Heritage Gateways

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Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1853-7, Immigration/Emigration to Utah—Ships and Companies

The interests of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund were cared for under Apostle Richard's agency, so much so that up to January, 1852, 1,410 pounds of sterling had been donated, and in the two ships which sailed January 10, 1852, two hundred and fifty-one persons were sent out requiring above 1,000 pounds more than had been donated, which extra outlay was supplied in the meantime by Apostle Richards. This was the first operation with the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, and it required much careful thought and wise deliberation to adopt plans that would carry this branch of the emigration properly through to the Valley. It was also the first time arrangements had been made before leaving Liverpool. Never before had such a journey been undertaken by so large a number of people with such limited resources.


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 16 Liverpool Forest Monarch J. E. Forsgren 297 New Orleans
Jan 17 Liverpool Ellen Maria Moses Clawson 332 New Orleans
Jan 23 Liverpool Golconda Jacob Gates 321 New Orleans
Feb 5 Liverpool Jersey Geo. Halliday 314 New Orleans
Feb 15 Liverpool Elvira Owen J.W. Young 345 New Orleans
Feb 28 Liverpool International Chr. Arthur 425 New Orleans
Feb 28 Liverpool Falcon Cor. Bagnail 324 New Orleans
Apr 6 Liverpool Camillus C.E. Bolton 228 New Orleans
Aug 24 Liverpool Page Bender   17 New Orleans
  Liverpool   Miscellaneous 23 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrival
Six-Mile Grove, Iowa Jun 1 Wilkin/Cooley 122 Sep 9
Keokuk, Iowa May 18 Jesse W. Crosby 79 Sep 10
Keokuk, Iowa Jun Moses Clawson 295 Sep 15
Keokuk, Iowa Jun 3 Jacob Gates 262 Sep 26
Keokuk, Iowa May 21 John E. Forsgren 294 Sep 30
Keokuk, Iowa Jul 1 Henry Ettleman 40 Oct 1
Keokuk, Iowa Jul 13 Vincent Shurtliff   Sep 30
Kanesville, Iowa Jul 11 Joseph W. Young 321 Oct 10
Kanesville, Iowa Jun 3 Cyrus H. Wheelock 400 Oct 16
Kanesville, Iowa Jun 3 Claudius V. Spencer 250 Sep 24
Kanesville, Iowa Jul 14 Appleton M. Harmon 200 Oct 16
Kanesville, Iowa Jul 1 John Brown 228 Oct 17
Six-Mile Grove, Iowa Jun 9 John A. Miller 282 Sep 9

During the year 1853, several companies of non-English speaking Saints passed through Liverpool. The first one from the Scandinavian Mission numbered two hundred and ninety seven souls and was reshipped at Liverpool on board the Forest Monarch January 16th, under the direction of Willard Snow, then president of the Scandinavian Mission. Donations to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund having been commenced in Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark, the sum of 136 pds. 15s 6d was appropriated during Elder Willard Snow's presidency, for the assistance of a number of those who sailed On the Forest Monarch. The next company from the continent was seventeen persons from the German Mission, who sailed from Liverpool in August and September 1853. These were the first Latter-day Saints emigrating to Zion from any of those countries.

From the 9th Epistle, April 13, 1853: "Brethren, come home as fast as possible, bringing your poor, your silver, your gold, and everything that will beautify and ennoble Zion, and establish the House of the Lord, not forgetting the seeds of all choice trees, and fruits, and grains, and useful productions of all the earth, and labor saving machinery; keeping yourselves unspotted from the world by the way side."


