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The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of their Origin to the Year 1901 by William Alexander Linn

Part 10 out of 15

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which President Polk was a "silent partner," by which they would
"transfer to A. G. Benson and Co., and to their heirs and
assigns, the odd number of all the lands and town lots they may
acquire in the country where they settle," the President would
order them to be dispersed. This seems to have been too
transparent a scheme to deceive Young, and the agreement was not

The march of the pioneers was resumed on July 3. That evening
they were told that those who wished to return eastward to meet
their families, who were perhaps five hundred miles back with the
second company, could do so; but only five of them took advantage
of this permission. The event of Sunday, July 4, was the arrival
of thirteen members of the Battalion, who had pushed on in
advance of the main body of those who were on the way from
Pueblo, in order that they might recover some horses stolen from
them, which they were told were at Bridger's Fort. They said that
the main body of 140 were near at hand. This company had been
directed in their course by instructions sent to them by Brigham
Young from a point near Fort Laramie.

The hardships of the trip had told on the pioneers, and a number
of them were now afflicted with what they called "mountain
fever." They attributed this to the clouds of dust that enveloped
the column of wagons when in motion, and to the decided change of
temperature from day to night. For six weeks, too, most of them
had been without bread, living on the meat provided by the
hunters, and saving the little flour that was left for the sick.

The route on July 5 kept along the right bank of the Green River
for about three miles, and then led over the bluffs and across a
sandy, waterless plain for sixteen miles, to the left bank of
Black's Fork, where they camped for the night. The two following
days took them across this Fork several times, but, although
fording was not always comfortable, the stream added salmon trout
to their menu. On the 7th the party had a look at Bridger's Fort,
of which they had heard often. Orson Pratt described it at the
time as consisting "of two adjoining log houses, dirt roofs, and
a small picket yard of logs set in the ground, and about eight
feet high. The number of men, squaws, and halfbreed children in
these houses and lodges may be about fifty or sixty."

At the camp, half a mile from the fort, that night ice formed.
The next day the blacksmiths were kept busy repairing wagons and
shoeing horses in preparation for a trail through the mountains.
On the 9th and 10th they passed over a hilly country, camping on
Beaver River on the night of the 10th.

The fever had compelled several halts on account of the condition
of the patients, and on the 12th it was found that Brigham Young
was too ill to travel. In order not to lose time, Orson Pratt,
with forty-three men and twentythree wagons, was directed to push
on into Salt Lake Valley, leaving a trail that the others could
follow. From the information obtainable at Fort Bridger it was
decided that the canon leading into the valley would be found
impassable on account of high water, and that they should direct
their course over the mountains.

These explorers set out on July 14, travelling down Red Fork, a
small stream which ran through a narrow valley, whose sides in
places were from eight hundred to twelve hundred feet high,--red
sandstone walls, perpendicular or overhanging. This route was a
rough one, requiring frequent fordings of the stream, and they
did well to advance thirteen miles that day. On the 15th they
discovered a mountain trail that had been recommended to them,
but it was a mere trace left by wagons that had passed over it a
year before. They came now to the roughest country they had
found, and it became necessary to send sappers in advance to open
a road before the wagons could pass over it. Almost discouraged,
Pratt turned back on foot the next day, to see if he could not
find a better route; but he was soon convinced that only the one
before them led in the direction they were to take. The wagons
were advanced only four and three-quarters miles that day, even
the creek bottom being so covered with a growth of willows that
to cut through these was a tiresome labor. Pratt and a companion,
during the day, climbed a mountain, which they estimated to be
about two thousand feet high, but they only saw, before and
around them, hills piled on hills and mountains on
mountains,--the outlines of the Wahsatch and Uinta ranges.

On Monday, the 18th, Pratt again acted as advance explorer, and
went ahead with one companion. Following a ravine on horseback
for four miles, they then dismounted and climbed to an elevation
from which, in the distance, they saw a level prairie which they
thought could not be far from Great Salt Lake. The whole party
advanced only six and a quarter miles that day and six the next.

One day later Erastus Snow came up with them, and Pratt took him
along as a companion in his advance explorations. They discovered
a point where the travellers of the year before had ascended a
hill to avoid a canon through which a creek dashed rapidly.
Following in their predecessors' footsteps, when they arrived at
the top of this hill there lay stretched out before them "a
broad, open valley about twenty miles wide and thirty long, at
the north end of which the waters of the Great Salt Lake
glistened in the sunbeams." Snow's account of their first view of
the valley and lake is as follows:-- "The thicket down the
narrows, at the mouth of the canon, was so dense that we could
not penetrate through it. I crawled for some distance on my hands
and knees through this thicket, until I was compelled to return,
admonished to by the rattle of a snake which lay coiled up under
my nose, having almost put my hand on him; but as he gave me the
friendly warning, I thanked him and retreated. We raised on to a
high point south of the narrows, where we got a view of the Great
Salt Lake and this valley, and each of us, without saying a word
to the other, instinctively, as if by inspiration, raised our
hats from our heads, and then, swinging our hats, shouted,
'Hosannah to God and the Lamb!' We could see the canes down in
the valley, on what is now called Mill Creek, which looked like
inviting grain, and thitherward we directed our course."*

* "Address to the Pioneers," 1880.

Having made an inspection of the valley, the two explorers
rejoined their party about ten o'clock that evening. The next
day, with great labor, a road was cut through the canon down to
the valley, and on July 22 Pratt's entire company camped on City
Creek, below the present Emigration Street in Salt Lake City. The
next morning, after sending word of their discovery to Brigham
Young, the whole party moved some two miles farther north, and
there, after prayer, the work of putting in a crop was begun. The
necessity of irrigation was recognized at once. "We found the
land so dry," says Snow, "that to plough it was impossible, and
in attempting to do so some of the ploughs were broken. We
therefore had to distribute the water over the land before it
could be worked." When the rest of the pioneers who had remained
with Young reached the valley the next day, they found about six
acres of potatoes and other vegetables already planted.

While Apostles like Snow might have been as transported with
delight over the aspect of the valley as he professed to be,
others of the party could see only a desolate, treeless plain,
with sage brush supplying the vegetation. To the women especially
the outlook was most depressing.

CHAPTER VII. The Following Companies--Last Days On The Missouri

When the pioneers set out from the Missouri, instructions were
left for the organization of similar companies who were to follow
their trail, without waiting to learn their ultimate destination
or how they fared on the way. These companies were in charge of
prominent men like Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Bishop Hunter,
Daniel Spencer, who succeeded Smith as mayor of Nauvoo, and J. M.
Grant, the first mayor of Salt Lake City after its incorporation.

P. P. Pratt set out early in June, as soon as he could get his
wagons and equipment in order, for Elk Horn River, where a sort
of rendezvous was established, and a rough ferry boat put in
operation. Hence started about the Fourth of July the big company
which has been called "the first emigration." It consisted,
according to the most trustworthy statistics, of 1553 persons,
equipped with 566 wagons, 2213 oxen, 124 horses, 887 cows, 358
sheep, 35 hogs, and 716 chickens. Pratt had brought back from
England 469 sovereigns, collected as tithing, which were used in
equipping the first parties for Utah. This company had at its
head, as president, Brigham Young's brother John, with P. P.
Pratt as chief adviser.

Nothing more serious interrupted the movement of these hundreds
of emigrants than dissatisfaction with Pratt, upsets, broken
wagons, and the occasional straying of cattle, and all arrived in
the valley in the latter part of September, Pratt's division on
the 25th.

The company which started on the return trip with Young on August
26 embraced those Apostles who had gone West with him, some
others of the pioneers, and most of the members of the Battalion
who had joined them, and whose families were still on the banks
of the Missouri. The eastward trip was made interesting by the
meetings with the successive companies who were on their way to
the Salt Lake Valley. Early in September some Indians stole 48 of
their hoses, and ten weeks later 200 Sioux charged their camp,
but there was no loss of life.

On the 19th of October the party were met by a mounted company
who had left Winter Quarters to offer any aid that might be
needed, and were escorted to that camp. They arrived there on
October 31, where they were welcomed by their families, and
feasted as well as the supplies would permit.

The winter of 1847-1848 was employed by Young and his associates
in completing the church organization, mapping out a scheme of
European immigration, and preparing for the removal of the
remaining Mormons to Salt Lake Valley.

That winter was much milder than its predecessor, and the health
of the camps was improved, due, in part, to the better physical
condition of their occupants. On the west side of the river,
however, troubles had arisen with the Omahas, who complained to
the government that the Mormons were killing off the game and
depleting their lands of timber. The new-comers were accordingly
directed to recross the river, and it was in this way that the
camp near Council Bluffs in 1848 secured its principal
population. In Mormon letters of that date the name Winter
Quarters is sometimes applied to the settlement east of the river
generally known as Kanesville.

The programme then arranged provided for the removal in the
spring of 1848 to Salt Lake Valley of practically all Mormons who
remained on the Missouri, leaving only enough to look after the
crops there and to maintain a forwarding point for emigrants from
Europe and the Eastern states. The legislature of Iowa by request
organized a county embracing the camps on the east side of the
river. There seems to have been an idea in the minds of some of
the Mormons that they might effect a permanent settlement in
western Iowa. Orson Pratt, in a general epistle to the Saints in
Europe, encouraging emigration, dated August 15, 1848, said, "A
great, extensive, and rich tract of country has also been, by the
providence of God, put in the possession of the Saints in the
western borders of Iowa," which the Saints would have the first
chance to purchase, at five shillings per acre. A letter from G.
A. Smith and E. T. Benson to O. Pratt, dated December 20 in that
year, told of the formation of a company of 860 members to
enclose an additional tract of 11,000 acres, in shares of from 5
to 80 acres, and of the laying out of two new cities, ten miles
north and south. Orson Hyde set up a printing-press there, and
for some time published the Frontier Guardian. But wiser counsel
prevailed, and by 1853 most of the emigrants from Nauvoo had
passed on to Utah,* and Linforth found Kanesville in 1853 "very
dirty and unhealthy," and full of gamblers, lawyers, and dealers
in "bargains," the latter made up principally of the outfits of
discouraged immigrants who had given up the trip at that point.

* On September 21, 1851, the First Presidency sent a letter to
the Saints who were still in Iowa, directing them all to come to
Salt Lake Valley, and saying: "What are you waiting for? Have you
any good excuse for not coming? No. You have all of you unitedly
a far better chance than we had when we started as pioneers to
find this place."--Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, p. 29.

