A Gifted Gentleman in Perpetual Motion: John Taylor as an Emigration Agent

By Fred E. Woods

Fred E. Woods, “A Gifted Gentleman in Perpetual Motion: John Taylor as an Emigration Agent,” in Champion of Liberty: John Taylor, ed. Mary Jane Woodger (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 177–92.

A Gifted Gentleman in Perpetual Motion: John Taylor as an Emigration Agent

Fred E. Woods

Fred E. Woods was a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University when this was published.

 

Though a good deal of biographical information has been compiled on various aspects of the life of John Taylor, one chapter largely neglected is the catalytic and multifaceted role President Taylor played during the years he labored in New York City (1855–57), especially as it pertains to emigration matters. During this short span of time, this gifted British convert not only presided over the entire Eastern States Mission but also launched and edited the Latter-day Saint periodical the Mormon. In addition, he supervised the multiple needs of over eight thousand incoming Latter-day Saint immigrants who disembarked at either New York City, Philadelphia, or Boston shortly after his arrival on the eastern seaboard in 1855.[1]

It was timely that President Taylor served in this large, eastern, cosmopolitan region during the mid-nineteenth century for two primary reasons, which he clearly recognized. In a letter to Brigham Young, Taylor wrote, “When I came on this mission I understood that I had two things to perform; one was to publish a paper, the other was to preside here and to receive the emigration from you and to counsel & direct the emigration in this country & in their journey west.”[2]

John Taylor’s Literary Influence at Home and Abroad

In New York City his literary skills could be used to a greater extent in defending the unpopular doctrine of polygamy, which had recently come into public view.[3] The Prophet Joseph Smith had previously informed Taylor, a competent writer with experience in editing four previous Latter-day Saint periodicals, including two in foreign languages, that he would be of even greater service in his writing than in his preaching.[4] Apparently, President Taylor drew strength from this prophetic pronouncement, for when he arrived at New York City to inaugurate the Mormon, he deliberately chose to rent rooms for his office on what was known as “newspaper row,” between two of the most powerful periodicals in the nation, the New York Tribune and the New York Herald.[5]

He then took up his pen and at the bottom of the masthead of the very first issue of the Mormon (February 17, 1855) wrote the words “IT IS BETTER TO REPRESENT OURSELVES THAN TO BE REPRESENTED BY OTHERS.”[6] Then, with a courageous fervor, he symbolically laid down the gauntlet: “We defy all the editors and writers in the United States to prove that Mormonism is less moral, scriptural, philosophical; or that there is less patriotism in Utah than in any other part of the United States. We call for proof; bring on your reasons, gentlemen, if you have any; we shrink not from the investigation, and dare you the encounter.”[7]

Encounters with additional New York newspapers also shed light on President Taylor’s bold stance toward the press. For example, soon after Taylor arrived in New York City, the editor of the New York Mirror, a Mr. Fuller, wrote a slanderous report of the Saints. President Taylor immediately replied and challenged Fuller to a public debate, but the editor declined. Later in the Mormon, Taylor noted Fuller’s cowardly act and determined deception.[8]

The New York Sun also attacked the Saints with degrading insults. To one such libelous report, President Taylor responded, “Your contemptible falsehoods fail to ruffle a feather in our caps. The God of Jacob in whom the Mormons trust—He who brought up Israel out of Egypt—He it is who sustained the Mormons in their tedious journeyings over the barren deserts. . . . He sustains them still and will cause them to shine forth.”[9]

A Tumultuous Season of Emigration

In addition to his editorial role, John Taylor also presided over the eastern Saints and supervised incoming immigrants in their journey to the Salt Lake Valley. The year 1855 was a transition year: it marked the change of the Saints’ port of disembarkation from New Orleans (which they had used since late 1840) to the eastern coast of the United States. Such a change in course required a versatile man in motion who could handle distant branches, the New York press, and traveling missionaries, as well as the manifold needs of incoming European converts as they first reached the shores of America.

