The Peoples of Utah, Imperial Zion: The British Occupation of Utah

The Peoples of Utah, ed. by Helen Z. Papanikolas, © 1976
“Imperial Zion: The British Occupation of Utah,” pp. 61–113
by Frederick S. Buchanan

On board the “International”
All joyful and lighthearted.
Bound Zionward, four hundred Saints,
From Liverpool we started.
We’re English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh
Assembled here together;
Resolved to do the will of God,
Whate’er the wind and weather.

To the tune of “Yankee Doodle” so sang Henry Maiben of Brighton, England, to an audience of British Mormon converts in mid-Atlantic in the spring of 1853. In a variety of regional accents belonging to the English, Irish, Scots, and Welsh, they affirmed in the chorus their reason for undertaking the voyage:

Then sing aloud ye Saints of God,
In one united chorus;
Old Babylon we’ll leave behind,
For, Zion is before us.1

This synthesis of British Saints, religious conviction, and “Yankee Doodle” was a combination that was repeated frequently between 1850 and 1880 and in time became an important factor in the development of America’s Intermountain Empire–their Zion of the latter days.

They were not, of course, the first Britons to view America as Zion; an earlier group of “Saints” had viewed their settlement in New England as part of a divine plan to civilize the wilderness and set the light of true religion upon a hill. But these Mormon counterparts of Pilgrims and Puritans were no less avid in their belief that their journey was but a precursor to the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth, aided and abetted by one of the most efficiently organized mass emigration schemes to ply the Atlantic routes.2

The exodus of British Mormons to the United States had its origins in the crisis-ridden events that almost engulfed the fledging church at Kirtland, Ohio, in 1837. Faced with rebellion and subversion when his Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company failed, Joseph Smith, the prophet of the “New Dispensation,” saw the church shaken to its roots by apostasy and dissension. From the midst of the turmoil, Joseph declared that the Lord had revealed to him “that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church.”3 The something new was the establishment of missionary activity in the British Isles in 1837. Beginning in Preston, Lancashire, the Mormon missionaries within a few years had spread into Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and the infusion of loyal blood that Joseph Smith had desired eventually began to swell and sustain the church-ordered society at Nauvoo, Illinois.

In his study of Nauvoo’s early development, Robert Flanders has observed that “Utah had its roots in Nauvoo; without that seven years’ experience in Illinois, the development of the Great Basin, and of the West, would not have been the same.”4 Nauvoo’s character and its history were also influenced by the British Mormons who settled there. By 1845 some 25 percent of the city’s population were from the British Isles and included among their ranks stonemasons, weavers, boot makers, potters, and carriage makers and settlers like James Sloan of County Tyrone, Ireland, who be-came Nauvoo’s first city recorder, Welshman Dan Jones who commanded Joseph Smith’s riverboat on the Mississippi, and Miles Romney, the English architect who was foreman of construction on the Nauvoo Temple. A Scottish minister who visited the city in 1844 observed that “Nauvoo . . . acts as a kind of receptacle for all the odd and fantastic minds, not only in America but of Great Britain,” but he felt that their presence and enthusiasm in Nauvoo “works less dangerously than in crowded cities.”5

Odd and fantastic these immigrants may have seemed, but they were a significant component of the Mormon migration to the valley of the Great Salt Lake and the vanguard of a future enthusiastic invasion of the Mountain West by Mormons from the British Isles. Given a common language and similar cultural roots, it is not surprising that men and women from the British Isles have since those early years played such a significant role in the affairs of the Mormon church. Because these early Mormons interpreted the establishment of the kingdom of God in a very literal and physical sense, it might also be expected that the Mormons from the British Isles would make significant contributions to Utah’s social, economic, and cultural history.

They were not, however, the first British citizens to leave their impress upon the territory that in time became Utah. A Captain Welles, a British army officer and veteran of Waterloo and New Orleans, shared with Miles Goodyear in the establishment of one of the earliest permanent settlements in Utah when they built Fort Buenaventura on the Weber River in 1846, the year before Mormon immigrants entered the Salt Lake Valley.6 At least twenty years prior to Welles’s brief appearance on the Utah stage, a much larger drama was acted out by rival British and American trappers as they sought to gain control of the disputed Oregon country. The Hudson’s Bay Company sent its British and Canadian trappers into the region, which now includes Utah, in order to assert the British claim to this wilderness empire, and they did so by making it a veritable “fur desert” through overtrapping it and making it unattractive and unprofitable to the American trappers and traders.7 The western explorations of trappers like Alexander Ross opened up the Rocky Mountain region to permanent settlement, and one of their number, Charles McKay, a native of Sutherlandshire explored northern Utah and in 1825 sighted the Great Salt Lake.8 In blazing the trail as trappers and traders these Britons prepared the way for the colonization of the Great Basin by later immigrants, including the Mormon pioneers.

While the objective of securing the Oregon country as a British domain was never achieved in a literal sense, it was in a way realized through the occupation of Utah’s valleys by thousands of British settlers who came in response to a prophet’s promise rather than the promise of profit. From the first pioneer company to enter the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847 through the arduous journey of the handcart pioneers and the much later “Pullman pioneers,” there was a marked British presence in Utah. In 1848 Franklin D. Richards led a company of some one hundred thirty British Saints to Utah and so reestablished large-scale Mormon migration, the practice having been temporarily discontinued during the exodus from Nauvoo.9

James and Mary Jane Palmer were dedicated builders who came to Utah from England

The British-born population between 1860 and 1880 averaged some 22 percent of the total population of Utah and over 67 percent of the foreign-born population. During that period, almost two out of every ten persons in Utah had been born in Britain, while two out of every three foreigners in Utah were of British origin. The reduction in the percentage of British-born residents in the last two decades of the nineteenth century can be accounted for in part by the large influx of Scandinavian and German immigrants and by a tapering off of British immigrants. This trend continued into the twentieth century, so that by 1930 the British-born population in Utah was a mere 2.7 percent of the total population. In 1970, one hundred years after the British population had made up almost one-quarter of Utah’s population and two-thirds of her foreign-born population, it had shrunk to 22.7 percent of the foreign-born and 2.8 percent of the total population.10

The period of heaviest immigration to Utah (1850-70) bears a strong relationship to Mormon missionary activity and conversions in Britain and the numbers of British-born residents who appear on United States Census returns in Utah. Of course, some defected before reaching the promised land and others had resided in Canada and the United States before joining the trek to Utah. As the conversion rate declined, so also did the numbers of potential and actual immigrants.11 During the 1870s and 1880s the opening up of Utah mineral resources coupled with the decline in Mormon missionary activity (or at least conversions) in Britain led to a larger proportion of non-Mormons entering the territory, especially those involved in mining operations.

Generally urban dwellers in the old country, Britons continued to be urban in the United States; in the 1870-80 period 40 percent of all British-born residents in the United States lived in the fifty largest cities.12 Even in Utah, which was essentially a rural territory, the British clustered in the most populous counties (with the exception of Sanpete where they were vastly outnumbered by the Scandinavians).

At the peak period, 71 percent of all British-born Utahns resided in the six Wasatch Front counties of Utah, Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Box Elder, and Cache, an area that contained almost two-thirds of Utah’s total population. Those counties with sparsest populations (0.6 per cent of the total) also had the fewest number of British-born residents, Rio Virgin (Washington) County representing only 0.28 percent, Piute County, 0.07 percent, and Sevier a miniscule 0.04 percent of the British population.13

But the census returns are not the only indication of the British “occupation.” They left their marks on the landscape in the form of place names. The family names of British immigrants dot the Utah map as villages, towns, and areas. Adamsville, Penrose, Bennion, Nibley, Stoddard, Talmage, Teasdale, Eccles Creek, and Bryce Canyon recall men and women who made settlement a reality. They brought with them a sense of loyalty to their origins when they named their new homes Avon, Glendale, Leeds, Croydon, Cornish, Lynne, Chester, Elgin, and Wales. The latter town, in Sanpete County, was perhaps the only settlement inhabited by an entirely British-born population, although it was not the first distinctively Welsh settlement in Utah. As early as 1849 Dan Jones and Reese Williams had located a group of Welsh immigrants in a settlement near the “English Canal” on the west side of the Jordan River near present-day Granger. The farming venture failed, however, and by 1854 it was referred to as the “old Welsh settlement.”14 Almost two-thirds of the Welsh in Utah in 1890 resided in Salt Lake and neighboring counties, a pattern similar to that of the English and Scots. By virtue of its almost exclusive settlement by Welsh miners, the main street of Wales, Sanpete County, was lined with the homes of Price Williams, John Llewellyn, John Jones, Henry Rees, Thomas Davis, John Rees, John Price, William Richards, Nathaniel Edmunds, Thomas Rees, David Nicholas, Richard Davis, Benjamin Davis, and Evan Thomas, all traditional Welsh names, which made it a veritable Cymric village in the heart of Utah.15

While no Utah towns were officially named “England” or “Scotland,” in the 1850s the area lying southwest of present-day Salt Lake City near Granger was referred to as “English Fort” and “British Fort.” Layton and Kaysville, both named for English Mormon bishops, were predominantly English towns in the 1850s, with two-thirds of Kaysville’s twenty-nine families of English origin.16

In the vicinity of Layton, an area inhabited by Scots was known locally as “Scotland”; and Wellsville in Cache Valley became the “Scotch Town” of Utah’s north country with its Nibleys, Jardines, Murrays, Kerrs, Leishmans, and Stoddards among some twenty Scottish families who settled the area.17 Also in northern Utah, the existence of a large group of Scottish immigrants gave rise to the Argyle Ward in Rich County, a name that pleased the settlers when announced at a Mormon conference.18 In Sevier County, William Morrison named his settlement Inverury (Gaelic for “between two waters”), and Mary Wilson recalled the romance of the Highlands when, during a pang of loneliness for her native land, she named a Utah mountain Ben Lomond.19

A plan to establish an Irish agricultural colony in Bear River Valley near the Gentile town of Corinne “died a-borning for lack of interest among the Irish it was intended to serve,” and it appears that in general the Irish in Utah were much less likely to be identified with permanent community building than the English, Welsh, or Scottish settlers.20 As soldiers, miners, and railroad workers, they were basically transient and left little imprint by way of distinctive communities. In 1890 two-thirds of the Irish lived in Salt Lake County and vicinity. Summit County with its mining community of Park City accounted for some 14 percent of the total Irish population in 1880 and 1890; Juab County had 11 percent.21

Another factor contributing to the Irish settlement pattern was their non-Mormon orientation (according to Robert J. Dwyer, most Irish were Catholics), so clearly demonstrated in the make-up of the populations of two adjacent towns in southern Utah, Saint George and Silver Reef. Saint George with its emphasis on agriculture, stability, and “humble domestic virtues” had but one Irish-born resident, a male, in 1880. In contrast, Silver Reef, a “worldly” mining community, the very antithesis of Mormon Saint George, had an Irish-born population of eighty-six males and twenty-five females, 26 percent of the total foreign-born population.22

In time, of course, the meanings attached to particular names disappeared: Inverury became Central (perhaps because the former was too difficult to pronounce, or perhaps the water in Sevier disappeared), and Argyle Ward is no longer; but, like the Prince of Wales mine and the Highland Boy mine, they served their purpose in reinforcing the British identity of these immigrants who made Utah their work place and home just as surely as Henry Maiben’s words to “Yankee Doodle” gave American identity to the movement that brought most of them from Britain’s maritime islands to Utah’s arid valleys.


It is apparent then that British-born residents in Utah made a significantly large numerical contribution to the territory during the nineteenth century. If they had done no more, their physical presence at a time when Utah was lacking in population could be considered important. As it was, they were more than just place fillers–they were colonizers and imperialists in a sense, but they claimed the land not for the kingdom of Great Britain as their kin had done in India, Australia, Africa, and New Zealand, but for the kingdom of God.

