hoisted the national flag, and named the mountain Ensign
Peak. Brigham is credited, in Gentile traditions, with having
ascended this mountain and conversed with some angel who
made important revelations to him, and traced the laying out
of the Temple block. The orthodox are silent on this subject,
which is a pretty certain contradiction of the story. If true, it
would have been told.
On the 28th, the Temple block was selected a plot of forty
acres ; and a city, two miles square, was laid off in lots of eight
rods by twenty, exclusive of streets, and the blocks of eight
rods each, making ten acres to the block. The streets were
laid out towards the cardinal points of the compass, eight rods
wide, with a sidewalk of twenty feet. The houses were di-
rected to be built in the centre of the lot, twenty feet from the
THE PIONEERS RETURN TO MISSOURI.
front line, and shade trees were ordered to be planted in all the
streets. By a foolish economy of land, the Temple block was
trimmed from forty to ten acres.
After the apostles, the pioneers, and members of the Bat-
talion had selected their inheritances in this New Zion, and had
put in their autumn crops, most of them returned to the Mis-
souri river to prepare their families for emigrating in the com-
ing spring. On their return journey the party were exceed-
ingly short of rations, and had to rely almost entirely upon
their rifles for supplies. They endured much suffering. The
Indians harassed them, and on the way stole from them fifty
horses and mules. There was, however, no death among the
brethren, though many of them were sick when they first start-
ed from the Missouri on the exploring expedition. On the last
day of October they arrived at Winter Quarters, after an ab-
sence of eight months, and were received with great joy.
CHANGES IN THE CHURCH. Brigham Toung assumes Joseph's Authority
and Place The Emigration from Europe re-opened Migration of the Saints to
the New Zion Brigham invites Presidents, Emperors, Kings, Princes, Nobles,
etc., to come to the Help of " the Lord "The Pioneers en route.
THE grand importance and success of the mission of the
pioneers to the Kocky Mountains was the beginning of a new
era in Mormonism.
Up to this time Israel had been " in bondage among the
" Gentiles." The laws that govern the citizens of the United
States had restrained the Saints from living up to the higher
laws of " the kingdom." But from this time they were to
have a national existence, and in nearly every public document
and in every sermon in the Tabernacle they were henceforth
to be spoken of as " this people."
From the death of Joseph and the dis-fellowshipping of Rig-
don, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had had the honour
of leading the Saints, and Brigham was its senior member and
President. In his opinion, however, the time had now arrived
for a change.
At Winter Quarters there was a log-cabin, about fifty feet
long, situated near the centre of the settlement. The roof and
slanting sides and ends of the structure were covered with turf
about two feet thick. It had several small windows in the roof
and a door near one end. Into it none could look ; from it
nothing could be heard. This was u the Council-House." It
was here that " the Lord " spoke unto his servants.
It is a general idea with the unsophisticated that when
" the Lord " reveals his will concerning the Church, the peo-
ple listen, comprehend, and obey. It had been understood in
BRIGHAM SEEKS THE UPPER SEAT. 263
this manner with Joseph Smith ; but Brigham Young was as
yet unused to the style of the heavenly world, and was ex-
tremely cautious, preparing to grope his way to the goal of
his desires rather than risk the hasty announcement of " the
" Lord's " programme.
As he was leading back the pioneers from Salt Lake to the
Missouri river, he divulged for the first time his idea of the de-
sirability of reorganizing the Church " as it was in the days of
" Joseph," with a President and two counsellors, forming a
quorum, called The First Presidency. The apostle Wilford
Woodruff was taken into his confidence, and to him Brigham's
purpose was first communicated as a suggestion. Brother
"Woodruff did not see it very clearly, for the Church and the
world had been assured that the twelve apostles were to lead
the Saints, and that the place of Joseph over the Church was
lot to be filled. Brother "Woodruff, however, is a man of great
tith, humble and tractable in the hands of " the Lord," and be-
ing more a follower than a leader, he soon saw the point very
clearly. Brigham was successful ; he had gained an apostle
upon whom he could count.