On August 2, 1854, in response to the threatening epidemic of yellow fever and cholera, which had already struck a fatal blow to thousands traveling up the Mississippi River, Brigham Young sent a letter from Salt Lake City to Elder Franklin D. Richards, who was in charge of emigration from Liverpool to the United States. Young, who as President of the Church oversaw all aspects of Mormon migration by land and sea, counseled, “You are aware of the sickness liable to assail our unacclimated brethren on the Mississippi river, hence I wish you to ship no more to New Orleans, but ship to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, giving preference in the order named.”[10]

However, Philadelphia was short-lived as a port of preference, as was Boston.[11] This was due to the fact that by the spring of 1855, New York City had completed the earliest American immigration depot.[12] This important government immigrant station offered protection and direction for incoming foreigners and thus became the port of choice for the bulk of European converts along with the majority of other immigrants throughout the duration of the nineteenth century.[13] This station, known as Castle Garden, apparently did not fit its description. When Charlotte Ann Hilstead, a twelve-year-old Latter-day Saint girl, landed at the depot, she remarked, “We landed on what they called Castle Garden, but I did not see a castle nor a garden. It was just a big wooden shed with a roof across it.”[14]

One New York Times reporter visited the depot on New Year’s Day 1856 and took occasion to describe a Mormon company that had just disembarked from the ship Emerald Isle. Among other things he noted, “The majority of the men in the Castle were engaged in paring and washing potatoes; the women were generally sitting . . . or nursing and dressing the children. Quite a large group was standing around a stove, and another listening to a violin played by an old German. The children were at play.” He further noted, “All seemed happy and contented with their prospects and bore with quietness the inconvenience of travel.”[15]

This immigration station provided a sense of security for incoming foreigners and helped to protect them from thieves and other undesirables. Dr. George J. Svejda noted that at the Castle Garden depot, “so severe a blow was struck against the business of swindlers that it aroused resentment and opposition from the ‘runners,’ who saw in it an interference with their private vested interests.”[16] Although it did offer more external protection for emigrants in general, it was the Latter-day Saint migration agents, the valiant “knights near Castle Garden,” who provided even greater security for the incoming Saints. These faithful priesthood brethren helped vulnerable foreign converts make the transition to a new country and find their way through the crowded cosmopolitan city of New York, providing general counsel, direction for lodging needs, and economic opportunities and assistance in continuing the journey west to Zion.[17] The first agent to do so in New York City was John Taylor.

Emigration Assistance

In this demanding setting, Brigham Young counseled Elder Richards, then overseeing all matters pertaining to the British Mission, to keep President Taylor continually informed of incoming European converts:

Whenever you ship a company, whether it be small or large, be careful to forward to Elder John Taylor, at New York City, a correct list of the names of the persons in each company, with their occupation, and approximate amount of property or means, and forward it in season for Elder John Taylor to receive it before the company arrive in port, that he may be so advised as to be able to meet them, or appoint some proper person to do so, and counsel them immediately on landing as to the best course for each and all in every company to pursue—viz., whether to tarry for a season to work in the place or immediate neighbourhood of their landing, or proceed to Cincinnati and its region, &c.[18]

In order to provide needed counsel, President Taylor used the Mormon to assist European converts upon their arrival on the eastern seaboard. In its first issue, dated February 17, 1855, Taylor described the primary purpose of this new periodical:

We shall endeavor to be always prepared to impart the latest information relative to the best course to be pursued by Emigrants on their arrival in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Our emigration have heretofore, almost exclusively, gone by the way of New Orleans, but will hereafter land in the Eastern cities, and one of the principal objects of establishing “THE MORMON,” is for their information, as well as all other emigration arriving in this country.

We shall take special interest in seeking out the cheapest, best and most convenient mode of conveyance from this and other points, as well as to observe the course pursued by agents in the accommodation for travelers on the routes, and make of “THE MORMON” a directory, to which all Emigrants and Travelers may refer with some degree of safety.[19]

Besides serving as a directory for routing emigrants west, this Latter-day Saint newspaper included dates of port arrivals as well as employment opportunities for those who needed to raise money to continue their journey to the Salt Lake Valley. Two weeks after the establishment of the Mormon, local missionaries received the following instruction from Taylor: “As there will shortly be many of our brethren here from Europe who will be in want of employment, in various trades and occupations, you are requested to send to this office, directions whereby we may know where to send those that are in need of employment, on their arrival in this country.”[20]

