Sunday, February 1, 1846


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a very muddy day.  A public meeting was held in the second story of the temple.  Brigham Young and Orson Pratt addressed the congregation.  The Strangite missionary, Moses Smith was given a chance to speak at this meeting.  After a reply was given, Smith was immediately cut off from the Church by a voice vote.  After the meeting, Brigham Young went to the attic and “partook of some refreshments.”  President Young, Elder Heber C. Kimball and Elder Amasa Lyman administered ordinances at the altar.

Mary Jane Laub, wife of George Laub1 was baptized by Phineas Young.2

An issue of the Times and Seasons was printed.  John Taylor wrote that about two thousand are ready to cross the Mississippi:


To see such a large body of men, women and children, compelled by the inefficiency of the law, and potency of mobocracy, to leave a great city in the month of February, for the sake of the enjoyment of (pure religion) fills the soul with astonishment, and gives the world a sample of fidelity and faith, brilliant as the sun, and forcible as a tempest, and as enduring as eternity.  May God continue the spirit of fleeing from false freedom and false dignity, till every saint is removed to where ‘he can sit under his own vine and fig tree’ without having any to molest or make afraid.  Let us go‑‑let us go.


New York, New York:

Samuel Brannan and his company were getting the ship, Brooklyn, ready to sail.  He wrote a letter to Brother Reuben Hedlock, in England, reporting that “the ship is now loaded, full to the hatchings, about five hundred barrels of which we leave at the Sandwich Islands, and the remainder is ours.  There are now in the city, and some on board the vessel, about two hundred and thirty souls that will sail next Wednesday at two o'clock; all happy and cheerful at the prospect of deliverance.”  Brother Brannan preached his farewell talk that afternoon to a crowded hall.



History of the Church, 7:578; Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 59; “George Laub Autobiography,” typescript, 38; Times and Seasons, 6:1114; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; “Samuel Rogers Journal,” typescript, 47; Van Noord, King of Beaver Island, 40


                      Monday, February 2, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

The weather was fine, but the streets were muddy.  A record 234 people received their temple ordinances.

At 10 a.m., the Twelve, the Trustees, and few others, met in council to discuss starting the exodus from Nauvoo.  It was agreed that they should start as soon as possible.  Boats should be prepared to take the wagons and teams over the river.  When a family is called to go, everything must be put into the wagon within four hours.  They knew that their enemies had resolved to intercept them when the exodus started.  They wanted to travel as far as possible before the mob was aware of their movements.

Hosea Stout and his wife went to the temple to be sealed, but no sealings were being performed on this day.  He had a talk with Brigham Young regarding the police.  President Young was satisfied with some things but instructed him regarding areas of improvement.  He gave him some good council regarding governing men.  Later Brother Stout and a few other men went to the river to procure boats.

At 4 p.m., a meeting of captains of hundreds and fifties was held at Alpheus Cutler’s3 home, where instructions were given by Brigham Young.  Much activity started within the companies to actively prepare to leave Nauvoo.

At sundown, Brigham Young returned to the temple and continued to work there until 9 p.m.  Hosea Stout and his wife were sealed at 9:30.  Before President Young left, he instructed the clerks to continue recording until the records of the endowments were finished.

Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young went to Willard Richards’ office where they met in council.  They also walked into the garden, examined his grove of chestnut trees, and the grave of his wife, Jennetta who died July 9, 1845.  They returned to the office and prayed to the Lord, asking for instructions regarding the Saints and received answers.  They retired around 1 a.m.



History of the Church, 7:578; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 2:137‑38; “Thomas Bullock Journal”


                      Tuesday, February 3, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

Brigham Young had announced that there would not be any more temple ordinances given at the temple.  However, large crowds of people came to the temple seeking their ordinances.  President Young was somewhat frustrated because he knew they had to leave Nauvoo before their enemies could intercept them.  He told the brethren that it was not wise to continue, that more temples would be built in the future.  He told the brethren that he was going to get his wagons started and be off.  He walked a distance from the temple, hoping that the crowd would disperse, but when he returned, he found the templed overflowing.  Looking on the multitude, understanding their anxiety and thirst for knowledge, he decided to continue working in the temple.  A record 295 people received their ordinances.

Brother William Player and two others, exhumed Jennetta Richards’ body, under the direction of Willard Richards.  Her coffin was opened for the family to see.  The corpse was only somewhat decayed.  The grave was filled back up, a plank placed over the vault, and an inscribed stone was placed over the grave.  They carefully recorded where the grave was located, about 20 feet southwest from the house.4

Hosea Stout met with George W. Langley regarding their difficulties.  They settled the problem and established  good feelings toward each other.  The rest of the police were satisfied with the settlement.

In the evening, Helen Mar Kimball Whitney was summoned to the temple to married to Horace K. Whitney.  She wrote:


The weather being fine we preferred to walk; and as we passed through the little graveyard at the foot of the hill a solemn covenant we entered into--to cling to each other through time and, if permitted, throughout all eternity, and this vow was solemnized at the holy altar.  Though gay and high minded in many other things we reverenced the principles taught us by our parents and held them sacred, also the covenants which we had . . . made at [the temple].


Anaa Island, in the South Pacific:

Elders Addison Pratt and Benjamin Grouard arrived at Anaa after a long journey that was delayed by storms and waiting for boats.  They were reunited with about 620 Saints who had been baptized by Elder Grouard.  Elder Pratt wrote:


Nothing could exceed the extacy of joy which were exhibited by these people at seeing us.  They were in doubt about Br. Grouard’s returning to them as they well know that their mode of liveing is not verry congenial to European palates, and all missionaries that have visited them before have never staid over a week at longest.  But when they witnessed his return and me with him, they could not express their gratitude.  They gathered around us in crowds from various parts of the island to see us and hear us talk.



History of the Church, 7:.579; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 138‑39; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 145-46,157; Woman’s Exponent 12:81; Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 267-68

                    Wednesday, February 4, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

The weather continued to be good.  Brigham Young worked on loading his wagons, getting ready to start west.  Many in the city were busy packing up and getting their wagons ready.

The Nauvoo Exodus officially began.  Charles Shumway was the first to cross the Mississippi.  His son, Andrew Shumway later wrote:  “All things ready in February, 1846, my father with his company crossed the Mississippi River on flat boats, his company being the first that crossed the river for the Rocky Mountains. We went to Sugar Creek . . .”  William Staines drove one of Charles Shumway’s teams.

Elder George D. Watt, the first man baptized by Heber C. Kimball in England, was officially called to go on a mission to England.

Heber C. Kimball held a wedding party for his daughter Helen, and son-in-law Horace K. Whitney.  Helen Whitney wrote:


President Brigham Young and Bishop Newel K. Whitney were invited with members of their families and a few of our most intimate friends to attend . . . given at my father’s house in honor of our marriage. . . . We had no glittering surroundings, nor had we any use for rich and costly gifts, but we had what is better, warm and loving hearts, that were knitted together by past scenes of sorrow and suffering.  It was the pure and genuine friendship that could neither be bought or sold.


New York City, New York:

The day finally arrived for the Brooklyn to set sail.  The wharf was crowded with friends and relatives bidding their good-byes.  “The Brooklyn deck was of course the scene of lively excitement and affectionate leavetaking.  The crowd on shore kept up their spirits by giving them repeated parting cheers, which those on board duly acknowledged in kind.”

The Brooklyn set sail and left the New York harbor with 238 passengers including 70 men, 68 women and 100 children.  There were about twelve nonmembers who went with the company.  They hired an experienced “colored” cook and steward who could cook for a large group and they purchased a good cooking stove.  They took with them agricultural and mechanical tools for “eight hundred men,” a printing press, two milk cows, forty pigs and a number of fowls.  Also brought onboard were school books, histories, slates and other school materials.  The ship was provisioned for a voyage of six or seven months.  The planned voyage was for five months.  The Brooklyn was a “nearly new” first class ship.  Captain Richardson had a good reputation as a seaman.

There were many rules and regulations for the passengers.  Reveille was sounded at 6 a.m. when everyone was to arise from their bed, dress, and wash.  No one was permitted to leave their state rooms without being completely dressed (with coats).  After reveille, the corporal would visit every state room and receive the names of the sick and those who could not work.  Every state room was to be swept, cleaned, and beds made by 7 a.m.  All state rooms were inspected each day to see that they were neat and clean, and that all dirty clothes were removed and put in bags.  The main hall must be dusted and cleaned by 7:30 a.m. each morning.  The table in the hall was spread at 8 a.m., and at 8:30 a.m., the children ate breakfast first.  When they were done, they went back to their state rooms.  No children were allowed in the hall before 8:30.  At 9:15 a.m., the men and women ate breakfast and then retired either to the deck or their state rooms.  At 10 a.m., the hall was swept clean and all state room doors were thrown open to receive fresh air.  From 10‑2 p.m., time was devoted to various occupations.  At 2:30 p.m., all retired from the hall so that dinner could be prepared.  At 3 p.m., the children dined and at 4 p.m., the adults ate dinner.  By 5 p.m., the hall was swept clean and the doors of the state rooms thrown open.  From 5‑8 p.m., the time was spent in reading, singing or other amusements.  At 8 p.m., a cold lunch was placed on the table.  By 9 p.m., the table was cleared and all were ready to retire for the night.  Every Sabbath morning, there was to be held a service on ship, starting at 11 a.m.  All were to attend, shaved and washed clean.



History of the Church, 7:580; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES; Journal of Discourses, 10:325, Brigham Young, July 31, 1864; Jenson, Church Chronology, February 4, 1846; Stanley B. Kimball, BYU Studies, 15:4:478; Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:27‑8; Times and Seasons, 6:1127; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Edward C. Kemble, “Twenty Years Ago.  'The Brooklyn Mormons' in California', in William Mulder & A. Russell Mortensen, Among the Mormons, 187; Our Pioneer Heritage,  2:543; “William Staines Autobiography,” Contributor 12:122‑23; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 157; Woman’s Exponent, 12:81


                     Thursday, February 5, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a cold day.  There were only a few endowments received,  but there were many sealings.

There were many births on this day.  A daughter, Jane Ellen Haslem, was born to John and Martha Haslem.5  A daughter, Mary Jane Langley, was born to George and Mary Langley.  A son,  Joseph Ralphs, was born to Thomas and Sarah Ralphs.6  A son, William Heber Roundy, was born to Lauren and Joanna Roundy.7

The 34th Quorum of Seventies was organized at Nauvoo, with David W. Rogers as one of the presidents.8

Hosea Stout went to the river at Kimball's landing to see how the preparations were going on the boats for crossing the river.  All was going well and boats were ready to be put to use.  Several members of the guard crossed over to Montrose to bring two more boats over.

Thomas Bullock was busy all day in the Historian's Office packing up papers and books.



“Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 2:139, Jenson, Church Chronology, February 5, 1846; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Black,  Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints: 1830‑1848


                        Friday, February 6, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

The weather was fine.  A record 512 people received their temple ordinances.  These Ordinances were being given around the clock.  Joseph Holbrook recorded,


I went into the temple at Nauvoo and received my washing and anointing in the house of the Lord. There was a crowd. It being at the closing of giving endowments, so that nearly 500 passed through their ordinance in the last 24 hours, but I felt knowledge for me to improve upon until I could get more.


Bishop George Miller and family crossed the Mississippi River on flat boats with six wagons.  Henry Boyle also crossed with George Miller.  The James Pace family crossed and camped on Willow Creek.

Brigham Young asked all the captains of the emigration companies to have their extra teams meet at the Masonic Hall in the morning.  He would then give them  loading instructions.  He also asked for a body of troops to be ready to march on foot whenever they were needed.



History of the Church, 7:580; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 2:140; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 263‑4; Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:509; “Joseph Holbrook Autobiography,” typescript, 76


                      Saturday, February 7, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

On this final day of temple ordinances, there were about 600 people who received their temple ordinances.  At least 5,615 people received their endowments in Nauvoo.

The meeting that Brigham Young called for on the previous day was held at the Masonic Hall.  There was a very poor turn‑out.  The guard met in the afternoon at 3 p.m., with about 200 present.

In the evening, Hosea Stout and John Scott met with Brigham Young to discuss taking the cannon.  Brigham Young ordered the men to prepare baggage wagons for the cannon and other things needed for the guard.

Lewis Barney was one of many who crossed the Mississippi on this day.  He left most of his grain behind to take care of the poor.  He felt like many others did, “Being mobbed and driven from our hard earned homes and firesides in the dead of winter to perish with cold and hunger for no other cause than that we dare believe in the word of the Lord contained in his revelations to man on the earth.”  He camped at Sugar Creek.



History of the Church, 7:580; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 14; “Lewis Barney Autobiography,” typescript, 27; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 2:140‑41; James B. Allen, The Story of the Latter‑day‑Saints


                       Sunday, February 8, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was much colder, with a severe frost.  The ice was running on the river in large quantities.  At 9 a.m., the temple work ceased.  The canvas partitions in the attic were removed.  During the past few days, the Saints who had loaned furniture, stoves, carpets, pictures and other furnishings, for the temple, were busy removing them.

The Council of the Twelve met in the holiest room in the temple.  They knelt around the altar and dedicated the temple to the Lord.  They asked the Lord to bless their move to the west and asked Him to enable them to some day finish the temple and formally dedicate it to Him.  They prayed that the building would be preserved as a monument to Joseph Smith.

A meeting for all the Saints was held in the grove, west of the temple.  There was a very large congregation there and William Huntington described it as “a solemn time.”  Joseph Young, President of the Seventies, spoke, along with Jedediah M. Grant and Benjamin Clapp.  Elders Orson Hyde, John Taylor, Parley P. Pratt and Brigham Young addressed the Saints for what they thought would be the last time in Nauvoo.  Brigham Young warned the Saints that grievous wolves would come in among the sheep when they were gone, not sparing the flock.  From among themselves, men would spring up speaking perverse things to turn men away from the truth.  He informed them that the company going to the west would start across the river during the coming week, and that some of the brethren had already crossed over the river during the past three or four days.

Patriarch John Smith and his family crossed the river with his clerk Albert Carrington.9

John Smith wrote in his journal:


After making every preparation in our power, with our scanty means, agreeable to the counsel of the Church, we collected our family, consisting of myself and wife, and Sister Brimhall to do our cooking on the road. . . . We commenced crossing the river, being very cold and large quantities of ice running on the river. . . . We leave in the city of Nauvoo a good house of brick and stone, and a quantity of good furniture, without making a sale of anything.


Julia Pack wrote that her family crossed the river on this day and camped at Sugar Creek.  The wagons were their only shelter. 

Lorenzo Dow Young also took his family across the river.  They camped for the night on the banks of the river.  His eight-year-old son John, later recalled this day:


In our home since early morning, all has been hurry and bustle; two wagons stand in our front yard, and my father with two other men, strangers to me, are carrying out our household goods.  My mother looks pale, and when I ask her, “What is the matter?” she takes me in her arms, kisses me, and says, “We are going to leave our home, and will never see it again!”  Just then some other teams come along, and one of the brethren calls to my father to be sure to put out the fire, and to hurry up, for it is getting late.  In a few minutes mother and the children are lifted tenderly into the wagon.  Father next takes his place on the front seat, turns his face to the west, and his back upon the home, which it had taken seven years of sacrifice and toil to build.

At the river are three flat boats, or scows.  Here and there on the banks of the river stand pale-faced mothers cuddling their little ones, while husbands and  fathers quietly, yet resolutely, roll the wagons on to the boats, then with long poles push from the shore out upon the bosom of the mighty river.  No farewells are uttered, no words spoken.  Each man knows his duty, and performs it energeticaly; for they are not hirelings, these men of stout hearts and muscular arms.  Nor is it a light task to guide those unwieldlly scows through drifting ice, across that mile-wide river.


Hosea Stout finished packing two wagons, loaded with his goods, and delivered the wagons to Robert C. Moore to take care of until Brother Stout could cross the river.  He watched his wagons loaded safely onboard the ferry.

William Clayton spent the day packing official records of the church, musical instruments, books, and family belongings, together weighing five tons, which were packed into six wagons.

The 30th Quorum of Seventies met and cut off Jehiel Savage from the quorum for apostasy.  He had been the senior president.10


Atlantic Ocean:

On just the fourth day of sailing, the Brooklyn encountered a terrible storm.  The passengers had to stay below as the crew worked feverishly to save the ship.  John Eagar11 recalled, “Women and children were lashed to their berths at night for in no other way could they keep in.  Furniture rolled back and forth endangering life and limb.  The waves swept the deck and even reached the staterooms.  The only light was from two lamps hung outside in the hall and these were dim and wavering from the movements of the vessel.”  Another frightened passenger wrote:  “The ship rocked, creaked and seemed about to be torn apart.  The hatches had to be kept closed, the light put out; the foul air was almost unbearable.  Almost everyone was seasick and panic was near.”

During the storm, the passengers gathered around Captain Richardson to hear his words.  He said:  “My friends, there is a time in every man's life when it is fitting that he should prepare to die.  The time has come to us, and unless God interposes, we shall all go to the bottom; I have done all in my power, but his is the worst gale I have known since I was master of a ship.”  One woman, told him:  “Captain Richardson, we left for California and we shall get there.”  Another said:  “Captain, I have no more fear than though we were on the solid land.”  The captain was surprised and went upstairs he said, “These people have a faith that I have not,” and added to a gentlemen, “They are either fools and fear nothing, or they know more than I do.”

The Saints recalled how in ancient days, Christ had stilled the storm.  They prayed and sang songs such as “The Spirit of God” and “We are Going to California.”  After four days and nights the storm ceased.  They were protected and only lost the two cows which they had brought with them.  But Sister Laura Goodwin was severely injured, falling down some stairs.  She had been with child, and soon lost it by miscarriage.  Her sickness would linger on until her death a month later.



History of the Church, 7:580; Journal History; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” 29; “Julia Pack Autobiography” in Our Pioneer Heritage, 9:450; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 141; Brown, Historical Atlas of Mormonism, 78; Smith ed., “Heber C. Kimball Journal” in Intimate Chronicle; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 45; John Eagar in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:538; “Biography of Ashbel Green Haskell,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:531; Readings in L.D.S. History, 2:254; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:126; Our Pioneer Heritage,  3:537; “Samuel Rogers Journal,” typescript, 47; Private Journal of John Smith; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 111; Memoirs of John R. Young, Utah Pioneer, 1847


                      Monday, February 9, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

Between thirty to forty state troops came into town and arrested a man named Samuel Smith.  Samuel soon escaped from them.  William Huntington’s family crossed over the river at noon.12  He stayed on the west bank of the river for the night.

At 3:30 p.m., the roof of the temple was discovered to be on fire.  An alarm was sounded, and the brethren ran to the rescue.  Brigham Young could see the flames from a distance, but could not get there in time to help.  He thought to himself, “If it is the will of the Lord that the Temple be burned, instead of being defiled by the Gentiles, Amen to it.”

But the temple was saved.  Willard Richards organized a bucket brigade.  Axes were used to tear up the roof and the water was thrown on the fire.  The fire raged for a half hour and was soon put out.  It was caused by an overheated stove pipe, from a stove that was drying clothes in an upper room on the north side of the attic.  The area of the roof that was burned was about ten feet by sixteen feet.  When the fire was extinguished, the Saints gave glory to God, shouted Hallelujah, and the band played several times on top of the temple.  During the fire, several of the state troops tried to enter the temple, but were prevented by the brethren at the door.  At that time, Brigham Young must have suspected that somehow the troops set the fire because he sent word for the brethren to return to their homes and take precautions that their houses would not set fire, as the city was full of devils.

While the temple was burning, out on the river, a man and two boys were in a skiff that was beginning to sink because it was overloaded with wood which they obtained from one of the islands.  The wind was high and when their skiff came into the open water, the waves started to lap over the top of it.  They started to throw out wood, but this did not help.  The boys were frightened and screaming.  The boat filled with water but did not sink.  Soon, a large flatboat was able to turn and come to the rescue.  On the flatboat was two yokes of oxen, a wagon belonging to Thomas Grover, and about twenty people.  The boys and man were pulled onto the flatboat.

As soon as the three were on board, a man squirted some tobacco juice into the eyes of one of the oxen, which immediately plunged into the river, dragging the other ox along.  As they went over, a sideboard was torn off which caused the water to begin to flow into the flatboat.  Brother Grover had jumped off the boat to try to help free the oxen. He was down-river a little distance with the oxen, when he looked back to see only the covers of the wagons above the water.  Men, women, and children on the boat were screaming, crying for help, and trying to stay above the water.  The flatboat was sinking.  Brother Grover swam quickly to rescue his family, tore the covers loose from the wagon, and told them “not to move an inch and that not a hair of their heads should be harmed.”  Hannah Grover held her ten‑week‑old baby on her shoulder to keep his head above the water.  Three‑year‑old Persia cried, “Lord, save my little heart.”  The flatboat sank to the bottom of the river.  The people were scattered on the icy water, some on feather beds, others on sticks of wood, and still others that climbed on top of the wagon which did not completely sink.  Soon, an empty boat, some skiffs, and sailboats succeeded in rescuing them.  None were lost.  Two oxen were drowned, and a few things floated away and were lost.  The wagon was pulled out of the river with many damaged contents.

Hosea Stout was on another boat that had tried to turn and rescue them.  But they were into a portion of the river where the waves were too high.  Instead of saving them, their boat also began to sink.  They turned for the shore of a nearby island and made it just in time.  News was been spread to Nauvoo that a boat had sank and that Hosea Stout and family had all been drowned  All this happening at the same time that the temple was on fire.

