Volume 85, Number 2 (Spring 2017 Issue):
Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.
Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at history.utah.gov/uhqextras.
WEB EXTRAS: See here
IN THIS ISSUE
Good history—produced through a devotion to truth, examination of evidence, and evocative prose—introduces readers to a world they thought they knew. Our lead article continues
in the tradition of past issues to rethink our pioneer past, this time from the perspective of the
Redds, a slave-owning family from North Carolina. John Hardison Redd and his wife Elizabeth
owned a handful of slaves, six of whom emigrated to Utah with the family. Bound by
legal obligations and family ties, blacks in Mormon country navigated waters fraught with
prejudice and judgment. Even as power relations were unequal for slaves and black Utahns,
they attempted with varying degrees of success to integrate into a social world that was not
always friendly to them. Stories like that of the Redds present the opportunity to rethink family
and community in territorial Utah. And they implicitly challenge pioneer narratives, moving
beyond simplistic, sometimes paternalistic histories to reveal a past that is more personal and
heartbreaking than we oft-times consider.
The historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has spoken much about using a single object—say, a
quilt—as a doorway to understanding larger issues. In that manner, our second article
focuses on the popularity of a class of objects—the hoopskirt—to examine cultural exchange,
religious condemnation, and female agency in nineteenth-century Utah. The development
of the Bessemer process in 1856 facilitated the mass production of hoopskirts, and the fashion
reached its zenith in the mid-nineteenth: the same years when Euro Americans were arriving
in the Salt Lake Valley. Latter-day Saint women learned about the hoopskirt through
periodicals and, especially, emigrants from the states, but in their desire to be chic, they hit up
against the admonitions of religious leaders who encouraged simplicity and self-sufficiency.
Material consumption also figures into our third article, an examination of the referendum over an income tax on chain stores operating in the state. After the turn of the twentieth century, chain stores began sprouting up throughout the country, competing and in some cases
crowding out smaller local stores. This trend was pronounced in Utah, as retailers sold and
consumers bought goods available elsewhere in the United States. This is part of a larger story of
the economic and cultural integration of Utah. It is also a political one: as businesses and other
interests jockeyed to make known their views on economic freedom and rights, voters and
politicians publically debated the relative virtues of local and chain stores. The 1942 chainstore
tax referendum highlighted the divergent views over how to preserve local autonomy and
signaled the growing consumer spending that would characterize the postwar era.
Carl and Mathilda Harline emigrated from Sweden to the Salt Lake Valley in 1891. There
they raised a large family, their thirteenth child a boy—Leigh Adrian Harline—who reportedly
preferred practicing piano to playing outside. Our final article tells the story of Leigh Harline, who became one of Hollywood’s foremost composers. Harline learned his craft from J. Spencer Cornwall and teachers at Granite High School and the University of Utah; his career was helped along much by the new platforms of film and radio. The setting also mattered: after a Utah upbringing, Harline moved on to California in the late 1920s, where he enjoyed broadcast success and, critically, became an employee of Walt Disney. Yet there was a circularity to Harline’s career, for he returned to Utah to compose music commemorating his heritage.
Our final piece contextualizes military records recommending a road to a new post in the Uintah Basin named after Major Thomas Thornburgh. The establishment of a Ute reservation at Ouray, Utah, occasioned the need for the fort and road. The route as it was originally intended was short-lived, but it became a military supply corridor, and sections of it became Highway 40. Publication of these records continues a UHQ tradition: preserving documents for future scholarship.
Redd Slave Histories: Family, Race, and Sex in Pioneer Utah
By Tonya Reiter
Hoop Mania: Fashion, Identity, and Religious Condemnation in Nineteenth-Century Utah
By Michelle Hill
Chained Stores: Utah’s First Referendum and the Battle over Local Autonomy
By Ted Moore
“When You Wish Upon a Star”: The Musical Legacy of Utah Composer Leigh Harline
By Sandra Dawn Brimhall and Dawn Retta Brimhall
The Park City to Fort Thornburgh Road
By Floyd A. O’Neil and Shauna O’Neil
James Knipmeyer, Cass Hite: The Life of an Old Prospector. Reviewed by Robert S. McPherson
Dan Flores, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Reviewed by Curtis Foxley
Don. B. Olsen, True Valor: Barney Clark and the Utah Artificial Heart. Reviewed by Eric Swedin
Frank Van Nuys, Varmints and Victims: Predator Control in the American West
William D. Street, edited by Warren R. Street, Twenty-Five Years among the Indians and Buffalo: A Frontier Memoir
John J. Hammond, Island Adventures: The Hawaiian Mission of Francis A. Hammond, 1851-1865