Though the Mormon was short-lived,[21] this system of using a periodical to locate much-needed jobs for European emigrants proved most effective. For example, just three weeks after Taylor’s request for employment information, it was reported that in one local area there was an abundance of mining jobs.[22] In a letter to Church headquarters, Taylor soon wrote, “We have been doing what we could lately in assisting the emigrating operations, and not withstanding the bad times, with the united efforts of the brethren, we have succeeded in obtaining work for all, with very few exceptions, and they are provided for by the others.” He wrote further, “I am in hopes we shall be as successfull with the remainder; You will see by the published lists, in the ‘Mormon’ the names of those coming.”[23] Less than two months later, Taylor informed Brigham Young, “Although 30,000 persons have been out of work in New York and the same proportion in Phila, yet our brethren I believe have all got employment.”[24]

For the incoming individuals who could not find employment, Taylor devised a plan to assist them in their stranded condition on the East Coast. In a letter to President Young, dated February 20, 1856, Taylor related, “We have had pretty hard times with many poor saints here; but shall see it through. I am raising a loan fund something after the order of the P.E.F. [Perpetual Emigrating Fund] to be kept for the purpose of assisting those that are poor untill they get employment, & then to be returned.”[25]

 Taylor continued to provide direction and aid to improve conditions for the arriving Saints. He regularly corresponded with President Young, whose counsel he valued and implemented.[26] For example, an extract from a letter written to Brigham Young in April 1855 provides a glimpse into Taylor’s concerted efforts to assist in the emigration process. Having just informed the President that the ship Siddons had not yet arrived in Philadelphia, he offered the following plan for the remaining 1855 season of emigrant rail travel:

Concerning emigration I have made all the enquiries I can & am decidedly of the opinion that the best rout at present will be by Burlington Iowa to which place a railroad goes direct. I mean for those who go through. The expense will be quite as little to say nothing of time & they will go by railroad in about four days Through a healthy country & thus avoid the whole length of the Ohio the detention in Pittsburg & St Louis, & the river voyage up the Mississippi or Missouri rivers. It is expected that before another season a railroad will go to within two hundred miles from Council Bluffs or St. Joseph. I suggest these things for your consideration a reference to the late maps will show the routes from any of these eastern cities several weeks would I believe be saved by this route which would facilitate greatly the emigration in their progress west however saving them from the uncertainty & unhealthiness of the river transit.[27]

Three months later, Taylor again wrote to Young concerning emigration matters, “When I first came here I found a strong combination among the railroads. I have managed however to break into them, and I think that contracts can be made to take the Saints comfortably from N. York to Iowa City for about $9. & from 7 to 7 50/100 to Saint Louis.” He also carefully noted, “I throw out these suggestions and leave it for your superior wisdom to dictate.”[28]

This letter not only reveals Taylor’s intricate involvement with negotiating in emigration business but shows his sense of place, inasmuch as President Young ultimately oversaw all aspects of the emigration operation from beginning to end. Taylor’s submissive attitude and additional involvement in trail matters is also apparent in another letter he wrote to Young as the new year dawned: “According to your instructions, I have sent out Bro. A. Cunningham and McGaw to examine the rout and facilitites for emigration at Iowa City and between that place and Council Bluffs. Further, I have also directed them to ascertain the position of things, at or near Wood River, and if practicable to see the Governor of Nebraska Territory, to visit the place and report to me in relation to the feasibility of the location.” In addition to delegating inspection of the upcoming season’s route, President Taylor also visited St. Louis and, according to Young’s previous instruction, ordered one hundred handcarts. However, in reference to the handcart scheme, Taylor noted in his letter, “I must confess, that at first sight it looked rather like ‘Jordan’s a hard road to travel.’” He also wrote concerning his involvement with the season’s arrangements for rail travel, “I am now negociating with Rail Road companies and making every practical arrangement to facilitate the movements of the brethren.”[29]

