Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Born: 21 November 1841 Died: At the age of 98

          The following is from the Book of Remembrance of Howard Blaine Cragun, gr-grandson of Emma Sarah (WHITE) Guthrie and Lorenzo Freeman BINGHAM and is being typed by Ruth WOOD Cragun, wife of Howard Blaine.

Be it known that I, Mrs. Emma White Guthrie, whose present residence is Harrisville, Weber County, Utah, am on this 15th day of April, 1931 herein stating the history of my life.

             I was born in London, England 21 Nov. 1841. My mother’s name being Rebecca WHITE and my father’s name being Samuel WHITE. (NOTE: Father was Samuel WHITE and mother was Sarah Rebecca ADAMS rc)

My father joined the Mormon Church in 1850 at London, England. I was personally baptized in this church when I was 9 years of age. My mother was never baptized into this church
My father was porter in a fruit and vegetable market known as Covent Garden in the city of London. This market was the largest market of its kind in existence at that time. Fruit, vegetables, and flowers being shipped to this market from all parts of the country (France, etc.). This position my father held long before my birth and up until his departure to America, which will be stated later in this document.

On the 1st day of April, 1852, myself and my father left London, England for America The views of my mother regarding the Mormon Church were not in accordance with those of my father and myself and it was for this reason that we two left London, leaving mother behind. We had one thing in mind, which was “to go to the city of Zion.” We had been converted into the Mormon religion by Mormon missionaries who worked in London.

As stated, on the 1st day of April 1852 we left Liverpool, England. Liverpool being one hundred (100) miles away from England (possibly she means 100 miles from ‘London’ rc). There were four hundred (400) people set sail on this date, including men, women and children, all converted to the Mormon religion and our slogan was, ‘we are all Zion bound”. The name of the ship on which we traveled was ‘The International’.

We were on board this ship exactly six (6) weeks and three (3) days from the time we left Liverpool, England until we disembarked at New Orleans, Louisiana.

Our average speed, under normal weather conditions, was forty-four (44) miles per hour on this ship, but frequently we encountered what is known as ‘headwinds’ and in such cases it was our experience to be driven back (40) or more miles, due to these headwinds.

The trip in general, for those days, was about as pleasant as we could expect. My father brought with him quite a supply of food such as bread, which we called gingerbread. This was made into large slices of toast, which was mostly our food. The ship allowed us a certain supply of food, but mostly our food consisted of our own bread, as that which was supplied by the ship was only in a very small quantities, and for liquid we were allowed one pint of water per day and myself, being under age, I was allowed one half pint of water. We brought with us our own tea, and from this water allowed us we were permitted to go to a certain part of the ship where we could heat this water to make our tea. Occasionally we were allowed a small quantity of hot water with which to make this tea in addition to that which we were usually allowed.

Our sleeping quarters were all below deck. The beds, being called ‘bunks’, were so arranged that one was above the other. Each individual had their own bunk. The main deck was used only for pleasure such as walking around, holding meetings, etc. Every evening we held one on board ship.

One of the Mormon missionaries, by the name of Captain Brown, was in charge of the four hundred (400) converts. He left Liverpool with us and was in charge throughout the trip until we landed in Zion.

As previously stated, we landed in New Orleans, La. Six (6) weeks and three (3) days from the date we set sail from England. This making our landing in New Orleans about the middle of May in the year 1852

After landing in New Orleans, we remained there only long enough to get our belongings together and our Captain then loaded us on a steamship on which we sailed up the Missouri River to St. Louis, Missouri. A short distance from St. Louis was our camping ground, where arrangements were being made to cross the plains to the city of Zion.

At this camping ground, the equipment consisted of wagons and oxen teams. There were generally, what is called, three (3) yoke of oxen, to each wagon (a ‘yoke’ consisting of two (2) oxen. There were forty (40) wagons to our train (a train being the entire outfit of wagons, oxen, etc.). In a few cases there were four (4) yoke of oxen to a wagon, but not often.

We remained at this camping ground a few weeks, during which time the equipment was being put in order for our trip to ‘Zion’. Oxen had to be purchased, wagons equipped and bows and covers, etc
We left this camping ground headed for Salt Lake Valley. Previous to our crossing these plains, surveyors had surveyed practically all the road and there had been some travel over same. Enough so that it was known to us which was the road. Scarcely anyone rode during the entire trip from the camping ground in Missouri to Salt Lake Valley. We all walked, as our clothing, bedding, provisions, etc. took up all the room in the wagons and it was only when one became ill, or in some manner unable to walk, they were permitted to ride. It was only when we came to rivers that we would ride and, when coming to these, naturally they had to be forded and we would ride across the water.

Our main trouble was with the Indians. This was the tribe of Sioux Indians. They were a very wealthy tribe of Indians, highly painted and dressed in their style and rode the most beautiful of ponies. They would halt our train of wagons and demand food. There was no use trying to fight them, as in such an attempt they would fight to kill. Our only way out of such a predicament would be to feed them. In such cases, where we were attacked by the Indians, our Captain made  (the) family of the entire 400 converts give to the Indians a certain amount of our supplies, such as half pint of sugar from each family and other food we (had) in proportion. Sugar, these Indians were very fond of and made special demands for this. The Indians were equipped with bow and arrow, scalping knives and, in a few cases of the wealthier ones, they had firearms. The main food on which the Indians lived was the buffalo they would kill.