While the Mormon perception of the kingdom was interlaced with otherworldly overtones, yet, in the final analysis, it was a very physical conception, as a report to the Millennial Star made clear in admonishing the converts to banish

the peculiarly imaginative ideas that have long lingered in the minds of the Saints that the Kingdom of God would be built like some castle in the air, or by the touch of some magician’s wand . . .. these notions are fast being replaced by the stern realities that the kingdom of our God has to be built by the labour and diligence of his Saints?23

In the “land of treasures–the home of the righteous”24 these British pioneers hoped to fulfill God’s will here on earth. Their desire, too, was to “have a part of the soil we can call our own and work it for ourselves and own no master but our God.”25

With the development of Deseret viewed as a cooperative rather than a competitive effort, the Mormon leaders adopted the policy of attracting the kinds of workers most needed to secure Zion for the “chosen people.” And just as Joseph Smith had turned to the British Isles to save the church in 1837, so Brigham Young advised the British Mormons to organize immigration companies according to their trades and to come to Zion prepared with machinery, tools, and materials for the establishment of new settlements.26 Specifically, the church leadership asked for iron workers, potters, cutlers, woolen workers, comb makers, millers, and coal miners. The Sixth Epistle requested that if some of the brethren who are tanners, would come home and attend to their calling here, they would receive the blessings of many souls. Some attempts are now making at this business, but more help is wanted.27

The president of the British Mission was instructed to have the presiding elders search out “blowers, moulders and all kinds of furnace operators to immediately immigrate to the valley without delay.”28

These early British settlers came to Utah with the specific intent of contributing their technical expertise to the new economy and to meet the needs of Utah’s burgeoning population. John Taylor expressed the ideal when he claimed that the people in Utah would not need to send to Sheffield for tools, “…we will set the Welsh boys to get the ore in the mountains, and then set the Sheffield boys to work in fixing it up into tools, and into forks and knives…”29

In reality, however, many of these early attempts to industrialize Utah failed. The Deseret Pottery, established by using pottery workers from Staffordshire, was abandoned in 1853; the sugar mill with machinery and operators imported from Britain was also aborted after the first attempts. One relatively successful industry and one of crucial importance in supplying the immediate needs of Utah’s inhabitants was the manufacturing of woolen goods. Initially given impetus by a call to Ayrshire shepherd John Murdoch (and his collie) to herd sheep for Brigham Young, the woolen mills were operated by men and women trained in the English and Scottish mill towns.30 In responding to his call, John Murdoch revealed how close a connection exists in Mormon thought between the spiritual and the material aspects of the kingdom of God. At a farewell party John sang:

Farewell then my kindred, my home and my all
When duty requires it we bow to the call.
We brave every danger and conquer each foe
To the words of the Prophet, Oh, then let me bow.31

It is difficult to make a precise assessment of the financial contribution these skilled craftsmen made to Utah’s development. But, trained in another land as they were, they brought with them indirectly the “wealth” Britain had invested in their training. Whether it was in herding sheep, making rope, tanning leather, mining coal, or manufacturing bicarbonate of soda, these immigrants made positive material contributions to the development of their new home with a minimum investment from their adopted homeland.

In addition to skills, they brought with them their social philosophy concerning trade unions and working men’s associations, evidenced by the appearance of tradesmen marching in units in an 1861 Fourth of July parade in Salt Lake City. Henry McEwan, a Scottish immigrant who later became first president of the Deseret Typographical Association, Local 115, in 1868 led the “Printers of Deseret” in this parade, followed by the blacksmiths led by Jonathan Pugmire of Carlisle, England. The carpenters and joiners marched under a banner of “Union is Strength” led by English architect and builder Miles Romney. The painters followed another British artisan, Edward Martin, as did the Boot and Shoe Makers under Edward Snelgrove and the stonecutters led by Charles Lambert who had been an active member of a trade union in his native land.32

In a biographical account of 535 prominent persons in the vicinity of Salt Lake City (published in 1902), 134, or 25 percent, of the entries were born in the British Isles. If one includes those residents who were born of British parents in Canada or the United States (including Utah), the British contribution in terms of percentage makes up 36 percent of the total entries. Imprecise as these indicators may be, yet they afford the reader an opportunity of seeing the British impact on Utah’s economics, particularly in Salt Lake City. Three percent of these British-born residents came to Utah as infants, 15 percent as children, 24 percent were in their teens, 52 percent were adults, and 5 percent were between forty and fifty years of age. Only 1 percent were in their sixties.33

From the admittedly unrefined data emerges a picture of an immigrant group that came as settlers in their prime in terms of productive industrial capacity and also in the child-bearing years, of crucial importance to the colonization and holding of a virgin land. The median age of these colonists was twenty-two; and they came not primarily as individual adventurers but as members of stable families. Of this particular group, approximately fifty were involved in agriculture (despite an urban origin); the others were related to professions, building trades, and other commercial pursuits. Only 8 of the 134 British-born were not Mormons, and only 12 of the entries mentioned were engaged in mining.34

In the 1870s and 1880s, however, the contributions of non-Mormon British-born were of immense importance, especially in the development of Utah’s mineral resources. Mormon policy had chosen to emphasize home manufacturing and agricultural pursuits with an occasional bow in the direction of light industry, and British Mormons were generally faithful in their adherence to the church policy of avoiding the development of the region’s mineral resources, leaving it to Gentile expertise and capital.35 However, one Mormon who openly opposed Brigham Young’s policy of discouraging industry that might attract a non-Mormon population was Londoner William S. Godbe. Despite his estrangement from the church he actively pursued British capital that contributed substantially to the development of Utah’s mining industry.36

The title of father of Utah’s mining industry, of course, rightly belongs to Patrick Edward Connor, Brigham Young’s nemesis and commander of federal troops at Camp Douglas. Described by Archbishop Dwyer as the “Kerryman out of Stockton, California,” Connor’s contribution led to an influx of non-Mormon Irish and Cornish miners and in the 1880s and 1890s to greatly increased Gentile political and economic power.37 Other sons of Erin who contributed leadership brain (if not brawn) to the mines of Utah included Col. John W. Donnellan and Matthew Cullen of whom it was said, “The career which he has made entitled him to a front rank among pioneers of the state.”38

British entrepreneurs and business leaders in Utah also included John Sharp and William Jennings. Sharp, often referred to as the “Mormon railroad bishop” for his part in the development of Utah’s railroads, was also known among both Gentiles and Mormons as “the smartest man in the church.” From a coal miner in Scotland he rose to be superintendent of Utah’s Central Railway in 1871 and a director of the Union Pacific.39 William Jennings of Birmingham was involved in a variety of enterprises, including the first Utah tannery, cloth manufacturing, mining, and cooperative merchandising. Both he and his wife, Priscilla Paul of Cornwall, participated actively in the commercial affairs of Salt Lake City. In 1867 they purchased Salt Lake City’s first mansion and named it “Devereaux House” after an estate near his home town of Birmingham.40

Among the earliest merchants in Utah were the Walker brothers from Yorkshire, England: Samuel, Joseph, David, and Matthew. They established one of the first mercantile centers in Salt Lake City and later founded the Walker Bank, an institution that has played an important part in stimulating and maintaining Utah’s economic growth during and since the pioneer era. Although Latter-day Saints, the Walker brothers broke with the church in the 1860s. Refusing to pay tithes to the church, they offered to set aside money for charitable purposes. For their defiance, coming as it did during a period when Mormon leadership was attempting to resist Gentile challenges to its hegemony in Utah, the Walker brothers were excommunicated and ostracized, but they nevertheless succeeded.41

Other Britons’ skills also became part of Utah’s economy: Boyd Park in jewelry, Charles Nibley in sugar and lumber, William Silver in mechanical engineering and iron manufacturing, David Eccles in banking, Henry Dinwoodey in furniture manufacturing; the roster of distinguished Britons is virtually endless.42 This should not be surprising considering the large number of immigrants from Great Britain who settled in the Salt Lake area.

Numerous children were also an important “product” of Utah’s society, and British midwives, among them Janet Hardie who had studied under Sir James Simpson in Edinburgh, lent their skill in replenishing Utah’s population.43 Utah’s health and social welfare laws were also influenced by Welsh-born Martha Hughes Cannon, one of Utah’s early women physicians and, in 1896, the first woman to become a state senator in the United States, defeating her own husband, a Manxman, Angus M. Cannon, in the process.44

In singling out a few individuals, one may he prone to forget that for every “distinguished” immigrant there were perhaps thousands whose everyday deeds were a necessary part of the warp and woof of Utah’s economic and social fabric. The reader who follows the life of a man like Henry Hamilton of Fifeshire, who came to Utah in 1856, finds recorded not acts of leadership or feats of daring, but the day-in, day-out fight against ever-present poverty and hunger, grubbing his land by hand, trading his blanket for wheat seed, hiring out to do chores for others, being dismissed from one job because of being slowed down by a sunburned leg and yet, withal, raising his hand to sustain the brethren and having a “right good time of it” at religious meetings.45

In a similar vein, one can read of Welshman Christopher Arthur’s complaint of a lack of “breadstuffs” in 1856 and then adding, “It had been kisses without the bread and cheese, but we had happiness and contentment.”46 These men then, the laborers and artisans from Britain’s industrial centers, with their wives and families, though not remembered in marble and bronze or even in “Who’s Who” publications, left their imprint nonetheless. In describing the contribution of these ordinary folk, Edward W. Tullidge told how they brought not only their skills and technical knowledge but also the tools of their trade and the best of their personal possessions to the promised land:

excepting furniture and cumbersome articles, it may be said that from the opening of the general emigration to Utah in 1849-50, a thousand English, Scotch and Welsh homes were yearly transposed to Utah from the mother country.47

Their lives and their homes brought the promise of the land to fruition. Some, of course, like silk-printer Charles Parkinson of Lancaster or marine engineer John Rider of County Mongham, Ireland, found little call for their expertise in Utah and had to turn their hand to other pursuits, in Rider’s case to assisting William Howard build a distillery in Salt Lake City. Samuel Francis of Wiltshire had been involved in the manufacture of woolen goods in Britain and attempted to do the same in Utah without success. Shetland Islander John Sutherland had spent most of his life on the sea and had plied the United States coast in trading ships. His move to Utah left him unemployed, shipwrecked as it were, and he and Francis turned to agriculture.48

Speaking of these British artisans, mechanics, and manufacturers turned farmers “which the Mormon Church every season poured into the Territory,” Tullidge said:

they soon lost their original character in consequence of the necessities of the country and the strict method through which the Mormons have built up their cities and settlements?Devoting their lives and industries toward general results as a community, the emigrants were directed by the bishops over the whole extent of country mapped out by the authorities to be subdued by Mormon industry and enterprise. Thus, a people originally artisans and manufacturers, became agricultural in their pursuits of life; and it was not until the last decade, under the new era and development of the railroads and mines, that they resumed their original activities.49

As agrarians then, rather than as miners or manufacturers, the British Mormon settlers contributed their brain and brawn to the building of Zion’s chief defense against Gentile incursions, solid Mormon communities.

The development of Utah’s resources and the growth of her economy were closely allied with spiritual motives, but the immigrant men and women who helped make Zion an earthly reality were involved in more than otherworldly pursuits. Whether Mormon, Gentile, or dissident, they labored with diligence to produce if not quite the kingdom of God then a relatively successful secular economy in the Great Basin.


