The Constitution of the State of Deseret

For the collector of Utahiana, the 1849 Kanesville Constitution of the State of Deseret is a fascinating book. It is the founding document of government in the Intermountain West, and it is a great rarity. Most intriguingly, Constitution of the State of Deseret clarifies the perplexity that has long existed over why Mormons made competing, apparently independent applications for territorial government and statehood. This article argues that the Constitution of the State of Deseret describes events that did not take place and conveys impressions that were not justified. Fundamentally, it was a plea for the right of a free people to be governed by those of their own choosing.

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