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Mormon Dude

Were the Mormon Pioneers illegal immigrants?

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Posted (edited)

Given the current political immigration situation in the US and the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah, I've been hearing a lot about the legality of the pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, which was in Mexico in 1847.

It is not hard to find "Mormon friendly" sources that indicate the Saints settled without permission from Mexican authorities–which just seems to be a euphemism for illegally settled.

I understand that church leadership made sure to get permission from the Native Americans before establishing Winter Quarters, but is anyone aware of church leadership making sure to get permission before settling in what would become Utah?

There were a number of Mexican laws on the books which prohibited Americans from settling in Mexico, required proper documentation before crossing the border, and even outlawed any religion but Catholicism. These include: 

By 1847 the illegal immigration of Americans into Mexico (which had been on going for decades) had reached the point that the two countries were at war, so I don't think the Saints could claim they just didn't know Mexico was opposed to any additional Americans settling in their lands. Did the Saints simply follow the crowd and ignore Mexico's legal authority over their territory?

The only counter claim I have found to the Saints being illegal is that Alta California had already been "captured" by the US before July 1847, but that's a sketchy claim to me. In the US Supreme Court's 1890 Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States case, the court's opinion regarding legal authority in the early Utah area was: "Deseret, or Utah, had ceased to belong to the Mexican government by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" The treaty was signed in February 1848 and it's clear the Supreme Court considered Deseret to be part of Mexico until the treaty, regardless of other claims. I am sure Mexico considered it their own until the treaty as well. While the majority of Saints arrived after 1848, those first few wagon companies certainly arrived before the treaty.

This is an interesting question that hasn't been explored much. Does anyone have additional insight into the issue? Especially the question of seeking permission to settle from Mexico?  And could we consider Brigham Young one of the most famous illegal immigrants in history?

Edited by Mormon Dude
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46 minutes ago, Mormon Dude said:

Given the current political immigration situation in the US and the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah, I've been hearing a lot about the legality of the pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, which was in Mexico in 1847.

It is not hard to find "Mormon friendly" sources that indicate the Saints settled without permission from Mexican authorities–which just seems to be a euphemism for illegally settled.

I understand that church leadership made sure to get permission from the Native Americans before establishing Winter Quarters, but is anyone aware of church leadership making sure to get permission before settling in what would become Utah?

There were a number of Mexican laws on the books which prohibited Americans from settling in Mexico, required proper documentation before crossing the border, and even outlawed any religion but Catholicism. These include: 

By 1847 the illegal immigration of Americans into Mexico (which had been on going for decades) had reached the point that the two countries were at war, so I don't think the Saints could claim they just didn't know Mexico was opposed to any additional Americans settling in their lands. Did the Saints simply follow the crowd and ignore Mexico's legal authority over their territory?

The only counter claim I have found to the Saints being illegal is that Alta California had already been "captured" by the US before July 1847, but that's a sketchy claim to me. In the US Supreme Court's 1890 Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States case, the court's opinion regarding legal authority in the early Utah area was: "Deseret, or Utah, had ceased to belong to the Mexican government by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" The treaty was signed in February 1848 and it's clear the Supreme Court considered Deseret to be part of Mexico until the treaty, regardless of other claims. I am sure Mexico considered it their own until the treaty as well. While the majority of Saints arrived after 1848, those first few wagon companies certainly arrived before the treaty.

This is an interesting question that hasn't been explored much. Does anyone have additional insight into the issue? Especially the question of seeking permission to settle from Mexico?  And could we consider Brigham Young one of the most famous illegal immigrants in history?

This topic has been discussed on this board before.

In the 1800s and in fact the majority of human history the following applied 

Might is right.

If something is abandoned/undefended, to they who posses and defend. 

Mexico which had abandoned the lands effectively lost possession until and if Mexico could retake it. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, juliann said:

The real story is the displacement of the Native Americans.

Why only them? I ask because I've a personal situation with a son in law from Mexico, who came across illegally with his family. I'm so tired of the white man taking lands from everyone, when in reality we immigrated here and took their lands. I know I'll hear back that it was all on the up & up, but me thinks not!

Edited by Tacenda

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14 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Why only them? I ask because I've a personal situation with a son in law from Mexico, who came across illegally with his family. I'm so tired of the white man taking lands from everyone, when in reality we immigrated here and took their lands. I know I'll hear back that it was all on the up & up, but me thinks not!

You mean the Spanish didn't take their lands? The Spanish that stayed in Mexico integrated a little more readily - largely because they had no wives back home. The Americas largely became an extension of the feud between the Gothic Catholics of Europe and the Gothic Protestants of Europe. Under BY I can't say the Church treated the Natives too much better than the Federal gubbermint, but at least the English and French didn't try to enslave the natives like the Spaniards. Everyone wanted the land the Natives had - there wasn't much idea of sharing it.

