Transcript for Allen, Charles Hopkins, Autobiography [1916], 37-43

In the spring of 1852 we sold out our farm and saw mill, prepared to start west with the saints. We started in the first company of one hundred wagons, John Higby being Captain. It was a very long & wearisome journey, we being about two and a half months on the road. Arriving in Salt Lake City on Aug 13, 1852. While traveling up the Platte River, I came nearly loosing my life trying to swim it. As we had camped for dinner one day, brother Clinton Meekham & myself took a notion to swim across the river & see some immigrants who were camped on the other side. We swam with our clothing on & as the current was in our favor we got over very well. After we had stayed awhile & learned all we could we started back. The current this time was against us & our clothing & shoes being filled with sand it made it hard for us to swim. We were carried down stream for a long way. There was a point of land extending out into the river from the opposite side of the river & we trying with all our strength to make that point, but became quite exhausted. We were at the point of giving up as lost when we let our feet down & found we could walk out. We were truly thankful that our lives had been spared.

We saw a great many buffaloes while on the road & the hunters killed several of them for food which was good food. It seemed the sweetest meet we had every tasted. When we got up into the Black Hills, our team began to fail us. They became sore footed & tired; and when we got to the Sweetwater, some of our cattle became poisened on alkili, & died on the way. When we got within one hundred & ten miles from Salt Lake City we came to Fort Bridger. There we met a mountaineer who had lived there a great many years. He told us that there could not be one bushel of grain raised in the valley on account of frost—that there was frost in every month of the year. That he would give one thousand dollars for the first bushel of grain that could be raised & matured there. When we reached Green river we found it so high that it was necessary to raise our wagon boxes six inches high in the bolster, in order to keep our load dry, which we did, & then started across the river. Our train was quite long & we were obliged to make a circle up the river to keep on the ford, or in the shallowest water. The loaded wagon went over very well, but the last team worked faster [farther] down stream till they got into pretty deep water. Each teamster was requested to wade thru the river to drive his team. Tying a rope on the end of the ox yoke on the near wheeler, & holding onto it as they waded across. When the last wagon got into the middle of the river, it got too far down into the deep water. Here the current struck the wagon box turning it over & rolling it down the river. The woman who was in the wagon screamed for dear life. The back wheels of the wagon became loosened & went down stream, leaving the man with the team & front wheels standing in the river afraid to move lest he should be washed down. Brother Pattin who had a large horse rode in & taking the man on the horse brot him & the team out. The men, seeing the woman in the wagon box rushed from both sides & soon brot her & the wagon box to shore. They made a cart with the box & front wheels & went on their way rejoicing. We stayed in Salt Lake City a few days, then went south to Provo & made our home there.

[Text also in An Enduring Legacy, 12 vols. (1978-89), 1:136-37]