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Mormons begin exodus to Utah Feb 10, 1846


Valin

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History.com

 

Their leader assassinated and their homes under attack, the Mormons of Nauvoo, Illinois, begin a long westward migration that eventually brings them to the valley of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

 

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been persecuted for their beliefs ever since Joseph Smith founded the church in New York in 1830. Smith's claim to be a modern-day prophet of God and his acceptance of polygamy proved controversial wherever the Mormons attempted to settle. In 1839, Smith hoped his new spiritual colony of Nauvoo in Missouri would provide a permanent safe haven for the Saints, but anti-Mormon prejudice there proved virulent. Angry mobs murdered Smith and his brother in June 1844 and began burning homes and threatening the citizens of Nauvoo.

 

Convinced that the Mormons would never find peace in the United States, Smith's successor, Brigham Young, made a bold decision: the Mormons would move to the still wild territories of the Mexican-controlled Southwest. Young had little knowledge of the geography and environment of the West and no particular destination in mind, but trusting in God, he began to prepare the people of Nauvoo for a mass exodus.

 

On this day in 1846, Young abandoned Nauvoo and began leading 1,600 Mormons west across the frozen Mississippi in subzero temperatures to a temporary refuge at Sugar Grove, Iowa......(Snip)

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  • 10 years later...
Draggingtree

1839 · From Swamp to Beautiful Place

By 1829 Venus, Illinois had grown sufficiently and in 1832 was one of the contenders for the new county seat. However, the honor was awarded to a nearby city, Carthage. In 1834 the name Venus was changed to Commerce because the settlers felt that the new name better suited their plans. But during late 1839, arriving members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought the small town of Commerce and in April 1840 it was renamed Nauvoo by Joseph Smith Jr., who led the Latter-Day Saints to Nauvoo to escape persecution in Missouri. The name Nauvoo is derived from the traditional Hebrew language. It is notable that by 1844 Nauvoo's population had swollen to around 12,000 residents, rivaling the size of Chicago at the time. After the Latter-Day Saints left the population settled down toward 2,000 people.

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