Mormon Handcart Companies

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MORMON HANDCART COMPANIES. Not all Mormons migrating to Utah in the mid-nineteenth century could afford horses for the journey. Ingeniously, some resorted to the use of handcarts. One or two persons were assigned to each handcart, which the migrants pushed and pulled across the plains from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley. Most of these companies successfully made the journey, but two companies that started late in the summer of 1856 were caught in the early winter storms, and some of the members perished. Travel with handcarts began in 1856 and continued until 1860.


Stegner, Wallace E. The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

J. F.Smith/a. r.

See alsoLatter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of ; Mormon Trail ; Salt Lake City .