Friday, March 18, 2016

Missionaries Called Home to Utah Territory 1858

Martin Luther ENSIGN at age 16 drove three yoke of oxen for John Eldredge in 1847 when he initially emigrated to the Valley with the Daniel Spencer / Ira Eldredge Company (1847).

He had been called to go on a mission to England by handcart, leaving Brigham City 16 April 1856 he traveled with Eli Pierce Company. 

He crossed the plains again in 1858 when returning from  his mission to England. Elder Ensign served as chief cook in the Berry Company.  The Missionaries had been called home because of the Utah War also known as Buchanan's Blunder.  Which was an armed confrontation between Mormon settlers in the Utah territory and the armed forces of the Untied States Government.  The confrontation lasted from May 1857 to July 1858. 


"For Utah," Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle , 7 Apr. 1858, 2.

We learn that a number of Mormons just returned from England, left this vicinity for Salt Lake one day last week. What will Col. Johnson [Johnston] do, will he let them pass on, or will he stop them? We know of several more who intend to start for the Valley in a few days. They are all confident that their bretheren will not be driven from Salt Lake Valley.


John W. Berry Company (1858)
Departed Florence Nebraska 
Arrival: 21 June 1858
Number in Company:112

Ensign, Martin Luther, Autobiography 1897.

We landed at Omaha on 17 th Apr and at the Florance [Florence] five miles above the same day by stage[.] In a few days all of the Elders had arived and preperations were made to Continue our Journey to Utah. The Church furnished teams, Wagons and Provisions to bring us home[.] we had 12 Wagons[,] 50 horses[,] 8 mules. We started from Florance [Florence] May 1 st and Orgenised on the 4 th [.] Capten of Com[pany] John W. Bary [Berry,] Capten of Gard Barnerd [Bernard] Snow[.] Clirk [Clerk] Thomas Bouluck [Bollock]

There were Eight in our mess, Thomas [R.] King, Robert [Reuben M.] McBride, Eli H[arvey] Pearce [Pierce], Thomas Pearce [Pierce], Enoch Rees[e], T. [Peter] Roberson [Robinson,] Henry Herriman & M[artin] L[uther] Ensign[.]. I was cheaf [chief] Cook. their ware about 125 men in the Com[pany] as near as I can remember

We had to walk most of the way[.] I walked 9/10 of the way or more. We had a very good Journey[.] all came Safe & without any troble.

The Army that came to Utah was at Bridger 125 miles from S[alt] L[ake] City. we took a road north of them and Came into the head of Echo Canion [Canyon.] the Army Started from Bridger the Same day[.] we passed there[.] We came onto the fromt [front] guard who were reparing the road and bridges in Echo Canion. they wanted to Stop us but Peace had ben declared by the Comision Sent out for that purpos[e] So we were not disturbed, we pased them and came 60 miles that day Camping on East Canion Creek. We arived in Salt Lake City June 21st 1858 Making the Journey in 52 days.

[Also found in Ensign, Martin Luther, Autobiography, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 1, item 9, 6.]



At Genoa Weighed the Goods of the Missionaries:  Martin Luther Ensign, 45 [lbs]

Martin L. Ensign, age 27, in Church 8 years, 15 quo 70, Travelling Elder, England, Hand Cart, residence Box Elder, Farmer

English Missionaries
Andrews James*
Beck James
Berry John W.*
Bramall Wm.*
Brown Wm.**
Browning Jas. G.**
Bullock Thomas**
Clark Ezra T.**
Craig James
Dallin Wm.*
Daniels Daniel
Davis Daniel
Doremus Henry I.
Ensign Martin Luther* 
Evans Richard G.*
Gates George**
Harriman Henry*
Higbee Isaac
Hobson Jesse
Hubbard Chas. W**.
King Thomas R.
Lavender James
Littlewood Martin*
Logan Robert*
Margetts Philip*
McBride Reuben*
Miller Robert E.*
Muir Wm. S.
Pace William
Page Daniel**
Peirce Eli Harvey*
Peirce Thomas**
Pinder John G.*
Reese Enoch*
Robinson Peter
Romney Miles
Roskelly Samuel**
Roulet Frederick*
Russell Thomas W.
Scofield Joseph
Shumway Andrew P.**
Smith John S.
Smith Samuel H.B.
Smith Wm. I.
Snow Bernard**
Stanniforth George*
Stevens James W.**
Stewart Wm. Jackson*
Taylor Amos*
Taylor George**
Taylor Jabuz*
Taylor James W.
Thomas Wm. G.*
Tippitts John H.**
Tomkinson Ephraim*
Ure James
Wilkin David*
Young Brigham H.*
Young Seymour B.*
Galley James*
others in company
Bodell Joseph
Bunting James
Burgess Mark
England Wm.
Fox Charles
Jones John E.
Kerswell Wm.
Louden Robert
Phillips Thomas
Vaughan Michael
Eli Wilkins
Octave Ursenbach
110 [Total]
85 M[ale] M[embers]
21 Others
01 woman
03 children
110 [total]
American Missionaries
Brinton David*
Browning Thomas*
Bull Wm. Field*
Cannon Angus M.
Carter Wm.*
Coombs Isaiah M.**
Gardner Robert*
Goddard Stephen H.*
Goddard George*
Hall Thomas*
Hill Isaac N.*
Hill Richard*
Huntsman Gabriel*
Mackintosh Daniel*
Mallett William F.*
McCrary John*
Ridout David O.** (& son)
Riter Samuel*
Shumway Charles*
Smith Wm. H.*
Snediker John F.**
Terry Joel*
Twitchell Wm. B*.
Welchman Arthur P.
Wood Lyman S.
*Hand cart Missionaries
**Went with TB
Ammond Thos J.
Jas. Hough
Leir G. Metcalf
John W. Brackenbary
Ira Miles
Jas. Alcott
Wm. Habgood
Robt. Pope, Wife & 2 children

