Experiences of W. A. Hockett on the Oregon Trail 1847
Provided by Harold Mills, Salem, Iowa / Joyce Spidle
The following article was written by William Hockett who came to Oregon in 1847 with his parents and family. He was then a boy of 9 years. The caravan consisted mostly of four families of Salem, Iowa. The families were: Henderson Lewelling (the famous nursery man) 4 people; Spice Tense, a teamster, 1 person; John W. Fisher son-in-law of Lewelling, 3 people; Enos Mendenhall, just married, 2 people; Nathan H. Hockett, father of William, 7 people; and Thomas Hockett, a brother of Nathan. The account was written when William was 71 years of age.
Experiences of W. A. Hockett on the Oregon Trail 1847
In 1846 for some reason that I am unable to account for there was quite some excitement about going to the Pacific coast from where we lived which was in Henry Co, Iowa. It seemed the Oregon Territory was the attraction at that time as this was about two years before the discovery of gold in California. Quite a number of emmigrants went across the plains from Salem, Iowa that season. Although I was but 9 years old I remember one Edwin Trimble that started from Salem with his family but was killed by the Indians while on the way. I know not what word came back by the 1846 emmigrants but by the winter of 46-47 there was a great excitement about the Oregon Territory. Also a great excitements among the Mormon about the Salt Lake Country and great numbers of Mormons emmigrating from Norvoo [Nauvoo, IL] to Salt Lake. Among the rest of that was attached with the Oregon fever was my father. My parents were of a family that were constantly pressing forward on the frontier. My grandfather (William Hockett, born 1-1-1787 North Carolina) had come to Ohio when it was on the frontier and later moved to Randolph Co, Indiana when the country was considered too far west and after his children were many of them grown, my father and the next oldest (Isaac born 6-27-1815) son married they all pulled up in 1837 and moved to what is now Henry Co, Iowa but was then a part of Wisconsin Territory and remained so while in November 1838 when it was cut off from Wisconsin Territory and called Iowa. Iowa in Indian means the fair land.
My father Nathan H Hockett (born 1-12-1812 Ohio son of William, Stephen, William, Philip) was born in Ohio and my mother Rebecca Mills in North Carolina. They were married in Randolph Co, Indiana 12-14-1831 Cherry Creek Meetinghouse. Indiana at Cherry Grove which was the name of a church but afterwards became a town. I was the third child in family of five and two, a brother and sister that died in their infancy. The oldest, Rachel named for her grandmother Hockett (Rachel Hodgson born 2-21-1892). Solomon named for his Grandfather Mills, William named for his Grandfather Hockett, Jesse M. named for his Uncle Jess Mills, and Ruth B. the youngest child was named for her Aunt Ruth Hockett (born 9-29-1813). So you can plainly see that the tendency over to the family name which I am inclined to believe was more common in that day then it is in our present time. My name is just plain William but as I grew up other William Hocketts would get my mail frequently so I added the letter A for Albert in my name and I was soon known as Will A. and the name Will A. followed me until recently but now at the age of 71 I am usually called Uncle, Dad, Grand Dad, as if dimness of sight, hardness of hearing, aches could not remind one of his age often enough without these reminders.
But to return to my story, in the winter of 46-47 my father decided to sell out and move to the Pacific coast, which decision he made mainly on the account of my Mother's health, she being afflicted with Epilipsy [Epilepsy]. And here I will have to relate an incident that I have never spoken of only with the greatest delicacy. The babe that was born after Jess M. was killed by mother during an Epilectic [Epileptic] spasm during the night. She having the baby in her arms and alone, the child was clasped so close in her arm was killed, hence the next child, Ruth D., was given to her Aunt Ruth that such a thing might not happen again. So the farm was sold and great preparation were made for the journey across the great American desert, for all the country went of the Missouri River was at that time on our maps as the Great American Desert. Although I was only 9 years old, being born the 21 of June 1838, I well remember many of the preparations especially of the breaking of the oxen, the covered wagons, the packing of provisions in boxes. Our outfit consisted of - wagons with three yokes of oxen to each wagon with yoke, 75 head of cattle, heifers and one fine 5 year old saddle mare and early in the spring we moved out for St. Joe (St. Joseph, Missouri) aiming to be ready to leave there as soon as the grass was sufficient for the stock. Two other families John Fisher and Henderson Lewelling started from Salem at the same time with very much the same kinds of outfits that we had only no loose stock except a saddle horse. A younger brother of my father was to go with us to drive one of the teams as my older brother was but 14 years old at the time.
