UTAH is a newly-organized territory among the distant western possessions of the United States, deriving its name from that of the Pah-Utahs, a numerous tribe of native Indians, heretofore and still, with other tribes, occupying large portions of the country. It formerly composed a very considerable share of the wide-spread wilderness known as Upper or New California, and was consequently considered a Mexican dependency. Very few settlements have ever been made or attempted within the present limits of this region; in fact, it has scarcely been deemed habitable by civilized beings. The territory, together with that of New Mexico, and of the lately-formed State of California, fell to the United States by right of conquest, during the war with Mexico, and was duly transferred by the latter, under the treaty of 1848. For further information as to the general history of the country, see the articles California and New Mexico.
By the act of Congress passed September 9, 1850, establishing a territorial government for Utah, the limits of the territory are defined as follows : Bounded on the west by the State of California; on the north by the Territory of Oregon; on the east by the summit of the Rocky Mountains; and on the south by the parallel of 37° North latitude, which forms the dividing line between this territory and that of New Mexico. It extends from the 37th to the 42d degrees of north latitude, and lies between the 107th and 120th degrees of west longitude having a breadth of 300, and an average length from East to West of some 600 miles, containing an area of about 180,000 square miles.
It is provided by the same act, that this territory, when admitted as a state into the Union, shall be received with or without the toleration as be prescribed by its own constitution. All free white males, residents in the territory at the date of said act, were empowered to vote at the first elections, and made eligible to any office in the territory; after which the legislative assembly shall fix the qualifications of electors. The governor holds office for four years, and receives his appointment from the executive of the United States. He must reside within the territory, act as superintendent of Indian affairs, and commission all territorial officers. He may pardon crimes against the laws of the territory, and reprieve offenders against the United States laws, until the president's will be known.
The President of the United States also appoints a territorial secretary for a like term, who administers the government in case of the governor's disability. A Council of 13 members, and House of Representatives, 26 in number, compose the legislative assembly. The former serve two years, the latter one year, and are elected by plurality of the popular votes. They are to be chosen in appropriate districts, and a due apportionment thereof is to be made by law. Legislative sessions are not to continue beyond 40 days. No laws interfering with the primary disposal of the soil, imposing taxes on United States property, or requiring extra taxes on property of non-residents, can be passed by the legislature. No law is valid until approved by Congress.
A Supreme Court, District and Probate Courts, and justices of the peace, constitute the judicial power of the territory. The former comprises a chief and two associate justices, to sit annually at the seat of government, and to hold office four years. A District Court is held by one of the supreme judges, at times provided by law, in each of the three judicial districts of the territory. Justices of the peace cannot try cases involving land titles, or debts exceeding $100. Both the Supreme and District Courts have chancery powers, and common law jurisdiction. Appeals from a District to the Supreme Court cannot have trials by jury. An attorney and marshal are appointed by the United States government for a term of four years.
After a survey of the lands under authority of the general government, two sections in each township, equivalent to one eighteenth part of the whole territory, are to be set apart for the support of public education. It is trusted that the sinister disposal, in some of the new states and territories, of similar liberal provisions for this object, will in due time be guarded against, in this territory, by the friends of common schools. Regarding the finances of this newly-formed territory, there are as yet no authentic reports.
Those who have explored the northern part of the country, the number of whom is not great, describe it as mountainous, rugged, and generally barren, without forests, and destitute of valuable indigenous vegetation. Spots occasionally are presented which yield good grass for pasturage; and here and there may be found valley of small extent, which are tolerably fertile. Towards the western boundary, near the bases of the Sierra Nevada, the soil is generally good. Numerous lakes, emitting streams of moderate size, lie along this region, affording convenient means for irrigation. But the central portion of the country, judging from the imperfect accounts which are at present accessible, is a wide sandy waste, producing, it is true, for a short season after the winter rains, a profusion of grasses and beautiful flowers, all which the succeeding summer heat reduces to an ashy desert.
In other quarters, the country exhibits a rolling surface, with tracts of considerable fertility, often well wooded and watered, with frequent and extensive openings of prairie lands, and tracts of low grounds composed of a rich and loamy soil. Upon the whole, although a very large portion of the territory has never been subjected to cultivation, and still seems unfit for the permanent abode of civilized human beings, it is nevertheless susceptible of unlimited improvement; and the efforts of industry and science may yet convert it into "a land flowing with milk and honey."
