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Vol. ?                        Washington: September 15, 1851.                        No. ?


From the "Deseret News" of July 20 we copy the following acts of organization of the Government of the new United States Territory of Utah:


Whereas the law of the Congress of the United States, approved September 9, 1850, organizing a Territorial Government for Utah, provides that the Governor of said Territory shall, after enumerating the inhabitants, make an apportionment of the members of Council and House of Representatives, in accordance with the ratio of population in their respective counties --

Therefore I, Brigham Young, Governor of said Territory, have caused the enumeration of the inhabitants to be taken, and direct that an election be held in the respective precincts throughout the Territory, on the first Monday of August next, in accordance with the existing laws of the Provisional Government of the State of Deseret, regulating the elections passed by the General Assembly November 19, 1849, page 9, for the election of the following offices, viz six councilors and thirteen representatives for Great Salt Lake county...

At the same time and place, in the respective precincts, an election will be held for a Delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States, to represent said Territory.
                                              BRIGHAM YOUNG, Governor...

notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Tues., April 20, 1857.                       No. 13,951.


The publication of the recent order from the Department of War putting in motion a large body of troops on our western border, under the command of General Harney, has created a general impression that their ultimate destination is the Utah Territory, and that it indicates an intention on the part of the Government to put down, by a strong hand, the criminal and disgraceful outrages which have so long been committed by Brigham Young and his band in the Utah Valley, and establish in that sink of iniquity (by force, if need be) the authority of the Government and laws of the United States. Among those whose attention has been arrested by the Army order, is a respectable citizen, who lately spent twelve months in the Salt Lake Valley, engaged in business connected with the transit of the mails through the Territory to and from the Pacific. While thus residing in the Mormon community, he studied attentively the character and government of Brigham Young, the supreme head, as well as the customs, habits, morals and laws of the community, if laws they may be called, which consist principally in the will of a despot. This gentleman, corroborating fully all that Judge Drummond has lately stated on the subject, has deemed it his duty to make known to the country the result of his own observations on the condition of things in the Territory. In executing this task, however, he has not touched upon the domestic enormities and depraved social system of the community, but has confined himself to the political aspect of Mormonism -- to ail exposition of the polity, power, evil purposes, operations, and character of Young and his coadjutors or tools. His statements are startling, and we concur entirely in the remark of a Richmond contemporary that it is high time that the Government of the United States was directing its serious attention to the condition of things in Utah. And, if the revelations of our correspondent be true, as we do not doubt they are, it is apparent that the day is rapidly approaching, if it be not already come, when the Government will find it no easy task to subdue the rebellious legions of Brigham and quell the power of the modern Mahomet in his stronghold. The communication of our correspondent is appended.

Editors of the National Intelligencer.

GENTLEMEN: From a military order recently published in your paper, I infer that a division of the United States army is to move into Utah. This news will be hailed with joy by thousands of American citizens, in every State and Territory of the Confederacy who have suffered directly or indirectly by the merciless outrages of the Mormons, committed while quietly pursuing their toilsome journey overland to Oregon and California. Every indignity has been offered to emigrants, every species of property stolen, and every species of crime has been committed. The Federal laws have been trampled in the dust, Government officials set at defiance, menaced, threatened and insulted; juries have been influenced, and the ends of justice thwarted; the prison doors have been opened, und the criminals set free. All this did not satisfy them, but they must enter the hall of records, and publicly burn the archives of the Territory.

Now, as evidence of their inveterate hatred to American, and every thing pertaining to America, (and these sentiments are constantly taught and preached) I will cite as follows:
"A Gentile shall not board in my family, and if one of my houses are rented to a Gentile, after the time had expired I would burn it down! That's the doctrine." -- Jedediah M. Grant.

"If a Gentile were boarding in my family, and I should bow down to pray, and the Gentile or heathen should hesitate, I would say to him, bow down you devil! This is the doctrine, and I know it; and any man who shall oppose it shall be destroyed." -- Heber C. Kimball.

Their religious tenets may be inferred from the following:
"I believe in marrying brothers and sisters; I believe in the pre-existence of man; that Adam and Eve are the parents of all men, spiritually and physically; that all the saints of this dispensation will be resurrected by Joseph Smith, Jr. If ever I am saved, I expect to be saved by and through they atonement of Joseph Smith." -- Brigham Young.

"Were my daughter to marry a Gentile, I would save her in this kingdom, namely, cut her throat from ear to ear." -- Brigham Young.

Their advocacy of internal improvements may be inferred from the following:
"Mr. Lee, who piloted the Government troops through on that route (south side of Great Salt Lake) last Spring, (1854,) wished to publish a book -- a guide of the route -- but was prevailed on not to do it, as the Presidency there (Carson Valley) did not wish the emigration to pass that way." -- Elder Johnson.

Object of missionaries: "Most of the foreign missionaries will be called home. They will be sent among all the Indian tribes, to teach them agriculture, the mechanic arts, and military tactics!" -- Brigham Young.

Means of defense: "We have the self-loading twenty-four repeating rifle, the Minie rifle, Browning's revolving five-shooting rifle, Colt's rifle and pistol, and a revolving cannon, or field-piece." -- Elder Ivins.

All of the above named firearms, powder, ball, etc., are in process of secret manufacture.
What the Indians are expected to do: "It (the United States mail) may come this way awhile yet, as they (the Indians) wish to cut off the mail going from here!" -- Elder Hawkins.

"The Sioux, Cheyennes and ?????hoes have banded together against the Gentiles to the number of 8,000 warriors." -- Walker, Chief of the Utah Indians.

"The Lamanites (Indians) are the battle-axe of the Lord in the hand» of the Mormons." -- Mormon Bible.

"There is more union in the Masonic Order than any other except the Mormon." -- Heber C. Kimball.

"The right of private search by 'rogues' keys' is a peculiar characteristic order of the Mormone." -- Memoranda.

The law and the prophets: "A kingdom can exist mithin a republic." -- Brigham Young.

"No one was ever known to dissent from the will of Brigham Young." -- Orson Pratt.

What may be expected: "If Government officers ever interfere with onr women again, I will cut their throats from ear to ear." -- Brigham Young.

"A division of the United States army shall never winter in this valley again." -- Brigham Young.

The above, quotations are taken from a mass of information collected in 1854-'55, during nearly a year's stay in Utah, all of which came under my personal observation, and was noted at the time it was spoken. I have been thus particular in noticing these quotations that the public may know upon what is based the conclusions that follow.

The Mormon priesthood is a consolidated system of police, compounded from the old Aaronic, Levitical, and Melahisideck priesthoods, and is known by the name of "The Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ." Brigham Young is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Saints. His will is law; he is the vicegerent of God, deriving authority directly from Him, which is absolute whenever he says "thus saith the Lord." Brigham stände upon the shoulders of his two councillors; they stand upon the shoulders of the other ten apostles; they stand upon the shoulders of the high priests; they stand upon the shoulders of the bishops; they stand upon the shoulders of the captains of fifties and seventies; they stand upon the shoulders of the elders; they stand upon the shoulders of lay-members of the church; they stand upon the shoulders of the laboring masses who till the soil which supports the pile. From his towering height Brigham issues forth his edicts to the people, and with the scorpion lash of his serpent tongue he lashes every one beneath him into silence. "No one was ever known to dissent from his will." The entire fraternity is bound together by oaths the most solemn to support the church and nothing but the church, and every man, woman and child is constituted a police officer, always on duty, and required to report to the head whenever any thing of sufficient interest occurs to justify it. From this you will not fail to perceive that the church form is but a closely compacted system of police, having a head from which it derives all power, and a body forming a nucleus around which are gathering the ignorant, the superstitious, the bigot, the outlaw, and the disaffected of all countries in the world, who are taking refuge, as they suppose, under the wings of the angel of the last dispensation. However deluded the great mass of their followers may be, the leaders are not deluded, but are knaves from choice, willfully misleading the masses for the purpose of obtaining and wielding power, boldly predicting the overthrow of the Republic, when they will resume the reins of government and proclaim Mormonism to the benighted nations of the world.

Every species of information is studiously kept from the people except their own doctrines, which are so ingenious and fascinating that they bewilder rather than enlighten, till the feeble mind becomes lost in the mazes of metaphysical theories, and, looking around for some sure anchor of safety, despairing falls prostrate at the feet of the monster, imploring him, in the language of scripture, "I believe; help thou my unbelief."

