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Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1847-1852: Immigration/Emigration to Utah-Ships and Companies


Departure Date Captain People Arrived
Winter Quarters Apr 14 Brigham Young 148 July 24
Winter Quarters Jun 17 Daniel Spencer 362 Sept. 19-24
Winter Quarters Jun 17 Edward Hunter 352 Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Winter Quarters Jun 17 J.M. Grant 331 Oct. 2-4
Winter Quarters Jun 17 A.O. Smoot 318 Sept. 25
Winter Quarters Jun 17 Chas. C. Rich 126 Oct. 2

The great Mormon migration to western United States began in 1846-47, included not only the intrepid band of original pioneers, under the able leadership of Brigham Young, but among those firsts who entered Salt Lake Valley was a group of Mississippi Saints who had been gathered into the Church through the missionary labors of John Brown in the southern states; members of the history-making Mormon Battalion who had been disbanded in California in January, 1847, as well as the sick detachment of the Battalion who had wintered in Pueblo, Colorado, and arrived in the valley a few days after the vanguard company; also a number of Saints who had sailed around the Horn in the Ship Brooklyn under the supervision of Sam Brannan, stayed in California for a few months, and then proceeded to Utah. Approximately fifteen hundred more faithful Latter-day Saints in five organized companies left Winter Quarters in June of 1847, obeying the counsel of Brigham Young who said, "Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this people to the place where the Lord shall locate a Stake of Zion. And if you do this with a pure heart, in all faithfulness, you shall be blessed; you shall be blessed in your flocks, and in your herds, and in your fields, and in your houses, and in your families."

Pioneer Camp, Valley of the Great Salt Lake
August 2, 1847
To General Charles C. Rich and Presidents and Officers of Emigrating Company. Beloved brethren:

We have delegated our beloved brother Ezra T. Benson and escort to communicate to you by Express, the cheering intelligence that we have arrived in the most beautiful valley of Great Salt Lake, that every soul who left Winter Quarters with us is alive, and almost everyone enjoying good health. That portion of the Battalion that was at Pueblo is here with us, together with the Mississippi company that accompanied them, and they are generally well. We number about 450 souls, and we know of no one, but what is pleased with our situation. We have commenced the survey of a city this morning. We feel that the time is fast approaching when those teams that are going to Winter Quarters this fall should be on the way. Every individual here would be glad to tarry, if their friends were here-but as many of the Battalion, as well as Pioneers, have not their families here, and do not expect that they are in your camp, we wish to learn by Express from you the situation of your camp as speedily as possible. That we may be prepared to council and act in the whole matter, we want you to send us the name of every individual in your camp, or in other words a copy of your camp roll, including the names, number of wagons, horses, mules, oxen, cows, etc., the health of your camp, your location, prospects, etc., if your teams are worn out, if your camp is sick and not able to take care of themselves, if you are short of teamsters, or any other circumstance impedes your progress, we want to know it immediately, for we have help for you, and if your teams are in good plight and will be able to return to Winter Quarters this season, or any portion of them, we want to know it.

We also want the mail, which will include all letters and papers and packages belonging to our camp, general and particular. Would circumstances permit, we would gladly meet you some distance from this, but our time is much occupied, notwithstanding we think you will see us before you see our valley. Let all the brethren and sisters cheer up their hearts, and know assuredly that God has heard and answered their prayers and ours, and led us to a goodly land, and our souls are satisfied therewith. Brother Benson can give you many particulars that will be gratifying and cheering to you which we have not time to write. And we feel to bless the Saints.

In behalf of the Council
Willard Richards, Clerk
Brigham Young, President


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Feb 20 Liverpool Carnatic F.D. Richards 120 New Orleans
Mar 9 Liverpool Sailor Prince Moses Martin 80 New Orleans
Sep 7 Liverpool Erin's Queen Simeon Carter 232 New Orleans
Sep 24 Liverpool Sailor Prince L.D. Butler 311 New Orleans
Nov ? Liverpool Lord Sandon   11 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrived
Winter Quarters May 26 Brigham Young 1220 Sep 21
Winter Quarters May 29 Heber C. Kimball 662 Sep 23
Winter Quarters Jun 30 Willard Richards 526 Oct 19

