Transcript for Hannah Tapfield King autobiography, circa 1864-1872, Volume 6, circa 1864-1872
Friday 22nd [April, 1853] Arrived at Keokuk about 5 o’clock. The bus brought us to the St. Charles Hotel on Johnson Street where we are now sojourning, preparatory for going into camp.
Saturday, 23rd. Read Byron, Woodworth, etc. Georgie [Georgiana King] played on the parlor organ. A heavy thunderstorm this morning. We hear the poor Saints are drenched. We have got to be.
Sunday 24th. Rose and breakfasted. About 12 OC Br.[Claudius V.] Spencer came and brought a wagon cover and desired us to set to and make it at once. This seemed to me a strange request[,] but under all the circumstances I felt reconciled to doing it—for their heads were wet[,] many of them[,] and it was a work of necessity and charity. Weather heavy and dull—Br. Gates and Harmon came in the evening. Gave Br. Gates a sovereign.
Monday Claudius told us we must go off to the camp this afternoon—so directly after dinner off we set[,] bag and baggage for the camp from the St. Charles Hotel. It seemed a queer and strange life enough. I felt triste and singular[.] in the Evening Claudius spoke to us before we had prayers—He seemed to be in a reproving spirit. Seemed to think we were not obedient enough perhaps it is so—but really my heart does not condemn me particularly when I look at my almost unprecedented position at the present time—he is seldom kind and tender towards me I know not for what—I suppose we do not understand each other. Indeed[,] I feel we do not. we never seem to have done so. But I have ever trusted to time to mark the dark places plain[.] and I do not feel the fault is mine. I know I did not make the first breach by many—Oh my Father[,] give me an adequate portion of Thy spirit[,] that I may do right in Thy sight—
Last day of April—1853—We have been here nearly a week and I really like gypsy life! I sleep, work, write and read in my carriage which is large and roomy—It is just what I like. Mr. King bought it in St[.] Louis for the plains—We also sleep in it!! There is something in this life [that] suits me[,] a sort of Eastern Oriental life[,] suiting my taste & fancy—Truly my God has been gracious to me[.] Amid every trial He has given me much that has comforted me—consoled & cheered me on—and I feel more at this time than ever to trust Him for my future good—Yes[,] My Father[,] I will endeavor to leave things more than ever in Thy hands—asking Thee to reveal Thy mind and will concerning me & mine, that we may do all things agreeable to Thy mind and will—This morning I sat and worked in my carriage—finished Tom’s shirt. Robert Neslen came & talked with me & then Mon Ami Samuel [Neslen,] whom I respect & like[.] he is kind & good to me, and there is much in him that I admire—and much that will be great and good—He seems to have been sent to comfort me in my Journey to the land of Zion[.] and he has been my friend & comforter—for I dare not tell Mr. King many things that trouble me—It might injure the cause of God—& do no good to me[.] This is certainly a most delightful spot to sojourn in[,] and I feel happy[,] thank God! I rejoice in Him day by day—and night by night—He is my All in All—the focus—the centre—the citadel of all I hope[,] love[,] and fear—May I daily grow more worthy of His love & mercy to me every day I live!
May 1st, 53. How strange and peculiar is my present mode of life! Yet it has a charm in it that recommends itself much to me—There is much in it that is congenial to the tenor of my heart and brain—that is agreeable to my taste and the romantic turn of my mind! Here I am now at the present moment[,] seated in my carriage in which we sleep[,] and in the day it is a refuge to me from any society that I wish to shun or, withdraw from as I love—as I have ever done Solitude—here I read or work,—or write or lie & think—that most glorious of all occupations—here I sleep and dream
This morning I attended meeting but was forced to leave before they closed[,] not feeling well—Bro. Clawson & Wheelock spoke—Since I returned I have been rolling on my bed, and have read & now write this much with a note to C. Fox—They are all gone to meeting—I rejoice amid all my trials—and amid all the strangeness of circumstances that I am with these people[.] There is much in them that I like, and the principles I glory in!
May 9th Mr[.] King went out last evening to buy cattle for the plains—Anne slept with me—The morning cold & blustery—Breakfasted[.] Br. Spencer went out to buy cattle—Went in to my carriage to write—Wrote to Mr. Dowto—Am going to send letters to the St[.] Louis Post by Br. Eldredge illigible, to my parents, to Mr. R. Barber & Charlotte Fox—Hope they will go safely—The weather is finer and I hope it will last[,] for there is nothing I desire so much as June weather—at the present moment.
My spirit has felt wounded of late[,] crushed by the coldness of a spirit that ought to warm & foster it—Was it not for the kindness of S.N. [Samuel Neslen] I should often have felt isolated indeed. I have often felt so as it is—Br. Larkin said he would pray that a spirit might be raised to stand by me & support me—and I often think how exactly it has been answered in S.N. Oh! the sun is bursting out in splendor and my spirit feels warmed & comforted by it! No more today.
12th. In the morning two carriages were ordered to take us to Nauvoo—Mr[.] Shores drove us in one and Martin in the other—The road was better than I expected[,] and the views in some parts fine—We arrived at Montrose about noon and then ferried over the Mississippi to the other side—having had the ruined temple in view for some time; My feelings were that day altogether inexplicable[.] My impressions were pleasing yet sad[.] ruin and a curse seem upon the spot which the wicked have desecrated—Buildings are left as though the workman had all left off to go to dinner[,] yet they have lain so since the death of Joseph—Not a brick seems to be removed—
We went to the Mansion House & saw Joseph’s wife Emma—Was rather agreeably surprised for I had heard much of her being a large vulgar woman—but the impression she made on me was not that of a vulgar or coarse woman—Power is the principle that seems to be stamped on her[,] but it is like the lion when couchant—her mind seemed to me to be absorbed in the past and lost almost to the present[.] her manners are not prepassive on account of this coldness and stolidity—neither does she seem to desire to form any intimacy or renew it—for she knew Claudius & all his family—she did not even seem to respond to kindness—but she looked as if she had suffered—and as if a deep vein of bitterness ran thru her system. I felt sorry for her and would have given her occular proof of my sympathy, but she seemed to shun or rather chill every demonstration of it—We dined at her House[,] which is the Hotel of the place, and after dinner, we were shown into the room of Joseph’s mother—She sat pillowed up in bed—She made a great impression on me—for she is no ordinary woman—I feel ‘twould be vain to attempt to describe my feelings with regard to her[.] I am going to let them run into poetry, for prose would not suffice for me. She is a character that Walter Scott would have loved to portray, and he would have done justice to her—I do so in my own heart, wherein she has a niche for all time—She blessed us with a mother’s blessing, her own words—and my heart melted, for I remembered my own dear mother left in England for the Gospel’s sake[,] and the deep fountains of my heart were broken up[.] Georgie gave her the ring off her finger that I gave her on her 14th birthday—as she asked Claudius, “had he brought her no present[,]” and he told G. to give her one of her rings. I then told her to give the one I had given her—She had many on her hands but they were presents from Claudius and other friends—I would not have let her give it to anyone else.
We then went to the Temple[.] The Portico is still standing—it speaks with a silent eloquence. I do feel all my bad feelings arise against the fiendish mean, diabolical spirit, that can set fire and destroy such a beautiful and unique structure! There seems to be something in it despicable—We enjoyed the day much, & it will long be remembered by us all—
14.th. at 12 OC at noon—today we left the Camp at Koekuk. Mr—Shores—where our horses had stood at livery[,] came down to the camp to fetch me up in his buggy—but I was gone into the Town[.] Mr—Strife had invited us all to dine with him at the St[.] Charles Hotel—& Mr[.] Strife got into the buggy & came for me again & the rest followed in our carriage—Mr—Shores then drove me in his beautiful Buggy & Horse to the place where we turned off for our new camping ground—as he was going to Mountrose [Montrose.] Nothing could exceed the kindness of that man to us—He said he never saw a family to whom he had become so attached—indeed he loved us too well!!
