of 29 years who had been reared in a community where civilization had existed for centuries. He had experienced none of the hardships of frontier life, yet his character and physical fitness made John Taylor choose him to take charge of this extraordinary pioneering expedition.
It is doubtful that there is another episode in the history of the industrial development of America which for sheer courage, stamina and physical endurance surpasses the story of the party captained by de La Mare.
On 4 July 1852 the wagons loaded with heavy machinery started west under the direction of Captain de La Mare. The wagons had previously been brought up the river by boat. Some of the wagons which were drawn by four to eight oxen carried from 5,000 to 9,000 pounds. They had traveled only a few miles when the wagons started to break down. It was heart-breakingly obvious that they would not transport the heavy equipment across the plains.
The company funds were depleted. Philip met Captain Charles Perry and obtained from him, on credit, forty Great Santa Fe Wagons. The equipment was transferred to these wagons, and the old wagons were given to poor Saints who were preparing to journey to Utah and would travel with the sugar company under the leadership of Captain de La Mare. Flour was also obtained by credit. It was later discovered that the flour had been adulterated with plaster of paris.
On 4 July 1852, the wagon train again started for the Great Salt Lake Valley.
"Bridges groaned under the unaccustomed strain, and occasionally plunged the heavy load into the surging waters. Fords and ferries proved inadequate. Snowstorms retarded progress, provisions ran short, and many cattle died."
Alice Gowans who is 92 years old and the last surviving child of Philip De La Mare says of this time:
Father worked hard. He was gone from his family most of the time fixing a broken wagon wheel or a broken axel or shoeing an oxen. The greatest hardship was in Wyoming where there was a terrific blizzard and not much to eat. It stormed so badly they couldn't keep a fire.
Philip Francis De La Mare, who as a small boy crossed the plains with his parents, recalled in later life one experience which left a vivid impression upon his memory. A band of very colorfully dressed Indians on ponies overtook the wagon train, confronted Captain de La Mare and demanded biscuits. Sister de La Mare took a box of crackers from the wagon and filled a blanket which the chief held. The chief then distributed the crackers to his braves and they mounted their ponies and rode away.
Philip De La Mare had a double responsibility. First, the task of transporting the ponderous equipment and secondly, he was responsible for numerous Saints who were traveling with the wagon train. Either task alone would have been difficult, but the two combined multiplied the difficulty and responsibility that was his.
The wagon train experienced their first severe snowstorm at Sweetwater River. Snow fell and the temperature dropped below zero. The food supply ran low and they were compelled to kill some of the remaining cattle. They were of necessity forced to travel far more slowly.
The most complete account of the condition and progress of the wagon train from the Sweetwater River to the Green River was given by Elias Morris. The following article appeared at the time of his death:
- ”Near the last crossing of Sweetwater we made camp about 9 o'clock at night. It was very dark and snowing. As we hardly had any provisions we turned in without supper. In the morning we found a foot of snow and but very little provisions in camp. Orders were given by Captain de La Mare, now living in Tooele, to go and get the cattle in. We found that quite a percentage of the poorest had laid down in the brush to rest for the last time. Of those that were found dead we cut out their tongues and hearts, which were cooked and thus satisfied our own hunger. When we gathered in all the other cattle we could find we had just about enough left to take the family wagons to Green River. At the same time the captain had set a messenger to Green River post and bought 16 head of cattle. On the first night from Green River, they took a stampede and were either lost or stolen by the Indians.
When we left camp with the families we left six single men and supplies such as shotguns, rifles and ammunition, to hunt lost cattle, as well as game for their own support, as we had no provisions to leave with them. They second day they found the cattle. They followed us the next day. As they were all strangers to the road and our tracks were covered with snow, they took the wrong road by mistake. They sent a messenger down the river to our camp for provisions as they were near starving. As we had secured provisions at the trading post we were able to supply them.
In two days more our broken camp was again united for our journey. While here President Smoot came to our rescue with teams and provisions sent out by President Young. While Mr Smoot stood at our camp fire sympathising with our wretched conditon he noticed three large white letters painted on the boilers; DMC. He asked us the meaning of the letters but received no answer. He said, "If you don't know I think I can tell you. DMC in this case means Damn Miserable Company." And we agreed that he was correct.
