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Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail, Companion to the PBS… (edition 1997)
by William W. Slaughter (Author)
Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail by William W. Slaughter
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The western migration of more than 500,000 people is one of America's legendary stories. From 1806, when Lewis and Clark opened the West, until the 1869 joining of the railroads, these pioneers set out on trails leading to various points westward. Forsaking all they knew -- sometimes leaving behind friends and family -- the emigrants moved toward the unknown with hope for a new start and a better life. Within this general migration is the story of some seventy thousand Mormon pioneers who traveled on foot, in wagon trains, and, during a four-year experiment, in handcart companies to their Zion in the Great Basin of the West -- Salt Lake City. Beginning with their expulsion from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846 and for the succeeding twenty-two years, the migration of the Mormon pioneers was a curious saga in the settlement of the American West. Mostly poor, they came from the eastern United States, Canada, England, the European continent, and South Africa. They traveled on ships, canal boats, trains, and riverboats and then came on foot in wagon trains and handcart companies. An 1849 observer in Florence, Nebraska, described a Mormon wagon train in this way: They began to bend their way westward over the boundless plains that lie between us and the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Slowly and majestically they moved along, displaying a column of upwards of three hundred wagons, cattle, sheep, hogs, horses, mules, chickens, turkeys, geese, doves, goats, and...lots of men, women and children. In this company was...the farmer, the merchant, the doctor, the minister, and almost every thing necessary for a settlement in a new country.
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