History of Salt Lake City

History Of Salt Lake City

Originally, the Salt Lake Valley was inhabited by the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute Native American tribes. At the time of the founding of Salt Lake City the valley was within the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone, who had their seasonal camps along streams within the valley and in adjacent valleys. The land was treated by the United States as public domain; no aboriginal title by the Northwestern Shoshone was ever recognized by the United States or extinguished by treaty with the United States. Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, a Spanish Franciscan missionary is considered the first European explorer in the area in 1776, but only came as far north as Utah valley (Provo), some 60 miles south of the Salt Lake City area. The first US visitor to see the Salt Lake area was John Chugg in 1824. U.S. Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley in 1843 and 1845. The Donner Party, a group of ill-fated pioneers, traveled through the Great Salt Lake Valley a year before the Mormon pioneers. This group had spent weeks traversing difficult terrain and brush, cutting a road through the Wasatch Mountains, coming through Emigration canyon into the Salt Lake Valley on August 12, 1846. This same path would be used by the vanguard company of Mormon pioneers, and for many years after that by those following them to Salt Lake.

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