15

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1857
Saturday the 19th. We walked to Salmon Falls. Stayed at Orr's. Next morning early we walked to Brother Cram's near Auburn. Met Clem, John and Brother Shearman. Held meeting in the morning and afternoon. In the evening President Cannon and James Orr arrived and confirmed the news we had previously. Brother Brigham started instantly for Carson valley.

We were sent on a special mission to warn all of the Saints to be ready to gather at a moments warning. Brother Cannon informed us that the troops ordered for Utah were abusing the Handcart Companies, ravaging their women, etc. That 6 or 7 companies had left Utah to meet the Hell Hounds and give them what they justly deserved. My prayer is that the vengeance of the Almighty may speedily overtake them. I cannot express how I feel. My blood runs cold. To tell the truth I hope and pray that if there is any fuss that the Lord will spare my life to gather to Zion, there to be one soul and body to defend the cause of truth. I have hitherto tried to do so and I do not count my life dear to me and if it is necessary I believe I can shoulder my rifle with as good grace as to get up and preach, and with the self same spirit. Well, we started out the same evening and walked to Brother Braim Cram's, five miles. Brother John accompanied us on his way to Yolo County. Clem and Brother Shearman started for Grass Valley. We walked to Miller's, Thomas's, Joseph Outhouse's, Pollick's, etc. Brother Aaron's cousin paid him $104.00. We then walked to Dry Town to Brother Plunkett's, then to father Lunceford's, then to Placerville to Brother George F. Hendry's, Taylor's, Bird's, then to Calama to Sister Plumtree's then back to Salmon Falls. By Friday noon Brother Aaron was there about given out, was sick all day Saturday. Brother Preston arrived Sunday Evening. Brothers Clem and Shearman arrived next day. Brother Aaron went to Yolo with Brother Preston. Brother Shearman went to Union Town, Clem and I went to Michigan bar. Stayed all night at Brother Daney's. He gave us $5.00 and I forgot to state that Brother Hundry gave me $10.00 to buy a rifle. Tuesday came back to Salmon Falls. Wednesday walked to Father Lunceford's. Met Brother Shearman.

Saturday. Brother S. Hendry and I went to Salmon Falls. Bought a span of horses for $300.00 off Brother Orr. Brother Hendry paid cash $250.00 and gave a note for $50.00. I have been helping the Lunceford's fix their wagons. I have been carpenter, painter, in fact, Jack of all Trades. We were to have started today, Sunday, October 9th, but there is so much hanging back. However, if all is well we will start tomorrow.

I do not know what the Pharisees around here will think of us Mormon men. Preaching one day and working another. This is Sunday and I have painted a wagon, in fact, worked hard all day. I have been trying all I can to get the folks off. I have received two letters from Brother Shearman informing me that the Company will not start till the 20th of October. I went over to French Town this evening. Mr. Waters (who has been friendly with us) was very much excited. Said if he could sell out he would go by water and meet us at San Bernardino. Quite a mob of fellows got together here drinking and swore vengeance regarding us young Elders. However, we escaped out at the back door. When we got nearly home I fell into a deep hole, escaped injury.


ENROUTE TO UTAH

October 12. At the request of Father Lunceford I commenced a journal of our travels to Great Salt Lake City, via San Bernardino. About 8 o'clock a.m. we started. Our company was composed of 11 persons as follows: Sister Lunceford, her daughters Emeline, Sarah and Siritta, Samuel Lunceford, Edmund S. Barnes, Charles C. Hurst, F. W. Hurst, Marion Outhouse, George F. Hendry and his Indian Boy, William. (I presume an adopted son.) Three wagons, 11 horses and three large dogs. All seemed in high spirits. Father Lunceford stayed behind in order to sell the ranch. Brother Owen Williamson stayed with him for company.

We traveled as far as the wire bridge on the Casameres (?) River, distance from Pleasant Hill, 22 miles. Here we got one of our horses shod, found plenty of wild grasses, paid 1 cents per pound for hay. Bought $3.75 worth for the horses. Some very suspicious looking men came into camp, however, we loaded up the guns and pistols and set a watch, half a night each. Clem goes till twelve then I will relieve him. The people are very inquisitive. Some ask if we aren't Mormons, some take us for emigrants from the States.

I had almost forgot to state that previous to starting this morning we sang a hymn, "When Shall We Meet Again", then had prayers; asked our Father's blessings on the journey. Some of the folks think it will be unlucky to start on the 12th and more especially as the moon is on the wane. But I feel that when the Lord commands it is most lucky (as they call it) to obey, whether it be new moon or old.

