Grant, D[avid] to William G. Noble, 30 Aug. 1856, "Foreign Correspondence," Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, 29 Nov. 1856, 767.
Scott’s Bluffs, 50 miles east of
August 30, 1856.
Dear Brother William G. Noble—It is with pleasure that I spend a few moments in writing to you, after travelling, to-day, twenty miles, and helping to pull a hand-cart the most of the way. If you come to Utah next year, a few items of information from me may be useful to you. It is one month to-day since we left Florence, formerly called Winter Quarters, and we are almost five hundred miles from it. I have travelled the same road three times with horse and ox teams, but never made the trip in so short a time before. We have averaged twenty miles a-day for the past week, and are determined to average that or more every day until we reach Great Salt Lake City, where the Prophets and Apostles of our God live.
The Saints are getting more and more of the spirit of Zion upon them as they approach nearer to it. I will give it as my opinion, that the Saints will cross the Plains with hand-carts for years to come, because of the utility of the plan, considering the circumstances by which the Saints are surrounded. There are twenty persons and four hand-carts to each tent. Each adult person has seventeen and each child ten pounds of luggage, which consists of bedding and wearing apparel; extra of this they haul their cooking utensils.
The provisions are hauled in a wagon, and rationed out to the company every other day, as follows—to each adult or child per day, on[e] pound of flour, with tea or coffee, sugar, and rice. We have, for the use of the company, eighteen cows that give milk, and have killed three fine buffaloes, and eaten as we had need. Besides that which I have enumerated, we have with us beef cattle enough to last through to Utah, using one of them a-week. This is so healthy a country, that our appetites are very good, and we send our allowances home without much trouble. There are some very old brethren and sisters that walk every day. One sister, that has walked all the way from Iowa City, is seventy-three years old. There are in the company those still more advanced in years, who ride in the wagons. . . .
If there were settlements every hundred and fifty or two hundred miles on the road, from which companies could get supplies, they could carry their provisions on their hand-carts, and dispense with the provision wagons, which greatly retard our progress. . . .
We travel together in peace and harmony, and when we camp, are not molested by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Elder [Edward] Bunker has proved himself a father to this people, and I know that the Holy Spirit has been with and aided him to leading them all the time.
I am happy to say that we have been united in all things since we left Iowa City, and am glad in having such a man to lead us as our Captain. He sends his love to you and family, the Bradford Saints, and all inquiring friends. Please remember me to the Manchester and Bradford Saints; also give my love to your worthy Pastor, Elder Dana, brother Pratt, and all associated with him in the Office. I pray God to bless you in your high and holy calling.