If These Walls Could Talk: Fillmore’s appointment leads to Buchanan’s conflict
President Millard Fillmore
September 28th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

If These Walls Could Talk: Fillmore’s appointment leads to Buchanan’s conflict

Utah’s path to statehood was not an easy one. Because of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ early acceptance of polygamy (the practice of having multiple wives that was outlawed in the United States), there was much skepticism of Mormons in the 1800s.

As a way to assert control over the territory, President Millard Fillmore named Brigham Young, a leader in the Mormon’s migration west, as governor of the territory on this day in 1850 in the hopes that Young would be the federal government’s representative.

Young’s governorship was, in effect, a compromise for statehood. Initially, Young asked Congress to create the “State of Deseret” – a sweeping area that would have included nearly all of Nevada, as well as parts of Arizona, Colorado and California. As part of the Compromise of 1850 – a compilation of bills that hoped to diffuse tensions between slave- and non-slave states – the Utah territory was established.

While acting as governor, Young also was the president of the LDS church. In this role, Young instructed missionaries to build settlements in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and even as far south as Mexico. As a nod to the man who gave him his position, Young named first capitol of the Utah territory Fillmore.

But within just eight short years after becoming governor, the relationship between the federal government and Utah began to sour.

By 1858, the fact that Young was directing both spiritual and economic matters in the new Utah territory began to worry James Buchanan. As pressure from politicians in Washington – both Democrats and Republicans – began to mount, Buchanan decided to send Alfred Cumming, a non-Mormon, to replace Young as governor of the Utah territory.

In addition to Cumming, Buchanan sent 2,500 federal troops to Utah.

Expectedly, this was not met with great thanks from Young and the Mormon settlers. In response, Mormon raiders destroyed army supplies as they marched across the United States. As the federal troops approached Salt Lake City, war seemed evident, causing nearly 30,000 Mormons in March of 1858 to leave the area and move south – to Provo, Utah. Their move was in vain, however, as the Utah War had no true battles.

With pressure mounting, Young ceded the governorship to Cummings in April of 1858. In return, Buchanan issued a presidential proclamation of amnesty to those Mormons who had revolted.

Although this marked a cooling of tensions between Mormons in Utah and the skeptical federal government, strains continued in the relationship. It took almost 50 years after Young’s appointment as governor for Utah to become a state.

In one of the final hurdles to Utah’s statehood, President Grover Cleveland in 1894 issued a presidential proclamation that pardoned Mormons who had been convicted of polygamy. This move came just four years after the church decided to no longer condone polygamous marriages.

A year after this proclamation, Utah’s constitution was approved. Several months later, on January 4, 1896, Utah became the 45th state.


Topics: White House

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. RealityBites

    Meanwhile..., in real news.

    Intelligence source on the ground in Libya say that no threat assessment was conducted by the State Department before U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team m,oved into the Libyan Embassy— describing the security lapses as a 'total failure.'

    September 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Howard

      The Obama cover-up of the Libya terrorism, and murder of our Ambassador and Seals ... along with his throwing Israel under the bus ... is just one more reason why this poor excuse for a President ... has got to be dumped in November.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • Howard

        OBAMA LIED and covered up the terrorist murders in Lybia ...
        What else has he lied about ... and, covered up ... in his
        desperate attempt to hold onto power !!!

        September 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • jean2009

        Bush lied and told us there were WMD in Iraq, and 4,800+ Americans lost their lives. At this point, we don't know if the White House lied, or if they were waiting to have all the facts....GEE! don't we all wish the Bush White House had waited for all the facts?

        September 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Howard

      WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT ???
      If Iran gets the nuke ... and, gives dirty bombs to it's terrorist buddies ... it will dwarf all other concerns ... affecting the entire world ... but, Obama doesn't have time to address this problem ...

