Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Ms 4, 1879

Diary, April to May 1879


April 30 - May 19, 1879

Portions of this manuscript are published in 11MR 58-61; 3Bio 115.

April 30, 1879

[At Red River, Texas,]

We left Denison April 25. Encamped two miles out of Denison, waiting for the ferry to be in a condition to cross. We remained until April 30 in a waiting position, for the sick to be able to travel and the ferry so that we could cross. We then started on our way with eight covered wagons and one covered spring wagon with two seats. Thirty composed our party. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 1

About noon we crossed the ferry with special instructions to drive quickly as soon as off the boat because of danger through quicksands. We were all safely landed on the other side of Red River except Will Cornell, who did not come up in time. Moore and Farnsworth teams waited for them while our hack and three wagons went into camp some five miles on upon the open prairie. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 2

We had a severe tempest strike us soon after our tent was pitched. My husband was trying to hold on the tent. It was a most serious downpour, and the tent not trenched. I think we will learn something on this journey—to trench the tent as soon as it is staked. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 3

May 1, 1879

Our party left at the ferry came up, ready to move on with us. At noon we camped in a woods. It was not very pleasant. At night we did not reach any good camping ground and were obliged to stop by the bank of a river in a low spot of ground. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 4

It seemed very lonesome journeying in the thick forest. We thought what might be if robbers or horse thieves—in Indians or in white men—should molest us, but we had a vigilant watch guarding the animals. We found ourselves in a better condition than we feared. After taking breakfast we were all hustling and hurrying, picking up ready for another move. We crossed Blue Creek all safely. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 5

Friday night we camped near Johnson’s ranch. Here we found plenty of grass for horses and at the farmhouse good milk, butter, and eggs. We were having our first experience of overland journeying in transporting our sick and those too poor to pay car expenses, but the Lord cared for us. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 6

May 17, 1879

On the route from Texas to camp meeting in [Kansas]. I spoke both afternoon and evening in a schoolhouse, close by our camping ground. The house was well filled with interested listeners. I spoke from these words: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. I dwelt particularly upon the subject of temperance, pressing home upon the people the necessity of self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to preserve physical, mental, and moral health. I had special freedom in speaking to the people. The Lord indeed gave me His Spirit and power in speaking the truth, and all seemed to be interested. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 7

May 18, 1879

Within six miles of Chanute [?]. Left our camping ground this morning. We parted with our hospitable friends with the most pleasant feelings. But there are things not so pleasant. There are two carriages that joined our train that are not wanted. Both are [occupied by] dentists, bitterly opposed to each other. Neither party can be trusted. Both are liars. Dr. _____ stated to us that he had paid Mr. Campbell fifty cents when my husband solicited something of him to return to Mr. Campbell. We asked Mr. Campbell if he had been paid fifty cents. He said, “No, not a cent.” Then Mr. Campbell asked if Dr. _____ brought us a quantity of milk which they sent us. We told him he brought us milk, as though a present from himself; he turned us out a pint and kept the rest himself. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 8

At half-past twelve o’clock we forded Neosho River, and after passing through the long, thick woods, we dined upon the open prairie. Our numbers are ten, and it requires a large amount of provisions to supply so large a company of hungry men. About two we are on the move again for Neosho. We cannot reach there tonight. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 9

May 19, 1879

We had some trouble last night finding a camping ground. We had to accept a poor spot, at least one mile from Humboldt. Our tent was no sooner arranged, staked, and thoroughly ditched—as I determined it should be—than the storm struck us. It was a marked display of the power of God. The sun was shining in a portion of the sky, and it was amber in the west. The other portions of the sky were black and threatening. The rain was pouring in torrents. Our tent proved a most welcome shelter. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 10

We attempted to find a place in a hotel in Humboldt where we could be free from tempest and storm. We were shown our room—a small, very small, room with two beds in it. The air was close and stifling. We decided to take our chance in the tent and endure the storm rather than the close, stifling air of a small, ill-ventilated room. We returned through the storm to our tent. The wind blew fearfully. We feared the tent would not stand the tempest. As we rode through town, the air seemed to enclose us. It was hot, even while it was thundering, lightning was flashing, and rain at times pouring down. Our carriage had to be made a bedroom for some of our party, but there was no complaint. Last night our party of women washed their clothes in the trenches we had made. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 11

It is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining and all in camp are astir for breakfast, while some are packing the wagons for another move. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 12

We are on the way again, slowly making our way over the broad prairies of Kansas. At nine o’clock we turned out to let the horses feed on grass. At noon we all drew up upon the broad prairie to take our dinner, within six miles of Neosho. Teams are now being prepared for another move, while Mary and I, Adelia and Etta, are gathering up, washing the dishes, and putting the food in baskets. The order comes, “Move on.” In one hour and a half we shall be at Brother Glover’s. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 13

When within two miles of Brother Glover’s, we sent forward Elder Corliss to learn the situation and inform Brother Glover of our coming. He returned with the information that many had not received the news of the change of appointment and had come on the ground. The meeting was in session, and Brethren Glover and Ayers had moved on, journeying to the camp meeting. We decided to take the train for Emporia. We had three quarters of an hour to make the change. We took our two trunks, and without opportunity to change our apparel, we slept on board the train. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 14

We arrived at Emporia about seven o’clock. We engaged an omnibus to take us to the campground, about two miles. Four powerful horses were put before the bus, and we were carried speedily to camp. All seemed glad to meet us. We pitched our tent, and one and another brought us a piece of bedding, so we had a passably comfortable bed. I urged the staking down of the tent, but as no storm was thought to be coming that night, it was neglected. 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 15

In the night a tempest struck us, and my husband called for a dozen men to stake the tent. He was holding the tent as firm as he could to keep it from blowing over. It required the united strength of several men to hold the tent while others staked it. One half hour of faithful work would have made the tent secure, risking no danger; but as this half-hour’s work was not done at the right time, we were robbed of several hours’ sleep, filled with anxiety as the tempest raged, and several men were called up from their beds to work in the darkness of night more than one hour. It was about two o’clock in the morning when the tent was endangered. When will our brethren learn thoroughness in all they undertake, and never leave a job half finished? 3LtMs, Ms 4, 1879, par. 16