Under the date of 30 September 1852, the Journal History records the following:
By latest accounts, Captain E B Kelsey's company and Captain de La Mare's (which contains the sugar machinery) are together, and are near Bridger. Twenty-three yoke of cattle, and a load of flour have left this week in charge of Joseph Home and A O Smoot to aid them in. They are the rear companies of the immigration.
The company followed the trail of the pioneers of 1847 through Emigration Canyon into Salt Lake Valley and arrived on November 10, 1852. Here the immigrants departed from the company but the journey continued for Philip De La Mare and the sugar beet equipment. It took an additional three weeks to deliver the equipment to Provo—the site Brigham Young had chosen for the plant.
From Salt Lake, Frontier Guardian, 11 November 1852
Stephen Rose, United States Indian Agent for the Shoshones and Utahs, and general acting Agent for the Indians in Salt Lake Valley, arrived in the city yesterday evening, on the steamer Polar Star. He left Salt Lake on 31 August. At Sweet Water, about 18 September, he encountered a severe storm of cold rain, which lasted until about the 21st, during which time he lost several animals and could not travel. After that time the weather was fine and comfortable. He arrived at Fort Laramie on 22 September, Fort Kearney on 2 October, and reached Independence on the 17th.
At Fort Laramie the Government train had arrived with the goods intended for annuities to the Indians. A great number of Sioux Indians were assembled around the fort, awaiting the arrival of Major Fitzpatrick, who was out on the South Fork of the Platte, with the Chayennes and Arrapohoes. The Indians were quite impatient for his arrival, so much so that the commanding officer of the fort had deemed it prudent to give them some provisions.
At Fort Bridger, when Mr R passed, a large number of the Sankes, Nez Perces and Flat Heads, had assembled, expecting presents from the United States Government, which, really, they had no right to expect. A portion of the Snakes, and a few of the Flat Heads, attended the Treaty at Fort Laramie last year, and there received a few presents. As the Snakes and Flat Heads are intermixed with these other tribes, they partake of the common expectation, but none of them were embraced in the treaty, as they were out of the jurisdiction of Col Mitchell and the Commission to make the treaty. They were friendly, but much disappointed in not receiving annuities.
During the season the Snakes came in and made a treaty with the Yamponees. After the treaty was made, they went out on a Buffalo hunt, and fell in with a band of Chayennes, who killed some of the party, and they returned, asking advice and permission to go out on a war party, which was deferred until they could be advised by their Great Father.
The Snakes, and other tribes, have sent an embassy to Walker, the celebrated chief of the Utahs, desiring to make a treaty of peace with him and his tribe. No answer has been returned, and it was doubtful whether he would meet them. During the trip in, Mr Rose's party experienced no molestation from the Indians. They learned below Fort Kearney that a war party of Pawnees were out against the Sioux, and for a few nights guarded their horses, fearing they might be stolen, but they were not molested.
They met Mr Phelps' train 25 miles from Independence Rock. The Secretary of the Territory was with them, and they were getting along well. The train in which the Judges of Utah, Messrs Reed and Shaffer, were traveling, was met between the Big and Little Blue, all getting along well.
On Sweet Water and South Platte, they found innumerable herds of buffalo. The number was greater than any of the company had ever before seen.
In Salt Lake Valley, everything was going on prosperously and quietly. The crops this year are hardly equal to what was expected, but much greater than the demand for consumption. The Mormons are building up a dense city at Salt Lake. They have finished their Tabernacle, and have commenced the Temple Wall. This is a wall 15 feet high, which is to surround the Temple grounds, an area of about ten acres. The Temple is to be commenced in April next. Trade and business has been reasonably brisk in the Valley during the season, and the settlements are extending themselves out in various directions.
Mr Rose met the train having in charge the machinery for the manufactory of sugar from the beet, at Independence Rock, and the last Mormon train12 miles this side, all getting along very well.
William Clayton diary, August 1852 to March 1853.
Monday 27 September, morning clear and frosty. The feed being very poor, and the land wet and swampy, it was decided to start early. Accordingly, at daybreak, the animals were got up and fed, and at a quarter after 7 we assembled for prayers, Br John van Cott being called upon by the Chaplain to lead. We then proceeded onward. I started ahead of the wagons on foot. At Pacific Springs we passed a large company of the saints encamped and preparing to travel onward. At this place also is a portion of the company who are taking the machinery for the manufacture of sugar. The cattle belonging to this company are poor indeed; many of them can scarce stand on their feet and it appears to be with the greatest difficulty they can move along. Their loads generally are very heavy, but as brother Joseph Horne is gone into the City to procure more team, they will no doubt meet help in a few days. Brother Alonzo LeBaron says that this company generally are living on 4 ounces of flour each per day; and if they are not met soon with both team and provisions they will undoubtedly suffer.