Eliza Partridge Lyman, wife of Elder Amasa M. Lyman wrote that her family also crossed the river at this time.  They went to the river, waited about three hours, and then were able to obtain a boat onto which they put their horses and wagons.  When they were about halfway across, they saw a boat at some distance from them sinking (probably the Stout’s boat) with no one near to assist them.  But fortunately the boat was near a sand bar, so they were not drowned.  Soon a boat reached them and took them safely to shore.  The Lyman's boat got into the ice which hindered them for about an hour but did no damage.  They spent the night at John Tanner's home.  Eliza Lyman wrote: “We went to John Tanner’s and stayed several days as the weather was very cold and we were not in a hurry to camp out till we were obliged to.”

Hosea Stout's family trudged through the mud and reached a camp who gave them help to dry out.  Those from Thomas Grover’s boat also arrived.  The Stouts stayed in John Higbee's temporary tent made out of bed clothes.  Brother Stout's wife was so sick she could hardly sit up and his son was very sick with a high fever.

George A. Smith took a portion of his family across the river.  Bathsheba W. Smith wrote:


In company with many others, my husband took me and my two children, and some members of his family (the remainder to follow as soon as the weather would permit) and we crossed the Mississippi, to seek a new home in the wilderness.  Thus we left a comfortable home, the accumulation and labor of four years; we took with us clothing, bedding, and provisions, leaving everything else for our enemies.


Back in Nauvoo, The Twelve met in council and Apostle John E. Page was disfellowshipped from the church.13  An epistle was written to the Church that included:


Now beloved brethren, you are not bound to look to him as one of the Twelve Apostles, for he hath yielded himself up to temptation, and he cannot resist the spirit of apostasy which inspires him to find fault with the organization of the Church.


Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

Lorenzo Dow Young took his family to the Sugar Creek camp.  His son John recalled, “Here an advance company of brethren had prepared for our coming by shoveling away the snow, so that we had dry spots on which to pitch out tents.”



History of the Church, 7:581; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:137, GROVER, Thomas; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:.92, PAGE, John E.; “Henry Bigler Autobiography,” typescript, 14; Eliza Lyman Autobiography, 10; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 2:144‑5; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 46; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 163; Eliza Marie Partridge Lyman  Diaries 1820-1885;  Memoirs of John R. Young, Utah Pioneer, 1847; Women of Mormonism; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 113


                     Tuesday, February 10, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

Light rain fell during the night and frost fell in the morning.  Joseph Young14 was appointed to preside over the church in Nauvoo after the Twelve would leave for the west.

Allen Stout, who had been living in the Heber C. Kimball home, crossed the river with his family.  He had no team, but had his family's few belongings were included in Heber C. Kimball's big five‑horse wagon.  The Thomas Callister family was among those who crossed over the river this day.  Sylvester Earl also took his family across the river.  Brother Earl was serving as a captain in the guard.

Hosea Stout returned to Nauvoo to meet with the guard and make arrangements to send other companies across the river.  At about noon, he returned to his family camped across the river.

Elder Ezra T. Benson crossed the Mississippi River about this time.  He had no property except a good brick house and lot which he could not sell, but Brigham Young had asked him to leave for the west.  He asked President Young how he could, given that he did not have a wagon and team and could not purchase one.  “Go out in the streets and inquire of every brother you meet till you pick up one.”  This he did.  Jared Porter gave him a horse.  He borrowed a wagon from Brother Chidester and another horse, and cloth for a wagon cover from other brothers.  Hezekiah Peck sent his son and team to help Elder Benson.  Elder Benson traded his wife's shawl for about two hundred pounds of flour and was able to gather eight hundred pounds of flour, a few bushels of cornmeal, twelve pounds of sugar, a little bedding and luggage to carry in two wagons.  The horses were too weak to take much.  He crossed the river with his two wives and two children, leaving his furniture standing in the house.

Amasa M. Lyman crossed back over the river to Nauvoo, to get another wife, Maria.  The family crossed the river and joined other members of his family at the home of John Tanner, in Iowa.  Eliza Partridge Lyman wrote:  “I was heartily glad to see her.”

Thomas Bullock went up on top of the temple to look at the fire damage.  He loved the view up there and could see Saints crossing the river.  He wrote:  “I am heartily glad that the fire was put out with so little damage.  That it the Temple yet stands as a monument of God's mercy.  That thousands can yet go on the top and see the vast extent of Country.”

In the evening, Thomas Bullock, Willard Richards and other had an enjoyable evening hearing Brother Noah Rogers relate experiences from his mission to the South Pacific.  He also related an event when William Law tried to take the life of Joseph Smith.



History of the Church, 7:584; “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, 23‑4; “Hosea Stout Diary” , typescript, 146‑47; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Ezra Benson Autobiography, Instructor 80 (1945) ,215;  Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:187‑88; “Sylvester Earl, autobiography,” typescript, 6; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 165; Eliza Marie Partridge Lyman Diaries


                   Wednesday, February 11, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was a cold day and the wind was blowing.  The western shore of the Mississippi began to be covered with companies of the Saints.  Gilbert Belnap left this description:


Some had covers drawn over their wagons while others had only a sheet drawn over a few poles to make a tent.  Sometimes these rude tents were the only covering for the invalid forms of the unfortunate.  Many was the time, while keeping the watchman's post in the darkness of the night when the rains descended as though the windows of heaven were open, have I wept over the distressed condition of the Saints.  Toward the dim light of many a flickering lamp have my eyes been directed because of the crying of children, the restless movements of the aged, infirm and mournful groan of many suffering from fever.  These have made an impression on my mind which can never be forgotten.


President Joseph Young met in the temple with a company of saints and organized companies to meet for prayer every night.  While no temple ordinances were still being performed, the temple was still used for regular prayer circles.  Thomas Bullock was assigned to take minutes for each of these meetings.

Patty Sessions made herself a cap and in the evening went to Seventies Hall to see a painting of the massacre of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage.

In the evening, the 27th Quorum of Seventies met at the music hall.  Thomas Bullock offered a toast, “Here's to the health of every man of the 27th Quorum who will follow their leaders come life come death.”


Voree, Wisconsin:

James Strang (who claimed to be Joseph Smith's true successor) penned a letter to Emma Smith.  He had read the forged letter in the New York Sun (see December 9, 1845) and thinking the letter was really Emma's, wrote her a letter of agreement regarding the “abominable things now taught and practiced in Nauvoo.”  Strang offered help and promised never to teach such doctrines.  His main point was this, “If you intend to remain in Nauvoo, you cannot well imagine how much I should rejoice in your full and hearty cooperation in my efforts for the regulation and salvation of the city.”  Emma would answer the letter from Strang through John Bernhisel, who simply sent him a copy of her denial of the authorship of the Sun letter.  Strang also wrote a letter to Mother Lucy Mack Smith.



History of the Church, 7:584; “Gilbert Belnap Autobiography,” 38‑9; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 15; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Newell, Mormon Enigma, Emma Hale Smith 231‑32; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 161; “Patty Sessions Diary”


                    Thursday, February 12, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

The Twelve Apostles were all making preparations to start on their journey west.  Two companies of six men met in the temple for prayers.

Mary Phelps Rich (a sixteen year‑old wife of Charles C. Rich) with two boys driving their two wagons, left alone for the west.  She went seven miles to her uncle's where they would stay one week.  Sister Rich's father, Morris Phelps could not come at that time because he did not have the means to leave.  Brother Rich had planned to cross with all of his family, but on the day before, his wife Eliza Ann gave birth early to a baby girl.  Brother Rich told her, “Eliza, I can't take you; it would mean certain death to you and the baby.  What shall we do?” Eliza answered, “Bless me, Charles; and if you promise me I will be safe, I am not afraid.”  Charles blessed his wife in which he promised her that she and her baby would later join the Saints and live with them in safety.  Phebe Graves came to stay with her.  Brother Rich would cross with the rest of the family (including other wives) a few days later.

Thomas Bullock wrote that he continued to have trouble with his neighbors, the Wilsons.  In the past, Barlow Wilson had allowed his cattle to destroy Brother Bullock's corn two or three times.  Wellington Wilson had taken Brother Bullock's stray cow and threatened his life if Brother Bullock tried to reclaim his property.  And now, Green Wilson (age 13) set his dogs on Brother Bullock's other cow causing it to deliver two calves early, both dead.  Thomas Bullock was looking forward to leaving and hoped he would have better neighbors in the west.

John D. Lee and family started their journey west.  In the evening, they crossed the Mississippi River on a flat boat and encamped on the bank of the Mississippi in Iowa.  Many tents were pitched.  They took with them one wagon, two horses, one cow, and provisions for about two months.  They found Hosea Stout's tent with a good fire going, where they took shelter.  Lorenzo Snow crossed the river with two wagons and joined the camp at Sugar Creek.

David and Patty Sessions bid good-bye to their friends and crossed over the river.  They camped on the west bank of the Mississippi River.


On the Iowa side of the Mississippi:

Hosea Stout left his camp early in the morning to cross back over to Nauvoo to meet with the guard and supervise the movement of companies across the river.  He returned to his camp and family around noon.  At 2 p.m., he was informed that some of the Carthage troops were in town with arrest warrants for some of the brethren, including himself.  It was rumored that the troops would cross the river to try to apprehend those whom they sought.  Brother Stout called the troops together who were in the camp and they agreed that if the troops did come, they would put them to death rather than be harassed.  They established a line of boats across the river to receive information.  The troops did not come.  Brother Stout raised a tent for his family which was a great relief for them.  For the past three days they had camped in the open prairie, exposed to the wind and weather.

Joseph Fielding crossed over from Nauvoo to check out the camp at Sugar Creek.  He observed that there was plenty of wood and water and that it would be a good place to camp.  He saw people camping in tents, some in wagon covers, and some with no shelter.



History of the Church, 7:584; “George Laub Autobiography,” typescript, 37-8; “Mary Rich Autobiography,” 19; “Hosea Stout Diary”, typescript, 147; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Joseph Fielding Diary in “Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies 19:161; Francis M. Gibbons, Lorenzo Snow; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 76; Arrington, Charles C. Rich, 90


                       Friday, February 13, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

The weather was fine.  Thomas Bullock was asked to go to Elder Willard Richards’ home to take an inventory of the goods that were packed on Elder Richards’ last wagon.  Brother Bullock completed this assignment, then went down to the river with the wagon and saw it ferried across.  William Clayton sent four more loads across the river.

Parley P. Pratt crossed over the river with his family.  Elder Pratt had left a home, lot, farm, and other buildings worth more than nine thousand dollars.  He had to leave his aged mother and in‑laws behind in the care of friends.  He hoped to see his property sold so he could pay for their way to come west.  Mary Ann Stearns was among this group.  Her mother was married to Elder Pratt.  Mary Ann wrote:


Our teams crossed the Mississippi and started westward, six emigrant wagons . . . [including] a one-horse wagon . . . with little Parley driving old Dick.  Mother had arranged for her wagon quite comfortably.  Grandfather Frost had made some chests to fit the wagon in which were packed all that was in wisdom to take with us and on which our bed was made. . . . Most of our provisions were in the big wagon, but mother had a goodly supply cooked and along with us ready for immediate use.