Encouraging those Indians so frequently and having to give a certain portion of our food products to them, we were afraid we were going to run short of food ourselves. On every occasion we tried to hold out from giving them food, but they were wicked and would kill in dark. On one occasion they came in the night and frightened our cattle, causing them to stampede. In one case I recall now, our cattle were frightened away and scattered to the extent that we were two (2) days getting them rounded up and ready to pull off again. I might say, as nearly as I can recall, we had three (3) full months of traveling across the plains, walking all the way from our camping grounds in St. Louis to Salt Lake Valley.
The first mountains I recall coming to was what is known as ‘Little Mountains’ and ‘Echo Canyon’. I recall my father taking me by the hand and standing on top of ‘Little Mountain’ and looking over into Salt Lake Valley.

We landed in Salt Lake Valley October 1, 1852, a full six (6) month journey from Liverpool. We camped on what was known as ‘
Immigration Square
’, which was very near the place that is now known as
Temple Square
. No one was allowed on the place except the immigrants. Our Captain told us that we would not have to remain on this
Immigration Square
very long as there would be members of the Mormon church who would come and get us and take us to our homes. Fortunately for my father and myself we were taken by Mr. Wm. C. Staines, who was a high member of the church and later a high man in the organization of Brigham Young.

We remained there all winter, at which time my father took a notion to leave Salt Lake and go north, taking me with him. He came north from Salt Lake Valley and located at Bingham Fort (later known as Lynn Ward). This Bingham Fort was all enclosed by a high mud wall, as protection against the Indians. This protection (as we thought) was really not much protection against the Indians, but acted as a feeling of safety in the minds of the people.

My father worked on this vicinity approximately three (3) years, building fences and digging ditches and working for other people who had located here previous to our coming.

My father and myself lived in a log cabin, which he built himself. The winter of 1853 was known as ‘the hard winter’. Terrible cold. So much so that cattle died from exposure. The snow was so deep and the weather so cold that the cattle, in trying to feed themselves by eating the bark from the trees at the river bottoms, would freeze to death standing  up.
It would be difficult for me to say how we lived during that winter. I could probably best answer this question by saying, “We didn’t LIVE”. However I recall my father bringing home a bushel of wheat from a man for whom he had been working and he took it to a small mill and had it ground. We ate the best of it and then were forced to eat the balance, which we would now call ‘bran’, or ‘pig feed’.

I also recall one incident where my father would go to the river bottoms with a sled he had built and would cut the rear quarters from the cattle, which had frozen to death in the river bottoms and bring them home. Here he would do, as we called, ‘jerking’ the meat. This slicing it to fine slices, salt it and dry it. In this manner we had two burlap sacks full of this kind of dried meat. In the fall of 1857 Johnston’s Army came in and it was their intentions to kill all of the Mormons. They were held back in the mountains by the Mormons all during the winter of 1857.

They had sufficient grain for their mules and they killed game for their own support. They were held back in the mountains by the Mormons until they were about starved out. In the spring of 1858 Brigham Young issued orders that all Mormons (except a few of the rear guards) were to leave this valley and go down south. This was done. Then, as stated above, Johnston’s Army was about starved out and finally sent word into the guards of the Mormons that, if the Mormons would allow them to come in, they would not fight. Word was passed on to Brigham Young and on the promise of Johnston’s Army not to fight, they were allowed to come. They came and went directly to what is now known as Fort Douglas and commenced building what is now known as Fort Douglas. They hired the Mormon boys and paid them in actual money. They had plenty of money, but no provisions. This was done while the majority of the Mormons were down south. Then, after being down south several months, quiet seemed to reign in Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young ordered us to return to our homes, which we did.

It was after our return from the south that father and I went north and located in what is now my home in Harrisville, Utah. It was while I was on this farm with father that I met Thomas B. GUTHRIE, whom I later married. My father died in 1878. I was married previous to my father’s death and gave birth to five (5) girls and four (4) boys. Nine in all.

1 comment:

  1. I know her story said her father died in 1878 but I find records in the new LDS database (submitted by members, not church records) and trees in ancestry that both say he died  1883 (April 3).
    Her history says "arrived exactly 6 weeks, 3 days" from 1 April 1852 =16 May 1852
    but I found this record with both Samuel and Emma:
    Emma White   Departure:   - Liverpool, England  
    Arrival:  7 Jun 1853 - New Orleans, Louisiana   Birth:  abt 1841  
    That is 9 weeks 4 days.
    She states the name of the ship is the International but the records show it was the Camillus. She states she was 9, the ships log shows 12.
    I found an article online that has all of the immigrants of 1853. It lists names and ships. According to the article, they were on the Camillus.
    Nancy CRAGUN Day,
    her gr gr gr granddaughter