THE writer is indebted to a brother of Mr. IDE for many of the incidents of his life narrated, thus far, in this memoir. He will now avail himself of the kind assistance of Mrs. HEALY, to whom he applied for a detailed account of their journey from Illinois to California in 1845. At that date Mrs. H. was in her 18th year. She depends on her memory chiefly for the minute circumstances she relates; and I believe it is generally understood that at the age of fifty years and upwards we remember the prominent, exciting events of youth--say, between our 6th and 18th year--more distinctly than we do those that occured at a later period of our lives. We give the greater part of Mrs. H.'s narrative in her own words:
"In 1838 my Father sold his farm in Ohio, and moved to Jacksonville, Ill. We lived there but one winter. In the spring of 1839 he moved onto his farm eight miles ease of Springfield, where we resided until 1844. In the fall of that year he sold his farm, and removed his family into uncle Harrison's house, where we lived till April 1, 1845. On that day we bid our good friends farewell. It was a sad day to us. All our old neighbors came to help us pack our things into our three wagons, and to see us off. My Father selected the timber for two of these wagons, and had them made to order during the winter. He also made the beds, bows and covers at our home--Mother and I sewing the canvas covering; which, being fastened to the bows and side-boards of the wagons, were painted a light slate-color, the same as the bed or body of the wagon.
"Our wagons were very neat looking, and attracted a good deal of attention while passing through Illinois and Missouri. Many questions were asked as to our destination, &c.
"We had a sale the morning we started, and sold off the greater part of our furniture. We packed our cooking utensils, tin cups, tin plates --with provisions to last us six months. Mother, my little brothers--Daniel, aged 10, and Lemuel, aged 8, and Thomas Crafton, (a little boy that had been given to my Mother), all rode in a wagon. I rode on horseback 3 days, to help drive the cattle; riding on a side-saddle. The drove of cattle numbered 165, including 28 working oxen. We camped the first night 10 miles from our old home--cooked our supper by a camp-fire. Mother and I slept in a wagon all the way to California. Some of the men slept in the tent, when not too tired to pitch it. Brother William came with us and drove an ox team from Fort Hall to Sutter's Fort, and drove cattle the rest of the journey. Our number, all told, young and old, was thirteen--five of these were young men, who drove the teams "for their board and passage."
"The journey to Independence, Mo., was accomplished in four weeks, without any severe accident, but was attended with great care and anxiety to my dear parents. I remember my brother James, (then in his 24th year) was away from us buying cows, and was gone so long, that it caused them great anxiety. He had been taken suddenly with bleeding from the nose or lungs, among strangers, and his health was so much impaired, that he could not for some time afterwards help take care of the stock, or of himself. We were thankful that his life was spared.
"We camped one week within one mile of Independence, Mo., to lay in ammunition, guns and pistols--clothing for the men, and many little things needful on so long a journey.-- Father made an iron to brand his cows with his name (IDE) on the right-side horn. This was hard work for him, but very necessary.
"On the 10th of May we left Independence and traveled to the 'Big camp', where we spent a week or two,"--organizing, it would seem, a large company of emigrants to the far West, (in accordance with their previously concerted plan) consisting of 100 wagons, and the necessary team-cattle, horses and other appliances. They chose a Mr. Meek, a Mountaineer, Pilot. This large company, Mrs. Healy thinks, was sub-divided into "three bands", who chose a "captain over the three"--whose name she does not remember; but recollects he rode ahead of the entire train--had a fine team of grey horses, which was driven by a Mr. Buckley.
She remembers the names of others in the train, viz: Capt. James Taylor and Capt. --- Smith. She says "The companies took turns traveling in advance, so that each might have the privilege of being out of the dust one week out of every three.
"A company or firm styled 'J. Smith, Risley & Taylor, owned and drove a large herd of cattle to Oregon. My Father started to go to Oregon, and 'OREGON' was painted in large black letters on the back curtain of our hindmost wagon.
