[Hosea Stout Diary] Wednesday Oct 20th 1847. Cloudy cold disagreeable morning. I felt well. Travelled. Had orders to search a waggon this morning which had stolen money about it.
Four men traveled with this waggon. The money stolen belonged to Br Kelogg whom we met on Wood river. When he came back with us, he found his box opened and ten dollars in gold had been taken. He reported the same to the president who immediately gave me the orders to search them who belonged to the waggon & make diligent search & find the money if I had to tear all their clothes to strings & tear up & destroy all they had & burn their good waggon & and harness to ashes & sift the ashes but what I found it & if I had to go to that extreemity let the mans bones who did the deed bleach on the prairie & for me to wait till the camp started and stop the waggons and make the search after the rest of the company had gone on. Accordingly I laid it before the company all who were ready to assist me
The camp started & Bishop Calkins ordered the waggon out of the line and halted them when we all came up formed a circle around them and I in a very few words informed them the object of the search telling them at the same time what the consequences were in cas we had to search to extremity.
They all protested their innocence declaring they were ready to be searched
I put them all under guard forbidding them to handle anything about their persons least it might be sliped away.several proceeded on to over haul the goods &c in the waggon but without any kind of a prospect of finding it
It Being very cold I set another set to search their persons but before the first man was searched G. D. Grant in looking over William Buckhannans knapsack found the two pieces in one of his pantaloons pock[et] while he was looking on & not two minutes before said a man must be a damned fool to suppose he would put money in there.
Seeing the money was found he said that it was his own & forbid us taking it, Grant gave it to me however & I kept itof course the search now stoped & we began to pack up in a hurry for we were all very cold & the camp was now a long way ahead.
Just as we were through we saw Prest Richards & Benson coming back to us. I met them & reported the state of affairs who said that they had been sent back by Prest Young to tell us not to burn up anything in case we did not find the money but to come on & not detain the camp & we could look to it hereafter. I gave the money to Richards & told him to give it to the President.
We now all being ready to start formed a circle again and took a good pull at a large canteen of whiskey[.] Buckhannan impudently wishing us success in the discharge of our duty as he drank
We all now hastened on[.] This day terminated in a wet disagreeable day
We traveled about 25 miles and camped on the platte in the rushes where we supped on the night of the 16th inst. We arrived here at ten at night all very tired.
[source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]