Young himself took charge of the largest body that was to cross
the plains in 1848. The preparations were well advanced by the
first of May, and on the 24th he set out for Elk Horn (commonly
called "The Horn") where the organization of the column was to be
made. The travellers were divided into two large companies, the
first four "hundreds" comprising 1229 persons and 397 wagons; the
second section, led by H. C. Kimball, 662 persons and 226 wagons;
and the third, under Elders W. Richards and A. Lyman, about 300
wagons. A census of the first two companies, made by the clerk of
the camp, showed that their equipment embraced the following
items: horses, 131; mules, 44; oxen, 2012; cows and other cattle,
1317; sheep, 654; pigs, 237; chickens, 904; cats, 54; dogs, 134;
goats, 3; geese, 10; ducks, 5; hives of bees, 5; doves, 11; and
one squirrel.*

* Millennial Star, Vol. X, p. 319.

The expense of fitting out these companies was necessarily large,
and the heads of the church left at Kanesville a debt amounting
to $3600, "without any means being provided for its payment."*

* Ibid, Vol. XI, p. 14.

President Young's company began its actual westward march on June
5, and the last detachment got away about the 25th. They reached
the site of Salt Lake City in September. The incidents of the
trip were not more interesting than those of the previous year,
and only four deaths occurred on the way.

BOOK VI. In Utah

CHAPTER I. The Founding Of Salt Lake City

The first white men to enter what is now Utah were a part of the
force of Coronado, under Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardinas, if the
reader of the evidence decides that their journey from Zuni took
them, in 1540, across the present Utah border line.* A more
definite account has been preserved of a second exploration,
which left Santa Fe in 1776, led by two priests, Dominguez and
Escalate, in search of a route to the California coast. A two
months' march brought them to a lake, called Timpanogos by the
natives--now Utah Lake on the map--where they were told of
another lake, many leagues in extent, whose waters were so salt
that they made the body itch when wet with them; but they turned
to the southwest without visiting it. Lahontan's report of the
discovery of a body of bad-tasting water on the western side of
the continent in 1689 is not accepted as more than a part of an
imaginary narrative. S. A. Ruddock asserted that, in 1821, he
with a trading party made a journey from Council Bluffs to Oregon
by way of Santa Fe and Great Salt Lake.**

* See Bancroft's "History of Utah," Chap. I.

** House Report, No. 213, 1st Session, 19th Congress.

Bancroft mentions this claim "for what it is worth," but awards
the honor of the discovery of the lake, as the earliest
authenticated, to James Bridger, the noted frontiersman who, some
twelve years later, built his well-known trading fort on Green
River. Bridger, with a party of trappers who had journeyed west
from the Missouri with Henry and Ashley in 1824, got into a
discussion that winter with his fellows, while they were camped
on Bear River, about the course of that stream, and, to decide a
bet, Bridger followed it southward until he came to Great Salt
Lake. In the following spring four of the party explored the lake
in boats made of skins, hoping to find beavers, and they, it is
believed, were the first white men to float upon its waters.
Fremont saw the lake from the summit of a butte on September 6,
1843. "It was," he says, "one of the great objects of the
exploration, and, as we looked eagerly over the lake in the first
emotions of excited pleasure, I am doubtful if the followers of
Balboa felt more enthusiasm when, from the heights of the Andes,
they saw for the first time the great Western Ocean." This
practical claim of discovery was not well founded, nor was his
sail on the lake in an India-rubber boat "the first ever
attempted on this interior sea."

Dating from 1825, the lake region of Utah became more and more
familiar to American trappers and explorers. In 1833 Captain
Bonneville, of the United States army, obtained leave of absence,
and with a company of 110 trappers set out for the Far West by
the Platte route. Crossing the Rockies through the South Pass, he
made a fortified camp on Green River, whence he for three years
explored the country. One of his parties, under Joseph Walker,
was sent to trap beavers on Great Salt Lake and to explore it
thoroughly, making notes and maps. Bonneville, in his description
of the lake to Irving, declared that lofty mountains rose from
its bosom, and greatly magnified its extent to the south.*
Walker's party got within sight of the lake, but found themselves
in a desert, and accordingly changed their course and crossed the
Sierras into California. In Bonneville's map the lake is called
"Lake Bonneville or Great Salt Lake," and Irving calls it Lake
Bonneville in his "Astoria."

* Bonneville's "Adventures," p. 184.

The day after the first arrival of Brigham Young in Salt Lake
Valley (Sunday, July 25), church services were held and the
sacrament was administered. Young addressed his followers,
indicating at the start his idea of his leadership and of the
ownership of the land, which was then Mexican territory. "He said
that no man should buy any land who came here," says Woodruff;
"that he had none to sell; but every man should have his land
measured out to him for city and farming purposes. He might till
it as he pleased, but he must be industrious and take care of
it." *

* "After the assignments were made, persona commenced the usual
speculations of selling according to eligibility of situation.
This called out anathemas from the spiritual powers, and no one
was permitted to traffic for fancy profit; if any sales were
made, the first cost and actual value of improvements were all
that was to be allowed. All speculative sales were made sub rosa.
Exchanges are made and the records kept by the
register."--Gunnison, "The Mormons" (1852), p. 145.

The next day a party, including all the Twelve who were in the
valley, set out to explore the neighborhood. They visited and
bathed in Great Salt Lake, climbed and named Ensign Peak, and met
a party of Utah Indians, who made signs that they wanted to
trade. On their return Young explained to the people his ideas of
an exploration of the country to the west and north.

Meanwhile, those left in the valley had been busy staking off
fields, irrigating them, and planting vegetables and grain. Some
buildings, among them a blacksmith shop, were begun. The members
of the Battalion, about four hundred of whom had now arrived,
constructed a "bowery." Camps of Utah Indians were visited, and
the white men witnessed their method of securing for food the
abundant black crickets, by driving them into an enclosure fenced
with brush which they set on fire.

On July 28, after a council of the Quorum had been held, the site
of the Temple was selected by Brigham Young, who waved his hand
and said: "Here is the 40 acres for the Temple. The city can be
laid out perfectly square, east and west."* The 40 acres were a
few days later reduced to 10, but the site then chosen is that on
which the big Temple now stands. It was also decided that the
city should be laid out in lots measuring to by 20 rods each, 8
lots to a block, with streets 8 rods wide, and sidewalks 20 feet
wide; each house to be erected in the centre of a lot, and 20
feet from the front line. Land was also reserved for four parks
of to acres each.

* Tullidge's "Life of Brigham Young," p. 178.

Men were at once sent into the mountains to secure logs for
cabins, and work on adobe huts was also begun. On August y those
of the Twelve present selected their "inheritances," each taking
a block near the Temple. A week later the Twelve in council
selected the blocks on which the companies under each should
settle. The city as then laid out covered a space nearly four
miles long and three broad.*

* Tullidge says: "The land portion of each family, as a rule, was
the acre-and-a-quarter lot designated in the plan of the city;
but the chief men of the pioneers, who had a plurality of wives
and numerous children, received larger portions of the city lots.
The giving of farms, as shown is the General Epistle, was upon
the same principle as the apportioning of city lots. The farm of
five, ten, or twenty acres was not for the mechanic, nor the
manufacturer, nor even for the farmer, as a mere personal
property, but for the good of the community at large, to give the
substance of the earth to feed the population . . . . While the
farmer was planting and cultivating his farm, the mechanic and
tradesman produced his supplies and wrought his daily work for
the community." He adds,"It can be easily understood how some
departures were made from this original plan." This understanding
can be gained in no better way than by inspecting the list of
real estate left by Brigham Young in his will as his individual

On August 22 a General Conference decided that the city should be
called City of the Great Salt Lake. When the city was
incorporated, in 1851, the name was changed to Salt Lake City. In
view of the approaching return of Young and his fellow officers
to the Missouri River, the company in the valley were placed in
charge of the prophet's uncle, John Smith, as Patriarch, with a
high council and other officers of a Stake.

When P. P. Pratt and the following companies reached the valley
in September, they found a fort partly built, and every one busy,
preparing for the winter. The crops of that year had been a
disappointment, having been planted too late. The potatoes raised
varied in size from that of a pea to half an inch in diameter,
but they were saved and used successfully for seed the next year.
A great deal of grain was sown during the autumn and winter,
considerable wheat having been brought from California by members
of the Battalion. Pratt says that the snow was several inches
deep when they did some of their ploughing, but that the ground
was clear early in March. A census taken in March, 1848, gave the
city a population of 1671, with 423 houses erected.

The Saints in the valley spent a good deal of that winter working
on their cabins, making furniture, and carting fuel. They
discovered that the warning about the lack of timber was well
founded, all the logs and firewood being hauled from a point
eight miles distant, over bad roads, and with teams that had not
recovered from the effect of the overland trip. Many settlers
therefore built huts of adobe bricks, some with cloth roofs. Lack
of experience in handling adobe clay for building purposes led to
some sad results, the rains and frosts causing the bricks to
crumble or burst, and more than one of these houses tumbled down
around their owners. Even the best of the houses had very flat
roofs, the newcomers believing that the climate was always dry;
and when the rains and melted snow came, those who had umbrellas
frequently raised them indoors to protect their beds or their

Two years later, when Captain Stansbury of the United States
Topographical Engineers, with his surveying party, spent the
winter in Salt Lake City, in "a small, unfurnished house of
unburnt brick or adobe, unplastered, and roofed with boards
loosely nailed on," which let in the rains in streams, he says
they were better lodged than many of their neighbors. "Very many
families," he explains, "were obliged still to lodge wholly or in
part in their wagons, which, being covered, served, when taken
off from the wheels and set upon the ground, to make bedrooms, of
limited dimensions, it is true, but exceedingly comfortable. In
the very next enclosure to that of our party, a whole family of
children had no other shelter than one of these wagons, where
they slept all winter."

The furniture of the early houses was of the rudest kind, since
only the most necessary articles could be brought in the wagons.
A chest or a barrel would do for a table, a bunk built against
the side logs would be called a bed, and such rude stools as
could be most easily put together served for chairs.

The letters sent for publication in England to attract emigrants
spoke of a mild and pleasant winter, not telling of the
privations of these pioneers. The greatest actual suffering was
caused by a lack of food as spring advanced. A party had been
sent to California, in November, for cattle, seeds, etc., but
they lost forty of a herd of two hundred on the way back. The
cattle that had been brought across the plains were in poor
condition on their arrival, and could find very little winter
pasturage. Many of the milk cows driven all the way from the
Missouri had died by midsummer. By spring parched grain was
substituted for coffee, a kind of molasses was made from beets,
and what little flour could be obtained was home-ground and
unbolted. Even so high an officer of the church as P. P. Pratt,
thus describes the privations of his family: "In this labor
[ploughing, cultivating, and sowing] every woman and child in my
family, so far as they were of sufficient age and strength, had
joined to help me, and had toiled incessantly in the field,
suffering every hardship which human nature could well endure.
Myself and most of them were compelled to go with bare feet for
several months, reserving our Indian moccasins for extra
occasions. We toiled hard, and lived on a few greens, and on
thistle and other roots."

