Transcript for "Horace K. Whitney to My dear wife, 4 May 1847," in We'll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846-1848 by Richard E. Bennett, 134-35

Head of Grand Island May 4 1847

My dear wife

I improve the opportunity to write you, we having just met a trader who is on his way back from Fort Laramie,…Excuse me, dear Helen, for not writing to you before from Pawnee village, as there was no opportunity of sending it back. I have to write (as you can discover) as fast as I can hurry my hand over the paper, because the man is waiting to take the letters back, as most of all of the brethren in the camp are improving this opportunity.

We are now, according to my reckoning, 240 miles from Winter Quarters, still going on. My beloved, true and faithful Helen, be of good cheer, for I feel in my heart that we shall see each other again in the Lord’s own due time. You may be assured that no opportunity that I have for prayer for you is neglected….On Saturday last, 10 or 12 hunters went out in pursuit of a herd of buffalo which we saw grazing on the side of a hill, and at night they had killed 12 buffalo…so you need not be alarmed but what we are doing well as far as living is concerned, for almost every man has got as much meat as he can “pack along” …from all appearances we shall have but few, if any chances of communication one with another as the country which we now are is infested with Sioux Indians, and it would be dangerous to send back a single messenger. But be of good courage for we shall meet again and enjoy each other’s society in circumstances of greater comfort and pleasure than we have ever yet enjoyed, for I feel to say it in the name of the Lord. Dear wife, I write everything indiscriminately as it comes into my head, for the trader, a Frenchman, is very impatient and in a great hurry to pursue their journey. I have scarcely time to be lonesome, as I have the horses to attend to, and Orson [Pratt] does the cooking, and it is only at the lone hour of midnight, when I am on guard, or laying in my wagon, that memory flies back over the span between us and hurries me back to thee.

Farewell dear wife for the man is just starting.

I remain as ever your affectionate husband,
Horace K. Whitney