-tah listen) is a
state in the
western United States. It became the
45th state admitted to the
U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah is the
13th-largest by area,
10th-least-densely populated of the
50 United States. Utah has a population of more than 3 million according to the Census estimate for July 1, 2016. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the
Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which contains approximately 2.5 million people; and
Washington County in Southern Utah, with over 160,000 residents. Utah is bordered by
Colorado to the east,
Wyoming to the northeast,
Idaho to the north,
Arizona to the south, and
Nevada to the west. It also touches
a corner of
New Mexico in the southeast.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), making Utah the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church. This greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life. The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City.
Mormon handcart pioneers were participants in the migration of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon or LDS Church) to
Salt Lake City,
Utah who used
handcarts to transport their belongings. The Mormon handcart movement began in 1856 and lasted until 1860. Motivated to join their fellow Church members but lacking funds for full
ox or horse teams, nearly 3,000
Mormon pioneers from
Scandinavia made the journey to Utah in 10 handcart companies. The trek was disastrous for two of the companies after they started their journey dangerously late and were caught by heavy snow and severe temperatures in central
Wyoming. Despite a dramatic rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 pioneers in the two companies died along the way. John Chislett, a survivor of one of these companies, wrote, "Many a father pulled his cart, with his little children on it, until the day preceding his death."
Thomas L. Kane (January 27, 1822 – December 26, 1883) was an American attorney,
abolitionist, and military officer who was influential in the western migration of the
Latter-day Saint movement and served as a
Union Army colonel and general of volunteers in the
American Civil War. He received a
brevet promotion to
major general for gallantry at the
Battle of Gettysburg.
In March 1850, in the midst of debate over establishing Utah territory, Kane delivered an important lecture before the Philadelphia Historical Society. He described the religion of the Latter-day Saints, their conflicts with other settlers, and the desolation he witnessed during a visit to the recently abandoned
Nauvoo, Illinois. He also described the Saint's westward trek. One thousand copies of the lecture, with associated notes and materials, were printed and distributed, primarily to members of the U.S. Congress and influential men in the Executive Branch. When Utah was granted a territorial government by Congress on September 9, 1850, Fillmore asked Kane to be the first governor. He declined and recommended Young. Throughout the 1850s, he promoted Utah statehood and defended the Church's interests at every opportunity.
In 1858, Kane helped prevent bloodshed by mediating a dispute between the Mormons and the federal government, known as the
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PORTAL:UTAH Latitude and Longitude:
39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W