Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
J27 JONES, Dan. Yr arweinydd i Seion. (The guide to Zion.) [Swansea: D. Jones, 1855].
16 pp. 17.3 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 87.
In the initial plans The guide to Zion was to be a substantial publication that would sell for approximately sixpence. This is apparent in the 7 January 1854 Zion’s Trumpet (pp. 18–19), where Dan Jones printed one and one-half pages of information outlining the contents of his proposed guide. Having been to the Salt Lake Valley and all points along the way, Jones was qualified to share a firsthand experience with future emigrants. He hoped to have the booklet printed and available within a few weeks.
In the 28 January 1854 Zion’s Trumpet (p. 61), Jones announced that the first part of The guide to Zion was off the press in sufficient quantity for that year’s emigrants. He apologized for not having prepared more and asked for patience from those who had been disappointed. There is no extant copy of this first segment, nor was the project ever completed as originally planned.
Jones decided to delay work on the publication because of possible changes being discussed by Church leaders concerning the route of the emigrants. Several months later he would go ahead with the publication of the pamphlet since no decision had been reached. In the 20 January 1855 Zion’s Trumpet (pp. 31–32) Jones announced that The guide to Zion was finally off the press. The booklet is much smaller than he had intended it to be, and it sold for far less—just one and one-half pence each. It contains detailed instructions for passing through New Orleans, but ironically, the large group of Welsh emigrants that year were routed through Philadelphia.
The pamphlet has twelve divisions of varying sizes with the following headings: preparations before starting from Wales, women’s preparations, furniture, instructions for the £13 company, instructions for the “Perpetual Emigrating” group (those who borrowed money for the journey, to be repaid once the emigrants became established in Utah), instructions to various craftsmen, instructions for being in Liverpool, instructions for being on the ocean, things to purchase in St. Louis, instructions for choosing horned animals, instructions for driving a team of oxen, and directions for camping.
Preparation of Emigrants Before Departing from Wales. First, pay your rightful debts to everyone, or obtain the kindness of those you owe either to freely forgive or to allow you time to pay at the end of your journey; without doing one or the other we do not advise anyone to emigrate toward Zion.
Second, strive to be free in your consciences by warning all your fellowmen you can, especially your relatives, and exhort them to obey the gospel and flee to redeeming Zion in time. Your behavior will make your memory blessed.
Third, search for history, names, births, marriages and deaths of your ancestors as far as you can, together with your living relatives. The importance of this will be understood by its future consequences better than we can inform you now.
So much for general counsel, which the poor and the noble alike should obey. For the purpose of instructing everyone concerning the preparations and what we would like concerning clothes and every kind of goods, we have divided our emigrants into three classes; namely, 1. Those with money who are able and intend to go in their own wagons across the plains. 2. Those who will go with the £13 companies. 3. Those who will go with the “Perpetual Emigrating Fund.”
1. We urge the wealthy class of our emigrants to pay their tithing! Concerning clothing, as a general rule we would say that it would be wise to prepare plenty for themselves and their families for two years. They do not need to be different from the clothes they wear at home. Take a similar proportion of summer and winter clothing as used here. People can take off or put on clothes as the warmer or cooler weather circumstances dictate. Hats and bonnets are difficult to transport. Coats, homespun, together with some velvet or moleskins to be worn on the way and for working; also a coat of light material for warm weather. Trousers, of strong material, fustian or moleskins and the like, that thorns will not easily tear are best for the land journey at least. Also some of homespun cloth, or like those worn here. Shirts, an abundance of shirts is good; instead of linen, cotton (factory) is better because sweat causes the former to wear out sooner than the latter, unless the collars and fronts are of linen. Colored checked shirts would be advisable for the land journey, and for some tasks after arriving. Underclothing—of flannel—enough for a year—and material to make underclothing of another and better kind, after arriving in Zion. Shoes and Boots—Not too strong, nor with the great nails that are commonly seen. The leather of this country is better than American leather, therefore it would be best to have three or four pairs each. Wear the oldest on the sea, and keep the others safe from seawater and seabreeze, for the leather and stitching will rot. The same with clothes also, as far as possible. Leather is quite expensive in the Valley; and since the law permits only sufficient for the present necessities of this country to New Orleans, it would be wisest for those who are able, to take leather with them from St. Louis. We do not think it would be a bad thing to take the Gutta Percha to the Valley, since the work of the cobblers is expensive there. Stockings, homespun, mainly; as for worsted and cotton, they can be bought cheaply in St. Louis. The former, knitted in Wales, are the best we saw anywhere. Several pairs for each person would be useful, since there will be no chance to mend them, perhaps, as at home. Besides, the friends that are already there, if you have no relatives, would be glad to buy the occasional article of clothing as listed above. Remember them!