The endearing appellation of "brother and sister" is applied to all classes indiscriminately, which, with the plurality wife system and the marriage of blood sisters, breaks up and obliterates every vestige of the family relation.

One-tenth of all property and one-tenth of all products are demanded as "tithing;" and then not only the man, but his wives and children, and his property entire are consecrated to the church. All are at the disposal of Brigham.

The entire male population of the State are enrolled in the militia, who are under weekly (some daily) military drill, every one of whom, from the boy of twelve to the man of eighty years, is required to keep on hand one hundred rounds of cartridges, one gun or rifle, one or more pistols, swords, sabres, knives, &c., all he can obtain; and then, in the event of war, the women and children are to fight with whatever weapon they can command. Now, when we consider their location, a thousand miles inland on every side, in the mountain fastnesses of the continent; their numbers, which, according to Chief Justice Drummond, are one hundred thousand in the Territory and two hundred thousand in surrounding States and Territories; their appliances of war; their secret agents in every nook and corner of the Republic; their emissaries among every Indian tribe on the continent, teaching them "the mechanic arts and military tactics," they amount to something more than we have been accustomed to regard them. They have settlements on Salmon river, Oregon Territory, and on Lewis river, near Puget Sound, in Washington Territory, and in Carson Valley and at San Bernardino, California. They instigated the Indians to revolt in Oregon and Washington Territories in the late war, and were, in my judgment, the cause that created the necessity for the proclamation of martial law by Gov. Stevens; and when the Governor forwarded a supply train of goods up to and for the Nez Perces in payment of debts contracted with them when returning from treating with the Blackfeet or Crows, in the Winter of 1855-'6, on the arrival of the train at Colonel Craig's, the Indian agency for the Nez Perces they had been induced to favor Kom-in-kun, the Yakima war chief, refused to receive the goods either in payment of debts or as presents, and ordered all the whites to leave their country. Col. Craig, the Indian agent, was retained in case of need; the train returned hastily to the Dalles; but other whites among the Nez Perces, instead of coming to the Dalles and claiming the protection of the United States army, went through the country of the war Indians to the Mormon settlement on Salmon river for protection! In Colonel Shaw's last battle with the Indians in the Grand Ronde among the camp equipage of the enemy he captured ammunition witíi Mormon labels on them!

Now, permit me to conduct you to San Francisco, California, on the ever memorable 18th day of August, 1856, and behold the streets of that ill-fated city thronged with men and arms. The Federal Constitution has been upheaved, the laws overthrown, and the "Committee Vigilantes" have instituted a reign of terror. The committee lays down its power and calls out its adherents to celebrate its retirement to law and order. The streets are decorated and hung with flags; but, alas, the star-spangled flag of the free was set aside! "The all-seeing wyw over the crescent," on which was inscribed "Vigilantes," occupied the foreground, with a United States flag on either side. Immediately in the rear of these, also in the centre, hung the Mormon emblem (worn by them as military badges) of the "bee-hive and bees;" in the rear of these, between other United States flags, was the "Lone Star" on blue ground, surrounded by a constellation. These are all the prominent ensigns of Mormonism, except the secret signs of the priesthood, which are worn on under-garments, and are of course invisible. No one knew the object of the secret order "Vigilantes" but those who recognize Brigham as their prophet, priest and king. The vigilance committee of 1851 was an experiment of Mormon strength, headed by Samuel Brannan, Parley P. Pratt, and others, and the vigilance committee of 1856 may be regarded in the same light. If nit Mormon, let some one assign reasons for the setting aside of the United States flag and the display if ensigns of Mormonism.

Throughout the States and Territories, at varions and convenient localities, the Mormons have what are termed "Stakes in Zion," and each stake is governed by a presidency. It may not be known to many that tbere is a stake in the city of Now York, whose president is editor of a paper called "The Mormon;" at Council Bluffs is another stake and another paper; at Independence, another stake; at St. Louis, &c. Their ageuts and spies are in every city in the Union, adapting themselves to surrounding circumstances, luring the ignorant and unsuspecting into their meshes; secretly denouncing individuals whom they suspect capable of informing against them; pursuing their victims with a pertinacity that overcomes all obstacles; and their agent in Congress keeps them constantly advised of the policy and aims of the General Government. They are in the frontier post offices, either by appointment as postmasters or as clerks, and have the opportunity of supervising the transit and distribution of all mail matter; and it may not be improbable that to this cause may be traced the loss of so many letters going to and coming from the Pacific Territories.

Now, in view of the facts herein set forth, and the assumption by Chief Justice Drummond that they are a hundred thousand strong in Utah and [have] two hundred thousand spies and emissaries in adjoining States and Territories, with every facility for obtaining and transmitting information; allied to a savage Indian horde of three hundred thousand more, who are, in their hands, the "battle-axe of the Lord," to be wielded against the Gentiles; added to a thousand miles of land travel, prairie and mountain, with natural means at hand to throw every obstacle in the way of an army, by running off their animals, cutting off small parties, poisoning the springs of water, and blockading the canyons and mountain passes; I repeat, in view of all theese facts staring us boldly in the face, they form an obstacle to the peaceful settlement of the interior of the country of no mean character, and which should be promptly met by the General Government. In my judgment the only way to meet the necessity of the case is to appoint a military governor for the Territory, with discretionary power to place the whole Territory under martial law, backed by a military force of at least five thousand men, amply equipped with munitions of war and a year's supply of provisions; then station the army at three several points in the Territory, not to fight the people, but to defend them. By proclamation, now, call on all true citizens of the United States to come out and enroll themselves under the flag of the Republic; warning all hostile thereto to leave the Territory under penalty of capture, trial, and execution by martial law. This, in my judgment, will be the easiest, cheapest and safest mode of reaching and remedying the evil. The idea that if left to themselves they will break up and disband by internal dissensions is futile and absurd.

They have a solid nucleus of one hundred thousand strong, with two hundred thousand spies and emissaries scattered over the whole country, and a savage ally of three hundred thousand to do their bidding. And what want they more? A State government? No; they already have that which to them is far better, namely, a willful perversion of the democratic principle of self-government, declared in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, "to regulate their own institutions, in their own way." This leaves them in a far better condition to propagate their treasonable designs than if they were existing under the form of State government. As there is no power in the Constitution to force them into the Union, (God forbid they should ever come in !) they may always remain a Territory of the United States, recognizing the federal laws merely as a form, while the power de facto remains absolute, and the head of the Church becomes the head of the State.

Something ought, something should be done. Let the Government look well to it that its army be sufficient, amply supplied with munitions of war and provisions for at least one year, as the task it is about to assume is no child's play. More anon.
                     Very respectfully,   VERASTUS.

Note: "Verastus" was possibly U.S. Judge William Drummond. Another of his letters was published in the New York Times of May 26, 1857. The National Intelligencer article was reprinted in the United States Magazine of June of 1857, pages 613-616. For the LDS response, see the Western Standard of June 12, 1857.


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Tues., June 30, 1857.                       No. 14,013.


The papers of Illinois bring to us the report of a speech delivered by Mr. Senator Douglas at Springfield, the capital of that State, on the 12th instant, in reply to an invitation addressed to him by a large number of distinguished citizens, requesting him to favor them with his views on cerrain topics which now engross so large a share of the public's attention... the remarks of Mr. D. were as follows:

The Territory of Utah was organized under one of the acts known as the Compromise measure of 1850, on the supposition that the inhabitants were American citizens, owing and acknowledging allegiance to the United States, and consequently entitled to the benefits of self-government while a Territory, and to admission into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, so soon as they should number the requisite population. It was conceded on all hands and by all parties, that the peculiarities of their religious faith and ceremonies interposed no valid and constitutional objection to their reception into the Union, in conformity with the Federal Constitution, so long as they were in all other respects, entitled to admission. Hence the great political parties of the country endorsed and approved the Compromise measures of 1850, including the act for the organization of the Territory of Utah, with the hope and in the confidence that the inhabitants would conform to the Constitution and laws, and prove themselves worthy, respectable and law-abiding citizens. If we are permitted to place credence in the rumors and reports from that country (and it must be admitted that they have increased and strengthened and assumed consistency and plausibility, by each succeeding mail,) seven years' experience has disclosed a state of facts entirely different from that which was supposed to exist when Utah was organized. These rumors and reports would seem to justify the belief that the following facts are susceptible to proof:

1. That nine-tenths of the inhabitants are aliens by birth, who have refused to become naturalized, or to take the oath of allegiance, or do any other act recognising the Government of the United States as the paramount authority in that Territory.

