We felt that he had gone only a little ahead of us, that we would soon be with him. I did pray though that the commissioner of provisions would not know of it until I had received Joseph's portion of flour.
I cannot tell you the pang that smote my heart as he counted out the spoons full and when he came to Joseph’s he said, "Oh Joseph died last night didn't he”? I had lost my brother’s portion and it hurt me worse than it did to first look upon his still white face.
In 1986, the night I stumbled across Mary’s name in Handcarts to Zion 1856-60 (by Leroy R. and Ann W. Hafen (Arthur H. Clark Co., Glendale CA, 1981), I called my mother immediately. It was 10:00 PM.
When I asked Mom about it she didn’t have much detail but told me my Aunt Hope Hayes who lived in Soda Springs did.
So late that same evening I called a relative I’d never met nor spoken to in my life to ask about Mary Jarvis Crossley and the Martin Handcart Company. Aunt Hope knew who I was and seemed quite amused that I had only just now discovered something important about my family heritage.
… and she sent me copies of all her genealogy and family records regarding Mary and the handcart tragedy. Aunt Hope’s copies included the following excellent recollection written by Mary Jarvis Crossley’s daughter Sarah which is also online and linked below.
Sarah Crossley Sessions - MEMBER MARTIN HANDCART COMPANY, Submitted By Olive Sessions Howell
He [Elder Perregrine Sessions] often urged my father to go to America and unite with the Saints in the Rocky Mountains.
This time my father did, leaving Mother and us children to follow as soon as he could make a home for us; this was not easily done for work was scarce and money hard to obtain. We almost despaired of ever seeing him again, but after two years the way came to us.
The handcart Plan was introduced into England, and it seemed so cheap and easy, only nine pounds or forty-five dollars in United States money, for each of us.
We were so anxious to join our father and many friends who had gone before, that we decided to go. Mother was a frail woman and Joseph, our crippled brother could never walk across that 1300 miles of plains; but Hannah and I were very healthy and strong girls. Ephriam was a lad and very willing, so we gathered together what clothing and bedding we were able to take and sold our little home and all else we had. We bade farewell to our many friends and merry old England, sailing from Liverpool early in the spring of 1856