Saturday, June 27, 2015

Handcart Pioneer, George Cunningham, 15, Willie Handcart Company

George traveled with his family, save his older brother who was recently married and would come to Utah in 1861.  This included his parents, older sister, and two young sisters.  They family had been promised if they lived the gospel all members of the family would arrive safely in Zion.  As they traveled through Iowa some local residents would make fun of them yelling “Gee, haw” but George said this did not discourage them.  The Willie company was subject to a buffalo stampede.  This was followed by a thunder storm.  Many of the oxen of the company wagons stampeded with the buffalo.  Their tracks were lost in the rain.  “The search was kept up for a week and often we thought we could see [an oxen but] they would invariably take to their heels and prove to be nothing but an old buffalo.  We transferred our provision from the wagons to the handcarts and hitched the thirty milch cows to the wagons to haul the sick and the children who were not able to walk.” 
At one points Georg’s young sister, Elizabeth, almost died due to lack of food.  In fact she was left behind.  However, when mother remembered the promise she insisted they go back.  They built a fire and warmed some water and commenced to rub her limbs.  When some hot water spilled on her foot her eyes twitched. 
When the company was in a desperate dream, George had a dream of two rescuers arriving in camp, and telling them provisions were close at hand.  When members of the company were around a fire, looking gloomy, George related his dream.  Many were inspired by this dream, and when the rescuers came over the hill the next day he said, “See, See them coming over that hill!”
Taken from “Tell my Story Too” by Jolene S. Allphin 

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