Emigration of 1856

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Date Person/s Description
THE MARTIN HANDCART COMPANY
576 people, 146 handcarts, 7 wagons, 135-150 die en route

29 Oct 1855
Salt Lake City
Thirteenth General Epistle issued by First Presidency announcing plans to come to Zion by handcarts.
Sat, 12 Jan
British Saints
Millennial Star publishes instructions for emigration for America.
Sat, 1 Mar
British Saints
Elder Franklin D. Richards writes an editorial in the Millennial Star encouraging the British Saints to emigrate to America.
Sun, 25 May
Martin Company
Ship Horizon left England and sailed to Boston with Captain Edward Martin.
Tue, 8 Jul
Martin Company
Horizon group arrives Iowa City.
Sat, 26 Jul
Missionaries
F. D. Richards and others leave England.
Mon, 28 Jul
Martin Company
Fifth Company, Martin Handcart, leaves Iowa City.
Fri, 22 Aug
Martin Company
Martin Company reaches Florence.
Mon, 25 Aug
Martin Company
Martin Company leaves Florence as to Hunt/Hodgett Wagon Companies but they only go 3 miles & camp.
Wed, 27 Aug
Martin Company
Martin Company finally leaves Florence, Nebraska area 9 days behind the Willie Company.
Sun, 7 Sep
Martin Company
Richards Company catches Martin Company and Hodgett wagons.
Fri, 3 Oct
Martin Company
West of Chimney Rock.
Sat, 4 Oct
Martin Company
Franklin D. Richards arrives in Salt Lake City. He informs Brigham Young of pioneer conditions.
Sat, 4 Oct
Salt Lake City
At Scott's Bluff, Nebraska, Parley P. Pratt passes them heading east, but does not see them.
Sun, 5 Oct
Salt Lake City
Brigham Young announces rescue immediately in General Conference.
Mon, 6 Oct
Salt Lake City
Volunteers gather in Brigham Young's office for counsel and priesthood blessing.
Tue, 7 Oct
Salt Lake City
27 men and 16 wagons leave Salt Lake City and camp at Big Mountain.
Wed, 8 Oct
Martin Company
Arrive at Ft. Laramie. Rescue party at East Canyon. Snow.
Thu, 9 Oct
Martin Company
Ft. Laramie. Purchase provisions at the fort. Rescue party camp at Echo Canyon.
Fri, 10 Oct
Martin Company
Leave Ft. Laramie. Rescue party camp at top of Echo Canyon.
Sat, 11 Oct
Rescue Party
Traveling into western Wyoming.
Sun, 12 Oct
Rescue Party
Fort Bridger. Snowed through the night.
Mon, 13 Oct
Rescue Party
Camp at Black's Fork where they meet Abraham O. Smoot Wagon Company.
Tue, 14 Oct
Martin Company
Platte River in Wyoming. Black's Fork. Express sent ahead - Cyrus Wheelock, Joseph A. Young & S. Taylor, Abel Garr.
Wed, 15 Oct
Rescue party
Green River - no sign of wagon train & no word. Some suggest turning back thinking companies must have stopped for winter. Stored some supplies & moved ahead.
Thu, 16 Oct
Martin Company
East of Casper, Wyoming. Cattle feed scarce. Rescuers at Big Sandy (Farson), Wyoming.
Fri, 17 Oct
Martin Company
Near Deer Creek east of Casper. Baggage reduced to 10 lbs/adults, 5 lbs/child. Many blankets, clothes, bedding discarded & burned. For the rescue party at Little Sandy, weather is clear, fair and very cold.
Sat, 18 Oct
Martin Company
Last crossing of the Platte River (Bessemer Bend, near Red Buttes, SW of Casper, Wyoming) Rescuer Allred is 8 miles east of South Pass near Burnt Ranch or South Pass Supply Camp. 4 wagons and 11 men are guarding. It is cold and snowing.