This was the year of the great visitation of crickets, the
destruction of which has given the Mormons material for the story
of one of their miracles. The crickets appeared in May, and they
ate the country clear before them. In a wheat-field they would
average two or three to a head of grain. Even ditches filled with
water would not stop them. Kane described them as "wingless,
dumpy, black, swollen-headed, with bulging eyes in cases like
goggles, mounted upon legs of steel wire and clock spring, and
with a general personal appearance that justified the Mormons in
comparing them to a cross of a spider and the buffalo." When this
plague was at its worst, the Mormons saw flocks of gulls descend
and devour the crickets so greedily that they would often
disgorge the food undigested. Day after day did the gulls appear
until the plague was removed. Utah guide-books of to-day refer to
this as a divine interposition of Heaven in behalf of the Saints.
But writers of that date, like P. P. Pratt, ignore the miraculous
feature, and the white gulls dot the fields between Salt Lake
City and Ogden in 1901 just as they did in the summer of 1848,
and as Fremont found them there in September, 1843. Gulls are
abundant all over the plains, and are found with the snipe and
geese as far north as North Dakota. Heaven's interposition, if
exercised, was not thorough, for, after the crickets, came
grasshoppers in such numbers that one writer says, "On one
occasion a quarter of one cloudy dropped into the lake and were
blown on shore by the wind, in rows sometimes two feet deep, for
a distance of two miles."

But the crops, with all the drawbacks, did better than had been
deemed possible, and on August 10 the people held a kind of
harvest festival in the "bowery" in the centre of their fort,
when "large sheaves of wheat, rye, barley, oats, and other
productions were hoisted on poles for public exhibition."* Still,
the outlook was so alarming that word was sent to Winter Quarters
advising against increasing their population at that time, and
Brigham Young's son urged that a message be sent to his father
giving similar advice.** Nevertheless P. P. Pratt did not
hesitate in a letter addressed to the Saints in England, on
September 5, to say that they had had ears of corn to boil for a
month, that he had secured "a good harvest of wheat and rye
without irrigation," and that there would be from ten thousand to
twenty thousand bushels of grain in the valley more than was
needed for home consumption.

* Pratt's "Autobiography," p. 406.

** Bancroft's "History of Utah;' p. 281.

CHAPTER II. Progress Of The Settlement

With the arrival of the later companies from Winter Quarters the
population of the city was increased by the winter of 1848 to
about five thousand, or more than one-quarter of those who went
out from Nauvoo. The settlers then had three sawmills, one
flouring mill, and a threshing machine run by water, another
sawmill and flour mill nearly completed, and several mills under
way for the manufacture of sugar from corn stalks.

Brigham Young, again on the ground, took the lead at once in
pushing on the work. To save fencing, material for which was hard
to obtain, a tract of eight thousand acres was set apart and
fenced for the common use, within which farmhouses could be
built. The plan adopted for fencing in the city itself was to
enclose each ward separately, every lot owner building his share.
A stone council house, forty-five feet square, was begun, the
labor counting as a part of the tithe; unappropriated city lots
were distributed among the new-comers by a system of drawing, and
the building of houses went briskly on, the officers of the
church sharing in the labor. A number of bridges were also
provided, a tax of one per cent being levied to pay for them.

Among the incidents of the winter mentioned in an epistle of the
First Presidency was the establishment of schools in the
different wards, in which, it was stated, "the Hebrew, Greek,
Latin, French, German, Tahitian and English languages have been
taught successfully"; and the organization of a temporary local
government, and of a Stake of Zion, with Daniel Spencer as
president. It was early the policy of the church to carry on an
extended system of public works, including manufacturing
enterprises. The assisted immigrants were expected to repay by
work on these buildings the advance made to them to cover their
travelling expenses. Young saw at once the advantage of starting
branches of manufacture, both to make his people independent of a
distant supply and to give employment to the population. Writing
to Orson Pratt on October 14, 1849, when Pratt was in England, he
said that they would have the material for cotton and woollen
factories ready by the time men and machinery were prepared to
handle it, and urged him to send on cotton operatives and "all
the necessary fixtures." The third General Epistle spoke of the
need of furnaces and forges, and Orson Pratt, in an address to
the Saints in Great Britain, dated July 2, I850, urged the
officers of companies "to seek diligently in every branch for
wise, skilful and ingenious mechanics, manufacturers, potters,

* The General Epistle of April, 1852, announced two potteries in
operation, a small woollen factory begun, a nail factory, wooden
bowl factory, and many grist and saw mills. The General Epistle
of October, 1855, enumerated, as among the established
industries, a foundery, a cutlery shop, and manufactories of
locks, cloth, leather, hats, cordage, brushes, soap, paper,
combs, and cutlery.

The General Conference of October, 1849, ordered one man to build
a glass factory in the valley, and voted to organize a company to
transport passengers and freight between the Missouri River and
California, directing that settlements be established along the
route. This company was called the Great Salt Lake Valley
Carrying Company. Its prospectus in the Frontier Guardian in
December, 1849, stated that the fare from Kanesville to Sutter's
Fort, California, would be $300, and the freight rate to Great
Salt Lake City $12.50 per hundredweight, the passenger wagons to
be drawn by four horses or mules, and the freight wagons by oxen.

But the work of making the new Mormon home a business and
manufacturing success did not meet with rapid encouragement.
Where settlements were made outside of Salt Lake City, the people
were not scattered in farmhouses over the country, but lived in
what they called "forts," squalid looking settlements, laid out
in a square and defended by a dirt or adobe wall. The inhabitants
of these settlements had to depend on the soil for their
subsistence, and such necessary workmen as carpenters and
shoemakers plied their trade as they could find leisure after
working in the fields. When Johnston's army entered the valley in
1858, the largest attempt at manufacturing that had been
undertaken there--a beet sugar factory, toward which English
capitalists had contributed more than $100,000--had already
proved a failure. There were tanneries, distilleries, and
breweries in operation, a few rifles and revolvers were made from
iron supplied by wagon tires, and in the larger settlements a few
good mechanics were kept busy. But if no outside influences had
contributed to the prosperity of the valley, and hastened the day
when it secured railroad communication, the future of the people
whom Young gathered in Utah would have been very different.

A correspondent of the New York Tribune, on his way to
California, writing on July 8, 1849, thus described Salt Lake
City as it presented itself to him at that time:-- "There are no
hotels, because there had been no travel; no barber shops,
because every one chose to shave himself and no one had time to
shave his neighbor; no stores, because they had no goods to sell
nor time to traffic; no center of business, because all were too
busy to make a center. There was abundance of mechanics' shops,
of dressmakers, milliners and tailors, etc., but they needed no
sign, nor had they any time to paint or erect one, for they were
crowded with business. Besides their several trades, all must
cultivate the land or die; for the country was new, and no
cultivation but their own within 1000 miles. Everyone had his lot
and built on it; every one cultivated it, and perhaps a small
farm in the distance. And the strangest of all was that this
great city, extending over several square miles, had been
erected, and every house and fence made, within nine or ten
months of our arrival; while at the same time good bridges were
erected over the principal streams, and the country settlements
extended nearly 100 miles up and down the valley."*

* New York Tribune, October 9, 1849.

The winter of 1848 set in early and severe, with frequent
snowstorms from December 1 until late in February, and the
temperature dropping one degree below zero as late as February 5.
The deep snow in the canons, the only outlets through the
mountains, rendered it difficult to bring in fuel, and the
suffering from the cold was terrible, as many families had
arrived too late to provide themselves with any shelter but their
prairie wagons. The apprehended scarcity of food, too, was
realized. Early in February an inventory of the breadstuffs in
the valley, taken by the Bishops, showed only three-quarters of a
pound a day per head until July 5, although it was believed that
many had concealed stores on hand. When the first General Epistle
of the First Presidency was sent out from Salt Lake City in the
spring of 1849,* corn, which had sold for $2 and $3 a bushel, was
not to be had, wheat had ranged from $4 to $5 a bushel, and
potatoes from $6 to $20, with none then in market.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XI, p. 227.

The people generally exerted themselves to obtain food for those
whose supplies had been exhausted, but the situation became
desperate before the snow melted. Three attempts to reach Fort
Bridger failed because of the depth of snow in the canons. There
is a record of a winter hunt of two rival parties of 100 men
each, but they killed "varmints" rather than game, the list
including 700 wolves and foxes, 20 minks and skunks, 500 hawks,
owls and magpies, and 1000 ravens.* Some of the Mormons, with the
aid of Indian guides, dug roots that the savages had learned to
eat, and some removed the hide roofs from their cabins and stewed
them for food. The lack of breadstuffs continued until well into
the summer, and the celebration of the anniversary of the arrival
of the pioneers in the valley, which had been planned for July 4,
was postponed until the 24th, as Young explained in his address,
"that we might have a little bread to set on our tables."

* General Epistle, Millennial Star, Vol. XI, p. 227.

Word was now sent to the states and to Europe that no more of the
brethren should make the trip to the valley at that time unless
they had means to get through without assistance, and could bring
breadstuffs to last them several months after their arrival.

But something now occurred which turned the eyes of a large part
of the world to that new acquisition of the United States on the
Pacific coast which was called California, which made the Mormon
settlement in Utah a way station for thousands of travellers
where a dozen would not have passed it without the new incentive,
and which brought to the Mormon settlers, almost at their own
prices, supplies of which they were desperately in need, and
which they could not otherwise have obtained. This something was
the discovery of gold in California.

When the news of this discovery reached the Atlantic states and
those farther west, men simply calculated by what route they
could most quickly reach the new El Dorado, and the first
companies of miners who travelled across the plains sacrificed
everything for speed. The first rush passed through Salt Lake
Valley in August, 1849. Some of the Mormons who had reached
California with Brannan's company had by that time arrived in the
valley, bringing with them a few bags of gold dust. When the
would-be miners from the East saw this proof of the existence of
gold in the country ahead of them, their enthusiasm knew no
limits, and their one wish was to lighten themselves so that they
could reach the gold-fields in the shortest time possible. Then
the harvest of the Mormons began. Pack mules and horses that had
been worth only $25 or $30 would now bring $200 in exchange for
other articles at a low price, and the travellers were auctioning
off their surplus supplies every day. For a light wagon they did
not hesitate to offer three or four heavy ones, with a yoke of
oxen sometimes thrown in. Such needed supplies as domestic
sheetings could be had at from five to ten cents a yard, spades
and shovels, with which the miners were overstocked, at fifty
cents each, and nearly everything in their outfit, except sugar
and coffee, at half the price that would have been charged at
wholesale in the Eastern states.*

* Salt Lake City letter to the Frontier Guardian.

