Before and After Mt. Pisgah -- Part 4
by Clare B. Christensen
The Birth of Rosalie Ellen Cox and The Exodus
The Exodus from Nauvoo began in February 1846. On 22 February 1846 Emeline gave birth to Rosalie Ellen Cox--our grandmother’s mother. Because of the new baby, the Cox family delayed their departure until late March. They traveled across Iowa until they reached Mt. Pisgah--some miles east of Council Bluffs, Nebraska.
They went to work plowing and planting crops. They were living in two “huts” which Walter Cox built for his family. Even in that circumstance Walter Cox “cut down trees, split the trunks and made benches for a little school in a grove.” (p. 134)
In the summer of 1846, “a dreadful sickness broke out in Pisgah. . . . There were very few who escaped the sickness, and the people were short of bread. Mary wrote:
‘We had pretty gardens which helped us for food and [we] should have done very well if it had not been for the dreadful sickness. When I think of that time, it gives me the heartache -- those two sweet little girls of Emeline’s [Louisa Jane 7 years old]] . . . laid away in that old graveyard. Emeline was lying at the point of death at the time. When she called me to her in the morning and told me how she wanted to fix some of her burying clothes after the little girls death, it seemed as though there was no use in trying to live. Just that same day, someone at Garden Grove sent a dose of quinine, which saved her life. When the dear little Eliza died [Eliza Emeline 3 years old] there was not well ones enough to wait on the sick. Walter made her coffin and carried her to the grave and I think, buried her alone.’
“. . .Jamima Losee Cox was one person who seemed little effected by the sickness. She waited on the others until she was exhausted. . . .Somehow Emeline’s baby Rosalie Ellen survived. [Emeline’s mother] Sally Hulet Whiting died of the disease that August was buried with others in the cemetery of unmarked graves on the hillside.” (pp. 135-136)