I certainly felt a degree of Love to him for his great kindness to us in a foreign land—and may God bless him for it as I do—One Evening while we were in Camp he drove up with a beautiful span of Horses[,] quite in style, and said he had come to take me out for a drive—I was delighted and admired the Horses very much—when he said [“]Do you not know they are your own?!![”] of course I did not—Mr[.] King had bought them & placed them in his stables—& he was practicing them every day—Oh! how he tried to persuade us not to go to Salt Lake—“It was a shame, such a fine family as we were, & with our property to go among the Mormons!!!!” &c &c[.] I laughed at him & invited him to come too—he said if ever he did come it would be through me—then I told him I did not wish to see him if he had no better motive—he said if I got into any trouble, & would let him know[,] he would come a hundred miles to assist me—
Arrived at the Camp 3 miles from Nauvoo—and the beautiful Temple in full view—a lovely location! I fairly revel in these beautiful spots—They are just after my heart, and I feel that the Lord is blessing us every day and every hour[,] for which may I be grateful for and never forget to be thankful and show forth my gratitude by my consistence—Oh! My Father[,] assist me—for I feel my weakness—
Wednesday 15th Lovely morning but the wind is high—The prospect is lovely—We have just had breakfast—Robert Neslen has been sitting in my carriage with me, and talking over a few things—The freedom & liberty of this life suits me exceedingly well—A good deal of company came in the afternoon—Some were old Mormons—but half dead—
Monday, thunder storm in the mo[rn]ing. Had dinner[,] and after Mr—Shores came to drive me out in his Buggy—and to call upon us generally. he is much taken up with our family—even with Ann as well—We all have a charm for him—he says he thinks too much of us—he brought a bottle of Madeira for the ladies—he took me to a beautiful spring and gave me some of the water[,] putting some wine into it for me—Truly his kindness to me in a foreign land has something touching in it—and I cannot but feel to respect him—May God bless him! here is another—answer to Br. Larkin’s prayer that friends should be raised up for me all the way[.] Mr—& Mrs[.] Strife were also exceedingly kind—
May 18th My beloved Father’s birthday[.] Last night a severe thunder storm. Tolerable fine day—How I wish I could hear how they are all getting on in England—but I get no letters—and I pine over it—What a blessed thing is a letter! Truly[,]writing is a blessed and divine art!—I love it with all my heart
Last night after we were in bed, 700 Bullocks and a host of the Brethren came into camp weary and worn—Kept the girls up cooking for them—‘till 12 or 1 OC—This is a lovely spot but the rattlesnakes and other reptiles take off the poetry to me—How true it is that we must have the evil & the good in about the same ratio—I wish we were in the Valley—My heart pines for the Mountains of Ephraim—
19th Fine Morning—Claudius had made up his mind to go to Keokuk—and of course that was sufficient[.] The carriage & Horses were to go—& some of us—At last Georgie & Bertha went & C. and Robert N. They did not return until 8 in the Evening—Br. Haight[,] J. Young—Eldredge, V[.] Shirtliffe dined here—I cut their Hair—and Lizzie brushed Br. Harmon’s[,] who was also there—They also drank tea with us[.] I had a beautiful walk by myself, as I did the night before—Oh! how much I enjoyed it—After I returned S.N. asked me if I would walk with him—We went a little way[,] talking confidentially[,] as we are wont to do—-Poor fellow! but still his trials are not greater than other peoples—May God strengthen him—Mentally and physically[,] is my daily prayer[,] for I value him as a friend & Br.—Went to bed late, as I talked with Sussannah a little while
20th Lovely morning—Oh! this is a sweet spot—The same party breakfasted with us—at eleven I made them Eggs beaten up with wine & brandy—They dined with us—I then went & sat in my carriage as usual—Br. Eldredge came & talked with me—In the course of our talk, it came out he had 2 wives! He was the first man that ever confessed that to me[.] I exclaimed[, “]Oh! Br. Eldredge![”] he is a good man[.] I liked him as soon as I saw him—there is a chaste look about him—
Saturday 21st Lovely day[.] In the evening I went for a walk alone—I shall long remember this lovely location—I do so much enjoy it—Saturday night & Sunday morning[,] violent thunder storm and pierced with rain which continued until Sunda[y,] 22nd I had my breakfast & dinner in my carriage. We all felt triste—Had it been fine we should have had much company. Went to bed early—In the night was awoke by someone touching the carriage[;] looked out of the window & saw S.N. sitting over a fire[.] He was on watch—Felt rather poetical about it[,] but have not yet Embodied my thoughts—
May 25th. Left our late Locality and went up the Hill[.] here we have been till this morning
May 27th My first daughter’s birthday—She would have been 24 or 5 but she is gone to her Father in Heaven[.] Walked alone in the Evening down to our late location[.] Enjoyed it—A meeting in the evening to organize the company—Mrs. Neslen complained to me and seemed in a bad spirit—27th left again & came into our present location—a lovely spot! Oh! how I enjoy these exquisite places—They are my delight! and I feel I have nothing to regret[.] “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” literally and I Bless God for all things—Would that all were as happy as I am—S.N. is often my companion—always my friend & confident [confidant].
28th Left Sugar Creek at 8 AM and journeyed to the prairie[,] a distance of about 15 miles where we camped—We passed through Farmington and over the Mississippi. Just before we reached our destination we had nearly had a serious accident—Going down a steep < short> hill[,] with a muddy place at the foot of it our Horses sunk in up to the middle & could not extricate themselves or the carriage—They got them out and then Br. [Christopher] Arthur brought his horses & fastened them to the back of the carriage and drew it out—the brethren pushing at the wheels. One of our Horses in the morning had been very gay and had broken the whipple tree—which we had stopped to get mended. Had he been in it, [it] might have been a serious affair—but everything proves daily—hourly[,] to me that “whatever is[,] is right[,]” when applied to the people of God. I feel through all things to rejoice and to thank Him always, for indeed He has been very good to me from the beginning of my life to the present moment—and I daily experience[,] “Not more than others I deserve—yet God hath given me more”—
Sunday[,] May 29th Had a good night and awoke refreshed—being very tired last night[.] I wish Mr. Shores could have come again to take me out for a drive once more—he certainly was very kind, and kindness in a foreign land is doubly valuable—How it calls out the heart with its noblest and best affections—
Monday Arose early[,] and started, Had to pass a terrible place—but Claudius went forward & they laid down trees & bushes[,] & we got over pretty well—had nearly had an accident with the carriage, but our guardian angels were around us[,] & it all passed off with a little fright! Camped soon after we passed “Dog Town"—
Walked at the back of the camp in the evening, & fell in with a Scotchman—he had been in America some years Mr. King bought a yoke of oxen off him—he brought them up next morning[,] and drove me over a bridge & places that I was afraid to pass—We talked much during the time, and he seemed pleased—and said he hoped we should meet again—also a friend of his, a nice man who had been in England—I drove over some horrid places, which made me very nervous for long after—Often when coming to a dangerous place[,] I have stopped the Horses & prayed the Lord to give His Angels charge of us—I’ve got over—Sometimes I would call Ann when no man could be got & she would head the Horse or perhaps drive them through!—
At last we camped near String town—A Thunder storm came on us as soon as the Tent was put up—I had not felt well for some days & this evening I feared I was going to have an attack of Erihsiplas—I had worn my English bonnets
up to this time day and the sun scorched my face—It felt on fire—Mr. Shores took particular pains to caution us against getting our complexions spoilt—even Ann he talked to about covering her arms—he said he hated to see a woman’s fine skin burned up—Mr. Shores “How work a man!![”] Went to bed early & had a tolerable night—Was awake[ne]d by the men greasing my carriage wheels[,] wherein I was sleeping—I found my face & eyes swollen[,] lips parched & tongue white—I have been excited by driving over these awful places—However I eat 2 or 3 mouthfuls and mounted my post[,] i.E.[,] to drive the Horses. They are pets—& illegible plenty of spirit and such frightful places! I feel sure few women (English) dare drive over where I have gone—and it has shaken my nerves into a muddle—At half past 2 a thunder storm came on—Could do nothing but sit still and wait—it pounded down in torrents[.] at last we got some tea—I did not get out of the carriage—Ann brought it to me and I enjoyed it as well or better than I ever did in my drawing room—I then made part of the bosom of a shirt for Tom Owen [Thomas Owen King, Jr]—and made up my journal so far—Thank God for all things—I rejoice evermore and am grateful that I feel well tonight—Bertha not very well—The rest quite well.