The commercial profit to the Mormons from this emigration was
greater still in 1850, when the rush had increased. Before the
grain of that summer was cut, the gold seekers paid $1 a pound
for flour in Salt Lake City. After the new grain was harvested
they eagerly bought the flour as fast as five mills could grind
it, at $25 per hundredweight. Unground wheat sold for $8 a
bushel, wood for $10 a cord, adobe bricks for more than seven
shillings a hundred, and skilled mechanics were getting twelve
shillings and sixpence a day.* At the same time that the
emigrants were paying so well for what they absolutely required,
they were sacrificing large supplies of what they did not need on
almost any terms. Some of them had started across the plains with
heavy loads of machinery and miscellaneous goods, on which they
expected to reap a big profit in California. Learning, however,
when they reached Salt Lake City, that ship-loads of such
merchandise were on their way around the Horn, the owners
sacrificed their stock where it was, and hurried on to get their
share of the gold.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XII, p. 350.

This is not the place in which to tell the story of that rush of
the gold seekers. The clerk at Fort Laramie reported, "The total
number of emigrants who passed this post up to June 10, 1850,
included 16,915 men, 235 women, 242 children, 4672 wagons, 14,974
horses, 4641 mules, 7475 oxen, and 1653 cows." A letter from
Sacramento dated September 10, 1850, gave this picture of the
trail left by these travellers: "Many believed there are dead
animals enough on the desert (of 45 miles) between Humboldt Lake
and Carson River to pave a road the whole distance. We will make
a moderate estimate and say there is a dead animal to every five
feet, left on the desert this season. I counted 153 wagons within
a mile and a half. Not half of those left were to be seen, many
having been burned to make lights in the night. The desert is
strewn with all kinds of property--tools, clothes, crockery,
harnesses, etc."

Naturally, in this rush for sudden riches, many a Mormon had a
desire to join. A dozen families left Utah for California early
in 1849, and in March, 1851, a company of more than five hundred
assembled in Payson, preparatory to making the trip. Here was an
unexpected danger to the growth of the Mormon population, and one
which the head of the church did not delay in checking. The
second General Epistle, dated October 12, 1849,* stated that the
valley of the Sacramento was unhealthy, and that the Saints could
do better raising grain in Utah, adding, "The true use of gold is
for paving streets, covering houses, and making culinary dishes,
and when the Saints shall have preached the Gospel, raised grain,
and built up cities enough, the Lord will open up the way for a
supply of gold, to the perfect satisfaction of his people."

* Millennial Star, Vol. XII, p. 119.

Notwithstanding this advice, a good many Mormons acted on the
idea that the Lord would help those who helped themselves, and
that if they were to have golden culinary dishes they must go and
dig the gold. Accordingly, we find the third General Epistle,
dated April 12, 1850, acknowledging that many brethren had gone
to the gold mines, but declaring that they were counselled only
"by their own wills and covetous feelings," and that they would
have done more good by staying in the valley. Young did not,
however, stop with a mere rebuke. He proposed to check the
exodus. "Let such men," the Epistle added, "remember that they
are not wanted in our midst. Let such leave their carcasses where
they do their work; we want not our burial grounds polluted with
such hypocrites." Young was quite as plain spoken in his remarks
to the General Conference that spring, naming as those who "will
go down to hell, poverty-stricken and naked," the Mormons who
felt that they were so poor that they would have to go to the
gold mines.* Such talk had its effect, and Salt Lake Valley
retained most of its population.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XII, p. 274,

The progress of the settlement received a serious check some
years later in the failure of the crops in 1855, followed by a
near approach to a famine in the ensuing winter. Very little
reference to this was made in the official church correspondence,
but a picture of the situation in Salt Lake City that winter was
drawn in two letters from Heber C. Kimball to his sons in
England.* In the first, written in February, he said that his
family and Brigham Young's were then on a ration of half a pound
of bread each per day, and that thousands had scarcely any
breadstuff at all. Kimball's family of one hundred persons then
had on hand about seventy bushels of potatoes and a few beets and
carrots, "so you can judge," he says, "whether we can get through
until harvest without digging roots." There were then not more
than five hundred bushels of grain in the tithing office, and all
public work was stopped until the next harvest, and all mechanics
were advised to drop their tools and to set about raising grain.
"There is not a settlement in the territory," said the writer,
"but is also in the same fix as we are. Dollars and cents do not
count in these times, for they are the tightest I have ever seen
in the territory of Utah." In April he wrote: "I suppose one-half
the church stock is dead. There are not more than one-half the
people that have bread, and they have not more than one-half or
one quarter of a pound a day to a person. A great portion of the
people are digging roots, and hundreds and thousands, their teams
being dead, are under the necessity of spading their ground to
put in their grain." The harvest of 1856 also suffered from
drought and insects, and the Deseret News that summer declared
that "the most rigid economy and untiring, well-directed industry
may enable us to escape starvation until a harvest in 1857, and
until the lapse of another year emigrants and others will run
great risks of starving unless they bring their supplies with
them." The first load of barley brought into Salt Lake City that
summer sold for $2 a bushel.

* Ibid., Vol. XVIII, pp. 395-476.

The first building erected in Salt Lake City in which to hold
church services was called a tabernacle. It was begun in 1851,
and was consecrated on April 6, 1852. It stood in Temple block,
where the Assembly Hall now stands, measuring about 60 by 120
feet, and providing accommodation for 2500 people. The present
Tabernacle, in which the public church services are held, was
completed in 1870. It stands just west of the Temple, is
elliptical in shape, and, with its broad gallery running around
the entire interior, except the end occupied by the organ loft
and pulpit, it can seat about 9000 persons. Its acoustic
properties are remarkable, and one of the duties of any guide who
exhibits the auditorium to visitors is to station them at the end
of the gallery opposite the pulpit, and to drop a pin on the
floor to show them how distinctly that sound can be heard.

The Temple in Salt Lake City was begun in April, 1853, and was
not dedicated until April, 1893. This building is devoted to the
secret ceremonies of the church, and no Gentile is ever admitted
to it. The building, of granite taken from the near-by mountains,
is architecturally imposing, measuring 200 by 100 feet. Its cost
is admitted to have been about $4,000,000. The building could
probably be duplicated to-day for one-half that sum. The excuse
given by church authorities for the excessive cost is that,
during the early years of the work upon it, the granite had to be
hauled from the mountains by ox teams, and that everything in the
way of building material was expensive in Utah when the church
there was young. The interior is divided into different rooms, in
which such ceremonies as the baptism for the dead are performed;
the baptismal font is copied after the one that was in the Temple
at Nauvoo.

There are three other temples in Utah, all of which were
completed before the one in Salt Lake City, namely, at St.
George, at Logan, and at Manti.

CHAPTER III. The Foreign Immigration To Utah

When the Mormons began their departure westward from Nauvoo, the
immigration of converts from Europe was suspended because of the
uncertainty about the location of the next settlement, and the
difficulty of transporting the existing population. But the
necessity of constant additions to the community of new-comers,
and especially those bringing some capital, was never lost sight
of by the heads of the church. An evidence of this was given even
before the first company reached the Missouri River.

While the Saints were marching through Iowa they received
intelligence of a big scandal in connection with the emigration
business in England, and P. P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, and John Taylor
were hurriedly sent to that country to straighten the matter out.
The Millennial Star in the early part of 1846 had frequent
articles about the British and American Commercial Joint Stock
Company, an organization incorporated to assist poor Saints in
emigrating. The principal emigration agent in Great Britain at
that time was R. Hedlock. He was the originator of the Joint
Stock Company, and Thomas Ward was its president. The Mormon
investigators found that more than 1644 pounds of the
contributions of the stockholders had been squandered, and that
Ward had been lending Hedlock money with which to pay his
personal debts. Ward and Hedlock were at once disfellowshipped,
and contributions to the treasury of the company were stopped.
Pratt says that Hedlock fled when the investigators arrived,
leaving many debts, "and finally lived incog. in London with a
vile woman." Thus it seems that Mormon business enterprises in
England were no freer from scandals than those in America.

The efforts of the leaders of the church were now exerted to make
the prospects of the Saints in Utah attractive to the converts in
England whom they wished to add to the population of their
valley. Young and his associates seem to have entertained the
idea, without reckoning on the rapid settlement of California,
the migration of the "Forty-niners," and the connection of the
two coasts by rail, that they could constitute a little empire
all by itself in Utah, which would be self-supporting as well as
independent, the farmer raising food for the mechanic, and the
mechanic doing the needed work for the farmer. Accordingly, the
church did not stop short of every kind of misrepresentation and
deception in belittling to the foreigners the misfortunes of the
past, and picturing to them the fruitfulness of their new
country, and the ease with which they could become landowners

Naturally, after the expulsion from Illinois, in which so many
foreign converts shared, an explanation and palliation of the
emigration thence were necessary. In the United States, then and
ever since, the Mormons pictured themselves as the victims of an
almost unprecedented persecution. But as soon as John Taylor
reached England, in 1846, he issued an address to the Saints in
Great Britain* in which he presented a very different picture.
Granting that, on an average, they had not obtained more than
one-third the value of their real and personal property when they
left Illinois, he explained that, when they settled there, land
in Nauvoo was worth only from $3 to $20 per acre, while, when
they left, it was worth from $50 to $1500 per acre; in the same
period the adjoining farm lands had risen in value from $1.25 and
$5 to from $5 to $50 per acre. He assured his hearers, therefore,
that the one-third value which they had obtained had paid them
well for their labor. Nor was this all. When they left, they had
exchanged their property for horses, cattle, provisions,
clothing, etc., which was exactly what was needed by settlers in
a new country. As a further bait he went on to explain: "When we
arrive in California, according to the provisions of the Mexican
government, each family will be entitled to a large tract of
land, amounting to several hundred acres," and, if that country
passed into American control, he looked for the passage of a law
giving 640 acres to each male settler. "Thus," he summed up, "it
will be easy to see that we are in a better condition than when
we were in Nauvoo!"

* Millennial Star, Vol. VIII, p. 115.

The misrepresentation did not cease here, however. After
announcing the departure of Brigham Young's pioneer company,
Taylor* wound up with this tissue of false statements: "The way
is now prepared; the roads, bridges, and ferry-boats made; there
are stopping places also on the way where they can rest, obtain
vegetables and corn, and, when they arrive at the far end,
instead of finding a wild waste, they will meet with friends,
provisions and a home, so that all that will be requisite for
them to do will be to find sufficient teams to draw their
families, and to take along with them a few woollen or cotton
goods, or other articles of merchandise which will be light, and
which the brethren will require until they can manufacture for
themselves." How many a poor Englishman, toiling over the plains
in the next succeeding years, and, arriving in arid Utah to find
himself in the clutches of an organization from which he could
not escape, had reason to curse the man who drew this picture!

