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Title: Excerpt From Harriet's Diary
The farm was mortgaged the work in the sawmill suspended on account of the Civil War so many men called away that father was obliged to resort to desperate measures in order to save his home. He decided to go with an expedition overland to the mountains, led by a man named Fiske, his first expedition of a number, to what is now Idaho.
Father fitted up a covered wagon, with provisions for a year, got a team also and left home June 18th, 1862, for this dangerous and arduous journey. Abner went with him to town to see him off. We children rode as far as the school house with him — a wonderful experience for us, not realizing how long it would be before we saw him again, or dreaming of the terrible Indian outbreak soon to come to Minnesota.
The outbreak came in August but by that time father with the expedition had got beyond the war-path of the Indians.
Mother left at home with seven children to care for, only $60.00 in money and the crops that Abner was to harvest.
The winter school was interfered with a severe epidemic of Whooping cough Infectious disease, often fatal. and measles — five cases in our own family, some severe, and a number of deaths among neighbors children.