Submitted by scott on

From Orion: 4 P. M., arrived on the summit of “Big mountain,” 15 miles from Salt Lake City, when the most gorgeous view of mountain peaks yet encountered, burst on our sight.

Burton Writes:

At 4 30 we resumed our journey along the plain of the Weber or Webber River. It is second in importance only to the Bear River: it heads near the latter, and flowing in a devious course toward the northwest falls into the Great Salt Lake, a few miles south of its sister stream, and nearly opposite Fremont's Island. The valley resembles that described in yesterday's diary; it is, however, narrower, and the steep borders, which if water washed would be red like the kanyon rocks, are well clothed with grass and herbages. In some places the land is defended by snake fences in zigzags, to oppose the depredations of emigrants cattle upon the wheat, barley, and stunted straggling corn within. After fording the river and crossing the bottom, we ascended steep banks, passed over a spring of salt water five miles from the station, and halted for a few minutes to exchange news with the mail wagon that had left Great Salt Lake City this (Friday) morning. Followed a rough and rugged tract of land apparently very trying to the way worn cattle; many deaths had taken place at this point, and the dead lay well preserved as the monks of St Bernard. After a succession of chuck holes, rises, and falls, we fell into the valley of Bauchmin's Creek. It is a picturesque hollow; at the head is a gateway of red clay, through which the stream passes; the sides also are red, and as the glow and glory of the departing day lingered upon the heights, even artemisia put on airs of bloom and beauty, blushing in contrast with the sharp metallic green of the quaking asp and the duller verdure of the elder (Alnus viridis). As the evening closed in, the bottom land became more broken, the path less certain and the vegetation thicker; the light of the moon, already diminished by the narrowness of the valley, seemed almost to be absorbed by the dark masses of copse and bush. We were not sorry to make at 7:45 PM, the "Carson House Station" at Bauchmin's Fork - the traveling had been fast, seven miles an hour - where we found a log hut, a roaring fire, two civil Mormon lads, and some few "fixins" in the way of food. We sat for a time talking about matters of local importance, the number of emigrants, and horse thieves, the prospects of the road and the lay of the land. Bauchmin's Fork, we learned, is a branch of East Kanyon Creek, itself a tributary of the Weber River, from the station an Indian trail leads over the mountains to Provo City. I slept comfortably enough upon the boards of an inner room, not however, without some apprehensions of accidentally offending a certain skunk (Mephitis mephitica), which was in the habit of making regular nocturnal visits. I heard its puppy like bark during the night, but escaped what otherwise might have happened.

And why, naturally asks the reader, did you not shut the door? Because there was none (p 188-9).

The End Hurrah August 25th
To day we are to pass over the Wasach, the last and highest chain of the mountain mass between Fort Bridger and the Great Salt Lake Valley, and - by the aid of St James of Compostella, who is, I believe, bound over to be the patron of pilgrims in general, - to arrive at our destination, New Hierosolyma, or Jerusalem, alias Zion on the tops of the mountains, the future city of Christ, where the Lord is to reign over the Saints, as a temporal king, in power and great glory. (p 189-90)

So we girt our loins and started after a cup of tea and a biscuit at 7 AM, under the good guidance of Mr Macarthy, who after a whisky less night looked forward not less than ourselves to the run in. Following the course of Bauchmin's Creek, we completed the total number of fordings to thirteen in eight miles. The next two miles were along the bed of a water course, a complete fiumara, through a bush full of tribulus, which accompanied us to the end of the journey. Presently the ground became rougher and steeper: we alighted and set our beasts manfully against "Big Mountain," which lies about four miles from the station. The road bordered upon the wide arroyo, a tumbled bed of block and boulder, with water in places oozing and trickling from the clay walls, from the sandy soil, and from beneath the heaps of rock, - living fountains these, most grateful to the parched traveler. The synclinal slopes of the chasm were grandly wooded with hemlocks, firs, balsam pines, and other varieties of abies; some tapering up to the height of ninety feet, with an admirable regularity of form, color, and foliage. The varied hues of the quaking asp were there; the beech, the dwarf oak, and a thicket of elders and wild roses; while over all the warm autumnal tints already mingled with the bright green of summer. The ascent became more and more rugged: this steep pitch, at the end of a thousand miles of hard work and semi starvation, causes the death of many a wretched animal, and we remarked that the bodies are not inodorous among the mountains as on the prairies. In the most fatiguing part, we saw a hand cart halted, while the owners, a man, a woman, and a boy, took breath. We exchanged a few consolatory words with them and hurried on. The only animal seen on the line, except the grasshopper, whose creaking wings gave forth an ominous note, was the pretty little chirping squirrel. The trees, however, in places bore the marks of huge talons, which were easily distinguished as the sign of bears. The grizzly does not climb except when young: this was probably the common brown variety. At half way the gorge opened out, assuming more the appearance of a valley; and in places, for a few rods, were dwarf stretches of almost level ground. Toward the Pass summit the rise is sharpest: here we again descended from the wagon, which the four mules had work enough to draw, and the total length of its eastern rise was five miles. Big Mountain lies eighteen miles from the city. The top is a narrow crest, suddenly forming an acute based upon an obtuse angle. (p 190)

