This week in 1856 – Arrival in Florence – Mary Taylor


From Samuel Openshaw’s Journal

19 August 1856:

We started at twenty minutes to 8 o’clock, and traveled until 11 o’clock, when we stopped two hours for dinner. Started again, traveled 21 miles and pitched our tents at 6 o’clock, close by the River.

20 August 1856:

We started at 8 o’clock from the Jordan Creek and passed through Nobotomy, and over Silver Creek. Stopped on hour for dinner at Mud Creek. We started again at one o’clock, traveled 21 miles and pitched our tents at 5 o’clock at Keg Creek.

21 August 1856:

We started at 8 o’clock from Keg Creek and traveled 9 miles. Stopped for dinner at the Big Mosquito Creek, upon the same spot where the Saints were driven from Nauvoo in the depths of winter, without food or house or anything to shelter them from the inclemency of the weather. When the American’s demanded from the Saints five hundred men, to enlist in the American cause for the Mexican war, it was from Council Bluffs, about 7 miles. Camped about 7 o’clock, where we found a beautiful spring.

22 August 1856:

We started at 8 o’clcok, and traveled about four miles when we arrived at the Missouri River, where we were ferried across to Florence. We went to the top of a hill where we could view the country all aournd, and the Missouri River to a great distance. Every place we came through, we were admired by the people very much. Some looked upon us as if we were deceived, others who were old apostates, came with all the subtilty of the devil, and all the cunning they have gained by their own experience, trying to turn the Saints to the right hand or to the left, but thanks be to God, few or none adhered to their advice.

23 August 1856:

Rested here today.

24 August 1856:

Sunday. A cow was killed today, and was divided among us, one half pound each. A meeting at 11 o’clock, and 4 o’clock. Elder Wheelock and others addressed us.

25 August 1856:

About one p.m., we moved about three miles and passed over the spot of land where so many Saints died, and were buried, after being driven from Nauvoo in the depths of winter. Men, women and children, driven on these plains to die from starvation. Their bodies are now moulding in the dust while their spirits are done to await the day of recompense and reward. Camped in sight of the Missouri River.

From John Jacques:

The company left Florence on the 25th of August, to make a journey of 1,000 miles, half of it over the mountainous backbone of the continent, in an inclement season of the year, with an early and severe mountain winter rapidly approaching.




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