Sunday September 3 - Saturday, September 9, 1848
Wagons which were part of the advance companies of the 1848 pioneers continued to arrive in the valley.
As Brigham Young's company was resting near Pacific Springs, two families arrived from the west. They were the families of James and Richard Shockley, who had journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley during the previous year. The Shockleys informed Brigham Young that they were going to Missouri. Thomas Bullock recorded: "President Young gave them a very severe lecture on their going to serve the Devil, among our enemies. On finishing [Brigham] told them to go in peace, but never to return to the Valley, until they knew they were Saints indeed." He gave them 25 pounds of meal to help them in the journey. Also during the day, three men, James Vance, Richard Norwood, and John Garr, arrived from the valley with three wagons to help the pioneers on their journey to the valley.
On Monday the pioneers were again on the move. Traveling during the week was pleasant, but the night were cold. Ice was found on their water each morning. The landscape was barren with "dwarf sage, occasionally interspersed with tufts of grass."
On Thursday they reached the Green River. The 1847 pioneers who were making the journey again, this time with their families, recalled how terrible the mosquitoes had been at this location during the previous year in early July. Thankfully, this season they were not a problem. The wagons forded across Green River which came up to the bellies of the oxen. In the afternoon, they met several men from the valley, including Addison Everett, with four wagons and cattle to help the pioneers.
On Friday as they traveled, a heavy rain fell upon them. Thomas Bullock wrote: "A heavy shower of rain & hail passed over us, all the way we were on the Flat after crossing the first ravine to near our Camp grounds, making the road a perfect pool for a long distance & all the ground very muddy & slippery. The River was deep, the Cattle having to swim across to feed."
Brigham Young's company ended the week camped on Black's Fork near some cotton wood trees, willows, and plenty of grass. They were only thirty miles east of Fort Bridger, and 143 miles from the Salt Lake Valley. They could see the Uinta mountain tops covered with Snow.
The Willard Richards and Amasa Lyman companies arrived at the ford of the Platte river. They met Benjamin Rolfe, a messenger from Brigham Young's camp. Elder Richards wrote a letter to be taken back to President Young. The letter included: "The loss of twenty four head of oxen and nine cows has somewhat crippled our teams, although this loss has none of it fallen on myself, my stock both oxen and cows are helping the dependencies thus made. With the blessings of God we shall continue to roll at such speed as the strength of our teams and the feed will allow, still hoping we shall meet some assistance from the valley."
On Sunday Elder Wilford Woodruff met with the Saints in Boston. Wonderful meetings were held. On Monday Elder Woodruff boarded a train with his family, bound for Portland, Maine. They were going to Maine to visit sister Woodruff's father, Ezra Carter. They arrived early in the morning. The following day they went to Scarborough to visit their family. Erza Carter was 76 years old and quite feeble, but seeing his daughter Phoebe again brought new life into him. Elder Woodruff remarked that it looked like he "rose from the dead."
A company of 230 Saints sailed on the "Erin's Queen" bound for New Orleans. They were led by Simeon Carter.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 122-23 Bagley, 1848 Trail Journal of Thomas Bullock Smart, Mormon Midwife, 118 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:365-66
On Sunday Brigham Young's company decided to travel and press on toward the Valley. On Monday Thomas Bullock recorded that they passed by "many Grotesque looking rocks" near Black's Fork. More men arrived from the valley with wagons to help the pioneers.
On Tuesday Thomas Bullock arrived at Fort Bridger. He wrote: "There were a few Indian lodges scattered about, & several Wagons at the Fort belonging to the brethren who were trading at the Fort." They pressed on. Heber C. Kimball's company camped near the Fort that night.
Wednesday was a chilly day with frost in the morning. Brigham Young rode in his carriage with Thomas Bullock, who read newspapers along the way. They met some Saints traveling east to return to Winter Quarters. These Saints were told that such a journey this late in the season was foolish.
On Thursday morning a light snow fell. Hosea Stout wrote: "This morning we arose early and found that it was snowing rapidly & so we hurried on to descend out of the clouds & made our decent down a very steep hill for near two miles. Our teams literally slid down but the road was good." During the day they crossed over Bear River.
On Friday Brigham Young's company crossed into present-day Utah and passed by Cache Cave. Thomas Bullock visited the cave on Saturday morning where he had spent time writing during the previous year's journey. He called it "his old office." [Today Cache Cave is on private property and still contains signatures of pioneers.] They ended the week camped near a spring, about sixty miles from the Salt Lake Valley. Hosea Stout was further ahead traveling down Echo Canyon. In the late afternoon he overtook Daniel Garn's family who had stopped because his wife, Sister Margaret Moses Garn, was "drawing her last breath." She died at sunset.
