James M. Ashley
The Condition of Utah

(Washington, D. C.: Congress, 1866)

  • page 01  Introduction
  • page 02  Jos. H. Nevett
  • page 05  Joseph Smith III
  • page 10  P. E. Connor
  • page 14  Norman McLeod
  • page 26  E. J. Bennett
  • page 27  D. B. Stover

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • James Buchanan's 1860 Utah Messages  |  John Cradlebaugh's 1863 Speech on Utah & Mormons

            1st Session. }                                                   { No. 96.


    July 23, 1866. -- Ordered to be printed.


    Mr. James M. Ashley, from the Committee on the Territories, made the following

    R E P O R T.

    The Committee on the Territories, to whom were referred the subjoined resolutions, have had the subject-matter therein named under consideration, and herewith submit the testimony of such witnesses as they have been able to bring before them:

    The testimony discloses the fact that the laws of the United States are openly and defiantly violated throughout the Territory, and that an armed force is necessary to preserve the peace and give security to the lives and property of citizens of the United States residing therein. The only witness introduced and examined at the request of the delegate from Utah admits the necessity of maintaining United States troops in the Territory, in order to secure protection and safety to persons and property. The committee have been unable to adopt the suggestions made by some of the gentlemen examined, for the abolition of the present territorial government of Utah, and the establishment of a military government. The committee also regret to state that they have been unable to agree upon and submit for the action of the House any plan which seemed to them to promise a practical solution of the abuses and evils complained of, and which are admitted to exist. They do not deem it advisable either to divide the Territory and annex it to Nevada and the territories adjacent, nor do they favor the establishment of a military government. They have therefore been compelled to postpone the further consideration of the matter until December next, and have instructed me to report the testimony herewith submitted, and ask that it be printed. By direction of the committee the chairman was requested to notify Hon. Mr. Hooper, delegate from Utah, that witnesses were being examined before the committee, in pursuance of instructions from the House, and that he could at any time go to the committee-room, and in the presence of the clerk examine the testimony and introduce rebutting testimony, if he saw fit, or that he could be examined himself, or file with the committee a written reply, as the delegate and representative of the people of Utah. He introduced but one witness, Mr. Bennett, to whose testimony the committee ask the special attention of the House.

    On the 18th of June, Mr. Hooper addressed a letter to the chairman of the committee, a copy of which is herewith submitted, in which he denies the statements of some of the witnesses named, and asks that no report be made to the House by the committee until the people of Utah can be heard in reply to the charges made against them. He also asked for a copy of the testimony already taken, which the committee declined to furnish him. He subsequently appeared before the committee and requested that a select committee or a subcommittee from the territorial committee be sent to Utah by direction of the House, with authority to examine and report on all the allegations made by the witnesses examined, as also on the condition of all classes residing in the Territory.


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    The committee were unable to satisfy themselves that any material facts could be obtained even if a sub-committee should go to the Territory; they therefore declined to ask the House to make an order which would necessarily involve a large expenditure of money in sending such a committee to the Territory of Utah.

    All of which is respectfully submitted.
    J. M. ASHLEY, Chairman.      

    Congress Of The United States,       
    House of Representatives, January 8, 1866.       
    Mr. Ward submitted the following, which was adopted:

    Whereas certain inhabitants of the Territory of Utah, in violation of the laws of the United States, have been and still are sustaining the abominable system of polygamy, and the numbers who practice it, and the crime and demoralization consequent thereon, are largely on the increase;

    And whereas, for reasons not understood, the law against polygamy has not been enforced, and, in the judgment of this house, this great and remaining barbarism of our age and country should be swept (like its twin system -- slavery) from the territories of the republic, and that means adequate to that end should be adopted: Therefore,

    Resolved, That the Committee on the Territories be instructed to inquire and ascertain what means, civil or military, may lawfully be resorted to, to effectually eradicate this evil from the land, and what legislation is needed, if any, to effect that object, aud what reasons exist why the laws against polygamy have not been executed, and also to ascertain whether the United States officials in said Territory are seeking to enforce the laws, and to inquire into their conduct generally, so far as relates to the discharge of their public duties in relation to this system, and that said committee have leave to report by bill or otherwise.
    Attest: EDWARD McPHERSON, Clerk,      
    By CLINTON LLOYD, Chief Clerk.      

    Congress Of The United States,
    House of Representatives, January 11, 1866.
    On motion of Mr. Ingersoll,

    Resolved, That the Committee on Territories are hereby instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill providing for the repeal of the law organizing the Territory of Utah, and for dividing said Territory, and attaching a portion thereof to the State of Nevada, and the residue thereof to the territories lying contiguous to said Territory of Utah.
    Attest: EDWARD McPHERSON, Clerk,      
    By CLINTON LLOYD, Chief Clerk.      

    Examination by Mr. Beaman:

    Question. Have you ever resided in the Territory of Utah; if so, when and how long?

    Answer. I resided in the Territory of Utah from October, 1862, to March, 1866; was suttler at Camp Douglas (two miles from Salt Lake City) during that period; I was also engaged in mercantile business in Salt Lake City a portion of that time.

    Question. What opportunity have you had of becoming acquainted with the character of the Mormon population, their system of government and religion?

    Answer. My opportunities for becoming acquainted with the Mormon population, their system of government and religion, were, first, considerable transactions with their mercantile and manufacturing community in Salt Lake City; second, social intercourse with several families and individuals, members of the Mormon church; third, by attending their places of worship, reading books and newspapers for and against their doctrines, and by visiting most of the towns and settlements in the Territory.

    Question. Is polygamy a fundamental principle of their religion?


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    Answer Polygamy is taught in Utah as a fundamental principle of their religion. I believe the Mormon leaders have recently required its adoption by their followers, as a "test of their faith."

    Question. Of what nationality are the Mormon people?

    Answer. The nationality of the Mormon people is mostly English, Swedish, and Danish. The principal leaders and a few others are natives of the United States.

    Question. What is the tendency of the system of polygamy upon the people, morally and politically?

    Answer. The tendency of the system of polygamy upon the morals of the people is degrading. The policy of the teachers is to blunt or destroy the natural delicacy of young women by impressing upon them, in the plainest language, that it is their duty to "build up Zion" by propagating their species, and also that their eternal salvation depends upon their being united to some "saint" of their church. If this teaching fails to accomplish the intended result, a system of petty persecution is adopted by which the unwilling victim of "disobedience to council" is brought to the alternative of degradation, starvation, or of entering into polygamy. The effect of the system upon the lawful wife is seen in the dejected countenance of the once happy wife and mother, making her generally a miserable, broken-hearted women; a few of the more zealous of them in the Mormon faith will say, "Polygamy is very hard to bear, but it is God's will." The effect of the system upon the men is to make them lustful and tyrannical; but the most deplorable "effect of the system" is to be seen among their children, who, in the absence of proper home discipline and education, are growing up with beastly ideas, and a most lamentable ignorance of all that is refining and elevating to human nature. ''The tendency of the system of polygamy upon the people politically" is dangerous and hurtful to the lawful authority of the United States government. Many Mormons have been induced by their leaders to enter into polygamy, since the passage of the act of Congress upon that subject, (and I believe in many cases against their convictions of right,) thus defying the government and increasing the power of the Mormon leaders, who know that every man in polygamy is bound hand and foot to their system, "a fundamental principle" of which is, that all nations shall crumble to pieces and the Mormons rule the earth.

    Question. What proportion of the Mormon population in Utah are practically polygamists?

    Answer. I think about one-half of the adult Mormon population in Utah are practically polygamists, and probably one-half of the children are the offspring of polygamous parents.

    Question. Is the Mormon hierarchy loyal or hostile to the government of the United States?

    Answer. I believe the "Mormon hierarchy" are hostile to the government of the United States.

    Question. Do you know whether or not the Mormon leaders have in any instance instigated or sanctioned the taking of human life? If you answer yes, state all your knowledge of the facts and the circumstances fully.

    Answer. I do not know of my own knowledge that the Mormon leaders have "instigated the taking of human life," but I firmly believe that they have. I have seen an "official order" from one of their highest military officers, directing the killing of eighty teamsters, who were about leaving the Territory, said order stating that it was the wish of Brigham Young that not one of them should escape. I know the individual to whom said order was intrusted for execution. He shrank from the perpetration of so horrible a crime, and permitted said teamsters to escape. He is now, or was when I left Camp Douglas, on the first of March last, under the protection of the military authorities of the United States, several attempts having been made to assassinate him in Salt Lake City, to prevent, as


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    is supposed, his testifying to the above facts. That the Mormon leaders "sanction" the taking of human life is plainly shown in many of their sermons published in their "church organ," the "Deseret News." They call it "the shedding of blood for the remission of sins," which I understand to mean that, if a man or woman "apostatize" from their doctrine, and reveal their church secrets, "break their covenants," so called, then he or she should be put to death.

    Question. State all other facts within your knowledge calculated to throw light upon the above interrogatories, and all facts tending to show the peculiarities of the Mormon system and its effects upon the people of the Territory, and its bearing upon the government of the United States.

    Answer. I am confident that, if the government will afford proper protection, there are many witnesses now in Utah who will come forward and prove clearly that the Mormon leaders have both instigated and sanctioned the taking of human life. These witnesses are deterred from doing so now because they know their lives would not be safe for a day after their testimony was given. It is a "peculiarity of the Mormon system" for the leaders to spy into all the doings of their people, and to watch constantly the action of those supposed to be weak in the faith. Hence it is necessary for the government of the United States, if it desires to get at these facts, to insure to all full and ample protection. "The effect of the Mormon system upon the people of the Territory" is to keep the masses poor and ignorant, while most of the products of their industry finds its way into the already plethoric purses of their leaders. They generally despise the government of the United States, and are taught constantly that their allegiance is due only to Brigham Young. There are in Utah a great many young people just becoming men and women, born of Mormon parents, who know little beyond the teachings of the Mormon system. I regard them as a dangerous and rapidly increasing element against the development of our republican form of government and education in that Territory, for they are taught to look upon all anti-Mormons as enemies, and to put every obstacle they can in the way to prevent them from obtaining equal rights and justice. In short, I regard the Mormon system as a blot upon the body politic, a disgrace to the nation, and to the age in which we live.

