Transcript for Porter, Abraham, Jr., "Abraham Porter Jr. Family Treck Across the Plains in 1863," [1-3]
Abraham Porter Jr. was born 3 February 1807 in Ossian Livingston New York.
Marcia Maria Bisbee was born 24 October 1805 in Cumming Newhanshire Massachuetts[.] in 1863 they decided to come to Utah with their families two boys and three girls they were Luther Gilbert Porter, Nahum Bisbee Porter, Henrietta Porter, Harriett Eleanor Porter, Sarah Jane Porter, and there families[.] Mary Porter and her family came later. Another family by the name of Miller came with them. Isreal [Isaac] Augustus Canfield was the captain.
There were 21 in all including five children. We traveled by train from New York to Omaha Nebraska and from there we went by boat up the Missouri River to Florence Nebraska of what was known as Winter Quarters. We stayed there for six weeks. The women cooked while the men bought wagons and oxen and provisions for the journey across the plains. The younger members did the sewing for the church, such as making tents[,] wagon covers and nose socks for the horses and oxen, all to be used by the imigrants that came upon the boats laden with all their earthly possessions. These usually consisted of one or two boxes and a sack with clothing. We would go down and watch the boats come in. The people would camp there waiting to be assigned their places in the wagon train. One wagon contain food for the entire possession of the families so that only the aged and small children were allowed to ride. On the third of July 1863 the company of which the family were members left Winter quarters. Our company was known as an independent company because each family owned their own wagon. Many of the immigrants did not have means or money to purchas their own wagons and the church had an immigrant fund that provided wagons in which they could make the journey across the plains. Then they could work later and pay the church back into the fund. This also applies to those crossing the Ocean if they did not have money for their passage.
Augustus Canfield was the captain of our company which had 25 wagons[.] he came from utah to act as our guide as he knew the route and what hazards were to be faced. On the third of July 1863 we started out and went only five miles then camped so as to make sure that everything was in readiness. The next day being the fourth of July a few of the young people came from Florence Nebraska to our camp and there they had the first dance on the ground. It was the custom from then on to spend our evening in sin[g]ing when we were not tired by the the days journey. On the fifth of July we started on our trip across the plains.
The weather was fine through out the trip, with exception of a few showers. We were very fortunite in having no sickness, or accidents of any kind to mar our journey.
Every day after the noon meal or hour was over Captain Canfield would ride ahead to find a suitable place with plenty of water and wood where we could make our camp that night. Twice we were stopped by a herd of buffalo and were often visited by the Indians. The Captain was familar with their habits and customs and he made friends with them by giving them trinkets and food. It didn't make any difference with me, how friendly they were we still frightened of them all. Our journey often took us across the Platt[e] river. Those of us who walked would have to hold on to the rear of the wagons. We waded right through the water. In order to avoid delay our clothing was allowed to dry right on our bodies, as luck would have it no one ever felt any ill effects from these soakings.
We arrived at Fort Bridger Wyoming which as a military camp we were detained by officers who inspected everyone that came to Utah.
They were searching for anything that might have a United States mark or stamp on it.
We arrived in Salt Lake City Utah on October 17, 1863 and there our company seporated. Our family went on to Ogden, where our relatives who had come to Utah before, were already located. We lived out about 31st and Washington Blvd.