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Autobiography of Christian J. Larsen, con't.

(April 18, 1854 - 1877)
 18th.  We landed at the same place the H.P. Olsen's company went ashore, and
as usual, according to our instructions and customs, while we were on the sea and
traveling on the steamers on the rivers, I called the company together for prayer
but soon after. Elder H.P. Olsen, who had been in charge of the other company, and
who we expected to be our captain across the plains, came and forbade us to assemble
for prayers or for any religious meetings as long as we remained encamped in this
locality, for, said he, we were now only a few miles away from the very people who
had persecuted and driven the saints from their homes, but our company felt very
much disappointed by this order. I answered that as he was now in charge, I would
submit and do as he wanted.

     19th.  I collected the money from the company, wherewith to pay the freight for
our provisions and luggage on the steamer, and settled my accounts with the company
and also with the captain and from that day and till the 9th of May.

MAY, 1854

     9th.  I was kept busy, by assisting the saints in their preparations for their
journey across the plains.  I administered to many of the sick, also in Olsen's
company and wrote several letters, etc. We moved in small parties or by families
to Westport, eight miles from Kansas, and when we all had gathered there, then the
company was more fully organized by Brother Empey in the following order: H.P.
Olsen, captain; C. J. Larsen, Chaplain; Bent Nielsen, wagon master; Peter Thomsen
captain of the guard; Jens Hansen, captain of the camp; Jens Jorgensen, captain for
10 wagons; A. Winberg, captain for 10 wagons;  Peter Beckstrom, captain for 10;
A. Anderson, captain for 10; C. Capson, captain for 10; Valentinesen, captain for
10;  and captain H.P. Olsen was to have a wagon and two yoke of oxen for himself,
besides a horse to ride or else a mule, and that the company would also have 4 or 5
horses for their use.  Each wagon might have eleven persons and not more than
25 hundred pounds of luggage and provisions to carry.

     10th.  Assisted by Brother A. Winberg and A. Andersen, I consecrated some oil
and blessed Sister Hansen and Brother Petersen's children, and wrote in my journal.
In the evening a meeting was held to take under consideration what use should be made
of the 900 dollars which were surplus after all the wagons and oxen had been paid for,
and it was decided that 90 dollars was given Capt. H.P. Olsen to buy a horse, 300
dollars for horses to the company; 200 dollars set apart to pay for being ferried
across some rivers, and the remaining 310 dollars to be kept in reserve to buy
provisions with, when needed.  This latter provision was with the understanding that
the money should be refunded as soon as their circumstances would permit, by the
parties borrowing such money, after their arrival in Zion.  I blessed some oil and
the next thing I was to solicit for some more money for Capt. Olsen, from such
parties who had surplus means.

     12th.  I had collected 60 dollars and five cents for Capt. Olsen, which I handed
over to him, which it 150 dollars to buy his horse for.  From this day I and some
other brethren were made to make trips back and forward to buy provisions for the
company, to take across the plains. I kept accounts of all this business, besides
blessing a number of children nearly every day.

     17th.  Brother A. Winberg, this day, baptized a man, and in connection with him,
I confirmed him a member of the church.

     21st.  I married Brother Jens Black and Baletta and on the 22nd wrote in my
journal.  A Brother Jens Petersen died this day.

     26th.  This morning at 8 o'clock I had the people together for the first time since
we left Kansas, and we attended to prayer and singing, as we were used to do before,
and we did likewise in the evening at 6 o'clock.  Jeppe Christensen's wife died.

     28th.  This day we held meeting in our camp, both forenoon and afternoon and
observed it as a fast day, partook of the sacrament and we rejoiced in the opportunity
that we thus had again to sing, pray and speak openly.

     29th.  I wrote a letter to Pres. Van Cott in Copenhagen, and to my brothers in
Denmark. During the week I made a list of names of all the emigrants and also made
account for our expenditures for provisions and other items bought for the company,
and in company with H. P. Olsen and Bent Nielsen, met the agent. Brother Empey.

