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The Life of Elder Peter Branstetter--Intro and Trip to California PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Branstetter   


 
INTRODUCTION.

I feel that it might be well to write a few words by way of introduction. This book contains a great deal of the history of father’s life, both natural and spiritual, and I know it will be a comfort to the family to have the writings of our father,(the original being his own handwriting,) preserved in the form of a book, that we may spend some of our leisure moments reading and medi­tating on the things that he speaks of in his day. I do not know that father thought, when penning the words collected in this book, that they would be preserved for his children and their descendants to read.

The surroundings, naturally speaking, are quite different at the present from what they were in father’s day, and as time goes on there will be many other changes which will make this book more and more inter­esting.

Besides the interest that the family will take in this book, there are many brethren and sisters in the churches still living who were associated with father, and many who

sat under his ministry and mingled their voices with his in songs of praise and prayer to God, and I have no doubt many of these will take a special interest in his account of his travels and labors, bringing back to their minds afresh the times and seasons now gone into the past forever.

There are many other brethren and sis­ters, belonging to the younger generation, who personally can not realize the hard-ships and difficulties of the pioneer ministers who laid the foundations for the pres­ent churches in labor and self-denial, and I believe all these will be benefited and in­structed by reading these pages.

Twenty-three years have passed since father’s spirit took its fright to the better land. Let us, his children, remember his last words as he took us each, one by one, by the hand and said, “Farewell, be good boys and girls.” And let us consider also that a good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Your brother, in hope of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ,

ENOCH BRANSTETTER.

Curryville, Mo., March 15, 1913.

 

 

THE ANCESTORS OF ELDER PETER L. BRANSTETTER.

The Branstetter family in the United States is of German descent. The great-grandfather of Peter L. Branstetter emi­grated to America about the year 1765, and settled in the State of Pennsylvania. He served eighteen years in the German army before coming to this country.

His Grandfather Branstetter was born during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

His father, Frederick Branstetter, was born and reared near the town of Knox­ville, Tenn. He served twelve months as a soldier in the war of 1812, a portion of the time under the personal command of Gen­eral Andrew Jackson. He settled in Pike Co., Mo., in the year 1819, and died in his seventy-ninth year, having lived on the same farm for a period of fifty-four years. He was the father of a large family of children, ten living to be heads of families.

Peter L., the eldest son, was a man en­dowed with an indomitable will. There seemed to be no obstacle too great for him to surmount when his mind was once made up. He was a zealous and faithful minister of the gospel of Christ, and preached with great force, and with considerable degree of ability, the gospel as he understood it; but he was somewhat lacking in that char­ity that was due those who differed from him as to the teachings of the holy scrip­tures.

B.  F. BRANSTETTER.

 

A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF ELDER BRANSTETTER.

I was personally acquainted with the late Elder Peter L. Branstetter and became very much attached to this man of God. He had the care of Sulphur Springs Prim­itive Baptist church, east of Jacksonville, Ill., for five years, and during that time, al­though I lived twenty miles distant from the church, yet I was a regular attendant each month. O, how I have been made to rejoice under his ministry, salvation by grace alone being his theme.

Elder Branstetter was very highly es­teemed by the Primitive Baptists. I do not think that I ever heard a minister that was more able to defend the doctrines of elec­tion, regeneration, justification by faith and the final perseverance of the saints. To know this dear man of God, and to hear him, was to love him.

I shall never forget the last sermon that I heard from him, it was at the close of the Cuivre-Siloam association in August be­fore he died in April. I remember his concluding words. He said: “Brethren, I may never be able to preach to you again, but I want you to know that I believe in the doc­trine of the resurrection. I believe that God will raise these vile bodies and fashion them like the glorious body of Jesus, and then we shall see Jesus and be like Him and be satisfied. Dear brethren, let us pray our Father in heaven to send laborers into His harvest.” Much more might be said of this precious brother.

May God the Father help us, and may we be permitted to finish our course as did this dear man. I believe that it may be truly said of Elder Branstetter that he fought a good fight, that he kept the faith, and that a crown of righteousness was laid up for him, which the righteous Judge shall give to him, and not to him only, but to all who love His appearing.

May the Lord guide us all by His spirit in the way of truth and righteousness.

J. A. CONLEE.

Waverly. Ill.

 

TRIP TO CALIFORNIA.

DIARY—MARCH, 1850, TO FEBRUARY, 1851.

Pike Co., Mo., Mch. 24, 1850.

We left old Pike March 24,1850, and that night camped on Spencer creek, a distance of thirteen miles. The 25th, passed over bad and muddy roads a distance of twelve miles, and camped on the prairie; expenses were $2.10. The 26th, passed over very bad roads and camped on Pigeon Roost creek, a distance of sixteen miles; very cold and muddy; expenses $2.75. The 27th, expenses $3.75. Our team walked off fine this morning, and three miles brought us to Salt river, crossed on the bridge; six miles brought us to Florida, roads very bad in places; distance fifteen miles. The 28th, one and one-half miles brought us to Paris. Passed five wagons; traveled one-half mile farther and camped; turned our horses loose in the woods for the first time; dis­tance fourteen miles; roads bad in places; expenses $4.35. The 29th, started at sunrise, traveled three miles and bought corn for the day; corn very scarce, worth 40 and 50 cents per bushel; our expenses $4.85. Six miles brought us to Milton, across the West Fork of Salt river, and camped within three miles of Huntsville. The 30th, three miles brought us to Hunts­ville, and one and one-half miles farther to the East Fork of Chariton river. No corn to be had at any price hardly; we traveled un­til after dark before we could find corn. Crossed Middle Chariton one and one-half miles and camped. Passed five wagons to­day, distance fifteen miles, expenses $5.40. The 31st, we started late, our expenses $6.25; crossed Grand Chariton; two miles below came to Keytesville, where we cross­ed Mussel Fork; distance fifteen miles; paid 55 cents for corn; roads very good.

April 1. It rained last night and the roads are very slippery and muddy. We passed through Brunswick on the bank of the Missouri river about 1 o'clock, and one and one-half miles brought us to Grand river which we crossed about. 3 o’clock and camped on the farther bank with ten wag­ons. We paid to-day for corn, 75 cents per bushel; expenses $8.75; distance ten miles.

April 2. It is raining. There were two pistols stolen in camp~ last night. We searched the ten wagons this morning but

did not find them. It rained all day and we would not have traveled if we could have gotten feed, but had to travel thirteen miles before we could get corn; corn is from 75 cents to $1.00 a bushel. I raised as much corn last year as there is between Hunts­ville and Richmond. Expenses only $2.50, because we could not find any corn to buy.

April 3. It is blustery and raining; six miles travel to Carrollton; expenses $6.90. Camped on edge of Wakenda prairie; dis­tance eight miles, roads very bad.

April 4. Started very slowly this morn­ing, traveled across Wakenda prairie, which is twenty miles; very rainy and cold, and rained this afternoon. Stayed in a house to-night, which cost us 50 cents, Roads tolerable good; expenses $6.50; distance twenty miles.

April 5. Raining and snowing this morn­ing, and we do not expect to start until 12 o’clock. We shaved this morning; paid 60 cents a bushel for corn. We crossed the toll bridge on Crooked river, which cost our team $1.00; expenses $4.47. We traveled nine miles and camped in three miles of Richmond, Ray Co., Mo.; roads very bad.

April 6. It has the appearance of fair weather. We are all well and in good spir­its; started late and it is the worst road that I ever saw a wagon run through. The mud is from one to two feet deep. I got my mare shod at Richmond, cost $1.50. Bought one gallon of molasses and jug, 60 cents; one-half bushel potatoes, 25 cents; one blank book, 25 cents; one-half bushel apples, 25 cents; have paid out for feed, $25.00; for ferry, $1.75; for crossing bridge, $1.00. Distance six miles, expenses $5.55.

April 7. We started late. I left the wagons this morning to go to St. Joseph; got to Plattsburg; I traveled thirty-three miles, wagons ten miles; expenses $6.25.

April 8. I reached St. Joseph about B o’clock, traveled twenty-eight miles. The wagons traveled eleven miles; expenses 70 cents; roads getting better.

April 9. I crossed the Missouri river and went thirty miles over the prairie to an Indian village, where the Indian agent lived, and bought five barrels of corn at 90 cents a bushel. The wagon’s expenses $5. 10; distance ten miles.

April 10. I started back from the In­dian village; came to St. Joseph and went out six miles and. bought twelve barrels of corn at 60 cents a bushel. There we were to stay two days and load one wagon with corn, then go on to the Indian village and from there to the river. The wagon’s ex­penses $2.50; distance ten miles.

April 11. I met the wagons two miles before they got to Platte river, and crossed Platte river this evening. Five miles will bring us to where I bought the corn, and then six miles will bring us to St. Joseph. Expenses to-day $6. 50; distance seven miles.

April 12. Traveled five miles to where I bought corn; April 13, to-day we rested; April 14, Sunday, and we rested. The en­tire expense of our wagons is $10.00. Fer­ry across Platte river, 55 cents. Expenses for lodging where I bought corn, $1.00. Total amount for my wagon up to this date, April 14, $41.15. April 15, we rested.

April 16. We started and it rained all day. We got to St. Joseph at 10 o’clock, but could not cross the river because the logs and ice ran so thick and fast. Here I bought what I wanted, which cost $20.85, corn and fodder $12.55, and $6.15 the 17th; total $39. 55.

