The Historical Magazine
(NYC: American News. Co.)
"Interview with Father Smith"
"Birthplace of Joseph Smith"
Vol. VIII. May, 1870. No. 5.
I think it was in the year 1830, I heard that some ancient records had been discovered that would throw some new light upon the subject of religion; being deeply interested in the matter, I concluded to go to the place and learn for myself
Vol. VIII. Nov., 1870. No. 11.
BIRTHPLACE AND EARLY RESIDENCE
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TRANSCRIPT: -- The different authors who have given biographical notices of the above noted individual disagree in relation to the place of his nativity. Coolidge and Mansfield, in their History of New England, says that Joe Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was born and spent his youthful days in Sharon. Mr. Tucker, in his History of
Vols. 12, 14
(NYC: Sheldon & Co. 1870-1872)
Those among us who are not too young to have had "Evenings at Home" for a school-day companion and instructor will remember the story called "Eyes and No Eyes" and its moral. They will remember that, of the two little boys who accomplished precisely the same walk at the same time, one saw all manner of delightful and wonderful things, while the other saw nothing whatever that was worth recollection or description. The former had eyes prepared to see, and the other had not; and that made all the difference. I have to confess that, during a recent visit to Salt Lake City -- a visit lasting nearly as many days as that out of which my friend, Hepworth Dixon, made the better part of a volume -- I must have been in the condition of the dull little reprobate who had no eyes to see the wonders which delighted his companion. For, so far as the city itself, its streets and its structures, are concerned, I really saw nothing in particular. A muddy little country town, with one or two tolerably decent streets, wherein a few handsome stores are mixed up with old shanties, is not much to see in any part of the civilized world. Other travellers have seen a wondrous sight on the very same spot. They have seen a large and beautiful city, with spacious, splendid streets, shaded by majestic trees and watered by silvery currents flowing in marble channels; they have seen a city combining the cleanliness and activity of young America with the picturesqueness and dignity of the Orient; a city which would be beautiful and wonderful anywhere, but which, raised up here on the bare bosom of the desert, is a phenomenon of apparently almost magical creation. Naturally, therefore, they have gone into raptures over the energy, and industry, and aestheticism of the Mormons; and, even while condemning sternly the doctrine and practice of polygamy, they have nevertheless been haunted by an uneasy doubt as to whether, after all, there is not some peculiar virtue in the having half a dozen wives together which endows a man with superhuman gifts as a builder of cities. Otherwise how comes this beautiful and perfect city, here on the unfriendly and unsheltering waste?
Well, I saw no beautiful and wonderful city, although I spent several days in the Mormon capital, and tramped every one of its streets, and lanes, and roads, scores of times over. Where others beheld the glorious virgin, Dulcinea del Toboso, radiant in beauty and bedight with queenly apparel, I saw only the homely milkmaid, with her red elbows and her russet gown. In plain words, the Mormon city appeared to me just a commonplace little country town, and no more. I saw in it no evidences of preternatural energy or skill. It has one decent street, wherein may be found, at most, half a dozen well-built and attractive-looking shops. It has a good many comfortable residences in the environs. It has two or three decentish hotels, like the hotels of any other fiftieth-class country town. It has the huge Tabernacle, a gigantic barn merely, a simple covering in and over of so much space -- a thing in shape "very like a land turtle," as President George L. Smith, First Councilor of Brigham Young, observed to me. Salt Lake City has no lighting and no draining, except such draining as is done by the little runnels of water to be found in every street, and which remind one faintly and sadly of dear, quaint old Berne in Switzerland. At night you have to trudge along in the darkness and the mud, or slush, or dust, and it is a perilous quest the seeking of your way home, for at every crossing you must look or feel for the plank which bridges over the artificial brooklets already described,
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or you plunge helpless and hopeless into the little torrent. Decidedly, a "one-horse" place, in my estimation; I don't see how men endowed with average heads and arms could for twenty years have been occupied in the building of a city, and produced anything less creditable than this. I do not wonder at the complacency and self-conceit with which all the Mormon residents talk of the beauty of their city and the wonderful things they have accomplished, when Gentile travellers of credit and distinction have glorified this shabby, swampy, rickety, common-place, vulgar, little hamlet into a town of sweetness and light, of symmetry and beauty. For my part, and for those who were with me, I can only say that we spent the first day or so in perpetual wonder as to whether this really could be the Mormon city of wjich we had read so many bewildering and glorious descriptions. And the theatre -- oh, Hepworth Dixon, I like you much, and I think you are often abused and assailed most unjustly; but how could you write so about that theatre? Or was the beautiful temple of the drama which you saw here deliberately taken down, and did they raise in its place the big, gaunt, ugly, dirty, dismal structure which I saw, and in which I and my companions made part of a dreary dozen or two of audience, and blinked in the dim, depressing light of mediaeval oil-lamps? I observe that, when driven to bay by sceptical inquiry, complacent Mormons generally fall back on the abundance of shade-trees in the streets. Let them have the full credit of this plantation. They have put trees in the streets, and the trees have grown; and, when we observe to a Mormon that we have seen rows of trees similarly growing in even smaller towns of the benighted European continent, he evidently thinks it is our monogamic perversity and prejudice which force us to deny the wondrous works of Mormonism. Making due allowance for every natural difficulty, remembering how nearly every implement, and utensil, and scrap of raw material had to be brought from across yonder rampart of mountains, and from hundreds of miles away, I yet fail to see anything very remarkable about this little Mormon town. Perhaps no other set of people could have made much more of the place; I cannot help thinking that no other set of people who were not Digger Indians could have made much less.
In fact, to retain the proper and picturesque ideas of Salt Lake City, one never ought to have entered the town at all. We ought to have remained on this hillside, from which you can look across that most lovely of all valleys on earth, cinctured as it is by a perfect girdle of mountains, the outlines of which are peerless and ineffable in their symmetry and beauty. The air is as clear, the skies are as blue, the grass as green as the dream of a poet or painter could show him. There below, fringed and mantled in the clustering green of its trees, you see the city, with the long, low, rounded dome or back of the Tabernacle rising broad and conspicuous. Looking down, you may well believe that the city thus exquisitely placed, thus deliciously shaded and surrounded, is itself a wonder of picturesqueness and symmetry. Why go down into the two or three dirty, irregular, shabby little streets, with their dust or mud for road pavement, their nozzling pigs trotting along the sidewalks, their dung-heaps and masses of decaying vegetable matter, their utterly commonplace, mean and disheartening aspect everywhere: But then we did go down -- and where others had seen a fair and goodly, aye, and queenly city, we saw a muddy, uninteresting, straggling little village, disfiguring the lovely plain on which it stood.
Profound disappointment, then, is my first sensation in Salt Lake City. The place is so like any other place! Certainly, one receives a bracing little shock every now and then, which admonishes him that, despite the small, shabby stores
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and the pigs, and the dunghills, he is not in the regions of merely commonplace dirt. For instance, we learn that the proprietor of the hotel where we are staying has four wives; and it is something odd to talk with a civil, respectable, burgess-like man, dressed in ordinary coat and pantaloons, and wearing mutton-chop whiskers -- a sort of man who in England would probably be a church-warden -- and who has more consorts than an average Turk. Then again it is startling to be asked, "Do you know Mr. ___?" and when I say " No, I don't," to be told, "Oh, you ought to know him. He came from England, and he has lately married two such nice English girls!" One morning, too, we have another kind of shock. There is a pretty little chambermaid in our hotel, a new-comer apparently, and she happens to find out that my wife and I had lived for many years in that part of the North of England from which she comes herself, whereupon she bursts into a perfect passion and tempest of tears, declares that she would rather be in her grave than in Salt Lake City, that she was deceived into coming, that the Mormonism she heard preached by the Mormon propaganda in England was a quite different thing from the Mormonism practised here, and that her only longing was to get out of the place, anyhow, forever. The girl seemed to be perfectly, passionately sincere. What could be done for her? Apparently nothing. She had spent all her money in coming out; and she seemed to be strongly under the conviction that, even if she had money, she could not get away. An influence was evidently over her which she had not the courage or strength of mind to attempt to resist, or even to elude. Doubtless, as she was a very pretty girl, she would be very soon sealed to some ruling elder. She said her sister had come with her, but the sister was in another part of the city, and since their arrival -- only a few days, however -- they had not met. My wife endeavored to console or encourage her, but the girl could only sob and protest that she never could learn to endure the place, but that she could not get away, and that she would rather be in her grave. We spoke of this case to one of the civil officers of the United States stationed in the city, and he shook his head and thought nothing could be done. The influence which enslaved this poor girl was not wholly that of force, but a power which worked upon her senses and her superstitions. I should think an underground railway would be a valuable institution to establish in connection with the Mormon city.
I well remember that when I lived in Liverpool, some ten or a dozen years ago, the Mormon propaganda, very active there, always kept the polygamy institution modestly in the background. Proselytes were courted and won by descriptions of a new Happy Valley, of a City of the Blest, where eternal summer shone, where the fruits were always ripe, where the earth smiled with a perpetual harvest, where labor and reward were plenty for all, and where the outworn toilers of Western Europe could renew their youth like the eagles. I remember, too, the remarkable case of a Liverpool family having a large business establishment in the most fashionable street of the great town, who were actually beguiled into selling off all their goods and property and migrating, parents, sons, and daughters, to the land of promise beyond the American wilderness, and how, before people had ceased to wonder at their folly, they all came back, humiliated, disgusted, cured. They had money and something like education, and they were a whole family, and so they were able, when they found themselves deceived, to effect a rapid retreat at the cost of nothing worse than disappointment and pecuniary loss. But for the poor, pretty serving-lass from Lancashire I do not know that there is much hope. Poverty and timidity and superstitious weakness will help to lock the Mormon chains around her. Perhaps she will
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get used to the place in time. Ought one to wish that she may -- or rather to echo her own prayer, and petition that she may find an early grave? The graveyards are densely planted with tombs here in this sacred city of Mormonism.
The place is unspeakably dreary. Hardly any women are ever seen in the streets, except on the Sunday, when all the families pour in to service in the huge Tabernacle. Most of the dwelling houses round the city are pent in behind walls. Most of the houses, too, have their dismal little sucursales, one or two or more, built on to the sides -- and in each of these additions or wings to the original building a different wife and family are caged. There are no flower gardens anywhere. Children are bawling everywhere. Sometimes a wretched, slatternly, dispirited woman is seen lounging at the door or hanging over the gate of a house with a baby at her breast. More often, however, the house, or clump of houses, gives no external sign of life. It stands back gloomy in the sullen shade of its thick fruit trees, and might seem untenanted if one did not hear the incessant yelling of the children. We saw the women in hundreds, probably in thousands, at the Tabernacle on the Sunday -- and what women they were! Such faces, so dispirited, depressed, shapeless, hopeless, soulless faces! No trace of woman's graceful pride and neatness in these slatternly, shabby, slouching, listless figures; no purple light of youth over these cheeks; no sparkle in these half-extinguished eyes. I protest that only in some of the cretin villages of the Swiss mountains have I seen creatures in female form so dull, miserable, moping, hopeless as the vast majority of these Mormon women. As we leave the Tabernacle, and walk slowly down the street amid the crowd, we see two prettily-dressed, lively-looking girls, who laugh with each other and are seemingly happy, and we thank Heaven that there are at least two merry, spirited girls in Salt Lake City. A few days after we meet our blithesome pair at Uintah station; and they are travelling with their father and mother on to San Francisco, whither we too are going -- and we learn that they are not Mormons, but Gentiles -- pleasant lasses from Philadelphia who had come with their parents to have a passing look at the externals of Mormonism.
My object, however, in writing this paper was to speak of the chief, Brigham Young himself, rather than of his city or his system. We saw Brigham Young, were admitted to prolonged speech of him, and received his parting benediction. The interview took place in the now famous house with the white walls and the gilded beehive on the top. We were received in a kind of office or parlor, hung round with oil paintings of the kind which in England we regard as "furniture," and which represented all the great captains and elders of Mormonism. Joseph Smith is there, and Brigham Young, and George L. Smith, now First Councilor; and various others whom to enumerate would be long, even if I knew or remembered their names. President Young was engaged just at the moment when we came, but his Secretary, a Scotchman, I think, and President George L. Smith, are very civil and cordial. George L. Smith is a huge, burly man, with a Friar Tuck joviality of paunch and visage, and a roll in his bright eye which, in some odd, undefined sort of way, suggests cakes and ale. He talks well, in a deep rolling voice, and with a dash of humor in his words and tone -- he it is who irreverently but accurately likens the Tabernacle to a land-turtle. He speaks with immense admiration and reverence of Brigham Young, and specially commends his abstemiousness and hermit-like frugality in the matter of eating and drinking. Presently a door opens, and the oddest, most whimsical figure I have ever seen off the boards of an English country theatre stands in the room; and in a moment we are presented formally to Brigham Young.
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There must be something of impressiveness and dignity about the man, for, odd as is his appearance and make up, one feels no inclination to laugh. But such a figure! Brigham Young wears a long-tailed, high-collared coat; the swallow-tails nearly touch the ground; the collar is about his ears. In shape the garment is like the swallow-tail coats which negro-melodists sometimes wear, or like the dandy English dress coat one can still see in prints in some of the shops of St. James street, London. But the material of Brigham's coat is some kind of rough, gray frieze, and the garment is adorned with huge brass buttons. The vest and trowsers are of the same material. Round the neck of the patriarch is some kind of bright crimson shawl, and on the patriarch's feet are natty little boots of the shiniest polished leather. I must say that the gray frieze coat of antique and wonderful construction, the gaudy crimson shawl, and the dandy boots make up an incongruous whole which irresistibly reminds one at first of the holiday get-up of some African King who adds to a great coat, preserved as an heirloom since Mungo Park's day, a pair of modern top-boots, and a lady's bonnet. The whole appearance of the patriarch, when one has got over the African monarch impression, is like that of a Suffolk farmer as presented on the boards of a Surrey theatre. But there is decidedly an amount of composure and even of dignity about Brigham Young which soon makes one forget the mere ludicrousness of the patriarch's external appearance. Young is a handsome man -- much handsomer than his portrait on the wall would show him. Close upon seventy years of age, he has as clear an eye and as bright a complexion as if he were a hale English farmer of fifty-five. But there is something fox-like and cunning lurking under the superficial good-nature and kindliness of the face. He seems, when he speaks to you most effusively and plausibly, to be quietly studying your expression to see whether he is really talking you over or not. The expression of his face, especially of his eyes, strangely and provokingly reminds me of Kossuth. I think I have seen Kossuth thus watch the face of a listener to see whether or not the listener was conquered by his wonderful power of talk. Kossuth's face, apart from its intellectual qualities, appeared to me to express a strange blending of vanity, craft, and weakness; and Brigham Young's countenance now seems to show just such a mixture of qualities. Great force of character the man must surely have; great force of character Kossuth, too, had; but the face of neither man seemed to declare the possession of such a quality. Brigham Young decidedly does not impress me as a man of great ability; but rather as a man of great plausibility. I can at once understand how such a man, with such an eye and tongue, can easily exert an immense influence over women. Beyond doubt he is a man of genius; but his genius does not reveal itself, to me at least, in his face or his words. He speaks in a thin, clear, almost shrill tone, and with much apparent bon homie. After a little commonplace conversation about the city, its improvements, approaches etc., the Prophet voluntarily goes on to speak of himself, his system, and his calumniators. His talk soon flows into a kind of monologue, and is indeed a curious rhapsody of religion, sentimentality, shrewdness and egotism. Sometimes several sentences succeed each other in which his hearers hardly seem to make out any meaning whatever, and Brigham Young appears a grotesque kind of Coleridge. Then again in a moment comes up a shrewd meaning very distinctly expressed, and with a dash of humor and sarcasm gleaming fantastically amid the scriptural allusions and the rhapsody of unctuous words. The purport of the whole is that Brigham Young has been misunderstood, misprized, and calumniated, even as Christ was; that were Christ to come up to-morrow in New York
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or London He would be misunderstood, misprized, and caluminated, even as Brigham Young now is; and that Brigham Young is not to be dismayed though the stars in their courses should fight against him. He protests with especial emphasis and at the same time especial meekness, with eyes half closed and delicately modulated voice, against the false reports that any manner of force or influence whatever is, or ever was, exercised to keep men or women in Salt Lake City against their will. He appeals to the evidence of our own eyes, and asks us whether we have not seen for ourselves that the city is free to all to come and go as they will. At this time we had not heard the story told by the poor little maid at the hotel; but in any case the evidence of our eyes could go no farther than to prove that travellers like ourselves were free to enter and depart. We have, however, little occasion to trouble ourselves about answering; for the Prophet keeps the talk pretty well all to himself. His manner is certainly not that of a man of culture, but it has a good deal of the quiet grace and self-possession of what we call a gentleman. There is nothing prononceor vulgar about him. Even when he is most rhapsodical his speech never loses its ease and gentleness of tone. He is bland, benevolent, sometimes quietly pathetic in manner. He poses himself en victime, but with the air of one who does this regretfully and only from a disinterested sense of duty. I begin very soon to find that there is no need of my troubling myself much to keep up the conversation; that my business is that of a listener; that the Prophet conceives himself to be addressing some portion of the English or American press through my humble medium. So I listen and my companion listens; and Brigham Young talks on; and I do declare and acknowledge that we are fast drifting into a hazy mental condition by virtue of which we begin to regard the Mormon President as a victim of cruel persecution, a suffering martyr and an injured angel!
Time, surely, that the interview should come to a close. We tear ourselves away, and the Prophet dismisses us with a fervent and effusive blessing. "Good-bye -- do well, mean well, pray always. Christ be with you, God be with you, God bless you." All this, and a great deal more to the same effect, was uttered with no vulgar, maw-worm demonstrativeness of tone or gesture, no nasal twang, no uplifted hands; but quietly, earnestly, as if it came unaffectedly from the heart of the speaker. We took leave of Brigham Young, and came away a little puzzled as to whether we had been conversing with an impostor or a fanatic, a Peter the Hermit or a Tartuffe. One thing, however, is clear to me. I do not say that Brigham Young is a Tartuffe; but I know now how Tartuffe ought to be played so as to render the part more effective and more apparently natural and lifelike than I have ever seen it on French or English stage.
No one can doubt the sincerity of the homage which the Mormons in general pay to Brigham Young. One man, of the working class, apparently, with whom I talked at the gate of the Tabernacle, spoke almost with tears in his eyes of the condescension the Prophet always manifested. My informant told me that he was at one time disabled by some hurt or ailment; and, the first day that he was able to come into the street again, President Young happened to be passing in his carriage, and caught sight of the convalescent. "He stopped his carriage, sir, called me over to him, addressed me by my name, shook hands with me, asked me how I was getting on, and said he was glad to see me out again." The poor man was as proud of this as a French soldier might have been if the Little Corporal had recognized him and called him by his name. There is no flattery which the great can offer to the humble like this way of addressing the man by his right name, and thus proving that the identity of the small creature
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has lived clearly in the memory of the great being. Many a renowned commander has endeared himself to the soldiers whom he regarded and treated only as the instruments of his business, by the mere fact that he took care to remember men's names. They would gladly die for one who could be so nobly gracious, and could thus prove that they were regarded by him as worthy to occupy each a distinct place in his busy mind. The niggardliness and selfishness of John, Duke of Marlborough, the savage recklessness of Claverhouse, were easily forgotten by the poor private soldiers whom each commander made it his business, when occasion required, to address correctly by their appropriate names of Tom, Dick, or Harry. Lord Palmerston governed the House of Commons and most of those outside it with whom he usually came into contact, by just such little arts or courtesies as this. In one of Messrs. Erckmann and Chatrian's novels we read of a soldier who declares himself ready to go to the death for Marshal Ney because the Marshal, who originally belonged to the same district as himself, had just recognized his fellow-countryman and called him by his name. But the hero of the novel is somewhat grim and sarcastic, and he thinks it was not so wonderful a condescension that Ney should have recognized an old comrade and called him by his name. Perhaps the hero of the tale had not himself received any such recognition from Ney -- perhaps if it had been vouchsafed to him he, too, would have been ready to go to the death. Anyhow, this correct calling of names, and quick recognition has always been a great power in the governing of men and women. "Deal you in words," is the advice of Mephistophiles to the student, in Faust, "and you may leave others to do the best they can with things." I was able to appreciate the governing power of Brigham Young all' the better when I had heard the expression of this poor Mormon's gratitude and homage to the great President who had shaken hands with him and addressed him promptly and correctly by his name.
This same Mormon was very communicative. Indeed, as a rule, I found most of the men in Salt Lake City ready and even eager to discuss their "peculiar institution," and to invite Gentile opinion on it. He showed us his two wives, and declared that they lived together in perfect harmony and happiness; never had a word of quarrel, but were contented and loving as two sisters. He delivered a panegyric on the moral condition of Salt Lake City, where, he declared, there was no dishonesty, no drunkenness, and no prostitution. I believe he was correct in his description of the place. From many quite impartial authorities I heard the same accounts of the honesty of the Mormons. There certainly is no drunkenness to be observed anywhere openly, and I believe (although I have heard others assert the contrary) that Salt Lake City is really and truly free from this vice; and I suppose it goes without saying that there is little or no prostitution in a place where a man is expected to keep as many wives as his means will allow him. Intelligent Mormons rely immensely on this absence of prostitution as a justification of their system. They seem to think that when they have said, "We have no prostitutes," all is said; and that the Gentile, with the shames of London, Paris and New York burning in his memory and his conscience, must be left without a word of reply. Brigham Young, in conversation with me, dwelt much on this absence of prostitution. Orson Pratt preached in the Tabernacle during our stay a sermon obviously "at" the Gentile visitors, who were just then specially numerous; and he drew an emphatic contrast between the hideous profligacy of the Eastern cities and the purity of the Salt Lake community. I must say, for myself, that I do not think the question can thus be settled; I do not think prostitution so great an evil as polygamy. If this blunt declaration should shock anybody's moral feelings I am sorry for it; but it is none the less the expression
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of my sincere conviction. Pray do not set me down as excusing prostitution. I think it the worst of all social evils -- except polygamy. I think polygamy the worse evil, because I am convinced that, regarded from a physiological, moral, religious, and even merely poetical and sentimental point of view, the only true social bond to be sought and maintained and justified is the loving union of one man with one woman -- at least until death shall part the two. Now, I regard the existence of prostitution as a proof that some men and women fail to keep to the right path. I look on polygamy as a proof that a whole community is going directly the wrong way. No man proposes to himself to lead a life of profligacy. He falls into it. He would get out of it if he only could -- if the world and the flesh and the devil were not now and then too strong for him. But the polygamist deliberately sets up and justifies and glorifies a system which is as false to physiology as it is to morals. Observe that I do not say the polygamist is necessarily an immoral man. Doubtless he is often -- in Utah I really believe he is commonly -- a sincere, devoted, mistaken man, who honestly believes himself to be doing right. But when he attempts to vindicate his system on the ground that it banishes prostitution, I, for myself, declare that I believe a society which has to put up with prostitution is in better case and hope than one which deliberately adopts polygamy. I am emphatic in expressing this opinion because, as I am opposed to any stronghanded or legal movement whatever to put down Brigham Young and his system, I desire to have it clearly understood that my opinions on the subject of polygamy are quite decided, and that no one who has clamored, or may hereafter clamor, for the uprooting of Mormonism by fire and sword, can have less sympathy than I have with Mormonism's peculiar institution.
Let me return to Brigham Young. I saw the Prophet but twice -- once in the street and once in his own house, where the interview took place which I have described. The day after that on which I last saw him he left Salt Lake City and went into the country -- some people said to avoid the necessity of meeting Mr. Colfax, who was just then expected to arrive with his party from the West, My impressions, therefore, of Brigham Young and his personal character are necessarily hasty, and probably superficial. I can only say that he did not im' press me either as a man of great genius, or as a mere charlatan. My impression is that he is a sincere man -- that is to say, a man who sincerely believes in himself, accepts his own impulses, prejudices and passions as divine instincts and intuitions to be the law of life for himself and others, and who, therefore, has attained that supreme condition of utterly unsparing and pitiless selfishness when the voice of self is listened to as the voice of God. With such a sincerity is quite consistent the adoption of every craft and trick in the government of men and women. Nobody can doubt that Napoleon I. was perfectly sincere as regards his faith in himself, his destiny, and his duty; and yet there was no trick of lawyer, or play-actor, or priest, of which he would not condescend to avail himself if it served his purpose. This is not the sincerity of a Pascal, or a Garibaldi, or a Garrison; but it is just as genuine and infinitely more common. It is the kind of sincerity which we meet every day in ordinary life, when we see some dogmatic, obstinate father of a family or sense-carrier of a small circle trying to mould every will and conscience and life under his control according to his own pedantic standard, and firmly confident all the time that his own perverseness and egotism are a guiding inspiration from heaven. After all, the downright, conventional stage-hypocrite is the rarest of all beings in real life. I sometimes doubt whether there ever was in rerum natura any one such creature. I suppose Tartuffe had persuaded himself into self-worship, into the conviction that everything he said and did must be right. I look upon Brigham Young as a man
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of such a temperament and character. Cunning and crafty he undoubtedly is, unless all evidences of eye, and lip, and voice belie him; but we all know that many a fanatic who boldly and cheerfully mounted the funeral pile or the scaffold for his creed had over and over again availed himself of all the tricks of craft and cunning to maintain his ascendancy over his followers. The fanatic is often crafty just as the madman is: the presence of craft in neither case disproves the existence of sincerity.
I believe Brigham Young to be simply a crafty fanatic. That he professes and leads his creed of Mormonism merely to obtain lands and beeves and wives, I do not believe, although this seems to be the general impression among the Gentiles who visit his city. I am convinced that he regards himself as a prophet and a heaven-appointed leader, and that this belief prevents him from seeing how selfish he is in one sense and how ridiculous in another. Any man who can deliberately put on such a coat in combination with such a pair of boots, as Brigham Young displayed during my interview with him, must have a faith in himself which would sustain him in anything. No human creature capable of looking at any two sides of a question where he himself was concerned, ever did or could present himself in public and expect to be reverenced when arrayed in such uncouth and preposterous toggery.
I cannot pretend to have had any extraordinary revelations of the inner mysteries or miseries of Mormonism made to me during my stay at Salt Lake City. Other travellers, nearly all other travellers indeed, have apparently been more fortunate or more pushing and persevering. I fancy it is rather difficult just now to get to know much of the interior of Mormon households; and I confess that I never could quite understand how people, otherwise honorable and upright, can think themselves justified in worming their way into Mormon confidences, and then making profit one way or another by revelations to the public. But one naturally and unavoidably hears, in Salt Lake City, of things which are deeply significant and which he may without scruple put into print. For example -- there was a terrible pathos to my mind in the history of a respectable and intelligent woman who, years and years ago, when her life, now fading, was in its prime, married a man now a shining light of Mormonism, whose photograph you may see anywhere in Salt Lake City. She has been superseded since by divers successive wives; she is now striving in a condition far worse than widowhood to bring up her seven or eight children, and she has not been favored with even a passing call for more than a year and a half by the husband of her youth, who lives with the newest of his wives a few hundred yards away. I am told that such things are perfectly common; that the result of the system is to plant in Utah a number of families which may be described practically as households without husbands and fathers. I believe the lady of whom I have just spoken accepts her destiny with sad and firm resignation. Her faith in the religion of Mormonism is unshaken, and she regards her forlorn and widowed life as the heaven-appointed cross, by the bearing of which she is to win her eternal crown. Of course the Indian widows regard their bed of flames, the Russian women-fanatics behold their mutilated and mangled breasts with a similar enthusiasm of hope and superstition. But none the less ghastly and appalling is the monstrous faith which exacts and glorifies such unnatural sacrifices. These dreary homes, widowed not by death, seem to be the saddest, most shocking birth of Mormonism. After all, this is not the polygamy of the East, bad as that may be. ''Give us," exclaimed M. Thiers in the French Chamber, three or four years ago, when Imperialism had reached the zenith of its despotic power -- "give us liberty as in Austria!" So I can well imagine one of these superseded
1870.] BRIGHAM YOUNG. 187
and lonely wives in Salt Lake City, crying aloud in the bitterness of her heart, "Give us polygamy as in Turkey!"
That the thing is a religion, however hideously it may show, I do not doubt. I mean that I feel no doubt that the great majority of the Mormon men are drawn to and kept in Mormonism by a belief in its truth and vital force as a religion. I do not believe that conscious and hypocritical sensuality is the leading impulse in making them or keeping them members of the Mormon church. I never heard of any community where a sensual man found any difficulty in gratifying his sensuality; nor are the vast majority of the Mormons men belonging to a class on whom a severe public opinion would bear so directly that they must necessarily wander thousands of miles away across the desert in order to be able comfortably to gratify their immoral propensities. To me, therefore, the possibility which appears most dangerous of all is the chance of any sudden crusade, legal or otherwise, being set on foot against this perverted and unfortunate people. Left to itself, I firmly believe that Mormonism will never long bear the glare of daylight, the throng of witnesses, the intelligent rivalry, the earnest and active criticism, poured in and forced in upon it by the Pacific railroads. But if it can bear all this then it can bear anything whatever which human ingenuity or force can put in arms against it; and it will run its course and have its day, let the Federal Hercules himself do what he may. Meanwhile it would be well to bear in mind that Mormonism has thus far cumbered the earth for comparatively a very few years; that all its members there in Utah counted together would hardly eqital the population of a respectable street in London; and that at this moment the whole concern is rickety and shaky, and threatens to tumble to pieces. I know that some of the ruling elders are panting for persecution; that they are openly doing their very best to "draw fire;" that they are daily endeavoring to work on the fears or the passions of Federal officials resident at Salt Lake by threats of terrible deeds to be done in the event of any attempt being made to interfere with Mormonism. Many of these Mormon apostles, dull, vulgar and clownish as they seem, have foresight enough to see that their system sadly needs just now the stimulus of a little persecution, and have fanatical courage enough to put themselves gladly in the front of any danger for the sake of sowing by their martyrdom the seed of the church. "That man," said William the Third of England, speaking of an inveterate conspirator against him "is determined to be made a victim, and I am determined not to make him one." I hope the United States will deal with the Mormons in a similar spirit. At the same time, I would ask my brothers of the pen whether those of them who have visited Salt Lake City have not made the place seem a good deal more wonderful, more alluringly mysterious, more grandly paradoxical in its nature, than it really is? I feel convinced that if people in Lancashire and Wales and Sweden had all been made distinctly aware that Salt Lake City is only a dusty or muddy little commonplace country hamlet, where labor is not less hard and is not any better paid than in dozens or scores of small hamlets this side the Missouri, one vast temptation to emigrate thither, the temptation supplied by morbid curiosity and ignorant wonder, would never have had any conquering power, and Mormonism would have been deprived of many thousand votaries. For, regarded in an artistic point of view, the City of the Saints is a vulgar sham; a trumpery humbug; and I verily believe that it has swelled into importance not more through the fanatical energy of its governing elders and the ignorance of their followers, than through the extravagant exaggeration and silly wonder of most of its hostile visitors and critics.
