This woman was the 3rd sister of John Cardon (Jean), Grandfather of My Grandfather. Her father was Philippe whose family came from Italy converts to the Church. I add this here because I want all my family to know this story. I found this at http://thecardonfamilies.org/marie_madeleine_cardon.htm
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARIE MADELINE-CARDON GUILD
THIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS AN EXCERPT FROM PIEDMONT UINTA COUNTY, WYOMING GHOST TOWN COMPILED BY SUSAN THOMAS TIPPETS 1995
Marie Madeline Cardon Guild
Born at St. Bartalomeo, Italy 6 July 1834
To my beloved children direct; also to your children unto the end of your posterity and to all others who perchance may read this brief sketch:
Dear ones: In the providence of God, by his graciousness and love I have realized the profound pleasure of presenting to you this short record of some of the leading events of my life. This account shall be a testimony unto you of the existence of God and of his divine guidance of those who trust and serve him.
The events, herein pertain more directly to my conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the sacrifices I have made and the suffering I have endured, since for the testimony of truth.
I ask you to read carefully and with a prayerful heart. Draw near unto the Lord that you may comprehend the sublimity of the Gospel. As you read my writings ask the Lord for a testimony and I speak the truth for I do, as God lives and bears record.
Again I assert, that this account is written for the benefit of you, my children upon the whole earth, in revealing the fullness of the Gospel to the prophet Joseph Smith, I feel satisfied, my beloved children, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of the living God.
I bear my testimony unto you and unto the whole world that God has spoken to His prophet Joseph Smith, and has revealed unto him the fullness of the Gospel.
Few people here in this choice land of abundance and freedom realize the adverse circumstances under which their parents were born. Such conditions often furnish a most striking contrast to those which you children now enjoy. My mother Martha Marie Tourn, was at Rora Del a Tour, Angrangnia Valley Lucerne, Italy. 15 May 1797 and died 15 Jan, 1873. My father Phillip Cardon, was born at Prarustin Piedmont, Italy 2 Oct. 1801 and died 15 August 1889. My parents belonged to a remnant of people known as the Vaudois, who had been subjected to the severest kind of persecution at the hands of the Roman, Catholics, many of their ancestry and associates had been massacred for their religion. The remnant was driven from their homes to the Alps between France and Italy where they subsisted for centuries, as best they could, living in caves and wandering about among the mountains, their diet consisted mostly of barley, rye, and the flesh of wild animals. In their hasty flight to the mountains they were unable to provide means of comfort or of getting an education, Many barely escaped with their lives being compelled to leave their homes and property in the middle of the night. Parents tied their children upon their backs and crawled through the woods and brush to make their escape to the Alps and snow-capped mountains, where they hid themselves among the rocks and caves, Hundreds died of hunger and exposure. All of this because of serving God according to their faith, It was impossible for many to take with them a book of any kind, not even a Bible, which was their rule of faith and their book of guidance, They endeavored to preserve the new Gospel of Christ as taught by the apostles and contained in the Holy Bible, undefiled by the Common Church. The few people who survived where so scattered they could not build school houses or houses of worship. Their education was neglected. Even their native languages the French and Italian, in many cases were forgotten.
It was under such conditions that my great ancestors were born. Regardless of their poverty and persecution they were God-fearing and kind, The only book my father had was a Bible which was over two centuries old, handed down by his ancestors.
I well remember the time when all our family would gather around my mother and father each night before retiring, and listen to him read a chapter in whole or in part from the Bible. After having read he would review what he had read and explain to us little ones many good principles. Among other things which he taught us the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments.
A REMARKABLE MANIFESTATION:
When I was a child of but six or seven years old, in the year 1840 or 41 I received a very remarkable manifestation, one which changed the career of my whole life. I desire to tell it just as it happened so that you may realize how I felt. I was upstairs in bed. A strange feeling came over me. It appeared that I was a young women instead of a mere child. I thought I was on a small strip of meadow close to our vineyard, keeping my father’s milk cows from the vineyard. It seemed that I was sitting on the grass reading a Sunday School book. I looked up and saw three strangers in front of me. As I looked into their faces I dropped my gaze instantly, being very much frightened. Suddenly the thought came to me that I must look at them that I might remember them in the future. I raised my eyes and looked them straight in the face one of them seeing that I was afraid said; “Fear not for we are servants of God and have come from afar to preach unto the world the everlasting gospel, which has been restored to the earth in these last days, for the redemption of mankind.” They told me that God had spoken from the heavens and had revealed His everlasting gospel, to the young boy Joseph Smith. That it should never more be taken away again; but that his kingdom would be set up and that all the honest in heart would be gathered together. They told me that I would be the means of bringing my parents and family into this great gathering, moreover, the day was not far off when we would leave our homes and cross the great ocean. We would travel across the wilderness and go to Zion where we could serve God according to the dictates of our conscience.
When they had finished their message to me they said they would return soon and visit us. They took some small books from their pockets and gave them to me, saying: “Read these and learn.” They disappeared instantly.
When I realized what had been said to me and what I had seen I became frightened. I took my clothes in my arms and ran downstairs to where my mother was preparing breakfast for the family and hired man. As I came in she saw that I looked pale. She asked me if I was sick. I said “No.” Just at that instant I was not able to talk. My mother told me to sit on a chair and she would soon see to me and learn what was wrong, soon father came, in and my mother called his attention, to me. She knew that if I was not sick that something had happened which caused me to look so strange. My father took me up, dressed me questioned me until I had to tell him all I had seen and heard.
THE KING’S PROCLAMATION OF FREEDOM:
After a few years, I had received this dream or vision, King Charles Albert issued a decree granting freedom to the Vaudois and placing them on a footing equally to the others. This decree was issued 17 Feb. 1848. This enabled those who were living on the Alps to come down into Italy, where we were enabled to serve God as we wished. The King said that no people on earth could have suffered what we did and still be true to their religion and loyal to the laws of the land. My parents and family came down to Piedmont, Italy. The King was of the house of Savoy to whom the Vaudois. had always been loyal. At this proclamation the King prepared a grand feast for all the people in his Kingdom and dominion, both rich and poor. All took part in the great feast which lasted three days and three nights. Beginning 28 Feb. 1848 The whole country was illuminated by torches which were placed on all the streets, on the porches, and in the windows of houses, Bells were ringing and great speeches were made in behalf of our people. Congratulations were extended to the Vaudois people, who had been willing to suffer even death for their religion. The principal town of fortification was Turin which had been the scene of persecution of the Mountain Christians for three centuries. Now we were permitted to live among the Roman Catholics in peace, or at least, they would not molest us on account of our religion. The end of war of eight hundred years between the Roman Catholics and the Mountain Church.
LATTER DAY SAINTS MISSIONARIES:
(A parable on leaving one persecuted faith for another is of the restored truth.)
I have already described to you the instance suffering of my great ancestors which in all events may have been for their best good, I feel sometimes that the Lord had a great object in view for some of our people,. especially for my beloved parents and a few other of our faith, for he sent his servants even to our foreign, country.
