Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. He was the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877 and he founded Salt Lake City and he served as the first governor of the Utah Territory. Young also led the foundings of the precursors to the University of Utah, Young was dubbed by his followers the Lion of the Lord for his bold personality and was also commonly called Brother Brigham by Latter-day Saints. Young was a polygamist and was involved in controversies regarding black people and the Priesthood, the Utah War, and the Mountain Meadows massacre. Young was born to John Young and Abigail Nabby Howe, a family in Whitingham, Vermont. Young was first married in 1824 to Miriam Angeline Works, though he had converted to the Methodist faith in 1823, Young was drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. He officially joined the new church in 1832 and traveled to Upper Canada as a missionary, after his wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. In 1844, while in jail awaiting trial for treason charges, Joseph Smith, several claimants to the role of church president emerged during the succession crisis that ensued. Young opposed this reasoning and motion, the majority in attendance were persuaded that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was to lead the church with Young as the Quorums president. Many of Youngs followers would later reminisce that while Young spoke to the congregation, he looked or sounded exactly like Smith, Young was ordained President of the Church in December 1847, three and a half years after Smiths death. Rigdon became the president of a church organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Repeated conflict led Young to relocate his group of Latter-day Saints to the Salt Lake Valley, Young organized the journey that would take the Mormon pioneers to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, in 1846, then to the Salt Lake Valley. By the time Young arrived at the destination, it had come under American control as a result of war with Mexico. Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24,1847, Youngs expedition was one of the largest and one of the best organized westward treks. On August 22,29 days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, after three years of leading the church as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Young reorganized a new First Presidency and was declared president of the church on December 27,1847. As colonizer and founder of Salt Lake City, Young was appointed the territorys first governor, during his time as prophet, Young directed the establishment of settlements throughout present-day Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, California and parts of southern Colorado and northern Mexico. Young was also one of the first to subscribe to Union Pacific stock, Young organized the first legislature and established Fillmore as the territorys first capital. Young organized a Board of Regents to establish a university in the Salt Lake Valley and it was established on February 28,1850, as the University of Deseret, its name was eventually changed to the University of Utah
The five sons of John and Nabby Young From left to right: Lorenzo Dow, Brigham, Phineas H., Joseph, and John.
Brigham Young photographed by Charles Roscoe Savage, 1855