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The trial of Don Pedro León Luján : the attack against Indian slavery and the Mexican traders in Utah /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: University of Utah Press, 2000
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Jones, an instructor at Utah Valley State College, explores and corrects historians' errors surrounding the trial of Pedro Leon Lujan of New Mexico for Indian slave trading in the Utah Territory. She examines the case and the clashing racial, cultural, and religious beliefs and biases that characterized it, looking at Mormon policy and doctrine concerning black and Indian slavery and indenture. Includes b&w photos of the region, and historical photos and portraits of natives and key figures. Also includes documents, and a chronology of compulsory Indian labor laws.


List of Illustrationsp. vi
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1The Evolution of a Stereotype and the Devolution of Indian History in Utahp. 7
Chapter 2The Indian Slave Trade in New Mexicop. 19
Chapter 3The Indian Slave Trade in Utahp. 41
Chapter 4Pedro Leon Lujanp. 53
Chapter 5The Trial of Don Pedro Leonp. 61
Chapter 6Aftermath of the Trialp. 93
Chapter 7The Trial of Don Pedro Leon in Retrospectp. 107
Appendix A.New Mexican Trade Licensesp. 121
Appendix B.Court Affidavitsp. 124
Appendix C.Chronology of Compulsory Indian Labor Laws in New Spain, Mexico, and the United Statesp. 132
Notesp. 135
Bibliographyp. 165
Indexp. 175

Review by Choice Review

Despite the prohibition against slavery, the Spanish and Mexican colonies of North America had developed a customary system of indentured servitude, principally in women and children. After the organization of Utah and New Mexico territories, Don Pedro Leon Lujan obtained a license from the New Mexican government to trade with the Utes. Ignorant of the difference between New Mexican and Utah jurisdictions, he began trading in central Utah. After his license expired, he applied to Brigham Young for a new license, which Young refused to issue. While preparing to return to New Mexico, Lujan lost a number of horses to Ute raiders, who forced him to take Indian captives as payment. The purchase of these captives resulted in his trial and conviction under the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act. The events surrounding the case led Utah to pass laws that outlawed Indian slavery but legalized indentured servitude. The Utahns faced additional conflicts with New Mexican traders that may have contributed to the causes of the Walker War of 1853-54. This extensively researched and well-written book deserves considerable critical acclaim because it sets the record straight on the Indian slave trade. All levels. T. G. Alexander; Brigham Young University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Sondra Jones, an ethnohistorian, received her master's degree in history from Brigham Young University and is an instructor at Utah Valley State College. She lives with her husband and children in Provo, Utah.