Senior, Mary, "Correspondence," Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, 6 Dec. 1862, 781-82.
- Related Companies
- Homer Duncan Company (1862)
We have much pleasure in laying before our readers the following extract from a letter, written by a sister who emigrated this year, to her parents in Leeds. We know the good results which attend the sending and perusal of such letters, both to the Saints and those not members of the Church, and would be pleased to publish more of them if they were placed in our hands.
It is with grateful feelings to God, my heavenly Father, that I write to you once more to let you know how I am getting along, and to answer your kind letter, dated July 14th. I am happy to inform you that so far all is well with me. I never enjoyed better health in my life than while crossing the Plains and up to the present time; not the least cause for complaint. We arrived in G. S. L. City on Sept. 23rd, having left Florence on June 23rd, being exactly two months, by the day of the month, in crossing the Plains, the quickest trip ever known to have been made with ox-teams. We had a good captain in Capt. Homer Duncan, whose train I came in; good teamsters and a good time of it altogether; no accidents of any account; no waggons upset, and the best of time with the cattle. I enjoyed myself very much while traveling, each day bringing its own trials, its pleasures and excitements. The journey to me was a source of much enjoyment and pleasure. The varied scenery, the aspect of the country, so new to me and different from anything I had ever seen, the splendid weather and some pleasurable associations, all combined to make the time pass swiftly along. If it had been possible for us to have jumped out of England to these valleys, we should have stood and gazed with amazement and wonder, while our thoughts and ideas would have become so mingled and indefinite that we would have seemed in a dream, until we had given another shake and started afresh to gaze with increased wonder and awe on the mighty bulwarks which surround these valleys of the mountains. Truly are they called "the secret chambers of the Lord," and truly is this a blessed and prospered people! That man or woman who has bade adieu to Babylon, and has come here with honest motives and a sincere desire to serve God, cannot fail to realize that a lifetime of gratitude to God, with ever continued and increasing good works is the only acceptable return which can be made to him for thus providing his people with so secure a refuge, and placing them were they can be shielded from the judgments and misery so soon to come upon the nations of the earth.
I did not make any note of anything that transpired on the way, therefore when I look back I forget many little incidents which at the time were amusing or provoking, just as it happened. When the road was good we rode considerable, when it was bad we walked more. Fancy us girls up before the sun, walking from five to twenty miles up hill, all the time facing a strong wind, camping after sun-down, then fires to make, suppers to prepare and cook, clothes to wash, and so on; and then when all is done, gathering round our camp fires, singing songs, talking, joking and making merry till bed-time. Each day made us more familiar with the hills, rocks and mountains, the rivers and creeks which lie between the frontiers and the Valley. Some of the rivers that were shallow we waded, some we rode across, and others we were carried over. Fancy a lot of us crossing a creek; some have already gone over, others are waiting to follow, while some are in the act of crossing on a narrow strip of timber; then try and fancy me like a female Blondin carefully poising myself on the narrow board which serves as a bridge, apprehensive of tumbling into the water, the only danger attending which would be merely a wetting. These things we thought little of; still an occasional tumble was at times provoking.
We usually travelled from fifteen to twenty miles a day; we had plenty of food to eat suitable for such a journey; and thus we travelled day after day till we neared our destination. Our hearts were light, our appearance pretty good, and our faces cheerful that day we entered the city; and O, what a splendid place it was after travelling so many hundreds of miles! wending our way over hills and vales and sandy plains, through brushwood, over rocky ground and smooth, through Kanyons [canyons] that echoed to the crack of the teamster's whip, or resounded with the merry shouts of some of the passengers. When passing though the last kanyon [canyon], three miles in length and just wide enough for a wagon to roll along, each face wore a look of wonderment, just as if they were waiting for the curtain to rise and reveal to them one of the most splendid pictures that the eye ever beheld. That was just the case with us; we could not express our admiration at the beautiful city that rose so proud and stately about six miles from us, when we emerged from the kanyon [canyon]. We all with one accord sat down to sing, "O, ye mountains high! where the clear blue sky;" then getting up we walked along, passing many pretty houses by the way.