Transcript for Orson Welcome Huntsman diary, Library of Congress collection of Mormon diaries, 1935-1938

{Volume 1, pages 1-2.}

I was the eighth child of James William Huntsman and Hannah Davis, was born in Pottawatomy [Pottawattamie] County, Iowa on the thirty-first of March 1849. I was only a little over three years old when mother moved from Iowa to the territory of Utah, leaving Councel [Council] Bluffs on the 2nd day of June 1852 (in captain William Whiteheads Company of 50) with myself and six others [other] children with a rattle trap of a wagon or at least that is what it would be called by us today, as it was a home made wagon, wooden scane, linch pin, without any brake, had a little chain to lock with. My mother had one yoke of unbroken steers and three yokes of unbroken cows. My brother Joseph, a lad of 14 years drove them with the help of the rest of the children. We started in good shape. Athough I was only about three years old at the time I imagine that I laughed when we started with such an outfit.

What would people say today of a woman who was to start off with a family of six or seven children with an old wagon, four yoke of unbroken cattle to take on a journey of over a thousand miles in the wilderness? They would land her in the asylum. But that was the custom in those days, or at least the mobbers made it so for the Latter Day Saints, they were oblidged to leave the United States & flee to the Rocky Mountains & get out the best way they could, and hundreds were not fixed any better than my mother was for moving, and many were not as well fixed.

My father and eldest sister Sarah Jane left Councel [Council] Bluffs for the Rocky Mountains, or Utah, on the 10th day of May 1849, a year before mother & the rest of the family came. My father and sister came to prepare for the family, they arrived in Salt Lake City some time the following October. Father worked here and there the best he could.

Father met us at, or about at Bridger some _____ miles from Salt Lake City and returned with us to the City. We arrived there on the 11th day of September, this making it in a little over three months, traveling from Councel [Council] Bluffs to Utah. It was a long, hard, and tedious journey over an almost tractless wilderness. It was very much this way when the Pioneers came over the road in 1847, of course they left the road for us to travel, but that was about all they could do and we did likewise.