Joel Hills Johnson – Journal
(covering the period from 22 Dec, 1858 to 24 Jan 1861)
Wednesday 22nd, health very poor. Stayed at home through the day.
Friday 24th, stayed at home during the day. Assisted to make a cellar for potatoes.
Saturday 25th, today being Christmas, Brothers Hudson, Sprowl, and families with Mrs. Saunders and daughter, came in by invitation to spend the day with us. We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves at first rate. In the evening attended the Elders Quorum meeting; gave them some instructions and had a good time.
Sunday 26th. had meeting at Brother Dalrymple’s with Cotton and some of the apostates present. Spoke to the people myself. Had a tolerable good time. In the evening attended prayer meeting at Brother Sinclair’s.
Monday 27th, stayed at home. In the evening called some the brethren together and formed them into a sort of police to watch the movements of Cotton of apostate party who had sworn to take my life.
Tuesday 28th, stayed at home taking in corn and potatoes.
Wednesday 29th, received corn and potatoes.
Thursday 30th, attended to business at home through the day and in the evening attended prayer meeting at Thomas Davis’
Friday 31st, attended a party in the evening at Brother Page’s. Several were in and we had a very good time, but I went home before the party broke up on account of poor health.
Sunday 2nd, attended meeting at Brother Dalrymple’s in the morning and in the evening at Brother Sinclair’s.
Tuesday 4th, very unwell. The High Priests Quorum met at my house in the evening the tried to settle some difficulty between Brother Hudson and Nathan Davis. Continued in session until 12 o’clock and accomplished neither.
Sunday 9th, quite sick. Been so all week, not able to attend any business or meeting.
Monday 10th, very warm pleasant weather. Still sick and not able to do anything.
Sunday 16th, had meeting at my house both morning and evening. Very sick through the week.
Tuesday 18th, the High Priests quorum met at my house in the evening. Took up the subject again of the difficulty between Brothers Hudson and Davis. It was shown that Brother Davis had made improper statements against Brother Hudson and was not willing to take the back. Therefore, he was disfellowshipped from the quorum.
Friday 21st, very warm pleasant weather. Health continues very poor, so scarcely on the mend that I can hardly discover improvement.
Sunday 23rd, had meeting at my house in the morning. Brother Hudson and William Jones spoke to the people. Had a very good time.
Monday 24th, very warm weather. My health continues very poor with little of no change.
Tuesday 25th, the Bishops and Teachers met at my house in the evening and reported the conditions of the several wards. All seemed to be flourishing except a few apostates and grumblers who are trying to deal all the mischief they possibly can.
Wednesday 26th, the police met at my house in the evening. After a reorganization, I gave them some instructions in regard to securing thieves and watching meddlers, busy bodies, etc.
Thursday 27th, commenced snowing last evening and continues very cold and stormy today. My health continues very poor, so much that I am unable to do business.
Sunday 30th, had meeting at my house. Several of the Brethren spoke. Had a very good time. My health continues very poor.
Tuesday, 1st February 1859. High priests Quorum met a my house in the evening. Daniel Baxter was cut off from the Church for treating the teachers with contempt by not answering their questions and ordering them out of the house.
Wednesday 2nd, very cold and windy. Health not much better.
Sunday 6th, my health a little better. Had meeting at my house. Had a very good time.
Tuesday 8th, the teachers met at my house in the evening and reported that while visiting Nathan Davis, he charged the council with being led by an evil influence and that the President was sustained by little, nasty lying spirits. He was, therefore, notified to appear before a special council to be called on Friday next to answer the charge.
Friday 11th, the council met at my house in the evening. The case of Nathan Davis was brought on, charged with saying that the council was led by an evil influence. When they disfellowshipped him from the Quorum, the charge was sustained, and he was cut off from the Church.
Sunday 13th, had meeting at my house and had a good time.
Monday 14th, warm weather this morning. Lucy Carroll left me and went with Nathan Davis to his sister’s at Shell Creek. She was of no account and went off without provocation. She heard that her father had left the church and was going to the gold mines and she wanted to go with him.
This morning I sent out three letters to Utah by mail, on to B.F. Johnson, one to James H. Martineau, and one to Sixtus E. Johnson. This evening the high priests quorum met at my house. A good spirit prevailed among the Brethren.
Wednesday 16th, very warm. Snow fast thawing. My health mending very slowly.
Thursday 17th, walked about town a little today for the first time for nearly three months. Very warm. Snow nearly all melted today.
Friday 18th, warm but cloudy. My health improves slowly. The police met in the evening at my house. After they got through with their business I gave them some instructions and a first rate feeling was manifest among them.
Saturday 19th, wind changed last night to northwest and quite cold this morning. I find that I have taken cold. My cough increased considerably. Elder Quorum met at my house in the evening. I gave them some instructions.
Sunday 20th, held meeting at my house. Very much crowded. Several of the Brethren were called to speak, after which I spoke some time on the order of the Priesthood and had a very good meeting.
Monday 21st, quite unwell. Exercised too much yesterday in speaking and took cold.
Tuesday 22nd, the teachers met at my house in the evening. Heard the reports from the different wards and gave them instructions.
Wednesday 23rd. the police met at house in the evening. Heard their reports and gave them some instructions.
Thursday 24th, very stormy. My health very feeble, indeed. Stopped at home all day.
Friday 25th, Margaret left today to go to Florence and Crescent City. Went with Brother Joseph Hough in company with Sisters Larsen and Isabael Sprowl. I called a special meeting in the evening of the Brethren to attend to some important business in reference to the timber claims.
Saturday 26th, health very poor indeed; also very lonesome, no one being about the house except when some one happens to call on business. Elders Quorum met at my house in the evening. Ordained three into the quorum. All spoke except one. All expressed good feelings. Sent most of the boys today to build cabins on the timber claims below the mill and also over the river for we found our that apostates who had been cut off from the church were about to secure of jump all our timber, thereby running over the rights of the Saints and leaving them entirely destitute.
Sunday 27th, had meeting at my house. Several of the Brethren spoke. Had a good time. The boys who were appointed to go over the river yesterday to secure our timber claims did not succeed to get over because they could not get their canoes and other things ready in time. They had to watch their canoes all night to keep them out of the hands of our enemies.
They thought that they might as well cross the river today as sit all day on the bank to watch their canoes, tools, provisions, blankets, etc, which had been on the bank ready to go all night. They therefore put over two men all safe and returned for the rest, but in taking their guns, tools, provisions, bedding, etc., it loaded them down too heavy and the canoes (for they had two lashed together) sank in the middle of the stream. The stream was very rapid with ice running. They turned over and sundered, or parted, upsetting all that was in them into the stream. Six of them, after a long struggle with the ice and current, made the shore, while Brother S.C. Larsen was carried with the current and drowned.
Some of those men, after they reached the shore, were so benumbed with the cold that they could not walk without help. Brother Larsen’s body could not be found. He was a good man and a Saint indeed and died a martyr for the cause of truth, having lost his life by trying to secure the rights of the Saints when these rights were being taken from them by wicked apostates who were seeking to bring the poor saints in Genoa into poverty and distress. After the accident there were eight brethren over the river without food or blankets, with nothing but an axe and a few matches except the clothing on their backs. Six of them were wet and nearly perished and they could have no assistance until a boat could be made, for the canoes were lost. Therefore the boat builders and carpenters went to work (it being nearly evening) to construct a new boat and labored nearly all night.
Monday 28th, today the carpenters got the boat finished about 3 o’clock and took it to the river and took our provisions, blankets, etc, to make the boys comfortable.
Tuesday March 1st, 1859, today Brothers Lewis Miller and Patrick Carroll made two trips over the river to take over more of the boys, provisions, etc. While returning on the last trip, when a few rods from the shore, the boat struck a snag and capsized, throwing two brethren into the river. They lost the boat, but caught by the snag, the current being very swift, with ice running and they knowing that no possible assistance could be rendered from either side, stripped off everything they had on but their shirts and stuck out for the nearest shore which they gained in so benumbed a state that they had to be helped on the shore.
They were on the south side with the other boys and no clothing. The boat floated a few miles down the river and drifted near the shore and was caught by one of the brethren who followed it and brought it back. Received some letters today from my family.
Wednesday 2nd, tremendous cold rain storm. No crossing the river today. It having rained all night and broken up with ice which is running at a rapid rate with the water very high. Last night the Brethren met at my house and concluded to have a larger boat build, which they commenced today.
Friday 4th, very pleasant. From letters received from home I find my presence is needed there, but must abide the Lords time. My foes are many but I fear them not.
Oh my Father, keep and bless me Ne'r let troubles on me come, Through my foes, who would distress me And retain my from my home. Do thou guide and safe protect me, While my foes with wrath shall foam, And through every step direct me 'Till I meet my friends at home.
Saturday 5th, very pleasant and warm. My health about the same. Stopped at home all day. Commenced a letter to my wife Janet and did other writing.
Sunday 6th, had meeting at my house. Brother’s Bradshaw and Hudson spoke to the people. Very cold weather and stormy.
Monday 7th, stayed at home all day.
Tuesday 8th, stayed at home all day, reading and writing. Posted my letters to my wife Janet. Few of the teachers met at my house in the evening, but made no report and did no business on account of most of the being over the river.
Wednesday 9th, stopped at home. My health very poor. Margaret came home towards evening.
Thursday 10th, very stormy all day and at night the storm increased almost to a hurricane, blowing snow into every crack and crevice of the house.
Friday 11th, many cattle were found this morning blocked in with snow and had to be shoveled out. The storm continued until nearly noon when it abated.
Saturday 12th, quite pleasant all day. Stayed at home. Health mending slowly.
Sunday 13th, cold and stormy this morning. Had meeting at my house. Several of the Brethren spoke and we had a good time. In the evening storm increased to a hurricane and blew all night.
Monday 14th, this morning again almost everything was blocked with snow banks. Many families had to have the banks shoveled from their doors before they could get out of their houses and many cattle had to be dug out of the snow banks.
Tuesday 15th, clear and warm. Snow melting very fast. My health on the mend.
Wednesday 16th, looking after things about home.
Thursday 17th, started to go over the river but the north wind blew so cold that I returned.
Friday 18th, went over the river to look at the land and found it first rate and concluded to sent over a few families to make claims.
Saturday 19th, bought 40 bushels of corn from Christopher Ceaston and measured it into my crib. In the evening the Elders quorum met at my house. I gave them some instructions upon several subjects. Had a good time.
Sunday 20th, had meeting at my house. Several of the Brethren spoke. In the afternoon the Brethren met at my house to take into consideration the forming of a settlement over the Loup Fork and at Wood River. Took the names of volunteers for each place.
Monday 21st, went down to the river when the ferry boat is building.
Tuesday 22nd, stayed at home. In the evening the teachers met at my house. Heard their reports from the different wards. Gave them some instructions, etc. Today ends the 56th year of my birth.
Wednesday 23rd, 1859, this is my 57th birthday.
Fifty seven years have fled Since the day that gave me birth. "Few and evil" Jacob said, Are the days of man on earth. I have found His words are true, And I hope with Him to meet When life's journey shall be through And my labors are complete. To this end, O Father guide All my footsteps to Life's end Never from thee let me slide, Be my everlasting friend.
Thursday 24th, went down the river to make some arrangements about the ferry boat and stopped there a part of the day but the wind was so cold I had to return.
Friday 25th, went to the river again with Margaret to assist in picking oakum to caulk the boat. The Pawnee Indians, several hundred in number, crossed the river today. It was quite a large novelty to see them taking over their buffalo skin boats, the men, two or three in number, swimming ahead with lines towing the boats and the squaws hanging on behind with nothing but their heads out of the water, and that nearly as cold as could be without ice. It was amusing to see sometimes eight or ten of the boats on the stream at once and hear 50 to 60 voices, male and female, shouting as they plunged along through the cold water.
Saturday 26th, stayed at home in the forenoon to keep the Indians from stealing property, but they succeeded in stealing an ox which I had borrowed. In the afternoon, the Indians left and I went to the river to pick oakum for the boat.
