1858, the year that Hans C. Davidson and his family came form Denmark to Utah, was a most unusual and tumultuous year. The Mormon immigration from Europe was almost halted; there being only 229 Immigrants or returning elders that year. Some of the condition of that year are recalled in volume two of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers publication Our Pioneer Heritage pages 36- 41; the following quotes are from that publication.
p. 36. Currency Association—1858 Great Salt Lake City, U. T,. April 5, 1858
Elder T. B. Stenhouse,
Governor Young recently seeing the necessity of a circulating medium throught the territory, established a Currency Association based upon livestock capital; and the matter of beneficial effects are already realized, and trade is more brisk that usual at this season of the year. Specie being very scarc, on account of no exportations, and the importation of the country having drained the country dry, and Uncle Sam refusing to ppay the ex-officials’ drafts, something was necessary to keep trade alive; and this Association was instituted in time to spread faith and confidence among the men of business who experience it salutary results. Some thousands of dollars in circulation.
Yours in the Gospel of Christ., G.W. Mills
—L.D.S. Millennial Star, July 17, 1858
CHRONOLOGY OF 1858
Awaiting the arrival of the Federal Army from the East, the Saints in Utah abandoned G.S.L. City and all their northern settlements and moved south, but most of them returned after peace was restored. Nearly all the Elders who had been on foreign missions returned home. Joshua T. Willes settled at Toquerville, and in the fall Nephi Johnson and six others located Virgin City, Washington County. San Bernardino, California was vacated by the Saints, who removed to Utah. Most of them settled at Parowan and Beaver. An edition of the Book of Mormon was published by James O. Wright and Co., 337 Broadway, New York, for speculative purposed and unauthorized by the Church.
January, Wed. 6—A memorial from the members and officers of the Utah legislature to the President and Congress of the United States praying for constitution rights, etc., was signed in G.S.L. City.
Sat. 16—A lage mass meeting of the citizens was held in the Tabernacle, G.S.L. City. A Petition and resolution, setting forth the true state of affairs in Utah, were adopted, and on motion, sent to the U.S. government at Washington
Tues. 19—Apostles Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson, and Elsders John Scott and John M. Kay arrived in G.S.L. City from missions to Europe, and Geo. Q. Cannon, Joseph Bull and three other Elders from California.
Fri. 22—The Utah legislature adjourned, without the occurrence of a negative vote on any question or action during the session.
FEBRUARY. Friday 19—Ssixty-four Saints, mostly returning Elders, under the direction of Jesse Hobseon, sailed from Liverpool, England, on the ship Empire, which aarrived in New York March 20th.
Wed 24—Col. Thomas L. Kane arrived in G.S.L. City by way of Southern California. He came voluntarily for the purpose of bringing about a peaceful solution of the existing difficulties between the United States and Utah. After conferring with Governor Brigham Young, and other leading citizens, he went out to the army which was encamped at Fort Scott [near Fort Bridger]. There he had an interview with the new Governor, Alfred Cumming, who concluded to accompany him to G.S.L. City.
Thus. 25—George McBride and James Miller were killed and five other brethren wounded by a large party of Bannock and Sshoshone Indians near Fort Lehmi, Oregon [now Idaho]
March Sunday 21—The citizens of G.S.L. City and the settlements north of it agreed to abandon their homes and go south, all the information derived from Eastern papers being to the effect that the approaching formidable army was sent to destroy them. Their destination, when stating, was by some supposed
to be Sonora.
Monday 22 —The ship John Bright sailed from Liverpool, England, mostly Scandinavian Saints, about ninety in number, under the direction of Iver N. Iverson. The Company arrived at New York April 23rd and at Iowa City May 1st. [this was the immigration company of the H. C. Davidson family]
April Mon. 5—Gov. Alfred Cumming and Col. Thos. L. Kane, with a servant each, left the army at Ft. Scott for the valley. They arrived in G.S.L. City on the 12th . The new governor was kindly received by pres Brigham Young and other leading citizens and treated everywhere with “respectful attention”.
Mon. 19—Governor Alfred Cumming and Col. Thomas L. Kane examined the Utah library, where James W. Cummings showed them the records and seal of the U.S. District Court, alleged to have destroyed by the Mormons. This accusation was one of the reasons why the army was ordered to Utah. A few days later the governor sent a truthful report to the government in relation to the affairs in the Territory.
May The citizen of Utah, living north of Utah County, abandoned their homes and moved southward, leaving only a few men in each town and settlement to burn everything, in case the approaching army, on their arrival in the Valley should prove hostile.
Wed 5—The Deseret News having been removed from G.S.L. City to Fillmore, Millard Co., the first number of the paper published at that place was issued.
Thurs. 13— Governor Cumming left G.S.L. City for Camp Scott for the purpose of removing his wife to the city. When he returned June 8th, he found the city deserted by its inhabitants.
June Fri. 4—Jens Jorgensen and wife, Jens Terkelson and Christian E. Kjeluf were murdered by Indians in Salt Creek Canyon, while traveling unarmed on their way to Sanpete Valley.
Mon. 7—Ex. Gov. L. W. Powell, of Kentucky, and Major Ben McCulloch of Texas, sent as peace commissioners by the Federal government, arrived at G.S.L. City.
Fri. 11—The peace commissioners met with Pres. Brigham Young and others in the Council House, G.S.L. City, and the difficulties between the United States and Utah were peaceably adjusted.
Tue. 15—Commissioners Powell and McCulloch visited Provo. The next day Mr. Powell addressed and audience of about four thousand person in the Bowery at Provo, Utah Co.
Sat. 19—Col. Thomas L. Kane arrived in Washington, D.C. Soon afterwards he reported the situation in Utah to President Buchanan.
Mon 21—A company of Elders returned to G.S.L. City from the mission in Europe, Canada and the States. A number of these had sailed from Liverpool on the ship Underwriter, Jan 21st and others on the ship Empire, Feb. 19th.
Sat. 26—The Army under Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, passed through G.S.L. City and camped on the west side of the Jordan River. It subsequently marched to Cedar Valley, and there located Camp Floyd, about forty miles from the city.
July. Thurs. 1—The First Presidency and a few others returned to their homes in G.S.L. City, from Provo. They were followed by most of the people, who likewise returned to their deserted city and settlements in the north, and resumed their accustomed labors.
Sat. 3—Commissioners Powell and McCulloch left G.S.L. City en route for Washington D.C.
Friday 9—A party of elders, accompanied by a few immigrating brethren, arrived in G.S.L. City, under the leadership of Horace S. Eldredge.
August Mon 16—Wm. Evans was killed by lightning near Beaver Utah.
September. Mon. 20—Iver N. Iverson’s company of immigrating Saints arrived in G.S.L. City. [This was the company of Saints in which the Hans Christian Davidson family traveled.]