Transcript for Ballantyne, Richard, "Synopsis of the Life of Richard Ballantyne as Written by Him," June 15, 1893, in Conway Ballantyne Sonne, Richard Ballantyne [ca. 1949], fd 1, 373

Crossing the Plains

I was appointed by Apostle E. Snow to be Captain of the Poor Fund Company numbering 500 persons, and in addition was appointed President over three other Companies of about the same number each who had started before we did and had orders that in case of trouble with the Indians they were to lay by till I came up, and then all four Companies were to be consolidated under my command for common defense. The Indians had murdered many emigrants on the Plains that season, which was the cause of this arrangement. But we all passed safely through their country.

Just as we were started I said to Captain [William] Glover, “We will enter Salt Lake City on the 25th of September,” for thus did the Spirit teach me. And without any thoughts or calculation on our part, we entered the City on that day. President George A. Smith welcomed us in and said to me, “You have traveled around the world without purse or scrip and you have come home with a Band of Music and flags flying.” The Nauvoo Brass Band had come out the day before to meet us and escort us into the City.

The blessings and peace of God attended us wonderfully on this journey and when President Young saw us corral on the Public Square he remarked “There’s order in that Company,” and Daniel H. Wells, one of the first Presidency, said to me next day, “You have brought this Company over the Plains ten per cent better than any other Company.” “Yes, he added, “ten per cent better in every respect.”

The secret of this was that I never made a move, nor made an encampment without the guidance of the Spirit of God. He was my Councillor and Guide. And to Him belongs all the honor.

One day as I was riding on horseback ahead of the Company and when about half way across the Plains the Spirit of God said to me, “You have been faithful and may now have two wives—” When I met President Young he welcomed me home and said the same thing.

I had not up to that time accounted myself worthy of such a privilege and honor, and my heart was therefore filled with joy and thanksgiving.