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9 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Nah.

D_auElBUcAAUD30.jpg:large

It's the displacement of the mistreated Neanderthal people by those intruding Homo Sapiens.

Incidently, it has been widely believed that the Neanderthals were pressured into extinction by the more capable Homo Sapien sapiens, but there is good evidence that a giant eruption about 60K years ago simply made their lands signifcantly colder, and the Neanderthals as well as all Homo Sapiens were pressed near extinction as a result with what was left of the Neanderthals being bred into the modern humans which survived better in Africa.

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2 hours ago, Mormon Dude said:

Given the current political immigration situation in the US and the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah, I've been hearing a lot about the legality of the pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, which was in Mexico in 1847.

It is not hard to find "Mormon friendly" sources that indicate the Saints settled without permission from Mexican authorities–which just seems to be a euphemism for illegally settled.

I understand that church leadership made sure to get permission from the Native Americans before establishing Winter Quarters, but is anyone aware of church leadership making sure to get permission before settling in what would become Utah?

There were a number of Mexican laws on the books which prohibited Americans from settling in Mexico, required proper documentation before crossing the border, and even outlawed any religion but Catholicism. These include: 

By 1847 the illegal immigration of Americans into Mexico (which had been on going for decades) had reached the point that the two countries were at war, so I don't think the Saints could claim they just didn't know Mexico was opposed to any additional Americans settling in their lands. Did the Saints simply follow the crowd and ignore Mexico's legal authority over their territory?

The only counter claim I have found to the Saints being illegal is that Alta California had already been "captured" by the US before July 1847, but that's a sketchy claim to me. In the US Supreme Court's 1890 Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States case, the court's opinion regarding legal authority in the early Utah area was: "Deseret, or Utah, had ceased to belong to the Mexican government by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" The treaty was signed in February 1848 and it's clear the Supreme Court considered Deseret to be part of Mexico until the treaty, regardless of other claims. I am sure Mexico considered it their own until the treaty as well. While the majority of Saints arrived after 1848, those first few wagon companies certainly arrived before the treaty.

This is an interesting question that hasn't been explored much. Does anyone have additional insight into the issue? Especially the question of seeking permission to settle from Mexico?  And could we consider Brigham Young one of the most famous illegal immigrants in history?

I’d invite you to consider that the “This Is The Place” experience demonstrates that the saints had the permission of, or perhaps better stated, a mandate from, the property owner.

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2 hours ago, Mormon Dude said:

Given the current political immigration situation in the US and the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah, I've been hearing a lot about the legality of the pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, which was in Mexico in 1847.

It is not hard to find "Mormon friendly" sources that indicate the Saints settled without permission from Mexican authorities–which just seems to be a euphemism for illegally settled.

I understand that church leadership made sure to get permission from the Native Americans before establishing Winter Quarters, but is anyone aware of church leadership making sure to get permission before settling in what would become Utah?

There were a number of Mexican laws on the books which prohibited Americans from settling in Mexico, required proper documentation before crossing the border, and even outlawed any religion but Catholicism. These include: 

By 1847 the illegal immigration of Americans into Mexico (which had been on going for decades) had reached the point that the two countries were at war, so I don't think the Saints could claim they just didn't know Mexico was opposed to any additional Americans settling in their lands. Did the Saints simply follow the crowd and ignore Mexico's legal authority over their territory?

The only counter claim I have found to the Saints being illegal is that Alta California had already been "captured" by the US before July 1847, but that's a sketchy claim to me. In the US Supreme Court's 1890 Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States case, the court's opinion regarding legal authority in the early Utah area was: "Deseret, or Utah, had ceased to belong to the Mexican government by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" The treaty was signed in February 1848 and it's clear the Supreme Court considered Deseret to be part of Mexico until the treaty, regardless of other claims. I am sure Mexico considered it their own until the treaty as well. While the majority of Saints arrived after 1848, those first few wagon companies certainly arrived before the treaty.

This is an interesting question that hasn't been explored much. Does anyone have additional insight into the issue? Especially the question of seeking permission to settle from Mexico?  And could we consider Brigham Young one of the most famous illegal immigrants in history?

Laying claim to land and possessing the land are two different things. Even with the Native Americans present, the land was remained mostly unpopulated. 

I don't get into the Native American debate too often - too much Noble Savage thought process is included and clouds the issue. What I would ask is who is first and who gets to "claim" land?  Humans had been battling over land from the very beginning of their creation. The story of who we identify as Native Americans is no different than the stories of peoples around the world - one group lives on land and another group conquers the land. 