In 1850 three L.D.S Elders, Lorenzo Snow and I think Toronto and Stenhouse were set apart for mission to Italy. They stopped at a town called Palais, De La Tour, where they were not allowed, a church or a place of shelter in which to preach. They were compelled to hold meetings on the streets. Even for this privilege they were thankful to their Father in Heaven.
PERSECUTION OF THE ELDERS:
Soon the people of Palais De La Tour became wild and angry. They organized into mobs and laid plans to drive these servants of the living God out of the country.
Elder Snow called his companions together and proposed that all three of them go to the mountains and there fast and pray. This they did in humbleness of the heart. They asked their Heavenly Father to look down upon them in mercy and to guide them in their labor that they might be able to find the honest in heart and gather them into the fold of Christ. They were kneeling on a large flat rock on the mountain side in fervent prayer to God that he might open the way before them that their journey and labor to that country might not be in vain. Instantly a voice came to them saying: “Cheer up, your prayer is granted and you shall meet with friends who shall protect you in your labor and who shall receive the Gospel of Christ. ”
I well remember my father coming home on Friday or Saturday afternoon and asking my mother to get his Sunday clothes ready. He had just heard of three strangers being at Palais De La Tour preaching the same doctrine which the Three strangers had taught me in my dream or vision when I was a child, I was now seventeen or eighteen year of age.
MY FATHER STARTS TO FIND THE ELDERS:
My father was an architect and at this time was building a large residence for some party. A young man whom he had promised work the following Monday morning commenced telling him more of these men and their strange doctrine. He became so excited and so intensely interested that he could not proceed with his work. He planned the work for my brothers and the hired men that they might stay busy in his absence (for he had decided to go to those men.) After he had changed his clothes he started afoot in search of the strangers.
He traveled over mountains and through valleys and arrived on Sunday morning just in time to hear Elder Lorenzo Snow preach. My dear father was so happy to hear the pure truth so well and earnestly explained. His heart was full of joy.
INVITES THE ELDERS HOME:
After the meeting my father approached these servants of God, shook hands and kindly invited them to come to our home where he desired them to make their headquarters. They kindly and willing accepted this hospitality.
MY DREAM OR VISION WAS RELATED:
On the way home my father related unto them all about what I had seen and heard in my dream or vision. He had stored it in his memory and had kept it in his bosom a secret until now.
MY DREAM OR VISION PARTLY FULFILLED:
When the elders reached our home that Sunday evening they inquired of me, being interested in what my father had told them concerning me. I was not at the house at the time but was out on a small strip of meadow land. It seemed to be an identical spot I had seen in that vision of childhood so many years before. I was sitting on the grass reading a Sunday School Book. I did not hear them until my father said to the Elders, “This is my daughter who had the vision or dream concerning the strangers who told me to fear not for they were the servants of God” Upon being introduced I shook hands with each of them. They took some tracts or small books from their pockets and spoke the very same words I had heard in the dream or vision. Thus was that remarkable manifestation partly fulfilled. As you read you will learn that it was fulfilled to the very letter.
Now my dear children I cannot doubt the faith and the principles which I have embraced, my whole soul is filled with joy and thankfulness to God for his regard for me and for you in thus manifesting to me the divinity of his great work in so remarkable a manner. How sincere is my prayer that you my children may realize how wonderful and yet how real and true is this, my life’s testimony to you.
MY PARENTS AND BROTHERS EMBRACE THE GOSPEL:
Not long after the Elders had brought unto us the message of truth my parents and my brothers embraced the gospel of Christ and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
At that time I had two sisters living. In my anxiety to lead them into the light of the restored Gospel, I lost no time in going to them and in reading to them passages in the New Testament showing them the necessity of baptism by immersion. I read to them particularly the following words of Peter, spoken unto the multitude on the day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:3S-39) I showed them that Jesus our Redeemer was baptized by immersion and that he commanded all others, both men and women to do likewise.
My older sister, Annie, became very interested and desired to see the elders, and to hear them explain the gospel. Her husband became angered and forbade her to visit our home. He requested that I not speak to her again about Mormonism. This caused me much sorrow to hear, but rather than cause trouble between them I refrained from saying anymore to her.
MY CHURCH AND MINISTER OF THE VAUDOIS CHURCH:
I had been confirmed into my previous church by our minister and had received a certificate of honor etc. As soon as it became known that my parents and most of our family had embraced the gospel and joined the Church of Jesus Christ, My minister united with other Ministers of the Vaudois faith, and incited the whole country against us. Our trials became great but we preferred to suffer them rather than deny that which God, through his spirit, had made known to us to be true.
I ASSISTED THE ELDERS:
Elders Lorenzo Snow and those with him soon were called out of Italy and Elders J.R. Woodward and George D. Keaton were assigned to take their places. It seemed that people who were raised on the mountains were more susceptible to the truth than those who lived in the valleys, The humble mountaineers could neither speak English, French nor had they learned Italian. They had lived apart on the mountains so long that they had developed a dialect of their own. Thus it was almost impossible for the Elders to make themselves understood. It was my good fortune to be able to speak both French and Italian. I could also speak and understand the dialect of the mountaineers. I was therefore selected to travel with the Elders on their journeys and act as interpreter.
During the weekdays, meetings were held on Sunday at our home, at the homes of people of the mountains surrounding. Saturday nights the people on the mountains would arrange for their work to be done early. They would sleep a few hours in the early part of the night, arise early Sunday mornings and travel for miles, arriving at our home in time for meeting in the afternoon. Many were sincere in their search and worship, while others came merely to find fault and satisfy their curiosity.
All were welcome at my father’s home, whether friend or foe. Each Saturday arrangements were made for the visitors, for the following day. We had a large brick oven. It was a usual occurrence to bake up one hundred pounds of flour and large quantities of meat, etc. to feed the people. It was our pride to see that all were satisfied and that none went hungry.
The Mormon question was becoming agitated. The people were becoming alarmed. As is always the case where its of the Master are being realized. Satan becomes alert and asserts his proponaities of destruction.
One certain week, rumors were scattered abroad that the sacredness of the following Sabbath would be stained with infamy, that the saints and elders would be molested in their worship, at the hands of a vicious mob. We did not become frightened. When Sunday came, large crowds of people gathered around our house. We were holding our meeting as usual. I was standing by the elders interpreting what they had spoken form the Bible. Suddenly four or five ministers and a number of illboding men began yelling and shrieking most hideously. They cried, “Where are those wolves in sheep’s clothing?” “Bring them out.” I was still endeavoring to interpret what had been said. Again they hissed and yelled. They demanded to know where that young lady was who was assisting these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
THE POWER OF GOD:
Now, my dear children, I desire to make record to you of the power of God as it was made manifest at that time. Just as the mob was shouting bring the elders and myself out. I had the Bible in my hand. I walked out of the building and approached the mob with the Bible opened. The mob commenced ridiculing the Bible saying that it was a false one and that it had been written by the elders to deceive the people. I walked up to the minister and handed him the Bible. This same minister had confirmed me into his church when I was fifteen years old. All was excitement, but I was calm as the morning. The minister accused me of disloyalty and said that I had violated my oath to the church. I answered that I was still loyal to truth; that I still believed in the same Bible, but that I understood it differently and better than before. I told him that I understood and thought it the duty of all the children of God to learn and to walk in the true way of salvation.
