Mormon Expedition

views updated


MORMON EXPEDITION. The Mormon Expedition of 1857–1858 was a federal force sent by President James Buchanan to force the Mormons, led by Brigham Young, to obey federal laws. The initial party of about 1,500 infantry and artillery failed to subdue them. Using guerilla tactics, the Mormons held off the troops, forced them to camp out in Wyoming through the winter, and raided federal supplies. Eventually, promises of amnesty by Buchanan, coupled with the threat of federal military intervention, induced Young and his followers to submit, and, on 26 June 1858, the federal expedition marched into Salt Lake City, Utah, without bloodshed.


Allen, James B., and John W. Welch, eds. Coming to Zion. Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, Brigham Young University, 1997.

Brown, S. Kent, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds. Historical Atlas of Mormonism. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Schindler, Harold, ed. Crossing the Plains: New and Fascinating Accounts of the Hardships, Controversies, and Courage Experienced and Chronicled by the 1847 Pioneers on the Mormon Trail. Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Tribune, 1997.

C. A.Willoughby/d. b.

See alsoLatter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of ; Mormon Trail ; Mormon War ; Nauvoo, Mormons at .