too well washed, lawn or gingham gown, that fitted modishly to the waist
of its pretty wearer these, if any ot them spoke of poverty, spoke of a
poverty that had known its better days.
The Battalion Ball.
" With the rest attended the elders of the Church within call, includ-
ing nearly all the chiefs of the High Council, with their wives and chil-
dren. They, the gravest and most trouble- worn, seemed the most anxious
of any to be first to throw off the burden of heavy thoughts. Their lead-
ing off the dancing in a great double cotillion was the signal which bade
the festivity commence. To the canto of debonnair violins, the cheer of
horns, the jingle of sleigh-bells, and the jovial snoring of the tambourine,
they did dance ! None of your minuets or other mortuary processions of
gentles in etiquette, tight shoes, and pinching gloves, but the spirited and
scientific displays of our venerated and merry grandparents, who were
not above following the fiddle to the Fox-Chase Inn or Gardens of Gray's
Ferry. French fours, Copenhagen jigs, Virginia reels, and the like for-
gotten figures, executed with the spirit of people too happy to be slow, or
bashful, or constrained. Light hearts, lithe figures, and light feet had it
their own way from an early hour till after the sun had dipped behind
the sharp sky line of the Omaha hills. Silence was then called, and a
well-cultivated mezzo-soprano voice, belonging to a young lady with fair
face and dark eyes, gave, with quartette accompaniment, a little song, the
notes of which I have been unsuccessful in repeated efforts to obtain since
a version of the text, touching to all earthly wanderers :
" ' By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept :
"We wept when we remembered Zion. 1
TIMELY AID FROM THE GOVERNMENT. 247
" There was danger of some expression of feeling when the song was
over, for it had begun to draw tears ; but, breaking the quiet with his hard
voice, an elder asked the blessing of Heaven on all who, with purity of
heart and brotherhood of spirit, had mingled in that society, and then all
dispersed, hastening to cover from the falling dews."
With the departure of the Battalion, an agent accompanied
them to Leavenworth, where he is reported to have drawn
$20,000 " advance pay," and with that timely aid, Brigham
Young made such outfitting purchases in St. Louis as were
greatly needed. It is also understood that an agent continued
with the Battalion until another draft could be made for their
pay, before entering upon their march across the desert. Small
as such sums were, yet in the situation and poverty of the ex-
iles it was certainly timely aid from the Government. There
has been much personal dissatisfaction expressed about the
use made of these funds, yet the most bitter of his opponents
acknowledged that Brigham showed great sagacity in at once
furnishing the Battalion.*
With the presence of Col. Kane and elder Little among
the apostles, the Washington proceedings were explained. On
the 7th of August, the Saints assembled to choose twelve men
from among the elders to act as a High Council in the new Stake
of Zion, organized on the banks of the Missouri, and to trans-
act other business pertaining to the settlement of " Winter
" Quarters." After this meeting, a consultation was held with
Colonel Kane, and the apostles advised together. It was then
resolved that an address to President Polk should be framed,
expressive of the gratitude of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints towards him for his benevolent design " of
" arming and planting five hundred of our volunteers in Cali-
"fornia, to take possession of that country, and for our good^
" and also praying the President of the United States not to
u appoint Governor Boggs of Missouri the notorious enemy
* There are very hard stories told about the use of this money in the hands of
Brigham. Affidavits have been made of his heartless indifference to the wants of
the wives and families of the absent soldiers. In Mrs. Waite's " Early History of
Brigham Young," pp. 6-7, the affidavit of Alexander McCord is given, relating to
this affair, and bears evidence of truthfulness.
\ The Mormons who remained in Nauvoo voted the Democratic ticket at the
August election in 1846. Almond W. Babbitt, the agent of the Church there, as-
248 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
" of the Saints as Governor of California and Oregon." This
is a quotation from the written language of one of the apostles,
and bears the stamp of the genuine sentiments of the Mormon
leaders at the time. The allusion to ex-Governor Boggs is
Some months after the Battalion was in the service of the
country, another apostle * addressed the following language to
the British Saints :
" Although we have been inhumanly and barbarously dealt with by
the surrounding country where we dwelt, yet the President of the United
States is favourably disposed to us. He has sent out orders to have five
hundred of our brethren employed in an expedition that was fitting out
against California, with orders for them to be employed for one year, and
then to be discharged in California, and to have their arms and imple-
ments of war given to them at the expiration of the term ; and as there is
no prospect of any opposition, IT AMOUNTS TO THE SAME AS PAYING THEM
FOK GOING TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY WERE DESTINED TO GO WITHOUT.