The apostle Kimball, who stood next to Brigham in author-
ity, and Willard Richards, the best scholar and secretary of the
Twelve, were, if the proposed change were effected, to be ele-
vated to the First Presidency as counsellors. These, with Wood-
ruff and Brigham, constituted four of the Twelve already dis-
posed of. Elder E. T. Benson had been ordained an apostle
while crossing the plains going West ; he could, therefore, of-
fer no opposition to the change, had he even been capable of
doing so. Amasa Lyman and Geo. A. Smith were men of ex-
cellent dispositions, and themselves free from all guile in the
way of ambition they were sure to sustain u the Lord." Ly-
man Wight had not followed Brigham westward, and so there
was no occasion to speak of him. There remained, therefore,
but four men in the Quorum of the Twelve Orson Hyde, Par-
ley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, and John Taylor to be dealt with.
Each of these had retained some personal identity, and believed
in the first preachings and " whisperings of the spirit " after
the death of Joseph, which promised that the Twelve Apostles
should lead the Church.
264 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
By the assassination of the two Smiths, Brigham Young,
being the eldest of the apostles and President of the Quorum,
became, de facto, the leader, though the Twelve were nomin-
ally the guiding " head." The elevation of Brigham and his
two counsellors opened the way for Hyde, and made him
President of the apostles, and in case of Brigham's death he
would have become the head of the Church. " The finger of
" the Lord " was clear to brother Hyde, and he heard " the
" voice of the Lord " calling upon his servant Brigham to step
forward and assume that position. Of course he did ; but
the Pratts and Taylor were not so favoured.
On the 5th of December, 1847, in that long mud-roofed
Council House which was impervious to sound from without,
and from within which .not the loudest wrangle could be heard
by the passer-by, sat Brigham and his apostles debating on the
proposed change. Elder Taylor offered a manly opposition,
while Orson Pratt sternly clung to the order of the Church, its
revelations, preaching, and promises ; and Parley was eloquent
for the headship of the Church remaining with the Twelve.
But wordy opposition availed nothing, and an appeal to the
people would have divided the Church. They fully realized
that no opposition to Brigham Young was possible within the
Church, and they dared not step without to accomplish it.
They had silently to submit, but Brigham has never forgiven
The coming change was soon bruited among the people,
and by them heard at first with astonishment. A general con-
ference of all the Saints was convened at "Winter Quarters, and
there the election of Brigham took place. Soon after that
council a four days' meeting was held in the Log Tabernacle
near Kaiiesville, and there the proposed change was the sub-
ject of discourse. Faithful brethren were invited to speak on
the subject, and one by one gave in their adhesion to the re-
organization. When the moment for voting had arrived, every
man was to be seen and to be understood. As soon as the
apostles raised their hands affirmatively, the battle was over.
Their example was followed, and, in their order, the High Coun-
cil, the high priests, seventies, elders, priests, teachers, and
deacons, and finally the vast congregation of women, raised
BRIGHAM ELECTED PRESIDENT. 265
their hands to heaven in token that they would sustain
BrigLam Young. Of this election he wrote to the president
of the British Church : " I feel glory, hallelujah ! Nothing
" more has been done to-day than what I knew would be done
" when Joseph died." *
Thus Brigham became the " President of the Church of
" Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the whole
" world." Kimball and Richards became his counsellors, and
Hyde was made president of the apostles.
This move of Brigham's has been charged against him as
an act of usurpation ; but that amounts to very little. The
Mormon people have accepted the position of " unchallenged
" obedience," and it would have been incompatible with their
own profession of faith to question any proposition emanating
from the head of the Church. Brigham's action, then, with
Brigham's former teaching, is all explicable by the doctrine of
There is a tinge of Cromwell and Napoleon about Brigham
that is really charming to the very humble Mormons. Should
he hereafter at any time propose to organize the United States
into a kingdom, and crown himself its monarch, the Saints
would be as sure to vote for him unanimously. There is no
alternative. To doubt his proposition is to doubt heaven, and
to leave themselves without a head to lead them.
With the Church reorganized and a new Zion to be built
up, the elders were again ready for missionary work.
