(Newspapers of Utah)

Misc. Utah Newspapers
1866-1899 Articles

1850-1856   |   1857-1865   |   1866-1899   |   1900-1939
"Beadle Library" excerpts from the Reporter

STel Feb 01 '66  |   STel Apr 09 '66  |   UnV Jul 27 '66  |   UnV Jul 28 '66  |   STel Aug 16 '66  |   UnV Aug 20 '66  |   DNw Oct 10 '66
STel Oct 10 '66  |   STel Oct 12 '66  |   DNw Nov 28 '66  |   UnV Dec 24 '66  |   STel Jan 05 '67  |   STel Jan 06 '67  |   STel Feb 01 '67
STel Feb 28 '67  |   UnV Jun 22 '67  |   STel Jun 23 '67  |   UnV Jun 25 '67  |   STel Jun 25 '67  |   UnV Jun 29 '67  |   STel Jul 14 '67
UnV Jul 17 '67  |   UnV Aug 01 '67  |   UnV Aug 08 '67  |   UnV Aug 11 '67  |   UnV Aug 15 '67  |   UnV Aug 20 '67  |   STel Sep 05 '67
STel Oct 06 '67  |   STel Oct 13 '67  |   STel Dec 06 '67  |   STel Dec 10 '67  |   STel Dec 11 '67
STel Apr 21 '68  |   CDR May 21 '68  |   STel Jul 02 '68  |   STel Jul 31 '68  |   STel Aug 15 '68  |   CDR Aug 18 '68  |   CDR Sep 10 '68
CDR Sep 12 '68  |   CDR Oct 29 '68  |   STel Feb 25 '69  |   STel Mar 01 '69  |   CDR Mar 5 '69  |   CDR Apr 10 '69  |   CDR May 12 '69
CDR May ?? '69  |   DNw Jun 23 '69  |   DNw Jul 14 '69  |   CDR Jul 24 '69  |   CDR Aug 08 '69  |   CDR Aug 15 '69  |   CDR Aug 24? '69
STel Sep 03 '69  |   DN Sep 16 '69  |   CDR Sep 18 '69  |   DNw Oct 20 '69  |   STel Oct 28 '69  |   CDR Nov 02 '69  |   DNw Nov 10 '69
CDR Nov 11 '69  |   DNw Nov 24 '69  |   DNw Dec 01 '69  |   DNw Dec 29 '69
CWR Jan 15 '70  |   STel Mar 03 '70  |   DNw Aug 24 '70  |   SLH Aug 31 '70  |   SLH Sep 03 '70  |   DN Sep 05 '70  |   DNw Sep 07 '70
CDR Sep 12 '70  |   DN Oct 10 '70  |   CDR Nov 05 '70  |   CWR Feb 11 '71  |   CDR Feb 22 '71  |   CDR Jul 15 '71  |   CWR Jul 22 '71
CDR Jul 29 '71  |   CWR Aug 05 '71  |   CWR Aug 12 '71  |   CWR Aug 19 '71  |   CWR Aug 26 '71  |   CDR Aug 28 '71  |   CDR Sep 02 '71
CDR Sep 09 '71  |   CDR Sep 16 '71  |   CDR Sep 23 '71  |   CDR Sep 30 '71  |   CDR Oct 07 '71  |   CDR Oct 14 '71  |   CDR Oct 19 '71
SLH Nov 24 '71  |   CDR Apr 15 '72  |   CDR Sep 14 '72  |   SLH Sep 15 '72  |   CDR Sep 16 '72  |   CDR Sep 20 '72  |   CDR Sep 23 '72
CDR Sep 24 '72  |   CDR Sep 27 '72  |   DNw Oct 02 '72  |   CDR Jan 16 '73  |   CDR Jan 17 '73  |   CDR Jan 18 '73  |   SLH Nov 13 '74
SLH Nov 18 '74  |   SLH Nov 22 '74  |   Msgr Dec '74  |   SLH Dec 27 '74
TMsgr Jan '75  |   TMsgr Feb '75  |   TMsgr Mar '75  |   TMsgr Apr '75  |   TMsgr May '75  |   DNd May 14 '75  |   TMsgr Jun '75
SLH Jul 24 '75  |   SLH Aug 10 '75  |   TMsgr Sep '75  |   SLH Sep 18 '75  |   TMsgr Oct '75  |   TMsgr Nov '75  |   TMsgr Dec '75
TMsgr Jan '76  |   TMsgr Feb '76  |   TMsgr May '76  |   DNw Aug 02 '76  |   TMsgr Oct '76  |   DNw Jan 03 '77  |   Msgr Feb '77
SLH May 09 '77  |   SLH May 10 '77  |   SLH May 16 '77  |   SLH May 18 '77  |   SLH May 22 '77  |   SLH Jun 01 '77  |   DNw Aug 15 '77
DNw Jan 16 '78  |   DNd Jan 16 '78  |   DNw Jan 30 '78  |   SLH Feb 02 '78  |   DNw Jun 26 '78  |   DNw Jul 03 '78  |   DNw Jul 31 '78
DNw Aug 07 '78  |   DNw Aug 14 '78  |   DNd Aug 16 '78  |   DNw Aug 21 '78  |   DNw Aug 28 '78  |   DNw Sep 04 '78  |   DNw Nov 27 '78
DNw Dec 04 '78  |   OJct Jun 07 '79

