WI: Mormons stay in Nebraska?

In our world the Mormons camped out in Nebraska over winter but left and continued on to Utah. What if they stayed? Would Mormon numbers be greater in a more fruitful land? Would they conflict with Gentiles? Would they pick a side in the Civil War?
 
The Missouri and Platte Rivers were major avenues for westward migration. The route to today's Salt Lake City was the course for the first transcontinental railroad and today's Interstate 80. It would change settlement patterns for the western US.
 
The Missouri and Platte Rivers were major avenues for westward migration. The route to today's Salt Lake City was the course for the first transcontinental railroad and today's Interstate 80. It would change settlement patterns for the western US.
Maybe Gentiles would also be less willing to settle in Nebraska do to the established Mormon presence?
 
Maybe Gentiles would also be less willing to settle in Nebraska do to the established Mormon presence?
The Mormons became so successful because they were isolated in the Utah Territory. The railroad did not come there until 1869, 22 years after settlement west. In 1856, the railroad crossed Iowa to Council Bluffs, across the river from today's Omaha. So that region was connected to some mainstream commerce. Even though the railroad would take years, the US Army gave the Utah Mormons a hard time in 1857-58 over plural marriage. Had they stayed in Nebraska, their location would have made them more vulnerable and perhaps less likely to build a likeness of Salt Lake City at Omaha.
 
Although Young was pro-slavery, I don’t think the church would have picked a side so to speak. The Young faction was nothing if not practical, and had followers from both North and South.

I do also agree that their relative isolation was and has always been a boon to the church’s survival. They sort of need to be a majority or a minority in a given area.
 
Part of the Mormons’ conflict at Nauvoo came from their control of a shallow point in the Mississippi River known as the Des Moines Rapids. A lock and dam at Keokuk would eliminate them in 1913. River boats had to be partly unloaded and the Mormons made money over drayage and portage, antagonizing some. When the railroad came through Utah, they did not own the tracks, so their business dealings worked. By the same token, they would not have total control over the rivers and rails around Omaha, so a settlement there might have worked.

On the other hand, not all of the Mormons dispersed from Nauvoo followed Brigham Young. Some went to Independence, MO, some to Wisconsin and elsewhere. They assimilated as “another church” and would become relatively obscure compared to the Mormons of Utah. So, the question is, had they settled Omaha, or even remained in Nauvoo, would they have achieved their prominence of today?
 
Although Young was pro-slavery,

Yet in 1859 he told Horace Greeley that Utah would be a free state, as it was quite unsuitable for slavery. See Greeley's An Overland Journey. He would likely have taken the same view about Nebraska. And as a Vermonter by birth he would be unlikely to take up the cudgels for slavery.


I don’t think the church would have picked a side so to speak. The Young faction was nothing if not practical, and had followers from both North and South.

They might have impacted on "Bleeding Kansas". They would have been extremely hostile to the Missouri "Border Ruffians" as similar types there had recently tried to exterminate them. The last thing they would want is a State next door run by their blood enemies. Could we see a "Mormon Legion" defending Lawrence against the proslavery forces?
 
Yet in 1859 he told Horace Greeley that Utah would be a free state, as it was quite unsuitable for slavery.
After having reinforced slavery as an institution, spent almost 2 decades defending it and was at best apathetic when the emancipation proclamation was announced... Young was pretty pro-slavery until it was no longer acceptable to be pro-slavery. Like most things in the Church’s dark history, he was a proponent of bad things until it was too damaging to keep it up.
See Greeley's An Overland Journey. He would likely have taken the same view about Nebraska. And as a Vermonter by birth he would be unlikely to take up the cudgels for slavery.
...yes? I agreed he would be unlikely to fight for slavery?
 
In the time when Young lived in Nebraska, he, like his late friend Joseph Smith. It wasn’t until after the civil war when Young became racist, and he probably never would support slavery that close to Missouri
 
In the time when Young lived in Nebraska, he, like his late friend Joseph Smith. It wasn’t until after the civil war when Young became racist, and he probably never would support slavery that close to Missouri


And the Church’s top leadership was overwhelmingly northern. A look at my Church Almanac indicates that in 1861 the birthplaces of its members were as follows

FIRST PRESIDENCY

President – Brigham Young (VT)
1st Counsellor - Heber C Kimball (VT)
2nd Counsellor – Daniel H Wells – (NJ)


QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES

John Taylor – (England)
Wilford Woodruff – (CT)
Lorenzo Snow – (OH)
George A Smith – (NY)
George Q Cannon – (England)
Amasa M Lyman – (NH)
Orson Hyde – (CT)
Orson Pratt – (NY)
Ezra T Benson – (MA)
Charles C Rich – (KY)
Erastus Snow – (VT)
Franklin D Richards – (MA)

Thus of the thirteen American-born Apostles, only one (Elder Rich) came from a slave state, and none from a Confederate State. The rest were all northerners, and eight of them were from New England. Not likely to be a proslavery body.
 
