Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 42, Number 1, 1974

Page 1



STANFORD J. LAYTON, Managing MIRIAM B. M U R P H Y , Assistant

Editor Editor




I N E Z S. COOPER, Cedar City, 1975

S. GEORGE E L L S W O R T H , Logan, G L E N M. LEONARD, Bountiful,

1975 1976

DAVID E. MILLER, Salt Lake City, 1976 L A M A R PETERSEN, Salt Lake City, 1974 RICHARD W. SADLER, Ogden,


HAROLD SCHINDLER, Salt Lake City, 1975 JEROME S T O F F E L , Logan,


Utah Historical Quarterly was established in 1928 to publish articles, documents, and reviews contributing to knowledge of Utah's history. T h e Quarterly is published by the U t a h State Historical Society, 603 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102. Phone (801) 328-5755. Members of the Society receive the Quarterly and the bimonthly Newsletter upon payment of the annual dues; for details see inside back cover. Single copies, $2.00. Materials for publication should be submitted in duplicate accompanied by return postage and should be typed double-spaced with footnotes at the end. Additional information on requirements is available from the managing editor. T h e Society assumes no responsibility for statements of fact or opinion by contributors. The Quarterly is indexed in Book Review Index Social Science Periodicals and on Biblio Cards.


Second class postage is paid at Salt Lake City, Utah. ISSN 0042-143X


Contents IN T H I S ISSUE




























THE COVER Early photograph of Fort Douglas. Utah State Historical Society collections, gift of Howard C. Price, Jr. A second view of Fort Douglas on page 3 shows the permanent stone buildings and the pleasant, landscaped walks. Society collections, gift of Leon Watters.

© Copyright 1974 Utah State Historical Society

H I L L , MARVIN S., a n d ALLEN,

JAMES B., EDS., Mormonism

and American Culture . . .STERLING M. MCMURRIN






The Magnificient Rockies: Crest of a Continent . . .GLEN M. LEONARD




Frederic Remington






RUSSELL, ANDY, Horns in the

High Country

Books reviewed MCKIERNAN, F. MARK, and BLAIR, A L M A R . , EDS.,

The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History . . .REED C. DURHAM, J R .


Indians or Jews? An Introduction, containing a reprint of The Hope of Israel




JUDD, NEIL M., The Bureau of American Ethnology:

A Partial History

A. O ' N E I L





Give Your Heart to the Hawks: A Tribute to the


Mountain Men

A., Bill Bailey Came Home, ED. AUSTIN FIFE and ALTA




In this issue One of the constants in the recorded history of mankind has been armed confrontation and conflict. T h e middle years of nineteenthcentury America — the period of permanent settlement of the Great Basin — were particularly turbulent. The Mormons themselves were deeply conditioned by violence, and by the time of their Nauvoo expulsion the broader outlines of their social history could be read in the number and variety of their armaments. A survey of this arsenal and Mormon attitudes toward arms generally is long overdue. Within a few weeks after Brigham Young ferried across the Mississippi, the United States declared war on Mexico and the ownership of a half-million square miles of land, including the Great Basin, was placed in the balance. The Mormon Battalion was not to be consequential in the outcome of the war, but as an expression of attitude on a host of matters by a number of people it was an important historical development. New interpretations of it will always be welcome. Tranquility continued to elude the Mormons for more than a generation after their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. Geopolitical strategy and Indian tensions brought them into almost immediate conflict with the mountain men of the Green River valley and gave rise to a historical controversy which continues to the present day. Sporadic MormonGentile incidents continued to erupt throughout the remainder of the century. Each with its own particular course and circumstance, these incidents serve to remind us of the dynamism, color, and complexities within Utah's march into the broader mainstream of U.S. history.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons BY H A R R Y W. G I B S O N

Sawed-off percussion type Colt revolver carried by Porter Rockwell, i fah State Historical Society collections.

1 REARMS BECAME DECISIVELY important for the Mormons on the Missouri frontier of the 1830s. Those disastrous years, marked by increasingly violent confrontation with the Missourians and ending in Mormon expulsion from the state, shaped the role of guns and the attitude toward them by the Mormons for the entire frontier period. T h e violence, fury, and passion of those years vividly demonstrated that guns could quickly become the ultimate resource when all other law has vanished. T h e weapons acquired and used by the Mormons in Missouri were as varied and individual as the smiths who made them and the frontiersmen who fired them. With mass production and large arms companies still in the future, personal weapons were essentially h a n d m a d e , one-of-a-kind arms. This variety makes identification Mr. Gibson is a superintendent in School District No. 3, Hamilton, Montana.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


difficult because early records rarely identify an individual arm. Instead, reference is made to firelocks, horse pistols, rifles, yaugers, muskets, etc. However, even from such general words and the sparse treatment afforded firearms in contemporary accounts, a reasonably accurate description of the arms of the era is possible. T h e basic arm of the Mormons, as well as others, was the singleshot, flintlock, muzzle-loading rifle. Fittings were commonly of brass or pewter, while stocks traditionally were cut from maple. Popularly called, then as now, Kentucky rifles, they were the creation of several generations of German gunsmiths in western Pennsylvania. T h e design was an outgrowth from an original G e r m a n hunting rifle, the "jaeger," and adapted to American conditions. Barrels tended to be long, as much as four feet, but forty to fortyfour inches was average. Bore was small by contemporary standards, with .40 inches being a common size. T h e outstanding feature of the Kentucky rifle, endearing it to the frontiersman, was accuracy. By the use of a rifled barrel and a patched ball to ensure a tight fit in the bore, the accuracy was far superior to the common musket of the period. Where a skilled marksman could not rely on a musket to shoot within a foot of point of aim at a h u n d r e d yards, a well made Kentucky rifle would consistently hit a three-inch target at that range. Such accuracy was only achieved at the expense of easy loading and rapid firing. T h e musket was loaded with p r e p a r e d cloth or paper cartridges and could be fired several times a minute. T h e Kentucky rifle required a complicated process to load, making it much slower for repeat shots. This was the major reason why the military retained the musket for general use until the 1850s. Specific reference to Kentucky rifles was made by J o h n D. Lee, one of the Mormons who s u r r e n d e r e d to the Missouri Militia in 1838. He recounted giving u p "his good Kentucky rifle" as well as his other weapons. 1 Joseph Smith, as leader of the "Zion's Army" that reinforced the Missouri Mormons in 1834, referred to "firelocks" on several occasions. 2 These were most likely Kentucky rifles. Some of these arms were cap lock weapons, but many were still the original flintlock. Pistols were also part of the Mormon a r m a m e n t d u r i n g the Missouri era. References are found to both pistols and "horse pis'Juanita Brooks, John Doyle Lee: Zealot-Pioneer Builder-Scapegoat (Glendale, Calif., 1962), 39. 2

Brigham H. Roberts, ed., History of the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1 9 0 2 - 3 2 ) , 1:66, 68. Examples of these and other arms of the period are on display at various museums, including Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, Pioneer Village, T e m p l e Square Museum, all in Salt Lake City.


Utah Historical Quarterly

tols." These terms refer specifically to a single-shot, muzzle-loading arm, probably flintlock but possibly cap lock also. Any of the early repeating weapons is definitely excluded, for these were invariably referred to by type, as pepperbox, slide gun, etc. Pistols were large, twelve to fourteen inches in length and u p to two pounds in weight. Barrels were usually smooth-bored, though sometimes rifled, and fired a lead ball of .40 to .60 inches in diameter. Horse pistols were similar, though larger, heavier, and bored from .60 to .75 inches. 3 Such pistols were meant to be carried in pairs, in holsters mounted on the front of the saddle. At their expulsion from Jackson County, Missouri, in 1833 the Mormons n u m b e r e d approximately twelve h u n d r e d individuals. T h e quantity of their arms can only be estimated, but it was apparently meagre for their numbers. Assuming that even as few as one-sixth were able-bodied males, there should have been at least two h u n d r e d weapons a m o n g them. Yet when the Mormons turned in their arms as a condition of surrender, only "forty-nine guns and one pistol" were delivered. 4 Five years later, between twelve and fifteen thousand Mormons were expelled from the state. By the same ratio of arms to men, between two thousand and twenty-five h u n d r e d arms should have been surrendered. Yet records indicate that only 630 guns were relinquished. J o h n D. Lee reported them as "hunting rifles, shotguns and a few muskets, some r u d e swords, homemade, and a few pistols . . . given u p and hauled off by the State authorities." 5 T h a t these were all the arms possessed by the Mormons seems highly unlikely. Knowing on both occasions that they were s u r r o u n d e d by hostility and leaving one frontier for a more primitive one, the Mormons must have made every effort to keep what weapons they could. Yet in both instances the Missourians searched people and destroyed houses to locate arms. T h a t any significant n u m b e r of weapons escaped them is improbable, nor can any record be found to that effect. T h e strongest likelihood is that the Mormons in Missouri did not have a surplus of arms, but were able to conceal some, at least, from the Missourians.


Charles Edward Chapel, Single Shot Martial Pistols (New York, 1962), 186.


Brigham H. Roberts, The Missouri Persecutions (Salt Lake City, 1900), 106 ory of the Church, 2:89. 5

Roberts, ed., History of the Church, 3:217 - 24. Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 39.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


Settling in Nauvoo, Illinois, by 1840 after their disastrous Missouri experiences, the Mormons were anxious to avoid further difficulties. In the belief that safety lay in power, the six years spent in Illinois were marked by n u m e r o u s efforts to both broaden and strengthen the arms base. O n e of the first concerns was to consolidate manpower into an effective force. By authority of the city charter of Nauvoo, a branch of the Illinois militia, called the Nauvoo Legion, was established in the city. Compulsory membership for males eighteen to forty-five years was enforced, and the legion n u m b e r e d over four thousand men by 1844. T h e majority of the weapons of this "city army" were the personal arms of the members. Enthusiasm was high and performance was superior to the usual militia units of the day. According to an army officer witnessing a legion parade in 1842, "there are no troops in the State like them in point of enthusiasm and warlike aspect, yea warlike character." 6 T h e day following the assassination of H y r u m and Joseph Smith in 1844, two thousand well-armed Mormons, described by Governor Ford as having "a sufficiency of arms for any reasonable purpose," assembled in Nauvoo. 7 This event alone demonstrates the seriousness with which the Mormons regarded firearms following the Missouri defeat. Also, the addition of a unique individual to the Mormon ranks gave the legion a quality of personal weapons superior to their neighbors. T h e man was J o n a t h a n Browning, a backwoods Tennessee gunsmith with genius. He m a d e a reliable repeating rifle superior to the single-shot arms of the day. He had two designs: a revolving repeater and a slide or "harmonica" gun. T h e revolving rifle was like a m o d e r n revolver, except the cylinder was turned by hand for successive shots. Once charged with a ball and powder in each of its six chambers and percussion caps placed on the nipples, the loaded cylinder was put in the rifle. A special lever on the side pushed the cylinder tightly against the barrel. After firing, the cylinder was revolved to the next chamber. T h e obvious advantage was six quick shots. However, there was a disadvantage which made "Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History (New York, 1954), 273-74. 7 Thomas Ford, A History of Illinoisfrom Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847 (Chicago, 1854), 337


Utah Historical Quarterly

all types of revolving rifles somewhat unpopular. Besides being more difficult to manufacture, revolver cylinders were apt to fire more than one chamber at a time when the flash from the fired chamber leaked past the barrel and into other chambers. T h e result was disconcerting at best and usually damaged both gun and shooter. Browning's most popular design, though, was his slide or "harmonica" rifle. This type of rifle was simpler, cheaper, and more reliable. T h e basis of the design was a metal bar, shaped like a harmonica and holding from five to twenty-five charges of ball and powder. A lever forced the bar against the rear of the barrel. After firing, the lever was released and the slide was manually advanced to the next hole. T h e arms were popular since it was possible to carry extra loaded slides, and diaries and journals throughout the period contain many references to them, particularly to "fifteen-shooters." 8 T h e guns were not invented by Browning, as designs for repeaters are almost as old as guns themselves. His contribution was to make a fairly reliable repeating weapon which significantly increased the fire power of this frontier army. In addition to personal arms the Nauvoo Legion, as a unit of the Illinois militia, was entitled to a proportion of the state arms. J o h n Bennett, a major general in the legion, was also quartermaster general of the state militia. From this influential position he secured the best in available arms for the Nauvoo Legion. These consisted of 250 stand of rifles and 3 cannons, while most other state units were generally armed with muskets. 9 T h e specific model of rifle cannot be determined, but the most likely rifle available to militia units was the U.S. Model of 1817, known as the common rifle. This flintlock arm had a thirty-six inch barrel and weighed ten pounds. By contemporary standards it was an excellent weapon, and troops using it should be considered well armed. 1 0 Following the m u r d e r of the Smiths in 1844, the Mormons devoted considerable attention to acquiring arms owned neither by individuals nor the state. These were termed public arms, and were apparently owned by the church as a body. They were extremely important for the balance of the frontier period. T h e first mention 8 \Villiam A. Hickman, Brigham's Destroying Angel, ed. J.H. Beadle (Salt Lake City, 1904), 43, 66; Roberts, ed., History of the Church, 7:446; Juanita Brooks, ed.,On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1849 - 1861,'2 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1964), 1:233 - 34; Ford, History of Illinois, 422; Hubert H. Bancroft, History of Utah (1890; reprint ed., Salt Lake City, 1964). 229; Nicholas van Alfen, "Orrin Porter Rockwell, the Frontier Marshal" (M.A. thesis. University of Utah, 1964), 56. 9 Ford, History of Illinois, 268. 10 James E. Hicks, Notes on United States Ordnance: Small Arms, 1776 to 1940, 2 vols. (Mount Vernon, N.Y., 1940) 1:32 - 34.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons

U. S. Army flintlock musket of the type issued to the Mormon Battalion.

of such arms was Brigham Young's note in September 1844: "Received some arms and ammunition from the brethren in St. Louis, by the hands of Thomas McKenzie." 11 In April 1845 a six-pounder cannon was purchased with tithe money and added to the supply. 12 In the same year, John Steele described moving "forty stand of muskets" and a cannon known as the "old sow" to the Temple for repairs. 13 Where the muskets were acquired is undetermined, but from the context of the journal they were regarded as public (church) property. Early in 1845, with tentative plans for a westward move in mind, the LDS authorities directed Orson Pratt to purchase, with tithe money "six barreled pistols for self-defense, (while journeying in western wilds)." When he returned in November from New York, Pratt brought "four hundred dollars worth of Allen's revolving six-shooting pistols (alias pepperboxes)." 14 These were an early form of repeater, consisting of several barrels grouped around a central tube. Each pull of the trigger brought a new barrel under the hammer. Although popular because they were repeaters, they were clumsy, heavy, and inaccurate. As Colt-type revolvers became more plentiful, pepperboxes gradually disappeared. Further details of the public arms have not been located. However, the total quantity was apparently greater than previously indicated. At the evacuation of Nauvoo in 1846, Hosea Stout was given charge of the weapons. His diary records the effort to accumulate and transport these arms. In the only reference to quantity, Stout reported that he brought "about one hundred muskets and left wagon and rest for C.C. Rich" as well as "two loads of powder and other articles for use of the troops." He also noted artillery consisting of two six-pounders, one t h r e e - p o u n d e r , and one short "Roberts, ed., History of the Church, 7:274. n Ibid., 7:395. I! J. Cecil Alter, ed., "Extracts from the Journal of John Steele," Utah Historical Quarterly, 4 (January 1933), 4. l4 Roberts, ed., History of the Church. 7:509.


Utah Historical Quarterly

twelve-pounder. 1 5 William Hickman, another of those departing Nauvoo, recalled in his memoirs that the public arms totaled four artillery pieces and five h u n d r e d stand of small arms. 1 6 T h u s , although the precise n u m b e r of public arms is not known, it was apparently a fairly large n u m b e r and was regarded as of considerable importance. T h e significance of the public arms owned by the church is further reflected in efforts to store and maintain them. As early as J u n e 1843 an arsenal was contemplated "to be built in the city of Nauvoo, for the security of the public arms." 1 7 J o n a t h a n D u n h a m was appointed both superintendent of construction and armorer, and the building was in use by mid-August of that year. 1 8 In association with the armory, experimental steps were taken in both powder manufacturing and artillery construction. J o h n Kay drilled out at least one six-pounder barrel, but there is no evidence that anything more complicated was undertaken. Also, five makeshift cannons were constructed from hollow steamboat shafts for the final defense of Nauvoo in 1846. These were used only in the one engagement and then evidently abandoned. 1 9 However, the quantity of references alone indicates that the care and replenishment of arms and ammunition was a serious concern in Nauvoo. Perhaps that concern was most vividly stated in the minutes of a church meeting at Quincy, Illinois, in 1839 which resolved that T h e o d o r e Turley's gunsmithing tools remain for church use while Turley went to Europe. 2 0 in From the evacuation of Nauvoo, beginning in February 1846, until the p e r m a n e n t settlement in the Great Basin, the Mormons were a mobile society. Because of the frontier conditions and the frequent hostility of both man and animal, firearms were an important part of the society. T h e extent can be seen in both the planning and the execution of the westward move. Before his death in 1844, Joseph Smith, considering such a move, was most explicit concerning arms for an exploratory group. He required "a double barrel 15

Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:122 - 25. Hickman, Brigham's Destroying Angel, 40. Roberts, ed., History of the Church, 4:422. 18 Ihid., 4:430; Brooks, John Doyle Lee, 57. 19 William Clayton, William Claytons Journal (Salt Lake City, 1921), 65 - 66; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:233 - 34, 45; ÂĽ or d, History of Illinois, 421 - 23; Hickman, Brigham's Destroying Angel, 42 - 43; Roberts, History of the Church, 6:233, 520, 417. 20 Roberts, History of the Church, 2:347. 16 17

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


gun, one barrel rifle and the other smoothbore . . . a pair of revolving pistols, bowie knife, a n d a good saber."21 W h e n such a g r o u p did depart for the Great Basin in April 1847, each ablebodied man was to carry a rifle or musket and have one p o u n d of powder and four pounds of lead. Of the nine travel orders issued by Brigham Young, two concerned firearms. First, "Every man is to have his gun and pistol in perfect Jonathan Browning, pioneer Mormon gunsmith. order." Second, "Each man is to Utah State Historical travel with his gun on his shoulS o ciety ph o tograph, der, loaded, and each driver have Morgan collection. his gun so placed that he can lay hold of it at a moment's warning." 2 2 Other than these personal arms, the g r o u p also carried a cannon, probably the three-pounder, twenty-five extra pounds of powder, and twenty extra pounds of lead. 23 T h e importance of firearms during the period from Nauvoo to the Great Basin is further signified in the attention devoted to arms maintenance. At Winter Quarters, Nebraska, cleaning and repairing of public arms was made a social function. Dances were held with admission being the cleaning of one of the guns. Also, pay was given for disassembling, cleaning, and assembling of arms. 2 4 Gunmaker J o n a t h a n Browning worked in Musquito Creek near the Missouri River until 1852, repairing and building arms — apparently at the request of the LDS leaders — for the constant immigrant procession to Salt Lake City. T h a t he also found time to develop his own business is indicated by his advertisement in the Kanesville, Iowa, Frontier Guardian d u r i n g those years: Gunsmithing T h e subscriber is p r e p a r e d to manufacture, to order, improved Firearms, viz; revolving rifles and pistols; also slide guns, from 5 to 25 21

Ibid., 6:224. William M. Egan, ed., Pioneering the West 1846 to 1878, Major Howard Fgan's Diary (Richmond, Utah, 1917), 24; Clayton, William Clayton's Journal, 81; Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1930). 3:165. "Clayton, William Clayton's Journal, 1 18 - 19 " B r o o k s , ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:300 - 309. 22


ft J&&


A revolving barrelled pistol at left and a single shot at right were reportedly used during the time of the Mormon Battalion. The tools were for making ammunition. Utah State Historical Society photograph, Morgan collection.

shooters, all on an improved plan, and he thinks not equalled this far East. (Farther west they might be.) T h e emigrating and sporting community are invited to call and examine Browning's improved firearms before purchasing elsewhere. Shop eight miles south of Kanesville, on Musquito Creek, half a mile south of T r a d i n g Point. J o n a t h a n Browning 2 5

During the Mexican War of 1846 - 48 the United States army enlisted 500 men to march on a southern route to California. Brigham Young gave the o r d e r in J u n e 1846 for his men to volunteer. O n e of the conditions of enlistment for this "Mormon Battalion" was that "they will be allowed to retain, as their private property, the guns and accoutrements furnished to them." 2 6 This would a m o u n t to a weapon increase of 500 for the public arms. Most of the guns were flintlock muskets, probably the 1816 model. These were 25 John Browning and Curt Gentry, John M. Browning, American Gunmaker (Garden City, N.Y., 1964), 1. 26 Daniel Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War (n. p., 1881), 114.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons



.69 caliber smoothbore weapons with a forty-two inch barrel and fifty-seven inch overall length. This gun was replaced in 1840 by the 1835 model musket, so the government willingly gave them to the Mormons. However, the battalion also received "a few cap-lock yaugers for sharpshooting and hunting purposes." 2 7 These were U.S. Model 1841 rifles, the first percussion rifles issued to United States troops. They were .54 caliber, with a thirty-three inch barrel and forty-nine inch overall length. 2 8 They became very popular on the frontier for their comparative accuracy and reliability. These arms must have been a welcome addition to the pioneer Great Basin settlements, and undoubtedly served their users well for many years. T h e Mormon Battalion also provided heavier o r d n a n c e for the pioneer settlements. Several members traveled t h r o u g h Sutter's California settlement d u r i n g their r e t u r n to the Great Basin and purchased two cannons, a four- and a six-pounder, for $400. 2 9 These, together with the other artillery, saw service in Indian skirmishes and the Utah War before being relegated to courthouse lawns. T h e other increase in the public arms at that time came from those Mormons who j o u r n e y e d to California by sea, then traveled overland to the Great Basin. Before the ship Brooklyn sailed from New York in February 1846, "a case or two of smoothbore muskets was carefully stowed between decks." 3 0 T h e secrecy was based on a general distrust of the government's intention toward the Mormons. In Honolulu, another 150 stand of muskets was loaded, which the ship's captain promptly put u n d e r lock. However, they were distributed prior to landing at San Francisco, and presumably most of them were taken to the Great Basin. 31 T h e use of firearms by the Mormons, from the time they left Nauvoo until p e r m a n e n t settlement was established near the Great Salt Lake, was primarily against game animals. Although there were scattered instances of firing against other men, particularly Indians, the occurences were very infrequent. T h e effectiveness of the Mormon arms, like other guns of the day, became less, as the size of the

"Ibid., 136. Tyler's use on the term "yauger" for military weapons reflects common usage; however, the 1841 model became widely known as the Mississippi rifle from its use by a Mississippi regiment during the Mexican War. 28 Hicks, Notes on United States Ordnance, 1:49 - 57. 29 Tyler, Concise History, 336. 30 Paul Bailey, Sam Brannan and the California Mormons (Los Angeles, 1943), 58. 3l Ibid., 37-40; Hubert H. Bancroft, History of California, 7 vols. (San Francisco, 1884 - 90), 5:550.


Utah Historical Quarterly

animals increased and was mediocre at best. First, to kill large animals like buffalo consistently with one shot required more power than most weapons of the 1840s possessed. T h e exception was the plains rifle of the mountain men, made famous by the Hawken brothers, but there is no evidence the Mormons had any of these. As a result, buffalo, and to a lesser extent smaller game, was obtained by shooting the animal, then following it until it died of the wound. 3 2 T h e second reason for mediocre performance was lack of accuracy. A smoothbore musket could barely keep all shots within a four-foot circle at one h u n d r e d yards. Rifles, such as the Mississippi, would usually place their shots within eighteen inches at that range, while a Kentucky rifle would commonly reduce the group size. However, u n d e r hunting conditions, and with less than expert marksmen, these sizes increased. Since the vital area of a deer-sized animal is about a sixteen-inch circle, the accurate range of these arms was fairly limited for hunting weapons. Poor accuracy was d u e in part to the lack of precision manufacturing techniques, especially of barrels. Because of crude tools and imprecise measuring instruments, only extremely skilled craftsmen could produce a truly accurate barrel. Since such craftsmen were rare, so were accurate firearms. Lesser contributions to poor accuracy were crude sights and variations in powder and loads. 3 3 As t h e small a r m s s u p p l y was b e i n g r e e s t a b l i s h e d a n d strengthened between 1840 and 1847, some artillery was acquired to further reinforce the church-owned public arms. Several of these arms have been previously mentioned, and to better understand the strength they represented, the following brief summary is included. T h e cannons totaled six, consisting of one three-pounder, two sixp o u n d e r s , a n d o n e t w e l v e - p o u n d e r c a r r o n a d e b r o u g h t from Nauvoo, and one four-pounder and an additional six-pounder from California. 34 All were classed as field ordnance, as opposed to siege weapons. T h e barrels were made of bronze — though often called brass — and all were smoothbore. T h e term four- or six-pounder, etc., referred to the weight of projectile normally fired, although different types of projectiles might vary from this weight. Both the three- and four-pounders were obsolete as army weapons, but were

32 Maybelle H a r m o n Anderson, ed., The Journals of Appleton Milo Harmon (Glendale, Calif., 1946), 47-50; Clayton, William Clayton's Journal, 18. 33 Alden Hatch, Remington Arms in American History (New York, 1956), 8 - 29; Ned H. Roberts, The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle (Harrisburg, Pa., 1947), 5 - 27. 34 Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:122 - 24, 161 - 67; Tyler, A Concise History, 336.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


useful on the frontier because of relatively light weight, long range, and small powder charge. Both could be fired to fifteen h u n d r e d yards with less than a p o u n d of powder and weighed one thousand to twelve h u n d r e d p o u n d s complete with carriage. T h e sixpounder, which is the one most frequently mentioned by the Mormons, used one and one-fourth to one and one-half pounds of powder and fired a heavier projectile to fifteen h u n d r e d yards. Complete with carriage, a six-pounder weighed almost eighteen h u n d r e d pounds. T h e twelve-pounder carronade was a howitzer, denoting a cannon shorter and lighter than normal for the bore size. This cannon weighed seventeen h u n d r e d pounds with carriage, yet fired a nine-pound shot to one thousand yards. T h e effectiveness of these arms could be devastating. A six-pounder would consistently penetrate twenty-two inches of oak at two h u n d r e d yards and nine inches at eight h u n d r e d yards. T h e twelve-pounder howitzer penetrated fourteen inches and six inches, respectively, at the same ranges but with a ball half again as heavy and an inch larger in diameter. 3 5 Ammunition for this artillery was of several types including shot, shell, and cannister. Shot was a solid iron ball; shell was a hollow iron ball filled with explosives. A cannister was a cylinder containing over a h u n d r e d musket balls, making it, in effect, a huge shotgun shell. 36 T h u s , although the Mormons had only six cannons, these represented a formidable force both physically and psychologically. IV

Well armed, and with vivid recollections of Missouri and Illinois, the Mormons began p e r m a n e n t settlement of the Great Basin in July 1847. Their determination to resist further pressures from anyone was reflected in Brigham Young's words, "If they'll give us ten years, I'll ask no odds of them." 3 7 Much time and energy were spent on improving defenses from both red men and white, and the ten years were granted almost to the day. In Salt Lake City the church-owned public arms received early attention. In August 1847 President Young ordered that all the ex-soldiers returning east to aid in the immigration turn in their 35 T.T.S. Laidley, The Ordnance Manual for the Use of the Officers of the United States Army (New York, 1861), 18-21, 400, 490 - 92; Jack Coggins, Arms and Equipment of the Civil War (Garden City, N.Y., 1962),' 61-62: John Gibbon, the Artillerist's Manual (New York, 1860), 18 - 32. 3 ÂŤBrooks, ed, On the Mormon Frontier, 1:136 - 37; Clayton, William Clayton's Journal, 128. 37 William Mulder and A. R. Mortensen, eds., Among the Mormons: Historic Accounts by Contemporary Observers (New York. 1958). 237.

