Joel Hills Johnson – Journal
(covering 21 Apr 1857 to 21 Dec 1858)
I started on Tuesday 21st for Council Bluffs City in company with Sister Babbitt and family and a young man by the name of Robert Reed who drove for her a team of four mules, while I drove a span of horses. We crossed the Little Mountain, and camped in the canyon about three or four miles from the foot of Big Mountain.
Wednesday 22nd. We started early in the morning and safely reached the top of the Big Mountain at 12 o’clock, and found the snow on the east side from ten to fifteen feet deep and very soft. Therefore, we concluded to wait until the next morning, hoping to find the snow frozen so that we could go down on the crust. Here we took our last view of the sweet valley of Ephriam until we should return. While reflecting on the subject, I went by myself and offered up my thanks in prayer to my father in heaven for the blessings I have received while living in those valleys, and also for his protecting hand to bring me safe back, when my mission is filled, to my family and mountain home. I then returned to my wagon and sat down and wrote the following lines:
Farewell to my sweet mountain home With sorrow my feelings are touched To leave thee with strangers to roam And head thee so often reproached. While here on the big mountain top I take my last glimpse of the free My feelings are buoyant with hope That I'll soon return unto thee. Though enemies curse thee and rave My love for thee none can disclose And all are to Satan a slave Whoever thy welfare oppose. While thou shalt be blest of the God Thy foes into hell shall be turned For none shall escape his fierce rod That ever thy children have spurned.
A large company of apostates passed down the mountain today, some capsized and some broke their wagon tongues, etc.
Thursday 23rd. We had our breakfast early and started down the mountain. The sun arose very hot and snow began to melt. Our company consisted of 5 men and 5 wagons, with families, who all told me that they intended to return again the next spring, but in reality were apostates. One of our company broke a wagon tongue a short distance down the mountain, but we went ahead without any accident. About two miles down we overtook the apostates company in camp, we unharnessed our teams, and went back to help down the other wagon. We found in an apostate camp a little girl about 16 months old, smothered to death by having a pan of dough turned over her head while asleep, by the rock of wagons coming down the mountain. She was rolled up in a buffalo skin, and buried high upon the side of the mountain.
Rest little stranger, sweetly rest Beneath the mountain snow Where no intruder can molest Or any earthly foe. Sweet, lovely babe, thou here must lay High on the mountain top And sleep the lonely years away 'Till Michael wakes thee up. No mother's hand can strew thy grave With flowers, or tears can shed, Or cause the willows bough to wave Above thy peaceful head.
In a few hours the other wagons were brought down to the place where we stopped. We then harnessed up our horses and pursued our journey down the mountain. The road was dreadful, for torrents of water from melting snow came rushing down through every gulch and washed away the dirt and gravel in the road and left nothing but high rocks against which the water dashed and threw foam several feet in the air. Down this current and over these rocks, we had to roll our wagons, expecting every moment to be smashed up, but through the blessing of heaven we arrived safe in the canyon below, about the afternoon and found a good road, although the stream was high. We crossed the stream thirteen times, with the water up to our wagon boxes, and we camped for the night here where it passes through the mountains into the Weber river.
Friday 24th. We started after breakfast, and found a good road to the Weber river, where we crossed about 11 o’clock. The water was high and rapid but we crossed over without accident, and stopped two hours to let our teams feed after which we went on and at 5 o’clock we camped in Echo canyon.
Though journeying long on rocks and stones And walking in the snow Has made so sore my flesh and bones I scarce can sit or go, Yet, God, my Father, hears my prayers And makes His grace abound To keep me safe from every snare And heal my every wound. For which I thank His holy name With all my heart and soul His love doth still my heart inflame And all my life control.
Saturday 25th. My sister’s son, Almon W. was sick all night with cholera morbus, but was better in the morning. We started after breakfast and traveled slow, and nooned towards the upper end of Echo Canyon and in the afternoon we passed over several snow banks and crossed Bear River about sundown and camped on the east side. We had a cold north wind through the afternoon and night. The water froze in the water bucket two inches.
Heavenly Father, let thy spirit Sweetly in my bosom rest Though I feel I do not merit O, my Father, to be blest. Guide! Oh! Guide me through my journey While with strangers I shall roam When my mission ends, return me Safely to my mountain home.
Sunday 26th. Started very early, cold all the forenoon. Nooned at Coperas Spring’s and arrive at the first creek south of Fort Bridger a little before sunset and camped for the night.
The new moon was our evening lamp The wind blew cold and high And when at morn, we left our camp Dark clouds obscured the sky. With sunrays hid and ground froze deep We rolled over ice and snow From freezing we could scarcely keep The wind so cold did blow.
Monday 27th. Very cold throughout the night. The sun rose clear, having all the appearance of February. Started after breakfast and nooned at the crossing of the stream 16 miles east of Fort Bridger.
My joints are weak and badly swelled Through suffering cold and chill Yet duty calls and I'm compelled My mission to fulfill. I'm sent to call my kindred home From lands where strife prevails And counsel all who wish to come To Ephriam's peaceful vales.
We camped for the night at Hams Fork, having traveled through the day over 30 miles.
Tuesday 28th. Left camp at 8 o’clock in the morning, and arrived at Green River at one o’clock, and turned out our teams to feed on no grass as we have not found any of consequence since we left the Weber. Felt very lonesome all day and could not suppress tears and felt more my dependence on God than ever for his directing hand to attend me on my mission until I return to my mountain home. Crossed Green River at 3 o’clock and started on our journey.
Oh! my Father, Thou hast known me Ever since my heavenly birth As a son then canst Thou own me In my pilgrimage on earth. Oft' I've felt and cried my leanness When I though upon Thy grace And when viewing life's past sceneries Grief and sham has blushed my face. Yet I call Thee, Father, Father! Claiming still to be Thy son And to meet Thee with my Mother When my work on earth is done.
We camped on the Big Sandy for the night without feed. The wind was blowing very cold and high through the night.
Wednesday 29th. Started a little before 8 o’clock and traveled on 6 or 7 miles where we came to the bend of the Big Sandy on the right side of the road, and turned out our teams to feed on little or no grass. We started on at one o’clock and camped for the night at the next crossing of the Big Sandy. The weather extremely cold with high north winds and occasional snow squalls. I never suffered more in my life with cold in the same length of time than in the past week.
Such pain in my head I have suffered today. No tongue that is mortal can tell. Through cold and exposure while wending my way To bring up my kinsmen from hell.
Thursday 30th. Started at 8 o’clock in the morning and arrived at the Little Sandy about ten o’clock, and camped for the day and wrote back to my family and also to David Labaren of Salt Lake City. Absence from the one I love causes many lonesome hours.
My love for my family no one can tell Who knows not a Father's fond heart When called on with sorrow to bid them farewell And from my sweet home depart. Yet God in His mercy, my way will direct While I was among strangers shall roam From foes who would harm me His hand will protect And bring me again to my home.
Friday, May 1st. We concluded to stay in camp today as we have good feed, wood, and water, and start our journey tomorrow morning.
Apostates in Camp Apostates in camp, we oft pass by the way Who tremble lest vengeance upon them shall fall With anti-Christ's spirit more bitter are they Than hell or quintessence of wormwood and gall.
Saturday 2nd. We started at a little before 8 o’clock and camped at night at Pacific Creek. We have passed banks of snow in the road or beside it every day since we left the Big Mountain.
Sunday 3rd. We left camp a little before 8 o’clock, fell very lonesome traveling with apostates. No meetings, no prayers, no sweet songs of praise to God our Heavenly Father. We nooned at first crossing of the Sweetwater. In the afternoon in trying to cross a snow bank, swamped the horses but got them out without much difficulty, but had to go a mile to get round it. We camped near Willow Creek. We had to stop on account of a snow bank and wait until morning to go over on the crust.
Monday 4th. Started at 8 o’clock and passed over the snow bank on the crust, but had to chop ice and shovel snow two hours or more before we could get our wagons over the creek. We came on to a branch of the Sweetwater in about two miles. Here we had to run our wagons by hand over a snow bank from ten to fifteen feet deep which we did without much difficulty. We then came to Strawberry creek and nooned. In the afternoon we had many very bad snow banks to pass over or round, and we had found before for 200 miles. Traveling with apostates, how uncongenial is the spirit that they possess with the principles of life and salvation, how lonesome.
Ah. lonesome, yes to be with those Whose words and acts dissemble For those who flee from Zion's cause Do often fear or tremble.
Tuesday 5th. Got under way at 8 o’clock and traveled about ten miles nooned on the Sweetwater at the ford. While the teams were feeding, I walked up the river a short distance and found a grave containing five persons, four of them died on the 19th and one on the 20th of October, 1856. They belonged to one of the handcart companies. The wolves had uncovered one end of the grave, and exposed some part of the bodies. I gave a young man 50 cents to fill up the grave again. We camped for the night on the river at the next crossing.
Though on the plains lies their remains Their blessings cannot fail They've only gone, to forward on Their work behind the veil.
Wednesday 6th. We started about the usual time and crossed the Sweetwater three times, and turned out our teams for noon. In the afternoon we passed by a grave where there had been several persons buried belonging to one of the hand cart companies. The wolves had dug up and devoured them as their grave clothes and pieces of their bones were scattered around the grave. We camped for the night on the river.
Though flesh and bones of righteous ones By wolves may be devoured They shall again with Christ to reign In glory be restored.
Thursday 7th. Started at 8 o’clock and arrived at Devil’s Gate about noon, and concluded to stop until Steward’s trail came up. The south wind blew almost a hurricane through the day.
Friday 8th. Very cold and windy through the night with cold wind and freezing through the day. Sister Babbitt had a severe chill in the afternoon.
Saturday 9th. Wind low but quite cold. Weather gloomy. Sister Babbitt had another chill and considerable fever followed. Very cold at night with ice in the ice streams. Had to keep my head covered to keep my nose and ears from stinging with the cold.
Sunday 10th. Very cold still. My sisters health much improved. The missionaries, 72 in number, today arrived with handcarts. Teams constantly arriving and unloading flour and loading goods all day. The mail from Salt Lake City left here today.
Monday 11th. The missionaries started on their journey today at 12 o’clock.
Go ye sons of Zion swiftly Bind the law in every land Seal the testimony faithful As the Lord doth thee command Then the gospel shall be taken From the gentiles, saith the Lord And to all the house of Israel In its fullness be restored.
Tuesday 12th. About 50 wagons arrived today laden with flour for the mail stations. The most of them are going to return to the city with goods in store at this place. The balance of them are going to the stakes for goods. Snow and rain all the afternoon.
Wednesday 13th. Very stormy through the night, but some prospect of better weather this morning. Teams very busy most of the day in loading goods.
Thursday 14th. We started on our journey at ten o’clock in company of 21 wagons commanded by Captain Winson. We had several squalls of rain and hail in the course of the afternoon. We camped at about 4 o’clock for the night at Greasewood creek.
Now since, Oh Lord, we're on our way By Thy kind hands direction We look to Thee by night and day For safety and protection.
Friday 15th. This morning when the company got up their teams, the four horses which detained us until about 10 o’clock. Soon after we started it commenced to storm severely, and after traveling about 4 or 5 miles we fell in with a company of Crow Indians, who detained us until about 2 o’clock. We then went on and camped for the night at Willow Springs in a severe snow storm. Snow in the morning on the ground two inches deep and ice frozen in the bucket nearly two inches thick.
Saturday 16th. We started about 8 o’clock, and drove to the Platt, where we camped for the night. I never felt more love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father or more of His good spirit than today in my life.
Sunday 17th. We started at the usual time and came to the fording place on the Platt, but found the river too high to ford. We then went down and crossed at the bridge by paying three dollars per wagon. We drove a few miles below and camped for the night. I felt quite unwell and lonesome, yet enjoyed a good degree of the spirit of the Lord. We had a meeting in the evening and there was a good spirit among the brethren.