The mob had grown restless and again their satanic yells burst forth, demanding those wolves who were deceiving the people. It became evident that they were on the verge of pouncing upon the Elders. I raised my right hand in which I held my bible and commanded them to depart. I told them that the Elders were under my protection and that they could not harm one hair of their heads. All stood aghast. The combat was on. The two great opposing powers had met. The spirit of Satan had struck the first blow and had its advantage. Now it was the spirit of God which assumed control and sent hurling asunder the demonic foe. God was with me. He placed those words in my mouth, or I could not have spoken them. All was calm, instantly. That strong ferocious body of men stood helpless before a weak, trembling, yet fearless girl.
The ministers turned and asked the mob to leave and they dispersed with sullen faces, in fear and in shame, broken in pride and remorsed in spirit. They had opposed the power from on high.
I stood in the midst of the trembling mob. The minister of the church to which I had belonged turned to me and asked that I visit his home that afternoon at four o’clock as he and other ministers desired to question me on different subjects. I promised that I would go most willingly.
Soon all was quiet, we had met and vanquished the enemy and were permitted to finish our meeting in peace.
MY VISIT TO THE MINISTERS HOME:
My sister, Catherine, was then staying at this Minister’s house as governess over his children.
After our meeting was over I started a foot for the minister’s residence, nearly three miles from my home. As I arrived my dear sister, Catherine, met me at the gate. Her heart was nearly broken for she had heard the conversation of the aggregate of ministers within. Fearing that I would be put into prison she begged me not to enter the house. I replied that all would be well with me for I trusted in our Creator. I knew I was safe.
Before I was through talking to my sister, one of the ministers came out of the house and asked if I was ready to enter, I answered that I was. As I walked into the house the ministers shook hands with me. I sat down at their courteous suggestion and they at once proceeded with their questions, I was subjected to the severest catechism on various subjects of the Bible. I felt very much the need of assistance from my Heavenly Father. Although I had made a careful study of the Bible and had memorized a great portion of it.
My education was very limited. It seemed too much for me, a weak girl, to stand before those learned men of ministerial professions. I was greatly blessed of the Lord. Answers came to me to their every question. Their attempts to confound me were futile. All they could say in conclusion was that they were sorry for my family and me, that we were being led away by those deceivers. They expressed a desire that God would be with us and guide us in the truth. I very earnestly thanked them and left the house.
This was, indeed, an exciting and intensely interesting day in my life’s history. As I came out of the room where I had conversed with the ministers my sister was still in great anxiety. She feared every moment that I would be made a prisoner. Rather I left the room freely and in much happier vein than I entered it.
I proposed to my sister, Catherine, that she leave the employ of the minister and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She had heard as much opposition to Mormonism that she hardly knew what to believe. At last, she agreed to give the ministers wife notice of her intention to return home. Soon after this she embraced the Gospel.
When persecution is rife, the work of the Lord always seems to flourish. It was not long until our little band of Saints numbered forty-seven, all in full fellowship, with numerous investigators and applicants for baptism. Rumors were constantly being circulated to the effect that mobs were gathering, etc. At on time it was strongly rumored that a mob was being organized and they intended to ki11 the Elders and saints and to burn their property and homes. They were held back by the power of the Lord, for not one of our company was injured.
MY OWN STANDING:
Not with standing the manifold blessings I had received of the Lord, I was the last of our family to embrace the Gospel. Even though in fulfillment of the words I heard in my dream or vision, that I should be the means of bringing our family into the church, I deterred for some time in being baptized. For a week, or so.
My dear children, I must tell you how I came to know that the gospel these servants of God preached was the true gospel. I continued to ask my Heavenly Father to bless me with light, wisdom, and knowledge, and sincerity of heart; and to assist me to understand the truth.
I realized that God himself was truthful and that He would keep his promises unto his children. My parents had taught me that his promises were everlasting, and that I believed those teachings from childhood. Despite the dream or vision I had when a child, I felt that I must be entirely sure and satisfied of that which I was about to embrace. I determined to fast and pray in secret, and to leave off all weakeners of the flesh. Truly and sincerely I asked the Lord to give unto me a true knowledge of the gospel. I would often go into my room, fasten the door, kneel down, and pour out my soul unto God, beseeching him to look down, upon me with His love, and tenderness and to reveal unto me His truth. Not disheartened, but hopeful, I kept on day after day at intervals, until I did receive an answer from God that this gospel was true and that once more it was established upon the earth, never more to be taken away.
From the day that my prayers were answered I have felt satisfied and contented. I have tried to be faithful to my covenants, to overcome all my weakeners, to be charitable and forgiving to all who may have wronged me or spoken evil of me.
I am happy to say, my dear ones, that I have been blessed in that way. I cannot long hold malice against anyone. I feel that each of us is responsible for our own acts, and at the judgment day we shall be seen as we are and we shall be judged according to our deeds whether good or evil.
I do not wish to make you weary or tired of my biography but I cannot help reviewing portions of my life from my childhood. When You get tired of reading this account, stop for a while and reflect. When trials, tribulations, and disappointments come upon you, think of your Mother’s life from her childhood up. Ponder upon what she, and others who embraced the gospel in a foreign land, have endured and your trials will seem few.
When my great great grandparents moved from their mountain home down into the valley of Piedmont, Italy, they purchased a large house of cut stone roofed with slating. It was perfectly fireproof. It was so constructed that my father thought with reasonable care it was safe.
I well remember one Sunday, most of the family had gone to meeting. Those remaining at home were my mother, the baby, my oldest sister, who was lying in bed sick, and myself. I was then very small.
My mother was busy cooking dinner as she was expecting my father and others of the family soon to return from meeting. She went outside the kitchen and looking up observed flames of fire upstairs. Suddenly the house was almost enwarped with flames. Mother rushed upstairs where my sister lay helpless. She grasped her in her arms with part of the bed clothes and placed her out in the snow. She put the baby and I in the cradle and placed us away from all danger of the fire.
The neighbors being at meeting, there was no one to assist in extinguishing the flames. Before help came the walls of the building were all that remained. furniture, clothing, woodwork, doors, windows, etc, were all in ashes and debris.
This misfortune occurred in the dead of winter. Fifteen inches of snow covered the ground. Of us there were nine children and father and mother. There we were in the snow. We had nothing. The granary with its contents was burned to the ground. We smaller ones were crying with cold.
OUR HOME REBUILT:
That was a time of sorrow and suffering to us. My father and elder brothers did not loose heart. They found places of shelter for us among our neighbors and commenced at once to rebuild the home. The stone walls withstood the fire quite well. They had not been damaged so but that they could be built up and remodeled. It was not long until we were again in our own house. We were thankful that none of us had lost our lives.
By the time we heard of Mormonism we were quite comfortably situated, with a good home which we were glad to share with the Elders. In fact, we felt highly honored to have the privilege of feeding and caring for the Elders, I assure you that none of us have ever regretted what we did for them.
OUR DEPARTURE FOR ZION:
Strange, but true, with all who have complied with the teachings of the gospel in the latter days, the spirit of gathering unto Zion has manifest itself. We loved our native land. We had a deep regard of our associates and especially for the Vaudois who had struggled for so many centuries to obtain freedom of worship. Regardless of the strong ties which we had, for that land and people, we were willing to sacrifice them for the gospel’s sake. The spirit of gathering rested upon us.
