%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
Nevada Government & Politics
Territory & Statehood

Utah Territory

When the war with Mexico ended and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, the United States gained huge expanses of land in the West.  This created a problem with conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces.  Northern politicians wanted new lands to be free of slavery, and southern politicians wanted to be able to establish slavery in the new territories.  After two years of negotiation the Compromise of 1850 was the result of efforts to please both sides.  According to the terms of the Compromise, California would be admitted to the Union as a free state.  New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory would be created from the remaining lands.  When those territories became states, they would determine the issue of slavery in their state constitutions.  Daniel Webster spoke in favor of the Compromise in a speech before the United States Senate.  He made notes for the speech with the famous opening lines:

"I wish to speak today, not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American, and a member of the Senate of the United States."

Photo Credit:
Library of Congress