Transcript for Dutson, John William, "A Short History and Genealogy of John W. Dutson," 29-39
I joined with Thomas Featherstone to fit out a team etc. for the valley ... on the 10th of June 1857 I moved my family on board the steamer Silver Heels, bound for Florence in connection with my family. Sisters Mary Ann Boote and Caroline Jenkins were passenger's in my charge.
on the following day the 11th at four oclock we sailed. Brother Snow, Brother Taylor and H. Hart, our president of Saint Louis came with us, the boat was crowded with passengers, I was appointed to preside over all of the saints. On lower deck I appointed all the men on board to guard luggage, passengers' and etc. from insults, and theft, each taking turn to guard two men coming on watch at a time, owing to so many, being crowded on the boat, and being so warm, many were taken sick with something that made its appearance like Cholora [cholera.] we had two cases of small pox, one had to leave the boat, the other was moved on the upper deck. It was an infant. It died after we landed. I was kept busy all the time attending to the sick, washing deck etc. To try to keep away disease,
on the 8th day we landed at Florence, having no death, nor accidents on the way. I did not sleep any all the way felt very much fatigued. began to be very sick, had them to put the wagons together, and keep an account of those given to individuals, and store tents and wagon covers, after fitting out all with wagon covers, tents etc. Got some cattle and moved all the wagons, on the hill at Florence. Wait for Deleware [Delaware] Company. I was very sick also my wife was very sick, while we waited the health of the company was generally very good. Brother John Taylor, then organized the company. J.H. Hart Captain of the company[,] Thomas Terry Captain of the first ten wagons, and myself Captain of the second ten wagons, and we were to travel together, that is both the Deleware and Saint Louis companies as far as Laramie, and then if it was thought best, that each company should travel alone, as it was thought that feed would be scarce, we then got our cattle yoked nearly all unbroken cattle and started on our journey, on the road from Florence, about three miles one wagon in my ten, broke down, it belonged to Mr. Snell. I stopped and sent the other wagons on.
Next day we made a new axle, and moved on to little Pappio [Papillion] where we found the company. Here we met with a company of thirty wagons, apostates from the Valley. Thomas Harris Captain nearly all the emigrants, that left St. Louis the year before, were returning, they commenced to speak hard of the Valley. Brigham Young etc. tried to get some of our company to return, Captain Terry and I went to their Capt. and told him to keep his company to themselves, and to mind their own business or we would force them to do so, Capt. Hart being back in Florence, it fell to our lot to manage this business. they did not succeed in turning any back.
Next morning they hoisted their flag and started. We left on our way to Great Salt Lake City, this was the 30th day of June.
We spent the 4th of July at Lukes Fork, here bapt. Hart, our Capt. arrived and also the Deleware company with capt. I offines, here Brother Charles G. Shill was appointed our chaplain, we had by this time got our cattle in very good subjections, rolled on well, arrived at first crossing of Platt[e]. Here we found a settlement made by some of the St. Louis, brethren who started early in the spring, named their fort Genoa, had plated garden, they brought me some radishes etc. They were all cheerful, helped us to cross the river, which was very difficult on account of the quick sand, crossed all safe and camped that night.
