Summary

Birth:
11 Nov 1821 1
Milo, Yates, New York 1
Death:
26 Jun 1907 1
Springdale, Washington, Utah 1
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Personal Details

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Birth:
11 Nov 1821 1
Milo, Yates, New York 1
Male 1
Death:
26 Jun 1907 1
Springdale, Washington, Utah 1
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Birth:
Mother: Anna Nash 1
Father: Alpheus Gifford 1
Marriage:
Lora Ann DeMille 1
01 Oct 1848 1
Mt. Pisgah, Iowa 1
Spouse Death Date: 06 Apr 1870 1

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Stories

Journal Book of Samuel Kendall Gifford

Springdale Utah



                 Journal   Book
                    by
            Samuel  Kendall  Gifford
Commencing September 3rd 1864
Containing a Short Genealogy of his forefathers for three
generations back and also a
        A SHORT HISTORY OF His Father.
and an abridgement of a Journal as taken from old books.

    My great grandfather Peleg Gifford was born in the township
and county of Barnstable Mass. His wife's name was Abigail
Tabor. The names of their sons were Abraham, Daniel, Noah,
Peleg, Levi, and Christopher. The names of their daughters were
Abigail, Mariah, and Mary.

    My grandfather, Noah, the third son of Peleg, was born
at the birthplace of his father in the year 1757. His wife,
Mary, was the daughter of Judah and Mary Bowerman. She was born
in Falmouth Barnstable Co., Mass. The following are the names of
their sons and daughters: Judah born 178-, Maridah born 1787,
Levi born August 15, 1789, Jamar born 1791, Alpheus born August
28, 1793, Ichabob Bowerman born 1796, and Armella born 1798.

    My, father, Alpheus, the 4th son of Noah ( although he
had no learning save just enough to read the Bible wich he did
not neglect ) became convinced that there was a God in Heaven and
at the age of eighteen he commenced preaching what he supposed
to be the Gospel of Salvation, not for money but for the
salvation of souls. He continued to preach in the Reformed
Methodist Church. April 27, 1817, he married Anna, daughter of
Azor and Lucy Nash. She was born in the township of Butternuts,
Ostego County, N.Y. Feb. 17, 1800. My father spent the rest of
his days in preaching until the spring of 1830 when he heard of
a set of people called mormons who were everywhere spoken evil
against and he, being a believer of the scriptures, and also
being convinced by the power of God that there was somthing
worth looking after, went and hunted them up, and found them to
be the people of God organized under the name of Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was baptized, ordained a Priest,
and returned home with five Books of Mormon's which he
distributed amongst his friends. He was then living in Tioga
County, Pennsylvania. Soon after that, he went to Kirtland where
the saints had planned a stake in Zion. His brother Levi
accompanied him, also Elial Strong, Elezar Miller, and Abraham
Brown who where all baptized there. He was then ordained an
Elder. They returned home rejoicing in the Gospel. He then
commenced preaching for the salvation of souls, believing The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be true. The
gifts of the Gospel were made manifest amongst the saints in the
place, signs followed those that believed. The sick were healed,
devils were cast out, some prophesied, some spoke with new
tongues, and some interpretted ( which was of the two later
gifts made manifest in the Church. ) In fact the gifts were
enjoyed to a great extent. Father baptized Heber Chase Kimball
who became Counciler to President Brigham Young!

My father started for Jackson County sometime in June (1831??).
Mother had the promise of seeing all her children safe in Zion,
the names of which were as follows: Mary Elizabeth, born April
23, 1818 in the township of Butternuts, Ostego Co. N.Y., Ichabod
Bowerman, born Sept. 14, 1819 in the township of Covington,
Tioga County, Pennsylvania, Samuel Kendall, born Nov. 11, 1821
in the township of Milow, Yates Co. New York, William Pitts,
born August 14, 1823 in the township of Sullivan, Tioga County,
Pennsylvania, Perry Dill, born April 28, 1825 in the township of
Reading, Wayne Co. New York. Rhoda born April 28, 1827 in the
township of  No. Nine, Canandougua County, New York, Rachel,
born Feb. 21, 1829 in the township of Hector, Stuben County, New
York. Her birth was previous to the coming forth of the Book of
Mormon. Father said he would call her Rachel, for before she
could say Father and Mother, there was going to be a great work
take place. Which prophecy was ***2*** fulfilled in the coming
forth of the Book of Mormon. She could not say Father and Mother
plain till after we were in Jackson County, Missouri.