From that eyrie, 8,000 feet above sea level, the weary pilgrim first sights his shrine, the object of his long wanderings, hardships, and perils, the Happy Valley of the Great Salt Lake. The western horizon, when visible, is bounded by a broken wall of light blue mountain, the Oquirrh, whose northernmost bluff buttresses the southern end of the lake, and whose eastern flank sinks in steps and terraces into a river basin, yellow with the sunlit golden corn, and somewhat pink with its carpeting of heath like moss. In the foreground a semicircular sweep of hill top, and an inverted arch of rocky wall, shuts out all but a few spans of the valley. These heights are rough with a shaggy forest, in some places black green, in others of brownish red, in others of the lightest ash color, based upon a ruddy soil; while a few silvery veins of snow still streak the bare gray rocky flanks of the loftiest peak. (p 190-1)

After a few minutes' delay to stand and gaze, we resumed the footpath way, while the mail wagon, with wheels rough locked, descended what appeared to be an impracticable slope. The summit of the Pass was well nigh cleared of timber; the woodman's song informed us that the evil work was still going on, and that we are nearly approaching a large settlement. Thus stripped of their protecting fringes, the mountains are exposed to the heat of summer, that sends forth countless swarms of devastating crickets, grasshoppers, and blue worms; and to the wintry cold, that piles up, four to six feet high, - the mountain men speak of thirty and forty, - the snows drifted by the unbroken force of the winds. The Pass from November to February can be traversed by nothing heavier than "sleighs," and during the snow storms even these are stopped. Falling into the gorge of Big Kanyon Creek, after a total of twelve hard miles from Bauchmin's Fork, we reached at 11:30 the station that bears the name of the water near which it is built. We were received by the wife of the proprietor, who was absent at the time of our arrival; and half stifled by the thick dust and the sun which had raised the glass to 103°, we enjoyed copious draughts -tant soit peu qualified - of the cool but rather hard water, that trickled down the hill into a trough by the house side. Presently the station master, springing from his light "sulky," entered, and was formally introduced to us by Mr Macarthy as Mr Ephe Hanks. I had often heard of this individual, as one of the old triumvirate of Mormon desperadoes, the other two being Orrin Porter Rockwell and Bill Hickman - as the leader of the dreaded Danite band, and in short as a model ruffian. The ear often teaches the eye to form its pictures: I had eliminated a kind of mental sketch of those assassin faces which one sees on the Apennines and Pyrenees, and was struck by what met the eye of sense. The "vile villain," as he has been called by anti Mormon writers, who verily do not try to ménager their epithets, was a middle sized, light haired, good looking man, with regular features, a pleasant and humorous countenance, and the manly manner of his early sailor life, touched with the rough cordiality of the mountaineer. "Frank as a bear hunter," is a proverb in these lands. He had, like the rest of the triumvirate, and like most men (Anglo Americans) of desperate courage and fiery excitable temper, a clear pale blue eye, verging upon gray, and looking as if it wanted nothing better than to light up, together with a cool and quiet glance that seemed to shun neither friend nor foe. (p 191-2)


From Big Kanyon Creek Station to the city, the driver "reckoned," was a distance of seventeen miles. We waited till the bright and glaring day had somewhat burned itself out; at noon heavy clouds came up from the south and southwest, casting a grateful shade and shedding a few drops of rain. After taking friendly leave of the "Danite" chief, - whose cordiality of manner had prepossessed me strongly in his favor - we entered the mail wagon and prepared ourselves for the finale over the westernmost ridge of the stern Wasach (p 192)

(The City of the Saints)

Twain, of course, had a different impression of the "Destroying Angel" Ephe Hanks:

Destroying Angel..., we changed horses, and took supper with a Mormon “Destroying Angel.”
“Destroying Angels,” as I understand it, are Latter-Day Saints who are set apart by the Church to conduct permanent disappearances of obnoxious citizens. I had heard a deal about these Mormon Destroying Angels and the dark and bloody deeds they had done, and when I entered this one’s house I had my shudder all ready. But alas for all our romances, he was nothing but a loud, profane, offensive, old blackguard! He was murderous enough, possibly, to fill the bill of a Destroyer, but would you have any kind of an Angel devoid of dignity? Could you abide an Angel in an unclean shirt and no suspenders? Could you respect an Angel with a horse-laugh and a swagger like a buccaneer?

There were other blackguards present—comrades of this one. And there was one person that looked like a gentleman—Heber C. Kimball’s son, tall and well made, and thirty years old, perhaps. A lot of slatternly women flitted hither and thither in a hurry, with coffee-pots, plates of bread, and other appurtenances to supper, and these were said to be the wives of the Angel—or some of them, at least. And of course they were; for if they had been hired “help” they would not have let an angel from above storm and swear at them as he did, let alone one from the place this one hailed from. 

(Roughing It)

From Orion: Arrived at Salt Lake City at dark, and put up at the Salt Lake House,. There are about 15,000 inhabitants. The houses are scattering, mostly small frame, with large yards and plenty of trees. High mountains surround the city. On some of these perpetual snow is visible. Salt Lake City is 240 miles from the South Pass, or 1148 miles from St. Joseph.

More from Burton:

After two miles of comparatively level ground we came to the foot of "Little Mountain," and descended from the wagon to relieve the poor devils of mules. The near slope was much shorter, but also it was steeper far than "Big Mountain." The counterslope was easier, though by no means pleasant to contemplate with the chance of an accident to the brake, which in all inconvenient places would part with the protecting shoe-sole. Beyond the eastern foot, which was ten miles distant from our destination, we were miserably bumped and jolted over the broken ground at the head of Big Kanyon. Down this pass, whose name is a translation of the Yuta name Obitkokichi, a turbulent little mountain stream tumbles over its boulder bed, girt with the usual sunflower, vines of wild hops, red and white willows, cotton wood, quaking asp, and various bushes near its cool watery margin, and upon the easier slopes of the ravine, with the shin or dwarf oak (Quercus nana), mountain mahogany, balsam and other firs, pines, and cedars. The road was a narrow shelf along the broader of the two spaces between the stream and the rock, and frequent fordings were rendered necessary by the capricious wanderings of the torrent. I could not but think how horrid must have been its appearance when the stout hearted Mormon pioneers first ventured to thread the defile, breaking their way through the dense bush, creeping and clinging like flies to the sides of the hills. Even now accidents often occur; here as in Echo Kanyon, we saw in more than one place, unmistakable signs of upsets in the shape of broken spokes and yoke bows. At one of the most ticklish turns Macarthy kindly pointed out a little precipice where four of the mail passengers fell and broke their necks, a pure invention on his part, I believe, which fortunately, at that moment, did not reach Mrs Dana's ears. He also entertained us with many a tale, of which the hero was the redoubtable Hanks; how he had slain a buffalo bull, single handed with a bowie knife, and how on one occasion, when refused hospitality by his Lamanite brethren, he had sworn to have the whole village to himself, and had redeemed his vow by reappearing in cuerpo, with gestures so maniacal that the sulky Indians all fled, declaring him to be "bad medicine." The stories had at least local coloring. (p 192-3)

In due time, emerging from the gates and portals and deep serrations of the upper course, we descended into a lower level: here Big, now called Emigration, Kanyon gradually bulges out, and its steep slopes of grass and fern, shrubbery and stunted brush, fall imperceptibly into the plain. The valley presently lay full before our sight. At this place the pilgrim emigrants, like the hajjis of Mecca and Jerusalem, give vent to the emotions long pent up within their bosoms by sobs and tears, laughter and congratulations, psalms and hysterics. It is indeed no wonder that the children dance, that strong men cheer and shout, and that nervous women broken, with fatigue and hope deferred, scream and faint; that the ignorant should fondly believe that the "Spirit of God pervades the very atmosphere," and that Zion on the tops of the mountains is nearer heaven than other parts of earth. In good sooth, though uninfluenced by religious fervor - beyond the natural satisfaction of seeing a bran-new Holy City - even I could not, after nineteen days in a mail wagon, gaze upon the scene without emotion. (p 193)

