Jane Eliza Holden Knight, Biographical information relating to Mormon pioneer overland travel database, 2003-2017.
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My aunt had made me all my clothes, and when were about to get ready for our journey she made a lot of them and bough me shoes. I had a good supply of everything for a year. My aunt did not come with us. She stayed on in Missouri until many years later. In the spring of 184 we started to make the long trip. I had to share my clothes with my step-sister as we were about the same size.
I walked most of the way that spring across the plains. It was while coming through Wyoming that my shoes wore out and my feet became sore, bruised and cut by the sharp rocks. I was really tied, became cross and crying. Then my [step-]mother picked me up and set me on a rock, telling me to sit there until I could be a better girl. I sat there until the last wagon had gone by.
The thought of the Indians and the cry of wolves I never did forget. I was determined to go on. I tried to keep up with the wagon train. I was not very frightened as long as I could see the wagons ahead of me, but at times I lost sight of them, and it took all my strngth to keep up my courage and keep on going. A wagon that had been delayed came along. seeing me trudging along alone, they picked me up, and the mother inthe wagon game me a little milk and a bite or two of bred to eat. I fell asleep in the back of the wagon.
At night when camp was made, my father came to our wagon for his meal. Not seeing me, he asked where I was. He was told by his wife how cross I had been and wanted to ride, so she left me on the rock by the side of the road. I was so hard to get along with, and the last she saw of me I was still sitting there. My father went back along the trail calling out my name as he went over the hills. He had gone a long way and had almost given up hope. It would soon be getting dark, so he went on a little farther. Then he saw a dust cloud, and not knowing if it was a band of Indians or a buffalo herd that was causing the dust, he rode on praying that God would care for me and that no harm would come to me. As he came closer he could see it was a delayed wagon. He called out long before he came to the wagon, "Have you seen a little girl?" I was awakened from my sleep. I knew I had heard his voice, and by the time he got them stopped and to the back of the wagon, I was standing up waiting for him. "Here I am Daddy," I said, and I jumped into his arms.
From that time on, my father and I were the best of pals. He would carry me in his arms or I would walk by his side or even stand on the wagon holding on to his hand. I had had my first lesson in patience and perseverance, which I never forgot throughout my life.
Somewhere in Wyoming I had my sixth birthday and father told me about my own mother. How I've wished all my life that I could have remembered her. But I know some day I will be with her.
We arrived in the valley in late summer.