In his multifaceted assignment and with all his plans and demands for sail, rail, and trail travel, President Taylor was also assisted in New York by his son George and other elders. One elder of particular note was Nathaniel H. Felt, an experienced, wealthy tailor from Salem, Massachusetts, who eased the heavy responsibilities pouring into Taylor’s New York office.[30] President Taylor informed President Young, “Br. Felt & my son George are with me, as I found their assistance absolutely necessary. They are all well & doing well.”[31] President Taylor no doubt sensed the breadth of Felt’s competency and delegated to him some responsibility for correspondence. Felt wrote letters to Brigham Young to make the President aware of various emigration situations. For example, it was he who wrote Young about the first Latter-day Saint converts who had disembarked in Philadelphia, an integral part of the Eastern States Mission over which President Taylor had stewardship.[32]

Although President Taylor visited the Saints in Philadelphia during conference sessions, he also sent Felt on multiple trips to the City of Brotherly Love to assist with emigration tasks.[33] A letter written by Taylor to Brigham Young in the spring of 1855 provides a sense of the price Felt paid in assisting with emigrant rail travel and hints at his appreciation of Felt’s efforts:

In negotiating with the “Penn. Railroad Co.” for the conveyance of passengers, Bro Felt, with much exertion, obtained a drawback of 50 cts per passgr from the general terms; There is a combination of the R.R. companies, and such things are generally discarded, this was obtained out of extra allowance which they had on account of extra trouble in obtaining passengers at this end of the rout[e]; they would not make a reduction in the fare; and this could only be obtained, by the President through the board of directors, upon the anticipation of a heavy emigration. Bro Felts expenses in travelling, to and fro, two or three times to Phila and once to Pittsburgh to make arrangements, were something like $50.[34]

Evidence reveals that Felt was sent by President Taylor to meet Mormon emigrants at the New York City docks. For example, one convert who crossed the Atlantic on the Thornton wrote, “At sun down we landed at the Castle Gardens, a large building appropriated for emigrants, where we were visited by Elder Felt who kindly welcomed us.”[35] Additional information reveals that Taylor was also involved with such greetings. James G. Willie, who was on this same voyage, recorded, “On our arrival at Castle Gardens, New York, we received a hearty welcome from President John Taylor and Elder Felt.”[36]

 Additionally, evidence reveals that the New York Daily Times kept abreast of the incoming Latter-day Saint voyages. For example, one journalist described the disembarkment of “a rich cargo of humanity” from the ship Emerald. Among other things, it was noted that 345 of the 666 passengers aboard this voyage were Latter-day Saints. Following a visit to Castle Garden on New Year’s Day to inspect these foreign converts, the writer explained, “Their appearance betokened their origin. In England they might have been the industrious laboring class. Men of strong arms and women of ardent hopes, each seeking a bettered condition.” Further, “There were but few aged persons, but one or two sick, and the others with ruddy cheeks . . . showed their ability to labor and live.”[37]

Such positive reports of the incoming Latter-day Saint converts influenced the media representing a variety of New York City newspapers. The competency and integrity of John Taylor also affected the press. The following year, 1857, the Times carried an article titled “Mormonism in New-York” which acknowledged, among other things, the “Valedictory of President John Taylor” prior to his departure and the new appointment of Elder William Appleby, who replaced him as president of the Eastern States Mission. Furthermore, this article reveals Taylor’s positive influence not only on the Saints but also the larger New York City community:

President Taylor was a popular gentleman in his dealings with the Saints and Gentiles of suasive manners and imposing presence. His age is about 55, and he has been a Mormon for many years; once edited a Mormon paper in Paris, and established one afterwards in London and has published several works. Since its commencement, he has conducted the Mormon with considerable ability and tact. . . . He has directed the emigration of foreign Mormons setting it in the right road to Utah,—has made arrangements with railroad companies for the transit parties of Mormons.[38]

Thus John Taylor’s impressive editorial skills as well as his competency for emigration did not go unnoticed by the New York press.

