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March 1846


1 March 1846 • Sunday

Sun. March 1.

In the morning I awakened out of a sound sleep and saw Mary [Houston Kimball] was preparing breakfast and the word was be ready to go at twelve of the o’clock we took breakfast; picked up and packed off as soon as possible, I rode with Orson in his wagon, about one o’clock. we took up a line of march and left Sugar Creek, [p. 23] {p. 21} travelled over a very bad muddy road, reached the encampment about four o’clock, formed a line with the wagons, pitched their tents, made their fires and soon had a place fitted and prepared to pass the night. We are all happy and contented as yet and determined to go ahead.

2 March 1846 • Monday

Mon. March 2. 1846

This morning was warm and sunny the most pleasant day we have had since we left the city we star[t]ed behind the principal part of the teams. the first hill we came to a balking horse they had in the family wagon began to show his obstinacy and [p. 24] {p. 22} hindered us considerably we went on about seven miles and camped in a hollow with Br. Kimballs company Josephs teams had gone on with the company ahead of us. and he was obliged to tent with his father.1 Sarah and I had a bed in the wagon and slept first-rate.

3 March 1846 • Tuesday

Tues. March 3.

This morning <we> arose early and Sarah Ann taking her mother in her carriage and Joseph on horseback beside them went on to overtake their teams. After breakfast Loenza [Pond Kingsbury][,] Maria [Anna Maria Whitney] and I took a walk in the woods just behind the tent we found stems of strawberry leaves green and fresh I intend to keep them [p. 25] {p. 23} as a memorial of the time when we returned we found they were about starting [Elizabeth] Ann and I came up the hill which was very long on foot seated ourselves on a prostrate log and here I am at the present time scribbling. We travelled about We reached the place of encampmen[t] about noon having travelled 3 miles finding almost all of the teams had gone we proceeded on our journey together with Joseph he having waited for our coming. about ____ miles ride brought us to Farmington a very pritty Western town. Here we saw thirty or more loafers loitering around the Grocery’s &c. [p. 26] {p. 24} [Orrin] Porter Rockwell on his mule rode up among them all armed and equipped which seemed to excite some of them considerably there being those there who knew him and they were overheard talking by themselves in a low tone of shooting &c. saying there would never be a better chance however nothing occurred of consequence.

From the village we had a very bad road it was so dreadful [m]uddy and crooked. Some of us walked along on the bank of the Desmoine considerable distance the roads being so exceedingly bad the horses could scarely draw their loads. It was after dark when we came in sight of the camp and a dismal looking [p. 27] {p. 25} it is the tents are all huddled in together and the <horses and> wagons are inter spersed some are singing and laughing some are praying children crying &c. every sound may be heard from one tent to another; it is late and I must retire.

4 March 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday March 4.

We have stopped all day in order to recruit the teams they being nearly tired out after dragging through the mud. We have washed mended visited &c. I[t] has been a <very> pleasant day.

5 March 1846 • Thursday

Thursday March 5 This morn. we started at ten o’clock. I walked perhaps a mile and a half along the shore of the Desmoine river when Porter came [p. 28] {p. 26} riding on his mule and said that <one of> Mr Whitney wagons had broke down I then went back to the wagons they were not yet up the first hill they took took the load from the broken wagon and put it on another and hitched on the horses. We travelled about three miles and came to the village of Bonaparte a very pretty Western town here we forded the river; it was very bad travelling and continued to grow worse; we went about a mile farther and camped on the bank of the river where we have an excellent view of Bona. The rest of the company have gone on about two miles farther there are only the two families camped here. [p. 29] {p. 27}

6 March 1846 • Friday

Friday March 6

This morning at ten o clock we were again on the road which we found very muddy and bad until we came to the prairie there it was better. We arrived at the camp about three in the P.M. having travelled about eight miles the teams were very tired and so were some of the folks. we found they were on very damp ground by the side of a little muddy brook. After the tents were pitched Mr Whitney and Orson made a rustic bedstead of poles for Sarah. [p. 30] {p. 28}

7 March 1846 • Saturday

Saturday March 7.

This morning about the time we were ready to start a man by the name of Cochran came and laid claim to a yoke of oxen belonging to Mr W. said they strayed or were stolen from him three years before[.] to avoid trouble Mr. W. paid him his price which was thirty dollars in gold. This day we have had rather better roads we travelled about nine miles and camped in a pleasant valley by a small stream of water about three miles from the principal encampment.

8 March 1846 • Sunday

Sunday March 8

Today we are have been detained in consequence of Sarah’s being sick she has a [p. 31] {p. 29} fine boy2 her father has named this place the Valley of David in honor of the child it is situated in Chequest county Iowa. <2½ miles East of Richardson’s Point> Chequest township Van Buren Co. At evening Brigham [Young] & Heber came down from the camp with their wives, and <Mary Ann [Angell] Young & Vilate [Murray] Kimball> took supper and blessed the child; it has been a lovely day, warm and beautiful.

9 March 1846 • Monday

Monday March 9.

About noon William [H.] Kimball came with an easy carriage, to convey S____ [Sarah Whitney Kimball] to the camp; she started about two of the <o’>clock Horace [K. Whitney] and I rode in the buggy behind them, the teams followed after, all arrived in safety about four o’clock. [p. 32] {p. 30} <of the clock> Pitched Pitched their tents on the side hill, next to Br. Kimball; the tents here in rows like <a> city; it is really a houseless village. Just at dusk the band commenced playing and some of the young people collected and amused themselves by dancing.

10 March 1846 • Tuesday

Tuesday March 10.