started next day, a dreadful storm came up about noon, it came so quick, that we could not form a corrall. we lost none of our cattle in this storm. We had a pleasant journey only feed very scarce, grasshoppers had eaten nearly all the grass, when we got to little snake creek our cattle was very restless, we spend noon. Some Sioux Indians came to us, they were friendly toward us. We got dinner and then moved on, we had traveled about a mile or so, when our cattle stampeded while attached to the wagons. Both companies being together their were forty wagons and three carrages. I had just been back and cautioned all in my ten to rope their lead cattle, that were wild, and when I had just got to the second wagon to the lead of the ten, a team in the third ten run starting the whole train, at this moment I took a large club and prepared myself to do the best I could to save the lives of the people. I yelled to the women and children, to stay in their wagons, and not to jump out, but many of them jumped out while the wagons were coming in all directions. many were run over and some were expected not to live. I broke the train, as well as I could, with the club I had in my hand, and then saved the lives of many, that was lying on the road, that jumped from the wagons. Brother Terry and I went around to see who was hurt etc. We administered to them as we found them on the ground. Some of them would ask us, to administer to them a number of times[.] we administered to some from five to seven times, they began to recover, there was a great many hurt, but no one was killed. We then carried those, that were hurt, the best way we could to their wagons, pitched their tents, and stopped to attend to the wounded. That night the first half of which I had to take my men, and guard the cattle, found the cattle to be uncontrollable. Brother [Simpson David] Offiker [Huffaker] Capt. of the Guard gave me more men, so that we could keep the cattle. At twelve oclock my time being up. My men were relieved by the other guard. I told the captain of the relief guard how the cattle acted, he wished me to stay with him. I done so, the cattle had broke several times this night, to run but we had succeeded, to get them back, until about the fifth time, when they broke some of the men run to get out of the way of the cattle. As the herd run I rushed in with a big club, and divided them in a few minutes. I got the portion that was behind to stop, six horsemen was then dispatched to get those back, that had run, they brought but a portion of them back, those that run having divided and in the dark, they could not see them, until the next night[.] the horsemen were in persuite of them, but could not see them. Tracked them, across the north and south platt, they returned, and that night, I was called upon to select seven men from my ten, and to go with three days provisions, to try to find the cattle. Bro. Offaker also was to take seven men with him and provisions etc.
We started at sunrise in the morning, traveled that day, on track of the cattle, next day we lost the track. We then thought it best to take different directions, to try to find them, we done so but could see nothing of them. Bro. Offaker said he should go about 20 miles down the river and then he should return.
I was out on my third day and about sundown was 10 miles from camp, at the south platt river, had just crossed the river to go to camp when I saw a train of wagons, coming up from old fort Karney [Kearny] on the south road. I then wanted the boys to say what we should do about seeing what train that was, I said it may be one of Uncle Sam's trains going to Utah, or it may be a mormon train, and likely we could find out something of our cattle, some said it would not be safe to go if it was a U.S. train. I said that I wanted two men to vollenteer to go with me and hail the train. Bro. Wm. Robinson of the Deleware Co. and Bro. James Mitchell of the Saint Louis Co. said they were ready to go. we started and when we had rode within about a half of a mile from the road we could see, by the appearance of the wagons, that it was a government train. The guard many of them were on foot and horseback. When they saw us coming to ward them, many of them dismounted, tied their horses to the wagons, and got in their wagons, and some walked on the other side of the wagons. I rode out from the other two that was with me, to meet their Capt. After a while three men rode out from the road and dismounted. I then asked where the Capt. of the train was, they all looked half frightened, one said it was the man next to him, he said it was the next, so the third man said he was Capt. I then asked him where the train was from, he said from Independence. I asked where he was going, he said to Utah, I asked if he was going to help drive the mormons, he said no they were going to enforce the laws of the United States. Then I told him we had lost some cattle, asked him if he could tell us where they was; he replied he had not seen them. So bid them a very good day, and started for camp. This was the first train of the Utah Expodition [Expedition].
We crossed the river and started that night, we got to north Platt[e] river about 8 or 9 oclock, It was so dark we could not cross the river that night. We crossed the river at day light. Brother Huffaker got to camp, the night before, he had not found cattle we lost in the stampede 46 head weakend our teams very much. We had cattle enough, left to move the wagons, by assisting one another to Laram[i]e. Then those that could, was to buy and help themselves. We done this and got along well; we then divided our Company, as spoken of at Florence, and traveled separate, at this time one in my company died, an aged sister, named Brown. When I got to Deer Creek, I wrote to Fillmore City Utah, to inform my folks of my coming[.] my mother and family residing there. While at Deer Creek, Bro. Sam Richards, and Bro. Snider, came there on their mission to England, I loaned Bro John Carlos, one of my revolvers, to go with them as a guard to Independence. Our teams by this time, had got very weak, but we got along to near foot of Big Mountain, when we met some fresh teams; my Brother-in-Laws John and William Cowley met me at this place, and helped us in to Salt Lake City.
We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 20th of Sept. 1857. All were well, except 2 or 3 that were ailing, one death on the way; was 12 weeks crossing the plains. We lost about 60 head of cattle, we left one old wagon on the road.