The principal rivers within the territory, so far as they have yet been traced or partially examined, are named Rio de los Animas, Grand, White, Tampa, Vermilion, St. Mary's, Vintan, and Duchesne Rivers, most of which, with their smaller branches, flow from the northeast, and ultimately unite with the Great Colorado of the West. The latter appears to take its rise in the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, near the north-east angle of the territory, and, taking a south-western direction, passes through New Mexico, forming part of the boundary between that territory and the State of California, and finally discharges itself into the Gulf of California. Great Salt Lake, a vast body of water lying near the centre of the northern boundary, is the source of numerous watercourses flowing north and east. Humboldt's River flows in a north-east direction, from a lake of that name near the mountains on the west. A river of some extent is connected with Nicollet's Lake, a large sheet, lying in the central part of the territory. A chain of lakes extends northerly from Humboldt's Lake, the principal of which are Carson's and Walker's Lakes. Pyramid Lake, which is of considerable magnitude, and several smaller collections of water, lie at the foot of the great mountain range which separates Utah from California. From each of these, several rivers stretch out in various directions, and are finally lost in the sands of the desert.
No regular mineralogical survey of this region has yet been undertaken, and its mineral resources, which are doubtless great, remain of course undeveloped, Coal, alum, and salt, are said to have been found in some localities. Excellent clay for the manufacture of pottery abounds in the central and northern parts; and satisfactory indications of iron ore have been discovered.
Besides the rude utensils and habiliments fabricated by the natives, there are no manufactured articles, of any note, produced within the territory; unless, indeed, the operations of the Mormons be considered an exception. This unique and erratic people at their large settlement on Salt Lake, have erected various manufacturing establishments, including grain and lumber mills, woolen factories, potteries, &c, and are able to construct most of the farming or domestic implements, including fine cutlery, required for their own use. This settlement, prior to the organization of the territory, was called by to colonists "the State of Deseret." The only railroad yet projected in that country is to be forthwith commenced here, to extend from Mormon city eastward to the base of a mountain, where are extensive stone quarries. The chief purpose of the road is to convey stone and other materials into the city, for building.
But little is known of the present condition and numbers of the native tribes that are constantly roaming through this and the neighboring regions. The character of these wanderers, generally, is no better than that of the wildest Arabs or Hottentots. Attempts are in progress to treat with some of the more approachable among them; and, where they can be reduced to a state less inconsistent with the true objects of human existence by no other means, large bounties in lands, or tribute money, will doubtless be resorted to by the general government.
Excepting the colony composing the Mormon settlement, and the occupants of the few armed stations established by the United States, with perhaps an occasional rancher occupied by Roman Catholic missionaries, there are no white or civilized inhabitants among the population of Utah. At all events, the enumeration is not yet completed; for Congress, by a supplement to the act for taking the seventh census, foreseeing the difficulty of completing the same within the State of California, and the Territories of Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah, by the originally specified time, has authorized an extension of the period, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior. Years may therefore elapse before the completion of this work.
The climate of Utah is in general more mild than that of the states on the east included within the same latitudes. Upon the sterile deserts in the central and southern parts, the summer heats are intense, and the climate sickly. Nearer the more fertile districts on the west, the temperature is equable, with less difference between the extremes of heat and cold than is usually the case on the Atlantic coast. The elevated lands, to a certain height, are considered very healthy ; but travellers upon the mountain summits have frequently been attacked by fatal fevers and other alarming maladies. In the north, the winters are sufficiently moderate to admit of hydraulic operations throughout most of the season.
The only religious organization, if it can be so called, which is now maintained in the territory, is that of the Mormons, or "Latter Day Saints." Besides their establishment at Salt Lake, they have formed a colony in Iron county, about 250 miles south, among mile high lands near the boundary of New Mexico; a position, around which the country is well wooded and watered, abounding in iron ore, and promising plenty of coal.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT.
This city and settlement of the Mormons is situated at an elevation of more than 4,000 feet on the River Jordan, a tributary of Great Salt Lake, at the foot of the western slope of the Wahsatch Mountains, an extensive chain of lofty hills, forming a portion of the East boundary of what is known as the "Great Interior Basin" of North America. The Mormon communion was first organized in 1830, under the auspices of Joseph Smith, the prophet and founder, and after a temporary residence at Kirtland, O., was removed to Jackson Co., Missouri, where by divine revelation, as Smith alleged, and the Mormons believed, the "Saints," as they called themselves, were directed to build a magnificent temple, according to a plan to be divinely communicated to Smith. The corner stone was laid, but a strong excitement was raised against them, and they were compelled to remove to Caldwell Co., on the opposite bank of the Missouri, whence they were soon after obliged to fly to Illinois, where they founded the city of Nauvoo.
