Sunday, July 21, 2013

Emily Amelia Travels West

While preparing a lesson on Family Search this morning I logged onto my computer and was stoked to find a comment on one of the Tuttle posts. My first comment from a distantly related family member!! Not exactly  big time, but a start at a wider audience of relatives! Megan was preparing to go on Trek and had chosen to walk in honor of a common ancestor, Emily Amelia Stone. She wanted information about her travel so I will skip to that spot in the history, hoping I am not too late to help. The earlier Kanesville experiences are not to be missed, however; they are dynamite! Stay tuned.

In 1992 my Grandma, Florence T. Foy, wrote a history of this Emily in the first person narrative style. The quotes are not Emily's exact words, but written as if she were speaking in the voice of 11 year old Emily.. Grandma acknowledges the contributions of Anthony Black, Randy Bartholomew and Inez Foy Barker to the history. Grandma was the granddaughter of Emily and may have heard some of the story directly. Emily journeyed across the plains with her father Amos Pease Stone and step-mother whom she references as Mother. This step-mother, Minerva Jones Stone, had been her own mother's best friend in life. Just prior to beginning the journey her father had gone east from Kanesville, Iowa, to collect more family members.

Merab Amelia Stone Richardson, the younger sister of Emily
"On 30 September 1848, Father started west again with little Merab and Mother's family. They arrived home, 12 November 1848, and remained there until the spring of 1850 when we started west for the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. The outfit consisted of Father, Mother, me, Merab, Olive Ann, Amos Ives, and Olive Ann Jones, Mother's sister.

"They milked the two cows night and morning and put the surplus milk into the churn and it would be churned to butter by the motion of the wagon. Thus, they were enabled to have milk and butter for the family. Father did the black-smithing for the company. Before leaving the east he had studied the Thomasonan Medical System, which proved of great worth to him when the Cholera broke out in our company while we were crossing the plains. It took all his time and skill to attend to the sick. Nearly every person in the company was afflicted with it. Father never lost a case that he attended.

Winnebago Family by Seth Eastman (1808-75). Circa 1652

"When we were crossing the plains there were no villages between Omaha, Nebraska [Council Bluffs], and Salt Lake City, Utah, a distance of a little over one thousand miles. There were times when they had to use extra caution while traveling through hostile Indian country. Once while we camped, or just as we left camp on the journey, a small band of Indians rode up on their horses to my father's wagon and the chief noticed me sitting in the lead wagon of my father's two wagons. He turned to Father and offered him one white pony for 'the girl,' but Father refused. Then the Chief in a raised and emphatic tone offered three white ponies, but Father still refused, saying, 'I intend to take her to the valley with me.' Then the Indians started to run up and down by the side of the line of wagons trying to stampede the oxen., but they did not succeed in this. You may rest assured that I was very much afraid of the Indians after that and when I would see an Indian coming I would hide in the wagon as best I could.

"I remember how the young men would clear a piece of ground when they would camp at night by scraping off the grass with their hoes or shovels, whichever they had. Then there would be music and dancing which I enjoyed very much. It sure made the trip more pleasant. Before bedtime, all the companies were called together and given instructions for the next day, and we all united in prayer before retiring.

"When we entered the Salt Lake Valley in September of 1850, I looked over the barren valley for miles around. I asked my mother, 'Must we live here forever and ever?" and she said, 'Yes, as long as we live,' and I said, 'Oh, dear.'"

Grandma Foy's history of Emily includes copies of three letters written by Emily's step-mother Minerva L. Jones Stone to her parents Mr. and Mrs. Merlin Jones, Kanesville, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. The first is included below, but the other two are posted on Family Search under the title "Amos Ives Stone - Family and Times" which is attached to Minerva Leantine Jones.

The Fort at Grand Island
July 16, 1850
Dear Parents

This afternoon we arrived at this place (Grand Island). We are expecting to leave tomorrow morning, there-fore I improve the present opportunity of writing you a few lines. The watchmen of this camp just cried the hour of ten as I commence.

Our family are all well and have enjoyed very good health since we left Pottawattomie. My health has improved all the way, as I told you it would, until now I have a bad cold. Little Amos' health has improved very muck. He has had no fits since we left. He has two upper teeth cut through. He cries for me continually.

