(1849-1850 Expedition)

Brigham Young sent Parley P. Pratt and a group of 50 men to explore southern Utah for places to settle and for sources of resources. They left on November 24, 1849 and returned from late January to late March of 1850. The wagons & oxen traveled 526 miles. The group that explored the Virgin River Basin traveled an additional 190 miles.



Salt Lake City
Fort Utah on the Provo River
Current location of Nephi
Up Chalk Creek
Sanpitch settlement in the Sanpete Valley
Spanish Trail up the Sevier River
Vicinity of Circleville
Little Salt Lake Valley

Group 1 with the wagons & oxen and most of the men led by David Fullmer
Parowan and Cedar Valleys

Group 2 with Parley P. Pratt and 20 men with horses
Virgin River area
Santa Clara River
Mountain Meadows

Groups 1 and 2 united
Current location of Fillmore

Group 3 with Parley P. Pratt and half the party (mostly the men with families) went ahead on horeseback.
Fort Utah
Salt Lake Valley

Group 4 with the other half of the party and the wagons & oxen delayed (7 weeks) for better weather.
Round Valley
Salt Lake Valley


Parley P. Pratt, President
William W. Phelps and David Fullmer, Counselors
John Brown, Captain
Robert Campbell, Clerk
W. W. Phelps, Engineer

First Group of 10
Isaac Haight, Captain
Parley P. Pratt
William Wadsworth
Rufus Allen
Chauncey West
Dan Jones
Hial K. Gay
George B. Matson
Samuel Gould
William P. Vance

Second Group of 10
Joseph Matthews, Captain
John Brown
Nathan Tanner
Sterling G. Driggs
Homer Duncan
William Matthews
John D. Holladay
Schuyler Jennings
John H. Bankhead
Robert M. Smith

Third Group of 10
Joseph Horne, Captain
Alexander Wright
David Fullmer
William Brown
George Nebeker
Benjamin F. Stuart
James Farrer
Henry Heath
Seth B. Tanner
Alexander Lemon

Fourth Group of 10
Ephraim Green, Captain
William W. Phelps
Charles Hopkins
Andrew Blodgett
William P. Henrie
Peter Dustin
Thomas E. Ricks
Robert Campbell
Isaac Brown
William S. Willis

Fifth Group of 10
Josiah Arnold, Captain
Christopher Williams
Dimick B. Huntington
John C. Armstrong
Isaac B. Hatch
Jonathan Taylor Packer
Stephen Taylor

The vacancy of three men in the fifth ten was to be filled by recruits from the new Sanpete settlement. Actually, five men--Madison D. Hambleton, Gardner G. Potter, Edward Everett, John Lowry Jr., and Sylvester Hewlitt-- joined there; but two of the explorers were sent home after reaching the Little Salt Lake, keeping the expedition at fifty men as planned.


November 23, 1949 The company was organized.

November 24, 1849 The company left Salt Lake City.

December 3, 1849 Reached the Sanpitch settlement in the Sanpete Valley.

January 10, 1849 The company started home from Parowan.

January 28,1850 Group 3 arrived back in the Salt Lake Valley.

February 5, 1850 Parley P. Pratt presented his report to the legislature.

End of March Group 4 arrived back home.


WCHS photos:
WCHS-03993   Photo of a monument to the Parley P. Pratt Southern Utah Expedition in 1849


Over the Rim: The Parley P. Pratt Exploring Expedition to Southern Utah, 1849-50
edited by William B. and Donna T. Smart
270 pages
Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1999
[Note: This is a large file and may take a while to load.]

The 1849 Southern Exploring Expedition of Parley P. Pratt
by William B. and Donna T. Smart
Nauvoo Journal, pp. 125-137

The Southern Utah Expedition of Parley P. Pratt
by Rick J. Fish
Brigham Young University, Master's Thesis, December 1992

The Mormon Corridor
by Kellene Ricks Adams
In Pioneer Sesquicentennial 1847-1997, pp. 72-75

Quotes from the Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints an preparations

Members of the Parley P. Pratt expedition company

A report from Parley P. Pratt to Brigham Young

Video of Susan Easton Black talking about the Expedition

Tales Of The Old West: Exploring Washington County, 1849
By "Doc" Hal Hickman. Senior Sampler, July 1, 2022, p. 10

A paper on the Expedition given by William B. Smart