Award Winner
Dwight L. Smith from Western History Association, Juanita Brooks Best Book in Utah History

Slavery in Zion

A Documentary and Genealogical History of Black Lives and Black Servitude in Utah Territory, 1847-1862

By Amy Tanner Thiriot

Add to Cart

9781647690847 (hardback)
9781647690854 (paperback)
9781647690861 (ebook)

According to an Akan proverb, “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” This belief underlies historian Amy Tanner Thiriot’s work in Slavery in Zion, which combines genealogical and historical research to bring to light events and relationships unknown or misunderstood for well over a century. The total number of enslaved people in Utah’s early history has remained an open question for many years, due in part to the nature of nineteenth-century records, and an exact number is undetermined. But while writing this book Thiriot documented around one hundred enslaved or indentured Black men, women, and children in Utah Territory.
Slavery in Zion has two major parts. The first section provides an introductory history, chapters on southern and western experiences, and information on life after emancipation. The second section is a biographical encyclopedia of names, relationships, and events. Although Slavery in Zion contains material applicable to legal history and the history of race and Mormonism, its most important contribution is as an archive of the experiences of Utah’s enslaved Black people, at last making their stories an integral part of the record of Utah and the American West—no longer forgotten or written out of history.