As I finish the painting I place it in the frame. Doing so helps me to determine if I need to do more. I believe it works well as a beautiful painting and, in a small way, it helps to depict the emotions and many feelings the Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) had as they left their homes.
They knew that their neighbors were willing to kill them if they didn't leave. Some, including their Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum, had already been killed. And yet, they overcame their fear, anger, sorrow with a desire to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and they faced the future with faith and hope and generally a joyful and positive attitude. I am personally grateful to those people which included some of our own (Pam and myself) ancestors who were willing to sacrifice so much so they could practice their religion.
Take the opportunity to visit Nauvoo. The LDS Church has turned about 30 of the buildings built in the 1840s into a "living museum" and the LDS Missionaries there tell the stories of the people who lived in Nauvoo at that time. John Browning was a Mormon and his gunshop is set up just as it was when he built some of his famous weapons. You have to visit the Family History Center and let them show you your ancestors who lived there. At its peak Nauvoo was the home to about 18,000 people, the second largest city in Illinois at the time. I believe if you were born and raised in the West there is a good chance one or more of your ancestors lived there in the .1840s