Transcript for Fullmer, Jane Eleanor Griffiths, Autobiography [ca. 1928]

In march of 1856, Heber C. Kimball sent word to my father [John Griffiths], for him and his family to go to Salt Lake City, Utah. We got ready and left Liverpool on the 28th day of May, in the ship called the Horizon. We were eight weeks on the sea. I was very sick. The ship was under the command of Captain Reed. After we anchored in Boston harbor, we held a meeting . . .

From Boston we went by rail to Florence, Iowa and camped there four weeks, until our hand carts were ready for us.

On the first day of September, we started to cross the plains. During the first part of our journey, we were as happy a set of people as ever crossed the plains. We would sit around the camp fire and sing. . . .

After the snow caught us, we suffered terrible and many died. Provisions were limited; we were rationed on four ounces of flour per day for adults and two ounces a day for children. Our meat consisted mainly of buffalo.

One morning when I awoke, my brother John, age 15 years, lay dead by my side. He died of starvation and cold. During that night 19 people died. They dug a trench and laid them in it. We had to leave them there and resume our journey. Two weeks later my brother Herbert, age six years, died the same way.

One morning my step-mother was baking some griddle cakes on the camp fire and one old lady looked so pitiful my step-mother handed her a cake before she had finished baking all of them. Shortly after she looked at the old lady, who had not moved, and found her to be dead, with the cake in her hand, she had not tasted it.

Two weeks before we arrived at Salt Lake City, President Young sent a company to meet us with wagons and provisions. They found us deep in snow and our provisions gone. When they came in sight we all stood up and hailed them with glad rejoicing.

When we arrived in Salt Lake my family consisted of my father, step-mother, sister Margret and myself. It was the last of November, making just three months on the road.

The hand cart company were taken to the assembly hall, the floor was covered with straw and there was a nice warm fire for us.

President Young asked the people to take and care for as many as they could. Bro. Samuel Mulliner took my father and step-mother to his home. My father died the next morning at five o'clock. I was so sick that they did not tell me about it for some weeks. My sister went with Bro. and sister Montague. She was very sick and her heels were badly frozen. Mr. and Mrs. Horne took me to their home, my toes were very badly frozen. I stayed with them for three weeks. . . . Bro. Mulliner came with a wheel-barrow, a quilt and a pillow and took me to his home where his wife cared for me. He hired a doctor but my feet seemed to get worse, then he changed Doctors and in three months my feet were healed, but I lost the first joint of three toes of each foot.

There were several young men of our company who had their feet amputated to save their lives. . . . When I was sixteen years old I married.