Transcript for Evans, Priscilla Merriman, Autobiography [ca. 1914], item 2, 39-41
. . . where we remained three weeks, waiting for our “Hand Carts” to be made. We were offer’d many inducements to remain there. My husband [Thomas David] was offer’d Ten dollars pr day to stay and work at his trade of “Iron Roller”. But money was no inducement, as we were anxious to get to Zion. Many who Stayed to better their circumstances died of Cholera and many apostatized from the Church. When the “Carts,” were ready we Started on a Three hundred & 30 mile “walk”, to “Winter quarters” on the Missoura [Missouri] river. There were many who made sport of us as we walked and pulled our Carts. But the weather was beautiful and the roads excellent, and altho I was sick, and weak, and we were all tired out at night, Still we thot it a “glorious” way to come to “Zion.” We began our journey of “One Thousand 30 miles” on foot, pulling, our hand carts. Some families consisted of man and wife, and some, had quite large families, each cart had 100 lbs Flour, that to be devided and get more from the wagons as required. At first we had a little coffee and bacon, but that was soon gone, and we had no use for any cooking utencils but a frying pan. The flour was self raising. Mixed with water, and cooked in the frying pan[.] That was all we had to eat. After months of traveling we were put on half[-]rations, and at one time before help came, we were out of flour, for two days. We shook the flour sacks to thicken the gravy but had no grease of any kind. Our company was a Welch Co. of about Three hundred. There were about one doz in our tent. Six of whom could not speak the Welch language. Myself among the number. Dont you think I had a pleasant journey, traveling for months with about 300, people, of whose language I could not understand a word. My husband could speak Welch, so he could join in their festivities when he felt like it. There were in our tent a man with one leg (my husband)[,] Two blind[,] Thomas Giles being one of them, one man with one arm, and a widow with five children. The widow and her children and myself, were the only ones who could not speak the Welch language. My husband was commisary for our Co. There were five mule teams to haul the tents and flour. We were allowed to bring but 17 lbs of clothing[,] our bedding[,] Books, (quite a bit of Genealogy my husband had gathered during his missionary labors) and many other useful things were left in a store house, and were to be sent with the next emigration, but we never did recieve them. We had the tent for covering and had to sleep on the ground. I had a shawl and my husband an Over coat which was included in the 17 lbs of clothing we were permitted to bring. The remainder of clothing to make up the ammount was an oil cloth sack. Edward Bunker was the Captian of our Co. The Orders of the day were. “If any are sick among you, and not able to walk, you must pull them on your carts.” No one rode in the wagons. Sometime[s] a bunch of Buffaloes would come and the “Carts” would stop untill they passed, had we been prepaired like the people who traveled with teams, to kill Buffalo’s we would have had meat, and would not have come so near starving. One incident hapened which came near being serious. Some Indians came to our camp, and my husband in a joking way told an Indian, who admired me, that he would trade me for a Pony. He thot no more about it. But the next day, here came the Indian with the Pony, and it was no Joke with him. I never was so frightened in all my life. There was no place to hide, and we did not know what to do. The Captain was called, and they had some dificulty in settling with the Indian with out trouble. In crossing rivers the Women and children were carried over the deep places, and they waded the others. We were much more fortunate than those who came later, as we had no snow, and the weather was quite pleasant. My husband had the misfortune to lose his leg when 9 yrs old. While walking 20 to 25 miles per day where the knee rested on the pad it would gather and break and was most painful, but he had to endure it or remain behind. One incident will show you how they were fixed for grease. My husband and John Thain [Thayne] a Butcher in some way killed an old Buffalo. They sat up all night and boiled it to get some grease to grease the carts, but he was so old and poor there was not a drop of grease in him. No grease for the carts and no grease for even gravy for the little children. We reached Salt Lake City Oct 2-1856.