The sublime and the beautiful were in present contrast. Switzerland and Italy lay side by side. The magnificent scenery of the past mountains and ravines still floated before the retina, as emerging from the gloomy depths of the Golden Pass - the mouth of Emigration Kanyon is more poetically so called - we came suddenly in view of the Holy Valley of the West . (p 193)

The hour was about 6 PM, the atmosphere was touched with a dreamy haze, - as it generally is in the vicinity of the lake - a little bank of rose colored clouds, edged with flames of purple and gold, floated in the upper air, while the mellow radiance of an American autumn, that bright interlude between the extremes of heat and cold, diffused its mild soft lustre over the face of earth. (p 194)

The sun, whose slanting rays shone full in our eyes, was setting in a flood of heavenly light behind the bold jagged outline of "Antelope Island," which, though distant twenty miles to the northwest, hardly appeared to be ten. At its feet, and then bounding the far horizon, lay like a band of burnished silver, the Great Salt Lake, that still innocent Dead Sea. Southwestward, also, and equally deceptive as regards distance, rose the boundary of the valley plain, the Oquirrh Range, sharply silhouetted by a sweep of sunshine over its summits, against the depths of an evening sky, in that direction, so pure, so clear, that vision, one might fancy, could penetrate behind the curtain into regions beyond the confines of man's ken. In the brilliant reflected light, which softened off into a glow of delicate pink, we could distinguish the lines of Brigham's, Coon's and other kanyons, which water has traced through the wooded flanks of the Oquirrh down to the shadows already purpling the misty benches at their base. Three distinct and several shades, light azure, blue, and brown blue, graduated the distances, which extended at least thirty miles. (p 194)

The undulating valley plain between us and the Oquirrh Range is 12.15 miles broad, and markedly concave, dipping in the centre like the section of a tunnel, and swelling at both edges into bench lands, which mark the ancient bed of the lake. In some parts the valley was green; in others, where the sun shot its oblique beams, it was of a tawny yellowish red, like the sands of the Arabian desert, with scatters of trees, where the Jordan of the West rolls its opaline wave through pasture lands of dried grass dotted with flocks and herds, and fields of ripening yellow corn. Every thing bears the impress of handiwork, from the bleak benches behind to what was once a barren valley in front. Truly the Mormon prophecy had been fulfilled: already the howling wilderness - in which twelve years ago a few miserable savages, the half naked Digger Indians, gathered their grass seed, grasshoppers, and black crickets to keep life and soul together, and awoke with their war cries the echo of the mountains, and the bear, the wolf, and the fox prowled over the site of a now populous city - "has blossomed like the rose." (p 194)

This valley, this lovely panorama of green and azure and gold, this land, fresh as it were from the hands of God, is apparently girt on all sides by hills: the highest peaks, raised 7,000 to 8,000 feet above the plain of their bases, show by gulches veined with lines of snow that even in this season winter frowns upon the last smile of summer. (p 194)

Advancing, we exchanged the rough cahues, and the frequent fords of the ravine, for a broad smooth highway, spanning the easternmost valley bench: a terrace that drops like a Titanic step from the midst of the surrounding mountains to the level of the present valley plain. From a distance - the mouth of Emigration Kanyon is about 4 30 miles from the city - Zion, which is not on a hill, but on the contrary lies almost in the lowest part of the river plain, is completely hid from sight, as if no such thing existed. Mr Macarthy, on application, pointed out the notabilia of the scene. (p 195)

Northward curls of vapor ascending from a gleaming sheet - the Lake of the Hot Springs - set in a bezel of emerald green, and bordered by another lake bench upon which the glooms of evening were rapidly gathering, hung like a veil of gauze around the waist of the mountains. Southward for twenty five miles stretched the length of the valley with the little river winding its way like a silver thread in a brocade of green and gold. The view in this direction was closed by "Mountain Point," another formation of terraced range, which forms the water gate of Jordan, and which conceals and separates the fresh water that feeds the Salt Lake - the Sea of Tiberias from the Dead Sea. (p 195)

