Richards, Rhoda, to Nancy Richards Peirson, 1848, in Helen Richards Gardner, ed., Journal and Letters of Rhoda Richards, 1784-1879 , 50-51.
Methinks I hear you say Rhoda has been silent a long time. Why is it, not because that you and the rest of my friends are less dear to my heart. No, you all share largely in my thoughts and prayers too. I have had a desire to go West for a long time. My Heavenly Father has granted me the desire of my heart for which I desire to thank and praise his great and holy name. I am now in the West beyond the rocky mountains where I hope to remain untill I see you and Susan face to face and all of my friends that desire to come to this place. The path we have trod, I think was marked out by God. You will think so too if ever you the journey pursue.
I can tell you but little about our journey. We left Winter Quarters the 3 July. About the 15th Levi Willard ran up the steps to the wagon when he reached the top his foot slipped he fell against a box. Br. Wd. was near by, he caught him up. I ran down took him. He says arm, arm. Brother Willard said the bone was broke above the elbow. He could hear it grate. No Dr. in camp. We sent for Br. Phinehas. He did it up then we took Br. Wd. carriage three nights and two days then returned to my wagon. He was very careful. Appeared to have the wisdom of years. He is a quick motioned child. My greatest anxiety was that he might fall and break it over again. Br. Wd. was not able to attend to it. I think it is as well as the other. He has been backward in talking but not in thinking and acting. He is the picture of health. He always had a sickly, deathly countenance before he commenced the journey. Every one that sees him speaks of the change wrought in him. He thinks as much of Aunt Rhoda as ever little Ann did when she did not know better. I expect she will come some day to see us.
We pursued our journey, Amelia and me, as well as we could helping each other. Our family was in number two drivers, three children.
26. The camp stoped for the purpose of repairing wagons, washing, baking.
27th and 28th. There were at eve heavy thunder showers the 28th. We had to go to bed wet without a warm supper as the fires were all out.
29th. I rose after a weary night, helped all the morn, baked cookies, crackers, and buiscuit while Amelia was doing a little of everything to be ready. When the camp started, I went to bed sick enough, was never out of the wagon but three times. Once the axletree broke, once to repack the wagon, once I think to try my strength, got out and back almost alone. The result was another attack of dumb ague. I had two spells of being very sick, the last was mountain fever, dumb ague seasoned high with cramp. I was sick enough to die many a time but I could not. I was bound for the valley. We arrived here the 20 of October. Weeks, I rolled in my bed dressed only in my loos gown night and day. Levi was hardly known to cry, was always happy in reading and talking about Pa and Ma. He thinks everything of Amelia and I know not what I could have done without her and Br. Wd. It made it hard for them yet God in his mercy gave them strength to endure to the end. I can say to you Brother Willard is alive. I think he suffered much more than I did on the journey. When we came into the valley we camped from Thursday untill Monday, then each one to their lots.