Transcript for Brown, Nephi James, "Nephi James Brown, His Kindred and His Friends," 82-6

Their company of Saints was ten days making the trip from Albany, New [York] to St. Joseph, Missouri.  Mother said that for two days and a night they were all forced to stand in filthy cattle cars. That was an ordeal that of today would hardly think was possible

From St. Joseph they went up the Missouri river to Florence, Nebraska, six miles from Omaha, [Nebraska] they were met by the Church oxteam caravan [-] by the authorities to bring them across the Plain and mountains to Zion. This oxteam train [was] in charge of Bro Thomas Ricks.  Great credit is due the General Authorities of those days who [organ]ized these oxteam caravans that made it po[ssible] for such groups of converts to the Gospel from Europe to complete that long journey across Plains and to Zion. Those experienced team[sters] from Utah who gave so freely of their ti[me] in making such trips also deserve much cred[it.] My mother [Eliza Brown] formed the acquaintance of one [of] those teamsters, John White, a very energetic man who had joined the Church in Engla[nd] and had emigrated to Utah with his parents, I[saac] and Mary White, and had settled with them o[n] a fine farm in North Ogden. He was a [-] more than ten years older than my mo[ther.]  A genuinely serious and fine romance spru[ng] up between them at the outset of this tri[p.]

About August 1, 1863 their oxteam caravan s[tarted] for Utah more than a thousand miles dis[tant.] Proper rules and regulations were strictly [observed] during the journey. At night their wagons [-] covered wagons were placed in a circle [-] a safeguard against Indian attacks[.] For recreation the Saints engaged in mus[ic] dancing[,] singing and in games. Thes[e] happy emigrants enjoyed the freedom[,] the exciting experiences of the great Plains.

Mother rode quite a lot of the way with white in his wagon and very much enjoyed his friendliness and hospitality. With them I feel sure it was love at first sight, and I know that mother's love for him was the kind <to> last through all time on this earth and throughout all eternity.

The company travelled for about three hundred miles along the Platte river. much of that distance they were able to drive their ox-drawn wagons right in the dried up river bed. It must have been an unusually dry and hot Summer. They found many pools and water holes abounding with thousands of fish. The fish were easy to catch and the entire Company were delighted to have some real feasts of fresh fish. Their lack of salt, however, prevented them from taking any quantity of the fish with them on their journey after they left the river. Their regular rations were limited to one pound of meat per week and one pound of flour per day to each individual. They saw great herds of buffalo in the distance, but apparently the men had no good riding horses to enable them to organize a hunting party to go after the buffalo and kill some to give these 882 Saints a real treat of fresh meat. Their caravan of covered wagons drawn by slow yet dependable oxen rolled slowly on, averaging only about eighteen miles travel in a day.

Sometimes wood with which to make their camp fires was quite scarce and at such times they gathered up "buffalo chips" with which to augment their supply of wood. It was a happy group of Saints; they were favored with good weather and their general health was good. There was hearty cooperation in performing all the chores of camping and traveling. They sang and danced and prayed, and on Sundays had special songs as well as encouraging talks by the brethren. They had a settled faith and a firm testimony as to the truthfulness of the Gospel and as to purpose of their making the long journey from E[ngland.] Grumbling and complaining was at a minimum[.] their faith in the future and their hopes and plans for a new home and a new way of li[fe] enabled them to press on and endure the short[age] of food and the inconveniences they had enco[unter]ed. Many of them had to sleep on the ground[.] of course there was not room for all of them t[o] sleep in the wagons. The night air, the starry canopy overhead, the shooting stars, the differen[t] phases of the moon, the distant howl of the wol[f -] the c[o]yote, the buzz of insects, and the occasio[nal] low bellow of oxen engaged the attention [-] those in camp who were not sleeeping soun[dly] or of romantic lovers who talked together aft[er] others were asleep. Order and system prevail[ed] in their camp, and they all arose early and m[ade] preparations for their next day's journey.

Just before commencing to climb the Eastern [-] of the Rocky mountains cholera broke out a[mong] them, but fortunately it did not develop into [-] epidemic, and those few people whom it attac[ked] were kindly and carefully taken care of, and thr[ough] the blessings of the Lord only one death occu[rred.] That was the first and only death that took p[lace] among 882 people during their entire journey fro[m] their native land.  

Numerous land marks were seen and passed by the Company that mother came with. She told me of their camping at Chimney Rock and what a fine time they had there. They saw quite a large group of friendly Indians, the first she had ever seen. They also saw many soldiers at Fort Laramie and at Fort Bridger. The sight of the first high mountains they saw was a new and thrilling experience. They enjoyed the good drinking water in the mountains, and the brilliant autumn leaves in evidence everywhere and especially on the maple trees along the mountain trail they traveled were a memorable sight to behold.

Their caravan came down Emigration Canyon and they passed the hill just West and North of the mouth of the Canyon from which point Brigham Young upon entering the valley made the famous declaration , ["]This is the right place; drive on." Mother arrived in Salt Lake City with that large group of emigrants October 4, 1863.