We traveled one hundred miles by land, stopped at Olean Point,
where a boat was built in which my Father, his brother Judah,
Isaac Flumapel and Abraham Brown with their families floated
down the Alagana River. At many places we pried our boat over
gravel and sandbars till we got to Old Franklin where we stayed
about two weeks. Father made baskets all the way down the river
to procure something to eat and wear. Here his brother Judah
stopped, apostatized and joined the Methodists. The river having
raised till it was very high, we lashed our boat to a larger
raft by which means we went to Pittsburg where we stayed about
two weeks. There we found William Harris and wife and her
mother, wife of Peter Dustin, who was then presiding over the
Branch at the Batson Settlement in Jackson Co. Mo. I will here
mention that just before we started on our journey I had the
mumps and while at Warren we all took the measles and before we
got to Pittsburgh we all got the whooping cough which made our
journey quite unpleasant. Abraham Brown's child died of the
whooping cough at Brother Harris's.

We continued our journey to Maryette, Ohio where we stayed some
time. Father made baskets and my oldest brother and I picked up
gravel for the cidermakers. We went from there to Guyandot where
A. Brown stopped. We continued down the Ohio River till we came
to Cincinnatti where we met Elijah newman, who had been informed
by brother Lyman Leonard that an Elder by the name of Alpheus
Gifford would come on such a boat. Brother Newman followed the
boat five miles down the river till we landed. Brother leonard
had passed us while we were at Old Franklin. Brother Leonard
left five dollars at Cincinnatti for Father. May the Lord bless
him for so doing and reward him a hundred-fold. There was a
large branch of the Church in Cincinnatti. Brother Newman
followed our boat five miles to where we landed. Our boat was
towed back up river to Brother Newmans place, five miles up the
river. The place (town) was called Columbia. We stayed with
brother Newman through the winter, and was assisted by Brother
Elias and John Higbee with whom we jpurneyed to Independence,
Mo., where we landed in the spring of 1833. We soon moved a
short distance and stopped on the banks of a small stream called
the Roundgrove, which emptied into the Big Blue. The Big Blue
emptied into the Missouri River. While there my brothers, I.B.,
W.P. and H.D., my sister Rhoda and myself were baptized by
Soloman Hancock. I think it was in April. Mary, my oldest sister
was baptized while we were at Cincinnatti Ohio. We had now seen
the fulfillment of the promise made to Mother that she would see
her children all safe in Zion. Here my brother Moses was born on
the banks of the Roundgrove May 16, 1833 in a small one sided
cabin built by the side of a large oak log that formed the back
of our cabin.

Part 2: Continuation of memoirs of Samuel K. Gifford
****************************************************************

    The spirit of persecution soon became the order of the
times amongst those who were not of us, for they that were not
for us were against us. About mid-summer Father moved to the
Batson settlement where Peter Dustin presided. The spirit of
persecution continued to prevail until sometime in November when
the determined to drive the Saints or put them to death. Some of
the saints were shot down, some were beaten with clubs, guns,
etc., and some were tarred and feathered. In fact we must leave
or die. A mob gathered around the printing office in
Independence and I was told that one man got up on top of the
house and prayed that if he was not right, his hand might
wither. But as the Lord did not see fit to hear the prayers of
the wicked, they tore down the building and then destruction by
fire spread throughout the land until many of the saints had to
leave on foot. Only think, children, barefooted, crossing the
burnt praries with bleeding feet in the cold month of November.

    The saints were driven enmass across the Missouri River
into Clay County. We camped on the banks of the Missouri River
on the night of the 13th of November 1833. There I beheld a
strange and beautiful scene. To all appearance, brilliant stars
or balls of fire falling like rain upon the earth and upon the
water.

