Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Mother’s Reprimand

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Mosiah Hancock

In his journal, Mosiah Hancock states that the scolding he received from his mother for separating himself from the wagon train to hunt with friends was not nearly as bad as what?

A)                 Performing his sister’s household chores around the camp.

B)                 Babysit his younger siblings.

C)                 Getting his mouth washed out with soap for the language he used to his mother.

D)                 The howling and the massing of the wolves.

Yesterday’s answer:

B)   Rescue the handcart company

Ephraim Hanks was one of the premier frontiersman of his day. He wore a long beard which was brown and wavy and reached almost to his waist. He reportedly crossed the plains probably more times than any other white man; performing the journey upwards of sixty times. Eph in the fall of 1856 spent considerable time hauling fish from Utah Lake to Salt Lake City. In the fall of 1856 he had occasion to stop overnight with Gurnsey Brown in Willow Creek (later Draper, Utah). Being tired after his day’s journey he retired to rest early and while laying in his bed describes a voice calling him by name and saying “The handcart people are in trouble and you are wanted; will you go and help them?” He stated, “I turned instinctively in the direction from whence the voice came and beheld an ordinary sized man in the room. Without hesitation I answered, ‘yes, I will go if I am called. . .’” When I got up the next morning I says to Brother Brown, “The handcart people are in trouble, and I have promised to go out and help them.” He traveled to Salt Lake City and the next day headed east over the mountains with a light wagon, all alone. At South Pass he encountered a storm that lasted three days which he described as the worst he had seen in all his travels in the Rocky Mountains. Snow fell so deep that for many days it was impossible to move wagons through it. Feeling anxious of the condition of the immigrants, he determined to start out on horseback to meet them. He secured a pack saddle and two animals and began to make his way slowly through the snow alone. He describes miraculously encountering several buffalo which he killed and dressed and loaded his horses with the meat. He resumed his journey toward evening and reached “the ill-fated train just as the immigrants were camping for the night” He stated, “The sight that met my gaze as I entered their camp can never be erased from my memory.” The starved forms and haggard countenances of the poor sufferers, as they moved about slowly, shivering with cold to prepare their scanty evening meal was enough to touch the stoutest heart. When they saw me coming, they hailed me with joy inexpressible, and when they further beheld the supply of fresh meat I brought into camp, their gratitude knew no bounds. . . Five minutes later both my horses had been released of their extra burden, the meat was all gone, and the next few hours found the people in camp busily engaged in cooking and eating it, with thankful hearts. When the relief teams met the immigrants, there was only one day’s quarter ration left in camp.

Stewart E. Glazier and Robert S. Clark, Journal of the Trail (Salt Lake City: [s.n.], 1997), 120.

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