I've got a great one for you this month, folks. My recommendation for Blog of the Month for May is:
The Way West
Roeann Harper is blogging the diary of her great-grandfather Charles Alfred Harper as he crosses the plains on his way to SLC in 1847. He left Winter Quarters on April 7 in the first company led by Brigham Young. This is a fantastic site, as "Lucy" enhances the words in her great-grandfathers journal with pictures and supplementary material. For example, on May 26, the company passes Chimney Rock, and Charles only writes one line in his journal. But the blog post includes an entry from Heber C. Kimball's journal, a picture of the site, and a link to a youtube video.
Reading this blog has been very entertaining and will be well worth your time as Harper takes us into June and July with the pioneers. The images are visually rich and helpful as references to the text. The diary gives us interesting insights into familiar church figures such as Erastus Snow, W.W. Clayton, and others. Read Brigham Young's words to the company as they deal with the harsh realities of prairie life. They range from the following chastisement:
Brigham told him to hold his tongue [ ] say no more about it and tend to his business...
Brigham addressed us and said it was no use to pursue our journey any further with the spirit that was in this camp at the present [ ] there was fidling & dancing playing cards loud laughter and disorder on every hand and said if we did not stop and turn to the Lord we were a ruined people [ ] he talked to us some length of time [ ] told us we were surrounded by evil spirits that we did not know what we were about and that he was determined to know who were willing to forsake their evil ways and turn to the Lord by making a covenant and those that were not willing might withdraw...
to these encouraging words:
Brigham spoke to us [ ] said he felt well as regards the movement of this camp [ ] that a good Spirit prevailed amongst us [ ] that we had obeyed every council he had given us [ ] that we had done all in our power [ ] that his peace with God was like a river [ ] that he never felt better in his life than he did on this journey and he felt to bless us in the name of the Lord...
Roeann tells us that her grandfather Harper would LOVE our comments. I hope many of you will visit this site and join the Pioneer company on their virtual journey.