      September 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        Gee Howard, people were saying that about China. People could say it about the U.S., too. Israel has the bomb and is fearful of Iran, Iran is fearful and suspious of Israel and her allies and we're a bit naive if we think they don't want to be on even-footing in the area because of it. The people that can change Iran are the Iranians and they are more likely to do that than you think. Our sanctions against their government can only go so far short of all-out war. Which, in all likelihood, will not turn the tide in our favor, nor Israel's.
        Not that Iran will come away unscathed but, they have their friends, too. All-in-all it all sucks. Their will be NO WINNERS!! In that area, our interests have been about oil and geo-politcal positioning. Terrorism is done by both sides and we all suffer the consquences. War is hell and I think everything that can be done by the citizens of our countries to force the leaders on all sides to produce an honest assessment of the problems and livable solutions that will lead to long-term peace SHOULD BE HEARD not just the voices of whatever leader heads any of our countries. I call on Iranians, Israelis and the American PUBLIC TO DEMAND an end to the posturing, and chest-thumping for war. It serves no one to continue down the path of certain destruction for our peoples, our economies and our future security. We also need to address those that profit financially by the huge expenditures the WAR MACHINES stand to benefit from by their business of producing weapons of destruction around the world WHO SELLTO ALL SIDES and manipulate the conversation to keep themselves in business! That would be a 'REAL' CITIZENS UNITED MOVEMENT.

        September 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Charlotte

        W T*F would you know about it? Obama doesn't give you a private briefing about what he is or is not concerned with and by the content of your rant, you clearly aren't in posession of either facts or rational thought allowing you the capability of sorting through facts and coming to any sort of credible conclusion. You just want to spew your venom and parade your embarrassingly huge amount of ignorance. Nobody thinks you have anything worth saying why not go and get an education before you start slobbering all over discussions (like many of your cohorts, it looks like, based on the ignorant and brainless attacks here against the Administration without any verifiable facts to back up their nonsense).

        September 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  2. Frank Marshall Davis

    Thanks for the history CNN but shouldn't you be looking into Obama's bumbling in Libya? Did an ambassador die for nothing?

    September 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Howard

      A MILLION 'OBAMA CELL PHONES' WERE GIVEN AWAY IN OHIO ... TALK ABOUT BUYING VOTES WITH TAX PAYER'S MONEY.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • Charlotte

        another manure sack of a comment. Obama has given away no cell phones. This is a fiction that is being propagated by the likes of Rushiestink and Fux Noise. People like YOU are what is wrong with this country. Go and read for a change and get your putrid nose out of the rightwing noise blogs. Try looking for facts. THEN make a statement, based on facts. You people are really putrid.

        September 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • jean2009

        Howard-Facts are something you always lack. Your posts consist of whatever is the latest hoax email circulating the web that you can latch onto...but in the end it is the facts that bring you down. Facts are a mighty tool!

        The Telecommunications Bill of 1996 is the legistation that included legistation about cell-phone and other electronic access for all people who need it including those on Indian Reservations, the elderly, and the poor. To qualify the person's income needs to be below 135% of the poverty level. These basic phones with limited minutes are provided through grants from the Universal Service Fund which is a non-profit independent corporation serving several providers. The first phones provided were through LifeLine in 1997, but similar programs existed as early as 1985 (REAGAN ERA). The 1996 Act program was enhanced in 2005 under the Bush Administration, and the first cell phones were provided through LifeLine, Safe Link, Virgin (Assurance Mobile), and others and it started in full force during 2008. .

        This law includes sections that had everyone with old analog TV's buying a digital converter so their old TV would still work after February 2009, the updated regulations also had public libraries putting in computers available for public use. The Tellecommunications Bill of 1996, actually built on previous communications bills which regulate the FCC. It updated laws passed during the terms of Franklin Roosevelt (Communications Act of 1934) and Woodrow Wilson. So do you call it a "Wilson phone"?

        You can actually read not just one but several articles on this subject online...and you probably know that but you seem to enjoy posting "misinformation". (*Notice my use of a kinder term)

        You could also read....Is the Bush Administration Finally Getting Serious About Broadband? 4/28/2004

        Well Bush did, and it is policy that really brought into play what you should be calling "Bush phones".
        I for one approve of his move, since if you expect poor people to be able to call 911 or to find a job, a phone is as much a necessity as computer access.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • jean2009

        For clarification the Reagan Admiinstration program involved was the setting up of the Universal Service Administration Corporation (USAC) – Lifeline Program that was approved within in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Act of 1984, which reduced monthly phone fees for low income consumers on their regular landline phones.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        October 2, 2012 at 7:04 am |
  3. NOvember2012

    wow...lets talk about the Mormon church... could it be cnn is pro-obama...no not that! No wonder they are loosing credibility, they just aren't credible...a communistic hack news source now compariable to the middle eastern media. Sad day for America.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Howard

      Romney stands for personal responsibility, which built America, and which can rebuild America ... as opposed to Obama, who is turning America into a welfare nanny state, and who has already squandered over 6 TRILLION of OUR hard earned tax dollars ... only to do it again, if he gets reelected !!!

