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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1865: Emigration and Other Events

Thirteen hundred immigrants crossed the ocean on their way to Zion, but because the Church had discontinued its policy of sending teams to Wyoming, Nebraska, to bring them on to Utah, only 900 made the full journey; the others remaining in the midwest, or at whatever point their meager funds would carry them, there to stay until they could earn enough to continue the trip. Three ships brought the organized companies from Liverpool and Hamburg to New York. Some Saints, most of them Scandinavians, came in other ships. In that year three organized companies crossed the plains and mountains from Wyoming, Nebraska, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Eighty-three persons came in miscellaneous companies.

In retrospect, each year included in the pioneer period of Mormon colonization was an important year because each saw the Saints securing a firmer hold on the vast expanse of uncultivated land to which they had come. The year of 1865 was no exception. New communities arose, possibly the most important and one of the most difficult to settle being the Muddy Mission, then in Arizona Territory, now in Nevada.

Walker War
A long and desperate war commenced between the settlers of Sanpete and Sevier valleys and the Indians under Chief Black Hawk. It grew to such proportions that the whole territory was affected, with resultant disaster to both settlers and Indians. But during the year, President Young and other leaders of the Church visited many of the northern and southern settlements, heartening the colonizers and instilling in them, with their own faith and determination, the will and the confidence to carry on in their arduous work.

The weather was unusually cold throughout the early months of 1865, with much snow in the mountains which led to some flooding in the city when spring came. The Deseret News of Wednesday, June 7th, reported:

CITY CREEK. Having the third time, since "47, been unusually high, City Creek is now falling and its waters running clear. Bishop Sheets so controlled the rapid and turbid current, at a comparatively moderate expense, that but little damage has been done. Two small adobe houses were washed down, a few others were somewhat injured, and small portions of North Temple Street were removed farther west than wanted; while, as an offset, some lowland lots have been enriched by a valuable deposit, and are now being planted.

When it was concluded best to close the natural channels of City Creek below the mouth of the canyon, and cause the surplus water to flow directly west in the center of North Temple Street, we had experienced but one period of high water, and not then its effects in a newly dug ditch with a rapid descent. Its first action at high water in its new, raw channel, with its burden of long accumulated drift, washed-away dams, mud, sand, gravel, cobblestones and boulders, was considerably disfiguring to the street in question, and various were the feelings felt and expressed by the dwellers thereon.

ST. GEORGE. The weather is very cold for this region. On the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th inst., nearly all the fruit was destroyed, an occurrence never known in this place before; and I think the freeze was universal throughout the adjoining settlements. This is a very heavy loss to several, as there were some large peach orchards here. The nights continue cold and frosty, but not so severe.

This is by far the most backward spring that has been known in this region, and without a very sudden change in the elements, the prospects for cotton are rather poor, as that is a plant that requires warm weather day and night for it to grow to profit. The fall, winter and spring grain looks very well, and prospects are favorable for good grain crops.

Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
A temporary bridging of the social chasm dividing the citizens of Utah and the soldiers of Fort Douglas took place in the spring of 1865, when both sides joined with one accord in celebrating the second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, and the numerous victories won for the Union in the war then drawing to a close.

General Connor, it is said, was greatly moved at sight of the tradesmen and working people who paraded the streets and cheered to the echo the patriotic sentiments uttered by the speakers. Says Mr. Stenhouse, who was present on the occasion: "He (Connor) wanted differences to be forgotten, and with gentlemanly frankness approached the author with extended hand, and expressed the joy he felt in witnessing the loyalty of the masses of the people."

The Vedette said, in the course of an extended description of the proceedings; "This was decidedly a notable occasion in Utah. The demonstrations were so entirely different from anything which has come within the range of our experience here, that it deserves special notice at our hands as an important event in the history of this Territory.

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.