Mormon handcart pioneers were participants in the
migration of members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS
Church) to Salt Lake
City, Utah, who used
handcarts to transport their belongings.
The Mormon handcart movement began in 1856 and lasted until
to join their fellow Church members in Utah but lacking funds for
full ox or horse
teams, nearly 3,000 Mormon pioneers
from England, Wales, Scotland
and Scandinavia made the journey from
Iowa or Nebraska to Utah in
ten handcart companies. The trek was disastrous for two of the
companies, which started their journey dangerously late and were
caught by heavy snow and severe temperatures in central Wyoming.
Despite a dramatic rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 pioneers
in these two companies died along the way. John Chislett, a
survivor, wrote, "Many a father pulled his cart, with his little
children on it, until the day preceding his death."
Although less than 10 percent of the 1847–68 Latter-day Saint
emigrants made the journey
west using handcarts, the handcart pioneers have become an
important symbol in LDS culture, representing the faithfulness and
sacrifice of the pioneer generation. They continue to be recognized
and honored in events such as Pioneer
, Church pageants, and similar commemorations. The handcart
treks were a familiar theme in 19th century Mormon folk music
and have been a theme in
LDS fiction, such as David Farland
novel In the Company of Angels
, Gerald Lund
's historical novel, Fire of the
, and Orson Scott
's science-fiction short story, "West
Background to the migration
The Latter Day
were first organized as the Church of Christ
1830. Early members of the Church often encountered hostility,
primarily due to their practice of withdrawing from secular society
and gathering in locales to practice their distinct religious
beliefs. Their neighbors felt threatened by the Church's rapid
growth in numbers, by its tendency to vote as a bloc
and acquire political power, by its claims
of divine favor, and by the practice of polygamy
. Violence directed against the Church and
its members caused the body of the Church to move from Ohio to Missouri, then to
Despite the frequent moves, Church members were unable to escape
opposition, which culminated in the extermination order
all Mormons living in the state by Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs
and the murder of its leader
in 1844. Brigham Young
, Smith's successor as Church leader
, said that
he had received divine direction to organize the church members and
head beyond the western frontier of the United States.
Need for handcart companies
the first Mormon pioneers reached Utah in 1847, the Church began
encouraging its converts in the British Isles and elsewhere in Europe to emigrate to Utah.
From 1849 to 1855, about 16,000 European Latter-day Saints traveled
to Utah by ship, rail and then ox and wagon. Although most of these
emigrants paid their own expenses, the Church established the
Perpetual Emigration Fund
to provide financial assistance for poor emigrants to trek west,
which they would repay as they were able. Contributions to expand
the fund were encouraged.
When contributions and loan repayments dropped off in 1855 after a
poor harvest in Utah, President Young decided to begin using
handcarts because the Latter-day Saints who remained in Europe were
mostly poor. Young also believed it would speed the journey.
Young proposed the plan in a letter to Franklin D. Richards
of the European Mission, in
September 1855. His letter was published in the Millennial Star
, the Church's
England-based periodical, on December 22, 1855, along with an
editorial by Richards endorsing the project. The cost of the
migration was expected to be reduced by one-third. The response was
overwhelming — in 1856 the Perpetual Emigration Fund supported the
travel of 2,012 European emigrants, compared with 1,161 the year
departed from an English port (generally Liverpool) and travelled by ship to New York or Boston, then by railroad to Iowa City, Iowa, the western
terminus of the rail line, where they would be outfitted with
handcarts and other supplies.
Built to Brigham Young's design, the handcarts resembled a large
, with two wheels five feet
(1.5 m) in diameter and a single axle four and half feet
(1.4 m) wide, and weighing 60 pounds (27 kg). Running
along each side of the bed were seven-foot (2.1 m) pull shafts
ending with a three-foot (0.9 m) crossbar at the front. The
crossbar allowed the carts to be pushed or pulled. Cargo was
carried in a box about three feet by four feet (0.9 m by
1.2 m), with 8 inch (0.2 m) walls. The handcarts
generally carried up to 250 pounds (110 kg) of supplies and
luggage, though they were capable of handling loads as heavy as 500
pounds (230 kg). Carts used in the first year's migration were
made entirely of wood ("Iowa hickory or oak"); in later years a
stronger design was substituted, which included metal
The handcart companies were organized using the handcarts and
sleeping tents as the primary units. Five persons were assigned per
handcart, with each individual limited to 17 pounds (7.7 kg)
of clothing and bedding. Each round tent, supported by a center
pole, housed 20 occupants and was supervised by a tent captain.