When it became known that we were intending to go to Utah, the people became much concerned. Many threats were made against us. When father offered our home for sale some wanted to burn us out so that we could not raise money enough to make the journey. We could not get what our property was worth. That which we did sell was sold at a great sacrifice. Father gave considerable property to my oldest sister as she was to remain in that land. She was the only one of the family who had not been converted to the gospel. No doubt she would have done so had it not been for her husband. He was very much opposed to the gospel and, as has been stated before he would not allow her to come near us for fear she would become converted and join the church.
We obtained enough money for our property to take us all to Zion. We also brought with us another family of five persons, who were unable to raise means for themselves.
As soon as the day for our departure was decided upon, the neighborhood was in much confusion. Some were sorry to see us go, others were angry and would have done us injury were it possible.
Some few days before we were to start on our journey the, Elders held a grand meeting. We were given all instructions possible for our journey, over the great ocean and across the desert plains.
BLESSING AND PROMISE:
The Elders anointed us and laid their hands upon our heads and gave us each a blessing. They prophesied that if we would live as we should in sincerity of heart to our Heavenly Father, every one of our family would reach the end of our journey in health and strength. They said that sickness and even death would stare us in the face, that we would experience many dangers, meet with many accidents, of various kinds, that even some of us would come nigh unto death, yet we all would live to enter Zion.
These blessings were predicated upon our obedience to the gospel. We must live righteous lives and serve God in sincerity of heart. We were promised that we would overcome all obstacles and that when we reached Zion we would be happy and prosperous and that in later years our posterity would call us blessed, for having opened the way before them to serve God in this the Dispensation of the fullness of time. These blessings were sealed upon us in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood.
We busied ourselves preparing for the emigration. Three days before we were to take our departure all the Vaudois who belonged to our former faith or church came to bid us and impressive good-bye. They came from all the surrounding country, from the Alps and the neighboring villages. They manifest sincere sorrow at seeing us depart, never to return.
Dear children, can you imagine the feelings and emotions which we possessed? How I earnestly pray that you may know the true motives which prompted us in this great undertaking and sacrifice. We had embraced the true gospel of Christ, newly restored to the earth by God of Heaven. We had complied with its principles. We had repented of our sins and been baptized by immersion for the remission of our sins by those who held authority from on high. The Elders had laid their hands upon our heads and conferred upon us the gift of the Holy Ghost. We had laid the foundation for the spirit of the Lord to take possession of us and it was his spirit which prompted us.
When all arrangements were completed and we had bid our friends good-bye, we departed on the eight day of February, 1854.
OUR JOURNEY———– THE LANGUAGE:
With the five persons, we were emigrating there were thirteen in our company. We could realize but in part the magnitude of our journey. It was truly a serious undertaking. Not one of us could speak or understand the English Language. This was a great trial; for the remainder of our lives on the earth, was to be spent among people who spoke this foreign tongue. My father and mother sensed the situation more keenly than we children, but we sensed it more fully when we landed in England. There we were entirely lost.
I soon felt the necessity of learning the new language and I lost no opportunity in doing so. I earnestly sought the Lord for assistance. I fasted and prayed and exercised all the faith possible in learning the language. I learned one word after another, reviewing constantly. It was not long until I could understand quite well; far better than I could speak. I kept up courage, nothing daunting, for I desired to be of all assistance possible to my parents and the rest of the family.
We spent two weeks in London, waiting for the saints there to prepare for the emigration. At Liverpool we spent seventeen days waiting for the ship.
Our emigration party consisted of four hundred eighty five persons all Latter Day Saints. In addition, of course, was the captain and crew.
Elder Woodard, Elder Serge F. Balliff Sr., his noble wife and two children, and a young lady who had been their governess, and many others who could speak French were members of the parry. Their presence tended to make the journey the more pleasant for us.
The first few days after setting sail were fine. The weather was ideal and the trip across the water promised to be a pleasant one. This state of the weather did not last long. A storm arose. It kept growing worse and worse. It became so terrific that the ship was tossed in all directions. It became almost entirely unmanageable. Occasionally the waves would sweep over the deck and almost fill the boat with water.
Early one morning the ship was anchored. We did not know why. The storm calmed some and the ship started again. Again the storm grew terrific. The ship lurched forward, then tipped backward. It rocked from side to side. A large stove which was placed on the deck for the use of the passengers, with all its utensils tipped over. All was confusion. The ship came to a sudden stop. Morning had fully come. The captain, sailors, and many passengers fell upon their knees in prayer. They realized the danger we were in. The captain afterwards stated that our ship had gone within three inches of an immense rock, called the Rock of Providence. He said that no ship had ever struck that rock without having gone to the bottom of the sea. He also stated that he had observed the fact that no ship carrying Latter-Day Saints had ever been lost. Even though he was not a Mormon he was willing to make this assertion. He realized that in this instance a miracle had been wrought.
As soon as the waters calmed we again set sail. Elder Bailiff said that we had been blessed. It was really gratifying that my parents were unaware of the danger we were in. They were old and a knowledge of the danger may have affected them seriously.
Elder Bailiff was a native of Switzerland, He was well educated, being proficient in the French, German, and English languages. He was in good circumstances financially and he lost no opportunity in assisting those in need. Special kindness was extended by him to those who could not speak the English language. He was a true Latter Day Saint. The liberality of this good man tended to make the voyage a happy one.
After this storm had subsided we had a fairly good time until we reached New Orleans at which place we transferred our baggage into steamers.
TO ST. LOUIS–THE CHOLERA:
When we arrived at St. Luis we rejoiced that we had braved the savage waves and then were safe from the dangers of the mighty deep. How little we knew the fatal dangers ahead. Much less did we know of the sorrows and heartaches that awaited us. Some of the passengers, being curious and full of sightseeing, ventured into the city of New Orleans, not knowing that the dreadful cholera was raging there. As soon as the officers could locate them they were hurried back to the ship. Despite the precautions taken some of the passengers were seized by the disease. Our ship was placed under quarantine immediately and they located us on small Island up the river, not far from St. Louis. The disease spread rapidly throughout the company. We were pain stricken. Our camp was made hideous and sorrowful by groaning and agony.
We could have thankfully rejoiced had the lives of all the passengers been spared. At last death came into our midst. The first to be called to the other side of the veil was a beautiful young woman, a dear friend of ours. Her name was Miss Bertock. She was just twenty years of age. My sister and I did all that humans could do to save her life, but in vain. Death commenced its doleful harvest. Before Miss Bertock could be buried, eleven others had answered to the call of death. All had died within a very few hours.
CARING FOR THE SICK:
My sister, Catherine, and I, with others, continued to care for the sick, night and day. We could not head off the awful scourge. Our friends were dying faster than we could bury them. The men dug a large grave on the island and buried eleven persons, side by side, without even a coffin for any of them. My sister and I spent three days and nights in succession caring for them.
One day a large number were stricken with the disease at once. It was not possible for those who were well to care for them. Fifteen more passed to the great beyond in a very short time.