      September 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • Charlotte

        That's right. You should pack up and go to Somalia tonight. Don't come back.

        September 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • papanez

      You know what's really sad? Ignorant comments about a president that doesn't exist. Why can't the GOP and the right wing nut jobs actually run against President Obama instead of a character the far right invented? I guess it may have to do with the GOP's anti-education stance, FOX News' Let's create our own facts, policy, or the rest of the loons out there who have no new ideas, lack courage, and take issue with this president's heritage. Grow up. There is only one honest and real choice for the USA, and that's President Barack H. Obama!
      Obama/Biden 2012

      October 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  4. DEcember 2012

    TYPICAL OF THESE REPUBLITARDS HERE, NO RESPECT FOR OUR NATION'S HISTORY. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT SO MUCH THEN YOU ARE FREE TO LEAVE. MAYBE THE FEW GOOD REMAINING REPUBLICANS CAN FINALLY SET THE SHIP RIGHT.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • november2012

      hey dopey...no one is criticizing the history...just the timing of this little partisan article. Lets see CNN report on obama's muslim roots...and the fact his mother, grandparents, and mentors were commies. Put down your crack pipe before you come in here and vomit your goofy diatribes.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        PARTISAN? YOUR IMAGINATION MUST BE GOING INTO HYPER DRIVE. YOU MIGHT WANT TO LAY OFF THE RED BULL FOR A WHILE.

        THE ONLY ONE BEING PARTISAN HERE IS YOU AND YOUR FELLOW REPUBLITARDS.

        September 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
      • Frank Marshall Davis

        He's a complete idiot, leeching off of the system. He worships Obama unconditionally and is completely unreachable, best to just ignore him, like you would a two year old.

        September 29, 2012 at 8:08 am |
      • DEcember 2012

        THE ONLY IDIOTS HERE ARE REPUBLITARDS WHO CANNOT EVEN STAY ON TOPIC BECAUSE THEY ARE FOAMING AT THE MOUTH WITH MINDLESS HATRED FOR THE PRESIDENT.

        YOU ONLY HAVE TO LOOK AT YOUR COMMENTS HERE TO REALIZE JUST HOW TRULY STUPID YOU ARE BUT YOU CANNOT REASON WITH MORONS BLINDED BY HATRED.

        NOW PLEASE, STOP POSTING HERE AND GO BACK TO YOUR KLAN VOTER SUPPRESSION MEETINGS.

        September 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
      • Jay in NC

        @ December2012,
        "TRULY STUPID YOU ARE BUT YOU CANNOT REASON WITH MORONS BLINDED BY HATRED"

        That is hate speech. You call someone stupid and morons. You are the one that is blinded by hatred.

        September 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        NO HATE, JUST STATEMENT OF FACTS. YOU KNOW, THE STUFF REPUBLITARDS WON'T BE BEHOLDEN TO.

        September 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • Charlotte

        commie = good. sh1th3ad republicans like DecemberNNNN = bad. No brains. No bothering to check facts. SOOOoooo gullible that they swallow all the nonsense their gods are spewing at them. It's really kind of cute, have you ever seen anything so adorable since a baby soiling itself? AND so predictable. They don't know anything, they just believe, hook, line and sinker, what they are told to believe, yup, just bob their empty heads up and down so you can hear the dust mites rattling around in the empty space therein. It's a pity they have mouths. And it's a pity they see left-wing conspiracy in everything from suggesting people eat more healthy food to reporting on historical facts about a witless fake religious cult that is just as silly as all the other cults (Christianity, Jews, Islam....)