In the evening the Elders Quorum met at my house. Henry Peck and Bro. Sultzer were on trial for disobeying counsel in dealing with and going hunting with Cotton. They, however, made satisfaction and were retained in fellowship.
Sunday 27th, had meeting at my house. Brothers W.E. Jones, Thomas Slight, and myself occupied the time in the meeting.
Monday 28th, cold and stormy. Stayed at home.
Tuesday 29th, went to the river to see about the ferry.
Wednesday 30th, went over the river with Brother T. Bradshaw to look out a townsite. Found a beautiful place on the bluff about a mile back from the river and about two or three miles below the ferry with a beautiful farming district east and south. Returned home towards evening, very much fatigued on account of a long walk, cold, and wind.
Tuesday 31st, went to the river at the ferry and picked oakum in the forenoon and in the afternoon helped to stretch the rope across the river. This was accomplished with good success and without accident by the middle of the afternoon, at which time the wind changed into the north and blew almost a hurricane and tremendous cold. I nearly perished returning home in the evening.
Saturday 2nd, high wind and stormy all night, deep snow drifts, high winds and snow flying at a dreadful rate this morning. Very cold, no wood to build a fire, and at 11 o’clock had to go to bed to keep from freezing. Got up from bed about 2 o’clock, found the storm had ceased and old Sun had popped out from behind the clouds and began to smile again. Went and borrowed an axe and chopped some wood and built a fire in the stove and felt quite at home again, although the snow had drifted two or three feet in every direction.
Sunday 3rd, cold north wind with severe winter weather. I think this must be on of the countries that we read of (as the saying is) where people are frozen stiff from October until May and then eaten up with flies and mosquitos from May until September.
Had meeting at my house as usual. Brothers R. Shackleton, M. Jones and myself occupied the time in speaking to the people. Had good liberty with good attention from the people. Prayer meeting was appointed at 4 o’clock but is was so windy and cold that I did not attend.
Monday 4th, this morning clear and cold; winter weather in very deed. My health mending slowly; feel able to attend to business if the weather would permit.
Tuesday 5th, this morning cold wind in the northwest, but towards evening the wind changed into the south. Stopped at home all day. The teachers met at my house in the evening and gave their reports of the different wards, which were satisfactory.
Wednesday 6th, it is just two years today since I left home, which time seems very long. Today we launched the ferry boat and in the evening the police met at my house to transact some important business.
Thursday 7th, very cold this morning. Went to the ferry but it was so cold that the men at work on the ferry house had to leave and go home. The cold increased towards night and finally turned into another snow storm.
Friday 8th, went to the ferry and crossed over the river with about 20 of the brethren to make a road across the bar to the south bank but didn’t finish it.
Saturday 9th, went over the river and finished the road across the bar.
Sunday 10th, had meeting at my house. Brothers Powell, Haaleatt and Bradshaw occupied the time in speaking. At 4 o’clock attended prayer meeting at Bro. Sinclair’s.
Monday 11th, went to the river and returned. Stopped at home the rest of the day.
Tuesday 12th, went to the ferry and stopped at home the balance of the day.
Wednesday 13th, at work at the ferry all day.
Thursday 14th, this morning went to the ferry in company with Thomas Davis and John Evans, whom I had engaged to run the ferry and ferried over a few gold diggers and then ferried over some of the boys that had volunteered to form a settlement at Wood River, who were on their way to the place.
Friday 15th, this morning cold winter weather again, the wind blowing a heavy gale from the northwest. Went to the river with five of six hands to work at the ferry, but it was so cold the men would not work and came home.
Saturday 16th, clear and cold winter weather. Men refuse to work on account of cold. Stayed at home all day and shelled corn. In the evening the Elders Quorum met at my house and were reorganized as Brother Dalrymple, their president, had resigned his office and Brother Peck, his first counselor, had been dropped for non attendance.
Sunday 17th, had meeting at my house. Several of the Brethren spoke and had a good time. A 4 o’clock attended prayer meeting at Brother Sinclair’s.
Monday 18th, went to the ferry with several hands and changed one end of the ropw lower down the stream, and repaired the landing on both sides.
Tuesday 19th, went to the ferry in the morning and thought to cross the river but the skiff was on the other side so I returned home.
Wednesday 20th. Went over the river in company with Brothers Hudson, Bradshaw and several others and laid out a city plat about three miles below the ferry landing and dedicated and named it Loup City.
Thursday 21st, cold north wind. Stayed home all day.
Friday 22nd, stayed at home all day. Read over some letters that I received last Tuesday from my family. Felt quite lonesome.
How lonesome and lonely my fate, With loved one and home far away. Like on without kindred or mate In prison, who longs for the day When liberty shall obtain And meet with His loved ones again.
Saturday 23rd, visited about town some and stayed at home the balance of the day.
Sunday 24th, had meeting at my house. Brothers D.S. Jones and N. Sharp spoke to the people, after which I made a few remarks upon various subjects. Had a good time.
Monday 25th, at home all day.
Tuesday 26th, at home trying to settle with Shackleton and Pilling.
Wednesday 27th, went to the mill to so some business with Shackleton and Pilling, but did nothing and came home.
Thursday 28th, stayed home all day.
Friday 29th, stayed at home and made soap.
Saturday 30th, hauled some hay and did some business about town.
No meeting today on account of stormy weather. Spring cold and backward, not flowers enough to crown a May Queen within ten miles of Genoa. My prospect of getting home this summer to my family is very poor for want of means, which fills my heart with sorrow.
Sorrow brings me to my God, And increases faith in prayer. Sorrow is the chastening rod, Which His children all must bear
Monday 2nd, stormy all day. Stayed at home most of the day.
Tuesday 3rd, was called up very early this morning by Bro. Thomas Davis from the ferry who stated the river had risen very much and the boat and the rope were in danger. We called out some hands and went down and found that the fastening post for the rope on the bar had moved and the rope had swayed or lowered into the current which was very strong. This would crowd the rope down to its full stretch and then would swing back, making a terrible swishing and foaming. About a dozen men got hold of the lever of the capstan, or fork, and brought the rope out of the water again.
Wednesday 4th, stopped at home all day, changing some of my corn into another crib. I find out for a certainty that I have many foes in and about Genoa who have been made so by Cotton‘s influence and are determined to do me all the injury they can.
In all my trials, great and small To God for help I fly, He is the anchor of my soul When foes are thick and nigh. He bears my sinking spirits up Yet ceases not to test The ground on which I build my hope Of an Eternal rest.
Thursday 5th, occupied the forenoon in moving corn. In the afternoon went to Bro. Foremaster’s and blessed an infant child.
Friday 6th, went to the ferry and made some arrangements to repair the damage done by the late flood in the river.
Saturday 7th, went to the river with 15 or 16 hands and commenced repairs of the ferry, which is nearly ruined. The road across the bar which had cost much labor and expense has all washed away, and will cost 50 dollars or more to make it good. This is very discouraging as the ferry has already cost $400 and with little prospect of making expenses or having anything to go home with, but I feel in my heart to say:
Oh, Father, in my grief and tears, This joyful thought to me occurs, No good or evil visits me But what is known or sent by Thee. Oh, help me then Thy will to wait Ne'r censor Thee what is my fate, Content to know thy hand is just Sustaining all who in Thee trust.
Sunday 8th, had meeting in the bowery for the first time since last fall. Several of the Brethren spoke after which I made some remarks. Had a good time.
Monday 9th, finished repairing the ferry and stretched the rope across the river again and ferried over the two emigrant teams.
Tuesday 10th, went to the ferry and found that a bar had formed in the river so the boat could not cross.
Wednesday 11th, got men to go and haul some timber on to the bar about ten rods below the crossing of the ferry to make a new fastening for the rope.
Thursday 12th, went with five or six men and framed and put up a new fastening for the rope on the south side of the river.
Friday 13th, changed the rope to a new place and tried the boat but found that a bar had also formed at the place and could not cross.
Saturday 14th, went to the river much discouraged and sought for a place to cross and found that the bar had washed out from the old place. I then went to work and moved the rope back to its old fastenings and cross over six wagons in quick time.
Sunday 15th, had no meeting on account of the stormy, bad, weather.
Monday 16th, went to the ferry and crossed over a few wagons.
Tuesday 17th, went to the ferry and crossed over nine wagons in the forenoon and in the afternoon repaired the road on the bar.
Wednesday 18th, went to the mill and did some repairs.
Thursday 19th, went to the ferry and crossed over four wagons.
Friday 20th, went to the mill in the morning and at noon returned to the ferry and crossed over 14 emigrant wagons.
Saturday 21st, went to the ferry in the morning and worked repairing the boat until noon then returned home.
Sunday 22nd, had meeting in the bowery. Brothers Backwit and Sproul spoke to the people after which I made some remarks. Had a good time.
Monday 23rd, stayed at home all day. Bought a sack of flour and a few other things of some of the returning immigrants.
Tuesday 24th, went to the ferry and crossed over a few immigrant wagons.
Wednesday 25th, crossed a few wagons.
Thursday 26th, very windy. Crossed five wagons.
Friday 27th, made 55 trips with the ferry at an average of one dollar per trip.
Saturday 28th, went to the ferry early in the morning and crossed over seven wagons and about noon crossed over five wagons from this place for Utah and in the evening 12 or 15 emigrant wagons.
Sunday 29th, had a meeting in the bowery. Several strangers present. Brother Onlicet addressed the people and I followed him.
Monday 30th, went to the ferry and crossed over a few wagons and river rose in the afternoon so I could not ferry.
Tuesday 31st, went to the ferry and found a large crowd of emigrants waiting to get over. Crossed over seven or eight wagons and to my great astonishment the rope parted in the middle of the river and let the boat go down the stream. It was a one inch and three-fourths sea grass rope, and sufficient to hold any stream boat in the same current that ever floated in the Missouri River. On examination I found that it had been rotten by acids of some kind being poured upon it. This, I had no doubt, was done by Gabriel Cotton or some of his associates in trying to break me down. I, however found a man among the emigrants who said he could splice it and I set him to work. I then had to get new pulleys made of sufficient size to run over the splice.
Wednesday June 1st, 1859, this day commences my 29th year since I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This morning went to the ferry early and took down the new pulleys, and by 10 o’clock had the rope stretched across the river and crossed over more than 50 wagons before dark.
Thursday 2nd, went to the ferry and crossed today about 50 wagons.
Friday 3rd, went to the ferry and crossed over a few wagons.
Saturday 4th, went to the ferry and crossed eight or ten wagons.
Sunday 5th, had meeting in the bowery. Brothers Carter and W.E. Jones spoke to the people after which I made a few remarks.
Monday 6th, went to the ferry and crossed over five or six wagons.
Tuesday 7th, went to the ferry and crossed over several wagons, among the rest two from Salt Lake City.
Wednesday 8th, went to the ferry and repaired the landing and the road on the bar.
Thursday 9th, stayed at home.
Friday 10th, got some hands and commenced taking my potatoes out of the pits.
Saturday 11, went to the ferry and crossed over six wagons and came home and finished getting the potatoes from the pits.
Sunday 12th, had meeting in the bowery. Elders George Thomas and D.S. Jones occupied the time in speaking.
Monday 13th, stayed at home.
Tuesday 14th, stayed at home.
Wednesday 15th, Captain Haight’s church train of 73 wagons arrived and camped at the mill. Went down and visited them.
Thursday 16th, crossed over 32 wagons of Captain Haight’s train.
Friday 17th, crossed over the balance of the train.
Saturday 18th, did some business with Brother Pyper and went over the river to see the train start about 1 o’clock. I came in contact with Cotton again today, who gave me many threats, as usual, when he meets me alone.
My foes have lies against me forged, And have in wrath combined To take my life and have me charged With sins I ne'er designed Of me no evil can they show I have with good repaired The enmity with which they do My sacred rights invade Oh, Thee, Oh God, do I command And in thy hand repose My cause, my all; Oh, be my friend And save me from my foes.
Sunday 19th, many of the brethren went out with team today to meet the handcart company that was soon expected in. No meeting today on account of foul weather.