Tuesday, October 13th. There were some fellows hovering around camp all night. We started at sunrise. Had some little trouble getting some of the horses to start. The sun has been perfectly scorching all day. We forded the Makelumen River at Staples Ferry just before sundown and camped nearby Mr. Carpenter's Ranch. He is an apostate but his wife is still a Mormon. She was very glad to see us. She had been confined of a little boy. One of their little boys was very sick. At her request we consecrated a bottle of oil and administered to him by the laying on of hands. Traveled 30 miles today.

Wednesday, October 14th. After a drive of 12 miles we arrived at Stockton City and camped at Mormon Slough. I spent the rest of the day trying to buy a light wagon for Sister Lunceford. We succeeded better than we anticipated. She not only bought a wagon but one span of horses and harness, etc. for $375 out and out. Mother beat him down $15, bought them of a Mr. James Bohanan. He said Mother was hard to trade with, in fact she regularly Jewed him.

We were all so interested in Mother that Brother Hendry's horses strayed off. We all started out to hunt them but in vain. Finally, just as we were about to retire to rest I heard one of the horses winnow. I answered it as well as I could and presently they both came into camp. This raised our spirits again. For my part I felt truly thankful. I have been troubled with gripeing pains all afternoon.

Thursday, October 15th. Clem and I bought some gunpowder and caps, lead, etc. Clem bought a Yauger, or military gun for $11.00. I also bought and fixed false sides to the new wagon. I also wrote to Father Lunceford and Brother Shearman. Addressed the letter to San Juan. Sent both by express. We started about 11 a.m. We crossed the San Joaquin ferry. They charged $1.50 each team. After traveling about 25 miles we camped near a small lake. Saw plenty of wild duck and geese. Samuel shot at one and missed it. We picketed the horses out as there was a little grass.

Friday, October 16th. After a very wearisome day's march through Livermore's Gap (pass ?) we camped in Livermore Valley. We have traveled full 30 miles today. Grass poor. Could get no hay. Marion and I went to a Spanish ranch and tried to get some corn stalks. He wanted to charge us 50 for about 1 dozen stalks, doubtless thinking we had no feed and he had a chance to fleece us, however, we had barley. I told him I would give him 50 for as much as I could pack, but oh! no he could not think of such a thing, consequently we did not buy. I am very much fatigued for it was my watch last night and I have walked most of the day. We occasionally take a ride which proves a great help.

Saturday, October 17th. The wolves were howling all night. We started at dawn and traveled 5 or 6 miles, then bought some hay and stopped to feed the horses while the sisters washed. Just as we were ready to start Brother Carlow, four sons and one daughter, and Mr. Michael Wahlen (who intends to join the Church) joined us. We traveled on together, our company increased to five wagons, 15 horses, 18 souls. We now begin to make quite a show, in fact we raise quite an excitement in every little village or town we pass through. We reached San Jose Mission about 12 o'clock a.m. Here we met with quite an adventure.

As we were driving up the street we met several Spaniards on horseback. One of them stopped the train and claimed one of the horses Mother Lunceford bought at Stockton. However, we would not give it up till it had been tried by a magistrate. Consequently we traveled on to San Jose City 15 miles, all together, where we arrived at about sunset. Brother George F. Hendry and myself went to Judge Daniels to try the case. The Claimant, Jose Mario Lesena, brought about 40 witnesses to prove the horse. Two were duly Sworn, namely Peter DePote and Jose Castro. The case seemed to be proved quite clear that the said horse belonged to Jose Mario Lesena. We paid half the cost which amounted to ten dollars. The Judge gave us a certificate and signed. Next morning, Sunday, we went to the clerk of the court and put the seal of the court on it which cost another Dollar. I then wrote to Brother John Abbot of Stockton and enclosed the bill of sale and certificate, giving him power of attorney to receive the money. Brother G. F. Hendry signed Mother's name to it, etc.

We then traveled on about 25 miles. The country we have passed through has been very dry, water very scarce. In fact, we had to pay 12 for each span of horses to drink. I have been troubled with a pain in my side most of the day.

We camped on an old ranch and held meeting after supper. I felt like getting the Brothers and Sisters together to talk over a few matters, for some were beginning to harbor hard feelings; and then we had no kind of order, for instance, some would be praying and some singing, talking, etc., and I felt it my duty to talk about it. The Brethren and Sisters all felt well and were willing to do their best in the future.

