Tranquilla A. Brady Jordon autobiographical sketch, 1935-1936, 1-4.
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Together with my family we left Council Bluffs for the valleys of the mountains and Salt Lake City, in the month of May 1850, I at that time being 3 years old.
My first remembrance of the trip across the plains was when Grandpa Hendickson, irritated by some prank of mine threw some corn at me, striking me on the neck with such force that it made my neck bleed. I thought that I have been severely delt with, but with a few kind words, he was soon forgiven but the memory of the event has never left me.
Our train consisted of about 50 wagons. Our family having two wagons in the train. The first one being drawn by four animals, the lead ones being our old family cow, of a red color & a white face. That good old faithful doing her share of the pulling all day and giving enough milk to supply milk and cream enough to churn for our butter on the trip. Old bossy was assisted in her wagon pulling by an oxen. The second
wagon team were a span of oxen. The second wagon was also pulled by a span of oxen.
There were no bridges over the rivers, which we had to cross several times, which crossing was effected by the use of old ferries. The ferries were not very large so it was necessary to take one wagon over at a time with their teams. Many times it took all day to get across the rivers, as the oxen would get so scared at times they would stick their tails straight in the air and nearly scare
ad us kids to death, but as the trip had just started we were in the height of our glory, with but few cares to worry about.
Well do I remember the good times we would have at night, when the boys would smooth off a plsce[place] on the ground, wet it a little, pat it down, wet it a little more and pat a little more, ‘till finally they would have a very nice dance floor, on which we would all dance to the music of a fiddle and triangle. The wagons were always put in a circle at night and a big bon fire made which furnished the light for our dance.
Oh! I should have mentioned the Capt. who was in charge of our wagon train. I have forgotten his name, but it was either Capt. Webb or Warren Foote, he was a fine man, one who was loved by all the members in the train. The only member of his family he has with him that I can remember was his daughter.
At the time of our leaving Nauvoo, Mother was so sick that she could not do very much work so Father tool[took] a young lady by the name of Sarah Turner along with us, she was a girl about 22 or 23 years old, she was very desirous[desirous] of getting to Utah, so offered to do all the work of cooking for her passage, she was very dear and treated the rest of us children like we were her sisters.
The wagon I rode in was driven by my older brother Marion, he was a large boy for his age, being 11 or 12 years old, but looked much older.
The first thing to happen to mar our so far pleasant trip was the breaking out of (CHOLERA) in our train. At the time the only men who were able to go about and tend to the rest of the sick were my father and the Capt. And the[y] had to, (can you imagine) go around with a bandage over their nose saturated with, liquor and asafetida. Many a strong man took sick in the night and was buried before the sun came up the next morning.
Before leaving Council Bluffs we all had enough provisions to last us on our entire trip, among them being beans and other things that it was thought was the cause of the CHOLERA in the camp and the Saints were advised to cast aside all those things, but we never cast aside anything the line of food.
One day out of every week we would stop and let the stock rest and we do our washing, baking ect..
It was the duty of the boys in the camp to do all the carrying of the wood, water ect. But one day Sarah went to the river to get a pail of water (un-be-known) to the rest of us, she went happily off to the water, wearing her sun-bonnet, not knowing what was in store for her. When she stooped down to get the water she lost her bonnet ans[d] in
coruching reaching for it she lost her balance and fell in the river, of course she yelled as loud as she could and the boys heard her, but she was nearly drowned when they got her out. That, I think was the last time she went for water on that trip.
One of our last wagons in our train carried, among other things a pig. One day this said pig got loose and started to run towards the front of the train, if he had run out from the wagons it would have been OK, but this pig decided that the best way to go was up between the oxen and under the wagons, there were no wagons pulled by anything but oxen and cows, (no horses) except the ones that the men rode, so there was general stamdede [stampede], the oxen and wagons all got tangled up and there was plenty of exitment for awile until the pig was caught.
They took a survey and count and found that there was very little damage done and no-body hurt, so we all had a good laugh and repeated the rhyme, (TOM, TOM THE PIPERS SON).
One day as we were traveling along as happy as could be, not having any particular care in the world we saw in the distance a large cloud of dust. Of course ud [us] children never knew what it was, we were soon to learn that it was a herd od [of] buffalo, on stampede.
The Capt. rode from one end of the train to the other, calling “Break ranks”, this being the first time we had had this experience we were all excitement, but soon learned this was a regular thing.
When the Capt. would call “Break ranks”, the wagons would separate about every three or four wagons, leaving a place for the buffalo to go through, but by some merical [miracle] or other they would turn off and go the other way.
Our first churning of butter was when Sarah put some cream in an old round churn, hung it up in the wagon while we were going and the movement of the wagon churned the butter.
On July 11th. my mother took quite seriously ill so we had to stop the wagon on the banks of the Platte river for the day, and when we started again there was another member added to our family and the company. We had another baby brother, who was named after his father, Lindsey.
Mother regained her strength very fast after that, and we lost no more time from that source.
Such things as needles and small things which were necessary to make the trip more pleasant for all, were guarded with the strictest of rules but one day I decided that I wanted to do some sewing so I got Mother’s coveted needle and be careful as I would of course I lost it in the road, which was thick with dust, so I started to look for it and was afraid of a scolding from my mother, so I ran off in the tall sage brush, while the train was stopped.
Being a mere child I was permitted to ride in either if [of] our wagons so when the train started up this day they never noticed whether or not I was with them, when in fact I was a long ways away from them, in hiding. Perhaps I can lay my being rescued to the fact that I had on a very bright red dress and to the alertness of our Capt. For he it was who was riding around the train after it had started to see that every thing was alright, when he spied my very red dress. At that time he never knew what it was but came riding over to see, picked me up in his saddle and told me I was about a mile from
the where we had camped and asked me where I was going and who I was. After I told him, he took me to my father, who reprimanded me but I had learned my lesson and never tried that trick again.
We were not bothered by the Indians, any more than to have them call on our wagons. (on horse back, never on foot) to beg for bacon, bread ect. which we always gave them at least enough to keep them peaceful as we never had one fight with them.
Our trip across the plains was’nt very eventful, the weather being very good, except for a few rains, which aside from making the roads rather disagreeable for a time, were very welcome as they settled the dust, which at times got very deep in the roads.
It was a very pleasant afternoon on the 18th. day of Sept. 1850 that we arrived in Salt Lake Valley, through Emigration Canyon. Having been on the road for 7 months and 27 days