"The cattle of this large emigrant company was so numerous that it was difficult to find grass for them; and it was a great deal of work to control them--also dangerous. After several weeks it was given up, and a 'cattleguard' organized. My Father was captain of this 'guard', and chief herdsman. Any one losing an ox or cow came to him at once, and he would send a man or go himself in search of the lost,--after supplying an ox, if an ox of a team were missing--so that the train could move on; for it was moving so slow, it was necessary for us to keep moving.
"At one time when Father remained behind to look after the missing cattle, the report came to the company, that he was last seen surrounded by Indians. The train halted quite a while: but Mother and I did not know why; all being careful not to cause us alarm. A number of men went back, who met him coming in, driving the missing cattle. They said Father saw an Indian partly hid in grass and willows, with arrow on bow, ready to shoot him: on which he raised his gun and took aim at the Indian, who immediately took to his heels and ran. No doubt, they said, if Father had been frightened, and had started to run, he would have been killed; for there were several Indians seen in the bushes near him. This occurred on or near the banks of the Humbold River, I think.
"We traveled in one of the three companies having a camp-guard--a captain and sergeant on guard every night--until within a few days travel of Fort Hall. Then there was a general stampede, to see who would get to the Fort first. We found a good camping ground there, and also Indians to trade horses with. One offered a very pretty poney for two calico dresses.
Here was a company of mountaineer trappers, enroute for California, who told us of a good route, and plenty of good grass.
"While there Father changed his plan--concluded to go to California: but first, before definitely settling the question, put it to vote of his company, and they voted for California instead of Oregon.
"A party of young men concluded to 'pack through;' that is, to go on horseback-pack themselves and their baggage on horses. This party consisted of Messrs. Knight, R. C. Keyes, Jacob R. Snyder, -- Lewis, William Blackburn, George McDougal, and several others, whose names I have forgotten.
"A few days travel, west from Fort Hall, brought us to where we bade our Oregon friends good-by. I was sorry to part with those with whom we had become acquainted. It reduced our company so much, that we all felt lonely for some time. I believe I can remember the names of nearly all the men of our small party who had families. These were Messrs. E. Skinner, J. Elliot, Rolett, Keeny, M. Griffith, Grigsby, Scott, Bonner, Potter, Seeres, Anderson, Thomas, Meeres, Davis, Tustin and Buffin. All these men took their families with them. There may have been one or two more who had no children with them.
"The names of those without families I remember, as follows: William Cooper, Wm. Todd, Scott, B. Grant, Beal, Old Harry, Wm. Swasey and Wilmot. Our Pilot's name was 'Old Greenwood';*04* and his son John, (whose mother was a Crow Indian). They were mountain men, and dressed the same as Indians.
"After we started for California, the Pilot said there was no longer any danger from the Indians, and our company began to scatter. I remember one night in particular, my Father, with one other family, camped alone, with no other guard than a faithful watch-dog we were so fortunate as to bring with us from our old home in Sangumon county, Ill. This dog would not allow an Indian to come near the camp.-- None of our company were killed by the Indians; but John Greenwood, son of the Pilot, shot down an Indian by the road-side, and afterwards boasted of it.
"Thus far there were no very steep mountains climbed. The course we traveled was through passes between high mountains, or up gradual ascents on long spurrs, until after passing the 40-miles descent, and crossing the Truckee River thirty-two times, we came to Truckee Lake: then, after traveling along the Lake--some of the way being obliged to drive our wagon on the edge of the Lake; some of the time the water coming almost up to our feet--keeping the women in constant dread of being drowned. It was a fearful time for the timid female passengers, both young and old. At night we camped at the foot of the rocky mountain--the Sierra Nevada; and were told by the Pilot that we would have to take our wagons to pieces, and haul them up with ropes. Father proposed to build a bridge, or a sort of inclined railroad up the steep ascent, and over the rocks; but few of his companions would listen to any such scheme. So he went to work with the men and fixed the road."
[Here we substitute for the daughter's account of this most difficult of the many trying emergencies with which Mr. IDE and his associates were confronted, during their six or seven months pilgrimage to the "promised land," what the writer recollects to have been told about it by Mr. IDE, on his first visit to his relatives in N. E., after his settlement in California.]