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

Part 13 out of 15

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earth would open and swallow me where I stood."

When Lee entered the camp all the people, men, women, and
children, gathered around him, some delighted over the hope of
deliverance, while others showed distrust of his intentions.
Their position was so strong that they felt some hesitation in
abandoning it, and Lee says that, if their ammunition had not
been so nearly exhausted, they would never have surrendered. But
their hesitation was soon overcome, and the carrying out of the
plot proceeded.

All their arms, the wounded, and the smallest children were
placed in the two wagons. As soon as these were loaded, a
messenger from Higbee, named McFarland, rode up with a message
that everything should be hastened, as he feared he could not
hold back the Indians. The wagons were then started at once
toward Cedar City, Lee and the two drivers accompanying them, and
the others of the party set out on foot for the place where the
Mormon troops were awaiting them, some two hundred yards distant.
First went McFarland on horseback, then the women and larger
children, and then the men. When, in this order, they came to the
place where the Mormons were stationed, the men of the party
cheered the latter as their deliverers.

As the wagons passed out of sight over an elevation, the march of
the rest of the party was resumed. The women and larger children
walked ahead, then came the men in single file, an armed Mormon
walking by the side of each Arkansan. This gave the appearance of
the best possible protection. When they had advanced far enough
to bring the women and children into the midst of a company of
Indians concealed in a growth of cedars, the agreed signal the
words, "Do your duty"--was given. As these words were spoken,
each Mormon turned and shot the Arkansan who was walking by his
side, and Indians and other Mormons attacked the women and
children who were walking ahead, while Lee and his two companions
killed the wounded and the older of the children who were in the

The work of killing the men was performed so effectually that
only two or three of them escaped, and these were overtaken and
killed soon after.* Indeed, only the nervousness natural to men
who were assigned to perform so horrible a task could prevent the
murderers from shooting dead the unarmed men walking by their
sides. With the women and children it was different. Instead of
being shot down without warning, they first heard the shots that
killed their only protectors, and then beheld the Indians rushing
on them with their usual whoops, brandishing tomahawks, knives,
and guns. There were cries for mercy, mothers' pleas for
children's lives, and maidens' appeals to manly honor; but all in
vain. It was not necessary to use firearms; indeed, they would
have endangered the assailants themselves. The tomahawk and the
knife sufficed, and in the space of a few moments every woman and
older child was a corpse.

* This is Judge Cradlebaugh's and Lee's statement. Lee said he
could have given the details of their pursuit and capture if he
had had time. An affidavit by James Lynch, who accompanied
Superintendent Forney to the Meadows on his first trip there in
March 1859 (printed in Sen. Doc. No. 42), says that one of the
three, who was not killed on the spot, "was followed by five
Mormons who through promises of safety, etc., prevailed upon him
to return to Mountain Meadows, where they inhumanly butchered
him, laughing at and disregarding his loud and repeated cries for
mercy, as witnessed and described by Ira Hatch, one of the five.
The object of killing this man was to leave no witness competent
to give testimony in a court of justice but God."

When Lee and the men in charge of the two wagons heard the
firing, they halted at once, as this was the signal agreed on for
them to perform their part. McMurdy's wagon, containing the sick
and wounded and the little children, was in advance, Knight's,
with a few passengers and the weapons, following. We have three
accounts of what happened when the signal was given, Lee's own,
and the testimony of the other two at Lee's trial. Lee says that
McMurdy at once went up to Knight's wagon, and, raising his rifle
and saying, " O Lord my God, receive their spirits; it is for Thy
Kingdom I do this," fired, killing two men with the first shot.
Lee admits that he intended to do his part of the killing, but
says that in his excitement his pistol went off prematurely and
narrowly escaped wounding McMurdy; that Knight then shot one man,
and with the butt of his gun brained a little boy who had run up
to him, and that the Indians then came up and finished killing
all the sick and wounded. McMurdy testified that Lee killed the
first person in his wagon--a woman--and also shot two or three
others. When asked if he himself killed any one that day, McMurdy
replied, "I believe I am not upon trial. I don't wish to answer."
Knight testified that he saw Lee strike down a woman with his gun
or a club, denying that he himself took any part in the
slaughter: Nephi Johnson, another witness at Lee's second trial,
testified that he saw Lee and an Indian pull a man out of one of
the wagons, and he thought Lee cut the man's throat. The only
persons spared in this whole company were seventeen children,
varying in age from two months to seven years. They were given to
Mormon families in southern Utah--"sold out," says Forney in his
report, "to different persons in Cedar City, Harmony, and Painter
Creek. Bills are now in my possession from different individuals
asking payment from the government. I cannot condescend to become
the medium of even transmitting such claims to the department."
The government directed Forney in 1858 to collect these children,
and he did so. Congress in 1859 appropriated $10,000 to defray
the expense of returning them to their friends in Arkansas, and
on June 27 of that year fifteen of them (two boys being retained
as government witnesses) set out for the East from Salt Lake City
in charge of a company of United States dragoons and five women
attendants. Judge Cradlebaugh quotes one of these children, a boy
less than nine years old, as saying in his presence, when they
were brought to Salt Lake City, "Oh, I wish I was a man. I know
what I would do. I would shoot John D. Lee. I saw him shoot my

The total number in the Arkansas party is not exactly known. The
victims numbered more than 120. Jacob Hamblin testified at the
Lee trial that, the following spring, he and his man buried "120
odd" skulls, counting them as they gathered them up.

A few young women, in the confusion of the Indian attack,
concealed themselves, but they were soon found. Hamblin testified
at Lee's second trial that Lee, in a long conversation with him,
soon after the massacre, told him that, when he rejoined the
Mormon troops, an Indian chief brought to him two girls from
thirteen to fifteen years old, whom he had found hiding in a
thicket, and asked what should be done with them, as they were
pretty and he wanted to save them. Lee replied that "according to
the orders he had, they were too old and too big to let go."

Then by Lee's direction the chief shot one of them, and Lee threw
the other down and cut her throat. Hamblin said that an Indian
boy conducted him to the place where the girls' bodies lay, a
long way from the rest, up a ravine, unburied and with their
throats cut. One of the little children saved from the massacre
was taken home by Hamblin, and she said the murdered girls were
her sisters. Richard F. Burton, who visited Utah in 1860,
mentions, as one of the current stories in connection with the
massacre, that, when a girl of sixteen knelt before one of the
Mormons and prayed for mercy, he led her into the thicket,
violated her, and then cut her throat.*

* "City of the Saints," p. 412.

As soon as the slaughter was completed the plundering began.
Beside their wagons, horses, and cattle,* they had a great deal
of other valuable property, the whole being estimated by Judge
Cradlebaugh at from $60,000 to $70,000. When Lee got back to the
main party, the searching of the bodies of the men for valuables
began. "I did hold the hat awhile," he confesses, "but I got so
sick that I had to give it to some other person." He says there
were more than five hundred head of cattle, a large number of
which the Indians killed or drove away, while Klingensmith,
Haight, and Higbee, leaders in the enterprise, drove others to
Salt Lake City and sold them. The horses and mules were divided
in the same way. The Indians (and probably their white comrades)
had made quick work with the effects of the women. Their bodies,
young and old, were stripped naked, and left, objects of the
ribald jests of their murderers. Lee says that in one place he
counted the bodies of ten children less than sixteen years old.

* Superintendent Forney, in his report of March, 1859, said:
"Facts in my possession warrant me in estimating that there was
distributed a few days after the massacre, among the leading
church dignitaries, $30,000 worth of property. It is presumable
they also had some money."

When the Mormons had finished rifling the dead, all were called
together and admonished by their chiefs to keep the massacre a
secret from the whole world, not even letting their wives know of
it, and all took the most solemn oath to stand by one another and
declare that the killing was the work of Indians. Most of the
party camped that night on the Meadows, but Lee and Higbee passed
the night at Jacob Hamblin's ranch.

In the morning the Mormons went back to bury the dead. All these
lay naked, "making the scene," says Lee, "one of the most
loathsome and ghastly that can be imagined." The bodies were
piled up in heaps in little depressions, and a pretence was made
of covering them with dirt; but the ground was hard and their
murderers had few tools, and as a consequence the wild beasts
soon unearthed them, and the next spring the bones were scattered
over the surface.

This work finished, the party, who had been joined during the
night by Colonel Dame, Judge Lewis, Isaac C. Haight, and others
of influence, held another council, at which God was thanked for
delivering their enemies into their hands; another oath of
secrecy was taken, and all voted that any person who divulged the
story of the massacre should suffer death, but that Brigham Young
should be informed of it. It was also voted, according to Lee,
that Bishop Klingensmith should take charge of the plunder for
the benefit of the church.

The story of this slaughter, to this point, except in minor
particulars noted, is undisputed. No Mormon now denies that the
emigrants were killed, or that Mormons participated largely in
the slaughter. What the church authorities have sought to
establish has been their own ignorance of it in advance, and
their condemnation of it later. In examining this question we
have, to assist us, the knowledge of the kind of government that
Young had established over his people--his practical power of
life and death; the fact that the Arkansans were passing south
from Salt Lake City, and that their movements had been known to
Young from the start and their treatment been subject to his
direction; the failure of Young to make any effort to have the
murderers punished, when a "crook of his finger" would have given
them up to justice; the coincidence of the massacre with Young's
threat to Captain Van Vliet, uttered on September 9, "If the
issue continues, you may tell the government to stop all
emigration across the continent, for the Indians will kill all
who attempt it"; Young's failure to mention this "Indian outrage"
in his report as superintendent of Indian affairs, and the
silence of the Mormon press on the subject.* If we accept Lee's
plausible theory that, at his second trial, the church gave him
up as a sop to justice, and loosened the tongues of witnesses
against him, this makes that part of the testimony in
confirmation of Lee's statement, elicited from them, all the

* H. H. Bancroft, in his "Utah," as usual, defends the Mormon
church against the charge of responsibility for the massacre, and
calls Judge Cradlebaugh's charge to the grand jury a slur that
the evidence did not excuse.

Let us recall that Lee himself had been an active member of the
church for nearly forty years, following it from Missouri to
Utah, travelling penniless as a missionary at the bidding of his
superiors, becoming a polygamist before he left Nauvoo, accepting
in Utah the view that "Brigham spoke by direction of the God of
heaven," and saying, as he stood by his coffin looking into the
rifles of his executioners, "I believe in the Gospel that was
taught in its purity by Joseph Smith in former days." How much
Young trusted him is seen in the fact that, by Young's direction,
he located the southern towns of Provo, Fillmore, Parowan, etc.,
was appointed captain of militia at Cedar City, was president of
civil affairs at Harmony, probate judge of the county (before and
after the massacre), a delegate to the convention which framed
the constitution of the State of Deseret, a member of the
territorial legislature (after the massacre), and "Indian farmer"
of the district including the Meadows when the massacre occurred.