OJct Mar 24 '80  |   APS Apr 01 '80  |   APS May 01 '80  |   APS Jun 01 '80  |   DNw Aug 04 '80  |   APS Sep 01 '80  |   DNw Sep 22 '80
DNw Nov 10 '80  |   APS Jan 01 '81  |   DNw Jan 12 '81  |   APS Apr 01 '81  |   DNd Apr 07 '81  |   Enq May 07 '81  |   DNw Jun 22 '81
SLH Jun 26 '81  |   DNw Aug 16 '81  |   APS Oct 01 '81  |   DNw Oct 12 '81  |   DNw Nov 16 '81  |   DNw Nov 23 '81  |   DNw Dec 28 '81
APS Feb 01 '82  |   APS Jun 01 '82  |   APS Sep 01 '82  |   DNw May 02 '83  |   UJour May 29 '83  |   DNw Aug 01 '83  |   ODH Aug 30 '83
DNw Sep 26 '83  |   SLH Oct 19 '83  |   SLH Nov 16 '83  |   ODH Nov 19 '83  |   SUt Dec 07 '83  |   UJour Mar 22 '84  |   DNd Mar 22 '84
DNd Mar 25 '84  |   BLD Mar 28 '84  |   SLH Apr 08 '84  |   DNd Apr 10 '84  |   ODH Apr 11 '84  |   DNw Jul 09 '84  |   SLH Mar 13 '85
ODH Mar 25 '85  |   SUt Apr 03 '85  |   UJour May 13 '85  |   SLH May 17 '85  |   DNd May 20 '85  |   SUt Nov 20 '85
ODH Jan 05 '86  |   SUt Jan 15 '86  |   DNw Feb 24 '86  |   UJour Mar 10 '86  |   DNw Mar 31 '86  |   UJour Apr 21 '86  |   Enq May 11 '86
ODH May 21 '86  |   UJour Jun 05 '86  |   DNw Jun 09 '86  |   DNw Jun 16 '86  |   SLH Aug 18 '86  |   Enq Jan 04 '87  |   UJour Jan 26 '87
Enq Feb 01 '87  |   Union Feb 01 '87  |   PR May 14 '87  |   DNd Oct 04 '87  |   DNw Oct 12 '87  |   Enq Dec 09 '87  |   DNw Jan 25 '88
DNw Feb 22 '88  |   Enq Mar 16 '88  |   DNw Oct 17 '88  |   DNw Oct 24 '88  |   DNd Nov 10 '88  |   OS Dec 30 '88  |   Enq Jan 15 '89
Enq May 31 '89  |   OS Nov 20 '89  |   Enq Aug 30 '89  |   Enq Nov 22 '89
SUt Sep 16 '90  |   DNw Jan 03 '91  |   DNw Jan 17 '91  |   DNw Jan 24 '91  |   DNw Jan 31 '91  |   DNw Feb 14 '91  |   DNw Feb 21 '91
DNw Dec 05 '91  |   DNw Apr 16 '92  |   DNw Sep 24 '92  |   DNw Apr 01 '93  |   OS Jul 25 '93  |   DNs Sep 30 '93  |   Enq Oct 28 '93
DNd Dec 19 '93  |   DNd Jan 20 '94  |   Enq Feb 02 '95  |   DNd Apr 16 '95  |   CTim Oct 25 '95  |   DNw Apr 18 '96  |   DNd May 27 '96
DNw May 30 '96  |   DNw Jun 06 '96  |   DNd Jan 30 '97  |   DNw Jun 12 '97  |   Enq Oct 23 '97  |   BA Dec 11 '97  |   DNw Jan 08 '98
DNd Sep 02 '98  |   DNd Apr 06 '99  |   DNd Nov 27 '99  |   DNd Dec 23 '99

Old Newspaper Articles Index   |   LDS Newspapers   |   Salt Lake Tribune


Semi-Weekly Telegraph.
Vol. II.             Great Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, February 1, 1866.             No. 34.

DIED. -- Last Thursday, at Ogden, Thomas B. Marsh. The deceased was once the President of the Twelve Apostles -- more we have not to say.

Note 1: If this Utah death announcement for the first President of the Mormon Church's "Twelve Apostles" seems overly terse, it is perhaps because Thomas Baldwin Marsh reportedly sympathized with the rival Reorganized LDS prior to his demise. See the Plano True Latter-Day Saints' Herald of May 1, 1866 and the Lamoni Saints' Herald of July 24, 1895 for details. Marsh's initial repatriation to the Mormon community received equally brief official notice, consisting of two short sentences reproduced on page 766 of the Nov. 8, 1857 Liverpool Millennial Star. However, in Salt Lake City, Marsh was brought before the audience in the Bowery for a public introduction by Brigham and given the opportunity to address the congregation -- see the Deseret News of Sept. 16, 1857 for his remarks.

Note 2: Elder David M. Stuart of Ogden was evidently put in charge of Marsh's 1866 burial -- see the Ogden Standard of July 25, 1893.


Semi-Weekly Telegraph.
Vol. II.                       Great Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, April 9, 1866.                       No. 53.

THE ORIGINAL ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH. -- Thirty-six years ago, yesterday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized in Fayette, Seneca county, State of New York. Elder Geo. A. Smith kindly furnishes us the following names -- the six persons that constituted the first organization:

Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, jr., Samuel H. Smith and David Whitmer.

Some of these had been baptized previously, but were all baptized on the day of organization. The names and this information was furnished by Oliver Cowdery to Joseph Knight.

In thirty-six years, from this handful of men the nucleus of a great people have been gathered into these mountains and rejoice in their deliverance from priestcraft, kingcraft and the devil -- the prince of regenerators.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol.VI.                           Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, July 27, 1866.                           No. 19.

Mountain Meadow Massacre.

A correspondent of the S. F. Bulletin writing from Callville, Arizona, under date of June 25th, says of the Indians in that vicinity:

they are thoroughly posted in relation to the raids of Gen, Connor's command against the Indians farther North; the excitement exiting in relation to the Mountain Meadow massacre; the endeavors by the Government to ferret out and punish the actors in this, the bloodiest drama ever per perpetrated on American soil; the fact that they are charged by the Mormons with being the sole perpetrators of that tragedy, and they fear that they will soon be held to a rigid accountability. It was to this vally of the Muddy, that a large portion of the stock from from the massacred train was brought and here was killed the only adult, a man by the name of Williams, who escaped from Mountain Meadows. These Indians do not hesitate to acknowledge their connection with the massacre, but charge the Mormons with being the instigators and chief actors in the tragedy. The tales they tell are horrible beyond description, and while it would be unjust, considering their present relations with the Mormons, to take all their statements for truth, it is impossible to resist the conviction that revenge for the killing of Parley Pratt, in Arkansas, was the inciting cause of the Mountain Meadow massacre, and that a band of Danites were the directors of its perpetration. I was astonished at the details by these Indians of circumstances and names; in the latter psrticular their statements were explicit, extending even to giving us ttihlee name of the lady under whose charge the surviving children were taken East. The Mormons have long been noted for their shrewd management of Indians, but events now transpiring indicate that their influence with the savages is lesssening. The result may be the arrest and punishment of the white miscreants who planned the indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children at Mountain Meadows.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, July 28, 1866.                       No. 20.

The Mountain Meadow Massacre.

