Saturday, July 4, 2015

Martin Handcart Company Pioneer: Benjamin Platt, 23

Benjamin Platt traveled with his young wife and an elderly woman.  His family was always poor and he had to work from a young age and did not have the opportunity for much formal education other than Sunday School.  He and his wife traveled with the Jesse haven group.  They had two three-week layovers.  First at Iowa City preparing their handcarts, then at Florence, Nebraska repairing the handcarts and waiting for the Martin group with whom they combined.  These delays, and the constant breaking down of the handcarts would have deadly consequences.  The added weight of 100 lbs. of flour at Florence was not good for the carts.  Benjamin also adds that the constant guarding also wore down the men.  He records that President Franklin Richards talked to the company in Florence and advised against going on.  However the pioneers were worried about the Josephites and apostates in the area and would not stay.  Benjamin would also meet old friends on the trail, returning from Utah having given up on the Church.  We would not let them sway his determination.  “And I said to them ‘Goodbye, I guess I will go on,’ and we parted—them to damnation and me to Salvation, I hope.”
He remarks that it was after the left their handcarts and took to the wagons that the feet of the pioneers began to freeze on “account of inaction or want of exercise.”
SUmmarized from "Tell My Story, Too" by: Jolene Allphin

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