    By Mr. Ashley:

    Question. Do the dissenting Mormons and citizens of the United States, known as "Gentiles," desire other and additional protection from the government of the United States, in order to secure them in their persons and property? If so, what change in the civil government of the Territory do they ask?

    Answer. The dissenting Mormons and Gentiles do desire other and additional protection from the government of the United States in order to secure them in their persons and property. The change they ask is, that Congress should alter or annul the present territorial organization so as to prevent polygamous Mormons and church leaders from controlling the legislature, the courts, and juries. My own opinion is, that this reformation can be best accomplished by establishing in Utah a firm military government, the commanding officer of the United States forces to be governor of the Territory, independent of his military rank, with the power, both in his civil and military capacity, to enforce obedience to the laws of the United States and the laws of the Territory. That all territorial officers of a local character, either executive, judicial, or administrative; also judges, inspectors, and canvassers of elections, should be appointed by the concurrent action of the governor and the judges of the United States court; that all parties who have practiced polygamy since the passage of the act of Congress (1862) on that subject should be disfranchised; that provision should be made for the speedy trial of the Mormon leaders and others who were principal or accessory to the many murders and thefts committed in the Territory; that emigration to the Territory should be encouraged by the United States government,


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              5

    giving ample military protection along the various routes thereto; that the right of suffrage should be secured to all citizens of the United States after a short residence in the Territory. This course pursued by the enactment of suitable laws, I believe that in a few years Utah would have a large and loyal population fit to be made a sovereign and independent State of the Union.

    Sworn to and subscribed this 13th of June, 1866.
    JOS. H. NEVETT.         

    Examination by Mr. Ashley:

    Question. State your name, age, and residence.

    Answer. My name is Joseph Smith; I am in my thirty-fourth year; and I reside at Piano, Kendall county, Illinois.

    Question. Are you the son of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church in the United States?

    Answer. I am.

    Question. On the death of your father, who, under the rules prescribed in the Mormon book of Doctrine and Covenants, became his constitutional successor?

    Answer. His eldest son.

    Question. If you were the legitimate successor of your father, as the head of the Mormon church, will you explain to the committee how the twelve apostles, as they were called at "Nauvoo, Illinois, with Brigham Young, as their president, assumed, after the death of your father, control of the entire Mormon organization?

    Answer. At the death of my father, the twelve, with Brigham Young as their presiding officer, assumed the control of the affairs of the church, as the proper executive quorum next in authority to the quorum of the first presidency, dissolved by the death of my father and my uncle, Hyrum Smith, which right to govern and control, as such quorum, was acquiesced in by a large portion of the church upon the declaration publicly made, that such right was exercised by said quorum during the minority of "young Joseph Smith," and with reference to his attaining to proper age, and the ultimate reorganization of the first presidency in accordance with the rules of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, I being then in my twelfth year. Some time in the year 1847, as I am led to believe, Brigham Young was chosen president of the church by that portion which had left Illinois, and was then moving westward, and thereupon assumed the right and attempted to lead and control the whole church.

    Question. Does the "Book of Mormon" or the book of "Doctrine and Covenants" of the Mormon church recognize or teach the doctrine of polygamy?

    Answer. Neither the "Book of Mormon" nor the book of "Doctrine and Covenants" recognizes or teaches the doctrine of polygamy. On the contrary; these books explicitly condemn and forbid it; as evidence of which, the committee are referred to the following passages from said books, viz:

    "Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shall not commit adultery; but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart. Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart; for it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell. It hath been written, that whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whoso shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery." (Book of Mormon, 3d European edition, page 460.)

    "And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you. But the word of God burthens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord, this people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures; for they seek


    6                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon, his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord; wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women, and whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise, they shall hearken unto these things." (Book of Mormon, 3d European edition, page 118.)

    "Behold, the Lamanites, your brethren, whom ye hate, because of their filthiness and the cursings which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our fathers, that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none; and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. And now this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people." (Book of Mormon, 3d European edition, page 119)

    I have used this edition of the "Book of Mormon," because it was published at Liverpool, England, by F. D. Richards, under the auspices of Brigham Young, in 1852. Several editions of the "Book of Mormon" were published prior to the death of my father, to which reference is here made, as frequent and diligent comparisons have shown that no change had been made up to the year 1852.

    "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit, and if he repent not shall be cast out."

    "Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not shall be cast out." * * *

    "Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out." (Book of Doctrine and Covenants, editions of 1835 and 1845, sec. 13, par. 7; edition of 1863, sec. 42, par. 7.)

    "Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; and he that doth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continues." (Book of Doctrine and Covenants, editions of 1835 and 1845, sec. 13, par. 16; edition of 1863, sec. 42, par. 16.)

    "And again I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to many is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man; wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." (Book of Covenants, editions of 1835 and 1845, sec. 65, par. 3; edition of 1863, sec. 49, par. 3.)

    "All legal contracts of marriage, made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one


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    husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, zzz13 unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents, and masters, who exercise control over their wives, children, and servants, and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin." (Book of Doctrine and Covenants, edition of 1835, sec. 101; edition of 1845, sec. 109, par. 4; edition of 1863, sec. Ill, par. 4.)

    The edition of 1835 was published by the church, under the presidency of my father; that of 1845 under the rule of the twelve, Brigham Young presiding; and that of 1863 was published by the church, under my presidency.

    Question. Will you state when this innovation was made in the doctrines and teachings of the Mormon church? Was it before or after Brigham Young became the head of that part of the church now under his lead, in the Territory of Utah?

    Answer. There is no authentic account, that I am aware of, of its introduction as a doctrine of the church, until about the year 1850, and it was then advocated by that portion under the leadership of Brigham Young, although it is alleged to have been taught to individuals, privately, earlier than that date. It was not known, acknowledged, or held as an article of faith, until after Brigham Young became the leader of that part of the church which went west with him. On the contrary, the imputation of its being taught and practiced was steadily and persistently denied by all, even by those in Utah, up to as late as the year 1850, in which year, if I remember rightly, John Taylor, one of the twelve apostles under Brigham Young, in a public discussion held in Europe, denounced it, and denied their complicity with it. See O. Pratt's works.

    Question. Do you intend the committee to understand that the entire Mormon church in Utah, under the lead of President Young, have apostatized from the faith first delivered to the saints by your father, and that Brigham Young and the leaders and bishops under him are usurpers?

    Answer. I intend the committee to understand, that all that portion of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly called "Mormons," under the leadership of Brigham Young or any one else, who hold to the doctrine of polygamy or plurality of wives and its kindred concomitants, have departed from the principles of the faith delivered to them by my father; and that Brigham Young and his more prominent and immediate adherents are responsible for such apostacy, and have assumed authority wrongfully to lead innocent people astray. I am not prepared to say, that all those now holding nominal adherence to Brigham Young apostatized from primitive "Mormonism;" for I have good reason to believe, that not more than one-fourth of those holding such nominal connexion with him are practical polygamists, and of that number thus practically refusing to indorse the doctrine, very many would openly disavow it, and many who do thus practically indorse it would abandon it, were they made fully aware of the falsity of its origination and adoption, and were properly secured in the safety of their persons and property during such time as might be required to fully re-establish the church upon its original doctrinal basis.

    Question. You refer to the necessity of protecting the persons and property of the Mormons in Utah, should they dissent from the teachings and authority of that branch of the church which you call an apostacy, now under the leadership of Brigham Young. Do you intend the committee to understand that the lives and property of those who are now nominally members of the Mormon church in Utah would not be safe if they should refuse to recognize the leadership and teachings of Brigham Young?


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    Answer. I wish the committee to understand this -- that there is now, and has been for some years, a well-grounded fear resting upon all persons holding nominal connexion with the church and Brigham Young who have felt restive under his government, that any attempt to openly express their opinions, or to escape from the Territory, would be met by persecutions of various kinds, in some of which the loss of life was not improbable; and this year, coupled with the inadequate enforcement of the laws of the United States in the Territory of Utah, and the easy seduction of officers of the government sent to Utah from the path of right-minded dealing with the people of the Territory, has prevented, and still does prevent the free exercise of the right of speech and action, while a system of "tangling alliances" has been sought to be enforced upon all professing "Mormonism" in Utah, that leads me to believe that the property and persons of those dissenting from the rule of Brigham Young in Utah are, and have been, insecure.

    Question. Can you state something near the number belonging to the Mormon church in the United States at the death of your father?

    Answer. In a work called "An Original History of the Religious Denominations in the United States," published by Mr. I. Daniel Rupp, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the year 1844, there is an article written by my father, in which the number of members belonging to the "Church of Latter Day Saints" is stated to be about " 150,000;" two-thirds of which perhaps were in the United States.

    Question. How long was it after the death of your father before President Young left the States for Great Salt Lake, and what proportion of the people belonging to the Mormon church in the United States did he induce to unite with him?

    Answer. My father died in June, 1844, and Brigham Young left Illinois, for the west, in the spring of 1846. A temporary stop was made in western Iowa, but of how long duration I do not now remember. My opinion is, that of the number in the United States belonging to the church at the death of my father, not more than one-third went to Utah. And of the number that did go, thousands are now scattered over the United States and Territories, holding steadfastly to the principles of faith as promulgated in my father's lifetime, and as originally understood and obeyed by them. And very many have been added to this faith under the ministration of good and loyal men.

    Question. When you speak of the number belonging to the Mormon church, do you speak of communicants only, or do you include in your enumeration all children and members of the family belonging to the church?

    Answer. In speaking of numbers, I refer to those identifying themselves with the church after their arrival to the years of accountability.

    Question. Did the Mormon church, under the presidency of your father, or do they now, under your presidency, teach hostility to the government of the United States?

