Sunday, April 3, 2011

Martin Handcart Company and general conference

I have so far heard the Martin handcart company mentioned three times at conference.  The first mention was that of Elizabeth Jackson.  Her husband became ill.  He collapsed at the last crossing of the Platt River.  They didn't think they would get him to camp.  He was on a sand bar in the river, and Elizabeth's sister, and one of the captains were able to get him to shore.  Elizabeth and her sister took him upon their handcart and were able to get him to camp.  However he passed away during the night.

The next morning there were close to twenty people buried who had passed away.  Isaac mentions that he was called upon to dig graves for many of the deceased.  I imagine he was one of those who helped with the burial, as best they could.  Often the ground became too frozen to provided a proper burial.  In such cases snow was piled over the corpses.  Edward Martin would use his shot gun to keep the birds and wolves at bay as best he could. 

Today, the speaker talked of the rescuers.  Isaac was grateful to the resucuers.  He had collapsed at one point.  He mentions by name Ephraim Hanks and Joseph Young in his brief history.  Interesting these two were not in camp with them at the same time.  Ephraim Hanks actually arrived after Martin's Cove.  However he performed a great service in blessing the sick, often raising them from near death experiences.  Other he assisted by removing dead frostbitten flesh, thereby saving even more.  He also brought buffalo meat, which was most welcome.

It is fun to put Isaac into the stories being told during conference.  It gives it a more personal meaning.

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