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Henry Mayhew
"Labour and the Poor
 (of Liverpool)
Letter No. 9"
The Morning Chronicle
London: July 29, 1850

(an expanded version was reprinted in:
The Mormons, or Latter-Day Saints
(London, Nat. Ill. Library, 1851)

The Morning Chronicle.
Vol. ?                               London, U. K.,  Monday,  July 29, 1850.                             No. ?

       [ 6 ]





During the course of my inquiry into the extent of emigration from the port of Liverpool, I learned that the followers of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, who are known by the names of Mormons, Mormonites, and Latter-Day Saints, had many years ago established an emigrational agency in the town, having ramifications in all parts of England, Wales, and Scotland. I learned that the number of Mormon emigrants sailing from the port of Liverpool to New Orleans, on their way to Deseret and Upper California, during the year 1849, was no less than 2,600 -- chiefly farmers and mechanics of a superior class, from Wales, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the southern counties of Scotland; and that since 1840 the total emigration of the sect from Great Britain has been between 13,000 and 14,000. The progress and present position of this remarkable sect both in the United States and in Great Britain, will put the reader in possession of the facts necessary to the due comprehension of the subject. They unfold one of the most curious episodes in the modern history of the world, and certainly the most singular story in the recent annals of fanaticism

The founder of the sect -- Joseph Smith, jun., as he was called till within a year or two of his death -- was born in 1805. The first congregation of Latter- day Saints was organized in 1831, and now, in less than twenty years, the sect numbers nearly 30,000 people in Great Britain, and about four times, or according to some statements six times, that number in America. Joseph Smith was a digger for gold before he took up the trade of preaching and prophesying; and to his people after his people after his death belongs the merit, or the credit, of discovering the gold of California. The Mormons are now the principal inhabitants of a State to which they have given the name of Deseret, a word that occurs in their new Bible, or Book of Mormon, and which is said to signify a honey-bee. They expect, within a short time, by means of immigration from Great Britain, and by the gathering together of their people from all parts of the Union, to muster a sufficient number in Deseret to claim formal admission into the American Union. The number of inhabitants requisite for this purpose is 60,000, and there can be little, if any doubt, that, in a few years, the object of the Mormons will be accomplished. Such is the present position of the Latter-day Saints. The growth of Mohomedanism, rapid as it was, is not to be compared to the rise and growth of Mormonism.

I now proceed to detail more particularly the history of Joseph Smith and the sect he founded -- appending an abstract of their religious belief. To avoid the appearance of unfriendliness towards men who -- whatever the character, or views of their leader may have been, or whatever may be thought of their own fanaticism -- are carrying on a remarkable work, but little understood, or even heard of, in this country beyond the limits of their own body, I shall, whenever it is possible to do so, present their history in the words of their own writers, appending such statements as may be necessary for the exposition of the truth. The following particulars are extracted from the Remarkable Visions of Mr. Orson Pratt, their emigrational agent at Liverpool, a gentleman who styles himself, in the title-page, One of the twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; but who is styled in Liverpool, Head Apostle of the Latter-day Saints in England, and chief Agent for the Church of Jesus Christ for all Europe: --

"Mr. Joseph Smith, jun. who made the following important discovery, was born the town of Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, on the 23d December, 1805. When ten years old his parents, with their family, moved to Palmyra. New York, in the vicinity of which he resided for about eleven years, the latter part in the town of Manchester. He was a farmer by occupation. His advantages for acquiring scientific knowledge were exceedingly small, being limited to a slight acquaintance with two or three of the common branches of learning. He could read without much difficulty, and write a very imperfect hand, and had a very limited understanding of the elementary rules of arithmetic. These were his highest and only attainments, while the rest of those branches so universally taught in the common schools throughout the United States were entirely unknown to him. -- When somewhere about fourteen or fifteen years old, he began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a future state of existence; but how, or in what way to prepare himself, was a question as yet undetermined in his own mind. He perceived that it was a question of infinite importance, and that the salvation of his soul depended upon a correct understanding of the same. * * * He retired to a secret place in a grove, but a short distance from his father's house, and knelt down and began to call upon the Lord. At first he was severely tempted by the powers of darkness, which endeavoured to overcome him, but he continued to seek for deliverance until darkness gave way from his mind, and he was enabled to pray in fervency of the spirit, and in faith; and while thus pouring out his soul, anxiously desiring an answer from God, he at length saw a very bright and glorious light in the heavens above, which at first seemed to be at a considerable distance. He continued praying, while the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him; and as it drew nearer it increased in brightness and magnitude, so that by the time it reached the tops of the trees the whole wilderness around was illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner. He expected to see the leaves and boughs of the trees consumed as soon as the light came in contact with them; but perceiving that it did not produce that effect he was encouraged with the hopes of being able to endure its presence. It continued descending slowly, until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came to him, it produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system; and immediately, his mind was caught away from the natural objects with which he was surrounded, and he was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in their features or likeness. He was informed that his sins were forgiven. He was also informed upon the subjects, which had for some time previously agitated his mind -- namely, that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and consequently that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom. And he was expressly commanded to go not after them; and he received a promise that the true doctrine, the fulness of the gospel, should at some future time be made known to him; after which, the vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and peace indescribable. Some time after having received this glorious manifestation, being young, he was again entangled in the vanities of the world, of which he afterwards sincerely and truly repented.

"And it pleased God, on the evening of the 21st Sept., A.D. 1823, to again hear his prayer. * * * It [seemed] as though the house was filled with consuming fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occasioned a shock of sensation visible to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind, and an overwhelming rapture of joy, that surpassed understanding, and, in a moment, a personage stood before him. -- Notwithstanding the brightness of the light which previously illuminated the room, yet there seemed to be an additional glory surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an increased degree of brilliancy, of which he was in the midst; and though his countenance was as lightning, yet it was of a pleasing, innocent, and glorious appearance; so much so, that every fear was banished from the heart, and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul. -- The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in his age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam. This glorious being declared himself to be an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and also, to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their posterity, was at hand to be fulfilled; that the great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in its fulness, to be preached in power to all nations, that a people might be prepared with faith and righteousness, for the Millennial reign of universal peace and joy.

"He was informed, that he was called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in this glorious dispensation. It was also made manifest to him that the American Indians were a remnant of Israel; that when they first emigrated to America they were an enlightened people, possessing a knowledge of the true God, enjoying his favour, and peculiar blessings from his hand; that the prophets, and inspired writers among them, were required to keep a sacred history of the most important events transpiring among them; which history was handed down for many generations, till at length they fell into great wickedness; the [most] part of them were destroyed, and the records * * * were safely deposited, to preserve them from the hands of the wicked, who sought to destroy them. He was informed that these records contained many sacred revelations pertaining to the Gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great events of the last days; and that to fulfil his promises to the ancients, who wrote the records, and to accomplish his purposes in the restitution of their children, they were to come forth to the knowledge of the people. If faithful, he was to be the instrument who should be thus highly favored in bringing these sacred writings before the world. * * * After giving him many instructions concerning things past and to come, he disappeared, and the light and glory of God withdrew, leaving his mind in perfect peace, while a calmness and serenity indescribable pervaded his soul. But before morning the vision was twice renewed, instructing him further and still further concerning the great work of God about to be performed on the earth. In the morning he went out to his labour as usual, but soon the vision was renewed -- the angel again appeared, and having been informed, by the previous visions of the night, concerning the place where those records were deposited, he was instructed to go immediately and view them.

"Accordingly he repaired to the place, a brief description of which shall be given in the words of a gentleman named Oliver Cowdery, who has visited the spot: --
"As you pass on the mail-road from Palmyra, Wayne county, to Canandaigua, Ontario county, New York, before arriving at the little village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road. * * * It was at the second-mentioned place where the record was found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill, not far from the top, down its side; and when myself visited the spot in the year 1830, there were several trees standing -- enough to cause a shade in summer, but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with grass -- which was also the case when the record was first found.

"How far below the surface these records were placed I am unable to say, but from the fact that they had been some fourteen hundred years buried, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they were some feet below, as the earth would naturally wear, more or less, in that length of time. But being placed towards the top of the hill, the ground would not remove as much as two-thirds perhaps. Another circumstance would prevent another wearing of the earth -- in all probability, as soon as timber had time to grow, the hill was covered, and the roots of the same would hold the surface. However, on this point I shall leave every man to draw his own conclusion, and form his own speculation: but, suffice to say, a hole of sufficient depth was dug. At the bottom of this lay a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, at the four edges of this stone were placed erect four, others, their bottom edges resting in [this] cement at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named when placed erect, formed a box; the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. It is to be observed also that the inner surfaces of the four erect or side stones were smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars, composed of the same description of cement used on the edges; and upon these three pillars were, placed the records. This box containing the records was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat, and the upper crowning. When it was first visited by Mr Smith, on the morning of the 22d of September 1823, a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass. From which circumstance, it may be seen, that however deep this box might have been placed at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth, so that it was easily discovered, when once directed, and yet not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passer-by

"After arriving at the repository, a little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the box, and a light lever, brought to his natural vision its contents." While viewing and contemplating this sacred treasure with wonder and astonishment, behold! the angel of the Lord, who had previously visited him, again stood in his presence, and his soul was again enlightened as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the heavens were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about and rested upon him. While he thus stood gazing and admiring, the angel said, 'Look!' And as he thus spake, he beheld the Prince of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said, And all this is shown, the good and the evil, the holy and impure, the glory of God, and the power of darkness, that you may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or overcome by that wicked one. Behold, whatsoever enticeth and leadeth to good and to do good, is of God, and whatsoever doth not is of that wicked one. * * * You cannot at this time obtain this record, for the commandment of God is strict, and if ever these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this world; they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of a knowledge which they contain; they are of no worth among the children of men only for their knowledge. On them is contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it, and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the fold of their Redeemer by obeying it also. * * *
"During the period of the four following years, he frequently received instructions from the mouth of the heavenly messenger. And on the morning of the 22d of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into his hands.

"These records were engraved on plates, which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found "a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient times by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use which they received revelation of things distant, or of things past or future. * * * Having provided himself with a home, he commenced translating the record, by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim; and being a poor writer, he was under the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it came from his mouth.

"In the meantime, a few of the original characters were accurately described and translated by Mr. Smith, which, with the translation, were taken by a gentleman, by the name of Martin Harris, to the city of New York, where they were presented to a learned gentleman of the name of Anthon, who professed to be extensively acquainted with many languages, both ancient and modern. He examined them, but was unable to decipher them correctly; but he presumed that if the original records could be brought, he could assist in translating them.

"But to return -- Mr. Smith continued the work of translation, as his pecuniary circumstances would permit, until he finished the unsealed part of the records. The part translated is entitled the 'Book of Mormon,' which contains nearly as much reading as the Old Testament. * * *

"After the book was translated, the Lord raised up witnesses to the nations of its truth, who, at the close of the volume, send forth their testimony, which reads as follows: --


"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we through the Grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi and also or the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true, and we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare, with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true, and it is marvellous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.


"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold: as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which have the appearance of ancient work, and of curious work- manship. And this we hear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and lighted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken: and we give our names unto the world of that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

[Such is] the story of Mr. Orson Pratt, derived from himself, and [also from] the corroboration of [the] witnesses. It will be seen that the latter were principally of the two families of Whitmer and Smith. The Smiths were the father and brothers of Joseph.

The next incident is the appointment of Joseph to the priesthood. It is related by Joseph himself in the followhing terms in the Millennial Star, vol. iii, page 148: --
While we (Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery) were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying unto us, "Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken away from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." He said this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptize me. Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me. After which I laid my hands upon his head, and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood; afterwards he laid his hands on me, and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded. The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedeck, which priesthood, he said, should in due time be conferred on us -- and that I [should be called the first first elder, and he the second. It was on the 15th day of May, 1829, that we were baptized and ordained under the hand of the messenger.] .... [illegible lines follow]...

[Insert for 1851 reprint: The scheme was now ripe for a fuller development; but as we have hitherto had the story as in the words of Joseph himself, and of his ardent disciples, Mr. Orson Pratt and the "witnesses," it is necessary to go back a little, and narrate a few circumstances relative to one of the most important of these witnesses, and to the manner in which he was originally induced to become a believer in the "prophet" and his book. It will also be necessary to inquire whether the statements of Mr. Pratt, with reference to Professor Anthon, were admitted by that gentleman.]

Joseph Smith having made known his doctrine to various persons, the wonderful plates, began to be talked about. Among the persons who were originally most disposed to join the new sect was Mr. Martin Harris, whose name appears along with those of other witnesses in the above testimony. Mr. Orson Pratt does not, however, state the whole of the facts connected with the interview of Martin Harris with Mr. Anthon, of New York, the learned professor to whom he alludes. A report having, been spread abroad by the Mormons that the Professor had seen the plates, and pronounced the inscriptions to be in the Egyptian character, that gentleman was requested by a, letter, directed to him by Mr. E. D. Howe, of Patnesville, Ohio, to declare whether such was the fact. Professor Anthon returned the following answer...
New York, Feb. 17, 1834. Dear Sir. -- I received your letter of the 9th, and lose no time in making a reply. The whole story about my pronouncing the Mormonite inscription to be 'Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics,' is perfectly false. Some years ago a plain, apparently simple-hearted farmer, called on me with a note from Dr. Mitchell, of our city, now dead, requesting me to decipher, if possible, a paper which the farmer would hand me. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. 'When I asked the person who brought it how he obtained the writing, he gave me the following account: -- A 'gold book,' consisting of a number of plates fastened together by wires of the same material, had been dug up in the northern part of the State of New York, and along with it an enormous pair of 'spectacles!' These spectacles were so large, that if any person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would look through one glass only; the spectacles being altogether too large for the human face. 'Whoever,' he said, 'examined the plates through the glasses, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in a garret, in a farm-house, and being thus concealed from view, he put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, deciphered the characters in the book, and having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain to those who stood outside. Not a word was said about their having been deciphered by the 'gift of God.' Everything in this way was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the 'golden book,' the contents of which would, as he was told, produce an entire change in the world, and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm, and giving the amount to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he had brought with him, and which had been given him as part of the contents of the book, although no translation had at that time been made by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined to give, and he then took his leave, taking his paper with him.

"This paper, in question, was in fact a singular scroll. It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters, disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets, Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses, and flourishes; Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged and placed in perpendicular columns; and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar, given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I am thus particular as to the contents of the paper, inasmuch as I have frequently conversed with my friends on the subject since the Mormon excitement began, and well remember that the paper contained anything else but 'Egyptian hieroglyphics.'

"Some time after the same farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the 'good book' in print, and offered it to me for sale. I declined purchasing. He then asked permission to leave the book with me for examination. I declined receiving it, although his manner was strangely urgent. I adverted once more to the roguery which, in my opinion, had been practised upon him, and asked him what had become of the gold plates. He informed me that they were in a trunk with the spectacles. I advised him to go to a magistrate and have the trunk examined. He said 'The curse of God' would come upon him if he did. On my pressing him, however, to go to a magistrate, he told me he would open the trunk if I would take the 'curse of God' upon myself. I replied, I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, provided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues; he then left me. I have given you a full statement of all that I know respecting the origin of Mormonism, and must beg you, as a personal favour, to publish this letter immediately, should you find my name mentioned again by these wretched fanatics. -- Yours respectfully, CHARLES ANTHON."

This letter speaks for itself, and needs no comment. The following summary of the contents of the Book of Mormon, thus strangely issued into the world, is from a publication called the Voice of Warning, by Parley P. Pratt, another apostle

"The Book of Mormon contains the history of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph; of whom the Indians are still a remnant; but the principal nation of them having fallen in battle, in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, their prophiecies, and their doctrine, which he engraved on plates, and afterwards, being slain, the record fell into the hands of his son Moroni, who, being hunted by his enemies, was directed to deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God that it should be preserved, and should be brought to light in the latter days by means of a Gentile nation, who should possess the land. The deposit was made about the year 420, on a hill then called Cumora, now in Ontario county, where it was preserved in safety until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels, and translated by inspiration. And the great Jehovah bore record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the world."

The question will be asked, could Joseph Smith, a notoriously illiterate man, really write [even so clumsy] a composition as the Book of Mormon? The following short history will throw some light upon the matter. It appears that in the year 1809 a man of the name of Solomon Spaulding, who had formerly been a clergyman, failed in business, at a place called Cherry Vale, in the State of New York. Being a person of literary tastes, and his attention having been directed to the notion which at that time excited some interest, namely, that the North American Indians were the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it struck him that the idea afforded a good ground-work for a religious tale, hisitory, or novel. For three years he laboured upon this work, which he entitled, The Manuscript Found. Mormon and his son Moroni were two of the principal characters in it. In 1812 the MS. was presented to a printer or bookseller, residing at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, with a view to its publication. Before any satisfactory arrangement could be made, the author died, and the manuscript remained in the possession of the printer, apparently unnoticed and uncared for. The printer also died in 1826, having previously lent the manuscript to one Sidney Rigdon, a compositor in his employ, who afterwards became, next to Joseph Smith himself, the principal leaders of the Mormons. How Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon became connected is not very clearly known, and which of the two originated the idea of making a new Bible out of Solmon Spaulding's novel is equally uncertain. The wife, the partner, several friends, and the brother of Solomon Spaulding, affirmed, however, the identity of the principal portions of the Book of Mormon with the novel of The Manuscript Found, which the author had from time to time, and in separate portions, read over to them. John Spaulding, brother to Solomon, declared upon oath that his brother's missing book was an historical romance of the first settlers in America, endeavouring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of Jews, or the lost ten tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem by a land and by sea, till they arrived in America under the command of Nephi and Lehi. He also mentioned the Lamanites. [He added] "I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprise, I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c., as they were in my brother's writings. To the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter."

[illegible lines follow -- possibly Spalding's widow's 1839 statement and Rigdon's reply]

The religious matter derived from the Old and New Testaments has been engrafted upon Solomon Spaulding's romance in a manner that shows the clumsy, the ignorant, and the illiterate workman. Such phrases as the following are of frequent occurrence: --

"Ye are like unto they." -- "Do as ye hath hitherto done." -- "I the Lord delighteth in the chastity of women." -- "I saith unto them." -- "I who ye call your King." -- "These things had not ought to be." -- Ye saith unto him." -- "For a more history part are written upon my other plates." -- Anachronisms are also frequent. The mariner's compass is spoken of before the date of the Christian era; and the Saviour of the world is represented as appearing immediately after his resurrection to the Jews in America -- a people whom Joseph Smith affirms to have known no Greek, and to have [recorded?]...

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning... I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." Joseph did not know that Jesus is the Greek for the Hebrew name of Joshua, and that Christ is the Greek of anointed -- or that Alpha and Omega were the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and could, like the other two words, have had no meaning to a Hebrew people in America utterly ignorant of Greek. Many other similar instances could be cited. Joseph Smith was often asked, both by friends and foes, the meaning of the word Mormon, which occurred originally in Solomon Spaulding's novel, and appears to have been derived by him from the Greek. The following reply of Joseph, as published in a letter to the editor of the Times and Seasons, is highly characteristic both of his cool audacity and his self-sufficient ignorance: --

Sir -- Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal, and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth than be led astray by the vain pretensions of the self-wise. The error I speak of is the definition of the word 'Mormon.' It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word mnioss. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. On the 523d page, of the fourth edition, it reads: And now behold we have written the record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech; and if our plates were i sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew, Behold ye would have had no imperfection in oar record, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.' Here, then, the subject is put to silence, for 'none other people knoweth our language;' therefore the Lord, and not man, hath to interpret after the people were all dead. And, as Paul said, 'the world by wisdom know not God,' and the world by speculation are destitute of revelation; and as God, in his superior wisdom, has always given his saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit (as John says) is the true spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I may safely say that the word Mormon stands independent of the learning and wisdom of this generation. Before I give a definition, however, to the word, let me say that the Bible, in its widest sense, means good; for the Saviour says, according to the Gospel of St. John, 'I am the good shepherd,' and it will not be beyond the common use of terms to say, that good is amongst the most important in use, and though known by various names in different languages, still its meaning is the same, and is ever in opposition to bad. We say from the Saxon, good; the Dane, god; the Goth, goda; the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, Jcalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition of more, or the contraction mor, we have the word Mormon, which means, literally, more good. Yours, Joseph Smith."

In addition to the Book of Mormon, the Latter-day Saints have a book of ''Doctrinesand ''Covenants, purporting to be direct revelations from heaven to Joseph Smith and others, upon the temporal government of their church, the support of the poor, the tithing or taxation of the meinbers, the establishment of cities and temples, the allotment of lands, the emigration of the saints, the education of the people, the gathering of moneys, and other matters. This book abounds in grammatical inaccuracies, even to a greater extent than the Book of Mormon. --

"God, that knowest thy thoughts" -- "A literal descendant of Aaron," meaning a lineal descendant -- "An hair of his head shall not fall." -- "Your father who art in Heaven knoweth" -- "And the spirit and the body is the soul of man" -- "The stars also giveth their light as they roll upon their wings in glory" -- "Her who sitteth upon many waters" -- "Thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon" -- form but a sample of hundreds of similar sentences that might be culled, were it worth while. A few specimens of the kind of Revelations -- and the style in which Joseph Smith represents the Almighty as speaking to him -- will show the height of knavery, the depth of folly, and what absurdity men will believe under the influence of strong fanaticism. The following is part of a revelation purporting to have been given by Jesus Christ, in February 1831. In these revatious the Almighty is invariably represented as giving Joseph his proper designation of Smith junior, that he might not be mistaken for his father, Joseph Smith, senior: --

Hearken, all ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Saviour of the world. Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment, that you shall go forth in my name, every one of you, except my servants, Joseph Smith, jun., and Sidney Rigdon. ... If there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not."

The following is part of a revelation given to Joseph Smith in March, 1829, when Martin Harris desired to see the golden plates, and before he was put off with the paper transcript, which he showed to Professor Anthon: --

"Behold, I say unto you, that as my servant Martin Harris has desired a witness at my hand, that you, my servant Joseph Smith, jun., have got the plates of which you have testified and borne record that you have received of me; and now, behold, this shall you say unto him -- 'He who spake unto you said unto you, I the Lord am God, and have given those things unto you, my servant, Joseph Smith, jun., and have commanded you that you should stand as a witness of these things; and I have caused you that you should enter into a covenant with me that you should not show them except to those persons that I commanded you; and you have no power over them except I grant it you.'... And now, again I speak unto you my servant Joseph, concerning the man that denies the witness. Behold, I say unto him, he exalts himself, and does not sufficiently humble himself before me. But if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see."

[illegible lines follow]

... Joseph and his principal assistant, Sidney Rigdon, appear to have soon quarrelled with the three witnesses. The first witness to the truth of his book of Mormon was declared by Smith himself in a revelation given in November, 1831, to be unfit to be trusted with moneys: --

"Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, for my servant Oliver Cowdery's sake. It is not wisdom in me that he should be entrusted with the commandments, and the moneys which he shall carry into the land of Zion, except one go with him who shall be true and faithful."

In a paper drawn up by Sidney Rigdon in June, 1838, when a great schism took place in the church, it is stated that Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and another were united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest l dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints. Martin Harris, the last of the three, is spoken of at the time of the schism by Joseph himself in the following terms, in a paper called the Elder's Journal: -- "There are negroes who wear white skins as well as black ones. Grames Parish and others who acted as lackies, such as Martin Harris &c., but they are so far beneath contempt that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make."

While, by means of revelations, those who were not longer to be trusted were pointed out to true believers, Joseph Smith took care to have special revelations upon matters relating to his own comfort. -- "It is meet" says a revelation of the Lord in February, 1831, "that my servant Joseph Smith, jun., should have a house built, in which to live and translate." A second revelation of the same month says: -- "If ye desire the mysteries of my kingdom, provide for him (Joseph Smith, jun.) food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth."

Nor was Smith, according to the revelations, to labour for his living. ''In temporal labours," says another revelation of July, 1830, "thou shalt not have strength, for that is not thy calling. Attend to thy calling, and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office, and to expound all scriptures."

An extract from one more Revelation will suffice for the present. It purports to have been given in July, 1830, to Emma Smith, the wife of Joseph, through Joseph himself: --

"The office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant Joseph Smith, jun., thy husband. And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, while there is no one to be a scribe for him, that I may send my servant Oliver Cowdery whithersoever I will. And it shall be given to thee also to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall he given thee, which is pleasing unto me to be had in my church."

The Hymn-book of Emma Smith does not appear to have been published; but a little Hymn-book, containing hymns selected by Brigham Young, the present head of the church and successor of Joseph Smith, has gone through eight editions. The eighth was published in Liverpool, in 1849, by Apostle Orson Pratt.

A few extracts wtill not be out of place. The following hymn, which is said to be sometimes sung on shipboard in Liverpool, prior to the departure of Mormon emigrants, is, in point of literary merit, among the best in the volume --

"Yes, my native land, I love thee;
All thy scenes, I love them well;
Friends, connections, happy country,
Can I bid you all farewell?

Can I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell?
Home! thy joys are passing lovely,
Joys no stranger heart can tell;

Happy home! 'tis sure I love thee,
Can I -- can I -- say 'Farewell?'

Can I leave thee?
Far in distant lands to dwell?
Yes! I hasten from you gladly,

From the scenes I love so well;
Far away, ye billows, bear me,

Lovely native land, farewell!
Pleased I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell.

In the deserts let me labour,
On the mountains let me tell
How he died -- the blessed Saviour,
To redeem a world from hell!

Let me hasten,
Far in distant lands to dwell!

Bear me on, thou restless ocean,
Let the winds my canvass swell;
Heaves my heart with warm emotion,
While I go far hence to dwell!

Glad I bid thee, Native land,
farewell! farewell!

The next is a hymn for the Twelve Apostles, who are now engaged in different parts of Europe, in procuring emigrants and gathering the saints to the Salt-Lake Valley in Deseret: --

Ye chosen twelve to ye are given
The keys of this last ministry --
To every nation under Heaven,
From land to land, from sea to sea.

First to the Gentiles sound tise news,
Throughout Columbia's happy land;
And then before it reach the Jews,
Prepare on Europe's shores to stand.

Let Europe's towns and cities hear
The Gospel tidings angels bring;
The Gentile nations, far and far and near,
Prepare their hearts His praise to sing.

India and Afric's sultry plains
Must hear the tidings as they roll --
Where darkness, death, and sorrow reign,
And tyranny has held control.

Listen! ye islands of the sea,
For every isle shall hear the sound;
Nations and tongues before unknown,
Though long since lost, shall soon be found,

And then again shall Asia hear,
Where angels first the news proclaimed;
Eternity shall record bear,
And earth repeat the loud Amen.

The nations catch the pleasing sound,
And Jew and Gentile swell the strain,
Hosannah o'er the earth resound,
Messiah then will come to reign."

Many of their hymns and songs are adapted to popular tunles, such as "The sea, the sea, the open sea;" "Away, away to the mountain's brow," &c. One to the first mentioned tune is inserted in the Times and Seasons, page 895, and commences: --

"The sky, the sky, the clear blue sky,
Oh, how I love to gaze upon it
The upper realins of deep on high,
I wonder when the Lord begun it!"

The following additional specimens of Mormon devotional poetry [appear in their authorized organ, the Times and Seasons....]

The God that others worship is not the God for me;
He has no parts nor body, and cannot hear nor see;
But I've a God that lives above --

A God of Power and of Love --
A God of Revelation -- oh, that's the God for me;
Oh, that's the God for me; oh, that's the God for me!

A church without apostles is not the church for me;
It's like a ship dismasted, afloat upon the sea;
But I've a church that's always led
By the twelve stars around its head

A church with good foundations -- oh that's the church for me;
Oh, that's the church for me; oh, that's the church for me!

A church without a prophet is not the church for me;
It has no head to lead it, in it I would not be;
But I've a church not built by man,
Cut from the mountain without hands;

A church with gifts and blessings -- oh, that's the church for me;
Oh, that's the church for me; oh, that's the church for me!

The hope that Gentiles cherish is not the hope for me;
It has no hope for knowledge, far from it I would be;

But I've an hope that will not fail,
That reaches safe within the veil;
Which hope is like an anchor -- oh, that's the hope for me;
Oh, that's the hope for me; oh, that's the hope for me!

The heaven of sectarians is not the heaven for me;
So doubtful its location, neither on land nor sea;
But I've an heaven on the earth,
The land and home that gave me birth;

A heaven of light and knowledge -- oh, that's the heaven for me;
Oh, that's the heaven for me; oh, that's the heaven for me!

A church without a gathering is not the church for me;
The Saviour would not order it, whatever it might be;

But I've a church that's called out,
From false traditions, fear, and doubt,
A gathering dispensation -- oh, that's the church for me;
Oh, that's the church for me; oh, that's the church for me!"

It only remains to add that the Mormons recognize two orders of priesthood, the "Aaronic" and the "Melchizedek." They are governed by a prophet or president, twelve apostles, the "seventies," and a number of bishops, high priests, deacons, elders, and teachers; that they assert that the gifts of prophecy and the power of working miracles have not ceased; that Joseph Smith and many other Mormons wrought miracles and cast out devils; that the end of the world is close at end; and that they are the "saints" spoken of in the Apocalypse, who will reign with Christ in a temporal kingdom in this world. They assert also that the seat of this kingdom is to be either Missouri -- the place originally intended -- or their present location of the Great Salt Lake Valley of Deseret. They allege that their Book of Mormon and the "Doctrine" and "Covenants" form the fulness of the Gospel -- that they take nothing from the Old or the New Testament -- both of which they complete. They seem, however, not to have formed the same ideas of God which are stated in the Gospel -- but to acknowledge a material Deity. This idea appears in the song or hymn to the tune of the Rose that all are praising, above-quoted, but is stated more broadly in the Times and Seasons, and other works. The following extract from a kind of Confession of Faith, signed by Orson Spencer, one of the apostles of the church, gives the views of the sect upon this and other subjects: --

"In some, and indeed in many respects, do we differ from some sectarian denominations. We believe that God is a being who hath both body and parts, and also passions. Also of the existence of the gifts, in the true church, spoken of in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. I do not believe that the career of sacred Scripture was closed with the Revelation of John, but that wherever God has a true church, there he makes frequent revelations of his will; and as God takes cognizance of all things, both temporal and spiritual, his revelations will pertain to all things whereby his glory may be promoted."

Joseph Smith is more explicit. The following passage occurs in the Millennial Star, vol. vi., under the prophet's authority, and signed with his name: --

"What is God? He is a material organized intelligence, possessing both body and parts. He is in the form of a man, and is, in fact, of the same species, and is a model or standard of perfection, to which man is destined to attain, he being the Great Father and Head of the whole family. This being cannot occupy two distinct places at once, therefore he cannot be everywhere present.

"What are angels? They are intelligences of the human species. Many of them are the offspring of Adam and Eve -- of men, it is said, 'being Gods, or sons of God, endowed with the same powers, attributes, and capacities, that their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ possess.'"

"The weakest child of God, which now exists upon the earth, will possess more dominion, more property, more subjects, and more power and glory, than is possessed by Jesus Christ or by his Father; while, at the same time, Jesus Christ and his Father will have their dominion, kingdom, and subjects, increased in proportion."

Materialism is in fact the strong point of the Mormons; and one of the pamphlets, whichl they circulate most largely, is entitled "The Absurdities of Immaterialism." The Mormons lay claim to the power of working miracles; and mnany ludicrous stories are told by their enemies of the attempts made by Joe Smith and others, to get out of difficulties with their own people, after having promised too much in this respect. These stories are, of course, considered false and scandalous by the Mormons. I shall not reproduce them, but select, in preference, a specimen of their miracles, as recorded by themselves, in their own publication, the Millenial Star. It will answer the purpose far better than any statement made by their opponents. In a letter addressed to Mr. Orson Spencer, and published in the Millenial Star for August 1, 1847, the writer, a Mormon, who dates from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, after detailing the attempts made to ordain one Currell to the Mormon priesthood -- attempts which were defeated by the devil, says: --

When we laid our hands upon him the devil entered him, and tried to prevent us from ordaining him, but the power of Jesus Christ in the holy priesthood was stronger than the devil, and after all the endeavours of the powers of darkness to prevent us, in the name of Jesus Christ we ordained brother Richard Currell to the office of a priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In consequence of what had taken place, many came to our meeting in the evening and paid great attention. The scenes of the twentieth of June will long be remembered by us as a day of rejoicing in the glorious manifestation of the power of God, confirming the faith of the Saints, and spreading the sound of the gospel farther than we could have done it in a long time. I should inform you that when the devil found he was defeated in brother C. he entered a sister, and kept coming in for several hours; as fast as one lot were expelled another lot entered: at one time we counted 27 come out of her. When we rebuked them they would come out, but as soon returned again. How was it they could acknowledge the power, and would damn our power, -- damn our gospel, and tear and bite. The sight was awful, but it has done us all good. I may as well say that some of the devils told us they were sent some by Cain, some by Kite, Judas, Kilo, Kelo, Kalmuonia, and Lucifer; some of these, they informed us, were presidents over sevenities in hell. The last that came, previous to our going to prison, told us he was Kilo, one of the presidents, and his six councillors. We cast them out thirty times, and had 319 devils, from three to thirty-seven coming out at a time. I shall feel obliged for any instruction you can give me on this subject. Yours, THOS. SMITH.

But enough as regards the doctrines and the miraculous pretensions of the Mormons. The reader has by this thine acquired a sufficientt knowledge of them. The full extent of their fanaticism is not portrayed in these extracts, but enough has been said in their own words to show what kind of men they are in a religious point of view. In my next letter I shall proceed to detail the remarkable growth of this extraordinary sect, first amid contempt and laughter, and ultimately amid the most relentless and vindictive animosity and persecutions through good and evil fortune, until the present day, when they number themselves by hundreds of thousands -- when they boast of having an emigration fund of three-and-a-half tons of Californian gold -- when they have emissaries in every country in Europe -- and when they are a prosperous and daily increasing people, and carry on emigration on a larger scale than was ever attempted in modern times by any political or religious society.

International Magazine
(NYC: IV:5 - Dec. 1, 1851)

  • p. 577: Introduction

  • p. 578: Smith and Rigdon

  • p. 580: Solomon Spalding

  • p. 582: Nauvoo, etc.

  •     Transcriber's Comments


    Of Literature, Art, and Science.

    Vol. IV.                   New York, December 1, 1851.                   No. 5.




    Among the many extraordinary chapters in the history of the Nineteenth Century none will seem in the next age more incredible and curious than that in which is related the Rise and Progress of Mormonism. The creed of the Latter Day Saints, as they style themselves, is not, indeed, more absurd and ridiculous than that of the Millerites, but this last sect had but a very brief existence, and is now almost forgotten; while the imposture of Smith and his associates, commencing before Miller began his prophecies, is still successful, and represented by missionaries in almost every state throughout the world.


    578                                   THE  INTERNATIONAL  MAGAZINE.                                  

    It has been observed with some reason, that had a Rabelais or a Swift told the story of the Mormons under the veil of allegory, the sane portion of mankind would probably have entered a protest against the extravagance of the satirist. The name of the mock hero, his own and his family's ignorance and want of character, the low cunning of his accomplices, the open and shameless vices in which they indulged, and the extraordinary success of the sect they founded, would all have been thought too obviously conceived with a view to ludicrous effects. Yet the Mormon movement has assumed the condition of an important popular feature, and after much suffering and many reverses, its authors have achieved a condition of eminent industrial prosperity. In twenty years the company, consisting of the impostor and his father and brother, has increased to nearly half a million; they occupy one of the richest portions of this continent, have a regularly organized government, and are represented in the Congress of the United States by a delegate having all the powers usually conferred on the members for territories. With missions in every part of the country, in every capital of Europe, in Mecca, in Jerusalem, and among the islands of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, all of whom are charged with the duty of making converts and gathering them to the Promised Land of Deseret, they must very soon have a population sufficiently large to claim admission as an equal member to the Union, and perhaps to hold the balance of power in its affairs.

    To illustrate the energy and success with which their missions are prosecuted, we may cite the statement contained in a work just published in London, The Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, a Contemporary History, that more than fourteen thousand persons have left Great Britain since 1840 for the "Holy City." The emigrants passing through Liverpool in 1849, amounted to 2,500, generally of the better class of mechanics and farmers, and it was estimated that at least 30,000 converts remained behind. In June, 1850, there were in England and Scotland, 27,863, of whom London contributed 2,529; Liverpool, 1,018; Manchester, 2,787; Glasgow, 1,846; Sheffield, 1,920; Edinburgh, 1,331; Birmingham, 1,909; and Wales, 4,342. And the Mormon census was again taken last January, giving the entire number in the British Isles at 30,747. In fourteen years, more than 50,000 had been baptized in England, of whom nearly 17,000 had "emigrated to Zion." Although the Mormon emigration is commonly of the better class, there are also poor Mormons; and that these as well as their more prosperous brethren may be "gathered to the holy city," there is now amassed in Liverpool a very large fund, under the control of officers appointed by the "Apostles," destined exclusively for the equipment and transportation of converts to their place of Refuge.

    The interest which recent events have attracted to the community in Deseret or Utah, will render interesting a more particular survey of its origin, progress, and condition.
    In 1825 there lived near the village of Palmyra, in New-York, a family of small farmers of the name of Smith. They were of bad repute in the neighborhood, notorious for being continually in debt, and heedless of their business engagements. The eldest son, Joseph, says one of his friends, "could read without much difficulty, wrote a very imperfect hand, and bad a very limited understanding of the elementary rules of arithmetic.'' Associated in some degree with Sidney Rigdon, who comes before us in the first place as a journeyman printer, he was the founder of the new faith. The early history of the conspiracy of these worthies is imperfectly known; but it is evident that Rigdon must have been in Smith's confidence from the first. Rigdon, indeed, probably had more to do with the matter than even Smith; but it was the latter who was first put conspicuously forward, and who managed to retain the pre-eminence. The account of the pretended revelation, as given by Smith, is as follows: He all at once found himself laboring in a state of great darkness and wretchedness of mind -- was bewildered among the conflicting doctrines of the Christians, and could find no comfort or rest for his soul. In this state, he resorted to earnest prayer, kneeling in the woods and fields, and after long perseverance was answered by the appearance of a bright light in heaven, which gradually descended until it enveloped the worshipper, who found himself standing face to face with two supernatural beings. Of these he inquired which was the true religion? The reply was, that all existing religions were erroneous, but that the pure doctrine and crowning dispensation of Christianity should at a future period be miraculously revealed to himself. Several similar visitations ensued, and at length he was informed that the North American Indians were a remnant of Israel; that when they first entered America they were a powerful and enlightened people; that their priests and rulers kept the records of their history and doctrines, but that, having fallen off from the true worship, the great body of the nation were supernaturally destroyed -- not, however, until a priest and prophet named Mormon, had, by heavenly direction, drawn up an abstract of their records and religions opinions. He was told that this still existed, buried in the earth, and that he was selected as the instrument for its recovery and manifestation to all nations. The record, it was said, contained many prophecies as to these latter days, and instructions for the gathering of the saints into a temporal and spiritual kingdom, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah, which was at hand. After several very similar visions, the spot in which the book lay buried was disclosed. Smith


                                                NAUVOO  AND  DESERET.                                            579

    went to it, and after digging, discovered a sort of box, formed of upright and horizontal flags, within which lay a number of plates resembling gold, and of the thickness of common tin. These were bound together by a wire, and were engraved with Egyptian characters. By the side of them lay two transparent stones, called by the ancients, "Urim and Thummim," set in "the two rims of a bow." These stones were divining crystals, and the angels informed Smith, that by using them he would be enabled to decipher the characters on the plates. What ultimately became of the plates -- if such things existed at all -- does not appear. They were said to have been seen and handled by eleven witnesses. With the exception of three persons, these witnesses were either members of Smith's family, or of a neighboring family of the name of Whitmer. The Smiths, of course, give suspicious testimony. The Whitmers have disappeared, and no one knows any thing about them. Another witness, Oliver Cowdrey, was afterwards an amanuensis to Joseph; and another, Martin Harris, was long a conspicuous disciple. There is some confusion, however, about this person. Although he signs his name, as a witness who has seen and handled the plates, he assured Professor Anthon that he never had seen them, that "he was not sufficiently pure of heart," and that Joseph refused to show him the plates, but gave him instead a transcript on paper of the characters engraved on them. It is difficult to trace the early advances of the imposture. Every thing is vague and uncertain. We have no dates, and only tlie statements of the prophet and his friends.

    Meantime, Smith must have worked successfully on the feeble and superstitious mind of Martin Harris. This man, as we have just said, received from him a written transcript of the mysterious characters, and conveyed it to Professor Anthon, a competent philological authority. Dr. Anthon's account of the interview is one of the most important parts of the entire history. Harris told him he had not seen the plates, but that he intended to sell his farm and give the proceeds to enable Smith to publish a translation of them. This statement, with what follows, shows that Smith's original intention, quoad the alleged plates, was to use them as a means for swindling Harris. The Mormons have published accounts of Professor Anthon's judgment on the paper submitted to him, which he himself states to be "perfectly false." The Mormon version of the interview represents Dr. Anthon "as having been unable to decipher the characters correctly, but as having presumed that, if the original records could be brought, he could assist in translating them." On this statement being made, Dr. Anthon described the document submitted to him as having been a sort of pot-pourri of ancient marks and alphabets. "It had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him a book containing various alphabets; Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters, inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle, divided into various compartments, decked with numerous strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived." This account disposes of the statement that the characters were Egyptian, while the very jumble of the signs of different nations, languages, and ages, proves that the impostor was deficient both in tact and knowledge. The scheme seems to have been, at all events, inpetto when Smith communicated with Harris; but a satisfactory clue to the fabrication is lost in our ignorance of the time and circumstances under which Smith and Rigdon came together. It must have been subsequent to that event that the "translation," by means of the magic Urim and Thummim, was begun. This work Smith is represented as having labored at steadily, assisted by Oliver Cowdrey, until a volume was produced containing as much matter as the Old Testament, written in the Biblical style, and containing, as Smith said the Angel had informed him, a history of the lost tribes in their pilgrimage to and settlement in America, with copious doctrinal and prophetic commentaries and revelations.

    The devotion of Harris to the impostor secured a fund sufficient for defraying the cost of printing the pretended revelation, and the sect began slowly to increase. The doctrines of Smith were not at first very clearly defined; it is probable that neither he nor Rigdon had determined what should be their precise character; but like their early contemporary the prophet Matthias (the interesting history of whose career was published in New-York several years ago by the late Colonel Stone), they had no hesitation in deciding on one cardinal point, that the revelations made to Smith at any time should be received with unquestioning and implicit faith, and the earliest of these revelations contemplated a liberal provision for all the prophet's personal necessities. Thus, in February, 1831, it was revealed to the disciples that they should immediately build the prophet a house; on another occasion it was enjoined that, if they had any regard for their own souls, the sooner they provided him with food and raiment, and every thing he needed, the better it would be for them; and in a third revelation, Joseph was informed that "he was not to labor for his living." All these "revelations" were received, and though the impostor seemed to intelligent men little better than a buffoon, his followers soon learned to regard him as almost deserving of adoration, and he began to revel in whatever luxury and profligacy was most


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    agreeable to his vulgar taste and ambition. As in the case of the scarcely more respectable pretender, Andrew Jackson Davis, it was asserted that his original want of cultivation precluded the notion of his having by the exercise of any natural or acquired faculties produced his "revelations." Everywhere his followers said, "The prophet is not learned in a, human sense: how could he have become acquainted with all the antiquarian learning here displayed, if it were not supernaturally communicated to him?" But to this question there was soon an answer equally explicit and satisfactory. The real author of the Book of Mormon was a Rev. Solomon Spaulding, who wrote it as a romance. Its entire history and the means by which it came into the possession of Smith are described, in the following statement, by Mr. Spaulding's widow: --

    "Since the Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible (as it was originally called), has excited much attention, and is deemed by a certain new sect of equal authority with the sacred Scriptures, I think it a duty to the public to state what I know of its origin.... Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was married in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth college, and was distinguished for a lively imagination, and great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, New-York. From this place, we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio, sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated on Conneaut Creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health failed, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These relics arrest the attention of new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his mind, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of the long-lost race. Their antiquity led him to adopt the most ancient style, and he imitated the Old Testament as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this imaginary history was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth; and he gave it the title of 'The Manuscript Found.' The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. Spaulding advanced in deciphering the manuscript; and when he had a sufficient portion prepared, he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it From New Salem we removed to Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania. Here Mr. Spaulding found a friend and acquaintance, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. Patterson, who was much pleaded with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr. Spaulding that if he would make out a title-page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit This Mr. Spaulding refused to do. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and, as


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    Rigdon himself has frequently stated, became acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copied it. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, where Mr. Spaulding died, in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. M'Kenstry, of Monson, Massachusetts, with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the Book of Mormon came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the 'Manuscript Found' was written. A woman appointed a meeting there; and in the meeting read copious extracts from the Book of Mormon. The historical part was known by all the older inhabitants, as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had all been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, and recognized perfectly the production of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his sorrow that the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place, and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible -- to satisfy their own minds and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, which was signed by Messrs. Henry, Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all of whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided at New Salem. I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus, an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions, and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as Divine."

    Similar evidence as to the Spaulding MS. was given by several private friends, and by the writer's brother, all of whom were familiar with its contents. The facts thus graphically detailed have of course been denied, but have never been disproved. Indeed, without them it is impossible to explain the hold which Rigdon always possessed on the Prophet; for he was a poor creature, without education and without talents. At one time -- a critical moment in the history of the new church -- a quarrel arose between the accomplices; but it ended in Smith's receiving a "revelation," in which Rigdon was raised by divine command to be equal with himself, having plenary power given to him to bind and loose both on earth and in heaven.

    The remaining history of the Mormons is eminently interesting. Ignorant and superstitious as have been the chief part of the disciples, and atrocious as have been the tricks of the knaves who have led them on amid all the varieties of their pood and evil fortune, there have occasionally been displayed among them an enthusiasm and bravery of endurance that demand admiration. Nearly from the beginning the leaders of the sect seem to have contemplated settling in the thinly populated regions of the western states, where lands were to be purchased for low prices, and after a short residence at Kirtland, in Ohio, they determined to found a New Jerusalem in Missouri. The interests of the town were confided to suitable officers, and Smith spent his time in travelling through the country and preaching, until the real or pretended immoralities of the sect led to such discontents that


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    in 1839 they were forcibly and lawlessly expelled from the state. We are inclined to believe that they were not only treated with remarkable severity, but that there was not any reason whatever to justify an interferance in their affairs.

    From Missouri the saints proceeded to Illinois, and on the sixth of April, 1841, with imposing ceremonies, laid at their new city of Nauvoo the corner-stone of the Temple, * an immense edifice, without any architectural order or attraction, which in a few months was celebrated every where as not interior in size and magnificence to that built by Solomon in Jerusalem. Nauvoo is delightfully situated in the midst of a fertile district and a careful inquirer will not be apt to deny that it became the home of a more industrious frugal, and generally moral society, than occupied any other town in the state. Whatever charges were preferred against Smith and his disciples, to justify the outrages to which they were subjected, the history of their expulsion from Nauvoo is simply a series of illustrations of the fact that the ruffian population of the neighboring country set on foot a vast scheme of robbery in order to obtain the lands and improvements of the Mormons without paying for them. We have not room for a particular statement of the discontents and conspiracies which grew up in the city, nor for any detail of the aggressions from without. On the 27th of June, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered, while under the especial protection of the authorities of the state. A writer in the Christian Reflector newspaper, soon after, observed of Joseph Smith:
    "Various are the opinions concerning this singular personage; but whatever may be thought inreference to his principles, objects, or moral character, all agree that he was a most remarkable man..... Notwithstanding the low origin, poverty, and profligacy of these mountebanks, they have augmented their numbers till more than 100,000 persons are now numbered among the followers of the Mormon Prophet, and they never were increasing so rapidly as at the time of his death. Born in the very lowest walks of life, reared in poverty, educated in vice, having no claims to even common intelligence, coarse and vulgar in deportment, the Prophet Smith succeeded in establishing a religious creed, the tenets of which have been taught throughout America; the Prophet's virtues have been rehearsed in Europe; the ministers of Nauvoo have found a welcome in Asia; Africa has listened to the grave sayings of the seer of Palmyra; the standard of the Latter Day Saints has been reared on the banks of the Nile; and even the Holy Land has been entered by the emissaries of this impostor. He founded a city in one of the most beautiful situations in the world, in a beautiful curve of the 'Father of Waters,' of no mean pretensions, and in it he had collected a population of twenty-five thousand, from every part of the world. The acts of his
    * The temple was of white limestone, 128 feet long, 83 feet wide, and 60 feet high. Its style will be seen in the above engraving. It was destroyed by fire, on the 19th of November, 1848. The town of Nauvoo is now occupied by another class of socialists, the Icarians, under M. Cabet, of Paris.


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    life exhibit a character as incongruous as it is remarkable. If we can credit his own words and the testimony of eye-witnesses, he was at the same time the vicegerent of God and a tavern-keeper -- a prophet and a base libertine -- a minister of peace, and a lieutenant-general -- a ruler of tens of thousands, and a slave to all his own base passions -- a preacher of righteousness, and a profane swearer -- a worshipper of Bacchus, mayor of a city, and a miserable bar-room fiddler -- a judge on the judicial bench, and an invader of the civil, social, and moral relations of men; and, notwithstanding these inconsistencies of character, there are not wanting thousands willing to stake their souls' eternal salvation on his veracity. For might we know, time and distance will embellish his life with some new and rare virtues, which his most intimate friends failed to discover while living with him. Reasoning from effect to cause, we must conclude that the Mormon Prophet was of no common genius: few are able to commence and carry out an imposition like his, so long, and so extensively. And we see in the history of his success, most striking proofs of the credulity of a large portion of the human family."
    After some dissensions, in which the party of Brigham Young triumphed over that of Sidney Rigdon, the sect were reorganized and for some time were permitted quietly to prosecute their plans at Nauvoo. But early in 1846 they were driven out of their city and compelled in mid winter to seek a new home beyond the farthest borders of civilization. The first companies, embracing sixteen hundred persons, crossed the Mississippi on the 3d February, 1846, and similar detachments continued to leave until July and August, travelling by ox-teams towards California, then almost unknown, and quite unpeopled by the Anglo-Saxon race. Their enemies asserted that the intention of the Saints was to excite the Indians against the government, and that they would return to take vengeance on the whites for the indignities they had suffered. Nothing appears to have been further from their intentions. Their sole object was to plant their Church in some fertile and hitherto undiscovered spot, where they might be unmolested by any opposing sect. The war against Mexico was then raging, and, to test the loyalty of the Mormons, it was suggested that a demand should be made on them to raise five hundred men for the service of the country. They consented, and that number of their best men enrolled themselves under General Kearney, and marched 2,400 miles with the armies of the United States. At the conclusion of the war they were disbanded in Upper California. They allege that it was one of this band who, in working at a mill, first discovered the golden treasures of California; and they are said to have amassed large quantities of gold before the secret was made generally known to the "Gentiles.'' But faith was not kept with the Mormons who remained in Nauvoo. Although they had agreed to leave in detachments, as rapidly as practicable, they were not allbwed necessary time to dispose of their property; and


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    in September, 1846, the city was besieged by their enemies upon the pretence that they did not intend to fulfil the stipulations made with the people and authorities of Illinois. After a three days' bombardment, the last remnant was finally driven out.

    The terrible hejira of the Mormon emigrants over the Rocky Mountains has been described by Mr. Kane of Philadelphia, in an interesting pamphlet, which is honorable to his own character for good sense and for benevolent feeling. No religious emigration was ever attended by more suffering, no emigration of any kind was ever prosecuted with more bravery. It resulted in the permanent establishment of the "Commonwealth of the New Covenant," in Utah, or Deseret, one of the most attractive portions of the interior of this Continent, near its western border. Of this territory Mr. Kane says:

    Deseret is emphatically a new country; new in its own characteristic features, newer still in its bringing together within its limits the most inconsistent peculiarities of other countries. I cannot aptly compare it to any. Descend from the mountains, where you have the scenery and climate of Switzerland, to seek the sky of your choice among the i many climates of Italy, and you may find welling out of the same hills the freezing springs of Mexico and the hot springs of Iceland, both together coursing their way to the Salt Sea of Palestine, in the plain below. The pages of Malte Brun provide me with a less truthful parallel to it than those which describe the Happy Valley of Ragselas or the Continent of Ballibarbi.

    The history of the Mormons has ever since been an unbroken record of prosperity. It has looked as though the elements of fortune, obedient to a law of natural re-action, were struggling to compensate their undue share of suffering. They may be pardoned for deeming it miraculous. But, in truth, the economist accounts for it all, who explains to us the speedy recuperation of cities, laid in ruin by flood, fire, and earthquake. During its years of trial, Mormon labor had subsisted on insufficient capital, and under many difficulties, but it has subsisted, and survives them now, as intelligent and powerful as ever it was at Nauvoo; with this difference, that it has in the mean time been educated to habits of unmatched thrift, energy, and endurance, and has been transplanted to a situation where it is in every respect more productive. Moreover, during all the period of their journey, while some have gained by practice in handicraft, and the experience of repeated essays at their various halting-places, the minds of all have been busy framing designs and planning the improvements they have since found


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    opportunity to execute. Their territory is unequalled as a stock-raising country; the finest pastures of Lombardy are not more estimable than those on the east side of the Utah Lake and its tributary rivers, and it is scarcely less rich in timber and minerals than the most fortunate portions of the continent.

    From the first the Mormons have had little to do in Deseret, but attend to mechanical and strictly agricultural pursuits. They have made several successful settlements; the farthest north is distant more than forty miles, and the farthest south, in a valley called the Sanpeech, two hundred, from that first formed. A duplicate of the Lake Tiberias empties its waters into the innocent Dead Sea of Deseret, by a fine river, which they have named the Western Jordan. It was on the right bank of this stream, on a rich table land, traversed by exhaustless waters falling from the highlands, that the pioneers, coming out of the mountains in the night of the 24th of July, 1847, pitched their first camp in the Valley, and consecrated the ground. This spot proved the most favorable site for their chief settlement, and after exploring the whole country, they founded on it their city of the New Jerusalem. Its houses are diffused, to command as much as possible the farms, which are laid out in wards or cantons, with a common fence to each. The farms in wheat already cover a space nearly as large as Rhode Island. The houses of New Jerusalem, or Great Salt Lake City, as it is commonly called, are distributed over an area nearly as great as that of New York. The foundations have been laid for a temple more vast and magnificent than that which was erected at Nauvoo. The Deseret News, a paper established under the direction of the ecclesiastical authority came to us lately with several columns descriptive of the fourth anniversary celebration of the arrival of the disciples in their Promised Land.

    Since the preceding paragraphs were written some important information has been received from Utah, justifying apprehensions that the ambition of the chief of the sect, and territorial governor, Brigham Young, will be continually productive of difficulties. It appears that in consequence of his unwarrantable assumptions of authority, the larger and most respectable portion of the territorial officers, including B. O. Harris, Secretary of the Territory, G. K. Brandenburg, Chief Justice, E. P. Bracchas, Associate Justice, H. R. Day, Indian Agent, and Messrs. Gillette and Young, were preparing to leave for the Atlantic States.

    The particulars of the difficulty are not stated, but it is said that $20,000 appropriated by Congress for territorial purposes had been squandered by Young, and an attempt made by him to take $24,000 from the Treasurer, who refused, and applied to the Court to support him. This was done, and an injunction granted restraining the proceedings of the Governor.

    Littell's Living Age
    (Boston & NYC: E. Littell)

  • 1850: July 15
      "Mormonism, part 1"

  • 1850: July 22
      "Mormonism, part 2"

  • 1851: Aug 30
      "Origin of the Mormon Imposture"

  •     Transcriber's Comments


    More Mormonism articles in The Living Age: 1840s articles

    LITTELL'S  LIVING  AGE. - No. 530. - 15 July, 1854.

    [p. 99]

                                   From The Edinburgh Review.


    1. * Patriarchal Order, or Plurality of Wives. By ORSON SPENCER, Chancellor of the
        University of Deseret. Liverpool: 1853.
    2. The Seer. Edited by ORSON PRATT. Vol. 1. From January 1853 to December 1853. Washington: 1853.
    3. Reports of the Scandinavian, Italian, and Prussian Missions of the Latter Day Saints. Liverpool: 1853.
    4. Millenial Star [the Weekly Organ of Mormonism], vols. XIV and XV.,
        from January 1852 to December 1853. Liverpool: 1852 and 1853.
    5. History of the Mormons. By Lieutenant GUNNISON. Philadelphia: 1852.
    6. Survey of Utah. By Captain STANSBURY. Philadelphia: 1852.
    7. The Mormons, Illustrated by Forty Engravings. London: 1852.
    8. Letters on the Doctrines. By O. SPENCER. London: 1852.
    9. Hymns of Latter Day Saints. London: 1851.
    10. The Mormons. By THOMAS KANE. Philadelphia: 1850.
    11. A Bill to establish a Territorial Government for Utah. Washington: 1850.
    12. Expose of Mormonism. By JOHN BENNETT. Boston: 1842.
    13. Doctrines and Covenants of Latter Day Saints. Nauvoo: 1846.
    14. The Book of Mormon. Palmyra: 1830.

    THE readers of Southey's "Doctor" must remember the quaint passage in which he affects to predict that his book will become the Scripture of a future Faith; that it will be "duct up among the ruins of London, and considered as one of the sacred books of the sacred island of the West; and give birth to a new religion, called Dovery, or Danielism which may have its chapels, churches, cathedrals, abbeys; its synods, consistories, convocations, and councils; its acolytes, sacristans, deacons, priests, prebendaries, canons, deans, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and popes. Its High-Dovers and Low-Dovers, its Danielites of a thousand unimagined and unimaginable denominations; its schisms, heresies, seditious, persecutions, and wars." Many must have felt, when they read this grotesque extravaganza, that it almost overstepped the boundary which separates fun from nonsense. Yet its wild imagination has been more than realized by recent facts. While Southey was writing it at Keswick, a manuscript was lying neglected on the dusty shelves of a farmhouse in New England, which was fated to attain more than the honors which he playfully imagines as the future portion of his "Daniel Dove."

    The book destined to so singular an apotheosis, was the production of one Solomon Spalding, a Presbyterian preacher in America; of whose history we only know that, like so many others of his class and country, he had abandoned theology for trade, and had subsequently failed in business. Nor can we wonder, judging from the only extant specimen of his talents, that he should have been thus unfortunate both in the pulpit and at the counter. After his double failure the luckless man, who imagined (according to his widow's statement) that he had "a literary taste," thought to redeem his shattered fortunes by the composition of an historical romance. The subject which he chose was the history of the North American Indians; and the work which he produced was a chronicle of their wars and migrations. They were described as descendants of the patriarch Joseph, and their fortunes were traced for upwards of a thousand years, from the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, down to the fifth century of the Christian era. This narrative purported to be a record buried in the earth by Mormon, its last compiler, and was entitled "The Manuscript Found." A manuscript, indeed, it seemed likely to remain. Its author vainly endeavored to persuade the booksellers to undertake the risk of its publication. Nor does their refusal surprise us; for we do not remember, among all the ponderous folios which human dullness has produced, any other book of such unmitigated stupidity. It seems inconceivable how any man could patiently sit down, day after day, to weary himself with writing sheet after sheet of such sleep-compelling nonsense. Its length is interminable, amounting to above five hundred closely printed octavo pages. Yet, from the first to the last, though professing to be composed by different authors, under various circumstances, during a period of a thousand years, it is perfectly uniform in style, and maintains the dryness without the brevity of a chronological table. Not a spark of imagination or invention enlivens the weary sameness of the annalist; no incidental pictures of life or manners give color or relief to the narrative. The only thing which breaks the prosaic monotony is the insertion of occasional passages from Scripture; and these are so clumsily brought in, that they would seem purposely introduced to show by contrast the worthlessness of the foil in which they are embedded. Nor is dullness the only literary offence committed by the writer of the book of Mormon.

    * To save time and space we shall refer to these works as follows: to (1.) as P. ).; (2.) as Seer; to (4.) as XIV. or XV.; to (5.) as G.; to (6.) as S.; to (7.) as M. Illust.; to (8.) as Spencer; to (9.) as Hymns; to (10.) as Kane; to (13..) as D. C.; and to (14.) as Mormon.

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    It is impossible to read three pages of it without stumbling on some gross violation of grammar, such as the following: -- "O ye wicked ones, hide thee in the dust." "It all were vain." "We had somewhat contentions." "I should have wore these bands." "Why persecuteth thou the Church." "He has fell." The promises hath been." "Our sufferings doth exceed. "All things which is expedient." These blunders are so uniformly interspersed throughout the work, that they must be ascribed to its author, and not (as they have sometimes * been,) to a subsequent interpolator. Yet this worthless book, which its writer could not even get printed in his lifetime, is now stereotyped in the chief languages of Europe, and is regarded by proselytes in every quarter of the globe as a revelation from heaven.

    This extraordinary change of fortune was brought about by the successful roguery of a young American named Joseph Smiths the eon of a small farmer in Vermont. From an early age this youth had amused himself by practising on the credulity of his simpler neighbors. When he was a boy of fourteen, there occurred in the town of Palmyra, where he then lived, one of those periods of religious excitement which are called in America Revivals. The fervor and enthusiasm which attends these occurrences often produce good effects. Many excellent men have traced the sincere piety which has distinguished them through life, to such an origin. But there is a danger that the genuine enthusiasm of some should provoke hypocrisy in others. So it happened on this occasion at Palmyra. Half the inhabitants were absorbed in the most animated discussion of their deepest religious feelings. Any extraordinary "experience" was sure to attract the eagerest interest. Under these circumstances, young Joseph amused himself by falling in with the prevailing current, and fixing the attention of his pious friends upon himself, by an "experience" more wonderful than any of theirs. He gave out that while engaged in fervent prayer, he had been favored with a miraculous vision. "I saw," says he, "a pillar of light above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air." He goes on in his "Autobiography" (from which we quote) to say that these heavenly messengers declared all existing Christian sects in error, and forbade him to join any of them. This statement, however, was no doubt an afterthought. At the time he probably only proclaimed that his "deliverance from the enemy" had been effected by a supernatural appearance.

    Such precocious hypocrisy, however painful, is no extraordinary phenomenon. Probably every outburst of kindred excitement develops some familiar instance of childish imposture. Examples will occur to those who are familiar with the early history of Methodism. And we remember lately to have seen a narrative published by a believer in the "Irvingite" miracles, detailing a case where a boy of only seven years old pretended to inspiration, and kept up the farce for many weeks, duping all the while his infatuated parents, and having the impudence' seriously to rebuke his old grandfather for unbelief. Children are flattered by the notice which they excite by such pretensions; and, if the credulity of their elders gives them encouragement, are easily tempted to go on from lie to lie. For there is, perhaps, no period of life more sensible than childhood to the delights of notoriety. It was, probably, only a desire for this kind of distinction which originally led Joseph Smith to invent his vision. At first, however, he did not meet with the success which he expected. On the contrary, he complains that the story "had excited a great deal of prejudice against him among professors of religion," and that it drew "persecution" upon him. We may suppose that his character for mendacity was already so well known in his own neighborhood as to discredit his assertions. At all events, he seems thenceforward to have laid aside, till a later period, the part of a religious impostor, and to have betaken himself to less impious methods of cheating. For some years he led a vagabond life, about which little is known, except that he was called "Joe Smith the Money-digger," and that he swindled several simpletons by his pretended skill in the divining-rod. In short, he was a Yankee Dousterswivel. Among the shrewd New Englanders one would have thought such pretensions unlikely to be profitable. But it seems there were legends current of the buried wealth of buccaneers, and Dutch farmers possessing the requisite amount of gullibility; and on this capital our hero traded.

    His gains, however, were but small; and he was struggling with poverty, when at last he lighted on a vein of genuine metal, which, during the remainder of his life, he continued to work with ever-growing profit. This was no other than the rejected and forgotten manuscript

    * This hypothesis has been resorted to because people cannot understand bow an educated teacher of religion should be capable of such blunders. But in America the literary qualifications for ordination are necessarily reduced to a minimum. In our researches among the Mormonite authors, we have found several examples of ce-devant "Ministers," who not merely write bad grammar, but cannot even spell.

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    of poor Solomon Spalding, which had either been purloined by Smith's associate, Sidney Rigdon (who had been employed in a printing office where it was once deposited), or had been stolen out of the trunk of Mrs. Spalding, who lived about this time in the neighborhood of Smith's father. In one way or another it fell into Joseph's hands about twelve years after its author's death. The manuscript, as we have said, purported to have been buried by Mormon, its original compiler. * This easily suggested to the imagination of Smith, already full of treasure-trove, the notion of pretending that he had dug it up. At first, however, he seems to have intended nothing more than to hoax the members of his own family. He told them that an angel had revealed to him a bundle of golden plates, engraved with mysterious characters, but forbidden him to show them to others. His hearers (to his surprise, apparently) seemed inclined to believe his story; and he remarked to a neighbor (whose deposition is published), that he "had fixed the fools, and would have some fun." But it soon occurred to him that his fabrication might furnish what he valued more than "fun." He improved upon his first story of the discovery by adding that the angel had also shown him, together with the plates, "two stones in silver bows, fastened to breast-plate, which constituted what is called Urim and Thummim.... The possession and use of which constituted Seers in ancient times, and God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book." (Smith's Autobiography, XIV.) Furnished with this mysterious apparatus, he was commanded to translate and publish these divine records. He might reasonably expect that the publication of Spalding's Manuscript, garnished with this miraculous story, would prove a profitable speculation: just as the unsalable reams of "Drelincourt on Death" were transmuted into a lucrative copyright by the ghost-story of De Foe. --

    On the strength of these expectations he obtained advances of money from a farmer named Martin Harris. † Concerning this man, as concerning most of the early associates of Smith, we must remain in doubt whether he were a dupe or an accomplice. His cupidity was interested in the success of the "Book of Mormon," and therefore he may be suspected of deceit. On the other hand, he did not reap the profit he expected from the publication, which, as a bookselling speculation, was at first unsuccessful; and he was ruined by the advances he had made. Ultimately, he renounced his faith (real or pretended) in Joseph, who, in revenge, abused him in the newspapers as "a white-skinned negro," and a "lackey." (M. Illust. 34.) This looks as if he had been a dupe, and not in possession of any dangerous secrets. It is certain that he consulted Professor Anthon at New York on the subject of the mysterious plates; and that he had showed the Professor a specimen of the engravings, which Mr. Anthon describes as "evidently prepared by some one who had before him a book containing various alphabets, Greek and Hebrew letters, etc., the whole ending in a rude delineation of a circle decked with strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt." ** Harris also stated his intention of selling his farm to provide funds for the translation and publication of these plates. The Professor vainly remonstrated, regarding him as the vieatim of roguery. Not long after, early in 1830, the Book of Mormon was published, Harris was employed in hawking it about for sale. He also signed a certificate, which is prefixed to the book, wherein he joins with two other witnesses in testifying the authenticity of the and revelation, as follows: --

    "We declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes [sic] that we beheld, and saw the plates and the engravings thereon."

    Eight other witnesses also testify that they had seen the plates, but without the angel. If we are not to consider all these as accomplices in the fraud, we must suppose that Smith had got some brass plates made, and had scratched them over with figures. No one else was allowed to see them; and Joseph informs us, that after he had "accomplished by them what was required at his hand,"... "according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, and he [the angel] has them in his charge until this day." (Autob. XIV.)

    Although the sale of the "Book of Mormon" did not originally repay the cost of publication, yet it made a few converts. It was very soon "revealed" that these proselytes

    * The proofs that the "Book of Mormon," published by Smith, is identical with Spalding's "Manuscript Found," are conclusive. The identity is asserted in the depositions of Spalding's widow, of Spalding's brother, and of Spalding's partner, Henry Lake, the two latter of whom swear to their acquaintance with Spalding's manuscript. (See Bennett, 115.)

    † "Our translation drawing to a close," says Smith, "we went to Palmyra, secured the copyright, and agreed with Mr. Grandon to print 5000 copies for the sum of 3000 dollars." (Autob. XIV.) This sum was supplied by Harris, in accordance with a "revelation" delivered in March, 1830, as follows: -- "I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon."... Impart a portion of thy property, yea, even part of thy lands.... Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer." (D. C. sec. 44.)

    ** Mr. Anthon's letter to Mr. Howe, Feb. 17, 1834.

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    were bound to consecrate their property to the support of Joseph. Thus we find in a revelation of February, 1831: -- "It is meet. that my servant, Joseph Smith, Junior, should have a house built in which to live and translate." (D. C. sec. 13.) And again: -- "If ye desire the mysteries of my kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth." (D. C. sec. 14.) And his love for idleness was gratified by a revelation which commanded it: -- "In temporal labors thou shalt "not have streweth, for that is not thy calling." (D. C. sec. 9.) A singular announcement to be made by a prophet who soon after became the manager of a Bank, partner in a commercial house, Mayor of Nauvoo, General of Militia, and a candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

    We see, however, from these revelations (which were all given within twelve months from the publication of the book) that the imposture had already expanded beyond its original dimensions in the mind of its author. At first, he only claims to have miraculously discovered a sacred record, hut does not himself pretend to inspiration. Soon, however, he proclaims that he is a prophet divinely commissioned to introduce a new dispensation of religion. And in April, 1830, he receives a revelation establishing him in that character, and commanding the "Church" to "give heed unto all his words and commandments." (D. C. sec. 46.) At the same time, it is announced that all existing sects are in sinful error; and their members are required to seek admittance by baptism into the new church of Joseph Smith. In accordance with this revelation, he proceeded to "organize the Church of Latter Day Saints." He and his earliest accomplice, Cowdery, baptized one another; and in the course of a month they baptized twenty or thirty other persons, including Smith's father and two brothers, who, from the first, took a profitable share in the imposture.

    In the same year, the new sect was openly joined by one of its most important members, Sidney Rigdon, who had perhaps been previously leagued with Smith in secret. * This man had been successively a printer and a preacher; and in the latter capacity, he had belonged to several denominations. It is but too evident, from the impure practices of which he was afterwards convicted at Nauvoo, that he was influenced by none but the most sordid motives in allying himself to the Mormonites. lie was one of those adventurers, not uncommon in America, who are preachers this year and publicans the next, hiring alternately a tabernacle or a tavern. In point of education, however, Rigdon, though far from learned, was superior to his vulgar and ignorant associates. It was therefore revealed that he should take the literary business of the new partnership. (D. C. sec. 11.) Accordingly, the earlier portion of the "Doctrines and Covenants" (the Mormonite New Testament) was composed by him and he thus became the theological founder of the sect, so far as it had at that time any distinctive creed. For the "Book of Mormon" itself contains no novel dogmas, nor any statements which would be considered heretical by the majority of Protestants, except the condemnation of infant baptism, and the assertion of the perpetuity of miraculous gifts. † Smith had apparently left the work of Spalding unaltered, except by interpolating a few words on this latter subject, which were necessary to support his own supernatural stories. But Rigdon encouraged him to take a bolder flight. He announced the materialistic doctrines which have since been characteristic of the Sect he departed from the orthodox Trinitarianism which had been adopted in the "Book of Mormon; ** and to him may be probably attributed the introduction of baptism for the dead. Moreover, under his influence the constitution of the Mormonite Church. was remodelled. Joseph had begun by adopting the ordinary Presbyterian divisions; but now a more complex organization was introduced, and it was revealed that the true Church must necessarily possess all those officers who existed in the primitive epoch -- Apostles, Prophets, Patriarchs, Evangelists, Elders, Deacons, Pastors, Teachers; besides a twofold hierarchy of Priests, called by the respective names of Aaron and of Melchisedek. The object of this change was to give an official position to every active and serviceable adherent, and to establish a compact subordination throughout the whole body; an object in which no religious society except that of the Jesuits has more completely succeeded.

    While rendering such services to his new associates, Rigdon did not neglect his private interests. He immediately obtained the second place in rank; and after a short time he compelled his accomplice to receive a revelation which raised bun to equality with the Prophet. (D. C. sec. 85.) He was thus enabled to claim his fair share in the spoil of dupes whom he so largely contributed to deceive.

    Under these new auspices the Sect made rapid progress. But while Joseph continued

    * I. e. if we suppose that Rigdon was the person who had conveyed Spalding's MS. to Smith.

    † It is a curious fact that the English Irvingites, who also hold the latter doctrine, sent a deputation with a letter, not long after the publication of the "Book of Mormon," to express their sympathy with Joseph Smith. The letter professes to emanate from "a Council of Pastors." (X V. 260.)

    ** Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead? -- Ans. "Two." (D. C. p. 47.)

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    in the district where his youth was spent, there were many stumbling-blocks in his path. The indimation of his neighbors was naturally roused by the successful frauds of a man whom they had despised as a cheat and liar from his cradle. He vainly endeavored to disarm such feelings, by candidly avowing his past iniquities; those who had known him from boyhood were not easily persuaded to believe in his repentance. And since, in America, there is but a short step from popular anger to popular violence, it was his obvious policy to withdraw before the storm should burst. Rigdon had already made numerous converts in Kirtland, a town of Ohio; and a nucleus was thus formed to which new proselytes might be gathered in sufficient numbers to defend their masters and themselves. Hither, therefore, Joseph removed, early in 1831. But though Kirtland was for some years the centre of his operations, yet he never intended to make it his permanent abode. He already perceived, that to avail himself fully of the advantage of his position, he must assemble his disciples in a commonwealth of their own, where no unbeliever should intrude to dispute his supremacy. This was impossible in the older States of the Union, but it appeared quite practicable on the Western frontier. There land could be bought for next to nothing, in a territory almost uninhabited; and it might be reasonably presumed that a few thousand converts once established, and constantly reinforced by the influx of new proselytes, might maintain themselves against any attack which was likely to be made upon them. Acting on these views, Smith and Rigdon, after a tour of inspection, selected a site on the borders of the wilderness, which was recommended by richness of soil and facilities of water carriage. Joseph immediately put forth a string of revelations, which declared that "Zion" was in Jackson County, Missouri, and commanded all the "Saints" to purchase land at the sacred spot, and hasten to take possession of their inheritance. (D. C. sec. 66. to sec. 73.)

    Within a few months no less than twelve hundred had obeyed the call, and employed themselves with all the energy of American backwoodsmen in cultivating the soil of the new Jerusalem. These converts were mostly from the Eastern States, and seemed to have been, in habits and character, superior to the common run of squatters. Colonel Kane, who visited them at a later period, contrasts them favorably as "persons of refined an(l cleanly habits and decent language" with the other "border inhabitants of Missouri -- the vile scum which our society, like the great ocean, washes upon its frontier shores." They seem to have consisted principally of small farmers, together with such tradesmen and mechanics as are required by an agricultural colony. Nor were they without considerable shrewdness and intelligence in secular matters, however inconsistent we may think their credulity with common sense. By their axes. and their ploughs, the forest soon was turned into a fruitful field; their meadows were filled with kine, and their barns with sheaves. Unfortunately for themselves, they did not unite prudence with their industry. They were too enthusiastically certain of their triumph, to temporize or conciliate. Their prophet had. declared that Zion should be established, and should put down her enemies under her feet. Why, then, should they hesitate to proclaim their anticipations? They boasted openly that they should soon possess the whole country, and that the unbelievers should be rooted out from the land. These boasts excited the greatest indignation, not unaccompanied by some fear; for the old settlers saw the number of their new neighbors increasing weekly, and knew that their compact organization gave them a power more than proportionate to their numerical strength. Legally, however, there were no means of preventing these strangers from accomplishing their intentions. For every citizen of the Union had an undoubted right to buy land in Jackson County, and to believe that Joseph Smith, Junior, was a prophet. But in America, when the members of a local majority have made. up their minds that a certain course is agreeable to their interests or their passions, the fact that it is illegal seldom prevents its adoption. The Jacksonians knew that they had at present a majority over Mormonites, and they resolved to avail themselves of this advantage before it was too late, lest, in their turn, they should be outnumbered, and thereby be liable to those pains and penalties which are the portion of a minority in the Great Republic. The citizens of the county therefore convened a public meeting, wherein they agreed upon the following (among other) resolutions: --

    "That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this country.

    That those now here who shall give a pledge within a reasonable time to remove out of the country, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property.

    That the editor of 'The Star,' (the Mormon paper) be required forthwith to discontinue the business of printing in this county.

    That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to their brethren who have the gifts of divination and unknown tongues to inform them of the lot that awaits them.

    These resolutions were at once communicated to the Mormon leaders; but, as they did not immediately submit the meeting unanimously

    104                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    resolved to raze to the ground the office of the obnoxious newspaper. This resolution was forthwith carried into effect, and the Mormon "Bishop" (a creature of Smith's, who presided in his absence), was tarred and feathered, -- an appropriate punishment enough, which had also been administered to his master, not long before, by a mob in Ohio.

