“On July 24, 1857, the Saints held their annual celebration of Pioneers’ Day at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon, some twenty-five miles southeast of Salt Lake City and 10,000 feet above sea level. . . . Suddenly four travel-worn men, one of whom had ridden the long road from Eastern Kansas, rushed upon the scene with the information that a new governor, with a large military escort, was on his way to establish Gentile rule over Utah. . . .the grimmy couriers, it would seem, had played the part of Pheidippides before the battle of Marathon. . . .
Whatever warning the Saints may have had, the fact remains that after seven turbulent years relations between the Territory and the nation seemed about to dissolve in civil war.”