Catalog Archive
Auction 188, Lot 782

Constitution for Proposed State of Deseret in Southwest United States

"[Constitution of Deseret] Letter of the Delegate of the Territory of Utah in Congress, Enclosing the Memorial of Delegates of the Convention Which Assembled in Great Salt Lake City...", U.S. Government

Subject: Document - State of Deseret

Period: 1858 (published)

Publication: Sen. Doc. 240, 35th Congress, 1st Session

Color: Black & White

5.6 x 8.9 inches
14.2 x 22.6 cm
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This 10-page document contains the Constitution of Deseret, submitted by John M. Bernhisel on April 19, 1858. Leaders in Utah first petitioned for Deseret statehood in 1849, claiming a huge area of the Southwest including all of present-day Utah and Nevada, and portions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. The constitution was rejected in Washington, and instead a smaller Utah Territory was created in 1850. Despite this initial setback, Mormon leaders did not give up on the idea of Deseret, having petitioned for statehood as late as 1872. This 1858 constitution is carefully crafted to show the powers in Washington that political processes would be strictly followed by the Mormons in Deseret, and "is unexceptionable in its features of republicanism and equal rights." The introductory text reinforces the Manifest Destiny concept, suggesting that Deseret "may add its effulgence to that bright light now so broadly illumining the governmental pathway of nations, and another link be united to the western extremity of that strong chain of States, which it is most certainly desirable should stretch, unbroken, across the broad expanse of our common country, from the rich marts of the Atlantic to the golden coasts of the Pacific." Disbound.


Condition: A

Disbound text is clean and bright.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $120

Closed on 6/22/2022