At the end of this same month, the Times also reminded its readers that not all Saints lived in Salt Lake City and that there were other clusters of Latter-day Saints, “chiefly at the points where foreign immigration is most prosperous.” Within the borders of New York City, the reporter described the Saints’ meeting location and their manner of worship and again pointed out that a vast majority of the members were British converts: “One of these Branches exists in our midst, and holds its meetings every Sabbath at the hall of Brooks’ Dancing Academy in Broome street near Elizabeth. . . . We found assembled about two hundred persons . . . ; nine tenths of the audience were English. . . . Further, we had the opportunity to witness the administration of the Lord’s Supper.”[39]

Yet by this time it is assumed that the Saints in New York City felt a void, given that their esteemed Apostle John Taylor and several trusted associates had been called home to Salt Lake City due to the Utah War. These Saints were thus left to fend for themselves while attempting to procure funds necessary to carry them the remaining distance to Zion.[40] Although Elder John Taylor was no longer available to assist these stranded European proselytes, he and his assistants aided hundreds, even thousands, of others who made it safely into the Salt Lake Valley in the mid-nineteenth century. His extra-mile efforts to provide for these newly arrived converts while presiding over the entire eastern body of the Church is certainly worthy of note. Furthermore, Elder Taylor’s forthright manner, editorial skills, and gentlemanly conduct earned him respect from the New York City community, while his warm and friendly hand welcomed vulnerable emigrants to America. Finally, his fatherly counsel and kind efforts provided an important first glimpse of the spirit of Zion as European converts reached the borders of a promised land. As the only Church President not born in America,[41] he was intimately prepared with experience and empathy to sense how these foreigners felt as they took their first step toward Zion on covenant ground.


[1] The Church Almanac, 1997–98 (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998), 161–62, provides information regarding the number of Latter-day Saint passengers on each voyage, as well as the port of disembarkation during the years 1855–57, when John Taylor was in New York City. This estimate is drawn from knowing that John Taylor’s first known letter written while in New York City to Brigham Young was dated April 11, 1855, and his last known letter sent to President Young from New York City was written April 18, 1857, before his departure to Utah. Thus, during this two year period of mid-April 1855 to mid-April 1857, coupled with the fact that the Latter-day Saints did not begin to use New York as a port of disembarkation until late May 1855, we can hypothesize fairly accurately that Taylor supervised over 8,000 incoming Latter-day Saint immigrants (primarily British and Scandinavian) into these eastern seaports. Statistically broken down by each eastern port, there were over 1,400 Latter-day Saint passengers who disembarked at Philadelphia, nearly 3,000 at Boston, and over 3,700 at New York. The terms migrant and passenger are carefully used, rather than immigrant, inasmuch as some of those people crossing the Atlantic were not immigrants arriving into America for the first time. Moreover, a number of missionaries would have been on these voyages returning from their fields of labor in Europe, overseeing the needs of their converts and fellow foreign Church members.

[2] John Taylor to Brigham Young, March 4, 1856, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1989), 389, notes the following: “Emigrate and immigrate make a case in which English has two words where it could easily have made do with only one. The two words have the same essential meaning—to ‘leave one country to live in another’—and differ only in emphasis or point of view: emigrate stressing leaving, and immigrate stressing entering.” However, to further complicate things, emigrate is used once the immigrant has arrived in the new country and begins to travel to the West. It should also be noted that sometimes the foreign immigrants were joined by Saints who gathered from the eastern coast of America or they merged with other LDS companies at frontier outfitting posts. These Saints would be properly termed emigrants as would those agents who assisted them.

[3] Richard D. McClellan, “Polemical Periodicals,” in Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, ed. Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 907, notes, “Soon after the Church formally announced the practice of plural marriage, Brigham Young appointed several men to go to various cities to establish periodicals to respond to antipolygamy polemic. . . . The Seer was edited by Orson Pratt and published from 1853 to 1854 in both Washington D.C., and Liverpool, England. It was followed by the St. Louis Luminary (November 1854–December 1855), established by Erastus Snow; the Mormon, founded by John Taylor in New York City in February 1855; and the Western Standard of San Francisco, edited by George Q. Cannon beginning in February 1856.”

[4] Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1980), 5:367. The “Prospectus” of the Mormon, February 24, 1855, 3 notes that John Taylor was “formerly editor of the ‘Times and Seasons’ and the ‘Nauvoo Neighbor,’ in the city of Nauvoo; subsequently of the ‘Etoile du Déseret,’ in the city of Paris, France; and ‘Zion’s Panier,’ in the city of Hamburg, Germany.”