In the late spring of 1848, Winter Quarters, Nebraska, was abandoned and some twenty-four hundred exiled Saints piled their belongings into covered wagons and started the westward trek toward the Rocky Mountains. During this year several independent companies also commenced the journey and as late as November mail carriers arrived in the valley from the east. From the west came missionaries returning from the South Seas, other Mormon Battalion and Ship Brooklyn Saints who had remained in California during the winter of 1847. It was on Sept. 21st that the first company of 1848 pioneers, numbering one thousand two hundred and twenty, under the leadership of Brigham Young who had returned to Winter Quarters the previous fall, entered Great Salt Lake. Among them were many women and their families of small children and infants in arms. Most of the men were heads of families but a few unmarried men served as drivers of teams, guards against Indians, or as scouts on the overland trek.


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 29 Liverpool Zetland Orson Spencer 358 New Orleans
Feb 7 Liverpool Ashland John Johnson 187 New Orleans
Feb 6 Liverpool Henry Ware Robert Martin 225 New Orleans
Feb 25 Liverpool Buena Vista Dan Jones 249 New Orleans
Mar 5 Liverpool Hartley William Hulme 220 New Orleans
Mar 12 Liverpool Emblem Robert Deans 100 New Orleans
Sep 2 Liverpool James Pennell Thomas Clarks 236 New Orleans
Sep 5 Liverpool Berlin Jas. G. Brown 253 New Orleans
Nov 10 Liverpool Zetland S.H. Hawkins 250 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrived
Kanesville Jun 6 Orson Spencer 350 Sep 22 (about)
Kanesville Jul 12 Allen Taylor 500 Oct 1
Kanesville Jul 10 Silas Richards 100 Oct 12 (about)
Kanesville Jul 4 George A. Smith 447 Oct 27
Kanesville Apr 19 H. Egan Indep. Co. 57 Aug 7

Several independent companies came in 1849 bringing the total to nearly 2,000. Approximately 30,000 California immigrants passed through Utah.

The emigration of the Mormon pioneers during the year 1849 was small in comparison to that of other years, yet thousands of gold seekers passed through Salt Lake Valley on their way to California. The trail between the Missouri River and Utah was lined with wagons, men on horseback, some walking, other pushing wheelbarrows, or pulling small carts, mostly people who were seekers of the newly discovered gold.

In the October Conference of 1849 the creation of a Perpetual Emigrating Fund was discussed: "About one month since we suggested the propriety, of creating a perpetual fund for the purpose of helping the poor Saints to emigrate to this place, agreeably to our covenants in the Temple that we would never cease our exertions, by all the means and influence within our reach, till all the Saints who were obliged to leave Nauvoo should be located at some gathering place of the Saints."

The Council approved of the suggestion and a committee was immediately appointed to raise a fund by voluntary contribution to be forwarded east next mail.


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 10 Liverpool Argo Jeter Clinton 402 New Orleans
Feb 18 Liverpool Josiah Bradlee Thomas Day 263 New Orleans
Mar 2 Liverpool Hartley David Cook 109 New Orleans
Sep 4 Liverpool North Atlantic David Sudworth 357 New Orleans
Oct 2 Liverpool James Pennell Chris Layton 254 New Orleans
Oct 17 Liverpool Joseph Badger John Morris 227 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrived
Kanesville Jun 3 Milo Andrus 206 Aug 20
Kanesville Jun 7 Benjamin Hawkins   Sep 9
Kanesville Jun 12 Aaron Johnson   Sep 12
Kanesville Jun ? James Pace   Sep 20
Kanesville Jul 4 Edward Hunter 261 Oct 13
Kanesville Jun 15 Joseph Young   Oct 1
Kanesville Jun 15 Warren Foote   Sep 17
Kanesville Jun 20 Wilford Woodruff   Oct 14
Kanesville Jun 20 Stephen Markham   Oct 1
Kanesville, Iowa June 15 David Evans   Sept. 15

Many independent companies came in 1850 [no official clerks, etc.].

In the year of 1850, more than eight hundred wagons carrying Latter-day Saint converts and their belongings, crossed the plains, under the direction of Orson Hyde and other Church officials who had been stationed at Council Bluffs making preparations for the emigration of not less than five thousand Saints. It was a gigantic undertaking, wagons and teams must be purchased, food and clothing for a three month's journey gathered. The Saints in Utah were calling for new machinery and household goods which must be freighted across the plains. That year 4,000 sheep and 500 head of cattle were driven across the plains to Utah.

