Who were the Mormons and why was Salt Lake City unique? 1830 USA Who were the Mormons? The Mormons were set up by Joseph Smith. He had become confused by preachers in America trying to spread God’s word but they did not say the same things. Joseph believed he was visited by an angel who told him to go to a hill side and dig up golden plates that had God’s word on them. The plates were different from the bible and said the Israelites (Jews) went to America before Jesus was born and fought each other until Jesus appeared and made a church there. Years later fighting started again and one of the few left was a man called Mormon. He recorded the stories on the plates and it was up to the person who found them (Joseph Smith) to restore the true church so Jesus would begin his 1,000 year reign. Why were they unpopular in the East (New York, Ohio) The fact Joseph Smith didn’t let anyone see the plates and told the story behind a sheet made people suspicious. He published the Book of Mormon in 1830. Many Christians found it blasphemous and attacked his house. He was seen in New York as a charming con artist trying to make money. Kirtland, Ohio In Kirtland the Mormon movement went for strength to strength. By 1831 it had 1000 members and small communities around Missouri. There success was their undoing- they worked hard, owned a mill, a store, a bank, and printing press. They soon outgrew the “Gentiles” and they began to envy and hate the Mormons. It looked like they would take over everything and normal Christians saw their ways of “Performing miracles” and “talking to angels” as corrupting their town. Kirtland continued After praying to God, he moved to Kirtland, Ohio and tried to set up a “City of God”. It was successful with more people being Mormons than not. (Gentiles). However, when the Mormon bank, as well as normal ones, collapsed. Non- Mormons attacked the people who they blamed for losing their money…, the Mormons. Missouri The Mormons went Missouri but were not well received there and riots broke out and property damage. Mormons were rumoured to free slaves and stir trouble with native Americans. Smith was imprisoned. Nauvoo, Illinois They moved to their own city called Nauvoo and did well there with nice buildings, healthy living and no poverty. They created a huge temple and tried to create a perfect society. No smoking or drinking or crime. There was no poor or homeless because they all cooperated and were honest. By 1844 they had 33,000 members. They governed themselves and had there own army the “Nauvoo Legion.” Their success was that they kept themselves to themselves. Nauvoo continued and Joseph Smith’s death. BUT Smith started having lots of wives and saying God said so, this made him unpopular. And seeing many of the converts were women seeking sanctuary from Europe it was seen as taking advantage. People were already suspicious because they kept to themselves!! Now they were breaking God’s law to non Mormons and even Mormons themselves thought he was a fake! He was taken to jail and in June 1845 a mob broke in and killed him. Brigham Young and the journey West. Brigham Young become the new leader and was convinced the Mormons would never be left in peace in the East. So they decided to go along the Oregon Trail to the most isolated place by the Great Salt Lake. The added attraction was that part of the Rockies was still owned by the Mexicans and outside of US law. They agreed to leave Nauvoo in Spring 1846 as long as until then they were left alone. The journey so far… Exam question Why did the Mormons move out to the West? The decision had 2 problems; 1. how do you get 16, 000 Mormons across the Plains and up the Rockies? 2. how would they turn the salt flats into a rich thriving community? Young was a brilliant organiser- (he’d organised the move to Nauvoo from Kirtland.) He was a determined man. Also he was consideratehe married 8 of Smiths widows! He had 27 in total!! Wagons we built. Oxen were bought, and food and equipment were collected. In Feb 1846 a pioneer band left to set up a checkpoint called Camp of Israel, Iowa. The rest of the Mormons would meet there once organised. Once they left the Camp of Israel they started to leave in wagon trains made up of hundreds of wagons. In charge would be a captain and his lieutenants. Every now and then the first who set off would set up check points with carpenters and blacksmiths so when those left behind got there they could have repairs, supplies and move on. By June 1846 this chain of little settlement soon stretched 500 km along the journey up to the Missouri River. Young set up a Winter camp with thousands of cabins for everyone to stay. Most the Mormons had reached there by the Autumn due to the excellently planned network. The winter on the Prairies was awful and food and fuel was short in the bitter cold. By Spring 1847 plague and bitter cold had killed 700. In April 1847 took a scouting party who had good endurance, farmer and craftsman the rest of the way despite being told that it was impossible to grow crops and other places were better. He believed God had told him to go his way and by July 1847 they reached Salt Lake. The journey continued They would get up at 5am and travel until 8.30- then bed by 9pm! Salt Lake City- why so organised? Set up by new leader Brigham Young. It was intended to produce, manufacture and make everything the Mormons needed. No need to see the outside