A Sketch of the Year 1845 - John H. Tippets
In the year 1845 after a serious spell of ill health, the mob enraged in Hancock County began to burn and plunder houses of our people by the order of Mr. Backinstork. The sheriff and the county turned out and dispursed the marauders from the county but by their continued depredations, we agreed to leave in the spring of 1846 for the west for California or some point. In the Fall of 1845 we went into arrangements for removal. I hardly knew whether I should have means to start. After much, much struggle and fatigue, by the assistance of Miss Bradford, a widow, I made out to start in may the 15, 1846.
I went one mile to the river, stayed on the bank of the river over night, crossed over in the morning, went one mile to the bluff. Stayed over night, was met the next morning by my brother-in-law, Simeon Howd who lived on the river Des Moin, eight miles from our camp. I started in company with him to go to his house. Went three miles through a very bad road put up for night. Started in the morning, got to his house near sundown stayed there two weeks in which time my wife, Caroline, was confined and brought forth a fine son.
Started from there the first of June in company with Simeon Howd and Miss Bradford and her father and mother and her brother and wife who was sick with the consumption. We traveled three days with considerable difficulty in consequence of bad roads, got to Farmington, crossed the river Des Moins traveled 70 miles through scattered settlements which brought us into an extensive prairie of a hundred and 30 miles where we came to the camp of the saints in the fore part of Pisgal. We stayed there 8 or 10 days. Brother Sprig whose wife was sick with the consumption died. Then we started for Council Bluffs of a 130 miles. We arrived there not far from the 10th of the month of July, when the call was mace by the United States for volunteers for California. Council from the President of our Church was to go. I camped my family on Missouri bottoms one mile from the Mormon ferry in company with John and Nathan Taner here. I enrolled my name in the army for California the 15th of July. On the 18th of July my daughter Sariah was taken sick with a fever which was poor. On the 22nd day of July we took up a line of march for Fort Levensworth. Traveled three miles camped for the night, Having no tents, we made a little shelter of brush to lay under. The night passed off. We took up march in the morning. I started with a heavy heart, looking back on the condition of my family.
We traveled 13 miles. Night overtook again. Took our lodging under the brush again. About midnight Brother Boland of the Third company died, was buried in the morning in his blanket and some books around him. Took up the march. I started again with my wholly upon the condition of my family. This was on the 23rd day of July, a very hot and sultry day. We camped this night 4 miles from Nishnabotna. Here we camped in the woods on a little creek. The night passed off very agreeably.
With the most of the company we took up march this the morning of the 25th, passed through Nishnabotna, crossed the big Tarkio a beautiful stream and a beautiful pleasant country, fine rolling prairie and a good quantity of timber, good crops of grain of all kinds.
Here we come in Atchison County the first county in the boundry. We camped near the county seat for the night. Little before dark Brother Morly came into our camp. Here one of our men was taken sick. Hands was laid on him and he recovered in a day or two. In seeing disease and sickness coming into our camp my feelings were wrought up to consider the uncomfortable situation of my family and the anxiety of my mind was inexpressible. I particularly requested Brother Morly to see my folks or the Brothers Taners and send my wife word concerning me here.
We rose on the morning of the 26th of July with just rations enough for our breakfast. Traveled till noon. Stopped as usual for two hours, had nothing for dinner and the day extremely hot and sultry. Some of the men getting sick. The country is a beautiful rolling prairie with small groves of timber. We took up line of march for the afternoon traveled til night. Our commissary went to hunt for provisions but did not catch up with us so we had little or no supper but ate some meat and drank some coffee and laid down under a few bushes for the night. The commissary came up about midnight.
We rose in the morning took our breakfast. On the morning of the 27 of July ordered to march. The day very sultry and hot, and traveling under the south side of the bluff we traveled on til noon. Stopped as usual for rest when a brother by the name Thayer overtook us from the bluffs which caused me to inquire for my folks and Brother Taner. He told me that Brother Taner and his boys had gone over the river which gave me such sorrow and grief but we had to march as usual. But the news that I heard drove my mind anxiously homeward for it seemed to me that I should sink under every step that I took. I could hardly help from showing my feelings to every person that I spoke to.
Night came on. We camped as usual having a few bushes for our covering. Rose the following morning took up our line of march as usual traveling through a beautiful rolling country with convenient groves of timber. The weather very warm and uncomfortable. Came into a little town by the name Oregon, a beautiful situation. The inhabitants very friendly, apparently. Left there a little before noon. Traveled on til nearly night. Crossed the Nodaway, a beautiful stream of water where we camped for the night. Here we came into a timbered country timber heavy and thick. The weather extremely hot and uncomfortable traveling. We traveled several days in the timber. Came into quite a large town by the name of St. Joseph. This town is on the Missouri River and is a handsome place. We marched through in double file with the music in front in good nearly all the inhabitants gathered by the sides of the streets, in stores and houses gazing as though they were amazed and observed that we kept the best order and made the best appearance of any company that ever marched through the town.