Wednesday 8th, June Anniversary of Margaret’s wedding day—20 years ago! It is some days since I journalized—Much has transpired of small matters but which at this time seem all importance. True it is that “trifles make the sum of human things”
The 1st of June Bertha has taken poorly & has continued so up to the present time. I believe it is the Lord’s plan to punish her for a complaining, disobedient spirit to which she has forever given way to and has not been produced by this journey or anything attendent on it. It seems inherent in her. Had she only now given way to it I should have thought the present circumstances were too trying for her, but such is not the case. For when surrounded by all that mortal girl could wish she was discontented as at the present time, and that complaining, unhappy spirit has attended her every step of our voyage and journey. And my heart tells me it is necessary that she should be afflicted that she may be brought to know herself. I have prayed much about her, and give her now entirely into the Hands of the Lord to do as He plases with her, for I have long felt that she was more than I could manage!
June 6th A baby died—Oh! by the bye—on Sunday we were camped on a beautiful Hill & had afternoon—service and all seemed to enjoy it much. the Sacrament was administered—a few strangers were present who expressed themselves much pleased & edified[.] Friday morning we came down the steepest & most frightful hill I ever saw—tho’ we had passed through a splendid country before we came to it—Monday Sister [Maria Howse] Howe’s baby died & was buried the next morning before we started—We then traveled on thro’ the new Town of Clariton—
June 7th I went to a store and bought a few things that we needed and we then came on to our camping place this morning—
June 8th We started at 8 OC[,] but it came on rain[,] and we were obliged to Camp at 12 OC—All very wet. I brought Bertha in the carriage—but she complained of cramped limbs & fatigue so she might as well have been in the wagon—here we are all wet & uncomfortable externally[,] but with a tolerable degree of peace and equanimity[.] for myself I feel happy all the day, and only wish that all surrounding spirits were as happy & peaceful as my own—I have been blessed with good health except sea sickness & debility in consequence[,] ever since I left England. And I am a marvel to myself, for truly I have had many trials—but then God has blessed me every day—and raised up friends that have been kind & good to me[,] even in a foreign land—I have ever found friends or at any rate one friend[,] go where I might[,] that has stuck closer to me than a brother!
Saturday[,] June 12th started at a quarter to nine in the morning[.] reached Pisgah about 4—and our camping place about 5 OC[.] had tea & went to bed soon—Ann washed some things for us—
Bertha still ill and very troublesome. She is a strange unaccountable girl. I feel she did not enter this Church with the right spirit, consequently she has never had the spirit of the work, and has not progressed in it. Yet she came in of her own will and pleasure. Here I take a breathing pause—It seems hardly worth while to write every day[’]s journal[,] for they consist all the time of thunderstorms—mud holes[,] making bridges—getting wet thro’[,] beds and all[.] I note down—some of these[,] & then add how I enjoy my carriage bed & how thankful I am for my many blessings &c, &c
June 24th 53 Yesterday morning very busy packing in the waggons—re-arranging the things—Luggage, &c &c In the afternoon Mr King, Sam Neslen and I went to the bluff City to see Sister Merrill—She was quite overjoyed at seeing us—She had letters for me from Br. Johnson, Wallace[,] and Larkin and also one from Mr. Barber—but Oh! that ugly little word—they were in a box that had not yet arrived—and indeed[,] she almost feared was lost!!! High ho! how trying are such things[.] but ‘tis vain to repine—disappointment in such matters appears to be my lot—or rather[,] I seem in my present dearth to be unable to lose anything—
the Bluff City is most beautifully situated[.] it is a spot marvelous for its beauty—but the Houses are poor—and the people look queer and uncultivated—S.N. and I richly enjoyed ourselves—We had some delicious coffee with Sister Crawley—where Sister Merrill is staying—
We also called on Sister Bray—then came home rather late Mr King being very nervous on account of the bad road—however at last we got into camp safely and to bed—Claudius sent me a glass of port wine[,] enjoyed it much. S.N. came to bid me good night[.] I anticipate that “Good night[,] God Bless you,” as the ultimatum of the good things I experience through the day—He has been ever kind—gentle and respectful to me—and in the dearth and the wild of this journey[,] such are to be blessings that I cannot over look[.] I acknowledge the kindness of the Lord in sending him to me—in my present circumstance[,] for whom can I make a friend of? I dare not tell Mr King much that has troubled me and does still—he came out for the love of his family, and for the cause of God & the love I bear him I wish to make his path as smooth as I can—My son is a child—I cannot tell him—& Claudius I have not full confidence in—and he holds me aloof[,] and is often unkind to me—and inconsiderate of my feelings[.] but Samuel is wise & kind[,] & withal my friend[.] and I can trust him with my life if need be—and all that is dear to me—Oh! those dear wandering letters! Wandering Stars are they to me[.] Oh! my Father! give Thine angels charge concerning them—for in my present dearth[,] all things are valuable! that is, of love & kindess
Mr. King and Claudius gone off to buy a waggon and cattle—Mr. K: to give him 43—10 and he will buy them & bring on our Luggage[,] but the waggon & Cattle are to be his all the time!! I don’t understand this logic! Well[,] I am in a school, and if I receive the lessons aright, I shall be improved by them[,] if no[,] they will do me har—Oh! my Father! hold me and bless me—or how shall I proceed?
Last day of peace—endangered on the beauty of the Missouri river—I feel weary today and my Spirit flags— drove thro the water up to the Axeltree of the carriage—few women would have dared to have done it—I went behind Claudius [V. Spencer]—Met two Brethern in the water—One turned and walked by my carriage til I was out of the “deep waters[.]” it was very kind of him & I will not forget it—I must learn his name?—I know his face well[.] I wish I could get my letters—but it is a satisfaction to know they were written—Bless the Lord for the kind friends that I have—it is in answer to B Larkins prayers & his words[.] Certainly no woman had ever [had] more disinterested Love and kindness offered to them that I have ever had bestowed on me! & I thank God for it is better to me than Gold or Silver—Here followed a few petty disagreables—tho’ not petty at the time to those who were made to feel them—but I will not write them down—let them go!—A few weeks more and I shall enter that renowned place “The Vally[.]” I feel I cannot analize my feelings at the present time—they are so complicated—and I see thru a glass very darkly[.] There is a strong Vein of pleasure & happiness and then there are uncertainties—but my Father, Thou knowest I have given all my offering into thy keeping—& I know in Whom I have trusted—This night a dreadful thunder storm & other annoyances came—here follow some more remarks which I throw into my oblivious reservoir—and I finish by blessing the Lord for His goodness!