2d. That all the inhabitants, whether native or alien born, known as Mormons, (and they constitute the whole people of the Territory,) are bound by horrid oaths and terrible penalties to recognize and maintain the authority of Brigham Young and the government of which he is head, as paramount to that of the United States, in civil as well as religious affairs; and they will, in due time, and under the direction of their leaders, use all the means in their power to subvert the Government of the United States, and resist its authority.

3d. That the Mormon government, with Brigham Young at its head, is now forming alliances with Indian tribes in Utah and adjoining Territories, stimulating the Indians to acts of hostility, and organizing bands of his own followers, under the name of "Danites or Destroying Angels," to prosecute a system of robbery and murder upon American citizens, who support the authority of the United States and denounce the infamous and disgusting practices and institutions of the Mormon government.

If, upon a full investigation, these representations shall prove true, they will establish the fact that the inhabitants of Utah, as a community, are outlaws and alien enemies, unfit to exercise the right of self-government under the organic act, and unworthy to be admitted into the Union as a State, when their only object in seeking admission is to interpose the sovereignty of the State as an invincible shield to protect them in their treason and crime, debauchery and infamy. (Applause.)

Under this view of the subject, I think it is the duty of the President, as I have no doubt it is his fixed purpose, to remove Brigham Young and all his followers from office, and to fill their places with bold, able and true men, and to cause a thorough and searching investigation into all the crimes and enormities which are alleged to be perpetrated daily in that Territory, under the direction of Brigham Young and his confederates, and to use all the military force necessary to protect the officers in discharge of their duties and to enforce the laws of the land. (Applause.)

When the authentic evidence shall arrive, if it shall establish the facts which are believed to exist, it will become the duty of Congress to apply the knife and cut out this loathsome, disgusting ulcer. (Applause.) No temporizing policy, no half-way measure will then answer. It has been supposed by those who have not thought deeply upon this subject that an act of Congress prohibiting murder, robbery, polygamy and other crimes, with appropriate penalties for those offences, would afford adequate remedies for all the enormities complained of. Suppose such a law to be on the statute-book -- and I believe they have a criminal code -- providing the usual punishment for the entire catalogue of crimes, according to the usages of all civilized and christian countries, with the exception of polygamy, which is practised under the sanction of the Mormon Church, but is neither prohibited nor authorized by the laws of the Territory.

Suppose, I repeat, that Congress should pass a law prescribing a criminal code, and punishing polygamy among other offences; what effect would it have -- what good would it do? Would you call on twenty-three grand jurymen, with twenty-three wives each, to find a bill of indictment against a poor miserable wretch for having two wives? (Cheers and laughter.) Would you call upon twelve petit jurors, with twelve wives each, to convict the same loathsome wretch for having two wives? (Continued applause.) Would you expect a grand jury composed of twenty-three "Danites" to find a bill of indictment against a brother "Danite" for having murdered a Gentile, as they call all American citizens under their direction? Much less would you expect a jury of twelve "destroying angels" to find another "destroying angel" guilty of the crime of murder, and cause him to be hanged for no other offence than taking the life of a Gentile! No. If there is any truth in the reports we receive from Utah, Congress may pass whatever laws it choosess, but you can never rely upon the local tribunals and juries to punish crimes committed by Mormons in that Territory. Some other and more effectual remedy must be devised and applied. In my opinion, the first step should be the absolute and unconditional repeal of the organic act -- blotting the Territorial government out of existence, upon the ground that they are alien enemies and outlaws, denying their allegiance and defying the authorities of the United States. (Applause.)

The Territorial government once abolished, the country would revert to its primitive condition prior to the act of 1850, "under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States," and should be placed under the operation of the act of Congress of the 30th of April, 1790, and the various acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof, "providing for the punishment of crimes against the United States within any fort, arsenal, dockyard, magazine, or any other place or district of country, under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States." All offences against the provisions of these acts are required by law to be tried and punished by the United States Courts in the States or Territories where the offenders shall be "first apprehended or brought for trial." Thus it will be seen that, under the plan proposed, Brigham Young and his confederates could be "apprehended and brought for trial" to Iowa, Missouri, California, or Oregon, or to any other adjacent State or Territory, where a fair trial could be had and justice administered impartially -- where the witnesses could be protected, and the judgment of the court could be carried into execution, without violence or intimidation. I do not propose to introduce any new principles into our jurisprudence, nor to change the modes of proceeding or the rules of practice in our courts. I only propose to place the district of country embraced within the Territory of Utah under the operation of the same laws and rules proceeding that Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and our other Territories were placed before they became organized Territories. The whole country embraced within these Territories under the operation of that same system of laws, and all the offences committed within the same were punished in the manner now proposed, so long as the country remained "under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States;" but the moment the country was organized into Territorial governmens, with legislative, executive and judicial departments, it ceased to be under the "sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States," within the meaning of the act of Congress, for the reason that it had passed under another and a different jurisdiction. Hence, if we abolish the Territorial government of Utah, pursuing and existing all rights and place the country under the "sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States," offenders can be apprehended and brought into the adjacent States or Territories for punishment, in the same manner and under the same rules and regulations which obtained and have been uniformly practiced, under like circumstances since 1790.

If the plan proposed shall be found an effective and adequate remedy for the evils complained of in Utah, no one, no matter what his political creed or partisan associations, need be apprehensive that it will violate any cherished theory or constitutional right in regard to the government, of the Territories. It is & great mistake to suppose that all the territory or land belonging to the united States must necessarily be governed by the same laws and under the same clause of the Constitution, without reference to the purpose to which it is dedicated or the use which it is proposed to make of it. While all that portion of the country which is or shall be set apart to become new States, must necessarily be governed under and consistent with that clause of the Constitution which authorizes Congress to admit new States, it does not follow that other territory, not intended to be organized and admitted into the Union as States, must be governed under the same clause of the Constitution, with all the rights of self-government and State equality. For instance, if we should purchase Vancouver's Island from Great Britain for the purpose of removing all the Indians from our Pacific territories and locating them on that island as their permanent home, with guaranties that it should never be occupied or settled with white men, will it be contended that the purchase should be made and the island governed under the power to admit new States when it was not acquired for that purpose, nor intended to be applied to that object? Being acquired fur Indian purposes and applied to Indian purposes, it is not more reasonable to assume that the power to acquire was derived from the Indian clause, and the island must necessarily be governed under and consistent with that clause of the Constitution which relates to Indian affairs. Again, suppose we should deem it expedient to buy a small island in the Mediterranean or the Carribean Sea for a naval station, can it be said with any force or plausibility that the purchase should be made or the island governed under the power to admit new States? On the contrary, is It not obvious that the right to acquire and govern in that case is derived from the power "to provide and maintain a navy," and must be exercised consistently vrith that power. So, if we purchase land for forts, arsenals, or other military purposes, or set apart and dedicate any territory which we now own for a military reservation, it immediately passes under the military power and must be governed in harmony with it. So if the land be purchased for a mint, it must be governed under the power to coin money; or, if purchased for a post-office, it must be governed under the power to establish post-offices and post-roads; or, for a custom-house, under the power to regulate commerce; or for a court-house, under the judiciary power. In short, the clause in the Constitution under which any land or territory belonging to the United States must be governed, is indicated by the object for which it was acquired and the for which it is dedicated. So long, therefore, as the organic act of Utah shall remain in force, setting apart that country for a new State, and pledging the faith of the United States to receive it into the Union as soun as it should have the requisite population, we are bound to extend to it all the rights of self-government, agreeably to the clause in the Constitution providing for the admission of new States. Hence the necessity of repealing the organic act, withdrawing the pledge of admission, and placing it under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, in order that persons and property may be protected, and justice administered, and crimes punished under the laws prescribed by Congress in such cases.

While the power of Congress to repeal this organic act and abolish the Territorial Government cannot b« denied, the question may arise whether we possess the moral right of exercising the power, after the charter has been once granted and the local government organized under its provisions. This is a grave question, one which should not be decided hastily, nor under the iuflueuce of passion or prejudice. I am free to say that, in my opinion there is no moral right to repeal the organic act of a Territory, and abolish the government organized under it, unless the inhabitants of that Territory, as a community, have done such acts as amount to a forfeiture uf all rights under it, such as becoming alien enemies, outlaws, disavowing their allegiance, or resisting the authority of the United States. These, and kindred acts, which we have every reason to believe are daily perpetrated in thai Territory, would not only give us the moral right, but make it our imperative duty to abolish the Territorial Government, and place the inhabitants under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, to the end that justice may be done and the dignity and authority of the Government vindicated.