Monday 20th, went to the ferry and commenced crossing over Brother Brown’s company of 60 wagons. About 4 o’clock the rope came in two near the north side landing(having rotted off by acids being put upon it by some fiend in human shape). The boat was loaded with one wagon and yoke of cattle and about 40 or 50 men, women, and children when the rope parted.
The boat went whirling down stream by the swift current for several rods until some of the men on board caught the longest end of the main rope and pulled it in shore on the south side, otherwise no one knows how far the boat might have gone down the stream and how many lives might have been lost. After the boat and all were landed safe, we got a man to splice the rope and we then stretched it across the river again and crossed over three wagons before dark.
Tuesday 21st, went to the ferry this morning and assisted in crossing over the balance of Brother Brown’s company and about noon commenced crossing over the handcart company. While crossing the third wagon, the rope parted again near the south landing, but the boat was pulled ashore on the north side by hands catching the longest end of the main rope. It was rotted off as usual by acids. The cords were fastened and stretched across the river again quickly and the handcart company was all crossed over before dark, free of expense.
Wednesday 22nd, went to the ferry and crossed over 12 emigrant’s wagons, after which I crossed over Captain Lemon’s train of Church wagons, 18 in number.
Thursday 23rd, in the forenoon took a load of corn and potatoes over the river to Captain Lemon’s train. In the afternoon got some help and shelled 20 bushels of corn.
Friday 24, stayed at home and shelled 20 bushels more corn.
Saturday 25th, expected to get my corn ground today but found the mill was out of order and could not grind, so stopped at home all day being very unwell.
Friday 26, had a meeting in the bowery. Brothers Pilling, Jones, and Slight spoke but very short, after which I made some remarks. I saw in the congregation some of the men that have ever tried to run over the rights of the Saints in Genoa by trying to break up the institutions established to make a resting place for the Saints who might come this far and could go no farther on their way to their mountain home. They would do such things as jump their land or timber claims, pour acids upon the ferry rope, thereby endangering the lives of the Saints who are crossing the river on their way to their mountain home. They would report all manner of falsehoods that their evil imaginations could invent to bring them in collision with their neighbors abroad. Their only object attending the meeting was to make a man an offender for a word and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate that they might carry out their hellish designs against myself and the Saints in Genoa as above mentioned. Like all other false brethren and apostates that have ever infested the Church since it had a beginning on earth, these apostates worked.
From such ungodly, cruel foes, My safety, Lord, provide. Since childhood I have always chose Thee for my God and guide. Be thou my safe defense and shield From foes of every name Who seek to drive me from the shield. And bring my soul to shame.
Monday 27th, stopped at home all day being quite unwell.
Tuesday 28th, this morning went to the mill in company with Brothers Thusen and Welsh, who went down to finish the bolt. After giving them some directions, I returned home. Received a letter today from my son Seth and was very glad to hear from home.,
Wednesday 29th, this morning Brother Hudson came from Florence. I went to see him and he told me that all manner of lies and falsehoods were in circulation against me at Florence, put afloat by enemies in Genoa and the disaffected one who have left and gone down and that much injury was being done to me by their lies and falsehoods, forming prejudice against me in the minds of the authorities below. May God have mercy on them, and bring them to see their sin and folly before they wake up in everlasting burnings.
Thursday 30th, went to the mill this morning with Brothers Thusen and Welsh and gave them some instructions about the bolt and other matters and then returned home where I stopped the balance of the day, being quite unwell.
Friday, July 1st, 1859, felt quite unwell through fatigue in attending to business, fighting mosquitoes and flies, anxiety of mind, etc. Went to the mill towards evening to see how the hands come on with the work and found the bolt nearly finished.
Saturday 2nd, stopped at home all day, quite unwell. In the evening I called a meeting of some of the brethren to investigate some complaints against me about the mill and was exonerated from all blame.
Sunday 3rd, Captain Neslin’s company of 53 wagons hove in sight. Many of the saints went down to visit them. No meeting in the forenoon, went myself to the ferry and assisted to cross them over the river. At 4 o’clock attended prayer meeting the bowery.
Monday 4th, Captain Stephenson’s company of 51 wagons arrived. The Saints met in the bowery and celebrated the American Independence. A part of Captain Stephenson’s company was crossed over in the afternoon. I have crossed the Saints by companies at 75 cents per wagon (except the extreme poor, the crippled and the widow who were crossed free).
Tuesday 5th, went to the mill with Shakleton and Pilling to settle some difficulty in regard to the stones, they having accused me of buying an old worn out pair of stones on purpose to cheat and rob them. The quality of the stones was left to Brother Mace, an old experienced mill wright and miller. He decided that if the stones were put in order that they would more than answer the requirements of the contract. So I was exonerated from all blame.
Wednesday 6th, stopped at home, troubled with some complaint in the kidneys.
Thursday 7th, went down to the ferry. Very lame in the back.
Friday 8th, stopped at home all day, very lame.
Saturday 9th, very lame indeed. Rode down to the ferry and crossed over Brothers Neff and Thomas Davis. Bid them farewell.
Sunday 10th, had meeting in the bowery. Brothers Hugg and Roach occupied the time in the morning, after which I made some remarks.
Monday 11th, went to the ferry and crossed over Brother Armstrong’s company of 6 wagons.
Tuesday 12th, went to the ferry and crossed over brother Wright’s company of 8 wagons. Today received a letter from my wife Janet and another from my son Sixtus informing me that Nephi was on his way to assist me.
Wednesday 13th, stopped at home to arrange things preparatory to going below to settle my business.
Thursday 14th, packed up some boxes of goods to take below.
Friday 15th, the Governor of the Territory, in company with General Thayer commanding a detachment of U.S. dragons and Militia, called on our settlement on their return from an expedition against the Pawnee Indians to chastise them for some depredations which they had committed on white settlements. It seems that the Government in a treaty with them had extinguished their title to their lands by agreeing to pay them certain yearly sums in cash, goods, etc. The sum of $24,000 they were to receive early last spring which the Government neglected to pay while the Indians were depending upon it to live upon and not receiving it brought them from starvation, which brought the indignation of the whites upon them while some of the poor Indians were killed and a cry was raised against them. This brought out the Governor, General Thayer with detachments of Dragoons and Militia in an expedition against them which will cost with the little stealing and plundering that the Indians did some 24 or 25 thousand dollars.
The Pawnees had stared on a buffalo hint when the brave band of warriors overtook them in making a treaty of peace with the poor savages they had to give up some of their men as prisoners of war and relinquish the payment then due of $24,000, which Government ought to have paid them in the spring. This would have prevented all the difficulty but the poor savages must bear all the blame, have several of their men killed and lose $24,000 of their honest dues to satisfy the averice of a few poor, miserable, lazy scamps. This shows the rottenness and corruption of the American Government.
Saturday, 16th, started for Florence in company with Mr. Charles Sanders. Stayed all night Peter Morie’s, a few miles below Columbus.
Sunday 17, went as far as Emerson’s and stopped all night.
Monday 18th, started in the morning and went as far as North Bend and met Brothers Eldridge, Goddard, Young and others on their way home to the mountains; so I concluded to come back with theme to settle some business that could not be dispensed with. Came as far as Peter Morie’s and camped for the night.
Tuesday 19th, got home a little before noon. Called a meeting in the evening. Brother Eldridge spoke to the Saints, gave them some instructions and told them that he was satisfied that I had done the best I could for the people of Genoa and that I must be released from my labors and return home.
Wednesday 20th, Brother Eldridge called a meeting a gain in the morning at 5 o’clock in which I was honorably released from my labors in Genoa and Brother Poppleton was appointed to take the Presidency until a man could be sent from Salt Lake.
Thursday 21st, I hired brother George Moore to take me down to Florence. We started about noon and arrived in Florence on Saturday about noon, and went over to Ellisdale and in the evening went to Council Bluffs City. We stopped there until Sunday about noon and returned to Ellisdale and from there to Florence. On Monday settled with my brother William and made from him a small purchase of goods and then started for home by way of Omaha, where I purchased a few more goods and came as far as the Little Papillion Creek and camped for the night.
Tuesday 26, started early in the morning and arrive home on Thursday about noon.
Friday 29th, commenced packing my goods and preparing for my journey home across the plains.
Thursday August 4, 1859, sold out my share in the mill to Michael Pilling for $350. Received one yoke of oxen in payment down and his note for the balance, payable the first of June next. I had previously sold the ferry for $500, and received two yoke of oxen, one cow and one wagon in part payment. The purchaser’s names were N.I. Hudson, Moses Welsh, Daniel Welsh and James Freston. I took their notes in balance due for $240, one of which I sold to my brother, William.
Friday 5th, stated on my journey in company with Margaret and Thomas Athchinson, a young lad of 14 whom I took to assist in driving team. My teams consisted of three yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows and one wagon laden with about 30 hundred. Drove about 20 miles and camped beside the road.
Saturday 6th, stated early in the morning and came about 15 or 20 miles and broke the fore axle tree in our wagon. I then unloaded the wagon and took off the box and placed it in a position to shelter us from the scorching sun and the heavy night dews, after which I dug a well for water to use and for the cattle.
Sunday 7th, this morning I put the four wheels of the wagon on the hind axle tree of the wagon and hitched a yoke of oxen to reach and drove to Loup Fork, a distance of about eight miles to get a piece of timber to spice the axle tree.
I came to the river and after searching four or five miles up and down, was disappointed in not finding a stick to answer the purpose. Although very much fatigued and faint through excessive labor, I had to ford the river on foot, which was very high and rapid, to find a stick. After reaching the opposite side and searching about on hour, I found a small ash tree, at the foot of which I knelt down and thanked my Heavenly Father for the blessing. Then I went to work and cut out a piece and shaped it suitable for the purpose intended and laid it on my shoulders in the act of which I staggered like a drunken man through fatigue and faintness.
After wending my way for a half or three-fourths of a mile through brush and ravines, I reach the river, but was in doubt whether I should be able to stem the current to the other shore. I knelt down and asked my Heavenly Father to give me strength. I then breasted the stream and forded nearly a mile, with the current obliquing towards the side of which my team stood. I reached it in safety and lashed my stick of timber to the cart and seated myself thereon. I started for the scene of my disaster, faint and weary almost unto death. I reached the place about 4 o’clock and laid myself upon the ground in the shade of my wagon box until nearly sundown. I then commence to repair my broken axle-tree.
Monday 8th, finished splicing the axle tree and reloaded the wagon and started about 10 or 11 o’clock and traveled until 9 o’clock in the evening and camped beside the road.
Tuesday 9th, started early in the morning and crossed Pavarie Creek at 11 o’clock and camped for the night about 10 miles from the Wood River Settlement.
Wednesday 10th, came to the settlement about noon and employed Brother Carroll to make me a new axle tree.
Thursday 11th, got axle tree made and went to the blacksmith shop to get ironed. Had to wait for coal to be burned.
Friday 12th, very stormy. Nothing done to my axle tree today, and as Brother Homer’s company, with whom I had expected to cross the plains, had gone four days ahead of me, I got discouraged and gave up all hope of overtaking them and concluded to stop another year.
Saturday 13th, got my wagon finished or repaired and put together ready for a start.
Sunday 14th, moved my wagon back down to the forks of the Columbus and Genoa roads and attended meeting with the Brethren at Brother Huff’s. Had a good time in speaking and finally concluded to take up a claim and build a house for a store.
Monday 15th, moved my wagon onto my claim and unloaded my goods. Took off the wagon box and went to the timber for a load to commence building a shanty to live in until I could build a house.
Tuesday 16th, went to the timber again for building materials.
Wednesday 17th, commenced putting up my cabin.
Thursday 18th, finished my cabin, which consisted in large forks set in the ground with poles laid across and hay put on the top with willows cut the right length and set in the ground at the lower end with a pole pinned across the top, after which I unpacked my groceries and drugs and set them up on temporary shelves.
Friday 19th, finished fixing up my goods and traded some with the emigrants or returning to Pikes Peakers.
Saturday 20th, went to the timber for a load of poles.
Sunday 21st, attended meeting with the Brethren at Brother Huff’s.
Monday 22nd, very unwell on account of having taken a very bad cold. Stopped at home all day.
