Journal of the Branch of the Church of Christ in Pontiac, . . . 1834: Hyrum Smith’s Division of Zion’s Camp

On April 21, 1834, Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight set out from Kirtland, Ohio, for Pontiac, Michigan, to recruit volunteers for the march of Zion’s Camp. Their objective was to lead their recruits on a six-hundred-mile march to a prearranged rendezvous with Joseph Smith’s Kirtland division in Missouri. Typically, scholarly treatments have overlooked the Hyrum Smith-Lyman Wight division of Zion’s Camp. Yet Hyrum’s group, when compared with Joseph’s command, demonstrated a similarly significant commitment to addressing the needs of their fellow Saints in Missouri. In addition, a study of the Smith-Wight division offers new and insightful details about the recruitment, organization, and march of this ecclesiastical militia.

Included in this article is a transcription of the journal of the Pontiac Branch kept by Elijah Fordham. The day-by-day account of the march from Michigan to the Salt River in Missouri is contained in thirty-eight illuminating journal entries.

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