Transcript

Transcript for Hill, William Henry, Autobiography, 1910-1912, 5-9

We started to hitch up the next morning, and when I got my seven yoke hitched to the wagon they ran away and the night herder started after them on horseback, and they ran five miles before he could get them under control, so as to bring them back. I had on 30,000 weight of freight, but it was in the shape of sheet iron, just the size of the inside of the wagon box and they lay so solid so that no matter how much the wagon might jolt, they could not upset or injure it in the least. And when they returned, I thought it was the best thing that could have happened to them, for really they were more than half broke, so that I didn’t have but little labour to make them quite tractable, for as quick as they got back Captain William H. Dame gave the orders to start, so the train started out, and we traveled eight miles on our way and then camped for the night, and as my cattle had traveled eighteen miles and had become quite docile while all the others had only gone eight miles, I took their yolks all off before I turned them out for the night, while all the rest of the teams had their yolks on, and some of the boys said that I never would be able to catch them in the morning, but when morning came, I had my cattle all caught yolked up and hitched on to the wagon before or about as soon as any of them, and was al ready to start with the rest without much trouble and that day we made 20 miles, besides the Church freight I had in my wagon, I also had five passengers with their luggage, they were Swedish people, and after stopping for the night, I again unyolked my cattle and turned them out, and all the others followed by example this time, as to let their cattle eat and rest better than they could with their yolks on, but next morning I had caught mine and got hitched up over an hour before some of the boys had caught theirs, for they had to lasso them so they could not get any where near them, for all the time they were on the travel, the day before they were shiping and slashing at them with their whips, that their cattle were afraid of them, while I would pet and fondle mine, so that it was not long before I could do anything with them, and before we had been on the road two weeks, I could go into the carroll [corral] and call them by name and they would come to me, and I would put the yolk on, and then go and call another and so on until I got them all yolked up in their places, while most of the boys would have to lasso their cattle every time they wanted to yolk them up. Some of them had to do that all the way to Salt Lake City, and when we had been two weeks on our journey most of the boys went to Captain Dame and ask him to let them have another whip each as they had worn out the first one he gave them before they started, on the poor cattle. Yet mine was as good as it was when he gave it to me, and I had the most tractable team in the whole train, so much so that the Captain came to me and wanted to know if I wouldn’t let one of the boys have one yolk of mine, and me take a yolk of his, as he couldn’t get along, his cattle was so wild. I told him yes he could take a yolk, and he did so, and in two days I had his wild ones so that I had no trouble with them and in a few days the captain came to see me again and wanted me to let him have another yolk and I then told him that he could have them, but if he wanted any more after I had had the trouble to make them tractable he could take them all, for the other boys had the same chance to break their cattle that I had had, so after that exchange, I was not bothered any more, and thus we went on our journey, day by day, we were up in the morning by five o’clock and cooked our breakfast of what we called slap jacks and sow belly with the buttons on, and coffee and this was our diet, day by day only when we got a chance to kill a buffalo then we would feast on fresh meat for a few meals and when we had been traveling 12 days, the brethren we left behind when we started out, caught up with us as they traveled much quicker than we did, for they had horse teams with light wagons. They arrived in damp after we had stopped for the night, and next morning, Brother Blackburn, the person who hired me to drive a team, came and stood by my wagon as he had been making inquiries of the Captain what kind of a driver I was, and the Captain told him to come and see for himself how I handled my cattle, so he came and stood by my wagon, until I had finished yolking up and had got them all hitched to the wagon and then he came and shook hands with me and said, “Well, Bro. Hill, I see you understand how to take care of cattle, and handle them too, " and he said, “I must admit that I have never seen a lot of wild cattle become so tractable in so short a time, and I can but wonder how you have accomplished it.” I smiled at him and said “Well, Bro. Blackburn, I found out that the same spirit which the driver possessed would be transmitted to the cattle, and so by using the spirit of kindness, I have been enabled to bring them into the condition you see them in this morning, and I showed him my whip and then told him to examine the other boys whips and then he would be able to see just as much difference in them as there was in the tractableness of the cattle. “Well,” he said, “I shall always remember the lesson you have given me this morning,” and he shook hands with me bidding me goodbye and shortly the teams being all hitched up, they started on the journey, and during the forenoon the horse teams past us and they were soon out of sight and that was the last we saw of them as they traveled much faster than we did with our cattle, for we only aimed to travel fifteen miles on an average per day, but some days we would make more and some days less, owing to where we could get water and feed for our cattle, and as for wood for cooking, many times we camped where there was none, then we would gather dry buffalo chips or dried cattle dung to cook with and thus we kept on our journey for the valley, and each day we would pass one or more pieces of boards pointing us to where there was some poor soul laid away by the roadside tired and worn out by the hardships they had endured on their journey. I heard that my brother had been taken quite sick with what they termed mountain fever, which caused by mind to be much troubled and fearful lest he should die on the way, and I should discover where they had laid him by the roadside, and I was unable to hear any further from him or about him. But I prayed earnestly to my Heavenly Father for his preserving care to be over him day by day, and he recovered and got through alright. After being on the travel for the space of twelve weeks we finally got to the mouth of what they call Emigration Canyon, where we could see Salt Lake City, and we all thought it was the most pleasant sight that our eyes had ever beheld, and then it was different to what it is now for where we stood we could have counted every house there was in the city at that time and that was on the 29 th of October 1862 making it 6 months and 26 days from the time I left Liverpool, England.
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