Albert Jones, Autobiography, reel 5, box 6, fd. 5, item 1.
. . . arriving ther[e] [Iowa City] July 8th, 1856
This was the year for the trial of Hand Cart transportation[.] We stayed here at this Camp-Ground making tents and Hand-Carts Sixteen or twenty days;—this proved a great loss to us as this time put in in traveling would hav[e] taken us in to Salt Lake Valley with less suffering and exposure. We crost the state of Iowa 300 miles with our Hand-carts, then on August 25th, 1856, we started out for Utah across the Great Plains One thousand miles of a journey. Our company was under the care of Edward Martin and Daniel Tyler, provisioned for sixty days; Five Hundred Seventy Six men, women and children; One Hundred Forty Six Hand-carts and seven Wagons to carry tents and flour. One Hundred pounds of flour on each Hand-cart. The journey was a terrible one owing to the early closing in of winter! One third of the party died on the Road! I sold an extra over-coat at Laramie to one of the cooks for some dried Peaches, apples and a little bacon and some flour, which made me feel, if not the richest man in camp. I helped dig the grave in which fourtueen of our people wer[e] buried. One boy a little older than myself came walking by the grave and I knew by his appearance, if we stayed ther[e] four days he would go into it. We stayed; and his dust lies out on the plains near Red Ballieat [Butte] the point where Joseph A. Young with his companions from the Valley, the first of the Rescue party to reach us. We wer[e] reduced to a quarter pound of flour per day and if the rescue party had not come out to help us, we should all hav[e] perished a miserable death by starvation and cold. But Brigham Young ordered all the available and necesssary number of men and teams to come out to our help, and after much suffering and privation we passed over the little mountain divide thru eight feet of snow, arriving in Salt Lake City at noon Sunday the 30th of November, 1856. I stood the jouurney without frost bite or blemish; mother [Sarah Ann Bradshaw Jones] stood it well, but my brother S[amuel]. S[tephen]. Jones would no doubt hav[e] perished hod [had] not Ephraim Hanks one of the Rescuers nursed him along...
In the Spring of 1862 Bishop Johnathan O. Duke of the First Ward of Provo called me to drive team to Omaha to bring in a load of Emigrating Saints; now came the opportunity to fill a vow I made on the plains in 1856, when standing by the camp fire made by the mountain boys who came out to assist us Hand-cart people, which was to the effect,—that should an opportunity arise in my life when I could be of service in aiding people to cross the plains, as I and mine had been helped, I would surely engage in that duty. So on May 11th, 1862 I started out with my own waggon, one yoke of oxen of my own and three yoke of my neighbors for Florence One Thousand miles away. If was the year of high water and we boys of Captain Homer
duncans Duncan's company became amphibious as we were in the water as much as on the land. We made the fastest time of any Ox train to Omaha and return. I reached Provo September 29th, 1862 on my return.