I have thus presented plainly and frankly my views of the Utah question -- the evils and the remedy -- upon the facts as they have reached us, and are supposed to be substantially correct. If official reports and authentic information shall change or modify these facts, I shall be ready to conform my notion to the real facts as they shall be found to exist. I have no such pride of opinion as will induce me to persevere in an error one moment after my judgment is convinced. If, therefore, a better plan can be devised, one more consistent with justice and sound policy, or more effective as a remedy for acknowledged evils, I shall take great pleasure in adopting it, in lieu of the one I have presented to you to-night.

In conclusion, permit me to express my grateful acknowledgments for your patient attention and the kind and respectful manner in which you have received my remarks.

Note 1: Douglas' speech of June 12, 1857 was evidently first published in the Springfield Illinois State Register, but with telegraphic transfer of the news, his words were quickly reproduced in the Chicago Times, the Illinois State Journal, the Missouri Republican, the New York Times, etc. See also the contemporary political tract: Speech of Hon. S. A. Douglas on Kansas, Utah, and the Dred Scott Decision, Springfield, Ill., June 12, 1857 and Abraham Lincoln's rebuttal speech (also delivered in Springfield) of June 26, 1857, conveniently published in various contemporary newspapers, including the Aug. 29, 1857 issue of the Oregon Argus.

Note 2: As Chairman of the important Senate Committee on Territories, Senator Douglas had a keen political interest in maintaining the proper governance of the western territories (several of which he had been instrumental in establishing). His remarks in the third "point" of the above text support his standing opinion and argument against granting Utah statehod without further delay. Why Douglas chose to elevate that argument to the same political level as his other two "points" is debatable, but the fact that his Republican rivals were then coupling the issues of slavery and polygamy in their national campaign rhetoric may provide part of the explanation. In Utah, of course, Douglas' calling for "a full investigation" of the unfavorable "representations" outlined in his speech (and perhaps even a disorganization of the territorial government) elicited an inevitably severe response. Excerpts from the speech were published in the Deseret News of Sept. 2, 1857, accompanied by a scathing critique from Editor Albert Carrington, representing the views of the top Utah leadership. The Mormons had hitherto managed to overlook their old friend Douglas' 1846 fall from grace -- when he advocated their expulsion from Illinois -- and had worked with the "little giant" on getting Utah's organic act through Congress, and other matters in the nation's capital. When he advised the Utah leaders to go slow in seeking statehood, the celebrated Illinois Senator was placed on warning by none other than the ghost of Joseph Smith (see the "prophetic" insertion into Smith's serialized history, as published by the Deseret News of Sept. 24, 1856). For reasons not fully clear from today's perspective, Douglas allowed a political separation to open between himself and his old Mormon allies. The breech between Douglas and the LDS leaders widened, however, and in his speech of June 12, 1857, Douglas severed his old political ties with the Saints for good.

Note 3: In later years the Mormons would claim that Stephen A. Douglas' failure to gain the presidency in 1860 was a result of a curse placed upon him by Joseph Smith, jr. on May 18, 1843. Smith's purported "prophecy," in regard to the eventual fate of Mr. Douglas, was first published in the Deseret News of Sept. 24, 1856 -- evidently in response to Senator Douglas' lack of support in the statehood controvery. The "Douglas prophecy" is not known from any pre-1856 source, including the journals of William Clayton, from which its wording was supposedly taken for publicstion in the Deseret News.


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Fri., November 20, 1857.                       No. 14,136


Subjoined is the Letter and Proclamation of Brigham Young, alluded to in the last number of our paper:

Great Salt Lake City, September 29, 1857.  
To the Officer Commanding the Forces now Invading Utah Territory:

SIR: By reference to the act of Congress passed September 9, 1850, organizing the Territory of Utah, [published in a copy of the laws of Utah, herewith forwarded, pp. 146-147], you will find the following: --

"Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Utah shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The governor shall reside within said Territory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof," &c.

I am still the Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for this Territory, no successor having been appointed and qualified, as provided by law, nor have I been removed by the President of the United States. By virtue of the authority thus vested in me, I have issued, and forwarded you a copy of my proclamation forbidding the entrance of armed forces into this Territory. This you have disregarded. I now further direct that you retire forthwith from the Territory, by the same route you entered. Should you deem this impracticable, and prefer to remain until spring in the vicinity of your present encampment -- Black's Fork on Green River -- you can do so in peace and unmolested, on condition that you deposit your arms and ammunition with Lewis Robinson, Quartermaster General of the Territory, and leave in the spring, as soon as the condition of the roads will permit you to march; and, should you fall short of provisions, they can be furnished you, upon making the proper applications therefor.

General D. H. Wells will forward this, and receive any communication you may have to make.   Very respectfully,
Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, [Utah Territory].  


The following is the Proclamation referred to by Brigham Young:

Proclamation by the Governor.

CITIZENS OF UTAH: We are invaded by a hostile force, who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction. For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the Government, from constables and justices to Judges, governors, and presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted and betrayed. Our houses have been plundered and then burnt, our fields laid waste, our principal men butchered while under the pledged faith of the Government for their safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in the barren wilderness and that protection among hostile savages which were denied them in the boasted abodes of christianity and civilization.

The Constitution of our common country guarantees unto us all that we do now or ever claimed. If the constitutional rights, which pertain unto us as American citizens, were extended to Utah, according to the spirit and meaning thereof, and fairly and impartially administered, it is all that we could ask, all that we have ever asked.

Our opponents have availed themselves of prejudice existing against us, because of our religious faith, to send out a formidable host to accomplish our destruction. We have had no privilege, no opportunity of defending ourselves from the false, foul and unjust aspersions against us before the nation. The government has not condescended to cause an investigating committee or other person to be sent to inquire into and ascertain the truth, as is customary in such cases. We know those aspersions to be false, but that avails us nothing. We are condemned unheard, and forced to an issue with an armed mercenary mob, which has been sent against us at the instigation of anonymous letter writers, ashamed to father the base, slanderous falsehoods which they have given to the public; of corrupt officials who have brought false accusations against us to screen themselves in their own infamy, and of hireling priests and howling editors, who prostitute the truth for filthy lucres' sake.

The issue which has. been thus forced upon us compels us to resort to the great first law of self-preservation, and stand in our own defence; a right guaranteed unto us by the genius of the institutions of our country, and upon which the government is based. Our duty to our families requires us not to tamely submit to be driven and slain without an attempt to preserve ourselves. Our duty to our country, our holy religion, our God, to freedom and liberty, requires that we should not quietly stand and see these fetters, forging around us which are calculated to enslave and bring us into subjection to an unlawful military despotism, such as can only emanate in a country of constitutional law, from usurpation, tyranny and oppression.

Therefore, I, Brigham Young, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory of Utah, in the name of the people of the United Siates, in the Territory of Utah, forbid --

First, all armed forces of every description from coming into this Territory, under any pretence whatever.

Second, that all the forces in said Territory hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice to repel any and all such invasion.

Third, martial law is hereby declared to exist in this Territory from and after the publication of this proclamation, and no person shall be allowed to pass or repass into or through or from this Territory without a permit from the proper officer.

{ L. S.} Given under my hand and seal at Great Salt Lake City, Territory of Utah, this fifteenth day of September, A. D. eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, and of the independence of the United States of America, the eighty-second.

Note 1: Brigham Young's invocation of his supposed powers as Governor of Utah Territory, against the officers of the very Government that had given him his appointment, can only be characterized as bizzare. President Buchanan's decision to have him replaced in his office must have reached Brigham Young by the early summer of 1857 -- and news of his replacement's identity (Alfred Cumming) must also have reached Utah well before the leaders there published this strange "proclamation." Cumming was evidently chosen in May and by July President Buchanan had appointed him to fill out the remainder of Young's term. BY the time Cumming was approaching Utah Territory (in company with the same troops Brigham Young was prohibiting entrance), he had been re-appointed to fill a full term in office as Young's successor. The fact that Young had not yet formally "been removed by the President," was a mere formality. Any honorable public officiak might have been expected to continue in the exercise of his duties until the replacement arrived on the scene. But Young's "proclamation" had the effect of forbidding Mr. Cumming (and the other new territorial officials with him) entrance into Utah. Under the circumstances, those new officials could not have completed their journey to Salt Lake City without a substantial armed escort.