Important as business leadership and daily toil are in the establishing of a successful, civilized society, yet the sum is much more than statements of profit and loss. Despite the seriousness with which Mormon settlers took the task of building the kingdom, they found time for recreation. Notwithstanding his New England puritanism, Brigham Young had taken part in stage plays in Nauvoo; and as the Saints moved westward, music and dance continued to be very much a part of social life. Englishman William Pitt’s Nauvoo Brass Band left Nauvoo on the same day as Brigham Young and was the nucleus from which grew Utah’s first musical and theatrical associations. According to Tullidge, three men, Hiram B. Clawson, John T. Caine, and David 0. Calder (the latter two being British immigrants) were instrumental in convincing Brigham Young that early Utah society “needed toning up” in a professional sense. Calder, who in his native Scotland had organized the Falkirk Musical Association under the patronage of the earl of Zetland, prevailed upon Utah’s nobleman to give his patronage and church financial support to the organization of philharmonic societies throughout the territory in the form of the Deseret Musical Association.50

Another musician who did much to support Brigham Young’s belief in music and drama as a necessary part of civilized society was Charles J. Thomas who had had wide experience in metropolitan orchestras in London and who, according to Tullidge, transformed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from an ordinary country church choir into a “fairly metropolitan” group that performed good anthem music to the delight of the congregation, the majority of whom had come from the musical cities of Great Britain.” The presence of such a large number of British immigrants has also been viewed as a primary stimulus to the development of theatre in Salt Lake City: the community were socially starving for public amusements and recreation to enliven the isolation of a “thousand miles from everywhere,” as their locality was then described. The majority of the citizens in 1851 and 1852 were fresh from a land of theatres–where the common people for generations have been accustomed to go to the theatre and to the philharmonic concerts, to see the best of acting and hear the divinest singing, at a few pence, to the galleries. Such a community could not possibly have got along without their theatre, nor been content with their isolation without something to awaken pleasurable reminiscences of the intellectual culture and dramatic art of their native land. Their sagacious head sensed all this, and he at once gave to the newly formed “Musical and Dramatic Company” the “Old Bowery,” where the congregation of Saints met Sabbath days, and it was there–in the only temple or tabernacle Zion had in those days–that home theatricals took their rise.51

Tullidge may be guilty of filopietism in his assessment–after all, not only was he from Britain, but his father John, Sr., and his brother John, Jr., made important contributions to music and painting in Utah. But even at that, when one examines the accounts of cultural activities in early Utah, the British presence is dominant. James Ferguson, Phil Margetts, Robert Campbell, William Clayton, David McKenzie, John Lindsay, James Hardie, to name a few, Britons all, were active participants in the Salt Lake Theatre and its earlier counterpart, the Musical and Dramatic Company. Only two days after his arrival in Salt Lake City, David McKenzie became involved with the Deseret Dramatic Association. Within a week he was on the stage of Social Hall; and in time John McCullough, the American critic, described him as the best Polonius he had ever seen, no mean accomplishment for the immigrant apprentice engraver.52

British immigrants not only contributed to the secular scene in music and drama, but the sacred songs of the Mormon people bear their imprint. Welsh-horn Evan Stephens, Utah’s most prolific composer, was for many years conductor of the Tabernacle Choir, leading it to its Second Place award at the Chicago World Fair in 1893. William Clayton, Joseph Daynes, John Jaques, Ellen Knowles Melling, James Baird, Ebenezer Beesley, Henry Naisbitt, George Careless, John M. MacFarlane are among the immigrant composers, musicians, and song writers whose names and words are still on the lips of thousands of Utahns today. Their songs and singers even played a minor role in Utah’s dramatic history as in 1858 when federal peace commissioners were negotiating with Brigham Young regarding the positioning of the federal army in Utah. During the meeting, word was received that Johnston’s army was on the move. Brigham Young, no doubt intending to impress the commissioners with the Mormon resolve to resist, called on David Dunbar, a Scottish immigrant, to sing “Zion,” the words of which say in part:

In thy mountain retreat
God will strengthen thy feet:
On the necks of thy foes
Thou shalt tread.
Thy deliverance is nigh
Thy oppressors shall die
And the wicked shall bow ‘neath thy rod.

The commissioners were suitably impressed; and after several stormy sessions, a peaceful settlement of the movement of the troops was concluded. As an expression of Mormon solidarity, “Zion” was written in England in 1856 by Charles W. Penrose who had never been to Utah, and it was originally sung to a Scottish tune, “O Minnie, O Minnie, Come o’er the Lea.”53

At the heart of any community’s intellectual life lie the books and journals, outside of local publications, that are necessary for the sustenance and renewal of the life of the mind. In 1860 Utah was fortunate to have an enterprising and congenial Irish book-man from Tipperary who played the role of community intellectual through his vending of books and magazines and his liberality in allowing his back rooms to be used for educational meetings and community dialogue. James Dwyer’s Salt Lake City bookstore was in reality an educational center–the “gathering place for the educated society of Utah” and according to one writer “many of Utah’s advancements started as conversations in the back room of Dwyer’s.”54 The availability of books and of stimulating conversation was a necessary adjunct to Utah’s cultural and intellectual development and an added stimulus for Dwyer’s fellow immigrants to continue their literary pursuits in isolated Utah.

One such writer was John Lyon, the Mormon poet from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, who, prior to his conversion, had written an 1832 report on unemployment in Scotland for the British House of Commons. As a Mormon he put his pen at the service of another social cause, the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, and helped many a poor British family go “home to Zion” with proceeds from the sale of The Harp of Zion published at Liverpool in 1852. Once in Zion, John Lyon contributed poems and articles to Utah’s developing literary periodicals, served as drama critic for the Daily Telegraph and as assistant territorial librarian under another British settler, William C. Staines, the territorial librarian.55

Still another British writer, Edward W. Tullidge, promoted the publication of Utah’s first literary journals. The son of relatively affluent and Eton-educated John E. Tullidge of Weymouth, England, Edward was converted to Mormonism in 1848. After serving as an editor of the church publication Millennial Star and as an active proselytizer for the church, he felt “called” to write a history of Joseph Smith and came to Utah in 1861 to pursue this. He was hired as an assistant in the Church Historian’s Office to facilitate his research but soon became disillusioned with the close integration of church and secular affairs in Utah. In 1864 in cooperation with an English friend, Elias L. T. Harrison, he published the Peep O’Day, reputed to be the first magazine published west of the Missouri. The magazine soon became identified as “anti-Mormon”; and although its publisher disclaimed any attempt to destroy Mormonism, it was condemned by the church and ceased publication after only five issues.

After a stay in the East where he wrote for the New York Galaxy, Tullidge returned to Utah and took over publication of the Utah Magazine founded by Harrison and another Briton, William S. Godbe. In time the Utah Magazine evolved into a weekly newspaper, the Mormon Tribune, the immediate forerunner of the Salt Lake Tribune. Despite his disagreements with church authorities, Tullidge produced a History of Salt Lake City in 1886 that received acclaim and financial support not only from businessmen but from civic and church officials and was regarded in its day as containing a balanced view of Utah’s early history.56

Paralleling the literary accomplishments of Tullidge were those of his contemporaries Thomas B. H. Stenhouse and his wife Fanny. Natives of Dalkeith, Scotland, and Jersey, Channel Islands, respectively, the Stenhouses began as fervent defenders of the faith in the British Isles, on the Continent, and in America, but, according to historian Ronald W. Walker, through such books as his Rocky Mountain Saints and her Tell It All they eventually “helped to fashion throughout the United States and Great Britain the negative image of nineteenth century Mormonism.”57 However, in the interim between their arrival in Utah in 1859 and their subsequent disaffection with Mormonism some ten years later, they were among Zion’s leading exponents and were at the center of Utah’s intellectual and artistic life. As Utah’s “most cultured missionaries,” they contributed through their personal contacts to the favorable image of Mormonism as expressed by Sir Richard Burton and other observers. T.B.H. Stenhouse in particular played a prominent role as a publisher, patron of the arts, and as a university regent. As founder and publisher of Salt Lake City’s Telegraph, this articulate immigrant put his pen at the disposal of the Mormon cause in its conflict with Colonel Connor and the Union Vedette of Camp Douglas. His literary skills and sophisticated perceptions were also recognized by the non-Mormon press in the East and in California. In Walker’s view, “his journalistic voice was undoubtedly the most powerful in the territory.”58

Although Fanny Stenhouse apparently shared the limelight with her husband as “among Deseret’s most cultured missionaries,” in male-dominated Utah, as in the nation at large, the social roles played by women were rigidly prescribed by custom and tradition. The education of women was still viewed as an unnecessary frill, and those women in Utah who wished to enlarge their cultural or intellectual horizons had to rely almost entirely on informal educational institutions. The Elocution Society and the Polysophical Society, for example, drew much of their support (both in attendance and creative contributions) from such pioneer women as “cultured, educated and creative” Hannah Tapfield King, an immigrant from Cambridgeshire, England. Hannah found intellectual gatherings “a spur to cultivate our thinking faculties more,” and she persisted in the view that her “sisters” should cultivate their minds. However, after one social meeting with some American “sisters” who apparently were trying too hard to match her own intellectual acumen, she exclaimed: “Silly women! They only exposed their ignorance and ill manners, and what do they know of the English, or English society.”59 On the Utah frontier in the 1850s survival was paramount, and perhaps Hannah was expecting too much from her sisters; she personally refused to be cowed by the environment and instead was eager to shape its cultural perspectives.

Another immigrant who broke the traditional stereotype of the pioneer woman with no interests but husband, kitchen, and children was Martha Spence Heywood, a native of Dublin, Ireland, who in the 1850s was involved in founding an Elocution Society in Salt Lake City, and who when called to settle isolated Salt Creek (Nephi, Utah) with her husband in 1851, set about organizing the Mount Nebo Literary Association. On returning to Salt Lake City she and Hannah Tapfield King participated in the affairs of the Polysophical Society until that organization fell a victim to the reforming zeal of brethren who viewed its intellectual pursuits with some alarm.60 Given the circumstances of pioneer Utah, with its necessary emphasis upon physical and economic survival, it is noteworthy that these pioneer women were not oblivious to the life of the mind and made the desert places not entirely devoid of cultural refinement and intellectual interests.

In assuming their roles as journalists, actors, composers, poets, and historians, these literate immigrants from the United Kingdom contributed to a broadening of Utah’s social and cultural base, promoting thereby the development of a frontier society that was not only atypical in its theocratic emphasis but also in its cultural pursuits.


In the history of the United States a vigorous free press has often challenged the claims of authority put forward by the official establishment. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise to find that articulate persons with access to a printing press would become a focal point of resistance to the Mormon establishment. Writers with the ability of a Tullidge or the Stenhouses were able to direct their criticisms against the source of their once fervent faith, and their expertise contributed substantially to a movement that challenged the authority of Mormon leaders in the 1860s.