* John Taylor was born in England in 1808, and emigrated to
Canada in 1829, where, after joining the Methodists, he, like
Joseph Smith, found existing churches unsatisfactory, and was
easily secured as a convert by P. P. Pratt. He was elected to the
Quorum, and was sent to Great Britain as a missionary in 1840,
writing several pamphlets while there. He arrived in Nauvoo with
Brigham Young in 1841, and there edited the Times and Seasons,
was a member of the City Council, a regent of the university, and
judge advocate of the Legion, and was in the room with the
prophet when the latter was shot. He was the Mormon
representative in France in 1849, publishing a monthly paper
there, translating the Mormon Bible into the French language, and
preaching later at Hamburg, Germany. He was superintendent of the
Mormon church in the Eastern states in 1857, when Young declared
war against the United States, and he succeeded Young as head of
the church.

In 1847, at the suggestion of Taylor, Hyde, and Pratt, who were
still in England, a petition bearing nearly 13,000 names was
addressed to Queen Victoria, setting forth the misery existing
among the working classes in Great Britain, suggesting, as the
best means of relief, royal aid to those who wished to emigrate
to "the island of Vancouver or to the great territory of Oregon,"
and asking her "to give them employment in improving the harbors
of those countries, or in erecting forts of defence; or, if this
be inexpedient, to furnish them provisions and means of
subsistence until they can produce them from the soil." These
American citizens did not hesitate to point out that the United
States government was favoring the settlement of its territory on
the Pacific coast, and to add: "While the United States do
manifest such a strong inclination, not only to extend and
enlarge their possessions in the West, but also to people them,
will not your Majesty look well to British interests in those
regions, and adopt timely precautionary measures to maintain a
balance of power in that quarter which, in the opinion of your
memorialists, is destined at no very distant period to
participate largely in the China trade?" *

* See Linforth's "Route," pp. 2-5.

The Oregon boundary treaty was less than a year old when this
petition was presented. It was characteristic of Mormon duplicity
to find their representatives in Great Britain appealing to Queen
Victoria on the ground of self-interest, while their chiefs in
the United States were pointing to the organization of the
Battalion as a proof of their fidelity to the home government.
Practically no notice was taken of this petition. Vancouver
Island, was, however, held out to the converts in Great Britain
as the one "gathering point of the Saints from the islands and
distant portions of the earth," until the selection of Salt Lake
Valley as the Saints' abiding place.

On December 23, 1847, Young, in behalf of the Twelve, issued from
Winter Quarters a General Epistle to the church a which gave an
account of his trip to the Salt Lake Valley, directed all to
gather themselves speedily near Winter Quarters in readiness for
the march to Salt Lake Valley, and said to the Saints in

"Emigrate as speedily as possible to this vicinity. Those who
have but little means, and little or no labor, will soon exhaust
that means if they remain where they are. Therefore, it is wisdom
that they remove without delay; for here is land on which, by
their labor, they can speedily better their condition for their
further journey." The list of things which Young advised the
emigrants to bring with them embraced a wide assortment: grains,
trees, and vines; live stock and fowls; agricultural implements
and mills; firearms and ammunition; gold and silver and zinc and
tin and brass and ivory and precious stones; curiosities, "sweet
instruments of music, sweet odors, and beautiful colors." The
care of the head of the church, that the immigrants should not
neglect to provide themselves with cologne and rouge for use in
crossing the prairies, was most thoughtful.

* Millennial Star, Vol. X, p. 81.

The Millennial Star of February 1, 1848, made this announcement
to the faithful in the British Isles:--

"The channel of Saints' emigration to the land of Zion is now
opened. The resting place of Israel for the last days has been
discovered. In the elevated valley of the Salt and Utah Lakes,
with the beautiful river Jordan running through it, is the newly
established Stake of Zion. There vegetation flourishes with magic
rapidity. And the food of man, or staff of life, leaps into
maturity from the bowels of Mother Earth with astonishing
celerity. Within one month from planting, potatoes grew from six
to eight inches, and corn from two to four feet. There the
frequent clouds introduce their fertilizing contents at a modest
distance from the fat valley, and send their humid influences
from the mountain tops. There the saline atmosphere of Salt Lake
mingles in wedlock with the fresh humidity of the same vegetable
element which comes over the mountain top, as if the nuptial
bonds of rare elements were introduced to exhibit a novel
specimen of a perfect vegetable progeny in the shortest possible
time," etc.

Contrast this with Brigham Young's letter to Colonel Alexander in
October, 1857,--"We had hoped that in this barren, desolate
country we could have remained unmolested."

On the 20th of February, 1848, the shipment of Mormon emigrants
began again with the sailing of the Cornatic, with 120
passengers, for New Orleans.

In the following April, Orson Pratt was sent to England to take
charge of the affairs of the church there. On his arrival, in
August, he issued an "Epistle" which was influential in
augmenting the movement. He said that "in the solitary valleys of
the great interior" they hoped to hide "while the indignation of
the Almighty is poured upon the nations"; and urged the rich to
dispose of their property in order to help the poor, commanding
all who could do so to pay their tithing. "O ye saints of the
Most High," he said, "linger not! Make good your retreat before
the avenues are closed up!"

Many other letters were published in the Millennial Star in
1848-1849, giving glowing accounts of the fertility of Salt Lake
Valley. One from the clerk of the camp observed: "Many cases of
twins. In a row of seven houses joining each other eight births
in one week."

In order to assist the poor converts in Europe, the General
Conference held in Salt Lake City in October, 1849, voted to
raise a fund, to be called "The Perpetual Emigrating Fund," and
soon $5000 had been secured for this purpose. In September, 1850,
the General Assembly of the Provisional State of Deseret
incorporated the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company, and Brigham
Young was elected its first president. Collections for this fund
in Great Britain amounted to 1410 pounds by January, 1852, and
the emigrants sent out in that year were assisted from this fund.
These expenditures required an additional $5000, which was
supplied from Salt Lake City. A letter issued by the First
Presidency in October, 1849, urged the utmost economy in the
expenditure of this money, and explained that, when the assisted
emigrants arrived in Salt Lake City, they would give their
obligations to the church to refund as soon as possible what had
been expended on them.* In this way, any who were dissatisfied on
their arrival in Utah found themselves in the church clutches,
from which they could not escape.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XII, p. 124.

There were outbreaks of cholera among the emigrant parties
crossing the plains in 1849, and many deaths.

In October, 1849, an important company left Salt Lake City to
augment the list of missionaries in Europe. It included John
Taylor and two others, assigned to France; Lorenzo Snow and one
other, to Italy; Erastus Snow and one other, to Denmark;* F. D.
Richards and eight others, to England; and J. Fosgreene, to

* Elder Dykes reported in October, 1851, that, on his arrival in
Aalborg, Denmark, he found that a mob had broken in the windows
of the Saints' meeting-house and destroyed the furniture, and had
also broken the windows of the Saints' houses, and, by the
mayor's advice, he left the city by the first steamer. Millennial
Star, Vol. XIII, p. 346.

The system of Mormon emigration from Great Britain at that time
seems to have been in the main a good one. The rule of the agent
in Liverpool was not to charter a vessel until enough passengers
had made their deposits to warrant him in doing so. The rate of
fare depended on the price paid for the charter.* As soon as the
passengers arrived in Liverpool they could go on board ship, and,
when enough came from one district, all sailed on one vessel.
Once on board, they were organized with a president and two
counsellors,--men who had crossed the ocean, if possible,--who
allotted the staterooms, appointed watchmen to serve in turn, and
looked after the sanitary arrangements. When the first through
passengers for Salt Lake City left Liverpool, in 1852, an
experienced elder was sent in advance to have teams and supplies
in readiness at the point where the land journey would begin, and
other men of experience accompanied them to engage river
portation when they reached New Orleans. The statistics of the
emigration thus called out were as follows:--

* See Linforth's "Route," pp. to, 17-22; Mackay's "History of the
Mormons," pp. 298-302; Pratt's letter to the Millennial Star,
Vol. XI, p. 277.

1848 5 754
1849 9 2078
1850 6 1612
1851 4 1869

The Frontier Guardian at Kanesville estimated the Mormon movement
across the plains in 1850 at about 700 wagons, taking 5000 horses
and cattle and 4000 sheep.

Of the class of emigrants then going out, the manager of the
leading shipping agents at Liverpool who furnished the ships
said, "They are principally farmers and mechanics, with some few
clerks, surgeons, and so forth." He found on the company's books,
for the period between October, 1849, and March, 1850, the names
of 16 miners, 20 engineers, 19 farmers, 108 laborers, 10 joiners,
25 weavers, 15 shoemakers, 12 smiths, 19 tailors, 8 watchmakers,
25 stone masons, 5 butchers, 4 bakers, 4 potters, 10 painters, 7
shipwrights, and 5 dyers.

The statistics of the Mormon emigration given by the British
agency for the years named were as follows:--

1852 3 732
1853 7 2312
1854 9 2456
1852 1854, Scandinavian
and German via Liverpool 1053
1855 13 4425

In 1853 the experiment was made of engaging to send adults from
Liverpool to Utah for 10 pounds each and children for half price;
but this did not succeed, and those who embraced the offer had to
borrow money or teams to complete the journey.

In 1853, owing to extortions practised on the emigrants by the
merchants and traders at Kanesville, as well as the
unhealthfulness of the Missouri bottoms, the principal point of
departure from the river was changed to Keokuk, Iowa. The
authorities and people there showed the new-comers every
kindness, and set apart a plot of ground for their camp. In this
camp each company on its arrival was organized and provided with
the necessary teams, etc. In 1854 the point of departure was
again changed to Kansas, in western Missouri, fourteen miles west
of Independence, the route then running to the Big Blue River,
and through what are now the states of Kansas and Nebraska.

CHAPTER IV. The Hand-Cart Tragedy

In 1855 the crops in Utah were almost a failure, and the church
authorities found themselves very much embarrassed by their
debts. A report in the seventh General Epistle, of April 18,
1852, set forth that, from their entry into the valley to March
27, of that year, there had been received as tithing, mostly in
property, $244,747.03, and in loans and from other sources
$145,513.78, of which total there had been expended in assisting
immigrants and on church buildings, city lots, manufacturing
industries, etc., $353,765.69. Young found it necessary therefore
to cut down his expenses, and he looked around for a method of
doing this without checking the stream of new-comers. The method
which he evolved was to furnish the immigrants with hand-carts on
their arrival in Iowa, and to let them walk all the way across
the plains, taking with them only such effects as these carts
would hold, each party of ten to drive with them one or two cows.

