From the Pioneer Company of 1847 to the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, approximately 60,000 Mormon pioneers made the journey from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley. Although some years have received more attention, every footprint placed on the prairie is part of the epic pioneer story. This thesis examines the major challenges and characteristics of the 1848 Mormon pioneers crossing of the plains. The sacrifices and contributions of the 1848 pioneers are as significant to the legacy of the Mormon westward migration as any other year. In order to explore, develop, and explain the thesis statement, this work includes five chapters. Chapter I: Introduction provides the historical setting of the 1848 Mormon pioneers. Chapter II: The L.D.S migration of 1848 in historical context. Chapter III: The general characteristics of the 1848 Mormon migration. Chapter IV: Relief efforts. Chapter V: Conclusion. The primary evidence for this thesis comes from journals of the 1848 Mormon pioneers. This research has discovered that the 1848 pioneers had the largest company in Mormon pioneer history. It is also the only year that each member of the First Presidency led a pioneer company across the plains. The companies' immense size coupled with insufficient provisions and an unusually dry spring required sacrifice and cooperation. Topics researched include: route and distances traveled, role of women, expressions of devotion, livestock issues, Indian relations, sickness, injury, and death. The 1848 pioneers received significant relief from 1847 migrants, who returned to the trail to assist.



College and Department

Religious Education; Religious Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





1848, Mormon pioneer, Brigham Young, Winter Quarters, Salt Lake Valley



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Religion Commons