In the letter of an occasional correspondent from Callville in yesterdays Bulletin, it was intimated that the Mormons were exciting the United States authorities to punish the Indians for the massacre known by the above name. The Mormons having their own troubles with the ndians are now accusing those collected in the neighborhood of of Muddy River of being the murderers, and in possession of the cattle and other plunder obtained by the crime. It will be remembered that in 1857 a large train of emigrants fronm Arkkansas were attacked at Mountain Meadow by a band of Indians or white men, and every adult, numbering 144 persons of both sexes slain, and a large quantity of stock, wagons, carriagess, jewelry, clothing and other property carried off. After the massacre 18 children, from eight years of age down to eight months, were pocked up amongst the bushes into which they had crawled for shelter. James Lynch, formerly superintendent of the United States post at Camp Floyd, has informed us that he was instructed by the United States authorities to inquire into this matter while stationed at the above post, and he had communications with John D. Lee, Hamlin, Bishop Smith and other Mormons, and they all acknowledged that the attack was made by Mormons assisted by five Paiute Indians. John D. Lee, boasting that he was the leader of the attacking party. They admit also the finding of the children and that there had been a consultation about them, one Mormon brute advocating their death on the ground that "they should destroy the nits while killing the lice." More humane counsels, however, prevailed and Hamlin took charge of 16 and John D. Lee of 2. These children were found by the United States authorities, in Santa Clara, in 1859, in miserable condition, and were given up to ouar informant. The eldest, a sharp intelligent child 10 years old, named Marry Dunlap, remembered distinctly the occurrences of two years before, and pointed out to Mr. Lynch the men who had taken part in the massacre. Mary Dunlap also testified to articles of dress and jewelry wfrn by John D. Lee's wife and other persons as being part of the plunder which she recognized; also carriages and wagons which formed part of the train then in possession of the Mormons with whom she had been living. Over 30 witnesses testified to facts proving the guilt of the Mormons in this matter before Judge Cradlebaugh and Eckell, Territorial Judges in Utah.

The children were subsequently removed to the States and Mary Dunlap, the eldest survivor of the catastrophe, is living in Kansas City, Missouri, and can, we are informed, substantiate the charges against the men who are now seeking to throw the blame on the Indians. Mr. Lynch left by this day's steamer for Guayquill, Republic of Equador; but if through tihboe instrumentality of the Judges named above or any other parties, an attempt should be made to bring the real assassins to punishment, he will be found ready to proceed to any part of the United States to depose to the above and other facts which came to his knowledge while employed in the Government service at the time the first enquiry was made. -- S. F. Bulletin.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Semi-Weekly Telegraph.
Vol. II.               Great Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, August 16, 1866.              No. 90.


The report of the House Committee on Territories on the condition of Utah represented that the testimony taken before the Committee disclosed the fact that an armed force was neccessary things to preserve the peace and afford security for life and property to the citizens of the United States residing therein.

This testimony may be declared at once exactly contrary to the facts, as everybody knows that has lived in Utah, While in Calfornia and Nevada and Montana and Idaho highway robbers and road agents are as common as flowers in May, and in some of the Territories named many of the inhabitants consider that there would be no security at all for the "life and property of citizens of the United States," if the Vigilante organization were disbanded, and while even in New York and Pennsylvania and lots of the oldest States crime flourishes with unprecedented luxuriance, in Utah violation of personal liberty and the right of property are of the rarest occurrence, and when they do happen the culpability, in the vast majority of cases, is with those persons who come here to prey upon the peaceable and industrions settlers, and who are the very persons who make the great cry about "no security for life or property."

We do not say that there are no violations of law in Utah, that there are no assults, no robbery, no deeds of violence. That wouId be asserting too much of humanity in any place or age. We assert nothing of the kind. But we do assert that instances of this kind are comparatively few in number and small in enormity, when the criminal records of other Territories and States are taken into account.

How has it been in California, in Montana, in Idaho, in Nevada, in Colorado? Deeds of violence have been so common that "another man for breakfast" became proverbial, as indicative of the social state of those communities. Has any such state characterized Utah? Never. Has anybody ever thought of applying such a proverb to Utah? Nobody. Has there been a hundredth part [of] the unjustifiable use of the knife and the revolver in Utah that there has been in the neighboring Territories and States? There has not. Have street broils and impromptu dueIlings flourished in Utah? They have not, and of the very few occurrences of the kind that have disgraced this Territory the largely major part may be justly charged upon those awfully pure and peaceable persons who grumble continually of there being no security for life and property.

It is a notorious fact that when there have been the fewest of those regenerative mischief makers in the Territory, then there has been the greatest security of life and property. Women and children could travel from settlement to settlement, all over the Territory, not only without annoyance, but without fear or apprehension of annoyance. Cases of highway robbery or personal assault were so exceedingly rare as to warrant the assertion that they were unknown. There probably never was a region settled by such a numerous population since the world began, with so little highway robbery, burglary, and personal assault as the Territory of Utah. In fact these things, if not utterly unknown, have been the next thing to utterly unknown in this Territory, excepting at those times when there has been an influx of transient population -- soldiers, gamblers, camp-followers in general, and the scum driftings from the mining Territories.

Even at the present time, if there is a case of personal assault, of highway robbery, of burglary, the criminals in nearly every instance are persons who have belonged to the army, or have followed the army with the hope of gain, or have been glad to leave adjoining Territories, and have thought there might be chance of covert here. Few indeed, almost beyond belief, of the industrious settlers, or the children of the settlers, are found engaged in those disreputable transactions. The most reprehensible exhibitions of irregular notions of the relations of meum and tuum in this Territory have been in regard to quadrupeds. There have been some illegal appropriation of that kind of stock, but not so much as in other localities.

It is speaking entirely within the facts, as everybody conversant with them is aware, that there is greater security for life and property in Utah to-day than there is in any of the neighboring Territories and States, and than there is in any other Territory or State in the Union. There is not to-day the same safety to person and property in New York or Washington itself that there is in Utah. The wonderful hobgoblin tales which are originated and circulated and hashed and rehashed for the delectation of people afar off, may serve very well for those who know no better and who are incapable of understanding the logic of facts, but to all other persons they are the veriest bosh, and they originate with that class of humanity which in most other localities would be troubled with the attentions of Judge Lynch, but through the forbearance of the people of Utah they still pollute the earth.

Those are the people who feel insecure in Utah, who write and testify awful things concerning the impossibility of U. S. citizens living here without the protection of the military. That is rather hard on "U. S. citizens" too. Largely in the majority as they are and on their, own soil, they are scared to death lest, without the presence of an army, their lives and property should be harmed by the minority of Britishers and Danishers and Datchers who have happened over here. Poor things! Poor things! We are heartily glad that the House Committee took pity on the quaking U. S. citizens of Utah, and concluded to let a few troops remain here for their special encouragement. We'll promise, too, to use our influence with those terrible foreigners, so that they may respect the trepidation of said apprehensive U. S. citizens and to deal extra tenderly towards them, we will.

Note: Elder Stenhouse's argument (against retaining federal troops at Fort Douglas) makes little sense, unless the United States government and the soldiers themselves are relegated to the "scum driftings" that the editor imagines "still pollute the earth." For a viewpoint defending the need for a continued federal presence, to "preserve the peace and afford security," in the territory, see the Union Vedette of Aug. 20th.



Vol. VI.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Monday, August 20, 1866.                       No. 39.


