Charles K. Hansen record, circa 1917, 91-96.
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Peter C. Johanssen [Peder Christian Johansen] whom my wife and I was assist on the journey, had a little girl very, sick here, my wife was attending her; an[d] shortly before we reached Omaha she breathed her last, and was buried there[.] I was one of four to pack the corps over one mile to the graveyard, as the man was to stingy to hire a coatch to haul her there.—
During our stay in Omaha, which was about one and a half day, we was visited by hundreds of the inhabitants, who was pretty much <all> Apostates, some had been in Utah and had returned to Omaha, and others had never been there, but all labored very energetically to persuade the emigrants not to go any further, the took them with them home, and showed them all the courtesey possible, to make it appear the great interest they was taking, in their wellfare, and at the same time told the most horrible stories about Utah and the Mormons, but I do not remember more than one family who remained there; and I believe it was on account of him not having money enough to take him any further, and that was a man from Copenhagen named Jensen.
Well, after we had provided our selves with provisions to last us till our regular supply arrived from Chicago, we boarded the U.P. train and went as far as the north Platt[e], where our Cattle was feeding, there had been bought in Utah, and drove from there, to the Platt-River that spring (Our company of Emigrants, was an independent Company, we had no assistance from the church; but had sent our money from Denmark to the emigration Agent to buy our provissions cattle and wagons etc etc.—) and had been <fee>ding there for some time, and was now in pretty good order for traveling, but a delay was caused some way or other, before our wagons and provissions arrived for bout three weeks, in which time great many of the Emigrants died, so we made a whole grave yard while laying on the Platt, but finally the day for starting our tedious journey had come, our Company was organized into five small companies, each with a captain <who> there drove ahead of his company, and the companies, each in turns, took the lead of all the companies. one day at the time.—We was now moving, but, o! what far croocked marks we made, the half of the Oxen was only half brock,[broke] and the teamsters not brock at all, the biggest part of them was danish, there could not speak one english word, and the Cattle had never been in Denmark, hence the croocked marks, but the[re] was wide roads on the plains in those days, so the men and the cattle was drilling each other, till the learned to travel on the most difficult roads, and brought each other through to Salt Lake City, but our experiencess was great with many hardships in traveling from eighteen to twenty six miles a day, tramping besides our wagons, through heath and dust, forthing [fording] Rivers and streams, and drying our wet clothes on our bodies, as we was traveling along, and some times we did not make camp till nine o clock in the evening, and of cours, we had to continue till we found feed, and water for our teames, and then when we did camp the teamsters as a rule had to unhitch and part of them herd the cattle, while an other part was standing guard around the camp to watch against Indians, and other dangerous characters that we came in contact with from time to time, and as a rule it was raining, thundering, and lightning almost every night, so that often when we was released from our guard we were often drenched to the skin, and had to dry our cloths in the sun during the day as we traveled along.—Deaths was almost a daily occurrence, and many of the Emigrants did not seam to care much whether the loved or died.
One sad accident happened to one of our teamsters, a fine young man twenty one years old, named Niels Peter Hansen, where we was traveling at the time, the road made a curv like a horseshoe, and brother Hansen's wagon happened to be right on the curve, when a Rabbit jumped up, and run opposit[e] the train, and three of the brethren took after it, two with guns, and one with a Revolver, the latter been Niels Peter Rasmussen from Aarhus (generally known as mason Rasmussen) but suddently the Rabbit turned, and run toward the train, right in the ben, and as the brethren turned to pursue their pray, brother Rasmussen stumbled, and his Revolver went off and the bullet hit brother Hansen right in his forehead; he fell of cours and the whole train was stopped, for some time.—Brigham Young junior was in the train and he, and two of his brothers, and others administered to him, but to no use. h[e] had got his death blow, he was put in his wagon till we arrived at a Soldier Station[.] there was a pretended physician, there was going to show his skill, in extracting the bu[llet] he dug out a whole saucer full of brain, but no bullet, which caused the poor sufferer to go cracy, he suffered imencely for six days before he died. His parents had emigrated the year previously, and was living on the Weber, and when we came in we happened to camp a short distance from where the lived, and they came running to camp with glad faces to receive their Son and you can imagain their feelings, when the accident was explained to them.
