Transcript

Transcript for William C. Harrison autobiography, circa 1918; 1990, 183-92

The latter part of March, the river broke up shoke [shook] the City like an eath quake [earthquake.] The last week in May every member of the branch went up to florence with their own team. Met others a company of 67 wagon's averaging more than two famileys per wagon with Elder John [James] Wairham [Wareham] (as Captian) as good a Captian as ever had a company If ever the greatest was a servent of all it was he ("God bless all such") an Independent train, we like many others had one yoke of oxen and lost the use of one of them[.] As we came along the plat[te] river the Indians was burning the old grass, so the new could grow for their ponies and the buffalo[.] we were forced to cross the river and go a long way around[.] Oh the flames did leap high[.] It was a grand sight[.] It looked like the world was on fire[.] But the day we started we held a meeting[.] many of the people spoke of the blessing's of the gospel[.] the spirit of God was upon My father[.] he prophecied that If the saints would harken to the words of the captian[,] keep the word of wisdom and not take the name of the Lord in vain there should not be a grave made But all should live and when the role was called in Zion there should be a greater number than when we started[.] there was to baby born[.] they lived we picked up others on the way. When we reached the Valley there was just the number prophesied not one had died.

The first and only train that crossed the wilderness without lining the way with the graves of there loved ones. But we were not all perfect so we had to be chas[te]ned. One day it was hot and dreary every body felt sick and cross. the cattle hung back in their yokes the people layed down and panted[.] we were forced to make a dry camp, so me said I want to die, no need to herd the cattle they were to tired to roam or eat. But some prayed, the Captian called a meeting. We sang preached prophets feed the people with the bread of life[.] every heart sang for joy[.] every face smiled[.] the cattle sprang up seamed as though they would dance for joy[.] ["]hook up["] we shouted[.] we went on picking up the miles with ease untill 9 a.m. we came to water and grass. We washed up and had a good rest. No sick no tired all rejoising, next day there came to the Camp many Indians to trade buffulo robes[,] buckskins and mocksins[.] they wanted, powder, shot, sugar, flour. We had no powder for them[.] one man traded poneyes with them. Father gave them a pint of sugar and a pint of the flour for a fine well taned robe[.] they did a lot of trading with us. But some did not know that Indians never joke.

He means just what he say's and will hold you to your word. Now there was with us two orphants [orphans,] a young man and his sister a beautifull girl 17, A Indian said heep wina squaw. (Brother) how much (Indian) five poney's. (Brother,) no Indian kept going up to twenty.

(Brother) all right you can have her for twenty poney's. Indian gave a qrunt a rode off. When the Captian heard of it he said we are in a bad fix lets go. So we started, two hours later here came to Indians driving 20 poney's he demanded his squaw the girl was hid in another wagon.

Mr. Indian was wrathy said he would have his squaw or bring lap Indians kill all pale face man take all squaws and papuse [papoose].

We had to buy him off at a heavy cost to all of us[.] the girl dare not show up for many day's we was afraid the Indians would steel her. I could not lift the heavy yokes onto the oxens neck but I could stand on the wagon tung slip the bows in and slip the key's in. but wagons were the old style wooden axe with lunch pin.

One day one of our oxen gave out and we was left miles behind and night came on they had to travel a long way that day to water[.] the woulves [wolves] houled [howled] close by. Step mother [Hannah Adams] howled two, Said father had brought her and her babys to feed the wolves[.] But a man came with a team and took the family to camp[.] Father and I would not leave poor old tike for the wolves. It was very dark[.] the wolves came so close we could see eyes shine and white teeth glisten a threw a stick at them they jumped and snaped as If they would eat us up[.] we could hear them coming in on all sides. Father rebuked then [them] and commanded they [them] in the name of the Lord to depart then they all left[.] we got tike up and went on slowly, rested and travled all night[.] got into camp at 6:30 am Rested that day. A man named Ashby [William Ashman] said his wagon was to light for His load[.] he would like to trade untill the[y] reached the Valley, we traded.

The cattle got along for a few days then down went a wheel[.] stoped, half a day to fix and wash up started again[.] all well but one morning one of brother Imis [Hymas] fine Oxen lie dead, Alkelied, (he had three yoke) [.] He cut his yoke into tried a spike But no go "So he said" Harrison If you can get in with one yoke I can with to so we hired his ox and all went well again. Singing every night[.] Oh how that did cheer up the saints. One Morning a brethren was seen carring his heavy grip. The Captian ask what that ment. He said the woman needed all the room in the wagon, and had throwd out his things[.] His flour quilt lay on the road[.] the captian stoped the train[,] road [rode] back got the things thewd[,] said why did you through [throw] this old man out[?] you know one of the oxen are his besides what he has done for you[.] they was ashamed and took him back[.] the woman was so abusive he put his things into another wagon.

Now the Indians were on the war path, And we came up with the remains of a train, All the people killed or taken by the red man.

Some bones still lying where the wolves had eaten the flesh off.