Female Preparations for this Class. It would be good to have a couple of flannel gowns, or some strong homespun material, and some homespun and flannel petticoats, although they will not always be needed; yet, since the shop will be a fair distance away, it would be better to have them at hand when they are needed. Underclothing similar to the homespun, but of greater variety, because of the difficulties in traveling. Stockings and shoes according to the above instructions for the men. Umbrellas and Parasols would be useful when reaching a warmer country. If you wish to fit in with the gentlewomen of Zion, you had better prepare a couple of quite stylish gowns, yet not unseemly; silk and satin gowns would not be out of place there, besides gowns of good cotton on the journey. Also prepare ribbons, for they are expensive there. A variety of everything would be good for the children. We advise women also to prepare fine linen, about ten yards each; when they arrive there they will realize its worth. Abundant bedclothes for those who have a way to carry them. Very comfortable things to sleep on while on the sea, on the rivers, crossing the plains, and also after arriving, are feather beds; and some affirm that they are more comfortable to die upon also! At least, if they are taken, sew two bedsheets around them to prevent their being soiled, and keep them dry. Take an abundance of needles, pins, linen thread, cotton balls, knitting wool, hooks and eyes, buttons, tapes, scissors, knives and forks, spoons, and similar things that you may think of; not because these things are not there, but because taking them is so easy, and they are much cheaper here. It is better that most of the clothes be made or cut out before arriving at New Orleans, lest you be suspected of intending to sell them, and thus lose them.
Household Furniture, &C. Rather than giving the following things away, or selling them for half price, it is better to take them with you: a cauldron or two, a teakettle, a saucepan, a frying pan, and good china, or plates and basins, to be used at sea, even though tin ones would be more convenient, and fire irons, if they are good, and brass candlesticks will be useful after arriving there, for those who have means to transport them. It would be wise to line the chests with sheets of good tin, to keep the moisture out, and then vessels can be made from it at the end of the journey.
To Those Who are Going with the £13 Company. Let us state that the rules of emigration do not permit them to carry in the wagons but a hundred pounds each, besides their food; as a result they are able, according to the above, to choose the most useful clothes to make up that weight. We do not advise this class to take chests, except perhaps one in a family; for they can carry their weight of clothing, or something else they choose. Sacks of painted or oiled linen, which keep the moisture out, are available. We do not need to expand here on the conditions of this excellent Society, or its advantages; that can be found in the TRUMPET, translated from the Star. It would be good if all emigrants took with them a little oat bread, and pickles, and other fancied foods in addition to that which is prepared for them on the ship.
To the “Emigrating Society” Class. We would say that something similar to the previous class will be their preparations also, because they are not permitted to carry but a hundred pounds each overland. Although it may be that circumstances sometimes require that the President of the Camp permit an exception, yet the costs of anything over a hundred pounds will be around seven pence a pound to be carried to the Valley in the wagons. If everyone were permitted to carry whatever they wished, it is apparent that goods would take the place of people, the transportation of whom is the chief purpose of the Society; and the fewer goods, the more people can be transported. Therefore it is proper for this class to choose wisely what things are truly necessary for their comfort on the journey. From Wales, until they go into the wagons, no one will be so particular about the weight of his clothes.