Sun, 19 Oct
Martin Company
Day 1 of 9-Day Camp. Last crossing of Platte at Red Buttes, 100 miles east of Willie Company. "Bitter cold day, winter came all at once. River wide, current strong, water extremely cold." Snow. Express riders Young, Wheelock, Taylor and Garr meet Willie Co. at Ice Slough. Other rescuers camp at Rock Creek to stay out of the snow storm.
Mon, 20 Oct
Martin Company
Day 2 of 9-Day Camp. "Ground covered with 1 foot of now" at Red Buttes. Too cold to travel. Rescuers are at Willow or Rock Creek. Late at night Harvey Cluff posts a sign on the main trail. His footsteps in the now are discovered by Captain Willie and Brother Elder. Snow.
Tue, 21 Oct
Martin Company
Day 3 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". Snow. Location of the 9-Day Camp is non defined since the company was strung between Ft. Casper and west of Bessemer Bend. Some pioneer refer to the camp as at "Red Buttes" which is a prominent outcropping in the area. The rescuers are leaving before daylight. The relief wagons go from Willow/Rock Creek, across Rocky Ridge to 6th Crossing, when they meet the Willie Co. Snow. Advance rescuer Allred is at Burnt Ranch Supply Camp. About this time Allred is coaxed by some drivers to turn around. He refuses. Some drivers turn their teams around and head for Ft. Bridger. Snow.
Wed, 22 Oct
Martin Company
Day 4 of 9-Day Camp. Still camped at "Red Buttes". Rations out. Snow. Rescuer George D. Grant passes on past Willie Company with 12 or 13 wagons head for Martin Company. Snow. Advance rescuer Allred is at South Pass. Snow.
Thu, 23 Oct
Martin Company
Day 5 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". "Cold & frosty." Camp detained because of snow. Rescuers did not travel because of snow. Allred leaves South Pass in the night with 6 wagons. Snow. Express is east of Three Crossings. Eph Hanks dreams of the handcart people in trouble staying at the home of Gurnsey Brown near Draper, Utah.
Fri, 24 Oct
Martin Company
Day 6 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". Snow. Rescuers camped below Three Crossings. Snow. Allred meets Willie Company at Rock Creek. "Many dead and dying." 13 were buried. Eph Hanks camps in Draper.
Sat, 25 Oct
Martin Company
Day 7 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". Warmer but several deaths. Meanwhile Allred is back to South Pass with the Willie Company. Warmer.
Sun, 26 Oct
Martin Company
Day 8 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". Brother Rothwell (Rodwell) shared a very inspiring dream that he had during the night. Right after prayers this morning he said: "I dreamed that it was Tuesday or Wednesday, and about noon tide, as near as I could judge. I saw a mule packed with blankets and cooking utensils come right in the middle of our camp, as we are now, followed by three Californians wearing blue soldier overcoats, riding mules or horses. They stopped and told us of teams and relief from the Valley, after which we started again on our journey." He continued by telling us that he believed that it was a true vision and that help would come soon. (Josiah Rogerson journal) Meanwhile Eph Hanks hears call for more volunteers in Salt Lake City. He is ready to go now.
Mon, 27 Oct
Martin Company
Day 9 of 9-Day Camp. "Red Buttes". Rescuers are east of Devil's Gate. Their camp is moved nearer to mountain to get out of wind. It is apparent Martin Company would be worse off than Willie. Meanwhile Eph Hanks heads east from Salt Lake City alone in his own wagon. Joseph Young, Dan Jones, Abel Garr are sent to bridge at Platte River (Caspar, Wyoming).
Tue, 28 Oct
Martin Company
Express arrives at "Red Buttes". "All bustle and busy getting ready to move out." "Company is in a deplorable condition, having lost 56 since crossing the North Platte 9 days earlier." "Provisions gone, clothing nearly worn out, few blankets. Several died that night."
Wed, 29 Oct
Martin Company
Camp at Avenue of Rocks with members of the Express party. Several deaths. Meanwhile Grant and others move out from Devil's Gate eastward with supplies. Jones and Garr leave the Express, turn west for Devil's Gate, find Martin Company strung out over 3 miles.
