Slaves in Utah alongside Brigham Young

“Listed on the Brigham Young Monument on Temple Square are the members of the first pioneer company to enter the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847.

Three of the names are set just a little apart from the others under the subhead: Colored Servants. These are Green Flake, Oscar Crosby and Hark Lay.

Crosby and Lay accompanied their Mormon masters to California to establish a colony in San Bernardino in 1851. California law prohibited slavery and it is assumed the two became freemen.

Green Flake has a deeper history in Utah. He was baptized in April 1844, by John Brown, an elder but not the radical abolitionist of Bleeding Kansas fame. Loaned to Young by his Southern master, along with a mountain carriage and team, Green was to go ahead with the first company. It was in that wagon, with Green Flake at the reins, that Young entered the valley.

A trickle of blacks entered the state over the following years, both as freemen and in company with their masters….”

Read the rest: Living History: Slaves arrived in Utah with Brigham Young – Salt Lake Tribune.

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