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Robert Caracticus Williams and Emma Nancy Hocken – Ruth White’s Grandparents

Emma Nancy Hocken was born on September 3, 1834, in Lambeth, Surrey, England. Lambeth lies across the Lambreth Bridge over the Thames River from Westminster, London. Her family was wealthy, and she was dressed by servants. Emma was converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and left behind a well off family for her new faith in Utah. She married Robert Williams on February 24, 1854, in Southwark, Saint Olave, Surrey, England. 2 Upon arriving in America, they lived in St Louis, Missouri for approximately six years. 1

Emma endured many hardships crossing the Great Mississippi and westward across the plains. Her wagon train encountered starvation at times and the constant fear of Indian attack. The weather also played a role in their journey. Later in life, when the family invited her to join them on a picnic she declined by saying, “I swallowed enough dust crossing the plains.”

Upon her arrival in Utah, she lived in Parley's Canyon in a cabin at Little Dell. A possible picture of this home is found on page 336 of Parley P. Pratt's autobiography and is attached to this history. Robert, an infant son, swallowed a roofing nail while living in that cabin. They had no candles left, so they were unable to see their son’s passing, late that night. Brigham Young had encouraged the Saints to feed the Indians instead of fighting them. Emma was often required to feed the Indians. As the Indians waited, she'd give them half cooked bread in order to be rid of them as soon as possible.

She moved from Little Dell to Salt Lake when her home on 200 West was completed and later to South Temple and “K” Street. In the early days of Utah, the Church owned all possession; the saints were to live the United Order and to share and have all things in common. Food, clothes, and shelter were to be distributed according to need and not want. When Brigham Young moved Emma away from her home on 200 North and 200 West to South Temple, she became bitter and left the church. 2

Beginning in 1855 and ending in 1876, Emma gave birth to ten children. The first three were born in St. Louis, Missouri and the others were born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eliza, our great-grandmother, was born in 1872 and was their eighth child. 3 In 1876, Emma was forty-three years old when Alice, her last child, was born. After this, Emma slept separately from Robert.

She persuaded some of her children away from the LDS Church. Marjorie White Thomsen remembers her as being stern but kind. Emma had a cane chair and made sure Marjorie understood that she was not to put her fingers into the cane; unlike Marjorie’s cousin Shirley who had. Emma’s last home was at 170 “L” Street in Salt Lake City. Her daughter Nell lived at 183 L Street. Her daughter Nan sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and lived at 187 L Street. Emma died from a stroke at the age of ninety on December 2, 1923, at 187 L Street. Her services were at Joseph Taylor Funeral Home, across the street from Temple Square on North Temple. Emma was buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery. 2

……………….

Robert Caracticus Williams was born on September 16, 1815, and was baptized at St. Olaves, Southwark, Surrey, England, a part of London. St Olave's was an ancient parish. The last church of this name was erected in 1743 and was situated at the south-end of London Bridge; it was closed in 1918 and demolished in 1920-28. There is a memorial plaque on an office building titled "St Olaf House" opposite the entrance to London Bridge Station but no other trace survives. His father was Robert Williams, and his mother was Mary Solumn. Much of his history comes from his journal.

In 1819, his mother and his infant brother Ellis died from tuberculosis; Robert was three. Robert remembered having the servants take him to view his mother and brother, lying together in one coffin; Robert climbed up on a chair to view them. Research later showed that Ellis died seven months before his mother’s death. Ellis may not have been buried in the same coffin as Robert remembered. Mary was buried on June 24, 1819, at Bunhill Fields, London at the age of twenty-five.

For a while, Robert was placed in the care of a woman outside their home. Later, his father married Mrs. Ann Williams Blower, a wealthy barrister’s widow who may have been his sister-in-law or his sister. His step-mother did not enjoy children and treated Robert badly. Before turning six, he was sent to a boarding school ran by Dr. Duncan. Every Saturday, he walked two mile to enjoy Sundays with his father.

At the age of six, he was sent to a boarding school located in Cotherstone, Durham (located in Northeast England by the Scottish border and four miles from the Barnard Castle). He remained in Durham until he was thirteen years old.

During this period, he was not allowed to return home. Mr. Smith headed this school and charged 59 pounds a year, that was to include French and Latin and to make Robert fit for the fashionable society. Unfortunately, the education was poor. Even worse, the school master whipped the boys, kicked the boys with his boot, slammed the boys against a tree, and threw them in a troth of water and pumped water over their heads until they promised not to make any mischief. In addition, Robert and the other 140 boys were clothed in rags, fed poorly, and had no fires in the winter. A visiting Aunt of a fellow student fainted when she saw their condition and immediately took her nephew away with her. The bread was moldy; the milk was half water; and the accommodations were rat invested. For stealing two potatoes at the age of eight, he was flogged until blood flowed down his legs; birch splinters were stuck in his buttocks after the flogging. Any extra money or food sent from home was withheld. All letters were edited by Mr. Smith to insure no unsatisfactory information was released to parents. Robert spoke of the thunder noise made by the River Tees, that borders Yorkshire and Durham.

At the age of twelve, on a Thursday at 3:00 p.m., he and his friend Bevely ran away from the boarding school. The first night they stayed with a farmer who feed them breakfast and gave them a loaf of bread for the road. The next day, they were temporarily halted by a group of lead miners. They slept in a field where they felt the good spirit of being freeman. The next morning, a kind shepherd let them jump onto his cart and gave them some ginger beer. To their fright, up the road outside Stanhop came Mr. Smith galloping down the road on his horse; they were unable to escape. Smith took them to a tavern where he horse whipped Bevely. The tavern owner had privately promised the boys to help them back to London if they could ever escape again. They temporarily escaped from the tavern but were captured again. Back at the school, Smith chained them to their beds and beat them again.

The people in the town of Cotherstone heard about the poor conditions. Subsequently, the minister of that Parish paid them a visit. Robert wrote that “We daird not open our mouths to tell the truth for fear that when he was goan Mr. Smith would beat us.” A Mr. Briton came to see his sons and became aware of conditions. His report became well know. This was the death blow to Smith’s school. The horrible conditions were finally discovered. Six months later, Robert was sent home. From Stanhop, they traveled on a wagon headed to New Castle. From New Castle, they sailed for London.

Upon finding his father at St. John Street and Pentonville, Islington, London, his father was shocked at his son’s condition. Roberts head was hurting so bad that he cried, and his father’s heart was nearly broken. The servants prepared him tea and prepared his bed. On Sunday, his father took him to church to hear the organ and to hear the preaching, hoping this would soothe Robert. On Monday, his stepmother took Robert to his father’s tailor for a new blue suit.

Six months later, about 1828 to 1829, his stepmother went to Mr. Green who introduced them to Captain Ball. Robert was fourteen years old and was now headed to Jamaica in the West Indies on a ship called Everthorp. If he liked the sea, he was to attend a school at Commercial Road to learn navigation. The ship crew loved him. He would often go down below deck to pray. Captain Bell gave him Spanish money called a bit or 12 ½ cents. Bell would not allow him to work on Sundays. A Mr. Taylor flogged him one night; he wept, and Taylor was immediately sorry. A favorite quote of Robert was “Don’t give up the ship, stick to her while there is a plank left”; this must have come from his experience sailing to Jamaica. Upon returning home, he told his stepmother that he did not like a sailor’s life, “The cursing and the wickedness of sailors was abominable.”

He then attended day-school and was taught by Mr. Spranger in London. After this schooling and at the age of fifteen, he was sent to a Mr. Bancroft in Aylesbury in Buchinghamshire to be indentured for what should have been seven years as a tailor’s apprentice. He did not like Bancroft. After three years, he returned to London in about 1833 at the age of eighteen and worked as a tailor for a Mr. Stacy at the bottom of the Quadrant Regent Street, and received free board. At the age of nineteen, he cut his father a morning coat as a present. Upon presenting the coat, his stepmother demanded that he immediately leave.