We traveled on 5 or 6 miles camped for the night on a little creek on the Missouri River bottom. Camped as usual under a few bushes. Here I saw Brother Matthews again returning from Fort Levensworth to Council Bluff. I improved the night and wrote a letter to my family. Rose early in the morning, looked up the brethern gave him the letter with overbalanced anxiety that it should get to my family, not knowing where they were or what had become of them after hearing that the Brothers Taners had gone over the river, which I learned after a number of days was incorrect, which gave me some peace of mind. After breakfast we took up the line of march, traveled on for a number of miles, raising the bluffs again into the timber again onto what was called the Snake Hills, passing a few houses in a place that was called Bloomfield. Camped 6 miles east of place for the night. About 11 or 12 o’clock at night there rose a boisterous wind and blowed the trees and timber in every direction a short distance from us, but there was not a tree nor limb fell to the ground where we were camped. In going along the road the nest morning and seeing the trees and limber in every direction it truly seemed as though the kind hand of the Lord had kept us from the power of the wind.
The next place we came into was Weston 6 miles above Fort Levensworth. We passed through this town on the 31 day of July. The weather intensely hot and dry. The inhabitants of the town gathered upon every side and corner of the street looking with unexpected amazement to see so many Mormons enlisted which they thought would not be done. In this town I saw John__gle standing in the door of a stable who was one of the men _______ the murder of ______ Smith which _____________ June 27, 1844. Marched one mile and below town made halt about two o’clock for the night. Here we were 170 miles from the bluffs, very much fatigued and tired and our clothes all dirty. I tool my clothes and some soap went to the little creek to wash. The water only 3 or 4 inches deep and the bottom very muddy. I rubbed on some soap put my clothes into the water and the mud and dirt stuck to them as fast as I could wash it off. I took it and wrung them out. By this time it was nearly night. We took supper laid down as usual under some bushes.
Rose in the morning. After breakfast took up the line of march, came to the river Buwhare. We crossed over to the fort. It took most part of the day. We all got over, formed the line marched up to the fort in order to the west side of the fort and camped for the night. Made a draft on the quartermaster and drawed our tents. Now every fellow went to work and pitched our tents.
Now it was night and the first day of August. We rested trough the night very comfortable in our tents for the first and tenth day of our travel. I rose in the morning second of August looked around the fort. Everything looked solitary and lonesome, nothing looked interesting or intelligent. As I had been used to seeing and hearing the scribes that were well instructed bring forth out of his treasures things both new and old it seemed as though the power of darkness controlled the air and elements.
But we possessed to draw out rations, guns, and equipage, knapsacks and canteens in which time I was waiting with the greatest anxiety of mind that a man could have that had a family that was near and dear to him. Least this might fall into the hands of some that might think that I had unnecessary feelings in regard to my family, I would just say that they were left in the open prairie in a wagon exposed to the wind and storm and as I started in the fore part of this history I heard that they were left alone as I supposed and could get no information of them now.
We laid here til the 7th of August and I took a notion to go to Weston, 6 miles above here to trade a little where I found Brother Highins who returned to the Bluffs from the army on the morning of the 24th of July. He presented me a letter from my family stating that they are all well except Sariah which was sick when I left. Also that the Brothers Taners had not left my folks as I heard which gave me great satisfaction and gave great relief to my mind. One think slipped my mind. On the night of the 5 of August Brother Jailo Hyde, P.P. Pratt and little came to camp which gave great joy to us.
On Thursday we drawed our money. On the 6th day of the month we were all engaged in making arrangements to send money to our families and to the poor. I improved the time and sent thirty dollars to my family and a letter also which means was taken by P.P. Pratt on the morning of the 7th of August.
Now I have come to the 8th of August which was yesterday. Nothing particular took place and I took my little book and began to write this morning, the 9th of the month which is Sunday. I rose early in the morning and commenced to write. It is now ten o’clock and there is a general time of health. Some few are sick. One or two taken to the hospital. On my own part I have reason to rejoice and praise the Lord for my health. I traveled and carried my knapsack from 16 to 20 miles a day and endured the journey beyond my expectations, being of a slender constitution and some of our healthy, rugged men were taken sick every day or two. We had from 10 to 15 in the wagons.
At once its enough to try the feelings and rend the heart of man that has any degree of feelings or sympathy for human beings to see them suffering under the power of disease and rolling around on the ground and in wagons rolling over rough roads and bridges without anything that is nourishing or comfortable for food or lodging. Great and good are the feelings of God that he has made a way possible whereby we can come to Him and be saved and redeemed from death and suffering. Surely might the Savior mourn and weep over the distress and sufferings of a nation that was doomed to destruction, not that I think this the case with us, but knowing what we have suffered by oppression gives a foresight what must be the end of the oppressors. We as a people having an appearance of the event of things that are not yet made manifest can look upon the fallings of nations and consider the consequences that must necessarily attend while we can see hear and feel the sufferings and of our people as we travel through the world as strangers and pilgrims as not know yet well known as dying, yet we live as poor, yet we are rich as possessing all things as forsaken. Yet we are comforted and administered unto so we need to be comforted and take joyfully the spoiling of our goods in hopes of a more glorious resurrection when the groaning of the sick will cease. The cries of the widow and the fatherless heed one away, and peace and happiness cover the face of the land.
It is now twelve o’clock in the 9th day of the month on Sunday and we expect to hear a discourse from Lieutenant Dyres this afternoon at the four o’clock. The brethren gathered together a goodly number of them. We had a very interesting discourse upon conducting ourselves in all wisdom and prudence, not suppose that because we were in the army of the United States that are commonly practiced under such circumstances, but showing ourselves afraid of God in all things.