April 17. We could not cross the river and drove to the upper edge of town and camped. The river raised a foot an hour. Expenses last night for a lot and lodging $2.50, ferry across the Missouri river $1.75, day book and a rope 75 cents, and for fod­der $1.15; total $6.15.

April 18. We came up to the ferry and camped on the bank.

April 19. We crossed the river and made twelve miles, camping on Muscateer creek; nine miles brought us to the Indian Agency.

April 20. Crossed Wolf river on bridge, cost 25 cents; made twelve miles and camped at the Agency. Paid $1.00 a bushel for corn, bought twelve barrels, hauled it.

April 21. We started from the Agency with ten barrels of corn and traveled six miles over good soil. Camped, had plenty of wood and water; grass is making its ap­pearance, but not enough to do the cattle any good. Our expenses for corn at the Agency was $15.25; bought two pairs of moccasins for 50 cents.

April 22. Cloudy and very cold. We started early and made twenty-five miles over rich soil and beautiful prairie, without a stick of timber within six miles of the road, except in one place. There was water in the sloughs; we camped on Elm branch, in two miles of Nemeha river; plenty of wood and water. All are well and in good spirits. We camped by a fresh grave, and one made last year. Our expenses for everything is $96.45. We are fifty-six miles out on the prairie this evening.

April 23. Made twenty-four miles over beautiful prairie; plenty of water in the sloughs; no timber in less than two miles of the road except where we camp. We left the road one mile to the right where there was plenty of wood and water on Overcup creek. We had fine fun to-day after wolves, but killed none. Wilson killed a turkey. I saw four graves to-day, and camped where there was one grave with the initials, “I. P.,” and the Catholic mark on the headstone. There is no grass on the plains yet, but we have fine grazing in the bottom to-night.

April 24. We traveled over broken, sandy prairie eight miles, came to Big Ne­meha, plenty of timber and the best of water; ten miles to the North Fork of Ne­meha; First Fork plenty of water, a little wood; two miles to the Far Fork where we camped, plenty of wood and water. Made twenty miles, the best roads I ever saw. I went to sleep in the wagon to-day and lost my hat; it fell out and the wind blew it away. Our cattle look tolerably well and travel with anything on the road. We made four gallons of turkey soup for breakfast this morning. No grass to-night.

April 25. Traveled five miles over bro­ken, sandy prairie, good camping ground on either side of the road; then five miles over beautiful prairie; the last eight miles over level prairie, and left the road three-fourths mile to the right, there being wood and water. There are one hundred wagons camped here to-night. We camped two hours by sun; this is the first day I have gone in my shirt sleeves.

April 26. We traveled over level, rich prairie for four miles, then it was broken country to Blue river; there is timber on the left of us one-half mile away, for a dis­tance of six miles. Distance traveled to­day ten miles. We are almost out of corn and not much grass. A man found my hat and gave it to me to-day. The river is ford­able, is about forty steps wide, and a beau­tiful stream; passed two dead horses and one mule. The boys are fishing, but do not catch anything. We have to stand guard here day and night, as the Pawnee Indians will steal everything they can lay their hands on. We are to-night one hundred and twenty-eight miles from St. Joseph.

April 27. We rested. The boys caught some fine fish last night; we guarded the cattle until 11 o’clock on fine bottom grass. Three men came by us with their budgets on their backs, going home, and I sent a letter by them. It rained this evening and we crossed the river for fear it would rise and we could not cross without swimming and rafting our wagons over.

April 28. We rested, some of the boys fishing and some hunting. I am lying in the tent, reading the Old Book. Our cattle are doing tolerably well without any corn. This is Sunday, a beautiful day, and we laid all our things out to sun this morning. I hauled about twenty-five hundred pounds from the Agency here; but here every one will take his own loading.

April 29. To-day we all washed, a warm day. About one hundred and fifty wagons camped here last night and all left this morning. Beck’s old “Pide” had a calf last night. Have been here three days and nights, but will leave in the morning early.

April 30. We left Blue river and came nine miles to a small creek where was wood and water; came on seven miles and camp­ed. Left the road one-half mile, tolerably good grass. Traveled to-day over tolerably level, sandy and gravelly prairie. There was a big wind storm last night, but no rain; we had to take the tent down and all get into the wagon. It was sultry warm last night, but so cold this morning that we had to put on all the coats we had and tie up our ears. It was the windiest day I ever experienced in my life; we took off our wagon sheets to-day.

May 1. We traveled over tolerably level prairie to-day and camped on Wood creek. We came twelve miles and crossed the head of a creek which runs north; timber on the right one-quarter mile away; eight miles on to where we camped, plenty of wood and water, but hardly any grass. We saw an antelope and a Rocky mountain sheep to-day. The teams are in bad shape for traveling; distance twenty miles. The creek we camped on last night is what James Wilson calls Little Sandy.

May 2. We traveled north to-day, came twelve miles and turned square off to the left two and one-half miles to Big Sandy river, a beautiful stream thirty steps wide. We had to come here on account of grass. Had traveled from Blue river without grass and the teams were almost given out. Plen­ty of water and grass here. Distance twelve miles. There is no grass on the prairies at all. Had fine sport after ante­lopes this evening; saw thirty to-day. It is going to rain to-night. I never saw such roads in my life; it has not rained since we left St. Joseph, which is the reason the grass is so late. Beck’s team has entirely given out.

May 3. It rained last night and is toler­ably cool this morning. John Wilson and I went hunting, saw fourteen antelopes and two deer; got two shots, wounded one very badly, but got none. Our team is doing well, is as good as when we left home, and is the best on the road. Yesterday we saw five men going back home, and they told us we would soon see the elephant’s tail; that is what turned them back.

May 4. Still here on Sandy creek. Four of us and the old stag went buffalo hunting to-day, found none, but killed five wolves. Had a big frost this morning, but a beauti­ful day. We are going to start the 6th for good, grass or no grass. May 5. This is Sunday, a cold day and blustery evening.

May 6. We left our camping ground late this morning; left Henderson’s, Beck’s and Palmyra wagons on the ground; our wagons and Wilson’s rolled out. They would not start because there was no grass. All parted in good friendship. We came seven miles and crossed a little creek; good camping ground there, and good grass. Six in company to-night; distance ten miles.

May 7. Had good grass last night and fine rain too. Traveled three miles this morning before we came to the road; eight miles and we crossed the Northeast Fork of Big Sandy; seven miles brought us to the North Fork of Big Sandy. Here we camped; not much grass to-night. Our oxen got away about dusk and we hunted until one hour in the night, and found them three miles from camp. Distance fifteen miles.

May 8. We traveled two miles this morning and crossed the West Fork of Big Sandy, and five miles brought us to Little Blue bottom. Traveled up Blue river six miles and camped; put up at 2 o’clock distance thirteen miles. Crossed our teams over the river; good grass to-night. Blue river runs southeast. There is no more grass on the plains now than there was on the prairies when I left home, and only in the bottoms in patches. Blue river is about twenty steps wide, not much timber on it, nor many other streams here. I saw two buffaloes that had been killed, but they were poor.

May 9. We are still following up Little Blue bottom. We came twelve miles and then the road leaves the bottom; came one mile on the ridge, turned off to the left one-­half mile and camped on the river; good grass to-night; distance to-day thirteen miles. It takes three men all the time to find grass and then we have to do without sometimes. I have seen nine dead horses and one mule, but no oxen.

May 10. We traveled eight miles and came into the bottom again; traveled ten miles and camped. All the way up this bottom is sand and gravel; the road is get­ting dusty; not much grass to-night; dis­tance eighteen miles. Is supper ready, boys? Yes.

May 11. We traveled ten miles, then the road left the river; traveled four miles and turned off to the left one and one-half miles to the river, where there was plenty of grass; distance fourteen miles. This is Saturday; we all washed and shaved this evening, and are in fine spirits. There are three wagons and twelve men in company.

May 12. We rested and observed Sun­day. Had good grass to-day.

May 13. We traveled six miles and crossed a creek; eight miles to a branch, without wood in sight; one mile to a big pond; came six miles, stopped and got sup­per and grazed, but had no water; had to go to Platte river six miles. We got there at 8 o’clock in the night; not much grass. Distance twenty-six miles.

May 14. Traveled up the river four miles, stopped and crossed our teams over one slough of Platte to Grand Island: it was two hundred yards wide and two feet deep. Stayed there until 3 o’clock, then traveled three miles up the Platte river and camped on its bank; distance seven miles. We have to burn willows about the size of a riding switch.

May 15. We came seven miles, passed Fort Kearney at 11 o’clock, came two miles and nooned, then traveled nine miles and camped on the bank of Platte river. No wood to-night, but good grass. The river is one mile wide here. Platte bottom is very level, sandy soil and about four miles wide. Distance to-day eighteen miles. I make it two hundred and ninety-five miles from St. Joseph to Fort Kearney, but it has been surveyed and the survey makes it three hundred and one miles. May 16. We traveled close up the bank of Platte river on a pure bed of sand; found a little wood this evening and had good grass to-day. Fifteen miles. Camped about 3 o’clock because we got no grass at noon. It is tolerably warm now.

