Monday, April 27, 2009

Hand Cart Pioneer William Scogings 1859

The journey of my handcart pioneer, William Bye Scogings, was recorded in journals. From the time he got on the ship in Liverpool till the time he arrived in Salt Lake City there are accounts of the trip. Some of the journals have been partially transcribed and are at the Church Archives website. While on the journey he is mentioned many times by name.
June 18 McIntyre, Thomas, Journal
We have a thunder storm this morning preventing us from starting out early. We try it at 11 o’clock[.] the roads are soft and many pools of water are formed[.] On the roads we make circutious routes to avoid them which makes it very tedious travelling. We reach a place about 5 o’clock tired and weary called "Cleveland" Travelled 10 miles[.] Our little trials are finished off today by the pesty mosquitoes. Prayer by Wm Scroggins.

Smith, John Young, [Diary],
August 14. Sabbath morning. Call to a general meeting when we are addressed by captains of Gen. Br. Scroggins thinks the Sisters are too familiar with Strangers of Gentile and Apostate Trains that we meet and instructs the Saints concerning the Sin of Selfishness . . Time is given to the saints to bear testimony, and a good time is enjoyed.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City there was quite a celebration:
Deseret News; Sept 7, 1859, page 4: News from Utah: Arrival of the handcart company.-- On Friday evening, Mr. J. Harvey arrived from Bridger with the intelligence that Capt. Rowley, with the handcart company, would arrive near the city, Saturday evening, but would not come in till Monday morning. About 2 p.m., on Suuday, a messenger arrived from Elder Benson, who went out to there camp in the morning, announcing that the company were so anxious to come in that Capt. Rowley had resolved to accede to their wishes, and they would arrive at five o'clock. Immediately every house and vehicle in the city was seemingly in motion, conveying those who were anxious to witness the egress of the company from the kanyon in that direction. Within a few minutes of the designated time, the company arrived, escorted by two or three bands of music and a vast concourse of citizens of all grades and professions, and passing through the streets lined with anxious spectators, went to Union Square, accompanied by the thousands that joined the escort as they passed along. It was certainly a stirring scene, and such a one as has not been witnessed for some time past by this community, calling forth many expressions from the beholders, mostly of the joy, but some of detestation that human beings would endure so much, leave their houses in foreign lands, traverse the seas, and cross the deseret plains with handcarts, all for their religion. The liberality of the Saints was abundantly manifest on the occasion by the amount and variety of the provisions that were provided through the Bishops of the several Wards for the wayworn emmigrants composing the company, who were thus made welcome to these once, and will be again, ere long, peaceful vales; for surely "Mormonism," so called, is not dead, as some have supposed; and truth, seemingly crushed to earth, will rise again, although it has not in these days been overcome.

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