world. It was set up by religious people so the temple was in the centre of the city. The city was planned around this. The nearest houses were given small plots of land and were for young ARTISANS who had little time to work on the land. (5 acres) the city had ringed areas. Around the square land was blocked off all the same size. These were divided up for houses and gardens and given to small families or elderly couples. (8 acres) As the city spread out more land was given to larger families. (10- 80 acres.) What does this map tell you? The importance of working together and water Water was ESSENTIAL. The Mormons worked together to build a main irrigation ditch throughout the farming land. Side ditches were dug so that all the land could be irrigated. Each person was given an exact time from when to draw water. With such well laid out homes and cooperation each house had water for themselves and farming. THE LAND WASN’T FERTILE AND NOW IT WAS!!! Housing and streets. This is important! The city was very well planned. All the houses were made out of brick and of a good standard compared to other settlers. The houses were neat and different buildings had different purposes. The streets were well planned also as we can see in the earlier map. Long straight roads and split into blocks to make transport easier. 1887- 20 years in and they have this great city- how organised is that!!! Deseret (means honeybee) Everything seemed to be going great BUT in 1846 the US government took control of the area after defeating Mexico in war. Young decided to create a state and called it Deseret and applied to join the United States. The US refused to recognise Deseret. They compromised- Utah was created as a territory NOT A STATE. Young would be governor, but gentiles were to be in government with him. For now it seemed the Mormons had found their place of peace. Mormons spread across Utah Young wanted Mormons all over Utah. When a new town was made a party was sent to dig irrigation ditches and mark out farms. These included Carson City and Las Vegas. Then settlers were selected from a balanced number of farmers, craftsman and shopkeepers. They were self sufficient and wheat production increased three times over from 1850- 60. Again cooperation and a shared goal was the key to success! The Perpetual Emigrating Fund For the Mormon settlement to develop further more people were needed. Young missionairies were sent to Europe, Far East and South America to get converts. They appealed to the poor and from England alone almost 33,000 people came. The Perpetual Emigrating Fund was set up to pay for the passage to Salt Lake. Money was lent to immigrants to come over and paod back once they reached Utah. They were provided with oxen and wagons and used the existing checkpoints. Exam question How important was Brigham Young in helping the Mormons overcome the problems of establishing a permanent settlement at Salt Lake City in the years 1842-1858? Explain your answer. - The Church allocated land to each family - An independent state of Deseret was requested in 1848 - The Perpetual Emigration scheme was set up in 1854. Mormon failures They fell behind industrially due to not enough money for machinery or workers. They set up textile factories, pottery works and iron works to produce their own goods. Education was bad due to not enough money and many parents only wanted their children to go to school for 3 months a year because they were needed on the farm! The Mormon War The Mormons were getting a lot more members moving West and tensions with the outside world grew. The Mormons were accused of overcharging outsiders for supplies and ferry crossings. Prejudice led to rumours growing about Mormons wanting to kill all gentiles and were giving guns to the Indians to help them. Brigham Young had supreme authority in Utah and had been bending the rules and this coupled with the rumours led to suspicions from the US government. The US sent an army of 2500 men to march to the Mormons. The Mormons saw this as soldier coming to kill them and destroy their homes. They deserted their homes and begun guerrilla warfare against the US army. They were so successful Salt Lake City wasn’t taken. The Mountain Meadow Massacre It was a time of extreme tension. 140 emigrants were passing through on the way to California. They didn’t like Mormons and abused Indians who had become Mormons by letting their cattle into their fields and calling the women “Whores”. The Indians killed 7 of them and the rest barricaded themselves in. The Indians sent for 50 Mormons to help them. They decided to kill them all to stop the news getting out! The Mormons blamed the Indians but no one believed them and soon newspaper headlines across the US were screaming for the Mormons to be dealt with. Results of the massacre Panic spread across Utah. Many Mormon families fled and surprisingly people from the East felt sorry for them. The US government said they would pardon them if… They accepted the authority of the US government. The governor would be a gentile. If the Mormons agreed they would be left in peace. One disagreement remained.. Polygamy- what was polygamy? The US government had passed a law in 1862 it had been made illegal and Utah had ignored it. However, in 1892 Utah asked to be a STATE of the US and the price for admission was to ban polygamy. They agreed and in 1896 Utah become a state. Part of the United STATES.