BYU Special Collections
Source: Archibald Gardner, Autobiography, typescript, BYU, 1944
Grammar has been standardized.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 1
[p.1] Mill Creek Ward, Great Salt Lake Valley, April 10th 1857. Journal of Archibald Gardner, and a brief account of my life before this date. I was born in Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland. My father's name was Robert Gardner, son of William Gardner and Cristin Henderson. He, my father, was born at or near Huston town, Scotland, and his forefathers before him was also born near the same place. He [Robert Gardner] was born in the year 1781 March 12th.
My mother's name is Margret Calinder, daughter of Archibald Calinder and Margret Ewen Bern. She was born at or near Falkirk town, Stirlingshire, Scotland in the year 1777 in January. My father [Robert Gardner] married my mother in Glasgow between the age of 19 and 20 years of age. Their first child was Margret, my sister. She died age 9 months and 9 days by small pox. She was born in Glasgow. My brother, William, was born in Glasgow in the year Jan. 31, 1803. My sister, Christen, was born in Glasgow and died age 15 months and some days, with the dregs of whooping cough. My sister, Mary, was born in Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland in the year 1807 June 5th. My sister, Margret, the second was born in Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, next and died age about 13 or 14 months old. My sister, Janet, was born in Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, about 1812 and died of Typhus Fever in (Dalhousie, Bathurst District, Eastern Canada West, or upper Canada, Ontario) October 1824. I [Archibald Gardner] being next, was born at the Garril Mill, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in the year 1815 August 31. The next was a girl born dead at 8 months. My brother, Robert, was born [in] Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland in the year 1819 October 24th.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 2
[p.2] My father [Robert Gardner] and brother, William, and sister, Mary, emigrated to America in the spring of 1822. My mother [Margret Calinder Gardner], sister, Janet, with myself and Robert waited one year, expecting to follow the ensuing spring. But not hearing any account, only those that would discourage. She, my mother [Margret Calinder Gardner] sold out and started and got as far as Glasgow, leaving her sister, Lishman, and Ann, who [would] follow her next day, with a letter from my father [Robert Gardner] which had been wrote [written] after he had got safe across the ocean. Only my sister, Mary, had nearly died of Small pox in the ship and there was no account of which way he steered. So we all started aboard the Buckinhorn for Quebec, [a] passage of five weeks and 3 days. And heard nothing of father [Robert Gardner] and the rest, until we arrived at Prescot above Montreal, where he, hearing of the wives of 25 men that had left the same way as my father did, to go and see the country and if it suited to raise crops for their families. He started on foot, it being 72 miles from where he took up land, and met us there at said Prescot. I [Archibald Gardner] mention this the more particular as that was a time long to be remembered.
We traveled 10 miles where my brother, William, was working for a man by the name of Gray. We got there at noon, when the men was coming in to dinner, and the woman of the house wishing to see them meet, called mother to see which of these men was William. He being about 18 years old and had in one year grown so tall that before they come to the door she took Thomas Reed to be him. His clothing considerable injured by wear, his Scotch Bonnet or cap holes in it, his face was sunburned and she did not at first know him. He in turn paid no attention, not expecting we was [were] in America, but on turning around, they all burst into tears, and although I was only 8 years of age, will never forget this meeting and my fathers.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 3
[p.3] We had a good time and started to Brockvile, and that night got some 20 miles from Prescot. William leaving his place and come [came] home with us. My brother carried me on his back some of the time, and father carried me some of the time, and once or twice my mother carried me on her back. When some of the rest carried Robert my brother for her, which she had carried most of the time. He being 2 and half year old and not weaned yet.
We arrived in Dalhousie where my sister, Mary, had stayed, and took care of the place while my father was come to meet us. She, coming out of the little log house, heard us coming and ran through the woods on the foot path to meet us, but coming up with her little dog Snap. She, on seeing us, burst into tears, and returned to Shanty without speaking. Where we all come up and had another joyful time, having all got safe through the mercy and blessings of God, to a home in the woods of America. Where liberty and peace and prospects of plenty and a free home of our own, was a joy that filled every heart after the long absence which was mixed with so many hopes and fears.