Robert headed to Manchester, England. In Manchester, he mentioned that “I was not very good myself but very bad, knowing the evil of this wicked world.” One evening he was “attracted to good people” that he thought were Quakers but learned that they were Mormons. He loved being in their company. He listened to the LDS missionaries and was converted. On October 31, 1839, he was twenty-four and was baptized by Joseph Fielding and confirmed a member by Joseph Fielding and William Clayton. On July 6, 1840, he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and the office of Priest by Brigham Young, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, and Wilford Woodruff.8 Brigham Young wrote in his journal on December 6, 1840, “With Elder Heber C Kimball and Roberts Williams I attended service at St. Paul’s Cathedral this morning.”7 He was set apart as a missionary by Brigham Young and began preaching the restored gospel in Manchester. James Sherlock Cantwell, who was born in Dublin Ireland, heard Robert’s message and was baptized in 1842.10 Robert fell ill in Manchester; William Clayton wrote to his father and suggested that he come to see Robert for the last time. His father sent Clayton 8 pounds to care for Robert. In 1841, Robert was ordained an Elder while in London. In London, he converted five individuals to the LDS Church.

He later went on to Bedford to preach as a missionary. Wilford Woodruff mentioned that “The church at Bedford was represented by Priest Robert Williams, containing 42 members, one priest, seven removed, and two dead.” These minutes were of the first London conference, held at the Academy, 57 King’s Square, Goswell Road, February 14, 1841.6

In Bedford, he met Ann Dunham Smith. They were married on April 5, 1841; Ann’s mother died shortly before they were married. In 1841, they left Liverpool and sailed to New Orleans on the ship Chaos. They stayed in New Orleans for several weeks. Because of Ann’s beauty, many were interested in her. A rich man tried to lure Ann away from Robert; Robert became so angry that he hit his cane against the pavement and broke it. Ann remained true to Robert. Robert became very sick, and his friends thought he was going to die. After recovering, he sold his gold watch for $30.00 and paid $18.00 to travel up the Mississippi River in a steam boat.

The young couple arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois in March 1842 and slept the first night with a Brother Cook. The Saints had just arrived after being forced out of their homes in Jackson County, Missouri, and Nauvoo was just starting to be built. Their first home was a dug out in Nauvoo, and Robert mentioned that “Horses have better places to stable in than we, the bleak winds blew in the openings…Ann cursed the men that brought her here…it certainly was not fit for the poor.” Because of conditions, Ann was in such despair one night and walked the street of Nauvoo to find comfort. In a dug-out with a dirt floor and sticks and mud for a ceiling, Alfred Ellis was born on June 29, 1842, during a tremendous lightening and thunder display. In Nauvoo, money was short, and Robert worked hard. One day, he earned a chicken but gave it to a neighbor who was hungrier. He began building their first home. It was to be twelve feet by ten feet and was located on the north corner of Sister Chase’s lot (later described as being located northwest of the temple, 3 blocks, third brick house behind Steving Markhams, below the Nauvoo Temple, perhaps Block 60, Lot 3). The home was completed in October 1842. Robert described the home as follows: “we had no glas in the windows no Door’s made or in but sheets put up to the windows no seling and only a few boards Down for our flour the Bllek winds would wistle again in the House and the sheet flap against the side of the window casing we had no lath nor Plastering above and when winter came on us sudden we had to huddle together to keep each othe warm with our little babe in the middle…we woke up to snow in our home…. Ann was happy to have a place to call our own.”

Robert worked in the stone quarry to help build the Nauvoo temple and did tailoring to earn a living. He went to St Louis to earn extra money as a tailor. He prospered and traded coats for glass for the windows, boards for the floors, plaster for the walls, furniture, and a cow shed and finally for a cow. Robert worked on the roads to pay his property taxes. With Ann sewing at his side, and the baby Alfred Ellis in his bed, they would read their scriptures and enjoyed domestic tranquility.

As the Nauvoo Temple was nearing completion, Robert wrote of listening to Joseph Smith, Jr. in the temple. Robert donated his cow to help finance the construction of the temple; the meat from the cow was used to feed the temple workers. He received his washing and anointings on February 2, 1846, in the Nauvoo Temple. He attended General Conference in April of 1844; he found the Indians in attendance to be interesting, and he thought Joseph Smith’s sermon was the best he had ever heard. A few months passed, he wrote several rambling pages about the martyrdom in June of 1844 of Joseph Smith in the Carthage Jail and discourses of the greatness of Joseph Smith. On the day of the martyrdom, Robert was in St Louis.

On September 6, 1844, Robert wrote a letter from St Louis to Brigham Young in Nauvoo. This letter is an addendum to this history.

Robert was called to the Third Quorum of Seventy in Nauvoo at the general conference held in October 1844. He was ordained on September 24, 1844, at the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo. He wrote about Governor Ford extermination order that the saints were to leave or to be burnt out of their homes. He mentioned being in Macedonia to protect those saints, helping them pack up their belonging, and seeing a band of men coming to burn down the Mormon homes. From Macedonia he wrote a letter to Ann in Nauvoo saying, “I hope my little boy is well I pray for you my Dear That the Lord may give you his Spirit to comfort you under your afflictions when I am absent I feel myself lost without your company.”

Because of religion persecution and with the threat of being burned out of his home in Nauvoo, he and his family moved to St. Louis where he opened a tailor shop. A rock was thrown thru his window in St Louis, religious persecution continued. A group of saints had taken temporary shelter in St Louis, waiting to go to the mountains. In St Louis, Robert continued with his work as a Seventy, doing missionary work.

On April 5, 1847, Brigham Young wrote a letter from Winter Quarters to Nathaniel Felt who headed up the branch in St Louis. The letter indicated that Brigham was soon to leave Winter Quarters; Church history states that this was the day that Brigham set off for the Rocky Mountains. This letter indicated that Robert Williams was known and loved by Brigham Young; Brigham acknowledged that Robert had caused some problems including disorderly conduct, recommended being soft with Robert, and indicated that disfellowship had been considered. Robert’s journal is rambling and hard to understand; it appears that he was charged with wife abuse. Ann was staying with Alfred Smith, her brother; Robert visited them; because of his conduct, the police were called. Prior to the police being called, Ann Smith received a priesthood blessing and was anointed with oil because she was as “red as any coal of fire and had chest pains.” While wife abuse is not acceptable, Robert’s abuse as a school boy may have resurfaced. Indeed whatever the cause, Robert had embarrassed the Church and ended up in jail in St Louis. While serving his sentence in jail, Ann died in a hospital on November 7, 1847, and later, his infant daughter Emma died; both were buried in St. Louis. Many of the Saints died from a flu epidemic that occurred in St Louis; Ann may have died from this epidemic. While languishing in horrible conditions in jail, all of Robert’s belongings were taken; he was again penniless. Upon getting out of jail, he worked at the Liberty Fire Company and at Stewart Company cleaning carriages, served as night watchman, and helped serve breakfast. He slept in a room in the fire engine house. A Sister Spencer was now taking care of Alfred. Robert said “I got on by faith.”

Throughout his journal, Robert appeared to have periods of mental imbalance. Robert’s obituary notice in the Deseret News reported that Robert had developed emotional problems after being expelled from Nauvoo. Robert, his family, and their neighbors were expelled by mobs who disliked Mormons and who burned some of their homes down. Emotional problems traveled with him to Salt Lake City.

Church Record indicated Robert was in Council Bluff in 1848. He was dismayed by quarreling amount the people and returned to St. Louis.5

Back in St. Louis, he had feelings of indignation towards the United Stats and the wickedness of her citizens living in St. Louis. In the winter of 1850, he took his quilt, being his only possession, and traveled along the Mississippi River to join the saints in either Kanesville or Council Bluffs, Iowa, a journey of about 450 miles. He was very cold; he felt that he “hadn’t a degree left in his body.” As he crossed the Missouri River on a ferry, he was all alone and “no person was assocated with me no doubt thought I was derange.” In this cold and lonely condition, he found shelter at Mr. Wyatt, up the river 40 miles. Mrs. Wyatt kindly feed him, and Mr. Wyatt shaved and cleaned him up. As Robert ate for the first time in many days, all he could do was to cry. Mr. Wyatt was so touched that he could not eat. At bed time, Mr. Wyatt tucked the bed clothes kindly around Robert. Saying goodbye to the Wyatts and blessing them the next morning, he traveled 30 miles further to Boonvill. A judge of that city saw Robert and said “I was a deranged man.” Outside Boonvill, two blacks and two whites presented a pistol to his bosom to rob him. “I opened my bear bossom to them”, and Robert shouted out “I had rather be dead.” He continued his walk thru the prairie and thru the snow; he heard wolves howling. The prairie had no homes, and he was alone. Robert felt an angel had protected him and carried him along the way.

