Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1856 (age 23), Goudin (Cardon), Susanna (Italy - Handcart Pioneer)

Susanna Goudin Cardon was born July 30, 1833, at Prarustin, Piedmont, Italy. Her people originated in France but were driven and persecuted until they came to dwell in this place in the Italian Alps. They were of the historic Vaudois peoples. When Susanna was five years of age her father died and the mother had a hard struggle to support and keep her children together. At the age of nine years, Susanna earned a small pittance picking the leaves of mulberry trees and feeding silk worms to supplement the family income.

Because Susanna was not at home when the Mormon missionaries called on her family she was the last member to join the Church. Her mother was not able to attend the meetings because of the long hours she had to work, so because of this, and possibly other reasons, the Cardon family were cut off the Church. Only Susanna remained faithful. When the Elders talked with her they urged her to go to Utah. She was filled with the spirit of gathering to Zion and under these trying conditions, decided to leave her beloved family and journey to Utah alone. She was the only member of her immediate family ever to come. She joined with the family of a relative, Pierre Stalle. They traveled by carriage, by railway, by sled and by foot to France, then by steamer to London, and thence by rail to Liverpool where they remained a short time waiting for the ship. On December 12, 1855 they set sail on the ship John J. Boyd under the supervision of Elder Knud Peterson.

The Trek
The company arrived in New York March 15, 1856 and proceeded to St. Louis by train. From there Susanna went to Florence, Nebraska where she found employment in the home of a family named Lee. They were very good to her, giving her a hat, dress and a feather tick when she left them to go west. Since she was going with a handcart company she could not take the tick with her.

In company with the Stalles, Susanna crossed the plains in the first handcart company under the supervision of Captain Edmund Ellsworth, leaving Iowa City June 9, 1856 and arriving in Salt Lake City September 26th. They suffered many hardships and en route Peter Stalle died. Susanna pulled her handcart all the way across the plains and part of the time a two year old child rode in it. This was a child of friends who came from Italy and eventually she became the second wife of Susanna's future husband.

Upon hearing of the arrival of the company, John Paul Cardon and his brother, Phillip, also from the same city in Italy, journeyed to Salt Lake City and brought back Susanna and the Stalle family to Brigham's Fort, where they helped them build a crude dugout in which to live that first winter. At times the snow was so deep those inside the dugout did not know whether it was day or night and frequently the Cardon brothers had to dig them out. Susanna later went to live with the Cardon family and in March, 1857 was married to Paul. The young couple finally settled in Cache Valley where they helped to form that community.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.