Ririe, James, The Autobiography of James Ririe, 34-37. (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)
But we had to take twelve in a wagon and consented to reduce our extra luggage to seventy-five pounds and if possible to fifty. There was no way to hire our extra luggage taken to the Valley so we burned our boxes and extra weight over seventy-five. We put our clothes in sacks.
The Captin of the company was Jacob Gates. There were 33 wagons in the company and 400 people.
The four milk cows proved to be mostly dry cows or heifers. He had one milk cow among thirty-six of us and she died on Sweet Water.
Across Iowa the roads were very bad, and us greenhorns poor teamsters. I did not know how we could get through the Rocky Mountains with wooden exles, oxen and a stick across the oxen's necks to pull by. I had never seen any such outfit. American ways were all new to us.
We had thirty pounds of flour each to take us to Council Bluffs. It had to last us thirty days. But it did not do us. When the flour gave out, there were chances to buy, so I called at a Mill. They had no flour. I asked if they had corn meal. Yes, plenty. When they showed it to me, I said, "That's not corn meal." They said it was Indian corn meal. "Oh!, said I, " "It's corn meal made from oats."
"I wouldn't call oats, corn!" the man said.
I bought the meal and asked how to cook it. They said the same as flour. But they did not tell us to sift it, so we cooked it, bran and all. It was not very palatable.
We got to Council Bluffs the 30th of June, but as the 4th of July was near, the ferrymen had to celebrate
so we did not get started to ferry until the 11th of July. All got over by the 16th inclusive.
On the 16th of July, we left the Missouri River. That afternoon I was so sick, I had to lay in the wagon, the only time I did ride from the Mississippi to Salt Lake.
While laying near the Bluffs, I found George McKenzies, late of Dundee and Aberdeen, I called on them and was invited to stop and sleep there. I did so for four nights. It was so good to go to sleep with mosquito bars around the bed.
The second night I was there, Mr. McKenzie came home from a trip up the river to look for land, as there was land then coming into the market. He had a neighbor with him and they had had a good drink. McKenzie let out quite freely on me about Brigham Young and polygamy. I said little that night.
The next day when he was sober he began to apologize for what he had said the might before.
Said he, "I do not know how it if, as me, that has been a very rough man, should feel so against polygamy.
Said I, for he knew that I knew of his conduct. "Mr. McKenzie, it is just the like of you that is opposed to that principle. No virtuous man or woman that understands what polygamy is for, is opposed to it."
When we did get started to cross the river, we had to cut willows, fill up sloughs, make road, three quarters of a mile, to pull the boat up by hand. Then ere it got across, it had to be pulled up on the other side to the landing.
In getting the Ferrying done, I had overworked myself. When we did start the afternoon of July 16th, I had to lay in the wagon sick, the only time I did ride from the Mississippi to Salt Lake.
We got all our provisions rationed out to us at Council Bluffs. 100 pounds of Flour, one pint of sugar, one pound of tea for 12, and 10 pounds of bacon to grease the wagon, one bucket full of salt for 12, but to feed the cattle. The salt, sugar and tea was all gone ere we got to Larramie [Laramie].
At the Bluffs, I had asked President Haight, if I could not take 25 pounds of flour extra with me, as I had seen that in coming from Keokuk to the Bluffs, a pound a day was not sufficient.
Abruptly he said, "We won't haul it for you, Sir."
By the time we got to Laramie, halfway from the Bluffs to Salt Lake, some had all their flour eaten up. From then on, it was divide divide, until within ten days travel to Salt Lake, the captin called for all the flour in the company to be brought in and the last division was made which was two and one-half pounds each and had to last us to Salt Lake.
From the Black Hills on, our cattle began to give our [out]. When they could no longer work, they were driven ahead of the train. When they could not walk any longer, they were butchered for beef and divided among the company. But such beef, but it kept the most of us alive until we got to Salt Lake City.
The only man in the wagon with me, a Brother [Junius] Crossland from London, was took sick on Green River with Mountain Fever and died west of Bridger. He was buried at the crossing of Bear River and Evanston.
I had a rough time of it then, having to take care of the cattle, get wood and water for the wagon, stand guard half the night each fourth night. When Brother Crossland was unmanageable by his wife, he being light headed with the fever, I had to have the sent close to the wagon to be ready to help Mrs. Crossland to calm her husband.
He said to me one day, "If I die, I should like to write my own Epitaph."
"What would you write Brother Crossland?"
"I should writh [write] , I am murdered by the unwise prosedure of the Ten Pound Company." He had pinched himself to save it for his children.
Captin Jacob Gaits [Gates] gave his horse, the only horse in the company, to Brother Wad[d]ington to go to Salt Lake to get us supplies. When Brother Wadington got plenty to eat himself, he took a long time to hunt up the authorities to send us help.
We were at the west foot of the Little Mountains, when Brother Wadington met us with two hundred [pounds] of flour. It was not much for four hundred starving people.
As I was getting up the Big Mountain on the East side, Brother William Walker, came past me with a water melon rind in his hand. He handed the rind to me. Said he "Water melon, water melon!" This was the first water melon rind I had ever seen. I ate the rind good!
That night Brother Walker, as he slept in my tent, gave us six potatoes, one to me and the other five to Mrs. Crossland and her four children. That was all we had for supper that night.
Parley P. Pratt brought out the melon and the potatoes to Brother Walker, his father-in-law. Next night we got our half pound of flour each that Brother Wadington brought out from Salt Lake.
When we got to Salt Lake we could buy plenty and I still had one English soverign, besides some silver in my pocket. I have been disgusted ever since to hear about the precious gold. It, we could not eat, when there was nothing to buy. I managed to buy two pounds of deer fat at Bridger, but that was all the woman would sell.
When Brigham heard how we had been pinched for food, he said that was the last of the Ten Pound Emigration Business.