Utah, The Inland Empire
Utah, when the Pioneers came, was "Eastern California." and California a province of Mexico, with which the United States was at war. Unfurling to the breeze the Stars and Stripes, these Mormon colonizers, as American citizens, took possession of the country, and after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which, in February, 1848, the land was ceded to our nation, they organized, pending congressional action upon their petition for a state government, the provisional government of "Deseret" a name taken from the Book of Mormon and signifying "honey bee." It was in March, 1849 that the first civil government in the Rocky Mountains was thus established. Meantime the surrounding region was explored and colonized, settlements being formed wherever water was found and means of subsistence available.
As soon as practicable was organized the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, to aid the poor among scattered Mormon converts to "gather to Zion"; in other words, to emigrate to the Rocky Mountains. The Mormon Church, with Its leading men, who established and conducted this enterprise, were the main contributors to the fund, which sent annually to the frontier five hundred wagons to bring immigration across the plains. Persons aided by the fund in various nations, with means advanced for their transportation to Utah, were expected to reimburse it as soon as able, in order that the fund might be "perpetual." Many so helped owe to this system their deliverance from poverty or dependence in distant lands and their subsequent rise to comfort and affluence in the New World. This Emigrating Company was instituted in the fall of 1849, and simultaneously with its inception went forth the first missionaries from the Rocky Mountains, bound for Great Britain. Scandinavia. France. Italy. California and the Pa-rifle Islands.
The founding of Utah blazed the way for the westward march of civilization. In California and Oregon, her only original competitors, there was no such community of interests, no such organized effort, no such systematic plan of colonization and state-building, as were witnessed here from the beginning. The establishment of this commonwealth greatly facilitated the settlement of other states and territories now clustering round her. She was the keystone to the arch of western empire. Moreover, it was Mormon picks and shovels wielded by some of the returning Battalion boys that dug up at Sutter's Mills in January, 1848, the first gold of California.
This manuscript is Sargent, Arthur T. Utah, the inland empire: the story of the pioneers: resources and industries of the state: attractions of Salt Lake City: leading men of the community. Published 1902, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News. It provides the reader a look into the early settlement of Utah, providing ample biographies of early leaders and business men.
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Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company ( PEF )
The 1846 Latter-day Saint exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, gave the impetus for organizing the PEF in October 1849. The fund was intended to help all those who wished to join their fellow religionists in their new gathering place in the Mountain West-but who lacked the means to do so. Thousands who had left Nauvoo were still located in the vicinity of Kanesville, Iowa, and elsewhere. Donations to the fund helped outfit them for the trek west, establishing a credit-based transportation system. The beneficiaries of these travel arrangements signed promissory notes, with the understanding that they would reimburse the fund for their travel costs as soon as they were able. Their repayment would then help provide resources for the transportation of others. Beginning in 1852, the benefits of the PEF were also extended to Latter-day Saints emigrating from Europe, while continuing to aid those who gathered from the United States. From 1850 until the fundís disincorporation in 1887 under the provisions of the Edmunds-Tucker Act, the fund helped nearly thirty thousand individuals with all or part of their transportation expenses.