Distance: 7 miles from Nauvoo
This first major campsite in Iowa, about seven miles
inland from the Mississippi River, served an estimated 2,000
people in February 1846, including most of the Church
leadership. It was known as the "Camp of Israel." The Sugar
Creek camp also served as a portent of things to come.
Bone-chilling cold, wind, snow and ice plagued the refugees
with sickeness and death. Uncertainty about routes and
destinations to the West, in addition to mounting problems
with supplies and equipment, kept the advance party from
departing Sugar Creek for nearly a month.
Camp Ground is by Sugar Creek where they have plenty of Wood and
Water, a good Place for such a Purpose on the night of the 13th
the Snow fell and covered the Ground and the 14th was a very Rough
Day, snowing all the day long.
I felt much for them some had Tents and some Wagon Covers and
some, neither of them; This day is also rough, snowing all the Day
from the North but it is not very cold, when I think that Men, with
some Women and Children, should be so exposed" (Joseph Fielding,
as quoted in Andrew F. Ehat, "'They Might Have Known That He
Was Not a Fallen Prophet'The Nauvoo Journal of Joseph Fielding,"
Brigham Young University Studies, winter 1979, 161).
18 February 1846
camp was made in the snow about 8 inches deep and was a rather uncomfortable
introduction into camp life without tent or any shelter save it
be a wagon cover made from common sheeting. Here we stayed for some
time waiting the arrival of all those who could possibly supply
them selves with teams" (Diary of William Bryan Pace and Biography
of his father, James Pace [typescript, n.d.], Harold B. Lee LIgrary,
Brigham Yound University, 9).
Helen Mar Kimball Whitney
in February  was quite a novel experience. . . . The band
played every evening. I there took my first lesson in the Danish
waltz. The weather was so cold that it was impossible to keep warm
with exercise" (A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences
of Early Church History, ed. Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard
Neitzel Holzapfel , 339340).
on Sugar Creek, Iowa26 February 1846
"The fact is worthy of remembrance that several thousand persons
left their homes in midwinter and exposed themselves without shelter,
except that afforded by a scanty supply of tents and wagon covers,
to a cold which effectually made an ice bridge over the Mississippi
river which at Nauvoo is more than a mile broad. We could have remained
sheltered in our homes had it not been for the threats and hostile
demonstrations of our enemies, who, notwithstanding their solemn
agreements had thrown every obstacle in our way, not respecting
either life, liberty or property, so much so, that our only means
of avoiding a rupture was by starting in midwinter.
"Our homes, gardens, orchards, farms, streets, bridges, mills,
public halls, magnificent Temple, and other public improvements
we leave as a monument of our patriotism, industry, economy, uprightness
of purpose and integrity of heart; and as a living testimony of
the falsehood and wickedness of those who charge us with disloyalty
to the Constitution of our country, idleness and dishonesty" (History
of the Church, 7:603).
courtesy of Infobases, Inc.