Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
C. Blythe Allstrom
In 1847, the Mormon Church began a migration to the Great Salt Lake Basin, their Zion in the mountains. This pilgrimage was to continue for over half a century, and out of it was to come one of the truly epic stories of the western settlement. Before leaving Nauvoo, these self-styled, Saints of the modern era pledged themselves to set up a system to transport all of their members to Utah, regardless of their financial status. The vow was renewed at the October 1849 Conference held in Salt Lake City. President Heber C. Kimball, first councilor to Brigham Young, suggested that a fund be set up to help the poor to reach Utah, his proposal was accepted by a unanimous vote, and the First Presidency issued a call for contributions. During the first year, the Salt Lake Valley Saints collected $5,000. The Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company came into existence in 1851, with the power to raise funds, own property, and issue securities. The funds for the company were to be acquired entirely by donations; tobacco smokers and tea drinkers were encouraged to give up these habits and to use the money to build the Perpetual Emigrating Fund. The fund reached a total of $150,000 between 1852 and 1855, and during this period a shift in the purpose of the fund took place.
Moses, Larry R., "Babylon to Zion on Forty-Two Dollars: The Disaster of the Willie Company and an Evaluation of the Handcart System" (1966). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 1151.