    Notwithstanding these hostile demonstrations, the Mormons could not bring themselves to leave their newly-purchased lands without resistance. They appealed to the legal tribunals for redress, and organized a militia, which maintained for some time a guerrilla warfare against their antagonists. At length, however, they were overpowered by numbers, and abandoned their beloved Zion. But most of them found refuge in the adjoining counties, where they gradually acquired fresh property, and continued for four years in tranquillity.

    Meanwhile their prophet had remained snugly established at Kirtland, which he wisely judged a more desirable home than the wild land of Zion, till the latter should be comfortably colonized by his adherents. Hence he sent out his "apostles" and "elders" in all directions to make proselytes, which they continued to do with great success. The first duty imposed on all converts was the payment of tithing to the "Church." (D. C. sec. 107.) And those who received the commands of Joseph as the voice of God, did not hesitate to furnish this conclusive proof of the reality of their faith. On the strength of the capital thus placed at his disposal, Smith established at Kirtland a mercantile house and a bank. We find from his autobiography, that the whole Smith family were at liberty to draw without stint from their common stock; and their ill-gotten gains were squandered as recklessly as might have been expected. Embarrassment ensued, and several revelations called upon the saints for money to prop the Prophet's credit. * At length the crash came. The firm failed, the bank stopped payment, and the managers were threatened with a prosecution for swindling. To escape the sheriff's writ, Smith and Rigdon were obliged to fly by night; and they took refuge among their followers in Missouri.

    This occurred in the autumn of 1837, four years after the expulsion of the saints from Zion. That expulsion had painfully falsified the prophecies of Smith, who had so completely committed himself to the successful establishment of his people in the spot which he had first chosen, that he did not acquiesce in their abandoment of it without a struggle. In February, 1834, soon after their ejectment, he had promised their immediate restoration in the following revelation: --

    Verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return... Behold the redemption of Zion must needs come by power. Therefore I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel... Verily I say unto you that my servant Baurak Ale is the man... Therefore let my servant Baurak Ale say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged, gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion ... And let all the churches send up wise men with their monies, and purchase lands as I have commanded them. And, inasmuch as mine enemies come against you, to drive you from my goodly land which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion,... ye shall curse them and whomsoever ye curse I will curse.... It is my will that my servant Parley Pratt, and my servant Lyman Wight, should not return until they have obtained companies to go up unto the land of Zion, by tens, or by twenties, or by fifties, or by an hundred, until they have obtained to the number of five hundred, of the strength of my house. Behold this is my will; but men do not always do my will; therefore, if you cannot obtain five hundred, seek diligently that peradventure you may obtain three hundred, and if ye cannot obtain three hundred, seek diligently that peradventure ye may obtain one hundred. (D. C. sec. 101.)

    By such efforts a volunteer force of 150 men had been raised, and had marched from Kirtland in June 1834, to reinstate the saints in their inheritance. ** Joseph also, who, to do him justice, seems not to have lacked physical courage, had marched at their head; though why he superseded" Baurak Ale," the divinely-appointed Moses of the host, we are not informed. The little force had safely reached their brethren in Missouri; but the Prophet, finding they were not strong enough to effect their purpose, had disbanded them without fighting, and had himself returned to Kirtland, where he had remained till the commercial crisis which we have just mentioned. When thus finally driven to take refuge among his followers, Smith found them in a very critical position. Four years had passed since their expulsion from Zion, and they had established themselves in greater numbers than before, in the countries bordering on that whence they had been driven. They had cultivated the soil with perseverance and success, were daily increasing in wealth, and had built two towns (or cities, as they called them) Diahman and Far-west. But their prudence had not grown with their prosperity. They thought themselves a match for their enemies, and fearlessly provoked them by repeating

    * See "Smith's Autobiography," under date of March, 1834.

    ** See M. Star, XV 69. 205.

                                  M O R M O N I S M.                               105

    their former boasts. The Prophet's arrival added fuel to the flame. The disgraceful failure of his prophecies still rankled in his mind. He declared publicly among his disciples, that "he would yet tread down his enemies, and trample on their dead bodies;" and that, "like Mohammed, whose motto was the Koran or the sword, so "should it be eventually, Joseph Smith or the sword." * These and similar facts were disclosed to the Missourians by apostate Mormons, and excited great exasperation. At length a collision occurred at a county election, and open warfare began. For some weeks the contest was maintained on equal terms, and both parties burnt and destroyed the property of their antagonists with no decisive result. But, finally, the Governor of Missouri called out the militia of the State, nominally, to enforce order, but really to exterminate the Mormons. They were unable to resist the overwhelming force brought against them, and surrendered almost at discretion, as appears from the following terms which they accepted: First, To deliver up their leaders for trial; secondly, To lay down their arms; thirdly, To sign over their properties, as an indemnity for the expenses of the war; and lastly, To leave the State forthwith. The spirit in which this last condition was enforced will appear from the conclusion of an address delivered to the Mormons by General Clark, the commander of the hostile forces: --

    Another thing yet remains for you to comply with -- that you leave the State forthwith. Whatever your feelings concerning this affair; whatever your innocence; it is nothing to me. The orders of the governor to me were that you should be exterminated; and had your leader been given up, and the treaty complied with, before this you and your families would have been destroyed, and your houses in ashes.

    The result of this contest seemed likely to be fatal to the Prophet, who was given up to the State authorities, to be tried on charges of treason, murder, and felony, arising out of the war. But he contrived to escape from his guards, and thus avoided, for the time, the justice of a border jury. He fled to Illinois, where he found the remnant of his persecuted proselytes, who had been compelled to cross the bleak prairies, exposed to the snowstorms of November, with no other shelter than their waggons for sick and wounded, women and children. 12,000 of these exiles crossed the Mississippi, which separates the States of Missouri and Illinois. By the citizens of the latter they were received with compassionate hospitality, and relieved with gifts of food and clothing.

    In a wonderfully short time the sect displayed once more its inherent vitality, and that strength which springs from firm union and voluntary obedience. Soon its numbers were increased by the arrival of proselytes to 15,000 souls. For the third time they gathered themselves together in a new settlement, and built the town of Nauvoo in a strong position on the banks of the Mississippi, which nearly surrounds the peninsula selected for their capital. In eighteen months the city contained 2,000 houses. The prairies were changed into corn-fields, the hills covered with flocks and herds, and steamers landed merchandise and colonists upon wharves which had superseded the aboriginal marsh. Here the Mormonites seemed at last securely established in a commonwealth of their own, and Joseph was permitted, for five years, to enjoy the rich fruits of his imposture undisturbed. The wealth at his disposal was continually increasing, both from the tithing of his old converts (which augmented with their growing property), and from the contributions of new proselytes. These were now flowing in, not only from the United States, but even from Europe. In 1837, a mission had been sent to England, and the Mormon apostles baptized 10,000 British subjects before the Prophet's death. New revelations summoned all these converts to Nauvoo, bringing with them "their gold, their silver, and their precious stones." (D. C. sec. 103.) A mansion house was begun, where the Prophet and his family were to be lodged and maintained at the public cost. "Let it be built in my name, and let my servant Joseph Smith and his house have place therein from generation to generation, saith the Lord; and let the name of the house be called the Nauvoo House, and let it be a delightful habitation for man." (D. C. see. 103.) But, while thus providing for his own comfort, Joseph was careful to divert the attention of his followers from his private gains by a public object of expenditure, which might seem to absorb the revenues under his charge. As he had before done at Kirtland, so now at Nauvoo he began the building of a temple. But this was to be on a far grander scale than the former edifice, and was to be consecrated by the most awful ceremonies. For here alone (so it was revealed) could the rite of baptism for the dead be efficaciously perform. (D. C. sec. 103.) The foundation of this temple was laid with military and civil pomp early in 1841.

    Meanwhile the State of Illinois had granted a charter of incorporation to the city of Nauvoo,

    * The above statements are in an affidavit (given in "Mormonism Illustrated") made in Oct. 1838, and countersigned by Orson Hyde, who is now the chairman of the Apostolic College. Whether he was then a renegade, who has since repented; or whether he made these confessions under compulsion, we have no information.

    106                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    and Joseph Smith was elected Mayor. Moreover, the citizens capable of bearing arms were formed into a well-organized militia, to which weapons were supplied by the State. This body of troops, which was called the Nauvoo Legion, was perpetually drilled by the Prophet, who had been appointed its commander, and who thenceforward adopted the style and title of "General Smith." On all public occasions it was his delight to appear on horseback in full uniform at the head of his little army, which consisted of about 4,000 men, * and was in a state of great efficiency. An officer who saw it reviewed in 1842, says of it, "Its evolutions would do honor to any body of armed militia in the States, and approximate very closely to our regular forces." (M. Illust. 115.) The "Inspector-General" of the legion was a General Bennett, who had served in the United States army. His correspondence with Joseph is one of the most curious illustrations of the Prophet's character. Bennett offers his services in a letter wherein he avows entire disbelief in Smith's religious pretensions, but, at the same time, declares himself willing to assume the outward appearance of belief. He had gone so far as to submit to Mormon baptism, which he calls "a glorious frolic in the clear blue ocean, with your worthy friend Brigham Young."

    Nothing of this kind (he adds,) would in the least attach, me to your person and cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence.... I say, therefore, go ahead. You know, Mohammed had his right hand man. The celebrated T. Brown, of New York, is now engaged in cutting your head on a beautiful carnelian stone, as your private seal, which will be set in gold to your order, and sent to you.... Should I be compelled to announce in this quarter that I have no connection with the Nauvoo Legion, you will, of course, remain silent.... I may yet run for a high office in your State, when you would be sure of my best service in your behalf. Therefore a known connection with you would be against our mutual interest.

    To this candid proposal Smith replied in a letter which affects to rebuke the skepticism of Bennett; but, so fur was he from feeling any real indignation at the proposed partnership in imposture, that he consents to the request about the Legion, and accepts the offered bribe as follows: --

    As to the private seal you mention, if sent to me I shall receive it with the gratitude of a servant of God, and pray that the donor may receive a reward in the resurrection of the just.

    Every year now added to the wealth and population of Nauvoo, and consequently to the security of its citizens and the glory of its Mayor. Smith's head was so far turned by his success, that in 1844 he offered himself as a candidate for the Presidency of the Union. Probably, however, this proceeding was only meant as a bravado. In Nauvoo itself he reigned supreme, and opposition was put down by the most summary proceedings. The contributions of his votaries and the zeal of their obedience, fed fat his appetite for riches and power. Nor was he restrained from the indulgence of more sensual passions, which ease and indolence had bred. In July 1843, he received a revelation authorizing him, and all those whom he should license, to take an unlimited number of wives. ** This document is too long to quote in full, but the manner in which it silences the remonstrances of Smith's wife is too curious to be omitted: --

    Let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those who have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me.... Therefore it shall be lawful in me if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I the Lord his God will give him.... And he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according unto the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

    On this revelation Smith and his chief adherents proceeded to act. But they at. first concealed the innovation under a profound mystery; and during ten years it .was only communicated privately to the initiated, and its very existence continued unknown to the. majority of the sect. Not many months have yet passed since the Mormon leaders have decided on a bolder policy, and have publicly avowed this portion of their system. Their present audacity, indeed, is more strange than their former reserve; considering that the consequences of the original invention of this new code of morals were fatal to the Prophet, and disastrous to the Church. For, though the revelation was concealed, the practices which it sanctioned were not easily hidden, especially when some months of impunity had given boldness to the perpetrators. Several women whom Joseph and his "apostles" had endeavored to seduce, declined their proposals, and disclosed them to their relatives. These circumstances roused into activity a latent spirit of resistance which had. for some time been secretly gathering force. The malcontents now ventured to establish an opposition paper, called the" Expositor;" and published, in its first number, the affidavits of sixteen women, who alleged that Smith, Rigdon, Young, and others, had invited them to enter into a secret and illicit connection, under the title of spiritual

    * Spencer, p. 237.

    ** This revelation is printed in full in "M. Star," XV. p. 5.

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    marriage. This open and dangerous rebellion was put down forthwith, by the application of physical force. Joseph Smith ordered a body of his disciples to "abate the nuisance;" and they razed the office of the" Expositor" to the ground. The proprietors fled for their lives, and, when they reached a place of safety, sued out a writ from the legal authorities of Illinois, against Joseph and Hiram Smith, as abettors of the riot. The execution of the warrant was resisted by the people and troops of Nauvoo, under the Prophet's authority. On this, the governor of the state called out the militia to enforce the law, and required that the two brothers should be given up for trial Joseph had now only the alternative of war or submission. But hostilities would have been hopeless, for his troops only amounted to 4,000 men, while the militia of the state numbered 80,000. * He therefore thought it the wiser course to surrender, especially as the governor pledged his honor for the personal safety of the prisoners. They were accordingly committed to the county gaol at Carthage. A small body of troops was left to defend the prison; but they proved either inadequate or indisposed to the performance of their duty.

    The popular mind of Illinois was at this time strongly excited against the Mormonites. The same causes which had led to their expulsion from Zion and from Missouri were again actively at work. Their rapid growth, and apparently invincible elasticity in rising under oppression, had roused even more than the former jealousy. It seemed probable that before long the influx of foreign proselytes might raise the Prophet to supremacy. Why not use the power which the circumstances of the moment placed in their hands, take summary vengeance on the impostor, and forever defeat the ambitious schemes of his adherents? Under the influence of such hopes and passions, a body of armed men was speedily collected, who overpowered the feeble guard, burst open the doors of the gaol, and fired their rifles upon the prisoners. A ball killed Hiram on the spot; when Joseph, who was armed with a revolver, after returning two shots attempted to escape by leaping the window; but he was stunned by his fall, and, while still in a state of insensibility, was picked up and shot by the mob outside the gaol. He died June 27th, 1844, in the thirty-ninth year of his age.

    Thus perished this profligate and sordid knave, by a death too or his deserts. In England he would have been sent to the treadmill for obtaining money on false pretences. In America he was treacherously murdered without a trial; and thus our contempt for the victim is changed into horror for his executioners. The farce which he had played should not have been invested with a factitious dignity by a tragic end. Yet, when we consider the audacious blasphemies in which he had traded for so many years, and the awful guilt which he had incurred in making the voice of heaven pander to his own avarice and lust, we cannot deny that in his punishment the wrath of lawless men fulfilled the righteousness of God. Secure in the devotion of his armed disciples, and at an age when he could still look forward to a long life of fraud, luxury, and ambition, he had exclaimed: "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But the sentence had gone forth against him: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee."

    To call such a man a martyr is an abuse of language which we regret to find in a writer so intelligent as Mr. Mayhew. A martyr is one who refuses to save his life by renouncing his faith. Joseph Smith never had such an option given him. We doubt not that if he could have escaped from, the rifles of his murderers by confessing his imposture, he would have done so without hesitation; and would the next day, have received a revelation, directing the faithful to seek safety in recantation when threatened by the Gentiles. But his enemies knew him too well to give him such an opportunity.

    We must also protest against the attempt to represent this vulgar swindler as a sincere enthusiast., "There is much in his later career," says Mr. Mayhew, "which seems to. prove that he really believed what he asserted -- that he imagined himself the inspired of heaven ... and the companion of angels." The reason given for this charitable hypothesis is, that "Joseph Smith, in consequence of his pretensions to be a seer and prophet, lived a life of continual misery and persecution;" and that if he had not been supported by "faith in his own high pretensions and divine mission, he would have renounced his unprofitable and ungrateful task and sought refuge in private life and honorable industry." The answer to such representations is obvious: First, so far from Joseph's scheme being "unprofitable," it raised him from the depths of poverty to unbounded wealth. Secondly, he had from his earliest years shrunk from "honorable industry," and preferred fraud to work. Thirdly, so far from his having lived in "continual misery and persecution," he gained by his successful imposture the means of indulging every appetite and passion. During the fourteen years which intervened between his invention of Mormonism and his death, the only real persecution which he suffered was when his bankruptcy at Kirtland compelled him to share the fortunes of his followers in Missouri. And as to the risks.

    * Spencer, p. 236, 237. (Mr. Spencer was resident at the time in Nauvoo.)

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    of life and limb to which he was exposed, they were nothing to those which every soldier encounters for a shilling a-day.

    It is inexplicable how any one who had ever looked at Joseph's portrait, could imagine him to have been by possibility an honest man. Never did we see a face on which the hand of Heaven had more legibly written -- rascal. That self-complacent simper, that sensual mouth, that leer of vulgar cunning, tell us at one glance the character of their owner. Success, the criterion of fools, has caused many who ridicule his creed to magnify his intellect. Yet we can discover in his career no proof of conspicuous ability. Even the plan of his imposture was neither original nor ingenious. It may be said that, without great intellectual power, he could not have subjected so many thousands to his will, nor formed them into so flourishing a commonwealth. But it must be remembered that when subjects are firmly persuaded of the divinity of their sovereign, government becomes an easy task. Even with such advantages, Smith's administration was by no means successful. He was constantly involved in difficulties which better management would have avoided, and which the policy of his successor has overcome. We are inclined to believe that the sagacity shown in the construction of his ecclesiastical system belonged rather to his lieutenants than to himself; and that his chief, if not his only talent, was his gigantic impudence. This was the rock whereon he built his church; and his success proves how little ingenuity is needed to deceive mankind.

    The men of Illinois imagined that the death of the false prophet would annihilate the sect; and the opinion was not unreasonable. For it seemed certain that there would be a contest among the lieutenants of Joseph for his vacant throne; and it was probable that the Church would thus be shattered into fragments mutually destructive. Such a contest, indeed, did actually occur; and four claimants -- Sidney Rigdon, William Smith, Lyman Wight, and Brigham Young -- disputed the allegiance of the faithful. But the latter was unanimously supported by the Apostolic College, of which he was chairman. This body was obeyed by the great majority of the inhabitants of Nauvoo; and a general Council of the Church, summoned about six weeks after Joseph's death excommunicated the other pretenders, and even ventured to "deliver over to Satan" the great Rigdon himself although their Sacred Books declared him equal with the Prophet; who had, however, latterly shown a disposition to slight and humble him. The Mormons throughout the world acquiesced in this decision; and Brigham Young was established in the post of "Seer, Revelator, and President of the Latter Day Saints."

    The first months of the new reign were tolerably peaceful. The enemies of Zion were satisfied with the fatal blow they had dealt; and the saints were suffered to gather the harvest of that year without disturbance. But in the following winter it became evident to the independent electors of Illinois that the sect, far from being destroyed, was becoming more formidable than ever. New emigrants still continued to pour into Nauvoo, and the temple was daily rising above the sacred hill in token of defiance. Exasperated by these visible proofs of their failure, the inhabitants of the nine adjoining counties met together, and formed an alliance for the extermination of their detested neighbors.

    Henceforward it was evident that while the Mormons continued to inhabit Nauvoo, they must live in a perpetual state of siege, and till their fields with a plough in one hand and a rifle in the other. Moreover, experience had shown that elements of disunion existed even among themselves. So long as they were established in any of the settled States, they could not exclude unbelievers from among them. There must always be Gentile strangers who would intrude among the saints for lucre's sake, and form a nucleus around which disappointed or traitorous members might rally, and create internal conflict. This could only be avoided by the transplantation of the Mormon commonwealth beyond the reach of foreign contact. Actuated by these reasons, the leaders who met to deliberate on the steps demanded by the crisis, came to a decision which, adventurous as it seemed, has proved no less wise than bold. They resolved to migrate in a body, far beyond the boundaries of the United States, and to interpose a thousand miles of wilderness between themselves and the civilized world. In the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains, the Alps of North America, they determined to seek that freedom, civil and religious, which was denied them by their countrymen. In a hymn composed for the occasion, they express this Phocaean resolution as follows: --

    We'll burst off all our fetters,
      and break the Gentile yoke,
    For long it has beset us,
        but now it shall be broke.
        No more shall Jacob bow his neck;
        Henceforth he shall be great and free
        In Upper California.
        Oh, that's the land for me!
        Oh, that's the land for me!
              (Hymns, 353.)

    Their decision was announced to the saints throughout the world by a General Epistle, which bears date Jan. 20, 1846. It was also communicated to their hostile neighbors, who agreed to allow the Mormons time to sell their

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    property, on condition that they should leave Nauvoo before the ensuing summer. A pioneer party of sixteen hundred persons started before the conclusion of winter, in the hope of reaching their intended settlement in time to prepare a reception for the main body by the close of autumn. But the season was unusually cold, and their supply of food proved inadequate. Intense suffering brought on disease, which rapidly thinned their numbers. Yet the survivors pressed on undauntedly, and even provided for their friends who were to follow, by laying out farms in the wilderness, and planting them with grain. Thus they struggled onwards, from the Mississippi to the Missouri, on the banks of which they encamped, beyond the limits of the States, not far from the point of its junction with its great tributary, the Platte. They had resolved to settle in some part of the Californian territory, which then belonged to Mexico; and it happened that at this time the Mexican war having begun, the Government of the Union wished to march a body of troops into California, and invited the Mormon emigrants to furnish a body of five hundred volunteers for the service. This requisition is now represented by the Mormons as a new piece of persecution. Yet they complied with it at the time without hesitation, and five hundred of their number were thus conveyed across the continent at the expense of Government; arid yet rejoined their brethren among the Rocky Mountains in the following summer, alter having discovered the Californian gold diggings on their way. As no compulsion was exercised, it is evident that the Mormon leaders must have judged it expedient thus to diminish their numbers, which were at that time too great for their means of support. But it is admitted by Captain Stansbury (the officer employed by the United States in the survey of Utah) that the drain of this Mexican battalion prevented the remainder of the pioneers from reaching the mountains that season. They, therefore, formed an encampment on the banks of the Missouri, where they were joined in the course of the summer and autumn by successive parties from Nauvoo. Meanwhile, those who had remained in the city occupied themselves, during the precarious truce which they enjoyed, in finishing their temple. This building, the completion of which h ad been invested with a mysterious importance by the revelations of their prophet, was a huge and ugly pile of limestone, strongly resembling Bloomsbury Church. But as it was far superior in architectural pretensions to any of the meeting-houses in the neighboring States, it was looked upon in the West as a miracle of art. The Mormon High Priests returned from their frontier camp to consecrate it on the day of its completion, in May, 1846.

    The following sample of the consecration service will probably satisfy our readers: --

    Ho, ho! for the Temple's completed,
       The Lord hath a place for His head;
    The priesthood in power now lightens
       The way of the living and dead.
    See, see! 'mid the world's dreadful splendors,
       Christianity folly, and sword,
    The Mormons, the diligent Mormons,
       Have reared up this House to the Lord.
    (Hymns, 333.)

    This ceremony had a disastrous influence on the fortunes of the remaining citizens. "It was construed," says Colonel Kane, "to indicate an insincerity on the part of the Mormons as to their stipulated departure or at least a hope of return; and their foes set upon them with renewed bitterness * * * A vindictive war was waged upon them, from which the weakest fled in scattered parties, leaving the rest to make a reluctant and almost ludicrously unavailing defence till the 17th of September, when 1625 troops entered Nauvoo, and drove forth all who had not retreated before that time."

    Thus, once more, the lawless tyranny of a majority trampled down the rights of a minority. These instances of triumphant outrage, which have recurred so often in our narrative, are not only striking as pictures of American life, but may also furnish an instructive warning to some among ourselves. They force upon u~ the conclusion that laws are not more willingly obeyed because made by universal suffrage. They teach us that in those communities where every man has an equal share in legislation, the ordinances of the legislature are treated with a contemptuous disregard, for which the history of other nations can furnish no precedent. The mob, knowing that they can enact laws when they please, infer that they may dispense with that formality at discretion, and accomplish their will directly, without the intermediate process of recording it in the statute-book. They can make the law, therefore they may break the law; as the barbarous Romans claimed the right of killing the sons they had begotten.

    We must refer to Colonel Kane for a picturesque account of the appearance of Nauvoo after its desertion, and of the sufferings of its helpless citizens who were driven across the Mississippi by their foes. It was with pain and toil that these last unfortunate exiles reached the camp of their brethren. "Like the wounded birds of a flock fired into towards nightfall, they came straggling on with faltering steps, many of them without bag or baggage, all asking shelter or burial, and forcing a fresh repatriation of the already divided rations of their friends." At last, towards the close of autumn, all these emigrants had rejoined the

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    main body in the valley of the Missouri. And there they prepared to meet the severity of winter, in the depth of an Indian wilderness. The stronger members of the party had employed the summer in cutting and storing hay for the cattle, and in laying up such sup plies of food as they could obtain. But these labors had been interrupted by a destructive fever, bred by the pestilential vapors of the marshy plain, which decimated their numbers. When winter came upon them they were but ill-prepared to meet it. For want of other shelter, they were fain to dig caves in the ground, and huddle together there for warmth. Many of the cattle died of starvation, and the same fate was hardly escaped by the emaciated owners.

    At length the spring came to relieve their wretchedness. Out of twenty thousand Mormons who had formed the population of Nauvoo and its environs, little more than three thousand were now assembled on the Missouri. Of the rest, many had perished miserably, and many had dispersed in search of employment, to await a more convenient season for joining friends. The hardiest of the saints who still adhered to the camp of Israel, were now organized into a company of pioneers: and they set out, to the number of 143 men, up the valley of the Platte, to seek a home among the Rocky Mountains. They carried rations for six months, agricultural implements, and seed grain, and were accompanied by the President and his chief counsellors. After a three month's journey they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake, on the 21st of July. And here they determined to bring their wanderings to a close, and to establish a "Stake of Zion." * But they had small time to rest from their fatigues. Immediately on their arrival a fort was erected to secure them against the Indians, with log houses opening upon a square, into which they drove their cattle at night. "In five days a field was consecrated, fenced, ploughed, and planted." (G. 134.) Before the autumn they were rejoined by their brethren whom they had left on the Missouri. This large body, consisting of about three thousand persons, including many women and children, journeyed across the unknown desert with the discipline of a veteran army. Colonel Kane, who had been an eye-witness, describes with admiration

    The strict order of march, the unconfused closing up to meet attack, the skillful securing of cattle upon the halt, the system with which the watches were set at night to guard the camp.... Every ten of their wagons was under the care of a captain; this captain of ten obeyed a captain of fifty; who in turn obeyed a member of the High Council of the Church.

    By the aid of this admirable organization, they triumphed over the perils of the wilderness; and after a weary pilgrimage of a thousand miles, came at last within view of their destined home. The last portion of their route, which led them into the defiles of the mountains, was the most difficult: --

    When the last mountain has been crossed, the road passes along the bottom of a deep ravine, whose scenery is almost of terrific gloom. At every turn the overhanging cliffs threaten to break down upon the river at their base. At the end of this defile, which is five miles in length, the emigrants come abruptly out of the dark pass into the lighted valley, on a terrace of its upper table land. A ravishing panoramic landscape opens out below them, blue, and green, and gold, and pearl; a great sea with hilly islands; a lake; and broad sheets of grassy plain; all set as in a silver-chased cup, within mountains whose peaks of perpetual snow are burnished by a dazzling sun.

    The sympathy which we so freely give to the shout of the ten thousand Greeks, hailing the distant waters of the Euxine, we cannot refuse to the rapture of these Mormon pilgrims, when at last they beheld the promised land from the top of their transatlantic Pisgah. Nor is it wonderful that their superstition discovered in the aspect of their new inheritance an assurance of blessing; for the region which they saw below them bears, in its geographical features, a resemblance singularly striking to the Land of Canaan. The mountain lake of Galilee, the Jordan issuing from its waves, and the salt waters of the Dead Sea, where the river is absorbed and lost, have all their exact parallels in the territory of Utah. Here surely was the portion of Jacob, where the wanderings of Israel might find rest!

    The arrival of these wayworn exiles, together with that of the disbanded volunteers from California raised the number of the colony to nearly four thousand persons. The first thing needful was to provide that this multitude should not perish for lack of food. "Ploughing and planting," says Captain Stansbury, "continued throughout the whole winter, and until the July following by which time a line of fence had been constructed enclosing upwards of six thousand acres, laid down in crops, besides a large tract of pasture land." But, notwithstanding all their industry, the colonists were on the brink of starvation during the first winter. There is very little game in the country, and they were reduced to the necessity of feeding on wild roots

    * All the Mormon settlements are called "Stakes of Zion" to distinguish them from Jackson County, Missouri, which is "Zion." This is ultimately to be reconquered by the saints, and thus Joseph's prophecy (which their expulsion seemed to falsify), is to be fulfilled. Meanwhile when speaking popularly, they apply the term Zion to Utah.

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    and on carrion; and even tore off the hides with which they had roofed their cabins, to boil them down into soup. "When we clambered the mountains," says one of them, "with the Indians to get leeks, we were sometimes too feeble to pull them out of the ground." (XV. 387.) This bitter season, however, saw the last of their sufferings; an abundant harvest relieved their wants; and since that time their agriculture has been so successful, that they have raised enough, not only for home consumption, but for the demand of the numerous emigrants who are constantly passing through their settlements to the gold diggings of California. The engineers of the Central government who surveyed their territory, state, that although the soil capable cultivation bears a very small proportion to that which (for want of water) is doomed to sterility, yet the strip of arable land along the base of the mountains makes up, by its prodigious fertility, for its small extent (S. 141.); and that it would support, with ease, a million of inhabitants. (G. 18.) This question is of primary importance, because a country so distant from the sea, and so far from all other civilized states, must depend entirely on its own resources. There must be a constant danger lest an unfavorable season should be followed by a famine. Against such a calamity, however, some provision is made by accumulating large quantities of grain in public storehouses, where the hierarchical government deposits the tithes which it receives in kind.

    In physical prosperity, the new commonwealth, which is still (in 1854) only in the sixth year of its foundation, has advanced with rapidity truly wonderful; especially when we consider the disadvantages under which it is placed, by the fact that every imported article has to be dragged by land carriage for a thousand miles over roadless prairies, bridgeless rivers, and snow-clad mountains. Thus reduced to self-dependence, we can imagine the straits to which the first emigrants were brought for want of those innumerable comforts of civilized life which cannot be extemporized, and need cumbersome machinery for their manufacture. We can understand why, even after some years of settlement, the new citizens complained that nineteen-twentieths of the most common articles of clothing and furniture were not to be procured among them at any price. (XV. 395.) But before their steady energy, such difficulties have gradually vanished. When the colony had barely reached its fifth birthday, besides their agricultural triumphs already mentioned, they had completed an admirable system of irrigation, had built bridges over their principal rivers, and possessed iron-works and coal-mines, a factory of beet-sugar, a nail-work, and innumerable sawing-mills; and had even sacrificed to the graces by a "manufactory of small-tooth combs!" (XV. 418. and 437.) Regular mails were established with San Francisco on the Pacific, and New York on the Atlantic; public baths were erected, and copiously supplied by the boiling springs of the volcanic region, affording to the citizens that whole some luxury so justly appreciated by the ancients and so barbarously neglected by the moderns. They were even beginning to cultivate the arts and sciences, more American. They had founded a "University" in their capital, where one of the apostles gives lectures on astronomy, wherein he overthrows the Newtonian theory. (G. 82.) They had sculptured a monument to the memory of Washington. They had laid the foundation of a temple which is to surpass the architectural splendors of Nauvoo. They had reared a Mormon Sappho, who officiates as the laureate of King Brigham. Nay, they had even organized a dramatic association, which acts tragedies and comedies during the season.

    Meanwhile, their population had increased by immigration from 4,000 to 30,000, of whom 7,000 were assembled in the city of Salt Lake, their capital. The rest were scattered over the country to replenish the earth and to subdue it. This task they undertake, not with the desultory independence of isolated squatters, but with a centralized organization, the result of which, in giving efficiency to the work of energetic men, has astonished (says Captain Stansbury) even those by whom it has been effected. He adds --

    The mode which they adopt for the founding of a new town is highly characteristic. An expedition is first sent out to explore the country, with a view to a selection of the best site. An elder of the church is then appointed to preside over the band designated to make the first improvement. This company is composed partly of volunteers, and partly of such as are selected by the Presidency, due regard being had to a proper intermixture of mechanical artisans to render the expedition independent of all aid from without. (S. 142.)

    But the effects of this system will be better understood by quoting the following letter of an emigrant, who thus describes the foundation of one of the most important of these new settlements.

    In company of upward of an hundred wagons, I was sent on a mission with G. A. Smith, one of the Twelve, to Iron County, 270 miles south of Salt Lake, in the depth of winter, to form a settlement in the valley of Little Salt Lake, (now Parowan), as a preparatory step to the manufacturing of iron. -- After some difficulty in getting through the snow, we arrived safe and sound in the valley. After looking out a location, we formed our wagons into two parallel lines, some seventy paces apart; we then took the wheels and planted them about a couple of paces

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    from each other, so securing ourselves that we could not easily be taken advantage of by any unknown foe. This done, we next cut a road up the canon, [ravine], opening it to a distance of some eight miles, bridging the creek in some five or six places, making the timber and poles, of which there is an immense quantity, of easy access. We next built a large meeting house, two stories high, of large pine trees all neatly jointed together. We next built a square fort, with a commodious cattle yard inside the enclosure. The houses built were some of hewn logs, and some of adobies (dried bricks) all neat and comfortable. We next enclosed a field, five by three miles square, with a good ditch and pole fence. We dug canals and water ditches to the distance of thirty or forty miles. One canal to turn the water of another creek upon the field, for irrigating purposes, was seven miles long. We built a saw-mill and grist-mill the same season. I have not time to tell you half the labors we performed in one season. Suffice it to say that when the Governor came along in the spring, he pronounced it the greatest work done in the mountains by the same amount of men. (XV 458.)

    We must not be tempted to linger too long on this part of our subject, or we might illustrate it by many similar examples. Suffice it to say, that by such judicious enterprise a chain of agricultural posts has been formed, which already extends beyond the territory of Utah, and connects the Salt Lake with the Pacific. The chief of these settlements, San Bernardino, bids fair to be one of the most important cities in California. "The agricultural interest of the colonists of San Bernardino," says the New York Herald, "is much larger than that of the three adjoining counties united. Their manufacturing interest is rapidly increasing. They supply the southern country with timber, and for miles around they furnish flour from the fine mills which they have erected. They have purchased land for town sites in eligible situations on the sea coast.?" (XV. 61.) The object of the Mormons in this extended colonization is to establish a good line of communication with the Pacific, by which they may bring up their immigrants more easily than across the immense tract which separates them from the Missouri. At first they hoped to include this line of coast in their own territory; but Congress refused their petition to that effect, and restricted them within limits which separate them from the sea; the above mentioned maritime colonies being offshoots beyond their own jurisdiction.

    But we are here assuming a knowledge of the political relations between the Mormon commonwealth and the United States, which we have not yet described. Soon after the exiles had taken possession of their new home, it passed from the dominion of Mexico to that of the United States by the treaty of 1848.

    Not long after, a convention of the inhabitants petitioned Congress to admit them into the Confederation as a Sovereign State, under the title of the State of Deseret, a name taken from the Book of Mormon. This the Congress declined; but passed an Act, in 1850, erecting the Mormon district into a Territory, under the name of Utah. We should explain that, according to the American Constitution, the position of a Territory is very inferior to that of a state. The chief officers of a Territory are appointed not by the inhabitants, but by the President of the Union. The acts of the local legislature are null and void unless ratified by Congress. The property in the soil belongs to the Government of the United States. It will easily be understood how natural is the anxiety of the citizens of a Territory to emerge from this humiliating position, into that of a sovereign commonwealth, which can elect its own magistrates, make its own laws, and adopt the constitution which it prefers. But this anxiety is doubly felt by the Mormons, because, so long as they remain subject to the central Government of the Union, they naturally fear that the popular hatred which expelled them from Illinois and Missouri, may manifest itself in renewed persecution. Nor are causes of collision wanting. In the first place, the inhabitants of Utah have as yet no legal title to their land, for they have taken possession of it without purchase; and the ownership of the soil is in the United States. Yet the Mormons naturally protest against claims which would exact payment from them for that property which derives all its value from their successful enterprise. Again, the President of the Union has the right of appointing an "unbeliever' Governor of the Territory. Such an appointment would be considered a grave insult by the population; and they have announced very clearly their intention to oppose it (should it ever take place) by passive resistance, which probably would soon pass into active violence. President Fillmore avoided this difficulty by nominating the Head of the Mormon Church as Governor of the Territory. But the appointment is only for four years, and may be cancelled at pleasure. Another cause of apprehended quarrel is the Mormon custom of polygamy. The Territorial Legislature has no power of legalizing this practice, and consequently the majority of the children of all the great officers of the Church are illegitimate in the eye of the law. Probably some child of a first wife will seek on this ground to oust his half brothers from the paternal inheritance. The Courts of the United States must necessarily give judgment in favor of his claim. But it is certain that such a judgment could not be enforced in Utah without military force, which would be enthusiastically

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    resisted by the population. This particular case, indeed, may not arise for some years. But the indignation excited against the Mormon polygamy is such, that a portion of the American press is already urging an armed intervention on the Government.

    Not only (says the Philadelphia Register), should Utah be refused admission into the Union so long as she maintains this abominable domestic institution; but Congress, under its power to make all needful regulations respecting the territory of the United States, should take measures a crime which dishonors our nation. (XV. 358.)

    Such are the clouds already visible on the horizon of Utah, which portend a coming storm. One collision has actually occurred, but has passed off without serious effects. It was caused by the unpopularity of the two judges, appointed by. the President of the United States. No doubt it was very difficult to find among the Mormons any even moderately qualified for such an office. One provincial practitioner was however found, who, though not a resident in Utah, was brother of an Apostle; and he was nominated to a seat upon the bench. But the two other judges were unbelievers;" and this circumstance of itself caused them to be received with coldness. One of them, also, gave great offence by a speech at a public meeting, in which he advised the Mormon ladies "to become virtuous." (XVI. 406.) The Governor, whose own harem was present, resented this as a gross insult, and an open quarrel ensued. Very free language was used as to the resolution of the people of Utah to resist any interference on the part of the Central Government. This language was declared treasonable by the two unbelieving Judges, and by the Secretary of the Territory, who all returned to Washington, and in a report to Government denounced the disloyalty of the Territory which they had deserted. In the sublime language of the "Deseret News," --

    The Judicial Ermine doffed its desecrated wand to the ladies of Utah, satanlike rebuking sin; blackened the sacred pages of its country's history with the records of a mock court; shook its shaggy mane in disappointed wrath, and rushed with rapid strides over the mountains to its orient den. (XIV 524.)

    President Fillmore, however, wisely forbore to take up the quarrel of his nominees, and made new appointments, which appear to be more acceptable to the Mormon population. Thus the danger has passed over for the time; but such symptoms show the precarious character of the existing peace.

    Meanwhile, the Mormon leaders are taking every measure which is calculated to secure themselves against a repetition of the exterminating process to which they have been so often subjected. They keep their militia in constant drill, and its discipline is said to be excellent. Every man capable of bearing arms is enrolled, anti the apostles, bishops, and elders appear in military uniform as majors, colonels, or generals, at the head of their troops. They could already oppose a force of 8000 men to an invading enemy. And the sanding army of the United States only amounts to 10,000, which must march for three months through a wilderness before they reach the defiles of the mountains, where they would find themselves opposed, under every disadvantage of ground, with all the fury of fanaticism. Indeed, Lieutenant Gunnison intimates that, in his opinion, the Mormons might already defy any force which could be sent against them.

    The causes above mentioned fully account for the eagerness manifested by the heads of the Church in pressing upon the saints throughout the world the duty of emigrating to Utah. Their power of resisting hostile interference must of course be proportionate to their numerical strength. If they can double their present population, they may defend their mountain fastnesses against the world. Moreover, they will have the right, according to the practice of the Union, to demand admission as a State into the Federation when their population amounts to 60,000. Hence the duty most emphatically urged upon all Mormon proselytes is immediate emigration. They must shake from their feet the dust of" Babylon," and hasten to "Zion." "Every saint," says a recent General Epistle, "who does not come home, will be afflicted by the devil." (XIV. 20.) And again, "Zion is our home, the place which God has appointed for the refuge of his people. Every particle of our means which we use in Babylon is a loss to ourselves." (Ibid. 210.) And the elders are exhorted "to thunder the word of the Almighty to the saints, to arise and come to Zion." (Ibid. 201.) Nor are their efforts confined to words of exhortation. They raise annually a considerable sum, under the name of the Perpetual Emigration Fund, to pay the outfit and passage of those who are willing to emigrate but unable to pay their own expenses. This fund amounted last year to 34,000 dollars. (XV. 439.) Most of the emigrants, however, pay for themselves. In 1853, the number of saints who sailed from England was 2609. (Ibid. 264.); among whom 2312 were British subjects, and 297 Panes. Only 400 of these had their passage paid by the fund. The whole Mormon emigration from Europe has hitherto been considerably under 3000 annually. Even including the converts

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    from the United States, only 3000 settlers arrived in Utah in 1851. These details, which we have collected from the official statistics published in the "Star," will show how grossly the Mormon emigration has been exaggerated by the press. The American papers, with their grandiloquence, are constantly telling us that hundreds of thousands have arrived on their way to Utah; and these fables are copied on this side of the Atlantic, and go the round of Europe. In reality, during the fourteen years from 1837 to 1851, under 17,000 Mormons had emigrated from England. In future, however, while the Emigration Fund continues in operation, the rate will probably be not less than 3000 a year. We may therefore suppose that, including the proselytes from the Union, the census of Utah will be increased by 3500 annually. Beside this, we may allow, perhaps, 1000 per annum (considering the nature of the population) for the average excess of births over deaths during the time that the population is rising from 30,000 to 60,000. On this hypothesis, it will have reached the required number by 1859.

    This emigration, though very insignificant when compared with the exaggerated statements above mentioned, is surprisingly great, when we consider the enormous difficulties by which it is impeded. In fact, if we except the capitol of Thibet, there is perhaps no city in the world so difficult to reach as the metropolis of the Mormons. Emigrants from Europe must first undertake the long sea voyage to New Orleans; thence they must proceed by steamer up the Mississippi to St. Louis, a distance 1300 miles. From St. Louis, a farther voyage of 800 miles brings them to the junction of the Missouri and the Platte. From thence they must proceed in wagons across the wilderness, a journey of three weary months, before they reach their final destination. The appearance of these trains of pilgrims must be highly curious and picturesque. Captain Stansbury thus describes one of them, which he passed.

    We met ninety-five wagons to-day, containing the advance of the Mormon emigration. Two large flocks of sheep were driven before the train; and geese and turkeys had been conveyed in coops the whole distance, without apparent damage. One old gander poked his head out of his box, and hissed most energetically at every passer by, as if to show that his spirit was still I unbroken, notwithstanding his long confinement. The wagons swarmed with women and children, and I estimated the train at a thousand head of cattle, a hundred head of sheep, and five hundred human souls. (S. 223.)

    The wagon (he tells us elsewhere), is literally the emigrant's home. In it he carries his all, and it serves him as tent, kitchen, parlor, and bed. room: and not unfrequently also as a boat, to ferry his load over an otherwise impassable stream. (S. 26.)

    The deluded proselytes, who, in the mere act of reaching the parched valley of Deseret, expend an amount of capital and toil sufficient to establish them with every comfort in many happier colonies, are by no means drawn fl-em the most ignorant portion of the community. More than two-thirds of their number consists of artisans and mechanics. Out of 352 emigrants who sailed from Liverpool in February 1852, Mr. Mayhew ascertained that only 108 were unskilled laborers; the remaining 244 consisted of farmers, miners, engine makers, joiners, weavers, shoemakers, smiths, tailors, watch-makers, masons, butchers, bakers, potters, painters, ship-wrights, iron-moulders, basket-makers, dyers, ropers, paper-makers, glass-cutters, nailors, saddlers, sawyers, and gun-makers. (M. Illust. 245.) Thus the Mormon emigration is drawn mainly from a single class of society; and the result is, that the population of Utah presents an aspect singularly homogeneous, and has attained (without any socialism) more nearly to the socialist ideal of a dead level than any other community in the world. There are no poor, for the humblest laborer becomes on his arrival a peasant proprietor; and, although, some have already grown rich, yet none are exempt from the necessity of manual labor, except, indeed, the prophets and chief apostles of the Church. And even these seek to avert popular envy, by occasionally taking a turn at their old employments; following the example of the President, who was bred a carpenter and still sometimes does a job of joiner's work upon his mills. (G. 141.) Such a state of society combines the absence of many evils and much misery, with the want of those humanizing influences which result from the intermixture of men of leisure with men of labor.



    LITTELL'S  LIVING  AGE. - No. 531. - 22 July, 1854.

    [p. 147]

                                   From The Edinburgh Review.



    BUT it is time to turn from the outward phenomena of Mormonism to its inward life; from its relations towards the external world to its own internal system, theological, ethical, and ecclesiastical. And since those who join it, join it as a Religon, let us first examine the doctrines which it teache; and which they accept.

    We have already said that the original Theology of Mormonism was not distinguished by any marked peculiarities. And even still, those who preach it to the ignorant and simple disguise it under the mask of ordinary Protestantism, and affect to differ from rival sects rather in their pretensions than in their doctrines. The order lately given to the English elders was to abstain from perplexing their hearers with startling novelties, and only "to preach faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and faith in Joseph Smith and Brigham Young." (XIV. 226.) Even the more intelligent English converts when asked wherein they differ from other sects, reply that the difference consists in their claim to possess miraculous gifts and a living prophet.

    These gifts, which they profess to exercise, are the powers of healing the sick, speaking in tongues and casting out devils. The former (which they found on the well-known passage in St. James) they put in practice on every occasion of illness. Not a month passes without some miraculous case of cure being published in their journals. In reading these narratives, we might almost think we had stumbled on an advertisement of Morrison's pills. "The consequence," says Elder Spencer, "of changing this one ordinance to the medical nostrums of men, is the literal death of thousands."

    The Gift of Tongues is of still easier execution, and forms a frequent incident in the public worship of the sect. Thus we read, in the official report of a recent Conference at Utah: --

    Sister Bybee spoke in tongues. President Young declared it to be a proper tongue, and inquired what the nations would do, if they were here. He said, if he were to give sy to the brethren and sisters, the day of Pentecost would be in the shade in comparison to it. (X1V 356.)

    This is sufficiently profane; but still more disgusting are the scenes which take place in the casting out of devils. Daniel Jones, now one of the three "Presidents of the Church in Wales," * thus describes a case in which he officiated as exorciser: --

    The spirits were all this time making the loudest noise; calling out, 'Old Captain, have you come to trouble us d__d Old Captain, we will hold you a battle.' Many other expressions used would be indecent to utter, and others useless, I suppose. Some spoke English, through one that knew no English of herself. Others spoke in tongues, praying for a reinforcement of their kindred spirits, and chiding some dreadfully by name, such as Borona, Menta, Pluto. They swore they would not depart, unless old Brigham Young, from America, would come. (Star XI. 40, quoted in Morm. Illust.)

    We should have been inclined to infer from such descriptions that the performers in these exhibitions must either be the most shameless of hypocrites, or the most crazy of fanatics.

    But we are silenced when we remember that two English clergymen have also very lately published their dialogues with devils; and have surpassed their Mormon rivals in absurdity, inasmuch as they have fixed the reshience of Satan, not in the heart of a man but in the legs of a table.** The resemblance thus manifested between the teaching of some of our popular religionists, and that of the Mormons, is not confined to the point of diabolic agency. It results from a materialistic tendency observable in the two theological systems. Besides some other effects, this leads both alike to misconstrue the metaphors of Scripture by a literal interpretation, and to distort the biblical prophecies by viewing them through a carnal medium. Thus the Mormonite speculations on the Restoration of the Jews, and on the Millennium, are the same which may sometimes be heard in Puritanic pulpits. Both schools dwell with similar fondness on the battle of Armageddon, and give a description of the combatants equally minute. The Mormons teach that this contest will be between the Papists on one side and "the Church" on the other. The triumph of their own adherents is to usher in the Millennium. Even the date assigned to the Restoration of the Jews is the same in both systems. "It shall come to pass in the nineteenth century," says the official organ of Mormonism, "that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they (the Jews) shall come who are ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcast in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem." (XIV. 12.).

    But this tendency to debase a spiritual truth into a material fiction is most strikingly developed in the Mormon doctrine of the resurrection. It must be confessed, indeed, that some Christian writers have incautiously spoken on this subject, in language contradicting

    * M. Star, XV. 611.

    ** An account of these publications is given in a most interesting article in the "Quarterly" of last October, on the subject of table turning.

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    that of St. Paul; and have seemed to teach that this corruptible body of flesh and blood will inherit eternal life. * The danger of such incautious statements is shown by the inferences deduced from them in the writings of the Mormonites. According to their teaching, not only will the body, but all the habits, occupations, and necessities of life, be the same in the future world as in the present. Thus, one of their chief pillars tells us, that --

    The future residence of the saints is not an ideal thing. They will need houses for their persons and for their families as much in their resurrected condition as in their present state. In this identical world, where they have been robbed of houses, and lands, and wife find children, they shall have an hundred fold. (Spencer, 174.)

    Another "Apostle" calculates the exact amount of landed property which may be expected by the "resurrected saints":--

    Suppose that, out of the population of the earth, one in a hundred should be entitled to an inheritance upon the new earth, how much land would each receive? We answer, they would receive over an hundred and fifty acres, which would be quite enough to raise manna, and to build some splendid mansions. It would be large enough to have our flower gardens, and everything the agriculturist and the botanist want. (P. Pratt, in XIV. 663.)

    But not content with degrading the Scriptural conceptions of immortality by these sordid and groveling imaginations, they venture directly to contradict the words of our Lord Himself, by affirming that, in the Resurrection, men both marry and are given in marriage. Thus the author above quoted tells us that --

    Abraham and Sarah will continue to multiply, not only in this world, but in all worlds to come. Will the resurrection return you a mere female acquaintance, that is not to be the wife of your bosom in eternity? No, God forbid. But it will restore you the wife of your bosom immortalized, who shall bear children from your own loins, in all worlds to come. (P. O. 6.)

    This they call the doctrine of Celestial Marriage, to which, in its connection with their polygamy, we shall presently return.

    A still more peculiar tenet of their creed is the necessity of baptism for the dead. This doctrine was broached by Smith at an early period, and is incorporated into the "Book of Doctrines and Covenants," the Mormonite New Testament. † Every Mormon is bound to submit to this rite for the benefit of his deceased relatives. Its institution seems to have had the same pecuniary object as that of the masses pro defunctis; although the fees demanded by the priesthood for its performance are not stated in the official documents. They tell us, however, that the dead "depend on their posterity, relatives, or friends for this completing of the works necessary for their salvation" (XIV. 232;) and that their genealogies will he revealed to the faithful by the prophets in the temple. (Seer, i. 141.) Thus (says Joseph Smith, in his "last sermon:" --)

    Every man who has got a friend in the eternal world can save him, unless he has committed the unpardonable sin; so you see how far you can be a saviour.

    And to the same effect the Mormon hymnist sings: --

    I am Zionward bound, where a Seer is our head,
    We'll there be baptized for our friends that are dead;
    By obeying this law we may set them all free,
    And saviours we shall upon Mount Zion be. (XV. 143.)

    The Chancellor of the University of Deseret informs us, that "unless this is done for the dead they cannot be redeemed." (Spencer, 166.) And the same learned authority announces that --

    Peter tells how the devout and honorable dead may be saved, who never heard the Gospel on earth. Says he, [St. Peter!] 'else why are they baptized for the dead?' **

    This Mormon sacrament is connected with another retrograde tenet, which restricts the due celebration of religious rites to one local sanctuary: --

    Verily I say unto you, after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world... your baptisms for the dead by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me. (D. C. sec. 103.)

    Hence the mysterious importance attached to the completion of the Nauvoo Temple. The corner-stone of a new and far larger edifice has lately been laid at 'Deseret, the form of which has been represented to Brigham Young in a miraculous vision. He refuses

    * See the admirable arguments of Dr. Burton, late Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, against certain popular views of this subject. (Burton's Hampton Lectures, Appendix.)

    † See D. C., sections 105, 106.

    ** Mr. Spencer, who here cites the 1st Corinthians as the work of St. Peter, was ordained as a Baptist minister, in America, and says that be graduated at "Hamilton Theological College," in 1829, and held "the first grade of honorable distinction." He complains that his character has been much "vilified;" his spelling and grammar could scarcely be represented as viler than they are, by any of his "vilifires."

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    to reveal its plan beforehand; but declares that magnificent as it will be, it is only the faint image of that which will beautify reconquered Missouri. "The time will come when there will be a tower in the centre of temples we shall build, and on its top groves and fish ponds." (XV. 488.) What would Mr. Ruskin say to this proposed new style of ecclesiastical architecture? Mr. Gunnison tells us (from information given him at Utah) that as soon as the present temple is finished, "animal sacrifices for the daily sins of the people" will be offered therein by the priesthood. (G. 57.) This will complete the return of Mormonism to the "weak and beggarly elements," of that dispensation which was purposely adapted to a state of moral childhood, "wherein were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats, and drinks, and divers washing, and carnal ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation."

    The same retrogressive tendency has led the Mormonites to adopt a system of anthropomorphism which has never been equaled by any other sect, though it was approached fifteen centuries ago by the Egyptian monks whom Theophilus anathematized. Allegorical images, under which the attributes of God were made intelligible to the rude Israelites by Moses, and even metaphorical figures, adopted by devotional poetry in a later age, are interpreted by Smith and his disciples in a sense as merely literal and material, as they would attach to the placards wherein their countrymen describe the person of a fugitive slave. The nature of these materializing dogmas cannot be rendered intelligible except by quotations, which, from their profanity, we would willingly omit. The following is an extract from one of their popular catechisms, bearing on the subject: --

    Q. 28. What is God? A. He is a material intelligent personage, possessing both body and parts.

    Q 38. Doth he also possess passions? A. Yes, he eats, he drinks, he loves, he hates.

    Q. 44. Can this being occupy two distinct places at once? A. No. *

    To the same effect we read in the Mormon hymn-book (349;--)

    The God that others worship is not the God for me;
    He has no parts nor body, and cannot hear nor see.

    A local residence is assigned to this anthropomorphic Deity; he lives, we are told, "in Latter Day Saints' Catechism, quoted in Morm. Illust. p. 43. the planet Kolob." (Seer. 70, and XIV, 531.) Moreover, as he possesses the body and passions of a man, so his relations to his creatures are purely human. Saint Hilary of Poitiers asserts that some Arians attacked orthodoxy by the following argument:-- "Dens pater non erat, quia neque ei Jilius; nam si films, necesse est ut et foemina sit." (Hil. adv. Const.) The conclusion thus stated as an absurdity in the fourth century, the Mormons embrace as an axiom in the nineteenth. "In mundi primordus, Deo erat foemina," is an article of their creed. (P. O. p. 1. and p. 15; also Seer, i. 38, and 103.) No existence is "created;" all beings are "begotten." So the Prophet tells us in his "last sermon," (p. 62:)

    God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. The very idea lessens man in my estimation. I know better.

    The superiority of the Mormon God over his creatures consists only in the greater power which He has gradually attained by growth in knowledge. He himself originated in "the union of two elementary particles of matter," (G. 49;) and by a progressive development reached the human form. Thus we read that --

    God, of course, was once a man, and from manhood by continual progression, became God; and he has continued to increase from his manhood to the present time, and may continue to increase without limit. And man also may continue to increase in knowledge and power as fast as he pleases.

    And again,

    If man is a creature of eternal progression, the time must certainly arrive when he will know as much as God now knows. (XIV. 386.)

    This is in strict accordance with the following words of Joseph Smith: --

    The weakest child of God which now exists upon the earth will possess more dominion, more property, more subjects, and more power and glory, than is possessed by Jesus Christ or by his Father, while at the same time they will have their dominion, kingdom, and subjects increased in proportion. (M. Star, vi., quoted in Morm. Illust.)

    An apostle carries this view into detail as follows: --

    What will man do when this world is filled up? Why, he will make more worlds, and swarm out like bees from the old world. And when a farmer has cultivated his farm and raised numerous children, so that the space is beginning to be too strait for them, he will say, My sons, yonder is plenty of matter, go and organize a world and people it. (P. Pratt, in XIV. 663, and Seer 1. 37.)

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    This doctrine of indefinite development naturally passes into Polytheism. Accordingly, the Mormon theology teaches that there are Gods innumerable, with different degrees of dignity and power. It was revealed to Joseph Smith that the first verse of Genesis originally stood as follows:-- "The Head God brought forth the Gods, with the heavens, and the earth." (XIV, 455.) And the same prophet also tells us (Ibid) that a hundred and forty-four thousand of these gods are mentioned by St. John in the Apocalypse. Moreover;" each God is the God of the spirits of all flesh pertaining to the world which he forms." (Seer, i. 38.) And it has been lately revealed by the President, that the God of our own planet is Adam, who (it seems) was only another form of the Archangel Michael.

    When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. lie helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days. He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we hove to do. (From Discourses of the Presidency in XV. 769.)

    It is curious to observe, from such examples, how easily the extremes of materialism and immaterialism may be made to meet. For here we have the rudest form of anthropomorphism connected with a theory of emanation which might be identified with that of some Gnostic and Oriental idealists. But under its present intellectual guides, Mormonism is rapidly passing into that form of practical Atheism which is euphemistically termed Pantheism. Thus we read in the Washington organ of the Presidency, that the only thing which has existed from eternity is --

    "An infinite quantity of self-moving intelligent matter. Every particle of matter which now exists, existed in the infinite depths of past duration, and was then capable of self-motion." (Seer. i. 129.) "There is no substance in the universe which feels and thinks now, but what has eternally possessed that capacity." (lb. 102.) "Each individual of the vegetable and animal kingdom contains a living spirit, possessed of intelligent capacities." (lb. 34.) "Persons are only tabernacles, and truth is the God that dwells in them. When we speak of only one God, and state that he is eternal, etc., we have no reference to any particular person, but to truth dwelling in a vast variety of substances." (lb. 25.)

    The same authority informs us that every man is an aggregate of as many intelligent individuals as there are elementary particles of matter in his system. (lb. 103.) And so President Brigham, in a recent sermon, tells his hearers that the reward of the good will he a continual progress to a more perfect organization, and the punishment of the bad will be a decomposition into the particles that compose the native elements." (B. Young, in XV, 35.)

    It is evident that in these latter portions of the Mormon creed we may recognize the speculations of Oken, Fichte, Hegel, and others, filtered through such popularizing media as Emerson, Parker, and the "Vestiges of Creation." It would appear that the more startling of these innovations, which date from the last year of Smith's life, are due to Orson Pratt, the intellectual guide of recent Mormonism, under whose influence Joseph seems to have fallen after he had quarreled with Sidney Rigdon.

    But, it may be asked, how can this he the theology of a sect which professes to receive the Bible as the Word of God? The answer is twofold. First, the Mormon writers teach that the Christian Revelation, though authoritative when first given, is now superseded by their own. "The Epistles of the. ancient Apostles, Paul, Peter, and John, we must say are dead letters, when compared to the Epistles that are written to the saints in our day by the living priesthood." (XIV. 328.) And the possession of a living source of inspiration enables them to modify, not only the doctrines of the ancient Scriptures, but even the revelations of their own prophets. Thus polygamy is pronounced in the Book of Mormon to be "abominable before the Lord." (Jac. chap. ii. sec. 6.); yet it was afterwards authorized in a new revelation by Joseph himself, and is now declared to he the special blessing of the latter covenant. But, secondly, lest this view should not satisfy all scruples, it was revealed to Smith that our present Scriptures have been grievously altered and corrupted, and lie was divinely commissioned to make a revised and corrected edition of them. We find from his statement in his autobiography (XIV. 422, 451, 452,) that he lived to complete this emended Bible. But he never ventured to print it, and it still remains in manuscript among the muniments of the Church. It is to be published as soon as the world is ripe to receive it. Meanwhile some specimens have been given, among which one of the most remarkable is the beginning of Genesis, which we have quoted above. *

    The existence of this secret Bible is an example of the Mormon practice of reserve, which forms a connecting link between their theological and their ethical system. The doctrines which they teach among the initiated may differ to any extent from those proclaimed to the Gentiles. "If man receives all truths," says their organ (XV. 507.), "he must receive

    * Many extracts from this emended Bible have been lately published by Orson Pratt, in the Seer. The additions are so numerous as to double the scriptural text.

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    them on a graduated scale. The Latter Day Saints act upon this simple, natural principle, Paul had milk for babes and things unlawful to utter" (!). The most striking instance of this system of pious fraud is their persevering denial of the charge of polygamy. So boldly did they disavow the practice, that even the careful and accurate author of "Mormonism Illustrated" was deceived by their asseverations; and though he states the accusations against them fairly, yet decides that, at least as against Smith, they were unfounded. At length, however, it became necessary to drop the mask. As the population of Utah increased, the practices prevalent there became better known to the world, through multiplying channels of communication. It was useless to repudiate an ordinance which must be so prominent in the first letters of every new citizen of Salt Lake to his English friends. The Church therefore decided that the time was come for publishing to the world the revelation which sanctioned their seraglios. We have already cited that singular document, which Joseph circulated among the initiated in the year before his death. Since its publication, which took place in 1852, the Mormonite leaders have completely thrown off the veil, and have defended polygamy as impudently as they before denied it. Tracts, dialogues, and hymns are circulated in its behalf. And even the "pluralistic" marriage service has been published. The following is an extract from this novel rubric: --

    The president [or his deputy*] calls upon the bridegroom and his [first] wife, and the bride to arise. The [first]wife stands on the left hand of her husband, while the bride stands on the wife's left. The president then says to the [first] wife, Are you willing to give this woman to your husband, to be his lawful and wedded wife for time and for eternity? If you are, place her right hand within the right hand of your husband. † The right hands of the bridegroom and bride being thus joined, the [first] wife takes her husband by the left arm, as if in the attitude of walking. The president then asks the man, Do you, brother M., take sister N. by the right hand, to receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife?... The bridegroom answers, Yes. The president then asks the bride, Do you, sister N., take brother M. and give yourself unto him to be his lawful and wedded wife? etc. The bride answers, Yes. The president then says, By the authority of the holy priesthood, [pronounce you legally and lawfully [sic] husband and wife for time and for all eternity. And I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection, with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection.... And [seal upon you.... the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and say unto you, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.... The benediction follows; and the scribe enters the marriage on the record. (Seer, i. 31.)

    It should be added, that the President possesses the Papal prerogative of annulling all marriages contracted under his sanction; ** a prerogative which cannot fail to prove a source of wealth and power. As to marriages celebrated without his authority, they are ipso facto void, in foro conscientioe. Consequently either man or woman is at liberty to desert an unbelieving spouse and take another. An example of this occurred last year in a Welsh village with which we are well acquainted. An old woman of sixty was converted by the Mormons, and persuaded to emigrate. She had a blind husband, seventy years of age, who entirely depended on her care. The neighbors cried shame on her for deserting her conjugal duties. The clergyman of the parish, and even her landlord the Squire, remonstrated in vain. She declared that "the Lord had called her to come to Zion," and that it was revealed to her that when she reached Deseret she should be restored to youth, or, (as she expressed it), "she should get a new skin." And she unblushingly avowed her intention of being sealed to another husband, and bearing "a young family" in America. The end of the story is tragic. The deserted husband died of a broken heart a fortnight after his wife's departure, and the old woman herself expired before she reached New Orleans, leaving the surplus of her outfit in the hands of her seducers. It may easily be imagined that the public announcement of these matrimonial innovations excited much opposition, not only among believers, but also among the saints, and particularly among their wives. Even in Utah itself it seems that the customs of Constantinople are not popular with the fair sex. Lieutenant Gunnison tells us that "he placed the subject before a young lady in its practical light," and asked her "if she would consent to become Mrs. Blank, No. 20? or if, though ranking as No. 1, she would be contented, when the first blush of beauty had departed, to have her husband call at her domicile, and introduce his last bride, No. 17?" The subject, says the Lieutenant, was cut short by the reply, "No, Sir, I would die first." In England, as might be expected, the resistance has been more open and decided. One of the most

    * See MS. XV. 215.

    † This would at first appear as if the wife possessed a veto. But the official organ informs us in the same article that if the wife refuses to consent to her husband's polygamy, "then it is lawful her husband, if permitted by revelation through the Prophet, to be married to ethers without her consent; and she will be condemned because she did not give them unto him; as Sara gave Hagar unto Abraham and as Rachel and Leah gave Bilhah and Zilpah unto Jacob." (See, also, XV. 215.)

    ** See G. 70. and S. 136.

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    amusing publications to which the controversy has given rise, is a "Dialogue between Kelly and Abby," published in the weekly organ of Mormonism. Nelly is a rebellious saint, and opens the discussion by addressing her more submissive cousin as follows: --

    Dear Cousin Abby, I have been very anxious to see you, ever since I heard of the new revelation. I know that nothing has ever come up yet in this Church that could stumble you. But I think now, when your John comes to get two or three more wives, you will feel as keenly as any of us.

    The believing Abby replies, by expressing her sorrow that her cousin's mind is "so fluttered" with the new revelation. For her own part, she has "never stumbled at any of the doctrines of the Church, because they all seem so pure." In condescension, however, for Nelly's weakness, she proceeds to explain fully the arguments which have led her to surrender the exclusive possession of "her John." These are resisted by Nelly for some time. She cannot see "what wisdom" there is in "being tied to her George with a lot of other women, who can flatter and simper, and make him believe anything they please." But at last she also is convinced, and exclaims, "I am sorry I ever burnt that revelation! I would not have done it for the world if I had known as much as I do now." She cannot help, however, adding a proviso, "Well, if George does take any other, I should like him to take my sister Anne, for her temper is so obliging and mild." *

    The arguments by which the Mormon writers justify their adoption of these Oriental usages are principally drawn from the Old Testament. The pamphlet on "Plurality of Wives," at the head of our article, informs us that the Latter Day Saints have restored "the family order which God established with Abraham and the Patriarchs." (P. O. 1.) So we have just seen that in their new marriage service polygamy is designated as "the blessing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." And the Mormon psalmist sings to the same tune --

    I am Zionward bound, where the blessings untold,
    Which Jehovah conferred on his servants of old,
    And at which pious Christendom feels so annoyed,
    In this last dispensation again are enjoyed. (XV. 143.)

    And so we are warned by Elder Spencer, that --

    When a man undervalues this promise, he not only shows himself to be destitute of saving faith, bat he is very liable to become a scoffer and mocker of the last days, speaking evil of such dignities as Abraham and Brigham. (P. O. 12.)

    But it would be well if the apologists of polygamy confined themselves to the patriarchal dispensation. For some excuse might then be made for their mistake, considering the vague notions concerning the authority of the Old Testament which prevail among our popular religionists, and remembering even in our pulpits we too often hear Isaac and Jacob cited as perfect exemplars of Christian life. But when they venture to quote the Kew Testament in support of their practices, we see at once the impudent dishonesty of the men. The Devil has often wrested Scripture to his purpose, but never before with such preposterous perversion and audacious profaneness as that displayed by Joseph Smith and his disciples. One feels indignant, not only at their hypocrisy, but at their folly, in expecting to persuade any one to acquiesce in such palpable distortion of plain words. Thus from the promise that, whatsoever a man shall leave for the Gospel's sake, he shall receive an hundred-fold (Mark, x. 29.), the Chancellor of the University of Deseret deduces the following question and answer

    Q. What reward have men who have faith to forsake their rebellious and unbelieving wives in order to obey the commandments of God?

    A. AN HUNDRED FOLD OF wives in this world, and eternal life in the next. (P. O. 16; see also Seer, 61.)

    In the same treatise a carnal interpretation is given to the metaphor which designates the Church as "the Bride." But even these monstrous falsifications of Scripture are surpassed by the arguments which Mr. Hyde (the present chairman of the Apostolic College) extracts from the Gospel narrative itself. ** Yet, although the omission of these renders our picture of Mormonism incomplete, we really dare not quote blasphemies so revolting; especially when they are combined with absurdity at which the reader, even while he shuddered, must be provoked to smile.

    Such profane distortion of the Sacred Writings is the less excusable in the Mormonite divines, because they have the power of fabricating new Scripture whenever they please. This power, indeed, they have freely exercised in defence of their harems. It has been revealed, that the measure of a man's "wealth, power, and dominion" in the world to come will depend upon the number of his wives, all of whom will continue to belong to him after the resurrection, if they have been sealed to

    * See M. Star, XV., Nos. 15, 16.

    ** See Orson Hyde's letter, published in the [Mormon] Guardian, and quoted hy Mr. Gunnison, p. 68. The same blasphemies are repeated by Orson Pratt in Seer, 159, 169.

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    him by the President. Hence the term celestial marriage, which they apply to this connection. Moreover, the first wife, if submissive, will rank as Queen over all the other concubines. In the tract above quoted Abby explains this to Nelly as follows: --

    I appreciate a kind, intelligent husband that is ordained and anointed like unto Abraham, to be king over innumerable myriads of the human family, so highly, that I shall not make myself a widow and servant through all eternity, by opposing what God has clearly revealed by all his prophets since the world began.... The great question is this. Will we unite with the plurality order of ancient patriarchs, or will we consent to he doomed to eternal celibacy? This is the true division of the question. One or the other we must choose. We cannot be married to our husbands for eternity without subscribing to the law that admits a plurality of wives.... If your George and you should be alone, by the side ofÊsuch a king as Abraham or Solomon, with all his queens, and their numerous servants and waiting maids in courtly livery, would he not look like a mere rush light by the side of such suns.... Besides, a queen to him that has his hundreds of wives in eternity, with children as numberless as the stars of heaven, would receive intelligence, honor, and dominion, in some measure proportioned to the exaltation of her husband; while your George, not having much to look after besides you, could not demand the same measure of wealth, honor, and dominion; because he could use upon you and your little family but a small pittance of what pertains to one moving in a wider and more exalted sphere.

    Nelly. But do you mean to say, Abby, that if I am not married according to God's order before the resurrection, that I shall always have to remain single, and also be your servant, or the servant of some one that is married according to that order?

    Abby. That is what God has most clearly revealed in many scriptures.

    This contingent Queenship, however, will be subject to the husband's appointment, and the reversionary interest therein often creates rivalry in the establishment. Mr. Gunnison was informed at Salt Lake that Brigham Young had a wife who died before she became a Mormon, but has since been saved by vicarious baptism, and that the first of his present wives frequently teases her husband by inquiring whether she herself or her predecessor will be his Queen in the world to come. (G. 77.)

    Besides the arguments above mentioned in favor of polygamy, derived from Revelation, others are deduced from reason and expediency. The chief of these is, that the Oriental system will remedy the immorality in which Europe is now sunk. So corrupt is society at present, especially in England, that not only are there "a hundred thousand prostitutes in London," but also that the "haunts of vice"are constantly frequented by those who are specially ordained to be the guardians of public morality, by "parsons, and even bishops in disguise." (XV. 244.) This foul and wide-spread pollution would be cured by polygamy, for under that institution no female would be driven to vice by the want of a legitimate protector. "Don't you think," says Nelly in the tract before cited, "that the hundred thousand unfortunate females of London would much rather have such husbands [i. e. husbands shared with several other wives] than lead out their present miserable short lives as they do?"

    Again, it is urged that the "Patriarchal Order" will soon be rendered necessary by an excess of females over males, which is to result from the destructive wars now impending over the world. A passage in Isaiah is interpreted as prophesying that this excess will be in the proportion of seven to one.

    Farther, the system of plurality is desirable as rewarding good men and punishing bad men, for the good will be selected as husbands by many wives, while the bad will be accepted by none. "How many virtuous females," says Chancellor Spencer, would prefer to unite their destinies to one and the same honorable and virtuous man, rather than to separate their destiiiies each to an inferior vicious man? Shall such virtuous and innocent females be denied the right to choose the objects of their love?" (P. O. 2.)

    Moreover, far from causing discord among women, this patriarchal institution "is calculated to dispel jealousy."

    For instance, in this country three young women all love the same young man. Being rivals, it is natural they should hate each other in exact proportion as they love the young man; because they know that the law will not allow him to be married to them all. If polygamy were allowed, this jealousy would not exist, because a woman would know that she could be married to any man she loved. (XV. 660.)

    Another argument much insisted on is the removal of an impediment which now hinders the conversion of polygamous heathen. This is illustrated by the following story, which we find constantly repeated in the "Mormon Apologies": --

    A Dakotah Indian offered himself for baptism to some Presbyterian missionaries. On being questioned he said, that he had several wives. He was told that he could not be baptized while he had more wives than one. The heathen went away, and returned in a few month, renewing his request. He was again questioned how many wives he had. One only, said he. 'What had he done with all the others?' I have eaten them, was the reply. (XV. 147.)

    154                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    From the tone taken by the Mormon advocates of polygamy, it would seem as if the practice must prevail among them extensively. For, otherwise, we cannot understand why they should represent it to the poor in their popular tracts as a state so desirable, that a man with only one wife must be precluded from the higher degree of happiness in the life to come. Yet, on the other hand, it is hard to conceive how any but the wealthier members of the community can indulge in so expensive a luxury. However this may be, it is certain from the evidence of such credible witnesses as Captain Stansbury and Lieutenant Gunnison, that the great officers of the Church maintain seraglios on a scale truly Oriental. The latter informs us (p. 120.) that the three members of the Presidency had, when he was in Utah, no less than eighty-two wives between them, and that one of the three "was called an old bachelor, because he had only a baker's dozen." And Captain Stansbury describes the "numerous family" of the President as mingling freely in the balls, parties, and other social amusements of the place.

    The delightful effects of this practice on the domestic felicity of Utah are thus described by one of the organs of Mormonism: --

    Each wife knows that the other wives are as much entitled to the attention of the husband as she herself; she knows that such attentions are not criminal, therefore she does not lose confidence in him; though she may consider him partial in some respects, yet she has the consolation to know that his attentions towards them are strictly virtuous. (Seer, i. 125.)

    There is no particular rule as regards the residence of the different branches of a family. It is very frequently the case that they all reside in the same dwelling, and take hold unitedly with the greatest cheerfulness of the different branches of household or domestic business; eating at the same table, and kindly looking after each others' welfare, while the greatest peace and harmony prevail year after year. Their children play and associate together with the greatest affection as brothers and sisters, while each mother apparently manifests as much kindness and tender regard for the children of the others as for her own. (Seer, i. 42.)

    This last result of the system is so unquestionably miraculous, that it is almost sufficient of itself to convert an unbelieving world. Notwithstanding such evidence, however, the Gentile Gunnison presumes to speak unfavorably of the effects of this sacred ordinance. He thinks that it leads to the depression of women, and tells us that they are disrespectfully treated by the "saints," as an inferior order of beings: --

    Gentile gallantry (says he), is declared by the Mormons to have reversed the natural position of the sexes. To give the post of honor or of comfort to the lady is absurd. If there is but one seat, they say it of right belongs to the gentleman, and it is the duty and place of a man to lead the way, and let his fair partner enter the room behind him. (G. 156.)

    He also speaks of polygamy as "the great cause of disruption in families," and affirms that the children are "the most lawless and profane of all that have come under his observation."

    We have already spoken of the legal and political consequences which may probably arise from this custom. We may add that it can scarcely fail to contain the seeds of internal discontent. For the industrious inhabitants of Utah must find out before long that by the toil of their own sinews they are maintaining the sumptuous harems of their chiefs. Nor is it possible that in a new colony the female population can be sufficiently abundant to allow this Eastern luxury to the powerful without compelling many of the poor to remain unwedded. Already, indeed, one of the toasts at a recent public dinner in Utah -- "Wanted immediately more ladies!" -- seems to indicate dissatisfaction.

    We cannot leave this part of our subject without mentioning that a graver charge than that of polygamy has been brought against the Mormon leaders. The depositions published by their opponents at Nauvoo accused them, not of openly adding to their domestic establishment, but of secretly corrupting female virtue, under the pretext of spiritual marriage. An affidavit made by one Martha Brotherton details very circumstantially an attempt made by Brigham Young, to seduce her under this pretence. We arc inclined to believe her statement, because she explicitly refers to Joseph's "new revelation," which was at that time carefully concealed from all but the initiated. Nor are there wanting intimations in the documents already published by the church that something more is behind. Thus the first revelation on polygamy concludes with the following promise: "As pertaining unto this law, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter." (XV. 8.) And so we read in the "Star" (XV. 91.), "Ours is a progressive system, and we must progress with it, or be left behind. If you are found obedient to counsel, nothing will stumble you, neither spiritual wifeism, nor anything else."

    Nevertheless, if such secret privileges are permitted to the Mormon chiefs, they must be used with extreme caution. Even the sacred character of an Apostle would hardly save him from the vengeance of an injured husband, accustomed to the summary proceedings of Lynchian jurisprudence. Last year a Mormon of the name of Egan was brought to trial for murdering the seducer of his wife, and (though admitting the fact) was acquitted.

