Transcript for Nelson W. Whipple autobiography and journal, 1859-1887, 79-92

N. W. Whipple 9th of June 1850
Chapter 23

1. Having made the best araingments I could for the trip, made my wagon laid in my flour Meal bacon Candles shugar coffee tea clothing &c &c. on the 9 day of June 1850: we Set out for the Grate[Great] Salt Lake Val[le]y the place We had long desired to See

2.My team was one yoak of good little oxen lond [loaned] me by my friend Alonzo P. Rament [Raymond] and one yoak of cows; a tolarable light wagon and a vary good fit out for the journey[.] my cows had never bin yoaked before an did not go vary well of corse but they soon got lirnt[learnt] so I could drive them without leading.

3. My fitout I made all in the spring of 50 not having any thing towards it 3 months before[.] the first night we stoped at Bro. Tiffanys 4 miles from wher we started from[.] The next morning We bid good by to our friends that was going with and went on down the river to a place cald Bethleham and camped to wate the arrival of others & for to be organised for traveling &c. Bro. Tiffany went along ways with us and when he turnd to go back our feelings ware such that we could not bid him good by but he knew our fealings, for he felt the same

4. the company That Left Springville when I did ware

Samuel Williams sen:
Samuel E. Williams son
Nurman [Newman] B Williams
Mary Williams
Wife of S.E. Williams
and the Second wife of Samuel Williams sen:
Jarymiah [Jeremiah] Hatch and family & 2 sisters
Lorenzo D. Hatch
Abrham Hatch
Phinius Pettegrew and Wife
Alonzo P. Rament

5. In a few days Bro. O Hide [Hyde] and Bro. Joseph Young and some others came down and examond our wagons and our fitout[.] Organised us into 10s[,] 50s & 100s apointed Captens. &c. Bro. David Evins [Evans] was captin of the first 50. & John Bair of the 2.d 50.[c] thier ware [were] 105. wagons in all.

6. We crossed the River vary well without axcedente [accident] except an Old Cow that was fool enough to jump over bord and came near upseting the boats and caused us to drift down Stream a long ways below the landing but we toed up and got a Shore


June. 13. 1850.


7. The Omehaw [Omaha] Indians ware about thier vary plenty and some ware afraid of them but they manifested no disposesion to do any body any harm or their property[.] We went 6. miles from the river and campd on a small Creek whare the Musquetoes [mosquitoes] ware So thick they like to run us all crazy

8. On that knigh [night] the Colera [cholera] apeard among us[.] one Joe Millet that was with the Hatch Boys was taken sick about dark and was vary bad through the night but nobody seemd to tak much Notice of him and did not know what aild him[.] the next day he got prity near over it and we went on for sevral days.

9. We had not gone far before we saw a grave with the mame [name] of Charlote Thornton on the head bord[.] a young woman with which we was well acquainted. We soon came to a Camp whare 2 or 3 had died. one the Wife of D. B. Dilly [Dille]

10. at this many ware much alarmd but this done no good for we had to face the Colera[.] if we turnd back and if we went on we could [not] run away from it[.] after traveling a day or 2 we came to the old pawnee Village on the South side of the Platt[e]. River[.] heier[here] we Stoped Eirly in the after noon and Samuel Williams and his Bro and my self went to examen the Vilage and gut some wood for night &c.

11. Thair Wigwams or houses ware built quite Substantial of Ceder wood they had floted Down the Platt[e] from grand island a good many miles above[.] thier was not timber in sight of the Vilage. thier ware peices of ground that they had cultivated and raised much corn but had no fences[.] thier ware large holes like wells dug into the sandy soil whare they had deposited thier Corn. The indians ware all gone having bin Driven away by the Sioux or Siows Indians

12. While we was looking about I began to feal cold and a dethly feeling came upon me and I got 2 small Sticks of wood and Started for camp a distance of perhaps forty or fifty rods. but before I got thier I droped my wood and made my way the best I could for the wagon and when thir I told my wife that something aild me and I thought it was the C[h]olera

13. She was alarmed at this of corse and thought she should be left a widdow in short order. She asked me if she could do any thing for me[.] we had a wooden match box full of some kind of pills[.] I told hur to give me Some of them[.] she gave me the box and I took one haf of them at once and had Father Williams come and adminester to me with some others and for a few hours I suferd much but after that I seemd to feal a little beter and told my wife I would take the balance of those pills and did so & in the morning I was comfortable again but through the night I was so restless that I could not Lie in one posision a single minute but rold and tumbled in the wagon and finely that was not big anough[.] I got out upon the ground and rold thier for hours.

