Saturday, June 27, 2015

Martin Handcart Pioneer: Samuel Jackson, 12

Samuel Jackson traveled with the Martin Handcart Company to Zion with his mother, two older sisters and younger brother.  His father had previously immigrated hoping to send money home to the family; was lured away by California gold and the family did not know of him for over ten years.  An older brother lived in Boston at the time, but when the company passed through Samuel refused to visit him for fear he may try to convince him to stay.  Samuel was highly motivated to travel to the valley with the Saints.  When the company ran into trouble, and was short of food, Samuel relates how they would find animal carcasses, break the bones and suck the marrow.  The also singed hair from animal hide and roasted them for food.  One time Samuel was so hungry he cut the high tops off his shoes and boiled them for soup.  After the rescuers came, he would often get under the horses and pick up the corn the horses had dropped.  When they made the last crossing, Samuel's sister, Elizabeth was carrying his younger brother, Nephi.  She slipped and they both fell into the river.  They were carried down stream but a man on horseback rescued them.  Samuel's older brother succumbed to the hardship six days after they arrived in the valley.  They were able to bury him without the fear of wolves desecrating his body, and in a place where they could visit.  As a result of his ordeal, Samuel as an adult also had sympathy for the poor and needy.  This trait served him as he served as a bishop for 21 years.

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