Utah Historical Quarterly


surplus weapons. Howard Egan stated that "all the soldiers going b r o u g h t their guns, ammunition, etc., and surrendered them into the president's hands, for the reception and safe keeping of which there will be a house built hereafter." 3 8 This was followed by the construction of an additional temporary arsenal in 1849. T h e wood frame building was twelve feet by sixteen feet. T h o m a s T a n n e r was r e c o m m e n d e d as a r m o r e r by Brigham Young who stated, "he can make any part of a cannon, Musket, or Rifle and is qualified to repair and keep in repair all the guns that belong to the armory." 3 9 T h e arsenal was found to be too small, and by 1852 construction began on a new armory. T h e territorial legislature in 1853 appropriated $3,000 for construction, with an additional $1,000 for overhaul of the cannons and repairing of the arms and accoutrements. T h e building was completed and in use d u r i n g 1853. 40 T h e concern for the arms and the attention given them was well founded. T h e Indians, who often disputed domination of their land, already had many firearms. Guns had been available in the Great Basin since the eighteenth century, when the Spanish began trading arms for Indian children as slaves. Both the English and United States governments had a long history of giving firearms to friendly Indian tribes, many of whom were near the Great Basin. By trade and theft these weapons were brought into the area, to be supplemented by exchanges with trappers in the early nineteenth


Egan, Pioneering the West, 123. Robert Glass Clelland and Juanita Brooks, eds., ,4 Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries ofJohn D. Lee, 1848 - 1876, 2 vols. (San Marino, Calif., 1955), 1:87. 40 Deseret Weekly News, J a n u a r y 8, 1853, p. 20; Jules Remy and Julius Brenchley, A Journey to Great-Salt-Lake City, 2 vols. (London, 1861), 1:462. f 39





Frontier Arms of the Mormons

century. When the Mormons arrived in 1847 they found a foe which was generally well armed and often determined to resist. 41 As well as establishing an armory, the first settlers also rebuilt their military organization, still u n d e r the name of the Nauvoo Legion. By April 1849 it was acting as a territorial militia. Membership was compulsory for able males, with penalties for failure to respond. T h e legion was organized on a military basis with a lieutenant general as c o m m a n d e r . T h e territory was divided into military districts, each contributing to the cohorts and regiments which composed the legion. By 1852 it n u m b e r e d over two thousand men and by 1857 had increased to sixty-one h u n d r e d . 4 2 With the granting of territorial status in 1850, the Nauvoo Legion became eligible to receive a portion of the public arms from the federal government. T h e annual appropriation for all the states and territories was normally $200,000, divided according to population and need. Utah's share was small, $243.33. T h e first arm delivered was a small cannon, a twelve-pounder mountain howitzer, brought in early 1851. This was a most useful weapon for mountain 41 Leland H. Creer, The Founding of an Empire: The Exploration and Colonization of Utah, 1776 - 1856 (Salt Lake City, 1947), 76 - 78; William J. Snow, "Utah Indians and Spanish Slave T r a d e , " Utah Historical Quarterly, 2 (July 1929), 67 - 73; Carl P. Russell, Guns on the Early Frontiers (Berkeley, 1962), 103-41. " R i c h a r d W. Young, " T h e Nauvoo Legion," The Contributor, 9 (August 1888), 361; (February 1888), 126; Hamilton Gardner, "Utah Territorial Militia," typescript, Utah State Historical Society.

Men of the territorial militia (Nauvoo Legion) were, mustered for drill wearing highly individualized "uniforms." Utah State Historical Society collections.

w /



I /


Utah Historical Quarterly

Txuelve-pounder mountain howitzer of the type issued to the Nauvoo Legion in 1851. Illustration from 1861 Confederate edition of U.S. Ordnance Manual.

Six-pounder field gun similar to the cannons brought to Utah by the Mormons. Illustration from 1861 O r d n a n c e Manual.

fighting, since it could be transported, with ammunition, by two or three mules. With its light total weight, three-quarter pound powder charge, and one thousand yard range, this howitzer was an asset on the frontier. T h e value of this cannon was $471 in 1851. Since this was more than Utah's quota, further allotments were denied until the difference was equalized. According to War Department records, Utah Territory received thirty-two muskets plus the cannon by December 1854. Muskets were valued at $13, making the cannon the equivalent of thirty-four muskets. T h e War Department ordered in 1855 that all territories with less than 2,000 muskets issued be given arms equal to that amount. T h e d e p a r t m e n t record for 1855 shows 1,934 muskets credited to Utah Territory, which, with

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


the previous arms and the cannon, totals 2,000, a significant increase for Utah. 4 3 T h e legion members continued to rely on their personal arms for military service, particularly in the areas outside of Salt Lake City. Until the mid-1850s these were primarily the weapons brought from Illinois. Military muster rolls for 1851 - 53 list arms u n d e r such headings as rifles, pistols, muskets, and yaugers. However, by 1854, and increasingly thereafter, entries occur for the new repeating weapons appearing in the territory. By 1857 almost all muster rolls contain headings of Colts, pocket pistols, belt pistols, revolvers, and carbines. As rapidly as these new arms were developed, they could be found on the frontier. T h e most popular new weapon in Utah, as well as elsewhere, was the Colt revolver. Its acceptance is well indicated by noting that almost every muster roll after 1853 reserved a column for recording Colts, whether a unit had any or not. Men liked the gun because it was based on a simple mechanism that was rugged and reliable. An early mention of this revolver was made in Carvalho's account of Fremont's 1853 expedition t h r o u g h Utah. Prior to 1857 Colts were mentioned frequently in diaries and journals. Hosea Stout went to court over the theft of six of them, and Ethan Pettit included Colts in his trade goods with the Indians. 4 4 So dominant was this weapon that few references have been found to any other brand of revolver " " R e c o r d s on the Office of the Chief of O r d n a n c e , Ledger and Journals of Ordnance and O r d n a n c e Stores Issued to the Militia, 1816 - 1904," 45:3 - 4, 31, National Archives, Washington D.C. 44 Brooks ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:664; Ethan Pettit, " T h e Diary of Ethan Pettit, 1855 - 1881,"'l44, manuscript, Western Americana, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

This Colt five-shot .36 revolver was advertised in 1864 gun catalog.


Utah Historical Quarterly

in Utah before the Civil War. Gun collectors have often commented that more early model Colt revolvers have been found in the Great Basin than in any other area of the United States. A second new weapon, a breech-loaded rifle (carbine), appeared first in a muster roll for the Iron County Militia, August 5, 1852. Referred to only as carbines, they can be identified by the 1852 date as the fifteen weapons now in a Salt Lake City museum. These are Sharps carbines, 1851 models, a .52 caliber breech-loading single-shot arm which was one of the first replacements for muzzleloaders. T h o u g h not a repeater, these short, light rifles were very handy on horseback and quick to reload with their combustible linen cartridges. T h e museum examples are all .52 caliber, weigh about ten pounds, and have twenty-five inch barrels. Together with the Colt revolvers, these arms demonstrate how quickly improved firearms were adopted on this frontier. 4 5 Besides concern for public and private arms, the Mormons were also forced to consider their supplies of gunpowder in the 1850s. This most necessary item was usually in short supply due to the danger and expense of transporting it to Utah. Brigham Young noted in his governor's message of 1852 that although the settlements were well supplied with arms, powder was both scarce and expensive. However, the supply was sufficient for any emergency. 4 6 This scarcity, together with Young's desire for local production of all goods, resulted in an early attempt at manufacturing gunpowder. As an incentive the territorial legislature offered a reward of $2,000 to the first person making 100 pounds from local materials. A $100 reward was offered for the second 100 pounds; and for each succeeding 100 pounds, to a maximum of 2,000 pounds, the bonus was $50. 4 7 T h e total reward of $3,000 for 2,000 pounds of powder indicates the concern over the supply. In Iron County, which had more Indian difficulties than Salt Lake City in the 1850s, Robert Keys personally offered $50 to the first man producing 10 pounds of powder from local materials. 4 8 T h e attempt at powder manufacturing began in 1854. A Swiss chemist, Frederick Loba, was hired by Brigham Young to establish a

45 Winston O. Smith, The Sharps Rifle: Its History, Development, and Operation (New York, 1943); Philip B. Sharpe, The Rifle in America, 4th ed. (New York, 1958), 1 9 6 - 2 1 7 . T h e examples noted are in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, Salt Lake City. 46 Deseret Weekly Mews, December 25, 1852, p. 12. "Ibid., January 8, 1853, p. 20. is Ibid., October 24, 1855, p. 261.

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


powder mill. E.H. Henriod invested $400 in the venture and was to learn the business from Loba. A large cellar was d u g at the site of present Fort Douglas for the making of saltpeter, one of the main ingredients. Sulfur was to be brought from Cove Creek, and the charcoal would be locally made. Loba, however, while waiting for the saltpeter to form, bought a small molasses works, where he turned sugar into alcohol. Friction developed between him and Young over the rate of gunpowder production and the making of whiskey. Finally, Young fired Loba who soon left the territory. 4 9 No powder had been made, and this was apparently the only attempt prior to 1857. Equally as important as gunpowder was the supply of lead for bullets. Because of its expense and to further encourage home manufacture, Brigham Young initiated a search for lead within the territory. Early discoveries were made near Minersville in 1852, but this lead contained too m u c h silver for casting well in bullet making. 5 0 Significant deposits were found near Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1855. Nathaniel Jones was sent to extract the ore, and in January, 1857, twenty-seven h u n d r e d pounds were sent to Salt Lake City. 51 v As far as pioneer arms are concerned, 1857 was probably the most important year in Utah history. This was the only time the total armed capacity of the entire territory was amassed for a common goal — to oppose the entry of a federal army into Utah. T h e records of the attempt offer the most detailed information to be found on the arms of the Mormons. Following the a n n o u n c e m e n t in July 1857 of the dispatch of an army of occupation to Utah Territory, James Ferguson, adjutant general of the N a u v o o Legion, b e g a n g a t h e r i n g all available weapons and ammunition. By late in the year he estimated the following supplies to be in private hands, not part of the militia arms: 2,364 rifles, 1,159 muskets, 99 pistols, 259 Colt revolvers, 414 swords, 1,500 pounds of powder, and 3,224 p o u n d s of lead. Ferguson added that he thought these amounts had tripled since he

49 E. H. Henriod to Andrew Jenson, 1926, Archives Division, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. 50 R. A. Hart, Mining in Utah (Salt Lake City, 1957), 9 - 1 0 . 51 Andrew J e n s o n , "History of Las Vegas Mission," Nevada State Historical Society Papers, 1925 - 1926 (Reno, 1926), 216 - 66.


Utah Historical Quarterly

gathered the information. In addition, he had not estimated what people had obtained from merchants and transients since the impending invasion was announced. 5 2 No total figure can be found for the militia arms, but examination of the muster rolls for the individual units indicates that some were better equipped than others. William H. Dame, commanding the Iron County units, reported he could send 200 effective men, armed with 190 rifles, 99 muskets, 17 Colt revolvers, and sufficient ammunition. 5 3 Averaging the totals of men and arms from a representative sampling of the units indicates at least one weapon for each individual, although Norman Furniss found only 440 arms for 807 men in his sampling. 5 4 However, if the public arms are included, there certainly were sufficient arms for the Mormon forces. In addition to the weapons already on hand, large quantities were gathered from the more distant Mormon settlers who were recalled to Utah for the crisis. P.W. Conover was dispatched to Genoa, Nevada, to call in the settlers and bring back war material. He r e t u r n e d with twenty-seven h u n d r e d pounds of community ammunition and a large amount of personal arms and ammunition. T h e Genoa settlers maintained there was only one p o u n d of powder and two boxes of percussion caps in the entire area after they left. Conover also went to San Francisco where he bought from donations an additional $800 worth of ammunition and twelve thousand pounds of other supplies. 5 5 From the fifteen h u n d r e d San Bernardino, California, settlers came even larger quantities. Howard Egan reported delivery in February 1858 of six h u n d r e d seventyfive p o u n d s of powder, thirty thousand percussion caps, and one h u n d r e d pounds of lead. 56 O n e mail train reportedly contained five h u n d r e d Colt revolvers bound for Utah, while some non-Mormon Californians became so alarmed by the quantity going to Salt Lake they considered closing Cajon Pass to the Mormons. 5 7 Converts arriving from other countries contributed arms, although most likely in a small way. T h e National Intelligencer for May 1857 reported that when eight h u n d r e d Mormons from England landed in




James Ferguson to Brigham Young, January 7, 1858, Military Archives, State Capitol, Salt Lake

Brooks,yo/m Doyle Lee, 201 - 2. N o r m a n F. Furniss, The Mormon Conflict, 1850 - 1859 (New Haven, Conn., 1960), 146. " E x t r a c t s from the J o u r n a l of Peter Wilson Conover, Peter W. Conover File A240, typescript, Utah State Historical Society. T h e extracts are not paged and are gathered with other miscellaneous Conover materials. 56 Egan, Pioneering the West, 157. " R o b e r t s , Comprehensive History, 4:245 - 46; Bancroft, History of Utah, 510. 54

Frontier Arms of the Mormons


Boston, most of the men had at least two pistols while many carried four. 5 8 In an effort to secure as many arms as possible, the complicated process of manufacturing revolvers was also u n d e r t a k e n . T h e Mormons were fortunate in having several excellent gunsmiths among their members. One, David Sabin, had been advertising since 1854 in the Deseret News that he manufactured revolvers for sale. 59 Jules Remy noted in his 1855 visit to Salt Lake City that he saw gunsmiths making revolvers and revolving carbines. 6 0 Sensing the coming conflict with the government, church authorities enlisted Sabin's aid. On March 21, 1857, the church noted, "commenced this morning to make revolving pistols at the public works in the new shop which had been put up from a portion of the wheel wright shop. David Sabin and William Naylor were employed at this work." 61 T h e first revolver was completed in May and j u d g e d by church authorities to be "a first-rate piece of mechanism and . . . well finished." 62 These arms were mentioned the following year in XheNeiu York Herald by William Bell, an ex-Utah merchant. He stated the arms were imitation Colt revolvers being manufactured at the public works at the rate of twenty per day. 63 Richard Burton, in his 1860 observation of local manufacturing commented, "the imitations of Colt's revolvers can hardly be distinguished from the originals." 64 T h a t some revolvers were made cannot be doubted, 58

Furniss, Mormon Conflict, 134. ™Deseret Weekly Mews, January 12, 1854, p. 8; April 18, 1855, p. 47. 60 Remy and Rrer\ch\ey, Journey to Great-Salt-Lake City, 1:197, 2:269. " " J o u r n a l History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," March 2 1 , 1857, LDS Archives. 62 Ibid., May 19, 1857. 63 Deseret Weekly News, May 12, 1858, p. 50. 64 Richard F. Burton, The City of the Saints . . ., ed. Fawn M. Brodie (New York, 1963), 354.

Typical Colt revolver, percussion period, similar to type manufactured by the Mormons. Utah State Historical Society collections.


Utah Historical Quarterly

although it is unlikely that more than a h u n d r e d were produced. Surviving arms have appeared among Colt collectors for many years, yet no serial n u m b e r over 100 has been noted among the twenty revolvers that have been found. Certainly not enough were made to make any difference in the total arms picture. Interestingly, collectors have always assumed these guns were made by Jonathan Browning, since he is the only r e m e m b e r e d Utah gunsmith of the period. T h e r e is no evidence either on the guns or in the Browning family records to indicate he made them. T h e only available evidence shows David Sabin as the principal maker. T h e crisis of 1857 also saw renewed attempts to manufacture gunpowder. William Bell, in theNew York Herald mentioned powder was being produced in Salt Lake City by October 1857, 65 although no other evidence can be found. In 1859, however, Eleazer Edwards of Cedar City produced 100 p o u n d s of quality powder and received a $200 bonus. He claimed to be equipped to produce 1,000 pounds, but by then the crisis had passed and his powder was not needed. 6 6 T h e conflict of 1857 was settled by negotiation rather than arms, and the residents found an almost continuous federal force in their midst after 1858. Whatever discomfort this may have caused both the Mormons and the soldiers, it had at least one benefit for the territorial militia. With federal troops stationed southwest of Salt Lake City, the militia did not have to face the Indian problem alone, particularly in the n o r t h e r n third of the territory. For years the legion had been fighting skirmishes, mostly minor, with the Indians. Cattle had been stolen, buildings burned, and occasionally individuals were killed. T h e coming of federal troups made it possible to pursue the problem to a conclusion. T h e issue was settled on J a n u a r y 29, 1863, when federal troops u n d e r Col. Patrick E. Conner so decisively defeated the Bannocks and Shoshonis on the banks of Bear River that n o r t h e r n Utah never again suffered a serious Indian menace. Southern Utah presented a different problem. T h e settlements were much farther from the federal base near Salt Lake City, and Indian raids were over and the Indians gone before soldiers could arrive. T h u s , the b u r d e n of defense fell upon local militia units. T h e r e were n u m e r o u s conflicts t h r o u g h o u t the years, of which the


Deseret Weekly News, May 12, 1858, p. 50. "Journal History," May 16, 1859; Eleazer Edwards to Daniel H. Wells, January 14, 1859, Military Archives; Deseret Weekly News, May 18, 1859, p. 84. and October 17, 1860. p. 263. 66

Frontier Arms of the Mormons



Henry rifle was popular in Utah in the 1860s when repeating arms using metallic cartridges began replacing muzzle- loading single-shot arms.

Blackhawk War of 1865 was the most notable. Occasionally the threat became serious enough that communities were evacuated for a time, although usually it was more a matter of stolen cattle and isolated b u r n i n g of buildings. 6 7 This period was also a time when firearms were u n d e r g o i n g the greatest change which had occured since the invention of gunpowder. H a n d m a d e , muzzle-loading single-shot arms and awkward loading revolvers were rapidly being replaced by mass-produced repeating arms using the new brass cartridges. T h e s e were improvements of a very practical nature to a frontiersman, and the weapons soon began appearing in Utah. T h e record of the great change in firearms is revealed in the muster rolls of the Nauvoo Legion as well as the diaries and journals of the 1860s. By the mid-1860s, most of the muster rolls had a separate column for listing the new weapons, whether the unit had any or not. T h e names most frequently encountered are Sharps, Ballard, Henry, Spencer, Wesson, and Joslyn. T h e s e arms were basically similar, although there were mechanical variations a m o n g them. Except for the Ballard and Wesson, they were repeaters, which ended the frontiersman's problem of having one shot and several enemies. All used the recently developed brass case, which made powder, primer, and projectile a convenient, waterproof unit. This ended the centuries-old problems of pouring loose powder down a rifle barrel and keeping powder dry enough to fire in d a m p weather. T h e first mention of these new arms in Utah was by J.W. Sylvester, who noted he paid seventy-five dollars for a Henry rifle and ten cents each for cartridges in 1856. 68 T h e value of this weapon can be no more eloquently stated. Henrys were in d e m a n d because " A l t h o u g h no definitive history of the battles with the Indians can be found, information is plentiful. The Deseret News reported them in great detail for the years involved. Peter Gottfredson's Indian Depredations in Utah (Salt Lake City, 1919), recounts many conflicts; Bancroft's History of Utah contains much information and a bibliography. O t h e r useful accounts are C Gregory Crampton and David E. Miller, "Journal of Two ~ Campaigns by the Utah Territorial Militia against the Navajo Indians, 1869," Utah Historically leal Quarterly, 29 (April 1961), 148 - 76; James W. Sylvester, "History of My Life during the Indian Wars," "Annal of the wars," typescript, Utah State Historical Society; James G. Bleak, "Annals Southern Utah Mission," Book A, typescript, Utah State Historical Society; Jacob Hamblin, "Early Days in Utah's Dixie," Utah Historical Quarterly, 5 (October 1932), 130 - 34. 3 Sylvester, "History of My Life," 7.


Utah Historical Quarterly

they held seventeen cartridges. Indians sometimes called them the "spirit gun" because they fired so many times. 69 T h e Henry rifle appears in many muster rolls, and Gottfredson mentions them in several battles. 70 Equally popular, although holding only seven cartridges, were the Spencer repeaters. These were available in both .52 caliber and .56 caliber carbines, and had a strong admirer in Abraham Lincoln. Militia muster rolls usually grouped them with Joslyns, which used the same ammunition, so their exact n u m b e r cannot be determined. However, by 1867 there were about thirty Spencers and Joslyns in the Nauvoo Legion. Several are on display in Salt Lake City. 71 T h e Ballard and the Wesson rifles which began to appear on the muster rolls were single-shot arms. They became a favorite rifle d u r i n g the 1860-1900 period, because they could be chambered for more powerful cartridges than any of the repeating rifles. T h e popularity of the new arms can be seen in a single militia record. T h e muster roll for the Pauvan Military District, 2d Cavalry, shows the following for August 1866: twenty-two Spencer/Joslyn, one Henry, ten Wesson/Ballard, nineteen Sharps, twelve yaugers, and sixty revolvers for a force of sixty-seven men. 7 2 Most notable is that most of the muskets and yaugers had been replaced. In the 1860s theDeseret News published information on tests of experimental and military weapons. Often, three or more full columns were devoted to these arms. Even though these guns were not available in Utah, the coverage is an indication of the importance of firearms. 7 3 T h e completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 opened a new era in Utah. For the majority of the Mormon people the coming of the railroad placed them once more into the current of American life. T h e thirty years that had seen these people on many frontiers had also seen great changes in the arms that sustained them. As the frontier conditions passed so did the need for those arms that for so long had meant law and survival. 69

Charles Edward Chapel, Guns of the Old West (New York, 1961), 247 - 49. Gottfredson, Indian Depredations, 210, 310. " N o r m a n O. Wiltsey, "Spencer's Great 7-Shooter," Gun Digest, 16th ed. (Chicago, 1962), 9; Crampton and Miller, "Journal of Two Campaigns," 4; Gottfredson, Indian Depredations, 161. These guns may be seen at Pioneer Village and Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum. 72 "Muster Roll," 2d Division Cavalry, Pauvan Military District, August 1866, Military Archives. 73 The arms and the relevant sources all in Deseret Weekly News, are: English improvements: November 30, 1854; p. 139; March 14, 1855, p. 8. Colt improvements; September 2 1 , 1854, p. 100; April 18, 1868, p. 50. Minie rifle: October 5, 1859, p. 243; 7, 1855, p. 274; April 4, 1855, p. " ' 3 ; November No 27. Army field trials: August 20, 1856, p. 189; February 3, 1858, p. 381; September 22, 1858, p. 125; September zy, 29, 1858, September 19, 1 . Foreign military September I 8 3 Âť , pp .. 18131; l a u i ; septemDer iy, 1966, iyoo, p. p. 331; 331; January January 23, zs, 1867, t o o / , p. p. 361. foreign military rifles: August 16, 1866, p. 294; October 24, 1866, p. 374. Repeating weapons: January 20, 1855, p. 113; March 17, 1858, p. 13; April 18, 1860, p. 50; March 6, 1861, p. 3. Early machine guns: December 7, 1865, p. 72; September 19, 1866, p. 331. 70

The Mormon Battalion: A Historical Accident? BY W. RAY LUCE

Above: Brigham Young's home at Winter Quarters.


Utah Historical Quarterly

A HE MORMON BATTALION and its participation in the Mexican War have long been favorite subjects for writers on Mormonism and the American West. Although the group participated in no military battles, the h u m a n d r a m a connected with the five h u n d r e d men leaving wives and children midway through a forced exodus to find a new home, the length and hardship of their trek across the Southwest, and the part they played in the discovery of gold in California have provided inspiration for the poet and playwright as well as the historian. 1 With very few exceptions those who have written about the battalion have accepted the traditional view that the final plans for the formation and march of the battalion were made in Washington and that President James Knox Polk created the unit either to test the church, provide desperately needed soldiers for the war with Mexico, or as a specific act of kindness toward the church. 2 A close reading of the records of the creation of the battalion, however, reveals a very different story. T h e president of the United States did need soldiers for an expedition to California, and he was made aware of the fact that the Mormons, who were then in Iowa enroute to the West, wanted financial help to continue their journey. He did propose to help them and retain their loyalty by allowing some of them to join the army, but he and William Marcy, the secretary of war, wanted the recruitment to take place after they arrived in California and not before. An ambiguous letter written by Secretary Marcy to Col. Stephen W. Kearney led Kearney, who needed troops, to send Capt. James Allen to Iowa immediately to recruit the Mormons. In the absence of detailed instruction on the time and place of enlistments, Kearney misinterpreted Polk's intent. T h u s , a vaguely worded letter rather than a presidential plan led to the march of the Mormon Battalion. 3

Mr. Luce is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Virginia. 'For background on the battalion see: Daniel Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War (1881; reprint ed., Chicago, 1969); Frank Alfred Golder, T h o m a s A. Bailey, and J. Lyman Smith, The March of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs to California Taken from the Journal of Henry Standage (New York, 1928); Brigham H. Roberts, The Mormon Battalion: Its History and Achievements (Salt Lake City, 1919). Hbid. See also Henry W. Bigler, "Extracts from the Journal of Henry W. Bigler," Utah Historical Quarterly, 5 (April 1932), 35-64; T. B. H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints . . . (New York, 1873), chap. 31. 3 Andrew Love Neff was one of the few historians to recognize the problem, although he did not explore it completely. "However, the question remains to be asked why President Polk wavered in his determination and finally decided to enlist Mormons en route to the Pacific Coast. Manifestly it was done either as a distinct favor to the Saints or as a measure of military expediency." Andrew Love Neff, History of Utah, 1847 to 1869. ed. Leland H. Creer (Salt Lake City, 1940), 63.