To return to my father, he [Robert Gardner] was brought of goodly parents, being the youngest of thirteen, his father [William Gardner] being an Elder in the Presbyterian church. He was bound out to learn to be a house carpenter, and commenced working journey work when young. After being married a few years, he commenced keeping grocery and tavern keeping. He then rented the Garril Mill from the Connal Company where I was born. He had also a farm, doing a good deal of business, he being a good scholar. But times got poor, business became dull, and the people got dissatisfied with the government. Meetings were held even privately in our own house or tavern. Skirmish after skirmish took place until the Battle of Bunock Burn, when prisoners were taken and sent to jail to await their trial. Although young at that [p.4] time I still remember the shrill sound of glass bugle of my brother, William, when it sounded. Turn out at midnight at the cross of Kilsyth, two doors from ours, the sound of doors opening and shutting along the street as the bugle sounded, and the companies passed along. The din grew louder as the companies increased. William had sent it without knowledge of this purpose it was used for.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 4
After the radicals were defeated at this battle, the government took active measures, and crowded jails and castles with prisoners. Many honest people were carried away to prison, that had no hands in this affair, because of information given through spite. The Factor of the town, having been defeated in a law suit by my father [Robert Gardner], his [Factor] great pride was hurt, and he reeked his vengeance on my father, by informing that he was a rebel. He [Robert Gardner] was taken from his business and made a prisoner in Stirling castle to await his trial, when the Judges would come. In nine weeks, they came when Beard and Hardy was condemned and hung and beheaded and a great many banished to Botany Bay. My father [Robert Gardner] was released without any one to bring any thing against him. I [Archibald Gardner] remember the day he came back, when crowds came to see him. I was then only 5 years old, and my mother [Margret Calinder Gardner] took me by the hand, and we met him [Robert Gardner] on the burn green out side of town. My father had often talked of going to America, but after this usage, he told my mother that he won't [wanted to] go if he had to turn sailor and work his passage, before he would stay to be dragged from his home, and on spite and no redress. He would go where he could enjoy liberty.
So as I mentioned in the first of this, he left to find a new home like Lehi and his family of old, and although not led by revelation like them, the hand of the Lord was in it as we have seen since.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 5
[p.5] After he [Robert Gardner] landed in America, they took land in Bathurst District, the government giving it free, but it was generally rocky and cold. A great number of the emigrants stayed at their camps to long, and so died of the Flue and other diseases, and used up their means. Some left for the states. Others went to clear their land after means was getting scarce, but my father [Robert Gardner] and William and Mary started from Lauark, their camping place, to take land next day, and took land 7 miles back in the woods, and commenced to build a log cabin, and packed all their luggage on their back without a road, through swamps and over logs. All their provisions, and all their seed in the spring, potatoes and every thing. One time my father [Robert Gardner] and William was coming home in the winter, with a back load of provisions, when one place my father went deeper in the snow than usual, and sitting on the snow, solid snow 3 ft. deep all over, said to William, "We will have luck from the canteen," but when the cork was pulled, it was frozen. It must have been very cold, or the whiskey very strong. Many such incidents I have heard them tell in their jolly mood.
All the emigrants that came at that time had hardships to endure. Passed the common privations suffered in new settlement, as they were all in mass inexperienced, they could not chop, and had no team, either to log, or go to mill, or to harrow. But they logged by hand, carried all their rails on their shoulders, made bridges carrying logs, and all their log houses. They would get together and from 4 to 16 men would put hand spikes under it and carry it to the building, raising some large log buildings 30 or 40 ft long in this way.
My father cleared 10 acres and had it in crops the first year this way, and continued to do so for about three or four years. Before we had a [p.6] team, my brother, William, went to the Erie Canal and worked out and got money, and brought home a yoke of two year old steers. After being some three years in the country, my father bought a yoke after four years having cleared some 40 acres by hand of heavy timber, a good deal of hemlock, carrying all the grain to mill on their back.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 6
One year all the mills was frozen up on account of a dry fall and hard winter. William went to Bottoms Mill and stayed 5 days with a back load and did not get. My father bought a pepper mill for 2 dollars, and we ground all on it for over a year. I have stuck to it until I was almost sick of living, but before we got it we lived one winter on bitter or winded potatoes which was a hard thing [for] the dog to eat.
