One of the best-known and best-loved stories of the Mormon pioneers is the testimony of Francis Webster, a member of the Martin Hand- cart Company. Although his name has increasingly become associated with his statement, he is still better known as the unnamed old man in the corner of a Sunday School class who arose to silence criticism directed toward those who allowed that company to come west:
I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Hand Cart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that Company and my wife was in it. . . . I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.
Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company.