Haskell, Thales Hastings, Autobiography, 1867.
We now prepared to start across the plains in company with many others[,] destination not known. Started out and in a few days got organized into companies of hundreds, fifties, & tens. A[braham] O[wen] Smoot was Captain of our hundred. Geo[rge] B[enjamin] Wallace Captain of fifty and a man by the name of [James] Smithies, Captain of our ten[.] I had never been accustomed to drive an ox team, and in a bad place managed to run one wheel on to a bank & broke an axel tie. I heard a great many making remarks about me in being a very careless boy to let such an accident happen but I thought if they had a cautioned me a little before hand it might have done more good. The next day we got a stick and had new one put in[.] Francis came back to meet us about this time having been at work on the Platte running the ferry boat. I now considered quite a load of responsibility taken from me. But he was soon taken sick with the rheumatism and could not get out and into the waggon without help. This made it rather hard on me again. I was large of my age and though but 13 years old was expected to do a mans work, standing guard hearding &c. Some where about this time we had to turn out a yoke of cattle to go back and help Grants company whose cattle had been stampeded and had to have assistance and we put in a couple of yoke of cows in the team in place of the oxen and shortly after this another ox got tender footed so we now had one yoke of good oxen two yoke of cows and a single ox in the lead thus we traveled. Saw a great many Indians, the most of these were friendly, well dressed and well inv[..]tes[.] We also saw a great deal of wild game and vast herds of Buffalo[.] our hunters often killed a buffalo or an antelope so that we generally had a suppli of fresh meat. At the Pacific springs we met Brigham and the rest of the pioneers who told us that they had found a proper place for the saints to locate[.] Travld on a few days and arrived at Bridger's Fort and here Bridger told us some interesting stories about the valley of the great Salt Lake. Said that grain could not be raised there and the the snow fell so deep that the Buffalo had all died off &c &c[.] Started on again and soon began to get excited about getting to the valley & some companies began to get divided the best teams taking the lead[.] I remember Elder Wallace got in sometime before us[.] We had a rough road & Francis rheumatism still got worse and every rock the wheel struck would make him fairly scream with pain[.] I of course got duly lectured about careful driving &c[.] Camped one night on the top of the little mountain and had to lock the wheel to keep from blowing back down the mountain as there was a perfect gale of wind. In the morning we got a glimpse of Salt Lake and the valley we so much desired to reach. Arrived in the valley[.] camped near where they had commenced building an adobe fort.