Autobiography of Daniel Wood Sr.
20th May 1868
A letter to Daniel Wood’s brother Hosea Wood
The following brief narrative has been compiled in compliance with a request of a brother of the author. (Hosea Wood) who wished to receive a brief outline of the authors journey threw-– life since he left his Fathers’ roof. In compiling this brief narrative the author has used but few flourishes of diction. He has aimed since at simplicity of style and perspicuity than long, flowing and round sentences. It had been his aim to present a true and unvarnished statement of facts as they transpired under his own observation. Where incidents are narrated in which he had no personal participation.
Brother Hosea—— In fulfillment of my promise that I would send you a short sketch or history of my life since I left my Fathers’ house. There will be no doubt to many incidents of my life pass unnoticed because of not having a perfect diary to refer to although I have preserved some of the most notable incidents through which I have passed — a synopsis of which I intend to sent you . To begin I will give you my genealogy.
Daniel Wood, the second son of Henry Wood and Elizabeth Demelt, and grandson of Daniel Wood was born October the sixteenth Eighteen hundred ,in Duchess County, State of New York. When I was about three years of age my father moved his family to Earnestown, Upper Canada where he lived four or five years, and was an agriculturist.
He then moved from there to Loubourough near a place that is now called Sydnyham and took up a farm on land that was called at that time “Lease Land”. He together with his oldest two boys (William and myself) labored almost day and night to clear the land of timber and make a home. After some six years of hard labor, Father took a very severe cold, which eventually threw him in consumption and I am not aware that he was ever able to do a hard days work after that. Though he lived over thirty years. Though William and myself were but yet young. He a little over fifteen years and I fourteen still we were able to provide for the family which was becoming numerous. I may here state that our Father and Mother had fifteen of a family, nine boys and six girls. I remained at home until I was twenty-two years of age. When I married Mary Snyder – daughter of John Snyder and Elizabeth Amey; and commenced to do for myself in a place called the Seventh Concession which at that time was about two miles from my Father’s house. I continued to labor and accumulate and provide for my family until Eighteen hundred- thirty-two when a few of the Latter-Day Saints Elders came and preached the gospel in my own house when a number of the neighbors with myself believed in baptism but they left before any of us were baptized. A little over a year passed before we saw any other Elders during which time quite a number of us continued to meet together and read scriptures and we became so convinced that it was necessary to be baptized that we requested Mr. Robert Perry – a reformed Methodist who was a refuted good man to baptize us. We continued to read and pray until the beginning of Eighteen- thirty- three when two Elders-Joseph and Brigham Young – two brothers came and preached to us and showed us more perfectly the order of the church of Jesus Christ — then we all with one accord went forth and was re-baptized by one who had been called and ordained to administer in the ordinances of the house of God. You may ask of what need was there of being baptized a second time? Was not the baptism performed by Mr. Perry sufficient? I answer No. Why? Because he had not been called of God as was Aaron and the scriptures says “No man taketh this honor unto himself but he that is called of God as was Aron “Hebrew fifth and fourth verse. I continued to live in Canada preaching – having been ordained an Elder – until the summer of Eighteen- thirty- four-
When I sold my possessions and took my wife and three children and team and started for Kirtland, State of Ohio. We traveled to Kingston – leaving about five o’clock at night-being sixteen miles- and engaged passage aboard the steamer called “Great Britain” for Oswego. The distance from Kingston to Oswego is about sixty miles which would require but a few hours to make the trip- but it began to blow and increased to such a hurricane that we were tossed to and fro at the mercy of the winds and waves. It took us till the next day to go across the Oswego. We did intend to travel to the Niagara Falls on Lake Ontario, but we had a tremendous storm at night. (and that was the reason it took us so long) the boat was tossed too and fro upon the face of water. The crew of the Boat said that they had not experienced such a storm for seven years before. During the night my wife, got very sea sick, and after attending to her I also got sea sick but some time afterward we laid down and went to sleep, and felt that the Lord would take care of us. When we awoke in the morning we found that we were but a short distance from the shore. in a short time we landed and the storm was still raging and we got our teams and wagons safely disembarked and shortly afterward, traveled by land till we arrived at Kirtland. We then lived in a house belonging to Bro. James Lake for a short time. I then bought a farm four miles south of Kirtland on which we lived four years. During this time I visited my Father and Mother, brothers and sisters in Canada and remained with them a few days. In company with Mr Shewman and William Draper. I visited a scattered settlement on the banks of a Lake called “Colorado.” There was no road north of the Seventh Concession at that time so we took a Skiff with us, there being a great many lakes in the region. We used the Skiff when convenient and carried it with us on the land– by this means we reached the Settlement and shortened our journey many miles. The distance by land was reckoned eighty miles but by the way we took it was not over on fourth of that distance. William Shewman acted as our Pilot. We arrived at “Colorado” about two o’clock P.M. and called at the first house we came to- the name of the owner I do not remember but after talking with him a short time he seemed quite interested and when we laid a few of the principals of the Gospel before him and told him we had come to preach – he volunteered to get a congregation by four o’clock. He then sent the news through the settlement and the people flocked to hear what a Mormon had to say as there never had been any Latter-day Saints preach in that place. We laid before them the principles which the Savior taught by which all man through obedience may be saved – namely Faith in God- Repentance of our past sins. Baptism for the remission of sins and the Laying on of Hands by one who has authority to do so for confirmation and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We then presented the Book of Mormon and proved that such a book was to be brought forth according to the scriptures- then testified of the truth of the great work, the God of heaven had begun in these last days. After the meeting was dismissed they stood around in groups talking- we were invited to preach to them the next morning at ten o’clock. There was a man by the name of William Cox who came up and invited us to come to his house and stay with him all night. During the evening he related a dream or vision which he had a few nights previously– which was as follows:
He saw two men come to that settlement – and that they came for a particular purpose- that they presented two books before the people together with many other items which have gone from my memory. He also said that he knew we were the men (myself and William Draper). He recognized us at first as being the same Individuals which he had seen in his dream and that he believed what we taught was true and he wished to be baptized in the morning. Accordingly in the morning we repaired to the Lake which was close by- I led him into the water and there baptized him. This was the first individual baptized in that lake and the first Convert in that Settlement. We laid our hands upon him and confirmed him- and he like the Enoch of old went on his way rejoicing. About ten o’clock the people came together and we had a very quiet attentive audience. The people seemed to drink the words of life and Salvation, which were declared unto them. We spent the day talking and reasoning on the great work of the last days and sowed good seed which afterwards sprung up as I have since learned. The next day we returned to Loubourough- bid farewell to all my relatives and shortly afterwards I returned to my home in Kirtland.
About one year and a half after returning from Canada – in the fall of Eighteen thirty seven the Saints were preparing to move from Kirtland to Missouri if any of them bought anything on credit they had to find security . I became security to several persons with considerable loss and trouble through it. One man by the name of Bonny came and requested me to sign a note of security for one hundred and sixty dollars. He was bargaining for a span of horses and was to have time to pay for them if I would become security so to accommodate his I signed the note. In that County it was the law that a debtor could delay a debt six months by finding good security but the creditor would not accept a Mormon for security as they were all calculating to leave in the spring so he got Mr. Cotrell- a gentile to go security for him on condition of him placing sufficient property in Mr. Cotrells’ possession to liquidate the debt. After Mr. Cotrell went around the neighborhood boasting that he had more property consigned to him then to pay the debt. Not withstanding this, sometime after in the month of February he went before the justice and swore he was afraid of being defrauded of his bonds and took out and execution against my property to secure him. Squire Handson and the constable came to my house one evening at dark. I happened to be at the door when they drove up in a one horse sleigh after they regular salutations Squire Handson introduced their business and swished me to turn out some of my property to pay the debt. I invited them to come into the house
9b as it was very cold but they declined the invitation, I tried to convince them that Mr. Cotrell had more property in his hands belonging to Mr. Bonny that to pay the debt therefore it was unjust to come and levy on my property for a debt which had been paid. But they were determined to have some property -justice or no justice. – so after considerable wrangling Squire Handson unhitched the horse from the sleigh and hitched to the point of the tongue of my wagon and hauled it a little distance to a neighbors house who was not a Mormon– then went off. The next morning I met this man (Mr Lad) who told me that my wagon was at his house and that he had not given a receipt for it – also that he thought it a shame to act in such a way that if he were in my place he would not let them have it. This suggested a plan to my mind so I went forth with another man of my acquaintance who had just arrived in the place and told him all the circumstances of the case and told him – I wanted him to send his boy with his team and hitch on my wagon and haul it to my brothers Abrahams’ – which was about a half a mile from Mr. Lad’s and I told him I would stand between him and all damage. He said he would do it. I then went to Abraham’s my brother who had a span of horses and a sled of mine and told him that I wanted him to harness up the horses and hitch on the sled and when the wagon was brought to take it apart and load it on the sled- then cover it up with a small load of hay and drive it to a place a hundred miles distant. This was all performed in the afternoon when the Constable came for to take the wagon- behold it was not there he tracked it to where it was taken apart- then he searched high and low to find it but had to give it up. Several had seen a boy driving a wagon along the road but none knew who he was. A few nights after this Squire Handson came to me about the wagon and told me that I must know where the wagon was previous to this. I had learned from a Lawyer that it was illegal and also criminal for the Squire personally to seize my property — that it was the duty of the constable alone or his posse to do so. I therefore told Squire Handson that I was almost determined to indict him before the Judge for illegally seizing my wagon as I could prove that he personally hauled away my wagon and not the constable. He went away and few days after, I saw him again. He told me if I would say nothing further about the wagon he would clear me from any further trouble about the debt- to which I agreed.
Another man by the name of Smith (not any relation to Joseph Smith) who came and wished me to become security for him which I did and shortly afterward he walked off and I had to turn out a young span of horses to pay the debt. Before the Saints left Kirtland in the spring of eighteen thirty eight their enemies became unrelenting in their persecutions that no Latter-Day Saint could consider any property secure which he possessed whether he personally owed any person or not, sometimes the Constable would go into a man’s house and pick up a large brass kettle or and iron pot and pack them off and have them sold at auction. And if the owner remonstrated saying he did not owe any person – then the constable would curse and swear that they were Joe Smiths’ goods and they would take them to pay his debts or somebody else’s. We were obliged to guard our Temple, also the house of our Prophet and leading men as their lives were threatened at different times so that we were obliged to leave. During the four years I lived there I built a large framed barn and had a very pleasant situation but I was glad to leave it all in the hope of obtaining peace I have fully proven the truth of the declarations of our savior “namely” if a man lives godly unto our Christ Jesus he will suffer persecutions “(Christ’s Sermon on the Mount). It was in the spring if eighteen thirty eight I left Kirtland, Geauga County, State of Ohio and started for Missouri. we had to leave in consequence of our enemies. We had quite a pleasant journey for a little over two months and we enjoyed good health, while sacrificing apparently all we had and we got so accustomed to camp life that we considered ourselves at home every night wherever we camped.
We landed in Davis County Missouri, our destined place on the eleventh of June where I immediately set to work to set up a farm the land being unclaimed.. I went to work then and cut a set of House Logs and got them out and put them up. We made the roof of the house of peeled bark. About the time I was taken sick, and continued so for some length of time. One night just about dark I was hardly able to get up, but I got up from my bed to attend prayers with the folks, and I prayed earnestly to the Lord to heal me that I might be able to perform the labors that were incumbent upon me – then went to bed and in less than four hours I was able to get up and do a days work. It was about the first of August at this time– the spirit of mobacracy began to rage on every side. They used to come and tell us to leave, or they would come in and kill us, and for all this we used to lay down and sleep as contentedly and undisturbed as be and had a blanket hung up in the door way in place of a door, and the thought of the mob did not disturb us in the least. The mob still kept gathering up in the place all round us to come against us, swearing vengeance against all who believed as we did.
That night the mob shot at one of our Mormon guards.I saw a number of persons coming over the prairie, and I went out and met them, and I said, to one of them called Mr. Fox. which was are you going? He said he was going to leave the county, and I asked him what the matter, He said that some of his folks had shot a Mormon Guard and they in that county were all warned to leave and said that his folks were all mobocrats. I told him to come to my house to stop. but he said he darst not, for if he did he would be mobbed, the same as we were. He said also that one of his girls said she would go to Mrs. Wood’s, but he told her they darest not go. They stayed away a week or so and then returned again. The mob kept gathering in Armies in various places to come against the saints; one day there was quite an army of Mormons past “here” my house to go where there was an army of the mob camped. As soon as the mob saw them, they prepared to leave, they buried their cannon and put their ammunition in a house under a floor; when our folks arrived to the camp there was no one there. There was an old sow rooting about, and she happened to uncover the cannon and the ammunition. Our folks got the cannon and the ammunition. They then returned to Far West. This was in September, and they still kept gathering around in various places, setting the prairie on fire all around and warning us to leave, that we were in danger, so about the first of October we gathered up, and went to Far West which was about eighteen miles. On the way we met Mr. Fox, a Missourian, and he commenced to cry. I said to him “Mr. Fox, do not be troubled for our folks were sober people, and they would not harm any man if people will only stay at home. And I told him what house I lived. I intended to leave in peace and that I was then fleeing from Davis County to save my life and the lives of my family.
When we got to Far West, we went into a log house with two or three other brethren who moved in also; we had not been long there before there blew up a snow storm, and blew the snow into the house for the house was not chinked. We made our beds on the floor as usual, and the snow blew in upon us some three of four inches deep by the next morning, and we had to build a fire in the north end of the house to cook our vitals by. We remained there several days.