To a Human Skull Found on our camp grounds. Whose was this skull and what his fate When he with life was animate? What was his name and where did he dwell Wast white, or red, none now can tell. What was his sorrows, toils and cares? His occupation, grief and fears? What did he love the most on earth? Was it his God or sensual mirth? All these are questions now unknown While his poor skull lies here alone. Or rolled about upon the earth As though to him it n'er had a worth.
Monday 18th. We started at the usual time and traveled about 25 miles and camped on the Platt. Cottonwood trees, shrubbery and all kinds of vegetation is not as forward on the Platt at this date as they were in Iron County when I left home on the sixth day of April.
Tuesday 19th. We left camp at 8 o’clock and nooned at a small dry stream and camped for the night on the west fork of the Labonte river. Here is a good place for a station.
Wednesday 20th. Left camp at the usual hour and come on the main Labonte river and there we met the mail with George A. Smith, Dr. Bernhisel, T.O. Angel, and many others on their way to G.S.L. City. We stopped about two hours in which time I wrote a few lines back to my family and friends and forwarded them by Dr. Bernhisel. We then came on to the Platt River and camped for the night at about 2 o’clock.
I felt all day so lonesome In spirit too depressed I could not cease from weeping 'Till slumber gave me rest.
Thursday 21st. Arose early in the morning and the weather was very clear and beautiful. I took a walk and looked about and found we were camped in a beautiful rich bottom at least three miles long and from one and a half to two miles wide. We started from camp at the usual time and traveled on to Porter’s Station at Horse Creek, where we arrived at 10 o’clock and stopped for the day to make tar. Here the company left about three tons of flour and twelve men.
Friday 22nd. Very clear and fine morning. Some of our animals could not be found so as to start before nine o’clock, at which time we started on our journey and traveled until about three o’clock and camped for the night on the Platt within ten miles of Fort Laramie.
Saturday 23rd. Started a little before 8 o’clock. I went ahead and arrived at Fort Laramie at a little before ten o’clock. Myself and Sister Babbitt went to see the commander of the Post in order to get some information in regards to the murder of her husband, A.W. Babbitt, by the Indians. My sister requested him to make a statement in writing of the information that he had received through the French traders from the Indians in regard to the matter which he at first promised to do, but afterwards sent for me and told me that he would do nothing about it. He said that he had no doubt that the Indians killed and plundered Col. Babbitt. I am confident that the reason why he was unwilling to make a written statement of the matter was that he was afraid he would loose favor in the eyes of those who were opposed to the inhabitants of Utah. We purchased a few necessaries and drove about ten miles down the river and camped for the night.
Sunday 24th. Started early and drove until a little past ten o’clock and turned out for noon. I constantly feel grateful to my Heavenly Father for his blessings to me on the journey.
Father I will praise Thy name, 'Till my life on earth is o'er. May Thy love my heart inflame From henceforth forevermore. When my work on earth is done Oh receive me home to Thee! To be crowned Thy heir and son, May my gift and blessing be.
While we were nooning a mountaineer drove up and told us that there was about 3,000 Cheyenne Indians camped near the road in the vicinity of Ash Hollow, and that there was 500 lodges in one place, and 300 in another. This information frightened Sister Babbitt and she thought we had better turn back to Laramie, and wait a while until the soldiers who were expected should come up. I told her that I would return if she requested it, but I thought we had better keep with the company until the next morning, and we might hear something more favorable, to which she consented and so we started on at about one o’clock. In the afternoon we met another mountaineer who said that there was but 300 lodges of Indians in all and represented the danger as being much less than what the others had. We camped for the night at Horse Creek, and had a meeting of the camp in the evening and all seemed to be in good spirits and thought we had better proceed together.
Monday 25th. We started early in the morning and drove about two miles when we met another mountaineer with two wagons drawn by oxen who had been all winter trading with the Cheyenne Indians. He told us that the other mountaineers had lied, for the was no Cheyenne Indians near the road. They had heard that soldiers were being sent against them and they were moving back on to the Arkansas River to prepare for war. We thought his story looked the most like truth, however, we kept up a good night watch and day, with the strong guard about our animals. At night we camped a little above Chimney Rock.
Tuesday 26th. We started at the usual time and passed Chimney Rock at about nine o’clock, and a few miles below we overtook a company of nine wagons and nineteen men mostly apostates who left us at Devil’s Gate and went ahead. When they came thus far, were afraid of the Indians stopped for us to come up. Agreeable to their wishes we took them into our company. We traveled today about 30 miles and camped in a large bottom on the Platt about half a mile from the road. Our company now consisted of 28 wagons, and 54 men, 9 women and 22 children, and 175 horses and mules.
Wednesday 27th. This morning we crossed the Platt to the north side of the river. At this point the river is full three fourths of a mile wide. The whole camp was over a little before ten o’clock. We thought it more safe to go down on the north side than to pass through Ash Hollow and over the South Platt which is said to be more infested with Indians than the North side. We drove about six miles and turned out for noon. Some of the company discovered a buffalo a short distance down the river and after him some of our hunters were soon under way. They over took him and shot him directly, but the wolves had made such havoc of his sten and winter of his maw that he was not fit for use and was abandoned. We saw several others on the distant hills in the afternoon but did not attack them. We came to Crab Creek and camped for the night.
Thursday 28th. Very cold with a good deal of frost and ice. We started an hour earlier than the usual time, traveled 18 miles and turned out for noon. In the afternoon we traveled about two or three miles below Ash Hollow and camped for the night.
Friday 29th. We started at half past seven o’clock and had not gone far before we saw two antelope between the train and the river, which was close by. The wagons halted and some of the boys shot them both. It was quite cloudy and threatened rain all forenoon. We came to Crooked Creek about 18 miles and turned out for noon, but the clouds began to thicken and wind to raise, and we soon had a heavy squall of wind, hail and rain. In the afternoon or towards evening, we passed by an Indian village of about 30 lodges. They appeared very friendly and wanted us to camp in their neighborhood and trade with them. We accordingly camped for the night about one hundred rods from their village.
Saturday 30th. Early this morning the Indian men, women and children were in our camp by scores to beg and trade. We gave them bread and flour and such things as we could spare, and traded some and smoked the pipe of peace with them. Started on our way at about 8 o’clock. The north wind blew almost a hurricane through the entire day and stripped some of the wagon covers all to strings. We traveled today about 28 miles, and camped for the night on the north bluff fork of the Platt. Today we met the first train of California emigrants with about 1000 head of young stock. Two trains also went up the south side of the river. I feel to thank the Lord for his goodness thus far on my journey.
Still Oh! my God remembers me, While on life's waves I'm tossed My hope and confidence in thee Is all I have to boast. I have no virtues of my own Against my sins to plead And shouldst Thou my poor name disown Thou wouldst be just indeed. My works of righteousness appear Like filthy rags for me If e'er a crown of life I wear 'Twill be Thy gift to me.
Sunday 31st. Cold north wind, and stormy. Started at the usual time. This afternoon we crossed many bad sloughs and traveled about 13 miles, and turned out our teams to feed for noon. Very cold through the day. We traveled about 27 miles and camped for the night. Many cattle and teams passed up the river on both sides today. Several Indians came into camp to swap buffalo meat for flour.
June 1st. Started at the usual time and tracked about fourteen or fifteen miles and turned out our teams for noon. Weather quite pleasant in the afternoon. We traveled about 28 miles today, and camped for the night. Many emigrants trains with thousands of heads of cattle passed up the river today.
Tuesday 2nd. We started early and drove to Buffalo Creek, and turned out our teams for noon. In the afternoon we drove about 8 or 10 miles and camped for the night near two emigrant trains, driving stock to California.
Wednesday 3rd. Captain Winson concluded to stay in camp this forenoon and hunt buffalo, and soon 12 or 15 men were on a hunting expedition, and returned with several horses laden with beef. Three of the men stayed out until near sunset which kept us in camp. We then harnessed up our teams and traveled about seven miles to better feed and camped for the night near a camp of emigrants.
The far off land of gold and strife, How many to it go? While riches of eternal life They never care to know.
Thursday 4th, We started early and came to the ford of the river, near the head of Grand Island, at which we arrived a little past 12 o’clock and here we concluded to stop until we could cross the river to Fort Kearney, and do some business and make some additions to our stock of supplies. Today we have passed about 4,500 head of cattle with many wagons and families on their way to the land of Gold. And I think that double that amount passed up the other side of the river.
Friday 5th. This morning we started early to cross the river to Fort Kearney. We crossed one part of the river about 15 or 20 rods wide on to Grand Island, which is two miles wide at this point. We then came to the main river and crossed it while that water in many places ran over the tip of our wagon box. The main river is about one and a half miles wide. We saw Captain Wharton and obtained from him a bundle of papers belonging to the late A.W. Babbitt, Secretary of Utah. Said papers were picked up on the ground where Mr. Babbitt was murdered, by some French traders who delivered them to Captain Wharton, he reserving five drafts amounting to one thousand dollars each and one note of some over eight thousand dollars which he had been ordered to return to Washington City. Captain Wharton and Lady said that they had no doubt but what Col Babbitt was murdered by the Indians and he promised to send Mrs. Babbitt a written statement of facts gathered from Indian traders in reference to the matter, but she never heard anything more from the Captain. We purchased a few necessaries and returned across the river to our camp. Captain Winson with Stewart’s train crossed the river with us this morning and went down the South side, and left us with the company of apostates that joined Captain Winson’s company below Chimney Rock.
Saturday 6th. Started early this morning and about noon we came to Wood River, and turned our stock to feed. In the afternoon we came to the Bridge and camped for the night.
Sunday 7th. This morning started early and nooned on Prairie Creek, near where A.W. Babbitt’s train was broken up last fall by the Indians. We saw the graves where those that were killed were buried, but the wolves had dug them up and devoured them, for we saw their bones, hair, and grave clothes scattered about the ground. We camped for the night at the crossing of the creek.
Yes, dead by the thousands have we passed Entombed along the road, When Michael's trumpet must call at last To stand before their God, Where all receive for though and work And every deed their just reward.
Monday 8th. Started late and traveled about 16 miles and turned out for noon. We passed today 12 or 15 emigrant trains on the way to California. At night we camped on the Left Fork of the Platt, near to a beaver dam built last fall and winter, which was a great curiosity to me. It was built through a heavy thicket of river willows and young cottonwood trees, first by grubbing all the trees and brush by the roots and cutting them up into chunks and placing them in a kind of window and then digging up the earth and placing it in a bank against the window of grubs or chunks. It was in some places three feet high and the lowest place that I saw was about fifteen inches on a perfect level at the top of the water, rising uniformly to within two inches of the top. I walked out to the thicket on the top of the dam about 20 rods long and could not see to the other end. I suppose it to be at least 50 rods long and perhaps longer. How many teeth and tails it took to accomplish this job, I know not, but it would have taken ten men with axes, shovels, mattocks, etc., at least one week to have completed the job and perhaps double that time. I should suppose the pond to cover at least from 50 to 100 acres.
See how they work with teeth and tails They shovel, grub and chop To do his part, none ever fails, Until their dam is up. Would man from them the lesson take To cease from war and strife, And labor for each other's sake No ills could haunt this life.
Tuesday 9th. We started at the usual time. We met several emigrants in the course of the day, and a little after 4 o’clock we came to the ford of the river opposite to the new settlement of the Saints. We forded the river and camped for the night with them. At this settlement there are one hundred men who have been there only three weeks and have made large improvements in fencing and breaking land and getting in crops. Some of which are already up and look fine. We had a meeting in the evening and the Saints had a first rate spirit and felt well. Brother Charles Shumway and myself spoke to them in reference to things at Salt Lake City which seemed to increase their courage. They intended to lay out a city in which to build their houses and call it Genoa after the birthplace of the great discoverer of the American continent.
Wednesday 10th. We started at 8 o’clock. The land is all claimed that we passed today and two or three cities laid out and many houses built along the river. We traveled 26 miles today, camped for the night on the Main Platt River within a few rods of a grocery.