Discussing the impact that early Utah society had on British immigrants, Philip Taylor contended that the change from Britain to Utah “gave them both security and restriction.”61 For men like Edward W. Tullidge, Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, Elias L. T. Harrison, and William S. Godbe, the sense of restriction was perhaps more intense than their sense of security. They were articulate, cultured, and critical; and eventually they challenged Brigham Young’s authority in secular affairs through the Utah Magazine. Consequently, they left the church either through excommunication or voluntary withdrawal. Along with another Briton, William Shearman, Canadian Henry Lawrence, and Eli B. Kelsey who had spent many years in the British Mission, these men formed the nucleus of what became known as the Godbeite conspiracy. Godbe, much admired by Brigham Young for his economic talents, wanted to reform the church and to reduce the priesthood’s domination of secular affairs. Mormonism was one thing in Britain, where it could not possibly wield such far-reaching power over secular life, and quite another in isolated Utah where these Britons apparently felt stifled by church domination over every aspect of life, spiritual and temporal. Through the Church of Zion, organized as a result of spiritualist manifestations to Harrison and Godbe, the reformers hoped to reestablish a freer Mormonism on a more spiritual basis. However, the movement failed to generate widespread support among faithful Mormons and eventually lost its religious character, becoming instead an element of the emerging Liberal party of the 1870s.62

The defection of Godbe and Harrison and their British Mission associates had an intellectual basis, even if mixed with spiritualism. A different challenge to Brigham Young’s authority of a charismatic nature occurred shortly after Tullidge’s arrival in Utah. This short-lived movement was also headed by a Briton, Joseph Morris, who had come from Wales in the 1850s. Described by Dwyer as a “fanatical visionary,” Morris claimed to have received direct revelations regarding his role as leader of the church in 1860. When Brigham Young refused to accept Morris as the Lord’s anointed, he led some five hundred followers to Weber Canyon where they awaited the Second Coming of Christ and where Morris was crowned king, the crown used having been fashioned by another immigrant, tinsmith Alexander Dow. Morris’s chief counselor was Englishman John Banks who had at one time served as assistant presiding bishop of the church under Brigham Young. The “kingdom” in Weber County came to an end in June 1862 when the Nauvoo Legion under Col. R. T. Burton arrived and attempted to arrest Morris and Banks on charges of murder and plundering neighboring farms. Morris, Banks, and two women died as a result of the ensuing conflict, and eventually some of the group were resettled near Soda Springs, Idaho.63 Brigham Young still led the faithful.

Individual disillusionment and apostasy were, of course, not uncommon among the Utah settlers, and a visitor to Utah in the early 1850s reported meeting one embittered Scot who in attempting to get his surplus money out of the “common exchequer” so that he could try his luck in California, was refused and rebuked for his lust for gain. The Scot complained that he “dinna se whar’ this wad lead to, or how it wad end.”64

For some, estrangement from church policy and practice led to removing themselves from Utah; for others it led to a disrupting of friendships and family relationships in the heart of Zion. One veteran who became disaffected after years of distinguished service was George P. Watt, the first person baptized into the Mormon church in Great Britain, private secretary to Brigham Young, publisher of the Journal of Discourses and a leading proponent of the Deseret alphabet. Watts opted to stay in Utah and although associating himself with Godbeites for a short period, he seemed to have lost faith in Mormonism or its leaders prior to the Godbeites’ emergence. Personally disenchanted with Brigham Young, Watts publicly confessed his defection, blaming his waywardness and stubborn disposition on his “mixture of English and Scottish blood,” which he said “could not be driven, but would respond to sympathy and kindness.”65

Another dissident Briton, F. W. Blake of Birmingham, was much more discreet in giving voice to his changed perceptions of Mormonism. After participating in the rites in the Endowment House, he “walked forth in Zion’s Street ever afterwards an unbeliever in the pretensions of Brigham Young and an apostate to the doctrines of Mormonism.” However, he restrained his public criticism and “sarcastic puffs at authority and discipline” on purely pragmatic grounds; open dissent, he felt, might be dangerous and besides he enjoyed the company of his Mormon friends. His “air of faithfulness was merely assumed,” he wrote, and caused him some discomfort; but even at that he was ordained to the office of a seventy in the Mormon priesthood.66

The attempt of the British-led Morrisites and Godbeites to challenge Brigham Young’s leadership and the individual apostasy of prominent individuals or of rank and file members left the dominant position of Mormon authority in Utah virtually unscathed. But these “Mormon Protestants” of various hues and complexity might well be viewed as evidence that in pioneer Utah the human spirit could transcend social limitations and respond to a variety of religious beliefs, and to freedom of expression.


How many immigrants put on an “air of faithfulness” as F. W. Blake did is unknown, but there can be little doubt that substantial numbers of British immigrants remained faithful in belief and in practice and were entrusted with a significant role in the leadership echelons of the kingdom of God, as Andrew Jenson’s Latterday Saint Biographical Encyclopedia readily reveals. When the British traveler Walter Gore Marshall visited Utah in 1879, he reported that thirteen of the twenty-nine bishops in the Salt Lake Stake were British.67 Over the course of its history the Mormon church has drawn heavily on the administrative and intellectual talents of its British population: between 1850 and 1925 a dozen native sons of the British Isles served as General Authorities of the Mormon church and often, by virtue of their church position, as leaders in Utah’s secular affairs, too. John Banks and Alfred Cardon of Lancashire were ordained assisting presiding bishops of the church in 1851 and served in that capacity until 1853. (Banks was excommunicated in 1859 and became a leader in the Morrisite movement which, as noted above, led to his death in 1862.)

The appointment of George Q. Cannon to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1860 “began a process of appointing foreign-born men that characterized the Mormon Hierarchy for the next seventy years.”68 It appears to have been an unwritten policy to have the dominant national groups in the church represented in the General Authorities; and reflecting the large British sector of the church population, “British” General Authorities are prominent. Indeed, from 1838 to 1932 with the exception of two years, there was always a native-born Briton among the church apostles; included were such notables as Cannon, George Teasdale, John Winder, Charles Penrose, and James E. Talmage. In the First Quorum of Seventy in the years 1888?1933, were Brigham H. Roberts and George Reynolds. Roberts was elected to a seat in the House of Representatives in 1900 but was refused admission on the grounds that he was a polygamist. Sterling M. McMurrin described him as “the most interesting and exciting and stimulating person in [the church’s] leadership, its most prolific writer, its chief theologian and historian, and its most capable defender.”69 Roberts was somewhat of a maverick, being disfellowshiped in 1896, reinstated the same year, and then denounced by Joseph F. Smith for showing disrespect to the First Presidency of the church. His Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still viewed as one of the most balanced accounts of Mormonism’s beginnings, written as it was by a practicing Mormon and a nonprofessional historian.

Controversy seems to have been an endemic element of British participation in Mormon affairs. The name of George Reynolds, an immigrant of 1865, was attached to the Supreme Court decision that marked the beginning of the end of Utah’s peculiar institution, polygamy. As a result of United States v. Reynolds, this Englishman, who had volunteered as a test case, served time in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for his polygamous beliefs and actions and was accorded a hero’s welcome on his return to Salt Lake City, much to the chagrin of the Utah Gentiles.70 He was appointed a member of the Council of Seventy in 1890, six months before the church issued its Manifesto that in effect accepted the Reynolds decision of 1879.

During the seventies and eighties two Englishmen, John Taylor and his nephew George Q. Cannon, served in the First Presidency, the highest council of the Mormon hierarchy. The influence they wielded there led anti-Mormons, like the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, to charge that after Brigham Young’s death, Mormonism was completely controlled by these two Englishmen. According to C. C. Goodwin, Taylor and Cannon “make the controlling power and give direction to the whole system.”71 They may not have had the absolute power attributed to them, but they assuredly played important roles in the development of Mormonism and of Utah.

John Taylor, a native of the north of England, had been a close associate of Joseph Smith and was wounded at Carthage when Joseph was killed. Upon Brigham Young’s death in 1877, he presided over Mormon affairs as president of the Quorum of the Twelve for three years and then in 1880 became Mormonism’s third “prophet, seer and revelator.” To celebrate the church’s jubilee in 1880, the new leader initiated a movement to reduce the indebtedness of poor immigrants to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund by one half, to reduce tithing indebtedness also by one half, and to distribute a thousand head of cattle and five thousand head of sheep to the deserving poor. Despite this auspicious beginning, Taylor’s administration was plagued by increased federal pressure on Mormon polygamists, and the aged leader spent much of his time evading federal warrants, dying in virtual exile in 1887.72

George Q. Cannon, converted to Mormonism by his uncle, John Taylor, during the latter’s mission in England in 1840, was not, strictly speaking, English; he was born in Liverpool of Manx parents. In 1842 he emigrated to Nauvoo and came to Utah in 1847. After a mission to California and the Sandwich Islands, he became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1860, serving as an assistant counselor to Brigham Young from 1873 to 1877. In 1880 he began his service in the First Presidency under John Taylor and continued in this capacity with the next three presidents until his death in 1901.

Few important events in Utah were not in some way shaped or influenced by George Q. Cannon: education, publication, and politics as well as religion felt his impress. He represented Utah as its territorial delegate at a time when every election in Utah was challenged by the Gentile minority who longed for power hut could not break the solidarity of the church-dominated People’s party. Eventually Cannon was refused his place as a delegate because of his polygamous relationships and was succeeded by another Englishman, John T. Caine, a Mormon who did not practice polygamy. Pursued by the “feds” and finally apprehended, Cannon served with other “prisoners for conscience’ sake” in the Utah Territorial Penitentiary and then paradoxically played a major role, through his son, Frank, in the negotiations with federal authorities (including President Grover Cleveland) that resulted in the issuance of the Manifesto and the disavowal of polygamy as a practice of the Mormon people.73

Cannon’s trail from Liverpool to Nauvoo, to Washington, D. C., and to the penitentiary is in many ways the story of the most tumultuous years in Utah history. As one of its leading lights, he has been variously described as “the sweetest, smoothest, and most plausible sophist on all this round earth” as well as the “Mormon premier” and the “Mormon Richelieu” during his long tenure as Mormonism’s political spokesman. Bernard DeVoto recognized Cannon’s place in Mormon history when he characterized him as “the last great leader of the Saints.”74

DeVoto’s judgment might be correct, but Cannon was certainly not the last Briton to wield influence in the hierarchy of the church. British influence continued with the selection of John R. Winder to replace Cannon in 1901. Then, in 1907 Charles W. Penrose was elevated to the First Presidency and served until his death in 1924 when he was succeeded by the last person of British birth to be a counselor to the church president, Charles W. Nibley. A native of Scotland, Nibley served until his death in 1931. As presiding bishop he had administered the temporal affairs of the Mormon church since 1907, and in 1918 he chose as one of his counselors John Wells of Nottinghamshire, England. An immigrant of 1860, Nibley had been in partnership with financier David Eccles and had played an important role in developing Utah’s sugar industry. Bishop Nibley also spearheaded the drive to construct a church office building that would meet the needs of the times and was instrumental in having the church pay cash rather than scrip for services performed by its employees.75

Given the role that the Mormon church has played in Utah’s history, it is understandable that when the term “the church” is used in Utah, it often has reference to the dominant Mormon organization. From the earliest years, however, non-Mormons or Gentiles have had a different view of what “church” means, and some had leaders who saw their mission as one of combating the errors of Mormonism and of weakening Mormon control of Utah society. This was especially true of Congregational and Presbyterian missionaries whose very names reveal their national origins, although none was actually born in the British Isles. During the l870s the Reverends D. J. McMillan, Robert G. McNiece, and Norman McLeod were the principal antagonists of Mormon control; they hoped by preaching in churches and teaching in schools to break the grip of “Brighamism” on the territory. They contributed substantially to Utah’s educational development, but, much to their dismay, the Mormons filled their classrooms during the week hut returned to “Brighamism” on Sundays.76

Catholic Bishop Lawrence Scanlan brought schools, health care, and the spiritual life to his widespread flock

Catholic Bishop Lawrence Scanlan brought schools, health care, and the spiritual life to his widespread flock.