Wilford Woodruff and his family continued to visit with his in-laws. Sister Woodruff was able to visit together with her two sisters for the first time together in eight years. On Thursday Elder Woodruff went fishing with a boy. They caught twenty-eight trout which made a wonderful meal. On Saturday Elder Woodruff wrote: "I took a walk with Father [Ezra Carter], [Freedom] Moulton, Phebe [Woodruff] & Sarah [Foss] to the top of Spruice Mountain. We looked through our glasses & had a good view of all the surrounding country."
The company of returning Mormon Battalion veterans continued their easterly journey toward the valley. The found a route referred to as the Hensley Cutoff, which would be a short cut instead of continuing to travel on the California trail to Fort Hall [present-day Pocatello Idaho.] They passed by "City of Rocks" and ended the week near the present-day Idaho/Utah border.
Smart, Mormon Midwife, 118 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:325 Bagley, 1848 Trail Journal of Thomas Bullock Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:366-67 Bagley, A Road From El Dorado, 36-7
On Sunday, Brigham Young's 1848 pioneer company traveled down Echo Canyon, anxious to arrive in the valley. They were within fifty miles of their long-awaited destination. On Monday Thomas Bullock described the difficult journey: "The road all day [went] down the stream, having to cross it many times & many Springs which are very miry & bad to cross. The Willows in many places [grow] so close that [they] left scarce room for the Wagons to go thro' & [made for] altogether a difficult day's journey. . . . As we descended the Kanyon the rocks grew higher & bolder & the Valley narrower. Many Wagons being on the route often causes delay at the crossings whereby we were only able to get to the Mouth of the Kanyon shortly after sun set." Brigham Young was further ahead, ascending the hill to "Pratt's Pass." The road was very crowded with wagons. There were long waits at bad crossing points.
On Tuesday Thomas Bullock traveled down Weber River. He described: The trees are getting very yellow & the autumnal tinges are getting [to be] the prevailing color." They then made the difficult ascent up "Pratt's Pass" and then descended down to East Canyon Creek. They headed south, heading up the creek. Wagon were camped in various places along the creek. Brother Bullock commented: "A pleasant day for travelling, but in some places the roads were very dusty, in others very rocky, & shaky for wagons." Brigham Young was about a day's journey ahead.
After a frosty night, the sun rose in a clear and beautiful sky. Thomas Bullock continued traveling up East Canyon with his family. They crossed the creek many times and stopped to help Harvey Pierce whose wagon was broken down. They continued on and then started the steep climb up Little Emigration Canyon. After two miles, they passed a wagon that had been tipped over. They helped Elisha Groves pull his wagon out of a muddy spot. Finally they reached the top of Big Mountain and had their first glimpse of the Valley. Thomas Bullock wrote: "On reaching the Summit & again seeing the Valley my Soul could not refrain crying out Hosanna to God & the Lamb for ever, Amen." They started the decent down the other side and soon camped for the night. On this day, Wednesday, September 20, 1848, Brigham Young arrived in Great Salt Lake City. He had supper at the home of Edmund Ellsworth. Eliza R. Snow joined in the celebration feast, but she was still quite ill.
On Thursday, more and more Saints arrived to their new home, including Thomas Bullock and his family. Hosea Stout reached the top of Big Mountain and wrote: "Here we had a view of the south part of the Valley & like old Moses could 'view the landscape o'er' while many hills and bad roads yet intervened. Teams had been passing all the time we had been here."
In the city, Patty Sessions received a visit from Brigham Young and his wife. She wrote: "He and wife came here with her mother and his daughter and feasted on mellons." It was a wonderful reunion day in the city of the Saints.
John Pulsipher arrived on Friday. He described the city consisting of two blocks. "These blocks were enclosed by joining houses in the form of a fort. These forts were built by the people that came last year, while their numbers were small they built so they could defend themselves against the Indians in case of need. Besides these forts there was a small saw mill & a corn cracker for a grist mill & a small house by each mill, which was the amount of the building in this country at the time of our arrival."