Thu, 30 Oct
Martin Company
Camp at Willow Spring. Express riders with Martin & Wagon Companies. Young & Garr sent to Salt Lake City.
Fri, 31 Oct
Martin Company
Climbed up Prospect Hill. Camped at Greasewood/Horse Creek. George D. Grant's rescue team met the Martin Company at Greasewood Creek rendering every possible assistance. Express Jones, Wheelock and Garr meet main rescue party with 6 wagons of supplies. Charlie Decker has traveled this road the forty-ninth time and says he has never before seen so much snow on the Sweetwater at any season of the year.
Mon, 1 Nov
Martin Company
Storm hits. Passed Independence Rock. 10 deaths. Snow. Some rescuers are with the Martin Company and others with the Wagon Companies. Snow and cold.
Sun, 2 Nov
Salt Lake City
Brigham Young speaks in Tabernacle. "Every minute of two my mind reverts to them, my brethren and sisters on the plains, and what is their condition." Meanwhile the Martin Handcart Company along with the Hodgett & Hunt Wagon Companies are at Devil's Gate. "Arrived at camp in snow that was deep and freezing." About 1200 people are hoping to find shelter. Some of the rescuers are with the Martin Company and others with the Wagon Companies. Eph Hanks is heading east and meets the Willie Company at Fort Bridger.
Mon, 3 Nov
Martin Company
Camped at Devil's Gate. Hodgett Company with Martin Company. Too cold to travel. The rescuers are at Devil's Gate & Martin's Cove. "So cold the company could not move.
Tue, 4 Nov
Martin Company
Moved from Devil's Gate to Martin's Cove, crossing the Sweetwater River. 4 young men; David P. Kimball, George W. Grant, Stephen W. Taylor & C. A. Huntington, carry most handcart members across the Sweetwater River. Dan Jones said: "Everyone did all he possibly could." Cold. Handcarts are abandoned. Other rescuers stored goods at Devil's Gate. Kimball and Brown leave the Willie Company and rush on to Salt Lake City.
Wed, 5 Nov
Salt Lake City
Messenger leave Fort Bridger for Salt Lake City seeking counsel. "What about the wagons that are returning to Salt Lake City?" The Martin Company rested at Martin's Cove (Martin's Ravine). Captain Martin, carried back to camp, "near exhausted" after getting lost. Cold. Rescuers are at Devil's Gate/Martin's Cove. Cold. Eph Hanks arrives at Supply Camp (Burnt Ranch). Reports 150 wagons coming; that some had turned around and headed back to Fort Bridger.
Thu, 6 Nov
Martin Company
Martin's Cove. Cold. Rescuers are at Devil's Gate/Martin's Cove. They unload belongings of the Hunt Company. Cold. Allred is at South Pass Supply Camp. Cold. Eph Hanks leaves wagon with Allred and takes 2 horses forward.
Fri, 7 Nov
Martin Company
Martin's Cove. Extremely Cold. Rescuers are at Devil's Gate. "Very cold, could not travel. Trying to save the people, stock, etc. Allred is at South Pass Supply Camp. Cold.
Sat, 8 Nov
Martin Company
Martin's Cove. Prepares to move out. Rescuers are at Martin's Cove. Wind not so hard, weather warmer. Allred is a South Pass Supply Camp.
Sun, 9 Nov
Martin Company
Martin's Cove/Devil's Gate. Council held to determine what to do with the people. Winter here, or push on to Salt Lake City? Decision: Get to Salt Lake City as quickly as possible. Martin Company moves out, uncertain about supplies, etc. Rescuers at Martin's Cove. "Fine warm morning." Dan Jones placed in charge of guarding baggage at Devil's Gate. Allred is at South Pass Supply Camp. Eph Hanks meets Young & Garr Express to Salt Lake City somewhere east of South Pass on the 8th or 9th.
Mon, 10 Nov
Martin Company
The Martin Handcart Company and Hunt & Hodgett Wagon Companies are moving westward from Martin's Cove . Eph Hanks shoots and skins a buffalo.