Thursday 11. Started at the usual time. We passed several newly laid out towns today, and many new houses and the land is all cleared up several miles back from the river. We traveled about 25 miles today and camped for the night near the Platt River, A man by the name of Clark, an apostate who I have traveled with most of the way from Salt Lake, and pretended all the way to be a good Mormon and everything right among the Mormons until tonight, there being a few strangers present, he began to spew out the corruptions of his black heart by saying that he had got into a land of liberty where he dared to speak and declared that the Mormons at Salt Lake were a G— D— set of hell hounds, murderous thieves and including all the black catalogue that apostates have to disclose.
Friday 12th. We started at the usual time and crossed the Elkhorn River at about 3 o’clock and came to the Pappea and camped for the night.
Saturday 13th. Started early and arrived at my brother William Johnson’s in Florence at about 10 o’clock and crossed the Missouri River at 12 o’clock and arrived at my brother Joseph Johnson’s at Ellisdale at 2 o’clock.
Sunday 14th. Stopped with Joseph today. Joseph and William with Ruben Barton and families all present, (with many of their friends) who provided an excellent fruit and oyster supper upon which we all feasted ourselves and had a jovial time and enjoyed ourselves first rate, after which we went home with the Barton’s family.
Monday 15th. Stayed at Joseph’s the fore part of the day, and towards evening went with William over to Florence. Very stormy weather in the afternoon.
Tuesday 16th. Very stormy. Visited the Hand cart company on the camp ground in the forenoon and stayed in the house the balance of the day.
Lo! the Saints their hand carts rolling, While they come with one accord From the far and distant nations To the mountains of the Lord.
Wednesday 17th. Very stormy most of the day. Kept close in the house at my brothers.
Thursday 18th. Visited the hand cart company again. They expected to have started today but were disappointed. Towards evening a steamboat arrived at the landing, which I visited and found on board Brother John Taylor and Erastus Snow, two of the twelve and a large company of Saints from St. Louis and other places.
Now again resume their journey Songs and prayers at morn and eve. That the Lord would give His spirit All their burdens to relieve.
In the afternoon I went fishing with my brother and his two little boys. We caught a few sunfish and returned home.
Saturday 20th. Went out this morning with Taylor and Snow to visit the Hand cart company, who was in camp about 8 or 10 miles out from the city. We arrived just as they were leaving camp. They, however, stopped and came together a few moments while Brothers Taylor and Snow gave them some instructions. They possessed a first rate spirit and felt well.
Sunday 21st. Attended meeting at Florence expecting to hear from Brethren Taylor and Snow of the twelve, but was called on to speak to the people myself. I had a good time in speaking, and the brethren and sisters possessed a good spirit and rejoiced in the principles of truth and salvation.
Monday 22nd. Went over the river to my brother’s at Ellisdale.
Tuesday 23rd. Went to Council Bluffs City and returned again in the evening to Ellisdale.
Wednesday 24th. Went over the river to Florence and visited the Companies who were receiving their supplies preparatory to crossing the plains to Salt Lake.
Thursday 25th. Returned back again to Ellisdale.
Friday 26th. Was unwell, but commenced a letter to send home in the forenoon, and in the afternoon went to bed sick.
Saturday 27th. Finished my letter although quite unwell. Very stormy all day.
Sunday 28th. Very stormy day. Still unwell. Stayed at home at Ellisdale.
Monday 29th. Went over the river to my Brother’s at Florence. Health some better.
Tuesday 30th. Stayed at my brother’s in Florence.
July 1st. Tarried with my brother and assisted him in his business.
Thursday 2nd. Tarried with my brother and assisted him in his sheep.
Friday 3rd. Returned across the river to Cresent City and from thence to Ellisdale.
Saturday 4th. Attended the celebration of Independence at Cresent City. The performance of the day consisted of firing the cannon with a short oration and reading the Declaration of Independence. A few toasts and a public dinner, which was rather a slim concern and poorly managed. Myself being a stranger, (and unacquainted with Gentile grab game) of course got no dinner. When compared with the celebration of Utah the spirit of ’76 would blush with shame.
Oh! could our Fathers speak again They'd cry "though we for freedom bled Its shadow now or sons retain While all its substance long has fled". "Behold the righteous many years By mobs and rulers slain for naught While wondering long in blood and tears And now again their lives are sought". Where is the Liberty, Oh! where For which we boldly fought and bled Before high heaven we now declare That from the earth it long had fled.
Sunday 5th. Attended meeting at Cresent City in the house of Brother Holbrook, not many present. I spoke upon the persecutions of the Saints and had a good time in bearing testimony to the truth. Brother Gleason spoke after I had done, and also brother Allen. Brother Gleason organized a branch of the Church, and Brother L.O. Littlefield was appointed president. Meetings were appointed to be held at one o’clock on each Sabbath.
Monday 6th. Went over the river again to my brother’s at Florence.
Tuesday 7th. Commenced to purchase some goods and fit up a parcel to send to my family by Brother Henry Lunt.
Wednesday 8th. Finished the parcel of goods for my family and delivered it to Brother Lunt and paid the freight money which was nine dollars.
Thursday 9th. Crossed over the river to Crescent City and went up to Barton’s and stayed all night.
Friday 10th. Went to Ellisdale and stayed the balance of the day at my brothers and was very unwell.
Saturday 11th. Stayed at my brother’s in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to Cresent City.
Sunday 12th. Preached at Crescent at one o’clock and had a good time with the Saints.
Monday 13th. Stayed at Ellisdale in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to Crescent.
Tuesday 14th. Sowed about four acres of buckwheat for Joseph on the Ellisdale farm.
Wednesday 15th. Sowed about three acres of buckwheat.
Thursday 16th. Sowed buckwheat in the forenoon and went to Barton’s in the afternoon.
Friday 17th. Went to Florence.
Saturday 18th. Assisted in tending shop for my brother William.
Sunday 19th. Attended meeting and preached in the forenoon and in the afternoon heard two of the Brethren preach and had a good time.
Monday 20th. Assisted in tending shop for my brother William.
Tuesday 21st. Assisted in tending shop.
Wednesday 22nd. Tended shop for William.
Thursday 23rd. Assisted in the shop the fore part of the day and toward evening crossed the river the Crescent City thence to Ellisdale.
Friday 24th. Stopped at Ellisdale.
Saturday 25th. In the afternoon went to Crescent City and in the evening returned to Ellisdale.
Sunday 26th. Attended meeting at Crescent City and preach at one o’clock.
Monday 27th. Stayed at Ellisdale, very unwell.
Tuesday 28th. Went to Barton’s with my sister Julia and her boys to gather some black raspberries for preserves.
Wednesday 29th. Went to Crescent in the forenoon and in the afternoon went with Margaret and gathered some gooseberries for preserves.
Thursday 30th. Stayed at Ellisdale in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to Crescent City.
Friday 31st. Returned from Crescent City to Ellisdale where I spend the day.
Saturday August 1st. Went across the river to Florence.
Sunday 2nd. Preached at Florence in the forenoon and in the afternoon heard Brother Pyper.
Monday 3rd. Returned back to Ellisdale.
Tuesday 4th. Went to Crescent and returned.
Wednesday 5th. Went to Crescent and returned to Ellisdale.
Thursday 6th. At Ellisdale through the day and went to Barton’s in the evening and returned to Ellisdale with Barton’s family and partook of oyster supper.
Friday 7th. Went to Council Bluffs City.
Saturday 8th. Stopped at Ellisdale.
Sunday 9th. Attended meeting at Crescent City, and heard Brother Gleason preach.
Monday 10th. Took Sister Babbitt with her children over the river to Florence on their way to Booneville.
Tuesday 11th. Went with Sister Babbitt to Omaha Landing and got her on board of a steam boat for Boonville.
Wednesday 12th. Crossed the river and returned to Ellisdale.
Thursday 13th. Went to Crescent City then to Barton’s and back to Ellisdale.
Friday 14th. Stopped at Ellisdale through the day.
Saturday 15th. Went to Crescent City in the forenoon and returned to Ellisdale in the evening.
Sunday 16th. Attended meeting at Crescent and heard Brother Gleason and Felshaw preach. (From the above date I shall not note the events of each day, but only of the week.)
Sunday 23rd. Preached at the school house in Crescent and stayed at Ellisdale through the week and moved Hannah into Sister Babbitt’s new house on Saturday.
Sunday 30th. Attended meeting at Crescent City. I have boarded with Hannah and attended to business for Joseph, (while absent to New York to purchase goods) through the week.
Sunday, September 6th. Attended meeting at Crescent and heard Brother Gleason preach. Through the past week I have attended to business for Joseph and Sister Babbitt.
Sunday 13th. Attended meeting at Crescent City and preached to the people. Through the week attended to business for Joseph and Sister Babbitt.
Sunday 20th. Attended meeting at Crescent City and heard Brother Corbit preach. Attended business for Joseph and Sister Babbitt.
Sunday 27th. Attended meeting at Crescent City and heard Brother L. O. Littlefield preach.
Tuesday 29th. I heard that Sister Babbitt had arrived in Florence on her way home from Boonville, and in the afternoon went over the river with a team to bring her home and stayed at Florence over night.
Wednesday 30th. Returned across to river to Crescent with Sister Babbitt and family.
Sunday October 4th. Very stormy. Had no meeting. I, therefore, stayed at home.
Sunday 11th. Sick and stayed at home. Sick all the past week.
Thursday 15th. Sister Babbitt took sick today with a very severe chill.
Saturday 17th. Sister Babbitt took a sinking or congestive chill and was confined to bed until her death. She had medical attendance and all the care possible given her by her relatives and friends, but she departed this life on Friday the 23rd of October, 1857 at 5 o’clock in the morning and was buried on Saturday 29th at Council Bluffs City, near by her mother and other relatives. She died in the full faith of the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Beloved and respected by all who knew her, both saints and sinners.
Sunday 25th. Stayed at home, being very unwell.
Sunday 1st of November. Went to meeting at Brother Hough’s. Brother George Goddard preached and Brother Felshaw followed with remark.
Sunday 8th. Went to meeting at Brother Hough’s. Brother Littlefield preached and I made some remarks after he was through.
Thursday 12th. Assisted in getting up a donation for the poor saints in Omaha. Found the Saints here very liberal spirited, they made up a wagon load of provisions of many kinds, such as potatoes, beef, flour, groceries, etc. and I took them over to Omaha and delivered them to the President for distribution.
Sunday 15th. Was sick with bad cold and stayed at home. The latter part of the past week I have spent in fitting up a bedroom with stove and furniture where I expect to spend some of my time this winter in writing.
Sunday 22nd. Went to meeting. Several of the Brethren spoke, myself among the rest. Through the past week I helped Joseph fix up the Drug Store.
Sunday 29th. Very stormy, not able to go to meeting. Tended the Drug Store through the past week.
Sunday 6th of December. Went to meeting and spoke to the Saints and had a good time. Tended Drug Store through past week.
Monday 7th. Tended Drug Store.
Tuesday 8th. Very busy all day copying my journal.
Wednesday 9th. Today finished the copying of my journal of this mission from manuscripts into this book. My health continues very poor. Have had a very bad cough for several weeks. Feel weak and quite feverish with poor appetite. I never felt a greater desire to know myself in my life than of late.
Father, now this boon bestow me, This the choicest gift to me: 'Tis to know as Thou dost know me See my heart as Thou dost see. And to truly know Thee Father, Which is life Eternal--yes, And the richest boon that ever Mortals can on earth possess.
Thursday 10th. Went over the river to Florence. In the evening attended a council of the Elders. Called by President Felshaw to do some business of importance in reference to the Church and the present crisis.
Friday 11th. Stayed with my brother William until night and returned home.
Saturday 12th. I was occupied all day, busily, in copying songs from manuscripts into a book.
Sunday 13th. Went to meeting. Brother Shumway spoke very short, then Brother Felshaw and Littlefield, after which I made a few remarks on the necessity of prayer and knowing but little and keeping a close mouth in these critical times. It was thought best the President to discontinue our meetings for the present, and a vote taken to that effect.