Unlike these Protestants, Catholics, who were numerically the largest of the Gentile groups, were more concerned with keeping their own people faithful than changing the Mormons. Priests from Ireland, like Fathers Edward Kelly, Patrick Walsh, and Thomas Galligan, were among the earliest Catholic clergy in Utah. Father Lawrence Scanlan, whose major task in life was to keep Catholicism’s flame burning in Utah, was also a son of the Emerald Isle. A graduate of All Hallows College, Dublin, Scanlan came to the United States shortly after his ordination as a priest in 1868 and in 1873 arrived in Salt Lake City just as the influx of Irish miners began. It was to these Irishmen that Scanlan’s labors were primarily directed. In the tradition of mining, his parishioners were notoriously impermanent; and his missions in Ophir, Silver Reef, and other mining locations were the very antithesis of Mormonism’s religiously motivated colonization. That the Irish miners moved away as the veins of ore were drained was no reason for complacency; the faith must be preserved, and Scanlan’s energies matched the needs. Not only were spiritual needs met by this Irish priest, but through his efforts the Sisters of the Holy Cross established hospitals in Salt Lake City and Ogden, and academies and parochial schools were promoted that served not only Catholics but were “patronized by children of Mormon parentage.”77 Scanlan’s policy was to cultivate amicable relations with Mormons as individuals and, unlike the evangelical groups, he did not practice Mormon-baiting. In May 1879, during a visit to Silver Reef (a mining community with a large Irish population), Scanlan was invited by the Mormon leadership to utilize the nearby Saint George Tabernacle for a Catholic mass. The Tabernacle Choir practiced and sang “Peter’s Mass” in Latin under the direction of an Edinburgh native, John MacFarlane. In 1887 Scanlan was appointed vicar apostolic of Utah, and in 1886 titular bishop of Laranda, culminating in his elevation to bishop of Salt Lake in 1891. His success in promoting the growth and stability of the Catholic church in Utah was made possible in large measure by those very Irish miners whose religious needs he had devoted his life to serving. In the 1890s they were among the wealthiest men of the territory and were “characteristically generous toward their church” making the Cathedral of the Madeleine a unique reality for such a numerically small diocese.78 In so doing these Irish immigrants not only strengthened their own particular religion, they added to the diversity and pluralism of Utah’s cultural inheritance.

Illustrative of the role that British immigrants and their children assumed in Utah’s religious affairs was the life of Utah-born David 0. McKay, the son of David McKay of Scotland and Jennette Evans of Wales. Long an apostle, this educator son of immigrants became Mormonism’s chief spokesman in 1951 when he was sustained as president of the church, a position he held until his death in 1970. In striking contrast to the open hostility directed at the John Taylors and George Q. Cannons of an earlier generation, President McKay was widely respected and admired by non-Mormons and symbolized the amicable relationship between Mormons and Gentiles which has characterized Utah’s recent history.79


Because British immigrants in the United States were less likely to establish separate and distinct British settlements than other immigrants, they have been in large measure invisible as a group. But, as Charlotte Erickson has pointed out, it should not be assumed that they were, therefore, automatically assimilated into the mainstream of American life. This assumption overlooks the role that the informal immigrant “communities and their institutions played in the accommodation of the first generation immigrant and in the long-run assimilation of his children.”80 In addition to the psychological and physical support received from the immigrant communities, the settlers’ adaptation to life in America was facilitated by their political activity, their close family association, their common use of the English language, and their lack of a “prickly British nationalism, which might have hindered their adjustment.”81

These factors are plainly evident when one considers the British settlers in Utah. With the British-born making up a significant proportion of the population, there was a large immigrant community capable of lending support to newcomers; the Mormon emphasis on family unity made settlement in Utah a family affair; the full participation of British immigrants in the social and political life of Utah no doubt gave the new settlers a sense of control over their own destiny; and, of course, the peculiarly Mormon interpretation of America as the land of Zion subdued any lingering nationalism. As William Morrison expressed it: “I long for citizenship in Zion, the metropolis of God’s kingdom.”82 However, like British settlers in the United States at large, the immigrants in Utah never completely divested themselves of their cultural heritage. Indeed, that heritage may even have promoted their gradual accommodation and adaptation to the new environment by keeping intact a sense of personal and group integrity. As Horace Kallen has observed, genuine cultural pluralism does not require the debasement or neglect of one’s origins; rather pluralism is strengthened by the promotion of individual and group diversity.83

There can be no doubt, however, that early Mormonism was less concerned with preserving cultural identity and cultural pluralism than with building a holy commonwealth whose citizens would have allegiance to God (and to his chosen representatives). John Taylor, an immigrant himself and a prominent Mormon leader, proclaimed as his motto, “The Kingdom of God or nothing,” and an early editorial of the Deseret News took note of the problem of discord arising among Utah’s settlers, gathered as they were from so many nations. Not only was language seen as a barrier, but habits, native prejudices, customs, superstition, credulity “imbibed in childhood and riper years, not wholly divested of native pride” were pointed out as weaknesses which had to be overcome. The editorial then asked rhetorically:

Does it ever occur to you that you are a Swede, or a German, or a Dane, or an Englishman, or a Scotch, or an Irishman, Canadian or Yankee; that your nation understands their business most perfectly and that you don’t like a man of another nation to be foreman over you?

If such thoughts have ever arisen, then “so far you have fallen short of the Savior’s rule; you are not one with your brethren.” Decrying the notion that a Welshman understands foundry work because he is Welsh or an Englishman cotton spinning because he is English or a Yankee is more inventive because of birth, the immigrants were cautioned to be “like little children, and learn to do their master’s will” so that the society they labored to build would succeed.84 Nor was the friction between groups simply a matter of English versus a foreign tongue; when Erastus Snow visited the settlers in Iron County, he reported that he found there a Scotch party, a Welsh party, an English party, and an American party. Using a metaphor that these ironworkers understood, he “undertook to put all these parties through the furnace and run out a party of Saints for the Kingdom of God.”85

The notion that the church should be a melting pot was, of course, very much a matter of physical survival in those early years. Later, unity would also be stressed as a means of combating the Gentile influence. Added to these practical reasons were the ever-present spiritual motivations as Jedediah M. Grant expressed them in a discourse in 1856:

I like to see the English, the Scotch, Welsh, French, Danes, and men from every nation, kindred, tongue and people come forth and unite under the standard of truth, obey God and be one.86

Even those who spoke foreign languages were promised that in time the Lord would restore the “pure” language so that misunderstandings arising out of different tongues would cease.87 The long-term success of this policy of stressing unity is quite evident in recent studies of the Mormons: sociologist Thomas F. O’Dea defined them as “a people” and D. W. Meinig, a geographer, said:

as a group they constitute a highly self-conscious subculture whose chief bond is religion and one which has long established its mark upon the life and landscape of a particular area, i.e., Utah and parts of surrounding states.88

It is almost axiomatic that they did not achieve the status of a “self-conscious subculture” by promoting the separate cultural identity of the diverse groups from which they drew their strength. Indeed, it seemed as if the Mormon message (mixed with American self-confidence) helped promote the notion that their native lands were not worthy of loyalty. What else would one expect when new converts sang of their homes as the epitome of evil:

Oh Babylon, Oh Babylon
We bid you farewell
We’re going to the mountains
Of Ephraim to Dwell.89

Similarly, James Burgess wrote as he sailed for Zion:

In darkness long we have been o’er whelmed
Upon proud Brittons land
But now the Lord has called us forth
By his divine command.90

Charles Penrose, who referred to Utah as his “old mountain home” years before seeing it, gave notice of his break with England not only physically but mentally when he virtually disowned her during his return mission in 1866. Acknowledging that he had become disenchanted with his native land, to the tune of the Irish National song, “Erin go Bragh,” he sang: “The spots on the face of thy beauty I see” and ended praising Utah as a land free of political corruption:

“Where poverty lives not,
and bondage is banished.”
Where righteous men govern,
where Zion is rising.
To spread forth her glory to every shore.
“Tis the rest of the Saints,
and my home of adoption,
Oh, England! I’ll call thee my country no more.”91

In Utah the struggle for economic, political, and social survival during the first forty years preempted the formation of distinctive nationalistic institutions among immigrants; and, as has been suggested, the Mormon concept of the kingdom and stress on unity was not particularly conducive to separatism among the British national groups. The English, of course, because of their dominant position numerically had the least need for formal organizations to perpetuate their cultural identity in Utah. They were, after all, a major influence in shaping the overall Utah scene. As in the nation at large, the Scots, Welsh, and Irish were much more given to nationalistic sentiments, however muted by Utah circumstances.92

In contrast to the English as an immigrant group, the Irish were the smallest of those who settled in Utah from the British Isles. They were the least likely of the four groups to come to Utah as Mormon converts, although the first white child born in the Salt Lake Valley was the daughter of Irish Mormon immigrants, John and Catherine Steele.93 Instead, the increased Irish population of the territory paralleled the extension of the railroad westward and the opening of the Utah mines. For instance, between 1869 and 1880, while the number of Scots in Utah tripled, the Irish increased by almost 500 percent. Most of the Catholics in Utah were of Irish birth or extraction, and the Catholic church played an important role in maintaining their Irish identity. Before mining and railroads, however, Irish soldiers came to Utah as members of Johnston’s army in 1858 to help put down the “Mormon rebellion” and were included among the garrison at Camp Douglas in the 1860s. That native Irish were included in occupation forces may have contributed in some way to the hostility that existed between them and the Mormons, and Archbishop Dwyer’s suggestion that “the relative peace and quiet of that decade [1847-57] was due in part to the fact that so few Irishmen were around”94 has, perhaps, some merit. Given the relatively large English population in Utah and the centuries of hostility existing between the two groups, conflict between English settlers and Irish soldiers might be expected. However, although a branch of the ultra-nationalistic Fenian Brotherhood (which “hated England with a consuming hatred”) was established among Patrick Connor’s Irish soldiers at Camp Douglas in 1864, there is no documentary evidence to suggest that the soldiers (as Irishmen) were involved in any specifically anti-English activities among the English population of the Salt Lake Valley.95 At a later date the centuries of rivalry between Irish Catholics and Protestants was recalled when a Mrs. Creedon, the Irish landlady of a boarding house in Bingham, displayed a sign on her front porch that read “No Orangemen Allowed.” The Battle of the Boyne had reached into Bingham Canyon.96

Although Scots had been in Utah from the earliest days of settlement, it was not until 1876 that a “Scotch Gathering” was organized. In June of that year some two hundred Scots and their “freens wha dinna come frae the Land O’Cakes” gathered at Fuller’s Hall in Salt Lake City to hear bagpipes played by W. C. Dunbar and an old veteran of the 42d Highland Regiment and also to participate in the program of Scottish dances, songs, and poetry. Quoting Bums, the Deseret News reported that the pipers “screwed their pipes an’ gart them skirl, till roof an’ rafters a’ did dir].” Orson Pratt reminisced about his early missionary work in Scotland, and the assembly, gathering in small knots and responding to the invitation to “sit ye doon mon, an’ ye’r crack–reenacted in the forcible word painting of the strong willed Scot, the scenes and circumstances of Auld Lang Syne.”97 Eight years elapsed before a more formal group came into being. In 1884 some “canny Scots” organized a Caledonia Society, the purposes of which were “mental improvement, social enjoyment, healthful recreation, and mutual benefit.” Despite its name, however, membership in this Caledonia Society was not confined to Scots; but there is every indication that it was an exclusively Mormon group, “Latter-day Saints of any nationality” being eligible for membership.98

Another Scottish group was formed as the Caledonia Club in 1892, and its purposes were decidedly more social although not limited to Scots or to Mormons. The meetings, it was announced, would have “Scottish characteristics, but both our American and English friends can enjoy them.”99 Through such institutions as the Thistle Social Club, the Caledonia Football Club, the Scottish Missionary Reunion, Scottish Club, the annual Burns Supper, the Caledonia Pipe Band, the Utah Pipe Band, and the Salt Lake Scots Pipe Band, Utahns of Scottish birth and extraction perpetuated aspects of their unique heritage.100

Of all the British immigrants in the United States, the Welsh have been characterized as those who were “the most clannish and worked hardest to uphold their national customs and language.”101 Nationally, the most separate of the British groups, in Utah as in the nation at large, the Welsh “burned to re-create their folkways.”102 That they spoke the ancient Welsh language helped promote their sense of separateness, especially in religious affairs. The use of English, the language of materialism and secular affairs, in a religious context was viewed as highly inappropriate, and every attempt was made to preserve the traditional faith and the language of their fathers. Mormon recognition of the importance which the Welsh attach to Cymric (even though most converts were made in the most industrialized and Anglicized southern region of Wales) was seen in the production of Prophwyd y Jubili, the first non-English Mormon publication, and in the translation of the Mormon scriptures into the ancient Welsh tongue.103

While the Welsh celebrated Saint David’s Day in Salt Lake City as early as 1852,104 the re-creation of Welsh folkways was given its greatest impetus by a mass meeting of Utah’s Welsh citizens in 1885 when they assembled in Salt Lake City for a reunion that concluded with a proposal by Elias Morris to establish in Utah a “Welsh eisteddfod, an organization peculiar to the Welsh people, for the development of literary and musical ability.”105 On Saint David’s Day 1893 such a gathering was held at Spanish Fork “to maintain the Welsh language and customs of the country and to foster and cultivate a patriotic spirit among the people.” The group was addressed by the Gentile territorial governor, A. L. Thomas, who, though born in the United States of Welsh parents, regarded himself a Welshman.106 In 1895 a formal organization, the Cambrian Society, came into being, and at Spanish Fork ex-governor Thomas was elected its president. A Deseret News description of the Spanish Fork eisteddfod gives the impression that it was a community affair not just a Welsh reunion:

St. David’s Day is being celebrated here amid great enthusiasm by the largest delegation of Welshmen ever assembled in this Territory. Representatives are in attendance from nearly every county in Utah, Salt Lake in particular, many coming a great distance to participate in the day’s festivities. Business is entirely suspended and the principal buildings are beautifully decorated. The Spanish Fork brass band met the visitors and treated them to some excellent music. Promptly at eleven o’clock the exercises of the day commenced.

