Transcript

Transcript for Richardson, William, Autobiography [ca. 1870s]-1887, 18-20

When I left Du Quoin I intended to buy a team of my own at Florence, but was disappointed. We had been living there for ten weeks with so much sickness that it had cost a good deal of money. But then, we were thankful that we had the money. Then Brother Little got a team for me to drive, which belonged to a Brother Samuel Snyder. He had sent east for three yokes of cattle and a wagon. I got them to drive and there was just our family in the wagon.

James had died July 25th, and we started from Florence on August 9th, about noon. We had traveled only about a mile when it began to rain and wet everything in the wagon. After it quit raining we went on about another four miles and then camped for the night. We went along all right till we came to Loop Fork (on the Platte River, near the present day town of Columbus). There they took the wagons onto the ferry boat and the cattle had to swim across. After that we drove sometimes at night to get good feed and water for them.

We drove late one night and William caught a bad cold and then came down with the Mountain Fever and was sick most of the way after that. He got even sicker about Ft. Laramie, Wyoming.

When we reached the Sweetwater a Brother Smith went out to hunt in the morning and had traveled very fast all day. He came back to camp a little while after the cattle were turned out to feed and layed down in his wagon. His brother called for me to come over, and he put water on the man's hands and face. While I was holding his hands I felt him tremble, and that was all. They kept him in the wagon all the next day but it did no good, and he died.

We had some trouble when we came to the Green River. It had been telegraphed to Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City that a wagon train was there with two or three wagon loads of powder. They were afraid that if the powder got into Salt Lake City the Mormons would kill all the Gentiles in Camp Douglas. The soldiers there at Green River were ordered to take the powder from our wagon train. Some of them came along at noon when we were camped. But our Captain, Isaac C. Haight, took them into his tent and served them dinner, while talking to them 2 or 3 hours. While they were in the tent, the wagon with the powder crossed over the river and up into the mountains, unloaded the powder into sacks and then came back. That night we all crossed over the river and camped. The next day a company of soldiers came along and stopped us on the road. They searched all the train but did not find the load of powder so they told us to go on.

William was sick all this time, and Robert was not much better. Sometimes we thought they were going to die. We came down Echo Canyon and camped at Wanship one night. When we got to Coalville, we were going to stop with Andrew Johnston and his wife, but they were not at home. His wife had gotten bit by a scorpion so they had gone down to Salt Lake City for her to see a doctor.

When we got to Snyder's Flat, we met a herder there with cattle. He went to Snyderville and told his boss about us, and Snyder came down to where we were camped. He wanted me to stop there with my family. He said there was no need to take them any farther when they were so sick. He said he had a house I could move into, and he would send a man into the city with the freight that was in the wagon. But my wife and I wanted to go onto Salt Lake City, to see it. There were folks that we both wanted to see, also. Then Brother Snyder said that was all right, we could go onto the city and then bring them back to Snyder Valley in his wagon, that I had driven across the plains, but I could not decide that then. He said that he was going down to Salt Lake City in a day or two for Conference and he would see me there.

The wagon train went on for a few miles and then camped for the night. The feed was good and Captain Haight wanted the cattle to get filled up before we went into the city. We had to go over the little mountain and down Emigration Canyon, as the road was washed out in Parley's Canyon. We camped that night before we started up the mountain, so we could go up in the morning when it was cool. We got up all right, but some had to be helped. When we were out of the canyon and started down the bench, we looked down on the City and the lake and thought the sight was great. We felt much joy, for we had hoped and prayed for it over fourteen years, and now it was in sight at last.

On October 4th we finally reached Salt Lake City. It had been eight weeks from the time we left Florence till we reached the city.

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