Tuesday 23rd, about home all day, trading a little with the returning emigrants.
Wednesday 24th, commenced making a wind lass, preparatory to digging a new well.
Thursday 25th, went up to Dr. Henry’s on business.
Friday 26th, finished the wind lass for the well.
Saturday 27th, myself with Brother Page dug me a well. Brother Page did the digging and I turned the wind lass. Found plenty of good water at 15 feet.
Sunday 28th, attended meeting at Brothers Huff’s. Brother Sharp was called on to take the lead in speaking after which I was called on to follow.
Sunday 4th, very stormy. No meeting.
Monday 5th, commenced hauling logs for my store and house. Hauled four loads.
Tuesday, 6th, hauled two loads of forks and poles for making stock yard and corral.
Wednesday 7th, hauled logs.
Thursday 8th, stopped at home on account of a few companies of soldiers passing on their way to Fort Kearney.
Friday 9th, went to the bottom and put the hay in cocks.
Saturday 10th, went to the bottom again and put up hay.
Sunday 11th, no meeting in the forenoon. Stopped at home in the afternoon to let Margaret go.
Monday 12th, went to the bottom to receive some hay that I had hired cut by the job.
Tuesday 13th, stayed at home to do some chores.
Wednesday 14th, went to the bottom to haul hay.
Thursday 15th, hauled hay.
Friday 16th, stayed at home and helped to stack hay.
Saturday 17th, went to the bottom to put up hay.
Sunday 18th, went to Brother Huff’s for meeting, but there was none.
Sunday 25th, my brother Joseph arrived from the mines. He passed there on the 12th of August on his way to that place. Did not attend the meeting today.
Monday 26th, went about with my brother to look at a claim for himself. Selected one lying south of my own.
Wednesday 28th, worked at repairing my shanty by sodding it up around the sides and putting in a window. James Lewis arrived from the mines.
Thursday 29th, worked at hauling hay.
Friday 30th, hauled hay and topped off my stack.
Sunday 2nd, had to attend to herding cattle, it being my turn, for all the people in the neighborhood to put their stock in a general herd and take turns herding them.
Monday 3rd, hauled timber for a corral in the forenoon. In the afternoon commenced building corral.
Tuesday 4th, in the forenoon hauled time for the corral. In the afternoon finished it.
Wednesday 5th, hauled logs to build a house.
Thursday 6th, at home all day hewing sills and sleepers for the house. Wilson came back.
Friday 7th, hauled logs and worked on the house.
Saturday 8th, worked on the house.
Sunday 9th, no meeting. Wrote a letter to my son Sixtus.
Monday 10th, hauled logs for house and store.
Tuesday 11th, attended election at my house, served myself as one of the judges.
Wednesday 12, hauled logs.
Thursday 13th, hauled wood. Received a letter from my son Nephi.
Friday 14, hauled logs.
Saturday 15th, hauled poles to fence the hay stack.
Sunday 16th, no meeting. Wrote a letter to my son Nephi.
Sunday 23rd, attended meeting at Brother Huff’s. Brother Mastard from Salt Lake City present and spoke to the people.
Monday 24th, stopped at home, being very late.
Tuesday 25th, some seven or eight hands came to finish raising my house, but did not complete it.
Wednesday 26th, terrible wind from the north all day so that not much could be done and stopped in the house.
Thursday 27th, worked on the house cutting out and fixing the door ways.
Friday 28th, some of the soldiers that were cutting logs below came up and assisted to finish raising the house.
Saturday 29th, went to the timber to get some puncheons to cover the house and while using the maul to split them, I took a lameness in my back which was so severe that I could but just walk.
Sunday 30th, confined to bed with lameness in the small of my back, occasioned, I suppose, by the kidney’s complaint with which I have long been troubled. The weather continues cold, freezing night and day for the past several days. My fingers are now stinging with the cold while lying on my back in my wagon making this note.
Monday 31st, no alleviation of pain and misery in my back. Confined to my bed. No prospect of having a house very soon to get into. Have had to sleep in my wagon box ever since I have been here. Sometimes feel almost discouraged at my hard lot of sickness and detention from my home, yet feel to say;
What's best for me my Father knows, And will my footsteps guide, And keep me safe from all my foes And for my needs provide, His will be done, my spirit cries For He is holy, just and wise.
Wednesday 2nd, my back considerably better. Able to walk about with the assistance of a stick. Three men came in the afternoon to work on the house.
Friday 4th, finished putting on the roof and mudding the house.
Saturday 5th, put in the door and the window to the house.
Sunday 6th, no meeting. Stayed at home. Feel very uneasy about my family in my mountain home, not knowing what they will do for bread, having heard that the grasshopper had destroyed most of their grain and vegetables.
My Father hears His children's cry, When human help is gone. And does their needs and wants supply By means to us unknown. He clothes the flowerets of the spring And gives the hungry bread, While reptiles, fowl, and creeping things Are by Him daily fed.
Monday 7th, commenced putting on the roof to the other part of the house, or that designed for the store.
Tuesday 8th, Bradford Springer and Jimmy Crane arrived today with two teams laden with shingles, machine, corn crusher, farming tools, etc., from Council Bluffs for my brother. Worked at the house.
Wednesday 9th, Springer commenced breaking prairie. Finished the roof of the house.
Thursday 10th, finished mudding the house.
Friday 11th, terrible storm from the northwest. Could not do anything out of doors. Was obliged to move into the new house to keep from freezing to death.
Saturday 12th, put the windows and doors into the store and took a dreadful cold while working in the storm.
Sunday 13th, storm abated, but very cold. No meeting. My face commenced swelling, occasioned by the cold setting of the bone on my face on the right side of my nose.
Monday 14th, face continues to swell. Pain in my bones and in every part of my body.
Tuesday 15th, great pain in my face and my head. Not able to sit up but little all day. Took but very little food since
Wednesday 16th, Springer and James Lewis started back to Florence. Dreadful pain in my head and face. Slept but very little all night. Continued chills and hot flashes. Very weak, no appetite for food.
Oh, Father, in my deep distress While racked with cruel pain Wilt thou remember, own and bless And make me whole again? Thy name to me is ever dear; Thy hand is always just And though thou scourgest me severe, In thee is all my trust.
Thursday 17th, slept but very little last night and in much pain throughout the fore part of the day. Felt better towards evening.
Friday 18th, slept much better last night. Swelling and pain mostly gone from my face, although very weak and not much desire for food.
Saturday 19th, this morning the pain in my face in considerable, some of my teeth having ulcerated and commenced to discharge matter. Very weak and in considerable pain through the day.
Sunday 20th, very weak and not able to attend meeting. Considerable pain in my face. Weather very fine.
Monday 21st, face very bad, continually getting worse. Weather warm with some appearance of rain.
Tuesday 22nd, dreadful distress in my face which continues swelling. Can’t take any rest night or day.
Wednesday 23rd, face no better.
Thursday 24th, rested some better last night. Swelling in my face seems to be abating.
Friday 25th, moderate weather. My face mending slowly although I am very weak and not able to get about but little.
Saturday 26th, weather clear, warm and fine. My health miserably poor, yet my face seems to be mending slowly.
Sunday 27th, no meeting. Spend the day mostly preparing to go below.
Monday 28th, started in the evening with Levant Vanalstine to go to Florence. Traveled most of the night.
Tuesday 29th, this morning found ourselves about 40 miles from home down the Platte River. Turned out and fed out team and got breakfast and then traveled on the Genoa Ferry across the Loup Fork of the Platte.
Wednesday 30th, this morning found the wind in the north and very cold and found the rope broken so that we could not cross. We then went down to the Columbus ferry where we arrived about noon, but could not cross on account of high wind. Tremendous cold through the night.
Friday 2nd, very cold last night and this morning. My health very poor. Suffered dreadfully with the cold. Crossed the river this morning on the ice.
Saturday 3rd, dreadful cold. Camped for the night at Elk Horn Bridge.
Sunday 4th, very cold, arrived at Florence a little after noon.
Monday 5th, very cold. Dare not undertake to cross the Missouri River.
Tuesday 6th, very cold. Crossed over the river towards evening and came to my brother Joseph’s at Ellisdale.
Wednesday 7th, cold continues. Towards evening went to Reuben Barton’s and stayed all night.
Thursday 8th, went to Council Bluffs and consulted Dr. Grimes in regard to the ulcer in my face. He told me that it was seated on the cheek bone and would in time prove fatal unless removed. He drew one of my teeth which was ulcerated at the root and gave some medicine.
Friday 9th, stayed at Ellisdale. Health very poor indeed.
Saturday 10th, stopped at Ellisdale, packing and fixing to return home.
Sunday 11th, I started for my present home at Wood River Settlement in Nebraska from Ellisdale, Iowa, and came as far as the Missouri River and camped the night, being in company with Joseph E. Johnson and others who were taking goods and implements for farming to that place.
Monday 12th, health a little on the mend. Crossed over the river this morning. The wagons consisting of three were all over with the goods, etc. by 10 o’clock, although we had to cross the ice. We started from Florence about noon and came as far as the Big Papillion and camped for the night.
Tuesday 13th, quite cold. Started early in the morning and came for the night a few miles west of Fremont.
Wednesday 14th, started early and stopped for the night near Shell Creek.
Thursday 15th, started early and stopped for the night at Mr. Sander’s near Genoa.
Friday 16th, crossed the Loup Fork on the ice near the Genoa ferry and camped for the night a few miles west of Eagle Island on the Military Road.
Saturday 17th, started early and stopped for the night at a Dutch house in the German settlement on Wood River.
Sunday 18th, very cold wind from the north. Started before day and arrived at my present home on Wood River about noon, having been gone about three weeks. Found all things at home in as good order as I expected.
Monday 19th, almost tired and chilled to death with the cold, having been so long exposed in my poor state of health. Found a letter at home from my son Sixtus dated October 22, 1859.
Tuesday 20th, health poor. Stopped at home all day but did no business.
Wednesday 21st, very cold. Health poor. Stayed in doors all day. Received a letter from my son Sixtus.
Thursday 22nd, this morning the thermometer stood at nine degrees below zero. Stayed at home all day without doing much.
Friday 23rd, health very poor, not able to do any labor and stayed indoors all day. The goods were put up in the new stored today.
Saturday 24th, helped some about putting up goods in the store.
Sunday 25th, Christmas day. Attended meeting at Brother Huff’s. No party, no dance, nothing done here this Christmas but the eating of a few pies, sweet cakes and oysters.
Monday 26th, very pleasant and warm weather. Health poor. stayed about home all day.
Tuesday 27th, cold weather and not able to labor. I kept in the house.
Wednesday 28th, very cold. Not able to do anything.
Thursday 29th, weather continues cold and my health poor. Sent a letter to my son Sixtus.
Friday 30th, weather cold. Thermometer stood at zero the most of the forenoon.
Saturday 31st, still cold and cloudy. Fixing a little for a small party tonight.
Sunday January 1st, 1860, being New Years Day, our New Year’s party came off last night. Had a very good time although we had no music or dancing on account of the want of a musician. Attended meeting today at Brother Huff’s. But few present, yet had a very good time in speaking myself and hearing from other.
Monday 2nd, stopped in the house on account of my feeble health and cold weather.
Tuesday 3rd, commenced to build an addition to the house in which I assisted most of the day, the weather being more moderate and my health a little better.
Wednesday 4th, worked on the addition of the house.
Thursday 5th, cold. Stayed in the house all day.
Friday 6th, weather more moderate. Not able to do anything today.
Saturday 7th, health very feeble, yet labored on the house.
Sunday 8th, had no meeting. Stopped at home all day. Weather very moderate. My health very poor indeed.
Monday 9th, weather more moderate. Not able to do anything today. Mercury stands at 40 degrees above zero. Should be glad to write some but have no conveniences for that purpose, and no place where I can be by myself. My health is so feeble that I feel very much down hearted and discouraged on account of ill health, and the discouraging circumstances that surround me, but yet I know that:
My Father will not cast me off, Though friends forsake and foes are strong. But still sustain and say "Enough." When I have borne and suffered long. For He knows what is for my good, And will chastise when He thinks is best, To fit me for the blest abode, That I, ere Earth was formed, possessed.
