Greaves, Joseph, Letters, Logan, Utah, to William Greaves [England] 1897 Sept., 2-4.
We were camped some time where Omaha now is. It took quite a long time to ferry the wagons and cattle over the river. This place was called Caneville [Kanesville], and the last place settled by white people. When we crossed the Missouri we were in the Indian territory and one thousand and thirty miles of dry country before us. We made this part of our journey in a little over ten weeks. This part of the journey was hot and we would walk through rivers and creeks with our clothes all on and let them dry on us and not have any bad effects from so doing. We had two yolk of oxen to each wagon and two cows. Some men would break in the cows and use them. I drove the loose animals the whole distance, had one person at a time to help me. During the last 500 miles when the cattle were poor and sore-footed I would be left a long way behind the company and at times when it was very dark. I could not have found the camp if it had not been for the sense of smell of an old gentleman that was with me. He could smell the camp fire a long way off. Some time before we reached our journey’s end our provisions became very scarce. Then we commenced to kill our poorest cattle to [word faded out] out the deficiency. If anyone ever learned the value of salt, we did at this time. (I have always been careful of salt ever since.) We lived on poor beef alone and no salt too – it is something you could not comprehend if you have not tried it. During our journey we could see many useful articles by the roadside that were left by those who were ahead of us to lighten their loads. Men would be stationed by these articles while the train would pass by them or some thoughtless persons would put things in the wagons and soon put us in the condition of those who had to leave them. I was so hungry the latter part of our journey that I had made up my mind that as soon as I got in the valley of Salt Lake I would commence to beg, but as usual, the last day I was a long way behind the company. And as soon as I got out of the mountains I could see the city in the distance. I left two oxen that had hindered my progress all day, and traveled a little faster. When I reached camp my wife informed me that the people commenced to beg at every house they passed. When I learned that, it took all the courage out of me and one of our company, seeing we had nothing, gave us enough to make us a supper. Thus ended our journey, on the 30th of Sept. 1853. I kept no diary of those days so I cannot give you as interesting account as I would like to have done.