SAVED FROM THE MORMONS.
I have been asked to write of my escape from a place and a people where the priceless gift of a good man's love for a woman in its wide, pure, spiritual sense, is unknown; its worthless, base counterfeit being a foul earthly passion on one side only, tainting and degrading its miserable object, body and soul. In my faulty, imperfect way, I will tell the story.
My first recollection is of a lovely home in Lincolnshire, England. My father was a wealthy farmer, whose ancestors had owned Holthurst Grange since the days of good Queen Anne. Sweetness, cheerfulness, and a lithe, tender beauty express my dear mother, who was the daughter of the rector of the parish. God in His inscrutable wisdom saw fit to take her to Himself before she was world-weary, while life was yet full of hope and promise, while her children still sorely needed her. If she had been spared, this sorrowful history had never been written.
As the tuberoses, which are so profusely laid upon the beloved dead in this country, bring sorrowful memories. so the scent of heliotrope and mignonette will ever be associated with my mother's dying hour. The sweet, heavy perfume of the pale purple and gray-green flowers growing beneath the window, filled the room, as, with difficulty folding me in her nerveless but loving arms, she drew me close to her breast, and gave to me, a girl of ten years, a solemn charge to watch over and protect Richard and Alice, my brother and sister, of seven and five. Young as I was, the sacred trust sank deep in my heart; and though I trembled and shuddered sorely, I gave my promise with sobbing earnestness, little wisting of the bitter years to come.
For my poor father, who had loved his wife with an utter devotion, became a changed man after her death. The bluff heartiness of his manner, the stalwart erectness of his gait were gone forever. He was kind to us little ones in a sad, pitiful way, but scarcely ever noticed us. He ceased to take any interest in his farm, leaving all his affairs in the hands of his steward and servants. Before long everything fell into confusion, and at last a corroding fever stretched him upon his bed, from which he did not rise for many weeks. When he did, it was with a listless, weary, vague desire to go somewhere, anywhere out of his lost paradise. What wonder, then, that he should fall a victim to one of those emissaries of the Evil One, the "Latter-day Saints," who, with smooth, plausible manner and sophistical arguments, had sent so many heart-weary souls galloping on the road to hell? Yes, a Mormon demon invaded, haunted Holthurst Grange. He watched my father lynx-eyed; saw him trembling, hesitating; seized his opportunity, and bound him over body and soul to sell all he possessed and hasten at once to the paradise of saints, that unimaginable heaven upon earth, where troops of friends, abundance of this world's goods, and perfect bliss awaited him. Added to this was the solemn asseveration that the Mormons were the people whose God is the Lord Jehovah, who had secured for them on this earth a part of the rich inheritance which would be theirs in eternity. Yes, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man in complete equality were the cornerstones of their faith; consequently envy, hatred, and malice were unfelt, unknown, in that land of pure delight. All this and much more was poured out with a bewildering eloquence which fell like dew upon the parched, hungry soul of my father. Not a word was breathed to him of the revolting feature whioh is the true Alpha and Omega. of the Mormon faith. The wily tempter reserved this bait for coarse and brutal natures. To my father the beautiful picture of a community of brothers touched him as nothing else could. If happiness were gone forever, surely there might be peace and rest; so under the gentle upspringing of this, as he thought, reasonable hope, he sold his long-descended inheritance, and taking us by the hand went resolutely away to the new and untried life.
Hundreds of equally deceived and infatuated
678 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Nov.
persons made up the party; many of these were so miserably poor and degraded, and all so immeasurably inferior to my father, that I have since vainly wondered why the discovery of this fact did not give him a distrust of his newfound friends.
Mormon hunting is the best ordered emigration society in the world ; for while they are glad to have well-to-do converts, they will also accept the very scum of the earth, who must pay "the church" by their subsequent labor for the expense of their transportation.
I will not tire you with a description of the long, long journey which war before us, after we had reached and left New York. We received recruits at several points on the route, a motley crowd, gathered from all nations; some clattering about in wooden sabots or shoes, some barefooted, all lowly born and ignorant. Scores of children swarmed all over the huge wagons drawn by oxen, which were our only means of locomotion after we had reached the "Plains;" but I could find no congenial companion among them, and I clung only the more closely to my little brother and sister. Three poor little pilgrims were we, travelling, as we thought, over an endless, bewildering green desert, a vast billowy ocean of verdure and flowers, from which every night, miles and miles away, the sun seemed to go down a green and golden stair and pass through the very gates of heaven. When it grew dusk, and evening sank in the arms of night, the encampments, widespread upon the waste, with their flickering, uncanny night lights, kept us staid, prim little English children in a continual flutter of excitement.
We encountered several tribes of Indians on our journey, to my extreme delight, immediately followed by excessive disappointment. I had read Cooper's novels, and Campbell's poem of "Gertrude of Wyoming," and you may imagine how naturally these feelings underwent such quick transition when I discovered, instead of the true nobility of nature, the almost divine heroism which these books had led me to expect, a set of thieving, tipsy savages, who with scowling visages demanded whiskey and yelled at the children. That I afterwards received from some of this debased race that help and succor which was denied me by my own people, indicates that true nobility might have been a common trait with them, before the enlightened white man demoralized the poor savage, body and soul.
And so the days went lagging by -- till at last, sun-burned, weary, and dusty, we came to the end of our journey -- to Salt Lake City -- to home.
Some of the elders visited our camp on the outskirts immediately; but after the customary salutation of "Peace be with you," they left us pretty much to ourselves. Father found great difficulty in obtaining any shelter, until he could decide what business he should pursue, and for some time we adhered to camp life.
This was early in September. Before the cold weather set in, father bought some land a few miles from the city, upon which there were already some improvements, though sorry ones enough in our estimation. We had a cabin to cover us, built of logs filled in between the chinks with grass and earth. It was a mere hut, but our own; and father talked so cheerily of the nice house he would build in the spring, and the trees and flowers with which he would surround it, that we waited contented and hopeful.
And now for months we were entirely alone. Although there were farms all around us, their occupants were either unsocial or too much engaged with their own affairs to attend to strangers. We also were very busy, for father and I developed the most brilliant faculty for turning the old boxes in which our goods had been packed into sofas, chairs, and bedsteads. Oh, I look back upon those days with a feeling akin to rapture! We loved each other; we were together, and alone! I know my father would have shuddered and recoiléd then, could he have foreseen the crooked ways in which he would afterwards walk; all the innate purity scorched out of his soul; his thoughts afraid, ashamed, ever again to dwell upon the dead wife he had so truly loved and lost.
Early spring found us in a small house of four rooms which father had built, fiving his cabin to a hired man and his wife, Americans, who assisted him in the care of his stock, of which he now owned a quantity. These Americans were naturally intelligent and had some education,
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and though they were beneath the class with which I had associated in England, I found in Mrs. Miller the friend and adviser I sorely needed.
I was now in my fourteenth year. Like all English girls, I was more developed in person than an American girl of twenty. My hair was of a deep chestnut brown, and my hands of the same good rich color, owing to the chronic absence of gloves. My firm and by no means waspish waist held a healthy pair of lungs, to which I gave ample exercise, for I sang from morning till night. Singing was as natural to me as to a thrush. Chants, carols, and anthems sprang from my throat and heart as freely as the bird's morning and evening hymns were poured out in praise to their Maker. With all this, I was a most serious, thoughtful little woman, watching over my brother and sister with the love and solicitude of a mother. --
Up to this time, so secluded had been our lives. I had no idea. of the evil doctrines which governed the community in which we lived. Father attended the weekly meetings in the Tabernacle, but he very seldom took us children. I believe now that he shrank from exposing the vileness of their belief and practice to our innocent perceptions. Thus on Sundays I would have church at home. With my mother's prayer-book in my hand, standing opposite to Richard and Alice, I would reverently read through the beautiful English service of prayer, they responding with bent heads, in solemn tones. Then we would chant the glorious psalms and anthems, I leading, with soul uplifted, rising with the sound as the lark rises singing to heaven. We sang, not like the Sunday-school children I have since heard, boldly independent of time and tune, each squeaking to suit himself, but with perfect, harmonious accord; for we all had fine voices, and I was passionately fond of music.
But too soon those pleasant Sundays came to an end. One dark day, dark to me though it was in the sweet month of June, Elder Pratt, the next in power to Governor Brigham Young, called upon my father, and, after conversing a little while on business matters, abruptly asked him, "Why do you not take a wife?" I started, and expected father at once to rebuke the impertinent question either by silence or an indirect reply. Hot tears came into my eyes at the thought of any one daring to take my mother's place. Imagine my dismay then when father quietly answered, "I have been thinking of the matter for some time, but do not know whom to ask."
Then the two proceeded to the discussion of the women to be had, much as they would have spoken of the price, quantity, and quality of the cattle in the market. At last the Elder said, "Well, I think you had better take Eliza White and Ann Johns. They are both healthy young women, good workers, and will make useful wives."
So intent were they upon the matter that they forgot my presence; but at this horrible speech I could endure no longer. Setting my teeth firmly and springing up, I exclaimed, with burning cheeks and flashing eyes, "What! marry two women? two women?"
"Certainly, child; why not?" said the Elder, turning his cold gray eyes upon me.
"Why not?" I repeated; "because no two good women would marry the same man!" Then a terrible thought crossed my mind, and I cried out, "Oh, do women do so in America?" Then sobbing, "But my father does not want two wives, nor one even to take my mother's --- " I could not go on; my sobs choked me.
For a moment the men were silenced, and my father looked agitated; but at a sneering remark from the Elder he roughly bade me leave the room and not meddle with matters I did not understand.
I obeyed, and ran quickly out to a little grove near the house. With a cry, "Oh, mother, mother!" I fell down in the grass, and poured out my tears and prayers. My poor little heart was raging against the bad man who was tempting my father to sin. In the midst of my anguish there came, descending from beyond the broad rustling green leaves high overhead, the scent of heliotrope and mignonette perfuming all the air, and I knew that my mother was looking piteously down out of heaven upon the poor little daughter who was weeping and calling upon her name. Suddenly the sweet, low voice of a woman singing camel dreamlike to my troubled senses, but the words I heard distinct and clear:
680 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Nov.
Christ leads us by no darker way,
Then he passed through before;
And who would in his kingdom come,
Must enter through that door.
Faint and fainter grew the sounds, as the singer passed on, but the blessed portent had done its work. I raised myself up and listened breathlessly for a moment, then "sobbed out: "Yes, mother darling -- I will try to bear this misery. I know my Saviour suffered; and he will help and comfort me." Then with slow, reluctant feet I returned to the house, and quietly went about performing my duties.
A few days after this, as l was riding alone on a little pony my father had given to me, I met a sad-eyed woman whom I had often seen passing our house. Taking courage I approached her and said:
"Will you tell me, do men have more than one wife at the same time in this country?"
She regarded me with a pitiful look and returned: "Why do you ask, my child?"
"Because I have no mother, and I have heard that which fills me with dread."
And then she told me all about it -- how that she herself was one of four wives; that the three others and her husband all lived in one house.
"Oh," I sighed, "are the women happy here? Do the women have more than one husband?"
"Oh, no! Women have but one husband. Whether they are happy or not you will find out for yourself before long."
Between that woman, Sarah Barnes, and myself there sprang up one of those strange friendships that sometimes exist between middle-aged women and children prematurely old. Looking back now, I know that her frequent counsels to be patient, to yield my opinions to circumstances, in addition to the example of her own patient, sorrowful life, greatly helped me to endure all those years of torture.
One Sunday, soon after this conversation, a violent storm prevented father from going to the Tabernacle. I did not dare to commence our services; but little Alice, with the blessed innocence of childhood, climbed up to the shelf for the prayer-books, and after distributing them, placed herself demurely upon father's knee, saying with one of her rare sweet smiles: "Go on, Madge, we are ready; papa and I will read out of dear mamma's book."
I did not look at him, but with a silent prayer for strength I read the opening sentence:
"When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive."
Father joined with us in the prayers and responses, his strong bass voice mingled with ours in the chants and hymns; while through it all, down deep in my heart, like a refrain, was a trembling supplication of my own that God would turn him aside from the wicked thing he contemplated doing, and send us happier days. All that day he was kind to us, more like his old self: and when once little Alice smoothed his face with her small soft hands, a big tear started from his eyes and rolled slowly down his cheek.
But oh, with the morning came the Mormon elder -- the demoniac tempter, with his hateful counsel, which was little less than a command; and he never left us until a coarse, raw-boned woman was brought into the house, a great animal, against whom my heart rose in fierce rebellion -- refusing in her behalf to profane the sacred name of mother. She was my father's wife; and my friend Mrs. Miller besought me to hold my peace, and thank God that only one woman called my father husband. Alas! for that I had not long to thank Him. II. And now truly began our Mormon existence, and I ate thenceforth the bread of bitterness. With some remembrance of the decencies of life, father allowed Richard, Alice, and myself the use of one room. It was seldom invaded by Ann Johns, the new wife, and we came to regard it as sacred to ourselves. That was something; oh, it was a great deal to us. Most of the rough plodding work of the household was done by this woman, and I seized the unwonted leisure to educate my brother and sister.
Among the treasures we brought from England was a lifesize portrait of my mother. I had never dared to ask father to unpack it and let us hang it upon the wall until that last happy Sunday, when, taking courage, with trembling lips I preferred my request. There was a few
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 681
moments troubled silence, and then it was granted. I am sure the hesitation arose from no unkind feeling, for the bit of canvas represented that which once held the whole heart and soul of the man. The thought of the outrage he was about to commit upon the memories of past happiness, pure and holy, unnerved him and made him dumb. I felt this, and quietly and quickly went out with Richard to get the precious picture. We hung it in our room in the best light, with our tears blinding us; for the sweet lovely features seemed to smile down upon us, and the beautiful eyes to follow us as if with a blessing wherever we moved. After this the poor place became glorified.
When certain allotted daily tasks were done, we children were left to ourselves. Then Richard with Alice behind him on his pony, and I on mine, took long rides, exploring the country for miles around. In those little journeys I forgot the dark brooding pain which beset me in the polluted atmosphere of my home. Dear little Alice's bright face smiling and sunny, the pure air, and varied, beautiful scenery were like a psalm of consolation. The hours went smiling by, the gay deceitful hours; the lull before the storm.
For before the summer was ended father commenced making preparations for building an addition to his house. At first I had no suspicion of his intention, but poor Ann, dull and stupid as she was, doubtless knew only too well what it meant. She suddenly lost her cheerfulness, and I often surprised her crying bitterly; little as I liked her, I was sorry, and pitied her with a vague compassion, asking no questions.
It is but a homely tragedy, but when the addition was finished and father brought in Eliza White, and said she also was his wife, I stood confronting them for a moment, faint, dizzy, stupid with horror; then gasping for breath, I rushed past them into the open air. I walked; I ran until I fell down exhausted, with my mouth pressed against the earth to stifle my agonized cries, sobbing out my grief to that only mother left to me, the kind, merciful earth, in whose quiet breast our tortured bodies are laid when our souls go home to God.
The eastern sky was glowing with the beams of the morning, and my clothing was drenched with dew, when with a painful effort I wearily raised myself to return to the house; but before I went, I registered a solemn vow to live as though the eyes of my sainted mother were ever upon me; to bear this indignity as she would have borne it; and more than all, never to stain may soul with the foulness of polygamy.
From that day I talked to the children of the great evil of the land. I told them that I had the memory of our mother's pure life and earnest teaching to guide my steps; but they must remember my words, as I might not live to tell them of the terrible dangers which would beset them when they were grown. But oh, even then I felt most about Richard, and determined with God's help to devise some means of escape for him ere he reached manhood, lest he should be tempted to continue this foul wrong to women.
In our long walks and rides, I would tell the children of all the cases of marked unkindness to wives; of those poor wretches who, no longer able to endure the throes of jealous agony, fled to the terrors of the wilderness and the savages, preferring them to the intolerable, unnatural tortures of their lives. Yes, I told my young brother and sister these shameful stories, until, though only half understanding, their faces blanched and they shrank in horror from the recital. What could I do? It was like setting a canker in a rosebud; it was poisoning, festering their healthy young souls. My own purity rebelled against it, and I could only pray that theirs with this cruel knowledge of evil would not be breathed upon beyond recall.
My father's first wife, Ann, showed by her wan and spiritless demeanor that, coarse as she was, a woman's heart beat in her bosom; and Eliza, like many another Mormon bride, felt that her welcome was more hostile than hearty. Like Ann she neglected us children. She was a fat, sleepy-brained woman, who neither enjoyed nor suffered greatly.
As I grew older I mixed more freely with the people of the country, partly from curiosity, but principally because father laid his commands upon me. I studied the women, and found that they were stolid, heavy-eyed, and indolent. The married women have pathetic faces, and fade young. With all the sophistry which is woven about them, they have
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dreams of "the might have been;" of the joy that comes in its completeness to the heart that is all in all to one alone. Their cry goes up to God for divine love, but their unsatisfied hearts are doomed to be forever hungry for the love that is human. Oh, happy wives! who are sheltered in the sunshine of a good man's heart -- a heart which belongs to you, and you alone -- can you imagine anything more like the apples of Sodom than the Mormon marriages!
I do not wish to give the impression that there were any highly-refined or cultivated women in Utah, for I do not remember one to whom an intelligent, superior man would turn for intellectual enjoyment; not one whom a poet might dream of, or an artist desire to paint. To a stranger they assume a joyful demeanor. This their religion not only inculcates, but enjoins to such an extent that no woman would dare carry a sad face intentionally, any more than she would parade a disgrace. No sad hymns or chants are tolerated; no one repeats a tale of misery to his neighbor on pain of Brother Brigham's displeasure. Their joys are frequently discussed, their sorrows never. The women in the same house (not home) are commanded to be-sister each other, and their tow-headed, all the way round to black-headed progeny tumble about promiscuously on the same grass-plot before the door. That they don't all go mad or kill each other is owing to what that powerful but ignorant sensual animal, Heber Kimball, called "triumph o' grace."
The owner of all Mormondom is Brigham Young. He is the church. His will is law. If any one becomes obnoxious to him, that person receives a note advising him to leave. If he neglects this warning, the Destroying Angel will surely and speedily remove him.
Young was born in Vermont, and at fifty years of age was a large, fine-looking man. Though uneducated -- for there was always an irrepressible conflict between his nouns and verbs -- his ability, diplomacy, and shrewdness are something marvellous. There is power in his eye of steely gray-blue; power in his massive chin; strength and power in the mouth shut so firmly. If he says No, that special petition is never renewed. His word is as the laws of the Medes and Persians.
His system of tithing is worthy of the brain that originated it. When a man of property arrives, he must give an inventory of his possessions. Of these the church kindly consents to accept one-half, and afterwards one-tenth per annum, for which he receives a receipt from the Recording Angel.
The only available road to the canyon which supplies firewood lies through Brigham Young's grounds. Families have the privilege of using this road, on condition that they leave every third load within the enclosure for church purposes.
The Tabernacle is a long, low building of sun-dried bricks, 126 feet by 64. Its height is so disproportioned to its size as to give it a very squat appearance. it seats twenty-two hundred people on a pinch. The great temple, whose architectural plan was developed to Brigham by an angel, is hardly as yet above the foundations. When finished --if ever it is -- it will present an exceedingly comical mix-up of all schools and ages and styles, never seen before on earth, and let us hope unknown in heaven.
The exhortations in the Tabernacle were of manifold complexion. Not the least curious was the gift of tongues, which consisted of the utterance of gibberish unintelligible to the speaker himself. One of the elders rose one day and gave us an address in what we were told was the Carthaginian language. The jargon would have disgraced a Hottentot.
As to the misquoting of Scripture to suit their purposes, the Saints surpass the wildest imagining, and Heber Kimball overstepped them all. With permission I extract an exhortation by this brother, from Ludlow's "Heart of the Continent," as an example of tergiversation as ingenious as it is wicked:
Seven women shall take a hold of one man. There! (with a resounding slap on the back of the nearest subject for regeneration) what d'ye think o that? Shall! Shall take a hold on him! That don't mean they shan't, does it? No! God's word means what it says, and therefore means no otherwise -- not in no way, shape, nor manner. Not in no way, for He saith, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life;" not in no shape, for a man beholdeth his nat'ral shape in a glass;" nor in no manner, for "he straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." Seven women shall catch a hold on him. And ef they shall, then they will! For everything shall come to pass, and not one good word shall fall to the ground. You who try to explain the Scriptur' would make it fig'rative. But don't come to
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 683
ME with none o' yer spiritooalizers! Not one good word shall fall. Therelore seven shall not fall. And ef seven shall catch a hold on him -- and, as I jest proved, seven will catch a hold on him -- then seven ought; and in the latter day glory seven, yea, as our Lord said un-tew Peter, "Verily I say un-tew you, not seven but seventy times seven" -- these seventy times seven shall catch a hold and cleave. Blessed day! For the end shall be even as the beginning and seventy-fold more abundantly. Oh, the work of the Lord is ga-lo-rious!
The cure by the laying on of hands is worthy the attention of wiser, more scientific people than those who practise it.
I recollect an instance of a child seemingly dying who was restored to life by this means. A number of saints were sent for, selection those in the most perfect physical health and highest electric power.
The little one was put into a warm bath, then taken out and wrapped in a heated blanket, beneath which the right hand of each saint in turn was inserted, and the child's body excited by vigorous rubbing. The electricity was conveyed in a perfectly continuous stream into the body of the child, and this was kept up for days, each one resigning his place to another on the least weariness, and the child was restored to health.
So highly charged with electricity would these persons become, that showers of sparks would fly from their clothing when taken off; and one woman in perfect health and without a blemish of body, after rubbing the sick, by stepping hastily across the room could light a match with her finger, as readily as if it had been touched by a coal of fire.
Try this remedy, parents, when your little ones are in danger of dying of weakness, after the disease has left them. If I could ever know that some little child of a Christian family had been saved from death by reading this part of my sad narrative, and then faithfully using the cure described, I should rejoice that this good at least had been evolved from the hated evils of my life.
III.Years came, years passed -- dark, sad, cruel years -- until the harem of a civilized Christian gentleman -- as I once believed my father to be -- numbered five inmates, of many nationalities, and but little education or refinement, though some of the women could fairly lay claim to considerable beauty.
I was now eighteen. I had learned much and suffered more, but as yet had not personally sounded the depths of Mormon degradation. I was not beautiful; only a well-developed, healthy English girl, with a bright, clear complexion and luxuriant hair; but I knew without vanity that I was fully equal if not superior in appearance to most of the women I met. That I was more intelligent is also true; for I read all the books I could obtain. I was passionately fond of music, a natural musician; for I could play upon stringed or keyed instruments intuitively, and my voice was true, sweet, and powerful. This talent I carefully concealed lest it should expose me to the notice of the speculating saints in women.
Skilled musicians were rare in Brigham Young's dominions in those early times, and I well knew that if my talent were known my time would no longer be my own. Singing was the one joy of my life, yet I carefully abstained from it save when far away from human habitation. Then, with Rick and Alice, I would give full vent to my pent-up emotions. We were only three children as yet, and grand old times we had carolling in company with the birds.
In our rides we made some strange friends with Indians, for we had a feeling that, though possessed of a darker skin, in some points their souls were whiter than those of our own people. About five miles from [Lake] Utah is the hot Spring, which flows from beneath a rock at the base of a mountain. The water is so hot that an egg may be boiled in it. This water, which commences in a stream the size of a man's body, spreads into a seething, steaming lake more than an acre in extent. The Utes and Arapahoes frequently met here, and on one of our visits we found encamped a band of Arapahoes. The chief came to meet me with a sad face, telling me in his broken English that his mother was very ill, and begging me to go in and see her. I found the poor old squaw ill indeed with consumption, that rarest of diseases in Utah.
Nothing that I could do would prolong life, but I prepared jellies made from the wild fruits of the country, as my friend Mrs. Miller had taught me, and delicious soup from the game the hunters of the
684 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Nov.
tribe brought in. The poor feeble creature relished these delicacies more than anything her own people could make for her; my very presence soothed and comforted her. I would sit many an hour holding her brown, wrinkled hand in mine, singing and dreaming my dreams, pouring out my soul in the ballads and melodies I had learned in my childhood, the hymns I had been taught at my mother's knee, and the sublime chants of our beautiful church service.
One after another the Indians would softly enter the wigwam, until Feotah the chief motioned them away. Then they would form groups outside, listening with bent heads, until I had finished the last note. They called me Wina Metre, or Singing-Bird; they looked upon me as inspired; not one of them but would have walked miles to do me the slightest service, and the old squaw would kiss my hand as though I were a goddess.
One day Feotah told me that they must move, for their old enemies the Utes were on the war-path. He pressed upon me the gift of a pretty gray pony, to Rick he gave a beautiful bow and set of arrows, and to Alice a buffalo robe. To have refused these presents would have been a grave insult to their friendship. We saw them leave with genuine sorrow, for they had been true friends to us in our desolate condition.
We had never been compelled to attend the meetings in the Tabernacle. The services were so repugnant that unless father desired us to accompany him we remained at home. But now Brigham Young himself ordered father to see that we attended regularly. From this command there was no escape. I knew that I had lately been kept under a strict espionage. I was mortally afraid of that mysterious horror the Destroying Angel, as the chief of the terrible Danites was called, and I went henceforth to the meetings with my brother and sister. But I charged them on the way to spend the hours at the Tabernacle in castle-building, in dreaming of anything, in sleeping, rather than to listen while the enormity of polygamy was speciously defended and smoothed over.
This advice, which I also observed, brought my fate upon me. One Sunday the congregation commenced singing a hymn I dearly loved, because it had been taught me by my mother. Absorbed in dreams, the melody stole in upon my brain. Hungering after the lost happiness of my childhood, my full heart rose to my lips, and unconsciously poured forth its yearning in that hymn. High and higher rose my voice until it drowned the rest, and I came back to my senses to find all eyes fastened upon me, covering me with dismay and an undefined terror.
The next day I was ordered by Brigham Young to become a member of the choir, which was largely composed of his own children, whose acquaintance I had no desire to make. I refused to go. Then I received a note signed by Fate himself, ordering me to be present at the next meeting of the choir. Resolved not to sing in that temple of Dagon, I braved my fate and stayed away.
The following Wednesday, as I was sewing in my own room, my father opened the door and stood upon the threshold looking at me. There was that in his face which told me that a crisis in my life had arrived. He entered, and seating himself carefully, as I thought, with his back to my mother's portrait, he said, "I wish to talk to you upon a subject of great importance to us both."
I bowed my head in silence, and waited for him to proceed, with a trembling heart and wistful look.
But he became confused, and hesitated, and made some pointless observations about domestic matters. Then a dusky flush rose in his face; he frowned, and moved uneasily in his seat, and his breath for a moment came hard and fast. Oh, did a thought of my sainted mother arrest his cruel intention? did the wistful expression in my eyes remind him of her, and force the base proposition he was about to make back to his heart?
But it came at last, his eyes not daring to meet mine; and shorn of the verbiage with which he strove to hide its loathsome features, it amounted to this: That I should at once become the eighth wife of Elder Pratt.
I heard the bitter, shameful words. My breast heaved with my quick spasmodic breathing. Stung beyond endurance, I started up at last, and raising my hand as if I were registering an oath on high, I said, "Never," father, never, while God gives me life!"
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 685
"Do not say that," cried my father tempestuously, "for you only blaspheme. By to-morrow this time you will be the honored wife of a good man."
I sank into my chair, and covering my face with my hands rocked my body to and fro with anguished moans. My suffering was too great for tears; the pain of those dry, choking sobs was intolerable.
"No more of this nonsense!" urged my father roughly. "You have not liked your home, and you will have another cause of discontent when I tell you that to-morrow a daughter of Elder Pratt's will be sealed to me as a wife, while as the good Elder's wife you will have a home of which any woman might be proud."
"Proud of the eighth part of a husband, the eighth part of a home! God forbid! I will not so degrade my womanhood! I will not so steep my soul in infamy! Oh, father, think of your promise to my dying mother; can you have the heart to consign me, her child, to a torment besides which death would be only too welcome? I cannot do this thing, I ---"
"Hush, you jade! how dare you brave my authority? See to-morrow that you receive cheerfully, and marry without one word of dissent, the man who has honored you by his choice, or" -- and a wrathful flash shot from his eyes -- "you will rue the day you were born."
As he spoke these cruel words, he rose and went hastily out of the room, leaving me trembling with rage and horror at the double abasement and outrage with which he had overwhelmed me.
I was to bartered, traded away for one of the loathsome old man's daughters. My father had sold me, not because love for another had blinded his conscience, but from a base, sensual desire to increase the inmates of his harem; and I -- I was to enter into the same dishonored life -- all good impulses offended, all pure instincts outraged, to the end of my miserable days.
Was there no escape? Escape! How the word rang through my half-crazed brain. With my hands pressed upon my burning, tearless eyes, I repeated this word over and over in my mind, until meaning fled. Ghastly faces floated in the air, the faces of the women who I knew were suffering the torments of the hell to which I was doomed. Suddenly I heard my darling little sisters voice calling to some of my father's other children in the playground below. The sweet voice and trilling laugh of the child, so ignorant of may misery, opened the flood-gates of my tears. Sinking upon the floor, and laying my head upon the chair, I wept unrestrainedly. From weeping I turned to praying. Soon the light came; my way was clear. I would escape from this moral grave that yawned before me, if I went knowingly to my physical death. I would literally "flee to the mountains."
When night had come I hastily gathered together a few clothes, and then retired as usual, to avoid exciting suspicion. Little Alice cuddled close to me, asking sleepily, "What keeps you, dear Madge?" "God keeps me," I thought, as I kissed the flushed, warm cheek of the sleeping child.
