'Prayers ascend to heaven daily'

Sunday, March 15:

This day was exceptionally windy. Tents were blown down many times at Richardson's Point, the main camp. The apostles met in council to decide when to move out with the majority of the wagons again. The problem was still that some wagons hadn't caught up to this main camp yet. The council also dictated a letter back to Nauvoo to the three men who served as trustees of the Church's and members' property charging them to make an accurate and complete accounting of all property sold and all animals, wagons or cash received in return. The Brethren wanted to avoid disputes between individual members in the future.A general Sabbath meeting was held at 11 a.m. At noon Elders Henry G. Sherwood and Truman Gillet preached on the first principles of the gospel. Many who were not members of the Church were present. After the meeting, some of these visitors offered in kindness to exchange oxen for horses, purchase harnesses, sell corn at reasonable prices and offer various jobs to men for cash.

Sources: Journal History; Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:138; Journal of Thomas Bullock (BYU Studies 31:1:61-62.)

Monday, March 16:

President Brigham Young and his council prepared a lengthy epistle to Elder Orson Hyde, the presiding apostle back at Nauvoo. "We are not unmindful of you or of the Saints that we left at Nauvoo," they wrote, "but the prayers of the Camp of Israel ascend to heaven daily and without ceasing in your behalf."

The letter explained why they hadn't moved from Richardson's Point since the previous Saturday, the 10th. The severe rains had produced so much mud and raised the water in the creeks too high for successful travel. But the weather was now ameliorating, so they would soon be on the march again.

Sources: Journal History: Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:139.

Tuesday, March 17:

Further preparations were made to leave Richardson's Point the next day. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball rode west three miles to ascertain the state of the roads and found them passable. Hosea Stout, captain of the guards, Stephen Markham, captain of the Pioneers, and Captain Scott of the artillery released many of their men who had served valiantly to go back to Nauvoo, retrieve their families and return to the Camp of Israel.

The Pitt Brass Band responded to yet another invitation of the people in Keosauqua. William Clayton wrote in his journal: "I took my music box and China to try and sell them. We arrived in good season and soon learned that the priests had been hard at work preventing the sectarians from coming to the Concert saying that it was an infidel move consequently there were not many present. We had [by] far the best concert which lasted till 9 o'clock."

Sources: Journal History; The Journals of William Clayton, p. 264

Wednesday, March 18:

The camp would have moved forward, but one of the noble members, Edwin Little, died at 7:20 a.m. after suffering from pneumonia ever since leaving Sugar Creek. He was a nephew of Brigham Young. Another uncle, Lorenzo Dow Young, wrote in his journal: "We removed his remains to the camp and that evening interred them in the silent grave; it was a melancholy day to many of us." Willard Richards wrote careful directions in the camp record of where the grave could be found for relatives and friends to visit in future years.

Sources: Journal History; Ensign to the Nations, p. 13

Thursday, March 19:

Finally, after a 12-day stop at Richardson's Point, the teams took up the line of march again. Most wagons went 13 miles and crossed Chequest Creek. They found precious little corn or fodder of any kind at this place. The traveling was over beautiful prairie, but the wagons were often slowed by running into fencing that farmers had put over the public road. This situation forced many wagons to fall into mud holes.

Sources: Journal History; Ensign to the Nations, p. 13; Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:139-40

Friday, March 20:

The camp struck their tents early this morning so as to be on their way. They planned to catch up with Orson Pratt's company that had gone ahead many days earlier. This they achieved in the morning. Elder Pratt had traded for much corn and fodder. About noon the leaders of the camp reached the Fox River and found to their satisfaction a good bridge that had been constructed over it by local residents. This allowed the train to go farther than they had planned - 13 miles for the day. Unfortunately the end of the day's trip saw two minor disasters. First the wagons ran into a wide muddy slough that stalled each team for hours. And then at the camp a fire broke out and nearly burned up some tents and wagons before being extinguished. It was nightfall before many wagons got to the new camp.

Sources: Journal History; Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:140

Saturday, March 21:

The camp moved ahead 12 more miles this day. President Young went back to the Fox River to repair one of his wagons that had stalled with a broken tongue the day before. Fortunately, the day was pleasant, the prairie more level than usual, and the road relatively dry. Brigham Young remarked this day that he was not pleased that Bishop George Miller had moved ahead of the main camp such a long distance trying to separate himself from his brethren. President Young wrote: "I remarked today that Bishop Miller seeks to go ahead and separate himself from his brethren, but he cannot prosper in so doing, he will yet run against a snag, and call on me and the camp for help."

Sources: Journal History; Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:14-41

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed