Citation: The Utah Semi-Centennial Commission, The Book of the Pioneers Volume 1-2. Utah State Archives and Records Service, Series 14107.


One of the priorities of the Commission was to create a public record. The two-volume Book of the Pioneers was that record, and the Semi-Centennial Commission members saw it as their “humble duty…to preserve in the archives of the State the record of [the pioneers’] names.”

The Commission’s first step was to define who could be included under the umbrella of “Pioneer.” The Commission determined that, though it was Brigham Young’s company which first arrived in the valley, all those who entered the valley in 1847 should be considered one of the original pioneers. The commission then worked to identify all individuals who were a part of the “pioneer colony” in order to include their names in the Book of the Pioneers. They also began identifying the surviving pioneers, to issue each of them an invitation to the Pioneer Jubilee. Unfortunately, not all were able to attend. Each one that was able to attend was asked to complete a pre-printed questionnaire (two of which can be seen here). These questionnaires asked for basic information, such as the individual’s date and location of birth, current address, the company with which the individual had travelled in 1847, and whether they still retained any artifacts from the trip. It also asked if they were willing to donate those items to the State for preservation.

The questionnaires make up the largest portion of both volumes of the Book of the Pioneers. As you see from the images above, the original signatures and personal notes of the surviving pioneers make these books “unique in character and of universal interest.” Yet it is more than the signatures that makes these pages so valuable. Many of these individuals were already at an advanced age, and they did not live long after this event. Because they completed tease the questionnaires their unique histories are preserved and accessible today (Book of the Pioneers Volume.1, pages 2, 11-13).


Page Last Updated July 20, 2017.