We arrived at St. Joe in good time but found that the emigrants were crossing at Brownsville further down. So we pushed on, and on the 15 of April crossed the Missouri River and it seems to me yet ... as far as I could see it was just covered wagons, cattle and horses. It was several days before our company was organized. When it was done we 45 wagons trail bound for Oregon. Captain Hall in command the same day a train of a 100 wagons started, their destination being Salt Lake and both companies had chosen the North Pass and for some reason both companies continued together. And when we left the Missouri River we left civilization. I can not remember of seeing another house or of one until we reached Ft. Kearney. Although what is now Nebraska was one vast plain of grass with many deer and antelope, Jack rabbits, and not many days out until there was plenty of buffalo. My father killed the first buffalo that was killed by our company. I was eye-witness. He took Startin, our saddle mare, as soon as it was light and went for some fresh meat. Pretty soon I saw him running some stock animals close in and nearly towards the camp. He urged mare up close to one of these and fired while the mare was on a dead run. I soon seen one of them turn to one side and fall down. That was the first buffalo but not the last, as they were much more numerous than the cattle are here in Iowa now. It don't seem to me there was anything unusual occurred until we got as far west, at least as what is now Colorado. When John Fisher took sick and not many days afterwards he died and in a very short time after that a number was taken sick and soon died. And Captain Hall said group together and so a meeting was called. The two companies separated leaving our Oregon emigrants in a company to themselves but we had our 45 wagons but John Fisher was dead, his wife and one child, a little girl, had to get along as best they could with what others could give.
This fever that had broken out in the company was called sometimes the black fever as ones teeth would turn black before they died. Sometimes it was called the mountain fever. It was considered very contagious but may have been around. At least the year 1847 passed into history as the fever season. Though for a while it seemed we were going to have no more sickness in the company.
We were now in the Pawnee Country and the Pawnee Indians and the Sioux Indians at this time were engaged in a war with each other and almost every day we met war parties but they seemed friendly to us until we got out near the Sweet Water Country. One night there came an exceeding hard rain. We had that evening camped on a small stream with but little water in it but the next morning it was a raging torrent, and we could only lay until the stream ran down. Our stock was out grazing in the valley, the horses were picketed out all but ours. I had brought her in as we had seen a band of Indians and I was afraid that they would steel her. There was another company had come up but on learning they would not cross the creek, stopped further back so that our stock would not get moved, I would judge. About one mile off, we seen the Indians go to the other company and soon leave but by using field glasses the Captain said they were friendly Indians and he said the company had given them some presents and among the rest a quantity of bacon as game was so plentiful that not much value was put on bacon. The Captain watched them until he seen them hid their bacon in a cave out in the foot hills.
Then they were soon out of sight. He said there was about 50 of them. Our company was lounging around, some asleep, and others getting organized. There was deep gulches run down from the foothills and the Indians took advantage of these and got between the stock and the camp and all at once it seemed that the Indians just raised up out of the ground. Everyone yelling and waving his blanket, cut the picket ropes to the horses and stampeded every head of stock except our mare and before the men could get their guns the Indians were nearly out of range but it was claimed that to ____ at the first ____ but the horses circles and ran back to camp but by then they could saddle them and overtake the cattle the Indians had killed 13 of the work oxen. Just before the Indians had stampeded our stock my Uncle and a man by the name of Munson Robison had gone to foot hills to kill a deer or antelope and as they had went in the same direction that the Indians had much uneasiness was felt about them and a company was soon organized to search for them but they failed to find any race of them. So after a few hours they were seen on the opposite side of the river from the camp entirely nude except their hats and boots. The Indians had met with them and as all the Indians had been friendly they were in their power before they were aware of it. But my uncle made so much resistance when they went to take his gun from him in fact he tried to kill the Chief. So after he was overpowered and divested of his clothing they bent him over and the Chief struck him across the back four times with his bow each time cutting the skin open and one place bout near 5 inches long, after taking their guns and clothing they turned them loose, but after a bit they seen a company of Indians on the run to the creek which was very high yet and swam across and as I remember they said that they swam the creek four or five times but then they came near the camp they left, there but this was the only time on the entire trip that the Indians gave us any trouble.
