Joseph Chatterley, Biographical information relating to Mormon pioneer overland travel database, 2003-2017.
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We left St. Louis early Spring 1851 in the John Brown company. There were 60 wagons in all, which were divided up into companies of ten. As it was spring time we did not suffer the hardships of some of the later emigrants, although it was a long, tedious journey and we had many discouraging experiences. Occasionally, a stop would be made to hunt game. On one occasion I and Brother [John] Brown, went hunting out some distance from camp when we came upon a group of boys from our camp. My Son Morton (age 10), and James and Tom Corbett [Corlett] and some other boys had five or six Sioux Indian boys, about their own age, in the creek trying to make them wade down the stream where it was quite deep. We sent the boys back to camp and let the Indian boys get out of the water, then we started on our way again. However, we had not gone very far until we were overtaken by a small group of Indians on horseback who immediately began firing upon us—the bullets whizzing by too close for comfort. We thought we were surely doomed but we ran as fast as we could. We happened to be where there were numerous mounds of loose gravel and sand which were difficult for the Indians’ ponies to surmount. The Indians soon became discouraged and turned back. I suppose that they were shooting at us more to frighten us than anything else; but at this time Indians were still hostile and troublesome to emigrants.
Being a wheelwright, my time during our journey was pretty well taken up in the evening helping the men fix their wagons and keeping them in good condition. We arrived in Salt Lake Valley the latter part of September, 1851, just a year from the time we left our home in England.