Monday, October 19th. After traveling about eighteen miles we arrived at San Juan about noon. Camped at the east side of the town at the mouth of a canyon. Plenty of wood and water. Feed is scanty. We have traveled 198 miles since last Monday. On our arrival here we heard various reports concerning a company of twenty wagons being organized at Salina. I went to the office and got a letter I wrote from Stockton addressed to Brother Shearman. We have pushed our horses rather fast thinking or fearing we would be behind, but we soon ascertained that we were first. Some of the company thought I had misunderstood the name of the right place. I pulled a letter out of my pocket to prove that we were right. While doing so, Brother Marion Shelton arrived stating that Brother W. H. Shearman had rode after us, reached here shortly after us, but hearing that we passed through on a brisk trot he despaired of ever catching up. Therefore, put his horse in the stable and walked back five miles to Pathro Ferry (where by the way, we were charged 50 each wagon for crossing a small bridge this morning). He also stated that there was a company of six men, namely, W. H. Shearman, William Preston, Marion Shelton, John B. Thatcher, Aaron D. Thatcher, Moses Thatcher, one wagon and six horses, etc. At Brother Shelton's request I saddled a horse and accompanied him back to his company. We met them just west of the town, about two miles from our camp. I tried to pilot them to our camp but owing to my being on horseback and darkness, I missed the right road, however, after some little difficulty we reached camp. We spent the evening very pleasantly talking about the times and reports of the great excitement, etc.

Tuesday, October 20th, San Juan. Remained at camp all day waiting for the company. We have spent the day shooting, fixing up, etc. In the evening we had kind of an organization meeting. Brother John B. Thatcher was chosen Captain, W. H. Shearman - Chaplain, Edward S. Barnes - Sergeant of Guard, F. W. Hurst - Clerk, etc.

Wednesday, October 21st, San Juan. Dispatched Brother M. Shelton to Salinas in search of Brother Boyle. He returned in the evening stating that he heard Brother Boyle was going with Brother Whitlock, etc., in Brother Wandell's Company. However, next morning Thursday, October 22, Elders H. G. Boyle and Ball arrived. We held meeting and reorganized the company. Brother H. G. Boyle was unanimously chosen Captain, E. S. Barnes was chosen Sergeant of the Guard, W. H. Shearman - Chaplain, F. W. Hurst - Clerk, etc. So before the company rolled out about noon, I accompanied Elders Boyle, Ball, and Shearman to Salinas. We rode on horseback. They had previously appointed a meeting at Brother Bennett's. After riding about eight miles we called at Brother Styles. Found him about ready to start for Utah. After resting awhile we rode 8 or 9 miles farther to Brother Bennett's. He had gone to the city. We then rode 2 miles farther to Doetis Whitlock's. After supper we held meeting. Most of the Brethren and Sisters spoke their feelings regarding the journey to the mountains, living their religion, etc. I can't say that I felt very well as it seemed to me that the Saints felt kind of lukewarm, etc.

Friday, October 23rd. Spent considerable time this morning ferrying the horses over the slough (about 400 yards across). About 9 o'clock we started from Brother Whitlock's. Miss W. and Brother Grace accompanied us to show us the nearest trail across the prairie. After riding about four miles we lost Brother Boyle. We waited, hallowed and Brother Shearman fired his revolver but all to no purpose, for they did not notice when we left the road and they galloped past to try to catch us. However, we found the camp about 12 miles from San Juan. The Brethren and Sisters felt very bad indeed because we did not get here sooner and I felt very bad myself, but not on my account, but on theirs. For I do love to see the Saints exercise patience. I know that traveling is calculated to try our tempers. Again Brother Barnes and I went to buy some hay. It was thought that we did not get enough and then I was charged with being careless. Well the Lord knows my heart. I have tried to help the folks all I could ever since I have been released. In fact, Brother Shearman told me that I ought to be looking to my own interests, but I feel it to be my interest to help my brethren. I must own that it makes me feel discouraged when I have done all in my power and then to hear it said or hinted. Well I will not say more on the subject, however, I will try and do my best.

I almost forgot to state Brother John B. Thatcher lent Clem and I $80.00 to get us a fit out. I gave Brother Ball $15.00 and he promised to get $20.00 from Brother Cannon and I would return it when we get to San Bernardino. He, Brother Ball is to get $35.00 worth of clothing such as pants, shirts, etc., also an overcoat, packs, mittens, etc.

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Pages 85 - 90 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst