Isaac Russell autobiography, 1909.
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We broke camp about April, 1848 and continued our journey westward across the great plains where roamed the wild Indian as well as vast herds of buffalo which latter, together with wild antelope and deer furnished abundant meat for the emigrants which we relished verry much as we sat by our camp fires and roasted and eat. And when the meal was over and the music began we were on hand to join in the dancing on the ground floor that we had prepared for the occasion. Another duty we had to perform was to stand guard to see that the Indians did not take us by surprise or the wild buffalo did not stampede our cattle as they were verry numerous at the time and frequently there would be thousands in sight at one view, and we would travel day after day and see them in great herds feeding on the vast plains along the platt[e] river where there was fine grass for them as well as plenty of feed for our stock.
well we are nearly over the vast plains and about to enter the roling country and I being the first to get my team ready started in the lead having been on guard the previous night and felt inclined to sleep so I layed down in the front of the wagon and was lost to what was transpiring until I was startled from my slumbers by finding my team going at an unusual rate of speed down a long incline and no wheel locked. So I sprang from the wagon and commensed to try to stop my team in which I finally succeeded and locked the wheel; I had neglected to tie the basket containing the dishes this morning and consequently it tipped over and poured the dishes out and they came rattling out of the wagon, but none were broekn as they were tin. So I proceded to gather them up and replaced them in the wagon and accomplished it before any of the rest of the train hove in sight. But that night when the dishes were brought out for use the women wondered what made them so dusty, but I let them form their own ideas as to what happened. But I was cautioned to never go so far in advance of the train again as it gave the Indians a chance to rob and kill me as there would be none in reach to help which looked verry plausible and it never occurred again. Well we traveled on and in due time we reached fort bridger where we camped for a few days to recruit our teams and do some washing and trading with the indians and there I got my first and last pair of skin pants. They done quite well and was a novelty until I got them wet then they shrank so as to reach about half way to my knees and made me look like a great greenhorn that got up too early and ran his legs to[o] far through his pants. Well after leaving bridger we had a different country as it became more hilly and streams more frequent as we gradually climbed the rockey mountains until we reached the summit and began the de[s]cent through the groves of the quivering quaking trees that skirted the road on either side; and as we de[s]cended down the canyon that led to the Great Salt Lake Valley we were surrounded with several kinds of trees until we merged into the table lands before reaching the valley.