Mormons and the Green River Area

“[T]he uneasy situation in the Green River region worsened. Pursuing the Church’s effort to extend its jurisdiction over the area, at the same time following its established practice of bestowing valuable concessions upon members of the Hierarchy, the Utah legislature granted to the Mormon Daniel Wells a monopoly of ferry transportation on the river. The action so arouse the mountain men and their Snake Indian friends that the commanding officer at Fort Laramie feared ‘bloodshed and disturbance’ as a result.

The focus of excitement in the Green River Basin during the middle part of the decade was old Jim Bridger, trapper, scout, and storyteller now become merchant to the overland pioneers. In the 1840s, with Louis Vasquez, he had opened a post on Black’s Fork. Because of its strategic location and Bridger’s considerable influence with the neighboring Indian tribes, the fort thwarted the Mormons’ plan to control the whole region. As a step preliminary to [Bridger’s] removal in 1853 the Saints established a settlement, Fort Supply, about twelve miles southwest Bridger’s post, under the leadership of Orson Hyde. The Church then moved to eject the mountain man.”