JUNE, 1854

     4th.  To whom we presented the accounts, between us and him which was
satisfactory on both sides.  This had taken up the whole day.

     5th.  We held a council meeting at which complaint was entered against Brother
Hans Jensen, Strand, for unchristianlike conduct and for apostasy against certain
principles in the Gospel.  His certificate of Priesthood was remanded and he was
warned and advised to repent and ask God for forgiveness that he might get the good
spirit again.  In the afternoon we held meeting and partook of the sacrament, and I
spoke to the people for some time, and the spirit of God seemed to inspire and cheer
every heart. As the time was now near for our start on the plains, it was decided
to draw lots for the animals.  Our captain informed us that he had been advised or
ordered to take the companies over a new road for several days, but by whom so
ordered, I never learned, but, said he, there would be found better grass that way,
and he then inquired if the company was willing to do so; all agreed to this propos-
ition.  He further stated that it would be necessary to equip five men with armes,
like soldiers, to be on guard on that road, and the following brethren were selected:
Wm. Walentinsen, A. Andersen, Fred. Nielsen, Peter Madsen and Brother Ries.

     11th.  We held meetings, both in the forenoon and in the afternoon, and partook
of the sacrament.  Brother C. Schou and I occupied the time speaking; blessed some
sick persons and consecrated two bottles of oil.

      15th.  After prayer in the morning and breakfast, we started and traveled two

     16th.  We traveled about 6 miles and then camped.  After prayer in the evening
it was decided to raise money enough wherewith to buy one more yoke of oxen for
each wagon.

     18th.  I wrote in my journal attended meeting in the afternoon.

     21st.   I was back to Kansas after the oxen that we had bought, and some of these
cattle were yoked up the next day.

     23rd.  We broke camp at noon and traveled 10 miles that day, and traveled each
succeeding day without anything happening of special interest. A few were sick.

     29th.  One of our sisters gave birth to a baby boy, and I administered to some
of the sick, and I also baptized one sister in the evening for her health by her own

     30th.  I was awakened at 4 a.m. to administer to some sisters who were sick.
When we camped for the night, I baptized Ove Hansen for his health and also his
brother Olin Hansen into the Church, and confirmed him a member by the laying on
of hands.  The new road which we had traveled so far we found to be very heavy,
and there was no tracks broken and the grass was from 3 to 4 feet high, wherefore,
we didn't go more than 8 or 10 miles a day, and we found it necessary to easy our
loads by emptying our boxes and throw them away, and put our things loose in the

JULY, 1854

     6th.  This day we took a wrong course.  In the evening a Brother Anders Larsen
requested to be excommunicated from the church, as he would not stay with us
longer than we could reach the fort (Fort Leavensworth) in a few days.  His request
was complied with.

     9th, Sunday.  We had meeting in the forenoon.  A few of us spoke in that meeting.
Afterwards we traveled a short distance and at last we descended a steep hillside
and made camp.  The following three days we were kept busy by getting our wagons
down a very steep hillside and making road for them. This was accomplished by
hands and with having ropes attached, that were strong enough to hold them back,
while the wheels were locked.  The cattle were made to swim across the river while
our wagons were taken over in the ferry.  But it was quite a difficult task, although
the distance was not very great.  We, therefore, made camp, to wait for all the
wagons and luggage was safely brought over the river.

     13th.  Finally we got ready and left our late camp about 11 a. m. and traveled
10 or 12 miles that day.

     16th, Sunday.  We remained in camp and had a very good meeting and several
brethren spoke and all seemed to have gained new strength, after the last few days
of hard work.  Some few sick persons were administered to.

     22nd, Saturday.  We struck the old emigration road by the Little Blue.

     23rd, Sunday.  We had meeting in the afternoon and several of the brethren spoke
In the evening Brother Rasmus Johansen baptized a small girl and I confirmed her.