    Answer. The church under the presidency of my father did not teach hostility to the government of the United States, as I have every reason to believe. Neither does it now, under my presidency, so teach; but to the contrary, we hold it to be a cardinal virtue to "be subject to the powers that be." And, furthermore, that it is our duty to uphold good men in office; honoring magistrates and rulers as such; denouncing sedition and strife as unbecoming to the Christian and punishable by legitimate process of law.

    Question. Do the leaders of that part of the Mormon church in Utah under the presidency of Brigham Young teach hostility to the government of the United States?

    Answer. I cannot say of my personal knowledge that they do; nor do I know anything more respecting it than is contained in the published reports of speeches made by them in Utah and elsewhere that I have read.


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    Question. State the cardinal points of the faith of the church of Latter Day Saints, known as Mormons, under the presidency of your father and under your presidency, and also whether or not you accept the Old and New Testament Scriptures as of Divine authenticity?

    Answer. The cardinal points of the faith of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," under my father's presidency, as I find them written by his own hand, are as 'follows:

    "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

    "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

    "We believe that through the atonement of Christ all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

    "We believe that these ordinances are, 1st, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, repentance; 3d, baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins; 4th, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

    "We believe that a man must be called of God by ' prophecy and by laying on of hands' by those who are in authority to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."

    "We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, viz: Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists," &c.

    "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, &c."

    "We believe the Bible to be the word of God so far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

    "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."

    "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its Paradisal glory."

    "We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, and what they may."

    "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

    "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul: 'We believe all things; we hope all things.' We have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there be anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek thereafter."

    The church, under my presidency, acquiesce in and hold to the same points p of faith enumerated above, to which we add that --

    "We believe that God has not, at any time heretofore, nor will He at any time hereafter, reveal anything unto the children of men that will contradict and destroy the effect of any plan of salvation, or law of commandment, by obedience to which he has declared they may have eternal life, and a disregard of which will leave them without excuse and without reward, save of punishment."

    Question. What protection, in your opinion, is necessary to secure the persons and property of the Mormons in Utah who dissent from and refuse to submit to the teachings of Brigham Young and the leaders of the Mormon church in that Territory?

    Answer. Simply the plain official declaration of the government that such protection will be given, and the prompt enforcement of the United States law in


    10                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    the Territory; the withdrawal of such governmental appointees as have only strength enough to suck the "pap" patriarchal, and the appointment of such men as have had no affiliation with treason and the evasion of the law; the prompt and effective assistance to such officers of the government as are upright enough to act rightly under adverse circumstances; such legislation as an investigation of the affairs of the Territory may seem to demand; but more than all this, such prompt and persistent administration of already existing laws, with such as may hereafter be enacted, as will establish the fact of protection and safety, not only in the minds of those desiring them, but also in the minds of those from whose aggressive policy such protection is desirable, whomsoever they may be.

    The "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," known as "Mormons," both under my father's presidency and my own, accept the Old and New Testament scriptures as of divine authenticity, so far as they have been correctly translated, but believe that they have been mutilated, to some extent, in translation.
    JOSEPH SMITH.         
    Sworn and subscribed June 23, 1866.

    Examination by Mr. Ashley:

    Question. Have you resided in the Territory of Utah; if so, how long and in what capacity?

    Answer. I have resided in the Territory of Utah, as military commander of the district, since October, 1862.

    Question. Have you had such intercourse with the Mormon population of Utah since your residence among them as would enable you to give this committee an insight into the principal working of their system? If so, please state what you know upon the subject.

    Answer. I have had considerable intercourse with them. I have employed them a good deal, and lent them protection and assistance in various ways from the oppression of their leaders when they deserved it.

    Question. Do the Mormon leaders teach and enjoin upon their followers polygamy as a fundamental principle of their religion?

    Answer. Yes. The Mormon leaders of Utah do enjoin upon their followers polygamy as a fundamental principle of their religion.

    Question. What proportion of the Mormon population residing in Utah are polygamists in practice? State your knowledge on this point.

    Answer. I believe about one-third of the adult population.

    Question. Has polygamy been practiced and inculcated by the Mormon leaders and their followers since the passage of the act of Congress in 1862 prohibiting it?

    Answer. Polygamy has been inculcated and practiced by the leaders and many of their followers since the act of 1862. They are more urgent and defiant than ever in this practice. Polygamy is a test of Mormon orthodoxy. No Mormon is trusted or promoted who does not practice polygamy. The delegate from Utah Territory is an exception -- in appearance.

    Question. Does the Mormon system teach loyalty or disloyalty to the government of the United States?

    Answer. Mormonism, in Utah, teaches disloyalty and treason to the government as a practice enjoined by their religion. It is regarded by good Mormons as not only allowable, but meritorious to assail and despoil the federal government in every practicable way. A person is not considered a thorough Mormon until he or she has taken their endowments. I have been assured by Mormons who have taken their endowments that they were compelled to subscribe to the following oath: Second degree of Melchizedek priesthood. -- We were sworn to cherish constant enmity toward the United States government for not avenging the death of Smith and righting the persecution of the saints; to do all that we


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              11

    could toward destroying, tearing down, or overthrowing that government; to endeavor to baffle its designs and frustrate its intentions; to renounce all allegiance and refuse all submission. If unable to do anything toward the accomplishment of this through life, to entail it upon our children.

    Question. Can you state what proportion of the Mormon, people residing in the Territory of Utah are loyal to the government of the United States, and what proportion are disloyal?

    Answer. I can only say that the leaders generally are disloyal to the federal government. The exact proportion of the people who are disloyal I cannot say.

    Question. Have the Mormons a State government organized and in operation; if so, how long has it been organized, and how do they keep its machinery in motion and pay the expenses thereof?

    Answer. The Mormons have a State government in operation, which they call the government of the State of Deseret. It has been organized many years. They have a governor, lieutenant governor, and other officers, and members of the legislature. Brigham Young is governor and Heber C. Kimball the lieutenant governor. They hold a session of the Deseret legislature annually, immediately succeeding that of the territorial legislature, and they are composed, as I believe, of the same members. They receive a message from the governor, Brigham Young, and, I believe, have generally adopted the laws passed by the territorial legislature. The expenses, if paid at all, I believe, are paid by the federal government. At any rate, they use the building, furniture, and fuel provided by the federal government for the territorial legislature.

    Question. Do you know whether the recognized Mormon leaders have assumed to authorize and justify homicide?

    Answer. I have no doubt that the Mormon leaders have assumed to authorize and justify homicide. I believe it from their own record, from current report among themselves, and from a Mormon who confessed to me that he had committed murder by direction of the Mormon leaders, and believed at the time that he was doing right, as taught by them. As further evidence, I submit the following copy of a special order issued by advice of Brigham Young for the murder of eighty innocent men, discharged teamsters from General Johnston's command, then at Fort Bridger, Utah, who were en route for California. Fortunately the officer designated to execute the order was a humane person and did not execute it, and lately gave the original copy to a federal officer in Utah, and it is now in my possession. The signature of James Ferguson is authenticated by the affidavit of two respectable Mormon merchants of Salt Lake City.

    [Special Order.]

    "Salt Lake City, April 9, 1858.      
    "The officer in command of escort is hereby ordered to see that every man is well prepared with ammunition and have it ready at the time you see those teamsters a hundred miles from the settlements. President Young advises that they should be all killed to prevent them from returning to Bridger to join our enemies. Every precaution should be taken and see that not one escapes. Secrecy is required.

    "By order of General Daniel H. Wells.
    "JAMES FERGUSON,      
    "Assistant Adjutant General."      
    Heber Kimball, second president of the church, is officially reported in the church organ, (the Deseret News) to have said in a sermon delivered September 15, 1857, as follows, upon the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. Heber said:

    I read to you from a discourse of President Brigham Young, delivered September 21, 1856:


    12                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    "There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come; and if they had their eyes open to their true condition, they would he perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins; whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

    "I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them.

    * * *

    "It is true the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall, and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand: they understand the doctrine, and throw out a few words about it. You have been taught that doctrine, but you do not understand it."

    Discourse of President J. M. Grant, delivered March 12, 1854. He is speaking of what he calls " covenant-breakers" -- those who leave the Brighamite church -- and he says:

    "Then what ought this meek people who keep the commandments of God do unto them? 'Why,' says one, 'they ought to pray to the Lord to kill them.' I want to know if you would wish the Lord to come down and do all your dirty work? Many of the Latter Day Saints will pray, and petition, and supplicate

    the Lord to do a thousand things they themselves would be ashamed to do.

    * * *

    "When a man prays for a thing, he ought to be willing to perform it himself. But if the Latter Day Saints 'should put to death the covenant-breakers, it would try the faith of the 'very meek, just, and pious' ones among them, and it would cause a great deal of whining in Israel.

    "Then there was another odd commandment. The Lord God commanded them not to pity the person whom they killed, but to execute the law of God upon persons worthy of death. This should be done by the entire congregation, showing no pity. I have thought there would have to be quite a revolution among the Mormons before such a commandment could be obeyed completely by them. The Mormons have a great deal of sympathy. For instance, if they can get a man before the tribunal administering the law of the land, and succeed in getting a rope around his neck, and having him hung up like a dead dog, it is all right. But if the church and kingdom of God should step forth and execute the law of God, O, what a burst of Mormon sympathy it would cause! I wish we were in a situation far or able to our doing that which is justifiable before God, without any contaminating influence of Gentile amalgamation, laws, and traditions, that the people of God might lay the axe to the root of the tree, and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit might be hewn down.

    "What! do you believe that people would do right, and keep the law of God, by actually putting to death the transgressors? Putting to death the transgressors would exhibit the law of God, no matter by whom it was done. That is my opinion.

    "You talk of the doings of different governments -- the United States if you please. What do they do with traitors? What mode do they adopt to punish traitors? Do traitors to that government forfeit their lives? Examine also the doings of other earthly governments on this point, and you find the same practice


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              13

    universal. I am not aware that there are any exceptions. But people will look into books of theology, and argue that the people of God have a right to try people for fellowship, but they have no right to try them on property or life. That makes the devil laugh, saying: I have got them on a hook now; they can cut them off, and I will put eight or ten spirits worse than they are into their tabernacles, and send them back to mob them."