Lee's account of the steps leading up to the massacre and of what
followed is, in brief, that, about ten days before it occurred,
General George A. Smith, one of the Twelve, called on him at
Washington City, and, in the course of their conversation, asked,
"Suppose an emigrant train should come along through this
southern country, making threats against our people and bragging
of the part they took in helping kill our prophet, what do you
think the brethren would do with them?" Lee replied: "You know
the brethren are now under the influence of the 'Reformation,'
and are still red-hot for the Gospel. The brethren believe the
government wishes to destroy them. I really believe that any
train of emigrants that may come through here will be attacked
and probably all destroyed. Unless emigrants have a pass from
Brigham Young or some one in authority, they will certainly never
get safely through this country." Smith said that Major Haight
had given him the same assurance. It was Lee's belief that Smith
had been sent south in advance of the emigrants to prepare for
what followed.

Two days before the first attack on the camp, Lee was summoned to
Cedar City by Isaac Haight, president of that Stake, second only
to Colonel Dame in church authority in southern Utah, and a
lieutenant colonel in the militia under Dame. To make their
conference perfectly secret, they took some blankets and passed
the night in an old iron works. There Haight told Lee a long
story about Captain Fancher's party, charging them with abusing
the Mormons, burning fences, poisoning water, threatening to kill
Brigham Young and all the apostles, etc. He said that unless
preventive measures were taken, the whole Mormon population were
likely to be butchered by troops which these people would bring
back from California. Lee says that he believed all this. He was
also told that, at a council held that day, it had been decided
to arm the Indians and "have them give the emigrants a brush,
and, if they killed part or all, so much the better." When asked
who authorized this, Haight replied, "It is the will of all in
authority," and Lee was told that he was to carry out the order.
The intention then was to have the Indians do the killing without
any white assistance. On his way home Lee met a large body of
Indians who said they were ordered by Haight, Higbee, and Bishop
Klingensmith, to kill and rob the emigrants, and wanted Lee to
lead them. He told them to camp near the emigrants and wait for
him; but they made the attack, as described, early Monday
morning, without capturing the camp, and drove the whites into an
intrenchment from which they could not dislodge them. Hence the
change of plan.

During the early part of the operations, Lee says, a messenger
had been sent to Brigham Young for orders. On Thursday evening
two or three wagon loads of Mormons, all armed, arrived at Lee's
camp in the Meadows, the party including Major Higbee of the Iron
Militia, Bishop Klingensmith, and many members of the High
Council. When all were assembled, Major Higbee reported that
Haight's orders were that "all the emigrants must be put out of
the way"; that they had no pass (Young could have given them
one); that they were really a part of Johnston's army, and, if
allowed to proceed to California, they would bring destruction on
all the settlements in Utah. All knelt in prayer, after which
Higbee gave Lee a paper ordering the destruction of all who could
talk. After further prayers, Higbee said to Lee, "Brother Lee, I
am ordered by President Haight to inform you that you shall
receive a crown of celestial glory for your faithfulness, and
your eternal joy shall be complete." Lee says that he was "much
shaken" by this offer, because of his complete faith in the power
of the priesthood to fulfil such promises. The outcome of the
conference was the adoption of the plan of treachery that was so
successfully carried out on Friday morning. The council had
lasted so long that the party merely had time for breakfast
before Bateman set out for the camp with his white flag.*

* Bishop Klingensmith, one of the indicted, in whose case the
district attorney entered a nolle prosequi in order that he might
be a witness at Lee's first trial, said in his testimony: "Coming
home the day following their [emigrants'] departure from Cedar
City, met Ira Allen four miles beyond the place where they had
spoken to Lee. Allen said, 'The die is cast, the doom of the
emigrants is sealed.'" (This was in reference to a meeting in
Parowan, when the destruction of the emigrants had been decided
on.) He said John D. Lee had received orders from headquarters at
Parowan to take men and go, and Joel White would be wanted to go
to Pinto Creek and revoke the order to suffer the emigrants to
pass. The third day after, Haight came to McFarland's house and
told witness and others that orders had come in from camp last
night. Things hadn't gone along as had been expected, and
reenforcements were wanted. Haight then went to Parowan to get
instructions, and received orders from Dame to decoy the
emigrants out and spare nothing but the small children who could
not tell the tale." In an affidavit made by this Bishop in April,
1871, he said: "I do not know whether said 'headquarters' meant
the spiritual headquarters at Parowan, or the headquarters of the
commander-in-chief at Salt Lake City." (Affidavit in full in
"Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 439.)

Several days after the massacre, Haight told Lee that the
messenger sent to Young for instructions had returned with orders
to let the emigrants pass in safety, and that he (Haight) had
countermanded the order for the massacre, but his messenger "did
not go to the Meadows at all." All parties were evidently
beginning to realize the seriousness of their crime. Lee was then
directed by the council to go to Young with a verbal report,
Haight again promising him a celestial reward if he would
implicate more of the brethren than necessary in his talk with
Young.* On reaching Salt Lake City, Lee gave Young the full
particulars of the massacre, step by step. Young remarked, "Isaac
[Haight] has sent me word that, if they had killed every man,
woman, and child in the outfit, there would not have been a drop
of innocent blood shed by the brethren; for they were a set of
murderers, robbers, and thieves."

* "At that time I believed everything he said, and I fully
expected to receive the celestial reward that he promised me. But
now [after his conviction] I say, 'Damn all such celestial
rewards as I am to get for what I did on that fatal day."
"Mormonism Unveiled," p. 251.

When the tale was finished, Young said: "This is the most
unfortunate affair that ever befell the church. I am afraid of
treachery among the brethren who were there. If any one tells
this thing so that it will become public, it will work us great
injury. I want you to understand now that you are NEVER to tell
this again, not even to Heber C. Kimball. IT MUST be kept a
secret among ourselves. When you get home, I want you to sit down
and write a long letter, and give me an account of the affair,
charging it to the Indians. You sign the letter as farmer to the
Indians, and direct it to me as Indian agent. I can then make use
of such a letter to keep off all damaging and troublesome
inquirers." Lee did so, and his letter was put in evidence at his

Lee says that Young then dismissed him for the day, directing him
to call again the next morning, and that Young then said to him:
"I have made that matter a subject of prayer. I went right to God
with it, and asked him to take the horrid vision from my sight if
it was a righteous thing that my people had done in killing those
people at the Mountain Meadows. God answered me, and at once the
vision was removed. I have evidence from God that he has
overruled it all for good, and the action was a righteous one and
well intended."*

* For Lee's account of his interview with Young, see " Mormonism
Unveiled," pp. 252-254.

When Lee was in Salt Lake City as a member of the constitutional
convention, the next winter, Young treated him, at his house and
elsewhere, with all the friendliness of old. No one conversant
with the extent of Young's authority will doubt the correctness
of Lee's statement that "if Brigham Young had wanted one man or
fifty men or five hundred men arrested, all he would have had to
do would be to say so, and they would have been arrested
instantly. There was no escape for them if he ordered their
arrest. Every man who knows anything of affairs in Utah at that
time knows this is so."

At the second trial of Lee a deposition by Brigham Young was
read, Young pleading ill health as an excuse for not taking the
stand. He admitted that "counsel and advice were given to the
citizens not to sell grain to the emigrants for their stock," but
asserted that this did not include food for the parties
themselves. He also admitted that Lee called on him and began
telling the story of the massacre, but asserted that he directed
him to stop, as he did not want his feelings harrowed up with a
recital of these details. He gave as an excuse for not bringing
the guilty to justice, or at least making an investigation, the
fact that a new governor was on his way, and he did not know how
soon he would arrive. As Young himself was keeping this governor
out by armed force, and declaring that he alone should fill that
place, the value of his excuse can be easily estimated. Hamblin,
at Lee's trial, testified that he told Brigham Young and George
A. Smith "everything I could" about the massacre, and that Young
said to him, "As soon as we can get a court of justice we will
ferret this thing out, but till then don't say anything about

Both Knight and McMurphy testified that they took their teams to
Mountain Meadows under compulsion. Nephi Johnson, another
participant, when asked whether he acted under compulsion,
replied, "I didn't consider it safe for me to object," and when
compelled to answer the question whether any person had ever been
injured for not obeying such orders, he replied, "Yes, sir, they

Some letters published in the Corinne (Utah) Reporter, in the
early seventies, signed "Argus," directly accused Young of
responsibility for this massacre. Stenhouse discovered that the
author had been for thirty years a Mormon, a high priest in the
church, a holder of responsible civil positions in the territory,
and he assured Stenhouse that "before a federal court of justice,
where he could be protected, he was prepared to give the evidence
of all that he asserted." "Argus" declared that when the
Arkansans set out southward from the Jordan, a courier preceded
them carrying Young's orders for non-intercourse; that they were
directed to go around Parowan because it was feared that the
military preparations at that place, Colonel Dame's headquarters,
might arouse their suspicion; and he points out that the troops
who killed the emigrants were called out and prepared for field
operations, just as the territorial law directed, and were
subject to the orders of Young, their commander-in-chief.

Not until the so-called Poland Bill of 1874 became a law was any
one connected with the Mountain Meadows Massacre even indicted.
Then the grand jury, under direction of Judge Boreman, of the
Second Judicial District of Utah, found indictments against Lee,
Dame, Haight, Higbee, Klingensmith, and others. Lee, who had
remained hidden for some years in the canon of the Colorado,* was
reported to be in south Utah at the time, and Deputy United
States Marshal Stokes, to whom the warrant for his arrest was
given, set out to find him. Stokes was told that Lee had gone
back to his hiding-place, but one of his assistants located the
accused in the town of Panguitch, and there they found him
concealed in a log pen near a house. His trial began at Beaver,
on July 12, 1875. The first jury to try his case disagreed, after
being out three days, eight Mormons and the Gentile foreman
voting for acquittal, and three Gentiles for conviction. The
second trial, which took place at Beaver, in September, 1876,
resulted in a verdict of "guilty of murder in the first degree."
Beadle says of the interest which the church then took in his
conviction: "Daniel H. Wells went to Beaver, furnished some new
evidence, coached the witnesses, attended to the spiritual wants
of the jury, and Lee was convicted. He could not raise the money
($1000) necessary to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United
States, although he solicited it by subscription from wealthy
leading Mormons for several days under guard."**

* Inman's "Great Salt Lake Trail," p. 141

** "Polygamy," p. 507.

Criminals in Utah convicted of a capital crime were shot, and
this was Lee's fate. It was decided that the execution should
take place at the scene of the massacre, and there the sentence
of the court was carried out on March 23, 1877. The coffin was
made of rough pine boards after the arrival of the prisoner, and
while he sat looking at the workmen a short distance away. When
all the arrangements were completed, the marshal read the order
of the court and gave Lee an opportunity to speak. A photographer
being ready to take a picture of the scene, Lee asked that a copy
of the photograph be given to each of three of his wives, naming
them. He then stood up, having been seated on his coffin, and
spoke quietly for some time. He said that he was sacrificed to
satisfy the feelings of others; that he died "a true believer in
the Gospel of Jesus Christ," but did not believe everything then
taught by Brigham Young. He asserted that he "did nothing
designedly wrong in this unfortunate affair," but did everything
in his power to save the emigrants. Five executioners then
stepped forward, and, when their rifles exploded, Lee fell dead
on his coffin.

