Posted in LDS Church History

Trail of Hope

Parley Street in Nauvoo leads to the banks of the Mississippi River from which thousands of Saints began their exodus from the City of Joseph. Parley Street is now known as ‘The Trail of Hope’ and all along its length are 30 historic marker boards containing quotes from those who left their homes in Nauvoo to begin the long trek to their Promised Land. To walk down Parley Street and read the boards is memorable and moving.

TRAIL OF HOPE – PARLEY STREET

“Our camp resounded with songs of joy and praise to God, all were cheerful and happy in the anticipation of finding a resting place from persecution in some of the lonely, solitary valleys of the great interior basin whithersoever we might be led.” Orson Pratt

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How well I remember what a hard time (father) had breaking in the animals to draw the wagon. There were six cows and two oxen. The oxen were well broken and quite sedate. But the cows were wild and unruly….while Father was breaking the cattle, Mother was praying….many nights when we were in bed asleep….she would go out into the orchard…..and there pour out her soul in prayer, asking the Lord to open the way for us to go with the Saints.” Margaret Judd Clawson

 

Margaret Judd Clawson
Margaret Judd Clawson

 

I stopped my carriage on the top of a rolling prairie and has a splendid view. I could see the Saints pouring out and gathering like clouds from the hills and dales, grove and prairie with their teams, wagons, flocks and herds by hundreds and thousands as it were until it looked like the movement of a great Nation. Wilfred Woodruff, 1846.

 

Wilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruf

 

“Last evening the ladies met to organize…Several resolutions were adopted…If the men wish to hold control over women, let them be alert. We believe in equal rights.” Louisa Barnes Pratt

Louisa Barnes Pratt
Louisa Barnes Pratt

 

“The thoughts of leaving my family for the Mormon Battalion at this critical time are indescribable. My family consisted of a wife and two small children, who were left in company with an aged father and mother and a brother. The most of the Battalion left families…When we were to meet with them again, God only knew. Nevertheless, we did not feel to murmur.” William Hyde

William Hyde
William Hyde

“So, we have both suffered. We must help one another and the Great Spirit will help us both.” Chief Pied Riche, Pottawattamie Tribe

A large amount of labor has been done since arriving in this grove. Indeed, the while camp us very industrious. Many houses have been built, wells dug, extensive farms fenced, and the whole place assumes the appearance of having been occupied for years…” Orson Pratt

“He died in my arms about four o’clock. This was the second child which I have lost, both dying in my arms. He died with whooping cough and black canker. We are entirely destitute of anything even to eat, much less to nourish the sick.” Hosea Stout

Hosea Stout
Hosea Stout

“There on the bank of the Chariton River, I was delivered of a fine son. Occasionally the wagon had to be stopped that I might take breath. Thus I journeyed on. But I did not mind hardship of my situation, for my life had been preserved, and my babe was so beautiful.” Zina Huntingdon Jacobs Young

Zina Young
Zina Young

“My last act in that precious spot was to tidy the rooms, sweep up the floor, and set the broom in its accustomed place behind the door. Then with emotions in my heart…I gently closed the door and faced unknown future; faced it with faith in God and with no less assurance of the ultimate establishment of the Gospel in the West and of its true, enduring principles, than I had felt in those trying scenes in Missouri.” Bathsheba Smith

Bathsheba Smith
Bathsheba Smith

 

“We hurried to pack some food, cooking utensils, clothing and bedding, which was afterward unpacked and strewn over the ground by the mob as they searched for fire-arms. Mother had some bread already in the kettles to bake. Of course she did not have time to bake, so she hung it on the reach of our wagon and cooked it after we crossed the Mississippi River.” Mary Field Garner

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“The fall of 1845 found Nauvoo, as it were, one vast mechanic shop, as nearly every family was engaged in making wagons. Our parlor was used as a paint shop in which to paint wagons.” Bathsheba W. Smith

“Those of us who can remember when we were compelled to abandon Nauvoo, when the winter was inclement know how dark and gloomy the circumstances of the saints were, with the mob surrounding our outer settlements and threatening to destroy us and how trying it was to the faith of the people of God. The word was to cross the Mississippi and to launch out into an unknown wilderness-to go where, no one knew. Who knew anything of the terrors of the journey thither, or of the dangers that might have to be met and contended with? Who knew anything about the country to be traversed? Moving out with faith that was undisturbed by its unknown terror, it was by faith that this was accomplished?” George Q. Cannon

George Q Cannon
George Q Cannon

“I was in Nauvoo on the 26th day of May 1846 for the last time, and left the city of the Saints feeling that most likely I was taking a final farewell of Nauvoo for this life. I looked upon the temple and City as they receded from view and asked the Lord to remember the sacrifices of his Saints.” Wilford Woodruff