I told neither Alice nor Richard of the base proposition that had been made to me, nor of my determination to leave them, the only beings dear to me on earth. I thought if they knew nothing father would not revenge my disobedience upon their innocent heads.
About eleven o'clock I rose from my bed, and kneeling down with a breaking heart, I commended my darling sister to the God of the helpless and desolate. I prayed that I might escape so as to make a way for her to leave this modern Sodom. My blithe, pretty, innocent sister! My tears fell on her face as I softly kissed her, and they rained down as I bent over Richard for a last look and blessing. His arm was curled round his head, his beautiful face was the picture of health and innocent happiness; yet as he grew how could honor and faith and respect for women blossom in that foul air? Oh, how I prayed that he might loathe and abhor the peculiar sin of this people! that in him God would raise up a reformer who would in some measure atone for the wrong-doing of our father, Kissing them, I stole softly out, and in another moment stood beneath the starry sky. I went to where my pony was fastened, gathered up the rope or lariat, saddled and bridled him, took my little sack of clothing and provisions, not forgetting a small pistol and ammunition and matches, strapped them all on with a heavy blanket, as soldiers carry their knapsacks, mounted him, and rode away into the night, a homeless, desolate girl.
Of my escape I will tell next month.
SAVED FROM THE MORMONS.
I determined eventually to find my way to California, but I did not dare to travel on the great California trail, as I could not fail of being captured, were any search made for me. My only recourse, until pursuit was considered vain, was to hide in the ravines of the wilderness, preferring the tender mercies of any savages I might encounter, or the terrors of wild beasts, rather than risk the danger of being dragged back to the life of infamy to which I had been sold by my father.
I rode all night, and was still in the shadow of the Wahsatch mountains at nine o'clock the next day. The morning sun was glinting the waters of Lake Utah in the distance, when I entered a deep ravine where there was a plentiful supply of coarse grass, and a small stream of delicious cool water.
After tying Bonny's lariat and taking a little food, I spread my blanket on the ground, and commending myself and my forsaken darlings to my Father's protection, I lay down so weary that I soon fell into a deep sleep.
I must have slept some hours when I was awakened by a moist touch upon my face, and a low whining sound. For a moment I fancied myself at home, but upon opening my eyes and collecting my senses, I recognized my brother's dog, Nimrod, who was standing over me licking my face. Paralyzed with terror, every sense, every nerve was strained to listen. I was pursued I was discovered, betrayed by my own brother, who had sent on his dog to find me. The minutes passed; no sound broke the stillness, except the low whining of the dog, who was telling me his joy at finding me. I threw my arms around him, laid my cheek upon his head, and burst into a flood of tears. God had sent him to me, as he sent the ravens to the prophet of old. He was not food, but he could procure food for me. He was a splendid hunter, and I thanked my Father in heaven for the timely gift.
I toiled on over the rough roads all that day, with the pain tugging at my heart, the hungry desire to fold Alice to my breast, and to hear Richard's bluff, cheery voice; but I never turned back. I had fled from an evil worse than any I could meet, and I had a humble but steadfast faith that God would care for us all.
That night, after sharing the remains of my food with poor Nimrod, I tied my pony and laid myself down close to a large rock which sheltered me somewhat from the wind, for the night was cool. For some hours I could not sleep. My heart was filled with a great pity for myself, and for the two I loved and had left, and my brooding mind was fall of plans for the future. No wonder that sleep fled for a while from my puzzled brain and aching body, but when it came at last it was sweet and dreamless.
In the morning we had no water, but Nimrod caught a grouse and brought it to me with excessive flourishing and frisking, to let me know how glad he was to help me in my extremity. I dressed it, and giving him a share felt relieved for the day. As for my good little pony, grass was as yet plentiful. We travelled all that day before we found water. Then I kindled a fire and cooked and ate my bird. I had wandered away from all vestige of a road or track since the day previous, when I caught sight of an adobe hut and cultivated field, some distance west of my route. I kindled a fire when night approached, as it was cold, but no sleep came to my weary eyes, for I was frightened by the crackling of the bushes behind me, and Nimrod barked incessantly at some invisible enemy.
We had no breakfast, but I gathered the pine cones which had fallen from the trees, for the little nuts they contain are palatable and would sustain me until I could procure better food. I tried may band as a markswoman during the day, and was fortunate enough to shoot two partridges, while Nimrod caught a large rabbit. The proud look with which he trotted up and laid it at my feet excited my laughter, instantly succeeded by a
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 823
burst of tears. It was droll, but oh it was pitiful too! Yet I was not ungrateful. God was good to me. He had given me one dumb but steadfast friend in this savage wild.
We travelled all that day. Toward night the distant barking of a dog and the sound of cow-bells sent a thrill of delight through my frame. I was near human beings; it was barely possible that I might make myself known without risk of betrayal, but not that night. I must be sure that Brigham Young's Avengers were not to be let loose upon me.
With the morning sun I started in search of the dwelling, giving my pony in charge to Nimrod. I soon discovered a log-cabin at the foot of a steep hill. Vegetables were growing in a small enclosure, and near a rude shed were a couple of cows and a horse.
I did not dare to approach until I was sure that no man was near. Presently a woman came out of the cabin, followed by several children. One of these seemed to be an invalid, for she brought him out in her arms and laid him in the sun. While the others played around him, and with a prayerful hope that a woman and little children would not be unkind to me, I drew near. The little ones stopped their play and called loudly for their mother, who hurried out, her eyes wide open with astonishment; but when I spoke to her a smile of welcome broke over her coarse features, and made her almost beautiful. The first words she uttered proved her to be an English woman, and we clasped hands as if we were old friends. Then she gave me food -- delicious to me -- of corn bread and milk, and soon was listening to my sad story with the warmest sympathy depicted on her face.
Then she told me of her own cheated life. How the Mormon sorcerer with facile tongue and the delusive promise of "free lands" -- that most entrancing prospect to the small serf-like farmers and poor laborers of my country -- had persuaded her husband to sell all he had, and hasten to that land of Canaan where milk honey flowed, where his children would be educated, and he become a saint on earth. In a hand-cart they dragged and carried their possessions and four little children over the Plains. All old settlers will remember that "hand-cart brigade," the strongest exhibition of faith, not in God but in an idea, which the world has ever known. They marched with blistered, bleeding feet. They bowed and fell by the wayside, and those who fell down dead gave up their lives in the conviction that they had died in God's service, and each had won a martyr' s crown.
They had started late in the season, and added to their miseries was a heavy fall of snow. Mrs. Dodd and her husband pushed their cart and carried their little ones, until Mr. Dodd was stricken down with lung fever. No words can tell what they now endured until he died and was buried beneath the snow and sand, to become the prey of the next pack of wolves that passed that way. The cold grew more intense; the thermometer stood at ten degrees below zero. God only knows how she kept her children from freezing; her own hands and feet were frozen, and as the weather grew milder she suffered unspeakable agonies -- pain so past endurance, that she pulled her cart upon her knees. There was no one to relieve her. All were maimed, frozen, exhausted. It was a mad struggle for life, for if she faltered or was left behind, she and her little ones would surely perish.
When at last the survivors of the party did arrive at Salt Lake, instead of Arcadia they found the very valley of Upas. But they remained; for some of the poisonous doctrines of the community so appeal to the passions of men, that many of them become more than satisfied.
But Mrs. Dodd had no sympathy with this people, and she gladly accepted an offer to go forty or fifty miles south with some of her friends, and engage in farming and cattle-raising.
They were supplied with a few cows, oxen, sheep, and fowls, upon which they bound themselves to make an annual payment after a certain date, in the increase of these animals. They also made a secret and solemn league or covenant among themselves to refrain from the peculiar sin of the people, and as far as in them lay, to lead pure and virtuous lives.
And poor Mrs. Dodd, though she knew that incessant labor would be her portion, thanked God for the privilege of living alone and working for her children. But poverty, hunger, and cold, like gaunt wolves, often entered her door, and in an evil hour she was induced to hire her eldest
824 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
boy, a mere child of eight years, to a neighbor to do light work.
The little fellow, well knowing what a struggle his mother had to live, endured the most brutal treatment without complaint until, for some reason best known to himself, his fiendish employer beat him so that he was unable to walk, and then sent for his mother to "come and git her young 'un, as he was good for nothing." The child was maimed for life. With superhuman strength his mother carried him all the weary miles back to her cabin; and though this was ten years ago, the injured boy never grew, and he was the one now lying patiently outside, doomed to be a heart-breaking grief to his mother as long as he lived.
The nearest neighbor to my new-found friend was a good man named Chick, who had lost his wife a year before my coming. Mrs. Dodd sewed and did what she could for his children, in return for his assistance in outdoor work. They were good friends to each other, and so opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism that they had determined to leave the place at the first safe opportunity.
I had begged permission to remain all night in the cabin, for I was weary of the wilderness and loath to leave human companionship. How pleasant it sounded to hear her exclaim, "Stay all night, my dear young lady! Why, you are as welcome as the flowers in May! Stay as long as you can put up with our poor fare."
I gladly yielded to the homely tenderness of this invitation. I had a little money in my purse, and was only too thankful to give it to her.
The next day was Sunday. How heavy my heart was for the darlings I had apparently abandoned, only God and myself can know. They were grieving for me; they were calling upon my name, "Madge, come back, oh, come back," seemed to ring through the air and sink into my heart. I was a homeless wanderer, a fugitive slave; but with the tears streaming over my hands as I knelt to my morning prayers, I thanked God that that which was dearer to me than life was still my own, and a song of hope and trust arose in my soul. Dreary as the days now were, they would not always be full of clouds and storms. God would give me my dear ones, my sunshine, in his own good time.
Early in the morning Mr. Chick and his children came, as was their wont, to spend their only leisure day with Mrs. Dodd. The good man's surprise was intense as his glance fell upon a stranger; but when Mrs. Dodd simply said, "This is Miss Margaret Holthurst, the look of surprise changed into one of amazement. Coining hastily toward me, he repeated, "Miss Margaret Holthurst! Miss Margaret Holthurst!" in an agitated manner, that took my breath away, and made me faint with terror, for of course I was sure that the Danites were upon me.
"Are you Margaret Holthurst of Lincolnshire, England?" he asked.
I bowed my head, for I could not speak.
"His honor the rectors granddaughter? Good God! it cannot be!"
In speechless surprise I gazed at him; when, taking my cold hand in his own, hard, brown, and bony with labor, he exclaimed, "Miss Margaret! can it be that I find you here in this wild, heathen land? Why, I have carried you in my arms many and many's the day, when you were a wee bit toddler like my Jean there! And to find -- to find you here! in fact to be here myself, and as I am! Oh, its too much, too much!" and the strong man covered his face and wept like a child, while I, speechless, breathless, sobbing with agitation, waited to hear more.
When he had somewhat regained his composure, he told me that years ago he had been an under-gardener to my grandfather, leaving the place when I was about six years old. To me he had been only one of the numerous servants over whom I queened it when a child at Bolton Green rectory; but now, now, fleeing for my life -- for more than my life -- this old servant became my friend and adviser, and I learned to respect his sound judement and unflinching integrity.
We talked all that Sunday of dear old England. Although he had been here in Utah only two years, he was a stranger to what had transpired at Bolton Green. The death of my dear mother and grandfather, and the continued and angry estrangement of my mother's titled relatives because she had married beneath her, was of painful interest to this good man; and when he heard that I had no kith or kin on earth who cared for me, save the dear brother and sister in Utah, his tears started again. "Don't go away,
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 825
Miss Margaret," he entreated. "Stay with us. The rector's little pet without a home! Can it be? can it be? Stay here. I will help you. I will fight for you if it comes to that;" and as he doubled up his brawny fists a dangerous flash shot out of his eyes, for he well understood the peril from which I had fled; but the Danites once on the scent, muscular force would be of no avail -- their assassin's work was done in the dark with lead and keen steel.
The next day Mr. Chick came over with the proposition that I should change my name, and remain with them, at least for the present, teaching the children of the two families. After painful thought I consented to the plan, and as Hannah Goodwin I was to begin my school the following Monday in a corner of Mrs. Dodd's cabin.
The Saturday before, I went with the children for a walk, and to gather treasures of wild flowers and all that was strange or curious that we could find, for poor Tommy the cripple. We climbed a high hill, and as I sat resting and listening to the prattle of the little ones, with my heart yearning for my own who were far away, in the green interval I could plainly see lying between the Great Salt Lake and Lake Utah, I noticed two horsemen journeying from the southwest, and approaching toward Mrs. Dodd's cabin. With a feeling that I must learn my fate if they held it, I hastened back, and reached the cabin before they arrived.
They proved to be travellers from the Eastern States, or, as the Mormons say, "Gentiles from the States." For two days they camped out near Mrs. Dodd's cabin, receiving their meals from her. They were well-informed, pleasant men, and when they discovered that we had no sympathy with the Mormons, they talked freely of the curse of the land, though giving credit for the industry and indomitable perseverance of the people. The land well deserved, they said, the name of "Deseret," the "land of the bee." But in the midst of their pleasant chat came terrible words. They had been in [Salt Lake] and had heard of my escape. "The Danites are in pursuit of this Margaret Holthurst," said they, "and hot and furious are the anathemas against her and all who dare to shelter her."
Well for me that my friends kept a discreet silence, while this news could be only of ordinary interest to the Hannah Goodwin who leaned, trembling in breathless terror, against the wall.
"The Danites have searched all the most southern settlements," continued one of the travellers, and intend to visit every house in the land to 'clean out the enemies of the Lord.' If they refuse to come into the kingdom, they must be shot or stabbed into kingdom come."
I was in deadly peril. I must go. Whatever might befall me, these kind people must suffer nothing in my behalf. I should be an ingrate indeed were the curse to be visited upon them through any imprudent lingering of mine; and so when the travellers departed I also took up my weary flight, with food for three days' sustenance, and a letter from Mr. Chick to friends in to whom he commended me as his daughter in search of a school.
Before I left, I wrote a note to Richard on one of the blank leaves of my prayer-book, which Mr. Chick promised to deliver into his hands as soon as he could. It contained but these few words:
DEAR BROTHER: I am safe and well. Don't fear for me. God helping me, I will come or send for you in the spring. Keep clean hands and a pure heart; care well for the wee one, and all will be right in time. God bless and keep you. MADGE.
I parted from my friends with embraces and tears. Mr. Chick went a mile or two with me, directing me minutely as to the route.
"God bless you, dear Miss Margaret," he said at parting. Don't fail to call upon me if you need help; I'll always be glad to help his honor's grandchild;" and the good fellow turned away with a grieved face and quivering lip.
And now, as Peggy Chick, I rode sadly away, my faithful Nimrod capering by the side of Bonny, both evidently delighted to be en route again.
When we camped for the night I made a fire, as it was very cold, but the wolves howling around kept me wakeful and frightened.
Tired and unrefreshed, I went on the next day, until snow falling fast obliterated a dim Indian trail which had guided me. I reached a stream called Duck Creek, which I knew I must cross, and then struck due west. I forded the stream and rode rapidly on, hoping to
826 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
reach the end of my journey that night; but the snow fell fast, the earth was completely covered, and the air so full of it that I could not see an object fifty feet away. I was out on an open country, with no trees, not even a rock to shelter me from the bitter wind. There was no alternative but to press on. The solitude and silence of this white waste impressed me with a profound sadness, and as I rode big tears welled up from my heart and rolled slowly down my cheeks. At last I reached another stream, with sufficient vegetation around it to afford some protection from the storm, and though it was light enough to go a few miles further, I thought it best to stay here for the night. I cut some bushes and constructed a rude, slight shelter; then with difficulty I made a fire, and leaving Bonny to paw away the snow from the tufts of grass, as his Indian training had taught him, and find, as I knew he would, a plentiful meal, I crawled into my tiny shelter-tent, and curling myself up with my dog, for five minutes felt quite comfortable and happy.
Then I was seized with a passionate despair, and sang. Oh, the air rang with the notes. My soul escaped from its bondage. I was back in Utah clasping in my loving, yearning arms the brother and sister whom I had forsaken. No language could have expressed my half-frenzied feelings as that music did; but when my voice suddenly dropped and died, the desolate anguish of my heart was complete. Like a blow from an open hand, the thought smote me that I was there alone in that dreary, snowy wild, a helpless, hunted girl; I broke down utterly, and cried as though my very heart must break.
V.Exhausted with weeping, I fell asleep. When I awoke the storm had ceased, but the clouds hung heavy and the landscape was obscured by mist. I caught a few fish by tying pieces of thread together, with bent pins for hooks. The bait was easily found on the margin of the stream, and the fish literally swarmed round it. In a short time I had secured sufficient for myself and Nimrod, and I determined to remain where I was until the weather moderated, which it would surely do in a day or two, as it was early in the season. During the day I was horribly frightened by a huge bear, who leisurely approached the opposite side of the stream, and after quenching his thirst crossed over not more than thirty rods from my encampment. He was probably gorged with food, or I was protected from his getting the scent by the wind, which blew briskly toward me.
The snow was so deep that I could not find my way, and, spite of my uncanny neighbor, who made me very uneasy, there was no alternative but to remain where I was and hope he would not return. The birds were so tame that they sat on the roof of my tent peering in and exchanging remarks apparently about me. Nimrod watched them warily, his tail slowly waving like a pennon in the breeze, waiting my word to be up and at them; but I could not have killed those confiding little creatures if I had been starving.
By the next morning the sun was shining brightly, quickly melting the snow. I travelled all the afternoon on the route I had marked out, but when night came and I could discover no signs of human habitation, I was forced to the terrifying conviction that I had missed my way and was lost.
I climbed one of those grand cathedral-like rocks, so common in this part of the continent, and scanned the country in every direction. Not an evidence of human life could I see, save that far away in among a bluish-green strip, which looked as if it might be trees on the edge of a stream, I saw a thin smoke curling up to the sky.
It was too late then to find it, and I came down from my eyrie and spent the night at the foot of the rock.
But the smoke must have been a born brother to a will-o-the-wisp, for I failed to discover any house or human being. Three more days of this sorrowful, terrible life passed slowly away. A hare and a few fish sustained me; while Nimrod, with almost human intelligence, leaving these for me, caught and regaled himself with two prairie dogs. These odd little creatures, overcome with curiosity, would pop up in great numbers out of their abodes in the earth, and sit on their haunches and bark at us; and Nimrod, alert and quivering with eagerness, sprang like a shot and captured two, one after the other, just as they were tumbling down their holes. The strange little animals have no claim to the name of dog.
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 827
They resemble far more the woodchuck of New England.
I had now come upon an arid, rocky, sandy waste of country, with little vegetation other than the sage and grease bush, and now and then a patch of coarse grass, which served to keep my good little pony alive. On the fourth day of this purposeless wandering, I struck a small stream murmuring and singing through a rocky canyon, or deep ravine. I remained here a day to allow Bonny to feast on the sweet tender grass fringing its margin. While strolling idly and sadly along the banks, marks of savage footsteps, still fresh, arrested my attention. I was not frightened. I could not be more friendless and forlorn than I was, and for two days I followed the trail going south, but still finding no one.
We were now all three famishing. Dizzy, exhausted, but with a conviction through my suffering that I must live, for I had work to do, I walked much of the way to save my pony. It was well that at sunset of the sixth day we found water and grass, or our wanderings would soon have been at an end. I turned poor Bonny loose, for the intelligent, affectionate creature no longer required any fastening, and kindling a fire with a last desperate effort, I threw myself on the ground and fell into the deathlike sleep that only exhaustion brings. Yet I was conscious in this sleep of torturing visions of delicious food held far out of my reach, and of a low angry growling by Nimrod. Then a human voice uttering the exclamation "Ugh!" in a deep guttural tone, letting it off like a minute gun, awakened me. I sprang to my feet and confronted a being over six feet in height, arrayed like Solomon in all his glory. With a true woman's instinct I took in at once every detail of his gorgeous apparel, from the helmet of deer skin surmounted by a plume of feathers of all the colors of the rainbow; the blanket striped with blue, red, and green; the coat of blue with scarlet with bits of metal on the fringe, which tinkled like little bells when he moved; down to the profusely-decorated moccasins.
Hanging to his back were a bow and a quiver of most magnificent arrows, for the feathery tops were all ablaze with brilliant color.
I sank upon my knees and bowed my head, folding my arms upon my breast in token of submission. The slightest gleam of a smile lit up the bold, kingly face, which resembled one of those old Romans one sees in casts and paintings of the days of the Caesars.
He made signs for me to rise, and by gestures inquired if I were alone, and from whence I came. I answered as best I could, and then signified my need food, sinking again on the ground from excitement and exhaustion.
He regarded me in silence for a moment, then waving his hand uttered a few words in a not unmusical tone. If a kelpie had sprung out of the stream or a genii from the earth to do his bidding, I should have considered it only a fit sequence to the startling drama enacting before me; but a frightened look over my shoulder revealed a group of men with their horses, standing motionless at a little distance.
One of the men approached and received an order from his chief. In a few moments he returned with some uncooked meat, which he laid upon the embers of the fire I had kindled. Oh, could there ever have been a venison steak so delicious as that one was, which be soon handed to me? The bread of crushed corn which he added made a feast never to be forgotten.
Poor Nimrod looked on with such wishful eyes and watering chops, that I could refrain from giving him a share, upon which the great chief frowned; but upon my taking the faithful dog in my arms and bursting into tears, the faint smile chased away the frown, and nodding his head he gave a sign to one of the men to bring some of the coarser meat to the dog, for which I thanked him as well as I could.
I afterward learned that the band belonged to the tribe of Navajoes. They were a fine-looking body of men, rather more plainly dressed than their chief. Their ponies were larger and stronger than are usually found among Indians, and they were travelling with many beasts of burden.
They built a great camp fire, and I laid down again to sleep, with a sense of protection, though I knew that I was now a prisoner. This was better than loneliness and starvation; better than Utah; far better than the tender mercies of Brigham Young.
828 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
And so the next morning, when they made signs that I must go with them, and led the way, Indian fashion, in single file, I followed bravely, my soul so full of thanksgiving and courage that I broke out impulsively in the "Gloria in Excelsis," fairly startling those imperturbable men, though the next moment they rode along again like so many automatons.
We were soon crossing an extended prairie, lush with luxuriant grass, and dotted here and there with small herds of buffaloes. At a word of command from the chief, some of the Indians dashed away, and in an incredibly short time returned with a plentiful supply of fresh meat, which was safely packed upon the led ponies.
Late in the afternoon we discovered a dense smoke rising above a range of bluffs or buttes, as they are called. The braves spoke together and gravely shook their heads. When we had rounded the nearest point we were face to face with our worst enemy, for the prairie was on fire. Flight was useless; we must fight the fire or perish.
In an instant the entire band were upon their knees endeavoring to strike fire from their flints, and create what is called a back fire, which when enough is burned is crushed out by trampling upon it in a circle. The first flames, meeting this cleared space, have nothing to feed them, and this tramped-out circle was our sole chance of escape from the resistless fury of a prairie fire.
I watched their efforts for a moment, shaking with fright. The flames were bearing down upon us with giant strides, and the Indians seemed to be striking their flints in vain. Suddenly I remembered that I had matches, and leaping from my pony and bending low struck one and applied it to the long, dry grass. In a moment the flame rose, widened, and spread. Unbounded amazement shone in the faces of my captors, as I fed the flames in a circle and soon had cleared a space large enough for myself, my pony, and Nimrod, whom I had to take in my arms, as he was mortally terrified and refused to cross the band of fire. As the circle in which I stood grew larger every moment, I shouted to the band and, waving my hand with a gesture of command, beckoned them to come to me and share my refuge.
The surging conflagration I had made met and mingled with the huge advancing waves of flame which, rearing their heads and writhing like enormous serpents, swept past us to the west, leaving the ground black and smoking but with all the danger over.
The next morning we crossed a large river, which I now know to be the Colorado. The Indians swam across, but I, gathering myself up on the back of my pony, was led safely over -- one of the Indians holding the bridle, and Nimrod swimming by my side.
And now we came in our onward route upon those amazing mysterious works of nature -- of nature's God -- which are well worth a journey across the hemisphere to see. Palaces, cathedrals, monuments, columns capped in every known style of architecture; little baby gravestones, pulpits, pyramids, ruined shafts, all so artistic that it is almost inconceivable that they were not fashioned by the hand of man. You will not believe me, you will think I am romancing. You will wonder if I suppose your credulity equal to that of the good old lady, who insisted that the Egyptian pyramids stood teetering on their points; her grandson, who had been there, told her so. Indeed, it was some time before I could convince myself that my own eyes were not playing fantastic tricks; but these wonders are real, and like David I can only cry out, "Oh come hither, and behold the glorious works of the Lord."
At times the rocky formation would close in upon our trail, and we would travel for miles through a canyon so deep as to be in twilight shadow at the base, at noon, while above the sunbeams struck the brilliant colors of the rocks, making them to gleam and sparkle like jewels.
Riding through one of these canyons a fit seized me to startle, if I could, my stolid, statue-like companions. I took out my little six-barrelled revolver and fired every barrel off in quick succession. The sun was obscured at the moment, and the cavernous depths of the canyon were black as night. The bright flash of each report, the sulphurous odor, and the resounding reverberations, made an effect which I lack words to describe. I had done what I wanted and a little more. They looked back at me, with eyes wide with terror
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 829
and faces gray with fright, every limb shuddering. I expected they would all dash away at utmost speed, leaving me successful but alone. Months after, I was told why they did not do so.
Two days after this the trail led up the sheer face of the rock five hundred feet high by a natural path, only wide enough for one pony at a time. The least misstep would have hurled us down to instant death. When we reached the top of the bluff, upon which was a broad plateau, I saw at a distance what appeared to be an immense fortification or fortified town. Faint wreaths of smoke ascended from within, and my heart gave a bound of delight. "Thank God!" I exclaimed aloud, "this must be one of the forts belonging to the United States Government." I pointed out the place to my companions, upon which they uttered the word "Mokees" several times. As this word had no certain signification to my mind, I concluded that my supposition was correct, and oh how glad it made me! I had met officers from the forts in Salt Lake City; I knew they were gentlemen; and I was certain of protection and help, once I was within those massive walls.
We descended gradually from the plateau, and rounding the point of a hill came suddenly upon a band of well-armed Indians, as horrible a set of hideously painted savages as I have ever beheld. For one moment my party stood like bronze statues, then with an unearthly, fiendish yell and a wild bound, they were in the midst of the others. Arrows flew, and the one rusty musket of my chief, blazed away. They fought with ferocity and desperation, till the others, still keeping up a horrid din with their whoops and yells, dug their heels into the panting sides of their ponies and flew pell-mell, with my Indians pursuing, until the whole of them disappeared over an elevation some distance away.
Now or never! They were riding away from the fortified town, and I struck out toward it with a prayer that it might prove the protection I so sorely needed.
As I approached, herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, and cultivated fields with men laboring in them met my vision. I asked these men, who were copper-colored, whether that was a United States fort, but they glanced curiously at me, repeating the word "Mokees, Mokees," as the Navajoes had done.
And now I have a strange story to relate. The town was upon a bluff three hundred feet high. The bluff was terraced up, and the little soil clinging to it had been enriched and cultivated to the utmost. Fountains of pure water flowed out of the rock into basins of skilful masonry, and from thence in little rivulets along the cultivated ground. Flowers, fruits, and vegetables, some unknown to me, made the face of the rock beautiful. A narrow path led up to the town; and as I journeyed on the men and women at work on the terraces watched every movement, but did not approach me until I had reached the top and discovered that there was no visible entrance into the town.
It was not a United States fort; all these people were copper-colored, and I stood irresolute, my lips quivering with grief at my disappointment, when a ladder was let down and a man descended and came directly toward me. I sprang from my pony and bravely held out my hand, which he took and all but crushed in his own, smiling and talking fast in an unknown tongue.
I put my hand to my mouth to signify that I was hungry. He led the way up the ladder, to the top of the wall which encircled the town. Then we ascended another ladder, and were at once inside of a house. Pointing to a skin spread upon the floor and making signs that I should be seated, he left the room.
My heart beat with undefined fears. I had found a walled city in the very heart of the North American continent, and a people who could and might take summary means to punish me for intruding, if they chose. I am sure my troubled face said volumes to my poor dog, who nestled down close beside me, his eyes fixed lovingly on mine, once more my only earthly friend, for Bonny was far below on the terrace, in the hands of the people who had watched me.
After a while the chief, as I afterwards found he was, returned with a woman, who handed to me a wooden dish filled with a soup which was quite palatable.
While I was eating, they held a consultation about me, laughing heartily at my efforts to understand them, and failures in making out what they tried to convey, and soon went away again.
830 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
I passed the time examining the room. The walls were covered with clay not unlike our plaster; the partitions were upheld by substantial beams, and the door laid with clay of almost stony hardness. Everything looked clean. Pretty mats of rushes and skins with the fur on were lying here and there on the flour, while the walls were decorated with bows, arrows, antlers, blankets, and various articles of wearing apparel. On some shelves were neatly fashioned vases of yellow earthenware, flat dishes of the same, and gourds of immense size filled with corn meal, beans, and dried peaches. An air of cleanly thrift pervaded all the place.
Presently the chief returned with two bright-looking children, who, after the wont of children, stared at me with their fingers in their mouths. They were the children of the chief, and we soon became the best of friends.
And now, as well as I was able, I told my story. Taking a coal from the fire-place, I drew a map on the floor, and traced my route from Salt Lake to that place. The chief surveyed it with a grunt of satisfaction, and taking the coal from my band he drew at certain distances rude pictures of houses, which resembled the one I was in, and inquired if I had been in them. Upon my shaking my head in the negative he seemed very much pleased.
I began to remember that I had read something of the pueblas or walled towns of the Indians -- the Moquis towns. I repeated the word to him as the Navajoes had pronounced it, "Mokees." He nodded assent and pointed to me. I said "English," which he caught immediately, pronouncing it "Yengees," delighted as it seemed to find that I came from the north and belonged to the Yengees. He told me his name was Weegodah and his wife's Menonah.
Gradually I found that Weegodah had several children, one a son who had my pony in charge, and two grown daughters, bright, pretty girls. I staid all the winter with this industrious, simple, virtuous people. I could not go on alone, and I hoped some way would be provided that I might get back to my darlings in the spring, as I had promised them. So I busied myself in learning the language of my protectors, and assisting them in such light work as would not derogate from the dignity I had assumed from the first. They had never seen a white woman before, save a few albinos whom I found among them, and for whom they had unbounded reverence. A company of white men had visited the town a few months previous, bartering some of their possessions for skins and furs. I have since discovered that this party belonged to Lieutenant Ives's exploring expedition.
