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Published since 1928, Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history.

The journal is filled with articles, memoirs, primary sources, book reviews, and photos.

Become a member of the Historical Society for your own copy mailed to your door. Each issue is accompanied by rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material.

UHQ Summer 2018

Volume 86, Number 3


During the summer of 1931, a team from Harvard began exploring the rich archaeology of the Tavaputs Plateau and the Uinta Basin. The Claflin-Emerson Expedition, as it was known, was an ambitious venture that required some 400 amiles of horseback travel. The expedition produced information of great value to other researchers that remained unpublished and essentially untouched for decades. In the spring of 1989, Jerry Spangler “stumbled upon” his first Claflin-Emerson Expedition site in Nine Mile Canyon, “A series of round, semi-subterranean pit houses on a bench overlooking the valley floor. Below one pit-house floor, we excavated the burial of a child. . . . At the time, I did not know that it was one of the many sites the Claflin-Emerson team first visited in 1931 in Nine Mile—no one did—because we did not have access to their 1931 field journals and they never published a report.”[1] In the first article of this issue of Utah Historical Quarterly, Spangler joins with James Aton in revisiting the sites explored by the Harvard team and recreating the social aspects of this “last great horseback adventure in the history of American archaeology.”

In the mid-1910s, Venice Foote, a young woman from Provo, Utah, followed in the footsteps of an older sister and began training at Provo General Hospital’s nursing school. As Foote’s life progressed, she married and had children but she also served as a private nurse for Reed Smoot’s family and as the chief psychiatric nurse at the Utah State Hospital—accomplishments dependent upon her training. All told, some forty-four women graduated from Provo General’s nursing program; it was, as Polly Aird argues, “small but significant.” Because of their nursing educations, most of those women obtained meaningful work in hospitals, maternity homes, public health institutions, and elsewhere. Aird uses public records and, especially, the tools of genealogical research to reconstruct the school’s history and painstakingly trace the life of each woman who attended it.

In our third article, Sheri Wysong ponders how Pruess Lake, a small feature on the Utah-Nevada border, came to be named for Charles Preuss, a cartographer who never visited it. Through careful comparison of historical maps, Wysong reaches a fascinating, complex answer. It involves many of the explorers and mapmakers of the nineteenth century—including William Ashley, Jedediah Smith, Charles Preuss, and David H. Burr—and a second lake, Beaver, that no longer exists. The history of the naming of Pruess Lake and its connection to Beaver Lake hints at efforts to honor Charles Preuss and teaches about the shifting representation of geography in the American West.

Fourth, we present a collection of speeches and essays that consider two difficult moments in American history: the incarcerataion of Japanese Americans during World War II and the use of the atomic bomb. Written by a scholar of the Japanese-American experience, the founder of the Topaz Museum, an attorney who argued Korematsu v. United States (1983), and a lifelong liaison between Japan and American, these pieces ask how we can thoughtfully deal with the past in public forums.

Our fifth piece, an update from the Fife Folklore Archives, discusses the background of the Cache Valley Utah Drug Court Oral History Project. This significant public history project used oral history methodology to preserve the experiences of drug court participants. Finally, as with too many recent numbers of UHQ, the spring issue closes with a memorial to a great scholar of Utah history.

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Questions regarding the Utah Historical Quarterly Dr. Holly George, 801-245-7257 or Dr. Jedediah Rogers, 801-245-7209

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