Monday 14th. Visited in the forenoon and in the afternoon copied from MSS.
Tuesday 15th. Spent the day copying.
Wednesday 16th. Warm and muddy. Stayed at home. Copied some from manuscripts.
Thursday 17th. Rainy and muddy. Stayed in the house most of the day copying my songs.
Friday 18th. Stayed in my room and read most of the day, quite well.
Saturday 19th. Occupied the day mostly in copying the songs of Joel.
Sunday 20th. This morning while comparing my own work with the principles of the Celestial Law, I feel my leanness more than ever, and cry in my heart with the Apostle Paul: “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from” (I might add) this load of Gentile death with which my nature has contaminated ever since I was begotten in my mother’s womb. If I ever felt fear and trembling in working out my salvation it has been of late, but I depend on my Heavenly Father’s assistance.
Oh that every sinful lust Timely with my nature wove, From my heart were now dispersed And each place supplied with love.
Monday 21st. Sat in my room most of the day reading newspapers. In the evening Brother Felshaw with ten or twelve of the Brethren came in and we counseled upon some business appertaining to leaving this place in the spring, for our home in the mountains.
Tuesday 22nd. Quite unwell and stayed at home and done but little except a few chores and reading the newspapers.
Wednesday 23rd. Unwell and stayed and done some chores about the house.
Thursday 24th. Stayed at home.
Friday 25th. Attended an arbitration and settled a difficulty between two brethren in the forenoon, and in the afternoon went to Ellisdale and partook of an excellent Christmas supper in company with Joseph and Barton’s families, and returned home in the evening.
Saturday 26th. Stayed home, very unwell in the afternoon.
Sunday 27th. Stayed at home, very unwell but wrote a little in the evening.
Monday 28th. Feel very week and poor appetite but feel full confidence that I shall someday enjoy better health.
I'll love and trust Thee, Oh! my God, Although Thou shouldst me slay Will hope, and kill the uplifted rod Though it my back should play. I know Thou canst do nothing wrong. Thy hand is always just, Thy love and blessing to prolong To those that in Thee trust.
Tuesday 29th. Confined to my room by some disease in my urine organs. Very weak and not much relish for food.
Wednesday 30th. My health continues very poor. Stayed in my room most of the day, and read some of my songs to Brother Wellington who came to visit me and get some information from the mountains.
Thursday 31st. Stayed in my room and read newspapers in the forenoon and in the afternoon walked a little about town.
Friday January 1st, 1858. This being New Years day, I had an engagement to spend the day at my brother William Johnson’s in Florence, but being disappointed in the teams arrival from Ellisdale in the morning, I spent the forenoon of the day in my room in reading newspapers. About noon the team arrived and I went with Margaret, and the boys Don and Almon, in brother Joseph’s wagon over the river to Florence. We crossed the river on ice. We stayed all night and the next day until noon.
Saturday 2nd. In the afternoon we returned home to Crescent City.
Sunday 3rd. In my room most of the day reading newspapers, hoping to find some news from the west. In the evening Brothers Felshaw and Littlefield and some of the rest of the Brethren met at my room to council upon some important business relative to getting away from this place in the spring.
Monday 4th. Stayed at home and read the Deseret News having got two of three September and October numbers from Brother Fulsome at Council Bluffs City. Felt very unwell.
Tuesday 5th. Today having been furnished with the record of my father’s family by my brother William, I concluded to copy it into my Journal, that my children may know the dates of their births, marriages, and deaths. My father’s and mother’s with my own birth and marriage, I have recorded in the beginning of this record.
My father died January 13, 1848, at Nauvoo, Illinois, at the age of 72 years and one day.
My mother died May 30th, 1853, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the age of 69 years, 8 months, and four days.
My eldest sister, (being next to myself) Nancy M. was born August 1st, 1803, in Northborough, Massachusetts, and died October 30th, 1836, in Kirtland, Ohio.
Seth G. was born February 14, 1805, in Royalton, Massachusetts, and died February 19, 1835, at Kirtland, Ohio.
Delana D. was born November 19, 1806, at Westford, Massachusetts, and died February 19, 1835, at Kirtland, Ohio.
Julia A. (Babbitt) was born November 9, 1808, at Westford, Vermont, and was married to A.W. Babbitt and died October 23, 1847, at Crescent, City, Iowa.
David was born September 10, 1810, at Westford, Vermont, and died October 30, 1833 at Kirtland, Ohio.
Almera W. was born October 12, 1812, at Westford, Vermont, and was married November 16, 1845, at Nauvoo, Illinois, by J.H. Johnson.
Susan S. was born December 16, 1814, at Pomfret, New York, and died March 16, 1836, at Kirtland, Ohio.
Joseph E. was born April 28, 1817, at Pomfret, New York, and married October 6, 1840, by Joseph Smith.
Benjamin F. was born July 28, 1818, at Pomfret, New York, and married October 6, 1841, at Kirtland, Ohio.
Mary E. was born February 7, 1820 at Pomfret, New York, and was married February 7, 1842, at Macedonia, Illinois, by Joel H. Johnson, and died June 11, 1845, at Nauvoo, Illinois.
Elmer W. was born May 26, 1821, at Pomfret, New York, and died September 14, 1822, at Pomfret, New York.
George W. was born February 19, 1823, at Pomfret, New York, and was married April 14, 1844, At Macedonia, Illinois, by John Smith.
William D. was born October 27, 1823, at Pomfret, New York, and was married November 9, 1848, at Nauvoo, Illinois, by A.W. Babbitt.
Esther M. was born January 12, 1827, at Pomfret, New York, and married March 27, 1843, at Macedonia, Illinois.
Amos P. was born January 15, 1829, at Pomfret, New York, and died May 9, 1842, at Macedonia, Illinois.
Wednesday 6th. Cloudy and cool today, although the weather for several weeks has been almost like an Indian summer, mostly clear with sun red and smoky. My health continues very poor with a bad hacking cough and my urinary organs very much deranged with bodily strength failing, my complaint seems to be inclined to the dropsy. I feel almost discouraged, but yet desire to live for the benefit of my family, and assist in too breaking every yoke of Gentile bondage from the necks of the Saints that Zion may arise and shine, (as the Prophet says) fair as the moon and clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners. Then I can with good old Simeon, when he took the child Jesus in his arms exclaim: “Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the gentiles and the glory of they people Israel.”
While I on earth can good perform I would desire to stay But when my labor here is done Then let me pass away. With Joseph and the Saints that's true, And for the cause my work pursue.
Sunday 10th. Very heavy rain all the forenoon and heavy snow with high wind in the afternoon. My health continues very poor. Cough very bad, not much relish for food, and very weak with a sense of fullness in the chest. This morning a man who called his name Lewis Fincher came to Brother O. Littlefield in search of Brother Felshaw, (President of the region) who stated to him and others that himself and nine other men were sent by President Brigham Young as an express to assist the Saints on the frontiers in preparing for their emigration in the spring. He stated that the President directed him and his associates with the assistance of the Saints on the borders to steal all the horses, money, and other necessary means they possibly could from the gentiles, and prepare themselves to start out very early in the spring, so as to get ahead of all the troops and other immigrants. He told Brother Felshaw that he and his men had already stolen many horses and had painted and disfigured them so that they could not be known by the owners and had also stolen $900 from a safe in Missouri, $500 of which with the horses he would deliver into Brother Felshaw’s hand, if he would receive them. He also said that he knew a man that had $1500 in gold whom he would rob and deliver the money to him if he would give his consent. After hearing these statements with many others of the same character, Brother Felshaw and Brother Charles Shumway came over to my room and after relating the circumstances to me I told them that I thought he had been sent here by some government officer of the Missouri mob committee to flatter us into those measures that they might have a pretext to bring a mob upon us and take our lives. And Eggleston, with Brother Felshaw, Shumway, and several others, went over and told him that we had never been taught to steal, neither did we believe in the doctrine, therefore, we should have nothing to do with him or his measures, and after calling us apostates and giving us many warnings he said that he should come again the next day, and bring his documents from Brother Brigham, for he intended to carry out the instructions of those that sent him in spite of all oppositions, but we saw no more of him or his documents.
Thursday 14th. Cough very bad. Slept but little last night, not able to do anything like labor. Received a letter today from James Martineau of Parowan, dated October 11, being the first news from home for several months. Sat in my room lonesome and down hearted, mind weak, and so many things to think of that I can’t get my mind upon any thing to write that will do anyone any good. So I lay down my pen.
Friday 15th. Cough some better last night and this morning, but had two severe attacks of the night mares last night while lying on my right side (which circumstances the medical book said was never known to occur.) Therefore it is not impossible but my friends may wake up some morning and find that I have stepped behind the veil. If so, all right, it will be because I am needed more there than here. The place where I can do the most in assisting to roll forth the Kingdom of God that is the station I was to fill, whether this side of the veil or the other, I am not my own keeper, but subject to the will of my Father in Heaven, and feel today to say “Thy will be done and not mine.”
Father, does my soul not love Thee? Search Oh, Search my heart and see If there's aught I prize above Thee Wilt Thou make it know to me It shall from my Heart be severed Although great the wound may be. For thy sacred causes Oh, Zion, Would I give my all below Yet the gentile hosts are trying Thy sweet cause to overthrow Their oppression Could I break it From thy neck my blood should flow.
Saturday 16th. Considerable better of my cough and feel a little better in mind of other respects. Beautiful weather most of the time, clear, warm days and cool nights, and but very little snow. Stock live well on the bottoms.
Sunday 17th. Health still seems a little on the mend, sit in my room part of the day and walked about town some, and in the evening a few of the elders came in to council a little as usual.
Monday 18th. Walked about town some in the forenoon, and in the afternoon read some in the newspapers in reference to the Utah expedition, and in the evening went to Brother Saunders house and blessed his infant child. My health about the same with little or no improvement.
Oh! could I shake the incubus off, This bond I long endured. Oh! could my Father say "Enough Be thou to health restored". Now would my heart leap for thine praise To His all glorious name And through my last remaining days. His love to all proclaim.
Tuesday 19th. Tarried in my room reading and writing most of the day. Very warm and fine weather.
Wednesday 20th. In my room most of the day writing.
Sunday 24. The three days past have been very warm, rainy, and muddy. My health is a little better or appears so at least, although I am not able to do anything, but write a little. In the evening Brother Felshaw with several of the Elders met at my room as usual in council.
Monday 25th. Very unwell, done nothing but walk about town and sit and read a little in my room.
Tuesday 26th. Quite sick, received two letters, one from my son Sixtus and one from David Labaren, in the afternoon answered my son’s letter.
Wednesday 27th. This morning wrote a letter to James W. Martineau and put that with the one I wrote to my son yesterday in the Post Office, and in the afternoon wrote one to my family.
Thursday 28th. Wrote some and visited about town some, and read newspapers.
Friday 29th. My cough some better. Very warm fine weather. Read newspapers in my room and walked about some.
Saturday 30th. Wrote a letter to David Labaren and put it in the post office with one to my family.
Sunday 31st. Stayed in my room and read most of the day. In the evening Brother Felshaw came in as usual to council with the Brethren. My health continues very poor indeed.
Monday 1st of February. Walked about town some, and read medical books some. Now towards night feel very bad; my whole system very weak, my mind also weak and memory broken; when I take up my pen to write, can scarcely think of what has transpired through the day.
Tuesday 2nd. This morning cold and cloudy with occasional snow squalls. My health no better: stomach, lungs and urine organs very deranged and feel very bad with hands and feet cold, cough not quite so hard, with some hope that I shall recover so as to return to my mountains and home and enjoy the society of my family and of the Saints once more. I have always believed that I should return and my mission not be in vain.
