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Mormon Legal History 1850-1900: Utah Territory era: Utah legal history sources

This resource guide covers print and online resources for legal and Mormon history during the Utah Territorial era (1847-1896).

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Utah Territory major legal history sources

Best research guide for Utah Territory laws

The best resource guide for the Utah Territorial laws and personalities is:

R. Lee Warthen, "Legal Research in the State of Deseret and the Utah Territory, 1847-1896," in Michael Chiorazzi & Marguerite Most, editors, Prestatehood Legal Materials: A Fifty-State Research Guide, Including New York City and the District of Columbia (New York, NY: Haworth, 2005), vol. 2, chapter 46, pp. 1217-1270. This is located in the law library at: Law Second-floor Reference KFU 1 .W37 2006 (single chapter) and Law Second-floor Reference KF 240 .P688 2005 V.1-2 (two-volume book). The author is a BYU law school graduate and University of Utah law librarian.


Utah Constitution (1896-)

Utah Constitutional Convention Proceedings & Debates (1895), Law Second-floor Rare KFU 401 .A2 1895 [also website listed below]

Jean Bickmore White, Charter for Statehood: The Story of Utah’s State Constitution (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1996), Law First Floor KFU 401 .W48 1996 [and BYU Lee Library KFU 401.6 .S8 W48 1996] (historical study)

Jean Bickmore White, The Utah State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998), Law First Floor KFU 401 1895 .A6 .W48 1998 [and BYU Lee Library Soc Sci/Edu Ref KFU 401 1895 .A6 W48 1998] (political science guide)

Jean Bickmore White, "Dreams, Myths, and Reality: A Centennial Perspective on Utah's Constitution," in William Thomas Allison & Susan J. Matt, editors, Dreams, Myths, & Reality: Utah and the American West (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2008), HBLL F 826 .D74 2008 (talk given in 1996 about Utah constitutional history and legacy)


Utah Territory laws

HeinOnline (1851-1894) [1st-31st sessions]

Utah Territorial Laws (1847-1892) [hosted by the University of Utah Law School; see website listed below]


Utah Territorial Supreme Court opinions

Reports of Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah, vol. 1-12 (1877-1896) [also known as Utah Reports], Law First Floor State Materials shelf 143 and Second Floor Reserve shelf R11

LexisNexis (1861-1985), file name is UTCTS
Westlaw (1861-1895), database identifier is UT-CS

Utah Division of Archives & Records Service, Territorial Supreme Court Record of Opinions Books, Series 25939 (1877-1894), (archive of papers related to Utah published decisions)

Utah Division of Archives & Records Service, Territorial Court Records, (online research guide to territorial probate and district courts)

"Historical Supreme Court Resources," in Utah State Courts, Research Guide: Utah Case Law, Briefs, Digests and Citators (Feb. 2008), page 5,


Utah Territory legal history commentaries

Clifford L. Ashton, The Federal Judiciary in Utah (Salt Lake City: C.L. Ashton & the Utah Bar Foundation, 1988), Law Third Floor JK 1598 .U8 .A83 1988 [and BYU Lee Library Americana JK 1598 .U8 A83x 1988]

Edwin Brown Firmage & Richard Collin Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), Law Third Floor KF 4869 .M6 .F57 1988 [also 2001 paperback edition with new preface: Law Second Floor Reserve KF 4869 .M6 .F47 2001] [BYU Lee Library copies are at: BX 8672 .F516g 1988 and Americana BX 8672 .F516g 2001] (covers LDS civil courts, polygamy, etc.).

History of the Bench and Bar of Utah (Salt Lake City: Interstate Press Association, 1913). Law Rare KF 354 .U8 .H58 1913r [BYU Lee Library Americana Rare KF 354 .U8 h58 1913] (biographies of most early Utah attorneys), in Google Books


Utah Territory webpages

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