At two o’clock the Eisteddfod was held and prizes were given for choruses, solos, essays, poetry and instrumentalist. The music was grand, and especially when the vast assemblage sang in unison the Welsh anthem. The afternoon’s exercises concluded with addresses from D. L. Davis and W. XW. Williams and the carrying out of Welsh customs.

Tonight a concert will be given with short addresses by prominent Welshmen.107

Later in 1895, Salt Lake City was the site of a regional eisteddfod, and Welsh Americans from Utah and surrounding states came to perpetuate their cultural heritage which, though Welsh in origin, was credited in 1908 with being instrumental in contributing substantially to the literary and musical culture of Utah. An editorial in the Deseret Newsexpressed the hope that the Cambrian Society would long be “a blessing to the community.”108

Perhaps more important than formal organization as far as helping immigrants feel at home in the earlier years were the countless small, informal reunions where old friends could reminisce about the old country and where the natural loneliness of being in a strange, albeit chosen, land would be softened. Loneliness pervaded William Grant when he wrote of the heartbreak he and his wife experienced when one of their children died shortly after their arrival in Utah: “as we did not have relatives nor many friends we were left alone with our dead. There was none but our Neibor came to help us.” Longingly, he remembered the happy times in England Where he had been a member of a musical group “who shared a fine appreciation of my talent [as a coronet player].” But he brought himself up short in his reverie and self-pity when he added “…but I must turn from these old Country scenes to real life in the Valleys of the Mountains, the Zion of the Latter days.”109

James Steele, an Ulster Scot, reminisced that although the first contacts made in Utah were with American and English families, “as the Scotch are considered clannish,” he and his friends would get together in the houses of other Scotch immigrants and with William Park at the fiddle, dance traditional Scottish dances to perpetuate the clannishness.110

About three months after his arrival, Elijah Larkin held a party for old friends from England and new ones met since his settlement in Utah. At this party a discussion on why they should have come to Utah ensued. According to Larkin, it was agreed that coming to Utah to build up the kingdom of God was the Lest course for them to have pursued.111 Larkin may well have had some doubts about his new environment when later he clashed with drunken Camp Douglas soldiers trying to enter the Salt Lake Theatre where he was a guard. A strict law-and-order constable in Oxford, England, he stood his ground in Utah and was subjected to public criticism for refusing to yield. A few days later he personally complained to Brigham Young that he “could not walk up and down the street without being called the Stiff Englishman.” According to Larkin’s account, Brigham Young “put his hand, very fatherly on my shoulder” and said “if I do not find fault with you you need not mind what others say.”112 Larkin might have rejoiced thirty years later when the Contributor published an article in praise of “The Reserved Englishman” who added a sense of stability amid sweeping change.113

That these early settlers were not as uncomplaining as folklore sometimes would have us believe is indicated in November 1864, when W. C. Staines, an immigrant himself, preached a sermon on “Letter Writing to the Old Country” in the tabernacle. Elijah Larkin recorded that Staines “advised the Saints when they wrote to write the truth and not represent the dark side of the Picture all the time?” As was his wont on many occasions, Brigham Young took issue with Staines and told the assembly to “write just what they liked and paint things as black as they choose and the honest in heart would come anyway.”114

And some letter writers did indeed portray the bitter side of life in Utah. A Welsh woman writing in 1862 to a friend in Wales confessed that since coming to Utah she had “seen little besides pain, sorrow, darkness and trouble. We are wearing out a miserable existence, anxiously looking for something we may never attain.” The dread of polygamy, she said, made her so miserable that at times “I almost wished myself at the bottom of the sea instead of in Utah.”115

Joseph Harker recalled that many of their meals were thistles and roots and that when his son heard that thistles were the main course, “he would lay down until we had eaten our thistles and then he would go out and play.”116 William Greenwood summed up the year 1855 by saying it would be a year “long remembered by the Saints in the Mountains for destruction of crops and cattle.”117 Joseph Cooper complained of a lack of clothes and food in Cache Valley in 1858, and describing his home of 1872 he said that “when it rained outside, it also rained inside, only raining two or three days after the rain quit.” Not enough rain, however, was the problem when Cooper went to Arizona as a colonist and preserved for the future a veritable litany of pioneer failure:

We planted our grain, but it failed. We planted some peas, they came up fine but all turned yellow and died. We built a dam across the Little Colorado River?the dam washed out and we rebuilt it, and it washed out again…Our crops were a total failure.118

Writing to his brother Thomas in Yorkshire in 1854, Stephen Longstrath conveyed to him the high cost of imported items such as cloth, sugar, and tea, adding that they had “maney inderances and hevey taxes it being a new conterey there is a maney roads and bridges to make,” but despite these difficulties “we have a plenty of the necereys of life,” a common refrain in letters and journals and so poignantly expressed by Alfred Cardon when he records the celebration of Pioneer Day on July 24, 1868: “There was nothing to mar our peace only the thought that the Locust were destroying our crops–they eat our clothing as we sat in the Bowery.” The next day he mentioned that the locusts had stripped everything, but “what little there was left we were thankful for.”119

All this, of course, simply says that British immigrants partook of pioneer life and reacted to it not as Britons, but simply as people. The heat, the dry climate, the food, the altitude, the different social system prompted different responses depending perhaps as much on personality as on anything else. Even the dread of polygamy had another side as expressed by Eliza Knowles’s letter to her parents in Gloucester, England, in 1856. Inviting her sister to come to Utah she asked her parents to “tell her if she doos believe in Plurality of wives she may have half of my man. Tell her he is a good man and she had better have half of a good man than have hole of a bad one.”120

The differences the immigrant had to contend with were not always matters of life or death. For instance, in Pennsylvania, en route to Utah from England, William Atkin described his first encounter with a yellow cake eaten with meals. He thought this the “height of American extravigances in very deed” and determined to eat the cake as dessert. One bite of the cake convinced him it was made of sawdust. He commented that he knew then why cornbread was eaten with, rather than after, the meal; it could not be eaten otherwise. Finding it to be called corndodger he “dodged it for a long while after that.”121

When Christopher Arthur was introduced to Brigham Young in 1853, the president served watermelon, the first Arthur had ever seen, and he “hardly knew how to go to work upon the piece meted out to him.”122 John Jones Davies wrote home to Wales in praise of the variety of food available in his lodgings unlike the “scanty meals of the Old Country” and what is more “Everyone has cornplete freedom to help themselves. The cook does not put everyones share in front of him, such an act would be an unforgivable insult.”123

Davies mentioned that English is the common language of his English, Scottish, Yankee, Irish, French, Welsh, Swiss, Swedish, Danish neighbors in Sugarhouse, but there is a “great deal of difference between the English spoken in America and that in England.”124 Quite apart from differences in meanings, British accents made for different pronunciations of English, too, and “Come, Come Ye Saints” was more likely to sound like “Coom, Coom Ye Synts” when sung by Lancashire immigrants.125 In the journals and letters of English immigrants one can find traces of the peculiar language idiosyncrasies of the English settlers: adding an “h” to some words and dropping it in others. William Blood, who came to the United States when five years old, recorded in 1863 that “Helder Horson Hyde” (Elder Orson Hyde) preached, and in 1872 he referred to “Hangus” (Angus) M. Cannon. Toward the end of his life he was still adding or dropping an “h”: he observed the “national oliday” in 1915 and a year later referred to trouble he had with the pain in his “hear” and noted that his daughter had a “hoperation.” George Dunford reported that his father had been “hailing” for some years and used “as” for “has” on occasion. George Barber “itched up the ponies” and Joseph Harker complained that Samuel Bennion had lost his wife’s “arnice.” One might well think that Elijah Larkin had seen a “magic deer” on the stage of the Salt Lake Theatre when he referred to a “Magic Hart” show, if one is not aware that these unforeign foreigners had difficulty with the aspirant “h”.126

When the parents of Daniel MacIntosh inquired if he could still speak “the Gaelic,” he responded, “Would I forget my mother’s tongue?”127 But in fact he had little occasion to use Gaelic as secretary to Brigham Young, and few there were of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders in Utah with whom he could converse. The Scots in Utah were principally Lowlanders, speaking that combination of standard English and Scottish dialect, Lallans, that no doubt sounded foreign enough to untrained ears. James Henderson complained that he had difficulty making Americans understand his Glasgow tongue,128 a matter of no small wonder when one considers the rolled “r’s,” broad “a’s,” and glottal stops so characteristic of Scottish Lowlands speech. Charles Nibley, who was a child when his parents emigrated, claimed that it was easy for him to “talk Scotch and read Scotch.”129 But the theatre critic for the Daily Union Vedette in 1863 was disturbed over David McKenzie’s accent as a Scottish fisherman in the melodrama Warlock of the Glen:

We have no doubt that his accent was Scotch all over and was rendered in the most natural way. Yet, if he had given us a little more English idiom and a trifle less of Scotch dialect, we think the audience would have been better able to appreciate and understand the good things, which we have no doubt old Andrew said.130

“Good plain Scotch” as James Lindsay referred to his native dialect was a minor but yet personally important mark of distinction for the Scot, and even second generation Scots like Joseph H. McPhie of Salt Lake City and Alexander Calderwood of Tremonton could in later years with David 0. McKay, Mormon church president, “lapse into a Scottish accent with ease.”131

Because Cymric (the language of Wales) is not a dialect of English, like Scottish Lallans or the Irish brogue, the Welsh in Utah had a natural and more secure base from which to maintain their cultural heritage. Through the Cambrian Association and its sponsorship of the eisteddfod festivals and gymanfa ghani (the hymnsinging festivals) the Welsh immigrants helped perpetuate the ancient language and culture of the Cymri in Utah. According to one account, this ancient Celtic tongue even played a role in the founding of Wales in Sanpete County. Because of their experience as miners in old Wales, John Rees and John Price were called by Brigham Young to open up a coalmine in Sanpete in 1854. While digging at the site shown them by an Indian guide, they were asked to bless a sick Indian chief and, being more fluent in their native tongue than in English, they gave the chief a blessing in Welsh. The chief, recognizing that they did not speak English when praying, informed his followers that these men were good and that “they had talked with the Great Spirit in a new tongue, and made him well.” Later when some of the Indians decided to attack the settlers, the Weishmen called in alarm to each other in Welsh and the Indians, thinking that the strange tongue was indeed a sacred language used only in time of need, retreated from the planned annihilation.132 The Welshmen would probably have agreed that their language was never more sacred to them than at that time.

