Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah's Mormon Pioneers

Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah's Mormon Pioneers
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Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah's Mormon Pioneers

Editor Jeffrey N. Walker Editor Doris R. Dant

From living in a dugout called the Castle of Spiders to eating so many weeds their skin took on a green cast to losing four children in just a few weeks to diphtheria, nearly everything imaginable happened to the Mormon settlers of Utah Territory. Here are the details of the lives of the common people—what they ate, wore, lived in, and celebrated, how they worshipped, and why they endured. Here are the details of the lives of the common people, those who traveled in the dust of the leaders. What they ate, wore, lived in, and celebrated. How they worshiped. Why they endured. This volume begins with Marlin K. Jensen's eulogy of the "uncommonly heroic" common Saint. Twenty-one renowned historians then apply nearly every type of source and method imaginable to capture pioneer life's ordinary rhythms and cycles. In Nearly Everything Imaginable, you'll find hundreds of vignettes from Utah's early settlers, including these: "Old and young would gather for dancing; everybody came early and left about the midnight hour. The bedrooms opening from the hall were generally filled with babies snugly tucked away, while the mothers enjoyed the dance. The huge fireplaces at either end of the hall were piled high with dry cedar fagots, the flames from which leaped and danced up the chimneys. Candles held in place by three nails driven into wooden brackets were ranged high along the walls. Tickets were paid for in any kind of produce that the fiddlers could be induced to accept. Usually a couple of two-bushel sacks could be seen near the door, into which the dancers deposited their contributions." "Father made a plow out of a big forked stock and we boys held it in place while our father pulled it. The stock plow was made of quaking aspen. He fastened it to himself by a strap. We plowed two and a half acres that way, and planted wheat. I always remembered that picture of my father doing the work of a horse."