They also had the privilege of choosing their own leaders."
Another apostle, very recently, haranguing the people in
the Tabernacle upon the persecutions of the Saints, is reported
in the Chicago Tribune to have uttered the following :
" The Government sent an agent who DEMANDED five hundred volun-
teers for the Mexican war, which was two hundred times the proportion
raised by the country. This was done that our teams, and our women, and
our children, might ~be left defenceless in the Indian country, and so be Tcilled
or perish. They said that if we would furnish them the men, we might go
on in peace; if not, they would cut us off on our journey."
This fruitful subject " the Government persecution " has
done incalculable mischief to the Saints. It has robbed them
of the natural loyalty of good citizens, and led them to curse
the Government which protects them, and to pray for the over-
throw and destruction of the nation.
serted that this change in their politics was an expression of their gratitude to
President Polk. Governor Ford says they voted from the following considerations :
" The President of the United States had permitted the Mormons to settle on
the Indian lands on the Missouri river, and had taken five hundred of them into the
service as soldiers in the war with Mexico ; and in consequence of these favours the
Mormons felt under obligations to vote for democrats, in support of the administra-
tion ; and so determined were they that their support of the President should be
efficient, that they all voted three or four times each for member of Congress."
" History of Illinois," p. 414.
* John Taylor, Millennial Star, November 15, 1846.
BENTON AND TAYLOR IN THE NETHER REGIONS. 249
To say that Brigham did alone invent the story of the Gov-
ernment seeking the destruction of the Saints when the Bat-
talion was recruited, would be charging him unjustly. One
of the elders wrote to him from the East, stating that Senator
Benton, of Missouri, disliked the Mormons, and had prevailed
upon President Polk to call for volunteers, believing that they
would refuse, and in that case the President pledged to the
Senator that the forces of the United States should be sent
against them, to annihilate the whole migrating body.
That a man of Brigham Young's hard sense should believe
such a statement, is only credible upon the theory that people
easily adopt what is harmonious with their own inclinations.
He naturally hated Missouri, and he could, therefore, willingly
accept any vicious story told him about that State, or any one
from it. On such an unlikely report u Old Tom Benton 1 "
has been consigned to " his place," and now keeps company in
the nether regions with " Old Zach Taylor," who in some un-
fortunate way had given umbrage to the Prophet Brigham. It
is proper to add that in a recent conversation with Mrs. Gen.
John C. Fremont, who had the pleasure of assisting her
honoured father, Senator Benton, as private secretary, the
Author discovered nothing that suggested confirmation of
Brigham's charge, but much to the contrary. That distin-
guished lady claimed that Senator Benton was not the man to
seek to reach the Mormons through any covert means, involv-
ing another's responsibility.
Besides this, there is such an air of good faith in the action
of the Government throughout, that no sane man could believe
in the diabolical scheme attributed to Senator Benton and said
to have been approved by President Polk. The story was only
good to tell the Saints, in order to cultivate their dislike to the
Republic, and increase their endearment to " the kingdom."
No other motive is apparent, and certainly no other result has
It is greatly to be regretted that a battalion recruited from
the suggestions of the kindest philanthropy, responded to so
promptly, at such personal sacrifice to the volunteers and their
families, and with such an excellent record for faithful service,
should be for ever marred in the mention of its name by such
bitter vindictiveness against the national Government.
FOUNDING OF THE FRONTIEE CITIES. Brigham's First and Last Eeve-
lation The Departure of the Pioneers The Discovery of Salt Lake Valley
The Eeturn to the Missouri Eiver.
