Transcript for John Duncan autobiography and journal, 1851-1861; 1902, 1-2

Stayed at Gravoi[s] [Missouri] all winter, nearly died with Flux, Left on the 12th of April, 10 of us in a wagon drawn by six animals, got to the Bluffs May 27[.] stayed there until June 6th, as we were waiting to get a Company strong enough to defend ourselves from the Red man, having our company increased from 12 to 27 wagons, we started Westward with Doc. Wilkens [Wilkin] for our Captain of the Co. The Elkhorn River having over flowed its banks the teams had to drag through the mud half way to the Axeltrees, my wooden pin sinking from four to eight inches in the mud every step I took, until I was so exhausted that if the Pawnee would have come and cooked me for their supper it would have been a blest relief to me. After getting through this swamp I sat down with my wife [Margaret] by me side, intending we would die together. The train had all gone on, when Doc Stevenson hauled his wagon out of the line, he had a good team and a light load, he signaled for us to come on and he hauled us into camp. Bless his Bones. Our next trouble was on Wood River, here we had our first stampede, between one and two A.M. In one minute everyone was on his feet, and crash went chains, spokes, wheels, horns and animals scattered in every direction all over the Prairie. Took several days to gather them up. This was the beginning of our stampedes. Six more followed and some a great deal worse. The smallest trifle, such as a dog running along the side of the cattle would scare them.

When 125 miles on this side of Laramie over 100 Indians made a line across the road and it was “Hither to shalt thou come but no farther” until we get so much flour and so much coffee. While parleying over this matter some of them was trying to find out what kind of a leg I had. I made signs to them that I could shoot with it, which I sorely repented of before that day was done. Three times my scalp was going to be taken off. One fellow brought a rifle barrall down onto my head. I thought it was to be one half for each shoulder, but the hand was stayed.

September 2nd arrived in Salt Lake City, hungry as a Wolf.