The extremely fawning and sycophantic editor of the Telegraph has been very much occupied of late in is whining about the comparative purity of Utahdom constrasted with ehat he considers the excesses of crime in other places, and has given the most unmistakeable evidence of his character by his continually wallowing in the mire of pollution. -- The ostensible advocate and champion of Mormon ecclesiasticism, why is it he confines himself less to the rational elucidation of via of the tenets of his own barbaric faith than to an apparently pleasureable gloating over the moral deformities of his less pretentious neighbors, as though imperfections in them would justify enormities in him and his but little more scrupulous coadjutors?

...It requires no great effort of memory to remind us of the Mountain Meadow Massacre -- of the murder of a certain Mexican shortly after the settlement of Utah in the southern part of the Territory -- of the murder of a certain old man West here, of known Union proclivities when the Mormon militia went out to stop (!) Johnson's army -- of the murder of Sergt. Pike -- of the murder of a certain merchant named Bowman -- of the murder of a certain Doctor South -- of the murder off the Parishes -- of the murder of Forbes -- of he murder of Jones and his poor old mother -- of the murder of a certain wealthy emigrant at Ogden some seven or eight years since and the accidental (!) drowning of another pushed into the Ogden River some three years since -- of the murder of Joseph Morris and John Banks and two women in 1862 -- of the murder of a soldier in Salt Lake City in 1864 -- of the attempted murder of Mr. Maloney in 1865 -- of the murder of Brassfield in 1866 -- of the floating bodies in the Jordan and dead bodies in the streets during the demoniacal "reformation" (!) of 1856-8 --- none of which are even charged upon Gentiles; but were wholly the fiendish work of the faithfulof "this most peaceable and law-abiding of all communities" during the reign of Utah Mormondom, and where the records are searched almost in vain for any criminal cause....

With such a policy, till exposed, it is not a difficult matter to make the comparatively innocent to appear horribly guilty, and the guilty almost impeccable. Our recently arrived Gentile friends ani transient residents will please note these facts in forming their estimate of the two classes composing the population of Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XV.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, October 10, 1866.                 No. 45.


The Semi-Annual Conference convened in the Bowery in this city on Saturday morning, Oct. 6th, 1866. President Young presiding.

On the Stand during the meetings were Presidents Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Daniel H. Wells...

President B. Young spoke of the unanimity of feeling enjoyed by all who receive the gospel, and their desires to make known its truths to all the children of men. Mankind can never find out God by any other than the Lord's own appointed way. He referred to his first hearing the gospel, and to the correctness with which the plan laid before him by illiterate men corresponded with the plan laid down in the New Testament; and spoke of the overwhelming testimony by which the work of God was sustained in this age, even in an early day after the organization of the Church....

The President continued, showing the evils of gambling, drinking and other kindred vices. There are but a very few among the community, entertaining views different to the people here, that follow these vices, encourage them, or seek to aid those engaged in them; and all good citizens irrespective of creed or faith will aid in their suppression, that the welfare, peace and good order of the community may be promoted.

He alluded to the family of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and to the kindly feelings which have been entertained towards them by the authorities of the Church and the Saints; and called up portions of the history of the Prophet Joseph which proved how far that family have gone astray, as well as all who follow after them in their present course...

Note 1: The editor of the Deseret News apparently did not feel any strong inclination to provide his readers at a distance details from President Young's remarks on "the family of Joseph Smith," as given orally to the conference attendees. In their 1994 book, Mormon Enigma, historians L. K. Newell and V. T. Avery cite "Brigham Young's address, 7 October, 1866, in Semi-annual Conference, Brigham Young papers, LDS Archives," [Ms d 1234, Box 49 fd 13] as preserving at least a portion of Young's public words on that occasion. The historians offer this excerpt: "Brigham described a 'secret council,' probably the November 5 [1843] meeting, at which he [Young] said Joseph accused Emma of the poisoning and 'called upon her to deny it if she could... He told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she. He told her where she got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, "You got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill me." When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him.' He did not elaborate on the alleged second occurance..."