                                  M O R M O N I S M.                               155

    by a Utah jury. Nor, whatever may be character of the leaders, can we hesitate to believe the almost unanimous testimony of travellers to the general morality of the population. Indeed, the laborious and successful industry which we have described could not characterize a debauched and licentious people

    We have dwelt at some length on the Mormon polygamy, not only on account of its intrinsic importance, but because its disclosure is so recent that previous writers have been uable to give accurate information on the subject. The ethical teaching of thc sect is not distinguished by any other very remarkable peculiarity. The chief duty impressed upon the saints is the punctual payment of their tithes. We can scarcely open a page of their official publications without finding strenuous exhortation to the fulfilment of that indispensable obligation. Next to this cardinal virtue, they seem to rate the merit of abstinence from fermented liquors and tobacco. This, however, is not absolutely insisted on, but only urged as a "precept of wisdom." It was enforced by Joseph, whose practice did not square with his precepts, as he was often drunk himself. But his sagacity perceived that the money squandered by his disciples on gin and cigars must be diverted from the treasury of the Church.

    The virtue of patriotism is also a frequent theme of Mormon eulogy. By publicly enjoining it, they endeavor to refute the charges of treason so often brought against them by their enemies. Hence the anniversary of the 4th of July (the birthday of American independence) is celebrated with special jubilation in the city of Salt Lake, and the tree of liberty is duly refreshed with torrents of rhetoric, and also with more material libations. The official list of toasts given at one of the last of these festivities, shows that the citizens cling with equal attachment to the "domestic institutions" of Virginia and of Deseret; for the 12th toast is Slavery, and the 13th Polygamy. * The 15th, which we suppose, is meant to point the moral of the other two, is "THE GREAT NATIONAL MOTTO, --"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    Such festive meetings, which are very frequent, generally conclude with dancing, an exercise, the practice of which must be also included in the ethical system of Mormonism. In saltatorial, as in military movements, the priesthood occupy the foremost place. The president leads off, and bishops, patriarchs, and elders are to be seen figuring enthusiastically, "not," says Colonel Kane, "in your minutes or other mortuary processions of Gentiles, but in jigs and reels." When the temple is completed, these public dances are to form a part of the regular worship.

    But the most remarkable feature in the practical working of Mormonism, considered as a Religion, is the almost entire absence of the devotional element. In the addresses of its teachers, we find no exhortation to the duties of private prayer, of self-examination, or of penitence. In their writings we can trace no aspirations after communion with God, after spirituality of mind, after purification of the affections. All is "of the earth, earthy." One of the ablest writers against Christianity has lately stated it as his chief objection to the Christian System, that it discourages the love of earthly things, and requires its votaries to set their affections on things above. He proposes to amend the precept of Saint John, -- "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the, world; the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," by simply leaving out the word not. Mormonism seems exactly to realize the ideal of this distinguished controversialist; and, as he does not mention it as one of the phases through which his faith has hitherto passed, we cannot but hope that he may still find among the Latter Day Saints that resting-place which he tells us that he vainly sought among the Craig-and-Midlerites.

    This mundane character of Mormonism faithfully perpetuates the type impressed on it by its founder. Joseph Smith was "a jolly fellow," says one of his admirers, and not in the least methodistical. "His was a laughter-loving, cheerful religion," says Mr. Gunnison. The General Epistles of the "Church" exemplify the same peculiarity. The Gospel which they proclaim consists of directions for emigration, instructions for the setting up of machinery, the management of iron-works, the manufacture of nails, the spinning of cotton-yarn, and the breeding of stock. The same undevotional aspect is exhibited by their public worship, at least in Utah; for in Europe reserve is used, and their practice assimilated to that of other sects. The service begins with instrumental music, the band performing "anthems, marches, and waltzes;" "which," says Mr. Gunnison eulogistically, "drives away all sombre feelings."An ex-tempore prayer follows, which invokes blessings on the president, officers, and members of the Church, and curses upon their enemies. Then comes a discussion, in which any one may speak. This part of the service is usually a conversation on local business, like that in an English vestry meeting. The sermon follows;

    * The 18th toast is printed as follows "Poly-Ticks and Poly-Gamy;" a piece of wit which seems to have been highly appreciated. (XIV. 566.) With regard to slavery, it should be observed, that according to Joseph's revelations, the negroes are of an inferior race, and that no person of color can be admitted into the Church. (XIV. 472.)

    156                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    but even that is not confined to religious exhortation, but embraces such questions as the discipline of the Legion, the California gold digging, and the politics of the Territory. The most curious specimen of these discourses which we have discovered is the following, which we take from the official report: --

    Elder George Smith was called upon to preach an iron sermon. He rose, and took into the stand [pulpit] one of the fire-irons, [the first productions of the Utah foundries.] Holding the same over his head, he cried out "Stereotype edition," and descended amid the cheers of the saints. The choir then sung the doxology, and the benediction was pronounced by Lorenzo Snow. (XV. 492.)

    This kind of religious service would satisfy the aspirations of Mr. Carlyle himself; whose rather lengthy sermons on the text laborare est orare are thus condensed into pantomime by "Elder George Smith."

    The Mormon collection of hymns, which we have mentioned at the head of this Article, might lead to an impression of the religion different from that which we have here given. But when we come to examine it, we find, in the first place, that it is published for the English congregations; and, secondly, that nine-tenths of the hymns (including all which possess the slightest merit, devotional or poetical) are stolen from the collections in use among English Protestants, especially from the Wesleyan hymn-book. The few original compositions which Mormonism has produced are execrable, both in taste and feeling. In addition ~o the samples which we have already given, we may add the following: --

    JOSEPH'S APOTHEOSIS.                         

    (AIR -- The sea! The sea! The open sea!)

    He's free! He's free! The Prophet's free!
    He is where he will ever be.
    His home's in the sky; he dwells with the Gods;
    Far from the furious rage of mobs.
    He died, he died, for those he loved.
    He reigns, he reigns, in the realms above.
                   (Hymns, 338.)

    SAME SUBJECT.                         

    Hail to the Prophet ascended to heaven,
       Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain
    Mingling with Gods he can plan for his brethren;
       Death cannot conquer the hero again.

    Praise to his memory! he died as a martyr!
       Honored and blest be his ever great name!
    Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
       Stain Illinois, while the earth lauds his fame.

    Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven,
       Earth must atone for the blood of that man;
    Wake up the world for the conflict of justice,
       Millions shall know brother Joseph again.
                   (Ibid. 325.)

    THE DEEDS OF JOSEPH.                         

    Who took the plates the angels showed?
    And brought them from their dark abode?
    And made them plain by power of God?
             The prophet Joseph Smith

    Who did receive the power to raise
    The Church of Christ in latter days?
    And call on men to mend their ways?
             The prophet Joseph Smith.

    Who bore the scorn, the rage, the ire,
    Of those who preach for filthy hire?
    Was called by them impostor, liar?
             The prophet Joseph Smith.
                    (XIV 304.)

    We must not forget that the whole fabric which we have hitherto described, both doctrinal, ethical, and liturgical, risight be changed at once by a new revelation uttered by the president of the Church. The only limitation to his power is the necessity of securing the assent of his followers, which, though not theoretically essential, is practically indispensable. Loss of popularity must of necessity entail dethronement. We have already observed the skill with which the Mormon hierarchy is constructed, so as to enlist in its service all the available talent of the sect, and thus to guard as far as possible against the danger of rebellion. We need not recapitulate the long list of names by which its various grades are designated. The quaintness of some of these give, at first sight, an air of ridicule to the whole; but, however ludicrous the nomenclature, the organization itself is too skillful to be ridiculous. The supreme authority is nominally in "the Presidency," which consists of the President and his two Councillors. But, in reality, the First President is sole monarch, for his assessors, though they may remonstrate, have no power of resisting his decrees. The President himself; according to Smith's statement (XV. 13.) is, "appointed by revelation," and acknowledged by the voice of the Church." But Brigham Young has modified this declaration, by announcing that, although constituted a Prophet by revelation, he holds the office of President by the choice of the people (XV. 488). And, in fact, a vote that he be sustained in his office is passed at every General Conference. It would seem, therefore, to be theoretically possible that the divinely-appointed "Seer, Prophet, and Revelator," might be deposed by the Church. But the exact limits which define the powers of the President and Conference

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    are left as indeterminate as in the similar case of Pope and General Council. Another change effected under the administration of Young has been, the assumption by the Apostolic College of a paramount authority unknown to the original constitution. Many of the apostles, however, are generally absent from head-quarters on missionary journeys, and the acting senate is a council of the twelve, selected from among the high priests. The Bishops are financial officers, employed in the collection of the tithe. The Patriarchs are charged with the special function of pronouncing benedictions on individuals. Joseph Smith, senior, the Prophet's father, was formerly Patriarch, and, even in the early days of Mormon poverty, received for this service ten dollars a week (more than 100/. a year), and "his expenses found." (XV: 308.) -- The present chief Patriarch (John Smith, an uncle of Joseph's) no doubt gets better pay, and we see that the unhappy old man has lately published a solemn affirmation of the truth of his nephew's miracles. (XIV. 97.) In subordination to these higher officers is a great variety of minor functionaries, each of whom, from the lowest to the highest, has a direct interest in strengthening the hierarchical government, in which he holds a place, and by which he may mount, as his present superiors have mounted, from poverty to wealth, and from contempt to power. Thus all work zealously together in maintaining ecclesiastical discipline, and (to use the words of one of them) enforce upon the people "the importance of being governed by the Priesthood in all things." (XIV. 294.)

    But whatever may be the merits of such an organization, its success must depend in great measure on the character of its head. The Jesuits would never have reconquered Europe for the Pope, had not the first three or four generals of the Order been men of eminent ability. Mormonism would probably have perished after the death of Smith, had the Apostles shown less sagacity in their selection of their present chief. Brigham Young was the son of a farmer in the Eastern States (XV. 642.), and was brought up to the trade of a carpenter. He joined the sect early, and rose to eminence by his serviceable obedience. He is a man of action, not of speculation; distinguished for coarse strength and toughness, physical and moral; and these qualities have been needed for the rough work he has had to do. His first important charge was the mission to England in 1837, when he founded the British Churches. Shortly before that epoch, he was solemnly set apart "to go forth from land to land, and from sea to sea." And we read that "the blessing of Brigham Young was that he should be strong in body, that he might go forth and gather the elect." (Smith's Autob. XV. 206). We have related how, after the death of Smith, he supplanted Rigdon, and rose from the chairmanship of the Apostles to the Presidency, and how wisely he led his followers through the wilderness, and planted them in the land of promise. By his appointment as governor of the territory of Utah, his character received the stamp of public approbation from the supreme Government of United States; whence he reaped also the solid advantage of a salary of $2500. Besides this official income, he has the uncontrolled management of the ecclesiastical revenues, including the tithing of his subjects, foreign and domestic. We learn, therefore, without surprise, that he has acquired considerable property, and that he is able not only to maintain a suitable establishment and "princely carriages" (G. 63), but also to support a family of forty wives and about a hundred children. His prosperity has excited some jealousy among his people; and we find him, in a recent speech, remonstrating with those who "complain of me living upon tithing." (XV. 161.) But hitherto he has succeeded in suppressing such murmurs by his frank and popular bearing, and by the proofs he has given of indefatigable zeal for the public interest. The official documents which he publishes from time to time, and especially his Messages to local the legislature, show the illiterate sagacity of the Rusticus abnormis sapiens, and exhibit a curious mixture of business-like statement with Yankee bombast. As a specimen of the "the latter, we may take the following description of the Abolitionist party, from a recent message: --

    The fanatical bigot, with the spirit of northern supremacy, seeks to enwrap in sobrilegious flame the altar of his country's liberties, offering an unholy sacrifice which, arising in encircling wreaths of dark and turbid columns, emitting in fitful glare the burning lava, betokens erewliile her consummation. (XV. 422.)

    When opposed, the President is apt to become overbearing and scurrilous. Thus, in his controversy with Judge Brocehus, he tells his correspondent that either he is "either profoundly ignorant or willfully wicked, one of the two." "You manifest a choice," he adds, "to leave an incensed public in incense [sic] still."

    And farther: --

    When the spirit of persecution manifests itself in the flippancy of rhetoric for female insult and desecration, it is time that I forbear to hold my peace, lest the thundering anathemas of nations, born and unborn, should rest upon my head, when the marrow of my bones shall be illy [sic] prepared to sustain the threatened blow. (XlV. 402.)

    Yet the President can write better than this, when he restricts himself to less ambitious

    158                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    prose. His correspondence with Dr. Adams, for example (Ibid. 213), is a model of shrewd sense, not unmixed with a touch of humor, and shows that he is well able to detect an impostor. This, indeed, is not surprising, on the principle of that ancient rule which prescribes the agents most serviceable in thief-catching.

    Next to the President in importance, though not in official rank, stands the apostle Orson Pratt. As Young in action, so Pratt in speculation, is the leader of the sect. Like so many intelligent and half-educated men, he has greedily received the teaching of the modern Pantheistic philosophy, from its popular interpreters, American and English. From such sources he has compounded that strange jumble of incongruous dogmas which we have before at tempted to describe. Thus he probably hopes to enlist some recruits from the party of "Young America," who may be induced to swallow the absurdities of Mormonism in a non-natural sense, washed down with a lubricating dose of mysticism. He has himself substantial reasons for his allegiance to the cause. He holds the pleasantest appointment which his Church can bestow upon an intelligent man, being its resident agent at Washington. His official duty (according to the tenor of his diploma) is "to write and publish periodicals and books illustrative of the principles and doctrines of the Church;" and it is his prerogative "to receive and collect tithing of the saints throughout all his field of labor." (XV. 42).

    His elder brother, Parley Pratt, though individually less prominent than Orson, represents an element of Mormonism far more essential to its success. He may be considered as chief of the Mormon missionaries. The zeal and activity of these emissaries, though it has been much exaggerated, is still remarkable. The Governors of the sect are good judges of character; and it is their plan to select the restless and enterprising spirits, who, perhaps, may threaten disturbance at home, and to utilize their fanaticism, while they flatter their vanity, by sending them as representatives of the Church to distant fields of labor. Their method of establishing a mis sion is a foreign country is as follows. -- Amongst their converts, taken at random from the mixed population of the Union, there are natives to be found of every nation in Europe. They select a native of the country which they wish to attack, and join him as interpreter to the other emissaries whom they are about to despatch to the land of his birth. On arriving at their destination, the missionaries are supported by the funds of the Church, till they can maintain themselves out of the offerings of their proselytes. Meanwhile, they employ themselves in learning the language, and circulating tracts in defence of their creed; and then sit down to the weary task of translating the "Book of Mormon."

    By this process, they have formed churches in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Malta, Gibraltar, Hindostan, Australia, and the Sandwich Islands; and besides these, they have recently sent missionaries to Siam, Ceylon; China, the West Indies, Guiana, and Chili. The "Book of Mormon" has been published in French, German, Italian, Danish, Polynesian, and Welsh. Besides various tracts which arc circulated by these missionaries, they have established regular periodicals in French, Welsh, and Danish.* We should observe, however, that of the missions above enumerated, the first and last (those to Denmark and the Sandwich Islands) have alone been really successful. In Denmark, at the beginning of 1853, they possessed 1400 baptized converts, and had also despatched 297 more to Utah. In the Sandwich Islands they had baptized 589, before their mission had been established twelve months. These proselytes were all previously Christians, converted from heathenism by American missionaries. The other foreign missions have as yet only succeeded in making a very small number of proselytes. The accounts published by their founders are often exceedingly absurd. Among the most grotesque is the record of the Italian mission, by the apostle, Lorenzo Snow. He begins by informing us that he sailed from Southampton to a place called "Avre de grace." In due time he reached the valley of the Waldenses, "who have received many privileges from the Sardinian Government." With him were three other Mormons --the first, an Americo-Sicilan; the second, an Englishman; and the third, a Scotchman. The four met on a hill in Piedmont, which they named Mount Brigham. They record their proceedings in the style of a Yankee public meeting, as follows: --

    Moved by Elder Snow -- That the Church of Latter Day Saints be now organized in Italy. Seconded end carried.

    Moved by Elder Stenhouse -- That Elder Snow, of the quorum of twelve apostles, be sustained President of the Church in Italy. Seconded and carried.

    Moved by Elder Snow. --That Elder Stenhouse be Secretary of the Church in Italy. Seconded and carried.

    Thus was formed the "Church of Italy," which contained at the time of its formation not a single Italian member. Its founders boast,

    * Namely, 'Le Reflecteur,' published monthly at Lausann~ the 'Udgorn Seion,' weekly, at Menthyr; and the 'Skandinaviens Sterne,' twice a month, at Copenhagen.

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    however, that they have contrived to deceive the Roman Catholic authorities, by publishing a Tract under the title of "The Voice of Joseph," with a woodcut of a Nun for frontispiece, and a vignette of the Cross upon the title-page. Under these false colors, they hope soon to win their way.

    But Great Britain is the true theatre of Mormon triumph. An official census is published half-yearly, whence we learn that in July 1853, the British Saints amounted to 30,690, and contained 40 "Seventies," 10 High Priests, 2578 Elders, 1854 Priests, 1416 Teachers, and 834 Deacons. * Thus one-fifth of the whole number are invested with some official function. We may add, that 25,000 copies of the "Millennial Star," the Mormon organ, are sold weekly.

    To explain the causes of this success, gained by the preachers of a superstition so preposterous, is a most important part of our task. Yet it needs no long investigation, for these causes are not difficult to detect. In the first place, it may he laid down as an axiom that every impostor may at once obtain a body of disciples large enough to form the nucleus of a sect, provided he be endowed with sufficient impudence. This is true not only of religious empires, but of all speculators on human credulity. What quack ever failed to sell his pills, if he mixed them with the proper quantum of mendacity? The homoepathist, the spirit-rapper, and the phrenologist, each attracts his clique of believers. All this is only an illustration of the Hudibrastic maxim: --

           Because the pleasure is as great
           In being cheated as to cheat.

    In religion, Joseph Smith has had many predecessors, no less successful than himself. The German Anabaptists, who resembled him both in their pretensions to inspiration, and in their practice of polygamy, held temporary sway over cities larger than Nauvoo. Not many years are past since Joanna Southcote persuaded thousands to accept her as a New Messiah. Nay even now the Agapemone of Bridgewater is full of crazy fanatics, who maintain an impostor more blasphemous than Brigham, in a state as princely as that of the President of Utah. The weakness of credulity in some, the strength of madness in others, ensures to every fraudulent pretender the fulcrum which he needs. The latter cause, indeed, has no doubt contributed the corner-stone to many Mormon churches besides that of Hamburg; the founder of which ingenuously confesses, "the woman whom I baptized first here was in the madhouse for a long time. She was possessed by an evil spirit for fourteen years."

    Thus a heap of materials lies ever ready for the torch of the religious incendiary. But in general the straw and stubble burns out as quickly as it kindles; and even if a few ashes continue to smoulder (as, for instance, there are still a few Southcotians), yet the flame has died away. But Mormonism has already out- lived this ephemeral stage of sectarian existence, and after twenty years of growth, is now more vigorous than ever. The first and most important cause of its permanent power, is its claim to possess a living prophet and a continuous inspiration. Its votaries tell us that they are not left, like other men, in anxious uncertainty, but are guided in every step by the audible voice and visible hand of God. In every age there are multitudes who would gladly suffer the moral problems of life to be solved for them by an outward authority. And an age remarkable for religious earnestness will be especially exposed to the seductions of those who pretend to reveal to it with definite accuracy the will of Heaven. The most conspicuous example of this in our days has been the conversion of so many truth-seeking men to the Church of Rome. We have all heard their enthusiastic. description of their present happiness contrasted with their former distress. Once they were compelled to grope their way in darkness, or only lighted by the dim lamp of duty, and the disputed precepts of Scripture. Now they have emerged into the clear sunshine of heavenly day, and have only to obey, at every turn, the voice which cries so clearly, "this is the way,

    * The most numerous Church in England is that of Manchester, which contains 3166 members; the next is that of Glamorganshire, which contains 2338, mostly at Merthyr. In the very valuable and authentic report on religious worship, by Mr. Horace Mann, which has lately appeared under the auspices of Mr. Graham, the Registrar General, as superintendent of the Census, there is an account of the Mormons, p. cvi.-cxii., from which we extract the following passage: 'In England and Wales there were, in 1851, reported by the Census officers, as many as 222 places of worship belonging to this body: most of them, however, being merely rooms. The number of sittings in these places (making an allowance for 53, the accommodation in which was not returned), was 30,783. The attendance on the Census Sunday (making an estimated addition for 9 chapels from which no intelligence on this point was received) was -- morning, 7,517; afternoon, 11,481; evening, 16,628. The preachers, it appears, are far from unsuccessful in their efforts to obtain disciples; -- the surprising confidence and zeal with which they promulgate their creed, the prominence they give to the exciting topics of the speedy coming of the Saviour, and his personal millennial reign and the attractiveness to many minds of the idea of an infallible church, -- relying for its evidences and its guidance upon revelations made perpetually to its rulers, -- these, with other influences, have combined to give the Mormon movement a position and importance with the working classes, which, perhaps, should draw to it much more than it has yet received of the attention of our public teachers.'

    160                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    walk ye in it." But these converts have been chiefly confined to the higher classes. Englishmen in the lower and less educated ranks are seldom allured to the Church of Rome; being repelled from it by a feeling of its anti-national character, and by the appearance of idolatry in its ceremonial. The bold pretensions of a Protestant sect to more than Roman infallibility, satisfy their longing for religious certainty, without shocking their hereditary instincts. The power of such an attraction is proved by the fact that even the Irvingite Church still possesses congregations in many large towns, although its claims to miraculous gifts have become faint and hesitating, and its members are not proselyting fanatics, but quiet and unobtrusive dreamers. The Mormonites are of a very different temper. Eager and impatient to propagate their sect, peremptory in their demand of obedience, unscrupulous in their assertions, and unhesitatingly promising absolute assurance to their proselytes. By their revelations, their miracles, and their prophecies, faith is changed into sight. So their organ tells us: --

    Latter Day Saints KNOW that the Lord has spoken in this age. They KNOW that angels do now converse with men. They KNOW that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are manifested in these days by dreams, visions, revelations, tongues, prophecies, miracles, healings. Latter Day Saints have come to a KNOWLEDGE of the truth. (XVI. 444.)

    Secondly, the success of Mormonism is due to its organization, which has enabled it to employ the obedience of its votaries to the best advantage. The submission rendered to a voice which men believe divine, supplies a motive force of unlimited power; and when this is applied by well-constructed machinery, the results which may be effected are almost incalculable. When the energies of masses are directed by a single mind, wonders will be accomplished, even though (as often happens in military achievements) the service is rendered with sullen indifference or extorted by compulsion. But when the obedience is the obedience of the will, and when the unity of action is blended with a unity of heart and purpose, the results of such a concentration of moral force upon any given point are not more really surprising than the raising of the Menai bridge by the hydrostatic paradox.

    Thirdly, we may attribute the welcome which Mormonism has met from our working classes to the prevalence of discontent among the poor against the rich. The repinings of labor against capital, which have covered England with strikes and Europe with barricades, are at once sanctioned and consoled by the missionaries of the "Saints." They invite their hearers to fly from oppression to that happy land where the poor are lords of the soil, where no cruel mill-owners can trample on the 'rights of labor,' where social inequalities are unknown, and where all the citizens are united by the bonds of a universal brotherhood and a common faith. In the minutes of a recent "General Conference," we read that "Elder Taylor related a conversation which he had held with a French Communist, wherein he proved that the Saints have done all which the French Communists have failed to establish." (XV. 389.) And certainly they may appeal with just pride to the contrast presented by Nauvoo in its decay with the flourishing city which they abandoned. For M. Cabet's Socialist (its present possessors have been unable even to preserve from ruin the farms and workshops 'which Mormon industry had left ready to their hands. To such promises of substantial comfort these skillful propagandists and glowing pictures of the millennial glories which are soon to dawn on" Zion;" gratifying, yet surpassing, the aspirations after a "good time coming," which fill the dreams of their democratic converts.

    Another, and perhaps not the least influential, aid to Mormon proselytism, is the adaptation of their materializing theology to the system taught by the extreme section of popular Protestantism. That Judaizing spirit which would supersede the New Testament by the Old; which imposes Mosaic ordinances as Christian laws; which turns even the new dispensation into a string of verbal shibboleths; * prepares the mind for the corresponding dogmas of Mormonism. But while the Mormon teachers fall in with this popular system, they carry out its carnal views to a more logical development. Thus they have pushed its Judaizing tendencies (as we have seen) into actual Judaism. And even while discarding the morality of. the New Testament, they found their hierarchy on the most servile adherence to its letter; and maintain that any departure from its nomenclature in the designations of ecclesiastical officers is indefensible. It is instructive to observe how easily this formalism, which is usually regarded as preeminently Protestant, blends with their Romanizing attribution of a magic power to outward rites, an inherent sanctity to earthly temples, and an efficacious virtue to offerings for the dead; for, in truth, these several modes of substituting a formal for a spiritual religion, whether patronized by Pope or Presbyter, are only diverse manifestations of the same idolatrous superstition.

    * We have often regretted that Coleridge should have applied Lessing's term of Bibliolatry (a word sure to be misrepresented) to this tendency of popular religionism. Grammotolatry would have been a better word for which St. Paul protests.

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    Such are the principal causes which explain the rapid growth of this singular sect. But we do not believe them sufficient to secure its permanent stability; for, in the first place, when the necessity for increasing the population of Utah has passed away, the zeal for proselytism which it has bred must burn less warmly. Secondly, that agglomeration of the sect upon a single spot, which, up to a certain point, gives strength and centralization, contains also an element of weakness; for it makes the Church of Mormon local instead of catholic, and tends to restrict the converts to that small number who intend to emigrate. Thirdly, the success of the leaders in rendering the government of Utah theocratic may ultimately prove suicidal. At present the democracy is merged in the theocracy. Even the members of the Legislature, nominally elected by universal suffrage, are really named by the President, and returned without a contest. But this very blending of the two elements of sovereignty tend to confound the one with the other. By a gradual change in the public sentiment, the Church might be swallowed up in the State; the forms might remain while the spirit was extinct; the hierarchy of Apostles and Elders might continue nominally supreme, but might become a body of mere civil functionaries; for it will be remembered that every ecclesiastical appointment is at present submitted twice a year to a popular vote. Thus even the office of President itself might, without any revolutionary change, pass quietly into an elective magistracy. Again, there is a possibility of disruption upon the death of every President. It may not always happen, as after Smith's murder, that the whole Church will support a single candidate. And (as we have already shown) the rules which fix the mode of appointment are contradictory. Lastly, we are told by those who have resided in Utah, that the younger citizens do not inherit the faith of their fathers. * A race is growing up which laughs at the plates and prophecies of Joseph. This is the symptom of a natural reaction; the credulity of one generation followed by the skepticism of the next. Meanwhile, as wealth increases, so will instruction and intelligence; and since no educated man can really believe the silly fables of Mormonism, and only a small minority can be bribed to profess a faith which they do not feel, the unbelief of the more enlightened must ultimately descend to the masses. When this happens, the theocracy must be violently broken up; unless it should be peaceably metamorphosed (as we have supposed above) into a form of civil government. In such a case, the residuary religion of Mormonism would probably take its place among Christian sects, alongside of Swedenborgianism and Irvingism. It would easily rid itself of its more Antiebristian features, by the issue of new revelations, which should supersede those of Rigdon and Brigham. The abandonment of polygamy would do less violence to the system than its introduction: for it was originally forbidden; and its subsequent permission might be explained as a temporary privilege, granted to the saints, martyrs, and apostles, who suffered and bled for the faith. The book of "Doctrines and Covenants" is mostly of so ephemeral a character, that it might easily be suffered to drop into oblivion. Thus a belief in the Book of Mormon might be left, as the only distinctive symbol of the sect; a belief which would not more affect their practice than if they believed in the history of Jack the Giant Killer. But the decline of Mormonism which we anticipate is only matter of conjecture, -- its rise and progress is matter of fact, Nor ought we to neglect the lessons taught by its success. In the first place, we may learn not to expect too much from the extension of popular education. Two-thirds of the Mormon converts are men who have gained all which it is possible for the ordinary routine of primary instruction to bestow upon the mass of the working classes in the few years during which they can be left at school. This is no reason for relaxing in our efforts to advance the civilization of the poor. On the contrary, it is a great reason for superadding some machinery which may attract their youth to those fountains of which their childhood can barely taste. ** Yet even when the most is done that can be done, we must not expect too high a standard of attainment. The information gained by tired workmen in the hours of relaxation must needs be somewhat loose and smattering, except in the case of the most powerful intellects.

    Another lesson forced on us by the success of Mormonism, especially concerns the teachers of religion. Many victims of this miserable imposture might have been saved had our popular preachers .taught their hearers to draw the line of separation clearly between the religion of the New Testament and that of

    * (G. 160.).

    ** One of the best means is by establishing 'free libraries,' such as have been instituted in Liverpool, Manchester, and elsewhere, under a recent Act. But if they are to do good, these establishments should be careful not to circulate books likely to corrupt the morals of the people. The first report of the Manchester library gives a list of the books most frequently read and at the head of all we find 'Roderick Random!' We cannot see time necessity of gratuitously supplying the population with a book which (if we may venture to alter a phrase of Johnson's) combines the morals of a pimp with the manners of a scavenges. Lord Campbell, the other day, in sentencing a seller of obscene books to imprisonment, obseved with a noble indignation, that the crime was greater than that of a poisoner.

    162                               M O R M O N I S M.                              

    the Old. But on this point we have already said enough in the foregoing pages.

    Finally, if it be humiliating to confess that this fanatical superstition has made more dupes in England than in all the world besides; yet the instrumentality by which they have been gained also contains matter of encouragement. The same principle of organization which has been so powerful in the cause of error, might do good service to the cause of truth. Amongst the Mormons, as we have seen, one in five participates in the ecclesiastical government. Let us suppose that in like manner the religious laity of the Church of England were invested with official functions. Let us suppose that they were made to feel themselves members of a living body; essential parties to its acts; sharers in its responsibilities; doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Surely if, among the millions who worship in our churches, we will not say one in five, but even one in fifty, were thus animated to exertion, their achievements in rescuing their countrymen from the slavery of ignorance and vice might at least redeem the future, if they could not remedy the past. Meanwhile, if the great national institution of the church seem to fall short of its high calling, and to do but half its task, we may console ourselves with the recollection that it works in fetters, and that vital circulation may yet be restored to organs frozen by a forced inaction. For it can never be more difficult to loose than to bind; and though it might he impossible to create, it is easy to emancipate.


    - 1852 -


    R E P O S I T O R Y.

    Vol. VII.                                     London & Edinburgh, 1852.                                     No. 53.

        [ 01 ]


    The origin, growth, and present condition of the singular sect calling themselves the 'Church of Latter-day Saints,' form a curious and instructive chapter in the history of fanaticism. Within the space of twenty years since they first sprung into existence, they have gone on rapidly increasing in influence and numbers, and are now an established and organised society, amounting to not less than 300,000 people. They have home the brunt of calumny and misrepresentation, endured the severest persecutions, and, in spite of every conceivable obstruction, triumphantly vindicated the earnestness and sincerity of their mistaken faith, and the practical objects which they have considered it their special mission to realise in the world. Their progress within the last ten years has been extraordinarily rapid, and is utterly unparalleled in the history of any other body of religionists. They are now a distinct and

                                                HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            2

    peculiar community, with a complete and effective organisation: they possess and enjoy in common great wealth and material resources; their final settlement of Utah or Deseret, in New California, is in the highest degree flourishing, peaceable, and orderly; and they appear not unlikely to become an important and independent nation, whose influence, politically and socially, may be expected to affect, and possibly to modify, the older and neighbouring forms of civilisation. To trace the beginnings and progressive advancements of so remarkable a people, and thus to render their opinions, actions, sufferings, and successes familiar to a more extensive class of readers, may be considered work not unsuitable for us in the present pages; and therefore, with as much impartiality, soberness, and fair appreciation as may be at our command, and without an^ disposition or temptation to speak contemptuously of their peculiarities, we will here endeavour to represent these much-derided Mormons and their proceedings in such a way as shall seem warranted by their actual character and achievements.

    It is generally known that the founder and acknowledged 'prophet' of this people was a young man named Joseph Smith. Between twenty and thirty years ago, when he first attracted notice, he was living with his father on a small farm near the town of Manchester, in me state of New York. He is said to have been a person of a loose and irregular way of life, and this was afterwards urged as an objection to his pretensions: but he used to reply confidently, that he had never done anything so bad as was reported of King David, whom his orthodox enemies could not consistently deny to have been 'a man after God's own heart.' That he was a good deal of a sinner, there is sufficient reason to believe, but yet it does not appear that he was given up for any length of time to habitual and confirmed wickedness. Very early in life he had decided impressions of the religious sort, and his mind seems from the first to have taken a fanatical and enthusiastic turn. We are told that when he was 'about fourteen or fifteen years of age, he began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a future state of existence.' He used to retire to a secret place in a grove, a short distance from his father's house, and there occupy himself for many hours in prayer and meditation. Once when so engaged, he 'saw a very bright and glorious light in the heavens above, which at first seemed to be at a considerable distance;' but as he continued praying, 'the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him, and as it drew nearer, it increased in brightness and magnitude, so that by the time it reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness around was illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner.' The account of this vision, which is given by a Mormon apostle, Mr Orson Pratt, goes on to say, that the light 'continued descending slowly, until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation

    3                                             HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    throughout his whole system; and immediately his mind was caught away from the natural objects with which he was surrounded, and he was inwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in their features and likeness.' These wondrous beings informed him that his sins were forgiven; and they furthermore disclosed to him, that all the existing religious denominations were 'believing in incorrect doctrines;' and that, consequently, 'none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom.' He was expressly forbidden to attach himself to any of them, and received a promise that in due time 'the true doctrine, the fulness of the gospel,' should be graciously revealed to him; 'after which the vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and peace indescribable.'

    But inasmuch as Joseph was very young, and was assailed from time to time by those inevitable temptations which beset the carnal mind, he subsequently became 'entangled in the vanities of the world,' and for awhile demeaned himself so much like a 'vessel of dishonour,' as to be rendered temporarily unfit for seeing visions. Moved eventually, however, to repentance and amendment, and again devoting himself to the habit of secret prayer, this gift again returned to him. On the 21st of September 1823, the miraculous light reappeared, and 'it seemed as though the house was filled with consuming fire.' Its sudden appearance, as aforetime, 'occasioned a shock of sensation;' and what is more remarkable, we learn that it was 'visible to the extremities of the body.' This time only a single 'personage' stood before him. 'His countenance was as lightning,' yet of so 'pleasing, innocent, and glorious an appearance,' that, as the visionary beheld it, every fear was banished from his heart, and an indescribable serenity pervaded and possessed his soul. 'This glorious being declared himself to be an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and also to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their posterity, was at hand to be fulfilled; that the great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in its fulness to be preached in power unto all nations, that a people might be prepared with faith and righteousness for the millennial reign of universal peace and joy.' The reader, doubtless, is now prepared to hear, that on this occasion Joseph received an intimation that he was 'called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in this glorious dispensation.' By way of preparing him for the work, the brilliant 'personage' gave him some verbal revelations, informing him, amongst other things, that the American Indians were a remnant of Israel; that when they originally emigrated to America they were a pious and enlightened people, enjoying the pecuhar favour

                                                HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            4

    and blessing of God; that prophets and inspired writers had been appointed to keep a sacred history of events transpiring among them; that the said history was handed down for many generations, till at length the people fell into great wickedness, and afterwards the records were hidden, 'to preserve them from the hands of the wicked,' who were seeking to destroy them; that these records contained 'many sacred revelations pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great events of the last days;' and that, finally, the time was come when, to accomplish the divine purposes, they were to be brought forth to the knowledge of the people, Joseph Smith was given to understand that, if he should prove faithful, he was to be the instrument favoured in bringing these sacred writings before the world. And with this announcement the shining personage disappeared, although he seems to have come back twice in the course of the night to repeat his communication, and to add a thing or two he had forgotten.

    Up to this time Joseph Smith had been in the habit of working on his father's farm, and on the morning after this vision he went to his labour as usual, apparently not supposing that his mission as a messenger of a new and peculiar gospel was yet to be commenced. But while he was at work, the angel again appeared to him, and gave him direct instructions to go and 'view the records,' which for many ages had been deposited in a place which was pointed out to him. This was 'on the west side of a hill, not far from the top,' about four miles from Palmyra, in the county of Mayne [sic - Ontario?], and near the mail-road, which leads thence to the little town of Manchester. Oliver Cowdery, a 'witness of the faith,' who visited the spot in 1830, has favoured us with a minute description of it, mingled with various of his personal speculations concerning the position of the records at the time they were discovered. He says, innocently: 'How far below the surface these records were placed I am unable to say; but from the fact that they had been some 1400 years, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they were some feet below.' Oliver is willing to 'leave every man to draw his own conclusion,' and proceeds: 'Suffice to say, a hole of sufficient depth was dug.' At the bottom of this was found 'a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth; at each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, at the four edges of this stone were placed, erect, four others, their bottom edges resting in the cement at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box; the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly, that the moisture from without was prevented from entering * * * The box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars.

    5                                             HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    composed of the same description of cement used on the edges; and upon these three pillars were placed the records.'

    While contemplating this extraordinary treasure with great astonishment, Joseph Smith became aware of the presence of the angel who had previously visited him, and who now, with due solemnity, called on him to 'Look!' 'And as he thus spake,' says the Mormonite apostle before quoted, 'he beheld the Prince of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said: -- "All this is shewn, the good and the evil, the holy and impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness, that you may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or overcome by the wicked one. You cannot at this time obtain this record, for the commandment of God is strict, and if ever these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this world, they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the knowledge which they contain; they are of no worth among the children of men only for their knowledge. In them is contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it; and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the field of their Redeemer by obeying it also."'

    Joseph had to wait four years before the records were finally delivered by the angel into his hands. During that time, however, he had numerous interviews with the 'heavenly messenger,' and 'frequently received instructions' from his mouth. At length, on the morning of the 22d of September 1827, when he was about two-and-twenty years of age, he was formally permitted to take possession of his discovery. 'These records,' says our authority, Mr. Pratt, 'were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found "a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient times by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use of which they received revelation of things distant, or of things past, or future."'

                                                HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            6

    Being in an unknown tongue, the book required to be translated before its contents could be intelligibly communicated to mankind; and Joseph having now provided for himself a separate home, straightway commenced turning this ancient record into what he probably regarded as the 'American language.' It seems he translated 'by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim; and being a poor writer, he was under the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it came from his mouth.' In this way the work proceeded, as Mr. Smith's 'pecuniary circumstances would permit,' until he had finished what he describes as the 'unsealed portion of the records.' This is that part of Joseph's revelations which is styled the Book of Mormon, the recognised Bible of the Latter-day Saints, and which is deemed by them of equal authority with the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and represented to contain that 'fulness of the gospel' which was to be revealed in the latter days.

    When this astonishing volume was completed, and lay at length, legibly in fair manuscript, there arose an obvious difficulty respecting its publication. As no man is accounted a prophet in his own country, who would believe the miraculous story about its origin, and the way in which the work had been brought to light? How was any one to know that it was not utterly a fabrication, and that Joseph Smith, junior, was not an arrant knave and impostor? Assuredly there ought to be witnesses to testify concerning the facts set forth, and vouch in some sort for the credibility of Mr. Joseph Smith's pretensions. This circumstance was accordingly provided for; witnesses, such as could be got, were providentially 'raised up' in the persons of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris; and the testimony which they sent forth was to the effect, that the original plates had been shewn to them by an angel. This statement was presently supported by eight other witnesses, who testify expressly that 'Joseph Smith, junior, the translator of this work, has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands; * * * and we know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates * * * and we give our names unto the world of that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness to it.' It might strike a sceptic as a suspicious circumstance, that the 'eight,' with one exception, belong to two families, evidently on terms of intimacy with each other; and further, that three of them belong to the family of Joseph Smith -- being, in fact, his father and two brothers: but this, to a genuine believer in the prophet's claims, no doubt appears to be a consideration of no manner of moment. Certain it is, that from this point Joseph rises before us as the conspicuous founder of a sect, and begins to draw after him no inconsiderable number of converts.

    Having made known his doctrine and pretensions to various persons, it was not unnatural that the wonderful plates should

    7                                             HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    be a good deal talked about, and that some should even hesitate to believe unless they might be permitted to get sight of them. It was this difficulty which seems to have first suggested the publication of the statements of the witnesses. Among the first three, it will be seen, stands the name of Martin Harris; who -- though in the subscribed document he professes to have seen the plates -- was clearly not so privileged at the time when he first shewed a disposition to join the sect. Martin Harris was a farmer, whose religious opinions had for a long while been unsettled; he having been successively a member of the Society of Friends, a Wesleyan, a Baptist, and a Presbyterian; and on making Joseph Smith's acquaintance, was already prepared for another change. Having 'more credulity than judgment,' he was at once captivated by the doctrines and pretensions of the youthful prophet, and generously lent him fifty dollars to enable him to translate and publish his new Bible. While the work of translation was going on, Harris often desired to see the plates; but Joseph, with more than a prophet's cautiousness, invariably refused to shew them, alleging, as a sufficient reason for the renisal, that Mr. Harris was 'not of pure heart enough' to be allowed a sight of such extraordinary treasures. However, he at length consented to make a transcript of a portion of them on paper, and presenting him with this, he told him that if he wished to be satisfied about the character of it, he might submit it to any learned scholar in the world. Smith could hardly have anticipated the consequences of this proceeding. Martin Harris, being an earnest man, went off with the paper to New York, and obtained an introduction to Professor Anthon, a gentleman well known both in America and Europe for his serviceable editions of the classics. The result of the interview was not known until three or four years afterwards, when the Book of Mormon, apparently through Mr. Harris's assistance, had been published. Then, as a report was spread abroad by the Mormons that the professor had seen the plates, and pronounced the inscriptions to be in the Egyptian character, that gentleman was requested to declare whether such was actually the fact. In a letter written in February 1834, the professor says distinctly that the whole story is a falsehood. Some years before, Martin Harris had called on him with a paper filled with 'all kinds of crooked characters, disposed in columns,' which 'had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets:' there were rude distortions of Greek and Hebrew letters; Roman letters inverted or placed sideways; with crosses and flourishes interspersed throughout; and 'the whole ended with a rude delineation of a circle, divided into compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican calendar, given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived.' Some time after, the farmer paid him a second visit, bringing with him the printed Book of Mormon, of which he begged the

                                                HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            8

    professor to take a copy. That gentleman endeavoured to convince him that he had been imposed upon, and advised him to apply to a magistrate, and get the thing investigated. Harris, however, expressed a fear that if he did so 'the curse of God' would come upon him. But on being pressed, he said that he would take steps to have the matter examined into, if the professor would take the 'curse' upon himself. To this the latter good-naturedly consented, and the poor man took his leave in a state of much hesitation and perplexity.

    One can perceive from this what sort of stuff Mr. Harris's head was made of, and can readily judge of the value of his 'testimony' in regard to Mormonism and its pretensions. The presumption is, that the other witnesses were persons of similarly confused minds, or that they consciously participated in a fraud. At any rate, we do not find that any other individuals, Mormonites or otherwise, ever professed to have seen the plates; and certainly, of late years, all knowledge or account of them has been confessedly traditional. When unbelievers say: 'Shew us the gold plates, the original records of the Book of Mormon,' the Mormonite replies: 'Shew us the original manuscripts of any part of the Old or New Testaments,' and conceives that to be sufficient to silence all gainsayers. As to the book itself, the Mormons implicitly accept it; its origin and authenticity, as Smith and his associates have represented them, are matters of pure faith; no true Mormonite entertains a doubt about the genuineness or plenary inspiration of the volume. The general belief concerning it is thus summed up by one of the 'apostles,' in a publication called the Voice of Warning: -- 'The Book of Mormon contains the history of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, of whom the Indians are still a remnant; but the principal nation of them having fallen in battle in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, their prophecies, and their doctrine, which he engraved on plates, and afterwards being slain, the records fell into the hands of his son Moroni, who, being hunted by his enemies, was directed to deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God that it should be preserved, and should be brought to light in the latter days by means of a Gentile nation who should possess the land. The deposit was made about the year 420, on a hill then called Cumora, now in Ontario County, where it was preserved in safety until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels, and translated by inspiration. And the great Jehovah bare record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the world.'

    Overlooking the incidental statement of Professor Anthon, the account so far given of the Book of Mormon will be understood to be that of the Mormonites themselves; but there remains to be presented another relation of its origin, which the American

    9                                             HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    opponents of Mormonism consider to be the true one. According to this account, it would appear that, in the year 1809, a man of the name of Solomon Spaulding, who had formerly been a clergyman, and had afterwards failed in business, having his attention attracted by the notion, which at that time excited some interest and discussion, that the North American Indians were descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it struck him that the idea might be turned to account as the groundwork of a religious novel. He accordingly set about a work of that description, which he entitled, The Manuscript Found; and labouring at it at intervals for three years, he in that time completed it. Two of the principal characters in this production are Mormon and his son Moroni -- the same who act so large a part in Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon. The reason for this coincidence will presently appear. In the year 1812, Spaulding shewed his manuscript to a printer named Patterson, residing at Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania; but before any satisfactory arrangement had been made in regard to its publication, the author died, and the manuscript is said to have remained for some time thereafter in Mr. Patterson's possession. While here, it came under the notice of a compositor in his employ, named Sidney Rigdon, who was also a preacher in connection with some Christian sect, whose proper designation has not been stated. Rigdon appears to have borrowed the manuscript, and, according to one account, it would seem to have been in his hands when Mr. Patterson died in 1826 [sic]. Spaulding's widow, however, states that it had been returned to her husband before his death in 1816, and that it was subsequently read by several of her friends. But after her husband's decease, she seems to have spent the next three years in visiting her friends in different parts of the States; and during this period the manuscript was left at her brother's, somewhere near the residence of the Smiths. Whether Rigdon had, as she asserts, taken a copy of it, or whether the original now fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, there is no evidence for deciding. One thing only is clear, that by some person or other the manuscript was freely used as material in the composition of the Book of Mormon.

    Whether Sidney Rigdon was concerned in the fabrication has not been distinctly ascertained; but it is a significant circumstance, that he afterwards became, next to Joseph Smith himself, the principal leader of the Mormons. How Joseph and this person became connected is not known, and which of the two originated the idea of making a new Bible out of Solomon Spaulding's novel, is equally uncertain. The wife, several friends, and the brother of Solomon Spaulding affirmed, however, the identity of the principal portions of the Book of Mormon with the novel of The Manuscript Found, which the author had from time to time, and in separate portions, read over to them. John Spaulding declared upon oath, that his brother's book was a historical romance, relating to the first settlers in America, endeavouring to shew that

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          10

    the American Indians were descendants of the Jews, or of the lost ten tribes. He stated, that it gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem' by land and sea, till they arrived in America under the command of Nephi and Lehi; and that it also mentioned the Lamanites. He added, that 'he had recently read the Book of Mormon, and to his great surprise he found nearly the same historical matter and names as in his brother's writings. To the best of his recollection and belief, it was the same that his brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. The widow of Solomon Spaulding, afterwards married to a Mr. Davison, made a statement in a Boston newspaper, in all substantial respects similar, clearly and distinctly identifying the historical portions of the Book of Mormon with her husband's novel, and claiming the whole as his own composition, with the exception of various pious phrases and expressions which had been here and there interpolated. We presume that the evidence thus supplied must decide the question of the authorship, and that there can hardly remain a doubt that the Book of Mormon was founded on the manuscript romance of Solomon Spaulding.

    As regards the fabrication, it is not unlikely that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon acted in concert, and, mingling the materials thus provided for them with odds and ends of religious matter derived from the Old and New Testaments, produced that singular amalgamation which is now regarded as the Bible of the sect. As a literary composition, the work is but a bungling affair; the religious matter ingrafted upon the original romance being full of ungrammatical and illiterate expressions. For instance, such phrases as the following very frequently occur: -- 'Ye are like unto they;' 'Do as ye hath hitherto done;' 'I saith unto them;' 'These things had not ought to be;' 'Ye saith unto him;' 'I, the Lord, delighteth in the chastity of women;' 'For a more history part are written upon my other plates.' Anachronisms are also frequent, and blunders of almost every imaginable kind abound. But all errors of grammar, all anachronisms, all proven contradictions, are admitted by the Mormons, and treated as things utterly indifferent. They allege that the Old and New Testaments contain ungrammatical passages, and yet are holy, and the undoubted Word of God; and that anachronisms and contradictions do not militate against the plenary inspiration either of the Bible or the Book of Mormon. They acknowledge all possible faults and objections which mere critics may detect; but affirm them to be of no account. Joseph Smith, say they, was a chosen vessel of grace, and it was not necessary, in the inscrutable purposes of Providence, that he should accurately write the English language; nor can they regard his mission as being any way invalidated by a few human mistakes in his rendering of inspiration.

    What the Book of Mormon was professedly framed to teach cannot easily be shewn, without going further into detail than is possible within present limits. It may, however, be mentioned,

    11                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    that the Mormonites regard it as an inspired volume, suitable to the exigencies of the Christian life in these latter times. They allege that the Book of Mormon, and a certain book of 'Doctrines and Covenants,' containing the substance of subsequent revelations made to the prophet, on various matters relating to the management of the church, form and constitute the 'fulness of the gospel;' that while they do not supersede or take anything from the Old or the New Testament, they have been designed to complete both, and are therefore to be included within the authentic canon of religious scriptures. Nevertheless, they seem to have formed ideas of God and of men's relations towards Him different from any which are promulgated in the Gospel. They acknowledge a material deity, and describe him as a being in human form, and as having the senses, passions, and all the particular attributes of humanity. 'We believe,' says Orson Spencer, an apostle of the church, 'that God is a being who hath both body and parts, and also passions;' and this notion is prominently set forth in many of the publications of the sect. In some other respects they profess to differ from the ordinary sectarian denominations. They believe in 'the existence of the gifts, in the true church, spoken of in Paul's letter to the Corinthians,' in what they describe as the 'powers and gifts of the everlasting Gospel;' and mention in particular 'the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing, tongues and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love,' and some indefinite 'et cetera.' They believe also 'in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the ten tribes; that Zion will be established upon the western continent; and that Christ will reign personally upon the earth for a thousand years.' They recognise two orders of priesthood, which they call the Aaronic and the Melchisedek. The church is governed by a prophet, whom they sometimes call president; they have twelve apostles, a number of bishops, high-priests, deacons, elders, and teachers; and they assert on behalf of Joseph Smith and many other distinguished leaders, that they had the power of working miracles and of casting out devils. 'They affirm that the end of the world is close at hand; and that they are the saints spoken of in the Apocalypse, who will be called to reign with Christ in a temporal kingdom on the earth.

    The manner in which Joseph Smith professed to have received his priestly ordination is so curious and characteristic, that it cannot be justly overlooked. He relates that while he and Oliver Cowdery, his scribe, were engaged in translating the Book of Mormon, and while they were 'praying and calling upon the Lord' to aid them in the proper execution of the work, 'a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light,' and laying his hands upon them, ordained them, saying: 'Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          12

    and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.' He says, the messenger told them that 'this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost,' but that this should be conferred on them thereafter. 'And,' says Joseph, 'he commanded us to go and be baptised, and gave us directions that I should baptise Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptise me. Accordingly, we went and were baptised. I baptised him first, and afterwards he baptised me. After which I laid my hand upon his head, and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood; afterwards he laid his hands on me, and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded. The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament; and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedek, which priesthood, he said, should in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first elder, and he the second. It was on the 16th day of May 1829 that we were baptised and ordained under the hand of the messenger.'

    Before the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph had already gathered to himself a small number of adherents. In 1830, the year after he began to announce his visions and to speak of the discovery of the plates, his followers amounted to five persons. Among these were included his father and three brothers; but in the course of a few weeks the number increased to thirty. On the 1st of June, in the year just mentioned, the first conference of the sect, as an organised church, was held at Fayette, where the prophet at that time resided. As the people of the neighbourhood generally regarded him as an impostor, his proceedings from the outset met with considerable opposition. Joseph, on the present occasion, had ordered the construction of a dam across a stream of water, for the purpose of baptising his disciples. But before the ceremony was commenced, a mob collected, and broke down the preparations, using such language towards the prophet as was anything but flattering to him or his followers, threatening him with violence, and accusing him of robbery and swindling. They derided his prophetical pretensions, charged him with having lived the life of a reprobate, and in every way did their utmost to make him the object of ridicule and suspicion, Joseph, however, was nothing daunted. With singular tact, as well as courage, he bore down all detraction by confessing boldly that he had once led an improper and immoral life; but, unworthy as he was, 'the Lord had chosen him -- had forgiven him all his sins, and intended, in his own inscrutable purposes, to make him -- weak and erring as he might have been -- the instrument of his glory. Unlettered and comparatively ignorant he acknowledged

    13                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    himself to be; but then, said he, was not St Peter illiterate? Were not John and the other Christian apostles men of low birth and mean position before they were called to the ministry? And what had been done before, might it not be done again, if God willed it?' By arguments such as these he strengthened the faith of those who were inclined to believe in the divinity of his mission, and partially foiled the logic of those that were opposed to him. Absurd and fanatical as his theology may seem, it is not to be denied that he shewed thus early an unquestionable talent for influencing the opinions and commanding the sympathies of persons in any way disposed to credulity and enthusiasm.

    He appears to have had many contests with the preachers and leading people of other religious sects, and to have signally exasperated them against him by the boldness of his self-sufficiency, and the boundless resources of his ingenuity and impudence, in asserting and defending his pretensions. Yet if he was arrogant and presumptuous, they were not the less dogmatic and intolerant. When Joseph proved himself utterly invincible by their logic, and was not to be put down by any taunts concerning his unworthiness as a man, or his incompetency as a scholar, they had recourse to the ordinary expedient of persecution. Their animosity rose so high at last, that the prophet and his followers found the place too strait for them; and, accordingly, to escape from the virulent opposition they had to contend with, the whole family of the Smiths and the most pertinacious of their adherents deemed it prudent to remove from Palmyra and Fayetteville, and to settle themselves in other quarters. The place they selected was Kirtland, in Ohio; but this they regarded only as a temporary resting-place. The attention of the sect was directed, from the very commencement of their organisation, to the desirableness of establishing themselves in the 'Far West' territories, where, in a thinly-settled and partially-explored country, they might squat down or purchase lands at a cheap rate, and clear the wilderness for their own purposes. Shortly after their removal to Kirtland, Oliver Cowdery was sent out on an exploratory expedition, and, coming back, reported so, favourably of the beauty, fertility, and cheapness of the land in Jackson County, in Missouri, that Joseph Smith himself determined to go and visit the location.

    Leaving his family and principal connections in Kirtland, he proceeded with Sidney Rigdon and some others upon a long and arduous journey, his object being to fix upon a site for the 'New Jerusalem' -- the future city and metropolis of the divine kingdom, where Christ was to reign over the saints as a temporal king, in 'power and great glory.' They started, apparently, about the middle of June 1831, travelling by wagons or canal-boats, and sometimes on foot, as far as Cincinnati. From this place they proceeded by steamer to Louisville and St. Louis, where at length all the civilised means of transport failed them. The rest of the journey, a distance of 300 miles, had to be performed on foot.

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          14

    With brave hearts and hopeful faces, however, they toiled along through the wilderness, and finally reached the town of Independence, in Jackson County, in the middle of July. Though footsore and weary, they were not sad; for the country, with its grandeurs and conveniences, surpassed their most sanguine expectations. It is pleasant to see how the prophet was enraptured at the sight of it, and how, in his description, there is even a touch of poetry. Looking intently on the landscape, he notes, 'as far as the eye can glance, the beautiful rolling prairies lay spread around like a sea of meadows.' It is a fruitful and smiling land -- a land overflowing with com and fruits, and cotton and honey, and bountifully, though not too thickly, overspread with timber; the buffalo, the elk, and the deer, with a sprinkling of less attractive animals, roam over it at pleasure; and there are turkeys and geese, and swans and ducks, and every variety of the feathered race; and altogether it is an abundant and delightful region, and seems meet for the heritage of the elect of the Most High. Here, then, decides the prophet, shall be built the future Zion; and hither shall the Saints be gathered, that they may inherit and enjoy the land in all its plenty.

    That there might be no doubt among his followers that this was assuredly the spot marked out by a considerate Providence as their place of settlement, Joseph Smith contrived to obtain a direct revelation on the subject. Indeed, whenever he had any difficulty, or was about to do anything that might startle or surprise the Saints, his course was invariably smoothed before him by a timely revelation. He had only to announce: 'Thus saith the Lord your God,' and add whatsoever he deemed convenient, and the matter in hand was authoritatively settled. On the present occasion, it was revealed to him that a certain district in Jackson County was 'the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.' 'Behold,' says the document which he issued as a celestial communication, 'behold, the place which is now called Independence is the centre place, and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from, the court-house; wherefore it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the Saints; and also every tract lying westward, even unto the line running directly between Jew and Gentile. And also every tract bordering by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to buy lands.' The blending of scriptural phrase with business-like minuteness in this document is somewhat curious. It goes on to say: 'Let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, stand in the office which I have appointed him, to receive moneys, to be an agent unto the church, to buy lands in all the regions round about.' Another servant, Edward Partridge, is oracularly commanded 'to divide the Saints their inheritance.' And again, it runs: 'Verily, I say unto you, let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, plant himself in this place, and establish a store, that he may sell goods without fraud: that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints.'

    15                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    Sidney Gilbert is also enjoined to 'obtain a license that he may send goods unto the people,' so as to provide for the preaching of the gospel 'unto those who sit in darkness.' William Phelps is to be established 'as a printer unto the church;' 'and, lo!' says the revelation, 'if the world receiveth his writings, let him obtain whatsoever he can obtain in righteousness, for the good of the Saints. And let my servant, Oliver Cowdery, assist him * * * to copy, and to correct, and select, that all things may be right before me, as it shall be proved by the spirit through him.' And concerning the gathering, it is said: 'Let the bishop and the agent make preparations for those famihes which have been commanded to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their inheritance.'

    On the first Sunday after his arrival, Joseph preached in the wilderness to a miscellaneous crowd of Indians, squatters, and a 'respectable company of negroes.' He made a few converts, and soon had another revelation, to the effect chiefly, that Martin Harris should 'be an example to the church in laying his moneys before the bishops of the church;' the said moneys being required to purchase land for a storehouse, 'and also for the house of the printing.' On the 3d of August, after a sojourn of about three weeks, the spot for the temple was solemnly laid out and dedicated; and Joseph, some days afterwards, having completed all his arrangements, established a bishop, and acquired, as he conceived, a firm footing for his sect in Jackson Comity, prepared to return into Ohio, to look after his affairs at Kirtland. On the homeward journey, nothing of consequence occurred, except that once 'Brother Phelps, in open vision, by daylight, saw the Destroyer (otherwise called the Devil) ride upon the waters' of a river near which the party was encamped. 'Others,' says Joseph, 'heard the noise, but saw not the vision.' The devil, however, was quite harmless; and after a journey of twenty-four days, the pilgrims all arrived at Kirtland.

    It is a peculiarity of our project, that he always had the keenest eye to business. On his return to Kirtland, by the aid of others, members of the church, he established a mill, a store, and a bank. Of the latter, he appointed himself president, and intrusted Sidney Rigdon with the office of cashier. It was the object of himself and of the sect to stay in Kirtland and make money for the next five years; until, in short, the wilderness should be cleared, and the temple built in Zion.

    Meanwhile, Joseph lost no opportunity of propagating his religion, and of planting branches of his church wherever he could find a soil adapted to his doctrines. He travelled about preaching in various parts of the United States, making converts with great rapidity. He had two great elements of persuasion in his favour -- sufficient novelty, and unconquerable perseverance. His doctrine was both old and new. It had something of the old that was calculated to attract such as would have been repelled by a creed

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          16

    altogether new, and it had sufficient novelty to strike the attention and inflame the imagination of many whose minds would have been totally uninfluenced by current and established dogmas, however powerfully preached. Basing his faith upon isolated passages of the Bible; claiming direct inspiration from Heaven; promising possession of the earth, and limiting eternal blessings, to all true believers; and, moreover, announcing his mission with a courage and audacity that despised difficulty and danger; it is not surprising that ignorant and credulous people should everywhere have listened to him, and reverently credited his extravagant pretensions. Nevertheless, his success as a propagandist was not without some drawbacks. Never, perhaps, until this enlightened nineteenth century, was it the lot of a prophet to be tarred and feathered! Such, however, was the ridiculous martyrdom which Mohammed Smith was called upon to suffer at the hands of lawless men. One night, in the month of March 1832, 'a mob of Methodists, Baptists, Campbellites,' and other miscellaneous zealots, broke into his peaceable dwelling-house, and dragging him from the wife of his bosom, stripped him naked, and in the way just indicated, most despitefully maltreated him. Under the bleak midnight sky, they carried him into a meadow a little distance from the house, and there, with curses and wild uproar, anointed his sacred person with that dark impurity which Falstaff mentions as having a tendency to defile; and then rolling him well in feathers, set him at liberty -- a spectacle not inappropriate for a scarecrow! Sidney Rigdon was similarly handled, and rendered temporarily crazy by the treatment. As to the prophet, it took the whole night for his friends to cleanse his polluted skin. Yet, the next day being the Sabbath, with his 'flesh all scarified and defaced,' he preached to the congregation as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day baptised three individuals. Thus, under the absurdest persecution, the church prospers and increases, and Prophet Joseph loses nothing of his natural audacity, nor abates one whit in his confident self-assertion.

    However, calling to mind the scriptural injunction: 'If they persecute you in one city, flee into another,' Joseph seems to have thought that it would not be amiss to absent himself a little from the scene of so bathetic a disaster. Accordingly, he started on the 2d of April, with a small company of adherents, for the settlement in Missouri, designing, as he said, to fulfil the revelation. Some of his inhuman persecutors dogged his steps as far as Louisville, taunting and harassing him by the way; but getting protection from the captain of a steam-boat, he arrived in safety at Independence on the 26th. Here he found the Saints going ahead with great rapidity. In obedience to a revelation which he had sent them, a printing-press had been established, and the work of proselytising was advancing famously. A monthly periodical, called the _Morning and Evening Star,_ was conducted by Mr. Phelps, the printer to the church; and a weekly newspaper, devoted exclusively

    17                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    to the interests of Mormonism, had been started under the title of the _Upper Missouri Advertiser._ The number of the disciples amounted to nearly 3000; while in Kirtland, including women and children, they had not yet exceeded 150. The new Zion was clearly thriving, and would soon be ready for the gathering of the brethren from other quarters. Being enthusiastically received by the congregation, and solemnly acknowledged as their 'prophet, seer, and president of the high-priesthood of the church,' Joseph, after a brief and pleasant sojourn, left the place in perfect confidence that all was going on prosperously.

    Perhaps he ought to have remembered, that often when things are most prosperous in appearance, there is apt to be some latent mischief or misfortune in process of development. And, to speak truly, the manner in which the Saints behaved themselves in Zion, was anything but calculated to make friends among the Gentiles. They assumed an offensive superiority over their neighbours, and spoke rather too boldly of their determination to take possession of the whole state of Missouri, and to permit no one to live in it who did not conform themselves to the Mormon creed and discipline. Strange rumours also began to spread concerning their peculiarities of intercourse and ways of living. They were accused of communism, and not simply of a community of goods and chattels, but also of a community of wives. This charge appears to have been utterly unfounded, but it was not the less effective in arousing the indignation of the people of Independence and Missouri against the Mormons. A party was secretly formed, whose object was to expel them from the state. The printing-office of the _Star_ was razed to the ground, and the types and presses confiscated. A Mormon bishop was tarred and feathered, and Editor Phelps had a narrow escape from a touch of the like treatment. Outrages of almost every description were committed by armed mobs upon the Mormons, till at length they saw no chance or likelihood of ever being left at peace; and the final result was, that -- having no other resource -- the leaders agreed that, if time were given, the people should remove westward to some other situation.

    Under circumstances of such peril and humiliation, the Saints, not unadvisedly, despatched Oliver Cowdery to Kirtland with a message to the prophet. Joseph Smith, as became his situation, proved himself not unfertile in resources. He decided that the _Morning and, Evening Star_ should be thenceforth published in Kirtland, and that another newspaper should be started to supply the place of the one lately printed in Missouri. He also resolved to apply to the governor of that state, and to demand justice for the outrages inflicted upon the sect. Anything that could be done to aid the brethren from a distance he was prompt and ready to undertake; but, under the circumstances, he did not deem it circumspect to venture personally into Zion. He sent his followers a prophet's blessing and a word if comfort; and then, in company

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          18

    with Sidney Rigdon and another, made a journey into Canada, with the design of gaining converts.

    Meanwhile, in reply to a petition which had been sent him by the Mormons, the governor of Missouri responded by a sensible and conciliatory letter. He alluded to the attack upon them as being illegal and unjustifiable, and recommended them to remain where they were, and to apply for redress to the ordinary tribunals of the country. Acting on the strength of this advice, the Mormons commenced actions against the ringleaders of the mob, engaging, by a fee of 1000 dollars, the best legal assistance to support their case. But on the 30th of October, the mob again rose in arms to expel them. Several houses of the Saints were sacked and partially demolished. The Mormons, in some instances, defended their possessions, and a regular battle ensued between them and their opponents. In this encounter, it happened that two of the latter were killed; and thenceforth the fray became so furious and alarming, that the militia was obliged to be called out to suppress it. The militia, however, being anti-Mormon to a man, took sides entirely against them, and the hapless Saints had no alternative except in flight. The women took alarm, and fled with their children across the Missouri river, where, being afterwards joined by their husbands, they all encamped in the open wilderness. They ultimately took .refuge for the most part in Clay County, where they appear to have been received with some degree of kindness.

    The public authorities of Missouri, and indeed all the principal people, except those of Jackson County, were exceedingly scandalised at these proceedings, and sympathised with the efforts of the Mormon leaders to obtain redress. The attorney-general of the state wrote to say, that if the Mormons desired to be re-established in their possessions, an adequate public force should be sent for their protection. He also advised them to remain in the state and organise themselves into a regular company of militia, promising to supply than with arms at the public expense. About the same time a message arrived from the prophet, who had now returned to Kirtland, urging them to abide by their possessions, and not in any case to sell any land to which they had a legal title, but hold on 'until the Lord in his wisdom should open a way for their return.' Nevertheless, for present emergencies, he recommended them to purchase a tract of land in Clay County, and to tarry there awhile, abiding their time. He likewise communicated to them a revelation, by which they were commanded to importune the courts of justice to reinstate them in their possessions, and promised that, in case of failure, 'the Lord God himself would arise and come out of his hiding-place, and in his fury vex the nation.'

    The Mormons, however, were never more restored to their beloved Zion. They remained for upwards of four years in Clay County. The land on which they settled was mostly uncleared,

    19                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    but being an industrious and persevering people, they laid out farms, erected mills and stored, and carried on their business as successfully as in their previous location. But here also the suspicions and ill-feeling of the people were soon aroused against them, and were eventually the cause of their expulsion from the whole state of Missouri. The bearing of the Mormons towards the slavery question, the calumny about their community of wives, their loud pretensions of superior holiness, their repeated declarations that Missouri had been assigned to their possession by divine command, and the quarrels that were constantly resulting, brought about the same kind of misunderstandings and collisions which they had experienced in Jackson County.

    At this juncture -- namely, on the 5th of May 1834 -- Joseph Smith, the prophet, resolved to visit his persecuted church, and try what he could do to put the affairs of his scattered and dispirited disciples into order. He brought with him an organised company of 100 persons, mostly young men, and nearly all priests, deacons, teachers, and officers of the church. Twenty of them formed the body-guard of the prophet, his brother, Hyrum Smith, being captain, and another brother, George Smith, his armour-bearer. On the way, he was intercepted by the people of Jackson County, one of the leaders of whom, named Campbell, swore 'that the eagles and turkey-buzzards should eat his flesh, if he did not, before two days, fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins should not hold shucks.' Joseph, who relates the story, says, however, that Campbell and his men 'went to the ferry, and undertook to cross the Missouri river after dusk; but the angel of God saw fit to sink the boat about the middle of me river, and seven out of the twelve that attempted to cross were drowned. Thus suddenly and justly,' he adds, 'they went to their own place by water. Campbell was among the missing. He floated down the river some four or five miles, and lodged upon a pile of drift-wood, where the eagles, buzzards, ravens, crows, and wild animals, ate his flesh from his bones, to fulfil his own words, and left him a horrible-looking skeleton of God's vengeance, which was discovered about three weeks afterwards by one Mr. Purtle.' But, though sustaining no material damage from the vindictive Mr. Campbell, Joseph lost thirteen of his band by the ravages of cholera. Marching onwards, however, he arrived in Clay County on the 2d of July; and in the course of his brief stay of seven days, succeeded in establishing the Saints in their new settlement, on a better footing than he found them occupying on his arrival.

    The history of the sect for the next three years is one of strife and contention with their enemies in Missouri. The numbers of the Mormons increased with the numbers of their opponents; and the warfare raged so bitterly, that the whole people of the state were ranged either on one side or the other. At length, in the autumn of 1837, Joseph's bank at Kirtland suddenly stopped

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    payment; the district was flooded with his paper, and proceedings were taken against him and the other managers for swindling. At this untoward juncture, the prophet received a convenient revelation, commanding him to depart finally for Missouri and live among the Saints in the land of their inheritance. A scandal runs, that he obeyed the call by departing secretly in the night; or, in Yankee phraseology, he went off 'between two days,' leaving his creditors to such remedy as might be open to them. On arriving in Missouri, he found the affairs of his church in considerable confusion. The Saints had become a numerous and powerful body; but they did not agree among themselves, and occasional seceders spread abroad all sorts of rumours and strange stories in condemnation of their polity. A great schism broke out in 1838, when Joseph Smith took occasion to denounce some of his oldest and most intimate confederates. Among these were Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Sidney Rigdon, and several other distinguished apostles and disciples. Sidney Rigdon was afterwards received back into favour and forgiven, inasmuch as he was too important a personage to be converted into an enemy. During the progress of these internal squabbles, the Gentiles of Jackson and Clay counties persisted in their persecutions, making constantly repeated efforts to expel the Mormons altogether from Missouri.

    This object was finally effected in the latter part of the year 1838; and the Mormons, to the number of 15,000, took refuge in Illinois. They purchased lands in the vicinity of the town of Commerce, and shortly afterwards changed the name of the place into Nauvoo, or the City of Beauty. The country was rich in agricultural resources, and the Mormons failed not to turn them to account. 'Soon,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, 'the colonists changed the desert to an abode of plenty and richness: gardens sprung up as by magic, decorated with the most beautiful flowers of the old and new world, whose seeds were brought as mementoes from former homes by the converts that flocked to the new state of Zion; broad streets were soon fenced, houses erected, and the busy hum of industry heard in the marts of commerce; the steam-boat unladed its stores and passengers, and departed for a fresh supply of merchandise; fields waved with the golden harvests, and cattle dotted the rolling hills.' A site for the temple was chosen on the brow of a hill overlooking the town, and the building was commenced according to a plan or pattern which the prophet professed to have received by revelation. Flourishing centres of dense settlements sprung up in the neighbourhood of the city, and the accessions and exertions of emigrants enlarged the borders of the faithful. In the course of eighteen months, the people had erected about 2000 houses, besides schools and a variety of public buildings. The place became a populous and imposing looking town. Joseph Smith was appointed mayor, and for awhile enjoyed an undisturbed supremacy. His word was law;

    21                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    he was the temporal and spiritual head of the community; and, besides his titles of prophet, president, and mayor, he held the military title of general, in right of his command over a body of militia, which he organised under the name of the Nauvoo Legion. Somewhere about the time at which we have now arrived, the sect began to be heard of in England. Missionaries from America appeared in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, and in several towns and places in South Wales. Their preaching was attended with very considerable success, and in three or four years the sect numbered in this country upwards of 10,000 converts. A copy of the Book of Mormon was forwarded, at the prophet's desire, to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert -- a circumstance whereat the Saints in Nauvoo were much delighted, though what reception the volume met with has not been publicly ascertained. The English converts were generally urged to emigrate; and great numbers of them for some years past have been flocking to the various Mormon settlements. Numbers in these years arrived and settled at Nauvoo. But it was not to these alone that the increase of the population was confined. As Lieutenant Gunnison has related: 'Horse-thieves and housebreakers, robbers and villains, gathered there to cloak their deeds in mystery, who, caring nothing for religion, could take the appearance of baptism, and be among, but not of them. Speculators came in and bought lots, with the hope of great remuneration as the colony increased. The latter class, unwilling to pay tithes, soon fell into disrepute; and when proper time had elapsed for conversion without effect, measures were taken to oust them.' The manner of effecting this was characteristic and somewhat singular. 'A proper sum would be offered for their improvements and lands, and, if not accepted, then petty annoyances were resorted to. One of these was called "whittling off." Three men would be deputed and paid for their time, to take their jack-knives and sticks -- downeast Yankees, of course -- and, sitting down before the obnoxious man's door, begin their whittling. When the man came out, they would stare at him, but say nothing. If he went to the market, they followed and whittled. Whatever taunts, curses, or other provoking epithets were applied to them, no notice would be taken, no word spoken in return, no laugh on their faces. The jeers and shouts of street urchins made the welkin ring, but deep silence pervaded the whittlers. Their leerish look followed him everywhere, from "morning dawn to dusky eve." When he was in-doors, they sat patiently down, and assiduously performed their jack-knife duty. Three days are said to have been the utmost that human nature could endure of this silent annoyance. The man came to terms, sold his possessions for what he could get, or emigrated to parts unknown.'

    Notwithstanding these discreditable accessions, the Mormons proper continued to increase in numbers. While settled at Nauvoo, they boasted of having 100,000 persons professing their faith in

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    the United States. They began to be a distinct and impeding power in the country, and in various places influenced the elections. On all political questions they were perfectly united. So bold did they become, that in 1844 they put Joseph Smith in nomination for the presidency. This was considered an absurd movement; but the Mormons, nevertheless, assert that had he lived for the next trial after, he would have been elected. No opportunity, however, was afforded him to test the truth of the prediction. A dark day for the Mormons was approaching. The people amidst whom they lived complained that their property was constantly disappearing, and that traces of it were often found in the city of Nauvoo. The redress proposed to be given them by the Mormon courts was declared to be unavailing, as the causes tried there always went against them. No Mormon could by any chance be brought to justice, they said. The leaders of the sect were likewise charged with political aspirations. It was said that they aimed to rule the state, and, under the pretence of a spiritual direction, set the laws at defiance. But, more than all, intestine quarrels conspired to bring about a distressing crisis in their affairs. Many influential and talented persons, finding themselves deceived, both in the sanctity of the prophet and in advancing their temporal fortunes, deserted his standard, and denounced him for licentiousness, drunkenness, and tyranny. Women impeached him of attempted seduction; which his apology, that it was merely to see if they were virtuous, could not satisfy. Criminations brought back recriminations against certain men (see Gunnison). A newspaper under the prophet's control lashed the dissenters with great bitterness; and, on the other hand, the dissenters set up a counter-organ, wherein they detailed the most offensive charges of debauchery against the prophet and his principal supporters. A city-council was then convened, and measures were immediately taken to silence the defamers. A mob of the 'faithful' destroyed their printing-press, scattering the types in the streets, and burning an edition of their paper. After finishing this work of demolition, they repaired to head-quarters, and were complimented by the prophet and his brother Hyrum, and received from them the promise of some appropriate reward. This, however, they never got, for a grand and fatal outrage was presently transacted, which brought both the power and me life of the prophet suddenly to an end.

    It being impossible to bring the Mormon mob to justice through the Nauvoo courts, the officer who undertook to deal with them procured a county writ, and attempted to enforce it in the manner resorted to against ordinary offenders. But this attempt was opposed and prevented by the people and troops in Nauvoo; and when at length the militia were called out, Joseph Smith, as mayor and commanding-general of the legion, declared the city under martial law. Thereupon an appeal was made to the governor of

    23                                           HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                            

    the state, who forthwith ordered out three companies of the state militia, to bring the prophet and his adherents to submission, and to enforce their obedience to the laws. An officer was despatched to arrest Joseph and his brother Hyrum; but to avoid the indignity, they crossed over the Mississippi into Iowa, and there stayed to watch events, keeping up by a boat a correspondence with the Mormon council. Finding at length that their own people were incensed at their desertion, the council advised the Smiths to surrender to the governor, and to stand their trial for such a violation of the law as they could be charged with. They, accordingly, repaired to Carthage, the seat of government, and were there indicted for treason, and, in company with two of their apostles, were lodged in the county jail.

