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The Migration To Utah

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Organization Of The Church
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



Preparations For The Long March








Two things may be accepted as facts with regard to the migration
of the Mormons westward from Illinois: first, that they would not
have moved had they not been compelled to; and second, that they
did not know definitely where they were going when they started.
Although Joseph Smith showed an uncertainty of his position by
his instruction that the Twelve should look for a place in
California or Oregon to which his people might move, he
considered this removal so remote a possibility that he was at
the same time beginning his campaign for the presidency of the
United States. As late as the spring of 1845, removal was
considered by the leaders as only an alternative. In April,
Brigham Young, Willard Richards, the two Pratts, and others
issued an address to President Polk, which was sent to the
governors of all the states but Illinois and Missouri, setting
forth their previous trials, and containing this declaration:--
"In the name of Israel's God, and by virtue of multiplied ties of
country and kindred, we ask your friendly interposition in our
favor. Will it be too much for us to ask you to convene a special
session of Congress and furnish us an asylum where we can enjoy
our rights of conscience and religion unmolested? Or will you, in
special message to that body when convened, recommend a
remonstrance against such unhallowed acts of oppression and
expatriation as this people have continued to receive from the
states of Missouri and Illinois? Or will you favor us by your
personal influence and by your official rank? Or will you express
your views concerning what is called the Great Western Measure of
colonizing the Latter-Day Saints in Oregon, the Northwestern
Territory, or some location remote from the states, where the
hand of oppression will not crush every noble principle and
extinguish every patriotic feeling?" After the publication of the
correspondence between the Hardin commission and the Mormon
authorities, Orson Pratt issued an appeal "to American citizens,"
in which, referring to what he called the proposed "banishment"
of the Mormons, he said: "Ye fathers of the Revolution! Ye
patriots of '76! Is it for this ye toiled and suffered and bled?
. . . Must they be driven from this renowned republic to seek an
asylum among other nations, or wander as hopeless exiles among
the red men of the western wilds? Americans, will ye suffer this?
Editors, will ye not speak? Fellow-citizens, will ye not awake?"*

* Millennial Star, Vol. VI, p. 193.


Their destination could not have been determined in advance,
because so little was known of the Far West. The territory now
embraced in the boundaries of California and Utah was then under
Mexican government, and "California" was, in common use, a name
covering the Pacific coast and a stretch of land extending
indefinitely eastward. Oregon had been heard of a good deal, and
it, as well as Vancouver Island, had been spoken of as a possible
goal if a westward migration became necessary. Lorenzo Snow, in
describing the westward start, said: "On the first of March, the
ground covered with snow, we broke encampment about noon, and
soon nearly four hundred wagons were moving to--WE KNEW NOT
WHERE." *

* "Biography of Lorenzo Snow," p. 86.


The first step taken by the Mormon authorities to explain the
removal to their people was an explanation made at a conference
in the new Temple, three days after the correspondence with the
commission closed. P. P. Pratt stated to the conference that the
removal meant that the Lord designed to lead them to a wider
field of action, where no one could say that they crowded their
neighbors. In such a place they could, in five years, become
richer than they then were, and could build a bigger and a better
Temple. "It has cost us," said he, "more for sickness, defence
against mob exactions, persecutions, and to purchase lands in
this place, than as much improvement will cost in another." It
was then voted unanimously that the Saints would move en masse to
the West, and that every man would give all the help he could to
assist the poorer members of the community in making the
journey.*

* Millennial Star, Vol. VI, p. 196. Wilford Woodruff, in an
appeal to the Saints in Great Britain, asked them to buy Mormon
books in order to assist the Presidency with funds with which to
take the poor Saints with them westward.


Brigham Young next issued an address to the church at large,
stating that even the Mormon Bible had foretold what might be the
conduct of the American nation toward "the Israel of the last
days," and urging all to prepare to make the journey. A
conference of Mormons in New York City on November 12, 1845,
attended by brethren from New York State, New Jersey, and
Connecticut, voted that "the church in this city move, one and
all, west of the Rocky Mountains between this and next season,
either by land or by water."

Active preparations for the removal began in and around Nauvoo at
once. All who had property began trading it for articles that
would be needed on the journey. Real estate was traded or sold
for what it would bring, and the Eagle was full of advertisements
of property to sell, including the Mansion House, Masonic Hall,
and the Armory. The Mormons would load in wagons what furniture

they could not take West with them, and trade it in the
neighborhood for things more useful. The church authorities
advertised for one thousand yokes of oxen and all the cattle and
mules that might be offered, oxen bringing from $40 to $50 a
yoke. The necessary outfit for a family of five was calculated to
be one wagon, three yokes of cattle, two cows, two beef cattle,
three sheep, one thousand pounds of flour, twenty pounds of
sugar, a tent and bedding, seeds, farming tools, and a rifle--all
estimated to cost about $250. Three or four hundred Mormons were
sent to more distant points in Illinois and Iowa for draft
animals, and, when the Western procession started, they boasted
that they owned the best cattle and horses in the country.

