The Mormons and the Mounties: Contact and Assimilation in the Late Nineteenth Century


Mormon Studies, Mounties, Canada


Mormons practising plural marriage were heavily persecuted and prosecuted by the United States government starting in the late nineteenth century, causing hundreds of Mormons to flee their Utah homes and migrate either southward to Mexico or northward to Canada. One who barely escaped incarceration was Charles Ora Card, president of the Cache Valley Utah Stake, who presided over a region that included southern Idaho and northern Utah. When Mormon persecutions were at a peak in the late summer of 1886, LDS Church president John Taylor encouraged Card to travel northwest across the United States border to find a gathering place for Mormon families to settle in the southern portion of Alberta. Taylor, who had English roots and had lived for several years in Toronto, told Card, "I have always found justice under the British flag." (1) Author Brigham Y. Card, a descendant of Charles Ora Card, wrote, "Word had reached Cache Valley of the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker Act on 19 February 1887, which to Card 'meant plunder and persecution of the whole church.'" This Act stiffened the penalties, causing both the Church and the Perpetual Emigrating Fund to be disfranchised. (2) Federal officers intensified efforts to capture polygamists. Barely escaping incarceration following arrests, Card left Logan in disguise." (3)

Original Publication Citation

Fred E. Woods, “The Mormons and the Mounties: Contact and Assimilation in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Alberta History 61, no. 1 (Winter 2013):12–21.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Alberta History




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor