Transcript for Roberta Flake Clayton, compiler, To the Last Frontier: Autobiography of Lucy Hannah White Flake (Mesa: The Compiler, 1976), 3-5
The exodus toward the west began in 1846 but Father [Samuel Dennis White] remained behind until the Spring of 1850 assisting other families to leave. The company in which we crossed the plains was not very large. We made good time on the trip. I walked most of the way from the Missouri River to the Great Salt Lake Valley. We all walked who were able, to lighten the load of the poor oxen. I was always glad when it came time to camp. The oxen soon learned without much gee-ing and haw-ing how to place the wagons to form a circle, leaving very little space between the front wheel of one and the near hind wheel of the wagon ahead.
In the corral thus formed the fires were made to cook the meals and the beds were made down near the wagons. If the Indians were troublesome the cattle were put in this corral for the night and guard kept over the camp by the men.
When suppers were over, all gathered around the campfire, or if it were moonlight we needed no other light. Someone would start a song, all would join in, or someone would tell an amusing story. The weary miles trudged that day would be forgotten, soon the lively tune of a fiddle or accordion, a flute or a fife, or maybe all of them, could be heard playing a quadrille or a reel. Hardship, weariness, separation from loved ones were forgotten and these homeless exiles joined in the dance.
I would keep my eyes open as long as I could, picturing myself as a grown young lady, Belle of the Ball, with beautiful flowing skirts that would swish and swirl as I danced. Before I knew it my poor head would rest on Mother’s lap.
When the dancers were all tired out, or ten o'clock arrived I would be awakened, to join in the closing hymn and kneel in prayer in a big circle before going to bed. Some of the prayers were so long that I would go to sleep again, then Father would carry me to bed.
Poor Grandfather [John Griggs] White was not strong so we had to be careful of him on the trip giving him the best we had to eat. Father contracted Mountain fever a week or two before we reached our destination, so Mother [Mary Hannah Burton] had to look after them and had a hard time doing that and all her other things. To me the three months journey was not a hardship.
Provisions were not plentiful any of the way. We had a cow along but she didn't give much milk after walking all day. We ate the last of our food for breakfast on the morning of August 31, and about the middle of the afternoon we arrived at the home of Mother's people.