William H. Adams autobiography, 1916, 11-15.
View this source online
When the spring of 1848 opened they made preparation. to leave thare winter Home. at the Bluffs. so they went to work and Baught. a good out fit for them days. Consisting.of a paten skein wagon. one yoke of oxen. and two cows. that he put in the yoke and worked them all the way acrost the plains to the vallies. and besides there work in the yoke. they gave them all the milk and Butter they wanted. and quite a lot to give to others in the company that had none. it was quite a trial. as the old saying used to be. for a green Englishman. to yoke up cattle and cows. and take what we call a Bull whip and start out. but as good luck had it. Thare was lots of yankies along. that was right at home at that kind of work. and they was all willing to help. and learn one another all they could so by persevearing. and hard work for a while. They got along all right. and by the time they reached the vallies. and even before. they both got to be good Bull.Whackers. now I will go back.to the start. They started out with thare outfit. and not having to go but a few miles. crossed the misourie [Missouri] River. To Winter quarters. Whare the mane body of the saints. all made thare mane start from.and by. Them being. so well ac[q]ua[i]nted that Winter. with. Willard Richards. and thinking so mutch of him. they gave him. a nice little sum of thare money. to help.him come to the vallies. and they never regreted it for they always looked upon each other all the way through life as one Familey. so they started to gather from Winter quarters. and as we see in the history of utah. Brigham. Young. Heber. C. Kimbal and Willard Richards[,]. Brighams. two councilars moved out so far as the. Elkhorne River. on Nebraska. in the last of May. 1878. and the first of June. They had the three companies. organised. and left Elkhorn. for the vallies. William Henry Adams. Martha Jennings. Adams. joined Willare Richardsis Company. with thare two children. William and Eliza.
When they left. the Elkhorne. River. with Willard Richards. thare was in his company 526 soules and. 169. Wagons. They formed into tens. and so they traveled. on day after day. and when they camped at Night. one half of the entire company would go to the right. and the other half to the left. The two leading wagons of the two devisions would stop within about one rod or so of each other. with the tongues to the outside. and the next wagon would drive up and put thare left front wheel clost to the head ones hind wheel. and they would keep spreading out untill they. got to the center wagons. of the two companies and then they would begin to close in until they came to the hind end leaving about one rod and by that way of doing they would form a kind of diamond carell with both ends open as you see my picture here above [illustration] and they would drive thare cattle in thare and unyoke them. and the same in The morning and at Noon to yoke them up. and thare would always be a gard at each entrance. so that no unruley ox could get out. for that formed a solid carrell. and. thare was always. a good gard went out with the cattle as they went to feed both day and Night. and all took thare turns. from the diferant tens.and some times, they would have more men than others. acording to the danger. they concidered. they was in on account of Indians. so on the outside of this carrell. They would build thare camp fires. to do thare cooking. and then sit around and chat. and sing as you see marked on the outside of the camp. but I dont suppose you see any one singin. Thare was many camps.in crossing the planes. whare thare was no food. so as good luck had it. they had a plenty of Buffalo chips. I may have to explain these. chips. In them days thare was Buffaloes by the thousans. and of corse they eat grass. like cattle and after it went through a certain prosess. they scattered it over the range. and when it dried. it formed a Kind of dry Panicake. and they would gather them up. and make nice fires. and many a nice Johney Cake has been baked on them fires. and eat with a good relish.
Before starting on. thare Journey. every thing was irranged. Just how they should travel. and if any thing out of common. was to be done. sertain men was apointed to do it. William. Henry. Adams Sr. was one of the two men called. to be special Hunters for the camp. not but what any one in the company they felt like it. could go if they chosed to hunt. when they was not on gard or other Duties. and he had a Noone Kentuckey Rifle. that they considered in them days. The best guns made here. so as they was nearing the first edge of the game country. one day he was out garding and Herding. the cattle. and being rather warm. he droped down in the tall grass. and he had a red handkerchief. and he happened to hang it on top of the grass. and it was not long after until he noticed a small animal. at a distance comeing. direct towards him. she. laid still and fineley. it come. up with in. gun shot of him. and it stoped. so he leveled his gun. on it and fired. and it droped dead. so he got it to camp and being a green Englisman. as they was called. he did not realey know. what Kind of an animal it was. but. they soon told him it was a fine fat antelope and the first one killed in camp. and it is generally Known. that Deer. and Antelope. will generaley walk up. to anything Red. but he did not no it before. but they soon get in to the Buffalow country and at times in them days. they would be in herds like cattle. and at other times. they would be rather scarce. but during the whole trip. he Killed lots of. Buffaloes. and antelope. but they onley Killed Just what they realey neaded. but a large company of people. like they was they. consumed. a great deal of meet. aspecialey. when they realised. they was going to a new country. and they would nead all the provisions. they had. before they could raise or git more. on one ocasion. they was neading meet quite bad so they started. him and his partner[,] out one evening to hunt. and they got quite a distance. from camp. and. he shot a nice Buffalow. Cow. and it was so near Night. that they could not get to camp with it. nor they dared not to leave it. or the. wolves being. so thick. they would have had it devoured. before they could. have got help to git it. to camp. and as it was a very dark. Night. they concluded. to camp. with it all night. so they gathered stuff to keep a fire by it all night. so they built thare fire and went to work dressing it and the wolves. began smelling it. and they come up in a sircle all around them. and remained thare all night. and they could see thare eyes shining all night. by the light of the fire. and had it not been for the fire. they would have been right on to them so they had to remain at thare post until morning and they did not have amunition. to spare to shoot wolves. so earley next morn one of them went to camp and got help. while the other garded so they all had fresh meet for Breakfast. and it was not nice for thare wifes. to know thare Husbsands. was out all night not knowing. but what. they was killed by the Indians. or what else mite have befallen them. but these is some of the good and bad things in crossing the planes.
on one ocasion. he Killed a large Buffalow. and it was right. on the road so they pitched camp. right by it. and he said it was fun to see the. People Bring thare children and put them a stride of it. as it laid dead. and some would scream. and others would laughf. so the people had a picknick. with. the Children. before they skined and dressed it. and as we all know. all hunters. has sport at times and as he was onley a young man at that time. only 31 years old. so one day. him and his Partiner. was out hunting in the rough rockey caves. and hills. and they came up on top of some cliffs. and on looking down below. on a small valley cave. they. saw two large Buffalow Bulls. and thare was onley one pass for them. to either git in or out. and they did not want that kind for meat. but they came to the conclusion. they would have some fun. and them long hared and tought hided. fellows. was hard to Kill unless you hit them just right. so they new they could not git at them. so they turened. their gun shots. loose on them. and they said of all Bellowing and taring you ever saw they done it, and they got so mad they forgot thare way out. so they had thare fun with them. untill they was satisfied. then they left them. I cannot give many detales of crossing the planes. as I only Remember a few of these things as I have been told. but my mother Martha. could do almost any thing. and she soon got so she could drive the yoke of Cattle and cows. as well as a man. so my father could go a head and hunt. when it was neaded. so they got to the vallies all right.
They arived. whare salt lake stands. on the 10 day of October 1848. and as thare was a plenty. of vacant lots. in them days they located. a lot. on the west part of Market square.