Transcript for Benjamin Platt reminiscences, 1899-1905, 2-5

We traveled by handcart through Iowa three hundred miles to the Misouria [Missouri] river and crossed into Nebraska to old winter quarters called Florance [Florence] on a high hill west of the river; in Jessie Heavens [Havens] company through Iowa and came in Edwards Martins company from Mis[s]ouri River to Devils Gate) We here stop[p]ed three weeks waiting for Edward Martin hand cart company and repaired our hand carts they having worn there axels through and we had to cut them shorter and shoulder them up or put the w[h]eels on further and when we started from here for Salt Lake we had to put on each cart 100 lbs of flour and all our logage [luggage] and our tents and the carts being without scains on the axels it was to much for them and they com[m]enced to break down so that hindered us and caused great delay:

We here joined the two companies together on ac[c]ount of hostile Indians on the plains which retarded our progress and caused us to be late in the season; I think we started from Florance on the 27 of August for a trip of 1,000 miles and had it not been that we where delaid by our carts breaking down we might have been in Salt Lake city in October where as it was the last day of November; Apostle Franklin D. Richards called a meeting and advised us te [to] stop at Florance untill the next season; but there whare som[e] apostates there or Josephites and we did not want to stay, and we declaired we would go through or die trying and we prevailed and he seeing we where determined he consented but he said he did not want any one to try that could not walk every foot of the way, but we started men[,] women and children, and the result was 1 great suf[f]ering; He told us that Presedent Yonug [Young] had promised to send out teams to meet us and that we might have ten weeks of Indian summer and we might get within reach of the teams before the cold weather set in;

By October we had reached the last crossing of the Platte river and the snow storms started and cold weather set-in and our rations being limited starvation and cold began to tell onn us and many began to die and I have helped to burry as many as nine in a morning:

At the last cros[s]ing of the Platte I took off my shoes and stockings and carried my wife over on my back and then went back for my hand cart and that night we had a snow storm but we had plenty of wood and we stayed here for several days, and it was here that Joseph A Young and another man met us having been sent out to meet us. At this time we had 4 pounds of flour to each individual in camp and 400 miles from Salt Lake City; When we got to fort Larney [Laramie or Kearney] about 250 miles from Florance [Florence] I met two breatheren from Oldham that I was well a[c]quainted with and they were going back to the states and they tried to persuade me to go back with them but the spirit told me not to go back, at parting with them Thomas Eccles said Ben if you are going back let us have your hand cart and I said to them good bye I guess I will go on and we parted the(y) to damnation and me to Salvation I hope;

After the two breatheren spoken of above that came out to meet us we traviled one day and found eleven wagons loaded with flour and clothing and I fit[t]ed me out with a large pair of shoes lined with stockingleg, that came up above my knees and they kept my feet from freezing and we kept meeting teams every day after this, and when we got to Devils-gate or sweet water river we left our hand cart and went in wagons and then the feet of the people began to freeze on account of inaction or want of excercise; Our Captains whare hard on us[.] we had to herd at nights and pull hand carts all days and many times I have been kept up until midnight and then stood guard until morning and then start again and it was this everlasting guarding that killed the people;

We started with about 600 Emigrants from Florance and lost about 100 on the road and arrived in Salt Lake City on the last day of November 1856 and on Sunday as the people whare coming out of the meeting we ware on the streets meeting friends to take care of us…