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Tell My Story, Too

by Jolene S. Allphin
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Tell My Story, Too

The eighth edition of Tell My Story, Too by Jolene S. Allphin has 39 new stories and over 100 new pictures, as well as updates, corrections, source documentation, and a new foreword by Andrew D. Olsen, author of The Price We Paid. The 557-page collection now contains 300 biographical sketches and over 400 pictures of pioneers and rescuers of the Willie, Martin, Hodgett and Hunt emigrating companies of 1856. The book also contains an updated index of all names and ages of the pioneers in the four emigrating companies and their known rescuers (with many new rescuer names); three of their emigrating songs, including all verses of the original “Handcart Song” by J.D.T. McAllister; a brief chronological overview of their immigration and rescue; an 1855 map of the trail that they used, and more. The stories in the book may be copied and given to individuals to take on pioneer trek reenactments. They may also be copied for other non-commercial uses.


FOREWORD TO 8TH EDITION OF TELL MY STORY, TOO
by Andrew D. Olsen

In the fall of 2004, when I went to Martin’s Cove for the first time, I felt a powerful stirring within. All my life I had been satisfied with the two-minute version of the Willie and Martin handcart story. Within hours, that changed. I felt a compelling desire to know more about these pioneers who had embarked for Zion so courageously, who had suffered so terribly, who had endured so faithfully, and who in many cases had given their lives. Who were they? How did they develop such strong qualities of faith and determination? What became of those who survived? Had most of their individual stories faded into history?

After leaving Martin’s Cove, a friend and I stopped at the gas station in Muddy Gap. What we found there was almost too good to be true: a book titled Tell My Story, Too, by Jolene Allphin, which provided over 200 biographies of these pioneers and their rescuers. My friend bought books for both of us and later bought a case of books to give to others. As I began reading these stories, the Willie and Martin handcart “companies” became individuals I grew to know and love. They taught powerful lessons about faith, obedience, sacrifice, and endurance. Reading these stories launched my own study of the handcart pioneers and my subsequent writing about them.

During the years since I first read Tell My Story, Too, I have collaborated with Jolene many times on handcart research. The depth and breadth of her knowledge of the handcart story—and especially of the people—are unparalleled. Her research is thorough, and her stories come from the heart. Where possible, she uses first-person accounts from these pioneers—so you can hear their voices—as well as accounts from descendants who knew them.

This eighth edition of Tell My Story, Too, adds 39 new biographies to what was already the most comprehensive source of information about members of the Willie and Martin handcart companies, the Hodgett and Hunt wagon companies, and their rescuers. Among the new stories, you can read about 10-year-old Jane Brice, who remained faithful even after her mother died on the trail and her father returned to England soon after arriving in Utah. You can also read about Robert Pierce, who traveled more than 600 miles on crutches, and the remarkable reminiscence of George Housley, who was inclined to stop in Iowa City but continued because of the faith of his mother. This edition includes numerous new stories of women whose faith and determination helped them overcome nearly every kind of adversity—women such as Sarah Choules, Elizabeth Robinson, and Alice Brooks. This edition also includes new stories of members of the Hunt and Hodgett companies, such as the families of David Bowen and Lars Madsen.

Among the new biographies of the rescuers are those of William H. Kimball, who led the Willie company to Salt Lake City after the rescuers found them, and those of Seth Blair, Noah Brimhall, and Elijah Maxfield. This edition also tells about the little-known but essential rescue efforts of the men at Fort Bridger and Fort Supply. These sacrifices are outlined in new biographies of Lewis Robison and John Pulsipher. Many biographies have been updated, including George D. Grant’s, which now includes a transcription of the letter he wrote to Brigham Young from Devil’s Gate. It is one of the most poignant writings in all the handcart literature. Another important letter new to this edition is one that Langley Bailey wrote to Isaac Wardle, expressing gratitude for pulling him hundreds of miles in a handcart—and written 60 years later.

Whether these Saints are our direct ancestors or not, we all share in the spiritual heritage they have left. Their faith, courage, and determination have inspired millions. In Tell My Story, Too, you can learn why. Find strength to endure your own adversities as you see how they endured theirs. Learn to take the long view as you see sacrifices rewarded, sometimes years or generations later. Come to recognize the hand of God in your own life as you see it working among these Saints in their extremity. Settle in and make some new friends. Meet some new heroes and heroines. They’re on every page.



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