|Johnston's Army Bugle Corps|
ca. 1859 at Camp Floyd, Utah
(from Signature Books, Salt Lake City)
On July 24, 1857, the ten-year anniversary of their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young and two thousand guests and their families were celebrating Pioneer Day at Silver Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon, southeast of Salt Lake City. About noon that day, five horsemen, led by Salt Lake City Mayor Abraham O. Smoot, interrupted the celebration with news that 2,500 federal troops had been dispatched to Utah to put down the so-called “Mormon rebellion”, and that Utah’s federal mail contract had been cancelled.(1) The shocking news of an invading army conjured up painful memories of the Mormon persecutions in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. A wave of war hysteria spread throughout Utah, and Brigham Young instructed the Saints to prepare to defend themselves.
|Echo Canyon, Utah|
…Joseph Smith in the year 1830 called upon (Clinton Harris) and invited him to (a baptism), saying, “Come, Clint, go down and see us baptize.” Clinton answered, “I cannot walk for I have had a fever sore on my leg for many years.” Joseph replied, “Come go down, are you going to be lame all your days? Come start and go down, and you’ll do well enough.” Clinton started, straightened his leg and could walk and has been able to walk ever since. This Clinton is one of the wealthiest men in Texas. Dr. Blank said, “O, that is nothing, it is all owing to “Mesmerism”. Clinton replied, “Not so, Sir. He (Joseph Smith) never touched me, and I verily believe I should have been a cripple unto this day had I not been healed at that time. I believe in Mormonism, tho’ I am not a Mormon.”(7)
Another journal entry of November 16, 1857, recorded that at 11:00 AM, “James Gemmell and William Skeens started with 2 head beef cattle for Bear River [further east near Wyoming border].”(8) Newton Tuttle’s journal reported that James came back down the canyon twelve days later:
- Ronald W. Walker, et al., Massacre at Mountain Meadows, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008, pp. 33-37. Abraham Smoot, Porter Rockwell, and another courier, made a run for Salt Lake from Fort Laramie (513 miles) in just five days. Eleanor McLean Pratt, who was still fleeing from Hector McLean, returned with them to Salt Lake City.
- Walker, Turley, and Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, Oxford, 2008, p. 41.
- Church History in the Fulness of Times, p. 370.
- Church History in the Fulness of Times, p. 373.
- Echo Canyon is located about 50 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, near the junction of I-80 and I-84.
- See bio of DeWitt Clinton Harris at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fha81
- This account was received by Geo. A. Smith from the mouth of James Gamall [sic] at the Head of Echo Kanyon on Oct. 18, 1857. LDS Church Archives, Historical Record Book, 1843-1874. MS 3434.
- Brigham Young’s Office Journal, (Echo Canyon Journal), November 16, 1857.
- Church History in the Fulness of Times, p. 374.