Reese, James, to Bro. Taylor, 29 July 1856, The Mormon, 16 Aug. 1856, 2.
DEAR BRO. TAYLOR:—I seat myself at this time to address a few lines to you, according to promise. We were well received by Bro. Spencer and the Saints. The Company, over which Bros. [James G.] Willey and Attwood presided, moved out the day before we arrived in Camp. My father, brother, and sister were glad to see me; they had got the wagon and oxen all ready for the start by the time we arrived. It would astonish you to see them dragging the hand cart. Away they go, singing and rejoicing. No one can imagine how easy those carts go, but those who have had experience in drawing them. Give me a hand cart before an ox team for traveling. You have got to herd your cattle by night and by day, to pull and haul them to break them in; and often times get kicks from them that you feel for weeks, and perhaps for your life time. In the morning they are about two hours getting ready for the start with the ox teams; but not so with the hand carts. When Bro. Haven gave them the order to start, you would have been surprised to see them take down their tents and pack up in about twenty minutes, and off they went, without any ceremony. The hand carts for me. What little I have seen I prefer them, and I pulled them for some miles. The greatest part of the wagon companies have moved about two miles out from the old camping ground. They moved out on Wednesday, the 24th instant. My team led the way, and was first on the ground. Sunday, 27th, we had a meeting, and was addressed by Elders Spencer, Tyler, Ferguson, Captain Jones, McAllister, and Webb. I expect we shall start to-morrow, if all is well. Bro. [Edward] Martin's hand cart company being the last this season, moved out a little away from the old camping ground on Saturday, the 26th instant. They are expected to leave finally to-day.
Here is the place to try a man what he is. If a brother comes in camp and don't catch hold of an axe and cut down a tree for to make hand carts, or break in a pair of oxen, or make himself useful in some way, he is but little respected. This is the place to make a man know himself.
Good bye, and God bless you, till I see you in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.