AN OUTSTANDING AND HISTORICAL GROUP OF DOCUMENTS REALTED TO THE PERPETUAL EMIGRATION FUND, DURING THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE MORMOM CHURCH.
This group was offered in a Siegel postal history sale in 1975. During a time when auction descriptions for even the most important items rarely took up more than three lines, we wrote a half-page description for this lot. It is quoted verbatim here.:
"This Fund financed an extensive Mormon Church directed program based on missionaries promising wondrous opportunities in Utah Territory; to poor European converts who would sign a bond promising repayment of emigration costs to the Church. Included are 43 different orders varying from $80 to $848 for delivery of oxen, wagons, and provisions for a wagon train leaving Atchison, Kansas Terr., on an 1855 Overland Trail trip to Salt Lake City. Several are A.L.S. by Erastus Snow, and eight are signed by him, including one shipping a yoke of cattle "if they live to go through" to his wife. Another has Snow's appendage relating to shipping "Doc Bernhisel's store and fixtures" on the wagon train. One is a scarce substitution order, another a rare receipt for team and provisions to be used as an order. Three orders provide for passage of lone women on the wagon train. Also four extensive lists of settlers indebted to the P. E. Fund showing wagon entry dates, those who married (several polygamous), etc. One long list of personal debts transferred to Brigham Young, Trustee, as a donation in 1860. Three estate records showing passage and freight emigration balances settled by transfer of decedent's clothing and sundries to the Fund. List of individuals payments not credited to Fund, 1862. List of 109 persons made by captain of wagon train in 1854, of indebtedness to Fund for flour supplied on the western trek. An 11 page trial balance sheet for P. E. Fund in 1857. And an 1871 letter soliciting funds for passage of federal law lowering emigration tax."
Extensive holdings of early original Mormon documents are seldom available, and this is a most unusual opportunity to acquire a well rounded group involving a fascinating and little known area of wagon train emigration to our western frontier