My sister, Jannet, took sick with the Typhus Fever. We first noticed after complaining of hiches for some months. She took sick and next day told her mother that she must go to work or her father would be angry. So my mother come out and told us, she never had her senses any more. She lived about 3 weeks. The night before she died they were pouring cold water from a tea kettle on her head. She said let me lie. By the middle of the night, I will be at the top of the hill, and as she said, at midnight she went to rest. During that time we could not get any flour or meal, but we got a little coarse shorts or fine bran. She said is that for me? Such stuff as that, but she had no other while she lived.
After this we began to make roads, build mills and the settlers got to understand the country, but the Canada Thistle almost run them out. Wheat commenced rust, and corn got frozen, and we eat Pens bread. I will never forget how I hated to eat it. At last I got so sick of that country that I left and took land in the township of Warnick, having never left my [p.7] father's house before. I traveled 1000 miles on foot and got a little of the rust rubbed off.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 7
To return to my brother, William, he got married in January 1829 to a girl named Ann Lackey. Robert, his son, was born April 3 1830. John was born Oct 24th 1831. Jane was born Aug. 21st 1833, all in Dalhouise, Bathurst District, Canada. But his wife being subject to convulsion fits, he had a hard time. He cleared a farm on the banks of what was called Mud Lake on the small Mississippi, working hard, timber heavy, land stony, and thistle growing thicker and faster after the hard wood timber was cleared off, so that the people could not make Potash. The people thought of leaving, a good many of them [did]. This was the case with William, although we had good times and hard times mixed. We used to take the hounds and go to the lakes and chase the deer into the water, and then follow them with a birch bark canoe, and then either shoot or kill them with clubs. We used to go out at night with bark lantern along the river banks having the lantern in the front of the canoe and when we would hear the deer walking, we would light the candle, and paddle canoe up with in a few steps. The deer could not see any thing behind the lantern as it was open in front facing him, so that we could shoot them nicely. We used to go out in the woods and what they called still hunt. This was best when there was a light snow. Other times when the snow was deep and a thaw came, and a crust came on the snow, we would take Old Watch, the old hound and kill two or three a day. So we used to have sport that we liked as we could always have plenty of meat.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 7-9
William was a keen hunter and killed a great many deer, some other game, ducks and geese, partridge, otter, etc. But after I left and went back to [p.8] winter, William, his wife, and children started to the new home 500 miles, late in the fall. I waited till spring and then followed. I saw some hard times that first summer. After traveling on foot, hunting a place to suit me, I commenced to clear the land. I went to a shanty 2 miles every night for about a week, so as to have company. When one afternoon I split my foot with the axe, I ran the two miles with the blood running and then got it rolled up. The men all left the next day. [I] went on my knees one and half mile to a shanty where a man and his wife lived. When I got there the man went out to work for provisions, only coming home on Saturday night. I lay in bed seventeen days, 500 miles from home, to 30 miles back in the woods. When I again went to work, William McAlpin and myself changed work. We stuck up bark on some cros, slept under it. When the wolves would yell all night all around us he would say, "Keep awake. Let us make fire." and I would say, "No danger." and go to sleep as though I was in best bed room, having nothing but the bed cloths we had carried on our back. I have packed 40 lbs on my back and traveled 50 miles a day for several days together. All I used to carry was dry bread or crackers for several weeks and when chopping in the woods we baked in fry pans and would sometimes have a little pork. I had only got one week from cutting my foot the first time when I cut my other foot on [the] joint of my great toe, and was so vexed at myself that I said I would work no matter how it went. I did not loose over an hour. It continued sore until the time came to go home. So I started to travel over 300 miles of the 500, that lay between me and my folks, and so that was the only time I ever was homesick. But I thought if ever I got back, I would value a home, but I got over it and never was [p.9] troubled since. After spending the winter among my old acquaintances, chopping ten acres of heavy timber, and cutting and hauling one hundred sawed logs to raise means, I started again to the west where William was working, and raised some crops. When in the fall, my father and all the rest came after us. So now you see, we are all in Warwick.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 9
I stayed at home and took jobs occasionally of chopping for 2 years. When I went and looked out a place to build a mill, 9 miles from where we lived, and commenced by the Millright telling me that, by having 400 dollars besides what labor I could do, but the patriot was commenced my doing on account of being left before it was finished. All went so that in the spring after there was a prospect of peace, I had to commence anew only the frame. I commenced on the 27 of March and commenced to grind on the 17th of July having cost 3300 dollars but I accomplished the work. I was only a boy and then I worked in the water and out of the water to overcome the expense. I attended the Mill night and day alone so that all the sleep I got was on a sack while the hopper would hold out, and by this got clear of debt.
