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Fort Limhi: The Mormon Adventure in Oregon Territory, 1855-1858
by David Bigler
Utah State University Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-87421-569-4

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

In May 1855 twenty-seven men set out from the young Mormon settlements in Utah to establish the northernmost colony of the Kingdom of God, "the Northern Mission to the Remnants of the House of Jacob"-American Indians. More colonists, including families, would join them later. Building a fort in the Limhi Valley, four hundred miles to the north and at the foot of the pass by which Lewis and Clark had crossed the Continental Divide, they began to proselyte among Sacagawea's Shoshone relatives as well as members of the Bannock, Nez Percé, and other tribes. Three years later, some of their expected and actual Indian converts violently drove the colonists out and destroyed Fort Limhi.

In Fort Limhi: The Mormon Adventure in Oregon Territory, 1855-1858, David Bigler shows that the colony, known as the Salmon River Mission, played a pivotal role in the Utah War of 1857-1858 and that the catastrophic end of the mission was critical in keeping that conflict from becoming an all out war between Mormon Utah and the United States. In the process, he uses a multitude of primary sources, many newly uncovered or previously overlooked, to reconstruct a dramatic and compelling story involving stalwart Mormon frontiersmen, Brigham Young, a variety of Native American individuals and groups, the U. S. Army, and "mountaineers," as the surviving fur trade veterans now commonly known as "mountain men" called themselves.

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