Father, Oh! remember me And grant behold my weeping. Grant me aid or soon I'll be In my cold grave sleeping. To Thy will I now resign Life and all my treasures All I have on earth is Thine Do with me Thy pleasure. Thou art holy, just, and wise All Thy ways are equal Sorrows oft prove through disguise Blessing in the sequel. Then let every debt be paid While in the probation Through affliction all must wade Who gain exaltation.
In the afternoon went to the printing office and read newspapers to get some news from the expedition to Utah, but found nothing of importance.
Wednesday 3rd. Last night froze the hardest of any night this winter thus far. Some clouds and quite cold through the day. Health rather worse. Have some doubt about my recovery and return to my family. Oh! the feelings of a fathers heart who is absent from those he loves dearest on earth. Under the circumstances of sickness and doubtful recovery, none can tell except those who have the trial, and him who hears the prayers and counts the tears of all his children. But yet I feel to say with all my heart, Thy will, oh, my Heavenly Father be done and not mine.
Thursday 4th. Cold night but very pleasant through the day, as to my health, symptoms unpleasant but not quite so bad as yesterday, and feel some more encouraged. Have a very agreeable visit in my room today from Brother A.C. Pyper from Florence.
Friday 5th. Cold, cloudy and stormy this morning. My health about the same as yesterday; I feel very thankful to my Heavenly Father that it is no worse.
Yes, I thank Thee, Oh! my Father For Thy goodness unto me Praying still Thy love and blessing From disease to set me free.
In the afternoon Brother Felshaw came in and Fenally stopped with me all night, with whom I had a first rate visit through the afternoon and in the evening.
Saturday 6th. This morning clear and fine. My health seems about the same. In the evening Brother Felshaw came in and read a letter from H.S. Eldridge of St. Louis stating that Snyder and Green had arrived at New York from England. He finally stopped with me all night.
Sunday 7th. This morning cloudy with snow through the day. My health about the same. In the afternoon with Margaret to Brother Saunders and stayed until evening. My brother William came from Florence and stayed with me all night.
Monday 8th. Snowed all night. Snow deep and blustering this morning. My health about as usual. Sat in my room, engaged in reading most of the day.
Tuesday 9th. Very cold and snowy. Winter seems to have just set in, in good ernest. Not much alteration in my health, on the whole I think no worse. I will now say a few words about the Gentile expedition to Utah as I have said nothing about it before. The reformation in Utah among the Saints which I have before mentioned in the winter of 1856-57 caused the sinners in Zion to be afraid and fearfulness to surprise the hypocrite. Therefore hundreds of them with some of the black hearted government officers gathered up their effects and returned to the states, reporting all the evil stories and falsehoods that their imaginations through the assistance of the devil could invent, which gave a fair chance for all the black hearted priests, lawyers, politicians and demagogues who had long sought an occasion to raise a hue and cry throughout the length and breadth of the United States and get up a mobocratic crusade against the Saints in Utah, which they accomplished by demanding of President Buchanan an army to be sent forth with to exterminate them. For the President to appease the clamor of the multitude (as did Pilate when he delivered Christ to be crucified) appointed from among the government officers for Utah and sent with them an army of 2500 soldiers with the ordinances of war, to enforce sealed instructions, which he had given to the officers. When the authorities in Utah heard of the uproar the returned officers and apostates made in the States, they immediately sent and requested the administration at Washington to send a committee of investigation to Utah and inquire into the cause. Yet the government never heeded to request, but forwarded on the officers and army with all speed, which the Saints considered a corrupt violation of the constitution of the United Sates; and every principle of true democracy, justice and liberty. Therefore, they concluded at once to resist every attempt made by the officers and army to end the settlements of Utah. But the army started so late from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in Kansas Territory, that they did not reach the Territory of Utah until November when the snow was so deep they could not cross the Wasatch range of mountains. Therefore, they were obliged to go into winter quarters at Fort Bridger, which had been burned and evacuated by the saints with the loss of two thirds or more of their animals and a great deal of other valuable property abandoned on the plains.
Wednesday 10th. The cold weather continues, my health is about the same. Searched the newspapers most of the day to find something from Congress on the Utah questions. The barking of the editors has all ceased, I have not heard a yeep for the last four weeks, against Utah. Some of the leading papers think the administration has been hasty in regards to sending the army, etc.
Thursday 11th. Weather more warm and fair. My health seems a little better. Brother Sanders came in and stayed with me in my room most of the forenoon. In the afternoon visited some about town and read the newspapers.
Friday 12th. Very cold and cloudy. Felt better this morning when I got up than I had for a month, and after breakfast went out and chopped an armful of wood to start a fire in my stove and while bringing it up the second pair of stairs into my room a stick or something caught me in my back just below my should blades and almost stopped my breath, and am now in great misery while I sit at my table writing.
Saturday 13th. The weather moderate and cloudy. My health is generally about the same as usual, my back not quite so lame as yesterday. Visited about town some today, and in the evening went to my brother’s at Ellisdale to a party. Had a very good time and returned home at about 12 o’clock.
Sunday 14th. The weather cold and clear. My health about the same. Attended a party at Ellisdale. I see from the public prints that the administration at Washington are determined in the spring to reinforce their mobocratic expedition against the Saints in Utah. Although they or the public prints have neither been able or pretended to show one instance where the Saints have in the least degree violated the constitution or any law of the United States. Yet they must be put down is the cry, through the length and breadth of the land from the President down to the beggar, and when the question is asked what have they done?, the answer is Oh! they are increasing so fast that we are afraid when they get strong enough they will revenge the wrongs that they have received from our citizens. So we see that the government and people prefer to sacrifice thousands of human lives with millions of dollars in money to destroy rather than to redress the wrongs of an injured people.
Ah! since our fathers are gone Who founded this great nation The power of equal rights has flown With just administration. While the majority believes In mobs and freely use them Like him who for a dove receives A viper in his bosom.
Monday 15th. Very cold last night and this morning. My health remains about as usual. Stopped in my room most of the day. In the afternoon Joseph and William with Ruben Barton and Almera came in to talk over our family record and try to get a history of Seth and David who died in Kirtland, Ohio in the years 1833 and 35, but we did not succeed to do anything about it.
Tuesday 16th. Very cold but fair. My health seems a little better. Visited some today and wrote some and read newspapers at the printing office for awhile.
Wednesday 17th. Cold and cloudy weather. My health no better; cough seems to be rather worse. My brother Joseph started for Washington today. Stayed in my room most of the day alone, felt very lonesome and downcast on the account of being absent from my family and loaves from my brother in my poor state of health and weakness in the body and mind, and could not refrain from tears, so fresh in my mind was the parting with my family at home.
With yearning look upon each face And heartfelt grief that none can tell With hurried kiss and short embrace That whispered to each one farewell. The parting came--- I turned away While sorrow did my bosom swell Lest my return should meet delay And this should be my last farewell.
Thursday 18th. Weather cloudy with some snow but not quite so cold. My health no better, much pain in my urine organs, cough no better. The prospects of my recovery according to the course of natures look small, but I know that I am in the hands of my Heavenly Father who controls the destinies of all, and whatsoever He does is all right. Therefore, feel perfectly satisfied that His will shall be done. I daily feel to rejoice with joy and gratitude unspeakable that I have ever striven to fight for the cause of truth and have thus far kept the faith, and that my family are all faithful members of the church and Kingdom of God in these last days. Therefore, I expect to meet them again whether in life or death.
The hand of death why should I fear? A messenger of peace he'll come To break the chain that binds me here And lift me to my Heavenly home. With fear he makes his thousands quail Yet I, his hand with joy will greet And pass with him behind the veil Where all the Saints of God I shall meet.
Friday 19th. This morning clear and warm through the day. My health about as usual. Went about town some today and sat in my room and studied and wrote some.
Saturday 20th. Clear and moderate. My health seems to be a little better today. Went about town some in the forenoon and in the afternoon visited with Brother Allen in my room. Feel more in hopes that I shall recover to a comfortable degree of health, than I have before for some time. Feel very much bloated and uncomfortable in body, yet enjoy my mind very well.
When sickness and pain, with multiplied sorrows Doth darken my pathway Sweet hope the balm, my wounded heart borrows To banish or heal every woe. Hope, too is the wine that keeps my heart cheerful And buoys up my faith to perform, Supplies me with strength, lest I should be fearful And courage to fight my way through.
Sunday 21st. Clear and Cold. My health continues about as usual. Went over the river to Florence to my brother William’s and stopped with him all night.
Monday 22nd. Clear and Cold. My health continues about the same. In the forenoon I had my likeness taken to be sent to my wife Janet, for which she has been very anxious and written to me several times about it.
When on this picture thou shalt gaze My dear beloved Janet And bring to mind those sacred days When first in love we met. And think again of all the tears Mine eyes for thee hath shed And of my fervent, constant prayers For blessings on thy heard. Thou cans't not think I can forget, The love that lights thine eyes Or think I don't love thee yet For true love never dies.
Tuesday 23rd. Cold and Cloudy. Health seems a little better than usual. Went about town some and sat in my room and read newspapers the balance of the day.
Wednesday 24th. Weather cloudy and much warmer than usual. My health about the same as yesterday. Sat in my room until towards night, studying and writing and then went about town a little.
Thursday 25th. Very warm and muddy. My health about the same. Today I wrote some in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to the Printing Office and got some newspapers to read.
Friday 26th. Weather very warm.. My health about as usual. Dr. L.T. Goons called to see me today and said he should bring some medicine tomorrow. I wrote several letters today, on to J.M. Bornhisel, delegate to Congress from Utah, and posted them. Spent some time about town, although quite muddy.
Saturday 27th. Weather cool and cloudy. My health seems better. Stayed in my room studying and writing most of the day. Towards evening went up in town. In the evening Dr. Coons came in and stopped with me awhile, and left a pint of syrup.
Sunday 28th. Weather very cold, with high north winds. My health on the whole seems to mend a little. Brother Sanders and lady came today and visited with me all day.
Monday March 1st. Cold with high north wind. My health about the same with the exception of having taken a little cold, which has increased my cough, but think it will not do much harm. Went about town some in the morning and stayed at home the balance of the day.
Tuesday 2nd. Cold and windy. My health about the same as yesterday. Stopped in my room studying and writing all day.
Wednesday 3rd. Weather clear and warm.. My health about the same. Went about town some and sat in my room reading newspapers and studying the balance of the day.
Thursday 4th. Warm and fair. Not much alteration in my health. Went to the printing office and read the newspapers a part of the day and the balance set in my room studying and writing. This evening I feel quite feverish. My hands and feet have been cold most of the day and my mind very gloomy.
On that dark picture--why thus dwell. In sad and gloomy mood, Increasing all life's cares and swell A rivulet to a flood. Such thoughts--by gathering up life's ills, With gloomy shad conceals, The blessing that the bosom thrills. Which faith and hope reveals.
Friday 5th. Weather warm.. My health about as usual. Sat in my room most of the day studying and writing. Brother Shumway came in and visited with me in the evening and finally stopped all night.
Saturday 6th. The weather warm. My health no worse. Brother Clark came to visit me this morning. The afternoon I spent visiting the Sanders family.
Sunday 7th. Weather warm and cloudy. My health a little better. Spent the day in my room studying and writing. My heart is filled with goodness and blessings.
Oh! the gratitude I owe Thee Father, never can be told. Praise and all I can bestow Thee Is like giving dust for gold.
Monday 8th. Weather warm, my health no better. Received a letter from my cousin, T. Hills, of Newport, Kentucky. Stayed in my room in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to the Printing Office,. store, etc.
Tuesday 9th. Weather warm and fair. My health seems to little better. Stayed at home and prepared some medicine directed by Dr. Coons.
Wednesday 10th. Weather warm. Wild Geese flying to the north. My health about the same. Stayed in my room all day studying and writing.
Thursday 11th. Weather warm, my health about the same. Brother Lyman Wood came to see me today, with whom I had an agreeable visit.
Friday 12th. Very warm with south wind, my health about the same. Visited Brother Goodwins family in the forenoon, and in the afternoon Brothers Wood and Corbit came in and stopped with me awhile.
