Recollections of Past Days: The Autobiography of Patience Loader Rozsa Archer

( 2 )


Patience Loader has become an icon for the disastrous winter entrapment of the Martin and Willie handcart companies, who traveled the Mormon Trail in the 1850s. Her autobiography offers an important record of those events, but also of much more. Wife of a Civil War soldier, Patience served as an army laundress in Washington DC and ran a boarding house as well. After the war, her husband died of consumption, and Patience returned to Utah alone, where she became a cook in a ...

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Recollections of Past Days: The Autobiography of Patience Loader Rozsa Archer

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Patience Loader has become an icon for the disastrous winter entrapment of the Martin and Willie handcart companies, who traveled the Mormon Trail in the 1850s. Her autobiography offers an important record of those events, but also of much more. Wife of a Civil War soldier, Patience served as an army laundress in Washington DC and ran a boarding house as well. After the war, her husband died of consumption, and Patience returned to Utah alone, where she became a cook in a mining camp.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874216264
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/10/2006
  • Series: Life Writings of Frontier Women Series
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Recollections of Past Days

The Autobiography of Patience Loader Rozsa Archer

Utah State University Press

Copyright © 2006 Utah State University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-87421-626-4

Chapter One

England 1827-December 1855

Reccolections of past days

Written by P.^atience^ Loader

I was born in a small Vilelege called Aston Rouant in Oxfordshire England fifteen Miles from the City of Oxford Which place is noted for its great educational coleges and old fashion [page torn] buildings some which are black with age there Whare some of the Martyers burned in the city of Oxford three Bishops Ridley Granmer and Latimer --

I was born of good kind parents My Father was a hard working industerous Man by profession a gardener was head gardener to an English NoblerMan for twenty three years I am the fourth child of there family having two Brothers and one sister older than Myself and seven Sisters and two brothers younger makeing thirteen children in all My parents had a large family to Maintain but Nothwithstanding this through My dear Father hard toil and My Mothers good Management thay raised there famely in a verey respectable manner and gave us all aplain education and done there verey best thay could for there children in teaching us all the good thay knew as long as I can remember did My parents teach me to love and fear God and keep his commandments Never can I remember being put to bed without having to kneel at My dear Mothers knee to say my prayers and to ask God to take care of Me through the night we was all taught the Lords prayer and to pray for father and Mother Brother & sister and friends and taught this as our duty and taught that we was depending on God our heavenly father for all we was blessed with and we was taught to thank him for all blessings

[I]n My early life My Parents belonged to the church of England and thay was verey strict with there children in haveing us every Sunday attend Sunday school and Church all day on Sunday Sometimes I use to get quite tiard and as I grew older I use to think it was alittle to much to have to go to church and Sunday school all day on Sundays ^when^ some of My companions could go and take a nice walk with there friends or Sometimes go visiting but My parents never aloud Me this pleasure unless thay should go themselves then we children was aloud to go with them. but when I became grown and understood things in the right light I fealt thankfull to My Parents that thay took so much care in raising Me and am allways willing to give them great credeit for the care of My breeding # for thay taught Me by times to love working and reading and the lessons I was taught by My Parents when I was under there care at home has allways prooved good for Me through life and are not forgotten by me now I am geting old and have children and grandchildren of my own.

Still I can look back with sweet reccolections of childhood and girlhood when I think of the old home whare I was born and raised it fills my heart with joy and pleasure the dear old house with a thatched roof and old fashion casements wendows with dimant cut glass and the verada in front with woodbrnes roses and honey suckles twing up to the upstairs windows a beautifull flower garden on each side of the Walk from the Street to the house a walk of red brick laid in on each side with flint all kept so clean and free from weeds and gravle walks all around the house to the back Whare we had a play ground a beautifull green grass plate whare father had swings and jumps batts and balls skiping ropes and everything to please his children at home as he did not alow us to go out in the Street to play we esteemed it agreat treat whenever we had permission to go out to have agame at ball with other children

