Thursday, December 15, 2011



Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Uriah Curtis Company (1852) "Scotch Independent Company"

Departure: 28 June 1852
Arrival: 29 September, 1 October 1852
Company Information: About 365 individuals and 51 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs).

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
"16th Company," Deseret News [Weekly], 18 September 1852, 2.
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16th Company, Uriah Curtis, Capt., wife and 3 children; Elizabeth Barnum [Curtis]; Wm. Elmore [Elmer], wife and 3 children; Sally [Sarah] Williams and 4 children; Lyman Sweat [Swett]; Wm. Depew; John Depew; A[lfred] B[osworth] Child, wife and 2 children; Sally M[aria] Wilder; Hannah Wilder; John Child, wife and 2 children; Lehi Curtis and wife; Wm. Manning, wife and 2 children; Jacob Stump; Levi Bracken and wife; Wm. B[ailey] Maxwell, wife and 2 children; S[hadrach] F[ord] Driggs, wife and 6 children; Henry D[ill] Gifford wife and 2 children; Mary Ewel[l] and 6 children; Isaac Matthews [Mathis], wife and 5 children; John Matthews [Mathis], wife and 2 children; Allen Matthews [Mathis], wife and child; John Cummings, wife and 9 children; Wm. Ainscough, wife and 2 children; Lucinda Wakefield and Jane Wakefield; L[uther] C[ollins] Ramsay, wife and 2 children; Josep[h] Rooker, wife and 4 children; Hiram Elmer, wife and 6 children; Ira Elmer, wife and 6 children; Edward M. Webb, wife and 5 children; James Hofer; James W. Webb, wife and 4 children; Chas. Stoddard, wife and 3 children; B[enjamin] F[ranklin] Stoddard, wife and son; John Webster and wife; Ann Webster and 6 children; Wm[.] Bevin [Bevan]; Wm. Chatwin; Alva Benson, wife and 3 children; Hezekiah Benson; John Wilson and wife; Mary and Martha Hoff [Huff]; David Benson, wife and child; Wm. Stub[b]s and wife; [Benjamin] Gardner Curtis, wife and 5 children; Richard Stub[b]s, wife and 2 children; Abisha[i] Wyra [Wyer] and wife; John Stub[b]s; Wm. J[ackson] Jolley, wife and child; Geo. Wilson, wife and 6 children; E[lisha] H[ildebrand] Davis, wife and 3 children; James Rodaback [Rodeback], wife and 5 children; John P[idding] Jones, wife and 3 children; John Ashworth, wife and 2 children; John Greer and son; Thomas Davenport, wife and 4 children; Samuel Briggs, wife and son; Geo. Noakes, wife and 3 children; Sarah Perkins and 2 children; Edwin Holden. R[uia] A[ngeline] Holden and 5 children; Wm. W[ells] Maguire [McGuire] wife and 2 children; Margaret Tweed; John P[earson] Smith, wife and 5 children; Louisa Montieth; James Temes [Toms], wife and son; Caroline Stoddard; Erastus Curtis, wife and child; Eli Curtis, wife and child; Wm. A. Barton and wife.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Ashworth, William Booth, Autobiography, vol. 1, 3-5.
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I also remember when we got to Council Bluff, and the many wagons there were there, and of travelling up the Platte River. One day I saw, away off from the road, what looked like a black cloud which soon showed itself to be a herd of hundreds of buffalo coming toward us.
One of my duties was to gather buffalo chips for the camp fire. One night I saw the train turn off the road, and thinking they were going to camp, I took my sack from the rear end of the wagon and filled it with buffalo chips. Then I saw that the train was yet going on, and had gone quite a distance while I was filling my sack. It was after sundown, too, so I emptied my chips out, took my shoes off, and began to run as fast as I could. It was after dark before I caught the train, badly frightened, and in my hurry I lost my shoes and sack. Later on after camp was made, we were told we would have to go perhaps a quarter of a mile over a low hill to find drinking water. So John Davenport and I took our buckets and went for water. We had just filled our buckets when it began to pour down. Two women had just filled their buckets too, and as John and I started back, they insisted we were going back the wrong way. They led us off another way, notwithstanding we both objected going in that direction. The lightening and thunder increased terrifically and the good women lifted up their dresses and covered us completely with their full skirts. They began to shout as hard as they could, and we boys were crying as hard as we could. After some time the rain quit, and we kept on walking and shouting for several hours, until we saw a light in the distance. This proved to be the guard camp fire of another company, several miles ahead of our camp. The guards informed us that it was twelve o'clock. They started back with us, but we had not gone far before gun shots were heard, and as we got nearer we found it was men from our camp. Naturally we were glad to be rescued, and when we arrived at camp they were all in a state of excitement.

