Mathias Nielsen journal excerpts in Historical Department journal history of the Church, 1896-2001 July, 4 Sept. 1859, 8, 15-31.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, CR 100 137
- Related Companies
- George Rowley Company (1859)
- Related Persons
- William Chapel
- Caroline Woodward
- Elna Hakansson
- Anna Hansen
- Charles Edwin Harris
- Rebecca Harris
- Jane Jarvis
- Ann Hansen Jensen
- Elna Petronella Johanson
- Andrew John Johnson
- Albertine Josephine North
- Mark Lindsey
- Hans Olsen Magleby
- Mathias Brock Nelson
- William Woodward Nelson
- Edward Shanks
- Carl August Zitting
Elder Mathias Nielsen who crossed the plains in Captain George Rowley's handcart company kept a daily journal on the journey and from his writings we cull and copy the following:
Wednesday June 1, <1859>. We were now getting our wagons ready that were to accompany the handcart company. Our allotment was six wagons and twelve yoke of oxen. The four wagons were intended to carry our provisions for the handcart company and two wagons was for the captain and his family.
Thursday June 2. A meeting was held in camp and we were now organized into companies of ten, namely four companies of English Saints and three companies of Scandinavian Saints. Elder Hans O. Magleby was captain of the first, John Jenson of the second and I of the third company of emigrants. The captain of the whole company was George Rowley, a Welchman.
Friday, June 3. We were busy fixing up our handcarts. We had 60 handcarts, each cart supplied with three bows and a bed tick to cover the cart. It was intended that there should be four passengers to each cart. A man by the name of Zitting and two women were assigned to my cart, but as Brother Zitting joined hands with a friend of his who had an independent of their own , the two women and I were left to pull our cart alone. The women who traveled with me were Caroline Chapel and English) and Albertine Berthelson (Swedish.)
Saturday, May 4. I was busy writing letters to Sweden, etc., and in the afternoon I accompanied some of the emigrants to Omaha to make purchases.
Sunday, June 5. We held a meeting in the camp in the forenoon. All the captains of tens were called together by Captain [George] Rowley to receive instructions as to how much luggage we were allowed to take with us in the handcarts. We had another meeting in the afternoon at which Brother Stenhouse and Robert F. Neslen addressed us and spoke particularly about being united as we traveled across the plains. At six o'clock P. M. we had still another meeting which was addressed by Elder George Q. Cannon and Captain Rowley who gave us timely advice in regard to the long overland journey before us.
Monday, June 6. We received our handcarts and the things we were to take with us consisting of a few cooking utensils, water-can a little bedding, etc. I only had a single blanket and a rug to lay under me. We had a tent for each ten persons ore each company of ten. The English
were waiting for four cows to take along with them and as all the oxen were not yet ready the teamsters were busy training the oxen so as to able to place them in yokes.
Thursday June 9. We made our final start from Florence with our handcart company and traveled that day 3 1/2 miles and camped. Here we laid over another day.
Friday June 10. A meeting was held in camp at which Brothers George Q. Cannon, Robert F. Neslen and Gold preached to us. We were told how to assist one another on our long journey before us. The brethren wished us goodby. Caroline Chapel who went with my hand cart , left her son William, to come with her cousin Sarah, who were to cross the plains with an independent ox train that would not be ready to start for another ten days. Robert F. Neslen and Gold had been appointed captains of that train.
Saturday June 11. We made another start and after traveling 9 1/2 miles we camped and remained in camp the rest of the day. Here all our luggage was weighed and as some of the handcart emigrants had more goods than were allowed they had to send some of their things with the wagons. A big man by the name of Linzy [Mark Lindsey], the biggest man in our company who was also a captain of one of the English tens, was [also strikeout] complaining of the Scandinavians; sometimes they would wash their hands in the wrong places, at other times the smoke from their fires would blow his way and another complaint was that we did not go far enough from the camp to blow our noses. Most of the Scandinavian Saints did not know that he said but they knew that he was finding fault with them and they disliked him for it.
Sunday, June 12. We traveled 11 miles and made camp on the east side of the Elkhorn River. Here we were nearly eaten up by the mosquitoes. "Some of them being that many of them weighed a pound." We roasted quite a number of them during the night.