Five tents were supervised by the captain of a hundred (or
"sub-captain"). Provisions for each group of one hundred emigrants
were carried in an ox wagon, and were distributed by the tent
1856: First three companies
The first two ships departed England in late March and mid-April
and sailed to Boston. The emigrants spent several weeks in Iowa
City, where they constructed their handcarts and were outfitted
with supplies before beginning their trek of about 1,300 miles
About 815 emigrants from the first two ships were organized into
the first three handcart companies, headed by captains Edmund
Ellsworth, Daniel D. McArthur, and Edward Bunker
. The captains were
returning to their
homes in Utah and were familiar with the route. Most of the
sub-captains were also returning missionaries.
Iowa they followed an existing road about 275 miles (443 km)
Bluffs, following a route that is close to current
U.S. Route 6
. After crossing the Missouri River, they paused for a few days at a Mormon outpost in
(modern-day Omaha) for
repairs, before beginning the remaining 1,030-mile (1,658 km)
journey along the Mormon Trail to
The companies made good time, and their trips were largely
uneventful. The emigrant companies included many children and
elderly individuals, and pushing and pulling handcarts was
difficult work. Journals and recollections describe periods of
illness and hunger. Like other companies traveling on the Emigrant Trail
, deaths occurred along the
way. Hafen and Hafen's Handcarts to Zion
lists 13 deaths
from the first company, seven from the second, and fewer than seven
from the third. Journal entries reflect the optimism of the
handcart pioneers, even amid their hardships:
The first two companies arrived in Salt Lake City on September 26
and the third followed less than a week later. The first three
companies were regarded as having demonstrated the feasibility of
emigrating using handcarts.
||Arrived Iowa City
||Departed Iowa City
||Number of individuals
||Number died en route
||Arrived Salt Lake City
||Enoch Train, sailed March 23, 1856 to Boston
||Daniel D. McArthur
||Enoch Train, sailed March 23, 1856 to Boston;
S. Curling, sailed April 19 to Boston
|from Enoch Train, May 12;
from S. Curling, early June
||S. Curling, sailed April 19, 1856 to
1856: Willie and Martin handcart companies
The last two handcart companies of 1856 departed late from England.
The ship Thornton
, carrying the emigrants who became the
Willie Company, did not leave England until May 4. The leader of
the Latter-day Saints on the Thornton
was James G. Willie
. Another three weeks passed before
carrying the emigrants who formed the Martin
Company, departed. The late departures may have been the result of
difficulties in procuring ships in response to the unexpected
demand, but the results would be tragic.
With slow communications in the era before the transatlantic
telegraph, the Church agents in Iowa City were not expecting the
additional emigrants and had to make frantic preparations for their
arrival. Critical weeks were spent hastily assembling the carts and
outfitting the companies. When the companies reached Florence,
additional time was lost making repairs to the poorly built carts.
Emigrant John Chislett describes the problems with the carts:
Prior to the Willie Company departing Florence, the company met to
debate the wisdom of such a late departure. Because the emigrants
were unfamiliar with the trail and the climate, they deferred to
the returning missionaries and Church agents. One of the returning
missionaries, Levi Savage
them to spend the winter in Nebraska. He argued that such a late
departure with a company consisting of the elderly, women and young
children would lead to suffering, sickness and even death. All of
the other Church elders
that the trip should go forward, expressing optimism that the
company would be protected by divine
. Some members of the company, perhaps as many as
100, decided to spend the winter in Florence or in Iowa, but the
majority, about 404 in number (including Savage) continued the
journey west. The Willie Company left Florence on August 17 and the
Martin Company on August 27. Two ox-wagon trains, led by captains
W.B. Hodgett and John A. Hunt, followed the Martin Company.
River, Nebraska, a herd of bison
caused the Willie Company's cattle to stampede, and nearly 30 cattle were lost.
