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John Williams Gunnison

1812– 1853

Born in Goshen, New Hampshire; graduated from West Point in 1837; assigned to Army Corps of Topographical Engineers; participated in Seminole War, 1837–38, and removal of Cherokees to Indian Territory, 1838; served as second in command of expedition appointed in 1849 to study the Great Basin; published The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1852; returned to Utah in 1853 to lead expedition surveying a railroad route to Pacific; killed along with seven of his men by Pahvant Indians while camped near the Sevier River in central Utah. (See Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, 2:598–99; “John Williams Gunnison,” Utah History Encyclopedia, 241; Mumey, John Williams Gunnison; Fielding, Unsolicited Chronicler; GQC journal, Apr. 15, 1854.)