Mormon Battalion


T h e events leading to Allen's appearance in the Mormon camps began four months earlier in Nauvoo, Illinois. Just before leaving for the West, Brigham Young wrote a letter appointing Jesse C. Little, a Mormon convert living in New Hampshire, to preside over the church's Eastern States Mission. Little, a thirty-one-year-old merchant who had earlier directed church operations in New Hampshire, was a happy choice for the assignment. Dedicated to the church, he worked tirelessly to fulfill Brigham Young's written instructions. T h e letter of appointment asked Little to help members of the church living in the East make the j o u r n e y to the still unselected place of refuge in the West. It suggested that Little might outfit a ship to follow an earlier g r o u p led by Sam B r a n n a n a r o u n d the H o r n to California. T h e letter also instructed Little to accept any governmental aid: "If our government shall offer any facilities for emigrating to the western coast, embrace thosefacilities if possible. As a wise and faithful man, take every honorable advantage of the times you can." 4 Jesse Little's time d u r i n g the next few months was directed toward strengthening the congregations in the East, encouraging emigration, and seeking assistance from the government. After receiving the letter he made a quick tour of the mission to visit local leaders in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and d u r i n g May 1846 he held church conferences in the major branches of the mission to "take into consideration the most expedient measures for the removal and emigration of the saints in the Eastern States to California." 5 Even though Little's main efforts were directed toward emigration, he did not forget the request to seek government aid. He discussed the project in all the cities he visited, and finally resolved to go to Washington and appeal to the president himself. He made careful preparations before going and obtained letters of introduction to various governmental officials. Gov. J o h n H. Steele of New Hampshire wrote a letter for him to George Bancroft, secretary of the navy, indicating that he had known Jesse Little since childhood


Young to Little, J a n u a r y 20, 1846, typescript, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City. Jesse C Little, Circular to the Saints Scattered Abroad throughout the Eastern and Middle States (Peterborough, N.H., 1846), and Circular the Second (Philadelphia, 1846). See also "Manuscript History of the Eastern States Mission, "Archives Division, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. Little's activities are detailed in his written report to Brigham Young which may be found in both his letter file and in "Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" u n d e r the date Julv 6, 1846, both in LDS Archives. Little's report is reprinted in full in William E. Berrett and Alma Burton, Readings in L.D.S. Church History, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1953, 1955), 2 : 2 0 4 - 13. 5

Utah Historical Quarterly

30 and could vouch for his honesty. Little was going to Washington, Steele said, seeking a governmental contract to carry supplies to the West Coast to lower the cost of taking a ship to California. 6

While visiting New York the Mormon leader obtained a letter of introduction from A. G. Benson, a local merchant, to Amos Kendall, former postmaster general of the United States, who had been a leading member of An/ drew Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet. T h e Benson letter is important Jesse C. Little. not only because it introduced LitUtah State Historical tle to the man who helped arrange Society collections, gift of Salt Lake Tribune. a private meeting with the president but also because it showed the continuing interest of Benson and Kendall in Mormon colonization. A few months earlier, in January 1846, when Sam Brannan was preparing to take the shipload of Mormons to California, Benson had contacted him. T h e r e were those in the government, Brannan was told, who opposed the Mormons and would not allow them to leave the country. Benson said he and Kendall could secure safe passage for all departing Mormons but, in return for the service, asked for every other section of land when church members settled in California. B r a n n a n signed the agreement and sent it to Brigham Young for church approval. Young refused to sign it, saying he would trust in the Lord for a safe departure. 7 Although there is no indication of it in the surviving documents, Benson still may have hoped to further some land speculating scheme by helping Jesse Little. Despite the refusal of Brigham Young to sign the contract, friendly relations were maintained be6

Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:204 - 5. Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:206; Brigham H. Roberts, ed., History of the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1902 - 32), 7:587 - 9 1 . For Benson's later activities in the Pacific see Roy Nichols, Advanced Agents of American Destiny (Philadelphia, 1956). Many questions about the Brannan-Benson agreement remain unanswered. A fairly close relationship between the two men appears to have continued for some time. More than two years after the abortive agreement, Brannan wrote Jesse C Little: "Many little bits of interest you will learn by calling Benson of New York, which will save me the trouble of writing them again. . . . I want you to use all your influence in connection with Mr. Benson with our people." "Journal History," September 18, 1847. 7

Mormon Battalion


tween Benson and the church, and the church apparently continued to purchase some supplies through Benson's firm. 8 While in New York, Little also talked with an unidentified Washington informant who assured him that the president was friendly toward the church and wished he had $2,000,000 to give them. Little was skeptical but said that if such feelings really did exist, the government could give them some monetary help. He suggested a $50,000 loan. 9 No d o u b t h o p i n g the inThomas L. Kane. I 'tail Slate Historical formation was correct, Little left Society collections, New York to hurry to Philadelgift of Ralph V. Chamberlin. phia to conduct a church conference there. Following the first conference meeting, Thomas L. Kane, a young Philadelphian, asked to meet him. Kane, the twenty-four-year-old son of Judge John K. Kane and brother of the arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane, proved to be a lasting friend of the Mormons. For several years he served as an unofficial representative for the church in the East, and he would ultimately help to negotiate a settlement to the Utah War in 1858. He was active in many other enterprises, serving as a Union major general during the Civil War and as chairman of the Pennsylvania Free Soil party. 10 The two men developed a warm friendship and met several times during Little's stay in Philadelphia. Kane told Little that he understood the church was going to California and that he wanted permission to go with them. Little gave Kane the latest information he had received about the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo and told about his proposed trip to Washington. Kane, whose father was a friend of President Polk, gave the Mormon elder political informa-


Woodruff to Little, March 27, 1846, typescript, Utah State Historical Society. Little, Circular to the Saints. Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:206. For additional material on Kane see Albeit I., /obeli, Sentinelin the East: A Biography of Thomas L. Kane (Salt Lake City, 1965); and Oscar O. Winther, ed., I he Private Papers and Diary of Thomas Leiper Kane, a Friend of the Mormons (San Francisco, 1937). 9



Utah Historical Quarterly

tion and advice and offered to help appeal to Washington. 11 During one of their meetings Little mentioned that he hoped the government would help them because otherwise they might be forced to seek aid from another country. Kane immediately advised Little that such a threat would be the strongest possible a p p r o a c h in Washington. 12 Because the Mormons were leaving the confines of the United States, they could pose a serious obstacle to the country's westward expansion if they set up an independent country or joined with either Mexico or Great Britain. The possibility of joining England was heightened by the fact that more than fifteen thousand English had joined the Mormon church by 1846, and of that number almost five thousand had journeyed to Mormon settlements in the United States. 13 Tensions between the United States and both Mexico and England were growing. The annexation of Texas had provoked ill feelings with Mexico; relations degenerated, and war was declared between the two countries while Little was visiting Philadelphia. The United States was also involved with England in a dispute over Oregon, and President Polk could not ignore the many ramifications of that diplomatic conflict. Understandably, the president was not eager to alienate a group with over twenty thousand members on the western borders of the country. 14 Before Little left for Washington, he received a letter of introduction from Thomas Kane to his fellow Pennsylvanian, VicePresident George M. Dallas. The letter asked support for the Mormon leader and hinted that the Mormons might be forced to seek aid elsewhere. But, Kane said, they would "not willingly sell themselves to the foreigner, or forget the old commonwealth they leave behind them." 15 When Jesse Little arrived in Washington on May 21, the town was filled with excitement. A manufacturer's fair had brought many to the city to see exhibits such as a telegraph connecting Washington with Baltimore. Residents and visitors alike were thrilled with the

" B e r r e t t a n d Burton,Readings, 2:206. A quite extensive correspondence between the two men is found in the Polk Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Polk appointed the elder Kane a federal judge, and an earlier letter from Polk to Kane concerning the tariff was widely circulated during the presidential campaign of 1844 as Polk's official stand. 12 Little to Moses Thatcher, December 20, 1890. rough draft in possession of Lit tie's descendants. 13 M. Hamlin Cannon, "Migration of English Mormons to America/'/JmfncflN Historical Review, 52 (April 1947), 441. L'sing the information he had. Little estimated the number at 40,000 in his letter to the president. Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:210. 14 Milton Milo Quaife, ed., The Diary of James K. Polk during His Presidency. 1845 to 1849. 4 vols. (Chicago, 1910), 1:444 - 45, hereafter cited as Polk Diary. 15 Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:207.

Mormon Battalion


arrival of news of the first American victories in the war with Mexico. 16 Little wasted no time in seeking governmental aid. T h e day after arriving, he attended the president's public reception with a Mr. Dane and Daniel P. King, a congressman from Massachusetts. Little met the president and requested assistance. T h e meeting was certainly brief with little time to present a detailed plan. Polk made no mention of the meeting in his diary, commenting only that a large n u m b e r of people attended the reception, many of them volunteering their services or seeking commands in the army. 1 7 Not satisfied with the interview, Little called on Amos Kendall the next day to seek his help. T h e meeting produced a change in the direction of Little's request. He had been seeking a naval contract to help lower the cost of chartering a ship to California, but Kendall told him that to assist the emigrants one thousand Mormon men might be enlisted in the war. This is the first recorded mention of a Mormon fighting group. T h e war excitement doubtlessly generated the idea, but it also appears that Kendall had inside information from the Polk administration. He promised to tell Little on Tuesday morning what could be arranged. T h e mention of Tuesday morning, May 26, 1846, is significant, because the first mention of a California expedition in Polk's diary is found in his description of a meeting he held Monday evening with Kendall and Gov. Archibald Yell of Arkansas. T h e president noted that both of them favored such a force. 18 Little was going to the post office Tuesday morning when he met Kendall who told him that Polk had decided to take possession of California and to use church members in that attempt. T h e president would present the plan to the cabinet later that day. T h e cabinet thoroughly discussed the plan before agreeing unanimously to send an expedition to California. Kendall told Little the next day that plans had not been completed, but it looked as though two Mormon forces might be used: one thousand men to march to California and another thousand to ship military supplies to the West Coast. 19 T h e Mormon leader waited impatiently for word from the president confirming the offer, but none came. After five days he


Ibid., 2:208. "Ibid., 2:207; Quaife, ed., Polk Diary, 1:418. Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:207; Quaife, ed., Polk Diary, 1:427. 19 Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:208; Quaife, ed., Polk Diary, 1:429. 1H


Utah Historical Quarterly

decided to make a direct appeal to the president himself. In a long letter he outlined the persecution the church had received, and he asked for assistance: They as well as myself are true hearted Americans, true to our country, true to its glorious institutions, and we have a desire to go u n d e r the outstretched wings of the American Eagle. We would disdain to receive assistance from a foreign power, although it should be proffered, unless our government shall turn us off in this great crisis and will not help us, but compel us to be foreigners. Means for the gathering of poor we must obtain; thousands are looking to me for help and I cannot, yea, I will not, give myself rest until I find means for the deliverance of the poor. In this thing I am determined, and if I cannot get it in the land of my fathers, I will cross the trackless ocean where I trust I shall find some friends to help . . . if you assist us at this crisis, I hereby pledge my honor, my life, my property and all I possess, as representative of this people, to stand ready at your call, and that the whole body will act as one man in the land to which we are going. And should our territory be invaded, we hold ourselves ready to enter the field of battle, and then like our patriot fathers with our guns and swords make the battle field our grave or gain our liberty. 20

T h e letter reached President Polk as final decisions were being made about the California expedition. During the week Little had been waiting the president had not forgotten the force. It had, in fact, been one of his most pressing items of business. His diary records his search for a solution. He wanted a United States force in California before peace negotiations to further the country's claim to New Mexico and California. He was not sure, however, that enough time remained for a g r o u p to make the j o u r n e y overland before winter. He discussed the matter with a n u m b e r of people, including Sen. T h o m a s H a r t Benton of Missouri who assured him that a g r o u p leaving from Independence, Missouri, would have time to make the trip. T h e president had already o r d e r e d some troops on the frontier to go to New Mexico to protect American traders there. These men u n d e r Col. Stephen Kearney could make the trip to California in time, Polk decided, and a new force of one thousand men recruited in Missouri could follow them to Santa Fe with the option of continuing to California. 21


Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:208 - 1 1.

" Q u a i f e , ed., Polk Diary, 1:437-39.

Mormon Battalion

James Knox Polk. U. S. Signal Corps ph o to graph, Na tional Archives.

35 These decisions were made two days before Little wrote his letter of appeal. T h e president faced a difficult situation. His plans called for a force to leave immediately from Missouri. T h e Mormons, who had just been driven from their homes and were now seeking aid, were in the area. Using the Mormons seemed to be the easiest solution; however, it would pose c e r t a i n p r o b l e m s . Many Americans disliked them, and settlers at Sutter's Fort in California were already alarmed that a large n u m b e r of them were coming to that area. Polk feared their reaction if the first American troops arriving there were Mormons. 2 2

T h e president was weighing these alternatives when Jesse Little's letter arrived, prompting Polk to ask Amos Kendall to have Jesse Little come see him. T h e president spent three hours with the Mormon leader the next day, J u n e 3. Polk assured Little that he was friendly toward church members and would treat them the same as other citizens. He asked Little if the church would be willing to enlist five h u n d r e d men after they arrived in California and was advised that they would. T h e president did not tell him about the proposed California expedition and did not make a definite offer. He did say something would be done to help and that he would meet with the secretary of the navy before a definite proposal was made. Little was asked to call back the next day. T h e second meeting was delayed one day, until J u n e 5, when the final offer was made to Little. T h e president had checked with the secretary of war, and they had decided to allow a battalion of Mormon volunteers to join Kearney after he arrived in California, if the war lasted that long. Jesse Little wanted to go immediately to the Mormon camps and recruit the men, but the president said no. 2 3 22

Ibid., 1:450. Ibid., 1:445 - 4 6 , 4 4 9 - 5 0 .



Utah Historical Quarterly

T h e offer was not all Little was seeking and he pondered it until that evening before writing a letter of acceptance. T h a t evening he also wrote to T h o m a s L. Kane in Philadelphia, asking him to come to Washington. Kane, who had been confined to bed for some time, arrived two days later. During the next two days he and Little visited a n u m b e r of high governmental officials. Together they called on Secretary of State James Buchanan and Vice-President Dallas. Kane saw Secretary of War Marcy and President Polk alone, while Little talked with George Bancroft, the secretary of the navy, and President Polk. T h e exact nature of their discussions is not clear, but it appears they were trying for an earlier enlistment while at the same time continuing to work for a contract to freight government supplies to California. This is borne out by a letter of introduction Kane wrote for Little to George Bancroft after arriving in Washington. Kane told Bancroft that Little had a letter from Governor Steele explaining the nature of his business — and Steele's letter mentioned freighting supplies. 2 4 After two full days in Washington, Kane and Little left together for the West on J u n e 9, 1846. Apparently, they were not successful in either of their objectives. At least Jesse Little made no mention of any change of plans in his detailed report to Brigham Young, and the president of the United States recorded no changes in his diary. 2 5 Any success they might have had was, in fact, beside the point. T h e letter from Marcy to Kearney which led to the formation of the Mormon Battalion had been mailed on J u n e 3, the same day Little had his first private interview with Polk and almost a week before Kane and Little left Washington. On its face the letter seems to authorize an immediate enlistment of the Mormons: It is known that a large body of Mormon emigrants are en route to California for the purpose of settling in that country. You are desired to use all proper means to have a good understanding with them to the end that the United States may have their cooperation in taking possession of and holding that country. It has been suggested here that many of these Mormons would willingly enter into the service of the United States, and aid us in our expedition against California. You are hereby authorized to muster into service such as can be induced to volunteer not, however, to a n u m b e r exceeding one third of your entire force. 26 24

Berrett and Burton, Readings, 2:212 - 13. Ibid., 2:213. U.S., Congress, House, House Executive Document No. 60, 30th Cong., 1st sess., 1 8 4 7 - 4 8 , 153 - 5 4 . 25


Mormon Battalion


A careful reading of the letter, however, shows that neither time nor place was mentioned for the Mormon enlistments. A succeeding portion of the letter mentions enlistments in California, but again Marcy is ambiguous on such key points as who and when: It is understood that a considerable number of American citizens are now settled on the Sacramento river . . . who are well disposed towards the United States. Should you, on your arrival in the country, find this to be the true state of things there, you are authorized to organize and receive into the service of the United States such portion of these citizens as you may think useful to aid you to hold the possession of the country.27 It must be r e m e m b e r e d that two days after this letter was written, the president turned down Jesse Little's request to go West to help with an immediate enlistment. Polk also recorded in his diary that he had not told Little about Kearney's expedition or that "when Col. K. reached the country [California] he was authorized to receive 500 of the mormons into the service." 28 It is possible, but unlikely, that Kane and Little did get new dispatches to authorize an earlier enlistment. At Saint Louis Kane and Little separated, and while the Mormon leader went to Nauvoo, Illinois, Kane went to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Kane arrived there after Captain Allen had already been ordered to proceed to the Mormon camps, and so any new message he may have taken arrived too late to bear on the action. All evidence, however, points to the fact that Kane's messages were for delivery in California. In a letter to Kane's father written shortly after Kane left Washington Polk said, your son has "no doubt informed you of the object of his journey, and that he will be the bearer of dispatches to our squadron on the Pacific." 29 Only one copy of a letter from the president to T h o m a s L. Kane remains in Polk's papers. It says nothing about enlistments but, after mentioning the Pacific Coast, says Kane has the confidence of the president who hoped all government officers would show him every consideration. 3 0 Although no letters remain, Little said Polk had also promised him letters from the president and the secretary of the navy to the squadron on the Pacific. Little mentions no change of plans d u r i n g his last interview with the president. 3 1 21

'Ibid. Quaife, -'Polk to '"'Polk to 31 Berrett 28

ed.. Polk Diary, 450. John Katie. June 11, 1846, Folk Letterbook, Folk Papers. T h o m a s I.. Kane, June 11, 1846. Polk Letterbook. and Burton. Readings, 2:211 - 13.


Utah Historical Quarterly

Additional support for a proposed California enlistment is found in Jesse Little's actions after parting with Kane in Saint Louis. Little j o u r n e y e d to Nauvoo where he remained seven days — an inexplicably long stay if he were bringing word that the government would immediately be asking for 500 men. 3 2 T h e traditional view of the origins of the Mormon Battalion must be revised. Elements of the familiar story are correct. T h e formation of the battalion did involve strongly conflicting groups. T h e claims of the Mormons were balanced not only by westerners who feared their arrival but by the electorates of states like Illinois and Missouri who had voted for Polk but might go Whig in the next election if the president gave too much aid to the church. 3 3 T h e Mormons, on the other hand, were in a position to render a greatly needed service or to cause severe problems. Jesse Little used all his persuasive ability, including an outright threat of disloyalty, to obtain some help from the federal government. T h e president could not ignore the Mormons, neither could he give them too much aid. Enlistment of a Mormon fighting group in California seemed like a delicately balanced solution which would retain Mormon loyalty while not alienating too many of their enemies. T h e president's solution was not based primarily upon his personal feelings about the church but upon a variety of political considerations. While these various factors were important in bringing Polk to a position where he was willing to give some aid to the Mormons, they were not vital in the actual creation of the unit. A carelessly worded letter changed a solution which aimed at political neutrality into a plan which not only materially aided the Mormons in their trek west but also led to the epic march of the battalion. 34


Ibid., 2:213.


Some Whig papers later did, in fact, claim that the battalion was recruited as payment for Mormon votes. See Saint Louis Daily New Era, August 21, 1846. 34 T h e battalion provided over $50,000 in cash payments to church members, much of which was used to help the entire church migrate west. Leonard J. Arlington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830- 191)0 (Cambridge. Mass., 1958), 21. Polk was quite candid in his diary about his motives. " T h e main object of taking them into service would be to conciliate them, and prevent them from assuming a hostile attitude towards the U.S. after their arrival in California." Quaife, ed., Polk Diary, 1:446. T h e president was not antagnoistic to the church and may have been favorably disposed toward church members. Some sympathy is indicated by the fact that his wife helped raise money and clothing to relieve suffering among them in 1847. Millennial Star, 9 (December 1847), 365. See also W. Rav Luce, "Tea and Svmpathv," Dialogue, A Journal of Mormon Thought, 3 (Spring 1968), 142 - 45.

DAILY UNION YEDETTE. A champion brave, alert and strong

Vol. 1.1

To aid the right, oppose the wrong

C a m p D o u g l a s , XJ. T . , T h u r s d a y INlorning, J a n u a r y 2 8 , 1 8 6 4 .

to a Select Committee of three. The Military Committee reported PUBLISHED EVERY MORNING, EXCEPT SUNDAYS, the Senate's amendatory enrollment CAMP D O M U S , UTAH TERRITORY, bill, and amendments. The consideration of the bill is postponed until O F F I C E R S A N D ^ E N L I S T E D MEN, Wednesday. CHICAGO, J a n . 26th. tfc\»r»r»u Jt N t v i l t Territory W«mtr«r» SENATE—In Executive Session yesT i m of &ateccLp4oa: terday, R. L. Perkins was confirmed as Postmaster of San Francisco, vice Parker, removed. X i M of U M r t i l n i Another amendment, proposed to the Enrollment Bill of the House, yesterday, provides t h a t those physically exempted, b u t who have an income of twelve hundred dollars, shall p a y the Jfoto W o r k , regular Comnrotation of three hundred dollars. BILL HEADS, A bill w a s introduced in the House

gaily *tni<m Wt&ttU,

Cards, Circulars, Blank Forms, I GOOD STYLE



A Speech by P. ] . Blair. NRW Yon« J a n . 86th.

yesterday authorizing Utah to form a Constitution and State government. A resolution w a s also adopted instructing the Judiciary Committee to inquire into the expediency of organizing a I)cp*Hrricnt of Industry to embrace the Agricultural, Colonization, Emigration, Frccdmans, and Mineral Lands Bureaus. Bank Statement—Foreign News. NEW YORK, J a n . 25th. Bank statement shows a decrease in loans of three millions ; decrease of specie, ei^-lit hundred thousand ; decrease of deposits one hundred and seventy-five thousand. The Comiher?ial s a y s : Private advices from well informed q u a r t e r s state positively that the SchleswigHoUtein qnestion is about to he settled peacefully by an agreement between the Great Powers in whicli Denmark has already promised to acquiese in and which will be imposed by Austria and Prussia upon the lesser German States by force, if necessary.

master-General Blaiv made a speech a t Annapolis, Friday evening, in advocacy of tlie President's Emancipation 'and Amnesty Proclamations. The speech gives much satisfaction. Congressional. WASHINGTON, J a n . 25th. HOUSE—To-day Fernando Wood spoke against confiscation and in favor of peace. The Committee on Conduct of the W a r meets to-day and will a t once A Pcrnambuco letter, of Dec. 15th, take up the casts of all frouds on the reports both the Alabama and TuscaGovernment. loosa at St. Catharines, on Nov. 20th. A special to the Commercial says : They were refused supplies and orThe House Military Committee to-day

scribed bv the President's proclamation. Loyal citizens s a y they will be able to poll twenty thousand votes for the Constitution.

[IVo. 19.

days, for the immediate conscription of persons who furnished substitutes. They will be put in camps of instruction within ten days. Exploit of Col. Palmer, The Savannah Republican of t h e CmcACO, J a n . 25th. 13th s a y s : A flutter is created h e r e b y A Nashville telegram of Saturday, this law, the most interesting papers says : A Federal train, with a guard on record, and will cause an extensivo consisting of six companies of the 15th stampede to the north and other forPensylvania, w a s captured 28 miles eign parts, by gentlemen who have east of Knoxville on the 14th. As been e n g a g e d in trade. soon as the news w a s received, Col. The Richmond correspondent of tho Palmer, Rt the head of a brigade of Columbia ( G a . ) Sun h a s it, from a Union cavalry, was sent in pursuit. In trustworthy source, that one of the a few hours ho overtook the enemy designs in abolishing the exemptions and recaptured *he wagons and killed by substitutes, w a s to g e t rid of cerand wounded a hundred and fifty rebtain editors and obnoxious to the a u ' els. So complete w a s the rout that thorities. anything like a regular pursuit w a s The Examiner of the 12th says : impossible, as the fugitive rebels fled to the mountains, c\ich man taking care The Senate, yesterday, passed t h e House bill putting in the army all who of himself. Upon Palmer's attack, the Federals who were prisoners drew have furnished substitutes. This will their sabres, of which they had not curtail the cfl'ectivo working force of been relieved, I and cut their w a y he \ irginia railroads, whose executhrough, all escaping. It w a s in this ivc officers can now hardly keep them fight t h a t the rebel Maj.-Gcn. Vance, n good running order, by all t h e means at their command. All the Virwas captured. ginia railroad iron is nearly worn out Important Order. and so are the men working them. LOUISVILLE, J a n . 23th. T+ie Eiu]uirrro( the 13th, s a y s : The Major-Gen. F o s t e r h a s issued an lo^s of our beef raising territory of order prohibiting the distillation of W e s t Mississippi has reduced the supgrain within the limits of the Depart- ply of this article, and the most vigment of Ohio. orous measures are needed to keep tho Vallandigham's Case. troops in meat. Great economy is New York, J a n . 25. necessary in case our supply is cutoff. Washington specials s a y that the The Sciitiitcl sees alarming signs of point raised by Pugh in Vallandigtrouble in North Carolina. S p e a k i n g ham's case, in the Supreme Court, is of the papers of that State, it says that the military commission has no those located at Raleigh, rarely fail to authority to t r y a citizen; having no publish every gloomy article and injurisdiction, except over persons of temperate accusation against the Govthe military and naval service. Holt ernment which appears a n y where. submitted a written argument in opTheir editorials inculcate the same position to this view. The court has ntiments as their selections. I t conreserved its decision. ins frequent documents against 60ssionists for bringing on the war for cause whatever, and indulge in \ \ ASHINCTON, 2 O . as-lcss accusations that North CarThe President'! letter of i n s t i l

The Daily Union Vedette: A Military Voice on the Mormon Frontier BY LYMAN C. PEDF.RSEN. JR.


Utah Historical Quarterly

U NIQUE IN T H E LITERATURE of the West from the 1860s to the t u r n of the century were the newspapers published at military posts. In many cases these c a m p newspapers reveal the best a n d most complete picture of garrison life and soldiering in the American West. Post r e t u r n s a n d o t h e r official r e p o r t s a n d d o c u m e n t s list garrison strength, c o m m a n d i n g officers, changes in personnel each m o n t h , a n d official activities, b u t often miss the color that m a d e u p the daily life of a western soldier. Of u n u s u a l significance a m o n g the publications of military posts was the Daily Union Vedette published at Fort Douglas, Utah Territory, from 1863 to 1867, being the first daily n e w s p a p e r p u b lished in Utah. For two m o n t h s it was called the Union Vedette, not becoming a daily until J a n u a r y 5, 1864. It was then called the Daily Vedette until the title was c h a n g e d to the Daily Union Vedette J a n u a r y 27, 1864. T h e first editor a n d the father of the Vedette was Capt. Charles H. H e m p s t e a d who r e m a i n e d in the editor's chair until December 1864 w h e n "pressing duties" forced him to step down. O t h e r editors included Frederick Livingston, George F. Price, Capt. Stephen E. Jocelyn, O . J . Goldrick, Rev. N o r m a n McLeod, Phil Shoaff, a Mr. Weston, J u d g e Daniel McLaughlin, a n d A d a m Aulback. 1 Patrick Edward C o n n o r a n d the m e n of the Second a n d T h i r d California Volunteers who f o u n d e d C a m p Douglas in 1862 welcomed the first edition of the Vedette on N o v e m b e r 20, 1863. T h e o p e n i n g editorial m a d e fair promise in stating that "we have no ends to serve, save the public good, a n d o u r country's welfare; we have no enemies to punish; no prejudices to indulge; no private griefs to ventilate." T h r e e weeks later a romantic and noble s o u n d i n g subtitle was a d d e d to the front page: "A c h a m p i o n brave, alert a n d strong. . . . T o aid the right, oppose the wrong." O n Christmas Day 1863 a proposal was m a d e to print a daily newspaper completely separate from the weekly publication which had a p p e a r e d thus far. This plan was i m p l e m e n t e d a n d was so widely accepted that on J a n u a r y 22,

Dr. Pedersen is a professor of history at Gravs Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington. 1

T. S. Harris is also claimed as one of the founders and editors of the Vedette in Richard E. Lingenfelter and Richard A. Dwyer, The "Nonpareil" Press of T. S. Harris (Los Angeles, 1957.) For a full history of the Vedette and of Fort Douglas see Lyman C. Pedersen, Jr.. "History of Fort Douglas, Utah," (Ph.D. diss.. Brigham Voting University, 1967). J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism (Salt Lake City, 1938). 361 - 75, is another important source.

Daily Union Vedette


1864, it was a n nounced that the weekly p u b l i c a t i o n would be discontinued because too many customers were switching to the daily. Located only three miles from the M o r m o n c a p i t a l of Salt Lake City, Fort Douglas, or C a m p Douglas as it was called until 1878, was in an excellent position to reflect Mormon attitudes and problems during the troublesome d e c a d e of t h e 1860s. T h e r e is n o d o u b t that M o r m o n leaders read the Charles II. Vedette, just as military Hempstead. Utah State Historical officials r e a d t h e Society collections. Deseret News, to see what new attacks were being made on them. On January 19, 1865, the Vedette mentioned that "it is evident from the sermon delivered by Elder J o h n Taylor in the Tabernacle last Sunday that the polygamists are becoming constant readers of the Vedette r2 Between 1863 and 1867, the period d u r i n g which the Vedette was published, some reference to the Mormons appeared in almost every issue of the camp paper. It made good reading for both Mormons and non-Mormons, though for different reasons and from different points of view. T h e subjects most often attracting comment from the editor's pen were polygamy, the question of loyalty, and the future of the army in Utah, although a variety of other subjects appeared as well. On a personal basis the most frequent targets for the columns of the Vedette were Heber C. Kimball -Daily Union Vedette, January 19, 1865. See also Millennial Star, 26 (February 20, 1864), 123, for Mormon reaction to the publishing of the Vedette.