In these later years I have endeavored to trace out the origin of this interesting race, but with little success. No Prescott has arisen to search out their traditions and records, and they remain almost unknown.
But this much I have learned then and since. They are called Moquis, and live in seven walled towns or pueblas, situated between the San Juan and Colorado rivers, and thirty-fifth and sixth degrees of latitude.
Their cities are built on the plateaus of sharp bluffs or mesas, almost impregnable to attack. Each town has but one approach, which may be so destroyed on the proximity of danger, that no horseman and scarcely a footman could scale these natural Gibraltars.
Here they have been for many generations, notwithstanding the attacks of hostile Indians. In an open field the Navajoes and Apaches, their formidable enemies, sometimes come off victorious; but in these fastnesses nothing short of the shot and shell of Christian warfare can dislodge them.
The houses are built of stone and adobe, and the towns supplied with a lavish abundance of sweet cold water. How this is obtained on the summit of a bluff or mesa I cannot tell. I saw it and enjoyed it in Orayba -- the town I was in but never was able to discover whence it came. While there the possibility occurred to me of constructing a fountain, as I well understood the simple principles required. With the help of my good friend Weegodah, I had the pleasure of seeing my fountain throwing silvery showers twenty feet in the air before I bade farewell to these good people.
It may interest others, as it certainly did me, to find how sufficient to themselves in all things this unknown race seemed to be, raising cotton, vegetables, fruit; making cloth both of cotton and wool, which was dyed in many colors; providing for winter so that famine was
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 831
never felt; breeding horses, mules, asses, goats, and sheep in vast quantities; and living the thrifty lives of the most enlightened Christians, without the greatest curse of our race -- for intoxicating liquor was here utterly unknown.
They are of medium height, of a bronze-yellow complexion, with fine long hair, which is carefully kept.
During all my stay I never witnessed a single act of profligacy or impurity, and strange to tell, there were no municipal laws or police regulations. Polygamy is also unknown. The young women select their lovers, and inform their fathers of their choice, who on their behalf consult the fathers of the young men.
An offer of marriage is never refused, except in case of bodily deformity on one side or the other. Cripples, deformed and sickly persons are forbidden to marry by public opinion, which would pounce down upon them like a hawk upon a little bird. That is better than law.
Unlike most American Indians, the men do much of the out-of-door work, leaving the women the care of the household, children, and manufacturing of clothing. The women are decently clad at all times, but the men discard apparel in summer, save a band around the loins.
When I had been a month in Orayba, the eldest daughter of the chief was married, and I had the pleasure of assisting in the preparations. On the appointed day the bride with her relatives and friends went in procession to the new home, provided by the respective fathers of the contracting parties. Each one, except the bride, carried some useful present and spread them out on tables and shelves arranged upon one side of the room. The gifts consisted of dried fruits, vegetables, great quantities of yamos or dried guel, dried meats, poultry, eggs, and a sufficient number of vases, gourds, wooden dishes, spoons, and earthen cooking utensils, to last the new family at least a year. After we had arranged our end of the room, the young man accompanied by his relatives and friends entered, bringing blankets, skins, and articles of wearing apparel for both himself and wife. Then the guests inspected the presents, much as bridal presents are looked over and criticised among our own people.
The bride was a winning, pretty girl of twenty, and the groom a bright, healthy young man of about twenty-four years of age. The bride was dressed in a blue woollen gown which reached just below the knee, belted in at the waist with a corn-colored scarf, and leggins of the same color; and on her little feet were moccasins profusely embroidered with beads.
Around her neck she wore a necklace of tiny sea shells, and bracelets of the same on her arms, while a tasteful plume of corn color drooped on one side of her small, shapely head. These ornaments had been brought by Indians from the south, who come every year to barter their own wares for the corn, dried fruit, and cloth of the Moquis.
After the inspection of presents the bridegroom advanced to the centre of the room, attended by two young men. The bride, with two young women, came as far from her side, and held out her right hand. The groom took it in his, and all the company forming a ring danced around them. Then the four parents entered the ring, the young couple knelt, and the parents, crossing their hands over the two bent heads, invoked the blessing of their god upon them. After this there was a fine supper of fish, game, fruits, and yamos, which last is never omitted at any feast. Then some of the company played the most doleful ditties, and the rest danced, both musicians and dancers working themselves up to such a pitch of hilarious enjoyment as almost to persuade me that I was out of tune instead of the music.
I came out on this occasion in a full Orayba costume, and very comfortable it was. I presented my kind hosts and the young couple each with a gold piece. They knew nothing of their value, but puncturing a hole wore them around their necks as ornaments.
But lay little six-barrelled pistol was the thing Weegodah most coveted. His amazement knew no bounds when I loaded and fired all off in quick succession. He would have given me half he was worth for the marvellous thing. He had a few old rusty muskets that looked as though they had belonged to Rip Van Winkle after his twenty years' nap. These had been long saved up for a possible invasion, but I hope his safety will never be dependent upon those decrepit old things.
I had been careful to keep a record of time days with a bit of pencil on the margin
832 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
of my little prayer-book, and as Christmas approached -- that hallowed festival of peace and good will -- I noticed that preparations were making for some great event, and with a great deal of pantomime I arrived at the facts.
At a day's journey from Orayba is a spring sacred to the rain god, Boda-Bodin. Once a year the Indians for a hundred miles around visit this spring to propitiate the god; for with his favor secured they will not suffer from drought. And so on the 23d of December, as I knew from my little calendar, a hundred picked men and women, in perfect health, were chosen to make oblation and sacrifices for all the people of Orayba. I begged hard for permission to accompany them, and after consulting the priest, this was accorded, to my great delight.
The weather was pleasant, and we were several miles on our journey when the sun rose, lighting up the bright walls of the rocky canyons through which we wound. No words can describe the sublime panorama which spread out on every side when we emerged from one of those cavernous ravines, some of it so wild and rugged, with here and there lovely little vales green as a June meadow, while the sweet pure air shone like transparent gold. In one of these vales was the sacred spring. As the party caught sight of the silvery stream, with one accord they dismounted and bowed themselves to the ground, singing a low, mournful chant, not unmusical to my ears. Then, still chanting, they approached the spring with slow step and solemn mien, and reaching the edge of the sacred water, the priest lifted up his voice and implored the presence and favor of the deity.
After the petition the company formed a circle, still chanting, while the priest offered a sacrifice of corn, fruit, and herbs, on an altar near. The day waxed and waned, and the round moon rose before these were consumed. Then the priest ordered the chief, Weegodah, and ten of the leading men, to cleanse the spring with the vases which are preserved from generation to generation sacred to this purpose. Vase after vase of the water was lifted out and carried to some distance before it was poured upon the ground. With it came pipes, tobacco pouches, ornaments of every kind, moccasins, decorated arrows, plumes, corn, and fruit which showed that some other tribe had shortly before been there with their oblations. These things were not touched by the Moquis; all were carefully scooped out and carried away. Then the vases were wiped and placed upside down upon the walls, after which we had supper, and lying down on the soft, velvety turf, under the silent, star-studded sky, we slept or waited for the dawn.
In the morning each one save myself threw into the spring some offering greatly valued, after which the priest prayed to the spirit of the water, entreating for abundant crops. There was some more low-voiced chanting, and we left for the next tribe to clean the spring as ours had and make their sacrifice in turn.
We came upon a band of Navajoes in full battle array, but they did not molest us, as that would have been a deadly insult to Boda-Bodin. As they passed I recognized some of my late travelling companions, and trembled lest they should claim me as their prisoner. I observed that they had a talk with some of my new friends, but carefully kept away from me; and when we reached Orayba I said to Weegodah, Did the Navajoes say anything to you about me?
"Oh yes, they are afraid of you."
"Afraid!" I repeated in astonishment.
"I don't understand. Why should they be afraid?"
"Ah, said Weegodah, shaking his head, "too much fire woman. They call you 'Matougeeda,' or spirit of fire.'"
I had to laugh a little as I recalled the incidents of my journey, the pallid faces of the great braves on the day of the prairie fire, and in the canyon when I made my little revolver speak. Weegodah went on, partly in pantomime and partly in the few English words I had taught him, mixed with Moquis, to tell me that they had earnestly warned him to beware of me, as I could breathe fire out of my mouth, I could throw it from my hands with loud thunder like a god, and that if they did not get rid of me I would burn them up with all the earth.
I put out my hand, and smiling up in the chiefs face said, "Do you fear me, Weegodah?"
The kind-hearted old man enclosed my hand in both his own. "No, no," he said, "no Matougeeda, but 'Winomeeno.'"
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 833
This soft, pretty name signified "my queen," or "superior spirit," and so it came to pass that my supernatural exploits among the Navajoes did me no harm after all.
I tried to understand the religion of this singular people. Weegodah and his wife and I had many long talks, in our lame, imperfect fashion. They believe in one supreme god, whom they call Ma Heetah, or Perfect Perfection. Fifteen secondary deities, and more than a hundred inferior ones, assist Ma Heetah in keeping the universe in order. They have a large temple, the centre room of which is sacred to Ma Heetah, and a smaller room to each of the secondary deities. Boda-Bodin, the god of rain, is one of these. Each god is represented by a rude image cut in stone. They profess not to worship these stones, but the spirits they represent. They reverence domestic animals, whom they will meet in the spirit land.
They burn their dead with solemn ceremonies, preserving the ashes in urns, which are kept in the temple in charge of the priests. A favorite animal is killed, laid at the feet of the dead, and burned with them.
Oh, how gladly would I have taught them the faith of a Christian people in a crucified and risen Lord. I was alone in my daily prayers. I might as well have been living a mile under ground for all that I knew of any that had ever belonged to me. I grew bewildered at times; only my dear little prayer-book with its Scripture lessons, psalms, and litany, kept my faith alive that my Father in heaven was not unmindful of me. I was not unhappy.
At rare times, when a brave fit was on me, I knew that there was more heroism evinced in this patient waiting than in doing or trying to do; but as I was neither indomitable spirit nor immutable steel from top to toe, I cried my heart out many an hour, from sheer hopelessness. At times a cowardly torpor would beset me; it seemed impossible that I ever could dare to venture out on that desolate wild again. I was tempted to forget the past, despise the future, and struggle no longer with my fate.
So my days drifted down on the tide of time. But when spring was come a new courage sprang up in my heart. Now or never, I said. I will go and snatch my children away from that terrible place. Shall I ever reach it or them? I quivered like an aspen leaf as this doubt seized me, but my heart was steadfast and resolute to go. I begged Weegodah for a small body of men to protect me from marauding bands of Indians. It was a very great favor to ask, but when he comprehended that I was returning to the white people to rescue those I loved from an imminent peril, he consented. I had to encounter an affectionate but overwhelming hailstorm of entreaties from the entire family that I would stay; but when I explained to them also why I was going, they made no more objections, but helped me all they could to prepare for the dangerous chances of my journey, with sad faces, and tears from the women.
Twelve young braves, with Noniska, Weegodah's son, for their chief, were chosen for my escort, well armed with bows and arrows, and leading three ponies laden with everything the good people could think of for our sustenance and comfort, besides a complete new suit of native clothing for myself. I descended the steep, rocky pathway, crying as I went, for the whole population of the town followed, crowding round me, shaking hands, bidding me good-by and God speed in their deep-voiced Indian tongue. "Meeka Wagonah Ruba ma," was heard on all sides. "The blessing of the Good Spirit be upon you."
I threw my arms around the necks of the kind old chief and his wife and children, kissing their dusky cheeks, wetting them with my tears, and praying that God would remember them in His kingdom for all their kindness to me; then mounting my pony and waving a last adieu, I touched up Bonny and dashed out into the open -- heart, brain, and nerves all tense with the desire to hasten back to Utah and rescue my dear ones from that wolf's den.
We journeyed on and on under a blue sky, in the pure, glowing atmosphere, with only the discomfort of one "norther;" and on the sixth day, feeling sure that I knew my route, I sent back my faithful escort, dividing among them all the money I had left, with hearty thanks and prayers for their safe return. When they had gone a little way, Noniska, the chief's son, hurried back, and throwing himself at my feet bathed the hand I held
834 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
out to him with tears. His imploring eyes, his agitation, told me plainly that at a word he would leave all and follow me; but I bade him go back to his party, and stood watching them, despondent for the first time since I started.
For I was to go on alone. I changed my Indian suit for my own worn dress, which I had repaired as well as I could for this journey, and, avoiding the settlements, by the next evening I found myself approaching Mrs. Dodd's cabin with a thrill of mingled hope and fear. I alighted and hurried up to the entrance. It was deserted, empty; the walls bare, the hearth fireless. My breast heaved painfully with this disappointment, and big hot tears rose in my eyes.
I made a shelter of the silent, empty house for the night, and in the morning rode in the direction of Mr. Chick's farm, hoping at least to see him and his children. I had not gone far when I met a tall, rough-looking moan, of whom I inquired where Mrs. Dodd was to be found.
"Why, law! Shes gone to Californy."
"Do you know if Mr. Chick is on his farm?" I asked.
"Why, he's gone thar tu. I bought him out."
"Oh," I said, "when did they go?
"Lemme see" he ejaculated. "Lemme see. Why, ya-as, twarn't only las' Wednesday they got off. Went in tu that ar preacher that kim with the blue coats, and he married them, you know; them kind o' preachers that hev to read the prayers out o' books." considerable feelin for the Saints, but I
"Married!" I exclaimed, "and blue coats! I don't understand.
"Law! stranger he'er, I reckon."
"Wall now, whar from?"
"The south; but please explain to me about Mr. Chick."
"Why; Chick an' the widder, in course, and a lot o' young 'uns. Wall, you see jist as soon as them darned blue coats kim, they jist pulled up stakes and put! 'caze you see, they never tuk to the Lord's people no way. Kin o' yourn? he asked, looking inquisitively at me.
"No, only friends, but I wanted to see them"
"Hum! Wall, whar hev you bin, that you didn't know that them blasted sogers had kim into the kentry thicker nor locusses, and eating up every darned thing clar and clean?"
"Soldiers," I said; "are they United States troops?" and my heart gave a wild throb of joy. Here was help; here was hope. "Do tell me, sir, why they are here, and what they are doing?"
"Why, you see, mum, I don't jist rightly know what all the muss is about, but I reckon it is sumthin' like this. The President -- bust his ole picter -- an I voted for him back yonder when I lived in the Alleghanies he's kinder tuk it inter his stupid ole head that Brother Brigham -- and fust class he is, sure an' sartin -- was takin ruther tu big a stiff; an' we was gitten on tu all fired well; so he's gone and sent all these dog-goned, lazy, triflin' critters out he'er to eat up what the locusses lef frum las' years crap's. Oh," he cried, with a demoniac glare and shaking his fist, ef I bed my way, I' d root 'em out hip an' thigh. I'd burn em! burn 'em every one on em! ef I was Brother Brigham -- sneakin' wretches comin' to poke their gab inter the faces of the Saints of the Lord!"
"Have you been a Saint long?" I inquired.
"Wall, ony two years; but I got a bunkum farm, most on it fur nothin', tu; an' horses, an' lots of cattle, an'" with a disagreeable leer -- "three o' the likeliest young wimmen in the kentry." And he chuckled hideously.
"You were converted to the faith before you came?"
"Wall, no, not 'zactly. I allers had a considerable feelin' for the Saints, but I started for Californy. I got froze up here, and kinder liked the look o' things, and thot I'd make as good a saint as anybody. But what a fool I am! a stannin, gassin' he'er, when p'r'aps you haven't hed nothin to eat to-day."
I owned that this was true. "Wall, then, come; come right along and my wimmen will fix you up suthin' in double quick."
I gladly assented, for I was faint with hunger; but I was met with an unmistakably unwelcome scowl from one woman; another never looked up from her work, and the third rushed from the room. But when the master of these bondwomen explained that I was only a passing traveller, the ominous cloud disappeared, and they set food before me
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 835
with cheerful alacrity, which I ate, entertained meanwhile with a full, true, and particular account from my host of all his past and present life, and future intentions and prospects.
They refused any remuneration for my entertainment, and the women exchanged a glance of relief as I went out of the house. They were all dumpy, dull-looking girls, scarcely out of their teens, though two infants belonging to them were lying asleep on a bed.
My lanky, talkative friend saw me on my road, and when I bade him good-by with thanks, he astounded me by laying his hand on Bonnys bridle and making this speech:
"See he'er, young woman, I -- I -- like your looks fust rate! I'm intendin' tu git me another woman, and ef -- ef-- you ain't sealed tu any other cuss, say! why couldn't you come he'er an live with me? Why, I'd go right 'long to the city an we'd fix it all up, spite of the old cuss in Washington and his durned sogers! What business is it o' them how many wives a man hes, s'long as Brother Brigham ses it's all right? Eh, young woman? Wall, now, what du you say?"
I shook my head, for I did not dare to speak to the ugly creature whose face was pressed close to mine.
"Wall, now see, he urged, I've three hundred acres o' land, a hundred under fence, and lots o' horses, cattle, and hogs, and ony them gals there," with a fillip of his thumb towards his interesting family, and a strong expression of contempt on his face. Now do come; ef you'll come, I'll go arter you to the ends o' creation."
Again I shook my head, and hiding my indignation, said quietly: "Impossible; I am engaged -- in a great work," I mentally added. I thank you for your flattering offer, but you know that it would never do to break an engagement."
He looked very much disappointed, and grumbled out: "Wall, I've tuk a mighty shine tu you, and its a slam, a hard slam, that I can't git you. I tell you what! Why can't you throw the other feller over? I know I'll du as well by you as ary a nuther man alive."
"I couldn't break my word," I said, and so we parted; but as Bonny started into a gallop, he shouted after me:
"I say, stranger what mought your name be?" to which he got no answer.
Towards evening I was sadly debating with myself as I rode along whether I should venture to beg food and lodging at some house, or camp out supperless, when I heard some one quickly approaching behind me, and soon heard the Indian salutation "How!" I turned my head, and there close to me was Feotah, my old friend. How glad I was, you may imagine! and the good old fellow let me see that he also was pleased, which was a sort of Indian miracle. He pointed to a smoke curling up at a short distance, and said: "Much papoose, much squaw," beckoning me to follow him, which I was only too thankful to do; and in a few moments I found myself in the midst of my sometime companions, the Arapahoes. Though this was but a moonlight happiness, it prepared me for the sunshine which was to come.
For Feotah promised at once to help me get possession of my sister Alice. I was sure of Richard, and I intended to claim the protection of the military authorities, and start at once with my dear ones for California.
The Arapahoes, numbering fifty in all, struck their wigwams, and before nightfall we were encamped a short distance north of Salt Lake City, and near my father's farm. I wrote the word "Come!" on a scrap of paper, and gave it to Feotah, who was to watch for Richard and hand it to him when he was alone. I had to tie Nimrod in one of the wigwams, he was so wild with joy at being so near home, while I sat by him, my heart in my throat, and my hands clenched in an agony of impatience. But Feotah came back alone, and that night I ventured out with him and watched my father's house for hours. I think I caught a glimpse of Alice, but of Richard I saw nothing. Oh, I suffered a keener torture in those dreadful days and nights of watching and waiting than in all the months before. Late on the third day I was sitting despairing when Nimrod suddenly sprang up, sniffing the air with a low whining hark of eager delight. I started up and found myself in Richard's arms. Not a word did we speak for a moment -- Richard could not, and I was sobbing for joy.
Then I said, "Alice?"
836 SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. [Dec.
"Well and hearty, answered my brother. "And both of us sick and disgusted with everything at home and the whole country Oh, I've been waiting for you to come, Madge! I knew you would. Now's the time! The troops are here; they will help us -- splendid fellows! Why, Madge, if I hadn't been sure you would come and help me off with little sis, I'd have enlisted and left with them; anything but staying here. Faugh! its horrible! Yes, sir-ree!" shouted the boy, wild with excitement, and venting it in slang which I never minded a bit, so glad was I to hear him. "Yes, sir-ree! I'll vamose the ranch! I'll cut stick! and we can do it now! just as easy! And I say, Madge, that old fellows a trump, a regular trump."
"Who, brother? who is a trump?"
"Why, that old chicken you sent that note by last winter! I knew you weren't the girl to desert us, and so when the chicken with his old hen and little biddies came again, and went through here last week and wanted me to pick up little sis, and put off with them, I said, "No, sir-ree, bob! My sister Madge will come, no fear, and I ain't going to leave her, I tell you. They told me that they would look out for us, and we would all go gold-hunting together."
So the light-hearted, happy boy rattled on, giving me a hug every twenty words and marching to and fro in the narrow wigwam, with such eager rushing stamps and strides that I expected every moment to see him kick the sides of it out.
The next day Richard procured me a decent suit of clothing, and with a thick veil over my face I went to the headquarters of the general in command, to tell my story and ask for help to escape to California. The officers appeared interested, but a look of doubt as to the truth of my statements was plain on their faces. They bade me come the next day, when they would be able to tell whether they could do anything for me; and assuming the resignation I did not feel, I went sorrowfully away.
But it was all right the next day. It was against army regulations, I was told, but in consideration of the peculiar circumstances we should go under the escort of a company leaving direct for Fort ____, in California.
How good they were to us! Rations were to be issued for our use, and an ambulance which was to accompany the soldiers in case of illness was to be at the service of Alice and myself when not otherwise needed. This would rest our ponies, for which I was very grateful.
But their kindness did not end here. The day before we started, one of the officers presented Richard with a purse of two hundred dollars, which they had made up among them for us. In spite of their insisting that it was a present for his sisters, the high-spirited boy refused to touch it save as a loan; and they were forced to take his note for the amount, which I will here mention was redeemed, principal and interest, within two years. My dear brother was now seventeen; a big, manly boy. He had already engaged in business for himself, and had a little money of his own.
I had not yet seen my sister, for Richard warned me that if we revealed our plans it would be impossible for the little puss to control her joy and excitement, and she would surely betray us. The brave, sensible boy was right, and I tried to possess my soul in patience. He secured enough of his own and her clothing to make them comfortable, and by diligent secret rummaging found some of mine, all of which he hid near a place on the road we were to travel.
I saw my father several times. He was now one of the leading men, and was very little at home. I longed to rush out and throw myself into his arms, but Richard said that any attempt at reconciliation would be ruin to our plans; father was still very bitter against me and forbade my name ever to be mentioned in his presence. He looked haggard and weary, and his hair was nearly white. The ghosts of the past seemed to haunt and mock him, and as he walked along his tall figure was bent and desponding. Seven women had now been sealed to him.
At last, after a weary delay, we began our journey. The sweet May morning was a very dream of loveliness, and when we were a few miles out of the city we were overtaken by Richard and my darling. He had told her that they were going to visit a friend some miles west, and had obtained permission to stay some days, so no inquiry would be made for them till, with God's good mercy, we were safe, safe! And Richard had not undeceived
1872.] SAVED FROM THE MORMONS. 837
Alice until they came in sight of the troops. The poor little thing came near fainting, and when Richard placed her in my arms she was quite insensible for some time.
Then I learned that the poor little child had been so grieved at my loss, and so terrified at the fury of my father and the man whose eighth wife I was to have been, that she was ill many weeks with raging fever; and when the fever left her she remained listless, indifferent to life, until Richard received and showed her the note I had sent by Mr. Chick, when hope again entered her little loving heart. Her numerous mothers were really kind to her, and as I loved her and was coming back for her sooner or later, she became content.
We suffered greatly on portions of the route. Our mouths were flayed with the alkali water -- all there was, which only increased our thirst. One plain was crossed destitute of any green thing; not a bird or insect, nor any living creature; with eternal silence brooding over it, so depressing that our soldiers marched as if they had been struck dumb, and only the captain said to me in a tone of conviction, "Madam, God has no need of a hell while these plains are here."
Journeying through this desolate region, we approached a river well named Poison river, and fit companion for its arid banks.
A small train was halting on the further shore. Imagine my delight when I heard the familiar voice of Mr. Chick, but raised in lamentation. Two of his oxen and several belonging to other members of the party had drunk of the water and were lying dead upon the plain, and it seemed impossible for them to proceed. I was soon among my kind friends, Mrs. Dodd, now Mrs. Chick, and the children, trying to help them. Richard and Alice gave up their ponies, and I obtained permission to put Tommy, the poor cripple, and his little sister Bessie in the ambulance, while after this I rode my faithful Bonny. By leaving on the ground many things hitherto considered indispensable, and resorting to the doubling of teams, a term all who travel on the plains understand, we were able to leave together that evening.
At last we reached Sacramento. Our journey was accomplished! We were saved from the Mormons. The good soldiers had protected us faithfully, but God was in the front!
Richard soon obtained a situation in a store, and I taught school. Thanks to the generous loan of the officers, we never knew what it was to want, and helpful friends were raised up to us on every side.
Five years ago, when Richard went to New York on business connected with his mine of "Good Luck," he visited Salt Lake City on his journey back, and father gave him, for me, our mother's portrait. It was an implied forgiveness for may disobedience, and I received it with grateful tears.
God has been so good. Richard, successful in mining, has been married for some years, and I have given my winsome sister to be the honored wife of Howard Glenn, as noble a man as ever lived. As for me, my godmother's legacy has put me above want or work.
I live with my darlings. They will have it so. As I write, I hear Alice crooning, and murmuring love-words to her baby Madge in the room overhead, while Richard the younger climbs up my knee, and pulling the pen out of my hand asks, "Auntie, why is your hair so white, when my mamma's is so black?" I kiss his rosy cheeks, and promise to tell him when he is a man. Presently he comes again with, "I is mos' a man now, auntie; tell me." But Richard's father, comes in and perches the boy on his broad shoulder telling him that auntie must not be bothered by little chaps like him. They pet me and care for me like loving children. We live over and over the eventful days of the past in the sweet, quiet home our merciful Father has given us. Richard is a noble, generous man, and Alice has a woman's best happiness, husband, home, and children's voices singing through her heart.
Rick says, with a mischievous twinkle in his merry eyes, "Some day our Madge will be a soldier," and little Richard at once insists that he will go marching with me, if I will "only div him a dum."
From my window I can see a handsome house, and the good captain who brought us, with God's mercy, safe across the plains, is fitting it up for somebody. Little Rick will never march with me, though he shall have his drum all the same; for my soldier is about to become a citizen, and soon will be to me more than my brother and next to God.
Truman H. Safford
"The Mormon Prophet"
The Ladies Repository L:5
(Boston: Univ. Pub. Nov. 1873)
The Mormon Prophet.
The annals of the world hardly present a more wonderful exhibition of ignorance and imposture, nor of willful fabrication, than was exhibited by that prince of charlatans, Joseph Smith Jr., the pretended Mormon prophet and revelator.
Nor do the records of the human race furnish many such extraordinary and successful attempts as were made by this man to delude and defraud a credulous public. By the pretence that he was appointed by God a seer, revelator and prophet, that he had the power of salvation and damnation in his own hands, he gained an ascendancy over other men, inspired them, by an appeal to their fears, their interests and passions, with an attachment to his person, and caused them to acknowledge him both as a spiritual and temporal head, and assist him in obtaining proselytes in nearly all the different countries of the world.
A great many years since there lived in the northeasterly portion of Royalton, Vt., very near the Sharon line, (the house in Royalton and the farm mostly in Sharon) a man by the name of Joseph Smith who married a woman named Lucy Mack.
The father of this lady I well recollect. He used to ride about the country on horseback with a side-saddle. He was somewhat infirm, or had met with an accident that disabled him from labor, and he spent a portion of his time in peddling an autobiographical sketch of his own life.
The Smith family consisted of the parents and nine children, the prophet or Joseph being the fourth in the order of age. Joseph Smith Sen., was a thriftless man and spent a portion of his time in hunting and fishing, other portions in digging for Captain Kidd's money, but his more profitable labor was in searching for hidden springs of water, and digging wells.
The search for springs was made while holding in his hand a forked stick of the hamamelis virginica of the botanists, a tall shrub with yellow blossoms that flowers late in autumn, and is popularly called witch-hazel, as it was said to have been formerly used by the Lancashire witches. When Mr. Smith passed an underground spring of water he alleged that the forked ends of the shrub would spring down while in his hands and indicate with unerring certainty the presence of water, which only needed his keys, a shovel and spade, to bring it to the light.
Joseph Smith Jr., was born in the house previously described, situated in Royalton, on the 13th of December, 1805. In 1812 the elder Smith with his family removed from this house to the Woodard neighborhood in Royalton, and Judge Woodard, now of South Royalton, writes me that he recollects that young Joseph, then a lad of seven or eight years of age, came to the raising of his father's house.
Mr. Smith again removed to the Metcalf neighborhood, resided there for a season, and in the summer of 1816 he left Royalton with all his family, including Joseph the prophet, and settled in the town of Palmyra, New York, opened a cake and beer shop, and also pursued his old calling of hunting, fishing, making baskets, digging wells, etc. For a little more than two years he was a resident of that town, and then took a settler's possession of a piece of land in the neighboring town of Manchester. Joseph had the reputation of being the laziest and most thriftless of any of the Smiths at Palmyra, and was regarded as a cunning,
shrewd and unprincipled youth. He now occupied some of his time in reading, and was fond of sensation story books. He also attended revival meetings, and quoted texts from the Bible while engaged in conversation.
In 1819, while Joseph Smith Sen., and his two eldest sons were engaged in digging a well, they found a singularly shaped stone resembling quartz mineral. Joe, as he was termed, was lounging around the premises, and took possession of this curiosity. He had now found what he designated a magic stone, and by its aid soon made wonderful discoveries. Hidden things, stolen money, lost treasure could now be readily recovered, and Joe adopted the profession of a money digger, and for a number of years he made dupes of all the credulous persons in the vicinity that he could influence by his marvelous stories to join him in this fruitless search.
In 1827 there had been great numbers of excavations made by the Smith family and their dupes, but without any success in the discovery of treasures of any kind. Joseph now pretended that he had a vision, and that all the previous revelations in the world were false and that the true one was to be made to him; that he was to take from the earth a metallic book and translate it. With a spade and napkin he now repaired to the woods, and after a few hours absence returned with the Golden Bible and a huge pair of spectacles which he termed his Urim and Thummim. Smith pretended that the angel of the Lord directed him to translate this book, but he had colleagues, and by their aid a manuscript book was made by plagiarisms from the Bible and a manuscript novel written by Solomon Spaulding.