The gloome, downcast countenances of both men and women, shows that they feel this a very severe hardship, and they are evidently nearly discouraged. The worn out condition of the teams proves that the teamsters do not understand the nature of cattle. If this company had been under the charge of an old Yankee farmer, the cattle would doubtless have been in a much better condition. Inexperienced Englishmen or Frenchmen are not the men to drive teams across the plains as heavily loaded as these are.
A part of the company, say six or eight men with 12 of the most heavily laden wagons, are back on Sweet Water, about 20 miles from Pacific Springs, upwards of 60 head of their cattle having been scattered in a snow storm, and they cannot move untill their cattle are found. This appears to be the last company of saints on the route, and it is evident that unless a strong reinforcement team soon comes to their assistance, they must suffer with the cold, and will have difficulty to get to the valley before the snows of winter meet them.
The machinery which they are taking along is far beyond the expectations of anyone who has heard of it, and if the brethren will raise the beets, we are independent of Gentile Merchants for sugar, molasses or spirits, inasmuch as a large distillery is included with the sugar manufactory, by which can be made the best article of spirituous liquors, equal to the best made in France or elsewhere. The hearts of the saints will be made to rejoice when this company arrives in the Valley; and may God speed them on their way.
At half past 1 pm we formed our encampment on the banks of Sweet Water, about 3 miles below the upper crossing, having travelled 20 miles by the road, and 2 miles out of the way to find grass for the teams, which is very plentiful and good. The day has been warm and pleasant. I walked most of the way, and on South Pass picked up a number of pebbles as a matter of curiosity.
The afternoon was spent by most of the brethren in reading and conversation; some went hunting ducks and geese, and others were cleaning, and putting their rifles in order, as we expect to see buffalo in a few days, and some of the brethren have got no meat of any kind. I went out in the afternoon with my gun to try to get a duck, but was not fortunate enough to get any. I only saw one or two during the time I was out.
I noticed quantities of wagon tire, and iron and parts of wagons scattered in every direction in this place. It is evidently been a place much frequented as a camping ground. At 7 o’clock the camp was called together, and prayer offered up by Elder Osmyn Deuel, after which the evening was very pleasantly spent in conversation on times that are past. Elder Orson Pratt read me a portion of an article he is preparing for the press on Celestial marriage. It is truly an able work, and invaluable to the Elders
Tuesday 28 - Morning fine and frosty. Soon after daybreak, a large herd of cattle was discovered about a mile down the river from our camp. They are doubtless the missing cattle belonging to the sugar company. At a quarter to 8 the brethren assembled as usual and Elder Williams Camp offered up prayers. We then proceeded on our journey, and on arriving at the Branch of Sweet Water, found the men and wagons belonging to the sugar company camped there. They had found a few of their cattle, and were glad to learn that we had discovered the remainder. The place where they are camped is perfectly filthy, Many dead bodies of horses and cattle laying around, and the whole ground is litterally covered with filth.
Alex Dunn, Life of Philip De La Mare
Little does he remember of his native Jersey, as he was only three years of age when his parents set sail for America. His first recollection of anything pertaining to the trip was the beginning of the journey across the planes by ox team. His next vivid impression was a band of Indians overtaking the wagon train and demanding biscuits. The Indian warriors were dressed up in their most colorful regalia, said Brother de La Mare, and they demanded who was the captain of the train. His father, the late Patriarch, Philip de La Mare, bringing the first sugar plant from France to Utah in the train, was captain of his own company, and Brother de La Mare said that his mother opened up a cracker box carried on the wagon and the chief held his blanket while Sister de La Mare filled it with crackers, which the chief in turn distributed among his braves, and they rode away.
He also remembers one of the teamsters killing a buffalo and distributed the meat among the company. At Green River the Company was snowed in and experienced great privation. A rescue train sent out was under the captaincy of John Nuttall, with our townsman John Gillespie as a member, and it was through the persuasion of Brother Gillespie that the de La Mare family came to Tooele.
All of the sugar machinery was brought to Salt Lake City, but several of the wagons were left there during the winter and brought in next spring.
