SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Though some historians credit their voyage as the first by American families from New York to San Francisco around the tip of South America, relatively few Latter-day Saints know anything about passengers on the 19th-century ship Brooklyn.
About 230 LDS converts made the six-month, 20,000-mile voyage in 1846, becoming the largest group of Americans to date that would settle in what would soon become San Francisco, according to filmmakers. Participants in the annual Mormon History Association conference this week learned details of the journey during the groups opening plenary session Thursday night, viewing a documentary about the Brooklyn and its passengers.
"Forgotten Voyage: The Mormon Sea Trek That Sparked the Gold Rush" produced by New York filmmaker Scott Tiffany, tells the story of the LDS faithful who braved the treacherous waters around Cape Horn before construction of the Panama Canal. This years MHA conference theme involves LDS history in California.