John, David, Journals, 1856-1908, reel 1, vol. 1, 253-64.
On the Missouri River my only child Annie Jane was taken sick with the lung fever, but became better before we landed in Florence. We arrived at Florence on the 24th May 1861, and tarried there till June 23rd
I rented a part of a house and lived there for one month[.] while there I bought 2 Oxen 2 Cows and a Wagon and the remainder of an outfit for to cross the wilderness. While having this rest my child Annie Jane gained her health.
On June 23rd 1861 we moved 1 mile west of Florence and there camped. In the evening a meeting was called when Elders Milo Andrews [Andrus], Jacob Gates and John D McAllister addressed us, Elder Homer Dunkin [Duncan] was appointed our Captain.
24 June. I spent the most part of the day herding cattle and visited Florence in the evening.
25th Left Camp at 11 A.M. travelled 5 miles and camped at ALittle Papillion@.
26th Travelled 11 miles[.] camped at "Reid's Ranche
27th Travelled 8 miles, camped 2 miles West of Elkhorn Bridge".
28th Travelled 14 miles[.] camped 3 miles west of Fremont
29th Travelled 14 miles, camped on the North side of the River Platte at a place called North Bend[.] The roads were heavy to travel.
30th Sunday Travelled 10 miles, camped at Shell Creek. Several Indians visited us in the evening
July 1st1861. Travelled 14 miles, a company [of] 5 Wagons left us and crossed to the north of the "Platte"
2nd Travelled 10 miles, crossed "Loupe [Loup] Fork" in a boat[.] camped ½ mile west of the river.
3rd Travelled 12 miles[.] camped on "Praiare [Prairie] Creek".
4th Travelled 14 miles, camped at "Baker Junction Ranche"
5th Travelled 15 miles, camped at "Parker's Ranche"
6th Travelled 14 miles, camped at a place named "Shoemakers".
7th Travelled 17 miles, camped East of Wood River.
8th Travelled 10 miles[.] camped at "Wood River centre"
9th Rested the f[ore]most part of the day[.] travelled 5 miles in the afternoon.
10th Travelled 15 miles
11th Crossed "Wood River"
12th Travelled 15 miles
13th Travelled along "Buffalo Creek"[.] Camped by the river.
14th Sunday. Travelled 20 miles.
15th Travelled 20 miles, camped by a river.
16th Passed the "Pawnee's [Pawnee] Spring"[.] Camped by a creek where we had good water.
17th Some of our cattle were missing[.] We spent the most part of the day in hunting after them, all were found, travelled a few miles in the evening.
18th We met with several mud holes, camped on the "Platte"
19th We crossed several mud holes, crossed a creek named "Sandy Bluffs", Travelled 4 miles through a heavy sand.
20th The roads were sandy and hard to travel in the morning, it was good travelling in the afternoon.
21st We had sandy roads all day, it was heavy for the cattle[.] we had heavy rains and Thunder in the evening.
22. Heavy roads, camped by a small creek
23rd Encountered hard road to travel, had to double our teams, Travelled only 12 miles.
24th Travelled 7 miles in the morning, camped for the day opposite "Ash Hollow"[.] Myself and many others crossed the river "Platte" in search of currents, in the evening we held a concert, we had singing reciting, and dancing in commemoration of the Pioneers entering the Great Salt Lake Valley.
25th Fine breeze in the morning[.] warm in the afternoon, heavy rain and thunder in the evening[.] camped on the "Platte"
26, Being a warm day, travelled 18 miles.
27th Found good roads[.] a child of one Bro. Jenkins being between 3 and 4 years fell from a wagon the wheel running over its head and entirely opened it[.] Bro Charles W. Penrose Sewed the Scalp together, placed Sticking Plaster on it when we unitedly laid hands upon the child in the name of Jesus Christ and to the astonishment of all, this child lived[.] I saw its father 10 years afterwards, and reported the child growing to be a fine young woman. A more miraculous manifestation I never witnessed.
28th We had good roads this day[.] we camped in view of "Chimney Rock"[.] It was a very warm day
29th Travelled 14 miles, camped opposite "Chimney Rock"
30th Travelled 16 miles it being a warm day, it thundered in the evening.
Aug 1st 1861 Travelled 12 miles; Elders NV Jones, Jacob Gates, and Claudius Spencer, overtook us from the East, they spent the evening with us.
2nd Travelled 17 miles in company with the Elders before mentioned.
3rd The brethren left us they having good mule team, and we the slow but sure Ox team. We travelled 16 miles, camped within 7 miles to "Laramie[.]" We had a heavy rain in the evening, accompanied with light[n]ing and thunder, we fasted that evening, being too tired to cook supper.
4th Sunday. Travelled 6 miles to the "Platte"[.] crossed it opposite "Fort Laramie[.]" travelled 3 miles West of "Laramie" and Camped over night. I visited the Fort, bought a few provisions and returned to Camp. Several Indians visited us in the evening.
5th Tarried there till 3 P.M. Travelled 5 miles over the "Black Hills", and Camped on the North side of the "Platte"
6th Left Camp at 6:20 AM> we saw a large company of Indians (being the Suox [Sioux.] stopped at (Big Bitter Cotton Wood)[.] travelled 17 miles and Camped at (Little Cotton Wood Creek).
7th Had a good road, but Hilly. Travelled 19 miles, camped on the "Platte" on the South Bank, At Dusk it became my time or turn to herd the cattle that night, so we drove the herd cross the "Platte" to the North side, there being good feed. I rode a horse through the river, soon it became too deep for the horse, so he commenced swimming[.] when we got to the North Bank of the river, the horse had to go up a steep side and being quite wet, but before the horse got quite up on the north side, he fell on his back perpendicula[rl]y and lighted in the river below myself on his back, in the struggle I was thrown from the saddle[.] the horse Swam towards the North side of the river and myself carried towards the south Side, I was bewildered, I remember that I shouted "O Lord, save me", and the following morning Captain "Duncan" says that he saw me in the river and understood the words I said. Now I will relate in words of soberness what transpired which no doubt cannot be believed unless the mind of the reader be inspired by the spirit of God. After I uttered the words "O Lord save Me", I found myself on the back of the horse, my left hand holding in the bridle and my right hand having hold in the mane. How I was taken there I know not, I heard no sound, I saw no being, but by the power of God I was placed there, and so steep and unfathomable are the works of God, that this Strange miracle took place un-accountable by myself.
The horse Swam down the river till we came to a good landing. I dismounted being wet through, I put fire to a large dry tree, standing up, dried myself and got warm, and when the dawn of day appeared I crossed the river to the Camp, while the fire still was burning in the tree. I will here observe that this circumstance surpassess my understanding, but I confess that God made himself manifest.
8th Travelled 9 miles in the morning[.] crossed the "Platte" to the North Side, travelled 9 miles in the afternoon.
9th Travelled 13 miles having good roads, came to the "Platte" at 3 P.M. intended to cross the river, but the bed of the river being full of quick Sand, we thought it unsafe to cross. Camped by the "Platte"
10th Some of the cattle were missing, found them and started at 11 A.M. Travelled about 8 miles over a rough road up and down hill, it was so crooked that we gained 4 miles westward in travelling 8.
I saw a grave some 100 yds from the North side of the "Platte" where one "Springstead" was burried, who got drownded June 21st 1861 Aged 24 years.
11th Encountered hilly roads in the morning and Sandy in the afternoon[.] travelled 18 miles, camped near Deer Creek on the opposite Side.
12th Crossed the "Platte" to the South Side 1½ mile west of "Deer Creek"[.] travelled 4 miles[.] Spent the remainder of the day to trade, I bought a hide. We shod oxen[.] repairing wagons etc.
13th Some of the cattle were missing, consequently we did not start 'till noon[.] travelled 11 miles, camped by the "Platte"
14th Traveled 15 miles[.] crossed the river to the North Side a place known as the Upper Crossing[.] We camped there.
15th Travelled 10 miles through a hilly and rough roads, camped by a stage station.
I made a Pair of Pants for a Stage Driver, got $5.00 in gold for making it[.] I was up all night, and thought myself sick in the morning.
16th We left the "Platte" on the South Side[.] travelled 17 miles, camped by a good spring of water.
17th Travelled 12 miles. One of our wagons broke down[.] I found a large quantity of Cattle hide about 2 Inch wide in the wilderness and this came to be of poor use to fix up our broken down wagon. We camped within Sight of "Devil's Gate"
18th Sunday. Travelled 15 miles. Camped 2 miles East of "Devil's Gate"[.] A meeting was held in the evening, 3 or 4 of the Elders Addressed us.
19th Monday Spent the morning in shoeing cattle, repairing wagons[.] travelled 5 miles in the afternoon.
My only child Annie Jane was sick all day[.] in the evening Elder Homer Duncan and myself administered to her[.] She seemed better for a time and enjoyed better rest than the 2 previous nights.
20th August. Tuesday. My child [Annie Jane John] died.
I was called on guard at 2 A.M. I felt reluctant to go because My child was sick, but knowing it to be a duty to share the burden of care and responsibility I obeyed and hastened to release the guard. I left my wife and baby deep asleep in the wagon, seemingly enjoying a sweet sleep, so I left them without saying a word, lest I should disturb them. I walked about 1 mile to the cattle[.] found them lying down and still, released the guard. I thought there was no danger of Indians, neither any sign of the cattle going astray so I laid my Buffalo rope on the ground, laid my pistol by my side, and laid down, my roof being the wide canopy of heaven. Not then knowing that the Angels of God were with me on guard. I soon fell in deep sleep, and dreamed the following dream.
