Transcript for Edmund Ellsworth autobiography in Pearl Ione Crismon Forsberg's "Papers relating to the Edmund Ellsworth and Charles Crismon families" in Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956
In the early spring I was called to go with the Pioneers to the Rocky Mountains[.] when we arrived at Loup[e] Fork of the Platte River we had to cut Cottonwood Trees for the horses to eat the bark as there was no feed. A little further west we came to the Buffaloes so thick the feed was All consumed and they were verry poor. We were thouro[ugh]ly instructed to humble ourselves and go as men of God that the blessing of the Lord might attend us. We crossed the La Platte at Larimie [Laramie] thence through the Black hills to the upper crossing[.] by this time the River had swollen so mutch we could not ford. We was compelled to go to the timber where we hewed out three large Canoes[.] these we framed together thus making a good ferry boat on which we ferried our wagon. Before we got our wagons ferried the emigrants for Oregon began to arrive. When Prest. Young appointed ten of us to remain and ferry them with the promise we should share equally with them who went ahead to the Valley in all the honours of the mission. The ten selected to stop all expected Their families would arrive in a few days when we were to follow the Pioneers. It was thought by so doing we could get of the emigrants flour and Bacon that would help the mission on its return. We were kept busy ferrying for about two weeks expecting every day to hear that our families were near at hand[.] after waiting another week there came to us some ten or twelve men from the Battalion going back to meet their families. It was soon arranged that part of us both companies should start back to meet our families while the rest staid to keep camp[.] no one thinking we would be gone over from two to five days, we only took provision to last three days[.] when we arrived at Larrimie the Indians had brought the news that there were wagons Coming up the Platte with no idea of the distance. Provisions could not be bought[.] we went on 175 miles which we traveled with only one Antelope and one hare for the company. This was less than half a meal each in 7 days. I never expect to witness gerater [greater] excitement then prevailed when we beheld at a distance a camp of wagons lying bye for the Sabbath[.] our horses did their best to carry us to breakfast, where several of us found our families. Truly my soul was filled with joy at meeting my wife and two little ones in company with the Saints moving to Salt Lake. At Strawberry Creek we met and camped with the returning Pioneers[.] this night the Indians stole 52 head of the Pioneers horses which greatly distressed the company on their return To winter quarters. I accompanied the Saints to the Valley where we arrived on the 12 of Oct when for the first I beheld the future home of the Saints.
[Edited versions also available in "Utah Pioneer Biographies" 44 vols., 9:57-58 and German E. Ellsworth and Mary Smith Ellsworth, comp., Our Ellsworth Ancestors, ed. John Orval Ellsworth , 90-92. An edited brief excerpt is also published in An Enduring Legacy, 12 vols. [1978-89], 4:131.]