Soon after this my Uncle took the fever and was unable to drive the team so my brother had to drive the team and that caused me to ride the horse all day to keep the stock from straying off. We were now in the open country I remember well how bad I wanted a whip stick and one evening we camped and off to the foot hills there was timber which looked to be just a little ways off so my brother and I got brave to go and hunt some whip sticks. We had not learned yet how descriptive distance was on the plains and so we were afoot we trotted along lively but didn't seem to get any close but we pressed forward determined to have some whip sticks and it was well on to sun down, we were near enough to see it was large timber we were nearing instead of brush and finally it was plain there was nothing but large trees, so we turned back. It was no sun down and we could just faintly see the tent and wagons but we soon lost all sign of them it was needless to say that we were too scared boys, but pretty soon we seen a fire spring up and another and another and another and we took courage and ran as fast as we could and didn't go far until we met father coming at a gallop hollering every few minutes and I think he was nearly as well pleased to meet us as we were to meet him, and we were not very hard after this to keep near camp.
My Uncle sickness did not prove to be very serious. I think he told me afterwards that he was able to drive the team after 2 weeks. We were now in the Sweet Water Country. I remember well of many of us crossing the river to see what was called Independence Rock and also we went by one day at the Devil's Gate on Sweet Water. The Devils Gate looks as though the river had cut its way through a solid rock. The walls are perpendicular on each side and much narrower than the common width of the river and the roar of the river as it forced its way through the narrow page is almost deafening.
About this time it seemed the entire company was doomed. The fever broke again and there was scarcely a night but there was someone buried. As the Indians were of such grave robbers the graves had to be consealed. The method most common was to bury near the camp, carry away all the dirt that could not be put back and then build a fire on the grave and the next morning drive the entire train across the grave and there would be days at a time that some ones would be so bad we wouldn't break camp. About 10 or 12 days before we reached Snake River my father was taken very bad but after a very severe spell he rallied and even got so he could drive the train again but after a few days he began to complain and on evening one of the company got him to consent to having cold water pour on his head. He was worse that night and only lived a few days. My brother being sick my sister had to drive one of the teams. She was the oldest child and was now 17 years old. Nearly all of the stock cattle had given out or been left, and many of the oxen had also been left unable to travel. Some entire families had died, their wagons burned, the ablest of their oxen hitched in other trains.
Twelve days after my father died my mother also died. She had not apparently been sick neither had she been troubled with Epilepsy on the road. As I have since been told, my sister was sleeping her that night and woke up in the night and found her dead. We were in camp that night on the west side of Snake River just opposite the Falls where the U.P.R.R. (Union Pacific RailRoad) now crossed the Snake River. My mother was buried opposite the falls not far back from the river and just back of this was a perpendicular ledge of rock. In this rock was cut hundreds of names of emigrants and dates when they passed. My Mother's name was cut on this rock just opposite her grave. I was there 18 years ago but civilization and ruthless hands have removed that ledge of rock. Most likely the RR company did it as the right of way is near it, but in the resurrection that Sainted Mother will come forth to meet the dear Lord in the skies and all mystery will be made clear. But since I have grown up I firmly believe that Mother died of a broken heart, why not, with husband dead and my father dead with apparently the whole company doomed my brother sick and little brother only 2 years old. What mothers heart could bear up with this load. And how that sister stood up under all this is more than am able to understand.
Young as I was I was almost distracted. I remember well when my father died. I stayed in the wagon all night, but didn't sleep. It seemed the wagon was turning around and round but I feared to tell anyone lest they wouldn't believe me. A short time after this the health of the sick of company was much better and it was getting late in the season, but my Uncle took a relapse. My sister took the fever and my oldest brother was very bad but my little brother was very well and in fact was never sick on the whole trip. But as the rest of the company was now able to travel, Captain Hall ordered them to go on but as we were unable to go they left there as we were now I think in the Burnt River Mountains (Baker County, Oregon) any way were among the Dover Indians, one of the dirtiest, filthiest tribes of Indians I ever seen. They lived principly on nuts and berries, grasshoppers and fish, provided the fish could be got without much effort, but they seemed inoffensive, in fact seemed kind in some ways.