Utah Historical Quarterly

of the First Presidency, a certain Bishop Wooley of a local ward, and, of course, the Mormon leader Brigham Young. Mormon sermons, if they were particularly harsh against the military or if they had an unpatriotic ring to t h e m , might well find room in the camp newspaper. 3 Typical of small complaints published by the newspaper was "One of Brother Kinney's Loyal Inhabitants" which panned the territorial delegate from Utah, J o h n F. Kinney: A patriotic cuss who keeps an ice house in the city, who claims to own a small bridge which crosses a slough near the J o r d a n , would not permit the Government teams engaged in hauling ice to C a m p Douglas, to cross his institution, and actually commenced tearing up the bridge while some of the teams were on the opposite side. 4

A week later the "patriotic cuss," not named in the first article, answered in his own defense. 5 Tension was often high during the war years between the troops who did not wish to serve on the Utah frontier and the Saints who had no desire for them to remain in Utah Territory. In April 1864 Brigham Young was quoted as saying: T h e boys can go u p Parley's Canyon some fine morning and clean out the troops before breakfast. T h e troops are no better than members of Congress. 6

Naturally, a good deal was written about the Mormon militia, and even General Connor recognized the ability of that organization, if determined to do so, to destroy the command on the Wasatch front. Despite this knowledge, a considerable n u m b e r of lines were written depreciating Mormon preparedness. 7 Fortunately, Young and Connor recognized the strength as well as the weakness in each other. Both usually exercised caution and j u d g m e n t , although neither hesitated to engage in verbal combat. Editing and publishing a newspaper was not to interfere with parades and inspections required of all members of the garrison, and on February 29, 1864, it was announced that the camp paper

'•'Vedette. April 1 1 and 15, 1864. 'Ibid., February 5, 1864. Hbid., February 1 1. 1864. e Ibid., April 8, 1864. For other charges of disloyal statements being made by Brigham Voting and |ohn Taylor sec issues of April 1 1 and April 15, 1864. Ibid., Itilv 27, 1865.

Daily Union Vedette


would not appear on the first and last day of each month thereafter because of the requirements of the regular muster and review. Some publications outside the territory expressed hostility toward the Vedette. Sometimes these criticisms appeared within its columns but usually with an accompanying retort. Just a few months before the last issue of the original Vedette appeared, the Lafayette Courier of Oregon charged that the Vedette had "gone under." T h e editor of the C a m p Douglas newspaper replied that they were still very much alive. T h e opinion of the Oregon paper provides an interesting contrast to other articles praising the paper. T h e Salt Lake Vedette, a Black Republican paper published at Government expense for the last three or four years at Salt Lake City, and which proved meanwhile particularly annoying to the Mormons, has finally s u r r e n d e r e d . It has passed into Mormon hands, and it will probably be a long time ere another paper is maintained there at the expense of the taxridden, to spout radicalism and stir u p unnecessary strife among the people inhabiting the Great Salt Lake Valley. It would have worked a saving to the people of this country of a vast a m o u n t of money had the Mormons destroyed the Vedette office as soon as it arrived a m o n g them. 8

T h e voice of C a m p Douglas was usually quite loud and clear in dealing with any controversy between the Mormons and small splinter groups in the vicinity. Editorials concerning the Josephites and their conferences in contrast to the "Brighamites," as the paper chose to style them, continually recurred. T h e issue of April 11, 1864, commented on both conferences, although the paper frequently carried the full text of the Josephite meetings. T h e paper also followed the Civil War, of course, giving in some detail r u n n i n g accounts of battles and military strategy. In September 1864 it noted: A salute of eleven guns was fired at Camp Douglas, U.T., in honor of the severe blow inflicted on rebeldom by the taking of Atlanta. Great enthusiasm prevailed among the officers and men in camp. 9

During the following November the Vedette published a list of blockade r u n n e r s destroyed or captured from August 1863 to September 1864. 10 T h e course of the war need not be traced here. Suffice it to

Hbid., August 30, 1867. Hbid., September 5, 1864. i0 Ibid., November 10, 1864.


Utah Historical Quarterly

say that all military posts were given the order to r e n d e r a 200-gun salute upon receipt of the news of Lee's surrender. This order was carried out at Camp Douglas April 12, 1865. Two weeks before the election of 1864 the paper expressed sadness at having to say farewell to a large number of volunteers departing from the service. In addition to voicing regret, the following advice was given. Let your motto be Union and Liberty, and let your vote be Lincoln and Johnson. T h a t you may each and all be prosperous and happy, is the wish and prayer of the comrades you leave behind you. 11

In the election which followed in November, the Vedette recorded that of the 126 votes cast by the Nevada Volunteers at Camp Douglas, 121 were for Lincoln, with only 5 for McClellan. 12 T h e closing months of the war brought a variety of items to the columns of the Vedette besides battle reports and items of political interest. T h e following note entitled " T h e Young Ladies of Atlanta," came from a soldier in Atlanta who disclosed: T h e young ladies don't seem at all afraid of the Yankees, for they may be seen p r o m e n a d i n g the streets, well dressed, and many of them very refined and pretty. I noticed a bevy of young misses dancing on the grass behind a very fine residence, to the lively airs played by General Slocum's band. They seemed to have quite forgotten the fearful carnage of the past month. 1 3

Although finding many complaints about the internal structure of Zion, the Vedette usually afforded space for favorable comments from visitors upon the physical beauty of Salt Lake City. Such an observation from a correspondent of the New York Independent was printed in J a n u a r y 1866. His description of Salt Lake Valley is reminiscent of W. H. Prescott's dazzling description of the Valley of Mexico and the Aztec capital. It is impossible to conceive of any sight more beautiful and refreshing than when the traveler having trudged his weary way for more than a thousand miles, with only sage brush to relieve the scene from stark, savage desolation, emerges from the deep gorge in the mountains, and for the first time looks down upon Great Salt Lake City. T o the right, twenty miles distant, the lake itself stretches far aw7ay to the north.


Ibid., October 28, 1864. Ibui, November 11, 1864. Ibid., December 7, 1864.



Daily Union Vedette


Twenty-five miles across the valley of the Jordan is a high range of mountains, for miles, north and south the valley is covered with splendid farms; while at your feet, with its broad streets, and houses embowered in trees, is the far famed city of the Saints. As you enter it, you observe a p u r e stream of water sparkling along each side of all the streets, from which each thrifty Mormon, as it babbles along, leads a little treat into his garden and a r o u n d among his fruits and flowers forming a perfect paradise of beauty. Seen in J u n e , as we saw it, Salt Lake is certainly one of the most delightful cities u p o n the continent. 1 4

T h e camp paper noted such visitors to Salt Lake City as Jefferson Hunt, J o h n Bidwell, Artemus Ward, Samuel Bowles, Indian Chiefs W'ashakie and Pocatello, and A. D. Richardson. 1 5 T h e latter was a correspondent for the New York Tribune and left an unforgettable impression of a Mormon meeting in the old bowery of 1865. His article entitled "Faces in the Bowery" recorded his experience: In the afternoon we attended M o r m o n services at the Bowery — a great arbor with seats of rough pine boards and a low flat roof of branches with withered leaves, supported by upright poles. For the warm season it is far pleasanter than any building. . . . T h e congregation numbered fully 3,000 in which women largely predominated. They were neatly but very plainly dressed; kid gloves were few, silks and satins were far between. Hoops abounded in all their amplitude. At first, as I am told, the preachers denounced them very bitterly from the pulpit. But female persistency t r i u m p h e d as it generally does, and crinoline proved more potent than the thunderbolts of the Church. Among the apostles, elders and bishops on the platform were Heber C. Kimball, 64 years old, tall and stout, with bald, massive head and ruddy, sensuous face, and Dr. Bernheisel, former delegate to Congress, slender, venerable looking with mild countenance, bald crown and thin silvered locks. . . . Many infants at the breast were present, and all were permitted to quaff the water freely. T h e poor babies were thirsty enough, but it detracted a little from the solemnity of the ceremony. 1 6

N u m e r o u s issues of the Vedette recorded the progress of mining in Utah which the volunteers had helped to initiate, a n d articles bore such stirring titles as " H o for the Mines." A m o n g other historically

"Ibid., October 26, 1865. •'//>/>/., December 18, 1863, July 16, 1864, January 16, 1864, July 19, 1865, August 22 and 24, 1865, August 15, 1864, October 27, 1864. Hunt was a captain in the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican War and helped colonize San Bernardino, California. Huntsville, Utah, is named for him. Bidwell was a California pioneer of 1841 and that state's most noted agriculturist. Artemus Ward was the pen name of the noted humorist Charles Farrar Browne. Bowles was editor of the Springfield Republican (Mass.) and a pioneer in independent journalism. Albert Deane Richardson, Civil War correspondent for the New York Tribune, wrote two popular books of the period, The Secret Service (1865) and Beyond the Mississippi (1866). 1G Vedette, August 17, 1865. 1


Utah Historical Quarterly

noteworthy articles which found their way into the pages of the paper are several which pertain to the Rocky Mountain fur business and the men who first penetrated the Intermountain area. T h e July 17 issue of the Vedette described an old mountain man named Michel LeClare then residing halfway between Fort Bridger and Ham's Fork. [He is] perhaps one of the oldest white inhabitants of these regions, having dwelt in the mountains for forty-three years. He left Saint Louis when a mere boy and when that place was but a French village, in consequence of ill health, since which time he has spent his life among the Indians and has acquired many of their habits which, with his s u n - b r o w n e d c o m p l e x i o n , gives h i m t h e a p p e a r a n c e of a half-breed. . . . He seems thoroughly acquainted with the country from Mexico to the British possessions, relating many interesting experiences attending his explorations of these vast regions d u r i n g a period of over forty years, which if written, would make a volume quite as romantic and eventful as any that have come from the pens of Cooper or Irving. 1 7

Even more incredible is the quotation, or more than likely the misquotation, from the Fort Kearney Herald which described the old mountain man Jim Bridger who was then residing at the Overland House at Fort Kearney as "perhaps sixty years old, fully six feet eight, raw boned, blue eyes, a u b u r n hair (now somewhat gray), and very active and communicative." 1 8 For the m o d e r n reader, a m o n g the most ludicrous aspects of a frontier newspaper is the almost infinite variety of advertisements. T h e Vedette was no exception. While one may smile at both the product and message of many such advertisements, the practical approach to problems of the day seems remarkable in its straightforward exaggeration. Readers searching for medicinal relief found glowing descriptions of Newell's Pulmonary Syrup; Dr. Townsley's Indian Vegetable Tooth Ache Anodyne, warranted to cure the toothache in one minute; and Dr. Miner's Wizard Oil for rheumatism, neuralgia, nervous and sick headache, sore throat, diphtheria, sprains, lame back, cuts, bruises, burns and scalds, spinal infections, and contracted cords and muscles.

"Ibid., July 17, 1865. Ibid., January 23, 1866. Equally interesting is a quotation from the Montana Post. See Vedette of September 27, 1866. 1H

Daily Union Vedette


Miscellaneous notices which are difficult to categorize include objections to the "vulgar use" of opera glasses at the Salt Lake T h e a t r e , descriptions of scenery on the moon and vegetation along the Amazon, advance notices of the Young Men's Literary Association, and complaints that mail sent from C a m p Douglas was not reaching Nevada. Titles of articles range from "A Singular Dream" to "Coffee in the Army." The columns of the Vedette were rich with information regarding the arrival and d e p a r t u r e of emigrants and freight to and from Salt Lake City. In J u n e 1865 a dispatch from Julesburg, Colorado, noted that in the previous twenty days more than four thousand wagons had passed over the trail. O n July 31 the Vedette mentioned the arrival of a mule train with thirteen wagon loads of freight for Ransohoff and Company of Salt Lake City. Another train of forty wagons with merchandize for the same company was expected to arrive several weeks later. O n October 17, 1865, the voice of C a m p Douglas described the old pioneer c a m p g r o u n d west of the city. T h a t lively place known as Immigration Square, or now, Corral, is thronged with trains and teams unnumerable. Forbes' train of thirty or more wagons, were preparing to roll out from there this morning to Montana. It is laden with flour and staples for the subsistence of Virginia and Helena folks. McCann's train of thirty-seven wagons, and Overton's train of twenty or thirty more, got in here yesterday from Nebraska City freighted with goods for several of our merchants. 1 9

Another transportation article excitedly listed a record stage time of "850 miles in 3 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes" from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, including meals, delays, etc. 20 In all aspects of camp and post activity, from latrine duty to the ballroom floor, the Daily Union Vedette was truly the voice of the men and officers of C a m p Douglas and served as a unifying agent ready to defend the camp against any protagonist, real or imagined. T h e last issue of the paper appeared on November 27, 1867, four years and one week after its commencement. T h e publishing of the Deseret News as a daily at that time was a factor in the Vedette closing. T h e d e p a r t u r e of General Connor and his family for California may also have contributed to its demise. Financial problems were always present as well. Outside pressure for the discontinuance of the


Ibid., October 17, 1865. Ibid., October 10, 1865.



Utah Historical Quarterly

paper does not appear to have been an important factor. Less than two months before the last issue appeared, editor Daniel McLaughin denied r u m o r s that he had been o r d e r e d to leave the city or that he had ever received any threat or personal affront. He made it clear that the title of "persecuted editor" would not apply to him. C a m p Douglas became Fort Douglas and lived on to maturity and old age. T h e Vedette was restored twice in the post's later history, once from 1942 to 1946, again from 1965 to 1966. But it is the original Vedette which is important to the student of history. With its color, variety, h o m e s p u n idiom, and unblushing frankness, it represents not only an important source document but an entire genre of nineteenth-century frontier literature.


T h e r e was a military organization here as early as 1852, it was a continuation of the Nauvoo Legion. We had here at Tooele a company of Infantry u n d e r the command of T h o m a s Lee and a company of Cavalry u n d e r J o h n Gillespie. . . . They used to have regular muster days, I think once a month, then in connection with that they would go down to C a m p Stansbury (Now Erda) for a week's Encampment. H e r e they would have sham battles and participate in all sorts of military maneuvers. Of course, they had no uniforms like Soldiers have. No two men were dressed alike. Some had caps, some straw hats and any kind of head gear that they could get. T h e i r guns were of a very primitive make. Some had wooden guns, some Shot-guns, some Yougers, some muskets and some the old-time flint lock guns. They were also required to learn sword exercise so they had some wooden swords. I belonged to Company "A", as a d r u m m e r boy, was drafted into the service when 18 years old. Ammunition was very scarce. Both powder and lead had to be hauled across the plains a thousand miles with Ox-teams (as did nearly everything else). So that while there was considerable game here, the settlers had to keep their ammunition to defend themselves against the Indians. (John Alexander Bevan, "Events in the Early History of Tooele," typescript compiled by Utah WPA Historical Records Survey, Utah State Historical Society manuscript file A1374.)

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L^u/w Robison and portion of August 5, 1855, letter. Courtesy LDS Archives.

Fort Bridger and the Mormons BY FRED R. GOWANS


Utah Historical Quarterly

questions in western American history relates to the ownership of Fort Bridger d u r i n g the decade of the 1850s. T h e controversy extends well beyond the Mormon leaders' claim of having purchased the fort in 1855 and Bridger's denial of it. T h e federal government also became involved, leasing the fort from Bridger in 1857 as a winter cantonment for General Johnston's troops but then refusing to make rental payments by claiming that Bridger could not establish satisfactory title. Beginning in 1869 and extending to his death in 1881, Bridger engaged in a series of unsuccessful legal machinations to force rental payments from the War Department. Finally, in 1899 Congress awarded Bridger's heirs a sum of $6,000 u n d e r an obscure equity law for improvements which the old mountain man had erected on his post prior to 1857, but not a penny in rent was ever paid. This study seeks to clarify certain facts behind the lingering Fort Bridger controversy. It begins with a brief survey of the relations between Bridger and the Mormons — relations which began in friendship but ended in armed confrontation — and concludes with an examination of the claims and counterclaims of sale. T h e rapid deterioration of relations between the Mormons and Bridger stemmed in part from the church leaders' suspicions that the old mountain man was exerting a mischievous influence on the Indians. A letter from Bridger to President Brigham Young on July 16, 1848, suggests that Mormon leaders had earlier accused Bridger of exciting the Indians against the Mormon settlements: U N E OF T H E MORE PERSISTENT

I am truly sorry that you should believe any reports about me having said that I would bring any n u m b e r of Indians upon you and any of your community. Such a thought never entered my head and I trust to your knowledge and good sense to know if a person is desirous of living in good friendship with his neighbors would u n d e r t a k e such a mad project. 1

Several months later, on April 9, 1849, a letter of warning from Bridger and his partner Louis Vasquez informed President Young that "the Indians were badly disposed against the white and that Old Elk and Walkara were erging attack on the settlements of saints in

Dr. Gowans is assistant professor, Department of Indian Education, at Brigham Young University. 'Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection, July 2 1 , 1848, Archives Division, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City (hereafter cited as LDS Archives).

Fort Bridger


Utah Valley." 2 A month later a letter from Vasquez at Black's Fork stated that Barney Ward and two other men had been trading with the Bannock Indians and that "an Indian with two horses and some bear skins left the village to go with them but was subsequently found m u r d e r e d below the junction of Ham's and Black's Fork." Vasquez wished to know how many horses Ward had brought into the valley and stated "that the band of Indians were incensed, and talked of coming to the valley to war u p o n the white." In rather curious reaction to this correspondence, President Young commented to some of the church leaders, "I believe I know that Old Bridger is death on us, and if he knew 400,000 Indians were coming against us, and any man were to let us know, he would cut his throat." T h e n he went on to say, "Vasquez is a different sort of man, I believe Bridger is watching every movement of the Mormons, and reporting to T h o m a s Benton at Washington." 3 A week later Young expressed his feeling that "Bridger and the other mountaineers were the real cause of the Indians being incensed against the Saints." 4 Another source of friction between church leaders and Jim Bridger lay in the mutual desire for control of the Green River ferry. T h e legislature of the state of Deseret, forerunner of Utah Territory, had granted the first ferry rights on the Green River on February 12, 1850. 5 T h e first Utah Territorial Legislature, in an act approved January 6, 1852, granted these ferry rights to one T h o m a s Moor for one year. T h e act also provided that if any person should erect "any public ferry across said river within Utah Territory, without permission of the legislature of Utah, said person or persons shall pay the sum of one thousand dollars, to be collected for use of Utah." 6 T h e passage of this ordinance caused much excitement among the whites and Indians in the area. For several years ferries had been maintained by the mountain men for the accommodation of travelers. T h e Mormons now ignored the "squatters' rights" of 2 "Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," April 9, 1849, p. 1, LDS Archives. . '•'Ibid., May 7, 1849, p. 1. This statement on the part of Brigham Young shows that his feelings toward Bridger involved much more than just their difference concerning the Indians. By the summer of 1849 Young definitely showed considerable resentment toward Bridger, and it would appear that his resentment was based on reports brought to Salt Lake City primarily by Mormons. 4 "Journal History," May 13, 1849, p. 1. T h e Indians did not attack the valley in 1849 as Bridger and Vasquez had anticipated. Despite Young's opinion of Bridger, however, it is possible that the proprietors of Fort Bridger were sincere in their warnings to the Saints. 'Dale I.. Morgan, " T h e State of Deseret," Utah Historical Qjiarterly, 8 (April, July, and October 1940). 99. "Utah, Territorial Legislature, Acts, Resolutions and Memorials, Passed by the Legislature, Assembly of the Territory of V!ah (Salt Lake City, 1852), 1 6 6 - 6 7 .


Utah Historical Quarterly

these people and asserted control through legislative charter. Unable to cope with the Mormons in the territorial legislature the mountain men improved their close relations with the Shoshonis, hoping to stir u p the Indians against the Mormons in an attempt to build a case that the Mormons were driving the Indians off their lands. 7 A letter from A. Wilson at Fort Bridger on October 9, 1852, to Indian agent Jacob H. Holeman described the unrest of the Indians when the Mormons entered the Green River area for the purpose of building a ferry: I beg to call your attention to the disturbed state of the Snake Indians at this moment, in consequence of the occupation of a part of their country by the Mormon whites. Being an American citizen, and having the welfare and honor of my country in view, I believe it is imperative for you, without delay, to allay by all the means in your authority the present excitement. I saw the chiefs here [Fort Bridger], in council, at this fort, and heard them assert that they intended to immediately drive the whites from their lands, and much persuasion was used to pacify them for the present time. And now, dear sir, if you do not use the authority vested in you, speedily, I do believe and fear scenes of destruction and bloodshed will soon ensue. 8

Holeman reacted by visiting this section of country immediately. He reported that a company of Mormons, u n d e r the territorial charter, had assembled on Green River and commenced the construction of a bridge, but finding so much opposition on the part of the Indians, they had abandoned it for the present and returned to Salt Lake City. 9 A third source of conflict between the mountain men in the Fort Bridger area and the Mormons was the tax placed on the former by the Utah Territorial Legislature. Holeman summed up the problem: T h e M o r m o n authorities have levied a tax [toll] on these mountaineers, and have collected it in some instance. As the tax is considered extravagant, and partly for the use and benefit of the Mormon church,

7 Dale L. Morgan, " T h e Administration of Indian Affairs in Ltah, 1851 - 1858," Pacific Historical Review, 17 (November 1948), 386, 391. 8 U.S., Congress, House, The Utah Expedition, 35th Cong., lstsess., 1857 - 58, House Ex. Doc. No. 71, p. 158. 9 Ibid., 158 - 59. Mormons enroute to Utah had been asked by Young to settle on the Green River. However, when difficulties surfaced, Young decided to recall the group and await a more o p p o r t u n e time for settlement. "Journal Historv," August 30, 1852, pp. 1 - 2 , and October 14, 1852, p. 1.

Fort Bridger

53 it is producing much excitement, and I fear will produce bloodshed. These men declare their willingness to pay any tax which the government may d e m a n d , but refuse to pay a Mormon tax, as they term it. 10

Although the tax was not levied by the Mormon church but by the territory of Utah, it was very difficult to separate the two, especially if one w e r e a G e n t i l e . T h e r e was, of course, very little separation of state and church at this time among the Mormon people. Underlying each of these issues was Brigham Young's growing deWilliam A. Hickman. Utah Stale Historical sire to control the Fort BridgerSociety photograph by Green River area, which was the C. IV. Carter, courtesy eastern entrance into the Salt Lake Patricia Evans Baker. Valley. T h o u s a n d s of Mormon immigrants were traveling to Salt Lake City each year, and an outpost where they could rest and replenish their supplies just before traveling the last one h u n d r e d miles through the mountains would be of untold benefit. T h e Mormons had already established ferries on most of the streams along the Mormon route and had provided stores of goods and livestock at various places for the immigrants. But on the streams of Green River valley the mountain men and Mormons entered into dispute over who should have the right to supply the needs of the passing immigrants. 1 1 Some of the Mormons were not content to see this lucrative business go to the enrichment of the mountain men. Early in the spring of 1853 William A. Hickman, a Utah attorney, left Salt Lake City with a good supply of merchandise and a plan to establish a trading post at a strategic location east of the entrance to the Basin. About the first of May he located a favored position on the Green River which gave him opportunity to intercept all immigration before it reached Fort Bridger. His business prospered, and he claimed to have netted about nine t h o u s a n d dollars in three

U) The Utah Expedition, p. 159. Ten percent of the tax was earmarked for the Perpetual Emigrating Fund. See Morgan, "Indian Affairs in Utah," 391 - 92. "Milton R. Hunter, Brigham Young, the Colonizer (Salt Lake City, 140), 280.


Utah Historical Quarterly

months. 1 2 During the winter of 1853 - 54 the Utah Territorial Legislature granted a charter to Daniel H. Wells of Salt Lake City to operate the immigrant ferries on Green River. Wells transferred this charter, which did not expire until May 15, 1856, to Capt. W . J . Hawley and others. Hickman's account does not include Wells's transfer of the charter, but it does give a clear picture of the problem: During the S u m m e r a difficulty took place between the ferrymen and mountain men. T h e latter had always owned and r u n the ferry across Green River; but the Utah Legislature granted a charter to Hawley, T h o m p s o n 8c McDonald, for all the ferries there. T h e mountain men, who had lived there for many years, claimed their rights to be the oldest, and a difficulty took place, in which the mountain men took forcible possession of all the ferries but one, making some thirty thousand dollars out of them. When the ferrying season was over, the party having the charter brought suit against them for all they had made d u r i n g the Summer. 1 3

When the Mormon traders r e t u r n e d to Salt Lake City that fall they reported that Bridger was selling powder and lead to the Utah Indians and inciting them to war with the Saints. This was a clear violation of Governor Young's recent revocation, at the beginning of the Walker War, of all licenses for Indian trade. T h e r e u p o n , Sheriff James Ferguson was o r d e r e d by Young to confiscate Bridger's dangerous goods and deliver Bridger to Salt Lake City. When Ferguson's posse of one h u n d r e d fifty men arrived at the fort, Bridger was nowhere to be found, and his Indian wife claimed she did not know where he had gone. After carrying out the orders regarding the Fort Bridger property— which included the destruction of liquor stores — some of the posse continued on to the Green River where they engaged in a battle with the mountain men at the ferries. Two or three of the latter were killed and much of their property, which included whiskey and several h u n d r e d head of livestock, was taken by the posse. When the sheriff and his assistants r e t u r n e d to Salt Lake City with the livestock, church leaders asserted that from that time on the Mormons were in Green River valley to stay and that Bridger was out, or his influence was at least greatly minimized. 1 4


William A. Hickman, Brigham's Destroying Angel. . . (New York, 1872), 8 8 - 9 1 . Ibid., 9 1 . " J . Cecil Alter,James Bridger: Trapper, frontiersman, Scout and Guide (Salt Lake City, 1925), 249.



Fort Bridger The rounded Bridger takeover

whereabouts of his departure. on August 27, of Fort Bridger

Bridger was not known, and mystery surDr. T h o m a s Flint, who arrived at Fort recorded the following concerning the by the territorial officers:

. . . [I] went to the fort for ammunition but found the fort in possession of the territorial officer. Mormons who had 24 hours before driven old man Bridger out and taken possession. . . . Here Bridger had established his trading post many years before his fort had been taken by the Mormons with a good supply of merchandise selected for the Indian trade. 1 5

More explicit information was recorded by J o h n Brown: At Fort Bridger I found Capt. James Cummings with twenty men in possession of the fort he had come out here in the summer to arrest Mr. Bridger for treason. Affidavids having been made to the effect that he had sold or furnished hostile Indians with ammunitions and etc. He made his escape but some of the posse were still here. They left for home however when we passed we being the last emigrants of the season. 16

Part of the Mormon posse — at least twenty out of the one h u n d r e d and fifty — remained at the fort from August 26 until October 7 looking for Bridger. This seizure and occupation of Bridger's establishment has been distorted by later writers, and Bridger himself has added to the misunderstanding. For example, Capt. R. B. March, a close friend of Bridger, recorded the mountain man's own version of the event: Here he [Bridger] erected an establishment which he called Fort Bridger and here he was for several years prosecuting a profitable traffic both with the Indians and with California emigrants. At length, however, his prosperity excited the cupidity of the Mormons, and they intimated to him that his presence in such close proximity to their settlements was not agreeable, and advised him to pull u p stakes and leave forthwith; and upon his questioning the legality of justice of this arbitrary summons, they came to his place with a force of avenging angels and forced him to make his escape to the woods in order to save his life. Here he remained secreted for several days, and through the assistance of his Indian wife, was enabled to elude the search of the

••'Thomas Flint. Diary oj Dr. Thomas flint, California to Maine and Return, 1851 - 1855, Annual Publications. Historical Society of Southern California (Los Angeles, 1923), 45. "'"Journal History," October 17, 1853, p. 1.

