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It is to the credit of Brigham Young and the “Mormon” pioneers that the buffalo were killed only for food. There was no wanton destruction of these animals on the plains by the “Mormons," as there had been by other companies of emigrants along the Platte river. We have accounts of the “brethren” going on their hunts for food, and buffalo were killed, but only to supply the camps with meat. Wilford Woodruff, formerly President of the "Mormon” Church, has given a most interesting account of a hunt in his journal. He says:
"When the Utah pioneers had reached Grand Island, on the Platte river, they were greatly in need of fresh meat. One morning in May, a herd of_buffalo was seen on a little hill not far from the pioneer camp. “This
interesting day to the hunters of the camp. The pioneers made early start, and after traveling six miles, camped for breakfast the prairie in sight of a herd of buffalo feeding on a bluff to the right of us. There about two hundred. Three only of the hunters started out. They rode as near to them as possible and crawled along the grass, but the buffalo became frightened and ran away. We had not traveled more than two miles farther before we discovered another large herd five miles before us. The hunters assembled and held a council
. We determined to get some of the buffalo meat if possible. We traveled until we were within a mile of the herd, when a halt was made and fifteen hu ters started together. We all went along until we reached a bluff within a few rods of the herd. We all made a charge upon them from the bluffs into the plain, but when we reached the plain, we soon overtook them, and each man singled out his game. We made choice generally of cows, and then rushed up to the side of them, and fired upon them with our pistols, which we found much better to carry than our rifles, which were very cumbersome in running. I killed a cow and calf. I then saw O. P. Rockwell with three bulls at bay on the prairie. We ran to his assistance, and surrounded them and commenced firing. They bolted ahead. I put spurs to my horse, and ran in front and was within about a rod of them, when they pitched at me and gave me a chase for a fight. It hurried me to get out of their way: We killed three cows, three bulls, and fiv calves, making eleven in all. In the morning, Solomon Hancock had gone out to hunt buffalo on foot. As he did not return in the evening, we felt greatly concerned about him; but in the morning he returned, having killed a three-year-old cow which he watched during the night to keep the wolves from eating her. He shot one wolf and the rest ran away.
“This was our first day's buffalo hunt, and we considered the results quite good inasmuch were all strangers to a buffalo hunt, very few of us having ever seen one before. We dressed our meat and the wagons came from the camp to take it."
We are removed only a few years from the pioneer days, and yet the Indians and the buffalo have gone from their old haunts. As the Red Men have been pushed from their hunting grounds, the buffalo have been exterminated. To see the buffalo killed was to the Indians "like a dream of sorrow, a supernatural cloud of darkness to punish their derelictions. Their old men tell of the years when the buffalo were scarce and had gone a long way off, but never since the world began, were there no buffalo.'
The Indians say the buffalo will come again from the land where dwells the Great Spirit in his wigwam, where grow only flowers, trees, and all good things of the land, and where dwell the Indians of the good old times, in peace and fellowship with the Father of all.
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
There is a remark made by the Savior recorded in Scripture as follows: "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36.) We may wonder how each one of earth's untold millions can possibly give account of his every idle word in the day of judgment, but there is no reason to believe that it is not possible. If man's character is made up of his every thought, word and deed, whether idle or otherwise, on the day of judgment he will stand for what his character denotes: "every idle word," as well as every idle thought and deed will be accounted for in the effect they have wrought upon life's record. In other words, he will amount to just what his good thoughts, words and deeds represent, minus that which his idle or evil thoughts, words and deeds have taken from that sum total—EDWIN F. PARRY.
A Story of Pioneer Days
BY JENNIE LEIGH
The Southern part of our state was, I presume, settled in much the same way as the Northern part. Many hardships had to be endured, many obstacles overcome, and what a nerve it must have taken to be able to stand the constant anxiety of an Indian attack; for the Indians were very troublesome, and although the whites had several staunch friends among this dusky people who helped a great deal in keeping peace, they were continually stealing cattle and horses. But this was nothing compared with the terrible tragedies sometimes enacted when for some fancied wrong these cruel savages would avenge
upon some innocent victim.
Of the many brave men called from their homes and firesides to lead the dangerous life of an Indian missionary, my grandfather was one; he was with that brave leader Jacob Hamblin in some of his most thrilling and sometimes tragic experiences.