The morning of the 10th August has appeared warm and pleasant and the camp in a general state of health. On the 15 day of August we left Fort Levensworth. Took up march for the West. Came to Strangers Creek 25 miles from the Fort. Thence to Bansus River. The 16 we passed through the Delaware and Raw Indians. Here we came to a point where we stopped two or three days, and there came a storm and the wind and blowed of a good many wagon covers and tipped over one and one near 20 rods. Blowed it over. The weather turned off mild and pleasant. We left this place the 22 of August. Came to the Oregon Road, 6 miles, to Santa Fe Road, 9, Elm Grove, 3 miles where we stayed overnight. Rock Creek seven miles creek 110. Thus far it is mostly prairie, no timber, only on the creeks. Switzer Creek-8, BeaverCreek-16, do the same-1,5 do the same- 6, do the same-5, do the same –7, do the same –6, Big John Spring-5 miles, counGrove-2. we laid by here three days in which time John Baswick and his wife died. She on the 28, he on the 30th day of August. Here was a Handsome grove of timber and fine country and some part of this country on the road is fine and beautiful.
On the 31 day of August we left here. Traveled over high rolling prairie. Crossed Rock Creek to Diamond Springs16 miles, one creek 1,5 miles and a half from the Spring. Do 1,5 Lost Spring 12 miles where we camped. Cottonwood Fork 14 miles, Turkey Creek 8 miles, do three miles, do 4 miles, do 3, do 3. Little Creek 18 miles, Buit Creek 10 miles, Little Cow Creek 5, Big Cow Creek 4, Elm Creek 17 miles, Valnut Creek 6 miles, Ass Creek 20 miles, Pawne Fork 5, Arkansas Run 11 miles, crossing Arkansas Crossing 45 miles.
We came to this place on the 15 of September, a march of one month through a country of prairie. Little or no timber, hardly enough to do our cooking. We saw a good many buffalo and killed a good many. Their meat is very palatable, full equal to beef or better. A night in this time we had to cook our supper with buffalo dung. We laid by here at Arkansas one day.
On the night of the 16 of September I wrote a letter to my wife having an opportunity to send it back the next morning. Here the families that came along with us parted and went up to BentsFort, from there to Fort Larimy to winter no timber across to Santa Fe into a dry barren prairie with no timber, water very scarce. We traveled 60 miles and carried our water, saves a little. We got out of little/ bundles on the night of the 19 of September. We came to what is called the Simeron Creek 60 miles from Arkansas River. The next morning to the Simeron Spring, distance of the 20 of September up the Simeron bottoms traveled several days and had to dig for our water every night. This creek is called the Simeron yet it is dry and has the appearance of an extensive water course anciently.
We followed it until we came into a broken country where it had every appearance of the head of an extensive river that once ran through a beautiful pleasant country. One would hardly think of it being of ancient curiosity without the understanding of the Book of Mormon. The rocks and hills denote something of ancient revolutions of the earth. In passing through this country and reflecting on the history of the Book of Mormon one can discern the overthrow of a country that has been once beautifully populated, now lays a dry barren desolate country which will make a man of serious reflections lonesome and homesick.
After leaving Simeron we came to the Cold Spring where we camped for the night. The branch water and where we dug for water on the Simeron. The water tased similar to salt and would work on the bowels moderately and we could see the resemblance of salt on the hand and on the sand. I often thought of Sodom after leaving the Cold Spring the 25 of Sept.
On the 26 we passed Seder Spring, came to MacMiriserSpring where we camped for the night. The next day passed the Cottonwood Spring about noon. Came to Rabitears Creek and camped on the 29 of September. On the 0 day passed a large high mound. Came to Rock Creek where there was nothing for the cattle to eat. We ate our supper of fresh meat and traveled 6 miles and camped for the nigh t. It was near 10 o’clock started the next morning before breakfast. Traveled 3 miles. Stopped in a narrow bottom on the first day of October for breakfast. Here again I discovered every appearance of once a beautiful and large stream of water. The holes and crevices in the rocks denoted the working of water that once run through a beautiful country, but now a dry and barren desolate desert. Here Brother Hyde and Dykes went 2 miles from the road and saw 2 walls that showed ancient workmanship from 8 to 10 feet between them. Had the appearance of an ancient building.
The second day of October we passed the point of rocks in the morning where there was a beautiful steam. Camped for night. On the morning of the 3rd we came to Oute Creek. Here from the express we received from General Carna, our commander, who thought it best to divide the battalion and take the best teams and the strongest men and hurry to Santa Fe to prepare to go over the mountains and leave the sickly and the weak teams come up with more care. This plan was agreed on with the officers which caused great sorrow. I was one to take the force march.
For two to three days past we have been in sight of scattering timber but very scarse. We traveled 10 or 12 days. No timber in sight. We cooked our provision with buffalo dung. Here on the 3rd of October as I stated on the other page, we arranged for parting. Started about one hour before sundown. Marched 18 miles, stopped about midnight by the Wagon Mountain. Very tired and fatigued. The next day marched 18 miles. Camped on a small creek where there was abundance of rock and pine shrubs.
In the morning we marched 5 miles. Came to a house on the Rio Mora River. Here we came to groves of pine timber on the ledges and small mountains. On the 6th of October we came to ---abagus, the first town. The next was Colota, 4 leagues or 12 miles. Marched 6 miles from this place. Camped near to small town. Next morning went 7 miles. Came to San Migil. We were three days passing through the divides of the mountains and through the valleys.
