Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources

The Road to Statehood

The Road to Statehood
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.86

     challenging words:    statehood, westward, proclamation, federal, early, arrival, plural, union, founded, settled, death, territorial, traveled, journey, army, marriage
     content words:    Fathers Escalante, Salt Lake Basin, Fremont Indians, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, Great Salt Lake Basin, Emigration Canyon, When Idaho, President Buchanan

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The Road to Statehood
By Cynthia Green-Bowser

1     As early as 1776, Spanish explorers Fathers Escalante and Dominguez noted the beautiful Salt Lake Basin in their journals, and fur trappers also told of the beautiful territory. It wasn't until 1847 that the state of Utah was inhabited by anyone other than Indians. The Anasazi and Fremont Indians were some of the first Indians to live in the land we know today as Utah. The Ute and Navajo tribes were some of the later tribes to arrive in the territory.
2     It was the death of Joseph Smith in June of 1844 and the persecution of the Mormon people in Nauvoo, Illinois, that caused the church's leader, Brigham Young, to move his followers west to a place where the people of the church could be free. Many of the pioneers that were in the first group of people to head west had a very tough journey. Brigham Young organized what was the largest and best-organized westward trek of pioneers in history. He founded the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company to help with the migration of the Mormon people. Some of the people that came to the Utah territory came in covered wagons, handcarts, and later by railroad.
3     Brigham Young himself brought the first group of pioneers to Utah. He used the same route that was traveled a year earlier by the Donner-Reed party. He arrived in Utah on July 24, 1847, in a wagon train led by two white mules. He came into the Great Salt Lake Basin and made the proclamation that "this is the place." Today, a monument that depicts the arrival of the Mormon people in Utah stands at the base of Emigration Canyon. To remember this big event, every year on July 24th the people of Utah celebrate a state holiday with fireworks, a parade, and the days of 47 rodeos.

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