Samuel Rose Parkinson's
Trip across the Plains
Note: Samuel Rose Parkinson joined the Church in St. Louis in 1850 and crossed the plains with his wife Arabella and their son Samuel Chandler in 1854. They also brought Arabella's younger brother Frederick Chandler and Samuel's younger sister Lucy Berry.The party traveled in the independent company of William Fields, leaving St. Louis on or around June 19, 1854, with 44 wagons, and arriving in Great Salt Lake City September 16. Samuel apparently had the only mule team in the company. He wrote briefly of the trip in his journal and told stories that came down through the family (see the other histories on this site). The second Alder article below may be the only extended account that Samuel left. If you know of others, please contact the webmaster.
Here are several first-hand accounts of the William Fields pioneer company, including Samuel's comments in the second Alder article. We hope to include transcripts of all of these in the coming months.
- Lydia D. Alder, "Reminiscences of the Pioneers of 1854," Improvement Era, July 1908, 708-13. Lydia, a young relative who traveled in Samuel's pioneer company, recounts many of the same events as the other diarists and journalists, though in a somewhat different order.
- Lydia D. Alder, "The Massacre at Fort Laramie," ImprovementEra, June 1909, 636-38. This quotes Samuel at some length on an Indian war that their company narrowly missed and gives other interesting details of their trip.
- Life of Thomas Ambrose Poulter, From His Diary, in Utah Pioneer Biographies ,44:139 41, available at the Family History Library, US/Can Book 979.2 D3u v.44 or film 982305. This isa narrative apparently written after the fact, and contains the most detail and probably the mostperspective.
- Isaac Groo, Diary, 1854 Apr-[Sep]. Available at Church Archives, MS 1003 2. Groo was one of the company leaders. Brief but complete, with good detail.
- Robert Hodgert, Journal of Robert Hodgert, Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints. Available in the FHL, US/Can film 1206436 item 3. Also available as Robert Hodgert: APioneer Ancestry, in the in Church Historical Department library, access no. 35538, pp. 31-32.
- Newton Tuttle, "Diary," in Florence T. Foy, History and Story of Newton Tuttle, beginning onpage 36. This is a mostly-handwritten transcript by another relative and only goes until July 11 but alsoincludes a letter dated 25 September 1854 giving details of the entire trip. Available in the FHL, US/Canfilm 1421946. A typescript apparently based on this is available at Church Archives, MS 14728.