Our camp was on a clear mountain stream. The banks lined with willows and pleanty of grass for the oxen but none of the family was able to get a bucket of water or do any cooking except myself. We just let the oxen go but kept Startin, the fathful saddle mare, picketed out in the day time with a chain looped around the wagon tire and locked around her neck at night, after a few days the Indians drove the cattle back to camp and by signs told us there was an emigrant train of 5 wagons about 20 miles back on the trail, so after a few days they camp up with us. The Indians had told them of us. They had no fever but had the measles and some were very sick. So they struck camp not very far off and helped us in many ways and a great while after this we all moved out together. My brother got quite well, also my Uncle but my sister took the measles also my oldest brother but were not very bad, my little brother and I escaping again. I do not know where we were now but I rode a horse and drove a few foot sore oxen to use in case others had to be left. We left one of our wagons at the last camp but kept the 5 yoke of oxen, and I have but little remembrance of what happened after this until we came to Grand Rounde (Grand Rounde River) and rested a few days.
My sister told me we were going to from there to Dallas Falls, I felt awful bad that evening and my sister came with some tea and told me I was taking the measles but it proved to be that dread fever. She told me afterwards it was the latter part of Sept. six weeks later, they reached Dallas Falls, sold what oxen was left and the wagon, chartered a flat boat and started down the Colubia River. The boat was entirely open and rainey season when we came to the Cascade Fall the boat had to be drug around by land which was done mostly by Indians.
This was the first time I had been conscious of my surroundings since I was taken sick at Grande Rounde. I knew it was raining and asked my sister what I was in the rain for. She told me that I was sick that it had been raining on me for a week. I was hungry and told her so. She asked me what I wanted and told her bread and molasses. Which I soon had, and I think that it tasted as good as anything I ever ate. The fever was broken but I didn't walk alone until June, this I am told was the latter part of Oct. when we came to the Falls which had rushing water whirl pools and projecting boulders. It seemed that there was not sufficient help to take the boat around by land and it was decided to turn the rapids as best they could which had often been done but not always successfully. So my Uncle stayed in the boat with me but the rest of the emmigrants walked the entire distance. 18 years ago as I came up the Columbia River on the Overland Limited and looked at the whirling and thought of when I was on the boat being turned through these dangerous rocks when just one little mistake would have meant certain death to all. And what nerve it took for those guides to assume the responsibility. After the falls was past I can't remember anything else only how hungry I was and how my sister held me by the hands and how my little brother looked at me. But our boat was run down to the mouth of the Willamette River and up that river to Portland, Oregon, landing there on the 12 of November having been on the road from Missouri seven months to a day and the faithful Startin was the only hoof of stock that we through with and all of her hoofs came off and she was sold for $80.00 in that condition hoping she might raise a colt. A good American mare as she was once would readily have brought $1000 to $1200.
We found a small shack of a house that we could get to live in, to be sure it had only one room, but had a sire place as all houses had at that time. Portland at that time consisted of a string of houses along the riverbank although a few of the houses were two story high. So was the Hotel and McMacler gambling and liquor store which was the best patronized place in town. But Portland being the head of Ocean navigation it was fairly well supplied with sugar, coffee, rice and groceries in general and all persons having the means did not suffer for the want of these things. So we got what few household goods we had left in the house and settled down to housekeeping.
In a very short time an ocean vessel came in and a little incident happened that cause my Uncle and sister to change their plans after the vessel came in and the cargo unloaded it seemed the sailors were given shore leave and that night and next day the whole town seemed to be drunk. And the most of them looking for trouble and many of them finding it. There were very few women in the town during the day and a big burly black man, they called him a cunnager, happened to see my sister and came to the house. My sister ordered him away but he kept coming. She called for help and shut the door but he burst it open. She catched up a wooden poker that we used to poke up the fire with and she struck him just as he came in the house and knocked him back and he fell off the steps. She followed him up using the poker in both hands. By that time several men were there urging her on, but I guess she didn't need much urging. They took the fellow away to the ship with the notice he would be shot if seen any more in town. But my sister was so feared she begged my Uncle to find a place out in the country. We heard of a colony of 12 families 16 miles west of Portland on the Twallton (Tualatin) River, so went out there and an old mountaineer as they were called, he was a trapper and hunter and had an Indian woman for a wife. He also had a claim with two log cabins on it. He gave us the use of the cabin and was very kind to us and at one time gave half of a dressed hog. We were all well now but I couldn't walk yet, only with crutches. I do not know where my Uncle went but he was gone quite a while, but I think he gone north as the Kivse Indians had just murdered Dr. Marcus Whitman (8-02-47) American pioneer and missionary in Oregon Territory. He founded mission at Waiilatpu in 1836. Following return east, he accompanied "great migration" of 1843 over Oregon Trail. Killed in Indian Massacre, his wife and all the missionaries that he had with him. I think about 20 in all and had taken the two Whitman girls prisoners which resulted in the Kivse War.
