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UnDisciplined: Were Utah’s pioneers slave owners?   

Photograph of Brigham Young (1 June 1801 – 29 August 1877)
Wikimedia Commons
Photograph of Brigham Young (June, 1st 1801 – August, 29th 1877)

In 1852, Utah lawmakers met to debate whether black men would be given the right to vote in the new territory of the United States. After three months of sometimes heated debate, the matter was decided. Utah’s leaders sided with Latter-day Saint prophet and territorial governor Brigham Young — who in the midst of the debate had compared Native Americans and African Americans to mules. And then the territorial Legislature went a step further — it passed a bill that enshrined slavery as a legal institution, and Utah became the only western territory of the United States where black men, women, and children could be the legal property of white slavers.

Historian Paul Reeve has helped unearth new documents describing the debate, and he joins us for the program.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>