[W]e had averey pretty home beautifully laid out and planted tastefuly with every kind of evrgreen and srub trees father being a gardener it was allways decorated in doors and out with the choisest of flowers . and our kitchen garden was in the season filled with beautifull fruit and vegetables . and father gave each child a small peace of ground and according to our taste we could plant it with flowers or vegetables he would furnish us the seeds or plants and find us tools to work with our home was surrounded with Water and trees and Whild flowers that grew in the sruberys and all day long in spring and summer birds of every kind would be singing alltogether the hold home was verey enchanting and aplace never to be forgotten by me

[H]ere I lived with my parents untill I had past My seventeenth Year . then I began to think and feel that I would like to do something to gain My own living and I ask My . parants to let Me go out to work at first thay objected too but after time gave there consent and I obtained a situation at a neighbouring town the town was called Wadleington it was to live ^four Miles from my home^ with two ladys by the Name of Clark two sisters Ann & and Elizebath . thay kept a boarding School I agreed to go on the tenth ^11th^ of October to stay one year My Wages was not verey high being only two pound ten shilings per Year but I thought this was verey grand for Me to work and earn My own living I was verey anxious to do this . but when I thought of leaving My home father and Mother Brs x sisters and all . now in My own Mind I came nearly backing out and not go . then as I had been so anxious to work out My independant Spirit Would not let me tell My parents that I did not want to go if I had said I would Not or did not want to go My Father would have been glad for me to stay home for he was a man that allways wanted his children home with him but I knew he had a large family to support and I thought I was old enough to get My own living I thought he had worked for Me long enough at the same time I knew it would be agreat trial to me to leave my dear old home and all my loved ones there .

Now between the time of My ingagement to go to My Situation and day fixed for Me to be there which was on the eleventh of October the day previous the tenth was afare at a Market town called Thame fare I never had been to a fare in My life as my Parents would never alow me or My sisters to visit those places allthough fares was verey comon in England in those days once a year an the young Men and women go there to enjoy themselves together there thay dance all day and sometimes up to a late hour at Night and as thay think and say have agood time now in the Morning on the fare day My Elder Sister Ann sais Well I am going to the fare to day and said we can boath go well I could not see how we could go but her mind was made up and mine was verey soon made up so she sais she would get the breakfast and I was to go to Kingston to tell My cousen to wait for us as Ann and I would go with them when I got there thay was allready gone and when I came back home my sister sais we can go after breakfast is over . My Mother generly went to see a neighbour who was sick while we girls done the Morning work and after she was gone and father had gone to work we verey soon made ourselves ready and went of going up through the srubreys and jumping a high board fence into the road we dare not go through the village as we would have been seen by My Mother .. we had scarcely got clear away from home when Father came home and wanted to know of my sister Tilpah whare we was and she said she did not know but this he would not believe and was angrey with her . but she did not know verey much about it father started of after us but he could not overtake us as we was one road to the town and he was on the other there being two ways to go to the Town well he returned home feeling verey bad and we arrived at the fare about ten or eleven o clock and joined our friends we had a verey good day alltogether but to tell the truth I did not have any real enjoyment the thoughts that we had run away from home unknown to our parents spoiled all my pleasure we knew it be no use to ask father to let us go for he would not give his consent so we thought we would go any how let the conciquence be as it may we knew full well we would have a scolding when we went home

[W]e danced through the day agood Many times and I tried to enjoy myself but I knew the Next day I had to leave home and friends and I did not like the idea of my father and Mother being angrey with me before I left home my last day home an I thought many times through the day I wished I had staid home with them for the last day my friends I was with in the fare did not know my feelings that day thay was very gay and light hearted but I had something on my mind that caused my heart to feel heavy Night came an and it was dark still our friends was not ready to leave the fare I wanted to go home but I could not go alone the road was to loansome and we had to walk five miles and it was dark . about Nine or ten o clock [undecipherable text crossed out] we started for home then thay called on some friends on the way and staid a time makeing it verey late when we arrived at My Aunts at Kingston my sister and I had then nearly a Mile to go it was then past twelve oclock My Aunt said we had better go to bed and go home in the Morning which we did being verey tiard . but I did not sleep much