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 3 Liverpool Jesse Munn C.J. Larsen 333 New Orleans
Jan 22 Liverpool Ben. Adams H.P. Olsen 384 New Orleans
Feb 4 Liverpool Golconda Dorr P. Curtis 464 New Orleans
Feb 22 Liverpool Windermere Daniel Garn 477 New Orleans
Mar 5 Liverpool Old England Robert Campbell 393 New Orleans
Mar 12 Liverpool John M. Wood John O. Angus 45 New Orleans
Apr 4 Liverpool Germanicus Richard Cook 220 New Orleans
Apr 8 Liverpool Marsfield William Taylor 366 New Orleans
Apr 24 Liverpool Clara Wheeler   29 New Orleans
  Miscellaneous   Miscellaneous 34 New Orleans
Nov 27 Liverpool Clara Wheeler Henry E. Phelps 422 New Orleans

Departure Date Captain People Arrival
Kansas City Jun 15 Hans Peters Olsen 550 Oct. 5
Kansas City Jun 17 James Brown 300 Oct. 3
Kansas City Jun 17 Darwin Richardson 300 Sept. 30
Kansas City Jun 16 Job Smith 217 Sept. 23
Kansas City Jul 2 Daniel Garn 447 Oct. 1
Kansas City Jul 14 Robert L. Campbell 400 Oct. 28
Kansas City Jul Ezra T. Benson   Oct. 3
Kansas City Jul William Empey   Oct. 24

In 1854, the Saints living in Europe were counseled to come to the United States under the direction of the Church Presidency in the British Isles. They were advised to stay in such places in the East as would be selected where they could find work until a way could be opened for them to come to Utah. The Saints living in Australia, India, and all countries bordering upon the Pacific, were instructed to gather in California where their future movements would be directed by the Presidency of the Church. According to the Deseret News of April 13, 1854, sixty-five men were called during the spring months to fill missions. The missionaries abroad were making converts and encouraging them to gather to Utah. Although numerous deaths occurred crossing the ocean, and along the trail, those people who reached their Zion strengthened the settlements and helped to build a greater commonwealth.


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Jan 6 Liverpool Rockaway Samuel Glasgow 24 New Orleans
Jan 7 Liverpool James Nesmith P.O. Hansen 440 New Orleans
Jan 9 Liverpool Neva Thomas Jackson 13 New Orleans
Jan 17 Liverpool Charles Buck R. Ballantyne 403 New Orleans
Feb 3 Liverpool Isaac Jeans George C. Riser 16 Philadelphia
Feb 27 Liverpool Siddons John S. Fulmer 430 Philadelphia
Mar 31 Liverpool Juventa William Glover 573 Philadelphia
Apr 17 Liverpool Chimborazo Edw. Stevenson 431 Philadelphia
Apr 22 Liverpool Samuel Curling Israel Barlow 581 New York
Apr 26 Liverpool Wm. Stetson Aaron Smethurst 293 New York
Jul 29 Liverpool Cynosure George Seager 159 New York
Nov 30 Liverpool Emerald Isle Phil C. Merrill 350 New York
Dec 12 Liverpool John J. Boyd Knud Peterson 512 New York
    Miscellaneous   319  

Departure Date Captain People Arrival
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jun 7 John Hindley 206 Sep 3
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jun 13 Jacob F. Secrist 368 Sep 1
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jun 15 Seth M. Blair 89 Sep 11
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jul 1 Richard Ballantyne 402 Sep 25
(P. E. Fund)        
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jul 4 Moses F. Thurston 134 Sep 28
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jul 8 C.A. Harper 305 Oct 29
Mormon Grove, Kan. Jul 31 Isaac Allred 61 Nov 2
Mormon Grove, Kan. Aug 5 Milo Andrus 452 Oct 24

Over six hundred Saints had been helped through the Perpetual Emigrating Fund this year to reach the Valley of the Mountains. It was reported that "the work of the Lord was still progressing in Australia, Sandwich Islands, British Isles, Denmark, Sweden, Northern Italy, Switzerland, France, the British provinces and in many parts of the United States. At Cape Town, South Africa another Branch of the Church had been established."

The Epistle of 1855 stated: "In regard to the foreign emigration another year let the Saints pursue the northern route from Boston, New York or philadelphia and land at Iowa City or the then terminus of the railroad. There let them be provided with handcarts on which to draw their provisions and clothing, then walk and draw them thereby saving the immense expense every year for teams and outfits for crossing the plains. We are sanguine that such a train will out-travel any oxteam train that can be started ... Let the Saints who thereby immigrate the ensuing year understand that they are expected to walk and draw their luggage across the plains, and that they will be assisted by the Fund in no other way."


