This week in 1856 – Between Iowa City and Florence, Nebraska – Mary Taylor

From Samuel Openshaw’s Journal:

1 August 1856: At ten o’clock a.m. we made another start. The roads were all sandy. At seven o’clock p.m., we pitched our tents on the top of a hill, from where we could look as far as the eye could see, but the water was not good.

2 August 1856: Showers in the morning hindered us from starting out as soon as we intended. Traveled nearly 18 miles. Saints much fatigued. Some made it to camp. Some did not come in at all.

3 August 1856: On account of the unhealthiness of the place, we made a start today and traveled about 7 miles. We had traveled about a quarter of a mile, when we beheld a ball of fire, brighter than the sun before it, in the air, and came within about 3 yards of the ground. Then it drew out in the form of a spear and vanished out of sight. We pitched our tents two miles from Marengo.

 4 August 1856: Still beautiful and hot today. We did not move until four o’clock p.m. Traveled about two miles farther where we camped for the night.

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