The mob still kept gathering on every side, and we had to stand guard both night and day; we continued in that situation for some length of time; the mob kept coming closer and closer by the thousands, and meanwhile we made all the preparations we could to defend ourselves. Last they gathered on Goose Creek right in sight of us. We could see them and hear them shouting. where they made great preparations to come against us- We would see them and hear them shouting, and the sound of their instruments of war, and the firing of guns. They were gathering on Goose Creek for some length of time; our folks laid in groups on every side of the city. They would take all of our folks that they could get hold of and keep them prisoners. They took William Craig the husband of Nancy Boyce, my brother William knows them very well. They knocked him on the head with the butt end of a gun, and he died shortly after. One day they came out to our city. I do not know how many hundreds there were of them, and formed in a line of battle. Two or three hundred of the brethren ran up in single file, and formed a line of battle. As soon as this was done, the mob took down their flag and hoisted a flag of truce for a little interview after which they returned back to their camp, and there was great excitement in the camp, they would stand by their horses and the least alarm would frighten them to tremendously, so the excitement continued till five or six of our brethren betrayed Joseph Smith and Hyrum and several others into the hands of the mob,. They came and told Bro. Joseph that they had made a treaty with the mob and they wanted him and others to come in and sign the treaty, as soon as they came into the camp the mob took them prisoners., Then we were immediately ordered to deliver up our arms. This was in the evening, and the next morning we delivered up our arms and when I laid my gun down, I walked off to the house, and the rest of the brethren were put under guard, they kept them there till nine or ten at night. The next morning the whole city was put under guard. We soon became short of food, being driven from the county around where we had raised our grain, I had raised some in Davis County but had to leave it. The Mob moved right into the city and took possession, and called themselves soldiers.
Shortly after this, there came in a load of provisions for the mob, and being driven away from my farm became short of provisions, and I went to those wagons where they dealing out rations to every tent, and I saw that they were dealing out every man according to the number he had in his tent. I saw that they were very orderly , every man that came first was served first, and as I stood and looked on, I thought I would walk up in turn, and I did so , and they asked me how many I had in the family and I told them, and they then poured in the corn meal accordingly, not knowing that I was a Mormon; if they had have known this no doubt but that they would have chastised me, but I thought I would run the risk for it was of no use to go without bread when I could get it honorably, and I can truly say that neither one of my family or myself, ever lacked for a meal of victuals; because we could not obtain it since we left our homes. And for this we felt to be truly thankful to our heavenly father, and I even had a little to share to those who were more needy than myself.
Our city was under guard for several days and a great many of our brethren were dragged off to prison with Brother Joseph…Men who were dressed fine were looked after, I soon discovered this and therefore I wore ragged clothes and an old coat that looked like a Missourians, and I put a red patch on my shoulder the same as they had, at this time we were not allowed to go out of the city, but I could go in and out as I pleased, being dressed like the mob. One day I had been hunting my cow, and was returning home I was met by five or six of the Officers of the Mob. Whilst I was yet some distance from them one of them said to the others- There comes one of our men – one of them replied he did not know me- so they halted till I came up to them, And one of them asked me if I was one of the soldiers and I said No Sir! He asked me what I was doing with that red patch on my shoulder- I told them I had it on just for fun and I laughed, they then passed on no doubt thinking I was nearly if not quite a fool, and I have no doubt that if they had known that I did it on purpose, so as to run in and out of the city as I pleased they would have put me in the lock up.
Whilst the guard was in the city we were called upon to sign over all our property that we had to pay the expenses of the war. I also signed over all my property, but it so happened that they never demanded it from me. We remained in Far West till February. I labored wherever I could get a chance for to accumulate a little for to get out of the state for we had to leave by the first of April I had one span of horses, and they were pretty poor, and one wagon, while preparing to leave, I traded one of my horses for a good yoke of oxen, and I believe I to a got a little Boot, we got ready to leave about the First of February for Illinois.
A day or two before we started I bought a cow, A large black cow for sixteen dollars and after traveling a few days a man came up and wanted to buy her, and asked me what I would take for her, I told him eighteen dollars, he thought that was too much when cows were only from twelve to sixteen dollars, she was through making bag and was a fine looking cow. We traveled two or three days longer, and one day whilst we were camping a gentleman came up and want to know what I would take for the cow. I told him twenty dollars. He thought that was too much. We then traveled a day or two longer and when camped again another gentleman came up and asked the price of the cow, I told him twenty- two dollars.
I have no doubt he would have gave my twenty dollars for her. Two or three days after this another gentleman overtook us on the road, and asked the price of the cow, I told him I would not take less than twenty-four dollars. He said that was a very large sum for a cow- in that country- I told him I had asked eighteen, twenty, twenty-two, for her and I meant to ask two dollars more for her every time I was asked her price. He rode off but did not go out of sight before he came back and said he would take the cow, but I told him I thought I ought to have twenty-five dollars, but finally I let him have her for twenty-four dollars, he told me to take her into the yard, and when I did so, I observed there was a great many white cattle there – and I said to the gentlemen it was rather curious that the cattle in Missouri were getting white and the people were getting black. I think he was colored a little, he then paid me the money and we traveled on.
Recopied from Family Record A/C page 269
“We still kept traveling, and found out our team was not going to be enough to haul us, We concluded to buy a yoke of young cattle the first opportunity we could get of doing so. After a few days we came across a yoke of steers which I bought and paid twenty-four dollars and also a cloak for Mrs. Woods. with the addition of a 10 yoke of steers we got along a great deal better than we did before. It was generally pretty fine weather for the month of February, there was no snow on the ground, we generally made our beds upon the ground. One night it looked like a storm so we made our bed under a large tree, which was cut down in the summer with no leaves on, that night we had quite a snow storm, but we snoozed in, in the morning we dressed ourselves and dried our clothing and started on again. A few days after there was a cold rain storm. We thought it would be best for us to try to get a house for us to sleep in. We knew that the Missourians were hostile enough to abuse us shamefully if they found out that we were Mormons, but as I had been in the habit of telling every one that asked me if I was a Mormon that I was, for I never denied it to any man so we passed along till we came to a place where a man had an old empty house on it. and I stopped and asked him if we might sleep in it that night and he looked up at me and said “Where are you from? I answered him from Far West. Says he “are you a Mormon “, Yes sir, he says, “You are a damned sight more honest than some that go along , who deny they are Mormon;” and then he paused to think a few moments and then told me I could use the house that night, and they were also very kind to us. And I can say that I believe that the best way to go through this world is to travel honestly and uprightly along and keep truth on our side. And I can say that through all my afflictions, persecutions, robbing’s, and driving from my home and property. I always made it a practice of telling the truth, and I never had an occasion to steal, and I believe the Lord has sustained me upon that principal.