Major (afterward General) Carlton, returning from California in
1859, where he had escorted a paymaster, passed through Mountain
Meadows, and, finding many bones of the victims still scattered
around, gathered them, and erected over them a cairn of stones,
on one of which he had engraved the words: "Here lie the bones of
120 men, women, and children from Arkansas, murdered on the 10th
day of September, 1857." In the centre of the cairn was placed a
beam, some fifteen feet high, with a cross-tree, on which was
painted: "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay
it." It was said that this was removed by order of Brigham

* "Humiliating as it is to confess, in the 42d Congress there
were gentlemen to be found in the committees of the House and in
the Senate who were bold enough to declare their opposition to
all investigation. One who had a national reputation during the
war, from Bunker Hill to New Orleans, was not ashamed to say to
those who sought the legislation that was necessary to make
investigation possible, that it was 'too late.'" "Rocky Mountain
Saints," p. 456.


With the return of the people to their homes, the peaceful
avocations of life in Utah were resumed. The federal judges
received assignments to their districts, and the other federal
officers took possession of their offices. Chief Justice Eckles
selected as his place of residence Camp Floyd, as General
Johnston's camp was named; Judge Sinclair's district included
Salt Lake City, and Judge Cradlebaugh's the southern part of the

Judge Cradlebaugh, who conceived it to be a judge's duty to see
that crime was punished, took steps at once to secure indictments
in connection with the notorious murders committed during the
"Reformation," and we have seen in a former chapter with what
poor results. He also personally visited the Mountain Meadows,
talked with whites and Indians cognizant with the massacre, and,
on affidavits sworn to before him, issued warrants for the arrest
of Haight, Higbee, Lee, and thirty-four others as participants
therein. In order to hold court with any prospect of a practical
result, a posse of soldiers was absolutely necessary, even for
the protection of witnesses; but Governor Cumming, true to the
reputation he had secured as a Mormon ally, declared that he saw
no necessity for such use of federal troops, and requested their
removal from Provo, where the court was in session; and when the
judge refused to grant his request, he issued a proclamation in
which he stated that the presence of the military had a tendency
"to disturb the peace and subvert the ends of justice." Before
this dispute had proceeded farther, General Johnston received an
order from Secretary Floyd, approved by Attorney General Black,
directing that in future he should instruct his troops to act as
a posse comitatus only on the written application of Governor
Cumming. Thus did the church win one of its first victories after
the reestablishment of "peace."

An incident in Salt Lake City at this time might have brought
about a renewal of the conflict between federal and Mormon
forces. The engraver of a plate with which to print counterfeit
government drafts, when arrested, turned state's evidence and
pointed out that the printing of the counterfeits had been done
over the "Deseret Store" in Salt Lake City, which was on Young's
premises. United States Marshal Dotson secured the plate, and
with it others, belonging to Young, on which Deseret currency had
been printed. This seemed to bring the matter so close to Young
that officers from Camp Floyd called on Governor Cumming to
secure his cooperation in arresting Young should that step be
decided on. The governor refused with indignation to be a party
to what he called "creeping through walls," that is, what he
considered a roundabout way to secure Young's arrest; and, when
it became rumored in the city that General Johnston would use his
troops without the governor's cooperation Cumming directed Wells,
the commander of the Nauvoo Legion, who had so recently been in
rebellion against the government, to hold his militia in
readiness for orders. Wells is quoted by Bancroft as saying that
he told Cumming, "We would not let them [the soldiers] come; that
if they did come, they would never get out alive if we could help
it."* The decision of the Washington authorities in favor of
Governor Cumming as against the federal judges once more restored
"peace." The only sufferer from this incident was Marshal Dotson,
against whom Young, in his probate court, obtained a judgment of
$2600 for injury to the Deseret currency plates, and a house
belonging to Dotson, renting for $500 year, was sold to satisfy
this judgment, and bought in by an agent of Young.

* "History of Utah," p. 573, note.

To complete the story of this forgery, it may be added that
Brewer, the engraver who turned state's evidence, was shot down
in Main Street, Salt Lake City, one evening, in company with J.
Johnson, a gambler who had threatened to shoot a Mormon editor. A
man who was a boy at the time gave J. H. Beadle the particulars
of this double murder as he received it from the person who
lighted a brazier to give the assassin a sure aim.* The coroner's
jury the next day found that the men shot one another!

* "Polygamy," p. 192.

Soon all public attention throughout the country was centred in
the coming conflict in the Southern states. In May, 1860, the
troops at Camp Floyd departed for New Mexico and Arizona, only a
small guard being left under command of Colonel Cooke. In May,
1861, Governor Cumming left Salt Lake City for the east so
quietly that most of the people there did not hear of his
departure until they read it in the local newspapers. He soon
after appeared in Washington, and after some delay obtained a
pass which permitted his passage through the Confederate lines.
When the Southern rebellion became a certainty, Colonel Cooke and
his force were ordered to march to the East in the autumn, after
selling vast quantities of stores in Camp Floyd, and destroying
the supplies and ammunition which they could not take away. Such
a slaughter of prices as then occurred was, perhaps, without
precedent. It was estimated that goods costing $4,000,000 brought
only $l00,000. Young had preached non-intercourse with the
Gentile merchants who followed the army, but he could not lose so
great an opportunity as this, when, for instance, flour costing
$28.40 per sack sold for 52 cents, and he invested $4,000. "For
years after," says Stenhouse, "the 'regulation blue pants' were
more familiar to the eye, in the Mormon settlements, than the
Valley Tan Quaker gray."

When Governor Cumming left the territory, the secretary, Francis
H. Wooton, became acting governor. He made himself very offensive
to the administration at Washington, and President Lincoln
appointed Frank Fuller, of New Hampshire, secretary of the
territory in his place, and Mr. Fuller proceeded at once to Salt
Lake City, where he became acting governor. Later in the year the
other federal offices in Utah were filled by the appointment of
John W. Dawson, of Indiana, as governor, John F. Kinney as chief
justice, and R. P. Flenniken and J. R. Crosby as associate

The selection of Dawson as governor was something more than a
political mistake. He was the editor and publisher of a party
newspaper at Fort Wayne, Indiana, a man of bad morals, and a
meddler in politics, who gave the Republican managers in his
state a great deal of trouble. The undoubted fact seems to be
that he was sent out to Utah on the recommendation of Indiana
politicians of high rank, who wanted to get rid of him, and who
gave no attention whatever to the requirements of his office.
Arriving at his post early in December, 1861, the new governor
incurred the ill will of the Mormons almost immediately by
vetoing a bill for a state convention passed by the territorial
legislature, and a memorial to Congress in favor of the admission
of the territory as a state (which Acting Governor Fuller
approved). They were very glad, therefore, to take advantage of
any mistake he might make; and he almost at once gave them their
opportunity, by making improper advances to a woman whom he had
employed to do some work. She, as Dawson expressed it to one of
his colleagues, "was fool enough to tell of it," and Dawson,
learning immediately that the Mormons meditated a severe
vengeance, at once made preparations for his departure.

The Deseret News of January 1, 1862, in an editorial on the
departure of the governor, said that for eight or ten days he had
been confined to his room and reported insane; that, when he
left, he took with him his physician and four guards, "to each of
whom, as reported last evening, $100 is promised in the event
that they guard him faithfully, and prevent his being killed or
becoming qualified for the office of chamberlain in the King's
palace, till he shall have arrived at and passed the eastern
boundary of the territory." After indicating that he had
committed an offence against a lady which, under the common law,
if enforced, "would have caused him to have bitten the dust," the
News added: "Why he selected the individuals named for his
bodyguard no one with whom we have conversed has been able to
determine. That they will do him justice, and see him safely out
of the territory, there can be no doubt."

The hints thus plainly given were carried out. Beadle's account
says, "He was waylaid in Weber Canon, and received shocking and
almost emasculating injuries from three Mormon lads."* Stenhouse
says: "He was dreadfully maltreated by some Mormon rowdies who
assumed, 'for the fun of the thing,' to be the avengers of an
alleged insult. Governor Dawson had been betrayed into an
offence, and his punishment was heavy."** Mrs. Waite says that
the Mormons laid a trap for the governor, as they had done for
Steptoe; but the evidence indicates that, in Dawson's case, the
victim was himself to blame for the opportunity he gave.

* "Polygamy," p. 195.

** "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 592.

Stenhouse says that the Mormon authorities were very angry
because of the aggravated character of the punishment dealt out
to the governor, as they simply wanted him sent away disgraced,
and that they had all his assailants shot. This is practically
confirmed by the Mormon historian Whitney, who says that one of
the assailants was a relative of the woman insulted, and the
others "merely drunken desperadoes and robbers who," he explains,
"were soon afterward arrested for their cowardly and brutal
assault upon the fleeing official. One of them, Lot Huntington,
was shot by Deputy Sheriff O. P. Rockwell [so often Young's
instrument in such cases] on January 26, in Rush Valley, while
attempting to escape from the officers, and two others, John P.
Smith and Moroni Clawson, were killed during a similar attempt
next day by the police of Salt Lake City. Their confederates were
tried and duly punished."*

* "History of Utah," Vol. II, p. 38.

The departure of Governor Dawson left the executive office again
in charge of Secretary Fuller. Early in 1862 the Indians
threatened the overland mail route, and Fuller, having received
instruction from Montgomery Blair to keep the route open at all
hazards, called for thirty men to serve for thirty days. These
were supplied by the Mormons. In the following April, the Indian
troubles continuing, Governor Fuller, Chief Justice Kinney, and
officers of the Overland Mail and Pacific Telegraph Companies
united in a letter to Secretary Stanton asking that
Superintendent of Indian Affairs Doty be authorized to raise a
regiment of mounted rangers in the territory, with officers
appointed by him, to keep open communication. These petitioners,
observes Tullidge, "had overrated the federal power in Utah, as
embodied in themselves, for such a service, when they overlooked
ex-Governor Young" and others.* Young had no intention of
permitting any kind of a federal force to supplant his Legion. He
at once telegraphed to the Utah Delegate in Washington that the
Utah militia (alias Nauvoo Legion) were competent to furnish the
necessary protection. As a result of this presentation of the
matter, Adjutant General L. L. Thomas, on April 28, addressed a
reply to the petition for protection, not to any of the federal
officers in Utah, but to "Mr. Brigham Young," saying, " By
express direction of the President of the United States you are
hereby authorized to raise, arm, and equip one company of cavalry
for ninety days' service."* The order for carrying out these
instructions was placed by the head of the Nauvoo Legion,
"General" Wells--who ordered the burning of the government trains
in 1857--in the hands of Major Lot Smith, who carried out that

* Tullidge's "History of Salt Lake City," p. 252.