Utah’s Irish, English, Scottish, and Welsh settlers, in uniting with Americans and other immigrants to build their new home and despite pressures to conform, never quite forgot their origins or their native pride.

The religious and social impulses that stimulated the initial massive flow of immigrants from the British Isles to Utah in the nineteenth century have long ceased to be. Zion is no longer regarded in solely geographic terms. A Mormon temple stands on Britain’s “green and pleasant land”; and the Mormon church discourages, on pragmatic if not on theological grounds, any sense of gathering to Utah from the “isles of the sea.” In addition, the labor of foreign Gentiles is no longer needed to build railroads and to mine Utah’s ores. However, though much reduced, the trickle of immigrants has persisted during the twentieth century. Although, by 1970 British-born residents in Utah were a meager 2.8 percent of the total population, they were still the largest immigrant group in the state, comprising 23 percent of the foreign-born population. Through the contributions of such scholars as Dr. Arthur Beeley, the founder of the University of Utah’s School of Social Work, artists like Alvin Gittins, skilled tradesmen such as James S. Campbell, or teachers like the Irish Catholic Sisters of Saint Vincent’s School in Salt Lake City, immigrants from the British Isles have continued to enhance Utah’s social, cultural, and economic fabric.

At this point the historian of immigrant contributions may be tempted to engage in speculation as to the decisive difference that any one group, or for that matter, any one person, made to America’s and Utah’s development. Did it really make a significant difference to Utah’s educational development that for a large part of its first forty years its schools were under the superintendency of a Scot, Robert L. Campbell, who urged free schools and criticized the easygoing attitude which the populace had toward improved education for their children? Or has Utah’s educational development been significantly influenced in the long run by two-thirds of the eighteen county superintendents in 1868 being of British birth and education.133 Was it decisive when immigrant Peter Lochrie, a Gentile, was elected prosecuting attorney in Beaver County rather than some other person?134 Probably not–if Campbell had not been superintendent, others would have undoubtedly urged free schools. Again, Lochrie was not the only Gentile in Beaver and perhaps a Mormon bishop would have served the community as well. When Utah’s electorate chose John Cutler and William Spry, both native Englishmen, to be the state’s governors between 1905 and 1917, they were undoubtedly influenced more by the candidates’ political capability than by their particular nationality.135 The prominent position occupied by Britons in Utah is more a function of their numerical majority than any intellectual or social superiority.

Ultimately, one is driven to the realization that it is human beings who accomplish what nationalities are credited with. Although native pride may not be sufficient to explain the British contribution to Utah, it is a necessary component in any assessment of Utah’s people and institutions. Through maintenance of their cultural heritage these British immigrants were able to relate to their new environment not as a dispossessed and helpless minority but as a relatively powerful, “imperial” minority. Neither completely assimilated nor yet entirely segregated, they shaped the character of Utah’s history and development through daily toil, leadership, faith, dissent, and diversity.

In celebrating the exploits of the “great” men and women, there may be a tendency to neglect the daily ploddings of common British people in Utah who, because they were in a particular place at a particular time, became an essential element in Utah’s development from a religious colony to a modern state. When Jacob Peart, a British settler of 1847, died in 1914, it was said of him that he “led an honorable, unassuming life and leaves a large family,”136 a tribute that could be extended to the thousands of unsung common contributors who are

…the caldron and reservoir
Of the human reserves that shape history.137


1 Diary of a Voyage from Liverpool to New Orleans on Board the Ship International (Salt Lake City, n.d.). As far as is known the only printed copy of this diary is in the possession of T. Edgar Lyon, Salt Lake City. It is reproduced in its entirety in Frederick S. Buchanan, “The Emigration of Scottish Mormons to Utah, 1847?1900” (M.S. thesis, University of Utah, 1961), Appendix A, pp. 141–59. Note: for convenience, the term “British” will be used in this essay to indicate all persons born in the British Isles including Ireland. During the nineteenth century, Ireland was, politically, a part of the United Kingdom.

2 A detailed account of the organization of the migration of Mormons to Utah is Philip A. M. Taylor, Expectations Westward (Edinburgh and London, 1965), chaps. 3,6,9.

3 R. Kent Fielding, “The Mormon Economy in Kirtland, Ohio,” Utah Historical Quarterly 27 (1959): 331–56; Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1930), 1:396–97.

4 Robert B. Flanders, Kingdom on the Mississippi (Urbana, Ill., 1965), pp. v, 86.

5 Quoted in ibid., p. 86. For details on individual immigrants see entries in Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saints Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1901–31). For a contemporary view of British settlers in Nauvoo see Eudacia B. Marsh, “A Reminiscence,” ed. Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O.

Davis, in Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 64 (1971): 31–32.

6 Dale L. Morgan, “Miles Goodyear and the Founding of Ogden,” Utah Historical Quarterly 21(1953): 213–15.

7 LeRoy R. Hafen, ed., The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, 10 vols. (Glendale, Calif., 1965–72), 1:165, 3:217, 227.

8 Ibid., 6:387, 9: 255. Another western trapper and trader, Kenneth McKenzie, was so successful that he was called “Emperor of the West” by his con temporaries. Ibid., 2:222.

9 Franklin L. West, Life of Franklin D. Richards (Salt Lake City, 1924), p. 83.

10 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, and 1970 Censuses.

11 Taylor, Expectations Westward, pp. 15 1–55.

12 R. T. Berthoff, British Immigrants in Industrial America (Cambridge, Mass., 1953),p. 125.

13 1870, 1880 Censuses.

14 Historical Sites and Landmarks,” vol. 2, p. 17, typescript. Archives Division, Historical Department. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City; “Journal History,” September 2, 1854, LDS Archives.

15 Names recorded on a sketch map in “Manuscript History of Wales Ward,” LDS Archives.

16 Joseph Harker Journal, November 12, 1856, July 1858, LDS Archives: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, East of Antelope Island: History of the First Fifty Years of Davis County, 4th ed. rev. ([Bountiful?] 1971), p. 123.

17 DUP. East of Antelope Island, pp. 104?5; Preston Nibley, et al., eds., Charles W. Nibley Reminiscences (Salt Lake City, 1934), pp. 23?24. 35: interview with Preston Nibley, 1960; “Record of Members, Wellsville Ward, 1869? 90,” LDS Archives.

18 Manuscript History of Woodruff Stake,” December 22, 1895, LDS Archives.

19 Manuscript History of Inverury Ward,” February 7. 1877, LDS Archives; Milton R. Hunter, ed., Beneath Ben Lomond’s Peak: A History of Weber County, 1824–1900 (Salt Lake City, 1941), p. 3. Sources for origins of place names are scattered, but useful data may be found in State of Utah, Department of Public Instruction, Origins of Utah Places Names (Salt Lake City, 1960) and Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, 1941).

 20 Robert J. Dwyer, “The Irish in the Building of the Intermountain West,” Utah Historical Quarterly 25 (1957): 232?33.

21 1880, 1890 Censuses.

22 Nels Anderson, Desert Saints (Chicago, 1966), pp. 428–30.

23 Millennial Star 20 (1858): 523.

24 Millennial Star 11(1849): 91.

25 William Gibson Journal, p. 113, LDS Archives.

26 Millennial Star 11(1849): 246.

27 Millennial Star 14 (1852): 21.

28 Millennial Star 11(1849): 248–49.

30 Leonard J. Arrington discusses Utah enterprises related to the occupations of British immigrants in chap. 4 of his Great Basin Kingdom, An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900(Cambridge, Mass., 1958); Franklin D. Richards to Brigham Young, February 24, 1852, in “Journal History.” Richards said he was sending Scottish shepherds and sheep dogs to Utah.

31R. Philip Rasmussen, comp., “A History of the James Murdoch and Mary Murray Murdoch Family and Their Children Who Came to America,” (Salt Lake City, 1959).

32 Deseret News, July 5, 1861. I am indebted to Professor Kenneth Davies of Brigham Young University for this reference. See his essay “The Secularization of the Utah Labor Market,” presented at the Fall 1974 meeting, Utah Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, Logan, Utah.

33 Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity . . . (Chicago, 1902).

34 Ibid., Of the Gentiles, four were involved in mining: R. Forrester, J. Farrell, M. Cullen and J. W. Donnellan; W. Nelson was a federal marshal and publisher; Peter Lochree was a lawyer and judge; Boyd Park was a jeweler and Lawrence Scanlan, a clergyman. See entries under their respective names.

35 W. Turrentine Jackson, “British Impact on the Utah Mining Industry,” Utah Historical Quarterly 31 (1963): 347?75; Clark C. Spence, British Investments and the American Mining Frontier 1850?1901(Ithaca, N.Y., 1958). See especially chap. 8 for a discussion of British involvement in the financially disastrous Utah Emma Mining Company in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

36 Hubert H. Bancroft, History of Utah  (San Francisco, 1889), pp. 650–51. Godbe claimed that through his business efforts hundreds of people were gainfully employed and thousands of dollars pumped into Utah’s economy.

29 Millennial Star 12 (1850): 359.

37 Dwyer, “Irish in the West,” 221–35.

38 Biographical Record, pp. 99, 137, 609.

39 Walter G. Marshall. Through America or Nine Months in the United States (London, 1881),p. 233.

40 Biographical Record, pp. 105–6.

41Edward W. Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City, 1886). p. 380; Edward Larkin Journal, April 9, 1864, LDS Archives.

42 See Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia and Sketches of the Inter-mountain States . . . (Salt Lake City, 1909) for numerous references to British entrepreneurs in Utah.

43 Claire Noall,’?Mormon Midwives.” Utah Historical Quarterly 10 (1942): 114–25.

44 Jean Bickmore White, ?Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38 (1970): 31–33, 42–48.

45 Henry Hamilton Journal, LDS Archives.

46 Christopher J. Arthur Journal, vol. 2, p. 16, typescript. Utah State Historical Society.

47 Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City. p. 667.

48 Biographical Record, pp. 464, 355, 303, 196.

49 Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City. p. 670.

50 Ibid., pp. 771–72.

51 Ibid., p. 737.

52 George D. Pyper, Romance of an Old Playhouse, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City, 1937), p. 58; Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City, p. 759. David McKenzie. an engraver, acted out another role in an off-stage drama. While living in the Beehive House he was engaged to engrave plates for the Deseret currency. but in 1859 he was arrested on charges of counterfeiting U.S. drafts and sentenced to a two-year prison term. In 1868 he became private secretary to Brigham Young. See Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1964), 2:698 n. 58.

53 J. Spencer Cornwall, Stories of Our Mormon Hymns (Salt Lake City. 1963), pp. 159–60.

54 Chris Righy, “Ada Dwyer: Bright Lights and Lilacs,” Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975): 42.

55 Deseret News, September 7, 1901; See John Lyon’s contribution in Tullidge’s Quarterly Magazine; Maude Adams, Utah’s most distinguished actress, claimed that John Lyon introduced her to the art of elocution and Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael, the Utah poet, gave “Father Lyon” credit for teaching her the basics of poetry writing. Lyon with other kindred spirits (many of whom were British) made up the membership of Salt Lake City’s Twentieth Ward which under the leadership of Bishop John Sharp was considered one of the city’s “most intellectual and liberal Wards.” Interview with T. Edgar Lyon, March 27, 1975, Salt Lake City. See sketch of John Sharp in Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia 1:677.

