Peterson, John August, Autobiographical sketch [n.d.], 1, 4.
Again we quote from his record: Father and I had to walk all the way. Sometimes I would go barefooted in the sand. Often the prickly pears would sting me. When we camped at night we had to make haste to pitch our tents and help the sick down from the wagons. Father and I gathered buffalo chips and wood with which to keep fire to cook our meals. We had to carry the water. I mixed the bread. It had to be baked before I could go to bed. It was 11 P.M. before we retired for the night.
The plains were covered with tall green grass. My baby died August 14, 1866, while in my mother's arms. A grave was dug and the sisters gathered flowers and filled the grave to depth of about six inches. They wrapped a sheet around her and laid her tenderly on the bed of flowers. Her mother died the next day at about 1 o'clock. She was buried the same way. Mother and my sister Sophia had also been sick but were improved.
When we came to a hill or where there was snow later on, it was hard for the oxen to pull the wagons, so all that could walk had to do so. One morning Sophia said she would try to walk with Father ahold of her on one side and I on the other. Thus we led her along until noon. Her feet got a little wet and her head ached, so that they let her ride the rest of the day.
That night we camped on Green River. The next morning she called to me and said, "I dreamed that I was holding our baby. She put her little hand on my knee. When I awoke my knee felt so strange that I removed my clothing and there I saw a purple mark the shape of her hand." She showed me the mark. My heart sand [sank], for then I knew she was going to leave us, and she did about three weeks later.
Mother bore up bravely. She and Sophia had been great companions. The night we camped at Green River, it had rained and snowed. The snow was about a foot deep. We put up our tents and spread out our bedding on the wet ground. It was quite dark and we could hardly find any wood for fires. It froze hard that night. There was scarcely any food for the oxen to eat and some of them died in the night. The next day turned out fine and warm. By noon the snow had gone. We came to streams of water which we had to wade up to our waists among floating ice.
It was on the sixth of October 1866 that Sophia died. Another woman had died the same night. She had left a family of small children. The grave which could not be dug very deep, was made large enough for both of them. She was buried in Emigration Canyon in a little valley.
The immigrants arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 8, 1866, two days after Sophia's death.