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   Nauvoo Exodus
   First Ferry
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   Mormon Battalion
   Nauvoo War Victims
   Cold Spring Camp
   Cutler's Park
   Winter Quarters I
   Florence Grist Mill
   Second Ferry
   Winter Quarters II
   Advance Company
   Mormon Trail
   Kanesville Town
   Kanesville Tabernacle
   Winter Quarters III
   Continued Passing
   Winter Quarters IV
   All on one page

Mormon Historical

   Orville M. Allen
   Ezra T. Benson
   Oliver Cowdery
   Orson Hyde
   Alexander Hunter
   J. E. Johnson
   Thomas L. Kane
   Heber C. Kimball
   Jesse Little
   Amasa Lyman
   Henry W. Miller
   James Murdock
   John Neff
   Orson Pratt
   Parley P. Pratt
   Dr. Willard Richards
   George A. Smith
   Joseph Smith
   Mary Fielding Smith
   Hyrum Smith
   Allan Taylor
   John Taylor
   Jacob Weber, Sr.
   Lyman Wight
   Wilford Woodruff
   Brigham Young

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Morn. Twilight: 6:45 A.M.
Sunrise: 7:13 A.M.
Sunset: 7:18 P.M.
Duration: 12h, 5m
Eve. Twilight: 7:45 A.M.
Visible Light: 13h

"Mormon Trail"

The Mormons left the area on what is known as the Mormon Trail.  The Mormon Trail actually starts in Nauvoo, Illinois, where the majority of the church members lived.  Most took the same path to reach the Grand Encampment, Kanesville, and Florence areas, however, there were some deviations.  Since some Mormons lived in areas surrounding Nauvoo, other parts of Illinois, and the country, trails reaching the Missouri ended at Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, and Kanesville.  Likewise, when leaving the area, there are two paths taken, both hugging the Platte River, one on each side.

Historic maps indicate the Mormons crossed the Missouri at two places, Plattsmouth and Nebraska City, both called the Mormon Trail.  Both trails join together in Otoe County before following the Platte River along its south side throughout the state.  This was the earliest trail used, actually before the Winter Quarters era.  From around Fort Kearny, the same trail was used by people seeking their fortunes in Oregon and nearby areas on the west coast, thereby being called the Oregon Trail.

The northern path leaves the Florence area, and takes an almost bee-line path to the area around Fremont where it starts on the northern side of the Platte River and sticks with it for most of the state, and on into Wyoming.  The only deviation being between Columbus and Grand Island.  At Columbus, the (collective) Loup Rivers feeds the Platte River from the North.  Since the Mormons were traveling on the northern edge they continued on with the North Loup River on its North side until finally a decision was made to travel south and join back in with the Platte River around Grand Island.  The northern side of the Platte was chosen to avoid the Mormon's persecutors traveling west on the southern side and because the southern side would cause more competition for grazing lands and camp sites along the way.

The Mormons settled in places along the way.  Genoa, on the Mormon Trail west of Columbus, became one of the Mormon settlements to remain after most had traveled on to Salt Lake Valley.

Wagons.

The steep, narrow passes passing over the Rockies required the Mormons to choose the farm wagon, which is smaller than the Conestoga.  The wagons were converted for the trail so that fewer oxen were required, some requiring only two.  They were instructed to take no more than three yoke (6 oxen).  The wagons traveled around two and a half miles an hour.  A family of five were expected to take everything they needed in one wagon.  Anyone over six was expected to walk.  To save shoe leather, many women and children walked barefoot.

Rough Times.

The trip was not simple or easy by no means.  A prairie fire caused them to camp on an island in the Platte River.  They experienced theft of cattle by the Pawnee Indians, and also survived a lack of grass for the cattle, especially in Wyoming where great distances were covered with little water along the way to water the stock or grow grass.  The massive herds of buffalo, one reported to stretch for 65 miles, provided buffalo-chips to fuel the fires when wood was not available.  Sadly, they also witnessed the meaningless destruction of buffalo for their hides, leaving the eerie cadaverous bodies to rot where they fell.

While at Winter Quarters, the Mormons only experience with the Dakota-Sioux Indians was through the skirmishes encountered by the Omaha Indians that came for medical attention and to have wounds dressed.  However, along the trail, the Mormons were impressed with the cleanliness and general good looks, and found the Dakota-Sioux to be well behaved.

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