Martin Harris was one of Smith's disciples, and a man of some means, and he took the manuscript home to examine and decide whether it would be safe for him to furnish Smith money to procure its publication. His wife, a person of superior judgment, committed it to the flames, and thus ended the first Book of Mormon. Another copy was made, and the book was finally printed by Mr. Grandin of Palmyra, N. Y.
The Mormon Church was organized and the venerable Joseph Smith Sen., the witch-hazel well digger, was appointed patriarch and president, and his son, Joseph Smith Jr., was prophet, seer and revelator.
Sidney Rigdon appeared as the first preacher of this new faith. In 1830, Kirtland, Ohio, near the residence of the two disciples, Rigdon and Pratt, was selected as the headquarters of Mormonism, and hither the president and patriarch removed, with his family, and a house was built for the prophet.
Brigham Young was converted and joined them. Converts from other places now came in rapidly, and a part of the church removed to Independence, Missouri, but Prophet Smith remained for a season at Kirtland, superintending a "wild-cat" bank that he had established at that place, and looking after other property. But in 1838 the remaining Mormons mostly joined their brethren in Missouri, where fresh trouble awaited them; for they soon had conflicts with State authorities, mobs succeeded, and Joseph the prophet and his brother Hiram were capturered and lodged in jail. The matter was settled by an agreement between the Mormons and the State authorities, that the former should leave the State, and previous to the year 1840 they left for Nallvoo, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi river, which now became the headquarters of Mormonism.
The Nauvoo house was built, a new city government organized, a temple commenced. Missionaries were sent to foreign countries to preach the Mormon doctrine, and returned with great numbers of converts. The Nauvoo Legion was trained and disciplined, and Joseph Smith Jr. appointed its commander. Says Mr. Tucker, from whom I quote:
"The Nauvoo Legion, extending finally to an armed force of four thousand men with Smith as the general in command, was one of the fruits of State action. Smith, superbly equipped himself, had called to his aid a splendid staff, and at the last dress parade of the Legion he was accompanied to the field by a display of ten of his spiritual wives, dressed in a fine uniform, and mounted on elegant white horses."
General Smith was made Mayor of Nauvoo, and his property was estimated at over one million of dollars. But conflicts soon arose between General Smith and the authorities of Illinois, and the former with his brother Hiram led the Nauvoo Legion against Governor Ford; but an arrangement was finally made that the Legion should be disbanded, and that the Smiths and others of the leaders should be placed in jail and be protected until matters were settled, and then liberated. But an enraged mob broke into this place of refuge on the 27th of June, 1844, when the two Smiths were killed. The prophet was pierced by two balls and fell, calling in his dying moments on "the Lord, his God."
Brigham Young, also a Vermonter, succeeded Smith as the head of the Mormon church, and for a long time after the death of the latter was more successful in gaining proselytes than Smith had been. But his fate may be as tragical as that of Smith.
T. H. Safford.
Truman Henry Safford (1836-1901)
Professor Safford was born in the same Vermont county as was Joseph Smith, Jr. The Smith cabin strattled the line between Sharon and Royalton townships. When Royalton's notable historical figures are mentioned in books and articles, the two men generally share about the same measure of consideration. Safford was born a generation too late to have personally encountered the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in New England, so his reporting on that topic consists only of second hand information.
For more details on the Smith family in Windsor County, Vermont, see the NYC Mormon of July 12, 1856, the Syracuse Sunday Herald of April 9, 1916 and Richard L. Anderson's 1971 book, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage.
The Galaxy XX:3-6
(NYC: Sheldon & Co. Sept.-Dec. 1875)
LAST summer and autumn comprised our second season in Utah. Accompanied by my wife, I had leisurely travelled over the northern part of the territory, advancing into Idaho, where we passed the delightful month of August, at the comparatively unknown but wonderfully health-restoring Soda Springs. Thence we journeyed south and east, through the Bear Lake district and along the banks of that water, rivalling in transparent beauty and grand surroundings Lake George, Tahoe, or Geneva. Coming down from those lofty plains, six thousand feet above the level of the sea, we emerged through Logan canyon amid an indescribable magnificence of scenery, and found our way to the city of Salt Lake, from whence we had taken our departure.
This journey of several hundred miles had been chiefly accomplished on horseback, by which pleasant and exhilarating method of travelling we had been enabled to see more of the country and to form more correct ideas of its peculiar people, than by observation in any other way.
We were everywhere most hospitably entertained, in a region which fortunately for our purpose was generally without hotels. It is scarcely necessary to remark that as ladies are more communicative with each other than with a sex less accustomed to questions and answers, I had unsurpassed opportunities for obtaining information of domestic affairs. The impressions of that tour were given to the readers of the New York "Evening Post," and I now propose to furnish similar but more general experiences of the country and people of western and southern Utah. We were told that as we had hitherto seen only Salt Lake City and the northern part of the territory, our favorable opinions would be dissipated when we beheld the ignorance, poverty, and degradation of th.e south; but we found that those who gave us this information possessed the first of these characteristics themselves.
We are constrained to admit that notwithstanding the abnormal practice of matrimony which prevails in many families, the Mormons as a class are, with this single exception, a virtuous, industrious, happy, and religious peo- ple. In very many respects their traducers might improve their own lives by imitating theirs. In this series of papers, when it comes in my way to remark upon the society into which we were thrown, I shall do so with the same impartiality I have heretofore endeavored to maintain. That there may be no misunderstanding of my sentiments, I will say in the outset that I consider the practice of polygamy a dark stain upon an otherwise attractive picture, a crime against the law of the land, and a serious drawback to the prosperity of Utah. Most ardently desiring its abolition, I am opposed to all Congressional legislation intended to accomplish it, but in reality conducing to its continuance.
I do not know if slavery could have been brought to an end without war, but we are all aware that there was a class of patriots who preferred to end it in that way, and whose rancor has not abated with its extinction. There is a similar spirit abroad as opposed to polygamy. There are "Gentile ring" politicians in Utah, and there are ignorant and fanatical politicians in Washington. The former desire revolutionary trouble from selfish motives, and the latter legislate in accordance with their wishes chiefly from ignorance or a craving for popularity. The intent of the one and the practice of the other is only evil, and that continually.
Of course argument would be wasted on the men who compose the political
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 315
ring of Salt Lake City, but it may not be in vain to appeal to our national legislators, and to ask them to abstain from forcible measures when the end can be attained more readily by simply leaving polygamy to the omnipotent jurisdiction of railroads and fashions, and to the common sense of the rising and more cultured generation who, seeing its evil influences on their parents, are almost universally opposed to it.
Scarcely a traveller on the pleasure trip to California omits to spend a day or two at Salt Lake. In a short stay tourists are scarcely able to form correct opinions of everything they see and hear, although they often persuade themselves that they have acquired the fullest information. Yet they do succeed in furnishing the press with such abundant descriptions of the town and its immediate surroundings, that I should not be thanked for again travelling over their narrow but well-beaten paths.
I prefer to take my readers at once on excursions similar to those I have already mentioned. These too were accomplished generally in wagons and on horseback, in the same company and with the same advantages.
Without more preface, we will leave the city on a pleasant day about the close of September last, and as we travel west and south we will see the Great Salt Lake, the mountains, the valleys, the mines, and the people.
The distance from Salt Lake City to Ophir canyon is fifty-five miles. When the Utah Western railroad is completed so far as contemplated, this will be one of the most agreeable excursions from the city. Then it was a tedious dusty drive in the stage-coach. Still, there are many pleasant views to be had from the road, which passes across the long desert wastes and over the spurs of rugged mountains. I shall have more to say of the railroad system of Utah in the course of this narrative. In no part of the Union has it been so economically or profitably developed under more discouraging conditions.
Isolated from the outside world of business, a self-dependent people, constantly under the ban of their countrymen, who claim a higher standard of virtue and civilization, the Mormons have been stimulated by circumstances to display a wonderful energy.
When the Union Pacific railroad extended itself to the confines of their territory, they at once realized the advantages that would accrue to them from connection with it. The "Utah Central," uniting the Union and Central Pacifics with Salt Lake, a distance south of thirty-eight miles, was immediately commenced; the Utah Southern has since been extended seventy-seven miles still further to the south, and will soon reach the southern limits of the territory. Three narrow-gauge roads, of from fifteen to twenty-five miles in length, are profitably operated in connection with this main trunk, and now the Utah Western is fairly under way, and by the next season will have been finished forty-five miles, to Stockton Lake, the nearest practicable approach to the rich mining districts of Ophir and Dry canyons. This country is admirably adapted to the construction and profitable running of narrow-gauge roads. The cheapness of the grading, the iron, and the equipment will combine to greatly lessen their first cost and running expenses.
Experience gained on the roads previously built has enabled the projectors of the Utah Western to avoid mistakes and to adopt such improvements that an absolute success will be insured. The grade of this road being less than that of any of the others, and the mining regions to which it advances being the most profitable localities of Utah, give it superior advantages above them all.
Whatever may have been the calculations of Brigham Young in secluding his people from the world before the idea of a Pacific railroad was entertained, he is certainly now a progressive railroad man. His sons are enthusiastically devoted to such objects, and none of them have evinced more
316 THROUGH UTAH. [SEPTEMBER,
sagacity and energy in this respect than John W. Young, to whom the Utah Western owes its inception and accomplishment. He has succeeded by his personal address and high character in overcoming the senseless prejudices of Eastern capitalists against the safety of investment among the Mormons, and has shown them, to their own advantage, that a Mormon gentleman can understand business as well as if he had been educated in Wall street, and what is better, he can conduct it more honorably. We reached the shores of the Great Lake after a drive of three hours. Such is the optical illusion caused by this rarefied atmosphere, that the city, left eighteen miles behind us, seemed to be only four or five miles distant, the houses being distinctly visible. The formation of the land contributes to this deception, ridges of mountains running north and south, and enclosing valleys of a width of about twenty-five miles, with no intervening elevations. We drove for an hour along the southern bank of Salt Lake, fanned by the breath of its sea air, and looking over its waste of waters dotted with mountain islands. It required but little imagination to transport ourselves to the shores of the Atlantic, for extending as it does ninety miles to the north, no land could be seen beyond the line of the clearly defined horizon. Some years ago a steamboat of three hundred tons was built for freight and passenger traffic, in connection with the Union and Central Pacific roads; but her fair prospects were ruined by the construction of the Utah Central, and she now lies at the wharf, her only value being her aid in making our imaginary ocean seem more real. How this great basin of salt water came to be deposited in the interior of the continent, has been a study for geographers and naturalists. The changes that are taking place in its character at the present day are observed with much interest. It was first discovered by a party of trappers long before the religious discovery of Joseph Smith. When they had taste of its waters they supposed that it was an arm of the sea coming in from the Gulf of California; but on their attempt to sail into the Pacific by that route, they experienced the same disappointment that fell upon the Dutchmen in their exploration of the North river, although they might have been led to the same conclusions from different tests.
The trappers should have realized that the water was too salt, and the Dutchmen should have found that the water was too fresh to communicate with the Pacific ocean. Salt making has been a business of great importance on the banks of the lake since the occupation of this territory by the Mormons. The water is so densely saline that it is impossible for a body to find the bottom.
It is a capital place to acquire the art of swimming with perfect safety. In former times three barrels of water left to evaporate would produce one barrel of salt; but the freshening within the last twenty years has so weakened it that now four barrels of it are required to obtain that quantity. It has become fresh, therefore, in a proportion of somewhat more than one per cent. yearly. Hence it follows that in less than one hundred years the name of Great Salt Lake should be changed; for by this time it will, like Mormonism, be cleared of all its impurities. I have previously noticed the regular water lines, called benches, which are so distinctly defined on all the mountain ranges surrounding these various valleys, and which afford such unmistakable evidence that in former days they enclosed vast inland seas. The deep alkaline soil of the bottoms has led to the supposition that these seas were of salt water, and that all of them excepting this have been completely evaporated, Salt Lake being the sole survivor, and that being destined to dwindle to a puddle and then to dry up for ever. But the last part of this theory is negatived by the evident intention of the lake to assume somewhat of its original proportions; while
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it is becoming fresher, it is growing larger. Within the twenty-seven years that the country around it has been settled, it has encroached all along its low banks nearly a mile upon the land and deepened five feet. Several fine farms are now permanently under water, and the road on which we travelled has been moved far inward to accommodate its aggressiveness. At the same time that this change is going on, atmospheric causes for a part of it are apparent. The climate is becoming more mild, although it is still excessively dry. But each succeeding season brings a greater rainfall. This has doubled within twelve years.
The lake is fed by Bear river on the north and Jordan on the south, besides some small rivulets that find their way into it. Every year their volumes increase, and contribute to the filling up of the great basin into which they pour themselves. Notwithstanding this, the increase of the lake cannot be thus accounted for, as they are still but insignificant streams. It must be true that new fresh-water fountains have burst out from the bottom, and are the chief causes of the increase. A like phenomenon has produced the lake near which we afterward passed at Stockton, where on the ground encamped upon by Connors army there is now a body of water two miles square and of considerable depth. If these changes go on as they have commenced, the Zion of Brigham Young will ere long become completely submerged. His enemies will say that a second flood has been commissioned to overflow the desert that he has reclaimed, because of the sins of the people, and that like Sodom and Gomorrah these modern cities of the plain have been overwhelmed as a punishment for their unnatural crimes. But those judgments are yet afar off. Brigham teaches that when Utah is destroyed all the earth will perish likewise, excepting that favored spot, Jackson county, Missouri. There it was that a divine revelation commanded him to build a temple which, although destroyed by the ruthless Gentiles, is destined to rise again from its ashes. All the low lands around it will rise at the same time, and the chosen remnant of mankind will flock to this elevated plateau, from whence, like Noah looking over the bulwarks of the ark, they shall behold the drowning Gentiles struggling in the deep waters, while Mormons, in dry, white robes, with harps in their hands, shall touch the strings like heroes, in mockery at the ruin of the universe. Then Jackson county itself is to be caught up, and its glorified saints are to be distributed among the stars of the firmament, where with crowns on their heads they are to reign for ever and ever. Thus the gradual rise of Salt Lake is not an indication of their destruction, but a harbinger of their glory.
Leaving Salt Lake far behind us, our way led over the spur of the Oquirrh ridge, which there terminates and forms the eastern boundary of Tooele valley. Soon after we had dined at a wretched "half-way" house, we came in sight of the pretty little town of Tooele, that springs into life by the side of a mountain stream, enriching it by its irrigation and presenting it in beautiful contrast with the surrounding desert waste. It is not like a town laid out in blocks and squares, but it is literally an accumulation of garden spots. Each house is surrounded by the foliage of fruit trees and vines, almost hiding it in their leafy bowers. These were loaded down with apples, pears, peaches, melons, and grapes, which, being gathered, are dried and preserved for use and exportation. Entering one of the gardens, we were offered an abundance of the delicious produce. The peaches were large and luscious -- quite equal in flavor to those gathered on the Delaware.
This little village, now so peaceful and quiet, was lately the scene of intense political excitement; the newspapers have been full of the election quarrels at Tooele. They have not related to Republicanism or Democracy. Such trifling issues did not affect
318 THROUGH UTAH. [SEPTEMBER,
votes in any degree. The people did not trouble themselves about the third term question, nor if there was a prospect of another rebellion, would they have thought the subject worthy of their consideration. The great question was, shall Judge Rowberry, the Mormon bishop, who for years had presided at the Probate Court, retain his office, or shall the Gentile Brown occupy his place? In short, it was a religious fight. Bunyan's Holy War and Milton's Paradise Lost could only approach in prose or poetry to an idea of the fury of the battle. Mormon hosts were marshalled against the Gentile cohorts, the one considering themselves the armies of the Lord, and the others willing to be called the soldiers of Lucifer, so that they might gain the victory. Mormonism pressed every man and woman into its service, and the Gentile element ransacked all the mining camps of the country for its supplies. It was Lowlander against Highlander -- the saints dwelling on the plains against the irreverent "cusses" of the mountains who had invaded the soil, heretofore sacred to the religion of the prophet. It was the first organized attempt to gain a Gentile foothold in any part of the territory. The means used for the assault were as unscrupulous as those wielded for the defence. Governor Woods descended from the dignity of his office to mingle in the broil, threatening, when he was interrupted in his speech, to punch the head of his assailant, and to "boot out" the county clerk if he did not "dry up." Parson Smith, of the Methodist persuasion, is such a muscular Christian that when he was damned by some devout Mormons, he replied to them that he was not allowed to swear, but, suiting the action to the words by throwing off his coat, he would "lick the whole crowd, three at a time." Per contra, in a rather more quiet style of warfare, when they found the election was going against them, the Mormon Judge and his clerk carried off the records of the court, which were not recovered without much difficulty. There was doubtless a great deal of illegal voting on both sides, from Mormon women who paid no taxes, and from Gentile miners who constituted themselves residents of two or three different camps at the same time. The end attained was a Gentile victory. The Probate Court is now in Gentile hands, and as Salt Lake City is in the same district, it is proposed to bring Brigham Young and all the great polygamists of that city to trial in Tooele; and to put down by this decisive blow the twin relic of barbarism, which has so heavily weighed upon the consciences of those virtuous mining Gentiles, so that they can henceforward drink their whiskey without molestation, and use their pistols and bowie knives in peace. This must be accomplished before the next election, for in the mean time Brigham, warned by the disastrous results of this campaign, will not fail to pour a sufficient Mormon reinforcement into Tooele county to insure a victory for the church, by reinstating the deposed judge and his clerk.
II.LIKE travellers on Sahara, we had espied the green oasis of Tooele from afar. We had entered beneath its shady trees and luxuriated in its fruitful gardens, and now, leaving it regretfully behind, we were whirled along by our six-horse team, through clouds of dust, over the desert again. All was a barren waste of stunted sage brush and alkali, till after three hours drive we came to the Gentile settlement of Stockton, presenting itself in a strong contrast to the charming little village of the saints. There the people, having planted their own vines and fig trees, were content to sit down beneath them and enjoy their fruits, with no ambitious desires of aggrandizement; they are satisfied with the sure returns of husbandry, from which, after paying their tithing to the
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church, there is an abundance left to supply all the absolute wants of life. Tooele is a picture of happiness, if not the realization of what can never be fully attained; Stockton seemed to be a representation of misery sought for and found.
Pitched on one of the bleakest spots that could be selected, where no tree can take root, and scarcely a sagebrush can show its head, built of rambling piles of logs, the only exception an abortive frame house called a hotel, where bad dinners are eaten and worse liquors are quaffed, it is the home of a few workmen, who are employed in the neighboring furnaces of ore. What wages these men earn to repay them for passing any part of their existence in this execrable hole I do not know, but I am sure that a Tooele Mormon would not exchange his home for this, unless some special exaltation be promised for the world to come. A Mormon will do everything for that. A man will fill his home with wives, and a woman will go into polygamy, thus living in a hell upon earth, with the joyful anticipation of a heaven in the future. Some such consideration as this might induce them to make a short stay in Stockton. It would be the only thing that would influence me.
The Chicago Furnace Company own the works situated a mile beyond the town. This is operated by them for smelting the ore from their own mine, and also that which is offered to them by others. it is a very profitable concern, and being under efficient management is regarded with as great if not greater confidence than any other establishment of the kind in the district.
Passing the lake of recent formation, referred to in the last chapter, and which adds such a pleasing feature to the otherwise dreary landscape, we drove on toward Ophir.
From the level of Salt Lake our ascent had been gradual. Although over what appeared to be vast plains, it was scarcely discernible. But now it was quite apparent as we drew on toward the foot hills of the range looming up grandly before us.
The sun had been pouring hotly down upon us all the day, and it was an inexpressible relief and pleasure when we entered the mouth of the canyon, and the first tall cliff on the left threw its shadow over our path, permitting us to trace its dark outlines on the opposite mountain, whose summit was still in a blaze of brightness. In this delightful coolness of evening below, under the light of sunshine from above, we followed up the canyon for three miles, and arrived at the city of Ophir. Like all the mining "cities" of these mountains, Ophir is a mere camp, containing a few stores, bar-rooms, and shanties for the supplies and accommodation of the miners, who are mostly distributed in the hills, only visiting the cities for their necessities, or for the enjoyment of Sunday after their own fashion. One of the buildings serves the purpose of city hall, lyceum, dance-house, and church, as occasion demands. On the day after our arrival the pulpit scaffolding was occupied in the morning by an Episcopal clergyman, and in the evening by a Catholic priest, both of whom came in one coach from Salt Lake. When the latter preached, his Protestant brother aided with us in making the congregation to number a little more than a dozen. On the previous evening the hall had been crowded with dancers, who kept up a hideous noise till morning. Nevertheless it is fair to say that Sunday was very quietly observed, and there were few cases of drunkenness that caused much disturbance. But the Ophir citizens are not church-going as a class, though as tolerant as they are ignorant in religious matters. The other Sunday a Methodist clergyman officiated, opening the services by requesting them to sing the hymn commencing,
320 THROUGH UTAH. [SEPTEMBER,
comp'mentry than we deserves. I dunno's Ophir camps any better'n the rest of 'em; we all walks a good deal closter the other way." I have a photograph of the hotel restaurant of Monsieur Simon, where last year I was so comfortably lodged, and where we were now welcomed by the proprietor with the same ceremony observed at a "descent" before a Parisian hotel. The hotel restaurant itself in the picture, but far more in the reality, presents a ludicrous contrast to its background of Zion mountain, towering three thousand feet above it. Whenever a stranger comes into these camps he is immediately encompassed by a crowd of kindly disposed gentlemen, who are willing to divide their interests in the most promising mines, which only require a little of your money for their development. They have prospects of wonderful "indications," "true fissure veins," "limestone and quartzite formations," "hanging and foot walls," "carbonate," "chloride," and other certainties of producing unlimited quantities of rich ore, thousands of tons of which are frequently in sight. They want you to invest in the running of tunnels and the sinking of shafts, and then to "put the mine in the market," in New York or London. As to "prospects," the mountains are as full of them as sandbanks are ever bored by swallows for their nests. The laboring miners are universally poor. They keep themselves industriously in that condition; toiling away at their "prospects" until their flour and bacon give out, and then working by the day in the large mines until they get money enough to buy powder and provisions to work on another prospect, when they find a "trace" or "cropping out" that affords them any hope. They have known or have heard of a few men who, having "struck a good thing," have risen from a condition like their own to the rank of millionaires, and why should not the same good fortune at last be theirs? Instead of gambling with dice and cards, they gamble with the spade and pick, working harder and gaining as little. Among the thousand blanks there is occasionally a prize. The Walker brothers have drawn their full share. They came to Utah as members of the Mormon Church, toiled in the canyons, cutting and drawing wood, gained a little property in this way, invested in land and merchandise, paying their tithing with regularity, until they accumulated a property on the income of which they did not care to pay ten per cent. One day they were reminded of their duty by Brigham Young, and they sent him a check for ten thousand dollars. Brigham returned it with a notice that it was insufficient, whereupon they tore it up, paid tithing no longer, and left the Church. They say the Lord has prospered them ever since. Brigham says the devil has been their friend. No matter who has assisted them, the Walkers have done something for themselves. Their great warehouses are potent rivals of "Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution," and every hole of ground into which they dig becomes a mine of wealth. They own them in every canyon, and here in Ophir they reign supreme. What wonder is it that poor men, who but a few years ago worked side by side with these Walker brothers, should ask themselves, As we have been equals once, why should we not be equals again?
III.THE pursuits of Utah people may be classed like medicines, "vegetable" and "mineral." The Mormons are almost strictly agricultural, and the Gentiles devote themselves nearly universally to mining labor and speculation. Brigham encourages his saints to cultivate the soil, and preaches farming to them as a religious duty. The wisdom of his advice is apparent in the success attending its practice. They abandon the precarious chances of the
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 321
mines to others, who too often, after years of unavailing toil and broken down with disease, are forced to admit the worldly wisdom of the prophet. The entire attention of the dwellers in these mountains is given to silver mining, smelting, and milling. Where there is an abundance of lead present in the ore -- and it frequently runs from forty to sixty per cent. -- the silver is extracted by the process of smelting. The furnaces generally purchase the rough mineral as it comes from the mines on a basis of forty to fifty per cent. lead; that is, if the ore yield that amount, the smelter takes it for his work and delivers over to the miner one dollar per ounce for all the silver that it contains. If the basis agreed upon falls short, the miners pay the smelter the difference per ton. If it overruns, the payment is reversed. Good smelting ore is that which being clear of pyrites comes up to the basis required, and then yields to the miner, to pay him for the cost of his labor and transportation, thirty ounces of silver to the ton. Besides the mines of smelting ore, there are many of milling; that is, they produce a greater amount of silver than some of the others, but so little of lead that the silver cannot be extracted by the smelting process. It is therefore crushed in stamp mills. This is milling ore. It is likewise mostly purchased by those who convert it into bullion. The rate given is nicely graded according to the assay. Mr. Dunn, the superintendent of Walker Brothers' Pioneer mill, obligingly gave us a list of their rates. The lowest ore which will pay for crushing is that yielding $40 per ton; on this they return twenty-five per cent.; on that yielding $100, fifty per cent.; $200, sixty-five per cent.; $500, seventy-nine per cent.; $1,000, eighty-three per cent. These are mentioned to give an idea of the scale of intermediate assays. In the case of the mill, as in the other method of working by the smelter, there are no charges exacted beyond the amount of the pretty little commission which it will be seen these establishments appropriate to themselves. But their expenses are very heavy; charcoal and coke are the only fuels that can be used for smelting; the former is becoming every day more scarce in this thinly wooded country, and coke has been supplied from Pittsburgh, Pa., at a cost of $35 per ton. As to the mills, there is not a sufficiency of the ore they require to keep them in operation more than four months in the year. Nevertheless, when well managed, smelting and milling both give large profits. Mr. Dunn's establishment is a model of neatness and order. We were shown all the processes by which the ore was crushed with steam power and ground into a paste, which is then amalgamated, passed through retorts, and run into bullion. Not the least curious were the tests, and the scale of infinitesimal weights, by which the ten- thousandth part of a grain can be determined, the weigher using a microscope to enable him to find the atom that influences his balances. The great requirement for Utah mining, as will be readily inferred from what has been said, is the proper fuel for smelting purposes. When this is obtained more abundantly, the low-grade ores, which will not pay for working, will give steady employment to all the furnaces at present partially operated, and will cause many more to be profitably run. The railroads now being rapidly constructed in the south and southwest will bring coal cheaply to market. Some of this coal, especially that from San Pete, two hundred and fifty miles from Salt Lake, it is claimed, can be coked, but owing to the quantity of sulphur it contains, the experiments thus far have not been entirely satisfactory. Great hopes are entertained that the new process of desulphurizing, recently put into operation by Mr. Goodspeed, an enterprising gentleman from New York, will prove a complete success. If it should meet well-founded expectations, it will prove not only a fortune for him, but will add millions yearly to the bullion product of Utah. Low-grade
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mines now abandoned will start again into life, and prospects will deepen into shafts and tunnels. Such an impulse will be given to mining enterprise that a Gentile population will pour into the territory sufficient to out-vote the Mormons and satiate the ambition of those virtuous office-seekers whose morality is daily shocked by the iniquities around them. Mr. Goodspeed may prove a more successful missionary than the Rev. Dr. Newman. We spent a day in climbing the mountains on horseback and on foot, with the purpose of looking at some of the mines on the summit of Zion mountain. At an almost perpendicular height of twenty-five hundred feet above the village, and consequently eleven thousand feet above the level of the sea, is a mine owned by the Walker Brothers, which they work to supply the demands of their mill, getting out yearly, without any special development, the interest on the sum of $1,500,000, the price at which they offer to sell this little bit of their property. As we wound up the mountain on the opposite side of the valley to a still higher point, we looked down upon their extensive works and tramways, on which the ore slides to the mills.
Our trail led first to Dry canyon, to arrive at which we passed through Jacob City. This city, not "set upon a hill," but hanging like a collection of crows nests on the side of a mountain, cannot be approached on wheels. Sure-footed horses and mules are rather doubtful of their foothold in its streets, paved with boulders and drained by the gully of a torrent. If heavy rains should swell the stream as they are liable to do, or an avalanche of snow, which every winter threatens, should descend, the flimsy structures of Jacob City would fly down into the abyss below like a pile of shingles before the storm. Precarious indeed is the existence or the capital of Dry canyon. As we ascend, we see on the left the celebrated Mono mine, one half of which was cheaply sold last summer for $400,000. We met Mr. Gisborne, who owns the other half. The net income of the mine is said to average $60,000 per month. When we looked at Mr. Gisborne, residing in Jacob City, clothed in a shabby suit that at most could not have cost twenty dollars, smoking a cigar made far away from Cuba, and all his surroundings betokening a man in debt for his last meal, we asked ourselves, what is the use to him of an income of $360,000 per year? A little boy once wished he was a king, for then he would swing on a gate all day and lick lasses. We perhaps would do something similar if we had the income of Mr. Gisborne. We would buy a house on the Fifth avenue, loaf about the streets of New York, visit the clubs, and do nothing. We would have the dyspepsia and die of ennui. I apprehend that Mr. Gisborne values his immense fortune only as a proof of his success as a business man, and is far happier in his mountain life, in exuberant health, than he would find himself if he followed any bad advice that we could give him.
On the other side of the valley is the scarcely less noted Chicago mine. There we dismounted and descended into the bowels of the earth, down a shaft for hundreds of feet, through tunnels and drifts, dropping down on ladders, crawling on all fours through damp caverns, as we carried lighted candles in our hands, meeting begrimed workmen, and startled by the report of subterranean blasts. Here we saw the ore, deep buried for ages, now to be excavated, smelted, refined, coined and made into wealth for the luxury of those who will never see and pity as we have done the hard toil by which it is being obtained. A very productive property in the mountains is a beautiful spring of water, running in a small stream over a great cliff of a thousand feet, and then descending in thin spray to an unapproachable chasm. The proprietor located this claim, and there he has established himself for the sale of all
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the water on the mountain; for it is only after the melting of the snows that, for a short time, the water-courses are known in this Dry canyon. There is no drilling or blasting needed to produce wealth for this fortunate man. He sells the water for two and a half cents per gallon, thus realizing thousands of dollars annually without the outlay of a penny. The Mono and the Chicago may give out, but the spring is not likely to dry up. Leaving our horses at a place where their further progress was impracticable, we proceeded on foot, though often swinging by our arms from one craggy rock to another, over the topmost ridge, to survey some prospects in which the gentlemen who accompanied us were interested. The location of a prospect is determined by various indications, the chief of which is the presence of a yellow ochre-colored dust. This leads to croppings, the ore on the surface containing mineral. These croppings afford encouragement for the miner to sink a tunnel, upon which he works nine times out of ten without success. We returned to the place where our horses had been left, and mounting them again, rode over the divide above the Chicago mine to the side of the mountain sloping down toward Ophir.