Saturday 13th. Weather very warm, not much alteration in my health. Stayed in my room most of the day reading and studying.
Sunday 14th. Very warm, my health about the same as usual. I commenced today to write a letter to my cousin, B.T. Hills of Newport, Kentucky, but Brother Shumway and others came in and visited with me awhile, and so I did not finish it.
Monday 15th. Weather warm, not much change in my health. My sister Almera came to visit me today. Stayed in my room most of the day and wrote.
Tuesday 16th. Cloudy and rainy, health about the same. Received a letter today from my brother at Washington with New York Herald, containing Governor Young’s message to the legislature of Utah, and also the Resolutions of the Legislature to sustain the governor in not suffering the U.S. Army now at Fort Bridger, to come in Salt Lake City, with some other documents of interest. It seems from what I can gather from the last mail that the Administration is determined to urge on their mob proceedings towards Utah, by sending out large reinforcements and supplies to the army of mob now in the borders of Utah. Well, let them do as they please, the God of Heaven governs the universe, and directs the destines of all people or nations, and has declared in these last days that his people shall prevail and overcome their enemies, therefore, I know that they will tread them under their feel sooner or later and Zion shall prevail and become the joy of the whole earth and a place of liberty, and safety for the oppressed of all nations. However the present course with us suggests the following line:
A few black hearts cry out, "Hallow! Come buck Budaman, be up and give them fight," While thousands shout, "The foe, the foe, We are the law, nor care for right." While congress doth lies succumb, The nations pot with fraud doth boil For all within is filth and scum, And Satan laughs to take the spoil.
Wednesday 17th. Clear and warm. My health is about the same. Today attended the funeral of Mrs. Williamson, a fine old lady of 72, who was a Saint in faith and works as far as she could be without being baptized.
Thursday 18th. Warm and fair, wind in the south, my health about the same. This morning Dr. Coons came in to see me but done nothing. I asked him what he charge was for this former visit, he said he did not know as he ought to charge me anything, but finally concluded that I might pay him ten dollars as that would throw off about half of the bill. He only left me in all about a pint of syrup, which I furnished the medicine to prepare, and a very small bottle of Iodine preparation.
Friday 19th. In the forenoon, I went to Brother Goodwin’s and visited with the a few hours, and had a good time. Found them very anxious to emigrate to Utah.
Saturday 20th. Weather clear and windy. My health seems a little better. Went to R. Barton’s and visited with them until evening then came home.
Sunday 21st. Weather clear. My health seems to mend a little. Today I finished a very lengthy letter to cousin B.F. Hills. In the evening attended meeting at Brother L.O. Littlefield’s. Brother Felshaw and several of the elders were present and confirmed one new member and ordained four elders. Brother Felshaw gave the Brethren and Sisters much good instruction.
Monday 22nd. Cloudy and cool, my health no better. I spent most of the day in making myself a syrup as directed by Dr. Coons.
Tuesday 23rd. My health today is much worse, nearly as bad as ever, which is very discouraging to a man over a thousand miles from all and everything that is near and dear on earth. With all the power of hell and the nation thrown in the path to prevent his return. I think my feelings must be some like Jonas, in some respect at least. He knows that he was in the belly of hell and nothing but the power of God could save him. I do not see any chance without the intervention of heaven for me ever to return to my mountain home and friends. In case I should fail, I would prefer His hell to mine all the time. Yet, I know my Heavenly Father governs all things and I have nothing to fear, only to do wrong, which I hope to evade. Today I wrote a poem entitled “A Year or So”, it being my birthday, my age 56.
Wednesday 24th. Very clear and warm, my health about the same as yesterday. Not able to do much, walked a bout town a little and stayed in my room the balance of the day, studying and writing a little. The following lines portrays my feelings.
Father, hearken to my prayer, And behold my falling tears. All my sickness, pain, and care Thou hast known for many years. Thou dost see my health estranged, And the cause of all my pain, Every part in me deranged Wilt Thou organize again. Thou hast known my heart and soul,. Ever since my life begun To Thy praise my all control Not my will, but Thine be done.
Thursday 25th. Weather clear and warm. My health about the same. In the forenoon stayed in the kitchen and strained a little honey. In the afternoon stopped in my room reading newspapers and writing.
Friday 26th. Very warm, with high winds in the south. My health a little on the mend. In my room part of the forenoon writing, and the balance of the day about town.
Saturday 27th. Fair and warm. My health improving. Stayed in my room in the forenoon, studying and writing. In the afternoon visited about town.
Sunday 28th. Windy and warm. My health as usual. Went to Barton’s through the day and in the evening went to Brother Littlefield’s to meeting. Had quite an interesting time.
Monday 29th. Stormy. Health some better. In my room studying and writing part of the day and the balance about town. In the evening Brother L.O. Littlefield and some other came in and we blest two of Hannah’s children.
Tuesday 30th. Very stormy. My health seems to improve. Today received letters from B.B. Johnson and D.T. Labaren from Salt Lake City with some papers from Washington, which I spent most of the day in reading.
Wednesday 31st. Clear and warm. My health as usual. Brother Samuel Richards arrived today from England. I spent some time with him and other brethren, and the balance of the day in my room writing.
Thursday April 1st. Clear and warm. My health no better. John L Smith, George C. Snyder from Europe and Dr. Peter Clinton from New York and several other Elders arrived here today, on their way with dispatches from Salt Lake City. I went and had a talk with them and in the evening we had a meeting at Brother L. O. Littlefield’s and Brother Clinton and some others gave us some good instructions.
Friday 2nd. This morning Brother J. L. Smith and Brother Hatch came and took breakfast with me. Soon after breakfast the brethren started on their journey for the plains. Brother Shumway went with them by whom I sent a letter to my family. After they started I spent most of the day in my room studying and writing.
Saturday 3rd. Cloudy with heavy north wind. My health the same. Wrote a letter today to my brother Joseph at New York. Visited a part of the day at Brother Sanders and Goodwin.
Sunday 4th. Cold north winds. My health as usual. In the forenoon visited Brother Angus Cannon, whom Brother Clinton and company left sick at L.O. Littlefield’s. In the afternoon, I went to Brother Sanders and in the evenings to Brother Littlefield’s to meeting.
Monday 5th. Wrote a little in the forenoon and visited Brother Cannon and several others. About town the balance of the day.
Tuesday 6th. One year today since I left home in Iron County, Utah Territory. Received a letter today, with some papers from my brother who was in New York. Read them over in the forenoon and in the afternoon went to Brother Sanders and then to Mother Goddards, who was sick. Laid hands upon her, and returned home and sat in my room the balance of the day.
Wednesday 7th. Very rainy. My health as usual. I went to see Brother Cannon in the morning, and commenced a letter to Ebenezer Page. Brother George Gates, just returning from his mission to England, called and spent a part of the day with me.
Thursday 8th. Very stormy. Spent the day in studying and finishing my letter to Ebenezer Page.
Friday 9th. Stormy. Several of the missionary elders arrived in town today. I spent most of the day visiting with them. Spent some time in writing.
Saturday 10th. Very stormy all day. Spent the day mostly in my room, part of the time in writing, and talking with my brother, William, and others. Wrote a letter to my brother Joseph, directed to St. Louis, Missouri.
Sunday 11th. Very stormy. Several of the returned missionaries stopped with me all night and until nearly noon today. In the afternoon J.L. Smith with some others came in and finally stopped all night.
Monday 12th. This morning ground covered with snow. High winds and cold with storm. Spent the day mostly writing letters to my family.
Tuesday 13th. Spent a part of the day in writing and in visiting and the balance in reading newspapers.
Thursday 15th. Clear weather with wind in the north. Spent a part of the day in studying and writing, the balance of the day in visiting.
Friday 16th. Spent a part of the forenoon in writing and in the evening went to Barton’s to a party, and returned home at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Saturday 17th. Warm. Stopped at home in the forenoon writing a letter to my little children. In the afternoon got a poem entitled “The Meddler’s Exaltation” printed.
Sunday 18th. Warm and rainy. Not much change in my health. Spent the day in writing and visiting with Brothers Shumway and Sanders, who came to see me.
Monday 19th. Health as usual. Visited some and wrote some.
Tuesday 20th. Some ten or a dozen of the brethren came in and took a little native wine with me and had a good time in singing and conversation.
Wednesday 21st. Last night John Therelkeld came up from St. Louis after his daughters Margaret and Mary Jane. Spent the day in conversation with Mr. Therelkeld and others and visiting about town.
Thursday 22nd. High cold north wind. Done nothing today of consequence except read newspapers at the printing office.
Friday 23rd. Went to Ellisdale and returned in the afternoon.
Saturday 24th. Spent the day in reading newspapers, writing, and visiting.
Sunday 25th. Several of the missionaries from England, Wales, etc., having arrived, I spent the day mostly visiting with them. Brother Therelkeld with Jane came down to Ellisdale.
Monday 26th. This morning I arose about six o’clock and went below and found on the table two letters, one directed to me and the other to John Therelkeld, and the girls Margaret and Jane had gone. I notified Brother Therelkeld, their father, who slept in a room adjoining mine, who quickly arose and came down, read his letter and was very angry. He then read the one directed to me, they both being written by Margaret. He then wished me to assist him in finding the girls. I went with him about town, making inquiries but got no satisfaction and about noon called for paper and wrote a letter to Jane and left it with me and told me to give it to her if I ever got an opportunity. About 4 o’clock he went over the river with Brother Pyper to Florence.
Tuesday 27th. Went to Brother Littlefield’s to meeting in the evening. Good number of returned missionaries present, all felt well.
Wednesday 28th. Last night Martha Snyder died at Ellisdale. Went up this morning to make arrangements about the funeral and returned this afternoon.
Thursday 29th. Went to Ellisdale to attend the funeral. Brother Hall spoke to friends of the deceased. I did not go to the burial, which was at Council Bluffs, but returned home in the evening.
Friday 30th. Stopped at home most of the day, visiting with some of the Brethren and reading newspapers.
Saturday May 1st. Stormy. My health still very poor. The most part of the day spent conversing with Hannah about matters in Utah, etc. In the evening Brothers Hall and Combs and Ridout came in and visited with me until 10 o’clock. Brother Hall and Combs stayed all night.
Sunday 2nd. Very stormy and cold. My health still very poor. The most of the Elders left yesterday and today for the plains. Stayed in my room most of the day, felt very lonesome and some discouragement. No housekeeper and no one to assist me in anything, except Mary Ann Sanders who comes over in a day or two and helps me about an hour or so.
Monday 3rd. Spent all the forepart of the day in the kitchen cooking, churning, etc. My health continues so poor and I feel so miserable that I have no anxiety to live only to benefit the kingdom of God and my family; and when I cannot do that I wish to go to rest.
When I am numbered with the dead, No monument of fame I crave, But one rough stone placed at my head Inscribed upon it "Joel's grave". Let none there for me to weep Or represent a thought of pain. But let me lie and sweetly sleep 'Till by the Priesthood waked again.
Tuesday 4th. Stopped in my room most of the day reading. Very lonesome.
Wednesday 5th. Clear and warm. My health continues very poor, blood in the abdomen. Stayed in my room most of the day. Received a line from Margaret, desiring to return if it is thought safe.
Thursday 6th. Got up early and went into the kitchen to prepare breakfast, but was too unwell. So I returned to my room again in which I spent most of the day reading and writing.
Friday 7th. Very warm and cloudy. My health very poor, doesn’t seem to mean much. I spent the most part of the day in my room. Margaret and Mary Jane returned in the afternoon.
Saturday 8th. Wind in the north and cloudy. Received a letter today from my Aunt Diedamia Wheeler. Brother Blackwell came in and stopped with me most of the day. I am so bloated and feel so bad that I am sometimes almost tempted to discouragement and despair when I think about getting home to my family, but when I realize the Lord governs all things I exclaim in my heart:
Get behind me prince of darkness I command thee quick to go In the name of Christ our Savior For I've not with thee to do.
