WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
MORRILL ANTI-BIGAMY ACT OF 1862
HISTORYThe Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (12 Stat. 501) was sponsored by Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 8, 1862. It should not be confused with the Morrill Act that same year which created land grant colleges.
This law was aimed directly at the Mormons in Utah. It limited church ownership of property in the territories to $50,000. It also outlawed bigamy in the territories, but with the Civil War well under way and Utah far from federal authority, the law was almost impossible to enforce. President Lincoln chose not to enforce the law.
The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act was amended in 1882 by the Edmunds Act and then again in 1887 by the Edmunds-Tucker Act.
REFERENCESWikipedia article on the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act