Mormon History, 1849

[Utah Statehood] Hoping to obtain statehood as soon as possible, leaders in Salt Lake City sent a message to "all the citizens of that portion of Upper California lying east of the Sierra Nevada mountains" to attend a constitutional convention beginning March 8, , in Salt Lake City "to consider the political needs of the community." The convention created a proposed state of Deseret that encompassed the entire Great Basin and east to the Continental Divide, including, besides the present state of Utah, most of present Nevada and Arizona and parts of southern California (with the port of San Diego), Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Idaho. On March 10 the constitution for Deseret was completed, and on March 12 officers for the proposed state were elected: Brigham Young, governor; Willard Richards, secretary; Newell K. Whitney, treasurer; and Heber Kimball, chief justice. Almon W. Babbitt was selected to represent the provisional state in Congress. Traveling to Washington, D.C., Babbitt
procured the services of Sen. Stephen A. Douglas to present the documents to the Senate on December 27. The House of Representatives declined to seat Babbitt, and the Committee on Elections reported: "The admission of Mr. Babbitt would be a quasi recognition of the legal existence of the State of Deseret; and no act should be done by the House, which, even by implication, may give force and vitality to a political organization extra-constitutional and independent of the laws of the United States." The committee recommended the adoption of a resolution stating that it was "inexpedient to admit Mr. Babbitt to a seat in the House as a Delegate from the 'alleged State of Deseret.'" 1849

[source: Thatcher, Linda, History to Go, Statehood Chronology,]

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