Utah at 125: A Bibliography

In January 4, 1896, after decades of struggle, Utah became the 45th state to enter the Union. Utah’s path to statehood was complicated and often controversial, which makes its journey an important American story. Utah’s leaders applied for statehood seven times—and failed six times—over five decades. Here we compiled a list of articles, books, and others resources that explore this fascinating history. 


Robert Edwin Albright, “Politics and Public Opinion in the Western Statehood Movement of the 1880’s,” Pacific Historical Review 3, no. 3 (1934): 296-306.

Thomas G. Alexander, “Utah’s Constitution: A Reflection of the Territorial Experience,Utah Historical Quarterly 64, no. 3 (1996): 246-263.

Eric Biber, “The Price of Admission: Causes, Effects and Patterns of Conditions Imposed on States Entering the Union,” The American Journal of Legal History 46, no. 2 (2004): 119-208.

Leland H. Creer, “The Evolution of Government in Early Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 26, no. 1 (1958):23-44.

S. George Ellsworth, “Utah’s Struggle for Statehood,” Utah Historical Quarterly 31, no.1 (1963): 60-69.

Audrey M. Godfrey. “All Hail! Statehood!,” Utah Historical Quarterly 63, no. 4 (1995) 357-369.

Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Charles W. Penrose and His Contributions to Utah Statehood,” 64, no. 4 (1996): 356-371.

John M. Harvigsen, “Utah’s Mammoth Statehood Flag,” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2011): 250-263.

Joan Ray Harrow, “Joseph L. Rawlins: Father of Utah Statehood,” Utah Historical Quarterly 44, no. 1 (1976): 59.

Stanley S. Ivins, “A Constitution for Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 25 (1957): 95-116.

Charles L. Keller, “Promoting Railroads and Statehood: John W. Young,Utah Historical Quarterly 45, no. 3 (1977): 289-308.

Haward R. Lamar, “Statehood for Utah: A Different Path,” Utah Historical Quarterly 39, no. 4 (1971): 307-327.

Howard R. Lamar, “Tanner Lecture: National Perceptions of Utah’s Statehood,” Journal of Mormon History 23, no. 1 (Spring 1997): 42-65.

Edward Leo Lyman, “Isaac Trumbo and the Politics of Utah Statehood,” Utah Historical Quarterly 41, no. 2 (1973).

Edward Leo Lyman, “Mormon Leaders in Politics: The Transition to Statehood in 1896,” Journal of Mormon History 24, no. 2 (Fall 1998): 30-54.

Edward Leo Lyman, “Statehood, Political Allegiance, and Utah’s First U.S. Senate Seats: Prizes for the National Parties and Local Factions,” Utah Historical Quarterly 63, no. 4 (1995).

William P. MacKinnon, “‘Like Splitting a Man Up His Backbone’: The Territorial Dismemberment of Utah, 1850-1896,” Utah Historical Quarterly 71, no. 2 (2003): 100-124.

Carol Cornwall Madsen, “Decade of Detente: The Mormon-Gentile Female Relationship in Nineteenth-Century Utah,Utah Historical Quarterly 63, no. 4 (1995).

Chad M. Orton, “‘We Will Admit You as a State’: William H. Hooper, Utah and the Secession Crisis,” Utah Historical Quarterly 80, no. 3 (2012): 208-225.

Charles W. Penrose, “‘To Get U[tah] in U[nion]’: Diary of a Failed Mission”,  ed. William C. Seifrit, Utah Historical Quarterly 51, no. 4 (1983): 358-381.

Richard Poll, “The Political Reconstruction of Utah Territory, 1866-1890,” Pacific Historical Review 27, no. 2 (1958): 111-126.

Richard D. Poll, “A State is Born,” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 1 (1964): 9-31.

Jean Bickmore White, “The Making of the Convention President: The Political Education of John Henry Smith,Utah Historical Quarterly 39, no.4 (1971):350-369.

Jean Bickmore White, “Political Deliverance–At a Price: The Quest for Statehood.” Journal of Mormon History 12 (1985): 135-139.

Jean Bickmore White, “Prelude to Statehood: Coming Together in the 1890s,” Utah Historical Quarterly 62, no. 4 (1994): 300-315. 

Jean Bickmore White, “So Bright the Dream: Economic Prosperity and The Utah Constitutional Convention,” Utah Historical Quarterly 63, no. 4 (1995): 320-356.

Jean Bickmore White, “Woman’s Place in the Constitution: The Struggle for Equal Rights in Utah in 1895,” Utah Historical Quarterly 42, no. 4 (1974): 344-369. 

Henry J. Wolfinger, “A Reexamination of the Woodruff Manifesto in the Light of Utah Constitutional History,” 39, no. 4 (1971): 328-349.


Edward Leo Lyman, Finally Statehood! Utah’s Struggles, 1849-1896 (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2019).

Edward Leo Lyman, Political Deliverance: The Mormon Quest for Utah Statehood (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986).

Harold Schindler, “Statehood at Last: Amid Jubilation and Bunting, Utah is Dubbed the Forty-Fifth State of the Union, 1890-1897,” in In Another Time: Sketches of Utah History (Louisville: University Press of Colorado, 1998).


Becoming Utah: A Peoples’ Journey. K-12 film, with accompanying teacher resources.

Ken Verdoia, Utah: The Struggle for Statehood, KUED, DVD, 2006.