July 3 rd Sunday—Lovely morning—No prayer[.] I feel starved spiritually—but soon we will hear the Prophets Voice—S.N.[,] Lizzie & I walked to the top of one of the beautiful Hills that surround this spot—but on the top Lizzie gathered some “fat hen” for dinner—descended & returned home—put my carriage in order[,] read in the Bible & wrote—The sun is near setting on those beautiful hills—The Cattle are feeding—as tho’ they they knew it was their supper time—and all around looked beautiful[.] The girls are in the Tent talking—Anne washing the supper things—Mr King sitting at the side of the Tent & Claudius with[illegible]—talking! S:N: [Samuel Neslen Jr.] walking around our circle—he ever appears to be happy to be near us—& I feel he is my friend & does me good—How I wish I could hear from my dear parents[.] it would comfort me and be a delight—Here follow a pouring out of sorrowful feelings—always winding up with Thankfulness for my great blessings—seven OC same day—Claudius gave me a glass of port wine being the 4th of July!! and asked me for a Toast for my adopted Country! This filled up my heart which was full before—I got out of the Tent and walked to the top of one of these beautiful Hills—where I sat down & prayed & thought, then returned.—Georgey came & sat in my Carriage also Br. Robert—Then he went and Sam came[.] The fireflies are beautiful here[.] They are like diamond dust over every thing at night;
7th Better this morning[.] Anne [Wright] brought me[,] with her accustomed attention[,] some Tea & toast. Enjoyed it much[.] felt better—at 7 OC started on our way—[illegible] have felt better to day as S:N: said I would last night—got safe into camp & to bed[.] Anne has been very attentive to me and her duties generally and this is something on the plains[.] Started at 7 OC [.] nice morning—a flat road[,] high grass[.] road not very good—camped for an hour to water the Cattle—we also got some refreshment—Started again & got to our camping place about 4 OC—a tolerable nice place[.] had tea &c#8212;felt better as S:N: said I should[.] he came & sat with me a short time at the luncheon hourMusquitoes troublesome but all things considered[,] all is well [.] My heart rejoices that every day we are approaching nearer to the Valley[.] I long for my letters—dreamt last night that Louisa & Mr. Barber were married in secret[.] saw him very plainly[.] I know all about it!
9th Started at 4 OC in the morning—got to a camping place at 9[.] had breakfast—On again—crossed the Platte river—last night we had a syllabub. S: and R: [Robert] Neslen with us[.] a tempest in the night—alarm from the Watch at 3 OC that the Cattle were gone astray? false report—Made partly a sun bonnet to day—went to bed—slept nicely
10th Rose at ½ 6—got ready to start at 7—Went 10 miles to Loup Fork Ferry[.] ferried over by 5 OC PM[.] set the waggon & Tent—washed & had tea & wrote this much of my journal and here I feel to thank Thee oh! my Eternal Father for thy great and boundless goodness to me & mine and to the camp generally for great kindness to us on this long journey—truly His Hand has been displayed almost palpably to us His frail & erring people!—This is the 7th Sunday after Trinity[.] I recall how often we have sung that beautiful collect and its no less beautiful accompaniment—and a 1000 recollections crowd upon me—
S: & R: Neslen came into our Tent in the Evening[.] we sang—a beautiful moonlight night—soon all went to bed—S:N: & I walked thro’ the camp last thing—then bade good night at the carriage door—
llth[.] We woke in the morning with the cry that the Cattle were all gone astray!! all the men called up! false alarm!!—at 6 OC S.N: put two lovely Tiger Lillies thro’ the curtains of my carriage—the offering pleased me every kind of act however small seems a blessing in the dearth of the present time—he is ever kind to me—God sent him to me!—We went off to a pretty camping place late—but a regular musquitoe bottom—
12th[.] Wet morning—set off—went on till the evening, camped again—S:N: not well—came and sat in the carriage with me—had some nice conversation—as we always do when we talk at all[.] bid him “good night” and to bed—at 9 or before.
13th[.] Slept feverish and awoke unrefreshed. Thunder in the night—off at 9—not good roads—slight mud holes—& no good Water—got to a place at 4 OC where there was some tolerable good water—long grass and hosts of snakes! Which destroy my happiness—got into the Carriage and finished my sunbonnet for Georgey—Carried it into the Tent when I went in to tea—-had nice tea & toast bacon—pudding & rice—enjoyed it much—felt grateful for all things & happy—Mr. King was in a grumbling spirit which marred it as he often does—finding fault with every thing—This is his way at times—he would do it were he surrounded with all he wished—so I do not feel so bad over it[.] I detest a grumbling spirit—I had washed him and brushed his hair & did what I could for him—S:N: a little better—This morning before starting I gave him a glass of new Milk with some brandy in it—I love to do good[.] I take not much [illegible] & he says I always do him good[.] but I do all I can and that the Lord will accept—
14th[.] A long day’s travel all weary and worn—I felt used up—all things looked dark—the dark things darker—and the bright things clouded—much that I have suffered crowded upon my mind—the harshness I had suffered, the changes—the privations—all—all crowded upon me—and steeped my soul in the waters of Marah!— Oh! how I wept! for I felt
15th[.] St. Swithen—did not rise till 7 OC[.] got some breakfast—felt shaken and triste— set off to walk—having declared I would not drive the Horses again—as I had been made to do—Having had an accident yesterday—poor Tom having run his waggon against the carriage as we were waiting at a horrible mud hole—I have often been spoken to severely when an accident has happened—so I came to the decision—I would drive them no more—and poor Tom—a mere child—has been made to drive a waggon—when of course he knows nothing about ox teaming—proposed Mr. Spencer to drive it—but Mr. King would not hear of any thing but that I must drive it as before,—So I walked on leaving them to settle it! Anne was started off with it and overtook me—I soon rode, still feeling queer—On we went Loui[s]e looking gloomy, I have done what I could to cheer and comfort her on this journey—I think also that I have done much to keep up faith and good feeling & Love—but I have failed in most cases—howbeit, I feel to leave all tho’ my heart often suffers—oh! for the Valley!—Last night I had a few words with Claudius[.] he has taken a curious course with us, & me in particular—he does not seem to me to have the elements of happiness within himself & therefore he cannot confer happiness. We crossed “Prairie Creek,” a wicked creek as C. calls it—they threw in grass and brush—& wood & Earth & so filled it up enough for the waggons to cross—all are by this time nearly over—Sam. & Robt. Neslen came & chatted with us—these young men cause sunrise often to disappear from my orbit—they are always kind and often very useful to us—they are always on hand to do us good where they can
Sunday July 17th[.] We again crossed this wicked creek twice!—and then went on to wood river—which was a bad place to cross but all got over safely—Camped by the side of it[.] In the evening about 11 OC a dreadful Tempest—yea aweful—I think, I never in England witnessed such a one—I thought it would have blown the carriage over—I prayed earnestly[.] I felt my prayers were heard—Mr. King stead [stayed] asleep the whole time[.] at last after about an hour it abated—The Watch were indefatigable & the Cattle were all safe—our bed got very wet—at last got some sleep—dreamed I got my letters—but I thought they had been opened and were briefer than usual—this I do not believe would be the case—at any rate I wish I had the trial—in the morning felt tired and frustrated as I often do after a tempest—Walked some of the way with Bertha & Br. Samuel—sang two Hymns with Anne & him—then came into my Carriage & wrote this record of my journey[.] I feel happy today but by no means elated—had meeting in the afternoon[.] Br. Hayes[,] Neslen, Walker and Spencer spoke—A Baby blest by the name of Samuel[,] My Brother’s & Grandfather’s name—May all the blessings spoken over it be ratified in the Courts above[.] Some Californian emigrants passed while we were in meeting—
