Clark, Louisa Mellor, A Record Given at Spring Lake, 1-2.
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
A Record given at Spring Lake.—I Louisa Mellor Clark, oldest daughter of James Mellor and Mary Ann Payne. I was born May 23, 1840 in the town of Leister England. When I was about 4 yrs. old my father and mother joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and in a few months after the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyram [Hyrum] was mur[d]ered. I lived at home and went to Sunday school, but only about 6 months day school in my life. I went out to work at times to various kinds of work. Attended meetings regularly untill I was convinced of the true gospel. Then I was baptized at about 14 years of age by Elder Newton in Leister conference. Then in May 23, 1856 my father and mother emigrated to America, was 5 weeks on the sea then landed at Boston. Then traveled 2 weeks in Missouri there we were organized into the second hand-cart company. About 500 souls in all and away we started full of faith and singing hand-cart songs and feeling well untill the cold weather set in and storms came and we had traveled about 20 miles per day. We were about the Black Hills when the first hailstorm come and snowed untill it was 2 feet deep and we began to feel nervous. Then provisions got scarse and we were put on half rations ½ lb. flour per head man per day. This seemed to be to[o] trying and if any cattle died they were all eaten even to the hides and heads.
A little incident I well remember accured [occurred]. A cow died that was in calf and mother got the calf head and they had a great feast of it, that is to say father and mother. she roasted it in the camp fire and next day packed along and eat it. So we traveled until a great many died mostly old people. For we had to wade through streams sometimes up to our waists and when we reached camp and made a fire to thaw out. At last the snow got four feet deep after we had to shovel a road before we could move. Thus our traveling was very slow and our provisions gave nearly out so the captain called a meeting and told us there was only one more days provisions left in camp and asked if we would have it all or divide it into three days.
We all agree to devide it and then we sang the hymn, "If We Die Before Our Journeys Through Happy Day All Is Well." The camp then gave up to die and at this feeling it brought a lamentation struggles. At this time the Lord knew our situation and he sent us deliverance. A hurrah burst upon the camp and three messengers came riding into camp Bro. L. Weelback [Wheelock], Joseph A. Young and E. Hawkes. They told us to cheer up as there was 10 wagons loaded with provisions for the next day breakfast and by night we could get to the train camp. We done some shoveling and hard work and at night we got to their camp. They had a large fire and a good supper prepared and most over whelming feeling cannot be described. They had traveled 200 miles to meet this company sent by Pres. B. Young and the saints in Salt Lake. But it seemed a goodly number was almost to far ex[h]austed to recover as some died every day, some was badly frozen and some to death. Only about ½ got thru. My folks all got thru though. Most of us had frozen feet or hands. My brother James, the oldest, was the worst and I was the least frozen of all. We arrived in Great Salt Lake the latter part of November 1856. Being 6 months from England on the trip. We was received in the city by the saints some with joy to see us as we were for it was a pitiful sight to see.
President Young met us but was so melted down he had to go home sick but blessed us on this journey witnessing some heart rendering [rending] scenes. Sometimes as many as 13 I have seen burried [buried] in the morning before we started. But it seemed we had lost some of the feeling seeing so many die.