     28th, Friday.  We passed Fort Kearney and this day we killed the first buffalo.

     29th.  While we encamped for noon a herd of buffaloes, numbering several
hundreds, came from the opposite side of the river, passing very close to our camp,
and the brethren killed several of them, and afterwards the meat was dried and we
all got as much meat as we could take with us.

     30th, Sunday.  We held meeting, administered the sacrament and several
brethren spoke, and I married Brother Gardner to Sister Neilsen.  We had a fine
time that day.

AUGUST, 1854

     4th.  We made our camp about 4 p.m.  Apostles E. T, Bentson and Erastus Snow
and Elder Orson Spencer joined us, coming from Salt Lake City and Erastus Snow
spoke to us in our meeting.  The other two brethren spoke to the emigrants in Capt.
Brown's company in the evening.

     5th.  We had a splendid meeting;  the three brethren from the Valley spoke to
us and we appreciated their presence very much.  We were advised by them to divide
our company by two or three divisions, when we had passed Fort Laramie.

     12th.  After we had traveled 6 or 8 miles, we were overtaken by Elders Benson
and Eldredge, who asked us to send 15 yoke of oxen back to assist an English company
who had lost their cattle, and Brothers H.P. Jensen and J. Bentsen were sent back
with help.  We made camp and there we had to settle some difficulty between Christen
Larsen and Niels Beck who had one wagon together, and it was concerning the weight
of each party's luggage.  A committee was appointed to investigate the matter and

     14th.  The wife of Christen Lauritsen gave birth to a baby.

     17th.  We passed a large encampment of Indians before we reached Fort Laramie.
They shot one of our cows, that was lame and we let them have the meat. They also
had shot one belonging to Hans Monsen, and it came into our camp wounded, where
we had it butchered. We then camped for noon, half a mile from the Fort. We
crossed the river and passed the Fort, about 4 p.m.  Here I mailed several letters.

     21st.  Brothers H.P. Jensen and J. Bentsen joined our company again.  They
reported that the Indians had killed 30 soldiers in Fort Laramie.  In the afternoon
we crossed the river and camped, joining Richard's company of emigrants. All
with whom we came in contact had something to tell about the Indian fight in Fort
Laramie. From that date and for several days after we traveled closer together
and made large camps at night.


     2nd.  We laid over for a rest.  At our evening prayer meeting, each captain over
ten wagons was requested to investigate the condition of each family and what they
were in need of and it was decided to make the next day a fast day.

     3rd.  We had two meetings and many of the brethren spoke; we also partook of
the sacrament and I gave a boy the ordinance of laying on of hands, and also blessed
the baby of Christen Lauritzen and some few who were sick.  The spirit of God was
greatly felt in our midst and several of the saints brought voluntary donation of
provisions for the needy, as it was found out that several families were in need.
I was constantly around among the people, those five days that we remained here
and all were willing to help their needy neighbors.

     12th.  A company from Salt Lake Valley brought us some flour and from that
time on we were not left in want for anything, as teams would come out to meet us
with provisions.


     5th.  We this day reached the end of our journey, making our final camp in Salt
Lake City at 6 p. m. I then settled my account with the brethren.

     6th.  This day I attended the semi annual conference and for the first time I heard
President Brigham Young speak, and I was present nearly all the time, during the
following two days meeting.

     12th.  With my wife and my parents, I journeyed to Weber County (Kington Fort)
My brother-in-law, who had arrived the previous year (Christoffer Olsen) came and
conducted us there and we made our first home there.

     22nd.  I was baptized for the remission of my sins according to the rules of the
church for all emigrants and Bishop Thomas Kington confirmed me October 29th.


     5th, Sunday.  I baptized my wife, Barbara Jensine Dorthea, by request of the

     6th, Monday.  I baptized my father and also a woman, Brother Miller and his
wife, Hans Monsen and his wife and their two sons, Hans and Jens, and a widow
woman Monsen. Bishop Kington was present on this occasion.

