down and the tent was soon prostrate. We then fled to the wagons. I got the
children in when they cried out, "There is a tree coming down!" The men ran
and by their united efforts gave it a different direction or it must have
crushed the carriage and large wagon both. The storm continued with great
violence. Br. Rich cut down a tree that was split and ready to fall on his
tent. All had to heave it in the rain. Several very large trees fell near Br.
Young's tent; one fell on a cow, one on a mule, one on a donkey, yet none of
them were killed . . . . Some of the men have worked without food for two
On returning from Nauvoo, Taylor wrote to Joseph Cain:
Camp of Israel, Mount Pisgah, Middle Fork of Grant River, May 30, 1846.
Dear Brother Cain,
I embrace this opportunity of sending you an account of our situation and
circumstances, thinking you would be pleased to hear from us. We started from
Sugar Creek March 2nd, and continued traveling slowly, in consequence of bad
roads and inclement weather, until April 25th, when we arrived at the West
Fork of the Grand River, 160 miles from Nauvoo, and about fifteen miles from
the state of Missouri. At this place we made an encampment, and commenced
ploughing and making rails and some log houses for the accommodation of the
brethren who should come after us . . . .
We left men to take care of the farm while we went on to this place to
establish another farm on the same principle as we had the last. This place is
situated about forty miles north of the last farm, and is beautifully
situated, abundance of wood and water being convenient. We calculate to start
from here in a few days to Council Bluffs, and from there to the mountains. .
I have been to Nauvoo on business, since you left; the place has altered
very much, civilization is making rapid strides, and the people are very much
improved since we left: they have built a tenpin alley opposite the temple in
Mulholland Street; groggeries are plentiful; at night you can hear drunkards
yelling and whooping through the streets, a thing formerly unknown.
The brethren are trying to sell as fast as they can with some success,
though at very low prices. (4) The Saints are moving very rapidly away. On my
journey back from Nauvoo I passed, I should think, eight hundred teams . . .
together with cattle and sheep in abundance. In the midst of their
difficulties the Saints are rejoicing, and endeavoring to do all they can for
the forwarding of the work.
 Taylor paid a last visit to the temple before leaving it forever.
The basement story of the temple is finished together with the ground
floor, and looks elegant. (5) My feelings were very peculiar while standing in
the font, which is of stone, (6) and passing through the rooms, when I thought
how the Saints had labored and strove to complete this building, and then be
forced to leave it, together with their comfortable homes, in the hands of
their enemies. (7)
Enroute, Taylor wrote a song of the exodus, "The Upper California."
The upper California
Oh, that's the land for me!
It lies between the mountains
And great Pacific sea.
The Saints can be supported there,
And taste the sweets of Liberty.
In Upper California
Oh, that's the land for me!
We'll reign, we'll rule and triumph
And God shall be our King;
The plains, the hills and valleys
Shall with hosannahs ring!
Our tow'rs and temples there shall rise
Along the great Pacific sea,
In Upper California,
Oh, that's the land for me!
At Winter Quarters, Leonora described the pleasures of rest and
recreation after the rigors of the trip. A painfully twisted knee was now
well; Dutchman and the snakebitten horse had recovered. Storms had
ceased. Taylor took her and the children  upriver for wild
strawberries, and they gathered bushels. She was delighted to visit the
Indian Village, "to see the Indians, Squaws and Papooses all dressed up
so smart, painted, feathers, beads, blankets and everything fantastical
they could put on."
June 20th. Mr. T. drove Mary Ann and the girls
and I to the concert at the Trader's Village. Numbers of the Brethren went;
the band went with them; about 70 persons. Had quite a dance. A number of
halfbreed squaws, dressed very well indeed. We went to the store and got some
things we needed, had some songs from Br. Kay, and a deal of music; upon the
whole spent a very pleasant day. We all rode back with the band playing. It
did me good to look upon houses and a good wide river once more, after living
in a tent and wagon going on five months, through rain, frost and snow.
The following month, July 29th, Leonora noted tersely, "Heard of
Father's mission to England." Among those called were two other members
of the twelve, Orson Hyde and Parley Pratt. (8)
Upon arriving in England, Taylor and Hyde reported:
Liverpool, October 22, 1846.
We sailed from New York on the 8th day of Sept. on board the packet ship
"Patrick Henry" for this port . . . . We had a tremendous rough passage . . .
. A hurricane raged in all its fury for about 12 hours, our bulkheads on the
main and quarter decks even dented in, every rag of canvas carried away,
topgallant mast . . . ship nearly unmanageable in the troughs of the
seaburied frequently in a world of water. My thoughts of family, home, and
of God . . . . But thanks be to heaven, the  winds abated and the storm
hushed in silence, and we arrived on the morning of the 3rd inst.