On the 8th day of October we passed the narrows where the Spaniards mustered 7,000 men against General Corna. He drove them back without the firing of a gun. On the 9th we marched into Santa Fe. These Spanish towns and cities are built of sundried brick about 8 inches wide and a foot or over long. They are mixed with straw. They have no form or order in building or in the streets. Their buildings make me think of a brickyard. Here our head officers have made the arrangement for the sick and feeble to go back to Fort Pirbelows to winter and also the families that are here and to start early in the spring for California and meet us at the erpese of government. This city is said to contain 7,000 inhabitants. Their mud buildings are scattered over a good deal of ground and is said to be six miles around it. The inhabitants have not much enterprise; are lazy and indolent and of a dark Indian color. They have two Catholic churches here. The outside looks like a pile of mud the bretheran that have been into the inside say they are neatly finished on the inside. The people here have to turn the streams out of their course in little ravines to water their crops on the account of there being little or no rain in this country. They raise very good wheat and decent corn and beautiful onions. They also have large flocks of goats and sheep, use cows and oxen which seem to be the principal part of their living. They use a great deal of goats milk.
This contains a broken history of the country and of my travels up this date, which is the 16th of October. On the 19th of October we left Santa Fe. Took our journey down the river Rio Des Moines. Traveled 6 miles. Camped for the night. Started the next morning. Traveled 14 miles. Camped near a little town called Banaleo. The next day past Sandea and struck the River Dellnort and came into the bottom of the river which was dry and traveled in the sand, which traveling for several miles came to Qualotro.
24th of October. This day we wasted. The 25th of October came to Avor Cakey. Same day past Norrilba, same day Parecas. Camped near a place called Dighlaitras. 26th past Loana, past Canaldona, one called Thomay, past on the 27th Chave and Naly Solvanade. 28th past a large place called Sandenoak. On the 29th camped near a place called Pulvarearo. On the 31st Looparira one called Souckquarus. On the opposite side of this place is a place called Sadina.
The first of November past through a place called Nloupus. This is the last town. We past River Rio Pelln, the country of a poor sandy soil. The people keep large flocks and herds and herd their stock and farm without fences. The country hilly and mountainous. The people live in towns and in mud houses one story and roofs nearly flat.
On the 2nd of November we left the road leading to Chevaway. Took to the right down the Rio Grande River where there was no road but a trail that had been traveled with pack mules. Traveled on til the 4th of the month. Camped for the night. Rested. On the morning of the 4th of November brother by the name of Hampton in Company A was buried.
On the 24 of October we was reduced to three quarters of a pound of flour to a man a day, three quarters ration of pork shinjar and coffee pound and a half of beef. On the 1st of November we was reduced to one half pound of flour for a day. Other rations as yet remain as before stated.
Form this date, the 5th of November, I should endeavor to keep my history better,. Arranged circumstances have rendered it quite difficult up to this time to keep all things correct.
The morning of the 6th of November has appeared warm and pleasant. We took up march on our journey. After one day’s lonesome, barren and desolate, uninhabited. We traveled this day til 2 o’clock and camped on the river called the Rio Grande. A long range of mountains on the opposite side and some small banks that show the appearance of salt that has lost its ____tive. The country shows the appearance of conventions and revolutions and antient desolutions according to the history of the Book of Mormon. It is evidently the case, for truly the land is desolate, lonesome and barren and seems to be in almost every kind of disorder; mountains, hills, and points of curious organization.
This, the 7th of November, we marched through sandy hard traveling and no road. Got along very slow for several days. November 8th which if Sunday, we marched 7 miles and camped. The country is yet desolate and lonesome. Nothing looks natural but a few cottonwood trees are scattered along the river. We have no road. The pilots look it out as we travel along. It is sandy, hard traveling. We have to push at the wagons which makes it tiresome and on half rations which makes it still worse. The north we marched over rugged barren hills and two small bottoms, nothing to be seen but hills and vales. Lonesome and desolate. No animals to be seen, not so much as should not think that any live thing would stay here no longer than it would take them to get away
On the evening of the ninth the way got so bad and leads so heavy we received orders from the Colonel to have all the sick and weakly fitted out with 26 days provisions and one wagon, 5yoke of oxen and sent back to Santa Fe or Pirbelow. On the morning of the 10th we made ready as fast as possible and started little after noon. Came 4 miles and camped. 53 in number. Rose on the morning of the 11th, made ready and started. Came on a piece and two more sick seemed to be improving and we made a move forward. There is now three sick with the measles and I greatly fear the company that’s gone on will have serious times with them. On the morning of the 13th we made ready and started. The sick seem to be improving. My health is tolerable good but we got where we had got to go to packing mules and I had hired my knapsack carried but the prospect of hirering failed and there was no way for me to get it carried but to buy a horse or a mule and I had borrowed so much money to send back to my family that I could not pay for one and I had been subject to a lame breast and I thought it not wise for me to undertake to carry a knapsack of 10 or 11 pounds on my back 600 or 700 miles, but to leave the breathern was grevious to me and against my feelings. If I could got a horse to ride it was my choice to gone on to New Mexico November 13, 1846.
