Transcript for Browning, James Allen, Autobiography [ca. 1851-1883]

. . . .In the month of July (3? I think) 1852, we resumed our journey for Salt Lake Valley. on the “Great Interior Basin,” (leaving the fens of the “M. bottoms”) which region in the meanwhile had been settled by our people to a limited extent, father [Jonathan Browning] having seven well laden wagons and quite a number of loose stock. I having a pony assisted in driving the loose stock.

On our journey were many things of interest to arrest our wandering eyes, Arid plains, rugged rocks—chimney, Court House & Independence rocks & the Devil’s Gate for instance—Cache Cave, Mineral springs and many other wonders of nature presented to our view. I also enjoyed the sport of shooting the buffalo, antelope, prairie-dog (a peculiar little animal, of the canine species, & said to burrow with the screach owl and rattlesnake) sage hens & other wild game.

Henry W. Miller was captain of our Company (in which father had charge of a sub-division of ten) and having a No. 1. revolving rifle (which I, after arriving at our journey’s end, sold for $125.00) I was frequently one of the party selected by our Capt. to Kill meet for the Camp. In my hunting excursions I was made aware of the fact that a bull-buffalo, wounded & enraged is a mischievous & rude customer to deal with, which I proved to my satisfaction on a certain occasion. (Our Co was No. 20. fathers being the 2d Division of same.)

Having disable one of those buffalo bulls, by a volley of shots, & having him prostrated & bleeding, a young novice-hunter hearing my repeated shooting, appeared upon the scene. Seeing the burley bovine was not dead but looking defiantly at us, asked the privilege of a shot at his pate, (he had a U.S. old yanger) which I granted. He approached within two or three rods of the bull & presented arms. The brute becoming somewhat used to this sort of tactics by my previous shooting seemed to understand this maneuver, & sprang to his feet & made for his new antagonist, who, without firing “beat a retreat” running back toward my post, the bull hard at his heels. As soon as the boy and bull came up to where I was waiting “cocked & primed.” I immediately shot the latter in the forehead, felling him again, whilst the former scampered to a neighboring eminance, where he began congratulating himself on his lucky escape, saying he thought it was not safe to be in sight of one of those infuriated animals. [-- 5 Buffalo -] [Original text in Pitman shorthand]

There were a few deaths in our camp of cholera mostly, among which was a niece of mine—a babe of John & Sarah Galliher—(& was buried on Wood River.) My brother [John] Wesley had a touch of cholera. One Wm. Mason died of cholera.

One evening, after our company had gone into Camp, Jim Wilcox & myself—went forward to get a shot at some buffalo, some two or three miles from camp. I succeeded in killing one and started for camp to get conveyance for it, (as we were afoot) leaving Wilcox to watch & designate the place of our game, as it was approaching dusk. Our Capt. <Henry Miller> and I started back on horseback (with backs to put the meat in) but could not find either the buffalo or Wilcox. After Hunting & hollowing about among the hills for some time we concluded to give it up, & started for camp, when we became aware that we were bewildered & lost. but after rambling about, going down some steep defiles, when we would dismount & lead our horses, we finally found our way into Camp, after all but the camp guard had retired. On the following morning I had no trouble in finding the buffalo, which was disembowled by the cayotes during the night. Wilcox (the party left to watch) had followed after some other buffalos trying to get another & on his return could not find the one I had killed, so he returned to camp, hence our failing to find him.

By way of breaking the monotomy of camp life, oft times at the close of the day’s travel, wagons coralled, supper dispatched, and guard on post, the sound of music was heard reverberating throughout Camp, as many of the Camp (especially the youthfull) Kept pace with the strains of the violin in the dance upon the green: indicating the buoyancy of spirit prevading a “Mormon” Camp[.] [When gathered - of --road.] [original text in Pitman shorthand]

In the latter part of Sept. 1852. after a three months irksome Journey, we arrived in Salt Lake City. Here we hailed friends & relatives whom we had been absent from for a couple of years or more. During the evening I took a stroll about town with cousin Thos. Browning (who had met us during the day in Emigration Canyon.) viewing the many improvements of only five year’s time. It being a nice moon-light night & Ballou’s band out serenading made this epoch of our arrival all the more interesting & pleasant. Uncle James G. had met & camped with us at East Canyon Creek the previous night.