Transcript for Thompson, M. J., "Early Church Recollections," Juvenile Instructor, 15 July 1897, 430-31

In June, 1847, my mother Mercy R. Thompson, and I bid good-bye to Aunt [Mary] Smith and Uncle [Joseph] Fielding and their families, and started West with the first company which left Winter Quarters after the departure of President Young and pioneers.

I will not dwell on the experiences of the journey, as those who were older than I, and who had more experience, have already done so, but I will briefly narrate a circumstance or two. I recall vividly the day on which our company met President Brigham Young and the company of pioneers who were retuning with him to Winter Quarters. On that day Brother Wm. C. Staines came to our wagon and rode for a short time with us, relating many interesting incidents of his experience on the frontier. He presented me with a papoose's moccasin ornamented with beads, which was very pretty and to me quite a curiosity. I kept that moccasin for many years, but finally took off the beads and put them on a string. They now belong to Master Joseph S. Nelson a grandson of President Joseph F. Smith.

George Mills whom Aunt Mary sent out with the pioneers to begin a foundation for a home for her family in the valley accompanied them back until they met our company when he returned with us to the valley. According to my mother's journal the wagon he drove was upset and considerably damaged. Sister Margaret Bryson who was riding in the wagon narrowly escaped serious injury. I shall never forget her first expression on emerging from the wreck, "O, I'm kilt, I'm kilt!" This circumstance occurred a short time before we arrived in the valley, which was about the 23rd day of September, 1847.

The first thing which attracted my attention when we came into the camping grounds which is now called the Old Fort Square in this city, was a liberty pole from which floated our national banner, the beautiful stars and stripes, the sight of which cheered my heart and gave me a homelike feeling although in a strange land, for I hadn't seen our flag it seemed to me for almost an age, and the sight of it under the circumstances seemed an assurance that our journey was practically at an end, and it awakened a lively gratitude to God and hope for better times.