[I]n the morning we arose and made ready to go home to Meet our fate we was accompanyed by My Cousen George Loader father on arriving home father Meet us at the door Mother was still in bed father fealt angrey to think that we had gone of without asking his permission and to me he said you are going away from home to live and perhaps for ever and he did not know what to say to me he said this much . that he was going to his work and he should not see me any more now this cut me severely and so it did him for if he was astrict father he was a verey affectionate father I told him I was Sorrey and I wanted him to come and see me again before I left . So he told me to call on him at the garden and he would go part of the way with me which he did and when he bid me good bye he promised to come and see me in four weeks which he did

[T]o me thees was the longest four weeks I ever experienced . it seemed to me that the time past so Slowly before I could see my dear Father and what was the wourst to my feelings I had offended and greived him before I left home in going to Thame fare without his permission but that was a time in my life that I have never forgotten it was the first and last fare I ever went too .

Well now I must say a little about my arrival at My New home I arrived there on the eleventh of October 1844 I fealt somewhat downhearted at first as the Ladys was Straingers to Me and this was the first time I had been from home thay seemed to be kind folks the Younger of the two sisters Miss Elizebeth took me to My bed room to take of my bonnet and shaul telling me this was the room I was to sleep in I looked around it to see the furniture which was verey scant it was a large room with nothing in it but a small bed just large enough for one to sleep in then I began to realize My loanlyness I had never been use to sleep in a bed alone much and the verey idea of sleeping in a larg old fashoned room all alone Made me allmost shuder at the thought for at home My eldest ^sister^ and I had a room to ourselves and we allways slept together

I was verey soon put to work and told all what I would have to do each day and told I would have to rise very early in the Morning to sweep and dust the large breakfast room the hall and door steps and brighten the door knob and knoker all before breakfast then Miss Elizebath came down stairs to help Me get breakfast I had to work verey hard every day had but verey little time to sit down to rest there was Nine in family and no other help but Myself there was eight rooms to keep clean and the washing done once a Month and I had to do it all which was verey hard work on me and I had never been use to such hard work alone

[T]he winter came on it was a verey severe winter and I sufferd verey much with the cold and my feet and hands was covered with chilblains which I have the marks to day to remind me of my first Winter passed away from my good old home . the I said we washed once a Month commencing on Monday verey early in the morning on the Sunday evening previous I went to bed at six oclock at twelve I was called up to make afire out in the Washhouse I had to go out doors all in the cold and dark all alone to get to this house whare we done the Washing I thought this was crewel of a Mistress to make a young girl do this and I was verey timid lest some one would come as soon as the water was hott I commenced to wash at six oclock the Lady got up she got breakfast ready then called me into to get my breakfast which I was ready for having been up at work ever since twelve oclock it took me nearly three days before I got through with the washing and geting them all out doors to dry it being a months washing for Nine persons besides myself it was a verey large wash to much for a girl

[W]hen I had been in my situation one month and two or three days according to promise My dear Father came to see me this was a meeting ever to be remembered by me for When my father first saw me he burst into tears and I done the same he said oh My dear girl how I have long to see you . I told him how I had long for the time to come that he had promised to come to see me as soon as our first meeting was over I ask him how long he would stay with me he said untill evening then he would have to leave Me but he would come again in four weeks we spent a very pleasant time together only the day went to fast - the next Sunday the church bells rang out to call the people to church evening came and My father had to start for home oh how sorrowfull I fealt when he bid me good bye and I was then left alone . and the next sunday I was loansome and thought last Sunday My dear father came to see me but he will not be here to day