Although Young tried to throw the result of this experiment on
others, the evidence is conclusive that he devised it and worked
out its details. In a letter to Elder F. D. Richards, in
Liverpool, dated September 30, 1855, Young said: "We cannot
afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past. I am
consequently thrown back upon MY OLD PLAN--to make hand-carts,
and let the emigration foot it." To show what a pleasant trip
this would make, this head of the church, who had three times
crossed the plains, added, "Fifteen miles a day will bring them
through in 70 days, and, after they get accustomed to it, they
will travel 20, 25, or even 30 with all ease, and no danger of
giving out, but will continue to get stronger and stronger; the
little ones and sick, if there are any, can be carried on the
carts, but there will be none sick in a little time after they
get started."*

* Millennial Star, Vol. VII, p. 813.

Directions in accordance with this plan were issued in the form
of a circular in Liverpool in February, 1856, naming Iowa City,
Iowa, as the point of outfit. The charge for booking through to
Utah by the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company was fixed at 9
pounds for all over one year old, and 4 pounds 10 shillings. for
younger infants. The use of trunks or boxes was discouraged, and
the emigrants were urged to provide themselves with oil-cloth or
mackintosh bags.

About thirteen hundred persons left Liverpool to undertake this
foot journey across the plains, placing implicit faith in the
pictures of Salt Lake Valley drawn by the missionaries, and not
doubting that the method of travel would be as enjoyable as it
seemed economical. Five separate companies were started that
summer from Iowa City. The first and second of these arrived at
Florence, Nebraska, on July 17, the third, made up mostly of
Welsh, on July 19, and the fourth on August 11. The first company
made the trip to Utah without anything more serious to report
than the necessary discomforts of such a march, and were received
with great acclaim by the church authorities, and welcomed with
an elaborate procession. It was the last companies whose story
became a tragedy.*

* The experiences of those companies were told in detail by a
member of one, John Chislett, and printed in the "Rocky Mountain
Saints." Mrs. Stenhouse gives additional experiences in her "Tell
it All."

The immigrants met with their first disappointment on arriving at
Iowa City. Instead of finding their carts ready for them, they
were told that no advance agent had prepared the way. The last
companies were subjected to the most delay from this cause. Even
the carts were still to be manufactured, and, while they were
making, many a family had to camp in the open fields, without
even the shelter of a tent or a wagon top. The carts, when
pronounced finished, moved on two light wheels, the only iron
used in their construction being a very thin tire. Two projecting
shafts of hickory or oak were joined by a cross piece, by means
of which the owner propelled the vehicle. When Mr. Chislett's
company, after a three weeks' delay, made a start, they were five
hundred strong, comprising English, Scotch, and Scandanavians.
They were divided, as usual, into hundreds, to each hundred being
allotted five tents, twenty hand-carts, and one wagon drawn by
three yokes of oxen, the latter carrying the tents and
provisions. Families containing more young men than were required
to draw their own carts shared these human draught animals with
other families who were not so well provided; but many carts were
pulled along by young girls.

The Iowans bestowed on the travellers both kindness and
commiseration. Knowing better than did the new-comers from Europe
the trials that awaited them, they pointed out the lateness of
the season, and they did persuade a few members to give up the
trip. But the elders who were in charge of the company were
watchful, the religious spirit was kept up by daily meetings, and
the one command that was constantly reiterated was, "Obey your
leaders in all things."

A march of four weeks over a hot, dusty route was required to
bring them to the Missouri River near Florence. Even there they
were insufficiently supplied with food. With flour costing $3 per
hundred pounds, and bacon seven or eight cents a pound, the daily
allowance of food was ten ounces of flour to each adult, and four
ounces to children under eight years old, with bacon, coffee,
sugar, and rice served occasionally. Some of the men ate all
their allowance for the day at their breakfast, and depended on
the generosity of settlers on the way, while there were any, for
what further food they had until the next morning.

After a week's stay at Florence (the old Winter Quarters), the
march across the plains was resumed on August 18. The danger of
making this trip so late in the season, with a company which
included many women, children, and aged persons, gave even the
elders pause, and a meeting was held to discuss the matter. But
Levi Savage, who had made the trip to and from the valley, alone
advised against continuing the march that season. The others
urged the company to go on, declaring that they were God's
people, and prophesying in His name that they would get through
the mountains in safety. The emigrants, "simple, honest, eager to
go to Zion at once, and obedient as little children to the
'servants of God,' voted to proceed." *

* A "bond," which each assisted emigrant was required to sign in
Liverpool, contained the following stipulations: "We do severally
and jointly promise and bind ourselves to continue with and obey
the instructions of the agent appointed to superintend our
passage thither to [Utah]. And that, on our arrival in Utah, we
will hold ourselves, our time, and our labor, subject to the
appropriation of the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company until the
full cost of our emigration is paid, with interest if required."

As the teams provided could not haul enough flour to last the
company to Utah, a sack weighing ninety-eight pounds was added to
the load of each cart. One pound of flour a day was now allowed
to each adult, and occasionally fresh beef. Soon after leaving
Florence trouble began with the carts. The sand of the dry
prairie got into the wooden hubs and ground the axles so that
they broke, and constant delays were caused by the necessity of
making repairs., No axle grease had been provided, and some of
the company were compelled to use their precious allowance of
bacon to grease the wheels. At Wood River, where the plains were
alive with buffaloes, a stampede of the cattle occurred one
night, and thirty of them were never recovered. The one yoke of
oxen that was left to each wagon could not pull the load; an
attempt to use the milch cows and heifers as draught animals
failed, and the tired cart pullers had to load up again with

While pursuing their journey in this manner, their camp was
visited one evening by Apostle F. D. Richards and some other
elders, on their way to Utah from mission work abroad. Richards
severely rebuked Savage for advising that the trip be given up at
Florence, and prophesied that the Lord would keep open a way
before them. The missionaries, who were provided with carriages
drawn by four horses each, drove on, without waiting to see this
prediction confirmed.

On arriving at Fort Laramie, about the first of September,
another evidence of the culpable neglect of the church
authorities manifested itself. The supply of provisions that was
to have awaited them there was wanting. They calculated the
amount that they had on hand, and estimated that it would last
only until they were within 350 miles of Salt Lake City; but,
perhaps making the best of the situation, they voted to reduce
the daily ration and to try to make the supply last by travelling
faster. When they reached the neighborhood of Independence Rock,
a letter sent back by Richards informed them that supplies would
meet them at South Pass; but another calculation showed that what
remained would not last them to the Pass, and again the ration
was reduced, working men now receiving twelve ounces a day, other
adults nine, and children from four to eight. Another source of
discomfort now manifested itself. In order to accommodate matters
to the capacity of the carts, the elders in charge had made it
one of the rules that each outfit should be limited to seventeen
pounds of clothing and bedding. As they advanced up the
Sweetwater it became cold. The mountains appeared snow-covered,
and the lack of extra wraps and bedding caused first discomfort,
and then intense suffering, to the half-fed travellers. The
necessity of frequently wading the Sweetwater chilled the
stronger men who were bearing the brunt of the labor, and when
morning dawned the occupants of the tents found themselves numb
with the cold, and quite unfitted to endure the hardships of the
coming day. Chislett draws this picture of the situation at that

"Our old and infirm people began to droop, and they no sooner
lost spirit and courage than death's stamp could be traced upon
their features. Life went out as smoothly as a lamp ceases to
burn when the oil is gone. At first the deaths occurred slowly
and irregularly, but in a few days at more frequent intervals,
until we soon thought it unusual to leave a camp ground without
burying one or more persons. Death was not long confined in its
ravages to the old and infirm, but the young and naturally strong
were among its victims. Weakness and debility were accompanied by
dysentery. This we could not stop or even alleviate, no proper
medicines being in the camp; and in almost every instance it
carried off the parties attacked. It was surprising to an
unmarried man to witness the devotion of men to their families
and to their faith under these trying circumstances. Many a
father pulled his cart, with his little children on it, until the
day preceding his death. These people died with the calm faith
and fortitude of martyrs."

An Oregonian returning East, who met two of the more fortunate of
these handcart parties, gave this description to the Huron (Ohio)
Reflector in 1857:--

"It was certainly the most novel and interesting sight I have
seen for many a day. We met two trains, one of thirty and the
other of fifty carts, averaging about six to the cart. The carts
were generally drawn by one man and three women each, though some
carts were drawn by women alone. There were about three women to
one man, and two-thirds of the women single. It was the most
motley crew I ever beheld. Most of them were Danes, with a
sprinkling of Welsh, Swedes, and English, and were generally from
the lower classes of their countries. Most could not understand
what we said to them. The road was lined for a mile behind the
train with the lame, halt, sick, and needy. Many were quite aged,
and would be going slowly along, supported by a son or daughter.
Some were on crutches; now and then a mother with a child in her
arms and two or three hanging hold of her, with a forlorn
appearance, would pass slowly along; others, whose condition
entitled them to a seat in a carriage, were wending their way
through the sand. A few seemed in good spirits."

The belated company did not meet anyone to carry word of their
condition to the valley, but among Richard's party who visited
the camp at Wood River was Brigham Young's son, Joseph A. He
realized the plight of the travellers, and when his father heard
his report he too recognized the fact that aid must be sent at
once. The son was directed to get together all the supplies he
could obtain in the city or pick up on the way, and to start
toward the East immediately. Driving on himself in a light wagon,
he reached the advanced line, as they were toiling ahead through
their first snowstorm. The provisions travelled slower, and could
not reach them in less than one or two days longer. There was
encouragement, of course, even in the prospect of release, but
encouragement could not save those whose vitality was already
exhausted. Camp was pitched that night among a grove of willows,
where good fires were possible, but in the morning they awoke to
find the snow a foot deep, and that five of their companions had
been added to the death list during the night.

To add to the desperate character of the situation came the
announcement that the provisions were practically exhausted, the
last of the flour having been given out, and all that remained
being a few dried apples, a little rice and sugar, and about
twenty-five pounds of hardtack. Two of the cattle were killed,
and the camp were informed that they would have to subsist on the
supplies in sight until aid reached them. The best thing to do in
these circumstances, indeed, the only thing, was to remain where
they were and send messengers to advise the succoring party of
the desperateness of their case. Their captain, Mr. Willie, and
one companion acted as their messengers. They were gone three
days, and in their absence Mr. Chislett had the painful duty of
doling out what little food there was in camp. He speaks of his
task as one that unmanned him. More cattle were killed, but beef
without other food did not satisfy the hungry, and the epidemic
of dysentery grew worse. The commissary officer was surrounded by
a crowd of men and women imploring him for a little food, and it
required all his power of reasoning to make them see that what
little was left must be saved for the sick.

