This site exhibits the primary source documents from which W. Paul Reeve, Christopher B. Rich Jr., and LaJean Purcell Carruth crafted a narrative history of the 1852 Utah legislative session. Oxford University Press published that history in 2024 as This Abominable Slavery: Race, Religion, and the Battle over Human Bondage in Antebellum Utah. The seven chapters of documents presented here correspond with chapters four through ten in This Abominable Slavery and share the same chapter titles as those in the book. The book offers a narrative interpretation of the documents while this website provides access to the primary sources on which the book narrative is based.

The speeches and debates from the legislative session are included here with the cooperation of the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The metadata for the speeches and debates include links to Lajean Purcell Carruth's raw transcriptions of the same speeches in the Church History Library catalog. Paul Reeve, in consultation with Carruth and Christopher Rich put the raw transcripts into sentences with punctuation. Rich, Reeve, and Carruth collaborated to write the introductions to the document chapters contained here and the introductions to the documents themselves.

Head of Digital Library Services Anna Neatrour, Digital Curation Librarian Rachel Jane Wittmann, and Web Software Developer Leah Donaldson at the Marriott Library worked with Professors Jeff Turner and Paul Reeve to create this digital repository of sources and make them publicly available, many of them for the first time.

Do you have any questions or feedback about this exhibit? Please, contact us.
Date Published: November 7, 2023