In the year of 1860, a little company of men consisting of Jacob Hamblin, Thales Haskell, George A. Smith, Jr., Jehiel McConnell, Ira Hatch, Isaac Riddle, Amos Thornton, Francis M. Hamblin, James Pierce, and an Indian called Enos, started from the Santa Clara, in Washington county, for the purpose of preaching to the Moquis Indians in Arizona, in the hope of establishing a mission in some of their towns. Although in the first part of their journey no accident of interest occurred, the men were filled with a gloomy foreboding that something very unpleasant was going to happen. Courageously they pushed on, determined to do their best to accomplish that which they had set out to do.
Everything went well until after two days' travel from the Colorado river, they found their first watering place dry. They urged their horses on to the next one before stopping. Undaunted they started on, but about two o'clock in the afternoon, they met four friendly Navajos who told them that to go on to their next destination meant certain death.
The Navajos invited the missionaries to go with them to the camp of the Spanshanks where they would be protected. What should they do? To go one way surely meant death, for the famishing horses could not reach Spanshanks camp without first having water, while to go on would probably just as certainly result in death, at the hands of the cruel savages lurking in the mountains.
It was a difficult problem, but they finally decided to continue their present route and take the chances, desperate though they were. Brother Haskell, knowing the country, was sent ahead of the company to entrench himself on the table land which could be reached only by a narrow pass, while Brother Hamblin remained behind to gather as many of the Indians' plans as he could. He learned that the Navajos were determined the missionaries should not reach the Moquis villages, but whether to kill them, or let them go home, they had not yet decided. A compromise was finally effected by which the whites were to trade the goods they had brought with them to the Indians for blankets, and then depart for their homes in peace.
The following morning while this bartering was going on, the horses were successfully taken to the watering place, but on the way back, Brother Smith's horse, breaking away from the band took a trail that led over the mountain and out of sight.
As soon as the news was brought to camp, the owner, against counsel, jumped on a comrade's horse and started after it alone. The men being very busy trading, soon forgot all about him. In a short time Brother Hamblin realized that Brother Smith had not returned and that most of the Navajos had mysteriously disappeared.
Seized with a terrible fear, he sent two men to search for him, and after following the road for about a mile, they found him stretched out on the ground, the lower part of his body riddled with three bullets, and with three arrow wounds between his shoulders and a buckskin shirt thrown over his head.
It was afterwards learned that shortly after leaving camp, Brother Smith ame upon two Indians, one of whom was leading the missing horse. After persuasion and a little force, they relunctantly gave up the stolen property and Brother Smith was turning away when one of the Indians, riding up to him, asked to look at his pistol. Not suspecting any treachery, Brother Smith handed it to the Indian who in turn handed it to his companion a little in the rear. The latter then, while standing but a few feet from Brother Smith, mercilessly shot him three times.
Paralyzed and mortally wounded, the victim fell to the ground where one of his murderers threw a buckskin shirt over his head while the other pierced him with arrows. It was in this condition he was found and tenderly carried to his horror-stricken comrades. When Brother Hamblin demanded of the Indians why they had broken their promise they replied, they had partly avenged themselves for the death of three of their brothers at the hands of the pale faces.
And they said if the whites would give up two more of their men to be killed, the rest could go on unharmed. To this Brother Hamblin replied, "There are only a few of us but we are well armed and will fight as long as there is one left.”
With the help of the four Navajo friends, they hurriedly cleared camp and mounted their horses, and placing Brother Smith in the saddle upon a mule, with Brother McConnell behind to hold him on, they hurried away, the Indians in close pursuit.
Thus they traveled as fast as they could, Brother Smith often pleading to be left, as he was only an encumbrance to them. About sundown, Brother Smith asked the company to stop as everything was growing dark and he was dying. When told they could not, "Well then, go on," he said, "but I wish I could die in peace.”
In a few minutes he was dead. The only way to save the lives of the rest of the company was to leave the body of Brother Smith and hurry on. Wrapping it in a blanket, they laid it in a hollow place at the side of the trail. After two days more of hard travel, on tired and jaded animals, they reached a place of safety exhausted by work and sorrow. A company of twenty men was sent out to gather up what could be found of Brother Smith's body; as it was winter, it was a hard, cold trip, but they finally reached the spot to find only his head and a few of the larger Fones. These they carefully gathered up and took home to his bereaved family and friends. CEDAR CITY, UTAH