“Some had covers drawn over their wagons while others had only a sheet drawn over a few poles to make a tent. Sometimes these rude tents were the only covering for the while keeping the watchman post in the darkness of the night. I wept over the distress condition of the Saints. Toward the dim light of many a flickering lamp have my eyes been directed because of the crying of children, the restless movements of the aged, infirm and mournful groan of many suffering from fever. These have made an impression on my mind which can never be forgotten.” Gilbert Belnap

Gilvert Belnap
Gilbert Belnap

 

“With this advanced camp of the great exodus, there had come a brass band, led by Captain Pitt. After encampment was made and the toils of the day were over, the snow would be scraped away, a huge fire or several of them kindled within the wagoned enclosure, and there to the inspiring music of Pitt’s band, song and dance often beguiled the exiles into forgetfulness of their trials and discomforts.” B.H. Roberts

BH Roberts
BH Roberts

 

“As Sarah Leavitt and her daughters tried to comfort her sick husband, he began to sing, ‘Come Let Us Anew, Our Journey Pursue…’ He sang the hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and then wanted Elisa, one of his daughters, to sing it. He died without a struggle or a groan.” Sarah Leavitt

Sarah Leavitt
Sarah Leavitt

 

“The suffering and sadness of that camp I shall never forget. It is impossible to describe the cries of the hungry children, the sadness of others for the loss of their loved ones. What a terrible night of misery. We didn’t even have a light, except a candle which flickered out in the wind and rain as it was carried from one place to another.” Mary Field Garner

“Prepared for the night by erecting a temporary tent out of bed clothes. At this time my wife was hardly able to sit up and my little son was sick with a very high fever and would not even notice anything that was going on.” Hosea Stout

“…here we all halted and took a farewell view of our delightful City…We also beheld the magnificent Temple rearing its lofty tower towards the heavens…My heart did swell within me.” Newell Knight

“I was five years old when we started from Nauvoo. We crossed over the Mississippi in the skiff in the dusk of the evening. We bid goodbye to our dear old feeble grandmother, Lucy Mack Smith. I can never forget the bitter tears she shed when she bid us goodbye for the last time in the life. She knew it would be the last time she would see her son’s family…” Martha Ann Smith

“Without fire and something warm to eat, all would suffer through the night. Seeing no other way, I emptied a large valuable chest, highly prized, split it up with the hatchet, and soon had a warm supper, then the freezing storm, we crowded into our wagon and remained there through the night.” Benjamin F. Johnson

Benjamin F Johnson
Benjamin F Johnson

 

“I was the mid-wife, and delivered nine babies that night.” Jane Johnston

Jane Johnston
Jane Johnston

 

When a boat sank while attempting to cross the Mississippi, a number of Saints were tossed and sported on the water at the mercy of the cold and unrelenting waves…some climbed on top of the wagon…while cows and oxen were seen swimming to the shore from whence they came.” Hosea Stout

“I had a small flock of sheep which I had not time to sell. These I left, together with my house and lot, the former containing my furniture and books.” Priddy Meeks

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“Early in February, multitudes of the people commenced to cross the Mississippi, and from their encampments in the forest of Iowa. In regard to the terrible sufferings that followed, the terrible snow storms and rains that continued from February until May, causing such floods and mire, distress and suffering and consequent sickness, as perhaps has never been known to the lot of man…” Erastus Snow

Erastus Snow
Erastus Snow

 

“Unless the people are more united in spirit and cease to pray against counsel, it will bring me down to my grave. I am reduced in flesh so that my coat that would scarcely meet around me last winter now laps over twelve inches. It is with much ado that I can keep from lying down and sleeping to wait the resurrection.” Brigham Young

Brigham Young
Brigham Young

 

“We bade our children and friends goodbye and started for the west. Crossed the river about noon…I knitted almost a mitten for Mr. Sessions while he went back to get some things we left.” Patty Sessions

Patty Sessions
Patty Sessions

 

“I was not large enough to keep out of the way of the wagon at all times and consequently had my feet and leg run over two or three times when jumping out of the wagon to stop the team.” Gideon Murdock, age 6

Gideon Murdock
Gideon Murdock

 

“We had nothing to sweeten anything until the Lord sent honey dew, which we gathered from bushes until we get all the sweets we wanted. I also boiled maple juice and got cakes of maple sugar.” Jane Johnston

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3 thoughts on “Trail of Hope

  1. Thanks so much for these! I wanted the Youth in my seminary class to feel for the Saints as they left their homes once again to do as the Lord asked. I remembered the Trail of Hope and found your blog with all the Trail quotes. We’ll go on a virtual walk along Parley Street using your blog. Much Gratitude!

    Like

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