Here they lived and flourished for several years, and completed the erection of a temple, but in 1844, a strong popular excitement was raised against them, they were attacked by an armed force, and their prophet and his brother Hiram, having submitted to be arrested, were barbarously murdered in the jail of Carthage. During the year 1845, these persecutions continued, and the Mormons, finding their condition no longer tolerable, resolved to abandon Nauvoo, and to seek an asylum elsewhere. For this purpose great sacrifices of property were made, and in February, 1846, a portion of them crossed the Mississippi, and formed a rendezvous near Montrose, in Iowa. Here they remained exposed to intense cold and deep snows till March, when, being joined by several hundred wagons and a large number of women and children, they organized under the leadership of Brigham Young, who was recognized as president of the church and the prophetical successor of Joseph Smith.
In their progress westward, being prohibited by cruel threats from passing through the settled districts of Northern Missouri, they suffered great hardships in traversing the then uninhabited wilderness of Northern Iowa; but in the course of the summer they reached the banks of the Missouri, where they enclosed land and planted crops, on the site of the present town of Kanesville, still occupied as a Mormon settlement and forwarding station for emigrants. As they were about to cross the river to pursue their journey, leaving a detachment to watch and gather the crop, they received a requisition from the government of the United States for 500 men for the Mexican war, a demand their compliance with which interrupted their progress for the season. Those who remained, being principally old men, women, and children, were compelled to pass the winter amid great sufferings and privations, in huts of logs, and caves dug in the river bank.
In the spring of 1847, they again organized, and on the 8th of April, a pioneer company of 143 men, 72 wagons, 175 head of horses, mules, and oxen, and provisions for six months, started to seek a home beyond the Rocky Mountains. Crossing those mountains by the South Pass, about the end of July they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake, where a piece of land was selected, consecrated by prayer, and planted with crops, and the nucleus was thus formed of the present territory of Utah. Soon after, the ground was surveyed and laid out into streets and squares for a large city, and for protection against the Indians, a fort or enclosure was erected by means of houses made of logs and sun-dried bricks, connected with each other, and opening into a large square. In October the colony was strengthened by the arrival of between 3,000 and 4,000 persons. Agricultural labor was resumed with spirit, Ploughing and planting being continued throughout the whole winter, and till July following, by which time upwards of 6,000 acres were enclosed and laid down in crops. While their crops were ripening, the colonists were reduced to great extremity for food. Game being scarce, they were obliged to subsist on wild roots and the hides of animals which they had used for roofing their cabins. But the crop proved abundant, and plenty has ever since reigned in the valley.
In the autumn, another large immigration arrived under the president, Brigham Young. Building and agriculture were prosecuted with renewed vigor, and settlements continued to be made wherever water could be found for irrigation. Grist mills and saw mills were built; and in the spring a settlement was commenced on Weber River, a bold, clear stream which breaks through the Wasatch Mountain, 40 miles North of the city, and discharges its waters into Salt Lake. Another settlement called Provaux City was commenced, near the mouth of the Timponogos, or Provaux, an affluent of Lake Utah, about 50 miles South of the city. On the 10th of March, 1849, the emigrants assembled in convention, organized themselves as the state of Deseret, and the legislature, which met July 2d, forwarded a petition to Congress for admission into the Union. But, instead of granting this petition, Congress passed, September 9, 1850, an act erecting the territory of Utah, and Brigham Young having been appointed territorial governor, the Mormons have accepted the territorial organization. Their country is rapidly filling up with emigrants, collected by their missionaries from all parts of the world, but principally from the Welsh counties of England, where Mormonism has made a very deep impression.
Situated so far inland, and isolated by the very nature of the surrounding country, agriculture and the raising of stock must be the chief resources of this new colony. Owing to the almost total absence of rain from May to October, the dependence of the farmer must be entirely upon irrigation, for which the means are supplied by the reservoirs of snow accumulated in the gorges of the mountains, and furnishing never-failing streams, sometimes of considerable magnitude. The soil, formed chiefly from the disintegration of the felspathic rock mixed with detritus of limestone, is of the most fertile character, and owing to its loose and porous texture it absorbs water in large quantities. The streams, which come rushing down the mountain sides, when they reach the plain below, dwindle soon into insignificant rivulets, and are presently swallowed up and lost. Cultivation is therefore circumscribed within very narrow limits, being restricted generally to a strip of from one to two miles wide along the base of the mountains, beyond which the water does not reach.
