James Buchanan proclamation

James Buchanan proclamation

Dates: 1858

The folder contains a typewritten copy of a presidential proclamation dated 6 April 1858. Buchanan states that the people of Utah have refused to submit to federal authority, justifies his sending of a military force to see that the laws are enforced, states that his actions are not against the Utahns' religion, expresses a desire that all bloodshed could be avoided, and offers a full pardon "to all who will submit themselves to the authority of the federal government." Also included is a letter verifying the origin of the proclamation.

  • Extent: 1 folder (0.01 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
  • Call Number: MSS 77
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the James Buchanan proclamation, 1858, must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 77; James Buchanan proclamation; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 77, LTPSC.
Separated Material
The original was given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Historian.
Subject Terms
Immigration and American Expansion; Pioneers; Presidents--United States--Biography; Utah Expedition (1857-1858)
Genre / Form
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Buchanan (James) proclamation
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Rose Frank
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-23T04:19-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the fifteenth President of the United States (1857–1861). The Utah War, also known as the Utah Expedition or Buchanan's Blunder, was an armed dispute between Latter-day Saint ("Mormon") settlers in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 until July 1858. The Buchanan administration sought to quell what it perceived to be a rebellion in Utah Territory while the Mormons, fearful that the large federal army dispatched to the region had been sent to annihilate them, blocked the army's entrance into the Salt Lake Valley. While not fully bloodless, the war consisted of no pitched battles and was ultimately resolved through negotiation. Buchanan is the only president never to marry. As president, he fought Stephen A. Douglas for control of the Democratic Party. As Southern states declared their secession in the lead-up to the American Civil War, President Buchanan denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the Federal Government legally could not prevent them. He hoped for compromise, but secessionist leaders did not want compromise. Buchanan reverted to a policy of inactivity that continued until he left office.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts