Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology
Evan B. Murray
From 1865 until 1871 the Territory of Utah was the scene of a little-known war. The Ute and Piute Indians responding to pressure of white settlers devastated much of Utah south of Spanish Fork. During the first three years of warfare the Mormon Settlements south of the Utah Valley struggled to exist. The next three years saw improving conditions but a continuation of raids by the Navaho in the south.
This was a private war. Attempts to get government aid were futile. The settlers and the Mormon Church provided the men and equipment necessary. While the problems faced by the settlers were similar to those of all frontier areas they were compounded by remoteness and lack of preparation.
Because of the oft repeated phrase attributed to Brigham Young, "It is cheaper to feed them than to fight them," little attention is given to the Indian problems. Indian troubles are lightly covered or ignored in the general belief that the Mormon settlers were able to develop cities and towns without Indian problems. Yet, in 1866 some 2, 500 men were under arms attempting to secure the Mormon frontier.
It is hoped that this paper will help in completing the picture of this phase of Utah history. To those who guided and aided in the preparation I would like to express thanks and appreciation.
Spencer, Deloy J., "The Utah Black Hawk War 1865-1871" (1969). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 600.