    On the 19th, we crossed the river into Clay county where
we had a short rest from persecution, but not for long, for
those demons in human form led by Gillis, Owens and others were
not content with what they had done but soon made their way into
Clay county. They canvassed the country to see how much of the
spirit of persecution they could arouse amongst the old
settlers, for their whole aim was to destroy the saints. They
went to Liberty, the chief town of the county, to make
arrangements to carry out their plans. On their return they
passed a cow-yard just as it was getting dark where myself and a
lot of others, boys and girls, were unseen by them. They were
telling what they were going to do to the Mormons. I made a
rather curious expression for a boy that had been raised to
believe as I did. To wish harm to anyone and especially that the
cruel hand of death should be laid upon them was unthinkable.
But never-the-less, I said, "I hope they will get drowned before
they get across the river." The first news that we heard in the
morning was that the ferry boat, while in the middle of the
river, sprung a leak and some of them were drowned. The
notorious Owens, one of their main leaders, stripped himself of
his boots and clothes and landed safe on the Jackson side of the
river some miles below the landing. He, however, was naked and
far from home and had to pass through a large bottom of nettles
that were densely thick. Imagine a naked man in a thick patch of
nettles! Very good pay for his mobbing expedition. While a big
bellied young man by the name of Campbell was not so lucky (or
rather was more lucky than Owens.) He took hold of a horse tail
and hung on till very near the shore. Then fearing the horses
heels, he let go all holds, thinking he could safely make the
shore. But the treacherous current beat him back into the middle
of the stream and the next day he was found some eight miles
below, lodged in a mess of floodwood with his eye picked out by
the ravens. And thus ended his mobocratic career. While Owens
was humiliated to hide himself behind a log and when the Belle
of the country passed by, he received her petticoat to hide his
nakedness till he could get to some house where he could get
something more to put on. So we can see that a portion of my
strange wish was fulfilled. A woman also drowned with her little
son. Those that remained alive did not feel much like mobbing
for some time, so we had a little time to labor unmolested.

    In the spring of 1835, I was taken sick very suddenly
with a burning fever and I got so low that Mother came to my bed
one day and asked me if I thought I was going to die. I said,
"No, I am not". There was a great deal said in those days about
returning to Jackson County. Some thought it would take place in
a few days or at least a few months. And some thought it could
not be over three or five years at the longest. And, of course,
although I was very young, I was quite anxious to return to
where I supposed was my home. So one day in the midst of my
sickness at about midday I saw that muddy stream (Missouri)
nearly emptied of its water, with a small stream running over a
gravelly bottom and the Saints were on the move to Jackson
County. Some had crossed and some were in the stream. I stood at
the edge of the stream ready to cross and the thought came to me
that we had forgotten the little wheel. The wheel appeared to be
the kind that the eastern women spin flax on. I said with a loud
a firm voice, "We have forgot the little wheel and must go back
after it". Mother came to my bed and asked me what i meant about
the little wheel. I told her what I had seen. I did not
understand the meaning of what I had seen, nor for what purpose
I had had the vision. But it came to me sometime after that the
little wheel of the Gospel would have to roll for sometime until
the saints were prepared to return. And then the Saints would go
and take the wheel with them to Jackson County, Mo.

    Sometime in the year 1835, a large body of Missourians
got together and formed three resolutions as follows.
    1) The Mormons must leave the county forthwith.
    2) The Mormons must scatter like other people
       and say nothing about their religion.
    3) That if they didn't comply with either of the above
       resolutions, the cold hand of death would be laid
       upon all without any reserves.

    The saints of course were not long making up their minds
which course to pursue. The most of them settled near a little
stream called Log Creek in Caldwell County six miles east of
Farwest, the county seat. Here my brother Enos Curtis was born
Feb 4, 1837 and died when he was about eight months old. I
joined a military company, had a pistol about one foot long and
a spear in the end of a long pole with which I trained, stood
guard, etc. I was ready to fight in defense of Zion, although I
was young and small for my age.

