Benjamin Driggs

The Mormon Quest for Home

Throughout their history, the Latter-day Saints have searched for a home where they are free to practice their faith. In 1839, they fled persecution in Missouri to create such a place in Nauvoo. Led by Joseph Smith, the Mormons formed a local government and set about building a massive temple. In all, they spent a million dollars on the structure. Yet it was never completed because less than a decade later internal and external forces had pushed them out of Nauvoo.

Three generations of the Driggs family lived in Nauvoo during its short time as a Mormon sanctuary. Young Benjamin Driggs grew up there while his father Shadrach built wagons to help families moving further west. Benjamin became a folk hero for donating his own treasured wagon—made by his father—to workers building the temple. Like his fellow Mormons, Benjamin eventually fled his home in Nauvoo, living for a brief time in Iowa before settling in Utah.


Object label:

Benjamin Driggs’s Bucket

A bucket reportedly owned by Driggs and used by him while helping rescue other Mormons migrating away from Nauvoo.

The Church History Museum, Salt Lake City, Utah

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