As we descend the Wasach Mountains, we could look back and enjoy the view of the eastern wall of the Happy Valley. A little to the north of Emigration Kanyon, and about one mile nearer the settlement, is the Red Butte, a deep ravine, whose quarried sides show mottlings of the light ferruginous sandstone which was chosen for building the Temple wall. A little beyond it lies the single City of the Dead, decently removed three miles from the habitations of the living, and farther to the north is City Creek Kanyon, which supplies the Saints with water for drinking and for irrigation. Southeast of Emigration Kanyon are other ravines, Parley's, Mill Creek, Great Cotton wood, and Little Cotton wood, deep lines winding down the timbered flanks of the mountains, and thrown into relief by the darker and more misty shading of the farther flank-wall. (p 195)

The "Twin Peaks," the highest points of the Wasach Mountains, are the first to be powdered over with the autumnal snow. When a black nimbus throws out these piles, with their tilted up rock strata, jagged edges, black flanks, rugged brows and bald heads, gilt by a gleam of sunset, the whole stands boldly out with that phase of sublimity of which the sense of immensity is the principal element. Even in the clearest of weather they are rarely free from a fleecy cloud, the condensation of cold and humid air rolling up the heights and vanishing only to be renewed. (p 195)

The bench land then attracted our attention. The soil is poor, sprinkled with thin grass, in places showing a suspicious whiteness, with few flowers, and chiefly producing a salsolaceous plant like the English samphire. In many places lay long rows of bare circlets, like deserted tent floors: they proved to be ant hills, on which light ginger colored swarms were working hard to throw up the sand and gravel that every where in this valley underlie the surface. The eastern valley bench, upon whose western declivity the city lies, may be traced on a clear day along the base of the mountains for a distance of twenty miles: its average breadth is about eight miles. (p 195-6)

After advancing about 1.50 mile over the bench ground, the city by slow degrees broke upon our sight. It showed, one may readily believe, to special advantage after the succession of Indian lodges, Canadian ranchos, and log hut mail stations of the prairies and the mountains. The site has been admirably chosen for drainage and irrigation - so well indeed that a "Deus ex machinâ" must be brought to account for it. About two miles north, and overlooking the settlements from a height of 400 feet, a detached cone called Ensign Peak or Ensign Mount rises at the end of a chain which, projected westward from the main range of the heights, overhangs and shelters the northeastern corner of the valley. Upon this "big toe of the Wasach range," as it is called by a local writer, the spirit of the martyred prophet, Mr Joseph Smith, appeared to his successor Mr Brigham Young, and pointed out to him the position of the New Temple, which, after Zion had "got up into the high mountain," was to console the Saints for the loss of Nauvoo the Beautiful. The city - it is about two miles broad - runs parallel with the right bank of the Jordan, which forms its western limit. It is twelve to fifteen miles distant from the western range, ten from the debouchure of the river, and eight to nine from the nearest point of the lake - a respectful distance, which is not the least of the position's merits. It occupies the rolling brow of a slight decline at the western base of the Wasach, in fact the lower, but not the lowest level of the eastern valley bench; it has thus a compound slope from north to south, on the line of its water supplies, and from east to west, thus enabling it to drain off into the river. (p 196)

The city revealed itself, as we approached, from behind its screen, the inclined terraces of the upper table land, and at last it lay stretched before us as upon a map. At a little distance the aspect was somewhat Oriental, and in some points it reminded me of modern Athens - without the Acropolis. None of the buildings, except the Prophet's house, were whitewashed. The material - the thick, sun dried adobe, common to all parts of the Eastern world - was of a dull leaden blue, deepened by the atmosphere to a gray, like the shingles of the roofs. The number of gardens and compounds - each tenement within the walls originally received 1.50 square acre, and those outside from five to ten acres, according to their distance - the dark clumps and lines of bitter cotton wood, locust or acacia, poplars and fruit trees, apples, peaches, and vines - how lovely they appeared, after the baldness of the prairies! - and, finally, the fields of long eared maize and sweet sorghum strengthened the similarity to an Asiatic rather than to an American settlement. The differences presently became as salient. The farm houses, with their stacks and stock, strongly suggested the Old Country. Moreover domes and minarets - even churches and steeples - were wholly wanting - an omission that somewhat surprised me. The only building conspicuous from afar was the block occupied by the present Head of the Church. The court house, with its tinned Muscovian dome, at the west end of the city; the arsenal, a barn like structure, on a bench below the Jebel Nur of the valley - Ensign Peak; and a saw mill, built beyond the southern boundary, were the next in importance. (p 196-7)