To Various Craftsmen. We answer that it will be better to take some of their tools, unless they can get near their worth for them here; that is, if they are good and easy to carry. In St. Louis there is almost every kind of common craftsmen’s tools to be found almost as cheaply as here; and most are better made or of better design than in this country.
General Advice While in Liverpool. Perhaps there may be one, or more, leaders to every company to Liverpool, and while there, these will be able to offer better instruction according to the circumstances, so that here we need only to urge everyone to do as they advise, as a general rule; yet there is no danger of impressing too much on everyone’s mind, before starting, that they must take care to keep an eye on their things, if not their hands on them, until it is all safe. Do not listen to the offers of strangers, who, like a swarm of wasps, surround you while there; do not listen to them, or answer them, much as if you did not understand them, and indeed, the less English some people understood, the easier it was to lead them correctly. The President will take care of who will carry your things, and to what place, if you will but do his bidding. Many fair offers and flattery will you hear, without doubt, but watch your pockets and your goods, while you pray also to be rid of such. Mothers, if you have small children, you will have a job to follow them along the streets of Liverpool; and if you need to look at the curiosities and the fine things in the windows, it is better to do so after making sure your children are in a safe place, than to let something run over them and kill them, or to let the kidnappers snatch them from your side where you will not see them again, or to let some other accident happen and cause grief. Having reached your lodgings, tired, cold, perhaps, and the children crying, it is good to have a rather good store of that ointment for every wound called PATIENCE. This will be sweeter than honey at that time, and from then on, to all who possess it, and better to see the bottom of the sugar keg than for the pail to have no more patience in it. Those who have not prepared the following necessities for the voyage, will get them here through the directions of the President, without doubt: Vessels for cooking food, according to the size of the family, an iron saucepan, a frying pan, a teakettle, tin plates, and tin cups, plenty of tin bottles to hold three quarts of water for each one each day. It will be better to have a few candles and matches, and as little as you choose of spirits; better to have a bottle or two of consecrated olive oil; and as much faith as possible—it will be of more use; better to have a few bottles of castor oil for the children, and for the weak in faith, just in case; for the change in weather, food, and location causes bodily disorder, as it were, for a short spell; it is good for those inclined to this to watch what they eat; perhaps it would be better to have the occasional feast of bread, or food made of oat flour. Be sure to buy potatoes, bottles to hold vinegar, soda for making bread, onions, and mustard. Those who have the means to buy and transport moleskin, fustian, and similar things, of British make, in large amounts, will find plenty of use for them, as long as they do not take it deliberately to cheat the American government of its tax. Try to distribute the clothing, especially the children’s, and the other things that will be needed often, so that they are at hand, and the remainder can be put safely out of the way in the hold of the ship, and thus there will be more room to move around; and it will be more healthful to have room for fresh air to travel through the ship. The women should prepare several small bags, suitable to hold flour, biscuits, sugar, rice, raisins, tea, coffee, salt, &c., for they will be needed at the start of the voyage, yes, before leaving the dock. To avoid fuss, prepare beforehand, and have everything at hand. If there is food left over, take care of it, for all will be responsible for their own food until after the ship has departed. Do not take shillings, half crowns, sixpences, or tokens to America, because you lose twopence to the shilling. A full worth is received for a pound, and perhaps a little extra. Do not take bills from any Bank in the world there.
