Believe it or not the Saints were not the first white pioneers to reach the valley. Everyone understands that mountain men were already familiar with the valley, but which group of pioneers were the first white settlers to see and travel through the Salt Lake Valley?
A) The Donner Party on route to California
B) The Mormon Battalion
C) The Bidwell-Bartleson Party on route to California
D) Lilburn Boggs and Co. on route to California
1) A Uncle Sam’s boarding house
In her journal of March 25th, 1889, Nancy Abigail Clement Williams writes of visiting some of the brethren serving jail sentences for polygamy. She refers to the prison in an interesting manner.
At 11 we were escorted into Uncle Sam’s boarding house.
Kenneth W. Godfrey, Audrey M. Godfrey, and Jill Mulvay Derr, Women’s Voices: An Untold History of The Latter-day Saints 1830-1900 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1982), 362.
2) C Some remarkable influence had produced a remarkable result
Charles Dickens said the following after observing a shipload of Mormons at Liverpool getting ready for the voyage to Zion:
The Mormon ship is a family under strong and accepted discipline with every provision for comfort, decorum, and internally peace. I went on board their ship to bear testimony against them if they deserved it, as I fully believed they would; to my great astonishment, they did not deserve it. . . . Some remarkable influence had produced a remarkable result with better-known influences have often missed.
Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveler, 1861, 445-446.
3) A He had more learning than sense
Joseph Smith once said of William E. McLellin (one of the original Quorum of the Twelve, but also an apostate) that he was a man “having more learning than sense.”
James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1992), 78.
4) D That he could eat a rusty nail and file
This is in reference to the hunger that the handcart companies faced:
“You felt as if you could almost eat a rusty nail or gnaw a file.”- John Jacques
Heidi Swinton and Lee Groberg, SweetWater Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Story (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications Inc., 2006), 69.
5) B Fill it up with General Authorities and women
Referring to filling the government’s request for 500 men in the Mormon Battalion, Brigham Young said that a battalion must be raised if it took the authorities and the women to fill it up.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Chronicles of Courage (Salt Lake City: Utah Printing Company, 1991), 2:122.