175 years ago today - Jul 23, 1847. Friday

[William Clayton, one day before entering Salt Lake valley]

The grass here appears even richer and thicker on the ground than where we left this morning. The soil looks indeed rich, black and a little sandy. The grass is about 4 feet high and very thick on the ground and well mixed with rushes. ... At the opening the brethren united in prayer and asked the Lord to send rain on the land &c. The brethren [of the advanced party] immediately rigged 3 plows and went to plowing a little North East of the Camp. Another party went with spades &c. to make a dam on one of the creeks so as to thro[w] the water at pleasure on the field, designing to irrigate the land in case rain should not come sufficient. ... The afternoon heavy clouds began to collect in the [S]outh West and at 5 o'clock we had a light shower with thunder. We had some rain for about 2 hours...their has been three plows going near all day. At night the camp were called together and a[dd]ressed by Elder Richards on a subject which seemed a little unwelcome to many from the way it was handled. It was a sermon of s[al]t from end to end, some felt a little insulted but all passed off well and jokingly. Some of the thinking brethren attributed it to the Dr's [Willard Richards] being inspired warmly or in other words pretty [] . . .

[George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

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