November 14 we rose in the morning prepared to march and started early. The sick walked along slowly. I still feel grieved to part with the battalion and had I a horse I should go on to overtake them. We got along very slow. Our team is poor, the sick are weak.
November 15 before breakfast prepared and started. One man very sick. We went to put him into the wagon. We thought he was dying and we laid him on the ground again. He came to. We took him on a blanket and carried him up the hill near a quarter of a mile. The road being sandy the load heavy. There we put him in and started. The day is cloudy and cool. Some rain and I set under a cottonwood tree near the Rio Grande River, New Mexico. The man that I spoke of this morning that was sick died ten o’clock in the wagon, and being in 6 miles of the place where we buried Brother Hampton, we thought we would carry him along and buried them together. So I with six others was selected to go ahead and dig his blanket and wrapped him up and put him into the ground. Put down some poles to keep the dust off from his and filled up the grave and left. It is now 7 o’clock in the evening and firelight. November 16 the morning is clear and cool but pleasant. Some of the men are quite sick and taken sick last night. The days pass off lonesome and melancholy. The men are feeble and we get along slow and we have no way to make them comfortable.
November 17th the morning is cool and cloudy. We are making our way up the Rio Grande River to Santa Fe. The sick seem to be improving except Alisha Freemone. He is very sick. I yet feel lost and lonesome with pasting with the brethren. I had much rather gone with them then to return back if I could got a horse without taking all my wagons which I knew my family needed. So by the counsel of Captain Hunt and Lieutenant Clark I consented to come back. We past a little slew that was so salty that we could not use it. The latter part of the day was cold and snowy.
November the 18th the morning is cold but pleasant. We are camped in the woods on the Rio Grande River. Some of the men are very sick. The days pass lonesome and sorrowful. My desire is and was to go with the battalion if I could gone without being made a pack mule of, to go back is against my wish.
O solitude where are thy charms in days and hours in lonely meditation. My mind has roamed in the scenes and in thy borders is not to be found the sevets of a contented mind. And peace is not to be found in thee. Why should my mind roam on these lonely hours while God rules and gives His spirit to His saints for the best. In thy will I put my trust. Give me thy spirit oh God. Keep me in thy arms of love and safety. And in thy cause I will be content.
In New Mexico on the River Rio Grande I am tented on the ground. At Council Bluff I expect my family is to be found. In God I must put my trust and in the sweet influence of His spirit a rest and with joy and gladness say to God all things work together for the best. It is now 2 o’clock. It’s a day of rest with us.
November 19th. The day is cold by pleasant. The mountains are covered with snow. The valleys are bare and cattle are grazing. Alisha Freemone and William Carter are very sick, nigh unto death and no way to be made comfortable. How sad the moments pass and in a strange and desert land. Alisha Freemone died today at half after 12 o’clock November 19th. Near sundown he was entered here in the plains far form his friends and his wife so dear. Must the blooming youth sleep and rest.
November 20th. Last night one o’clock Richard Porter died, was buried this morning at seven o’clock. Brother Freemone and Brother Carter was buried between Neboafins Souckquoarns. Brother John Green and Brother James Hampton was buried 24 miles south of Neboafins.
November 20th (sic) We past Souckquoarns the day cool and pleasant. Three sick men now are in the wagon. At two o’clock we passed Sooparisa. We passed Pulvarsasosun one hour high at night.
November 21st. The morning is cool but pleasant. The sick seem to be improving at present. It is our daily prayer that there will be no more deaths in our midst for truly it is grevious to see our bretheran left b y the side of the road. We started the morning, traveled 5 miles and camped to secure our teams and to get some more oxen and another wagon to help us along.
November 22nd. The morning is fair and pleasant. The sick still seem to be improving. The Missouri soldiers have a good many sick among them and a good many die. We passed Howgoon near 10 o’clock in the morning, camped by the side of a little stream that was very salt, so much so that we could not use.
November 23rd. Started this morning traveled three miles past Sand Nual. The morning id warm and pleasant. Some cloudy. The sick are improving I think, but the time passes lonesome and sorrowful. We stopped today and camped about two o’clock to let the teams feed and rest. Our teams are poor and weak.
November 24th. Started this morning at 7 o’clock. It very cold but pleasant. We passed Jalriamade and Nalay and Charea. We traveled today hear 10 miles and our teams are about to give out. The weather is cold and wood very scarce, hard to be got at all. The people are not willing to sell it.
November 25th. We rose this morning early. It was cold and Disagreeable. The sun rose pleasant. Got ready and started. Passed Thronia. The day is cold but pleasant. We traveled til two o’clock. Passed through an Indian Town Cavoldona. Quite a large town. They have houses of sundried brick. They look quite comfortable. The latter part of the day is pleasant and warm and I sit on the side of the road on the ground close to the town with my pen in hand writing. The Indian’s town that I spoke of the Pirbelow Indians. We are now fixing for camping one quarter a mile from the town. The evening is quite warm and pleasant.
November 2 6th. Started this morning little after sunrise. Passed through a little town Loona by the Dighlaitva. The day is pleasant but rather cool. Our teams are poor and tired, nearly tired out. Sick. Lame and halt. Have to carry their knapsacks and gun and equipage. It is slow getting along. We crossed the River Rio Grande not far from 3 o’clock and came into Alvorcapey and camped for the night. There was 300 regulars quartered for the winter. They were very friendly to us.
