Transcript for White, Edward H., Patriarch Edward H. White's Talk to His Family, [2-3]

When first I landed, I settled in Weber County, after driving ox teams one thousand miles. We had many hardships coming through at that time because we came to this valley when the Civil War was going on. The railroad was just being constructed, bridges were torn up, and it was a trial to get here to Weber. We had a hard time coming through the states, a very critical time, and we hardly knew whether we were going to get through safe, because our lives sometimes were at stake at different places where we landed. Captain Warren Snow said that it looked pretty blue, for he saw the trouble there was, and great anxiety was upon his mind of the Saints coming here and crossing the states. It was not my intention to review the details of our journey, because I haven’t time, but I will say that I drove an ox team across the plains a thousand miles, and I had no place to lie down, neither in a wagon nor in a tent. My place was by the camp fire, when we got to the place were there was any timber. My wife, of course, was in the wagon, and she never pulled off her clothes all the way though the states. We started out with three young children, and we were very crowded in the wagon, because I think, there were about ten persons in the wagon, together with our luggage, leaving hardly any place to even sit down. I myself stayed out of the wagon, as I drove the ox team in the day and had to keep guard at night. After our journey during the day I had to keep guard and herd the cattle and look after them. Our rations were very small and barely enough to sustain life. We had bread and water all the way across, and what else we did have, there was not any way to cook it. No way to make bread or anything. I laid out all the time. If I didn’t have a fire, I took my wife’s shawl to cover over me. It was in the fall and cold weather, and some perished before they got here. I always kept guard when it was my turn, and I was keeping guard when Brother John Kay died. It was about twelve o’clock when he died, and I was the first to take the news. I heard the last words his wife said when he died. I took the news to Captain Snow, who brought a glass to see whether he was breathing or not. They buried him and passed on.

We stated our journey with three yoke of oxen, but reached Weber County with only two yoke, because I had to give one to a family whose oxen had given out on them.