The twelve outfitted to move on

Sunday, May 17:

Brigham Young and other captains rode out to the prairie on this beautiful warm day to locate a road on which the camp could travel. After locating a suitable route, the lead company moved on two miles and camped on a small creek.

Monday, May 18:

On this morning, 30 men from the various companies were assigned to build a bridge. While they were working, Brigham Young and other captains went ahead to scout the trail. After President Young returned, having located the Parley P. Pratt trail to "Mount Pisgah," the camp was guided to the east bank of the middle fork of Grand River. This would be the site of the second important temporary settlement. It was maintained as a camp until at least 1852, and at its peak had more than 2,000 settlers. One of its main advantages was that it didn't have rattlesnakes like Garden Grove. It was also located on Pottawattomie Indian lands.

Tuesday, May 19:

Brigham Young and other leaders in the camp went exploring to the west, across the river. They traveled 15 miles and found the country to be very rough, but with no swamps or rattlesnakes.

Wednesday, May 20:

Rain starting falling again today. Members of the Twelve and the bishops met for an important council meeting held in the post office tent. Elder Heber C. Kimball commented that at their current rate of travel, with their present number of teams, they would not make it over the mountains this season. Ideas were openly discussed. Some brethren offered to stay behind and give their teams to others. After discussion, President Brigham Young proposed that the Twelve and a few others blaze the way to Council Bluffs on the Missouri and then head to the mountains. The remainder of the camp would stay in the area of Mount Pisgah to raise crops. The council also decided that the Saints currently at Garden Grove could move on, if they wished, to Mount Pisgah. A number of families would stay behind at Garden Grove to maintain the settlement and its valuable improvements.

Thursday, May 21:

After a heavy rainstorm, the skies cleared in time for a meeting with all the brethren in the camp, held in front of Brigham Young's tent.

The Twelve were low on provisions, and other leaders were without teams. President Young had started the journey with a year's supply of provisions for his family. This supply was gone. He had used this food to feed many in the camp who did not come prepared. The decision needed to be made whether the Twelve should remain behind or be outfitted to move on. President Young testified that "the Lord's house must be established in the tops of the mountains where the people may gather." The council decided to outfit the Twelve to enable them to continue their important journey. Seven or eight yoke of oxen and two wagons were offered to be used for the mountain expedition.

Before the meeting was closed, the Mount Pisgah settlement was formally organized. The brethren sustained William Huntington as president, with Ezra T. Benson and Charles C. Rich as counselors. Pres. Huntington felt a deep commitment to serve well in his calling. Soon after they were called, he and his counselors traveled two or three miles from camp, pitched a tent, and offered up prayers to the Lord.

Friday, May 22:

A large amount of rain fell overnight, causing the streams to rise and delaying any plans to move on. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met with Pres. Huntington to decide on the locations for farming at Mount Pisgah. Charles C. Rich arrived this day and observed that his predecessors had already "plowed a thousand acres of land, fenced it, and put it to seed."

On this afternoon, the horn was sounded, calling the entire camp to assemble for a meeting. President Young asked everyone to separate into two groups - those who were supplied to go immediately, and those who would need to remain at Mount Pisgah. The large majority were in the first group that desired to go with the Twelve. It was made clear to them that if they did continue, they must be fully supplied with provisions.

Saturday, May 23:

Mount Pisgah was a beehive of activity. Camp members were hard at work plowing hundreds of acres, cutting down trees for fencing, and building a house for Pres. Huntington. Many teams continued to arrive by the hour into the new settlement. John Taylor arrived from Nauvoo with 72 letters. He reported that on his journey back to camp, he passed 800 teams on the road and saw 400 additional teams that had just crossed the Mississippi.

Sources: Journal History; MHBY, pp. 161-69, 261; Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:48-49; Ensign to the Nations, pp. 18-19; The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, p. 133; Mormons at the Missouri, pp. 40, 249-51; Preston Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, pp. 169, 172; the Orson Pratt Journals, pp. 349-50; William Clayton's Journal, pp.34, 36; Leland H. Gentry, "The Mormon Way Stations: Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah," BYU Studies (21:4:455-456); B.H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church (CHC) 3:71.

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