I have suffered almost everything but death since I left my Fathers’ house. I have been hunted after like the wild beasts of the forests. I recollect one time while in Missouri when the mob was raging upon every side, I took my gun and walked away out upon the prairie to see what I could find. I discovered quite an army of men which were a traveling toward me and they were on horseback, I turned and walked towards home, for a while, they were riding up behind me, and I discovered likewise that they were gaining upon me real fast. I then be thought me that it would not do to have the enemy behind me, because they had been in the habit of shooting our men when they caught them out alone, and I had learned the day before that some of them had shot at Bro. Bosly; when he saw the mob he turned and ran into a corn field and they shot at him but did not hit him, therefore. I thought I had best stop and turn my face toward them. I stopped and stood still, and took the breach of my gun in one hand and my fingers on the trigger and the other hand a little below the center of the gun ready for action, at this time they were about one hundred rods off me and commenced to throw side a little faster and they bore off towards me. They passed along till they came within forty or sixty rods of where I stood and they halted, and I stood as bold as a lion, knowing that I had never wronged any of them, and with the determination within me to shoot the first man that attempted to shoot me. They had not stopped but a few moments before they sent a man to me, he came within thirty or forty yards of where I stood- his gun being laid across the horses shoulders; he then stopped and asked me how Bob Streepers was, he was sick at the time; I told him and he stood a while and then turned about and went off back. When he got about half way back they hallered at him and called him a dammed coward; but he knew very well that I stood ready for action, the moment he moved his gun, and was ready to blow him through so he thought he had best go off peaceably and that was the best thing he could do. So I then turned me about and went home, but I am straying from my subject.
We traveled on till we came to the Illinois River at which place there was a Missourian. He had been on a visit to Illinois and he had just came across the river with his family and wanted to trade with some of the Mormons a horse for an oxen. I told him that his horse was sick, and I knew if, and knew that it had the glanders; when I told him this he got very angry at me and threatened to knock me in the head with the butt of his horse whip, he saw he could not scare me away , so he hallered to his little Negro to fetch his pistol to him, and he swore he would shoot me. Bro. Allen told me that I had better get away, so I walked away to my camp, Bro. Allen following me there, and when he got to my wagon, he drew out a large pistol from his jacket, I said to him Bro. Allen why did you not give me that a short time ago? I told him the Missourian would not have used his pistol if he had got it, if I had only had that pistol. I would have made him walk, for I would have told him that the minute he had taken his pistol into his hands to shoot me, I would shoot him, and he would have firmly believed– for we were a people who never told lies to the Missourians. We remained in that place for three weeks before our turn came to be ferried across the river into Illinois. We traveled one day and hearing that brother Abraham was in that county we camped, and the next day I went out to hunt him. I traveled eighteen miles and came to a little city by the name of Mount Sterling in Brown County, Illinois, I inquired of the first man I met if he knew where a man by the name of Wood lived? He said he lives about half a mile from this place. He asked me where I was from and I told him Far West Missouri. He then asked me if I was a Mormon. I told him I was. He asked me a variety of questions. I found my brother and I had not talked with him but a few minutes before he said “You must not tell anyone you are a Mormon.” I told him that I had told a man in Mount Sterling that I was a Mormon. He said that they would kill a Mormon there when they found him out. I told him that when they asked me what I was— I always told them I was a Mormon. The next day I returned to our camp and got my family and the we returned to my brothers again. I rented a farm there belonging to a man by the name of Larkings. In that county we raised a great deal of corn but when we arrived at Mount Sterling we had but very little to live on. I had only fifty cents in money and we had two cows and 2 yoke of oxen. We sold one yoke and I went to work and put in all the grain I could and after I had done that I went to making shingles. And we did the best we could for two or three years. After I had been in Mount Sterling one year- I commenced to preach to the people, and I became quite a noted man and they considered me a better man than those who had denied their religion..
I one day went into a store, and I thought I would see if I could borrow five dollars in money, and I said “Mr. Dawson will you lend me five dollars in money, and I will pay it back in seven days?” He put his hand into the drawer and handed me a five dollar bill, and I took it and I went and got it changed into small money and the day it was due, I handed it to him, I did not want to use the money, but I did it to get my credit up; after that I could get just what I asked for, When I needed anything . We had very good luck in that place.
Brother Abraham lived there, and we used to go and preach together from place to place and we enjoyed ourselves first rate for a short season. Then my brother William came and took him back to Canada. So that left me without brother of sister. I felt no doubt like Joseph of old, when his lot was cast in Egypt, and I can say that I expect to do as much for any of Father’s house or family , as ever Joseph did. I found myself alone mourning, when I would waken in a strange and dreary land. I would say to myself my brother is gone, and I am left alone; then a passage of scripture would appear to my mind, when the Lord said that he would take one of a family and two of a city, so I would console myself as to the will of the Lord.
I had at this time two daughters and two sons, names Rebecca, and Harriett, — Henry, and John. About this time we moved from Brown to Pike County which was about sixteen miles off, and rented a farm belonging to a man by the name of Grubb. My nearest neighbors at this place were Peter Waggle and Jacob Waggle. There we rented a few more pieces of land and planted about forty acres of corn.
One day my son John was dragging, I had put him onto the horse and it ran away with him and threw him to the drag, but as luck would have it, he was not hurt much. After I had been there some eight months I was chosen President of the branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints.
We raised a great deal of corn and wheat. Then I bought forty acres of land that was in Hancock County, in a place called Gold Point about eight miles from Nauvoo. I then hired a man to break it up. There was no timber on this piece of land. It was what we called prairie land. I kept letting the man have what he wanted money or grain, and he broke up the land in the same season. The next spring I bought eight acres of land joining the forty, and we moved onto it the first of April. I settled with the man that broke up the ground for me, and his Prairie team fell into my hands. What we call the prairie team is three or four yoke of oxen hitched to a great plow with the beam twelve feet in length. We had lived some time without a house – being so busy breaking up the land. After I had broken up about forty acres more. I went to work and built a house and finished the outside work of it. I then broke up another forty acres, and then began to sow wheat about the first of September, we sowed about fifty acres, about this time my family was taken sick with the fever and Ague. You may judge how I then felt and the mob raging about this county and swearing
vengeance against the Mormons. My son Henry used to stand guard at the temple night and day till he was taken sick. He was a good boy, and was always willing to stand guard night a or day to do whatever he was told to do. I recollect that one night it rained heavily and was very dark when he stood guard. I hope he will never be forgotten by his beloved brothers and sisters, or his father and mother. He did not live long after this, and his death was the greatest loss I ever experienced. This was in the year eighteen hundred and forty-five.
