Handcart Migration Disaster

“It is impossible to accurately estimate the handcart system’s total casualties, since Mormon authorities ‘tried to keep the full horror of the disaster from becoming public, especially in England. But it would be safe to estimate the total at well over two hundred, or at least one in five of the last two companies, with many others maimed for life . . . One thing is certain—the handcart disaster of 1856 was the greatest single tragedy in the history of the nation’s move west in the nineteenth century.'”