James L. Roark, et al., eds., The American Promise: A History of the United States, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002), 389.
In 1850, only three years after its founding, Desert became annexed to the United States as Utah Territory. But what focused the Nation’s attention on the Latter-Day Saints was the announcement by Brigham Young in 1852 that many Mormons practiced polygamy. Although only one Mormon man in five had more than one wife (Young had twenty-three), Young’s public statement caused an outcry that forced the government to establish its authority in Utah. In 1857, twenty-five hundred U.S. troops invaded Salt Lake City in what was known as the Mormon War. The bloodless occupation illustrates that most Americans viewed the Mormons as a threat to American morality, law, and institutions. The invasion did not dislodge the Mormon church from its central place in Utah, however, and for years to come most Americans perceived the Mormon settlement as a strange, and suitably isolated, place.