May 17. Traveled four miles, came to grass all over the bottom; stopped and grazed. Came sixteen miles to Plum creek; little wood and water; traveled three miles and went to the river on the right and got wood and water; went one-half mile to the left toward the bluff and camped. It has the appearance of rain this evening. Distance thirteen miles. Plum Creek is thirty-six miles from Fort Kearney. We saw two buffaloes to-day, the first live ones.

May 18. We are still following up the Platte bottom. Came to the bank of the river twice to-day. Passed five or six wells dug last year on the side of the river, good water in them. Third time we came to the river we camped. Plenty of wood and water; distance to-day twenty miles.

May 19. We traveled up the bank of the river eight miles, no wood to be had; ten miles the road came in one-half mile of the river again, where we camped on a slough. Slim grass to-day; distance eigh­teen miles. It is raining this evening and it is very agreeable.

May 20. We started late and traveled two miles, came to the river one-quarter mile from the road; traveled nine miles farther and the road came to the river. There was plenty of wood and we camped. Had to use buffalo chips for the first time. It did not rain enough to lay the dust last night. Distance to-day eleven miles; we camped opposite Bradley’s island.

May 21. We came three miles and crossed a small creek with wood and water, good encampment; three miles farther there is a small stream with wood but no water; one mile farther and we nooned; left the road one-half mile and went to the river for wood and water; have laid in wood for to-night; the road leaves the river and keeps close to the bluff. We came eleven miles and turned off to the right one and one-half miles and found a creek with good running water, and as good a spring as ever ran out of the earth. The bottom is about five miles wide here; the Platte river bluffs are a curiosity. We saw plenty of prairie dogs to-day and killed one. Camped to-night above the fork of Platte river. Distance to­day eighteen miles.

May 22. We traveled five miles and struck on the bluff; four miles on the bluff and the buffaloes commenced running across the road; all the teams stopped, and three or four hundred ran across the road in an hour; about twenty-five were killed. Si­mon killed one, John Wilson killed one; they were on the horses; the rest of us wounded some, but did not get them. Trav­eled four miles and came into the bottom again, and there we nooned; plenty of water three hundred yards to the right. We came two miles and turned up the bluffs to the left, traveled up the bluffs five miles, turned down the bluff to the river and camped on a slough; there was wood and water. Distance to-day twenty miles.

May 23. Traveled up the bottom two miles, then traveled right along the bluffs all day, passed some sand hills. The bot­tom is four miles wide; found plenty of water all along the road in sloughs. There is no timber in sight to-night. Distance twenty-two miles.

May 24. Have been traveling over sand for three days. It is very warm and has been for the last ten days. We are still traveling up the South Fork of Platte river; good water and grass to-night; no timber in sight, but some willows on the islands. We use buffalo chips. Distance twenty miles.

May 25. We came one mile and crossed the South Fork of Platte river; this is the upper crossing, the best road. It is one hundred and eighty-eight miles from Fort Kearney to this point. When we crossed Platte river we turned due north, went up on the bluff, traveled across the bluffs fif­teen miles and came to Ash creek. This was the worst hill to come down I ever saw. Came down the bed of the creek five miles to the North Fork of Platte river; no grass. Rested one hour and went four miles up the bottom and camped. Laid in wood at Ash creek, not much grass to-night. Had a wind storm this evening, lasted one-half hour. Distance twenty-five miles.

May 26. We came up the bottom three miles and stopped to graze. We cut our wagons off behind, cut off two feet, coupled the wheels up within eight inches of one another, and let the bows down eight inches. Made John Wilson’s wagon over, too. About 11 o’clock Wesley Maiden took the cramp colic, or something else worse; we got a doctor in twenty minutes, and he got easy in about one and one-half hours; doctor’s bill $1.00. It rained a little this evening. Distance three miles.

May 27. We came ten miles over a. pure bed of sand from two to six inches deep. One mile brought us to about one hundred Indian wigwams, about one thousand In­dians all very friendly, and they had about one thousand horses. Came three miles farther and nooned. Thomas Henderson overtook us. Had a tolerably good road this evening. Traveled up the bank of the river all clay, no timber in sight only some pines about six miles off to the left. Had a fine rain last night, and it is very cold to­day. Distance twenty miles.

May 28. We had a white frost this morning. came ten miles; crossed a small creek one mile and nooned there. Moses Beck and Sam Flays divided their outfit and Hays went with the gambling wagon. We came ten miles and crossed a small river, came on one mile and camped. Four wag­ons and seventeen men in company. We camped opposite the Court House rock; it has been pleasant all day, but blew up cold this evening and rained a little. Good roads to-day; distance twenty-two miles.

May 29. We traveled ten miles, stopped to noon; our oxen ran into some kind of flies and they acted like hornets were after them, so we yoked up and started; came three miles to opposite the Chimney rock; it looked like it was one-half mile from the road, but it was three miles away, and the Court-House rock was five miles from the road. The Chimney rock is a curiosity. It is two hundred feet high to the stem, and the stem is seventy-five feet high and about fifteen feet through. The rock is cement­ed sand and can be seen twenty-five miles away. We came seven miles farther, stop­ped again and grazed; good grass and river water. Our fuel has been buffalo chips ever since we left Ash creek. The river is rising very fast to-day. We came to the river bank two or three times to-day and sometimes we traveled right up the bank. We stopped here two hours by sun, got supper, yoked up and started a half-hour by sun and traveled until daylight went down and camped for the night. Distance to-day twenty-five miles.

May 30. We came two miles and turned off to the left over a hill. Here the road left the river and after traveling eight miles came into the bottom between Scott’s bluffs. The bluffs on the left hand side of the road are covered with cedar groves; came up the bottom six miles and found the mouth of a spring branch; came two miles farther to a trading house and a blacksmith shop kept by a Pueblo and a white man. Here we came to where the bluffs come to­gether. There are two springs in the head of this hollow to the right of the road one-quarter mile. The hollow is green with cedar timber, some two feet through. We came two miles farther over the bluffs into the bottom; good grass and a spring on the left hand one-hall mile from the road. It runs out of the bank just like drawing water out of a barrel. Distance: twenty miles. Wesley Maiden found a five dollar gold piece to-day, lying in the road. We laid in wood at the cedar hollows. This is the first wood we have had since leaving Ash creek.

May 31. Traveled two miles and came to a spring branch, in which there was run­ning water. Came eight miles to Horse creek, crossed three miles above where it ran into the river, no timber here. Came on one mile and nooned; there were some flies and the cattle ran like deer. We came four miles and climbed the bluffs again, and here we struck the sand. Came six miles over the hills to the bottom again; came up the bottom two miles and camped, good grass. The river is three-fourths mile from the road; there is timber in sight up the river, but we had wood fetched from Scott’s bluffs. We measured the road to-day with the wagon wheel. Started at 5:30 o’clock in the morning, traveled until 5 o’clock in the evening, grazed one and one-half hours at noon. Our wheel is fifteen and one-half feet around, and it rolled over seventy-eight hundred times, which makes twenty-three miles, lacking one hundred and eighty yards. We sold one of our fiddles to-day for $5.00 in gold.

June 1. We came one mile and there the bluffs came to the river, just room for the road; one mile farther to another trad­ing house; came five miles in the bottom, and there the road turned on the bluff. When we got on the bluffs I saw the Lara­mie mountains which are one hundred& and twenty-five miles away. Traveled thir­teen and one-half miles and came to Lara­mie river, one and one-half miles from the Fort; here we camped about one and one-half hours by sun. At 1 o’clock to-day we had a hail storm, the hail stones being about the size of partridge eggs. Distance to-day twenty and one-hall miles on the bluffs. Spruce pine timber here, the first I have seen.

June 2. We crossed Laramie river at the lower ford, one-quarter mile above where it enters into the Platte; it is fifty yards wide and two and one-half feet deep, and is very rapid. We came one and one-half miles of the Laramie river in the bottom to the Fort; it is a beautiful town and situation. It is three hundred and forty-seven miles from Fort Kearney to Fort Laramie. Here we turned to the right and. went across the hill one and one-half miles to Platte river, found plenty of wood. The river here is about two hundred yards wide and very deep. Came four miles, took the bluff near Sandy, came two miles, then into the bottom; came up the bottom five miles, and there turned on the bluffs; came one and one-half miles over almost mountains, then into a broad hollow. The Mormon trail goes up that way to the left; we took the right, straight up the bill, and after traveling over the hill one mile we came in­to the bottom between the two bluffs. At this point there is a stone house built to burn lime in; three hundred yards more and there is a hollow; two hundred and forty yards to the right is a good spring of water and three large trees right at the spring; we came two hundred yards and camped, good grass to the right of the road in the first hollow. In this bottom there is a quantity of wild sage, the mountains are covered with cedar and spruce pine. Plen­ty of wood, water and grass, plenty to eat and we are “in town;” all are well. Dis­tance sixteen and three-fourths miles to­day. When we passed Fort Laramie this morning, immigrants had passed as fol­lows: Men, 9,221; women, seventy-seven; children, forty-six; wagons, 2,588; horses, 9,210; mules, 2,961; oxen, 1,779; cows, one hundred.