Monday 18th[.] felt tolerably—Sister Dye confined last night with a son—these Mormon Women[.] I think I should have been left in my grave in such a case—but truly God fits the back to the burden[.] Thus we realize deity—and I think in nothing more than in such cases—She went on with the Train and reported “all right” at night “going on well[.]” “beautiful boy” &c &c[.] Long drive to day got in late—had a deal of trouble to find a camping place—at last Br. Spencer selected a spot in the midst of the wild Pairie—Our carriage was set close by a[illegible] hole which we all thought was a grave! had the carriage & waggons moved on a little[.] Went to bed at dark—after I got in smelt a very unpleasant smell, thought it came from the old grave!!—the thought of it made me feel ill—and I could not sleep—at last fell asleep—Soon awoke feeling ill—all next day felt unwell—was it fancy?—it was not fancy that I felt ill, but the cause I leave in doubt—the idea was enough—
Tuesday 19th[.] Drove to wood river, crossed a deep ravine and then on 2 miles[.] Camped close by some Californians with a large flock of sheep—slept well—
Wednesday 20[.] started Early—Claudius drove the Horses attached to the carriage[.] Georgey[,] I and Lizzie rode with him—also Louie—Had some agreeable & Edifying talk upon plurality—the first wife being head or Queen[.] Lizzie Said she would be first wife or never be married[.] and Br. Spencer tried to convince her it was a mistaken idea—but it seems to be incorporated in her system[.] The idea of being great according to her notions of greatness! ne[ve]rtheless she’ll learn better in time—we are all more or less biassed by such feelings—Crossed several creeks & above all Elm Creek, where Br. Spencer was driving the horses over[.] it was an aweful bridge where few but “Mormons” would think of crossing[.] a large piece of wood stuck up at which the brown mare stoped & Lo! she pushed the other Horse right into the water! but by dint of real presence of mind & management we saved the carriage from being dragged in—the Californians came to our assistance, & we got the Horses landed without a buckle being broken!—after this wonderful feat Br. Spencer
Spencer jumped into the water to his Knees) he helped over the 48 waggons! One of the Californians killed a Buffalo—we had a large portion of it—had some fried for dinner—got into camp late—had tea & to bed—did not sleep the first watch! S: N. on watch till 12 OC—saw them thro’ the window of the carriage—then pacified myself & went to sleep—dreamt an uncomfortable dream about my Mother—
21st[.] Rose early—breakfast & then off we were, Claudius drove us—Louie & Georgey & Lizzie rode with us—had more talk upon plurality—but it never seemed a happy theme—arrived at Buffalo Creek—found a letter stuck on a stick from Br. Atchison saying they were all well—i.e. his company and had left some Buffalo meat for us[.] I had the tongue to pickle—got safe over the creek[.] as Sister Chambers came up her Son told us his Father was dead—he had been ill a long time—They asked me to go & look at him—which I did[.] he looked like a statue—so thin & wasted—Death is ever aweful! and it made me feel low & triste[.] at last they all came up & got safely over—we then went to Sister C. & asked her if we could do anything for her—she gave me some domestic to make a shroud or wrapper for the Corpse—which I did[.] I then sent her some wine—for herself and the women who laid him out—dined & Br. Spencer decided he would not go on till tomorrow—So we prefered to wash some clothes—at ¼ to 3 the grave was completed & Br. Spencer told us he wished us to attend the funeral of Br. Chambers to the grave—we did so—it was a nice deep grave[.] they laid leaves at the bottom & then lowered the Corpse into it—some boughs over him & then was filled up—Br. Samuel assisting all thro’[.] Br. Neslen made a head board on which was “Joseph Chambers—native of England aged 53—Anno—53—We can only say “Resquiescat!”
22nd[.] Last night a very heavy tempest—Br. Spencer says the heaviest we have yet had—and we have had many—our bed was very wet indeed[.] we got but very little sleep—had breakfast & started at 10. AM—passed thro’ a very wet road—saw many Buffalos & a rattle snake—at 1 OC arrived at deep creek—water too deep for us to cross—obliged to camp[.] got our Biscuit wet—had some fried for dinner and Bacon & boiled beef[.] fine day and a nice healthy air—Claudius[,] Georgey[,] Louie [Louisa King] & Lizzie [Elizabeth Neslen] rode in the carriage[.] wrote a few of my thoughts to S:N. not being able to have a word with him and want to do so—Oh! how I long to be in the Valley! to behold the Servant of the Lord! and those that have been so kind & good to me in past days—& whose Society I have so much enjoyed ni [in] England[.] I feel when I attempt to realize it it will be almost happiness too much, and then I shall almost feel like Israel of old—“Let me die” since I have seen thy face”—it is enough—
26th of July—Days have passed & I have not Journaled[.] To Day rose early and started on our Journey—after Camping near the Platte River—had a good night[.] walked on—after a time got into the carriage alone with Claudius—We got into an agreeable chat—He asked me who Susannah was engaged to!!—as I had told him I Knew—I at once said “May I speak plain?” he said yes—I said to you!!! This led to an excitable conversation—for certainly I did not think he had treated me well very often
and fe We then got up to the girls & feeling quite unfit for conversation or conference—I got out walked alone—and at last rode in the waggon[.] staid & had some refreshment at 1 OC—in the afternoon rode again—with Georgey—Louie & Lizzie—at last I suggested we Staid as I was afraid of Indians—C. said there was but one lady to take—being Miss [Elizabeth] Stayner—as I and C. were married—& Louie engaged! Louie started and said—it was more then she knew!—The conversation then went on in a diamond cut diamond fashion strain between C. & me—at last he said I should either do an immense deal of goo—or an immense deal of evil!!! I felt this to be a most cutting remark—God knows how I desire to do right—and as I love him I will have no other faith than that I shall do an immense deal of good—in my past life I have had the power to do so—& I believe that you will love & nurture that which He alone has sown & nurtured—fostered—I will believe that the past will be a guarantee for the future but I thought it unkind & unmanly to attack me in that rude manner, for he can not but know how great are my trials & how I do try to be brave
27th[.] Claudius brought me a note this morning in answer to the one I wrote him—Last evening after his cutting remark—it was good—but somehow he does not comfort my heart—is the fault in me? Not all certainly—I think we lack that confidence in each other which makes advice acceptable—I drove the Horses a good part of the day—C: being with his Team—Staid in midday nearly an hour—Saw a company of people upon the hills opposite—set off again[.] a Tempest gathering—got to a Camping place at 5 OC—a sharpish tempest—Sat all the evening in my carriage—read Brigham!! Sermon & other things in the Deseret news—S.N. came for a few moments but no talk—it seems we can seldom talk now—it appears there is an influence at work—trying to destroy our friendship—or at any rate the life & beauty of it—went to bed at 8 OC—
Sunday July 25th of July 1853—MCiii
Set off in the morning having been detained a day on account of the creek being so swollen—got over safe—Br. Walker taken ill and died almost instantly—On we went[.] Came in sight of a company & found it was the Elders that we expected—and oh! Joy! as soon as I got [across the] creek Br. Spencer being first with Georgey[,] Louie[,] Miss Stayner & Lizzie with Mr. King—Louie held up a letter—found it was one from Br. Johnson sent to me by the Elders—this was an unexpected pleasure and I enjoyed it much—tho’ it was a brief affair—but all right—it was a letter! and thats something as times go—in the afternoon we had a meeting—several spoke—among them Brs. Ross & Major—Br. M. brought my letter and I gave him some to carry to England and ½ a sov[e]reign for a present[.] gave Captain Merril a sovreign
and love for the company—Mr. King gave him one also ditto—ditto[.] a party of them took supper in our Tent—and we did what we could for them[.] baked some cakes for them & gave them sugar and tea &c &c#8212;They stood on the opposite side of the creek & prayed and blest us as a company and said we should be blest[.] We then bid farewell & on we went on our respective journeys—
