64. Frink August 11, 1850

Mr. Clarke's company came up and camped beside us. Also part of the Mount Morris company, whom we met on Bear River—William Bryant, Mr. Sharp, the two Coffman brothers, and our lady friend, Mrs. Foshee. The Indians had stolen all their horses except two nice ponies. The whole party were now in sad plight, on short rations, with only two horses, and a lady in the company, whom the young men felt it to be their bounden duty to see safely in California. The young men were willing to walk and carry their own provisions if they could find some one who would take Mrs. Foshee to Sacramento, and accept the two horses for pay. For herself, she had no fear, for she felt sure that God would provide her some way to get there safely, for he had already, in a miraculous manner, saved their company from starvation. We had met them several days previously, near the Humboldt River, and I had gone to their camp, where I found them entirely out of provisions. They had just eaten the last food they had. But Mrs. Foshee was not dismayed, and was pleading with the young men not to despair, to still put their trust in God, for she was sure they would be provided for. And so it actually turned out. They had not traveled far that afternoon when one of the young men came across a young cow tied to some willow bushes, with a card fastened to her horns, on which was written the statement that nothing was the matter with the cow, that she was only footsore and not able to travel fast, and that any one in want of provisions would be at liberty to kill her for food. This being their desperate case, they stopped, killed the animal, cut the meat into small strips to dry, and traveled on with lightened hearts. The next day they found a sack of flour with a card attached, on which was written permission to anyone in need of food to appropriate it to his own use. As this applied to their own party, they gladly took it with them. Mrs. Foshee's prediction was fulfilled to the letter. And now here they were at our camp to-day, the young men offering their two horses to any one who would furnish to Mrs. Foshee a safe passage to California. While we were all talking the matter over, there came into camp the Rev. Mr. Morrow, a Methodist clergyman, to give us notice that he would preach in a tent near by at two o'clock. We had had some previous acquaintance with him, and I suggested to him that here was an opportunity to put in practise the teachings of Jesus Christ, by giving up to Mrs. Foshee his comfortable seat in the passenger carriage he was traveling in. A train to carry passengers across the plains had been fitted out in St. Louis by McPike and Strother, and Mr. Morrow was with them. The situation was fully explained to him. The four young men, all that remained of the Mount Morris company, with whom Mrs. Foshee had set out from home, now offered to the minister to give him their only two remaining horses, by which he could reach California sooner than by the slow passenger train, if he would give his seat in the carriage to Mrs. Foshee. He could take with him either his own supply of provisions, or her share of the dried beef and flour which the young men had found, and she would accept in return what provision he had on hand. After discussing and considering the matter a little further, Mr. Morrow consented. The exchange was made. And the next morning we all said good-by to Mrs. Foshee, as she sat in her carriage, smiling and happy, ready to continue her journey. At the same time the Rev. Mr. Morrow, riding one of the two horses and leading the other, packed with his clothing, blanket, and provisions, passed out of sight and we saw him no more. And so the four young men who had given up their ponies, were left to travel the rest of the journey on foot, each with his bundle of flour and dried meat, which had so fortunately been found a few days previously. They were happy to be relieved of their responsibility for the safety and welfare of Mrs. Foshee. They had to leave behind them, when they started out, a complete outfit of new clothing, blankets, and comforts, with all the little articles which their mothers, sisters, and sweethearts had, with so much care, fitted up for them, as, without their horses, they could carry but little save the bare necessities of life. Mr. Bryant, however, carried his pick, with which to dig gold when he got to California.


The Frinks camped here for five nights (August 9-13), taking the opportunity to rest their animals and cut hay for the upcoming desert crossing.