The party with aid from the valley had also encountered the
snowstorm, and, not appreciating the desperate condition of the
hand-cart immigrants, had halted to wait for better weather. As
soon as Captain Willie took them the news, they hastened
eastward, and were seen by the starving party at sunset, the
third day after their captain's departure. "Shouts of joy rent
the air," says Chislett. "Strong men wept till tears ran freely
down their furrowed and sunburnt cheeks, and little children
partook of the joy which some of them hardly understood, and
fairly danced around with gladness. Restraint was set aside in
the general rejoicing, and, as the brethren entered our camp, the
sisters fell upon them and deluged them with kisses."

The timely relief saved many lives, but the end of the suffering
had not been reached. A good many of the foot party were so
exhausted by what they had gone through, that even their near
approach to their Zion and their prophet did not stimulate them
to make the effort to complete the journey. Some trudged along,
unable even to pull a cart, and those who were still weaker were
given places in the wagons. It grew colder, too, and frozen hands
and feet became a common experience. Thus each day lessened by a
few who were buried the number that remained.

Then came another snowstorm. What this meant to a weakened party
like this dragging their few possessions in carts can easily be
imagined. One family after another would find that they could not
make further progress, and when a hill was reached the human
teams would have to be doubled up. In this way, by travelling
backward and forward, some progress was made. That day's march
was marked by constant additions to the stragglers who kept
dropping by the way. When the main body had made their camp for
the night, some of the best teams were sent back for those who
had dropped behind, and it was early morning before all of these
were brought in.

The next morning Captain Willie was assigned to take count of the
dead. An examination of the camp showed thirteen corpses, all
stiffly frozen. They were buried in a large square hole, three or
four abreast and three deep. "When they did not fit in," says
Chislett, "we put one or two crosswise at the head or feet of the
others. We covered them with willows and then with the earth."
Two other victims were buried before nightfall. Parties passing
eastward by this place the following summer found that the wolves
had speedily uncovered the corpses, and that their bones were
scattered all over the neighborhood.

Further deaths continued every day until they arrived at South
Pass. There more assistance from the valley met them, the weather
became warmer, and the health of the party improved, so that when
they arrived at Salt Lake City they were in better condition and
spirits. The date of their arrival there was November 9. The
company which set out from Iowa City numbered about 500, of whom
400 set out from Florence across the plains. Of these 400, 67
died on the way, and there were a few deaths after they reached
the end of their journey.

Another company of these hand-cart travellers left Florence still
later than the ones whose sufferings have been described. They
were in charge of an elder named Martin. Like their predecessors,
they were warned against setting out so late as the middle of
August, and many of them tried to give up the trip, but
permission to do so was refused. Their sufferings began soon
after they crossed the Platte, near Fort Laramie, and snow was
encountered sixty miles east of Devil's Gate. When they reached
that landmark, they decided that they could make no further
progress with their hand-carts. They accordingly took possession
of half a dozen dilapidated log houses, the contents of the
wagons were placed in some of these, the hand-carts were left
behind, and as many people as the teams could drag were placed in
the wagons and started forward. One of the survivors of this
party has written: "The track of the emigrants was marked by
graves, and many of the living suffered almost worse than death.
Men may be seen to-day in Salt Lake City, who were boys then,
hobbling around on their club-feet, all their toes having been
frozen off in that fearful march." * Twenty men who were left at
Devil's Gate had a terrible experience, being compelled, before
assistance reached them, to eat even the pieces of hide wrapped
round their cart-wheels, and a piece of buffalo skin that had
been used as a door-mat. Strange to say, all of these men reached
the valley alive.

* "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 337.

We have seen that Brigham Young was the inventor of this
hand-cart immigration scheme. Alarmed by the result of the
experiment, as soon as the wretched remnant of the last two
parties arrived in Salt Lake City, he took steps to place the
responsibility for the disaster on other shoulders. The idea
which he carried out was to shift the blame to F. D. Richards on
the ground that he allowed the immigrants to start too late. In
an address in the Tabernacle, while Captain Willie's party was
approaching the city, he told the returned missionaries from
England that they needed to be careful about eulogizing Richards
and Spencer, lest they should have "the big head." When these men
were in Salt Lake City he cursed them with the curse of the
church. E. W. Tullidge, who was an editor of the Millennial Star
in Liverpool under Richards when the hand-cart emigrants were
collected, proposed, when in later years he was editing the Utah
Magazine, to tell the facts about that matter; but when Young
learned this, he ordered Godbe, the controlling owner of the
magazine, to destroy that issue, after one side of the sheets had
been printed, and he was obeyed.* Fortunately Young was not able
to destroy the files of the Millennial Star.

* "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 342.

There is much that is thoroughly typical of Mormonism in the
history of these expeditions. No converts were ever instilled
with a more confident belief in the divine character of the
ridiculous pretender, Joseph Smith. To no persons were more
flagrant misrepresentations ever made by the heads of the church,
and over none was the dictatorial authority of the church
exercised more remorselessly. Not only was Utah held out to them
as "a land where honest labor and industry meet with a suitable
reward, and where the higher walks of life are open to the
humblest and poorest," * but they were informed that, if they had
not faith enough to undertake the trip to Utah, they had not
"faith sufficient to endure, with the Saints in Zion, the
celestial law which leads to exaltation and eternal life." Young
wrote to Richards privately in October, 1855, "Adhere strictly to
our former suggestion of walking them through across the plains
with hand-carts";** and Richards in an editorial in the Star
thereupon warned the Saints: "The destroying angel is abroad.
Pestilence and gaunt famine will soon increase the terrors of the
scene to an extent as yet without a parallel in the records of
the human race. If the anticipated toils of the journey shake
your faith in the promises of the Lord, it is high time that you
were digging about the foundation of it, and seeing if it be
founded on the root of the Holy Priesthood," etc.

* Thirteenth General Epistle, Millennial Star, Vol. XVIII, p. 49.

** Millennial Star, Vol. XVIII, p, 61.

The direct effect of such teaching is shown in two letters
printed in the Millennial Star of June 14, 1856. In the first of
these, a sister, writing to her brother in Liverpool from
Williamsburg, New York, confesses her surprise on learning that
the journey was to be made with hand-carts, says that their
mother cannot survive such a trip, and that she does not think
the girls can, points out that the limitation regarding baggage
would compel them to sell nearly all their clothes, and proposes
that they wait in New York or St. Louis until they could procure
a wagon. In his reply the brother scorns this advice, says that
he would not stop in New York if he were offered 10,000 pounds
besides his expenses, and adds "Brothers, sisters, fathers or
mothers, when they put a stumbling block in the way of my
salvation, are nothing more to me than Gentiles. As for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord, and when we start we will go right
up to Zion, if we go ragged and barefoot."

Young found himself hard put to meet the church obligations in
1856, notwithstanding the economy of the hand-cart system; and
the Millennial Star of December 27 announced that no assisted
emigrants would be sent out during the following year. Saints
proposing to go through at their own expense were informed,
however, that the church bureau would supply them with teams.
Those proposing to use hand-carts were told of the "indispensable
necessity" of having their whole outfit ready on their arrival at
Iowa City, and the bureau offered to supply this at an estimated
cost of 3 pounds per head, any deficit to be made up on their
arrival there.*

* "The agency of the Mormon emigration at that time was a very
profitable appointment. By arrangement with ship brokers at
Liverpool, a commission of half a guinea per head was allowed the
agent for every adult emigrant that he sent across the Atlantic,
and the railroad companies in New York allowed a percentage on
every emigrant ticket. But a still larger revenue was derived
from the outfitting on the frontiers. The agents purchased all
the cattle, wagons, tents, wagon-covers, flour, cooking utensils,
stoves, and the staple articles for a three months' journey
across the Plains, and from them the Saints supplied
themselves."--" Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 340.

CHAPTER V. Early Political History

We have seen that Joseph Smith's desire was, when he suggested a
possible removal of the church to the Far West, that they should
have, not only an undisturbed place of residence, but a
government of their own. This idea of political independence
Young never lost sight of. Had Utah remained a distant province
of the Mexican government, the Mormons might have been allowed to
dwell there a long time, practically without governmental
control. But when that region passed under the government of the
United States by the proclamation of the Treaty of
Guadalupe-Hidalgo, on July 4, 1848, Brigham Young had to face
anew situation. He then decided that what he wanted was an
independent state government, not territorial rule under the
federal authorities, and he planned accordingly. Every device was
employed to increase the number of the Saints in Utah, to bring
the population up to the figure required for admission as a
state, and he encouraged outlying settlements at every attractive
point. In this way, by 1851, Ogden and Provo had become large
enough to form Stakes, and in a few years the country around Salt
Lake City was dotted with settlements, many of them on lands to
which the "Lamanites," who held so deep a place in Joseph Smith's
heart, asserted in vain their ancestral titles.

The first General Epistle sent out from Great Salt Lake City, in
1849, thus explained the first government set up there, "In
consequence of Indian depredations on our horses, cattle, and
other property, and the wicked conduct of a few base fellows who
came among the Saints, the inhabitants of this valley, as is
common in new countries generally, have organized a temporary
government to exist during its necessity, or until we can obtain
a charter for a territorial government, a petition for which is
already in progress."

On March 4, 1849, a convention, to which were invited all the
inhabitants of upper California east of the Sierra Nevadas, was
held in Great Salt Lake City to frame a system of government. The
outcome was the adoption of a constitution for a state to be
called the State of Deseret, and the election of a full set of
state officers. The boundaries of this state were liberal.
Starting at a point in what is now New Mexico, the line was to
run down to the Mexican border, then west along the border of
lower California to the Pacific, up the coast to 118 degrees 30
minutes west longitude, north to the dividing ridge of the Sierra
Nevadas, and along their summit to the divide between the
Columbia River and the Salt Lake Basin, and thence south to the
place of beginning, "by the dividing range of mountains that
separate the waters flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the
waters flowing into the Gulf of California." The constitution
adopted followed the general form of such instruments in the
United States. In regard to religion it declared, "All men have a
natural and inalienable right to worship God according to the
dictates of their own consciences; and the General Assembly shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or disturb any person in
his religious worship or sentiments." *

*For text of this constitution and the memorial to Congress, see
Millennial Star, January 15, 1850.

An epistle of the Twelve to Orson Pratt in England, explaining
this subject, said, "We have petitioned the Congress of the
United States for the organization of a territorial government
here. Until this petition is granted, we are under the necessity
of organizing a local government for the time being."* The
territorial government referred to was that of the State of
Deseret. The local government mentioned was organized on March
12, by the election of Brigham Young as governor, H. C. Kimball
as chief justice, John Taylor and N. K. Whitney as associate
justices, and the Bishops of the wards as city magistrates, with
minor positions filled. Six hundred and seventy-four votes were
polled for this ticket.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XI, p. 244.