     13th, Sunday.  Christoffer Olsen was ordained an Elder and then we, jointly
confirmed those who had been baptized.  We had a good meeting and partook of the
sacrament.  I was invited to speak but it was a very short sermon that I preached.
After meeting I baptized my mother.

     20th, Sunday.  In meeting I spoke a short time and then I confirmed my mother
by the laying on of hands.



     13th, Saturday.  At 2 p. m. this day my wife gave birth to a son;  she had been
sick 9 hours, but by the blessings of the Lord, she stood the ordeal well and both
the baby and herself soon got well.  In the spring I had put in 10 acres with wheat,
a couple of miles west of the fort where I had bought 20 acres of land, and my
father and I worked hard to build a dam across a slough so as to get water on the
land to irrigate with.  My neighbor, Mr. Call, who is a surveyor, had told me that
he would help me build the dam because he had some land below mine, but he did not
keep or come up to this agreement and it, therefore, took my father and me, the
time till the month of June before we had finished the job, and then it proved to be
of very little benefit to us as we could water only a few low places of the land.  We
had only a spade and a shovel to work with and had to carry the dirt several rods
in that way.  This was my first trial or disappointment in Zion.

JUNE, 1855

     8th, Friday.  The grasshoppers descended from the mountains in swarms so
thick that they obscured the sun, and they devoured everything growing that was
green, wherever they let down.  Fortunately for me they did not settle on my land,
and if they had done to me as they had done to my neighbors, I would not have raised
a kernel of grain.  All who could irrigate their land raised, however, a third or half
a crop, but I got about one fourth of a crop, and felt very thankful to my Father in
Heaven for that.

     10th.  This day the grasshoppers flew away towards the Great Salt Lake and we
were glad to see them leave us. I was invited to speak that afternoon in meeting.


Bishop Kington chose and called me to be his second counselor in the Bishopric,
and I gave my consent.


     12th, Sunday.  I was called to take the lead of the meeting.  Afterwards I baptized
seven Danish and two English emigrants and Elder Christoffer Olsen and I confirmed
them.  We partook of the sacrament in the evening and Bishop Kington and I addressed
the people.



     1st, Saturday.  I moved to Ogden, where I had bought a city lot and 20 acres of


MARCH, 1857

     1st, Sunday.   My wife and I were baptized;  it was in the time of the General
Reformation, and I was called to act as a home missionary in the Weber Stake of

APRIL, 1857

     7th.  I was ordained a Seventy under the hands of President John Van Cott.
11th.  My wife awakened me and sent me after the midwife.  She was relieved by
2:30 a. m.  A girl.


     30th.  I was enrolled in Chauncy West's company of militia and ordered with the
company to go out in defense of our people, to meet the so-called Buchanan'a Army.
We laid in camp and drilled till the 19th of October, when we received orders to start
north and so we marched through Cache Valley and finally reached March Valley the
25th.  We were under drill every day to some extent.  We received orders to return
and marched back, through Malad Valley and Brigham City to Ogden, where we
arrived Nov. 2nd and were discharged until further orders.


     9th.  We received orders to proceed to Echo Canyon at 12 o'clock and we soon
were on our way up Weber Canyon. A good deal of snow had fallen and it was very
cold, and we reached Echo Canyon between 3 and 4 p.m. and then tried to make
ourselves as comfortable as we could under the circumstances.


     1st.   This day, after we had been drawn up in line and had been addressed by
General D. Wells and Apostle John Taylor and Col. C. West, by way of encouragemer
we commenced our return and reached Ogden and home Dec. 3rd, and all were glad
to be home again, as it was very cold.

During the remainder of the winter. Brother B.F. Cummings and I acted as home
missionaries in Weber Stake and we held meetings nearly every night in one place or
another in Weber Stake and we had an enjoyable time.