Monday, June 13. We resumed our journey early in the morning glad to get away from the mosquitoes. We traveled about 16 miles and encamped for the night at a place called Fremont not far from the Platte River. During the day we traveled over some lowlands and crossed several sloughs over which we had to wade. In the afternoon we encountered a heavy thunder storm accompanied by severe lightning.
Tuesday, June 14. We traveled today about 14 miles and camped for the night near the Platte River, at a place called "Vallas post house."
Wednesday, June 15. We traveled six miles and stopped for dinner. In the afternoon we traveled four miles further and camped on Shell Creek where we found good water, wood and grass.
Thursday, June 16. We traveled about 14 miles and camped on the north bank of the Platte River. Here we had to lay over a whole day as an old wagon which the agents for the emigrants had bought for us to cross the plains with broke down. Some of the wagons bought for us for that purpose were not the $10.00 each and some of them broke down as soon as we had started from Florence. As we waited I went out a short distance from camp and found some grapes and plums growing wild. I also picked some good wild peas. Towards evening a train of emigrants from the States under Captain Brown arrived, and camped close to us for the night. This was an independent company in which the emigrants owned their own teams and wagons. Nearly all were Mormons bound for Utah. Among them were a number of Scandinavians. We held a meeting with them and some of the brethren gave us good counsel.
Friday, June 17. We traveled about 14 miles.
Saturday, June 18. We traveled about 16 miles.
Sunday, June 19. We started on our journey at five thirty A.M. and traveled at a good speed all forenoon. About 10 o'clock A.M. we met several teams coming from the Mormon settlement Genoa. These teams took some of the children and older people in their wagons and at 11 o'clock A.M. we made camp. This settlement is situated about five miles to the right of the road. Here we had dinner, and at 1 o'clock P.M. we resumed our journey and traveled about four miles. A heavy thunder storm came upon us before we had made our camp and could get our tents pitched. We all got a good drenching.
Monday, June 20. Another old wagon was broken and we had to remain in camp all day. We held a meeting in the afternoon, and were called upon to raise some money as we had three rivers to cross soon and would have to pay toll for crossing. Each person was assessed fifty cents.
Wednesday, June 22. We crossed Loupe Fork on the ferry, and the cattle swam over.
Thursday June 23. We traveled 22 miles over a good road and camped for the night on Platte River. Our teams and tents did not arrive until the next morning so we had to spend the night laying under the handcarts.
Friday June 24. We laid over all day. Provisions for ten days were distributed to the emigrants. It consisted of 10 pounds of flour, 1 pound of bacon and a little sugar and salt to each person, [illegible]. Saturday June 25. We traveled about 20 miles and found this a hard days' journey as the roads were sandy. Some of the handcarts were left behind and the water was very scarce at our camping place.
Sunday June 26. We held a little meeting in the morning at which a call was made on us for a contribution towards buying a pony for the captain. The money was raised and the pony purchased. Some bacon was turned out to pay for the pony at the trading post. We only traveled six miles this day as the road was very sandy.
Monday June 27. We resumed our journey early in the morning, passed some Church teams going to Florence for goods, and traveled about 11 miles. We camped near a small settlement of Mormons. In crossing a creek today we broke a wagon.
Tuesday, June 28. We paid two dollars in flour and some bacon for having the wagon fixed. Together with others I took my gun and went out hunting. I shot two ducks on the Platte River and brought them to camp.
Wednesday June 29. We traveled 12 miles.
Thursday June 30. We started on our journey early in the morning traveled 19 miles and camped near the Platte River.
Friday, July 1. We traveled 16 miles. Provisions were distributed for six days in the evening.
Saturday July 2. We traveled 20 miles.
Sunday July 3. We resumed our journey at five o'clock A.M. and traveled about ten miles, when we passed an Indian camp perched on a hill to the left of the road. The camp was occupied by warriors as we saw no women and children. The savages fired some shots to scare us but we went over the hill and down to Buffalo Creek were we made our camp. Some of our people who lingered behind the handcarts made big jumps when they heard the cracks of the Indian's guns. Most of us were shaking a little with fear as these were the first Indians we had seen on our journey. Our five wagons were way back so the captain called on six or seven of us young men to go back and assist in protecting the wagons from the Indians if necessary. Recrossing the hill we soon saw the wagons coming all right and soon they were all safe in camp.