The General Assembly, chosen later, met on July 2, and adopted a
memorial to Congress setting forth the failure of that body to
provide any form of government for the territory ceded by
Mexico,* declaring that "the revolver and the bowie knife have
been the highest law of the land," and asking for the admission
of the State of Deseret into the Union. That same year the
Californians framed a government for themselves, and a plan was
discussed to consolidate California and Deseret until 1851, when
a separation should take place. The governor of California
condemned this scheme, and the legislature gave it no

* "When Congress adjourned on March 4, 1849, all that had been
done toward establishing some form of government for the immense
domain acquired by the treaty with Mexico was to extend over it
the revenue laws and make San Francisco a port of
entry."--Bancroft's "Utah," p. 446.

The Mormons had a confused idea about the government that they
had set up. In the constitution adopted they called their domain
the State of Deseret, but they allowed their legislature to elect
their representative in Congress, sending A. W. Babbitt as their
delegate to Washington, with their memorial asking for the
admission of Deseret, or that they be given "such other form of
civil government as your wisdom and magnanimity may award to the
people of Deseret." The Mormons' old political friend in
Illinois, Stephen A. Douglas, presented this memorial in the
Senate on December 27, 1849, with a statement that it was an
application for admission as a state, but with the alternative of
admission as a territory if Congress should so direct. The
memorial was referred to the Committee on Territories.

On the 31st of December, a counter memorial against the admission
of the Mormon state was presented by Mr. Underwood of Kentucky, a
Whig. This was signed by William Smith, the prophet's brother,
and Isaac Sheen (who called themselves the "legitimate
presidents" of the Mormon church), and by twelve other members.
This memorial alleged that fifteen hundred of the emigrants from
Nauvoo to Salt Lake City, before their departure for Illinois,
took the following oath:--

"You do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, his holy
angels, and these witnesses, that you will avenge the blood of
Joseph Smith upon this nation; and so teach your children; and
that you will from this day henceforth and forever begin and
carry out hostility against this nation, and keep the same a
profound secret now and ever. So help you God."

This memorial also set forth that the Mormons were practising
polygamy in the Salt Lake Valley; that since their arrival there
they had tried two Indian agents on a charge of participation in
the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri, and that they were,
by their own assumed authority, imposing duties on all goods
imported into the Salt Lake region from the rest of the United
States. Senator Douglas, in an explanation concerning the latter
charge, admitted that Delegate Babbitt acknowledged the levying
of duties, the excuse being that the Mormons had found it
necessary to set up a government for themselves, pending the
action of Congress, and as a means of revenue they had imposed
duties on all goods brought into and sold within the limits of
Great Salt Lake City, but asserted that goods simply passing
through were not molested. This tax seems to have been
established entirely by the church authorities, the first of the
"ordinances" of the Deseret legislature being dated January 15,

The constitution of Deseret was presented to the House of
Representatives by Mr. Boyd, a Kentucky Democrat, on January 28,
1850, and referred to the Committee on Territories. On July 25,
John Wentworth, an Illinois Democrat, presented a petition from
citizens of Lee County, in his state, asking Congress to protect
the rights of American citizens passing through the Salt Lake
Valley, and charging on the organizers of the State of Deseret
treason, a desire for a kingly government, murder, robbery, and

The Mormon memorial was taken up in the House of Representatives
on July 18, after the committee had unanimously reported that "it
is inexpedient to admit Almon W. Babbitt, Esq., to a seat in this
body from the alleged State of Deseret." A long debate on the
admission of the delegate from New Mexico had deferred action.
The chairman of the committee, Mr. Strong, a Pennsylvania Whig,
explained that their report was founded on the terms of the
Mormon memorial, which did not ask for Babbitt's reception as a
delegate until some form of government was provided for them. Mr.
McDonald, an Indiana Whig, offered an amendment admitting
Babbitt, and a debate of considerable length followed, in which
the slavery question received some attention. The Committee of
the Whole voted to report to the House the resolution against
seating Babbitt, and then the House, by a vote of 104 yeas to 78
nays, laid the resolution on the table (on motion of its
friends), and tabled a motion for reconsideration. On the 9th of
September following, the law for the admission of Utah as a
territory was signed. The boundaries defined were California on
the west, Oregon on the north, the summit of the Rocky Mountains
on the east, and the 37th parallel of north latitude on the

CHAPTER VI. Brigham Young's Despotism

There is no reason to believe that, to the date of Joseph Smith's
death, Brigham Young had inspired his fellow-Mormons with an idea
of his leadership. This was certified to by one of the most
radical of them, Mayor Jedediah M. Grant of Salt Lake City, in
1852, in these words:--

"When Joseph Smith lived, a man about whose real character and
pretensions we differ, Joseph was often and almost invariably
imposed upon by those in whom he placed his trust. There was one
man--only one of his early adherents--he could always rely upon
to stick to him closer than a brother, steadfast in faith, clear
in counsel, and foremost in fight. He seemed a plain man in those
days, of a wonderful talent for business and hundred horse-power
of industry, but least of everything affecting cleverness or
quickness. 'Honest Brigham Young,' or 'hard-working Brigham
Young,' was nearly as much as you would ever hear him called,
though he was the almost universal executor and trustee of men's
wills and trusteed estates, and a confidential manager of our
most intricate church affairs."*

* Grant's pamphlet, "Truth about the Mormons."

When the Saints found themselves in Salt Lake Valley they had
learned something from experience. They could not fail to realize
that, distant as they now were from outside interference, union
among themselves was an essential to success. The body of the
church was soon composed of two elements--those who had
constituted the church in the East, and the new members who were
pouring in from Europe. Young established his leadership with
both of these parties in the early days. There was much to
discourage in those days--a soil to cultivate that required
irrigation, houses to build where material was scarce, and
starvation to fight year after year. Young encouraged everybody
by his talk at the church meetings, shared in the manual labor of
building houses and cultivating land, and devised means to
entertain and encourage those who were disposed to look on their
future darkly. No one ever heard him, whatever others might say,
doubt the genuineness of Joseph Smith's inspiration and
revelations, and he so established his own position as Smith's
successor that he secured the devout allegiance of the old flock,
without making such business mistakes as weakened Smith's
reputation. "I believed," says John D. Lee, one of the most
trusted and prominent of the church members almost to the day of
his death, "that Brigham Young spoke by the direction of the God
of heaven. I would have suffered death rather than have disobeyed
any command of his." Said Young's associate in the First
Presidency, Heber C. Kimball, "To me the word comes from Brother
Brigham as the word of God," and again, "His word is the word of
God to his people."*

The new-comers from Europe were simply helpless. They were, in
the first place, religious enthusiasts, who believed, when they
set out on their journey, that they were going to a real Zion.
Large numbers of them were indebted to the church for at least a
part of their passage money from the day of their arrival. Few of
those who had paid their own way brought much cash capital, all
depending on the representations about the richness of the valley
which had been held out to them. Once, there, they soon realized
that all must sustain the same policy if the church was to be a
success. They were, too, of that superstitious class which was
ready, not only to believe in modern miracles, "signs," and
revelations, but actually hungered for such manifestations, and,
once accepting membership in the church, they accepted with it
the dictation of the head of the church in all things. Secretary
Fuller has told me that, after he ascertained the existence of
gold near Salt Lake City, he said to an intelligent goldsmith
there, "Why do you not look for the gold you need in your
business in the mountains?" "Why," was the reply, "if I went to
the mountains and found gold, and put it into my pouch, the pouch
would be empty when I got back to the city. I know this is so,
because Brigham Young has told me so."

* Journal of Discourses, VOL IV, p. 47.

The extent of the dictatorship which Young prescribed and carried
out in all matters, spiritual and commercial, might be questioned
if we were not able to follow the various steps taken in
establishing his authority, and to illustrate its scope, by the
testimony, not of men who suffered from it, but by his own words
and those of his closest associates. With a blindness which seems
incomprehensible, the sermons, or "discourses," delivered in the
early days in Salt Lake City were printed under church authority,
and are preserved in the journal of Discourses. The student of
this chapter of the church's history can obtain what information
he wants by reading the volumes of this Journal. The language
used is often coarse, but there is never any difficulty in
understanding the speakers.

Young referred to his own plain speaking in a discourse on
October 6, 1855. He said that he had received advice about
bridling his tongue--a wheelbarrow load of such letters from the
East, especially on the subject of his attacks on the Gentiles.
"Do you know," he asked, "how I feel when I get such
communications? I will tell you. I feel just like rubbing their
noses with them."* In a discourse on February 17, 1856, he
vouchsafed this explanation, "If I were preaching abroad in the
world, I should feel myself somewhat obliged, through custom, to
adhere to the wishes and feelings of the people in regard to
pursuing the thread of any given subject; but here I feel as free
as air." **

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. III, p. 48.

** Ibid., p. 211.

Mention has already been made of Young's refusal to continue
Smith's series of "revelations." In doing this he never admitted
for a moment any lack of authority as spokesman for the Almighty.
A few illustrations will make clear his position in this matter.
Defining his view of his own authority, before the General
Conference in Salt Lake City, on April 6, 1850, he said, "It is
your privilege and it is mine to receive revelation; and my
privilege to dictate to the church." *

* Millennial Star, VOL XII, p, 273.

When the site of the Temple was consecrated, in 1853, there were
many inquiries whether a revelation had been given about its
construction. Young said, "If the Lord and all the people want a
revelation, I can give one concerning this Temple"; but he did
not do so, declaring that a revelation was no more necessary
concerning the building of a temple than it was concerning a
kitchen or a bedroom.* We must certainly concede to this man a
dictator's daring.

* Ibid., Vol. XV, p. 391.

An early illustration of Young's policy toward all Mormon
offenders was given in the case of the so-called "Gladdenites."
There were members of the church even in Utah who were ready to
revolt when the open announcement of the "revelation" regarding
polygamy was made in 1852, and they found a leader in Gladden
Bishop, who had had much experience in apostasy, repentance, and
readmission.* These men held meetings and made considerable
headway, but when the time came for Brigham to exercise his
authority he did it.

* "This Gladden gave Joseph much trouble; was cut off from the
church and taken back and rebaptized nine times."--Ferris, "Utah
and the Mormons," p. 326.

On Sunday, March 20, 1853, a meeting, orderly in every respect,
which the Gladdenites were holding in front of the Council House,
was dispersed by the city marshal, and another, called for the
next Sunday, was prohibited entirely. Then Alfred Smith, a
leading Gladdenite, who had accused Young of robbing him of his
property, was arrested and locked up until he gave a promise to
discontinue his rebellion. On the 27th of March Young made the
Gladdenites the subject of a large part of his discourse in the
Tabernacle. What he said is thus stated in the church report of
the address:--

"I say to those persons: You must not court persecution here,
lest you get so much of it you will not know what to do with it.

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