It is estimated that some 400,000 people crossed, the overland trail between 1840 and 1869. Most came as individuals or families in search of gold, land, or new beginnings somewhere in California or Oregon territory. There was, however, one group that came as a people from all over the world in search of their Godthe Latter,day Saints. Approximately 70,000 Mormons crossed this trail between 1847 and 1869. Most of them came by wagon and ox team, walking all the way. And yet, when we think of pioneers and reflect on those who made great sacrifices in crossing the plains to reach Zion, it is often the handcart pioneers that we think of. There were only 10 handcart companies. There were only about 3,000 who pulled handcarts. And yet they are the ones who have become the living symbol of our pioneer heritage. This is their story.
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