    President J. M. Grant said, September 21, 1856, (see Deseret News, vol. 6, page 235:)

    "I say there are men and women here that I would advise to go to the president immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood."

    Brigham Young said, March 2, 1856, (see Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 226:)

    "The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broadsword, and ask, 'are you for God? and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down."

    Question. Do you know of the existence of a secret band of murderers, subject to the orders and control of the Mormon leaders, called the Danites or avenging angels?

    Answer. I have no doubt there is such a band. I believe it from current report among themselves, from my knowledge derived from Mormons of the murders committed in pursuance of the orders of the Mormon leaders.

    Question. Can you give the committee any facts in relation to the Mountain Meadows massacre?

    Answer. Of the Mountain Meadow massacre I know nothing of my own knowledge. General report among the Mormons themselves ascribe the massacre to the Mormons by the orders of the Mormon leaders.

    Question. In what way have the Mormons assumed to dispose of the public lands of the United States in the Territory of Utah, so as to exclude from their occupation all who are not Mormons?

    Answer. They have granted large tracts of land to the leaders, to the exclusion of actual settlers, and the poor of their own people. Very nearly all the good timber and grazing lands in the Territory are thus granted, and the federal government and people are taxed by the holders of those grants for the occupation or use of the land and timber.

    Question. Have the Mormons of Utah opposed and sought to prevent the development of the mines of that Territory by those who were not Mormons?

    Answer. They have opposed the exploration and development of the gold and silver mines to such an extent that I was compelled to issue a circular warning them against using violence against citizens in the legitimate pursuit of their vocations, and in many instances furnished escorts of my troops to prospectors and miners to protect them from violence. Miners and mining are denounced by the Mormon leaders.

    Question. Have you any suggestions to make as to the best mode of prohibiting the evils of which you speak?

    Answer. I would recommend the passage of a law forever disfranchising and making ineligible to office all Mormons who, since the passage of the act of 1862, have entered into polygamy. The election laws should be repealed or amended, so as to admit of the right of suffrage to American citizens after a residence of thirty days. As the law now stands, aided by Mormon trickery, the so-called "Gentiles" are virtually disfranchised. There are many good people in the Mormon church of Utah, who are eagerly looking for some action on the part of Congress and the government to relieve them from the tyranny and oppressions of their leaders. The so-called ''Gentile" element in Utah pray for equal


    14                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    rights in the land of their fathers, and of which they are deprived by Mormon legislation, Mormon judges, perjury, and chicanery. I understand the ballot in Utah is numbered, and the number set opposite, the name of the voter on the poll-list. This law should be repealed, also all laws of the territorial legislature granting special franchises to the leaders, to the exclusion of the poor of the Mormon people, and the incoming Gentile immigration. Two thousand troops should be stationed in Utah, and assurance of protection given to the people who desire to sever their connexion with the Mormon church in Utah. If this is done, and the legislation recommended is had, the problem will soon solve itself, and without conflict. The military strength of the Mormons is much overrated. Five thousand of our men, properly commanded, can sweep the Territory like a besom.

    Question. Do the dissenting Mormons and citizens of the United States, known as "Gentiles," desire other and additional protection from the government of the United States, in order to secure them in their persons and property; if so, what change in the civil government of the Territory do they ask?

    Answer. The dissenting Mormons and Gentiles of Utah deem the presence of at least two thousand troops necessary for their protection. They have no fixed plan as to the best means to be pursued in reference to the government of the Territory. They rely upon the wisdom of Congress for action, after having the facts in regard to the condition of the Territory before them. In my opinion, a repeal of the organic act, and the passage of a law making the governor and united judges the appointing and law-making power, would meet the emergency.
    P. EDWARD CONNOR.      
    Sworn to and subscribed this 14th day of June, 1866.

    Interrogatories propounded to Norman McLeod by Mr. Rice:

    Question. Have you resided in the Territory of Utah; if so, how long, and in what capacity?

    Answer. I have resided in the Territory of Utah fourteen months, as post chaplain at Camp Douglas, and as minister of the gospel and public lecturer in Salt Lake City.

    Question. What do you judge the present number of the population of the Territory to be? What part of the population is Mormon, and what part anti-Mormon or "Gentile?" Of the Mormon population, what number or proportion are adult males, what adult females, and what is the number under the age of puberty? Is the population being increased largely by immigration? What proportion of immigrants are Mormon, and what "Gentile?" Please state any other facts and opinions bearing upon the subject of population in the Territory, present and prospective, which you may deem important?

    Answer. In my opinion, the population of Utah Territory is less than seventy thousand. It is the policy of the leaders to exaggerate the numbers and power of the Mormons, but well-informed gentlemen, who have resided for many years in the Territory, do not place the number above what I have stated. In my opinion, the adult male "Gentiles" are about as one to twelve of the adult male Mormons. There is quite a percentage, however, yet claimed as Mormons, who, if assured of protection, would range themselves with the anti-Mormon or "Gentile" element; but owing to the fear of social ostracism, if not of severer penalties, it is difficult to elicit the sentiments of such, and to state precisely their numbers. The adult males are probably less than twenty thousand, and the adult females about twenty-five thousand. The population is yearly increased by immigration from three to five thousand. The Mormon immigration has hitherto been largely in excess of the "Gentile," but the discovery and opening up of the vast mineral resources of Utah will, in my opinion, reverse that, and in less than three years give a majority to the "Gentile" population, and a victory to the democratic-republican ideas, but full protection must be granted.


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              15

    Question. Please state what you know of the agricultural and mineral resources of the Territory, as developed or capable of development. What are the inducements for permanent settlement, as regards climate, health, &c.?

    Answer. Silver leads have been discovered at Rush Valley, forty miles west of Salt Lake City; also at Bingham's Canyon, some twenty miles north of Salt Lake City; also on the Cottonwood, within twenty miles of the city; also at Paranegat, three hundred and fifty miles south of the city. From the numerous assays already made, the above mines give promise of great richness. Companies have been formed and are being formed, and skilled labor and capital concentrated for their development. Discharged soldiers and miners from Nevada and California and the Territories are making new discoveries, locating feet, and will doubtless become permanent settlers. It is claimed by experienced miners that the mines of Utah are of a very permanent character, and positively inexhaustible, warranting the hope of large and permanent populations. Oil springs have also been discovered, and machinery purchased for the refining process; also iron ore of superior quality in the very track of the Pacific railroad. Within a few miles even of Salt Lake City there are many thousands of acres of unoccupied government land, capable, by comparatively small expense, of being irrigated, presenting a tempting prize to the agriculturist, with the promise of remunerative prices for all the products of his labor. There are vast stretches also of unoccupied land in various other valleys of Utah, besides the large estates usurped by the Mormon leaders and hierarchy, to which they have no title to exclude actual settlers. As to the climate, it is dry and temperate; fruits and vegetables of various kinds raised in abundance, and of fine quality. Wherever water can be found for irrigation, even the seemingly blasted desert is made a fruitful field. In my opinion, the climate and resources of the Territory of Utah are such as to warrant the expectation, at no distant day, of a numerous, healthy, and prosperous population.

    Question. What do you know of the organization, faith, forms, practices, orders, obligations, and powers of the so-called "Church of the Latter Day Saints," or Mormons; does it assume and exercise political as well as spiritual powers, and in what manner? Please state fully all facts, and your opinions bearing upon this subject.

    Answer. In the Mormon church there are numerous presidents, bishops, apostles, elders, teachers, but the authority resolves itself into the will of Brigham. His will is the absolute law of the faithful. The grand idea ever kept before the people is, that Brigham's will is higher than the Constitution, higher than any human law, of more binding obligation even than the Christian revelation, the latest revelation, indeed, from God. It may conflict with the civilization of the age; it may be opposed to the laws of all Christian lands; it may be in conflict with the laws of nature, but it is God's latest revelation, through his servant Brigham, and it is to be obeyed. Brigham assumes to dictate in everything. The ballot in Utah is numbered. The name of the voter can thus be detected. To oppose the nominee of Brigham is to disobey counsel and to expose himself to the terrors of the church, assuming a milder or severer aspect according to the opportunity, but always prescriptive, tyrannic, and oppressive.

    Question. What is the policy of the Mormon church and people as to the settlement in the Territory of persons holding anti-Mormon sentiments; and do they favor social and business intercourse with such or otherwise; does the Mormon creed and practice forbid the marriage of Mormons with "Gentiles;" if so, under what penalties and how enforced?

    Answer. It has always been Brigham's policy and that of his co-hierarch to exclude the "Gentiles." It is his counsel to the people not to sell the "Gentiles" any land, and the faithful consult him in such matters. All social and business intercourse between Mormons and "Gentiles" is discountenanced by


    16                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    the leaders and frequently denounced; the merchants, lawyers, and Gentiles generally receiving large measures of abuse. Indeed, the Tabernacle and Ward House so-called sermons are largely made up of the most vile and vulgar abuse of the "Gentiles," inflaming the prejudices and passions of their people against them, classing them among everything that is impious, as if the seduction of their wives and daughters were their motive and purpose in going to Utah. For a Mormon woman to marry a "Gentile " is to exclude herself from Mormon society, and to expose herself to the obscene remarks and base allusions of a licentious priesthood. She is cut off from the church, her name read out in public with unfavorable comments, to intimidate others from a like course. For associating with the "Gentiles" young Mormon ladies of respectability are denounced from the public stands in language too vile for utterance. I beg leave, in this connexion, to submit a copy of a recent telegram from Associate Justice McCurdy, supreme court Utah Territory, also from Colonel Potter, commanding the district of Utah, to Brigadier General P. E. Connor:

    "Western Union Telegraph Company,     
    "Great Salt Lake City, April 8, 1866.      
    "Brigadier General P. E. Connor, Metropolitan Hotel, New York:

    "I married O. N. Brassfield to a Mormon woman on the 28th ultimo. Brassfield was assassinated on the night of the 3d instant. I have been denounced and threatened publicly. Government officials have telegraphed the Secretary of War to retain troops here until others are sent to relieve them. Call on Secretary of War, learn his conclusions, and answer. I feel unsafe in person and property without protection.
    "H. P. McCURDY,      
    "Associate Justice Supreme Court, Utah Territory."     

