The Mormon Church has for years been given credit by historians for the settlement of Carson Valley. Prior to 1854 the LDS Church actually had no connection with that valley except that it was part of the Utah Territory, which the Church controlled. When political dissension against the Mormons developed in Carson Valley, Brigham Young decided to organize the area into a county in 1854. The following year he sent Orson Hyde and other officials there to organize the county government. Within a year Hyde so influenced Young that he agreed to send 250 colonists to Carson Valley in order to bring that area under the control of the Mormon Church.
During the next eighteen months the colony failed to live up to its several objectives. When the Utah War broke out the Mormon leaders decided to abandon the colonial effort and instructed the missionaries to return to Salt Lake City. This hardship Hyde and Young could have spared the Saints had they foreseen the difficulties of establishing the colony in the midst of non-Mormons, an experience the Church had previously undergone in the East.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Page, Albert R., "Orson Hyde and the Carson Valley Mission, 1855-1857" (1970). Theses and Dissertations. 5010.
Orson Hyde, 1805-1878, Mormons, Nevada, Mormon Church, Colonization