Note 2: The first elements of the new territorial officials' armed escort left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in mid-July. Before that month was over, the old territorial officials knew that theor days in office were numbered, and that troops of the U.S. Army were on the road across the plains to Utah. Brigham Young declared martial law in the Territory on Aug. 5, 1857, and prohibited any federal forces from entering his domains. For some reason the Utah officials found this announcement insufficuient for their purposes, and at the end of August, Gen. Daniel H. Wells was writing a second martial law order. Release of this second document was delayed until after the Utahans had consulted with the army's visiting assistant Quartermaster, Capt. Stewart Van Vliet, in mid-September. Thus, although persons in Utah knew of the impending proclamation, it took outsiders by surprise and they generally viewed it as a declaration of Mormon independence.

Note 3: The only plausible reason for the proclamation (other than its practical results within Utah), is that it was meant to divide and confuse the non-Utahan politicians and governmental leaders, at a time when the Utah Expedition could still be recalled to Kansas and negotiations with Buchanan might yet result in an agreement to keep the Mormons in office in the Territory. If that was Brigham Young's basic intent, he made a gross miscalculation of American resolve. Word of the Mountain Meadows massacre and the massing of Utahan armed forces reached the eastern states almost exactly at the same time that Young's proclamation was receiving public attention in the popular press. While none of these news items alone was the direct cause of Buchanan's strengthening the expeditionary force, they all contributed to his support in promulgating that unexpected and very costly decision. In his notable 1990 historical study, America in 1857, Kenneth M. Stampp cites a caustic Oct. 27th editorial in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, as an example of the press's angry reaction to the Utah massacre. Such irrate editorials were just beginning to land on Buchannan's desk at the end of November -- and Stampp remarks, "In December, Buchanan asked Congress for more troops." The Mormon organ in Salt Lake City, the Deseret news gave only a brief mention to editorials such as that published by the Bulletin, but outside of Utah popular opinion was turning heavily against the recalcitrant Mormon leaders. In his 1974 study of contemporary reporting, To Utah With the Dragoons," Harold D. Langley says "Reports of this... massacre, aroused the gentiles and produced some popular support for the President's plan to crush the Mormon uprising with a strong military force."


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Wed., December 2, 1857.                       No. 14,145



Complicity of the Mormons with the Indians.

We have dates from Los Angeles to the 24th of October, and from San Diego to the 17th of the same month. The news is exceedingly important.

The report of the late massacre has been fully confirmed. The number of persons slaughtered by the Indians was 118, of whom fifty-six were men, and that fifteen children were taken back to Cedar City, of whom not one was over six years old. It was reported that but one Indian was killed. Great excitement prevailed in Los Angeles on the announcement, shortly after the receipt of the news, that parties were in town who corroborated all the statements that had been previously made. a public meeting was called, and the persons referred to attended it and made statements, a condensation of which we give. Their names are George Powers, of Little Rock, Arkansas, and P. M. Warn, of Bergen, Genesee county, New York. They had lately returned from Salt Lake City. Mr. Powers, in his narrative, says:

(read original statements from California paper)



Three emigrant families arrived yesterday in Sacramento, by the Carson Valley route. They report, says the Union, many sad evidences of outrage and murder at different points along the route, particularly in the vicinity of Goose Creek....

Reports brought by these families tend strongly to corroborate the suspicion already existing against the Mormons as the instigators, if not the perpetrators, of the recent wholesale massacre of emigrants at Santa Clara canyon. Mr. Pierce, who came by way of Salt Lake, and joined the other two families at the Sink of the Humboldt, reports some five hundred Indians encamped near Salt Lake, who, as he learned from the Mormons, were retained as allies to operate against the troops sent out by the Government. He was also assured that these Indians had been instructed not to molest the emgration this year, as preparations were not sufficiently complete to enable the Mormons to make a stand against the United States.

In the city itself, large crowds of Mormons were nightly practicing military drill, and there was every evidence of energetic preparations for some great event. Before his family left Salt Lake, vague declarations of a threatening character were made, to the effect that, next year, "the overland emigrants must look out;" and it was even insinuated that the last trains this year might be destroyed. From the Mormon train which recently left Carson Valley, and which these families met on the way, similar statements were vaguely communicated, one Mormon woman even going so far as to congratulate an old lady in one of these families upon her safe arrival so near her destination, and assuring her that "the last trains of this year would not get through so well, for they were to be cut off."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Thur., December 3, 1857.                       No. 14,146


An officer of the army who was stationed nearly a year in Utah, and who passed over the Spanish trail -- from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, in command of a detachment of United States troops, in 1855 -- informs us that he camped for several days at the Mountain Meadows, the scene of the late horrible massacre of over one hundred emigrants, and that there was no room for the shadow of a doubt but that the Mormons were cognizant of and instigated this horrible butchery. The Indians in the vicinity of Fillmore, Parowan, and all the southern settlements, extending to the Virgin river, are entirely under the control of the Mormons; the chiefs are recognised members of the Mormon Church, and missionaries are constantly residing with them. He further informs us that it would be impossible for the Indians to plan an attack upon even a single wagon train without the knowledge of the Mormons, and that for years no small party of Americans has ever been safe in traveling this route. As a matter of necessity all small trains have assumed the name of Mormons to travel safely. These Indians are well armed with rifles, and supplied with ammunition by the Mormons, and at the time of the passage of the United States troops through their country, in 1855, every effort was made by the Mormons to induce the Indians to attack them, and they were only prevented from so doing by the superior strength and great precaution shown by the troops. This fact was communicated to the War Department, at the time, in an official report. -- Journal of Commerce.

Note: While a few bands of Utah Territory Indians may have been relatively "well armed," it appears unlikely that the Indians involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre had access to many firearms.


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Wed., December 9, 1857.                       No. 14,151


The Annual Message of the President of the United States, of which the following is a copy, was laod before both Houses of Congress yesterday:

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

... A Territorial government was established for Utah by act of Congress approved the 9th of September, 1850, and the Constitution and laws of the United States were thereby extended over it "so far as the same, or any provisions thereof, may be applicable." This act provided for the appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of a governor, who was to be ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs, a secretary, three judges of the supreme court, a marshal, and a district attorney. Subsequent acts provided for the appointment of the officers necessary to extend our land and our Indian system over the Territory. Brigham Young was appointed the first Governor on the 20th September, 1850, and has held the office ever since. Whilst Governor Young has been both Governor and Superintendent of Indian affairs throughout this period, he has been at the same time the head of the church called the Latter-day Saints, and professes to govern its members and dispose of their property by direct inspiration and authority from the Almighty. His power has been, therefore, absolute over both Church and State.

The people of Utah, almost exclusively, belong to this church; and believing with a fanatical spirit that he is Governor of the Territory by Divine appointment, they obey his commands as if these were direct revelations from Heaven. If, therefore, he chooses that his government shall come into collision with the Government of the United States, the members of the Mormon church will yield implicit obedience to his will. Unfortunately, existing facts leave but little doubt that such is his determination. Without entering upon a minute history of occurrences, it is sufficient to say that all the officers of the United States, judicial and executive, with the single exception of two Indian agents, have found it necessary for their own personal safety to withdraw from the Territory, and there no longer remains any government in Utah but the despotism of Brigham Young. This being the condition of affairs in the Territory, I could not mistake the path of duty. As Chief Executive Magistrate, I was bound to restore the supremacy of the Constitution and laws within its limits. In order to effect this purpose, I appointed a new Governor and other Federal officers for Utah, and sent with them a military force for their protection, and to aid as a posse comitatus, in case of need, in the execution of the laws.

With the religious opinions of the Mormons, as long as they remained mere opinions, however deplorable in themselves and revolting to the moral and religious sentiments of all Christendom, I had no right to interfere. Actions alone, when in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States, become the legitimate subjects for the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. My instructions to Gov. Cumming have therefore been framed in strict accordance with these principles. At their date a hope was indulged that no necessity might exist for employing the military in restoring and maintaining the authority of the law; but this hope has now vanished. Gov. Young has, by proclamation, declared his determination to maintain his power by force, and has already committed acts of hostility against the United States. Unless he should retrace his steps the Territory of Utah will be in a state of open rebellion. He has committed these acts of hostility notwithstanding Major Van Vliet, an officer of the army, sent to Utah by the commanding General to purchase provisions for the troops, had given him the strongest assurances of the peaceful intentions of the Government, and that the troops would only be employed as a posse comitatus when called on by the civil authority to aid in the execution of the laws.

