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The Mountaineer. [volume] : (Great Salt Lake City [Utah]) 1859-1861
Place of publication:
Great Salt Lake City [Utah]
Geographic coverage:
  • Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[Blair, Ferguson & Stout]
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1861.
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 27, 1859)-
  • English
  • Mormons--Utah--Newspapers.
  • Mormons.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01026314
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)--Newspapers.
  • Utah--Salt Lake City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205314
  • Utah.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204563
  • "Its principle purpose will be to act as the political organ of Brigham Young, and the Saints generally."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editors: S.M. Blair, 1859-1860; J. Ferguson, 1859-<1861>; H. Stout, 1859.
  • Extras issued on: May 26, 1860, June 2, 1860, Jan. 14, 1861, Jan. 22, 1861.
  • Latest issue consulted: No. 42 (July 20, 1861).
  • Publishers: Blair & Ferguson, Sept. 17, 1859-July 14, 1860; J. Ferguson, July 21, 1860-<1861>.
  • Suspended Aug. 25-Sept. 29, 1860.
  • Weekly supplements issued during suspension.
sn 83021447
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The Mountaineer. [volume] August 27, 1859 , Image 1


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In 1859 Salt Lake City boasted over 8,000 residents. Although it had much in common with other rough-and-tumble Western settlements of the era, Salt Lake was unique. It had been established in 1847 by Mormons and they continued to enjoy wide-ranging authority over the town, even after large numbers of non-Mormons arrived to work in the mining and railroad industries. Tensions could run high between the different religious groups, and each side used the press to advocate its position. When Mormons launched the Mountaineer on August 27, 1859, it was designed to answer directly the jibes of the non-Mormon newspaper, the Valley Tan, while allowing the church’s official organ, the Deseret News, to remain above the fray.

The first edition of the Mountaineer included a front-page slogan rendered in all capital letters that would remain in place during the newspaper’s run of nearly two years: “Do what is right, let the consequences follow!” The newspaper promised to appear every Saturday and included four pages of six columns.

Listing “Blair, Ferguson & Stout, editors and proprietors” in its masthead, the first issue of the Mountaineer stated: “We have our religious sentiments. We thank God for, and have no reason to be ashamed of, them. But we do not now appear in our religious character, nor as advocates of our faith.” Nevertheless, it was clear that the Mountaineer was to be a weapon protecting the Deseret News from the slings of the Valley Tan. As the News itself proclaimed on October 26, 1859: “Our neighbors of the Mountaineer are becoming quite sharp … Their latest issue was a real Solferino attack on many things in general, and some things in particular.”

Less than a month after its debut, the Mountaineer dropped one of the names from its masthead, changing on September 17, 1859, to “Blair and Ferguson, editors and proprietors.” The July 21, 1860, edition simply listed: “James Ferguson, editor and proprietor.” Ferguson explained the defections in the August 18, 1860, newspaper, the final edition of volume one: “At the commencement we were strongly supported by two of the most eminent of the legal profession in our Territory … Now they have turned to other occupations.”

The final edition of the Mountaineer appeared July 20, 1861. It included a notice from the editor that “we will be compelled to suspend operations for a week or two for want of … a fresh supply of paper.” Whether or not that “much needed article” ever arrived remains unknown. The Mountaineer did not reappear.

Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library