After boarding the ship, remember there will be no fire to cook food there, until you go to sea; prepare for that. While the men are placing all the furniture in order, filling the vessels with clean water from the shore, hanging pictures and curtains around the bed, the women must watch that the children do not climb on the side of the ship, where some rope might sweep them into the sea, as happens to many. Shepherd them well in the beginning, teach them not to run up and down, and thus much trouble will likely be avoided during the voyage, if not broken bones also. After the bed is made neatly, in a place you will be shown in an orderly fashion by the president, and after everything else is in its place, and after you have boiled water in the teakettle on the shore, every wise and gentle woman is seen making herself at home, and as cheerful over her cup of tea the first night, as if she had been there a long time! Let everyone who wishes to avoid a lot of trouble, take care to be on board the ship by the time they are advised to be there, for the examination of the Doctors! let nothing prevent you from this, and have the receipt for payment of passage convenient. Let no one appear sad of countenance at that time, lest they be turned back, for your eyes and almost the skin of your teeth will be searched. Take care that the candles do not set fire to clothing, nor anything that may set the ship on fire, better to have a lantern; and hardly any ships allow the light to go out on them on any condition; do not let the children have them, for there is nothing more terrible and destructive than a ship on fire at sea; there is no back door in it as there is in a house, nor a place to escape, therefore take care in this matter!
General Counsel on the Sea. Beside the interesting teaching that will be received from the officers of the company, we add;—do not worry about dying from sea sickness, unless you feed it to a fever by staying in bed, which turns it fatal to many; but strive to eat healthful food, and stay on the deck to breathe pure air as long as you can; this is the best medicine of all, long and frequent experience tells us. Take care not to be in the way of the sailors nor go into the ropes; many have met their end before their time because of carelessness in this matter; this also often stirs up the presidents and sailors to be nasty to the emigrants. Of all places orderliness is desirable at sea. Chests, &c., should be bound and nailed in their place, before the ship begins to rock, and before the passengers begin to get sick. After about fifteen nights of troublefree going on the sea, there will be quite a change in the weather; and although there will be no rain, rather a pouring of clouds in place of rain, care should be taken not to get wet in it. It will feel more comfortable now to take off winter clothing immediately; yet, it is better to suffer, because of the uncertainty of the climate, and remove them gradually, lest you catch a dangerous cold. It is good for the health to bathe in the mornings in sea water, especially for children, the more often the better. Of every advice given so far, let us give to our sisters, especially the younger ones, the most important advice, i.e., doubtless the ship’s officers and sailors will try to be kind to you in many ways; they begin by paying special notice and conversing, then by inviting some number to a respectable place at the back of the ship, and then they start with their jokes; in a short while, they invite one, or more perhaps to begin with, into the cabin perhaps to have dinner, or for a glass of wine, or to do some work for them. But watch and be on your guard! When they go as far as that, if you do not think evil, it will be high time for you to beware of it! Little by little, they will show their intentions; to destroy you is their only purpose. Do not give them a chance, and do not socialize with them; beware of their company as of the gates of death! They can show great kindness but remember what it may cost! One sold his birthright a long time ago for a mess of pottage; so has the dinner of many a one in the cabin cost her more than the worth of the ship and its cargo! Daughters of Zion! you who leave friends and relatives, country and everything, with your longing to go among the pure in heart, do not forget the fiery trial, the accursed temptations that you will have on the sea and the rivers, to despoil you of your chief excellence—the crown of your glory. With clean hands and pure hearts may you reach redeeming Zion. The memory of what we have seen compels us to forewarn you of the danger that has been so destructive to others. Do not believe the promises of seamen under such circumstances, as the poison of vipers is beneath their lips; so it is also with your fellow travelers who are strangers to you, especially on the steamboats, on the western rivers. Oh! that you could hear the moaning of those who refused these counsels while smiling, and believing that they were able to take care of themselves. Do not think they are like the Saints, as they will not defend you as do the brethren. The leftover food from the voyage will be of great use to you on the rivers and the land travel; carefully take with you your cooking vessels, and water vessels, &c. Self-preservation persuades each one to obey the discipline and instructions of their presidents, with respect to keeping themselves and their places clean, and bringing their beds to the fresh air often, to be peaceable, obliging, and godly, &c.
