Roundup: February 12, 2014

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Speaker: Will Bagley
Subject:  Hurrah for the Handcart Scheme!

Click here to view photos from the event.

“We cannot afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past, I am consequently thrown back upon my old plan―to make hand-carts, and let the emigration foot it, and draw upon them the necessary supplies, having a cow or two for every ten,” Brigham Young wrote in 1855. “They can come just as quick, if not quicker, and much cheaper.” This decision to rely on what a Danish emigrant called “two-wheeled torture devices” set in motion the worst disaster in overland trail history, one that killed six times as many people as died with the Donner Party. Will’s third presentation to the LA Westerners, “Hurrah for the Handcart Scheme!,” will resolve a few puzzles left unresolved in his 2009 article, “‘One Long Funeral March’: A Revisionist’s View of the Mormon Handcart Disasters,” which is available here:

Will Bagley has written about overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, computers, and Utah and the Mormons, and as novelist Sandra Dallas says, “No one tells the history of the early western trails better” than he does. He has appeared in dozens of films, including the American Experience episode of “The Mormons” and the Discovery Channel’s recent “Gold Fever.” The Salt Lake Tribune published more than 220 of his historical commentaries. Bagley had edited the Arthur H. Clark Company’s 16-volume documentary series, Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier. He has won the Western Heritage Award (the Wrangler), three Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, and Best Book awards from the Western History Association, the Denver Public Library, and Westerners International. His fourteenth book, South Pass: Gateway to a Continent, will be out in April.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Jim Macklin           
Deputy Sheriff