Transcript for Roseberry, Helena Erickson, Autobiography, 1883-1899, [6-7]

We got on the railroad to where we got on the steamboat to go to Florence then the mob surrounded us and came very near drowning us. We expected to stop at Florence but received counsel from President Young to go on to Utah. We then started twelve hundred miles across desert plains to pull a handcart. This required great faith for me to walk and pull a handcart and carry my babies some of the time.

If the Lord had not blessed me I never could have lived through it for before we left the ship we thought we would starve. I was begging for bread and there was a man gave me the last he had for my little children. We had to carry provisions on the handcart to last us a week, besides our bedding and clothing, two hundred pounds of flour for us to pull, so Roseberry and another man went and took one of the sacks of four back and told them we could not pull so much, we had too many children.

I had to walk and carry one of my babies and help to pull the cart for many weeks until my feet begin to swell up so I had to ride some but it was so crowded I would rather walk as long as I possibly could. I cannot tell all I suffered on that journey but the Lord knew it. One day they tipped the wagon over and broke my hip so they had to carry me to the tent every night and there I lay on the ground with a few things under my head and a baby on each arm.

The reason I had no bedding and clothing, a boy hid most of my things to keep them from throwing them away as they were not allowed to haul many things. Roseberry got sick of starvation and could not pull the handcart any longer. About this time Joseph Young passed us and told the captain to give a pound and a half more flour per day or we would not be able to go any further, but we did not get more. When the captain saw we were about to starve he had an ox killed. The small share I got of the meat I kept mostly for my children.

When we came to Green River I bought three pounds of flour and one pound of shorts for two pillows which enable me to keep my children from starving. At Green River the company parted. Twenty-four handcarts went on as fast as they could to meet the teams from Salt Lake with provisions. It was a happy time when they met the teams. If they had not brought provisions when they did we must have starved. At this time there was an old woman that rode in the wagon that saw I was nearly dead and she took my babies from me and kept them in the wagon. This enabled me to live until we overtook the company that met the wagons with the provisions.

When we camped at night those who came to meet us would have to go back and gather up those who lay on the road side not able to get to camp. Pen and ink cannot tell all I have passed through but by the help of God I have passed through firey trials and expect to get my reward. I never wished myself back in my native land but hope to stand as a saviour to my father's house. We arrived in Salt Lake City September 2, 1859 and Apostle Erastus Snow stood upon his horse in the midst of the camp and preached to us. I was not able to go out I was yet lame of the hurt I got when the wagon tipped over and broke my hip. The people was very kind to come and bring food ready cooked. The others had plenty but I did not get any. When I went out to the campfire there was many sisters sat around who had got more to eat than I had but there was woman come with a very large loaf of bread and asked me if I wanted it. I said yes. I thought the Lord had sent her for I could not speak one word of English. It was hard for me to express my gratitude to her, but the Lord will bless those who minister to the least of his saints who do it unto him but the unbelieving will say "Lord, when did we see thee hungered, thirsty, sick or in prison?"