One days six of us boy's (about ten years old) run along a head of the train some miles[.] we came to some Graves the wolves had scratched out the bodies left the bones scattred around, we put the bones back into the holes covered them up the best we could with our hands, We then ran on and came to a pretty place, trees spring of water and grass[.] we said what a pretty place to camp, we gathered wood and put into piles then sat down waiting for the train[.] a boy said look and there coming along a ridge were some Indians[.] Oh had they seen us we layed closed to the ground in some brush, sun went down but no train in sight

we dare not start back, But oh what joy the captian. he tried to be very mad But he could not for his joy in finding us was to great. Said that they had to rest the cattle for they had to travel all night[.] It was not safe to stop there[.] the Indians at that day attacted the stage[.] had killed all 8 men and horses. We passed our pretty camp place in the night, But could not stop only for a drink.

One day we met an ox train going back to bring in emegrants[.] with them was two families aposhtates [apostates], they said Brigham wanted to kill them[.] they told awfull storys about people in Utah. Said they would take all of our property[.] Said to Father they will take your wife and daughter, with the rest of the women[.] Brigham will take his pick then the Bishops will divide the rest[.] they took a second look at step mother saying they may give her back, said let them keep her and give Ester back.

Father told them they lyed or they would not be traveling with a morman train. I don’t know which was the thickest Indian's Buffolo[e]s or Antilope [Antelope]. When the buffalo's started for water they would travel single file[.] the trail would be so deep in some places you could not see there backs[.] when a Indian wanted meat he would jump on a poney bare backed go on a hard run draw his bow string taut, shoot an arrow into the Buffilo's neck or back of his shoulder down goes beef[,] jumps down[,] cuts his thro[a]t rides on leaving it for the squaw to skin and take care of the meat then she tans the robes[.] the front half of two hides makes one robe, the hind half is no good[.] the hair is to short[.] that makes leather for the soles of foot weare. When the Indians are not on the war path the young folks do have great sport, running races on horse or a foot playing ball, clim[b]ing[,] rascelling or shooting, sport for boy's and girls see the tots lie on there back—and bring the birds out of the tree with bow and arrow[.] the squaws' do all of the work some times with a [blank space] in which is baby[.] a squaw may laugh or cry. the red man looks glum or grunts. The Indian's never steal from his own people. All he can get from the enemie or an unfriendly tribe, is his. He is a great gambler[.] they will sqaut down cross sticks[.] If I win[,] squaw is mine of he wins she is his. he will never claim a nother mans squaw or wrong a young girl, he that would wrong a squaw to taken out of the camp [is] lashed to a tree and burned. It is fun to see the young bucks riding for the bride[.] she jumps on poney[,] rides to the line[,] give the sigenals [signals,] then away she goes.

Ten, twenty or more after her[.] the one that can snatch her from her poney keeps her. But she can ride and counter with the best of them, she sees to it non gets her but the one she wants[,] then she is his slave absutley no more sport or play work or be gambled off. Acording to the will of a buck master.

Us boys would help heard [herd] the cattle[,] get wood and water for the camp[.] sometimes there was no wood[,] just buffalo chip's (dried dung)[.] now we began to climb the hill then the mountains[.] poor cattle half [have] to double, and then lock wheels[.] made only 2 miles one day over the rocks. But one day Oh those beautiful pines and grass, Cold spring water pine nuts and thimble berries. Say I could have stayed there[.] we stayed one day. Sang prayed and thanked God[.] We had reached the mountians of Ephraim. Oh the joy of that day as we travled on[.] the grand [s]cenery[,] the lofty peeks [peaks,] the beatling crag's dotted here and there with frost touched yellow Quakenasp [quaking asp] red Chockcheeries [choke cherries] then the green scrub. And the red blue mountain peas and the clear crystle [crystal] streams trinkling over the rocks[.] no pen can discribe it[.] It must be seen to Love it[.] now we come to the Green river[.] there had been a heavy rain in the hills and the river was high[.] Captian said to chain the wagon beds down or they would float off[.] (Robert wake and I took holt of a rope hanging from a wagon crossed like two fishes on a line) Father stood on the wagon toung [tongue] come up the bank with the cattle and running geers[.] the bed with his wife, Ester and the three baby's was floating down the river. The people cried they are lost. Father said no they are not. Men run down half mile or more through [threw] a rope to the girl[.] she caught it and made it fast[.] the men pulled them ashore[.] All good[s] ruined But lives saved thank the Lord. Then desert hill and gulches. Then down eco [Echo] canyon[.] heavy rain[.] went in to camp wet tired and sore[.] thunder and lighting[.] Cattle lost[.] Hannah scolding said she wished she had stayed in England. We wished she had, took till noon to find the cattle[.] camped that nite on the Weber river where Coalvill[e] now is[.] Next day heavy climb doubling up the little Mt. last camp in the hills at foot of little Mt. there we held our last meeting[,] sang praises to him who had brought as through. the Captian gave us kind advice saying I will go with you into the City. But, here I will kindley shank [shake] hands and say good bye and bless you for it is like parting with my family. To-morrow many will be met by friends who will take you to their homes. He then grasp the hand and blessed each one too the smallest babe[.] More than fifty years have passed[.] there is still Love in my heart for that man. Know for the last drive we went down emegration [Emigration] canyon over rocks, stumps, bush, cricks [creeks] finley [finally] coming out on a high bench and there about 3 miles to the North was a City of the saints and in the distance the Great Salt Lake. Some One said lets go in with a smile[.] there was just one smile, the one mule smiled and blew a blast (coming)

Sept. 24th 1862 3 P.M. we came to a halt on the block where know stands the County and City building.

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