Before reaching the end of the journey, or New Orleans, an abundance of rain water will be had for washing; it would be wise for the women to have on hand plenty of soap for that before departing. When you come into the Port, you will have as much work watching out for thieves as in Liverpool; and another caution that you will need to be aware of is not to drink the liquor of that country. The length of the voyage and the low price will be strong temptations; may the consideration of the importance of health, good examples, and your responsibility to the God who owns you, and in obedience to the call of the One for whom you left your country, subdue the temptation until you are delivered from the consequences that have made many wretched.
It is likely there will be here some appointed steward to receive you, if he has not already hired a steamboat to carry you up the Mississippi. You cannot do better than obey his direction thankfully, if he has been sent to do this, which will be easy to prove.
The river water is now troubled and unpleasant to see, yet is delicious and as healthful, if not more healthful, than any water you will get on land. You will get a cask on the boat, and a bucket with a rope attached at the back end; fill the cask, and let it settle; it would be better to boil it and let it cool, before drinking it. Let the men take care to do this when the boat is stopped along the shore; it is not allowed on any account for women or children to carry water when the boat is running, because it is dangerous in that the bucket could drag them overboard. Many have drowned in doing this; be on your guard before it is too late. The cooking vessels come in handy at this time; firewood will be available on the boat. Do not eat much fresh meat or the fruits of that country at the beginning, lest they may cause diarrhea, which is extremely difficult to cure, and often turns into a fatal fever. The foregoing advice will be very interesting to women now! Take care lest your thieving fellow travelers steal from your chests and your pockets; many travel on these boats only for that purpose, and since the boat often lands near some town, they then have opportunity to escape. Do not go far from the boat when it stops, lest you be left behind. Watch the goods round about, lest they be plundered or put ashore by mistake.
Do not accept paper money without being sure of the Bank. There are coins called five Franks, quite similar in size to a dollar; they are often confused unless care is taken. They are 5 cents less than a dollar, and they are recognized by the figure 5 and a large letter F on them. It is just a matter of paying careful attention, and the money will soon be understood. A cent is about a halfpenny, and there are coins of 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50; the last is a half dollar; it may be that there are other coins besides those noted, but it is easy to know their worth by counting a halfpenny as one cent.
When you reach St. Louis, we advise you not to listen to every tale you hear concerning the Saints, for of every place you have ever been in, this is the last gathering place of apostates and evil-doers excommunicated on the sea and in the States; if they are not in the common burial ground of such men, the only place they will ever be united, namely, the grave, you can expect to find them here, or perhaps they will find you. We do not mean that everyone here is like that; for circumstances keep some here to make preparations for finishing their journey; but it is easy for one who possesses the Spirit of light to recognize the difference. The aforementioned evil men appear very kind, and invite you to their houses, and persuade you to stay with them, that here is a good place, &c., and having had the chance, especially if there is some coldness already, or jealousy of some officer, or if such do not possess the Spirit of God, they will soon begin to whisper old tales about the Valley, about Brigham, or some of the other officers they have seen. Let all observe their feelings when listening to them; do they cause them joy, enlightenment, love, or a desire to serve God, and to reach the end of the journey you aimed at in the beginning? If they do not, the less you believe them the better. What do they know of the Valley any better than they knew before starting from home? Not so much truth, but nine-tenths lies. How unreasonable it is for anyone to lower himself to believe them, after coming so far, in the stories he believes to be lies before starting. And there is none that will do so, unless he is already in degrees of darkness; and these will darken them more and more if they listen. Know the voice of your shepherds, then, in this of all places,—this is the “place of the skull,”—the skeleton mine, and the rookery of all unclean birds.
