Saints Celebrate Sailing of the Brooklyn

    “Saints Celebrate Sailing of the Brooklyn,” Ensign, July 2004, 77

    Saints Celebrate Sailing of the Brooklyn

    July marks the 158th anniversary of the landing of the Brooklyn in Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), California. The Brooklyn, a 125-foot (38-m) ship carrying approximately 240 members of the Church, launched from Manhattan on 4 February 1846 and arrived at Yerba Buena on 31 July 1846. It was the first civilian ship to round Cape Horn and logged the longest recorded sea voyage of religious pioneers, covering 20,000 miles (32,000 km).

    A plaque commemorating the sailing of the ship was dedicated on 7 February 2004 at Manhattan’s Old Slip, the New York City pier from which the ship sailed.

    The ship’s passage included 11 deaths and two births, one during the Atlantic and one during the Pacific portions of the journey.

    Among the supplies these religious pilgrims carried with them in the small hold (the living space for the passengers was only 2,500 square feet [232 sq m]) were materials for two sawmills and a gristmill, tools for 800 farmers, two cows, 40 pigs, and a printing press that would later publish The California Star, California’s first English-language newspaper.

    The dedication of the plaque at Old Slip was followed by a screening of Forgotten Voyage, Scott Tiffany’s award-winning documentary about the Brooklyn.

    The Brooklyn carried members of the Church 20,000 miles (32,000 km) around Cape Horn 158 years ago. Members in New York commemorated the event with the dedication of a plaque in Manhattan’s Old Slip. (The Ship Brooklyn by Arnold Fribert. © 1984 IRI. Courtesy Museum of Church History and Art.)