** Vol. II, Series 3, p. 27, War of the Rebellion, official

Judges Flenniken and Crosby took their departure from the
territory a month later than Dawson, and Thomas J. Drake of
Michigan and Charles B. Waite of Illinois* were named as their
successors, and on March 31 Stephen S. Harding of Milan, Indiana,
a lawyer, was appointed governor. The new officers arrived in

* After leaving Utah Judge Waite was appointed district attorney
for Idaho, was elected to Congress, and published "A History of
the Christian Religion," and other books. His wife, author of
"The Mormon Prophet," was a graduate of Oberlin College and of
the Union College of Law in Chicago, a member of the Illinois
bar, founder of the Chicago Law Times, and manager of the
publishing firm of C. W. Waite & Co.

At this time the Mormons were again seeking admission for the
State of Deseret. They had had a constitution prepared for
submission to Congress, had nominated Young for governor and
Kimball for lieutenant governor, and the legislature, in advance,
had chosen W. H. Hooper and George Q. Cannon the United States
senators. But Utah was not then admitted, while, on the other
hand, an anti-polygamy bill (to be described later) was passed,
and signed by President Lincoln on July 2.

During the month preceding the arrival of Governor Harding,
another tragedy had been enacted in the territory. Among the
church members was a Welshman named Joseph Morris, who became
possessed of the belief (which, as we have seen, had afflicted
brethren from time to time) that he was the recipient of
"revelations." One of these "revelations" having directed him to
warn Young that he was wandering from the right course, he did
this in person, and received a rebuke so emphatic that it quite
overcame him. He betook himself, therefore, to a place called
Kington Fort, on the Weber River, thirty-five miles north of Salt
Lake City, and there he found believers in his prophetic gifts in
the local Bishop, and quite a settlement of men and women, almost
all foreigners. Young's refusal to satisfy the demand for
published "revelations" gave some standing to a fanatic like
Morris, who professed to supply that long-felt want, and he was
so prolific in his gift that three clerks were required to write
down what was revealed to him. Among his announcements were the
date of the coming of Christ and the necessity of "consecrating"
their property in a common fund. Having made a mistake in the
date selected for Christ's appearance, the usual apostates sprang
up, and, when they took their departure, they claimed the right
to carry with them their share of the common effects. In the
dispute that ensued, the apostates seized some Morrisite grain on
the way to mill, and the Morrisites captured some apostates, and
took them prisoners to Kington Fort.

Out of these troubles came the issue of a writ by Judge Kinney
for the release of the prisoners, the defiance of this writ by
the Morrisites, and a successful appeal to the governor for the
use of the militia to enable the marshal to enforce the writ. On
the morning of June 13 the Morrisites discovered an armed force,
in command of General R. T. Burton, the marshal's chief deputy,
on the mountain that overlooked their settlement, and received
from Burton an order to surrender in thirty minutes. Morris
announced a "revelation," declaring that the Lord would not allow
his people to be destroyed. When the thirty minutes had expired,
without further warning the Mormon force fired on the Morrisites
with a cannon, killing two women outright, and sending the others
to cover. But the devotees were not weak-hearted. For three days
they kept up a defence, and it was not until their ammunition was
exhausted that they raised a white flag. When Burton rode into
their settlement and demanded Morris's surrender, that fanatic
replied, "Never." Burton at once shot him dead, and then badly
wounded John Banks, an English convert and a preacher of
eloquence, who had joined Morris after rebelling against Young's
despotism. Banks died "suddenly" that evening. Burton finished
his work by shooting two women, one of whom dared to condemn his
shooting of Morris and Banks, and the other for coming up to him

* For accounts of this slaughter, see "Rocky Mountain Saints,"
pp. 593-606, and Beadle's "Life in Utah," pp. 413-420.

The bodies of Morris and Banks were carried to Salt Lake City and
exhibited there. No one--President of the church or federal
officer--took any steps at that time to bring their murderers to
justice. Sixteen years later District Attorney Van Zile tried
Burton for this massacre, but the verdict was acquittal, as it
has been in all these famous cases except that of John D. Lee.
Ninety-three Morrisites, few of whom could speak English, were
arraigned before Judge Kinney and placed under bonds. In the
following March seven of the Morrisites were convicted of killing
members of the posse, and sentenced by Judge Kinney to
imprisonment for from five to fifteen years each, while sixty-six
others were fined $100 each for resisting the posse. Governor
Harding immediately pardoned ail the accused, in response to a
numerously signed petition. Beadle says that Bishop Wooley
advised the governor to be careful about granting these pardons,
as "our people feel it would be an outrage, and if it is done,
they might proceed to violence"; but that Bill Hickman, the
Danite captain, rode thirty miles to sign the petition, saying
that he was "one Mormon who was not afraid to sign." The grand
jury that had indicted the Morrisites made a presentment to Judge
Kinney, in which they said, "We present his Excellency Stephen S.
Harding, governor of Utah, as we would an unsafe bridge over a
dangerous stream, jeopardizing the lives of all those who pass
over it; or as we would a pestiferous cesspool in our district,
breathing disease and death." And the chief justice assured this
jury that they addressed him "in no spirit of malice," and asked
them to accept his thanks "for your cooperation in the support of
my efforts to maintain and enforce the law." It is to the credit
of the powers at Washington that this judge was soon afterward

* Even the Mormon historian has only this to say on this subject:
"Of the relative merit or demerit of the action of the United
States and territorial authorities concerned in the Morrisite
affair the historian does not presume to touch, further than to
present the record itself and its significance."--Tullidge,
"History of Salt Lake City," p. 320.

CHAPTER XVIII. Attitude of the Mormons During the Southern

The attitude of the Mormons toward the government at the outbreak
of hostilities with the Southern states was distinctly disloyal.
The Deseret News of January 2, 1861, said, "The indications are
that the breach which has been effected between the North and
South will continue to widen, and that two or more nations will
be formed out of the fragmentary portions of the once glorious
republic." The Mormons in England had before that been told in
the Millennial Star (January 28, 1860) that "the Union is now
virtually destroyed." The sermons in Salt Lake City were of the
same character. "General" Wells told the people on April 6, 1861,
that the general government was responsible for their expulsion
from Missouri and Illinois, adding: "So far as we are concerned,
we should have been better without a government than such a one.
I do not think there is a more corrupt government upon the face
of the earth."* Brigham Young on the same day said: "Our present
President, what is his strength? It is like a rope of sand, or
like a rope made of water. He is as weak as water.... I feel
disgraced in having been born under a government that has so
little power, disposition and influence for truth and right.
Shame, shame on the rulers of this nation. I feel myself
disgraced to hail such men as my countrymen."**

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. VIII, pp. 373-374.

** Ibid., Vol. IX, p. 4.

Elder G. A. Smith, on the same occasion, railing against the non-
Mormon clergy, said, "Mr. Lincoln now is put into power by that
priestly influence; and the presumption is, should he not find
his hands full by the secession of the Southern States, the
spirit of priestly craft would force him, in spite of his good
wishes and intentions, to put to death, if it was in his power,
every man that believes in the divine mission of Joseph Smith."*
On August 31, 1862, Young quoted Smith's prediction of a
rebellion beginning in South Carolina, and declared that "the
nation that has slain the prophet of God will be broken in pieces
like a potter's vessel," boasting that the Mormon government in
Utah was "the best earthly government that was ever framed by

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. IX, p. 18.

Tullidge, discussing in 1876 the attitude of the Mormon church
toward the South, said:--

"With the exception of the slavery question and the policy of
secession, the South stood upon the same ground that Utah had
stood upon just previously.... And here we reach the heart of the
Mormon policy and aims. Secession is not in it. Their issues are
all inside the Union. The Mormon prophecy is that that people are
destined to save the Union and preserve the constitution.... The
North, which had just risen to power through the triumph of the
Republican party, occupied the exact position toward the South
that Buchanan's administration had held toward Utah. And the
salient points of resemblance between the two cases were so
striking that Utah and the South became radically associated in
the Chicago platform that brought the Republican party into
office. Slavery and polygamy--these 'twin relics of barbarism'--
were made the two chief planks of the party platform. Yet neither
of these were the real ground of the contest. It continues still,
and some of the soundest men of the times believe that it will be
ultimately referred in a revolution so general that nearly every
man in America will become involved in the action.... The Mormon
view of the great national controversy, then, is that the
Southern States should have done precisely what Utah did, and
placed themselves on the defensive ground of their rights and
institutions as old as the Union. Had they placed themselves
under the political leadership of Brigham Young, they would have
triumphed, for their cause was fundamentally right; their
secession alone was the national crime."**

** Tullidge's "Life of Brigham Young," Chap. 24.

Knowledge of the spirit which animated the Saints induced the
Secretary of War to place them under military supervision, and in
May, 1862, the Third California Infantry and a part of the Second
California Cavalry were ordered to Utah. The commander of this
force was Colonel P. E. Connor, who had a fine record in the
Mexican War, and who was among the first, at the outbreak of the
Rebellion, to tender his services to the government in
California, where he was then engaged in business. On assuming
command of the military district of Utah, which included Utah and
Nevada, Colonel Connor issued an order directing commanders of
posts, camps, and detachments to arrest and imprison, until they
took the oath of allegiance, "all persons who from this date
shall be guilty of uttering treasonable sentiments against the
government," adding, "Traitors shall not utter treasonable
sentiments in this district with impunity, but must seek some
more genial soil, or receive the punishment they so richly

When Connor's force arrived at Fort Crittenden (the Camp Floyd of
General Johnston), the Mormons supposed that it would make its
camp there. Persons having a pecuniary interest in the
reoccupation of the old site, where they wanted to sell to the
government the buildings they had bought for a song, tried hard
to induce Colonel Connor to accept their view, even warning him
of armed Mormon opposition to his passage through Salt Lake City.
But he was not a man to be thus deterred. Among the rumors that
reached him was one that Bill Hickman, the Danite chief, was
offering to bet $500 in Salt Lake City that the colonel could not
cross the river Jordan. Colonel Connor is said to have sent back
the reply that he "would cross the river Jordan if hell yawned
below him."

On Saturday, October 18, Connor marched twenty miles toward the
Mormon capital, and the next day crossed the Jordan at 2 P.M.,
without finding a person in sight on the eastern shore. The
command, knowing that the Nauvoo Legion outnumbered them vastly,
and ignorant of the real intention of the Mormon leaders,
advanced with every preparation to meet resistance. They were, as
an accompanying correspondent expressed it, "six hundred miles of
sand from reinforcements." The conciliatory policy of so many
federal officers in Utah would have induced Colonel Connor to
march quietly around the city, and select some place for his camp
where it would not offend Mormon eyes. What he did do was to halt
his command when the city was two miles distant, form his column
with an advance guard of cavalry and a light battery, the
infantry and commissary wagons coming next, and in this order, to
the bewilderment of the Mormon authorities, march into the
principal street, with his two bands playing, to Emigrants'
Square, and so to Governor Harding's residence.