Note 2: A different source provides a similar, but lengthier excerpt from the same Oct. 7, 1866 conference talk: "I will now speak upon a subject which I think ought to notice for the benefit of a few who are inclined to be giddy-headed, unstable in their ways, and enthusiastic about something which they do not understand. You are already apprized of the fact that a son of Joseph Smith the Prophet was here in our City not long since. Joseph Smith's first son only lived a few hours; then Joseph Smith, commonly called Young Joseph, was born; then Frederic, and then Alexander; it was Alexander who was in our City lately. The people have not heard me say anything about him one way or the other. I will relate a few facts. The sympathies of the Latter-day Saints are with the family of the martyred prophet. I never saw a day in the world that I would not almost worship that woman, Emma Smith, if she would be a saint instead of being a devil. I feel so today. There is no good thing in a temporal point of view that I would withhold from her; anything that is in my power to do for her, I would willingly do with all my heart, and with an open hand. --- There are a few here that knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and some of them are apostatizing from the work, which the Lord commanded him to found, to run after Young Joseph Smith, the second son of the Prophet, who has no more authority to set himself up as a president and teacher of a people than any other man has in the sectarian world who possessed nothing of the priesthood of the Most High. Young Joseph Smith does not possess one particle of this priesthood. The Twelve Apostles and the other authorities of this Church would have been exceeding glad if the Prophet's family had come with us when we left Nauvoo for the valleys of these mountains. We would have made cradles for them if they had required them, and would have fed them on milk and honey. Emma is naturally a very smart woman; she is subtle and ingenious, and she has made all her children believe that myself, brother Kimball, and the other members of the Twelve laid the plot which terminated in the death of the Prophet. This charge is especially laid to myself. At the time that Joseph was killed I was in the city of Boston, a number of hundred miles away from the scene of the martyrdom. She has made her children inherit lies. To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damdest liars I know of on this earth; yet there is no good thing I would refuse to do for her, if she would only be a righteous woman; but she will continue in her wickedness. --- Not six months before the death of Joseph, he called his wife Emma into a secret council, and there he told her the truth, and called upon her to deny it if she could. He told her that the judgments of God would come upon her forthwith if she did not repent. He told her of the time she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she. He told her where she got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, "You got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill me." When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses of this scene all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him. --- From a dream that I had while on my visit to Logan a short time since, I know that spiritualism is the head and front, and the arm and breast and brain, and the eyes and whole body of Young Joseph's profession and operations. In my dream I saw the Prophet Joseph, and he tried for awhile to sustain the old dwelling, and mediated building around it; but he finally concluded to discard it, and swept the ground clean where it stood to put up an entirely new building. Although this is a matter I have not thought of, yet the dream is true, and expresses the true state of the case. --- When Alexander Smith came here, we treated him kindly, and I plead with him to accompany us on our visit north. George A. Smith, his cousin, plead with him to accompany us, but to no purpose. Finally, Joseph F. Smith, who was from home, came back, and saw him, and met him in public in this city. Many of this congregation are acquainted with that circumstance. It was asked him what he thought of the endowment. He replied, "I do not mention it, for I do not wish to hear anything about the endowment." "What do you think of the doctrine of polygamy?" It is his business to preach against polygamy, and his brother Joseph said that his father never introduced it. Several of the sisters testified to him that they were sealed to his father. Well, said he, "if he did have any such revelation, or teach any such doctrine, or practice it, he must have got out of the way," or, in other words he must have been a fallen prophet, if he ever was a true prophet. That is the conclusion they come to when hard pressed with stern facts. Joseph Smith the Prophet taught the gathering; but this new sect deny the gathering. --- If there are any Latter-day Saints who wish to be destroyed, run after that family, and I will promise you in the name of the God of Israel that you will be damned. Any person who will follow this man or that man who is wrong, and refuses to submit himself to the ordinances of the house of God and to serve Him and keep His commandments, will perish; all that walk in that path will go to a sure and swift destruction. Young David Smith seems to be the pet of the company, he is heart and hand with his brother Joseph, and with a hundred others who are apostates from the true faith of the Gospel, and who were one with the mob who persecuted and slew the Prophet. When Joseph the Prophet was killed his wife Emma was pregnant. Joseph said, previous to his death, "She shall have a son, and his name shall be called David, and unto him the Lord will look." I am looking for the time when the Lord will speak to David, but let him pursue the course he is now pursuing, and he will never preside over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in time nor in eternity. He has got to repent of his sins, and turn away from his iniquity, to cease to do evil, and learn to do well, embrace the Gospel of life and salvation, and be an obedient son of God, or he never can walk up to possess his right. It would be his right to preside over this Church, if he would only walk in the true path of duty. I hope and pray that he and the whole family will repent, and be a holy family. --- Now, you old Mormons, stop your talking about Young Joseph, and about David going to preside over the Church by and by! I wish he was prepared for it, would repent of his sins, and come in at the door, and be one with us, and walk up to the Twelve and the First Presidency, saying, I am one with you, and am your servant. When Sidney Rigdon swelled up and thought he was the most important man in the Kingdom, I told him where his place was, and that the Twelve Apostles would build up the Kingdom. Joseph more than one score of times told them both in private and in public, that he rolled the Kingdom on to their shoulders, and said I to Sidney, we will build it up, and bear it off, and not follow you one inch. What has he come to? He sits in the midst of the woods East mumbling to himself; but scarcely able to speak an intelligent word; he is almost a lunatic. And where has the rest of the apostates gone? And where has the rest of the apostates gone? And where will they go? Every one of them, bogus Joseph not excepted, will go to destruction, and the Kingdom of God will continue to flourish and spread abroad...."


Vol. III.               Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, October 10, 1866.               No. 84.

THE NEGRO. -- In a special number of the "Popular Magazine of Anthropology," by Commander Bedford Pim, R. N., we have a paper read before the Anthropological Society of London. For five thousand years, as Egyptian sculptures prove, the negro has been more or less in constant contact with high forms of civilization, and during that period he has never emerged from the lowest social position; never given to the world an idea of the remotest value in art, science or literature; never shown the slightest capacity, even, for self government. Is he, then, to be put on an equality with the white race? Certainly not -- unless by those who look back with reverence to a progenitor in the ape. Moreover, the negro will only labor when coerced. Left to himself, he is not merely incorrigibly lazy, but vicious and cruel. In juxtaposition with a minority of whites, his dominent idea is that of exterminating them and possessing their goods. In passions he is a brute, in capacity a child. Years ago, in total ignorance of the subject, we fancied, as some do now, that 'twas a mere question of skin, and that, give the negro a fair chance, he would run parallel with the white-man. We acknowledge our mistake. Long and unbiased study of the matter has convinced us that the negro, left alone, relapses, certainly, into his original barbasism, and is about as safe a neighbor as a wild beast....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, October 12, 1866.                       No. 86.

ZION'S CAMP PARTY. -- Before going to press on Wednesday evening, our reporter, a member of the "Camp," furnished us the names of the remnants of "Zion's Camp," together with the names of the Twelve and others present by invitation. Being detained by business, we could only reach the hall at the commencement of the dancing; but once there, the agreeable society, etc., prolonged our intended "drop in" to away in

                        The wee short hours ayont the twai.

Sixty-one members of this company of faithful veterans, with their partners, partook of a dinner prepared in the basement of the Social Hall, by Bishops Edward Hunter and J. C. Little. Immediately after which a dream of President Young's, while at Box Elder, during his recent trip North, was read by Elder George Q. Cannon, respecting the family of Joseph Smith. It was very interesting. Elder Geo. A. Smith also related a dream which he had some time ago, as well as one related by Elder Nathaniel Riggs.

Elder Orson Hyde addressed the company in an exceedingly interesting manner. He esteemed it a great privilege to meet Zion's Camp once a year and mingle his spirit with theirs, calling up the recollection of many incidents connected with the journey of that company of men into the state of Missourui in 1834. He alluded briefly to the advancement of the church since that period and said, judging the future by the past, nut a few more years would be needed for the church to be able to go into Jackson county, or any other county they pleased and locate without any fear of successful opposition from our enemies.

President Young said the body of men known as Zion's Camp had performed one of the best works that had been accomplished in the kingdom, and much of the success of the church since must be attributed to the experience and knowledge he and others gained at that time with the Prophet Joseph. Gold could not purchase from him the understanding he gained at that time, for which he was indebted to Joseph and the spirit of the Lord which enlightened his mind. He also referred to the Mormon Battalion sent to Mexico during the exodus of the church from Nauvoo, and said that was another campaign performed at a perilous time for the salvation of this people, which thwarted the plans which had been laid by our enemies for our overthrow. He spoke encouragingly, exhorting the brethren to faithfilness, that they lose not the reward and great blessings in store for them. His remarks were listened to by the company with gladdened hearts.

Elders John Taylor, Erastus Snow and George Goddard sang several songs. Three or four of the aged fathers entertained the company with select dances, and Elders Geo. A. Smith, Milo Andrus and Presidents Young and Kimball delivered short addresses during the evening. Supper was served about ten o'clock and afterwards dancing was kept up till 2 o'clock yesterday morning.