Robert finally reached Kanesville, Iowa (located just across the Missouri River and east from Omaha). It was here that the saints were gathering and preparing to continue their trek to the Rocky Mountains. He lived in Kanesville thru the spring of 1850. He got well after having a fever for five weeks. He was reunited with his son Alfred. In Kanesville, on May 29, 1850, Robert witnessed an affidavit transferring a log building from John Heyes to Joseph Armstrong. While in England, George D. Watts, a shoemaker from Preston, England, and Robert served together as missionaries in Manchester, England. Upon meeting Robert in Kainsville, Watts invited Robert to join him and his wife on the trek to the Rocky Mountains.

Robert’s journal notes that he left on June 1, 1850 for the Rocky Mountains. Robert and Alfred, now eight years old, walked all the way and slept on the ground thru hail, wind, and rain. He mentioned walking for three hundred miles without seeing a tree. Their only possession was their buffalo rob; others better off gave Robert food. Robert’s mental imbalance appeared to have given his fellow pioneers some challenges. He became agitated one night and wanted to walk the rest of the way to Salt Lake by himself. Brother Brown, the head of the wagon team, talked him into staying with the group. The trip thru the mountains was difficult, causing the wagons to break and slowing travel. Robert arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake on September 9, 1850, according to Robert’s journal. 1

Robert’s memory of dates was bad. Church records show Robert and Alfred joining the John Brown Company, third Company of ten, departing Kainsville on July 7, 1851 and arriving in Salt Lake Valley on September 28 and 29, 1851. Company records have 50 wagons in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs). This was a Perpetual Emigration Fund Company; the Church paid for their immigration and over time they were expected to pay the Church back. The company included George and Mary Watts; folks mentioned in Robert’s diary. The day to day activities of this company are attached. 4

After arriving in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, Robert’s emotional health improved. On May 20, 1853, Brigham Young appointed Robert to be a missionary in England. A kindly Mormon (perhaps Sister Kepner) cared for his son, now eleven years old, as Robert headed for England. He left Great Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 22, 1853 and traveled 11 ¾ miles over the first mountain.9 In England, he met Emma Ann Hocken. They were married on February 24, 1854, in Saint Olave, Southwark, Surrey in the Church of England as the law required. The couple returned to the United States. Their first child was born on April 23, 1855 in St Louis, where they lived for over five years. In St Louis, three children were born and one died.

While living in St Louis, Robert continued his missionary efforts. On January 9, 1861, an article in the St Louis Republican said that Bob Williams was “a bush headed, insane looking man with a red face, lame leg…On Sunday, he has been accustomed to hold forth on a large rock in front of the Court House, and dilate upon the glorious doctrines of the Mormon Church.”

The family lived in St Louis until the spring of 1861 when they set off for Salt Lake City. In the summer of 1861, Robert experienced for the third time, the hard journey as he walked all the way, and Eliza rode some of the way. He wrote of his love of God’s creation, “We (Robert, Emma, Robert Edward, and Annie) slept out most of the way with the Star spangled-banner for our covering the canopy of Heaven when we layd on our backs at Night we could see the beautiful works of God even the works of his creation how beautiful to breath through your lungs hear in thease wild Plains wre the Deer the Buffalo and Antelope rome. Annie was three and was sick with dysentery, and they thought they would loose her. Church records do not mention Robert or Emma coming in an organized company in 1861. Some of the companies had no surviving records.

Upon arriving in Salt Lake, they temporarily lived on Immigration Square and were pleased to have so many acquaintances from the past to help them. On August 24, 1862, Brigham Young gave Robert boots, a hat, a coat vest, and pants. They moved to a way station in Parleys Canyon at Mountain Dale where toddler John died from swallowing a shingle nail in 1864. He wrote about driving wolves away from his home. A few he killed; their skins were tanned. He captured foxes; their skins were made into “muffs.” He spoke of having two cows. To Robert, the Wasatch Mountains represented a defense from his past problems. In the mountains, he worked hard to obtain timbers for his new home. On July 22, 1864, he mentioned Brigham providing 100 pounds of flour, and Robert was grateful for his kindness. They moved to a modest home on 200 North and 200 West. They later moved to the northwest corner of South Temple and “K” Street.

From 1864 thru 1865, Robert served his third mission in England, causing him to have walked across the plains five times by foot. 1

Early in his journal, Robert began to discuss polygamy. In Nauvoo, Robert became aware of polygamy and mentioned that a few of the Brethren were polygamist. The Book of Mormon discusses that in most cases polygamy is prohibited; Robert reviewed this in his journal, and expressed his discomfort with polygamy. Later, he accepted the doctrine and supported the Brethren in their teaching of polygamy. He remembered that Abraham, Jacob, and David in the Old Testament were polygamists. 1 Late in his life, he decided that he too would practice polygamy. The Church required the first wife’s approval of any additional wives. Robert breached the subject with Emma and indicated he was interested in adding a wife. Her response was “I will scald the two of you.” 2 Without his wife’s approval, his venture into polygamy was never begun.

On July 4, 1870, he mentions “grafs hoppers come after planting twice our lots and have Devoured all our potatoes; and beens and corn and peas beautiful apple tress are all left bear.” On the same day he listened to Brigham Young speak at the tabernacle in Salt Lake. He toasts that “may the wings of Liberty never loose a feather” and continued with seventeen other items. On July 24, he attended a party with the Mays, Pauls and Lusys. He attended the 20th Ward.

In August, Emma became bitter about being moved from one home to another and left the Church. Its probable that Robert’s emotional problems caused her problems, and she was probably embarrassed by his actions. She had slowly withdrawn from the Church and finally had had enough. 2 In reading his journal, today’s reader could likewise have had enough of Robert’s zealous piety, self righteousness, self pity, and religious ramblings.

In his later years, Robert suffered from asthma, often sleeping in a chair in order to breath. 2 He died in his home from pneumonia on January 1, 1882. The Deseret News (the newspaper owned by the LDS Church) had the following obituary notice on January 4, 1882:

“Of Death of Robert Williams—On Sunday night, shortly before eight o’clock, a well known and eccentric character departed this life at his residence in the 21 Ward. The voice of Robert Williams, who ringing tones have been so often heard upon the streets of Salt Lake City, is not stilled in death. The cause of his demise was pneumonia, combined with dropsy. He joined the Church many years ago, in England, and emigrated to Nauvoo. At that time his mind was, so we are informed, well balanced, but those acquainted with him in early times state that his mental equilibrium was disturbed by troubles through which he passed during the time the Saints were persecuted.

The funeral will be delayed until Thursday, when it is expected that his son Robert, who has been in Montana for some time, will reach home. He will be buried by the Church. The whole community will remember Robert Williams with a kindly feeling. “1

The earliest writing of Robert is a letter written from Macedonia to Mary in Nauvoo. This letter is more coherent than his later writings. The style of writing in his journal is comparable with the Deseret News conclusion that Robert may have been better balanced prior to the trials in Nauvoo. Eliza Williams, Robert’s youngest daughter, spoke of his gentleness, kindness, and sweetness. Eliza remembered visiting with Brigham Young and sitting on Brigham’s lap, as Robert was Brigham’s tailor. Emma, his wife, told Marjorie White Thomsen that Robert was a kind man that she loved. 2

Robert called himself the “Lion of the Tribe of Juda.” 1 His boyhood would have destroyed anyone but a lion. This lion served his church faithfully; served three missions in England, helped build the Nauvoo temple, and gave support to the branch in St Louis. He endured many physical and emotional hardships in traveling to his Zion. Similarly, Joseph Smith, Jr. (the founder of the LDS Church) whose wife was Emma left the Church and who had had enough; Robert had his Emma who had had enough. In spite of his mental illness, Robert was loved by his family, his prophet Brigham Young, and Saints that share similar hardships.


Sources:
1. The journal of Robert C. William is in the LDS Archives. The faded writing in this journal is difficult to decipher. Richard Arrington, Robert’s great-grandson, transcribed the journal to allow it to be readable. Both a photo copy of the journal and Arrington’s transcribed version are in the possession of Richard Thomsen.
2. Verbal history from Marjorie June White Thomsen.
3. International Genealogy Index
4. LDS Church Archives
5. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Frank Esshom, Western Epics, Inc, 1966, p 753.
6. Wilford Woodruff—His Life and Labors, by Matthias F. Cowley, pg. 136-137.
7. Brigham Young History, MS 25:776.
8. Wilford Woodruff, Journal, July 6, 1840.
9. Matthias Cowley, auto, typescript, LDS Archives, Pg 12
10. Treasures of Pioneer History, Vol. 5, p.260.


