Sunday, March 4, 1849 - Saturday, March 10, 1849
On Sunday a council meeting was held at the home of Heber C. Kimball. The marshal was instructed to give notice of a meeting to be held on March 12th to elect officers for a territorial government. These names would be included in a petition to Congress. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution.
The hunting competition came to a close. John D. Lee and John Pack met to count the game killed by their respective teams. This competition had been engaged to hunt down as many predator animals in the area. In total, the teams killed 2 bears, 2 wolverines, 2 wildcats, 783 wolves, 409 foxes, 31 minks, 9 eagles, 530 magpies, hawks, and owls, and 1026 ravens. Brigham Young's history mentioned: "This hunt proved of great benefit to the territory, in the destruction of so much vermin and also in furnishing quills for the clerks for several years."
On Thursday Albert Carrington, chairman of the constitution committee presented a draft of the preamble of the territory constitution and it was adopted on Saturday.
On Saturday it was also resolved to establish a colony of thirty men in Utah Valley. They would farm, fish, and teach the Indians agricultural skills.
A group of thirty-five men continued their journey in Utah County in pursuit of Indians who had stolen cattle from Tooele Valley. Two inches of snow had fallen on the camp during the night. On Sunday they reached the Provo River and met with some Ute Indians who were friendly but fearful of the large group of armed men. Little Chief was aware of the Indians who had taken the cattle and promised to help track them down.
On Sunday evening the company traveled to the north, along the benches. They left their horses in a cedar grove and continued on foot, guided by some of Little Chief's sons. After going about six miles, they located campfires on a creek to the north [in present-day Pleasant Grove.] The company decided to wait until morning for a confrontation.
At dawn, the company divided into four parties to surround the Indian camp. When they were almost into place, the Indians noticed their precarious situation and tried to flee in several different directions. Their attempts were unsuccessful and they started to shout warnings. Interpreters tried to persuade the Indians to surrender. After awhile the Indians gave war cries and fired their guns. A battle commenced and onc of the Indians was killed.
Hosea Stout recorded: "They soon took shelter in the creek which had perpendicular banks about four feet high thickly set with willow which so completely shielded them that we could not see them only when they raised up to shoot at us. We were about two hours engaged with them. They fought with the most determined resolution to die rather than yield as they could often be heard to encourage each other." Efforts were made to persuade them to send out their women and children. Some of the women were found huddling in ice cold creek water. The brethren kindled a fire for them. The battle soon ended when the last of the four Indian men was killed. The brethren entered the camp and found thirteen beef hides, some belonging to the stolen cattle. [The battle site was named Battle Creek, but later renamed to Pleasant Grove.]
The company went back to Provo River and informed Little Chief about the battle. Little Chief mourned the loss of life but said he understood what had happened. The Indian men had been bad and had caused much trouble. The brethren started their journey home, ate dinner on American [Fork] Creek and camped on Willow Creek. On Tuesday afternoon they arrived back in Great Salt Lake City.
Elder Wilford Woodruff commented on some current events. On Sunday he wrote: "The United States is without a president today. President Polk went out last night. President Taylor is installed tomorrow. Hence there is no president today." Elder Woodruff spoke to Saints and nonmembers at a gathering in Brother Bird's home. He spoke about the first principles of the gospel. "In speaking of the body of Christ and members in particular I told them I had seen men in my travels without arms, legs, some without eyes, but I had never seen a man going around without a head. And as a natural body without a head would die, so the Church without a head would die."
On Monday the ship "Hartley" sailed from Liverpool with 220 Saints on board. About one-third of these were Welsh. The rest were English and Scottish. They were led by William Hulme.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 163-73 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 345-48 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 19, p.446 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:427-28
On Sunday, thirteen women and children, survivors of the Indian battle in Utah Valley, arrived in the city. They expressed a desire to live among the Saints rather than return to live with the Utes on the Provo River.
On Monday a general election was held in the bowery at 10 a.m. The purpose of the election was to appoint officers for governing the people in the valley until the United States established a Territorial government. A large assembly of men gathered. More than 600 votes were cast. Brigham Young was elected governor of the territory, Willard Richards secretary, Newel K. Whitney treasurer, and Heber C. Kimball as chief justice.
Snow fell during the week, again covering the mountains. The continued cold weather discouraged many of the Saints. Hosea Stout wrote: "How long shall we yet wait for weather fit to work in?"
On Friday a company of thirty-three prepared to leave for Utah Valley, to establish a settlement on the Provo River. John S. Higbee was appointed as their president and bishop. Isaac Higbee and Dimmick B. Huntington would serve as counselors.
On Saturday the weather improved. Brothers Stout and Blackwell explored the mountains north of the city. "We went to the highest peaks which were deeply covered with snow yet. Found timber in the small canyons but could not find means to get them out so deep are they in the hollows."
On Friday Elder Wilford Woodruff bid goodbye to his family and boarded a boat bound for Cape Cod. He sailed through the night and experienced bad sea-sickness. He arrived at 5 a.m. He then boarded a carriage which broke down on the way, but finally arrived at the home of Brother Nathaniel Eldridge.
The ship "Emblem" sailed from Liverpool with one hundred Saints on board. Robert Deans was their leader. On Thursday Elder Orson Pratt published a notice in the Church periodical "Millennial Star" stating that no more organized emigrant ships would sail until late August or September.
Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, p.182 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 348-49 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 175 Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 227
During a Sunday meeting John Taylor strongly condemned the practice of swearing. Stake President Daniel Spencer called on the brethren to build a bowery on Temple Square. The bishops of the various wards were instructed to send some men from each ward to work on the construction.
On Tuesday it snowed again. On Wednesday it was reported that a company of eight wagons and families were on their way to Brown's settlement (present-day Ogden) to prepare to leave for the California gold mines.
Willard Richards reported to Brigham Young that a exploring party would be send to the large island in the Great Salt Lake (Antelope Island) "for the purpose of learning the botanical, mineralogical, and geological character of the island, and securing, for medical purposes, such saline plants and roots as were much needed."
On Thursday three more wagons were spotted leaving the valley, on their way to the gold mines.
During the week a company of settlers led by John S. Higbee reached the Provo River after a three-day journey. They brought food, seeds, farm implements, cows, oxen, and some horses. At the river were met by the "Timpanogos Ute Indians" who were angry about the advance of white men into their country. They ordered the colonists to stop. Dimick B. Huntington spoke for the group and took a pledge that the Indians would not be driven from their lands nor would their rights be taken away. The colonists crossed the river and followed it three miles further. [They settled at a location where the Provo River intersects present-day I-15, close to Lamplighter Estates mobil home park, 255 N. 1600 West.]
The Icarians, a group of French immigrants who wished establish a Utopian community were purchasing considerable property in the deserted city. During March they bought the charred ruins of the Nauvoo Temple. They intended to put a roof back on the building and use it as a seminary for their people. [In 1850 a windstorm would further destroy the structure and local residents would start hauling away temple stone to be used for other buildings.]
Wilford Woodruff preached to a large congregation during his visit to Cape Cod. He organized a branch of the Church consisting of twenty-one members. The Church members had been struggling there due to some "wicked conduct" of a Mr. Russell. On Monday Elder Woodruff bid good-bye to the Cape Cod Saints, caught a stage at West Harwick, rode twenty miles, and then caught a train for Boston. On the stage he talked sailors on their way to Boston and New York to board ships bound for California.
On Thursday Elder Woodruff rejoiced in baptizing his father-in-law, Ezra Carter Sr. in Boston Harbor. Elder Woodruff wrote: "When Joseph Smith Sr., the first Patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints laid his hands upon my head to give me my Patriarchal blessings, he said I should have my father and household standing with me in the covenant of the Gospel, and that I should have power to bring them into the kingdom." He reflected with joy that since that time so many of has family had embraced the restored Gospel.
A company of 249 Welsh Saints led Dan Jones continued their
voyage to America. One of their passengers, Thomas Evans Jeremy wrote:
On the 19th of March we saw a fish about twelve feet in length, some of them called it shark and others a young whale. We left many ships and islands behind our vessel and we hurried toward the setting sun. We had fine weather and fair wind nearly every day. Indeed, it was much more like June than the middle of March and more of a pleasure trip than I had expected. While in one part of the ship musicians were playing, in other parts good books were being read and studied, others conversing about our country and the success of the gospel in Wales, and many of their relatives had obeyed it, along with many of mine. . .
We held prayer meetings nearly every night instead of family prayers. Our Heavenly Father gave us of His spirit from above and answered our prayers until the winds obeyed us. We held Saints meeting every Sunday and commemorated our Lord and Savior.
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 8, p.109 "Is Replica at Site of Original Fort?" Deseret News, July 27, 1998 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 19, p.447 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 175-76
On Sunday the first public meeting was held on historic Temple Square, under a bowery. President Brigham Young again spoke out against those going to California in pursuit of gold dust. Elder Parley P. Pratt preached on following the brethren. Elder Heber C. Kimball announced plans to start work the following day on the Council House to be located south of Temple Square.
The bishops met and discussed how to continue to care for the poor. Donations would be given to the bishops who would then distribute to those in need. Several bishops were set apart to serve in the wards away from the city. The Aaronic Priesthood Quorums were organized. Joseph Harker was set apart as the president of the Priests, McGee Harris as president of the Teachers, and William C. Smithson as president of the Deacons.
On Monday work commenced hauling stone for the Council House. The brethren decided to send Elder Amasa Lyman and Orrin Porter Rockwell on a mission to western California. They were to preach the gospel and to meet with the faithful Saints still in California. They were to return in the fall with those Saints who wished to gather in the valley.
A letter of authorization was written for Elder Amasa Lyman to show to the Saints in California. He was authorized to set in order all things in the Church. He was to direct the affairs of the newspaper, "California Star," and any other publishing efforts by the Church. He was to gather tithing and donations, which would be brought to the valley.
On Saturday the canal committee reported to the High Council. They had determined that it would be feasible to create a canal through the crossing of Canyon Creek but it would require much labor. It was also reported that a burial ground had been partially surveyed northeast of the city. Willard Richards was appointed postmaster for Great Salt Lake City.
The weather throughout the week was warm, "pleasant as summer." The snow was melting fast in the mountains.
Elder Wilford Woodruff met with the Saints in Boston. He had the privilege of confirming his father-in-law, Ezra Carter, a member of the Church. The sacrament was administered and then Elder Woodruff spoke about the power and influence of the Spirit and work of God in heaven and on Earth. He testified that the servants of the Lord had power over the devil when they had the Spirit of God with them. He promised that if a man did his duty, his house would be a house of salvation. Those who came into his home would feel the influence of the Spirit.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 176-77 James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 1:348-49 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 349-50 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:435