The handcart pioneers began the trek in high spirits, even though it meant fourteen or fifteen weeks of walking—regardless of age or health. But for the ill-fated Willie and Martin handcart companies, a late start stretched their pilgrimage weeks longer, and the human costs proved to be higher than anyone could have expected. Early harsh winter weather, hunger, fatigue, and illness dictated that many would not live through the journey. The survivors could only pray for a miracle.
And that miracle came—men with the same faith in the Almighty, who risked their lives to save the almost one thou- sand converts and bring them to Zion. Traveling with provisions hundreds of miles through freezing temperatures and fierce snowstorms, the rescuers’ effort called for more than grit and tenacity; it demanded experience, sacrifice, compassion, faith, and ingenuity.
Dramatic and powerful, with nearly seventy paintings created for this book, Sweetwater Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Story is real-life history presented in absorbing prose and images. It is the saga of the rescued and their rescuers, the story of people who earned the title “Saints.”
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