Transcript for Woolley, Franklin Benjamin, Autobiography [ca. 1856], 13-15
. . . I received a letter from Bro A. O Smoot dated at Atchison K. F. and stating that Prest Young desired me to assist him (Smoot) in bringing the church train through that season, and requesting my immediate presence. So ended my “quick trip”. When leaving Florence Bro McGaw Agt. at that place made a present of ten Dollars, to buy some necessaries for my self. Arrived at Atchinson [Atchison] and assisted in loading the waggons and getting ready for the plains. As we were ready to start discovered we should be short of drivers being disappointed in our expectation of their being plenty who would like to get through to the valley & to their mines of Calafornia [California]. I was despatched to Florence and vicinity among the Saints to procure the services of teamsters for the trip[.] I was so far successfull that among Saints & Gentiles I procured the number I wanted by taking in some instances, an entire family with the man, and returned the day after, the train had started, they having taken a few waggons at a time, did my business, and started [-] 1 oclock Aug 11th 1856 for home[.] Travelled that afternoon 25 miles, mostly on foot, and the next morning early overtook the train. As an index to the labors, and perplexities of this trip, I will give the experience of that morning as a sample of what it was for large portions of the way. Commenced early to yoke up the cattle, men women and children surrounding the “corall” to keep them from breaking through; two or three of in corall with “lassos” to catch the wild ones, which were in proportion 5 to 1—all teamsters ignorant and of little use, and when cattle were caught and yoked, had to lead with lasso and coat to get hitched together, finally at 2 oclock in the afternoon, all were pronounced ready for start; and we broke “corall” herding each team to the road, one on each side of the cattle to guide them; and at every creek crossing or hill, I or some one of us from the valley had to drive every team. So ignorant were the cattle and their drivers herding the cattle at night and attending to the train in the day—devolved mostly upon Bros. Wardsworth—Porter Rockwell & myself. Bros Smoot & Eldre[d]ge who had charge of the train, being much of the time indisposed and, the teamsters not to be trusted[.] Sometimes I was on duty without sleep 36 hours and sometimes nearly 48—except perhaps what I might catch on horse back. or for an hour in that time in a waggon, as it seemed that unless one of us was immediately with the train something would go wrong. We had 375 oxen and 42 waggons. 1 carriage and 12 horses and mules.
Owing to the lateness of the season and being too heavily loaded &c, we had a hard trip and did not arrive until the snows began to fall in the mountains[.] We had the first snow at the “three crossings” of Sweetwater River and more or less afterwards until we got home. At Fort Ridges [Bridger] we left 8 waggons and their loads as it was impossible for our teams to take them all, through to the valley when at the mouth of Echo Kanyon [Canyon] Bro Smoot received a letter from Bro Young directing him to bring all the goods in and if he had not enough team to call upon the brethren who were out in the mountains with ox teams to assist the hand cart emmigrations, to assist in bring [-] the waggons that we left at Bridges [Bridger]. I was again called on to go back and bring up the rear which was able to do with considerable talking to some of the brethren who feared the season was too late to venture back to the fort with cattle but I succeeded in obtaining enough to answer my purpose and brought everything in, in good condition