What Things to Buy in St. Louis. Unless your presidents advise you to the contrary (which is possible because of circumstances), buy stoves; many kinds are found for various prices, from £2 and above, according to their size; contained in these are three lengths of pipe or chimney, and several pots, &c., suitable for it. These are very useful in the valley because they save much wood when cooking; iron cooking pots of every kind; there is a very useful oven to bake bread, on the trail, called Spider or Bakekettle, with a lid on it, so that there is fire over the loaf as well as underneath it. Buy an axe with a handle to chop wood; the Collins brand is the best. An iron plough, a handsaw, planes, augers, files, a corn scythe and a scythe for cutting hay, a shovel, &c. Here they are cheaper by far than in the Valley, for those who have means to carry them; also a boxful of glass 8 by 10 inches, a case or more of mixed nails of different sizes; oil and paints, olive oil, soap, groceries, pepper, Indigo, starch, ginger, and the like. Table salt should be obtained, besides some to give to the animals, about a handful for each one per week. If there is any money remaining, there are many ways here to spend it for useful things to take to the valley. Buy the things considered necessary to build houses, such as locks, hinges, latches, &c. You may be directed to the best shops by the President who is staying in this city, the name of whom this year is Horace S. Eldredge, 13, Market Street. A gentleman very well known to us and in whose word you can trust. Here also are bedcovers, and ropes for securing animals at night on the trail, and for various other purposes. There are clay and china pots here; common ones are to be found now in the Valley.
Concerning provisions for the journey, every instruction will be received from the President. A bushel or two of apples, and dried peaches would be tasty.
Choosing Horned Animals. For those who have sent money in advance, through the office in Liverpool, their wagon and team will be ready for them. If there is a choice of such, choose skilled drivers, quiet oxen broken to the yoke; those of middle age will be the most likely to be thus. If there are but two yoke of oxen and two cows together, ones who are unaccustomed to the yoke will not be of any use to a Welshman who has never in his life yoked oxen. But if there are three or more yoke at one wagon, the untrained ones can be placed in the middle and broken in before long. It is good to have a yoke which is not in use in case one breaks, and several bows (links), bolts and linch pins; whips are available here cheaper than anywhere else. There should be a good pair of oxen for every seven or eight hundredweight in the wagon; cows cannot be depended to pull much if they are in milk; if they are, it would be good to have a small churn to hold milk; then one can churn and make butter; and have a wooden or tin bucket, or one of each. Everyone should understand correctly the weight of his load before starting, and not take anything that is more than the worth of its carriage to the end of the journey. Oxen from five to eight years of age are the best, before that they will not bear the journey, and after that they will become of less and less use after reaching the end of the journey. Iron shoes should be taken for the oxen, but there is no need to put them on until their hooves wear thin; they will show that themselves, poor things, by saving themselves and pushing to the edge of the road, where they have grass to offer comfort to their feet. Take care of them in time. Remember some kind of grease for the wagons, either lard and black lead mixed together, or tar with flour in it; a couple of pounds to each wagon; the Captain of ten will tell you how often to use it.
Instructions for Driving Oxen. Of all other skills this is one that requires great patience to learn, and he who has most patience will learn first, and as a result, will have the least trouble. Strive to learn the language that has been taught to the oxen; they are not spoken to like horses. Commonly, an ox is like a human and wishes to understand before he obeys; if you give him an unfamiliar command or sign, he is likely to do just the opposite from what you want him to do. If you put the whip to his back for that, then he believes that you want him to go faster that way; and away he goes, and you after him: if you panic and whip him worse, then he will do worse and worse; and you may believe that he is the superior and faster, since he is the stronger, and he has four feet to your two. Many draw trouble on their heads needlessly like this. An animal should not be struck any more than a man should until he has understood his task; and the more he is whipped, the more difficult he will be to handle than if you deal with him gently. We have seen much running, perspiring, beating and bad tempers, in trying to yoke oxen, all of which could be avoided, if they are spoken to gently, instead of raising the voice, for they are provoked at once by this. If Solomon had been breaking wild oxen to the yoke all his life, he could not tell better truth than “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” That is the truth as it is with oxen. Having seen much of the two ways to deal with oxen, we would advise gentleness every time. Hold the yoke with the left hand, and the bow in the right hand, and then go to the furthest ox first, very quietly, saying, sook, sook, until you get the bow around his neck and the yoke on his shoulders; and if he moves or treads on your toes, it is better for you to bite your tongue than scream at that time, as you do not know when you will have such a chance again. If you have the proper feelings yourself, the ox will follow you to his partner, and he will come under the yoke if you do not frighten him away by your rashness. After getting the key through the bow, take care to fasten it so it will not work loose. The driver should have about a dozen hickory keys ready, or an iron one with a small chain attached. With patience the oxen will become easier to deal with as they get used to you and understand your way, until soon they will do as you wish, if you do not damage your rapport with them by falling into a bad temper. That is enough about yoking.
