Book of the Pioneers
The 116-year-old “Book of the Pioneers” is now available with a full-text search on Utah State Archives web site at archives.utah.gov/digital/14107.htm. The Archives collaborated with the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library for conservation and repair of the one-of-a-kind book. In addition, the library created high-quality digital images for viewing online.
The “Book of the Pioneers” is “a record of those who arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake during the year 1847; including the names, ages, autographs and places of residence of all known survivors on July 24, 1897.” The Semi-Centennial Commission compiled the book in two volumes for the Pioneer Jubilee of 1897, in order to document and memorialize the pioneers of 1847. The members of the commission were appointed by the State of Utah’s first governor, Heber M. Wells, who spoke on the subject in his first address to the Utah State Legislature on January 8, 1896, a mere four days after statehood was granted.
The names of men and women who came in 1847 are recorded along with 727 questionnaires answered in their own hand by those still alive fifty years later, creating a “work unique in character and of universal interest.”
The organic act passed by the U.S. Congress on September 9, 1850 created an office of territorial secretary with three major functions:
(1) To record and preserve all laws and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly (2) To record all acts and proceedings of the Governor in his executive department (3) To provide copies of these official acts to specific federal officials
The EXECUTIVE PAPERS are really part of a larger record keeping system maintained by the Executive Department of the territorial government. Most of the individual documents filed in the series are those that were sent to the Governor or the Secretary requesting or supporting some official action; copies of the actual pardon, appointment notice, requisition, or other “official act”; or copies of documents which reflect actions taken directly by the Governor, such as messages to the Territorial Assembly and proclamations.
Governor Young’s Special Election Proclamation
Recordkeeping was not quite the same for governors during the territorial period (1850-1895), compared to more recent years with offices full of staff to keep track of correspondence, photographs, and artifacts. The Archives does have a few things in its holdings to provide insight into territorial governance, which are now going online as part of the Utah Territory Project.
Governor (1850-1857: Young)
Governor (1880-1886: Murray)
Governor (1889-1893: Thomas)
The calendar for Utah Archives Month is now being updated for October 2012 events at utaharchivesmonth.org. The events hosted by the Utah State Archives and Utah State History have been posted (including on Facebook):
- 10/1/2012 – Randy Silverman: Year of the Newspaper
- 10/12/2012 – Cevan LeSieur: “The Avenues of Salt Lake City”
- 10/15/2012 – Brock Cheney: “Plain But Wholesome: Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers”
- 10/19/2012 – Jim Kichas: “Utah’s MX Moment”
- 10/24/2012 – Matt Basso: “Men At Work”
All events are free and open to the public.
Utah Archives Month is on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s time to update and compare the most popular baby names, as found in birth certificates that are now public. A few shuffled around, but the #1 are the same as the year before (view 1905 top names)