Monday July 4. We laid over all day as one of our old wagons had broken down. All the Indians went away but three of them put up their wickiup south of our camp a short distance. These Indians visited our camp during the day. We saw several buffalo south of us on the plain bettween us and the Platte River. One of the Indians asked us if we liked buffalo meat, on being
answered in the affirmative one of the Indians went out and killed one and brought some of the meat to our camp. This was a real feast for us as we had eating nothing but a small peace of bacon with our bread since we left the Missouri river. In the evening I was one of the guards around the camp. About 11 o'clock P.M., the three Indians came into our camp and made their way to the captains tent. They had rings on a stick and they commenced singing and rattling their sticks so that we thought it meant a signal of war. In haste we turned out with our guns but soon found out that the Indians had come to serenade our captain and company. Soon the Indians returned to their own camp and we felt as brave as ever.
Monday, July 4. We resumed our journey at six o'clock in the morning, traveled about 13 miles and halted for dinner. Here water was scarce and we had to stay in this camping place for about three hours as an old lady died last night or early this morning. Her name was Johanna Johansson from Holland, Sweden, the mother of A. G. [Anders Johan] Johansson, who together with his family were with us. The old lady was 67 years old and died with the summer complaint. In the afternoon we traveled about 12 miles and camped at the Platte River.
Tuesday, July 5. We broke up camp at eight o'clock A.M. and traveled all day over a good road. We camped for the night near the Platte river and as we had no wood for fuel we did our cooking with buffalo chips.
Wednesday July 6. We resumed our journey at 5 o'clock in the morning and traveled over a very heavy, hilly and sandy road until 4 o'clock P.M. An axle had broken in one of our old wagons. We had to lay over at this camping place until three o'clock P.M. the next day to get the wagon fixed.
Thursday July 7. We continued our journey in the afternoon, traveled 10 miles and formed our encampment for the night about 9 o'clock P.M. We had no water and some of the emigrants had neither bread nor water. We lay down to rest without eating as it was too late to distribute provisions and no water wherewith to do the cooking.
Friday July 8. We broke up camp at 4 o'clock in the morning, traveled 6 miles and camped about 9 A.M. on the Platte River, here provisions for seven days were distributed to us consisting of seven cups of flour and one-half pound of crackers for each person. We laid over the remainder of the day. We had some trouble in camp. Some of the English saints censured the captain for trading off our provisions and starving the people. We had been without bacon for several days. A meeting was held in the afternoon and peace was restored in camp. A small company coming from California camped by us over night. Some of them gave us some coffee.
Saturday, July 9. Resuming our journey at 9 o'clock a.m. we traveled nineteen miles over a good road.
Sunday, July 10. Continuing our journey at 8 o'clock a.m. we traveled over good roads all the morning. In the afternoon we passed an Indian settlement inhabited by several hundred Indians, men, women and children. Some of these savages were really good looking and were very friendly to us. One of the chiefs offered me eight ponies for one of the young women traveling with my handcart. We passed the Indians and about a mile from their camp at a creek called Big Buffalo Creek, we camped for the night. During the day we traveled 14 miles. Some of the Indians visited us in the evenings.
Monday, July 11. We resumed our journey about 7 o'clock in the morning and had hard pulling over the sand hills. The Indians who wanted to purchase one of my girls assisted me to pull my handcart over the sand about three miles. We camped on the Platte River having traveled ten miles.
Tuesday July 12. We traveled nine miles having good roads in the forepart of the day but traveled over heavy sand hill in the afternoon.
Wednesday, July 13. We left our encampment at 7.30 a.m. and traveled over a heavy, sandy road during the fore part of the day; found the road somewhat better in the afternoon. We traveled 15 miles during the day and camped near the river.
Thursday, July 14. We resumed our journey at 7 Oclock in the morning and traveled over fairly good roads. We passed a number of springs running out from some of the limestone hills, traveled during the day about 16 miles. In the evening each person in the camp received seven cups of flour for seven days.
Friday, July 15. Starting from camp about 6 o'clock in the morning we had good roads for about five miles. Then we came to some big sand hills and after crossing these with much effort we made camp and remained there the rest of the day. We had good water and buffalo chips for fuel. In the afternoon we had a heavy thunder storm. Here we met a small company of apostates going back to the states. Day's journey, eight miles.
