The Company Forms
They hoped to select about 20 or 30 families to make the trip. Specific families were asked to go. But when word spread, "California Fever" caused the numbers of volunteers to swell.
This "California Fever" worried Brigham Young. He saw these people "running to California, chiefly after the God of this world." Many, he felt, would be leaving their religon behind. He asked the Saints in Utah to stay and help build Zion. He wanted only those specificly assigned to California.
Among the travelers was a large group of Mississippi Saints. Many had free African American servants. Some Saints had not yet freed their slaves.
There were 15 members of the Mormon Battalion in the group inculding Lytle and Hunt.
A few others had come west by ship around Cape Horn. They had landed at San Francisco before traveling to Salt Lake and wanted to return to California.
Before the group left, Young traveled to Payson to address them. But when he realized how many intended to go, he could not speak. He continued to speak out against going to California the entire time the colony existed.