Transcript

Transcript for Hanson, Frances Hiley Booth, Autobiography 1909, [2-3]

We were very anxious to Emegrate with the Saints to Utah, when the word came to Pres. Edmond Ellsworth from Pres. Brigham Young that the Church Company's where to cross the pla[i]ns with handcarts and for Pres. Ellsworth to organize an Independant Hand cart company for 1856 which he did, and in March 1856 We left our home and friends and went [with] the Saints from Birmingham to Liverpool as members of the independant hand cart company, which sailed on the ship Enoch Train 23ed March 1856. with 534 Saints on board under the direction of Elder James Ferguson.

It is useless for me to atempt to describe my feelings upon leaving all that were near and dear to me only my husband who was filled with the spirit of the gospel and the work which he had undertaken and our dear little daughter lara. Sunday March 23, 1856 the ship Enoch Train sailed from Liverpool Eng. with 534 saints. We had a pro[s]perous voiage altho my husband was very sick for two weeks but finely regained his health, there was one death an old lady was buried in the sea. There was one birth a boy whom was named Enoch Train after the vessil.

Arriving at Boston the first of May 1856[.] From Boston to Iowa camping ground by R railway there we where delayed six weeks wating for the carts. The first evening we were there the br were raising the tents there was a wind storm with lighting and rain very bad but finely we where confortabl for the night. Captain Ellsworth was Pres. Brigham Young's son-in-law.

Whilst we where there my husband worked for a farmer who tryed to persuade him to abandon the hand carts[.] said he could work and get him an outfit for the next summer but he was true to the work he started with even the hand carts. My little daughter had whooping cough from which she recovered nicely. Before starting for Florence the company had to leave there luggage which was piled up out of doors with the understanding that it would be delived at S.L.C that fall but it was not until the next and much of it was received for it was exposed to the weather all winter. 15 pounds pr. head was all that was allowed to be taken with the cam[p]. including beding clothing cooking in fact all we had for use. Our company June 9th 1856 left Iowa City.

Captain Edmund Ellsworth with 497 four hundred and ninety seven souls, 100 carts, 5 wagons and 5 oxen. We travaled through the state of Iowa to the missoury [Missouri] River 300 miles on this part of the journey[.] we were overtaken with a very heavy thunder storm when one of the com. a young man was killed by the lightning[.] it was a very sad experience in our exposed condition withoute any shelter. The com[pany]. where ferryed over the Missoury River and than we where at the Florence Camping ground. Where there was another delay of 3 weeks to repare the carts and etc. That was 9 weeks that we where eating the proviaions that should have sustained us on our journey which caused much suffering for want of it.

My husband carried me over the rivers first taking the cart then wading back for me and some of the sisters would wate for him to help them across.

And so the time came when we started on our weary journey of 1000 miles across the plains[.] our tents were large and roomey for 20 persons[.] there was a captain to each tent[.] Br. John Robinson was our captain[.] 4 carts to a tent one covered for the babys[.] there were two little girls road in our cart about 18 months old each named Clara[.] Clara Robinson and our daughter Clara. (Br. Robinson) taking this cart every day. Sister Robinson and myself walking behind the cart. (and my husband)

We would not dare to leave the cart for fear of being left behind. (After reaching capt in the evening my husband being provided with gun was supposed to go out and hunt game for the use of those in his tent, but after pulling the cart all day he did not feel like hunting game but he did the best he could, one sister said she would have starved it [if] it had not been for his help)[.] The health of the company was pretty good there was two deaths one an old Be. [Brother] I do not know his name. and Br. [James] Birch who was found dead when we awoke in the morning[.] he was fine looking large man but the journey was to much for him and the want of food[.] he said if he died he would be starved to death

We past through the Buffalo country withoute any accident[.] it was a merical [miracle] for we past through great herds going to their winter feed grounds.

Day after day there was the same weary march of from 20 to 30 miles. No one can describe the journey not even those who were members of that camp. Nothing short of the power of the Lord and his overuling providence could have sustained the people[.] as for myself I acknowledge the hand of the Lord over me my husband and our daughter that we lived to reach the place appointed for the gathering of the Lords people.

At the So. Pass we met a very cold Snow Storm which was very bad for there was no fireing only green brecch which the men could get and which would not burn. We could see the mountains a long time before we reached them[.] We would think we shure would reach there to camp in the Canyon but at night they seemed as far as the night before, We were not troubled by Indians. or wild animals[.] we could hear the wolves as they followed after from one camping place to another. The camp arose early when all assembled to prayers and then to breakfast which consisted of Bread and Tea. Our rations where very short by this time. At the first we only had one small tin cup of flower to each person and half as much to a child and this was reduced.

But at last we where in the mountains[.] I fail to remember this part of our journey only wading a creek about 17 times that crossing the road it was impossible for my husband to carry me over as he had done the large rivers for we came to the creek so often we had to do the best we could. I learn there was the Big and Little Mountains and Echo Canyon with its perpendicular walls where the sound of the voice is repeted many times but it is useless for me to describe the country that is well known.

We where met and welcomed by Pres. Brigham Young a brass band a company of Lancers and citizens but the Saints were to worne out with there journey to much appreciate this kindness. Pres. Young was so moved with pity that he blessed them and said they had earned there salvation. The company arrived at Salt Lake City Sept. 26, 1856.