Sylvester H. Earl autobiographical sketch, undated, 5-8.
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In the spring of 1847, April 10th, I left the place with one hundred and forty three of my brethern, three sisters and two children with President Brigham Young at our head and six of the twelve.
It was hard for me to leave my little family sick among howling wolves and the roaming savages of the West but the servants of the Lord said go and I felt as ever to leave all for the benefit of the Gospel or the salvation of the people.
We traveled up the Platt[e] river on the north side making a new road for five hundred miles where we crossed at Fort Laramie. Then through the black hills, then crossed the Platt river again took up the Sweet Water [Sweetwater] nearly to the head. Then over to the Pacific Springs, then across to the Sandies where we met with Mr. Bridger. We made some inquiry about the Salt Lake valley and he gave us to understand that he had been in the mountains near forty years and he knew that we could not raise grain in that valley but this didn’t discourage us. We persued our journey making our road as we went.
We crossed the Green river past Bridgers Fort. We then came to very heavy mountains to work our way over. Here many of the brethern were sick with mountain fever and I was very ill. We still worked our way along as fast as possible although it was then much harder digging down off banks, building bridges and ect. until the 24th day of July on which day the whole camp arrived safe in the Salt Lake valley.
. . . I returned to St. Louis on a steamboat. Here I purchased a few goods for my family. I then went on a steamboat up the Missouri river as far as Atchison and here I fitted out for the plains. Our company was the third company Elder Blair being the captain, Elder Green and Myself were his councilors.
We left the camp ground on the 13th of June[.] traveled two days when the cholera came in and took near one third of the camp. This was the greatest scene of sorrow that I have ever witnessed.
Edward Stevenson was appointed to take the charge of the camp and Bro. Barlow took the place of Bro.Green. We had no bad luck on the way but the loss of one man, a gentile, a Mr.Wood from Texas.
I arrived in the valley on the 10th day of September 1855 being gone three years lacking five days. Found my family well during the time of my being in England.