In the city the men were organized into companies, each of which
included such workmen as wagonmakers, blacksmiths, and
carpenters, and the task of making wagons, tents, etc., was
hurried to the utmost. "Nauvoo was constituted into one great
wagon shop," wrote John Taylor. If any members of the community
were not skilled in the work now in demand, they were sent to St.
Louis, Galena, Burlington, or some other of the larger towns, to
find profitable employment during the winter, and thus add to the
moving fund.

On January 20, 1846, the High Council issued a circular
announcing that, early in March, a company of hardy young men,
with some families, would be sent into the Western country, with
farming utensils and seed, to put in a crop and erect houses for
others who would follow as soon as the grass was high enough for
pasture.

This circular contained also the following declaration:--

"We venture to say that our brethren have made no counterfeit
money; and if any miller has received $1500 base coin in a week
from us, let him testify. If any land agent of the general
government has received wagon loads of base coin from us in
payment for lands, let him say so. Or if he has received any at
all, let him tell it. These witnesses against us have spun a long
yarn."

This referred to the charges of counterfeiting, which had
resulted in the indictment of some of the Twelve at Springfield,
and which hastened the first departures across the river. That
counterfeiting was common in the Western country at that time is
a matter of history, and the Mormons themselves had accused such
leading members of their church as Cowdery of being engaged in
the business. The persons indicted at Springfield were never
tried, so that the question of their guilt cannot be decided.
Tullidge's pro-Mormon "Life of Brigham Young" mentions an
incident which occurred when the refugees had gone only as far as
the Chariton River in Iowa, which both admits that they had
counterfeit money among them, and shows the mild view which a
Bishop of the church took of the offence of passing it:-- "About
this time also an attempt was made to pass counterfeit money. It
was the case of a young man who bought from a Mr. Cochran a yoke
of oxen, a cow and a chain for $50. Bishop Miller wrote to
Brigham to excuse the young man, but to help Cochran to
restitution. The President was roused to great anger, the Bishop
was severely rebuked, and the anathemas of the leader from that
time were thundered against thieves and 'bogus men,' and passers
of bogus money .... The following is a minute of his diary of a
council on the next Sunday, with the twelve bishops and captains:
"I told them I was satisfied the course we were taking would
prove to be the salvation, not only of the camp but of the Saints
left behind. But there had been things done which were wrong.
Some pleaded our sufferings from persecution, and the loss of our
homes and property, as a justification for retaliating on our
enemies; but such a course tends to destroy the Kingdom of God."

As soon as the leaders decided to make a start, they sent a
petition to the governor of Iowa Territory, explaining their
intention to pass through that domain, and asking for his
protection during the temporary stay they might make there. No
opposition to them seems to have been shown by the Iowans, who on
the contrary employed them as laborers, sold them such goods as
they could pay for, and invited their musicians to give concerts
at the resting points. Lee's experience in Iowa confirmed him, he
says, in his previous opinion that much of the Mormons' trouble
was due to "wild, ignorant fanatics"; "for," he adds, "only a few
years before, these same people were our most bitter enemies,
and, when we came again and behaved ourselves, they treated us
with the utmost kindness and hospitality."*

* "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 179.


How much property the Mormons sacrificed in Illinois cannot be
ascertained with accuracy. An investigation of all the testimony
obtainable on the subject leads to the conclusion that a good
deal of their real estate was disposed of at a fair price, and
that there were many cases of severe individual loss. Major
Warren, in a communication to the Signal from Nauvoo, in May,
1846, said that few of the Mormons' farms remained unsold, and
that three-fourths of the improved property on the flat in Nauvoo
had been disposed of.

A correspondent of the Signal, answering on April 11 an assertion
that the Mormons had a good deal of real estate to dispose of
before they could leave, replied that most of their farms were
sold, and that there were more inquiries after the others than
there were farms. As to the real estate in the city, he
explained:--

"It is scattered over an area of eight or ten square miles, and
contains from 1500 to 2000 houses, four-fifths of which, at
least, are wretched cabins of no permanent value whatever. There
are, however, 200 or 300 houses, large and small, built of brick
and other desirable material. Such will mostly sell, though many
of them, owing to the distance from the river and other
unfavorable circumstances, only at a very great sacrifice." *

* "A score or more of chimneys on the northern boundary of the
city marked the site of houses deliberately burned for fuel
during the winter of 1845-1846." --Hancock Eagle, May 29,1846.

A general epistle to the church from the Twelve, dated Winter
Quarters, December 23, 1847, stated that the property of the
Saints in Hancock County was "little or no better than
confiscated." *

* See John Taylor's address, p. 411 post.





Next: From The Mississippi To The Missouri

Previous: Nauvoo After The Exodus



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