The only United States flag displayed on any building that day
was the governor's. The sidewalks were packed with men, women,
and children, but not a cheer was heard. In front of the
governor's residence the battalion was formed in two lines, and
the governor, standing in the buggy in which he had ridden out to
meet them, addressed them, saying that their mission was one of
peace and security, and urging them to maintain the strictest
discipline. The troops, Colonel Connor leading, gave three cheers
for the country and the flag, and three for Governor Harding, and
then took up their march to the slope at the base of Wahsatch
Mountain, where the Camp Douglas of to-day is situated. This camp
was in sight of the Mormon city, and Young's residence was in
range of its guns. Thus did Brigham's will bend before the quiet
determination of a government officer who respected his
government's dignity.

But the Mormon spirit was to be still further tested. On December
8 Governor Harding read his first message to the territorial
legislature. It began with a tribute to the industry and
enterprise of the people; spoke of the progress of the war, and
of the application of the territory for statehood, and in this
connection said, "I am sorry to say that since my sojourn amongst
you I have heard no sentiments, either publicly or privately
expressed, that would lead me to believe that much sympathy is
felt by any considerable number of your people in favor of the
government of the United States, now struggling for its very
existence." He declared that the demand for statehood should not
be entertained unless it was "clearly shown that there is a
sufficient population" and "that the people are loyal to the
federal government and the laws." He recommended the taking of a
correct census to settle the question of population. All these
utterances were gall and wormwood to a body of Mormon lawmakers,
but worse was to come. Congress having passed an act "to prevent
and punish the practice of polygamy in the territories," the
governor naturally considered it his duty to call attention to
the matter. Prevising that he desired to do so "in no offensive
manner or unkind spirit," he pointed out that the practice was
founded on no territorial law, resting merely on custom; and
laid, down the principle that "no community can happily exist
with an institution so important as that of marriage wanting in
all those qualities that make it homogeneal with institutions and
laws of neighboring civilized countries having the same spirit."
He spoke of the marriage of a mother and her daughter to the same
man as "no less a marvel in morals than in matters of taste," and
warned them against following the recommendation of high church
authorities that the federal law be disregarded. This message,
according to the Mormon historian, was "an insult offered to
their representatives."*

* Tullidge's "History of Salt Lake City," p. 305.

These representatives resented the "insult " by making no
reference in the journal to the reading of the message, and by
failing to have it printed. When this was made known in
Washington, the Senate, on January 16, 1863, called for a report
by the Committee on Territories concerning the suppression of the
message, and they got one from its chairman, Benjamin Wade,
pointing out that Utah Territory was in the control of "a sort of
Jewish theocracy," affording "the first exhibition, within the
limits of the United States, of a church ruling the state," and
declaring that the governor's message contained "nothing that
should give offence to any legislature willing to be governed by
the laws of morality," closing with a recommendation that the
message be printed by Congress. The territorial legislature
adjourned on January 16 without sending to Governor Harding for
his approval a single appropriation bill, and the next day the
so-called legislature of the State of Deseret met and received a
message from the state governor, Brigham Young.

Next the new federal judges came under Mormon displeasure. We
have seen the conflict of jurisdiction existing between the
federal and the so-called probate courts and their officers.
Judge Waite perceived the difficulties thus caused as soon as he
entered upon his duties, and he sent to Washington an act giving
the United States marshal authority to select juries for the
federal courts, taking from the probate courts jurisdiction in
civil actions, and leaving them a limited criminal jurisdiction
subject to appeal to the federal court, and providing for a
reorganization of the militia under the federal governor.
Bernhisel and Hooper sent home immediate notice of the arrival of
this bill in Washington.

Now, indeed, it was time for Brigham to "bend his finger." If a
governor could openly criticise polygamy, and a judge seek to
undermine Young's legal and military authority, without a
protest, his days of power were certainly drawing to a close.
Accordingly, a big mass-meeting was held in Salt Lake City on
March 3, 1863, "for the purpose of investigating certain acts of
several of the United States officials in the territory."
Speeches were made by John Taylor and Young, in which the
governor and judges were denounced.* A committee was appointed to
ask the governor and two judges to resign and leave the
territory, and a petition was signed requesting President Lincoln
to remove them, the first reason stated being that "they are
strenuously endeavoring to create mischief, and stir up strife
between the people of the territory and the troops in Camp
Douglas." The meeting then adjourned, the band playing the

* Reported in Mrs. Waite's "Mormon Prophet," pp. 98-102.

The committee, consisting of John Taylor, J. Clinton, and Orson
Pratt, called on the governor and the judges the next morning,
and met with a flat refusal to pay any attention to the mandate
of the meeting. "You may go back and tell your constituents,"
said Governor Harding, "that I will not resign my office, and
will not leave this territory, until it shall please the
President to recall me. I will not be driven away. I may be in
danger in staying, but my purpose is fixed." Judge Drake told the
committee that he had a right to ask Congress to pass or amend
any law, and that it was a special insult for him, a citizen, to
be asked by Taylor, a foreigner, to leave any part of the
Republic. "Go back to Brigham Young, your master," said he, "that
embodiment of sin, shame, and disgust, and tell him that I
neither fear him, nor love him, nor hate him--that I utterly
despise him. Tell him, whose tools and tricksters you are, that I
did not come here by his permission, and that I will not go away
at his desire nor by his direction.... A horse thief or a
murderer has, when arrested, a right to speak in court; and,
unless in such capacity or under such circumstances, don't you
even dare to speak to me again." Judge Waite simply declined to
resign because to do so would imply "either that I was sensible
of having done something wrong, or that I was afraid to remain at
my post and perform my duty."**

* Text of replies in Mrs. Waite's "Mormon Prophet," pp. 107-109.

As soon as the action of the Mormon mass-meeting became known at
Camp Douglas, all the commissioned officers there signed a
counter petition to President Lincoln, "as an act of duty we owe
our government," declaring that the charge of inciting trouble
between the people and the troops was "a base and unqualified
falsehood," that the accused officers had been "true and faithful
to the government," and that there was no good reason for their

Excitement in Salt Lake City now ran high. Young, in a violent
harangue in the Tabernacle on March 8, after declaring his
loyalty to the government, said, "Is there anything that could be
asked that we would not do? Yes. Let the present administration
ask us for a thousand men, or even five hundred, and I'd see them
d--d first, and then they could not have them. What do you think
of that?' (Loud cries of 'Good, Good,' and great applause.)"*

* Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.

Young expected arrest, and had a signal arranged by which the
citizens would rush to his support if this was attempted. A false
alarm of this kind was given on March 9, and in an hour two
thousand armed men were assembled around his house.* Steptoe, who
in an earlier year had declined the governorship of the territory
and petitioned for Young's reappointment, took credit for what
followed in an article in the Overland Monthly for December,
1896. Being at Salt Lake City at the time, he suggested to Wells
and other leaders that they charge Young with the crime of
polygamy before one of the magistrates, and have him arraigned
and admitted to bail, in order to place him beyond the reach of
the military officers. The affidavit was sworn to before the
compliant Chief Justice Kinney by Young's private secretary, was
served by the territorial marshal, and Young was released in
$5000 bail. Colonel Connor was informed of this arrest before he
arrived in the city, and retraced his steps; the citizens
dispersed to their homes; the grand jury found no indictment
against Young, and in due time he was discharged from his

* "On the inside of the high walls surrounding Brigham's premises
scaffolding was hastily erected in order to enable the militia to
fire down upon the passing volunteers. The houses on the route
which occupied a commanding position where an attack could be
made upon the troops were taken possession of, and the small
cannon brought out."--"Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 604.

"In the meantime," says a Mormon chronicler, "our 'outside'
friends in this city telegraphed to those interested in the mail*
and telegraph lines that they must work for the removal of the
troops, Governor Harding, and Judges Waite and Drake, otherwise
there would be 'difficulty,' and the mail and telegraph lines
would be destroyed. Their moneyed interest has given them great
energy in our behalf."** This "work" told Governor Harding was
removed, leaving the territory on June 11 and, as proof that this
was due to "work" and not to his own incapacity, he was made
Chief Justice of Colorado Territory.*** With him were displaced
Chief Justice Kinney and Secretary Fuller.**** Judges Waite and
Drake wrote to the President that it would take the support of
five thousand men to make the federal courts in Utah effective.
Waite resigned in the summer of 1863. Drake remained, but his
court did practically no business.

* The first Pony Express left Sacramento and St. Joseph,
Missouri, on April 3, 1860. Major General M. B. Hazen in an
official letter dated February, 1807 (House Misc. Doc. No. 75, 2d
Session, 39th Congress), said: "Ben Holiday I believe to be the
only outsider acceptable to those people, and to benefit himself
I believe he would throw the whole weight of his influence in
favor of Mormonism. By the terms of his contract to carry the
mails from the Missouri to Utah, all papers and pamphlets for the
newsdealers, not directed to subscribers, are thrown out. It
looks very much like a scheme to keep light out of that country,
nowhere so much needed."

** D. O. Calder's letter to George Q. Cannon, March 13, 1863, in
Millennial Star.

*** "Every attempt was made to seduce him from the path of duty,
not omitting the same appliances which had been brought to bear
upon Steptoe and Dawson, but all in vain."--"The Mormon Prophet,"
p. 109.

**** Whitney, the Mormon historian, says that while the President
was convinced that Harding was not the right man for the place,
"he doubtless believed that there was more or less truth in the
charges of 'subserviency' to Young made by local anti-Mormons
against Chief Justice Kinney and Secretary Fuller. He therefore
removed them as well."--"History of Utah," Vol. II, p. 103.

Lincoln's policy, as he expressed it then, was, "I will let the
Mormons alone if they will let me alone."* He had war enough on
his hands without seeking any diversion in Utah. J. D. Doty, the
superintendent of Indian affairs, succeeded Harding as governor,
Amos Reed of Wisconsin became secretary, and John Titus of
Philadelphia chief justice.

* Young's letter to Cannon, "History of Salt Lake City," p. 325.

Affairs in Utah now became more quiet. General Connor (he was
made a brigadier general for his service in the Bear River Indian
campaign in 1862-1863) yielded nothing to Mormon threats or
demands. A periodical called the Union Vidette, published by his
force, appeared in November, 1863, and in it was printed a
circular over his name, expressing belief in the existence of
rich veins of gold, silver, copper, and other metals in the
territory, and promising the fullest protection to miners and
prospectors; and the beginning of the mining interests there
dated from the picking up of a piece of ore by a lady member of
the camp while attending a picnic party. Although the Mormons had
discouraged mining as calculated to cause a rush of non-Mormon
residents, they did not show any special resentment to the
general's policy in this respect. With the increasing evidence
that the Union cause would triumph, the church turned its face
toward the federal government. We find, accordingly, a union of
Mormons and Camp Douglas soldiers in the celebration of Union
victories on March 4, 1865, with a procession and speeches, and,
when General Connor left to assume command of the Department of
the Platte, a ball in his honor was given in Salt Lake City; and
at the time of Lincoln's assassination church and government
officers joined in services in the Tabernacle, and the city was
draped in mourning.