I built a Mill and got along well having customs [customers] from 300 miles round. One circumstance I will just mention, when I first went with two Irishmen to cut a road through the woods of Brooke, where I after had the Mill. I stayed at a highland Scotchman's house all night, when three young girls came in, the first I did not notice, nor the second, but when the last one came in, although I never saw her before, nor did she speak one word of English. Something as it were, spoke to my understanding, that is your wife. I tried to court and even marry other girls as circumstances seemed against me marring, but could not, [p.10] my mind would always return to her and upset all my calculations. So at last when I got the Mill started, I sent for her to Detroit, a distance of 100 miles, and got married on the 19 of February 1839. She was born in Argile Shire, Scotland, town of Loch Gilphlad, October 12th, 1818.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 10
Robert was born February 1, 1840. Neil was born June 24, 1841. Archibald was born in April 10th, 1843. Jannet was born April 9th, 1845. All the Township Brooke County, Kent Western district, Canada west. We went and built a Grist Mill in the Township of Eniskellin, some district 27 miles by the road, from our home at the other Mill. We had good burr stones at this Mill, good smutters, two silk bolts, one for country use, the other for merchant work.
To return to my sister, Mary, the spring after we had all got to Warwick, she got married to George Sweeten, March 29th, 1836 and lived one and a half miles from us in Township of Brooke. He was a farmer. She had one boy born dead, December 25th, 1836, if lived, his name would have been George. Margett was born December 28th, 1837. Next was twins, a boy and girl, dead, born December 8, 1839. Robert was born December 14th, 1840. George, her husband, died December 1842. Roger Luckham married her, my sister, Mary, October 21, 1844. Mary Luckham was born August 15, 1845, all in the Township of Brooke county Kent, Western district Canada West. Susan Luckham was born in Salt Lake City. After she, Mary Gardner and her husband had moved to the West, having became Mormons October 21, 1848. After they left the city, they moved out to Mill Creek, where they now live, April 30, 1857.
To say a little more about my father, [Robert Gardner] he lived in Dalhousie for twelve years and then moved to Warwick, where William and myself had got a place for him. He stayed in Warwick twelve years. Robert, his youngest son, staying with him. He [Robert Gardner] being a Miller when he was young for some few years, about the time I was born. [p.11] The [my] father come and helped me often at my Grist, Brooke Township, nine miles from his farm.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 11
Robert, my brother was married in the year 1841 March 17th, Canada, County Kent. Father sold out and moved to the West with us when we became Mormons. He lived on Mill Creek till the day of his death. He was baptized in the year 18"..." Mill Creek Ward. By John Borrowman. He received his endowments the same time as we all did, mother and all his children, being in the year 1852.. . . He died in the little house on the hill, in great suffering for about two or three weeks, with the gravel, in the year 1855, Nov 20th, and was buried in his Temple Clothing, in the burying ground of Salt Lake City, leaving mother in the little house where she now lives being now over 80 years of age. Robert, son of Robert, my brother, was born in Warwick County, Kent, Canada West in the month of Dec 31, 1841. Mary, his daughter, was born Feb. 13th 1843, Warwick Township, County Kent, Western District, Canada West. Margret, his daughter, was born Sep 11th 1844, same place. William, his son, was born May 22 1846, Toway Territory, United States.