Next we will offer instruction on driving them. Oxen depend much on attitude and behavior besides the voice of the driver; their sight is always upon him and his whip. If you shout ho do not strike the furthest on his outer shoulder, as you do with a horse, or the effect will be the exact opposite; but reach him on his hip, and he will come forward to the other; stand a step back yourself, and the nearest ox will take the hint and follow you. If you wish to draw aside suddenly, take one step forward yourself toward the head of the ox, giving a prod to his side with the base of the whip; if that is not fast enough, throw the tip of the whip lightly over the nose of the furthest, to slow him down. When going down a steep slope, it is best to lock, for the last oxen will be badly buffeted by holding back, and their hooves will be worn in this way more than in any other, besides the danger of the wagon rushing upon them, or some other accident. It is always better to take time to lock whenever necessary. Take care, when needed, to hold the whip before them to stop them, or hold back so as not to touch their eyes; because of carelessness or cruelty in this, hundreds have reached the end of their journey blind, and others have become thin because of it and failed to reach the end.
It is better to leave the length of a team between one team and the next so that they are not in the dust raised by the first team; also this will allow more air when the weather is warm besides being a warning to the last if the first happens to stop suddenly, especially on hills and crossing rivers. Every driver should know by the attitude of his animal, if he is healthy, the yoke comfortable, and everything as it should be. If they walk sideways and bent, understand that the yoke is hurting their shoulders, and must be made easier as soon as possible. If they hold their heads high, the bow is too long, and the yoke lies too far back on the shoulder bone; shorten it at once by cutting the keyhole lower or placing something beneath it. If they keep their noses toward the ground with their tongues out prematurely, it is likely that the bow is too short, or too narrow, which is extremely harmful to them. Wash their feet often so that the poisonous alkali in the dust does not burn them, and grease them or put tar on them. Watch for the hollow horn disease: it is recognized by the uncooperativeness, the hair rising, and the base of the horns appearing cold. Cut holes to the base of the horn with a gimlet and pour Spirits of turpentine into it often, together with rubbing it around the base of the horns; this will take their life if it is not cleared; the fouls is also a common disease, which is dead meat growing between the hooves; draw a rope back and forth through it well, then fill it full of tar and bind with strong rags or skin, if you have some, to keep the dust out. By following this frequently, it will improve.
There should be a careful and constant watch on all the animals from the beginning, for upon them depends your success and your journey. Consider if they were lost, or if they failed to carry you further, what would be the consequences of being left hundreds of miles from anywhere, almost without hope of deliverance! Do not let an animal’s sickness become worse while expecting it to heal on its own, until it has become so bad that it cannot be made completely well; otherwise, what good can the animals do? Keep an eye on them, watch them closely, and take care of them all you can. But of all sores and diseases, accidents and poisons, we believe the disease of the whip is the worst, the most deadly and the cruelest! There is reason to fear that more good oxen are butchered by the butchers of the whip, than by letting their blood with a knife in all this long journey! Oh such barbarous cruelty to innocent creatures, and often while doing their best also to serve the pitiless creatures that punish them. At times we saw the occasional wagon sinking into a bog and the driver whipping mightily; if his big whip broke, or if his arms tired, he would call the drivers of the other teams, who by then had caught up with him, and away they would go, each one putting a new knot in his whip, and placing themselves on the list of giants (butchers rather!) on either side of the oxen, and now they would let them have it! However loud their screams, they are eclipsed by the cracking of their enormous whips, and the welts they leave can be seen on the skin of the poor creatures that by this time have pulled until they were sunk into the mire and fainting. The negro drivers are heard boasting who is the best driver, and whose whip cracks the loudest. More than once we had to nurture the appropriate feelings in some of the boys, by having them imagine themselves in the place of the ox for a whipping or two. Without that, some do not understand the taste of the whip. It is a complete mistake to believe that the cruelest whipper is the best dri-ver. In circumstances like the foregoing, we often got the drivers to put their cruel weapons down, and put their shoulders to the wheels, or some part of the wagon, and out it would come at once, something that all the whips in the camp could not have moved. Animal owners, take care of the lives of the animals entrusted to you by their Creator. Do not allow such cruelties to take place. The president should discipline sharply for that, because after these cruel men have destroyed their animals, they expect help from the camp. Since the circumstances of traveling together forces one to depend on the other, no one knows who will be next to ask for help; and since they are all obliged to help one another through, anyone who mistreats or neglects his animals is responsible to the entire camp. There should be a whipping post in every camp, where these unmerciful whippers dwell, so they are reminded of their merit.