CHAPTER XIX. Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City--Unpunished

In June, 1865, a distinguished party from the East visited Salt
Lake City, and their visit was not without public significance.
It included Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Lieutenant Governor Bross of Illinois, Samuel
Bowles, editor of the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican, and
A. D. Richardson of the staff of the New York Tribune. Crossing
the continent was still effected by stage-coach at that time,
and the Mormon capital had never been visited by civilians so
well known and so influential. Mr. Colfax had stated publicly
that President Lincoln, a short time before his death, had asked
him to make a thorough investigation of territorial matters, and
his visit was regarded as semiofficial. The city council
formally tendered to the visitors the hospitality of the city,
and Mr. Bowles wrote that the Speaker's reception "was excessive
if not oppressive."

In an interview between Colfax and Young, during which the
subject of polygamy was brought up by the latter, he asked what
the government intended to do with it, now that the slavery
question was out of the way. Mr. Colfax replied with the
expression of a hope that the prophets of the church would have a
new "revelation" which would end the practice, pointing out an
example in the course of Missouri and Maryland in abolishing
slavery, without waiting for action by the federal government.
"Mr. Young," says Bowles, "responded quietly and frankly that he
should readily welcome such a revelation; that polygamy was not
in the original book of the Mormons; that it was not an
essential practice in the church, but only a privilege and a
duty, under special command of God."*

* "Across the Continent," p. 111.

It is worth while to note Mr. Bowles's summing up of his
observations of Mormondom during this visit. "The result," he
wrote, "of the whole experience has been to increase my
appreciation of the value of their material progress and
development to the nation; to evoke congratulations to them and
to the country for the wealth they have created, and the order,
frugality, morality (sic), and industry they have organized in
this remote spot in our continent; to excite wonder at the
perfection of their church system, the extent of its
ramifications, the sweep of its influence, and to enlarge my
respect for the personal sincerity and character of many of the
leaders in the organization."* These were the expressions of a
leading journalist, thought worthy to be printed later in book
form, on a church system and church officers about which he had
gathered his information during a few hours' visit, and
concerning which he was so fundamentally ignorant that he called
their Bible--whose title is, "Book of Mormon"--"book of the
Mormons!" It is reasonably certain that he had never read
Smith's "revelations," doubtful if he was acquainted with even
the framework of the Mormon Bible, and probable that he was
wholly ignorant of the history of their recent "Reformation."
Many a profound opinion of Mormonism has been founded on as
little opportunity for accurate knowledge.**

* "Across the Continent," p. 106.

** As another illustration of the value of observations by such
transient students may be cited the following, from Sir Charles
Wentworth Dilke's "Greater Britain," Vol. I, p. 148: "Brigham's
deeds have been those of a sincere man. His bitterest opponents
cannot dispute the fact that, in 1844, when Nauvoo was about to
be deserted owing to attacks by a ruffianly mob, Brigham Young
rushed to the front and took command. To be a Mormon leader was
then to be the leader of an outcast people, with a price set on
his head, in a Missouri country in which almost every man who
was not a Mormon was by profession an assassin."

The Eastern visitors soon learned, however, how little intention
the Mormon leaders had to be cajoled out of polygamy. Before Mr.
Bowles's book was published, he had to add a supplement, in
which he explained that "since our visit to Utah in June, the
leaders among the Mormons have repudiated their professions of
loyalty to the government, and denied any disposition to yield
the issue of polygamy." Tullidge sneers at Colfax "for
entertaining for a while the pretty plan" of having the Mormons
give up polygamy as the Missourians did slavery. The Deseret
News, soon after the Colfax party left the territory, expressed
the real Mormon view on this subject, saying: "As a people we
view every revelation from the Lord as sacred. Polygamy was none
of our seeking. It came to us from Heaven, and we recognized it,
and still do, the voice of Him whose right it is not only to
teach us, but to dictate and teach all men . . . . They
[Gentiles] talk of revelations given, and of receiving counter
revelations to forbid what has been commanded, as if man was the
sole author, originator, and designer of them . . . . Do they
wish to brand a whole people with the foul stigma of hypocrisy,
who, from their leaders to the last converts that have made the
dreary journey to these mountain wilds for their faith, have
proved their honesty of purpose and deep sincerity of faith by
the most sublime sacrifices? Either that is the issue of their
reasoning, or they imagine that we serve and worship the most
accommodating Deity ever dreamed of in the wildest vagaries of
the most savage polytheist."

This was a perfectly consistent statement of the Mormon position,
a simple elaboration of Young's declaration that, to give up
belief in Smith as a prophet, and in his "revelations," would be
to give up their faith. Just as truly, any later "revelation,"
repealing the one concerning polygamy, must be either a pretence
or a temporary expedient, in orthodox Mormon eyes. The Mormons
date the active crusade of the government against polygamy from
the return of the Colfax party to the East, holding that this
question did not enter into the early differences between them
and the government.*

* Tullidge's "History of Salt Lake City," p. 358.

In the year following Colfax's visit, there occurred in Utah two
murders which attracted wide notice, and which called attention
once more to the insecurity of the life of any man against whom
the finger of the church was crooked. The first victim was O. N.
Brassfield, a non-Mormon, who had the temerity to marry, on
March 20, 1866, the second polygamous wife of a Mormon while the
husband was in Europe on a mission. As he was entering his house
in Salt Lake City, on the third day of the following month, he
was shot dead. An order that had been given to disband the
volunteer troops still remaining in the territory was
countermanded from Washington, and General Sherman, then
commander of that department, telegraphed to Young that he hoped
to hear of no more murders of Gentiles in Utah, intimating that,
if he did, it would be easy to reenlist some of the recently
discharged volunteers and march them through the territory.

The second victim was Dr. J. King Robinson, a young man who had
come to Utah as assistant surgeon of the California volunteers,
married the daughter of a Mormon whose widow and daughters had
left the church, and taken possession of the land on which were
some well-known warm springs, with the intention of establishing
there a sanitarium. The city authorities at once set up a claim
to the warm springs property, a building Dr. Robinson had
erected there was burned, and, as he became aggressive in
asserting his legal rights, he was called out one night,
ostensibly to set a broken leg, knocked down, and shot dead. The
audacity of this crime startled even the Mormons, and the
opinion has been expressed that nothing more serious than a
beating had been intended. There was an inquest before a city
alderman, at which some non-Mormon lawyers and judges Titus and
McCurdy were asked to assist. The chief feature of this hearing
was the summing up by Ex-Governor J. B. Weller, of California,
in which he denounced such murders, asked if there was not an
organized influence which prevented the punishment of their
perpetrators, and confessed that the prosecution had not been
permitted "to lift the veil, and show the perpetrators of this
horrible murder." *

* Text in "Rocky Mountain Saints," Appendix I.

General W. B. Hazen, in his report of February, 1867, said of
these victims: *There is no doubt of their murder from Mormon
church influences, although I do not believe by direct command.
Principles are taught in their churches which would lead to such
murders. I have earnestly to recommend that a list be made of
the Mormon leaders, according to their importance, excepting
Brigham Young, and that the President of the United States
require the commanding officer at Camp Douglas to arrest and
send to the state's prison at Jefferson City, Mo., beginning at
the head of the list, man for man hereafter killed as these men
were, to be held until the real perpetrators of the deed, with
evidence for their conviction, be given up. I believe Young for
the present necessary for us there" *

* Mis. House Doc. No. 75, 2d Session, 39th Congress.

Had this policy been adopted, Mormon prisoners would soon have
started East, for very soon afterward three other murders of the
same character occurred, although the victims were not so
prominent.* Chief Justice Titus incurred the hatred of the
Mormons by determined, if futile, efforts to bring offenders in
such cases to justice, and to show their feeling they sent him a
nightgown ten feet long, at the hands of a negro.

* See note 70, p. 628, Bancroft's "History of Utah." When, in
July, 1869, a delegation from Illinois, that included Senator
Trumbull, Governor Oglesby, Editor Medill of the Chicago
Tribune, and many members of the Chicago Board of Trade, visited
Salt Lake City, they were welcomed by and affiliated with the
Gentile element;* and when, in the following October, Vice
President Colfax paid a second visit to the city, he declined the
courtesies tendered to him by the city officers.** He made an
address from the portico of the Townsend House, of which
polygamy was the principle feature, and was soon afterward drawn
into a newspaper discussion of the subject with John Taylor.

* In an interview between Young and Senator Trumbull during this
visit (reported in the Alta California), the following
conversation took place:--"Young--We can take care of ourselves.
Cumming was good enough in his way, for you know he was simply
Governor of the Territory, while I was and am Governor of the

"Senator Trumbull--Mr. Young, may I say to the President that you
intend to observe the laws under the constitution?"

"Young-Well-yes--we intend to."

"Senator Trumbull--But may I say to him that you will do so?"

"Young--Yes, yes; so far as the laws are just, certainly."

** "Mr. Colfax politely refused to accept the proffered
courtesies of the city. Brigham was reported to have uttered
abusive language in the Tabernacle towards the Government and
Congress, and to have charged the President and Vice President
with being drunkards. One of the Aldermen who waited upon Mr.
Colfax to tender to him the hospitality of the city could only
say that he did not hear Brigham say so."--"Rocky Mountain
Saints," p. 638.

CHAPTER XX. Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism

The end of the complete seclusion of the Mormon settlement in
Utah from the rest of the country--complete except so far as it
was interrupted by the passage through the territory of the
California emigration--dates from the establishment of Camp
Floyd, and the breaking up of that camp and the disposal of its
accumulation of supplies, which gave the first big impetus to
mercantile traffic in Utah.* Young was ever jealous of the
mercantile power, so openly jealous that, as Tullidge puts it,
"to become a merchant was to antagonize the church and her
policies, so that it was almost illegitimate for Mormon men of
enterprising character to enter into mercantile pursuits." This
policy naturally increased the business of non-Mormons who
established themselves in the city, and their prosperity
directed the attention of the church authorities to them, and
the pulpit orators hurled anathemas at those who traded with
them. Thus Young, in a discourse, on March 28, 1858, urging the
people to use home-made material, said: "Let the calicoes lie on
the shelves and rot. I would rather build buildings every day
and burn them down at night, than have traders here communing
with our enemies outside, and keeping up a hell all the time, and
raising devils to keep it going. They brought their hell with
them. We can have enough of our own without their help."** A
system of espionage, by means of the city police, was kept on
the stores of non-Mormons, until it required courage for a
Mormon to make a purchase in one of these establishments. To
trade with an apostate Mormon was, of course, a still greater

* "The community had become utterly destitute of almost
everything necessary to their social comfort. The people were
poorly clad, and rarely ever saw anything on their tables but
what was prepared from flour, corn, beet-molasses, and the
vegetables and fruits of their gardens. . . . It was at Camp
Floyd, indeed, where the principal Utah merchants and business
men of the second decade of our history may be said to have laid
the foundation of their fortunes, among whom were the Walker
Brothers."--Tullidge, "History of Salt Lake City," pp. 246-247.