In the spring we got word from Pres. B. Young that all the people should move
south.  I was requested to remain with a company of ten men to remain and watch
over the property, and two other companies of 10 men likewise remained in town with
instructions to burn everything if it was necessary.  I was appointed captain of these
companies. According to these orders, my brother Lauritz moved his family and
mine first to Salt Lake City, and later on to Springville, where I found my family
in very straightened circumstances when we were permitted to return to our own
homes.  Before I started for home I was employed in making a road up through Provo
Canyon a couple of weeks.  I had bought a load of Saleratus from a Brother Lemmons
in Ephriam which I peddled away in Pleasant Grove and American Fork, most of the
pay consisted in butter and cheese, which I took to Salt Lake City and was lucky in
exchanging for some calico and other highly needed articles for the use of my family,
but there was very little to be had of that kind in those days.  Later on I brought my
family safely to Ogden.  In the spring of this year (1858) before we moved south, one
of my neighbors came to me and said that he had a fair prospect for a good crop of
volunteer wheat, but as he was going to move south, he would let me have half of
what would be raised on his land, if I would look after it and take care of it, while he
was away, if he ever came back; but when we all were permitted to return to our
respective homes and he came back, and found a very good crop of grain raised on
his land, he would not stand up to his agreement.  I had thus a very gloomy prospect
for a livelihood during the coming winter.  I, therefore, made up my mind to go to
Sanpete for a load of saleratus.  During the summer my parents, brothers and sisters
had all moved to that valley and thus they used their influence to prevail upon me
also to come and make my home there.  The people in Sanpete had raised a good
crop that year.  I gathered up a load of saleratus and started back for home,
disposing of the saleratus as I traveled homeward, and succeeded in swabbing
around till I had got another yoke of oxen and a wagon, besides what I had before.
I sold my city lot to Capt. James Brown for a fanning mill, which I had learned
while in Ephriam, was much needed there, and I then took my family to Ephraim,
however, intending to move back in the spring as I was the owner of 20 acres of
good land about 2 or 3 miles west from Ogden, which I had not sold yet.  During
the winter I made my living by fanning wheat in Ephraim; Caleb Edwards caused
some more land to become hostile and the so-called "Black Hawk War" broke out.
The settlements in Sevier county were especially exposed to dangers from the Indians
and many teams were therefore sent to Richfield in that county to assist the settlers
in coming into Sanpete valley for safety and I was one of the number.  This was
caused also us, in Sanpete, much trouble and labors, because we had to keep guard
at nights when we were not called out to go after the Indians in the mountains, besides
there was from 5 to 6 miles to our hay meadows, and it was, therefore, necessary
to go in companies and go well armed to protect us, while hauling the hay home, and
also have well armed men to tend our cows and other stock.


AUGUST, 1864

     13th, Tuesday.  The previous day I had been cutting hay with a scythe and my
garments had become wet from sweating, and I, therefore, asked my wife to let
me have another garment, but she told me that she had only a new one but had not
got it finished with the proper marks, and I therefore, did not take it or put it on;
we always traveled in companies but I had some extra work this morning to do and
when I got ready and started, I had no company except my 9 year old song but we
reached two other teams before getting to the most dangerous part of our way
through the cedars and up hill over the range, before we could reach the meadow,
and I was, therefore, behind the rest of the company.  When I had just reached the
top of the last hill, the report of guns reached us, and looking back, we saw some
Indians, only 5 or 6 rods from us.  I had my gun fastened to the upright ladder on
my hay rack, and was myself standing upright, when looking to the left, I saw about
15 or 20 Indians not more than two rods away from my wagon;  the other two wagons
were on the right of the road. I shall not attempt to describe my feelings and the
thoughts that flashed through my mind during those moments and while I was getting
my lines untied and my black snake whip in my hand, there were two of the Indians
trying to get ahead of my team to stop it, but failing in that they then fired 7 or 8
shots at once and when none of them hit, I felt perfectly calm and said to my son:
"Stick to the wagon; the Lord is not going to let us be killed. " They followed us on
by here till all had untied their guns at us, the last two shot at my son and he felt the
bullet graze his hair, but was not hurt.  When we reached the hay meadows, we
found that many teams from Spring City, Mount Pleasant and Moroni had stopped as
the men had heard the firing and they then began investigating if any one was hurt,
and it was found out that one bullet had broken the butt end of my gun, another bullet
had settled in my binding ladder, one bullet had cut my lorse lines, which I held
in my hands right under my hair, and one bullet had penetrated my vest, close to
my left vest pocket; all the shots were fired from the right side of the wagon, and
the shots were fired from so close range that where they struck the powder marks
in black were visible in every case.
I have always felt very thankful to the Lord for this wonderful protection of our
lives, and I am even willing to acknowledge that I sometimes have considered it as
a token or witness to those who had accused me of a crime that would have merited
death, if I had been guilty; and I hope that I have thereby learned to follow the advice
of the Apostle Paul  "To shun even that which may have the appearance of sin."


