William B. Pace autobiography, 1904, (14-15).
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We finally pulled out of San Bernardino with Alexander Williams, myself, the Adams', Abrams the Jew, William Perkins and his wife who were returning from a Mission to the Sandwich Islands, and one other whose name I disremember, two wagons, eight mules and six riding horses. With this outfit and a goodly supply of provisions, we took leave of the good people of San Bernardino and wended our way through the Cahone [Cajon] Pass early in April 1853, and soon reached the Mojave River.
Our trip homeward was without any incidents of moment until we reached the Santa Clara Creek in Utah. On our way we had met Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich and a few others at Mountain Springs, about twenty-five miles west of Los Vegas, who were on their way back to San Bernardino from Conference in Salt Lake City. They, seeing our numbers few, cautioned us as to Indians from there on, until we reached the settlements. Hence every precaution that could be, was taken and we moved on slowly. From there to Los [Las] Vegas, across the Vegas Desert and all up the Rio-Virgin, no sign of Indians until we began to feel safe. Crossing the Mesa and a chain of mountains we saw no sign of natives. Here we reached the Santa Clara Creek and stopped and turned our animals out for noon, taking no precautions for danger. The cooks went about preparing dinner, and Abrams the Jew, as was his custom when opportunity offered, opened up his pack of goods to give them air, I suppose.
I, being teamster, was doing something about the wagons near Abrams. All of a sudden eight or ten Indians came walking into camp. On looking farther I saw we were completely surrounded by not less than four-hundred of the blackest looking Indians nature ever produced.
"Here was a pretty kettle of fish." We were eight strong, poorly armed and one of our number a woman. It was no use to go after our animals for most of them were already in the possession of the Indians. To say it looked like all was lost, does not express it. Well, to be brief, all seemed to stand where they were. The Indians on their way, walked into camp, and as Abrams was all unpacked, they made him the first call, appropriating some trifling objects and tucking them under their clothing. To this he demurred and drew an old Allen's pepper-box pistol, as if he would annihiliate the whole tribe. Standing close by him, it suddenly occurred to me this would not do, hence I grabbed for the pistol and at the same time gave him such a shove that he went sprawling over the wagon tongue, dropped the pistol, which I picked up and proposed to empty it into his carcass if he did not keep still. He was a man that weighed over 200 pounds, while I was rather small. This or some other power changed the minds of the Indians in a twinkling, for before I had fairly finished with the Jew, the old chief was patting me on the back and saying "Big Captain" then he jumped on a rock close by and made a speech to the Indians. Presently our animals were driven back and two Indians told to herd them, then all the natives except the chief and the two herdsmen vamosed up the road.
The relief from what appeared to be annihilation was great. We finally settled down, got our dinners, fed the chief and the two Indians, then our animals were brought in and we hooked up and pulled out, the chief and the two indians going with us. About five miles up the creek where the road passed under a cliff, we overhauled the indians busily engaged removing the obstructions they had placed in the road to hinder our progress. It seemed they had calculated on our coming past this place before we stopped for noon, but having stopped where we first struck the Santa Clara, they had concluded they had force enough to over power us there, and hence moved down with the result above stated. The obstructions removed, the old chief made another speech to the indians and they left us. we drove on to about where the little town of Gunlock now stands, and camped.
The old chief and two indians came into camp, took our animals and made us understand that they would place them on good feed, and return them in the morning. We gave them something to eat and trusted them. The old chief, which we learned, was named Tutsagubet, stayed with us as surety, I suppose, for the safe return of the animals.
The next morning our animals came in all right and we drove to the Mountain Meadow (the place since notorious for the Lee Massacre) and camped, Tutsagubet and the two indians still with us. They took our animals as before. The next day we drove to Antelope Springs, the indians still guarding us, and the next day we came in sight of Cedar City. Tutsagubet said we were safe now and they would go back, we gave them some presents and parted.
In after years I had occasion to organize a mining district in that country which was designated " Tutsagubet Mining" district, in honor of the old chief, long since dead. This was the only momento I could make for his kindness in thus saving our lives.
At Cedar City, one of the settlements established by George A. Smith in 1851, we traded for some butter and eggs and fared sumptuously. From here to Provo, the end of our journey, nothing of note, except plenty of high water at Beaver, Sevier and Spanish Fork occurred which was overcome and we reached Provo safely in May 1853, finding all well, my wife having given birth to a daughter in January 5, 1853 which added to my joy in getting home.
At Payson I met my mother and family. My father had gone to England on a Mission and every thing looked like it needed looking after, so I decided to locate there, as soon as the Spanish Fork River was passable.