Morris, George, Reminiscences [ca. 1880-1890], 12-13
. . . while there [Council Bluffs] I larned that there was a great deil of Sickness there – and on account of haveing so much Sickness dureing the last two years – I had got a perfect Dread of it – So I began to think that if there was any Posability of my getting away in any of the Large Companys – that whare then being Organized at the Elk Horn river – I whould do it fitout – or no fitout – So I Kept myself well Posted with regard to the Progress thay whare makeing – and the time of thair Starting – So on the eavening Preaveous to the day thay Started – just after Sundown when the Organiseation was all Complated – and the fitouts had all been Examined – I rooled up alone to the Opasite Side of the river – and on ariveing there the first man I Saw was a very Intamate friend and Old acquintance of mine – who Came from the Same Branch of the Church in England – as I Did and had Crossed the Sea in the Same Vesel as I Did – His Name was Henry Poyl [Royal] – he came to the river and Hollowed Out Holo George, – is that thee – Come on – we want thee in our ten – there is just room for one waggon in it – Come on and Ill help Thee ferry Thy waggon Over –Turn Thy Cattle into the river and Swim am Over – thats The way we v [we’ve] all Done – thay v [they’ve] just Don[e] going Throu our waggons – to See wether we have all goten the right fitout – but I recken Thou art all right by the looks of Thy waggon – and Teams – my Outside apperiene [appearance] was prity good – but if the Inside of my waggon had been examined – I whould Certinly have been Sent Back – for all I had in the Shape of Bread stuff to Subsist upon for 18 months at least – acording to all Cal[c]ulations was three hundred pounds of flour – and two Bushels of Parched Corn – and there was five in Number of us – after we had traviled alltogether for some time – the Pizga [Pisgah] company – on account of thair Poor Circumstances – whare put to Travil first on the road – that thay might Kill wild meat to help out thare Provisions – and my real Circumstances haveing becom[e] Known – I was first to travil with Them – and haveing two Cows giving Milk – we nearly lived on milk and wild meat – all the time while Crossing the Plains – I scarcly got as much as my 3 fingers of Bread per Day – all the time we whare on the road – which was from the 22 nd of May – to the 20 th of Sep 1848 I will mention here an Incedent which ocured – in Conection with what I have Prieveously Said about My Swareing – we had traviled Some Distance on the road – when we Came to a very Mirey Bad Creek -- which we had to Cross – there was one hundrad waggons in the Company – Loranzo [Lorenzo] Snow – was the Captain of the Hundrad – John Stoker – was Captain of fifty – and Thomas McLalin [McLelland]– was the Captain of the [ten] that I belonged too – the Company had all Crossed Over and mine was the last waggon – and the Crossing had become very Bad indeed – my Captain had made a little Mis Calculation – and Stoped his waggon a little too Soon and no room to Drive Out – I rip[p]ed Out a tarable Blue Streak of forked lightning at Him – as he stood on the Bank watching the waggons Cross over – I looked up and there sat Bro Snow in His Buggy Close By – and had Heard me Do that Horrable Swareing – He gave me a stuning Look – But never Spoke a word – and then went onto the Head of the Company and Started it on – the Captain of the 10 allso gav[e] me a terable Look – but He dident say anything Either – Naither was there any need to – for the reproving Looks thay had given me – had more Effect – than any words thay could have Spoken – when I had Out – and had Cooled Down – I felt aufull Mean – But thay Dident Ear [hear] any more Swareing from me – the Pizga [Pisgah] Company – being loaded light traviled faster than the Other Companies – and we frequently had to Stop 3 or 4 Days at a time for them to Come up – mostly – at rivers – and Streams of water – we had to hunt out fording Places – and get our Own Company Over – and then get reddy to Help the Other Companies Over when thay Came up – I think I waded the Platt[e] river 22 Times – when we got to Green river – we had to waite there 10 Days for President Young to Come up – as he wanted to go at the Head of the Compa
into the Vallay – I had Started from Ioway [Iowa] with a half wore pare of Boots on my feet – and had crossed the Plains in them – and waded the Streams so much – that I had compleatl worn them Out – and had Only been able to keep them on my feet a good part of the way – by winding Strips of Bufalo skin around them to keep the tops – and Bottoms together on my feet – and when that failed – I whould make mockisans [moccasins] of Green Buffalo Skin – puting the Heavy Side inward – and while thay whare Soft – I could scarsley keep them on my feet – thay whare so floppe – and when thay got Dry while traviling in the Hot Sand – thay whould S[hr]ink up and get So hard – that thay whould Cut my feet Terably – when we arived at Green river I had got So that I had nothing to put on to to Protect my feet at all – So while we whare waiteing for Presedent Young – I went around the Camp – and Beged Some pieces of Old Boot tops – and Scraps of Harness lether and made an awl with a piece of wire – and I Happened to have a Ball of Shoe thred in the waggon – and I got some haard Bletch of the waggon wheel – for wax to wax my thred with – I got a limb of a Cottonwood tree to make a last of – and I made my Peg wood of the same – and when I thought that I had got material anough together – I sat down and went to work – to manufactuering myself, a Pare of Shoes – but to look at the pile of material that I had to Do it with whould have Puzeled any Salt Lake Lawyer – or even Judge Lain Himself – worse then the Mormon queston Does – to have Known how I was going to Do it but Ill discribe the Process as well as I can – the first thing I done was to discet my Old Boots – to See if I could find anything in them that whould be of any use – the Old Insole was a valuable aide to me in forming the Shape of my Last – and alls to make the foundation of a New Pare of Shoes – then I tinkered away at the Old Cottanwood limb untill I had made a very good Last out of it – then I sawed two or three rounds of it and Split them into Pegs – and roasted them – I then went to work in good earnest – and Closed the Pieces of Old Boot Tops to gather – untill I had got them large enough to make the uppers for a new pare of Shoes – the Pieces whare Small and the Seams run in all Directions – I thin Lasted the uppers in a very Siantific manner – the next thing to be Done – was to Peg the Bottoms on – but I had no Sole Lether to make them of – So the Next best thing to Do was to use Some pieces of Old Straps – and narrow Strips – and Corners – of Harness Lether – and Once in a wile Cover them Over with a layer of old Boot top to hold them in place – and fill them full of Pegs – after a while I got them Done – it took me a good while tho – but then there was Plenty of time out there – it wasen’t like it is hear – the mean Point was to do them well – but thats not the Case here – when I had finished them – I pull the Lasts out of them – and put my feet into them Instead and my word for it thay whare A splendid Pare of Shoes I had had made them – not acording to any rule that I had ever larned about Shoemakeing – but Strictly acording to the rule of my Rockey Mountain Circumsta I made them rights – and lefts – consequently thay whould not fit any Other feet but the Ones that thay whare made for – and that was the way the first Pare of Shoes that I ever wore in the Vallay of the Great Salt Lake whare made – and I wore them Nerely a year before I got any Others – I arived in the Vallay on the 20 of Sep 1848.