July 8th[.] Had a good night wind very high—feared the carriage would be capesied [capsized.] Started in the morning at 7—soon reached a mudhole—flies & musquitoes very troublesome—it was a horrid place—Claudius drove me ove—the girls went in the waggons—some wheels were broken—had to wait for them to be mended—Tis very troublesome but words are vain in such a case—Deeds not words is indeed the motto of this journey—if not of the Church itself.—I feel weakened & my Spirit caged by stopping—
Last of July Sunday—rose—breakfasted and started at 8 O—lovely morning[.] drove over mudholes—creeks &c till we arrived at an immense bluff which we ascended & found ourselves on a high eminence—soon camped at 3 OC—poor water—but otherwise pleasant[.] We had some wood with us & found Buffalo chips[.] I have no Sunday feelings while traveling on a Sunday yet I desire to go forward—yesterday we had a long day’s travel & camped near the Platte river—S.N: came for a few minutes[.] said he felt sad—we had a little talk—but said nothing tho’ both inferred that something made us feel triste—we seemed truly to understand each other—[
July 29] Friday evening—he drank tea with us but there did not seem to be a happy spirit within the Tent—the fact is C.V. feels—towards tho’ I know not for what reasons—we all parted and said good night, Louie & Lizzie stood by their waggon for a moment, & I stood by my carriage when some one came behind me—it was S.N. came to bid me good night Valley fashion! He is ever good & kind to me & in this dearth I can but love him—may God bless him for his good
August 1st[.] Another day nearer the Valley—we have come about 19 miles today—good road—a few creeks & no mud holes! had no accidents[.] I hear S.N. singing—I am glad for he has seemed low of late—we all feel tired & somewhat used up but we shall be immortal till our work is done—oh! my Father my heart is full but I do not feel to make it passable but to Thee work for me—and by the whisperings of thy Spirit hear me right—remove far from me those that stand in my path to salvation!
2nd[.] Lovely morning[.] this day 20 years [since] Mr. Sen[illegible] died—we started at eight OC—we went on very che[e]rily—at last met an Indian on horseback[.] he told us 300 were ahead—he seemed very friendly—rode by the side shaking hands &c &cBr. Spencer made a few arrangements—and soon we met the whole body of them—a party of Horsemen came forward to meet us—Br. Spencer advanced with his gun & made a sort of military salute or pass—which they responded to very gracefully—descending from their Horses and kneeling or rather squatting in their not ungraceful Indian fashion—Br. S. then went up & shook hands with the chief who presented a paper recommending them to all white men they might meet—The name of the chief was “Shell”—he came forward to the carriage with Br. S. who introduced him to us—& to Georgey as his Squaw!! he shook hands with all of us—Br. S; gave him some whiskey & water which he seemed to enjoy after he had tasted it—but he seemed to fear to taste it till Br. Spencer had done so[.] We [-] the Camp[.] all contributed some sugar & coffee—Biscuit & &c for them—and we then bid adieu—They drawing off on one side to allow our train to pass on—did not camp till 2 OC—by accident I got a long way off but still in sight—enjoyed my silent position as I ever do enjoy solitude[.] at last gathered the Cattle and off we went—had not gone far when a thunder storm came—had to “put up”—when it ceased on we went and are now encamped 2 miles from Crab Creek—
3rd[.] rose & breakfasted & started[.] passed Crab Creek—camped at 1 OC after passing the Bluff ruins—They are very beautiful—I should like to have an explanation about them but I suppose none know their history—They stand out in bold relief with a silent eloquence that speaks trumpet—tongued to every thinking mind—There they are looking eternally silent—walked as I often do after dinner or rather supper—The musquitoes dreadful! Had a talk with Sister Smith of Northampton[.] She said she quite enjoyed it—We have had the Platte river by us for the last week[.] it is very pretty—full of little islands—oh! I can write no more[.] The musquitoes drive me mad!—oh for an end to this journey! truly we pass over “The bridge of sight” to the Valley of the free!—
August 5th[.] A lovely days travel! This day these sublime Bluffs in view all day!—They placidly speak a designer—Tho’ ages must have called a long time that design was carried out—I felt extremely ill & prostrate last night & this morning I revived again! and we went without water all day till 8 OC in the Evening when we camped—I went to bed at once and Anne brought me my tea in bed—S.N. came to bid me good night—Br. Spencer also came and we had a long talk in the carriage—enjoyed both!!—
August 6th[.] arose & set off at 8 OC[.] got into camp at 3 OC—Cleaned out the carriage & other jobs—got tea—
Sunday 7th[.] Fine morning—got into Camp about 3 OC—Just as tea was ready 2 indians came & put us about a little & frightened us some[.] a strong guard was put on at night—I dreamed several things[.] among other things that I returned to England and to D.D. and all looked so changed & I felt so wretched that I had been so foolish as to return, I will not go into particulars[.] suffice that when I awoke and found it to be a dream I did not know how to feel thankful enough—and I feel sure such would exactly be my feelings—all is well—
Monday [8th.] Louie very poorly—nervous and weak[.] Claudius laid hands upon her—& advised her going into his waggon with Georgey—so she went all day & they seemed very happy & to enjoy themselves right well—I have had some conversation with Georgey that told me their minds a little but I do not feel to write it—yea, I don’t feel to analize my own feelings but somehow they do not feel happy and comfortable when I think about it—Whether my feelings are right I do not know—but I wish to do right & to be right—I must leave it where I leave all I possess—in the hands of Him who is my Father as He is the Father of all! Some American gentlemen came from the Fort & talked with us[.] one is going on to the Salt Lake & offers to take letters for me—I sent one to Br. Johnson by him—
August 9th—Tom Owen [Thomas Owen King, Jr.] not very well today
11th[.] Dull weather this morning—rose & drest—had breakfast in the carriage—then got out and arranged my bed &c#8212;and then went into the Tent—a gentleman soon came who staid nearly all the morning—had quite a chat—I then went to the carriage and found S.N. sitting there—he remained about an hour reading to me—but here there is no rest—they came to grease the carriage! Soon Tom came feeling ill—wanted me to wash him—I did so—and he felt better—
12th[.] Finer day—Louie’s birthday[.] We had a plum pudding—some gentlemen came and dined with us & Mr. MacDonald[,] Fleming[,] Stewart & Haight—had a meeting in the afternoon enjoyed it pretty well—but I feel saddened—all seem changed & somehow against me!—
13th[.] Left our encampment near fort Laramie[.] Journeyed on to a place near a Creek—where we found Brs. Haight & Stewart already camped—felt low—mournful & worn down—I see the determined attention Claudius pays to Louie, and it takes away my soul—drinks up my spirit[.] I feel too that it affects Georgey!—Surely he might wait till he gets to the Valley—it seems to me that such a girl as Georgey ought to content a man for a proper time at any rate—I cannot reconcile myself to this new doctrine coming in such a form—I feel that it works upon Georgey’s feelings also—Oh! My Father—help me & give me not up to my own dark thoughts—Dear Tom Owen very unwell—went to bed unhappy and dejected
14th[.] Tom awoke us this morning about 2 OC having got up in a delirium—came to our carriage calling to us that some of the carriages were gone ahead[.] we took him into our carriage bed for an hour to soothe & comfort him—& then Mr. King took him back to his own bed—he rose again early—we had breakfast & started at 7 OC—T:O: in the carriage with me—he was drowsy & quite delirious all day—Oh! how unhappy I have felt this day! Claudius is so very odd & emotional to me—God knows I desire to do right—& to please him as far as is consistent but it appears I have not the power.
