Life of a Pioneer
The life of a pioneer in Western America always is full of peril and hardship; often it has a large share of startling episodes and thrilling adventures; not infrequently it is associated with notable historic events; and the experiences met with develop independence of character, firmness of purpose, and, in those whose spiritual nature is not dwarfed by unworthy conduct, a sublime faith in God that when man puts forth his highest endeavor all things beyond the scope of his efforts are ordered for the best by the Great Ruler of the universe. When to the pioneer's experiences are added those that come from travel in foreign lands, perils of the sea, and the hostility of warlike foes, the narrative of such a life cannot fail to be alike profitable and interesting reading to both young and old. The subject of the autobiographical sketch in this volume feels that he is not presumptuous in saying that each class of experience named in relation to the pioneer and the traveler has been his. The perils and hardships of the pioneers in whose work he commingled have been the theme of song and story for half a century; the thrilling and adventurous character of his experiences as frontiers-man and Indian interpreter were of a kind notable even in those avocations; his association with historic events of moment includes the period when the territorial area of the great Republic was almost doubled by the acquisition of the Pacific slope and the Rocky Mountain region, and when the great gold discovery in California was made, since he was a member of the famous Mormon Battalion and also was present at the finding of gold in California, being the first man to declare—on tests made by himself—that the little yellow flakes were the precious metal; and his reliance on Deity is portrayed in his missionary work at home and in foreign lands, with civilized people and among savages, often in circumstances when life itself apparently was forfeit to duty conscientiously performed.
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