Western Colorado Was Once Part of the State of Deseret
American history is fascinating, and as schoolchildren, we learn a lot about it here in the United States. However, one interesting page out of America's history books that isn't as much common knowledge as, say, The Civil War, is the state of Deseret.
Western Colorado was Once in the State of Deseret
Believe it or not, at one point in history the Grand Valley was actually part of a massive, provisional state called Deseret.
Founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as The Mormon Church, in 1849, Deseret encompassed nearly all of modern-day Utah and Nevada, about 2/3 of Arizona, 1/3 of California, and bits of Oregon, Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho, and Western Colorado.
The president of the church at the time, Brigham Young, first wanted to apply for territory status but decided instead to send a petition to Washington D.C. seeking statehood for Deseret.
The provisional state imposed taxes on liquor and property, outlawed gambling, established a militia, and incorporated the Mormon Church into its government.
However, the dream of Deseret would end nearly as soon as it began.
What Happened to the State of Deseret?
In just under two years, the state of Deseret would become a thing of the past. It's said that the United States Government at the time felt that Deseret encompassed too much area, and rumor has it that the idea of a state run by the Mormon Church wasn't something President Zachary Taylor was terribly fond of.
By September of 1850, the Utah Territory was established by Congress and Brigham Young eventually became governor of the new territory. Finally, on April 4th, 1851, the General Assembly of Deseret officially passed a resolution to dissolve it.