Yet they were used to being treated as pariahs in some quarters, like slavers. Were big on hierarchy, like slavers. They came west in search of self determination, like the South did in seceding for self determination. In fact they've considered creating their own country. Finnally they have a 'tradition' of treating parts of their society apaulingly, namely women.

I do not know, but they seem to have a lot internally causing them, in spite of northern origin, to be sympathetic to the South.

As for Horace Greeley, I could see Young telling him what he wants to hear.
 
Finnally they have a 'tradition' of treating parts of their society apaulingly, namely women.

Not sure what you mean. If you are referring to polygamy, have you any evidence that plural wives were any more likely yo be ill-treated than those in monogamous unions?

BTW, In 1870 Utah Territory was among the first places in the US to give women the vote. However Congress in its wisdom decided that this increased LDS voting power, so passed a law restricting the franchise to men. As a result, when Statehood in 1896 we had to enfranchise our womenfolk all over again, over twenty years before the US

I do not know, but they seem to have a lot internally causing them, in spite of northern origin, to be sympathetic to the South.

Can you produce a single example of any LDS assisting the Confederacy?

What certainly prevailed was an attitude of "You deserve each other". Many Saints (quite reasonably given recent history) viewed the ACW as God's punishment on their persecutors back east. But there was no inclination to take the Rebel side. If anything, it was more dangerous to be an LDS missionary or convert in he South than in the North.

As for President Young's conversation with Greeley, he was doing no more than state the obvious. Per the 1860 Census there were only 29 slaves in the entire territory (several of whom were probably owned by Democratic Territorial officials from outside Utah (which then included most of Nevada and parts od Colorado as well as the present state), hardly enough to form the basis of a slave state there. It was a foregone conclusion that Utah would be free.
 
Part of the Mormons’ conflict at Nauvoo came from their control of a shallow point in the Mississippi River known as the Des Moines Rapids. A lock and dam at Keokuk would eliminate them in 1913. River boats had to be partly unloaded and the Mormons made money over drayage and portage, antagonizing some. When the railroad came through Utah, they did not own the tracks, so their business dealings worked. By the same token, they would not have total control over the rivers and rails around Omaha, so a settlement there might have worked.

On the other hand, not all of the Mormons dispersed from Nauvoo followed Brigham Young. Some went to Independence, MO, some to Wisconsin and elsewhere. They assimilated as “another church” and would become relatively obscure compared to the Mormons of Utah. So, the question is, had they settled Omaha, or even remained in Nauvoo, would they have achieved their prominence of today?
The Community of Christ, formally known as Reorganised Latter day saints, had until recently kept power in the smith family. Perhaps Nebraska might avoid the split with Oliver Crowley.
 
The Community of Christ, formally known as Reorganised Latter day saints, had until recently kept power in the smith family. Perhaps Nebraska might avoid the split with Oliver Crowley.
In 1975, I began my career in Kansas City with a department manager who was an RLDS (lay) minister. Then I moved to Quincy, Illinois, 50 miles south of Nauvoo. Without such exposure, I would not have known of the "two Mormon faiths." Nauvoo has an LDS visitor's center and a Joseph Smith Visitor's Center, run by the Community of Christ. As I see it, had Brigham Young not established a prominent church detached from the American mainstream, Mormonism might have been somewhat obscure. If Omaha were to become the alternate Salt Lake City, polygamy would need to be maintained in secret.
 
In 1975, I began my career in Kansas City with a department manager who was an RLDS (lay) minister. Then I moved to Quincy, Illinois, 50 miles south of Nauvoo. Without such exposure, I would not have known of the "two Mormon faiths." Nauvoo has an LDS visitor's center and a Joseph Smith Visitor's Center, run by the Community of Christ. As I see it, had Brigham Young not established a prominent church detached from the American mainstream, Mormonism might have been somewhat obscure. If Omaha were to become the alternate Salt Lake City, polygamy would need to be maintained in secret.

There were quite a few breakaways after the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, led by various men who felt they had a better right to succeed him than had Brigham Young. Some of the resulting Churches survive to this day, some do not.

Bernard DeVoto gives a good account of this in Ch 3 of The Year of Decision 1846. Well worth a read.

Some more splinters were created after the abandonment of plural marriage. We seem destined to shed splinter groups the way individuals shed dandruff
 
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