Saturday, July 16. We left camp at 7 o'clock a.m.; traveled about eight miles and halted for dinner. We ready to resume the journey about 4 o'clock p.m. but as the company had left behind a sick cow and some of the English Saints went back to slaughter her in order to get some fresh meat, we had to lay over all day. A number A number of the English Saints expressed satisfaction at the slow progress we were making as our provisions were getting low. We therefor asked the captain to make better use of the time.
Sunday, July 17. The camp was aroused early in the morning. Some of the English Saints offered some of the meat from the sick cow to the Scandinavians but we refused it as we wanted to be on the road. We only traveled six miles during the day. At 6 p.m. a meeting was held in camp. We had some strangers in camp traveling with two wagons from Utah and some Californians. We were told to push ahead and make good use of our time as our provisions were getting very light.
Monday, July 18. We resumed our journey at 7 o'clock in the morning and traveled over good roads most of the day. Turning to the left to go down to the river to make our noon halt we passed through some very heavy grass for a distance of two miles. After dinner we followed the North Platte all day and camped on its banks in the evening after a days journey of 18 miles.
Tuesday, July 19. We left our encampment at 7 o'clock in the morning; traveled during the day 19 miles over good roads and camped by the river for the night. Our fuel was all buffalo chips.
Wednesday, July 20. Resuming our journey at 6 o'clock in the morning we traveled over some big sand hills and at 10 o'clock a.m. we stopped for dinner at a place where we found good grass for the oxen. Provisions were distributed for seven days. (Seven pint cups of flour for each person) and nothing else). We traveled during the day 15 miles over heavy, sandy roads and camped near the river. For several days while traveling along the Platte our fuel has consisted almost exclusively of Buffalo chips.
Thursday, July 21. Commencing our journey at 8 o'clock a.m. we traveled over good roads about ten miles and camped for dinner on the river bank. Here the grass was good for the cattle. A little after dinner Mrs. [Rebecca] Harris gave birth to a son, in consequence of which we had to lay over until next day.
Friday, July 22. We started late (about 10 a.m.) and pulled our handcarts over some sandy roads; traveled about 12 miles and camped near the river opposite the landmark known as Chimney Rock. We had rain and thunder in the night.
Saturday, July 23. We left our encampment at 7 o'clock in the morning; traveled over good roads and stopped about two hours for dinner and then traveled until we had made 17 miles during the day. We camped for the night near the river. Fuel tonight was very scarce as the buffalo chips were all wet with the rain.
Sunday, July 24. Resuming our journey at 7 o'clock a.m. we traveled over good roads all forenoon and after stopping for dinner we passed a little mountain on the opposite side of the river, called Scott's Bluffs. We followed a small stream all the afternoon traveling a distance of five miles and made camp. Day's journey 14 miles.
Monday, July 25. We left our encampment at 9 o'clock a.m.; traveled over good roads, part of the way with our carts on the trot. During the day we traveled 20 miles, passed a big Indian camp and camped for the night by the river where we had both wood and water.
Tuesday, July 26. We resumed our journey at 7 o'clock a.m. and traveled over a sandy road. After traveling 17 miles we encamped for the night on the bank of the river. Here we had plenty of wood and water. We also received seven pounds of flour for seven days.
Wednesday, July 27. We resumed our journey at 9.30 a.m. traveled six miles and arrived at Fort Laramie. The captain went over to the fort to get a wheel for one of our old wagons and we remained in camp all day. Laramie is a government post and here were several stores. We secured a wagon wheel and prepared for a start the next morning.
Thursday, July 28. The captain for some reason did not get ready to start until 12 o'clock, noon, and then we only just made a start and got off the camp ground when another wheel broke down so we had to lay over here for the day and go over to the fort to obtain another wheel. This old wagon which they fitted us out with at Florence, has given us a great deal of trouble and has caused us to consume considerable of our provisions while waiting for repairs. At this place some apostates visited our camp. They told us some wonderful stories about Brigham Young and Utah. We held a meeting in the evening at which Captain Rowley told us that from now on we should have to make better time as we had provisions to last us only five weeks and we had 520 miles yet to travel before we reached the valley. Some of the people complained they could not live on the rations they received as they had to eat only flour and water.
Friday, July 29. We left our encampment near Laramie at 7 o'clock a.m. and traveled about six miles along the river. We then left the river for about two miles but camp back to its banks again and halted for noon about three hours. Resuming our journey we traveled about ten and halted by a cold spring. Day's journey 18 miles.
