Replacing Animals With Humans

“The [handcart] system resulted in the largest loss of life in the three decades of overland wagon travel on the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails, killing in its first year at least five times as many men, women, and children as perished with the Donner party. Ultimately, it was a system that replaced draft animals with human beings and put ‘a few dollars . . . in competition with the lives of human beings.'”