At any rate, when he returned he told us and Eberts, our land lord, one Wm. Wilconson, another trapper and hunter, Jo Micks and himself were being sent to St. Louis after Dragoons. That they were going overland on ponies and would start right away. This must have been early in 1848. So he bid us good bye but said he would come back to us but I can truly say it was a gloomy out look for us. So my sister said we wouldn't keep house but she would find us a home. So she took a poney crossed the Calipany range and found a home for herself and my little brother with a man by the name of Chambers and I could come with her until a home could be found for me. As to my oldest brother he could find work with any of the colonists and he did find work with a French man by the name of Mozie. They were all afraid I would be a cripple but I was walking now without crutches but I made a poor out at it, but was gaining fast. But in a short time my sister found a home for me with an English couple that had no children of their own but had an orphan girl living with them. I can not remember her name, but it seems to me I can see her yet. Her very features such as large blue eyes and a beautiful head of chestnut hair. She seemed to have a pretty good education for a child. I remember one time while speaking of something I said there was whole lot of it. She don't say a whole lot, why she said a lot is to put cattle in.
The people we lived with were Old School Presbyterians and I mist confess that their treatment of this girl and myself settled in to a cronic case of prejudice with me. Even to this day when the name Presbyterian is mentioned I usually think of the Bucstones. They would not allow us to walk around in the yard on Sunday but must be catikissed nearly all day. I could not read the Bible intelligently but had to spell it out as best I could. He did not think anything of cursing bitterly any day except Sunday. Neither the girl or I was allowed to eat at the table with them. I do not know where the girl slept but my bed was a pile of rags in the loft with an old cast off blanket for a cover. So along in the spring, I happened to walk out on the porch and as I was just walking around whistling as well I remember very low, but he caught me at it and led me into the house and said he should have to whip me the next morning.
In the morning it was raining a slow drizzling rain and the hogs were out and he sent me around the while he opened the bars, but some how one got away and he cursed me and reminded me of the promised whipping and ordered me to the wood shed after awhile he came with the ax and bade me follow him. When we got to the timber near by he selected an ash tree and told me to the cut that tree down, chop it into fire length on that day. If it was not done by night I would get a good thrashing. I suppose it was a small tree but it looked big to me. I went to chipping and watched him to the house and made up my mind if he ever whipped me it would be before I could get to my sister. I struck the ax as high as I could in the tree and if ever a cripples boy ran, I did.
It was raining and I knew it was 15 miles to here across a low range of mountains with just an Indian trail in the mountains. It was snowing but in the valley it was rain. I was nearly fagged out when I reached the summit but when I started down grade, I made good time and got to Mr. Chambers before dark. My sister went the next day on a pony and returned the same evening with my little budget of clothes and told me I need not fear, she would not take me back there which was a great relief to me. She now went to another settlement to look for another place for me. I am not sure how far but she went and came back the same day and told me she had found a place for me. Soon afterwards we went over there to Mr. Reeds for that was their names. They lived in a house on the Twaliton River 30 miles from Oregon City. I think about the same distance from Portland.
Jacob Reed was a native of Missouri but had lived on the coast several years and like most of the early emmigrants engaged in hunting and fishing. His wife was 23 years old and was born and raised in that country. Her father always went by the name of Old Dick Williams. Her father and mother were English and came to that country with the Hudson Bay Co. when they established the trading post at Ft. Vancouver 6 miles below Portland. Mother Reed's name was Martha but was always called Patsy. I think of her yet as one of the kindest woman I ever knew although she could shoot as well as any of the men, could ride a horse equal to any of the men. Her father lived 30 miles away and I have often known her to make the trip there and back in one day between sun up and sun set. She killed several deer while I lived with them and one mountain lion. She went to the spring one afternoon after water. There was some dogwood trees on the west side of the spring and she went to dip up a bucket of water, she seen the shadow of a mountain lion in the tree preparing to spring on her. She jumped across the spring, returned to the house and got the gun and shot the lion, giving it its death wound the first shot. It fell out of the tree but did not die for some time. She closed the door and remained in the house until it did, which was near sundown.