Tuesday 10th, cold last night. The mercury dropped below zero. My health very feeble. Not able to labor.
Wednesday 11th, still continues cold and my health no better.
Thursday 12th, very cold. Stayed in the house all day.
Friday 13th, more moderate. Mercury rose above freezing point. My health continues feeble. The ulcer in my face is still bad and continues to discharge in two places. My kidneys and dropsical complaints cause me much weakness so that I cannot labor. Stopped at the house all day.
Saturday 14th, very warm and pleasant. Helped a little about fitting up a mill for grinding corn, etc., but not able to do much.
Sunday 15th, this morning I extracted a small piece of bone from the ulcer in my face. Had no meeting.
Monday 16th, terrible wind from the north. Stopped in the house all day. Health so feeble that I could not stand the wind to be out.
Tuesday 17th, wind very high again today. Did but little myself today. My Brother Joseph E. Johnson and other’s ran a line round the town plat.
Wednesday 18th, weather moderate. Health about the same. Labored some on the addition to the house.
Thursday 19th, labored some on the addition.
Friday 20th, my brother Joseph started for home. Labored myself on the house.
Saturday 21st, worked some on the house.
Sunday 22, had meeting at Brother Huff’s. Several of the brethren spoke, myself among the rest. Had a very good time.
Oh, Fate, stern and cruel, Is not thy course wrong, To keep me far off From my loved ones so long.
Monday 23rd, Weather warm, health poor, worked some on the house laying floor, but could not do much.
Tuesday 24th, Cut out the door to the addition of the house.
Wednesday 25th, Worked on the house, also wrote and sent a letter to my family.
Thursday 26th, snow fell last night, 8 or 10 inches. (Stopped?) Stayed in the house all day, wrote a letter to my Brother Joseph, health very poor, kidney complaint and ulcer in my face very troublesome, feel very much discouraged, but hope for the best, knowing that my Father in Heaven knows what is best for me and will do all things right and for my good.
Friday 27th, Cold and Snow deep. Stopped in the house all day.
Saturday 28th. Pleasant weather. Branded my own and Joseph’s cattle all day.
Sunday the 29th. Margaret went to meeting and I stopped at home myself.
Monday 30th. Stopped at home it being very cold, and done some writing.
Tuesday 31st. Wrote letters today to Brigham Young, Edward Hunter, and George Hoggan of Salt Lake City and one to my brother, J.E. Johnson, Ellisdale, Iowa.
Thursday 2nd. Stopped in the house all day reading and writing.
Friday 3rd. Quite moderate weather. I was taken with a lameness in my back last night and feel poorly today. Stopped in the house all day, reading and writing.
Saturday the 4th. Wrote a letter to my wife Susan and another to Janet. Spent the day in the house, in the afternoon it commenced snowing.
Sunday 5th. Stormy and windy all night. This morning the snow was drifted 4 or 5 feet deep in places. My health this morning seems considerably better, although sometimes I have almost felt to murmur at my hard lot, yet this morning I feel to thank God for his goodness and blessings which he is constantly bestowing upon me.
Awake, Awake, my sacred muse For never more shalt thou refuse To praise the Lord, His goodness own, While knowledge, truth, and love is known. He is the source of love and light His holy hand does all things right His righteous course I will adore And praise his name forevermore.
Had not meeting today therefore I stopped at home and wrote a letter to my son Seth.
Monday 6th. Very warm and pleasant. Stopped at home all day and wrote a letter.
Tuesday 7th. Ground a few bushels of corn today on an iron mill which my brother brought up from Council Bluffs, the mill done very well. I feel quite poorly today and rather low spirited for it seems that the Devil owes me a great spit on some account or another, I suppose it is because I have faithfully contended against his interest in favor of the truth, for he has not only stirred up some of the Gentiles but false Brethren to report many willful and malicious lies about me to great injury, without the least provocation, except to his Satanic majesty, and those who think their father’s rights invaded, when truth and righteousness is supported, the old fellow has always been mine enemy from his time immemorial, therefore I can’t in reason expect and better of him than to be mine enemy still. But I hope to contend for the truth and the right of him to rule, I hope that right it is to rule as long as truth and right endure. Although I feel as though my work in this tabernacle was drawing fast to a close, and the time not far distant when I shall pass behind the veil, which day will be a welcome one to me under my present feelings, yet I wish to do and suffer the will of my father on the earth.
Then return unto the mansion Where I once a home possessed "Where the wicked cease from troubling And the weary are at rest."
Wednesday 8th. Warm and pleasant, feel better today. Stopped in the house done some visiting, sent my letters to their destination.
Thursday 9th. Kept in the house in the forenoon and in the afternoon helped commence to build a stable.
Friday 10th. Cold South wind therefore could not work out of doors. Stopped in the house reading and writing.
Saturday 11th. Worked all day getting ice into the ice house.
Sunday 12th. This morning feel sore and lame having taken cold yesterday while working at the ice. No meeting today. Stopped home reading and writing.
Monday 13th. Cold and windy this morning. My soreness and lameness continues. Stopped in the house all day reading and writing.
Tuesday 14th. At home helped some about the stable and done chores about the house.
Wednesday 15th. Put up some medicine to send to the fort to sell– This afternoon took another piece of bone from the ulcer in my face which seems to be getting better slowly.
Thursday 16th. Very warm. Worked some on the stable today. Received a letter from my son Sixtus and one from my wife Janet.
Friday 17th. Wrote a letter to my brother Joseph and one to Brother Hudson in Genoa— Read a letter from my brother Benjamin in Utah (directed to my brother Joseph at Elisdale in Iowa) in which while speaking to me he says: “He is worse than dead if what is said about him is not false. “It seems that the tongue of slander is not satisfied with reported almost any species of lies about me in this region but follow me to Utah and harrow up the feeling and destroy the peace of my friends and kindred in my mountain home. God have mercy on SLANDERERS, MEDDLERS, and BUSYBODIES– Who have stung my heart to its very core, I ask no revenge but leave them in the hands of my Father in Heaven.
Man with slanderous lies may sting me And enforce oppression's rod. Cruel wrongs will only bring me Nearer to the Lord my God. From kind hand is my salvation From the slanderers cruel snare Then what ere my lot or station By His help, each rod will bear
Saturday 18th. Health poor having taken a very bad cold. Stopped in the house all day.
Sunday 19th. Health no better. Felt bad indeed in body and somewhat discouraged and cast down in relation to my poor health and the circumstances that surround me.
From home far away , Where the wicked ones blend With poverty, sickness And foes to contend.
Attended meeting at Brother Huff’s, had a very good time.
Monday 20th. Helped put the roof on the stable and worked about the house.
Tuesday 21st, helped about fixing the mill for grinding. Commenced raining in the afternoon. Wrote a letter to Joseph.
Wednesday 22nd. Dreadful wind from the northeast, turned over my wagon box broke the bows and strung a new drilling cover all in Slits, wrote a letter to my son Sixtus. My health continues so poor that I am unable to do but little labor– feel lonesome and almost tempted to repine and murmur at my fate.
Help me O, Lord away to cast Each evil though and vain desire Forgive my sins and follies past And let my feel thy spirit's fire To guide me in the way of life Through this vain world of toil and strife.
Thursday 23rd. Cold and Windy. I helped some in the Blacksmith shop to fix some irons for the mill. Stopped in the house in the afternoon and wrote a little.
Friday 24th. Wrote some in the afternoon and fixed the mill for grinding.
Saturday 25th, Attended to grinding the mill.
Sunday 26th. Stopped at home while Margaret went to meeting at Brother Huffs– very warm. My health a little better though not able to labor.
Monday 27th. Stopped in the store all day to fix up things a little.
Tuesday 28th. Stopped in my room all day writing. Wrote two poems entitled Little Joseph’s Grave and one for Margaret to send to her mother in England, also a letter to my family.
Wednesday 29th. Worked out of doors all day helping build a privy or backhouse.
Friday 2nd. Help build a yard for the cows and another for the calves.
Saturday 3rd. Weather warm and cloudy. My health some better. Worked on the storehouse.
Sunday 4th. Stopped at home all day while Margaret went to meeting, for we cannot both leave the home at the same time.
Monday 5th. Very warm, today made two stable doors and hung them.
Tuesday 6th. Still warm. Finished the backhouse.
Wednesday 7th. Windy and cool, my health with the ulcer in my face about the same. Stopped in the house all day, feel my weakness and dependence on the hand of my Heavenly Father for his kind care and protection, also the want of more confidence, good works, and a deeper rooted faith in my hearth, with more of his Holy Spirit.
Inspire the faith that will endure Oh- Lord, though Earth remove With works and wisdom to secure Thine everlasting love. Give thy sweet spirit fire and aid To conquer and subdue My foes of every name and grade While life, I'm passing through.
Thursday 8th. Stopped at home and received four letters from my family, one from my wife Susan and one from each of my oldest sons, Sixtus, Nephi, and Seth.– Caught a few small fish today, the first that I have caught this year.
Friday 9th. Warm and pleasant. Stopped in the house all day. Wrote a letter to my wife Susan.
Saturday 10th. Very unwell. Stopped in the house all day.
Sunday 11th. Warm with wind from the North. Stopped at home.
Monday 12th. Feel very unwell and unable to labor therefore stopped in my room most of the day.
Tuesday 13th. Still feel unwell and not able to do anything. Stopped in my room.
Wednesday 14th. Warm weather, health poor, about the house all day. Wrote a letter.
Thursday 15th. Not able to do anything. Stopped in my room, received letters this morning from my son Seth in Utah and from my brother Joseph at Ellisdale, Iowa.
Friday 16th. Went to Fort Kearney to sell some potatoes, butter, etc, but could not make sale of anything and returned home.
Saturday 17th. Tremendous wind form the South all day, in the afternoon the dust blew so that workmen out of doors had to suspend labors.
Sunday 18th. Stopped at home all day
Monday 19th. Stopped in the house, cold wind, health very poor.
Tuesday 20th. Assisted about grinding corn on the mill.
Wednesday 21st. Stopped at the house all day. Health very poor.
Thursday 22nd. Cold north wind. Not able to do anything had company of visitors, kept in the house.
Friday 23rd. Warm weather. Health poor. Today completes my fifty eighth year.
Saturday 24th. Cold east wind. Stopped in the house most of the day. Towards evening went out and worked a little in the garden.
Sunday 25th. Cold north wind, did not feel like going to meeting on account of the cold and poor health.
Monday 26th. Cold wind. Stopped in the house all day.
Tuesday 27th. More moderate. Not able to do anything except write a letter to my family.
Wednesday 28th. Done nothing of consequence on account of poor health.
Thursday 29th. Stopped at home all day.
Friday 30th.. The wind in the South was very warm. Not able to do any labor kept in the house all day.
Saturday 31st. Wind in the North more cool this morning. Quite sick. Not able to set up but little. Very much bloated with pains in the small of my back and about my loins, and great weakness of body.
Monday 2nd. Health seems to be mending a little today. Went and looked up my white oxen which had been taken up and worked without my knowledge and abused in a shameful manner by a man whose name is Swits. I found the cattle on the range very poor and worn down. Toward evening a few drunken rowdies from a house raising came to the store and wanted liquor. I told them that they could not have it for the had got enough. One of them drew a large ten inch blade knife and came at me and swore he would have it of he would kill me. He finally broke open the store door, smashed up a lit of tumblers, bottles, and window glass he them came out life a raving maniac, and walked towards me with his knife drawn threatening my life with bitter oaths. I caught hold of a shovel which lay near at hand and drew it up and told him if he came any nearer I could knock him down with it. He finally turned on some of the bystanders and I went into the Store and held down the door, and after swearing, raving, breaking windows, and threatening others for half an hour or more they all went away– I have sold liquors of various kinds to travelers and others through the fall and winter to pay my expenses until I could get home, but have been careful not to let men have it who were intoxicated more than I could help, but I find that he that will deal in the cursed staff at all is in danger of his life, and I should never modeled with it had my health so as to have got a living way other way until my way was opened to get home.