While on our journey to the West, or Salt Lake, Robert, his oldest son, died Aug 13th 1847, Deer Creek, Platt River. While we was journeying to Salt Lake, at Panee Village, or Indian town, he fell out of the wagon and both front and hind wheels run over him. He lived some three or four weeks, never having any passage after, and was buried at the above named place.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 12
[p.12] Sarah, his daughter, was born November 28,1848, Mill Creek, Salt Lake County. Elizabeth, his daughter, was born January 12, 1851, same place. James, his son, was born May 10, 1853, same place. Thomas, his son, was born July 23, 1855, same place. All of these eight children belonging to Jane McKeun, his first wife. Robert, my brother, married Syntha Bery August 5, 1851 in Salt Lake City. John, his son, was born July 8, 1852 at Jordan Mills, Salt Lake County. Royal, his son, was born April 10, 1854 on Mill Creek , Salt Lake County. Jannet, his daughter, was born March 17, 1856 on Mill Creek and said county. Robert, my brother married Mary Ann Carr, July 20, 1856, in Salt Lake City. He started on his mission to Canada on the 23 of April 1857 with a handcart and a crippled leg. I went with him to the city on the 22, helping him to hall the handcart to the city. Returned home, and on the morning of the 23, went again and seen them start up the Emigration Canyon, helping to draw the handcart from the city to that place some 5 miles.
To return to my brother William, he commenced clearing land in Warwick. Land good, but heavy timber and back in the woods a long way from the old settlements, and navigation. His son, William, was born in Warwick and William, my brother, could not work on account of his wife having fits. She fell into the fire and burned herself severely. Her hand was burned to a cinder, her throat was burned nearly through, her face was badly disfigured and her senses was gone on account she had no memory. So he took her back 500 miles to her father's as she had 3 sisters at home so that they could take care of [her] until his children would grow up to take care of her as he had. Just to watch her all the time to keep her out of the fire. She got entirely out of her head and would run to the woods. One day as they had a large kettle of water on the fire, she took a fit and fell into [p.13] the kettle of boiling water, scalding herself, so that she died in a few days, leaving William, her son, in the charge of his grandfather and grandmother, where he was remained ever since. [William] Being now 22 years old or near it after his wife died, he married my wife's sister, Janet Livingston. His first daughter by her was Margret, born in Warwick county, Kent Western District, Canada West. . . .
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 13
Jane, William's daughter, was married to Rowsel Braford on March 3, 1852. My second wife Abgail, [her son] his (Rowsel Braford) first, a son, Rawsel by name, was born on Mill Creek, Salt Lake County in my house on Mill Creek, April 23, 1853. Ann, his [William's] daughter, was born same county, March 26, 1855. This is all the great [p.14] grandchildren except a little girl [of] John Gardner that was frozen to death, named Emirine Elizebeth, born Mill Creek, Salt Lake county.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 14
Having given a short history of my relations I will not return to my own history.
My son, Archibald, died aged 18 months, in the same place he was born. Jannet died aged 18 months in Winter Quarters, both of bowel hives. Dying same day of the month and born only one day of the month different, two years apart.
We having joined the Mormons, sold out or give away all our property consisting of 2 good Grist Mills, one Saw Mill and 500 acres of land, only getting for our first Grist and Saw mill 1600 dollars, it being valued 6000.
Just before I joined the Church, I sold the other for 2200 dollars, worth 5000, leaving all outstanding debts. Also a contract of stoves that had cost me over 1000 dollars, besides my winters work. Having joined with two other partners, because they could not carry on the work, they being bound under a penalty of 1200 dollars to have them in the river by a certain day. By me going in they were to give us time but on hearing that I was going to leave, they swore out a capis for me. So I left 6000 stoves all culled on the bank of the river at the price of 50 dollars per 1000. Having born about half the expense and concluded to loose it all. As I knew they expected to take all my means I had to move with. And so the Devil inspired them to destroy me if they could, but I put my trust in the Lord. Then started from where I was, ten miles south of my old Mill, coming to my Mother-in-law's and borrowing a horse. [I] passed my old place and went out ten miles to my father's where all my folks were, and my wife and family and stayed 2 hours biding them all farewell. Leaving the home of my youth where I had some happy days as far as gentill [genteel] happiness goes and where I had spent many a drop of sweat [p.15] and done a great deal of hard work. Leaving my wife sick, started trusting in the Lord that he would preserve them and me until we would meet again. I traveled 30 miles in the night starting after dark. I arrived at Port Tarnia at day break on the banks of the River St. Clair, which divides Canada from the States.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 15
