Camm, Elizabeth Whittear [Sermon], Reminiscence, in Joel Edward Ricks, Cache Valley Historical Material [ca. 1955], reel 4, item 98, 2-8.
I said, “We must hold out now and get to the wagons,” but we had to go back to the quarter of pound of flour and he sank under it. I think he would not have died if he had got food, but he was spared the trial ahead. We went to bed about three o’clock. He put his arm around me and said, “I am done,” and breathed his last. I called Brother John Oley. We sewed him up in a quilt with his clothes on, except his boots, which I put on my feet and wore them into Salt Lake City. A coat I put on John to keep him warm, which afterward went to Fort Bridger. Some friend tried to get it for me but did not succeed. Father was buried in the morning with two more in the grave. I stood like a s statue, bewildered, not a tear; The cold chills, even now as I write, creep over my body, for I feel I can still see the wolves waiting for their bodies as they would come down to camp before we left. Well, I went again into the cart as all that could had to walk to get to the wagons. Poor Rob had to ride from this time and sometimes John. Henry and Marian were with me. When I got into camp I would clear the snow away with a tin plate, gather my wood, get my bed clothes from the wagon—I was too weak to haul much—get my allowance of flour and carry the children to the fire, make their beds on the ground. The tent was frozen and the ground so hard we could not set it up. I think it was two weeks we were without tents. We went to bed without supper in order to get a little better breakfast. I found it some help to toast the raw hide on the coals and chew it; it helped to keep the hunger away, for I was feeling it rather keenly now. I had to take a portion of poor Robert’s feet off which pierced my very sould [soul]. I had to sever the leaders with a pair of scissors. Little did I think when I bought them in old England that they would be used for such a purpose. Every day some portion was decaying until the poor boy’s feet were all gone. Then John’s began to freeze; then after a while my own. We kept meeting some teams from Salt Lake City now, which rendered all the assistance they could. I remember asking one of the drivers to give me a cob of corn to eat. He looked so pitiful and said, “Oh, sister, I hate to refuse you but my horses haven’t enough to eat now, and I do not know how we will get back to Salt Lake.”
I said, “I ought not to have asked you, but myself and children are so hungery.”
He said, “Keep up your faith, sister.”
A loaf of bread would have given me great faith and satisfied a hungry stomach as well, but the bread was not many miles off. We got it and it was the sweetest bread we ever ate. One instance occurred. Poor brother [David] Blair had been in the life guards in London, I believe, a very tall thin man; he was starving and was eating a piece of griddle cake; another poor brother not as hungry asked for a piece of it. He said, “I cannot do it; I want it myself.” Poor fellow, he died in the night and so one after another passed away. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends, many, many honest souls laid in mother earth. The brothers kept meeting us and some times we had a good cheery fire built for us when we got into camp. I was terribly put to for clothes to wrap my poor boy’s legs in, his feet all gone. I got all I could from the camp, then I used my underclothing until I had but two skirts left on my body, and as such I finished up my journey for my wardrobe would not be replenished where I was. At last the old handcart was laid by without a regret; we got to the wagons, were taken in and some days we rode all day and got a little more food. A severe storm came up. I think it was on the Sweet Water, but I was so troubled I forget all about the names of the places. My eldest boy John’s feet decaying, my boys both of them losing their limbs, their father dead, my own feet very painful, I thought, “Why can’t I die?” My first thought of [d]eath, Brother Patton took us in his wagon, blessed me for my integrity and blessed us with tea and bread and so with what food that was so kindly sent out to us from the people in Salt Lake, our lives were spared. On a bright Sunday morning we were met in Emigration Canyon by hundreds of people in buggies and wagons and horseback to see us. We stopped near the tithing house, many had their friends to meet them and take them to their homes. Nobody came for me.