This was a vary important day in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Word was brought in last evening that [the first] two Companies of the Saints called the Hand Cart Companies were camped between the two mountains & would be in to day. So president B. Young called together the company of Lancers, Ballows brass band, Accompanied by the Nauvoo Brass band, & President Kimball Gen Wells Professor Carrington with many other Citizens in Carriages & went out to escort them into the City.
They past up the Emigration Canyon & met the Company at the foot of the Little mountain on the west side of it. Elder Edmond Elsworth Brigham Youngs son in Law was the captain of the first Company & Daniel D. MCarthur was the captain of the 2d company. Both Companies contained 96 Hand Carts 8 waggons and 486 souls. It was a vary effecting meeting.
Presidents Young & Kimball walked up the mountain through the company saluted the saints then organized the company for travelling in to the City. One half of the Company of Lancers went in Front followed by the Presidency & citizens then the Marshal of the City J. C. Little then the bands of music then Capt Edmund Elsworth with his Hand Cart company then Daniel D. MCarthur with his hand Cart Company & the remainder of the Lancers brought up the rear. In this way they started for the City.
Capt Leonard Hardy took Bishop Hunter & myself into a Buggy & we met the company as they came into the edge of the City & we fell into the ranks behind the presidency. The people of the City gathered on each side of the road & the streets [ ] & it was an Effecting sight to see such a strange sight. About 500 people enter the City of the Great salt [Lake] who had traveled on foot 1,500 miles having drawn there hand Carts all the way. Women Children & old men had drawn their bedding clothing & food the whole distance & this company of poor people from England had travelled this whole distance in 9 weeks. They were covered with dust & some worn down but cheerful. They had beat any horse or Ox team during the time.
They past up on South Temple Street by President Youngs House the Deseret Store by W Woodruffs, down to the grove then down to the public square, there formed in two lines & Camped for the night. No torre can tel No pen Can write, the sensation it created in the reflecting mind to behold the scene.
As soon as they were Camped President Young stood up in his carriage & called upon the bishops & multitude who had gathered to see the Hand Cart Company to bring them provision & feed them to night to morrow morning & noon & night again & while they stop here.
I wish you all to tarry here untill you are dismissed & I bless you all in doing good & keeping the commandments of God. We then returned to our homes & the bishops & people brought them all the provisions that were neccessary.
Edmund Elsworth saluted his wives & Children as He past his house but did not stop for any thing untill his Company was camped. He lead the Hand Cart Company by drawing the front Hand Cart with 3 others. It reflected more honour upon him than if he had been mounted upon a fine horse decked with gold & silver. The sisters danced to the music as they drew the hand carts & walked through the streets.
[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]