In the 1850s and 1860s Gentiles monopolized the mercantile profession in Salt Lake valley. Conflict arose between the Mormons and anti-Mormon merchants for essentially five reasons: Mormon Church leaders believed merchants charged exorbitant prices, encouraged the coming of Johnston's army, falsely accused them for the "assassination" of two Salt Lake City Gentiles, supported Gentiles who were "jumping" Mormon land claims, and supported an adamantly anti-Mormon newspaper. Church leaders maintained that the motive behind these actions was essentially the destruction of their church; therefore, they levied a boycott against the anti-Mormon merchants in 1866.
Because Church leaders felt the coming of the railroad would bring more Gentiles to Utah to fight against the Saints and because the merchants persisted in supporting an anti-Mormon press, Church leaders expanded the boycott in 1868 to include all Gentile merchants.
The boycott was effective until Mormon patriotic support for the boycott wained and Gentile prices dropped. The boycott was officially lifted in 1882.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Garff, Peter Neil, "Causes of the Mormon Boycott Against Gentile Merchants in 1866 and 1868" (1971). Theses and Dissertations. 4708.
Mormons, Economic conditions, 1844-1877, Utah