1856: Willie and Martin handcart companies. The last two handcart companies of 1856 departed late from England. The ship Thornton, carrying the emigrants who became the Willie Company, did not leave England until May 4. Critical weeks were spent hastily assembling the carts and outfitting the companies.Click to see full answer. Beside this, how many people died in the Willie and Martin handcart companies?The Mormon handcart expeditions were the “most deadly (chapter) in the history of westward migration in the United States,” David Roberts says in “Devil’s Gate.” Nearly 250 of the 900 members of the Martin and Willie handcart companies, which were caught in brutal blizzards in the Wyoming and Utah mountains in the fallAlso, how many Mormon handcart companies were there? Between 1856 and 1860 nearly 3,000 emigrants from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined ten handcart companies–about 650 handcarts total–and walked to Utah from Iowa City, Iowa, (a distance of 1,300 miles) or from Florence, Nebraska (1,030 miles). Also, why did the Mormons use handcarts? Handcarts were cheaper and faster because they wouldn’t have to deal with harnessing animals or chasing them if they got loose at night. From 1856 through 1860, Mormon pioneers used handcarts for their journey from Iowa to Utah. In the five years that handcarts were used, 3,000 Mormon converts trekked westward.How many died at Martin’s Cove?Although the number who died in the Cove is unknown, more than 145 members of the Martin Company died before reaching Salt Lake City.