AN ARMY TRAIN CROSSING THE PLAINS.
--Picture is from Harper’s Weekly, Apr 24 1858 p.264.
Captured by the Mormons.
"A noble friend is the best gift and a noble enemy the next best."
--C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle, p.152.
William Clark made his way to Utah as a prisoner of war at a pivotal time in Hickman history. The Mormons had been chased by mobs from New York, from Ohio, from Missouri, and from Illinois to the Great Basin of the Far West, a place where they thought they could live in peace and establish a home. It caused them great stress to learn in 1857 that Federal troops were making their way to Utah, and the tension and rumors are evident among the Mormons Mr. Clark met as he traveled through the Territory on his way toward California.
As a teamster carrying supplies for the Army, Clark was aware of the capture of our Dr. George Washington Hickman (p.196), he was escorted to Salt Lake City by our William Adams Hickman (p.200), who later playfully introduced Clark to his "fool gentile brother" (p.208), who would be our Thomas Jefferson Hickman. Of course if he really thought his brother was a fool, Bill wouldn't have been so eager to introduce him to Clark. Mormons regarded themselves as members of the House of Israel and non-Mormons--even Jewish people were considered "gentiles." Though he lived for a short time in Salt Lake City, it appears that Thomas never joined the Latter-day Saints Church. When Federal troops were finally allowed to march through Great Salt Lake City, the city had been abandoned and its population had been relocated to settlements in Utah Valley and further south. The Army made its way to Fairfield and established Camp Floyd. Prior to 1860 Camp Floyd held the largest single concentration of Federal troops, far from the United States, where they would soon be needed to fight the Civil War.
If Bill Hickman wrote Brigham's Destroying Angel, he shot himself in the foot. You are about to meet the real Bill Hickman. Clark’s article appeared in 1922 in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, two years after he died. This is quite a long account, but once you get going, you won't be satisfied with just Hickman-related excerpts, so it's all presented here.
To read William Clark's account of his adventures in Utah, click here. To return to the Hickman Family index page, click here.