At a distance of a mile and a half above the village we came to the Gray Rock mine, of which Col. Kelley, a veteran miner, is the manager and a large owner. His superintendent politely waited upon us through the shaft and tunnels, pointing out the course of the vein, which measured four and a half feet, the assays of it showing thirty to forty per cent. of lead and thirty to fifty ounces of silver. The upper tunnel is 100 feet long; the one below it is 300 feet, and it is under contract to go 100 feet more. After walking 250 feet in the second tunnel, we came to an air shaft connecting the two tunnels, and at the same point another shaft of 100 feet is contracted for development into a proposed tunnel below. It is already down sixty feet, and is constantly showing richer ore. It was explained to us that this is a true fissure vein; that is to say, the mine is located where one formation is split off from another, by a convulsion of nature, so that it cuts the stratification. When ore is thus found, the inference is that a greater body of mineral below, has split the mountain. Therefore the miner, with an almost certain expectation, is encouraged to penetrate the earth until he arrives at the rich deposit which caused the fissure where the ore was first discovered, near the surface. These fissure veins are rather uncommon. Veins generally run with instead of across the stratification. Indeed; most of the mines are of this character. Many of them are very profitable, but there is a much greater uncertainty about the continuance of fissure veins. The walls that enclose the veins are smooth surfaces of brimstone and quartzite, or limestone and slate, sometimes limestone on both sides. Good and bad veins are found in all these formations. Although in the course of our toilsome yet pleasurable days work we visited several other mines, I shall not weary or confuse my readers with any more descriptions, the working of the Chicago and Gray Rock, two of the most prominent, being fair samples of the whole. If all that has been said can be digested as well as the good supper at M. Simons was assimilated after our excursion upon the mountains, some ideas will be formed perhaps not previously entertained of silver-mining operations.
IF we could have taken passage in a balloon, or held on to the tail of a kite, we might have mounted to the top of the perpendicular cliff above the village of Ophir, and dropped down on the other side to the settlement of Camp Floyd in Salt Lake valley; but until aerial navigation is more advanced, a stage wagon performs the mail and passenger service between these towns, along the road over the foot hills, making a circuit of eighteen miles.
It was a delightful drive; for as we were hurried away at an early hour, the sun, rising out of sight on the opposite side of the mountains, had barely reached their summits before we had completed this first stage of our journey; so our road lay all along under the shadows, while far away in the west there was the view of gilded peaks gradually brightening to their base, and then the sunlight came step by step over the plains to meet us, till the dazzling sun himself mounted to the crest on our left, and poured over all around us the full blaze of day. By this time we had nearly approached Camp Floyd, once the location of a military post, but now a little Mormon village, where all vestiges of its former occupation have given place to well-cultivated fields and orchards.
Bishop Carter presides over the spiritual interests of the people, his office also giving him the right to counsel them in temporal matters, in accordance with the recognized authority of the priesthood, which is so offensive to gentlemen of the legal profession. It is a grave cause of complaint against the Mormons that they do not encourage the presence of any of the three learned classes. Unless the town is unusually large, the Bishop is able not only to do the preaching, but to settle all disputes and to cure all ordinary diseases, by the laying on of hands, quite as effectively as they are treated by the administration of drugs. It is only in cases that require the prompt services of a surgeon that he is forced to admit the inadequacy of his spiritual power. Brigham himself is now under the care of a Gentile surgeon, for a complaint not to be reached by the mere "laying-on" process. Bishop Carter, who rules supreme over all other households in Camp Floyd, we were told had lately found that laying on of hands has not acted well in his own case. He was originally, as he is now, a monogamist. But not long ago he saw fit to have a revelation commanding him to take another wife. Mrs. Carter did not see the angel who brought the message, for that angel was careful to avoid her. The Bishop, however, trusting in divine protection, went up to Salt Lake "on business," and returned in the evening with another woman. It was then that he experienced an effectual laying on of hands; and Mrs. Carter No. 2 felt the laying on of a broomstick. Feminine muscular Christianity prevailed over spiritual enforcement, and the Bishop was made to realize that the power of a determined woman is one that cannot be withstood by a Mormon more successfully than by a Gentile. The difficulty was settled by the Bishops marrying No. 2 -- after all -- to another man. Mr. Carter keeps a very excellent hotel, the breakfast provided for our company evincing that, as far as the travelling public are concerned, the lady at the head of the house is able to meet all their requirements, as well as those of her husband, alone.
The distance from Camp Floyd to Lehi is eighteen miles. As we drove out of the town the driver pointed to a seedy-looking vagabond, apparently sixty years of age, who was walking slowly along smoking his morning pipe. The expression of his countenance
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was truly diabolical, and betokened a scoundrel whose society one would instinctively avoid. This was the notorious Bill Hickman, whose residence is in the neighborhood. Why the fiend is permitted to live is a mystery. His confessions of bloody deeds, if true, should expose him to the vengeance of Gentiles whose friends he has slain; if false, the wonder is that he is not riddled by Mormon bullets. It is a mark of the astonishing forbearance of this people that, believing him to be a malignant liar, they allow him to go about the country unmolested; and the only accountable reason for his safety from the wrath of the Gentiles is, that they hope at some future day to use him as a witness to prove the murders committed by him as done at the bidding of Brigham Young. But the troubled conscience of the desperado is never at ease. He must have revelations, and terrible ones too; lie must have angel visits at night, for the angels of darkness must hover around his unquiet bed, and hell must yawn at its side. He walks the streets by day armed with two revolvers and a belt of cartridges, looking furtively about him to see if some avenger is not nigh. He steeps his damning memory in rum, yet dares not to drink himself totally insensible, lest, if found dead drunk away from home, he should not awake again. So fearful is he of a surprise that he never enters a bar-room where other men are present without standing with his back to the bar, when the liquor is poured out for him. Hell! What is it, where is it, unless in the bosom of William Hickman?
Happily he soon passed out of our minds, for after a short drive across the plains we came to a slight elevation, from which, in the distance, we could see the pretty town of Lehi, situated not far from the northern bank of Utah lake. The lake extends in a southerly direction twenty miles, and is five or six miles wide, its western limit washing the foot of the Wasatch mountains.
It is of fresh water, and contains an abundance of trout and other fish. Its outlet is the Jordan river, a narrow but deep and sluggish stream, connecting it with Great Salt lake, forty miles north. Far away to the south stretched the glassy lake, reflecting the noonday sun; the rugged mountains its background, and the town sheltered in the foliage of fruitful orchards fringing its northern edge. Lehi is a much larger settlement than Camp Floyd, for it contains 1,500 inhabitants, is under the paternal care of Bishop Evans, to whom we had been commended as willing to provide us with better accommodations than those afforded at the little hotel.
This Bishop is a jolly old Pennsylvanian, who came to this territory many years ago, and has contributed his share to increase its population, not being under such salutary restraint as his brother Carter. His No. 1 being dead, No. 2 has been advanced to the rank of chief mate, six more of his female crew living in cabins of their own. He was very communicative on family matters. He evidently regarded No. 2 as the most valuable wife, on account of her producing qualities. "I ought to have more children than I have, he said. Why, I should have quite a family if all the rest of them kept up with her. She has had fifteen, and all the others together have not had but twenty-four." Discoursing upon matrimony in general, he observed that he considered all Gentile forms null and void. "But," he added, "I wouldn't take a woman that belonged to a Gentile, because I consider it mean. I don't justify Parley Pratt in having done it -- no -- I want to avoid even the appearance of evil." The self-complacency of this worthy prelate was something of the sublime, as he continued, "No, I would not take such a woman even if she asked me to, as these others did." "Do you mean to say, Bishop, asked my astonished wife, surveying the unctuous pluralist, that these women asked for the privilege of marrying you?" "Yes,
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ma'am," he replied with some hesitation; "three of 'em went for me straight, and the rest of 'em hung round gitten me to ask 'em."
In this way did the garrulous old fellow go on until we were glad to be shown to our room. We had no reason to complain of our bed and board, nor of the attentions of No. 2, who manifested her interest in our welfare by shouting, as we left in the wagon, to be driven by our host to the station after breakfast, "Look out now for the Bishop; after all what he said last night, remember the more men have the more they want. When a man has one wife he's tolerably well satisfied; but when he gets another he keeps going on, and there's no knowing where he'll stop."
V.LEHI is upon the Utah Southern rail-road, thirty-one miles south of Salt Lake City. Here we had arranged to meet a party of friends, who were to leave the town in the morning train, and accompany us on a visit to the American Fork canyon. To while away the time before they should arrive, we sauntered about in the neighborhood of the station, under the shade trees of the wide streets, and looked with longing eyes upon the fruitful orchards surrounding almost every house.
Entering a gate, and asking if the owner of the premises would sell a few peaches, we were met by a plump refusal. "No," replied an elderly gentleman, "but you can take as many as you please. Come in and let me show you my garden." A second invitation was not needed, although it was extended with equal cordiality by his wife. The garden was what is called a double lot. It comprised two and one half acres of ground, every foot of which, except the walks, was under complete cultivation. Nothing can exceed the richness of this soil, irrigated at pleasure from the mountain streams. Although subject to grass-hopper visitations and the like casualties, a drought is never apprehended, for that is impossible.
Mr. Isaac Goodwin, who so kindly entertained us in his little Eden, is a Connecticut farmer, but has lived here for twenty-six years. He was an earlier Mormon than any of the first settlers of Utah, for he was a California pioneer. The little band of 321 pilgrims, of which he was one, that sailed in the ship Brooklyn from New York for San Francisco, landed there in July, 1846. This was two years before the discovery of the gold that brought such a different class of pilgrims to worship at its shrine. The Mormon settlers formed a colony in the San Joaquin valley, then, like Utah, a part of the Mexican territory. Mr. Goodwin gave us many interesting reminiscences of their early sufferings and privations, and of their final success in acquiring by peaceful overtures the friendship of the Indians, whom the Mormons have always had a peculiar tact in conciliating. If gold had not been discovered, if the Mexican war had not supervened, if Brigham's revelations had not induced him to order the colony to break up and remove to Utah, we should have seen at this day what an empire these indomitable enthusiasts would have obtained in a country where nature did not oppose such obstacles as they have here overcome. No railroad would have approached them or ridden over them rough-shod, but they would have been allowed to work out the problem of their distinct civilization unmolested in their freedom of action.
But Providence determined that they could be put to a better use here in paving the way for a higher civilization than their own. Goodwin with only one companion travelled across the continent, successfully braving natural obstacles and hostile Indians, until they met Brigham Young on the eastern slope of the Rocky mountains and reported to him the fertility of the soil of California. This very fact induced him to act in accordance with
490 THROUGH UTAH. [OCTOBER,
his revelation, as the Mormons believe, but, as we are inclined to think, from the conviction which he then expressed, that "the country was too good, for the Gentiles would come there to clean them out," and in the deserts of Utah they would be let alone. Their first settlement here proved of the greatest advantage in aiding emigrants to cross the plains in the earlier days of the occupation of California, and subsequently in the construction of the Union and Central Pacific railroads, which have bound them in the embrace of our common country. We are fond of listening to the tales of these gray fathers of the land, especially when, as coming from such a one, they hear the impress of unquestionable truth. He was a man of great sagacity and general information -- a New Englander imbued with those Puritan principles that make martyrdom an absolute pleasure. Yet, like all who come from that section, his faith in Mormonism is not exceeded by that of the most ignorant and superstitious Dane or Norwegian. Strange it is that education should so often lean upon obstinacy and credulity. There are towns in New England (I could instance Newburyport) where, if Mormonism instead of Calvinism had originally taken root, reason and science might have ploughed for ever without eradicating it.
As Mr. Goodwin talked we supplied ourselves abundantly with delicious peaches, plums, and grapes. The productiveness of his ground is amazing, and there is scarcely room for a weed to grow. Vast quantities of fruit from this district are dried and preserved. It meets with a ready sale for exportation, and is highly appreciated wherever it finds its way.
Still waiting, not impatiently, for the train, we entered the tidy little cottage, where the proprietor and his only wife devoted themselves still further to our entertainment. "I have a kingdom of my own," said he, "without going into polygamy: this old lady, seven children, and thirty-three grandchildren. I believe in the doctrine for those who like it, but God never required it of me. Matrimony is a 'straight and narrow path.' I like to go it alone. Now you hang a plummet down from the wall and let it drop between two women. Each of them will say it swings nearer the other one than toward her. I might be straight up and down like that plummet, and though the women mightn't say anything, both of them would think I was leaning the wrong way from her. So much for two women. Now hang yourself like a plummet in a circle of half a dozen, and then you can make some calculation as to what kind of a time you would have through life."
Thus within the last two days we have seen three different representations of matrimony. Bishop Carter is a monogamist because he dare not open the door to another woman; Bishop Evans is a pluralist because he likes polygamy, although he says the seven women will cleave unto him whether he wants them or not; and good, honest, straight and narrow Isaac Goodwin gets along through the world in peace and contentment with only one wife, because he loves her too well to take another. Let those of troubled conscience at home, who think that "no good thing can come out of Nazareth," be consoled with the knowledge that there are many more like Goodwin in the Mormon church, and that such leaven as this will yet leaven the whole lump, if meddlesome fingers will but leave it alone.
The shrill whistle of the engine was heard in the distance, and we hastened to meet our friends in the train, parting reluctantly with these, who now bade us farewell, loading us with fruits and benedictions.
VI.WE entered the train at Lehi and were landed at American Fork station in a few minutes, the distance being
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only three miles south, along the shores of Utah lake. While waiting for the cars in which we were to be taken over the narrow-gauge railroad to the canyon, we had an opportunity to inspect a sorghum plantation. The surroundings reminded us of Louisiana and Cuba, excepting that the whole arrangement was on a minute scale, and that a few white men and boys were doing the work there performed by an ebony crowd. An inexperienced Cockney would readily mistake a plantation of sorghum for a field of broom corn, which it so much resembles. It is thickly planted like sugar cane, and similarly harvested and ground. The stock has the same saccharine property, though in a lesser degree. The grinding apparatus is not unlike a cider mill, and was worked by half a horse power, a patient mule being busily engaged in making his distances on the small circle. The juice is boiled down from one kettle to another, until at last it acquires the consistency and flavor of good southern molasses. But its sweetness refuses to consolidate itself into anything better than what Jack of the forecastle calls "long sugar." The cultivation of this cane is rapidly increasing in southern Utah, where the climate is exceedingly favorable. One hundred gallons of molasses are produced to the acre, and this, clear of all the expenses attending it, nets to the planter one hundred dollars. If a farmer in New York State or New England could make $10,000 per annum from his farm of 100 acres, he would not have his present complaint to make. I hear the voice of Horace Greeley yet whispering through the cane, the wheat, and the corn, sighing through the forests, and echoing through the mines, "Young man, go West!"
Another very productive industry of this district is the cultivation of what is called luzerne or Siberian grass. It is a food for cattle as rich as our meadow clove; and grows very rapidly, reaching the height of three feet; four crops are here cut in a year, while further south seven harvests of it are obtained. The old Scripture simile of the desert blossoming as the rose beautifully and poetically expresses the change that has taken place in these valleys In twenty-seven years, but it is inadequate to give an idea of a land whose very paths drop with the fatness of rich abundance. Leaving these fertile plains behind us, we were shown to an open observation car, which the superintendent of the American Fork railroad had added to the train for the comfort and pleasure of our party.
Messrs. Howland & Aspinwall of New York are the chief owners of the Miller mine, the principal property in this canyon. It is located at the highest point, twenty-three miles distant from this, the nearest station on the Utah Southern railroad. Although the mine has been very productive of valuable ore, it was almost inaccessible, on account of the roughness and steepness of the trail by the side of the mountain torrent. To overcome these obstacles, these enterprising gentlemen have caused this narrow-gauge road to be constructed for fifteen miles. Its cost, comprising the equipments, has amounted to nearly four hundred thousand dollars. So great has been the expense and so much disappointment has been experienced in the productiveness of the mine, that although the road has been graded for a great part of the distance, the eight miles at the upper end of the canyon is still only a rough wagon road. But an unselfish happiness should be theirs. Among the many tourists who avail themselves of the pleasant means they have afforded the public of visiting some of the most magnificent scenery in the world, we tender them our hearty thanks.
We began a gradual ascent over the foot hills for three miles, drawing nearer and nearer to the grand massive range of seemingly impenetrable mountains, till they loomed up like impassable barriers to our progress. Suddenly a chasm was opened for our way
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between two enormous perpendicular cliffs, each more than two thousand feet high, and through this narrow valley, less than five hundred feet in width, a way was afforded scarcely of sufficient breadth to allow of the passage of aught else besides our train that met the rushing stream. Creeping up, not too slowly, on a grade of 316 feet to the mile, we wound round one point after the other, sometimes under the dull shadow of dripping rocks, and then coming out into the warm sunlight that fell upon the hill slopes carpeted with the loveliest velvet green and figured with clumps of pine trees and autumnal tints of wild shrubbery. It was a glorious day of this most glorious season of the year, when Nature in her harvest robes is joyful on the plains, and in her mountain plaids is surpassingly attractive. The mountains as they gathered round us, in our ever-changing progress, seemed to leap for joy, and the sparkling brook danced to its own melody. The sublimity and beauty of the scene spread over our little company such a feeling of awe, that at times we were lost in silent admiration, and again we were carried to such ecstasy of delight, that words could not be found adequate for its expression. Scenery like this always forces from the observer the conviction that all he has seen heretofore is tame and insignificant in comparison.
So now the White mountains, the towering Apennines, Mont Blanc, the Bernese Oberland, and even the Yo Semite itself faded away into dim pictures of the past, in the transcendent light of this almost unknown canyon of the Wasatch mountains. A bountiful lunch was provided for us at Deer Creek, the present terminus of the railroad, and then, some in a wagon, some on horseback, and one on foot, who arrived first of all, we ascended the canyon for four miles to "Forest City," a municipality comprising some smelting works and charcoal furnaces for its public buildings and four shanties for the inhabitants of its various wards. The "Miller" mine is four miles still beyond and above. Two of us ascended to it by a bridle path, varying our route to examine another newly developed mine. At last by a zigzag trail we reached the Miller at a short distance from the summit of the mountain, a few moments before the sun went down. His last rays lingered long enough to light the high peaks, while the deep valleys were almost shrouded in night. There we stood, 11,000 feet above the level of the sea, and surveyed the great panorama of alternate day and night, extending to mountains around and over chasms below. It was the very night of the full moon, when she rises at the moment of the setting of the sun. Strangely then the picture changes: the splendor and the grandeur fade and vanish away, but a softness and a beauty succeed even more pleasing than the gaudy magnificence of the day. The rugged outlines of the mountains are toned down to the smoothness of grassy mounds, all colors are blended into a grayish blue, the hills are drawn together, and the hazy bottoms of the valleys rise to the appearance of elevated plains. So contracted did all things now appear that but an hour before were spread abroad in immensity. Daylight and darkness are alike in mines. Mr. Epley showed us a part of the works which had been commenced four years ago. There is now a shaft 150 feet deep and nearly two miles of tunnels and drifts. The ore now taken out assays 50 per cent. lead, 40 ounces of silver, and 1 ounce of gold to the ton; the whole value, sixty dollars. The cost of the mine was $185,000, and it was capitalized at $1,500,000, which includes the railroad, smelting works, and other improvements. Mr. Epley lives at the mine during the winter as well as summer months. For weeks at a time he is often alone so far as congenial society is concerned, but in his little cabin there is a choice library well stocked with standard works. There, when the snow flies and the tempest howls, he
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sits with Shakespeare, Addison, Pope, Macaulay, Scott, Cooper, and Dickens, besides a number of scientific gentlemen, whose companionship we should not so much covet; and communing with these, is at peace, though all without is elemental war. "Is it not cold?" we asked. "Not very; the glass seldom falls to 10 deg. below zero." "A great deal of snow, is there not?" "Why, yes; about forty feet deep." "Hard place to live in the winter?" "No; not with my books." Happy Mr. Epley!
By moonlight we descended to Forest City, and, after our long and romantic ride, were right glad to enjoy the supper, at which we were anxiously awaited by our companions. In the morning we were rattled down to the railroad station at Deer Creek, where we again took the observation car, descending without the company of an engine. A brakeman sat at each end of the carriage and moderated its speed, and thus we glided smoothly down. The span of life is often spoken of as a day. If every day of it could be as pleasurable as this has been, the worn-out traveller of the world would never mourn the slow approach to its end. With pleasant toil we gained step by step in its ascent, new joys and beauties constantly surrounding our path, as in the meridian of life when we are lifted above the struggles of our youth. And now, having accomplished that for which we came, we descend the vale, reviewing and calling to mind all that has made our upward journey so cheerful and bright, and finding the same pleasure as they come back to us again. Moving involuntarily along, without a wish to arrest the downward current, we come to the green fields and the still waters of rest.
VII.WE have come again to the terminus of the Utah Southern railroad, at this pretty little city of 4,000 inhabitants, fifty miles from Salt Lake, where the mountains overshadow us from the east, and the waters of Utah lake ripple on the shores at our feet. This is Provo.
We came on a lovely summer afternoon, for it was the Indian summer of October. The mountains were still hiding in their rocky clefts clumps of shrubbery variegated with every hue. Quantities of apples, peaches, and plums were yet remaining upon the garden trees of the plain, although the leaves were somewhat sere and faded, and the glassy lake smiled in the sun- beams as if wooing us to its bosom.
But as night drew on the dark clouds gathered over the Wasatch peaks, and dropped down in misty curtains over the valley, the trees swayed in the fitful gusts that filled the air with dust, and the placid lake scowled darkly and then broke into a miniature sea of white-capped waves.
In the wild night the rains descended and the winds blew, and when the morning dawned the streets and gardens were overflowed by water, floating away the fallen fruit and leaves, and the mountains, from their summits down to an even, dark line where the snow had changed to rain, were covered with a pure white mantle, concealing beneath its folds alike the rugged rocks and the autumn-tinted shrubbery. It was winter.
Within doors we were comfortably lodged, fed, and warmed by Bishop Miller, and here we proposed to remain until summer should come again, not for months, but for a few days.
These seasons are not like those described by Thomson as changing with great regularity. They come and go. The autumn here is not a season by itself. It is made up of alternate summer and winter.
"Wait a day or two, said the good Bishop, and summer will come again; then you can go on your way. In the mean time I will look up a couple of good saddle beasts, and you can come out between the drops and see the city."
After having visited many "cities"
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of perhaps half a dozen houses and a dozen or two of inhabitants, we readily acquiesced in the title given to Provo. It is one of the earliest Mormon settlements, and its prosperity has always been a pet delight of Brigham Young. To describe the laying out of one Mormon town is to describe that of them all. There are the same methods of rectangular streets, all of them exactly one hundred and thirty-two feet wide, all of them bordered on each side by running water, and shaded by cottonwoods and locusts, all the house lots and orchards enclosing cottages, and everything about the localities betokening a quiet contentment.
As we go further from the metropolis we see less of what in the East we style comfort, and as we become accustomed to its absence we are apt to think that our idea of comfort is after all one of luxury that is not absolutely necessary to the enjoyment of life. There is invariably displayed good taste in the selection of town sites. This is involuntary, but the effect is none the less charming. Each settlement, be it large or small, nestles under some mountain range and at the mouth of a canyon. The streams that run down these narrow defiles are caught up in ditches before they waste themselves on the plains, and are made useful in irrigating the gardens of the villages and the fields which surround them.
Thus at the mouth of Provo canyon we find this little city not only well watered and pleasant to the eye, but, owing to the volume and rapid fall of the river, happily situated for manufacturing enterprise. We were shown through the largest and most flourishing cloth factory in the Territory. It is a capacious stone building which with its machinery cost over $200,000. It has been in operation two years, and besides giving employment to one hundred operatives, will be a very profitable concern to its stockholders when its machinery is all completed and in running order. The blankets, flannels, shawls, and cloths turned out by this establishment are finished goods that would not disgrace the counters of the fashionable dealers in our great cities.
It is certainly creditable to Brigham Young that he has introduced the best breeds of sheep into Utah, and that in such a short period he has followed the experiment from the beginning to the end, and now through all the processes has produced these proud results of persevering enterprise.
The manager of the co-operative store explained to us the working of the institution. Like the woolen factory, it is a stock concern, and as far as is possible made subservient to profit as well as to the wants of the community. The shares are issued at twenty-five dollars each, in order to induce all classes of people to participate in the copartnership. It is true that owing to some mismanagement, which, however, compromised no man's character for honesty, the "Zions Mercantile Co-operative Institution" of Salt Lake omitted the payment of its accustomed dividend last year; but generally these societies, organized in every town, either independent or as branches of the head company in Salt Lake, declare annual dividends of at least 15 per cent. In no one of these establishments, many of which have been in operation for several years, has there been an instance of defalcation. This speaks well for the honesty of the Mormons, as compared with any other sect of Christians.
In no community are wealth and poverty more evenly distributed. It may be said of Provo, a city of 4,000 inhabitants, that there is not a rich man or a poor man in its limits. It would be difficult to find anywhere an assemblage of an equal number of inhabitants so contented with the answer to Hagar's prayer, "Give me neither poverty nor riches."
Our host, the Bishop, was one of the "early pioneers." I have previously noticed the unusually large percentage of old people we everywhere meet. It would seem that the pilgrimage over
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the desert in 1847 gave to every one who undertook and finished it a new lease of life. These old folks never die, for they have earned a claim to immortality. The Bishop was an intimate friend of Joseph Smith, the prophet, sharing with him many of his adventures and persecutions.
His conversation elicited the truth of a very important but much disputed matter of church history. The question has often been discussed, was Joseph Smith, the originator of the Mormon sect, a polygamist? The Josephites, or, as they are sometimes called, the members of the "Reformed Church of the Latter-Day Saints," deny it emphatically, and, claiming that his own life was one of purity, insist that he did not countenance impurity in others. They accordingly discard this pernicious doctrine, which they say is a device of Brigham Young.
In almost every other dogma of their religion they are in accord with the dominant sect. We have listened to their preaching, and never discovered any other material difference. They use the same religious books in their worship, and argue from them the prohibition of polygamy with as much earnestness as Orson Pratt displays in its advocacy.
The outside Christian world, desirous of establishing a purer form of worship in Utah, would best attain its object by encouraging this sect of Josephites. The prevalence of their teachings would reform Mormonism, and that certain result would be better than all that can be accomplished by uncertain missionary effort. It may be said of this in general terms that it is a waste of time and money, and that all that the Presbyterians, Methodists, and Episcopalians have done in. the Territory has been among themselves, no converts having been made from Mormonism.
When a Mormon apostatizes he almost always becomes an infidel or a spiritualist. It will be admitted by most people that Christianity of any kind is better than infidelity, and that no unprejudiced person can study the Mormon religion and its effects upon those who embrace it without coming to the conclusion that if it could be shorn of its one objectionable excrescence, it would confer as much happiness upon this condition of society as any other form or creed could bestow. I should like to see the Mormons complying with the law of the land, which has made polygamy a crime, but apart from this I have not the least desire for their conversion.
Unfortunately for the Josephites and for the reformation they propose to bring about, they will be unable to establish the fact that Joseph Smith was a monogamist. His earlier writings and practice and all the teachings of his "Book of Mormon" were clearly in favor of monogamy; but, however willing to be virtuous was his spirit, his flesh became weak, and for several years before his death he was living in violation of his own precepts. There are old men in Utah who say that he had at least nine wives.
Our friend Bishop Miller produced this conclusive testimony. He and another gentleman told us that the revelation of polygamy was read openly three years before the death of the prophet, and that they had heard it. Moreover, Bishop Miller was married his wife No. 2, at Nauvoo, by Hyrum Smith, the brother of the prophet Joseph, two years before these two men were killed by the mob at Carthage. Such proofs, easily brought forward, will lessen the influence of Josephism. But despite of them, the name itself of the sect, and the purer morality of its teachings, will be powerful arguments in its favor. Combining with other causes, when the death of Brigham Young occurs they will surely produce the needed reformation in the church.
The surroundings of our host evinced that he was a prosperous man. Yet there was sometimes a shade of melancholy passing over his genial
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face. This was always apparent when children were referred to in conversation. At first we thought he had lost some of his little ones, but we afterward discovered that he had no little ones to lose. Hinc illac lachrymae.
Two comely and agreeable matrons in his household took excellent care of him. Besides these he had been owned by four more, now deceased; and yet the poor Bishop was childless. Each woman thought it the greatest curse that could fall upon her, and their general head considered that he was six times accursed.
True, they had been exemplary Christians to the best of their knowledge and ability, conscientiously fulfilling all the duties of this life, but they had done absolutely nothing toward peopling the celestial kingdom. Those crowns of glory to be fitted on to the heads of their productive neighbors were not for theirs, and their exaltations around the throne would be of a low degree. How much happier both in this life and in the life to come is and is to be the condition of one of their venerable townsmen! He is ninety-two years of age and the father of sixty children. The eldest is seventy years old and the youngest is sixty-seven years his brothers junior. We were sorry that this patriarch was not at home. How delightful it would have been to see him trotting these two children of seventy and of three on his knees, and to hear him repeat from "Mother Goose" --
One wouldn't stay, and t'other ran away --
Tom Browns two little darling boys!"
AFTER two days the storm abated, and on the third morning the sun rose brightly over the mountains, now covered nearly to their base with a pure quilt of snow. Winter seemed to have fixed his permanent abode among them, while summer was permitted to return for a short visit to the valleys. It was summer, with all its agreeable warmth, but not too hot for travel; summer, lacking somewhat of the pleasant views of green meadows, ripening harvests, and fruitful trees, but compensating for these losses by enhanced beauty of mountain scenery around and above.