While bound here in this Gentile land Their wickedness prevails Oh! how I long to break than ban And flee to Ephraims dales. My home is there, the Saints are there, And there I long to go And should a foe to harm them dare For them my blood should flow.
Tuesday 3rd. Very warm. Labored a little today on a room that my brother is preparing for a printing office. Feel very lonesome and long for the time to come when I shall start for home.
Wednesday 4th. Health still poor. The ulcer in my face no better. Worked on the printing office most of the day.
Thursday 5th. Finished the printing office today and moved the type and other fixtures into it.
Friday 6th. It is just three years today since I left home, when I left I expected to return at least in half of the time that I have already been absent, but I am here yet, not withstanding all my exertions and anxiety to return.
Oh! my Fathers haste the day When I shall return to dwell With my loved ones far away In my peaceful mountain dell.
Saturday 7th. Went to look up one of my sisters which I have not seen for several weeks, felt lonesome and cast down all day, and could not refrain from weeping. Traveled four or five miles without success and returned home so fatigued that I could but just walk.
Sunday 8th. Stopped at home all day. Felt very unwell indeed and weak in my body which effects my mind very much and causes seasons of despondency that would never occur if my body was healthy and strong, my anxiety is so great to get home that I often feel like an imprisoned, yet strive to be patient in waiting for my Father’s time.
Father Oh! forget me not In my grief and sorrow May this bondage be forgot Through thy grace, tomorrow Then my joyful heart and tongue Would ring out the story Till a thousand songs were sung To thy praise and glory.
Monday 9th. Helped to build a milk house. Weather windy and cold.
Tuesday 10th. Labored on the milk house most of the day. Health continues very poor. Ulcer in my face no better, weather warm and windy. Labored on the milk house most of the day I get short language so often from one who ought to treat me better that I feel broken hearted and discouraged.
Thursday 12th. Finished the milk house today. Received letter from my family.
Friday 13th. Dreadful windy and yet very warm. Health continues very poor. Stopped in the house most of the day and helped the girls to move and fix the beds.
Saturday 14th. Helped to haul wood for coal.
Sunday 15th. Had no meeting. Stopped in doors all day.
Monday 16th. High north wind. Stopped in doors all day.
Tuesday 17th. Hunted for my oxen all day, found one yoke, came home very tired.
Wednesday 18th. Stopped at home and helped some about getting out some timber for axle tree and tongue for my wagon.
Thursday 19th. Waited some on travelers and helped sprout potatoes in the cellar, rained in the afternoon it being the first rain that we have had for several months– 1st No. Huntsman’s Echo issued today.
Friday 20th. Helped Joseph plant some in the garden and assisted in tending a coal pit. Health still continues very poor.
Saturday 21st. About 1 o’clock in the afternoon found myself 5 or 6 miles from home on Grand Island in the Platte River hid up in a tall bunch of grass and willows very much fatigued, the circumstances that brought me here I will relate, as follows, to–wit–A few days since the United States Marshall of Omaha, a Mr. West and the Sheriff, A Mr. Page stopped all night at my house on the way to Fort Kearney (as they said) to arrest a man for selling whiskey to the Indians. I suspected that they had a warrant to arrest me for some offense of which I had been accused by mine enemies although I was never guilty– However, they went on and arrested the man and returned again and stopped with me all night.
The next morning they with some of the neighbors got up a Buffalo hunt and started off on the expedition, and when they came to Elm Creek about 40 miles from this place. Mr. Page burst his gun while discharging it, and tore off one or two of his fingers from the left hand. Sirs West and Page then immediately returned to Fort Kearney in search of a surgeon to dread his hand, while the balance returned home and arrived last night.
About eleven o’clock this morning one of the men told my hired man that the Marshall showed him a warrant for my arrest which he intended to execute on his return to my house. And from the questions that the Marshall asked him he supposed it was for employing Margaret as a housekeeper. I therefore conclude at once that my enemies at Genoa (who are constantly seeking my overthrow) have made complaint against me before the Grand Jury at Omaha, and they had found a bill against me for some crime, but what I cannot tell, for they have accused me of every crime murder not excepted. I know that I am guilty of enough, but most of the crimes of which I am accused, I am as innocent of as a child unborn. I therefore thought best to keep out of the way for awhile if I could, and see how the things would turn. If I am taken (my enemies are so determined on my ruin) I fear that I shall be robbed of everything that I profess in this country, even if I get clear of imprisonment. And then how shall I return to my family again if ever, my Heavenly Father only knows.
I often ask myself why has any human being become mine enemy, have I injured any one is persons, character, or property, then answer is NO for I have never had in my heart through all my life to injure any human being, not even my worst enemies—If I have done harm to any if has been ignorantly done, and I willing to make satisfaction even to a hundred fold if required by the law of Heaven– Yet is seems that all earth and hell are combined to overthrow and destroy me.
Forever since my childhood my path has been with sickness, pain, toil, care and sorrow, with afflictions of various kind, brought about my the envy and hatred of those who choose to become mine enemies without any just cause. While my prayer has constantly been, Father forgive them for they know me not, neither do they know what they are doing. My heart is almost broke with sorrow, yet put my trust in God, and feel to say my Father’s will be done and not mine.
Father life is dull and dreary Naught but til and care for me Sorrowful, sick fain and weary Let me Father come to thee. My faith in the be fervent While afflictions rod shall rule Then at death receive thy servant To a higher and Heavenly school.
Sunday 22nd. Heard nothing on my return home last night from the Marshall as he did not return from the fort. Started this morning as soon as daylight for the Island to keep out of his way. Kept hid in the brush weeds and grass all day. Cloudy and cold most of the day, dare not to build a fire. Suffered much with the cold. Returned home after dark found the Marshall and Sheriff at my house. Went away and slept in an old cellar.
Monday 23rd. Started from the Cellar at day break and went back to the Island, very cold wind in the north. Suffered very much with cold, returned home after dark, and met Margaret some ways from the house who told me that the Marshall was there still, and that Joseph had a talk with him about arresting me and he told Joseph that he should not do it and gave his word and honor to that effect, and said that my enemies could not swear to enough for the Jury to find a bill against me but gave a warrant for my arrest provided the Marshall thought that I ought to be arrested.
When he came up, but said that he found no cause for my arrest, and should do up what other business he had on hand and return home and let me alone, so there the matter ends for the present but what will come next the Lord only knows.
Oh, though my God what praise is due With love and faith both fervent To thee with works forever true From me thy humble servant. My heart shall render praise to thee With gratitude possessing For thy protecting grace to me With every other blessing.
Tuesday 24th. The Marshall and Sheriff left this morning and glad was I to see them off. Stopped at home all day and done some writing. Feel very unwell on the account of so much exposure night and day to the cold for a few days past.
Wednesday 25th. Stopped at home all day writing tending store and waiting on strangers. Had another tooth drawn today to see if it would not arrest the ulcer in my face and cause it to heal up.
Thursday 26th. Cold north wind, my health very poor having taken cold. Stopped at home all day reading, writing, and waiting on strangers. Today I read a letter from my brother Benjamin in Utah to my brother Joseph at this place in which he, among other things says, while speaking of me “What we had heard has caused us more sorrow and painful feelings than could the prospect of a death.” He also says “He has given great ground for suspicion even with the President.” But neither he or the President have told me of what I was suspected. I have written to both and received no answer from either.
While Benjamin in his letters to Joseph has several times referred to rumors about me, but has not written to me upon the subject, which caused me many painful feelings, I suppose however that the same slanderous lies have been carried to Utah by my enemies that have been promulgated about me (by the Cotton Faction at Genoa, and their Gentile Sympathizers abroad) throughout this region of the country and at Florence, I must say, however, that the Gentiles have never been half as bad or injured me half as much by their slanderous lies about me, as has some who profess to be saints. God have mercy on them, and forgive them as I have done, although they have pierced my very hearts core, by their envy and slanderous lies. I would not do them the least injury in the world although I might have all the opportunities I could ask for but would do them all the good that I possibly could, for I do not want revenge of any human being.
Father though my foes annoy me May they never overcome me Or maliciously destroy me By their Slanders heaped upon me or ignore me. Though they into grief have flung me And still seeking to undo me While to my heart's core they've stung me May it turn for good unto me Father hear me.
Friday 27th. Very lame in my back caused by my old kidney complaint not able to do anything. Kept in the house all day.
Saturday 28th. Lameness some better. Worked in the printing office setting type.
Sunday 29th. Very unwell. Did not go to meeting. Stopped at home all day.
Monday 30th. Done some writing in the forenoon and read newspapers in the afternoon.
Wednesday 2nd. Very warm. Worked some in the printing office and stopped in the house the rest of the day not able to do anything.
Thursday 3rd. Helped survey town lots.
Friday 4th. Assisted about surveying. Very warm. Mercury stood at 80 in the shade. Just before sundown I heard that Brother Eldridge and a company of Saints from Salt Lake had arrived at the peaks two miles above here, Joseph and myself went up to see them and after staying and talking with them a while Brother Eldridge, John Gleason, and Brother Lawrence came home and stopped with us all night. Brother Eldridge and most of the Company came down and stopped and came for goods while Brother Gleason was on a mission in Europe.
Saturday 5th. This morning after breakfast the Brethren took leave and went on their journey–very warm through the day. I assisted some in surveying.
Sunday 6th. Felt lonesome. No meeting. Family prayers seldom on account of so much bustle of business, hired men, and strangers, my health continues very poor, the ulcer in my face no better, my foes still striving to do me all the injury possible, But yet I know that my Father in Heaven hath not forsaken me, and have full confidence that I shall at last overcome through His assistance.
Father again I bow to thee To thee pour out my soul From sin forever set me free and from disease make whole. The hatred of my foes to me To my best good control.
Monday 7th. Stopped at home all day assisting to Survey, writing and waiting on strangers. Wrote a letter to my family.
Tuesday 8th. Cold north wind and stormy. Stopped in the store all day waiting on Strangers yet not much trade, feel tired, sick, and lonesome, nothing of a temporal nature encouraging, being disappointed in all my expectations in regard to the Spring trade and business matters but hope I shall make out to get away for home in season.
Wednesday 9, warm and wind. Waiting on strangers most of the day.
Thursday 10th. Helped the surveyor run down a section line up the river, in the afternoon waited on strangers or customers. Received two letters from home.
Friday 11th. Assisted in folding newspapers for my brother.
Saturday 12th. My brother started for home at Ellisdale, assisted some about the printing matters and waited on emigrants.
Sunday 13th. Stopped at home all day, done some writing for the Huntsmans Echo, a paper published at this place by my brother.
Monday 14th. At home all day. Health still continues very poor. Not able to labor.
Tuesday 15th. At home all way waiting on emigrants.
Wednesday 16th. At home all day waiting on emigrants.
Thursday 17th. At home attending to the store and selecting and writing for the Echo.
Friday 18th. Attended store and assisted some in the printing office writing, etc.
Saturday 19th. Corrected the proof of the Echo in the forenoon and in the afternoon folded papers.
Sunday 20th. Assisted in putting up the papers for the mail and wrote some for the next papers. No meetings. Feel tired, sick and lonesome, yet unshaken in the principles of life and salvation.
In mercy Oh! Father remember thy servant His weakness and folly forgive. Be his faith ever firm, his love tried and fervent To thee, as he thine doth receive.
Monday 21st. Stopped at home all day waiting on the emigration.
Tuesday 22nd. Stopped attending store or trading some with the emigration. Had a good shower of rain in the evening.
Wednesday 23rd. At home attending store.
Thursday 24th. At home all day. Wrote some for the paper, tended store etc.
Friday 25th. At home. Wrote some for the paper. Attended the store, etc.
Saturday 26th. Quite a rash of teams for the west today. Done considerable business with the emigration and assisted some in folding papers.
Sunday 27th. Stopped at home all day. The girls wanted to go to meeting, therefore I was obliged to stop at home– my health continues very poor the ulcer in my face no better.
Monday 28th. In the store all day.
Tuesday 29th. In the store waiting an emigration.
Wednesday 30th. In the store registering names and waiting on the emigration.
Thursday 31st. In the store as above.
