Sunday, April 25, 2010

"With Interest As Required"

Perpetual Emigration 
Fund Agreement

"We the undersigned, do hereby agree to bind ourselves to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company,in the following conditions:

viz. - That in consideration of the aforesaid company emigrating or transporting us, and our necessary luggage from England to Utah, according to the rules of the Company, and the general instruction of their authorized agents;

we do severally and jointly promise, and bind ourselves to continue with, and obey the instructions of the agent appointed to superintend our passage thither,

that we will receipt for our passages precious to arriving at the port of disembarkation in the United States at the point of outfit on the Missouri River,

Prior to arriving in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and at any intermediate stopping place the agent in charge may think proper to require it.

And that on our arrival in Utah, we will hold ourselves, our time, and our labor subject to the appropriation appropriation of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company,

until full cost of our emigration is paid, with interest if required."

"Brother Martin?” someone asked, "How far is it from Iowa City to the Valley?"
Martin hesitated and Rose wondered.
Afraid to say?
Martin continued,
"I believe the figure is close to one thousand three hundred miles."
There were more than a few gasps and mutterings but Martin had prepared for this,
"You have looked upon the journey all in a lump! You are going to divide those miles into perhaps seventy five or eighty smaller daily chunks.

Rose was surprised at how easily the cart with its high wheels rolled as she and Abigail squeezed themselves inside the pull space and stepped forward.
"Aren't you glad the land is flat, Mama? See how our feet sink a little bit into the soil?"
"Yes. They tell me that our advantage of flat land is offset by the soft walking,
but that when the ground gets hard and we leave the plains the land will rise upward into the great mountains. We'll make no better time because of the need for constant pulling."
Rose found herself already puffing from her exertion.

"If you was my wife and Rose was my daughter - both of you meanin more to me
than anything else in this world - I'd make you stay in Florence until spring."
Abigail shook her head.
"But why, Jacob? Surely the Lord -"
"Surely the Lord helps them who help themselves, including thinkin straight about danger.
You ain't seen what's waitin fer ya at the end of the prairie. You still got to climb a lot of mountain passes ladies, an more'n a few are more than a mile high.
You want to try that in a snowstorm?"
Abigail's response was stubborn,
"I can't believe that. Snow that early?"
"Hell yes! And I don't mean just higher up. In late fall even the lower passes might have snow.
Let's say you get out of Florence within the week. The trip from Florence to the Salt Lake Valley is maybe seventy five days. October is only thirty days away
You'll still be on the plains in thirty days.
I'd sure as hell keep my women off the road through to next spring if I wanted to be sure I'd ever hold em close agin!"

Rose's Journal:
"Captain Martin has ordered our rations cut from a pound to three-fourths pound
of flour per person per day.
Jacob was right. Elder Savage knew what he was talking about.
Mama's and my seventeen pounds of clothing included mostly summer costume.
It is getting much much colder and harder to sleep at night, leaving us too tired
to pull during the day.
I'm beginning to worry ...seriously worry.

"Don't you see that what happens in the next few hours may very well free or seal
the thinking and path of the rest of my daughter's life?
... we have got to try!"