"The First Hand-Cart Companies," Deseret News [Weekly], 1 Oct. 1856, 236.
Having learned that Capt. Edmund Ellsworth's company camped at the Willow Springs on the evening of the 25th inst., on the 26th Presidents Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, Lieut. Genl. D. H. Wells, and many other citizens, in carriages, and several gentlemen and ladies on horseback, with a part of Capt. H. B. Clawson's company of lancers and the brass bands under Capt. William Pitt, left the Governor's Office at 9 a.m., with the view of meeting and escorting them into the city.
Within about a mile and a half of the foot of the Little Mountain, Prest. Young ordered the party to halt until the hand carts should arrive, and with Prest. Kimball drove on to meet them. Ere long the anxiously expected train came in sight, led by Capt. Ellsworth on foot, and with two aged veterans pulling the front cart, followed by a long line of carts attended by the old, middle aged and young of both sexes.
When opposite the escorting party, a halt was called and their Captain introduced the new comers to Prests. Young and Kimball, which was followed by the joyous greeting of relatives and friends, and an unexpected treat of melons. While thus regaling, Capt. Daniel D. McArthur came up with his hand-cart company, they having traveled from the east base of the Big Mountain.
From the halt to the Public Square on 2nd West Temple street, the following order was observed, under the supervision of Capt. Clawson:Lancers; Ladies on horseback: Prest. Young's, Prest. Kimball's and Lieut. Genl. Well's carriages; the Bands; Capt. Ellsworth's and McArthur's companies; Citizens in carriages and on horseback. The line of march was scarcely taken up, before it began to be met by men, women and children on foot, on horses, and in wagons, thronging out to see and welcome the first hand-cart companies and the numbers rapidly increased until the living tide lined and thronged South Temple street.
The procession reached the Public Square about sunset, where the Lancers, Bands and carriages were formed in a line facing the line of hand carts; and after a few remarks by Prest. Young, accompanied by his blessing the spectators and escort retired and companies pitched their tents, at the end of a walk and pulled upwards of 1300 miles.
This journey has been performed with less than the average amount of mortality usually attending ox trains; and all, though somewhat fatigued, stepped out with alacrity to the last and appeared buoyant and cheerful. They had often traveled 25 and 30 miles in a day, and would have come through in a much shorter time, had they not been obliged to wait upon the slow motion of the oxen attached to the few wagons containing the tents and groceries.
Much credit is due to Capt. Ellsworth for having walked the entire distance, thus cheering and encouraging his company by example as well as precept, and the saints with their hand carts, aided by Capts. Ellsworth and McArthur and their Assistants, Elders Oakly [John Oakley], [William] Butler, Crandal [Spicer Wells Crandall] and [Truman] Leonard, and guided and sustained by the Almighty, have preached to the ungodly a sermon louder than the voice of many thunders. And thus has been successfully accomplished a plan, devised by the wisdom and forethought of our President, for rapidly gathering the poor, almost entirely independent of the wealth so closely hoarded beyond their reach.
Herein is exhibited a portion of the faith and patience of the Saints', but will the world heed the lesson? Only the wise; for the wicked will pass on and be punished.