Monday, October 27, 2014

Mormon Trail Gifts

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, it was necessary for pioneers to be resourceful and, at the same time, inventive. Providing gifts for loved ones was no different. First off, there was very little money, and secondly, gift shops didn’t exist on the trail west. What did one pioneer mother use as a face for a doll as a gift for her little daughter?

a.      A chestnut

b.      An apple core

c.       Cloth filled with dried grass

d.      Rolled up burlap

Yesterday’s answers:

1.                  (D) 100,000

The following is from the autobiography of Harvey Harris Cluff:

   “Twenty-five years of missionary labors and travelling over one hundred thousand miles by land and sea.”

Autobiography of Harvey Harris Cluff;


2.                  False

The following is Warren Foote’s description of the inhabitants of Missouri:

   “The inhabitants of Missouri came from the southern states. The most of them are very ignorant, being unable to read, and write. Although the soil is so exceedingly rich, they raise but little grain; a patch of corn, and a drove of hogs running wild in the woods, is the height of their ambition. The corn makes their corndodger, and the hogs their bacon. Corndodger, bacon, and buttermilk, or clabber, constitutes the chief food of the lower classes, and in fact the upper classes do not live much better. Sometimes they have a little wheat flour, but they do not know how to make bread of it, being unacquainted with yeast, or saleratus. They appear to be the offscourings of the southern states. Their clothes are ragged dirty and filthy, and one would hardly know them from the savages of the forest, by their appearance. There are some of a better class who dress well and appear neat and clean. They are all very kind, and hospitable to strangers, and will set before them the best they have. They salt their pork in a corner of their house until it gets salt enough to make bacon, they then hang it in a smoke house, and smoke it a very little, but during the summer it often gets full of life, but they do not mind that. Wild bees being very plentiful, they generally have more or less honey. They have a dislike to eastern, and northern people, they call them all Yankees. “

Autobiography of Warren Foote, Typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University;


3.                  (B) The director of the carving of Mt. Rushmore

Gutzon Borglum, the man who directed the carving of Mt. Rushmore, is the son of Danish immigrants who entered Salt Lake City in 1864.

Skousen, Paul B., The Skousen Book of Mormon World Records (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort Inc., 2004), 195.


4.                  (D) Over 30 million

During the Nauvoo period of the Church, Jonathan Browning (famous gun manufacturer) became a member and set up shop. In 1852 he moved west with the Saints and settled in Ogden. In 1855 his first child born after their arrival, in the Ogden area, was world famous gunmaker John Moses Browning The following from John M. Browning, American Gunmaker:

     His accomplishments are remarkable, whether they are measured by their innovations, their number, their duration, or their popularity. During those forty-seven inventive years, John M. Browning was issued 128 different patents, to cover a total of some eighty complete and distinct firearm models. They include practically every caliber from the .22-short cartridge through the 37-mm. projectile; they embrace automatic actions, semi-automatic actions, lever actions, and pump actions; they include guns that operate by gas pressure, by both the short and long recoil principle, and by the blowback principle; they include models utilizing sliding locks, rotating locks and vertical locks. Included among them are most of the successful sporting arms which appeared during this period, as well as many of the military arms. It is estimated that well over thirty million Browning designed guns have been produce to date (1979), by Browning, Winchester, Colt, Fabrique Nationale, Remington, Savage, and others.

Paul A. Curtis, John M. Browning, American Gunmaker (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1964), 219.

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