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

Laying claim to land and possessing the land are two different things. Even with the Native Americans present, the land was remained mostly unpopulated. 

I don't get into the Native American debate too often - too much Noble Savage thought process is included and clouds the issue. What I would ask is who is first and who gets to "claim" land?  Humans had been battling over land from the very beginning of their creation. The story of who we identify as Native Americans is no different than the stories of peoples around the world - one group lives on land and another group conquers the land. 

The problem being, the native Americans were killed and taken over. It'd be fine if they were able to live in peace and the others, good neighbors.

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

It'd be fine if they were able to live in peace and the others, good neighbors.

Would being good neighbors include not taking others, including children as slaves and then killing them?

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would being good neighbors include not taking others, including children as slaves and then killing them?

What do you mean? In my comment I mean that the whites could be good neighbors without killing the Native Americans for their land. 

Here's a short article worth mentioning. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mormons-and-native-americans-historical-overview

Edited by Tacenda

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

What do you mean? In my comment I mean that the whites could be good neighbors without killing the Native Americans for their land. 

I mean the native Americans could also work on being good neighbors by not taking slaves and killing them needlessly, etc  

Whites were not the only ones involved in killing or even murders as well as slavery. Doesn’t justify those actions by European heritage groups when they happened, but one person/group can’t make a congenial neighbourhood on their own. It takes mutual effort. 

Quote

.  Mexicans, Utes and Navajos would raid Paiute and sometimes Ute villages for slaves.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_Utah

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Why only them? I ask because I've a personal situation with a son in law from Mexico, who came across illegally with his family. I'm so tired of the white man taking lands from everyone, when in reality we immigrated here and took their lands. I know I'll hear back that it was all on the up & up, but me thinks not!

Yes, the general historical consensus was that everything was on the up and up with colonialism.

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Why only them? I ask because I've a personal situation with a son in law from Mexico, who came across illegally with his family. I'm so tired of the white man taking lands from everyone, when in reality we immigrated here and took their lands. I know I'll hear back that it was all on the up & up, but me thinks not!

Because there weren't Mexicans in Utah at the time, just American Indians. 

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12 hours ago, Mormon Dude said:

Given the current political immigration situation in the US and the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah, I've been hearing a lot about the legality of the pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, which was in Mexico in 1847.

All I know is they drank the water.

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10 hours ago, Tacenda said:

The problem being, the native Americans were killed and taken over. It'd be fine if they were able to live in peace and the others, good neighbors.

Tacenda, could you please point me to examples in history where that happened? It didn't; it is not there. Humans, in a fight for land and domination, always have invaded, killed the weaker civilization, and taken over. My point is that we need to recognize that this has been going on from the beginning. The story of the Native American is not unique. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, juliann said:

The real story is the displacement of the Native Americans.

The real story is the Assyrians forcibly deporting my ancestors out of the Kingdom of Israel.

Edited by The Nehor
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19 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Tacenda, could you please point me to examples in history where that happened? It didn't; it is not there. Humans, in a fight for land and domination, always have invaded, killed the weaker civilization, and taken over. My point is that we need to recognize that this has been going on from the beginning. The story of the Native American is not unique. 

I'm not an especially smart woman, but the examples you asked for are definitely there. And you contradict yourself in the bold. I did put a link of it happening above in a comment to Calm. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mormons-and-native-americans-historical-overview Or are you talking about something else?

Going by what Forrest Gump says....

Image result for forrest gump i'm not a smart man

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I'd probably say that the Mormon pioneers were actually invaders and not illegal immigrants.  They helped with the Mormon Battalion (which was for conquering Mexico) and probably would have not accepted Mexican rule when they were in Utah.

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10 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm not an especially smart woman, but the examples you asked for are definitely there. And you contradict yourself in the bold. I did put a link of it happening above in a comment to Calm. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mormons-and-native-americans-historical-overview Or are you talking about something else?

Going by what Forrest Gump says....

Image result for forrest gump i'm not a smart man

We may be talking about two different things. I am talking about the Native American peoples being conquered by invading Europeans. I am not talking about Mormons and Indians per se. 

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11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm not an especially smart woman, but the examples you asked for are definitely there. And you contradict yourself in the bold. I did put a link of it happening above in a comment to Calm. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mormons-and-native-americans-historical-overview Or are you talking about something else?

Going by what Forrest Gump says....

Image result for forrest gump i'm not a smart man

There were some good relationships but most were mixed. The battles with and mass conversion of the Shoshone come to mind.

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