Slavery in Utah

211 Primary Sources

Date
Summary
1823

Virginian law states that slave status is inherited from the mother.

1825

Louisiana Legislature places ownership of children born to slaves with the enslaved mother's owner.

Sep 15, 1829

Mexico abolishes slavery.

Feb 1831 - Mar 1831

Joseph adds that Canaan is cursed with a "vail of darkness" in his Bible translation.

1832

The 1832 Mississippi Constitution contains slave codes.

Jul 1833

Phelps says "we have no special rule in the church, as to people of color."

Jul 16, 1833

Evening and Morning Star reports policy of not admitting Black people to the state or Church.

Jul 29, 1833

John Whitmer describes violence against Mormons in Missouri.

Dec 1833

Phelps describes the violence faced by Mormons in Missouri.

Dec 1833

W. W. Phelps records a letter from a group of Missourians to Latter-day Saints.

Dec 16, 1833

Joseph Smith reveals "it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another."

1835

The 1835 D&C says "it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another."

1835

Wilford Woodruff lists Lydia Walker as a member of the Eagle Creek Branch.

Apr 9, 1836

Joseph Smith discusses slavery in a letter to Oliver Cowdery.

Oct 27, 1838

Lilburn Boggs directs John B. Clark to carry out the extermination order.

1839

Times and Seasons gives a description of Missourian violence against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1833.

Jan 26, 1844 - Feb 7, 1844

Joseph Smith lists his views on emancipation in his campaign pamphlet.

1845 - 1854

List of enslaved individuals in Brigham's papers.

May 11, 1846

James K. Polk explains why he wishes to declare war on Mexico.

May 13, 1846

The United States declares war against Mexico.

1847

Florida law describing punishment for unlawful assemblies.

1847

Congressional act abolishing slavery in U.S. territories.

1847

Congressional act creating Utah Territory.

1847

Florida laws circumscribed ownership of certain property by slaves.

1847 - 1853

Wilford Woodruff records entering the Salt Lake Valley.

1847

Pioneer emigration records list Green Flake.

1847

Entry for Oscar (Smith) Crosby in pioneer company records describes him as "colored."

Apr 16, 1847

Heber C. Kimball notes Hark Lay, Oscar Crosby, and Green Flake in his pioneer company.

1848

South Carolina laws regulate the assembling of both enslaved and free African Americans.

1848

List of John Bankhead's family in a wagon company roster includes 11 "servants" (slaves).

1848

List of Francis McKown's family in a wagon company roster includes 2 slaves.

1848

Pioneer company records include Hark Lay (Wales).

1848

South Carolina forbids teaching slaves to read.

Feb 2, 1848

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War.

Feb 26, 1848

An 1848 Alabama law requires masters to provide adequate food and clothing for slaves.

Mar 6, 1848

Alabama act prohibits slaves from traveling independently of their masters.

Jun 1848

List of members of John Brown's pioneer company of 10.

1849 - 1881

Charles C. Rich's papers include bond relating to a man named Richard.

1849

Virginia law forbids interracial marriages.

Jul 19, 1849

Brigham says that Utahans are averse to slavery.

Nov 27, 1849

Wilford Woodruff writes a letter to Thomas L. Kane about slavery.

1850

The United States Slave Schedule lists Agnes Flake's slaves in Utah.

1850

List of slaves in Weber county in the 1850 census, shows "none" (original and copy).

1850

List of slaves in Tooele in the Official 1850 census, lists "none."

1850

Official Davis County 1850 Census Schedule 2 lists the number of slaves as "none."

1850

The 1850 census (official) lists of slaves in Iron County.

1850

Official 1850 census schedule 2 lists the number of slaves in Salt Lake County.

1850

The draft 1850 census lists slaves in Salt Lake County and Davis County.

1850

John Burton is listed as a member of Joseph Robinson's household in the 1850 census.

1850

The official 1850 US Census includes an entry for Green Flake.

1850

List of slaves in the draft 1850 census for Utah Green River Precinct, shows "none."

1850

San Pete County's official 1850 census shows no slaves living in the county (original and copy).

1850

The 1850 US Census lists slaves listed in Utah County (draft and official).

Jan 9, 1850

Henry Clay's introduces the resolution which began the Compromise of 1850.