Left without enough cattle to pull all of the wagons, each handcart
was required to take on an additional 100 pounds (45 kg) of
In early September, Franklin D. Richards, returning from Europe
where he had served as the Church's mission president
, passed the emigrant
companies. Richards and the 12 returning missionaries who
accompanied him, traveling in carriages and light wagons pulled by
horses and mules, pressed on to Utah to obtain assistance for the
Disaster and rescue
October the two companies reached Fort
Laramie, Wyoming, where they expected to be restocked with
provisions, but no provisions were there for them.
companies had to cut back food rations, hoping that their supplies
would last until help could be sent from Utah. To lighten their
loads, the Martin Company cut the luggage allowance to 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) per person, discarding clothing and blankets that
soon would be desperately needed.
On October 4 the Richards party reached Salt Lake City and
conferred with president Brigham Young and other Church leaders.
The next morning the Church was meeting in a general conference
Young and the other speakers called on the Church members to
provide wagons, mules
, supplies, and teamsters
for a rescue mission. On the morning of
October 7 the first rescue party left Salt Lake City with 16
wagonloads of food and supplies, pulled by four-mule teams with 27
young men serving as teamsters and rescuers. The party elected
George D. Grant as their captain. Throughout October more wagon
trains were assembled, and by the end of the month 250 relief
wagons were on the road.
Meanwhile, the Willie and Martin companies were running out of food
and encountering bitterly cold temperatures. On October 19 a
blizzard struck the region, halting the two companies and the
relief party. The Willie Company was along the Sweetwater River
. A scouting
party sent ahead by the main rescue party found and greeted the
emigrants, gave them a small amount of flour, encouraged them that
rescue was near, and then rushed onward to try to locate the Martin
Company. The members of the Willie Company had just reached the end
of their flour supplies. They began slaughtering the handful of
broken-down cattle that still remained while their death toll
mounted. On October 20 Captain Willie and Joseph Elder went ahead
by mule through the snow to locate the supply train and inform them
of the company's desperate situation. They arrived at the
rescue party's campsite near South Pass that evening, and by the next evening the rescue
party reached the Willie Company and provided them with food and
Half of the rescue party remained to assist the
Willie Company while the other half pressed forward to assist the
Martin Company. The difficulties of the Willie Company were not yet
over. On October 23, the second day after the main rescue party had
arrived, the Willie Company faced the most difficult section of the
trail—the ascent up Rocky Ridge. The climb took place during a
howling snowstorm through knee-deep snow. That night 13 emigrants
October 19, the Martin Company was about 110 miles (177 km)
further east, making its last crossing of the North Platte River near present-day
Shortly after completing the crossing, the
blizzard struck. Many members of the company suffered from hypothermia
after wading through the frigid river.
They set up camp at Red Bluffs, unable to continue forward through
the snow. Meanwhile the original scouting party
continued eastward until it reached a small vacant fort at Devil's
Gate, where they had been instructed to wait for the
rest of the rescue party if they had not found the Martin
When the main rescue party rejoined them, another
scouting party consisting of Joseph
, Abel Garr, and Daniel Webster Jones
forward. The Martin company remained in their camp at Red Bluffs
for nine days until the three scouts finally arrived on October 28.
By the time the scouts arrived, 56 members of the company had died.
The scouts urged the emigrants to begin moving again. Three days
later the main rescue party met the Martin Company and the Hodgett
and Hunt wagon companies and helped them on to Devil's Gate.
George D. Grant, who headed the rescue party, reported to President
At Devil's Gate the rescue party unloaded the baggage carried in
the wagons of the Hodgett and Hunt wagon companies that had been
following the Martin Company so the wagons could be used to
transport the weakest emigrants. A small group remained at Devil's
Gate over the winter to protect the property. On November 4 the
company had to cross the Sweetwater River, which was about 2 feet
(0.6 m) deep and 90 to 120 feet (27 to 37 m) wide. The stream was
clogged with floating ice. The young men of the rescue party
(accounts mention George W. Grant, C. Allen Huntington, David P. Kimball
, and Stephen W. Taylor) spent
much of the day pulling the carts and carrying many of the
emigrants across the river. Andrew Jensen later stated that some of
the young rescuers died from the effects of the exposure. The
severe weather forced the Martin Company to halt for another five
days at Martin's Cove
, a few miles
west of Devil's Gate.
The rescue parties escorted the emigrants from both companies to
Utah through more snow and severe weather while their members
continued to suffer death from disease and exposure. The Willie
Company arrived in Salt Lake City on November 9; 68 members of the
company had lost their lives.