On the East side of the Salt Lake valley, the land susceptible of irrigation stretches along the western base of the Wasatch Mountains, from about 80 miles North of Salt Lake City to about 60 miles South of it, the latter portion embracing, towards its terminus, the fertile valley of Lake Utah. This is a beautiful sheet of pure fresh water, 30 miles in length, and about 10 in breadth, abounding in fine fish, principally speckled trout of great size and good flavor, and surrounded by rugged mountains and lofty hills, with a broad green valley sloping to the water's edge. This valley opens to the northward, and through it flows the River Jordan, a copious and powerful stream, discharging into the Great Salt Lake. Soon after leaving the lake, the Jordan cuts through a cross range of mountains by which the valley is divided. The river descends about 900 feet in a distance of 2 miles. The East. side of the lower valley is watered by bold streams that traverse a strip of alluvion 20 miles long and 8 wide, and as an additional means of irrigation the waters of the Jordan might be taken out at the falls, so as to irrigate a surface of about 80 square miles.
Beyond the Jordan on the West, the dry and otherwise barren plains support a hardy grass, called bunch grass, which is peculiar to these regions requiring but little moisture, very nutritious, and in sufficient quantities to afford excellent pasturage throughout the year to numerous herds of cattle. This same grass is afforded also by the hillsides, but only during the summer months. It seeds in summer, and is germinated by the autumnal rains, and grows under the snow. In the spring, as the snow line retires up the slope, the cattle and wild grazing animals follow it to the mountain peaks until midsummer, to be driven down again, as the accumulated snow, beginning on the summits, about the equinox, descends in a few weeks to the base. When it rains in the valleys, the snow falls in the mountains; and during winter, an immense quantity is drifted into the cañons, and passes to the depth sometimes of hundreds of feet, whence the mountain streams derive their supplies. To the northward in the low grounds bordering the River Jordan, hay in abundance can be procured, though rather coarse and of inferior quality.
Maize, or Indian corn, has not yet proved so successful, owing to the early frosts occasioned by the vicinity of the mountains; but the climate is particularly favorable to barley, oats, and wheat which produces from 40 to 60 bushels an acre, to beets, turnips, melons, and especially potatoes, of which the quality is equal or superior to the best Nova Scotia varieties.
The land immediately around the Great Salt Lake is flat, and rises imperceptibly on the South and West for several miles, and where it is not broken up by the abrupt hills, it is a soft and sandy loam, irreclaimable for agricultural purposes. The whole western shore of the lake is bounded by an immense level plain of soft mud, frequently traversed by small meandering rills of salt and sulphurous water, with occasional springs of fresh, all of which sink before reaching the lake. For a few months in midsummer, the sun has sufficient power to render some portions of the plain for a short time dry and hard, during which it is often covered for miles with a coat of salt half an inch thick or more; but one heavy shower is sufficient to convert the hardened clay into soft, tenacious mud, rendering the passage of teams over it toilsome and frequently quite hazardous.
This extensive area, for a distance of 76 miles from the lake, is for the most part entirely bare of vegetation, except occasional patches of Artemesia and greesewood, and destitute of water. The minute crystals of salt, which cover the surface of the moist, oozy mud, glisten brilliantly in the sun, and present the appearance of a sheet of water so perfectly that it is difficult at times for one to persuade himself that he is not standing on the shore of the lake. High rocky ridges protrude above the naked plain, and resemble great islands rising above the bosom of this desert sea. On the North the tract of low ground is narrow, and the springs bursting out near the surface of the water, the grounds cannot be irrigated. But on the eastern side, including the valley of the Bear River, which comes in from the North, the land above the line of overflow, to which the lake rises with the spring freshets, is fertile and capable of cultivation between the mountain and the shore.
The same is the case with the Ogden River, which breaks through the Wasatch Mountains on the West. To the North extends the valley of the Jordan, and of the Utah Lake, already described, also that of the Tuilla, parallel to it on the West, watered by a small river of that name, and separated from it by the Oquirres Mountains.. The Bear, Ogden, Jordan, and Tuilla are the only considerable tributaries of the Great Suit Lake. The valleys of these rivers afford rich and perennial pasturage, and are capable of cultivation wherever they can be irrigated.
The Great Salt Lake, 70 miles long and 30 broad, but very shallow, is perfectly saturated with salt, and its waters are so dense that persons float cork-like on its waves, or stand suspended with ease, with the shoulders exposed above the waters. Yet to swim is difficult, on account of the tendency of the lower extremities to rise, and the brine is so strong that the least particle in the eye causes intense pain, and if swallowed in any quantity, it brings on strangulation and vomiting. The salt makers affirm that they obtain two measures of salt for every three of the brine. This is an exaggeration, but the analysis of the water shows that it contains 20 per cent. of pure salt, and not more than 2 per cent. of other salts, forming one of the purest and most concentrated brines in the world. It is a refreshing and delightful sport to bathe in the Salt Lake ; but on emerging, the body is completely frosted over with salt; and a fresh spring, of which many break out on the very edge of the lake, is a necessary resort.