Brother De La Mare relates that his father paid $45 a hundred for flour on the plains, which had been hauled from Salt Lake City to assist in the rescue. During the tie up in the snow seventeen of the oxen died, but it was fortunate that these were replaced by some purchased from trappers in that localities.
It required immense wagons to haul some pieces of the Sugar machinery. One piece weighed 2,200 pounds and another 3,000. From four to five yoke of oxen were needed to pull these huge Santa Fe wagons which had been purchased from the government following a dump back from the Mexican war. It was fortunate that these were available as the first commercial wagons purchased originally for the hauling, broke down under the load and were turned over to one of the pioneer companies.
Joseph Horne, Reminiscences and diary
Brother Taylor returned from his Mission in august and By the Council of Prst Young he engaged me to go and meet the sugar company traine to asist them[.] I started about the 20th of August on horse back and was engaged with them untill about the last of November[.] I went out the first time and met them at Independance rock[.] I found that they needed more teams so I returned to the City and reported the situation of the company. Prst Young called on Br A O Smoot. He got up fifty yoke of the cattle belonging to the emegration fund company that he had Brought in a few weeks previous and return with me. we started about the 15th of September[.] we took out some goods for a man at Fort Bridger. I returned again to the City for more suplies of provisions[.] a short time after forwarding them, news came to the City that a few men with weak teams where still in the rear of the company with the steam Boiler[.] Brother Taylor requested me to get a few teams & provisions & go out to help them in which I did. I met the most of the company at the Big mountain[.] those with the Boilers I met near Bear river[.] we experienced much cold weather and the snow commenced falling when we where at Cash Cave and continued untill we got to the Big mountain where the snow on the east side was about three feet deep[.] we where obliged to leave our waggons[.] we got our teams through by breaking the road for them.
Elias Morris, Reminiscences, in Deseret News , 1898
My father was a mason by trade and a contractor in his native country. I learned the trade with my father. Emigrated to Utah in the year 1852. I identified myself with the Latter-day Saints in the year 1849. In the year 1851, President John Taylor paid a visit to my home in North Wales. He had organized a company of capitalists to purchase machinery for the manufacture of sugar from beets, which he intended to establish in Salt Lake City. He engaged me to go to Utah in the interest if this sugar company. I left Liverpool in charge of the machinery in March, 1852, via New Orleans and up the rivers to Fort Leavenworth, which was the starting point to cross the Plains: arrived in Salt Lake City in November, 1852.
. . . After seven weeks' of sailing we landed at New Orleans. Took the river boat back to Fort Leavenworth. From there I was sent to Council Bluffs to get the company wagons with which to be loaded down with machinery.
We made ready for our long and tedious journey over the Rocky Mountains and started from this point on the Fourth of July. The day we crossed the Rocky Ridge, we camped at Willow Creek near the last crossing of Sweetwater. We made camp about 9 o'clock at night. It was very dark and snowing. As we had hardly any provisions we turned in without supper. In the morning we found a foot of snow and but very little provisions in camp. O[r]ders were given by Captain De La Mare, now living in Tooele, to go and get the cattle in. We found that quite a percentage of the poorest had laid down in the brush to rest for the last time. Of those that were found dead we cut out their tongues and hearts, which we cooked and thus satisfied our own hunger. When we gathered in all the other cattle we could find we had just about enough left to take the family wagons to Green River. At the same time the captain had sent a messenger to Green River post and brought sixteen head of cattle. On the first night from Green River they took a stampede and were either lost or stolen by the Indians.
"When we left camp with the families we left six single men and supplies such as shotguns, rifles and ammunition, to hunt the lost cattle, as well as game for their own support as we had no provisions to leave with them. The second day they found the cattle. They followed us the next day. As they were all strangers to the road and our tracks were covered with snow, they took the wrong road by mistake and when they struck the Green River they found their mistake. They sent a messenger down the river to our camp for provisions as they were near the point of starving. As we had secured provisions at the trading post we were able to supply them.
"In two days more our broken camp was again united for our journey. While here President A. O. Smoot came to our rescue with teams and provisions sent out by President Young. While Mr. Smoot stood at our camp fire sympathizing with our wretched condition he noticed three large white letters painted on the boilers, D. M. C. He asked us the meaning of the letters but received no answer. He said: 'If you don't know I think I can tell you. D. M. C. in this case means Dam Miserable Company,' and we agreed that he was correct.
"We arrived in Salt Lake City About November, 10.