Meanwhile, a backup relief party of 77 teams and wagons was making
its way east to provide additional assistance to the Martin
Company. After passing Fort Bridger the leaders of the backup party
concluded that the Martin Company must have wintered east of the
Rockies, so they turned back. When word of the returning backup
relief party was communicated to Young, he ordered the courier to
return and tell them to turn back east and continue until they
found the handcart company, but several days had been lost. On
November 18 the backup party met the Martin Company with the
greatly needed supplies. At last all the members of the handcart
party were now able to ride in wagons. The 104 wagons carrying the
Martin Company arrived in Salt Lake City on November 30; at least
145 members of the company had lost their lives. Many of the
survivors had to have fingers, toes, or limbs amputated due to
After the companies arrived in Utah, the residents generously
opened their homes to the arriving emigrants, feeding and caring
for them over the winter. The emigrants would eventually go on to
Latter-day Saint settlements throughout Utah and the West.
Responsibility for the tragedy
American West historian, Wallace
, described the inadequate planning and improvident
decisions leading to the tragedy when he wrote,
As early as November 2, 1856, while the Willie and Martin companies
were still making their way to safety, Brigham Young responded to
criticism of his own leadership by rebuking Franklin Richards and
Daniel Spencer for allowing the companies to leave so late.
However, many authors argued that Young, as author of the plan, was
responsible. Ann Eliza Young
daughter of one of the men in charge of building the carts and a
former plural wife of Brigham Young, described her ex-husband's
plan as a "cold-blooded, scheming, blasphemous policy."
described Richards as a scapegoat for
Young's fundamental errors in planning, though Howard Christy,
professor emeritus at Brigham Young University, noted that Richards, as the highest ranking
official in Florence, Nebraska area, was, in fact, the official who
would have had the authority and capability to have averted the
tragedy by halting their late departure.
Many survivors of the tragedy refused to blame anyone. Survivor
John Jacques wrote, "I blame nobody. I am not anxious to blame
anybody... I have no doubt that those who had to do with its
management meant well and tried to do the best they could under the
circumstances." Another survivor, Francis Webster, was quoted as
having said, "Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No.
Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to
become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful
that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company." On
the other hand, survivor John Chislett, who later left the Church,
wrote bitterly of Richards promising them that "we should get to
Zion in safety."
In May 2006, a panel of researchers at the annual conference of the
blamed the tragedy on a failure of leadership.
Lyndia Carter, a trails
Franklin D. Richards "was responsible, in my mind, for the late
departure" because "he started the snowball down the slope" that
eventually "added up to disaster." Christy agreed that "leadership
from the top, from the outset, was seriously short of the mark."
Robert Briggs, an attorney, said "It's almost a foregone conclusion
. . . there is evidence of negligence. With leaders all the way up
to Brigham Young, there was mismanagement." On the other hand,
Rebecca Bartholomew and Leonard
"Memories of what was perhaps the worst disaster in the history of
western migration have been palliated by what could also be
regarded as the most heroic rescue of the Mormon frontier."
||Arrived Iowa City
||Departed Iowa City
||Number of individuals
||Number died en route
||Arrived Salt Lake City
|Fourth or Willie Company
||James G. Willie
||Thornton, sailed May 4, 1856 to New York
||~500 left Iowa City; 404 left Florence
|Fifth or Martin Company
||Horizon, sailed May 25, 1856 to Boston
1857–60: Last five companies
A number of lessons had been learned from the 1856 disaster that
allowed the Church to continue the handcart system while avoiding
another disaster. Never again would a handcart company depart
Florence later than July 7. The construction of the handcarts was
modified to strengthen them and reduce repairs. The handcarts would
now be regularly greased. Arrangements were made to replenish
supplies along the route.
By 1857 the Perpetual Emigration Fund was exhausted; almost all of
the handcart emigrants that year and in subsequent years had to pay
their own way. With the increased cost, the number of handcart
emigrants dropped from nearly 2,000 in 1856 to about 480 in 1857.
Nevertheless, in 1857 two companies made the trek. Both companies
arrived in Salt Lake City by September 13. Perhaps the most notable
incident was when a captain of the U.S. Army's Utah Expedition
, on its way to Utah to confront
Young and the Mormons, donated an ox to the hungry emigrants.