We did but little for some length of time, I think it was about the last of October or the first of November that I started for Lourborough, my native place. I took a boat on the Illinois river and sailed to St. Louis, and, from there sailed up the Ohio River till I came to Pittsburg. I intended to travel from there by water to Buffalo. I traveled on the Beaver Canal to Lake Erie, while traveling on Beaver Canal I fell in company with four Methodist preachers. They traveled with me almost to Lake Erie. I had a great many arguments with them. They were very friendly indeed. We argued on the subject of baptism for the remission of sins and also the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also about slavery. One day they had quite a chat among themselves concerning men that committed murder. They thought best to put such men in prison and let them live their days out. They conversed upon this subject for nearly half a day and I sat and listened unto them as usual for I would generally set and listen to them till the would almost get through with their subject and then I would say “Gentlemen I would wish to differ with you for I am a Moses man. I expect you have read of Moses for he is a Prophet of God and you understand the course he persued. You understand the laws of our land. Then I argued on this subject and they were very silent– apparently not a word to say so we continued in this way from one subject to another till we came near Lake Erie and three of those Methodists left the boat. The other remained there still and he came to me and asked me what denomination of people I belong to if I belong to any. He said they had been talking about you but could not find out what denomination of people you belonged to. After pausing some time and making some preliminary remarks I told him I was one of those men that were vulgarly called Mormons. He appeared to be astonished. Says I “you have heard my arguments ever since we have been traveling together and it is sustained by the Scriptures. He say “Haint you got a golden Bible?” I told him he had reference to the Book of Mormon, I explained that to him and he thought it quite reasonable
Says he ” Have you got any papers with you?” Yes Sir,! I gave him one called the circular. We were in a great hurry — he was ready to take passage on Lake Erie and I the stage. We there shook hands and he said he would do me all the good he could- so we parted. This proved to me that he never heard A latter- Day Saint preach but he knew the slurs against Mormons.
I found the wind so high and the lake so rough that I thought it best to take the stage, and so traveled in that manner to Buffalo, and from there I walked to the Niagara Falls. There I took a boat that was called the “Great Britain” and traveled on Lake Ontario till we came to Kingston where we landed about two o’clock in the morning, and I went to a tavern and there stayed till daylight. As I was walking the street that morning, I met my brother James who was going to market with some apples, and other things, we hardly knew each other when we met. When he had sold out I came home with him; he requested me to preach at the place where he lived, before I went back, I told him I would if he would find a house for me to preach in. This was on a Friday, about dark we arrived at my fathers house; he met me just outside of the door and took me by the hand and led me into his room, and – It was a long time before we could speak to each other and the tears flowed down our cheeks for a long time.
I remained there till the next day. I told my father that I had but ten days to stay there. I wanted to go back on the same boat as I had come from the Niagara Falls with, and it was going back in ten days. I also told him that I wanted to go to Earnestown which was about twenty miles off , and I also intended to go to father Snyders’. (He is my father in law) So father let me take a one horse buggy; and I traveled that day till I came to my brother in law, John Snyders’ land. I put up there all night. The next morning being Saturday I went on to my father in laws, and found my brother Henry there, holding a three days meeting also brother Babcock, my brother in law was there, and the requested me to stop and attend the meeting. (He was a reformed Methodist) and accordingly I did; when they had sung and prayed he requested me to preach to the congregation I then got up and told the congregation that my brother Henry had given me an invite being to preach to them, I said that they had come together to hear him preach, and I did not wish to occupy their time without your consent, so I called a vote, and the vote was unanimous that I should preach. I then took for my talk ” All Blasphemies and Sins against men should be forgiven, but they that shed innocent blood, should not by forgiven in this world, not in the world to come. I then occupied about two hours, setting forth the first principles of the gospel, and after I had finished this, My brother Henry rose and said a few words by way of exhortation and then closed the meeting, and in a short time afternoon I stood to return to my fathers, it was about twelve o’clock at night when I started and I got to my fathers about daybreak. I laid down a while since and they soon called me up to breakfast, and I then rose and dressed myself, and found that my brother James had blacked my boots. About nine o’clock the congregation began to come together according to previous appointment. My brothers and sisters came in, with a multitude of old acquaintances and I occupied two or three hours in setting forth the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, with all its gifts and graces. The congregation was perfectly orderly, and part of the time they were weeping, after we had dismissed meeting, some of my brothers and sisters remained with me till twelve o’clock at night, and not one of them raised and argument against me, but they appeared to be astonished whilst I was preaching upon those principles that pertain to our holy religion.
The next day I went to Earnestown again to fulfill an appointment that I had left there to do business; after doing the business I had to do I returned to my Fathers house. I remained there among my brothers and sisters till the next Sunday, and at that time a congregation came together without any appointment, and I preached again to them. On the tenth day I started for home, brother James taking me to Kingston where I parted with him. When leaving my father’s house, I bid my father farewell, we then bid each other farewell for the last time in this mortal life we expected. I told my brothers and sisters and my dear Father, that I did not know but that it would be the last time that I ever should set my feet upon the Canadian ground, although I felt at that time that I should again be permitted to travel upon my native land once more. I left Kingston about sunrise and traveled on Lake Ontario to the Niagara Falls, at which place I arrived a little after dark. I traveled that night through to Buffalo. There was no body landing the ferry, they had a Ferry boat there, but they did not run it in the night time, but there happened to be some men fishing in the river and they took me across. I got into Buffalo about daylight. It was very cold and froze very hard, and it was very cold for that time of year to do that, I thought that Lake Erie would freeze up, there was a great deal of ice on the Lake so I took the stage to Pittsburg, there was three or four gentlemen traveled in the stage with me, and one of them had a great deal to say about the weather moderating, I told them that it would remain cold, but he thought that it would break up, and I did not believe that it would break up till spring, toward the last of the journey he commenced calling me a prophet, and after a day or two he took his book out of his pocket, and asked if I would be so good as to tell him what sort of weather I thought it would be this winter, so I told him what I thought about it, and told him that I thought it would be very cold and stormy, and that the rivers would not break up till late in the spring, he wrote it down, and I presume, he found it correct. We landed at Pittsburg, State of Ohio. I then took passage on a boat to go the Ohio River to St. Louis, but did not expect that we could travel on it, and the river was to filled with ice, but as the Captain of the boat said he would travel. I paid him for my passage to St. Louis, after some time he started but he could not travel, he did not tell us what he could not go on, but kept saying that he would go on the next day; but as I was passing by on the boat on day, I over heard him say to him mate that he was not going to start until the river opened up.