Saturday, July 30. We left camp at 8 o'clock in the morning and traveled over a hilly and very rocky road for about seven miles to the river where we halted for dinner. At 5 o'clock p.m. we made another start and traveled until ten o'clock in the evening when we made a dry camp after traveling during the day 17 miles. We had no water for use during the night except what we brought with us in our water cans. One handcart was left behind and it had not come in the next morning.
Sunday, July 31. We left camp at 6 o'clock a.m. and traveled about six <3> miles to the spring. Here we made camp and remained for several hours. Resuming our journey at 2 o'clock p.m. we traveled about ten miles but had to make a dry camp again as we were four miles from the river. An old English sister was left behind this afternoon.
Monday, August 1. We ate an early breakfast and broke up our encampment at six o'clock A.M. Four young men were sent back for the handcart that were left behind. We traveled four miles to the river where we laid over for the remainder of the day. In the afternoon Bishop Eldridge and Joseph W. Young overtook us; they told us that Robert F. Neslen's company was coming along alright; they also instructed our captain to distribute more flour to the emigrants in his company as provisions would be sent from the valley to meet our company.
Tuesday, August 2. The camp was aroused at 4 o'clock in the morning and provisions were distributed. 8 pounds of flour for seven days and 1/2 pound of bacon to each person. The 4 young men who were sent back arrived in camp with the handcart that was left behind, but the people to whom the handcarts belonged had gone to the Fort. men were sent back to find the old lady who was left behind Sunday afternoon. On that account we had to remain in camp all day. We had plenty of fuel but only a little grass for the oxen.
Wednesday August 3. The brethren who were sent back to find the lost sister returned without finding her; they had found a pair of shoes which they supposed had belonged to her, and the brethren decided that she had gone back with some of the apostates. But a day or two later we received word that a couple of hunters had found her remains and buried them. We left our encampment about 10 o'clock a.m. traveled 8 miles and stopped for dinner. In the afternoon we traveled 4 miles and camped on the river.
Thursday August 4. We resumed our journey at six o'clock a.m. but had traveled only about 200 yards from the campground when Johan Hansen's team turned over a bank and tipped his wagon over. Some of the six folks were riding in that wagon and they all got somewhat shaken up yet no limbs were broken. After everything was fixed up we traveled 10 miles and stopped on the river for dinner. Here we had planned to cross the river to the south side and for this purpose we started with one of the handcarts but as the water was deep and the quicksand treacherous we gave up the attempt. So we traveled 4 miles further and camped for the night on the river after making our day's journey 14 miles.
Friday August 5. We continued our journey at six o'clock A.M. and traveled about 10 miles over some big sandstone hills. Reaching the river again we halted for noon. In the afternoon we traveled 8 miles over good roads and camped for the night by some springs near the river, where there was plenty of wood. We had lost one of our oxen at the place where we stopped for dinner and the captain thought best to send some one back in the morning to hunt for it.
Saturday, August 6. The camp was aroused early in the morning and 6 men were sent back to find the lost ox. Consequently we had to remain in camp awaiting their return. About noon the brethren returned with the lost animal. Being then ready to start we traveled one mile when we met three brethren on horseback. Two of them being from Brown's Company a little ahead of us. These brethren told our captain that we had better camp where we were as there was no feed within reaching distance that night. Taking the advice of brethren we made camp in which we remained the rest of the day.
Sunday, August 7. We resumed our journey at 5:30 o'clock a.m., and traveled at a quick pace about 10 miles over good roads in the forenoon. In the afternoon after having halted for dinner we traveled 9 miles. Part of the way over good roads and part of the way over sandhills. We camped for the night by the river where there was losts of fallen timber. We passed Fort in the afternoon.
Monday August 8. Commencing our journey at six o'clock in the morning, we traveled all day over heavy sandhills. After traveling 8 miles in the forenoon we halted at a place where there was plenty of timber and grass for the oxen. In the afternoon we went 6 miles and camped for the night on the river where there was no wood.
Tuesday August 9. Making an early start we pulled our handcarts over big sandhills for about one miles to a point [where we left strikeout] the river from which the distance to the next water was 16 miles. We kept going as fast as we could and reached the place designed as the next water early in the afternoon. Here we dug a hole in the ground to the left of the road and thus obtained some good cold water. Our wagons were 5 miles behind hence we made camp and remained in the same all day. A Danish brother Jens was left behind.