Written by Richard W. Thomsen

Robert C Williams
Robert C Williams
Emma Hocken
Emma Hocken
“Lion of Juda” from Robert’s Journal
“Lion of Juda” from Robert’s Journal
Motto and Motif by Robert: God Lights up the Sun from Robert’s Journal
Motto and Motif by Robert: God Lights up the Sun from Robert’s Journal
Cotherstone in 1898 - Robert lived in Cother-stone from 1821 to 1827, where he attended boarding school.
Cotherstone in 1898 - Robert lived in Cother-stone from 1821 to 1827, where he attended boarding school.
Manchester Town Hall – In 1839, Robert joined the LDS Church in Manchester, where he lived for four years.
Manchester Town Hall – In 1839, Robert joined the LDS Church in Manchester, where he lived for four years.
In 1843, Robert helped build the Nauvoo Temple.  Robert and Ann lived in Nauvoo from 1842 to 1845.
In 1843, Robert helped build the Nauvoo Temple. Robert and Ann lived in Nauvoo from 1842 to 1845.
In Bedford, Robert served his first mission, where he married Ann Smith in 1841

In Bedford, Robert served his first mission, where he married Ann Smith in 1841.
St Louis, Missouri in 1855
St Louis, Missouri in 1855
Ann and daughter died in St Louis in 1847. Later, Robert and Emma lived here from 1855 to 1861.
In 1863 and 1864, the Williams family lived at Little Dell located in Parley’s Canyon.
In 1863 and 1864, the Williams family lived at Little Dell located in Parley’s Canyon. This may be a picture of where they lived.
Emma Hocken Williams – About 1917
Emma Hocken Williams – About 1917 Left to Right: Ruth Glass White, Emma Williams, Jack White and Laura (Lol) Glass Holman
Emma’s last home at 187 North L Street
Emma’s last home at 187 North L Street Picture taken in 2006
First Page of Robert’s Journal:
First Page of Robert’s Journal:

Letter written by Robert Williams in St Louis to Brigham Young in Nauvo

Journal History, 6 Sep 1844. Letter Robert Williams
Friday, Sept. 6. Elder Robert Williams wrote from St. Louis, Missouri, as follows:
St. Louis, Sept. 6, 1844.

Dear Brother Young, president of-the Church with the rest of the Twelve,
I sit down at this time, considering it a duty and delight to communicate to you my desires as it regards this work, as you are the shepherd of the sheep in the place of Brother Joseph. I feel it my desire to be led by you and the rest of the Twelve and your counselors, as I understand by the reports that Bro. Rigdon with Amasa Lyman are coworkers with you in the cause of our Redeemer, but some say that Sidney Rigdon wants to take Brother Joseph's place in the presidency, but you remember that when you preached on the stand one year and a half ago, you said, you would step with Brother Joseph, our beloved Prophet, and if we follow you with the rest of the Twelve, you would bring us through the gates of the Celestial City. I am determined to hang on to your coats and keep step with you, for I have found you to be worthy men. Men that I have loved and ever will love as long as God gives me breath, so help me God to do it. I know we are weak creatures and I am fearful in making rash promises without the lord will assist me in performing it, if it is good. The Lord brought me in this Church himself five years ago. I came in for no other desire but to keep His commandments and to listen to the counsel of my authorities. This I love to do. When Brother Joseph Fielding baptized me, I told him I was not worthy to belong to such a good community of people, but the lord impressed upon my mind that I must join them, and as I was baptized my mind was opened to the things of this kingdom, the gatherings of the House of Israel, and so I found that the doctrine was of God and not of men. Through prayer and faith the lord has given me his grace to hold on, and I am as firm at present in the work as when I was baptized. I find if I mind my own business and not look at others failings and speak of my brother's failings to others, I shall get along and keep myself upright before men. I find it as much as I can do to watch my footsteps lest I shall slip, as you and Bro. Kimball says: we must not look and weed our neighbor’s garden when ours is as full of weeds as can be. I will stop then and sanctify myself and put out of my heart those little failing such as contention, strife, hatred, malice, evil speaking and all these obnoxious weeds and leave room for the good graces to spring up in my soul such as love, mercy, good speaking, uphold my Brother through all his travels, here below. Shall I speak evil of you my brother and the rest of the Twelve and let all those vices dwell in my heart and remain in the church to contaminate others and cause you to bear the smart? God forbid! If we had been good saints we should not have lost our beloved Brothers Joseph and Hyrum of whom I have had sweet counsel. Shall I be one to be disobedient and go contrary to your counsel and do things that would inevitably draw the wrath of God on the heads and have them taking from us? God forbid! May the Lord give me strength to be humble and good. I have thought that if we are not faithful that we shall lose you for you stand just in as straight a place as the prophet to have the arrows of the wicked one pointed at you. I love you and Bro. Kimball and all the good Apostles. Brother Taylor, Bro. Woodruff, though I have not been much in the other's company as I should like to have been, the lord bless you and the twelve and clothe you with mighty power that you all may have the wisdom of Jehovah to counsel and order the affairs of the Church that may bring in the rest of the saints. When I see others in the church, great men, as I used to think fall out from among us, I feel surprised that poor little me should hold on. You used, in England, to counsel us to keep humble and when I feel pride creep in. I think of your words but I do desire to keep humble and meek for these are the characters that shall inherit the earth and possess the rich thing of Christ's kingdom. I shall ever praise the name of the Lord and render them thanks that ever he sent you his Apostles to England to tell us that the time had come for the Lord to gather Israel that our bands were about to be loosed and Israel go free; that have been led captive through the nations of the Earth and the time has come that the yoke and oppression shall be taken from the neck of our fellow creatures the House of Israel. Did my brethren see with the eyes that I see with and feel as I feel they would never speak evil of you brethren but they would speak well of you and love you. The Lord knows that I have never spoke a word against any man. I have supported you and our Beloved Brother Joseph in this city and I ever will as long as God suffers me the gift of speech, the power of understanding for it makes the very blood boil in my veins to defend innocence and right. My fathers back were men of righteousness for I have heard my own father say that the cause of the poor and oppressed was in his father's heart. I love righteousness and I hate iniquity. I want to live a time longer for I can see the necessity of wanting to live long, not that I love the laws of our earth but because I am in a kingdom that is set up by the God of Heaven [unreadable]I!1 judge the guilty and acquit the innocent, that the power from above will rest on the men of God in these last days as it did on the Apostles of old to discern the thoughts and the hearts of men so we shall and must mind what we say or do that my words may be few and what I say may be seasoned with grace. May the Lord bless you Brother Young and I hope you are in good health and your family. Mine are well, thank the lord for he is the giver of every good gift. I shall come up at conference in October and I am working for my family and not forgetting the things of the Lord. As it regards brother Small, he told us to chose a fresh president and be called brethren together as he found that many did not like the organization at first. You put the question to Bro. Reid that whether the brethren elected Brother Small to preside. Reid had a different understanding after but they said that Brother Small called a few together and did not let the people choose but took the chair and said, that he was sent by Elder Geo. A. Smith, one of the Twelve, to build up a church then when something existed between Brother Hyrum Smith and Brother Reid said that he was to go and see Bro. Small and tell him if he would send him one kind word if would suffice. Reid said that it was something about that Small was the instigation of a writ got out against Hyrum. I have not ascertained whether it was so or not and we wished him to send a letter to Hyrum Smith and be reconciled but he wrote to Badlum to see Hyrum Smith and the letter came down with Badlums name signed to it and not Mr. Smith's. I will not say any more for I do not understand the whole matter. I only give you these few lines to tell you that Small has left us about 3 months ago and many after him but they thought that Small was right, but a majority remained and organized the branch according to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. They chose a chairman and secretary and then the chairman put it to a vote to choose a president and they chose Brother Riley from Birmingham to act expecting that you would call thru as you came back and see if you approved of it. Small the brethren together himself but he got mad about something and threatened to take the brethren by the collar and put them out, and, we thought it was a bad spirit so we went to work like workmen and gathered up the brethren that none be lost and we number more now than before, 130 members for I am scribe and I know those that went out with Bro. Small have joined us again with the exception of one or two individuals and we are getting on well. The saints are paying their tithing and sisters paying their 52 cents and I know that the Lord is on our side. I have five dollars on my table ready to take to Reid this afternoon, as you see we are all doing as far as we know best and if I have done wrong in writing you a small detail about Bro. Small, forgive me, for I do not want to do wrong and tell or write about such matters only I thought between us both I would just tell you a little about it. The way we have done has brought double the number together and got more money for the cause. We have a large room, the Whig Head Quarters on Third street. It will hold four times as many as the room you were in; it is a very large room. I only thought I would tell you this, for we read your letter before the brethren, and they were much pleased that you thought that the letter was sent from here. You wondered why the president's name was not attached to it, it was a mistake of the brethren, But Bro. Riley is overlooker of this branch and I am secretary. If you want to see the statement, it is written in a book. The minutes of the meeting that Small called, that I think, it will satisfy your superior judgment. Forgive all blunders, Reid will send money up this week. I think that is 25 or 26 dollars collected this little time. Adieu. This is from your brother in the new and everlasting covenant,
Robert Williams.