    "Western Union Telegraph Company,     
    "Salt Lake City, April 12, 1866.      
    "Brigadier General P. E. Connor, Metropolitan Hotel, New York:

    "Mr. Brassfield was married by Judge McCurdy to the second wife of a Mormon by the name of Hill, and was arrested, the first day of his marriage, for visiting the house his wife formerly lived in, to get her property, for larceny and for resisting an officer. On trial before probate court both charges failed. Writ of habeas corpus before United States court; right of custody to two children, belonging to Mrs. Brassfield, was on trial night of 3d. Hearing, night of 4th. Case adjourned to April 6. Brassfield, going home, was shot in the back and killed. Assassin escaped and no efforts made to arrest him. The Gentiles offer a reward of ($4,500) four thousand five hundred dollars for his apprehension. Mormon press and Tabernacle seem to sustain the assassin, and dare the Gentiles to publish their names to reward offered. Have been ordered to retain troops in service until regular troops arrive.
    "C. A. POTTER,      
    "Colonel 6th Infantry U. S. A., Commanding District."     

    Question. What is the penalty in the Mormon church for apostacy from its creed and practices? Have you known cases in which persecution and personal injury have followed such apostacy? if so, please state them.

    Answer. Apostacy is the greatest sin recognized by the Mormon church; the penalty, to which by solemn oaths they subject themselves in the endowment house, is the shedding of their blood, by having the throat cut from ear to ear and the bowels gashed open. The doctrine taught is, that without such blood-shedding apostates cannot be saved. I beg leave, under this head, to quote from a discourse of Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857, reported by George D. Watt and published in


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              17

    the Deseret News: "I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have teen righteously slain in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance in the last resurrection if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil. I have known a great many men who have left this church for whom there is no chance whatever for their exaltation; but if their blood had been spilled it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force. This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he need help, help him; and if he wants salvation, and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind."

    A man may be a drunkard, obscene, profane, a thief, his hands may be foul with blood, yet if he pay his tithing he is recognized us a member of the Mormon church; but let him dissent from Mormonism, and disobey counsel, and he 5s denounced as the vilest of men; his life is forfeited. To kill him is a religious act. It is the right way to save him. I could givje you the names of parties in Salt Lake City who have been persecuted and threatened because of what the leaders are pleased to call their apostacy, but in the present state of feeling there it would not, in my opinion, be safe to do so. I have already braved the threats and revolvers of the upholders of the system, and if necessary will do so again; but decline to say anything that would deepen the hatred and inflame the vengeance of the hierarchy against those who are thinking their way to light and liberty, and whom their system has done so much to unman and to terrify. Give the protection naturally expected from the old flag to the poor tremblers of Utah, and, in my opinion, testimony, growing into demonstration, of the tyrannic rule exercised over that unhappy people will be forthcoming.

    Question. What proportion of the adult Mormons, if any, do you think would choose to be released from the obligation and practice of polygamy as a part of their creed or system? If any considerable number would so choose, please state whether such sentiments art more or less prevalent among the males than the females?

    Answer. It is my opinion that not over one-third of the adult males are in polygamy. I cannot tell what proportion would desire to be relieved from the obligations, though I know a few who regret bitterly that they were ever seduced into the unnatural relation. I never meet a Mormon woman, actually in polygamy, who attempts to defend the system. In many cases it is regarded as a duty to submit to the infamy -- accepted as a cross, but it is crushing and intolerable. It is my opinion that what in too many cases is vile passion on the part of the men is a mistaken notion of religion on the part of the women. Once in polygamy, and the mother of children, her love for them is the chain binding her in the loathsome servitude.

    Question. Have many cases of apostacy occurred among the Mormons? If so, have the apostates remained among the Mormons, so far as residence was concerned, or were they obliged to flee? Can any avowed apostate live in peace and safety in any Mormon community in which the Mormon church has full power? If apostates could be amply protected, what number do you judge would disavow Mormonism, and what proportion of them males and what females?

    Answer. Many cases of apostacy have occurred, but the apostates, under various pretences, or quite secretly, sought shelter outside of Utah. There are many


    18                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    in California and other places on the Pacific who were at one time identified with the Mormon church in Utah. I know of but few avowed apostates in Salt Lake City, and they are very cautious and submissive, biding their time, living in dread of the vengeance to which, by oath, they have devoted themselves, and confessing that they dare not come out more decidedly lest the troops should be withdrawn and themselves and their children devoted to the tender mercies of the Destroying Angel. It is my opinion he could not. While lecturing on polygamy in Salt Lake City, it was the reiterated remark of Mormons on the public streets that, but for the troops, I could not live an hour to give utterance to such sentiments. And apostates are hated more than any Gentile, because they have secrets the leaders dread to have revealed. It is my opinion, from frequent conversations with those who are yet claimed as Mormons, that such is the tyranny exercised over that, unhappy people that without the most full and ample assurance of protection there will be no large outcoming from the ranks of Mormonism, but with such assurance of protection, given to understand that the government there, as elsewhere, has a policy and purpose of stern opposition to every attempt to crush out free speech and the exercise of the rights of American citizens. Let them comprehend that they have a banner, and large numbers will come out and, by the exercise of their proud franchise, help to uplift Utah to freedom.

    Question. Aside from polygamy, what moral or immoral precepts and practices does the Mormon system enjoin? What is the general character of the Mormons as regards industry, frugality, temperance, and sobriety?

    Answer. It justifies deception, theft, robbery, when the Gentiles are the victims. It fosters hatred towards all governments and all religions outside of Utah and of the Mormon religion. It devotes its enemies and opposers to perdition. It is divested of every element of the divine religion. It teaches the doctrine of the shedding of blood for the remission of sins, virtually justifying assassination. I beg leave under this head to submit the tract entitled "Brigham's Doctrines," (No. 1.) As to the general character of the Mormons, who have for years drank in its vitiating and demoralizing teachings, I beg leave to quote from Brigham Young. He remarked, in the tabernacle, November 9, 1856: "I have many a time on this stand dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can. We can beat them at anything. We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and every other shade of character you can mention. We can pick out elders in Israel right here, who can beat the world at gambling; who can handle the cards; can cut and shuffle them with the smartest rogue on the face of God's footstool. I can produce elders here who can shave their smartest shavers and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game." The above remarks were reported by George D. Walt, a Mormon, the church reporter, and published in the Deseret News.

    Question. What is the school system in Utah, and how supported? Is there any discrimination in the schools against the children of anti-Mormons, and in what manner? Do the children of Mormons and Gentiles attend the schools together?

    Answer. There is no free school system in Utah. As yet there are but few Gentile children in Salt Lake City; and we have a Gentile school.

    Question. What are the teachings of the Mormon church and leaders as regards loyalty to, and respect for, the government and laws of the United States? On which side were their sympathies during the war of the rebellion? What are their feelings towards the United States troops stationed among them? What, in your judgment, would be the result if the troops should be withdrawn, as regards the peace and safety of the people who are not in sympathy with the Mormons, and persons travelling through the Territory?

    Answer. During the dark years of our national agony it was the prayer and prediction of the Mormon apostles and prophets that war would continue until


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              19

    both the north and south were utterly desolated, and then the Mormons would fall heir to the wealth and the women. The leaders are bitterly opposed to the troops, but many of the young women are peculiarly attached to "the brave boys in blue." As chaplain of the post I have performed many marriages within the year between soldiers and other Gentiles and Mormon women. I beg leave in this connexion to present the following extract, headed "One of the twelve on the national government:"

    "At Toole City, Sunday, August 28, 1864, several of the leaders addressed a congregation. Portions of their remarks are thus reported by James W. Gibeon, a soldier in the United States service. He is ready to make affidavit to the literal accuracy of the report, and Colonel Milo George, of the 1st Nevada volunteers, commandant of this post, (Camp Douglas, Utah Territory,) vouches fully for its veracity. George A. Smith is one of the twelve apostles, the highest authorities of the church after Brigham and Kimball. Among other things, he said: 'The Lincoln administration did not want peace with the south, but wanted to destroy and devastate all the good southern people. In order to do so the party in power had laid aside the Constitution entirely, and were the main ones who rebelled, and the sooth was right. The northern army burned and destroyed everything in the south, and abused by force all their women. They would be here some day to treat the fair women of Utah in like manner, and all, both old and young, should have plenty of arms. When they approached God would fight the battles, and the saints would be victorious. He said our government was not at peace, and damned it, and hoped to see the day when it would sink to hell. Nothing in the shape of a free government could ever stand in North American soil that was opposed to Mormonism and polygamy.'"

    Brigham Young instructing his followers:

    The following sentences are from the sermon of Brigham Young, (on the same occasion:) "Our constitution has been violated and misused, the whole nation and the whole world had been arrayed against the Latter-Day Saints; our government had tampered with the Mormons where it had no right to; he told the government often that he was willing to be tried here by the law for any accusation brought against him, and nothing could be done with him. The Mormons had the law in their own hands and would do as they pleased." The congregation: "Amen!" Brigham: "If they undertake to try him in a Gentile court he would see the government in hell first, and was ready to fight the government the rub. He had his soldiers, and rifles, and pistols, and ammunition, and plenty of it, and cannon too, and would use them. He was 'on it.' The governor of this Territory was useless, and could do nothing. He (Brigham) was the real governor of this people, and by powers of the Most High, he would be governor of this Territory for ever and ever. If the Gentiles did not like this they could leave and go to hell. Nine-tenths of the people of this Territory were southern sympathizers; the north was wrong, and the people sympathized with the south."