UK*" •Wt



Fort Bridger as painted by W. H. Jackson. Utah State Historical Society collections.

Danites and make his way to Fort Laramie, leaving all his cattle and other property in possession of the Mormons. 1 7

Twenty years after the raid, in a letter dictated to Sen. Benjamin F. Butler soliciting political aid in connection with reclamations at Fort Bridger in 1873, Bridger gave the following exaggerated account: I was robbed, and threatened with death, by the Mormons, by the direction of Brigham Young, of all my merchandize, stock — in fact of everything I possessed, amounting to more than $ 100,000 worth — the buildings in the fort partially destroyed by fire, and I barely escaped with my life. 18

T h e r e is no evidence that Bridger was threatened with death, but only with arrest, and the fort was not partially destroyed by fire as Bridger testified in writing to Senator Butler. Bridger was guilty h e r e o f trying to use the b u r n i n g of the fort in 1857 by the Mormons, who then claimed to own it, to fit his story of what happened in 1853. Actually, itemized ledgers were kept by the sheriff and posse from the time of their arrival in August 1853 until their d e p a r t u r e in October on each item that was purchased from the fort's commissary or used while the posse resided at the fort. These ledgers show that $802.91 worth of merchandise was either ptirchased or used during that period. In addition, ledgers on all items taken from the fort ,7

Randolf B. March, Thirty Years of Army Life on the Border (Philadelphia, 1963), 363. '"U.S.. Congress, Senate, Senate Report No. 625, 52d Cong.. 1st sess., 1891 - 92. p. 12.

Fort Bridger .->


back to Salt Lake City are available and show that a total $1,433.30 worth of merchandise representing knives, caps, lead balls, powder, iron, and guns (both pistols and rifles) were taken. T h e ledgers reveal that $500.00 was entered for rent for the "occupation of fort and houses near 2 months." 1 9 T h u s a total of $2,236.21 represented the loss in inventory that Bridger sustained by the Mormon posse. This, of course, does not include the loss of income he suffered from his forced exile. T h e following written statement was included with the invoice turned over to Mormon leaders on the return of the posse: " T h e above goods are charged at the established price of the county given u n d e r my hand this the 25th day of February, 1854. James Bridger." 2 0 This signature could not have been authentic, since Bridger could not write; nor was it written by his consent, because he had gone into hiding and could not be found. Had Vasquez been available to approve the fixed price, he would almost certainly have signed for both himself and Bridger, as he did on all other documents. But the fradulent entry of Bridger's name does not necessarily detract from the accuracy of the data entered on the ledgers. In 1858, when the final payment was made to Bridger and Vasquez for the fort purchased by the Mormons in 1855, a settlement was also made concerning this merchandise taken and used at the fort in 1853. Apparently Bridger and Vasquez did not feel that the fort's purchase price of $8,000.00 completely covered the loss of $2,236.21 sustained in 1853, so a separate payment of $1,000.00 was made to them on October 18, 1858. 21 From the ledgers, then, it is apparent that Bridger's holdings at the fort which were used or taken by the posse amounted to almost twenty-three h u n d r e d dollars. T h a t the value of the remaining merchandise and the fort itself was worth several thousand more cannot be questioned. However, the sum of $100,000.00 stated by Bridger to be the value of the fort in 1853 when he escaped the arrest of the Mormons, was surely a gross exaggeration. T h e old mountain man must have confined his exile to the Green River valley, for soon after the posse left on October 17, 1853, Bridger and J o h n H. Hockaday, a government sLirveyor, began a l a n d s u r v e y of t h e p r o p e r t y c l a i m e d by B r i d g e r . O n


Invoice and Receipt, Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection.




'Receipt, October 18, 1858, Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection.

Utah Historical Quarterly


November 6, 1853, the survey was completed. T h e plat contained 3,898 acres. T h e following spring, on March 16, 1854, a copy was filed with T h o m a s Bullock, G r e a t Salt L a k e County recorder. 2 2 A copy was also filed with the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., on March 9, 1854. 23

Map of property claimed by Bridger and surveyed by Hockaday from Senate Report No. 625.

Prior to this, Bridger had recorded another deed of some p r o p e r t y he h a d p u r c h a s e d from Charles Sagenes on August 28, 1852. B r i d g e r paid Sagenes four h u n d r e d dollars for this property, consisting of five houses with some acreage, which was later included in the survey by J o h n H. Hockaday. This bill of sale was recorded at the Great Salt Lake County offices on October 28, 1853. 2 4

After completing the survey of Fort Bridger, the mountain man took his family and settled on a farm at Little Santa Fe, Jackson County, Missouri, near Kansas City. 25 Even from that distant location he continued to be a thorn in the side of the Mormon leaders. Brigham Young's letter to Stephen A. Douglas in April 1854, recorded by his secretary, reported that: . . . it was r u m o r e d that Jas. Bridger, from Black's Fork of Green River, had become the oracle in Congress, in all matters pertaining to

22 Salt Lake County, County Records, Book B, p. 68, Salt Lake County Clerk's Office, Salt LakeCity and County Building. 23 Senate Report No. 625, map opposite p. 8. 24 Salt Lake County Records, Book B, p. 68. " A l t e r , J i m Bridger, 253.

Fort Bridger


Utah; that he had informed Congress that Utah had dared to assess and collect taxes; that the Mormons must have killed Capt. Gunnison, because the Pauvanetes had not guns . . . that the Mormons were an outrageous set, with no redeeming qualities. Gov. Young expressed his astonishment that Bridger should be sought after for information on any point when a gentlemen like Delegate Bernhisel was accessible.26

It is obvious that by late fall of 1853, due to the creation of Utah Territory, the takeover of the Green River ferries by the Mormons, and the expulsion of Bridger from his fort, that the mountain men were fighting a losing battle. Even though Bridger had his lands at Fort Bridger surveyed in a final attempt to establish some legal claim to them, it was of little value since he never again resided at the fort except for the short period of time during the summer of 1855 when he sold his property to the Mormons. By October 1853 the Mormon leaders thought they were in a position to establish themselves permanently in Green River valley, at Fort Bridger, and to control that portion of the territory. Orson Hyde was called to organize a colony, and on the last day of General Conference in October 1853 Hyde read the names of thirty-nine persons who had been called by the church leaders to serve in the Green River Mission.27 Approximately three weeks later this company was organized at the State House in Salt Lake City under the direction of Capt. John Nebeker and started their march to the contemplated settlement, arriving at Fort Bridger eleven days later. 28 As soon as this company was on its way, Hyde busied himself in raising another company to follow. In less than two weeks a group of fifty-three men, primarily volunteers, had been raised and fitted with supplies and necessary tools and implements. With Isaac Bullock as captain and accompanied by Hyde, this group left Salt Lake City three days after the first company had arrived at Fort Bridger. 29 The first company was greeted at Fort Bridger by a dozen angry mountain men. Having had two or three of their number killed at the Green River ferry by the Mormon posse only a few weeks previously, they had no intentions of turning the fort over to the Mormon colonists. According to James S. Brown, the Mormons were "considerably cowed" by the "twelve or fifteen rough mountain


"History of Brigham Young," p. 2, manuscript, LDS Archives. "Andrew Jenson, "History of Fort Bridger and Fort Supply," Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, 4 (January 1913), 32. ' ™Ibid., 33 29 Ibid„ 3 3 - 3 4 .


Utah Historical Quarterly

men" who seemed to be "very surly and suspicious," the "spirit of m u r d e r and death appeared to be lurking in their minds." T h e Saints, being u n p r e p a r e d for such a reception, soon lost interest in occupying the post. Wandering southward they learned that about twenty additional mountain men, together with a band of Ute Indians, had settled for the winter on Henry's Fork. Green River valley looked to these colonists "as if it were held in the fists of a well organized band of from seventy-five to a h u n d r e d desperadoes," and the fearful Saints turned southwest through snow along Smith's Fork, finally being forced to halt by bad traveling conditions at Willow Creek, a tributary of Smith's Fork about two miles above the confluence of the two streams and at a point about twelve miles southwest of Fort Bridger. Here they chose to settle. 30 They were joined on Willow Creek by the second group sent out from Salt Lake City, and together they established a settlement known as Fort Supply. O n e of the original members, James S. Brown, remarked that "on November 26th, 1853, Captain Isaac Bullock came in with fifty-three men and twenty-five wagons. When they joined us our company was ninety-two strong, all well armed and when our block house was completed we felt safer than ever." 31 While Orson Hyde had fulfilled his assignment of starting a settlement in Green River valley he apparently was not happy with the prospects. T h e following spring when Hyde was traveling east and stopped at Fort Supply his traveling companion Hosea Stout gave their opinion of the new settlement: This is the most forbidding and godforsaken place I have ever seen for an attempt to be made for a settlement & j u d g i n g from the altitude I have no hesitancy in predicting that it will yet prove a total failure but the brethren here have done a great deal of labor. . . . Elder Hyde seems to [have] an invincible repugnance to Fort Supply. 3 2

Although the Mormons had built Fort Supply instead of occupying Fort Bridger, they had not s u r r e n d e r e d their interest in acquiring the older post. They knew that time was on their side, and in the winter of 1853 - 54, when Green River County was organized as part of Utah Territory, Fort Bridger officially came within their


James S. Brown, Life of a Pioneer (Salt Lake City, 1900), 306. Ibid., 307 - 8 . Juanita Brooks. ed.,()n the Mormon frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1964), 2:515, 517. 31


Fort Bridger 61 s jurisdiction. In addition to Fort Supply and Fort Bridger, the county included the ferries on the Green River. W. I. Appleby was appointed probate j u d g e , Robert Alexander, clerk of probate court, and William A. Hickman, county sheriff. Hickman was also made prosecuting attorney, assessor, and tax collector. Brigham Young assigned Hickman to use his influence in quieting down the mountain men in that section of the country. T h e county seat was established at the Mormon ferries. 33 O n e of the principal problems in writing the history of Fort Bridger has been the question of when and u n d e r what circumstances the post was actually purchased by the Mormons. Accounts have varied all the way from Bridger's claim that he was "run o f f his property and never received payment, to Mormon church historian Andrew Jenson's assertion that prior to November 1853 Brigham Young had "purchased of James Bridger a Mexican Grant of thirty square miles of land and some cabins afterwards known as Fort Bridger." 3 4 A letter written by Lewis Robison to Daniel H. Wells, dated August 5, 1855, was found recently in the LDS church archives. This letter appears to answer some of the questions concerning the possession of Fort Bridger from the time of Bridger's escape in August 1853 until the purchase of the fort in August 1855. It reports that the mountain men controlled Fort Bridger until the spring of 1855 when Bridger returned and he sold it to Lewis Robison on August 3, 1855. This document is now available to scholars and is important in clearing up the controversy concerning the purchase of the fort by the Mormons and the actual date of occupancy. 3 5 As mentioned earlier, Bridger evaded the posse in August 1853 and r e t u r n e d to the East sometime that fall. He spent much time in Washington, D.C., trying to legalize his title to his property and to find redress through the federal government for the losses he had sustained at the hands of the Mormons. In the spring of 1855 he returned to the mountains. J o h n L. Smith, writing to George A. Smith on J u n e 19, 1855, states that "near Fort Kearney I met


Ibid., 2:516. Jenson, "History of Fort Bridger and Fort Supply," 49. Robison to Wells, August 5, 1855, Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection. Lack of this important document led Victor H. Cohen to theorize that Vasquez may have sold Bridger out, "James Bridger's Claims," Annals of Wyoming, 12 (July 1940), 228 - 40. Another historian who did not have knowledge of this letter gave Bridger the benefit of the doubt over the Mormons, presuming him to be beyond negotiating distance since he was working as a guide for the expedition of Sir George Core at the time; see Alter, James Bridger, chaps. 37 - 39. 34



Utah Historical Quarterly Fort Bridger August 5th 1855

Dear Brother I arrived at F.T. Supply tusday Evening and waited for Wm A Hickman to see what was the best that could be done He came to F.T. Supply on Wednesday Evening and reported Bridger very earless and indeferent about selling. Stated that the Mountainears was trying to persuade him not to sell that all was Peace with him & the Mormons and he had better keep the Place I came hear on thursday but soon found that he would not fall on his Price. I then told him that I was ready to take him up at his offer Eight thousand dollars & pay him or he stated he would take four thousand dollars down & wait fifteen months for the ballence He then wanted to envoice Every thing on the place said it would come to 6 or 8 hundred dollars more. I just told him I would take him at the offer he had made and not another dime would I give, and that was double what he ever would git again. He concluded he would take it The next thing was the security. Said he would take Bullock Wakely & Jack Robison. I offered him as many men at F.T. Supply as he might ask But did not wish to ask Robison to give my security He said he would rather take a Bond on the place than to take any man for security. He Also refuses to try to obtain enny title to the ranch more than he know has which is only Possession He would not sign or except the papers that I had. He said he had a first Rate Lawyer Boarding with him that could doo Business up Right. Of which I send you a copy. I do not think he made more than four times in gitting his Lawyer to draw up the Papers I have Possession of the Place & stock with the Exception of 5 Oxen and I Waggon which is on Green River, in the care of James Baker, for which I have an order I have not as yet finished the envoice of All the property hear, but think that it will amount to near five thousand dollars. Inclosed I will send you a memorandum of all the things on the Place. I shall commence gitting Hay to Morrow. this will be rather a slow business as I have But one Sythe and Snath to commence with, and the Grass is Short I have not as yet made anny arrangements about keeping the Maile Animals. the agent is to be up the next trip I have notified them that the animals could not stay on the Ranch unless I had the charge of them and pay for the same Brother Butler & myself have agreed that the Expences of the house and the Blacksmithy &c should goe on the same as when Bridger & Vasnues owned the establishment. That is for the present I wish you to Wright to me as soon as Possible what you want me to doo and how you want me to dooit. Wheather it will be best to sell anny of the Flour on the Place or not and if not what would you do with a person who had nothing to Eat Their is Cattle hear that ar first rate Beef which is probibly worth as much now as they ever will be, and will likely sell well to the trains that are comeing, for Beef. You will see by refference to the envoice that we have a good Supply, of a few things But we have no assortment. Their Should be a good Stock of at Least Indian Goods kept hear. And the Emegrants say some of the [?]bejoyful All is Well hear and it appears like their was quite a calm Bridger Left on the 4th Inst. Livingstones traine of Goods will be hear to knight I do not think of anny thing more at the present time. But rmj Love to all the Saints where ever they may be. May Peace & Prosperity attend us for ever The Boys at F. T. Supply ar all well and their crops are auite prommiceing They feel glad that F. T. Bridger is [?] D. H. Wells

Your Brother as ever Lewis Robison

Transcription of Robison's letter to Daniel H. Wells which was recently found in LDS Archives.

Fort Bridger


Bridger on his way to the mountains." 3 6 In the summer of 1855, Bridger was approached by an agent of the Mormon church about selling. Robison's letter to Wells clarifies the point in question. Robison arrived at Fort Supply on Tuesday, July 31, 1855, to make the final transaction. Prior to that Hickman had been in contact with Bridger and was waiting for him to decide if he would sell. Hickman arrived at Fort Supply on Wednesday, August 1, and told Robison that the mountain men were putting pressure on Bridger not to sell and that Bridger was still indifferent. Robison went to Fort Bridger on Thursday, August 2, and found that Bridger would not come down from the $8,000 figure he had earlier indicated would be his selling price. Vasquez was not present at this time, but knowing of the plans to sell, he had commissioned H. F. Morrell to be his agent. Robison, realizing that Bridger would not reduce his selling price, told Bridger that he would take him at his offer of $4,000 down and the balance in fifteen months. Bridger started to hedge when he realized that Robison was willing to pay the price and pointed out that he felt that he should get $600 to $800 more. When Robison told him he would not give him a dime more, Bridger finally agreed to sell. Btitwhen the problem of the title to the property was brought up, Bridger refused to try to obtain any title to the ranch more than he had "which is only Possession." T h e old mountain man would not sign or accept the papers that Robison had prepared and brought with him from Salt Lake City. Bridger claimed that he had a "first Rate Lawyer Boarding with him that could doo business up Right." This undoubtedly was H. F. Morrell, the agent of Vasquez, who signed the following contract for Bridger's portion on August 3, 1855: August 3, 1855 37 Fort Bridger Utah Teritory Green River Co This indenture made and entered into this day and date where written witnessed h That Bridger & Vasques of the first part for and in Consideration of the sum of Fight thousand dollars one half in hand paid and the other half to be paid in fifteen months from this date have this day Bargained Sold and Conveyed and by these presents do Bargain Sell and Convey to Lewis Robison of the Second Part All the Right title and interest Both

""'Journal History." June 19, 1855. p. 1. Indenture, August 3, 1855. Fori Bridger Manuscript Collection.


Utah Historical Quarterly


real and Personal to which we have any Claim in Said Green River County Utah Teritory Consisting of the following Property to wit — Twenty miles square of Land more or less upon which is situated the hereditaments and appurtinences the Buildings Known as Fort Bridger Buildings Consisting of the Ranch and, Hurd Ground togeather with all the right Title and interest of the Said Party of the first part to all and every article of Property belonging to Said Post including Cattle Horses Goods Groceryes &c — Now if the Said Party of the second Part shall well and truly pay to the Said Party of the first Part the sum of Four thousand dollars in effect in fifteen Months from this date, then this Bond to be in full force and effect in Law, otherwise to be null and void and the property above discribed to revert Back to the Said Party of the first Part. In witness whereof we have hearunto set our hands and Seals this day and date above written in presence of Almirin Grow Wm A Hickman his Jas x Bridger mark


Lewis Vaques (Seal) per B [H] F Morrell Agent Bridger and Vaquez kept the original document while Robison had a copy made to send back to the Mormon leaders. On August 5, 1855, the same day he w r o t e Wells, R o b i s o n <. . i ^u *. i U J • c James Bridger front a painting by stated that he had possession of JWaUo Love olmed by the State ' the fort and all its Stock except for Historical Society of Colorado. five oxen and one wagon which were on the Green River in the care of Bridger. In another letter written to Wells on August 13, 1855, Robison explained that he h a d sent for t h e o x e n a n d wagon. 38 He also sent an invoice to Wells itemizing in detail all that had been purchased at the fort. His letter estimated the total sum of m e r c h a n d i s e a n d stock at nearly five thousand dollars. The

3t, Robison to Wells, August 13, 1855. Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection.

Fort Bridger


estimate came close. Robison's itemized invoice valued all the goods purchased, excluding the five oxen and wagon, at $4,727.30. 3 9 Enclosed in Robison's August 5 letter to Wells was a note dated August 3 pertaining to his payment of $4,000 to Bridger and Vasquez: I have this day paid Jas. Bridger four thousand dollars it being one half the purchase money for the Fort Bridger property and in the payment there is nine h u n d r e d and sixty dollars of a gold money marked twenty dollars United States Assay Office of Gold San Francisco California — now, if there is a discount on said gold in banks I hereby agree to make it good to said Bridger upon right proof being made to the fact. 40

Robison concluded his letter to Wells by saying that the boys at Fort Supply were glad that Fort Bridger was in the hands of the church. 4 1 Upon receiving the information on the purchase of the fort, Brigham Young wrote Robison on August 9, 1855, that "we are glad the purchase is made . . . the account is opened with Bridger Ranch." 4 2 Heber C. Kimball also noted the sale in a letter to Franklin D. Richards in England: " T h e Church has bought out Bridger Ranch one H u n d r e d horned cattle, seven or eight horses, flour and goods and paid $8,000.00 for it. Bridger is gone." 4 3 From a letter to Robison from Wells, dated July 31, 1856, it is apparent that the church leaders were then preparing to make the final payment due November 3, 1856, fifteen months from the day of purchase. "You will please forward to tis the note in order to enable tis to make the payment due this fall on the ranch. We must keep an eye out for that payment do you know were the note is?" 44 In answer to Wells's request Robison replied, " T h e note we owe for the ranch I presume is in the hands of Vasquez, tho I have no certain knowledge of it." 45 In March 1856, seven months alter the Mormons had purchased the fort, Bridger and Vasquez hired Timothy Goodale to be their lawful agent in handling affairs pertaining to the final transac-

'•'Invoice. Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection. '"Receipt. August 3, 1855. Fort Bridger Manuscript Collection. On October 20. 1858, when final payment was made, Vasquez signed a receipt for twenty-four dollars lor the discount on the gold. "Robison to Wells. August 5. 1S55. Fort Bridget Manuscript Collection. 12 Young to Robison. August 9. 1855, quoted in Brigham Young Lettei book. NO. 2. p. 290, manuscript, LDS Archives. " " J o u r n a l History," August 21, 1855, p. 1. ' ' B r i g h a m Young Letterbook, p. 889. '"'Robison to Wells, August 19, 1856, Lewis Robison Manuscript Collection, LDS Archives.


Utah Historical Quarterly

tions of the selling of Fort Bridget. 4 6 T h e final payment was to be made in Salt Lake City. Why Goodale, or for that matter Bridger or Vasquez, did not pick u p the money on the d u e date is not known. In a letter to Robison from Brigham Young there is evidence that the money had been kept on reserve for Bridger or Vasquez, or their agent, to pick u p . Vasquez had written Robison about the money in May 1857, and his letter had been forwarded to Brigham Young who requested Robison to get in touch with Vasquez and resolve the matter. 4 7 Young's letter implies that it would be best for all concerned to have Bridger and Vasquez pick the money u p in Saint Louis from the church agent. However, the money would also be available in Salt Lake City if this met with their convenience. In August 1857 Young wrote Robison that "we have made arrangements with Mr. Bell to settle with Bridger whenever he comes for his money." 4 8 T h e final payment was not made until October 1858, however, when Vasquez, delayed by the Utah War, finally arrived in Salt Lake City. Brigham Young's clerk made the following entry in his journal u n d e r the date of October 16, 1858: "Vasquez, the late partner of Jim Bridger, called upon Pre. Young this morning about the affairs at Fort Bridger." 4 9 Two days later the following entry was made: Louis Vasquez of the firm of Bridger and Vasquez executed a bill of sale of Fort Bridger and knowledge receipt of $4,000.00 on August 3, 1855 and $4,000.00 today also acknowledge before Samuel A. Gilbert, Clerk of the T h i r d District Court, that Hiram F. Morrell was his lawfully appointed agent and that he approved of the acts and doings of said Morrell and in the sale of said property. 5 0

T h u s on October 18, 1858, nearly a year after the Mormons had burned Fort Bridger to the ground, the final payment of $4,000 was made in Salt Lake City to Louis Vasquez. T h e indenture, signed by Vasquez, was recorded at the county clerk's office in Salt Lake City. Vasquez testified before Samuel A. Gilbert, county clerk, that he was duly authorized to act on behalf of James Bridger. 5 1 T h r e e days later, on October 2 1 , 1858, the indenture signed at Fort Bridger in

"'Ibid.. March 25. 1856. Young to Robison, J u n e 2. FX57. "Histor\ of Brigham Young. "lIistot\ of Brigham Young," p. 757. "'Ibid., ]>. 1015. '"Ibid., p. 1017. "Salt Lake C o m m Records, Book B. p. 1 2 5 - 2 0 . l7


Fort Bridger

67 1855, when the first $4,000 was p a i d , was also r e c o r d e d in t h e county clerk's office. 52

T h e Mormon involvement with Fort Bridger lasted only a decade, beginning with the meeting of the Mormon advance party and James Bridger in J u n e 1847 and ending with the destruction of the fort in October 1857 by Mormon colonists retreating from the a p p r o a c h i n g f e d e r a l a r m y . W h a t b e g a n as a friendly relationship between Brigham Young and the owners of Louis Vasquez. Fort Bridger rapidly deteriorated as Utah State Historical Society collections, the Mormon leaders came to suspect gift of J. Cecil Alter. Bridger of unfriendly activity, especially with the Indians. Trouble over t h e c o n t r o l of t h e G r e e n River ferries plus reports of illegal trade with the Indians a r o u n d Fort Bridger p r o m p t e d the Mormon leaders to send a posse to arrest Jim Bridger in 1853. T h e old mountain man evaded arrest, but the posse occupied the fort. By 1855 Bridger had r e t u r n e d and sold Fort Bridger to the Mormons. Years later he claimed that the Mormons had driven him from his fort, seized his merchandise illegally, and then failed to pay him. But in point of fact the Mormon seizure of the post was done u n d e r proper legal injunction. T h e posse kept a careful record of merchandise it used and seized, and payment was made for it. Bridger's actual sale of the fort to the Mormon leaders is a matter of documented record. In 1855 he and his partner, Louis Vasquez, agreed to sell the post for $8,000 u n d e r a contract which called for a down payment of $4,000 and a final payment of $4,000 within fifteen months. T h e down payment was given to Bridger himself. T h e final payment was available for collection at the time specified by the contract; but because of complexities arising from the Utah War it was not until late 1858 when Vasquez arrived in Salt Lake City, testified that he was authorized to act for Bridger, and collected the remaining $4,000. y2



Cotter Street, Provo, as it may have looked when men from Fort Rawlins went on their spree. L'tah State Historical Society collections, gift of Boh Zabriskie.

Fort Rawlins, Utah: A Question of Mission and Means BY S T A N F O R D J. LAYTON

A OWARD MIDNIGHT, September 22, 1870, the quiet of the moonless a u t u m n evening in Provo, Utah, was shattered by a chorus of profane shouts and the sound of gunfire. Among those awakened by this uncommon noise was Bishop William Miller, city alderman, who later deposed that as he awoke and began dressing, the sound of loud p o u n d i n g on his front door reached him in his upstairs bedroom. Before he could respond several shots were fired into his

Dr. Lavton is coordinator of publications and research at the Utah State Historical Society.

Fort Rawlins


bedroom from the outside. Descending the stairs he found himself confronted by several men who had forced open his front door. Upon asking their intent he was accosted at gunpoint and told to "march." Only then did he recognize his assailants as U.S. soldiers. 1 Alderman Miller was then marched down West Main Street, p r o d d e d by bayonet points at periodic intervals, and subjected to a n u m b e r of verbal threats. Among other things he was told he was to be beaten to death and that a portion of his personal property would be destroyed. Not until he had been escorted nearly half the length of the street did he learn the immediate source of contention. T h e soldiers, it seemed, held the impression that Miller had agreed to rent them his hall for a party that evening. Upon arriving in town from Fort Rawlins, a recently established garrison on the Provo River some two and a half miles away, the soldiers had found the hall closed. They had then moved their party to another house, kept by U.S. Deputy Assessor J. M. C u n n i n g h a m , where they had d r u n k generous quantities of beer and liquor to the hoedown tunes of three youthful Provo musicians. Grasping the essence of the situation, Bishop Miller assured the group that they had no legitimate grievances against him because he had never agreed to rent them the hall in the first place, and any misunderstanding on that point was none of his doing. T h e soldiers then marched Miller to Cunningham's residence, aroused the deputy assessor, and sought clarification. C u n n i n g h a m substantiated Miller's claim, whereupon the alderman was released. T u r n i n g to leave, he was extended a fractional apology by one of the ranking men who assured Miller that he would not be molested further and that claims for damages to his home would be paid. T h e soldier then explained that the troops had been stationed in the valley for sixty days d u r i n g which time they had tried to be sociable but that the young men and women of the community refused to associate with them because "the Bishops and the old heads counselled them not to do so." 2 Bishop Miller was not the only resident of Provo to suffer abuse at the hands of the rowdy soldiers that night, nor was he the only one who sustained property damage from the affair. T h o m a s Fuller and two companions, camped in the tithing yard where they were engaged in repair work on the telegraph line, were r o u n d e d u p at

' " T h e Provo Outrage," Salt Lake Herald, September 27, 1870, p. 1.