14. At the time I was the worst the day before Mr. Robart G. Williams a brother of Phinious Pettegrews Wife was lying in the wagon nere ours who had the Coleria and died[.] I saw him breath his last but it did not alarm me at all as I thought of dying while I was sick. In the morning I was able to letter a [t...] bord of Seader that Bro. P. Pettegrew had shaved out in good style for that perpos.

15. Thier was some 5. or 6. died of this Diseas in our Company on the fore part of our journey[.] the names of which I will give as far as I can remember

1. Chalette Thornton
2. Sister D[avid]. B[uel]. Delley [Dille]
3. Mr. Robart G. Williams
4. Miss Emeline McArther
5. Sister [Eliza Jane Evans] Hinkley[,] Wife of Ira Hinkley & Daughter of Bishop David Evins [Evans].

16. As we past along the grate mumber [number] of new graves by the road side was truly astinishing[.] We met Scartring [scattering] remnents of companies going back as so many had died. the few that was left had tirnd back for home thinking that they had got quite enough of gold hunting

17. Many of the bodies of those jentiles ware Dug up and eatin by the Wolves (which ware most numerous in the Platt[e] country.) and eaton and their bones lay to bleach in the Desart[.] this was a litteral fullfillment of Some of the predictions of the Prophet Joseph as vary meny of those vary men ware the ones that had Driven the Saints from Missouri and murderd and plunderd them. thire the names of these ware on the bords at the head of their graves and I had the satisfaction of kicking thare skulls about and trampling upon thier ribs and other bones that the wolves had left bare

18. I Shall not indevour to give a vary perticuler account of the journey across the plaines but of any circumstances worthy of any note that might be interesting to my readers. After I had the Coleria we past on day after day[.] we saw many graves of the California Emegrants & to many of our people that had Started before us.

19. Nothing of note accurd untill we got near the South fork of the Platt[e] whare one of the oxen of Bro. A.P. Raments that I had lay down while traveling along and died in five minutes[.] this left [us] in a bad situation as thair ware vary few spair cattle in the Company.

20. For a few days Bro. Rament put on another yoak of his oxen but soon found his load to heavy for to spare any team and the captin took a cow of Ethin Borrows [Barrows] that was able to work and let me have hur to work with the other ox for quite a long distance untill we got up to Scotts Bluffs whare one night as I was on gard an ox came limping in to our camp[.] I took him and tied him up and in the morning examond him but could see nothing the matter of his foot but he walkd quite lame.

21. Captin Evins told me to take him along to a traiding post that was a short distance ahead and traid him for a cow or something that would help out for a team[.] I did so & got for the ox a cow and put hur into the yoak and worked hur on for abut 300 miles when hur feet got vary sore and I put hur into the loose hird and Bro. Evins let me have a two year old heifer untill we got to the Valy[.] all the cows feet got vary bad[.] I used to throw mine down and clean out the durt and gravel and cloth & tur and nail on iron shoes[.] those would Stay on about a week when I would have to do the same again

22. I had min [been] told of the vast hurds of Buffalos along the platt[e] so that the teams could hardly git along for them but we did not see any thing of the kind[.] Some few ware seen along the road and one or two kild but they ware verry wild and hard to ketch.

23. We expearenced some of the most terrable storms along the Platt[e] that I had ever known in any Country. but still we recived no particular damage by them. Vary few Cattle died out of the Company and the helth of the people was good after we got away from the Colaria [cholera] which was about 200 miles from the Missouri River.

24. We had jeneraly peace in the Camp & vary little difaculty or contensions between Brethern as had in some instances accurd. After we past the South Pass as it is cald the captin told his Company that if they felt like dancing to dance and injoy themselves as he felt as though we was deliverd from under the hands of our Enimies who would not have the power to abuse us as they had before done.

25. Maranda and Mary was sick almost all the way through and requird the attension of my wife most of hur time but Rosette [Campbell] was a splendid hand to help on the way so that Jane had but vary little to do but see to the children and take care of hir self.

26 The distruction of property on the plains this year was emence in concequance of the much sickness and so many starting out that did not know any thing what they needed on such a trip or how they could git along best[.] I am speaking of the jentiles

27. Wagons wagon irons [-] guns chains beds shirts quilts pants tools of almost evry discription cays barrels &c. &c. &c. vare strued along in grate abundance[.] I saw 12 Riffel barriels in one place that had bin broken and bent and the stalks nockd of to prevent the mormons from bing benefited by them

28. We ware just three monthes on our journey across the plains[.] a long tedious time of it as Every one will know that has crosst those plains with ox teams or hand carts as many have done. Our provisions held out well and our cows gave a little milch [milk] all the way. and in short we got along vary wel I supose but it was the hardist 3 months of my life up to that time.