Building Faith Through Church History

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Season 3 Episode 04 The Journey of the Willie Company


The story of the journey of the Willie Company.


August 16, 1856, the Willie Handcart Company, led by Captain James Grey Willie, pulled out of Florence, Nebraska bound for the Salt Lake Valley. They were about 400 in number with some 85 handcarts.  There had been an earnest discussion, centering around Levi Savage, about whether or not to continue on so late in the year. When it was over about one hundred people who had been with the company from Iowa City chose not to go on. This episode of History of the Saints tells the story of those in the Willie Company who went on. But first—many have criticized them for going on so late in the year. Why did they go on, and could they have all stayed on the Missouri River had that been the decision?


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