ON the banks of the Missouri, the exiles were in Indian
Territory. The renowned chief of the Pottowattamies, Pied
Riclie, surnamed Le Clerc, gave them a kindly welcome on the
east of the river, and Big Elk was as gracious on the west.
The red men were liberal, extending to them the free use of
their unoccupied lands, and liberty to cut all the timber they
required, with which was thrown in an expression of genuine
sympathy for their misfortunes. With a vivid remembrance
of their recent troubles in Nauvoo, and their flight from the
abodes of the " pale-faces " in the depth of winter, this warmth
of human feeling made a deep impression upon the Mormons,
and during their stay among the savages they returned to them
manifold the favours that they received.
On the eastern side of the river, camps were formed wher-
ever the land was good and favoured farming, and settlements
sprang up near the streams and groves of timber. The main
settlement was called Kanesville, in honour of Colonel Kane,
and was the foundation of what is now Council Bluffs City,
The main body of the emigrants crossed the river, and lo-
cated six miles north of what is now Omaha, Nebraska. <There
they built up " Winter Quarters," a city of some seven hun-
dred log-huts and " dug-outs," in the midst of which was the
" Tabernacle of the congregation," where the disciples assem-
bled for worship and instruction.
Mount Pisgah,, Garden Grove, Kanesville, and Winter
BRIGHAM'S FIRST AND LAST REVELATION. 253
Quarters, were necessary resting-places for the weary, where
they might recruit their strength and replenish their stores of
grain for the preservation of themselves and cattle. It was a
hard life. The best among them had nothing too much, and
many of them lacked the ordinary necessaries of life ; but it
was suffering for the faith, and they bore their privations with
On the 14th of January, 1847, Brigham Young issued, from
his head quarters, " The Word and Will of the Lord concern-
" ing the Camp of Israel in their journeyings to the West."
As it is the only occasion on which Brigham has given to the
Saints a written revelation, it deserves a place in history. It
reads thus :
" Let all the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
and those who journey with them, be organized into companies, with a
covenant and a promise to keep all the commandments and statutes of the
Lord our God. Let the companies be organized with captains of hun-
dreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, with a president and
counsellor at their head, under direction of the Twelve Apostles : and this
shall be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord.
s< Let each company provide itself with all the teams, wagons, provi-
sions, and all other necessaries for the journey, that they can. When the
companies are organized, let them go to with all their might, to prepare
for those who are to tarry. Let each company, with their captains and
presidents, decide how many can go next spring ; then choose out a suffi-
cient number of able-bodied and expert men to take teams, seed, and
farming titensils to go as pioneers to prepare for putting in the spring
crops. Let each company bear an equal proportion, according to the divi-
dend of their property, in taking the poor, the widows, and the fatherless,
and the families of those who have gone with the army, that the cries of
the widow and the fatherless come not up into the ears of the Lord against
u Let each company prepare houses, and fields for raising grain for
those who are to remain behind this season ; and this is the will of the
Lord concerning this people.
" Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this peo-
ple to the place where the Lord shall locate a stake of Zion : end if ye do
this with a pure heart, with all faithfulness, ye shall be blessed in your
flocks, and in your herds, and in your fields, and in your houses, and in
your families. . . .
" Seek ye, and keep all your pledges one with another, and covet not
that which is thy brother's. Keep yourselves from evil ; take not the
name of the Lord thy God in vain ; for I am the Lord your God, even
254 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
the God of your fathers the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob. I am
he who led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and my arm
is stretched out in the last days to save my people Israel. . . .
" Have I not delivered you from your enemies only in that I have left
a witness of my name ? Now, therefore, hearken ! oh, ye people of my
Church, and ye Elders listen together. You have received my kingdom :
Be diligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgment come upon
you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. Amen,
With the Saints this document found peculiar favour. It
was to them " the Lord " again, after a long silence, manifest-
ing himself as in the days of Joseph, and it foreshadowed that
his presence would go with them in their journey over the
desert, and that under his direction they would reach the prom-
ised land. This is the first time that this document has been
given to the public, and the student of Mormon revelations
will remark a striking difference between the last revelation
of Joseph Smith on polygamy, and the first of Brigham Young
on emigration. Both are stamped with the characteristics of
the men, and their peculiar situations at the moment. It is
difficult to perceive the same authorship in both, yet both. are
claimed as emanations from Jesus Christ.