I recall how we camped at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in a grove of cottonwoods, and how the next morning we found a slight fall of snow--the first we had seen on the journey. When we were about to leave this camp, two peddlers came from the west (I suppose from Salt Lake) and brought an assortment of vegetables which were certainly appreciated. From there on were some steep, rough, narrow dugways.

We got in Salt Lake City just as the October Conference was in session.
[Also found in Clinton P. Ashworth, ed. Autobiography of William B. Ashworth, 1845-1934 ([Orem: Clinton P. Ashworth, 2001]), 2-3]

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Ewell, Mary Lee Bland, Reminiscences, 4. (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)
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How happy we were to be reunited and for William to see his year-old son for the first time. His health improved some he was home and we were happy. Then privations in that terrible winter of 1848 caused a relapse, and after a promise exacted from me that I would take the family and go with the Saints to Zion, he passed from this life in my arms. Leaving me grief stricken, I faced maternity again with Mammy Chloe my only attendant. Little Mary Jane was born (5 February 1849) four months after her father's [William Fletcher Ewell] death.

We then set about to keep our pledge to go to Salt Lake, the Zion of the mountains. Oh, how I missed him, always so faithful to the church, so kind and true. I could have gone back to luxury at home by repudiating our faith, but was not tempted, even in the face of poverty. So in a few years my faithful Mammy Chloe helped me bring my family to Salt Lake.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Holden, Ruia Angeline, to Nellie May Holden, 30 January 1881, Provo, Utah.
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In 1852 we crossed the plains in our own teams but destitute of clothing, so that when half way my oldest son Henry had worn his shoes out I gave him mine and sewed rags on my feet the rest of the way.
the 12th of October 1852 we came to Provo, . . .

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Jones, John Lee, Reminiscences [ca. 1900-1926], 3-6.
Read Trail Excerpt:
In the Spring of 1852, my father [John Pidding Jones] returned with some more provisions, so that we Might Gather with the Saints of God in the Rocky Mountains. We Hitched two Yoke of Oxen and one Yoke of Cows on the Waggon, put our Provisions & Clothing a few Tools, &. c, and Proceeded on our journey again on the 20th Day of June, With a Small Company of Saints that were going to the West, the Gathering Place of the People of God, in the last Dispensation of the fullness of times, in fulfillment of the Prophesies of Isaiah 2nd Chapt 2nd & 3rd Verses, Which reads as follows--and it Shall Come to pass in the last Days, that the Mountain of the Lords House, Shall be Established in the Top of the Mountain, and Shall be Exalted above the Hills, & all Nations shall flow unto it and Many People Shall go & Say, Come (p.53) Ye let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob and he will Teach us of his Ways, and we will Walk in his Paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, & the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Here is were the Zion of God is to be Built up. Hence My Father having the Spirit of the Lord Upon him, & Knowing that the Vengence of God & his Judgements was Soon to be poured out upon the Wicked of the Earth, he was led by the power of God to the Place of Gathering for his People in the Tops of the Mountain. We Journeyed Through The Territory of Nebraska, accross the Lonely Plains of Wyoming, Camping by the Way along the Streams & Springs of the Desert, Guarding our Families & Flocks by Night & Traveling by Day, in Companies of Tens, Twenties, and Fifties. Bro. Wm Maxwell the Captain of our Ten Waggons, Shot & Killed a large Buffalo, Wich served us for fresh meat for some time. We say Many large Herds on the Platt[e] Bottoms.
We was Visited Sometimes by different Tribs of Lamanit[e]s, or (Souix Indians, p. (54) as they were called by the Gentiles) They were Noble looking, large in stature[.] Some of them were 6 feet 4 Inches in Hight, Well developed in their Muscular Powers.