The Mormon emigration from Europe and all other distant
countries, that had closed with the exodus from Nauvoo, was
again opened. A general epistle, issued on the 23rd of Decem-
ber, announced the route from Liverpool to be via JSTew Orleans,
St. Louis, and up the Missouri to Council Bluffs, and the emi-
grants were to bring with them all kinds of choice seeds of
grain, vegetables, fruits, trees, vines the best stock of beasts,
birds, and fowl ; the best tools and machinery, together with
every interesting book, map, chart, and scientific work which
they could obtain. They were to bring their treasures of pre-
cious metals and those of general utility, the curiosities of art
and nature, " everything in their possession or within their
* Millennial Star, Vol. X., p. 115.
266 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
"reach, to build in strength and stability, to beautify, adorn,
" and embellish, to delight and cast a fragrance over the house
" of the Lord."
With a nourish of national feeling, Brigham, following the
time-honoured custom of the British monarch, announced in
that general epistle that the Mormons were " at peace with all
" nations, kingdoms, powers, governments, and authorities,"
save "the kingdom and power of darkness;" and invited,
"> presidents, emperors, kings, princes, nobles, governors, rulers,
"and judges," and the rest of mankind, " to come and help us
" to build a house to the name of the God of Jacob."
At this period Brigham appears to have been very intent
upon building the Temple. When he was 419 miles \vest of
Winter Quarters, July 13, 1848, he wrote to Orson Spencer,
the President of the Church in Britain : " While you tarry
" in England I wish you would exert yourself to gather up as
" much tithing as you possibly can, and bring it with you, in
" order to prepare for glass, nails, paints, and such other arti-
" cles as will be needed to bring from the States to assist in
" building up the Temple of the Lord in the valley of the Great
" Salt Lake." Twenty-four years have since passed away, and
the Temple is but a few feet above the ground, while it is stated
that millions have been collected by tithing and contribution
for its erection !
The " day of deliverance has surely come," and the camps
of Israel on the banks of Missouri were alive in the spring of
1848 making preparations for departure. All who could,
wanted to go.
The same order of travel that " the Lord " had revealed
through his servant Brigham for the guidance of the pioneers
was again observed, and captains of tens, fifties, and hundreds
were chosen. By the beginning of June the pilgrims were en
route. The following inventory of the first five companies is
interesting. Altogether there were 623 wagons, 1,891 souls,
131 horses, 44 mules, 2,012 oxen, 983 cows, 334 loose cattle, 654
sheep, 237 pigs, 904 chickens, 54 cats, 134 dogs, 3 goats, 10
geese, 11 doves, 1 squirrel, and 5 ducks.
Henceforth the Mormon emigration across the plains was
" the Lord " gathering Israel home to the " chambers of the
GATHERING ISRAEL HOME. 267
"mountains " preparatory to the great day of wrath that was
to come upon the Gentile world.
Following the pioneers to Great Salt Lake Yalley, about
four thousand of the Mormons arrived in September and Octo-
ber, taking with them a large amount of grain and agricultural
implements, as well as the remnant of their property from ISTau-
voo, with which to commence a new home. The first winter
was fortunately mild, and the emigrants suffered little, while
the stock rambled about enjoying the spontaneous luxuries of
a virgin soil.
The great body of the Saints from the Missouri river fol-
lowed Brigham and his family in the summer of 1818, and the
new settlement was greatly strengthened in numbers and with
every description of labour necessary to its development,
THE CIVIL HISTORY OF UTAH. The "State of Deseret" created The
Crickets destroy the Crops A Miracle performed Great Privations of the
Mormons Territorial Government extended over Utah Trouble with the
THE troubles of the Saints in Jackson county, Missouri if
Joseph's revelations are accepted as divine communications
conveyed to " the Lord " and his Saints valuable experience
inhuman affairs. The last revelation affecting that "Zion"
illustrated clearly two simple propositions : First, that if the
Saints purchased all the land in Jackson county, there would
be no land left for the Gentiles to purchase. Secondly, that as
the Gentiles had always troubled the Mormons while they were
living among them, if there were no Gentiles among these the
Saints would not be troubled. This logic was not lost upon
Brigham, and henceforth the policy of the Church was to oc-
cupy all the available lands in the county just as fast as they
could do so.
