Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Arrival in the Valley, September 26, 1856

Failing to get a Rand McNally Map of Utah, I have not plotted these locations. The good news is that the Mormon Trail is followed by modern highway (for the most part). Take the side road down Echo Canyon and stay on it to Henefer. Turn left and go up and over to East Canyon, where the original trail is covered by the water of the reservoir (I went water-skiing there once and it just didn't feel quite right boating over a drowned pioneer trail). Then follow over to Little Mountain and Big Mountain where the original trail still exists just a ways to the south of the highway. Stop at the top of Big Mountain for the first views of the valley as this is the right place, and drive on down Emigration Canyon to This Is the Place Monument. The monument is free, it costs a bit to visit the pioneer village which is really cool, but you can get in for free if invited to special events like family reunions. The Heber C. Kimball Family Reunion is a hoot because you will run into people you never knew your wife is related to as there are thousands of his descendants. But the important thing is that Elinor Jenkins Vaughan (age 68 - approximate), Jane Vaughan Lewis (age 29), John Lewis (age 33), and John Samuel Lewis (age 8) made it! See the Ellswoth Company info here.  For earlier portions of the journey, see Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming segments.

And join in celebrating the entrance into the Valley of blessed, honored pioneers!

The first handcart company led by Captain Edmund Ellsworth, and including Elinor Jenkins Vaughan
 with her daughter's family, enters the Great Salt Lake Valley, Sept. 26, 1856
(LDS.org media library)
DAY 106

The camp rolled out at 12 P.M. and Travelled 18 miles[.] the road was pretty good. We forded the Weber[1] about 1 P.M. and had dinner in the Weber banks[.] camped about 30 past 6 P.M. Wood, water and feed plenty. We were visitted by a few Indians. (Galloway OTD).

T. 23rd Came 21 mi and camped on E Kanyon Creek[2] (Oakley OTD).

Sunday, September 24, 2017

They Made It Across Wyoming, 1856

First of all, I broke these segments into modern state lines based on the highway maps I have charted. I'm still old-fashioned in that way even if no one uses state highway maps anymore.

In 1856, the territorial boundaries were at the continental divide. Nebraska was on the eastern slope and Oregon on the western, at least down to the 42nd Parallel North, the present-day northern boundary of California, Nevada, and Utah. And in 1856, Utah Territory went east to the continental divide to include what is now southwestern Wyoming. Still, there's some satisfaction in beginning Wyoming at Fort Laramie and on west to Yellow Creek at the Needles before Cache Cave and Echo Canyon in Utah. Ft. Laramie works, because it was there. And Yellow Creek because, well, that's another family story.

The numbered days continue from Nebraska and began at Iowa City from the departure on 9 June 1856. The first date is the 24th of August 1856. [Galloway was off by a day].

The names that are not footnoted are explained in previous segments, Iowa and Nebraska.

DAY 76

23rd Sun 24
The camp did not travell any to day[.] We were busey with the hand carts[.] At 6 P.M. We had a sacramental & saints meeting[.] a good time of it (Galloway OTD).

24 Sunday in camp all Day[.] an Indian visited us, we had a good meetting Partook of the Scarment some of the Brethen testified[.] Brothers France[,] Oakeley [John Oakley] & [William] Butler spoke[.] felt well and to thank my God for my Deliverance (Ham OTD).

Sun 24th The 1st Indian we have seen since leaving Florence came to our camp. Broke up an old waggon[.] Meeting in the eve[nin]g[.] Sacrament administered (Oakley OTD).

Sunday 24th Rested from travels but had to repair hand carts. Meeting at night. Received the Sacrament. Spoke at the meeting. Bro. Ellsworth spoke some time and said we had made great improvement; that the last week there had been less quarreling and those that had robbed the hand carts, or wagons, unless they repent their flesh would rot from their bones and go to Hell. (Walters OTD).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Exist Light! And Light Was.

Gods "exist" in the entrance rotunda of the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
The King James Version is much too polite and complicated in its syntax. I have always preferred the phrase in Portuguese, "Haja luz!" E houve luz." And I worked it out in Welsh class last night:
"Byddwch golau!" Ac oedd golau.
"'Be light!' And light was."

I have no idea in what language He (They? We?) spoke the command when light was born. In our current state, we seem to have a little difficulty in expressing the concept.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Across Present-Day Nebraska with Ellsworth, 1856

Whew, there's a lot of hard pushing and pulling through sand. As they said, the Platte River was too thick to drink and too wet to plow.

The day-count follows from the journey across Iowa. The diarists and others mentioned that are not footnoted in this section were back in the Iowa section of the trail.

Locations were much harder to plot when the modern maps have changed significantly with canals and irrigation beyond the 100th Meridian.

In 1856, Nebraska Territory went all the way to the Continental Divide. We'll save that for the Wyoming/Utah final segment of this map. 

In this portion the Mormon Pioneer and the Oregon/California Trail really were separate. The Oregon/California started (ironically) in Independence, Missouri and cut up to the Platte River where it followed the south bank all the way to Fort Caspar (Casper, Wyoming). The Mormon Trail cut west from Florence (Omaha), Nebraska and followed the north bank of the Platte with a detour up the Loup Fork cutting back south to the Platte then up the North Platte (all on the north bank) to Fort Caspar. Of course, some Mormons used the south bank and some Oregon/California travelers used the north bank. (And there were several variations as to where the trail began with cut-offs, etc. throughout.)

The more I learn about these people, the more connected I feel - and that's just not my own Vaughans. The Moyle Family in this company became connected by marriage with my Wood Family of South Davis County, Utah to produce Apostle Henry D. Moyle. The Piedmontese Saints are cousins of my Dad's Mother's family. And I'll let the challenges of the Piedmontese speak for themselves in the accounts that follows.

Nebraska Map Part 1, from Omaha to Lexington, Nebraska