Following so soon after Conference, we looked upon the party as an appropriate gathering of aged brethren who had in their early manhood, and some of them in their youth, performed an important mission of over 2,000 miles on foot, to benefit the church then located in Missouri. We gazed upon the remnants of that faithful band of men with feelings of the deepest respect and were truly glad to see them enjoying themselves together.

During the party, we understood Father Allred to say that he and his wife present with him, had 270 descendants -- not counting in that number sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. Not a small offspring.

Bishops Hunter, Hardy and Little, with their assistants, were bounteous hosts -- everything around manifesting care and courtesy. The hours flew swiftly by, and when the time for separation came, thanks were returned to the Bishop, and President Wells dismissed the assembly with his blessing.

Note: See also the Deseret News of Oct. 19, 1864.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XV.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, November 28, 1866.             No. 52.


On the 10th of September, 1849, being the first day of the sixtieth year of my age, I seat myself at my table in Great Salt Lake City, to commence the history of my life.

I was Born on Tuesday Sept. 10th, 1790 in the township of Somers, Tolland county, Conneticutcut, twenty-four miles northeast of the city of Hartford. Feeling that my glass is almost run, I desire for the edification of my friends and for my own satisfaction, to leave behind me a brief history of my parentage and past life; that my principles, my faith and the course of my life may be perpetuated, until the fulness of all things may be consummated in knowing as we are known and seeing as we are seen.

I give of my ancestors according to my best recollection as I learned it from my parents. Thomas Pitkin, my grandfather, was the only child of a respectable and wealthy farmer in Connecticut. In early life he married Martha White, by whom he had nine children, four sons and five daughters. In 1818 and at the advanced age of ninety-five years, he closed a life of usefulness; his mental faculties and health remained good until his last illness. His wife Martha died not far from the year 1800; they are now resting from their labors. My father, Paul Pitkin, their second son, was born in Bolton, Tolland county Connecticut, Oct. 11th, 1759. Of his his early life there are but few incidents with which I am acquainted. In Oct., 1784, he was married to Abigail Lothrop, by whom he had ten children, four sons and six daughters. Elijah Lothrop, my grandfather, married Silence Leonard, of Taunton, Massachusetts by whom he had one son and ten daughters. My grandfather and his son were both graduates of Yale College. My ancestors were from England and Wales. The Pitkin family settled in Hartford, Connecticut, at which place many of the name are now living. Their coat of arms is a dove; and as far as my knowledge extends they are a family remarkable for their attachment and fidelity to each other.

In Feb., 1792, my father removed with with his family to Hartford, Windsor county, Vermont. On the second day of March,'92 Leonard, my second brother died. Surrounded as they then were by strangers, his loss was sensibly felt by my mother. I have often heard my father say he never saw a more hearty mourner than she was for that child.

Every exertion was made by my parents to give an education to their growing family, and store their infant minds with useful knowledge. Nothing worthy of notice transpired in my early life. My parents were abundantly able and willing to provide for and and indulge us in all the fashionable amusements of the day; and as a family none were more happy or enjoyed life better. In 1798 the dysentery prevailed to a considerable extent in our country and many children and some adults died thereof. Rebecca, a sister of mine, was of the number. On the 23d of Oct., 1813 Sophia, a favorite sister of mine, was taken from our midst. Her loss was sensibly felt not only by our family but by all with whom she associated. In her manner she was agreeable, and no one had more effectually gained the love and friendship of their friends than she had....

In Oct., 1818 my father disposed of his property in Vermont, and left for Ohio. At Castleton he was attacked with the typhus fever, and our journey was postponed until the June following. A new era was now opening upon us. We were called to part with friends with whom we had associated from our earliest recollection and our attachment to many was nigh unto that of a mother, sister or brother....

In July, 1819, we arived at Hiram, Portage county, Ohio, where instead of refined society with whom we had associated, we found ourselves in the midst of uninformed people from almost every State in the Union. The literate and illiterate were considered equal in all things, and often the most unlearned were the most conspicuous actors in our social circles and I was often led to say that they were the most happy people with whom I had ever associated, but in after years, when the more respectable part of the community had withdrawn themselves, confidence was lost, and the welcome of a friend was not seated on every brow as in days gone by.

On July 28, 1822, as my father was on his way to meeting on Sabbath morning, he was knocked down and run over by a blind ox. We did not consider him seriously injured until he told his friends that he should never have the privilege of meeting with them again, which proved true; although he lived until the 15th of January, '23, at which time he closed a life of usefulness, in the 63d year of his age. His sickness was long and long and painful and borne with great fortitude; a murmur never escaped his lips, but he often expressed his gratitude to his family and friends for their kindness to him ahlm.

On the 23d of August 1824, my mother who had also attained to the grand climacteric, was called to join her companion in the world of spirits. A few hours after she was taken ill she told me she should never recover that she knew in whom she trusted, and we must give ourselves no uneasiness respecting her. She retained her senses until the last; her last words were "I shall live but a moment," which was verily so. In the death of our father and mother we were bereft of parents than whom none could be more kind or indulgent. As neighbors they were ever obliging; as Saints they were true and faithful to the cause which they had espoused; by the poor they were beloved, and respected by all with whom they were acquainted; and as in their lives they were honored, I feel to perpetuate their names, that in years to come they may be remembered, and due merit be ascribed to them.

Nov. 18, 1830, my eldest sister it was as called to try the realities of eternity. During her illness often entreated of me never to mourn for her saying it would be better for us all to have her depart, and that the time would be short of our meeting again; she was one of the excellent of the earth, and her resurrection will be with the honorable thereof.

In Dec. 1830, I was informed that the everlasting gospel spoken of by John the Revelator, had come forth, that a Church had been raised up in the state of New York, which was in possession of all the power and authority which the ancient churches possessed; and that a prophet was standing at their head. In my heart I said I will become a member thereof. In May, 1831, in company with my sister Abigail and some others, I was baptised by Harvey Whitlock, who is now an apostate. My brother George and Amanda, his wife were soon after baptised by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and we were all confirmed under his hands about the first of May, 1831.

In the summer of '31 br. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon removed their families from Kirtland to Hiram, Portage county, where I was then living. Persecution against the Saints was very strong, and a mob led by some apostates tarred and feathered br. Joseph and Sidney, and left br. Joseph, as they supposed, dead upon the ground. They had flattered themselves that by that act they should destroy the faith of the Church; but an acquaintance of mine told me she was disappointed, that it had increased the faith and union of that people.

