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Letters: Burton's visit to Utah

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Booker T. Washington spoke to University of Utah students and at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City.

Associated Press

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Your article about Booker T. Washington's visit to Salt Lake City in 1913 with such positive impressions and results was informative and appreciated ("100 years since Booker T. Washington's historic visit to the Mormons," March 29). Too often, I think we get caught up, give way too much credit and take way too seriously the more readily available and less-researched criticisms of less educated, but more popular people.

Similarly, and much earlier, another prominent individual came to Salt Lake City on a fact-finding mission and was amazed at what he found — far different than what he'd been told and expected. The prominent British explorer, author and genius who mastered over 50 languages, Sir Richard Burton, who is remembered for his early explorations of Africa, came to Salt Lake City in 1860, well before the railroads. His observations were completely objective and completely positive, all contained in his book of 576 pages, and illustrated by himself, titled, "The City of the Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California — 1862."

It is way past time that such prominent and positive impressions of Salt Lake Mormon settlers by the truly educated were better known by the world, and even native Utahns.

David Smith North

West Jordan

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