Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


In the settlement of the West, the Mormon response was unique. since their methods, techniques, and institutions differed from other settlers of the West, the Mormons were repeatedly censured by outsiders. Although the institution of polygamy elicited considerable emotionalism and aroused determined opposition, there were other institutions which actually contributed just as much to the conflagration.

As the Utah War [1857-58] became an embarrassment to the United States government, congress demanded of President Buchanan the grounds upon which the decision for war was based. President Buchanan thereupon presented several letters, the first of which was written on October 3, 1856, by William M. F. Magraw, a former U.S. government mail contractor. His letter pictured the territory in an imminent state of lawlessness in which murder, rapine, and terrorism would flourish--all of which had been imposed upon a helpless society by a vicious, despotic theocracy. He complained about the probate courts and also implied that he had suffered "personal annoyances" because of the Mormons.