Utah Historical Quarterly is the official journal of Utah history, published on behalf of the Utah State Historical Society since 1928. UHQ’s mission, from its earliest issues to the present, is to publish articles on all aspects of Utah history and to present Utah in the larger context of the West. UHQ’s editorial style emphasizes scholarly credibility, accessible language, and variety. The quarterly is filled with articles, book reviews, and photographs, as well field notes about documents, artifacts, historiography, oral history, and public history. Online supplements—including documents, galleries, and interviews—accompany each issue.
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS AND RENEWALS:
At present staff of the Utah State Historical Society are teleworking, due to COVID-19 and the recent earthquake, which did some damage to the Rio Grande Depot.
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UHQ summer 2020
Volume 88, Number 3
At the time of this writing, in the grip of a worldwide pandemic, we have all felt isolated and disconnected—from family and friends and from a sense of normalcy and security. The surreal moment of the coronavirus pandemic has ruptured social norms and routines, leaving no one safe from its reach. To all our readers, we extend continued wishes of support and solidarity. If we were to identify a silver lining it is that the resulting dislocation is bringing awareness to how we are all individually and ecologically interconnected.
A prominent—and apt—symbol of this interconnectedness is the honey bee. Bees are essential machinery in the ecological community to which we all belong. They were highly prized and cultivated by nineteenth-century Utahns. But as our lead piece details, the honey bee is not native to Utah and took decades to take hold: not until the ease of transportation with the railroad were beekeepers able to establish flourishing apiaries with imported bees. J. Michael Hunter shows how the territorial history of beekeeping was bound up in national and even international trends. Not only did beekeepers import bees, but they relied on new technologies, techniques, and organizations that facilitated their success.
Canyonlands National Park owes its designation, in part, to a man who also happened to be one of its biggest detractors, the cattle rancher Al Scorup. The water holes he built to sustain cattle during dry summer months resulted in a road over Elephant Hill into the Grabens of the Needles area that people like Ross Musselman, Kent Frost, and Bates Wilson relied upon to showcase the wonders of the region to others. Clyde Denis tells the story of Scorup’s unwitting contribution to Canyonlands National Park and of the midcentury backcountry excursions that propelled the region into national prominence.
The work of Zach Proctor, featured in the next essay, trains the eye not to the railroad, as artwork normally does, but to the people who keep them going. The art historian James Swensen argues that Proctor’s contemporary pieces are influenced by and yet diverge from the work of Lewis Hine and Jack Delano, two earlier American photo documentarians. Rather than precise depictions of either an actual object or historical photograph, Proctor’s paintings are purposefully crafted to evoke, as good art is wont to do.
Just as Proctor’s work eschews precision for evocation, the next essay challenges historians to venture beyond the evidentiary positivism of a strict adherence to documentation into the realm of informed speculation and conjecture. In a phrase, history between the lines, as Gary Topping puts it. This essay is a reminder that history is science and art, together revealing a portrait of the whole human experience. While the idea of speculation and conjecture in history may be uncomfortable to some historians and readers of serious nonfiction, Topping demonstrates that the interpretive possibilities are well worth the effort. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the historian’s craft.
We close with profiles of courageous and influential women. These images and accompanying text draw from Role Call: Fearless Females in Utah History, an exhibit commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and sesquicentennial of the first women to vote in the United States. Special thanks to Sabrina Sanders, a curator, for sharing the exhibit here. This significant year may be one of disruption, but it is also one of commemoration for women, individually and collectively, who inspire a renewal of our civic commitment.