In caring for the afflicted ones we discovered that by putting them in rather hot water, by rubbing them as quickly and assiduously as possible, and by giving them hot drinks frequently they would soon feel better. We would wrap them in hot blankets and rub them continuously. In this way by the help of the Lord, we saved a great many.
THE GERMAN LADY AND HER GIFT:
One day a German lady was suddenly attacked. My sister and I worked with her with all our strength, but she died within a few hours. She thanked us with all her heart for all we had done for her. Having no relatives she requested that we accept what few effects she possessed as a token of respect for our kindness toward her during her last moments on earth. She asked that we lay her away in a certain dressing suit which she had in a small trunk and to keep the remainder of her possessions. There was naught to do but to comply with her dying request. After she died we washed and dressed her as she desired and followed her remains to the grave. When we returned from the funeral we divided her few belongings between us. In the pocket of one of the skirts was a pocket knife which I was to have. I make mention of this article because of the events which follow, Later in this writing you will learn how it served as a source of protection to me and a friend Miss Ponse.
This accounts for the patience with which I have written the particular circumstances concerning this German lady.
Upon the return of myself and my sister from the burial of the German lady we found our dear father nearly dead. Cholera had seized him and had acted so severely that by this time he was not able to speak. My mother and brothers had been doing all in their power to save him. In a few moments we had a tub of hot water in which we placed him. We arranged hot blankets around him and the tub so as to keep out the cold air. We rubbed him with all our might. My brother did all that humans could do, with the help of their Redeemer. Peppermint, ginger, composition, and all that could be had of a similar description was given him. Presently he became easier. The first sentence he spoke was “Take me away from here or I shall surely die.”
I told my father of a man, a fisherman as I supposed, whom I had seen and a boat at the other side-of the island. I suggested to father that he give me some money and that I, with my brothers, would attempt to hire the man to take father across the river, and that my brother accompany him to care for him until he could reach the city of St. Louis. He was much pleased at the suggestion and he handed me the money. My brothers and I crossed the island afoot. We were successful in making the desired arrangements. We lost no time in getting father ready. We assisted him across the island to where the boatman was.
This was a dangerous piece of work, as the quarantine officers were ever alert. We knew that if we were detected we would have trouble, and that possibly the man who was befriending us would be arrested. As I could speak better English than my brothers the boatman thought it best that I go with him and father. Father could not speak English at all. It was decided that I go and I laid down by my father’s side in the bottom of the boat and they covered us over with blankets that we might not be seen. This kind man rowed us across the river as quickly as possible and assisted us on the river bank. He tied his boat and seeing no one around he felt safe in assisting us toward the city. As we were proceeding, father was taken severely sick with another spell of cholera. We did all that we could for hum under those adverse conditions. We had a bottle of Jamaica ginger. We managed to get him to swallow some of it. We worked faithfully with him until he became easier. Now the boatman suggested that he remain and care for father and that I go hastily to St. Louis and procure some whiskey. He felt sure that whiskey, would cure if anything could. I told him that father had never tasted whiskey, but he had been accustomed to drinking wine which we made of our own grapes. He advised then that I get a bottle of Port wine and return as quickly as possible. He had few hopes of my father’s recovering. He preferred that I go for the wine, fearing that father would be taken with another spell. In such event I could not have cared for him. Sometimes it took three men to rub and straighten his limbs, especially while having the cholera cramps.
I walked as fast as I could to the city and back. I procured the wine and some sugar and a teaspoon. When I returned, father was again in a spell similar to the ones he had previously. He was on the verge of death. His teeth were closed tight and large drops of cold sweat stood out on his face. The boatman was doing all in his power to keep him alive. I handed him the wine. He opened it hurriedly. He had to pry fathers -teeth apart and rub his throat in order to get some of the wine into his stomach. We worked with all our might in order to get him to swallow as much of the wine as possible. He commenced growing better. We continued giving him the wine until he had drank all that was in the bottle. As soon as he was able to speak he looked upon me and said “God bless you my child, you have saved my life, with the help of God and this Man.” He told me to pay the man extra for his assistance.
The boatman thought it was best that I go for another bottle of wine. He still feared that father would get worse. Again I hastened to the city with all speed possible. As I was returning I met father and the boatman walking slowly toward St. Louis. He insisted that he drink the wine a little at a time until he had emptied the second bottle. He was feeling considerably better.
It was sundown when we reached St. Louis. All the hotels in the city were crowded. The best place the boatman could obtain for us was a bed on the third floor. Three other beds were in the room and they were occupied by men. Being the best we could do we put father to bed, for he was very tired. We hoped that he was entirely cured. After having washed him and changed his clothes we felt that there was no danger of the disease spreading. He fell asleep as soon as he lay down.
THE BOATMAN RETURNED TO HIS BOAT:
The kind boatman’s anxiety now was to get back to his boat. He feared that the quarantine officers would learn of what he had done. He knew that he had broken the law, but in so doing he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had saved a man’s life. It is difficult for me to relate the return of this poor boatman. When he arrived at his boat the quarantine officers were awaiting him. My brother remained on the shore of the island at the point where my father was placed in the boat and watched for the boatman’s return. Imagine their sorrow at seeing the officers come up to the boat and seclude themselves in waiting for the boatman. They knew that trouble was ahead for the true humble friend who had saved their father’s life. It was exasperating to know that this man’s life was in danger and that they could do nothing to assist him in return for what he had done for them, as the river was to high.
As the boatman arrived the officers seized him violently and beat him most cruelly. Whether the bodily injuries he received proved fatal or not, can never be known on this earth by either my brothers or my family. My brothers across the river could see them beating him and could hear him cry and beg for mercy. They had no mercy in their hearts. It was evening and the shadows of night enveloped them until they could not longer see the cruelty of the officers, but they could hear the cries of the suffering boatman.
(This was copied by D.J.S. April 8, 1909 by order of Mrs. Charles Guild)
BACK AT THE HOTEL:
The hotel was crowded to its full capacity, and I felt rather discouraged, though I felt it necessary to look after my father in case he should get another spell.
Yet the thought of me having to be in a room where men were sleeping, strangers at that and I felt exceedingly tired as I had been up nearly every night and day for sometime passed and the great anxiety over the recovery of my father. I hardly knew what to do.
However I ordered a cup of strong coffee and toast for my father, and after he had eaten and drank his coffee, he said he felt well although very weak. But he would not need any one to sit up with him. This was exceeding encouraging to me, and I began to realize that the Elders who had prophesied and said, we would meet with many accidents on our journey and even death would stare us in the face, but. if we would have faith in our Heavenly Father and keep his commandments, he would never forsake us in time of need, and then, thought of this great promise and felt that something would happen soon and all would be well with us all, my father was sleeping now very comfortably, and I felt I would be safe in the hands of God for I had this promise and trusted in him, for he had been merciful unto me in many trials and circumstances and I felt sure that he would still stand by me, and help me out of my difficulties. Presently I was called to supper, but though I had not eaten since early morning yet I could not eat my supper, for my heart ached so for father, but just then Elder J. B. Woodard came in one of the first Elders who came to reveal the Gospel to us in Italy, and he recognized me instantly he was very much surprised to see me there, at such a time as he knew our steamer was quarantined. I spoke to him in French knowing that those around us could not understand what we talked about, he then said to me, to eat my supper and he would stay with my father all night, and watch over him in case he needed anything, and would go with me to where his family were stopping, and I could stay with them until morning, and he would bring me back to my father. If ever I felt humble to my Father in Heaven, and felt thankful for his mercy and blessings I did then.
