"Margaret A. Clegg's Statement," Wasatch Wave, 28 September 1906, [4.].
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We left Florence, Nebraska on the first day of September, 1856, as happy a lot of people as ever crossed the plains. Little did we realize on that bright September morning the hardships through which we were destined to pass or the suffering, sickness and death awaiting us ere we reached that long hoped for haven of rest among the saints in the valley of the mountains. It never occurred to my young mind, being but sixteen years of age, that we should experience ought but joy and happiness on our long pilgrimage to that promised land.
I shall never forget the last time we crossed the Platte River. I was the only female that drew a hand cart through the ice waters of the river at the last crossing. Captain Jesse Haven's Company of wagons that traveled with us most of the way, brought their teams and took most of the women and children across and also the feeble men, my father among them; for he was so affected with rheumatism that he could not walk. The next morning when we awoke the mountains were clad almost to their base with a white mantle of snow and the storms of winter were gathering and very cold. It almost seemed that we would perish. In fact, many of our company froze to death, my twelve year old brother among them, and we buried him there in the desolate wilderness fifty miles the other side of Devils Gate. We camped there for two weeks, our rations being four ounces of flour a day to each person.
Some teams from Salt Lake came to our rescue bringing with them flour, salt and other things; then we moved on from there to Devils Gate. After a few days of rest we came on to Independence Rock on the Sweetwater where we met more teams from Salt Lake. There we left our handcarts and all of the other things that were not actually needed and came on. All those that could walked, and those who could not walk rode in wagons.
At Independence Rock my other brother, six years old, died from cold and exposure and my only sister had her feet so badly frozen that she lost the two first joints of her big toes.
We reached the valley of Salt Lake on the 30th day of November, 1856, after two months of the most indescribable suffering and hardships, the worst we thought of any company of men, women and children was ever called upon to endure. My father, John Griffiths, was ill most of the way with rheumatism and died the next morning after reaching Salt Lake City, from the cold, exposure and privations of that terrible journey.