Utah Historical Quarterly

gunpoint and marched to the meeting house block by four soldiers. During their hour-long detention they were subjected to a constant barrage of verbal abuse. Fuller himself was assaulted with a variety of weapons including a bayonet which caused the blood to flow freely from his forehead. He later described the behavior of the soldiers: They said they would like to catch some more Mormons and take them over to Camp, try them, and " d a m n them they would h a n g them." They shouted as they went along the streets, "Come out you God d a m n e d Mormons and Mountain Meadow massacres," using other indecent language threatening to kill the Mormons and take their wives away from them. T h e y shot pistols at the houses as they passed along. 3

Others swept u p in the melee and subjected to similar indignities were A. H. Bowen and Abram Holladay, both of whom were city policemen on duty that night, and Ezra Oakley and Hall Rhodes. Others suffering property damage were A. F. Macdonald, who ran the local d r u g store and had refused to sell liquor to the soldiers, and Bishop E. F. Sheets, who, like Miller, was a city alderman. Minor damage was also inflicted on the Co-operative Mercantile Store and the Co-operative Boot and Shoe Makers' Shop. In addition the ward m e e t i n g h o u s e s u s t a i n e d slight damage. A feeble attempt to set fire to that building h a d b e e n made by one soldier, but he had abandoned the idea after striking several m a t c h e s a n d a p p l y i n g them unsuccessfully to the base of the door. After two hours of riotous behavior, the soldiers ceased f u r t h e r activity and r e t i r e d to camp. T h e next morning, the city mayor, A. O. Smoot, began a preliminary investigation into the incident which r e v e a l e d several facts. All the soldiers involved were stationed at Fort Rawlins. Approximately forty of them had Abraham 0. Smoot, Hhid.

mayor of Provo. Engraving by H. B. Hall and Sons, New York.

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attended the party in town, and of that n u m b e r at least twenty had actively participated in the disturbance. Many of them were armed, and apparently all were u n d e r the influence of alcohol. During the disturbance they had maintained a rather constant flow of antiMormon imprecations which involved a n u m b e r of direct references to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. No resistance had been offered by the local citizens. A n u m b e r of them, including Holladay, were armed, but given the extreme darkness of the night they had been reluctant to fire for fear of hitting one of their own. 4 T h e repercussions of the "Provo Outrage," as the Salt Lake Herald labeled the incident, were felt immediately, and the entire affair quickly threatened to become a political snowball. T h e behavior of the soldiers was embarrassing not only to the post comm a n d e r and higher army headquarters but to the territorial governor as well. From Gov. J. Wilson Shaffer's standpoint the incident occurred at a particularly inopportune moment. It had been only a matter of days since he had issued his proclamation against the drilling of an armed Mormon militia. Not surprisingly, this proclamation had been opposed with vituperative vigor by the editors of the Salt Lake Herald who charged that the action was deliberately calculated to leave the Mormon citizenry defenseless against unruly soldiers and a hostile territorial administration. 5 Naturally, the editors were delighted to exploit the Provo disturbance to the utmost, and it is certain that they succeeded in making even the calloused Shaffer squirm. The Herald referred to the occurrence as "one of the most dastardly outrages" ever chronicled, and in its impassioned coverage of the event resorted to audacious hyperbole. "This miserable scum, from Camp Rawlins," the report ran, "could attack defenceless [sic] women and u n a r m e d men in their beds, but fled to C a m p when the citizens aroused from their slumbers appeared in threatening numbers." T h e editors then addressed themselves directly to Governor Shaffer: Coming so soon after Governor Shaffer's proclamations, "squelching the militia" this outrage is significant. Does his Excellency see the connection? He proclaims that there must be no gathering of militia and no gathering of armed men, and within less than a week after, an

l Ibid. "•"More Concerning the Proclamations," Salt Lake Herald. September 23, 1870, p. 2.


Utah Historical Quarterly armed mob of United States soldiers, probably supposing the people were buried u n d e r the weight of these proclamations, makes a midnight raid upon a sleeping town. We hold his Excellency responsible for this and for all the trouble that may result from his autocratic productions. 6

Governor Shaffer, of course, was in a difficult position. Choosing the Salt Lake City newspapers as his medium of communication, he addressed a letter, dated September 27, 1870, to Gen. P. R. DeTrobriand, c o m m a n d e r of C a m p Douglas: I have waited thus long in the earnest hope that you would have taken such action in the premises as would convince the citizens that the soldiery was stationed at Provo to protect and not destroy. Hearing nothing like an explanation from the commanding officer there, and feeling that the outrage is one that should be followed by swift and certain punishment, I now, as Governor of the Territory, sworn to protect all the citizens, ask of you to deliver u p to the civil authorities every individual, private or non-commissioned officer, engaged in the outrage, that I may see that they are properly tried, and if convicted, punished. 7

Continuing, Shaffer assured his audience that he held a high regard for the Mormons, that he was deeply committed to the protection of their rights and property, and that he would not condone mob action. He closed his letter by advising D e T r o b r i a n d that if the soldie rs could not "fulfill the high object" for which they were assigned duty in the territory, they should be withdrawn. Shaffer's action was not only tardy, it was politically maladroit. His inflated rhetoric was not likely to gain him any friends a m o n g the Mormon citizens, for any r a p p o r t with them had vanished long ago. O n the other hand, General DeT r o b r i a n d was held in popular Territorial governor J. Wilson Shaffer. Utah State Historical Society collections.

' ' " S e r i o u s a n d U n p r o v o k e d O u t r a g e in Provo," Salt Lake Herald, September 24, 1870, p. 2. •"'Governor Shaffer Writes," Salt Lake Herald, September 27. 1870, p. 2; " T h e Provo Outrages," Deseret Evening Xews, September 27, 1870, p. 2.

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esteem within the Mormon community. And since the letter was public, it was obvious to the newspaper readers as well as to DeTrobriand himself, that Shaffer was maneuvering to channel any unpleasant consequences in the general's direction. Meanwhile, DeTrobriand had responded to telegraphic instructions, dated September 24, 1870, from headquarters, Department of the Platte, and proceeded to Provo to conduct a thorough investigation. During his third day there Shaffer's letter was published. T h e general was furious. Returning to C a m p Douglas the following day he wrote a lengthy letter to the governor, via the Deseret Evening News and the Salt Lake Herald, wherein every sentence reflected undisquised indignation. In no uncertain terms he reminded Shaffer of the common knowledge that every post comm a n d e r in the Department of the Platte reported directly to headquarters at Omaha, and that he shared neither authority nor responsibility for matters at Fort Rawlins. He criticized the governor for having assumed that no action had been initiated relative to the disturbance and reminded him that even the territorial governor was entitled only to such information on military matters as the military authorities chose to provide. T h e general then pointed out that he had not been five minutes in taking official action, whereas the governor had dallied five days. It followed that he was not interested in being accused of sluggishness as part of the governor's political antics. And as a matter of fact, he volunteered, several suspects were being held in custody at Fort Rawlins after the offer to turn them over to civil authorities at Provo had been rejected. DeTrobriand did not stop there. "If it was not too much of a curiosity," he queried, "I would like to know if the real object of those who caused the 'U.S. soldiery,' as you say, to be sent to Provo, was not somewhat different from the high object so eloquently set forth by your Excellency." Borrowing a sheaf from the editorial format of the Herald or Deseret Evening News, he then assured the governor that "we of the Army are not of a meddling temper, we are no politicians; we don't belong to any ring; we have no interest in any clique, and we don't share in any spoils." He concluded his letter with the opinion that regardless of how the troops conducted themselves in the future, it "would certainly be a great blessing to all" if they were withdrawn. 8

""Heavy on Governor Shaffer," Salt Lake Herald, October 1, 1870, p. 2, and "Letter," Deseret Evening News, September 30, 1870, p. 2.


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T h e political ramifications of the Provo incident did not end with that letter but rather merged into t h e m a i n s t r e a m of n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y U t a h political controversy. Neither G o v e r n o r Shaffer n o r G e n e r a l D e T r o b riand figured much further in it. By the end of the following m o n t h the former had died and the latter had d e p a r t e d for an e x t e n d e d visit to France. Yet Fort Rawlins remained in existence until May 1871. Until now its story has never been told. Fort Rawlins was established on July 30, 1870, u n d e r provisions of Special Field O r d e r s No. Gen. P. R. DeTrobriand. U. S. Signal Corps 75, Headquarters, Department of photograph, National t h e Platte, a n d was n a m e d in Archives. honor of the late Maj. Gen. J o h n A. Rawlins. Its original garrison was drawn from C a m p Douglas in the Salt Lake Valley and consisted of two u n d e r s t r e n g t h companies, B and K, of the 13th Infantry. 9 U n d e r command of Bvt. Col. A. S. Hough, the cantonment was located approximately two and a half miles from the city of Provo, on the north bank of the Timpanogos (Provo) River. 10 This site was intended as temporary only, p e n d i n g the establishment of a military reservation somewhat closer to the city. Awaiting further direction, the men set u p tents and began work on a small canal to provision the camp with water from the river. l i 9 Bvt. Col. A. S. H o u g h to Bvt. Gen. E. D. Townshend, adjutant general of the army, July 30, 1870, National Archives RG 393: United States Continental Commands, Fort Rawlins, Utah, Orders, Special Orders and Guard Roster, L/R (1870-71). These records will be cited hereafter as NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. Microfilm copies of the returns were procured and made available locally through the generous efforts of Dr. Floyd A. O'Neil, associate director, documentation and oral history, American West Center, University of Utah. "Plotted in terms of a current street map of Provo, the eastern boundary of the post was 960 West, the western boundary was 2100 West, the northern boundary was 1460 North, and the southern boundary was 900 North except between 1500 West and 1800 West where it extended directly southward to 620 North. T h e present intersection of 900 North and 1550 West marks the center of the cantonment area. T h e above information was derived with the kind assistance of Elmo Kendall of the City Engineer's Office, Provo. It was he who "translated" the surveyor's description of the ranges, sections, and quarters extracted by the writer from a report submitted by Captain Osborne to the assistant adjutant general, Division of the Missouri, dated December 24, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. n H o u g h to Bvt. Gen. George D. Ruggles, assistant adjutant general, Department of the Platte, August 6, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.

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Within two weeks Brevet Colonel H o u g h had been reassigned, and command of Fort Rawlins was assumed by Capt. Nathan W. Osborne. His nine-month tenure of command, barely begun at the time of the riot, was characterized by frustration, acrimony, and ultimate failure. As a pawn in a political imbroglio, he could only lose. When relieved of command the following April, his military career had been virtually destroyed. Bitter and confused, he left Provo with the conviction that he had been betrayed by his commanding general, sabotaged by his own subordinates, and victimized by the Mormon civilians. T h e correspondence between Captain Osborne and Headquarters, Department of the Platte, reveals that the young c o m m a n d a n t of Fort Rawlins felt he was being consistently denied adequate support from higher headquarters. Mutual irritation was reflected in that correspondence from the beginnirg and the irritation intensified as time went on. T h e primary source of friction centered around barracks facilities and the September riot, but questions relating to discipline, manpower, and the military mission itself furthered the rift. Upon assuming command, Osborne's immediate concern was the establishment of a p e r m a n e n t garrison and the construction of adequate quarters, storage sheds, and related facilities. When, by mid-September, no word on these matters had been received from Omaha, Osborne authorized the purchase of adobe brick and the hiring of two masons for the construction of fireplaces to heat some of the tents. Upon informing Department of the Platte of this decision, he was immediately asked for an explanation. Accordingly, he replied that a u t u m n chill was in the air and that heat was essential to the welfare of the men, and he explained that since none of the soldiers possessed masonry skills he had considered it necessary to hire the work done. Headquarters responded by stating that the fireplaces could be built but not with hired help. T o this restriction Osborne complained, without avail. Purchasing 150 feet of lumber for scaffolding to be used in the construction of the fireplace chimneys, he was again pressed for a full explanation by departmental headquarters. 1 2 It was October 28 before Captain Osborne received any clue from O m a h a on departmental plans for the development of the

12 Osborne to assistant adjutant general, Department of the Platte, September 18, 1870, October 6, 1870, and October 20, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.


Utah Historical Quarterly

post. In that dispatch he was advised that quarters would not be built until spring and that seven Sibley tents, with stoves, were being sent to house the troops through the winter. He was then asked to report on what terms a building could be rented in Provo for the storage of quartermaster and subsistence stores, and he was also asked for suggestions on improving the comfort of the existing facilities in anticipation of the winter months ahead. Osborne reported that he could rent the ideal building for $125 per month, and he requested authorization to purchase 21,000 adobe bricks in order to wall the officer's tents and 6,000 feet of lumber to floor all tents. In addition, he sought authorization to hire three carpenters and three masons to do the work. After some equivocation, departmental headquarters approved these requests and authorized the captain to rent the building for a period of six months. 1 3 Not until December did the Sibley tents and stoves arrive, and only then did Osborne cease complaining that his men were suffering from the cold. T h a t Osborne was piqued by the questioning attitude of higher headquarters over his expenditures for development of the post is clearly evident in his communication to O m a h a on November 9. Answering a query as to what, if anything, he had done to establish a post cemetery, he replied: "No material having been furnished, and expenditure palpably absolutely indispensable when ordered by the Post C o m m a n d e r having been subjected to Enquiry, it has not been thought advisable to purchase for other purposes." 1 4 He then reminded headquarters that his latest request for authorization to provision the post with "articles necessary to its establishment and continuance" had been ignored. Comments such as these, when addressed to a general by a captain, have a way of being j u d g e d impertinent. Had it not been for the riot on September 22, however, it is quite possible that other differences between Osborne and higher headquarters would have been resolved amicably. T h a t incident, and subsequent events relating thereto, irrevocably damaged Osborne's standing with his c o m m a n d i n g general, C. C. Augur, and drove the young captain to a point of desperation which ultimately jeopardized his career. Conceivably, the riot was also a major factor in the reluctance of higher headquarters to develop Fort Rawlins into a p e r m a n e n t military reservation. 13 Osborne to assistant adjutant general, Department of the Platte, November 10, 1870; Gen. C. C. Augur to Osborne, November 12, 1970, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. " N A , Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.

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For reasons not entirely clear, Captain Osborne failed to report the September riot to departmental headquarters. For an incident laden with such explosive political repercussions, this was most indiscreet. News of the incident was first received in O m a h a by telegraph from General DeTrobriand after he had read of it in the Salt Lake newspapers. Naturally, General Augur was deeply irritated over this, and his next communication to Osborne, on September 24, was curt and austere even by military standards: "Col. D E T Robriand [sic] is o r d e r e d to investigate reported recent outrage by troops at Provo. You will afford him every facility and obey any order from him." 1 5 During the next three months friction continued to m o u n t between General A u g u r and Captain Osborne over the investigation of the riot and the settlement of claims. Osborne was not provided with a copy of the report of investigation, which he took as a personal affront. Not until mid-November did he know what decisions were being made at higher levels, and when he finally learned of them he was utterly chagrined. U n d e r provisions of Special O r d e r s No. 302, Department of War, the amount of $308.00 was to be withheld p r o rata from the pay of all officers and enlisted men present for duty at Fort Rawlins on the night of September 22, 1870, for payment of claims. T o this Osborne p e n n e d a strong letter of protest, bypassing General Augur, and addressing it directly to the secretary of war in Washington, D.C. T h e order as it stands implicates officers who are in no way responsible for the disgrace, who have been conscientious and energetic in the performance of duty and in the maintenance of discipline, and will inflict penalty upon soldiers not shown to have been connected with the riot, who are well disposed and deserve discriminating justice. . . . T o class the innocent with the guilty and to compel j u d g m e n t from them will be felt to be an injustice, resulting from ex-parte and not sufficiently discriminating j u d g m e n t ; seeking a hasty settlement with the injured parties in order to emphatically deny that which needs no denial, (that the Government does not countenance such disgraceful proceeding.). 1 6

But Osborne's objections did not stop with protesting the short-circuiting of traditional judicial procedures. He was equally concerned over the tendency this decision would have to erode the

15 September 24, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. '"November 29, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.


Utah Historical Quarterly

respect which the Mormon community was expected to hold for the garrison and for which Fort Rawlins had apparently been established in the first place. This decision, he warned the secretary of war, "leaves to the Mormon mind the influence that the Government in this instance condemns its own military representatives for lack of ability, or for lack of regard for its respectability." Reiterating this point in his final paragraph, Captain Osborne used some very revealing words. Not only did he give implicit voice to the fact that Fort Rawlins had been founded as part of President Ulysses S. Grant's "get tough" policy toward the Mormons, but he also reflected his frustration at having never received specific instructions on exactly what he was supposed to accomplish or what his latitude for action was. "That the Mormons should have restitution," he wrote, "and that the malefactors should be made examples of, I am most anxious, but respectfully and earnestly submit that such ends should be accomplished, without action calculated to weaken the efforts of those who are striving to wisely maintain the attitude apparently desired by the administration toward this peculiar people." Osborne's protest was without effect. T h e extent of his success was to convince higher headquarters that payroll deductions should be levied only against those who were not hospitalized, on leave, or in confinement. Even then he delayed submitting the names of his soldiers in that category, and only after a series of mildly antagonistic exchanges between him and departmental headquarters was the list of names finally submitted on Christmas Day 1870. His own estimate of property damage, compiled with the assistance of three Provo carpenters, came to $135.00. His request that this figure be used as the basis of restitution was completely ignored by the departmental commander. 1 7 These events marked a turning point in the aims and attitudes of Captain Osborne. From the fall of 1870 until his relief of command in the spring of 1871, he assumed a defensive posture relative to the Mormon community. His policies were oriented toward one aim only — that of avoiding further incident with the civilian population. Ironically, the h a r d e r he worked toward that single goal, the greater the challenges became. Within a short time he had reached the conclusion that many Mormons were in league with a n u m b e r of 17 Osborne to assistant adjutant general, Department of the Platte, December 1, 1870, December 25, 1870, and December 3.1, 1870; Ruggles to Osborne, December 8, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins

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his soldiers to promote further embarrassment to his command. As he assumed the defensive, the civilian population had seized the offensive. A letter from Osborne to departmental headquarters, written on November 3, 1870, discloses that he was then in this transitional stage. O n the one h a n d he suggests that the Mormon population of Provo had reconciled themselves, albeit reluctantly, to the presence of federal troops in their midst. Yet his final p a r a g r a p h betrays a nagging suspicion that such was not really the case. Again Osborne warns that if the departmental c o m m a n d e r continues m u m in his instructions relative to the exact mission of the garrison, Mormon respect for the troops could be expected to turn to contempt: T h e people are provincial and simple in habit and at first entertained the thought of the p e r m a n e n t Establishment of soldiers, in their midst, with reluctance. T h e unfortunate "Spree" of the soldiers after pay day, in September, terrified the Community, and it has required some personal effort to assure the mass, that it is not by lawless means that the Government purposes [sic] to cause itself to be respected. T h e principal men of the municipality have intelligence e n o u g h to c o m p r e h e n d the new situation, and, I believe, sincerely desire to accept what they cannot avert, without creating obstacles to so much intercourse as will be necessary to effect a realization of the firmness and determination of the Government. This intelligence will be of service to me also as affording opportunity to observe the change apparently projected by the policy of the administration, as it shall from time to time effect itself. I cannot help reflecting that possession of more information from the D e p a r t m e n t . . . regarding the intention of the Departmental C o m m a n d e r (Even so much as was afforded Camp Douglas) would have conduced to increase respect to the Garrison, from the Mormon Community, which being very compact t h r o u g h the influence of its Church organization naturally reasons that those, who should be respected as representatives of the Government, would be the immediate recipients of instructions affecting their locality. 18

Two weeks prior to that dispatch, Captain Osborne had received a letter from A. O. Smoot, mayor of Provo, advising him that recently soldiers had been seen in Provo after 10:00 P.M. and asking what should be done in the event of a recurrence. Obviously with chagrin, if not mortification, Osborne replied that such soldiers, if unable to show a currently dated pass, should be arrested by the civilian authorities. 1 9 Against the backdrop of the September 22 riot, 18

NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. '"October 21, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.


Utah Historical Quarterly

there was little else Osborne could have done, yet a more graphic acknowledgement of his impotence is hardly imaginable. Concomitant with Captain Osborne's shift to a defensive posture was his resolve to tighten discipline within his command. Clearly he could not afford the embarrassment of another incident with the civilian populace. Auspiciously, this resolve was coincidental with the arrival of seventy-seven additional enlisted men at Fort Rawlins — doubling the size of the garrison there — which Osborne had repeatedly requested on the basis of his assumption that a full-strength contingent was necessary to induce a respect from the Mormon community consistent with the purposes for which he assumed to post to have been established. Fort Rawlins must have been a dismal sight to the replacement personnel that arrived in the dusk of December 29, 1870. T h e r e was not a p e r m a n e n t building of any type to greet their eyes, only tents. T h e r e were no trees in the cantonment area, just sagebrush. Located on the bluff, the garrison was subject to the full fury of the biting canyon winds, and the large canvas tents, being without lumber reinforcement, rattled incessantly. T h e nearest neighbor was an old bachelor who lived in an u n a d o r n e d log cabin a half-mile away. As if the physical setting of the post were not enough to erode the morale of even the hardiest nineteenth-century soldier, there was also the problem of ennui. T h e garrison seemed to be without a mission, and for the majority of the enlisted men this meant there was nothing to do. F u r t h e r m o r e , and one can safely assume that every one of the new troops learned of this within an h o u r after his arrival, there was no promise of any social activity in Provo. T h e r e would be no taverns and no women. T h e r e was not even a lowly camp follower within riding distance. From the standpoint of command this would have been a difficult position for the most experienced and talented officer. For young Captain Osborne it was an impossibility. An examination of the courts-martial records of Fort Rawlins reveals that a type of undeclared warfare erupted between Osborne and his men d u r i n g the first three months of 1871. Fifty-four men of the command — approximately one in three — were convicted u n d e r courts-martial during that time. Most of the convictions were for violations of the 99th, 45th, 21st, and 20th articles of war: conduct prejudicial to good order, d m n k e n e s s on duty, absence without leave, and desertion, respectively. Clearly, by the spring of 1871 any semblance of

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81 morale had vanished. Neither pride nor esprit remained. From a military point of view the comm a n d was in a state of dissolution.


Arthur Mac Arthur, fr., was a captain at Fort Raiulins. U.S. Signal Corps photograph, National Archives.

It was impossible, of course, for such a situation to escape the notice of higher headquarters for long. In this case notification was m a d e by l e t t e r f r o m o n e of Osborne's subordinate officers, Capt. A r t h u r M a c A r t h u r , J r . 2 0 Immediately, departmental headquarters pressed for an explanation. Osborne responded by requesting a court of enquiry in his behalf and by offering a preliminary explanation of his own:

T h e desertions from my C o m m a n d in November last were attributed among the men remaining to the requirement that they should wear the dress coat. I considered it a groundless and unsoldierlike complaint, and a pretended not the true reason for desertion; one that could not be required by the C o m m a n d e r without apparent weakness and consequent demoralization to the C o m m a n d . I considered the Provo riot, precipitated by unworthy soldiers, as the more immediate cause of desertion at that time: for it was clear that the rioters conduct was not to be approved or even to be lightly viewed by any officer and punishment of some kind might be expected. T h e desertions since may be safely attributed to the infectious excitement of mining in the locality. When an entire Community is given u p to an absorbing hope of sudden wealth, and the exhilaration of such pervading hope is contrasted with laborious and persistent devotion to the acquirement of a competent knowledge of the soldier occupation, the superior attraction for the uniformed minds and habits of recruits is with the gambling spirit of speculation. 2 1

T h e recent desertions, the captain commented, had occurred almost exclusively a m o n g the December recruits. He then shared his views on the complicity of the Mormons in the matter: 2() MacArthur had escaped the onus of the Provo riot, not having been assigned to Fort Rawlins until September 24, 1870. His duty assignment at Rawlins was as c o m m a n d e r of Company K. Special O r d e r 13, Headquarters, Fort Rawlins, Utah, September 24, 1870, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins. 21 March 14, 1871, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.


Utah Historical Quarterly T h e Mormon Community must be considered as hostile, to any occupation of their locality by Troops, and I have recently learned that in addition to the profit that may accrue to them as individuals, through barter with deserters for stolen muskets (unproved pattern) clothing etc., they fanatically feel it a religious duty to injure the army by disintegration (the only means in their power) to such extent as they can. This state of affairs is entirely in favor of the soldier who contemplates desertion. 2 2

Osborne closed his letter with a denial of MacArthur's charge that the high rate of desertions from his command was due to maladministration. General Augur was apparently unimpressed. Within a month Osborne was relieved of command. T h e r e is no evidence that he was accorded his request for a court of enquiry. Effective April 7, 1871, Captain Osborne was succeeded as commander of Fort Rawlins by Capt. Robert Nugent. Within a week of his appointment, Nugent received instructions from departmental headquarters to conduct an investigation into existing affairs of the garrison and to offer a report on any irregularities which might account for the high desertion rate. With his report, submittted on May 25, Osborne's disapprobation was complete. According to Nugent he had discovered four sweat boxes, constructed of lumber, and employed by Osborne as a means of punishment. T h e boxes were approximately twelve inches in depth, twenty inches wide, and six and a half feet deep. T h e front side was detachable, but when placed in position was secured tightly by an iron bar. T h e only ventilation was through the top, which was left open. I am of the opinion that these boxes were placed there by orders from Capt. Osborne 13 Infty, for the purpose of inflicting punishment on the men of his command, as it will be seen by the endorsement of Capt. Osborne that at the time privates Deady & Clary were placed in the sweat boxes by Capt. McArthur [sic] it was done by the orders of Capt. Osborne. T h e sweat boxes were so constructed, that it was almost impossible for any one to remain in them any length of time without inflicting bodily pain, the person being obliged to stand erect with his arms hanging down to his side, without any possible means of changing his position. Not agreeing with Capt. Osborne as this mode of punishment, I gave orders to have them taken down. 2 3

Nugent concluded his report with an explanation of why a statement from Private Clary was not included with the report: after his release from the sweat box he had promptly deserted. 22



May 25, 1871, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins.

Fort Rawlins


But Captain Nugent never had the opportunity to show that he could succeed where Osborne had failed. O n May 10,1871, less than five weeks after assuming command, he was notified by d e p a r t m e n tal headquarters that Fort Rawlins was to be closed. O n May 19, Company K, with a train often wagons, left for C a m p Douglas. They were followed a week later by ten more wagons. When the third train departed on May 31, the last of the quartermaster, commissary, and medical stores had been removed — everything, in fact, except 10,000 feet of lumber and 500 cords of firewood. Without sufficient army wagons to transport this material, Nugent stayed in Provo several more days in search of a purchaser for the firewood and a civilian contractor to transport the lumber to C a m p Douglas. T h e highest bid tendered on the firewood was $2.50 per cord, and this was unacceptable to departmental headquarters. Nugent then arr a n g e d a contract with Benjamin B a c h m a n to t r a n s p o r t the firewood, at $8.50 per cord, as well as the lumber, at 40 cents per hundredweight, to C a m p Douglas. 2 4 O n J u n e 10, 1871, Captain Nugent and the remaining contingent of seven men left Provo and rode northward toward Salt Lake City. It is doubtful that they had any regrets about leaving. For obvious reasons the Mormon community was delighted to see them go. If anyone had second thoughts, it was Benjamin Bachman, the contracting teamster. As a Provo merchant he had catered to the soldiers and had seen them spend a good deal of money in his store. It was he, in fact, who owned the large house kept by Deputy Assessor C u n n i n g h a m , and in which the soldiers had held their party on that fateful night of the previous September. , r , 2 ^ U g . e , n t to c o m m a n d i n g general and assistant adjutant general, Department of the Platte Mav 16, 1871, Mav 22 1871, May 31, 1871, and J u n e 10, 1871; Nugent to commanding officer, Camp Douglas, Utah, May 19, 1871, and May 26, 1871, NA, Letter Returns, Fort Rawlins

FOURTH INFANTRY BAND. — By permission the above band, now stationed at Fort Bridger, comprising twenty-one pieces, u n d e r the able leadership of Capt. Adolph Buelor, arrived at O g d e n at about 6 p.m., July 3, on the eastern train, having been engaged by the celebration committee to play d u r i n g the proceedings of the Centennial Fourth. They were met at the depot by the O g d e n brass band, who struck u p a lively tune and escorted them to the Beardsley Hotel, where they were hospitably entertained. {Deseret Evening News, July 5, 1876.)