Part3:
 Samuel K. Gifford

My 82nd Birthday    Nov 11, 1903

Eighty and two years now are past
Since on this earth my lot was cast.
A helpless babe just born a new
a toilsome journey to pursue

It was in Eighteen twenty one
My days on Earth had but begun
(While)_______ dangling on my mother's ________ (knee)
I knew not what this life would be

Twelve months or more had past away
Since Joseph Smith went out to pray
The Father and the Son drew near
his youthful hart(heart) to soath(soothe) and cheer

It was in eighteen twenty three
A holy angel he did see
who made the gospel plain and clear
three times that night he did appear

In eighteen thirty fair and bright
to Joseph and his friends delight
the church as once in days of old
was organized as long fore told

My father to the prophet went
to learn the truth was his intent
The Gospel there he did obey
Then went rejoicing on his way

In thirty three I saw him Stand
On Zion's consecrated land
Where God's own temple will be reared
When from all sin that land is cleared

Into the water I was led
For Christ to Nichodemus read
You surely must be born again
If you the Kingdon would obtain

But soon the saints were forth
as exiled pilgrims on the earth
five times we were compelled to rome
to seek a more congenial home

Then Brigham led a chosen band
unto a mild and desert land
where through the blessing of the Lord
the saints have gained a rich reward

Four temples now are on this land
wherein the saints may go and stand
As saviours of their kindred dead
that they to heaven may be led

Thirteen years Manti was my home
And then to Dixie I did come
Forty long years have nearly past
since in the south my lot was cast

Though I have known much grief and pain
I cannot of my lot complain
though I am blind and cannot see
I have been blessed beyond degree

The prophets words, the saviours love
The holy ghost sent from above
The priesthood which our God has given
whose keys unlock the gates of heaven

Still make the temple work my theme
My kindred dead I must redeem
then when ny work on earth is o're
I'll meat my friends to meat no more


********************
Part4:page 4

    Just previous to the marching of the great army against
the Saints (that is the Mobilitia), Father and the most of the
Saints had moved into Farwest to be more secure from the mob.
The day that the army came, my Uncle Levi Gifford and his sons
Ichabod and Daniel and myself went down to Log Creek to get a
load of corn for bread. Col. Hinkle also led a great portion of
the small band of brethern of Far West out to meet the mob. He
led them in sight and quite close to the great army (who were
well armed) and pulled off his coat in a cold day and would have
marched the small band of almost unarmed men right into their
midst had it not been for our Captain Whiteman who took the
command instantly from him and said, "Brethern, follow me." And
he led them out of danger and landed them safe in Farwest. We
were going a middle road that led through a large co'op field.
Turning our eyes to the right we saw a company of horseman
emerging from the wood. We supposed at first it was Col. Hinkle
and his company but soon discovered that there were too many.
For there was only about 150 of Hinkle's Company and we saw more
than 1,000 come out into the prairie with a large number of
baggage wagons. They marched around and through the big field.
Then we were surrounded by our enemies so we stopped in the
midst of a field of corn, hitched our horses to the wagon, and
went to a house that stood near the east edge of the field. We
found Sister Brunel and three small girls in the house alone.
Sister Brunel's husband and only son, who was about ten years of
age, were in Farwest preparing a place for the family.

    Uncle Levi came across Old Father Tanner and they were
walking together when a company of the mob espied them and
rushed to where they were. Uncle Levi ran and hid under the bank
of a creek so they did not get him at that time, but Father
Tanner was more unfortunate and received a heavy blow from the
breech of a gun that broke his skull. Uncle Levi was afterwards
taken prisoner while feeding horses in the field. The first day
that we were surrounded by the army, a lane that led to Sister
Brunel's house was filled at three different times by horsemen
that behaved themselves quite unbecomingly. We received frequent
visits from the mob until the third day when Sister Brunel's boy
returned home from Farwest. He brought us word that they had got
Brother Joseph and others and that they had let quite a few
prisoners go free. Also that Uncle Levi had been taken prisoner
by them and marched into Farwest and set at liberty. That was
the first that we had heard from any of our people only what the
mob told us when they would try to flatter us to go with them
and leave the Mormons. Anyone can imagine our feelings while in
this situation. Uncle Levi was gone, we knew not where, there
was no one to be seen but the mob, excepting us boys and sister
Brunel and her little girls. And the hideous yells that were
uttered by the mob had been almost enough to raise the hair on
one's head. The cattle of the Saints that were running in the
wood and upon the prairie were shot down like wild beasts upon
the plains. The sound of musketry adding horror to the scene.
But when we learned that a boy had passed the camps of our
enemies unmolested, we felt encouraged. So early the next
morning my cousins and myself accompanied the little boy back to
Farwest. Whoever reads this can easily imagine our feelings of
joy when we found ourselves in the midst of our friends once
more, although the Saints were but a small company in the midst
of a large army of demons who were threatening us with steady
destruction under the exterminating order of Governor L.W.
Boggs. Finally the Saints were told that if they would leave the
state forthwith, that their lives should be spared but we need
never think of seeing our leaders again. Said General Lucas,
"Their doom is fixed, their die is cast. You have seen them for
the last time."

