Transcript

Transcript for Lofgren, Anders Persson, A Simple Faith Anders Persson Lofgren, Swedish son-Mormon immigrant 1996, 40-42

On June 11 we landed at "Floräns" [Florence] where we stayed for six weeks waiting for the oxtrain that would come from Zion to take us to our destination, Zion. ("Utah Teritori[tory]")

While we were in Floräns I realized that Bro. Hansen's character was different than on the ship. In our Sunday meetings they preached very strongly that we would pay what money we had to go with the Church train, if somebody kept more than was necessary to go over the plains they would feel pain and ache in their legs. It was likened unto Ananias and his wife who kept part of the money when they wanted to join the Apostles of Jesus.

It was hard to listen to these sermons and our faith was tried in this and other things. Because of my faith in the Gospel and our leader (Hanssen) I obeyed his and the other leader's admonitions and paid 50 dollars on my debt for the journey across the plains. This money I paid to Hanssen. While we camped at Florans some of the emigrants were making tents to be used by those emigrants that would go with the Church train and we worked hard to house all in the company, about 500.

While we worked on the tents Hanssen was very busy buying up cows, oxen and wagons to some well-to-do (even some of his own country men who did not pay one cent for their trip across the plains) families who should cross the plains on their own. That meant nothing but cows to his not-so-well-to-do countrymen in the Church train.

One day it happened that Hanssen and one of his fellow brethren in the Gospel were looking in his accounting book about something. I happened to pass them and glance at the book where I saw the figure 37 at my name which caused me to stop and look at something else so I would not disturb them. When they were through I went over to Hanssen and asked him what was meant by 37 at my name. He could not answer to my satisfaction saying it was something that I had paid for my journey across the plains. After some unpleasant words between I showed him it should have been 50 instead of 37.

when I had showed he made his excuses saying he did not know how he made the mistake. Before we finished I asked him to go with me to Joseph Young, who was the emigration Agent and who would receive the money that was collected for our journey. He would not. He promised to pay what was lacking and I received them before we left "Floräns."

These things were hard for us to understand and were a trial to see our leading men do that and I had given him 2 dollars, when we were on board Hombold[t]. The day we were ready to leave Floräns, Hanssen had bought two pair of oxen and a wagon and paid with different merchandise. Now he was not poor any more as he was when he left Hombol[d]t.

The Ox Train
We were from 12 to 14 persons in each wagon and thus we could not bring along much, no boxes or chests. We had to empty our bed pillows and mattresses and much of our clothing we had to leave there for we had only 2 sacks and pack all our things in. This was a trial too, to see these things left behind and not get anything for them. We understand that there were many things trying to stop us from walking on the narrow road.

On July 24 we started the long oxtrain over hundreds of miles of plains and dangers of being lost in the streams, but nobody drowned in them, but many were sick and died and were buried at the roadside, some before they were cold in a crude casket, so that they would not be buried with soil in their eyes. It was a trial for the relatives to see this.

It was not enough for me to take care of my own family, but I also got a very fine lady who did not touch anything with her hands. My wife had to bake, cook, fry and wash for her just as if she had been one of our small children. We had two more families to our wagon and tent, one of them old and the other just married before they left Sweden, no children. In my eyes I would think that it would be better to have the young couple look after her, but she clung to us, even though we had never seen each other before we packed our things on the wagon. When we camped in the evening and I had fixed the tent the first thing I had to do was to get her bedding into the tent that she would be better seated than on the plain ground and her food carried to her. When time came to go to bed she was very polite to raise and let my wife or me make her bed. The same politeness she showed us in the morning by leaving her bed for me to fix and load on the wagon.

My wife and I went through it patiently during the whole journey. If Hanssen was the reason we would have this trouble I do not know even though I think so. From the day I showed him he was wrong in his book he was not the same man towards me. We did not have Hanssen as our leader across the plains, he went his own way. We got another Scandinavian brother, who also had been on a mission in Denmark as our Scandinavian leader. His name was Matson from "Sanpit [Sanpete] Co. Utah".

As captain of the Church train we went with there was an English brother who had come with the wagons from Utah. His name was John Murdock. We went forward slowly every day, I with my youngest son Nils on my back in my natural walk could walk far from the train and often being tired put him down at the road to the train reach him hoping to get a ride with somebody, but it was not very often he came up in the wagon that was ours for my wife and daughter to take care of our 5 months old child.

Nils Becomes Lost
One day I had left him as before at the road when a Swede by name Ädler, driving for our leader Matson had picked him up in his wagon and as it was in the afternoon Nils had gone to sleep, and then when we were to camp Nils was lost, to our astonishment. Kjersti, my wife, should start to get us something to eat, but she couldn't get anything done until she knew if he was in the camp or not. We began our search round the camp but could not find him and we had a strange feeling, especially Kjersti for she thought that he was left at the roadside and wanted me to go back and find him, but it was already dark so I could not do anything in this wilderness.

We looked and asked all over in the camp but did not find him until Ädler came in from the herd and woke him up and said he was ashamed that he had forgotten our little boy, and we thanked the Lord that he was with us.

After this I was careful not to leave him alone at the road side. When we came to "Larami"[Laramie] there was no bridge or boat over the "Northplat"[North Platte] river. Here all men who possibly could had to wade over the stream. I got a big stick in one hand and with my oldest son Pehr [Pete], 15, at my left, from where the stream came, we waded over the very stony bottom.

September 24 we came to "Perlispark." [Parleys Park.] Here we camped and stayed for three days as we had to sign our names to our debt to the Church for our journey across the plains and the high mountains. The debt for my family was 230 dollars with 10% interest a year until the sum was paid. It was a hard thing to sign and still harder that both Pehr and Botilla, who were only 15 and 14 also had to sign. It took 8 years before it was paid off.

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