Iowa portion of trek would be hardest

Sunday, June 14:

With the Missouri River in sight from the bluffs, Brigham Young and a few others early in the morning rode ahead the seven miles to find a good camping place near the river. At 11 a.m. the camp started and crossed Mosquito Creek on the bridge built by Bishop George Miller's men. By 5 p.m. the wagons had formed a hollow square on the banks of the wide Missouri.Sadly, this arrival at the Missouri was two months behind schedule. The wet weather, muddy and uncharted roads, inexperience and disorganization of the travelers, and lack of provisions for people and beasts had created interminable delays for the Camp of Israel. Yet the brethren were cheered that they had made the last 100 miles in only 14 days. Finally they were 327 miles from Nauvoo, but it had taken the vanguard companies 130 days. This Iowa portion of the trek toward their refuge in the West would prove to be the hardest for the Saints. The year 1846 would be one of the most difficult the Church would ever have to endure.

At 8 p.m. the horn sounded for a general meeting. Bishop Miller explained he had learned that according to U.S. law the Church could not trade with the Indians. They would have to negotiate with the official Indian traders. Rules for the Camp of Israel at the Missouri were reviewed and approved.

Monday, June 15:

In the morning Elders Brigham Young and Willard Richards and their committee went two miles north to Pointe-aux-Poules (Trader's Point) to confer with Peter Sarpy, superintendent of the American Fur Company, which was authorized to trade with the Indians. The committee purchased several articles and returned to the camp at 3 p.m.

At 8 p.m. the camp met again. More had arrived during the day.The brethren discussed the wisdom of moving the Camp of Israel back up to the bluffs so as to stay away from the Indians who were living on the west side of the Missouri River. Bishop Miller and his men were instructed to keep up their ferry- building operation as well as their fishery at the river.

At Mount Pisgah Lorenzo Snow lay gravely ill. Presidents William Huntington and Charles C. Rich came to his tent and administered to him. They held a special prayer session in Brother Snow's behalf.

Tuesday, June 16:

This morning Elders Young, Kimball, and Richards went to Peter Sarpy's trading store. In the afternoon the camp moved back to the bluffs nine miles up Mosquito Creek from Trader's Point. They called the spot "Redemption Hill." Here they had access to an excellent spring of fresh water and received many letters from Mount Pisgah delivered by Ezra T. Benson.

Wednesday, June 17:

Bishop Miller went into the Trader's Point village in the morning and returned with an invitation from the federal Indian agent, Robert B. Mitchell, for the presidency to dine with him that afternoon. Many of Pitt's Brass Band went along and provided a concert in the evening for Mr. Mitchell that was also attended by Peter Sarpy and his traders. Orson Pratt's and Orson Hyde's companies arrived at the camp this evening.

Thursday, June 18:

Brigham Young and the apostles who were with the Camp of Israel met in council this morning. They heard a lengthy report from Elder Orson Hyde about conditions in Nauvoo and along the trail in Iowa. Elder Hyde reported the gravity of the enemy threats against the Saints in Nauvoo.

The brethren had a chance to meet with the Pottawatomi chief. Orson Pratt reported, "He was an educated man and spoke English fluently. He said we were welcome among them, and kindly offered us the use of timber that grew upon their lands for fuel, or any other needful purpose; the whole tribe seemed very honourable, and treated us with the greatest of friendship." Good news also came from the American Fur Company, who said they would hire many Mormon men to haul fur for them.

Friday, June 19:

This morning the leading brethren met in council with Peter Sarpy and another Indian trader about the roads, country, and climate in the direction of the Rocky Mountains. The Twelve were still anxious that a vanguard company be outfitted to go to the mountains this season and put in a crop of winter wheat.

Saturday, June 20:

This beautiful summer day was most pleasant for Church leaders at the Camp of Israel. The apostles and a few others, particularly from the band, responded to the invitation of Major R. B. Mitchell, the Indian agent, to bring their wives and enjoy a huge meal at the trading village. Many Indians were also in attendance. After the dinner, Pitt's Brass Band and John Kay, the talented singer, entertained the large audience and earned $10. Orson Pratt reported that "all seemed to enjoy themselves, and were full of life and gaiety." Willard Richards recorded in the official history, "All parties appeared highly delighted with the repasts and amusements of the day, and the best of feelings were manifested by the citizens and Indians towards the saints."

Sources: Journal History; Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp.183-90; Ensign to the Nations, pp. 20-22; Mormons at the Missouri, pp. 44-47; Heber C. Kimball, p. 138; the personal writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, p. 136; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:52-53; the journals of William Clayton, p. 281-82; the diary of Hosea Stout, 1:167; Exodus of Modern Israel, p. 26-27.

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