What is now Davis and "Weber counties, directly north of
Salt Lake City, was taken possession of by the Mormons in
the spring of 1848. Miles Goodyier, an Indian trader, at that
time occupied the land on which is now built the city of Og-
den, where the Union and Pacific Eailroads form their junc-
tion ; and from this trader, Captain James Brown, of the Mor-
mon Battalion, purchased his shanties and a Mexican grant of
land, and got him out of the way of " the kingdom." Tooele
county, about forty miles to the west of Salt Lake City, and
Utah county, about the same distance to the south, were taken
possession of in the spring of 1849.
Up to this time there was no United States civil govern-
ment in the country.
FOUNDING THE "STATE OF DESERET."
When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt
Lake, in July, 1847, the Territory belonged to Mexico ; but by
the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, in March, 1848, it was
passed over to the United States with New Mexico and the
whole of Upper California. This was unforeseen and unde-
sirable to the Mormon leaders, for they could have dictated
terms to Mexico and have worked out better the theocratic
problem with the relics of the Montezumas, than with the
Anglo-Saxon descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers.
The United States government was slow in extending its
political jurisdiction over the newly-acquired domain, and this
furnished the apostles and prophets an opportunity of creating
" a provisional independent government" for themselves.
A convention of citizens was held in Great Salt Lake City
on the 5th of March, 1849, at which (on the 18th) the follow-
ing constitution was adopted :
" WE, THE PEOPLE, grateful to the SUPBEME BEING for tjie blessings
hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation
of those blessings, Do ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH A FREE AND INDEPENDENT
GOVERNMENT by the name of the STATE OF DESERET, including all the
territory of the United States within the following boundaries, to wit :
commencing at the 33 of north latitude, where it crosses the 108 of longi-
tude, west of Greenwich ; thence running south and west to the boundary
of Mexico ; thence west to and down the main channel of the Gila river
(or the northern line of Mexico), and on the northern boundary of Lower
California to the Pacific Ocean ; thence along the coast northwesterly to
the 118 30' of west longitude; thence north to where said line intersects
the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the dividing range
of mountains that separates the waters flowing into the Columbia river
from the waters running into the great Basin on the south, to the summit
of the Wind River chain of mountains ; thence southeast and south by
the dividing range of mountains that separates the waters flowing into the
Gulf of Mexico from the waters flowing into the Gulf of California, to the
place of beginning as set forth in a map drawn by Charles Preuss and pub-
lished by order of the Senate of the United States in 1848."
A glance at the map of North America will furnish some
idea of the modest aspirations of the convention. Within the
boundaries of that " State of Deseret " there was room enough
to hold half of the monarchies of Europe.
Brigham Young was elected Governor of the new State,
and, with the other officers elected, swore fidelity to the Con-
270 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
stitution of the United States. The legislative Assembly met
in July, elected Almon "W. Babbitt delegate to Congress, and
sent him immediately to Washington with the constitution and
a memorial praying for the admission of " Deseret " into the
Though rejoicing in their deliverance from Gentile mobs,
and happy in the prospect of future greatness, the Saints were
not yet free from the cares and anxieties of life. Their situ-
ation in the " fat valleys of Ephraim " was for some years pre-
carious. Their first crops were abundant and timely, but those
of the following year caused them great' anxiety. At one time
myriads of crickets attacked their fields of grain, till it seemed
that all would be utterly destroyed; but "the Lord" sent
flocks of gulls from the islands of the lake to devour the de-
stroyers. The gulls came in the early dawn of morning and
feasted upon the crickets all day. When full, they disgorged
them and began again their repast, and repeated their expe-
rience in eating till night closed upon their labours. The Mor-
mons very naturally claim that the coming of the gulls was a
great miracle in their behalf. Of course the sceptical might
have something to say about who sent the crickets ; but grati-
tude for any kind providence is better encouraged than con-
The crops that escaped the ravages of the crickets exhibited
in their abundance that the virgin soil of the valleys was very
rich. Oats were reported to do better than in the States ;f
wheat yielded commonly sixty bushels to the acre ; and other
grains and Vegetables were equally well reported in the first
" One of the elders states that he had sown eleven pounds of California
wheat, on the 14th of April, and from that reaped twenty-two bushels in
the latter part of July. From half a bushel of common English wheat,
on an acre and a half of land, he reaped over twenty bushels, and one
* An enthusiastic Mormon writer, seeking to place divine interference beyond all
doubt, asserted that " there were no gulls in the country before the Mormons went
there I" This statement is about as facetious as that of one of the apostles who re-
ported that no harm had befallen the pioneers, " except in two or three instances
horses were shot accidentally, or killed by not hearkening to counsel! "
f P. P. Pratt's letter [August 7, 1848] toBrighain Young, Millennia], Star, VoL
X., p. 370.
