Mormons reach the Great Salt Lake, Utah

The advance party reached their final destination on July 24th, 1847.

Brigham Young

‘A broad and barren plain hemmed in by mountains ... the paradise of the lizard, the cricket and the rattlesnake' was one description of the sight that met the advance party of 'latter day saints' arriving in the American far West in July 1847 after a six-month trek from the Missouri River. Despite this unpromising vista, the site was truly to prove a Promised Land for one of America's most original and dynamic new 'religious groupings, one that was to found a city there and set its distinctive stamp on what was to become the state of Utah.

The decision by the Mormon leader Brigham Young to take 15,000 of his followers to a new home close to the Oregon trail that had become the established route for settlers heading West, came after more than a decade of persecution and controversy that the movement had faced since its foundation in 1830 by the New York state farm hand, Joseph Smith.

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