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December 1849


1 December 1849 • Saturday

Started this morning feeling a little better from the repose of the night we travelled about 6 miles when we observed a Camp of wagons to the right about a mile and a half; we found <standing> water with <besides> the wagons & we unpacked & stopped until about 1 o’clock when we again started & reached the Bitter Spring as it is called we found some grass about a mile from the spring. Bro. Cain & Hy Phelp’s pack animals gave out to’day.1

2 December 1849 • Sunday

We travelled about 16 miles ascending this morning; when we came to the top of the ridge we caught the first glimpse of the Sierra Nevada; we stopped about two hours after crossing descending the ridge & let the animals rest; we then started & travelled until after nightfall when we struck the Mohahve where we camped; Bro. Cain, Hy Phelps & & [sic] myself stayed behind trying to get their animals up but to no avail as we had to leave them about 3 miles from Camp.2

3 December 1849 • Monday

Did not start until late this intending to go about 10 or 12 miles there were some emigrant wagons here, who had been living for the last 4 or 5 weeks upon beef; we let them have what flour we could spare for the women & children.3 There was <a> considerable quantity4 of timber on this stream & an abundance of grapes. There was no running water in the bed of this creek what water we had we found standing. We travelled about 12 miles & camped abo round the point of a Red Butte upon the Mohahve.

4 December 1849 • Tuesday

Provisions beginning to be scarce, some of our men went ahead to try & kill some deer they being said to be plentiful on this stream. It rained it pretty freely to-day making it very bad travelling. we arrived in Camp this evening wet, tired, & hungry having travelled about 20 miles; we build very large fires this evening wood being very plentiful. It ceased raining before we went to bed but commenced towards morning.5

5 December 1849 • Wednesday

Commenced snowing I felt quite unwell & remained in bed nearly all day the boys built a shanty of blankets over the beds. I slept to night in a tent belonging to a Mr. Neal an emigrant; it snowed all night. Our men tried to kill some game but were unsuccessful.6

6 December 1849 • Thursday

Ceased snowing during forenoon Bro. Rich started out this morning with some of the rest of the brethren, & found a deer lying in the bushes dead; it had been wounded yesterday & had laid down & died in the bushes, & soon afterwards some of the rest of the brethren came in with two. This meat came in very opportunely as we almost entirely out of any every kind of provisions; & we felt to return thanks to our Heavenly Father for his goodness to us in this our need.7

7 December 1849 • Friday

Travelled about 10 miles to day very bad travelling & camped in the timber the creek was running here spread nearly over the bottom. The night was very cold. This evening Bro. Rich called the company together to consult upon the propriety of part of the company going ahead & the remainder travel more slowly to try & get the weak animals thro’; he thought that it would be about 6 miles to the head of the Creek where we would turn off for the pass & about 20 miles from there to the Pass this he thought could be travelled by the strong animals in a day & he thought the weaker would be better to travel it in two; those that went ahead would be able to leave what provision they had to spare with those who remained this was the principal8 object in proposing the seperation, one half comprising Bro. Whittle’s mess & ours volunteered to stay & travel slower, it was unanimously agreed that Bro. Rich should go ahead.

8 December 1849 • Saturday9

Bro. Rich started very early; we started soon after & camped across the creek; which was quite a wide stream here. This evening some of the men that had been sent to the settlements for provisions by the wagons short of provisions arrived here tonight bringing some provisions; but would not part with any.10

9 December 1849 • Sunday11

Started this morning for the Cahoon Pass12 in the mountains the ascent was very gradual scarcly perceptible we met Hy Gibson13