"Letter From Elder E. T. Benson," Deseret News, 7 August 1852, 79.
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Major Hiram Kimball arrived Aug. 3d, bringing a letter from E. T. Benson to Prest. B. Young, dated July 1st, 1852, Ferryville, Mo. river, from which we extract the following:
Yesterday, bros. Armstrong and company, arrived here all well and in good spirits.
I am thankful to my heavenly Father, that I can say to you that prosperity attends the saints in emigrating. It is more than I anticipated; I have organized 18 companies, from 50 to 75 wagons in each company; and I believe it will amount to 1200 wagons, all across the Missouri river, and have taken up the line of march, well rigged out with teams, clothing, provision, &c. There are but few exceptions, from my judgment, but what they are as well fitted as the saints that have crossed before. There is quite a number yet to go--two or three companies; quite a number of the poor yet to get off, that will probably, have weak teams. I would here suggest the propriety of sending some relief, such as strength of team, some provisions for the last companies.
Elder Hyde gets off in two or three days. I have warned all of them to be off by the 4th of July; but I expect it will be the 10th before we shall all get off; and then calculate to cross as quick as horses can carry me; and at the same time learning the situation of every company.
There are no hand carts nor wheelbarrow trains. Before we could get one started, they would turn into wagons and teams. Miracles have been wrought here in getting off the saints, and this to my astonishment; and may the Lord ever be praised for his goodness and his wonderful works to the children of men.
My soul rejoices, and my heart is glad. I never took more satisfaction in my life on a mission, than I have in this. The Lord has been with me and that to bless.
Elders Taylor, Grant, and Snow are here. Elder Richards is expected every hour. I calculate to see you by the 20th of August, the Lord willing.
I consider it a moderate estimate to say there is 6000 souls with the 1200 wagons; and I believe, in all that will emigrate to the valley, of our people, there will be at least 10,000 souls this season.