** Journal of Discourses, Vol. VII, p. 45.

Among the mercantile houses that became strong after the
establishment of Camp Floyd was that of Walker Brothers. There
were four of them, Englishmen, who had come over with their
mother, and shared in the privations of the early Utah
settlement. Possessed of practical business talent and
independence of thought, they rebelled against Young's
dictatorial rule and the varied trammels by which their business
was restricted. Without openly apostatizing, they insisted on a
measure of independence. One manifestation of this was a refusal
to contribute one-tenth of their income as a tithe for the
expenditure of which no account was rendered. One year, when
asked for their tithe, they gave the Bishop of their ward a
check for $500 as "a contribution to the poor." When this form of
contribution was reported to Young, he refused to accept it, and
sent the brothers word that he would cut them off from the
church unless they paid their tithe in the regular way. Their
reply was to tear up the check and defy Young.

The natural result followed. Brigham and his lieutenants waged an
open war on these merchants, denouncing them in the Tabernacle,
and keeping policemen before their doors. The Walkers, on their
part, kept on offering good wares at reasonable prices, and thus
retained the custom of as many Mormons as dared trade with them
openly, or could slip in undiscovered. Even the expedient of
placing a sign bearing an "all-seeing eye" and the words
"Holiness to the Lord" over every Mormon trader's door did not
steer away from other doors the Mormon customers who delighted
in bargains. But the church power was too great for any one firm
to fight. Not only was a business man's capital in danger in
those times, when the church was opposed to him, but his life
was not safe. Stenhouse draws this picture of the condition of
affairs in 1866:--"After the assassination of Dr. Robinson, fears
of violence were not unnatural, and many men who had never
before carried arms buckled on their revolvers. Highly
respectable men in Salt Lake City forsook the sidewalks after
dusk, and, as they repaired to their residences, traversed the
middle of the public street, carrying their revolvers in their

With such a feeling of uneasiness, nearly all the non-Mormon
merchants joined in a letter to Brigham Young, offering, if the
church would purchase their goods and estates at twentyfive per
cent less than their valuation, they would leave the Territory.
Brigham answered them cavalierly that he had not asked them to
come into the Territory, did not ask them to leave it, and that
they might stay as long as they pleased.

"It was clear that Brigham felt himself master of the situation,
and the merchants had to bide their time, and await the coming
change that was anticipated from the completion of the Pacific
Railroad. As the great iron way approached the mountains, and
every day gave greater evidence of its being finished at a much
earlier period than was at first anticipated, the hope of what
it would accomplish nerved the discontented to struggle with the
passing day." *

* "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 625.

The Mormon historian incorporates these two last paragraphs in
his book, and says: "Here is at once described the Gentile and
apostate view of the situation in those times, and, confined as
it is to the salient point, no lengthy special argument in favor
of President Young's policies could more clearly justify his
mercantile cooperative movement. IT WAS THE MOMENT OF LIFE OR
organization of Z. C. M. I. at that crisis saved the temporal
supremacy of the Mormon commonwealth."* It was to meet outside
competition with a force which would be invincible that Young
conceived the idea of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution,
which was incorporated in 1869, with Young as president. In
carrying out this idea no opposing interest, whether inside the
church or out of it, received the slightest consideration. "The
universal dominance of the head of the church is admitted," says
Tullidge, "and in 1868, before the opening of the Utah mines and
the existence of a mixed population, there was no commercial
escape from the necessities of a combination."**

* Tullidge's "History of Salt Lake City," p. 385.

** Cooperation is as much a cardinal and essential doctrine of
the Mormon church as baptism for the remission of
sin."--Tullidge, "History of Salt Lake City."

Young is said to have received the idea of the big Cooperative
enterprise from a small trader who asked permission to establish
a mercantile system on the Cooperative plan, of moderate
dimensions, throughout the territory. He gave it definite shape
at a meeting of merchants in October, 1868, which was followed by

a circular explaining the scheme to the people. A preamble
asserted "the impolicy of leaving the trade and commerce of this
territory to be conducted by strangers." The constitution of the
concern provided for a capital of $3,000,000 in $100 shares.
Young's original idea was to have all the merchants pool their
stocks, those who found no places in the new establishment to go
into some other business,--farming for instance,-- renting their
stores as they could. Of course this meant financial ruin to the
unprovided for, and the opposition was strong. But Young was not
to be turned from the object he had in view. One man told
Stenhouse that when he reported to Young that a certain merchant
would be ruined by the scheme, and would not only be unable to
pay his debts, but would lose his homestead, Young's reply was
that the man had no business to get into debt, and that "if he
loses his property it serves him right." Tullidge, in an article
in Harpers Magazine for September, 1871 (written when he was at
odds with Young), said, "The Mormon merchants were publicly told
that all who refused to join the cooperation should be left out
in the cold; and against the two most popular of them the Lion
of the Lord roared, 'If Henry Lawrence don't mind what's he's
about I'll send him on a mission, and W. S. Godbe I'll cut off
from the church."'

After the organization of the concern in 1869 some of the leading
Mormon merchants in Salt Lake City sold their goods to it on
favorable terms, knowing that the prices of their stock would go
down when the opening of the railroad lowered freight rates. The
Z. C. M. I. was started as a wholesale and retail concern, and
Young recommended that ward stores be opened throughout the city
which should buy their goods of the Institution. Local
cooperative stores were also organized throughout the territory,
each of which was under pressure to make its purchases of the
central concern. Branches were afterward established at Ogden,
at Logan, and at Soda Springs, Idaho, and a large business was
built up and is still continued.* The effect of this new
competition on the non-Mormon establishments was, of course,
very serious. Walker Brothers' sales, for instance, dropped
$5000 or $6000 a month, and only the opportunity to divert their
capital profitably to mining saved them and others from immediate

Bancroft says that in 1883 the total sales of the Institution
exceeded $4,000,000, and a half yearly dividend of five per cent
was paid in October of that year, and there was a reserve fund
of about $125,000; he placed the sales of the Ogden branch, in
1883, at about $800,000, and of the Logan branch at about
$600,000. The thirty-second annual statement of the Institution,
dated April 5,1901, contains the following figures: Capital
stock, $1,077,144.89; reserve, $362,898.95; undivided profits,
$179,042.88; cash receipts, February 1 to December 31, 1900,
$3,457,624.44, sales for the same period, $3,489.571 .84. The
branch houses named is this report are at Ogden City and Provo,
Utah, and at Idaho Falls, Idaho.

But at this time an influence was preparing to make itself felt
in Utah which was a more powerful opponent of Brigham Young's
authority than any he had yet encountered. This influence took
shape in what was known as the "New Movement," and also as "The
Reformation." Its original leaders were W. S. Godbe and E. L. T.
Harrison. Godbe was an Englishman, who saw a good deal of the
world as a sailor, embraced the Mormon faith in his own country
when seventeen years of age, and walked most of the way from New
York to Salt Lake City in 1851. He became prominent in the
Mormon capital as a merchant, making the trip over the plains
twenty-four times between 1851 and 1859. Harrison was an
architect by profession, a classical scholar, and a writer of no
mean ability.

With these men were soon associated Eli B. Kelsey, a leading
elder in the Mormon church, a president of Seventies, and a
prominent worker in the English missions; H. W. Lawrence, a
wealthy merchant who was a Bishop's counsellor; Amasa M. Lyman,
who had been one of the Twelve Apostles and was acknowledged to
be one of the most eloquent preachers in the church; W. H.
Sherman, a prominent elder and a man of literary ability, who
many years later went back to the church; T. B. H. Stenhouse, a
Scotchman by birth, who was converted to Mormonism in 1846, and
took a prominent part in missionary work in Europe, for three
years holding the position of president of the Swiss and Italian
missions; he emigrated to this country with his wife and
children in 1855, practically penniless, and supported himself
for a time in New York City as a newspaper writer; in Salt Lake
City he married a second wife by Young's direction, and one of
his daughters by his first wife married Brigham's eldest son.
Stenhouse did not win the confidence of either Mormons or
non-Mormons in the course of his career, but his book, "The
Rocky Mountain Saints," contains much valuable information.
Active with these men in the "New Movement" was Edward W.
Tullidge, an elder and one of the Seventy, and a man of great
literary ability. In later years Tullidge, while not openly
associating himself with the Mormon church, wrote the "History
of Salt Lake City" which the church accepts, a "Life of Brigham
Young," which could not have been more fulsome if written by the
most devout Mormon, and a "Life of Joseph the Prophet," which is
a valueless expurgated edition of Joseph's autobiography which
ran through the Millennial Star.

The "New Movement" was assisted by the advent of non-Mormons to
the territory, by Young's arbitrary methods in starting his
cooperative scheme, by the approaching completion of the Pacific
Railroad, and, in a measure, by the organization of the
Reorganized Church under the leadership of the prophet Joseph
Smith's eldest son. Two elders of that church, who went to Salt
Lake City in 1863, were refused permission to preach in the
Tabernacle, but did effective work by house-to-house
visitations, and there were said to be more than three hundred
of the "Josephites," as they were called, in Salt Lake City in

* "Persecution followed, as they claimed; and in early summer
about one-half of the Josephites in Salt Lake City started
eastward, so great being the excitement that General Connor
ordered a strong escort to accompany them as far as Greene
River. To those who remained, protection was also afforded by the
authorities."--Bancroft, "History of Utah," p. 645.

Harrison and Tullidge had begun the publication of a magazine
called the Peep o' Day at Camp Douglas, but it was a financial
failure. Then Godbe and Harrison started the Utah Magazine, of
which Harrison was editor. This, too, was only a drain on their
purses. Accordingly, some time in the year 1868, giving it over
to the care of Tullidge, they set out on a trip to New York by
stage. Both were in doubt on many points regarding their church;
both were of that mental make-up which is susceptible to
"revelations" and "callings"; by the time they reached New York
they realized that they were "on the road to apostasy."

Long discussions of the situation took place between them, and
the outcome was characteristic of men who had been influenced by
such teachings as those of the Mormons. Kneeling down in their
room, they prayed earnestly, and as they did so "a voice spoke
to them." For three weeks, while Godbe transacted his mercantile
business, his friend prepared questions on religion and
philosophy, "and in the evening, by appointment, 'a band of
spirits' came to them and held converse with them, as friends
would speak with friends. One by one the questions prepared by
Mr. Harrison were read, and Mr. Godbe and Mr. Harrison, with
pencil and paper, took down the answers as they heard them given
by the spirits."* The instruction which they thus received was
Delphic in its clearness--that which was true in Mormonism
should be preserved and the rest should be rejected.

* "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 631.