November 27th. The morning is quite warm and pleasant. We started at 9 o’clock. On our way another man by the name of Mackey is taken sick with the measles. Surely it is an unpleasant lonesome time with me. We came through Quatoutro. Here there is scattering settlements along for several miles. We camped near this little town sun near one hour high.
November 28th. Started this morning at sunrise. The day is warm and pleasant. The health of the bretheran seem to be improving. As I pass the country I see many children naked as they were born into the world. Some are very sick and some very poor. Generally very ignorant.
November 29th. Cool and cloudy. Passed a little Indian town on the River Giodelnost where we first struck the river on the 21st of October when we went down.
November 30th. The day is cloudy and misty but with warm. The sick seem to be improving but are quite worried and fatigued by traveling and carrying their knapsacks.
December 1st. the morning is cloudy, windy and cool. Very little snow. Some of our men are quite sick yet, some very much fatigued with hardship. We are in ten miles of Santa Fe. Arrived to Santa Fe at 3 o’clock. It was windy and cold but very little wood. We were very uncomfortable.
December 2nd. The morning is pleasant but very cold. The health of our men is improving. It is very sickly here. The Missouri volunteers die from six to ten is a day. All kinds of wickedness is prostilized here. When we came here on the ninth of October there was only 12 deaths. There is now upwards of seventy.
December 3rd. this morning we have to take eight of our men at the hospital for we can’t get of it out to take them on. It is grevious to us. The time looks gloomy and melancoly. The post is in the command of Colonel Price of Missouri and a great many Missouri volunteers here. They have no interest nor feeling for our comfort or ease. I feel as though it was a time of serious reflections with me. My heart is pained my soul is grieved. There is all kinds of feelings and discord in this little company. It seems as though all union has fled.
December 4th. We got our miles today and prepared to start. We got only ten miles to pack for 54 men and 8 of them sick and no chance to ride. Yesterday we expected to leave them in the hospital, but they would not let us and we have to start with them. The sick mourn and suffer, our hearts are filled with grief and sorrow. It looks gloomy and sorrowful. A man by the name of Marquis Eastman told me that he would not carry loading for no man. He had a mule and he would not go afoot to comodate anybody. If a man was dying he should not get on his mule for he would not accommodate God almighty. I told him he showed a noble disposition. If I had a rule I would carry the loading for the sick and go afoot myself. Well he would be damned if he would. Said I, you will see the time you will want a favor.
December 5th. The morning is unpleasant and snowing and we have to go back to Santa Fe 5 miles after one of our sick men and we have to start for there is no feed here for our mules.
December 6th. The morning we was under the necessity of leaving twelve of our sick men for we had not the animals to carry them. We left them to move slowly along as they could stand it and we would hurry along and make arrangements and send back for them. We are under the necessity of doing it or all perish for we have only 12 days rations to go 250 miles on foot and pack mules and through the mountains. It’s a time of sorrow and mourning with me to see the distress and sorrow of the sick. These hearts are broken. They are wore out. They mourn and weep. It seems as though all favor had fled. Oh God, where is the tender feelings of man. They are gone. The sick are in care of Thonius Rurns. He says he will be kind to them.
December the 7. This morning is very snowy and disagreeable. We started past several Indian’s towns of the Pirbelow Indians. They are very kind.
December 8th. This morning is cold. The snow is from four to six inches deep. We traveled through the mountains where there was just room enough to go with pack mules. We are gathered in a Spanish house, warm and comfortable.
December 9th. This morning is cold but pleasant. We are in a comfortable house in Lamb Boolyer. It is surrounded with mountains. We attended a fandangotut night with the Spaniards. They carried on the scene very decently and are very friendly. Eli Dodson is very sick with the measles. We shall stay here today.
December 10th. This morning is cold and tedious but we started but we had to leave Eli Dodson sick and very sick. The time looks dark and gloomy and as our bretheran was to be scattered all over New Mexico. The mountains are covered with snow. I am now in a notch of the mountains.
December 11th. We have been climbing mountains for two days. It is very tedious and tiresome. I am nearly tired out. We came to Jouse today and camped.
December 12th. We had to leave Brother Colmon today. He is very sick. We have had to climb the mountains today swift and rigid.
December 13. Came into a valley. Traveled 12 miles. Camped. It was cold and windy.
December 14th. Traveled all day in a valley in the mountains. A very large and extensive valley. Antelope, hundreds in a flock. We had not more than half rations enough to last us through just a night. We came across two fat beavers in our travel which was fortunate for us.
December 15th. Yet in the valley. Traveled 18 miles, camped on a little creek. It is very windy and cold. Good many of us have had colds.
December 16th. We are yet in the valley of the mountains.
December 17th. Came into the notches of the mountains today. We are camped in the notch of the mountains.
December 18th. This morning is very cold and the ground covered with snow but we started. Left the head waters of the Rio Grande River and took over the mountains. The snow is from 6 to 18 inches deep. Some places drifted from 2 to 3 feet deep. It was cold and severe traveling over. One boy froze his toes. We made a fire on the tope of the mountains to warm. One man gave out in consequence of the trek. W. Rust and myself put him on a horse that Brother Rust had come over on the east side of the mountain into the pine timber. It was much warmer. We traveled till night and camped on the head waters of the Arkansas for the night. The weather is more mild.