Accepting the phenomenal manifestation of " revelation "
in past ages, as well as that claimed by the modern spiritual-
ists, there is nothing in Brigham's revelation, nor in those of
Joseph Smith, that is incomprehensible, except the boldness of
the assertion that they are " revelations " from " the Lord ; "
and sincerity may even be accorded to that assumption, grant-
ing that it is only a piece of folly arising from ignorance of
latent powers of the human mind which develop in certain
conditions or surroundings. The world has abounded with
notable instances of remarkable men and women who have be-
lieved themselves to be the recipients of some divine mission
in politics or in religion, and who in one department or the
other have performed prodigies of valour or miracles of faith,
which, without the impressions claimed to be " revelations,"
would never have been performed. If Joseph had kept out
" Thus saith the Lord," and the assumption of sanctity, from
his revelation on polygamy, the reader would never have sus-
pected that document to have had any other origin than Jo-
REVELATIONS IMPROVE IN STYLE. 255
seph Smith in the deep distress and trouble in which he was at
that time. Leaving out of Brigham's revelation the few words
about " the Lord," it is just such a document as any com-
mander of an expedition passing through an unexplored coun-
try infested with Indians would have given to his soldiers,
and where it bears marks of difference from such military or-
ders, it is the difference between addressing a promiscuous
multitude instead of a disciplined army.
" The Lord's " style of revelation to Brigham is a great
improvement upon " the Lord's " style of revelation to Joseph.
It is just as much better English in Brigham's case than in
that of Joseph, as Willard Richards's literary education was
superior to that o William Clayton ! " The Lord's " English
in the Book of Mormon, while Oliver Cowdery was Joseph's
scribe, and Joseph was tenacious in clinging to his unaltered
inspirations, is a remarkable specimen of English composition ;
but as Joseph gathered around him better scribes, and concluded
that " the Lord's " revelations could be somewhat improved,
they became more readable.
The annual conference of the Church was held at "Winter
Quarters on the 6th of April, 1847, and the people assembled
from all parts of the country and prepared for moving West.
On the 14th of that month a party of one hundred and forty-
three picked men, with three women, two children, and seventy-
three wagons, drawn by horses and oxen, left the Missouri river
for the Rocky Mountains, under the leadership of Brigham
As soon as the pioneers got out from camp and had bidden
adieu to their families, they were organized into companies, as
directed in the revelation, and put in fighting trim, lest they
should be forced to try hostilities with the Indians. Every one
carried his gun loaded, but uncapped, in his hand, walked by
the side of his wagon, and was forbidden to leave it unless or-
dered to do so. Brigham was general, and his accustomed
caution was an excellent supplement to his revelation.
The Indians sometimes sallied out as the pioneers passed
their villages, but when the brethren " received them in half
" moon phalanx," the red-skins preferred presents to lead, and
allowed the emigrants, after a brief " pow-wow," to pass on
256 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
.Nothing of special interest occurred on the journey of the pio-
neers beyond what has been common to all travel over the
plains ; still, it is never to be forgotten that the Saints claim to
have " made the roads, bridged the streams, and killed the
Before reaching Salt Lake City the pioneers met with the
renowned " Jim " Bridger, who did anything but encourage
them with hopes of finding a fruitful land in Salt Lake Basin,
and, with the usual liberality of the West, " Jim " was pre-
pared to give a thousand dollars for the first ear of corn that
Brigham could raise there.
Jim had lived in wigwams with squaws for half a long life-
time, far away from the abodes of the " pale-faces," and up to
that hour he had not heard of the wonders of the modern gos-
pel. Brigham knew what faith was going to do his kind of
faith and he prophesied liberally to Jim about what he and
his squaws would yet live to see. Jim could not comprehend
how that the summer-parched soil, with a rainless sky over-
head, was going to sustain any body of civilized people, as
those now approaching from the East, and advised th'e Mor-
mons to travel on. He had u trapped " all over the country
for a score of years, and knew every green sward that dotted
the banks of the rivers, and had counted the verdure-clothed
springs that were few and far between, and small even then.
