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12/4/08: The Mormon Handcart Tragedy

Handcart pioneer monument. Photo by Kate Grice on
Handcart pioneer monument. Photo by Kate Grice on

By Doug Fabrizio

Salt Lake City, UT – The perils of 19th century westward migration are well-known from stories of the famous Donner Party. But in 1856 - five times as many people died in two Mormon handcart companies that had gotten a late start out of Iowa. Caught by early snow in Wyoming, 200 of the 900 pioneers died, and Western history writer David Roberts says the tragedy was entirely preventable. Thursday, he joins Doug to talk about his new book "Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy."

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