    It is zzzzrdated that the prophet had a presentiment of evil in this affair, and said, as he surrendered: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning; I have a conscience void of offence, and shall die innocent.' As the mob still breathed vengeance against the prisoners, and as the militia sided with the people, and were not to be depended on in the way of preventing violence, the governor was requested by the citizens of Nauvoo and other Mormons to set a guard over the jail. But the governor, seeing things apparently quiet, discharged the troops, and simply promised justice to all parties. It now began to be rumoured that there would be no case forthcoming against the Smiths, and that the governor was anxious they should escape. Influenced by this belief, a band of about 200 ruffians conspired to attack the jail, and take justice into their own hands. 'If law could not reach them,' they said, 'powder and shot should.' On the 27th of June 1844, they assaulted the door of the room in which the prisoners were incarcerated, and having broken in, fired upon the four all at once. Hyrum Smith was instantly killed. Joseph, with a revolver, returned two shots, hitting one man in the elbow. He then threw up the window, and attempted to leap out, but was killed in the act by the balls of the assailants outside. Both were again shot after they were dead, each receiving no less than four balls. One of the two Mormons who were with them was seriously wounded, but afterwards recovered; and the other is said to have escaped 'without a hole in his robe.'

    Here, then, ends the life and prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. Henceforth the Mormons are left to be guided by another leader. Of himself it has been said: 'He founded a dynasty which his death rendered more secure, and sent forth principles that take fast hold on thousands in all lands; and the name of Great Martyr of the nineteenth century, is a tower of strength to his followers. He lived fourteen years and three months after founding a society with six members, and could boast of having 150,000 ready to do his bidding when he died; all of whom regarded his voice as from Heaven. Among his disciples he bears a character for talent, uprightness, and purity, far surpassing all other men with whom

                                               HISTORY  OF  THE  MORMONS.                                          24

    they ever were acquainted, or whose biography they have read. Nevertheless, it is added: 'But few of these admirers were cognizant of other than his prophetic career, and treat with scornful disdain all that is said in disparagement of his earlier life. With those who knew him in his youth, and have given us solemn testimony, he is declared an insolent vagabond, an infamous liar of consummate impudence. He is regarded by the "Gentiles," who saw him in the last few years of successful power, to have been a man of unbridled lust, and engaged with the counterfeiting and robbing bands of the Great Valley; but these charges have never been substantiated. The man had faults enough, no doubt; but it would be the grossest injustice to deny that he had also some sterling and commanding qualities. Much of the impostor as one may detect in the beginnings of his career, any one who carefully observes his progress, may perceive that his character and designs became developed into something that was at least partially commendable. A rude, uncouth genius, who, like many another genius, for a long while apprehended not his mission; knew not the things which Nature had appointed him to do; and yet, with a blind unconscious instinct -- manifested through many follies and insincerities -- he struggled, and could not help but struggle, to make felt the influence and administrative power which he was born to exercise among mankind. We may call him a sort of mongrel-hero, and non-commissioned leader of the unguided; a charlatan-fanatic, whose work was half knavery and half earnest, and whom, probably, Nature had ordained to do the rough pioneering of civilisation in the waste places of her kingdoms. That he had available powers for leading and for ruling men, there is proof in the multitude and successful consolidation of his adherents: Saint or sinner, Joseph Smith must be reckoned a remarkable man in his generation; one who began and accomplished a greater work than he was aware of; and whose name, whatever he may have been whilst living, will take its place among the notabilities of the world.

    After his death, the Mormons were somewhat agitated by the question of the succession to his seership. Sidney Rigdon and others came forward with claims and pretensions to the office; but finally the council of the twelve unanimously elected Brigham Young. 'This man,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, 'with a mien of the most retiring modesty and diffidence in ordinary intercourse in society, holds a spirit of ardent feeling and great shrewdness; and when roused in debate, or upon the preacher's stand, exhibits a boldness of speech and grasp of thought that awes and enchains with intense interest -- controlling, soothing, or exasperating at pleasure the multitudes that listen to his eloquence.'

    One of the first things which the new president had to do, was to conduct the removal of the Mormons from Nauvoo, and to establish them in a settlement where they should no longer be molested. Almost as soon as he was elected, arrangements began

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    to be made for abandoning the city; and in the spring of 1845, several parties set out on a dreary journey still further to the west. Numbers, however, remained behind to complete and consecrate the temple -- a work which they ultimately erected amid general rejoicings. But no sooner was this labour of piety accomplished, than they were compelled to leave the honoured edifice, and the city in which it stood, to be 'profaned and trodden down by the Gentiles.' The hostility of their neighbours never once abated until they had driven them utterly out of the state; and on the part of the Mormons it was finally resolved to seek out and colonise some new and remote territory.

    With this object, men were sent to the mountains, to the heads of the Missouri branches, and to California, to spy out the land; and the Calebs and Joshuas of the expedition brought such a report of the Great Salt Lake Valley, that it was immediately chosen for what the Saints were pleased to call 'an everlasting abode.' In the spring of 1847, a pioneer-party of 143 men proceeded to open the way; and the rest of the people, in parties of tens, fifties, and hundreds, followed. The strictest discipline of guard and march was observed by the way. After many perils, and hardships almost indescribable, they at last reached their destination. Great joy to the weary wanderers was the first sight of the goodly valley, as they beheld it before them from the final mountain summit. 'As each team rose upon the narrow table, the delighted pilgrims saw the white salt beach of the Great Lake glistening in the never-clouded sunbeam of summer -- and the view down the open gorge of the mountains, divided by a single conical peak, into the long-toiled-for vale of repose, was most ravishing to the beholder. Few such ecstatic moments are vouchsafed to mortals in the pilgrimage of life, when the dreary past is all forgotten, and the soul revels in unalloyed enjoyment, anticipating the fruition of hope.' A few moments were allotted to each party to gaze and admire, and then with measured pace they journeyed forward, and after some sixteen miles further travelling, emerged into the valley which was to be thenceforward their unmolested home.

    The journey ended, work was instantly commenced. The industry of the Mormons has, ever since they became a sect, been pre-eminently exemplary. In five days a field was consecrated, fenced, ploughed, and planted! Tents and cabins were rapidly erected for the temporary service of the emigrants; but very shortly a city was laid out, and a fort, enclosing about forty acres, built for its protection. Everywhere the most cheerful and prosperous activity went on. As yet, however, the hardships of the Mormons were not ended. During the first year, every month was so mild that they constantly ploughed and sowed; but though the winter was thus auspicious, and all things promising, they were so reduced in provisions as to be obliged to eat the hides of the slaughtered animals, and even eagerly searched for them out

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    of the ditches, and tore them from the roofs of the houses, to boil them for that purpose. They also dug up the wild roots used for food by the Indians. But, we are informed, the most formidable enemy they had to contend with, as the crops were nearing maturity, was an army of black ungainly crickets, which, descending from the mountain-sides, destroyed every bit of herbage in their way. No wonder the Mormon farmers considered it a miracle, when, in despair from the ravages of these 'black Philistines,' they at length were visited by large flights of beautiful white gulls, which in a short time exterminated the enemy. The next season they came earlier, and thereby saved the wheat from any harm whatever; and since then they have regularly appeared, and move hither and thither about the settlement, as tame as household pigeons. Since the first year, the crops of the Mormons have amply met their wants; and for the last three years there has been a surplus of food among them, which was sold to the gold emigrants at a less price than provisions were selling 400 miles nearer the States, and of course that distance further from the California diggings.

    The social condition of this remarkable people in their present settlement is thus described by Lieutenant Gunnison, who lived among them for more than a year, in an official capacity connected with a recent exploring expedition to the Deseret or Utah territory, under direction of the United States government. He says: 'Their admirable system of combining labour, while each has his own property, in land and tenements, and the proceeds of his industry, the skill in dividing off lands, and conducting the irrigating canals to supply the want of water, which rarely falls Between April and October; the cheerful manner in which every one applies himself industriously, but not laboriously; the complete reign of good neighbourhood and quiet in house and fields, form themes for admiration to the stranger coming from the dark and sterile recesses of the mountain-gorges into this flourishing valley: and he is struck with wonder at the immense results produced in so short a time by a handful of individuals. This is the result of the guidance of all those hands by one master-mind (Brigham Young) and we see a comfortable people residing where, it is not too much to say, the ordinary mode of subduing and settling our wild lands could never have been applied. To accomplish this, there was required religious fervour, with the flame fanned by the breezes of enthusiasm, the encircling of bands into the closest union, by the outward pressure of persecution; the high hopes of laying up a prospective reward, and returning to their deserted homes in great prosperity; the belief of re-enacting the journey of the Israelitish Church under another Moses, through the Egypt already passed, to arrive at another Jerusalem, more heavenly in its origin, and beautiful in its proportions and decorations. Single families on

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    that line of travel would have starved, or fallen by the treachery of the Sioux, the cunning of the Crows and Shoshones, or the hatred of the savage Utahs. Concert and courage of the best kind were required and brought into the field, and the result is before us -- to their own minds, as the direct blessing and interposition of Providence; to others, the natural reward of associated industry and perseverance. * * * Their comparative comfort and degree of prosperity is significantly shewn by the fact, that they canvassed the country, to ascertain how many inmates there would be for a poor-house, and finding only two disposed to ask public bounty, they concluded that it was not yet time to build a house of charity; and this among the thousands who, three years before, were deprived of their property, and could with the utmost difficulty transport their families into the valley!'

    Among no people is the dignity of labour held more sacred than by the Mormons. The excellency and honourableness of work is exemplified in their whole polity and organisation. 'A lazy person,' we are told, 'is either accursed, or likely to be; usefulness is their motto; and those who will not keep themselves, or try their best, are left to starve into industry * * * The labour for support of one's self and family is taught to be of as divine a character as public worship and prayer. In practice, their views unite them so as to procure all the benefits of social Christianity without running into communism. The priest and the bishop make it their boast that, like Paul the tent-maker, they earn their bread by the sweat of their brow; and teach by, example on the week-day what they preach on the Sabbath.'

    The territory of Utah is extensive, but it is calculated that hardly one acre in ten is fit for profitable cultivation. Immense tracts of pasturage around the cultivable spots are held in common, and are not intended to be given up to the possession of individuals. It is worthy of being mentioned, that when the Mormons arrived in the valley, they did not quarrel about the fertile, eligible plots, but put a portion under cultivation jointly, and made equitable apportionment of the proceeds of the crop, according to the skill, labour, and seed contributed. The city was laid off into lots, which, by mutual consent, were assigned by the presidency, on a plan of equitable and judicious distribution. It is true, after the assignments were made, some persons commenced the usual speculations of selling according to eligibility of situation; but this called forth anathemas from the spiritual power, and no one was permitted to traffic for the sake of profit. If any sales were to be made, the first cost and actual value of improvements were all that was to be allowed. 'The land belongs to the Lord,' it was said, 'and his Saints are to use so much as each can work profitably.'

    The Great Salt Lake city, which is laid out in squares, is described as a place of great attractions. The streets are 132 feet wide, with 20 feet side-walks; and a creek which runs through

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    the city, is so divided as to run along each walk and water a colonnade of trees, and is made likewise to communicate with the gardens. The lots contain nearly an acre each, and face on alternate streets, with eight lots in every block. The site of the city is slightly sloping, with the exception of a part to the north, where it rises into a sort of natural terrace. It is four miles square, and is watered by several small streams, and a canal twelve miles long, besides being bounded on the western side by the Jordan river. Besides this central city, there are four other colonies which have branched off from it; and towns, with thickly-populated and rapidly-growing suburbs, extend along a line of 200 miles of country. Various public edifices have been built, or are now in progress of erection. In one place, a large and commodious state-house was completed in 1850; and there is a wooden railway laid down to certain quarries some miles distant, for the purpose of transporting the fine red sandstone to a situation called the Temple Block, 'where a gorgeous pile is to be erected, which shall surpass in magnificence any yet built by man, and which shall be second only to that finally to be constructed by themselves, when the presidency shall be installed at the New Jerusalem, on the temple-site of Zion.'

    The system of government under which the Mormons live is described by themselves as a 'Theo-democracy.' They are organised into a state, with all the order of legislative, judicial, and executive offices, regularly filled, under a constitution said to be eminently republican in sentiment, and tolerant in religion. The president of the church is the temporal civil governor, and rules in virtue of prophetic right over the community. They profess to stand, in a civil capacity, like the Israelites of old under their leader Moses. The legislature can make no law to regulate the revelations of the prophet, save in so far as may be necessary to carry them into practical effect. The entire management and ultimate control of everything is vested in the presidency, which consists of three persons -- the seer, and two counsellors of his selection. It is this board that governs the universal Mormon church -- called universal, because they claim to have preached in almost every nation, and in every congressional district of the United States; and have established societies called 'Stakes of Zion,' on the model of their home-assembly, on the islands of the ocean, and on either continent. All are bound to obey the presidency -- at home, in all things; and abroad, in things spiritual, independent of every consideration -- and the converts are commanded to gather to the mountains as fast as may be convenient and compatible with their character and situation.

    The reason for this command is grounded in those peculiar spiritual pretensions which have all along conduced to separate the Mormons from other civilised communities. The leading pretension is, that they constitute the only true church of God and Jesus Christ; and they profess to rest their hopes on the

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    expectation of divine intervention in gathering to themselves all who are destined and prepared to embrace the 'true and ever-lasting gospel.' When their numbers shall be complete, they suppose that all the sects of Christendom will be absorbed into the one which will be most concentrated and numerous. This amalgamated host will then constitute what they seem to regard as the army of Antichrist, which, 'under the banner of the Pope of Rome,' will prepare to confront the Saints of the Latter Days in mortal conflict. In the contest, the Saints expect to be victorious; and then the earth will become their undivided property, and Christ will descend from heaven to reign over them through a blissful millennium.

    It were idle to say anything about the absurdity of the claims thus cursorily summed up; and, indeed, it is matter of question whether the Mormons will long continue to entertain them. We suspect that even now they obtain but little recognition, except among the speculative and most visionary of the priestly orders, and are by them for the most part reserved as esoteric mysteries. We are told that the preaching from the pulpit, and the usual extempore teachings, are restricted to the promulgation of doctrines like those commonly inculcated by the Christian sects which hold to faith, repentance, baptism, and the resurrection of the body. 'Their mode of conducting worship is to assemble at a particular hour, and the senior priest then indicates order by asking a blessing on the congregation and exercises, when a hymn from their own collection is sung, prayer made extempore, and another sacred song, followed by a sermon from some one previously appointed to preach, which is usually continued by exhortations and remarks from those who "feel moved upon to speak." Then notice of the arrangement of the tithe-labour for the ensuing week, and information on all secular matters interesting to them in achurch capacity, is read by the council-clerk, and the congregation dismissed by a benediction.' (Gunnison) Everything of a gloomy or sombre character is excluded from the ordinances; and during the assembling and departure of the congregation, their feelings are exhilarated by an excellent band of music playing marches, waltzes, and animating anthems.

    In all their social and domestic relations, the Mormons are represented as being uniformly cheerful. Though professedly living in anticipation of a miraculous millennium, they object not to enjoy the hour that now is, and cordially participate in all the healthful and gladdening satisfactions which this temporary state affords. It is one of their peculiarities to blend the serious with the gay, and to invest their most light and frivolous pastimes with a kind of religious sanction. 'In their social gatherings and evening-parties,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, 'patronised by the presence of the prophets and apostles, it is not unusual to open the

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    ball with prayer, asking the blessing of God upon their amusements as well as upon any other engagement; and then will follow the most sprightly dancing, in which all join with hearty good-will, from the highest dignitary to the humblest individual; and this exercise is to become part of the temple-worship, to "praise God in songs and dances." These private balls and soirees are frequently extended beyond the time of cock-crowing by the younger members; and the remains of the evening repast furnish the breakfast for the jovial guests. The cheerful happy faces, the self-satisfied countenances, the cordial salutation of brother or sister on all occasions of address, the lively strains of music pouring forth from merry hearts in every domicile, as women and children sing their "songs of Zion," while plying the domestic tasks, give an impression of a happy society in the vales of Deseret.'

    In only one respect can the Mormons be said to outrage the ordinary morality of mankind -- and that is in what has been styled 'their peculiar institution of polygamy.' 'That many have a large number of wives in Deseret,' says Gunnison, 'is perfectly manifest to any one residing long among them; and, indeed, the subject begins to be more openly discussed than formerly; and it is announced that a treatise is in preparation, to prove by the Scriptures the right of plurality by all Christians, if not to declare their own practice of the same.' This we must regard as a serious and debasing blemish in their 'patriarchal' form of life, tending, as it manifestly does, to the inevitable dishonouring of women, and the desecration of the holy ties of family. It seems probable, however, that among a people so generally earnest and sincere, there is natural health and virtue enough to lead them back eventually to a nobler and purer relation of the sexes -- to that sacred and only natural relation which from the first has been ordained to man and woman.

    There are some other disturbing elements in Mormonism, which are most likely destined to be cast out or modified, if their peculiar social polity is ever to be anything but a temporary experiment. Right as they may be, theoretically, in holding that just and proper human government rests upon a true interpretation of the divine will, their practical exemplification of the principle is nothing more than a product of the human will -- the will, namely, of the seer -- supported and directed by such judgment, intelligence, and other mere natural ability which he may happen to possess. If the voice of the seer were, in fact, the voice of God, all would indeed be well, and their theocratical pretensions might seem to be sufficiently established. But so long as we have only the seer's word, and the assertions of his disciples in support of the assumption, the claim of a divine right to govern must be tested by its results; and whether these be admirable or the contrary, the power of a ruler acting by so indefinite a right, resolves itself into a manifestation of pure despotism. While the despotism is just, and the people comparatively incompetent to take part in the management of

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    their political affairs, such a system of government may be productive of advantages, and in most respects answer the needs and ends of the society; but as education spreads, and the perennial inspiration of the seer comes to be doubted or denied, a pretension so arrogant and preposterous will inevitably produce rebellions, and must finally go the way of all the shams that have been annihilated. This the present president, Brigham Young, apparently perceives, for we hear that, with praiseworthy caution, he is 'wary of giving revelations,' and seems to be waiting for the time when they may be quietly dispensed with. He tells the people that the prophet has left more work carved out, than several years of faithful diligence will accomplish; and until all the duties thus entailed have been fulfilled, he does not consider it needful to ask for any more light from Heaven!

    In drawing what we have written to a close, our own conclusion is, that the Mormon doctrines are for the most part nonsense, but that what the Mormons do is in many ways commendable. The world may very well permit them to indulge in their millennial fancies and patriarchal crotchets, so long as they live peaceably and honestly among themselves, and make no intolerant aggressions on the beliefs and religious systems that differ from their own. Their steadfast and honourable industry, the unity of aim and sentiment that subsists among them, their zealous devotion to a central idea, their reverent, if perverted, recognition of a Supreme Power over them, the pleasant fellowship that results from their social regulations, and the robust and sterling independence by which they are distinguished as a community; these, and other highly creditable qualities and characteristics, assuredly entitle them to the honest respect of all candid and discriminating persons, and must sooner or later secure for them an extensive and deserving admiration. Nothing but good-will and an indulgent charity are due to these earnest, stalwart children of the desert -- these rough and intrepid backwoodsmen of the universe -- who, called by a voice which they but imperfectly understand, have nevertheless gone forth to subdue and cultivate a remote and barren region, so that, instead of the heath and the brushwood, it may bear grain for the food of man, and become a blossoming and fruitful garden for his habitation and delight. Not inaptly have they been likened to the Puritans of New England; for although their professing faith is different, they resemble them thoroughly in their hardy isolation and exclusiveness, and are endowed with the like invincibility of purpose; they are as energetic and as enduring; they have sustained persecutions more fiery and desolating, have toiled against all imaginable obstructions for liberty to work and live, contended bravely with wild Indians and the hordes of pestilent outlaws that lurk about the frontiers of civilisation; they have passed through many and enormous perils in roadless prairies and primeval forests, in rocky fastnesses and on the waves of bridgeless rivers; and after the severest struggles and endurance, they have at last made for

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    themselves a prosperous and peaceful home in the bosom of the wilderness. These people are not to be despised, nor too much taunted with the impositions or irregularities of their founders; for whatever may have been the moral state of Mormon society in times past, according to all reliable testimony, great improvement has been for a long while steadily going on, and is sufficient to justify us in the belief, that in regard to the few peculiarities of conduct which demand our reprehension, there will eventually be a decided and permanent reformation. Their successful exemplification of a great social principle -- the principle of concert in employments, and in the distribution of the products of their industry, along with the many solid and generous virtues which are daily manifested by their common lives and conversation -- may be fairly considered proof of a large preponderance of worth, sufficient to overbalance the few admitted sins they may be guilty of; and considering that there is no society in which there is so little habitual crime and misery, and so large an amount of general comfort and well-being, the Mormon polity may be said to be admirably suited to the people living under it, and to answer all the ends for which it has been constituted. As a plan for obtaining the aggregate result of single efforts, it is the best social and industrial experiment that has yet been tried on any considerable scale. Summed up in the words of one of the Mormon writers -- a man of no indifferent learning and ability -- it is a polity intended to enable and induce 'each person to operate at what and where he can do best, and with all his might; being subject to the counsel of those above him.' In an enterprise so nobly philosophical and judicious, no unprejudiced or discerning mind can wish them anything but a continued and prolonged success.


    - 1854 -

    part 1  |  part 2  |  part 3

    The Edinburgh Christian Magazine.

    Vol. VI.                                           Edinburgh, U. K., 1854.                                          No. ? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    When the pen of inspiration fell from the hand of the venerable John, an awful woe was pronounced on all who should add to the record of the will of God for man's salvation. Yet, from age to age, men have been made the dupes of religious impostors. It matters not how absurd and impious their pretended revelations may be; thousands have embraced their doctrines with fanatical zeal, and established churches which exist at the present day. Such a church is that of the Mormonites, or so called "Latter Day Saints." And as it now comprehends 350,000 members, -- as its agents are labouring, not only in America, where it originated, but in this and many distant lands, -- as their converts are enticed across the Atlantic by false and wicked promises, -- and as the rise and progress of Mormonism is one of the strangest pages in modern history, -- we introduce to the notice of our readers, -- I. The history of the Mormonites; and II. The claims of their new religion as a revelation from God. This paper we devote to --


    In the year A.D. 1805, Joseph Smith was born. When a youth of fifteen years of age, he was notorious as a common swindler in Palmyra, a town of the State of New York, in America. Yet, at that early age, with little or no education, and winning his bread by fraudulent practices, he resolved to invent a new religion, and to claim the rank of the Moses or Mohammed of modern times. According to his own account, his mind was distracted with the number of conflicting religious sects; and not knowing which of these was the Church of God, he one day retired to a grove near his father's house, and prayed that God might lead him to join the true Christian Church. That, he confesses, was the first time in his life he had made an attempt to pray; and yet he had scarcely bent the knee, when a pillar of light descended from heaven, and filled the landscape with celestial glory. In the midst of this light, he tells us, he beheld two personages, whose glorious majesty defied description. But one of these addressed him, saying; "Joseph Smith! This is my beloved Son; hear Him!" Joseph then ventured to ask what religious sect he ought to join; and the same speaker declared that all existing sects were an abomination in his sight; and that, at a future period, he would reveal to his youthful servant the fulness of the Gospel. This was the first of a series of visions; for, in 1823, he declared that an angel appeared to him thrice in one night, and once again on the following day, informing him, that the great work preparatory to the second coming of Christ was now to be commenced; that "the Golden Bible," or "Book of Mormon," was deposited in the earth; and that he was to find it buried in the hill of Cumorah, near Palmyra, in the United States. In consequence of this revelation, Joseph dug up the box in which the writings were buried. But when about to examine its contents, the angel of the Lord appeared, shewed him Satan and his evil spirits, and filled him with the Holy Ghost!!! The box, however, was not consigned to his care till the autumn of 1827.

    When this famous ark was disinterred and opened, within it was found a volume of plates, having the appearance of gold. These plates were loosely bound together by several rings, and were covered with engravings in Egyptian characters. These Joseph could not decipher; but, along with the plates, he discovered a curious instrument, formed of two transparent stones, fixed within the rims of a bow, like a pair of enormous spectacles. These stones, which he calls "the Urim and Thummim," were used, he informs us, by the seers or prophets of ancient times; and by their assistance he interpreted the

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    engravings on the golden plates!! The Book of Mormon, thus brought to light by successive visions, was found to contain the history of the ancient inhabitants of America. These it describes as a branch of the house of Israel, of whom the Red American Indians are still a remnant. It further declares, that their principal nations having fallen in battle, two or three centuries after the death of Christ, one of their prophets, named Mormon, engraved their history, doctrines, and prophecies, on plates of gold, as a new revelation of vital interest to the world at large in the latter days. What its doctrinal and prophetical contents are, need not here be specified; but we add that, after the death of Mormon, Moroni, his son, is represented as having buried the golden plates at Cumorath, in the year 420 of the Christian era.

    About this time, a simple farmer, named Martin Harris, lent Joseph Smith fifty dollars, and soon afterwards sold his farm to enable the pretended prophet to publish the Book of Mormon. In order to secure its extensive sale, a false report was spread that Professor Anthon, a distinguished scholar, had pronounced the engravings on the sacred plates to be really characters of the Egyptian language. Moreover, a declaration was published and signed by eight individuals, to the effect that they had seen the plates of the Mormon Bible; while Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Oliver Cowdery -- whose vicious characters will hereafter be exposed -- signed and circulated a testimonial, affirming that an angel had shewed them the golden plates, and that the voice of God had commanded them to bear witness to this extraordinary fact. As a crowning and conclusive evidence of his heavenly mission, Smith himself asserted, with almost all the solemnity of an oath, that John the Baptist appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery; that he conferred upon them the priesthood of Aaron, and promised them also the priesthood of Melchizedck; and that he commanded them to baptize one another, as "priests of the Most High God." This, accordingly, they did with all due reverence, in 1829, when the Mormon impostor was twenty-four years of age.

    Imagining that matters were ripe at last for action, the new prophet went forth to preach a false and mongrel Christianity, -- dwelling especially on his own inspiration, on the forgiveness of sin by immersion in water, on the reign of his followers as the Latter Day Saints, and on their inheritance of the earth in temporal power and glory. Like Mohammed, he borrowed much from the sacred Scriptures, while he corrupted the truth by blasphemous additions, suited to the natural tastes and passions of men. Every comet and meteor -- every war or rumour of war -- every monstrous birth among the lower animals -- every public calamity by tempest, fire, or steamboat explosion, was set forth as a proof and warning of the predicted coming of Christ. Appealing thus to the lowest faculties of credulous and unprincipled men, this crafty impostor, in 1830, was followed as a prophet by thirty disciples. But, as his character was too notorious in Palmyra, he removed to Kirtland, in the State of Ohio, where he established a bank, a general store, and a tavern. As the bank, however, was nothing else than a swindling concern, he selected a place called Independence, in the State of Missouri, as the site of the New Jerusalem -- pretending that he did so by revelation from heaven! During the next two years he preached with success in various parts of the United States, till his impious doctrines, and certain charges brought against him by one of his chief disciples, led to his being stripped, tarred, and feathered, by a furious mob. Meantime, the Mormonites in Missouri excited the rage of the surrounding populace. Friends and foes alike accused them of communism in wives; and of boasting that the time was at hand when they would seize the country and exterminate their enemies by fire and sword. Inflamed by these reports, the people rose against them, and blood was shed. A massacre of twenty Mormonites led to the formation of a Mormon regiment, named the "Dannite Band," or destroying angels, who were bound by an oath to take

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    vengeance on their adversaries at the bidding of the church. This impolitic step exasperated the public mind to tenfold fury; and, to escape a general onslaught, the Mormonites surrendered their arms, and engaged to quit Missouri for ever, for the neighbouring State of Illinois. Accordingly, they removed to Commerce, a village on the banks of the Mississippi; and as their numbers now amounted to 15,000 souls, their leaders resolved to build a city, which they called "Nauvoo," or "the Beautiful," and also "the Holy City." Here, at length, Joseph Smith enjoyed a short season of prosperity and peace. He was prophet, priest, and chief magistrate of the new community, and commander-in-chief of a body of militia, raised under the title of the Nauvoo Legion. When thus at the pinnacle of his power and greatness, he sent his missionary agents to England, and succeeded in presenting copies of the Mormon Bible to Queen Victoria and her royal consort! As another fruit of the prophet's zeal, the foundation of a gorgeous temple was laid in 1841, and finally built at a cost of a million dollars. It was styled the Temple of Zion -- being erected, according to Smith, in obedience to the last revelation which he pretended to receive from Heaven. The first stone was laid by the prophet himself, amid the carnal pomp of a procession of troops, and ladies on horseback, military music, and the shouts of assembled multitudes.

    Having reached the climax of his earthly grandeur, the power of the Mormon leader was so great, that he proclaimed himself candidate for the Presidency of the American States; but, like Jonah's gourd, which grew in a night and perished in a night, his life and greatness were drawing fast to a close; and we must ascribe his downfall to the spiritual pride and aggressive ambition of his followers, who arrogantly threatened their opponents with the judgments of God. Besides, the laws of the government were trampled under foot. Nauvoo waged constant war against nine surrounding counties. The governor of Missouri -- the old enemy of the Mormonites -- was nearly assassinated; and Smith was prosecuted for the crime. To crown the whole, Sydney Rigdon, his chief coadjutor, introduced the disgraceful doctrine of "spiritual wives," -- alleging that God authorized the saints to make other men's wives and daughters their lawful concubines!! This scandalous charge originated with Dr. Foster, a Mormonite, whose wife the prophet had tried to corrupt; and if we allude to such atrocious doctrines and practices, it is because silence here would be treachery to truth, and because this very matter led to the violent death of the Mormon impostor, and his favourite brother, Hyram Smith. For Dr. Foster, fired with revenge and indignation, published a newspaper, The Expositor, in Nauvoo itself; and in the opening number he copied the affidavits of sixteen women, who declared on oath that Joseph Smith and his friends had attempted to make them their "spiritual wives," with the special permission of Heaven. Thereon the council of the city denounced the Expositor a public nuisance; and a mob of fanatics razed the newspaper office to the ground, destroyed the printing presses, and made a bonfire of the papers and furniture. In consequence of this new outrage, Dr. Foster fled for his life to Carthage, and applied for a warrant against Joseph and Hyram Smith. The warrant was granted; but the brothers refused to surrender themselves, till the magistrates prepared to besiege Nauvoo. On the evening of the 27th of June 1844, a ruffian mob, with blackened faces, attacked the prison, and fired on the brothers Smith, and two of their friends, who had paid them a visit. Hyram was slain in the place of confinement; and Joseph, after leaping from a window, was pierced by four bullets as he lay in a fainting state against a wall. Thus fell this extraordinary man. He was a criminal indeed in the sight of the law, but the victim of popular rage and violence. The perpetrators of his cruel murder were never discovered; and though they had been brought to justice, their death on the scaffold could not have prevented the deplorable consequences of their crime. For the death

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    of the wretched impostor did more for his church than fifty years of his life could possibly have accomplished. His disciples regarded him as a martyr for the faith. Both friends and foes foretold that his crimes would be forgotten, and his cause promoted by his melancholy fate. And the prophecy was fulfilled; though not till the Mormonites had suffered another and severer period of suffering, provoked by their own vainglory and infatuation.
    W. L. W.        
    (To be continued.)

    [ 85 ]


    Part II.

    In our last Number we sketched the history of this modern sect down to the death of Joseph Smith. On their subsequent movements we will not dwell, as the main interest of their progress terminates with the death of the arch-impostor. A few sentences, however, we must devote to --


    After the solemn funeral of the prophet, Sydney Rigdon aspired to be chief of the Mormon Church. But he was ignominiously excommunicated, and "handed over to the buffetings of Satan;" and Brigham Young was elected successor to the departed "prophet." As the

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    latter had rashly predicted, that at Nauvoo "the saints" were to dwell for ever, the building of the temple of Zion was carried on, and the city was named "The City of Joseph." But once more his disciples indulged in threats against the neighbouring states and counties; pitched battles were fought, Nauvoo was besieged and taken by storm, and in 1846 its citizens commenced their pilgrimage across the Rocky Mountains to the unknown wilderness of New California, leaving their temple to be gutted by fire, and demolished by a furious hurricane. The distance travelled was 1200 miles. The perils by the way were great. The bones of thousands still whiten the prairies. Famine, plague, and Indian hostility, thinned their ranks. But, at last, they arrived at the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847 and 1848 -- a territory including the said "Dead Sea," the "Sea of Galilee," and the "Western Jordan," on the banks of which they have founded the "New Jerusalem." No sooner, however, had they seen their first crops waving, like a fair oasis in the desert, than a new calamity threatened the settlers with death by famine. Myriads of wingless locusts, black, hideous, and mounted on "legs of steelwire and lock-spring," descended from the mountains, and marched, in desolating nests, to devour the rising grain. Against this plague the Mormonites fought and prayed in vain, till flocks of sea-gulls arrived from the western coast, and gorged themselves on the invading foe. This danger passed, a greater threatened to disperse and overthrow the Mormon community. This was the discovery of gold in California by some of their own exploring bands; but, by published appeals, incessant preaching, and dire denunciations against the lust for "filthy lucre," the great mass of "the saints" remained in Utah, inclosing their farms, building houses, and making arrangements for gaining admission as a new state in the American Union. Accordingly, they now occupy a tract of country, locked in by lakes and mountains, at the height of upwards of 4000 feet above the level of the sea. This region is bounded on the west by the state of California; on the north, by the territory of Oregon; and on the east and south by the ridge of hills which separate the waters flowing into the Great Basin from those flowing into the Colorado River and the Gulf of California. In 1850, the American Government appointed Mr. Brigham Young the governor of this new state, with a staff of seven subordinate officers, of whom four are members of the Mormon Church. As, however, the Mormonites in Utah could not be recognized as an organized state till their population amounted to 60,000, the most desperate exertions have been made to "gather the saints from the ends of the earth to the land of promise," This is the secret spring of their missionary enterprise, which the gold of California enables them to prosecute, and whose rapid success is attributed to the lying wonders, and alluring bribes held out to ensnare the poorer classes in Christian lands.

    We now proceed to examine --

    II. The Claims Of The Mormon Religion to be
    a Revelation of the Will of God.

    In order to determine whether Mormonism is, or is not a divine revelation, we must candidly consider, 1st, The character of its founder; 2d, The origin and history of the "Mormon Bible;" 3d, Its literary and religious characteristics; and, 4th, The prophecies and miracles adduced in support of the Mormon doctrines. In doing so we pledge to our readers our solemn word, that we make no statement, however apparently incredible, without having carefully and conscientiously consulted well authenticated sources of information.

    1st, The character of the Mormon prophet.

    This is a point of paramount importance; for Joseph Smith pretended to converse with God and angels, inculcated doctrines inconsistent with our Christian faith, and proclaimed himself an inspired and "chosen servant of the Most High God, and equal with the Saviour of the world!" Now, as we are commanded to

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    "try the spirits whether they be of God," and as Christ himself authorizes us to test and know them "by their fruits," it is no presumption, but a solemn duty, to inquire, whether the Mormon prophet was a man of God, like Moses, the prophets, and apostles; or a crafty deceiver, a daring blasphemer, and a sordid, sensual, ambitious profligate.

    In his youth, as we hinted in our former article, Smith gained a precarious living by gross and shameful imposition. On the testimony of his father-in-law and other parties, he pretended to possess a magical stone, by means of which he could discover gold and silver mines, and hidden treasure. Some were credulous enough to believe in his enchantments; and while his dupes were digging for the precious metal, he enticed them to pay him for his share, and left them to seek the imaginary spoil. This, however, seems not to have proved a lucrative trade; for, having resolved to elope with Miss Hale, the daughter of a Presbyterian clergyman, and being destitute of funds with which to effect his purpose, he persuaded a Mr. Stowell that he had discovered a bar of gold in a cave, and offered to share it with him for a sum of money. The trick succeeded. Its author fled with his bride to Manchester, an American town, and left his victim to lament his cupidity and infatuation. Such was his infamous mode of life in early manhood: and that this was a matter of notoriety, is proved by the following declaration, signed at Palmyra, Dec. 4th, 1833, by fifty-two influential citizens: -- "We, the undersigned, having known the Smith family for many years, have no hesitation in saying that they are destitute of moral character. Joseph Smith, the prophet, was, in particular, entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits." Nor did this wretched man discontinue his fraudulent practices after he claimed a mission from God as the prophet of the latter days. Removing from his native place, he commenced a system of wholesale swindling, by establishing a bank at Kirtland, in Ohio. For obvious reasons, however, a charter having been refused by the Government, some individuals who had accepted Smith's bank-notes, became anxious to learn what amount of precious metal "the company" possessed. In anticipation of this demand, Smith filled a box with 1000 dollars, and two hundred similar boxes with heavy rubbish. Each of these was marked in front, "1000 dollars;" and when the pretended prophet coolly opened the single box which was filled with silver coin, his creditors felt ashamed to prosecute their inquiry, and retired, imagining that the bank was solvent. This base deception was carried on till the public were robbed to the amount of 100,000 dollars. But, at last, the bubble burst, and the fraud exploded. The "prophet" was condemned as a fraudulent bankrupt in open court; but he fled with his booty, pursued by the officers of justice till he crossed the boundary of the state, and joined his disciples in Missouri!

    These facts may render it unnecessary here to expose Smith's deliberate lies and impious blasphemy, in pretending to receive revelations from Heaven commanding the people to provide him with a house, food, clothing, and their wives and daughters as his concubines! Indeed, on such "revelations" we could not dwell without polluting these pages; for they bear on their front the stamp of intense selfishness, gross sensuality, and atrocious wickedness; so that, were the founder of the Mormonites tried by his so-called "revelations" alone, they would convict him (to quote the words of his reverend father-in-law) as the author of fabrications "got up for speculation, that he might live on the spoil of those who swallowed the deception." Suffice it that we notice another feature of his character, -- insatiable ambition. The following is a copy of an affidavit, sworn to by Thomas March, a Mormonite, and confirmed on oath by Orson Hyde, an ex-apostle of the Mormon Church: -- "The plan of Joseph Smith is to take the state of Missouri, the United States, and ultimately the whole world. I have heard him say that he would yet tread down his enemies, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean: for, as Mohammed's motto in treating for

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    peace was: 'The Alcoran, or The Sword!' so it would be eventually with us: 'Joseph Smith, or The Sword!'"

    We close this sketch of the American impostor with two testimonials of his flagitious character. The first is extracted from a letter addressed to himself by Professor Turner of Illinois: -- "I have charitably sought to find some ground for believing that you and your comrades were only a new species of religious maniacs; but I have sought in vain. After a thorough examination of your career, a man might as well attempt to believe your religion, as to regard yourself in any other light than that of a deliberate, cold-blooded, persevering deceiver!" His moral deformity is thus portrayed in the Christian Instructor, a highly respectable American periodical: -- "If we can credit his own words, and the testimony of eye-witnesses, he was, at the same time, the vicegerent of God and a tavern-keeper -- a prophet of Jehovah and a base libertine -- a minister of the religion of peace and a lieutenant-general -- a ruler of tens of thousands and a drunkard, a profane swearer, and a slave to all his own base and unbridled passions!!"

    2d, The real origin and history of the Book of Mormon.

    The first idea of the "Golden Bible" occurred to Smith after he heard that such a book had been found in Canada. According to the evidence of Peter Ingersol, one of his intimate friends, given on solemn oath, Smith had found some strange white sand, and took it home, wrapped up in his frock. On his friends inquiring what his frock contained, he answered in jest: "It is the Golden Bible; but no man can see it with the naked eye and live!" To his own surprise, they superstitiously believed him; and he afterwards said to his friend already referred to: "I have got the cursed fools fixed, and I'll carry out the fun!" Here, then, we have the germ of the Mormon imposture. Like the spider hungering for the blood of his victims, this cunning and unprincipled youth set his brain to work, and wove a web of ingenious falsehood, light as gossamer to an intelligent Christian, but strong as chains of steel to the ignorant and carnal-minded sinner.

    In other words, for the sake of money and sensual gratification, this common swindler speculated on the credulity and depravity of his fellow-men, and invented the story of the golden plates, covered with Egyptian characters, and interpreted by means of the gigantic crystal stones, "the Urim and Thummim!"

    Here we need not dwell on the fact, that God of old revealed His will to prophets and apostles, not by means of parchment, golden plates, or any engravings on material tablets, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. But we must observe, that the "Urim and Thummim" were not spectacles, nor instruments used in the interpretation of written language, hut mysterious component parts of the dress of the Hebrew high priests. Be it also remembered, that the Mormon "prophet" was totally ignorant of the Egyptian language and characters; for when the Rev. Henry Caswell shewed him a Greek psalter, he pronounced it "a dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphics!!" "But," asked Professor Caswell, "does it not look like Greek?" "No," answered Smith, who claimed the miraculous "gift of tongues;" "it ain't Greek at all, except perhaps a few words. What ain't Greek is Egyptian; and what ain't Egyptian is Greek!" In fact, the truth of the matter appears to be, that the golden plates never had existence; for no man, Mormonite or Christian, ever enjoyed the privilege of seeing them! True, Smith declared in "the Book of Mormon," that he was permitted to shew them to three individuals. But these very men at first confessed "that they saw them with the eye of faith alone, while the plates were concealed from bodily vision." True, moreover, a copy of some of the golden plates was brought by Martin Harris to Professor Anthon; but that learned scholar declares, that the whole affair was a scandalous hoar, and that the engravings were a wretched forgery, borrowed from the Roman, Greek, and Hebrew alphabets, and Humboldt's Mexican Calendar!"

    Though the prophet's witnesses at first acknowledged that they had never seen

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    the plates with the bodily eye, they subsequently published a declaration, in which they stated: "That an angel from heaven brought the plates unto them; and that these plates were shewn unto them by the power of God, and not of man." Therefore the character and credibility of these three witnesses become a question of vital importance. Their names are Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. First of all, as to Oliver Cowdery. Joseph Smith himself published the following "revelation" against him in A.D. 1831: "Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God; it is not wisdom in me that Oliver Cowdery Be Entrusted With The Monies which he shall carry into the land of Zion, unless one go with him who shall be true and faithful." Again, as to David Whitmer. In a paper drawn up by Sidney Rigdon, and signed by eighty-four Mormonites, it is stated that the said D. Whitmer and O. Cowdery, were members of "a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest die," combining to "cheat and defraud the saints of their property." Once more, as to Martin Harris. He had sold his farm to enable Smith to publish the Book of Mormon; but his wife bore witness, that when she strove to convince him of Smith's imposition, he doggedly replied: "What if it is a lie f If you let us alone, I will make money by it!" But not only was this witness a Mormonite for filthy lucre's sake, -- Professor Turner testifies that he was "a domestic tyrant, frequently beating and kicking his patient wife;" and when he seceded from the Mormon Church, denouncing Smith as "a perfect wretch," his master repaid the compliment by describing him in one of his journals as "a negro with a white skin, so far beneath contempt, that a notice of him would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make!" Such were the men who declared that they had seen and handled the golden plates. They were leading office-bearers in the Mormon Church; yet, on the testimony of their own friends and fellow-impostors, they were arrant knaves, and utterly unworthy of belief.

    But, still it may be asked, how an uneducated man like Joseph Smith could compose such a work as the Book of Mormon? Our answer is, that he was not its author -- that in this respect, as in other matters, he was convicted of theft and falsehood; and that this new charge is established by a chain of evidence as clear, unbroken, and condemnatory, as ever was heard in a court of justice. In 1812, there lived in the town of New Salem, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, who, in consequence of illness, had resigned his pastoral charge. To occupy his leisure hours, he spent three years in writing a historical romance, or rather a religious tale, representing the Red American Indians as the lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Its style was a studied imitation of that of the Old Testament histories. Its principal heroes were Mormon, and his son Moroni. As its author pretended that he had dug it up from an Indian mound, its title was "The Manuscript Found;" and Mr. Spaulding's wife, his brother John, and many of his friends and neighbours, heard it read from time to time. Soon afterwards, the Rev. Mr. Spaulding and his family removed to Pittsburg, where he lent the manuscript tale to Mr. Paterson, the editor of a newspaper; and thus it fell into the hands of Sidney Rigdon, who was a Baptist preacher, and a compositor in Mr. Paterson's printing-office; and who afterwards became the chief accomplice of Joseph Smith in founding the Mormon Church. As the author refused to publish the work, yet left it in Mr. Paterson's hands for a considerable time, S. Rigdon copied the M.S.; and after Mr. Spaulding's death in 1816, he lent it to Joseph Smith, who made it the groundwork of the celebrated "Book of Mormon." This was very providentially proved; for after the "Book of Mormon" was published, copious extracts from it were read by a female Mormon preacher in a public meeting held at New Salem, -- the very town where "The Manuscript Found" was written! At that meeting, Mr. John Spaulding, and certain of his friends were present; and the former at once recognized the extracts rend as stolen from his departed brother's work! Amazed at the strange discovery, and

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    bursting into tears of grief and indignation, he rose and expressed his bitter sorrow at the writings of his brother being used for a purpose so vile and blasphemous. These withering facts he subsequently confirmed by his solemn oath; and thus, in the words of its author's widow, "A historical romance," with alterations and additions, has been converted into "a new Bible, and palmed off" on a sect of poor deluded fanatics as a divine revelation!"
    W. T. W.          
    (To be concluded in our next Number.)

    [ 115 ]


    Part III.

    In examining the claims of Mormondom to be received as a revelation of the will of God, we have already considered, 1st, The character of its Founder; and, 2d, The real origin and history of the Book of Mormon. And the result of our inquiry was, that the character of Joseph Smith was a combination of knavery, ambition, sensuality, and impiety; -- and that the "Mormon Bible" was nothing else than Spaulding's historical romance, "The Manuscript Found," with such additions and alterations as might conceal its origin, and palm it off on the credulous multitude as a divine revelation. In further exposing this most transparent, but most dangerous imposture, let us glance --

    3d, At the literary and religious characteristics of the Book of Mormon.

    In defining the meaning of the word "Mormon," Smith unmasks his own unblushing impudence, and gives the world a ludicrous illustration of the proverb, that "a little learning is a dangerous thing." "The Bible," he tells us, "means good; for the Saviour says: 'I am the good Shepherd.' We say from the Saxon, good; from the Dane, god; the Goth, goda; the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, Mon. Hence, with the addition of more, or the contraction mor, we have the word Mor-Mon, which means, literally, More-Good." Here is a learned definition, which reminds us of Dr. Johnson's definition of higgledy-piggledy, -- "a conglomerated mass of heterogeneous matter!" Here is a man inspired to interpret tongues, blindly asserting that the word Bible means good! -- though every tyro in Greek knows that it signifies the book. Here is a pretended prophet who claims divine inspiration, and yet maintains that the name of Mormon, the Nephite prophet, who lived two centuries after the birth of Christ, is composed of the Saxon word more prefixed to the Egyptian word mon! But his definition was craftily invented to serve a purpose. He argued thus: -- "The very title of this book means More-Good, -- that is, more of the Gospel, -- a new Revelation for the Latter Days, equally genuine, authentic, and infallible, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity is the development of preceding dispensations, Mormonism is the development of Christianity; and I am the angel of the everlasting Gospel, whom John beheld, in vision, flying through heaven, to preach the fulness of the truth to every creature!"

    Now, as J. Smith acknowledged the Bible to be the Word of God, and as one of the articles of the Mormon creed is as follows: -- "We believe in the word of God recorded in the Bible, and also the word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon," -- we are entitled to expect that the latter volume contains no glaring errors, no rank absurdities, no anachronisms, no heresy whatsoever, nor the slightest inconsistency with the Old and New Testaments. This, we say, we are entitled to demand. As the colours of the rainbow blend and form a pure and dazzling light -- as the attributes of God harmonize, and constitute Him the all-perfect One -- as the books of nature, providence, and grace, illustrate and interpret heavenly truth -- and as Moses and the Prophets, and Christ and the Apostles, revealed the same great truths from age to age, as inspired and infallible teachers sent by God, -- this book of Mormon, if it is the Word of God, must be free from human errors, and must bear the impress of its divine original; -- in other words, it must harmonize with the sacred Scriptures, and communicate truths plainly and essentially necessary to man's salvation and the glory of God.

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    Such portions of the Book of Mormon as remained as Mr. Spaulding wrote them, possess no inconsiderable literary merit, though he undertook the impracticable task of imitating the style of the Old Testament writings. Not so, however, with J. Smith, the "inspired interpreter of the golden plates." Wherever he altered Mr. Spaulding's romance, he betrays the cloven hoof of an impostor. He is the stone-mason replacing a limb on the Venus de Medici. He is a sign-painter restoring a masterpiece of Claude or Rembrandt. He is a schoolboy adding to the classic simplicity, and poetic grandeur, and heroic chivalry of Homer's Epics. Not to speak of his utter ignorance of Hebrew idioms, ellipses, and terse but comprehensive style, -- the Book of Mormon is full of grammatical blunders, so very shameful that the schoolmaster in America is evidently not abroad. Such phrases as these are of frequent occurrence: -- "I saith unto them," -- "I, who ye call your king," -- "Ye saith unto him," -- "Ye are like unto they," -- These things had not ought to be," -- "For a more history part are written on my other plates." How unlike the style of the shepherds and fishermen who wrote the books of the incomparable Bible!

    J. Smith was not inspired with chronological knowledge. He represents Mormon the prophet as guilty of anachronisms as absurd as those of any Arabian, Hindu, or Chinese pretender. The Book of Mormon relates, that the Nephites sailed by the guidance of the compass to America, more than a thousand years before that instrument was invented. It mentions our Saviour by the titles "Christ" and "Jesus;" whereas, had Mormon been a Hebrew, and the engraver of the so-called golden plates, he would have designated our Lord "Messiah" and "Joshua." It speaks of "Christians" centuries before the coming of Christ, though we know from Acts xi. 26, that "His disciples were called Christians first at Antioch," in A.D. 41. It represents the Israelites of the tribe of Joseph as using the Gospel ordinances and Christian sacraments many ages before the Mosaic law was abolished, or the Christian worship instituted in its stead. It even quotes Paul's Epistle to the Romans, (xi. 17, 19, 23,) some hundred years before Paul was born; and its compiler absurdly misapplies the terms "alpha" and "omega," as if he deemed them possessed of some mystic meaning, and as if he little imagined that they are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and could have no place in a book so ancient, and composed by one whose mother tongue was Hebrew, and who engraved the reformed Egyptian characters on the golden plates. Such are a few of the anachronisms which prove the Book of Mormon an illiterate work of modern date. The mariner's compass in use in the days of the prophets! Christ, Christians, and Christian ordinances recorded by an ancient orthodox Jew! The Epistle to the Romans quoted before it was written! As well might this base fabrication speak of Knox and Luther, of railways to London, or the bombardment of Odessa; and, nevertheless, be held by its blasphemous author a divine revelation of the Gospel!

    Some of the stories of the Book of Mormon are sublimely ridiculous. The most fabulous writers of the Apocrypha would have rejected them. Mohammed would not have dared to insert them in the Alcoran. In the middle ages, some Romish monk might have penned them on the illuminated page of a book of holy legends. But, alas! for the light of the nineteenth century! -- Joseph Smith has given them a prominent place in "The Book of the New Everlasting Gospel!" Take the following specimen: -- When the Jaredites were about to emigrate to America, they built eight boats, "made like unto dishes." These vessels were air-light, and yet had a hole in the roof, (to admit fresh air?) and a hole in the bottom, (to admit salt water?) These extraordinary barges could swim on the sea, or dive to its channel, with equal ease. They had two windows each, formed of molten stones; and two of these windows were preserved, and became "the Urim and Thummiin" which J. Smith used as spectacles in translating the Golden Plates!! Strange, indeed, that

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    men who laugh at Aesop's Fables, popish legends, and Gulliver's Travels, can credit such inventions as the Word God!

    Not unfrequently this spurious volume flatly contradicts the sacred Scriptures. We quote one instance, of itself sufficient to brand that volume as a wretched forgery, and its pretended author as a lying prophet: -- The sceptre was to continue in the tribe of Judah till Shiloh came, (Gen. xlix. 10;) but the Book of Mormon describes the descendants of Joseph as legitimate kings in Israel. It is equally certain that the priesthood was conferred on Aaron and his sons, (Num. iii. 10,) -- that the service of the sanctuary was imposed on the tribe of Levi, -- and that Jehovah threatened those who should usurp the priestly office with the doom of "Korah and his company," and sternly commanded that they should be "put to death." But of this fundamental law of the Mosaic economy the American "prophet" was profoundly ignorant. He represents Lehi and his sons, of the tribe of Joseph, as priests in accordance with the law of Moses; and, with a daring impiety, seldom heard of far from the Roman Vatican, he himself usurped the prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices of Jesus Christ!

    4th, Heretical doctrines of the Mormonites.

    In addition to the Book of Mormon, Smith published a "Book of Doctrines and Covenants." His followers have published tracts, pamphlets, and series of essays, in explanation and defence of the Mormon creed. But as these remarks must be drawn to a close, we must not dwell on all their heresies, nor dare we glance at their vulgar and horrible notions of heaven and hell. They profess to believe in the Holy Bible; yet Orson Pratt, their English apostle, declares, that because they cleave to the Holy Bible, the whole Protestant clergy "are as destitute of the authority of God as the devil and angels!" "What, then, would this man have us to believe? In living prophets, apostles, and high priests, -- in the gift of tongues and modern miracles, -- in the baptism of the dead and baptismal salvation, -- in the divine right of revenge, fornication, and adultery, -- in the saintship of a monster of wickedness, -- in the divine original of a book formed out of a romance, and replete with errors, falsehoods, and blasphemies, -- and, of course, in his own infallibility, honesty, and worth, as an apostle to the Gentiles!

    The Mormonites teach the atheistical doctrine, that matter is eternal; -- in other words, they deny that "God created the heavens and the earth," -- the prima materia of the present universe. This dogma is so opposed to reason, science, and revelation, that we dismiss it with Dr. Adam Clarke's observation: "If there were an eternal Nature besides an eternal God, there must have been two self-existent, independent, and eternal Beings, which is a most palpable contradiction."

    They maintain that forgiveness of sins is obtained by immersion in water, apart from faith in the blood of Christ; and that sanctification begins in the soul, not at conversion, and by the immediate agency of the Holy Spirit, but by a sacramental process involved in "baptismal regeneration."

    They tell us that angels are human beings, -- that God is not a Spirit, but a man like ourselves, -- and that, in another world, man will be exalted above God! In proof of a statement so extraordinary, I quote the following from "the Millennial Star," Vol. VI., printed on the "Prophet's" authority, and signed by his own name: -- "The weakest child of God who now exists upon the earth will possess more dominion, more property, more subjects, more power and glory, than is possessed by Jesus Christ or by His Father! * * * What are angels? They are intelligences of the human species. Many of them are the offspring of Adam and Eve, -- of men, it is said, being gods, or sons of God, endowed with the same powers, attributes, and capacities, that their heavenly Father and Jesus Christ possess. * * * What is God? -- He is a material organized Intelligence, possessing both body and parts. He is in the form of a man, and is, in fact, of the same species, and is a model and standard of perfection, to which man

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    is destined to attain. This Being cannot occupy two distinct places at once, therefore He cannot be everywhere present." Such gross infidelity, such hideous blasphemy, constrains us to ask: Did J. Smith ever read the Bible? If so, did he believe it? Was he inspired to contradict Jesus Christ's declaration, "God is a Spirit?" -- to contradict the Holy Ghost, who moved holy men of old to teach us that God is invisible, omnipresent, and enthroned "in light inaccessible and full of glory?" But our English Mormonites advance, if possible, further atill in frightful impiety, They insolently say, that the God whom Christians worship is "a newly-invented God, resembling nothing in heaven, or earth, or hell;" and that our worship of Him "far surpasses, in absurdity, the worship of frightful serpents, or images of wood, or stone, or brass!" It is exceedingly painful to quote these ravings of infidels, -- infidels more insane, and more inveterate in enmity to God than Paine, Voltaire, or Rosaeau! Yet thousands of our countrymen are forsaking the God of their fathers for a god who is a man, who eats and drinks, who sins and repents, who very little excels ordinary men in stature, and who knows nothing that is done under the sun, unless an angel ascends to heaven to inform him!!

    5th, Prophecies and miracles are adduced in support of the Mormon imposture.

    When Mormonism was in its infancy, J. Smith predicted "by revelation from God," that Sidney Rigdon would live to accomplish "a great work" in advancing the kingdom of heaven. The revelation was falsified by the event. Rigdon was a scandal to the Mormon Church. His doctrine of "spiritual wives" led to the murder of "the prophet." And he himself was "handed over to Satan," by a public council of his fellow-apostles. In three distinct revelations, J. Smith foretold that Zion was to be built for ever at Independence in Missouri. Unfortunate prophet! his disciples were banished from Missouri, and founded Zion in New California! One prophecy, however, Smith was determined to fulfil. In 1841, he foretold that his old enemy, Governor Boggs, would die within a year. Mr. Bennet, the mayor of Nauvoo, deposed, that for a reward of 500 dollars, one of the Daoite band fired a shot at the governor, and soon after appeared in Nauvoo with abundance of money. Next day, the fulfilment of the prophecy was proclaimed on Smith's authority; but Governor Boggs survived the assassin's bullet, and within the year, actually assisted in bringing Smith himself to a premature death!

    As a worker of miracles, we need not say J. Smith was not more successful. When the Asiatic cholera broke out among his followers, he attempted to heal them by "laying on of hands and prayer;" and when he failed, he consoled them with the heartless assurance, that their enemies would suffer more than they by the deadly plague! On another occasion, he proclaimed his intention to walk across an American river, as a decisive proof of his being a prophet of God. The appointed day arrived. Multitudes were assembled. But, when on his way to the Mississippi, he stopped and refused to fulfil his promise, on the hypocritical pretence that many of the people had no faith! -- as if their conversion from unbelief were not the very end to be served by his working the miracle!

    At the present day, miraculous powers are claimed by the Mormon "prophets" and "apostles." A list of miracles has been published by the apostolic Orson Pratt. It rivals, but does not surpass, the catalogue of wondrous cures performed by "Parr's Life Pills," and such quack medicines. Can Pratt deny that several Mormonites died of cholera in Glasgow, because their apostles "cast physic to the dogs," and tried their miraculous gifts in vain? Can he deny that Cecilia Howe expired at Cardiff, after three days spent in vain attempts to cure her by a miracle, and fifteen minutes after a leading Mormonite declared she would not die? Can he deny that two "apostles" called a public meeting at Newport, to witness the raising of a man from the dead, -- that a gentleman present, suspecting conspiracy, inflicted a sound whipping on the pretended corpse, -- and that the latter rose and fled from

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    the place in shame and terror? These are specimens of Mormon miracles! but they are not the most disgusting that might be referred to. In the following extract from the Millennial Star, published 1st Aug. 1847, a Mormon preacher gives an account of his casting out devils at the ordination of Richard Currell to the priesthood: -- "When we laid our hands upon him, the devil entered him, and tried to prevent us from ordaining him; but the power of Jesus Christ in the priesthood was stronger than the devil. When the devil found he was defeated in brother Currell, he entered a sister. The devils kept coming in for several hours. As fast as one lot was expelled, another lot entered. At one time, we counted twenty-seven come out of her. I may as well say, that the devils told us they were sent, some by Cain, and some by Kite, Kilo, Kelo, Kalmonia, Judas, and Lucifer. We cast them out thirty times, and had three hundred and nineteen devils, -- from three to thirty coming out at a time!!!" Surely such vulgar nonsense needs no comment. Impiety and impudence can go no farther. We only hope, that the man who wrote the foregoing report, may himself be exorcised from a spirit of falsehood, and that our countrymen may laugh to scorn such absurd and soul destructive delusions!

    We have written these articles on Mormonism for the special use of the working-men in town and country. The bait held out to them by lying emissaries, is not without its own peculiar allurements: "Become a Mormon; and we offer yon a western paradise -- rocks of gold -- land for nothing -- -freedom from jails, police, &c. -- 'perfect liberty' to desert wife and children in Britain, and to marry another woman, or any number of spiritual wives -- and, at the same time, pardon of sin by simple immersion in water!" Excepting, indeed, the Mormonite toleration of polygamy, these enticements are fallacious bribes. According to Kelly's "Excursions in California," the Mormon valley is a "bald and level plain, without bush or bramble to cast a shade from the scorching rays of a flaming sun." There is no crop there without toil and hardships; no gold at the diggings without labour, disease, and the probability of robbery, or even murder; no crime detected without "lynch law," or the more regular laws of the United States. A thousand times happier is life at home, or on the fields of Upper Canada, or the pastures of Australia!

    Nor should our countrymen forget, that Mormonism is a new form of foul and detestable infidelity. "The great danger is, that it is clothed in the garb of Christianity to deceive the unwary. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It is atheism in Bible-binding. It is Satan's brass with the name of the Saviour on it, to make it pass current, and deceive, corrupt, and destroy. It is a lie dressed up with a garnish stolen from the Word of God!" The sacred Scriptures, on the other hand, bear on every page the stamp of divine inspiration. They challenge investigation. They have triumphed over all the assaults of scepticism and false philosophy; and from every furnace of scorn and sophistry, they shall come forth refined, and more impressively than ever vindicate their claim to be, -- "The Word Of God."

    "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, -- let him be accursed!" What an inscription for the tomb of Joseph Smith! What an inspired apostolical anathema on him and all his preachers! What an argument in favour of the Christian clergy combining in a holy war against Mormon heresy, and blasphemy, and immorality, -- by lectures, tracts, pamphlets, and the organized visitation of the lanes and closes of our populous cities!
    W. L. W.        


    - 1854 -





    Vol. II.                                      London, U. K., March, 1854.                                      No. 3.

          [ 96 ]

    Mormonism and the Mormons.

    Everybody knows that the most valuable of the recent territorial acquisitions of the United States is California. This amazing country is naturally divided into two portions, called the Coast and Inland Sections. The former extends inland from the Pacific Ocean to the Sierra-Nevada Mountains, and varies in breadth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred miles. The latter, comprising at least four-fifths of the area of California, is bounded on the west by the Sierra-Nevada, and on the east by the Rocky Mountains. Its principal feature is an enormous depression between these ranges, five hundred miles each way, known as the Great Interior Basin of California. Many rivers flow from all sides towards its centre, which is "mountainous, the ranges generally from two to three thousand feet high, and parallel with the main ones on the sides; with some partial cross ridges, that form minor basins." It "is desert in character, with some fertile strips flanking the bases of the highest ridges." In the eastern part of this basin, "along the western foot of the Wahsatch range, for three hundred miles, is a region of alluvium, from one to two miles in width," capable, however, in certain localities, of being considerably widened by irrigation from the neighbouring streams.

    It is, farther, separated from the older portions of the United States; an irreclaimable desert, to the east of the Rocky Mountains, extending almost from their bases to the banks of the Mississippi. Our readers are doubtless acquainted with the suffering encountered in this desert, of late years, by Californian emigrants. But few pilgrimages across it have been more important in themselves, or characterized by more romantic incidents, than those which appertain to our present subject. In the summer of 1847, a band of about one hundred and forty men, with about seventy waggons, and a due proportion of

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    admirable horses, descended one of the gorges of the mountains, and pitched their tents on the right bank of a river, which runs into the Great Salt Lake, and which, from its striking resemblance to the course of the Jordan into the Dead Sea, and on religious grounds, they called "the Western Jordan." The pioneer band was speedily followed by other companies of emigrants; the site for a large city was selected; and the busy hum of industry broke the primeval silence of the wilderness. Year after year, the steady flow of emigration has since brought vast numbers of people from the States of the Union, and other parts of the world; and the population of the Salt-Lake city, with its circumjacent territory and townships, now falls, probably, little short of forty thousand, the number still increasing in a surprising ratio. Wonders have already been achieved by the associated skill and labour of the community; and so prosperous has the country become, that, at the demand of its inhabitants, the Federal Government has constituted it the "Territory of Utah," preparatory to its erection into an independent and sovereign State of the Great American Confederation, -- a dignity which it is hastening to assume, under the designation of Deseret, "the Land of the Honey Bee."

    This rapid sketch of the present location of the Mormons, and of the wonderful manner in which it has repaid their industry, appears necessary to redeem the subject from absolute contempt. Most of our readers, probably, have been accustomed to think of this singular people only as an ignorant and fanatical sect, the dupes of one of the most vulgar religious impostors that the world ever saw. No doubt, this view is, in the main, correct. We cannot but despise, while we pity, the half-crazed fanatics, who, at the bidding of Smith and his successors, have been hurrying, from all parts of the world, for nearly twenty years past, to one "Zion" after another, on the American continent. But the intensity of their belief, the severity of their sufferings, the compactness of their organization, the far-sighted policy of their leaders, their equivocal pretensions, and their warlike array, -- inspire, at least, the respect which fear implies, and compel thoughtful men in America, whether philosophers, statesmen, or divines, anxiously to ponder their actual progress and future destiny.

    The existence of fanaticism is no strange event. It would, therefore, be traversing a much-trodden field, to discuss the reasons why "Joe Smith" has so many devout believers in his claims, in the nineteenth century, and in the two most enlightened of the Christian nations. Love of the marvellous; anxiety to pry into the future; ignorant credulity; aversion to the study of the Scriptures; dislike of the restraints of time religion; the cupidity which favours the success of any scheme proposing to re-construct society on a more equitable basis: -- these and similar

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    causes have always assisted in the production of results like that before us, and have furnished important matter of speculation to the psychologist and the divine. Only, in the present instance, the sagacity and cunning of "the Prophet," and of his still more astute confederates, appear to have given to these causes an unusual intensity of influence. We shall, therefore, abstain from farther inquiry in that direction, and confine our attention to a historical review of the actual origin and progress of Mormonism, and of that strange medley of truth and falsehood, real infidelity and pretended evangelism, which by a questionable courtesy is denominated "the Mormon Faith."

    The origin of Mormonism is identified with the alleged discovery, by Joseph Smith, Jun., of certain gold leaves or plates, to which the name of the "Book of Mormon" has been given. Smith's own account of this discovery was published in the "Millennial Star," and relates that, in his fourteenth or fifteenth year, he was involved in distressing perplexity, as to which of the many sects in America possessed the true religion; that, while reading, in the Epistle of James, that passage, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him," -- "it seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of" his "heart;" that, after much reflection, he retired to the woods to pray; and, while so engaged, suffered a long and severe conflict with some mysterious evil presence; that, when ready to sink into despair, he saw "a pillar of light exactly over" his "head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon" him. "It no sooner appeared," he continues, "than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, (pointing to the other,) 'This is my beloved Son; hear Him.'" In answer to his inquiry, with which of the religious sects he should unite himself, he tells us he was forbidden to join any; for that all were wrong: but he received "a promise, that the true doctrine, the fulness of the Gospel, should, at sonic future time, be made known unto him."

    After a brief relapse (?) into sin, he is represented as having received a still more remarkable visitation, in his own house, "on the evening of the 21st of September, 1823." On this occasion, "a personage," who is minutely described, is said to have appeared to him thrice, (declaring himself to be an angel of God,) and to have informed him that his sins were forgiven, and that he was "called and chosen" to be an instrument in the hands of God to commence "the great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah;" moreover, "that the American

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    Indians were a remnant of Israel;" that, when they emigrated to America, they possessed a knowledge of the true God, &c, and had Prophets and other inspired writers, who preserved a record of their national history; but that they fell into great wickedness, and were destroyed. The sacred records, however, were safely deposited, and he was to be the honoured instrument of bringing them to light. At the same time he was directed to the place of deposit.

    Accordingly, he repaired to the spot, -- "a large hill, on the east side of the road, as you pass from Palmyra, Mayne [sic] County, to Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York." A hole was dug, and a box, containing the mysterious records, lay exposed to view. Our Prophet, however, was not allowed to gain possession of them, till he had prepared himself "by prayer, and by faithfulness in obeying the Lord." He continued to receive visits from the angel, and, at the end of four years, "on the morning of the 22nd of September, 1827, the golden plates" were delivered into his hands.

    Such, in substance, is the Prophet's own story of the discovery of the Book of Mormon. It is, of course, implicitly believed by his followers, and is circumstantially related by Mr. Orson Pratt, one of the most zealous and able of the Mormon apostles. After a variety of incidents, to be noticed hereafter, the Book was published in 1830, having emblazoned on its title-page, -- since altered, -- "Joseph Smith, Jun., author and proprietor."

    Smith and his friends were soon prepared with direct evidence in favour of the authenticity of the book. But, before examining that evidence, and the character of the parties concerned in "getting it up," some attention must be given to a previous question, -- a question important not so much in relation to Mormonism, as on other and broader grounds. Mr. Orson Pratt, mentioned above, -- "one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," -- has published a series of tracts on the "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon." Before adducing his direct evidences, he endeavours, according to orthodox usage in another case, to prove that the prospect of a farther revelation than that which is contained in Scripture, is neither unscriptural nor unreasonable; that, in fact, such farther revelation is indispensably necessary. His argument on these subjects is subtle and elaborate, though by no means ingenuous; and he appears sometimes to some advantage in dealing with certain isolated texts, on which the proof of the sufficiency and completeness of the existing Scriptures has occasionally been made to rest. But this great doctrine, like all scriptural verities, does not rest so much on isolated texts, as on the broad principles and general scope of Scripture itself. It must be obvious, for instance, that, in relation to this matter,

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    there is a great difference between the Old and the New Testament. In the former, the reference to a future and fuller revelation is everywhere prominent; and the whole scheme is "the shadow of good tiiings to come." But, in the New Testament, the stamp of completeness and sufficiency is everywhere seen. And in all cases of scriptural comparison between the New Testament and the Old, such comparison is drawn as between perfection and imperfection, -- a contrast wholly delusive, if the New Testament were but another step in a progressive revelation, and not the final disclosure of "the whole counsel of God." This distinction is tacitly admitted by Pratt himself; for he quotes but one passage, in support of his views, from the New Testament, namely, Rev. xiv. 6-8: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth," &c. He professes to make it mathematically certain that this "everlasting Gospel" is Mormonism! As to his quotations from the Old Testament, none but a designing or fanatical mind could interpret them as referring to any revelation posterior to that of the New Testament.

    The direct evidence of the "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon" rests chiefly on the testimony of certain witnesses to the truth of Smith's statements, -- on miracles alleged to have been performed, -- and on "the inward light" and personal convictions of the leading Mormonites. The last point is, of course, unworthy of attention; of Mormon miracles we shall have something to say, as we proceed: for the present, let us look at the testimony of the "witnesses," as given in two documents, -- one signed by three, and the other by eight, persons: --

    "The testimony of Three witnesses. -- Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for His voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates, and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare, with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvellous in our eyes: nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be

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    found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with Him eternally in the heavens. And the honour be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
    "Oliver Cowdery,
    "David Whitmer,
    "Martin Harris.

    "And also the testimony of Eight witnesses. -- Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Junior, the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
    "Christian Whitmer,
    "Jacob Whitmer,
    "Peter Whitmer, Jun.,
    "John Whitmer,
    Hiram Page,
    Joseph Smith, Sen.,
    Hiram Smith,
    Samuel H. Smith."

    These documents are prefixed to every edition of the Book of Mormon. But what is their real value? 1. It will be observed, that of the eleven witnesses, five are Whitmers, and three are Smiths. 2. There is no date to either of these documents. In March, 1829, (the book being published with these vouchers in 1830,) the plates were in Smith's possession; but he professed to have been forbidden to show them to Harris. It would be satisfactory to know, when and why this prohibition was removed, and at what time Harris and his friends were favoured with a sight of the plates. 3. Smith obtained the plates, as he says, in 1827, and published his translation in 1830. Was it during this interval that the "angel of the Lord" showed the plates to the three witnesses? And why was Smith so much more gracious than the angel, as to allow the eight to handle, as well as see, the plates? The angel is, altogether, a most clumsy contrivance. 4. Granting that Smith did show certain engraved plates to the eight witnesses, what proof had they, beyond his bare assertion, that they were what he had translated, -- just so many, and no more? or that he had translated them at all? He told them so, and they report to the world what he said. This is exactly the amount of their testimony. As to the statement of the three witnesses, that they were assured by "the voice of God," -- who does not see that it stands just as much in need of confirmation as the story of "the Prophet" himself?

    This being the whole of the original evidence upon the point in question, our readers might safely be left to judge of its value.

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    But it is fair to inquire into the credibility of these witnesses, and to refer to other accounts of the origin of the book. Sixty-two "men, of character and standing," in Manchester and Palmyra, testify, that the Smiths were lazy and intemperate, and that their word was not to be depended on; that Smith Senior and Junior, in particular, were entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits; and that Martin Harris was "perfectly visionary on moral and religious subjects, sometimes advocating one sentiment, and sometimes another." It further appears, that he had been connected successively with almost every religious denomination, -- having thus been "every thing by turns, and nothing long."

    Smith seems at first to have trusted a confidential (?) friend or two with his secret, though he did not, in each instance, tell the same story. One Peter Ingersoll deposes: --

    "One day he came and greeted me with a joyful countenance. Upon asking him the cause of his unusual happiness, he replied: -- 'As I was passing yesterday across the wood, I found in a hollow some beautiful white sand, that had been washed up by the water. I took off my frock, and tied up several quarts of it, and then went home. On my entering the house, they were all anxious to know the contents of my frock. At that moment I happened to think of what I had heard about a history found in Canada, called the Golden Bible; so I told them it was the Golden Bible. To my surprise, they were credulous enough to believe what I said. Accordingly I told them that I had received a commandment to let no one see it; for, says I, no man can see it with the naked eye, and live. However, I offered to take out the book and show it to them, but they refused to see it, and left the room. Now,' said Joe,' I have got the d___d fools fixed, and will carry out the fun.' Notwithstanding he told me he had no such book, and believed there never was any such book, yet he told me that he actually went to Willard Chase, to get him to make a chest, in which he might deposit his Golden Bible. But, as Chase would not do it, he made a box himself of clap-boards, and put it into a pillow-case, and allowed people only to lift it, and feel of it through the case." -- Kidder, pp. 22, 23.

    Willard Chase confirms, on oath, that part of Ingersoll's testimony that relates to himself; and adds, that he would not make the box because Smith would not show him the book, having been commanded to keep it secret for two years; yet that, in less than that time, twelve men professed to have seen it; that shortly afterwards Smith told a neighbour that he had no such book, and never had, but told the story to deceive "the d___d fool;" that he got money from Martin Harris, "a credulous man," by pretending that God had commanded him to ask the first man he met for fifty dollars, to assist in publishing the Golden Bible. Parley Chase declares that the Smiths hardly ever told two stories alike about the book. Sometimes they said it was found in Canada; sometimes, in a tree; sometimes, dug

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    up from the earth. Abigail Harris, a Quakeress, affirms, among other things, that all that Martin and the rest appeared concerned about was to make money by the book; that Harris's wife expressed her conviction that the whole was a delusion: -- to which he replied, "What if it is a lie? If you will let me alone, I will make money out of it -- and that, on one occasion, when Joe's mother asked her (Abigail) to lend money, to pay her hopeful son's travelling expenses home, she replied, "He might look in his stone, and save his time and money;" at which the old lady, very naturally, "seemed confused." Martin's wife confirms this affirmation. Joseph Capron states that Smith, Senior, told him that when the book was published, they would be enabled, from the profits, to carry into successful operation the money-digging business. Mr. Hale, Smith's father-in-law, with whose daughter the latter had run away, and whose character for veracity is guaranteed by two "Associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Susquehannah County, Pennsylvania," relates the following particulars: --

    "I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Junior, in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called 'money-diggers;' and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see, by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure * * *

    "I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of plates down with them. I was shown a box, in which it was said they were contained. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, into which, however, I was not allowed to look * * *

    "About this time Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters, or hieroglyphics, which he said were engraven upon the plates; while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Hands wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them. Soon after this, Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said, that he had talked with Joseph about it. Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not, show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods, where the book of plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the plates, and was still dissatisfied." -- Kidder, pp. 30, 31.

    Of Smith's method of translating at this time, Mr. Hale says, it was --

    "The same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the book of plates was at the same time hid in the woods." -- Ibid., p. 33.

    Finally, he deposes: --

    "Joseph Smith, Junior, resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him and his

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    associates; and I conscientiously believe, from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, that the whole 'Book of Mormon' (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary, and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallow the deception." -- Ibid., p. 34.

    This affirmation is subscribed, "Isaac Hale," and countersigned, "Charles Dimon, Justice of the Peace." The Rev. N. Lewis, a Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and several other parties, have come forward with similar testimony, and additional statements, on oath, as to the drunkenness and debauchery of the concocters of the plot.

    We are thus minute on this part of the case, because the whole question, of course, turns upon the validity of Smith's claims, and the authenticity of his pretended revelation.

