“A Short Synopsis of the Early Life of Christopher Armstrong, and Mary Kirkbride,” p. 1-2.
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[The following is part of the life story written by Joseph Hyrum Armstrong.]
Coming up the Mississippi River to join the “Exedos” in the spring of 1847, my mother carried me in her arms through (the then deserted) Nauvoo Temple. They came West for the gospel sake, and I, being a “babe in arms”, came willingly, because I was forced to. We came in A. O. Smoots Co., George B. Wallace 50, and Samuel Turnbow 10.
In crossing the state of Iowa in the rainy season, I heard my mother say, “What with wallowing through mud, getting stuck, doubling teams, breaking chains, and matches being so scarce that a horseman would ride back to the camp of the night before and bring some fire to light the fires.” All the water that we used for days was dipped from the wagon tracks, and that for days and days, mother said we never laid down in a dry bed. Mother had never seen an ox until coming to American soil, and she walked day afte day, carrying me in her arms, rather then trust me or herself “behind those things”, as she called the oxen. My father a through and through Englishman could not get used to the oxen, could not remember which was “Gee”, and which was “Haw”. But he on one side, my mother on the other, and when the oxen came her way my father would cry out, “Head em poll, Head em.” In this way they soon became used to them and gladly trusted them to draw her and her babe in the wagon.
So with all the incidents in the “Ups and Downs” of crossing the plains, we arrived in “The Valley” on the 23 of September 1847. My mother got down on her knees and kissed the dirt floor of “Grandpa” Aphek Woodruff’s cabin, “Thanking God,” that here they could worship Him in peace.”