Today's Article - The State of Deseret

This article is for quizzes on Wednesday October 7th...

The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government. The name derives from the word for "honeybee" in the Book of Mormon.
When members of LDS Church (the Mormon pioneers) settled in the Salt Lake Valley near the Great Salt Lake, they wished to set up a government that would be recognized by the United States.

Initially Brigham Young, President of the Church, intended to apply for status as a territory, and sent John Milton Bernhisel eastward to Washington, D.C. with the petition for territorial status. Realizing that California and New Mexico were applying for admission as states, Young changed his mind and decided to petition for statehood.

 In March 1849, realizing that they did not have time to follow the usual steps towards statehood, Young and a group of church elders quickly drafted a state constitution based on that of Iowa, where the Mormons had temporarily settled, and sent the legislative records and constitution back to that state for printing, since no printing press existed in the Great Basin at the time. They then sent a second messenger with a copy of the state's formal records and constitution to meet up with Bernhisel in Washington, D.C. and to petition for statehood rather than territorial status.


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