Fleming, Josiah Wolcott, to William Fleming, 25 Mar. 1851.
I feel this morning to direct a few lines to you, that may give you comfort and satisfaction to hear from your exiled children in a strange land.
We left our house in Pottowattame [Pottawattamie] County the 6th of June, in Blakes' Company. I was chosen as Captain to lead them through the wilderness. We performed the journey as quick and with as little loss as any company that crossed the mountains last season.
There were two who died in our company with cholera. On the road from the Missouri River to Fort Bridger is almost one complete graveyard of immigrants to the Gold Mines and others, and a thousand of them dug up by the wolves, and their bones bleaching on the plains.
We kept the camp guarded every night, and when Indians visited our company of an evening, I would have them brought into the coral, and a guard placed around the camp till morning to prevent them giving intelligence to other bands of our encampment. We gave them supper and breakfast and told them to leave, which they would do with thanks for our kindness.
It was a long and tedious journey and very hard on both man and beast, suffice it to say we survived and withstood the hardships of the journey. And when our eyes beheld the extent and beauty of this valley, our hearts rejoiced and we fell to praise the God of Israel for his care and protection over us to see this goodly land.