        September 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Howard

      TYPICAL OBAMA STOOGE ... Obama has continually disrespected America's history, traditions, and constitution. Obama and you Obama stooges disrespect those who sacrifice the most for our country, including our military, and our tax payers ... If anybody should get out ... it's you Obama stooges, and free loaders who pay not taxes, and expect everything to be handed to them by those who do pay taxes. Just think how successful America would be, if it didn't have to carry 'dead weight' like YOU !!!

      September 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Frank Marshall Davis

    CABLE NEWS RACE
    SEPT. 27, 2012

    FOXNEWS O'REILLY 2,841,000
    FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,511,000
    FOXNEWS BAIER 2,185,000
    FOXNEWS GRETA 2,080,000
    FOXNEWS FIVE 1,960,000
    FOXNEWS SHEP 1,857,000
    CMDY DAILY SHOW 1,832,000
    CMDY COLBERT 1,295,000
    MSNBC MADDOW 1,284,000
    MSNBC SCHULTZ 1,235.000
    MSNBC O'DONNELL 1,204,000
    FOXNEWS FOX/FRIENDS 1,149,000
    CNN PIERS 670,000
    MSNBC MORNING JOE 552,000
    CNN COOPER 477,000

    September 29, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • DEcember 2012

      RUPERT MURDOCH IS LAUGHING HIS AZZ OFF ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK. HE COULD CARE LESS ABOUT AMERICAN POLITICS.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  6. Sheon1

    What cover up? Shouldn't the government be allowed to gather the FACTS before issuing a report?
    That is called an investigation, which I expect my government to do before running off at the mouth!

    September 29, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • jean2009

      A thorough investigation also keeps knowledgeable administrations from dashing off to war without knowing all the facts....may I point out "nonexistent WMD".

      October 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  7. november2012

    @frank Marshall... after the mid terms in 2010 obama was in shock, actually walked around in a daze. He could not believe what happened. He is a narcissists (a personality disorder) and acts accordingly. Now, we all know the polls mean little.
    we know there are many dems, gop, and independents who will not tell anyone they wont vote for this black man. We also know the undecideds will not vote for obama and we know the youth vote will not turn out (they are looking for work). If you look in the back ground at obamas' campaign speeches you will see it full of blacks (set up for the photo op) and at times hispanics...this shows how desperate obama is...he has to pose as though he has that support and it is waining, even blacks will not turn out like they did...they know next year there will be entitlement reform and they are going to get it no matter what, and they know obama is not one of them, he is not atypical African America...more like an indonesian/muslim. So, even the ignorant (DEcember) are catching a sense of this as obama circles the drain.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  8. november2012

    @frank.....obama is circling the drain. Even the ignorant know this.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      You would think CNN would re-evaluate their whole line up, they're getting horrible ratings. Piers Morgan recently damned our 22nd Amendment saying Bill Clinton should get to be "Ruler" here for 30 years. It's no wonder his numbers are pathetic, they should ship him back to England.

      September 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • Steveo

        Perhaps he thought everyone should have a King and Queen. Could it be because he replaced a (Larry) King? Maybe he had a "colonies" flashback! I'd rather see Mr. Bean doing the interviews! OK that's enough for now!

        September 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        OH COME ON, I AM SURE HE WAS BEING FACETIOUS. SPEAKING OF WHICH, WHY DO WE HAVE PROM 'KINGS' AND 'QUEENS'? WHY NOT PROM 'PRESIDENT' AND 'FIRST LADY'? IT IS SIMPLY UN-AMERICAN!

        October 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Steveo

        Are you that wound up over my joke? Slow down, my friend! Just a joke!

        October 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        I KNOW MAN, I WAS JUST BEING FACETIOUS.

        October 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • Steveo

        OK just checking!

        October 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  9. Cynthia L.

    Los Angeles Times today – Voter registration forms found in TEN Florida counties have been identified as suspicous and possilbly fraudulent by Election Officals who found they were turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida.

    News out of Colorado of a girl claiming to be working for the Clerk's Office registering voters who were Romney supporters only. ON CAMERA.

