The problem for this thesis was undertaken because of an intense interest which the writer has in general Western History and more particularly in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the thousands of emigrants moved west to make their homes, they brought with them only enough supplies to support themselves for a relatively short time. When those supplies were gone they needed replacements in order not to bring hardships to the settlers. Where were these precious supplies to come from? Some few principally agricultural products could be produced, but by far the largest portion of these goods had to be imported, at least until the means of production could be established which would obviously require considerable time. The only other source of supply then was at the larger centers of population where the materials could be purchased and be shipped to the western communities where they were so desperately needed. Had the transportation not materialized, the emigrants would have perished before they could have become established. They did not perish, however. The transportation did materialize and thousands of tons of goods were shipped into the Valley for the support of the Saints. Who was entrepid enough to risk their capital, their time and effort to haul these life-giving supplies through all the dangers which would beset them to the valleys of the mountains? What were the problems which these men had to face in this enterprise? They knew there were rivers to cross, mountains to climb, and over one thousand miles of desert to subdue. How were these problems met; what provisions were made to make the problems less hazardous? When they arrived what were the risks which they had to face in being able to dispose of their cargoes to an advantage, and what were their chances of realizing sufficient income from their effort to pay them for their time and effort? What special equipment would be needed to withstand the demands of the long haul across the plains and return for more goods? What about the personal problems which would naturally arise because of the interaction of the seller and buyer? How would the Saints react to large numbers of people coming into the valley who did not share their particular interests and beliefs? All these questions become the logical premise to this study.



College and Department

Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine



Date Submitted


Document Type





Freight, freightage, Transportation, West, United States, US