No sooner had Parley’s family started their journey, than his children started asking for the goodies packed in the wagon.

Eliza R. Snow crossed the Mississippi and joined the Saints camped at Sugar Creek.  She described the feelings many had leaving Nauvoo.


There they had lovely homes‑‑decorated with flowers and enriched with choice fruit trees, just beginning to yield plentifully.  To these homes, without lease or sale, they had bid a final adieu, and, with what little of their substance could be packed into one, two, and perhaps in a few instances, three wagons, had started out desert‑ward, for where? To this question, the only response at that time was, God knows.15


She found Lorenzo Young and David Yearsley's16 families in tents, side by side and she lodged in the Young's tent.

William Weeks was released as the architect of the Nauvoo Temple so he could join the Saints leaving Nauvoo.  Truman Angell was appointed as the superintendent over finishing the Temple and the Nauvoo House.

Elder Mephibosheth Serrine arrived from his mission to Michigan.  He reported that about seventy families, fully fitted would soon arrive to join the Saints moving west.

In the evening, Brigham Young sent his baggage wagons across the river and spent the night with his Brother Joseph Young in Nauvoo.


Across the Mississippi in Iowa:

At about 10 a.m., Hosea Stout left the camp on the west bank of the Mississippi with John D. Lee to visit the camp at Sugar Creek which was near the place where he lived when his wife Surmantha died in November, 1839.  On the way to the camp, he visited her grave near the road.  He recalled the many hours of mourning he experienced when he “was deprived of all and the last bosom friend which [he] then had on earth in whom [he] could implicitly confide.”  He rejoiced at the wonderful principles of the gospel regarding the redemption of the dead which he learned from the Prophet, Joseph Smith, since his wife's death.

After leaving the grave, Brothers Stout and Lee arrived at 1 p.m. at the camp of the Saints on Sugar Creek, on both sides of St. Francisville Road.  They were in good spirits but were anxious to be on their way into the wilderness.  They visited for awhile and returned to the camp on the Mississippi River at 3 p.m.  He soon met Elder Parley P. Pratt who had just crossed the river.  The Parley P. Pratt family passed “camp after camp of the Saints just by the roadside, sitting around the campfire with the snow coming down in great flakes.”  Thirteen-year-old Mary Ann Stearns later wrote that they saw:


Women and children with damp and drabbled clothing, men wading around caring for the cattle that were to be their propellers to a place of safety, mothers trying to prepare food for their families over the blazing log heaps, a sight fit to daunt the stoutest heart, but no, every one of our acquaintances that we greeted in passing had a cheering word and a smiling countenance.


As the Pratt family passed the McArthur’s, they saw Sister McArthur “seated by her campfire with an umbrella over her head and the bread pan in her lap, making some of her good biscuits.”  Brother McArthur asked the family to stay for dinner, but the Pratt family pressed on and soon made their camp, no far from the river.

In the evening, Brigham Young sent his baggage wagons across the river and spent the night with his brother, Joseph Young, in Nauvoo.

At night, the snow began to fall which was very hard on those camping without very good shelter.



“Norton Jacob Autobiography,” 29-30; William Clayton Journal; Eliza R. Snow Trail Diary; Eliza R. Snow, “Sketch of my Life.”; J. Earl Arrington, BYU Studies, 19:3:353; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Joseph Fielding Diary in “Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies 19:161; Brooks, The Diary of Hosea Stout Journal, 1:122; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 340; Kimball, Stanley, “The Iowa Trek of 1846" in The Exodus and Beyond, 14; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 162-63; Mary Ann Stearns Winters, “An Autobiographical Sketch of the Life of the Late Mary Ann Stearns Winters” LDS Archives


                     Saturday, February 14, 1846


Nauvoo, Illinois:

Snow fell all day, but it was not very cold.  Many inches of heavy, wet snow accumulated.  In the morning, Norton Jacob and Elder Mephibosheth Serrine met with Brigham Young who was at Joseph Young's home.  He was pleased with Brother Serrine's organization of the Michigan Saints, who would be arriving soon.  He asked Brother Serrine to keep the company together and start for the west as soon as they arrived.

In the morning, Orson Pratt and eight members of his family crowded into a carriage and drove to the Mississippi wharf.  The ferries were not running because of the wind, but Elder Pratt was determined to cross.  He found the ferryman and his men standing in the open air around a small fire.  He managed to persuade the ferrymen to cross the river with his family (his wife and three small children including a three-week-old baby).  The rowing was difficult but the Pratts soon set foot in Iowa territory.  They did not have a wagon of their own, but teamsters William Higginbotham, a Mr. Simons and William Rice agreed to carry the Pratt family belongings with their own.  They went to the Sugar Creek camp and found many suffering from the storm and cold.  The family then made their way through the snow and mud, to the home of Jonathan Harrington, Sarah Pratt's uncle, three miles north of the Sugar Creek encampment.  His brother, Elder Parley P. Pratt left the camp on the west bank of the Mississippi and also stayed in the same gully, in an abandoned log home.


West Bank of the Mississippi in Iowa:

Hosea Stout awoke in the morning, in his warm tent.  He did not realize that it had snowed over night until he looked outside.  His family was very comfortable, but he recognized that there were many in the camp who spent the night without covers.  Men, women and children had a very uncomfortable night.  It snowed all day but stopped in the evening.  The melting snow made it difficult to travel.


Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

At the Sugar Creek encampment (about eight miles from the Mississippi), Eliza R. Snow spent the whole day out of the storm in a buggy.  She and Sister Hannah Markham did needlework and were bothered by melting snow that was dripping through the buggy cover.

David Sessions and his wife Patty arrived at Sugar Creek from the camp at the Mississippi River.  The snow was stopping at about 3 p.m.  The ground was covered with heavy snow and water, making it very difficult to walk.  The Sessions attended prayer at John Smith's tent and Sister Sessions visited with many of the sisters.  The wind was blowing, making it feel very cold.  They had a difficult time getting warm near the fire because of the blowing smoke.  The Sessions family did not have a tent and stayed in their wagon.



England, Orson Pratt, 111-12; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 340; Maureen Ursenbach, ed. The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow.; Hosea Stout Journal, 1:122; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; Joseph Fielding Diary in “Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies 19:161; Utah State Historical Quarterly, 10:85; Nibley, Preston, Exodus to Greatness, 115; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, 316‑7; Stanley Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846";


                      Sunday, February 15, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

In the morning, Hosea Stout crossed back over the river to Nauvoo.  There, he saw Brigham Young getting ready to cross the river.  President Young instructed Brother Stout to send the rest of the guard across the river as soon as possible.

At 11 a.m., President Brigham Young started his historic journey as he crossed the Mississippi with his family of fifty and fifteen wagons.  He was accompanied by Willard Richards and George A. Smith.

William Cahoon17 and his family crossed the Mississippi with the Nauvoo Brass Band.  They joined the encampment at Sugar Creek.  William Clayton sent two teams over the river.

The last issue of the Times and Season was published by John Taylor.

Reuben Miller wrote a letter to James Strang who was trying to draw Church members away from Brigham Young's leadership.  He reported: “There are many that will be at Voree [Wisconsin] in the course of six weeks.  Many that would go if they had the means.”

Hosea Stout met with the guard at the temple and sent out orders to proceed across the river.  He was told by the guard that they could not find a wagon to carry the public muskets.  He located a wagon and helped load  one hundred muskets into it.  As Brother Stout was riding his horse down the hill from the temple, his horse broke the “bridle bits” and leaped off at full speed which threw Brother Stout head over heals down the hill in the water and sand.  Luckily, he wasn't hurt.  He reached the river and crossed over to the camp to the west bank.  There, he found Brigham Young in camp.  President Young told Brother Stout to come with four or five companies to the Sugar Creek camp with him.  They left the river bank at about 4 p.m.  They had to travel over a bluff on the way.  Because the roads were so muddy and the wagons so heavy, Brigham Young's wagons could not get up the hill without doubling the teams.  President Young worked side‑by‑side with his teamsters in the mud helping them get the wagons up the hill.

This hill was about seven miles from Montrose.  This is where many of the Saints could turn and see their last view of Nauvoo and the temple.  Priddy Meeks later wrote:  “While crossing a ridge, seven miles from Nauvoo, we looked back and took the last sight of the Temple we ever expected to see.  We were sad and sorrowful.”

John R. Young later recorded this verse:


The silvery notes of the temple bell

That we loved so deep and well;

And a pang of grief would swell the heart,

And the scalding tears in anguish start

As we silently gazed on our dear old homes.


Brigham Young and company finally arrived at Sugar Creek at 8 p.m. and it was very cold.  “The women and children [were] cold and disagreeable.”  Brigham Young set up his camp on the east side of Sugar Creek which they called Kedron.  By 11 p.m., camp was set up, the guard was posted, and the camp retired for a much needed rest.

In the evening, in the temple back in Nauvoo, a group of twenty‑nine people met for prayer led by Benjamin L. Clapp.



Journal of Discourses, 1:279, Brigham Young, February 14, 1853; History of the Church, 7:585; Dean C. Jesse, BYU Studies, 19:4:477; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Times and Seasons; “William Cahoon Autobiography,” in Reynolds Cahoon and Sons, 88-9; Van Noord, King of Beaver Island, 42; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; William Clayton’s Journal; “Hosea Stout Diary”; Utah Historical Quarterly, 10:154; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia,  4:687; Memoirs of John R. Young, Utah Pioneer, 1847


                     Monday, February 16, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

Many Saints continued to cross the river to Iowa.  On the Nauvoo side of the river at times there would be two or three hundred wagons waiting for a ferry.  In the wagons, the Saints would sleep and they would cook their food on the beach.

While Erastus Snow was crossing the river with his teams, because of the carelessness of the boatman, his wagon containing their bedding, clothing, groceries and their most valuable articles was capsized into the water.  Everything was wet and much was spoiled.  His oldest child who was in the wagon at the time was almost drowned.  Brother Snow made the best of things and felt thankful that things were not worse than they were.  Elder Snow left behind property valued at $2,000.

John Taylor crossed the river with his family, eight wagons and a carriage.  Elder Taylor left behind a large two‑story brick house, a brick store, and a printing office.  His property was worth more than $10,000.  Elder Taylor arrived into the Sugar Creek camp during the night.  When he came down Sugar Creek Hill, one of his wagons turned over, severely hurting a young man and woman.

During the day, Thomas Bullock heard that the Church Trustees had sold $25,000 worth of property for $10,000 in cash and $15,000 in goods.  The purchasers left for Kentucky to gather the money and goods.


Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

William Huntington went into the camp with Amasa Lyman.  Brother Huntington’s family had been staying at Father Tanner’s home and he was counseled that it was now time to come to Sugar Creek.

Brigham Young was very busy organizing the camp.  There were now several hundred families at Sugar Creek.  At 10 a.m., he walked up the valley with Amasa Lyman and Willard Richards where they united in prayer and counseled together.  President Young read to them the letter that he had recently received from Samuel Brannan regarding a proposed agreement with Amos G. Benson.  (See January 15, 1846.)

The camp near Brigham Young and Hosea Stout was on a curved bank of the creek, forming a large circle.  The center was reserved for a parade ground and other public camp purposes.  The horses, oxen and cows were behind the wagons, on the bank of the creek.  At about 4 p.m., Brother Isaac Chase came into camp with two loads of gun powder and other articles to be used by the troops.  Brigham Young ordered Hosea Stout and Brother Markham to take charge of it.  They put the ammunition in the center of the public ground and placed a strong guard over it.

The night was clear, cold and frosty.  During the night, a tree which hung over Elam Luddington's camp started to fall.  They were able to get the wagons out of the way just before it fell.  In his haste, Brother Luddington smashed his hand badly.



History of the Church, 7:585; Benjamin Brown, Testimonies For The Truth, 16; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:103, SNOW, Erastus; Biography of Erastus Snow, page 47; Nibley, Preston, Exodus to Greatness, 115; Brooks, Diary of Hosea Stout Diary”; “Thomas Bullock Journal”; “William Huntington autobiography,” typescript, 47


                     Tuesday, February 17, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

The weather was fine.  At 9:50 a.m., all the brethren in the camp were assembled on the guard ground, near the bridge.  A wagon was rolled into the center of the enclosure.  Brigham Young stood on the wagon, while the audience stood facing him near the fire.  He cried out with a loud voice, “Attention! The whole Camp of Israel.”  It was time to formally organize the camp.  President Young explained why they had not yet moved on.  Bishop Newel K. Whitney, Elder Kimball, and William Clayton had not yet arrived, and additional church property needed to be brought to the camp.  He asked the brethren to stop going back to Nauvoo, hunting, fishing and “roasting their shins, idling away their time.”  He asked them to get to work and to start treating their neighbors kindly.  There were problems with dogs in the camp and he warned the owners that the dogs would be killed if they weren't tied up.  There was also a problem with horses catching distemper.  All such horses must not be in the camp.  He called for strict order in the camp.  Times were set for retiring at night and reveille in the morning.

President Young asked all who desired to go with the main camp to raise their right hands.  All hands went up.  He said they would not leave until the artillery and other public property arrived.  He asked for a pen to be built for the corn and hay for the animals.  Hosea Stout appointed Brother Jones to build the pen and appointed George W. Harris as the commissarian.  All families were to be organized into companies of tens, fifties and hundreds.  William Clayton was appointed clerk of the camp.  President Young ordered that a camp census be taken which would include the name, age and birthplace of every person.  Willard Richards was appointed camp historian.  However, Elder Richards was very sick, confined to his bed with a severe cough.  He would dictate the history to William Coray.

The meeting broke up at 11 a.m. Brigham Young returned to his tent and started to organize his division of the camp which consisted of four companies of ten families.  Heber C. Kimball shortly arrived.  At 1:30 p.m., Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball ate a dinner of bean porridge in George D. Grant's tent.  Eliza R. Snow visited with Vilate Kimball.18

At 2:30 p.m., members of the Twelve went up the valley, about half a mile east of camp, and met as a Council.  President Young read the letter that Samuel Brannan had sent him on January 26.  Brother Brannan had entered an agreement with as Amos G. Benson who claimed he would use his influence with the government and work to protect the Saints.  In return, Benson only wanted one half of all the land that the Saints would claim in the west! Brother Brannan asked Brigham Young to ratify the contract.  The Twelve concluded that they should trust God for their protection.  They would not sign such an unjust and oppressive agreement.  They felt the plan would rob the Saints of millions.  The Council wrote a letter to the Church in Nauvoo.

The public arms arrived at the camp and they were put under guard.  Brigham Young asked Hosea Stout to make sure the gun power was guarded by very faithful men.  Fourteen men at a time were appointed to guard the camp during the night.  They were replaced every two hours, which required a total of eighty men.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

William Clayton told Thomas Bullock that a letter had been received from Senator Joseph Hoge of Illinois.  Senator Hoge reported that Congress would allow the Mormons to leave the United States if they pleased.  The government would not hinder them.  Sheriff Jacob Backenstos was in town and also reported that the state authorities would not stop the Saints from leaving Nauvoo.

Repair work started on the burned portion of the temple roof.  It was covered over with lead.  The plastering had not yet started.  Many people came to see the temple and to go to the top of the tower.  In the evening, two companies of Elders met in the temple for prayer



History of the Church, 7:585‑91, 599; Jenson, Church Chronology, February 17, 1846; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 15; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 77; Brooks, Diary of Hosea Stout; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 52, 54; Beecher, Maureen, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 133; Kimball, Stanley B., Heber C. Kimball, Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 129; Arrington, From Quaker to Latter‑day‑Saint, 154; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals


                   Wednesday, February 18, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

The weather was good.  At 9 a.m., Brigham Young again called the brethren in Camp of Israel together to give them more instructions.  He asked them to raise money to purchase cloth for tent ends and wagon covers.  It was believed that the cloth could be purchased in St. Francesville, Missouri.  John D. Lee would take charge of the money.  President Young told them to quit wasting food, to save flour and meat for their journey west.  He wanted all to understand that they would be called upon to prepare roads, find camps, dig wells and purchase grain.  If there were brethren who could not follow the rules of the camp, they should leave.  After dark, no one was to leave the camp without a password, nor should they approach a guard quickly.  Families were to hold prayer both night and morning.  When President Young wanted to gather all the brethren together, a white flag would be hoisted.  When he wanted to only see the captains, a blue flag would be used.  Captains of hundreds should organize their companies in circles.  Benjamin F. Johnson19 was appointed to be in charge of a lost and found.  President Young told the brethren that they were the “best set of fellows in the world” and he blessed them in the name of the Lord.

At 12:30 p.m., Lyman O. Littlefield20 introduced Dr. Clayton Tiffin to Brigham Young.  Dr. Tiffin was from St. Louis and he had been baptized the night before.  President Young counseled Dr. Tiffin to join the camp at the Missouri River in April, and he should bring groceries.

At 3 p.m., the artillery was brought into the camp, including two six‑pound guns, one three‑pounder, and one twelve‑pound cannon.  The troops in the camp under Hosea Stout’s command numbered about two hundred and fifty men.

Orson Pratt and family left the Harrington home to join the camp at Sugar Creek.  He observed that the camp was much larger than it had been four days earlier.  The night was nice and the camp had some “excellent” camp fires.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

In the afternoon, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, and a few others returned to Nauvoo.  Many in the city continued to get their wagons ready.  They visited with William Clayton, Bishop Newel K. Whitney, and others, asking them to hurry up and join the camp.  The brethren mentioned that those in the camp had been wasting food and property.

The 27th Quorum of Seventies met at the Masonic Hall.  After business had been transacted, they had danced and sang.  The party concluded around 1:15 a.m.



History of the Church, 7:591‑92; Orson Pratt Journal; William Clayton’s diary; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 52; Brooks, Diary of Hosea Stout Diary


                    Thursday, February 19, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

Snow started to fall early in the morning and continued throughout the day, accumulating seven or eight inches.  Hosea Stout obtained a larger tent and pitched it over the smaller one.  He then removed the small tent.  Patty Sessions wrote: “It snows hard, the wind blows and no tent yet.”   Eliza Partridge Lyman recorded: “It snowed all day and made us very uncomfortable, as the wind blows the snow in every direction, and our fire is out in the storm so that we cannot get warm by it.  I almost froze so I shall go in the wagon and make my bed and get into it as that is the only way I can keep warm.”

John D. Lee left the camp with $50.95 that was raised to purchase cloth.  The river was beginning to be blocked with ice making it dangerous to cross.

Eliza R. Snow stayed in her buggy during the storm and amused herself by writing a poem:


“The Camp of Israel”:


Altho' in woods and tents we dwell,

Shout, Shout, O Camp of Israel!

No Christian mobs on earth can bind

Our thoughts, or steal our peace of mind.


Tho' we fly from vile aggression

We'll maintain our pure profession

Seek a peaceable possession

Far from Gentiles and oppression


We better live in tents and smoke

Than wear the cursed gentile yoke‑‑

We better from our country fly,

Than by mobocracy to die.


We've left the City of Nauvoo

And our beloved Temple too,

And to the wilderness we'll go

Amid the winter frosts and snow.


Our homes were dear‑‑we lov'd them well

Beneath our roofs we hop'd to dwell,

And honor the great God's commands

By mutual rights of Christian lands.


Our persecutors will not cease

Their murd'rous spoiling of our peace,

And have decreed that we must go

To wilds where reeds and rushes grow.


The Camp‑‑the Camp‑‑its numbers swell,

Shout, Shout, O Camp of Israel!

The King, the Lord of Hosts is near,

His armies guard our front and rear.


The evening was very cold, which caused much suffering in the camp.  There were still many who did not have tents, or who had unfinished tents without ends.  Many of the tents were blown down.  The men built huge fires to warm themselves.  The women huddled with their small children in wagons, carriages, and tents for protection.  Charles C. Rich and his family joined the camp and Sugar Creek.  There was not room for them to all sleep in the wagons, so some of them had to brush the snow away from the ground and sleep on the cold earth.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

It was too windy for river crossings.  In the evening Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, William Clayton, Sheriff Jacob Backenstos and Jedediah M. Grant had supper at Almon W. Babbitt's home.



History of the Church, 7:592; Brooks, Diary of Hosea Stout; John Doyle Lee, 77‑8; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 114; Arrington, Charles C. Rich, 91; William Clayton’s Journal; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 16; Holzapfel, Women of Nauvoo, 161; Lyman, Amasa Mason Lyman,  Pioneer, 177


                       Friday, February 20, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

The snow stopped, but it was extremely cold.  The wind shifted, coming from the northwest.  Some turned their tents and changed their fires.

Elder Willard Richards was still sick in bed with a bad cough.  At 1 p.m., members of the Twelve and Bishop Miller met as a Council in Elder Richards’ tent.  They voted to purchase three hundred bushels of corn from William Leffingwell21 and one yoke of oxen from William Hawkes.

In the evening, there was a disturbance by individuals refusing to comply with the rules of the commissary, murmuring, and trying to spread dissension.  But the majority of the people “hissed” them down and they went away in shame.

Despite the cold, almost every night, William Pitt's Brass Band would play music and many would dance.  Around the campfires they sang songs like “Home Sweet Home,” “The Old Arm Chair,” and “Dandy Jim from Caroline.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

There was much ice floating on the Mississippi river.  It became increasingly cold all day.  Many pieces of ice started to attach on the banks of the Mississippi River.  It was still impossible to cross the river because of the weather.  The snow drifted to “a considerable height.”