The shores in summer are lined with the skeletons and larvae of insects, and of the fish that venture too far from the mouth of the rivers; and these form banks that fester and ferment, emitting sulphurous gases offensive to the smell, but not supposed to be deleterious to health. These, often dispersed by storms, are at last thrown far up on the beach to dry into hard cakes of various dimensions, on which horses can travel without breaking them through; but the under side being moist, the masses are slippery and insecure.
There are several beautiful islands contained in the lake, two of them of considerable magnitude, with a mountain ridge through the center 2,000 feet high, affording fresh springs of water and good pasturage. Around the contour of those islands, and along the adjacent mountains, on the whole circumference of the lake, the eye traces three principal terraces, each about 50 feet above the other. At the base of the hills around the lake issue numerous warm springs, that collect in pools, inviting aquatic fowl during winter by their agreeable temperature and the insect larva which they furnish. Along the brackish streams from the saline springs grows a thick, tangled grass, and the marshy flats are covered with fine reeds or dense fistulas. In early summer the shepherd boys fill their baskets with the eggs deposited in that cover by the goose, the duck, the curlew, and plover; or, taking a skiff, they can row to the Salt Lake Islands, and freight to the water's edge with those laid there for successive broods by the gull, the pelican, the blue heron, the crane, and the brandt.
From Provaux City, the settlement on the Tinpanogos, already mentioned, North to Ogden City, on Ogden Creek, an affluent of the Weber, a distance of 90 miles, the base of the Wasatch range is already studded with flourishing farms wherever a little stream flows down the mountain side with water sufficient for irrigation while in the gorges and cañons (the name given to the narrow passes of the mountains) where alone any trees are to be found, are erected the saw and grist mills.
To the South of Lake Utah, on one of its tributaries, another city has been founded, called Paysan, and 130 miles farther on the road to California, another, named Marti, in what is called San Pete valley, or a tributary of the Sevier, or Necolet River. Still farther South near Little Salt Lake, 250 miles from the Great Salt Lake, a fourth settlement, called Cedar City, has been laid out, in a spot possessing the advantage of excellent soil and water, equal, it is said, to those of Great Salt City itself, and plenty of wood, iron. ore, and alum, with some prospect of coal. It is the ultimate object of the Mormons, by means of stations, whenever the nature of the country will admit, to establish a line of communication with the Pacific, so as to afford a new route for their emigrants. With this view they have recently made a purchase, and established a colony at no great distance from San Diego, on the coast of California which settlement they design to connect, by intermediate stations, with those on the Little and Great Salt Lakes.
Several other settlements have been established within the year past including one in the Tuilla valley, and another on the line of communication with San Diego, which has been called Fillmore City, and made the seat of the territorial government. By an act of the last session of Congress, an United States mail route has been established on this line, from Great Salt Lake City, via American Fork, Provo City, Springfield, Payson's Summit Creek, Nephi City, Filmore City, Red Creek, Paravan, Johnson's Springs, and Cold Creek, to Santa Clara, near the southern border of Utah and thence, via San Bernardino, near which is the Mormon settlement, to San Diego, in California.
The City of the Great Salt Lake stands in the lower valley of the Jordan, at the western base of the Wasatch Mountains, in a curve, formed by the projection westward from the main range, of a lofty spur which cuts it off from the Great Salt Lake, which is distant about 20 miles. It is laid out upon a magnificent scale, being nearly 4 miles in length and 3 in breadth; the streets at right angles, 8 rods wide, with sidewalks of 20 feet; the blocks 40 rods square, divided into 8 lots, each containing 1 acre and a quarter. By an ordinance of the city, each house is to be placed 20 feet back from the front line of the lot, the intervening space being designed for shrubbery and trees. On the West it is washed by the Jordan, while to the southward, for 20 miles, extends a broad level plain, watered by streams descending from the mountains, and all of which is capable of irrigation from the Jordan itself.