Wednesday, August 10. The camp was aroused at daylight and we made an early start. Four men were sent back to find our lost brother while the company moved on over good roads and traveled 11 miles. When we came to a spring of good water on the right of the road. After traveling 4 miles further we reached a small creek which we followed 3 miles further and came to Willow Creek where we camped for the remainder of the day. Here we found Brother Jens the lost man. He had taken the south road and thus got ahead of us.
Thursday August 11. We resumed our journey at eight o'clock in the morning and traveled over good roads about 8 miles to Greasewood Creek where we found a large Indian camp; the Indians were friendly. After we had passed their camp we stopped for dinner and in the afternoon we traveled 11 miles and came to Sweetwater where we made camp for the night. From this point we began to see the Rocky Mountains. At this point we found a trading store but as we had not money we could make no purchases.
Friday August 12. We crossed Sweetwater about 9 o'clock a.m., and after traveling seven miles further we reached Devil's Gate where we camped and remained at that point the remainder of the day. Here provisions at the rate of 8 pounds of flour to each man for a week were distributed. This was our last flour. Two of our oxen drank some alkali water during the night [died. strikeout]
Saturday August 13. In the morning we cut out some of the best meat of the oxen to take with us on our journey as we had nothing to eat but a tincup of flour for each day. We remained in camp all day.
Sunday, August 14. We fixed up three wagons to continue with the company with the best oxen in camp and left two wagons behind to travel at their leisure, and the company rolled out as we expected to meet help from the valley with provisions. Leaving our encampment at four o'clock in the afternoon we traveled only one and a half miles and then camped for the night.
Monday August 15. We broke our encampment at 6:30 o'clock a.m., and set out on our day's journey on the strength of the meat from the dead oxen. Our road was good part of the way and at other places the road was sandy. We followed the river all day past two stores by the roadside and at noon we met a team from the valley coming to meet a Scotch family in our company. We traveled 17 miles that day and camped on Sweetwater.
Tuesday August 16. Continuing our journey at 5 o'clock in the morning we traveled 5 miles before breakfast and 6 miles further before we stopped for dinner. During the last mile we crossed the Sweetwater three times. We passed another store by the roadside, traveled eight miles in the afternoon and camped by the river where the grass was good. Day's journey, 19 miles.
Wednesday August 17. We left our encampment at six o'clock in the morning and in traveling on left the river. After journeying ten miles we stopped an hour for dinner at a place where there was no water. In the afternoon we traveled nine miles further and came to the river once more, and then camped for the night. The travel all day was over good roads.
Thursday August 18. Resuming our journey at 5 o'clock in the morning we traveled seven miles before breakfast. We then traveled 4 miles further and then left Sweetwater. Traveled over big sandhills in the afternoon passed several springs with good water and in the evening reached Willow Creek where we camped for the night. Day's journey, 23 miles.
Friday, August 19. We continued our travels at five o'clock in the morning. And after going two miles we came to a little creek which we followed a short distance and then left it. While traveling 5 miles. We then reached the same creek at a point where there was a store or a trading post. A young English woman from our company stopped here. During the day we traveled 19 miles.
Saturday August 20. We resumed our journey at six o'clock in the morning and crossed the creek. After that we had good roads all day but no water. We traveled during the day 26 miles and camped overnight on a creek.
Sunday August 21. We started from our night's encampment at six o'clock a.m., traveled seven miles and came to a creek to the right of the road. We followed this creek a mile and then crossed it after which we had left the creek on our left, for a distance of 12 miles. Going six miles further over a bench we came to the same creek once more and camped for the night after traveling 26 miles. Some of the handcarts did not arrive in camp until the next wagons. Our three wagons were camped five miles behind. Brother Shanks was bitten during the day by a poisonous reptile.