Elias Morris, autobiographical sketch
In February I left Abergele for Rhyl were I took steamer for Liverpool in Company of Sister Mary Parry, Heighgate and Bro Peter Jones, Llysfain, and family.
In Liverpool I met with my intended wife Mary, and her father and mother, John and Elizebeth Parry, of New Market. We intented of getting married in Liverpool and cross the Ocean in the ship Ellen Maria, in which Elder Taylor intented send the sugar machinery. But as the machinery was not ready to go by the Ellen Maria I had to stay one month latter. Mary Parry went with the Saints on the Ellen Maria. While waiting I paid a farewell visit to my Brother Price and family at Manchester. Returned to Liverpool in few days.
Set sail on board the ship Rockaway in latter part of March in Company of 24 Saints, and the sugar machinery. After seven-week voyage we landed in safty at New Orleans. Elder Taylor had given the charge of the few Saints under my direction. Although there were many Gentile emigrant on board, we were partitioned from all others. We attended to our morning and evening prayer meetings, and puplic preaching. Upon our landing at New Orleans I baptised two young men. Elder Taylor and Vernon were waiting for us upon our arrival. They engaged a boat to take the Saints and machinery to St Louis. Upon arriving here Sister Mary Parry met me beng left with Thomas Hughes, late of Machynllaeth, for want of means to go any further. I borrowed £5 by depositing my watch with Bro Robert Thompson, who was going to the valley, so the way was opend for her to go to Salt Lake City in the same company as myself.
Elder Taylor engaged another boat at St Louis to take the sugar machinery and the small company of Saints which was connected with sugar company. At Fort Leavenworth landing the machinery was unloaded to start from that point for the plains enroute for Salt Lake City.
Elder Taylor called upon me unexpectly to go with him to Kanesville to bring down the wagons which had been made for the sugar company.
At this place I met my intended wife for the first time, since she set sail from Liverpool. She was well and hearty. When Bro Taylor learnt that she was here, he counselled me to be married to her. So the marriage ceremonies were performed by President Orson Hyde in the presence of Elders Taylor, I W Coward, and Joseph Parry and Eliezer Edwards and three Sisters at the Residence of my wife's uncle Joseph Parry, Kanesville, on 23 May 1852. My wife being the eldest daughter of John and Elizebeth Parry, Newmarket. She was born at the Town of Newmarket, Flintshire, North Wales, England, on 21 December 1834, being 17 years 5 month of age.
In a few days we started down the River Missouri for Fort Leavenworth in charge of the wagons. At this place we had a very long stay, waiting for the company’s cattle. On 4 July we started for the west. The first days travel was but four or five miles. In that distance four or five axle trees were broken, the cattle been very mild, we teamsters very green, the wagon very badly made with bad timber and green, and the load very heavy. On account of the long delay before starting we ran short of provision before we got three parts of the way. Great many cattle died on the way. The day we crossed the last crossing of the Platte River we kild three Buffolo, dried the meat, which came very exceptable before we got within reach of Salt Lake City.
The day we crossed the rocky ridge we camped on Willow Creek near the last crossy of the Sweetwater. We came to camp about nine o'clock at night, the night beeng very dark and stormy, and but very little provision in camp. All hands as soon they cattle was unyoked we turn to bed cold tired and hungry. The morning no better; a deep snow on the ground, and still snowing so that we could not get to kindle fire untill noon. The storm ceased, turned out in search of the cattle. Before we went quarter of a mile from camp, we found about ten of our cattle dead besides about 80 gone astray. The family wagon started on the next day with what cattle we had, left the heavy waggons and six young men to hunt the stray cattle as well as to hunt their own food, which they did for two days. They found the cattle on Sweet Water, and followed after us, but missed the road and went on the Oregon road, untill they struck Green river which give a great deal of trouble to get them down to the camp a distance of 40 miles over mountains and crossing the green river few times. The men had lived on meat several days.
We arrived in Salt Lake City beginning of November after a very laborous journey of four months. Previous to our starting from Leavensworth Elder Taylor came from Kanesville to organize the camp by appointing Elder Phillip Delamere, late of Jersey, to be the Captain of the Company, myself Captain of the first ten and a chaplain. Thomas Carlisle, second, Samuel Jewkes, third, Charles Dixon, forth, a french man. We buried the wife of Bollwinkel and a young man of 18 from Hull.
When we arr'd at Salt Lake City, the weather was very wintery.