On the last day of April, 1832 I left my home in Portage county, Ohio, [with] my brother George, his wife and my sister Abigail, together with a large company of Saints and journeyed to Missouri. At Independence I received my inheritance on the temple lot, from Bishop Partridge. Two acres upon which my cabin stood were to have been deeded to me, and two acres to my sister, upon the west corner of the same lot. Our home there was was peaceful and quiet; and I have sometimes thought it the happiest part of my life, until we were compelled to leave on the 12th of Dec., 1833, and seek a shelter in Clay county, at which place we were treated with great kindness for a season.But the spirit of persecution, which followed the Saints of the Most High, was again raised against us, and we in mass were driven into Caldwell county. Our enemies had often told us that we should never again have the privilege of gathering, but in their blindness they had brought about what they were determined should never be done.

I arrived at Far West on the first day of March, 1836. At that place my sister Abigail and myself with the labor of our hands, paid for the building of a very comfortable cabin which cost us nearly 90 dollars. For a season we had there a place of rest. At that place we became acquainted with President Kimball and family, who have ever been friends in whom we could confide. From him we have often received counsel and instruction, which has ever been in wisdom, and a comfort to us in passing through the scenes which immediately followed us.

On the first of March, 1840 we left Far West in company with William Robinson, who took us to his home in Morgan county, where we remained one month, and were treated with great kindness, both by him and his wife. In April we removed to Worster, Pike county, where we met our brother George and his family, from whom we had been separated nearly three months. About the last of May we left that place and went to Quincy, Adams county, where we remained until the 4th of October. When there we had the privilege of waiting on brs. Young and Kimball, at our house, when on their way to England; they were werely in feeble health andl and I felt to administer to their wants in great kindness; and can truly say they were a blessing to us while they remained in that place....

Note 1: Laura L. Pitkin became the plural wife of Heber C. Kimball on Feb. 3, 1846. Her sister Abigail Pitkin was elevated to the same celestial dignity on Jan. 7, 1846. Laura died in Salt Lake City on Nov. 16, 1866 -- so her autobiography served the secondary purpose of an obituary.

Note 2: Laura does not mention that fact that her sister Rebecca married one of the leaders of the March 24, 1832 assault upon Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Rebecca Pitkin married Silas Raymond, Jr. in May, 1826 and Rebecca was likely the "acquaintance" who told Laura that "she was disappointed" that the 1832 incident "had increased the faith" of Smith's followers. Evidently their feelings were at least disturbed to the point that "a large company of Saints" from the Hiram area departed and "journeyed to Missouri" very soon after the attack upon the Mormon leaders. See Amasa M. Lyman's autobiographical sketch of 1858 in which he says that some Mormons continued on at Hiram, at least through the summer of 1832.

Note 3: For more on Silas Raymond, Jr., see Nels B. Lundwall's 1952 Fate of the Persecutors, page 71, where the Elder John D. Barber's 1948 statement is reproduced. Barber testifies that, as late as 1902, a Silas H. Raymond was in possession of the tar bucket and lantern supposedly used during the 1832 tarring and feathering of Smith and Rigdon. Barber's statement identifies Silas H.'s father, Silas Jr., as a self-confessed "leader" in that assault.

Note 4: Laura states that the attack of March 24, 1832 was either intended to be a homocide, or at least ended with the attackers thinking they were leaving Joseph Smith "dead upon the ground." This is a very unlikely scenario, as the assailants could have easily insured Smith's demise, had they any such intention. Neither Smith nor Rigdon are known to have ever filed charges (or even asked for a legal investigation) for an attempted assassination at Hiram -- and this, despite the fact that one of their loyal followers (and Laura's brother), George W. Pitkin, was the local sheriff. Joseph Smith continued his residence at the John Johnson home in Hiram, for several weeks after the attack, seemingly unconcerned with any danger of assassination there.



Vol. VI.               Salt Lake City, U. T., Monday, December 24, 1866.               No. 14.

THE TABERNACLE. -- We attended the Tabernacle yesterday and listened to a lengthy address from Brigham Young, in which he urged unity of action on the part of the Saints, and vindicated the position he assumed in his reply to the card recently published by the merchants of this city. He stated that he had invited the strictest scrutiny, and had advised vigilance to be used in the discovery of the perpetrators of the murder of Dr. Robinson. He excused himself for not having adverted to the subject before. He alluded to the Mountain Meadow massacre, denouncing it in unmeasured terms, saying he did not believe there was a being in human shape, except savages, who could have committed so base a crime. He alluded extensively to the subject of the patrinage of Gentile merchants by Mormons, and counselled them to pass by the stores of those who, he said, were here for no other purpose but to destroy the Saints. He argued that there was in this community a class of men who were striving to deprive the Mormons of their houses, lands and money, and that all who patronized that class would be cut off from the Church. He launched forth many an invective against a certain sheet (which we forbear to publish), said sheet not being named but left to the conjecture of his audience. He frequently alluded to the subject of his published "Reply," and reiterated over and over again his determination to adhere to the policy expressed in his "Reply," and advowed his intention to carry it out to the very last day of his existence. He argued that the Mormons were doing no more than had been done by the professors of other religious denominations, in withholding aid and support from their enemies.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, January 5, 1867.                   No. 157.

By President Brigham Young, in the Tabernacle
in Great Salt Lake City, Sunday, Dec. 23d, 1866.



I will try to speak to the people. I shall need silence in the house, and the close attention of my hearers. I expect the faith of the Saints even without asking for it. The faithful will exercise faith, and pray always for all who are within the reach of mercy. The good desire good to all. I have words to say to the good, and also to the froward -- to the righteous and to the unrighteous -- to the Saint and the sinner....

Whoever lives a few years more will see suffering among the wicked until their hearts sicken. If I have one wish which is greater than another, it is, if I had the power, to make men do right; to make them stop their swearing, their lying, their deceiving, to stop trying to injure the innocent...

I see a notice in the Daily Telegraph that they are going to send a detective here to trace the murderers of Dr. Robinson. It is published to the world that the murdered man had no enemies only in the City Council. He had no enemies there. Were it not that there are many outsiders here to-day I would like the Saints to know how I feel about all such dastardly transactions. I will tell the Latter-day Saints that there are some things which transpire that I cannot think about. There are transactions that are too horrible for me to contemplate.

The massacre at Haun's mill, and that of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the Mountain Meadow's massacre and the murder of Dr. Robinson are of this character. I cannot think that there are beings upon the earth who have any claim to the sentiments and feelings which dwell in the breasts of civilized men who could be guilty of such atrocities; and it is hard to suppose that even savages would be capable of performing such inhuman acts.... I say to all concerned, cease not your efforts until you find the murderers; and place the guilt where it belongs. I have not said this much before on that matter, and should not have spoken of it now, if the excitement which it created had not passed away. I do not care about the outsider, hearing this, as their opinion is neither here nor there to me; the Saints however, are welcome to my views upon this matter. If the outsiders think that I am guilty of the crime, let them trace it to me and prove it on me.

