Young, Brigham
Brigham Young was the second prophet of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and took over leadership of the sect in 1848, after the murder of founder Joseph Smith Jr. Young was responsible for the successful founding of the Mormon provisional state of Deseret, which later became Utah.1 In 1857, American president James Buchanan sent an army to remove Young from governorship of Utah.2 As a result, members of the British government grew concerned that Young, if hard pressed, might move his colony from Utah into British Columbia (then still part of the Hudson's Bay Company-controlled Northwest Territory).3 Despite their willingness to harbour political exiles, the British administration explicitly told Vancouver Island Governor James Douglas to ban Mormons from any rights of occupation whatever.4 Members of the Colonial Office even discussed the use of warships to prevent Mormon immigration.5
While a Mormon community was to be founded in Alberta in 1887, Young eventually learned to coexist with the American government and never attempted to push into Vancouver Island or British Columbia.6 Nonetheless, the presence of settlers and expansionists such as Young helped persuade the British government to declare British Columbia a colony in order to empower the local governments.7
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