Wright, George, [Letters], in Suzanne Vaughan, "Immigration of George Wright from Liverpool, England to Salt Lake City, Utah 1860," 20-23.
The letter following this one is written from Salt Lake City. In this letter, he tells his parents about his handcart trek to Utah. They left the 6th of June and arrived in Salt Lake City on the 27th of August of 1860. "During 1856-1860 10 handcart companies came to Utah. Most of them came through without trouble. However, in the summer of 1856, two of the companies had some trouble. One was a handcart company of 500 people led by a man named Willie. They rushed to complete their handcarts, used green lumber, and as a result had many delays to fix carts. They left late, July 16, and met a snow storm at South Pass. Fifty-six people had died. They arrived at Salt Lake City November 9. The other company led by Edward Martin, left July 28, even later than the Willie company. They also could not cope with the cold weather and lost 56 people."
Dear Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters,
I write these few lines to you hoping they will find you all well as it leave me at present. I arrived here in Great Salt Lake City on Monday the 27th of August at 6 o’clock at night. We pitched our tents in the 8th Ward as soon as we got in. There was a band of music on the spot which played very beautiful and the people brought us some bread, butter, cheese, milk, crackers, meat, tarts, beets, carrots, onions, green corn, mellons, cucumbers, potatoes, salt, pepper, garden currants. All these were soon on the spot after we got in. The people manifested a good feeling towards us. We left Florence on the 6th of June at 3 o’clock in the afternoon for Great Salt Lake City with 43 handcarts, 6 wagons and 38 oxen and 270 souls. Daniel Robison was Captain of the train from Pennsylvania. We had one death and two births in crossing the plains. We lost one oxen. It died when we were about 37 miles from the city and there was a child died on the 22nd of August at Yellow creek about 70 miles from the City. It was the Captain’s brother’s child. [David Cannon Robison, son of William]
When I was at Florence, I sent you word that we should start on the 1st of June for the plains but on account of the wet weather and one thing or another, we did not get off till the 6th of June. I have enjoyed good health in crossing the plains and through the blessing of God, I am here today in good health. I never felt better in my life. This is a healthful country. There is plenty to eat and to drink. The wheat crops are good and the Indian corn and oats and barley and potatoes but there is not much fruit. All is peace and prosperity here in these valleys at the present time. There are good people here, better people never trod the earth than some that are here. My faith is still the same as regards this work being the work of the Lord. I know that that it is the Lord at the head of it. This gives me consolation under the circumstances that I am placed. I have felt the loss of Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters. Things do not go so comfortable with me as they used to do at home but for all this I get along pretty well. I am getting a pretty good hand at cooking and making bread but I hope soon to see you again. Although so wide a space separates us in body, my mind wanders back to you. I was thinking about you last Sunday as I was climbing the big mountain with my handcart that you were enjoying yourselves at the feast. The feast would do well for my Mother’s Birthday being 50 years old on the feast Saterday. I should have written you sooner but I could not get a letter written for the first mail. I had not the opportunity and the mail only leaves here once per week and that is on Friday.
We did not kill much game in crossing the plains, only rabbits, hares and birds. As for myself, I had not the privelege to shoot much because I had to stick to my handcart. Whereas if I had had some of you at my handcart, I could have gone out shooting when it had been good road when I could not leave other people with satisfaction to myself and to them. I had a rabbit to my dinner the day that my father was 53 years old, the 24th of July. We saw a good few buffalo. I counted about 60 one day, the most that we saw. We saw a good many Antelope and a few Elk, and a variety of snake; rattlesnakes, watersnakes, grassnakes, of different colors and sizes, a few bears, squirrels, prairie dogs. I have heard the wolves but I have not seen any, only a dead one or two. I had about 11 watches during the trip over the plains. Twice I was watching the corral and 9 times the cattle. For the first 2 weeks it was wet. We had several thunder storms. I will tell you what is good for the plains; some long topped boots that you can thrust the bottom of you pants in to keep them dry because the grass is long and very wet at night. Fort Laramie is 522 miles from Florence, a fine little city where you can trade, but they make you pay dear for what you get. I would advise all to get what they need before they leave Florence.
The last letter I have is written Oct. 5 from Salt Lake City. Mr. Wright finds his new home quite pleasing. He relates his admiration for his religion and Brigham Young. Part of the letter is missing but enough is said to here state.