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    Follow the Stories | Salt Lake City, Utah (2007)

    Tension in the Utah Territory


    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      Ranley from Salt Lake City brought in a pair of unusual documents with a connection to his family, as well as to an important event in Mormon history. The first is a textile advertisement for the Johnson & Blake Emporium. Johnson was a prominent Mormon family, and the Johnson half of the Johnson & Blake merchants was Ranley's great-grandfather.

    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      The printing of this advertisement coincided with the so-called Mormon Rebellion of 1857-58. The Utah territorial government was at serious odds with the U.S. government and President James Buchanan sent U.S. troops westward to quell the rebellion. According to appraiser Ken Sanders, what makes this ad especially interesting is reference to contemporary political events: "The Mormon War goes on, and Supplies have arrived at the Universal Emporium. ..."

    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      Ranley said the cartoon of an exploding customer at the bottom of the ad caught his eye as a boy. The caption reads, "Great Burst-Up of the man that tried to sell Goods cheaper than JOHNSON & BLAKE." While much of his family's collection of similar items went to the University of Utah library, Ranley managed to keep this old favorite for himself.

    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      The other item in Ranley's collection is a printed broadside proclamation, dated August 5, 1857, issued by Brigham Young, who was then the territorial governor, as the U.S. troops were nearing the territory. It begins, "Citizens of Utah --- WE are invaded by a hostile force who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction."

    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      The proclamation ends by forbidding any armed forces from entering the Utah Territory; summoning all forces within the Territory to stand ready to defend it against invasion; and declaring a state of martial law throughout the Territory. By spring 1858, the dispute had been resolved peacefully, without an invasion of the Utah Territory by federal troops.

    • Mormon Ad and Proclamation

      Sanders said the two documents, because of their rarity as well as their connection to such a remarkable period in Mormon history, have substantial value on today's market — between $10,000 and $15,000.
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