The University of Utah

Salt Lake Democrat

1885 - 1887

In its first edition, published on March 2, 1885, the Salt Lake Democrat made clear exactly the sort of relationship the newspaper planned to have with the Mormon Church, the dominant power in Utah. "As to this paper," wrote the editor, "we believe that neither the dominant local church, nor other church or combination, should direct the affairs of this Commonwealth; but that rather the people, combining upon the basis of democratic principles, should bring Utah in line with the age in which we live." The Democrat would fill the role of anti-establishment newspaper in Salt Lake City while offering a mouthpiece for the local Democratic Party, which was then, as now, a minority voice in Utah politics. Because of its anti-Mormon bent, the Democrat also focused on the most controversial issue then roiling Utah and the Mormon Church: plural marriage. The paper found itself in financial straits in 1887 and was absorbed by the largest anti-Mormon newspaper in the state, the Salt Lake Tribune. Read more.

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