I went and told the passengers what I had heard the Captain say and some of them went and told him what I had said, and he did not like it at all, because he did not want the passengers to know it. He came upon deck and swore at me, and paid me my money back all but one dollar, and told me to go on another boat if I wanted to. He knew I had been talking about it. There lay another boat right alongside of us the captain said he was going out in a few minutes. I left the boat I was on , and went on to his boat, and several of the passengers followed me. In short time the boat started, they soon found that they could not travel; so they made for shore. We then got out and hired a team (some six or seven of us together,) to take us to a station where they had teams to accommodate people. This was a little before night. When we arrived at the station I think we was about forty miles from Wheeling on the Ohio River, where the stages run from. I told the crowd that I was with that, that we would have to travel night and day, or else we would have to wait in Wheeling for a stage, because there was two or three boats both above and below Wheeling. We traveled all that night and got to Wheeling about daylight, and I then went right to the stage office, and engaged a seat in the stage for to take me to Pittsburg in Illinois. I paid twenty five dollars, which was almost double the usual price. Bro. Haight was there, also and Bro. Nokes. They talked of staying till the river opened I told them if they did they would stay till spring. Brother Haight believed me, and took a seat in the stage along with me. We started in the first stage that went out that morning. Bro. Nokes stayed till late in the spring. Every carriage that could be got up was running with passengers in every direction, and was not long before I heard that men had booked their passage sixteen days beforehand. The roads were covered with ice and it was raining and freezing all the time as fast as it fell. A great many accidents happened with the stages; one stage driver was killed, and the stage that I was in, slide off them the turnpike whilst it was traveling very fast and upset the stage. The Kingbolts came out of the front axle, and the horses ran away. A large heavy man setting beside me when the stage upset fell onto me, and broke two or three of my ribs. I then went right away and got bled , and by the time this was done they had got rigged up and started on again and we traveled night and day, being a Mail Stage; one day we stopped at a station a few minutes and the stage started off without us I presume that the Land lord did it on purpose. I told him that he would have to pay all the damage, I showed him my ticket and he then took by that, that I had paid my passage through Pittsburg, and he was rather; afraid that he would have to pay for it- So he called his hired man, and told him to harness up a span of horses and hitch them to a carriage. That being done, he told us to get in and told the man to take us to the stage. He had to run his horses six or seven miles before he overtook the main stage that was all he made by that operation. I still kept traveling and was in much misery and pain. The roads were very rough and icy, but after a few days we got to Pittsburg. We there hired a man to take us to Brown six or so miles. I had lived there a few years, before, we stayed there over night and the next morning Bro. Haight and I hired another team to take us to Hancock County, This man that we had hired was a gentile. As stopped over night at a Missourian’s house he got to talking to him about the Mormons, not knowing that we were Mormons, and he told some of the most absurd tales about the Mormons that could be told. The next morning he found out that we were Mormons, and then he looked more confounded as though as if he had been caught stealing sheep. And he did not know what to say, while we went on our way rejoicing knowing that he had lied. The next night I arrived at home in Golders Point, four miles from Nauvoo, and found all my family, which consisted at that time of five or six, enjoying good health.
We commenced to make preparations to leave that County, for our enemies would not let us stay there. We then moved to Nauvoo, and rented a house there for a few months. I sold out my possessions in Golders Point for merely teams and wagons enough for us to move away with, and only had enough to move us along at a snails pace.
While we were fixing to leave Nauvoo, I became acquainted with Peninah Cotton, and married her. She was a motherless girl, her mother and father being dead. We received our endowments in the Temple of Nauvoo. We then prepared to leave not knowing where we were going. I think we had two wagons and a carriage, four yoke of Oxen and three or four cows. In the spring of forty six, we moved over the Mississippi River on the ice, this proved to me that what I had told the strangers at Buffalo was true, for I told them that the ice would not break up till spring. While crossing over the river with one of the teams the ice appeared to be weak and the and the folks got out of the carriage and in one place in particular the ice bent so much under the horses that the water rose over the ice to the height of three of four inched.
After a great portion of the saints had moved over into Illinois,we were then organized to travel. We were organized into hundreds, and fifties, and tens. My captain of a hundred was a person of the name of Pulcipher; and there was a man of the name of Benbow Captain over another fifty, and then there was several captains over tens.
I think we got ready to start about the first of May, and then this great body of men , women and children moved out; we did not know where we were going to, but there was one thing we knew, and that was that our enemies would not let us stay in Nauvoo. We only took enough food with us to last us one year, and I did not know then was that we might have to travel for years, we took all that we could haul with us, but that was not much. I think that we had three wagons, and for yoke of oxen, and four or five cows, we used to yoke up our cows, and put them before our wagons when it was necessary. We traveled along with great difficulty, and after a few days travel we came to a Creek about four rods wide. but which was very difficult to cross. We then traveled but a short time before we found ourselves in a wilderness, where there were no houses, nor never had been a least in our days. We now began to find a great deal of wind crossing our route, I recollect one night, there was a tremendous storm, it thundered and lightening and rained very heavily, and the wind began to blow with great fury, and our tent being right to blow down, my two women, my sons, and myself, had to hold up the tent inside to keep it from blowing down. You would have laughed had you been there to have seen the tents blow down, and the wagon covers blow off and men running about in their shirt tails picking up their bedding and it raining heavily.
We held up our tent until we got us “wringing wet.” We had to stay there the next day to dry out our clothes and fix for starting the following day. It was very muddy traveling where there was no road; The wagons were scattered in about every direction trying to get out of the wet land, and on this account we could travel but a very few miles in a day.
We were now in an Indian Country, but we saw very few Indians, although we did not know when they might come after us unawares and try to kill us.
We corralled our wagons every night in a round corral, with our wagon tongues all inside, every man would lock his wagon to the wagon ahead of him, thus forming a large round corral. The folks would all then be in the inside of the corral; a few of the men would take the cattle off, two or three miles to feed. While at that time we could get any amount of feed. Nights were never used for traveling. We did not travel on Sundays. We would see bear, Antelope, and Buffalo, and several kinds of fowls both night and day..
We kept on moving very slowly not knowing where we were going too, so we traveled till we came to Fort Laramie, where there was a few soldiers stationed. When we arrived there we saw quite a number of Indians, although we have seen none while we were traveling; but they had told the soldiers before hand there was a train a coming, and had likewise told them where we had camped for several nights previous. The Indians are like a snake in the grass, they will lay all around you, and you can see nothing of them, and there is no dependence to be placed in them. We stopped at this fort a short time, and then after crossing the river called the Like Fork with much difficulty.
