A paisley shawl brought by Eliza Kittleman from Philadelphia to Utah on the Ship Brooklyn, 1849.
While most Mormon pioneers crossed the Great Plains, 238 of them began their journey to refuge in the West with a twenty-four-thousand-mile sea voyage on a chartered Yankee trading ship. These travelers included Eliza Kittleman, the owner of this paisley shawl. The Brooklyn group, led by Samuel Brannon, departed New York on February 4, 1846, the same day Mormons in Illinois began to depart Nauvoo traveling west across the Mississippi. The ship’s hold contained not only the 238 people but water barrels, crates of chickens, two cows, forty pigs, tools for eight hundred farmers, two sawmills, a gristmill, and a printing press. Over the next six months, storms blew the passengers eastward almost as far as the Cape Verde islands before they sailed successfully around Cape Horn to Chile’s Juan Fernandez islands, and then to the Hawaiian islands, eventually landing in San Francisco just three weeks after the American flag had been planted there at the end of the Mexican-American War. About two-thirds of the Brooklyn migrants stayed in California, founding the town of New Hope. The remaining third traveled eastward to Utah in 1847 to reunite with the other Mormon settlers.