Cowper, Elizabeth, to Dear Father and Mother, 30 June 1861, Florence, Nebraska, in Rondo N. Jeffery, Janet F. Jeffery, and Pearl Jeffery, eds., Thomas Alfred and Elizabeth Cowper Jeffery Family History , , 868-69.
Florence June 30th
Dear Father and Mother it is with feelings of great Pleasure that I again sit down to pen a few lines to you underneath the beloved shade of a Tent for we are like the gipsies[.] we are leading a camp life now and I never felt better while I was living in a Stone House or a Brick one[.] for I have had a trile of Both[,] than I do in this cloth one[.] last night was the First one we spent in the Tent and it rained nearly all night[.] still I felt Comfortable and mean to do so if it should come on Thunder[,] rain[,] and lightening every night[.] You no dou[b]t will be wondering how we have got along staying so long in Florance [Florence.] we have got along Firstrate[.] I have neaver wanted for anything to eat yet nor do not calculate to do so altho there is not one cent in any of our Pockets that I know of[.] it is two weeks ago since Joseph Young arrived here[.] that is the Captain of the Church Train and his instructions to every one that was going with the Church Train was to come forward and give in there names[,] also to give up every cent of there money so that they might be enabled to Purchase Tents and Provisions for the Journey[.] they have brought nothing along with the Waggons but Flour and they have left it at different stations along the rode so that the Waggons when they leave this Point they will be load[ed] with nothing but our luggage
there arrived here on Thursday some 47 waggons and they are calcu[l]ating taking between 500 or 600 people with them so that they will be closely packed[.] we have got along with this company[.] there is 13 in one Waggon that is 12 Adults and one Baby[.] there is one Tent to tow [two] Waggons and the women has the Privilege of sleeping in them and the men[,] those that are able[,] has to take it rought and Tumbel as they best can[.] those that are lame and feeble sleep in the waggons[.] Brother Turner's Folks and us 3 girls are geting along Firstrate[.] we have all lived as one Family since we came of[f] the ship and will do so untill we reach the valley[.] there is another Brother and his Wife from the same place and 2 Scotch Brothers from Glasgow[.] This forms our waggon campany[.] there has been quite a number of Independent Companies gone on and some Merchant Teams[.] there is a very large Emigration across the plains this year[.] I believe there will be about three thousand Emigrants landed in the City of Florance by the time the next Boat comes up the Missouri River[.] there is quite a sweeping among the saints in the States[.] I expect a great [number] of them will be gathering through fear and it has caused quiet a number to come in to the Church again[.] there have been a good many Baptised here since we came or rather in Florance for we ar[e] about 2 miles out from the city[.] there is one of the Teamsters of this Company that Henry Hamilton sent down word with him to find me out[.] he has removed from Spainsh [Spanish] Fork to Provo Valley and is living in this Brother's house and they are all well[.] You can tell his Mother and sister this[.] I will most likely go and see him when I get all things rightly settled after I land[.] give them my kind love[.] this Place is about 20 miles nearer the city.
Dear Mother I hope that you feel satisfied by this that I am not going with the hand carts[.] I do not think that there will be any company of hand carts this year[.] I feel Perfectly satisfied that I have come as I have come[.] if I had come along with a Family I would have had my work to do all the way and perhaps not have Pleased them when all was down[.] I do not mean to say that I have idle[d] all this time[.] no[,] I have had plenty to do all the time[.] I was in hopes that I would have seen Bro. and Sister Jeffery at Florance and Bro. and Sister Reid but we was away before the Boat came in[.] I do not know if it is in yet
I met with Bro. Ward when I came into Florence. he has got Married again[.] they are along with this Company[.] I have got all my Luggage with me but I have over what is allowed us[.] we are allowed 50 bounds [pounds] each adult so we will have 20 cents per Pound to Pay when we land that is 1d [pence] of our money so when you come do not bring rags with you for it would not be worth paying for[,] but the les Luggage you bring you will have the less trouble with it altho if you should have the good fortune to have a Waggon of your own[.] there is an almighty amount of trouble with it through the states[.] I do not feel as if I had much more to say at Preasent only I feel firstrate and if I continue to grow while I am crossing the plains as I have down while in Florance[,] I do not believe that my clothes will fit me when I land[.] so you may Judge wither this country is be [a]greeing with me or not[.] I forgot to tell you in my last that all the Burnets sends thery kind love to you[.] Young David and his Wife is gone out with a Family some time ago[.] the old Man and the rest of the Family is in this company[.] be sure and have a letter waiting me when I arrive[.] I would like if John would send a few lines in it[.] I hope Ann and him is getting on Firstrate[.] the First chance you have I would [like] if you would send me the Lyrecs [Lyrics] Gems that is the book that I wanted from A. Donaldson[.] I would like if John would send me this[.] God bless you all[.] E. Cowper