The Mormon Winter Quarters was established under the direction of Brigham Young to shelter more than 3,000 people during the winter of 1846-47. It was a haven in the wilderness for people who were fleeing from vengeful mobs. Unfortunately, they were housed in log cabins, sod houses, and dugouts that lacked adequate provisions. When spring arrived, more than six hundred of the faithful lay buried in the cemetery on the hill. Not to be deterred, a band of about five hundred persons left the Winter Quarters to cross the Plains to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Thousands of others would eventually follow this trail.
12th day—Yesterday for the first time my wagon had to be dug out the mud. One wheel ran off a bridge. It made racking work and broke my table, which was tied on behind. This morning our company broke up; three started back to Bonaparte after flour, leaving their families encamped to wait for their return. The rest pursued their journey as usual, are now 55 miles from the main camp. Last evening there was great sport in our camp. The young man we call Captain, Eph Hanks, dressed in woman's attire, danced to amuse us. Several in the crowd did not know who it was; thought it was some strange lady who had come in from another company.
Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. 8, p. 238
- Mormon Pioneers by the National Parks Service
- Winter Quarters Mormon Temple
- The Winter Quarters Project by Brigham Young University
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