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The changing of the political landscape in the Utah territory by the passage of the Poland Act did little to redefine the importance of Utah for Mormons, even after the death of Brigham Young. Mormons continually migrated to Utah in search of a sanctuary. Most laws were ignored by the Mormon population in Utah, even those specifically targeted at them, such as the Poland Act and the outlawing of polygamy by Abraham Lincoln. 1 A report from General O.E. Babcock, placed in charge of establising military posts in the area, states “The act of congress of 1863, prohibiting polygamy, has never been enforced.” 2

Despite the events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Mormons continually moved to Utah in search of protection, as referenced in “Mormon Migration”.

  1.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History: A History of the Church from the Birth of Joseph Smith to the Present Time, with Introductory Chapters on the Antiquity of the Gospel and the “Falling Away”, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co. for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1979, 253, Available at
  2. “Report of General Babcock,” Deseret News, February 20, 1867, Retrieved from: