Great Salt Lake City, Great Basin, North America, March 8, 1849


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled:

Your memorialists, members of the General Assembly of the State of Deseret, would respectfully lay before your honorable body the wishes and interests of our constituents, together with the reasons and design of our early organization as a civil government, to which the consideration of your honorable body is most earnestly solicited.

Whereas, the history of all ages proves that civil governments, combining in their administration the protection of person, property, character, and religion—encouraging the science of agriculture, manufacture, and literature, are productive of the highest, happiest, and purest state of society; and,

Whereas all political power is inherent in the people, and governments to be permanent and satisfactory, should emanate from the same; and,

Whereas, The inhabitants of all newly settled countries and territories, who have become acquainted with their climate, cultivated their soil, tested their mineral productions, and investigated their commercial advantages, are the best judges of the kinds of government and laws necessary for their growth and prosperity; and,

Whereas, Congress have failed to provide, by law, a form of civil government for this or any other portion of territory ceded to the United States by the republic of Mexico, in the late treaty of peace; and,

Whereas, Since the expiration of the Mexican civil authority, however weak and imbecile, anarchy to an alarming extent has prevailed—the revolver and bowie knife have been the highest law of the land—the strong have prevailed against the weak—while person, property, character, and religion have been unaided, and virtue unprotected; and,

Whereas, From the discovery of the valuable gold mines west of the Sierra Nevada mountains, many thousands of able bodied men are emigrating to that section, armed with all the implements and munitions of war; and,

Whereas, Strong fears have been, and still are entertained from the failure of Congress to provide legal civil authorities, that political aspirants may subject the government of the United States to the sacrifice of much blood and treasure in extending jurisdiction over that valuable country; and,

Whereas, the inhabitants of the State of Deseret, in view of their own security, and for the preservation of the constitutional right of the United States to hold jurisdiction there, have organized a provisional State government under which the civil policy of the nation is duly maintained; and,

Whereas, there are so many natural barriers to prevent communication with any other State, or Territory belonging to the United States, during a great portion of the year, such as snow-capped mountains, sandy deserts, sedge plains, salaeratus lakes and swamps, over which it is very difficult to effect a passage; and,

Whereas, It is important in meting out the boundaries of the States and Territories, so to establish them that the heads of departments may be able to communicate with all branches of their government with the least possible delay; and,

Whereas, There are comparatively no navigable rivers, lakes, or other natural channels of commerce; and, whereas, no valuable mines of gold, silver, iron, copper, or lead, have as yet been discovered within the boundaries of this State, commerce must necessarily be limited to few branches of trade and manufactures; and whereas, the laws of all States and Territories should be adapted to their geographical location, protecting and regulating those branches of trade only, which the country is capable of sustaining: thereby relieving the government from the expense of those complicated and voluminous statutes which a more commercial State requires; and whereas, there is now a sufficient number of individuals residing within the State of Deseret to support a State government, thereby relieving the general government from the expense of a territorial government in that section; and in evidence of which, the inhabitants have already erected a legislative hall, equal to most, and surpassed by few in the older States—

Your memorialists, therefore, ask your honorable body to favorably consider their interests; and, if consistent with the constitution and usages of the federal government, that the constitution accompanying this memorial be ratified, and that the State of Deseret be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with other States, or such other form of civil government as your wisdom and magnanimity may award to the people of Deseret.  And, upon the adoption of any form of government here, that their delegates be received, and their interests properly and faithfully represented, in the Congress of the United States.  And your memorialists, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

On motion, it was voted that the report be accepted, and the committee discharged from further duties.

Parley P. Pratt offered the following resolutions:–

Resolved, 1st.  The Senate concurring therein, that two thousand copies of this memorial, together with the constitution, and an abstract of all records, journals, and other documents pertaining to the organization of this State, be printed.

Resolved, 2nd.  That the President of the United States, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, each be furnished with a copy thereof.

The resolutions were seconded and passed.

House adjourned until Monday, at 10 a.m.

Provisional State of Deseret

[Millennial Star, 12:19]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mar. 8, 1849, 4]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]

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