Grant, William, Autobiography and diary, 1882 May-1911 Sept., 16-19.
we paped [passed] Fort Kearney. and Journeyd along the South Platt[e] River Till we Came to a good ford then we had to cross it and all able bodied persons were called on to Walk across the river it was a swift running river and in places 4 foot deep. as I could not swim I dreaded this Journey of a Mile across the river So I waited till the wagons crossed and walked behind our wagon at times swimming by holding on behind—we all crossed in safety but got wet to tots—and stayed a day on the other side of the river to dry our clothes &—we crossed other small streams and only them the 3 crossings of the sweetwater. after being 5 weeks out at a place Called Silver Creek Our darling Lizzy was much worse and in two or three minutes after the wagon stopped she died there which was a hard Trial, Indeed to us.
August 13,1866—there was no other death all the way among the company Except one old Lady 80, was Buried about ½ way on the plains[.] I guarded her body all night lying beside it under the wagon. we buried her next morning in a grave dug for us on a Beautiful spot on the side of the Hill. and then started off never to Look on that spot any more. It filled our hearts with a sorrow unmentionable—this place was 5 miles east of North Platt Bridge. this day we crossed said Bridge. About this time One of Our EmiGrants was took. Many others Incidents Occurd which I cannot stay to put in this History.
One day I stayed behind to get some sand Cherries I found. for I was hunting Wild Fruits all the way and found Currants. Gooseberies. Mushrooms &c which we cooked and eat. said day there was a Band of Indians rode up when I was alone and surrounded me. begged me for Tobbaco—I showed them my Teeth and Explained I did not use it. They drove away yelling and Laughing—we soon passed Fort Larimi [Laramie]—the only Town on the way. and here I Bought some Cheese and a Bottle of Medicine—spending my last 50¢ so now I was penniless. we had nothing but Bacon and Mollases with a little Flour to eat. so we fared Very hard—there was a Company ahead of us 3 or 4 days and they killd and drove off all the game—and we had but little <in consequence> a fine Bear was shot by 3 or 4 hunters and we dined of Bear Meet 3 or 4 days. The Bear weighd 800 pounds. I had some little Veal given me for helping a man kill a Calf on the way—also Some Soldiers gave me Some dried Elk that was Beautiful soon after this I was Very Sick with dia[rr]hea and sufferd much 3 or 4 days. Untill we go to Bear River. where we met some teams coming Out to meet the emiGrants. I begged Some Onions and Potatoes from them and it done me much good. We stayed ½ a day and rested here and Chatted with the Boys from Utah—then we Commenced Our Journey through the rugged and rough Mountains and Canyons. the Landscape all the way was most delightfull, but here we were now in the Canyons with Magnificient Castelaked rocks all around us the sight was Charming and had we not been a Band of poor Worn and Weared Pilgrims we must have enjoyed it much more but it was most magnificent to me.
we crossed green river in a Ferry Boat all safe and Soon Came to the Mormon settlements where some of our Old Friends lived and I soon found many of them. and our sufferings for lack of food was ended. They gave us milk, Bread, Meat Vegetables, Butter & Cheese &c—Thanks to their kind hearts we had been without salt 6 days and it was a Treat indeed to get some salt. Our hearts were now full of Joy. We had made the Trip. Though pang always Came when we thought of the little one laid to rest on the way. we passed through Echo Canyon and Parleys Park. Emegration Canyon and then the Beautiful City of Salt Lake Burst to our View. Joy—Joy here was to us a Paradise indeed. 5 miles Brought us to the heart of the City and we were delirous with delight in the streets we met and shook hands with many of the friends of our childhood and Bros & Sisters in Christ.