Well, our company was moving slowly toward the west, under the direction of our captain William G. Rise [Leonard G. Rice] nothing serious happened; only the naturally trials, and hardships connected with such a journey, some murmuring, and dissatisfaction of course, and among those who did not do the least grumbling was Peter C. Johansen, the man that I, and my wife was serving, and whose teamster I was, he had from the very beginning of our journey, gravelled and grumbled, and found fault with every thing, and keeping getting wors[e] every day, so that his company was not very desirable, but as he was the man there loaned me three hundred dollars, danish, for mine, and wifes Emigration, I felt to bare with him as much as possible which I did; as long as I thought that he was honest, but when the company was camping two or three miles this side of Ft Larmy, [Laramie] I, with some other brethren went into the town for to do a little treading[trading], and as soon as I was out of sight, he turned everything upside down in the wagon,and stole the biggest part of my provission and boxed it up, which my wife accidentally happened to see, and in a few days we began to feel the effect thereof, as we was first told our sugar had given out, then our fruit, then baccon, its ets and in a short time we was put on half rasons[rations] of flour so we had a mighty scant living, which cause that my wife often had to go to her friends to beg a piece of bread; to keep her from fainting, as she was in a delicate condition, and the most aggravating part was, that we had bought the provissions with our own money, and we had to go hungry when others had a great surplus.—
Our severest experience, was when we arrived at the south pass, here we was over took by a heavy snowstorm, there lasted for two days, the snow got knee deep, and no earthly show for the cattle to get anything to eat, which made it look very glooming, as our very lifes was depending upon them, and what added greatly to our sufferings was that there was no sign of fuel in camp of any kind and no possible shove to get anything where with to make a fire, so women had to warm their little children under their own cloths.—Several of us brethren went to the captain and asked him what we was to do to procure fire where with to warm our selves, and do the necessary cooking, and asked him if we could not cut down some of the Tellegraph poles, he answered, he could not give permission to do anything of the kind, so we left him, and thought we would be our own lawmackers, before we would see, our women and children frees, and starve to death.—We subsequently went to work; each two men took a yoke of cattle, chain, and ax, and went for the telegraph poles, cut them down for about two miles, left the wires on the ground, hauled the poles to camp; made fires, and it gave new life all over.—
Another bad fiture at that time was, that the english Emigrants was out of provisions, although they had had, the same amount as the Scandinavians but the latter had proved; that they knew better how to occonemice, they had suficesent to take them through; but not enough to take the English also, and the result was that Brigham Young had to leave camp in his carriage, and with the greatest possible haste made for Salt Lake City, and dispatched six wagon loads of provision, to help the suffering english Emigrants and
on the 5th of October about dusk a very rainy day, the emigrant train wheeled in on the church farm three miles south of the City, where we were instructed to turn our teames out to feed, during Conference time.—We had now reached our destination, and both man, and beast of the whole company, was pretty well worn out, and we felt to lift our hearts in thanks to God; that we had been preserved on this long tideous journey, as many were now missing of those there was with us, at the beginning of our journey.—Parants had lost their children, and children parants, many had been made widowers, widows and orfants, but all for the gosple sake and the Lord has promised a hundred-fold in this life, and life eternal in the world to come, for all these sacrifices.—
The next morning, October 6th 1867, after a very stormful and rainy night we got up early, and had a general cleaning up, and put on our very finest attire, the day was very windy but we started for the City, and I for one felt like I could kiss the very ground I was stepping on. I was now in Zion, where the Prophets and Apostles of Christ dwell…
[Note: A typescript version (Charles Keilgaard Hansen, Reminiscences [ca. 1917]) is also available in the LDS Church Archives.]