Thursday, September 30, 2010

Return to the Journal

[Note: The header picture shows a couple of the natural arches in the Arches National Monument near Moab, Utah.]  

We left my great-grandfather in Illinois driving a stagecoach off and on and then delving into the chair business off and on, and now we find him still there in l845 and '46:

Jan 1845: Worked in the chair shop and helped his pop with the wheat crop.
Feb: Received notice that all Mormons should gather in Hancock County, Ill., as soon as possible.
Apr: Listened to Brigham Young speak a couple of times, once to a crowd of around 20,000 while on a scouting trip in the Nauvoo (formerly Commerce) area for a place to live.
May: Moved in with a friend until he could build a house in Hancock County.
        Planted corn. Finished planting corn.
Jun: Moved in with his father.
Aug 22: His father died. His mother sick.
Aug 23: His wife had a baby boy.
Aug 26: Mother seems to be getting better.
Sep 6: Mobbers getting active again and burned some houses. He expected his would be next, but the mobbers        were turned away by one of them being shot by Porter Rockwell.
Oct 5: A conference was held and it was decided the Mormons should move outside the United States to the Rocky Mountains to avoid the persecution they had been going through.
Nov: Threshed wheat and slaughtered hogs.

Feb: His mother fell ill again.
Mar: Mother passed away. Buried her by his father in the Nauvoo cemetery. Busy making wagons for the trip west.
May: Nine wagons head for Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Jun: The Government wants 500 men to fight the Mexicans.
Jul: He started for Council Bluffs. The Mormons will send the 500 men.
      Arrived in the area of the Bluffs.
Aug: Began building a house. Put up eight tons of hay.
Dec: Traveled 625 miles this year.

[Note: As you have probably gathered this isn't a word for word copy of the diary, but a paraphrased, edited, picking out the most interesting parts version, and I have left out a lot of names, dates, and entries in the hopes that it will be more interesting. Nine hundred and forty-seven pages is too full of day-to-day, repetitious info to put in a blog.]


  1. Good to meet another fan of the western. I was actually looking at Lonesome dove today. I've had a copy on my TBR pile for a while but have yet to dig in. It's a committment.

  2. Thanks, Charles. Lonesome Dove is one of the great ones, I think. You won't be disappointed.

  3. The edited highlights are fine Oscar, and make stark reading of everyday life in those days.

  4. And life gets a bit tougher before it gets better.