Writing in the Millennial Star, Taylor gave a new explanation of the
move west that must have been surprising to the English Saints, who for
seven years had been exhorted to gather for the building of the Kingdom
BrethrenYou have no doubt been informed of our removal from the city of
Nauvoo, and of the causes for that removal. . . . The ostensible cause was
that of persecution: the martyrdom of our prophets, the burning of our houses,
the kidnapping of our brethren, and the daily fear that many of the Saints
experienced from the hand of the assassin . . . were among the leading causes
of our speedy removal. I say speedy removal, because the project was not new
to us . . . .
Long ago, years before the Temple was completed, and long before the
martyrdom of our prophet and patriarch, many living witnesses can testify that
we proposed moving to California, leaving the land of our oppression,
preaching the gospel to the Lamanites, building up other temples to the living
God, and establishing ourselves in the far distant west . . . .
Many a time have I listened to the voice of our beloved prophet, while in
council, dwell on this subject with delight; his eyes sparkling with
animation, and his soul fired with the inspiration of the spirit of the living
God. It was a theme which caused the bosoms of all who were privileged to
listen, to thrill with delight . . . .
The cruel and perfidious persecution that we endured tended to hasten our
departure, but did not dictate it .... I have no doubt but that our
persecution will prove a blessing to many, although bitter and cruel, for
Nauvoo was a lovely place . . . . It is no small sacrifice to leave all and
 go into the distant wilds, to depart from our homes, with all our
pleasing associations, to dwell in tents, and mingle with the savages of the
West. Many might be tempted with the leeks and onions of Egypt, and prefer
staying in their quiet homes to suffering affliction with the people of God.
Thus were our foes the ignorant instruments of rolling forth the purposes of
God . . . .
Again, in all gatherings the chaff and tares are collected with the
wheat, and it becomes necessary that the fan should be used to separate the
chaff, and the sieve to remove the tares from the wheat. In Ohio, in Missouri,
and in Illinois . . . such siftings have generally removed the chaff and tares
. . . while the Kingdom of God rolls steadily on, and triumphs amidst
opposition in the wisdom, strength, and power of God.
Telling of preparations for the exodus, he said that "Nauvoo was
converted into one great wagon shop." Even the basement of the temple
became a wagon factory.
The Twelve, the high council, and about four hundred families left the
city of Nauvoo in the month of February last, and launched forth in an
American winter, braving the frost, the snow, and the chilling winds, and
commenced their journey to the far distant West . . . . were very much
exposed, living in tents and wagons; but as there is an abundance of timber in
that country, we made large fires in the woods, and thus were enabled to
preserve ourselves from the cold. As there was no grass, we were necessitated
to purchase corn and hay to feed our horses and cattle; . . . this, however,
was mostly obtained for labour . . . .
We pursued our course slowly onward . . . Our cattle and horses suffered
very severely from exposure, and we ourselves; . . . but we sustained no
injury therefrom; our health and our lives were preservedwe outlived the
trying scenewe felt contented and happythe songs of  Zion resounded
from wagon to wagon, from tent to tent; the sounds reverberated through the
woods, and its echo was returned from the distant hills; peace, harmony and
contentment reigned in the habitations of the Saints.
In the opening of spring . . . the Saints felt fit to rejoice that they
had outlived the chilling storms of an inhospitable winter . . . .
The Saints from Nauvoo continued daily to swell our ranks . . . until
the time leaving to come to England . . . there
were in the camp and on the way from Nauvoo (as near as we could estimate)
about fifteen thousand Saints, three thousand wagons, and thirty thousand head
of cattle . . . .
The land is rich and fertile. There are large prairies skirted here and
there with timber on the banks of the streams . . . . are
covered everywhere with a rich, luxuriant grass, which cattle and horses are
very fond of . . . . It is generally about eighteen inches high in the
highlands, and on the lowlands, or "flats", near rivers, from six to ten feet
. . . . When we left, our cattle and horses were fat and in good condition.
The camp of Israel is regularly organized into companies, consisting of
fifty or sixty wagons each; over the companies there are captains of fifties
and captains of tens . . . . We have our pioneers go before the camp, to make
bridges or roads where required; we also have small boats with us, and when we
have to ferry large streams, we build large boats, so that everything moves on
harmoniously and with order and regularity.
When we left, the camp . . . had taken up winter quarters . . . . It was
necessary to cut hay and prepare for the winter, also build temporary houses .
