Alexander Badlam was born 8 November 1808 in Dorchester, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States to Ezra Badlam (1773-1842) and Mary Lovis (1774-) and died 1 December 1894 San Francisco, California, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Ann Brannon (1806-1881) 1833 in Saco, York County, Maine, United States.

Alexander Badlam, Sr. was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a Mormon pioneer. He was a coachmaker by trade. The couple became members of Joseph Smith's Church of Christ and moved to the Kirtland, Ohio region.

Religious Awakening (LDS)

Early missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.

The 1830's saw a great Protestant religious revival sweep across the United States that was called the "Second Great Awakening" and was characterized by much emotional preaching, spiritual and social reform movements and a surge in membership growth for a great many Christian denominations.

This period also saw the rise of a new Church of Christ that was organized in early 1830 by its young prophet-leader, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and after 1838 was formally named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church group was frequently called the "Mormon Church" or "Latter-day Saints" (LDS) for its belief in a new set of holy scriptures called "The Book of Mormon". For better or worse, this new religion generated a lot of attention in this region.

Missionaries of this church taught that it was not a reform movement or protest movement but a "restoration" of the original church with completeness of the full of doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ including the ministering of angels, the restored priesthood, lost scripture, revelations, prophecy, living apostles, the gifts of the spirit and much more. This message had profound impact on many who subsequently left all to follow the Prophet and the Church. In many cases their faith was so strong as to push these early converts to endure many difficult hardships and sacrifices and to eventually journey over a thousand miles westward to settle in the Great Salt Lake Valley. (See also New Religion (LDS 1830).)[1][2]

Zions Camp Participant

This Judith Mehr rendition depicts struggles endured by members of Zion's Camp, an expeditionary force to help Church members in Jackson County redeem their brethren.

One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. (See D&C 130:19–34.)

Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.

LDS Quorum of Seventy


Created by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844) in early 1835, the Quorum of Seventy was to act as traveling and presiding ministers for the newly created The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of these men performed notable works for the early church, living near then church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio. The Quorum of Seventy itself did not meet as a governing body of the church and was not renewed until reorganized by the church in 1976.

On February 28, 1835, Badlam became one of the inaugural members of the First Quorum of the Seventy. In 1835, he settled in Missouri and became a member of the church's Missouri high council.

He then seems to have settled into a productive life not unlike that of his peers. He is called into numerous positions of leadership and service, most often as a clerk for various conferences, and branches. The researcher will find numerous reports signed by Elder Badlam, usually as a clerk but occasionally as the presiding officer. He seems to have been quite close to Lyman Wight (1796-1858) for whom he often served a clerk. He lived for some time in Kirtland Ohio, then, on some occasion he removed to Missouri. There he suffered the depredations and persecutions of the mob. Sometime after being driven from Missouri to Illinois, he penned a redress petition seeking compensation for his losses at the hands of the mob and the Missouri Militia. Like others, he never received any compensation.

In Nauvoo, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Nauvoo Legion at the organizing court martial. It is not clear whether he had a military background prior to his commission.

In 1839, after the "extermination order" was issued, Badlam fled Missouri with the other Latter Day Saints was issued and settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. Badlam was admitted as a member of the Council of Fifty on March 11, 1844, but was dropped from the council on February 4, 1845.

East Coast Saints

In 1847 and 1848, Badlam presided over the branch of the church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1849, he traveled from Boston by ship to Sacramento, California to participate in the California Gold Rush. In 1850, he returned to Boston and he and his family traveled by ship to Utah Territory via California as Mormon pioneers. After arriving in Utah, Badlam was readmitted to the Council of Fifty.

By 1855, Badlam had abandoned The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and by 1860 he had moved back to Sacramento. By 1880, he was living in San Francisco, where he died.

He seems to have migrated west with the saints after the expulsion from Nauvoo, and there, destitute from the years of losses and persecutions, he sought relief at the hands of his wife's uncle, Samuel Brannan. Samuel Brannan had been an early member of the Church and had also determined to go west with the saints. Brannan, however was appointed to lead a company who would travel from the Eastern States by sea around Cape Horn to California and thence to Utah. They arrived in San Francisco, California shortly after gold was discovered and a number of them, Brannan included, stayed in California to make their fortune. Many failed. Brannan did not and became a leading citizen of the Golden State.

Thus it was to a rather worldly relative that Elder Badlam appealed for help. Brannan gave him very little cash but rather gave him some valuable commercial property and offered to help establish him in business. As near as we determine, Elder Badlam never rejoined the body of Saints in Utah. The only other two references we find are an occurrence in 1889 when President Wilford Woodruff called upon Elder Badlam and others to use their influence on a Senator from California to contact U.S. President Benjamin Harris concerning the persecutions which the saints were suffering at the time. The Senator expressed a willingness to contact Harris but doubted that his intervention would be efficacious. It wasn't.

A final note might refer to Elder Badlam or perhaps to his son Alexander Badlam, Jr. Badlam (whichever one it was) apparently had become a naturalist of some note. He authored a book, Wonders of Alaska. In the book, he took on a recurring legend of Alaska concerning a mirage of what appeared to be a city floating on the waters. He printed a photo taken by his daughter which purported to show the city. Badlam's views were not universally accepted and it was late in the twentieth century before science solved the mystery, finally determining that the "city" was actually an inverted image of a glacial range.

Marriage and Family

In 1833, Badlam married Mary Ann Brannan in York County, Maine.

Badlam was the brother-in-law to Samuel Brannan, California's first millionaire.


Offspring of Alexander Badlam and Mary Ann Brannon (1806-1881)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Ann Badlam (1832-1917)
Alexander Badlam (1835-)
Sarah Badlam (1837-)
Edmond Badlam (1840-1841)
Emma Badlam (1840-1841)
Ezra Badlam (1840-1883)


Offspring of Ezra Badlam (1773-1842) and Mary Lovis (1774-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ruth Moore Badlam (1798-1857)
Stephen Badlam (1800-1845)
Alexander Badlam (1804-1805)
Mary Ann Badlam (1805-1894)
Alexander Badlam (1809-1894) 8 November 1808 Dorchester, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 1 December 1894 San Francisco, California, United States Mary Ann Brannon (1806-1881)
Alice Badlam (1811-1897)


See Also

  • Alexander Badlam
  • Badlam in Norfolk County, Massachusetts
  • Badlam Family

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General