I started towards the river in hopes to cross on the ice, being about the first of March. But to my awful disappointment the ice had given way and it was crowding out of Lake Huron. So that the cakes of ice was raising on their edge, sometimes 10 feet high. There was a little piece of the Bay that had not broken up. I had already started on this, meditating on the situation I was placed in. Leaving my family and my country as an exile not even knowing what was up with the river. I heard a sound as it were of alarm. I raised my head and found where I was walking was all in a tremble and in casting my eyes to the river I saw the tumult. At intervals I could see the people on the opposite side of Black River village having gathered by hundreds and as they saw me approach the ice they would shout almost in mass, waving handkerchiefs and hats for me to stay back. I could see down the river for about 10 miles and it was all in motion. I stood and beheld the scene with intense interest when the crowding of the running ice was raising the solid ice under my feet. I was obliged to retreat to shore for safety and then I could see the people on the opposite side plain, as the bank was some 20 feet high. I could then look over the rolling ice which was then going at the rate of seven miles an hour. At least that is the rate the river runs at that place. I stepped up the street to see John Anderson to tell him to watch and see me across so that he could tell what became of me as he had come with me all the way from my father's [p.16] house to see me safe out of Canada. (I had only 50 dollars on me at the time and I paid him, Anderson, ten dollars of this money to go and tell my folks) I told him I was going over safe.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 16
I went down to the bank of the river, and I prayed, "O Lord, the God of Ancient Israel, thou knowing the desires of thy servants heart and as I am fleeing from my enemies, so that I can gather with thy Saints, and I have not done wrong but seek to keep the commandments, will thou have mercy on thy servant and stop this ice that I may be delivered and that I may not fall into the hands of my enemies." At this time all fear vanished, and I for once felt the power of faith, if I never had before. Neither had I to the same extent in such a case as this I started.
The sun had struck by this time, the tall pines behind the village to the West across the river. Now the crowd which had watched my movements from the high ground began their shouting. I stepped toward the broken ice and the noise of the ice had ceased, which had made a noise like some waterfall and all was silent except the voices of the inhabitants of Black River.
There was an opening where I first left the unbroken part of some ten feet, which I took a running jump and landed to the knees in the slush. I kept on climbing over cakes and piles of slush and broken ice, which had been so from waves in the Lake Huron, which was only three miles of [up].
Sometimes I had to go around where the water boiled and whirled. I had to go this way nearly one mile as the river here is a mile and eight rods wide, and there was only a few rods unbroken. When I came to the shore, they reached me a small oak rail. I sprang from the broken ice, stepping on the middle of the rail, and then on shore and felt to thank God. When some said he must be a Mormon, others, the devil [p.17] is in this man. Mrs. Davinport stepped up, I have been acquainted with her, and said what a fright I had given her. I told her by shaking my head, to be still, and so started through the crowd, passing along leaving them in consternation. Some saying, what does this mean? Who ever saw the ice stop in this way? As I had not rested for 60 miles through bad roads, in the breaking up of spring, and had eaten very little. I called at a tavern and took a glass of spirits which I had not tasted for some years. Then went about 2 miles when I came to myself being sleepy and tired. The long lonesome journey before me of seven hundred miles on foot and alone to Nauvoo, and leaving my family sick, and then yet in the hands of enemies, all rushed to my mind. So I prayed, "O Lord, though did hear my prayer for which I thank thee in stopping the ice. If it is not too much, send a team that I may get a ride, as I am not yet out of the hands of my enemies, but what they may trace as the people saw me cross the river." When I had prayed a few words, I looked and saw two teams close to me. I said I will know if they are sent of the Lord if they will call me to ride. So they drove up and called out "friend, do you wish a ride." I answered yes, and said in my heart, God bless you. So the teamster never asked my name nor where I was from, but I praised the horses and he drove through mud and ice for about 45 miles and the farther he went the better they got. I do not know of seeing even a wet hair on the horses. He left me at a village, some 20 miles from Detroit. Some 60 miles from Pt. Rure [different writing] hundred and ten miles from where I had started without sleep or any refreshment. As soon as I stepped out of the wagon he drove off without even asking me for pay or giving me time to thank him. He sent a man next morning for 50 cents, I sent him a dollar.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 17
