Transcript for Fjeld, Carl Johan Ellefsen, [Autobiography], in Andrew Fjeld, comp., A Brief History of the Fjeld-Fields Family [1946], 20-26

On the 3rd [July 1860] the company was fully organized, consisting of twenty-one carts, it was divided into three divisions. Fisher was in charge of the first section, A[nders] Christensen in charge of the second section, while I looked after the third division. Six wagons, drawn by oxen, accompanied us, hauling our tents, provisions, and sundries. Oscar Stoddard was our captain. On the 4th we received one hundred pounds of flour to each cart and then pulled out of town. My cart was quite heavy as the only help I had to pull was the little my wife and children could do, while at the other carts there were two or three men.

On the 5th we traveled a short distance and in the evening three couples were married by Brother Widerborg. One couple, Lars Andersen and Marie, was from Norway.

On the 6th, Brothers Cannon and Widerborg came out and bid us goodbye. We camped in a very pretty place, and after importuing our Heavenly Father for his protection and care we retired to rest.

On the 7th, a pound of flour per person, which was our allotment per day, was dealt out to us, and we started on our way. We had not gone far when a wagon broke down and we had to stop while another one was brought from Florence.

On the 8th we made another start and on account of my hand cart being so heavy the captain relieved me of a sack of flour.

We traveled then for several days without let or hindrance until we reached Loup Fork, about one hundred miles from Florence, where we held a meeting. The captain expressed his satisfaction of the peaceful spirit which prevailed among the Saints. Brother Christensen and a brother from Switzerland and I spoke. We expressed our pleasure for the good feeling which existed in our midst and extorted each other to press steadily forward with our faces toward the west.

On the 16th we crossed Loup Fork on a ferry.

On the 18th the captain’s mule ran away but was soon found. A couple of days later the oxen got on a rampage and ran into a corn field, damaging the crop to the extent of eight dollars which we had to pay.

On July 24th we traveled two miles before breakfast and then camped for the day in honor of the Pioneers of 1847, who had, under the leadership of Brigham Young, entered the valley of Great Salt Lake.

In the evening George Q. Cannon overtook us. He was traveling with the express on his way to Zion. He spoke to us for a short time.

On the 6th of August we crossed over a great bank of loose sand and gravel. We had to double the manpower to pull the carts through, and five yoke of oxen were necessary on each wagon to make the grade.

On the 8th we traveled until eleven o’clock at night before we found water. One of the oxen took sick, largely on account of the ill usage it received from the driver.

On the 10th it died, right near our cart – the poor brute. Five Indians came to our camp and the captain gave them some food. The road is heavy and we are 429 miles from Florence.

The 11th: Heavy road and many sand banks.

On the 12th I was fortunate in getting the mate to the ox that died, to pull my cart. Two other carts were also attached and it went along fine.

On the 13th we passed Chimney Rock and on the 15th we passed Scotts Bluff. The road here was very heavy and we were deceived by a mirage.

On the 18th we arrived at Fort Laramie and as the road was better on the other side of the river we crossed over. We first carried all of our stuff over, the water being waist deep, then we pulled our carts over. During these days the captain lost his mule and a collection was taken up to replace it.

On the 20th the captain purchased a horse.

The 22nd: The road is heavy, rough and hilly. We camped on the other side of Deer Creek where there was a fine store and many Indians.

On the 27th we traveled seventeen miles along the Platte River and camped near the stream. Here another ox died with that same wagon, and I had to give up my faithful “Bolly Ox.” it was not long, however before anothe ox died and I received Bolly back again: so altogether, I had him fifteen days.

On the 28th we crossed the Platte River on a bridge called the Upper Ferry. We were charged six dollars to cross.

On the 29th we travelled six miles before breakfast and camped for the last time on the Platte River. As we were now nearing Red Mountain we had to carry water with us for the next camp, as it was seventeen miles to the next water.

On the 30th we camped on a large creek where there was plenty of water but no grass.

On the 31st we passed Sweet Water [Sweetwater] Settlement and camped two miles beyond on Sweet Water. This was a very heavy road, so I was both hungry and tired, but for all that, no regrets.

September 1st: A good road: We camped again on Sweet Water. We passed a settlement today, also Hells Port. (Devil’s Gate).

            ENTICINGLY open, yet we did not turn in,

            Thus avoiding the ‘very appearance of sin,’

            For the home we are seeking, the land of our quest,

            Is drawing us hopefully on to the west,

            So onward we’ll struggle o’er many a hump,

            For the quitter is really and trully a chump.

On the 2nd: Very heavy road; we camped near Sweet Water.

