Mormon Trail & Handcart Pioneers Photos

Mormon founder Joseph F. Smith founded a religious settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois. However, religious persecution lead to the murder of Smith's sons and other armed attacks by surrounding Illinois settlers. When the situation became intolerable, the Nauvoo Mormons started an organized community move to Utah in 1846 under the leadership of Brigham Young. For the most part the Mormon Trail followed the Oregon Trail along the Platte River, except that the Mormons mostly stayed on the north bank of the Platte to avoid the persecution of other American pioneers who used the south side. The Mormons went on to convert and recruit settlers from Europe who continued the flow westward along the trail. An amazing part of the story concerns the roughly 3,000 Handcart Pioneers who during the 1850s walked from Iowa City to Utah (1,350 miles) pulling handcarts because they were too poor to afford ox-drawn wagons.

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Nauvoo, Illinois Temple commemorative plate by Twigg Pottery Co., Swinton, England at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of evacuation of Nauvoo, IL in face of local anti-Mormon violence at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of 1846 winter quarters on migration west by Carl Christian Anton Christensen at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice painting by C.C.A. Christensen about the forced 1846 winter exodus of Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois at BYU Museum of Art. Provo, UT.
Nauvoo, Illinois Temple commemorative plate by Twigg Pottery Co., Swinton, England at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of evacuation of Nauvoo, IL in face of local anti-Mormon violence at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of 1846 winter quarters on migration west by Carl Christian Anton Christensen at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice painting (c1865) by C.C.A. Christensen about the forced 1846 winter exodus of Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois at BYU Museum of Art. Provo, UT.
Model of wagon odometer invented by Mormons to keep track of covered wagon distances at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Model of wagon odometer used by Mormons to tell how far they went each day at Scout's Rest. North Platte, NE.Original Mormon Handcart used in 1866 at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart at Fort Kearney used by settlers organized by the church to walk from Iowa City to Salt Lake City who were allowed 17 lbs/adult + 10 lbs/child. Kearney, NE.
Model of wagon odometer (1847) invented by Mormons to keep track of covered wagon distances at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Model of wagon odometer used (1847) by Mormons to tell how far they went each day at Scout's Rest. North Platte, NE.Original Mormon Handcart used in 1866 at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart at Fort Kearney used by settlers organized by the church to walk from Iowa City to Salt Lake City (1,300 miles in 125 days) who were allowed 17 lbs/adult + 10 lbs/child. Kearney, NE.
Painting of Handcart Pioneers by Danquart Anton Weggeland showed poor migrating to Salt Lake at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of Mormon Handcart Pioneers by Carl Christian Anton Christensen at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart sculpture called "Written Upon the Heart" by Kenneth Wm. Packer at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon Handcart Pioneers sculpture by Torlief Severin Knaphus at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.
Painting of Handcart Pioneers (1908) by Danquart Anton Weggeland showed poor migrating to Salt Lake at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Painting of Mormon Handcart Pioneers (1900) by Carl Christian Anton Christensen at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart sculpture called "Written Upon the Heart" by Kenneth Wm. Packer at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon Handcart Pioneers sculpture (1926) by Torlief Severin Knaphus at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.
Handcart Pioneer Monument to over 3,000 Mormons who walked from Iowa to Salt Lake City pulling handcarts. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart pioneers depicted in bronze monument. Salt Lake City, UT.Diorama of Mormon push cart settlers being rescued from winter snows at Kearney Arch. Kearney, NE.Pioneer log home in Mormon churches collection since 1912, now displayed beside Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.
Handcart Pioneer Monument to over 3,000 Mormons who walked from Iowa to Salt Lake City pulling handcarts. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon handcart pioneers depicted in bronze monument. Salt Lake City, UT.Diorama of Mormon push cart settlers being rescued from winter snows at Kearney Arch. Kearney, NE.Pioneer log home (1847) in Mormon churches collection since 1912, now displayed beside Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.
Brigham Young statue, first displayed at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, now atop Pioneer Monument at South Temple & Main Streets. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon pioneers relief on Brigham Young monument. Salt Lake City, UT.Scene of ox carts moving west at base of Sea Gull Monument. Salt Lake City, UT.
Brigham Young statue, first displayed at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, now atop Pioneer Monument at South Temple & Main Streets. Salt Lake City, UT.Mormon pioneers relief on Brigham Young monument. Salt Lake City, UT.Scene of ox carts moving west at base of Sea Gull Monument. Salt Lake City, UT.

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All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.