Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)




David R Lewis


The debate over Utah statehood involved several controversial issues that the United States government and the American public wanted resolved before admission would be granted. One strong advocate for such changes in Utah was the widely published newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune, which continually published anti-statehood and anti-Mormon ideas in the final decades before Utah was finally admitted in 1896. This thesis studies and analyzes the Tribune’s editorials and news stories to better understand which issues opponents of statehood worried the most over and what they wanted to accomplish with their protest. It finds that Mormon political domination was the paper’s central concern throughout the last decade of the debate, even after developments showed change on the horizon.

This thesis also examines the Tribune’s ability to reach Utah readers and a national audience through its connections with the Associated Press. By citing numerous newspapers from throughout the United States and members of Congress who were close to the statehood debate, this thesis shows that the Tribune got its message out and that it played a strong part in the statehood struggle.