Brigham Young’s Response to Robert Williams’ Question

D, Vol. 12, Pg.56, Brigham Young, June 16th, 1867 These words --"If ye are not one ye are not mine"--are the words of the Savior, through the prophet Joseph, and given to us. This is a principle about which you have heard bro. Robert Williams say a good deal in his way of talking. His mind is like the minds of a great many, both in this Church and out of it, with regards to temporal things. If they had the privilege of dictating the affairs of this people, or of any other, they would divide the substance of the rich among the poor, and make all what they call equal. But the question would arise with me at once, how long would they remain equal? Make the rich and the poor of this community, or of any other, equal by the distribution of their earthly substance, and how long would it be before a certain portion of them, would be calling upon the other portion, for something with which to sustain themselves? The cry would soon be--"I have no bread, no house, no team, no farm; I have nothing." And in a very few years, at the most, large properties would thus pass from the hands of such individuals, and would be distributed among those who know how to accumulate wealth and to preserve it when accumulated. We should be one, there is no doubt of that, but the very men and women who would take thee property of the rich and dispose of it to their own advantage, would spurn from their presence and disregard every word of counsel given by those who know how to accumulate and preserve, and they would say, "We know as much as you, and we can dictate our own affairs." So they can, until they make themselves poor and have to be helped by others.


Record of Captain John Brown's Company of Emigrating, Saints from Council Bluffs to Great Salt Lake City, July 4th 1851.

Owing to the scattered condition of the Emigrants & the tardiness in the hin[d]most ones in coming up all who were at the ferry was crossed over & encamped on the Prairie two miles West of old Winter Quarters, t here an organization of what Saints were present took place, when being numbered it was found enough were in camp to form three companies of Ten[.] Preston Thomas was unanimously chosen Captain of the first company of Ten.
Joseph Chatterly was chosen Capt of the Second Ten[.] George D Watt Capt of the third, an Expression was then taken & John Brown was unanimously sustained as Capt of the whole company--& Preston Thomas Clerk
To day Alexander Robbins joined us with 10 more waggons and thirteen men, in the afternoon a meeting was called for the Purpose of taking into considerations the propensity of approaching a committee of inspection who should examine the waggons Teams & loads & report whether all were in a fitting condition for crossing the Plains, this step was considered & the men necessary as the season is now far advanced & there b[e]in[g] a great probability of being overtaken by the snows in the mountains, & to avoid which it was thought wisdom not for the company to go too heavyly loaded that they might make all possible speed, at this meeting seven men were chosen as a committee, their names are as follows--John Brown, Preston Thomas, Joseph Chatterly, George D Watt, Alexander Robbins, Joel Terry, & John W. Morton, The committee then immediately entered upon the duties of their office, and after an examination of all the waggons & Teams in camp, it was advisable for Alexander Robbins to put off, part of his freight & he was counseled to do so; he had seven waggons & it was thought if he would put off five thousand pounds & send back one waggon, his teams might be able to take the rest of his waggons & freight through,
Saturday July 5th This morning according to the decision of the committee of inspection, Alexander Robbins sent back and stored at Ferryville with Messers Clark & Smith owners of the Ferry 5000 lbs of freight & one waggon, & about 2 oclock the camp was got in readyness & moved on to what is known as the six mile grove from Old Winter Quarters,--on this mo[r]n Alexander Robbins had the toungs [tongues] of two waggons broken & George D Watt one,
SUNDAY 6 July This morning a complete organization of the whole camp took place having be[e]n joined by six more waggons which came by land from St Louis, Alexander Robbins was chosen captain of the fourth company of Ten & Edward Rushton Capt of the Fifth[.] before set[t]ing off this morning a company of returning Oregon Emigrants came up & informed us that whilst in camp on the Loup Fork of their cattle stampeded & joined the herds of Buffalo, & they were able to recover very few of them so the company was forced to return, some of them who had Teams sufficient asked the priviledge of joining us & going with us as far as Salt Lake & winter there, we gave them the priviledge & 8 waggons with 8 men joined us, These were organized with our companies giving two men to each waggon company of Ten except Alexander Robbins Whose company already consisted of some 13, these raised the number in each ten too [to] 12 men, making 60 men in camp, After making many other arrangements the company was got in readyness & moved off about one Oclock & traveled some 8 miles & camped on the Pra[i]rie where we found good water but no wood,
Monday July 7th This morning the camp was got in readiness at an early hour & after traveling some 4 miles camped to a large Creek called Pappea, the bridge over this was much out of order & we found much difficulty in crossing it but all were over safely, The camp then moved on & camped at the Elk Horn river on the old rout[e] up the Platte river, We were induced to take this road from the information we obtained from the Oregon Emigrants who joined us, [.] To day A Robbins broke an axletree & did not reach camp with his Waggons,
Tuesday July 7 Last evening some half breed Indians came to our camp& claimed to own the boats at the Ferry over the Elk Horn & a small creek a few miles further on, They demanded 25 cts per waggon for the use of their boats. This after some consultation was paid & all the company except Br Robbins' Ten were crossed over, swimming our stock, [blank space] my
Wednesday July 8 This morning it was agreed that Captain Brown should take some of the most efficient men & go back & help br Robbins over the Ferry & Preston Thomas take charge of the train & go on, Accordingly after traveling some 9 miles we camped on the Platt[e] river[.] at night br Brown came into camp & informed us that br Robbins company had all crossed over the Ferries & would join us To morrow--
Thursday July 9 The camp did not move today, but waited for br Robbins who came up in the afternoon, We were also joined today by four more waggons of Saints & four of Oregon Emigrants.
Friday July 10 Our camp traveled today 13 1/4 miles, no accident occurring the first since we started, we camped on the Platte river opposite a small Island.
July 11th 1851 Today we traveled 14 3/4 miles & got into camp in very good time, we camped on the south side of the road with out wood, by the side of a small Lake,
Sunday 12 To day it was the intention of Brother Brown to remain in camp & let the men & animals rest as it is the Sabbath but being camped where there is no timber it was motioned to move on to the next camping place[.] accordingly the camp moved on 6 1/2 miles & camped by the Side of the river Platte.
Monday 13 To day the camp was put in motion at an early hour & all things moved on with excepting one waggon which was broken[.] the road has be[e]n good & we have traveled 20� miles, & camped by the side of Looking Glass creek,
Tuesday 14 To day the camp has moved on very well[.] the weather for several days past has been ex[c]essively warm & the cattle were allmost overcome with heat[.] the camp traveled to day 16 miles & camped at fishing Creek[.] the location of the old Paunee [Pawnee] Missionary station[.] here we had to build a bridge & cut some oak timber for spokes for waggons
<1851> Friday July 18 During the past three or four days we have made but slow progress traveling[.] the weather has been excessively warm & Dry untill night before last we had a severe thunder Storm which made the roads very muddy, for the past three or four days we have crossed several large Creeks & two rivers[.] there we have forded Beaver river & Cedar are the principal[.] as we came up the Loup Fork we tried at the old Pionee ford to cross but was able the river b[e]ing too deep.
Yesterday we camp to a small creek which we found much difficulty in crossing[.] night came on before all the waggons were crossed over & part were left, during the night a tremendious [tremendous] Thunder-storm & much hail with it & this morning the creek is out of its banks & the camp are divided & the men are / engaged in building a bridge[.] the howens [sic] is too high to do much at it,--
Saturday 19 Yesterday, the camp all having cross the Creek mentione above was got in motion & traveled some six miles & camped on the Banks of the Loup fork river, just at the old ford through which we wish to pass[.] To day the whole camp has remained still & the men have been engaged in searching the river for a ford & repairing broken waggons & CC [etc], in the afternoon the Captains all had a council meeting during which it was motioned to keep keep the Sabbath tomorrow have a prayer meeting & call on the Lord to aid us in crossing the river & prosper us on our journey,
Sunday 20 To day the whole camp have be[e]n at rest[.] in the afternoon a prayer meeting was held at which a good Spirit prevaile & much good instruction was given[.] in the evening it the camp attended the mournful duty of burying a Sister her name was Esther Kempton only a few months from England[.] she died of Disentery of which she was sick only a few days, although her her health had be[e]n declining for some considerable time,
Monday 21 To day by the blessings of the Almighty the whole camp crossed the Loup Fork river with perfect safety with the exception of a trifling accident or two. the fording was rather deep though very good[.] after the camp was all safely over the river all moved on five & 3/4 miles & camped just where the road over rid[e]s the Bluffs,
Tuesday 22 To day the camp was put in motion at an early, hour made 18 miles over a very deep sandy hilly road & camped for the night on the banks of Pra[i]rie Creek,
Wednesday 23d This morning the camp took a very early start & after crossing some very muddy Sloughs we came to Wood river over which all the camp passed safely, except one of Alexander Robbins waggons was upset in going into the ford & after traveling about one mile one of his waggon wheels broke down & the camp was stop[p]ed & went into Carel [corral] on the bank of Wood river having traveled some 13 miles to day,
Thursday 24 To day we have traveled 14 miles[.] the road has be[e]n splendid but the weather has be[e]n extremely warm & several of the oxen have fainted from the heat &ct one or two have died,