We had not traveled many weeks before the whole camp of Israel was commanded to stop. We were called to a general council by the President and when we all came together he told us that Uncle Sam or some of his legal Authorized Officers had informed him that they wanted five hundred men out of the camp to go and fight the Mexicans. We stayed there several days gathering up this five hundred men. We knew that the United States had decreed that if we refused to send the men- they would come upon us and kill us all men, women and children. So we gathered up this Battalion. And sent them to fight the Mexicans. Then you can be sure that we were destitute of Teamsters. This made it very difficult for us to travel. Women and children had to drive the teams. Mary Wood , my wife had to drive our carriage team. We traveled in this way for some time. At times we would not have any feed for our animals, and sometimes short of water. But I must say we enjoyed ourselves very well while traveling in this situation. And as I said before we would cover all our wagons every night. We traveled in this way for several days. And many of the saints were becoming short of provisions. We stopped at a very pretty grove on timber on a rise of ground and many of the saints were counseled to stop and build houses and winter there. At this time we had traveled about two hundred miles. This place was called Mount Pisqah. We started again on our journey and left many of the Saints there. They could get to the Settlement of Missouri by going about two hundred miles, and many of them did go there for provisions. We still kept traveling on for several days as we found that our travel was very slow in such a large company. It was thought best to brake up in small company many of the Company’s broke up and traveled in this way for several days and we overtook a company the had stopped and nine wagons of the company had started to go to the Settlement of Missouri to get provisions. We therefore pitched our tents, unloaded our wagons. I left my children and wives in the howling wilderness and bid farewell till I could go and get something for them to live on. I had not a dollar in my pocket. The only way I saw to get a little bread stuff was to take some furniture such as wash tubs and clothing and trade them off with which to buy bread stuff. So we started out, after four or five days we came to a settlement in Missouri. We camped by two of three houses that were built by a creek, that was called one hundred and two in Hodaway County. Nine wagons went in ahead of us the day before and this raised such a excitement amongst the Missourians that many of them were ready to leave their homes and flee because they thought the Mormons were coming to kill the whole lot of them. Many of them had come from the neighborhood of Far West and knew the Mormons had been so badly treated there that it would be quite natural for them to seek revenge but we were not of that class. We could put our trust in God and leave the results in his hand. “He has said vengeance is mine and I will repay.” However such was the excitement and fear that fell upon them that when they saw us at a distance they sent runners through the county notifying the people that the Mormons were coming and that they had several thousand Indians with them to kill them all off “root and branch”. Their conscience told them that if many of them were killed it would be no more than they deserved at the hands of the Mormons. There was great unrest during the night, throughout the entire county. And we learned next morning that many had left their homes through fear. “We camped next to Mr. Johnson’s and Mr. Majors. I traded my horse and carriage for a yoke of oxen and a wagon, and got a little corn to boot, and a three year old heifer. The excitement in the County was still great. Bro. Bigelow and I started for the grist mill. We traveled till nearly night. There were but very few houses on the road side. When the sun was nearly down we came to a pretty grove of timber and a very beautiful prairie. I saw there were two or three horses close by. We turned our animals out and I went to one of the houses to get some fire. There was a man just our side of the door “Kooking” some victuals. Very soon we got up a chat. I found that he was very hostile against Mormons. “He said , very likely we would be troubled there before morning.” I told him that we did not mind that for we were used to it. “Oh” said He “I don’t know that they will trouble you tonite seeing there is only two of you.” I told him if they wanted to trouble us they could come on for we were going to stay there that night. We then commenced talking about the killing of Joseph Smith and others in jail. and about the usage we received on account of our religion. “We had a great deal to say about the constitution of America and from that also the Constitution of Great Britain; we both agreed that the inhabitants of Great Britain came together and framed their own constitution; We also agreed that the Almighty had a hand in framing the Consitution, this commenced into quite a long discourse . I laid before him how they transgressed the laws of heaven and of America. and how they had killed innocent men in jail.
He said they had killed men in England too. I told him I supposed they had. (This is incorrect as no Elder or Latter-Day Saint has yet been killed in that country up to the date 1845. ) I told him that the people there made their own laws and he already acknowledged that the Lord had a hand in inspiring the Constitution of America. And when we transgress his laws it is like touching the ball of his eye. Then I went on and told him what would befall the United Sates – which conversation was too numerous to write at this time. I then returned back to the wagon and laid down and had a good nights sleep. Next morning we started for the mill and got our grist done right away. I then learned that the men were training in Marysville and the excitement was still increasing. Men preparing for war and others leaving their homes. Just taking as much property with them as they could. About two o’clock I learned from a Latter-Day Saint who had come through Marysville, he told me that they were determined to have me. I thought but little about it at the time. I got my grist ground and put it in the wagon and started for the camp on the creek One hundred and two. I had not got more than half a mile on my way before I met Brother Downs, on horseback and he seemed quite excited and he said to me– Bro. Wood there are lots of them training in Marysville and they are swearing they will have you, I set it down and then that it was so., so I said to Bro. Downs– What should I do. -I am now in the midst of my enemies and they seek my life. Says he “I do not know, I paused a moment , I then said “Bro. Downs will you drive my oxen to the other side on Marysville and let me have your horse to ride.” Says he” I will and I told him I would ride westward around Marysville. So I returned to the camp near the mill and stayed till about dusk and about this time there came a man from the mill and told me that there was a man at the mill inquiring for one Wood… and said he owed him some flour.. they told the man that they did not where I was. I told the gentleman that would do and said to myself it is time for me to go so I mounted Bro. Downs horse and started. I soon left the road and took the wild prairie and being in a strange land the Lord led me around Marysville. I think I must have been about half a mile west of Marysville and great was the cursing and swearing in Marysville. I traveled around till I struck the road again. The was about Eleven o’clock at night. I soon overtook Bro. Downs, I told Bro. Downs” that I was all right now for I knew that they durst not come towards our camp.
So Brother Downs took his horse and I took my team- going back to the mill and I went on my way rejoicing and I pray that Brother downs may ever be remembered for the great favor that he did to me and he shall have my blessings from this time hence forth and forever. I think I arrived in camp about daylight, I had a very pleasant journey feeling as I have always felt that the Lord would always protect me and Blessed be his name forever. I was then about two hundred miles from my family and they were in the howling wilderness not knowing what would befall them when I left them. I did so with the best feelings leaving them in the hands of the Lord in a short time we started for our camp and after traveling four or five days we arrived in sight of the camp. My son John and my two women came out on the prairie to meet us and when they came to me the tears flowed down their cheeks. I found my family all well and the next morning we started on our journey as usual following the camp that preceded us. We came to the east bank of the Missouri River where the main camp of the Saints had stopped– preparing for winter as it was considered unsafe to launch forth into the wild wilderness at this late season of the year. Hundreds of families were out of provisions and they had to send down to Missouri after some. Part of the camp wintered on one side of the river and part on the other side. We called the place Winter Quarters. I stopped in the Pottawatamie County on the east bank.