Sunday 9th. Spent most of the day in my room. Brother Hudson came in from Michigan and read me some of his poetry. I also read to him some of mine. Towards evening Brother Sanders and family came in and took supper with me. Attended meeting at Brother L.C. Littlefield’s.
Monday 10th. Cloudy and cool. Spent most of the day in my room reading and writing.
Tuesday 11th. Very warm and pleasant. Went over the river to my brother’s at Florence, found them all well. Returned home in the evening.
Wednesday 12th. My health seems a little better although so slow as scarcely to be perceptible. Sat in my room most of the day, reading and writing.
Thursday 12th. Spent the forepart of the day in studying and writing and the afterpart visiting with Brother Brooks who stopped and took supper with me.
Friday 14th. Spent the most part of the day in my room studying and writing.
Saturday 15th. Cool and cloudy. My health seems to mend slowly. I spent most of the day in my room.
Sunday 16th. Stormy. Received word last night that my brother Joseph E. had arrived by steamer at Council Bluffs landing, and would be at Crescent landing today. In the afternoon many wagons and buggies started out to the landing about 3 miles distance to bring up my brother, other passengers and freight, etc. Toward evening they came rolling into town to the gratification of all the citizens.
Monday 17th. Visited about town some and stopped in my room the balance of the day.
Tuesday 18th. Clear in the morning. Margaret and myself went to Barton’s and it began to rain about noon and Reuben brought us home in the buggy towards evening.
Wednesday 19th. I went to Ellisdale and come home towards evening.
Thursday 20th. Stopped in my room of the day reading.
Friday 21st. This morning is stormy. Spent the day in visiting and writing.
Saturday 22nd. Stormy most of the day. Spent the day mostly in my room. Spent some of the time however at Brothers Homer and Saunders.
Sunday 23rd. Much thunder and lightening, with rain through the night but fair this morning. Not much change in my health, which is still very poor. Stopped at home most of the day.
Monday 24th. Very warm. Started to go to Barton’s, met them and returned back. In the afternoon went and gathered some red or slippery elm seed to take to Utah to plant.
Tuesday 25th. Went in the morning over the river to my brother William’s at Florence and stopped with him through the day.
Wednesday 26th. Returned home in the forenoon and visited some in the afternoon.
Thursday 27th. Having been informed that Brother Eldridge had come up to Florence, I started to go over the river to see him, and when I came to the ferry the wind was so high that I could not get over until just before dark.
Friday 28th. Visited with Brother Eldridge most of the forenoon, and in the afternoon went to see some brethren who had lately arrived from England via New York.
Saturday 29th. Stopped with William through the day and returned home in the evening. Brother Eldridge stayed with me all night.
Sunday 30th. Wrote a letter to my folks in the forenoon and in the afternoon went visiting.
Monday 31st. Went to Barton’s and Ellisdale.
Tuesday June 1st. Went to Florence to see Brother Eldridge, and was appointed by him to preside over the Saints at Genoa. Very busy in the afternoon packing up getting ready.
Thursday June 3rd. Started on my way to Genoa, crossed over the river to Florence in company with Brother Goodwin and three sons, Bro. Holmes and one son, Bro. Saunders and Don Carlos Babbitt. We took Margaret Therelkeld to do our cooking, washing, etc. We also took four yoke of oxen, one span of horses and two cows. We arrived at Florence about noon, we turned out our cattle to feed a little and one of our cows which I bought off my brother Joseph, started off unobserved and when we got ready to start on, could not be found. We searched for her all thee afternoon to no effect and finally stopped all night.
Friday 4th. This morning Brother Saunders and one of Brother Goodwin’s boys took the track of the cow, and followed her about five miles down the river and found where she went down the bank and forded the river. I then got another cow of Brother Pyper and started on our way, and camped for the night at the Elkhorn river.
Saturday 5th. Started early and came within seven miles of the town of Freemont, and stopped for the night.
Sunday 6th. Traveled about 20 miles and stopped for the night.
Monday 7th. Started early, had several bad sloughs to cross and camped for the night near the town of Columbus.
Tuesday 8th. Started early and arrived at Genoa about 2 o’clock.
Wednesday 9th. Very stormy in the morning, in the afternoon went up the Beaver river about 5 miles and selected land claims and place to put in crops.
Thursday 10th. Moved our wagon into the land we had selected and commenced plowing to put in crops.
Friday 11th. Got up early in the morning and assisted in planting, marking gardens, etc.
Saturday 12th. Assisted in planting.
Sunday 13th. Storming in the morning, broke away about 10 o’clock. Went to meeting at Genoa. Spoke to the people about the building up of the Kingdom of God, both in the fore and afterpart of the day. They possessed a good spirit, felt well and seemed highly pleased with the privilege of greeting me as their president.
Monday 14th. Went to Genoa and got our plow sharpened and bought and brought back some potatoes and buckwheat.
Tuesday 15th. Helped fix the breaking plow and assisted in breaking.
Wednesday 16th. Assisted in keeping the plow in order and in breaking.
Thursday 17th. Went to Genoa at 2 o’clock to attend to some business, and at 4 o’clock attended prayer meeting at the school house and had a good time. The Brethren and Sisters manifested a good spirit and will to harken to counsel.
Friday 18th. Assisted Margaret in cooking and done some chores about the camp, etc.
Saturday 19th. My health still continues very poor, but I think on the whole mending slowly.
Sunday 20th. Attended meeting at Genoa, had a good time. The Saints felt well. Had a petition signed at the close of the meeting for a Post Office at Genoa.
Monday 21st. Wrote some letters to my brothers at Florence, and Crescent City, to make some arrangements with them to get some goods to see and Genoa and for assistance from my brother Joseph to get a Post Office at Genoa.
Tuesday 22nd. Went to Genoa to carry my letters and gave them to Brother Cotton to take to Crescent City. I also went to Monroe to do some business for Brother Pyper, who lives in Florence.
Wednesday 23rd. Spent the day at the camp assisting about plowing, planting, etc.
Thursday 24th. Went to prayer meeting at Genoa, at 4 o’clock. Had a first rate time. Got to camp in a shower late in the evening.
Friday 25th. Early in the morning packed up to move to Genoa, but could not find our teams, and so stopped in camp all day in suspense.
Saturday 26th. Got up our teams early and arrived at Genoa about 9 o’clock. Brother Goodwin and Brother Sanders, with Don Babbitt, started for Crescent City. We moved into a cellar.
Sunday 27th. Attended meeting at the school house and had a first rate time.
Monday 28th. Had a business meeting at 4 o’clock and counseled the Saints on many subjects.
Tuesday 29th. Today all the Saints turned out and built a first rate bowery, 40 by 50 square feet.
Wednesday 30th. Went to look out a mill seat and found a very good chance for building a mill.
Thursday 1st of July. Being the first Thursday of the month and set apart by the authorities of the Church, as a day of public fasting and prayer by the Church, I recommended the same to be observed. We accordingly met in our new bowery for that purpose but was soon interrupted by a band of 40 or 50 Son Indians, who came into our city to beg and trade. We gave them some flour, potatoes, bread, salt, and traded some with them and soon they left. We had a first rate time in the meeting and dismissed about 4 o’clock.
Friday 2nd. Rainy in the morning, went in the afternoon with Brother Hudson to examine the mill seat, to take a level to find out the head and fall of water, and was some disappointed, not so good as expected.
Saturday 3rd. Health poor. Visited a little about town.
Sunday 4th. Had meeting the Bowery. The Saints mostly present. Spoke upon the subject of doing all things after the pattern we have received from headquarters, had a good time in the afternoon. Administered the Sacrament.
Monday 5th. Met in the Bowery and celebrated the nations birthday, which was done in the spirit of loyalty and good order, everyone enjoying themselves first rate.
Tuesday 6th. Prepared the school house to move into, the privilege having been given me some days previous.
Wednesday 7th. Moved into the school house.
Thursday 8th. Had prayer meeting at 4 o’clock in the bowery, with a good congregation and first rate time.
Friday 9th. Assisted to build a fence around the house to keep the horses and cattle away, and at 5 o’clock had a meeting of business. Spoke to the brethren of the need of a grist mill and requested labor donations to assist in the building one. Had 191 days labor with as many days of team work subscribed in a few moments for the purpose.
Saturday 10th. At home and visiting.
Sunday 11th. Attended meeting. Spoke to the people both in the fore and afternoon, and had a good time.
Monday 12th. Stopped at home all day.
Tuesday 13th. Stopped at home till half past 5 o’clock, then by request went to the first females prayer meeting in Genoa and gave them instructions about selecting their president, conducting their meeting, etc.
Wednesday 14th. Stopped at home a part of the day, and visited some.
Thursday 15th. Attended prayer meeting till 4 o’clock in the bowery, a good spirit prevailed and the brethren and sisters all seemed alive and felt well.
Friday 16th. Made couple of rough bedsteads. Stormy in the afternoon.
Saturday 17th. I was called out last night to visit a sick child. In the morning very cloudy.
Sunday 18th. Attended meeting at the bowery, had a good time in speaking. The sacrament was administered in the afternoon, the Saints all felt well.
Monday 19th. Assisted in arranging to build a corral to keep the cattle in nights to prevent their destroying the crops.
Tuesday 20th. Labored on the corral.
Wednesday 21st. Stormy all day. Brother James Pitman died this morning between 7 and 8 o’clock, with Jaundice.
Thursday 22nd. Brother Pitman was buried today about 12 o’clock. Attended the funeral and at four o’clock attended the prayer meeting. Had a good time.
Friday 23rd. A band of Omaha Indians visited us today, with whom we traded some and gave their seven chiefs a supper.
Saturday 24th. This being the day the pioneers entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake, we celebrated the day be a general meeting in the Bowery at 9 o’clock, after singing and prayer, I spoke to the audience at some length, on the subject of the rise of the church, their progress, persecutions and final expulsion from the U.S. to deserts of the mountains and the course the present administration was pursuing towards them. After myself, remarks were made by several others, after which many appropriate toasts were given and several songs were sung suited to the occasion, and dismissed at 12 o’clock. At one o’clock we had a first rate picnic dinner in the bowery, after which the tables were taken away and we had music and dancing until near sundown.
Sunday 25th. Had meeting in the bowery at 10 o’clock and a first rate time both in the fore and after part of the day. After meeting Brother Homer with a company of Danes consisting of all 15 wagons, arrived in town on their way to Utah.
Monday 26th. Very stormy most of the day.
Tuesday 27th. Tremendous storm all the forenoon, better in the afternoon, Brother Homer’s company went down to the river to cross but could not make out, and started back to the ferry at Columbus.
Wednesday 28th. Stopped at home all day.
Thursday 29th. In the morning went down to Shackelton’s and Pilling’s saw mill and contracted with them to run a pair of small mill stones by their stream power, and in the afternoon returned and attended prayer meeting in the bowery but had to dismiss on account of a shower.
Friday 30th. Visiting with Brother Hudson and others most of the day.
Saturday 31st. Went to the mill in company with Brothers N. Davis and Gillis to make some arrangements about rebedding the engine and boiler and building a house sufficient for the saw mill and grist mill. Returned at 4 o’clock and attended a lecture from a Methodist in the Bowery.
Sunday August 1st. Attended meeting in the Bowery. General attendance and good feeling manifested.
Monday 2nd. Concluded to go to Florence to get mill stones and some goods. Spent the day in making arrangements.
Tuesday 3rd. Started for Florence at about 11 o’clock. Stopped and done some business at the sawmill and nooned at the Looking Glass Creek. Camped for the night about 5 miles below Columbus. I had with me Sister Pitman and her daughter, and drove Brother Foremaster’s mules. The mosquitos were so thick that the mules rolled incessantly in the sand all night to keep from being devoured.
Wednesday 4th. Started very early in the morning and traveled to Fremont where we stopped for the night.
Thursday 5th. Arrived at Florence at about 5 o’clock and crossed over the river to Crescent City.