Mormonism and American Culture. Edited by MARVIN S. HILL and JAMES B. ALLEN.

(New York: H a r p e r & Row, 1972. ix + 189 p p . Paper, $2.95.) This collection of essays on Mormonism by writers of unquestioned competence, including David Brion Davis, Mulder, O'Dea, Arrington, a n d Stanley Ivins, is a small volume, far too lean for the size of its subject, but it embraces an astonishing n u m b e r of issues a n d e x h i b i t s t h e c o m p l e x character of Mormonism's connection with American social mores, institutions, a n d movements. It exhibits also t h e c o n f u s i o n t h a t exists a m o n g scholary efforts to describe a n d assess the character and history of even a small segment of American life. In an introduction that effectively describes this confusion, the editors, who seem bent u p o n finding some r h y m e or reason in the relation of Mormonism to American culture generally, state as their own thesis that "the history of Mormonism is . . . representative of American history a n d at the same time a unique American experience." This apparently means that much that in principle is found in American history generally is found in one way or another in Mormon history but that Mormon history has some substance and characteristics of its own. This would seem to be true but altogether obvious. My own feeling is that while Mormonism expresses much that is characteristically "American," as in its pragmatic temper, on the same ground it also represents much that in principle is quite "un-American," if not "anti-American," as for instance its authoritarianism.

T h e volume is of considerable value for those interested in Mormonism, but the individual essays must stand a l o n e as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e i r author's interest, talents, knowledge, intellectual p r e j u d i c e s , o r limited perspectives. They cannot be tied together to produce the "meaningful w h o l e " which p r o v i d e s t h e "integrated, overall view" which the general editors of the series "Interpretations of American History," of which this volume is a part, describe as the purpose of history. At best such a result, which would probably be more metaphysics than history and would inevitably sacrifice facts to theory, could be achieved, and only inadequately, by a single comprehensive writer. It should not be sought by bringing together diverse and independent specialized essays. But this is no reflection on those essays. Stanley Ivins's piece on Mormon polygamy, for instance, formerly published in t h e Western Humanities Review, is probably the most authoritative single essay on that subject that has been or ever will be produced. Nevertheless, t h e editors of this volume have succeeded in picturing Mormonism as a social m o v e m e n t which was and is a quest for authentic community within a nation which has often reacted with hostility toward the independence and autonomy which such a venture entails. They have exhibited as well the conflict of conservatism a n d radicalism i n t e r n a l to

Book Reviews and Notices Mormonism and the struggle of native A m e r i c a n individualism with Mormon authoritarianism. The strength of the essays lies in their recognition that any discussion of Mormonism must get at the economic, political, a n d social r o o t s of t h e church and its struggles, for Mormonism is clearly communitarian in character. But the weakness of most of them in presenting the character of M o r m o n i s m is their failure to describe it essentially as a religion. T h e essay by Davis is an exception. T h e Puritan foundations of Mormonism are referred to time and again, but the real strength of Mormonism as a puritan religion does not seem to be fully grasped. T h e real meaning of either Mormonism or Americanism in the life of the typical American Mormon generally eludes the reader. For the most part the essays move so rapidly across such a multitude of scenes and issues that the passion, commitment, and faith that characterize the Mormons fail to come t h r o u g h in full force. As in most writings on Mormonism, the Mormons seem to be so constantly confronted with large and small crises that they have neither the time nor energy to live, work, worship, and rear their children. I had the same feeling when I first read Vardis Fisher's Children of God, which is in my opinion still the best book to exhibit the M o r m o n c h a r a c t e r . H e r e the Mormons were continually engulfed in u n b e a r a b l e stresses and strains. Wallace Stegner's Mormon Country is less dramatic but describes Mormon life with a sympathetic charm and feeling that M o r m o n i s m deserves. T h e present volume, Mormonism and American Culture, is the kind of book that is presumably offered for scholarly stud)', but the speed at which ii covers the terrain often prevents anyt h i n g like d e t a i l e d a n d p r o f o u n d scholarly insight. For the same cause, it often fails adequately to sound the

85 d e p t h s of the M o r m o n c h a r a c t e r . Perhaps the latter can only be d o n e by fiction, drama, or biography. T h e final essays by O'Dea and Arlington, both written specially for this volume, are careful statements of the t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y c h a l l e n g e s to M o r m o n i s m — c h a l l e n g e s arising from urbanization, industrialization, war, race, the contest of liberalism versus conservatism, of heresy versus orthodoxy, and the entire panoply of forces which have affected American life and institutions generally. These essays deserve wide r e a d i n g by all Mormons interested in taking a good up-to-date look at themselves. O'Dea asks the key question with which the faithful should be concerned, of whether the strength of Mormonism lies simply in its preservation of attractive values from the past or in a g e n u i n e message and sense of mission for the future. This is the question of whether Mormonism has lost its prophetic meaning and has now become a haven for those who are searching for the moorings of tradition. Nevertheless, I feel that except for the subject of Mormonism and the Blacks the most important issues of the present are not adequately exploited. I refer to the recent trend toward increasing centralization of authority, the remarkable extension of church educational programs, the increased male dominance over all church organizations and functions, evidences of increased repression by the church of individual freedom of thought and expression, the possible i m p l i c a t i o n s for q u a l i t y of t h e church's penchant for mass participation, and the beginning of what may hopefully be a major trend away from western American parochialism toward a universalization of the Mormon religion. Arrington gives attention to the phenomenal recent growth of the church and its "stepped-up internationalization," but he does not

Utah Historical Quarterly

86 explore the great implications for the character of Mormonism of such dev e l o p m e n t s as t h e c r e a t i o n of "foreign" stakes and temples and the holding of area conferences outside the United States. Even after the large migrations to Zion had ended, European Mormons faithfully sang "Utah, We Love T h e e , " on Sunday mornings — more faithfully, in fact, than do Arizona M o r m o n s . But the future Mormons of Micronesia, Taiwan, or the interior of Brazil may have little in common culturally with Utah. In the long run the church cannot have it both ways — genuine universalism and general standardization of values drawn from parochial origins. I should mention also a comparative neglect of such c o n t e m p o r a r y problems as the relevance of religion to life or the death of God issue. Here Mormonism comes off remarkably well in comparison with Christian sects in general, far better than most Mormons and Mormon-watchers realize. But to treat such problems effectively the editors and some of the authors should have been more concerned with theology and philosophy,

Utah. By DAVID MUENCH and H A R T T 1973. iv + 188 pp. $25.00.)

matters strangely neglected by a volu m e describing the fortunes and misfortunes of a religious community. T h e r e is little concern, moreover, for the Mormons' involvements with the arts or their attitudes toward science and technology, or for the church's position on labor and on such matters as war and nationalism. Finally, with so many pages to spare, it is difficult to u n d e r s t a n d why such i m p o r t a n t works as Ericksen's Psychological and Ethical Aspects of Mormon Group Life were not represented. Perhaps the volume would have been better titled simply Mormonism and American Society, as it is essentially a sociological document. Unhappily for the serious reader, the editors have omitted footnotes from the republished articles. They have, however, provided useful introductory notes and an annotated bibliography.



It is with mixed emotion that I review this eloquent statement of the nature of Utah. As I first browsed through the paged exposures of an incomprehensible piece of the earth's landscape, I indulged in a surge of parochial selfishness about seeing my nature world being advertised to all. On the more positive side, I saw this book as prima facie evidence saying, "Treat this jewel gently, modern man — you only have one." T h e fact that I became personally concerned with the attraction caused by this book is a testimony of its quality. Perhaps this stimulation of feeling is the true value of a picture/word essay such as this.


E. E. Ericksen Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Graduate School University of Utah

(Portland, Ore.: Charles H. Belding,

Regardless of the p i c t u r e , each evokes a different reaction from the individual, whether it be contemporary concerns or a pang of nostalgia upon reviewing a familiar childhood place. I am sure seeing Zion National Park revived memories of traditional family treks to the area in many people's minds. T h e words, "sense of place" bring to mind one of the qualities setting this book apart. T h e r e is no doubt in one's mind, especially those who have lived and loved this country of Utah, that the book presents a "sense of place." T h e sense of place is perhaps becoming a rare cultural luxury due to

Book Reviews and Notices our extreme social mobility, wherein such vivid reminders as this book, or more appropriately this book's statement, are needed. T h e sense of place was executed to near perfection by the American Indians. They tied their total existense to their place in the great wheel of life in which the myriad symbols, feelings, s e n s a t i o n s a n d emotions of nature intertwined with their life as one whole. I think we cannot forget how this great wheel of life, our environment, still binds us to it. T h e pictures attempt to exude some of the humility toward nature needed to realize a true sense of place. Mr. Wixom's text manages to give a structure to the historical continuum of Utah, but this structure seems a bit too one-sided. When one begins reading of the early Mormon history in Palmyra, Nauvoo, and Winter Quarters, one begins to wonder how this significantly relates to a book about a place. T h a t is one of my main objections to the text. Interesting and precise though the Mormon history may be it perhaps should remain in perspective to the whole continuum of man's occupation of the area. One noticeable flaw in regard to this continuum is the lack of American Indian history which is so rich in the state of Utah, the state name itself derived from an Indian tribe. T h e times when the Indians are mentioned in the text, only the violence is referenced. Surely there were others in Utah's history who used violence, and surely there are many other important things to be said of the first people to live in and love this country for so long. Understanding many non-Utahn's image of Utah being that of the Mormon heritage, it should be noted this book stresses the natural side of our country. As indeed many of the pic-

87 tures themselves are of early Indian imprints on the country, the early Indian culture would be a most logical and meaningful element in blending man's relation to this country. An especially bright spot in the narrative is an expression of the current scene wherein m o d e r n society has reached the latter days of free exploitation. As the text reads, ". . . it makes little sense to needlessly impair or destroy anything which can be left in a h i g h e r value as C o d m a d e it." Another bright spot in the text is that the narrative gives an excellent perspective of the lay of the land. Seeing the book, Utah, is a gentle (or at times startling) reminder of our ties to our place. T h e mix of m a n m a d e and natural images of Utah are well balanced and elicit a total wheel of life w h e r e i n the o v e r w h e l m i n g d o m i nance of our natural world is emphasized. One especially refreshing aspect of Mr. M u e n c h ' s pictorial statement is the inclusion of some of the not-so-spectacular sides of the area along with dramatic presentations of blatant beauty. After all, that mix of highs and lows is nature, or life, itself. In addition, I was impressed with the inclusion of all seasons, especially in areas many associate primarily with the summer surge of tourism. Upon hearing of the publication of this book, I became apprehensive, expecting a collage of picture-postcard overkill. Obviously, I was wrong. T h e book is a truly credible impression of the sense of place I have of the Utah country.


Institute of Behavioral Sciences University of Colorado Boulder


Utah Historical Quarterly

The Magnificent Rockies: Crest of a Continent. By the EDITORS OF AMERICAN WEST. (Palo Alto, Calif.: T h e American West Publishing Co., 1973. 288 pp. $18.50.)

T h i s h a n d s o m e b o o k in t h e publisher's Great West Series combines the varied elements of geology, geography, botany, biology, and history in a treatise which is both geographical and environmental. This is the story of a region — the central and southern Rocky Mountains. T h e book emphasizes that despite man's persistent attempts at conquest and consumption — through trapping, mining, grazing, and oil drilling — the Rockies remain a barrier to man and a tough taskmaster to nature's inhabitants, a vast, unsullied wilderness. T h u s , the u n c o n q u e r a b l e Rockies have retained one of their most valuable assets — the isolation which recently has generated tourist and recreation dollars from those seeking escape from successful civilization elsewhere. Related to this book's regional focus is another identifiable characteristic. Staff writers Bette Roda Anderson, Donald G. Pike, and J a n e t Ziebarth, who created The Magnificent Rockies with American West editors Donald E. Bower and Patricia Rollings, look at the Rockies from east of the divide. This approach can be explained by geographical realities — and perhaps by Denver book markets — but whatever, the Utah r e a d e r will quickly sense that most examples chosen to enliven the synoptic narrative come from Denver's Front Range. W7hile the Wasatch and Uinta mountains may thus seem slighted, Wyoming's Wind River Range and scattered basins costar in the d r a m a because, with Colorado, they belong in the middle Mountain West. T h e one chapter reserved for the Mormon story and Utah's territorial period draws from reliable sources (standard western history texts and Wallace Stegner's delightful Gathering

of Zion). Yet the chapter is flawed with misunderstandings — in part due to the problems of condensing — and errors. A bearded Joseph Smith III appears over a picture caption describing Mormonism's founder, Joseph Jr. Brigham Young lands in the Great Basin ten days early (a typographical error?) and is elected governor by his people (depriving Congress of its appointive powers). T h e twin relics of barbarism become theocracy (not slavery) and polygamy. Elsewhere, a m a p on page 47 is out of register in the Utah portion, shifting cities, lakes, and rivers far enough to put Salt Lake City east of the mountains. Unclear are the statements about the first winter in the Great Basin (harsh or mild?), the "announcement" of polygamy (by J o s e p h Smith in 1844?), the ratio between Gentile and Mormon territorial officials, and the Mountain Meadows Massacre ("Shrouded in confusion and bias, the truth of the event remains a phantom." [picture caption, p. 170]). Overall the book is much better. T h e editors allotted forty percent to the o p e n i n g two sections of eight chapters for a rather detailed description of natural history — an informative recital of mountain-making and the "communities of n a t u r e . " T h e h u m a n history in the remaining three parts of thirteen chapters unfolds in broad outlines of the kind formalized by Ray Billington. Readers of the publisher's western history magazine will recognize the essays on plants and animals of the mountain slopes, gove r n m e n t e x p l o r e r s , a n d surveyors (chapters 6, 10, and 12); they appeared in slightly altered form in the Mav and September 1972 and March 1973 numbers of The American West.


Book Reviews and Notices T h e picture book format of The Magnificent Rockies allows for about 85 color and 130 black and white illustrations which serve best as informational supplements to the text rather than aesthetic complements. Look for no new scholarship but find instead vivid prose, two-page color spreads, helpful maps, charts, and diagrams,

and a useful review of exploitation and conservation — the Old West and t h e new — which f o r m c o n s t a n t threads in Rocky Mountain life.

Frederic Remington. By PETER H. 1973. 48 pp. $3.00.)

(Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum,


T h e r e is currently an enthusiasm for nineteenth-century American art; exhibits of such works are increasingly frequent, and the prices of such works are increasingly high. Whether this is p r o m p t e d by an exhaustion in the supply of "Old Masters," the fad for things nostalgic, or the seeming intractability of contemporary art, at the very least the opportunity is being provided for the reappraisal of the t e c h n i c a l skill d e m o n s t r a t e d , the beauty and even the profundity in works too long ignored by critics in their defense and propagandizing of twentieth-century art. T h e recent retrospective exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, of the w o r k s of t h e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y illustrator-artist Frederic Remington is a part of this enthusiasm. As with most major exhibits, a catalog was p r e p a r e d to accompany it — this one written by Peter Hassrick. T h e exhibition catalog is a piece of literature too often overlooked because of its briefness. However, it is its very brevity which is its value. T h e well-written catalog presents the essential biographical, historical, and critical information about the artist and his works. It is a distillation which does not sacrifice scholarship. Mr. Hassrick has prepared an exemplary catalog. Although he does not include a bibliography of Remington and his appraisers, nor informa-


Senior Historical Associate Historical Department Church offesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

tion concerning the provenance of his works — omissions which are not so critical for an artist as well known as Remington — those components of a good catalog which Hassrick does include are commendable. T h e concise b i o g r a p h y of R e m i n g t o n , which Hassrick s u p p o r t s with e x t e n s i v e p r i m a r y d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d illustrates with small but crisp reproductions of eighty of the ninety-one works included in the exhibit, traces not only Remington's life but also his talent, t h e i n f l u e n c e s u p o n it a n d t h e changes within it, the relationships between o n e version of a work a n d another, and the variations in expression resulting from the variations in media. Mr. Hassrick is neither apologetic nor recklessly complimentary. Remington was not a great artist, but he was an important one, especially in terms of the popular image of the American West which he helped to create. His place in that creation, and in the mainstream of American art, Hassrick is careful to point out. Hassrick is not hesitant to appraise the qualities that make certain works effective, a l t h o u g h he is hesitant to grapple with the problem of illustration versus art, an evaluative problem particularly pertinent to Remington, an illustrator who always wanted to be considered an artist. Also regrettably, Hassrick does not deal with the eon-

Utah Historical Quarterly

90 tradiction between Remington's avowed "passion for realism" and the obvious s t e r e o t y p i n g a n d publicpleasing gimmicks which w e r e so much a part of his work. Despite these neglects, the catalog is not just one more hackneyed statement about an artist often too highly praised and too frequently exhibited. Rather, it is a well-written, t h o u g h t f u l l y critical work, c o m m e n d e d to not only the serious viewer wanting a more expansive experience than a walk t h r o u g h the exhibit, the afficionado of Rem-

Horns in the High Country. By + 263 p p . $6.95.)

ington and his contemporaries appreciating another appraisal, and the scholar doing research on the artist or his work, b u t also t h e p e r s o n int e r e s t e d in t h i n g s artistic, t h i n g s nineteenth-century American, things western desiring a succinct but scholarly statement about Frederick Remington, t h r o u g h whose eyes the public has seen the American West. KATHRYN L. MACKAY

American West Center University of Utah


Westerners generally are familiar with high mountains and with animals found in such surroundings, but any o n e of us will be pleased a n d interested with Mr. Russell's appropriate p r o s e d e s c r i b i n g t h e b i g h o r n sheep. As I read the book I sometimes felt as though I were suspended off the ground, watching ewes or rams as they fed off the sparse vegetation or climbed the steep cliffs. He has the knack of making his subjects come alive to his readers. Mr. Russell is no stranger to nature study; indeed, anyone as familiar with hunting as is he knows a great deal about the field of natural history. He tells of his conversion from using guns to shooting with a camera, even to the point of convincing his sons to do so. He explains why hunting wild sheep, of necessity, has to be curtailed and why cameras are both pleasurable and profitable. His ideas about the conservation and m a n a g e m e n t of the bighorn are worth the price of the book, as he knows conditions on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Canada. He tells about the first white men to see and h u n t the bighorns as well as

York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973. xvi

how the Indians tracked them down. He discusses their geological history, their classification a m o n g h o o f e d animals, and their breeding habits, food, parasites and enemies. In describing their habitat, he tells many interesting things about the plants occurring there. For example, he i n f o r m s us t h a t t h e I n d i a n paintbrush is a soft pink at 4,000 feet elevation, but at 8,000 feet the flowers are brilliant scarlet. He accounts for this fact by explaining that pollination must occur during a very brief period or not at all. He does not present this as his idea or even as a possible explanation. Admittedly, it is a very plausible theory, but there may be another explanation. Only systematic research can establish this. Along with discussions of various diseases he makes m e n t i o n of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick. In repeated references to this close relative of spiders, he uses the term "insect" as a synonym of the g r o u p to which the tick belongs. As any one knows who has not forgotten biology in high school or college, a tick belongs to the arachnids and is not an insect, there being a difference of at

Book Reviews and Notices least a pair of legs. O u r reading public is becoming increasingly knowledgeable in t h e sciences, a n d a u t h o r s should adjust themselves accordingly. He could have used words like "parasite" or "organism" or many others and not r u n the risk of offending any of his readers. However, outside of a few rather trivial objections, Mr. Russell has

91 done an excellent j o b of presenting the natural history, the environment, and the conservation of the mountain sheep (bighorn.) I would recommend the book as readable and informative.


Emeritus Professor of Zoology Weber State College

The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History. Edited by F. MARK MCKIERNAN, ALMA R. BLAIR, and PAUL M. EDWARDS. (Lawrence, Kans.: Coronado Press, 1973. xxi + 357 p p . $10.00.) Everyone interested in Mormonism should become acquainted with this book. T h e r e are thirteen essays written by different M o r m o n writers, each with expertise in the historical a r e a u p o n which they write. T h e whole g a m u t of c h u r c h history is treated from the early roots of Morm o n i s m t h r o u g h t h e lifetime of Joseph Smith. And then a survey of the history and development of various succeeding c h u r c h e s after the m a r t y r d o m , the U t a h c h u r c h , the Reorganites, and the Strangites is excellently presented. T h e book contains good history. T h e book also makes history. It is the first real attempt to unite the efforts and ideas of LDS historians and RLDS historians to produce a single work. T h e three editors, all RLDS, carefully selected the writers on the basis of their expertise and balanced the essays with writers of differing points of view within their respective churches. It is an attempt to have each a u t h o r look m o r e closely and less prejudicially at his own history. T h e essays t h e r e f o r e reveal some very dramatic new insights and conclusions about Mormon history. O n e LDS historian poses the very serious question of w h e t h e r Mormonism as a distinct cultural entity has m o r e or less ceased to exist. Another suggests the extreme dom-

inant role the Council of Fifty played in church theology and politics. A third comments on the early ludicrous liturgical antics of t h e M o r m o n s which "all contributed shamefully to the reputation of the Mormons." Some of the conclusions of the RLDS historians seem even more liberal or dramatic: that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon turned extremely militant; that J o s e p h Smith taught and practiced polygamy, Danitism, plurality of Gods, baptism for dead, temple rites such as washings, anointings, sealings, marriages for "time and eternity," and endowments; that there exists a strong "possibility that Smith and Rockwell were culpable in the Boggs shooting;" and that the RLDS had to rewrite their history, "mentally at first and then literally," and that they renounced and in a very real sense forgot the Nauvoo experience. These new thrusts in Mormon history are refreshing. It must be remembered, however, that the word "essay" denotes an initial and tentative effort. Essays is an experiment; it is a first, not final step. But it is a welcome first step. REED C. DURHAM, JR.

Director LDS Institute of Religion University of Utah


Utah Historical Quarterly

Indians orfews? An Introduction. By LYNN GLASER. Containing a reprint of The Hope of Israel by MANASSEH BEN ISRAEL. (Gilroy, Calif.: Roy V. Boswell, 1973. x + 74 + ii + 85 p p . $17.50.) Roy V. Boswell's press has produced a very handsomely b o u n d volu m e which contains a reprint of Manasseh Ben Israel's The Hope of Israel and an introduction entitled Indians or Jews? by Lynn Glaser. The Hope of Israel is a 1652 account of the ten lost tribes of Israel which is very familiar to most people who are interested in the origin of the American Indian. It is worth reprinting. Glaser's introduction, which is almost as long as the book, is disappointing. It provides an elaborate bibliographical essay of the theories that claimed the Indians descended from the lost tribes. Its purpose is to expose "Joseph Smith's success in fabricating an elaborate historical account and in establishing a religion which in its day had widespread appeal" (p. 1). T h u s , unfortunately, this introduction joins the ranks of fulsome anti-Mormon lite r a t u r e emphasizing the fakery of Joseph Smith. T h e i n t r o d u c t i o n ' s style and content would tend to place it in the last decade of the nineteenth century rather than 1973. Glaser laboriously traces the lost tribes through three centuries until he reaches Joseph Smith, Jr., 1805 - 44, where any further deliberations on the topic are dismissed because the main character is introduced. For ex-

ample, "Although speculation on who the Lost T e n Tribes might be continues through the nineteenth century and even trickled into the twentieth, Joseph Smith's work came at a period which virtually put a quietus on the legend in America" (p. 73). T h e thesis of the i n t r o d u c t i o n is, "Meanwhile the advances of modern scholarship were such that to the scholarly the Book of Mormon represented a reductio ad absurdum of a problem which had nagged thinking men for three centuries" (p. 73). T h e introduction deals with obscure and rare sources, but unexplainably the only source quoted on Mormon history is Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History. T h e r e are numerous primary sources available which would have supported far more effectively the author's ideas. T h e question arises why were these not used? T h e author fails to prove his allegation that Joseph Smith was influenced by the tale of the lost tribes and that this idea became the core of the Book of Mormon. T h e idea is fascinating but the book is not. F. MARK MCKIERNAN

Director Historic New Orleans Collection New Orleans

The Bureau of American Ethnology: A Partial History. By NEIL M. JUDD. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967. xii + 140 pp. Paper, $ 1.95; cloth, $5.95.) While it is true that nearly all histories written are partial histories, only rarely would we encounter a title, "A Partial History." For this book the title is correct, because the institution is continuing to grow in influence and fame.

Neil Judd has long been associated with the BAF. which is an important force in scholarly endeavors in the United States. While those endeavors have centered mainly on anthropology and related fields, its vast resources are becoming increasingly


Book Reviews and Notices important to scholars in other disciplines. In an interesting division of the book, Mr. J u d d has addressed himself to three major topics. T h e first is " T h e Leaders," in which he discusses the history of the BAE t h r o u g h the men who have administered it. This section provides an immensely useful body of biographical data difficult to find in other places. In Section 2, he discusses " T h e Authors," who, over nearly a century, have contributed immeasurably to world knowledge in anthropology, archaeology, and many related fields. It was a difficult choice in dividing the leaders from the a u t h o r s , because many of the leaders were also authors. It is the

t h i r d section, " T h e Publications," which is the most important. It is a catalogue of the annual reports, the bulletins, the anthropological papers, the river basin survey papers, the contributions to ethnology, and miscellany that provide an excellent list and an immensely useful tool for the researcher, either general or specific. Much could be said about what the book is not, but this small volume is already serving the scholarly community well, and Mr. J u d d can be credited with a significant contribution. FLOYD A.


Associate Director American West Center University of Utah

Give Your Heart to the Hawks: A Tribute to the Mountain Men. By WINFRED BLEVINS. (Los Angeles: Nash Publishing Corporation, 1973. xviii + 350 pp. $8.95.) As the title suggests, this book was written (or at least published) as a tribute to the mountain men and, as such, must ideally be dealt with on its own terms. Indeed, the author, by his own words in the dedication, writes as though he were speaking to an ideal reader with whom he shares basic values. However, in the real world there is no such thing as an ideal reader, and it is that fact which Mr. Blevins unfortunately ignores t h r o u g h o u t his book. T h e book is a product of a mind that has fallen in love with T h e Mountains and which gravitates to the anarchy so prevalent in the lives of the few m o u n t i n m e n we know a n y t h i n g about, and no one will fault Blevins for that; many of us know and feel what he has known and felt. However, beyond the obvious display of a love for mountain life and a yearning for the past, the book is largely a failure. Each carefully pirated chapter, in the main, is merely a condensed rewriting of history and literature. T h e obvious

influences of George Frederick Ruxton, Don Berry, B e r n a r d DeVoto, T h o m a s j a m e s , A. B. Guthrie,Jr., and others (in w a r m e d - o v e r form) are baldly, painfully obvious t h r o u g h o u t this book. But possibly more important, and certainly one of its weakest points, is t h a t the book makes no new discoveries, either imaginative or purely factual, and thus contributes little or nothing to the existent body of material about the mountain men. Really, the book is a brazen display of what can come of an overdose of Bernard D e V o t o a n d a skimpy, sometimes naive, knowledge of the West. Such doubtful details as Ruxton getting his version of Black Harris's tale of the "putrefied" forest from a Saint Louis newspaper do not lend authenticity to the book, and at such times the reader yearns for a clarifying footnote. Also, why Blevins considers J o h n Colter the first mountain man is a mystery the author never re-

94 solves; why not, for example, Daniel Boone, who reputedly made it as far as the Rocky Mountains? In too many places, Blevins likens the mountain men and their tales to the character and specious products of Paul Bunyan. Since Bunyan, the Blue Ox, and all the other accoutrements of the giant lumberjack are clearly and purely fraud and fakelore, having nothing traditionally to do with American folkways, one wonders what the mountain man really means to the author, and if his tribute has d e g e n e r a t e d into u n w i t t i n g farce. T h e author's prose itself, although generally clear and descriptive, lapses frequently into a mimicking affectation of trapper lingo, something the book could do very well without. However, the shortcomings of this work are tempered somewhat by the

Utah Historical Quarterly sensitive and even poignant conclusion Blevins draws: a lament over the disappearance of a whole group, society almost, of free and noble spirits; but one cannot easily forget what has gone on before such a conclusion. We have had enough romanticizing (even t h o u g h it p u r p o r t s to be tough-minded) of the mountain man and his ways. What is needed now is clear, even, solid delineation of that fascinating breed, and unfortunately, Blevins has neither augmented nor m o r e carefully explained what we know of mountain life and mountain men.


