Terry, Olive Harriet Otto, "A Mormon Bride in the Great Migration," ed. Orval E. Baldwin, Nebraska History, Spring 1977, 65-69.
Father Terry was the Captan of our company. We had our waggons fild with every good thing that money co[u]ld buy for my husban was well fixed—had plenty of money, and he thought that thar was nothing good enough for me. We had to take Provisian enough to last six months for it wo[u]ld take that long to cross the plains.
I had never gave a though[t] to how I wo[u]ld feel when I came to leave my folks behind. The last day had come and I and Percy went to bid Farewell to my Mother and Father, Sisters, brothers. I took my littel Brother, only four years old, in my arms and he put his littel chuby arms around my neck and sed, "when I get big man, I will come and see you and fetch you back hom so I will."
O Heavens, how often that came back to my mind in after years. Well, the parting was over and we had gone back to our waggon for we had started on our way to the river whar the rest of the companey was camped.
When my dear husban took me in his arms and kissed away my tears and promesed me in three years he wold bring me back to see them all, if my Father did not come. With all this love and comfort I soon was my old self agan for I was to happy to stay sad long.
We got in camp that night a(t) 8 o 'clock. The next morning we comenced to cros the Mo River. We had to make the cattel all swim, and a old flat boat that co[u]ld hold but two waggons at a time, so it took to(two) day for one compeny to cross.
Well, at last our companey was across and we began our jurney. We onley traveled 8 mile the first day and then we had to stop and wate for Brother Benson, so Percy told me. And he had to go back and help him with his stock. Brother Benson was one of the big men in the Church, one of the Twelve.
I co[u]ld hardly b[e]ar to part with him for one day for he sed he wold get back at night. But that day and the next, till nerley fore o'clock, when he came in camp. He was on our little pony wich he had bought for me. So when I got tired of riding in the waggon, I co[u]ld get out and ride my pony.
O how delited I was to see him. He had ben gone two hull days. I cald my pony Brigham and I had meny a jolly ride on him.
We had to stay thar in camp for a week befor we co[u]ld start on. I never new why we had to stay thar so long but I did know that ever night thar was strang[e] horses and cattel brought in camp. I spoke of it to my husban and he jus laughed and sed that the Sa[i]nts was to suck the milk of the Gentiles. I new I had read sumpthing like that in the Bibel and I thought no more about it till one night about a week after that, and just the night before we was to start on.
I saw out on the Perier [prairie] old Mike and Polly, my Father's horses. I new my Father never sold his horses. O what was I to do? I co[u]ld not let my poor old father luse his only teem. I soon made up my mind.
I sed nothing to Percy about it. He never new I had seen them. I did not know how [they] had got them but I did know [they] had not brought them, had stole them.
I wated till dark and when I had my work all dun, I went around the corell [corral]. We was camped in a round ring and [a] hundred waggons in a ring makes a big corell. I went to see a Friend of mine. She had ben sick. She wanted me to come and stay with her that night and that just suted me.
I sed I would if Percy wold let me. So I went back to my waggon. He was in bed. We slep in the waggon.
"Whar have you ben, Dear?" he sed.
I told him that Linnie wanted me to come and stay with her that night and I wold go if he didn't care. I crald [crawled] in the waggon and gave him a good nite kiss and got my shall [shawl] for the nights was coule, and also my pocket book.
"I guess I will take Brig[ham] and let him eat som grass. I can watch him while I stay up."
The pony was tide to the waggon and I was afraid he wold miss him. So I went back to my Friends and stade till ten o'clock.
I went up the bank whar I had left my pony and jumped on.
"Now, Brigham, old boy, for a race back to camp and Percy."
And I got back before anybody was up. I saw the gard as tha started to drive up the cattle but tha did not see me. I left Brig put on the grass and went to my waggon and crept in bed.
"O, how cold you are." he sed.
"Yes, I went out and got the pony and brought him back so he wold not go of."
"Did you tie him up?"
"No, I left him on the grass. The gard is after the cattel."
"O how guilty I felt making so many excuses but Pa had got his horses by that time and that was my comfort.
"Well, dear, you lay still and I will get up and start. I want no breakfirst so you wont have to get up."
I was glad fore I was affel [awful] tir[e]d. I went to sleep and new no more till the waggon comenced to move, and then I woke but went to sleep agan and sleep till nerley noon. I got up and dressed and went to the front and rased the curtin, for he had made it as dark as he co[u]ld so I wold sleep.
My Percy was walking by the leders. We had six yoke of cattel. When he saw I was up he came back and got up in the waggon with me I saw he looked trubled and I asked him if he was hungray and he sed he had eat brekfirst with his Father, so I laft and talked.
He co[u]ld not say anything about the horses for he thought I had never saw them, so that saved me a grat imbarsment, but when we was stop for dinner, I hurd a man say to Percy that them horses went back to the river and the fary men set them across.
And that relived my mind. I knew tha thought the horses had got luse and went back them selves. I wondered if Percy knew anything about them, but I dar not say anything about it, and it was not mention in my hearing agan.
Well we had a long pleasent trip, long lines of covered waggons as far as your eye co[u]ld reach. You co[u]ld see Train after Train moving along and the larg hurds of Buflow along the Platt[e] river for miles. The bottoms wold be black with them. O it wold be such fun to see hunters go out and git after them. Thar was six hunters in ever train to suply the companey with meet and the buflow meat was ofel nice. And the larg tribe of Indieans [Indians] that came to our camp, I was so fritened at them.
Larg bands of two or three hundred in a band. Tha [They] was all naked but just a strap of buckskin around the wa[i]st and a bow and arrow in tha hands. Tha had thar faces panted in all collors. Tha was on the war path but one shot of a revolver wold make a hole tribe run. Tha was afrad of a gun, and the emigrants was well armed, so that was not much danger.
When we wold overtake another Train thar wold be a big dance. Tha wold form a grate big corell, two hundred waggons wold make plenty room for a big fier and two dancing floors. As soon as tha all drove in camp and got thar cattel on the grass, the young men wold go to work and clean the sod of[f] and wet it and pack the ground hard and role in grat logs to make a fier, and by the time supper was over every thing wold be reddy for the dance, and all [who] wanted to dance wold gather in the center of the corell and the President of the Train wold come and open the dance with prayer, and then every boddy, old and young, wold dance till tha got tierd.
Thar was plenty of music of all kinds that co[u]ld be carried in a waggon. And this happened every week, and we had such a good time that I hardley had time to think of home or friends, and Percy was so kind and thoughtful of my comfort. I never danced but he was redy with my shall [shawl] to rap me in when I was through. His littel wife must not git sick on the plains, so he wold say.
I was not yust (used) to such care and it almost exalted me to the Seventh Heaven, but alass how people can take a fall. It is a gloryous thing that we can't see in to the future. If I col[u]d of forsaw my life, I never wold live it to get across the plains, but happy me! I had no care then. My Percy was all to me, and I cared for nothin else, when he walked, I walked, when he road, I road. Whar he was, I was, his pepel [people] was my peple. I was like Routh [Ruth] of old and so the long jurney ended. We was all summer on the plains. We crossed the Mo [Missouri] River on the last day of May
and we got to Salt Lake Valley the second of Oct. 1852.