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
Feb 18 Liverpool Caravan Daniel Tyler 457 New York
Mar 23 Liverpool Enoch Train Jas. Ferguson 534 Boston
Apr 19 Liverpool Samuel Curling Dan Jones 707 Boston
May 4 Liverpool Thornton Jas. G. Willie 764 New York
May 25 Liverpool Horizon Edward Martin 856 Boston
Jun 1 Liverpool Wellfleet John Aubray 146 Boston
Nov 18 Liverpool Columbia J. Williams 223 New York
  Miscellaneous     69  

Departure Date Captain People Arrival
Iowa City, Iowa Jun 9 *Edmund Ellsworth 275 Sep 26
Iowa City, Iowa Jun 11 *Daniel McArthur 222 Sep 26
Iowa City, Iowa Jun 23 *Edward Bunker 300 Oct 2
Iowa City, Iowa Jul 15 *James G. Willie 500 Nov 9
Iowa City, Iowa Aug 25 *Edward Martin 575 Nov 30
Florence, Nebraska Jun 5 P.C. Merrill 200 Aug 13–18
Florence, Nebraska Jun 10 Canute Peterson 320 Sep 20
Florence, Nebraska Jun 15 John Banks 300 Oct 1
Florence, Nebraska Jul 30 Wm. B. Hodgetts 150 Dec 10–15
Florence, Nebraska Aug 1 John A. Hunt 300 Dec 10–15

* Handcart Companies

"This season's operations have demonstrated that the Saints, being filled with faith and the Holy Ghost, can walk across the plains, drawing their provisions and clothing in handcarts. The experiences of this season will, of course, help us improve in future operations; but the plan has been tested and proved entirely successful. The entire trip from Iowa City, a distance of over 1,300 miles to this city, has been accomplished in less traveling days than it has ever been by ox train or wagons and with far greater ease to the travelers. These companies, with the exception of the last two which started too late in the season, have made the trip from the Missouri River in a little over two months ... The accounts of this year's operations not yet being completed, we are at present unable to state the precise amount of expenditure incurred per passenger; but we know that it must be far less than heretofore, and may still be lessened in the future. In the first place our emigrants must start earlier in the season and the necessary arrangements must be made and completed by the time they arrive at the western frontier and no company must be permitted to leave the Missouri River later than the 1st day of July... They must be provided with stronger handcarts and endeavor to arrange things so as to have the burden upon each cart vary as little as possible during the journey ... All emigrants should supply themselves with an extra supply of good shoes ... The very aged and infirm should be brought in wagons in a separate train ... By observing these suggestions it is believed that, with one four or six mule team to each two hundred persons, the emigration will be much facilitated at a still lessened expense...."


Sailed Port Ship Leader People Landed
May 28 Liverpool Geo. Washington J. P. Park 817 Boston
Apr 25 Liverpool Westmoreland Matthias Cowley 544 Philadelphia
May 30 Liverpool Tuscarora Richard Harper 547 Philadelphia
Jul 18 Liverpool Wyoming Charles Harmon 36 Philadelphia
Misc. Liverpool     50  

Departure Date Captain People Arrival
Iowa City, Iowa May 22 *Israel Evans 149 Sep 11
Iowa City, Iowa Jun 15 *C. Christiansen 330 Sep 13
Florence, Nebraska Jun 13 Wm. Walker 86 Sep 4
Iowa City, Iowa Jun Jesse B. Martin 192 Sep 12
Iowa City, Iowa Jun 15 Matthias Cowley 198 Sep 13
Iowa City, Iowa Jun Jacob Hofheins 204 Sep 21
Texas Jul Homer Duncan   Sep 14–20
Iowa City, Iowa Jun Wm. G. Young 55 Sep 26

*Handcart Companies

During the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, being held near the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Abraham O. Smoot and Judson Stoddard arrived from Independence, Missouri without the mail, the postmaster there refusing to forward it, but with the disturbing news that an army was being sent to Utah for the purpose of putting an end to a supposed Mormon rebellion against the government. Their isolation had kept them ignorant, up to this time, of the movement of the government against them.

Over twelve hundred converts in eight organized companies, two of them handcart companies, arrived in the valley during the month of September. They found the Saints much concerned over the possibility of another exodus.

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.