William Clayton spent the day getting things ready for the journey, fixing wagons, and chopping fire wood.  Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Orson Hyde met in the temple.



History of the Church, 7:593; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 16; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 53; “Hosea Stout Diary”; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball, Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 130;


                     Saturday, February 21, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

The severe cold continued.  At 2:30 p.m., Elders Orson Pratt, Amasa Lyman, George A. Smith, George Miller and Albert P. Rockwood met in council, in Willard Richards’ tent.  It was decided to purchase five hundred more bushels of corn and to obtain as much hay and straw as possible.  One hundred bushels of tithing corn should be ground and several loads of wheat should also be ground into flour and be stored.  The council agreed to meet each day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. until Brigham Young returned from Nauvoo.

The problems with the commissary seemed to be solved.  The captains of the companies made a written report of the number of animals that needed to be fed.  Less corn was needed to supply the needs of the camp.  In the past, people would hoard the corn and it would be wasted.

In the afternoon, a meeting was called to determine who had come into camp with their families, without being counseled to do so.  This report was requested to be made to the General Council.

Charles C. Rich's wife, Sarah, became sick because of exposure from the storm.  Her baby Charley was nursing, making it extra hard on her to be sick.  Her husband and his other wives kindly took care of her.  Her health would soon be restored.

William Pace described the situation at Sugar Creek: “Our camp was made in the snow about 8 inches deep and was a rather uncomfortable introduction into camp life without tent or any shelter save it be a wagon cover made from common sheeting.  Here we stayed for some time waiting the arrival of all those who could possibly supply themselves with teams.”


Nauvoo, Illinois:

The ice was running on the river in large amounts.  Thomas Bullock went to the temple office and was pleased to again shake hands with Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.  He also examined the temple roof, which had not yet been plastered, where it had been damaged by the fire.

A son, John Bateman, was born to Thomas and Mary Bateman.22  A daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Wickel, was born to Harrison and Sarah Wickel.23


Atlantic Ocean:

As the ship Brooklyn traveled into calmer waters, the novelty of the voyage quickly wore off and the Saints had to look for interesting ways to cure their boredom.  The men were fascinated by the maneuvering of the ship by the crew and would watch them for hours.  The little children were on deck every day, attending to their school work, jumping rope, and other amusements to pass off the time.  The single girls served as waitresses for the cook and the steward.  The men took turns to serve as guards, night and day.

The Saints tried to endure many discomforts that accompanied life below the deck, including the lack of headroom.  “So low were the ceilings that only a dwarf could stand erect, and a person of normal stature must move about by crouching monkey‑fashion.”  “It was always in semi‑darkness and could only be dimly lit by the whale oil lamps.  After meals and prayers the families went to the tiny bunks with canvas curtains.  It was all poorly ventilated, unsanitary, with ceilings too low for standing erect.”

Elder Samuel Brannan, at the beginning of the voyage took meals with the passengers in the main hall.  But because of the noise of plates, crying of sick babies, and the bad smell, it was said that he dined at the captain's table for the rest of the voyage which did not go over well with some of the less fortunate.



History of the Church, 7:593‑94; “Hosea Stout Diary”; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, 45-6; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 53; “William Pace Autobiography,” 9; John Eagar in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:538; Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons, 31;


                      Sunday, February 22, 1846

Nauvoo, Illinois:

In the morning, a meeting was held on the lower floor of the still unfinished temple.  The room was very crowded and a great weight was put on the new floor.  Benjamin Clapp began the meeting with prayer.  While he was praying, the floor settled about one inch to its proper position, making a loud cracking sound which greatly alarmed the congregation.  People screamed and started to run in every direction. Some started to smash windows and jumped out like “mad cats.”  Many ran out the doors while those who remained jumped up and down crying, “Oh! Oh! Oh!”   Brigham Young tried to call the assembly to order and explain what had happened but was unable to get their attention.  He adjourned the meeting to the grove.  He examined the floor and found out that it was fine.

The group assembled out in the cold, in the foot‑deep snow.  President Young said the people could now jump up and down as much as they pleased.  Two men had been injured by jumping out windows.  One broke his arm, the other mashed his face.  They were both “apostates” (Strangites).  One man was Uriel Chittenden Nickerson.

Brother Clapp again opened the meeting with prayer.  Elder Orson Hyde spoke to the congregation on the subject of apostasy, directing his remarks especially to the followers of James J. Strang.  Brigham Young gave his last public address in Nauvoo.  He said he was surprised that the people did not know any better than to get frightened because the floor of the temple settled a little.  He forbid holding any more meetings there without an order from the Twelve.  President Young said he was not troubled with Strangism.  Any who wished to follow Strang were encouraged to go.  He said that the Lord did not want any who desired to follow the devil.

In the afternoon, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor left Nauvoo and started out for the Sugar Creek camp.  The ice was running on the river, making it very dangerous to cross.  They made it across with great difficulty and arrived in the camp at 7 p.m.

At 3 p.m., the Seventies had a general conference at the concert hall.  Joseph Young and Orson Hyde spoke. There was a good spirit at the meeting.  Later in the evening, Chancy Gaylor was cut off from the Church for apostasy and joining the Strangites.

A daughter, Rosalia Allen Cox, was born to Frederick and Emeline Cox.  A son, George Samuel Graham, was born to Thomas and Sarah Graham.  A son, Amasa Lyman Jr., was born  to Elder Amasa and Louisa Lyman.24


Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

There was a severe freeze overnight.  Many in the camp complained about sleeping cold.

At 8 a.m., the brethren were called together.  More regulations for the camp and rules in obtaining grain were discussed.

At 10 a.m., Elders Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman, Willard Richards and George Miller met in council.  Bishop Miller reported that two hundred and fifteen baskets of corn had been purchased.  It was decided that George A. Smith would be given a tithing milk cow, that Thomas Grover should be given ropes to tie his oxen, and that Brothers Rockwood and Lee should have a look at a load of tin which might be purchased.  Items of tinware were needed in the camp.  John D. Lee had just returned to camp with the cloth he was authorized to purchase.  Charles C. Rich reported that he obtained three hundred fifty bushels of tithing corn.  Lucien Woodworth volunteered to try to obtain five hundred bushels of corn and other provisions by donation from the brethren in the vicinity.  The brethren in the guard were instructed to put away their heavy arms during the day.

At 1 p.m., the white flag was raised and the brethren in the camp came together.  Elders Orson Pratt and Amasa Lyman spoke on the health, comfort, success, peace, prosperity, and salvation of the camp.

At 4 p.m., members of the Twelve again met, with the addition of Parley P. Pratt.  It was decided to have a second hundred bushels of corn prepared to be milled.  Parley P. Pratt and Amasa Lyman were asked to go to the Clark Settlement on the next day for oxen, corn, and other provisions.  Wagon makers and blacksmiths were to be put to work in the camp while waiting to move on.

A marriage was held, probably in the camp.  William Reynolds was married to Anna Hawley.25



History of the Church, 7:594‑95; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 17; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” 30-1; “Hosea Stout Diary”; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 53; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 78; Hyrum L. Andrus, BYU Studies, 2:2:143; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848


                     Monday, February 23, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

At 9:30 a.m., a general camp meeting was held followed by a meeting of the Twelve and the captains of hundreds.  They discussed plans to move the camp west and agreed to travel up the divide between the Des Moines River and Sugar Creek.  Fifty teams would move on, to purchase provisions for the camp and to prepare the roads.  Stephen Markham was instructed to send a company to find a campground between Sugar Creek and Bonaparte Mills.  Samuel Bent was instructed to advance his company of twenty‑five wagons in the morning.

Word came to Amasa Lyman from Nauvoo that his pregnant wife, Louisa, was sick.  Amasa and Eliza Lyman started to head back to Nauvoo at 2 p.m.  She wrote,


When we had gone about three miles, our buggy broke down and left us in the mud.  Fortunately a wagon came along and took us to Montrose.  We found the ice running in the river so it was impossible to cross that night, except in a skiff, which Brother Lyman succeeded in doing with great difficulty, leaving me on this side to stay all night with Sister Tanner.


While this council was being held, Benjamin Stewart walked up to a campfire, picked up a large pistol and carelessly, but accidentally, discharged it across the fire.  It was loaded with three small rifle balls which entered the left thigh of Abner Blackburn, the nineteen-year-old son of Anthony Blackburn.  Two balls passed out the opposite side of his leg, but one hit the bone and went down the leg, remaining there.  Benjamin Stewart belonged to Allen Stout's company.  When Brother Stout discovered what took place, he kicked Brother Stewart out of his camp because it was a violation for any man to handle another man's arms.  Benjamin Stewart was sent back to Nauvoo. Hosea Stout called the guard together and gave them a severe reprimand for disobedience and a lack of order for their practice of firing guns in camp.  The guard was also chastised for leaving their posts to kindle and keep up fires while on duty.

Soon another careless near‑fatal accident occurred.  Brother Roswell Stevens and several other men were out getting timber for wagon bows.  While in the woods, a member of Shadrach Roundy's company fired a gun, missing the tree he shot at, and the ball came close to the heads of Brother Steven's company.  Brother Stevens, without saying a word to the man, ran to him and “gave him a severe flogging.”

Henry Bigler added to his camp's provisions by traveling to his cousin's home at Montrose and purchasing thirty‑four pounds of salt, a little pork, and a load of straw.

The Sessions family obtained canvas for their tent and Patty Sessions began sewing on it.

In the evening, Stephen Markham and his pioneer group returned and reported finding a good campground ten miles away, with corn available to buy.  However, it was more expensive than at Sugar Creek or Montrose.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

At 3 p.m., the river was closed (frozen) at the Upper Steam Mill for the second time during this winter.

A newspaper called The Hancock Eagle was published in Nauvoo which proclaimed a new order of things in Nauvoo.  It announced that two to three thousand Mormons had already left the city and that soon many others would be gone.  The Twelve had abandoned their temple, their city, and have taken their church with them.

A son, Ephraim Laub, was born to George and Mary Jane Laub.



History of the Church, 7:595‑96; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 17; “George Laub Autobiography,” typescript, 38; “Hosea Stout Diary”; “Patty Sessions Diary”; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 54; Lyman, Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 147; “Samuel Rogers Journal,” 48


                     Tuesday, February 24, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

The cold was very severe overnight and a snowstorm started at 6 a.m. continuing until 10 a.m.  The harsh weather prevented Samuel Bent's company from traveling to the next camp.  It became increasingly cold during the day. During the early morning, the Mississippi River froze over at Montrose.

During this cold, Eliza R. Snow would frost her feet which gave her “considerable inconvenience” for several weeks.  She wrote:  “One of my brother's wives had one of the old‑fashioned foot‑stoves, which proved very useful.  She frequently brought it to me, filled with live coals from one of those mammoth fires‑‑a kindness which I remember with gratitude.”

