Jacobs, Christopher, [Reminiscence], in Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Garfield County Chapter, "Biographies and History of Garfield County Pioneers," Book A, 114-15.
May 11, 1897
Editor Tribune, --
I have just been interviewing Mr. Christopher Jacobs of this place, one of the Pioneers of '47 and have learned from him of some incidents that may be of interest to your readers.
Mr. Jacobs informs me he that he was in Charles Rich's company and left Winter Quarters in the early part of 1847 and arrived in Salt Lake City, October 1 of that year. He was the fiddler of the company. "Many times," he says, "the boys from other companies have come and hauled me from the company to make music for them, and then by the light of huge bonfires they would trip the light fantastic until eleven and twelve o'clock. Along with the fatigue of the journey would be many pleasures that only those who were worn with work could enjoy. I was the second fiddler that came in '47 and I never enjoyed myself better than I did on that trip. I remember one circumstance that happened while making the journey that will show some of the dangers that we encountered. When we came to the Elk Horn we found that it was booming. The weather however was very cold. We crossed our cattle and wagons on a raft which was pulled across the river by oxen on either side the streams. Long cables were fastened to it to draw it from one side to the other.
When about half the company had crossed, the cable on our side broke and the raft could not be gotten back. The only chance of getting the raft brought back was to have some one swim the river and fasten the cable to the raft. Many people stood on the bank and as no one volunteered to swim the river, I offered to do it. Having many times swam the Mississippi, and from my boyhood been a good swimmer, I did not for a moment doubt my ability to perform the task. I plunged in and after a good deal of hard work made the distance successfully. The cable was fastened and I was pulled to the side from which I started. When I reached the shore, there stood Bishop Hunter with a bottle of whisky in his hand and he patted me on the back and said, "Well done, my boy. Goody, good, good" and he handed me the bottle and you may be sure the contents were appreciated.
When we came to Laramie we were met by about 500 Indians, and as we were trading with them some of the boys proposed that I should turn a somersault for their amusement. I was young then and very nimble. The Indians gathered around and I turned a couple of somersaults. They were amazed. They stood on the ground and jumped up and down on it to see if it would spring with them. Finding the ground was solid they came and felt of my legs and talked among themselves, much surprised that such a thing was possible.