Greenwood, Alice Houghton to My Grand Children, 27 Mar. 1881, in William Greenwood, "William Greenwood Family" [197_?], 50-51.
Dear Mother, Brothers & Sisters, —
I sit down to write to you a few items of things that have transpired since I wrote to you. I must first excuse myself for delaying to write to you before this, but the reason is I have been in such an unsettled condition, I have never felt like writing, but suffice to say I have never lamented my condition and all my sacrifices and losses and sufferings because it has been for the Kingdom of God's sake though you may not believe it but I do and know it.
I will commence my travels from Davenport to Nauvoo August 24 1845. I bought me a brick house and a log house and a city lot there, and that fall the Saints had to promise the mob party to leave in the Spring which they agreed to do. So accordingly everyone sold his property for what he could get, as we could not live there in peace and enjoy our religion. I sold my property in Davenport and Nauvoo at a great sacrifice and assisted the poor Saints to move away from the mobocracy and those who sought our lives.—for while in Nauvoo I have with my brethren laid out night after night and day after day expecting a ruthless mob upon us but the cursed mean cowards never came but would threaten to come and destroy us but to be brief, I journey'd from Nauvoo to Counsel Bluffs a distance of 300 miles through an unsettled wild rich country, there the general camp wintered. I fell sick that fall and had a severe spell of fever and ague, but the Most High delivered me from the Monster Death.—The country around Counsel Bluffs is nothing but bluffs for miles around situated on Missouria River. I recovered of my disease and had to go down into Missouria 160 miles for an outfit to go over the mountains, even the Rocky Mountains of North America or the Back Bone of the world ___. I returned to the C Bluffs and rigged my waggons 3 in number 3 yoke of cattle 2 horses and 3 cows, and
on the 16 June started to go to a place I knew not where but somewhere over the mountains but a number of Pioners had started from the Bluffs the March before to hunt out a place where no white man dwelt, a place where we could rest from our toils of being driven or compel'd to leave our homes, a place of security from this wicked world. We traveled up the Platt Rivers for 500 miles to Fort John, a Fort where men live to trade with the Indians—in traveling this distance we travelled through the Pawnee Indian Village and the Sioux Indian Nation. We came across the Antilope and vast herds of Buffalo even of hundreds and thousands. Some writers give them the name of bison. They are something like our cows and bulls only they are heavier made before and the bulls have more hair on their foreparts and are of a dark dun colour, their flesh is very sweet to eat and a person can live alone on it. I sold my Brother James a skin of one of those animals. The antilope is excellent meat to eat. The land this distance up the Platts [Platte] is a barren country and almost destitute of timber. The feed though on the bottoms joining the River is generally good. From Fort John to this valley is 52 miles over stupendous mountains that you would think no waggons could pass. No feed could be obtained, but we got along first rate considering the country, but I can assure you it is a long and tedious journey, being something like 1500 miles from Davenport to here, and travelled it with my family in covered waggons. The last 100 miles is some of the worst road you can imagine over mountains 3, 5 to 7 miles from the top to the bottom, and so narrow are the passes you would almost think to look ahead of you that you could travel no farther but a narrow passage always opens out before you.