    September 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • jean2009

      Oh I'm sure the GOP did it during previous elections too.....they just finally got caught. It was probably part of the reason that SCOTUS got to settle the 2000 election.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Steveo

        I remember Florida 2000 and I also remember how officials were trying anything to give the election to Gore! Pregnant chads, hanging chads, made up chads, non existent chad, invisable chads!, fake chads!

        News flash Jean, Gore could not even win his OWN state! it was all about the chad!

        October 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        Gore won the popular vote by 500 million. Florida screwed up and the voting there should have been a do-over. Charges of voter suppression and unjust purging of qualified voters from the records were rampant and proven. The Supreme Court lost the confidence of the American people by unfairly stepping into our free elections. Period.

        The same voter registration organization being paid by the Republican Party to collect registration forms in this latest scandal had been ASKED BY the RNC to CHANGE their ORGANIZATION'S NAME this year,so that voters would not remember that this same organization had been in some hot water before in the 2008 elections when they were investigated for DESTROYING the VOTER FORMS of Democrats in the states they were paid by the Republican party to collect, leading to people showing up at the polls thinking they had been registered and turned away because those registration forms never made it to the Clerk's office in the first place. Voter registration legally CANNOT be collected for just one party.

        October 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        CORRECTION – Gore won the popular vote by 1/2 Million. Enough to make people wonder why the Supremes stepped in. Florida screwed up the count, screwed registered voters by purging them from voter registration records claiming they were felons or dead when they were not. Guess what, those voters were Democrats. Guess who was Governor of Florida at the time? - JEB BUSH. Right now Republicans are pushing for the continued use DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINES that are proven to be VULNERABLE TO TAMPERING.
        VOTERS BEWARE.

        October 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
      • Steveo

        @Cynthia L.

        Gore won the popular vote by 500 million
        --------
        So what! Ever heard of the Electorial College! THAT is how Presidents get elected !

        October 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  10. Frank Marshall Davis

    Just saw 201,. it's all in Obama's own words and from his own books and speeches. Only the truly delusional can deny it, Obama has for his whole life surrounded himself with like-minded leftists and constantly believed in it. He hides it when he has to and most of the time outright lies about it. If he gets re-elected we'll easily hit the $20trillion debt mark.

    September 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      201=2016

      September 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • november2012

      I saw it also, and yes very well done. Proves obama simply does not have an American brain and is no more an Africa American than a man in the moon... not a representative of black, brown, or white Americans.

      September 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        Yawn.

        October 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Frankly, FIllmore blew it. The followers of Joseph Smith left the United States and settiled in Mexico, as Mexico owned all the lands that now make the American Southwest. They did so with full permission of the Mexican government. Mexico was aware that they would not have the same problem wiht these disenfranchised people that they had with American settlers in their former state of Texas.
    During our war with Mexico in the late 1840s, the Mormons promised Mexico they would not raise a hand to support the United States. Therefore when Mexico ceded the territory that the Mormons live in, they effectively took over lands that housed people who by any other standard would have been considered traitors, ranking with the Tories of the American Revolution. Rather than accepting their "surrender" President Polk should have ordered a full military occupation of the territory, and arrested Young and the other Mormon leaders.

    September 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • november2012

      and...what are you getting at? These people were persecuted for their beliefs...and moved out west from Ill., settled in a land no one wanted and then prospered and continue to do so today...I know, my great great grandfather lead the 8th hand cart company in 1854.

      September 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
      • jean2009

        Well I dare say, the native American Indians and the Mexican population in that area might disagree on whose land it was and how they felt about the Mormons.

        Suggested reading: The Signature Books Library-Establishing Zion – Chapter 6 – by Eugene E. Campbell
        "The Mormons and the Indians – Ideals Versus Realities"
        Or study Chief Walker and the Utes – The Walker War of 1853-1854, and the Black Hawk War of 1865-1872

        October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • november2012

        @jean....I have news for you. The indians and mexican lost...they were defeated and most of them did not have to be defeated, they preferred to live in a western style...you can twist and politicalize it as you may...but it is all a dead issue. These attacks on Mormonism are clearly political and disgusting...that is the issue. Below the belt and disgusting.

        October 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  12. icons set

    So simply does not happen

    October 8, 2012 at 9:25 am |