Brigham Young was busy unloading, weighing and loading his wagons in preparation to move the camp.  He handed out the cloth (that John D. Lee had purchased) to make tent ends and wagon covers.

In the evening, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met with Willard Richards in his tent to investigate some contention that existed between George Miller and some of the guards.  The guard would not let George Miller cross the bridge without giving the password. George Miller accused Hosea Stout of ordering the guard to kill him and throw his body into the ravine below.  It turned out to be a misunderstanding.

Patty Sessions finished sewing the canvas for a tent.  Brother Session went back to Nauvoo to get tent poles and other things.

A son, Joseph Redding, was born in camp to Robert Jackson and Martha Redding.26


Montrose, Iowa:

Amasa Lyman returned in the morning from Nauvoo.  He reported that his wife, Maria, was doing better.  She had presented him with a son, Amasa M. Lyman Jr.  He made arrangements for his wife, Eliza, to return to Sugar Creek, and he turned back to Nauvoo.


Atlantic Ocean:

A baby was born to Charles and Sarah Burr.  Samuel Brannan later performed a ceremony on deck and named the little boy appropriately, John Atlantic Burr.



History of the Church, 7:596; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript, 17; Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 19, 264; “Patty Session Diary”; Hosea Stout Journal; “The Burr Family,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:52; Lyman, Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 147


                   Wednesday, February 25, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

It was the coldest morning so far, at the Sugar Creek encampment.  The sun rose clear and bright, which helped the morale of the whole camp.

At 9 a.m., the bugle was sounded and the white flag raised, signalling that all the brethren should gather for a meeting.  The meeting was moved to a ravine to get out of the bitter cold wind.  Brigham Young announced that there were employment opportunities on the Des Moines River, at Farmington for chopping wood and splitting rails.  He asked the group if they wanted to go where they could get work.  There was good support for this idea.

President Young warned against stealing, cutting strings from wagon covers, and cutting rail timber on the campground.  Thieves would be dealt with harshly.  If thieves wished to take his life, he stated, “I would rather die by the hands of the meanest of all men, false brethren, than to live among thieves.”  He asked for the captains to make reports about the poor.  He said that he would divide his corn and oats for those in need.  There was no need to steal.  The meeting was concluded and President Young went to distribute his grain to the needy.

At 11 a.m., Charles C. Rich came in from Nauvoo and reported that he had walked over the Mississippi River on the ice at Montrose.

Orson Pratt spent time figuring out the latitude of the camp using a quadrant, an artificial horizon of quicksilver, and a meridian observation of the sun.  He wished that he had a sextant in camp to get more accurate figures.  He also wished that he had a telescope powerful enough to observe the immersions and emersions of Jupiter's moons.

Bishop George Miller, with about sixteen wagons and thirty to forty pioneers, started for the Des Moines Rivers.  These “pioneers” were appointed to build bridges, make roads, to travel about a hundred miles and then return to bring their families forward.  Charles C. Rich and his family were among those who left Sugar Creek at 3 p.m.  They traveled five miles and camped on Lick Creek a little after sundown.27  There was three inches of snow on the ground which they swept away to stretch out their tent.  They had a rag carpet which came in handy to spread on the ground for their beds, but it was very cold and uncomfortable for the children, including one nursing baby.  Sister Sarah Rich was still sick, but she was very thankful for the principle of polygamy.  Her husband's other wives, three young girls who were also with them help her with the work and helped her with the children.  She felt greatly blessed.  One of the other wives, Mary Phelps Rich took care of her children during the night.  Sarah was able to stay in the wagon with her baby and her meals would be brought to her.  “All this time those dear girls waited on me, did the work without a murmur or complaint.”

Back in the Sugar Creek camp, in the afternoon, Captain Samuel J. Hastings arrived from Boston and in the evening he met with the Twelve in Willard Richards’ tent.  Mr. Hastings was interested in being hired to take emigrants from New York, Boston and other eastern cities to California for $150.00 each.  He retired to Brigham Young's tent about 11 p.m.

At 7 p.m., it was 10 degrees.  It was rumored that some of the guard were planning to leave camp and go back to Nauvoo, taking with them teams which were important for the camp.  Hosea Stout forbid anyone from leaving the camp without his knowledge.



History of the Church, 7:597‑8; Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, 46; Brown, Historical Atlas of Mormonism p.78; “Hosea Stout Diary”; Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846"


                    Thursday, February 26, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

It was a bitter cold morning.  At 6:30 a.m., it was twenty degrees below zero.  Brigham Young was planning to leave Sugar Creek for the Des Moines with others, but he decided to stay because of the cold weather.  There were between six and seven hundred people in the camp.

John Gool had let Thomas Grover have some horses and a wagon to help him on his journey.  John Gool's wife came into camp and demanded to have the team back.  Brigham Young tried to persuade her that it would be a loss to her to take the team from this needy family, but she persisted, took the team, and drove off.  President Young told Brother Grover to trust in the Lord.  By noon, someone presented Thomas Grover with a team.

Levi Richards and Samuel W. Richards arrived in camp about 11 a.m. on a visit.  The Nauvoo trustees, Brothers Babbitt, Heywood and Fullmer arrived about noon.

A Mr. Prentice, U.S. marshal, and several of the Illinois state troops from Carthage came into camp asking about a stolen grey horse.  They had traced the horse to within six miles of Nauvoo and had caught the non‑Mormon thief in Nauvoo.  John D. Lee received word that two of his brothers‑in‑law, James and Reuben Woolsey28 were in custody at Nauvoo, charged with theft.  He obtained permission from Brigham Young to return to Nauvoo.  President Young promised that he would look after Brother Lee's family that remained in the camp.  Brother Lee went to the river in his buggy and crossed over on the ice.29

Eliza and Dionetia Lyman headed back to Nauvoo to visit their sister wife, Louisa Lyman, and her new baby.  The two women crossed over the solid river.

The skies became cloudy in the afternoon and at 6 p.m., the temperature was ten degrees.  George A. Smith left the camp and returned to Nauvoo.  Hosea Stout took his wife, Louisa to visit the grave of his late wife Surmantha.  They returned before nightfall.

In the evening, members of the Twelve met in council in President Young's tent, and decided to write to the governor of Iowa to see what his views were regarding letting the Saints stop on public land to raise a crop the season.  They also read a newspaper article from the New York Messenger Extra which gave an account of the sailing of the Brooklyn, with Elder Samuel Brannan and his company of Saints.

A marriage took place in the camp.  John Lambert and Adelia Grosbeck were married.30


On the plains in Iowa:

The Charles C. Rich family traveled through Farmington.  Brother Rich bought coffee, sugar, leather and other things for the family.  They then traveled up the Des Moines River for five miles and camped at Reed's Creek.  There they found George Miller's company of pioneers.31



Betsey Ann Eldredge, ten-month-old daughter of Horace and Betsey Eldredge, died.32  A son, Hyrum Smith Phelps, was born to Morris and Sarah Phelps.33



History of the Church, 7:599‑600; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 19; Sarah Rich Autobiography, typescript, 47; Stanley Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846"; John Doyle Lee, 78; “Hosea Stout Diary”; Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:196‑97, 373-74; Lyman Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 147


                       Friday, February 27, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

At 6 a.m., the temperature was a bitter cold, five degrees.  Albert P. Rockwood slaughtered a lame ox and distributed the meat to the most needy in the camp.  Brother McKee went back on his promise to provide $15.00 worth of corn for the camp.  He decided to keep it, saying he was going to use it to help the poor.  Thus, the teams in the camp had less corn to eat this day.

Mr. James Wallace came into camp and thought he should be paid for the timber which the brethren had cut on his land.  An agreement was reached to build a log house for Mr. Wallace as payment for the timber.

Hosea Stout had sent word back to Nauvoo to have someone bring him some items.  Arriving on this day was his cook stove and some other articles.  He put the stove in his tent which he found to be very nice and comfortable for his family.  They had suffered much from the cold in the tent, but the stove would keep them warm, even in the most bitter cold.

The following lines were written by a camp member:

God pity the exiles, when storms come down‑‑

When snow‑laden clouds hang low on the ground,

When the chill blast of winter, with frost on its breath

Sweeps through the tents like the angel of death!

When the sharp cry of child‑birth is heard on the air,

And the voice of the father breaks down in his prayer,

As he pleads with Jehovah, his loved ones to spare!


At 6 p.m., the temperature was twenty-one degrees and, some fine hail fell.


Nauvoo, Illinois:

With the Mississippi River frozen solid, William Clayton began to send his teams across the ice in the morning.  At about noon he crossed with his family and then rested his teams in the camp on the west bank of the river.  Thomas Bullock, with Sister Ann Fox and his wife Lucy Clayton Bullock, walked over the river to visit with the Claytons.  They saw the Claytons off from Montrose and then returned to Nauvoo.  He wrote:  “This day I can say I have walked over the greatest River in North America, even the Father of Waters.”  Bishop Newel K. Whitney also crossed over the river, but he decided to stay by the river until morning because all of his teams could not get over.  The Clayton family arrived at the Sugar Creek camp at 3:30 p.m.

A son, George Babcock, was born to Lorenzo and Anna Babcock.34  Also born was a daughter, Nancy Maria Badger, to Rodney and Nancy Badger.35

Joel H. Johnson, the one and a half year‑old son of Joel H. Johnson, died.36



History of the Church, 7:600; William Clayton’s Journal; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 54; “Hosea Stout Diary”; Edward W. Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom, 307‑09; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848


                     Saturday, February 28, 1846

Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:

At 6 a.m., the temperature was twenty degrees and it warmed up during the day.  The camp at this time consisted of almost four hundred wagons which were heavily loaded.  Most of the families were well prepared and had provisions for several months.  But there were a large number of families that, contrary to counsel, started their journey in a destitute condition and only had provisions to last a few days.

A number of brethren spent the day building a log house for James Wallace.  This labor was to make payment for the wood which the camp had used from his land.

Members of the Twelve met in Brigham Young's tent.  They read and approved a letter to be sent to the governor of Iowa.  They informed him that several thousand citizens had been driven from their homes to wander on the barren plains without being able to sell their property.  They only have enough provisions to sustain themselves for a short distance.  They were camping in Iowa and suffering much from the cold.  They humbly asked the governor to allow them to pass through the territory and stop to raise crops on public lands, to prevent the starvation of the people including wives and children.