    Thus the Saints were again driven from their comfortable
homes in the midst of winter. A great portion of them had to
travel without tent or wagon cover and wade through mud and snow
with no one to take them in till we reached the state of
illinois. When we came to the Mississiooi River, Father and some
others cut down two very large cottonwood trees and dug them out
in the shape of canoes and lashed them together a sufficient
distance apart to admit the wheels of a wagon in which many of
the Saints crossed the river. They steered their craft between
the large cakes of ice that were then floating in the river.
While the smaller cakes would pass between the two canoes. We
landed in Quincy Illinois where we were received with kindness
by the citizens of that place. Some of the merchants and leading
men of Quincy donated quite freely to help the most destitute of
the Saints. Such will be remembered when it is said, "In as much
as you have done it unto the least of these, my servants, you
have done it unto me." We stayed a short time in Quincy and then
Father moved about 22 miles up the river, about two miles above
Seyma [Leyman?] and fourteen miles below Warsaw in Hancock
County. A committee was appointed to the Saints to find a
location for the Saints headquarters. They found a place above
Warsaw about eight miles that was called Commerce. It
constituted of three stations or dwellings. This was a very
sickly place and none but Saints could live there and many of
them died before they could subdue the destructive elements that
filled the aire in consequence of the low marshy land that lay
right in the midst of the town, but through the perseverance of
the Saints coupled with the blessings of God, the swamps were
drained and the land and elements dedicated, and sickness and
death became less frequent. Comfortable dwellings, fruitful
fields, orchards, gardens, mills and other improvements and
comforts sprang into existence to the astonishment of all
around. Father lived in the Morley settlement, two miles above
Limy, about one year and then moved to Nauvoo (Commerce). I will
here mention that my brother Heber Chase Kimball was born in the
Morley settlement July 16, 1839. I stayed in the Morley Branch
to learn the chair trade and labored at chairs the most of the
time the Saints remained in Illinois.

    In 1841 Father moved five miles above Nauvoo, where he
died of the quick consumption December 25, 1841. Father spent
the most of his time in preaching the Gospel.

    Sometime in the year 1844, I was ordained a teacher and
acted as such to the best of my ability until March 18, 1845
when I was ordained a Seventy in the 2oth quorum by Joseph
Young, first President of the Seventies.

Part5:
Continued from Microfilm print page 5L.

My brother Wm. Pitts died July 4, 1843 at a place called Coal
Beds, or Coalbanks, way down the Mississippi River, in Illinois.

Mother moved back to her place in Nauvoo after Father died. My
brother H. C. Kimble died in Nauvoo, August 31, 1845.

The Missourians were not content with driving the Saints from
the state but followed them into Illinois and tried at different
times to capture and drag Brother Joseph back to Missouri and
stirred up the spirit of persecution among the citizens of
Illinois. And finally the spirit of persecution raged throughout
Adams and Hancock Counties until the Prophet and Patriarch were
murdered in cold-blood. And houses and grainstacks were burned
to the ground. Other property by thousands that belonged to the
Saints was destroyed and the Saints had to flee for their lives.

About the tenth of February, I crossed the Mississippi River and
camped with the first company of Saints that started for the
Rocky Mountains. We were in Iowa Territory near Montrose, a
quite a large town that was mostly inhabited by
Latter-day-Saints. The 14th inst. word came to me that my sister
Rachel was dead. Deaths seemed to be quite frequent in Nauvoo at
that time and they wished their friends to return. But President
young said, "Let the dead bury the dead, that our course was
onward." In a few days the camp moved to Sugar Creek, a few
miles distant, and waited for others to come up and to better
fix for the journey. The camp stayed at Sugar Creek about three
weeks and then went about three days journey and stopped about
three weeks again.

They built a barn, husked large fields of corn for which they
got corn and bacon. Camp moved about three days journey and
crossed the Shariton River and camped about three weeks again.