Tue, 11 Nov
Salt Lake City
Messengers from Fort Bridger arrive in Salt Lake City. "We haven't found any handcart companies! The supply wagons are turning around and coming home." Messengers sent to turn the wagons around "so quick it would snap their neck" Brigham Young. Word arrives that some of the teams had turned back from South Pass. Eph Hanks arrives at Ice Springs Bench. He kills another buffalo, packs meat, moves on. Eph Hanks arrives in camp with Martin Company at Cottonwood Creek. He distributes buffalo meat and administers to the Martin Handcart Company.
Wed, 12 Nov
Martin Company
Rescued: near 3 Crossings. They meet 4 wagons from South Pass. 1 death.
Thu, 13 Nov
Salt Lake City
Express arrives in Salt Lake City. In this brave ride, Young & Garr rode the 267 miles from South Pass, in only 5 days, over 50 miles per day. Rescued: Martin, Hunt & Hodgett - at or near 5th Crossing. Most are in wagons now. Eph Hanks continues with Martin Company to Valley.
Fri, 14 Nov
Martin Company
Rescued: Martin, Hunt & Hodgett - probably near Ice Slough.
Sat, 15 Nov
Martin Company
Rescued: Martin, Hunt & Hodgett - probably near 6th Crossing.
Sun, 16 Nov
Martin Company
Rescued: Martin, Hunt & Hodgett - Cross Rocky Ridge, camp in a little cottonwood grove. 10 wagons of supplies arrive from Valley.
Mon, 17 Nov
Martin Company
Rescued: Martin, Hunt & Hodgett - Grant arrives at South Pass with Martin Company. Allred is at South Pass.
Tue, 18 Nov
Salt Lake City
Wagons continue to meet the Martin Company and Hunt/Hodgett Wagon Companies daily. More temas, wagons with food and supplies arrive from Salt Lake City William Kimball, who had taken the Willie Company to Salt Lake City, has returned with the wagons to continue the rescue. They camp at Pacific Springs. Cold. Allred continues with Martin Company to Salt Lake City.
19-27 Nov
Salt Lake City
Joseph Young, his brother Brigham Young Jr., and others, have been camped at Little Mountain, keeping the snow packed on the pass to keep it open for teams.
Wed, 19 Nov
Martin Company
Camp at Dry Sandy, all are in wagons now, Cold and snowing. Wagon companies at Pacific Creek.
Thu, 20 Nov
Martin Company
Martin possible at Big Sandy. Grant and Kimball to Salt Lake City. Wagons camp near Little Sandy.
Fri, 21 Nov
Martin Company
Camp at Green River. Wagons camp by Dry Sandy.
Sat, 22 Nov
Martin Company
Camp between Ham's and Black's Forks. Wagons near Little Sandy.
Sun, 23 Nov
Martin Company
Reach Ft. Bridger, 1 death. Wagons camp at Big Sandy.
Mon, 24 Nov
Martin Company
Camp on the Muddy. Wagons camp on the Big Sandy.
Tues, 25 Nov
Martin Company
Camp near present day Evanston, Wyoming. Wagons between Big Sandy and Green River.
Wed, 26 Nov
Martin Company
Camp in Echo Canyon. 1 birth. Cold. Wagons arrive at Green River.
Thu, 27 Nov
Martin Company
Camp near Weber River. Wagon companies at the Green River. 1 death.
Fri, 28 Nov
Martin Company
Camp at East Canyon. Wagons at Green River.
Sat, 29 Nov
Martin Company
Crossed Big Mountain, camped at head of Emigration Canyon. Wagons leave Green River.
Sun, 30 Nov
Martin Company
104 wagons carrying the surviving members of the Martin Company descend into Salt Lake Valley at noon. Between 135 and 150 members (of about 576) had perished on the journey from Florence, Nebraska (23-26% of the Company). Cold.
Mon, 15 Dec
Pioneer Companies
Remaining Wagon Companies and rescuers enter Salt Lake Valley.
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