Transcript for Dedrickson, Theodore, A brief story of Theodore Dedrickson's voyage from Iceland to Utah, 1855-56, reel 12, item 8, 5-6

. . . . We were in Omaha 3 weeks preparing for the handcart journey accross the desert prairie. There [were] 220 emigrants in the company. We had 12 tents and 48 handcarts and each handcart was allowed 4 or 5 persons to pull and push the heavy loads. There were 16 to twenty people to occupby each tent during camping hours. The fare was $20.00 for each person except infants in arms and 14 pounds of baggage was allowed free. I had a chest I bought for $6.00 in Iceland and I had to leave it in Omaha because I could not sell it and I already had 14 lbs of baggage. This company left Omaha early in August with 16 ox teams with , 4 wagons loaded with flour and 30 beef cattle. This was all bought with our money. Each cart was loaded with the baggage ow[n]ed by 4 or 5 persons and 100 lbs of flour. The men pulled the carts and the women pushed. This was very strenious to pull those heavy carts over hill, valley grass, and through sand and rivers.

There were 30 children in the company and early every morning they were sent on ahead of the grownups all in one bunch. Some of them had very little clothing but they all wore hats. They were driven along with willows and had to keep walking as long as they could. No use to cry or complain. But along during the day when it was hot they were allowed to rest and were given food. They were often 2 or 3 miles ahead of us. It was hard for parents to see their little 5 and 6 year olds driven along like sheep.

When [we] were about 150 miles out on the desert prairie, many of the people became sick[.] I think hunger was the cause of it for only ¾ lb. of flower was allowed for each person per day which was not enough for one meal much less for a whole day. A beef was butchered each Saturday and that allowed about two pounds of meat for each person. Every scrap, insides and all were used. The wife of the man who helped me pull my cart, became sick and he had to almost carry her and the girl who had been helping the lady push was obliged to help with another cart so I pulled the handcart alone the greatest share of the way.

After 3 months we reached Salt Lake City.