We sent you a letter by Bro. Clawson the last of June, which I suppose you have received. We were then at Salt Creek. In that we informed you that Bro. Sweat and Doct. Brayley had died of Cholera. The 4th of July we arrived at the Platt bottom. Our company of fifty divided into three companies. the first and last tens formed into one. Capt. York, Capt. of the first ten, Bro. Rich, Capt. of the fifth or last ten. He is our captain. Bro. Leonard and Bro. Peirson and Bro John Carter were captains of the other three tens. It was thought wisdom to divide into smaller companies in order to travel faster. 

Sister Foy and two sisters with Bro. Farr have had the cholera but have recovered; there have been one or two children die with it. There have been several cases of bowel complaints in camp, which would have terminated in cholera, if it had not been for the medicine which we brought along, especially the third preparation of Lobelia administered by injections. I have heard some say that if Mr. Stone had not been there in this Company there would have been a great many more deaths. Bro. Farr says he is confident that the syringe with proper medicine has saved his life and two others in his family and he is as grateful as anybody can be.

July 9th, we passed an old deserted Indian Village containing 30 or 40 wigwams. The middle one was a prison where Bro. Casto and those with him were imprisoned on their return from the valley with the mail a year ago last spring. The wigwams had the appearance of being quite comfortable when in good repair. They were made of sticks, grass, and dirt, with a long, low entry made of the same material which led into the wigwam. There were large holes in the ground where they had buried their corn. Our Company found three live sheep in one of them. Some company before us had lost them. The Indians left their place last fall.

I will here observe that we have traveled 237 miles and have not seen and Indian this side of the Missouri River to Fort Laramie. We have got along very slowly, but we have had a great deal of rain, consequently bad roads, Bro. Woodruff's company left this place just as we came in sight. Bro. Hyde passed us last Wednesday, the 10th with three others with him on his way to the Valley. Last Sunday, between the hours of two and three, Bro. Bickford was taken with the cholera and before two o'clock in the morning he was a corpse. We were camped where no timber could be obtained of any kind. Of course, he was buried with any coffin whatever. I believe they mowed grass and laid underneath and over him. Sister B. takes it very hard, says her all is gone. She left her wagon and came to Bishop Snow's wagon, said she could never stay in her wagon any more. They were afraid she would be crazy.

Yesterday we had passed 55 graves. I don't know how many today, but enough probably to make near sixty. It is a s Bro. Joseph Young says, 'Our road is a perfect burying ground.' One day we passed 15 graves. Joseph says he feels like weeping when he sees his brethren and sisters laid by the wayside by the destroyer, but it is all right. These things go to prove that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Lord. If this is only a beginning of the judgements of God, what shall the end be with those who reject his servants and obey not his gospel?

Sister Sweat has had the small pox in a light form. She has had cholera, but has recovered.

There are no cases of sickness at present in our camp. There have been two births -- all parties getting along first rate. 

It is nearly one o'clock at night, my sheet nearly full, and I must draw my letter to a close. You will see at once that my writing and order of composition is the worst I have ever sent you, but I have done the best I could under present circumstances.

The children are all well. When we came in sight of the Fort today, Olive Ann said, 'There is Grandmother's house.' Merub wanted to know what they were. I told them they were houses. They were very much pleased to see some houses for the first time in their lives. There are some very good frame houses, two or three stories high. One has four chimneys.

Father, Mother, Ruth and Miles, I bid you all farewll fondly anticipating a time when we shall all see each other.

/s/ Minerva Stone

I suppose you would like to know something about me. I got along very well, but I think sometime I should like to step in and see what you all are about and get a piece of baked pig, for I suppose the harvest. I wish I could see you all.                                                                    ----- Ann.

Sources for the full history as given by Grandma:
History of New Haven, Connecticut
History of North Haven, Connecticut
Histories of Emily Tuttle's ancestors
Newton Tuttle diary
Family letters from late 1800s to 1827
History of Amos P. Stone
Histories of Emily's brothers and sisters
Small history of Emily by Clara Bartholomew, daughter
Temple records
Personal memories of Florence T. Foy, author and compiler

Picture of Indians found on Wikipedia is in the public domain. It is a photographic reproduction of a work of art from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Picture of Merab found on Family Search.

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