Transcript for Jones, John Lee, Reminiscences [ca. 1900-1926], 12-14
In 1864, I was Called to fill another Mission to Drive 4 Yoke of Oxen & Wagon down to the Frontier of "Nebraska Territory on the Missourie River, to Pick up the Saints Coming from England who was Emigrated by the Perpetual Emigration Fund up to this Point, we was yet in rather destitute Circumstances, in Order to prepare me for the Journey of nearly 4000 Miles, my Wife was Obliged to take the Blanket from her Bed to make me a Shirt. My out Fit Consisted of the Following, a Small Bag of Flour, 20 lbs of Crackers, a Knife, Spoon, Tin Cup, & Plate, a Blanket & two Quilts, Pr of Buckskin Pants, the above Blanket Shirt, " A Gun & Pistol", the last Named was borrowed, from Bro H Lunt. Bros"Edward Parry" & Cha[rle]s Nye, was called to go on this Mission at the Same time. Our Steers & Oxen with Yokes Chains & Waggons were furnished by the Breathren of the "Cedar Ward", who furnished them until our return, & was Credited on Labour Tithing for their use.
We Started on our Long Journey April 10th 1864 nearley 4000 Miles, Our Steers were very Wild, wich retarded our progress in Traveling at first, we would be till 10. O.Clock in the Morning in Catching Some of the Wilder Cattle, we would only Make 6 Miles per Day, but we Soon got them Tractable, & proscuted our Journey with More Speed, & increased the Distance to 12 & 16 Miles a Day.
When we got into Wyoming Territory We found the Platt[e] River Runing & nearly one Mile Wide we had to Swim our Cattle & Waggons Over, Wich took us some 4 Days the Snow Water was Very Cold & Made us all very weary & Cold, being in the Water So long, but the Lord blessed us & our Bodyes & prepared us for the Occation.
We arrived in July on the Banks of the Missourie River, & Met the Saints who had been brought, from Europe, thence up the River to the City of Wyoming, wich was then the Outfitting Post, for the Emigration, (for this was before the Union Pacific Rail Road was Built.) Consequently these Deserts & Plains had to be Travesed by Oxen, Mules, & Ho[r]ses. Some Even Came to Utah With Hand Carts a few years prevous to this time. I think it was in the Years 1858-9
After resting our Cattle a Short time, We Loaded in the Luggage of the Saints, Souls was apportioned to Me to bring Home to Zion, there Names were as follows Mother [Mary Ann] Lord & 2 Daughters [Jane and Hannah], Bro [John] & Sis. [Amelia] Mills & three others I forget their names, in returning Home we lost Many of our Cattle, Dying of Poison.
We had a Stampeed Just after we Crossed the South Platt at Juelsburge On the Pole Creek Route, resulting in the loss of 5 or 6 Head of Our Cattle. Some of them had their Legs Broken others had their Hornes torn off from their Heads Others had their Backs Broaken, & as they was in Tolerable Condition in Flesh we Butchered two of them for Beef & distributed it among the Emigrants and Teamsters, this Act proved to be very bad for the Saints, as the Fresh Beef gave them the Cholera & Many of them Died. I Buried 3 Souls that was in My Waggon, Vis Sis Lord & Bro & Sis Mills, they were good Saints, & will be Resurrected When the first Trump Shall Sound, in the Morn of the Millennium. The Teamsters were Compeled to Sleep out Upon the Ground, in Consequence of the Waggons being Loaded up to the Bows, those in My Waggon had a Tent to Sleep in.
There was one circumstance on the way, the Weather was very Stormy it had been Raining all Night Our Bedding was Completely Saturated. On waking in the Morning I found we had been lying in two Inches of Water all Night, & two Large Black Reptiles about 2 feet Long, who no doubt Crawled in between us out of the Rain. I notified Bro. "Edward Purry," My Companion who Slept with me, of the two Black Inmates in Bed, he Soon gave them a wide Birth by Springing out, leaving them Sole Possessors of the Bed. But we Soon dislodged them. We then Wrung out the Water from our Cloths, Placed them in the Waggon & Prepared for the Days Journey, the Indians were very bad at this time Attackting Many of the Gentile Emigration, who was going to Montana & California in Search for Gold & Silver, but the Lord preserved us his Saints, we had a double Guard out every Night & Traveled in a Co of 110 Waggons, wich reached 5 Miles in length when all in Motion.
In due time we arrived in "Salt Lake City" Where the poor Saints were provided with Homes among the Saints in Zion, Untill they Could get Homes of their own.