The Trial of Don Pedro León Luján
In the late fall of 1851, a Latter-day Saint posse in central Utah arrested a group of New Mexican traders led by Don Pedro León Luján. The Mormons accused Luján and his companions of trading without a license. After two trials before a federal judge in Great Salt Lake City, the court found Luján and his company guilty of trading without a license, confiscated their goods, and freed the captive Paiute woman and children who the court found in Luján's possession on his arrest.
These events formed the most immediate context for two laws passed during the 1852 legislative session: “An Act for the Relief of Indian Slaves and Prisoners” (originally titled “An act for the protection of the rights of Indians”) and "An Act in Relation to Service" (originally titled "An Act in Relation to African Slavery").
The documents in this chapter relate to the Luján trial and its intersections with the legislative session and correspond to the narrative history in Chapter 4 of This Abominable Slavery.
- 1.1 Excerpt from the journal of George A. Smith President of the Iron County Mission, Commenced December 7th 1850
- 1.2 a-d Excerpts from First District Court, Minute Book, 1851-1896, Don Pedro León Luján trading trial
- 1.3 Excerpt from Governor's Message, January 5, 1852
- 1.4 a-f Excerpts from First District Court, Minute Book, 1851-1896, Don Pedro León Luján libel trial
- 1.5 Excerpt from the Deseret News, Associate Justice Zerubbabel Snow renders his decision in the Lujan Trial
- 1.6 Excerpts from Correspondence, John Greiner, May 19, 1852