Justin B. has excerpted some interesting information from a 1971 article on slavery in the Utah territory during the 1850s (i.e. before the Civil War and the 1862 federal abolition of slavery). The article is Dennis L. Lythgoe, “Negro Slavery in Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly vol. 39.1 (Winter 1971), p. 43.
I tried to leave a comment over there but there is a problem with Justin’s comment feature. I am always very interested in Justin’s posts and his excerpts of research re Mormon history. At the same time, I am always slightly nervous since I don’t know what Justin’s agenda is. On the one hand, he seems merely interested as a historian in the Church; on the other hand, the subject matter of his posts is quite often very controversial and topics that cannot avoid portraying the Church in a bad light.
As to slavery in the Utah territory I would just say that the very thought of slavery makes me sick. I’m glad that this people largely rejected slavery and that only a very few (mostly converts from the deep South) brought it here. The fact, however, that no law was passed expressely prohibiting it should not be an indictment of the Church or this entire people or our religion. The Church of those days existed in the cultural setting of those days. In many aspects the doctrines led the Church’s adherents to be more enlightened than other nineteenth-century Americans. In other respects, the members were just as blind; apparently, slavery was one of those areas to some members of the day.