First Arrival in Britain - Liverpool Docks - Liverpool, Lancashire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 53° 24.618 W 003° 00.109
30U E 499879 N 5917914
Quick Description: Here in Liverpool was where the first Mormons arrived in Britain back in 1837.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/8/2012 9:49:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMEV37
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member B Family
Views: 7

Long Description:
The Mormons have a well documented history here in Liverpool. The Liverpool Museums have an interesting article relating their first arrival, quoted below. This is reprinted here thanks to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, National Museums Liverpool:visit link

'The first Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, arrived in Liverpool from America on board the Garrick on 19 July 1837 and were sent to preach the restored gospel by Church President, Joseph Smith, Jr. The Church had been formally organised in America on 6 April 1830. Three of the seven missionaries were Canadian and two had been born in England, and they set up branches of the Church at Preston and throughout the Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Within eight months of their arrival membership had reached some 2,000 people. By 1850, 42,316 people had been baptised and another 52,192 had been baptised by 1870.

From 1840 the majority of these early converts were encouraged by the Church leaders to emigrate from Britain to North America to help build the community's own settlement, Nauvoo, on marshland alongside the Mississippi River in Illinois. The first company of 41 emigrant Mormons left Liverpool on the Britannia for New York on 6 June 1840. However, in 1846, persecution culminating in the assassination of the Church leader, Joseph Smith, forced the Mormons to flee west into unsettled territory in the Rocky Mountains, to found "Zion" at Salt Lake City in the State of Utah in July 1847. Many thousands of Mormons emigrants followed.

Many of these emigrants were poor, and were assisted to emigrate by their local Church branches, or from 1849 by the Church's own Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company. By 1852, over £125,000 had been given to assist poor emigrants, and the Church had its own charter and supply agent in Liverpool.

In 1854 the Mormons agent and passenger-broker, Elder Samuel W. Richards, gave evidence to a parliamentary inquiry on how the Church organised this mass emigration. He described how the Church chartered its own ships, charging passengers £3.12s.6d. to New Orleans, and £20 for the full journey to Salt Lake City. The journey to Utah from New Orleans consisted of a 1,300 mile trip by steamboat on the Mississippi to St. Louis, then a further 800 miles on the Missouri River to Council Bluffs. From Council Bluffs they joined the wagon trains along the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake Valley, some 1,030 miles across the Rocky Mountains.

During the 19th century about 55,000 British Latter-day Saints immigrated to North America. Between 1870-1920 the Church in America was composed of mainly English emigrants. With more leaving than settling, most of the branches of the Church were then closed down in Britain. Official Church Emigration Records began to be recorded in Liverpool (the primary port of Mormons European emigration) commencing in 1849 and were kept until 1925. Church leaders continually emphasized the importance of British converts remaining in their native homeland and building up the Church throughout the duration of the 20th century. However, some of these converts were not content with staying in their country until they were able to receive the full blessings of Church membership made available for the first time in the UK through the erection and dedication of the LDS London Temple in 1958.[1] Currently in the UK, there is a Church membership of over 183,000 members, six missions, two temples, 336 congregations and 117 family history centers. [2]


FLAKE, Chad J. & DRAPER, Larry W. A Mormon Bibliography, 1830-1930 - Indexes to a Mormons Bibliography and Ten Year Supplement. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1992.

HAFEN, LeRoy Reuben & HAFEN, Ann Woodbury. Handcarts to Zion - The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856-1860. Glendale, California: A.H. Clarke, 1960.

PICKUP, David M.W. The Pick and Flower of England - The Story of the Mormons in Victorian Lancashire. Burnley: Living Legend, 1991.

STEGNER, Earle Wallace. The Gathering of Zion - The Story of the Mormons Trail. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1966.

TAYLOR, Philip Arthur Michael. Expectations Westward: The Mormons and the Emigration of their Converts in the Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1965.

TATTON, Donald F. & GRAY, Joe Ann Tatton. John Charles Tatton - A Man of Commitment. Utah: Donald F. Tatton, 1993.'

This article from the LDS details further British history:visit link

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