History of Utah
History of Utah. Hubert Howe Bancroft. 1890. Bancroft, the most prominent and prolific historian of the American West in the nineteenth century, comprehensively covers the history of the area that is now Utah, from the coming of the Spanish to the middle of the 1880s, as well as the history of the Mormon church before its migration to Utah.Prior to writing this history, Bancroft had written more than two dozen other volumes on Western history, and he applies here his exhaustive methodology, reading all sources available to him.
He notes the contentious nature of the literature, so much of which was created by passionate supporters and enemies of the Latter-day Saints. He attempts to maintain his objectivity by presenting in the main body of the text for the most part the official version of the history, and then in the footnotes sets forth conflicting evidence from other sources.At the time this volume was written, Utah Territory had failed for the fifth time to attain statehood. Bancroft tells the full story of the intertwined pursuit of statehood and the practice of polygamy. Less than a decade after the publication of this volume, these issues were resolved and Utah became a state.Bancroft paid special attention to the beginnings of settlement at dozens of locations in Utah, including the names of some of the earliest settlers.