Friday 6th. Sold a land warrant to Charles Blake for drugs and commenced selecting them.
Saturday 7th. Purchased a small pair of burr mill stones off Andrew Williams for which I paid him $100 in gold.
Sunday 8th. Spent the day mostly at Ellisdale.
Monday 9th. Got a team of my brother Joseph’s, packed up my goods, and crossed the river to Florence.
Tuesday 10th. Packed up my groceries which my brother William had purchased and brought up from Omaha.
Wednesday 11th. Started home with the mule team, and left the ox team with Brother Davis to drive home in the company with Brothers Huff and Shackelton. I drove to Freemont and camped for the night.
Thursday 12th. Drove to the west side of Shell Creek and camped for the night.
Friday 13th. Drove to Brother Suttzer’s on the Looking glass creek and stopped for the night.
Saturday 14th. Arrived home at a little before 12 o’clock. Towards evening, my brother Joseph from Crescent City, Iowa, arrived with some others on an expedition to explore the Left Fork of the Platt River. In the evening, Judge Applebee, with small company on their way to Utah, arrived in our city.
Sunday 15th. Attended meeting in the bowery, had a good congregation. Judge Applebee, with some others, spoke to the people. Had a good time.
Monday 16th. Spent the day at home with my brothers, and in assisting to cross Brother Applebee’s company over the river.
Tuesday 17th. Stopped at home, unwell.
Wednesday 18th. Fixed up some shelves for my goods.
Thursday 19th. My ox team arrived with my goods, a little after noon, unloaded the goods, and Joseph and Brother Pyper unpacked and put them up, while I attended prayer meeting at the Bowery.
Friday 20th. My brother and company started home. I went with them as far as Monroe, to attend to some business, and returned in the evening.
Saturday 21st. Stopped at home to arrange matters about my goods.
Sunday 22nd. Attended meeting in the Bowery. Had a good time.
Monday 23rd. Fixed some things about home, health rather poor.
Tuesday 24th. Prepared and put up medicine.
Wednesday 25th. Unwell, and done but little.
Thursday 26th. Attended meeting in the Bowery at 4 o’clock.
Friday 27th. Very unwell, done a little in preparing medicine.
Saturday 28th. Felt symptoms of chills and fever, yet worked at preparing medicine most of the day.
Sunday 29th. Attended meeting in the Bowery. Had a good time in speaking to the people.
Monday 30th. Spent the day in making ink, and preparing essences and medicine.
Tuesday 31st. The Omaha Indians returned from their buffalo hunt, and was engaged with them most of the day.
Wednesday September 1st. Spent the day mostly in preparing medicine.
Thursday 2nd. Being the first Thursday in the month, was our day of fasting and prayer. At the end of the meeting in the Bowery, the Saints mostly together, had a good time.
Friday 3rd. Went up to our field on the Beaver, and brought home some garden vegetables.
Saturday 4th. Went to mill to assist to get in the new foundation.
Sunday 5th. Attended meeting in the Bowery, sacrament in the forenoon. And in the afternoon, I spoke to the Saints, and had a good time in speaking.
Monday 6th. Went to the mill again to assist on the foundation.
Tuesday 7th. Stormy. Stopped at home.
Wednesday 8th. Went to the mill again.
Thursday 9th. Went to the mill in the forepart of the day, and at 4 o’clock attended prayer meeting in the Bowery.
Friday 10th. Went to the mill to try to forward the work.
Saturday 11th. Went to the mill and helped move the engine on to its new foundation.
Sunday 12th. Attended meeting and the Bowery and had a good time.
Sunday 19th. Worked at the mill every day through the past week. Today attended the funeral of Brother Bowden, and had a meeting in the Bowery.
Monday 20th. Went to the mill, attended a meeting of the association in the evening.
Tuesday 21st. Went to examine the timber on the Left Fork of the Platt River and looked for a place to fence in a large field for the benefit of the poor Saints, who we expect will gather here in the spring.
Wednesday 22nd. Stopped at home, planning some arrangements to gather up the poor Saints abroad, and to procure the necessary means to sustain the Saints in Genoa, and prevent them from selling their surplus grain to the Gentiles, that it may be kept for the poor who are expected to gather here in the spring.
Thursday 23rd; Attended meeting in the Bowery, laid my plans for gathering the Saints before the congregation, which was accepted and adopted.
Friday 24th. Stopped at home.
Saturday 25th. Unwell, and stayed at home.
Sunday 26th. Had meeting in the Bowery, and had a first rate time.
Monday 27th. Went over the Loup Fork and put up the body of a log house.
Tuesday 28th. I started about noon, to go to Omaha and Council Bluffs City, to get belt and bolt cloth for the mill and procure some goods. I arrived at my brother’s at Florence, on Thursday, at 4 o’clock, and on Friday, I went to Omaha and purchased a few goods and on Saturday, went over to my brother’s at Crescent City, and on Monday, I went to Council Bluffs City, and bought the things for my mill, with some other goods, and returned to my brother’s at Crescent, and bought a few goods off him and on Tuesday, returned over the river to Florence, and bought a few goods off my brother William, and started for home on Wednesday, and arrived on Saturday 9th of October, in a heavy rain.
Sunday 10th. Took cold returning home in the rain, very lame in the small of my back. Stormy all day, no meeting. Brethren constantly coming in.
Monday 11th. Still continues lame. Stayed in the house most of the day. Cloudy weather.
Tuesday 12th. Cleared off this morning. Some better of my lameness. Stopped home most of the day.
Friday 15th. Went up the Beaver to the field, found all right except what corn had been destroyed by the wolves and crows. Brought home some beets and seed cucumber.
Saturday 16th. Brothers Eldridge, Kesler, Cannon and others arrived from Salt Lake and we crossed them over the river about dark.
Sunday 17th. Had meeting at Brother Shackelton’s. Brothers Cannon, Eldridge, and Young took the lead in speaking, had a good time. In the evening, the Land Association was called together. Some of it’s members, manifested some dissatisfaction with my measures, but Brother Eldridge said that he thought that I had done as well as he or any other man would have done, under the circumstances, and was well satisfied with all my moves.
Monday 18th. Brother Eldridge and company started on at about 12 o’clock. I went with them as far as the saw mill and returned home.
Tuesday 19th. Stopped at home all day.
Sunday 24th. Cold north east storm. No meeting today. My health still continues poor.
Monday 25th. Still continues stormy. Stopped at home through the day.
Tuesday 26th. Storm continues, no business done.
Wednesday 27th. Still continues stormy.
Thursday 28th. Very stormy all night, everything wet about the houses this morning. I will here record the name and birth place of Lucy Carroll, who was given to me by her father as my own child. She was born in New Brunswick, Count of York, Parish of Canterbury, on the eighth day of September, 1846. Her father’s name is William Carroll, her mothers maiden name was Esther Mack, who died in Kansas Territory. Lucy wishes to be called from this time forward by my name, Lucy Johnson.
Friday 29th. Still continues stormy, bad weather, so there is not much business done.
Saturday 30th. Storm abated, fair weather today. I wrote a letter to John Eager, my son in law, and one to my family. Attended Elder’s quorum meeting in the evening.
Sunday 31st. Cloudy again, no meeting on account of the exposed state of the crops, the balance of people being required to save them, as a large share of them are already destroyed.
Monday November 1st. Went to dig my potatoes on the Beaver river. Margaret went to assist me, but it was very cold. Dug about 7 bushels and returned home late in the evening.
Tuesday 2nd. Went again to dig potatoes.
Wednesday 3rd. Cold and snowy, and had to stay at home.
Thursday 4th. Cold and stormy, was obliged to stay at home.
Friday 5th. Went to dig potatoes on the Beaver and brought home 24 bushels.
Saturday 6th. Cold and stayed at home.
Sunday 7th. Had a meeting at Brother Dalhymples, but very few present. Spoke to them myself, showing the evil consequences of disobeying counsel. In the evening called the teachers together and gave them some instructions.
Monday 8th. Cold and stormy. The High Priests Quorum met in council at my house in the evening, among other things, considered the case of Gabriel Cotton, who had ran over the rules and laws of the city association, by jumping land claims and threatening blood if molested. The council agreed unanimously that he could not be sustained or fellowshipped by the Saints in Genoa, therefore the teachers were instructed to warn the Saints not to have anything to do with him, in any shape or form, neither buying or sell, and that all who sustained him by trading with him could not be fellowshipped by the Saints.
Sunday 14th. Had meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s. Very cold and but few present. Labored on the mill most of the past week, although very cold and severe weather.
Sunday 21st. Had meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s in the day time and in the evening at Brother Sinclair’s. Labored on the mill the past week.
Thursday 25th. Started the grist mill towards evening and found it answering my expectation.
Sunday 28th. Had meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s, spoke to the Saints on the subject of disobedience and the evil consequences of taking the advantage of each other and told them that I felt more like going by myself and weeping, than I did like talking and after meeting, while comparing my own works with the strictness of the law of God, felt my leanness.
How would my heart rejoice to hear, My Heavenly Father say, "Come, thou, my son, wipe every tear, And drive thy griefs away." "The shame of sin and death that bound And hold thee in the dust, And did thy Spirit gall and wound Is now forever burst." "Thy cry, like Paul's has long been heard, "Who can deliver me?" But mercy's hand had interfered, At length and not thee free." How would my heart leap and rejoice With praise to His great name To hear my Heavenly Father's voice, To me those words proclaim.
Wednesday December 1st. Went to the mill, but turned so cold in the afternoon that it was impossible to work, and come home.
Thursday 2nd. Cold and stormy. So much that I scarcely went out of doors all day.
Friday 3rd. Very cold. Stopped at home.
Saturday 4th. A little more pleasant, although quite cold. Stayed at home.
Sunday 5th. Attended meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s. It being cold, not many present. Brother Dalhymple spoke to the people on the subject of disobedience to counsel. I spoke after him on the same subject, and had a good time. Attended prayer meeting in the evening, at Brother Sinclairs, had quite an interesting time.
Monday 6th. Cloudy and cold.
Sunday 12th. Had meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s in the day time, and in the evening at Brother Sinclairs. Spent most to the past week gathering my corn on the Beaver.
Sunday 19th. Had meeting at Brother Dalhymple’s in the day time. Brother Hudson gave an account of his mission to St. Louis, etc., showing the reason why he did not succeed in the business for which he was sent, which was to bring good to Genoa. Had meeting in the evening at Brother Sinclairs.
Monday 20th. Stopped at home all day, health very poor and not much appetite for food. Much anxiety of mind about my family and the bad state of affairs in Genoa.
Tuesday 21st. This morning Gabriel Cotton came into town and abused Brother Hudson in a shocking manner, and then made an attack upon me in the following manner.
As I was walking into Brother Nathan Davis’s door yard, I heard someone from down the street calling my name. I turned to look, and saw a man coming up the street, and when he came near, I saw it was Cotton. He called to me again and wished me to come into the road, for he wanted to talk to me. I, knowing that he had threatened my life, told him that he could talk with me where I was, as I was standing inside Brother Davis’s door yard. He then came up to the fence near where I was standing, which was by the side of it. I stood close to the ax with my right hand resting on the top of the handle. He then began to abuse me in a shameful manner. I told him to go away and leave me as I wanted nothing to do with him, but he continues his abuse, threatening my life. I told him if he took my life it would be nothing more than he had done, for he had proved himself a murderer long ago. He then made a rush towards me, gathering an ax in his way, and drawing it upon me. I retreated, taking with me the ax that I had my hand upon, but fearing that he would strike me in the back, I turned upon him and drew the ax that I held in my hand.
At this moment, Brother Davis with some others rushed down from the house and ordered him to lay down the ax, which he threw down. He retreated to the fence and drew his pistol, cocked it and swore that he was enough for a half a dozen of us. He then went away and a short time afterward he came by where I was sitting and talking to Brother Dalrymple and again threatened my life with many bitter oaths.
This same Gabriel Cotton had been stirring up rebellion and strife, through an opposition to his course caused his enmity to me.