So we went to his family, and he went back to stay all night with my dear father, the next morning I got up early and got ready to go see if my father was alright. But Mrs. Woodard insisted for me to wait until her husband would return and he would bring me to father.
Mrs. Woodard done all in her power to keep me until her husband came after me, but I could not content myself so finally I started off, thinking I could find my way, but I walked through the different streets until my strength gave out with me entirely, I then wished I had taken good advice for I felt in true despair, just think of a young girl in a large city like St. Louis not knowing the name of my hotel or even the street number. I could not tell the police where I wanted to go as I was not versed in the English language. Then I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I didn’t know Mr. Woodard’s No. I stopped at a store door and hoped one of the clerks would ask me questions, if I wanted anything etc. I could try to make them understand what I wanted, but just then Elder Woodard appeared, he had been up to his family and found I had been gone sometime, so he started to hunt me up, if ever one felt thankful I did.
We walked to where my father was, he had been up for a long time and felt quite well. We remained at the hotel about a week, awaiting the arrival of the balance of our family as apparently the Cholera was about over. When our family arrived we then went up the Mississippi River near Kansas City and camped on the bank of the river above Kansas City though it was not much of a city then.
PREPARING FOR THE LONG JOURNEY:
We were preparing for our long journey in the wilderness. Cattle and wagons, and tents and supplies were unloaded on the bank. The men were very busy breaking the oxen and yoking them up ready for work. In a few days the Cholera broke out again even worse than before and one family of nine children and their father died with a few hours, people died about as fast as they could be buried fifteen and twenty a day. I remember one turning when we were nearly ready to start, Elder Ponse was at breakfast with his family and ours together, he was a fine portly man and jolly, he was keeping us laughing at his jokes and he was instantly seized with the Cholera and died with a few minutes. Some of his family lives in Ogden yet. Mrs. Joseph Harris who died ten months ago, was one of his daughters. Mrs. Lydia Farley is another two or three others, She was the mother of Mrs.J. Rian he is a conductor on the U. P.B. passenger train. I knew Mr. and Mrs. Ponse family when they first joined the church, they were very good people, charitable and kind to all in need of assistance etc.
My father and a few others started on their journey as soon as the oxen were ready, they would go about fifteen miles and camp and wait for the rest to come, so they could form a large company of 75 to 80 wagons, but some so the cattle were very wild it took a few days to leave the river, the young men of course had the wildest of the cattle, and the older men had the tamest ones. My three brothers each had a wagon and three or four yoke of cattle to each wagon as they were very heavily loaded, besides the road was very rough in these early days.
The Cholera had ceased. The Saints felt full of hope and courage again, and when all were to cross the plains our leaders instructed us the night before to make an early start so we could make our first camp before dark, to allow for any emergency, so next morning we had breakfast at daybreak, my oldest brother John took the lead, then our next two brothers followed, and John and David Ponse the two sons of Elder Ponse who had died a few days ago from Cholera.
WE START ACROSS THE GREAT PLAINS:
All were rolling along tolerably well for a short time, but when they got to the foot of a steep hill the trouble began, my brother John had gone up the hill alright and reached a small burg called Westport which stood on top of a high hill about twelve miles from the Mississippi River, soon my brothers got in trouble the cattle wouldn’t pull up hill and prepared to go any place but up hill, finely one yoke broke and the Ponse boys had broke a wagon tongue and yoke they had to stop and let some one else pass them, and the poor boys had no chance to get either yoke or wagon tongue to replace the broken ones, except back at camp and that was a long ways, there was no other way but to ask us girls to go back and get the brethren who had gentle cattle to bring them. I could not refuse to go. The Ponse boys also asked their sister Mary Anne to go along with me. We started believing we would reach camp before dark and get some one to bring the necessary assistance, to enable our brothers to reach camp in the evening; we walked as fast as we could but it was uphill, and we reached Westport about three o’clock we knew not how far camp was, but continued our journey hoping to find our camp soon.
We walked down the other side of Westport until we came to a creek, we managed to cross and found the wagon road, then we overtook my oldest brother John who was unable to get the dugway and when we came up to him and told him our errand, he seemed very glad, and asked also for help, as he was heavily loaded and the cattle had not been used to working, while I was talking to my brother, two men came from Westport, finely dressed seemingly being well to do.
TWO STRANGE MEN:
They stopped a few minuets, my brother wanted to ask these gentlemen how far the first Mormon camp was, they said not very far and they were going to camp as their family was there; and they were going direct to that camp, and that they were Mormons, and were willing to assist us to reach our camp, if we would allow them, brother said we better accept their offer, it would be safer for us girls, beside it was getting late, I asked them if we could arrive at camp before dark they said certainly, easy before sundown, so we started and walked quite fast but I felt as though something was wrong, and I thought I would ask different questions concerning the arrangements and organization pertaining to our journey etc. etc. but I found he did not know anything about the journey or even the name of the Captain or The Elders names. We were walking side by side, and Miss Ponse was just about a yard ahead of me walking side by side with the other man, as I had found out neither of these men could speak French nor understand it, I spoke to Miss Ponse and told her I thought it best for us girls to go right back and stay with my brother until some of our people would come and help us out, but she laughed at me and said what on earth has come over you now? I said I feared these men were not honest and I felt harried, and wished we had never started with them, well she said I never saw such a girl as you always borrow trouble half way or meet it half way why she said why? Don’t you wait until it comes before you worry? She asked if the man by side had said anything improper, I said no, he dare not, well, what makes you think these men mean us harm? I said I felt our lives were in great danger, I felt in despair, she said as long as they behaved we might as well go on, we are a long way from your brother, and according to what they told us we’ll soon reach camp, Well I said to her, have you a pocket knife to defend yourself. She laughed outright, and said I was the strangest person she had ever met, she never had one, the men acted like gentlemen, of course we talked and pretended to be joking for fear we would arouse their suspicion, I told Miss Ponse I had a good sharp knife, which I would use to good advantage in case anything happened, we came to America pure and would keep it that way, with the help of God.
We kept walking along, finely I asked the man how soon we would reach camp, he said not very long now, we thought to get there before sundown, he said he hardly thought it was as far, as it appeared now we hadn’t walked as fast as we might, but it wouldn’t be long, well the sun went down and the stars begun to show their light, as Miss Ponse laughed at me I didn’t say any thing more but my mind was hard at work planning out a defense in case we would be attacked by those men. I remembered the promise of the Elders concerning our trials on our long journey, and God would be with us and keep us from harm if we were faithful to our covenants, no one could harm us if we had faith in our Redeemer, yet I knew faith without works is dead, work and faith must go hand in hand, I then took my knife out of my pocket to have ready to use at a instant I needed it, We had walked since dark through woods and pines, it was so dark you couldn’t see a yard away. All we could see was the glitter of the stars through the branches of the trees, when all at once Miss Ponse spoke to me with a trembling voice and said, “I wish I had taken your advice, and gone back to your brother, but its too late now, we are lost girls now this man says we’ll have to stay with them tonight. I said no I guess not, I have a knife ready to kill them if they attempt to lay a hand on us, the knife had been the one the German lady gave me after her death. I put it in my pocket without thinking I’d have any particular use for it, but the day before we left the Mississippi River my brother Phillip had insisted I let him sharpen it, he said a long and dangerous journey over the plains I might have use for it so I let him sharpen it. I now found out this knife might be the means of saving our lives. One blade was long enough to accomplish my plans. We now realized our serious position but we kept calm, and still walked, but expected to be carried away at any moment, as the other man said they did not intend to take us to camp in the first place, I then called our Heavenly Father to look down on us in mercy in our great hour of need, and asked him in the name of his Holy Son Jesus to deliver us from these inhuman villains, I well prepared my aim with my knife in my right hand, they now stopped in front of us and said well dear young ladies, we are sorry to disappoint you, but we are a long way from your camp, and wish to have you stay with us tonight, and if you wish to go to your camp in the morning we will take you, but before they could say another word, I boldly told them to hold their hands off us, or we would take their lives, unless they let us go uninjured, we would kill them both, they seemed to be paralyzed just then and if they had made an attempt to lay an uncivil hand on us, I was ready to cut both their throats, for my plan was set for action, but they could not even speak one word, we girls started to run for dear life, we followed the path before us as we were in the woods and didn’t know where to go for protection. Just think my beloved children for one moment how we must have felt in the middle of the night in a new country not knowing where to go, words can’t describe our sorrow.
We held each others hand and ran for our lives, I still held my knife opened in my right hand, but finely gave up, my strength was gone and thinking maybe they wouldn’t follow us I said to Miss Ponse I can’t walk any more lets sit down for a minute, I am done up we both thought of stopping a minute, but before we were seated on the ground we heard footsteps in our path, we then started to run with all our strength, we got through the woods and into the wild prairie, we were still running and we passed a small log cabin and two men were laying down at the front of this cabin, I suppose they heard us coming, in fact we were about one yard from them, when we saw them, they half raised up, and both spoke at once and said good evening ladies, but in our fright, we never answered, but felt still worse than before, thinking we might yet be caught, we thought these two last men might be as bad as the first two, or worse we ran now truly in despair, for our lives, it was not so dark on the parries, but the dew had fallen heavily and the grass was wet, we soon got our clothes dripping wet traveling though the tall grass and could hardly walk, we thought of sitting down to wait for daylight, but thought of our situation, we knew two men were on our track even if they had lost us, there might be wild beasts to come upon us, we had neither food or water since we left the Mississippi River, and had walked as fast ever since as we could and run a great ways, if we stayed we might go to sleep, and still be overtaken. We walked west as near as we knew, we were guided by the stars it couldn’t be long till day light now, we still walked hand in hand with the knife ready. We came to a creek and found some sticks we took one each as we might need them in our wondering about. After awhile we came to a hallow and saw a light glittering though the trees as the breeze moved the branches, but as we came nearer we found it was a house and the people were having a dance and as they promenaded around it shaded the light from the window, a soon as we got to the house we rang the bell and some of the dancers came to the door they invited us in, we thanked them kindly, but in our despair dared not tell them we were lost or what had happened the men might come. So we told these young people we were desirous of going to the first Mormon camp from the Mississippi River and our parents were following us, but had broken a wagon wheel and had been detained considerable in repairing it, the company had gone ahead to form a camp in a suitable place we girls wished to go ahead and get something to eat ready for our parents, well dear children they told us we had passed the first camp long since you are twelve and a half miles from it and two miles from the second camp, you certainly must have lost your way entirely, you better stay till daylight and we’ll help you to your camp, but we couldn’t make up our minds for they were all dressed up and we poor lost girls must have looked horrid, but we thanked them and asked them to direct us in the direction of the second camp. We would get some one to take us back to the first, they showed us the best they could, we walked about a half mile on our right hand we saw a small cabin the door was open being very warm it was a small room, we saw a man in bed appearing sick he had a towel tied over his head another man was sitting near the door reading a book, we felt sure it would be alright to ask him if we were on the right way to the second camp, but dared not say we were lost, we wanted to get a fire started for our parents for they had some bad luck and couldn’t keep us with the company, this man came outside the door, he was very kind said we were on the right road we thanked him and started off to find the camp, but soon made our minds up to go back to the house where there were ladies there we would be safe, we went back as fast and rang the bell again they came to the door, we thought it best to tell them our adventure and to let us stay till daylight, they told us to come in, just then the man from the cabin spoke and said I knew these young ladies were lost or something was wrong, this is why I walked after them when they left my house, I found out they went a short way and I heard them running back, I was close to the road but they didn’t see me, I knew they looked like they were in despair and I have come to find out and see if I can help them in their trouble. He was a good man these ladies said a they knew him well, but we were welcome to stay, we wanted to get to camp and he would be as a brother to us and bring us safely to camp, we thanked them and started on our way. I tried to keep up courage Miss Ponse wasn’t so tired. I began to look back on the advent and it made me feel almost sick. I never spoke after we left the house. I did all the talking then. Miss Ponse was telling the man who was taking us to camp all about it. When all at once a voice quite familiar to us spoke out and said is that you Miss Ponse? And what in the world brings you here so early? What has Happened? This man had crossed the sea with us, and we knew him and his wife, he was out on night watch over the cattle, there were three others who had crossed the sea with us, this first man who recognized Miss Ponse voice said he would take us to camp and have his wife get us some breakfast so the gentleman who so kindly helped us said he would return and look after his brother, who was sick, we very kindly thanked him for his assistance and he hoped all would be well with us, we soon got to camp the man’s wife got us some toast and coffee and insisted we lay down a little, as her husband had to go back and help bring the cattle in, we were worn out entirely when he returned he unloaded his wagon and took us back to our camp, we finely arrived between eleven and twelve, there was a great rejoicing for nearly everybody was out looking for us they thought we were dead or these men had taken us where we never would be found. My dear Mother was unable to speak above a whisper, my brothers had all managed to reach camp that night and when John arrived at camp and told our parents about these men promising to bring us safely to camp and saying they were Mormons, and had families there. The Men looked all night calling our names and kept a fire burning all night. They began to think the men had run away with us and killed us or left us in the woods and a wild beast had devoured us. But God had looked after us. We had already passed their many trials for the sake of the gospel. And greater trials the more faith we had our Redeemer would help us, as long as we keep the commandments. It seemed we still had troubles right along on our journey, but we got out of all our trials in trusting in the divine love and guidance of our Heavenly father for who so will trust him shall not be disappointed, for he is ever ready to answer us when we have faith in him.
