"Romney’s unique vantage point is the strongest draw of this narrative: Romney and his family lived much of their life in the Mexican Mormon colonies. But the narrative’s value is much broader and deeper than just that. Romney’s insights into Mexican politics and personalities, and his view of the course of history from inside rather than from outside, are fascinating, colorful and opinionated. He was clear about who he admired and why, and who he did not."
—from the Foreword
In the 1880s, as a precondition to granting Utah statehood, the United States government enacted laws to put a stop to the Mormon practice of polygamy. Those who continued to practice this principle were forced underground as federal marshals roamed the territory searching for "polygs." In response, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked for safe places to send its members; many found refuge across the border in Mexico.
Unavailable since its original publication in 1938, this important document of a little-known chapter in Mormon history is now reprinted with a foreword by Martha Sonntag Bradley. Romney was raised and spent much of his life in the colonies, making this book a significant contribution to LDS history. It chronicles a new kind of Mormon pioneer facing the hardships of an unfamiliar land, a tenuous relationship with the government, and the necessary fortitude to hold fast to one’s belief in the face of difficulty and trial.
Thomas Cottam Romney (1876–1962) was director of the Logan LDS Institute of Religion.
Martha Sonntag Bradley is professor of architecture and director of the honors program at the University of Utah, and author of Kidnapped from that Land (University of Utah Press, 1993).
Table of Contents:
1. President Diaz, the Director
3. The First Colonies in Mexico
4. The Mormons Seek Mexican Lands to Colonize
5. Further Expansion
6. Colonia Diaz--The First Permanent Mormon Colony
7. The Founding of Colonia Juarez
8. The Founding of Colonia Dublan
9. The Founding of the Mountain Colonies
10. The Founding of the Sonora Colonies
11. Colonia Juarez--The Seat of Culture
12. Events Before the Exodus
13. Strained Relations
14. The Exodus of the Chihuahua Colonists
15. The Exodus of the Sonora Colonies
16. Events Following the Exodus
17. Was the Exodus Necessary?
18. A Remnant Returns to the Colonies
19. Greater Prosperity Seen
20. The Human Product
21. Attempted Property Settlements
22. The Hazards of a Religious Boycott in Mexico
23. Conditions in the Colonies in the Year 1938
24. Thrilling Experiences