With the uncertainty caused by the Utah
, the Church called off all European emigration for 1858. In
1859 one handcart company crossed the plains. The emigrants were
now able to travel by rail to Saint Joseph, Missouri
, after which
they went by riverboat to Florence where they were outfitted with
handcarts and supplies. When the 1859 company reached Fort Laramie,
they discovered their food was running dangerously short, so they
cut back on rations. When they reached Devil's Gate the last flour
was distributed. Emigrant Ebeneezer B. Beesley recalled an incident
in which a group of rough mountain men
fed the hungry emigrants. One of the mountain men then asked a
young woman from the company to stay with him, which the tired
woman agreed to do. (William Atkin recalled another version of the
story in which two young women married two mountain men.) The
hunger worsened when expected supplies were not available when they
reached the Green River
days later wagons from Utah carrying provisions finally rescued the
The last two handcart companies made the journey in 1860, again
following the route through St. Joseph. Although the journey
continued to be difficult for the emigrants, these companies had
relatively uneventful trips and experienced little loss of
After 1860 handcarts were no longer used. The Church implemented a
new system of emigration, in which wagon trains travelled east from
Salt Lake City in the spring and returned with emigrants in the
summer. The transcontinental railroad
was being constructed, and the railroad terminus gradually moved
westward, shortening the trip.
||Arrived Iowa City
||Departed Iowa City
||Number of individuals
||Number died en route
||Arrived Salt Lake City
||George Washington, sailed March 27, 1857 to
||L.N. Hvidt, sailed April 18, 1857 from
Copenhagen to Britain; Westmoreland, sailed April 25 to
||William Tapscott, sailed April 11, 1859 to New
||Underwriter, sailed March 30, 1860 to New York
||May 12 (Florence)
||Oscar O. Stoddard
||William Tapscott, sailed May 11, 1860 to New York
||July 1 (Florence)
Handcart pioneers and the handcart movement are important parts of
. Arthur King Peters described the
importance of this part of Mormon history in Seven Trails
Wallace Stegner praised the examples of those of the handcart
companies, particularly in comparison to other pioneer
Reenactments, in which a group dressed in 19th century garb travels
for one or more days pushing and pulling handcarts, have become a
popular activity among LDS wards
youth groups, and families. The reenactments have been lauded by
LDS leaders; for example, M.
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
said, "Through music, drama, and stirring reenactments, we will be
reminded of incredible pioneer journeys, both temporal and
spiritual." The reenactments have become so popular that the
Bureau of Land Management
is studying the impact on the trail and its environment, especially
in the area around Rocky Ridge, Wyoming. According to the
the BLM has had to impose a fee to offset the costs of monitoring
the impacts of reenactors and other campers on the trail.
A re-creation of the 1856 handcart disaster was featured on the
show, Wild West Tech
A number of events were held during 2006 to commemorate the 150th
anniversary of the 1856 handcart companies:
2006 conference of the Mormon
History Association was held in Casper, Wyoming from May 25–May 28 and featured a specially
commissioned concert opera by Harriet Petherick Bushman, "1856:
Long Walk Home," as well as several research papers on the handcart
- From June 9–June 11, a symposium and festival were held in Iowa
City on the anniversary of the departure of the first company.
Gordon B. Hinckley, the then-current President of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at the closing
musical called 1856, produced by Cory Ellsworth, a
descendant of Edmund Ellsworth, was performed in Mesa, Arizona and Salt Lake City in July 2006.
- Filmmaker Lee Groberg and
writer/historian Heidi Swinton created a documentary for PBS, Sweetwater Rescue: The
Willie & Martin Handcart Story, which features
reenactments of the rescue. The one-hour film was shown nationally
in the United States on December 18, 2006. A companion book was
- Brigham Young University created a daily journal of the Willie
Handcart Company on its Web site.
Notable handcart pioneers
- C. C. A. Christensen – Sub-captain
of the seventh company and an artist known for his illustrations of
- John Jaques – Member of the
Martin Company, missionary, and company historian.
- Levi Savage Jr. – Sub-captain of
the Willie Company who argued against the late departure.
- Nellie Unthank – Member of the
- Emily H. Woodmansee – Member of the Willie
Handcart Company and one of the most influential Mormon poets in
the 19th century.
Notable members of the rescue parties
- Ephraim Hanks – Scout, member of
the second rescue party.
- Daniel Webster
Jones – Member of advance party who found the Martin Company.