But the more that the future of Zion was doubtful in Jim's
mind, the more Brigham abounded in grace and prophesied.
Jim had never seen the heavens dropping rain " only very
" occasionally ! " Brigham had studied irrigation. Jim was
looking for favours from above. Brigham was counting on the
labours of below.
Before the pioneers reached Salt Lake Valley they were
met by elder Brannan, who had sailed from New York, in the
Brooklyn, to San Francisco. He had made the journey over-
land to report to Brigham that California was a rich country
and a glorious place for the future gathering of the Saints.
But Brigham did not like the report. He preferred the desert.
A choice and rich land would attract the Gentiles, and the
Saints would soon be overwhelmed and rooted out, as they had
been in Missouri and Illinois. He wanted to locate where there
MAP OF SALT LAKE VALLEY.
DISCOVERY OF SALT LAKE VALLEY. 259
was nothing to tempt the Gentile emigration. He desired iso-
lation, that he might build up " the kingdom." A detachment
of one hundred and forty of the Battalion joined the pioneers
en route on the 4th of July, and advanced westward with them
to the Salt Lake Yalley.
On the 22nd of July the apostle Orson Pratt and a few
others reached the rim of the Salt Lake Basin, and the next
day they rode over a portion of the valley, exploring for a
camping-ground near wood and water. They returned to the
camp of the pioneers, and reported that they had found the
place that Joseph had spoken of where the Church could be
located, and where the Saints could increase and multiply with-
On the morning of the 24th of July, 1847, when Brigham
Young and the body of the pioneers first got a glimpse of the
Great Basin, there was a universal exclamation " The Land
" of Promise ! The Land of Promise ! held in reserve by
" the hand of God for the resting-place of His Saints ! " Thus
writes the historian. After a tedious journey over unmade
roads, a distance of 1,100 miles, and passing through so many
difficulties by the way, it would have been strange indeed had
the weary travellers gazed upon the beautiful scenery of Salt
Lake Yalley without admiration and " ecstacies of joy."
From the mouth of the canon through which the pioneers
entered the valley, the view is ravishing. In the distant west
the Great Salt Lake lies glistening like a sheet of silver, and
in every direction that the eye can travel lofty mountains
bound the horizon.
Brigham was sick when he reached the Yalley, but he was
no less enthusiastic than the others, and was fully satisfied
that they had reached the Zion of the Mountains, that had
been the theme of ancient prediction.
On the banks of a small stream southwest of the Taber-
nacle block, the pioneers made their first encampment, and, as
soon as their horses and cattle were unhitched and cared for,
the Yalley of Great Salt Lake was consecrated to the Lord.
In the same hour the ploughs were taken from the wagons
and the earth was upturned to receive the seed for the autumn
crops, upon which so much depended for the support of the
260 THE KOOKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
coming emigration. While a portion of the pioneers were
thus engaged, others were constructing a dam, by which the
waters of the creek could be controlled, and irrigation would
be secure for the dry and hitherto barren soil. No rain was
anticipated, but " providentially " a thunder-storm burst upon
them, which was accepted as an omen of the favour of " the
" Lord." The thunders and lightnings of Sinai, and the smit-
ing of the rock in Horeb while the chosen people travelled
through the desert of Zin, were not more assuring to the
wanderers of the presence of the great Hebrew lawgiver than
was the thunder-storm of the 24th of July, 1847 to " modern
The following day was the first of the week, and the Sab-
bath was to be hallowed as a perpetual institution in Zion.
Brigham, sick and peevish, invited those present who could
not keep the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship, to " leave,
" and go their own way among the ungodly."
Exploring expeditions were sent out in every direction to
gain a knowledge of the surrounding country. One party
found on the west side of Jordan about a hundred goats, sheep,
and antelopes playing about the hills, and before they returned
they made their first acquaintance with the Utah Indians. On
the north side of where Salt Lake City now stands, a party
ascended a high peak of the mountain, from which they over-
looked the whole valley. Subsequently on this summit they