[5] Paul Thomas Smith, biographical essay of John Taylor, in The Presidents of the Church, ed. Leonard J. Arrington (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1986), 102. B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1963), 247, points out, “The Mormon office was situated on the corner of Nassau and Ann Streets, with the offices of the New York Herald on one side, and those of the Tribune on the other. Elder Taylor was thus in the very heart of Gotham’s newspaper world.” According to JoAnne Reitano, The Restless City: A Short History of New York from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2006), 56, by 1860, New York City had swelled to over eight hundred thousand inhabitants, over half of which were foreign born. From 1820, when Joseph Smith had his First Vision experience, until 1860, the population of this metropolis had increased sevenfold. The huge influx of immigrants created a need for the Castle Garden Immigration Depot, which opened in the same year John Taylor arrived in New York City. This depot will be discussed later in this paper.

[6] Mormon, February 17, 1855, 1.

[7] Smith, in Presidents of the Church, 102.

[8] Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 249–50.

[9] Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 251–52.

[10] Millennial Star, October 28, 1854, 684. Six months later an article titled “Emigration of the European Saints. Important Change” appeared in the first issue of the Mormon, February 17, 1855, 2. It noted, “For a number of years . . . our emigration from Europe, destined for the Western States and Utah Territory, has been shipped via New Orleans and St. Louis. But the increasing mortality among the emigrants on that route for seven years past; together with the recent move of the Church in appointing gathering places in the East, coupled with the increased facilities in transit in the Eastern States, has led the Presidency of the Church to change the course of our emigration from New Orleans to our Eastern cities.”

[11] See Fred E. Woods, “‘Pronounced Clean, Comfortable, and Good Looking’: The Passage of Mormon Immigrants through the Port of Philadelphia,” Mormon Historical Studies 6, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 5, for information about Mormon emigration through New York. The Church Almanac 1997–98, 159–67 notes that only eight Mormon voyages disembarked at Philadelphia during the entire nineteenth century: seven voyages during the years 1855 to 1857 and one anomaly in 1884. Five voyages disembarked at Boston from 1855 to 1857 and only a dozen total throughout the nineteenth century.

[12] “Commissioners of Emigration,” Mormon, May 12, 1855, 3, reported that the New York commissioner had successfully passed a resolution to open Castle Garden.

[13] It is estimated from the “Mormon Immigration Index CD,” published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: 2000), that over 65,000 Latter-day Saint immigrants came through Castle Garden in 1855–89. In 1889, Castle Garden and its records were destroyed by fire.

[14] The Life of Charlotte Ann [Hillstead] Bates, Church History Library, 3.

[15] “The Mormon Hegira. A Fresh Importation. Mormons from England,” New York Daily Times, January 3, 1856, 8.

[16] George J. Svejda, Castle Garden as an Immigrant Depot, 1855–1890 (National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1968), 44–45. Svejda’s work is the most comprehensive treatment of Castle Garden to date. For a more succinct treatment of this immigrant station through the lens of a Latter-day Saint historian, see Don H. Smith’s article “Castle Garden, the Emigrant Receiving Station in New York Harbor,” Nauvoo Journal 10, no. 1 (Spring 1998).

[17] See Fred E. Woods, “The Knights at Castle Garden: Priesthood Agents and Their Immigration Assistance at New York,” Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: New York–Pennsylvania, ed. Alexander L. Baugh and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 2002).

[18] Millennial Star, October 28, 1854, 684. See also the Mormon, which contains a number of lists that document the names of various vessels disembarking at New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, as well as their passengers shipped by Elder Franklin D. Richards from Liverpool. See, for example, the list of passengers on board the Chimborazo (May 5, 1855, 3); the S. Curling (May 12, 1855, 3); the William Stetson (May 26, 1855, 3); the John J. Boyd (January 5, 1856, 3); the Cynosure (August 25, 1855, 3).

[19] “To the Emigration and Our Readers Generally,” Mormon, February 17, 1855, 3. A week later, the Mormon, February 24, 1855, 3, cited the New York Evening Mirror as stating that the main purpose of the Mormon was “to watch over the interests of the European Emigration, which Brigham Young has ordered.”

[20] Mormon, March 3, 1855, 3.

