The Church Historian's Press

April 1846

2 April 1846 • Thursday

Thursday <Wednesday>1April 2

Porter Rockwell arrived from Nauvoo having been there and returned since our departure he brought several letters but none for me We had written letters to send back I wrote one that night to send to my sister pinned it to his coat pocket said <it> should not be moved until he saw her we intend to pursue our journey in the morning. Brigham and his company have [p. 42] {p. 40} started in today Mrs. Whitney gave them some cakes as they passed to night we are to put away everything we are not using and be ready to take an early start

3 April 1846 • Friday

Thursday Apr 3.2 we started about eight <or nine> o’clock found pretty good roads to the next camp here we came up with Brigham it was in a wet prarie or moist ground not pleasant for camping at all we got there a little after-noon stopped and rested until Br. Kimball came up he having been detained to mend a wagon they then concluded it would be better to go on it looked like rain we went on found They found a man who had some corn to [p. 43] {p. 41} sell gave them an order to go and get it the company sent three teams from this place we had rather bad travelling most of the way we camped by ourselves about twelve miles from where we started it was about five oclock when we stopped[.] cold and windy night

4 April 1846 • Saturday

<Friday> Sat. Apr. 4.3 This morning Brigham passed us and went on. Three of Mr Whitneys oxen were missed sent three men on horseback after them found them about four miles off a man driving them as soon as they were found we began to get ready to start it had rained all the morning and by this time [p. 44] {p. 42} began to be very muddy Joseph had considerable trouble in starting his horse in the buggy broke a thill and cross piece it rained as if it would wet everything on earth about three miles brought us to [George] Millers camp here we crossed a small creek and ascened a very steep hill and are safely harbored all in good spirits.

5 April 1846 • Sunday

Sat April 44 It still continues to rain they say there is no crossing the creek now it has risen so high They have sent the cattle away to browze and men to watch them

6 April 1846 • Monday

Monday April 6

Br Kimball came into our wagon and related the following circumstances [p. 45] {p. 43} on Saturday evening he went into the woods by himself offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and prayed to the Lord that the storm might abate and the sun shine forth in His Majesty and for the health prosperity and salvation of the Camp of Israel. About twelve o’clock the storm ceased the sky became clear and was so light we could see to pick up a pin froze a very little. At morning the sun arose brilliantly and we had one of the most pleasant days we have had since we started on our [p. 46] {p. 44} journey although the ground was wet and muddy. About eleven o’clock they called the camp together and also Elder [William] Claytons company and a dry eminence of ground and there gave them some instruction to with regard to their teams and they should stop here until the weather and the roads would enable us to pursue our journey with more ease and pleasure taught them the neccessity of union patience meekness forbearance &c in order to make us happy. Bishops Miller & Whitney were present Miller said he had been out seven miles found the roads so bad it was impossible [p. 47] {p. 45} to pass. Elder Lorenzo [D.] Young gave a strong short exhortation and some remarks from Br. Hawes [Peter Haws]. They adjourned at about one o’clock had a good time the brethren filt [felt] the spirit of union and blessing instructed the Captain of each ten to call their com. together and administer bread & wine in his own company and also in Elder Clayton and Pratts Bishops Millers had a glorious time he thinks he has never seen the brethren & sisters more cheerful gave out an appointment for the Captains of tens to come together at 6 o’clock to take into consideration the propriety of sending after corn Then They [p. 48] {p. 46} assembled at <on> a high eminence about half way between the three camps it was thought proper to send for corn enough to last to Grand river as there is no corn to be bought between here and that place for less than three bits a bushel and but very little at that price Br Kimball concluded to send five teams Captain H. [Howard] E<gan> <Kimball> Clayton four teams5 Bishop Miller one the distance to inhabitants is twelve miles we being camped in an entire wilderness, in the timber of Shoal Creek the timber being almost wholly walnut or hickory. one or two Missouria[n]s came into the camp in the course of the day. The camp retired to bed <pretty> early rose very early on Monday [p. 49] {p. 47} morning the sixth found it had commenced raining the forest looked dark and dismal the rain poured down in torrents.

About seven in the morning ten wagons with four yoke of oxen each started for corn making in the whole forty yoke of oxen and twenty men we feel much for those who have gone as it is now twelve o’clock and it has not ceased raining one moment it continued raining until towards night when it stopped and looked like clearing away early in the evening or between seven and eight a rumbling noise was heard afar off in the air and soon after the wind commenced blowing a perfect hurricane [p. 50] {p. 48} overthrowing tents scattering fire and almost putting taking away our breaths the first blow lasted about twenty five minutes during which time the rain Commenced pouring down in torrents wetting beds through wagon covers &c. &c. the rain continued nearly all night with considerable wind and cold too

7 April 1846 • Tuesday

the morning <of the 7 Tuesday> found us all destitute of homes almost for only here and there a tent had stood the wind of the preceding night and now they were frozen so it was almost impossible to raise them the wind continued high through the most part of the day the ground was frozen they talked of starting in the morning to go on but the teams they send after corn did not arrive thatt night [p. 51] {p. 49}

8 April 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday morning of the 8th was pleasant but quite muddy did not seem very favorable for going across the prairie towards noon Bishop Whitney on horseback went out with some others to examine the roads came back and said it was impossible to go that day we had better stay where we were on half rations than try to go on[.] soon after the teams they sent for corn arrived bringing only [blank] bushels of corn finding no more to be sold this is all the corn we can have for our teams until we get to Grand river this is hard for the poor horses and cattle to drag through the mud with scarcely anything to eat [p. 52] {p. 50} they said likewise that the roads were very bad indeed they called a council and concluded to start the next morning Towards night P. [Parley P.] Pratts O. [Orson] Pratts and Bishop Millers company came up the hill to be ready to start in the morning also G. [George A.] Smith and Amasa [M.] Lyman

9 April 1846 • Thursday

Thursday <morning> the ninth was damp and looked like rain about eight o’clock we were all in our wagons one company following after another went on we found roads very muddy had not gone far before it commenced raining this made the roads worse than [p. 53] {p. 51} before we crossed some very bad sloughs and got stuck once we went on to Br. Kimballs company. about seven miles from where we started in the open prarie every thing wet a mile and a half from any wood it was a long time before they could start fires everything being wet of our families only Joseph with his family wagon and buggy and the Bishops one horse wagon are here there is five of us in one wagon and three of them in another to sleep or stay we happened to have a few biscuit with us or we would have been supperless the rain runs into our wagon it has wet the bed &c. Bishop Whitneys cow happened to come along so we had some milk for the children. it is the first time we have camped in the open [p. 54] {p. 52} prairie and the first time we have been seperated.

10 April 1846 • Friday

Friday Morning the tenth it stills keeps on raining and has rained all night the mud is very deep Joseph took a horse and went back to see where the folks were[.] found them in a perfect mudhole two or three <several> of their teams stuck fast so it was impossible to get them out last night this is a new era the most trying time we have had. Br. Kimball and some others are <about> starting on going to double teams and take some through to the timber about five miles and then return with the teams for the rest. Joseph went to his fathers camp several times in the course of the day and two of the Bishops wagons were brought up with one more of Josephs

11 April 1846 • Saturday

the next morning <Saturday eleventh> about [p. 55] {p. 53} nine o clock William Kimball Horace and some others returned with teams to take on the last of their wagons and also Josephs and some few more we all arrived at the camp in safety about <noon or> one o’clock it is a splendid camping ground the corner of a prarie skirted with wood I hope we may stay here until good travelling Br. Brigham is camped three miles farther on but is here now with Br. Kimball.

12 April 1846 • Sunday

Sunday 12. A pleasant day <quite> warm several men came down from Br. Brighams camp with him to hold a council here they are to dine with us[.] people are putting on their summer clothes to day it is so warm Bishop Whitney and Joseph K. have sent [p. 56] {p. 54} back teams after their wagons left behind and Lyman’s about eleven o clock the council set in the open air and continued until about two o clock they then took dinner and Brigham with his men returned to his camp[.] soon after Br. Kimball called the people together and administered the sacrament giving them some counsel and &c.

13 April 1846 • Monday

Monday 13.

Another beautiful day almost every one is washing Men are mending broken wagons fixing ox yokes repairing harnesses &c &c Tomorrow we are to leave this beautiful sequestered spot and go we know not whither

14 April 1846 • Tuesday

Tuesday Apr 14.

We put out this morning about nine o’clock. travelled five miles and camped on a hill above a [p. 57] {p. 55} pleasant wood near Brigham’s camp we have had some bad roads to day although very pleasant overhead picked whole bunches of wild flowers in the wood and fields there are two or three camps in view quite a scenery

15 April 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday April 15. We have spent this day in our camping ground Loenza and her father have received letters from home bringing word from Nauvoo of all manner of wickedness dancing schools grog-shops and billiard tables and every one supporting himself at the expense of his neighbor[.] also bringing tidings that Diantha Farr [Clayton] had a fine son in consequence of which on the same evening the band gave a christening [p. 58] {p. 56} giving music first with the brass band and then with drums and violins several songs also were sung this commencing soon after dark was kept up until after twelve o’clock.6

16 April 1846 • Thursday

Thursday Apr 16. We have had an April shower during the night just enough to cause the grass to spring up without doing much injury to the roads. we have travelled to day 6 or 7 miles of prarie and camped in the middle of it about two ’o clock Brigham and the band have camped in sight of us. Eight rattlesnakes have been killed in the course of the day two oxen have been bitten and one of William Kimballs best horses There is some little grass for the hor[s]es and cattle here some one discovered a bee tree and took from it several [p. 59] {p. 57} pounds of wild honey which has been divided between the different families it is the first wild honey I have ever seen tastes considerably of wild flow<ers> it has been almost uncomfortably warm during the whole day

17 April 1846 • Friday

Friday April 17.