Friday July 25 Today the weather has be[e]n more mild & the heat less oppressive & the camp got on well[.] traveled some 12 or 14 miles, [blank space]

Saturday 26 Today the camp took an early start[.] the day was fine & not be[i]ng able to find a suitable camping place were compelled to haul till near dark an[d] then camped by the side of a slough to spend the Sabbath[.] rather a poor chance for water & wood but splendid grass, traveled today some 21 miles,

Sunday 27 To[day] all the camp have be[e]n at rest except some of the men have been repairing waggons,

Monday 28 This morning the camp were aroused up very early & a number of men were engaged in set[t]ing waggon tires as this late very dry hot weather had made many of the waggon wheels somewhat loose, 14 were set & the camp started at about 9 Oclock, To day we have traveled through immense herds of Buffalo[.] Thousands of Thousands were in seen during the day[.] at night the grass was very short having bin eaten off by them & we camped to the side of a Slough which was all stir[r]ed up thick with mud but we were force[d] to drink[.] Capt John Brown was sent on Ahead before camping time to kill one for the camp[.] The camp thus far traveled to day some 12 or 14 miles,

Tuesday 29 to day we have traveled some 14 miles & camped by the side of the Platt[e] river[.] during the day we met some three or four waggons from Salt Lake[.] the[y] gave us information that two or three companies of Saints were met this side Laraimie [Laramie], Elder Hyde with Judge Brocchus & Albert Car[r]ington were rob[b]ed & strip[p]ed of all their clothing[.] The Norh<t>ern rout[e] was represented as be[i]ng some of it[.] very bad road Sand hills & bluffs,

Wednesday 30th This morning we took an early start as we could under the circumstances, having had a severe Thunder Storm in the whi<ch during the night> carried away some of the covers of waggons tents & &tc some Horses & cattle brokeloose [broke] Loose & a general Stampede seemed likely to take place but all the stock b[e]ing tied up prevented it, This evening as we were going into carel [corral] another carel was in sight about two miles distant higher up the river. Several of thier [their] men came down to us from whom we learned they were a company of Fifty led by Morris Phelps <Elder Shirtliff> they came by the northern rout[e] & report that they had traveled over 400 miles part of the way over a sandy desert, 40 miles in one place without water, they confirm the repo<rt> of Elder Orson Hyde, Judge Brocchus & others b[e]ing robbed by the Pawnee indians�Ofter [After] we went into carel another company of Fifty under Captain Shirtliff <M[orris] Phelps came down from the Bluffs & camped above us[.] These companys together make a company of 100 under Eli B Kelsy[.]

Thursday July 31 This morning the camp was got in motion about 8 Oclock[.] at twelve a stop was <m>ade by the side of the Platt[e] river with for dinner, with the two companies ahead in full view after traveling some 20 miles, went into carel on Skunk creek, Carrion creek,

Friday August 1 This morning we started early from camp & coming up to Morris Phelps camp we had to stop for some half hour or more untill thier whole camp could get off so as to clear the road, to day we have traveled some 17 miles & camped by the side of Carrion Creek with the other companies in full view ahead, the forenoon of to day has been extremely hot & the cattle have suffered much from it but the afternoon has been cloudy & more moderate, We stop for dinner at a splendid Spring of Cold water about 300 miles from old Winter Quarters, .--

Saturday Aug 2 Today we have traveled 19 miles, an[d] passed Morris Phelps camp in Corel [corral], one waggon wheel was broken in crossing a bad creek, but did not detain the camp, Today the camp passed the mouth of the South Fork of the Platte on the opposite side of the river, camped on the bank of the river a little below a small creek not far below the North Bluff Fork, 317 miles from old Winter Quarters[.]

Sunday Aug 3 This day has been observed throughout the whole camp as a day of rest, in the afternoon a meeting of the whole camp was held, at which many good things were spoken & a good Spirit prevailed & all seemed to be greatly strengthened & all felt to express their gratitude to God for the prosperity which has attended the camp on all the journey thus far,--

Monday 4 Aug This morning the camp was got in motion at an early hour[.] the North Bluff Fork of the Platt[e] was crossed in the early part of the day. two series of bluffs of soft sand which were very hard to draw over, one creek, after traveling 15 miles camped at the foot of the Bluffs near the river,--

Tuesday August 5 To day the camp have pas[s]ed over several hard sand bluffs, today we have passed over a number or small creeks [.] after traveling some 18 miles camped some distance from the river,

Wednesday August 6 Today we have met a small company of Calafornians [Californians] & others from Salt Lake[.] they left the 15 July[.] all things prosperous. crops were good [.] flour abundant & worth 4 or 5$ per hundred, the camp to day traveled 19 miles mostly over a good road, many creeks were crossed[.] camped at Wolf creek near its juncti<on> with the Platte river,

Thursday Aug 7 This morning the whole camp took an early start & ascended some very steep Bluffs of soft sand which was very hard on teams[.] after they were passed over the road was good the whole days journey[.] after traveling 19 1/4 miles camped on a small creek on the Platte opposite Castlle [Castle] Bluffs, our camp was visited by Elder Morris Phelps, whose camp is but a few miles behind ours, also in the evening by Mr Monroe who is taking a train through traveling on the South side of the Platte[.] he was in search of some horses which had st[r]ayed from them,--

Friday Aug 8 Today the camp made 20 1/2 over a good road all day[.] Phelps company traveling all day in sight[.] camped on Crab creek, Today a Mr. Culns [Cullom] an Oregon Emigrant who has bin traveling with us of late left us & went on to stop at Fort Laramie,--

Saturday August 9 To day we traveled 16 miles[.] crossed one set of very bad Bluffs, known as Bluffs ruins where we halted for dinner--Elder Phelps company traveling all day in sight[.] camped on the river Platte[.]

Sunday Aug 10 This day has been observed as a day of rest,--

Monday Aug 11 Took an early start this morning, crossed in the afternoon of one set of low sandy Bluffs, road otherwise good all day[.] turned off the road one mile & camped by the side of the Platte [.] Traveled to day 19 miles[.]