Saturday 2nd. A company of missionaries and men after goods passed here today from Salt Lake. Among the missionaries was Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich, two of the twelve on missions to England. My son Nephi and nephew Don C. Babbitt also came down with the company.
Sunday 3rd. Attended meeting at Brother Huffs. My son Nephi gave an account of affairs at Salt Lake after which I made a few remarks with some others.
Monday 4th. Stopped in the store all day.
Tuesday 5th. In the store all day.
Wednesday 6th. In the store.
Thursday 7th. Health very poor. The ulcer in my face seems to get worse. In the store.
Friday 8th. Feel very unwell. Indeed mind very much perplexed in regard to a settlement with Joseph. Most of the day in my room. Helped Nephi fix the wagon. Had a very fine time in the morning, which was more than we had before for several months. Came to a settlement with Joseph.
Sunday 10th. No meeting. At home all day.
Monday 11th. Very warm and pleasant. At home packing up things and fixing to go below preparatory to starting for home.
Tuesday 12th. Helped Nephi to repair the wagons with which I expect to cross the plains.
Wednesday 13. Busy all day at the wagons.
Thursday 14th. Expected to start below today but was disappointed.
Friday 15th. Started late in the afternoon to go to Omaha and Florence in company with my son Nephi and Margaret to purchase a outfit for crossing the plains. Went 5 or 6 miles and capmed for the night.
Saturday 16th. Started early in the morning and went a little below the Dutch Settlement and camped for the night.
Sunday 17th. Started early and traveled a little below Crystal Brook and camped for the night.
Monday 18th. Started early and came to Genoa a little after noon where we met the first company of hand carts. We crossed the ferry towards evening and stopped at Brother Hudson’s for the night, where I extracted a large piece of bone from the ulcer in my face.
Tuesday 19th. Swapped wagons with Dan Welch and started towards evening and camped for the night on Looking Glass Creek.
Wednesday 20th. Started early in the morning and camped for the night at Mr. Russels.
Thursday 21st. Started as soon as daylight and camped for the night at Widow Hogans where we found a large company of Saints in camp bound for Utah.
Friday 22nd. Started late in the morning and crossed the Elkhorn bridge a little before sundown and camped for the night a small distance above Elkhorn city.
Saturday 23rd. Started early in the morning and arrive at my brother William Johnsons in Florence City a little in the afternoon.
Sunday 24th. Stopped at my brothers all day being tired and unwell.
Monday 25th. Stopped to herd the oxen and take care of them while Nephi went over the rover to Ellisdale.
Tuesday 26th. Assisted my brother in his store and seat a small boy of his out to herd the oxen and during the day one of them slipped away and could not be found at night.
Wednesday 27th. Spent the day in looking for the lost Ox.
Thursday 28th. Spent the forenoon in herding the oxen and the afternoon in visiting with my sister Almera, while Nephi was hunting the lost Ox.
Friday 29th. Took care of the oxen while Nephi was still looking for the lost one.
Saturday 30th. Spent the day with the oxen who keep trying to run away.
Sunday 1st of July. This morning I found that a large company of English and Danish Saints had landed at the wharf during the night from the steam boat Omaha. They rushed into my brothers store this morning for board, but he had none so I went down to Omaha with a team and brought up a quantity and assisted my brother the balance of the day in supplying them with bread and the necessaries.
Monday 2nd. Found the ox that we had lost.
Sunday 15th. Since the last date I have assisted most of the time in tending my brothers store and in preparing my fit out for the plains. I started today with a few families for my home at Hood River. Nephi was obliged to stop behind to pilot out a large company of saints he being their chaplain or pilot. Stopped at the camp two miles from Florence.
Monday 16th. Started from Camp a little after noon in company with John Snider and some Danish families and came to the big Papillion Creek and camped for the night.
Tuesday 17th. Started early in the morning and camped for the night within two miles of Fremont.
Wednesday 18th. Started early and camped for the night at Shell Harbors old place.
Thursday 19th. Started early and camped for the night at Shell Creek.
Friday 20th. Started early. Very hot through the day. Came near melting. Some of our calls went for water. Camped for the night at Spauldings.
Saturday 21st. Left camp in good season and camped for the night at Looking Glass Creek.
Sunday 22nd. Came to Loup Fork Ferry and crossed over the river.
Monday 23rd. Stopped in camp on the bank of the river all day.,
Tuesday 24th. Started early in the morning and camped for the night just below Crystal Brook.
Wednesday 25th. Started early in the morning and camped for the night a few miles above the Lone Tree Station on the Platte River.
Thursday 26th. My brother Joseph met us in camp this morning on his way to Genoa and Columbus. Started rather late and camped for the night a little below Woodrow crossing.
Friday 27th. Started early and arrived home at Woodview Center about sundown.
Saturday 28th. Commenced fitting up my wagon bow and cover.
Wednesday August 1. Since the above date I have been busy fitting up for my journey. Today I had a severe attack of the Asiatic Cholera cramping, vomiting, and purging. It was thought several times by those attending me that I was dying but the Lord in his goodness saw fit to spare my life for which I thank his holy name.
Thursday 2nd. Still confined to my bed through weakness. Nephi arrived a day ahead of his train.
Friday 3rd. Nephi’s train arrive today in the forenoon.
Saturday 4th. Today in the afternoon the train started on but I was not ready and able to start.
Sunday 5th. Started a little after breakfast on my journey across the plains with two wagons belonging to myself, one containing goods belonging to the hand carts and other companies gone before which I was freighting under contract with Brother G. O. Cannon, the other with goods, provisions, etc, belonging to myself. Nephi, Margaret and an old maid who was with us by the name of Mary Ellen I had charge also of another wagon sent out by my brother Joseph E. Johnson to take out the children of the late Sister Babbott and an old maiden lady by the name of Hannah Allen, sister to the above mentioned Mary with a young lady and child sent by my brother by the name of Eliza Sanders. We camped for the night a little above fort Kearny on the Platte River.
Monday 6th. Fell in company with Nephi’s train this morning. The train was divided into two companies consisting of about 35 wagons each. One division of the train being Scandinavians and Brother Patterson being their leader. It was thought best for them to go ahead. We started from camp about noon and traveled about eight miles and camped by a large Slew near the river while the other divisions of the camp went on in order to keep a little in the advance that we might not hinder each other in traveling.
Sunday 12th. The past six days has been fine, cool weather and first rate traveling. We have had good luck and good time to this place, the Pawnee Springs, about one hundred miles above Fort Kearny.
Monday 13th. Started early and traveled about 20 miles and camped for the night on the bank of the river.
Tuesday 14th. Today Brother Budge (the president of the Camp) lost a small child by death it having been sick for several days. It was buried at evening about a mile west of the Bluff Fork of the Platte River. I wrote the following lines on the occasion and gave them to the mother.
On the bank of Platte River Near the Bluff Fork's sandy wild There I saw a loving mother Weeping o'er her dying child. There the darling babe we buried Just as daylight disappeared Where the red man long has tarried And the wolf's shrill howl is heard. Sleeping on his sandy pillow Where no friend his grave can strew With sweet flowers, or plant the willow Loves sweet token to renew. There must wait till all that slumber With the just are waked again Then he shall be with the number Free from sorrow, toil and pain. Then his mother shall behold him Still more precious than before And with songs of joy enfold him In her arms to part no more.
We traveled today about twenty miles and camped near the river.
Wednesday 15th. Today we traveled over immense sand banks and passed an Indian village a little before midnight and camped about half a mile from the river having traveled about twenty miles.
Thursday 16th. This morning Brother Sharp found that his horses was missing. Nephi immediately started back to look for them he tracked them for several miles until they came near a camp of returning apostates from Utah when no further traces of them could be found, he therefore supposed that they had been stolen by them and returned to the camp. We started about 4 o’clock and traveled a few miles and camped for the night on a small stream.
Friday 17th. Started early and traveled about 10 miles and camped for the night on Rattlesnake Creek having had a very hard sandy road.
Saturday 18th. Started at about 8 o’clock and traveled about seventeen miles to Sandy Creek for the night.
Sunday 19th. Started early and traveled about six miles and come to the Sand Bluffs and had to double all our teams to cross them after which we traveled five or six miles and camped for the night.
Monday 20th. Traveled about eighteen or twenty miles and camped for the night.
Tuesday 21st. Traveled about twenty miles and camped for the night.
Wednesday 22nd. Started early, nooned at the foot of Cobblestone Bluffs passed over them in the afternoon and made in all today about 18 miles.
Thursday 23rd. Started very early and traveled over a very heavy sandy road for 12 miles and stopped for noon near the river. I had to walk most of the way and was very tired which has often been the case over this heavy sandy road, in the afternoon we traveled 8 or 9 miles and camped for the night near the river.
Friday 24th. Started early. Nephi being obligated to attend to some other business employed a lad to drive his team who in driving over a sideling place capsized it which detained us an hour or more at night. We camped opposite Chimney Rock.
Saturday 25th. Started about 7 o’clock. Traveled about 10 miles and stopped for noon on the river. Some of my cattle getting foot sore so I had to shoe one on both hind feet. Camped for the night at Scotsbluff.
Sunday 26th. Started after 6 o’clock and came to Cold Creek and stopped for noon, weather very hot, and have to drive my own way which is very hard considering my poor state of health. I sometimes get so tired it seems as though life would depart. Camped for the night near the river.
Monday 27th. Started early and traveled about 20 miles and camped near the river.
Tuesday 28th. Started about 7 o’clock and traveled about 10 miles through nothing but heavy sand and stopped for noon near the rover. Camped for the night 8 or 9 miles below Fort Laramie.
Wednesday 29th. Started early and stopped opposite Fort Laramie about noon, while some of the company went over to the Fort to trade, Nephi went over also and got a letter from home, we then went about four miles above the fort and camped for the night.
Thursday 30th. Started early and came to the Black Hills Boad. Found it very uneven and stony. Traveled about fifteen miles and camped for the night at some springs on the north side of the road.
Friday 31st. Started at 7 o’clock and traveled about seven miles over a hard, rough, hilly road to the view and stopped for noon. Started a gain about 4 o’clock and traveled in a small sprinkle of rain about three miles and camped for the night on a high hill without water.
Saturday September 1st. Started about 7 o’clock and traveled about 10 miles to Alder Springs and stopped for noon. Road very hard over the Black Hills and I am almost tired to death of walking all day and driving team which is my constant lot, camped for the night on the river.
Sunday 2nd. Started early and camped for the night on the river.
Monday 3rd. Stopped all day to repair wagons, and shoe oxen, wash, etc, at this place. I caught a few fine fish in the river.
Tuesday 4th. Started at one o’clock in the afternoon and traveled till nine o’clock at night and camped on the bank of the river at this place. I also caught some fish.
Wednesday 5th. Forded the river to the South side and at night camped on its bank.
Thursday 6th. Started at 7 o’clock and camped for the night at dark on the bank of the river.
Friday 7th. Started very early and overtook Joseph Young’s train, and camped about 9 o’clock at night.
Saturday 8th. Started early and crossed the upper bridge of the Platte and camped for the night on the river where the road leaves it.
Sunday 9th. Started early. Traveled all day behind Joseph Young’s train and passed him in camp late in the evening. Camped for the night on Goose Creek.
Monday 10th. Started in good time. Traveled all day and camped for the night on the Sweetwater River at Independence Rock.
Tuesday 11th. Started early. Traveled all day and camped for the night on the river.
Wednesday 12th. Started early. Passed the Three Crossings about noon. Traveled all day and camped for the night on the river.
Thursday 13th. Started late. Traveled all day and camped at night on the river.
Friday 14th. Started early. Traveled all day and camped at night on the river, the bones of animals and other remains of wagons lie thickly strewed all along the road being the remains of Uncle Sam’s war expedition against the Saints.
Saturday 15th. Started early and left the river about noon and crossed the rocky ridges towards evening, and camped for the night near Small Springs Stream.
Sunday 16th. Last night and this morning the train lost four oxen which died from the effects of Alcohol. We started late and traveled to Rock Creek and camped for the night.
Monday 17th. Started at 10 o’clock. Wind very high. Came to the last crossing of the Sweetwater and camped for the night.