I was in the company that was known as the guard and stood guard
by turn with others until we left the Shariton. My brother H.D.
was with me. I was not well any of the time. I often stood
guard, walking my beat through deep mud and snow, when I had
ought to have been in bed. But I must do my duty. Here the Main
Guard was broken up and I went into George Miller's Company.
They were camped at Shoal Creek. The next day we traveled nearly
all day and only got about six miles, for it rained nearly all
day and the wagons cut through the Prairie sod till many of them
sank to the hubs and some had to be got out the next morning. We
camped by a little grove made large fires, spread our umbrellas
over our heads while we dried our clothes. The storm held for a
short time. We went to bed in our wagons and tents and some of
us awoke in the morning and found ourselves so thoroughly soaked
that there was not a dry thread about us. Two of Brother
Bosticks children died on this prarie, died with the measles and
were buried in a Locust grove. We continued on till we came to a
place that we called Garden Grove, a nice grove of timber. Here
we found a plenty of wild onions and leeks. I will here mention
that prtle of the Saints that were running in the
wood and upon the prairie were shot down like wild beasts upon
the plains. The sound of musketry adding horror to the scene.
But when we learned that a boy had passed the camps of our
enemies unmolested, we felt encouraged. So early the next
morning my cousins and myself accompanied the little boy back to
Farwest. Whoever reads this can easily imagine our feelings of
joy when we found ourselves in the midst of our friends once
more, although the Saints were but a small company in the midst
of a large army of demons who were threatening us with steady
destruction under the exterminating order of Governor L.W.
Boggs. Finally the Saints were told that if they would leave the
state forthwith, that their lives should be spared but we need
never think of seeing our leaders again. Said General Lucas,
"Their doom is fixed, their die is cast. You have seen them for
the last time."

    Thus the Saints were again driven from their comfortable
homes in the midst of winter. A great portion of them had to
travel without tent or wagon cover and wade through mud and snow
with no one to take them in till we reached the state of
illinois. When we came to the Mississiooi River, Father and some
others cut down two very large cottonwood trees and dug them out
in the shape of canoes and lashed them together a sufficient
distance apart to admit the wheels of a wagon in which many of
the Saints crossed the river. They steered their craft between
the large cakes of ice that were then floating in the river.
While the smaller cakes would pass between the two canoes. We
landed in Quincy Illinois where we were received with kindness
by the citizens of that place. Some of the merchants and leading
men of Quincy donated quite freely to help the most destitute of
the Saints. Such will be remembered when it is said, "In as much
as you have done it unto the least of these, my servants, you
have done it unto me." We stayed a short time in Quincy and then
Father moved about 22 miles up the river, about two miles above
Seyma [Leyman?] and fourteen miles below Warsaw in Hancock
County. A committee was appointed to the Saints to find a
location for the Saints headquarters. They found a place above
Warsaw about eight miles that was called Commerce. It
constituted of three stations or dwellings. This was a very
sickly place and none but Saints could live there and many of
them died before they could subdue the destructive elements that
filled the aire in consequence of the low marshy land that lay
right in the midst of the town, but through the perseverance of
the Saints coupled with the blessings of God, the swamps were
drained and the land and elements dedicated, and sickness and
death became less frequent. Comfortable dwellings, fruit

**
Part6History of Samuel K. Gifford
Continued from Microfilm page 7U

I will now go back to my own journey. After helping to herd cows
and fence a field of about 600 acres I returned to Nauvoo and
stayed a day or so and then went to Farmington, Iowa, a town
about 20 miles on the road to the Mountains. After being there a
little over a week, I was taken down with the mumps and was
bed-fast for some time. I boarded with Nathan West and made
chairs, settees, etc. I could hear all the cannons fired in the
Nauvoo Battle.

