RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 191758331 LA English T1 Devil's gate : Brigham Young and the great Mormon handcart tragedy A1 Roberts, David,, YR 2008 SN 9781416539889 1416539883 AB "The Mormon handcart tragedy of 1856 is the worst disaster in the history of the Western migrations, and yet it remains virtually unknown today outside Mormon circles. Following the death of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, its second prophet and new leader, Brigham Young, determined to move the faithful out of the Midwest, where they had constantly been persecuted by neighbors, to found a new Zion in the wilderness. In 1846-47, the Mormons made their way west, generally following the Oregon Trail, arriving in July 1847 in what is today Utah, where they established Salt Lake City. Nine years later, fearing a federal invasion, Young and other Mormon leaders wrestled with the question of how to bring thousands of impoverished European converts, mostly British and Scandinavian, from the Old World to Zion. Young conceived of a plan in which the European Mormons would travel by ship to New York City and by train to Iowa City. From there, instead of crossing the plains by covered wagon, they would push and pull wooden handcarts all the way to Salt Lake City. But the handcart plan was badly flawed. The carts, made of green wood, constantly broke down; the baggage allowance of seventeen pounds per adult was far too small; and the food provisions were woefully inadequate, especially considering the demanding physical labor of pushing and pulling the handcarts 1,300 miles across plains and mountains. Five companies of handcart pioneers left Iowa for Zion that spring and summer, but the last two of them left late. As a consequence, some 900 Mormons in these two companies were caught in the early snowstorms in Wyoming. When the church leadership in Salt Lake City became aware of the dire circumstances of these pioneers, Young launched a heroic rescue effort. Burt for more than 200 of the immigrants, the rescue came too late." -- dust jacket.