Department of English University of Utah

Bill Bailey Came Home. By WILLIAM A. BAILEY. Edited by AUSTIN FIFE and (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1973. 183 pp. $5.00.)

This memoir of a former I d a h o farm boy takes place in the lost time between the end of the pioneer era a n d t h e b e g i n n i n g of the age of mechanized farming. T h e Bailey family went west by railroad instead of covered wagon, and there were already settlements at their destination; but many elements of the pioneer spirit remain, especially in the narration of Bill, the roamer, in whom the restlessness of an earlier time remains active. Editors Austin and Alta Fife are careful to note in the forward that the book is completely the product of Bill Bailey, now a r e t i r e d r e s i d e n t of s o u t h e r n California, conceived by him and written in longhand in his


own words. T h e contribution of the editors is, by their own admission, largely technical, leaving the structure, vocabulary, and imagery to the peculiarities of Bill's idiom. T h e result is engagingly natural, the well-loved memories of a man whose life has been rich in incident and adventure, recalled and related in his own terms. T h e tone and style will be familiar to anyone who has listened to the reminiscences of a grandparent, parent, or any older person whose world is gone but accurately remembered. Beginning with his Colorado childhood, Bill quickly establishes his own role as the rebel of the family, never willing to settle for the status quo when a more interesting alternative is

Book Reviews and Notices offered. In the first paragraph of his narration, he refers to himself as a " s c o u n d r e l , " a n d this d r o l l selfassessment is present t h r o u g h o u t the book as Bill frequently turns his ironic h u m o r inward. Dissatisfied with life in Colorado, Bill's family decide to move westward, to the Albion Basin of southwestern I d a h o , w h e r e some relatives a n d friends had already established themselves. As an economic measure, Bill a n d his b r o t h e r w e r e c a r r i e d as stowaways in the baggage car rented for the stock and household goods. T h e brief list of the family's belongings which Bill notes down makes it obvious why the saving of two fares was a desirable end. But for Bill and his brother the stowaway j o u r n e y was one long hilarious adventure, hiding from railroad personnel and muffling their giggles in the cargo s u r r o u n d i n g their "rats nest." T h e journey to I d a h o was prophetic, for after several years of helping his family farm Bill left home to wand e r as a r a i l r o a d t r a m p , w o r k i n g where he could and going from town to town, seeing m o r e of life t h a n Idaho had to offer. Before his departure, however, Bill gives an accurate and not always sympathetic picture of life on a western farm in the early part of the century. He is blunt about the hardships of the constant work and precarious weather, but his narrative is enlivened with amusing anecdotes and recollections. At one point, he recalls the hordes of flies which plagued them at work and at meals,"Oh, those d a m n flies! I'd still kiss the inventor of fly spray on top of the head!" Bill first left home at fourteen because of an a r g u m e n t with his father. As the Fifes point out, Bill has made no attempt to whitewash his narrative, and the conflicts between father and

95 son, sharing the same hot temper, are truthfully set down. This first adventure took Bill only to the home of relatives in Colorado, riding as a passenger on money m a d e from shearing sheep. His father came after him, not with an apology, but with the understanding that home was the place for Bill, at least for a time. Back home, but still retaining some of his new-found independence, Bill took to the m o u n t a i n s for several weeks of trapping and hunting, both for profit and for personal adventure. With the money from his furs, he left home again at sixteen, this time for b r o a d e r adventures as far away as Chicago and O m a h a . Working as a farmhand or sheepshearer, or living as a hobo in the n u m e r o u s "jungles" of the time, Bill found c o m r a d e s h i p and a d v e n t u r e among the many men from all walks of life w h o h a d a b a n d o n e d t h e i r former existence for the freedom of riding the rails. Bill makes no j u d g ments about these men or their way of life, and his stories of their world are candid and sympathetic. He admits that he enjoyed this homeless interlude thoroughly, learning and listening, growing in every way. From this experience as a hobo, Bill's story takes on depth and maturity, as he did. In the final pages of the book, Bill returns home, meets the girl he will eventually marry, and ends his narration, all at the ripe age of seventeen. It is with regret that the reader closes the book, wishing to know more of Bill Bailey and his life and "hear" more of the flavorful, fascinating tales he spins.


Department of English University of Utah

An Oral History Primer. By GARY L. SHUMWAYand WILLIAM G. HARTLEY. (Provo, Utah: T h e Authors, 1973. 28 pp. $1.50.)


This booklet is a treasure chest of helpful hints on how to get the most from an oral interview. Part O n e deals with the interviewing process itself and covers such essentials as selecting and practicing with the r e c o r d i n g e q u i p m e n t , positioning the equipment and arranging the interview setting, mastering basic interview techniques, and transcribing. Part Two is a list of suggested oral history and folklore topics. T h e p r i m e r p r o c e e d s from the assumption that "there is no sure way to do oral histories" but that certain preparatory steps will enhance the success and value of an interview. It is a guide only but a thoughtful one and an essential reference for anyone involved in this increasingly popular research technique.

Americans and the California

The Alaska Gold Rush. By DAVID B. WHARTON. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972. 302 p p . $8.95.) All Hell Needs is Water. By BUDGE RUFFNER. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1972. 96 pp. Paper, $2.95.) Lore of the Southwest. The American Cowboy in Life and Legend. By BART MCDOWELL. (Washington, D.C.: T h e National Geographic Society, 1972. 212 p p . $4.25.) Lavishly illustrated.



- 1879.


By T E D C.


(Palo Alto, Calif.: Pacific Books, 1972. 285 pp. $8.95.)


- 1915.




York: Oxford University Press, 1973. xviii + 494 pp. $12.50.) Buffalo Bill: The Noblest Whiteskin. By JOHN BURKE. (New York: G. P. P u t n u m ' s Sons, 1973. 320 p p . $7.95.) California: An Illustrated History. By T. H. W A T K I N S . (Palo Alto, Calif: American West Publishing Company, 1973. 544 pp. $25.00.) California: Land of New Beginnings. Bv D A V I D LAVENDER. (New York: H a r p e r 8c Row, Publishers, 1972. x + 464 pp. $10.00.) The Cattle Trailing Industry: Between Supply and Demand, 1866- 1890. By JIMMY M. SKAGGS. (Lawrence: T h e University Press of Kansas, 1973. v + 173 pp. $8.00.) Colorado's War on Militant Unionism: James H. Peabody and the Western Federation of Miners. By GEORGE G. SUGGS, J R . (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972. 242 p p . $12.50.) Crimsoned Prairie: The Wars Between the United States and the Plains Indians


Book Reviews and Notices During the Winning of the West. By S. L.





Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972. 256 p p . $8.95.) The Dawes Act and the Allotment of Indian Lands. By D. S. O r i s . Edited a n d with a n i n t r o d u c t i o n by FRANCIS P A U L P R U C H A .


LJniversity o f O k l a h o m a 1973. 206 p p . $6.95.)


Death Valley Ghost Toiuns. By STANLEY W. PAHER. (Las Vegas: N e v a d a Publications, 1973. 48 p p . Paper, $1.95.) Destiny Road: The Gila Trail and the Opening of the Southwest. By O D I E B. FAULK. (New York: O x f o r d University P r e s s , 1 9 7 3 . xii + 2 3 2 p p . $7.50.)

A List of References for the History of Agriculture in the Mountain States. Compiled


E A R L M.

The Oregon Trail Revisited. By GREGORY M. FRANZWA. (Saint Louis: Patrice Press, 1972. xviii + 417 p p . P a p e r , $2.95.) A trail g u i d e rich in lore a n d advice b u t lacking a d e q u a t e maps. Sagebrush Doctors. By EDNA B . PATTERSON. (Springville, U t a h : A r t City P u b l i s h i n g C o m p a n y , 1 9 7 2 . 196 p p . $ 10.00.) Pioneer d o c t o r s in n o r t h e a s t Nevada. Shingling the Fog and Other Plains Lies: Tall Tales of the Great Plains. By ROGER WELSH. ( C h i c a g o :

Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543-1819. By W A R R E N L. C O O K . Y a l e


A m e r i c a n a Series N o . 2 4 . ( N e w H a v e n : Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. xiv + 6 2 0 p p . $17.50.) Frederick Jackson Turner: Historian, Scholar, Teacher. By RAY ALLEN B I L U N G T O N . (New Y o r k : O x f o r d University Press, 1973. x + 599 p p . $17.50.)


(Davis: A g r i c u l t u r a l History C e n t e r , University of California, 1972. iii + 91 pp.)


Press Inc., 1972. 160 p p . $6.00.) The Spearless Leader: Senator Borah and the Progressive Movement in the 1920's

By L E R O Y ASHBY. ( U r b a n a :

University of Illinois Press, 1972. x + 325 p p . $10.00.) The Talmage Story: Life and Times of James E. Talmage - Educator, Scientist, Apostle.


(Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1972. 246 p p . $3.95.)

Harold Von Schmidt Draivs and Paints the Old West. By W A L T REED. (Flagstaff,

Ariz.: N o r t h l a n d Press, 1972. xvii + 230 p p . $40.00.) The Hidden



CANTWELL. ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : J . B. L i p -

pincott, 1972. 335 p p . $8.50.) Ina Coolbrith: Librarian and Laureate of California.

By J O S E P H I N E

Where the Wagon Led: One Man's Memories of the Cowboy's Life in the Old West. By R. D. SYMONS. ( G a r d e n City, N.Y.: Doubleday a n d C o m pany, I n c . 1973. xxxii + 3 4 3 p p . $ 8 . 9 5 . ) W e s t e r n C a n a d a in t h e early twentieth c e n t u r y is t h e sett i n g f o r t h e s e skillful r e m i n i s cences.



Wilderness and the American Mind. By

WOOD. (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1 9 7 3 . 531 p p . $11.95.)

(New H a v e n : Yale University Press, 1973. 390 p p . P a p e r , $2.95.)

RODERICK N A S H . Revised


AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION Cart, Theodore W. "The Lacey Act: America's First Nationwide Wildlife Statute," Forest History, 17 (October 1973), 4 - 13. Dary, David. "The Buffalo in Kansas," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, 39 (Autumn 1973), 3 0 5 - 4 4 . Hamann, Juanita. "Ecology and Dr. McDougall," Plateau, 46 (Summer 1973), 1 - 5. Highlights in this distinguished botanist's career, with emphasis on his work in northern Arizona ecology. Mays, Buddy. "The Bison Are Back," Desert, 37 (January 1974), 36 - 41. BIOGRAPHY Andrews, Thomas F. "Lansford Warren Hastings: The Early Gold Rush Years," The Branding Iron [Los Angeles Westerners Corral], no. 111 (September 1973), 8-9. 1 Burke, Robert E. "Hiram Johnson's Impressions of William E. Borah," Idaho Yesterdays, 17 (Spring 1973), 2 - 1 1 . Leonard, Robert James. "From County Politics to the Senate: The Learning Years for Senator Nye," North Dakota History, 39 (Summer 1972), 15 - 23. Maynard, Gregory. "Alexander William Doniphan: Man of Justice," Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 462 - 72. Stegner, Wallace. "DeVoto's Western Adventures," The American West, 10 (November 1973), 2 0 - 2 7 . Walker, Dale L. "A Last Laugh for Ambrose Bierce," The American West, 10 (November 1973), 34 - 39,^63. HISTORIANS AND HISTORICAL METHOD Clark, Carol. " 'One of the Most Important Days of My Life:' An Introduction to Oral History," The New Era, 3 (November 1973), 18 - 20. Davis, W.N., Jr. "Research Uses of County Court Records, 1850- 1879, and Incidental Glimpses of California Life and Society," California Historical Quarterly, 52 (Fall 1973), 241 - 66. The study focuses on California materials but the methods and promise are applicable to any locale. Friend, Llerena. "Walter Prescott Webb and Book Reviewing," The Western Historical Quarterly, 4 (October 1973), 381 - 404.

Articles and Notes


Hartley, William G. "Suggested Family Oral History Topics," The New Era, 3 (November 1973), 21. Schnell, J. Christopher, and Patrick McLear. "Why the Cities Grew: A Historiographical Essay on Western Urban Growth, 1850 - 1880," Bulletin of the Missouri Historical Society, 27 (April 1972), 162 - 77. INDIANS Britt, Claude, J r . "An Old Navajo Trail with Associated Petroglyph Trail Markers, Canyon de Chelly, Arizona," Plateau, 46 (Summer 1973), 6 - 1 1 . Karp, Walter. "Wounded Knee Between the Wars," American Heritage, 25 (December 1973), 34 - 35, 101. Reflections on the restless b o r e d o m which was "eating alive" the Pine Ridge Indians in the 1950s, as observed and reported by a young anthropologist. Kelsey, Harry. " T h e California Indian Treaty Myth," Southern California Quarterly, 55 (Fall 1973), 225 - 38. T h e Mexican Cession raised new questions about Indian land rights. Page, Gary. " T h e Nez Perce Retreat," Upper Snake River Valley Historical Society Quarterly, 2 (Spring 1973), 8 8 - 9 1 . Pike, Donald. " T h e People Who Have V a n i s h e d , " The American West, 10 (November 1973), 40 - 46. A glimpse at the Anasazi culture, embellished with photographs by David Muench. Sunsire, Alvin R. " T h e Indian Slave T r a d e in New Mexico, 1846 - 1861." The Indian Historian, 6 (Fall 1973), 20 - 22, 54. Includes observations on the slave trade in Utah as well. L I T E R A T U R E AND FOLKLORE Bourne, Edward Gaylord. " T h e Romance of Western History," Missouri Historical Review, 68 (October 1973), 55 - 73. Presented as an address in 1906, this selection was the first major article featured in the Missouri Historical Review and is one of those chosen for reprinting in this seventy-fifth anniversary issue. Bulow, Nannette. " T h e Maverick Metaphor: T h e Use of Cowboy Vernacular in Fiction," The Possible Sack, 5 (November 1973), 10 - 16. Hatch, J o h n Mark. " T h e Art of Sunny Lying in the Mountain Man Tale," The Possible Sack, 4 (October 1973), 9 - 15. A look at Black Harris as the inimitable liar. Powell, L a w r e n c e Clark. " T h e A d v e n t u r o u s E n g l i s h m a n , " Westways, 65 (November 1973), 19-22, 7 0 - 7 1 . Reflections on the life of the prose poet of the Rockies, George Frederick Ruxton. Walker, Ralph S. " T h e Wonderful West of Karl May," The American West, 10 (November 1973), 28 - 33. Writing seventy volumes and selling twenty million copies in his native country alone, nineteenth-century German novelist May gave the Europeans a strangely distorted but fascinating picture of the heroes, villains, and social patterns of the American West.


Utah Historical Quarterly

Watkins, T. H. "Mark Twain and His Mississippi," The American West, 10 (November 1973), 12 - 19. MILITARY AND LEGAL Greene, Jerome A. "Evidence and the Custer Enigma: A Reconstruction of Indian-Military History," The Trail Guide, 17 (March - J u n e 1973), 3 - 56. Johns, Sally Cavell. "Viva Los Californios! The Battle of San Pasqual," San Diego History, 19 (Fall 1973), 1-13. California's most bitter battle was fought while the Mormon Battalion was still a two-week march away. Taylor, Morris F. "The Carr-Penrose Expedition: General Sheridan's Winter Campaign, 1868- 1869." The Chronicles of Oklahoma, 51 (Summer 1973), 159-76. POLITICS AND DIPLOMACY Heale, M.J. "The Role of the Frontier in Jacksonian Politics: David Crockett and the Myth of the Self-Made Man," The Western Historical Quarterly, 4 (October 1973), 405 - 23. Lee, R. Alton. "Slavery and the Oregon Territorial Issue: Prelude to the Compromise of 1850," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 64 (July 1973), 112 - 19. Moody, Eric N. "Nevada's Bull Moose Progressives: The Formation and Function of a State Political Party in 1912, "Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 16 (Fall 1973), 1 5 7 - 7 9 . Northrup, Jack. "The Trist Mission," The Journal of Mexican American History, 3 (1973), 1 3 - 3 2 . Williams, David A. "California Democrats of 1860: Division, Disruption, Defeat," Southern California Quarterly, 55 (Fall 1973), 239 - 52. Stephen A. Douglas's concept of popular sovereignty was controversial in the West as elsewhere. RELIGION Bush, Lester E., Jr. "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 8 (Spring 1973), 11 - 68. Followed by responses from Gordon C. Thomasson, Hugh Nibley, and Eugene England. Ellsworth, S. George. "The Deseret Alphabet," The American West, 10 (November 1973), 10 - 11. Brigham Young's phonetic scheme is explained as an attempt at spelling reform. Flake, Chad J. "Mormon Bibliography: 1972," Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 5 7 7 - 8 3 . Irving, Gordon. "The Mormons and the Bible in the 1830s," Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 473 - 88. Kimball, Stanley B. "The Saints and St. Louis, 1831 - 1857: An Oasis of Tolerance and Security,"Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 489 - 519. Richards, Paul C. "Missouri Persecutions: Petitions for Redress," Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 520 - 43.

Articles and Notes


Smiley, Winn Whiting. " A m m o n M. Tenney: Mormon Missionary to the Indians," Journal of Arizona History, 13 (Summer 1972), 82 - 108. SOCIETY Bowman, Richard G. "Pioneer Mormon Currency," The Denver Westerners Roundup, 29 (October 1973), 3 - 16. Boyd, E. "Domestic Architecture in New Mexico," El Palacio, 79, no. 3 (1973), 13-29. Buck, R. George. "Grand Lady-in-Wating (to be H e a r d ) , " Utah Holiday, 3 (November 12 - December 5, 1973), 4 - 7. Reflections on the restoration of Salt Lake City's Union Pacific Depot as a worthy Bicentennial project. Driggs, Nevada W. "How Come Nevada?" Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 16 (Fall 1973), 181 - 85. Childhood remembrances of southern Utah at the t u r n of the century. "Two Landmarks," The New Yorker, September 24, 1973, pp. 28 - 30. T h e focus is on two particular buildings in New York but the problems are common to all preservation programs. WESTWARD M O V E M E N T AND S E T T L E M E N T Burns, Barney T., and T h o m a s H. Naylor. "Colonia Morelos: A Short History of a Mormon Colony in Sonora, Mexico," The Smoke Signal, 27 (Spring 1973), 142 - 80. A balanced and interesting treatment; bibliography lists not only the standard sources but nearly thirty oral interviews as well. Christiansen, Alfred. " T h e Swiss Mormons in America." Ciba-Geigy Journal, 2 (Summer 1973), 31 - 3 6 . Clausen, Henry A. "LaVeta Pass and Garland City, 1876- 1878." The Denver Westerners Roundup, 29 (September 1973), 3 - 1 7 . Highlights in the construction of the Denver and Rio Grand route over LaVeta Pass. Erickson, Vernon. "Lewis and Clark on the U p p e r Missouri," North Dakota History, 40 (Spring 1973), 34 - 37. A pictorial essay. Gentry, Leland H. "Adam-ondi-Ahman: A Brief Historical Survey," Brigham Young University Studies, 13 (Summer 1973), 553 - 76. Hutson, James H. "Benjamin Franklin and the West," The Western Historical Quarterly, 4 (October 1973), 425 - 34. Koester, Susan. " T h e Indian T h r e a t Along the Santa Fe Trail," The Pacific Historian, 17 (Winter 1973), 13 - 28. Martinson, Henv R. "Homesteading Episodes," North Dakota History, 40 (Spring 1973), 2 0 - 3 3 . Underhill, Lonnie E., and Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. "Women Homeseekers in Oklahoma Territory, 1 8 8 9 - 1901." The Pacific Historian, 17 (Fall 1973), 36-47.

Original diaries, account books, letters, and miscellaneous papers of Volney King have been given to the Utah State Historical Society library by Dwight Black, a grandson of King, one of the original settlers of Kingston, Piute County. A history of Snake Valley in western J u a b and Millard counties is represented in another manuscript acquisition. Copies of " T h e Royal Family of Joseph Smith," restricted to use by bona fide scholars of the subject, have been donated by author T h o m a s M. Tinney. Hill Fielder, 1943 - 53, and the Hill Top Times, 1954 - 72, newspapers published for Hill Air Force Base, are now available on microfilm at the Society. Two important oral history projects have been initiated in recent months at the Society. Librarian Jay M. Haymond and Mrs. Verna K. Richardson, Bountiful, have collected twenty-five hours of oral history from residents of Grouse Creek in eastern Box Elder County. A second project in cooperation with Utah State University will attempt to use oral history to document the quality of rural life in Utah. Charles S. Peterson, project director, and Dr. Haymond, associate director, will conduct workshops in the Uinta Basin to begin the study. Some eleven hours of oral history have been gathered to date from former residents of the Myton and Roosevelt areas. "Agriculture in the Development of the Far West" is the theme of a symposium scheduled for J u n e 1 8 - 2 1 , 1974, at the Davis Campus, University of California. T h e symposium is sponsored by the Agricultural History Society, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and several other institutions and individuals. With attention directed to the part played by agriculture in the historical growth of the Far West, the symposium will attempt to explain not only the historical development of western American agriculture but the implications of its continuing development as well. T h e p r o g r a m will be scholarly and interdisciplinary and will involve a variety of authorities from both public and private organizations. T h e sessions will be preceeded on J u n e 17 by meetings of the Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums. Further information on the p r o g r a m and registration can be gained directly from the Agricultural History Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616. T h e manuscripts librarian of the Marriott Library, University of Utah, has announced the acquisition of the Clifford Evans scrapbook of

Articles and Notes


select Salt Lake City architects, the David Eccles Company account books, the records of the Utah State Federation of Business and Professional Women since 1923, and the Charles C. Rich and Edward H u n t e r family papers. Other acquisitions of interest include the correspondence and notes of Dr. Joseph H. Peck, who practiced rural medicine in Utah from 1919 to 1945, and the three-volume journal of Mary J a n e Mount T a n n e r , wife of Myron T a n n e r . T h e ethnic archives have been enriched by the George Zoumadakis family papers, the B'Nai Israel T e m p l e ledger, J o h n Skerl's business records of the Mutual Mercantile Company of Helper, Utah, and the papers of Henry Y. Kasai pertaining to the Japanese American Citizens League and related civic matters. T h e Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, has a n n o u n c e d the acquisition of the Fred Mazzulla Western Photographic Collection, containing over a quarter million pictures of the American West. Within the collection are photographs of Denver dating back to the 1860s, Colorado boom towns and mining camps, Dodge City's early period, the cattle industry, railroad construction, early airplanes, c e r e m o n i e s of the Penitentes, and western views. Also included are over eight h u n d r e d fifty hours of taped interviews which Mazzulla conducted with pioneer residents of Colorado and New Mexico and such well-known personalities as W. H.Jackson and Charles M. Russell. T h e entire collection will be available to researchers after cataloging has been completed. T h e Mormon History Association has announced plans to publish an annual Journal of Mormon History and is presently interested in receiving manuscripts for publication therein. Individuals interested in submitting manuscripts are asked to send them directly to Dr. Richard Sadler, Department of History, Weber State College, Ogden, Utah 84403. T h e National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant of $250,568 to the American Association for State and Local History in support of its projected publication of popular histories of each state and the District of Columbia. Undertaken as a major Bicentennial project, the histories are intended to be interpretive essays which characterize the people of a given state historically and show the relationship of that state's history and values to the nation as a whole. T h e grant follows a smaller award of $50,000 made in July 1973 for planning purposes and is seen as the official launching of this ambitious research and publication venture. Publication of a new monographic series titled Utah, the Mormons, and the West, u n d e r the general editorship of Dr. Everett L. Cooley, was recently begun following the establishment of a publications fund in the Marriott Library by Obert C. T a n n e r . A Mormon Mother by Annie Clark T a n n e r , Letters of Long Ago by Agnes Just Reid, andDear Ellen by S. George Ellsworth have been published to date. A m o n g those scheduled for future publication are Elizabeth Wood Kane's Twelve Mormon Homes Visited and Annie Clark T a n n e r ' s Biography of Ezra Thompson Clark. Selection of manu-


Utah Historical


scripts is based u p o n their intellectual appeal as accurate history and their emotional interest as good literature. T h e board of editors invites the submission of appropriate manuscripts. New7 editions of previously published works now out of print will be given first consideration, but new works based on solid documented sources will also be considered. Soliciting membership from all who share its objectives, the Society for Historical Archaeology announces its aim of promoting research in historic archaeology and applying archaeological methods to the study of history. T h e main focus of the society is the era since the beginning of European exploration; the geographical emphasis is on the New World but also includes the European exploration of Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Memberships in the society are for the calendar year and include three classes: (1) individual, $7.50; (2) joint (a marital unit with two votes and one set of publications), $10.00; and (3) institutional, $15.00. Members receive the annual journal, Historical Archaeology, and the quarterly newsletter. Application for m e m b e r s h i p may be m a d e to Roderick S p r a g u e , secretary-treasurer, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83843.

UTAH STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY D i v i s i o n of D e p a r t m e n t of D e v e l o p m e n t S e r v i c e s BOARD O F STATE


M I L T O N C. A B R A M S , Smithfield,


President D E L L O G. D A Y T O N , O g d e n , 1975

Vice President M E L V I N T . S M I T H , Salt Lake City Secretary MRS.

J U A N I T A B R O O K S , St. George, 1977

M R S . A. C. J E N S E N , Sandy, 1975 T H E R O N L U K E , Provo, 1975

C L Y D E L. M I L L E R , Secretary of State

Ex officio M R S . H E L E N Z. PAPANIKOLAS, Salt Lake City, 1977 H O W A R D C. P R I C E , Jr., Price, 1975 MRS.

E L I Z A B E T H S K A N C H Y , Midvale, 1977

R I C H A R D O . U L I B A R R I , Roy, 1977



STANFORD J. L A Y T O N , Publications Coordinator JAY M . H A Y M O N D , Librarian DAVID B. M A D S E N , Antiquities Director

T h e U t a h State Historical Society was organized in 1897 by public-spirited U t a h n s to collect, preserve, and publish U t a h and related history. Today, under state sponsorship, the Society fulfills its obligations by publishing the Utah Historical Quarterly and other historical materials; locating, documenting, a n d preserving historic a n d prehistoric buildings and sites; and maintaining a specialized research library. Donations and gifts to the Society's programs or its library are encouraged, for only through such means can it live u p to its responsibility of preserving the record of U t a h ' s past. MEMBERSHIP Membership in the U t a h State Historical Society is open to all individuals and institutions interested in U t a h history. Membership applications and change of address notices should be sent to the membership secretary. Annual dues a r e : Institutions, $7.00; individuals, $5.00; students, $3.00. Life memberships, $100.00. Tax-deductible donations for special projects of the Society may be made on the following membership basis: sustaining, $250.00; patron, $500.00; benefactor, $1,000.00. Your interest a n d support are most welcome.