When they returned to Utah they took Elder Eli B. Kelsey, Elder
H. W. Lawrence, a man of wealth, and Stenhouse into their
confidence, and it was decided to wage open warfare on Young's
despotism, using the Utah Magazine as their mouthpiece. Without
attacking Young personally, or the fundamental Mormon beliefs,
the magazine disputed Young's doctrine that the world . was
degenerating to ruin, held up the really "great characters" the
world has known, that Young might be contrasted with them, and
discussed the probabilities of honest errors in religious
beliefs. When the Mormon leaders read in the magazine such
doctrine as that, "There is one false error which possesses the
minds of some in this, that God Almighty intended the priesthood
to do our thinking," they realized that they had a contest on
their hands. Young got into trouble with the laboring men at
this time. He had contracts for building a part of the Pacific
Railroad, which were sublet at a profit. An attempt by him to
bring about a reduction of wages gave the magazine an
opportunity to plead the laborers' cause which it gladly

* Harpers Magazine, Vol. XLIII, p. 605.

In the summer of 1869 Alexander and David Hyrum Smith, sons of
the prophet, visited Salt Lake City in the interest of the
Reorganized Church. Many of Young's followers still looked on
the sons of the prophet as their father's rightful successor to
the leadership of the Church, as Young at Nauvoo had promised
that Joseph III should be. But these sons now found that, even to
be acknowledged as members of Brigham's fold, they must accept
baptism at the hands of one of his elders, and acknowledge the
"revelation" concerning polygamy as coming from God. They had
not come with that intent. But they called on Young and
discussed with him the injection of polygamy into the church
doctrines. Young finally told them that they possessed, not the
spirit of their father, but of their mother Emma, whom Young
characterized as "a liar, yes, the damnedest liar that lived,"
declaring that she tried to poison the prophet * He refused to
them the use of the Tabernacle, but they spoke in private houses
and, through the influence of the Walker brothers, secured
Independence Hall. The Brighamites, using a son of Hyrum Smith
as their mouthpiece,** took pains that a goodly number of
polygamists should attend the Independence Hall meetings, and
interruptions of the speakers turned the gatherings into
something like personal wrangles.

* For Alexander Smith's report, see True Latter-Day Saints'
Herald, Vol. XVI, pp. 85-86.

** Hyrum's widow went to Salt lake City, and died there in
September, 1852, at the house of H. C. Kimball, who had taken
care of her.

The presence of the prophet's sons gave the leaders of "The
Reformation" an opportunity to aim a thrust at what was then
generally understood to be one of Brigham Young's ambitions,
namely, the handing down of the Presidency of the church to his
oldest son; and an article in their magazine presented the matter
in this light: "If we know the true feeling of our brethren, it
is that they never intend Joseph Smith's nor any other man's son
to preside over them, simply because of their sonship. The
principle of heirship has cursed the world for ages, and with
our brethren we expect to fight it till, with every other relic
of tyranny, it is trodden under foot." Young accepted this
challenge, and at once ordered Harrison and two other elders in
affiliation with him to depart on missions. They disobeyed the

Godbe and Harrison told their friends in Utah that they had
learned from the spirits who visited them in New York that the
release of the people of the territory from the despotism of the
church could come only through the development of the mines. So
determined was the opposition of Young's priesthood to this
development that its open advocacy in the magazine was the cause
of more serious discussion than that given to any of the other
subjects treated. As "The Reformation" did not then embrace more
than a dozen members, the courage necessary to defy the church
on such a question was not to be belittled. Just at that time
came the visit of the Illinois party and of Vice President
Colfax, and the latter was made acquainted with their plans and
gave them encouragement. Ten days later the magazine, in an
article on "The True Development of the Territory," openly
advised paying more attention to mining. Young immediately
called together the "School of the Prophets." This was an
organization instituted in Utah, with the professed object of
discussing doctrinal questions, having the "revelations" of the
prophet elucidated by his colleagues, etc. It was not open to
all church members, the "scholars" attending by invitation, and
it soon became an organization under Young's direction which took
cognizance of the secular doings of the people, exercising an
espionage over them. The school is no longer maintained. Before
this school Young denounced the "Reformers" in his most scathing
terms, going so far as to intimate that his rule was itself in
danger. Consequently the leaders of the "New Movement" were
notified to appear before the High Council for a hearing.

When this hearing occurred, Young managed that Godbe and Harrison
should be the only persons on trial. Both of them defied him to
his face, denying his "right to dictate to them in all things
spiritual and temporal,"--this was the question put to
them,--and protesting against his rule. They also read a set of
resolutions giving an outline of their intended movements. They
were at once excommunicated, and the only elder, Eli B. Kelsey,
who voted against this action was immediately punished in the
same way. Kelsey was not granted even the perfunctory hearing
that was customarily allowed in such cases, and he was "turned
over to the devil," instead of being consigned by the usual
formula "to the buffetings of Satan."

But this did not silence the "Reformers." Their lives were
considered in danger by their acquaintances, and the
assassination of the most prominent of them was anticipated;*
but they went straight ahead on the lines they had proclaimed.
Their first public meetings were held on Sunday, December 19,
1869. The knowledge of the fact that they claimed to act by
direct and recent revelation gave them no small advantage with a
people whose belief rested on such manifestations of the divine
will, and they had crowded audiences. The services were
continued every Sunday, and on the evening of one week day; the
magazine went on with its work, and they were the founders of
the Salt Lake Tribune which later, as a secular journal, has led
the Gentile press in Utah.

* "In August my husband sent a respectful and kindly letter to
the Bishop of our ward, stating that he had no faith in
Brigham's claim to an Infallible Priesthood; and that he
considered that he ought to be cut off from the church. I added
a postscript stating that I wished to share my husband's fate. A
little after ten o'clock, on the Saturday night succeeding our
withdrawal from the church, we were returning home together . .
. when we suddenly saw four men come out from under some trees
at a little distance from us . . . . As soon as they approached,
they seized hold of my husband's arms, one on each side, and held
him firmly, thus rendering him almost powerless. They were all
masked . . . . In an instant I saw them raise their arms, as if
taking aim, and for one brief second I thought that our end had
surely come, and that we, like so many obnoxious persons before
us, were about to be murdered for the great sin of apostasy.
This I firmly believe would have been my husband's fate if I had
not chanced to be with him or had I run away . . . . The
wretches, although otherwise well armed, were not holding
revolvers in their hands as I at first supposed. They were
furnished with huge garden syringes, charged with the most
disgusting filth. My hair, bonnet, face, clothes, person--every
inch of my body, every shred I wore--were in an instant
saturated, and my husband and myself stood there reeking from
head to foot. The villains, when they had perpetrated this
disgusting and brutal outrage, turned and fled."--Mrs. Stenhouse,
"Tell it All," pp. 578-581.

But the attempt to establish a reformed Mormonism did not
succeed, and the organization gradually disappeared. One of the
surviving leaders said to me (in October, 1901): "My parents had
believed in Mormonism, and I believed in the Mormon prophet and
the doctrines set forth in his revelations. We hoped to purify
the Mormon church, eradicating evils that had annexed themselves
to it in later years. But our study of the question showed us
that the Mormon faith rested on no substantial basis, and we
became believers in transcendentalism." Mr. Godbe and Mr.
Lawrence still reside in Utah. The former has made and lost more
than one fortune in the mines. The Mormon historian Whitney says
of the leaders in this attempted reform: "These men were all
reputable and respected members of the community. Naught against
their morality or general uprightness of character was known or
advanced."* Stenhouse, writing three years before Young's death,

* Whitney's "History of Utah," Vol. II, p. 332.

"But for the boldness of the Reformers, Utah to-day would not
have been what it is. Inspired by their example, the people who
have listened to them disregarded the teachings of the
priesthood against trading with or purchasing of the Gentiles.
The spell was broken, and, as in all such like experience, the
other extreme was for a time threatened. Walker Brothers
regained their lost trade . . . . Reference could be made to
elders, some of whom had to steal away from Utah, for fear of
violent hands being laid upon them had their intended departure
been made known, who are to-day wealthy and respected gentlemen
in the highest walks of life, both in the United States and in

** For accounts of "The Reformation" by leaders in it,
see Chap. 53 of Stenhouse's "Rocky Mountain Saints," and
Tullidge's article, Harper's Magazine, Vol. XLIII, p. 602.

CHAPTER XXI. The Last Years Of Brigham Young

Governor Doty died in June, 1865, without coming in open conflict
with Young, and was succeeded by Charles Durkee, a native of
Vermont, but appointed from Wisconsin, which state he had
represented in the United States Senate. He resigned in 1869,
and was succeeded by J. Wilson Shaffer of Illinois, appointed by
President Grant at the request of Secretary of War Rawlins, who,
in a visit to the territory in 1868, concluded that its welfare
required a governor who would assert his authority. Secretary S.
A. Mann, as acting governor, had, just before Shaffer's arrival,
signed a female suffrage bill passed by the territorial
legislature. This gave offence to the new governor, and Mann was
at once succeeded by Professor V. H. Vaughn of the University of
Alabama, and Chief Justice C. C. Wilson (who had succeeded
Titus) by James B. McKean. The latter was a native of Rensselaer
County, New York; had been county judge of Saratoga County from
1854 to 1858, a member of the 36th and 37th Congresses, and
colonel of the 72nd New York Volunteers.

Governor Shaffer's first important act was to issue a
proclamation forbidding all drills and gatherings of the militia
of the territory (which meant the Nauvoo Legion), except by the
order of himself or the United States marshal. Wells, signing
himself "Lieutenant General," sent the governor a written request
for the suspension of this order. The governor, in reply,
reminded Wells that the only "Lieutenant General" recognized by
law was then Philip H. Sheridan, and declined to assist him in a
course which "would aid you and your turbulent associates to
further convince your followers that you and your associates are
more powerful than the federal government." Thus practically
disappeared this famous Mormon military organization.

Governor Shaffer was ill when he reached Utah, and he died a few
days after his reply to Wells was written, Secretary Vaughn
succeeding him until the arrival of G. A. Black, the new
secretary, who then became acting governor pending the arrival
of George L. Woods, an ex-governor of Oregon, who was next
appointed to the executive office.

As soon as the new federal judges, who were men of high personal
character, took their seats, they decided that the United States
marshal, and not the territorial marshal, was the proper person
to impanel the juries in the federal courts, and that the
attorney general appointed by the President under the
Territorial Act, and not the one elected under that act, should
prosecute indictments found in the federal courts. The chief
justice also filled a vacancy in the office of federal attorney.
The territorial legislature of 1870, accordingly, made no
appropriation for the expenses of the courts; and the chief
justice, in dismissing the grand and petit juries on this
account, explained to them that he had heard one of the high
priesthood question the right of Congress even to pass the
Territorial Act.

In September, 1871, the United States marshal summoned a grand
jury from nine counties (twenty-three jurors and seventeen
talesmen) of whom only seven were Mormons. All the latter,
examined on their voir dire, declared that they believed that
polygamy was a revelation to the church, and that they would obey

the revelation rather than the law, and all were successfully
challenged. This grand jury, early in October, found indictments
against Brigham Young, "General" Wells, G. Q. Cannon, and others
under a territorial statute directed against lewdness and
improper cohabitation. This action caused intense excitement in
the Mormon capital. Prosecutor Baskin was quoted as saying that

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