Jul 3, 1850

John M. Bernhisel reports to Brigham on events in Washington, D.C.

Dec 15, 1850

Orson Hyde explains Utah servitude laws.

1851

Brigham Young advises the residents of Iron County to buy and raise Indian children.

1851

William Crosby summarizes the Green Flake episode.

Mar 12, 1851

Brigham Young tells William Crosby that he does not support slave trading in Utah and comments on Green Flake.

Jun 1, 1851

Wilford Woodruff records Brigham condemning slavery but maintaining that Black people must be servants.

Jan 1, 1852

Utah Territorial Legislature legalizes slavery in the territory.

1852

Brigham Young addresses Native American slavery in an address to the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Jan 5, 1852

Brigham explains slave law in Utah.

Jan 5, 1852

Brigham expresses his views on slavery in the margins of the document.

Jan 11, 1852

Brigham Young explains how Sally Kahpeputz Young came into his household.

Jan 23, 1852

Brigham gives reasons for Black "service" laws.

Jan 23, 1852

Brigham explains his support for servitude.

Jan 23, 1852

Brigham expresses opposition to slave abuse and support for Black service.

Jan 23, 1852

Brigham explains why he disapproves of American slavery but says life is better for them than others in Europe.

Jan 27, 1852

Transcription of Orson Pratt's antislavery speech.

Feb 5, 1852

Brigham explains his support for slavery.

Feb 5, 1852

Brigham speaks on the need to treat "the seed of Cain" well as servants.

Jun 13, 1852

Spanish Fork Ward records include rebaptism records for Marinda Redd and Amy.

Dec 25, 1852

Brigham defends servitude in Utah and advocates for a type of segregation to create unity.

Jul 21, 1854

Amasa Lyman, writing for Agnes Flake, asks for Green Flake to be returned.

Aug 19, 1854

Brigham comments on Green Flake's health.

Nov 4, 1854

Record of Amy's death.

May 10, 1855

In his diary, Charles C. Rich says he has a "negro."

Nov 2, 1855

David Lewis' probate record lists 2 Native American boys and 3 people of color.

1856

Entry in Brigham's journal for Williams Camp's case.

Mar 23, 1856

Brigham says to "keep blacks out."

Mar 23, 1856

Brigham considers "children of Ham" to be destined for "perpetual slavery."

Jun 16, 1856 - Jun 18, 1856

Elias Smith records his involvement in the Williams Camp court case.

Jun 16, 1856

Edwin D. Woolley charges Williams Camp with kidnapping Dan (an African American).

Jul 10, 1856

Probate registration of Daniel Camp by Williams Camp.

Jul 10, 1856

Probate registration for Shepherd by Diannah Camp.

Jul 10, 1856

William Taylor Dennis affidavit for Williams Camp's ownership of Shepherd.

Jul 10, 1856

Bill of sale documents transfer of a slave from Abraham O. Smoot to Thomas S. Williams.

Jul 10, 1856

Probate registry for Jerry, Caroline, and Tampian by Duritha Lewis.

Jul 10, 1856

Probate registration for Shepherd by Williams Camp.

1857

Mississippi's 1857 codes on slave criminal offenses.

Jan 8, 1857

John Brown lists a servant as one of his assets.

Jan 8, 1857

In a consecration deed, William Taylor Dennis lists an "African Servant."

Apr 12, 1857

Entry for Betty Brown's rebaptism in the Lehi Ward's records indicates that she is "colored".

Apr 12, 1857

Lehi Ward records include baptismal record for Nancy Lines Dennis.

Aug 9, 1857

Brigham includes "n---er stealing" among the "treasonous" actions of which other Americans could be accused.

Aug 9, 1857

John Taylor disparages abolitionists and underground railroad.

Aug 23, 1857

John Taylor disparages abolitionism and "n---er stealing."

1858

Thomas Cobb says that there are not laws against raping an enslaved woman in the United States.

Jan 24, 1858

Ezra T. Benson holds that the Saints will not involve themselves in freeing Black people from enslavement.

1858

Nelson Winch Green reports Smith's recollections of the existence of enslavement of indigenous peoples in Utah.

1859

In a history of Indiana, John B. Dillon lists Indiana Territory slave laws.

Aug 10, 1859

Deseret News provides summary of court case A. B. Miller v. Thomas S. Williams over the ownership of two slaves.