The road ran through the Big Field, southeast of the city, six miles square, and laid off in five acre lots. Presently, passing the precincts of habitation, we entered, at a slapping pace, the second ward, called Denmark, from its tenant, who mostly herd together. The disposition of the settlement is like that of the nineteenth century New World cities - from Washington to the future metropolis of the great Terra Australis - a system of right angles, the roads, streets, and lanes, if they can be called so, intersecting one another. The advantages or disadvantages of the rectangular plan have been exhausted in argument; the new style is best suited, I believe, for the New, as the old must, perforce, remain in the Old World. The suburbs are thinly settled; the mass of habitations lie around and south of Temple Block. The streets of the suburbs are mere roads, cut by deep ups and downs, and by gutters on both sides, which, though full of pure water, have no bridge save a plank at the trottoirs. In summer the thoroughfares are dusty - in wet weather deep with viscid mud. (p 198)

The houses are almost all of one pattern - a barn shape, with wings and lean-tos, generally facing, sometimes turned endways to, the street, which gives a suburban look to the settlement; and the diminutive casements show that window glass is not yet made in the Valley. In the best abodes the adobe rests upon a few courses of sandstone, which prevent undermining by water or ground damp, and it must always be protected by a coping from the rain and snow. The poorer are small, low, and hut-like; others are long single storied buildings, somewhat like stables, with many entrances. The best houses resemble East Indian bungalows, with flat roofs, and low, shady verandas, well trellised, and supported by posts or pillars. All are provided with chimneys, and substantial doors to keep out the piercing cold. The offices are always placed, for hygienic reasons, outside; and some have a story and a half - the latter intended for lumber and other stores. I looked in vain for the out house harems, in which certain romancers concerning things Mormon had informed me that wives are kept, like any other stock. I presently found this but one of a multitude of delusions. Upon the whole the Mormon settlement was a vast improvement upon its contemporaries in the valleys of the Mississippi and the Missouri. (p 198)

The road through the faubourg was marked by posts and rails, which, as we advanced toward the heart of the city, were replaced by neat palings. The garden plots were small, as sweet earth must be brought down from the mountains; and the flowers were principally those of the Old Country - the red French bean, the rose, the geranium, and the single pink; the ground or winter cherry was common; so were nasturtiums, and we saw tansy, but not that plant for which our souls, well nigh weary of hopes of juleps long deferred, chiefly lusted - mint. The fields were large and numerous, but the Saints have too many and various occupations to keep them Moravian-like neat and trim; weeds overspread the ground; often the wild sunflower tops outnumbered the heads of maize. The fruit had suffered from an unusually nipping frost in May; the peach trees were barren, the vines bore no produce, only a few good apples were in Mr Brigham Young's garden, and the watermelons were poor, yellow, and tasteless, like the African. On the other hand, potatoes, onions, cabbages, and cucumbers, were good and plentiful, the tomato was ripening every where, fat full-eared wheat rose in stacks, and crops of excellent hay were scattered about near the houses. The people came to their doors to see the mail coach, as if it were the "Derby dilly," of old, go by, I could not but be struck by the modified English appearance of the colony, and by the prodigious numbers of the white headed children. (p 198, 201)

Salt Lake City

Presently we debouched upon the main thoroughfare, the centre of population and business ,where the houses of the principal Mormon dignitaries, and the stores of the Gentile merchants, combine to form the city's only street which can be properly so called. It is, indeed, both street and market, for, curious to say, New Zion has not yet built for herself a bazar or market place. Nearly opposite the Post office, in a block on the eastern side, with a long veranda, supported by trimmed and painted posts, was a two storied, pent roofed building, whose sign board, swinging to a tall, gibbet like flag staff, dressed for the occasion, announced it to be the Salt Lake House, the principal, if not the only establishment of the kind in New Zion. In the Far West, one learns not to expect much of the hostelry; I had not seen aught so grand for many a day. Its depth is greater than its frontage, and behind it, secured by a porte cochlre, is a large yard, for corraling cattle. A rough looking crowd of drivers, drivers' friends, and idlers, almost every man openly armed with revolver and bowie knife, gathered round the doorway, to greet Jim, and "prospect" the "new lot"; and the host came out to assist us in transporting our scattered effects. We looked vainly for a bar on the ground floor; a bureau for registering names was there, but (temperance, in public at least, being the order of the day) the usual tempting array of bottles and decanters was not forthcoming; up stairs we found a Gentile ballroom, a tolerably furnished sitting room, and bedchambers, apparently made out of a single apartment by partitions too thin to be strictly agreeable. The household had its deficiencies; blacking, for instance, had run out, and servants could not be engaged till the expected arrival of the hand cart train. However, the proprietor, Mr Townsend, a Mormon, from the State of Maine - when expelled from Nauvoo, he had parted with land, house, and furniture for $50 - who had married an Englishwoman, was in the highest degree civil and obliging, and he attended personally to our wants, offered his wife's services to Mrs Dana, and put us all in the best of humors, despite the closeness of the atmosphere, the sadness ever attending one's first entrance into a new place, the swarms of "emigration flies" - so called because they appear in September with the emigrants, and after living for a month die off with the first snow - and a certain populousness of bedstead, concerning which the less said the better. Such, gentle reader, are the results of my first glance at Zion on the tops of the mountains, in the Holy City of the Far West.