The plain, on the West side of the Jordan, extending north to the lake, is low and barren. Through the city flows an unfailing stream of pure, sweet water, which, by an ingenious mode of irrigation, is made to traverse each side of every street, whence it is led into every garden spot. On the East and North the mountain descends to the plain by steps, which from broad and elevated terraces, commanding an extended view of the whole valley of the Jordan which is bounded on the West by rugged mountains, stretching far to the southward, and enclosing the Lake of Utah. On the northern confines of the city, a warm spring arises from the base of the mountains, the water of which has been conducted by pipes into a commodious public bathing house. At the western point of the same spur, about 3 miles distant, another spring flows in a bold stream from beneath a perpendicular rock, with a temperature of 128° Fahrenheit, too high to admit the insertion of a hand.
The houses of the city are built principally of adobes or sun-dried brick, which, when well covered with a tight projecting roof, makes a warm, comfortable building, presenting a very neat appearance. Buildings of a better description are being introduced, though slowly, owing to the difficulty of procuring the requisite lumber, which must always be scarce and dear in a country so destitute of timber.
Upon a square, appropriated to the public buildings, an immense shed has been erected on posts, capable of containing 3,000 persons. It is called the Bowery, and is used as a temporary place of worship, until the construction of the great temple, which, in grandeur of design and gorgeonsness of decoration, is so the Mormons say to surpass all the edifices which the world has ever seen.
Energetic measures are in progress for a woollen factory, the raw material being furnished from the sheep raised in the valley. A pottery is completed, cutlery establishments have been successfully commenced, and extensive arrangements are going on for the manufacture of sugar from the beet root, which succeeds to perfection in the valley. Among the English Mormons are many possessed of great manufacturing skill.
Several appropriations of land and money have been made for the establishment of a university, the grounds of which are laid out and enclosed on one of the terraces of the mountain, overlooking the city. A normal school, for the education of teachers, is already in operation, and school houses have been built in most of the districts, both in the city and country.
Salt Lake City is a stopping-place for the California emigrants, a large part of whom pass through it. Distant from Council Bluffs, 171 miles; from San Francisco, 1,114 miles; from New York, via Dubuque, 2,372 miles.
* * *
A GAZETTEER OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA ; COMPRISING A PRECISE GENERAL VIEW OF THE UNITED
STATES, AND PARTICULAR DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SEVERAL STATES, TERRITORIES,
COUNTRIES, DISTRICTS, CITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES, THEIR MOUNTAINS, VALLEYS,
ISLANDS, CAPES, BAYS, HARBORS, LAKES, RIVERS, CANALS, RAILROADS, &c.;
WITH THE GOVERNMENTS AND LITERARY AND OTHER PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF THE
COUNTRY ; ALSO ITS MINERAL SPRINGS, WATERFALLS, CAVES, BEACHES, AND OTHER
FASHIONABLE RESORTS; TO WHICH ARE ADDED VALUABLE STATISTICAL TABLES, AND
A MAP OF THE UNITED STATES. BY JOHN HAYWARD. HARTFORD, CT.: CASE,
TIFFANY AND COMPANY [1851, 1853]
Transcribed, annotated by, and courtesy of the Bruce C. Cooper Collection.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, to wit: bounded on the west by the State of California, on the north by the Territory of Oregon, and on the east by the summit of the Rocky Mountains, and on the south by the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude, be, and the same is hereby, created into a temporary government, by the name of the Territory of Utah; and, when admitted as a State, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union, with or without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to inhibit the government of the United States from dividing said Territory into two or more Territories, in such manner and at such times as Congress shall deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion of said Territory to any other State or Territory of the United States.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Utah shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The governor shall reside within said Territory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs, and shall approve all laws passed by the legislative assembly before they shall take effect: he may grant pardons for offences against the laws of said Territory, and reprieves for offences against the laws of the United States, until the decision of the President can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said Territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary of said Territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States: he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor in his executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws and one copy of the executive proceedings, on or before the first day of December in each year, to the President of the United States, and, at the same time, two copies of the laws to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate, for the use of Congress. And in the case of the death, removal, resignation, or other necessary absence of the governor from the Territory, the secretary shall have, and he is hereby authorized and required to execute and perform, all the powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or necessary absence, or until another governor shall be duly appointed to fill such vacancy.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power and authority of said Territory shall be vested in the governor and a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a Council and House of Representatives. The Council shall consist of thirteen members, having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue two years. The House of Representatives shall consist of twenty-six members, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for members of the Council, and , whose term of service shall continue one year. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several coun-ties or districts, for the election of the Council and House of Representatives, giving to each section of the Territory representation in the ratio of its population, Indians excepted, as nearly as may be. And the members of the Council and of the House of Representatives shall reside in, and be inhabitants of, the district for which they may be elected respectively. Previous to the first election, the governor shall cause a census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the several counties and districts of the Territory to be taken, and the first election shall be held at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, as the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of members of the Council and House of Representatives to which each of the counties or districts shall be entitled under this act. The number of persons authorized to be elected having the highest number of votes in each of said Council districts for members of the Council, shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected to the Council; and the person or persons authorized to be elected having the highest number of votes for the House of Representatives, equal to the number to which each county or district shall be entitled, shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected members or the House of Representatives: Provided, That in case of a tie between two or more persons voted for, the governor shall order a new election to supply the vacancy made by such a tie. And the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly shall meet at such place, and on such day, as the governor shall appoint; but thereafter, the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representation in the several counties or districts to the Council and House of Representatives, according to population, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly: Provided That no one session shall exceed the term of forty days.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That every free white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident or said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, shall he entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said Territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office, at all subsequent elections, shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised only by citizens of the United States, including those recognized as citizens by the treaty with the republic of Mexico, concluded February second, eighteen hundred and forty-eight.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power of said Territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation, consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents. All the laws passed by the legislative assembly and governor shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States, and, if disapproved, shall be null and of no effect.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That all township, district, and county officers, not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, as the case may be, in such manner as shall be provided by the governor and legislative assembly of the territory of Utah. The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative Council, appoint all officers not herein otherwise provided for; and in the first instance the governor alone may appoint all said officers, who shall hold their offices until the end of the first session of the legislative assembly, and shall layoff the necessary districts for members of the Council and House of Representatives, and all other offices.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That no member of the legislative assembly shall hold or be appointed to any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term; and no person holding a commission or appointment under the United States, except postmasters, shall be a member of the legislative assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said Territory.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power of said Territory shall be vested in a Supreme Court, District Courts, Probate Courts, and in justices of the peace. The Supreme Court shall consist of a chief justice and two associate justices, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum, and who shall hold a term at the Beat of government of said Territory annually, and they shall hold their offices during the period of four years. The said Territory shall be divided into three judicial districts, and a District Court shall be held in each of said districts by one of the justices of the Supreme Court, at such time and place as may be prescribed by law; and the said judges shall, after their appointments, respectively, reside in the districts which shall be assigned them. The jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided for, both appellate and original, and that of the Probate Courts and of justices of the peace, shall be as limited by law: Provided, That justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any matter in controversy when the title or boundaries of land may be in dispute, or where the debt or sum claimed shall exceed one hundred dollars ; and the said Supreme and District Courts, respectively, shall possess chancery as well as common law jurisdiction. Each District Court, or the judge thereof, shall appoint its clerk, who shall also be the register in chancery, and shall keep his office at the place where the court may be held. Writs of error, bills of exception, and appeals shall be allowed in all cases from the final decisions of said District Courts to the Supreme Court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; but in no case removed to the Supreme Court shall trial by jury be allowed in said court. The Supreme Court, or the justices thereof, shall appoint its own clerk, and every clerk shall hold his office at the pleasure of the court for which he shall have been appointed. Writs of error, and appeals from the final decisions of said Supreme Court, shall be allowed, and may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same regulations as from the Circuit Courts of the United States, where the value of the property or the amount in controversy, to be ascertained by the oath or affirmation of either party, or other competent witness, shall exceed one thousand dollars, except only that, in all cases involving title to slaves, the said writs of error or appeals shall be allowed and decided by the said Supreme Court, without regard to the value of the matter, property, or title in controversy; and except also, that a writ of error or appeal shall also be allowed to the Supreme Court of the United States, from the decisions of the said Supreme Court created by this act or of any judge thereof or of the District Courts created by this act or of any judge thereof, upon any writ of habeas corpus involving the question of personal freedom; and each of the said District Courts shall have and exercise the same jurisdiction in all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States as is vested in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States; and the said Supreme and District Courts of the said Territory, and the respective judges thereof shall and may grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases in which the same are granted by the judges of the United States in the District of Columbia; and the first six days of every term of said courts, or so much thereof as shall be necessary. shall be appropriated to the trial of causes arising under the said Constitution and laws; and writs of error and appeal, in all such cases, shall be made to the Supreme Court of said Territory, the same as in other cases. The said clerk shall receive in all such cases the same fees which the clerks of the District Courts of Oregon Territory now receive for similar services.