Eleanor and Emma

The early years in the Salt Lake Valley were years of shortages. The seagulls may have beaten back the crickets and saved part of the crop, but no seagull – nor anything else – could prevent wear and tear to a laborer’s clothing, nor produce the fabric to make new clothing. Cloth was one of the scarcest necessities in the early settlement period, and family histories and the amused comments of travelers often record the scarecrow-like appearance of the Mormons of the 1850s.

Samuel Lorenzo Adams (1833-1910) and his wife Emma Jackson Adams (1830-1885) typified the problem. They had emigrated from England in 1852, marrying just three days before the ship sailed from Liverpool. 19-year-old Samuel and 22-year-old Emma crossed the plains with the first company to be fitted out by the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, which severely limited the amount of personal property, including clothing, they could bring with them. They had the clothes they wore, plus a change, and that was about it.

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