Forty-niner in Utah, page 095

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Title A Forty-niner in Utah with the Stansbury Exploration of Great Salt Lake: Letters and Jounral of John Hudson, 1848-50
Creator Hudson, John, 1826-1850
Subject Frontier and pioneer life; Letters; Diaries -- Authorship; Mormons
Subject Local Mormons --Utah--Biography; Frontier and pioneer life --Utah; West (U.S.) --Description and travel; Utah --Description and travel
Description John Hudson, artist and writer, chronicles his travels from New York City across the Plains towards California to partake in the Gold Rush. What was to have been a temporary stop in Salt Lake City stretches to sixteen months and includes participation in Captain Howard Stansbury's expedition of the Great Salt Lake.
Publisher Tanner Trust Fund University of Utah Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
Contributors Madsen, Brigham D.; Cooley, Everett L.; Tyler, S. Lyman; Ward, Margery W.
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Relation Is part of: Utah, the Mormons, and the West, no. 11
Coverage Time: 1848-50
Rights Management University of Utah, Copyright 2001
Holding Institution J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Source Physical Dimensions 14.75 cm x 23 cm
Source Characteristics Printed Hard Cover Book
Scanning Technician Karen Edge
Metadata Cataloger Kenning Arlitsch; Jan Robertson
ARK ark:/87278/s6v1242x
Topic Mormons; Frontier and pioneer life; United States, West; Utah; Letters; Diaries--Authorship
Setname uum_ttb
Date Created 2005-04-20
Date Modified 2011-04-07
ID 327931
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Identifier 108.gif
Title Forty-niner in Utah, page 095
Description July IBSO-May 1852 have not much reason to quarrel with them, when I inform you that I was a month save 4 days without washing, but even at the expiration of this period we were cleaner than we should have been in Birm after a days work, the very dirt being clean if I may be allowed the expression. Upon one of the Islands we found an in- numerable quantity of Pelicans & gulls the latter prove very ser- vicable in destroying the crickets which destroyed the crops in former seasons,3 upon our landing they rose in a perfect cloud & we had a canopy of fluttering wings their eggs were laying thickly upon the ground with scarce any nest, & we could easily have gathered a barrel full. The character of the scenery is monotonous although highly picturesque, lofty & precipitous mountains rise immediately from the lake, which require but timber to make a prospect unrivalled in beauty, they are composed principally of limestone & assume the most fantastic shapes often bearing a strong resemblance to mouldering ruins. I made quite a number of drawings some of which will be engraved & accompany the report of the expeditn. We discovered nothing more valuable than slate & lake, several Northwestern Shoshoni visited briefly with the members of the expedition. These Indians were horse-owning and buffalo-hunting members of the greater Northern Shoshoni tribe and differed markedly from the "Digger" or Gosiute Indians described in this letter. See part 5, footnotes 57 and 121 for further explanation. 3 Hudson's reference, of course, is to the "Miracle of the Gulls" incident which occurred in the summer of 1848. Hordes of wingless, black Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex) attacked the crops of the 1,700 pioneer settlers whose very lives depended upon a good harvest to sustain them through the next year. In late May the onslaught began and for two weeks the desperate farmers tried every means to destroy or drive off the pests which came "by the thousands of tons": by drowning; using clubs, brooms, and willows; by burning; with such noise makers as bells and tin pans; or even wooden mallets-all to no avail. Utterly discouraged, some families began to doubt the wisdom of Brigham Young in selecting Salt Lake Valley as a site for Zion and began to make plans to go on to California. Then came the "miracle" when, after two weeks of destruction, thousands of California gulls from nearby Great Salt Lake descended on the fields to feed on the insects, drink some water, and then regurgitate in preparation for devouring more crickets. Watching this process, the Saints were convinced that the main purpose of the gulls was not to satisfy their hunger but to destroy the enemy. Modern studies indicate that such regurgitation by gulls is rather common, and many other observations elsewhere in the western United States confirm that flocks of gulls often feed upon crickets and grass- hoppers in this way. Nevertheless, at the time, the anxious and fearful Saints looked upon the destruction of the crickets as an answer to their prayers, and today, Seagull Monument stands in Temple Square in Salt Lake City in grateful appreciation to the graceful winged creatures from the Great Salt Lake who saved the pioneers from starvation. William Hartley, "Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story," UHQ 38 (1970):224-39. 95
Format application/pdf
Source A Forty-niner in Utah with the Stansbury Exploration of Great Salt Lake: Letters and Journal of John Hudson, 1848-50
Setname uum_ttb
Date Created 2005-04-14
Date Modified 2005-04-14
ID 327780
Reference URL