Aug 24, 1859

Deseret News provides summary of Miller v. Williams as of August, 24, 1859.

1860

The 1860 Census includes entry for Marinda Redd.

1860

Martha Ann Morris is listed in Green Flake's household in the 1860 census.

Jan 3, 1860

Brigham offers to buy enslaved Black man in order to free him.

Jun 1, 1860

1860 US census schedule 2 for Salt Lake County includes enslaved individuals.

Jun 13, 1860

US 1860 census schedule 2 for Davis County includes enslaved individuals.

Aug 14, 1860

The 1860 census includes Green Flake's family.

Aug 30, 1860

US 1860 Census includes entry for Nancy Lines Dennis.

Dec 24, 1860

South Carolina declares secession.

Dec 26, 1860

Brigham criticizes the effect of slavery on soil.

Dec 31, 1860

Brigham tells Horace Greeley that slavery is "of divine institution" and will persist until the curse of Ham is removed.

1861

The Parowan Ward's tithing records include John Burton.

Jul 28, 1861

Brigham rejects abolitionists in the North and the Southern slaveholders alike.

Feb 19, 1862

Brigham rejects both abolitionists and "negro-drivers."

Jan 1, 1863

Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.

Mar 8, 1863

Brigham says "whites will be cursed" for their "abuse" of Black people "unless they repent."

Oct 6, 1863

Brigham attributes civil war to those who "wish to raise their negroes" while others "wish to. . . almost worship them."

Jan 18, 1865

John Taylor leaves the question of liberation of Black people due to a "higher law" to other parties.

Feb 1, 1865

Thirteenth amendment to the US Constitution abolishes slavery.

Aug 10, 1865

Terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Oct 8, 1865

George A. Smith notes that some wrongly think the Civil War was caused by "the almighty negro."

Jan 19, 1866

1852 Utah territorial act concerning Native American slavery.

Aug 20, 1866

Andrew Johnson's proclamation of the end of hostilities with the South.

1868

Catherine Waite cites Brigham's quote against abolitionism.

Jul 4, 1874

Brigham expresses that it is "the lot" of Black people to be servants.

Jun 12, 1881

Alexander Doniphan describes the Mormon-Missouri War.

Apr 1888

Henry Carroll recalls "Black" Pete's activities in Kirtland.

Feb 14, 1894

William J. Flake's submission for the Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia.

May 31, 1897

Salt Lake Tribune identifies Green Flake as a "slave."

Jul 20, 1897

Salt Lake Tribune gives a description of Green Flake, "the only colored survivor of the band of '47," as a "vigorous, broad-shouldered, good-natured, bright old gentleman."

Mar 25, 1899

Broad Ax reports on Alex Bankhead and Marinda Redd's time as slaves and Mormons in Utah.

Feb 4, 1901

United States Census Bureau bulletin on Utah censuses 1850-1900 records State population by decade.

Jan 23, 1902

The Spanish Fork Press announces Alex Bankhead's death.

Oct 22, 1903

The Deseret News announces Green Flake's death in 1903.

Oct 23, 1903

The Salt Lake Tribune announces Green Flake's death.

1920

Biographical sketch of Elijah Able's life provided by Andrew Jenson in his Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia.

1924

Record of Nancy Dennis' burial in Spanish Ford indicating that she was a "Negro".

1936

Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia biography of Green Flake.

1941

Sanpete County records include transcription of the indenture of a Native American boy.

Mar 1944

Elder Feramorz Y. Fox concludes that members kept their property after consecrating it in the 1850s.

1949

Historian Isaac Mendelsohn states that slavery existed in the ancient Near East.

1964

Hosea Stout describes a court case about slavery.

1966

Leonard J. Arrington describes the Church's Public Works Department that employed people for building the Salt Lake Temple and other structures.

1969

Jacob Hamblin records instances of Native American slavery.

Oct 1987

Dennis N. Valdes argues that slavery in Mexico gradually declined.

Apr 1995

Sondra Jones describes the Indian slave trade in Utah before 1852.

1999

Sondra Jones describes Native American enslavement in Utah.

2007

National Humanities Center collection of Works Progress Administration (WPA) accounts of formerly enslaved people.

2012

Christopher Rich argues that Utah's servitude law was intended to end slavery.

