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The Founding and Naming of Moab
Hole-in-the-Rock Trek Remains an Epic Experience
What Made the Mormon Landscape Unique?
Snowslides Devastated Northern Utah in 1875
A Fatal Snowslide in Provo Canyon
Those Pioneering African Americans
The Lives of Six Pioneer Girls
He Was an Outsider in Utah But Not For Long
Forty-Niners in Salt Lake Valley
Utah Farmer and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush
Emma Lee Endured Many Hardships in Pioneer Utah
Alice Parker Isom Faced Challenges WIth True Grit
19th Century Utah Women Spun Yarn and Dug Ditches
Hilda Anderson Erickson, Working Woman
Oliver B. Huntington and His Bees
A Policeman's Lot in Early Salt Lake CIty
A Blind Man and His Harp
Fanny Brooks Helped Establish the Jewish Community
Reverend McLeod and Building of Independence Hall
Jenny Baker Stanford Bridged Mormon-Gentile Gap
Welshman Dan Jones Was One of Zion's Busiest Bees
The Case of Grave Robber Jean Baptiste
Slavery in Utah
History of Polygamy
DeserEt
The History of a Pioneer Utah Cottage
The Pioneer's Cost of Living Versus Today's
Coins and Currency
The Sego Lily, Utah's State Flower
Pestiferous Ironclads: Grasshopper Problem in Utah
From Pioneer Fort to Pioneer Park
Ensign Peak
Temple Square
Virgin River Doused Cotton Mission Settler's Hopes
Gardner Mill and the Birth of the Valley's West Side
The United Order Movement
ZCMI
The Beginnings of the University of Utah
Arrival of the Episcopal Church
Ben Holladay, the Stagecoach King, in Utah
The Pony Express Added a Colorful Chapter in Utah
Mark Twain's Utah
Pony Express in Utah
The Telegraph Was Information Highway of the 1860's
The Steamboat Era Was Glamorous But Brief in Utah
Cowboys and the Cattle Industry
Old La Sal Was Once a Thriving Cow Town
Preston Nutter Made Utah Home of His Cattle Kingdom
Robbers' Roost Was a Haven For Outlaws
Utah Had Hollywood Style Western Gunfights
Just Who Was the Outlaw Queen Etta Place?
Josie Bassett-Jensen's Remarkable Woman Rancher
Military in Utah
Utah War
The Civil War in Utah
Mountain Meadows Massacre
Fort Douglas
Fort Duchesne
Camp Floyd
The Colonel Orders a Grand Review
Thomas G. Alexander
Utah, The Right Place
Condensed by Brittany Nelson

During the 1850s and 1860s relations between Salt Lake and Washington continued to deteriorate. On the one hand, Mormons still wanted to be masters in their own house; on the other, they sought to have advantageous economic links with the outside. Brigham Young had announced a policy in 1852 that people knew about (and in some cases practiced) for several years previously. This was the doctrine of plural marriage, that on the frontier an able-bodied man could seek to have two or more wives with the approval of the church. Back in the United States, of which Utah was a territory, a dim view was taken by Congress about plural marriages, and for the next 40 years every attempt by Utahns to seek statehood faltered on the shoals of polygamy.

In fact, this development and other misunderstandings between Salt Lake City and Washington led to the "Utah War" of 1857, in which the president dispatched an army under General Albert Sidney Johnston, later of Civil War fame, to occupy Mormon country. Johnston wisely chose not to camp in the center of Salt Lake and humiliate the Mormons, but set up Camp Floyd, 40 miles to the southwest, where his troops stayed for the next several years. The Mormons evacuated Salt Lake City and were ready to burn it down rather than let outsiders take their city, but this was avoided. In fact, Johnston's army needed foodstuffs for the soldiers and feed for their horses, providing an economic windfall for the new settlers. The Utah War was the first instance where the Saints were called upon to shore their new frontier home with outsiders.

Mormons cheered when Johnston's army was recalled for the Civil War, but they soon were once again concerned with the coming of an army from the West, Patrick Connor's California Volunteers. This army of surveillance arrived in 1861 and did put their tents just outside the city, founding what later became Fort Douglas. The Mormons were loyal to the Union, so there was no reason for military action, but Connor was convinced that Utah's mountains held mineral wealth and released his troops from time to time to search for gold and silver. Only smaller mines were discovered by the troops, but their activity paved the way for others who also could see that Utah's mountain ranges contained valuable ores awaiting energetic prospectors. 

 

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