The Bishop had secured two ponies of promising character, but with peculiarities subsequently developed. As we were provided with our own outfit of saddle and side-saddle, we had nothing more to ask for, but cheerfully agreeing to pay half a dollar per day for each of the animals, for the time they might be required, we packed our luggage, and, mounting them, bade the Bishop and his family good-by for the present. Then, over a ground made somewhat soft by the late rains, we took our course to the south, along the eastern shores of Utah lake.
There is such a similarity in all the settlements that I need scarcely more than mention the names. On the first afternoon we passed through Springville and Spanish Fork, and arrived at Payson, eighteen miles from Provo, in the evening. Our road lay along the bench below the Wasatch mountains. By turning our faces to the left we could enjoy a continual view of winter magnificence, and then looking down upon the bottoms, enough of summer was still there to make a pleasing picture, while beyond them the dark blue waters of the lake contrasted beautifully with the snowy Oquirrh range in the west.
As we rode up to the door of the neat little inn, we were agreeably surprised to meet Judge Emerson, who, with a party, was on his return from the Tintec mines to Provo. This gentleman, although a Federal officer, occupying in this district a position similar to that held by Judge McKean in Salt Lake, is highly respected and esteemed by Mormons and Gentiles alike. Possessing all the accomplishments that distinguish the chief justice, with an integrity equally unquestioned, he lacks his sternness of utterance, and his less pronounced religious bias is regarded as more favorable to the exercise of his judicial action.
The Mormons accept his decisions as made in accordance with the spirit of the law he is placed here to enforce. No one of them, excepting the most bigoted, can complain of him for being the agent of the Government, and no Gentiles, excepting the mischief makers of the "ring," assert that he is too lenient to the Saints.
His present journey is an instance of his ablility to hold their mutual confidence. There had been a dispute concerning a mine between a Gentile and a Mormon. Each of them, desirous of avoiding legal expenses, had agreed that the judge should go with them to the spot, and there decide the question. This had been done, and all parties were returning amicably together. The arrangement was especially agreeable to us, as it afforded us an evening of pleasant entertainment.
In the course of conversation a Mormon gentleman observed that, although he was a pluralist, and was very happy in his domestic relations, he recognized the right of Government to enforce its law against polygamy, provided it was constitutional. He and many other reflecting men are prefectly willing that some test cases shall be brought into the courts and decided
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adversely, in order that the vexed question may speedily reach the highest tribunal and be forever set at rest.
The little hotel at Payson is a model of comfort. It had lately been established by a young couple, the husband a Gentile and the wife a Mormon. The linen and the table service were faultless. There was no abominable stove to burn out the oxygen and poison the atmosphere, but a soft coal fire was flaming cheerfully in the grate, and everything reminded us of the easy luxury of an English country inn.
We asked our pretty landlady how she came to marry a Gentile. "Why, isn't he handsome?" she replied; "and then he is good, and then -- and then -- I wanted every bit of him to myself! Father didn't like it, mother didn't like it, but I did."
We had known of similar vagaries among other young women, and as fathers and mothers become reconciled to them after a while, we sincerely hope that the obdurate hearts of these Mormon parents will relent.
Payson contains about 2,000 inhabitants. It is a thriving farming town, and is likely to increase in wealth and population when the railroad reaches it.
In the morning we went on our way south, leaving the shores of the lake, which here has its southwestern limit. We had passed out of Salt Lake valley before reaching Provo, and now on reaching Santaquin came to the southern end of Utah valley. At this small settlement the railroad to be completed from Provo in a few months will have its terminus for the present. Every mile this thoroughfare progresses is a gain to the mining and agricultural interests of the South. These Utah rail-roads are dependent upon no land grants, concessions, or subsidies of any kind. In. the exact proportion of the demand and necessity for them, they are constructed by. the people and for the people who need them. Bonds are issued for two-thirds of the cost. Their bonds are not dependent upon Government charity or the chances of Congressional action. There is no watering of stock. In short, they are built by honest men for honest purposes. I do not know of a single eastern railroad offering such safe and ample security for investment.
Our road had been one of gradual though almost imperceptible ascent for ten miles, to Santaquin. Here we reached, by a somewhat sharper grade, the more elevated valley of Juab, three or four miles wide and thirty miles long; Nephi, sixteen miles south of Santaquin, being its shire town.
Progressing ten miles in that direction, we came to the small settlement of Willow Creek. We were provided with an encyclical letter from a church dignitary in Salt Lake, addressed "to all the bishops South." It was intimated therein that we were in search of information, and we were accordingly commended to the courtesy of these country ecclesiastics, who were requested to furnish mental and bodily refreshments when the lack of hotels obliged us to claim their hospitalities. We always find them assiduous in contributing to our comfort, and ready to impart all the information required. Many of them are in very moderate circumstances, but all have enough and to spare. A Mormon brother is always welcome to board and lodging gratis, and even a Gentile often finds it difficult to make them accept any remuneration.
At Willow Creek we accordingly called upon Bishop Kay for the requirements of ourselves and our animals. Again we found an early pioneer, and listened to the oft-repeated story of crossing the desert.
Salt Lake City is 4,800 feet above the level of the sea. We had mounted 700 feet in a distance of ninety miles. Here, directly against and almost above the village, is Mt. Nebo, the highest peak in the Territory, measured to be 12,000 feet. It was incomparably magnificent, clothed in its pure white robe shaded into a delicate pink at its summit, 7,000 feet above us, as the afternoon sun streamed upon it his upward slanting rays.
616 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
The wonderful rarefaction of the atmosphere plays curious freaks with our estimation of distance. I said to the Bishop that I should like to spend the afternoon, if time allowed, in going up to the peak. "Well," he replied, "you might start this afternoon, and if you did not freeze in the night you might possibly get there by sunset tomorrow. You remind me of an Englishman travelling through this back country a few years ago. He thought everything looked so near that he hadn't far to go, and he never could understand why he could not get along faster. At last he got on a little ahead of the party. They came up to him on the bank of a small brook two feet wide. He was taking off his boots to wade over. 'Why donÕt you jump across?' somebody asked him. 'Aw, you see,' replied the Englishman, 'I've been deceived so often that I fancied this brook might be half a mile wide, and I might be obliged to swim!"
After dinner we rode on to Nephi, over a level bench of sage brush for most of the way. But when we came abreast of the mouth of the Salt Creek canyon, abundant water affording the means of irrigation, the ground bore evidence of the recent plentiful harvests of wheat, oats, and barley, and on entering the town we passed through blocks of orchards rather than of houses.
I have described Nephi in the mention of Payson and of Provo. There is a sameness of beauty in them all. It contains about 2,000 inhabitants, and two hotels, one of which we know to be well kept by Mr. Seeley. He is an old Calfornian, and it was refreshing to find a pioneer who came from the West instead of from the East. "Are you a Mormon or a Gentile?" I asked. "Nary one," replied Seeley; "I'm a neutral." He had been to California in search of gold, he said, and had not found it. So he had come here in search of peace and quiet. Surely he has attained it.
California and Utah solve the problem of longevity. The gold hunters went to California in 1847. In the same year the religious enthusiasts came to Utah in smaller numbers. At San Francisco the veterans of '47 have the annual meetings of their society. Very few of them are now left; of these too many are. broken down old men. Auri sacra fames produces an equal appetite for whiskey, and together they craze the brain. In no country is suicide so common, or old age so rarely attained, notwithstanding its unrivalled climate, as in California. In Utah, where winter howls among the mountains for half the year, and the toil of the farmers in the valleys is incessant, the robust exercise of the woodman and the quiet existence of the agriculturist, their temperate habits and the training of their minds with continual regard to the practice of religion in this world, with reference to its hopes for the future -- these conditions bring but little wear and tear on the human frame. As we have abundant proofs from the gray crowns upon so many heads, men live out their three-score years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, could the Psalmist see them, he would admit that their strength is not always labor and sorrow.
IX.I HAVE already commented upon the advantage that this southern country will derive from the continuation of the railroad to Santaquin. Twenty miles more over a nearly level grade would bring it to Nephi. It is a necessity that the work should be thus far accomplished. * The less settled country, extending about two hundred miles to St. George, the southern town of Utah, can afford to wait for its development.
It is true that Pioche, far in the southwest, on the confines of Nevada, is exceedingly rich in silver mines, and that the mines would be vastly more productive if railroad facilities were
* This has since been completed.
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 617
afforded, but this district may be reached by the railroad now in course of construction in Tooole county. The iron country, some hundred and fifty miles south of Nephi, would be greatly stimulated by the advent of a railroad. But it is questionable if there would be sufficient; freight from both these sources to make the railroad a profitable investment for many years to come. The policy of building railroads to develop business is not so safe or successful as that of prosecuting business until it offers a sufficient inducement to make railroads remunerative.
Thus far the latter plan has been followed with the best results in Utah. With scarcely an exception, all the roads have paid good dividends from the first year of their being put into operation. Nephi is an excellent point for the termination of the Utah Southern.
The extensive Tintec silver mines can be reached by an easy grade for a narrow gauge road of twenty miles in a westerly direction, while it is also the nearest and most convenient junction for the narrow gauge road contemplated and surely to be built for the San Pete valley, that will contribute its coal and its grain. This is reached by the Salt Creek canyon, through which we took our road.
The ascent is very gradual, little of it being on its steepest grade of 200 feet to the mile. The caiÕion is so wide that the height of the mountains at its sides is not fully realized, and there were always perplexing ideas of distances. By a circuitous track we wound along, keeping a southeast course in view, but often steering due north. In this way we circled Mt. Nebo, until we had a full veiw of its eastern slope, as beautiful in the morning light; as its western side had appeared in the sunshine of the previous afternoon. With the exception of a saw-mill and one cattle ranch, there was no sign of habitation or life upon the road until we came to Fountain Green, the first village in San Pete valley, into which we descended from the divide, after making fifteen miles from Nephi. Bishop Johnson not being at home, Mrs. John son gave us a kindly welcome, and spread before us an abundant and cleanly meal. There had recently been a marriage in the family, and we were introduced to the bride and bridegroom, the former fifteen and the latter seventeen years of age.
Polygamy is not much countenanced in San Pete, as would appear by the energetic conduct of our hostess not long ago. I have related the experience of the Bishop of Camp Floyd, when he pursued matrimony under difficulties. His brother of Fountain Green fared even worse. He also conjugated surreptitiously. When Mrs. Johnson discovered that he had another house she dressed herself in male apparel, and, armed with an axe, destroyed the honeymoon. Fortunately mistaking the bedpost for one of their heads, she hacked it into a broken shaft over the grave, as it were, of love nipped in its early bud.
This valley was originally called by its Indian name of San Pitch, a chief of this region. San Pitch headed the war which devastated these settlements seven years ago. As in the unpleasantness that occurred at Eden, Troy, and thousands of other places, a woman was the cause of this trouble.
Barney Ward, an old settler before the time of the Mormon occupation of the valley, was on such terms of friendship with San Pitch that he promised him his daughter in marriage when she should become of a suitable age. But when that time arrived the young woman was found to have a will of her own. She rejected the advances of the swarthy Ute, and he took vengeance on the whites for the jilting he had received. The innocent Mormons who had begun to settle in the valley were murdered or driven out, their habitations laid waste, their crops burned, and their cattle stolen. All this happened because of the obstinacy of Miss Ward.
At the close of the war the Mormons
618 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
returned, and again built up their homes, fortifying all their villages with rude forts for their defence in case of other outbreaks. The wisdom of their precautions has been made obvious, for two raids have since been made upon them, the last of which occurred only two years since, when several individuals were killed and a large number of cattle driven off. Already nine towns, including this of Fountain Green, containing altogether ten thousand people, have been rebuilt, and are in a flourishing condition.
The valley is forty miles in length by four to live in breadth, and is very productive of wheat, barley, and oats. Potatoes are raised in great abundance, and are celebrated for their excellent flavor. The average grain yield of San Pete is 450,000 bushels, a great part of which is exported to the mines of Pioche, Tintec, and other mining districts. The future great product of San Pete will be its coal, already attracting much attention, and promising great results.
After dinner we rode on from Fountain Green, on the west side of the valley, south to the small collier hamlet called Wales. This is an absolutely monogamic Mormon town. There had been a feeble attempt on the part of the male members to introduce polygamy, but the women so rudely handled the intruders on their domestic peace, that the men surrendered unconditionally, and now the single broom-stick reigns supreme. No woman has presumed to dispute the sway of a rightful wife since the last audacious hussy was mounted on a rail, and having been carried by these Amazons down to the meadows, was there dumped and left to find her own way out of the neighborhood.
A kind old Welsh couple took us into their little adobe hut of two rooms, giving us the best. There were holes in the roof, the sides, and the floor, thus affording plenty of ventilalion without windows. Mrs. Price told us heart-rending tales of the poverty they had endured before they were now so comfortably situated. Her husband had been superintendent of a colliery in Wales, with a good salary, which he had abandoned for the sake of his religion. "I've often wondered," remarked the thoughtful old woman, "why we couldn't have been Mormons in Wales as well as here, and had some comfort in life besides what we get in religion. They talk about coming to these holy mountains -- well, and aren't there mountains there too, and don't they belong to the Lord just as much?" She did not see the advantages of martyrdom. She had experienced it enough not to hanker after more, and she was the first emigrant we had found in all Utah who was willing candidly to confess that she was sorry she had come, and would now prefer to be living in her old home.
In the morning we rode up to the principal coal mine in the caijon, three miles behind the village. The president of the company, General Williamson; the secretary, Mr. Lynch; the treasurer, Mr. Moore; and the superintendent, Mr. Davis, were all living together in a comfortable log cabin, serving them for sleeping, cooking meals, store-room, offices of their various departments, and other general purposes.
They received us very politely, and Mr. Davis escorted us further up the canyon to the place where the works are in active progress, explaining all matters of interest by the way.
These coal mines, destined to exert a powerful interest on the prosperity of the Territory, if anticipations are realized, were discovered nineteen years ago by Price and Reese, two laboring men. The coal soon came into common use for the purposes of smitheries. Very good coke was made long ago, and carried by tedious muleback and wagon journeys to Salt Lake. This was discontinued when the Union Pacific Railroad, being completed, was able to deliver coke from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at a less price than it could be afforded from this comparatively
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 619
near locality. Coke is now thus placed at Sandy for $33 per ton.
Fifty miles of railroad having been already completed in the direction of San Pete, and the wagon roads having been much improved, contracts have been recently made to deliver the San Pete coke of an equal quality at Sandy for $26. Here there is a saving of $7 per ton in the most important element of bullion production, next to the mining itself. When the Utah Southern is finished to Nephi, and the narrow gauge road of twenty-five miles to connect San Pete valley with this terminus is constructed, coke can be placed at Sandy for $15 per ton, and then the low grade silver mines will all become productive.
These coal mines were first opened on a large scale in August, 1874. In the last week in October, 210 tons were taken out. As they are still further developed, it is calculated that by January next they will yield 100 tons daily, and within the year Mr. Evans is confident that 5,000 tons per day can be produced, should there by any possibility be such an enormous demand. The veins are distinctly traced for seven and three-quarters miles. Where we saw it it was a solid stratum of five feet and eight inches, enclosed in fiat limestone walls, and running into the mountain at a pitch of twenty degrees. Along this incline they have run a shaft two hundred and fifty feet, and from various points have drifted tunnels of from four hundred and fifty to six hundred feet. Sixty men are now employed at the works. The actual cost of mining is $2.50 per ton, and it is sold at $4 on the dump. The coke is made at the month of the canyon, and the full cost of it there turned out is $4 per ton. It cannot probably be made for less in Pennsylvania.
Sandy is little more than one hundred miles from San Pete. Pittsburgh is distant somewhat more than two thousand miles. Then if the silver mines are worked advantageously with their ore smelted by coke brought from such a distance, what an impetus will be given them when coke and coal of equal quality to that brought from the East can be obtained by railroad from mines only one hundred miles away.
X.WE left the hospitable mud thatch of Mr. Price at Wales on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Sabbath it might more appropriately be termed, for all animate and inanimate nature seemed to be at rest. The slow pace of our lazy ponies was so near to a standstill that so far as using them is considered we could not be accused of breaking the commandment, for they certainly did no work.
As for ourselves, we did not "sit under" any preacher, but on our saddles we sat under the smiles of the great Creator who made such days as this for the enjoyment of his creatures.
Descending the bench sloping from the western mountains, the little villages of Mount Pleasant, Spring City, Maroni, and Ephraim were in full view under the mountains on the eastern side of the valley,their green orchards starting up like oases in the sage-brush desert. Only seven years since they were all abandoned, when the Indians ravaged the valleys of San Pete, Sevier, and the surrounding country. Their present condition evinces the energy the settlers have displayed in rebuilding their homes. With a prudent foresight of future possible troubles from the same quarter, they have taken care in every town to erect substantial stone forts. These are not unlike many old European fortresses of the middle ages, being provided with loopholes for rifle shooting, as those were for the use of bows and arrows. This is quite sufficient, as the Indians are unprovided with artillery. Some of them have been furnished, by greedy and unscrupulous traders with the best Henry rifles. We occasionally meet bands of Indians armed in this way and belted with metal cartridges.
620 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
These fellows, although now peaceable perforce, carry in their devilish faces the inclination to pull the triggers of their fancy weapons whenever they can do so with impunity. Most of them, however, are but rudely armed, some still carrying old flint locks, and not a few relying upon their original bows and arrows. But the same disposition is left in them all to use whatever will serve the purpose of getting a white man's scalp.
It was but twelve miles' travel from Wales to Ephraim, the most southern town of importance in San Pete. As we came down from the western bench we passed over three miles of river bottom watered by the San Pete, a narrow, sluggish stream that is tapped by irrigating ditches several miles above. The villages on the benches are watered, and their gardens made productive, by the torrents from the canyons, while the farming lands that produce grain at the rate of forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and other crops in like abundance, are spread over the rich bottoms of the meadows.
The cattle either find pasturage on the benches and in the canyons or are herded on the low lands. Ephraim contains about 1,700 inhabitants. As we entered it on this quiet Sunday evening, it would have seemed like a city of the dead had it not been too beautiful for such a melancholy idea.
The Mormons believe in spirits of the air. These might have been dwelling here unseen. They could not have had a more heavenly home on earth. Lovely as were the many villages we had seen, this last one, with its neat cottages, and streets shaded by long lines of trees, with not a sound to break the stillness of the air but that of the running roadside streams, and the setting sun gilding the snowy mountains in its background, leaves in our memory a picture that will not fade when many of the others pass away in this ever-changing panorama.
At last the herd boys came driving in their cows, and the blowing of their horns, the tinkling of the bells, and the lowing of the cattle awakened the little town from its dreamy repose. A few people came out from their cottages and leaned listlessly over the fences. We asked of one the direction to the hotel, and were there kindly received by the landlord, who with his wife did every thing in their power to make us comfortable.
Ephraim is almost entirely settled by Danes. In the evening we attended the "meeting" in a large, tastefully built church. It stands in the centre of the stone-built fort, presenting a formidable appearance, surrounded by walls and bastions. The preaching might have been in Danish in so far as it conveyed any instruction to us. Few of the speakers had pure English at command, but they all seemed to comprehend each other with the same accustomed facility with which we understand "Pigeon English" in China. The Church does not encourage the countenance of old national habits or language in Utah. Therefore the new comers are requested to speak in English as best they can.
Now and then we could make out a little of the discourse. In descanting upon the "United Order" which Brigham Young is laboring to introduce, one of the German brethren observed, "Yen de Presdent tell vat he tinks am richt, I vas alvays know das ist richt; who vas ever know him vas tell lie? If angel vas coom down from himmel and vas say someting dif'frent, I moost believe der angel vas lie. Cause vy? Yasn't ter duyvil fix himself up like angel mit shnake's face and coom 'to ter garden mit Adam and Eve and tell 'em lies? Brigham Young is ter great prophet. I don't believe vat all de priests in de voorld say agin him. He is yoost like Lijah yen he shtand oop agin der fier hoonderd und fimfsig prophets von Baal, and beat dem all."
On the next day I had a pleasant talk with Bishop Peterson. He is the "husband of one wife" and several more. He looked upon polygamy as a hardship, but a duty, expressing not only a perfect willingness but a
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 621
wish that the question might be fairly tried by the supreme court. If the law of 1862 and the Poland bill are declared to be constitutional he will cheerfully refrain from being marrried any more. In fact he would be glad of an excuse for not complying any longer with revealed orders, when the orders of the Government, legally enforced, oppose them.
One of the Mormon theories being that the air is full of disembodied spirits in want of earthly habitations in which to do penance for their sins, in order to obtain salvation our good friend has hitherto considered it his duty to "provide tabernacles" for them to enter in. He who provides the greater number of tabernacles is instrumental in saving the greatest number of distressed spirits, and is accordingly a benefactor to the spirit world, deserving of the highest exaltation.
That is a man's excuse for polygamy.
The woman, being likewise engaged in the propagation of tabernacles, gains for herself also exaltations in proportion to the tabernacles produced. This glorious hope of the future reconciles her to the humiliation of her condition, to the mere participation of her husband's affection, to a small share in his property, to jealousy, heart-burnings, domestic quarrels, and to all the unmentionable miseries of this damnable system. It is true that Brigham Young urges it only upon those men who think that they are able to support more than one family, and upon those women only who think that they will be happy in the relation. But I have not yet seen one man who has become richer by polygamy, while I have met hundreds who were impoverished by it, nor in all the families we have visited in our extended tour, where the subject is always broached by the Mormon women themselves, have there been found but three individuals among them who claimed to be happy.
Bishop Peterson gave us an interesting narrative of the Indian raids and the consequent sufferings of the settlers who, unable to defend themselves, have sought shelter in the rocky fastnesses of the mountains. The United States Government afforded them not the slightest aid. The Bishop observed, with no more bitterness than was warranted by the fact, that the only troops that had been sent to Utah came as enemies, not as friends to the Mormons. He thought that it was unreasonable in the Government to exercise control over their social relations, while it treated them as a separate and distinct people by leaving them to fight their own battles.
We were taken into the large co-operative store, and told with pride of the great dividend of sixty per cent. declared last year. This seems enormous, but it is really nothing more than the taking out of one pocket and putting into the other. Almost every purchaser is a stockholder. If he gets sixty per cent, dividends -- always, by-the-by, payable in goods -- it is only because he pays sixty per cent. too much for all that he buys. The system differs from the effects of a high tariff, inasmuch as the people who pay the high duties that make high prices do not receive again the profits. These go into the pockets of monopolists. The Utah farmer pays himself back. The people of the United States pay manufacturing corporations. That is all the difference.
XI.IN a succeeding chapter will be found a relation of the experiences of travel from the little town whence my last communication was written to the southern point of our journey. Among the places worthy of remembrance on the route, Richfield, the county town of Sevier valley, is most prominent. The valley, fifty miles long, watered by the river of the same name, is easily irrigated, and although it has not been at all under cultivation until very recently, has abundant promise for the future.
This town is the residence of Joseph
622 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
A. Young, a favorite son of the prophet. He is a leader of the new "United Order," and is said to have invested all his property in that communistic scheme. We happened to be in Richfield, as in Gunnison, at the same time with Brigham Young and his party of about twenty persons, who were on their way to "Dixie," as the extreme south of Utah is termed.
The imperial crowd being entitled to the best hospitalities of the people, unbelieving Gentiles could expect but poor accommodations unless they chose to attach themselves to the suite. Brigham himself was very ill, making no public appearances on the route, and although we were acquainted with several of the elders who accompanied him, we kept aloof from their society, as their journey was a sort of religious procession of praying and preaching in which we were not especially interested.
When notice is given that he is expected in a settlement on his line of march, a cavalcade goes out to meet him and when he leaves he is escorted in the same way until he is met by other horsemen. The poor old gentleman can only look from a window of his carriage and thank them with a silent blessing. It is perhaps his last journey. Twenty-seven years ago, in his full vigor of mind and body, he made his entrance through the wild Emigration canyon in what is now the fruitful United States Territory of Utah.
Then it was a Mexican desert, uninhabited, save by roving savages, unproductive of a blade of wheat or a single garden vegetable or fruit. Now he leaves the city whose foundations he then laid. More than a hundred miles north of it the country is already thickly peopled, and as he travels through these valleys three hundred miles to the south, he beholds thousands of acres tl~at have just yielded a bountiful harvest, thousands of cattle and sheep grazing upon them, and in the hills, orchards, and gardens, lovely villagcs, and above all tens of thousands of happy, industrious people settled in these towns and on their farms, every one of whom is indebted to his energy and perseverance.
I cannot yet comprehend his character. I cannot believe that a man of his astuteness could have been totally led away by the delusions of Joseph Smith, nor can I think that one of his unswerving fidelity to the religion he has embraced, maintained, and successfully propagated is a consummate hypocrite. At all events I am persuaded that he is now convinced of his own sincerity. He looks upon the end of his labors as justifying the means taken to achieve the grand result.
Utah is not the only portion of the country that has felt his influence. Its early settlement made the long tramp of the California pioneers more endurable, and advanced the building of the Pacific railroads many years. The pilgrims across the desert here found the refreshments they so much needed, and when the railroad approached this region the able-bodied men turned out en masse to aid in its construction.
There have been committed in the early years of the settlement by the Mormons, single murders rivalling in atrocity those now perpetrated in the mining camps with horrible frequency by Gentiles; but to reproach the Mormons as a people with wholesale deeds as premeditated, or to accuse Brigham Young of instigating them, are slanders worthy only of those who invent them and sustain them for base political ends.
The Mountain Meadow massacre, a crime unparalleled in barbarity by either Mormon or Gentile, furnishes the chief ground of these accusations. I have made inquiries in every direction regarding this celebrated, most wretched affair, and am thoroughly convinced that the emigrants themselves excited the animosity of the Indians, who were joined by white men of notoriously bad character. The emigrants were butchered from motives
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 623
of revenge and plunder. Brigham Young and the Mormon Church had no more concern in its perpetration than the Pope of Rome or the Catholic Church has in any murder committed by men who acknowledge their authority. This is simple justice to Brigham Young. *
The notorious butcher, John D. Lee, who commanded the other murderers on that occasion, has lately been arrested by the United States Marshal, and is now awaiting his trial. I have not conversed with a Mormon who is not rejoiced at his capture. Secretly as the expedition to surprise him was planned, I know personally that Brigham Young was aware of it, and if he had chosen to do so, could have given Lee abundant notice in time for him to make his escape, and I can state from positive information, coming from a Gentile to me, that Brigham expressed himself much pleased with the arrest, because the guilty would be punished and the innocent vindicated.
The whole community will watch the trial of John D. Lee with intense interest. If, after all the professions which Brigham has made of his innocence, he shall be proved to be the instigator of those atrocious murders, it will be the downfall of his power and of his religion. With all their faith and the fanaticism, the Mormon people have enough of reason left in them to lead them to serious reflections if that should be the result. The truth will soon be elicited, and it will be seen if I am right or wrong in my convictions,
The preaching of "blood atonement" as a doctrine of religion in former years will forever stand out against Brigham Young, although he has long since discontinued its advocacy. His maintenance of the polygamic practice at the present day is a disgrace to his name, but it is contemptibly mean and unmanly to vilify him for crimes of which he is not guilty and to refuse him the credit due for the good that he has accomplished.
His conscience, unless it is perverted by fanaticism, may mar the satisfacation with which he views the accomplishment of his work. Still, it will not be wonderful if he draws the ballance greatly in his own favor. Like the patriarchs whom he has sought to imitate, whose good deeds were many and whose misdeeds were few, hc will be ready to depart in peace and to be gathered to his fathers now that his eyes have seen the "salvation of the Lord."
President George A. Smith, next in council to Brigham Young himself, accompanied him on this journey. Mr. Smith is my favorite apostle. We have often heard him preach at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake. His views are more liberal than those advocated by many of his coreligionists, and his plain, practical teachings are instructive to Gentiles as well as to Mormons. He is fifty-seven years of age, of tall, portly figure, with a face of infinite jollity and expressive humor. This crops out so frequently that the audience always expects to be entertained when "Brother George A." holds forth.
His private character is without reproach, excepting on the score of polygamy. I do not believe all we hear of grasping propensities of the heads of the Church, for on visiting Mr. Smith at his residence in the city, we found him living in the simplest manner consistent with ordinary comfort, and I do not know a single one of the apostles, elders, or bishops not engaged in some lucrative business of his own, who maintains a style above that of a laboring mechanic.
Mr. Smith is the historian of Utah. He came out originally with Brigham Young, and his personal experiences, united with the material he has so diligently collected from other sources, would make volumes of exceeding interest and entertainment. On the occasion of this visit to Richfield we attended the crowded meeting and listened to the discourses of Mr. Smith and several others.
* The trial of Lee, concluded since this opinion was expressed, has fully confirmed it, the innocence of Brigham Young having been established.
624 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
Much stress was laid upon the new "United Order" scheme of Brigham Young, and many plausible arguments adduced in its favor. Mr. Smith told us of his adventures thirty years ago, when he explored the south of Utah, before the idea of a settlement in this region was seriously entertained; of his camping out when the mercury stood 19 deg. below zero; how an Indian and a lonely trapper stole his mule; of the lesson he then got "never to trust a mule, an Indian, or an old bachelor;" how after the settlement was made at Salt Lake he preceded Fremont three years in the exploration of this valley of San Pete; how his party was snowed up for a whole winter in the neighboring mountains, and how under difficulties and dangers he had travelled the whole Territory from north to south, three or four times a year, for several years, to get an accurate knowledge of its topography.
Then he gave the people some very good advice: "Make the most of materials at hand, without procuring luxuries from abroad. Skin every dog or cat that dies or is killed. If that don't give you leather enough for shoes besides what you get from cattle, make the soles of wood; wooden soles are preventatives of rheumatism. They are better than the sponge soles you import from the East. Raise your own sheep. Manufacture your own wool. Make your women useful as well as ornamental. Work outside, and they will be encouraged to work inside. You have got everything you want right here at home -- the best of land, the best of cattle, the best of religions, the best of everything. Thank God for his continual mercies. Pray to Him morning and evening, and at every meal. When the railroad is completed you can have some luxuries you cannot now procure, and you can pay for them in the abundant excess of your own productions. Pay up your tithing like good Latter-Day Saints; not a particle of it shall be misappropriated. We want more temples for the Lord, and whatever excess there is shall go to bringing people from all parts of the earth to participate with you in your blessings. Never get into debt. When you take up land pay for it as soon as you can, whether obliged to do so or not; for I have always noticed that people get into debt when they are flush and have to pay up when money is scarce. To those of you who were so unfortunate as to have come to this country with your clothes on I would say, Get clothed at once with all the rights of an American citizen. You have a judge in this district who is a just and honorable man, and who does not consider himself a missionary sent here expressly to convert you. If you lived in Salt Lake City I would tell you to see Judge MeKean and his whole "ring" in perdition before taking the false oath he seeks to impose. If you are drawn on a jury don't shirk your duty. Don't lie before God or man. If a man is indicted for polygamy entered into since the law of 1862, and it is proved, convict him accordingly. We know that law is unconstitutional, and we can beat them in their own courts. Don't be nervous about it. Take a little valerian tea and put your trust in God. Everything will come out all right. Show to the world that you are a quiet, law-abiding people. We have stood a good deal, and we can stand it to the end. May every blessing attend you. I ask it of the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
We have listened to worse sermons than this.
