Huffaker, Simpson David and Elizabeth M. Huffaker, to My Dear Parents, 25 July 1847, in Margaret Wilson Turner and Sanford M. Turner, The Huffaker Family, 1700 to 1993 , 63A-63C.
Indian territory about 400 miles up platt[e] River on the su [Sioux] lands
My Dear Parents, I having an opportunity of Sending you a letter but have only a few minutes to write it, which will inform you that my self & Family are all a-live and well and are now atraveling west and exspects to continue to travail till we cross the Rocky Mountains which we calculate to do by winter[.] we have had a fine time for traveling this spring and summer[.] I started my journey the 20th of May and been traveling evry day purty much[.] I do no[t] know as I have any thing knew to till you allthough I have seen many knew things indeed since I started this journey among them were the different nations of Indians & yester day about 100 wariers [warriors] stationed thimselves before us[,] sent their squaus [squaws] and children off. Hoisted their flagg of warr[.] we sent a messenger to them to know their intentions which at last proved to be friendley and shewed evry mark of friend ship[.] Their chiefs and our chiefs Smoked together and [illegible text stricken out] Shook hands and left thoug[h] as they are among us yet begging and selling buffulou [buffalo] skins and dressed neat as any thing could be[.] these are the 3rd or 4th tribe we have passed[.] the first were the potawatamies [Potawatomies] were more friendly than the whites[.] I have under stood the[y] calculate to come too us [-] camp that comes. there is olny [only] a small tribe of them[.] the next were the Omahaws [Omahas] that were entirely hostile to every white man. the[y] killed one of us. There was 2 men and a womin in the waggon and they undertook to rob it but some of our men was near and releived them—The large heards [herds] of Buffaloe is another curiosity[.] it is nothing strange to see one hundred thousand in a heard[.] in fact some men says they have seen double that number[.] I have killed 2 and <could> have killed 2000 if I had wanted to[.] I have seen the prairie for miles look black with them[.] the country here is fit for nothing else[.] I have <seen> a great many Anty loaps [Antelopes] [.] Killed one[,] some deer and Killed one allmos[t] as big as a cow[.] wolves of evry kind[.] The prairie wolf the black. the grey the white and a nother kind I do not know what to call[.] Some few elk they are verry numerous out where we calculate to stop[.] we have met 5 men this day that came back from the pionneers[,] or the first company that started in the spring[,] that brings us news of the country the quality and all the roads and the crossing of the mountains. and he says the best road we shall have is crossing the mountains <and that is good[.]> some of our brethren that we have met will go back with us[,] some go on to winter quarters about 20 miles above council bluff and carry this letter and others[.] we are at this time in a great hurry[.] we were detained a few days by loosing fifty head of our cattle the other day which we have not found yet nor do not expect to find them[.] the[y] got frighted one night and brook out of the yard[.] we were divided into companies of fiftyes [fifties] on account of convience[.] the brethren mad[e] up our loss purty near[.] we about 500 miles yet to go to get to the Base. through the mountains which we must do before the 15th of Sept for the snow begins to fall about 20th of Sept[.] after the snow begins to fall we cannot pass[.] I should like to write a good deal more but do not know as you can read what I have wrote allready[.] I shall write again this next fall if I have the chance[.] I hope I will have more time[.] I should like to hear from you verry much[.] You have to direct your letter to the camp of Israel near Council Bluffs to cross the mountain.
We are now about 150 miles from fort Larryme [Laramie] – we are verry much pl[e]ased with our moove and hopes you will be along some day[.] fare well for the present[.] plase tell my friends you heard from me or shew them this letter. I would write to them had I had time[.] Per haps I may have the chance this fall – no more but remain your friend in time and in eternity
Elizabeth M Huffaker