    But, at this point, another story appears, which, if true, accounts satisfactorily enough for Smith's "inspiration," and for the appearance of his "Golden Bible." It discloses, moreover, a fraud so vulgar and clumsy, and, withal, so unusually impious, that we are almost confounded at its success. According to various testimonies, the Book of Mormon was originally neither more nor less than a dull novel, written by one Solomon Spaulding. We quote the deposition of Solomon's brother, John; premising that it is confirmed by the written declarations of John's wife, of Solomon's widow, of a former business-partner of his, of one who lodged with him during the period of the composition of the book, of one with whom Spaulding himself had lodged, and of others with whom he had conversed about it, or to whom portions of it had been shown: --

    "Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford, Connecticut, in 1761; and in early life contracted a taste for literary pursuits. After he left school, he entered Plainfield Academy, where he made great proficiency in study, and excelled most of his class-mates. He next commenced the study of law, in Windham County, in which he made little progress, having, in the mean time, turned his attention to religious subjects. He soon after entered Dartmouth College, with the intention of qualifying himself for the ministry, where he obtained the degree of A.M., and was afterwards regularly ordained. After preaching three or four years, he gave it up, removed to Cherry Valley, New York, and commenced the mercantile business, in company with his brother Josiah. In a few years he failed in business; and in the year 1809 removed to Conneaut, in Ohio. The year following I removed to Ohio, and found him engaged in building a forge. I made him a visit in about three years after, and found that he had failed, and was considerably involved in debt. He then told me he had been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled 'The Manuscript Found,' of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, -- endeavouring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost

                                             True Origin of the Book of Mormon.                                          105

    tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of NEPHI and LEHI. They afterward had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations; one of which he denominated 'Nephites,' and the other 'Lamanites.' Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences, and civilization, were brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and, to my great surprise, I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c., as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with, 'And it came to pass,' or, 'Now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon; and, according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter." -- Kidder, pp. 37, 38.

    To account for Smith's obtaining possession of this "Manuscript Found," we are next introduced to one Sidney Rigdon, who figured conspicuously in the history of Mormonism, almost from its commencement. Solomon Spaulding placed his novel in the hands of Messrs. Patterson and Lambdin, printers, of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania. In the year 1823 or 1824 [sic], Rigdon came to reside at Pittsburgh, and was either in the office of Patterson and Lambdin, or on very intimate terms with the latter; and Spaulding's widow testifies that he repeatedly spoke of having seen and copied the manuscript. At the end of three years, -- or about the time when Smith professed to obtain possession of the plates, -- he removed to Geauga County, Ohio, where we shall find him, when his ostensible connexion with Smith begins. He resided here during the four following years. During this time he paid repeated and protracted visits to Pittsburgh, and, it is believed, to the Susquehannah, where Smith then lived, digging for money, and pretending to be translating the plates. He professed to abandon every other pursuit for the study of the Bible, which helps to account for the profuse quotations of Scripture, -- the "religious matter" to which John Spaulding refers, and with which the Book of Mormon abounds. He began also to preach "some new points of doctrine, which were afterwards found in the Mormon Bible;" and "prepared the minds of nearly a hundred to embrace the first mysterious ism that should be presented." During this time he had no ostensible connexion with Smith; and Lieut. Gunnison appears to doubt his complicity in the original fraud. But the facility of his apparent conversion, the eagerness with which he seconded Smith's views, his immediate elevation to be second in command, and the removal of the whole party to the neighbourhood of his residence in Ohio, form, together with the facts mentioned above, a chain of coincidences which leave no doubt

    106                                               Mormonism and the Mormons.                                              

    on our mind, that he was the author of the Book of Mormon, in the form in which Smith published it; and that the concealment of his connexion with it, and his sudden conversion, were parts of the original plot. Smith's necromantic habits had given him an extensive notoriety, and he was just the man to answer Rigdon's purpose. The latter, indeed, published a formal denial of the allegations of Spaulding's widow and others; but it is little more than a tissue of the most vulgar abuse and recrimination; and we cannot but agree with Mr. Mayhew, that, upon a review of the whole evidence, "the question of the authorship of the original romance, upon which the Book of Mormon was founded, will be decided in favour of Solomon Spaulding."

    The period of "translation" extended from 1827 to 1830; and, on this subject, some amusing and instructive stories are told. Mr. J. N. Tucker, a printer in the office of Patterson and Lambdin [sic], at the time of the publication of the Book, relates the following: --

    "We had heard much said by Martin Harris, -- the man who paid for the printing, and the only one in the concern worth any property, -- about the wonderful wisdom of the translators of the mysterious plates; and resolved to test their wisdom. Accordingly, after putting one sheet in type, we laid it aside, and told Harris it was lost, and there would be a serious defect in the book in consequence, unless another sheet like the original could be produced. The announcement threw the old gentleman into quite an excitement; but, after a few moments' reflection, he said he would try to obtain another. After two or three weeks another sheet was produced, but no more like the original, than any other sheet of paper would have been, written over by a common school-boy, after having read, as they did, the manuscripts preceding and succeeding the lost sheet."

    It must have been at this time, (May, 1829,) that Smith received a revelation, "informing him of the alteration of the manuscript of the fore part of the Book of Mormon." This is a curious document, very indicative of Smith's shrewdness in at once detecting the trick which the wags at the printing-office were playing upon him. It forbids the re-translation of the abstracted portion, points out to Smith where, "upon the plates of Nephi," a more particular account might be found, commands him to translate that, and adds, "Thus I will confound those who have altered my words." Perhaps our readers will think that the only person "confounded" is the Prophet himself.

    We have mentioned Martin Harris's desire, in the commencement of the business, to get a sight of "the plates," and Smith's pretence that this was unlawful. He, however, professed to copy a part of the engravings upon paper; and with this Harris hastened to consult Dr. Charles Anthon, of New York. Some years afterwards, the Mormons reported that Professor Anthon

                                                  Pretended Translations.                                               107

    had pronounced the inscriptions to be "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics." This drew forth an instantaneous denial from the Professor, whose letter supplies the following information on the method of translation: --

    "When I asked the person (Harris) who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me the following account: A 'gold book,' consisting of a number of plates, fastened together by wires of the same material, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York; and, along with it, an enormous pair of 'spectacles!' These spectacles were so large, that if any one attempted to look through them, his two eyes would look through one glass only; the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the human face. 'Whoever,' he said, 'examined the plates through the glasses, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning.' All this knowledge, however, was confined to a young man, who had the trunk, containing the book and spectacles, in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in a garret in a farmhouse, and, being thus concealed from view, he put on the spectacles occasionally, or, rather, looked through one of the glasses, deciphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain to those who stood outside." -- Mayhew, p. 28.

    During the process of "translation," mysterious hints had been uttered about the forthcoming book, and great efforts made to secure for it a favourable reception. Smith began to preach, and success soon crowned his efforts. On the 1st of June, 1831, the first Conference of the sect was held at Fayette, New York, and "the Prophet" found himself at the head of about thirty disciples, including the members of his own family. A mission to the Indians -- the "Lamanites" of the Book of Mormon -- was undertaken by Cowdery and Parley Pratt; and the second epoch of the history of the imposture commenced.

    The Missionaries contrived, oh their way to the "Lamanites," to call on Rigdon. At first, he pretended to discredit their story; but, in a very short time, notwithstanding that he had rebuked them for tempting God by seeking "a sign," he committed the same sin, and professed to be converted. He immediately repaired to the Prophet, and became his most zealous and able coadjutor. Smith's previous immorality, ignorance, and impudence, having created many enemies, the whole party were ordered, by "revelation," to remove to Kirtland, in Ohio, (Rigdon's residence,) "the eastern border of the promised land." In the mean time, Cowdery and Pratt had reached Missouri, had reported favourably of the country, (Jackson County,) and had, at the Prophet's instance, begun to purchase land. Hither, after a few weeks. Smith, Rigdon, and some others, proceeded; and Smith published a "revelation," selecting this as the future Zion, although that honour had but recently been assigned to Kirtland. After devising rules for the allotment of land

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    and the organization of the Church, and laying the foundation-stone of a temple, he returned to Kirtland. Most of his disciples removed to Missouri, while he remained to itinerate and make converts. But he made enemies here, as well as in New York; and at Hiram, on the 25th of January, 1832, he and Rigdon were tarred and feathered, and otherwise maltreated, by an infuriated mob. Upon this, he hastily returned to Independence, narrowly escaping the vengeance of his pursuers, who tracked him to Louisville. He was obliged, however, in a few months, to go back and look after his mill, farm, store, and even the bank (!), at Kirtland. He was solemnly acknowledged, at this time, by about three thousand disciples. Soon, however, a formidable schism, productive ultimately of great calamities, broke out in the community; and Smith, hoping to check, while he appeared to gratify, the ambition of his dangerous coadjutor, and thereby to strengthen his own influence, associated Rigdon and another with himself, as the supreme governing body. In the mean time, the old non-Mormon settlers became alarmed at the increasing numbers, intolerant claims, and infamous practices, of the new sect. Hostilities commenced, and raged so furiously, as to lead to the abandonment of Jackson County by the Mormons, and the purchase -- by "revelation" from Kirtland -- of lands in Clay County. The towns of Far-West and Adam-on-Diahman were founded, and prosperity began once more to dawn upon the colony. On the 5th of May, 1834, the Prophet set out on a journey to Missouri. Mr. Mayhew speaks of this journey as if it had no object but the peaceable regulation of the affairs of the sect. But from what Dr. Kidder says, it is evident that the Mormonites meditated retaliation upon their enemies in Jackson County, and that Smith's journey, accompanied as he was by nearly a hundred persons, was, in fact, a military expedition on a small scale. The company was called "the army of Zion," and was regularly drilled and equipped. Smith published a "revelation," amounting to a declaration of war; and his band was considerably increased, by recruits from Mormon settlements, as he approached Missouri. He was, however, met by a deputation from the old settlers, who protested against his advance, and threatened the army with public vengeance. Smith became frightened; issued a "revelation," declaring the war at an end; left about one hundred and fifty volunteers in Clay County; and travelled back, "like a gentleman, with plenty of money," leaving the remnant of his band to return as they could. Many of them were compelled to beg their way back.

    "In 1836 they formed among themselves several large mercantile firms, the Prophet, of course, heing a partner in each; and continued, moans of falsehood and deception, to procure goods in Buffalo and New York to the amount of more than thirty thousand dollars. With

                                                  Mercantile Speculations.                                               109

    these the Prophet and his Priests rigged themselves out in the most costly apparel, at the top of the fashions.

    "Subsequently, they had a 'revelation,' commanding them to establish a 'bank, which should swallow up all other banks.' This was soon got into operation on a pretended capital of four millions of dollars, made up of real estate round about the temple. By means of great activity, and an actual capital of about five thousand, they succeeded in setting afloat from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars. This concern was closed up, after flourishing three or four weeks. During this period, the land speculation had been fully entered into by the gang. They contracted for nearly all the land within a mile and a half of the temple, laid it out into city lots, and proceeded with the operation of buying and selling lots to one another at the most extravagant prices.

    "But their career was soon brought to a close. Suits were instituted against them under the laws against private banking, and Smith and Rigdon were fined one thousand dollars each. Their printing establishment, with a large quantity of books and paper, was taken, and sold to pay the judgment. On the same night the whole was consumed by fire, set by the Mormons. This was followed by the flight of the Prophet and his head-men for Missouri, and a general breaking up of the establishment in this quarter." -- Kidder, pp. 128, 129.

    In the mean time things were growing worse in Missouri; and, at last, a war of extermination commenced, -- the people of the State being determined no longer to tolerate the Mormons among them. A party of Mormons was massacred by a corps of militia, acting, it is alleged, under the orders of Boggs, the Governor of the state. Partly to resist the assaults of their neighbours, and partly to exterminate 'certain dissenters among themselves, a secret society was formed, called, "The Daughters of Zion," and, afterwards, "The Danite Band." Orson Hyde (an ex-apostle) made affidavit, that the members of this band took "an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong;" that they appointed from among their number a company of twelve, to burn and destroy the neighbouring towns; that Smith's plan was to take the State; that he pretended to his people, that they would have possession of the United States, and, ultimately, of the whole world; that he had said he would tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies, &c., &c. Hyde professed to leave the Mormons, on account of their immorality and impiety; and Lieut. Gunnison, who resided among them in Utah for a year, and whose gratitude for the kindness of his Mormon hosts induces him to put the most favourable construction on their doings, admits that at this time, according to the confession of the Mormons themselves, this band were sworn to exterminate obnoxious persons; and "that persons suddenly disappeared, or 'slipped their breath;' but they say they were horse-thieves, and vile wretches, who left society for its good."

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    Before long, the leaders of the sect were betrayed and imprisoned; while their followers were mercilessly hunted from Missouri to the prairies, -- men, women, and children, -- in the depth of winter. Early in the following spring, Smith rejoined his followers, and induced them to settle in Illinois, just above the DesMoines Rapids, on the river Mississippi. Hither, in a few months, about fifteen thousand souls were collected; and, in a year and a half, they built two thousand houses, besides schools, and other public edifices. The new city was named Nauvoo, or, "The Beautiful."

    Smith had now attained the zenith of his power and popularity. He became temporal and spiritual head of the community; and, according to the varied duties which he discharged, he was "Prophet," "President," "Mayor," or "General." It is certain that he meditated great aggressive designs, as is evident from a curious correspondence of his with one James Arlington Bennett, whom the Prophet, quoting Mahomed, designated his "right-hand man." Bennett offered his services, in what Mr. Mayhew drily calls, a "too candid" epistle; that is, he treated Smith's enterprise as a clever and profitable hoax, in the profits of which he proposed to have a share. The latter, in reply, while pretending to reprove the worldly spirit and sinister hints of his friend, most cunningly contrives to accept his offer. Besides the craftiness which it developes, Smith's letter contains some specimens of his learning. (?) For instance: --

    "Were I an Egyptian, I would exclaim, Jah-oh-eh, Enish-go-on-dosh, Flo-ces, Flos-is-is; 'O the earth! the power of attraction, and the moon passing between her and the sun;' a Hebrew, Haucloheem yerau; a Greek, O Theos phos esi; a Roman, Dominus regit me; a German, Gott gebe uns das licht; a Portugee, (!) Senhor Jesu Christo e libordade; a Frenchman, Dieu defend le droit." -- Mayhew, p. 110.

    During this period, Smith actually became a candidate for the Presidency of the United States; and, in that character, issued an address to the people of the Union. This is a very curious document, most comically sprinkled with scraps of bad French, Italian, Latin, Dutch, and Greek.

    Meantime, the enrolment of the male inhabitants, under the designation of the "Nauvoo Legion," proceeded vigorously; and American officers became alarmed at their discipline, equipments, and tactics. The foundation-stone of a magnificent temple was laid, with military pomp, by "General Joseph Smith." In the plenitude of his pride, he gave to the Nauvoo Corporation a jurisdiction independent of that of Illinois; and this body refused to acknowledge the validity of any legal document, not countersigned by their President. At the same time, the germs of the polygamy which they now practise more openly, began to appear among the leading Mormons. Sidney Rigdon is said to have introduced the "spiritual wife" doctrine; (a mere cover for

                                                  Murder of the Prophet.                                               111

    any amount of promiscuous licentiousness;) and "Joe" is said to have acted upon it, if more discreetly, not less freely, than his friend. Lieut. Gunnison (always a most reliable authority, when he admits anything disadvantageous to the Mormons) says, that "women impeached him of attempted seduction, which his apology, that 'it was merely to see if they were virtuous,' could not satisfy." We should think not!

    It is no wonder that, under these circumstances, public prejudice rapidly increased against the Mormons. Dissenters, too, multiplied fast in Nauvoo, and exasperated the passions of the surrounding population, by the disclosures of violence and sensuality which they professed to make. At last, matters came to a crisis. A Dr. Foster, who professed to have caught the Prophet in an attempt to seduce his wife, set up a newspaper, called the "Expositor," which contained some most shocking accusations. It was voted a public nuisance, and ordered to be abated. The order was executed by the destruction of the printing-office, types, &c. Foster and his partner fled to Carthage, and procured warrants for the arrest of Smith and sixteen other rioters. Smith refused to acknowledge the warrant, and marched the officials, who attempted to serve it, out of Nauvoo. This breach of the law of the State could not be overlooked, and preparations were made for a deadly struggle. The Governor of the State took the command of the militia in person. By his moderation and tact, however, he persuaded the Smiths to surrender and take their trial for the riot; and thus the sackage and pillage of Nauvoo were, for a time, prevented. The prisoners were lodged in the gaol of Carthage. Both the mob and militia were violently excited against them; and, as it began to be rumoured that they were likely, after all, to escape, the brutal rabble took the law into their own hands, overpowered the guard, rushed into the prison, and deliberately shot Joseph and Hiram Smith dead on the spot. The murderers were never arrested; the brothers, of course, were regarded as martyrs; and, as all reasonable men had foreseen, the sect began to spread more rapidly than ever.

    Dr. Kidder gives us an outline of the sworn testimony of many witnesses, "on the trial of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others, for high treason, and other crimes against" the State of Missouri. This testimony imputes the most murderous intentions and inflammatory speeches to the Prophet and his coadjutors; and gives specimens of the compliments which the former paid to his Missourian neighbours. The forces of the State were "a d___d mob," "if they came to fight him, he would play h_ll with their apple-carts;" and very much more, of a worse kind. The Mormons, indeed, allege that the witnesses for the defence were hocussed, and driven away. But Smith's refusal to administer state-law is matter of unquestionable history. It is also abundantly

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    clear, that he taught his followers to look forward to the day when they should "spoil the Egyptians," or, as he facetiously termed it, "milk the Gentiles." And what sort of morality does the following "revelation" teach?

    "Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get into debt to thine enemies; but, behold, it is not said, at any time, that the Lord should not take when He pleases, and pay as seemeth Him good: wherefore, as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord, is the Lord's business," &c. -- Doctrines and Covenants, p. 156.

    It would not be very wonderful, if the more indiscreet and unscrupulous members of the sect should have acted on this hint, and given a very literal interpretation to the promises and denunciations of their Prophet, especially when they saw him quietly accumulating his military force. Indeed, according to Lieut. Gunnison, the Mormons "themselves acknowledge that this was the case.

    "They allow that mistakes have been made by individuals in carrying out their doctrines: for instance, many have supposed that the time was come when they should take possession of the property of the Gentiles; and that it would be no theft to secure cattle and grain from neighbouring pastures and fields, thus 'spoiling the Egyptians;' and we are told by themselves, that such conduct had to be forbidden from the public desk. This instance of wrong application of the dogma, that they are 'the stewards of the Lord, and the inheritance of the earth belongs to the saints,' shows that some foundation exists for the charges against them, on the score of insecurity of property in Illinois and Missouri; and that abuses can easily arise from their principles, when residing near people of other religious views." -- Gunnison, p. 66.

    Other less exceptionable, but most annoying, modes of dealing with obnoxious residents in Nauvoo, are mentioned by this author. There is something exceedingly grotesque in the following: --

    "One of these was called 'whittling off.' Three men would be deputed, and paid for their time, to take their jack-knives and sticks, -- down-east Yankees, of course, -- and, sitting down before the obnoxious man's door, begin their whittling. When the man came out, they would stare at him, but say nothing. If he went to the market, they followed and whittled. Whatever taunts, curses, or other provoking epithets were applied to them, no notice would be taken, no word spoken in return, no laugh on their faces. The jeers and shouts of street urchins made the welkin ring; but deep silence pervaded the whittlers. Their leerish look followed him every where, from 'morning dawn to dusky eve.' When he was in-doors, they sat patiently down, and assiduously performed their jack-knife duty. Three days are said to have been the utmost that human nature could endure of this silent annoyance; the man came to terms, sold his possessions for what he could get, or migrated to parts unknown." -- Gunnison, pp. 116,117.

                                                  The "Prophet's" Successor.                                               113

    We put it to our readers, whether a community, in which such doctrines and practices prevailed, could avoid making enemies, or hope to escape the vengeance of those whom they had injured or annoyed? America is not a persecuting nation; the utmost latitude of religious opinion being permitted throughout the Union. Why should Mormons form an exception? Why should they be persecuted, while Shakers, Millerites, Campbellites, and the whole brood of sectaries, for which the land is famous, escape? For ourselves, we believe the true answer will be found in the statements now given. As to the anti-social tenets and practices of "the Prophet" and his disciples, candour, surely, obliges us to allow, that, among communities on the frontiers of civilization, and in so rude a state as the population of Missouri and Illinois, the absence of persecution against such a sect as this would have been more wonderful than its presence. With all moderate men in America, we deplore the lawlessness of some of the enemies of Mormonism; but we cannot be surcharge of having wilfully and deliberately provoked it.

    The murder of the Prophet greatly excited the people of Nauvoo; and, as might have been expected, curses and threats of vengeance were muttered against their neighbours. By the influence of the Governor, however, and, still more, by the tact and address of the leading Mormons, the crisis passed over quietly; and, after "the martyrs" had been buried, amid sincere and general lamentation, the sect proceeded to elect a successor to "the Seer." There were two or three candidates, including Sidney Rigdon, Smith's second in command. The usual electioneering tactics appear to have been adopted by "the Saints." The choice finally fell on Brigham Young, the present head of the Mormon Church; who, according to Lieut. Gunnison, --

    "With a mien of the most retiring modesty and diffidence in ordinary intercourse in society, holds a spirit of ardent feeling and great shrewdness; and, when roused in debate, or upon the Preacher's stand, exhibits a boldness of speech, and grasp of thought, that awe and enchain with intense interest, -- controlling, soothing, or exasperating, at pleasure, the multitudes that listen to his eloquence." -- Gunnison, p. 129.

    But there was to be no rest for the new sect, so long as they remained in the vicinity of their fellow-countrymen. "From January to October, 1845, they lived a life of sturt and strife;" and, at last, after much deliberation, it was agreed to "retire into the wilderness to grow into a multitude, aloof from the haunts of civilization." The first movements westward were made in the spring of 1846; and the bands of emigrants had to encounter the most heart-rending sufferings. Meanwhile, the work of erecting the temple at Nauvoo was perfected. On the day of consecration, Priests, Elders, and Bishops, even from among the

    leaders of the sect from the

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    pioneers of the desert-pilgrimage, were present; and "from high noon to the shade of night was there a scene of rejoicing and solemn consecration of the beautiful edifice, on which so much anxiety and thought had lately been expended." But as soon as the consecration was finished, all the ornaments, symbols of faith, &c., were removed in haste, and the temple deserted. Then commenced the general emigration; but, as the Mormons did not remove quickly enough to satisfy their enemies, the remnant in Nauvoo, in spite of an agreement allowing the exodus to take place in successive detachments, had to sustain a regular siege, and, after three days' bombardment, were finally driven out by fire and sword.

    The pioneer-band started for the Great Salt Lake in the spring of 1847. They arrived on the 21st of July; and were followed on the 24th by the Church Presidency, headed by "Brigham, the Seer." The latter day is their grand epoch, and its anniversary is celebrated with great solemnity. Their progress since their arrival in the mountains has been truly marvellous. "The dignity of labour" is an article of their social faith; and they seem to have literally adopted, and universally applied, the scriptural rule, that "if a man will not work, neither shall he eat." Notwithstanding the almost total destruction of their first crops by locusts, and the consequent pressure of famine; and in spite of repeated conflicts with the predatory Indian tribes around them, their indomitable perseverance has been rewarded with complete success. Their great city on the Salt Lake --

    "Was laid out into squares in 1847: the streets are one hundred and thirty-two feet wide, with twenty-feet side walks; and the City Creek, divided to run along each walk, and water a colonnade of trees, and also to be led into the gardens. The lots contain each nearly an acre, and face on alternate streets, with eight lots in each block. The site is on a scarcely perceptible slope, except the northern part, which rises upon the first natural terrace, and lies in the angle of the main Wahsatch range, running north and south, and a giant spur that makes out directly to the west, and terminates one half-mile from the Jordan River. The city is four miles square, and touches the river bank on the west side." -- Gunnison, pp. 32, 33.

    Besides this, they have spread themselves over the adjacent country, built several towns and cities, and are fast developing the agricultural and mineral resources of a region which, six or seven years ago, was a mere desert. In July, 1852, Lieut. Gunnison estimated the population of Utah at about 30,000; and it has surprisingly increased since then. The "travelling college" is compassing sea and land to make proselytes; and the Mormon apostles have been very successful in Europe, especially in Germany. They have Missionaries even in the Pacific Islands; and, except in this last instance, wherever they go, they expend all their energies in stimulating the emigration of the

                                                  Rapid Increase and "Faith."                                               115

    faithful to Zion, where the grand "gathering" is to take place, preparatory to their final triumph, and the advent of the millennial glory. Their progress in our own country has been wonderful indeed. They first appeared in England in 1837, and in sixteen years they profess to have won over 300,000 souls. From two to three thousand persons, on an average, annually leave our shores for the great Salt Lake Valley, "principally farmers and mechanics, with some few clerks," &c. They are described as generally intelligent and well-behaved, and many of them highly respectable. Their arrangements for the maintenance of order, cleanliness, &c, on board, are admirable; and, altogether, it is quite clear that this system is, year by year, abstracting a large number of our most valuable fellow-countrymen.

    It is this consideration which gives importance to the subject, and renders an analysis of the history and faith of Mormonism something more than a disgusting task; as will farther appear, if we turn our attention to the Mormon faith, and to the practices that have grown out of it. Would to God that our remarks might deter some of our farmers and mechanics from committing themselves, and especially their wives and daughters, to the "tender mercies" of this shocking compound of infidelity, heathenism, immorality, and cant!

    And, first of all, the Mormons are avowed Materialists. They utterly ridicule the notion of spiritual, as distinct from material, existence; and remorselessly apply their doctrine to the Deity himself. Thus, among them, --

    "'God the Father' is held to be a man perfected; but so far advanced in the attributes of his nature, -- his faith, intelligence, and power, -- that, in comparison with us, he may be called 'the Infinite.'" -- Gunnison, p. 43.

    "First. God himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves: that is the great secret. If the veil was rent to-day, and the great God, who holds this world in its orbit, and upholds all things by his power, if you were to see him to-day, you would see him in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion and image of God: Adam received instruction, walked, talked, and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another * * * I am going to tell you how God came to be God. God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on earth, the same as Jesus Christ did; and I will show it from the Bible. Jesus said, 'As the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power,' to do --- what? Why, what the Father did; that answer is obvious: in a manner to lay down his body, and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up again." -- Smith's Last Sermon, as quoted by Gunnison, pp. 43, 44.

    Again: they say, --

    "Now, God, our Father, dwells on his planet, (Kolob,) and measures

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    time by one of its revolutions * * * Being finite, he employs agents to bring and communicate information through his worlds; and all the material agents of light, electricity, and sound, or attributes, are employed in this thing." -- Gunnison, p. 56.

    Once more, we quote a passage from Orson Pratt, as given by Dr. Kidder: --

    "'Here, then, is the Methodist God, without either eyes, ears, or mouth!!! And yet man was created after the image of God; but this could not apply to the Methodists' God, for he has no image or likeness! The Methodist God can neither be Jehovah nor Jesus Christ; for Jehovah showed his face to Moses and to the seventy Elders of Israel, and his feet too: he also wrote with his own finger on the tablets of stone. Isaiah informs us that 'his arm is not shortened; that his ear is not dull of hearing,'" &c. -- Kidder, p. 238.

    Of Jesus Christ they hold, that he --

    "Is the offspring of the Father by the Virgin Mary. The eternal Father came to the earth, and wooed and won her to be the wife of his bosom. He sent his herald-angel Gabriel to announce espousals of marriage, and the Bridegroom and bride met on the plains of Palestine; and the Holy Babe that was born was the 'tabernacle,' prepared for, and assumed by, the Spirit-Son, and that now constitutes a God." -- Gunnison, p. 43.

    Of the Divine Spirit Pratt says, --

    "The Holy Spirit, being one part of the Godhead, is also a material substance, of the same nature and properties, in many respects, as the Spirits of the Father and the Son. It exists in vast, immeasurable quantities in connexion with all material worlds. This is called God in the Scriptures, as the Father and the Son. God the Father and God the Son cannot be every where present; indeed, they cannot be even in two places at the same instant. But God the Holy Spirit is omnipresent: it extends through all space, intermingling with all other matter; yet no one atom of the Holy Spirit can be in two places at the same instant." -- Pratt's Kingdom of God, pp. 4, 5.

    It is not without a sickening shudder that we have compelled ourselves to transcribe this farrago of abominable blasphemy; but our duty requires us to expose the real character of Mormonism. We shall not insult the judgment and piety of our readers by any attempt at refutation, but shall leave these declarations to make their own impression.

    The Mormon notion of Faith is very peculiar, and, in one aspect, profane. It is thus defined: --

    "'Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.'

    "By this we understand that the principle of power, which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith * * *

    "It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal, as well as eternal, things." -- Doctrine and Covenants, pp; 2, 3.

                                                  Mormon Notion of Faith.                                               117

    Thus, by a most ridiculous perversion of Scripture, that faith in divine testimony, by which we learn the creation of the universe out of nothing, is transferred to God, as if it were "the principle of" creative "power" in him! We are surprised to find that Mr. Mayhew is half captivated with this nonsense. He says, --

    "On this point, Mr. Bowes, the author of a pamphlet entitled 'Mormonism Exposed,' and a public debater against the Saints in the manufacturing districts of England, has not been fortunate in attacking their theology. He charges them with ignorance of the word 'faith:' he has only proved his own. Faith, he says, is crediting testimony, and asks, 'What testimony God had to credit?' and therefore concludes that faith is not an attribute of God, but of believers. Mr. Bowes has here confounded speculative belief with practical faith. With the Mormons, on the contrary, 'faith is the principle of power,' both human and divine." -- Mayhew, p. 291.

    We confess we do not understand Mr. Mayhew; and we doubt whether he understands himself. Of all vague expressions, nothing can be more so than to call faith "the principle of power." This explains nothing. Let us be told that faith in the divine testimony, (concerning Jesus Christ, for example,) while it stops short at mere credence, is speculative faith; but that, when it so receives that testimony as to trust in him for salvation, and to work by love, and purify the heart, it is practical faith; and we can understand what is said: but to say that "belief in testimony" is speculative, and "the principle of action in all intelligent beings" is practical, faith, is to utter so much unmeaning nonsense. Mr. Mayhew decries the Reformation of Luther, as "directly opposed to the mystical spirit that lies concealed in the bosom of all religious communities;" and prefers the authority of "the great American sage, Mr. Emerson."

    Upon the subject of Baptism, they teach the necessity of immersion, by a properly-qualified person, (that is, one of themselves,) for the remission of sins. This is an element of "Campbellism," and is adduced as an internal evidence of Rigdon's original complicity in the fraud, inasmuch as he officiated as a Campbellite Preacher during the "translation" period. But Smith early improved on the original notion, and taught a strange doctrine on the subject of "baptisms for the dead." The following is Lieut. Gunnison's outline of this doctrine, drawn from the "revelations" in "Doctrine and Covenants," p. 300, et seq.: --

    "The further peculiarity of the subject consists in a vicarious immersion of living persons for their dead friends, who have never had the opportunity, or neglected it, while living. This is called 'Baptism for the dead.' There being, according to their view, a probationary state in the spiritual world while that on earth exists, so that by proxy one can fulfil all 'righteousness,' by submitting to all prescribed rites, of which baptism is one, it is presumed that those gone before have repented, and are now desirous of baptistic benefits; and hence

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    it is enjoined, that the 'greatest responsibility that God has laid on us, is to look after our dead,' and ordered, that a man he baptized for deceased relatives, tracing back the line to one that held the priesthood among his progenitors, who, being a saint, will then take up the place of sponsor, and relieve him of further responsibility. All those who are thus admitted to salvation will be added to the household of the baptized person at the resurrection, who will then prefer his claim, or do as our Lord did at the grave of Lazarus, and call them forth in the name of Jesus; over whom he, as the most distinguished of the line, will reign as Patriarch for ever; and his rank and power among kingly saints will be in proportion to the number of his retinue." -- Gunnison, pp. 45, 46.

    It is only necessary to add, that, after sufficient time has been allowed to build a temple at Zion, or any appointed "stake," no other places are permitted to be used for the baptisms for the dead. The design of this is obvious. Members, as they gather to "Zion," or its "stakes," are required, under severe penalties, to contribute largely for the service of the temple, and the maintenance of "the Presidency." The above doctrine, therefore, appealing to the sympathy of survivors for the unquiet souls of their departed friends, is admirably fitted, like the kindred doctrine of purgatory, and its associated vicarious masses, to fill the coffers of the priesthood, and to promote the aggrandizement of the leaders of the sect. There can be no baptism but by a proper person in the proper place; and of course the faithful will hasten to "gather" to that place; where they must pay handsomely for their privileges.

    We may pass over all that is said of Mormon cosmogony, and of their views as to the millennium. But we must not forget to mention that the continuance of the power of working miracles is an essential article of the faith of this sect; and that its Missionaries every where pretend to exercise that power. But, even were we unable, in any case, to prove collusion and jugglery, we should refuse to be convinced by apparent miracles, wrought by bad men, in confirmation of unscriptural dogmas. The world has often been cheated by "lying wonders," and the "deceivableness of unrighteousness;" and, considering the vicious character of the authors of this imposture, and the nature of their peculiar tenets, we pronounce their success to be only another instance of the same melancholy kind.

    "The gift of tongues" was early exercised by the more zealous Mormons; but, at that time, Smith found it convenient to denounce these gifts, by revelation, as "works of the devil." Nevertheless, when his prophetic stock in trade ran low, in consequence of some unfortunate guesses, he began to speak with tongues himself. The following is a specimen of his "gifts:" -- "Ak man oh son oh man ah ne comrnene en holle goste en haben en glai hosanne hosanne en holle goste en esac milkea Jeremiah,

                                                  Pretended Miracles.                                               119

    Ezekiel, Nephi, Lehi, St. John" &c. &c. A seceder testifies, that he himself, on one occasion, "was at length called upon to speak, or sing, 'in tongues,' at his own option. Preferring the latter mode, he sung, to the tune of 'Bruce's Address,' a combination of sounds which astonished all present." One Higbee, formerly an Elder, gives this as the rule: "Rise upon your feet, and look and lean on Christ; speak or make some sound; continue to make sounds of some kind, and the Lord will make a correct tongue or language of it." This is "the-gift-of-tongues-made-easy," with a witness.

    Great pretensions have also been made to the gifts of healing, and of casting out devils. The specimens of the latter are too silly and profane to be inserted here; and, as to the former, when we find that, whether the patient recover at once, or only by slow degrees, or whether he die quietly, the miracle is equally genuine, we know what value to attach to these supernatural pretensions. A Mr. Bacheler, during the progress of a discussion with a Mormon teacher, investigated three cases of pretended miracles, and, in every instance, compelled his opponent publicly to confirm his testimony, that there was nothing miraculous about them. *

    A singular story is related by Mr. Tucker. He says, that on one occasion a stranger, who had obtained accommodation for the night at the house of a farmer, awoke the family by the most dreadful cries and groans; and, in spite of all that could be done for him, expired before morning. At an early hour, two travellers came to the gate, and requested entertainment. On hearing of the disaster which had occurred, they requested to see the corpse; and, after looking at it for a few minutes, one of them said they were Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and empowered to work miracles, -- concluding by offering to bring to life the dead man before them. At their request the neighbours were summoned, and, --

    "The Mormon Elders commenced their task by kneeling and praying before the body with uplifted hands and eyes, and with most stentorian lungs. Before they had proceeded far with their prayer, a sudden idea struck the farmer, who quickly quitted the house for a few minutes, and on his return waited patiently by the bedside until their prayer was finished, and the Elders were ready to perform their miracle. Before they began, he respectfully said to them, that, with their permission, he wished to ask them a few questions upon the subject of their miracle. They replied, that they had no objection. The farmer then asked, 'You are quite certain that you can bring this man to life again?' 'We are.' 'How do you know that you can?' 'We have just received a revelation from the Lord, informing us that we can.' 'Are you quite sure that the revelation was from the Lord?' 'Yes: we cannot be mistaken about it.' 'Does your power to raise this man to

    * Kidder, pp. 218-221.

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    life again depend upon the particular nature of his disease, or could you now bring any dead man to life?' 'It makes no difference to us; we could bring any corpse to life.' 'Well, if this man had been killed, and one of his arms cut off, could you bring him to life, and also restore to him his arm?' 'Certainly: there is no limit to the power given us by the Lord. It would make no difference, even if both his arms and his legs were cut off.' 'Could you restore him if his head had been cut off?' 'Certainly we could.' 'Well,'said the farmer, with a quiet smile upon his features, 'I do not doubt the truth of what such holy men assert, but I am desirous that my neighbours here should be fully converted, by having the miracle performed in the completest manner possible; so, by your leave, if it makes no difference whatever, I will proceed to cut off the head of this corpse.' Accordingly, he produced a huge and well-sharpened broad axe from beneath his coat, which he swung above his head, and was apparently about to bring it down upon the neck of the corpse, when, lo and behold! to the amazement of all present, the dead man started up in great agitation, and swore he would not have his head cut off for any consideration whatever.

    "The company immediately seized the Mormons, and soon made them confess that the pretended dead man was also a Mormon Elder, and that they had sent him to the farmer's house, with directions to die there at a particular hour, when they would drop in, as if by accident, and perform a miracle that would astonish every body. The farmer, after giving the impostors a severe chastisement, let them depart, to practise their imposition in some other quarter." *

    The most succinct and intelligible account of the discipline and polity of Mormonism which we have found, is thus given by Dr. Kidder, from the summary of Mr. Corrill: --

    "There are in the Church two priesthoods: first, the Melehisedec, or high, priesthood, also called the greater priesthood; second, the Aaronic, or lesser, priesthood. In the first, or Melehisedec, priesthood, were ordained High Priests and Elders; in the second, were ordained Priests, Teachers, and Deacons. Each different grade chose one of its number to preside over the rest, who was called 'President,' and whose duty it was to call together those over whom he presided, at stated times, to edify one another, and receive instruction from him. The first, or high, priesthood was to stand at the head of, and regulate the spiritual concerns of, the Church; the second, or lesser, priesthood was to administer in the ordinances, and attend to the temporal concerns of the Church. Three of the High Priests were chose[n] and set apart by the Church to preside over all the Churches, of that order, in all the world, and were called 'Presidents,' and constituted what is called 'the first presidency.' * * * The Church that was to be established in Jackson County was called 'Zion,' the centre of gathering; and those established by revelation, in other places, were called 'stakes of Zion.' * * * Each stake was to have a presidency, consisting of three High Priests, chosen and set apart for that purpose, whose jurisdiction was confined to the limits of the stake over which they took the watch-care.

    * For this, and the story about the abstraction of part of the Book of Mormon, we are indebted to our very valuable contemporary, 'The British and Foreign Evangelical Review."

                                                  Discipline and Polity.                                               121

    There was also to be a high council, consisting of twelve High Priests, established at each stake; also a Bishop, who stood at the head of the lesser priesthood, and administered in temporal things; he had two Counsellors, who, with himself, formed a court to try transgressors. If two members had a difficulty, they were to settle it between themselves, or by the assistance of another, according to the Scriptures; but, if they could not do this, then it went before the Bishop's court for trial; but, if either party was dissatisfied with the Bishop's decision, he could appeal from it to the high council. There was also a travelling high council, consisting of twelve High Priests, called 'the Twelve Apostles,' or 'The Twelve,' whose duty it was to travel and preach the gospel to all the world. They were also to regulate the Church in all places where it was not properly organized. One of their number presided over the rest in their councils. There were other bodies formed, called 'the seventies,' consisting of seventy Elders each, (not High Priests,) seven of whom presided over the rest in their councils. These seventies were to travel and preach in all the world, under the direction of the twelve, who were to open or lead the way, and then call upon the seventies for assistance. There were three of these bodies formed, called the first, second, and third seventies. The first presidency, the high council, the twelve, and each of the seventies, were equal in power; that is to say, each had a right to discipline their own members, and transact other business of the Church within their calling; and a decision of either one of these bodies, when in regular session, could not be appealed from to any other; for one had no right or power to reverse or overthrow the judgment or decision of the other, but they could all be called together and form a conference, consisting of all the authorities, to which an appeal could be taken from either one, and the decision reversed. These were the regular constituted authorities of the Church; but, besides this, Smith and Rigdon taught the Church, that these authorities, in ruling or watching over the Church, were nothing more than servants to the Church, and that the Church, as a body, had the power in themselves to do any thing that either or all of these authorities could do." -- Kidder, pp. 121-123.

    We are not told how far this privilege is reconciled with the prerogatives of the Seer and others, in receiving and issuing "revelations;" but we know that Smith and his colleagues always exacted, and generally secured, implicit obedience to their orders. It must be borne in mind, too, that the prerogatives of these various orders extend to civil, as well as ecclesiastical, administrations. The Mormons delight to call their system a "TheoDemocracy," but it is quite evident that Brigham Young is "the most autocratic ruler in the world." By means of his high council, he knows as much about the private opinions and concerns of all around him, as a French Minister of Police, and probably far more; and, backed by the authority of "revelation," can easily secure the obedience of his vassals.

    But one of the darkest features of Mormonism remains to be mentioned. We have hinted at the personal profligacy of the Prophet and his coadjutors; and in the system, as practised in

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    America, we find the image of the debasing lusts of its originators. This is a heavy charge, constantly denied by English Mormons, and, no doubt, disbelieved by many of them. But it can be abundantly made good.

    The troubles at Nauvoo were immediately occasioned by the "spiritual wife" doctrine of Sidney Rigdon, and its application by the Prophet in the instance of Mrs. Foster. The charges then urged on this head were indignantly denied; but subsequent events have corroborated them. Indeed, Lieut. Gunnison testifies that equivocation on this subject is quite common: --

    "An intelligent lady informed me that she had considered it right, when asked by her friends, during an eastern visit, to say, that 'it is no doctrine of ours to have spiritual wives;' and this, although the interrogators may have had in their minds nothing more than plurality and its supposed abuses." -- Gunnison, p. 67.

    The following statements on the subject of polygamy are from the same pen: --

    "That many have a large number of wives in Deseret, is perfectly manifest to any one residing among them; and, indeed, the subject begins to be more openly discussed than formerly; and it is announced that a treatise is in preparation, to prove by the Scriptures the right of plurality by all Christians, if not to declare their own practice of the same." -- p. 67.

    "They go so far as to say that our Saviour had three wives, -- Mary, and Martha, and the other Mary whom Jesus loved, -- all married at the wedding in Cana of Galilee." -- p. 68.

    "That polygamy existed at Nauvoo, and is now a matter scarcely attempted to be concealed among the Mormons, is certain * * * It is a thing of usual and general conversation in the mountains. I have often heard one of the Presidency spoken of with his twenty-eight wives; another with 'forty-two, more or less;' and the third, called an old bachelor, because he has only a baker's dozen." -- p. 120.

    It is not for us to enter further into this disgusting subject, nor to discuss the reasons which, according to the above friendly author, are adduced in justification of the practice. It should be enough to have established the truth of the accusation. The Missionaries of the sect in England continually deny it; and no wonder: for, were they to preach and practice polygamy among us, they would not make many converts. But there cannot be a doubt that' Mahommedanism itself is not more remarkable for this form of licentiousness. And is it into a system like this, that our English matrons and virgins are to be enticed? And will our "farmers and mechanics "abandon the severe and holy virtues of the Christian commonwealth, for a people among whom the honour of their daughters and sisters is a thing of so small account? How will they feel when commanded by "revelation" to hand over their beloved ones to the harem of

                                                  Demoralizing Tendency.                                               123

    the High Priests of this scheme of sensuality and lust? O that their eyes could be opened to see the social and moral perils into which so many of them seem disposed to rush!

    Of course, such a practice poisons the very sources of society, and the moral taint affects all classes. Listen again to Lieut. Gunnison: --

    "Of all the children that have come under our observation, we must, in candour, say, that those of the Mormons are the most lawless and profane. Circumstances connected with travel, with occupations in a new home, and desultory life, may in part account 'for this: but when a people make pretensions to raising up a 'holy generation,' and are commanded to take wives for the purpose, we naturally look at the quality of the fruit produced by the doctrines; and surely they would not complain of the scripture rule, -- 'By their fruits ye shall know them.'" -- p. 160.

    In like manner, profaneness and extreme vulgarity are common among them, "both in the pulpit, and out of it." Smith could swear like a trooper; and so, it seems, can his successors, the only caution used being, not to mention the name of God in their swearing.

    These statements are confirmed by letters from emigrants to their friends in this country. The writers, in many instances, bitterly bewail their folly in being duped by the Mormon apostles. They represent them as "a gang of speculators and gamblers, who don't value a man's life more than that of a cat;" "unsatiated despots;" addicted to "gaming of every description on the Sabbath, such as horse-racing, rolling the ten-pins, playing cards, dancing, swearing, and every thing else that is beyond decency."

    Such is Mormonism: -- "of the earth, earthy," a religion of sensuality and blasphemy. Its steps "go down to death; its feet take hold on hell." The rapid spread of such a plague among our agricultural and manufacturing population is a portentous occurrence. We are glad to find that the Religious Tract Society and the Wesleyan Book Room have issued tracts on the subject. In this country there has been, there will be, no persecution; but the surprising growth of the system shows that it is as unsafe to ignore, as it would be unwise to persecute, it. Let us, depending upon God, use all the weapons that reason and religion allow, to effect its suppression.

    In the United States, Mormonism is felt to be a threatening political fact. The Territory of Utah has been recognised by the Federal Government; and already the Government officers have come into collision with the inhabitants. Indeed, it could not be otherwise. Their settled policy, in such matters, is thus described: --

    "Their President of the Church is the temporal civil governor, because he is the seer of the Lord, and rules in virtue of that prophetic

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    right over the home and catholic 'Latter Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ,' usually styled 'the Mormons.' And should one he assigned to them not of their creed, or other than their chief, he would find himself without occupation. He probably would be received with all due courtesy as a distinguished personage, cordially received in social intercourse, so long as his demeanour pleased the influential members and people; but, as Governor, -- to use their own expressive phrase, -- 'he would be let severely alone.' Were he to convoke an assembly, and order an election, no attention would be paid to it, and he would be subject to the mortification of seeing a legislature, chosen at a different time, enacting statutes, or else the old ones continued, and those laws enforced, and the cases arising from their conflict adjudicated, by the present tribunals of justice, under their own Judges." -- Gunnison, p. 24.

    Accordingly, the Judges originally sent from Washington either fled, or were recalled; and Mormon functionaries now administer Mormon law in the Territory of Utah. But how long will the inhabitants be content with the inferior position of a Territory? And, when they shall claim to be incorporated with the other States of the Union, how will the difficulties arising from their peculiar views and polity be adjusted? These difficulties have recently been forcibly put by the New York correspondent of "The Times" newspaper. He says, --

    "There is rising into view, in the very centre of the American Republic, a structure of spiritual despotism, which puts to blush the pretensions of Hildebrand * * * The whole system of Mormonism is utterly repugnant to all our moral, religious, and political ideas; and incompatible with the scope of all our institutions. The Church is every thing, and intermeddles with every thing. It utterly blots out private conscience. It controls the bodies, the souls, and the fortunes of its followers. The ascendancy of the priesthood treads under foot the great principle of popular suffrage. Let the popular voice take what direction it may, it is at once overborne by the awful and imperative voice of the heresiarchs at the head of the community. The Mormon district has already been inaugurated as a Territory, and in this capacity sustains important relations with our Federal Government. They send a Delegate to Congress, who may participate in debate, without the right to vote. The President also appoints their principal officers, -- Governors, Judges, Marshals, Postmasters, &e. These officers are sworn to obey the laws and constitution of the Republic. Some serious conflicts have already arisen between the Mormons and the Federal officers. The laws and the authority of the Republic have been openly set at defiance, and its agents driven from their posts; while the President yielded so far for the time as to recall his official delegates, and intrusted Mormons with the execution of those laws which they had defied * * * Utah will soon display a new phase: it will, in accordance with our constitution, become a sovereign State, but owning, thereby, a higher, more clearly defined, and far more sacred allegiance to the Federal Government."

    The writer then goes on to show that its constitution must be

                                                  Probable Correctives.                                               125

    in accordance with that of the United States; that, therefore, religious intolerance must cease, polygamy he abandoned, and the country be open to settlers from every part of the earth; that not a vestige of the priesthood can be admitted into the civil government, nor the slightest interference of the ecclesiastical power be for a moment tolerated; and that, when any Mormon law tolerating polygamy, or any other social vice, comes up on appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States, it will be declared immoral and unconstitutional. He anticipates the most determined adherence to their own laws and usages on the part of the Mormons; and certainly their past history favours this anticipation. For a time, this may retard the incorporation of the Territory as a State; but, in the end, "the laws of the nation must be rigorously carried out in Utah, or the Republic submit to the utter prostration of its authority, which it will never do."

    We hope that the serious aspect of affairs presented in the above remarks of an able and impartial American writer, will be deemed a sufficient apology for the length to which our own observations have extended. A question arises, as to what will be the solution of the difficulties enumerated. The writer suggests the probable good effect of that intercourse with their fellowmen, which the Mormons had intended to escape, but which Divine Providence has forced upon them by the discovery of gold in California, and by the measures in progress for constructing the high road from the eastern States to the American El Dorado through the very heart of their territory. The contact with modern ideas and influences, and the transforming power of steam, which the Great Pacific Railroad will introduce, may gradually ameliorate the character of the Mormons, and assimilate them, in spite of themselves, to the enterprising and progressive community, in the midst of which they are compelled to live, and may even effect the entire destruction of the system.

    To this estimate of the influence of external circumstances must be added a still more comforting consideration arising out of the elements of disruption contained in the system itself. The student of Providence is often called to adore that retributive justice by which various evils, by the law of their own development, are made to work out their own cure. In the present case, Lieut. Gunnison enumerates at least five elements of disturbance in the social condition of the Mormons: -- 1. Polygamy, with its uniform attendant, the social degradation of woman. These men say, --

    "That to give the post of honour or of comfort to the lady is absurd. If there is hut one seat, they say, it of right belongs to the gentleman, and it is the duty and place of a man to lead the way, and let the fair partner enter the house or room behind him. The glory of a woman is constantly held forth to be a 'mother in Israel,' or, literally, a child-tender.

    126                                               Mormonism and the Mormons.                                              

    The delicate sentiment of companionable qualities and mental attachments finds no place in the philosophy of plurality of wives, separate from grosser sensuous enjoyments. While introducing this great cause of disruption and jealousies into families, they cultivate in schools the arts of peace, that tend to soften and elevate a community; and the antagonistic principles, one of rolling back to Asiatic stationary civilization, the other of progressive enlightenment, must come into collision." -- Gunnison, p. 157.

    Our readers will join with us in saying, "The sooner the better!" 2. Another cause is, the want of sympathy among the young with the views of the adult members of the community. The former are, generally, "no fanatics," care nothing for doctrines, are many of them quite opposed to "plurality," because of the mutual insecurities inseparable from it; and, by their liberal education, and occasional contact with Christian influences, are acquiring a dislike to the sensual and despotic hierarchy, under whose government they are living. 3. There is a project for publishing an edition of the Bible, "amended" by Joe Smith. This will be "no more the Christian book of the present Churches than the Alcoran, or the Zendivesta;" but will "necessitate an apostasy from one religion to a different creed, and to the worship of a different God." Then, many who have embraced Mormonism, under the belief that it was the purest form of Christianity, having their religious principles shocked by such impiety, may be expected to abandon the system. 4. The system of tithes is another element of disruption.

    "By this engine, immense sums are accumulated, and put at the disposal of the Presidency; and its corrupting influences of irresponsible expenditure will, sooner or later, be developed. It cannot be long before those restless, ambitious, and talented persons, who are denied the great privileges which untold treasures secure, will become dissatisfied at the sight of ease and luxury in the managers of what they may consider a religious speculation; and some may envy the harems of the shepherds of the flock, supported indirectly by the labours of the hirelings," &c. -- Gunnison, p. 162.

    5. A fifth cause arises from the probability of disunion in the Presidency itself, as illustrated by the quarrels of Smith and Rigdon in the earlier history of Mormonism. Indeed, internal dissension has generally been the forerunner of the external assaults to which the people have been exposed. In fine, --

    "All these seeds of distrust, ambition, and discontent are sown in a fruitful soil; and, if they are left quietly to germinate by the powers at a distance, cannot fail to destroy that unity which renders the Mormon community so formidable to any that might seek to control it." -- Gunnison, p. 163.

    We hope that these anticipations will be speedily realized. That Mormonism can exist for any great length of time, now that it is, in spite of its promoters, once more brought into contact

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    with the advancing civilization of the nineteenth century, we by no means believe. This and all similar outrages upon the common sense and religious convictions of the Christian world are under the ban of Him who has said, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is." Until He come! Are we near His coming? Is the hideous brood of heresy, contention, superstition, and infidelity, now arising in the bosom of evangelical communities, an evidence that "the last days" have already begun? a presage of the approach of the last and greatest conflict between truth and error, Christ and Belial? Questions of religion are now, more than at any former time, awakening the attention, arousing the passions, and marshalling the forces, of the world. A war of religious opinion impends over Europe; China is convulsed to its centre, and the throne of its Tartar Emperor, and the religion of the country, are tottering with the shock of an insurrection; the Churches of our beloved fatherland are torn by strife and division; and (let not our readers smile at the anti-climax) behind the rampart of the Rocky mountains, Mormonism is accumulating its resources, and preparing its array, for a conflict, not so much with the Republicanism, as with the Christianity, of America. "Not the earth only, but the heavens," are shaken. Let us pray and hope for the advent of "the Desire of all nations," and for the universal establishment of that "kingdom which cannot be moved."


    Arthur's Home Magazine
    (Philadelphia: T. S. Arthur & Co.)

  • 1854, January:
      "Nauvoo, Illinois -- the Mormons"

  •    by Rev. John M. Peck

      See also Rev. Peck's 1835 article



    Volume III.                              January, 1854.                              Number 1.

    [p. 38]


    BY REV. J. M. PECK,

    With this place is associated a long train of imposture, superstition, fanaticism. Lynch-law, robberies, burglary, arson, murder, rebellion and civil war! The name itself -- Nauvoo -- pretended by Mormons to have been of Hebrew origin, intimates the most extraordinary religious imposture and wide-spread fanaticism the world has witnessed in modern times.

    A regular. consecutive and complete sketch of Mormonism, or a history of the moral pranks of its founders, in detail, would fill a large volume. A truthful history in full, of this strange imposture, enacted in the middle of the nineteenth century, has yet to be written. The materials are abundant, and a skillful and unprejudiced mind, from the series of facts that have occurred since 1830, could produce illustrations of some of the strangest and most unaccountable freaks of perverted humanity.

    Nature has not formed, along the "Great River" a more picturesque and eligible site for a large city. The gradual acclivity, as terrace after terrace rises up from the river until the high land is reached, more than a mile, furnishes a slope seldom found. The writer saw it before the hand of man had defaced the image of nature. Beautiful groves of tall oaks, interspersed by winding vistas, covered the ground to the summit ridge, where an immense undulating prairie was spread out in the distance. No shrubbery or undergrowth shut out the view of the open forest.

    Near the river, on the right, was the beautiful residence of Dr. Isaac Galland, where art had combined with nature to form one of the most delightful country seats. He obtained possession of a fine tract of land, and in 1834, laid off on this site the town of Commerce. In an ill-fated hour he sold this property to the Mormons, who had fled from Missouri, and identified himself with the fraternity, and entered into their speculation by selling "half-breed" claims in Iowa.

    He was a gentleman of education, kind, philanthropic, and confiding in his disposition, but speculative and visionary, and a disbeliever in all revealed religion. He had been engaged in the Indian trade along the Mississippi, rejected all revelation from God, and wrote a letter in the "Times and Seasons," the Mormon periodical at Nauvoo, in 1841, in which he makes a number of ingenious suggestions to the Prophet, of the policy they should pursue to be successful in establishing the new religion.


    In the year 1830, a singular book came from the press, in Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, that attracted less attention from its claims to ancient inspired writings, than as a series of wild, irregular, romantic legends concerning a race of men on the American continent. On the authority of the book, they were an off-shoot from the ancient Jews and the progenitors of the Indian tribes of North America. It contained 590 12mo pages; with the following imposing title-page: -- "The Book of Mormon -- An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi." Then follows an awkward and illiterate sketch of the work, purporting to be "a record" of two sorts of people, "the people of Jared," and the "people of Nephi." "By Joseph Smith, Jr., Author and Proprietor."

    Joseph Smith, Jr., or Joe Smith, as the Prophet was familiarly called, was a native of Vermont, but when a youth was removed by his father and family into the western part of New York, and lived for a time in the vicinity of Rochester. The family were idle, superstitious, illiterate, and of doubtful reputation; and Joe, when he had grown to manhood, spent several years roving about in the neighboring towns, pretending to be engaged in digging for buried money and hunting silver mines.

    About 1827, he pretended he had found some curious golden or brass plates, the leaves of a book, hidden in a box, in the town of Palmyra, to which he was directed by an angel! In the same box were two transparent stones, which being placed in a hat with the plates, Joe, by looking in, became miraculously qualified to read and even translate their contents from the "Reformed Egyptian language." The Prophet, with his face buried in the hat, read out the translation, and Oliver Cowdery, a school-master in the vicinity, wrote it down in English. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris bear testimony "unto all nations, "kindreds, tongues, and people," that they "had seen the plates and engravings thereon," "that they had been shown us by the power of God and not of man." David Whitmer and a family connection of the same name were the first converts. Cowdery was Smith's amanuensis. All these early converts left the sect at the period of the Mormon War, in Missouri, in 1838, and denounced Smith, who expelled them from the church.

    Harris was a man of religious and superstitious temperament, and credulous in the extreme, believed in dreams and other communications from the invisible world, and. withal, exceedingly avaricious, and close and calculating in his business. He mortgaged his farm on which he lived to raise the funds to enable Joe to print his new Bible. He had enough of credulity, superstition and ignorance to believe the tales of Prophet Joe, and was stimulated also by the flattering prospect of a money-making job from extensive sales of the Book of Mormon. His wife gave this testimony. The poor old man lost his farm. and, with many misgivings about his new creed, died in poverty.

    The book contains a prosy series of extravagant legends, mixed up with pious suggestions, and containing whole paragraphs copied verbatim et literatim from both the Old and New Testaments in the common English version. Yet the Prophet and founder of Mormonism declares he translated the whole book from plates, written in the "Reformed Egyptian language," by the light of the stones! But the passages of

                                          THE  MORMONS.                                       39

    Scripture, when used, are perverted, being mixed up with the most extravagant and monstrous fictions, with quite a sprinkling of vulgar, cant words and phrases.

    It contains a series of romantic tales about two kinds of people that, at remote periods of time, are said to have crossed the ocean from the Asiatic continent. One class came here shortly after the building of Babel and the confusion of tongues, where they lived for many generations, became divided into two hostile parties, and fought until they exterminated each other, in a more desperate mode than the legend of the Kilkenny cats, who left no trace behind save the tips of their tails. The wicked Jaredites left not a remnant of their race! The migration of this race is one of the marvels of the book. They built "eight barges," both airtight and water-tight, and had sixteen stones "molten out of the rock," to illuminate their craft. Two of these stones were the identical ones used by the Prophet in his hat, to translate this wonderful book, having been put in the box with the plates by Moroni, the last of the Mormons, for that express purpose. Partly by swimming on the surface, and then, during storms, diving like ducks beneath the surface, these barges crossed the ocean, with "the families, flocks, herds, fowls, and all manner of provisions," in 344 days!

    The second race migrated here in "ships" about 600 years before the Christian era, from Jerusalem, by way of the Red Sea, and became the progenitors of the Indian tribes. They sprang from the tribe of Joseph, and constituted the Mormons. The extravagant fictions of this part of the book outdo the Arabian Nights' Enchantments, or the stories of Sinbad the Sailor. They might pass for wild, incoherent romances, were it not for the blasphemous assertion that Jesus Christ, after having ascended to Heaven from Mount Olivet, again descended on this continent, organized the Mormon church, chose twelve apostles, and again ascended, after continuing for a period on earth in America.

    The story runs this: -- Lehi, with his wife and four sons and their families, under the direction of Prophet Nephi, the youngest, left Jerusalem in the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, and, after wandering eight years, built a ship, and, guided by a "curious brass ball with pointers," crossed the ocean to the American continent. Here the family had a quarrel, became divided into two clans, which from the leaders were denominated Lamanites and Nephites. The Lamanites became corrupt and idolatrous. The Nephites, though descended "from the tribe of Joseph," as the tale goes, had their high priests. common priests, temple service, and Jewish worship, with baptism and other Christian (?) usages, long before the birth of Christ! Three or four hundred years after the Christian era, and long after he had descended on this part of the earth, and organized the Mormon church, the Nephites and Lamanites were engaged in exterminating wars. More were slain, according to the veritable Book of Mormon, than in the wars of Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon united, until all the Nephites were killed except Moroni, "the last of the Mormons," who buried the plates "in the hill Camorah," (Palmyra, New York), for the special purpose of being found by Joe Smith, who was to re-organize the Mormon church as the Latter Day Saints. These statements give an exhibition of Mormon character, habits and designs. War "to the knife," with all their enemies, is a fundamental principle in their creed, and habitual lecturing to the masses on these ancient, but fabulous, wars excites them to similar achievements.

    The Book of Mormon makes the pretence of having been written by twelve different authors, during a period of 1020 years, a part of it having been translated by the writers from more ancient documents, and the whole engraven on plates by Moroni in the "Reformed Egyptian language." No series of childish tales ever bore such unquestionable evidence, as the production of a single mind, in modern phraseology, and all within the present century. It abounds with the provincialisms common to illiterate New Englanders. It contains allusions to modern discoveries, as steamboats. The author makes a bungling attempt to imitate the style of the English version of the Bible, quotes sentences from Shakespeare, and uses colloquial phrases common to illiterate persons in the interior of the State of New York, thirty and forty years since.

    Curiosity, and the laudable desire to prevent imposition on the minds of ignorant and credulous persons, have prompted full and successful investigation of the authorship of these writings. The result, established beyond all controversy, I here give.

    About eighteen years before the appearance of the Book of Mormon, an eccentric gentleman, by the name of Spalding, then living in the north-eastern part of Ohio, was engaged in writing a series of historical romances, the fruit of his own fertile imagination, about the early settlement of North America, and the race of people whom he fancied made the mounds, fortifications and enclosures found [there]. These writings were intended for his own amusement. and that of his friends.

    He was a person of moderate abilities, of some slight mental obliquities, of honest reputation, and in straitened circumstances. He read his manuscripts to his neighbors, who, on reading the Book of Mormon, made affidavits that it contained the same stories they had heard Mr. Spalding read. His brother, who had read these manuscripts, gave the same testimony. His widow, who had married a man by name of Davidson, and removed to Massachusetts, also certified that in this work were the romantic legends of her former husband. More than forty other persons have made affidavits to the same effect. All these were persons of unimpeachable veracity.

    Mr. Spalding removed with his family to Pittsburg, where he formed an acquaintance with Mr. Paterson, a publisher, who read these manuscripts, had them in his possession for several months, and proposed to the author to publish them as a historical romance. Spalding then removed to Washington county, Pennsylvania,

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    where he died in 1816. His widow still retained the manuscripts in her possession, which were read by her and her relatives.

    One of Smith's early disciples was Sydney Rigdon, who, in authority and influence, was next to the Prophet in this new sect, until 1844, when he seceded, at Nauvoo, on the introduction of the "spiritual wife" system in domestic affairs.

    Rigdon, before he joined Smith in the Mormon enterprise, was a man of a visionary, unsettled mind, of a morbid, enthusiastic temperament, subject to religious hallucinations, and, withal, a preacher. At the period Mr. Spalding resided in Pittsburg, Rigdon was about the office of Mr. Patterson, and might have stealthily copied the manuscripts; or Smith himself might have come into possession of this document, for the writings of Mr. Spalding were in Ontario [sic] county, New York, where his widow lived for several years. Mrs. Davidson can give no account how these papers were lost. She certifies they were in an old trunk, with some books and other papers, and when the trunk was examined, this document was missing.

    It is a fact, established by the most ample proof, that "The Manuscript Found," as Spalding called his romance, furnished the frame-work of the Book of Mormon, with such interpolations and changes as Smith and his coadjutors saw fit to make. These bear the finger-marks of the vulgar, illiterate impostor and his early associates, Cowdery, Harris, Whitmer, and Sydney Rigdon.

    All these facts would not be worth a moment's attention, were they not the origin and foundation of one of the most dangerous religious impostures ever palmed off on human credulity and superstition. It is the starting point of a sect that has set the laws of God and man at defiance, and formed a political organization in the wilds of Western America, of a character unknown in the history of human governments.

    Besides the Book of Mormon, there are divers publications from Prophet Smith and his followers, all claiming to be written by Divine inspiration, and their injunctions binding on the Mormon community. The most sacred, and the one which forms the basis of their extraordinary ecclesiastico-political polity, is the "Book of the Covenants." Before us lies a file of semi-monthly papers, called "The Evening and Morning Star," dated at Jackson county, Mo., in 1832-33, which contains numerous articles from the pen of the Prophet. They all claim to be direct "revelations from God," and, as prophecies of the future, have been singularly contradicted by the events that have since transpired.

    Their church organization is the most complete temporal and spiritual despotism ever yet invented to control the persons, property, mind, conscience and religious feelings of the people, and render them subservient to the purpose of a few self-constituted leaders. Among the "gifts of inspiration" claimed is the power of "discerning spirits," or as they interpret it, to discern the misgivings, doubts, and most secret thoughts of their disciples; and the supreme authority to inflict any penalty, even death, on those who have the inclination to become refractory, or to leave the society.

    This strange sect was first organized April, 1830, in Manchester, New York, but took the attractive name of "Latter Day Saints," in 1834. They were six in number then, and all interested in the fallacy of the "golden plates."

    At that period an extraordinary and preternatural state of religious excitement pervaded the State of New York and Northern Ohio, and Smith and his fraternity, with enthusiastic zeal, turned out to make proselytes. They preached from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, taught many of the common-place truths of Christianity, artfully mixed up with Mormon stories, and claims to a new revelation. Of course, they made and baptized converts, and soon after Rigdon joined them with a fraternity of his own.

    A revelation was then made by the Prophet, instructing the whole fraternity to gather at Kirtland, in Geauga county, Ohio, and build there the "Temple of the Lord." This place became the head-quarters of the church, and the residence of the Prophet for several years.

    Their business transactions in merchandising, banking, erecting the temple, and speculating in lands and town lots, were conducted as they alleged, by "revelation from God;" and issued in an overwhelming bankruptcy. And for relief from the consequences, Prophet Smith availed himself of the bankrupt law of Congress in Illinois, in the process of which his debts exceeded $100,000. His assets were -- not to be found!

    In 1831, Smith, Rigdon and some others, made a journey to the Western part of Missouri, to find the location for building "Zion," and were directed to Independence, Jackson county. Proclamations as coming from the Almighty, were sent abroad to the "brethren" to repair to this "land of promise," with instructions to purchase land and prepare to build the temple there. About 1300 men, women and children established themselves in that county; their leaders proclaimed themselves the lawful possessors of the land, the confederates of the Indians, and that all the "Gentiles," who would not hear and obey their message, would be exterminated.

    At the same time it was discovered that boxes of firearms and other munitions were transported into the county, and divers speeches and mysterious proceedings produced the conviction that a clandestine and unlawful movement was about being made to arm the neighboring Indians and enlist them in a war on the white people. A panic was thus produced in 1833; the militia were called out, and their printing office and two or three Mormon houses were demolished. The Governor issued his proclamation to all parties to keep the peace; men of influence and moderation interposed, and after several attempts at negotiation, the Mormons left the country and returned to Clay and the adjacent counties north of the Missouri river. At first they had the sympathies of many of the citizens there, and the poor received much charitable aid. They finally settled in a fine new country on Grand River, in the county of Caldwell.

    After the explosion of the Mormon bank at

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    Kirtland, in 1837, which involved Smith, Rigdon & Co. in inextricable difficulties, these leaders and rulers came to Missouri, followed by a large proportion of the members of their church, to escape the pursuit of their creditors, and the indignation of the people whom they had swindled. Soon after their arrival they organized the "Danite Band," first called "Daughters of Zion." The members of this military corps were bound together by an oath or covenant, with the penalty of instant death attached to a breach to "do the Prophet's bidding," to "defend the Presidency (their rulers) and each other." They had "pass-words," and "secret signs," by which they could recognize each other by day or night. There were at first about 500 desperate men in this association, armed with deadly weapons, and divided into bands of tens and fifties, with a captain over each band. They were instructed by the Prophet and his Council to drive off, or "give to the buzzards," all Mormons who dissented from these "new revelations," and proclamation was made accordingly. Among many dissentients who left the country, were David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer and Hiram Page, all witnesses to the Book of Mormon!

    An address of Rigdon on the Fourth of July, in which he denounced destruction on all who left the society, and predicted an exterminating war with the people of Missouri, caused tremendous excitement and alarm, which did not cease until it terminated in a civil war with the State. It came on in this manner. Smith, with a party of Danites, went into Daviess county, as they said, to put down a mob, but it turned out to be their object "to take the spoils of the Gentiles." The citizens of Daviess county gathered in defence, but the Mormons far out-numbered them, and compelled them to retire. These fanatics, at the bidding of the prophet, killed about 200 head of swine, a number of cattle, and destroyed several fields of corn, broke up a post-office, robbed and burnt a store, burnt several dwelling houses, from which the owners had fled, and brought away a large amount of furniture, clothing and bedding, to their town (Far West) which they had fortified.

    About the same time an engagement took place between a company of Missouri militia, who had been called out by the commanding officer, on requisition from the Governor of the State, and a party of Mormons. This was on the border of Carrol county. Two or three persons on each side were killed and wounded.

    Inflammatory speeches made by persons of both parties served to increase the excitement, and dissensions among the Mormons exasperated their leaders. Many were infatuated and determined to fight for their "rights," and maintain possession of the country. Many of the Mormons became alarmed and dissatisfied with the desperate proceedings of the "Danites." At this crisis, the Governor of the State called out the three thousand militia in the central part of the State, under the command of General J. B. Clark, who made a rapid march on horseback, surrounded Far West, took the refractory Mormons prisoners, and made peace without the sanguinary results of a battle.

    A party of Mormons, including men, women and children, some miles distant, at Hawn's mill, were attacked by a party of armed men, and sixteen persons murdered, among whom were two boys. This was a most dastardly and lawless act, and furnished the Mormons with a plea in making appeals to the sympathy of human nature, where their own conduct was unknown.

    The terms of peace dictated by the authorities of the State were, that five commissioners be appointed to sell their property, pay their debts, and the damages done by the Danites, and aid the whole fraternity to remove from the State. Between 40 and 50 of the prisoners, who had acted a conspicuous part in the rebellion, were selected for a preliminary trial before the Judge of that district. The testimony was taken in writing, and the whole published by the Legislature as an official document. Excluding all other testimony but that of Mormons, and the party were guilty of larceny, highway robbery, burglary, arson, assault with intent to kill, murder, rebellion and treason.

    About thirty were committed and sent to prison in the counties of Clay and Carrol, (for there was no jail in the counties where the offences were committed) and the rest of the fraternity liberated on condition of their leaving the State. Many of the Mormon families were destitute and had no means to get away. The State appropriated $2000 for their relief, and citizens of Howard and the adjacent counties raised contributions in provisions and clothing, and proceeded to relieve the most necessitous. A part of the fraternity came to the Mississippi river, opposite Quincy, in the winter, in distress and suffering, and were relieved by the people, and the remainder next Spring came to Illinois, and established themselves in Hancock county, at Nauvoo.

    In the meantime, missionaries were sent forth through the United States and Europe, with exaggerated stories of their persecutions and sufferings, and pleas of innocence, and the number of disciples to Mormonism were greatly multiplied. These were ordered by their leaders to repair to Nauvoo, and build the temple of the Lord. New "revelations" were forthcoming in accordance with the new state of things, and in the short space of two years, a spacious city was built up; the houses of every form and of all kinds of materials, from the mud huts to spacious tenements of stone and brick.

    The year 1840 will be long remembered as a season of great political excitement, and the election of Gen. W. H. Harrison to the Presidency of the United States.

    Smith and Rigdon, who with their colleagues in guilt had been suffered to escape from Missouri without a trial, had visited Washington City, and appealed to Mr. Van Buren, then President, for the interpositions of the Federal government against the Missourians, (a matter wholly beyond its jurisdiction.) On their return, they made report to a great meeting of more than 4000 Mormons at Nauvoo, held under the forest trees, that the President refused their application. The Mormons previously, to a man, had voted with the Democratic party, but now the Prophet announced his

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    political change. With an outlandish oath, (for this pious Prophet often swore profanely,) he announced, -- "Every Mormon may vote as he pleases, but (with an oath) I'm for old Tippecanoe, for he'll do the right thing." A terrific explosion of hurrahs made the welkin ring; and the whole Mormon force in Illinois turned Whigs for that season.

    A brother of Joe Smith was elected to the Legislature from Hancock county, and by artful management, encouraging leading Democrats that they might return to their "first love," and voting for Whigs, they gained their object.

    This allusion to politics in Illinois is necessary to explain why a batch of chartered incorporations were granted by the Legislature for the Mormons at Nauvoo. Sympathy for their sufferings on the part of some, and political rivalry to gain their influence and retain their support by others, gained for them six charters -- one for the incorporation of their city, with peculiar and dangerous powers -- one incorporating, in fact, a standing army, under the name of the "Nauvoo Legion" -- one for building the great temple -- one for incorporating a "school of the Prophets," under the name of the Nauvoo University -- one for building a hotel, to cost one hundred thousand dollars, and another for manufacturing purposes.

    The vague and general provisions of these charities, without proper restrictions, gave them a wide range of power, and opened the way for the full exercise of their anti-republican and despotic principles.

    The "Nauvoo Legion" furnished opportunity for the creation of a host of military titles, the acquisition of a magazine of arms that belonged to the State, and the rapid and full development of the true Mormon character. Prophet Joe was created "Lieutenant-General," an office unknown in the United States, while Major Generals, Brigadier Generals, Colonels, and subordinate titles, were distributed lavishly on his partisan followers. Commissions for high offices were sent to the Atlantic States, and gratefully received by vain, pompous and inflated minds. Nor was this all show. An arsenal was established, military reviews held weekly, and every male of 18 years and upward was required, by the laws of the city, to perform this service under severe penalties. Boastful threats were made of vengeance on the people of Missouri, and all persons who should molest them.

    The "Legion," when fully organized, contained "cohorts" of flying artillery, lancers, riflemen, infantry and dragoons, and included more than 4000 men.

    Circumstances, strong, convincing, and appalling, directed the public mind to Nauvoo as a place of refuge for counterfeiters, horse-thieves, burglars, robbers and murderers. This was not mere suspicion. Proofs, too numerous and direct to permit any impartial and unprejudiced mind to doubt, have appeared.

    Intestine quarrels caused secessions every year, and in all cases the seceders were accused by Smith and his adherents of every crime that is disgraceful to human nature, while they would give as reasons for their secession the profligacy and despotism of the Prophet and the heads of this politico-ecclesiastical confederacy. And certainly, in several instances, as the writer knows, personally, these secessionists were honest persons, who had been deluded with the religious novelties of the sect, and awakened from this delusion in amazement and horror, to find such gross immoralities practiced under the garb of a new religion. They have proved their sincerity by subsequent good conduct.

    It may be here stated, once for all, that no principle is more deeply seated and firmly fixed in the American mind than that of entire freedom in religious belief and practice, as the birthright of every human being. All faith and worship is universally regarded as beyond the pale of human authority. The relationship of man to man, and not of man to God, is the limitation of human laws; and this principle is in our national and in all our State constitutions. But, when under the imposing sanctions of religion, or under any pretext whatever, the rights of men as citizens and neighbors are invaded. The American mind and heart are peculiarly sensitive, and resistance follows. All the difficulties with the Mormons both in Missouri and Illinois were caused by their invasion of the rights of man; and in no instance from their peculiar religious dogmas, or modes of worship.

    Governor Dunklin, the chief magistrate of Missouri, in 1834, thus officially addressed the people of Missouri, through Colonel Thornton, in reference to the Mormons in Jackson county:

    "Our constitution says, that, 'All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty Hod according to the dictates of their own consciences, * * * *

    "They (Mormons) have the right constitutionally guaranteed to them, to believe and worship Joe Smith as a Man, or an Angel, or even as the True and Living God, and to call their habitation Zion, the Holy Land, or even Heaven itself. Indeed, there is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that they have not the right to adopt as their religion, so that in its service they do not interfere with the rights of others."

    It was the practical application of this last clause by inflicting punishment, even death, on seceding Mormons, and invading the property and attempting the lives of "Gentiles," as they called those people who would not join them, that caused the difficulties with the Mormons in Missouri and Illinois. Their organization as a government, and the habitual course of their leaders, brought them in collision with their own people, and their neighbors. Their principles and practices were at war then (as now) with the most sacred rights of man.

