Transcript

Transcript for Davis, Mary E. Fretwell, Autobiography, 2-3

My companions were Ellen Derrick, and Ellen Hackman and Lizzie Cornell. We were in an upper berth, and Lavinia Triplet and her sister and cousin in the lower one, so there was seven of us and we all kept together till we got to Utah. . . . The captain's name was Daniel D. McArthur, and he had us seven sisters in one wagon. There was plenty of flour, bacon, pkt (packet) of soda, but none of us knew how to make bread and did not know the use of bake kettles having never seen one before, and we made a mess of cooking. So we watched the teamsters to see how they did, and then we could do a little better. While we were at Florence there was a terrible storm; the rain came down in sheets, thundering and lightening. We were shut up in the wagons and thought the end had come, for we had never seen anything like it before.

When they had the wagons all ready, we started on our journey on the 6th day of August, with 75 wagons. We traveled by the Platte River for 5 hundred miles and crossed it many times. We had to wade through it, and sometimes it was up to our waist, then we would camp and dry our clothing. We could get wood and brush to burn, but when we left the river there was nothing to burn, for it was all plains — no trees or brush, so as we walked along we gathered buffalo chips in our aprons to make a fire at night, so we could get our food ready for supper.

When we came to a smooth piece of land, the Utah boys would get out their violins and we would have a dance. The boys had their fun with us. We knew nothing about promenading and dancing in the corner, but we all enjoyed it very much, after walking all day. We were called to order every evening to have a meeting and prayer, and prayers in the morning, that we might have protection through the day.

There was one death on the Plains—a Brother [John Burnside] Farnes. It was sad for the family to have a grave dug and lay their dear father in it, and leave him out on the prairie.

There was one birth on the Plains. Sister [Ellen] Athay gave birth to a baby girl [Alice].

When we got in sight of the mountains, the Utah boys gave a great shout, and up went their hats in the air. The mountains and canyons looked wonderful to us. After walking through canyons and over mountains, we came to a mountain that we could see Salt Lake City, and over the Valley. Then I felt very lonesome. I thought of the folks at home and wondered if I should ever see them again. I could not help shedding tears for I felt alone in the world. I knew the girls that I had traveled with would go different ways. We went down into the City and camped.