Transcript for Rollins, James Henry, Reminiscences 1896; 1898, 29-31
The second day out we camped on the little horn river where we stayed two or three days, then resuming our journey to the loop [Loup] fork of the platt[e] river when we crossed on the other side, which was very difficult to cross. Dr. Richards and Company, arrived on the side. We had left. when it was determined to help with our lead Oxen to cross them over on the same side of the river as we were, which was accomplished that day. No accident happened to them.
We remained there until the next day or two then starting early for the main Platt[e] river, 20 miles distant and when we arrived at the Platt[e] both Dr. Richards and Amasa Lyman were taken very sick. We remained there 2 days. I killed 4 antelope on the Sunday we laid over.
Our next move was up the Platt[e] towards fort Laramie to which place we arrived in due time. We stopped one or two days previous to reaching Laramie to hunt, as Buffalos were quite plentiful, and supplied ourselves with meat, killing 3 buffaloes myself that day, and another which brother Flake had down. and we were obliged to shoot two bulls in order to get the cow that he had killed. As we were skinning the cow, another cow had made its appearance coming down a ravine near us. I took aim and shot it, it turned and went up the bluff. About this time brother Horn came to us and said his company had not killed anything. we told him to take the loins and hump and as much more as he wanted out of the two bulls and go up on the bluff and he would find a cow that he might have for his company, whic[h] he found to be very fat.
We then, the next day resumed our journey towards Laramie and came to an Indian Village. There were a great many tents made of buffalo hides. They impeded our progress, stopped our train by squating in the road. They demanded pay of us for the water and grass our company had used. And the chief said, “We want you to give us flour, sugar, coffee, pow[d]er and lead.” The captains of each 10 were set to work to get from the wagons these articles. The chief spreading his large bullalo [buffalo] robe, on which the contributions were emptied. We then asked them if they [were] satisfied, they said, “yes if you will give us a little more powder.” They were told that we hadn’t it to spare, the Indians then removed the contents of the buffalo skin and said we could pass on our journey and we were not troubled any more until we reached Laramie Fort, where we stopped our train. Many Indians were there with the French who kept the Fort. The Frenchman told us not to sell the Indians any whiskey, which of course we did not do, but to sell it to them if we had any and they would pay us a big price. Those who had it to sell, sold it to the French at a dollar a pint. Banters were out by the Indians for a horse race, and Nathan Tanner ran his horse with the Indian and beat him. Then, they wanted to give him a larger horse which brother Tanner needed, and the trade was made. About this time while our people were trading for Buffalo-skins, the Indian Chief was discovered to be drunk and seemed very mad as he walked through with tomyhawk in hand[.] he cut many gashes through buffalo-skins which hung on the banister, he was watched by his squaws and one or two of the French men, and taken and bound and layed away.
We then resumed our journey after obtaining many buffalo skins until we came to the three crossings of sweet water. we here camped for 2 or 3 days for the women to wash. we killed quite a number of mountain sheep and buffaloes. After 3 or 4 days we continued our journey up Sweet Water. I killed on Sweet water as we traveled up the stream some 20 antelope and 11 of their hides I took in to Salt Lake. Then [When] we came to Pacific Springs we camped for one day.
The next day we started for Bear River which we crossed safely by raising our wagon beds with blocks to keep the water from running into them. Then we resumed our way towards green river and crossing the river we again raised our wagon boxes, and crossed without an accident and then wended our way over the mountains and arrived at Salt Lake some time in October being 5 months on the road from the time we started from winter quarters until we arrived in Salt Lake.
All this I have written from memory. The records of our travels which I had kept and delivered to our Captain were lost and could not be found. and at the time of this writing, I am eighty years and 6 months old. Many instances in our travels are not here related such as loosing our cattle many of them, the Indians stealing my son, who was recovered, and a daughter that was run over, but not seriously injured, and the death of Sidney Tanner’s little boy who fell from the wagon tongue and was instantly killed by the wagon running over his neck. He was burried near the road the same day. After arriving in Salt Lake I moved my wagon into the old fort also that of Horace Alexander’s and family.