GREAT FERTILITY OF THE LAND. 271
grain of seven-eared wheat produced seventy-two ears. Barley that was
sowed ripened and was reaped and carried off, the land irrigated and
produced from the roots a fresh crop four times the quantity of the first
crop. Oats that were sown produced a good crop, were cut down and
cleared, the roots again sprang up, and produced another beautiful crop.
Peas, first plant, a good crop ripened, gathered, then planted the same
peas, yielded another crop and again a third crop is now growing. Beet-
seed planted this spring produced beets as thick as my leg, which went to
seed and yielded a great quantity. Cabbage seed planted this spring pro-
duced seed again."
To this flattering story of the productiveness of the country,
elder Thomas Bullock, Brigham's clerk, adds : " Above all they
" report that Mother Sessions [une accoucheuse] has had a har-
" vest of 248 little cherubs since living in the valley. Many
" cases of twins. In a row of seven houses joining each other,
u eight births in one week." His soul bounding with grati-
tude, " brother Thomas " exclaims :
" Oh, ye hungry souls, rejoice and shout for joy I Praise the Lord,
and give thanks ! Oh, ye barren ; ye who have been bereft of your chil-
dren, praise the Lord. The place is found where you can rear your tender
offspring like olive branches round your tables, where they can have plenty
to be fed and clothed withal ; where your souls can be lifted up unto the
Lord God of Hosts, for his mercies endure for ever. The place is found
where the Saints can rear another temple to the Great Jehovah ; hear his
word, and from whence his laws may go forth to the ends of the earth.
Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb for ever. Amen."
However much the foreign Saints may already have rejoiced
in the Latter-day faith, such a letter was worth a hundred ser-
mons and epistles upon emigration. The Author well remem-
bers how it caught the toiling, struggling, poor Saints of Brit-
ain, and the delicate comfort extended to the spinsters was not
unappreciated. Many a downcast mourning soul drank con-
solation and sang with joy " To the "West, to the West, to the
"land of the free!"
The large increase of emigrants in 1848, together with the
destruction of the crops by the grasshoppers, rendered provis-
ions very scarce in the spring of 1849. The inventory of pro-
visions showed that there was only three-quarters of a pound
of breadstuff's per day for each person up to the 5th of July.
The people were put upon rations, and much suffering ensued.
272 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
Many of them went out with the Indians and dug small native
roots, and ate them with anything they could get. It is re-
lated that some, in their destitution, even took the hides of
animals with which they had covered the roofs of their houses,
and cut them up and cooked them for their use.
" The desert to which they had come was as cheerless as their past his-
tory. From cruel foes they had fled to as unfeeling a wilderness. Re-
newed difficulties demanded a renewed effort from Brigham. Everything
depended on him. Starvation and nakedness stared in the gloomy faces
of the desponding people. Murmurs and complaints were uttered. He
quelled everything; scolded, pleaded, threatened, prophesied, and sub-
dued them. With a restless but resistless energy he set them to work, and
worked himself as their example. He directed their labours, controlled
their domestic affairs, preached at them, to them, for them. He told fool-
ish anecdotes to make them laugh, encouraged their dancing to make
them merry, got up theatrical performances to distract their minds, and
made them work hard, certain of rendering them contented by-and-by.
Feared with a stronger fear, venerated with a more rational veneration,
but not loved with the same clinging tenderness that the people still felt
for Joseph Smith, Brigham swayed them at his will. They learned to
dread his iron hand, and were daunted by his iron heart." *
The harvest of 1849 was fortunately abundant, and all was
In August of that year Captain Howard Stansbury, of the
United States army topographical engineers, with his assist-
ants, arrived in the valley for the purpose of making a govern-
Throughout the winter of 1849-50 the Indians south of
Salt Lake became very troublesome, stealing cattle, and finally