Transcript

Transcript for Woodmansee, Emily Hill, [Autobiography], in Augusta Joyce Crocheron, comp., Representative Women of Deseret, [1884], 85-86

"From New York we traveled by rail and by way of Lake Erie to the camping ground in the neighborhood of Iowa City; there we were obliged to wait till the companies were ready to start, and surely if we had been natural or unnatural curiosities we could not have been commented on or stared at any more by the people surrounding us. 'Mormons, men, women and children, and worse, a lot of young girls, bound for Salt Lake and going to pull 'hand carts!' Shocking!'

"Yet, for the potent reason that no other way seemed open, and on the principle of 'descending below all things,' I made up my mind to pull a hand cart. 'All the way to Zion,' a foot journey from Iowa to Utah, and pull our luggage, think of it! Anonymous letters, and warnings from sympathizing outsiders were mysteriously conveyed to us, setting forth the hardships and impossibilities of such a journey, and offering us inducements to stay. Many who started out with us backed out in a few days; my sister broke down and was unable to walk and I remember asking myself (footsore and weary with the first week of walking and working) if it was possible for me, faith or no faith, to walk twelve hundred miles further. The flesh certainly was weak but the spirit was willing, I set down my foot that I would try, and by the blessing of God I pulled a hand cart a thousand miles and never rode one step. Some thrilling scenes I could relate incident to that journey, but must forbear for want of space. Suffice it to say that after a long and wearisome journey, being entirely out of provisions, we halted for want of strength to proceed, and never should I have beheld (with mortal eyes) 'the city of the Saints' had not the compassionate people of Utah sent out a number of brave-hearted brethren with food and clothing to our relief. May they all be everlastingly blessed.

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