There is reason to believe that Gov. Young has long contemplated this result. He knows that the continuance of his despotic power depends upon the exclusion of all settlers from the Territory except those who will acknowledge his divine mission and implicitly obey his will; and that an enlightened public opinion there would soon prostrate institutions at war with the laws both of God and man. He has therefore for several years, in order to maintain his independence, been industriously employed in collecting and fabricating arms and munitions of war, and in disciplining the Mormons for military service. As superintendent of Indian affairs he has had an opportunity of tampering with the Indian tribes, and exciting their hostile feelings against the United States. This, according to our information, he has accomplished in regard to some of these tribes, while others have remained true to their allegiance, and have communicated his intrigues to our Indian agents. He has laid in a store of provisions for three years, which, in case of necessity, as he informed Major Van Vliet, he will conceal, "and then take to the mountains, and bid defiance to all the powers of the Government."

A great part of all this may be idle boasting; but yet no wise Government will lightly estimate the efforts which may be inspired by such frensied fanaticism as exists among the Mormons in Utah. This is the first rebellion which has existed in our Territories; and humanity itself requires that we should put it down in such a manner that it shall be the last. To trifle with it would be to encourage it and to render it formidable. We ought to go there with such an imposing force as to convince these deluded people that resistance would be vain, and thus spare the effusion of blood. We can in this manner best convince them that we are their friends, not their enemies. In order to accomplish this object, it will be necessary, according to the estimate of the War Department, to raise four additional regiments; and this I earnestly recommend to Congress. At the present moment of depression in the revenues of the country I am sorry to be obliged to recommend such a measure;
but I feel confident of the support of Congress, cost what it may, in suppressing the insurrection and in restoring and maintaining the sovereignty of the Constitution and laws over the Territory of Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Fri., December 11, 1857.                       No. 14,153.


The Memphis Bulletin of December 3d publishes a new version of the recent massacre of emigrants by Indians in Utah, which, if correct, shows that the accounts of that tragedy heretofore received were much exaggerated. The Bulletin's authority is a letter received by a citizen of New Madrid from a relative who was in the company alleged to have been massacred. According to this the train was attacked by a very large body of Indians, but the watter were repulsed with the loss of only a few lives. The Journal of Commerce remarks:

"These statements wear an air of probability, and are rather confirmed than disproved by the recent reports already published. The two men (Messrs. Power and Warn) whose statements have been received as a corroboration of the massacre obtained their information, not by personal observation, but from the Mormons through whom they passed, who seem anxious to impress upon them the belief that the entire company had perished. There is very little to substantiate the truth of this outrage excepting these reports. These men traveled the entire rout in the rear of the train, but saw no dead bodies, and bit few evidences of any act of outrage. They met a company of Indians and white men, with a wagon coming from the scene of slaughter. These were driving 'several head of the emigrants' cattle,' and many of them had shawls and bundles of women's clothes tied to their saddles. If this was all the plunder obtained it was but a small quantity to take from one hundred and eighteen persons, and showed that the attack could not have been very successful. Moreover, Mr. Warn says, in his report, that when he was at Cedar City an express arrived from the Indians stating that one of their warriors had run up and looked into their corral, (their barricade,) and he supposed that 'only five or six of the emigrants were killed yet.' The whole truth in the matter seems to be that one of those attacks so often made upon wagon trains was exaggerated by the Mormons into a wholesale slaughter to subserve their own purpose."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLV.                      Washington, D. C.,  Tues., December 15, 1857.                       No. 14,156.


WASHINGTON December 5, 1857.  

Utah and the Expedition Thither.

This subject has very recently assumed so extraordinary and important an attitude, that I deem it proper to dwell upon it somewhat more at length than, under other circumstances, would have been required.

The Territory of Utah is peopled almost exclusively by the religious sect known as Mormons. From the time their numbers readied a point sufficient to constitute a community capable of anything like independent action, this people have claimed the right to detach themselves from the binding obligations of the laws which governed the communities where they chanced to live. They have substituted for the laws of the land a theocracy, having for its head an individual whom they profess to believe a prophet of God. This prophet demands obedience, and receives it implicitly from his people, in virtue of what he assures them to be authority deiived from revelations received by him from Heaven. Whenever he finds it convenient to exercise any special command, these opportune revelations of a higher law come to his aid. From his decrees there is no appeal; against his will there is no resistance. The general plan by which this system is perpetuated consists in calling into active play the very worst traits of the human character. Religious fanaticism, supported by imposture and fraud, is relied on to enslave the dull and ignorant; whilst the more crafty and less honest are held together by stimulating their selfishness and licensing their appetites and lusts. Running counter, as their tenets and practices do, to the cherished truths of Christian morality, it is not to be wondered at that, wherever these people have resided, discord and conflict with the legal authorities have steadily characterized their history.

From the first hour they fixed themselves in that remote and almost inaccessible region of our Territory, from which they are now sending defiance to the sovereign power, their whole plan has been to prepare for a successful secession from the authority of the United States and a permanent establishment of their own. They have practised an exclusiveness unlike anything ever before known in a Christian country, and have inculcated a jealous distrust of all whose religious faith differed from their own; whom they characterize under the general denomination of Gentiles. They have filled their ranks and harems chiefly from the lowest classes of foreigners, although some parts of the United States have likewise contributed to their numbers. They are now formidable from their strength, and much more so from the remoteness of their position and the difficulty of traversing the country between our frontiers and Great Salt Lake. This Mormon brotherhood has scarcely preserved the semblance of obedience to the authority of the United States for some years past; not at all, indeed, except as it might confer some direct benefit upon themselves, or contribute to circulate public money in their community. Whenever it suited their temper or caprice, they have set the United States authority at defiance. Of late years, a well grounded belief has prevailed that the Mormons were instigating the Indians to hostilities against our citizens, and were exciting amongst the Indian tribes a feeling of insubordination and discontent.

I need not recite here the many instances in their conduct and history on which these general allegations are founded, especially the conduct they have adopted within the last twelve months towards the civil authorities of the United States.

It has, nevertheless, always been the policy and desire of the Federal Government to avoid collision with this Mormon community. It has borne with the insubordination they have exhibited under circumstances when respect for their own authority has frequently counselled harsh measures of discipline. And this forbearance inight still be prolonged, and the evils rife amongst them be allowed to work out their own cure, if this community occupied any other theatre, isolated and remote from the seats of civilization, than the one they now possess. But, unfortunately for these views, their settlements lie in the great pathway which leads from our Atlantic States to the new and flourishing communities growing up upon our Pacific seaboard. They stand a lion in the path; not only themselves defying the military and civil authorities of the government, but encouraging, if not exciting, the nomad savages who roam over the vast unoccupied regions of the continent to the pillage and massacre of peaceful and helpless emigrant families traversing the solitudes of the wilderness. The rapid settlement of our Pacific possessions; the rights in those regions of emigrants unable to afford the heavy expenses of transit by water and the isthmus; the facility and safety of military, commercial, political, and social intercommunication between our eastern and western populations and States, all depend upon the prompt, absolute, and thorough removal of a hostile power besetting this path midway of its route, at a point where succor and provisions should always be found, rather than obstruction, privation, and outrage. However anxiously the government might desire to avoid a collision with this or any other community of people under its jurisdiction, yet it is not possible for it to postpone the duty of reducing to subordination a rebellious fraternity besetting one of the most important avenues of communication traversing its domain, and not only themselves defying its authority, but stimulating the irresponsible savages hovering along the highway to acts of violence indiscriminately upon all ages, sexes, and conditions of wayfarers.

From all the circumstances surrounding this subject at the time, it was thought expedient during the past summer to send a body of troops to Utah with the civil officers recently appointed to that Territory. As the intention then was merely to establish these functionaries in the offices to which they had been commissioned, and to erect Utah into a geographical military department, the force then despatched and now en route to the Territory was thought to be amply sufficient for those purposes. Supplies were abundant there, and the position was favorable for holding the Indians in check throughout the whole circumjacent region of country. It was hardly within the line of reasonable probability that these people would put themselves beyond the pale of reconciliation with the government by acts of unprovoked, open, and wanton rebellion. It will be seen, however, from the documents accompanying this report, that flagrant acts of rebellion have been committed by them, in the face of positive assurances given them that the intention of the government in sending troops into the military department of Utah was entirely pacific.