December 19th. This morning is more pleasant and no snow and only 6 miles from the mountains. Traveled til night. Four of us came to a house where there was some eastern men. Some of them had Spanish women for wives. The rest of our men tired out and could not get up. It seems as though our Lieutenant wanted rush ahead if every man died. No feeling on his part could be shown to poor worn out men.
December 20th. This morning is warm and pleasant. Myself, J. Wolsey, William Rust, Lieutenant Willes started early so as to reach Pirbelow a distance of 25 or30 miles. Brother Rust and myself fell behind as we had but one horse between us. We got into Pirbelow at dark and was kindly invited into the quarters of Brother Cylines, William Walker, and Rastus Ringum and are with them yet. Some of our men did not get intil [should be “until”] on the third day after we got in. We were all tired out, wore out when we got here. This is a sketch of my travels to this time, December 24th.
After staying with my family from the 15 of February to the 7th of April I started again with the pioneers to go to the mountains and from there to go to the army. Crossed the horn on the tenth of the month. The twelve returned back to Winter Quarters and the company traveled on 14 miles to camp til they came up. They came up on the 15 day of the month and on the 16 we started.
On the 20th of the month we passed the Pawne Indians. They appeared quite friendly. On the 22 we camped at the missionary settlement. On the 24 we crossed the loop fork of the Platt after crossing we traveled on 2 miles and camped for the Sabbath.
The 25 of the month a pleasant and beautiful day. On the morning of the 26 we was called by the alarm, the guard having reported that Indians was near. One of the guard shot at one. We got our breakfast and started. Camped on at night on a little creek. Brother Title and Brother Richards lost a horse a piece that was taken by Indians. Porter Rockwell and three others went back the next day after them and was met by 15 Indians. On the 27 we started, traveled till near night and camped on a handsome little creek about ten miles north of the Platt. On the morning of the 28 we rose and got ready to start. It is fair and pleasant. We came to the Platt River, traveled up a piece and camped.
The 29th is a pleasant day. The 30 day is cold and windy. The first day of May is a cold rain windy day. About noon one saw a hard of buffalo and started out some hunters on horses. They took after them and killed six big ones and six calves. On the morning of the 2nd of May we got up and the night had been so cold that water in own buckets was froze half inch thick. Water in the slew was frozen but the sun rose quite pleasant and warm.
May 3rd. We started traveled two miles which in on Sunday to get feed for our cattle and horses. The night was so cold that ice froze in our buckets again. We are laying by today to repair wagons and wash which is Monday, the fourth of May.
The fifth and sixth were quite pleasant days. We passed several herds of buffalo. Killed one cow and several calves and caught two alive. It is now the 7th of the month which is May. The day is warm and pleasant. May 7th we are camped on the bank of the Platt River. This morning is windy and disagreeable. The feed is getting low on the account of the extensive herds of buffalo. Some of our teams are giving out.
May 8th. It is a warm and pleasant day. We are stopped for noon on the bank of the Platt River and the ground on both sides of the river is covered with buffalo and they come up within thirty or forty rods of our wagons.
May 9th. Is Sunday. We started and traveled three miles to find feed for our teams. The feed is very poor on the account of the numerous herds of buffalo. They eat it out. The day is warm and pleasant and we are stopped to rest.
May 10th. This morning was cool. We started at nine o’clock traveled til noon. Stopped to bate. It is now warm and pleasant. We traveled along very agreeable all in union.
May 11th. Is warm and pleasant day. We traveled til the middle of the afternoon and stopped for our teams to feed and we had found better feed than we have had for several days.
May 12th. The morning and evenings are very cool and the middle of the day is warm and pleasant. We get along very slow on the account of the feed being ate cut by the buffalo. Leaves it very poor for our teams.
May 13th. As usual we started at 8 o’clock. It is windy and cold all day. We camped at night on a handsome shallow creek little above where it emptied into the north fork of the Platt. We are now up the north fork nearly 17 miles.
This morning is the 14 of May. Is cool and cloudy. Looks like rain and thunders. We are now where there is no wood and we have to use buffalo dung for fuel and for cooking. The feed for our cattle is getting better and I feel in hopes we shall get along some faster this morning. Before we got ready to start it began to rain and was so cold that our horses shook with the cold. We passed over a bluff. It was generally sand and the face of it had been shifted and changed by the wind.
May 15th. Is a cold and windy day with some rain. Today we passed through another bluff that the wind had blown in heaps and blown holes in the ground from three to five feet deep and several rods long. When we went down the bluff we went down in a place that the wind had blown out wide enough for a road and the sand was 8 or 10 inches deep. When we got down came onto a beautiful green bottom of grass and we stopped and bedded our teams. Our hunters have killed nine buffalos in all and a number of calves.
May 16th. Is a cold windy day and disagreeable day. It is on Sunday and we are lying by and have little or no wood and the buffalo dung is so damp it does not burn very well. We are camped a quarter of a mile from the north fork of the Platte and a good many buffalo came in sight this morning on the bluffs a half mile from our camp. One of the hunters killed one just at night.
May 17th. We started this morning traveled over a bluff of a couple of miles distance and came on to the bottom again. The feed was extinct and traveled on three or four miles, crossed five handsome little spring brooks and stopped to bate and sent a wagon to bring in a buffalo that one beautiful little spring branches and the hunters killed two more buffalo. We are camped for the night and formed in a circle as is our custom of camping . Feed is getting very good and our teams are improving.