Do not allow the driver to sit in front of the wagon all day, out of laziness, and sleep until he is far behind, and then whip onward too fast in order to catch up with the rest; rather the oxen should be given time, and driven at an even pace where the road permits. Where one does otherwise, all those behind him are forced to do the same; in this way many overexert the animals unnecessarily. Some drivers whip the last pair constantly, because they are within his reach from the wagon when he is too lazy to get down and make them all pull their share. Often the last pair are seen with their tongues out when forced to push with their horns the others in front of them. This is considered inexcusable carelessness, regardless of who does it. Take care that the oxen do not rush to water, for when they are hot and thirsty they are very desirous to have it, lest the wagon break or worse. The pairs should be loosed from each other, by unhooking the chains, before they are watered in a deep or muddy place. Oxen should not be made to trot, for that will cause them more harm than walking that distance three times. Watch that stones do not get stuck between their hooves and make them lame. When they need to be shod get help and instruction from the captain present. Let no one grumble against his president if he travels slowly and carefully at the beginning, for on such a long journey it is wiser to take it slowly. Just because your animals are fat and able to travel further does not prove that would be best, for it is better to try to keep them fat for the first half of the journey, as the way is mostly level, with plenty of grass, so that they will be able to pull up over the steep slopes of the Rocky Mountains before you where the grass is much sparser, than to wear them down before reaching those places, and then to leave their bones and the wagons, and depend on others to carry you to the end of your journey, as many have done. It is better for you to be longer on the journey, and keep your animals with you, and able to work after reaching the Valley. Doubtless the President of the camp will know his job in this; therefore, be satisfied with his method, even if you were to travel only a dozen miles a day at the beginning.
Directions to Camp, Watch, &c. The captain of the company will direct where and how to camp each night; usually corralled, or camped in a closed circle, which is done by bringing the furthest front wheels of one wagon to the closest back wheels of the other wagon in front of it, until all are in a circle, except for an entrance. This is a great safety if Indians were to strike, besides being an enclosure for the animals until they are yoked, the cows milked, &c. Men are called to watch the animals in a circle in the nearby grass, and others are called to watch the camp at night. This is very important work, because the Indians are so cunning. Rarely do they show themselves in the day if they intend to plunder at night; thus you are not safe just because you have not seen Indians. The nearer to you the Indians camp, the safer you will be. Without any warning they crawl in among the animals, yes, to the camp sometimes on their hands and knees in the dark, dressed in wolf skin as a disguise; and if they accomplish their objective, they jump on horses, letting out their war whoop, to terrify all and get the prey out of sight, while you are searching for your weapons. Therefore watch and pray, for in the hour you do not expect, these human wolves come among you. There is almost nothing that determines the character of man in the opinion of his fellow travelers as much as his behavior with respect to his duties on this journey. The obedient person has never lost his good name.