Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 858

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858    APPENDIX.

United States for 500 men for the Mexican war,
— a demand their compliance with which inter-
rupted their progress for the season. Those who
remained, being principally old men, women,
and children, were compelled to pass the winter
amid great sufferings and privations, in huts of
logs, and caves dug in the river bank. In the
spring of 1847, they again organized, and on the
8th of April, a pioneer company of 143 men,
72 wagons, 175 head of horses, mules, and oxen,
and provisions for six months, started to seek a
home beyond the Rocky Mountains. Crossing
those mountains by the South Pass, about the
end of July they reached the valley of the Great
Salt Lake, where a piece of land was selected,
consecrated by prayer, and planted with crops,
and the nucleus was thus formed of the present
territory of Utah. Soon after, the ground was
surveyed and laid out into streets and squares for
a large city, and for protection against the In-
dians, a fort or enclosure was erected by means of
houses made of logs and sun-dried bricks, con-
nected with each other, and opening into a large
square. In October the colony was strengthened
by the arrival of between 3000 and 4000 persons.
Agricultural labor was resumed with spirit,
ploughing and planting being continued through-
out the whole winter, and till July following, by
which time upwards of 6000 acres were enclosed
and laid down in crops. While their crops were
ripening, the colonists ,were reduced to great ex-
tremity for food. Game being scarce, they were
obliged to subsist on wild roots and the hides of
animals which they had used for roofing their
cabins. But the crop proved abundant, and
plenty has ever since reigned in the valley. In
the autumn, another large immigration arrived
under the president, Brigham Young. Building
and agriculture were prosecuted with renewed
vigor, and settlements continued to be made
wherever water could be found for irrigation.
Grist mills and saw mills were built; and in the
spring a settlement was commenced on Weber
River, a bold, clear stream which breaks through
the Wasatch Mountain, 40 miles N. of the city,
and discharges its waters into Salt Lake. An-
other settlement called Provaux City was com-
menced, near the mouth of the Timponogos, or
Provaux, an affluent of Lake Utah, about 50
miles S. of the city. On the 10th of March,
1849, the emigrants assembled in convention, or-
ganized themselves as the state of Deseret, and
the legislature, which met July 2d, forwarded a
petition to Congress for admission into the Union.
But, instead of granting this petition, Congress
passed, September 9, 1850, an act erecting the
territory of Utah, and Brigham Young having
been appointed territorial governor, the Mor-
mons have accepted the territorial organization.
Their country is rapidly filling up with emigrants,
collected by their missionaries from all parts of
the world, but principally from the Welsh coun-
ties of England, where Mormonism has made a
very deep impression.

Situated so far inland, and isolated by the very
nature of the surrounding country, agriculture
and the raising of stock must be the chief re-
sources of this new colony. Owing to the almost
total absence of rain from May to October, the
dependence of the farmer must be entirely upon
irrigation, for which the means are supplied by
the reservoirs of snow accumulated in the gorges
of the mountains, and furnishing never-failing



I.streams, sometimes of considerable magnitude.
The soil, formed chiefly from the disintegration
of the felspathic rock mixed with detritus of
limestone, is of the most fertile character, and
owing to its loose and porous texture it absorbs
water in large quantities. The streams, which
come rushing down the mountain sides, when
they reach the plain below dwindle soon into in-
significant rivulets, and are presently swallowed
up and lost. Cultivation is therefore circum-
scribed within very narrow limits, being restricted
generally to a strip of from one to two miles
wide along the base of the mountains, beyond
which the water does not reach. On the E. side
of the Salt Lake valley, the land susceptible of
irrigation stretches along the western base of the
Wasatch Mountains, from about 80 miles N. of
Salt Lake City to about 60 miles S. of it; the
latter portion embracing, towards its terminus,
the fertile valley of Lake Utah. This is a beau-
tiful sheet of pure fresh water, 30 miles in length,
and about 10 in breadth, abounding in fine fish,
principally speckled trout of great size and good
flavor, and surrounded by rugged mountains and
lofty hills, with a broad green valley sloping to
the water's edge. This valley opens to the north-
ward, and through it flows the River Jordan, a co-
pious and powerful stream, discharging into the
Great Salt Lake. Soon after leaving the lake, the
Jordan cuts through a cross range of mountains
by which the valley is divided. The river de-
scends about 200 feet in a distance of 2 miles.
The E. side of the lower valley is watered
by bold streams that traverse a strip of allu-
vion 20 miles long and 8 wide, and as an addi-
tional means of irrigation the waters of the Jor-
dan might be taken out at the falls, so as to irri-
gate a surface of about 80 square miles.

Beyond the Jordan on the W., the dry and oth-
erwise barren plains support a hardy grass, called
bunch grass, which is peculiar to these regions,
requiring but little moisture, very nutritious, and
in sufficient quantities to afford excellent pas-
turage throughout the year to numerous herds of
cattle. This same grass is afforded also by the
hillsides, but only during the summer months.
It seeds in summer, and is germinated by the
autumnal rains, and grows under the snow. In
the spring, as the snow line retires up the slope,
the cattle and wild grazing animals follow it to
the mountain peaks until midsummer, to be driv-
en down again, as the accumulated snow, begin-
ning on the summits, about the equinox, descends
in a few weeks to the base. When it rains in the
valleys, the snow falls in the mountains; and dur-
ing winter, an immense quantity is drifted into
the canyons, and passes to the depth sometimes
of hundreds of feet, whence the mountain streams
derive their supplies. To the northward in the
low grounds bordering the River Jordan, hay in
abundance can be procured, though rather coarse
and of inferior quality.

, Maize, or Indian corn, has not yet proved so
successful, owing to the early frosts occasioned
by the vicinity of the mountains; but the climate
is particularly favorable to barley, oats, and
wheat, — which produces from 40 to 60 “bushels the
acre, — to beets, turnips, melons, and especially
potatoes, of which the quality is equal or superior
to the best Nova Scotia varieties.

The land immediately around the Great Salt
Lake is flat, and rises imperceptibly on the S. and
W. for several miles ; and where it is not broken

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