Tuesday 18th. This morning the ground was white with snow with ice in the water buckets. Found two of our oxen dead. I thing the camp has lost eight up to this time. Started early and crossed the South Pass and camped for the night on Pacific Creek.
Wednesday 19th. Started early and traveled about 8 miles and camped for the night without water five miles from Little Sandy.
Thursday 20th. Started about sunrise without breakfast and drove to the Little Sandy for water and grass and stopped for the Camp to get breakfast. We then started on and camped for the night on the Big Sandy.
Friday 21st. Started early and traveled twenty miles and camped on the Big Sandy again.
Saturday 22nd. Started at 8 o’clock and camped for the night one mile below the crossing of the Green River.
Sunday 23rd. Started a bout 7 o’clock. Traveled all day. Made about 20 miles and camped for the night on Blacks Fork. Here I caught several pounds of very fine fish.
Monday 24th. Started as usual. Took the new or right hand road leaving Fort Bridger to the left. Traveled about 18 miles and camped for the night again of Black Fork.
Tuesday 25th. Started about 10 o’clock and camped for the night on Muddy Creek without water it being dry.
Wednesday 26th. Started early. Traveled about 15 miles. Road passes bad. Some springs of the left in the afternoon. Camped for the night on a burnt piece of ground without water.
Thursday 27th. Started before breakfast. Traveled about 8 or 9 miles to the Station on the middy near Iron Springs where we camped for the balance of the day and night, at this place we buried Sister Bennett, an aged Saint from England, who died the day before.
Friday 28th. Started early and crossed the Bear River Mountains and camped for the night on Sulphur Creek.
Saturday 29th. Started early. Crossed Bear River where we left Mary Allen with her niece. Traveled 18 miles and camped for the night at Cash Cave in Echo Canyon.
Sunday 30th. Traveled about 18 miles and camped for the night in the canyon.
Monday, October 1st. This morning some of our cattle were missing and after a long search all were found except one of Brother Bodilys. We started late and came on a few miles and Brother Bodily and some other stopped and went back to look for the lost ox. The balance came on about 16 miles and camped for the night in a canyon a few miles west of Weber Crossing.
Tuesday 2nd. Crossed the mountains and camped on Canyon Creek.
Wednesday 3rd. Ascended the big mountain on the top of which three and half years ago I took my last view of the sweet valleys of Ephriam with a sorrowful heart.
The snow camped peaks of Deseret With Ephraims peaceful bells Though absent long I love them yet For there sweet union dwells. Again upon this mountain top Those lovely scenes can view Though years ago with tears and hope I did bid them adieu.
We camped for the night at the foot of the mountain.
Thursday 4th. Crossed the little mountain and camped for the night at Emigration canyon.
Friday 5th. Arrived in the city and camped on the Public Square.
Saturday 6th. Attended to some business relative to the load of freight that I had hauled for the emigration, Conference commence today.
Sunday 7th. Attended conference.
Monday 8th. Attended conference again. Met hundreds of my old friends yesterday and today who gave my hearty welcome back to our mountain home.
When one returns, from foreign land To meet old friend again Sweet heartfelt joy, without alloy Thrills every pulse and vein.
Heard much good instruction and felt to rejoice and thank my Heavenly Father for his protecting care in returning me safe back to the Valleys of Ephraim and for the prospect of soon enjoying the society of my family and friends in my sweet mountain home. The Conference at evening adjourned to April 6th, 1861– Moved my wagons from the Camp Ground to the house of my brother in law, David LeBaron.
Tuesday 9th. Attended to business in the tithing office in regard to the load of freight.
Wednesday 10th. Busy all day settling up some business in the city.
Thursday 11th. Went today with Sister Margaret Therekold to President Youngs office and had her sealed to my by the President. She was born in Carlish, England, July 21st, 1840.
Friday 12th. Packed up and fixed my wagons for starting home.
Saturday 13th. Started from camp and came out of the city about five miles and camped for the night.
Sunday 14th. Started from Camp early and came to the warm springs and camped for the night.
Monday 15th. Stared early and camped for the night near Battle Creek.
Tuesday 16th. Started from camp in season passed through Provo a little after dark. Camped for the night about 2 or 3 miles south.
Wednesday 17th. Camped for the night near Payson.
Thursday 18th. Came to my brother Benjamins at Santaquin in the afternoon and stopped for the night.
Friday 19th. Stopped all day at my brothers.
Saturday 20th. Started late and came within five miles of Nephi City and camped for the night.
Sunday 21st. Passed through Nephi and camped for the night a little east of Chicken Creek.
Monday 22nd. Today Brother Brown, (who with his brother in law, a Brother Wood, fell in with us at American Fork) accidently shot a pistol into his foot which detained us a little, we camped for the night without water about four miles form the Sevier River.
Tuesday 23rd. Camped for the night at the new settlement in Round Valley.
Wednesday 24th. Started late and camped for the night at the Cedar Springs in Parawan Valley.
Thursday 25th. Started late. Passed Fillmore about noon very stormy and cold. Brother Brown and Wood stopped at Fillmore. We camped for the night about half way between there and Meadow Creek.
Friday 26th. Started early and camped for the night at the mouth of the canyon.
Saturday 27th. Started early and camped for the night at Pine Creek.
Sunday 28th. Started early and met a part of my family about noon consisting of my two wives Susan and Janet and three of my sons, Seth, James, and Almon, who came out to meet me with Brother Thomas Smith. I then left my teams with my sons Nephi and Seth, and went on with my Family and Brother Smith who had a horse team. We came to Beaver and stopped with Sister Pratt for the night.
Monday 29th. Started early and got home to Summit Creek in Iron County where my family was living about 8 o’clock in the evening.
Tuesday 30th. Went down to my old farm at the Springs and found my orchard and fences broken down and scattered abroad, my house stripped of windows, locks, hinges, latches, etc. And otherwise very much mutilated and torn to pieces, and when I came to look after my stick I found them reduced about through the Grasshoppers and worms destroying the crops on the farm for two or three years in succession which forced my family to abandon it. But I soon concluded that there was no other course for me to pursue but to go to work and repair up the houses and move my family back again as soon as possible so as to prepare for winter the best that I could, although there was not a lock of hay or straw or grain of any kind except wheat to be procured at any price.
Wednesday 31st. Went to Parowan to settle with Brother Edsford who with his family I had brought down from the city.
Friday 2nd. Stopped at the Summit to assist my son Seth to complete the digging of the potatoes.
Saturday 3rd. Moved a part of my family back to the Springs.
Sunday 4th. Stopped at home at the Springs all day.
Monday 5th. Commenced hauling sand and clay to prepare the houses.
Tuesday 6th. At work all day repairing a store room for wheat, etc.
Wednesday 7th. The boys went to the summit to commence thrashing the wheat, while myself was busy in fitting up the store room.
Wednesday December 12th. From the above date to the present I have spent my time in repairing the housed fixing up things generally exchanging goods for wheat, molasses, etc. Last evening my sons Sixtus and Nephi arrived from Virgin City, having heard much about the lower country I have come today to the conclusion to go with them on their return and see it.
Thursday 13th. At home all day preparing to go south. Quite unwell.
Friday 14th. Fitting up a room to store wheat. Weather very fine.
Saturday 15th. Putting the roof on the store room also butchered a beef ox.
Sunday 16th. Expected to start south today but the oxen could not be found so it was postponed until tomorrow.
Monday 17th. Cold and Snowy. Started early to go south accompanied by Sixtus, Nephi, and my two wives Janet and Margaret. Went about 20 miles and camped for the night.
Tuesday 18th. Started early and traveled about 18 miles and camped for the night a few miles this side of Toquerville.
Wednesday 19th. Arrived a Virgin City a little after noon and found all well.
Thursday 20th. Went with the boys for fire wood and to look about the country a little.
Friday 21st. At the house of my son Sixtus all day trading goods for molasses.
Saturday 22nd. Went to look a mill site on the river below the City. Found a fall of about 10 feet.
Sunday 23rd. Attended meeting at Virgin City here with Brother McConnell and some of the brethren from Toquerville spoke after which I made a few remarks.
Monday 24th. Went with Nephi to take a lead on the mill site in the forenoon, in the afternoon visited with the brethren who came from Toquerville to celebrate Christmas. Attended a dance in the evening.
Tuesday 25th. Christmas day very warm and fine weather. Took a walk in the morning with Janet and Margaret down the river to the falls. Spent the balance of the day and evening with Brothers and sisters in re creation.
Wednesday 26th. Stormy snow and rain. Stopped in the house most of the day.
Thursday 27th. Went up the river with the boys to look at a mill site not being well satisfied with the one below . Found a very good one. Went to prayer meeting in the evening.
Friday 28th. Went up to Grafton 5 miles above accompanied by Sixtus, Nephi, Janet, and Margaret and some others. Stopped at Brother Tinnys all night.
Saturday 29th. Went up the river 12 or 15 miles (leaving the women at Brother Tinnys) to explore the river and country. Found good bottom on the river for farming with a good deal of Cotton-wood and other timber. Camped for the night in the Canyon. The wind was high and cold through the night.
Sunday 30th. Left camp early in the morning in company with Brother McFate and came over the mountain and got back to Brother Tinnys a little after noon.
Monday 31st. Came down to Virgin City and began to prepare for my return home.
Tuesday January 1, 1861. This morning purchased a small house and lot of my son Sixtus for the sum of 75 dollars, and paid him in goods and young stock. In the afternoon, started on my way home. Came as far as Toquerville and stopped with Brother Willis all night.
Wednesday January 2nd. Remained at this place all day exchanging goods for wheat and molasses. Went to a social part in the evening. Snow at this place about 3 inches, thing unknown by the oldest settlers.
Thursday 3rd. This morning having heard that the snow was deep north, I concluded to leave my leading with Brother Christopher Jacobs, and started for home. Snow deep roads unbroken, came to the crossing of Ash Creek at Old Harmony and camped for the night. Snow most of the way from 12 to 15 inches deep. Had to tread down snow drifts in several places to get my team through.
Friday 4th. Started early. Stopped at Harmony and fed my team, and came to Peter Fifes late in the evening at Shiurts old place. Stopped all night, wind very high.
Saturday 5th. Started early. Wind very high. Arrived home late in the afternoon.
Sunday 6th. At home all day. Feel very unwell on account of cold and exposure while returning from the South.
Monday 7th. At home all day preparing a store room for wheat.
Tuesday 8th. Finished the store room. Very stormy with a heavy snow.
Wednesday 9th. Very unwell. Done some trading in the afternoon.
Thursday 10th. Health still very poor. Not able to do much. Began to copy my journal from manuscripts written while crossing the plains.
Friday 11th. Felt a little better although troubled with a bad cold done some repairing of the furniture, etc.
Saturday 12th. Very cloudy and cold. Some clouds in doors as well as out, on account of some little jealousies among the women (which is apt to be the case when a new one comes into the family.) but I think they will soon disperse. How much more pleasant and beautiful is love and friendship than that old hag jealousy which the wise men say is more cruel than the grave.
Pure friendship is the sight of life That makes its pleasures double. While envy, jealousy and strife Is all its source of trouble. Remember these sweet words divine, Of Christ our Elder Brother. "Except you're one ye are not mine Then love ye one another."
Sunday 13th. At home all day, very stormy with snow.
Monday 14th. Health poor, weather very cold, at home fixing things a little in the store house.
Tuesday 15th. Very stormy. Wrote a few letters in the afternoon.
Wednesday 16th. Done but very little except mending up some tin ware for the women. Still stormy.
Thursday 17th. Storm some abated and inclined to thaw a little. Butchered hogs.
Friday 18th. Mending old chairs most of the day.
Saturday 19th. Very unwell. Spent a little time in writing.
Sunday 20th. At home all day copying into my journal.
Wednesday 24. Monday and Tuesday cold. Done nothing except to write a letter. Today still cold. Health still low on account of cold weather.
This Journal transcribed by Bertha McGee (Joel’s great grandaughter), her daughter Linda, and Linda’s husband Chuck Harrington. The resulting text was marked up using HTML for web presentation by Bertha’s son Scott.