Great care had been taken, in preparing for the march to Utah, that nothing should seem to excite apprehension of any action on the part of the army in the least conflicting with the fixed principles of our institutions, by which the military is strictly subordinate to the civil authority. The instructions to the commanding officer were deliberately considered and carefully drawn; and he was charged not to allow any conflict to take place between the troops and the people of the Territory, except only in case he should be called on by the Governor for soldiers to act as a posse comitatus in enforcing obedience to the laws.

In conformity with this sentiment, and to assure these people of the real intention of the movement, an active, discreet officer was sent in advance of the army to Utah for the purpose of purchasing provisions for it, and of assuring the people of the Territory of the peaceful intentions of the government. This duty was faithfully performed; the chief men of the fraternity were assured that no violence was intended towards them or any one, and that nothing could be further from the intention of the government or the army than to molest any one for their religious opinions, however abhorrent they might be to the principles of Christian morality. This officer found, upon entering the Territory, that these deluded people had already, in advance of his arrival, or of any information, except as to the march of the column, determined to resist their approach and prevent, if possible, and by force, the entrance of the army into the valley of Salt Lake. Supplies of every sort were refused him. The day after his departure from the city, on his way back, Brigham Young issued his proclamation, substantially declaring war against the United States, and, at the same time, putting the Territory under martial law. The facts connected with this mission of Captain Van Vliet will appear more in detail from his reports, herewith transmitted.

In view of the menacing attitude of affairs in Utah, and of the importance of a prompt and thorough suppression of the spirit of rebellion reigning there, I must repeat my recommendation of five new regiments, which I am persuaded is the very smallest addition to the army which the exigencies of the service will allow.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Thurs., March 10, 1858.                       No. 14,538.


(PUBLIC -- No. 36.)

AN ACT making appropriations for the support of the army for the year ending the thirtieth of June, eighteen hundred and sixty.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress asembled, That the following sums be and the same are hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated for the support of the army...

For defraying the expenses of the recovery and the restoration to their homes of the children surviving the massacre by Indians of the emigrant trains from Arkansas, in the fall of eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, ten thousand dollars.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Fri., March 19, 1858.                       No. 14,235.






Mr. Gwin submitted the following resolution, and asked its immediate consideration:

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to communicate to the Senate what steps have been taken, if any, to punish the parties implicated in the massacre of one hundred and eighteen emigrants to California at the Mountain Meadows, in the Territory of Utah.

Mr. Gwin characterized this matter as one of the most appalling that has ever taken place in this country, and yet, so far as he knew, there had been no effort made to avenge the blood of the victims; and expressed the opinion that if this horrid outrage on humanity was not properly punished there would be no safety for trains passing to his State, and held it to be the duty of Government to inflict summary vengeance on the guilty.

Mr. Houston said they should first ascertain who the guilty parties were before they attempt to punish. He was indisposed to this wholesale mode of proceeding for vengeance, imagining that somebody did it, and therefore somebody must be killed. If the facts could be satisfactorily ascertained he would be disposed to punish the guilty as they deserved; and if the resolution was so modified as to inquire into the facts he would have no objection to its adoption.

Mr. Gwin did not suppose for a moment that any Senator would oppose such a resolution. What, did the Senator from Texas intend by sending persons to inquire into facts, to have them murdered as those composing the unfortunate train were! He (Mr. G.) desired to see a force sent there that would have the power to punish when the guilty were detected. There was no danger of persons being punished who were not really the perpetrators of the atrocious act.

On motion by Mr. Foot, the subject was postponed until to-morrow....

Note: See "Massacre of Emigrants to California," in the Congressional Globe of March 18, 1858, for further details.


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Sat., March 20, 1858.                       No. 14,236.



FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 1858.



...Mr. Gwin moved to proceed to the consideration of the following resolution submitted by him yesterday:

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to communicate to the Senate what steps have been taken, if any, to punish the parties implicated in the massacre of one hundred and eighteen emigrants to California at the Mountain Meadows, in the Territory of Utah.

Mr. G. remarked that the resolution was laid over yesterday at the suggestion of the Senator from Texas.

Mr. Houston: He would perceive that it was an inquiry merely, and he thought it would not cause any discussion. The resolution was then agreed to.

Note: According to the Congressional Globe of March 19, 1858, Gwin's exact words were: "I offered yesterday a resolution of inquiry, to which the Senator from Texas (Mr. Houston) objected. I understand that this morning he is willing to withdraw his objection, as he finds that the resolution simply provides for an inquiry. I move that it be taken up."


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Wed., March 31, 1858.                       No. 14,245.



TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 1858.


The President of the Senate laid before the body... a communication from the Secretary of War... in answer to a resolution of the 19th instant calling for information as to what steps have been taken for the punishment of the parties implicated in the massacre of 118 emigrants to California at the Mountain Meadows; which was read and ordered to lie on the table.

(The Secretary says, in reply, that his Department has no information respecting the transaction, and is not advised that any steps have been taken for the punishment of the parties implicated.)...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Sat., April 30, 1859.                       No. 14,583.


Correspondence of the Missouri Republican.

GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, March 26, 1859.    
Things are in a very unsettled condition here at present, and, in fact, great excitement exists, and you need not be surprised at any time to hear of a collision...

Judge Cradlebaugh is holding his court at Provo, and the feeling that is so manifest in this city and throughout the Territory is predicated upon a determination upon his part to ferret out and bring to punishment the prepetrators of the many high-handed outrages and murders that have been committed heretofore in this valley....

The United States Marshal arrived here yesterday with warrants for the arrest of two men. They are important witnesses in the Parish murder, and are implicated in it, and are supposed to be important witnesses in the "Mountain Meadow" massacre where one hundred and twenty-nine men, women and children "went under" in 1856 [sic - 1857?]. Two of these men arrived here say before yesterday and went up to the house of Secretary Hartnett for protection, where they have been ever since locked up under guard. They fear that their lives are in danger. The United States Marshal had warrants for them, and they will leave to-day in his charge. Should a rescue be attempted there will be a "muss" certain, as they say they will turn State's evidence....


Camp Floyd, March 24. -- There is just now a little excitement amongst the Mormons, and the other day there was a little prospect of sime active and useful service by the troops here. To prevent the effect of misrepresentation and erroneous statements, which will probably be made from here, I give you the real facts of the case. They are briefly these: Judge Cradlebaugh, Unoted States Justice for the third district, has lately convened court at Provo, about forty miles east of here, and knowing there were no jails, nor any provisions made for prisoners or wirnesses before Unoted States Courts in this Territory, and having here in custody several criminals for trial, he made a requisition for troops as a guard to go with him to Provo. Besides this, the Judge was determined to make the attempt, at least, to bring up for trial before him some of the murderers of the Parish family, as well as those engaged in the wholsesale massacre of Arkansas emigrants at the Mountain Meadows, which involved some of the superior church officers. Accordingly, a company of the 10th Infantry was detailed and detached on the service. The Court met, the Grand Jury was charged by the Judge, and some arrests made by the Marshal, including the Bishop or Mayor of Provo. Preparations for a rescue were made amongst the citizens, and a messenger was dispatched to them, both to Brigham Young and Governor Cumming to come down....

Without this involvement of the troops the Judge would not possibly have held his court with any prospect of success, and under the real state of facts it is marvellously strange and unaccountable that Gov. Cumming, instead of giving his official sanction and aid in this second attempt to establish the supremacy of the laws, should, on the contrary, apparently be disposed to throw obstacles in the way, and to coincide with the Mormon views. I feel certain that nothing like justice can be administered here.

Judge Cradlebaugh is a bold, honest, and fearless judge, determined to do his duty... If a fair jury can be had, and a conviction of murder ensues, there is little doubt but that facts enough will be elicited to cause the arrest of Brigham himself and all the "Holy Twelve" besides.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Wed., June 8, 1859.                       No. 14,667.


The Commissioner of Indian Affairs has recieved the following interesting letter from the Superindendent of Indian Affairs in Utah:

Great Salt Lake City, May 4, 1859.   
SIR: I have just returned from a very laborious and difficult trip through the southern portions of this Territory.

I have succeeded in recovering sixteen children, and have them now in my possession. It is said these are all that remain of probably one hundred and forty men, women, and children, of the Mountain Meadow massacre in September, 1857.

In December last there was a small boy among the Navajos, near the Colorado, in Mexico Territory, who, it is supposed also belonged to this emigrant train. I will allude to this boy in another communication. I was positively assured by the settlers in the neighborhood where I got the children, that I have all that were saved. I have good reasons for believing that none of these children have lived among the Indians at all.

These children average from about three to nine-and-a-half years old; are intellectual and good looking -- not one mean-looking child amongst them.