Rachel Simmons also arrived on Friday. She recorded: "With what gladness we got our first glimpse of the Valley. We camped just at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in the afternoon to wash and fix up a little before meeting our friends that had preceded us the year previous. Uncle John had been here a year and was living in the Fort, as it was called. His wife had supper readycorn, cucumbers, and other vegetables. I have no doubt but what we did justice to that supper, being the first in a house for five months. We went to Brother Ensign's who kindly offered us the hospitality of their one room until we could do better. So we pitched our tent in his yard and settled down to rest after our long journey."
Hosea Stout rolled in on Saturday. He started his day at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. "Dark heavy clouds overhung the mountains & Valley this morning. We started early & was overtaken by a hard rain & wind which extended over the valley. Our road was smartly descending all the way to the City. But we could not enjoy the view of the place because of the dark rain. We passed through the Forts & encamped on the west side where there were hundreds of waggons already encamped. . . . The rain had now ceased & I saw that the mountain top were covered with fresh snow which fell while it rained here. All the houses built were in the Forts of which there were 3 adjoining each other and half mile long by 40 rods about. Here the entire people lived but a few scattered about."
The returning Mormon Battalion soldiers had their first glimpse of the Great Salt Lake as they traveled north of the lake. On Saturday they crossed the Malad River. Returning missionary, Addison Pratt wrote: "We cam in sight of Salt Lake again, and a smart day's travel brought us to [Malad] Creek, this was the worst creek to cross of any we found on the road, on account of its banks being muddy and the water near up to the waggon beds. Ours got over safe, but some others filled with water or capsized."
Smart, Mormon Midwife, 118 Bagley, 1848 Trail Journal of Thomas Bullock Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 225 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:326-27 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 256
Brigham Young spent his first Sabbath day in the Salt Lake Valley since the previous fall. He preached in the bowery which was located in the center of the fort in present-day Pioneer Park. In the afternoon, the Saints gathered again. The High Council sat on the stand. The congregation sustained a proposal to have Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball apportion out city lots to applicants. Permission would be given to start building homes on the lots during the fall. Brigham Young called for teams to be sent back to help the rear companies led by Amasa Lyman and Willard Richards. [During this week, those companies arrived at Green River.]
An ordinance was passed to make sure that all houses were at least twenty feet from the side walk. Brigham Young remarked that the Mormon Battalion brethren should be cared for better and not suffer for want of bread.
On Saturday, Brigham Young met with the High Council in the bowery. Several decisions were made. Permission would be given to cut down every tree within 30 miles of the valley (except in City Creek Canyon) to be used to build houses. Lots would sell for $1.50. A council house would be built using tithing funds. The waters from Big Cottonwood Canyon would be channelled to the east of the big field.
The returning Mormon Battalion veterans continued their journey to the valley. On Monday they reached Captain James Brown's settlement on the Ogden River. [Brown had been captain over the sick detachments who spent the 1846-47 winter in Pueblo. After arriving in the valley, he had purchased Miles Goodyear's fort on the Ogden River.] The men found about five families settled there.
By Friday, the company had all arrived in Great Salt Lake City. Many were reunited with their families for the first time in over two years. Henry Bigler wrote that he was "received with open arms, both by friends and dear relatives bidding us welcome, welcome, thrice welcome!"
Zadoc Judd found his step-mother, Jane Stoddard Judd. He wrote: "The first night after I came home she made a bed for me on the floor with several heavy quilts folded, but I had been so used to sleeping on the hard board that I could not go to sleep until after midnight. In order to rest, I had to take the top quilt off and roll myself up in it. Then sleep soon overcame me and I had a comfortable night's rest."
Azariah Smith went to Brigham Young and paid tithing on his five hundred dollars of California gold. He also gave one dollar each to the members of the Twelve.
Addison Pratt had returned from his mission to the Society Islands. He had
traveled with the soldiers from California. On Thursday he was reunited with
his family for the first time in over five years!! He went to the house where
his family was staying. He wrote:
Their mother soon came in. She looked quite natural and quite as young as when I left home, being more fleshy now, than then. At Winter Quarters she, with the rest of the family, all but the youngest, suffered under severe fits of sickness, and the scurvy deprived her of her upper front teeth, and when she spoke, her voice was unnatural. Except that, I could discover no change in her. But the children had all grown entirely out of my recollection, and none of them knew me. I left them June the 1st, 1843, and this was the 28th September, 1848. Such a cruel separation causes emotions that none can know but those that experience it. It was more like the meeting of strangers than the meeting of a family circle. I shall never forget it!!
Hugh Moon, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 6 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 123-24 Zadoc Judd Autobiography, BYU-S, p.36 Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion: U.S. Army of the West, 220-21 Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 146 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 358-59