170 years ago today - Oct 12, 1849

The First Presidency announces the creation of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company and Perpetual Emigrating Fund to assist impoverished Latter-day Saints living abroad with the expense of traveling to Utah. The company begins its operations in early 1850 with $5,000, successfully leading a wagon train from Kanesville, Iowa, to Salt Lake City. By the fall of 1850, the fund has grown to $20,000.

PEF loans to Latter-day Saints to assist them in traveling to Utah eventually create an immense amount of debt owed to the church. At the time of Brigham Young's death in 1877, more than $1 million is owed to the fund by emigrants.


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