Archives News

Featured image for “Ann Eliza Webb: The Woman Who Divorced Brigham Young”
March 22, 2023

Ann Eliza Webb: The Woman Who Divorced Brigham Young

The Utah State Archives and Records Service holds vital records for the state of Utah, including birth and death certificates, divorce records, and court records. Sometimes when perusing these records, an interesting story emerges. In a District Court Territorial Minutes book, Records and Information Management Specialist Maren Peterson unravels the story of Ann Eliza Webb suing her estranged husband, Brigham
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September 9, 2022

Mountain Meadows Massacre in the Records

What Happened The Mountain Meadows Massacre occurred in September 1857 in a highland valley roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. The Baker-Fancher emigrant party, traveling through Utah on their way from Arkansas to California, was attacked by members of the local Iron County Militia and purportedly some local Paiute Indians. The emigrants fought back and a five day siege ensued. On the
Featured image for “2020-2021 in the Utah State Digital Archives”
July 14, 2021

2020-2021 in the Utah State Digital Archives

An infographic visualizing the last year in the Digital Archives with information on number of items, statistics on use, and notable additions.
Featured image for “Utah’s Road to Statehood: The Obstacle of Polygamy”
May 27, 2021

Utah’s Road to Statehood: The Obstacle of Polygamy

In the last post, we explored the political obstacles that prevented Utah from becoming a state until 1896. There was another large obstacle that made Congress wary of giving Utah statehood: polygamy. Polygamy started in April of 1841 when Joseph Smith married his first plural wife. By the time the Latter-Day Saints moved from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Salt Lake
Featured image for “Utah’s Road to Statehood: Political Obstacles”
May 5, 2021

Utah’s Road to Statehood: Political Obstacles

As we continue our series on Utah’s Road to Statehood, we will explore the obstacles that prevented Utah from becoming a state until 1896. In early Utah, religion and politics were so closely intertwined that Congress refused to entertain the idea of statehood until the 1890s. Council of Fifty When the Territory of Utah was created in 1850, President Millard
Featured image for “Utah’s Road to Statehood—Latter-Day Saint Pioneers”
April 1, 2021

Utah’s Road to Statehood—Latter-Day Saint Pioneers

Welcome back to our series about Utah’s road to statehood. In this post we will explore some of the history of the Latter-day Saint pioneers who settled in the Salt Lake Valley in the later half of the nineteenth century. Immigration to Salt Lake Valley The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded in 1830 in New York
Featured image for “Probate Records for Salt Lake County: Part 3 – Brigham Young”
August 24, 2020

Probate Records for Salt Lake County: Part 3 – Brigham Young

This post is the third in a 3-part series on the Salt Lake County Probate Case Files. See Part 1 and Part 2. When Brigham Young died on August 29, 1877, he left behind a thriving frontier community grown from a few arriving wagons in 1847. He also left behind a complicated set of heirs with the practice of polygamy,
Featured image for “1875-1876 John D. Lee Case File Online”
September 12, 2016

1875-1876 John D. Lee Case File Online

The Utah State Archives is pleased to announce that the historic Territorial Second District Court case file pertaining to the trial and conviction of John D. Lee for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre has been digitized and posted online on the Digital Archives. The records in this case file cover Lee’s first trial that began in July 1875 and
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February 18, 2015

Law in the Utah Territory

UTAH’S FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY The first legislative assembly in Utah’s history was convened in Salt Lake City on September 22, 1851. Over the course of six months, 13 members of the Territorial Council and 26 members of the Territorial House of Representatives passed a series of acts and bills that formally codified the first laws of the Utah Territory. The Utah
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February 2, 2013

Records from Territorial Governors Online

Recordkeeping was not quite the same for governors during the territorial period (1850-1895), compared to more recent years with offices full of staff to keep track of correspondence, photographs, and artifacts. The Archives does have a few things in its holdings to provide insight into territorial governance, which are now going online as part of the Utah Territory Project. Governor