Legislative Assembly. House Journal record books
Dates: i 1858-1878.
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
These two volumes contain the journal entries for the territorial legislative house from the eighth session through the twenty-third session. They constitute the handwritten minutes of the house proceedings. The legislature began keeping journals shortly after the creation of the territory in 1850. The entries were kept by a clerk and signed by the speaker of the house. The territorial secretary was to keep custody of the journals and arrange for their publication and distribution.
Each day's entry covers a standard order of business. The place and date is entered, there is note of the call to order and roll, a prayer, then the daily legislative business, reading of minutes, adjournment, and a closing benediction. While the activities are noted, details are not. The beginning day of each session usually lists the members answering to roll call, thereafter the entries just specify if a quorum is present.
Legislative business is only slightly more detailed. The process of enacting legislation via bills and resolutions is the most frequent business recorded. The title of the bill is noted (the contents are not recorded) as is its status: which reading it is at, whether or not it is passed, whether it has been referred to committee, what amendments or rewrites are motioned for, etc. The names of individuals motioning for these actions are recorded. Original bills are numbered, proceeded by H.F. for House file or C.F. for Council file, depending on where they were introduced.
The election of house officers is recorded at the beginning of the session. The appointment of legislative committees is also common at the beginning of each session, with the name of the committee and its members recorded.
Committee reports may also be entered in the record and are more narrative than much of the business noted; the reports cover a wide spectrum of business from bridge construction to the school system to reviews of contested elections in various counties. Brief reports of territorial agencies, such as the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, Penitentiary, Territorial Library, the Superintendent of Schools' Office, and the Auditor's Office, are regularly read into the record. Annual county financial reports also are recorded in full.
Messages from the Council, or senate, usually relating to a joint session or the passage of a bill in that chamber, are recorded in full. Other messages include those from the territorial secretary or governor noting signing of a bill or reasons for veto. Memorial tributes are rare. Joint sessions are alluded to, but their minutes are not recorded here; instead the reader is referred to the joint session minutes in the COUNCIL JOURNAL RECORD BOOKS.
Journals from the Legislative Assembly, Series 3145, include published copies of these minutes.
Territorial legislative records from the Legislative Assembly, Series 3150, contain copies of bills and other legislative papers discussed in these journals.
Journal record books from the Legislative Council, Series 3167, include the house minutes for 1880 plus all the joint session minutes.
Laws of Utah from the Legislature, Series 83155, contain the published laws passed by the legislature which are tracked in these journals.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Gaps in Series
Entries for the house for 1880 were recorded in the Council JOURNAL RECORD BOOKS. The location of any other handwritten journals is unknown; they may have been discarded following printing, and would be available in a published form as noted above.
Microfilmed in 1970. Archivally processed by A.C. Cone in 1990.
- Local government—Utah—Appropriations and expenditures.
- Legislative bodies—Utah—Committees.
- Utah—Politics and government—1858-1878.
Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.