June 3. We came over a big ridge and when on top of the ridge we could see a range of mountains to the left which I sup­pose to be the spurs to the Rocky moun­tains. Came five miles to Bitter Cottonwood river, which heads up in the moun­tains. There was no water where we crossed it, but one-quarter mile below the water rises and there was plenty, and the bottom was covered with large bitter cottonwood timber. Came two miles to a small creek with steep banks, plenty of timber and some water. Five miles farther was another creek, no water except spring water; one hundred yards above the road is a good spring; came down the creek three-quarters of a mile into Platte river bottom, there it commenced raining. We stopped our teams and it rained very hard for one hour, then slacked up and we came three-quarters of a mile to another small creek, went up it two hundred yards far­ther and camped for the day. There is wood and grass at any point to-day. Our road has been almost mountainous, but it is hard and smooth. Distance thirteen and one-half miles.

June 4. We came one-half mile and crossed a large dry creek; one-quarter of a mile farther there are some willows in a fiat; to the right, two hundred yards above them, is a good spring one hundred yards from the road; two and one-half miles down a long slant brought us to a creek, a beauti­ful stream and a good encampment. One and one-half miles over a ridge brought us to a small creek, no water; a big cotton­wood tree stands right at the ford, no other timber near. Five miles brought us to the banks of Platte river again, no wood there; one and one-half miles brought us to plenty of wood on the banks of Platte river. Here the river runs out of the mountains; the walls are two hundred feet high, perpen­dicular on each side, and the gap it runs through is about fifty yards wide; it runs through for two miles, and where it comes out the bed of the river is one-quarter mile wide, and it is dry. One and one-half miles farther brought us to the bottom, and we could see where the river ran into the mountains; four miles in the bottom and there the river and bluffs almost meet; there is plenty of wood. One and one-half miles farther we turned up the bluff; went three miles due south, plenty of wood and water and grass to the left of the road un­der the first bluff; here we camped. Dis­tance to-day twenty-two miles.

June 5. We came seven miles on the ridge between two creeks; here the second Mormon road came in; came three miles down hill, and some places tolerably steep; came down a dry creek bed over sand to a big timbered creek, a beautiful stream twen­ty-five steps wide and one foot deep, run­ning very rapidly; crossed the creek to a beautiful bottom and thick timber; it looked like the creek bottom in old Pike. There we nooned. Came two miles down the bot­tom to good grass and a good camping place; came up a slough one mile and crossed it, turned to the right, traveled one mile to a steep hill and ridge of rock to the left that is a curiosity; came one mile to Marble creek, plenty of wood and water; here we struck the Red Hills. We turned our wagon over, crossing the creek, but nothing was hurt or damaged; came two miles over the Red Hills and camped; good grass, but no water. Simon and John Wil­son came in from hunting since we camped with the hams of a mountain goat and those of a black tail deer. I saw plenty of snow to-day on the north side of Laramie moun­tains. The Red Hills are the worst roads we have come to yet. It is interesting to any man to travel here. Distance eighteen miles.

June 6. We came two miles past the Red Hills, a bad and rocky road; six miles brought us to Mike Head creek. Fifty yards above the road in a grove of willows is a good spring. Where we crossed the forks are close together; came down it two miles no grass; turned to the left, went over a high ridge one mile to Mike Head river and nooned, plenty of wood and tolerable grass. This river is eighteen inches deep, ten steps wide and good encampment; came three and one-half miles to a dry creek, plenty of wood, and a spring fifty yards above the road; one mile over a ridge to another dry creek, some wood; one-quarter mile farther is a branch with plenty of running water which is very warm, I suppose it is a warm spring that supports it. I took a drink out of it. Three-fourths mile brought us to the Vochaboy river, a flush stream, good encampment. There we laid in wood and water, came two miles over the hill in sight of the Platte river once more and camped; good grass. Distance twenty-one miles. We had some rocky, hilly roads with lots of bad bottom to-day, which wore our cattle’s feet very badly. A range of mountains were on our left all day, with groves of cedar on them.

June 7. We came two miles to the river bank once more, then up the bottom to Deer creek. This is a large stream and rapid, two feet deep, fifteen steps wide and the valley is covered with timber; passed good grass. Came eleven miles to Cricket creek, a little muddy stream, steep banks; came six miles to Willow creek and camped; plenty of wood and water, not much grass. Have passed little grass since we crossed Deer creek. Distance twenty-three miles to-day; came up Platte river bottom all day. We had some fine fun this morning after an old bear and three cubs. Myself and John Wilson took the horses and went after the old one. She made pretensions for battle, and I shot and wounded her. She broke for the river and we after her. We had a long, steep hill to run down and she beat us to the river and got across. We came up and John shot and hit her, but she got away. The other boys got the cubs and we had bear meat for dinner. This has been the warmest day yet, but it is not as warm as it is in old Pike by a long ways. Plenty —of snow in sight all day and some in sixty-five miles of us to-night. The country on the north side of the river has gotten more level, but there are bills and mountains on this side.

June 8. We came two miles and crossed a deep wash; came two miles farther and crossed a spring branch, plenty of water, no wood; one mile to another branch and plenty of water. These branches are bad to cross. Came four miles to the ferry. Here are five ferry boats. We got here at 12 o’clock, camped and made a general wash day. This evening I bought forty-four pounds of crackers and gave $8.00 for them. Distance thirteen miles. It is one hundred and twenty-five and three-fourths miles from Fort Laramie to the ferry on Platte river. We have followed up this river five hundred miles on the south side. Moses Beck is very sick this evening with the diarrhea.

June 9. We crossed the river this morn­ing with some of our cattle. This is a dan­gerous business. Several men have been drowned, and I saw one drowned to-day. We have to strip off and follow the cattle half way across, and then you have to go all the way or swim against the current to get back. James Bradshaw and Thomas Brown went across with our cattle, and if Brown had had five yards farther to have gone he would have drowned. He could not stand when he got out of the river. It is one-quarter mile wide and a very swift current. They will not ferry cattle. We came two miles and Moses Beck got so bad we had to stop. Distance two miles.

June 10. We came ten miles to the Min­eral spring, which is poison if the water is made muddy. There is a large pool of wa­ter on the left, right at the edge of the road.

We dipped up the water carefully and watered our cattle out of the buckets; came ten miles to a spring branch; the water is poison, being alkali, and it will kill anything that drinks it; three miles more to a spring branch which is good, but it is a little sulphury. Came two miles up the branch to the Wilson spring which is as good water as I ever drank; plenty of wood, but no grass. Here we camped; distance to-day twenty-five miles. All persons should be very cautious along here about water. You can tell by taking the mud out of the water and smelling of it whether it is poison or not. Use no standing water. There is no grass to-day at any point on the road, nor wood; the grasshoppers and crickets have destroyed it. We had a tolerably bad road and dusty. There is a great rush with the immigrants to-day. Some teams gave out by the time they got to the springs. Moses Beck is getting better.

June 11. We came four miles to some large, flat, marshy places; these places are very miry, and the water is very poisonous. Here the road turns down to the left two hundred yards and crosses the flat, then comes up the other side; the same distance down and at the lower end there is a good spring of water, and forty yards to the left a branch of good water runs flush. Came six miles and struck the same branch; two miles farther and crossed a branch with good running water, nothing here but sand; came five miles to the Saleratus lake. The Saleratus springs are one mile above the road. This lake looks like it is covered with snow and the water is as poison as arsenic. Came three miles and turned to the left one-half mile to Sweet Water river. It is fifty yards wide and two feet deep. Here we camped; no wood, but plenty of grass. Across the river at the foot of the moun­tain is plenty of sage for wood. Distance twenty miles. Our road to-day has been tolerably level, but the last ten miles was all sand four inches deep, and made heavy pulling. This morning we start through the Rocky mountains. This is called the South Pass. The road is crowded with im­migrants. All well and in fine spirits. We have not had any grass for two days until to-night, teams look bad.

June 12. We came one mile to the Inde­pendence rock; this is a small, (?) round rock, one mile in circumference and two hundred feet high. Came one mile to the crossing of Sweet Water river; went up the south side three miles, and here the road goes through a gap in the mountains and comes to the river. Here to the right is what is called the Devil’s Gate. The river runs through the mountains, the walls are four hundred feet perpendicular. Came one-half mile to a branch, then on one-half mile to a rapid little stream that was bad to cross; three miles to another branch bad to cross; four miles farther to an alkali branch with yellow, muddy water; two and one-half miles to the bank of the river, where there is a beautiful camping ground, but no wood except sage and grease wood, which is about the same. Here we camped, distance fifteen miles. We started late, had good roads all day, but the branches were very bad to cross. Sweet Water river is fifty yards wide and two and one-half feet deep; it runs close to the foot of the Rocky moun­tains. We followed up the river all day and passed over about two miles of alkali. Bot­tom grass is not very good and the horse teams have given up that the oxen are bound to beat them; some have left their wagons and are packing. Be cautious about the alkali water, especially in lakes and ponds. We were four miles from the Saleratus springs and they stunk worse than canon, almost knocked a man down, so you can guess whether they are poison or not.

June 13. We came twenty-two and one-half miles, crossed several branches and camped by the mountain. We came to the river several times to-day. There is not much grass, but plenty of pine and cedar wood on the side of the mountains. We have not seen much grass to-day, have had sand from two to four inches deep; the road and the country between the moun­tains is tolerably level; it is eight or ten miles between them. The Rocky moun­tains are on the north, the mountains on the south are not rocky, but covered with tall timber and snow; the river keeps up the side of the Rocky mountains and the road leads up the river where it can. All well to-night but Moses Beck, and he is about all right. It has been cold to-night. The wind is in the south, but comes from the snow close by. To-day I saw quite a number of dead oxen and horses that died from the effect of the alkali water.