My Mistress told me I could go to church as I had been brought up to the Church of England thay themselves whare methodist but thay did not compell me to go with them in this one instance thay was generous . otherwise thay did not seem to be verey kind hearted or generous in there feelings so that thay got, there work done I can say I had but very little rest only when I was in bed . but I had made up My Mind to endure the hardships if possable without complaining to My parents as I was so anxious to go out to work and get my own living and I remembered father x Mother would say if you go out to live ^you^ will with ^not^ find it verey different to living home with us and said you will never find any place like home . and sure enough before I had been away from home but a short time I found there words true . When a child I was allways troubled with chilblains if I was exposed to the cold but then I had agood kind Mother to attend to Me and rap up My feet warm and attend to My broken chilblains . but the ^first^ Winter I left home I had wourse chilblains than ever and no good kind Mother to doctor Me and let me rest from work my ^house^ work and washing had to be all done just the same then I realy did find there was no place like home to Me

[S]ufice it to Say I staid there one year acording to my agreement and the end of the year My Mistress ask me to stay with them another year but one year in aplace like that was enough for me and I told her I did not wish to stay any longer but I wanted to go home but she said you suit us so well if you will stay with us another year I will rais your wages ten shilings I will give you three pounds the nex year I told her no . . I thought to Myself I have suited you & you Say in every way . but you have not suited me . I am only to glad that I have filled my contract and I am now free to leave and go home which I did on the eleventh of October 1845 and I was glad to be home again once more : under the old parental roof this gave me joy and I fealt to be free once more but I did not stay home long

My Brother Jonas was living in London and a freind of his wanted a girl to live with them he wrote a letter [undecipherable letter crossed out] to father and Mother to let my sister Ann go but somehow she did not want to go or Mother did not want her to go so I said I will go so on the Nineteenth of October 1845 I left my home again for the city of London I traveled there by stage coach left the Lambert Arm at Nine oclock in the Morning and arived at the Bell inn haburn .. there I was meet by my Brother Jonas who was verey pleased to see me for we had not seen each other for nearly two years I had a verey pleasant ride on the coach or rather I was a inside passenger


Excerpted from Recollections of Past Days Copyright © 2006 by Utah State University Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Maps and Illustrations....................vii
Foreword Maureen Ursenbach Beecher....................ix
England, 1827-December 1855....................21
On the John J. Boyd, December 1855-February 1856....................49
America, February-July 1856....................55
Starting Westward, July 3-July 28, 1856....................58
On the Plains, July 28-November 30, 1856....................62
In the Valley, November 30, 1856-December 1858....................89
Camp Floyd, December 1858-July 27, 1861....................98
On the Trail to Washington, July 27-November 1861....................107
Washington, November 1861-April 1866....................123
Back to Utah, April 18-July 21, 1866....................135
Back in the Valley, July 21, 1866-1872....................142
Appendix 1 James and Amy Britnell Loader Family....................165
Appendix 2 John and Patience Loader Rozsa Family....................167
Appendix 3 The Latter-day Saints Millennial Star on Handcart Emigration, December 22, 1855....................169
Appendix 4 The Mormon on Handcart Emigration, December 1, 1855....................175
Appendix 5 Patience Loader to John Jaques and his reply, The Latter-day Saints Millennial Star, June 14, 1856....................182
Appendix 6 Marshall Loader to Amy Britnell Loader, August 6, 1857....................188
Appendix 7 Patience Loader Rozsa Archer to Tamar Loader Ricks, November 17, 1914....................189
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014


    * a tent with a few guns and bullets. Small handmade blades or axes can be found here. I will post when we have no more guns or bullets. After the guns & bullets are depleted, stone age weapons like spears, bow & arrow, and knives will have to be made by hand*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013


    If you see this and if you come back i will check mvb just incase, so just post there if you come back

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