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Mormons As Pawns In Manifest Destiny

Scott Lloyd

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At the recently concluded Mormon History Association conference in St. George, Bill MacKinnon gave an interesting concluding presidential address giving some findings from his recent research.

It seems that near the end of the Utah War, U.S. President James Buchanan contemplated using Brigham Young and the Mormons in a complicated scheme to annex the Sonora region of Mexico and spring from there to the acquisition of Cuba.

Here's my Deseret News report on Bill's address.

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Buchanan had a bee in his bonnet generally when it came to the British, distrusting the empire's desire for California and Hawai'i. He later served as Ambassador to GB and as the president who let the South slip away before Lincoln's inauguration. I like Bill's comment about BY's unhappiness with Polk and the battalion business from a decade earlier, and if the Army ran the LDS south into Mexico, I can't think they would happily subvert the Mexican authorities to deliver Sonora to the U.S.

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