    In the meantime, preparations were made for the erection of a spacious and singularly constructed temple. Proclamations were sent forth to all the faithful to come "to the gathering at Zion," and pay over their tithes to the Presidents of the church. Every artisan and laborer was required to perform personal service every tenth day, and they were so marshalled into companies,

                                          THE  MORMONS.                                       43

    as that, on each successive day of the week, the complements of laborers were provided.

    This edifice was planned for an immense structure with a combination of ancient and modern orders of architecture, of which Egyptian appeared prominent. An immense laver, in imitation of the one of brass in Solomon's temple, was projected as a baptismal font. It stood on twelve oxen, hewn from the trunks of large trees, with their faces projecting outward, and gilded. This font was specially designed as the sacred place of "baptism for the dead," one of the peculiarities of Mormon faith, The temple was never finished. After the Mormons were driven from Nauvoo, a committee were permitted to remain, to dispose of this and other property. Several attempts were made at negotiation for educational, manufacturing and other objects, but its manner of construction seemed to answer no useful purpose. There it stood as waste property, until the torch of the incendiary settled all questions of utility; but whether by the hand of Mormons, as many believe, or their enemies, is unknown.

    The terrible collision between the Mormons and the other inhabitants of Hancock and adjacent counties, is to be traced to the oppression of Smith and his adherents on those who began to doubt his divine commission. We have no room for the detail of affairs that led on to the fatal catastrophe. They commenced with the disclosure of the practice of polygamy, under the fallacy of enjoying the "blessings of Jacob," by a plurality of wives, all of whom, except the first, are denominated "spiritual." This new era in their religious progress caused divisions in the ranks of the "faithful," and the establishment of another press at Nauvoo, in May, 1844, and the issue of a paper under the title of "Nauvoo Expositor." It contained a series of charges against Joseph Smith, and the heads of the church there, including bigamy, adultery, larceny, and counterfeiting. The paper in the control of Smith and his adherents retorted on the dissenters similar charges, and the corporate authorities of the city ordered the new press to be destroyed, which was done by violence. In the meantime robberies were perpetrated on the citizens of Hancock and the adjacent counties.

    The dissenting Mormons, whose press had been destroyed under pretext of city authority, united with the opponents of Mormonism; public meetings were held in the county, and warrants issued against the Smiths, (Joseph and Hyrum) and other Mormons, for the illegal destruction of the press, and though served by legal officers they refused to obey. Their shield was the writ of from the city authority, and they discharged themselves.

    This mock administration of law added fuel to the flame. The people in the adjacent counties became aroused, and, conscious of their power, were resolved to sustain the State authority, in defiance of the city. The officer who had served the warrant on the members of the corporation, summoned a posse comitatus from the adjacent counties, to renew the arrest, but they were met by the armed "Legion" of four thousand men in command of the Prophet, with artillery. The city of Nauvoo was declared under martial law. The officer called on his Excellency, Thomas Ford, Governor of the State, for military aid to sustain the law, who immediately ordered out the militia from several counties, and proceeded to Hancock county, in person, to examine into the state of affairs. After unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, warrants were issued against Smith and others for treason, and levying war against the State, and the officer with the writs was ordered to enter Nauvoo with a strong force; carrying an order from the Governor to disband the "Legion." The Smiths at first fled across the river into Iowa, and the city was in great confusion. Some of the Mormons rejoiced that their Prophet had escaped; others were loud in their denunciation that he had deserted them in the hour of peril, and left them to the mercy of their enemies, being the cause of all their difficulties. During the day, despatches passed across the river, to and from the fugitives, until about sunset, when they returned, and next morning set out for Carthage, (the seat of Justice for Hancock county) to answer to the warrants for the illegal destruction of the press, and resisting the authority of the State. They met a detachment of troops on their way to Nauvoo, with the order of the Governor for the arms of the State that had been in possession of the Nauvoo Legion. The Prophet and his brother retraced their course, gave up the arms, and again left for Carthage. This was on the 27th of June. The prisoners were examined on the charge of riot in destroying the printing press, and held to bail for appearance at the next session of the Circuit Court of the county. Joseph and Hyrum were also arrested on charge of treason, and committed to jail. As all now appeared tranquil, the Governor supposed there was no further occasion for the military force, except a guard for the jail. He disbanded the troops on the morning of the 27th, and, with his suit, left Carthage for Nauvoo.

    There he made a public address to the Mormons, and urged them to maintain their allegiance to the State, and unite with the citizens in preserving order, and sustaining the laws. He pointed out the fatal consequences of persisting in the course in which their leaders had misdirected them.

    While the Governor was making his best efforts at Nauvoo to restore peace, quite a different scene was enacted at Carthage. After the militia were disbanded, many of them entertained the impression that the Smiths would be released, and the Mormons continue their depredations. Urged on by dissenting Mormons, who narrated horrible stories of the conduct of their former leaders, about 140 men, armed and disguised, made an attack on the jail, drove off the guard, and shot Joseph and Hyrum Smith while attempting to escape. Four balls pierced each as they fell. The provocation had been great, and vengeance had been nursed by a long series of injuries. No doubt both deserved death for their offences, but this illegal mode of vengeance, in direct violation of the majesty of the

    44                                ARTHUR'S  HOME  MAGAZINE.                               

    law, met the strong condemnation of the Governor and people.

    Great excitement and alarm prevailed throughout the country, from the expectation that the Mormons, driven to desperation, would arise and massacre the people. The effect, however, was far otherwise. Disheartened and appalled, they made no direct attempt at revenge. The bodies were carried to Nauvoo, and the funeral attended by an immense concourse of men, women, and children. Addresses were made by their leaders, and they were exhorted to abstain from all violence, and quietly submit to the persecution of their enemies. Silent and gloomy, they brooded over the past. All remained quiet for several weeks, when the party became re-organized by the appointment of twelve apostles, to be the heads of the hierarchy. Dissensions then began. William Smith, the youngest brother, and the only one now living, claimed the patriarchate by succession from his brother Hyrum, and to hold the prophetical office in reversion for the son of Joe, a mere boy. Sydney Rigdon, who renounced the authority of the Prophet Joe, on account of his "spiritual wife" scheme, and departed to western Pennsylvania before the rebellion, put in his claims, which were recognized by a small party. J. J. Strang set himself up as a co-leader, and led off a company first to Wisconsin, and then to an island in Lake Michigan, where with the imposing title of "Imperial Primate and Absolute Sovereign," he enacted some "strange" things, and got into collision with the authorities of the State of Michigan.

    Brigham Young, a bold, reckless, and unprincipled adventurer, got the ascendancy, and was elected by the "Twelve Apostles" to the headship of the church, and the building of the temple and other public works were resumed.

    It was not long before collision with the inhabitants of the surrounding country again commenced. The smouldering fires were rekindled. Depredations on the property were resumed. Charges of robbery and arson were made. The people in the neighboring counties became aroused, public meetings were held, and a convention of delegates from nine counties met at Carthage on the first of October, 1845. Resolutions were passed that aimed at the entire separation of the Mormons from the State. It became evident to their leaders that this people, under their peculiar organization, could not live within the jurisdiction of any State. Both parties became desperate, and civil war actually commenced. A party of pioneer Mormons were sent on an exploring expedition to the country on the Missouri River, beyond any organized government, and early the following Spring, the people en masse, commenced removing westward. A large party settled, for the time being, in a part of Iowa, near the Missouri River, above any American settlements, while an advanced corps took the trail for the Salt Lake Valley, beyond the Western Mountains. There they organized a State government, under the whimsical name of Deseret, which, by the Act of Congress of 1850, was changed to a territorial form, under the jurisdiction of the United States, by the Indian name of Utah. They have evinced great enterprise in making improvements, but as no law has been enacted against polygamy, each leading Mormon takes as many wives, which the church, that is the official authorities in this politico-religious community, is pleased to permit.

    Emigrants from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other States, purchased farms of the Mormons, and since their removal from Nauvoo, good order, law, industry and prosperity are the characteristics of Hancock county, as of others in that part of Illinois.

    Nauvoo more recently has become the site of a community of French socialists, under Mons. Cabet.


    National Magazine
    (New York City: Carlton & Phillips.)

  • 1854, June:
      "Nauvoo and Deseret"

  • 1854, October:
      "Nauvoo and Deseret"

  •     Transcriber's Comments




    JUNE,  1854.


    Among the many extraordinary chapters in the history of the Nineteenth Century, none is more incredible and curious than the rise and progress of Mormonism. The creed of the Latter Day Saints, as they style themselves, is not, indeed, more absurd and ridiculous than that of some other delusions; but their existence was brief, and they are now almost forgotten; while the imposture of Smith and his associates is still successful,


    and represented by missionaries in almost every state throughout the world.

    It has been observed with some reason, that had a Rabelais or a Swift told the story of the Mormons under the vail of allegory, mankind would probably have entered a protest against the extravagance of the satirist. The name of the mock hero, his own and his family's ignorance and want of character, the low cunning of his accomplices, the open and shameless vices in which they indulged, and the extraordinary success of the sect they founded, would all have been thought too obviously conceived with a view to ludicrous effects. Yet the Mormon movement has assumed the condition of an important popular feature, and after much suffering and many reverses, its authors have achieved a condition of eminent industrial prosperity. In scarcely more than twenty years the company, consisting of the impostor and his father and brother, has increased to half a million; they occupy one of the richest portions of this continent, have a regularly organized government, and are represented in the Congress of the United States. With missions in every part of the country, in every capital of Europe, in Mecca, in Jerusalem, and among the islands of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, all of whom are charged with the duty of making converts and gathering them to the Promised Land of Deseret, they must very soon have a population sufficiently large to claim admission as a State of the Union, and perhaps to hold the balance of power in its affairs.

    The interest which recent events have attracted to the community in Deseret or Utah, will render interesting a more particular survey of its origin, progress and condition.

    In 1825 there lived near the village of Palmyra in New-York, a family of small farmers of the name of Smith. They were of bad repute in the neighborhood, notorious for being continually in debt, and heedless of their business engagements. The eldest son, Joseph, says one of his friends, "could read without much difficulty, wrote a very imperfect hand, and had a very limited understanding of the elementary rules of arithmetic." Associated in some degree with Sidney Rigdon, who comes before us in the first place as a journeyman printer, he was the founder of the new faith. The early history of the conspiracy of these worthies is imperfectly known; but it is evident that Rigdon must have been in Smith's confidence from the first. Rigdon, indeed, probably had more to do with the matter than even Smith; but it was the latter who was first put conspicuously forward, and who managed to retain the preeminence. The account of the pretended revelation, as given by Smith, is as follows: He all at once found himself laboring in a state of great darkness and wretchedness of mind -- was bewildered among the conflicting doctrines of Christians, and could find no comfort or rest for his soul. In this state, he resorted to earnest prayer, kneeling in the woods and fields, and after long perseverance was answered by the appearance of a bright light in heaven, which gradually descended until it enveloped the worshiper, who found himself standing face to face with two supernatural beings. Of these he inquired which was the true religion. The reply was, that all existing religions were erroneous, but that the pure doctrine and crowning dispensation of Christianity should at a future period be miraculously revealed to himself. Several similar visitations ensued, and at length he was informed that the North American Indians were a remnant of Israel; that when they first entered America they were a powerful and enlightened people; that their priests and rulers kept the records of their history and doctrines; but that, having fallen off from the true worship, the great body of the nation were supernaturally destroyed -- not, however, until a priest and prophet, named Mormon, had, by heavenly direction, drawn up an abstract of their records and religious opinions. He was told that this still existed buried in the earth, and that he was selected as the instrument for its recovery and manifestation to all nations. The record, it was said, contained many prophecies as to these latter days, and instructions for the gathering of the saints into a temporal and spiritual kingdom, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah, which was at hand. After several very similar visions, the spot in which the book lay buried was disclosed. Smith went to it, and after digging discovered a sort of box, formed of upright and horizontal flags, within which lay a number of plates resembling gold, and of the thickness of common tin. These were


    bound together by a wire, and were engraved with Egyptian characters. By the side of them lay two transparent stones, called by the ancients, "Urim and Thummim." set in "the two rims of a bow." These stones were divining crystals; and the angels informed Smith, that by using them he would be enabled to decipher the characters on the plates. What ultimately became of the plates -- if such things existed at all -- does not appear. They were said to have been seen and handled by eleven witnesses. With the exception of three persons, these witnesses were either members of Smith's family, or of a neighboring family of the name of Whitmer. The Smiths, of course, give suspicious testimony. The Whitmers have disappeared, and no one knows anything about them. Another witness, Oliver Cowdrey, was afterward an amanuensis to Joseph; and another, Martin Harris, was long a conspicuous disciple. There is some confusion, however, about this person. Although he signs his name as a witness who has seen and handled the plates, he assured Professor Anthon that he never had seen them, that "he was not sufficiently pure of heart;" and that Joseph refused to show him the plates, but gave him instead a transcript on paper of the characters engraved on them. It is difficult to trace the early advances of the imposture. Everything is vague and uncertain. We have no dates, and only the statements of the prophet and his friends.

    Meantime, Smith must have worked successfully on the feeble and superstitious mind of Martin Harris. This man, as we have just said, received from him a written transcript of the mysterious characters, and conveyed it to Professor Anthon, a competent philological authority. Dr. Anthon's account of the interview is one of the most important parts of the entire history. Harris told him he had not seen the plates, but that he intended to sell his farm and give the proceeds to enable Smith to publish a translation of them. This statement, with what follows, shows that Smith's original intention, quoad the alleged plates, was to use them as a means for swindling Harris. The Mormons have published accounts of Professor Anthon's judgment on the paper submitted to him, which he himself states to be "perfectly false."

    The Mormon version of the interview represents Dr. Anthon "as having been unable to decipher the characters correctly, but as having presumed that, if the original records could be brought, he could assist in translating them." On this statement being made, Dr. Anthon described the document submitted to him as having been a sort of pot-pourri of ancient marks and alphabets. "It had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him a book containing various alphabets: Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters, inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle, divided into various compartments, decked with numerous strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived." This account disposes of the statement that the characters were Egyptian; while the very jumble of the signs of different nations, languages, and ages, proves that the impostor was deficient both in tact and knowledge. The scheme seems to have been, at all events, in petto when Smith communicated with Harris; but a satisfactory clew to the fabrication is lost in our ignorance of the time and circumstances under which Smith and Rigdon came together. It must have been subsequent to that event that the "translation," by means of the magic Urim and Thummim, was begun. This work Smith is represented as having labored at steadily, assisted by Oliver Cowdrey, until a volume was produced containing as much matter as the Old Testament, written in the Biblical style, and containing, as Smith said the angel had informed him, a history of the lost tribes in their pilgrimage to and settlement in America, with copious doctrinal and prophetic commentaries and revelations.

    The devotion of Harris to the impostor secured a fund sufficient for defraying the cost of printing the pretended revelation, and the sect began slowly to increase. The doctrines of Smith were not at first very clearly defined; it is probable that neither he nor Rigdon had determined what should be their precise character; but like their early cotemporary, the prophet Matthias, they had no hesitation in deciding on one cardinal point, that the revelations


    made to Smith at any time should be received with unquestioning and implicit faith, and the earliest of these revelations contemplated a liberal provision for all the prophet's personal necessities. Thus, in February, 1831, it was revealed to the disciples that they should immediately build the prophet a house; on another occasion it was enjoined that, if they had any regard for their own souls, the sooner they provided him with food and raiment, and everything he needed, the better it would be for them; and in a third revelation, Joseph was informed that "he was not to labor for his living." All these "revelations" were received, and though the impostor seemed to intelligent men little better than a buffoon, his followers soon learned to regard him as almost deserving of adoration, and he began to revel in whatever luxury and profligacy was most agreeable to his vulgar taste and ambition. It was asserted that his original want of cultivation precluded the notion of his having, by the exercise of any natural or acquired faculties, produced his "revelations." Everywhere his followers said, "The prophet is not learned in a human sense: how could he have become acquainted with all the antiquarian learning here displayed, if it were not supernaturally communicated to him?" But to this question there was soon an answer equally explicit and satisfactory. The real author of the Book of Mormon was a Rev. Solomon Spaulding, who wrote it as a romance.

    Its entire history, and the means by which it came into the possession of Smith, are described in the following statement, by Mr. Spaulding's widow: --
    "Since the Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible, (as it was originally called,) has excited much attention, and is deemed by a certain new sect of equal authority with the sacred Scriptures. I think it a duty to the public to state what I know of its origin. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was married in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination, and great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, New-York. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio, sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated on Conneaut Creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health failed, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New-Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to he the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These relics arrest the attention of new settlers, and become object of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his mind, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of the long-lost race. Their antiquity led him to adopt the most ancient style, and he imitated the Old Testament as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this imaginary history was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great


    interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth; and he gave it the title of 'The Manuscript Found.' The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. Spaulding advanced in deciphering the manuscript; and when he had a sufficient portion prepared, he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it. From New-Salem we removed to Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania. Here Mr. Spaulding found a friend and acquaintance, in the person of Mr. Patterson, and editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. Patterson, who was much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr. Spaulding that if he would make out a title-page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. Spaulding refused to do. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and, as Rigdon himself has frequently stated, became acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copied it. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington County, where Mr. Spaulding died, in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. M'Kenstry, of Monson, Massachusetts, with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the Book of Mormon came out, a copy of it was taken to New-Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the 'Manuscript Found' was written. A woman appointed a meeting there; and in the meeting read copious extracts from the Book of Mormon. The historical part was known by all the older inhabitants as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had all been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, and recognized perfectly the production of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his sorrow that the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New-Salem became so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place, and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible -- to satisfy their own minds and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, which was signed by Messrs. Henry, Lake, Aaron, Wright, and others, with all of whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided at New Salem. I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus, an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions, and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine."


    Similar evidence as to the Spaulding MS. was given by several private friends, and by the writer's brother, all of whom were familiar with its contents. The facts thus graphically detailed have of course been denied, but have never been disproved. Indeed, without them; it is impossible to explain the hold which Rigdon always possessed on the Prophet; for he was a poor creature, without education and without talents. At one time -- a critical moment in the history of the new Church -- a quarrel arose between the accomplices; but it ended in Smith's receiving a "revelation," in which Rigdon was raised by divine command to be equal with himself, having plenary power given to him to bind and loose both on earth and in heaven.

    The remaining history of the Mormons is eminently interesting. Ignorant and superstitious as have been the chief part of the disciples, and atrocious as have been the tricks of the knaves who have led them on amid all the varieties of their good and evil fortune, there have occasionally been displayed among them an enthusiasm and bravery of endurance that demand admiration. Nearly from the beginning the leaders of the sect seem to have contemplated settling in the thinly populated regions of the western states, where lands were to be purchased for low prices; and after a short residence at Kirkland, in Ohio, they determined to found a New Jerusalem in Missouri. The interests of the town were confided to suitable officers, and Smith spent his time in traveling through the country and preaching, until the real or pretended immoralities of the sect led to such discontents that in 1839 they were forcibly and lawlessly expelled from the State. We are inclined to believe that they were not only treated with remarkable severity, but that there was no reason whatever to justify an interference in their affairs.

    From Missouri the saints proceeded to Illinois, and on the 6th of April, 1841, with imposing ceremonies, laid at their new city of Nauvoo the corner-stone of the Temple, an immense edifice, without any architectural order or attraction, which in a few months was celebrated everywhere as not inferior in size and magnificence to that built by Solomon in Jerusalem. It was of white limestone, one hundred and twenty-eight feet long, eighty-three feet wide, and sixty feet high. Its style will be seen in the engraving.

    [ graphic not copied ]


    This building was destroyed by fire on the 19th of November, 1848. Nauvoo is delightfully situated in the midst of a fertile district, and a careful inquirer will not be apt to deny that it became the home of a more industrious, frugal, and generally moral society, than occupied any other town in the State. Whatever charges were preferred against Smith and his disciples, to justify the outrages to which they were subjected, the history of their expulsion from Nauvoo is simply a series of illustrations of the fact that the ruffian population of the neighboring country set on foot a vast scheme of robbery in order to obtain the lands and improvements of the Mormons without paying for them. We have not room for a particular statement of the discontents and conspiracies which grew up in the city, nor for any detail of the aggressions from without. On the 27th of June, 1844, Joseph and Hiram Smith were murdered, while under the especial protection of the authorities of the State.

    The death of their leaders now threw the saints into the utmost confusion. Various pretenders to the supreme power and influence at once appeared. After much dissension, the party of Brigham Young triumphed over that of Sidney Rigdon; the sect were reorganized, and for some time were permitted quietly to prosecute their plans at Nauvoo. But early in 1846 they were driven out of their city, and compelled in midwinter to seek a new home beyond the farthest borders of civilization. The first companies, embracing sixteen hundred persons, crossed the Mississippi on the 3d of February, 1846, and similar detachments continued to leave until July and August, traveling by ox teams toward California, then almost unknown, and quite unpeopled by the Anglo-Saxon race. Their enemies asserted that the intention of the Saints was to excite the Indians against the government, and that they would return to take vengeance on the whites for the indignities they had suffered. Nothing appears to have been further from their intentions. Their sole object was to plant their Church in some fertile and hitherto undiscovered spot, where they might be unmolested by any opposing sect. The war against Mexico was then raging, and, to test the loyalty


    of the Mormons, it was suggested that a demand should be made on them to raise five hundred men for the service of the country. They consented, and that number of their best men enrolled themselves under General Kearney, and marched two thousand four hundred miles with the armies of the United States. At the conclusion of the war they were disbanded in Upper California. They allege that it was one of this band who, in working at a mill, first discovered the golden treasures of California; and they are said to have amassed large quantities of gold before the secret was made generally known to the "Gentiles." Hut faith was not kept with the Mormons who remained in Nauvoo. Although they had agreed to leave in detachments, as rapidly as practicable, they were not allowed necessary time to dispose of their property; and in September, 1846, the city was besieged by their enemies upon the pretence that they did not intend to fulfill the stipulations made with the people and authorities of Illinois. After a three days' bombardment, the last remnant was finally driven out.

    The terrible hegira of the Mormon emigrants over the Rocky Mountains has been described by Mr. Kane of Philadelphia, in an interesting pamphlet, which is honorable to his own character for good sense and for benevolent feeling. No religious emigration was ever attended by more suffering, no emigration of any kind was ever prosecuted with more bravery. It resulted in the permanent establishment of the "Commonwealth of the New Covenant," in Utah, or Deseret, one of the most attractive portions of the interior of this continent, near its western border. Of this territory Mr. Kane says: --
    "Deseret is emphatically a new country; new in its own characteristic features, newer still in its bringing together within its limits the most inconsistent peculiarities of other countries. I cannot aptly compare it to any. Descend from the mountains, where you have the scenery and climate of Switzerland, to seek the sky of your choice among the many climates of Italy, and you may find welling out of the


    same hills the freezing springs of Mexico and the hot springs of Iceland, both together coursing their way to the Salt Sea of Palestine, in the plain below. The pages of Malte Brun provide me with a less truthful parallel to it than those which describe the Happy Valley of Rasselas, or the continent of Ballibarbi."

    The history of the Mormons has ever since been an unbroken record of prosperity. It has looked as though the elements of fortune, obedient to a law of natural reaction, were struggling to compensate their undue share of suffering. They may be pardoned for deeming it miraculous. But, in truth, the economist accounts for it all, who explains to us the speedy recuperation of cities, laid in ruin by flood, fire, and earthquake. During its years of trial, Mormon labor had subsisted on insufficient capital, and under many difficulties; but it has subsisted, and survives them now, as intelligent and powerful as ever it was at Nauvoo; with this difference, that it has in the mean time been educated to habits of unmatched thrift, energy, and endurance, and has been transplanted to a situation where it is in every respect more productive. Moreover, during all the period of their journey, while some have gained by practice in handicraft, and the experience of repeated essays at their various halting-places, the minds of all have been busy framing designs and planning improvements they have since found opportunity to execute. Their territory is unequaled as a stockraising country; the finest pastures of Lombardy are not more estimable than those on the east side of the Utah Lake and its tributary rivers; and it is scarcely less rich in timber and minerals than the most fortunate portions of the continent.

    From the first the Mormons have had little to do in Deseret, but attend to mechanical and strictly agricultural pursuits. They have made several successful settlements: the farthest north is distant more than forty miles, and the farthest south, in a valley called the Sanpeech, two hundred, from that first formed. A duplicate of the Lake Tiberias empties its waters into the innocent Dead Sea of Deseret, by a fine river, which they have named the Western Jordan. It was on the right bank of this stream, on a rich table land, traversed by exhaustless waters falling from the highlands, that the pioneers, coming out of the mountains in the night of the 24th of July, 1847, pitched their first camp in the Valley, and consecrated the ground. This spot proved the most favorable site for their chief settlement, and after exploring the whole country they founded on it their city named New Jerusalem. Its houses are diffused, to command as much as possible the farms, which are laid out in wards or cantons, with a common fence to each. The farms in wheat already cover a space nearly as large as Rhode Island. The houses of New Jerusalem, or Great Salt Lake City, as it is commonly called, are distributed over an area nearly as great as that of New-York. The foundations have been laid for a temple more vast and magnificent than that of Nauvoo. Indeed, the foundation of a mighty State is laid in the far West, having laws and institutions peculiar to the faith of its founders.

    Such has been the history of the Mormons in the past—their future is as yet unknown. But it needs not the eye of a seer to behold, through the dimness of that future, with some distinctness the dark form of contention. Among the applications hereafter to be made of the long-asserted principle that an American citizen has the right to remove anywhere in our public domain with his family and his property, will be found some most momentous questions connected with the laws and institutions of Deseret. It is yet to be decided whether other Territories and States are bound to acknowledge and honor polygamy in the sons of Joseph Smith, and at the same time punish it most severely in the instance of others: or, whether the door is to be thrown wide open to the most unbridled licentiousness. Christian philanthropists, it may be even at this early day, are bound to consider the propriety of pitching a tabernacle to Jehovah amid those distant tents of an impure religion which, like the handful of corn in the top of the mountain, may one day fill the whole land.




    OCTOBER,  1854.


    Reviewed Errors Corrected -- Origin of The Book Of Mormon -- Other Standards --
    Enormities -- Expulsion From Nauvoo -- Death of Joe Smith.

    The author of the first article in the June number of the National Magazine for the present year has presented a very incorrect view of the subject upon which he treats, calculated to lead to conclusions entirely erroneous, not only in regard to Mormons and Mormonism, but specially in regard to the people of Hancock and the adjoining counties, and the circumstances leading to, and accompanying the Mormon expulsion from the state. My father emigrated from Vermont, and was the first settler in an adjoining county, (Schuyler,) two years before the first "log cabin" was built in Hancock County, subsequently the seat of the Mormon difficulties.

    In 1836 I was admitted into the Illinois Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church; preached more or less in Hancock County every year for the next eight years; included a good part of Hancock County in the Macomb District, which I traveled in 1838-9; was stationed the two following years in Quincy; the year after at Rushville, all in counties adjoining Hancock; knew Joe Smith and many of the leading Mormons personally; have been conversant with some of the leading men of the sect who had left them, and who were fully convinced of their iniquity before they left Missouri, and had many private and some public discussions of their doctrines; so that I may say without boasting, "having had perfect understanding of all these things from the very first, it seemed good to me also to write." And I may add further, from personal acquaintance with many of the citizens of Illinois who were active in effecting the expulsion of the Mormons, that they will not suffer by comparison with an equal number of citizens from any other part of the Union, in regard to intelligence, morals, or love of law and order. Some of a different class were engaged in it; but these formed the exceptions, and not the rule.

    Heretofore they have not undertaken a vindication of their conduct, for the simple reason that they needed none with those who were acquainted with the facts; and as to others who, under the influence of a false and morbid sympathy, are forever seeking after something to weep and sigh over, it was thought they had as well exhaust themselves on this subject as any other. And it is not that Illinois needs a vindication, but for the sake of truth that I write.

    With the first part of the article I have no particular controversy, (one item excepted,) as the writer is evidently shaking out his pinions for a flight, and may be allowed to substitute rhetoric and fancy for truth and fact. The item to which exception is taken relates to their numbers. No doubt the assertion that they now number "half a million" will make Elder Snow, Orson Hyde, Apostle Pratt, and even Governor Young himself stare amazingly. All nonsense, and nothing like truth. In 1850 they numbered in Utah eleven thousand three hundred and eighty, and the estimated population of the entire territory in 1853 is only twenty thousand, while the great majority in Carson's Valley (included within the territory) are not Mormons. Everybody knows that out of the territory, and within the United States, their numbers are but nominal. Strang, at the Manitou Islands, in Lake Michigan, and Rigdon, near Pittsburgh, are leaders of small companies, say from two to three hundred in all; and these are growing "small by degrees and beautifully less," continually. Out of the United States their converts are numbered by a few thousands, according to their own showing, which is much more likely to magnify than minify the facts in the case. "Half-a-million!!" Even the veritable Madam Rumor herself, with her well-known proclivity to fiction, falsehood, and exaggeration, would have choked at this. Thirty thousand is much nearer the truth.

    The history of the Smith family is sufficiently correct to pass without special note, although the picture might have been darkened greatly.

    The story of the Spaulding manuscript, &c., as the origin of the Mormon bible, is probably correct so far as it goes; but if correct to any extent, the original document has been greatly mutilated, as no "graduate" of an ordinary common school -- not to say "Dartmouth College" -- would be guilty of so many gross vulgarisms and glaring violations of the plainest rules of grammar.


    The style is low and vulgar, and, if written by Mr. Spaulding, as it was subsequently printed, it will doubtless stand peerless and alone, as the most successful effort of the violation of every rule of taste and language which the history of our vernacular has ever furnished. Internal evidence is not wanting that some manuscript has furnished the ground-plan of the work, but that another hand has greatly enlarged the text, making such additions as the peculiar doctrines, &c., of the system required.

    A few extracts will show that a considerable portion of the book was suggested by the anti-masonic excitement of western New-York, which commenced in the neighborhood, and near the time that Joe Smith professes to have found the platos from which the record was taken. The Lamanites, a wicked and ungodly race who figure largely in the work, are represented as originating and perfecting a "secret combination," bound with "oaths," and having "signs" by which they could recognize each other, &c.; and one Gadianton, a kind of Jeroboam-the-son-of-Nebat character, introduced this "secret combination" among the Nephtes, or religious portion of the people. The following, as a specimen, will sufficiently illustrate this portion of the book: --
    "And now, my son, these directors were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled which he spake saving, I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations. * * * And I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land. * * * Yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and made known unto us. * * * Retain all their oaths and their covenants and their arguments. * * * Yea, and all their signs. * * * And only their wickedness and their murders shall ye make known. * * * Ye shall teach them to abhor such wickedness and abominations and their murders. * * * And the blood of those which they murdered did cry." -- Book of Alma, chap, xvii, pp. 328-9, first edit., Mormon Bible.

    Also the following, from another part: --
    "Yea, woe be unto yon because of that great abomination which hath come among you; and ye have united yourselves unto it, yea, to that secret band which was established by Gadianton. * * * Behold there were men which were judges which also belonged to the secret band of Gadianton, and they were angry," &c., &c. -- Book of Helaman, chap, iii, p. 428.

    Any person conversant with the periodical literature of the locality and time cannot be at a loss as to the origin of the above.

    The last part of the book is to a considerable extent made up by presenting in an awkward way objections to infant baptism, (Smith was educated in the Baptist Church,) mingled with Rigdon's doctrine of "baptism for the remission of sins," which he (Rigdon) embraced when a Campbellite preacher, and made a prominent feature of Mormonism. Take the following as an illustration: --
    "And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you. For if I have learned the truth, there has been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children. * * * For immediately after I had learned these things of you, I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, * * * I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick; wherefore little children are whole, for they arc not capable of committing sin, * * * wherefore, my son, I know that it is solemn mockery to baptize little children. * * * this thing shall ye teach, repentance and baptism unto they which are accountable, and capable of committing sin. * * * and their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. * * * Behold, I say unto you that he that supposeth that little children needeth baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; wherefore should he be cut off while in the thought he must go down to hell, * * * And he that saith that little children needeth baptism, denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him, and the power of his redemption. Woe unto such; for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment." -- Book of Moroni, chap, viii, pp. 581-2.

    Much more twaddle of a similar character will be found in the book. This, doubtless, will be deemed sufficient.

    These quotations furnish strongly presumptive evidence that all similar portions of the book were not written by Mr. Spaulding. As his manuscript was finished some years before the mysterious disappearance of Morgan, and the great excitement consequent upon that event, and at a time when secret fraternities were flourishing and popular, it is hardly supposable that he would hold them forth in the unfavorable light above; and as Mr. Spaulding was a Presbyterian or Congregational minister, if I am correctly informed, he would not have doomed everybody to "death, hell, and eternal torment," who held to infant baptism.


    "The Book of Covenants," and "Pratt's Voice of Warning," are rather better so far as style is concerned, yet equally heterodox in doctrine, and worse in morals than their bible; both of which are received as inspired, and binding on the conscience and life. The latter is a 2 Imo. volume, of some one hundred and fifty pages, given by Pratt, one of the twelve apostles I think, or at least a prophet, and is a savage philippic against the people of these United States, because they refused to embrace Mormonism -- announcing that" God's sword was bathed in blood in heaven;" that he had delivered it to the saints, (Mormons;) and that whosoever would not submit to the saints (Mormons) within ten years, I think, should become food for the vultures and wild beasts. It was published, as near as I recollect, in 1838, and is just as clear a denunciation of destruction to the American people by the Mormons, if they do not embrace Mormonism, as is the denunciation of destruction to the Canaanites by Israel, in the Bible.

    The former is made up of various revelations, given at different times, to different individuals, and on different subjects. These two volumes and their bible, coupled with the convenient arrangement for obtaining a revelation at any time and upon any subject as occasion may require, constitute the Mormon rule of faith. One important revelation, and one on which the Mormons practiced largely, establishes the two following propositions: -- 1. The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof in every sense. 2. The saints (Mormons) have a right, as the Lord's children, to take the Lord's property wherever they can find it, and whenever they want it. And it was their bold and open practice upon these principles, connected with many other kindred and inherent evils that led to their expulsion from Illinois.

    Who the writer of the article under review is we are not informed, and certainly it is not a matter of importance to know. Evidence is furnished that he is moderately well acquainted with the earlier history of the sect, but lamentably ignorant of their latter history. Why did he not tell his readers of the bogus money, and shinplaster bank, &c., of Smith and Co., while residing in Kirtland, Ohio? Or narrate their two days' drunken frolic at the "endowment" of their temple there? Why did he not say something of the murders and thefts committed in Missouri? Or of Rigdon's famous "Salt Sermon," delivered on the fourth of July [sic] in Far West Mo., in which he asserted that Judas was murdered by the apostles for betraying his master; that Ananias and Sapphira were killed by the young men for lying; and all this to stimulate the "Danites" to murder any who should dare to leave the Mormon fraternity; and in the same discourse proclaimed war to the death with Missouri if she should dare to interfere civilly or otherwise with the Mormons. All this and much more is passed over in silence! If the writer was ignorant of these facts, what business had he to write on the subject? If not, where is the honesty in suppressing them? Yet all this "eminently interesting history" is passed over in entire silence, while others, whose fathers, brothers and sons had been murdered by the Mormons, are held forth as the "ruffian population of the neighboring country," simply because they would not allow a horde of pirates to fatten in their midst.

    The greatest outrage upon truth, however, remains yet to be noticed. It reads as follows: -- (See p. 487, Nat. Mag., June, 1854.)
    "Whatever charges were preferred against Smith and his disciples to justify the outrages to which they were subjected, the history of their expulsion from Nauvoo is simply a series of illustrations of the fact that the ruffian population of the neighboring country set on foot a vast scheme of robbery, in order to obtain the lands and improvements of the Mormons without paying for them."

    The above rash and unqualified sentence I have read with perfect astonishment. How any respectable man would dare to risk and ruin his reputation for candor and veracity, in the estimation of all who know the facts in the case, by such a non-truth is more than I can comprehend; and I am bold to say that a more flagrant perversion of truth was never perpetrated in (he English or any other language.

    Please permit me to ask, What is to be done when the bands of civil society are all broken? -- when the terms law and order are made the mere catch-words to authorize violence, outrage and murder? -- when frequent appeals to the civil authorities have only resulted in the defeat of justice and increased outrage? Is there


    nothing in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, worth contending for? Are we not to be allowed to appear and remove those who will not allow us to possess those blessings quietly?

    The bare supposition that any portion of the American people would "set on foot a vast scheme of robbery" to drive off a flourishing city of fifteen or twenty thousand peaceable and orderly inhabitants is absurd. Permit me to state what can be proved by a thousand unimpeached and unimpeachable witnesses now living.

    Within less than a year from the establishment of the Mormons in Nauvoo, and some time before they became an object of either fear or favor politically, there had been a concerted plan of theft and plunder carried on by the Mormons in all the surrounding country. It was no very strange thing for a Mormon to take his team, drive into a neighboring field, load his wagon with oats, corn, or wheat, and take it off to Nauvoo; or to ride out upon the prairies, herd as many beeves as he liked, and drive them to the same place; rather stealthily at first, but boldly toward the last. When an appeal was made to the civil authorities and the criminal arrested, fifty or a hundred Mormon witnesses were called in, an alibi was proved, leaving the sufferer to pay costs, with a threat that if he was troublesome about it his house would be burned, or some other evil inflicted. To avoid paying their debts the following arrangement was made: --
    "It was discovered," says Governor Ford, in his History of Illinois, p. 405, * * * that that people had an institution in their Church called 'Oneness,' which was composed of five persons, over whom 'One' was appointed as a kind of guardian. This 'One,' as trustee for the rest, was to own all the property of the association; so that if it were levied upon for debt by an execution, the Mormons could prove that it belonged to one or the other of the parties as might be required to defeat the execution."

    This arrangement enabled them to swindle all to whom they were indebted; and they were not backward in carrying it out. This overbearing and perfectly lawless course had been pursued until all, or nearly all the original inhabitants of Nauvoo had left, and was then commenced on the old settlers of the county in general. When they proposed to sell and move away, none would buy but Mormons, and they would offer only from $1.50 to $2 per acre, for farms that were worth from $15 to $25 per acre. Many of the old settlers had been plundered, swindled, and dragooned in this way out of their property, and it was boldly proclaimed by the Mormons, that they intended to take the entire county and the adjoining counties in the same way.

    Add to this the following picture from Governor Ford's "History of Illinois," already alluded to: -- (See pp. 320-322.)
    "No further demand for the arrest of Joe Smith having been made by Missouri, he became emboldened by success. The Mormons became more arrogant and overbearing. In the winter of 1843 and '44, the common council of Nauvoo passed some further ordinances to protect their leaders from arrest on demand by Missouri. They enacted that no writ issued from any other place than Nauvoo for the arrest of any person in it, should be executed in the city without an approval indorsed by the mayor -- (Smith was mayor:) that if any public officer, by virtue of any foreign writ, should attempt to make an arrest in the city without such approval of his process, he should be subject to be imprisoned for life, and that the governor of the state should not have the power of pardoning the offender without the consent of the mayor. "When these ordinances were published, they created general astonishment. Many people began to believe, in good earnest, that the Mormons were about to set up a separate government for themselves, in defiance of the law of the state. Owners of property stolen in other counties made pursuit into Nauvoo, and were fined by the Mormon courts for daring to seek their property in the holy city. To one such I granted a pardon. Several of the Mormons had been convicted of larceny, and they never failed in any instance to procure a petition signed by fifteen hundred or two thousand of their friends for their pardon. But that which made it more certain than anything else that the Mormons contemplated a separate government was, that about this time they petitioned Congress to establish a Territorial Government for them in Nauvoo, as if Congress had any power to establish such a government, or any other, within the bounds of the state.

    "To crown the whole folly of the Mormons, in the spring of 1844 Joe Smith announced himself as a candidate for President of the United States. His followers were confident that he would be elected. Two or three thousand missionaries were sent out to preach their religion, and to electioneer in favor of their prophet for the presidency. This folly at once covered that people with ridicule in the minds of all sensible men, and brought them into conflict with the zealots and bigots of all political parties; as the arrogance and extravagance of their religious pretensions had already aroused the opposition of all other denominations in religion.

    "It seems, from the best information that could be got from the best men who had seceded from the Mormon Church, that Joe Smith, about this time, conceived the idea of making himself


    a temporal prince as well as a spiritual leader of his people. He instituted a new and select order of the priesthood, the members of which were to be priests and kings, temporally and spiritually: these were to be his nobility, who were to be the upholders of his throne. He caused himself to be crowned and anointed king and priest far above the rest; and he prescribed the form of an oath of allegiance to himself, which he administered to his principal followers. To uphold his pretensions to royalty, he deduced his descent by an unbroken chain from Joseph, the son of Jacob; and that of his wife from some other renowned personage of the Old Testament history. The Mormons openly denounced the government of the United States as utterly corrupt, and as being about to pass away, and to be replaced by the government of God, to be administered by his servant Joseph. It is now at this day certain also, that about this time the prophet reinstituted an order in the Church called the 'Danite Band.' These were to be a body of police and guards about the person of their sovereign, who were sworn to obey his orders as the orders of God himself. About this time he gave a new touch to a female order already existing in the Church, called 'spiritual wives.' A doctrine was now revealed, that no woman could get to heaven, except as the wife of a Mormon elder. The elders were allowed to have as many of these wives as they could maintain; and it was a doctrine of the Church, that any female could be 'sealed up to eternal life,' by uniting herself as wife or concubine to the elder of her choice. This doctrine was maintained by an appeal to the Old Testament Scriptures, and by the example of Abraham and Jacob, of David and Solomon, the favorites of God in a former age of the world."

    Add to all this, and much more, that their city charter organized the Nauvoo Legion, which was now drilled regularly and well furnished with arms, partly from the state, but mostly from other sources, and numbered from four thousand to six thousand men, as they reported; -- that Smith had sent several expeditions or secret embassies to Missouri, to murder the governor of that state, and had threatened several prominent individuals with the same fate; -- that he had his Danites sworn to obey his commands as the commands of God -- who looked upon him as the followers of Mohammed looked upon their prophet -- all this, and much more, carried on at the bidding of a coarse, loafing, vulgar blackguard, called a prophet, backed by twenty thousand people, all of the same spirit; -- that Nauvoo was the head-quarters of a well-organized band of highwaymen, burglars, thieves, and cut-throats; -- that no arrest could be made in the city; -- that this had been growing worse and worse from the beginning of their settlement there; -- that many appeals had been made to the law, and that justice could not be obtained there; -- that society had been dissolved; -- that the Legion had been ordered out to oppose the serving of a civil process in Nauvoo: -- thus committing treason against the United States and the state of Illinois. And I submit it to any man of sense, whether the people were not justifiable in expelling them from the state. "Ruffian inhabitants!" indeed. It is a slander, and utterly false. Many of them were from "ruffian" New-England, and have been as orderly and as quiet before and since the expulsion of the Mormons, as their fathers and brothers who were left behind.

    The death of Joe Smith was an unlawful, high-handed affair; but neither Hancock County, nor the adjoining counties, nor the state of Illinois, are responsible for it. It was the work of a company of men mostly from Missouri, who had some old debts, and probably the murders of fathers and brothers to avenge murders committed by the Mormons while in that state. Part of the company was from Hancock and adjoining counties, and was composed of men whose feelings and rights had been outraged in the most egregious manner. But the act was wrong; Smith was under arrest on the charge of treason, and the executive of the state had pledged his word that his person should be secure. The Carthage Grays had pledged their word to the governor that the persons of the prisoners should be protected. Soon after the governor left Carthage for Nauvoo, the Grays, left as a guard, learned that some two hundred desperate men, well armed, were in the neighborhood, and determined on the death of the Smiths. They could not have defended them if they had tried; but they should not have tacitly consented to their death. Rather, they should either have fought to the last, or let the prisoners go free, and favored their escape. They did neither, and are justly censurable; although any course afforded but a poor prospect of escape for the prisoners. But why charge Illinois or Hancock County with their death? It was neither known, planned, nor executed by the one or the other. We might as well charge the author of the article reviewed with their murder.

    That the settlers had no part in the matter -- indeed were afraid to have committed


    the act -- is shown from the fact that they almost universally fled, lest the Nauvoo Legion should subject them to an indiscriminate massacre. And all that prevented such a catastrophe, probably, was the fact that Governor Ford arrested the two messengers that had fled from Carthage to Nauvoo with the intelligence, just as they were about to enter the city; took them back to Carthage; and then sent a letter, probably dictated by himself, and written by two Mormon leaders, of a pacific character, which, with measures immediately adopted, gave them to understand that though they might obtain a temporary advantage, they would soon have the whole force of the state arrayed against them, and of course, sooner or later, would either be hung or shot, if they went to war.

    Thus was illegally punished a knave with the blood of scores of murdered victims on his hands.

    For about a year after the death of the prophet, the depredations of the Mormons ceased to some extent, and the country was comparatively quiet. After this the apostles and preachers of Mormonism were all called in; and, says Ford, (Hist., pp. 360-1) --
    "It was announced that the world had rejected the gospel by the murder of the prophet and patriarch, and was left to perish in its sins. In the mean time, both before and after this, the elders at Nauvoo quit preaching about religion. The Mormons came from every part pouring into the city; the congregations were regularly called together for worship; but instead of expounding the new gospel, the zealous and infuriated preachers now indulged only in curses and strains of abuse of the Gentiles; and it seemed to be their design to till their followers with the greatest amount of hatred to all mankind except the 'saints.' A sermon was no more than an inflammatory stump speech relating to their quarrels with their enemies, and ornamented with an abundance of profanity. From my own personal knowledge of this people, I can say with truth, that I have never known many of their leaders who were not addicted to profane swearing. No other kind of discourses than these we heard in the city. Curses upon their enemies, upon the country, upon government, upon all public officers, were now the lessons taught by the elders to influence their people with the highest degree of spite and malice against all who were not of the Mormon Church, or its obsequious tools."

    From this time burglary, theft, counterfeiting, and robbery, were practiced by them, and the perpetrators were protected and secured in Nauvoo. The county officers were all Mormons or Jack-Mormons, and no criminal could be convicted. In this state of affairs, a company of Mormon thieves had been followed to a Mormon neighborhood, near Lima. Search was made for the stolen property, (a wagonload of leather,) and it, with many other stolen articles, were found hid under the floors of the Mormon cabins. The people (mob if you please) then ordered them to leave in two days -- after which they tore down the cabins, and burned them in whole or in part. The Mormons left for Nauvoo, some twenty miles distant. Backinstos, the Jack-Mormon sheriff, ordered out the posse-comitatus -- but not a man would go. He then went to Nauvoo, where he raised several hundred armed Mormons, with which he swept the whole country, took possession of Carthage, and established a permanent guard there. The people fled everywhere from this horde of plunderers -- some to Missouri, some to Iowa, and some to other parts of Illinois. During the ascendency of the sheriff and his posse, and in the absence of the people, the Mormons "sallied forth and ravaged the country, stealing and plundering whatever was convenient to carry or drive away." M'Bratney was shot by this gang; another party murdered a man by the name of Daubneyar; F. A. Worrell was waylaid and shot, and then pierced many times with bayonets by the Mormons; and a man by the name of Wilcox was murdered in Nauvoo, "as it was believed, by the order of the twelve apostles."

    This, of course, brought matters to a crisis. Troops were ordered out; and when they arrived at Carthage it was very evident that the Mormons or the people must leave. The governor, and other influential men in the state, used all their influence to induce the Mormons to leave; and they finally agreed to do so as soon as the grass grew. The reason that some of them left in the winter was, they were told by those in high authority, that if they remained until the Mississippi opened in the spring, the United States troops would be upon them, and that every criminal would be arrested and tried. The "apostles," and leaders of course, left, although they might have remained until spring. The reason is at once obvious. Many went in the spring; yet from one thousand to two thousand remained, who still continued their old practices, saying, that they did


    not intend to go until September; when, after much litigation and an array of officer against officer, and posse against posse, and some fighting, in which quite a quantity of powder was burned and very little blood shed, they were removed by a large force from several adjoining counties, not with violence, but by agreement.

    Much might be added in regard to their polygamy and licentiousness -- but I forbear. The stream is too filthy for an ordinarily decent man to attempt to ford, sound, or swim it.

    All that is said in the article under review upon the subject of "unmatched thrift," "sufferings," &c, is mere fustian put in to fill out the picture -- make out a case. Their hardships are trifles, compared with what some "Of the California and Oregon emigrants have suffered; and their thrift is far behind Iowa, Wisconsin, or Minnesota.

    Notes: (forthcoming)


    Church Review
    (New Haven: G. B. Bassett & Co.)

  • 1855, October:
      "Utah and the Mormons"

  •     Transcriber's Comments




    Vol. VIII.                                 October, 1855.                                 No. 3.

    [p. 367]


    Utah and the Mormons. The History, Government, Doctrines, Customs and Prospects of the Latter Day Saints, from personal observation during a six months' residence at Great Salt Lake City. By BENJAMIN G. FERRIS, late Secretary of Utah Territory. New York, 1854. Harper & Brothers.

    THE most mournful pages in the annals of the past, are those which narrate the frauds, cruelties, and crimes which have been perpetrated under the plea of Religion. That sacred name from the earliest records of time, has been prostituted to justify atrocities, at the enumeration of which humanity shudders, and to cloak indulgences which are subversive of the first elements of society. It apparently matters not how vile the scoundrel, how unmitigated the lie, or how depraved the precepts, that are the sponsors of the newly invented creed, it finds its admirers and enrolls its proselytes, who, deaf to argument and entreaty, and blinded by the shallow knavery and stupid artifices of their leaders, rush insanely into the jaws of destruction.

    Such is the humiliating picture that the history of the world presents us of the rise and progress of nearly all creeds of human invention. Credulity and ignorance usually march hand in hand, but not necessarily. It is related that persons of culture and intelligence for years after the appearance of Gulliver's travels, placed implicit confidence in the rather extraordinary discoveries of that mythical traveler; and in our time we recollect to have seen persons of apparently good sense and education, gazing with great satisfaction and edification upon the wood cuts representing the winged inhabitants of the moon, that decorated the astronomical romance usually designated as the "Moon Story;" and even to-day there are men eminent for learning and natural ability in other respects, who conscientiously believe that tables turn supernaturally, and that the spirits of the departed rap explanatory responses to the will and beck of two or three crafty and dissolute females.

    Vigorous, uncultivated intellects, seem endowed with a species of native, good common sense, that instinctively leads them to shun these mundane impositions; and yet when some impostor boldly asserts the divinity of his poor unhoused clay, his favored communion with Omnipotence, and without a shadow

    368                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    Of truth or plausibility loudly proclaims a new Religion, we see men of this stamp apparently moved by the very exaggeration of the monstrous fabrication, and abandoning the use of reason and reflection, embrace the wildest and silliest species of fanaticism.

    Of all the inane and stupid fabrications of this nature, none compare in these characteristics with Mormonism in its inception and origin. But when it is scrutinized in its present aspect, fortifying itself by pandering to the vilest passions of human nature, enrolling in every quarter of the world its companies and legions of the ignorant and the credulous, banding them together in a remote and secluded part of the New World, strengthening this union and creed by moulding the ties of family, and so framing the obligations of law and government as to sustain a new religion and a new state of society, it assumes a form that should arouse the apprehension of every patriot and Christian.

    The narrative of Mr. Benjamin G. Ferris, lately occupying a high position as an officer in the Territory of Utah, is apparently as candid and just a description of the peculiar institutions of the valley of the Great Salt Lake, as any with which the public have been favored. The journey of this gentleman and his official brethren in the Autumn of 1852 to that region, and the speedy and unannounced return of those of them who were Gentiles, by the first opportunity the ensuing Spring, would seem to indicate that the honors and emoluments of public employment among the "Saints," are not so attractive and inviting as to render a protracted residence there agreeable, or to disincline the incumbents to the doctrine of rotation in office.

    The party left Westport, Mo., the 26th of August, 1852, and arrived at Great Salt Lake City the 26th of October, a distance of over eleven hundred miles, following the route across the Plains, trodden by the great caravans of Anglo-Saxon immigration.

    A pleasing picture is presented of this pilgrimage to the Salt Lake Mecca, and which recalls to us the scenes of the blazing fires, the comfortable sleeping arrangements, and the attractions of camping on the prairie of a summer's evening, which when sweltering in the brick city ovens of the Julys and Augusts of succeeding years, have often recurred to our own feverish imagination. He thus describes it:

    "A few incidents of the travel, though over so well beaten a road, may not be uninteresting to the reader. A person intending to cross the plains must expect to suffer some inconveniences. In so long a

    1855.]                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   369

    journey the traveler will encounter the usual variations of the weather; there will be sunshine and storms; he will be too hot, too cold, and too wet at times; he will sometimes be unable to quench his thirst, except from a stagnant pool; and every warm evening he must look for a fight with musquitoes, whose appetites are quite as keen as his own. At first he will feel some anxiety in regard to Indians, and keep his rifle and revolver in proper shooting condition; but this soon wears off, and before, the journey is half ended he becomes altogether too careless in this respect. We had, one evening, an Indian alarm, after being four weeks upon the road, when one revolver proved to be the only fire-arm in order in the camp; the alarm, however, was occasioned by a gang of famished wolves, trying to form an acquaintance with our mules. With ordinary foresight in reference to the requisite supply of food, a proper selection of animals, and the time and mode of performing the journey, there need be but few hardships. It is easy to fit up a carriage with conveniences for sleeping, which some do, but the majority prefer to sleep on the ground, even in stormy weather. An india rubber cloth spread upon the thick grass makes a dry and soft bed; at any rate this kind of dormitory, curtained with Heaven's canopy, generally proves more friend]y to sleep than many a bed of down. The fatigue of traveling wears off in a very short time, and there is usually less weariness at the close of the day than is felt in traveling the same number of hours by railroad. In a well-regulated train the pleasurable excitements of the journey far outbalance all the inconveniences. There is a kind of cutting-loose from the business relations and customs of civilized life, which gives new freedom and elasticity to the mind. The traveler feels that he has sufficient elbow-room; he neither jostles nor is jostled by any one; he experiences all the buoyancy of the boy when liberated from the restraints of the school rooms. His feelings and ideas expand in view of the boundless plains spread before and around him. There is a grandeur and sublimity in the vast expanse of plains, skirted and intersected by rivers, and lofty mountains, which would kindle enthusiasm in the bosom of the merest business drudge of the counting house who dreams only of prices and profits.

    "The evening camp, too, has its peculiar pleasures; the rude preparation for, and exquisite relish of the evening meal -- the boisterous good humor of the company, with the usual concomitants of song and anecdote -- and the almost invariable, and withal, plaintive serenade from a score or two of prairie wolves, produce a wild and pleasurable excitement, which the voyageur is ever fond of calling to remembrance.

    "There is abundance of wild game along nearly the whole route: prairie chickens, ducks, hare, antelopes, &c., afford rare sport in the hunting, and furnish food fit for an Emperor. But the buffalo is the most noted, useful, and interesting of all the wild game to be found on the plains. We saw none until after we left Fort Kearney, after which we met vast numbers along the valley of the Platte, and very few after leaving that river. At a distance they look like herds of common cattle, near at hand they are awkward, mis-shapen monsters enough -- all

    370                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    head and shoulders, and very little of anything else. They were very wild, and invariably ran off, as we approached, with a clumsy, lumbering gait. We saw them under a great variety of circumstances. On one occasion a herd of them were crossing the Platte in single file, (the way they usually travel,) and appeared in the distance like abutments for a gigantic bridge or aqueduct about being built. At another time we approached nearer than usual to a drove of them before they perceived us, and, as they lumbered off, they produced a stampede of our whole train, and it was with much difficulty we stopped and quieted our mules. At another time a herd of some three thousand were feeding along the banks of the river, and never discovered us until we were passing nearly opposite, when the monsters, in their flight, scampered directly towards us, and actually ran between different portions of our train; two of the teams, less guarded than the rest, stampeded after them. These incidents always furnished subjects for mirth when we found no bones or wagons broken. Of course the poor brutes are slaughtered without mercy by Indians and emigrants. We had a plentiful supply of buffalo beef during four weeks of our journey. The ravens and wolves that hover over and around every passing train, are the scavengers which clean up all that is left of the slain buffalo, after man has helped himself to the choicest portions."

    It is not a matter of surprise that this beautiful garden of Utah, of one hundred and eighty-eight thousand square miles, lying in a mild and healthful latitude, walled round on every side by ranges of high and sheltering mountains, from whose almost imperceptibly descending slopes flow fertilizing streams, which, uniting in rivers, are lost in the great inland Lakes of the Interior, and to be reached only by this romantic journey of weeks and months, should be an attractive and fascinating picture to the soiled and crowded children of toil, who, strangers to pure air, the blessed light of knowledge, and the exercise of intellect, congregate in the low public room of some English manufacturing Coketown, to listen to the harangues of a traveling Mormon elder.

    Though Mormonism enlists its devotees by hundreds and thousands from the ranks of credulous, imbecile ignorance, in the old world, and while in this respect the taunts of the English press may well be spared, yet to us belongs the melancholy distinction of furnishing its founders, and many of its most corrupt and knavish proselytes. The traveler sees along the line of this great highway, across the plains, that for now ten years has been thronged by the westward march of the ceaseless columns of emigration, an almost unbroken row of graves, where hunger, cold, and cholera, have laid their victims, but the hurriedly dug grave by the wayside, where the corpse not yet cold is laid, is happiness, and a bed of roses, compared

    1855.]                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   371

    to the living tomb of depravity and apostasy that yawns in the flowery meadows, and the wooded slopes of Utah.

    The history of Mormonism is briefly this. In the early part of the present century, Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and preacher, removed from Cherry Valley, N. Y., to Ohio, and either to relieve the ennui of a dull life in a new country, or for lack of other occupation, wrote the stupid, tedious narrative, which now forms the Book of Mormon. It describes the fortunes of a wandering Jewish family, who, increasing with marvelous fecundity, finally find their way to this Western Continent, and by civil wars and dissensions, degenerate at length into the vagabond North American Indians. The style is in imitation of the English of King James' time.

    This precious record of folly falls into the hands of one Rigdon, who, some twenty years after, with the assistance of Joseph Smith, a knavish, lazy, peddling, landless farmer, at Palmyra, N. Y., gives it to the world as a new Bible, prepared from golden plates, which the Lord, through an angel, had discovered to his chosen disciple Joseph, with glasses through which he alone had the power of seeing and translating the wonderful inscriptions on the plates. This intelligence seems to have been for some time confined to a limited number of "Saints;" for the early church of the Mormons suffered much from the mutual recriminations among the members, of horse-stealing and counterfeiting, and consequent excommunications of the chosen, in addition to the reiteration of the charges by those communities where they tarried for any time.

    Their story was too blasphemous and absurd, and their assumptions of divine nature and miraculous gifts too profane, not to receive the patronage of Satan, and to win followers among the children of sin. Many of the early converts in 1831, removed to Missouri, pursuant to a revelation with which Smith was inspired whenever he had an object in view. He, himself, remained at Kirtland, Ohio, and established a Bank, which, having worked off a large paper circulation into the hands of the surrounding Gentiles, suddenly ceased business. This financial feature in their progress did not increase their popularity in that vicinity, while the people of Missouri rose with arms in their hands and drove them over the Mississippi. This led to a revelation by which the "Saints" were enjoined to assemble at Nauvoo, Ill., in 1841. Here they increased rapidly in numbers and resources. The craftiness and sagacity of the Elders developed themselves in the various revelations which they put forth to allure converts. First, was the plan of the living being baptized for their dead relatives and friends, by

    372                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    which they could save their departed souls, and then, some two years after, in order to add a new charm to their previous delectable lives and habits, and to open another source of attraction, the doctrine of polygamy was incorporated into their creed. This was at first confined to the hierarchy; but, as it soon gave evidence of becoming a popular feature in the system, it received the approval, and became the practice of the laity.

    From the settlement of Nauvoo to 1844, the Mormons increased rapidly, and at the close of this period, were supposed to number one hundred and forty thousand in the United States. A powerful military force was organized at Nauvoo, and acquired a perfection of military discipline far surpassing that of any portion of the National Militia. Joseph Smith surrounded himself with all the parade and show of Faustin 1st, and with his wives, and a splendid staff, passed his troops in review, presented colors, and indulged in all the gratification of military power and display, with not half the dignity, and much less morality, than the black Emperor. He kept open house, and treated with great hospitality all travelers and persons arriving at Nauvoo, who he supposed would give him a notice or puff in the public journals, and this was the reason why so many of the New York Dailies teemed with notices from correspondents of the City of Nauvoo, its temple, and its chief. In February, 1844, having reached the highest dignity in his dominions, of President of the Church, Prophet, Commander in Chief, Mayor, and tavern-keeper, he modestly announced himself as a candidate for the Presidency, in the Mormon Organ designated as "The Times and Seasons," extolling his great qualities in a few columns of editorial.

    But with all his sagacity and cunning, a dark cloud was rising, and a storm was soon to break, destined to sweep Nauvoo and its Mayor to destruction. It appears to be a part of human nature that where great craftiness and cunning exist, without moral principle, sensuality or some weakness necessarily coexists that neutralizes and destroys the force of the power.

    The following extract from Mr. Secretary Ferris' Work, shows the cause of the new revelation enjoining polygamy, and the way in which the Nauvoo Prophet ushered the revelation into existence, concerning the policy of which he must have had many misgivings:

    "But the most fruitful element of internal commotion, and that which more immediately led to the Prophet's death, was the introduction of polygamy as one of the numerous privileges of the Saints.

    "This extraordinary addition to the curious collection of Mormon doctrines and practices, grew legitimately out of the character of Joseph himself, which was a combination of cunning and sensuality.

    1855.]                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   373

    The latter quality, indeed, seems eventually to have become the absorbing and governing passion of his soul, which respected neither the ties of kindred nor friendship; nor do his followers take much pains to conceal this feature of his character. A devout Mormon at Salt Lake, informed me, that Joseph's wife adopted five orphan girls, brought them up with great care, and became much attached to them; and that two of them, as they grew up to womanhood at Nauvoo, became the victims of his improper solicitations, and were turned away by the indignant wife. His unfortunate proclivity in this direction is spoken of as a failing which was intended as a trial of their faith rather than as a vice to be condemned. It is a remarkable fact, that he was in the habit of having revelations accusing himself of falling away, and threatening punishment, which were succeeded by other revelations that he had repented and was forgiven; and in this the pious Saint sees strong confirmation of the truth of his pretensions, reasoning that such denunciatory oracles would not have been invented by himself. The Prophet's habits did not mend with increasing years and prosperity; and these threatening and whitewashing revelations, to satisfy the scruples of the over-prudish, became irksome. The celestial powers were again invoked, and on the 12th of July, 1843, responded by granting to, and rather enjoining upon, the Saints the practice of polygamy.

    "The Prophet was aware that he was entering upon a ticklish experiment, even with his own disciples, to say nothing of the Gentiles; and he prefaced its reception by pretending to be in great trouble. He told some of his most influential followers that if they knew what a hard and unpalatable revelation he had had, they would drive him from the City. The heavenly powers, however, were not to be trifled with, and a day was appointed when the important mandate was to be submitted to a convocation of the authorities of the church. The time arrived; the priests and elders convened; but Joseph, in virtuous desperation, concluded rather to flee the City than be the medium of communicating a matter so repugnant to his mind.

    "He mounted his horse and galloped from the town, but was met by an angel with a drawn sword, and threatened with instant destruction unless he immediately returned and fulfilled his mission. He returned accordingly, in submissive despair, and made the important communication to the assembled notables. Such is substantially the account of the matter given by simple-minded believers at Salt Lake."

    In the summer of 1844 a collision took place between the civil authorities of Illinois and the citizens of Nauvoo, respecting the execution of civil process. By a summary proceeding not previously known to the law, Joseph Smith issued a warrant to abate an alleged newspaper nuisances, which was immediately executed by destroying the building, press and types of a journal that had ventured to assail the new revelation. Though the precedent has been since sometimes followed at the West, it was then considered a violation of the law, and

    374                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    the Mormons armed themselves to resist the execution of the warrants issued for the arrest of the parties implicated in the destruction of the editor's property. Joseph Smith and his brother finally surrendered themselves, upon the pledge of the Governor for their personal safety, and had been confined in jail but a few hours when they were, in a most brutal and cowardly manner, murdered by some two hundred armed and disguised ruffians, who broke into the prison.

    This event greatly strengthened the Mormons. It shed the halo of martyrdom in their estimation over the closing hours of the prophet and his brother, and enabled the traveling elders to enlist sympathy for their persecutions. Smith had, however, accomplished all that low cunning and sagacity could effect, and would have soon lost his position and influence, if he had lived.

    Brigham Young, a man of as little principle, but of more culture and intellect than Smith, was elected his successor, as head of the Church. The astute mind of the new high priest foresaw that their religion would never thrive in a community where it would have to contend with the undermining influences of a free press and common schools; but that alone, in some isolated quarter of the globe, he might band together its proselytes, and holding the reins of civil and religious authority, exercise unlimited sway. He proclaimed the revelation that the Great Salt Lake Valley was to be a new Mormon Zion, and in the summer of 1847 an advance colony of 4,000 Mormons were cultivating its slopes.

    Thus far success has crowned the scheme of Brigham Young, and every season has witnessed the arrival of caravan after caravan of new proselytes, and from all countries. Invested with all civil and military power in the new territory, except that for the past few months he has been nominally superseded by Colonel Steptoe as Governor, he has pursued the career that might have been expected from his antecedents. Under his administration the crime of bigamy has been blotted from the list of offenses; and the late Secretary thus describes the moral atmosphere of the New Territory:

    "About one-fourth of the adult male population are polygamists, varying in the number of their wives from two up to fifty. The priesthood, and especially that portion who hold all the power, and control nearly all the wealth of the community, have the largest harems. Larger numbers would undoubtedly enter into it but for the scarcity of women, and the want of means to support them. The census of 1851 disclosed the fact, that there were 698 more males than females in the Territory. Subsequent emigrations have not probably much changed this proportion. For each man to have two wives would require twice

    1855.]                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   375

    as many females as males. Of course it follows that, where the chief bashaws have from ten to fifty in their harems, large numbers cannot have even one.

    The effect upon population is decidedly deleterious. The Prophet Joseph had over forty wives at Nauvoo, and the rest of the priesthood had various numbers, corresponding to their standing and inclinations and nearly all the children of these polygamous marriages died at that place; indeed it is alleged by Mormons that not one was taken to Utah. Brigham Young has thirty children, of whom eight are by his first and second lawful wives: the remaining twenty-two are by his spirituals. He has about fifty wives, some of whom were widows of Joseph Smith, and are probably past the time of having children; but supposing him to have thirty who are capable of having issue -- which is below the true number -- the twenty-two children would be less than one child to a concubine. If each of these degraded females could have been the honored wife of one husband, the aggregate number of children, according to the usual average of four in a family, would be one hundred and twenty, showing a loss in population of ninety-eight.

    The children are subject to a frightful degree of sickness and mortality. This is the combined result of the gross sensuality of the parents, and want of care toward their offspring. As a general rule, these saintly pretenders take as little care of their wives as of their children; and of both, less than a careful farmer in the States would of his cattle; and nowhere out of the 'Five Points,' in New York city, can a more filthy, miserable, neglected-looking, and disorderly rabble of children be found than in the streets of Great Salt Lake City. The Governor, again, whose attention to his multifarious family we are bound to suppose greater than the average, affords a fair illustration. He was twice lawfully married, and has had eight legitimate children, who are all living. He has had a large number of children by his concubines -- no one knows how many -- it is only known that there are only twenty-two surviving. These females do not reside in the 'Governor's House,' so called, but in different establishments, from one up to a dozen in a place, and their children can only have the care of one parent. It would be too great a tax upon his time to render the same care and attention to the children of these separate families as is bestowed in a single family, where there is a union of affection and interests. In cases where the wives and children are all under one roof, the total disruption of all domestic ties and harmony produce the same result. It would, therefore, seem that the boasted increase of population from this polluted source bids fair, under the just disposings of Providence, to be a decided failure."

    There is one feature of this Mormon movement to which we cannot fail to advert. Our English cousins are perpetually throwing this heathenish abomination in our faces as a natural outgrowth of Voluntaryism and Republicanism. And yet, we beg our kind censors to remember, that when the vile thing had been driven from Nauvoo into the wilderness, it has depended for accessions almost exclusively upon foreign immigration,

    376                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    and especially upon immigrants from Old England. Thus it appears from Mormon Reports, that the number of their European Converts, who left Liverpool for this country, in the five months between November 27th, 1854, and April 26th, 1855, was 3,626; and of these the nativities were as follows:


    Nor is this all. We have independent proofs, and from a variety of sources, of the utter and awful demoralization of multitudes of the lower classes in England, and especially of the entire absence of the decencies and virtues of social and domestic life; and that to a degree which would put American Slavery to the blush. Thus the "last English papers told us of the sale at a public market cross in Yorkshire, of a wife by a husband, after being married for sixteen years. They agreed on the matter thoroughly, both being of opinion that the old age of the husband was not calculated to increase their domestic enjoyment. A shoemaker became the purchaser of the female sensualist, for half a crown, or sixty cents." Now, to the multitudes in England, wallowing in the filth of this almost unrestrained and beastly sensuality, this Mormon delusion comes with its imposing aspect, professing to throw a Divine sanction over this brutish commerce of the sexes, and making this horrid vice a "saintly" virtue -- and offering at the same time, if need be, pecuniary assistance to transport them to Utah, the "Land of the Saints." -- and no wonder that Mormonism, though existing, we are sorry to say, on American soil, is yet essentially, rather an English than an American institution. It would have rotted out years ago, but for its fresh recruits, the scum and offscouring, sent over from the old world, and especially from Old England herself. We ask our friends to make a note of this, and not to charge upon us the natural consequences of their own social system.

    We have heretofore contemplated this great iniquity from a distance, as though intervening space diminished its atrocity. But, in reality, it is rearing its Hydra head in our midst, and upon the great highway of progress to the glittering shores of the tranquil Pacific. We can disguise the question to ourselves no longer. Where is this system of abomination to end? What are to be the relations of this New Territory to our Federal Union? Not many years will elapse before it must knock

    1855.]                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   377

    at the door of our Congress for admission as one of our Independent States. So far as its moral principles go, we might rest content to leave Mormonism to work out its own cure by the bitter fruits it will ultimately produce to those who embrace it. But the bearing which it has upon the country at large politically, is a matter of greater moment and difficulty. Is it for one instant to be imagined that Utah will ever be admitted into the Confederacy with a Constitution sanctioning or permitting polygamy, or a system of concubinage? True, indeed, the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." But that provision is to be understood in the spirit in which it was framed. Christianity is the openly avowed religion of our country. The recognition of the Christian Sabbath by our Constitution and by every department of our Government; the employment of Chaplains in Congress, in the Army and the Navy, the requirement of Judicial Oaths -- all show that we are not a nation of Atheists or Deists. It would be irrational to say that our national Constitution protects criminals from being restrained or punished for grave offenses against society and the first principles of all religion, because they profess to act under Divine guidance, and in accordance with what their religious belief enjoins. No slavery could be so appalling as such a license as this in the name of religious liberty. The Socialist may defy all laws pertaining to property, taxation, &c., &c.; every ordinance of Government may be resisted in the name of religion, if the heathenish practices of Mormonism are to be recognized and endorsed under the plea of religious liberty. The way in which this evil of concubinage can be approached by law is simple, while Utah remains a territory, and lying within the scope of section 3d, article 4th of the U. S. Constitution. The clause, "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States," has been literally interpreted. Acting under this authority, Congress have made laws restricting the sale of ardent spirits by Indian traders, regulating domestic institutions, and in many other respects, by its authority, controlling and protecting the interests not only of the citizens in the Territory but those of the country at large, in these new enclosures from the great patrimony of the Confederacy.

    Utah is a part of our own national domain -- was purchased with the public treasury, and is necessarily subject to the national government. Yet it bids defiance to our authority, and its great high priest, or rather this infamous brigand, surrounded by his

    378                                    Utah and the Mormons                                   [Oct.

    wives and infatuated subjects, openly curses our President and our Government, and consigns us all to worse than purgatorial fires, if our civil rulers presume to interfere with this precious set of outlaws. Nay, there is some reason to believe, that he is inciting those Indian massacres and depredations which a detachment of our Army has at length been sent to repress. Our National Government in Utah must be maintained and respected at every cost. And here we cannot but ask, what has become of Colonel Steptoe? and what is his position at Utah? Even though all the forms of law may not be enforced in the Territory, yet through the instrumentality of the Federal Courts, to which the issue must finally be brought, and affecting and controlling, as they must, the descents of property, and in numberless other ways, clashing with the existing system, a way will be found to discourage the violators of law, and to redound to the protection and benefit of those who sustain it.

    But, may we not trust that the sad effect of these excesses will open the eyes of the Mormons themselves, to their enormity and folly, and that they themselves will prohibit bigamy. Unfortunately the very degradation inherent in the system, will more and more enfeeble the strength and numbers of those who may be inclined to consider it in a wiser point of view. The illegitimate children, and the dishonored mother, will ever resist (it is to be feared) a law that must proclaim their shame, as the inheritance of the one, and the dower of the other.

    Again we say, the time to act, is now before the infant Territory, lying under our control through Congress, becomes endowed with the privileges and immunities of a Sovereign State. While we are petitioning Congress to interfere respecting religious and civil liberty on the European Continent, and to aid in cultivating and fostering civilization and colonization among the rustling palm-trees of the African Coast, shall we forget, that within our own borders, in this glorious nineteenth century, when the language we speak, and the blood that runs in our veins, is heralding God and truth on every Island and on every shore, thousands of our own race have abandoned Christianity, profaned all that is holy and sacred in the family relations, and depraved by worse than Asiatic licentiousness, are hurriedly sinking to the most degraded and lost condition! We were glad to see the healthful and patriotic spirit which characterized the late Congressional debates on this subject; we only plead that our national Government may have wisdom and nerve enough to grapple with this hydra-headed monster in the outset, while its power to work mischief is fairly within our control.


    The Tribune Amanac
    (NYC: New York Tribune press)

  • 1859:
      "Utah and the Mormons"

  •    A report compiled from 1857-59 articles
       from Horace Greeley's New York Tribune

        Transcriber's Comments



    [p. 37]


    Mormonism is thirty-one years old, but its true history is yet to be written. A movement which was, at first, derided as a weak and absurd imposture, in ten years became formidable enough to be driven from State to State by exasperated and relentless mobs. a people bound together by a new, strange, and mysterious faith, which set them apart; from the rest of the body politic, of which, nevertheless, they were still a part, enjoying the privileges and asserting the rights of citizenship, could hardly fail to become both feared and hated as they increased in numbers, and threatened to exercise a potent influence in political affairs. That they meant to gain and use such influence was the charge which, in those early days, was made against them, and the alleged provocation of the persecution to which they were subjected. But whether deserving or not of condemnation on this score, it is certain that they were called upon to endure as much suffering as if they had been the disciples of the purest, most harmless, and most beneficent religion, proclaiming only peace on earth and good will to man.

    But when, fourteen years ago, the brothers Hyram, the Patriarch, and Joseph, the Prophet, were shot at Nauvoo by a mob, in the cell of a jail, like vermin in a trap, and their followers were soon after driven out upon a desperate flight. into the western wilderness; then, it was thought, the end had come to a mischievous heresy. But a stronger man than the Prophet Joseph was left to guide and govern his followers. Brigham Young, who had stood high in the confidence and esteem of his murdered chief, and was already eminent in the church, put aside all who contested with him the leadership of the Saints, and was elected Seer. Possessed of a rough eloquence, of persuasive manners, of great shrewdness, untiring energy and remarkable executive ability, he led the people, surrounded by enemies, robbed of their possessions, and driven from their homes, to a temporary settlement at Council Bluffs.

    In the course of the next season, the "Lion of the Lord," as the Mormons called their new Prophet, marshalled his followers for that long and perilous flight through a wilderness of a thousand miles that lay between the confines of civilization and the home he had chosen for them in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. This terrible



    journey of an army of men, women and children, encumbered with household stuff, beset with foes without in the Indians of the plains, weakened by pestilence and fever within and suffering, sometimes starving, for want of food, was marked, from its beginning to its end, with the graves of the pilgrims. But the indomitable will of their leader, his unbounded influence over his followers, their unswerving belief that they were the chosen people of the Lord, and perhaps the conviction, enforced by years of persecution, that behind them, among their civilized countrymen, they should never find rest for the soles of their feet, sustained them through their long and painful journey, till at length they looked down from the summit of a mountain upon the gleaming beach of the Great Salt Lake, in the valley of which they were to find a resting place.

