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A Long Journey for $15

Without modern banking methods and with little reliable mail communication, Latter-day Saints in Utah relied on each other to send money to friends who needed help crossing the plains. In 1860, George Stevens in Utah wanted to send $15 to Alice Wickham, who had emigrated from England that year but needed help completing her journey to Utah. George Stevens handed his $15 to Brigham Young, who gave it to Horace S. Eldredge, a Latter-day Saint going to New York to buy papermaking machinery for Utah. Brother Eldredge gave the money to Apostle George Q. Cannon, who was traveling from Washington D.C. to Nebraska to oversee that year’s pioneer travel across the plains. Elder Cannon credited Alice Wickham with the payment, and Sister Wickham arrived in Salt Lake City that October.

Brigham Young letter to George Q. Cannon, Mar. 8, 1860, Brigham Young Office Files, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Brigham Young letter to William H. Hooper, Mar. 29, 1860, Brigham Young Office Files, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; “Alice Wickham,” Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database, history.lds.org; “Wickham, Alice,” Mormon Migration database, mormonmigration.lib.byu.edu