A number of the pioneers, including the companies of Daniel Spencer, Charles Shumway, and part of Samuel Bent's company left the Sugar Creek camp for the next camp.  Eliza R. Snow was among those who left.  They traveled four miles and camped “in a low, truly romantic valley, just large enough for our tents, wagons, etc.  We arrived a little before sunset.” The ground was covered with snow, shoe‑deep.  The men used hoes to clear away snow, pitched the tents, and built woodpiles in front of them.37

Back at Sugar Creek, at about 2 p.m., Brigham Young rode about five miles to the east with some of the Twelve and the band.  They went to meet Bishop Newel Whitney who was on his way to the Sugar Creek Camp from the Mississippi.  The band played for some time and then the group returned to camp.  President Young was severely afflicted with rheumatism.  This painful condition caused him to have difficulty walking, so he was using crutches.  Bishop Whitney arrived in camp at 4:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m., the temperature fell to twenty-one degrees.  The band warmed up the spirits of the camp in the evening by playing a few tunes. Also in the evening, Eliza and Dionetia Lyman returned from Nauvoo.  As they reached the edge of the camp, the guards abruptly stopped them, and refused to let them enter until they could be positively identified.  Amasa Lyman came to the rescue, and took his wives into the camp.


Reed's Creek, Iowa:

George Miller and his pioneers, who had been sent as an advance group to work on roads, took out a work contract with a settler that lived nearby, to clear ten acres of land in exchange for grain and bread stuff.  Charles C. Rich decided to stay through Sunday to help Bishop Miller with the contract.

Nauvoo, Illinois:

Many wagons continued to cross over the frozen Mississippi River.

In the afternoon, a Brother Cottam shot and killed a Mr. Gardiner.  The Warsaw Signal reported that Gardiner (a non‑Mormon) had a wife (a Mormon) who wished to emigrate with the Saints, but her husband would not go along.  She left him and “took up with Cotton.”  This led to the quarrel and ended in the death of Mr. Gardiner.


Near Nauvoo, Illinois:

Warren Foote's mother, Irene Lane Foote, had been seriously ill for many days.  He called in the Elders to anoint and bless her.  After the ordinance, the pains in her bowels ceased.  During the morning, she was anxious to be baptized a member of the Church.  The weather was still extremely cold and she was very sick.  They decided to make a large trough and bring it into the house with warm water.  Isaac Ferguson, Mattannah Hallet, Joseph C. Clark, Nahum Benjamin, and Warren Foote went to work.  By evening, they had everything ready.  At 9 p.m., Elder Pleasant Ewell officiated at the baptism of Sister Foote.  She was then confirmed a member of the Church and administered to again.  She said that she now felt satisfied.



History of the Church, 7:601‑2; “Henry Bigler Autobiography”, typescript; “Warren Foote Autobiography,” typescript, 75; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, 47; “Wandle Mace Autobiography,” typescript, 197; Warsaw Signal, March 4, 1846; “Thomas Bullock Journal,” 55; William Clayton’s Journal; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 114‑15; Stanley Kimball, “The Iowa Trek of 1846"; Black, Membership of the Church 1830‑1848; Lyman, Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 147;  “William Adams Autobiography,” typescript, 15



1George Laub was baptized in 1842.  The Laub family settled in St. George, Utah

2Phineas Howe Young was the brother of Brigham Young.  In 1830, he was given a copy of The Book of Mormon by Samuel Smith.  He later shared the book with his brother, Brigham.  Phineas joined the Church in 1832.  He was part of the original pioneer company of 1847.  He settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.

3Alpheus Cutler was born at Plainfield, New Hampshire in 1784.  In 1846, he served located the winter settlement of Cutler's Park, in present‑day Omaha, Nebraska.  He served as senior member of the Winter Quarters High Council.  In 1851, Alpheus Cutler rejected Brigham Young's leadership and drew away a few members of the Church in Winter Quarters.  He formed his own church and appointed himself as prophet.  The “Cutlerite” church moved to Manti, Iowa.  Today, the only thing that remains of Manti, Iowa, is a cemetery in which about fifty “Cutlerites” were buried, including Alpheus Cutler, who died in 1864.  After his death, most of the Cutlerites joined the RLDS church.

4Many of the Saints were concerned about the mob disturbing the graves of their loved-ones.  A Brother Wilcox worked on the graves at his home.  He “dug down at the end of each grave and placed the stones down almost to the coffins, then covered all over and dug up the rose trees we had planted there, and smootheed off the ground, and no stranger could tell where they were.” (Mary Ann Stearns Winters)

5John S. Haslem joined the Church in 1842.  He was a blacksmith by trade.  He later settled his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.

6Thomas Ralphs joined the Church in 1841.  He later settled his family in Brigham City, Utah.

7Lauren Hotchkiss Roundy joined the Church in 1833.He later was a member of the bishopric of Spanish Fork, Utah. 

8David White Rogers was baptized in 1837 by Parley P. Pratt.  He later settled in Provo, Utah.

9Albert Carrington joined the Church in 1841.  He later served as one of the early editors of The Deseret News.  In 1870, he was ordained one of the Twelve Apostles.  From 1873, until the death of Brigham Young, he served as a counselor in the First Presidency.  For more than twenty years, he worked as Brigham Young’s secretary.

10Jehiel Savage joined the Church in 1838.  He had helped to collect funds for the Nauvoo temple.  After being cut off from the quorum, he later served as an “apostle” for James Strang.  He later joined the RLDS Church.

11John Eagar was twenty-two years old at this time..  He sailed with his mother, two brothers and a sister.  They settled in San Francisco, where his mother kept a store.  John was a printer and was employed as the associate editor of the California Star.

John was the only family member who went on to Utah.  He settled in Manti.

12William Huntington joined the Church in 1835. He would serve as the president of the Mount Pisgah settlement in Iowa.  He died there on September 19, 1846

13Elder Page had been ordained an apostle in 1838, replacing Luke S. Johnson.  For some time, John Page was in friction with other members of the Twelve and would not agree with their counsel.  He had not been a very active member of the quorum ever since he failed to fulfill his mission to Jerusalem with Elder Orson Hyde.  The Twelve felt that he now had a spirit of apostasy and found it necessary to disfellowship him.  Brother Page would soon become very bitter and would work to have many of the Saints follow after James J. Strang.  John Page would be excommunicated from the Church on June 26, 1846.

14Joseph Young was the older brother of Brigham Young.  He joined the Church in 1832.  He went with his brother to Kirtland and later served as a member of Zion’s Camp.  He was ordained a President of the Seventies and held this calling throughout the rest of his life.  He would remain at Winter Quarters until 1850 and then join the Saints in Utah.  He died in 1881.

15A story that has been told and retold over the years is that on the first night of encampment at Sugar Creek (which would have been about February 5) there were nine babies born.  (See Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., DS 3:337, Adam S. Bennion, Conference Report, CR April 1954, Eliza R. Snow, “Sketch of My Life,” Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, p.127, B. H. Roberts, CHC 3:44‑45, Arrington, Mormon Experience  p. 97).  However, the evidence left behind indicates that this story is  just pioneer folklore.  None of these accounts are first‑hand accounts and were written many years later.  None of these births are recorded on family group sheets collected in Susan Easton Black’s Membership of the Church.  Some of these accounts mention that the babies were born on this first night at Sugar Creek after their mothers crossed the Mississippi on the ice.  The cold did not set in until the 14th and the river did not freeze until February 24.  Patty Sessions, one of Nauvoo's mid‑wives crossed over on the 12th.  She kept a detailed diary during this time and she makes no mention of these births.  She did assist in one birth on the 25th.  Other journals indicate many pregnant women were not taken across the river at that time.   Eliza R. Snow joined the Sugar Creek Camp on the 13th but does not mention it in her diary at the time.  She added this point in a history written many years later (1877) stating she was “informed” that the babies were born before she arrived on the 13th.   All the above references probably took this story from Eliza R. Snow's mistaken account. Eliza R. Snow may have mixed up her story with an event that might have happened in September, 1846, as the Saints crossed over the river after the Battle of Nauvoo.  Jane Johnston wrote that her family crossed over the river at that time.  “I was the mid-wife, and delivered nine babies that night.” (“Jane Johnston Statement,” Joseph Smith Black Diary, BYU).

16David Dutton Yearsley joined the Church in 1841.  He later crossed the plains to Utah in 1847 and returned to Winter Quarters the following year.  He died there in 1849.

17William Farrington Cahoon joined the Church in 1831.  He served in Zion’s Camp. He played the bass drum in the Nauvoo Legion Band.  He settled with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.

18Elder Kimball probably came into camp with about thirty members of his large family.  Five wives were temporarily left behind in Nauvoo, two with young babies and three who were pregnant.

19Benjamin Franklin Johnson was a close associate and secretary of Joseph Smith.  He later was in the original pioneer company of 1847.  He died in Tempe, Arizona, in 1884.

20Lyman Omer Littlefield joined the Church in 1834.  He was a member of Zion’s Camp at the age of thirteen.  He later served a mission in England in 1847.

21William Leffingwell joined the Church in 1837.  He was a high priest.

22John Bateman would die in November, 1846.  Thomas and Mary Bateman joined the Church in England, in 1838.  They emigrated to America in the same year.  In 1852, Thomas returned to England to look after some of his property there.  On his return trip, he accidentally drown in the Atlantic Ocean. 

23Harrison Wickel was a shoemaker.  He joined the Church in 1845.  The family went to St. Louis, Missouri.  Harrison died there in 1851.

24Elder Lyman was away at the Sugar Creek Camp.

25William Reynolds would later serve in the Mormon Battalion.  The family would settle in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah.

26This was probably the first baby to be born in the camp.  Joseph would later die in Winter Quarters on August 17, 1847.

27The Lick Creek campground was just above the present town of Croton, on the west side of Lick Creek, one‑half mile from its junction with the Des Moines River.

28Reuben Woolsey joined the Church in 1839.  He would later settle in Millard, Utah.

29John D. Lee would successfully help secure the release of the Woolsey brothers.

30John Lambert joined the Church in 1837.  They would later settle in Kamas, Utah.  John was a brickmason and helped to build the Salt Lake Temple.

31Reed's Creek Camp was located three miles above Farmington in a ten‑acre field near Reed's Creek, three quarters of a mile north of the Des Moines River in Bonaparte Township.

32Horace Sunderland Eldredge joined the Church in 1836.  In Winter Quarters he served as the city marshal.  After he arrived in Utah, he was appointed the marshal of the Territory.  He was later called to serve as one of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies.  In 1870, he was called to preside over the European mission.  He was one of the organizers of Deseret National Bank and First National Bank of Ogden.

33Morris Phelps joined the Church in 1831.  He served several missions during the early days of the Church.  He labored as a carpenter on the Kirtland Temple.  He settled his family in Alpine, Utah and later Bear Lake Valley.

34Sadly, little George Babcock would die August 9, 1847 in Winter Quarters.  Lorenzo Babcock would be away serving in the Mormon Battalion at the time of his son's death.

35The Badger family would later settle in Salt Lake City.  In 1853, Rodney Badger lost his life by drowning in the Weber River, trying to help save an emigrant family that was in trouble.

36Joel H. Johnson was the author of the Mormon hymn, “High on a Mountain Top.”

37This camp was located along Sugar Creek about four or five miles northwest of the first camp.  It is near present day county road J 62, in Charleston Township.