Our journey had occupied nineteen days, from the 7th to the 25th of August, both included; and in that time we had accomplished not less than 1,136 statute miles. (p 201-2)

(The City of the Saints)

Horace Greeley:

We soon after struck off up a rather steep, grassy water-course which we followed to its head, and thence took over a “divide” to the head of another such, on which our road wound down to “East Cañon Creek,” a fair, rapid trout-brook, running through a deep, narrow ravine, up which we twisted, crossing and recrossing the swift stream, until we left it, greatly diminished in volume, after tracking it through a mile or so of low, swampy. timber, and frequent mud-holes, and turned up a little runnel that came feebly brawling down the side of a mountain. The trail ran for a considerable distance exactly in the bed of this petty brooklet—said bed consisting wholly of round, water-worn granite bowlders, of all sizes, from that of a pigeon’s egg up to that of a potash-kettle; when the ravine widened a little, and the trail wound from side to side of the watercourse as chances for a foothold were proffered by one or the other. The bottom of this ravine was poorly timbered with quaking-asp, and balsam-fir, with some service-berry, choke-cherry, mountain currant, and other bushes; the whole ascent is four miles, not very steep, except for the last half-mile; but the trail is so bad, that it is a good two hours’ work to reach the summit. But, that summit gained, we stand in a broad, open, level space on the top of the Wahsatch range, with the Uintah and Bear Mountains on either hand, forming a perfect chaos of wild, barren peaks, some of them snowy, between which we have a glance at a part of the Salt Lake Valley, some thirty miles distant, though the city, much nearer, is hidden by intervening heights, and the lake is likewise concealed further to the right. The descent toward the valley is steeper and shorter than the ascent from the side of Bear River—the first half-mile so fearfully steep, that I judge few passengers ever rode down it, though carriage-wheels are uniformly chained here. But, though the southern face of these mountains is covered by a far more luxuriant shrubbery than the northern, among which oaks and maples soon make their appearance for the first time in many a weary hundred miles. None of these seem ever to grow into trees; in fact, I saw none over six feet high. Some quaking-asps, from ten to twenty-five feet high, the largest hardly more than six inches through, cover patches of these precipitous mountain-sides, down which, and over the low intervening mountain, they are toilsomely dragged fifteen or twenty miles to serve as fuel in this city, where even such poor trash sells for fifteen to twenty dollars per cord. The scarcity and wretchedness of the timber—(I have not seen the raw material for a decent ax-helve growing in all my last thousand miles of travel)—are the great discouragement and drawback with regard to all this region. The parched sandy clay, or clayey sand of the plains disappeared many miles back; there has been rich, black soil, at least in the valleys, ever since we crossed Weber River; but the timber is still scarce, small, and poor, in the ravines, while ninety-nine hundredths of the surface of the mountains is utterly bare of it. In the absence of coal, how can a region so unblest ever be thickly settled, and profitably cultivated ? .

The descent of the mountain on this side is but two miles in length, with the mail company’s station at the bottom. Here (thirteen miles from the city, twenty-seven from Bear River) we had expected to stop for the night; but our new conductor, seeing that there were still two or three hours of good daylight, resolved to come on. So, with fresh teams, we soon crossed the “little mountain ”—steep, but hardly a mile in ascent, and but half a mile in immediate descent—and ran rapidly down some ten miles through the narrow ravine known as “ Emigration Cañon,” where the road, though much traversed by Mormons as well as emigrants and merchant-trains, is utterly abominable; and, passing over but two or three miles of intervening plain, were in this city just as twilight was deepening into night.