Pioneers, Migration, Mormon Trial


While reflecting on her experience crossing the plains in a Mormon handcart company at age nine, Agnes Caldwell, recalled:

"Although only tender years of age, I can yet close my eyes and see everything in panoramic precision before me-the ceaseless walking, walking, ever to remain in my memory. Many times I would become so tired and, childlike, would hang on the cart, only to be gently pushed away. Then I would throw myself by the side of the road and cry. Then realizing they were all passing me by, I would jump to my feet and make an extra run to catch up."

Unfortunately, when discussing this period of Mormon migration to Utah, historians have traditionally neglected the accounts of the children on the Mormon trail, focusing almost exclusively on the seemingly more accurate records of adults. Recent studies, however, seem co suggest an increasing interest in this largely untapped area of historical inquiry. Be this as it may, recent studies that have dealt with the records of children have not dealt with the Mormon trail and focus mainly on childrens involvement in actual settlement and frontier life- paying scant attention co childrens records and experiences dealing with the overland trail.