John Jaques—Martin Handcart Company
Friday, October 17, 1856 • “Traveled about 5 miles and camped on Deer Creek. Washing done. Luggage reduced. Owing to the growing weakness of emigrants and teams, the baggage including bedding and cooking utensils, was reduced to 10 pounds per head, children under 8 years, 5 pounds. Good blankets and other bedding and clothing were burned as they could not be carried further, though needed more badly than ever, for there was yet 400 miles of winter to go.”
Sunday, October 19, 1856 • “The company crossed the Platte River for the last time. That was a bitter cold day. Winter came on all at once. The river was wide, the current strong, the water exceedingly cold and up to the wagon beds in the deepest parts, and the bed of the river was covered with cobble stones. Some of the men carried some of the women over on their backs or in their arms, but others of the women tied up their skirts and waded through, like heroines as they were, and as they had done through many other rivers and creeks. The company was barely over when snow, hail and sleet began to fall, accompanied by piercing north wind.