Patience Loader Archer was born on 23 August 1827 in Aston Rowant, Oxfordshire, England to James Loader and Amy Britnell Loader. She was the 4th of 13 children born to them, her siblings being John, Jonas, Ann, Eliza, Zilpah, Tamar, Emma, Maria, Marshall William, Jane, Sarah, and Robert. In the early 1850s, the Loaders were introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were all quickly converted, and as a result of their joining the Church, Patience’s father lost his job as a gardener. They sailed for America on the “John J. Boyd” in 1855, arriving in Williamsburg, New York later that same year. A year afterward, in June of 1856, the family traveled to Iowa to join Patience’s sister, Zilpah, and her family. They all crossed the plains with the ill-fated Martin Handcart Company. Not only did Zilpah’s daughter pass away, just a week before reaching the Salt Lake Valley, but Father Loader did not survive the trip as well, dying fairly early in the trek. Patience’s mother made many sacrifices and worked hard to keep her children’s spirits up and their bellies as full as she could for the remainder of the journey. While on the trek, Patience was once visited by a messenger, who asked her name and informed her to press on; that there would be help coming. Later that same night, the Loader family, along with the rest of the remaining company, was rescued. The family arrived in Salt Lake City in 1856, and Patience eventually settled in Pleasant Grove. Two years after her arrival, on 8 December 1858 in Jordan Bridge, Utah, Patience married John Eugene Rozsa, who was a sergeant in the United States Army. Together they had 4 children: John James, Frank Loader, Joseph William, and Amy Rozella. Sadly, her husband passed away in 1866, after only 8 years of marriage. They were returning from the frontlines and his body gave out, he having dealt with heart and lung problems for some time by then. It wasn’t until 1 January 1877 that Patience became a wife again, marrying John Bond Archer in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had no children. However, they adopted a girl, Ruth, whom they raised to adulthood and loved like she was their own child. Patience was active in her Church duties all her life, serving for many years as a teacher in her Relief Society organization, and even as the president for some time, resigning when her health began to fail. She died on 22 April 1921 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, having reached nearly 94 years of age.
This manuscript is a spiral bound book containing a photocopy of Patience Loader’s handwritten autobiography, begun on floral writing tablet. It numbers 326 pages, with the writing tablet comprising the first 172 pages, and a pair of composition books comprising the rest. In the first page of the manuscript, there is a title, which reads, “Reccolections of past days, Written by Patience Loader.” Patience relates her experiences and trials working at a boarding school. Later, she traveled to London to stay with her brother’s friend’s family. She then moved to live with another lady who paid her to work for three years. Eventually, while she was living in London, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to her parents’ house and they were baptized. At first, she had an adverse reaction to the Gospel. She continued to be employed at various places around London including Burlington Hotel, the largest Hotel in London. Her father arranged for her to stay a few days with a family (friends) and an Elder from the church who tried to convert her, but she wasn’t interested at the time. Then the Elder commenced speaking about marriage and indicated that he was interested in her for a wife. On their eleven mile walk back to her house, the Elder succeeded, and she was later baptized. She went back to London rejoicing and being filled with the Spirit. The housekeeper at the hotel where she was working didn’t like Mormons and warned her not to give literature to the other girls living there, but she already had. She invited them to church meetings and succeeded in converting two of them. She was forced to leave the job, but it did not weaken her faith. In 1855, she worked as a maid for an 82-year-old general whose wife had recently died. She had to leave the old man’s house when she left with her family for America to gather with the other saints in Utah. It was a hard thing to leave him as the old man was very lonely without her and wanted to be a father to her. But he graciously let her go with her family. She and her family, with the exception of her sister and brother-in-law, boarded a ship for America. They were on the sea eleven weeks. While staying in New York, she met a missionary and promised to wait for him – being engaged to marry him the following year. But he was unfaithful to his engagement and married someone else. She tells of her experiences traveling to Utah with the Martin Handcart Company. Her father died on the journey, as did one of her nieces. She married a man named John Rozsa after arriving in Salt Lake. Her husband soon had to leave and join the army camp as he was a soldier. He tried to get permission to go back and get his new wife, but he was denied by his superior officer. He was also told that if she would come back to the camp, they must be civilly married since the army would not honor a Mormon marriage. She relates a story of terror. When her husband left for the Civil War in 1861, a man came to her door in the middle of the night and asked to be let in and professed to be a friend. When she refused to let him in, he burst open the door. She ran for her life and took her baby with her. She decided to go with her husband to the front lines. At one point, Porter Rockwell, Bill Hickman, and Latt Smith strolled through camp. She recounts her experiences coming across the country and her encounters with Indians and confederate soldiers. After being discharged and getting ready for the trip back to Utah, her husband, John, took ill. His body was simply worn out. He died 24 May 1866. They’d had three boys together, and four months after John’s death, Patience gave birth to a girl. Patience returned to Utah to be with her family. Her children’s names were John, Frank and Amy Rosalie. Frank, became sick and died 20 October 1866, five months after his father. She finishes her account by relating her experience working as a cook for Miller Mine in 1872, and how when it closed down in the dead of winter, she and a couple others had to make the journey through the snow and freezing weather to the smelter, and then on to Deer Creek before they could leave the canyon and return home.