Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
Old Skeletons & New Trails
MORMON EXODUS STALLS ON THE MOJAVE
By the middle of January there was a large encampment along the
consisting of 100 wagons. The pace of the departure had
been deliberately slowed because of the "great destitution" in Salt Lake City due to the lack of supplies. The emigrants on the Mojave
unselfishly sent their own supplies to Utah to relieve the suffering of their brethren there.
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Amasa Lyman, previously a co-leader of the Mormon Colony, was at the river encampment buying supplies, through intermediaries, from his
former townsmen. Meanwhile, camp life on the river was taking on the aspects of a settlement, what with the large number of marriages
and births occurring as the Mormons patiently waited to continue their exodus.
Johnston's army had reached Utah in November 1857, rather late in the year to begin a campaign in a country known for its frigid
weather. As the Army neared Salt Lake City, Colonel Johnston decided to encamp for the winter, a decision that allowed time for
cooler heads to prevail and attempt to defuse the situation through peaceful means. Skillful negotiations between the Mormons
and the U. S. Government prevented a continuation of hostilities, and by June 1858, the threat of war had ended.