Jens Hansen autobiographical sketch, undated, 6-8.
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I was appointed captain of the camp, which assignment I had until our arrival at the Great Salt Lake Valley. It consisted of seeing to it that there was order in camp etc. While we stayed in this forest my wife and I wrote letters to our relatives in Denmark. We spent a great deal of time reading the D[octrine]. and C[ovenants]. while waiting for the oxen, wagons and other supplies to arrive.
I spent much time pondering over the laws as revealed by the Lord. Here died the little child previously mentioned we had fostered. Would the parents know where we laid it.
A part of the company was removed from the forest as we received our oxen and wagons we had been waiting for. I was assigned as temporary leader for those who came there until brother H[ans]. P[eter]. Olsen arrived with the rest of our party. The company was organized as follows; H.P. Olsen, as camp Captain, brother Bent Nielsen as wagon Captain. The company composed of sixty wagons and was divided in six groups and each group with its Captain. With every wagon was four oxen, two cows, besides a certain number of reserve oxen. While we camped here my wife [Maren Kathrine Christensen Hansen] took very sick that lasted to June twenty nineth when she died.
Because of the sickness of my wife, I had many difficulties as I had to carry her to and from the wagon in addition to caring for our little child [Joseph Christian Hansen], besides my camp assignment which caused me to get sick. I regained my health shortly after my wifes death.
After a couple of days travel we had to send back for more oxen, which we received from the church. My mentaly disturbed brother, Jorgen P[eter]. Hansen resisted to go with us after the first days departure and he would not follow, but demanded to have his clothes from the wagon. I tried to persuade him to come along, and told him what sorrow he would bring upon our father in Zion, if he did not come, but nothing helped. He said he would lie on the ground until the wolves ate his body. Several of the brethren tried to persuade him and even offered that he could drive all the way but of no avail. I then consulted with our Captain, brother Olsen, who after careful consideration said that we should leave him, as he supposed that he, after our departure, would go to the closest city and seek employment. We did this, but while we waited in camp for the oxen we should have from the church we received the rumor that my brother was still lying there, and as I now as alone without our leader, I called the company together and counseled with them. The result was that some one would go back to him bringing along a rope with which to tie him if he refused now willingly to come, but as he saw and heard this when they approached, he consented to come along.
After receiving our reserve oxen, we continued our travel across the desert. In the beginning we went a new way where the grass was extremely tall and plentiful, which was very helpful for the cattle. The beatiful vast plains layed before us, which at some places were covered with forests, and in between we also came to rivers and small creeks. My brother [Jorgen] Peder Hansen got sick and died in June (no year given). We arrived soon after to the regular used road, that took us by Fort Laramie. To this point thr [the] prairie has been level plains, but now it became more rocky and mountainous. We passed the peculiar rock formation named "Chimney Rock." We came later by "Independence Rock," and soon after we reached the very unusal rock formation, formed by nature called "The Devils Gate." It is a great rock formation that is divided all the way through making an opening for the Sweet Water river to go on its meery way. There was a whole days many wonders of nature to see, which thrilled ones every sight. And especially Echo Canyon which we also came through. It is very narrow and through runs a good stream. The road is partly dugout or cut out of the banks of that stream. When one looks to the right it is like some ancient buildings or ruins. The color of the rock formations are red, yellow and grey, and among them grow the ever beautiful Ceder trees besides many other types of trees, which gives it all a very romantic and interesting sight.
I feel and understand by all of this, partly the greatness and power of the Lord by viewing his hand work. We crossed the large and smaller mountains and entered in through Emigration canyon, where my father [Hans Jorgensen] came to meet us. We were very happy to see each other in the camp of Zion, the gathering place of God's children. My father had now another <wife> by the name of Dorthea [Christensen Jorgensen]. My mother [Else Maria Jensdatter Jorgensen] had died aboard the ship that took them from England to America, but because they were so close to land she was buried in America. October fifth 1854 we came into the great Salt Lake Valley and the beautiful laid out City.