On the fourth day of September the whole community of Utah was saddened by the death of this excellent man. His history is almost as remarkable as that of Brigham Young. Indeed, he was the right hand of the head of the Church. He most sincerely believed in the inspiration of his cousin Joseph Smith, and from the date of his baptism into the Church of the Latter-Day Saints in 1832, he devoted unselfishly every day of his life to its interests.
He seemed to entertain the same
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ideas of polygamy' which, in a letter to me, he attributed to the founder of the sect. He says: "He was a rigidly moral, virtuous, and pure man, and nothing but a sense of the awful responsibility of disobeying the Almighty caused him to teach or practice a principle which increased manifold the responsibilities and burdens of men." A "Gentile" finds it hard to believe that duty is the motive to influence a man in that direction. Nevertheless, knowing the honesty of the writer, I can credit it in his case at least. Bathsheba was certainly not the first wife of the ancient polygamist, but Bathsheba was the first of his modern imitator; and he died in the arms of this, the only woman whom he styled his "wife." The simplicity of the Mormon apostle is illustrated in the directions given for his burial:
I wish to be buried in a coffin much larger than my natural size. The expenses of an unostentatious funeral to be paid out of my individed estate; the slab which designates my resting place shall not cost over one hundred dollars.
A coffin made of red pine or other mountain wood, plain but well made, large enough to give ample room for the body to swell, with no unnecessary ornaments about it, and three half-inch holes bored in the bottom, will be sufficient.
At the funeral I should like to have either the 15th chapter of 1st corinthians, or the vision in the Book of covenants, or an appropriate extract from the Book of Mormon read. A few remarks by the bishop of the ward, or some of the elders, exhorting the audience to faith and good works, such as would be calculated to impress my children and friends with the importance of keeping the commandments of God, and such as would extend comfort and consolation to the minds of the living, would be in accordance with my wishes. Let those who attend the funeral do so in clean attire, such as they would wear to meeting on other occasions.
Mr. Smith combined with his employment of preacher and teacher the active habits of an explorer. The country is as much indebted to him as to Fremont for tracing out passes for the transcontinental railroads. The records of his surveys are treasured in the public library of Salt Lake City. We were indebted to him for much valuable information of a secular kind, as well as for an insight of the workings of the Church. The subjoined hastily written letter, in reply to a note addressed him asking for some of his personal experiences in Southern Utah, may be quoted as illustrating the energy displayed by himself and his comrades. The school-room and school library of the pioneer schoolmaster teach us how education may be obtained under difficulties:
ST. GEORGE, WASHINGTON Co., UTAH,
Nov. 14, 1874.
Dear Sir: Your letter from Cove Fork of November 7 has been received. I should take much pleasure in giving you the desired information concerning the settlements in the southern country, with the history of which I have been familiar from the beginning, were it not thai my time is so much occupied with other duties as to render it impossible.
I camped with my party In Cove on the 4th of January, 1851. We had six hundred head of animals, and it was with great difficulty that we could get water enough from the stream and springs to water them. We arrived on the site now occupied by Parowan on the 18th. It cost us five hundred days' work to make a road up Centre Creek canyon to get timber suitable for building. Our party consisted of one hundred and eighteen men, thirty of whom had their families with them. The fort we erected was fifty-six rods square. A blockhouse used for meetings and schools formed a bastion to cover two of the walls. A five-cornered log building formed a bastion for the other two walls, and contained a piece of artillery. Both bastions were loopholed for musketry. A corral enclosing four acres, in the centre of the fort, protected our stock. It is now the public square of Parowan. Our nearest neighbors north were at Manti and Payson, on the south, five hundred and seventeen miles. In about five months most of the men without families returned home, leaving the residue, with a few accessions, to occupy the fort.
I ploughed the first ground and sowed the first wheat; built the first saw and grist mill -- two hundred and twenty miles from any other. I taught the first school opened In the settlement; and some of my scholars are now the principal men in the county. My first grammer class of eighteen had only one book -- a copy of Kirkham's grammar -- the instrnction being given by lectures and repetition. Our school-room was out of doors by an immense fire of dry cedar and pinion pine; around which we spent the evenings of the entire winter.
Walker, the Ute Indian chief, who had for half a generation been the terror of the entire California frontier, came to our camp with his warriors, and we were very much pleased to find he was disposed to be friendiy. He was mourning over the bad luck he had had on his last raid for stealing horses, which he said San Pitch, his brother, had made a failure of; although he was lucky In stealing one thousand head of horses at one haul, he got sleepy, and the Spaniards overtook him and got back eight hundred of them. I persuaded Walker to quit that business, as the Americans had got possession of California, and they would surely scalp him if he continued it. Walker and
626 THROUGH UTAH. [NOVEMBER,
his Indians have never made a raid on California since, though they had made an annual raid for twenty-five years previous. Beaver. county was settled in 1856. I was there wheu the first house was erected, and we had a grand feast on a black-tailed deer which we had been fortunate enough to kilL The house was brought from Parowan.
I was also present with Anson Call and thirty families, who located in Millard county in the fall of 1851. This settlement for about five years was the nearest neighbor to Iron county, distant about one hundred miles, the way the roads then ran.
We used to accommodate one another by lend-lug soap, kettles, ploughs, wagons, etc., and go. lug from one settlement to the other, to get blacksmithing done and grain ground. What rendered it most Inconvenient, we were obliged to travel in parties sufficiently large to protect ourselves from wild Indians.
Washington county was first settled In 1855, by Jacob Hamblin. For many years the settlers went to Parowan to mill, between eighty and ninety miles over an almost Impassable road. It is a source of wonder to a stranger where the men lived who have done the work on the roads in this and Kane counties. It seems as if nothing but a determination to enjoy religious freedom could induce peoole to improve such a country as this.
This county contains ten settlements, of which St. George is the principal. Kane county has twelve settlements. Toquerville is the county seat. Dairying, stock raising, sheep breeding, and fruit raising, are the principal industries of Washington and Kane counties. Cotton Is grown to a limited extent, and does much to supply home consumption. There Is a cotton and woollen mill in successful operation at Washington. The Tabernacle at St. George Is built of red sandstone, dressed, and is the first building for public worship in Utah Territory. In this city there are five commodious school-houses, in which large schools are taught. The walls of the St. George Temple, now being erected, are thirty feet high. Grain crops throughout the southern districts have been light this season, but fruit crops abundant. Bee culture is successfully carried on, the bees having been originally imported from the east and California. During aportion of the summer, July, August, and September, the heat is intense, the thermometer often ranging up to 110 deg. and 114 deg. Fahrenheit in the shade. The climate during the balance of the year, with some exceptions, is delightful.
I am told that there are no drinking saloons in either Washington or Kane counties. Home-made wine is abundant, but I see no signs of its being used immoderately.
I had anticipated meeting you here, and regret your return without seeing the wild country we inhabit, and the enterprising and industrious people who live in it. Mrs. Smith joins me in regards to you and yours, and I remain,
GEORGE A. SMITH.
The latter part of this chapter, including the letter just quoted, has been, introduced since the news of President Smith's death was received. His prominent position in the Mormon Church offers a sufficient excuse for the extended personal notice. Every right-minded man entertains a respect for sincerity of belief even in those from whom he differs in many questions of doctrine and practice. No one can fail to appreciate the practical character of this old pioneer of religion for his sect, of civilization for his countrymen at large. The good that he has done will live after him in the grateful memories of many others besides those for whose interest his life was especially devoted.
I SHALL save the labor of writing, and contribute more to the pleasure of the ladies who enjoy the perusal of "The Galaxy" at their comfortable firesides, by furnishing them with a copy of my wife's familiar letter to her daughter, written after our arrival at Cove Fort. They will be able to form an idea of the way that travelling in Southern Utah strikes the female mind by actual experience given.
It is fair to say that these inconveniences were greater than any we had previously experienced, and that they have been submitted to with patience and fortitude in a retrospective view of the enjoyment afforded by the journey.
COVE FORT, November 9.
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I must reserve it for oral description. Suffice it to say I did breakfast on tea, eggs, and bread and butter, while trying to be oblivious of the surroundings.
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at the sides; the wind, coming in great gusts, would raise it, frozen and stiff as it was, and shake it until it seemed sometimes as if we should be carried off in the whirlwind.
XIII.I DOUBT not that the writer, for the occasion, in depicting her adventures, happily ending in Cove Fort, has convinced those of her sex who may propose to follow her in travelling through Utah, that there are some inconveniences and possible dangers in the way.
There are truly many annoyances quite unavoidable on a journey like this, but these as well as the enjoyable incidents work up admirably into winter drawing-room tales. Even the actual perils overcome are looked upon then as pleasurable memories of the past. In this case, leaving out of the account the feminine trials, which must have drawn sympathy from feminine hearts, there was not a little in the passage through the canyon in the wild storm and the darkness of the night that made the danger far from imaginary.
With an inexperienced guide, a pair of broken-down horses, a treacherous road covered with snow, alternate gusts of snow, hail, and rain, the freezing of the garments until they became stiff as boards, no habitation within many miles -- these were circumstances in which no lady would care to be placed for the purpose of enjoying scenery.
For my own part, as I ranged along ahead on horseback, hoping to discover some place where we might find shelter, the pelting hail blinding my eyes, I had little leisure, inclination, or opportunity to gaze about at the wonders of this grand defile. In one instance only, and that lasting but a moment, as I rode upon the narrow track by the side of the torrents where the chasm at most was fifty feet wide, did the storm relent so that I could look aloft two thousand feet, where the overhanging cliffs came so closely together that the leaden sky made but a thin strip overhead. We could imagine how beautiful and grand all this must be on a clear day of sunshine, but never could it be so impressive as in a night of fierce tempest like this.
Fort Cove was built by the Mormons seven years ago, for a place of refuge, when the Indians were committing their depredations. Now it was a welcome refuge for us. A family is maintained here for the purpose of affording entertainment to travellers, many of whom pass this way on their road to the south and to Nevada. We paid little attention to its massive walls and battlements when we arrived, but the blaze sent out by the cheerful fire upon our dark surroundings, as the door was thrown open, warmed our hearts with gratitude to those who had provided this asylum.
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 793
The idea of building the fort and afterward devoting it to its present purpose originated with Brigham Young. As we took possession of the room he had vacated in the morning, we prayed the good Lord to forgive him his sins and to put this good work down to his credit in account.
In the morning we took a survey of the fortress. It stands at the outlet of the Sevier pass, through which we had travelled on the previous night. There is a lofty background of mountains in the east, an extinct volcano on the south; on the north and the west are spread out the extensive plains of Dog valley, the Beaver range looming up twenty-five miles beyond, yet seemingly less than half that distance, as it is brought so near by the effect of the high atmosphere, for the fort, although on comparatively low ground, is 7,500 feet above the level of the sea. The walls are of solid limestone, eighteen feet high and one hundred feet each side of its square. It is not intended for a defence against artillery, but even opposed to a moderate cannonading it would stand for a long time.
The Indian outbreaks that have three times within the last seven years partially desolated the neighboring settlements, may not improbably recur, and Fort Cove may revert to its original use. The Mormons, who are left to defend themselves from the savages, have ever adopted a conciliatory policy. They treat them kindly, always supplying them with food when they come as beggars, for they believe that it is "cheaper to feed them than to fight them." Nevertheless the ferocity of their untamable nature is liable to crop out at any moment. Should one of them be killed in a quarrel, or even accidentally, a general raid on the peaceful farmers will be likely to ensue, and murder, rape, and arson will follow in its train. It is well that this place of refuge remains, to which men, women, and children may flee from the wrath to come.
Every attempt to civilize the Indians has proved to be a failure. Still they are persevered in against all hope. There are several reservations allotted to them in this neighborhood, but they will not remain upon them. Forty miles east lies the beautiful Grass valley, watered by the Sevier river, containing excellent land for cultivation and stock raising.
Here the Mormons have tried to domesticate a few of the Utes. Last year they began the experiment mildly by breaking up the land and planting the wheat for them, only requiring the lazy aborigines to take off their own crops. Unfortunately an early frost killed the wheat. The Indians attributed this to the Divine displeasure at their abandonment of their primitive habits, and consequently very few of the half-tamed creatures will be induced to try it again.
Angutseeds -- Red Ant -- is the chief of this tribe of Utes. He is a friend of the whites, and possesses considerable influence not only over his immediate dependents, but with the other tribes in southern Utah. This instance will show how a great war may arise from a trifling provocation. Nine or ten years ago a chief, the notorious Black Hawk, went to a person at St. Peters, with whom some flour had been left for him by Kinney, the Indian agent. The man was drunk, and whipped Black Hawk. The chief took revenge by murdering a herdsman. The herdsman's friends killed another Indian, and these murders originated a war which lasted three years and cost $1,500,000 and numerous lives.
Red Ant did all in his power to restrain the others, but was in this case unsuccessful. In several other instances he has prevented quarrels which might have had equally fatal results. Tamaritz -- White Horse chief, who sometimes calls himself Chenowicket -- saved by Almighty power -- is another celebrity among the Utes, with whom the settlers are now on friendly terms.
"Ah," said the Bishop, "who gave me many Indian incidents," we have
794 THROUGH UTAH. [DECEMBER,
had a hard time in keeping peace as well as in fighting these Labanites, but our greatest enemies have been the white men, for they have always been the aggressors. We ask no aid from the Government, only this -- let it keep its agents away."
Formerly the Moquis tribe was powerful in these regions. They had a civilization of their own, living somewhat stationary in towns. At Richfield some ruins of their dwellings were pointed out to us, and we picked up some specimens of their crockery, which proved that they were advanced in manufacturing skill far beyond the Indians of the present day. Two or three hundred years ago, after many bloody battles, they were finally driven beyond the Colorado by the victorious Utes.
The Navajos still remaining in Utah, like all the other tribes nomadic in their habits, are wonderfully proficient in weaving cloth. We purchased some of their blankets, beautifully woven in variegated colors and perfectly impervious to water. The mills of Manchester or Lowell. have never produced anything of the kind that can equal them.
Beaver lies twenty-five miles south of Fort Cove. We had intended to continue our tour to that town, having travelled already two hundred and forty miles in a southerly direction from Salt Lake. But the shocking condition of the roads, and the prospects of more inclement weather, were considerations inducing us to return from this point.
The homeward route led us over an entirely different ground. Coming down we had passed through the valleys of Salt Lake, Utah, Juab, to Nephi. Thence diverging somewhat to the east, we had passed up Salt Lake canyon, traversed the valleys of San Pete and Sevier, coming out through the Wild Clear Creek canyon. We now returned by way of the valleys on the west of the ranges, which had been upon our right.
First our route lay through Dog valley and then through Millard valley to Fillmore. Twenty-five miles from Cove Fort are the two adjoining nominally Indian settlements of Corn Creek and Kanosh. In the former we made a short stay for dinner at the house of a white woman. Our landlady said that the Indians were a poor shiftless set. As this was told by a woman who possessed the qualities of poverty and shiftlessness in an extraordinary degree, we were led to infer that the domestic Indian was even less neat and orderly in his habits.
Kanosh is supposed to be the dwelling place of the chief of that name. Here he owns an adobe hut, where he keeps a squaw, while he ranges the mountains and valleys in an independent way, on his own account. Considering that he is alive, he comes near to being a good Indian. Phil Sheridan says that the only really good Indian is a dead Indian, and upon the whole I think Phil is generally correct in his estimate of their moral character.
Kanosh is a devout Mormon. He preaches to his tribe to love God, and not to drink whiskey, or tea and coffee: to love God because he is good, to hate whiskey because it is bad, and to abstain from tea and coffee because they are dear. Not a bad Indian that, General Phil, after all!
Fillmore was once the seat of the territorial government. It is a pretty village of two thousand inhabitants. The town and the county of Millard, of which it is the capital, were both named in honor of the President who was in office at the time of their settlement. Fillmore is about forty miles north of Fort Cove. The road approaching it from the south is dreary, and possesses no attractions beyond those of the sublime mountains that ever wall the sides of our way. An old volcano looms up in the west. It has been an active operator in its day. Immense blocks of lava are strewn for many miles over the plain, and from the mountain side there runs far to the north a black wall, once a stream of fire. Between this and the eastern
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 795
mountains stands the town, watered by a pleasant canyon stream.
XIV.THERE is a good hotel at Fillmore. That was its chief attraction for us. Refreshed by its excellent larder, we pursued our way on the next morning, making a short day's journey of twenty-eight miles, to Scipio. This is a wretched little hamlet, looking more wretched still after passing through Holden, an American settlement, where the houses were all of frame or brick, and the appearance of the people emphatically what is called "well-to-do."
Scipio, if he is an uneasy spirit, wandering about in the hope that some polygamist will provide him with a "tabernacle," must wonder why his name was disgraced by attaching it to this little collection of Danish hovels. It is better to be a spirit of the air than to live in any tabernacle here.
The situation is as charming as can be imagined. In the centre of a green meadow, aptly called Round valley, it is closely circled by a range of high mountains, a tiara of snow now crowning their summits, while summer still reigns below. We were almost inclined to camp in the streets of the village, but the uncertainty of the weather obliged us to seek lodgings under some roof.
The Bishop was not at home, and the Bishopess No. 1 was not able to accommodate us, as she had a large family of children requiring all her room. She said that she knew of no other place where we could find shelter. Here was an illustration of polygamic jealousy, for we afterward discovered that Bishopess No. 2 had one of the best houses in the village, small, it is true, but tolerably comfortable.
This more amiable young woman gave us a room, and with her sister joined us in a game of cards. Occasionally the poor little Bishopess would start at any noise from the outside, with evident fear that the virago was coming in upon us. It is not unlikely that when their joint head came home she was made to suffer for her hospitality to unbelieving Gentiles.
On the following day we went on through Juab valley, stopping at a small village called Chicken creek. Here a young gentleman, who was tending sheep, informed us that he came from "Ioway" two years ago. "Father," he said, "told us all along the road that we was coming to Zion. Well, this is the cussedest old Zion I ever want to see. I'd rather have a foot of ground in Ioway than all these here mountings of the Lord, and I guess the Lord would too if he had ever seen Ioway!" After riding forty miles from Scipio we reached Nephi in the evening.
In the morning we turned from the main road with the purpose of visiting the Tintec valley and mining camps. There is scarcely a mountain in Utah where silver may not be found. There are mines of low grade ore in the immediate vicinity of Nephi on Mt. Nebo. These will not yield any profit until fuel becomes cheaper, but at some future day their value will be assured. The Tintec mines being of a higher grade, and mostly producing milling ore, are not so dependent upon the cost of coal and coke.
We have been rather unfortunate in being misguided on more than one occasion. To-day a young man was also going on horseback to Tintec. He knew the trail perfectly. He had driven cattle across frequently. It was eighteen miles to the Miller and Shoebridge mills. He knew it. No, he did not.
We started under favorable circumstances, for it was a glorious day. Crossing the divide, we looked back through the narrow vista formed by the precipitous cliffs, upon the lofty snow-clad summit of Mt. Nebo glittering in the morning sunshine, and then descended into a valley, between which and Tintec there is an intermediate range. Had the intelligence of our guide equaled his professions, we
796 THROUGH UTAH. [DECEMBER,
might have crossed the narrow plain of separation and entered a romantic canyon that would have speedily led us through into the valley beyond. But he chose to follow a wagon track, the course leading far to the south, in order to cross the spur of the mountains. We travelled on over a broad expanse for hours, until this point was reached. Then rounding it, we made our way again to the north.
"I guess well get out of this now and take a short cut across the sagebrush," said Mr. Daniels. Short cut! We wandered on till the sun, having long ago passed his meridian, descended over the western peaks and left us in approaching darkness on a desert waste, where there was no water for ourselves or for our animals, no sign of a habitation, and no hope of any other covering at night than could be found under the threatening clouds. Our intelligent leader had lost his way. He was evidently uncertain if Tintec was in this valley or the valley beyond. We shot a jack rabbit, and proposed soon to camp and to make our supper from this providential supply. Just as we were about to resort to that necessity we fortunately struck the wagon road again. Encouraged with new hope, we pushed our thirsty animals along, and were soon overjoyed at beholding the smoke from the chimneys of the Miller and the Shoebridge mills. Arriving there after this tedious journey of thirty-five miles, we were welcomed, without letters of introduction, by superintendent Lusk and secretary Berkley of the latter establishment.
Captain Lusk is an old sailor, and I felt immediately at home with one of my own profession, from which no one has ever withheld the credit of generous hospitality. We shall always cherish with gratitude the kindness with which he attended to our necessities, providing us with a substantial supper, feeding our horses, and then, as his accommodations were limited, though freely at our disposal, in consideration of my wife's fatigue from her long ride of thirty-five miles, sending her in his buggy six miles further, to Diamond City.
While remaining with these gentlemen for an hour I was shown through their extensive works. In this district of mines, most of which produce milling ore, but some of them ore that requires smelting, there are several mills, the Shoebridge being the most extensive, and three or four smelters. One of them is used for fusing copper, for this metal, as well as silver, is here abundant. The Shoebridge milling works contain fifteen stamps and eight pans. These are capable of working thirty tons per day, and are kept very steadily employed, it is needless to say to advantage, as the charge for milling is twenty-five dollars per ton. The mill cost $100,000, and is a most profitable investment for its owners.
The other mills are the Miller, the Wyoming, the Eureka, and the Copperopolis, the two last not being now in operation. The Copperopolis mine is one of the adventures that have been put on the London market. It is so far away from the oversight of its stockholders that some very questionable financial operations are said to have been performed, with no particular view to their advantage. If it is true that a road costing at most $3,000 is charged in the account of working expenses at $60,000, Englishmen have no occasion to congratulate themselves on these Utah investments.
It is this practice of paying dividends in the wrong direction that has done an injury to the mining prospects of the territory, that honest miners have to contend against. The history of the Emma, Flagstaff, and other mines that have been thus put upon the market, is one that should make the fraudulent operators blush with shame. Many if not all of these mines, if stocked at their true value of $50,000 or $100,000, and economically worked, would pay a handsome interest to their proprietors. Such machinations are not only injurious to the financial standing of Utah, but they reflect a national disgrace upon the country.
1875.] THROUGH UTAH. 797
The yieldings of the Emma mine, for example, have proved that it was never worth more than a few hundred thousand dollars, as a speculation; yet it was stocked in England at $5,000,000, and this scheme, second only to the South Sea swindle of the last century, was engineered by Senators in Washington and by our minister at the court of St. James. The mine paid one dividend of eighteen per cent., as agreed, not from silver taken from its veins, but from a small reserved fund, from the enormous amount for which it was capitalized and sold. The balance, deducting the original cost of the property and the official bribes, found its way to the pockets of the enterprising speculators. Thus they made money for themselves, and ruined the prospects which industrious and prudent men might reasonably entertain of the successful results of their labor and of profits derived from legitimate operations.
XV.DIAMOND CITY, a lucus a non lucendo, as it appeared to us when coming out from the hotel of Mrs. Jones in the morning, is the chief mining camp of Tintec. There are others, Silver City and Eureka, rivalling Diamond City in splendor and architectural magnificence. They are alike in the style of their bar-rooms and in the quality of their "tanglefoot." They all do a good business, and yet they are the most quiet mining camps we have seen.
Perhaps the hard journey of the previous day gave us sounder sleep than we usually enjoy, but certainly we were not disturbed by conventional noises in the streets nor by the shrill music and the loud stamping of the dance-houses. It was several days since a murder had been committed.
The activity about the mines is at present increasing, and the people are too busily employed to have time for quarrelling and prolonged drunkenness. Mayflower, Gold Hill, Shoebridge, Jo Bowers, Sunbeam, Lucky, Black Dragon, Tesora, Eureka Hill, Julian Lane -- these are the names of the principal mines. It is claimed that their ore averages in value $75 per ton at the dump. If ten dollars be assumed as the cost of getting out the ore and hauling it to mill, where it is converted into bullion at twenty-five more, there is a profit of forty dollars on every ton.
But let not the reader be so sanguine as to come immediately to Tintec for the purpose of making his fortune. There are heavy expenses in continual development, great cost of shafts, tunnels, and timbering. Sometimes there is a "pinch," and the vein for many days, perhaps weeks, is nearly lost; and then there are many other contingencies, expected and unexpected, that should enter into the calculations. The forty dollars suffer many subtractions.
Division is the safest mode of arithmetic in mining calculation. You are shown a mine that will, beyond all doubt, allowing for everything, give you forty per cent. annually on your investment. Divide this by two. Result, twenty per cent. To be a little more sure, divide it again. Result, ten per cent. Keep on with your division for still greater security -- for there is nothing like being perfectly safe -- until you get down to zero. Then for fear of any possibility that you may be brought into debt by assessments, inform the gentleman who is urging you to purchase, that you have concluded not to accept his offer. That is the only perfectly safe way of dealing with mines.
This is a rather discouraging view to take, but I present it as an offset to such speculations as the Emma and the Copperopolis. Let not any one be too hopeful, or too much discouraged. There are good mines and bad mines; honest people and dishonest people. Be careful.
There is a strange infatuation about mining. The prospector is ever buoyed up by hope. He digs away at his hole,
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with the pertinacity of a woodchuck, so long as he has funds to purchase his flour and bacon, and a little money to buy powder for blasting. When all his means are expended he goes to work for days wages. If having paid his whiskey bill he has anything left, after a few weeks he goes to his burrowing once more, unless he finds his "indications" were after all not reliable. In that case he prospects again wherever a little yellow ochre encourages him to persevere again, to become poor again, to work for wages again, to commence anew, but never, no, never to be discouraged. Campbell should have made the miner a hero in his "Pleasures of Hope."
Not only does the laboring man engage with untiring assiduity in his work, but the man of means comes here to gain riches, and the rich man comes with the hope of becoming richer still.
At Diamond City we met a gentleman from New York, advanced in years. His whole soul appeared to be centered in mines. Here he stays through the heats of summer and the frosts of winter, daily superintending his workmen, careless of the comforts of life that he might enjoy at home, finding more pleasure in roughing it in this little mining camp, with uncongenial society, than he could realize surrounded by luxury and educated friends.
A company called the Otsego has gone into the business on a large scale. They own about thirty mines of various values in different parts of Utah. All these are under the superintendence of Mr. Beekman.
It seems to me to be a scheme of proportions too large to prove on the whole successful. The profits that emanate from one mine are lost in the development of another; so that the "putting in" more than equals the "taking out," and dividends will always be declared in the future tense. Nevertheless, as Mr. Beekman has politely furnished me with a detailed statement of his mining operations, showing from his standpoint a large margin for profit, it shall be placed before the public at some future time.
We visited the Mayflower and Gold Hill mines, which certainly are rich in the quality and abundance of their ore. The shafts and tunnels, of great depth and length, have developed them in the most scientific manner. They would of themselves yield a fortune independent of all the other property of the company. The ride to them for three miles over a bridle path cut into the almost perpendicular mountain cliffs, affords an extensive view of the Tintec ranges and valleys, embracing the whole of this rich district. The air, keen and invigorating, was as delicious to me as the contemplation of prospective wealth was to my companion. I left him burrowing in his Aladdins cave, and descending to the village, resumed our journey.
Mounting our horses at noon, we kept on the ascent for four miles until reaching the divide, about seven thousand feet above the sea level, constantly looking back upon the great picture of variegated heights and depths in the south and west. But when we had reached the highest ridge, beyond which we had as yet only seen an elevated blue ocean of sky, there was presented to our admiring gaze one of the greatest paintings ever touched by the incomparable hand of nature. A long slope of two thousand feet terminated at the western shores of Utah lake, on which the coloring from the heavens had descended. The plains beyond it were not perceptible, for the snowy Wahsatch mountains seemed to have drawn themselves down to its eastern edge. They were fifty miles away, but the atmosphere had so closed the far and near together that if some great artist had stood beside us, he would have found the splendid immensity brought as it were by the transposing of the lens of a camera down to a size that he could readily transfer to his canvas.
We had progressed but a mile or two on our descent, when ominous
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clouds began to gather on the mountain tops, blackening over their pure snowy crests. Slowly they crept down upon the plain, circling round to our side of the valley and drawing their dark pall over the bright scene that we had but just contemplated with such infinite delight. Then came rain and hail on the wings of the howling wind.
"The sky was changed, and such a change!" -- a change we might well compare with that witnessed by the great poet when he saw the placid Leman made angry by the tempest that swept from Jura to the joyous Alps as they talked aloud in their shroud of mist. But he saw all that from the windows of his hotel. Our experience was from the saddles on our horses.
When we parted some months ago from the house of good brother Cook at the north, that excellent fanatic gave us his blessing and promised that the Lord would defend us from all dangers and difficulties on our journey. His benediction, or rather the care of Providence, most surely has followed us. Now a wagon rapidly driven overtook us, and the driver being bound to Payson, still twenty miles beyond, where there is a comfortable hotel, kindly offered to give my wife a seat.
Then we drove and galloped rapidly on until the plain was reached. Thence, passing through the wretched little town of Goshen, appearing now more wretched still, like a melancholy barn-yard fowl under similar circumstances, we sloughed along for a few miles through mud and darkness, the storm still raging, till we arrived at the inn where we had once before been so agreeably entertained. Welcome again a good coal fire, and welcome the smiling face of pretty little Mrs. Macbeth.
On the following day we arrived at Provo, having been absent three weeks. Here we returned our horses, and proceeded by rail to Salt Lake. We have leisurely traversed a distance of four hundred miles, having twice passed over but eighteen miles of the road. The impressions formed of the country and people of southern Utah have been given in transitu. If any one questions their truthfulness, the ground is still open for his inspection.