Transcript for Perkins, Joseph Thomas, Autobiography [ca.1878], 102-4
We staid at Mormon Grove till the last day of July, when we rolled out for the plains—Charles A. Harper captain of our company.
We had heard of cholera on the plains, and E. Stevenson had been sent to lead the company to the valley that was ahead of us. A woman died in our company two days before we started from Mormon Grove. She left a baby. Thomas Jeremy came to my wife and begged her to take this baby, she did so he (the father) gave her £ 1.5.0 to buy extra provisions and clothing for the baby. We travelled till we came to the Big Blue river—arrived there just before sundown & camped. In the morning Capt. Harper went on his horse and tried the ford of the river. he came back and informed us we had to lift the wagon beds 10 inches to keep them out of the water Capt. Harper went into the river and drove his own yoke of oxen and wagon—the water took team and wagon down stream. he jumped on the off side, I plunged into the river and swam and turned them up stream and they arrived safe on the other side. Where we were into the river the banks were steep, we had to rough lock both hind wheels, and then men had to hold on to ropes to keep the wagons from going too fast into the river. I led twelve wagons across the river with the Captain's cattle—he called me out of the river and said I had staid in the water long enough. On the 13th wagon coming down the hill into the river tipped over into the river with 22 sacks of flour and the freight of the passengers—this affair was soon straightened up. Just as this wagon was got out of the river the water rose 4 feet. Our train consisted of 32 wagons.
We staid several days by this stream our company on both sides of the river. While we were camped on both sides of the river, a brother in the Church a Frenchman started to swim the river—he was a good swimmer he tried to swim straight across the stream with his clothes on—he sunk in the water. Ropes were got and I plunged in the water after him. I had a rope in one hand and I grabbed him with the other and brought him out; after much trouble his life was saved. we staid at this camp eight days. On the ninth day General Harney with United States troops came up and told Capt Harper if he would not use the ferry he would: we were fording this stream to save ferriage—we drove the ferry crossed our cattle and wagons and camped that night all together. The baby died that night and was buried next morning. Capt Harper paid a wagon for part of our train being ferried over Big Blue river.
Gen. Harney crossed his command after us, then went a head of us.
Travelled on the plains till we came to Ash Hollow: we had one yoke of cattle on each wagon one yoke of oxen to hold back with a chain behind each wagon the hill was steep—we went down. the Welsh part of our company all right—the balance of our company was composed of French and English: a wheel was broken belonging to the English part or our company it was dark when we arrived at the Platte River. 6 men on guard at a time to night. An express came to our company this morning from Gen. Harneys command and it was desired we would travel as early as possible as a fight was expected by the soldiers and indians on the Platte. The soldier guarded us three day[s]. three of the soldiers went with us to the valley. From the Platte to the Sweetwater river we got along all right—At the Sweet water two young men went back to buy some nails for shoeing cattle—returning the young men took a wrong road—we had taken a "cut-off" they got ahead of us and learned we were behind. They waited for us. We got along all right to Fort Bridger. Elder E Stevenson met us here and traveled with us to the valley where we arrived October 31st.