Woodruff, W., "Correspondence from Utah," The Mormon, 15 Nov. 1856, 3.
G. S. L. CITY, Sept. 30, 1856.
To the Editor of the Mormon:
DEAR SIR: The hand-cart companies of the Saints under Elders Ed. [Edmund] Ellsworth and D. [Daniel] D. McArthur, arrived here on the evening of Friday, Sept. 26th inst., having been absent about nine weeks en route from Florence to this point; their progress being considerably retarded, by the few ox-teams and waggons they had along, not being able to keep up with them.
Prests. B. [Brigham] Young and H. [Heber] C. Kimball, with a detachment of Lancers, the brass band, and many citizens went up into the Kanyon [Canyon] to meet them. The feelings which the Brethren had on meeting these companies, I will not attempt to portray. To behold a company of men, women and children, amounting to nearly 500 souls, drawing 486 hand-carts entering into the city of Great Salt Lake, dancing with joy as they passed along, only complaining that they had been encumbered with a few ox-teams for which they had to wait several hours almost daily, otherwise they would have been with us ten days sooner, and then to realize that this company had walked some 1400 miles, drawing their hand-carts the whole distance, these facts and our reflections upon the future results, filled our hearts with joy unspeakable, and caused our bosoms to swell with thanksgiving to God: we felt that the flood-gate of deliverance was hoisted to the oppressed millions, and we could say in confidence to the poor and honest in heart, "come home to Zion," for the way is opened up. Prest. Kimball said his heart felt as big as a two-bushel basket, yes our heats were so swollen that we were speechless, not with sorrow, but with joy. Elders Ellsworth and McArthur, have earned honor and glory to themselves in the leading of these companies, they have, like the people, walked all the way, and assisted in drawing the hand-carts. Bro. Ellsworth went through the city covered with dust at the head of his brave company, drawing a hand-cart under the close scrutiny of the thousands who crowded the streets with weeping eyes to gaze upon the scene; as he passed by his own lovely home and saw his wives and children standing in his door, he made no halt, only gave a passing salute, continuing with his company until he reached the public square and saw them all comfortably encamped and fed. I felt that his position was far more honorable and lovely in the eyes of God and Angels and good men, than it would have been, had he been mounted upon the best steed that ever trod the earth, clothed with ermine and gold. Prest. Young has declared from the beginning that it was a practical safe operation, his sayings in this, as in all other cases have proven true. Bro. Ellsworth lost but seven out of his company, a smaller loss than that of almost any company containing as many souls, that have arrived here; many were aged and infirm, yet they out-pulled any ox-teams that could be started on the road; never has a company been so highly honored, so numerously escourted, or so kindly dealt with, since Israel has arrived in these mountains, as the Pioneer hand-cart companies.
The Deseret State Fair is opened for the reception of articles for exhibition. And from the universal spirit of encouragement to domestic manufactures, we anticipate our Fair will be an emporium of Utah's true wealth, which will astonish her citizens. Further particulars by next mail.
There is a reformation commenced here among this people by the authorities of the Church, such a one as we trust will be permanent. The preaching of the First Presidency has been soul-stirring indeed. We may safely say in a measure that such sermons were never heard before, as have been delivered unto us of late by the prophet of God; and they are weighing the people, and the people feel that they are dealing with the quickening spirit and power of God, which discerns and knows their hearts; and they feel the importance of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and leading holy lives before God, that we may be prepared for the events which await the whole earth. In some of the settlements in Davis county everyone has gone forward and been re-baptized, and we anticipate the same results will follow in G. S. L. county.
Sept. 20. Elder Peterson's company of Danes arrived.
Elder S. [Seth] M. Blair and company returned from exploring a route to Carson Valley; report no feasible route westward. Hon. E. Reese arrived from Carson with the same report.
The weather has continued fine, and much of the corn not injured by early frosts will have time to mature.
On the 10th inst. we moved into our new office, opposite President Young's buildings, and have much cause to be thankful for the superior accommodations we enjoy.