56 William F. Lye, “Edward Wheelock Tullidge, The Mormon’s Rebel Historian,” Utah Historical Quarterly 28 (1960): 57–75.

57Ronald W. Walker, “The Stenhouses and the Making of a Mormon Image,” Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 5 1–52.

  58 Ibid., pp. 54–56. Scottish Mormon William Gibson recalls that he knew Stenhouse in Britain “and was not at all surprised at the course he took?in Utah. William Gibson Journal, p. 147, LDS Archives.

59 Maureen Ursenbach, “Three Women and the Life of the Mind” Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975) : 33, 27.

60 Ibid., 29–32.

61Taylor, Expectations Westward, p. 246.

62 Ronald W. Walker, ?The Commencement of the Godbeite Protest: Another View,” Utah Historical Quarterly 42 (1974): 217–44; C. II. Palmer. “The Godbeite Movement: A Dissent Against Temporal Control” (M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1968).

63 Robert J. Dwyer, The Gentile Comes to Utah: A Study in Religious and Social Conflicts (1862–1890) (Washington, D. C., 1941), pp. 107–8. Gibson Condie mentions that Alexander Dow made Morris’s crown. See his Journal, p. 47, LDS Archives.

64 William Kelly, “The Mormon Settlement in the Great Salt Lake Valley,” cited in J. Cecil Alter, ed., Utah–The Storied Domain, 3 vols. (Chicago, 1932), 1:97. Because the Scot had voluntarily deposited his money with the church, Kelly commented that “notwithstanding his strong dialect, I question if he is clean-bred Scotch.”

65Ronald G. Watt, “George D. Watt: Old Ship Zion or Devil’s Harrow,” essay in possession of Ronald G. Watt, Salt Lake City.

66 F. W. Blake Diary, November 24, 1861, LDS Archives.

67 Marshall, Through America, p. 229.

68 Dennis Michael Quinn, “Organizational Development and Social Origins of the Mormon Hierarchy 1830?1932: A Prosopographical Study” (M.A. thesis, University of Utah, 1973), pp. 95–96. This is the most useful single volume reference for personal data on the Mormon General Authorities.

69 Sterling M. McMurrin, “Notes on a Mormon Historian,” in Brigham H. Roberts, Joseph Smith–The Prophet Teacher (Princeton, N. J., 1967), p. vi. See also Robert H. Malan, B. H. Roberts: A Biography (Salt Lake City, 1966).

70 Dwyer, The Gentile Comes to Utah, pp. 112–17.

71 C. C. Goodwin, “The Mormon Situation,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 63 (1881): 759. Goodwin claimed the government of Utah was “monarchial” and “more absolute than ever was the Czar of Russia.”

72 Brigham H. Roberts, Life of John Taylor (Salt Lake City, 1963); Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City, pp. 23?2

73 For details on Cannon’s role as a territorial delegate during the height of the polygamy controversy see Mark W. Cannon, “The Mormon Issue in Congress 1872–1882: Drawing on the Experience of Territorial Delegate George Q. Cannon” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1960).

74 C. C. Goodwin, “The Political Attitude of the Mormons,” The North American Review (March 1881): 282–83; A. S. Street, “The Mormon Richelieu,” Ainslee’s Magazine 4 (1900): 699–706. DeVoto quote cited in Cannon, “The Mormon Issue,” p. 4.

75 Nibley, Reminiscences; Jenson, LDS, Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:768–69.For sketches on Winder, Penrose, and Wells see ibid. For examples of lower echelon leadership in the Mormon church such as Britons John Steele and Christopher Layton, see Taylor, Expectations Westward, p. 72.

76 Dwyer, The Gentile Comes to Utah, chap. 6, “The Torchhearers,” discusses the evangelical Protestant efforts to convert the Mormons. T. Edgar Lyon, “Evangelical Protestant Missionary Activities in Mormon Dominated Areas 1865–1900” (Ph.D. diss., University of Utah, 1962), p. 251. Lyon quotes one Protestant evangelist as saying that the Mormons “take our profferred [sic] education, hut not our religion, and use it to strengthen their own institution.”

77 Dwyer, The Gentile Comes to Utah, pp. 157–59; Robert J. Dwyer, “Pioneer Bishop: Lawrence Scanlan 1843–1915,” Utah Historical Quarterly 20 (1952): 135–58.

78 Addressing the Mormons in the audience Scanlan said “I think you are wrong, and you think I am wrong, but this should not prevent us from treating each other with due consideration and respect.” See “Manuscript History of St. George Stake,” May 25, 1879, LDS Archives; M.A. Pendleton, “Memories of Silver Reef,” Utah Historical Quarterly 3 (1930): 116.

79 See, for instance, the account of a dinner given by community friends honoring David O. McKay on his ninetieth birthday in Deseret News, December 11, 1962.

80 Charlotte Erickson, Invisible Immigrants: The Adaptation of English and Scottish Immigrants in Nineteenth Century America (Miami, 1972), p. 407.

81 Ibid., p. 256.

82 William Morrison Diary, July 13, 1851, Utah State Historical Society.

83 Horace Kallen, Cultural Pluralism and the American Idea (Philadelphia, 1956), pp. 52–53;

Berthoff, British Immigrants in Industrial America, chap. 11, “National Cultures and Immigrant Societies,” discusses the efforts of British immigrants to maintain their English, Scottish, and Welsh customs and traditions in the United States; see also Erickson, Invisible Immigrants, pp. 85–86, 484.

84 Deseret News, February 5, 1853.

85 “Journal History,” December 12, 1852.

86 “Journal History,” January 27, 1853.

87 Deseret News, February 5, 1853.

88 Thomas F. O’Dea, Sociology of Religion (Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1966), p.70; D. W. Meinig, “The Mormon Culture Region: Strategies and Patterns in the Geography of the American West,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 55 (1965): 191.

89 Latter-day Saints Psalmody (Salt Lake City, 1896).

90 Burgess’s verse is from his journal, LDS Archives.

91 Improvement Era 25 (1922): 354–56.

92 Berthoff, British Immigrants in Industrial America, chap. 11, passim.

93 “Extracts from the Journal of John Steele,” Utah Historical Quarterly 6 (1933): 18.

94 “The Irish in the West,” 226.

95 The quote on Fenian hatred of England is from Alfred L. Burt, The Evolution of the British Empire and Commonwealth from the American Revolution (Boston, 1956), p. 372. Dwyer expressed the view that the Fenian group were not politically active in Utah in a letter to the author, January 10, 1975.

96 This anecdote was related to the author by Helen Z. Papanikolas, Salt Lake City, September 30, 1974.

97 Deseret News, June 21, 1876. Note: “June 22” is regarded as the date of the Battle of Bannockburn when Scotland established its independence from England.

98 Deseret News, February 12, 1884.

99 Deseret News, September 20, 1892.

100 The author is indebted to Archie McNair, an immigrant of 1922, for information concerning Scottish social groups in Salt Lake City. Mr. McNair was “Chief” of the Salt Lake Scottish Club for a total of 25 years. Interview January 21, 1975.

101 Oscar Handlin, A Pictorial History of Immigration (New York, 1972), p. 186; Berthoff, British Immigrants in Industrial America, p. 183.

102 Berthoff, British Immigrants, p. 172.

103 Handlin, A Pictorial History of Immigration, pp. 145–46; Jenson, Encyclopedic History, p. 681.

104 Salt Lake Tribune, February 27, 1937. This article recounts the 1852 meeting attended by two hundred fifty immigrants at the home of Daniel Daniels.

105 Deseret News, August 21, 1885; Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 1885. The Deseret News reported that some eight hundred to one thousand Welsh gathered at this meeting. The Tribune reported three hundred to four hundred.

106 Deseret News, March 2, 1893. The first formal meeting of the “Cambrian Association of Utah” was apparently held in Salt Lake City on March 2, 1891, at which time E. M. Bynon, the president of the association, gave an address “The Welsh in America.” One of the organizers of this “First Annual Anniversary,” William N. Williams, later became president of the group and on his death in 1927 was described by his fellow Welshmen as “an ardent devotee of his native land and one who reverently cherished her finest traditions and loftiest ideals and did much to extend them in the land of his adoption to which he was even more patriotically devoted as a broad minded and loyal American?”  (emphasis added). A “Resolution of Respect and Sympathy,” January 20, 1928, in possession of a granddaughter, Mrs. Evalyn D. Bennett, Salt Lake City, Utah. No matter how much devotion was shown to their native land, it was invariably superseded by loyalty to the United States. Information derived from Saint David’s Day Programme, March 2, 1891.

107 Deseret News, March 1, 1895.

108 Deseret News, October 5, 1908.

109 William Grant Journal, pp. 23, 24, LDS Archives.

110 “Extracts from Journal of John Steele,” Utah Historical Quarterly 6 (1933): 22–23.

111 Elijah Larkin Diary, October 3 and 8, 1863, photocopy of typescript, LDS Archives.

112 Ibid., October 29, November 4, 1863.

113 “A Reserved Englishman,” Contributor 14 (1893): 88–89.

114 Larkin Diary, November 20, 1864.

115 Jane__________in Utah to A_____________,” September 16, 1862, in A. Conway, ed., The Welsh in America: Letters from the Immigrants (Minneapolis, 1961), p. 318.

116 Joseph Harker Journal, p. 43, LDS Archives.

117 Journal of William Greenwood, pp. 24–25, Western Americana, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

118 “Autobiography of Joseph Cooper,” pp. 3, 10, typescript, Utah State Historical Society.

119 Stephen Longstrath to Thomas Longstrath, May 1, 1854, copy at Utah State Historical Society; Alfred Cardon Journal, July 24, July 25, 1868, LDS Archives.

120 Eliza Knowles to Mathew Barrett, Sr., 1856, in Kate B. Carter, ed., Heart Throbs of the West, 12 vols. (Salt Lake City, 1938?51) 5:421.

121 William Atkin, “Autobiography,” pp. 18–19, typescript, Utah State Historical Society.

122 Journal of Christopher J. Arthur, part 1, p. 6, typescript, Utah State Historical Society.

123 “John Jones Davies at Sugarhouse Ward, Salt Lake City, to Ed.” in Conway. The Welsh in America, pp. 319?20.

124 Ibid.

125 An observation made by James Kimball, Jr., in a conversation with the author, June 1974.

126 Journal of William Blood, 1863, February 25, 1872, July 15, 1915, November 13, 1916, May 22, 1914; George Dunford Journal, p. 38; George Barber Journal, July 13, 1862; Joseph Harker Journal, p. 71; Elijah Larkin Diary, February 6, 1864; all in LDS Archives.

127 Daniel MacIntosh to his parents, November 22, 1858, holograph, Utah State Historical Society.

128 Carter, Heart Throbs, 12:419.

129 Nibley, Reminiscences of Charles W. Nibley, p.41.

130 Daily Union Vedette, December 11, 1863.

131 James Lindsay, “Autobiography,” 1863–64, Utah State Historical Society; interview with Joseph McPhie and Alexander Calderwood, 1960; Aberdeen Evening News, August 12, 1953. As the son of British immigrants, David O. McKay was deeply proud of his heritage. He could quote the poetry of Burns and Scott and pronounce Welsh names with facility. The writer toured the Scottish Trossachs with President McKay in 1952.

132 Manuscript History of Wales Ward.”

133 Robert L. Campbell, Annual Report of the Territorial Superintendent of Common Schools for the year 1868 (Salt Lake City, 1868).

134 Biographical Record, p. 217.

135 William L. Roper and Leonard J. Arrington, William Spry: Man of Firmness, Governor of Utah (Salt Lake City, 1971), pp. 62, 67–102; L. H. Kirkpatrick ed., Know Your Utah and Its Governors (Salt Lake City, nd.), pp. 34–35.

136 Deseret News, June 25, 1914.

137 Carl Sandburg, “The People Speak,” The People, Yes (New York, 1936).