June 14. We came fifteen and one-half miles to a big alkali lake; came along side of it one and one-half miles and crossed it, then came seven miles to a round, fiat bot­tom, and here we camped. There is a spring to the left of the road one-half mile, but we are afraid to use the water. Many who camped here have used it and let their stock drink it. Distance twenty-four miles to-day. We had tolerable roads, but in some places deep sand and in other places the road was hard and gravelly, which wore our oxen’s feet very badly. We could see, this morning, mountains at a great distance before us covered with snow. This after­noon I drove the team and had to wear my overcoat and mittens, and nearly froze at that. It rained, hailed and snowed, and we had no wood except sage brush, and but little of that, and not much grass. Teams are bound to fail if grass is not better on ahead. I saw several oxen sick to-day from the effect of alkali water, and several dead in the road. Most all the immigrants seem to be in good spirits. Game tolerably plentiful here, such as mountain goat and sheep, antelope and bear. We have not seen the elephant yet. (What does he mean by this? DM) Nothing more to-day.

June 15. We came five miles to the riv­er again, and crossed over. There is an is­land and we had two channels to cross, each being twenty steps wide and two and one half feet deep; crossed about 8 o’clock, camped until 10 o’clock and started over the Rocky mountains. Traveled three and one-half miles over a high mountain to the river again. Came up the river one and one-half miles and crossed two sloughs.

Came four miles to a spring branch; the spring is three hundred yards to the right of the road and the water is good. We camped in the bottom, three hundred yards from the river, and there were plenty of willows to make fires. Distance fourteen miles to-day. We have had very gravelly roads to-day, and very mountainous. There are plenty of gooseberries and currants, but they are not quite ripe enough to make pies, and no wonder, I have worn my sleeve jacket and overcoat all day, and part of the day my mittens, and about 12 o’clock it did some snowing. This is a curiosity to me. There is not much grass here. Thomas Henderson is sick this evening, has a high fever, but the rest of us are well.

June 16. We came up the river one and one-half miles and left it, turning to the right up a hollow. We came six miles, climbing the Rocky mountains; there were three big ponds to the left of the road on top of the Rocky mountains which are poi­son; came one mile to a spring branch which is good water. One and one-half miles farther, twenty steps to the left of the road, is a. good, running spring; this spring is at the top of the Rocky moun­tains. Came six and one-half miles, cross­ing several small creeks, to Sweet Water creek; it is thirty feet wide and two feet deep, with steep banks on each side, under which the snow is six feet deep. Three miles farther brought us to Willow creek, which is twenty feet wide and sixteen inches deep. Here we camped, no grass, but plenty of water and wood. Distance eighteen and three-quarters miles. This morning was remarkably cold and held its own all day. We left water in the wash pans last night and there was thick ice in them this morning. We had very rough roads this morning, climbing the moun­tains. Be careful with your wagons here. This afternoon we had good roads, very hard and gravelly, and hard on our oxen’s feet. The Wind River mountains are off to the right; they are high mountains and cov­ered with snow, and have been in sight for three days. Thomas Henderson is getting better, but John Wilson is very sick this evening. All in good spirits.

June 17. We came five miles to Sweet Water river again and crossed it; it was twenty feet wide and two feet deep; here the snow was ten feet deep within ten feet of the road. Three miles farther brought us to a big pond three-quarters of a mile to the left of the road; four miles farther to the Twin mountains, the road passing between them; two and one-half miles brought us to what is called the top of the Rocky mountains. Here turned around the hill, came three miles to the South Pass springs on this side of the mountains; came down the spring branch one and one-hall miles and crossed it; one-half mile farther we camped, not much grass, plenty of sage brush for wood, and good water. Distance nineteen miles. Had very good roads to­day; it commenced snowing about sunrise and snowed until 10 o’clock, then cleared off, but very cold all day. The immigrants nearly froze to-day. John Wilson is real sick yet, but Thomas Henderson has gotten well. I feel like I am going to be sick, it is rough enough to make any man sick. There are many taking sick; it is the mountain fever, caused by the cold, but has not proved to be dangerous yet.

June 18. We came eight and one-half miles to a small creek; if there is water here it is not fit to use. Six miles farther the Salt Lake road turned off; three miles farther to Little Sandy. This is a beautiful stream, five yards wide and eighteen inches deep, with a considerable growth of willows in the bottoms, but not much grass. Here we camped. Distance seventeen and one half miles. We had fine roads to-day, but grass is very scarce. Grundy Branstetter and I took the mountain fever last night. We take this fever with a chill, with aching of the limbs and head, and the fever lasts about twelve hours. All that is necessary is a dose of anti-bilious pills. We camped to-night opposite the Wind River moun­tains; they look like the dead of winter. There was a white frost this morning; the boys brought up a bucket of water about sunrise and in ten minutes it was frozen over.

June 19. We came three miles where a road turned to the left, we kept the right; three miles farther brought us to the Big Sandy. This stream is thirty yards wide and eighteen inches deep. Here we stop­ped for the day. Two more of the boys took the fever last night, but the most of us have gotten about well. We start across one of the deserts in the morning, but there is no grass to cut, hardly enough to fill our cattle, distance six miles. There are many starting across the deserts this evening. We are all well but Simon, and are all in fine spirits. The boys are baking pies and frying sweet cakes, etc.

June 20. We started this morning at 6 o’clock, came seven miles; here was a little alkali water. Seventeen miles farther we came to a river, and a little farther to an­other where we found first rate grass. We stopped two hours, then started and trav­eled until 12 o’clock in the night. June 21, started at sunrise and got to Green river at 9 o’clock in the morning; went down the river five miles to the lower ferry, crossed, and came seven miles to a creek, plenty of willows for wood, tolerable grass. Our ferry across Green river was $7.00 per wagon. Distance in the last thirty-six hours sixty-five miles. From Fort Lara­mie to Green river is 366 1-2 miles. We had very good roads across the desert with the exception of two or three hills, tolerably lev­el, no sand, but the dust from two to six inches deep. Our teams stood the drive very well. One of Wilson’s steers gave out. If the weather is warm it is best to start in the evening. There is plenty of timber on Green river, but no grass. Green river is one hundred and fifty yards wide and from five to fifteen feet deep.

June 22. We came up the creek four miles and crossed; one mile farther and the road left the creek; came five files to a small branch with good water, tolerable grass, no timber. Here we camped. Dis­tance ten miles. It was very warm in the forenoon, but is cool this evening. Chancey creek is twenty steps wide and two and one-half feet deep; it was tolerably high. We had good roads to-day, but very dusty.

June 23. We traveled fifteen and one-half miles, crossing several branches and passing two springs, one of which was the coldest water I ever drank. We have had mountainous roads to-day; had some heavy thunder this evening, and it rained enough to lay the dust; good grass, sage brush for wood.

June 24. We came one mile to a branch; three and one-half miles to the West Fork of Green river, which is twenty steps wide and three feet deep, no timber but willows; nine miles brought us to a spring branch and a grove of timber; three and one-half miles farther we passed through a grove of pine timber; three miles farther to where we camped. Here is a small creek of good water between two mountains. Distance twenty miles. We came over some of the highest mountains to-day we have ever come over; some of our road was good and some very bad and dangerous for wagons. There was good grass all day, and the best soil I ever saw. It was cool, and there was plenty of snow in our road. One mile after we came through the pine grove on top of the mountain I could see Bear river.

June 25. We came two miles over a mountain; five miles farther to a spring thirty steps to the right of the road; one and one-half miles to a small creek, where we came into Bear River bottom. Two miles to a lake one mile around; four miles to Thomas Fork of Bear river, crossed it, and three and one-half miles to the main river. Traveled one and one-half miles down the river in a broad bottom and camp­ed. Distance twenty-one miles. Bear riv­er is a rapid stream, one hundred yards wide and very deep. We crossed Thomas Fork at the upper ford. There are three channels, all three feet deep. Bear River bottom is five miles wide and grass in any quantity. All are well for the first time in more than a week, and are in fine spirits.

June 26. This morning after traveling three and one-half miles we came to a branch where we found the worst mud we have come through; two and one-half miles farther we left the river. Came one-half mile to a spring at the left hand side of the road with good looking water, but two of the boys took a drink and it made them sick for awhile; three and one-hall miles around a large lake brought us to a small creek of beautiful water; one and one-half miles farther to the North Fork of Bear river. It is a muddy stream, three feet deep and twenty-five feet wide. We came one mile down the river and took over the mountains. After traveling seven and one-half miles and crossing two small creeks, we came in sight of Bear river; four miles farther to the bank of the river, where we camped. Plenty of wood, water and grass; distance twenty-four miles. We traveled over some of the longest and steepest mountains this afternoon that we have come over yet. In all the ponds, lakes and sloughs the water is poison. In Bear River bottom do not let your stock drink any standing water. I saw ten dead steers to­day. There is an abundance of flax grass here in the bottoms, and some timber on the river. Game is scarce, Indians few and friendly. I have seen more grass in the last two days than has been on the road for the last three hundred miles. The weather is pleasant and all are well.