I saw my wife walking towards me with a smileing face dressed in white, rather short dress, 'till I could see that her hose were white, and having on Black silk slippers, her face and neck were as the driven Snow, as she approached near me she smiled. Her smile offended me, I rebuked her saying that it was wrong for her to be so merry and seeing me in such great pain, She replied that she was not aware that I was sick, I told her to look at my right leg which was naked[.] It was covered with Sores dark and gloomy, and above them all high on the thigh was a large black gathering from which dark thick blood ran profucly [profusely] as it ran [it] covered my thigh, leg, foot, and toes and from the end of the toes dropped to the ground and as it fell to the earth, it sanck [sank] out of sight so that we could perceive no trace of it left behind. When she (my wife) witnessed this scene of blood she wept bitterly and said I must go[.] Annie Jane is quite Sick, and she left quite mournful.
I awake; left the
camp <here> at 6 A.M. went to Camp[.] after arriving, the first thing I heard was that Annie Jane had been very sick from 3 to 4 O'Clock but was then a little better. Although she appeared sick and in great pain. Her mouth was opened and her eyes stationary fixed to the heavens.
At 8:30 A.M. She was growing sicker, she seemed to have spasms, the emmigrants tried to console us saying she was teething that her gums troubled her; but my dream was before me so strong, till all my strength and faith was taken from me. She died in her mothers arms. At 8:30 A.M. many thought it was a fit, but in vain were thoughts, for it was death.
She was 8 months and 5 days when she died.
Hundreds and thousands of Saints have laid down their lives between the Missouri River and Salt Lake, They died martyrs to fatigue and worn out constitution in the wilderness, among those martyrs is my first born.
She was born at Nottingham England Dec 15th 1860[.] We left Liverpool April 1860, consquently she was 4 months when we started, she caught a cold on the Banks of Newfoundland, and it settled in her lungs.
She died 3 miles West of "Devil's Gate", we travelled that day 12 miles, we met 800 Soldiers returning from "Utah" who was called the "Camp Floyd Soldiers"
One Bro. Turner Made my child a coffin, it was strong about 2 In. thick[.] it was plain not ornamental so how could we make any display in our poverty in the wilderness.
Elder Benjamin Evans and Wm. Howells [and David P. Thomas] dug her grave. She was placed in her Coffin in the afternoon and placed in the wagon with her parents over night.
21st Captain Homer Dunkin [Duncan] appointed 12 bearers of young men to convey her remains to their last resting place. Elder Charles W. Penrose preached the funeral sermon. She was burried at 7 A.M. on the side of a small hill, 600 yards East of high rock, and about the same distance South of "Sweet Water"[.] the grave is about 15 miles West of Devil's Gate. The river runs between two high rocks, nearly touching each other.
This place is known as little "Devil's Gate[.]" We placed her name by the head of her grave, and heaped a pile of large stones on her grave to protect her body from wild beasts. We travelled 13 miles this day through wet and mudy roads and camped on the bank of "Sweetwater". It would be useless here to portray the feelings of parents in being compelled to leave their only child while in search of a spot where they could worship God unmolested. The following lines are dedicated to her memory.
The body long a prey
To sickness and disease
Did daily waste away
‘till death signed the release
Now sleeps within its clay cold bed
Among the long lamented dead
This lovely bud, so young and fair
Call'd hence by early doom
Just came to show, how sweet a flower
In Paradise would bloom.
22nd Aug. Travelled 16 miles[.] camped on "Sweet Water"
23rd Travelled 18 mile, passed "Ice Springs.
24th Travelled 12 miles through a rough road known as the "Rocky Ridges".
25th Sunday Travelled 14 miles through a rough, mountainous road, Camped on "Sweet Water".
26th Travelled 16 miles through rough Roads, camped for the last time by "Sweet Water"
27th Camped 9 miles west of South Pass. Milo Andrus and Company camped 3 miles East of us
28th Travelled 21 miles, Camped by "Little Sandy"
29th Travelled 16 miles[.] Camped at noon by "little Sandy".
30th Travelled 9 miles, I spent this morning hunting cattle[.] found them, the remainder of the day was spent in Shoeing cattle and repairing wagons.
31st August. Travelled 17 miles, we crossed Green River, and camped 3 miles West of the river, we had good feed and water.
Sep 1st 1861 We travelled 12 miles, camped on "Ham's Fork"
2nd Camped on "Black Fork"
3rd Camped on Black Fork.
4th Camped 1 mile west of "Fort Bridger", Captain John Murdock and Company camped by us.
5th Camped at the foot of a very high and steep rock hill.
6th Camped at the foot of the Sumet [summit], had good feed for the cattle.
7th Camped 5 miles west of Bear River", we travelled through a hilly country. We tavelled slowly on, and arrived in Salt Lake City on the 13th Sepr. 1861. While at Echo Kanion [Canyon] I lost an Ox and did not find it till Oct 6 at Salt Lake City.