Thomas Foster Rhoades

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About Thomas Foster Rhoades

Mormon Pioneer:

"...Thomas Rhoades led a company of almost 50 people from Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake Valley. Rhoades had taken his family to California in 1846, preceding the Donner Party. The company returned to Utah with substantial amounts of gold discovered and mined in California..."

SOURCE: http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompany/1,15797,4017-1-403,00.html


Thomas Foster Rhoads (spelled Rhoades after 1850), known as "The Mormon Pathfinder," was born in Green River, Kentucky, and was a descendent of Palatinate German ancestors. One of the earlier converts to Mormonism (1834), Thomas Rhoads led the first expedition of Mormon settlers to northern California in May of 1846, whereupon arrival in October of that same year he settled near Sutter's Fort along the Consumnes River. Thomas Rhoads then went to work for, and became a close friend of, John Augustus Sutter, famous for the discovery of gold at his mill site. Much of Rhoads' early fortune came from mining the gold-rich fields along the Sacramento valley.

 In 1847, Mormon President Brigham Young declared the Salt Lake Valley the place for the recently disenfranchised Mormons to settle in as their "Zion." President Young called upon Rhoads to come to Salt Lake to aid in the building of the new Mormon community. It is estimated that Rhoads returned to the Salt Lake Valley with approximately $17,000 in gold.  From this gold were struck four denominations of distinctive Mormon coins in two-and-one-half, five, ten, and twenty dollar amounts. Rhoads reportedly deposited approximately $10,000 of his own gold into the mint account, and it is from this gold that a majority of the gold coins were struck.
 The story of the creation of the statue of Moroni has, throughout many years, perpetuated a still lingering mystery about the origin of the gold used in the gilding of the statue. It is generally accepted that the gold was obtained from Thomas F. Rhoads.
 The real treasure in life lies with knowing who was here before us.
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Thomas Foster Rhoades's Timeline

1796
July 13, 1796
Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, United States
1817
March 7, 1817
Age 20
Skilesville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, United States
March 7, 1817
Age 20
1817
Age 20
Pennsylvania, United States
1818
October 5, 1818
Age 22
Pennsylvania, United States
1821
December 7, 1821
Age 25
Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, USA
1826
1826
Age 29
Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, USA
1827
1827
Age 30
Illinois, United States
1830
January 28, 1830
Age 33
Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, USA