Tuesday 12 This morning took early start[.] good road all day. traveled 19 miles[.] turned of[f] the road a mile camped on the banks of the Platte[.] passed to day Chimney Rock south side the river--(great curiosity) Scotts bluffs in full view some 9 miles a head, weather very dry[.] many of the waggon wheels in camp get[t]ing loose[.] some of the Mechanics proposing to set tire to night,--

Wednesday 13 To day the camp came 19 miles, passed Scotts Bluffs south side the river, camped on the head of Spring Creek,--

Thursday 14 To day the camp made some 17 miles[.] roads mostly good, Phelps company still traveling in sight behind, saw to day some Indians the first since starting on this journey, Laramie Peak has be[e]n in full view all day,

Friday Aug 15 To day the camp made some 16 or 17 miles crossed Raw Hide creek, a good part of the way has bin over heavy sand,

Saturday Aug 16 This morning some six head of cattle were missing & could no where be found & the camp was detained untill afternoon when the Camp went on & the strays were fou<n>d to have gone forward to where Elder Larain Babbit was in camp & then they were found[.] passed to day Fort Larimie [Laramie][.] traveled to day some 10 miles[.] The Camp has now traveled 101 miles this week & for the last five <four> weeks have made over one hundred miles each week[.]

Sunday Aug 17 To day is generaly a day of rest but having camped last night where the Grass was very poor Captain Brown thought it wisest to move up the Platte a few miles to where good grass could be found[.] accordingly a move of some 7 or 10 miles was made when by crossing the cattle over the river some very good grass found. Some six or 8 miles above Larimie [Laramie] Capt Brown crossed the Platte with the whole Camp intending to go up the river road which follows up on the South side,--

Monday Aug 18 This morning the Camp got a late start on accou<nt> of the cattle b[e]ing some distance from camp on the opposite side of the river, all day the road was hilly & rocky & the company nesscarily [necessarily] had to move slow at the several crossing time[s.] camping time no water could be found so the camp had to go on [.] at length a good spring with some grass was found but it was after 10 Oclock at night before all the waggons were in camp, in fact all did not get in for our two waggon wheels were broken during the day & several others with them camped some six or 8 miles behind. To day Elder Phelps company as also one called the Garden Grove company have been traveling in sight behind ours, Traveled to day 23 miles[.]

Tuesday Aug 19[.] This morning a number of waggons were found to be in a condition unfit for traveling so it was thought best to remain in camp all day & set tire & remained which was accordingly done & came to day 23 miles[.] in the evening the cattle were driven two miles to where good grass could be found, To day Harrison train passed whom we had passed yesterday as also did Walton's & Phelp's,--

Wednesday Aug 20 This morning the camps were late in get[t]ing off but had a good road most of the day traveling up what is known as the river road, camped at night on the banks of the Platte where we had the best Grass for our Stock since we left Old Winter Quarters[.] made to day 18 miles,--

Thursday Aug 21 Had a good road to day[.] Soon after leaving camp we crossed the Platte & traveled all day up the North side & just at night recrossed the river & camped on its banks, Forming our Corel [corral] alongside of Elder Phelps' camp, traveled to day 20 miles,--
Friday Aug 22 This morning Captain Brown delayed his camp until Phelps were all off which made it late before we go off[.] had a good road traveled to 15 miles[.] camped on the Banks of the Platte, Whilst the Train was b[e]ing delayed this afternoon crossing a deep Gulch, one team belonging to an Oregon Emigrant named Litell becoming frightened Stampeded starting several others as they went, however the teams were all soon fortunately stoped, but one woman Mrs Litell was found to be badly bruised, she was hurt in attempting to jump out of the waggon.

Saturday August 23 This day all things passed off well[.] traveled some 18 or 20 miles to day[.] we passed the point where the Old road is joined by the river road, had very poor Grass for the Cattle, This week we have traveled a little more than 100 miles,--

Sunday Aug 24 This has bin observed as a day of rest by the Camp & in the afternoon a meeting was held when Preston Thomas preached a faithful port Discourse upon the Gospel,--

Monday Aug 25 This morning the camp took an early start & after traveling some 10 miles
caraled by the side of the Platte about noon[.] as many waggons in camp wanted repairs it was thought had to do it here as there is plenty of good stone coal in this vicinity for this purpose [.] our waggon was sent across the river & brought a load from a mine a little way up a small creek, but when the smiths came to try the coal it was found not to answer. the reason why was the men who were sent after it gathered that which was near the surface of the rim which had been exposed to the action of the weather heating to freezing which injured its properties greatly[.] this was a sad disappointment to the whole camp as most of the waggon wheels in camp were in danger of falling to pieces from the tire being loose[.] then it was intended to cut & weld but where the coal was found not to answer the tires were taken off & the wheels whooped & in this way the tires were made sufficiently tight,--

Tuesday Aug 26 Last evening two men from Salt Lake came to our camp one a brother Furguson & the a [other] Mr. Holman[.] the[y] gave us much cheering intilignce [intelligence] from which we gathered that the Lord continued to bless his people in the Valeys of the mountains[.] They gave us information from all the emigrating companies who were ahead of us from which we learned that Dissention had got in their camps & they was all split up in small fractions & were traveling in this manner, this gave us pain to hear for we know that the Lord will not bless Saints who do so but his hand must be against them & we fear evil will befall them,--
To day all the camp have be[e]n busy in repairs of waggons[.] a small party who went out to the mountains on yesterday on a hunting tour this ev[en]ing the party all came in laden with the flesh of Buffalo & the Antelope,--

Wednesday Aug 27 To day the camp made some 14 miles & camped some two miles below the upper crossing of the Platte where we had tolerable good grass. Here we buried a Sister, who Died in child bed her Name was Hannah [Henderson] Terry wife of Joel Terry, & was buried in a rising spot of ground near our camp on the south side of the road,

Thursday Aug 28 This morning after traveling some two miles we forded the Platte river at the upper crossing & after crossing took the left hand road that leads up the river leaving the old Guide or Pioneer road to the right[.] After traveling some 15 miles we camped on Mineral Spring Branch a short distance above its junction with the Platte, To day we met 80 warriors of the Snake Indians to gether with the Agents of the government of the U. States on their way to attend a treaty at Fort Larimie [Laramie] on the first of September next,--

Friday August 29 This morning we took an early start, here the road leaves the Platte river & goes west across ridges till it strike[s] upon the Sweet Water river a distance of some 40 miles[.] passed to day the celebrated Willow Springs & camp on a small creek some half mile south of the road where we had very little grass, some mountaineers 3 in number camped with us, Traveled today 24 miles,--

Saturday August 30 Started soon this morning stop[p]ed to noon on Grease Wood creek, camped in a good spot of Grass on the Sweet Water some two miles below the ford traveled day 15 miles, the Sweet Water is pure clear Mountain stream,--

Sunday Aug 31 To day has be[e]n a day of rest to man & beast, we had a meeting in the after at which Elder G D Watt preached a good discourse upon the New Birth, others also made some good remarks,--

Monday September 1fst This morning we took an early start, many persons stoped a long to gather Saleratus as it is abundant in Lakes near the road below Independence Rock which we passed in the forenoon, a few miles from which we forded the Sweet Water had a heavy sandy road a good part of to day, Traveled some 15 miles & camped beside the river where we had good grass,--

Tuesday AugSept 2d Today we have had a very heavy sandy road & could find no camping place untill dark when we found a little grass on the banks of the Sweet Water, traveled to day 17 miles, during the day several of the cattle gave out from the heavy roads, for already many are growing poor & tire from the hard journey,--

Wednesday A September 3 Last night we camped just behind Captain Phelps company & just in advance of Captain Walton's so all day we have be[e]n crowded between the two trains, To day we left the Sweet Water river & have traveling <over a> heavy sandy rolling county, after traveling some 17 or 18 miles the camp turned off the road & struck the Sweet water some three miles below the road & where we found most splendid grass, it was however dark, before the camp got to Corell & several oxen gave out & were left behind, also our waggon axletree was broken[.] these however were sent back for & were brought back & reached the camp about 11 oclock at night,--

Thursday Sept 4 To day the camp have restend [rested] that the Animals might have an opportunity to rest & enjoy the good grass in this place & recruit [.] the men have be[e]n repairing waggons & some fishing some hunting &tc[.]

Friday Sept 5 This morning the camp moved some 13 miles & camped[.]