Some of them were of the Seed of Nephi, Spoaken of in the Book of Mormon, & Shall yet become a White & delightsome People, as the Lord [h]as predicted. Chap 16 III Book of Nephi, Page 514 Pr 10 And thus Commandeth the Father that I should Say unto you at that Day, when the Gentiles Shall Sin against my Gospel, and Shall be lifted up in the Pride of their Hearts above all Nations, & above all the People of the whole Earth and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, & of deceits, & of Mischiefs, and all Manner of Hypocrisy & Murders, and Priestcrafts, and Whoredoms, and of Secret abominations; & if they Shall do all those things, and Shall reject the fullness of My Gospel, behold Saith the Father, I will bring the fullness of My Gospel from among them.

And then I will remember my Covenant wich I have made unto my People, O House of Israel and I will bring my Gospel into them;

And I will Show unto thee, O House of Israel (the Indians) that the Gentiles Shall not have power over you, but I will remember my covenant unto you, O House of Israel, and ye shall Come unto the <(.55)> Knowledge of my Gospel.

But if the Gentiles will repent, & return unto me, saith the Father, behold they Shall be numbered among my People, O House of Israel.

And I will not Suffer My People, who are of the House of Israel, (The Indians) to go through among them, and tread them down, Saith the Father,

But if they will not turn unto one, and hearken unto My Voice, I will Suffer them yea; I will Suffer my People, O House of Israel, that they Shall go throgh among them, and Shall Tread them down, & they Shall be as Salt that hath lost its Savor, wich is thence forth good for nothing, but to be Cast out, & to be trodden under Foot of My People, O House of Israel, (that is the Lord will put his Spirit & his Power upon these Indians, & they will tread the Gentiles under their feet, Just as the Lord predicted, in the Book of Mormon). Viz--

Verily, verily, I Say unto you, thus hath the Father Commanded me, that I should give unto this People this Land for their inheritance.

And when the words of the Prophet Isaiah Shall be fulfilled w[h]ich Say.
Thy Watchman Shall lift up the Voice; with the Voice together shall they Sing, for they Shall See Eye to Eye when the Lord Shall bring again Zion.
Break forth into Joy, Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem for the Lord hath Comforted his People, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord hath made bare his <(p.66)> Holy Arm in the eyes of all the Nations; and all the Ends of the Earth Shall See the Salvation of God.
These things were predicted some 1800 years Ago, & are now being fulfilled in My Day.

I will resume my Biography.
After the Journey of Nearly 16 Weeks & 3 Days we ascend the Summit of the Rocky Mountains nearly 9000 feet above Sea Level, as we Stood gazing with rapture & delight, from the Summit of the Mountain. down into the Vally of the Great American Desert. with its Lake of Some 70 Miles in lengeth running North & South. by 30 Miles in Wideth, this to be the Place for the Gathering of all Nations, our Hearts Swelled with Gratitude to Our Heavenly Father for his goodness unto us while Crossing the long & Dreary Plains, Guiding us to Our future Home in the Mountains. as My Mind reverts back Upon the Scene it is Just 34 years Ago, our Cattle was Foot Sore & weary, on arriving in the Small "City of Salt Lake", the future Capital of "Deseret,"

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Wilson, Lucy Benson, Autobiography, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 22, item 1.
Read Trail Excerpt:
We started to Utah the 28 & crost the Misoury [Missouri] river the 29 of June—we came with father Benson! he had 2 lite wagons, 2 yoke of oxen[,] 2 yoke of cows. we had 1 cow & a few duds (there was 12 of us in them 2 wagons)
we have had good health in camp till this morning (July the 12) The cohlery [cholera] came & took Bro Bracken & Sister mathews [Mathis] from our midse
we traveled on our journey till the 23 when Brother Mathews [Mathis] died. their was 2 more deaths before we reached Laramie. at that place our company was divided in to 2 Com. so as to travel faster. our Com. No. 1 proceded on our journey.
at the Pasifick [Pacific] Springs we met my Brother James Benson with provision for us, which was thankfuly received[.] we traveled up hill & down hill & over Mountains & threw valleys & all manner of creekes & turns & snow & rain & cold. Still we felt to rejoice to know we would soon reach the valleys of the Mountains
we arieved in Salt Lake City September the 29 in good spirits.

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