June 27. We left the river this morning and came five miles to a creek; five miles farther to a creek, one mile to another, and one-half mile to another; one-half mile to a branch, three miles to a creek, three miles to another and one mile farther, crossing two creeks; three miles farther, ten steps to the left of the road, is good water. Here we camped; plenty of timber one-quarter mile to the left of the road down the hollow. Distance twenty-two miles to-day. We fol­lowed down Bear river all day, but not nearer than three miles of the river until we camped here in sight one-half mile off. Had good roads to-day and plenty of grass; tolerably warm, but turned cold this even­ing and we had a thunder storm and a right smart rain. All well.

June 28. We came six miles through the mountains to a branch; nine miles far­ther to the Soda springs, which are to the left of the road; the branch runs down the side of the road. Came one mile and cross­ed a creek; one-half mile farther to the Boiling springs in a cedar grove; one quarter mile farther, and three hundred yards to the left of the road on the bank of the river, is the Steamboat spring. We came three and one-quarter miles and camped; good grass, not much wood. Distance twenty miles. We had fine roads to-day, and tolerably cool. We had a hail storm to­day and it rained this evening. We followed down Bear river all day, and camped on it to-night. It is one mile from the road.

June 29. We came one mile this morn­ing to where the roads fork; the Fort Hall road turns to the right up a broad valley and the Sublet’s cut-off keeps straight ahead; here we leave the river, which turns to the left and runs south. We came four miles to Soda Pop spring, which is ten feet away on the right side of the road; one mile farther to the left of the road bad water rises; one-fourth mile to a spring branch, the spring being one hundred and fifty yards above the road; three-quarters of a mile to a good spring ten steps to the left of the road; ten miles farther to a small creek; three miles farther to a creek, the water of which is poison when the mud is stirred up. Six of Henderson’s and Wil­son’s steers got poisoned here. One and one-quarter miles to a branch; three-quarters of a mile to a creek; two miles farther to a large creek where we camped. Distance twenty-three miles. We traveled north to­day up a broad valley, had tolerable roads and plenty of grass. Most all of the immi­grants that did not go by the Salt Lake road went by Sublet’s cut-off, but we go the old road. Plenty of willows to make fires to-night. Soda Pop spring is in an elevated rock two feet wide, thirty-five feet long and from two to four feet deep. The water is not good. Simon is sick this evening. We are giving the sick oxen grease this evening; if grease or vinegar does not cure them they die.

June 30. We came up the creek three and one-half miles and crossed it, it was three feet deep; one and one-half miles to a branch with plenty of timber; five miles farther brought us to the top of the divid­ing ridge that divides the waters of the Salt lake and the waters of the Columbia river. One mile to the foot of the ridge is a mountain spring twenty steps to the left of the road; we traveled down the spring branch nine miles and camped. Distance twenty miles. We had tolerable roads to­day and there is wood and water at any point. When on top of the dividing ridge we could see the Sierra Nevada mountains before us. None of the cattle died that were poisoned yesterday. The boys had a quarrel about it this morning and they will burst up when we get to Fort Hall. Wilson and Henderson are in one wagon, they left Henderson’s wagon at Green river. The mosquitoes are the worst I ever saw this evening; good grass. Wild wheat is in full bloom, thick and tall in the valleys. All are well this evening; had a white frost this morning.

July 1. We came eight miles to the broad bottoms of Snake river, where we leave the spring branch; came four miles and nooned without water; seven miles far­ther over sand to a creek, with a good spring on the west side of it. Here an In­dian met us to pilot us over the deep water to Port Hall. Snake river is very full, over­flowing its banks, and there are some large sloughs to cross. One mile brought us to two creeks, bad crossings; one mile far­ther to a slough sixty yards across and four feet deep. It swam our smallest cattle, but we landed safely over. Three miles to the bank of Snake river, and one mile down the river to the Fort. We landed one hour by sun, and one-half mile farther, on the bank of a large bayou that makes around from the river, we camped. Distance twenty-five and one-half miles. The dis­tance from Fort Laramie to Fort Hall is 567 miles. Fort Hall is a British Post, but there were no soldiers here. Two Scotch-men and their families live here, and they have a quantity of stock and are very clever men. The American Post is six miles above Fort Hall on the same river; they call it Camp Adventuring. We did not go there but could see it from the road. There is some timber along this river. We bought all the milk and butter we could get at the Fort. The mosquitoes here cannot be beaten in the world. (Brother B has never been to Wichita Falls, Texas!! DM)

July 2. We started late this morning and came one and one-half miles to the lake we crossed yesterday evening; it is two and one-half feet deep. One mile to anoth­er lake, two miles to Rose’s Fork of Snake river which is sixty yards wide and four feet deep here. We turned our wagon over just as we started in, but nothing was broken or damaged. It swam our cattle for twenty yards, and the water came up to the sideboards on the wagon beds. Here our sideboards were a great advantage, as we put everything on top of them. If this stream ran as rapidly as the streams in the mountains it would have been impossible to ford it; we all landed safely. This is the first time I have been wet since I left home. We drove up the hill, stopped and sunned our things. Started at 2 o’clock, came eight miles to a small creek and camped; good grass, good water and plenty of sage for wood. Distance twelve and one half miles. We had good roads to-day ex­cept the water crossing. Snake river is about one-quarter mile wide. The mosqui­toes are so bad that we have to wear our coats and mittens, and I tied my handker­chief over my face. This is a tolerably warm day, but not so warm as it is in the states.

July 3. We came seven miles to the river bottom. As you come down into the bottom, to the right, under the hill, is a spring. Four miles down the bottom brought us to the bank of the river; two miles down the river brought us to the falls, which are a curiosity. From here we trav­eled eleven miles and camped within one-half mile of the river in the bottom, where the road goes through a cliff of rock. Very good grass, distance twenty-four miles. We traveled down Snake river all day and camped on it. Road tolerably good, but dusty; got out of the mosquitoes to-night. At noon General _______ and old Thad San­ford overtook us and camped with us to­night. The Bowling Green company has all split up. We saw no timber on Snake river to-day except some scrubby cedars.

July 4. We came eight and one-half miles to where we left Snake river; then over a ridge six miles to Raft river and crossed it. It is a small stream thirty feet wide and two and one-half feet deep. Here the Oregon road turns to the left and leads up the hill out of the bottom. We came up the river bottom five miles and crossed it again. Came two miles up the river and camped on its bank. Good grass and grease brush for wood. Distance twenty-one and one-half miles. Good roads to-day, but dusty. This is a very warm day.

July 5. We left the river and came ten miles up the bottom to the river again and crossed it. Here it had four and one-half feet of water and the banks are so muddy it was hard crossing, but we got over safe­ly. The horse teams had to pull their wag­ons over by hand, the horses all miring and had to be driven across loose. Here we left Raft river, came ten miles to the West Fork and camped; good grass, plenty of wood and water; distance twenty miles. Good roads to-day, and we camped to-night right where the Myers’ cut-off comes in. We came in with the teams that started in the cut-off when we took the old road. I got a correct account of this cut-off from a man that kept a journal. He says it is one hun­dred and thirty-five miles through there, and three places it is eighteen miles with­out water, but grass was tolerably good. It was over hills all the time, and two of the worst hills to come down that a wagon ever came over. I make it one hundred and forty-five miles by Fort Hall and the best of road, the farthest distance without water is eleven miles. There is not a stick of timber on Raft river. The nays are toler­ably warm and the nights cool. In Raft River bottom there are hundreds of acres, of wild wheat as thick as it can stand and as high as a man’s head. It is just in full bloom and is the prettiest sight I have seen.

July 6. We came five miles and crossed the creek we camped on; then turned south and came up a valley five miles, cross­ing a spring branch, where we nooned one hundred and fifty yards above the road. This spring has the best of water. We came over a ridge five miles to a break in the broad valley, and we could see the im­migrants on the far side of the valley on the Salt Lake road. We came six miles to where we start through the mountains, and camped; plenty of cedar timber and good grass, but no water. Distance twenty-one miles. We have the best looking teams on the road; horse and mule teams look very bad. The calculation of all the immi­grants is to reach the gold diggings in twen­ty-five days from to-day, and that is our calculation. All well, fat and thriving.

July 7. We came six miles to where the Salt Lake road comes in, five miles farther to a creek in a valley where we nooned. We traveled twelve miles to Goose river and camped. Good water and grass, sage and willow wood; distance twenty-three miles. This forenoon we had fine roads, but this afternoon they were as bad as we have ever passed over, some places very sidling, and great danger of turning over. I saw a company to-day that came by the Salt Lake road and they said they had to ferry Green river once, Bear river twice and Weber river twice. That makes five times they ferried, and four days they traveled over the worst road that a wagon ever ran over. They reached the fork of the road, with horse teams, four days before we got there, and we beat them to where the roads come together. I make it 380 miles by Fort Hall, and the Mormon guide makes it 385 miles by the Salt Lake road. All well; teams are fine and travel well. This is a cool day, I wore my overcoat.

July 8. We started late this morning, came sixteen miles, crossing several small branches, and camped on the bank of the river. We crossed our cattle over the riv­er; good grass, plenty of wood. This was a cold morning, some frost. We followed up Goose river, which is a small stream, all day, and had fine roads.

July 9. We came one-half mile; here the river turns to the right and we left it, going up a branch one and one-half miles, where the mountains close in so there is just room for the road and the branch; we came three miles and left it; came twelve miles over the hills, no water and no grass. That brought us into Thousand Spring val­ley, where there is a small branch of water, but no grass; we came seven miles down the valley to a large spring of good water, good grass and a little sage wood. Here we camped; distance twenty-four miles. We had some tolerably rough roads and some good. This is a cool day, heavy thun­der and lightning this evening and a little rain. All well.