In the fall (1846) I learned that a man by the name of John
Neff, near Stringtown, at Fox River, wanted a teamster to drive
through to Mt. Pisgah. I found a chance to get there by getting
in with some team that was passing that way. So I drove team for
Brother Neff. And when we got to Pisgah, he wished me to
continue with him to the Winterquarters of the Saints on the
west banks of the Missouri River now Florence. Brother Neff gave
me five dollars in gold when we got to Winterquarters. This I
used mostly for mother to get bread and such things as she
needed, while she did my washing, mending, etc. I lived with
Father Morely and made chairs through the winter, the proceeds
of which the Father Morely family had with the exceptions of a
couple of shirts and garments. In the spring I went to St.
Joseph, Mo., and worked in a wagon shop one month for a man by
the name of Wiatt. In July, I took a trip on a steamboat to St.
Louis and back, nearly burnt myself to death firing at the
boilers and was very sick for some time. When I got back to St.
Joseph, I stayed with brother Simons Plilander Curtis until I
got well. Then John Thomas took a job of cutting hemp for a rich
Missourian and Ezra Wood Curtis and myself went to help him. We
found it too hard a job and by some strategem he got released.
So we returned to winterquarters. I then returned to Mt. Pisgah
to make a fitout for the Mountains. This was the winter of
1847-1848. I again went into the chair shop with the Whitings,
with whom I had labored in Illinois. After I had been here
sometime, Old Mother Head, who was then the wife of Father
Elisha Whiting, took sick and died in one week from the time
that she took sick. A short time after, Father Whiting died also
with one weeks sickness. The old gentleman was fixing to go to
Quincy Ill., where we had a regular market for our chairs,
hoping to sooner get a fitout for the mountains. But death
deprived him from going any farther with the Saints in their
western journey. I s

Part 7

Trail Excerpts

Mormon Trail

http://lds.org/churchhistory/library/source/1,18016,4976-5301,00.html

ource of Trail Excerpt: Gifford, Samuel Kendall, Reminiscences, 1864, 8-10. Read Trail Excerpt: So I started for the Rocky Mountains in the spring of 1850. I went to Council Bluffs and found my mother in Plum Hollow on the east side of the Missouri River. She packed up and I took her with me. We then went to Council Point where I found Uncle Levi Gifford and family who were getting ready for the journey. We staid a few days for them to get ready and then we drove down to the lower ferry below the mouth of the Platte River. Here we found a great many had gathered to be organized for the journey. We were organized into Brother [Benjamin] Hawkins’ hundred, Thomas Johnson’s fifty. My team consisted of one yoke of oxen, one yoke of three year old steers and one yoke of cows. We crossed the river in a flat boat and camped at the mouth of Salt Creek on the Platte bottom. Here I consider a miracle was wrought for the benefit of the companies that were about to cross the plains. The Pawnee Indians made their appearance by hundreds, and I believe by thousands, for they could be seen standing on the bluffs like a thousand stumps. Quite a lot of them came into camp and commenced begging and stealing, and stole more than they begged. One finally stole a sack of crackers, and got caught at it and brought it back. The old Chief, quite an old Indian gave him a number of heavy licks with his riding whip over the head and gave him a terrible talking to. I suppose it was for getting caught and not for stealing. About this time it was discovered that a Gentile who had come up on a steamboat and got into our company to cross the Plains was nearly dead with the small pox. This word was soon conveyed to the Redmen who disappeared like dew before the searching rays of the sun. The Cholera also commenced it work in camp and soon we burried a gentile that died of the Cholera and then Peter Shirts’ wife died. Then Captain Thomas Johnson called the camp together and said “If you will do as I tell you with regard to the water that you use for drinking I will promise you that there shall not more than five die in this camp with the Cholera. All believed what he said and did accordingly and the strange promise was literally fulfilled, for just five and no more died. While the gold seekers ahead of us and the Saints behind us were dying at a fearfut rate. I will now tell about the water. The Platte water being muddy, there had been wells dug all along the Platte bottom to get clear water. The wells were about six feet deep with steps dug to get to the water. The council was this, “To not go near those wells for water but get their water out of the river and drink none without boiling and to fill their churns, teakettles, and everything that they had that would hold water with boiled water to use while traveling. There was in the camp a kind of a fearful looking for the Small pox, as quite a number had been exposed, but no one had it. The Lord had respects to the words of his servant and preserved the camp from farther sickness and death.