On the 3rd: The road a little better but always upgrade. We traveled 18 miles and crossed Sweet Water three times. We received fifteen sacks of flour from a settlement. Cannon had promised us this flour if we needed it. It came in handy. I might remark here that we received at the rate of a pound and a half per person per day of flour from Fort Laramie.

On the 4th we traveled sixteen miles and camped by a little spring, crossing the Sweet Water two times. The cattle are very poor; so we can not travel as fast as we would like.

On the 5th we traveled thirteen miles and camped by a little spring. The road is steadily going up hill. Yesterday and today Mons Pederson and Bent Benson [Bengtson] helped me pull my handcart.

The 6th: Today Heber is one year old. I gave Niels Tommenson a knife and silver chain if he would haul our bedding on his wagon. The load on my cart made me very faint at times–heavy road and poor food. Hans Young of Fredrickstad came riding into camp today. He is traveling with a company of thirty-five wagons loaded with merchandise for Salt Lake City. They are seventeen miles on the road behind us. We camped on the Sweet Water.

On th 7th Hans Young went back to his company having received four sacks of flour from our captain. At noon we camped by a little creek 779 miles from Florence. This evening we camped by a little spring near a settlement with a post office. The road here is very good with plenty of grass and water.

On the 8th we traveled eighteen miles and found neither grass nor water, but we had brought some water with us from our noon camp. As I was the nightwatchman, the captain had given me orders to arouse the camp at midnight, which I did, and we traveled seven miles in three and one-half hours in the most beautiful moonlight, where we found plenty of grass and water.

I was so sore on my breast from the harness that I could not pull today; so Sister Lorentze helped my wife with the cart. This evening we came to the Big Sandy River. During the night two oxen died.

On the 10th we traveled eighteen miles and camped on the Big Sandy. At noon we had to leave an ox that was nearly dead. We had not gone far when it died. A[ndreas] Rasmussen of Norway and I. Janson of Sweden went back and helped themselves to considerable of the meat of the dead ox. The captain spoke to me about it, as I could talk a little English, and told me to warn them not to eat it, which I did, but to no avail. They ate plenty of it and offered me some which I refused.

On the 11th we traveled nine miles and came to Green River. The handcarts were taken across on a ferry but the oxen and wagons forded the stream a little below the ferry. Here we picked up a poor family which had been left by a former company on acccount of two very sick children. The children were some better now.

On the 12th we traveled five miles and camped on Green River. Here is the highest point on the journey as the water is now traveling with us towards the West.

On the 13th we traveled twelve miles and camped on Black Fork–very heavy road.

On the 14th we traveled eighteen miles and camped two miles from Black Fork. Captain Haight and company passed us today. Hans Young is with this company.

On the 15th we traveled seven miles and camped near Black Fork–good road.

On the 16th we traveled eighteen miles without a road, through sagebrush and dry land.

On the 17th, the same heavy road.

On the 18th we went two miles and came to the old trail; passed P. A. Fjeldstead’s grave. In all we traveled thirty-five miles without a road. We did not pass through Fort Bridger, but went up and down many hills.

On the 19th we came to Bear River. There is a nice little settlement here where a number of Saints live. One lady who lived here alone desired a companion to live with her; so Ingabor[g] Fredricksen of our company decided to stay with her as the lady offered to pay one dollar per week. At noon we camped on a creek eighty miles from the Utah line. This afternoon we met a company which was going to Pike’s Peak, and as some of the teamsters were Mormon boys they gave us a sack of potatoes which we divided among us.

On the 20th we traveled fifteen miles and came to Echo Canyon, a beautiful valley.

On the 21st, after traveling fifteen miles, we came to Weber River where Echo Canyon ends. At noon we camped two miles from a settlement and near a mail station. When we were ready to move on again one of our men got into a fuss with some of the men at the mail station who had driven his cows in among our man’s mules, and in the end our man was stabbed in the back with a knife. We were unable to catch the fellow who did this and the affair delayed us to the extent that we only traveled two miles from our noon camp.

On the 22nd we left the river and traveled up through a narrow pass for thirteen miles and camped on a creek. Here the fourteen-year-old daughter of the family we had picked up at Green River, died, and was buried.

On the 23rd we had to go up quite a steep mountain, and crossed the river many times. At 4:45 in the afternoon we reached the top of Big Mountain where we got our first glimpse of the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Valley. With joy and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for bringing us thus far in safety, we gave three rousing cheers in honor of our future blessed home. We went five miles down the mountain side and camped near a post office with Brother Ifhenk.


On the 24th of September, 1860, we took up our handcarts for the last time; we pulled them fourteen miles on to the camp grounds in Salt Lake City. Here we set them down, never more to realize how heavy they had been, how hard to pull.