I then went [p.18] a [on] foot to Detroit and took the rail cars. Got to Kalimizo in 10 hours from Detroit, distance 140 miles from Detroit and 250 from home. I then felt safe and went on my way rejoicing, changing my name almost every day so that I could not be traced.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 18
Took a boat at Peru and went down to Bryant's Landing, thence a [on] foot to Nauvoo. Passing through Carthage, being shown the place where Joseph was killed, by a Mormon [who] I rode with, who was going to Nauvoo. I stayed 11 days in Nauvoo and then started back taking with me John Borrowman, going by the way of St. Louis, stayed about a week at a farm house. Expecting to see my folks pass, but lest they might had passed, we went on to Juliet. And while we went into a tavern to engage or board, they passed by and when we came down to the river to fish we found them feeding their horses making ready to start. We had a happy meeting. The Lord had spared all of my family and relations, we still enjoyed the faith spirit of the work. We then took our journey for Nauvoo. Nothing happening worthy of notice, only a few Stangites attacked us with their sympathies, but we did not argue with them. Only when they were impertinent, we told them we would have to cast out devils, if they did not leave. We arrived in Nauvoo in good health and spirits. Found that the Twelve had started for the Rocky Mountains. We stayed 3 Weeks and fitted out and started in companies, organized in tens. Passing Pisga and Garden Grove where they had made farms and left some who was not prepared to go on, we arrived at Liberty Pole, a few miles from the ferry at Sarpes Point. There we had a call make from the Government for 500 men, which was raised in a day or two. Leaving women and children on the prairie and some sick, we crossed the river and camped at a place called Cutler's Park for about two months where [we] cut hay around there and prepared feed for our cattle to winter. Driving our stock, that we did not need in herds on the Missouri [p.19] Bottoms in rushes. Then looked out a place on the Missouri Bottoms and moved to it, calling its name, Winter Quarters. Two miles from Cutler's Park, Robert, my brother, James Craig and myself took a contract of getting out the mill timbers, and got it out to the approbation of the Presidents. The High Council voted to remember us and if there was any good jobs to be given after we went over the mountains, we should have the preference. Brigham paid us good at St. Louis prices, and paid us cash for the balance to the last cent, letting us change a bill of a hundred dollars, and take our pay out of it leaving it in our hands three weeks, when I went with it, Rockwood saying we might keep it until called for. We then in the winter commenced to build houses.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 19
My oldest girl, Janet died of the hives on the age month and days.
We hauled wood for the wives of those that went in the Army and got into our houses about New Year.
All our folks was sick, but myself. I never enjoyed better health in any country. My wife was sick about 3 weeks, Robert about 3 weeks. All the rest especially my father and Roger Luckham was sick with the Black leg, or scurvy, which was the general disease, supposed for want of vegetables and living on dry food. William, my brother, his son, John and daughter, Jane was sick in my house most of the winter.
I sold a good log house for a gun wanted and 10 dollars, in the spring after living in it about 3 months, costing me about 100 dollars. And we all started for the mountains about the first of June, all our relations. Neil, my second boy having been run over by one of Bishop Hunter's wagon [that was] loaded with 8 large green cottonwood logs to split with the maul mallet and wedge, to make house logs. The wheel running over his breast and leaving him senseless on the ground, there was on the wagon a yoke of stout cattle. We called upon [p.20] Phenihas Richards and administered to him and put him in apesperation [perspiration] with hot bricks and cloth round them, pouring water, keeping it so for three days and 3 night, keeping the blood in circulation so that he never got black. By this means and the prayer of faith, he was miraculously healed. In Bishop Hunter's 100, and Chaplain Storn 50, I being a captain of 10, we had to hand guard and herd and drive team yoking up cows and heifers.
Archibald Gardner, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 20
My wife, driving the horse team all the way, even to over the big mountain, arriving in the valley on the first day of October, and Marget was born on the 5 night or before day on the 6. So you can see what the Lord can do to strengthen the back for the brethren.
We had the hardest time on the way of any other company, having weak teams and heavy loads, had to have 15 months provisions. My horses gave out before we got to Laramie, so I concluded to feed them some corn and bring them through, as I could not take my load without them. And by feeding them a few bushels I got them to haul the rest and I knew that I would have a team and then could kill my oxen and eat them. But amidst all we passed through the hand of the Lord was over us and we got safe to the place of our destination.
A summary of the life of Archibald Gardner is found
in Delilah Gardner Hughes' book. Abstracts of the book
have been placed in email format for Gardner family
members only. Contact:
and confirm your Gardner descendant status. Your family's
appropriate abstracts should then be emailed within 30 days.