    In those early days, both before and for some years after they tied beyond the confines of civilization, the worst feature of their faith was rather suspected than known. They were believed to be fanatics, holding tenets at variance with the dogmas of Christianity and the historical truths of the Bible, and to he blindly obedient to the guidance of designing lenders. Polygamy had, indeed, been revealed to the Seer as the true relation of women to men as early as 1843, but the revelation had not yet been made known to the "Saints" and was not till about ten years inter. But they were suspected both of the theory and practice of a plurality of wives, and though it was repeatedly denied by their elders and missionaries, the belief obtained that an attempt was to be made to establish among us, as part of a social and religious scheme, a system so abhorrent to the received morality of Christendom. The belief was at least prophetic; in 1853, polygamy was openly announced and defended as the Peculiar Institution of the people of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.

    In the meantime, that people, with an industry and sobriety which, whatever else may be said of them, they certainly possess in an eminent degree, were subduing the soil, reclaiming the wilderness, breaking nature to harness, clothing the Great Valley with towns and cities, and covering it with farms. A prosperous commonwealth sufficient to itself, gradually increasing in wealth and power, and rapidly adding to its numbers from the world without, particularly from Europe, grew up in that middle land between the confines of civilization on the Atlantic and Pacific. And when the gold-fields of California were opened to that vast tide of emigration that flowed over them from the East, the Mormon settlement became a sort of half-way resting-place to those who went to the Pacific coast by the overland route. The Mormon influence over the Indians, through the peaceful relations they had cultivated with them, probably made that route a far safer one than if would have otherwise been. But it was not long before some of these emigrants complained that in the Mormons themselves they found an enemy almost as dangerous as the savages. They alleged that they were defrauded in trade, plundered of their goods, robbed of their cattle, and, in various ways, harassed on their toilsome journey. Such charges, however, the Mormons met with an indignant denial. They affirmed that the-emigrants were the aggressors; that they mocked at Mormonism, insulting Mormon wives and outraging Mormon husbands; that they turned their cattle into Mormon fields, helped themselves, without pay, to Mormon produce; laughed at the Mormon judges, before whom they were arraigned, escaping the penalty of their misdeeds by defiance or by night; and, in short, conducted themselves always as if among a people toward whom they were under no obligation of observing any relation of fair dealing or good fellowship. And this representation was fully confirmed by Lieut. Gunnison, who was very familiar, for a considerable period, with the affairs of the Territory, Such accusations, however, had their effect, and did much to awaken the early feeling of hostility against the "Saints," and which they had fled to the wilderness to escape. The death afterward of Lieut. Gunnison still further increased the popular enmity. This officer was one of the surveying party under Capt. Stansbury, and published a book upon the Mormons, after his return to the States, which, it was said, was not acceptable to the people of Utah. On a subsequent surveying tour in their territory, he and most of his party were treacherously murdered by the Indians. It was asserted that the murder was connived at by Young, or that, at least, he might have prevented it. The mere suggestion of such a crime found ready believers, and but little credence was given to the emphatic denial of the Mormons, who declared that the murder was committed at a time and place where if was impossible for them to have interfered, and that, moreover, the motive, or


                                        UTAH  AND  THE  MORMONS.                                     39

    their part, for such a deed, was wanting, inasmuch as they had none but friendly relations with Mr. Gunnison, and that so far from being offended at his book, they were grateful to him for having justly portrayed their sufferings and persecutions, and for not having traduced their morals and manners.

    In 1850, Utah was recognized by the Federal Government as a, Territory of the United States, and Brigham Young was appointed Governor by Mr. Fillmore. The appointment was renewed under Pierce's administration, Col. Steptoe, of the U. S. army, to whom the office was tendered, declining it, and uniting, while at Salt Lake City, with the leading Mormons in a memorial, praying that the head of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young, might continue to be the civil head of the Territory also. The colony continued to flourish, more and more, year by year, and its people, as they grew prosperous, grew also more confident in their own strength, and firmer in the assertion of their rights. The history we have glanced at is enough to account for a state of feeling and of opinion between the Mormons and the rest of the country, which might, at any moment, by aggression on one side, or resentment on the other, give rise to the most vindictive and bitter hostility. Petty, causes of jealousy, had in the course of years, been constantly arising, till at length, the serious crimination of the Mormons by Judge Drummond and other U. S. officials, who asserted that they were driven from the Territory by Mormon outrages, and that Brigham Young and his followers were in open resistance and defiance of the U. S. government; brought about a crisis in the affairs of the Territory which had to be speedily, and ought to have been wisely met, with the charges of Judge Drummond the public is familiar. How many of them are true it is difficult to say; but in justice to the Mormons, it should be stated that they contradict and have answered them all; and only one of them, the burning of the library and records of the U. S. Court, has seemed worthy of specification by Mr. Buchanan in any of his messages upon Utah; and this, since Gov. Cumming entered into possession of his office, has been ascertained to be entirely without foundation. But true or false, it was these charges which were made the pretexts for the expedition of 1857 against Utah.

    In June, 1857, Gen. Harney was appointed to the command of the troops who were to accompany Mr. Cumming, the new Governor appointed in Brigham Young's place. The army was ordered to act as a posse comitatus to assist the Governor, if necessary, in establishing his own authority, and in enforcing obedience to the laws. In his annual message to Congress, six months later, the President set forth the considerations which influenced the Executive in sending out this expedition. It was not easy to reconcile this message with the steps which had been taken from the time of the appointment of Gen. Harney to the opening of Congress; and still more difficult is it to give to it any creditable explanation in the light of subsequent events. In it the President assumes that while Brigham Young was legally the Governor of Utah, he also was the head of the Mormon church, and "professed to govern its members and dispose of their property by direct inspiration and authority from the almighty." On the other hand, the people believed "with a fanatical spirit that he was governor of the Territory by divine appointment, and obeyed his commands as If these were direct revelations from heaven." But Mr. Buchanan is careful to say, "with the religious opinions of the Mormons, as (so) long as they remained opinions, however deplorable in themselves and revolting to the moral and religious sentiments of all Christendom, I had no right to interfere." Actions, not opinions, he declares, are the "legitimate subjects for the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate," and he accordingly so instructed Gov. Cumming, hoping that no necessity would arise to resort to military force. The sight of troops, he felt, would be quite enough to frighten the Mormons into good behavior. But that obstinate people would not be so alarmed as he expected, while, in the meantime, their opinions had hardened into action, and they had already committed acts of rebellion which, in the opinion of the President, was a result "long contemplated" by Brigham Young. This incipient rebellion, this "long contemplated result," existed, as the President had already said, because the fanaticism of the Mormon's, and their blind, unquestioning faith in their leader, had betrayed them into a position as foolish as it was treasonable. In such a rebellion he could have no alternative but to interfere with "religious opinions," which were no longer abstract opinions merely, but the basis on which rested "actions" of the most reprehensible character. The very purpose of the expedition, and the instructions to Gov. Cumming were, therefore



    inconsistent with each other, and it was impossible to blind the eyes of the Mormons to so palpable a fact. They also believed in actions, and judged of President Buchanan's intentions rather by what he did than what he said, and governed themselves accordingly.

    After the appointment of General Harney to take command of the expedition, the administration were persuaded, apparently, that there was more immediate necessity for troops in Kansas than in Utah, as the delay in getting the army beyond that Territory is, on any other supposition, inexplicable. It was, indeed, openly charged upon the Federal government that one of the objects of the Utah war was to afford an excuse for keeping an army in Kansas during a critical period in her affairs, and to provide fat contracts wherewith to control votes. But however this may be, it is certain that if there was any necessity at all for the expedition against the Mormons, the dilatoriness with which the preparations were made for it, and the delays which occurred before the troops were on their march, gave strong reason for supposing that more than Mormonism was meant to be subdued if occasion called for it. It was a month after the appointment of Harney, before even an officer of the army was sent forward to secure a location for a camp, and make purchases of fuel and forage for the troops when they should reach Utah. Two months passed away and the expedition had still to be begun, when Gen. Harney was superseded by Colonel Johnston who was ordered to make arrangements "to set out from Fort Leavenworth at as early a date as practicable." Yet the President said in the message -- to which we must necessarily look as the authority for the motives which prompted the Executive to send an army to Utah -- that "there no longer remained any government in Utah but the despotism of Brigham Young, that "in such a condition of affairs in the Territory," the chief Executive magistrate "could not mistake the path of duty," which was "to restore the supremacy of the Constitution and laws;" and certainly if such was the condition of affairs, the steps taken to fulfill the duty of a parent government to so rebellious a province were singularly deliberate. It is not easy to escape the reflection that either the Utah expedition was a contractor's job, or that the government is pitiably imbecile in the punishment of treason.

    In September, Capt. Van Vliet, the officer sent forward to provide for the coming army, returned and reported the result of his mission. On arriving at Great Salt Lake City, he had sought and obtained an interview with Governor Young, to whom he made known, in accordance with his orders the purport of his visit and the approach of the United States troops. Governor Young replied that the Mormons had "been persecuted, murdered, and robbed in Missouri and Illinois, both by the mob and State authorities, and that now the United States were about to pursue the same course; and that therefore he and the people of Utah had determined to resist all persecution at the commencement, and that the troops now on the march for Utah should not enter the Great Salt Lake Valley;" and, adds Capt. Van Vliet, "as he uttered these words, all those present concurred most heartily in what he said." In subsequent interviews, "the same determination to resist to the death the entrance of the troops into the valley was expressed by Governor Young and those about him." And when, in reply to these expressions of determined hostility, Capt. Van Vliet assured the Mormons that though they might prevent the small military force then approaching from getting through, the narrow defiles and rugged passes of the mountains, the U. S. Government would, the next season send troops enough to overcome all opposition; the answer was invariably the same: "We are aware that such will be the case; but when these troops arrive they will find Utah a desert; every house will be burned to the ground, every tree cut down and ever field laid waste. We have three years' provisions on hand, which we will cache and then take to the mountains and bid defiance to all the powers of the government." That these were no idle threats, Capt. Van Vliet was convinced. He believed, not only that the Mormons would resist the advance of the army, but that that resistance, owing to the smallness of the force, the lateness of the season, and the nature of the country, would be successful. He thought, however, that they would not resort to actual hostilities till the last moment but their plan of operations would be a system of harassment, by burning the grass, cutting up the roads, and stampeding the animals, till the severity of winter should put a stop to the hostile invasion.

    For such a reception of their new Governor and his posse comitatus, the Mormons felt that they had ample justification. What that justification was, it is proper to state; for however erroneous


                                        UTAH  AND  THE  MORMONS.                                     41

    we may consider Mormon religion, and however detestable Mormon morality, they should not be debarred of that privilege which is accorded to all criminals. Utah, they reasoned, is a Territory of the United States, and Brigham Young its Governor, under an appointment from Washington. He had never, he declared, received any official notice of the recall of that appointment, and was bound, therefore, as it was his right, to continue to fulfill the duties of his office, and defend his people. The charges of incivism which were made against them, and which they repudiated, they contend, rested upon general report, originated with corrupt officials, and had never been brought to the test of judicial examination. To such an examination, they affirmed, they were ready and anxious to submit, and that they would be glad to meet their accusers face to face. But as the Government of the United States chose to pursue another course with them, to judge them first and try them afterward, they were determined, warned by the experience of former years in Missouri and Illinois, to defend their homes so long as any hope remained of doing so successfully, and when overcome by superior numbers, to flee to some more hospitable land, and a juster government, and to leave behind them a country desolated, and towns and cities spoiled. In the proclamation made in September to the people of Utah, by Governor Young, he said: "We are invaded by a hostile force, who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction. For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the government, from constables and justices, to judges, governors, and presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted, and betrayed. Our houses have been plundered, and then burned, our fields laid waste, our principal men butchered while under the pledged faith of the government for their safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in the barren wilderness, and that protection among hostile savages, which were denied them in the boasted abodes of Christianity and civilization." The statement is forcible and, unfortunately, as relates the past, too true. He announces, therefore, in consideration of all these things, and the issue thus forced upon them, that they are compelled to resort to the "great first law of self-preservation," and as Governor of the Territory, forbids the entrance upon it of any armed force, and proclaims martial law.

    In a letter of Capt. Van Vliet's to the Secretary of War, two months later that officer says "that Governor Young informed me that he had no objection to the troops themselves entering the Territory; but if they allowed it them to do so it would be opening the door for the entrance of the rabble from the frontiers, who would, as in former times persecute and annoy them;" * and to prevent this they, the Mormons had determined to oppose all interference of the government in the affairs of their Territory." That Young was desirous of a peaceful issue of the difficulty between his people and the government of the United States can hardly now be doubted and that the government was aware that such was all along his wish seems, at least, not improbable. "On the 21st of September," writes Col. Alexander, under date of October 9th at Camp Winfield, "I met Capt. Van Vliet returning from Salt Lake City, and was informed by him that although the Mormons, or rather Governor Young, were determined to oppose the entrance into the city, yet he was assured that no armed resistance would be attempted if he went no further than Fort Bridger or Fort Supply. I was still further convinced of this by the circumstance that a train of more than one hundred contractor's wagons had been parked for nearly three weeks on Ham's fork without defence, and had been unmolested, although they contained provisions and supplies which would have been of great use to the Mormons." And as if in confirmation of this statement, Governor Young, on the 29th of September, in his first letter to "the officer commanding the forces now invading Utah Territory," warning him not to proceed with that invasion, says: "Should you deem this impracticable" (to retire immediately) "and prefer to remain until spring in the vicinity of your present encampment, Black fork, or Green River, you can do so in peace and unmolested, on condition that you deposit your arms and ammunition with Lewis Robinson, quartermaster general of the Territory and leave n the spring, as soon as the condition of the roads will permit you to march." The proposition was, of course, an absurd one, not to be thought of for a moment by a soldier, nor is it at all likely that Governor Young supposed it would be acceded

    * That this apprehension was not unfounded, is evident from a letter from Salt Lake City in the Tribune of Dec. 16, 1858, describing the conduct and character of several hundred teamsters which the army had brought into Utah.


    42             THE TRIBUNE ALMANAC AND POLITICAL REGISTER.            

    to. But it at least shows that he was desirous to avoid a collision if he could do so with honor and consistently with what he deemed to be his duty to the people under his charge. He evinced the same spirit in inviting the officers of the army to visit Salt Lake City.

    Such were the attitudes of the respective belligerents at the commencement of the famous war with which Mr. Buchanan has illustrated his administration. The army of the United States, when it could be spared from Kansas took up its line of march for the West, and in due season reached Fort Bridger, more than a, hundred miles short of Salt Lake City where it went into winter quarters. In the meantime, the Mormons, about the middle of September, as an earnest of the reception they meant to give the invasion, destroyed two provision trains of the army. In December their leading men were indicted for treason by the grand jury of the District Court of the United States, sitting at Camp Scott, the damages for the destruction of the trains being laid at a million of dollars. These were the most serious acts of hostility. But the trains have never been paid for, and the traitors named in the indictment have never been tried. The Mormons deserted their outlying villages and farms, and those who were not needed to watch the enemy and guard the passes of the mountains betook themselves to Great Salt Lake City, where they were edified by the sermons of the elders among the saints, exhorted to be faithful to "brother Young," to have none but him to rule over them, and to be assured that the "poor miserable devils" who welcoming among them "would be certain to go to hell as sure as they lived." The army which, had it left Kansas early enough in the season, might, instead of the Mormons, have occupied Great Salt Lake City -- providing always that there had been any Great Salt Lake City to occupy -- or might, at least have had the satisfaction of attempting to fight their way thither, rested ingloriously on their arms, cheered only with the hope that their laurels would grow with the other vegetation of the opening spring.

    But the war was to have quite another issue than that of blood. A gentleman of Philadelphia, who knew something of the Mormons, and who had, in former times, by sympathy and acts of friendship, gained their confidence, packed his saddle-bags and started for Utah. What credentials, if any, Colonel Kane may have carried from Washington, is known only to himself and Mr. Buchanan. The world only knows, and is only concerned to know, that what an army of the United States at an expense of millions of dollars, failed to do, was done at his private charges by a single energetic man of straightforward intentions and sound judgment. By a few days of friendly converse, he subdued the Mormons. The "Lion of the Lord" was tamed; the gates of the city of the Great Salt Lake were in due time thrown wide open; Governor Cumming and his train of government officials were invited to enter; the proclamation of the President, sent out in April last by two special commissioners, was made public, and by was offered "a full and free pardon" to all "for the seditions and treasons heretofore by them committed" with the assurance that he made "no crusade against their religion," as "the Constitution and laws of the country could take no notice of their creed, whether it be true or false;" and so the army, whether rejoicing or not rejoicing in a bloodless victory, took possession of the Territory of Utah and at the latest date, was amusing itself with private theatricals. "The present condition of the Territory of Utah" says the President in his late annual message to Congress, "when contrasted with what it was one year ago, is, a subject for congratulation." The country, no doubt, agrees with him; but probably the congratulations would be heartier and warmer had Col. Kane and the commissioners first gone to Utah, and Gov. Cumming and his posse comitatus have rather followed than preceded them -- had so improbable a necessity in that case have arisen. It would have been much, it is thought, had the country been saved the disgrace, in the eyes of foreign powers, of submitting for six months to the defiance of a handful of religions fanatics, who, if there was any necessity of subduing them at all, should have been instantly and completely brought into subjection by a government of the resources of the United States; it would have been something to have been saved the necessarily large expenditure attending the march of an army, and which, in this case has become enormous, considering the object aimed at and the end gained, to the great enrichment of peculating and speculating contractors; but it would have been far more could we have been saved the humiliating spectacle of seeing our government undertake a war on insufficient grounds, to escape from which it is compelled to be indebted to the good offices of a private citizen.


    The Atlantic Monthly
    (NYC: New York Tribune press)

  • 1859: "The Utah Expedition"

  •   March -  Part One

      April -  Part Two

      May -  Part Three

      Transcriber's Comments

    Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859.

    [p. 361]


    If General Henry Knox, of Revolutionary memory, the first Secretary of War of the Republic, had dreamed that the successor to his portfolio, after an interval of seventy years, would recommend to Congress the purchase of a thousand camels for military purposes, he would have attributed the fancy to excited nerves or a too hearty dinner. Had he dreamed, further, that the grotesque mounted corps was to be employed in regions two thousand miles beyond the frontier of the Anglo-Saxon pioneer of 1789, to guard travel to an actual El Dorado, the vision would have appeared still more extraordinary. And its absurdity would have seemed complete, if he had fancied the high road of this travel as leading through a community essentially Oriental in its social and political life, which was nevertheless ripening into a State of the American Union. Yet if General Knox could be roused from his grave at Thomaston, he would see the dream realized. On the Pacific lies El Dorado; among the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains there is a community which blends the voluptuousness of Bagdad with the economy of Cape Cod; and within two years a regiment of camel-riders will be scouring the Great American Plains after Cheyennes, Navajoes, and Camanches.

    The propagation of the religion of which Joseph Smith was the prophet has just begun to attract the notice its extraordinary success deserves. So long as the head of the Mormon Church was considered a kind of Mahometan Sam Slick, and his associates a crazy rabble, it was vain to expect that the whole sect could be treated with more attention than any of the curiosities in a popular museum. But a juster appreciation of the constitution of the Mormon community begins to prevail, and with it comes a conviction that questions are involved in its relations to the parent government which are not exceeded in importance by any that have ever been agitated at Washington. Brigham Young no longer seems to the American public a religious mountebank, only one grade removed from the man Orr, who claimed to be the veritable Angel Gabriel, and was killed in a popular commotion which he had himself excited in Dutch Guiana. On the contrary, he begins to appear as a man of great native strength and scope of mind, who understands the phases of human character and knows how to avail himself of the knowledge, and who has acquired spiritual dominion over one hundred and fifty thousand souls, combined with absolute temporal supremacy over fifty thousand of the number.

    The situation of the Mormon community in Utah has been peculiarly adapted, heretofore, to the eccentricities of its inhabitants. Isolated from Christendom on the east and west by plains incapable of settlement for generations to come,

    362                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    and encompassed by mountain-ranges, the line of whose summits runs above the boundary of eternal snow, it was independent of the influences of Christian civilization. No missionary of any Christian sect ever attempted to propagate his doctrines in Utah, -- nor, perhaps, would any such propagation have been tolerated, had it been attempted. The Mormon religion was free to run its own course and develop whatever elements it possessed of good and evil. When Brigham Young and his followers from Nauvoo descended the Wahsatch range in the summer of 1847, and took up their abode around the Great Salt Lake, the avowed creed of the Church was different from that proclaimed to-day. The secret doctrines entertained by its leaders were perhaps the same as at present, but the religion of the people was a species of mysticism which it is not impossible to conceive might commend itself even to a refined mind. The existence of polygamy was officially denied by the highest ecclesiastical authority, although we know to-day that the denial was a shameless lie, and that Joseph Smith, during his lifetime, had a plurality of wives, and at his death bequeathed them to his successor, who already possessed a harem of his own. Property was almost equally distributed among the people, the leaders being as poor as their disciples. In this respect at that time they were accustomed exultantly to compare their condition with that of the early Christians.

    Ten years passed, and the change was extraordinary. The doctrines of Mormonism, if plainly stated, are no longer such as can commend themselves to a mind not perverted nor naturally prurient. Polygamy is inculcated as a religious duty, without which dignity in the Celestial Kingdom is impossible, and even salvation hardly to be obtained. Property is distributed unjustly, the bulk of real and personal estate in the Territory being vested in the Church and its directors, between whom and the mass of the population there exists a difference in social welfare as wide as between the Russian nobleman and his serf. In brief, the Mormons no longer claim to be a Christian sect, but assert, and truly, that their religion is as distinct from Christianity as that is from Mahometanism. Many of the doctrines whispered in 1847 only to those who had been admitted to the penetralia of the Nauvoo Temple are proclaimed unblushingly in 1857 from the pulpit in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. A system of polytheism has been ingrafted on the creed, according to which there are grades among the Gods, there being no Supreme Ruler of all, but the primeval Adam of Genesis being the deity highest in spiritual rank, and Christ, Mahomet, Joseph Smith, and, finally, Brigham Young, partaking also of divinity. The business of these deities in the Celestial Kingdom is the propagation of souls to people bodies begotten on earth, and the sexual relation is made to permeate every portion of the creed as thoroughly as it pervaded the religions of ancient Egypt and India. In the Endowment House at Salt Lake City, secret rites are practised of a character similar to the mysteries of the Nile, and presided over by Young and Kimball, two Vermont Yankees, with all the solemnity of priests of Isis and Osiris. In these rites, which are symbolical of the mystery of procreation, both sexes participate, clad in loose flowing robes of white linen, with cleansed bodies and anointed hair. Since the revelation of the processes of the Endowment, which was first fully made by a young apostate named John Hyde, other dissenters, real and pretended, have attempted to impose on the public exaggerated accounts of these ceremonies; but in justice to the Mormon Church it ought to be said, that there is no foundation for the reports that they are such as would outrage decency. To be sure, an assemblage of members of both sexes, clad in white shifts, with oiled and dishevelled hair, in a room fitted up in resemblance of a garden, to witness a performance of the allegory of Adam and Eve in Eden, which is conducted so as to be sensually symbolic, is

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           363.

    not suggestive of refined ideas; but it is necessary to take into consideration the character both of performers and witnesses, which is not distinguished in any way by delicacy. According to their standard of morality and taste, the rites of the Endowment are devoid of immodesty.

    In their political bearing, however, they are more important, and justly liable to the severest censure. It is established beyond question, that the initiated, clad in the preposterous costume before described, take an oath, in the presence of their Spiritual Head, to cherish eternal enmity towards the government of the United States until it shall have avenged the death of their prophet, Joseph Smith. And this ceremony is not a mere empty form of words. It is an oath, the spirit of which the Endowed carry into their daily life and all their relations with the Gentile world. In it lies the root of the evasion, and finally subversion, of Federal authority which occasioned the recent military expedition to Utah.

    When the Territory was organized in 1850, the government at Washington, acting on an imperfect knowledge of the nature of Mormonism, conferred the office of Governor upon Brigham Young. For this act Mr. Fillmore has been unjustly censured. It appeared to him, at the time, a proper, as well as politic, appointment. But before the succession of General Pierce to the Presidency, its evil results became apparent, in the expulsion of civil officers from the Territory and the subversion of all law. A feeble, and of course unsuccessful, attempt was then made to supplant Young with Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe, a meritorious, but too amiable officer of the regular army, -- the same whose defeat by the Cayuses, Spokans, and Coeur d'Alènes, last May, occasioned the Indian war in Washington Territory. During the summer of 1855, he led a battalion overland, wintering in Salt Lake City. It was at his option, at any time during his sojourn, to have claimed the supreme executive authority. He did not do so, but even headed a recommendation to President Pierce for the reappointment of Brigham Young. This was the result of his winter's residence, during which he and some of his fellow-officers were feasted to their stomachs' content, and entirely careless concerning the political condition of the Territory. Late in the spring, he marched away to California, after having expressed to the President that it was "his unqualified opinion, based on personal acquaintance, that Brigham Young is [was] the most suitable person for the office of Governor." Brigham's views of the winter's proceedings, on the other hand, were expressed in a sermon preached in the Tabernacle, the Sunday after the departure of the Lieutenant-Colonel, in which he repeated his declaration of three years previous: --

    "I am, and will be, governor, and no power can hinder it, until the Lord Almighty says, 'Brigham, you need not be governor any longer.'" And he added, -- "I do not know what I shall say next winter, if such men make their appearance here as some last winter. I know what I think I shall say; if they play the same game again, let the women be ever so bad, so help me God, we will slay them."

    Most of the other civil officers who were commissioned about the same time with Colonel Steptoe arrived the August after he had departed. Within eighteen months their lot was the same as that of their predecessors. In April, 1857, before the snow had begun to melt on the mountains, all of them, in a party led by Surveyor-General Burr, were on their way to the States, happy in having escaped with life. During the previous February, the United States District Court had been broken up in Salt Lake City. A mob had invaded the courtroom, armed with pistols and bludgeons, a knife was drawn on the judge in his private room, and he was ordered to adjourn his court sine die, and yielded. Indian-Agent Hurt was the only Gentile official who remained in the Territory.

    364                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    In the mean while, however, a change of national administration had taken place, and General Pierce had been succeeded by Mr. Buchanan. For nearly three years the country had been convulsed by an agitation of the Slavery question, originating with Senator Douglas, which culminated in the Presidential election of 1856. The Utah question, grave though it was, was forgotten in the excitement concerning Kansas, or remembered only by the Republican party, as enabling them to stigmatize more pungently the political theories of the Illinois Senator, by coupling polygamy and slavery, "twin relics of barbarism," in the resolution of their Philadelphia Platform against Squatter Sovereignty. In the lull which succeeded the election, Mr. Buchanan had leisure, at Wheatland, to draft a programme for his incoming administration. His paramount idea was to gag the North and induce her to forget that she had been robbed of her birthright, by forcing on the attention of the country other questions of absorbing interest. One of the most obvious of these was supplied by the condition of affairs in Utah. It had been satisfactorily established, that the Mormons, acting under the influence of leaders to whom they seemed to have surrendered their judgment, refused to be controlled by any other authority; that they had been often advised to obedience, and these friendly counsels had been answered with defiance; that officers of the Federal Government had been driven from the Territory for no offence except an effort to do their sworn duty, while others had been prevented from going there by threats of assassination; that judges had been interrupted in the performance of their functions, and the records of their courts seized, and either destroyed or concealed; and, finally, that many other acts of unlawful violence had been perpetrated, and the right to repeat them openly claimed by the leading inhabitants, with at least the silent acquiescence of nearly all the rest of the population. In view of these facts, Mr. Buchanan determined to supersede Brigham Young in the office of Governor, and to send to Utah a strong military force to sustain the new appointee in the exercise of his authority.

    The rumors of the impending expedition reached the Mormons at the very moment they were prepared to apply to Congress for admission as a State. A Constitution had been framed by a Convention assembled without the sanction of an enabling act, and was intrusted to George A. Smith and John Taylor, two of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, for presentation to Congress. These men, both of them of more than ordinary ability, helped to present the Mormon side of the question to the country through the newspapers, during the winter of 1856-7. The essence of their vindication was, that the character of some of the Federal officers who had been sent to Utah was objectionable in the extreme; but, granting the truth of all their statements on this subject, they supplied no excuse for the utter subversion of Federal authority in the Territory. Their narrative, however, formed a most spicy chapter in the annals of official scandal. The three United States judges, Kinney, Drummond, and Stiles, were presented to the public stripped of all judicial sanctity; -- Kinney, the Chief Justice, as the keeper of a grocery-store, dance-room, and boarding-house, enforcing the bills for food and lodging against his brethren of the law by expulsion from the bar in case of non-payment, and so tenacious of life, that, before departing from the Territory, he solicited and received from Brigham Young a patriarchal blessing; Drummond, as an amorous horse-jockey, who had taken to Utah, as his mistress, a drab from Washington, and seated her beside him once upon the bench of the court; Stiles as himself a Mormon, so far as the possession of two wives could make him one. From the early days of Joseph Smith, his disciples have never minced their language, and they expended their whole vocabulary now on such themes as have been cited, proving, to

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           365.

    the satisfaction of everybody, that, in respect to the judiciary, they had indeed had just cause for complaint. The mission of Smith and Taylor failed, as might have been expected, -- the Chairman of the Committee on Territories, Mr. Grow, of Pennsylvania, refusing even to present their Constitution to the House, -- and they prepared to return to Utah.

    A month or two later, Mr. Buchanan was inaugurated, and preparations for the Utah Expedition were immediately ordered. In the first place, an opinion was solicited from General Scott as to the feasibility of the undertaking until the next year. That distinguished soldier gave a decision adverse to the immediate dispatch of the expedition. He considered that the arrangements necessary to be made were so extensive, and the distances from which the regiments must be concentrated so great, that the wiser plan was to consume the year in getting everything in readiness for the troops to march from the frontier early in the spring of 1858. It would have been well, had his advice prevailed; but it was overruled, and the preparations for the expedition were commenced. The troops detailed for the service were the Fifth Infantry, then busy fighting Billy Bowlegs among the everglades of Florida, -- the Tenth Infantry, which was stationed at the forts in Upper Minnesota, -- the Second Dragoons, which was among the forces assembled at Fort Leavenworth, to be used, if necessary, in Kansas, at the requisition of Governor Walker, -- and Phelps's light-artillery battery, the same which so distinguished itself at Buena Vista, under the command of Captain Washington. An ordnance-battery, also, was organized for the purposes of the expedition. Brevet Brigadier-General Harney was assigned to the command-in-chief, an officer of a rude force of character, amounting often to brutality, and careless as to those details of military duty which savor more of the accountant's inkstand than of the drum and fife, but ambitious, active, and well acquainted with the character of the service for which he was detailed. He was, at the time, in command in Kansas, subject in a measure to the will of Governor Walker.

    The whole number of troops under orders for the expedition was hardly twenty-five hundred, but from this total no estimate can be predicated of the enormous quantities of commissary stores and munitions of war necessary to be dispatched to sustain it. It was thought advisable to send a supply for eighteen months, so that the trains exceeded in magnitude those which would accompany an army of twenty thousand in ordinary operations on the European continent, where dépôts could be established along the line of march. To appreciate such preparations, it is necessary to understand the character of the country to be traversed between the Missouri River and the Great Salt Lake.

    The route selected for the march was along the emigrant road across the Plains, first defined fifty years ago by trappers and voyageurs following the trail by which the buffalo crossed the mountains, described by Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont, in the reports of his earlier explorations, and subsequently adopted by all the overland emigration across the continent. It is, perhaps, the most remarkable natural road in the world. The hand of man could hardly add an improvement to the highway along which, from the Missouri to the Great Basin, Nature has presented not a single obstacle to the progress of the heaviest loaded teams. From the frontier, at Fort Leavenworth, it sweeps over a broad rolling prairie to the Platte, a river shallow, but of great width, whose course is as straight as an arrow. Pursuing the river-bottom more than three hundred miles, to the Black Hills, steep mounds dotted with dark pines and cedars, it enters the broad belt of mountainous country which terminates in the rim of the Basin. Following thence the North Fork of the Platte, and its tributary, the Sweetwater, -- so named by an old French trapper, who had the misfortune to upset a load of sugar into the stream, -- it emerges from the Black Hills

    366                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    into scenery of a different character. On the northern bank of the Sweetwater are the Rattlesnake Mountains, huge excrescences of rock, blistering out of an arid plain; on the southern bank, the hills which bear the name of the river, and are only exaggerations of the bluffs along the Platte. The dividing ridge between the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific is reached in the South Pass, at the foot of a spur of the Wind River range, a group of gigantic mountains, whose peaks reach three thousand feet above the line of perpetual snow. There the emigrant strikes his tent in the morning on the banks of a rivulet which finds its way, through the Platte, Missouri, and Mississippi, into the Gulf of Mexico, -- and pitches it, at his next camp, upon a little creek which trickles into Green River, and at last, through the Colorado, into the Gulf of California. Not far distant spring the fountains of the Columbia. A level table-land extends to the fords of Green River, a clear and rapid stream, whose entire course has never yet been mapped by an intelligent explorer. Here the road becomes entangled again among mountains, and winds its way over steep ridges, across foaming torrents, and through cañons so narrow that only noonday sunshine penetrates their depths, until it emerges, through a rocky gate in the great barrier of the Wahsatch range, upon the bench above Salt Lake City, twelve hundred miles from Fort Leavenworth. The view at this point, from the mouth of Emigration Cañon, is enchanting. The sun, sinking through a cloudless western sky, silvers the long line of the lake, which is visible twenty miles away. Beyond the city the River Jordan winds quietly through the plain. Below the gazer are roofs and cupolas, shady streets, neat gardens, and fields of ripening grain. The mountains, which bound the horizon on every side, except where a wavering stream of heated air shows the beginning of the Great Desert, are tinged with a soft purple haze, in anticipation of the sunset, but every patch of green grass on their slopes glows through it like an emerald, while along the summits runs an undulating thread of snow.

    Throughout this vast line of road, the only white inhabitants are the garrisons of the military posts, the keepers of mail-stations, and voyageurs and mountaineers, whose cabins may be found in every locality favorable to Indian trade. These last are a singular race of men, fast disappearing, like the Indian and the buffalo, their neighbors. Most of them are of French extraction, and some have died without having learned to speak a word of English. Their wealth consists in cattle and horses, and little stocks of goods which they purchase from the sutlers at the forts or the merchants at Salt Lake City. Some of the more considerable among them have the means of sending to the States for an annual supply of blankets, beads, vermilion, and other stuff for Indian traffic; but the most are thriftless, and all are living in concubinage or marriage with squaws, and surrounded by troops of unwashed, screeching half-breeds. Once in from three to six years, they will make a journey to St. Louis, and gamble away so much of their savings since the last visit as has escaped being wasted over greasy card-tables during the long winter-evenings among the mountains. The Indian tribes along the way are numerous and formidable, the road passing through country occupied by Pawnees, Cheyennes, Sioux, Arapahoes, Crows, Snakes, and Utahs. With the Cheyennes war had been waged by the United States for more than two years, which interfered seriously with the expedition; for, during the month of June, a war-party from that tribe intercepted and dispersed the herd of beef-cattle intended for the use of the army.

    The natural characteristics of the entire route are as unpromising as those of its inhabitants. At the distance of about two hundred miles from the Missouri frontier the soil becomes so pervaded by sand, that only scientific agriculture can render it available. Along the Platte there is no fuel. Not a tree is visible, except the thin fringe of cottonwoods on

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           367.

    the margin of the river, all of which upon the south bank, where the road runs, were hewed down and burned at every convenient camp, during the great California emigration. When the Rocky Mountains are entered, the only vegetation found is bunch-grass, so called because it grows in tufts, -- and the artemisia, or wild sage, an odorous shrub, which sometimes attains the magnitude of a tree, with a fibrous trunk as thick as a man's thigh, but is ordinarily a bush about two feet in height. The bunch-grass, grown at such an elevation, possesses extraordinary nutritive properties, even in midwinter. About the middle of January a new growth is developed underneath the snow, forcing off the old dry blade that ripened and shed its seed the previous summer. From Fort Kearney to Fort Laramie, almost the only fuel to be obtained is the dung of buffalo and oxen, called, in the vocabulary of the region, "chips," -- the argal of the Tartar deserts. Among the mountains the sage is the chief material of the traveller's fire. It burns with a lively, ruddy flame, and gives out an intense heat. In the settlements of Utah all the wood consumed is hauled from the cañons, which are usually lined with pines, firs, and cedars, while the broadsides of the mountains are nothing but terraces of volcanic rock. The price of wood in Salt Lake City is from twelve to twenty dollars a cord.

    From this brief review of the natural features of the country, some idea may be formed of the intensity of the religious enthusiasm which has induced fifty thousand Mormon converts to traverse it, many of them on foot and trundling handcarts, to seek a home among the valleys of Utah, in a region hardly more propitious; and some idea, also, of the difficulties which were to attend the march of the army.

    During the spring of 1857, the preparations for the expedition were hurried forward, and in June the whole force was collected at Fort Leavenworth. All Western Missouri was in a ferment. The river foamed with steamboats freighted with military stores, and the levee at Leavenworth City was covered all summer long with the frames of wagons. Between the 18th and the 24th of July, all the detachments of the little army were on the march, except a battalion of two companies of infantry, which had been unable to join their regiment at the time it moved from Minnesota, and the Second Dragoons, which Governor Walker retained in Kansas to overawe the uneasy people of the town of Lawrence. General Harney also tarried in Kansas, intending to wait until after the October election there, at which disturbances were anticipated that it might be necessary to quell by force.

    At Washington, movements of equal importance were taking place. The Postmaster-General, in June, annulled the contract held by certain Mormons for the transportation of the monthly mall to Utah, ostensibly on account of non-performance of the service within the stipulated time, but really because he was satisfied that the mails were violated, either en route or after arrival at Salt Lake City. The office of Governor of the Territory was offered by the President to various persons, and finally accepted, July 11th, by Alfred Cumming, a brother of the Cumming of Georgia who fought multitudinous duels with McDuffie of South Carolina, all of which both parties survived. Mr. Cumming had been a sutler during the Mexican War, and more recently a Superintendent of Indian Affairs on the Upper Missouri. He was reputed to be a gentleman of education, ambition, and executive ability. The office of Chief Justice was conferred on Judge D. R. Eckels, of Indiana, a person well fitted for the position by the circumstances of his early life, of the utmost determination, and whose judicial integrity was above suspicion.

    The news of the stoppage of the mail reached Salt Lake Valley July 24th, an eventful anniversary in the history of Mormonism. It was on the 24th of July, 1847, that Brigham Young entered the Valley from the East, and the day had

    368                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    always afterwards been kept as a holiday of the Church. On this occasion, the celebration was held in Cottonwood Cañon, one of the wildest and grandest gorges among the Wahsatch Mountains, opening at the foot of the Twin Peaks, about twenty miles southeast from Salt Lake City. Thither more than twenty-five hundred people had flocked from the city on the previous day, and prepared to hold their festival under bowers built of fragrant pines and cedars around a little lake far up among the mountains. During the afternoon of the 24th, while they were engaged in music, dancing, and every manner of lively sport, two dusty messengers rode up the cañon, bringing from the States the news of the stoppage of the mail and of the approaching march of the troops. This mode of announcement was probably preconcerted with Brigham Young, who was undoubtedly aware of the facts on the preceding day. A scene of the maddest confusion ensued, which was heightened by the inflammatory speeches of the Mormon leaders. Young reminded the fanatical throng, that, ten years ago that very day, he had said, "Give us ten years of peace and we will ask no odds of the United States"; and he added, that the ten years had passed, and now they asked no odds, -- that they constituted henceforth a free and independent state, to be known no longer as Utah, but by their own Mormon name of Deseret. Kimball, the second in authority in the Church, called on the people to adhere to Brigham, as their "prophet, seer, and revelator, priest, governor, and king." The sun set on the first overt act in the rebellion. The fanatics, wending their way back to the city, across the broad plain, in the moonlight, were ready to follow wherever Brigham Young might choose to lead.

    On the succeeding Sundays the spirit of rebellion was breathed from the pulpit in language yet more intemperate, and often profane and obscene. Military preparations were made with the greatest bustle; and the Nauvoo Legion -- under which name, transplanted from Illinois, the militia were organized -- was drilled daily in the streets of the city. The martial fervor ran so high that even the boys paraded with wooden spears and guns, and the little ragamuffins were inspected and patted on the head by venerable and veritable Fathers of the Church.

    In total ignorance that the standard of rebellion had already been raised, General Harney, in the beginning of August, detached Captain Van Vliet, the Quarter-master on his staff, to proceed rapidly to Utah to make arrangements for the reception of the army in the Valley. He passed the troops in the vicinity of Fort Laramie. About thirty miles west of Green River he was met by a party of Mormons, who escorted him, accompanied only by his servant, to the city. There he was politely treated, but informed that his mission would be fruitless, for the Mormon people were determined to resist the ingress of the troops. At a meeting in the Tabernacle, at which the Captain was present on the platform, when Brigham Young called on the audience for an expression of opinion, every hand was raised in favor of the policy of resistance, and in expression of willingness, if it should become necessary, to abandon harvest and homestead, retreat with the women to the mountains, and wage there a war of extermination. They took pains to conduct the Captain through the well-kept gardens and blooming fields, to show him their household comforts, the herds of cattle, the stacks of hay and grain, and all their public improvements, in order to present a contrast between such plenty and prosperity and such a scene of desolation as they depicted. Profoundly impressed by the devotion of the people to their leaders, he started on his return, accompanied by Mr. Bernhisel, the Mormon delegate to Congress. Two days after he left the city, a proclamation was issued by Young, in his capacity of Governor, in which the army was denounced as a mob and forbidden to enter the Territory, and the people of Utah were summoned to arms to repel its advance.

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           369.

    When this document reached the troops, they had already crossed the Territorial line, and were prepared for its reception by the report of Captain Van Vliet as he passed them on his return to the States. Their position was embarrassing. In the absence of General Harney, each separate detachment constituted an independent command. The senior officer present was Colonel Alexander, of the Tenth Infantry, a thorough soldier in the minutiae of his profession, and distinguished by gallantry during the Mexican War. He resolved, very properly, in view of his seniority, to assume the command-in-chief until General Harney should arrive from the East. On the 27th of September, before the proclamation was received, the first division of the army crossed Green River, having accomplished a march of a thousand miles in little more than two months. That same night it hastened forwards thirty miles to Ham's Fork, -- a confluent of Black's Fork, which empties into Green River, -- where several supply-trains were gathered, upon which there was danger that the Mormons would make an attack. The other divisions followed within the week, and the whole force was concentrated. On the night of October 5th, after the last division had crossed the river, two supply-trains, of twenty-five wagons each, were captured and burned just on the bank of the stream, by a party of mounted Mormons led by a man named Lot Smith, and the next morning another train was destroyed by the same party, twenty miles farther east, on the Big Sandy, in Oregon Territory. The teamsters were disarmed and dismissed, and the cattle stolen. No blood was shed; not a shot fired. Immediately upon the news of this attack reaching Ham's Fork, Colonel Alexander, who had then assumed the command-in-chief, dispatched Captain Marcy, of the Fifth Infantry, with four hundred men, to afford assistance to the trains, and punish the aggressors, if possible. But when the Captain reached Green River, all that was visible near the little French trading-post was two broad, black rings on the ground, bestrewn with iron chains and bolts, where the wagons had been burned in corral. He was able to do nothing except to send orders to the other trains on the road to halt, concentrate, and await the escort of Brevet Colonel Smith, of the Tenth Infantry, who had started from the frontier in August with the two companies mentioned as having been left behind in Minnesota, and by rapid marches had already reached the Sweetwater. The condition of affairs at this moment was indeed critical. By the folly of Governor Walker's movements in Kansas the expedition was deprived of its mounted force, and consisted entirely of infantry and artillery. The Mormon marauding parties, on the contrary, which it now became evident were hovering on every side, were all well mounted and tolerably well armed. The loss of three trains more would reduce the troops to the verge of starvation before spring, in case of inability to reach Salt Lake Valley. Nothing was heard from General Harney, and in his absence no one possessed instructions adequate to the emergency.

    To understand the movements which followed, it is necessary to describe briefly the topography of the country between Green River and the Great Salt Lake. The entire interval, one hundred and fifty miles in breadth, is filled with groups and chains of mountains, the direct route through which to Salt Lake City lies along water-courses, following them through cañons so narrow that little science is necessary to render the natural defences impregnable. In this respect, and in the general character of the scenery, it bears much resemblance to the Tyrol. In the narrowest of these gorges, Echo Cañon, twenty-five miles in length, whose walls of rock often approach within a stone's throw of each other, it became known that the Mormons were erecting breastworks and digging ditches, by means of which they expected to be able to submerge the road to the depth of several feet, for miles. The only known mode of avoiding a passage through this gorge was by a circuitous

    370                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    route, following the eastern slope of the rim of the Great Basin northward, more than a hundred miles, to Soda Springs, at the northern bend of Bear River, the principal tributary of the Salt Lake, -- then crossing the rim along the course of the river, and pursuing its valley southward, and that of the Roseaux or Malade, into Salt Lake Valley. The distance of Salt Lake City from the camp on Ham's Fork was by this route nearly three hundred miles, -- while the distance by the road past Fort Bridger, through the cañons, was less than one hundred and fifty miles. At that fort, about twenty miles west from the encampment of the army, the Mormon marauding parties had their head-quarters and principal dépôt. It was there that Colonel Alexander was ordered, about this time, by Brigham Young, to surrender his arms to the Mormon Quartermaster-General, on which condition and an agreement to depart eastward early the following spring, he and his troops should be fed during the winter; otherwise, Young added, they would perish from hunger and cold, and rot among the mountains. In his perplexity, Colonel Alexander called a council of war, and, with its approval, resolved to commence a march towards Soda Springs, leaving Fort Bridger unmolested on his left. For more than a fortnight the army toiled along Ham's Fork, cutting a road through thickets of greasewood and wild sage, incumbered by a train of such unwieldy length that often the advance-guard reached its camp at night before the rear-guard had moved from the camp of the preceding day, and harassed by Mormon marauding parties from the Fort, which hung about the flanks out of the reach of rifle-shot, awaiting opportunities to descend on unprotected wagons and cattle. The absence of dragoons prevented a dispersion of these banditti. Some companies of infantry were, indeed, mounted on mules, and sent to pursue them, but these only excited their derision. The Mormons nicknamed them "jackass cavalry." Their only exploit was the capture of a Mormon major and his adjutant, on whose person were found orders issued by D. H. Wells, the Commanding General of the Nauvoo Legion, to the various detachments of marauders, directing them to burn the whole country before the army and on its flanks, to keep it from sleep by night surprises, to stampede its animals and set fire to its trains, to blockade the road by felling trees and destroying river-fords, but to take no life. On the 13th of October, eight hundred oxen were cut off from the rear of the army and driven to Salt Lake Valley. Thus the weary column toiled along until it reached the spot where it expected to be joined by Colonel Smith's battalion, about fifty miles up Ham's Fork. The very next day snow fell to the depth of more than a foot. Disheartened, vacillating, and perplexed, Colonel Alexander called another council of war, and, acting on its judgment, resolved to retrace his steps. An express reached him that same day, from Colonel Smith, by which he was informed of the approach of Colonel Albert S. Johnston, of the Second Cavalry, who had been detailed to take command of the expedition in the place of General Harney, and now sent orders that the troops should return to Black's Fork, where he proposed to concentrate the entire army.

    During the month of August, it having become evident that General Harney was reluctant to proceed to Utah, anticipating a brighter field for military distinction in Kansas, Colonel Johnston was summoned from Texas to Washington and there ordered to hasten to take command of the expedition. On the 17th of September, he left Fort Leavenworth, and by rapid travel overtook Colonel Smith while he was engaged in collecting the trains which he intended to escort to the main body. On the 27th of October, the column moved forwards. The escort had been reinforced by a squadron of dragoons from Fort Laramie, but its entire strength was less than three hundred men, a number obviously insufficient to defend a line of wagons six miles in

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           371.

    length. An attack by the Mormons was expected every day, but none was made; and on the 3d of November, the whole army, with its munitions, supplies, and commander, was concentrated on Black's Fork. Colonel Alexander had arrived at the place of rendezvous some days previously, being no nearer Salt Lake City November 3d than he had been a month before. The country was covered with snow, winter having fairly set in among the mountains, the last pound of forage was exhausted, and the cattle and mules were little more than animated skeletons.

    Colonel Johnston had already determined, while in the South Pass, that it would be impracticable to cross the Wahsatch range until spring, and shaped his arrangements accordingly. He resolved to establish winter-quarters in the vicinity of Fort Bridger, and on the 6th of November the advance towards that post commenced. The day was memorable in the history of the expedition. Sleet poured down upon the column from morning till night. On the previous evening, five hundred cattle had been stampeded by the Mormons, in consequence of which some trains were unable to move at all. After struggling along till nightfall, the regiments camped wherever they could find shelter under bluffs or among willows. That night more than five hundred animals perished from hunger and cold, and the next morning the camp was encircled by their carcasses, coated with a film of ice. It was a scene which could be paralleled only in the retreat of the French from Moscow. Had there been any doubt before concerning the practicability of an immediate advance beyond Fort Bridger, none existed any longer. It was the 16th of November when the vanguard reached that post, which the Mormons had abandoned the week before. Nearly a fortnight had been consumed in accomplishing less than thirty miles.

    It is time to return to the States and record what had been transpiring there, in connection with the expedition, while the army was staggering towards its permanent winter-camp. The only one of the newly-appointed civil officials who was present with the troops was Judge Eckels, who had left his home in Indiana immediately after receiving his appointment, and started across the Plains with his own conveyance. Near Fort Laramie he was overtaken by Colonel Smith, whom he accompanied in his progress to the main body. Governor Cumming, in the mean while, dilly-dallied in the East, travelling from St. Louis to Washington and back again, begging for an increase of salary, for a sum of money to be placed at his disposal for secret service, and for transportation to the Territory, -- all which requests, except the last, were denied. Towards the close of September, he arrived at Fort Leavenworth. Governor Walker had, by this time, released his hold on the dragoons, and, notwithstanding the advanced period of the season, they were preparing to march to Utah. The Governor and most of the other civil officers delayed until they started, and travelled in their company. The march was attended with the severest hardships. When they reached the Rocky Mountains, the snow lay from one to three feet deep on the loftier ridges which they were obliged to cross. The struggle with the elements, during the last two hundred miles before gaining Fort Bridger, was desperate. Nearly a third of the horses died from cold, hunger, and fatigue; everything that could be spared was thrown out to lighten the wagons, and the road was strewn with military accoutrements from the Rocky Ridge to Green River. On the 20th of November, Colonel Cooke reached the camp with a command entirely incapacitated for active service.

    The place selected by Colonel Johnston for the winter-quarters of the army was on the bank of Black's Fork, about two miles above Fort Bridger, on a spot sheltered by high bluffs which rise abruptly from the bottom at a distance of five or six hundred yards from the channel of the stream. The banks of the

    372                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    Fork were fringed with willow brush and cottonwood trees, blasted in some places where the Mormons had attempted to deprive the troops of fuel. The trees were fortunately too green to burn, and the fire swept through acres, doing no more damage than to consume the dry leaves and char the bark. The water of the Fork, clear and pure, rippled noisily over a stony bed between two unbroken walls of ice. The civil officers of the Territory fixed their quarters in a little nook in the wood above the military camp. The Colonel, anticipating a change of encampment, determined not to construct quarters of logs or sod for the army. A new species of tent, which had just been introduced, was served out for its winter dwellings. An iron tripod supported a pole from the top of which depended a slender but strong hoop. Attached to this, the canvas sloped to the ground, forming a tent in the shape of a regular cone. The opening at the top caused a draught, by means of which a fire could be kept up beneath the tripod without choking the inmates with smoke. An Indian lodge had evidently been the model of the inventor. Most of the civil officers, however, dug square holes in the ground, over which they built log huts, plastering the cracks with mud. Their little town they named Eckelsville, after the Chief Justice. A dépôt for all the military stores was established at Fort Bridger, where a strong detachment was encamped. At the time of its occupation, the Fort consisted merely of two stone walls, one twenty, the other about ten feet in height, inclosing quadrangles fifty paces long and forty broad. These walls were built of cobble-stones cemented with mortar. Half-a-dozen cannonballs would have knocked them to pieces, although they constituted a formidable defence against infantry. When the Mormons evacuated the post, they burned all the buildings inside these quadrangles. Colonel Johnston proceeded to set up additional defences for the dépôt, and within a month two lunettes were completed with ditches and chevaux-de-frise, in each of which was mounted a piece of artillery.

    The work of unloading the trains commenced, and after careful computation the Chief Commissary determined, that, by an abridgment of the ration, diminishing the daily issue of flour, and issuing bacon only once a week, his supplies would last until the first of June. All the beef cattle intended for the use of the army having been intercepted by the Cheyennes, it became necessary to kill those draught oxen for beef, which had survived the march. Shambles were erected, to which the poor half-starved animals were driven by hundreds to be butchered. The flesh was jerked and stored carefully in cabins built for the purpose.

    The business of loading the trains had been carelessly performed at Fort Leavenworth. In this respect the quartermaster who superintended the work might have learned a lesson from the experience of the British in the Crimea. But, unwilling to take the trouble to assign to each train a proportionate quantity of all the articles to be transported, he had packed one after another with just such things as lay most conveniently at hand. The consequence was, that in the wagons which were burned were contained all the mechanics' implements, stationery, and horse-medicines, although the loss of the latter was not to be regretted. The rest of their contents was mostly flour and bacon. Had the Mormons burned the next three trains upon the road, they would have destroyed all the clothing intended for the expedition. As it was, upon searching those trains, only one hundred and fifty pairs of boots and shoes and six hundred pairs of stockings were found provided for an army of two thousand men, and some of the soldiers already had nothing but moccasins to cover their feet, with the thermometer at 16 degrees below zero, -- while there were found one thousand leather neck-stocks and three thousand bed-sacks, articles totally useless. "How not to do it" had evidently been the motto of the Quarter-master's

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           373.

    Department. The ample supplies of some articles were rendered unavailable by deficiencies in other articles equally necessary. In some of its arrangements it seemed to have proceeded on the presumption that there would be an armed collision, while in others the probability of such an event was entirely disregarded. One wagon was loaded wholly with boiling-kettles, but there was no brine to boil, and at the close of November not a pound of salt remained in the camp.

    One of the first and most important of Colonel Johnston's duties was to provide for the keeping, during the winter, of the mules and horses which survived. On Black's Fork there was no grass for their support. It had either been burned by the Mormons or consumed by their cavalry. He decided to send them all to Henry's Fork, thirty-five miles south of Fort Bridger, where he had at one time designed to encamp with the whole army. The regiment of dragoons was detailed to guard them. A supply of fresh animals for transportation in the spring was his next care. The settlements in New Mexico are less than seven hundred miles distant from Fort Bridger, and to them he resolved to apply. Captain Marcy was the officer selected to lead in the arduous expedition. He had been previously distinguished in the service by a thorough exploration of the Red River of Louisiana. Accompanied by only thirty-five picked men, all volunteers, and by two guides, he started for Taos, November 27th, -- an undertaking from which, at that season of the year, the most experienced mountaineers would have shrunk. A party was dispatched at the same time to the Flathead country, in Oregon and Washington Territories, to procure horses to remount the dragoons, and to induce the traders in that region to drive cattle down to Fort Bridger for sale.

    On the day of Captain Marcy's departure, Governor Cumming issued a proclamation, declaring the Territory to be in a state of rebellion, and commanding the traitors to lay down their arms and return to their homes. It announced, also, that proceedings would be instituted against the offenders, in a court to be organized in the county by Judge Eckels, which would supersede the necessity of appointing a military commission for that purpose. This document was sent to Salt Lake City by a Mormon prisoner who was released for the purpose. The Governor sent also, by the same messenger, a letter to Brigham Young, in which there were expressions that indicated a disposition to temporize.

    The whole camp, at this time, was a scene of confusion and bustle. Some of the stragglers around the tents were Indians belonging to a band of Pah-Utahs, among whom Dr. Hurt, already mentioned as the only Federal officer who did not abandon the Territory in the spring of 1857, had established a farm upon the banks of the Spanish Fork, which rises among the snows of Mount Nebo, and flows into Lake Utah from the East. Shortly after the issue of Brigham Young's proclamation of September 15th, the Mormons resolved to take the Doctor prisoner. No official was ever more obnoxious to the Church than he; for by his authority over the tribes he had been able to counteract in great measure the influences by which Young had endeavored to alienate both Snakes and Utahs from the control of the United States. On the 27th of September, two bands of mounted men moved towards the farm from the neighboring towns of Springville and Payson. Warned by the faithful Indians of his danger, the Doctor fled to the mountains, and twenty Pah-Utahs and Uinta-Utahs escorted him to the South Pass, where he joined Colonel Johnston on the 23d of October. It was an act of devotion which has rarely been excelled in Indian history. The sufferings of his naked escort on the journey were severe. They crossed the Green River Mountains, breaking the crust of the snow and leading their animals, being reduced at the time to tallow and roots for their own sustenance. On

    374                           The Utah Expedition.                           [March.

    the advance of the army towards Fort Bridger, they accompanied its march.

    Another class of stragglers, and one most dangerous to the peace of the camp, was composed of the thousand teamsters who were discharged from employment on the supply-trains. Many of these men belonged to the scum of the great Western cities, -- a class more dangerous, because more intelligent and reckless, than the same class of population in New York. Others had sought to reach California, not anticipating a state of hostilities which would bar their way. Now, thrown out of employment, with slender means, a great number became desperate. Hundreds attempted to return to the States on foot, some of whom died on the way, -- and nine-tenths of them would have perished, had they encountered the storms of the preceding winter among the mountains. But the majority hung around the camp. To some of these the Quartermaster was able to furnish work, but he was obviously incapable of affording this assistance to all. Thefts and assaults became frequent, and promised to multiply as the season advanced. To remedy this trouble, Colonel Johnston assumed the responsibility of organizing a volunteer battalion. The term of service for which the men enlisted was nine months. For their pay they were to depend on the action of Congress. The four companies which the battalion comprised selected for their commander an officer from the regular army, Captain Bee, of the Tenth Infantry.

    The organization of a District Court, by Judge Eckels, helped quite as essentially to enforce order. Its convicts were received by Colonel Johnston and committed to imprisonment in the guard-tents of the army. The grand jury, impanelled for the purposes of the court, were obliged to take cognizance of the rebellion, and, after thoroughly investigating the facts of the case, they returned bills of indictment against Brigham Young and sixty of his principal associates.

    During "the campaign of Ham's Fork," as Colonel Alexander's march up and down that stream was facetiously called by the Mormons, he had been in constant receipt of communications from Young, of a character similar to the letter in which the army was commanded to surrender its arms at Fort Bridger. This correspondence was now abruptly terminated by Colonel Johnston. Two messengers came to the camp from Salt Lake City at the beginning of December, escorted by a party of Mormon militia, and bringing four pack-mules loaded with salt, which a letter from Young offered as a present, with assurances that it was not poisoned. This letter contained, besides, certain threats concerning the treatment of prisoners, and reminded Colonel Johnston that the Mormons also had prisoners in their power, on whom anything which might befall those in camp should be retaliated. The Colonel returned no other answer to this epistle than to dismiss its bearers with their salt, informing them that he could accept no favors from traitors and rebels, and that any communication which they might in future hold with the army must be under a flag of truce, although as to the manner in which they might communicate with the Governor it was not within his province to prescribe. A week or two later, a thousand pounds of salt were forced through to the camp from Fort Laramie, thirty out of the forty-six mules on which it was packed perishing on the way.

    Thus the long and dreary winter commenced in the camp of the army of Utah. It mattered not that the rations were abridged, that communication with the States was interrupted, and that every species of duty at such a season, in such a region, was uncommonly severe. Confidence and even gayety were restored to the camp, by the consciousness that it was commanded by an officer whose intelligence was adequate to the difficulties of his position. Every additional hardship was cheerfully endured. As the animals failed, all the wood used in camp was obliged to be drawn a distance of from three to six miles by hand, but

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           375.

    there were few gayer spectacles than the long strings of soldiers hurrying the wagons over the crunching snow. They built great pavilions, decorated them with colors and stacks of arms, and danced as merrily on Christmas and New Year's Eves to the music of the regimental bands, as if they had been in cozy cantonments, instead of in a camp of fluttering canvas, more than seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. In the pavilion of the Fifth Infantry, there drooped over the company the flags which that regiment had carried, ten years before, up the sunny slopes of Chapultepec, and which were torn in a hundred places by the storm of bullets at Molinos del Rey.

    Meanwhile, how hearts were beating in the States with anxious apprehension for the safety of kindred and friends, those who felt that anxiety, and not those who were the objects of it, best know.

    Perhaps the disposition of the camp would have been more in harmony with the scenery and the season, if the army had dreamed that the administration, which had launched it so recklessly into circumstances of such privation and danger, was about to turn its labors and sufferings into a farce, and to claim the approval of the country for an act of mistaken clemency, which was, in reality, a grave political error.

    [To be continued.]


    Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 18, April, 1859.

    [p. 474]



    In the mean while Congress had assembled. The agitation on the subject of Slavery, far from being suppressed, or even overshadowed, burned more fiercely than ever before. The Pro-slavery faction in Kansas, stimulated by the constant support of the National Administration, was engaged in a final effort to maintain a supremacy over the affairs of that Territory which the current of immigration from the Free States had been steadily undermining. Against the will of nine-tenths of the population, it had framed, with a show of technical legality, a Constitution intended to perpetuate Slavery, which the Administration indorsed and presented to Congress with an urgent recommendation for the admission under it of Kansas as a State. In the commotion which these events excited

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           475.

    throughout the country, the transient gleam of importance which had attached to the Mormon War was almost extinguished. The people of the States no longer felt a much more vital interest in news from that remote region than in tidings from the rebellion in India or of the wars in China. Their attention, sympathies, and curiosity -- were all fastened upon the action of Congress with respect to Kansas, -- for therein, it was believed, were contained the germs of the political combinations for the Presidential election of 1860. The same listlessness with regard to affairs in Utah pervaded the Cabinet. All its prestige was staked on the result of the impending struggle in the House of Representatives over the Lecompton Constitution, and its energies were abstracted from every other subject, to be concentrated upon that alone.

    Just at this time, Mr. Thomas L. Kane, of Pennsylvania, -- son of the late Judge of the United States District Court for that State, and brother of the late Dr. Kane, the Arctic explorer, -- solicited the Administration for employment as a mediator between the Mormons and the Federal Government. Mr. Kane was one of the few persons of education and social standing who were well acquainted with Mormon history. He had visited them at Winter Quarters, in Iowa, during their exodus from Nauvoo, in the capacity of a commissioner to enlist the Mormon battalion which served in the Mexican War. During an illness which attacked him there, he was treated with an unremitting kindness, for which his gratitude has been proportionate. Belonging to a family whose members have been distinguished by strong traits of individuality, not to say eccentricity, from that moment forward he displayed a practical interest in the welfare of the sect. It is said that he became a convert to the religious doctrines of Mormonism. Whether this be true at all, and, if so, to what extent, it would he profitless at the present time to inquire. For the purposes of this narrative, it is sufficient to assert only, what is unchallenged, that he was a sincere admirer of the Mormons as a people, and for a long series of years had defended them from every reproach with a zeal which many of his friends thought inordinate.

    Its experience in Kansas had familiarized the Cabinet with the use of secret agents; but, nevertheless, the proposition of Mr. Kane was coldly received. After a brief correspondence, he started for California, in no capacity a representative of the government, if he himself is to be believed, but bearing letters from Mr. Buchanan indorsing his character as a gentleman, and exhorting Federal officials to render him such courtesies as were within their power. Having arrived at San Francisco, he journeyed southward to the lately abandoned Mormon settlement of San Bernardino, near Los Angeles, travelling under the assumed name of Osborne, and proclaiming his business to be the collection of specimens for an entomological society in Philadelphia. There his real name and purpose were detected, but he succeeded in obtaining transportation to Salt Lake City, where he arrived on the 25th of February, 1858, and was greeted by Young and Kimball, and the rest of the Mormon magnates, as an old and cherished friend.

    In the Annual Message of the President to Congress, his disposition to make every other issue subordinate to that of admitting Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution was manifest; and it influenced the tone of those paragraphs which treated of affairs in Utah. Notwithstanding the fact that the Mormons had committed every act of warfare against the United States short of taking life, Mr. Buchanan qualified his language concerning their conduct, stating, that, "unless Brigham Young should retrace his steps, the Territory of Utah will be in a state of open rebellion," but declining to accept the logical inference from his own expression, that the rebellion was at the time open and manifest. He recommended no further legislation concerning the matter than that four regiments

    476                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    should be added to the army, to supply the place of those which had been withdrawn from service in the East.

    It was evident that the purpose for which he had originally planned the expedition had failed. Forced, after all, no less by inclination than by circumstances, into such a revival of Slavery agitation as he had never contemplated during the interval between his election and inauguration, the Utah War only incumbered his administration, promoting neither its policy nor its prosperity. However it might result, it would not in the least advance his interests; and it became his opinion, that, the sooner it was quieted, the better for the welfare of the Democratic party, which would be held responsible by the country for all mistakes in its management. "After us the deluge," seemed to be adopted as the motto of the entire policy of the Administration.

    The only movement in Congress concerning Utah, before the New Year, was the introduction into the House of Representatives, by Mr. Warren of Arkansas, of a badly-worded resolution, prefaced by a worse-worded preamble, looking to the expulsion from the floor of Mr. Bernhisel, the Mormon delegate from the Territory. A lively discussion ensued concerning the question of privilege under which Mr. Warren claimed the right to introduce the resolution, -- and when it was ruled in order, much hesitation was evinced about adopting it, some members fearing that it would establish a dangerous precedent for emergencies that might arise in the future history of the country. The tone of debate showed that there was little difference of opinion in the House concerning Utah affairs, -- the unanimity, however, being due in great part to ignorance and indifference. The issue of Slavery in Kansas was absorbing. Mr. Warren's resolution was referred to the Committee on Territories, and slumbered upon their table through the whole session. The only other movement in Congress, which deserves mention in this connection, was the introduction, towards the close of January, by Senator Wilson of Massachusetts, of a joint resolution authorizing the appointment of commissioners to examine into the Mormon difficulties, "with a view to their adjustment." This was referred by the Senate to the Committee on Military Affairs, and was never heard of again.

    The recommendation of the President for an increase of the army secured favorable consideration from committees of both Houses, and the discussion which ensued, upon the bills reported for that purpose, was filled with allusions to the Utah question. Mr. Thompson of New York, and Mr. Boyce of South Carolina, both made elaborate speeches on the subject; but neither of them proposed any scheme for its solution. Such a scheme, however, was suggested by Mr. Blair of Missouri, who advised a reorganization of the Territorial government, in order to vest the legislative power in the Governor and the Judges, for which a precedent existed in the instance of the old Northwestern Territory; but no action was had upon this suggestion. Through the entire debate, Mr. Bernhisel remained silent. During the winter, the President conferred upon Colonel Johnston the brevet rank of Brigadier-General, believing that the uniform discretion he had manifested entitled him to promotion; and the nomination was confirmed by the Senate.

    While such were the transactions in Congress, the Mormons, in December, had organized a government like that under which they had hitherto subsisted. Their legislature -- the same which had been elected under the Organic Act of the Territory -- met at Salt Lake City on the second Monday of that month, in the hall of the Council House, and organized by the choice of Heber C. Kimball as President of the Council and John Taylor as Speaker of the House. Brigham Young retained the title and authority of Governor, and addressed to the legislature the customary annual message, reviewing the condition of the Territory. This document was prepared in reality by Taylor,

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           477.

    and was worded with considerable ingenuity. Not the slightest allusion was made to the declarations of independence that had been reiterated throughout the summer and autumn, but the relations of Utah to the United States were discussed as those of a Territory to the Union. The President was himself charged with treason in his action towards the Mormons, the Governor and Judges whom he had appointed were reviled as depraved and abandoned men, and the army was again proclaimed a mob, -- while Utah was lauded as the "most loyal Territory known since the days of the Revolution." The theory of Squatter-Sovereignty was the basis of the argument, and Mr. Buchanan was accused, and with some reason, of inconsistency in his application of that doctrine.

    In response to this message, the legislature passed a series of resolutions, pledging itself to sustain "His Excellency Governor Young" in every act he might perform or dictate "for the protection of the lives, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Territory," -- asserting that the President had incurred the "contempt and decided opposition of all good men," on account of the "act of usurped authority and oppression" of which he was guilty, in "forcing profane, drunken, and otherwise corrupt officials upon Utah at the point of the bayonet," -- expressing a determination to "continue to resist any attempt on the part of the Administration to bring the people into a state of vassalage by appointing, contrary to the Constitution, officers whom the people have neither voice nor vote in electing," -- avowing the purpose not to suffer "any persons appointed to office for Utah by the Administration either to qualify for, or assume, or discharge, within the limits of the Territory, the functions of the offices to which they have been appointed; so long as the Territory is menaced by an invading army," -- and declaring that the people of Utah would have their voice in the selection of their officers. These were sweet-scented blossoms to blow so early on the tree of Squatter-Sovereignty, at that time scarcely four years old!

    The only acts of the legislature were one disorganizing the County of Green River, in which the army was encamped, and attaching it for legislative and judicial purposes to Great Salt Lake County; another divesting the Governor of power to license the manufacture of ardent spirits, and conferring that authority upon the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; and several others in pursuance of the system of granting away large tracts of public domain to private persons, in direct contravention of a clause in the Organic Act of the Territory, which provides that "no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil." To these acts Brigham Young attached his signature as Governor, and affixed the Territorial seal.

    A Memorial to Congress was adopted also, which was transmitted to Washington, and received there and laid before the two Houses on the 16th of March. This document charged that the action of the National Government towards Utah was based upon the statements of "lying officials and anonymous letter-writers"; it rehearsed the history of the Mormons, -- their persecutions in Missouri and Illinois, -- and declared that the object of the Utah expedition was to inflict similar outrages. "Give us our constitutional rights," it said; "they are all we ask; and them we have a right to expect. For them we contend, and feel justified in so doing. We claim that we should have the privilege, as we have the constitutional right, to choose our own rulers and make our own laws without let or hindrance." Although this Memorial was nothing more than an infuriated tirade, it was honored in both Houses by reference to the Committees on Territories, from which it received all the consideration it deserved.

    Indifferent and inactive as this review shows Congress and the President to have been concerning Utah, a similar apathy was impossible in the War Department.

    478                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    Not only the welfare, but the lives even, of the troops at Fort Bridger, depended on its action. Transactions of such magnitude had not been incumbent on its bureaus since the Mexican War. The chief anxiety of General Johnston was for the transmission of supplies from the East as early as possible in the spring. The contractors for their transportation during the year 1857 had wintered several trains at Fort Laramie, together with oxen and teamsters. The General entertained a fear that so great a proportion of their stock might perish during the winter as to cripple their advance until fresh animals could be obtained from the States. Combined with this fear was an apprehension for the safety of Captain Marcy. A prisoner, whom the Mormons had captured in October on Ham's Fork, escaped from Salt Lake City at the close of December, and brought news to Camp Scott that they intended to fit out an expedition to intercept the command and stampede the herds with which that officer would move from New Mexico. The dispatches in which these anxieties were communicated to General Scott, together with suggestions for their relief, were intrusted in midwinter to a small party for conveyance to the States. The journey taught them what must have been the sufferings of the expedition which Captain Marcy led to Taos. Reduced at one time to buffalo-tallow and coffee for sustenance, there was not a day during the transit across the mountains when any stronger barrier than the lives of a few half-starved mules interposed between them and death by famine. All along the route lay memorials of the march of the army, and especially of Colonel Cooke's battalion, -- a trail of skeletons a thousand miles in length, gnawed bare by the wolves and bleaching in the snow, visible at every undulation in the drifts.

    But before the arrival of these dispatches at New York, the arrangements of the War Department to forward supplies to Utah had been completed. The representations of the contractors' agents with regard to the condition of the cattle at Fort Laramie were received without question, and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann, of the Sixth Infantry, was dispatched to that post to superintend the advance of the trains. Additional contracts, of an unprecedented character, were entered into for furnishing and transporting all the supplies which would be needed during the year 1858, both for the troops already in the Territory and for the reinforcements which were ordered to concentrate at Fort Leavenworth and march to Utah as soon as the roads should be passable. These reinforcements were about three thousand strong, comprising the First Cavalry, the Sixth and Seventh Infantry, and two artillery-batteries. The trains necessary for so large a force, in addition to that at Fort Bridger, it was estimated would comprise at least forty-five hundred wagons, requiring more than fifty thousand oxen, four thousand mules, and five thousand teamsters, wagon-masters, and other employes. To the shame of the Administration, these gigantic contracts, involving an amount of more than six million dollars, were distributed with a view to influence votes in the House of Representatives upon the Lecompton Bill. Some of the lesser ones, such as those for furnishing mules, dragoon-horses, and forage, were granted arbitrarily to relatives or friends of members who were wavering upon that question. The principal contract, that for the transportation of all the supplies, involving, for the year 1858, the amount of four millions and a half, was granted, without advertisement or subdivision, to a firm in Western Missouri, whose members had distinguished themselves in the effort to make Kansas a Slave State, and now contributed liberally to defray the election-expenses of the Democratic party.

    It was said to have been contemplated, for a while, during the winter, to operate against the Mormons from California, and to send General Scott to San Francisco to direct arrangements for the purpose;

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           479.

    but the project, if ever seriously entertained, was soon abandoned, it being evident that for the speedy subjugation of Utah the Missouri frontier furnished the only practicable base-line of operations.

    At Camp Scott, the winter dragged along wearily. Between November and March only two mails arrived there, and the great monetary crisis in the United States was unknown till months after it had subsided. The Mormons were constantly in possession of later intelligence from the States than the army; for, by a strange inconsistency, their mails to and from California were not interfered with. A brigade-guard was mounted daily at the camp larger than that of the whole American army on the eve of the battles before Mexico, and scouting parties were continually dispatched to scour the country in a circuit of thirty miles around Fort Bridger; for there was constant apprehension of an attempt by the Mormons to stampede the herds on Henry's Fork, if not to attack the regiment which guarded them. No tidings arrived from Captain Marcy, and a most painful apprehension prevailed as to his fate. At the close of January, Dr. Hurt, the Indian Agent, after consultation with General Johnston, started from the camp, accompanied only by four Pah-Utahs, and crossed the Uinta Mountains, through snow drifted twenty feet deep, to the villages of the tribe of Uinta-Utahs, on the river of the same name. It was his intention, in case of need, to employ these Indians to warn Captain Marcy of danger and afford him relief. It proved to be unnecessary to do so, and Dr. Hurt returned in April; but the hardships he endured in the undertaking resulted in an illness which threatened his life for weeks. On the 13th of March, an express had come in from New Mexico, bringing news of the safe arrival of Captain Marcy at Taos on the 22d of January. The sufferings of his whole party from cold and hunger had been severe. Their provisions failed them, and they had recourse to mule-meat. Many of the men were badly frost-bitten, but only one perished on the journey.

    On the previous evening, -- March 12th, -- the monotony of the camp had been unexpectedly disturbed by the arrival, from the direction of Salt Lake City, of a horseman completely exhausted by fatigue and cold, who proved to be no other than Mr. Kane, whose mission to the Mormons by way of California was at that time totally unknown to the army. The next morning he introduced himself to the Governor, was received as his guest, and remained in conference with him throughout the day. What was the character of their communication is unknown, except by inference from its results. When presented to Judge Eckels, on the following day, Mr. Kane exhibited to him the letters he bore from the President, and other letters, also, from Brigham Young, accrediting him as a negotiator in the existing difficulties. To General Johnston he showed nothing; nor did the Governor, to the knowledge of the camp, acquaint either that officer or any other person with the purport of his business. It was evident to everybody, however, that the Mormon leaders, conscious of their inability to resist the force by which they would be assailed so soon as the snow should melt upon the mountains, were engaged in an effort, of which Mr. Kane was the agent, to secure through the Governor, if possible, indemnity for their past offences, in consideration of acknowledgment of his authority.

    The domestic condition of the people of the Valley confirmed the belief that this was the purpose of Mr. Kane's mission. Dependent as they had always been, since their settlement in Utah, upon Eastern merchants for an annual supply of groceries, dry goods, wearing-apparel of all descriptions, and every article of luxury, their stock of some of even the necessaries of life -- such as coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, calicoes, boots and shoes, stationery -- was at this time nearly exhausted. Many of the poorer families were actually half naked, and, to supply

    480                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    them with covering, an ecclesiastical mandate had been issued, directing all persons who had spare clothing of any description to deposit it at the tithing-office in Salt Lake City, to be there exchanged for grain and cattle with those who were in need.