. . .
We have with us . . . provisions to last from one to three years, plenty
of cows, which furnish us . . .  milk and butter. It is true that in our
sojourning we do not possess all the luxuries and delicacies . . . but we have
an abundance of the staple commodities such as flour, meal, beef, mutton,
pork, milk, butter, and in some instances cheese, sugar, coffee, tea, etc,
etc. We feel contented and happy in the wilderness. The God of Israel is with
usunion and peace prevail; and as we journey as did Abraham of old, with our
flocks and herds to a distant land, we feel that, like him, we are doing the
will of our Heavenly Father
, and relying upon His word and promise; and having
His blessings . . . .
A long letter from Leonora told of pleasures and problems at Winter
Quarters. She went with "the girls" and Sister Woodworth on a twoday
outing to gather wild grapes, returning with a barrel of them and a bag
of hops. She stopped enroute at the Indian Village, and got onions,
potatoes and apples. There was mail from England, including a box of
raisins. Happily Leonora bought cakes and beer for the girls.
But the party didn't include two of the wives, Jane and Ann
Ballantyne. Leonora was reserved with them, and definitely cool to Ann,
Taylor's latest wife. There was no love lost on either side.
Taylor continued his report:
When we arrive in California, according to the provisions of the Mexican
government, each family will be entitled to a large tract of land, amounting
to several hundred acres; but as the Mexican and American nations are now at
war, should California fall into the hands of the American nation, there has
been a bill before Congress in relation to Oregon, which will undoubtedly
pass, appropriating six hundred and forty acres of land to every male settler;
should California fall into the hands of the  American nation, this
privilege will unquestionably extend to that land, for the encouragement of
emigration; so that whether it is in the hands of the Americans or Mexicans,
still we shall obtain a vast territory of country for nothing . . . . Thus it
will easily be seen that we are in a better condition than when we were at
Nauvoo. Labour, with us, is capital, and an industrious, enterprising
population is the bone and sinew of wealth. It was labour, the enterprise, and
the settlement of the Saints that made Nauvoo valuable; the same results must
necessarily follow their settlement in California . . . .
While the Christians in their mad zeal have banished us from their midst
. . . the wild Indiansthe barbarians, the savages (socalled) of the
forestopened their arms to receive us . . . . Yes, they have treated us as
friends and brethren; they have opened their hands and hearts; they have bid
us welcome to their lands and possessions; they have told us to kill their
deer, to drink their water, to till their lands, to burn and use their timber,
and to find a home with them without money or price.
The mustering of the Mormon Battalion came at Winter Quarters. The
pay and allowances advanced to the troops was a boon to the Saints facing
a winter in the wilderness.
Although we have been inhumanly and barbarously dealt with, . . . yet the
President of the United States is favourably disposed to us. He has sent out
orders to have five hundred of our brethren employed in an expedition that was
fitting out against California, and to have their arms and implements of war
given to them at the expiration of the term; and as there is no prospect of
any opposition, it amounts to the same as paying them for going to the place
where they were destined to go without. They also have the privilege of
choosing their own leaders. (9)
Enroute from Nauvoo the Camp of Israel had fenced and planted grain
fields, each about two miles square, at Mt. Pisgah and Garden Grove. The
grain was harvested by those who came later. Also, Taylor said, pioneer
companies were going ahead from Council Bluffs to prepare the way for
those who would cross the plains next spring.
A company, consisting of persons having two or three hundred wagons, had
started . . . Grand Island, in the River Platte, about two hundred and
fifty miles from Council Bluffs, for the purpose of wintering there; they
would also put in seed grain, and make improvements in that part. A small
company of fifty wagons started for the purpose of crossing the Rocky
Mountains, if practicable, with grain and other seed to sow . . . . If they
are . . . , they will winter in the Black Hills, on this side
of the mountains.
The way is now prepared, the roads, bridges, and ferry boats made; there
are stopping places also on the way, where they can rest, obtain vegetables
and corn; and when they arrive at the far end, instead of finding a wild waste
they will meet with friends, provisions, and a home. (10)
Taylor analyzed the success of the Mormon economy at Nauvoo,
contrasting it to the failure of various social movements. Robert Dale
thought he could ameliorate the condition of mankind by a sort of communism,
having a fellowship of goods among thema sort of common stock principle.
Everything pertaining to this speculation, however, has flatted out. . . .
It is so also with Flourierism, . . . established by one
Flourier, a Frenchman, and advocated by Greeley of the New York
Tribune. They had a good  deal of property, and I am informed they
established something of the nature of what is called the free love principle;
but . . . . everything they had was sold under the hammer.