Sunday 23 May 58 Sun rose in a clear sky[.] pleasant day till 4 p.m. Camp crosses many streams of clear water and halts for noon on the East side of Rattlesnake Creek in good feed[.] (T.B. carried over the wide Creek by D. Page and rides in Ezra Clark’s wagon 1½ miles) had a good bathe in the Creek in the p.m. went over mostly a soft bottom and thro several creeks[.] very hot and sultry until a sudden thunder storm threatens us, when we camp in a hurry in good grass about 5 p.m. but no wood, got water from a pool full of wiglers[.] we had scarcely pitched tents when 9 Indians of the Burley Band of Ogallallahs ride over the hill and come to camp and the rain came down on us[.] cleared up at Sundown[.] the Indians met in prayer with us[.] we put them in a tent for the night when they gave their usual singing after supper[.] 22 mi

Monday 24 strong dew[.] clear morning gave the Indians their breakfast and they went away singing[.] ...

Friday 11 June Severe frosty night[.] cold day
Camp moves up over the bluffs[.] the snow hard on the road and in some places a foot deep[.] ice in the pools about one inch thick[.] met 5 wagons with many discharged Teamsters (reported 150)[.] some of them on horseback[.] most on foot
Camp staid for breakfast about 2 miles and dry our bedding[.] commenced thawing[.] Camp again rolled round a big bend to a Spring, many waded thro cut off knee deep on rising[.] on hill met Nicholas Groesbeck, Al Hatch and about 12 other brethren with a drove of mules going to the Platte Ferry for goods[.] they gave us much information of the valley and our friends[.] I read the damnable lies of James Buchanan called the Proclamation of peace which did drive the Mormons to defend themselves[.] we could not refrain from groaning 3 times at the conclusion
after staying together about 3 hours we separated and our Camp rolled on towards the South Pass where we came to a halt a little after Sundown[.] The clouds strongly threaten another storm[.] the rheumatism in my shoulders very severe and cholic very bad[.] 25 mi...

Sunday 20 June cleared up at midnight[.] fine morning and all day[.] Camp moves down about 3 miles, down to the main Kanyon [blank space] when the roads are very muddy and heavy[.] sun came and Dr. Garland’s Co., and 2 wagons then went thro a coral of about 26 U.S. wagons and oxen[.] 4 wagons and 6 mules each were going to Weber river and make a ferry for the troops & c[.] 2 cos. were ahead of us and Col. Johnson 12 miles in the rear with 1500 Soldiers[.] thus I headed him and nearly all the command

I was miraculously guided to this place thro the troops[,] enemies and Indians for which the Lord be praised for answering the prayers of the Saints

came to a morning halt after travelled about 8 miles[.] waited 1½ hours[.] passed the U.S. troops making bridges across the creeks & c[.] then resumed our journey down the Kanyon and passed the place fortified by the Saints and could not refrain from giving 3 cheers for the boys engaged in it[.] it would have been the Slaughter house had Col. Johnson and the troops continued our journey down the Kanyon and to the ford of Weber river which we made in a fresh place the water being deep which was crossed in about 2 hours[.] 26 mi. met several apostates and camp runners[.] wrote a letter to President Young with the names of the European missionaries & c and sent same by Rob[ert] Gardner, A[ngus] M. Cannon, and E[noch] Reese on the Express and let him Camp starts for the Creek and divide leading to East Kanyon Creek[.] pass Little Soldier’s band of Indians[.] go over the divide and camp W. of Springs[.] T.B. on guard the early watch[.] 6 mi

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