Monday, August 22. Early in the morning Captain Rowley instructed us to remain in camp until the whole company could come together but Brothers Magleby and Jensen left the camp about 9 o'clock a.m., ahead of the rest. About 9 o'clock a.m., the stragglers had caught up with the main company and we traveled about ten miles to Green River which stream we now prepared to cross; as it took four men to take a handcart across considerable time was consumed in geeting to the other side. The women in crossing the stream held together joining hands, with men in the lead and in the rear. The water was about three feet deep but clear and cold. The current was the swiftest we had experienced in our travels. The bottom of the river was covered with cobble stones which had been washed smooth by the water so that they were very slippery. After about 2 hours' hard labor the whole company was had crossed the river. In crossing some of our clothing was soaked but as the day was warm and the sun shone bright our clothes soon dried. After crossing we traveled down the river and camped for the night in a cottonwood grove and willows which grew profusely along the river. But our greatest trouble was having nothing to eat. Some of the emigrants had nothing whatever to appease their hunger, and in this condition some of them went out a short distance from camp and cut the flesh out of a dead ox lying near the road. The captain distributed one pint cup of flour to four persons and promised to get us some flour next morning. I was not entirely out of provisions as Caroline my intended wife had a couple of days before pawned a gold ring to the captain's family for a few pounds of flour. But I could not eat the bread I had when I saw the children crying for bread, and I had to give them some. We were all weak and exhausted so we rested well through the night.
Tuesday August 23. Captain Rowley went out to some of the settlers or campers along the river trying to borrow or buy some flour for the company but he failed to get any so we remained in camp except Captain Magleby and Jensen who went on with seven handcarts. I was asked to go with them but I told them that I would rather perish with the company. So in the afternoon the captain said that we must slaughter one of the oxen and as we had an old stag who was in pretty fair condition he was killed and the meat divided up in portions [to strikeout] of two pounds to each men. After this division there was not a scarp left of hide, feet, head, or anything else of that ox. It was all used and most sparingly, too. Some of the emigrants made soup of willow leaves and beef.
Wednesday, August 24. We resumed our journey at five o'clock in the morning following the river about five miles and stopped for breakfast. An English sister by the name of Jarvis died this morning. She was buried by the roadside after breakfast. After that we traveled 19 miles before we came to water. I arrived at that point with some of the first in the camp but together with some of the other young men I had to return quite a distance to bring in the sick and those who had given out through weakness and starvation. We did not reach camp again until midnight. My partner, Caroline, told me that a man by the name of Bob Dempsey from Ham's Fork had visited the camp and treated them to a drink of whiskey and a piece of bread and that we would get some flour in the morning.
Thursday August 25. At daybreak I was called by the captain to take his horse and ride ahead to stop the seven handcarts and tell the brethren traveling with these that we would have some flour at Hams Fork, the distance to that stream being 4 miles. I went ahead as instructed, passed Hams Fork bridge, crossed a big hill and went down to a shallow creek where the seven handcarts had camped overnight, and asked them to stop for the rest of the company. This they refused to do as they had secured some flour from Mr. Dempsey and would go on. I turned back but as I was going down the hill towards Hams Fork our company was crossing the bridge and making camp on the west side. We were to have 600 pounds of flour from Bob Dempsey, and we fixed up a handcart ready to cross over the bridge for the flour, when down the hill came a four-mule team and swung to our camp and then another one and so on until six mule-teams which had been sent to our assistance rolled into our camp with plenty of provisions. This made the peoples' hearts rejoice, and tears of thankfulness flowed freely. Now we could get 2 pounds of flour for each men. And we had some Johnny cakes and some flour, enough to satisfy our hunger an oh it tasted so good. After breakfast we traveled 12 miles. and made camp on a stream called Black's Fork. We had now caught up with the seven handcarts which had gone ahead of the company. We all got one pound of bacon for each man and thus we could afford to grease the axels of our handcarts once more.
Friday August 26. We remained in camp all day. Each person in camp received 4 cups of flour for three days and some onions. We held a meeting in the evening. One English brother was forgiven for stealing bread from some one. He had been caught eating the bread. Some of the brethren from the valley spoke encouragingly to us and we were now a happy buch of people.
Saturday August 27. We resumed our journey at seven o'clock a.m. Followed Black Fork for some distance, crossed the stream twice, and after traveling about 8 miles came to Millersville. Here was a fine stream of good water, and here we found a great number of wagons standing which had been sent by the United States Army about a year before as said Army was on it's march to Utah. After passing this place we traveled a short distance further and camped for the night about 2 miles from Fort Bridger.
Sunday August 28. We resumed our journey about 8 o'clock a.m., and soon reached Fort Bridger which we thought a fine little settlement as it contained several stores. We traveled about 9 miles beyond Fort Bridger and stopped for dinner near a spring. After dinner we traveled on, descended a very high and stony hill and reached a creek (the Muddy) where we made camp for the night. Here four tincups of flour and one pound of bacon was distributed to each man to last for three days.
