Taylor, John and F. D. Richards, "From Our Immigration," Deseret News [Weekly], 14 Sep. 1859, 221.
G. S. L. CITY, Sept. 12, 1859.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DESERET NEWS:—
DEAR SIR—According to the request of President Young, we left this city on Saturday, August 27, to meet the immigration, find out their position and give them such counsel and aid as their circumstances might require.
On the morning of the 28th, as we were about starting from Lewis station, Capt. Brown's company rolled up, consisting of 66 wagons and 387 persons; all the camp were in good health and spirits with the exception of three or four who were slightly afflicted with eating fruit, which is in great abundance, on the road. Having administered to them, as they needed no other assistance, we pursued our route.
We met the Church train under the direction of Captain H. D. Haight and Bishop Kesler at Hennefer's station; on the Weber, as they had already been supplied and were met with teams at that point, we bade them God speed.
On the evening of the 30th, we camped with the hand-cart company, under the direction of Capt. Rowley, at Yellow creek, consisting of 57 hand-carts, numbering 235 souls.
The company were generally healthy and some of the young people were very joyous and jubilant. There were among them many beautiful singers, who entertained us in the evening, around their camp fires, with some of the late popular airs, and among the rest several amusing hand cart songs, the chorus of which was-
Some must push, and some must pull,
As we go rolling up the hill;
Thus merrily on the way we go,
Until we reach the Valley, O!
And as they started next morning they, in their prompt energetic action and uniform movements, manifest a vivacity and life which comported very much with the spirit of their song. We had a very pleasant meeting with them, and gave them such counsel as their circumstances seemed to require. They had been met buy five four-mule teams and with provisions, on Ham's' Fork. With the aid of the mule teams and a horse teams that went with us, and two yoke of cattle which we furnished, they were enabled to carry the aged and weary, and proceeded comfortably. A brother Shanks, from Liverpool, who was very sick at our arrival, died next morning, and was buried at Yellow creek.
Captain Rowley informed us that he had had considerable trouble in consequence of persons straying off from the camp during their travel, and whom he had frequently had to send after, and that one aged lady, after diligent search having been made for her, near Green river, he had been unable to find.
Here we met Peter Jensen and another br. who had been sent out to meet Stevenson's company, who after going as far east as Green River returned in consequence of one their horses failing, they reported that they had obtained information from the mail that Stevenson's company were living on half rations and were scarcely able to move for want of cattle. We took Peter Jenson back with us.
On the morning of the second Sept. we met six wagons belonging to the hand-cart company, that had been left behind at the Devil's Gate to recruit. These ox teams were not able to keep up with the hand-carts.
We met Capt. R. F. Neslin's company at their first encampment on Black's Fork, 15 miles west of Green river, Saturday evening, the 3d Sept. Next morning as the rear of Capt. Neslin's company were rolling out, the fore-part of Capt. Edward Stevenson's company came in view. We found the statement in relation to their lack of provision and being crippled in regard to cattle to be false. The captains of these trains informed us that their camps had been well supplied with provisions until that time, and that although they had lost a number of cattle, their losses were not as severe as most other trains and that they were making very good time. We found the companies in good health and spirits and their oxen in tolerable condition.
Our supply train, now consisting of 26 yoke of cattle and four wagons, under the direction of Capt. George V. Thompson, of Cottonwood, in this county, was camped about two miles west of Ham's Fork. We returned with the companies to that place, divided the cattle between them and let them have 14 cwt. of flour, which the captain assured us was all they required to being them comfortably to the valley. These companies consisting of over one hundred wagons, were about equally divided. We partook of their hospitalities, held meetings with both companies, after camping on Monday night with Capt. Neslin's company about 18 miles east of Bridger, we left the camps on Tuesday morning, in good condition, to return to the city.
In passing Fort Bridger, we observed that a great many improvements had been made and it presented a neat, orderly aspect. We were also informed that the rule prohibiting the sale and use of spirituous liquors is being enforced, which will, no doubt, tend to preserve a better understanding between the military and civilians, an object which all good men sould strive to promote.
On our journey out we met a lieutenant with a small detachment from Bridger on a return from the neighborhood of Green river, where he informed us he had been sent in pursuit ofe deserters and that on his return he found the dead bodies of two young women, who had been left behind by the hand-cart company and had been partly eaten by wolves and buried their remains, and he also informed us that they had left people at random to perish on the road. This horrible statement led us to inquire of all parties that had passed Green river to ferret out if possible the truth or falsehood of this allegation. We obtained about the following from Capt. Stephenson and Neslin, and their companies and others.
There was the remains of two persons, one an aged woman, the other a young person which some stated was a woman, others a man. Since the lieutenant had buried them they had been dug up by wolves, and Capt. Stevenson had deputed four men to again bury them deeply in the ground, so that they could not be reached; one of the party brought a piece of the old lady's hair, which was grey, that, and fragments of the attire, showed it to be the old lady's that Capt. Rowley stated he was unable to find, and who had met this horrible fate. Who the young lady or gentleman was we could not learn satisfactorily.
That two persons have perished is evident from the concurrence of all the reports. The lieutenant stated that they were two young women. This could not be, for the color of the hair showed one of them to be aged, and this is unquestionably the old lady to whom Capt. Rowley refers. Another rumor stated that a young woman was dissatisfied and started back to Green river, because they had not provisions, and perished on the way back. This is to say the least improbable, for we think there is scarcely a wretch to be found who is so lost to the common feelings of humanity as on learning that a fellow being was suffering would not help them, and if she died without giving this information who could tell it afterwards? Capt. Rowley must know who left his company, and it is due to the public and to the friends of those who came with the hand-carts, that it be made known.
A young sister met an old sweetheart at Devil's Gate and married him. Two families we are informed, stayed behind at Green river to work and calculate to come on in about a month; further than this, we can learn nothing. In relation to the statement that they suffered for lack of provisions, this could not be true, for they had flour at Green river, at which place they killed a beef, and fifteen or twenty miles from there they met mule trains with supplies.
Capt. Neslin and Stevenson's companies expect to arrive here on Wednesday or Thursday next.
We met among the companies persons from different parts of the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland and Africa.
F. D. RICHARDS.