    At the commencement of the rebellion, the Mormon settlements in Southern California had been broken up, and all the missionaries of the Church were summoned to return from foreign lands. The influx of population from these sources, though slight, yet increased the destitution. Almost all the people, too, had been withdrawn from productive employments throughout the autumn and winter. Although the number of militia kept under arms, after the formation of the camp at Fort Bridger, probably at no time reached fifteen hundred, while in October and November it had exceeded three thousand, still the fever of excitement which raged through the community distracted its members from any hearty labor. Great quantities of winter-wheat, to be sure, had been sown, and the fields were prepared for cultivation during the coming summer; but no public improvements were prosecuted, and everybody was prepared for such an exodus as had been predicted to Captain Van Vliet.

    The complete subserviency of the people to the hierarchy was never more strikingly manifest than in a financial scheme which Brigham Young devised at this time. Among the Mormons there had always been a quantity of gold coin in circulation, much exceeding, in proportion to their number, the amount circulating in any other portion of America. This was owing to the fact, that the Church had unconstitutionally arrogated to itself the prerogative of coining and regulating the value of money. The Mormon battalion which had been enlisted at Winter Quarters in Iowa was disbanded in California at the close of the Mexican War, and most of its members went to the gold-diggings. The treasures they there accumulated were conveyed to Utah, where the Church established a mint and coined gold pieces of $2.50, $5, $10, and $20. The device on the obverse was two hands clasped in one of the grips of the Endowment; on the reverse, a figure from the Book of Mormon, with the motto, "Holiness to the Lord." The intrinsic value of these coins being more than ten per cent less than their denominations, they were all retained within the Territory. Young now prevailed upon his people to surrender whatever gold and silver they possessed, amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, and accept in return the notes of a banking association of which he himself was president and one of his numerous sons-in-law cashier. These notes were redeemable, in amounts of not less than one hundred dollars, in live stock, the appraisement of the value of which rested with the officers of the association. So absolute was the degradation and ignorance of the population, that they submitted to this extortion without a murmur.

    Mr. Kane had remained in Salt Lake City eight days before starting towards Fort Bridger, -- a period quite long enough for a trusted friend of the Mormon leaders to ascertain the extremities to which the people were reduced. To secure the safety of those leaders who were under indictment for treason, there was no choice except between flight and inducing the Federal authorities to temporize. Both he and they were conscious that the advance of the army could not be successfully resisted, when the snow should cease to bar its way. In case of the flight of the leaders, or of a general exodus of the population, only two courses lay open to them, -- northward toward the British Possessions, southward toward the provinces of Upper Mexico.

    The first two days of Mr. Kane's sojourn in camp satisfied him of the cooperation of Governor Cumming in a plan for temporizing, as well as of the impossibility of enlisting General Johnston or Judge Eckels in any such scheme. An imaginary affront, to which he believed

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           481.

    himself at this time to have been subjected by the General, led him into a course of action which, had it been followed out, might have terminated his mission abruptly. Considering the fact that he was within the guard-lines of a military encampment, in a country where a state of warfare existed, it was perhaps too great forbearance on the part of the General not to have required to be informed of his business, since he himself volunteered no explanation. An invitation to dinner being dispatched to him from head-quarters, -- and such an invitation was no slight compliment in a camp where the rations were so abridged, -- the orderly to whom it was intrusted for delivery, whether maliciously or not it does not appear, pretended to have mistaken his directions, and proceeded to place him under arrest. The mistake, when discovered, was of course immediately rectified; but Mr. Kane became so excited in consequence, that, with the assent of the Governor, he indited a challenge to the General, and applied to a gentleman from Virginia to act as his second. Having received a decided rebuff in that quarter, he was induced to abandon the design by the interposition of Judge Eckels, who became acquainted with what was passing, and informed the Governor that he had ordered the United States Marshal to arrest all the parties concerned, in case another step should be taken in the affair. It was not till some time afterwards that these transactions came to the knowledge of General Johnston.

    Mr. Kane remained with the Governor until April, absenting himself once, however, for a day, in order to hold a secret interview with a party of Mormons who had come into the vicinity of the camp. Notwithstanding his presence, no precaution to protect the herds was neglected, nor was the guard-duty at all relaxed. On the 18th of March, although a furious snow-storm raged all day long, the encampment was moved down Black's Fork to the immediate neighborhood of Fort Bridger, -- a spot less sheltered, but far more secure from attack. On the 3d of April, an event occurred for which everybody was prepared. The Governor announced to General Johnston his intention to proceed to Salt Lake City in company with Mr. Kane; and on the 5th, they started upon the journey.

    The District Court commenced its spring term at Fort Bridger the same day. In his charge to the grand jury, Judge Eckels was explicit on the subject of polygamy, instructing them substantially as follows: That among the Territorial statutes there was no act legalizing polygamy, nor any act affixing a definite punishment to that practice as such; that, consequently, whether the old Spanish law or the Common Law constituted the basis of jurisprudence in the Territory, the definition of marriage recognized by both was to be received there, which limited that institution to the union of one man with one woman, and also the definition of adultery common to both, by which that crime consisted in the cohabitation of either the man or the woman with a third party; that among the Territorial statutes there was an act affixing a definite punishment to adultery, and accordingly that it was the duty of the grand jury to inquire whether that act had been infringed by parties liable to their inquisition. * No indictment, however, was returned

    * As this charge has become of great importance in the affairs of the Territory, we subjoin the precise language of that portion of it which refers to polygamy: --

    "It cannot be concealed, gentlemen, that certain domestic arrangements exist in this Territory destructive of the peace, good order, and morals of society, -- arrangements at variance with those of all enlightened and Christian communities in the world; and sapping as they do the very foundation of all virtue, honesty, and morality, it is an imperative duty falling upon you as grand jurors diligently to inquire into this evil and make every effort to check its growth. It is well known that all of the inhabited portion of this Territory was acquired by treaty from Mexico. By the law of Mexico polygamy was prohibited in this country, and the municipal law in this respect remained unaltered by its cession to the United States. Has it been altered since

    482                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    for the offence; neither were any proceedings had upon the indictments for treason. The business of the court was restricted to such crimes as larceny, and assault and battery, among the heterogeneous mass of camp-followers.

    At the distance of a few miles from Fort Bridger, the Governor and Mr. Kane were received by a Mormon guard. At various points on their journey squads of militia were encountered, and in Echo Canon there was a command of several hundred. The Big Mountain, which the road crosses twenty miles from Salt Lake City, was covered so deep with snow, that the party was obliged to follow the canons of the Weber River into the Valley. Upon arriving at the city, on the 12th of April, the Governor was installed in the house of a Mr. Staines, one of the adopted sons of Brigham Young, and was soon after waited upon by Young himself, in company with numerous ecclesiastical dignitaries. The Territorial seal was tendered to him, and he was recognized to his full satisfaction in his official capacity. He remained more than three weeks. Except fugitive statements in newspapers, the only connected account of his proceedings is from his own pen, and consists of two official letters, -- one addressed to General Johnston, under date of April 15th, the other to the Secretary of State at Washington, dated May 2d. The former merely announces his arrival, reception, and recognition, transmits charges against Dr. Hurt, of having excited the Uinta Indians to acts of hostility against the Mormons, and suggests that he should desire a detachment of the army to be dispatched to chastise that tribe, but a requisition for that purpose was made neither then nor subsequently. The letter to Secretary Cass states that his time was devoted to examining the public property of the United States which was in the city, -- the records of the courts, the Territorial library, the maps and minutes of the Surveyor General, -- and exculpates the Mormons, in great part, from the charge of having injured or embezzled it.

    During his stay, information was communicated to him, that there was a number of persons who were desirous of leaving the Territory, but unable to do so, considering themselves restrained of their liberty. Accordingly, on the following Sunday, he caused notice to be given from the platform in the Tabernacle, that he assumed the protection of all such persons, and desired them to communicate to him their names and residences. During the ensuing week, nearly two hundred persons registered themselves in the manner he proposed, and a greater number would undoubtedly have been glad to follow their example, but were deterred by the surveillance to which they were subjected by certain functionaries of the Church before being admitted to his presence. Those who were registered were organized into trains, with the little movable property they possessed, and dispatched towards Fort Bridger. They arrived there in the course of May, -- as motley, ragged, and destitute a crowd as ever descended from the deck of an Irish emigrant-ship at New York or Boston. The only garments which some possessed were made of the canvas of their wagon-covers.

    we acquired it? After a most diligent search and inquiry, I have not been able to find that any such change has been made: and presuming that this law remains unchanged by legislation, all marriages after the first are by this law illegal and void. If you are then satisfied that such is the fact, your next duty is to inquire by what law in force in this Territory are such practices punishable. There is no law in this Territory punishing polygamy, but there is one, however, for the punishment of adultery; and all illegal intercourse between the sexes, if either party have a husband or wife living at the time, is adulterous and punishable by indictment. No consequences in which a large proportion of this people may be involved in consequence of this criminal practice will deter you from a fearless discharge of your duty. It is yours to find the facts and to return indictments, without fear, favor, affection, reward, or any hope thereof. The law was made to punish the lawless and disobedient, and society is entitled to the salutary effects of its execution."

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           483.

    Many were on foot. For provisions, they had nothing except flour and some fresh meat. It is a fact creditable to humanity, that private soldiers, by the score, shared their own abridged rations and scanty stock of clothing with these poor wretches, and in less than a day after their arrival they were provided with much to make them comfortable.

    On that same Sunday, the Governor made a speech to the congregation, being introduced by Brigham Young. He reviewed the relations of the Mormons to the Federal government; assumed that General Johnston and the army were under his control; pledged his word that they should not be stationed in immediate contact with the settlements; and gave assurances, also, that no military posse should be employed to arrest a Mormon until every other means had been tried and had failed. At the close, he invited any of their number to respond. Various persons immediately addressed the audience in almost frantic speeches, concerning the murder of Joseph and Hiram Smith at Carthage, the persecution of the Saints in Missouri and Illinois, the services rendered by the Mormon Battalion to an ungrateful country during the Mexican War, the toils and perils of the migration to Utah, and the character of the Federal officers who had been sent to rule the Territory. Personal insults were heaped upon the Governor, and a scene of the wildest confusion was the result, which was quieted with great difficulty by Young himself. It was manifest that the mass of the people, overconfident of their capacity to resist the troops, were not fully prepared for the capitulation the leaders were willing to make to save their own necks from the halter; and, at a second meeting during the afternoon, Young yielded somewhat to the popular clamor.

    All this while, a movement of a most extraordinary character was being carried on, which had commenced before the Governor entered the Valley. The people of the northern settlements, along the base of the Wahsatch Mountains, including Salt Lake City, were deserting their homes, abandoning houses, crops, and their heavier furniture, and migrating southward. Long wagon-trains were sweeping through the city every day, accompanied by hundreds of families, and droves of horses and cattle. A fair estimate of the entire Mormon population of Utah is about forty-five thousand. Of this number, ten thousand is the proportion of the towns north of Salt Lake City, and upward of fifteen thousand that of the city itself and the settlements in its immediate neighborhood. Considerably more than half the people of the Territory, therefore, shared in this emigration. What was its object and what its destination are still mysteries; but it was probably directed toward the mountain-ranges in the southwestern portion of the Great Basin, of the topography of which region--hitherto unvisited by Federal explorers--the Mormons undoubtedly possess accurate information. At any rate, it was initiated and conducted under the direction of the Church, and Young and Kimball were among the first to lead the way. Commencing late in March, it continued until June, and before the beginning of May more than thirty-five thousand people were concentrated on the western shore of Lake Utah, chiefly in the neighborhood of Provo, fifty miles south of Salt Lake City. Such a scene of squalid misery, such a spectacle of want and distress, was never before witnessed in America. More than half this multitude could not be accommodated in the towns, and lodged in board-shanties, wigwams, mud-huts, log-cabins, bowers of willow-branches covered with wagon-sheets, and even in holes dug into the hill-sides. The most common quarters, however, were made by removing a wagon-body from its wheels, placing it upon the ground, and erecting in front of it a bower of cedars. It is needless to dwell on the exasperation which animated all who submitted to these sacrifices. In the history of the Albigenses hunted through Languedoc, or of the Jews writhing under the Spanish

    484                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    Inquisition, a record of similar bitterness of feeling may be found, but its parallel does not exist outside the annals of religious persecution.

    Governor Cumming returned to Fort Bridger during the second week in May, still accompanied by Mr. Kane, and also by a party of Mormons who intended to escort the latter to Missouri. Upon his arrival, he addressed a letter to General Johnston, stating, officially, that the people of Utah had acknowledged his authority, and that the roads between the camp and Salt Lake City were free for the transit of mails and passengers, the Mormon forces having withdrawn from the canons, and none of the Territorial militia remaining under arms except with his consent and approbation. A day or two later, Mr. Kane bade him farewell and started toward the States, his mission having been completed.

    It may be well to pause here and estimate its precise results. It had secured delay. The herds on Henry's Fork had thriven better than was expected, and toward the close of April the number of mules in working condition was sufficient to have dragged a train of two hundred wagons. The dragoon-horses which survived could have been assigned to the artillery-batteries, and the regiment have served as infantry. With this equipment, slight though it may appear, a rapid movement upon the Valley was possible; and whatever may have been the opinion during the previous autumn, it was the universal opinion in the spring that the force at Camp Scott could have routed any body of militia that might have opposed its advance, although, perhaps, it was not sufficient to subjugate the Territory, in case the Mormons should flee to the mountains. Provisions, also, were running low in the camp. The ration of flour had been further reduced. All the cattle had been slaughtered, and there was every prospect of recourse to mule-meat before the first of June. Everything, therefore, favored the plan of an early march toward the city; and it is certain that it would have been commenced without awaiting reinforcements from the States, had not the Governor's scheme for pacification intervened. Distrustful of its expediency or propriety though General Johnston might have been, he deemed it his duty to await its result. Neither he nor the Governor being supreme in the direction of affairs, it was the duty of each to defer so far as might be to the action of the other.

    In the next place, Mr. Kane's interposition had produced an irreconcilable difference of opinion between the civil and the military authority. This is evident from what has already been stated, and there is no need to confirm the fact by argument. The Governor returned to Fort Bridger in May, believing the Mormons to be an injured people, whose cause was in the main just. But his position was full of difficulties. He had been recognized in his official character, it is true; but he was conscious that every Mormon acknowledged a political influence superior to his own, which was directing the emigration southward, and leaving him Governor of empty villages and deserted fields. The only hope he entertained of checking this exodus was by quashing the indictments for treason which had been found against the Mormon leaders, and by insuring them against contact with the troops. The first he was powerless to effect; it was a matter beyond his control, -- solely within the cognizance of the courts. The second he had assumed to be within his power, and had so assured the Mormons; but there he was at variance with General Johnston, who denied his claim to absolute authority over the movements of the army.

    Unknown, however, to the parties who were agitating these perplexing questions, a superior power had already intervened and solved the difficulty. On the 6th of April, the President had signed a Proclamation, at Washington, rehearsing to the people of Utah Territory, at considerable length, their past offences, and particularly those which immediately preceded and followed the outbreak of the rebellion, and declaring them traitors;

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           485.

    but, "in order to save the effusion of blood, and to avoid the indiscriminate punishment of a whole people for crimes of which it is not probable that all are equally guilty," offering "a free and full pardon to all who will submit themselves to the authority of the Federal Government." This document was intrusted to two Commissioners for conveyance to the Territory; -- one of them, Mr. L.W. Powell, lately Governor, and at the time Senator-elect, of the State of Kentucky; the other, Major Ben M'Culloch, of Texas, who had served with distinction in Mexico. In their appointment, Mr. Buchanan imitated the example of President Washington, who designated a similar commission to convey his proclamation to the whiskey-insurgents in Pennsylvania.

    The reinforcements and supply-trains for the army were at this time concentrating at Fort Leavenworth, Major-General Persifer F. Smith was assigned to the command-in-chief, and it was intended that the whole force, after concentration in Utah, should be divided into two brigades, one to be commanded by General Harney, the other by General Johnston. Leaving the columns preparing to advance over the Plains, the Commissioners started from the Fort on the 25th of April. On the same day, Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann advanced from Fort Laramie with several companies of infantry and cavalry, escorting the supply-trains which were parked there through the winter, and on the speedy arrival of which at Camp Scott the subsistence of General Johnston's command depended, unless it should force its way into the Valley. On the 1st of May, he had reached La Bonte, a tributary of the North Platte, fifty miles from the Fort. There he encountered the severest storm that had occurred in that region for many years. The snow fell breast-deep, and was followed by a pelting rain which killed his mules by scores. He was forced to remain stationary more than a week, and when he renewed the march the trains were clogged by mud foot-deep.

    The Commissioners reached Camp Scott on the 29th of May. The President's Proclamation had been received the day before. With the exception of a few persons who were prepared for such a document by reflection on Mr. Kane's mission, everybody was astonished at its purport. It seemed incredible that a lenity should have been extended to the Mormon rebels which was refused to the Free-State men in Kansas, who were once indicted for treason and sedition, -- and equally incredible that all the advantages for the solution of the Utah problem which had been gained by the rising of the Mormons in arms should be thrown away. There was none of the bloodthirsty excitement in the camp which was reported in the States to have prevailed there, but there was a feeling of infinite chagrin, a consciousness that the expedition was only a pawn on Mr. Buchanan's political chess-board; and reproaches against his folly were as frequent as they were vehement. Had he excepted from the amnesty the Mormon leaders, who alone had been indicted, the Proclamation might have been considered an act of judicious clemency; for that exception would have accomplished every object that could be desired. As it was, it annihilated all that had been gained by the enormous expenditures and the toils and sufferings of the past year, and it sentenced the army to an indefinite term of imprisonment in an American Siberia. For the sake of ridding the Administration of immediate trouble, it turned the Church leaders loose again upon the community, purged of all offence, and postponed to a future day a terrible issue, the ultimate avoidance of which is impossible. "After us the deluge," was still the motto of the President and his Cabinet.

    At the camp the Commissioners remained only three days, which they employed in obtaining accurate information concerning the transactions of the last three months; for when they started from Missouri, no news of the result of Mr. Kane's mission had reached the frontier.

    486                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    On the 2d of June, they started for the Valley, intending to summon the leading Mormons to an interview, and receive their formal acceptance of the terms of the Proclamation, -- of which, of course, there could be no doubt. They were accompanied by the postmaster of Salt Lake City, with the mails for the Mormons, which had been detained at the camp since the commencement of the rebellion. The Governor and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs followed them the next day. The rest of the Federal officers refused to join the party, or to make any movement based on a supposed capitulation of the Mormons, until their submission should be perfected. There were many circumstances attending the departure of the Governor which showed that he was doubtful of the stability of the positions he had been led by Mr. Kane to assume. He expressed himself distrustful of the cooperation of the Commissioners in his plan for pacifying the Territory; and he protested vehemently against allowing persons to accompany the party in order to report for the press the proceedings at the expected conferences. Every day made it more and more evident that he had committed himself to the Mormons farther than he cared to acknowledge.

    Before the Commissioners left the camp, they urged General Johnston not to delay the advance of the army one moment beyond the time when he should be ready and desire to march. On the 8th of June, Captain Marcy arrived at the Fort with a herd of nearly fifteen hundred mules and horses, and an escort of five companies of infantry and mounted riflemen. He left the village of Rayado, on the Canadian River, in New Mexico, on the 17th of March, and, instead of retracing the route pursued on his winter journey, which had led him near the sources of Grand River, one of the great forks of the Colorado, he returned along the eastern base of the Rocky Mountain range past Long's and Pike's Peaks. When he had reached Fontaine-qui-bouille Creek, an express overtook him from General Garland, who commanded the Department of New Mexico, enjoining him to halt and await reinforcements. There he camped more than three weeks. Renewing his progress, he was overtaken, on the 29th of April, by the same snowstorm which was so disastrous to Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann on La Bonte. It was accompanied by a furious wind, the force of which there was nothing to break. Snow fell to the depth of three feet, and, at the very height of the storm, a part of the mule herd stampeded and ran fifty miles before the wind, for shelter. When the march was resumed, after an interval of several days, hundreds of antelopes were found frozen and buried in the drifts, -- a circumstance almost unparalleled among the mountains. With this exception, nothing occurred to obstruct the march. Captain Marcy brought with him specimens of sand from many of the tributaries of the South Platte, which were found, on analysis, to contain particles of gold; and within two months after he gathered them, the same discovery, confirmed by others, originated the emigration to that region, the progress of which now promises the speedy birth of another Free State in the very heart of the continent. On the 9th and 10th, Colonel Hoffmann reached the camp with all his supply-trains; and on the following day, General Johnston issued the welcome order to prepare for the march to Salt Lake City. A strong detachment of infantry and artillery was detailed to garrison Fort Bridger.

    On the 13th of June, the long camp was broken up, and the army moved forward in three columns on the route through the canons. Although the season was so far advanced, snow had fallen at the Fort only three days before. The streams were swollen and turbulent with spring floods, and difficulty was anticipated in crossing the Bear and Weber Rivers. Material for bridging had, therefore, been prepared, and accompanied the first column. Southwest of the Fort, at the distance of four or five miles, a singular

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           487.

    butte, the top of which is as level as the floor of a ball-room, rises to the height of eight hundred feet above the valley of Black's Fork, and commands a view of the entire broad plateau between the Wind River and the Uinta and Wahsatch Ranges. Little parties of horsemen could be seen spurring up the gullies on its almost precipitous sides, to witness from its summit the departure of the army. The scene was in the highest degree picturesque. Almost at their feet lay the camp, the few tents which remained unstruck glittering like bright dots on the wing of an insect, the whitewashed wall of the Fort reflecting the sunshine, while stacks of turf chimneys, lodge-poles, and rubbish marked the spots where the encampment had been abandoned. The whole valley was in commotion. Along the strips of road were winding clumsy baggage-trains; the regiment of dragoons was trailing in advance; the gleam of the musket-barrels of the infantry was visible on all sides; and every puff of the breeze that blew over the bluff was freighted with the rumble of artillery-carriages and caissons. Here and there were groups of half-naked Indians galloping to and fro, with fluttering blankets, gazing at the show with the curiosity and delight of children.

    The traveller who terminates his westward journey at Fort Bridger has entered only the portal of the Rocky Mountains. Along the interval between there and the Valley of the Great Lake, there is a panorama of mountain-scenery that cannot be surpassed in the Tyrol. For miles and miles in the gorges, at the season of the year when they were traversed by the army, the road winds through thickets of alders and willows and hawthorn-bushes, whose branches interlace and hang so low, under their load of leaves and blossoms, as to sweep the backs of horsemen. Through the interstices of the foliage, the sandstone cliffs that bound the canons are seen surrounded by flocks of twittering birds which build their nests in the crevices of the rock. The ridges which the road surmounts between canon and canon are covered with fields of luxuriant grass and flowers, in the midst of which patches of snow still linger. From them, in the clear noon sunshine, the broken line of the Wahsatch and Uinta Ranges is visible along the horizon; but through the morning and evening haze, only the tracery of their white crests can be discerned. The valleys of the Bear and Weber Rivers are peculiarly beautiful, the latter almost realizing the dream of the Valley of Rasselas. Corrugated and snow-capped ridges slope backward from the spectator, on whichever side he turns, until he wonders how and where the swift river, rushing under its canopy of rustling cotton-woods, finds a pathway through them.

    It was into scenery like this that the troops advanced, speculating, along each day's march, upon what obstacles they would have encountered, had they attempted to reach the Valley during the winter. On the 14th, an express from the Commissioners arrived at the camp on Bear River, announcing that no resistance would be made by the Mormons, who pledged themselves to submit to Federal authority. It was suggested, at the same time, to General Johnston, that they apprehended ill-treatment from the army, which might feel an exasperation natural after the privations to which it had been subjected during the winter. To reassure them, the General immediately issued and forwarded to Salt Lake City a proclamation, informing them that no one should be "molested in his person or rights, or in the peaceful pursuit of his avocations." On the same day, Governor Cumming issued a proclamation announcing the "restoration of peace to the Territory."

    The Commissioners had reached the city on the 7th. They were received there by the Mormon officers who commanded the few companies of militia which constituted the garrison, and were conducted to a restaurant, where meals were provided for them, but no lodgings; and accordingly they slept in their ambulances. The place was deserted by everybody

    488                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    except the garrison and a few individuals who were busily removing their property. Besides these, the only beings visible in the streets were here and there groups of half-naked Indian boys paddling in the gutters. Almost the only sound audible was the gurgling of the City Creek. Through the chinks of the heavy wooden portal of the Temple square, workmen were to be seen engaged in demolishing the roofs of the buildings within the inclosure. Over the windows of all the houses boards were nailed; the doors were locked; the gates closed; and in many of the gardens, crops of weeds were beginning to choke the flower-beds. From some of the houses of the more enthusiastic Saints all the wood-work was removed, leaving nothing standing except the bare adobe walls, while a few had been burned to the ground. In front of the tithing-office, a train of wagons was loading with grain for removal to Provo.

    The Governor arrived on the 8th, and was conducted at once to the quarters he had occupied on his previous visit. The next day, he, together with the Commissioners, held an interview with the two messengers who had been sent up from Provo by Brigham Young. They returned to Lake Utah that same night, and on the 10th, about noon, Young, Kimball, and Wells, together with the Twelve Apostles, and twenty or thirty Bishops, High Priests, and Elders, embracing almost all the influential characters in the Church, rode into the city. Brigham's mansion was thrown open and the party dined there. They called afterwards in a body upon the Governor and the Commissioners, and made arrangements for a conference on the following day.

    The President's pardon had reached the Mormon settlements along Lake Utah on the 6th, and the manner in which it was received by the populace showed that they were not satisfied with the position of their leaders. It was read from the steps of the tithing-offices, and at the street-corners, to crowds who denounced in the fiercest language the recital of facts set forth in its preamble. The excitement, which had been steadily fostered by Young and Kimball ever since the commencement of the rebellion, had amounted to a frenzy which no authority less potent than such a hierarchy as theirs could possibly have controlled. Nevertheless, the morning Brigham rode into Salt Lake City, the capitulation had been preordained.

    The conferences lasted through the 11th and 12th, the inflexibility of the Commissioners securing decency of language from the Mormons, if not decency of demeanor. All the participants, including Young himself, expressed their sentiments in turn. The opening speech was made by one of the Apostles, named Erastus Snow, who forgot for the moment that he was not addressing a congregation of his brethren on a Sunday morning, and indulged in a strain of obscene and profane remark which was checked at once by Senator Powell. Some of the speakers broke into savage tirades like those with which Governor Cumming was once greeted in the Tabernacle; but these were checked by Young. There were two subjects on which the Mormon leaders were particularly anxious, all fear of their own trial for treason being removed. They dreaded that the army should be quartered upon their settlements, and that the policy inaugurated by Judge Eckels in his recent charge to the grand jury at Fort Bridger should be pursued against polygamy. No assurances were given by the Commissioners upon either of these subjects. They limited their action to tendering the President's pardon, and exhorting the Mormons to accept it. Outside the conferences, however, without the knowledge of the Commissioners, assurances were given on both these subjects by the Governor and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which proved satisfactory to Brigham Young. The exact nature of their pledges will, perhaps, never be disclosed; but from subsequent confessions volunteered by the Superintendent,

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           489.

    who appears to have acted as a tool of the Governor through the whole affair, it seems probable that they promised explicitly to exert their influence to quarter the army in Cache Valley, nearly a hundred miles north of Salt Lake City, and also to procure the removal of Judge Eckels. The news of the issue of the order for the advance of the army reached the city on the 12th, and accelerated the result of the conferences, which concluded that evening with a pledge on the part of Young and his associates to submit unconditionally to the Federal authority. During the next few days, the Commissioners, accompanied by the Governor, travelled southward, and addressed large audiences at Provo and Lehi, specially exhorting the people to return to their homes in the northern settlements, assuring them that the troubles were ended, and that they need fear no molestation of person or property.

    Whether all these proceedings -- which were legitimate results of Mr. Buchanan's policy -- were consistent with the honor of the country, the public can judge for themselves. The Commissioners certainly conducted themselves with dignity and credit; but it is doubtful whether they ever would have accepted their appointment, had they anticipated the nature of the duties they would be required to perform.

    The army moved slowly forward during the progress of these negotiations. In Echo Canyon, it had an opportunity to inspect the bugbear of the previous autumn, -- the Mormon fortifications. As the canyon -- which is more than twenty miles long -- approaches the Weber River, it dwindles in width from five or six hundred yards to as many feet. Its northern side becomes a perfect wall of rock, which rises perpendicularly to the height of several hundred feet above the road. The southern side retains the character of a steep mountain-slope covered with grass and stunted bushes. Echo Creek, a narrow streamlet, with its dense fringe of willows, fills the whole bottom between the road and the bluffs. The first indication of approach to the fortifications was the sight of piles of stones heaped into walls four or five feet high, pierced with loopholes, and visible on every projecting point of the cliffs along the northern side, from most of which a pebble could be snapped down upon the road. Just beyond, after turning a bend in the canyon, all the willows along the creek had been cut away, and through the cleared space a ditch five or six feet wide and ten feet deep was dug across the bottom. The dirt thrown from it was packed so as to form an embankment, on which logs were so arranged that it would answer for a breastwork, behind which riflemen could be posted under cover. At intervals of about a hundred yards were two similar lines of ditch and breastwork, by the first of which the road was forced to skirt the very base of a cliff which had probably been mined. The other line was constructed just above the mouths of two narrow gorges which enter the canyon, nearly opposite one another, from the north and south. By the aid of these dams the canon might possibly have been overflowed for half a mile to the depth of several feet, but the water would have accumulated slowly on account of the insignificant size of the creek. Several dirt walls stretched also across the gorges, commanding the whole of the fortifications below. This whole system of defences possessed as little strength as merit. It served only to confirm the impression, which by this time had become general, that the capacity of the Mormons to resist the army had been greatly overrated, and that a vigorous effort to penetrate to the Valley early in the spring would inevitably have succeeded.

    For nearly a mile beyond the two gorges, a chain of low hills, over which the road runs, extends below the loftier summits on the southern side of the canon. The northern side becomes, in consequence, a deep glen, as the cliffs which form its wall rise abruptly from the level of the creek. This glen is filled with bushes, and in it, thus protected from

    490                           The Utah Expedition.                           [April.

    the wind, the Mormon militia had their winter-quarters. The huts they occupied had been constructed by digging circular holes in the ground, over which were piled boughs in the same manner as the poles of an Indian lodge. Around these boughs willow-twigs were plaited, and the entire hut was finally thatched with straw, grass, or bark. Many of them had chimneys built of sod and stones, like those which had been improvised at Camp Scott. An open spot, a few hundred feet below the beginning of the glen, was the site of the head-quarters of the command. Here the huts were built around a square, in the centre of which was planted a tall pine flag-pole. The scenery at this point is exceedingly picturesque. Out of a tangle of willows, alders, hawthorn, and wild cherry-trees spring the bold sandstone cliffs, in every crevice of which cedars and fir-trees cling to the jagged points of rock. On the other side of the canon a sheet of rich verdure, all summer long, rolls up the mountain to its very summit. Down the glen ripples the little creek underneath an arch of fragrant shrubs twined with the slender tendrils of wild hop-vines. The whole number of huts was about one hundred and fifty, and they could accommodate, on an average, fifteen men apiece.

    The troops did not emerge from Emigration Canon into the Salt Lake Valley until the morning of the 26th. In the mean while, thirty or forty civilians had reached the city from the camp, and were quartered, like the Commissioners, in their own vehicles. The Mormons favored no one, except the Governor and his intimate associates, with any species of accommodation. Their demeanor was in every respect like that of a conquered people toward foreign invaders. During the week preceding the 26th, two or three hundred of those on Lake Utah received permission to go up to the city, and they alone, of the whole Mormon community, witnessed the ingress of the army.

    It was one of the most extraordinary scenes that have occurred in American history. All day long, from dawn till after sunset, the troops and trains poured through the city, the utter silence of the streets being broken only by the music of the military bands, the monotonous tramp of the regiments, and the rattle of the baggage-wagons. Early in the morning, the Mormon guard had forced all their fellow-religionists into the houses, and ordered them not to make their appearance during the day. The numerous flags, which had been flying from staffs on the public buildings during the previous week, were all struck. The only visible groups of spectators were on the corners near Brigham Young's residence, and consisted almost entirely of Gentile civilians. The stillness was so profound, that, during the intervals between the passage of the columns, the monotonous gurgle of the city-creek struck on every ear. The Commissioners rode with the General's staff. The troops crossed the Jordan and encamped two miles from the city on a dusty meadow by the river-bank.

    The orders under which General Johnston was acting directed him to establish not more than three military posts within the Territory. One of these was already fixed at Fort Bridger, and the question where the others should be located was now no less important to the Mormons than to the army. The secret of the success of Mormonism is its exclusiveness, and of this fact the leaders of the sect are fully aware. Accordingly, they now put forth most strenuous efforts to secure the removal of the troops to as great a distance as possible from their settlements. But, wholly without regard to any understanding which they might have had with the Governor, General Johnston, after a careful reconnaissance, selected Cedar Valley, on the western rim of Lake Utah, separated from it only by a range of bluffs, -- about equidistant from Salt Lake City and Provo, -- for his permanent camp. The army moved southward from the city on the 29th, but so slowly that it did not

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           491.

    reach the Valley till the 6th of July. Not a field was encroached upon, not a house molested, not a person harmed or insulted, by troops that had been so harassed and vituperated by a people now entirely at their mercy. By their strict subordination they entitled themselves to the respect of the country as well as to the gratitude of the Mormons.

    [To be continued.]


    Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 19, May, 1859.

    [p. 570]



    On the 3d of July, the Commissioners started on their return to the States. During their stay at Salt Lake City, the doubt which they had been led to entertain of the wisdom of the policy which they were the agents to carry out, had ripened into a firm conviction.

    The people who were congregated on the eastern shore of Lake Utah did not begin to repair to their homes until the army had marched thirty or forty miles away from the city; and even then there was a secrecy about their movements which was as needless as it was mysterious. They returned in divisions of from twenty to a hundred families each. Their trains, approaching the city during the afternoon, would encamp on some creek in its vicinity until midnight, when, if intended for the northern settlements, they would pass rapidly through the streets, or else make a circuit around the city-wall. August arrived before the return was completed.

    Morning after morning, one square after another was seen stripped of the board barricades which had sheltered windows and doors from intrusion. In front of every gateway wagons were emptying their loads of household furniture. The streets soon lost their deserted aspect, though for many days the only wayfarers were men, -- not a woman being visible, except, by chance, to the profane eyes of the invaders. It was near the end of July before a single house was rented except to the intimate associates of the Governor. Up to that time, those Gentiles who did not follow the army to its permanent camp bivouacked on the public squares. By a Church edict, all Mormons were forbidden to enter into business transactions with persons outside their sect without consulting Brigham Young, whose office was beset daily by a throng of clients beseeching indulgences and instruction. Immediately after his return to the city, however, he secluded himself from public observation, never appearing in the streets, nor on the balconies of his mansion-house. He even encompassed his residence with an armed guard.

    Gradually, nevertheless, the necessities of the people induced a modification of this system of non-intercourse. The Gentile merchants, who were present with great wagon-trains containing all those articles indispensable to the comfort of life, of which the Mormons stood so much in need, refused to open a single box or bale until they could hire storehouses.

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           571.

    The permission was at length accorded, and immediately the absolute external reserve of the people began to wear away. Both sexes thronged to the stores, eager to supply themselves with groceries and garments; but there they experienced a wholesome rebuff, for which some of them were not entirely unprepared. The merchants refused to receive the paper of the Deseret Currency Association with which the Territory was flooded; and its notes were depreciated instantly by more than fifty per cent. Many of the people were driven to barter cattle and farm-produce for the articles they needed; and for the first time since the establishment of the Church in Utah an audible murmur arose among its adherents against its exactions. The sight of their neglected farms was also calculated to bring the poorer agriculturists to sober reflection. They perceived that the army, which they had been taught to believe would commit every conceivable outrage, was, on the contrary, demeaning itself with extreme forbearance and even kindness toward them, and was supplying an ampler market for the sale of their produce than they had enjoyed since the years when the overland emigration to California culminated. Nevertheless, their regrets, if entertained at all, found no public and concerted utterance. The authority of the Church exacted a sullen demeanor toward all Gentiles.

    The 24th of July, the great Mormon anniversary, was suffered to pass without celebration; but its recurrence must have suggested anxious thoughts and bitter recollections to a great part of the population. When they remembered their enthusiastic declaration of independence only one year before, the warlike demonstrations which followed it, the prophecies of Young that the Lord would smite the army as he smote the hosts of Sennacherib, the fever of hate and apprehension into which they had been worked, and contrasted that period of excitement with their present condition, they must, indeed, have found abundant material for meditation. By the emigration southward they had lost at least four months of the most valuable time of the year. Their families had been subjected to every variety of exposure and hardship. Their ready money had been extorted from them by the Currency Association, or consumed in the expenses of transporting their movables to Lake Utah. And more than all, the fields had so suffered by their absence, that the crops were diminished to at least one-half the yield of an ordinary year. To a community the mass of which lives from hand to mouth, this was a most serious loss.

    Almost all agriculture in Utah is carried on by the aid of irrigation. From April till October hardly a shower falls upon the soil, which parches and cracks in the hot sunshine. The settlements are all at the base of the mountains, where they can take advantage of the brooks that leap down through the canons. They are, therefore, necessarily scattered along the line of the main Wahsatch range, from the Roseaux River, which flows into the Salt Lake from the north, to the Vegas of the Santa Clara, -- a distance of nearly four hundred miles. The labor expended in ditching has been immense, but it has been confined wholly to tapping the smaller streams.

    By damming the Jordan in Salt Lake Valley and the Sevier in Parawan Valley, and distributing their water over the broad bottom-lands, on which the only vegetation now is wild sage and greasewood, the area of arable ground might be quintupled; and any considerable increase of population will render such an undertaking indispensable; for the narrow strip which is fertilized by the mountain-brooks yields scarcely more than enough to supply the present number of inhabitants. Nowhere does it exceed two or three miles in breadth, except along the eastern shore of Lake Utah, where it extends from the base of the mountains to the verge of the lake.

    Almost all cereals and vegetables attain

    572                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    the utmost perfection, rivalling the most luxuriant productions of California. Within the last few years the cultivation of the Chinese sugar-cane has been introduced, and has proved successful. In Salt Lake City considerable attention is paid to horticulture. Peaches, apples, and grapes grow to great size, at the same time retaining excellent flavor. The grape which is most common is that of the vineyards of Los Angeles. In the vicinity of Provo an attempt has been made to cultivate the tea-plant; and on the Santa Clara several hundred acres have been devoted to the culture of cotton, but with imperfect success. Flax, however, is raised in considerable quantity. The fields are rarely fenced with rails, and almost never with stones. The dirt-walls by which they are usually surrounded are built by driving four posts into the ground, which support a case, ten or twelve feet in length, made of boards. This is packed full of mud, which dries rapidly in the intense heat of a summer noon. When it is sufficiently dry to stand without crumbling, the posts are moved farther along and the same operation is repeated.

    The country is not dotted with farmhouses, like the agricultural districts of the East. The inhabitants all live in towns, or "forts," as they are more commonly called, each of which is governed by a Bishop. These are invariably laid out in a square, which is surrounded by a lofty wall of mere dirt, or else of adobe. In the smaller forts there are no streets, all the dwellings backing upon the wall, and inclosing a quadrangular area, which is covered with heaps of rubbish, and alive with pigs, chickens, and children. The same stream which irrigates the fields in the vicinity supplies the people with water for domestic purposes. There are few wells, even in the cities. Except in Salt Lake City and Provo, no barns are to be seen. The wheat is usually stored in the garrets of the houses; the hay is stacked; and the animals are herded during the winter in sheltered pastures on the low lands. All the people of the smaller towns are agriculturists. In none of them is there a single shop. In Provo there are several small manufacturing establishments, for which the abundant water-power of the Timpanogas River, that tumbles down the neighboring canon, furnishes great facilities. The principal manufacturing enterprise ever undertaken in the Territory--that for the production of beet-sugar--proved a complete failure. A capital advanced by Englishmen, to the amount of more than one hundred thousand dollars, was totally lost, and the result discouraged foreigners from all similar investments. Rifles and revolvers are made in limited number from the iron tires of the numerous wagons in which goods are brought into the Valley. There are tanneries, and several distilleries and breweries. In the large towns there are many thriving mechanics; but elsewhere even the blacksmith's trade is hardly self-supporting, and the carpenters and shoemakers are all farmers, practising their trades only during intervals from work in the fields.

    The deficiency of iron, coal, and wood is the chief obstacle to the material development of Utah. No iron-mines have been discovered, except in the extreme southern portion of the Territory; and the quality of the ore is so inferior, that it is available only for the manufacture of the commonest household utensils, such as andirons. The principal coal-beds hitherto found are in the immediate vicinity of Green River. There are several sawmills, all run by water-power, scattered among the more densely-wooded canons; but they supply hardly lumber enough to meet the demand, -- even the sugar-boxes and boot-cases which are thrown aside at the merchants' stores being eagerly sought after and appropriated. The most ordinary articles of wooden furniture command extravagant prices.

    Nowhere is the absence of trees, the utter desolation of the scenery, more impressive than in a view from the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake. The broad plain which intervenes between its margin

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           573.

    and the foot of the Wahsatch Range is almost entirely lost sight of; the mountain-slopes, their summits flecked with snow, seem to descend into water on every side except the northern, on which the blue line of the horizon is interrupted only by Antelope Island. The prospect in that direction is apparently as illimitable as from the shore of an ocean. The sky is almost invariably clear, and the water intensely blue, except where it dashes over fragments of rock that have fallen from some adjacent cliff, or where a wave, more aspiring than its fellows, overreaches itself and breaks into a thin line of foam. Through a gap in the ranges on the west, the line of the Great Desert is dimly visible. The beach of the lake is marked by a broad belt of fine sand, the grains of which are all globular. Along its upper margin is a rank growth of reeds and salt grass. Swarms of tiny flies cover the surface of every half-evaporated pool, and a few white sea-gulls are drifting on the swells. Nowhere is there a sign of refreshing verdure except on the distant mountainsides, where patches of green grass glow in the sunlight among the vast fields of sage.

    The buildings throughout the entire Territory are, almost without exception, of adobe. The brick is of a uniform drab color, more pleasing to the eye than the reddish hue of the adobes of New Mexico or the buff tinge of many of those in California. In size it is about double that commonly used in the States. The clay, also, is of very superior quality. The principal stone building in the Territory is the Capitol, at Fillmore, one hundred and fifty miles south of Salt Lake City. The design of the architect is for a very magnificent edifice in the shape of a Greek cross, with a rotunda sixty feet in diameter. Only one wing has been completed, but this is spacious enough to furnish all needful accommodation. The material is rough-hammered sandstone, of an intense red.

    The plan of Salt Lake City is an index to that of all the principal towns. It is divided into squares, each side of which is forty rods in length. The streets are more than a hundred feet wide, and are all unpaved. There is not a single sidewalk of brick, stone, or plank. The situation is well chosen, being directly at the foot of the southern slope of a spur which juts out from the main Wahsatch range. Less than twenty miles from the city, almost overshadowing it, are peaks which rise to the altitude of nearly twelve thousand feet, from which the snow of course never disappears. But during the summer months, when scarcely a shower falls upon the valley, its drifts become dun-colored with dust from the friable soil below, and present an aspect similar to that of the Pyrenees at the same season. During most of the year, the rest of the mountains which encircle the Valley are also capped with snow. The residences of Young and Kimball are situated on almost the highest ground within the city-limits, and the land slopes gradually down from them to the south, east, and west. This inclination suggested the mode of supplying the city with water. A mountain-brook, pure and cold, bubbling from under snow-drifts, is guided from this highland down the gently sloping streets in gutters adjoining both the sidewalks. A municipal ordinance imposes severe penalties on any one who fouls it. Young's buildings and gardens occupy an entire square, ten acres in extent, as do also Kimball's. They consist, first, of the Mansion, a spacious two-storied building, in the style of the Yankee-Grecian villas which infest New England towns, with piazzas supported by Doric columns, and a cupola which is surmounted by a beehive, the peculiar emblem of the Mormons, although there is not a single honey-bee in the Territory. This, like all its companions, is of adobe, but it is coated with plaster, and painted white. Next to it is a small building, used formerly as an office, in which the temporal business of the Governor was transacted. By its side stands another office, on the same model, but on a larger scale, devoted to the business of the President of the

    574                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    Church. These are connected by passage-ways both with the Mansion and with the Lion-House, which is the most westerly of the group, and is the finest building in the Territory, having cost nearly eighty thousand dollars. Like both the offices, it stands with a gable toward the street, and the plaster with which it is covered has a light buff tinge. The architecture is Elizabethan. Above a porch in front is the figure of a recumbent lion, hewn in sandstone. On each of the sides, which overlook the gardens, ten little windows project from the roof just above the eaves. The whole square is surrounded by a wall of cobblestones and mortar, ten or twelve feet in height, strengthened by buttresses at intervals of forty or fifty feet. Massive plank gates bar the entrances. In one corner is the Tithing-Office, where the faithful render their reluctant tribute to the Lord. Only the swift city-creek intervenes between this square and Kimball's, which is encompassed by a similar wall. His buildings have no pretensions to architectural merit, being merely rough piles of adobe scattered irregularly all over the grounds.

    The Temple Square is in the immediate neighborhood, and is of the same size. It is inclosed by a wall even more massive than the others, plastered and divided into panels. Near its southwestern corner stands the Tabernacle, a long, one-storied building, with an immense roof, containing a hall which will hold three thousand people. There the Mormon religious services are conducted during the winter months; but throughout the summer the usual place of gathering to listen to the sermons is in "boweries," so called, which are constructed by planting posts in the ground and weaving over them a flat roof of willow-twigs. An excavation near the centre of the square, partially filled with dirt previously to the exodus to Provo, marks the spot where the Temple is to rise. It is intended that this edifice shall infinitely surpass in magnificence its predecessor at Nauvoo. The design purports to be a revelation from heaven, and, if so, must have emanated from some one of the Gothic architects of the Middle Ages whose taste had become bewildered by his residence among the spheres; for the turrets are to be surmounted by figures of sun, moon, and stars, and the whole building bedecked with such celestial emblems. Only part of the foundation-wall has yet been laid, but it sinks thirty feet deep and is eight feet broad at the surface of the ground. Its length, according to the heavenly plan, is to be two hundred and twenty feet, and its width one hundred and fifty feet. Beside the Tabernacle and the incipient Temple, the only considerable building within the square is the Endowment-House, where those rites are celebrated which bind a member to fidelity to the Church under penalty of death, and admit him to the privilege of polygamy.

    The other principal buildings within the city are the Council-House, a square pile of sandstone, once used as the Capitol, -- and the County Court-House, yet unfinished, above which rises a cupola covered with tin. Most of the houses in the immediate vicinity of Young's are two stories high, for that is the aristocratic quarter of the town. In the outskirts, however, they never exceed one story, and resemble in dimensions the innumerable cobblers'-shops of Eastern Massachusetts.

    None of the streets have names, except those which bound the Temple Square and are known as North, South, East, and West Temple Streets, and also the broad avenue which receives the road from Emigration Canon and is called Emigration Street. Except on East Temple or Main Street, which is the business street of the city, the houses are all built at least twenty feet back from the sidewalk, and to each one is attached a considerable plot of ground. There is no provision for lighting the streets at night. The cotton-wood trees along the borders of the gutters have attained a considerable growth during the eight or nine years since they were planted,

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           575.

    and afford an agreeable shade to all the sidewalks.

    Around a great portion of the city stretches a mud wall with embrasures and loopholes for musketry, which was built under Young's direction in 1853, ostensibly to guard against Indian attacks, but really to keep the people busy and prevent their murmuring. To the east of this runs a narrow canal, which was dug by the voluntary labor of the Saints, nearly fifteen miles to Cottonwood Creek, for the transportation of stone to be used in building the Temple.

    Just outside the city-limits, near the northeastern corner of the wall, lies the Cemetery, on a piece of undulating ground traversed by deep gullies, and unadorned even by a solitary tree, -- the only vegetation sprouting out of its parched soil being a melancholy crop of weeds interspersed with languid sunflowers. The disproportion between the deaths of adults and those of children, which has been a subject for comment by every writer on Mormonism, is peculiarly noticeable there. Most of the graves are indicated only by rough boards, on which are scrawled rudely, with pencil or paint, the names and ages of the dead, and usually also verses from the Bible and scraps of poetry; but among all the inscriptions it is remarkable that there is not a single quotation from the "Book of Mormon." The graves are totally neglected after the bodies are consigned to them. Nowhere has a shrub or a flower been planted by any affectionate hand, except in one little corner of the inclosure which is assigned to the Gentiles, between whose dust and that of the Mormons there seems to exist a distinction like that which prevails in Catholic countries between the ashes of heretics and those of faithful churchmen. The mode of burial is singularly careless. A funeral procession is rarely seen; and such instances are mentioned by travellers as that of a father bearing to the grave the coffin of his own child upon his shoulder.

    The interiors of the houses are as neat as could be expected, considering the extent of the families. Very often, three wives, one husband, and half-a-dozen children will be huddled together in a hovel containing only two habitable rooms, -- an arrangement of course subversive of decency. Few people are able to purchase carpets, and their furniture is of the coarsest and commonest kind. There are few, if any, families which maintain servants. In that of Brigham Young, each woman has a room assigned her, for the neatness of which she is herself responsible;--Young's own chamber is in the rear of the office of the President of the Church, upon the ground floor. The precise number of the female inmates can often be computed from the exterior of the houses. These being frequently divided into compartments, each with its own entrance from the yard, and its own chimney, and being generally only one story in height, the number of doors is an exact index to that of residents.

    The domestic habits of the people vary greatly according to their nativity. Of the forty-five thousand inhabitants of the Territory, at least one-half are immigrants from England and Wales, -- the scum of the manufacturing towns and mining districts, so superstitious as to have been capable of imbibing the Mormon faith, -- though between what is preached in Great Britain and what is practised in America there exists a wide difference, -- and so destitute in circumstances as to have been incapable of deteriorating their fortunes by emigration. Possibly one-fifth are Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians. This allows a remainder of three-tenths for the native American element. An Irishman or a German is rarely found. Of the Americans, by far the greater proportion were born in the Northeastern States; and the three principal characters in the history of the Church -- Smith, Young, and Kimball -- all originated in Vermont, but were reared in Western New York, a region which has been the hot-bed of American isms from the discovery of the Golden Bible to the outbreak of

    576                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    the Rochester rappings. This American element maintains, in all affairs of the Church, its natural political ascendency. Of the twelve Apostles only one is a foreigner, and among the rest of the ecclesiastical dignitaries the proportion is not very different.

    The Scandinavian Mormons are very clannish in their disposition. They occupy some settlements exclusively, and in Salt Lake City there is one quarter tenanted wholly by them, and nicknamed "Denmark," just as that portion of Cincinnati monopolized by Germans is known as "over the Rhine." Like their English and Welsh associates, they belonged to the lowest classes of the mechanics and peasantry of their native countries. They are all clownish and brutal. Their women work in the fields. In their houses and gardens there is no symptom of taste, or of the recollection of former and more innocent days; while in every cottage owned by Americans there is visible, at least, a clock, or a pair of China vases, or a rude picture, which once held a similar position in some farm-house in New England.

    It is not intended to discuss here the cardinal points of the Mormon faith, for the subject is too extensive for the limits of this article. A great misapprehension, however, prevails concerning polygamy, that it was one of the original doctrines of the Church. On the contrary, it was expressly prohibited in the Book of Mormon, which declares:--

    "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. ... Wherefore hearken to the word of the Lord: There shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women." -- p. 118.

    Up to this date, there have been four eras in the history of polygamy among the Mormons: the first, from about 1833 to 1843, during which it was practised stealthily only by those Church leaders to whom it was considered prudent to impart the secret; the second, from 1843 to 1852, during which its existence was known to the Church, but denied to the world; the third, from 1852 to 1856, during which it was left to the discretion of individuals whether to adopt its practice or not; and the fourth, since 1856, when its acceptance was inculcated as essential to happiness in this world and salvation in the next. It was the inevitable tendency of Mormonism, like every other religious delusion, from the advent of John of Leyden to that of the Spiritualists, to disturb the natural relation of the sexes under the Christian dispensation. The mystery surrounding the subject constituted the most attractive charm of the religion, both to the initiated and to those who were seeking to be admitted to the secrets of the Endowment, -- for the Endowed alone possess the privilege of a plurality of wives. But until the community had become firmly fixed in Utah, no one dared to justify or even to proclaim the doctrine. At the time of the passage of the Organic Act of the Territory, in the autumn of 1850, and repeatedly during the next two years, prominent Mormons at Washington and New York denied its existence, with the most solemn asseverations. It was on Sunday, August 29th, 1852, that it was openly avowed at Salt Lake City, -- Brigham Young on that day producing the copy of a revelation, pretended to have been received by Smith on the 12th of July, 1843, which annulled the monogamic injunctions of the Book of Mormon, and stating, that, "although the doctrine of polygamy has not been preached by the elders, the people have believed in it for years." Upon the same occasion, another doctrine was urged, -- that human beings upon earth propagate merely bodies, the souls which inhabit them being begotten by spirits in heaven.

    The number of the wives of many of the principal Mormons has been greatly exaggerated. Attached to Young's establishment in Salt Lake City, there are only sixteen. His first wife occupies the Mansion-House exclusively, while the

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           577.

    others are quartered in the Lion-House. Besides these, he has probably fifty or sixty more, scattered all over the Territory, and in the principal cities of the United States and of Great Britain. His living children do not exceed thirty in number. Kimball's wives, resident in Salt Lake City, are quite as numerous as Young's, and his children even more so. Both of them aim to reproduce the domestic life of the Biblical patriarchs; and within the squares which they occupy their descendants dwell also, with their wives and progeny, all of them acknowledging the control of the head of the family. The harems of very few of the Church dignitaries approach these in magnitude. The extent of the practice of polygamy cannot be determined by a residence in Salt Lake City alone, for it is there that those Church officers congregate whose wealth enables them to maintain large families. As the traveller journeys northward or southward, he finds the instances diminish in almost exact proportion to his remoteness from the central ecclesiastical influence. There is even a sect of Mormons, called Gladdenites, after their founder, one Gladden Bishop, who deny the right of Young to supreme authority over the Church, and discountenance polygamy. No computation of their number can be made, for few of them dare avow their heresy, on account of the persecution which is the invariable result. The leaders of this sect maintain that a majority of the married men in Utah have but one wife each, and their assertion has never been controverted.

    One of the most monstrous results of the practice is the indifference with which an incestuous connection is tolerated. The cohabitation, with the same man, of a mother, and her daughter by a previous marriage, is not unfrequent; and there are other instances even more disgusting. One or two of them will exemplify the character of the whole. One George D. Watt, an Englishman, residing at Salt Lake City, has for his fourth wife his own half-sister, who had been previously divorced from Brigham Young; and one Aaron Johnson, the Bishop of the town of Springville, on Lake Utah, has seven wives, four of whom are sisters, and his own nieces. Young himself has declared in print, that he looks forward to the time when his son by one wife shall marry his daughter by another. Marriages also are effected with girls who are mere children. Accustomed from their cradles to sights and sounds calculated to impart precocious development, they mature rapidly, and few of them remain single after attaining the age of sixteen. They look around for husbands, and understand, that, if they marry young men and become first wives, in course of time other wives will be associated with them; and they conclude, therefore, that it is as well for themselves to unite with some Bishop or High-Priest, with perhaps half-a-dozen wives already, who is able to feed his family well and clothe them decently; so they plunge into polygamy at once. Another result of the practice is universal obscenity of language among both sexes. The published sermons of the Mormon leaders are utterly vile in this respect, although they are somewhat expurgated before being printed. They consider no language profane from which the name of the Deity is exempted.

    There is, unquestionably, much unhappiness in families where polygamy prevails, -- daily bickering, jealousies, and heart-burnings, -- but it is carefully concealed from the knowledge of the public. If domestic troubles become so aggravated as to be unendurable, recourse is usually had to Brigham Young for a divorce. There are women in Salt Lake City who have been married and divorced half-a-dozen times within a year. The first wife maintains a supremacy over all the others. On the occasion of her marriage, a civil magistrate usually officiates, and the rite of "sealing" is afterwards administered by Young. By the civil process, in the cant language of the Mormons, she is bound to her husband "for time," and by the ecclesiastical solemnization

    578                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    "for eternity." Every wife taken after the first is called a "spiritual," and is "sealed" ecclesiastically only, not civilly. It follows, as a legitimate consequence, that the first wife of one man "for time" may be the "spiritual" wife of another man "for eternity." The power of sealing and unsealing is vested in the Head of the Church, which, however, he may and does assign, with certain limitations, to deputies. The ceremony is performed in a room in the Mansion-House within Brigham's square, which is furnished with an altar and kneelng-benches. In every instance of divorce, the woman is supplied with a printed certificate of the fact, for which a fee of ten or eleven dollars is exacted. When a polygamist dies, it becomes the duty of his "next friend" to care for his wives. Thus, when Young became the President of the Church, he succeeded to all the widows of Joseph Smith.

    Every year some modification of the system is effected, which tends to increase still further the confusion in the relations of the sexes. The latest is the doctrine, (which, like polygamy in its earlier stages, is believed, but not avowed,) that absence is temporary death, so far as concerns the transference of wives. This is intended to apply to the two or three hundred missionaries who are dispatched yearly to all parts of the globe, from Stockholm to Macao. It is astonishing that these missionary efforts, which have been pursued with unremitting zeal for the last twenty years, should not have ingrafted upon Mormonism some degree of that refinement which is supposed to result from travel. On the contrary, they seem to have elaborated the natural brutality of the Anglo-Saxon character; and especially with regard to polygamy, their effect has been to acquaint the people of Utah with the grossest features of its practice in foreign lands, and encourage them to imitation. Every Mormon, prominent in the Church, however illiterate in other respects, is thoroughly acquainted with the extent and characteristics of polygamy in Asiatic countries, and prepared to defend his own domestic habits, in argument, by historical and geographical references. Not one of their missionaries has ever been admitted to intercourse with the higher classes of European society. Their sphere of labor and acquaintance has been entirely among those whom they would term the lowly, but who might also be called the credulous and vulgar. The abuse of a knowledge of the machinery of the Masonic order--from which they have been formally excluded--is one of the least evil of their practices, not only abroad, but at home. Of the Endowment, one apostate Mormon has declared that "its signs, tokens, marks, and ideas are plagiarized from Masonry"; and it was a notorious fact, that every one of the Mormon prisoners at the camp at Fort Bridger was accustomed to endeavor to influence the sentinels at the guard-tents by means of the Masonic signs.

    This cursory review of the domestic condition of the Mormons would not be complete without some allusion to the Indians who infest the whole country. In the North, having their principal village at the foot of the Wind River Mountains, in the southeastern corner of Oregon, is the tribe of Mountain Snakes or Shoshonees, and the kindred tribe of Bannocks. Throughout all the valleys south of Salt Lake City are the numerous bands of the great tribe of Utahs. Still farther south are the Pyides. The Snakes are superior in condition to any of the others; for, during a portion of the year, they have access to the buffalo, which have not crossed the Wahsatch Range into the Great Basin, within the recollection of the oldest trapper. The only wild animals common in the country of the Utahs are the hare, or "jackass-rabbit," the wild-cat, the wolf, and the grizzly bear. There are few antelope or elk. Trout abound in the mountain-brooks and in Lake Utah. In the Salt Lake, as in the Dead Sea, there are no fish. Before the advent of the Mormons, the habits of all the Utah bands were very degraded. No agency had been established

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           579.

    among them. They had few guns and blankets. For several years they were engaged in constant hostilities with the people of the young and feeble settlements, -- their own method and implements of warfare improving steadily all the while. Ultimately, however, the Mormons inaugurated a system of Indian policy, which was highly successful. They propagated their religion among the Utahs, baptized some of the most prominent chiefs into the Church, fed and clothed them, and thereby acquired an ascendency over most of the bands, which they attempted to use to the detriment of the army during the winter of 1857-8, but without success. Brigham Young, being vested with the superintendence of Indian affairs, during his entire term of service as Governor, abused the functions of that office. He taught the tribe, that there was a distinction between "Americans" and "Mormons," -- and that the latter were their friends, while they were free to commit any depredations on the former which they might see fit. These infamous teachings were counteracted with considerable success by Dr. Hurt, the Indian Agent, to whom allusion has frequently been made; but it was impossible wholly to neutralize their effect. Some of the Mormons even took squaws for spiritual wives; and in all the settlements, from Provo to the Santa Clara, there are scores of half-breed children, acknowledging half-a-dozen mothers, some white, some red. The Utahs, though a beggarly, are a docile tribe. Several Government farms have now been established among them, and they display more than ordinary aptitude for work. But they require to be spurred to regular labor. None of the charges which have been preferred against the Mormons, of direct participation in the murder of Americans by the Indians in the southern portion of the Territory, have ever been substantiated by legal evidence; but no person can become familiar with the relations which they sustain to those tribes, without attaching to them some degree of credibility. The most noted instances were the slaughter of Captain Gunnison and his exploring party, near Lake Sevier, in October, 1853; and the horrible massacre of more than a hundred emigrants on their way to California, at the Mountain Meadows, still farther south, in September, 1857, from which only those children were spared who were too young to speak.

    The history of events in Utah since the encamping of the army in Cedar Valley and the return of the Mormons to the northern settlements is too recent to need to be recounted. It has been established by satisfactory experiments, that law is powerless in the Territory when it conflicts with the Church. No Gentile, whose property was confiscated during the rebellion, has yet obtained redress. The legislature refuses to provide for the expenses of the District Courts while enforcing the Territorial laws. The grand juries refuse to find indictments. The traverse juries refuse to convict Mormons. The witnesses perjure themselves without scruple and without exception. The unruly crowd of camp-followers, which is the inseparable attendant of an army, has concentrated in Salt Lake City, and is in constant contact and conflict with the Mormon population. An apprehension prevails, day after day, that the presence of the army may be demanded there to prevent mob-law and bloodshed. The Governor is alien in his disposition to most of the other Federal officers; and the Judges are probably already on their way to the States, prepared to resign their commissions. The whole condition of affairs justifies a prediction made by Brigham Young, June 17th, 1855, in a sermon, in which he declared: --

    "Though I may not be Governor here, my power will not be diminished. No man they can send here will have much influence with this community, unless he be the man of their choice. Let them send whom they will, it does not diminish my influence one particle."

    580                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    The consequences of the Expedition, therefore, have not corresponded to the original expectation of its projectors. So far as the political condition of the Territory is concerned, the result, filtered down, amounts simply to a demonstration of the impolicy of applying the doctrine of Squatter Sovereignty as a rule for its government. The administration of President Polk was an epoch in the history of the continent. By the annexation of Texas a system of territorial aggrandizement was inaugurated; and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which California, Utah, and New Mexico were acquired, was a legitimate result. Every child knows that the tendency is toward the acquisition of all North America. But the statesmen who originated a policy so grand did not stop to establish a system of Territorial government correspondent to its necessities. The character of such a Territorial policy is now the principal subject upon which the great parties of the nation are divided; and its development will constitute the chief political achievement of the generation. On one side, it is proposed to leave each community to work out its own destiny, trusting to Providence for the result. On the other, it is contended, that the only safe doctrine is, that supreme authority over the Territories resides in Congress, which it is its duty to assign to such hands and in such degrees as it may deem expedient, with a view to create homogeneous States; that the same influences which moulded Minnesota into a State homogeneous to Massachusetts might operate on Cuba, or Sonora and Chihuahua, without avail; and that to various districts the various methods should be applied which a father would employ to secure the obedience and welfare of his children.

    At the very outset, the Territory of Utah now presents itself as a subject for the application of the one system or the other. To all intents and purposes, the Mormons are proved to be a people more foreign to the population of the States than the inhabitants of Cuba or Mexico. Alien in great part by birth, and entirely alien in religion, there never can occur in the history of the country an instance of a community harder to govern, with a view to adapt it to harmonious association with the States on the Atlantic and the Pacific. It is undeniably demonstrated that it is unsafe to trust it to administer a government in accordance with republican ideas; for it acknowledges a higher law than even the human conscience, in the will of a person whom it professes to believe a vicegerent of Divinity, and in obedience to whom perjury, robbery, incest, and even murder, may be justifiable, -- for his commands are those of Heaven. It is obvious that it is fruitless to anticipate fair dealing from a people professing such doctrines; and the result has shown, that, in transactions with Mormons, even under oath, no one who does not acknowledge a standard of religious belief similar to their own can count upon justice any farther than they may think it politic to accord it. The army is, indeed, placed in a position to suppress instantaneously another forcible outbreak; but everybody is aware that there are means of annulling the operation of law quite as effectually as by an uprising in arms. Recent proceedings in the courts of the extreme Southern States have caused this fact to be keenly appreciated. The pirates who sailed the slavers "Echo" and "Wanderer" yet remain to be punished. So far as South Carolina and Georgia are concerned, the law declaring the slave-trade piracy is a dead letter; and the sentiment which prevails toward it in Charleston and Savannah is an imperfect index of that which is manifested at Salt Lake City toward all national authority.

    The legislation of Utah has been conducted with a view to precisely the condition of affairs which now exists, and the Territorial statute-book shows that the transfer of executive power from Brigham Young had long been anticipated. It is impracticable to adduce, in this place, proof of the fact in extenso; but a brief enumeration of some of

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           581.

    the principal statutes will indicate the character of the entire code. An act exists incorporating the Mormon Church with power to hold property, both real and personal, to an indefinite extent, exempt from taxation, coupled with authority to establish laws and criteria for its safety, government, comfort, and control, and for the punishment of all offences relating to fellowship, according to its covenants. By this act the Church is invested with absolute and perpetual sovereignty. Under it the whole system of polygamy is conducted, for plural marriages are sanctioned by the covenants; the Danite organization is authorized, for it is instituted for the comfort and control of the Church, and the punishment of offences relative to fellowship; the burden of the taxes is thrown in a yearly increasing ratio upon Gentiles, for the Church property exempted from taxation amounts already to several millions of dollars, and increases every day; and the treasonable rites of the Endowment are celebrated, and the inferior members of the Church tithed and pillaged, for the benefit of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles. Acts also exist legalizing negro and Indian slavery. There are within the Territory at the present time not more than fifty or sixty negroes, but there are several hundred Indians, held in servitude. These are mostly Pyides, into whose country some of the Utah bands make periodical forays, capturing their young women and children, whom they sell to the Navajoes in New Mexico, as well as to the Mormons. There are other acts, which rob the United States judges of their jurisdiction, civil, criminal, and in equity, and confer it on the Probate Courts; which forbid the citation of any reports, even those of the Supreme Court of the United States, during any trial; which regulate the descent of property so as to include the issue of polygamic marriages among the legal heirs; which withdraw from exemption from attachment the entire property of persons suspected of an intention to leave the Territory; which authorize the invasion of domiciles for purposes of search, upon the simple order of any judicial officer; which legalize the rendition of verdicts in civil cases upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the jurors; which command attorneys to present in court, under penalty of fine and imprisonment, in all cases, every fact of which they are cognizant, "whether calculated to make against their clients or not"; which restrict the institution of proceedings against adulterers to the husband or the wife of one of the guilty parties; which levy duties on all goods imported into the Territory for sale; which abolish the freedom of the ballot-box, by providing that each vote shall be numbered, and a record kept of the names of the electors with the numbers attached, which, together with the ballots, shall be preserved for reference; and which empower the county courts to impose taxes to an indefinite amount on whomsoever they may please, for the erection of fortifications within their respective jurisdictions. But the most extraordinary and unconstitutional series of acts -- no less than sixty in number -- exists with regard to the primary disposal of the soil, with which the Territorial legislature is expressly forbidden by the Organic Act to interfere. These pretend to confer upon Church dignitaries, and especially on Brigham Young and his family, tracts of land probably amounting in the aggregate to more than ten thousand square miles, as well as the exclusive right to establish bridges and ferries over the principal rivers in the Territory, -- together with the exclusive use of those streams flowing down from the Wahsatch Mountains which are most valuable for irrigating and manufacturing purposes. The virtual control of the settlement of the eastern portion of Utah is thus vested in the Church; for these grants include almost all the lands which are immediately valuable for occupation. After a glance at a list of them, it is not hard to understand the causes of the great disparity in the distribution of wealth among the Mormons. They have been so allotted

    582                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    as to benefit a very few at the expense of the whole people; and they are protected by a terrorism which no one dares to confront in order to challenge their validity. The majority of the population are ignorant of their rights, -- and too pusillanimous to maintain them against the hierarchy, if they were not. They therefore contribute to its coffers not merely their tithing, but heavy exactions also for grazing their cattle on pastures to which they themselves have just as much title as the nominal proprietors, and for grinding their grain and purchasing their lumber at mills on streams which are of right common to all the settlers on their banks.

    From the Utah Expedition, then, it has become patent to the world, if it is not to ourselves, that the Mormons are unwilling to administer a republican form of government, if not incapable of doing so. The author of the letter recently addressed by "A Man of the Latin Race" to the Emperor Napoleon, on the subject of French influence in America, comments especially upon this fact as symptomatic of the disintegration of this republic; and allusion is made to it in every other foreign review of our political condition. It is obviously inconsistent with our national dignity that a remedy should not be immediately applied; but when we seek for such, only two courses of action are discernible, in the maze of political quibbles and constitutional scruples that at once suggest themselves. One is, to repeal the Organic Act and place the Territory under military control; the other is, to buy the Mormons out of Utah, offering them a reasonable compensation for the improvements they have made there, as also transportation to whatever foreign region they may select for a future abode.

    The embarrassments which might result from the adoption of the former course are obvious. It would be attended with immense expense, and would embitter the Mormons still more against the National Government; and it would also deter Gentiles from emigrating to a region where three thousand Federal bayonets would constitute the sole guaranty of the security of their persons and property.

    The other course is not only practicable, but humane and expedient. During his whole career, Brigham Young committed no greater mistake than when he settled in Utah a community whose recruits are almost without exception drawn from foreign lands; for, since the removal from Illinois, every attempt to propagate Mormonism in the American States has been a failure. Every avenue of communication with Utah is necessarily obstructed. No railroad penetrates to within eleven hundred miles of Salt Lake Valley. There is no watercourse within four hundred miles, on which navigation is practicable. Neither the Columbia nor the Colorado empties into seas bordered by nations from which the Mormons derive accessions; and the length of a voyage up the Mississippi, Missouri, and Yellowstone forbids any expectation that their channels will ever become a pathway to the centre of the continent. The road to Utah must always lead overland, and travel upon it is the more expensive from the fact that no great passenger-transportation companies exist at either of the termini. Each family of emigrants must provide its own outfit of provisions, wagons, and oxen, or mules. Through the agency of what is called the Perpetual Emigration Fund of the Church, the capital of which amounts to several millions of dollars, -- which was instituted professedly to befriend, but really to fleece the foreign converts, -- few Englishmen arrive at Salt Lake City without having exhausted their own means and incurred an amount of debt which it requires the labor of many years to discharge. The physical sufferings of the journey, also, are severe and often fatal. The bleak cemetery at Salt Lake City contains but a small proportion of the Mormon dead. Along the thousand miles of road from the Missouri River to the Great Lake, there stand, thicker than milestones, memorials of those who

    1859.]                           The Utah Expedition.                           583.

    failed on the way. A rough board, a pile of stones, a grave ransacked by wolves, crown many a swell of the bottom-lands along the Platte; and across the broad belt of mountains there is no spot so desolate as to be unmarked by one of these monuments of the march of Mormonism.

    As these difficulties of transit subside under the surge of population toward the new State of Oregon, or to the gold-diggings on the head-waters of the South Fork of the Platte, an element must permeate Utah which would be fatal to the supremacy of the Church. That depends, as has been so often repeated, upon isolation. Already the presence of the army with its crowd of unruly dependents has begun to disturb it. In the trail of the troops, like sparks shed from a rocket, a legion of mail-stations and trading-posts have sprung up, which materially facilitate communication with the East. A horseman, starting now from Fort Leavenworth, with a good animal, can ride to Salt Lake City, sleeping under cover every night; while in July, 1857, when the army commenced its march from the frontier, there were stretches of more than three hundred miles without a single white inhabitant. On the west, under the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, there is a settlement of several thousand Gentiles in Carson Valley, who, though nominally under the same Territorial government with the Mormons, have no real connection with them, politically, socially, or commercially, and are petitioning Congress for a Territorial organisation of their own. A telegraphic wire has already wound its way over the sierra among them, and will soon palpitate through Salt Lake City in its progress toward the Atlantic.

    Brigham Young perceives this inevitable advance of Christian civilization toward his stronghold, as clearly as the most unprejudiced spectator. No one is better aware than himself, that, if the great industrial conception of the age, the Pacific Railroad, shall ever begin to be realized, the first shovelful of dirt thrown on its embankments will be the commencement of the grave of his religion and authority. Among the projects with which his brain is busy is that of yet another exodus; and it must be undertaken speedily, if at all, -- for a generation is growing up in the Church with an attachment for the land in which it was reared. The pioneers of the faith, who were buffeted from Ohio to Missouri, from Missouri to Illinois, and from Illinois to the Rocky Mountains, are dwindling every year. Their migrations have been so various, that no local sentiment would influence them against another removal. Such a sentiment, if it exists at all among them, is not for Utah, but for Missouri, where they believe that the capital will be founded of that kingdom in which the Church in the progress of ages will unite the world. They dropped upon the shores of the Salt Lake in 1847, like birds spent upon the wing, only because they could not fly farther.

    Two regions have been suggested for the ultimate resort of the Mormons: one, the Mosquito Coast in Central America; the other, the Island of Papua or New Guinea, among the East Indies. During the winter, while the army lay encamped at Fort Bridger, Colonel Kinney, the colonizing adventurer, endeavored to communicate from the East to Brigham Young an offer to sell to the Church several millions of acres of land on the Mosquito Coast, of which he purports to be the proprietor. His agent, however, reached no farther than Green River. But during the spring of 1858, other agents, dispatched from California, were more successful in reaching Salt Lake Valley. They were hospitably received by the Mormons, but Young declined to enter into the negotiation. The other scheme -- that for an emigration to Papua -- originated at Washington during the same winter. It was eagerly seized upon by Captain Walter Gibson, the same who was once imprisoned by the Dutch in Java. He put himself into communication on the subject with Mr. Bernhisel, the Mormon delegate to

    584                           The Utah Expedition.                           [May.

    Congress, who appeared to regard the plan with favor. After it was developed, as a step preliminary to transmitting it to Utah for consideration, Mr. Bernhisel waited upon the President of the United States in order to ascertain whether the cooperation of the National Government in the undertaking could be expected. The reply of Mr. Buchanan was fatal to the project, which he discountenanced as a vague and wild dream.

    Nevertheless, it may well be considered whether the movement toward Utah appeared any less Quixotic in 1846 than does the idea of an emigration to Papua now. On that island the Mormons would encounter no such obstacles to material prosperity as their indomitable industry has already conquered in Utah. They would find a fertile soil, a propitious climate, and a native population which could be trained to docility. Transplanted thither, they would cease to be a nuisance to America, and would become benefactors to the world by opening to commerce a region now valueless to Christendom, but of as great natural capacities as any portion of the globe. The expense of their migration need not exceed the amount already expended upon the Army of Utah, together with that necessary to maintain it in its present position for the next five years. Into the seats which they would relinquish on the border of the Salt Lake a sturdy population would pour from the Valley of the Mississippi, and develop an intelligent, Christian, and Republican State. That portion of the Mormons which would not follow the fortunes of the Church beyond the seas would soon become submerged, and the last vestige of its religion and peculiar domestic life would disappear speedily and forever from the continent.

    For that consummation, every genuine Christian must fervently pray. If the Message in the Book of Mormon be, as one of its own Apostles has asserted, indeed "such, that, if false, none who persist in believing it can be saved," the sooner this nation washes its hands of responsibility for its toleration, the better for its credit in history. The Constitution, to be sure, denies to Congress the power to pass laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion; but it is the most monstrous nonsense to argue that the Federal Government is bound thereby to connive at polygamy, perjury, incest, and murder. There are principles of social order which constitute the political basis of every state in Christendom, that are violated by the practices of the Mormon Church, and which this Republic is bound to maintain without regard to any pretence that their transgressors act in pursuance of religious belief. Thirty years ago, no other doctrine would have occurred to the mind of an American statesman. It is only the special-pleadings and constitutional hair-splittings by which Slavery has been forced under national protection, that now impede Congressional intervention in the affairs of Utah. The Christian Church of the United States, also, has a duty to perform toward the Mormons, which has long been neglected. While its missionaries have been shipped by the score to India and China, it has been blind to the growth, upon the threshold of its own temple, of a pagan religion more corrupt than that of the Brahmin. Never once has a Christian preacher opened his lips in the valleys of Utah; and yet the surplice of a Christian priest would be a sight more portentous to the Mormon, on his own soil, than the bayonet of the Federal soldier.


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