July 10. We came three miles to some warm springs; leaving the valley we came over a range of hills four miles to Cold Water Creek valley, came up the valley sev­en miles and nooned; we came up the val­ley ten miles, passing a number of springs, and came to the hot springs, a little above which are good, cold springs. Here we camped, good grass, and wood within three hundred yards. Distance twenty-four miles. We had the best of roads to-day, grass has not been very good along the road, but plenty of water. The days are cool and there was plenty of frost last night. There is a great cry for provisions along here, flour and sugar are worth $1.00 per pound, and other things accordingly. We have enough if no accident happens.

July 11. We traveled six miles to the bead of the Thousand Spring valley; three miles to the top of the mountain, two miles to the foot of the mountain, and in the val­ley, one hundred and fifty yards to the right of the road, is a good spring; four miles farther across a rise of ground to the head of a narrow valley is a good spring. Two miles down the valley we took over a rise of ground, leaving the valley to the left and came five miles. Here the road forks, take the left. Three miles to the valley we just left, one mile down the valley is a good spring at the edge of the road, and good grass; here we camped at dark. Distance twenty-six miles. Roads to-day were good, but very dusty, and disagree­able driving. Grass has been very good. Dead horses and mules are as plentiful here as dead steers were on the river. All are well and in fine spirits.

July 12. We started this morning at 5 o’clock and came one mile down the valley, and the other road came into ours. Here the road leaves the valley and turns to the right over a rise of ground. Eight and one half miles and we came to the East Fork of Humboldt or Mary’s river. Nine miles farther we came to the North Fork of Mary’s river, and crossed it and two sloughs, very bad crossing. We came two miles down the sloughs under the hill and camped. We had to cross our cattle over the slough to get grass, and it was very miry and dangerous to cross. Good grass to-night and has been all day, and the best of roads. Distance twenty and one-half miles. It is 222 miles from Fort Hall to Mary’s river. Grass is good here and in any quantity. The bottom is from two to five miles wide, the best of roads and the dust shoe-mouth deep. There is no timber on this river, but plenty of sage brush and willows for wood. A horse was stolen to­day at noon by two Indians and they were not caught.

July 13. We traveled down the river all day and never crossed a slough; a bet­ter road a wagon never ran over. The best of grass, but hard to get to, on account of the sloughs that run all over the bottom. It was very dusty; distance twenty miles. This has been the warmest day we have had; I had to take out my handkerchief and wipe off the sweat for the first time this summer. We passed a grave to-day. The man was shot with an arrow, while on guard, by an Indian. He lived two days after he was shot. We are all well to-night. July 14. We came one-half mile and crossed a large creek, just before the junc­tion with Mary’s river. Here the river runs through the mountains. We traveled ten and one-half miles over hills and valleys and stopped for noon on the bank of the river. We came on eleven miles down the bottom to a camp; had no grass except wild wheat. The sloughs are so miry that we could not get near the river. Distance twenty-three miles. Mary’s river at this point is fifty yards wide and ten feet deep. All are well.

July 15. We came eight miles to where the road forks, one leading down the bot­tom to the left and across the river. This would probably be the best road late in the season, but the river is high now. We took the right hand road over the mountains and came ten miles to a small creek; came two miles down it and camped. Plenty of wood, water and grass, and currants to make pies. Distance twenty miles. We had good roads to-day and very dusty; the weather is getting very warm. The In­dians undertook to steal mules this morn­ing about day-break, and the guard shot, but did not kill them. They were tracked for half a mile by the blood. This happened. in one-half mile of our camp; we heard the guns fired. The immigrants made up a company of one hundred and fifty men to go to-night to take their town and kill them. They steal horses every night; these are the Digger Indians. We are all well and made some currant tarts for supper. We live out here like we were at home, instead of like the prowling beast of the forest. The immigrants are generally very civil and accommodating, instead of being like sav­ages.

July 16. This morning we came one mile down the creek and crossed at a very bad crossing. Two miles farther brought us to another branch of the river, which we crossed at a new ford and made a cut-off of some three miles, it being some five miles around and only two miles across. The road is very good and the crossings are not bad. After intersecting the old road again we traveled nine miles and came to some very good springs, which we were glad to see, for our road to-day was over the moun­tains and this was the first water we had found since leaving camp. Eleven miles down the canyon brought us to the river again, where we camped; no grass, unless you swim your stock across the river. The weather is warm and the roads very dusty. The ascent and descent are very gradual on the mountains. Distance to-day twenty-five miles.

July 17. This morning we again took up the line of march, leaving the river and taking up the bluff south on account of the sloughs along the river being so very diffi­cult to cross. The ascent of the mountain was very gradual, and one and one-half miles brought us to the top of the hill. A gradual descent of three and one-half miles brought us to the bottom again, and four miles more brought us to the river where we watered and grazed, also took dinner. Twelve miles brought us opposite a slough, to which we had to drive to camp; this slough is between the road and the river, to the left three miles. Good roads this after­noon, but very dusty. Distance to-day twenty-one miles.

July 18. After driving four miles we came to bluffs, where we crossed a creek of fresh, running water. Seven miles brought us to a slough near the road, good grass, water not very good. Seven miles to the banks of the river again; grass good, roads a little rough and stony. Here we left the river and traveled six miles up the bottom through the worst saleratus ground we have had for some time, some very poisonous lakes near the road. In coming the last six miles we crossed one small creek of good water four miles from the river. Dis­tance to-day twenty-four miles.

July 19. Drove four miles to the river, watered our stock and. took a nice keg of water. Then we left the river for seven­teen miles, traveling over a dusty road without water or grass, and when we came to the river we could get no grass without swimming it and cutting the grass and rafting it over. Rested awhile, then drove over a second bottom or bluff three miles and camped. Distance to-day twenty-four miles.

July 20. At 8 o’clock this morning we were on the line again. Seven miles brought us to the river, where we found good grass and water. We rested until about an hour before sunset, then hitched up and drove two and one-half miles, where we found many roads leading off in different direc­tions. After passing two or three of these roads which turned to the right, we took a very plain right hand road, which took us eight miles out of our way, and finding that we were lost we camped. Good grass, but no water. Distance on the right road nine miles, and on the wrong road eight miles, making seventeen miles.

July 21. After arising and taking a peep at the surrounding country we con­cluded to turn to the left down the valley, and after driving six miles we struck the old road in five miles of where we left it yesterday evening. This wild goose chase was on what is called the Lassers route to the upper settlements of California. We only gained two and one-half miles in our last night’s and this morning’s drive. Af­ter we struck the road five miles brought us to the bank of the river again, where we watered our stock, then drove two and one-half miles and took dinner on the river. We left the river this afternoon and drove around a mountain, coming to the river again in six miles; one mile down the river and camped. Distance on the road seven­teen miles and off the road five miles.

July 22. Drove eight miles down the river and finding the grass getting rather thin we decided to stop and take in some grass for our stock. After this we drove five miles to the bank of the river, then five and one half miles over a deep slough and around the point of a mountain, coming to the river again. Here the river runs out in many sloughs, and I think a great portion of the water sinks. Distance to-day eigh­teen and one-half miles.

July 23. Our road to-day is rather to­ward the south along the river, with good watering places, but grass very scarce without swimming the river and mowing. After traveling four miles the road became very sandy, which lasted all evening, ex­cept now and then when we touched the bottom for a few hundred yards the road was tolerably good. Ten miles brought us to camp on the river without grass. Dis­tance fourteen miles. Our team to-day seemed to be very much fatigued and we decided to not drive as far as usual.

July 24. Our road is along the river bank in sand from six inches to a foot deep pretty much all the way; watering places convenient. Ten miles brought us to where we took dinner without any grass on either side of the river. We left the river again for twelve miles, road tolerably good, no grass on the road or river. Camped on the river, the only feed for our stock this even­ing being to cut young willows, which they ate very heartily. Distance twenty-two miles.

July 25. After traveling six miles we came to a crossing on the river where we stopped and drove our cattle across, grass tolerably good. At 2 o’clock we started, drove twelve miles and camped on the river. Our road was good but very dusty. Our only feed is willow brush. Plenty of sage and grease wood for fuel. Distance to-day eighteen miles.

July 26. We left the river, and after traveling eight miles came to it again, where we watered and fed our stock again on willow brush. After dinner we drove seven miles and camped on the river again. We swam our stock across the river and drove them three miles to the mountains for grass, but it was not very good. Dis­tance to-day fifteen miles.

July 17. Drove eight miles and took dinner on the river, our only feed for stock being willow brush; fuel, sage brush. At 2 o’clock we drove out from camp six miles to the river and watered; drove seven miles off from the river and camped without grass or water; road good, but dust very bad. Distance to-day twenty-one miles.

July 28. Three miles brought us to a small creek where we found an excellent spring, and took breakfast; no feed of any kind. We drove eight miles to the Great Meadow and slough. Here we camped for the day with thousands of acres of the best of grass and water. Distance eleven miles.

July 29. This afternoon we drove nine miles over very good road and took supper. No water or grass on the road, but four or five miles off to the left it is plentiful, for the meadow extends pretty well to the sink. After supper we drove ten miles and camped without wood, water or grass. Dis­tance to-day nineteen miles.

