Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Final Cost of the Blunder

What was the final cost of Buchanan’s Blunder?
a.                  $40 million
b.                  $20 million
c.                   $10 million
d.                  $50 million
Yesterday’s answer:
C.   That the relief wagons would be there the next day
The following from the life of Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson:   My sister was the only relative I had to whom I could look for assistance in this trying ordeal, and she was sick. So severe was her affliction that she became deranged in her mind, and for several days she ate nothing but hard frozen snow. I could therefore appeal to the Lord alone—he who had promised to be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. I appealed to him and he came to my aid.
   A few days after the death of my husband, the male members of the company had become reduced in number by death; and those who remained were so weak and emaciated by sickness, that on reaching the camping place at night, there were not sufficient men with strength enough to raise the poles and pitch the tents. The result was that we camped out with nothing but the vault of Heaven for a roof and the stars for companions. The snow lay several inches deep upon the ground. The night was bitterly cold. I sat down on a rock with one child in my lap and one on each side of me. In that condition I remained until morning.
   My sick sister, the first part of the night, climbed up hill to the place where some men had built a fire. She remained there until the people made down their beds and retired, to sleep, if they could. She then climbed or slid down the hill on the snow to where there was another fire which was kept alive by some persons who were watching the body of a man who had died that night. There she remained until daylight. It will be readily perceived that under such adverse circumstances I had become despondent. I was six or seven thousand miles from my native land, in a wild rocky mountain country, in a destitute condition, the ground covered with snow, the waters covered with ice, and I with three fatherless children with scarcely anything to protect them from the merciless storms.
   When I retired to bed that night, being the 27th of October, I had a stunning revelation. In my dream, my husband stood by me, and said, “Cheer up, Elizabeth, deliverance is at hand.” The dream was fulfilled, for the next day (Oct. 28, 1856) Joseph A. Young, Daniel Jones and Abel Garr galloped unexpectedly into camp, amid tears and cheers and smiles and laughter of the emigrants. These three men were the first of the most advanced Relief Company sent out from Salt Lake City to meet the belated emigrants.

Coke Newell, Latter Days (St. Martin Press, New York City: 2000), 192-193.

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