Saturday Sept 6 This morning the camp move at a late hour having had poor grass last night & some animals are fast falling off & becoming weaker & weaker eve<r>y day[.] after traveling some 13 miles we camped on the Sweet water jus[t] below where the road leav[e]s the river for some 15 miles [.] here we have very poor grass,--

Sunday Sept 7 To day Captain Brown discerning the grass insufficient for the animals moved the
camp 13 1/4 miles & camped on a small fork of the Sweet Water where we had p no grass at all,-

Monday Sept 8 to day the camp did not all get off untill nearly noon as many of the cattle were not to be found there b[e]ing no feed on the creek where we were camped[.] they had strayed off & gone down 3 or 4 miles on to another creek called Strawberry where they had some pretty good feed, after all were found the camp traveled down 6 or 7 miles & caped just where the road joins the Sweet water[.] met to[o] Dr Bernhisel Delegate to Congress from Utahs Ter[ritory] 8 days from Salt Lake City,--

Tuesday Sept 9 To day we left the Sweet water, crossed through the South Pass of the Rocky mountains & camped on Pacific creek after traveling some 18 miles[.] died to day one ox,--

Wednesday 11 [10] September, yesterday Alexander Robbins broke the axletree of one of his waggons & as the train was late in get[t]ing <in> one of his waggon wheels was broken & the company was delayed to day in repairing them however the rest has be[e]n good for our cattle,--

Thursday September 11 To day we took a new road leaving the old road to the right & going down Pacific creek & after traveling some 16 miles camped where we had very poor grass,--
Friday September 12 To day we have had a heavy sandy road through a bottom[.] after traveling some 16 miles we camped on big Sandy where we had very poor grass[.]

Saturday September 13 This morning the camp were late in giting under way taking a direct course for the old Guide road which we struck after traveling some four miles, then we good road[.] traveled 18 miles[.] got into camp about dark on big Sandy where we had tolerable grass[.]

Sunday 14 Today we have remained in camp & rested our animals & held a meeting, at which Captain John Brown preached a faithful discourse upon the Kingdom of God, he was followed by Elder Thomas Margetts who made some good remarks,

Monday September 15 Today, after traveling some six miles the camp reached Green river without difficulty & after traveling some 13 miles camped & found good grass by going some 2 1/2 miles down green river below where the road leaves the river,--

Tuesday September 16 To day we got a late start[.] traveled 16 12 miles & camped on Blacks fork of Green river where we had good grass, To day we met one waggon from Salt Lake city going to meet Al[l]red's company,--

Wednesday September 17 This morning we took an early Start[.] crossed Ham's fork & after traveling some 16 miles camped on Black's fork again where we had poor grass, Alexander Robbins lost to day one ox,

Thursday September 18 To day we made a short days drive some 10 or 12 miles[.] camped on Blacks fork of Green river where we had good grass[.]

Friday September 19 To day we traveled 16 miles passed Fort Bridger[.] passed some very bad road one hill especial[l]y the going of which was very bad,--

Saturday September 20 This morning we took a late start traveled 11 miles[.] camped on the summit of the dividing ridge between the waters of the Colora<do> river of the west & those that run into the Great Basin, Our cattle we drove off to a hollow some mile or two distant where we had splendid grass & good Springs of water. passed us to day Lyman Stoddard & several others from Al[l]red's camp, going on ahead to Salt Lake,--

Sunday September 21 Last night it rained slowly most of the night & this morning it was still raining but about 8 Oclock it let up & the camp was put in motion[.] came over some very bad road where we had to double teams, crossed Ravines & crossed a little below the ford[.] traveled to day some 10 miles. crossed to day the rim of the great Basin.--

Monday September 22 This morning some of the cattle were missing & could not be found & then as the ground upon which the[y] were hunted was covered with a dense thicket of willows, after a diligent search, the camp were all set in motion except one company of Ten the Second Captain Chatterly's[.] they were left searching for the lost cattle, The camp after traveling some 9 miles camped on Yellow creek where we had very good grass[.]

Tuesday September 23, As Brother Chatterley did not come up last night it was resolved to send back Preston Thomas to look after & help him up, & the camp go on some 5 miles, & caral at Cach[e] Cave Springs & there await untill Brother Chatterly should come up, all of which motion was put into effect & at night, we had the gratification of all camping together again,--

Wednesday Sept 24 This morning the camp took an early start & all day traveled down a narrow rough Kanyon. Echo K [Canyon] & after traveling some 16 miles camped in it where we had very good grass by driving our cattle off on the side of a mountain,--

Thursday Sept 25 To day we passed out of Echo Kenyon [Canyon] over to Weber river & through a small creek where we had good grass for camping, traveled to day 13 miles, met Elder Orson Hyde together with several others at Weber river bound for Kanesville, also several small parties going out to meet their friends in the several companies behind us,--

Friday September 26 This we took an early start[.] traveled some 10 miles[.] camped in Big Kenyon [Canyon] on Kenyon [Canyon] creek where we had good grass[.] met to day Elder Ezra T. Benson [,] Jedediah Grant & a number of others on their way to Kanesville.

Saturday Sept 17 [27] To day we traveled over the big mountain & camped on Browns Creek when we had most excelent grass, To day we have had tremendious rough roads & at night part of our company did not come up,--

Sunday Sept 28 This morning before leaving camp some of Alexander Robbin's teamsters came into camp who had been left behind yesterday & reported that one of his waggons was broken near the top of the Big mountain & they were forced to camp there & this morning a number of his cattle were missing & they had come to our camp to see if they had come to our camps, To day we met a number of brethren going out to meet their friends in Al[l]red's[,] Cordons, & Pratt's company�Captain Brown resolved to move the camp forward which was accordingly done & after traveling some 8 or 9 miles came to the mouth of the Kenyon [Canyon] which opens immediately into the Val[l]ey of the Great Salt Lake [.]




Third Company of Ten
George D Watt Capt, Age 39[,] 12 Oxen, 1 Cow, 2 Waggons, 1 Dog
Mary Watt, Age 40
G. D. Watt Jun, 9 Years
Mary Ann Brown, 59 Years
Jane Brown, 22 Years
Samuel Patterson, 35 Years
Robert Williams, 35 Years
Alford [Williams], 9 Years
Thomas Margetts Sen, Age 31[,] 6 Oxen, 1 Cow, 1 Waggon
Susanna [Margetts], 28 Years
Ann [Margetts], 4 Years
Thomas [Margetts] Jr., 2 Years
Lorenzo Erastus Margetts, 9 mos.
Esther Kimpton [Kempton], 50 Yr[.] Esther Kimpton Died July 20th 1851 buried in a large mound near the ford of the Loup Fork[.]
Benjamin Votaw, 25 Yr
Joseph Allen [Allan], 30 Yr[,] 6 Oxen, 2 Cows, 3 Waggons, 0 Buggies, 4 Dogs
Lallah [Zillah Allan], 26 Yr
Charles E. [Allan], 4 Yr
Joseph W. [Allan], 2 mos
John Yardly, 35 yrs
Mary [Yardly], 27 yrs
Joel Terry, 39 yrs[,], 6 Oxen, 1 Cow, 3 Horses, 3 Waggons, 1 Buggy, 1 Dog
Mariah [Terry], 33 yrs
Jane [Terry], 16 yrs
Wm [Terry], 9 yrs
John Terry], 3 yrs
Joel T. [Terry], 10 yrs
Omnah [Terry], 39 yrs
Amandah [Terry], 18 yrs
Sabila [Savilla Terry], 16 yrs
Ruby [Terry], 13 yrs
Tabotha [Terry], 11 yrs
Lucinday [Lucinda] Terry, 9 years
James Terry, 3 years
Mary Child, 36 years[,] 4 Oxen, 2 Cows, 2 Horses, 2 Waggons
Seth Child, 15 years
Amanda Child, 12 years
Joel Child, 11 years
Jason Child, 9 years
Mary A Child, 2 years
Mary Ann Simmons, 23 years
John Lynden, 20 years
The following are Oregon emigrants [with the Third Company of Ten]
Edmund Judkins, 23 years
Adam Meek, 48 years
Sophrona Meek, 35 years
Sidney Meek, 18 years
Rachel Meek, 16 years
John Meek, 13 years
Robert Meek, Ae 5 years
Amos Andrus [Andrews], 41 years

Remember to excuse the pioneers’ spelling. Their writing is before dictionaries became widely available and before spelling became standardized.

The Pioneer Route walked five times by Robert Williams.
The Pioneer Route walked five times by Robert Williams.