In the bitter February days of 1846, the Mormon wagon train started westward from Illinois. It was the beginning of a two-thousand-mile journey across the wilderness toward Salt Lake Valley -a desert which no one else wanted. By late spring some twenty thousand people were on the way in one of the most remarkable migrations in history.
For these were not adventurers seeking there fortune in the wilderness. These were earnest members of the so-called Mormon Church, seeking freedom to worship as they pleased and a peaceful spot for their way of life.
In their wagons they carried the makings of their civilization -seeds to plant in the barren land which they would transform into gardens, fine china and silver for the homes they would build in their new city, books and a printing press for their new world.
Today Salt Lake City is shining evidence of the Mormons' wisdom and foresight, for here the Mormon train set up its new world and its new way of life.
Skillfully, Jim Kjelgaard has recounted the mighty migration of the Mormons. To read their story is to feel a new pride in the vision and determination of these early Americans.
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