2013

Amos 2:6 condemns sellings others into slavery for profit.

2013

In a revelation, Joseph Smith said that no one should be in bondage to another.

2013

Exodus 22:1-3 says that a man can be sold to pay for stolen property.

2013

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 says that an Israelite cannot enslave a woman he captured in war and married.

2013

Captain Moroni finds joy in keeping his people out of slavery.

2013

Limhi says it is better to be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the Lamanites.

2013

Joseph Smith prophesies that slaves will rise up against their masters.

2013

Nephi interacts with Zoram (a servant of Laban).

2013

Genesis 24 describes Abraham's slave searching for a wife for Isaac.

2013

Noah says Canaan will serve his brothers.

2013

Leviticus 25:39-55 describes slave laws and laws redeeming slaves.

2013

Deuteronomy 15: 12-18 gives codes for freeing slaves or making them a permanent member of the household.

2013

Genesis 37 says that Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt.

2013

Exodus 23:12 says that slaves must rest on the Sabbath.

2013

The king of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis says his people will be slaves to the Nephites.

2013

Exodus 20:10 says that slaves must honor the Sabbath.

2013

Giddianhi invites the Nephites to become Gadianton Robbers.

2013

LDS proclamation on government says that it is not right to interfere with "bond-servants."

2013

Leah and Rachel give their slaves to Jacob as concubines.

2013

Paul calls himself a servant (slave) of Jesus.

2013

Deuteronomy 23:15-16 says that a person should not return a slave who escapes to them.

2013

Deuteronomy 5:14-15 says that slaves should not work on the Sabbath.

2013

Exodus 21 lists slave laws for the Israelites.

2013

Exodus 12:44 says that slaves are to celebrate Passover.

2013

Jesus states that no one can serve two masters.

2013

Jeremiah 34:8-22 condemns Judahites who promised to free slaves but did not do so.

Mar 21, 2013

In a debate about Native American servitude in Utah, Orson Pratt voices opposition.

Dec 1, 2013

Gospel Topics Essay "Race and the Priesthood" recognizes slavery was legal in Utah territory.

2014

Heather Andrea Williams describes how enslavers maintained control of slaves.

Jun 1, 2021

"An act concerning Servants and Slaves” (1705) lays out Virginia colony slave codes.

2022

Webster's 1828 dictionary provides definitions for servitude.

2022

Webster's 1828 dictionary provides a definition of slave.

2022

Webster's 1828 dictionary provides a definition for "servant."

2022

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines slavery.

2022

Amy Tanner Thiriot describes the tithings and consecration documents of Latter-day Saint slave owners.

2022

Amy Tanner Thiriot describes the numbers of slaves in the Utah territory.

2022

Amy Tanner Thiriot notes the lack of slave registrations in Utah.

2022

Amy Tanner Thiriot provides an extensive documentary and genealogical history of slavery in Utah.

2022

Merriam-Webster provides a definition of miscegenation.

2022

Historian Amy Tanner Thiriot summarizes how Green Flake became enslaved to Brigham Young.

2022

Amy Thiriot's biography of Martha Morris.

Sep 20, 2022

Library of Congress gives description of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago and the United States' territorial gains.

2023

Church History Topic essay provides overview of the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838.

2023

Seth Richardson describes Mesopotamian slavery.

2023

Utah State Courts website explains probate.

2023

Joseph Smith prophesies that violence will begin in South Carolina related to the slave question.

2023

Church History Department provides biography of Green Flake.

2023

Missouri Digital Archive provides explanation of the Missouri Mormon War.

2023

Library of Congress website provides timeline of the American Civil War.

2023

Definition of οἰκέτης in Strong's Concordance.

2023

Century of Black Mormons project provides biographical sketch of Martha Ann Morris.

2023

Damian A. Pagras notes that slavery differs across time and cultures.

2023

Comparison of draft final versions of "An Act in Relation to Service."

2023

Historian Noel Lenski describes Roman slavery.

2023

Strong's Greek Concordance provides a definition for "δουλεύω".

2023

Strong's Greek Concordance defines δοῦλος (including a list of references from the NT).

2023

Church History Topic essay gives brief history of Indian slavery in Utah.

2023

Church History Topic on slavery and abolition describes historical LDS attitudes towards slavery.

2023

Zev Farber describes slavery in the Old Testament.