Jones spent the winter at Devil's Gate guarding the equipment that
was left there.
- Hosea Stout – Member of the second
rescue party who carried messages to and from Salt Lake City.
- Joseph Angell Young – Son of
Brigham Young and member of the advance rescue party that found the
- Quoted by Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 102.
- O'Dea (1957), pp. 41–49, 72–75.
- O'Dea (1957), pp. 1–85; Allen and Leonard (1976), pp.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 22–27.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 28–31.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 29–34, 46.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 40, 44, 91, 153, 157, 180.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 53–55; Dekker (2006), p. 45;
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 58–59, 157; Dekker (2006), p.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 43–58.
- Exact counts of the number of emigrants are not possible both
because of incomplete records and because some emigrants dropped
out along the way. For example, see Hafen and Hafen (1981), p.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 53–59.
- Kimball (1979).
- Emigrant Priscilla M. Evans of the third company, as quoted by
Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 82–83.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 59–79.
- Source for tables is Hafen and Hafen (1981), except for counts
of emigrants and deaths for the Willie and Martin Companies.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 91.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 92–94.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 99–100.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 96–97.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 100.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 97–98, 119; Bartholomew and
Arrington (1993), p. 5.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 101, 108; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 3–4.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 119–125; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 5–11.
- The various sources disagree regarding the identities of the
members of first "express team" that found the Willie Company.
Hafen and Hafen  (1981), quoting emigrant John Chislett, name
Joseph Young and Stephen Taylor. Jones
(1890), a member of the rescue party, names Cyrus Wheelock and
Stephen Taylor. Bartholomew and Arrington (1992) name Joseph Young,
Abel Garr, and Cyrus Wheelock.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 101–107, 126; Bartholomew and
Arrington (1993), pp. 11–18; Christy (1997), pp 37–39.
- Christy (1997).
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 108–116, 126; Bartholomew and
Arrington (1993), pp. 21–25; Christy (1997), pp. 39–47.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 228
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 132–133; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 27–28.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 132–134; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 25–28.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 127–131; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 17–19.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 134–138; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 28–37.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 138–140; Bartholomew and Arrington
(1993), pp. 39–42.
- Stegner (1992), p. 222.
- See Christy (1997), pp. 22–23 and Stegner (1992), pp. 256–258.
Richards was the highest ranking church official in the area at the
time the companies left Florence, and Spencer was the Church's
agent in Iowa City.
- Young, Ann Eliza, Wife No. 19, or, The story of a life in
bondage : being a complete expose of Mormonism, and revealing the
sorrows, sacrifices and sufferings of women in polygamy.
Hartford, Conn.: Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1876, pp. 204–205.
- See Stegner (1992), p. 259 and Christy (1997), pp. 21, 56.
- Christy (1997), p. 57.
- Palmer, William R. "Pioneers of Southern Utah"
Instructor, 79 (May, 1944), 217–218, quoted at
- See Stegner (1992), p. 143.
- See Deseret News "Historians fault leaders in LDS handcart
tragedy" May 27, 2006.
- Bartholomew and Arrington (1993), p. 44.
- Source for counts of emigrants and deaths of Willie and Martin
Companies is Christy (1992).
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 143–144.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 148–149, 193.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 153–164.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 173–174.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 165–178.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 179–190.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 191–192.
- Peters (1996), p. 145.
- Stegner (1956), p. 85.
- For example, see San Diego Union-Tribune, and East Valley Tribune.
- General Conference, April 1997, You have nothing to fear from the the
- See research by Cameron Leonard Aldridge.
- See Mormon History Association.
- See Pres. Hinckley to honor handcart pioneers, Carrie A.
Moore, Deseret Morning News; and President Hinckley pays tribute to handcart pioneers,
- See Sweetwater Rescue, Groberg
Communications and Deseret News: Documentary explores handcart tragedy.
The companion book is Swinton and Groberg (2006).
- See the Willie Handcart Company Chronology at
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 159 and
- Olsen (2006), pp. 244–248, 408–414.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 94–99 and
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), p. 138.
- Hafen and Hafen (1981), pp. 135–136, 225, 232.
- Jones (1890) and Stegner (1992), pp. 260–274.
- Bartholomew and Arrington (1993), pp. 33–36.
- Bartholomew and Arrington (1993), pp. 21–24.