A cool cloudy morning about nine o’clock we commenced our day’s journey travelled across the prarie the distance of eight miles once while walking with several other girls we saw a <large> rattlesnake the first I had ever seen we camped in a thick forest just above a creek we arrived here about one o’clock but some of the company had gone on to another camp through [p. 60] {p. 58} mistake families were divided some here and some there. after dinner Br. Kimball thought best to go on as there was a bad place to cross he would like to be on the other side before it commenced raining <a rain> about three o’clock we left this place just across the creek some one had set the prarie on fire how we were to cross this was a question it ran like lightning through the grass making a crackling among the bushes resembling the noise of burning crackers however they put out the fire the width of a road so we could just pass through the ground was black and the white ashes flew in our faces as we crossed about a mile brought us in sight [p. 61] {p. 59} of the camp just on the border of a prarie here we joined the rest of our company and camped for the night it is rather damp wet prarie. To night we had a little black wolf here some one had taken from a hollow tree in the woods it moans pitieously

18 April 1846 • Saturday

Saturday 18. Br Kimball this morning before breakfast went on about a mile and a half and selected a new camping ground on the border of <a> prarie just above a creek on the other side of which is a thick wood he then returned and directed us to come here Br. [John] Taylors company are camped on an opposite hill this afternoon the boys have been fishing in the creek and caught some little chub fishes such as abound in the streams of New England. [p. 62] {p. 60}

19 April 1846 • Sunday

Sunday Apr. 19. A pleasant day many of the brethren went this morning to Br. Brighams camp to meeting at 4 o’clock we had a meeting by the creek to administer the sacrament preaching by Br. Kimball and Br. Taylor a warm day and night in meet<ing> time Porter and Edwin Cutler returned from Nauvoo b[r]inging letters for several one for <me from Maria [Adeline Maria Woodward]7>

20 April 1846 • Monday

Monday Apr. 20.

A council has been held to day at Brighams camp in which the brethren have decided that those who are sufficiently prepared will cross the mountains while others will make a location on Grand river and there the brethren who have left their famili[e]s in Nauvoo are to stop and put in a crop and then return [p. 63] {p. 61} and bring their families to it that they may have something to come to not be destitute when they arrive there. They also decided that we should all be put on rations of half a pound of flour a day with other things this is I believe all I have heard at dusk Br Kimball called the company together to get corn for their horses it having come as they expected thirty five ears a piece for horses none for oxen.– some rain fell during the night.

21 April 1846 • Tuesday

Tuesday Apr 21

another pretty day some rain in the course of it part of Kimballs company have moved on today his <own> teams [p. 64] {p. 62} could not they some of them being gone for corn we intend to move on in the morning. Brigham Miller and several other companies have gone on today about six miles

22 April 1846 • Wednesday

Wednesday Apr 22

We are still here because some of the teams sent for corn have not yet arrived this morning two families by the name of Tracy left the company without giving any notice. Br. Kimball sent after them and bought their oxen and cow yesterday I forgot to mention that I wrote several letters to Nauvoo to send by Porter today I believe Mr. Whitney [p. 65] {p. 63} finished a trade with father Durphy8 for his oxen giving him Lot’s horses tomorrow morning early we are to move on. just after dark a storm came up the wind blew and <thunder> rolled and lightning flashed the storm continued all night

23 April 1846 • Thursday

the morning of Apr 23 found us here. Br. Durphy started about seven o’clock and about ten Porter Rockwell William Cutler and Br. Pond started off. before Porter went he came and treated us with wine in a twin-bottle about two o’clock found [p. 66] {p. 64} us ready for a start we went on without interruption until five o’clock when it began to rain slowly We saw dozens of rattlesnakes in passing along we camped about 4 miles from where we started just on the edge of a bank or cut on the other side there is a wolf’s den it has rained some but not much they say there is excellent feed for cattle here we are without wood and no bread cooked at all now the seabread9 comes in play to night we all made a supper of sweetened water and seabread;

24–25 April 1846 • Friday–Saturday

Friday Apr 24 this morn. [p. 67] {p. 65} is cool and beautiful I have picked some blue violets which remind me of New England here four of Br. Kimballs best horses have strayed away and men have gone on horseback to find them Br [Stephen] Markham came to our camp about nine o clock bringing with him several yoke of oxen which they put before Br. Kimballs wagons and took them to the next camp it was a pleasant place the corner of a prarie here we after dark ◊◊ Kimball and those who went with him returned with the horses found them about eight miles off. There we passed the night the next morning pursued our journey travelled about five miles stop and let the cattle feed for about [p. 68] {p. 66} two hours and then went on five miles farther and camped for the night

26 April 1846 • Sunday

Sunday Apr 26 We arose early and started as soon as possible considerable rain having fallen during the previous night the raads [roads] in some places were very bad about five miles brought us to the camp three miles from Grand river. Brigham. Miller. Taylor Pratt. Amasa Lyman and several other companies had arrived here before us. This is the place where they intend to put in a crop. this afternoon I crossed the creek or river found the most beautiful spot I ever saw viewing it from the opposite bank the ground was covered with a carpet of green and interspersed [p. 69] {p. 67} with flowers which might have done honor to the Elysian bowers Today Br. Brigham told them from the stand that no one should return to Nauvoo with his counsel until they had done something towards helping build <ing> up this place to help those who stay and those who shall come after they made some arrangements for work rail◊ing fence building log houses &c. &

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April 1846, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 21, 2024