I did not know what to do calculating to leave that place in the spring. There were a few log houses that the half breeds had put up. Indians lived in some of them and they had raised a little corn. I bought a house of one of them and five acres of land that he claimed. I gave him a yoke of oxen for it, trusting in the Lord for a team to start with in the spring following. I then went to cutting prairie grass and I could sell that to the half breeds. I think I got about eight dollars for hay. but about this time — away to the west for several miles the prairie caught fire and it burned all over the river bottoms and it did not leave a spear of grass for our cattle. We then had to send our cattle off to the range for feed. I was then at a great stand what to do. They were building a great many houses to winter in and I went to making slab boards what we call clap boards. Its like this– we would saw logs about four feet long and split them with a froe. They would be about three quarters of an inch thick. We would the shave one edge of them a good deal thinner than the other and they would nail them to their houses in the room of sawed clapboards. I was working at this the first day of December in the year eighteen hundred forty six. That day was a severe cold one. It was a very singular winter –it would turn warm for six or eight days and then change to cold. Again it would sometimes be extremely cold. Some got their ears and toes froze and it continued so all winter. I went to cutting rail timber and it was so cold sometimes that the timber would not split but every chance I got I used to split rails. I did not know that I was going to stay there but I have always made it a practice to go to work as if I was going to stay in every place I stopped at. I continued to work there till spring and I labored very hard. I hired some help and in the spring I had a great many rails made. It was counciled then that the most of the brethren was to stay there, in the year eighteen forty seven. One hundred and forty three of the started for the wilderness not knowing where they were going but having a little understanding of Salt Lake, they thought perhaps they might find a location there. While they were at Fort Bridger – a trading post a little over one hundred miles east of Salt Lake Valley, Mr. Bridger the proprietor offered to give one thousand dollars for the first ear of corn raised in the Salt Lake Valley. So confident was he that corn could not be raised in it. However the sequel proved that Mr. Bridger did not know everything. I went to work and hauled out rails and fenced one thousand acres of land and when that was done, I rigged up a plow and team and commenced breaking up land and planted a few potatoes in the place that I bought of the Indians. Also a little corn. I think we had thirteen rows of potatoes and I doubt if there were more than one hundred and fifty hills- and when they were ripe we dug about fifty bushels. We set out about one thousand cabbage plants and they grew tremendous large. I broke up sixty or seventy acres of my field and we planted some of it with Buck Wheat and some corn and a little other grain- not having much with us. This is the way we passed our time away through the summer season. I recollect one day that me and my family went about five miles to an Indian feast to see their performances some few of our brethren went too and the Indians really had a good feast. They had almost all kinds of birds and small animals. They had several young pups cooked and I really believe that they enjoyed themselves first rate and they appeared to be very much united together. I found out by a young Indian with whom I conversed that they were going to have a meeting after dinner. So after dinner they went and seated themselves under a large shed made of bush. They sat there very solemnly and after a little, one of them arose and talked for length on time in the Indian language. I laid outside of the shed a little way off and the young Indian with me who could talk a little English language told me that he was talking about the Great Spirit. He said that the speaker was talking very good and after he had done talking there were two or three rose and each one got a squirrel skin or the skin about as large as a black squirrel skinned and stuffed and ornamented with ribbons, they called these their “Googen” Bags. They walked through the congregation, they would stop before a person and talk to that person with one hand on the neck of that skin and the other hand on the other end- and while they were talking to them they would hold that right towards the persons heart. When they would shove that towards the person and they would be overcome with some power so that they would fall upon the ground and after a short time they would rise up. The little Indian that laid beside me said it was the Power of the Great Spirit. I often think of what one of the apostles said “Brethren try the Spirit for many spirits have gone out into the world.” We spent the largest part of the day. We were pretty well entertained with the things that we saw but could not understand.
We passed the summer raising all we could. Our cattle lived away off into the woods, where there was plenty of grass. I think about the first of December in the year of eighteen hundred and forty seven. Me Majors and Mr. Johnson the two men that we stopped with when we were in Missouri, they brought a large herd of fatted hogs in our settlement. They came to my house being a little acquainted 28 52b with me and wanted to know if I would butcher their hogs. They said if I would they would give me all the lard off of the entrails and the pluck. I told them I would do it. So I dressed their hogs. This gave us a great deal of lard. We intended to travel the nest year . We filled up a small barrel of lard and a barrell of pork – all side meat very thick. They we gathered up several sacks of wheat and flour and parched a great deal of corn and had it ground that we might eat it where we could not find any timber to make a fire. In fact I took all sorts of seed with me. I took the seeds out of the Potatoes balls. So I kept preparing all winter to go to the Great Salt Lake. Before Major left I traded him a yoke of oxen for four young cows. I told my folks that we could yoke up these cows and they would do as much work as two yoke of oxen and we could have milk on the road. Mister Major and Johnson sold their pork and returned home again. I had to go and get the cows, Bro. Alred and I went, Bro. Huntington went along to drive a team. When we arrived the cows were not ready for us. We got there on Thursday and stayed until Sunday morning. There were three cows ready but the fourth was not. Mr.Major had a three year old heifer that was about to calve. I told him I would take that heifer if he would let me have her. He said he had given her to his daughter who was a young woman. He sold me one when I was in the Country after provisions that belonged to he and she cried. I told him that I was going to start on . Sunday morning and if he did not have the cow ready he would have to fetch her to me. I told him that there was going to be a heavy storm and I thought that the creeks would rise so high that we could not cross them. There were two creeks called the Tackeyoes that was not bridged. I told him we would then have to lay by them a day or two before the water would go down so the next morning he let me have the heifer and his daughter cried again. I was sorry but I could not help it.
We started on Sunday morning and came to the first creek called and we drove our cattle into the bend and there I watched them all night so that they shouldn’t get away . We then had about fifty miles to travel before we reached any settlement. We started pretty early in the morning and about as fast as we could go with cattle. About twelve o’clock or a little after it began to thunder and we kept pushing those cattle ahead. I told Bro. Alred that we had better hurry our cattle or we would not get into the Settlements before dark. It thundered and lightning and looked much like a storm. We reached the settlement about dark. The first house we came to, I ran in and asked him if he had a yard that we could put our cattle in and he said no– he had no yard but he had a yard he fatted his hogs in . It was large enough to hold our cattle but he said that the fence was broken down a good deal, but if I was willing to put it up I could put my cattle in it. So we drove them in and by the flashing of lightening, we put the fence up. I was so dark that we could not see a thing without the lightening. The rain poured down apparently so fast as it could. Then we put up our horses and went in, I was then as wet and perhaps I could get. After a little we went to bed. It was not a very good bed but yet I slept very well. The next morning it was very fine weather. We had them passed over all the creeks that were not bridged. After a day or two more journey we arrived at home. We still kept preparing to start in the Spring. I sold my possessions that I had of one hundred and ten acres to a man by the name of Bigelow for a wagon and three yoke of oxen and we had three wagons and four yoke of oxen and about six cows and a span of horses and a carriage. We rigged up these wagons with covers on and a hen coop on the hind end of one and a pig pen on the hind end of another, and a goose. Then on the hind of another, I believe we only had three pigs and three geese. And we fixed a place for out cat. This took us some time. In April we gathered up our things and put them into our wagons to be ready to start as soon as the grass would be large enough for our animals to live on.
I would like to correct one item in my History above…. not but what its right but because it placed in its wrong place. I went into Missouri one or two hundred miles for to get provisions as you will see in my history. This caused me and many others to be behind more that one hundred miles when this call was made upon. The Presidents runners came from the President and notified the whole camp that they wanted five hundred men to go and fight the Mexicans. This made us that were behind move very slow, and when we came up to the Pottawattamie lands or Winter Quarters we found the President there and a great body of Saints, They could not travel for the want of teamsters. There was one company that had went on into the wilderness and wintered with another tribe of Indians. I thought the main camps had not got to Winter Quarters.