Pioneers Arrive by Ship in San Francisco Bay by Arnold Friberg

At the same time that the pioneers began leaving Nauvoo, 238 members of the Church who lived in New England embarked on a long sea voyage to reach the gathering place of the Saints in the West. They chartered the ship Brooklyn and sailed from New York on 4 February 1846. They landed at San Francisco, California, which was then called Yerba Buena, on 29 July 1846. They had made the voyage around Cape Horn in just under six months.

These seafarers took with them a large library, agricultural and mechanical tools and equipment, and a printing press. When they arrived in California, most of the Saints found work. Many helped build up the frontier village of Yerba Buena, and 12 families founded the short-lived agricultural community of New Hope in the San Joaquin Valley. Many of these Saints stayed in California, but nearly 140 members of the company eventually made their way to the Salt Lake Valley and the main body of the Church. (See B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:28.)

Not all the Saints moved west in covered wagons or handcarts. A group of 238 Saints sailed from New York City in 1846. Their voyage took them around the tip of South America to San Francisco, California. This trip, aboard the ship Brooklyn, took about six months. They arrived in California a year before the first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Some of these Saints stayed in California and helped build up San Francisco and other communities; others later went on to the Salt Lake Valley.

Artist, Arnold Friberg

© 1997 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used by permission.

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