The caption by the pictures of the three women reads: The three women who
accompanied the first pioneer company to enter the Salt Lake Valley. That is
obviously what is meant by this article. Some people are always looking to
criticize anything having to do with the LDS church. I think there are a lot of
unhappy, bitter people out there.
I don't see the bitterness or anger here. Just people tossing their two
cents in. It is interesting though how people classify things. DN wrote
"First 3 Women", but what they should have written was, "First
Mormon Pioneers", as many, many women from different Indian tribes had
passed that way. Or maybe they could have titled it, "1st Women who helped
to settle the modern Salt Lake region" or something like that. The many
points made here are well taken though. And I don't think there is hate or
vitriol intended. As a person greatly interested in History I appreciate
reading all sides of the story including how the DN portrays the story.
It's all part of the human life drama.
I'm loving these articles about the pioneers. Thank you DNews; today you
are appreciated.It's always interesting to me to learn new
things about the heritage of the Latter-Day Saints in the intermountain West. I
gain in appreciation for that heritage which has also become part of the more
comprehensive history of so many nations. I don't think
Catholic "fathers" had any women though; one person talked about
"their women". I would like a clarification of that, as I am also
interested in their history. I also wish we knew more about the native
Americans and am sade that they had not their own written record of the
centuries just prior to the European colonisations. I love the writings and art
of George Caitlan, and the art work of John White who gives us some knowledge of
the traditions and appearance of many of their more immediate descendants.
I think there are entirely too many people making mountains out of mole hills.
First, yes there were probably thousands of native females that passed through
the valley, although very few if any stayed in the valley, but in other areas.
Second, to say they were the first women of the Mormon pioneers is and would be
entirely correct. Third, I don't see why so such criticism has to be so
angry and bitter. The valley, per many fur traders including Jim Bridger told
them they would not survive as nothing would grow, and in fact he offered to buy
the first grain at a predetermined price, which ultimately he ended up having to
buy. Many indigenous groups including the spanish conquistadores travelled
through there also, but obviously felt the same was as the trappers. The country
was not worth stopping in. So, let's give credit where credit is due and
give homage to those we "know" actually travelled through and/or stayed,
instead of trying to create dissention. We should be proud of all those who
settled this country, Native, Spanish, or other ethnic groups.
In the spring of the latter year, a party emigrating to Oregon or California
offered to furnish passage to her and her children on the condition that she
would cook and do the washing for the party. Understanding California to
be the final destination of the Saints and thinking this a good opportunity to
emigrate without being a burden to the Church, she accepted the proposition.According to Brigham Henry (B.H.) Roberts, Wilford Woodruff said that he
had baptized Mrs.Murphy while on his mission in Tennessee, but that “she
apostatized and joined the mob.” Roberts indicates that by “joined
the mob” President Woodruff meant “no more, perhaps than that she
lived among those who were mobbing the saints in Illinois.”
Apparently the Murphy’s thought of themselves as Mormons, no matter what
their situation was at various times.
Mrs. Murphy, who was a Latter-day Saint, was among the number that perished in
that horrible scene of death. The circumstances under which she became a
member of that company were explained to us by her daughter, Mrs. Johnson.
The lady, being a widow with several children dependant on her for support,
while residing at Nauvoo, heard of a chance to get employment at Warsaw. An
anti-Mormon settlement 30 miles down the river. Thinking to better her
condition, she accordingly moved to Warsaw and spent the winter of
1845-1846 there. cont.
Several other families joined the wagon train along the way. Levinah Murphy, 37,
a widow from Tennessee, headed a family of thirteen.By the time they
had reached a point in the mountains where they could look down and see the
Great Salt Lake, it was August 20 1846.
As someone pointed out, the first women through the Salt Lake Valley were in the
Donner Party a few of which were LDS.The Thomaas Rhodes family
passed through before Brigham too, although I don't believe they passed
through SL Valley.Mary Murphy Was one of these women.
Who named this the "Salt Lake Valley"? Was it the Mormons? If so, the
title of the article is completely accurate. Of course many people may have
"passed through" over the centuries, and gone right on through. I
understand it was partly chosen because it was a salty water, tree-less desert
and no one had previously ever wanted to settle here. The word
"entered" in the title, infers they came to stay, so in that sense,
these 3 women were absolutely the "first" women.
A fitting tribute to those three women, but also to the noble and brave women of
any era. Every human being's life is enriched by the women around him/her.
The article proffers some good thoughts for pondering on the 24th of July.
I am pretty sure that those particular women were not even in the first thousand
women to enter the valley. They just happened to be the first white ones.
I enjoyed reading this and seeing the name of Patty Bartlett Sessions, she is my
3rd great grandmother. I have her diaries, she was an amazing woman.
I found it very interesting to know who those first 3 women were, and to learn a
little bit about each one. And I also enjoyed seeing how these women brought
order and culture and dedication. An interesting article!
@BYU Track Star - there was a group of sick battalion members who wintered in
Pueblo, cut up into the trail across Wyoming, their group in whole entered Salt
Lake a week after the 1st group. Some of their lead people had run into Brigham
Young's lead group, maybe that's what you were referring to. They
never went to California though. And there were women and children in this
@BYU Track Star - the battallion was discharged 16 July 1847 in Los Angeles.
elisabeth,The article was about women entering the Salt Lake Valley.
The maps I see of the Escalante-Dominguez expedition show they didn't go
north of Utah Valley. Hutterite's comment about the first women being
Native Americans is much more accurate.
"Although home to Native Americans for many centuries, the first white men
to set foot in what is now known as Utah County were most likely Father
Escalante and Father Dominquez and their party of explorers on September 23,
1776." Their women are not women? i think this ethnocentric perspective is
what gives some people this sense of "exceptionalism" which is really
just arrogance and ignorance perpetuated by myths like these.
Russ, didn't some of the discharged veterans from Mormon Battalion in
California pass through the Salt Lake area before they met up with the advance
party of the Saints somewhere in Wyoming? I recollect the Donner Party passed
through the Salt Lake area before the Saints arrived too.
First nations people.
Who were the first men? It certainly wasn't Brigham as he was sick in bed
from Mountain Fever.