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We are fortunate in our chapter to hold many events in which expert, knowledgeable speakers address us on various aspects of America's historic Western trails. Sadly, most of these great lectures are not recorded and are lost to scholarship and even the enjoyment of reading or hearing them again. In addition to speeches made in our own chapter meetings there are other active Western trails and history-related organizations in Utah that sponsor excellent lectures at their gatherings, and unfortunately, many of these are lost as well.

We are going to ask our speakers to provide written versions of their presentations and we will make an effort to make sound recordings of their lectures whenever possible so we can present them here. Be patient, we are sure that not every speaker will want to be recorded nor provide copies of their speech, but we will do our best, so that once or twice a year we can add something delightful here.

Check back from time to time to see what's new.

This lecture was presented in the chapter's annual winter membership meeting in January 1999. The presenter was an able Utah historian and long-time editor and general manager of the Salt Lake newspaper the Deseret News, William B. Smart. His topic was the Mormon exploring expedition to southern Utah during the winter of 1849-50. Bill and his wife Donna have edited a well-received book on this little known subject.

The 1849 Southern Exploring Expedition of Parley P. Pratt
A Paper by William B. Smart

Our next lectures are not from a Utah Crossroads meeting, rather, from an evening presented by an umbrella organization to which we belong and are used by kind permission.

In celebration of the 150 year anniversary of the California Gold Rush the Utah Historic Trails Consortium, of which Utah Crossroads Chapter is a member, sponsored a symposium in Salt Lake City on the effects of the gold rush on Utah. Several prominent historians brought fresh perspectives to an attentive crowd of trail enthusiasts. We have the texts of two of the addresses here. Regardless of where you live we are confident you will take away new ideas regarding the California Gold Rush from these interesting presentations.

Plant Your Potatoes: The Mormons and the California Gold Rush
An address by Dean May, University of Utah. Available in RealAudio

The Elephant Meets the Lion: Gold Rush Conflicts in the Great Basin
An address by David L. Bigler, former President, OCTA

Note: To permit the widest number of visitors to enjoy the audio versions of these lectures we will also endeavor to provide them in Windows Media Player format in addition to RealAudio. If you do not have RealAudio installed and would like to, you can download the free, basic version of RealPlayer from their Web site.

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Revised: 12 Apr 2007


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