Thomas B. Nelson autobiographical sketch, circa 1902.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, MS 2735 273
- Related Companies
- Benjamin Hawkins Company (1850)
It was on the 8th day of May, 1850, that we started from Mt. Pisgah to Council Bluffs and thence crossed the plains to Salt Lake Valley[.] We started with two good wagons and good ox teams. We also had a number of cows. We traveled pretty much alone until we had come four miles west of Council Bluffs where we found a camp of Saints, and on June 4th the camp was organized with Thomas Johnson as captain.
The following day we were ready to start on our journey west. Ther[e] were fifty wagons in the company. My brother Price [Williams Nelson] met us at Council Bluffs and came to the Valley with us, but Hyrum came in another company later the same year. Our journey was quite a pleasant one. We had good luck, no Indian trouble whatever, and only three deaths occurred in our company on the trip. The first one of these was a woman, the wife of a man named Wilkenson. She was buried on the west side of the mouth of “Ash Hollow.” The second was my cousin Dr. Thomas Goforth who was buried a little east of “Chimney Rock.” The next, a few days later, was a <little child of a> Brother Borum[.] Melvin Ross and I dug the grave and buried it. These persons were buried in graves made with a vault in the bottom. The bodies were wrapped in a quilt, blanket or wagon cover, whichever could best be spared and would then be placed in the bault [vault], timbers <were then> put across and hay spread over and then covered with dirt. When we were at Sweet Water my Father contracted the mountain fever from which he never fully recovered. While on the plains we saw a great many herds of Buffalo. When they were on their trails leading to watering places, they would not get out of our way, and if they were trailing across our road, we would be compelled to stop our teams until they would have time to pass. But if they were feeding we could not get near them.
We reached Salt Lake City Sept. 9, 1850. We camped on the public square for two days.