View John Morgan's 1884 trip to the San Juan settlements in a larger map
by Flora Lee.
From John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
1884, Sept. 15
Started early this morning and drove 8 miles to the Mancos where we met Alma Stevens with team to take us to Burnham. After a hasty breakfast we bid brother Lemuel Redd and Henry Hollyoake goodbye and with brother Alma Stevens and Cumer (?) [Kumen] Jones, with double team, started to Burnham. In crossing the Mancos brother Jos. F. lost his hat which we failed to recover. After a 15 mile drive we arrived at the San Juan River and nooned. Driving across a large (?) we saw an extensive encampment of Navajo Indians whose herds of horses, mules, and sheep, and goats were on every hand. At the foot of the Hog back the river was so high that we could not ford it so that we were necessitated to take our wagon to pieces and carry it over piece at a time. A Navajo assisted us in the labor. There was an Indian trail which was very rough and rocky that served for a path across the point of the mountain. Having got our wagon together, I took the lines and we drove into Burnham in an hour and forty minutes over a very rough road and after dark, had supper at Jno. Allen’s. Brother Smith and myself slept at Peter Allen’s.
Met with the Saints at 10 a.m. in meeting which continued until about 2 p.m. when we had a meeting with a party of Ute Indians, their chief, Red Jacket was present, also a few Navajos. After meeting we had dinner at Joshua Stevens, immediately after which we started in company of Jno. Allen for Durango, driving as far as brother Geo. Burnham’s where we camped for the night.
Editor’s note: I can’t help but wonder how Sister Snow got along with the camping, not to mention all the rain and mud.
On Sept. 17th the group started out early heading back to Durango, Colorado. They traveled 10 miles before they stopped for breakfast. They did not get much sleep in Durango as some cowboys were firing pistols and yelling, there was a fire, and they had to catch a 4:20 a.m. train to Antonito, Colorado. Brother and Sister Snow stayed in Antonito while John Morgan and President Smith were taken by road to Manassa to retrieve their wives and speak at an evening meeting. They were back in Antonito by Sept. 19th where the whole group took the train south into New Mexico. They came down into the Rio Grand River by heavy grades. The railroad ended and they were taken across the river on a Joe boat and continued their journey to Santa Fe by stage on Sept. 19th. They did some sight seeing in Santa Fe, including the cathedral built in 1583, the oldest building in the U.S.
Editor’s note: It would be interesting to find out what a “Joe boat” is. I tried but could not find an answer. I visited that same cathedral in Santa Fe in the early 1970’s. In the next paragraph it would also be interesting to find out more about the lakes mentioned and the Wabash Cattle Company.
The party continues south to Albuquerque, New Mexico and then west to Gallup, New Mexico and Navajo Springs, Arizona where they were met by Bishop D.K. Udall and brother Nichol with a team to take them to St. Johns, Arizona. Along the way they stopped by some lakes that were salt in the center with fresh water around them. Some brethren were building a house here for the Wabash Cattle Company. The party went to Bishop Udall’s when they arrived in St. John’s on Sept. 22. They had a meeting that evening and then administered to the son of Sister Robinson’s who was “sorely afflicted”.
Note from the Editor's cousin. Thank you so much, Flora Lee, for your work on this very interesting history.
At The Ancestor Files, all of John Morgan's posts are listed here. Under Annotated Diary you will find fourteen posts about John Morgan’s 1888 travel to many of the sites mentioned above. Amy's research, historical facts, pictures, and maps will enhance your understanding of these settlements, and John Morgan's work there.