Christensen, Lars Christian, Autobiography [ca. 1892], 5-6.
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By the blessings of God we landed safely at Philadelphia in America. Then we traveled by rail for nine days until we reached Iowa City.
After a few days we received our hand carts which we were to pull about fifteen hundred miles, over hills and valleys, and dry deserts. It was a long troublesome, and tiresome journey. I endured a great many hardships. Our rations were very small. I went hungry most of the time. Once in a while a Brother or a Sister dropped faint and exhausted by the road, caused by heat and over worked by pulling our heavy loaded two wheeled carts. God knows I had hard times. At first I often had to go back after a hard days travel to bring to camp those who had given out and were lying by the road. We would unload one cart or more and go back and load them on the best we knew how. Those who could not get room, we changed about carrying on our backs. We would also carry the Sisters, and a cripple, and the old folks across the rivers in the same way. There was one child born on the journey and a few deaths. We saw many graves by the ways with the names of the dead written on a board, and many carcasses of dead cattle. An old man by the name of Christopher Folkman, was lost on the plains. He was gone three or four days. He had lived on a kind of berry that he plucked, and when he was found and brought back to camp he was very weak. One time when we camped quite late, I was sent to the river for water. It was quite a long way to the river, and I was overtaken by darkness and lost my way back, I had to stay in the thick wood until daylight and it was raining all night. But I found camp early the next morning. The next day it was very hot. We traveled through a very sandy desert and our water gave out, so some of the Brethren went out in search of water among the hills, digging in the ground but without success. Our hand carts advanced slowly until dark when we found some poor riley water. Children were sent on ahead for some water for their fainted mothers. I saw some hoggish man that loved himself more than others, grab the water from a child and drink a swallow or two, so when the child got to its mother it had no water. That was an impossibility for me to do. When I got to the water I drank freely but could not quench my thirst. The captain told us there was water on the road so we didn’t take very much with us. Another night we also had to camp without water. I dreamed I was drinking water all night but when I awoke I was still thirsty. Thus one hardship followed another. We had but very little to eat, and had but little rest for we had to stand guard at night by turns until I was about give out I was so tired. But by the help of God, I did make the trip. And I always have and always will give him the honor, praise, and thanks for it. For weeks and months we pitched our tents on the wild prairies. There were thousands of wishes and prayers as well as dreams that we might endure the hardships and reach Zion where we hoped better days were in store for us, until we at length pitched our tents on Salt Lake City Square September 13, 1857. Our hand cart journey took eighty-five days.
My property consisted of seven pounds of clothes and books when I left Iowa City. What money I had I gave freely away before I left Denmark. I borrowed money for my journey to Zion which I paid back within ten years, to satisfaction.