CANDY MOULTON. The Mormon Handcart Migration: ‘Tounge nor pen can never tell the story.” University of Oklahoma Press, 288 pages, hardcover, $29.95; kindle, $24.95. www.oupress.com
In 1856 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints employed a new means of getting converts to Great Salt Lake City who could not afford the journey otherwise. They began using handcarts, thus initiating a five-year experiment that has become a legend in the annals of Mormon and North American migration. Only one in ten Mormon emigrants used handcarts, but of those 3,000 who did between 1856 and 1860, most survived the harrowing journey to settle Utah and become members of a remarkable pioneer generation. Others were not so lucky. More than 200 died along the way, victims of exhaustion, accident, and, for a few, starvation and exposure to late-season Wyoming blizzards. Now, Candy Moulton tells of their successes, travails, and tragedies in an epic retelling of a legendary story.