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an attorney for said Territory, who shall continue in office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President, and who shall receive the same fees and salary as the attorney of the United States for the present Territory of Oregon. There shall also be a marshal for the Territory appointed, who shall hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President, and who shall execute all processes issuing from the said courts, when exercising their jurisdiction as Circuit and District Courts of the United States: he shall perform the duties, be subject to the same regulation and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees as the marshal of the District Court of the United States for the present Territory of Oregon; and shall, in addition, be paid two hundred dollars annually as a compensation for extra services.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, chief justice and associate justices, attorney and marshal, shall be nominated, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed by the President of the United States. The governor and secretary to be appointed as aforesaid shall, before they act as such. respectively, take an oath or affirmation, before the district judge, or some justice of the peace in the limits of said Territory, duly authorized to administer oaths and affirmations by the laws now in force there-in or before the chief justice or some associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices ; which said oaths, when so taken, shall be certified by the person by whom the same shall have been taken, and such certificates shall be received and recorded by the said secretary among the executive proceedings; and the chief justice and associate justices, and all other civil officers in said Territory, before they act as such, shall take a like oath or affirmation, before the said governor or secretary, or some judge or justice of the peace of the Territory who may be duly commissioned and qualified, which said oath or affirmation shall be certified and transmitted, by the person taking the same, to the secretary, to be by him recorded as aforesaid; and afterwards, the like oath or affirmation shall be taken, certified, and recorded, in such manner and form as may he prescribed by law. The governor shall receive an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars as governor, and one thousand dollars as superintendent of Indian affairs. The chief justice and associate justices shall each receive an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars. The secretary shall receive an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars. The said salaries shall be paid quarter-yearly, at the treasury of the United States. The members of the legislative assembly shall be entitled to receive three dollars each per day during their attendance at the sessions thereof, and three dollars each for twenty miles' travel, in going to and returning from the said sessions, estimated according to the nearest usually travelled route. There shall be appropriated annually the sum of one thousand dollars, to be expended by the governor, to defray the contingent expenses of the Territory. There shall also be appropriated, annually, a sufficient sum, to be expended by the secretary of the Territory, and upon an estimate to be made by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, to defray the expenses of the legislative assembly, the printing of the laws, and other incidental expenses; and the secretary of the Territory shall annually account to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States for the manner in which the aforesaid sum shall have been expended.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That the legislative assembly of the Territory of Utah shall hold its first session at such time and place in said Territory as the governor thereof shall appoint and direct; and at said first session, or as soon thereafter as they shall deem expedient, the governor and legislative assembly shall proceed to locate and establish the seat of government for said Territory at such place as they may deem eligible; which place, however, shall thereafter be, subject to be changed by the said governor and legislative assembly. And the sum of twenty thousand dollars, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, is hereby appropriated and granted to said Territory of Utah to be applied by the governor and legislative assembly to the erection of suitable public buildings at the seat of government.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That a delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States, to serve during each Congress of the United States, may be elected by the voters qualified to elect members of the legislative assembly, who shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as are exercised and enjoyed by the delegates from the several other Territories of the United States to the said House of Representatives. The first election shall be held at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, as the governor shall appoint and direct; and at all subsequent elections, the times, places, and manner of holding the elections shall be prescribed by law. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected, and a certificate thereof shall be given accordingly : Provided, That said delegate shall receive no higher sum for mileage than is allowed by law to the delegate from Oregon.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That the sum or five thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be expended by and under the direction of the said governor of the territory of Utah, in the purchase of a library, to be kept at the seat of government for the use of the governor, legislative assembly, judges of the Supreme Court, secretary, marshal, and attorney of said Territory, and such other persons, and under such regulations, as shall be prescribed by law.
SEC. 15. And be it further enacted, That when the lands in the said Territory shall be surveyed under the direction of the government of the United States preparatory to bringing the same into market, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in each township in said Territory shall be, and the same are hereby, reserved for the purpose of being applied to schools in said Territory, and in the States and Territories hereafter to be erected out of the same.
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That temporarily, and until otherwise provided by law, the governor of said Territory may define the judicial districts of said Territory, and assign the judges who maybe appointed for said Territory to the several districts, and also appoint the times and places for holding courts in the several counties or subdivisions in each of said judicial districts, by proclamation to be issued by him; but the legislative assembly, at their first or any subsequent session, may organize, alter, or modify such judicial districts, and assign the judges, and alter the times and places of holding the courts, as to them shall seem proper and convenient.
SEC.17. And be it further enacted, That the Constitution and laws of the United States are hereby extended over and declared to be in force in said Territory of Utah, so far as the same, or any provision thereof, may be applicable.
APPROVED, September 9, 1850.