15th[.] T:O: very ill—which makes all look dark around me—Br. Neslen & Claudius administered to him at noon as he lay in the carriage—I felt wretched but hope at the bottom of all—Claudius asked him before he laid hands upon him—if he knew what he must do to get well—! he said “have faith in God![”.] he then clasped his hands & went off into a beautiful little prayer which startled us all—Claudius thought it was one he had learned—but not so—it was spontaneous[.] it broke up the deep fountains of my heart & all seemed affected—They then laid hands upon him and we all felt he had received a blessing[.] the disease / mountain fever / seemed arrested from that time—tho’ he still continued very ill—Claudius slept with him that night
16th[.] T.O still very ill—delirious—traveled all night till 1 OC “under the moon[.]” My thoughts were “legion” & have been for some days past—but when is it they were not? Thought with me is a kingdom—got me to laugh & have some tea & went to bed at daybreak—Tom slept with me in the carriage[.] rose early—
17th[.] Rose & washed him all over with Saleratus water—got him into the Tent and soon again into the carriage which was set in a shady place—sat with him all day he was calmer—seemed exhausted—S.N. came & sat with me in the afternoon—
18th[.] T:O: still very ill—had him administered to by Br. Arthur & Claudius he being all unconscious yet I felt more happy & hopeful—
19th[.] Set off at 2 AM[.] T:O no worse—a Beautiful morning lovely air—got into camp at 1 OC John Long ran against one of our other waggons & smashed the wheel! consequently we could not go on[.] Sat in the carriage all the afternoon with T:O: [.] he no worse—I hope better—S.N. went on “Doctor” to our late camping place to find one of their lost oxen[.] Slept in the carriage with T.O.—
20th[.] Lovely morning—beautiful pure air—quite ambrosial! I hope Tom is better—but still nothing very decided about him—I washed him all over in vinegar & water—changed his bed & put him on all clean Linen—he looked comfortable and comforted my poor wounded heart—I feel still hopeful—I cannot think the Lord will take him from me in this embryo stage of his temporal & spiritual Existence! surely He will remember mercy seeing the integrity of my heart all my life long——for the consciousness of my imperfections—yet thro’ all one strong pervading bias has run thro’ all I did & said c. & the love of my God & the desire to do His will—I have also sacrificed as ten women have the strength to sacrifice—I stepped out of my beautiful happy Home & from all I held dear for the gospel’s sake—His gospel—& will He forget all this? and is not this dear boy one who promises well to be good & useful—& have I not already burried 4?!!!—and have I not again & again dedicated him to the Lord? and if he will restore him I will religiously carry out my determination and my vow!—Yes—He will be faithful to His promise that those who trust in Him shall not be confounded—and I believe & therefore will I speak—therefore will I hope—therefore will I contend asking all only and entirely in the name of Jesus Xt [Christ]—Amen—
4 OC PM same day[.] We are now camped at Deer Creek, a beautiful place for such wild surroundings[.] Trees & water and a patch of green grass make it an Arcadian Paradise after our weary toil for so long over such an arid soil—After we got in T:O: appeared worse—he had a paroxysm—that quite alarmed me—it appeared anger when I attempted to wash him—he is now calm & lies peacefully Oh! My Father! grant that the destroyer may have no power over him—forgive me if I have done any thing to bring this upon myself for God knows I value his life & want not for the world [to] lose him[.] Oh! set a watch upon my mouth & keep the door of my life—Oh! Spare this child to me Oh!. God my Father 4 weeks more & we shall be in the Valley, or very near it if we have good fortune—is it possible that this long looked for and anticipated—much sought after—much talked of—prayed for—worked for and suffered for event—this consumation devoutly wished for is really so near at hand!!!—I cannot realize it—am I to realize also thy afflictive Hand?—Oh! spare me my Father this one more dreaded caent [sic] I ask it in the name of Jesus XT [Christ]—
Monday 22nd[.] I have been too much engaged & my mind too feeble & full & too unhappy to Journalize—T:O: has been very ill[.] I feel nothing but faith has saved him but today he is decidedly better—and my heart rejoices—yes I am right thankful to my Heavenly Father, to His servants and to my beloved friends for the blessing of his restoration—I ever felt our faith and prayers and exertion, would keep his life on the Earth—Bless the Lord Oh! my soul & forget not all his benefits—for indeed he has been gracious to me—He raised up Bertha who was nearly as sick as T:O.—yet I never saw Death around her but I did around him every day—but she is healed and I feel he is saved—& for all this my heart swells with gratitude—We are now about 380 miles from the Valley—can it be possible? Oh! how sad it seemed to me travelling all night last Thursday & he delirious all the time—but his voice was weak, & quietly like a little child of 5 or 6—& he talked innocently but not outrageously—Once he called out “Mama—Grandfather has been here & Eddie”!!—Oh! how kind is my Father in Heaven! how gently He chastises me, & warns me of the frail tenure of all Earthly possessions! Oh! may these gentle lessons be never forgotten by me but may I apply them to the bettering of my nature—for I desire to be right and to do right—The scenery around is wild & dreary[.] Oh! for the beautiful Valley—where my heart has heavy been—Upper Platte river—
July August—Sunday—I have not journalized for sever[a]l days—much has transpired & I have intended every day to write—but something has always prevented me—or we have been late in Camp—Thought as usual has been busy with me—& I have felt weary & worn both in body & mind—Tom O. has been exceedingly ill but faith has saved him and he is better thank God! I have many thoughts about many things but God is all—sufficient & I will leave all my affairs in His Hands—who knows what is best for me—Oh! may His will be revealed to me—and may I be obedient to it—We have been for some days passing “the Rocky Mountains”[.] they are rather more wonderful than beautiful—yet they are certainly sublime—it seems something marvelous & mysterious that our cavalcade should pass along breaking the Eternal silence of these wild places—my feelings are indefinable but there is a degree of awe & sadness about them to me—yesterday we passed “The Devil’s Gate” but did not see it—Louie went & Lizzie & others but I staid in the Carriage with the invalid—S.N. rode a little while in the carriage with me—we are now only 300 and a few miles from the Valley[.] Marvellous! wonderful! I rejoice, & yet I dread I hardly know why either—Lord Charles Fitzwilliam came by invitation from Claudius[illegible] our Tent and took wine & some refreshment with us—he seemed to enjoy it—he spent a few hours with us [.] he is returning from California—he was entirely clothed in Buckskin—head & feet—like a Mountaineer—I told him I should like to see him walk into some of the splendid drawing rooms of London—how the ladies would stare—illegible, first said a splendid bearded Comet on the 22nd day of August—1853—a death in Camp—Vincent[.] T.O: very poorly—I in low spirits thinking him worse—this death makes me feel gloomy—all were to be off as soon as a wheel was mended[.] the funeral had taken place—we set off—T.O. improved as we went along, and before evening I saw a decided change for the better[.] Sister Neslen brought him some broth which did him good—all were kind[.] he has lost his voice, & cannot articulate a word!—thro’ excessive talking while delirious—Bertha lost her hearing in her attack—both [illegible] To day we passed the splendid Rocky Mountains[.] truly they are “The everlasting Hills”—they are immensely high & look as if piled up by Giants, and some huge stones thrown down—We passed Green river 3 times & saw several Indians—an indian Village and a multitude of Horses—one of the Sisters strayed off & lost her way & fell in with them—they took her money & looked for earrings & jewels—but when the Chief heard of it he whipped them and made them restore all they had taken—& then saw her home himself to our camp!—good for him—had a duck for dinner at 6 OC or later—chatted round the campfire then to bed—but my rest very troubled—heard the wolves howling close to us—had a watch to guard
