Most of the Saints were excited to finally enter the Salt Lake Valley, others not so much. What was Angelina’s description of the valley when she entered?
A. Utah was a slave state
Hark Lay was born about 1825 in Monroe County, Mississippi. He took the name of his master as he was born in slavery in the William Lay household. He did his work well while crossing the plains and helped the pioneers in every way he could after they reached the valley. He entered the valley in Orson Pratts’s vanguard of July 22, 1847. He was known to have a beautiful singing voice. The Los Angeles County census of 1852 indicated that Hark Lay was in California that year. As California was a “free’ territory and Utah was “slave,” a number of Blacks traveled to California to become free. Lay died at Union, Salt Lake County, Utah, about 1890.
Chronicles of Courage, Lesson Committee (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 1997), 8: 233.