In the spring of 1868, the grasshoppers appeared and destroyed my grain crop
as fast as it came out of the ground and in consequence I concluded, in company with
my first wife, to visit her two brothers, who were living in Cache Valley, who we
had not met or seen for several years. After our arrival there, we learned by
letters from home that the grasshoppers had eaten up all my crop and I therefore
concluded to remain in Cache Valley that summer, in order to raise some means of
subsistence for my family.  One day as I was riding with my brother-in-law,
C. Olsen, on our way to Logan, we met Apostle E. T. Benson, who stopped us in a
very friendly way and addressed us and finally expressed a wish that he would like
for me to come and make my home in Logan.  I told him of my misfortune in Sanpete
with regard to the grasshoppers destroying my crops and he at once took me over to
the Tithing Office and introduced me to Brother Peter Maughan and G. L. Farrell,
and the latter let me have 20 acres to rent, which was planted in corn and 5 acres in
rye, and with this I was kept busy that summer.  In the fall. Apostle Benson came
and offered me a contract under him on the C. P. railroad that was being built and
I took a contract for one half mile and kept at work on that job till Christmas time.
When I arrived home I found my wife very sick and I was forced on the account to
remain with her all winter.  The following spring she had improved some and so
I took my oldest son, John C. with me and again commenced work on the railroad
and continued till the road was finally finished and I had earned enough money to
pay off all my indebtedness that had been accumulated during the winter on account
of my wife's sickness.  Later on that year I went to Spring City and moved the rest
of my family to Logan which had not been my intention when I first set out for that
place.  At the October conference that year Brother 0. N. Liljenquist and I were
appointed home missionaries for Boxelder, Bear Lake, and Cache Valley among
the Scandinavians and in that way the winter was spent.


In the following spring I assisted Bishop Ballard on constructing the Utah Central
railroad till it was finished into Cache Valley.  When Bishop 0. N. Liljenquist and
I were ready to commence our mission in Cache Stake, Bishop William B. Preston
appointed Bishop William Maughan and Bishop Henry Houghe to go with us, and we
thus visited all the wards in Cache Stake, and held meetings, as well as visited many
families in their respective homes, and we had a fine time in these labors.  Two
days meetings or conferences were also held in each ward during the year, all of
which I generally attended.  I also visited Boxelder Stake and held meeting in Mantua
Brigham City, Bear River City and Deweyville. When Apostle Brigham Young, Jr.
was appointed president for Cache Stake, I was called to be a member of the High
Council, and also retained as a home missionary.  When Elder C.D. Fjeldstad was
sent from Salt Lake City, to labor here among the Scandinavians, I joined him and
we traveled together in that capacity, both in Cache and Boxelder Stakes and were
often three or four days away at the time and we always had very interesting meeting
and in all such meetings the local bishop would ask us to attend and speak to the people
in English and in this way we continued our labors till 1877.


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