This is a stormy day, a part of the camp intended to have moved on but it impossible; it is very muddy without yet the tents seem to be quite dry. Tuesday night at twelve o’clock the tent hooks on one side gave way and the tent pole leaned but Orson being on guard saved it from falling. The rain is pouring down in torrents [p. 33] {p. 31} here and there it sprinkles through the tent yet we keep a good fire and are quite comfortable.

11 March 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday March 11.

Today I slept till one o’clock after being up all night the rain had beat through the tent and wet my pillow and the quilts but I did not take cold Mrs W. has been quite <unwell> all day Sarah gets along finely. Horace has gone to Keosauqua3 to a concert4 I am sitting up again tonight.

12 March 1846 • Thursday

Thursday March 12. It has been an unpleasant day at times a slow drizzly rain and then thick clouds gloomy and dismal they are all asleep around me. Sarah is not quite so well to night [p. 34] {p. 32} We continued in this place being prevented by the mud until Thursday the 19. we then proceeded on our journey Sarah had an ox wagon fixed to ride in we left about eleven o’clock we had not gone far before S____ began to grow sick from the easy rocking of the wagon and she was no better until we arrived at the stopping-place Sarah has sunk to sleep

20 March 1846 • Friday

Friday March 20.

This day has been cold and chilly we hav we have fixed a stove into the wa [p. 35] {p. 33}

Friday March 20.

This day has been cold and chilly we had a stove fixed in the <a horse> wagon and a bed for Sarah; her mother, and I rode there with her we had pretty good road all day travelled about fou[r]teen miles stopped in a mean damp place Sarah stayed in her wagon and had a fire all night.

21 March 1846 • Saturday

Saturday March 21

This morning we started we started at ten o’clock had a pretty decent road most of the way travelled eleven miles and camped in a pleasant place almost at the outside of the camp it has been a [p. 36] {p. 34} dark gloomy day.

22 March 1846 • Sunday

Sunday March 22

This morning about nine o’clock we left the camp went about a mile and came to the bottoms they were not so bad as we had anticipated after we got across the bottom we went into the wood came in sight of the a camp crossed the Chariton river here the scene was indescibable some in a boat teams wading through and men dragging them up the hill with a long rope the banks were very steep and muddy and the road very bad for a mile beyond one very long steep hill where they had to double team [p. 37] {p. 35} just at the top of the hill was the camp we came on beyond all the rest so we might be a little more retired. it is quite a pleasant situation here we all rejoice that we came over the river today for it rains very hard we have had some thunder and lightning this evening we have only travelled about five miles. This is Sarah’s birthday.

23 March 1846 • Monday

Monday March 23

This has been a stormy day we were obliged to tarry on account of the weather about two in the afternoon we had some hail they fell as large or larger than buckshot it continued to rain through the night. [p. 38] {p. 36}

24 March 1846 • Tuesday

Tuesday March 24 Today as yesterday is rainy and unpleas<ant> very exceedingly muddy at evening Sarah thought it being so very wet and damp it would be more comfortable in her wagon so they prepared it and about four in the afternoon she left the tent

25 March 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday March 25.

Last night considerable snow fell this morning is was quite cold some snow has fallen during the day very muddy Mrs. Whitney has taken up her abode in the family wagon two or three doors from Sarah this evening Horace has been playing on his flute sounded very melodious at a little distance. [p. 39] {p. 37}

26 March 1846 • Thursday

Thursday March 25 <26>.

This has been a pleasant day the first one we have had this week Mrs. Whitney has been quite sick all day better this evening I am with her now

27 March 1846 • Friday

Friday March 28 <27>

another fair day not quite as muddy as it has been Orson and George Sexton started this morning on a hunting excursion Mrs. Whitney is better has visited Sarah they are now in the tent together it is the first time Sarah has left the wagon since Tuesday she stayed in the tent until after dark took supper there and then went back rested very well all night [p. 40] {p. 38}

28 March 1846 • Saturday

Saturday March 28.

This morning I feel first-rate it is sp[l]endid the sun shines brilliantly the ground is somewhat frozen it is rather cool; the sick ones are all better.

29 March 1846 • Sunday

Sunday March 29

This has been another warm sunshine day we are still here nothing new except Mr [Stillman] Pond has returned from a trading excursion in the country has sold the riding colt for one yoke of oxen and another horse for another.

30 March 1846 • Monday

Monday March 29 <30>

another fine day Sarah has been taking a ride to day for the first time. Spencer5 has given Loenza a young squirrel which she intends to tame [p. 41] {p. 39}

31 March 1846 • Tuesday

Tuesday March 30 <31>

To day has been a pleasant day nothing occurred of consequence. we are still here cooking and eating. Wednesday Apr 1 & Thursday nothing happened worth mentioning.

Footnotes

  1. [1]In Nauvoo, Joseph Kingsbury “was adopted a gospel son of Bishop Newel K. Whitney. Worthy Saints whose fathers were not members of the Church were often adopted into the families of prominent leaders.” (Cook, Joseph C. Kingsbury, 93; see also “Sealing . . . Adoption Sealings,” Gospel Topics, accessed 28 Feb. 2020, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/sealing?lang=eng.)

  2. [2]David Kimball.

  3. [3]Keosauqua is one of several villages located in Van Buren County, Iowa, on the horseshoe bend of the Des Moines River and has been county seat since 1839. (History of Van Buren County, Iowa, 384, 467.)

  4. [4]William Clayton wrote that the band played concerts in Keosauqua several nights. “In the morning I reported to President Young our success and the request of the citizens of Keosauqua and he advised us to go again. We accordingly started about 11 o’clock. I again rode with Wm Kimball, Horace Whitney and James Smithies.” (Smith, Intimate Chronicle, 262–264.)

  5. [5]Likely Orson Spencer.