REES, Thomas: Poor Welch Immigrant

Thomas and his family wanted to go to Utah with the saints, but he didn’t have the money to do so. Thus, their pioneer pilgrimage began on their destitute little farm in Wales with an effort to save money for the journey. It took until 1868 for them to save enough to send Brigham and one of his older sisters to Utah. They sent them off with instructions to save money and help the rest of the family to come. Brigham sailed to the states on the steamship Colorado. If his sister traveled on the same ship with him, it was Elizabeth because she is the only one to closely match name and age (5). The ship carried 600 saints bound for Utah, and was the last of the year. It departed Liverpool on 14 July, 1868 (6), and arrived at the Castle Garden Immigration center of New York on 7 August, 1868 (7) They traveled by train to Florence, Nebraska (another account says the train took him to Wyoming), then walked the last 800 miles from there to Utah because the rail hadn’t been completed to Ogden yet. Records record him arriving in Utah in 1869, so he must have been delayed en-route. Brigham would have been one of the last of the pioneers to walk to Utah before the Golden Spike was driven in Ogden.

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