Brother Lorenzo Young overtook our camp with a large herd of sheep one days drive below the south crossing of the Platte. When we came to the crossing we unloaded some of our wagons and took the sheep over in wagons. We had to raise our wagon boxes to cross the river to keep things dry. After crossing, Uncle Levi Gifford, Abram and Iabex [Jabez] Durfee and myself started to accompany Lorenzo Young to help guard his sheep through but we had but traveled one day until word came to us that Aunt Deborah Gifford could not be spared from Johnson camp, so Uncle Levi and myself stopped and waited for the company. I will here state that while I was at Council Point I took a severe Diarrhea and it continued to weaken me down until I was quite weak. We made camp one afternoon on the bank of the river where there was no wood to be got without crossing onto an island. It was perhaps from fifteen to 20 rods across to the island, and a portion of it was quite deep. We took ropes over with us and lashed a lot of wood together leaving rope enough so that we could swim ahead of the wood and pull it after us. When I was within a rod of the shore I commenced sinking. It was discovered by a lot of men on the shore. I had on heavy boots and was very weak and did not realize it till I got into deep water. About the same time a boy a little below was sinking for the third time when some man caught him and brought him to shore.

The horror that reigned in camps ahead of us cannot be described. Sometimes (places) for miles could be seen, feather beds, blankets, quilts, and clothing of every kind strewed over the plains, also wagon tires and irons of every description, gun barrels, stoves, etc. etc. The bottom of the Sweetwater was also lined with wagon tires, chains and other irons. And fresh graves could be seen in every direction. We met some missionaries going east who said they met companies of the gold emigration that were driving twelve abreast, hurrying to get away from the Cholera. Missouri and Illinois were well represented among the dead. These were the two states that had driven the Saints enmass ______ and some of them their bones are now bleaching on the plains.

We continued our journey slowly till at length we camped fifteen miles below Laramie, a small fort where a few of Uncle Sam’s soldiers were stationed. Here we found a camp of Indians of the Sioux Nation. These were the first redmen we had seen since the great small pox scare on Salt Creek. One of my steers became so lame that I had to leave him on the Prairie. I took a widow woman into my wagon and hitched up or yoked up a cow belonging to her and thus we continued our journey. An old man by the name of Richards who had a cancer on his lip, a captain of a ten in our company, got mad because Captain Johnson asked him to help some of the poor by letting them use some of his loose cattle (of which he had a great plenty) to help them on their journey. He took his ten and went ahead of the main compnay and drove to Bitter Cottonwoods in the Black Hills where there was good water, wood and feed. And when Captain Johnson came up a little later with the balance of the company (ie) the main company, Richards behaved like a mad-man. He started out very early the next morning and we saw him no more till we got to Deer Creek. Here Johnson took a halt by the edge of a nice grove of Boxelders, made a coalpit and burned coal, staid twelve days fixing wawgons, setting tires and shoeing oxen etc. I had not got my tire set. I was told that I could wedge them on. The idea was something new to me but I went to work and wedged them till I thought all was safe but I had not gone a half a mile till I had to stop and wedge up again, but I soon learned how to wedge a wagon. I will here mention that I had not been well since I took the Dirreah so bad at Council Point. While stopping at the Boxelder grove on Deercreek we were surrounded with wild currants of every kind, size, and color, and wild cherries in abundance. I ate them both cooked and raw. One day Peter Shurtz [Shirts] and a man by the name of Harns who has since been Bishop of Gunnison went up into the Black Hills some ten or twelve miles and killed a buffaloe and some antilope. And some others took two wheels of a wagon and made a cart of it and went after the meat. While coming down a steep mountain, pulling the cart with an ox team the cart run onto the oxen and broke the tongue of the cart. The men went to camp without the meat. They said the cart was about five miles from camp and that we could go to it and back before dark. It was about the middle of the afternoon. So there was five horsemen and five footmen started out without any lunch, thinking that we could be back to camp for supper. I was among the footmen. We traveled till we had gone at least ten miles. It was getting dark. We went onto a knole in the middle of a large valley. At a great distance across the valley we discovered something while on the side of the mountain and knowing that the cart had a cover onit, we concluded it must be the object of our search. But it looked more like a big rock. So we took the course and kept it as best we could in the dark and when we got there we found that we were not mistaken. We found the cart full of meat, some fresh and good and some spoiled. We found ourselves in a nice grove of pine, fur, popple (Quaking-asp) etc. Here we were without bread and the weather seemed very cold up so high in the mountains. So we built a large fire and broiled meat without salt and spent the night in eating fresh broiled meat and resting ourselves as best we could on the ground before a large fire. When daylight came I discovered that we were surrounded with service berries, the first I had ever [Text missing]

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