    It is my opinion that were the troops withdrawn grave interests would be imperiled, a reign of terror inaugurated, and the spirit of vengeance, fostered by the teachings of the hierarchy, break forth into acts that would precipitate a conflict in which much treasure would be expended, and many precious lives sacrificed. All who are suspected of sympathy for Gentileism would be persecuted. It would be disastrous to every interest but that of the one man power; retard mining, endanger travel, give license and a field of operations to the revengeful bands that for years have been restrained through fear of General Connor.

    Question. Are there political or military associations among the Mormons? If so, what is their organization and character? Are their meetings secret or open to the public?


    20                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    Answer. They have a military organization and a secret organization connected with the Endowment House.

    Question. Are the Mormons divided in political sentiment and action, or do they usually think and act together? Are they left free by the Mormon system to think and act and vote with perfect freedom, politically? Is it allowable for a Mormon to vote for an anti-Mormon or Gentile?

    Answer. To be a faithful Mormon, to be true to his obligations, his will must be yielded up to the will of Brigham. There is no freedom of thought or action in Mormonism. To think and act for himself, governed only by the lofty principles of reason and philosophy, would subject him to the penalties of the church. Such freedom of thought and action would be claimed as the surest evidence of apostacy. Unreasoning submission to the will of Brigham is the highest law of Mormonism.

    Question. Do you know of any wrongs and outrages committed against immigrants and travellers by Indians, at the instigation of the Mormon leaders? Have the Mormons united and participated in such proceedings? Do you know anything of the "Mountain Meadow massacre," so called? Please state fully all you know, and all you believe to be true, in response to this interrogatory with the sources of your knowledge.

    Answer. I do not. I believe, however, that the testimony is accumulative in Utah, that many outrages and assassinations have been committed by bands of Mormons, in the guise of Indians. I believe that during the past year Brigham has been careful to restrain the passions his teachings fostered, lest he should prejudice his cause at Washington; but that if protection were pledged, the testimony implicating many of the Mormon leaders in fearful crimes would be forthcoming, and the guilty brought to justice. Nothing can be done, however, in that regard, without protection. I know of but few who are willing to sacrifice their business, their social standing, and perhaps their life, to bring the guilty to punishment. I know persons who are claimed as Mormons who, if in safety, would disclose secrets of a most dark and damning character, but they are mute through fear.

    Question. From your knowledge of the Territory and its inhabitants, what, in your judgment, would be the effect upon place and people, now and in the future, by their admission into the Union as a State, with an article in their constitution, irrevocable, forever prohibiting polygamy therein?

    Answer. In my opinion, too many of the letter-writers and others, in the contemplated action upon the Mormon question, take for granted that polygamy is the only evil to be combatted, whereas it is only one of the fruits of the system. The whole system is pregnant with principles of eternal antagonism to the civilization of the nineteenth century. It is the purest, or rather the impurest, despotism on earth. It has no idea in common with the American idea of government. It destroys individualism. It debases manhood. The masses of the people of Utah are ignorant of America and of her institutions. Exclude polygamy and admit Utah as a State, and Brigham will be the first governor. His creatures will be the representatives and senators in Congress. His will will be the law of the blighted and hopeless State. By prescriptive laws, and by every device known to tyrants, Gentiles will be persecuted and excluded. The mining interest would be sacrificed. The leaders would have polygamy too, and every other abomination, and Brigham would boast, as he has so often done, that he had outwitted the government. To admit Utah now as a State would be to give the leaders the power to persecute the "Gentiles" and the so-called apostates, and to carry out all their vengeance. The gain of years to liberty and equitable rule in Utah, by General Connor's wise, fair, and eminently safe and dignified policy, would be lost. As Gentiles, we would have to close our church and our schools, and abandon the Territory, or enter on n hopeless combat against fearful odds for our imperilled liberties. If now, under


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              21

    territorial rule, the creatures of the hierarchy dared to enter our place of worship on the Christian Sabbath, headed by an armed assassin, to menace free speech, and if occasion offered, to slay the speaker, what might we not expect if they had Brigham for their governor? In the name of every lofty interest of humanity and of liberty, and for the honor of our beloved country, do not involve Utah and her people in such calamities as would be sure to follow her admission. Let time be given for the various agencies there centring to do their ennobling work, and at no distant day to fit Utah to be a State in the Union.

    Question. What remedies can you propose or recommend for the evils existing in the Territory, as you understand and have explained them?

    Answer. Give ample protection, proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants, the sacred assurance of the government that no power, under whatever pretense, shall be allowed to intimidate or menace or injure them while in the pursuit of their lawful avocations, exercising the franchise of American freemen. So important, in my opinion, is this assurance, as an element to help solve the dark problem, that I would recommend that the President send such a proclamation to that unhappy people. It would banish their fears; it would awaken a jubilee in the land, and unwonted joy would fill the crushed heart of woman.

    Withhold from the polygamists the title to the lands; disfranchise them so as to disqualify them to act as jurors and to hold office; give Gentiles the right to vote after a residence of six months; sweep away the numbered ballots; protect the Mormon people in their refusal to pay Brigham & Co. the crushing tithing; cover with the shield of the republic the heads of those who are standing up for free speech in Utah; encourage immigration, mining, and, above all, the Pacific railroad; enforce or wipe out the law against polygamy; give us two thousand troops and a commander worthy to succeed General Conner -- comprehending the situation perfectly, above the facinations, allurements, and appliances of demoralization, the Mormon leaders know so well how to employ to sink men to the level of their purposes -- a commander with the prestige of a name synonymous with obedience to his country's laws and with devotion to her interest, and time, in my opinion, will do the rest; the conflict of ideas will deepen, but within three years it will be determined on which side the right forces are contending.

    Question. Will you give a more full explanation of the doctrine of the Mormons, as regards "polygamy," "endowment," and "sealing," as taught and practiced in their church?

    Answer. In a sermon by Brigham Young, at Provo, Utah Territory, published in the Deseret News, July 14, 1855, polygamy is claimed to be the "patriarchal order of marriage, for the purpose of raising up to God a royal priesthood, a peculiar people." Brigham says, "by the introduction of this law, I can be the instrument of preparing tabernacles for those spirits which have come to this dispensation. Under this law, I and my brethren are preparing tabernacles for those spirits which have been preserved to enter into bodies of honor, and be taught the pure principles of life and salvation.

    "This revelation which God gave to Joseph was for the express purpose of providing a channel for the organization of tabernacles for those spirits to occupy who have been reserved to come forth in the kingdom of God, and that they might not be obliged to take tabernacles out of the kingdom of God.

    "Now, if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation or any other revelation that the Lord has given and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned."

    Polygamy degrades woman. It is an insult and horror to her nature -- destroying her self-respect, robbing her of the proud character of spiritual, intellectual, moral, responsible agent, with polluted hands tearing the bright crown of individuality from her brow, and entwining it with a crown of thorns --


    22                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    nay, putting a collar on her neck, placing her under the authority of a brutal tyrant, claimed, in the language of Heber Kimball, to be "her head, her revelator, her dictator, her prophet, her priesthood," her everything expressive of masterhood and ownership -- the right to trample on her and on all her hopes. It recognizes woman as a mere animal to introduce other animals on the earthly scene. To bear children is regarded as her highest mission. The divine ideal takes in the intellectual and moral training of the young immortals, and all the necessary conditions and agencies to make that tuition a grand success. It is to fill the earth with beings of nobly developed characters; but polygamy presents none of the necessary conditions, and surrounds with none of the favorable circumstances to the increase of such exalted specimens of humanity. In its great injustice to the mother, it disqualifies her to be a mother to her children, strictly speaking, commencing its dark conspiracy against them before they see the light, and become conscious of their inheritance of shame. In a discourse of Brigham Young, delivered in the Bowery, at Salt Lake, and published in the Deseret News, September 21, 1856, he says:

    "If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bare, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children.

    "Do you understand this? I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles. Now, what is our duty? to prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and every woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can; hence, if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please."

    He threatened all who do not submit unmurmuringly to the abomination, and promises great exaltation to those who do. "Sisters, I am not joking; I do not throw out my proposition to banter your feelings; to see whether you will leave your husbands -- all or any of you. But I do know that there is no cessation to the everlasting whinings of many of the women in this Territory; I am satisfied that this is the case; and if the women will turn from the commandments of God, and continue to despise the order of Heaven, I will pray that the curse of the Almighty may be close to their heels, and that it may be following them all the day long. And those that enter into it (the celestial law) and are faithful, I will promise them that they shall be queens in heaven and rulers to all eternity.' 'But,' says one, 'I want to have my paradise now.' 'And' says another, 'I did think I should be in paradise if I was sealed to Brother Brigham; and I thought I could be happy when I became his wife or Brother Heber's. I loved you so much that I thought I was going to have a heaven right off, right here on the spot.'"

    The sealing is a secret ceremony in the endowment house. Those who have cohabited as man and wife and have been married before, are there sealed to each other for eternity. And it frequently happens that on the same occasion new wives are also sealed to the same man. I know a Mormon in Salt Lake City who took his endowments and was sealed to his first wife and also to two young wives on the same occasion.

    The spiritual wife doctrine and the patriarchal order of marriage are one and the same. Its purpose is, the preparing of tabernacles for the spirits that are yet unclothed with flesh. In all cases where nature is not exhausted, there is cohabitation, for it is Brigham's favorite doctrine. "If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bear, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children."

    In some cases the aged wives among the faithful whose husbands have died, or who have not already been sealed to them, are sealed to other men, and hope to be their spirituals in eternity; but the women capable of bearing children, when


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              23

    sealed, cohabit with the men to whom they are sealed. "Some," says Heber, in a discourse published in the Deseret News in 1855, "will come with great zeal, saying, 'I want my endowments; I want my washings, and anointings; I want my blessings; I wish to be sealed up to eternal lives; I wish to have my wife sealed and my children sealed to me.'" The motive that constrains the poor dupes to be sealed, is that marriage without that is only for time. "If," says Kimball, "you oppose what is called the spiritual wife doctrine, that course will corrode you with a spirit of apostacy."

