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Bill Thayer

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An engraving of a man of about 50 with a moustache and beard, apparently based on a photograph taken in about 1870. It is a portrait of Mormon pioneer William Hyde.

The Private Journal of
William Hyde

I am neither a historian nor a Mormon, and certainly no expert in Mormon history, having fallen upon this text by one of the many happenstances of life and the kindness of a friend — and therefore beg your indulgence, gentle reader, as well as any better-informed assistance you may be able and inclined to provide.

Text Source and Copyright

The text on this site is that of a typescript produced in the mid-to‑late 20th century based on the original handwritten Journal. I believe it to be in the public domain. (See the Preface and my note.)

For technical details on how the site is laid out, see below after the Table of Contents. The division into chapters is mine, as are their titles. The subsections, on the other hand, are those of the typescript's Table of Contents, with its page numbers: in this table, each of them is a local link.


Sep. 1818-Jan. 1846

Birth, parentage, baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, move to Kirtland, temple dedication
To Missouri and then Illinois, 1837‑38
Mission to Maine, 1840‑41
Married, 1842
Mission to Vermont, 1842‑3
Mission to Eastern States, 1843‑44
At Nauvoo, 1844‑46

Feb. 1846-Jul. 1847

Left Nauvoo, volunteered for Mormon Battalion, 1846
Battalion, started July 1846
    August 1846
    September 1846
    October 1846
    November 1846
    December 1846
    January 1847
    February 1847
    March 1847
    April, May, June, 1847
    July 1847 (mustered out)

Jul. 1847‑1851

To Utah from California, 1847
To Winter Quarters from Utah, 1847
To Utah, 1849

Aug. 1852‑1854

To California on way to mission in Australia, 1852‑53
To Australia, February 1853
Arrived Australia, April 1853
Labors in Australia, 1853‑54
To Utah, 1854


Salt Lake City, Lehi, and Cache Valley, 1855‑60
Hyde Park organized; appointed Bishop, 1860
Cache Military District organized, 1861
Carding machine built, 1862
To Nebraska Territory for emigrants, 1864
Appointed Probate Judge, winter 1865‑66
Helped build grist mill, 1866
Worked on railroad, 1868
Hyde Park Branch of Z.C.M.I. opened, 1869
Elected Brigadier General of Cache Military District, 1870
Delegate to State Convention, 1872
Ordained High Priest and Bishop, 1872
Ordained Patriarch, 1873
Last entry in journal, December 1873

Technical Details


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

Because this appears to be an unpublished text, there are certain aspects of this transcription which have required something akin to a critical edition; the diligent reader, as well as anyone wishing to suggest corrections of course, will see my note on the Preface page.


To the student of American history, one of the most interesting features of the Journal is that it records the crossing of much of our continent by the Mormon Battalion; the trails followed or indeed made for the first time by William Hyde and his fellow soldiers were in some cases the foundation of what became major roads by which the West was won. Similarly, although unfortunately to a lesser extent, the Journal is a witness to early Australian history.

Maps are therefore essential; but there are none in the Journal itself, so we must rely on other resources. A good general map of the route taken by the Battalion, once found on a page of station KUED's subsite on the Mormon Battalion, is now gone: but the two-part video by Ken Verdoia at the same KUED site, two hours long, is excellent; and a series of detailed maps covering the trek may be found at the Orson Pratt Brown Family Website.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, you will find the pagination indicated by local links in the sourcecode. In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, and others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Offsite Links

The attentive reader looking for further information, for example on facets of LDS history, places mentioned in the text, etc., will not neglect the footer bar at the bottom of the various pages.

Background Image

The background image on these pages is that of a seagull, in commemoration of that bird's critical rôle at one point of Mormon history. For the actual photograph on which it is based, I am happy to thank Michael Myers, who took it, for his kind permission. (He specializes in telephotos of birds, some of them quite remarkable: see his website.)

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Site updated: 1 May 18