An Icarian colony, followers of the French social reformer, Ettiene
Cabet, settled Nauvoo, after the Mormons left. In discussion with Taylor,
the editor of an Icarian newspaper named Krolokoski asked:
"Mr. Taylor, do you propose no other plan to ameliorate the condition of
mankind than that of baptism for the remission of sins?"
I replied, "That is all I propose about the matter."
"Well," he said, "I wish you every success; but I am afraid you will not
Said I, "Mr. Krolokoski, you sent Mr. Cabet to Nauvoo. He was considered
your leaderthe most talented man you had. He went to Nauvoo when it was
desertedwhen houses and lands were at a mere nominal value . . . . Rich
farms were deserted, and thousands of us had left our houses, and furniture in
them, and there was everything calculated to promote the happiness of human
beings there . . . . Mr. Cabet . . . had also the selection in France of whom
he pleased. He and his company went to Nauvoo, and what was the result?" . . .
What has become of that society? There are very few of them left. They
have had dissensions, bickerings, trouble, and desertions, until they are
nearly dwindled to nothing . .. .
we were banished from civilized society into the valleys
of the Rocky Mountains to seek for that protection among savages which
Christian civilization denied us. There our people have built houses, 
enclosed lands, cultivated gardens, built school houses, opened farms, and
have organized a government and are prospering in all the blessings and
immunities of civilized life . . . .
If Owen, Fourier, Cabet, and other philosophers have failedif all the
varied schemes of communism have failedif human philosophy is found to be at
fault, and all its plans incompetent; and we have not failed, it shows
there is something associated with this people and with Mormonism that there
is not with them.
Now, the question is, what is this principle? Why is there a difference?
The answer was, Taylor said, that the others didn't have "the gospel
in its purity."
You have seen its effects upon us. It shall bring things past to your
remembrance; it shall show you things to come; it shall make prophets of you;
your sons and daughters shall see visions; the heavens shall be opened unto
you; you shall know your origin, comprehend who you are, what you are, where
you are going, the relationship which exists between you and your God; and
there shall be a channel opened between the eternal worlds and you; and the
purposes of God shall be made known unto you.
And what has this gospel done? It has caused you to leave your families,
your connections, your homes, and your associations in life. Many of you have
left thousands and thousands of dollars worth of property; you have been
mobbed and scourged from city to city, and from state to state, and you have
endured all this. Why? Because of that hope which is within your bosoms, which
blooms with immortality and eternal lives.
To the editor, Krolokoski, Taylor concluded:
"The society that I represent comes with the fear of Godthe worship of
the great Elohim. They offer the simple plan ordained of Godviz, repentance,
baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of
the Holy Ghost. Our people have not been seeking the influence of the world,
nor the power of government, but they have obtained both; whilst you, with
your philosophy independent of God, have been seeking to build up a system of
communism and a government which is, according to your own accounts, the way
to introduce the millennial reign. Now, which is bestour religion, or your
"Well," said he, "I cannot say anything." (11)
While in England, Taylor received distressing news from Leonora.
There was bickering among the wives. The Indians were becoming hostile,
and were stealing horses and cattle. The man with whom Taylor had
arranged at Philadelphia, before leaving, to take a stove and groceries
to Leonora at Winter Quarters "brought me nothing," she reported.
He was heartened that she had finished her house before the worst
winter months; she'd traded his old gray overcoat, she reported, for
$7.00 worth of clapboards.
Then came agonizing news. Man were dying at Winter Quarters from
canker and scurvy. One victim was his wife Ann Pitchforth. This lady of
breeding and quality had given up a life of ease to gather with the
Saints at Nauvoo, and the rigors of the exodus were too much for her
(1) T&S, 15 Nov. 1942; 1 Oct. 1843; 1 Oct. and 15 Oct. 1844. See
also Nauvoo, Neighbor.
(2) 1 Feb. 1846. This was the next to last issue.
(3) Journal of Leonora Taylor, from Nauvoo, to Salt Lake.
(4) John D. Lee reported that he traded a brick house and lot for
teams worth $300. Another house, which would have been worth $50,000 in
Utah, was sold for $12.50.
(5) A force of workmen had been left to complete other parts.
(6) The original font, with its support of oxen, had been made of
wood. It recently had been taken out, and replaced by the stone font,
another indication of expected permanence.
(7) MS, 1 Aug. 1846.
(8) Perhaps it should be noted that Taylor, Hyde, and the Pratt
brothers, Parley and Orson, had recently blocked the desire of Brigham