30th[.] Rose & got off early—T.O. mending thank God!—Sandy road—saw some graves—S.N. came & drove for me a little while—he is ever kind[.] Claudius & I by no means happy together—why I hardly know—but I do not feel that he fills the place of one Son to me yet—& he desires too—to which I am not yet reconciled—Oh! may the Lord reveal His will to me—Mr. King is better—he is kind & good in many ways—tho’ no Mormon—How often I think of my own dear parents—and their love for me!!—
31st[.] Rose after a good night which is something as times go[.] felt happy & refreshed—Temperance in all things sweetens life!—set off on our daily trip—the wind blowing a perfect hurricane—Crossed green river 3 times before 2 OC!!!—What a serpentine affair it is!—Camped—I hope not for the night—one of the Sisters is ill—so we wait for her—how foolish of women to be in that way on such a journey as this! but some people consider nothing but their own appetites[.] Bah! T.O. better thank God! most heartily do I thank Him—Saw several graves this morning—
1st Sept. Thomas Robinson’s birthday[.] I wish he was here with all my heart—he would be a great comfort to us all—This has been a long day’s travel to us—camped at sweet water Creek [Sweetwater River]—in a perfect chasm—got in late—and then off to bed feeling cold—& the carriage not placed nicely or comfortably—but these things are trifles Which by the bye “make the sum of human-things”—came over mountains high & ridgey—They are truly named “rocky mountains” for they were nothing but rocks piled up—T.O. mending but still slowly—very weak. The Saints are all kind—the children & the girls assemble round my carriage every morning just before I start to ask how he is—and to bring him flowers &c#8212;kind little things! only 240 miles from the Valley!! ‘tis wonderful! I seem I cannot realize it—
Sept. 2nd[.] Rose after a tolerable night—T.O: somewhat better—the Cattle all tired out—Set off in the morning & came on 7 miles—& here we are camped at Willow Creek—we wait to day[.] Yesterday Sister Jones was camped with a daughter amid thunder & lightening—I sho[uld] think something of it were it my case—we often get wild ducks & Hares & other game which I like very much but I pine for the Valley—
Sept. 7th Lovely morning—we are camped in a nice place—we are just going off—I have not journalized for some days—perhaps its as well—for my mind has been shook up into a muddle by what I see going on around me, but I hope all will be well—& that the Lord will reveal His will to me, & then I shall be able to obey[.] we have seen such a number of dead oxen it makes me sad—we have lost one thro’ carelessness—perhaps before we get to the Valley we shall be taught the folly of such neglect
Sept. 8th[.] Just going to start this morning when came that Sister [Emma] Sutton was shot in the arm accidentally of course—Br. Spencer went to administer to her & Sister Neslen to bind up the wound[.] We travelled late & met Br. Decker with the mail from the Valley—Claudius gave them some wine—came & asked me for it[.] Nearly a week has past & I have not bidden S.N. “good night![”] I suppose it could not be but I miss his kind “bless you” which ever does me good—The road pretty good the last few days[.] prospect wild[.] were it not for the lovely skies and pure atmosphere it would be bleak indeed but they are something Heavenly!—different to any thing we ever saw in England—reminding me of Byron’s exclamation “So cloudless clear, & purely beautiful, that God alone was to be seen in Heaven”!—T.O. mending fast—tho’ he cannot yet speak! He has been very very ill!—I had a dream this morning that I was pulling out one of his teeth: that was horribly decayed—which I don’t like—
Sept. 10th[.] Yesterday we travelled till quite late & passed some splendid bluffs ruins—These Bluffs are something I cannot describe they are sublime & mysterious—there is beauty & order in them—and it requires no very fanciful stretch of imagination to form Baronial buildings—“Reefs” gateways &c &c#8212;& Georgey even made “The Porter” looking over the gale!! They are very high—I should like to hear a philosophical description of them—they please & interest me more than anything I have language to express—there is much design in them—yet they say they are solely the work of Nature—Well I must leave them like all mysterious things—T.O. mending up to last night when he had an attack of diarhea[.] could my dream portend this?—I trust he will do well yet—but he is very delicate tho’ he has an immense appetite for eating—Last evening S.F.N. came & had a nice chat with me which I enjoyed much—this morning we started at 9 OC & went only 2 miles—camped to feed the oxen here having some food & water—Black’s fork being the name—we now are going on past Fort Bridger—we saw the smoke from it last night—the air here is so pure and rarified—and the skies lovely—Louie not very well—I expect her mind is bothered about what she shall do and I expect C.V. is always after her either by a “dumb expression” or otherwise and she “halts between two opinions”—Well I shall leave it, but as I now feel I shall never give her to him—if it must be it will only be to Georgey that I can ever give her—& she is a gem of
the first water— & worthy of all I can do for her—or her husband either—I only hope he appreciates her!—he ought to—here is another Saturday [September 10]—how fast time flies!—
Sept. 17th[.] I have not had a moment to journalize the past week—I would fain recall a few things[.] We have passed beautiful & sublime scenery, Echo Kanyon especially—that surpasses anything I have yet seen before—and some spots yesterday I felt I could live and die in!—but here we have truly “no continuing City”
Sept. 15th[.] [Evidently one of the “few things” she would “fain recall.”] Last Thursday was a day of days!. The iron belonging to the whipple tree of the carriage broke—I called to Anthony to come and assist me—& Mr King went on—Br. Spencer then detained him to help mend the road—Soon Claudius & I went on—When we soon saw one of our waggons overturned! The very one T.O. was in on it acct [account] of his enfeebled health—Oh! the agony I suffered till we got up to it and found he was safe & well—Darling Georgey with her ever prompt kindness came towards the carriage leading him gently along to let me see he was safe—blessed children!! How dear they were to my poor heart!—even the excess of joy was as hard to bear—but suffice for a moment of agony that I shall long remember[.] We soon got the waggon over & all right again and we camped close by—S.N. came back as they were sent forward in the evening!—he ever does me good by his manly comfort—days passed over after this—beautiful Bluffs—beautiful Kanyons—& some things that were anything but beautiful—sorrows & troubles & tears!—&c &c were mixed up with the beauties of Nature—Our Carriages Horses gave out—perfectly worn down[.] we had oxen put to the carriage but on Sunday the two Brs. Cahoons met & put their horses to our carriage & at last on Monday 19th of Sept. 1853 we entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake!!!—the goal for which we had so long panted—and were set down at Br. Daniel Spencer’s—found her pleasant and kind—she provided for us a delicious supper and was very hospitable—felt tired worn & exhausted—Dear Georgey has been ill some days—very ill to day[.] The company did not come in with us—Lost therefore our kind friends & fellow travelers[,] the Neslens—and I ever miss kind friends—They are scarce—