I have collected the following particulars in relation to these children:

1st. Calvin, now seven or eight years old; does not remember his name; says they (his family) lived at Horse Head, Johnston county, Arkansas. This boy had father, mother, and five brothers, older than him self, killed; brothers' names, Henry, James, William, and Larkin; and four sisters, Nancy, Mary, and Martha; his father, Joseph," and his mother, Matilda. -- 2d and 3d. Ambrose Miram Taggit, now about 7 years old, and Wm. Taggit, now about 4 1/2 years old; the elder boy says they had father, mother, and two older brothers killed. He says they lived in Johnston county, and when they left the States had a grandfather and grandmother living. -- 4th. Prudence Angeline, 6 years old; and, 5th. Annie; had father, mother, and two brothers, named James and John; all killed. -- 6th. A girl, about 4 1/2 years old; says her name is Frances Hawn, or Kern. -- 7th. A boy, now about three years old. I have no account of this boy. Those with whom he lived called him William. -- 8th. Eliza [sic] W. Huff, 4 years old. -- 9th. Sophronia, or Mary Huff, about 6 years old. -- 10th. Chas. Francher, 7 or 8 years old; and, 11th. Annie, about 3 1/2 years old; had sister[s]. -- 12th. Betsey, about 6 years old; and, 13th. Jane, about 4 years old; have no account of these; 14th, 15th, and 16th. Rebecca, Louisa, and Sarah Dunlap.

In conversation with these children I learn that they resided in the same neighborhood; my impression is, principally in Johnstoncounty, Arkansas.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. FORNEY,    
Superintendent of Indian Affairs.    
[Hon. C. E. Mix,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Thurs., June 30, 1859.                       No. 14,636.


Correspondence of the Missouri Republican.

GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, June 3, 1859.    
Judge Cradlebaugh has just returned from the locality of that terrible massacre which has no parallel in American history, and [is] known as the Mountain Meadow. His visit was the signal of a general [flight] among the white inhabitants, and particularly among those who hold commissions under the Church. He had issued warrants for the arrest of many of them, which embrace the names of bishops, presidents of stakes and seventies, &c., who, in appreciation of their guilt, have fled to the mountains.

The little children, seventeen in number, the only survivors of the Mountain Meadow massacre, are now in this city, and will leave for the States in about two weeks in one of Russell, Majors and Waddell's trains, which has been gratuitously tendered, and in the charge of kind and experienced nurses.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Thurs., July 7, 1859.                       No. 14,641.


LATER FROM UTAH TERRITORY. -- The Salt Lake correspondent of the Republican says that Judge Cradlebaugh has returned from his tour through his crrcuit. He issued warrants during his trip for the arrest of nearly one hundred persons engaged in the massacre at Mountain Meadows. Various other murders had occurred. He saw no church officials along the route. He reports that, for thorty miles before reaching the Santa Clara borders, his company found human skeletons at almost every camping ground, many being probably murdered by the Indians last winter. He says that upwards of eighty white men assisted in the massacre at Mountain Meadows.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Fri., July 29, 1859.                       No. 14,660.


We have received a copy of the "Valley Tan" of the 29th ultimo, containing some items of interest, which we extract as follows:

"Eighteen little children, from two to eight years old, the survivors of the Mountain Meadows masacre, left here on Tuesday for the States. The first arrangements contemplated their transportation to the States with ox teams; but General Johnston kindly and promptly responded to a request from Dr. Forney, and has furnished for their better accommodation, three spring ambulances, and one baggage wagon, with teams of six mules each. The change in the mode of transportation will, we think, contribute greatly to the comfort of the children and those in charge of them. From the circumstances connected with their orphanage, they are peculiarly objects for sympathy; and we are pleased to see the efforts of Dr. Forney to make the road on which they travel in search of relatives or friends as smooth as possible. They will travel with and are under the protection of Capt. R. Anderson, 2d dragoons, who is en route to Ft. Kearney with his command. Mrs. Worley, Mrs. Nash, and two other ladies have been engaged as matrons to attend to the wants of the little ones, and three men also accompany the party as camp asssistants,

"The names of the children so far as can be learned are as follows: John Calvin, Lewis, and Mary Sorrel, (their father being held in remembrance as "Joe Sorrel,") Ambrose Miram and William Taggett; Frances Horn, Charles and Annie Francher, Betsey and Jane Baker; Rebecca, Louisa, and Sarah Dunlap; Sophronia or Mary and Ephraim W. Huff; Angeline and Annie, (surname unknown,) and a little boy of whom there Is no account; the people with whom he was found called him William. The children are supposed to have resided in the same neighborhood, and in Johnston county, Arkansas. The children have been in charge of Dr. Forney since last fall, and we know that he has given his interested and personal supervision in order that they might be properly and comfortably cared for. We learn mareover, that Dr. Forney has obtained the guardianship of these children."

Note: The above reprint leaves off the last line of the Valley Tan report: "There was a large amount of property in the possession of the party massacred at the Mountain Meadows, and the children have now an agent here, who will undoubtedly use his best endeavors to recover the property of which they have been despoiled."


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Wed., August 17, 1859.                       No. 14,676.


The Mountain Meadows Children -- Special Agent Jarvis, who came eastward with the children saved from the Mountain Meadows massacre, has arrived in this city and reported himself to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He left the children at Fort Laramie, and reports that they will not arrive at Leavenworth before the 6th of September.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                      Washington, D. C.,  Sat., Sept. 3, 1859.                       No. 14,691.

The "Mountain Meadows" Children.

From the Leavenworth (Kansas) Herald of August 27.

Yesterday morning a train of fourteen wagons arrived at Fort Leavenworth from Utah. It left Salt Lake City on the 26th of June. Major Eastman and Lieut. Elwood, of the 5th infantry; Major Whiting, of the 7th infantry; Lieut. Taylor, of the ed dragoons, came in with the train.

Accompanying the train are also fifteen of the children who escaped the terrible massacre at Mountan Meadows, in Utah, some two years since. The particulars of the unparalleled outrage, perpetrated by Mormons under the guise of Indians, startled our whole country when the intelligence reached the States. We have not the details before us, but if we remember aright a company numbering 145 persons started from the State of Arkansas in the spring of 1857 for California.

They were supplied with an excellent outfit -- wagons, mules, and an ample stock of provisions, &c. They got along well enough until they reached what is known as the "Mountain Meadows," in the southwestern part of the Territory of Utah. Here whilst encamped they were surrounded by a party, the larger portion of whom were Mormons, disguised as Indians -- the balance Indians -- and the whole party brutally butchered, except seventeen children, who were taken possession of by the Indians. The object of the assailants was evidently plunder. Early last spring, through the vigilance of Dr. Forney, the Indian agent for Utah, the children were all obtained and properly cared for. Although most of them are very young, they were enabled to detail with considerable intelligence nearly all the particulars of the terrible massacre they had witnessed.

The Government has furnished the children with transportation to Fort Leavenworth, and male and female attendants. We saw the children at the fort yesterday morning when they arrived. Ten are girls and five boys. The oldest girl did not appear to be over ten years of age, and the majority are much younger. All were comfortably clothed, in good health, and fine spirits. We saw a little rosy-cheek girl, not over, we should think, four years of age, whose right arm was entirely ghelpless. At the time of the massacre the child was in its mother's arms, and the bullet that sent its protector to an untimely grave passed through the little one's right arm just below the elbow. We saw the sacrs made by the bullet, but received only a smile from the little girl when we inquired if she could use her hand.

An agent from Arkansas -- said to be a relative if some of the children, most of whom are supposed to belong to Johnson county, in that State -- is expected here to take charge of the children and conduct them to their friends.

Two of the little girls -- the oldest of the seventeen -- are retained in Utah to give testimony in the courts in relation to the massacre. They will be kindly cared for and sent to Arkansas as soon as the bloody murderers -- several of whom have been detected and apprehended -- are disposed of.

There also came with the train under the especial care of Sergeant Blac, the three Foster children, of whom much has been said in the papers. The father and mother loved in Connecticut. The father espoused the Mormon faith several years ago, and left for Salt Lake City, carrying with him his three little girls. The mother remained behind, and all efforts to retain [sic - regain?] her children were abortive. About a year ago the father died, and now, through the efforts of the Secretary of War, her children have been reclaimed, and will soon be where they can receive a mother's love and devotion.

The children will remain either at the fort or in the city for a few days, and those who desire to see them can doubtless have their wishes gratified.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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