Many of the people in these companies were poor in this world's goods; but in their hearts was a strong determination to join the body of the Saints in Utah. On March 29, 1850, Apostle Franklin D. Richards arrived in England, having been appointed at Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1849 to cooperate with Apostle Orson Pratt, in the British Mission, and immediately introduced the subject of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund to the British Conference.


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 6/8 Liverpool Ellen J. Cummings 466 New Orleans
Jan 22/29 Liverpool G.W. Bourne W. Gibson 281 New Orleans
Feb 1 Liverpool Ellen Maria George Watt 378 New Orleans
Mar 4 Liverpool Olympus Wm. Howell 245 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain Wagons Arrived
Kanesville May 1 John G. Smith 150 Sep 23
Kanesville Jun 21 Jas. W. Cummings 100 Oct 5
Kanesville Jun 29 Easton Kelsey 100 Sep 23
Kanesville Jul 7 John Brown 50 Sep 28 (P. E. Fund)
Kanesville   George W. Oman   Sept. 1
Kanesville   Morris Phelps   Sept. 28

In the Frontier Guardian of June 13, 1851, the Saints who had not yet started for the Valley, but who intended to go that season, were urged to start at once and not cross the Missouri River later than the 20th of the month. They were also advised to keep strong guards out so as to protect themselves against Indian depredations, for it was reported that the Pawnees and other tribes were bent on mischief and theft, and had already robbed and plundered several companies on the plains that season. The next intelligence about the emigration of 1851, was given by Apostle Orson Hyde, who on his journey from Kanesville to the Valley, wrote from the Platte River, 108 miles east of Laramie, under date of July 22nd, to the effect that he and his party on the 11th of that month, near a branch of the Loup Fork, were assailed by about 300 Pawnee Indians, who robbed them of between seven and ten thousand dollars.

It has been estimated that about five thousand emigrants crossed the plains and mountains from the Missouri River to Great Salt Lake City in 1851. In a letter to Apostle Parley P. Pratt, who was absent on a mission, under date of Oct. 23, 1851, Pres. Brigham Young said: "The emigration of the Saints from the east has closed for the season, with general prosperity, and little sickness or loss, compared with the previous years. Probably 550 or 600 wagons may have come in, besides, a good supply of merchandise-more than there is gold to pay for it."


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 10 Liverpool Kennebec John S. Higbee 333 New Orleans
Jan 10 Liverpool Ellen Maria Isaac C. Haight 369 New Orleans
Mar 6 Liverpool Rockaway   30 New Orleans
Mar 11 Liverpool Italy O.U.C. Monster   28 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrived
Kanesville May 30 James W. Bay 190 Aug 13
Kanesville May 29 James J. Jepson   Sep 10
Kanesville Jun 7 Thos. D. Howell 200 Sep 27
Kanesville Jun 10 Joseph Outhouse 225 Sep 6
Kanesville Jun John Tidwell 340 Sep 15
Kanesville Jun David Wood 260 Oct 1
Kanesville Jun Henry B. M. Jolley 340 Sep 15
Kanesville Jun Isaac W. Stewart 245 Aug 28
Kanesville May 15 Benjamin Gardner 241 Sep 20
Kanesville Jun James McGaw 239 Sep 20
Kanesville Jun Harmon Cutler 262 Sep
Kanesville Jul 5 John B. Walker 250 Sep 15
Kanesville Jul Robert Weimer 230 Sep 15
Kanesville Jun Uriah Curtis 365 Oct 1
Kanesville Jun Isaac Bullock 175 Sep 21
Kanesville Jun James C. Snow 250 Oct 9
Kanesville Jul Eli B. Kelsey 100 Oct 16
Kanesville Jun Henry W. Miller 220 Sep 21
Kanesville Jul Allen Weeks 110 Oct
Kanesville Jun Abraham O. Smoot 250 Sep 3 (P. E. Fund)
Kanesville Jun 4 Thomas Marsden   Sep 2

The earnest call issued by the First Presidency of the Latter-day Saints in Utah had the desired effect. They responded to the instructions: "Let all who can procure a loaf of bread and one garment on their back be assured there is plenty of water and pure, by the way, and doubt no longer, but come next year to the place of gathering, even in flocks, as doves fly to their windows before the storm."

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.