    Their heaven is a scene of sensualism. In remarks by Heber Kimball, in the tabernacle, February 1, 1857, he says: "Supposing that I have a wife, or a dozen of them, and she should say, 'You cannot be exalted without me,' and suppose they all should say so, what then? They never will affect my salvation one particle. Suppose that I lose the whole of them before I go into the spirit world, but that I have been a good, faithful man all the days of my life, and loved my religion and had favor with God, do you think I will be destitute then? No, the Lord says there are more there than there are here. They have been increasing there; they increase there a great deal faster than we do here, because there is no obstruction; they do not call upon the doctors to kill their offspring; there are no doctors there -- that is, if there are, their occupation is changed, which proves that they are not there, because they have ceased to be doctors. In this world very many of the doctors are studying to diminish the human family. In the spirit world there is an increase of males and females; there are millions of them; and if I am faithful all the time, and continue right along with Brother Brigham, we will go to Brother Joseph and say, 'Here we are, Brother Joseph; we are here ourselves, are we not? with none of the property we possessed in our probationary state; not even the rings on our fingers.' He will say to us, 'Come along, my boys; we will give you a good suit of clothes; where are your wives?' 'They are back yonder; they would not follow us.' 'Never mind,' says Joseph, 'here are thousands; have all you want.'"

    They claim the blessed Saviour to be a polygamist. In a sermon delivered in Great Salt Lake City, Elder Orson Hyde says: "It will be borne in mind that once on a time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper, to say the best of it. I will venture to say, that if Jesus Christ were now to pass through the most pious countries in Christendom with a train of women -- such as used to follow him, fondling about him, combing his hair, anointing him with precious ointment, washing his feet with tears and wiping them with the hair of their heads -- and unmarried, or even married, he would be mobbed, tarred and feathered, and rode, not on an ass, but on a rail. What did the old prophet mean when he said, (speaking of Christ,) 'He shall on his seed prolong his days?' Did Jesus consider it necessary to fulfil every righteous command or requirement of his Father? He most certainly did. This he witnessed by submitting to baptism under the hands of John. 'Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness,' said he. Was it God's commandment to man, in the beginning, to multiply and replenish the earth? None can deny this, neither that it was a righteous command; for upon an obedience to this depended the perpetuity of our race. Did Christ come to destroy the law or the prophets, or to fulfil them? He came to fulfil. Did he multiply, and did he see his seed? Did he honor his Father's law by complying with it, or did he not4 Others may do as they like, but I will not charge our Saviour with neglect or transgression in this or any other duty."


    In the Journal of Discourses, and also in the Millennial Star, Brigham says: "Adam is our father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do."


    24                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    In the Deseret News, extra, September 14, 1852, he says: "Adam came down from heaven a God, with Eve, one of his wives, into the garden of Eden, and continued to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world until the grosser matter was diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies."


    The endowments are given in secret in the endowment house. No one is acknowledged as a true member of the Mormon church until he receives his endowments. In an ante-chamber of the endowment house they are disrobed; their bodies washed, blessed, anointed with oil from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet; they are clothed with the endowment robe. The under-garment is ever after to be worn; as a safe guard against disease, accident, in which they are to be buried, and in which, it is claimed, they are to rise again. On the under garment, which fits close to the person, are marks and signs indicating to the faithful their obligations, and the fearful penalty to which they subject themselves by infidelity to those obligations or disobedience to the will of the priesthood.

    They receive a new name; it is whispered in their ear by one of the hierarchy. A farce of the creation of the world and of the creation of man is enacted, certain members of the hierarchy acting the part of the Holy Trinity. A farce, also, of the temptation and the fall is enacted, one of the brethren personifying the devil or the old serpent, offering the woman fruit, and, when reproved by the representative of the Deity, hissing and retiring from her like a snake.

    The ceremonial of the endowment house is to impress upon the minds of the poor dupes the necessity of the priesthood to deliver them from their fallen state, to exalt them to the felicity, and to endow them with the prerogatives, of gods. In the endowment house new chains of superstition are forged for them; new fetters placed upon their unresisting limbs. It is there that too many are unmanned and enslaved, though some date from that hour their resolve to be freemen. They enter there deceived and befooled, indeed, but with no degrading pledges, no crushing obligations, no fearful oaths of fidelity to principles, subversion of all law and of all morality, resting a mountain weight upon their consciences; but when they cross the threshold of that heathen temple, in which the lascivious Kimball is usually the presiding deity, again to mingle in the world, it is as the slaves of the priesthood.

    The crown of manhood -- the proud consciousness of responsibility, the individuality, the will -- everything constituting manhood in its loftiest aspirations, they leave behind them as a sacrifice on the shrine of the demon. Henceforth they are to act at the bidding of another, even should it conflict with the claims of family, country, liberty. It is notorious that at the dictate of Brigham, merchants, mechanics, lawyers, leave all and submit to two or three years' banishment on what is called a mission to Europe or Australia.

    Having taken upon themselves the vows, and submitted to the rites of the endowment, they are bound to obey the priesthood, right or wrong. That is the instruction received from their teachers and published in their sermons. The burden of all their discourses is obedience, blind and unreasoning to counsel. That is the will of Brigham. To disobey his will is to expose themselves to fearful peril. Let them once give utterance to a free thought, or speak of the evil of the one-man power, exercising the liberty without which existence itself is a burden and a curse, and some of Brigham's spies will remind them by a sign of the penalty to which they are exposing themselves, and they are mute, submissive; and that on American soil, beneath the old flag.

    Hopes of yet higher mystical benefits are held out to the faithful as an inducement to contribute to the temple fund. It is claimed that in the temple alone can these blessings be received, and the hidden mysteries of their religion


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              25

    revealed. In a discourse of Brigham Young, July 8, 1856, he exhorts the people, "Then go on and build the temple of the Lord that you may receive the endowments in store for you, and possess the keys of the eternal priesthood, that you may receive every word, sign, and token, and be made acquainted with the law of angels, and of the kingdom of our Father and our God, and know how to pass from one degree to another, and enter fully into the joy of our Lord."

    Question. Can you refer the committee to any books, papers, or documents which will elucidate the doctrines and practices of the Mormons, and particularly such as have emanated from, and are recognized as authentic by, them? If so, please do so, and state any other facts, and your own opinions bearing upon the subject-matter of this investigation.

    Answer. In Burton's "City of the Saints," a work virtually dictated by the Mormon hierarchy, and designed to falsify the record, you will find a very full list of works on Mormonism. The man Burton gave himself up wholly to the fascinations the Mormon leaders know so well how to throw around those whom they wish to use to advance their dark purposes.

    I beg to remark, in conclusion, that such is the terror of Brigham's secret power, and the deep conviction in the minds of that unhappy people of his capability, when occasion offers, of exercising that power, even to dark and fearful issues, that, in my opinion, no avowed Mormon could be found willing to testify in open court in any case in which Brigham's interest or his complicity with crime, or that of his leading men, was pending. The people know, from years of bitter experience and unmanly threats, that the voice of council -- that is, the will of Brigham, even though the incentive to or the justification of crime -- is yet all potent in Utah; that justice there is a mockery and a farce when sought by a "Gentile" or a so-called apostate from the Mormon church; that the reigning tyranny has every facility for the commission and concealment of crime; that when "Gentiles" or apostate Mormons are concerned the law in Utah is powerless for the detection and punishment of the guilty; that jurors and those whose duty it is to see the law respected, excepting the noble and fearless men, the federal judges, are bound by infamous oaths and infernal obligations to another tribunal, to the demon of the endowment house, and fully justified in their endeavors to defeat the high purposes of justice.

    It is the constant boast of Brigham that, as in the past, so in the future, he can hoodwink Congress and the government, or purchase with greenbacks immunity in crime; that he can defeat every attempt to enforce the law of Congress against polygamy.

    In his recent correspondence with General Sherman, we find him acting out his old character of arch-deceiver and unscrupulous trickster, showing himself to be as fruitful as ever in expedients to cover up the evidence of his guilt. He falsifies everything connected with the facts of the Brassfield assassination; claims that Brassfield had seduced a Mormon woman, whereas he was married to her by one of the federal judges. And by using the Gentile names, secured by flattery and intimidation, he seeks to convince General Sherman that "citizens of every class are tolerated and respected in Utah."

    As Gentiles and anti-Mormons, we ask of Congress the rights of American citizens; the right to act as jurors; the right of the ballot; the right of liberty of speech. At present the lives of law-abiding citizens are threatened even by Brigham's police. The sanctity of our place of worship is invaded on the peaceful Sabbath by armed assassins; the life of the speaker who, in chaste and fitting terms, opposes polygamy, is menaced. The Mormon newspapers justify the outrage and encourage a repetition of such acts.
    NORMAN McLEOD,      
    Post Chaplain Camp Douglas, Utah Territory.     
    Sworn to and subscribed the 15th of June, 1866.


    26                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    Examination by Mr. Moulton, at the instance of Mr. Hooper:

    Question. What is your name, and how long have you resided in the Territory, and in what capacity?

    Answer. My name is E. J. Bennett; I have resided in the Territory twelve months now past, and in the capacity of commissary of subsistence of the United States, with the rank of captain.

    Question. State what you know of the character of the Mormon people and their system of government, both political and ecclesiastical; also what proportion of the Mormon people are practical polygamists, and what proportion, if any, are openly hostile to the government of the United States.

    Answer. From twelve months' residence among Mormons, from a close observation of their political, social, and religious organization, as a people, I consider them the most virtuous, thrifty, economical, and apparently the most happy people I ever knew. Politically, their government assumes the form of a democracy, and the church government is the same; but it is my opinion that the wishes of Brigham Young are always regarded and govern in matters of this kind. About a sixth, in my opinion, are practical polygamists, and regard it as a religious duty. As a people, in my opinion, from what I have seen in the past twelve months, they have uniformly exhibited sentiments and acts of loyalty. Have heard Young say that he was willing to abide the result of judicial authority, but would not submit to a drum-head court-martial. By virtue, I mean that there is no prostitution or intemperance, and that they live up to their faith.