About this time there was a great excitement raised about the discovery of gold in Calif. Everybody was greatly excited about it and was about all the talk. There was an Indian village near to us. They were of the Calippyous and had formerly lived in eastern Oregon, but the Blackfoot Indians being such more numerous had driven them out of their country and nearly exterminated them. As well as I remember there was only about 350 warriors. They came on some years before and formed an alliance with the first settlers agreeing in case of an Indian outbreak they were to assist in the defense of the whites and in the case of any invasion of other Indians the white people would in turn assist them which compact they kept, thought there was no uprising but most likely the compact was a great preventative.
Soon after I went to live with Mr. Reed he took up a claim but if being in the bounds of the Indian claim he bought the land of the Indians giving money so much flour and while they were staking off the claim Mr. Reeds cow hooked the Chief's pony but the intestines protruded. It was one of the finest swafled ponies I ever seen. The chief, Arcruch was in a terrible about it, so Mr. Reed bought the pony, bandaged the wound and she was soon with only a small bump nearly as large as a hens egg. I rode her to Calif after that and she was the best and fastest animal I ever rode but was hardly large enough for a heavy person.
Among the Indians was one whose name was Pat Jack. He seemed to delight in anything red. He would paint his face red, wear a red shirt with red feathers in his hair. Just anything red. Some way I was afraid of him and I think he knew it. One day I was out looking for the ponies and I seen him coming. So I turned to one side he turned also and I started back home. He came a little faster so I started to run and he ran me all the way home and came up laughing about me being afraid. Reed joined in the laugh with him, he told Jack he had had his fun but he best never run me anymore, that I wasn't used to Indians but after awhile he gave me another chase. After awhile the Indians found a hunting party and Pat Jack went along and that night Mr. Reed left home in the night. Mother told me if any one asked where Jake (Mr. Reed) was, just sat that you don't know. He was gone 2 days and one night he came home in the night. Early the next morning he and I went to hauling in what I found in the barn. In a day or two more some Indians came hunting for Pat Jack but we knew nothing of him. We told him we awful busy getting the wheat in but he would go if, if after the hunt was over they would help with the wheat. So after 2 or three days they returned with the body. He had been shot through the breast and since I have become grown, I am pretty sure that Jake Reed knew pretty well where to look for him, but of course it was not Reed that found him. I am also sure that is Pat Jack had not scared me so often he would have lived longer.
One more incident of this brave woman: there was a family lived in sight of our place, one fourth of a mile by the name of White. Soon after Pat Jack was found Mr. Reed was gone from home and just after dark we seen there was a bright fire at Mr. Whites which was nothing uncommon as we could see the fireplace when the door was open and all of a sudden heard a great fuss up there at Whites. As the door was open a great commotion in the house running to and fro and appears to be a great struggle. Mother Reed said the Indians were murdering them. She took the little girl and hid us in a big hollow tree, buckled on Mr. Reeds saber, took the gun and hurried to the rescue. She told me to keep perfectly quiet until she came back. She was not gone long, until she whistled for me. She said some young people had come over from the other side of the range and they just got into a scuffle of some kind. I went back to the house feeling much relieved.
But the gold fever had struck Mr. Reed good and hard. Now he and man of the name of Wilson who seemed to have considerable money formed a partnership and brought 500 head of beef cattle to drive through to the gold miners to slaughter and retail out. As beef they also loaded a freight wagon with and some bacon and one wagon for cooking utensils and for Mr. Reed and family, use all the wagons drawn by oxen. I do not know how many were in the company but John White agreed to keep the company supplied with fresh meat if they would board him through to the mines. One David Raney was the boss with 4 teamsters with two or three rounds abouts like myself to keep the cattle from straying off. It as not intended to ever tire the cattle we just simply grazed them through. Mr. Reed and Wilson just looked up good camping places with plenty of water and grass. Grass was so plentiful that I don't suppose the cattle ever suffered one day with hunger except while crossing the lava beds which was 40 miles across and took us two nights and while near noon the next day with out food or water.
Transcribed by Conni McDaniel Hall, March 2015
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