Brigham Young Statue, located at the Utah State Capitol Building and on the SUP Marker List.
Plaque A: BRIGHAM YOUNG
When he died August 29, 1877, Brigham Young was the leader of a Commonwealth centered in Salt Lake City, Utah of 350 towns and cities in what had been a desert thirty years before. He was loved and sustained as a prophet by more than 100,000 members of the Latter-day Saints Church founded only 47 years before. He later came to be called the greatest colonizer of the American West, “the American Moses”. Born June 1, 1801, in Whittingham, Vermont, and raised on a series of frontier homesteads in western New York, Brigham Young had little formal schooling. He educated himself and became a skilled and respected carpenter, cabinate maker and glazier in Albany, and then Mendon, New York. In 1830 he read the Book of Mormon just after it was published in nearby Palmyra, New York. After two years of careful investigation he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and devoted himself to missionary work and loyal support of its founder, Joseph Smith. In 1835 he was chosen as one of Church’s first group of twelve apostles and was sent on many missions, including a year (1840) in Great Britain, where he supervised successful preaching and church organization and then emigration of converts to America. After Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois in 1844, Brigham Young led the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in the great exodus to Utah. He is best known as an energetic and judicious leader, who was President of the Church for nearly 30 years; Governor of the Utah Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1851-1857; a builder of railroads, theaters, temples and industries. He was also a powerful and witty orator and a deeply spiritual man who said he saw the Salt Lake Valley in a vision before he was able to announce, “this is the right place.” Brigham Young always fostered education–encouraging learning societies in schools in pioneer Utah, and in 1875, founded the academy that became Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He wrote, “education is the power to think clearly, to act well in the day’s work, and to appreciate life.”
Plaque B: (East side) 1801 Brigham Young’s autograph 1877
Plaque C: (Back side) BRIGHAM YOUNG STATUE COMMISSION In 1992, the Utah State Legislature and governor concurred in a resolution urging that a statue of Brigham Young be placed in the Utah State Capitol. Eighteen commission members were appointed by the governor to carry out the project. The commission began work in September of 1992, eager to insure that this statue capture the greatness, energy, drive and dedication of the man who led the Mormon pioneers to this valley and organized the settling of the intermountain west. The commission voted unanimously to approve the model submitted by Utah sculpture Kraig Varner. All agreed that it reflected the strength, determination, and extraordinary vision of Brigham Young. Commission members served on a volunteer basis, giving freely of themselves and their time. They felt honored to work on a project bringing additional recognition to this central figure of Utah history. Brigham Young Statue Commission: Donald R. LaBaron, Chairman 1992-94…(list of names) July 25, 1994
Plaque D: (West side) PROPHET STATESMAN PIONEER
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