    Question. Have the Mormon leaders openly violated the laws of Congress prohibiting polygamy?

    Answer. I presume they have, but have no personal knowledge of the fact.

    Question. What are the relations between the government of the United States and the Mormons as a people -- amicable, or otherwise?

    Answer. Perfectly amicable on the part of the Mormons. They desire peace and harmony. But the military authorities during the past twelve months, to my knowledge, have tried to provoke difficulty with the Mormons. As an instance, Colonel Potter, then in command, (in May last,) threatened the Mormons if they attempted to execute the municipal law prohibiting drinking saloons and gambling houses he would interfere by military force. That the newspaper under control of General Connor has constantly indulged in the vilest abuse of the Mormons. This military clique sent false despatches to Washington relating to the Brassfield murder.

    Question. In the absence of military authority would the property and lives of Gentiles be safe in Utah?

    Answer. In my opinion, if a Gentile properly conducts himself, he and his property would be as safe as in any city in the world.

    Question. Would you recommend the withdrawal of the military authority from Utah?

    Answer. I think we should retain a small military force there until the law in regard to polygamy was judicially decided.

    Question. If the law prohibiting polygamy was decided judicially to be constitutional, do you think the Mormons would abandon its practice?

    Answer. I don't think they would openly and forcibly resist the law. I think that emigration to Utah, and contact with those opposed to polygamy, would ultimately extinguish it without any effort on the part of government. It is my opinion that the Mormon church will abandon polygamy.

    Question. Do you think any law prohibiting polygamy can be enforced in Utah now, and under the present system?

    Answer. I see no reason why it cannot be enforced by the aid of the military.

    Question. What can you say about the value of the Territory of Utah, generally?


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              27

    Answer. I consider the settlement of Utah valuable to the country at large. It is the half-way house to the Pacific, and the granary from which the surrounding territories are to receive their supplies. No other people but tho Mormons would accomplish as much as they, or overcome the same difficulties. The provocation to the Mormons by the military and some Gentiles interested in contracts, is for the purpose of continuing and increasing the military force there, in order that advantage may be reaped from contracts, &c.; and thus by this combination large sums have already been illegitimately realized from the government. And the same combination is seeking to control the civil appointments of the Territory.

    I am still in the service, and am here by the order of the Secretary of War.
    E. J. BENNETT,      
    Captain and Commissary Subsistence United States.     
    Sworn to and subscribed July 2, 1866.

    By Mr. Ashley:

    Question. How long have you resided in the Territory of Utah, and what has been your business?

    Answer. I have resided in Utah from July, 1863, until April, 1866, and performed the duties of district quartermaster for United States troops stationed there during that period.

    Question. State what you know of the character of the Mormon people and their system of government, both political and ecclesiastical; also, what proportion of the Mormon people are practical polygamists, and what proportion, if any, are openly hostile to the government of the United States.

    Answer. The Mormons, as a whole, are an ignorant, illiterate, and superstitious people; they are mostly from the rural districts of England, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and have emigrated directly from those countries to Utah, without remaining long enough in the United States to become acquainted with our system of government; consequently, they are easily led to place implicit confidence in the teachings and government of Brigham Young and the leading men of the Mormon church, the substance of which, during the last three years, has been, that the government of the United States was to be broken up, and that no power in heaven or on earth could prevent it; that the north and south would continue the war until nearly all the people were destroyed; then those that remained would flee to Zion (Utah) for safety, and be brought unto the fold of the Mormon church, and, eventually, Brigham Young would become President of the United States. The system of polygamy is taught at the tabernacle and in all the ward meeting-houses, as, no doubt, the leaders believe it in a more certain way to keep the members of the church from apostatizing and leaving Utah, thereby diminishing their power, and the revenue derived by the leaders from the tithing.

    I think now about one-half of the people are practical polygamists, and, as they know that they are living in open violation of the federal laws against polygamy, consequently, most polygamists are hostile to the government of the United States, being afraid that, at no distant time, the laws will be enforced.

    Question. Have the Mormon leaders openly disregarded the law of Congress prohibiting polygamy, and advised their people to disobey the laws of the United States on that subject? If you answer yes, state such facts as may have come within your knowledge on this point.

    Answer. Yes; I have on many occasions heard Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, Bishop [Woolley], and others, deliver sermons advising the people to practice polygamy, and that it was a divine revelation. There are also two Mormon newspapers published in Salt Lake City that openly advocate the doctrine; one of them edited by a polygamist named Stenhouse, who has held the office of postmaster there for four years.


    28                              THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                             

    Question. State what security is afforded by the government of the United States to dissenters from the Mormon church and citizens of the United States who are opposed to the Mormon hierarchy in Utah.

    Answer. The district commander, General Connor, during the last three years has frequently, on application, given military protection to many dissenters who desired to leave Utah, but were liable to assassination if the protection had not been afforded. Citizens not members of the church were also liable to be imposed upon, if they expressed their opposition to polygamy.

    Question. Do I understand you to say that the lives and property of dissenting Mormons and citizens of the United States would be in danger without the presence of a United States military force?

    Answer. Most certainly. The numerous assassinations and massacres in Salt Lake City and vicinity, during the last twelve years, prove that it is absolutely necessary for the protection of citizens and dissenting Mormons that a sufficient force of the military should be stationed in Utah. A citizen of Nevada, temporarily sojounrlng in Salt Lake City, was basely assassinated, last month, by the Mormons. And others, which have taken place from time to time, and the savage, inhuman butchery of one hundred and eighty innocent men, women, and children, at Mountain Meadows, Utah, should be sufficient warning to the government.

    Question. Were you in Salt Lake City at the time of the assassination of which you speak? If so, state what you know about it; also, what you may know about the Mountain Meadows massacre, to which you refer.

    Answer. I was in Salt Lake City at the time, and attended the funeral of the murdered man. His name was Brassfield; he was a citizen of Nevada, but married a Mormon woman. He was arrested by the Mormons, falsely charged with theft, because his wife took her clothing from her former home; the case was appealed to the United States district court, and when the court adjourned, one evening, Brassfield was shot and killed while on the way, in company with the United States marshal, to his hotel. I know nothing, personally, in regard to the Mountain Meadows massacre, but have heard from reliable persons who were on the ground soon after it occurred, that it was done by Mormons disguised as Indians, partly for plunder and partly, in revenge for what the Mormons suffered in Missouri and Illinois many years ago. The emigrants were from Arkansas, en route to California. The perpetrators of this act have never been punished, although some of them are well known in Utah.

    Question. What action, if any, do the dissenting Mormons, and citizens of the United States who never were Mormons, desire Congress to take, with regard to the government of that Territory?

    Answer. The citizens and dissenting Mormons desire that Congress shall repeal some of the acts of the Utah territorial legislature in regard to the courts, in order that the judge and all the jiwors shall not be Mormons; also, to change the election laws, giving to citizens of the United States the elective franchise after a residence of thirty days. And they particularly desire that the federal officers for the Territory shall not be Mormon polygamists. And, further, that a force of at least 2,500 United States troops be stationed there for their protection.
    D. B. STOVER,     
    Late Captain and Assistant Quartermaster U. S. Vols.     
    Sworn to and subscribed this 11th day of June, 1866.

    Washington, D. C., June 18, 1866.     
    Sir: On the 3d of March last I addressed you, as chairman of the Territorial Committee, a letter in the following words:


                                 THE  CONDITION  OF  UTAH.                              29

    "I see by the records of congressional proceedings that the Committee on the Territories have been instructed by the House of Representatives to report touching certain abuses alleged to exist within the Territory of Utah. It is my wish, and I know it to be the sentiment of the people whom I represent, that all matters relating to that Territory should be fully and fairly investigated, and I will do all in my power to aid the committee in ascertaining the facts. I claim, as the representative of Utah, that, before your committee report to the House testimony and charges affecting the character and reputation of its people, I may be furnished with copies of the same, that they may be permitted to introduce rebutting testimony before your committee."

    Reposing, with confidence, upon not only the propriety, but the right of this request, and believing that the right of any person or persons charged with crime to a defence to be fundamental, I expected nothing less than that i should be furnished with copies of the testimony taken, and that opportunity would be afforded to the parties charged with offence to be heard.

    Learning more definitely that certain parties had given statements before your committee, I made (as you are aware) personal application to you, as chairman of said committee, for copies of said statements, which were denied me. I was, however, permitted to read the voluminous statements made by Messrs. Connor, McLeod, Stover, and Nevett. I have also been informed that Chief Justice John Titus had made a statement to your committee, but I have not been permitted to read his statement. My memory will not serve me to refer in detail to the grave charges and specifications preferred against the people whom I have the honor to represent. But I know these statements are made by avowed enemies of the people of Utah, and I take occasion to reiterate what I said in my letter of the 3d of March, that it is my wish and the sentiment of the people of Utah that all matters relating to that Territory should be fully and fairly investigated. But I submit that statements made in the way these have been made, by persons known to be biased and avowedly inimical to the people, presenting garbled extracts from discourses purporting to have been made years ago, and that representations alone of abuses said to exist, there is not a full and fair investigation of the acts and doings of the citizens of Utah. I, generally, deny the truthfulness of the several statements made before the committee, and am fully aware of the object sought to be accomplished by the parties making these statements, and the intent of the effect by them of this ex parte hearing. I ask, therefore, in behalf of the people thus arraigned and brought under charges which I believe unjust, that no report be made by your committee till the parties charged shall have opportunity to be heard, and I have no doubt that the parties against whom the accusations are made are prepared to meet and fully refute them, and are anxious for the opportunity to do so.

    I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
    W. H. HOOPER.              
    Hon. J. M. Ashley,
    Chairman Committee on the Territories.


    Transcriber's Comments

    Inside the United States House of Representatives in the 1860s

    1866 House Report No. 96

    (under construction)

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