May 18th. This morning we started as usual. The forepart of the day was warm and pleasant. We traveled 15 miles, crossed two creeks, stopped for night on a little creek that came from the bluffs which are near half a mile from the river.
May 19th. We started as usual but it is a wet stormy morning. We crossed the point of a bluff of three quarters of a mile which the wind had blown in holes and drifts. It was very hard for our teams to draw our loads through. We traveled til near noon and had to stop on the account of the rain for and hour at two and started again and traveled two miles. Had to stop again and camped for the night.
May 20th. This morning we started as usual. The day being pleasant we traveled along on the bank of the river, crossed two creeks traveled 15 miles and camped for night.
May 21st. We started this morning at the usual hour. Had very traveling. Bated at noon, traveled til four o’clock in the afternoon. Stopped for the night and a Sioux Indian and his squaw came to us, stayed a few minutes and went back to the bluffs.
May the 22nd. As usual we started, traveled along on the bottom of the north fork of the Platte til the middle of the afternoon when we came to the point of a bluff that came to the river.
We crossed two dry creeks before we came to the bluffs. We rose the ____ which was principally sand and gravel. We crooked around between the hills for two miles, crossed a dry creek in the bluffs three times. Was so crooked we also had to turn around the hills and hollows. Came through the bluffs crossed two small dry creeks and came onto the river bottom again. Still the bluffs were on our right two miles from the river composed of hard clay and rocks, very broken high and steep. Some nearly round and very high, some small points towering up from40 to 50 feet. Today as we were traveling along we found a piece of a bone that had been the shoulder blade of some animal supposed to be the mammoth. It was 18 inches long, 12 inches wide at one end. The small end was 6 inches wide, 6 inches thick. We found a leg bone 18 inches long, 4 inches thick, a piece of it only was found. Their bones were petrified as hard as a stone and was as heavy.
George Ryrant and Horace Whitney and one or two more went into the bluffs and climbed the tree and took a young gray eagle from the nest and brought it to camp. It was considerable of a sight.
May 23rd. Is on Sunday and we are lying by and are camped. Camped about two miles from the bluffs. Though I have been describing meeting is appointed at 11 o’clock as is our custom to have meetings every Sabbath. Many of the breathern have gone and are going to see the curiosity of the bluffs. We have had a very interesting discourse from President Young and Erastus Snow today at sundown. The wind rose and began to rain and turned very cold and was a tedious night.
May 24th. The morning is cold and windy. We started as usual. It cleared off pleasant and warm. We traveled 16 miles and a half, camped for night and a company of Indians came across the river to us a piece. Our camp is a bluff of curiosity. At a distance it looks like a round two story house with a dong on the top. The Indians that came to our camp last night stayed all night a little distance from us. The chief took supper with Porter Rockwell and his squaw also and stayed all night. Went away in the morning peaceable and friendly. They were sons (sic).
May 25th. We started as usual, traveled up the Platte bottoms through some very wet hard traveling. Traveled 12 miles and camped for night.
May 26th. Started this morning, passed the chimney rock which is on the south side of the river and other bluffs and banks of curiosity. The hunters kill four antelopes today.
May 27th. This morning being pleasant we started as usual traveled eight miles and bated an hour and a half. Traveled 5 miles and camped. It clouded up and thundered and is beginning to rain.
May 27 (sic). This morning is cloudy and raining. After waiting a couple of hours we started, traveled 11˝ miles and camped for night. It is still cloudy.
May 28th. This morning is wet and rainy. Is cool and very unpleasant. We are waiting for it to clear away. The rain cleared and the weather looked more favorable and we got our teams ready to start. A meeting was called by President Brigham Young. He reproved the camp for the light and trifling spirit that prevailed in their midst and for playing cards and excess of dancing and said he would not go any further unless a covenant was made to do better. A vote was called and unanimously carried. We started half past one, traveled eight miles. It began to rain again and we camped for night.
May 29th. Is on Sunday and the camped are getting ready for a fast meeting and to partake of the sacrament. The day is to be spent in fasting and prayer and the twelve are to be in counsel by themselves.
May 31st. I have missed one day in my book. The morning has been very pleasant. We started as usual traveled nine miles and a half. Stopped for noon as usual. Traveled along we passed on our right sand banks from 25 to 30 feet high which had been blown up by the wind. After dinner we started, traveled til nearly sundown to find feed, it being very poor we came to a creek and camped. I give it the name of Graving Creek.
June 1st. this morning we started as usual. Stopped and bated on the bank of the river. Traveled in afternoon til sun two hours high and came to Larimer, being 540 miles from winter Quarters, being 2800 miles that I have traveled since the 16 of last July, 1846 to this day, June 1st, 1847.
June 2. we are now camped on the bank of the Platte and shall be here three or four days to wash and do some blacksmithing.
This diary was written by John Harvey Tippets and transcribed by Terry and Cathy Pew from the microfilm copy of the diary obtained from the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
[Photo: John H. Tippets]
1847 by Andrew Jenson. Assistant L.D.S Church Historian. Born September 5, 1810, in Rockingham county, New Hampshire; died February 14, 1890, in Farmington.
(Transcribed from PH-1, Pioneer History Library, Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters. Note: Text is transcribed as written with spelling corrected in brackets.)