Chapter 9. Utah s Struggle for Statehood

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1 Chapter 9 Utah s Struggle for Statehood

2 Introduction In 1849, 2 years after first settling into Utah, Mormon leaders drew up a large region on a map. This new territory would be called the State of Deseret. This new territory included San Diego, California so it was much bigger than the size of our state today. In order to become a state in the United States, the Mormon leaders did the following: (1) They wrote a constitution and approved it (2) Elected officials for the state (3) Elected delegates to the constitutional convention.

3 Their petition was denied. The church leaders continued to apply for statehood five more times (6 Total) and were denied each time. During this time, the United States was growing by adding more states to the Union. Slavery was still legal in the South so the main issue was to keep the number of free states and slave states equal. California was admitted to the Union as a free state so the Utah Territory and the New Mexico Territory were open to slavery. This became known as the Compromise of The government decided that Fillmore should be the capital of Utah because it was more in the center of the territory.

4 One major part of the Mormon life was the practice of plural marriage. (polygamy) The Church leaders shocked everyone in Washington D.C. when they officially announced this practice in The federal government had concerns about the Utah Territory. They were most concerned about the Mormon Church gaining too much power. Rumors were reported back to Washington D.C. claiming that the Mormons were murdering non- Mormons and there was unfair treatment to non- Mormons in courts.

5 The rumor of a Mormon rebellion against the United States led to what is known as the Utah War. U. S. President James Buchanan sent a governor to replace Brigham Young and an army to quiet any possible Mormon rebellion. In 1857, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston led 2,500 federal troops to Utah. Brigham Young wanted to avoid bloodshed so he directed the Mormons to abandon their northern communities including Salt Lake City. Provo is one place where the Mormons moved to avoid Johnston s Army.

6 Johnston s Army arrived at Fort Bridger at the beginning of winter in 1857 so they were forced to stay until the following spring. In 1858, Johnston s Army arrived at Salt Lake City to find the whole city abandoned. The army marched towards the Oquirrh Mountains and established a military base called Camp Floyd. This is where Johnston s Army stayed a while in Utah. Settlers passing through Utah on their way to other western places were NOT always safe from militia and/or Indian attacks. One example of this occurred in a place called Mountain Meadows near St. George.

7 A group of immigrants heading to California were traveling through Utah exactly the same time as Johnston s Army was marching to Utah. The immigrants made several threats to the Mormons as they were passing through. Rumors spread that these immigrants poisoned some of the water wells where some Paiutes and animals died. Also, threats were made by the immigrants such as we have the gun that killed Joseph Smith, or Johnston Army is on their way to Utah, and when we get to California, we will drop off our women and children and come back and help the army kill you Mormons.

8 Mormon leader, Isaac Haight, and many local leaders got together and wanted to know what they should do. They decided to send a man by horse to ride up to Salt Lake to ask Brigham Young for advice. Haight, and a handful of men, conspired to attack the wagon trains. John D. Lee convinced the Paiutes to join their cause and have them by themselves attack the wagon trains first. When the Paiutes attacked failed, the next plan was for John D. Lee to ride up to the immigrants with a white flag of truce.

9 He asked them to give up their weapons. He told them his men have the Paiutes under control so each male immigrant would be protected by a Mormon militiaman standing next to them. They were going to march them to safety back towards Cedar City. The immigrants believed them so they gave up their weapons and began marching. After walking a few hundred yards, the command was given, Halt, each man do your duty. Each Mormon militiaman shot the immigrant standing next to them. The Paiutes joined the attack and in the end, a total of 120 people were killed and 17 children were spared, due to them being too young to remember what happened.

10 John D. Lee was the only person punished by execution in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Congress tried to lessen Mormon influence in the region in several ways. One way was people in the East believed that if Utah women could vote, they would vote against polygamy. The national opinion was that Utah s women were oppressed, so they voted to allow all Utah women to vote.

11 Emmeline B. Wells was a women s rights leader who became the 7 th wife of Daniel Wells. She stood up for polygamy and most Mormon women supported the practice, even though the majority of them did not participate in it. To honor Emmeline efforts, a statue of her was placed in the Utah State Capitol rotunda.

12 Congress decided to make laws in order to punish Utahns who were practicing polygamy. In 1882, the Edmunds Act was passed which punished polygamists with a $500 fine and five years in prison. Mormon men went to jail rather than give up polygamy.

13 In 1887, the Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed which (1) took away the vote from Utah women and (2) confiscated the property of the LDS Church. This devastated the church. (3) Mormons could not use their own church buildings without paying hundreds of dollars of rent each month to the government. The Churches (4) sheep and cattle ranches, (5) coal mines, (6) stores, banks, and businesses were taken by the government.

14 The members of the church appealed their cause to the U.S. Supreme Court. The church member felt very confident that they would win the right to practice polygamy because of the religious freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

15 In the case known as Reynolds vs. The United States, the Supreme Court said the Bill of Rights protected religious beliefs but not necessarily religious practice. The Supreme Court ruled it was legal for Congress to make the laws to prohibit the practice of polygamy.

16 In 1890, LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto which discontinued the practice of polygamy.

17 In the end, before Utah could become a state, new polygamous marriages had to be outlawed by the Mormon Church. Around , the Mormon Church issued a Second Manifesto stating any member involved with polygamy will be excommunicated from the Church which means removed from the church permanently.

18 The End Jeopardy will be on Tuesday March 13, 2012 Test-on Wed. March 14, 2012 Quarter Ends on Thursday

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