|James H. Simpson, 1857|
Just two months after James Gammell returned home from an expedition to the site of the Mountain Meadows massacre, he joined James Simpson’s expedition to explore the Uinta Valley. James H. Simpson, an officer in the U.S. Army, and a member of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered to Camp Floyd in 1858. Under Captain Simpson’s direction the army made its most significant contribution of the Utah War by improving western immigrant roads, and mapping new routes to shorten the travel time between the states and California. Simpson’s team of scientists and artists accompanied the troops, collecting specimens of flora and fauna, and sketching the scenery. The published report inspired many emigrants to move to the western frontier.
- The Timpanogos River is now called the Provo River.
- Round Prairie was the earliest name of a valley later called Provo Valley. It became known as Heber Valley after Heber City was named in honor of Heber C. Kimball. A small settlement of ten families called Heber City had sprung up since Simpson’s first exploration of this valley the previous fall.
- The Torbert Creek campsite was east of Soldier Hollow, on the bend of the Provo River, and would now be under Jordanelle Reservoir.
- Simpson, J. H., Report of Explorations Across the Great Basin of the Territory of Utah for a Direct Wagon Route from Camp Floyd, to Genoa, in Carson Valley, in 1859, Washington, 1876, p. 139.
- This route may correspond to present-day Utah state road 35 and US 40. Click on this link for a map of the area: http://mapq.st/mr8Oyl
- Simpson Report, p. 140.
- Simpson Report, p. 141.