[21] Andrew Jenson, “Taylor, John,” Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:18, points out that the Mormon was discontinued as a result of Elder Taylor and other elders being called home to the Salt Lake Valley due to the threat of the Utah War.

[22] See Esdras Howell letter from Carbondale, March 19, 1855, in the Mormon, March 24, 1855, 3.

[23] John Taylor to Brigham Young, May 18, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[24] John Taylor to Brigham Young, July 15, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library. Two months later, Taylor again wrote Young, stating, “Since I last wrote you, part of another ship load of Emigrants have arrived, numbering 162. All poor, they have most of them obtained employment. Monetary and mercantile affairs are looking up a little, and prospects are brightening for laboring people.” See also John Taylor to Brigham Young, September 16, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[25] John Taylor to Brigham Young, February 20, 1856, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[26] In the Brigham Young Correspondence located in the Church History Library, there are twenty-one known letters that John Taylor wrote to Brigham Young during the period of April 1855 to April 1857. There are also seventeen, possibly eighteen, known letters from Brigham Young during these same years. These outgoing letters from President Young are full of information regarding emigration. In fact, one lengthy letter dated October 30, 1856, is entirely devoted to this theme and carefully treats the challenges of a triangular correspondence between Franklin D. Richards in Liverpool, John Taylor in New York, and President Young in Salt Lake City. Perhaps more letters would have come to Taylor from the Salt Lake Valley, but getting the mail across the nation in a timely fashion was a continual problem in the mid-nineteenth century. For example, in a letter from Young to Taylor dated July 28, 1856, President Young writes, “In regard to the emigration, whatever we could say . . . would be long past before it reached you.” In any case, the Brigham Young Correspondence provides a wealth of information, not only within the dialogue between John Taylor and Brigham Young, but among other Latter-day Saint emigration agents assigned at such ports and posts as Liverpool, New Orleans, New York, Kanesville, Florence, Wyoming, Nebraska, Mormon Grove, Kansas Territory, St. Louis, and Iowa City, in their correspondence sent to Salt Lake City during the years President Young presided over the Church (1847–77). The author is currently involved in writing a book about these dedicated men in motion.

[27] John Taylor to Brigham Young, April 11, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[28] John Taylor to Brigham Young, July 15, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[29] John Taylor to Brigham Young, January 18, 1856, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[30] For a biographical treatise of Nathaniel H. Felt, see Fred E. Woods, “Nathaniel H. Felt: An Essex County Man,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The New England States, ed. Donald Q. Cannon, Arnold K. Garr, Bruce A. Van Orden (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 219–36.

[31] John Taylor to Brigham Young, April 11, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[32] Nathaniel H. Felt from New York to Brigham Young on April 28, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[33] In a letter from John Taylor to Brigham Young dated April 11, 1855, Elder Taylor wrote of one such conference visit: “I attended Conference on the 6th of April at Philladelphia we had a very good time. The spirit of the Lord was with us introduced the subject of Tything to them, wherein they all acquiesced without a dissenting voice” (Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library).

[34] John Taylor to Brigham Young, May 18, 1855, in Brigham Young Correspondence, Church History Library.

[35] William Woodard Journal, June 14, 1856, quoted in Marilyn Austin Smith, “Faithful stewards—the life of James Gray Willie and Elizabeth Ann Pettit,” 95, Church History Library.

[36] William Woodard Journal, 95, Church History Library.

[37] “The Mormon Hegira. A Fresh Importation. Mormons from England,” New York Daily Times, January 3, 1856, 8.

[38] “Mormonism in New-York,” New York Daily Times, June 1, 1857, 3; Truman G. Madsen, Presidents of the Church: Insights into Their Lives and Teachings (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004), 77.

[39] “The Mormons. Their ‘Branch’ in New-York,” New York Daily Times, June 29, 1857, 5.

[40] For a succinct overview of the Utah War, see Richard D. Poll, “The Utah War,” in Utah History Encyclopedia, ed. Allan Kent Powell (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994), 607–8. For a more detailed treatise, see Norman F. Furniss, The Mormon Conflict, 1850–1859 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1960), as well as William P. MacKinnon, ed.,  At Sword’s Point, part 1: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858, The Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier 10 (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark, 2008).

[41] Madsen, Presidents of the Church, 57.