"Elizabeth Whitaker of Centerville Gives Sketches of Her Life," Davis County Clipper, 13 November 1931, 1.
View this source online
Another time, I recall was after we had arrived over sea and were crossing the plains, I can remember it just as vividly as though it were only yesterday.
We had traveled many weary miles over the plains and had reached the place about where the Denver is now located. Captain Wilkie [Wilkin] led our company[.] He had crossed the plains two or three times before[.] Each company consisted of 100 souls and each company was subdivided into smaller companies of ten each
The day or two preceding, we had seen warnings that the Indians were on the warpath[.] In one place, we found the body of a white man, who had been killed by them, his limbs had been cut off and crossed in his body. Captain Wilkie said This was a sign that the Indians were angry and this was one of their forms of revenge[.] Later we came upon a scene where a whole company of people had been killed and every thing they had was burned[.] All that was left was the scrap iron of the wagons and the iron bands that encircled the wheels[.] Such sights filled our hearts with dismay and anxiety[.] Captain Wilkie ordered all the men to stay at the heads of their oxen and not unyoke them[.] When it became necessary for us to camp each wagon was chained to the wagon wheel in front of it and formed n large circle of the wagons, inside this circle we made camp[.] We traveled all night some times, to evade the Indians[.] One afternoon we found a place to camp where the oxen could graze and there was water. The men were all away and the women were cooking supper, when 400 Indian braves rode up to our camp[.] They rode close and teased the children, knocked the lids off the skillets and took the biscuits[.] I was in the back of a wagon watching some children when the Indian chief came up to the wagon and tried to get one of the children[.] I cracked his knuckles with an ox yoke, where upon he laughed and said, ‘brave squak’[.] Then he put his arm around me and drew me on his horse and rode swiftly toward the mountains fortunately for me as we disappeared from view of the women at camp we chanced to come upon father and the other men who had gone hunting a short time earlier[.] Father and the other men talked with the Indians an hour trying to persuade them to let me free. Then they drove to the camp and talked for three hours more[.] The Indians finally consented te sell me back to my people[.] Some gave sugar, salt, rice, flower and whatever they could, until they could spare no more. The Indians said ‘more’ more’[.] Then Captain Wilkie became angry, fired off a small cannon[.] This frightened the Indians away but they followed us for five days frightening the horses and causing the cattle to stampede. Some of the wagons were broken up and several men were compelled to walk the rest of the way. I had a good time all the way across the plains, except for this incident