Monday, August 29. We arose bright and early in order to get ready for an early start but as a sister ha died during the night and had to be buried we were delayed. The dead sister's name was Anna Hensen [Ann Jensen] from Lolland, Denmark. She was forty-nine years old and left a husband and five children in our company. After breaking camp we traveled five miles and came to alkali and warm springs, thence we traveled up a hill about six miles and then down a very steep hill until we reached Bear River. After crossing that river we made camp for the night.
Tuesday, August 30. We resumed our journey at eight o'clock in the morning and had considerable pulling up hill but at length reached the head of Echo Canyon. We crossed Echo Creek, was overtaken by a rain storm and made camp for the night after traveling about 10 miles. Towards evening we were met by Apostles John Taylor and Franklin D. Richards, who came out from Salt Lake City in their carriages to meet us. Other teams from the valley followed them and they all camped with us overnight. During the night an English brother [Edward] Shanks died. He had been bitten by a poisonous insect on the night of August 21st. He swelled up and turned almost yellow on his body before he expired.
Wednesday, August 31. A meeting was held in the morning at which Elders Franklin D. Richards and John Taylor addressed us; they congratulated us on being so near the end of our journey. After meeting we buried our dead brother, Hanks. We left our campground about 9 o'clock a.m., and traveled down Echo Canyon about seventeen miles and camped for the night.
Thursday, September 1. We continued our march about 9 o'clock in the morning and traveled down hill all day for a distance of about 15 miles and camped for the night on the Weber River. As we had gone into camp quite early in the evening I went up into the hills where I found a lot of beautiful currants which I ate with relish, it being the first fruit I had tasted in the mountains. We obtained provisions for in the evening, three cups for each man.
Friday September 2. We continued our journey at seven o'clock in the morning crossed the Weber River to it's left bank. I was left alone with my handcart as Caroline had gone in with a man from the Sessions Settlement. Traveling uphill we crossed a small stream a number of times passed over a summit and camped for the night in East Canyon. Here Elder Madsen met us and treated us to watermelons.
Saturday September 3. we resumed our journey about seven o'clock in the morning and traveled uphill all day to get to the top of Big Mountain. Here we had to tie the wheels of our handcarts and slide down the steep hill. We made camp by the foot of Little Mountain and in the evening three pounds of flour was distributed to each person in camp.
Sunday September 4. We left our encampment at seven o'clock to climb over Little Mountain. We had to double teams and we took half of our handcarts up to the summit first and then went back after the other half. A young man with an old wagon and a yoke of oxen had come out to meet us on the Weber and as he was going up the slope of Little Mountain the tongue of his wagon slipped out of the yoke and the wagon went backwards down the steep mountain side, made a turn and rolled over into a hollow. A child was sleeping in the wagon but it never go hurt. We were now all on the summit looking down into Emigration Canyon and we were told that this was the last hill we had to cross on our journey. we all shouted with Thanksgiving to the Lord Continuing our journey we went down to the mouth of Emigration Canyon reaching that place about one o'clock. Here we stopped to wash and clean up a little preparatory to entering the city. Apostle Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson had come out to meet us together with a number of others. My partner, Caroline, also came back to her handcart. President Brigham Young had told the people that there would be no meeting in the afternoon . So when we started for the city about three o'clock in the afternoon hundreds of people were coming out on the road to meet us, some on horseback, some in wagons and still others on foot. A brass band met us near the mought if the canyon and took the lead as we marched through the city to the 19th Ward Square. This Square lies between Second and Third West and First and Second North Streets, Salt Lake City. Here we found piled up loads of provisions and all kinds-whole wagon loads of bread. This caused water in our mouths and tears to stream from our eyes. We had been living very scant for more or less than three months and had had no regular or substantial meals since we had left Denmark on the first of April last. Some of the brethren came along and divided the provisions among us. A few of the emigrants were taken home by friends but the majority of us remained in camp over night.
Monday, September 5. We were instructed to turn our handcarts over to the church. We did so and they were sold to help pay for some oxen which our captain had left back on the road between Hams Fork and Salt Lake City.
Tuesday, September 6. I married Sister Caroline Chapel [Chappell] in Salt Lake City. The marriage ceremony being performed by Elder Eli B. Kelsey in his house in the 16th Ward. I engaged to go to Tooele to work for Brother Kelsey for the winter for $33.00 per month and board myself.