July 30. Six miles brought us to the great lake or sink in the river. Here we camped and remained until 2 o’clock, then started for the desert, and after driving ten miles stopped and took supper. When we started we thought we were at the sink, but after traveling the first five miles we came to the crossing of the river, the water being about eighteen inches deep. I doubt if the river has any sink. At 8 o’clock we started again, drove eight miles and camped for the night; road very good except one mile that was sandy. Here we saw many teams that had about given out, and a great destruc­tion of property. Distance twenty-four miles.

July 31. At sunrise we started and drove eight miles over tolerably good roads, except a little sandy now and then, and stopped for breakfast. Then we drove four miles and laid by until 2 o’clock; then left, bound for the river. After traveling four miles we struck the sand, which in many places we found to be six Inches deep. Eight miles farther brought us to the Sal­mon or Trout river. Nearly all of this dis­tance is a bed of sand, except a few hun­dred yards in different places. After reaching the river, which is about as large as Bear river, we had to swim our stock over before we could get grass, but by so doing we found the best of grass. We got to the river at sundown. Distance to-day twenty-four miles. Distance from the last slough of Mary’s river across the desert to Salmon, Trout or Pilot river, is forty-three miles, and not any more, either.

August 1. Rested our stock and trav­eled none at all.

August 2. To-day we drove eight miles up the river and camped for the night; road very good, plenty of good wood, water and grass. The timber is principally cotton­wood and willows which grow all along the river. This little stream of clear water is about forty yards wide and from three to five feet deep.

August 4. We left the river to our right and steered across the desert; after driving eight miles we found the road very sandy and rocky. Five miles over this kind of road brought us to where it was very hard and firm for about four miles, then struck the sand again which continued for about eight miles, until we got to the river again. This is what is called the twenty-six mile road of Salmon river.

August 6. We left the river and went around a very high mountain. After traveling six miles came to the river again; up the river two miles and took dinner; twelve miles up the valley after dinner and camped near the bluffs; plenty of good pine wood, water and grass. We have found plenty of provisions for sale the last eighty or ninety miles. Distance twenty miles.

August 7. Our road to-day is up the river valley, plenty of good wood, water and grass. After driving one and one-half miles we came to the warm springs; they are very numerous and form quite a large lake that is full of rushes. Traveled eleven miles more and took dinner, road very good. After dinner we left the bottom and traveled over very rough and sandy roads, and camped on the river at the mouth of the Big Canyon: grass, water and wood good. Here the mountains are covered with lofty pines and cedars. Distance to-day eighteen miles.

August 8. Up the river we came for six miles with road so bad it is indescrib­able. After leaving the canyon we came to a narrow valley with very little grass. This is on one fork of Salmon river. After din­ner drove seven miles up the creek and camped near the head of it. Grass good. Here the mountains are covered with the finest of pine and cedar timber. Snow on the mountains is very deep and the weather cool. Distance to-day thirteen miles.

August 9. After driving one mile this morning we came to a small lake at the foot of the mountains; then drove one-half mile up the steepest and roughest road that I ever saw in my life to the top of the moun­tain. Thence down a canyon on a large branch four and one-half miles to a large lake, road very rough; here we took dinner. Another mountain was before us this after­noon, which we ascended three miles and camped; road very rough and steep; good grass, wood and water. Crossing these mountains is about what I would call the second sight of the elephant. The road is so rough that I shall not make any preten­sions to describing it. Distance to-day nine miles.

August 10. Climbing the mountains this morning one and one-half miles over snow and ice from one to twenty feet deep brought us to the summit; this is the lofti­est peak of the Sierra Nevada mountains that we have traveled over. The road is now descending and through heavy timber; also very rough, some few mountains to climb, but not so bad as some we have passed over. Plenty of good water all along, but no grass. Thirteen and one-half miles to our encampment, not much grass. Dis­tance fifteen miles. August 11. We came eight miles over some rough road to Beak Spring valley. Here we camped, good grass and water, and timber in abundance.

August 12. We traveled twelve miles and nooned on a branch without grass. Six miles farther brought us to some springs at the left of the road; here we camped. Road rough; distance eighteen miles.

August 13. Came nine miles and noon­ed, found a little grass to the left of the road in a deep hollow; four miles farther to the forks of the road, the left leading to Hangtown, the right to Weavertown; three miles farther on the Weavertown road we camped. Distance eighteen miles.

August 14. Three miles brought us to Pleasant valley, down this valley ten miles to Weavertown; good roads, plenty of wa­ter. We camped in the village three hours by sun, and paid fifteen cents a pound for hay for the cattle. Distance to-day thir­teen miles. August 15. We started this morning for the White Oak springs, came fifteen miles and got there, and here we found some old Pike folks. John Hawkins gave us a hot supper and set out his brandy bot­tle. This made me feel like I was in old Pike.

August 16. This morning we came down to Weavertown and stuck the old tent for good. So ends our long and tedious journey, and so ends my journal.

The entire distance traveled was 2,091 miles.
PETER L. BRANSTETTER.
 
From Pike county, Missouri.
WORK IN THE MINES.
 
August 19, 1850, we began working in the gold mines, and our weekly output was as follows:
First week        $34.00
Second week       166.00
Third week        142.00
Fourth week       114.40
Fifth week         81.30
Sixth week        108.00
Seventh week      222.50
Eighth week       180.00
Ninth week        124.00
Tenth week        112.75
Eleventh week      11.50
Twelfth week       57.00
Thirteenth week    74.50
Fourteenth week    48.50
Fifteenth week      3.50
Sixteenth week     10.00
Seventeenth week,  00.00
Eighteenth week,  161.00
Nineteenth week    22.00
Twentieth week     78.80
Twenty-first week 125.00
Twenty-second week 96.00
Total           $1973.75
 
Our expenses up to this time, January 19, 1851, were $562.00.
 
January 19, 1851, Peter L Branstetter, Adam J. Branstetter and Simon M. Bran­stetter commenced work by themselves.
To January 26       $ 97.00
“ February 2          67.50
“     “    9          75.05
“    “     16         46.00
“    “     23         53.50
“    March 2          55.50
“    “     9          82.75
“    “     16         55.60
“    “     23         66.50
“    “     30        125.60
“    April 6         122.50
“    “ 13, all sick   88.05
“    “ 20, very rainy 34.90
“    April 27         34.00
“    May 4           100.40
“      “ 11           75.80
“      “ 18           97.20
“      “ 25          101.00
“    June 1           96.40
“         8           67.50                                 
“      “  15         172.25
“      “  16          56.80
“      “  26          75.65
Total              $1847.05
This made a wind-up of our gold digging.
 
RETURN TRIP TO THE STATES.
 
Sacramento City, California.
May 6 and 7, 1851, Peter L. Branstetter & Brothers bought their outfit to return to the states:
Six mules                   $550.00
Larriat, 16 1-2 lbs.           4.80
Ducking to make packs, 14 yds. 6.25
Two saddles                   16.00
Three pairs of spurs          24.00
One saddle                     3.00
Two mules                     14.00
Three packsaddles, one bridle 14.00
One whip and mule              3.25
My expenses                   14.51
       Total                $642.61
 
Bought in Sacramento City, May 20th and 21st:
Provisions                   $30.00
Shoeing two mules              5.00
Tobacco                        9.00
Hauling up home                9.20
Three cruppers                 5.25
Five pairs socks               2.50
Percussion caps                1.18
One lariat                      .38
Six scarfs                     6.00
Our expenses                  12.70
    Total                    $81.21

  July 2, 1851, we started home from Weaver Creek, California, and camped July 6 at Mormon Station, having traveled in the five days 131 miles, and spent $6.19. 

July 7 and 8, eighty-one miles brought us within six miles of the desert, and July 9 we started across at 3 p. in reaching the sink of the Humboldt river at daybreak, a distance of fifty-one miles.

July 10 and 11 made forty-two miles, our mules getting alkali water. Sunday, the 12th, rested.

July 13 to 21, traveled 291 miles, an aver­age of thirty-two and one half miles a day. Passed the grave of Edward Sisson on the 20th, and passed through the canyon on the head of Humboldt river.

July 22, we bid farewell to Humboldt river and on the 23d, nooned in the Thou­sand Springs valley; on the 25th passed the Salt Lake road at noon and on the 26th passed Fort Hall road and camped on the cut-off, making 140 miles in the five days.

July 30, camped at Soda Springs on Bear river, August 1, crossed the North Fork of Bear river; the 2d crossed Thomas Fork and camped on the West Fork of Green riv­er. Made 217 miles the last seven days.

August, 8 we crossed the Rocky moun­tains, the 10th camped four miles above Devils Gate on Sweet Water, and the 11th left this river, camping on Platte river the 12th. Traveled 284 miles the last ten days.

Fort Laramie was passed on the 17th of August, Scott’s bluff on the 19th, the Chim­ney and Court House rock on the 20th, and crossed South Platte river on the 24th. The last twelve days averaged twenty-six miles a day. We passed Plum creek on the 27th, Fort Kearney on the 28th, left Little Blue river August 31, and crossed the Big Blue river September 3. We reached the Missouri river September 7, at Weston, hav­ing traveled 422 miles the last fourteen days.

We arrived home September 14, 1851, completing the trip of 2,018 miles. 

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.