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DESERET. The Mormons in 1849 gave their provisional state the name "Deseret," which came from the Book of Mormon and meant "land of the honeybee." The territory included the vast region between the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains. Mormons soon drafted a constitution and made Salt Lake City their capital. They also created counties, established local government, and elected state officers, including Brigham Young as governor. Congress declined to admit Deseret into the union as a state at that time, but it organized the region as the Territory of Utah in 1850. The Mormons accepted their territorial status as a temporary measure and preserved remnants of the Deseret government until they sought statehood in 1883.


Arrington, Leonard J. Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958.

Stegner, Wallace. Mormon Country. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1970.

Effie MonaMack/s. b.

See alsoLatter-Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of ; Mormon Expedition ; Salt Lake City ; Utah ; West, American ; Westward Migration .