We finally were about ready to start, when my brother Bartholomew or Thomas, my youngest brother was suddenly taken very sick with the Cholera we had to postpone our journey, until he would recover, and that dread disease would depart from his body and they commanded the disease to depart from my brother in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, any by the power of the Holy Priesthood which was vested in them and they sealed this blessing of health and strength upon him and he very soon got well so we started the next morning, and fixed him comfortably as possible in our wagon, all seemed in harmony and we were glad and happy we traveled twenty-five miles that day, which was considered quite a distance as the roads were poor and the cattle still stubborn and hard to drive, besides the driver’s most of them never saw cattle yoked before, and seemed unable to do anything, but the trade they already knew weaving or working in the mines etc. didn’t seem like we could ever make it, but we had the promise, at least my father’s family would reach the end of our journey with health and strength, faith in God, we had the safest guide heaven and earth can claim and we relied on his power and kept good courage, when my father sprained his ankle and was laid up entirely, all my brothers had a team to drive, so I drove my fathers nearly all the way to Salt Lake City it was a pretty hard job for me, but I made up my mind never to grumble, and take things as they came being rescued from so many incidents, come what may I would not murmur.
One evening after we reached a camping place about two-hundred miles journey we were all tired but very happy, we had prayers and singing every night and morning our Captain Campbell was a noble man he understood his business thoroughly, he was jolly and kind, every body loved him for his kindness, this was his third trip across the plains to bring a company of Saints to Utah. After the singing our president spoke very encouragingly to the Saints and urged them to be faithful to their covenants, and be kind to each other and be as brothers and sisters and be united, for we’re on a journey of trials and of luzury, never the less we had great cause to rejoice be exceedingly glad for the privilege of being called to Zion, and there have the opportunity to learn God’s laws in this last dispensation, after prayer all went to bed as usual, but not to sleep long for about twelve o’clock we were awakened by Indian’s yells all around our camp but they did not come in, but stampeded our cattle. There was not one left. The men herders were powerless to stop them they brought the news to our captain as a matter of course we all got dressed not knowing if we would be attacked or not, but they didn’t molest us, at day break our Captain called all the men together to see who could swim as, all our cattle were across the river and that was the only way we could get our stock. We had not even a horse, my brothers Phillip, John and Paul volunteered to go also seven or eight others. They started very early and found the place where the cattle had been driven across, and got ready to swim, all got across and found our stock among the brush, drove them back across and counted them , not one was lost, then the boys thought of having a little fun and have a good swim, but my brother Phillip being a fair swimmer he turned around and played with the boys and was in for a jolly time for a few minuets, but while pulling one other about in their fun, my brother stepped backward in to a whirlpool and was carried off instantly. One of the fast swimmers attempted to rescue him, but the current was very swift and he was carried quite a distance before he could be rescued, and when they got him he was about dead, the boys did all they could to revive him. But he was more drowned, they carried him to camp as quick as possible all that human hands could do was done. The Elders administered unto him, his life was saved after much word and faith in God, we exercised all our faith in our Redeemer and he soon begin to breath, the first word he muttered was why did you not let me sleep, instead of causing me such great agony; death is easy to a drowning person, to what the suffering is to be brought back to life again.
I often heard him say after he got well, how terribly sick he felt when life seemed to return unto him. He said words could never express the misery and pain which he suffered.
We got all our cattle and what few horses we had and started again, we made considerable progress each day over the very bad roads, some days we traveled till late at night in order to find a good place to camp. Where grass and water could be found; we had now traveled three hundred miles. We often had to stop, and treat the Indians with provisions, clothing etc. etc. in order to keep on the good side of them, they looked like very little would bring out their nature, and we would have little chance to defend ourselves, we were but a handful among them.
As the plains were covered with different tribes of Indians, our people had little ammunition and guns and Captain Campbell had crossed twice before he knew kind treatment at such a time was better than fighting them. We would stop our wagons and give them what we felt able and even more for many were not prepared to divide with the Indians and had to go such a long way, which was before us, but however we divided with the red skins right along in order to make sure of our lives, on arriving at a fair place to camp one evening, and starting to get supper and milking, we were much blessed in this , my father had four cows to use on the plains for our large family eight of our own and five of a poor family my father had volunteered to bring to Zion on his means, we were very lucky to have the cows, we had more milk than we could use, and could well divide with those who had none, besides we had all the butter we could use, we would put the morning milk into the churn and put the dasher in and tie a clean towel around the top so no dust could get in, fasten it to the back of the wagon and when we arrived our butter was churned, so this made it very nice. As I said supper was started and I had taken the pail to milk the cows when there arrived three strangers on horse back, they came right up got off saluted my father and mother and all of us, tied their horses, and one came up and asked me the privilege to be allowed to milk the cow, but I decidedly refused. I felt if I would allow him, it would put me under obligation. I considered it would be a little unwise. My father asked me to let him but, I said no, the three strangers however stayed till supper was ready to be served and we could not but ask them to sup with us, as we were on the plains and no place for them to get a meal, so father invited them to partake our camping hospitality. They gladly accepted. Father had no idea what they were there for. After supper they staked out their horses and tried to talk to my parents. They went to Elder Bailiff who could speak German, French and English, for him to talk to our parents to consent for us to become their wives when we got to Salt Lake, they would get a carriage for father and mother and we girls to ride in, instead of the heavy wagons. but we didn’t expect to go to Zion in such a luxurious way, besides we were not to be bought or sold. We Latter Day Saints do not believe in selling our souls or our children for money or property, as a matter of fact Elder Balliff knew all about our princes and made it appear to these men he was interpreted word for word, at the same time we were almost tempted to laugh with scorn, they told Elder Bailiff they wouldn’t ask us to marry them until they proved worthy and joined the church, but there long ride was not very successful, for the next morning they could not fmd their horses and were left afoot, they had plenty of money, yet felt very sad of the matter. However we started on our journey thinking no more about them. After traveling a number of days, we were about five-hundred miles on our way to Salt Lake we camped near a hollow place thickly covered with willows and brush, though we had men watching our stock, this night we lost seven head of Elder Bailiff’s cattle the men all turned out as soon as breakfast was over, but failed to find any trace what ever, but. while Elder Bailiff was out in the afternoon hunting, who should he meet among the brush but the same men above mentioned with horses and side saddles, besides the ones they were riding, they were intending to watch for we girls to go out for wood or water they knew father was lame and the boys busy. Elder Bailiff asked if they had seen seven head of cattle and described them very particularity, but they said they hadn’t seen them. He was surprised to see them with extra horses with side saddles, he thought some thing was up. They told him if he helped them, they would help find his cattle, or they would buy him some off some big cattle men, if he assisted him to get us off were nobody would find us till to late, Elder Bailiff told them he wasn’t the man to sell his honor for cattle or money or be a criminal in betraying young girls and destroying the peace of old parents and families so thanked them for the offer, but he would keep his conscience clear, he left them without a word and came back to camp, and told everybody to watch out for them and never to leave camp alone, maybe they were some of the mobs of former days who killed the prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith and many innocent people because they were Mormons.
I will tell you my beloved sons and daughters, the day is near at hand when such men who try to destroy the servants of God, who left their homes for the Gospel surely will be brought to justice. I have often thought it possible they were the same men who tried to get us away near the first camp by the Mississippi River.
I could never recognize them as I never looked at them being too scared. We arrived in Salt Lake 29 Oct. 1854. Married 19 Feb. 1855 Mary M. Cardon to Charles Guild and settled at Marriott’s Landing in Ogden, then moved to Lehi.