John Brown (Mormon pioneer)

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John Brown (1820–1897) was a leader among the Mormons in the southern United States and in the Mormon pioneer exodus to the West. He was also a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Brown was born in Sumner County, Tennessee. He was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Perry County, Illinois by George P. Dykes. He later served as a Mormon missionary in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. He headed a group of Latter-day Saints, mainly from Mississippi, who moved west in 1846. They did not realize that the main body of the church had stopped at Winter Quarters, Nebraska and they ended up wintering in Pueblo, Colorado. Brown himself had headed back east to meet with higher up church leaders, and was part of the pioneer company headed by Brigham Young that arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. He was in charge of looking over the four slaves that were given to help with the westward emigration.[1] He himself owned several slaves,[2] one of whom, he gave to the church as tithing.[1]

From 1860 to 1862 Brown served as a missionary in Great Britain. From 1863 until 1891 he was the bishop of the Pleasant Grove Ward in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He also served for a time as mayor of Pleasant Grove. From 1867 to 1868 he served another mission in the Southern States Mission. He was later made a patriarch in the church.[3]


  1. ^ a b Kristen Rogers-Iversen (September 2, 2007). "Utah settlers' black slaves caught in 'new wilderness'". The Salt Lake Tribune. 
  2. ^ Dennis Leo Lythgoe. "NEGRO SLAVERY IN UTAH" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Jenson, Andrew (1941). "Brown, John". Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. 1: 511–512.