If any man, woman or child that ever lived has said that Brigham Young ever counseled them to commit crime of any description, they are liars in the face of heaven. If I am guilty of any such thing, let it be proved on me, and not go sneaking around insinuating that Brigham knows all about it. Infernal thieves will come into my public office and sit ten minutes, and then go out and lead thoughtless persons into the practice of thieving, saying: "It is all right; I have been up to see the President." Such men will be damned. This will answer my mind for the present. This, however, is not all I shall say on this subject...

Let the fraternity of the brotherhood keep their oaths and covenants and vows, and they will be honest, upright men, and gentlemen. May the Lord bless you.


Note: See also the Deseret News for Jan. 8, 1867 and George A. Hicks' "The Life History of George Armstrong Hicks," p. 45, as quoted in Will Bagley's 2002 Blood of the Prophets, p. 258.


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, January 6, 1867.                   No. 158.


We have already given a fair view of the Munchausenish testimony offered to the House Committee on Territories, by Pat Connor and Pat's clique. We now finish the testimony of Pat's precious parson, McLeod....

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

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

I beg to remark, in conclusion, that such is the terror of Brigham's secret power, and the deep conviction in the minds of that unhappy people of his capability, when occasion offers, of exercising that power, even to dark and fearful issues, that, in my opinion, no avowed Mormon could be found willing to testify in open court in any case in which Brigham's interest or his complicity with crime, or that of his leading men, was pending. The people know, from years of bitter experience and unmanly threats, that the voice of council -- that is, the will of Brigham, even though the incentive to or the justification of crime -- is yet all potent in Utah; that justice there is a mockery and a farce when sought by a "Gentile" or a so-called apostate from the Mormon church; that the reigning tyranny has every facility for the commission and concealment of crime; that when "Gentiles" or apostate Mormons are concerned, the law in Utah is powerless for the detection and punishment of the guilty; that jurots and those whose duty it is to see the law respected, excepting the noble and fearless men, the federal judges, are bound by infamous oaths and infernal obligations to another tribunal, to the demon of the endowment house, and fully justified in their endeavors to defeat the high purposes of justice.... (Norman McLeod. Post Chaplain Camp Douglas, Utah Territory -- Sworn to and subscribed the 15th of June, 1866.)...

Pat's commissary further said that about half of the people of the Territory were practical polygamists, knowingly loving in open violation of the federal laws against polygamy; the Mormon leaders had openly disregarded the law of Congress prohibiting polygamy and advised the people to disobey them; two Mormon newspapers published in Great Salt Lake City openly advocated the doctrine. Connor had frequently "given military protection to many dissenters who desired to leave Utah, but were liable to assassination" of not protected; citizens not members of the church were "liable to be imposed upon, if they expressed their opposition to polygamy." He attended the funeral of Brassfield, and gave his version of that affair; knew nothing personally of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but he had heard what "reliable persons," who had been on the ground, had to say about it.We conclude our review of commissary Stover's talk with the two following questions and answers --

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

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

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                 Great Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, February 1, 1867.                 No. 180.



The Mormons have accepted a decree of the Gods that their enemies ''can do nothing against the Truth; but for it," and coincident with this assurance of revelation is their own experience that the greater the vindictiveness of their enemies, the more certain are the latter to cover themselves with disgrace and humiliation.

To those conversant with the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the publication of names to confirm these statements is altogether unneccessary -- the facts are too abundant. From the Hurlburts and LeRoy Sunderlands, of very early history, down to Buchanan and Floyd of recent date, nothing has been more signally visible than the hand of the Lord in the protection of His own and in the overthrow of those who rise up against Him and His anointed. We shall not, however, enter upon any prefactory sermon, as the sulbject we design to lay before our reader requires all the space we can spare this morning.

Before us is a document presented to the committee appointed by Congress last Summer, to report on "the condition of Utah," by P. Edw. Connor, late Commander of the California Volunteers, in the district of Utah, whereby this individual seeks to establish that an order was issued by Leiut. Gen. Daniel H. Wells, through Adj. Gen. James Ferguson, for the murder of eighty teamsters in the Summer of '58, and which is produced before said committee with the view of illuminating the minds of the gentlemen composing it, Congress, the United States and "the rest of mankind," to the conclusion that we are a desperate set of cut throats out here, and that the best thing that could be done would be to send out an immense army, appoint a military Governor and let everybody and his sons revel in the fat contracts, &c., &c.; but to the document:
Question. Do you know whether the recognized Mormon leaders have assumed to authorize and justify homicide?

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

[Special Order.]

"SALT LAKE CITY, April 9, 1858.        
"The officer in command of escort is hereby ordered to see that every man is well prepared with ammunition and have it ready at the time you see those teamsters a hundred miles from the settlements. President Young advises that they should be all killed to prevent them from returning to Bridger to join our enemies. Every precaution should be taken and see that not one escapes. Secrecy is required.
"By order of General Daniel H. Wells.           
"JAMES FERGUSON,          
          "Assistant Adjutant General."
So far as P. Edw. Connor is concerned, for him or anything he could say or do, we should never have published one line -- we hold him in the utmost contempt and beneath the notice of any respectable person; but we have to do with Congress and the world at large, and whether they believe us or not, it is no less our duty to notice such a grave charge.

In the first place, then, we pronounce the pretended order a base fabrication, an infamous lie, and Mr. Ferguson's signature a deliberate forgery -- and we dare the proof to the contrary. We make these statements calmly and deliberately, as a duty we owe not only to President Young, General Wells and the community who are attacked in them; but also in justice to the memory of a brave man whose mouldering ashes should upbraid us with cowardice, did we refrain from vindicaring his name from the libel that these abandoned wretches charge upon him now that he cannot confront them. James Ferguson never wrote such a document, he could not do it, he never was the ignoramus that could write such a miserable caricature of a military order. James Ferguson was a gentleman and a scholar and could no more write such balderdash than his traducer could rise to the level of a gentleman.

The pretended order contains within itself all the refutation that is needed to satisfy any candid mind of its falsity. No man of the position and intelligence of Gen. Wells would ever have committed to paper such an order for such a bloody deed, had it been contemplated -- and look at its twaddle: "The officer in command of escort is hereby ordered to see that every man is well prepared with ammunition, and have it ready at the time you see those teamsters a hundred miles from the settlements." How very elegant, for the officer addressed "to see" and "you see" in the same sentence; and how very necessary for the officer in command of an escort "to see" and "you see" that his men were "well prepared with ammunition!" What are escorts generally prepared with? How careful to "have it ready at the time you see!" Where were they likely to have it? -- in their boot heels perhaps! And "President Young advises that they should be all killed to prevent them returning to Bridger to join our enemies." Aye! there's the rub! Now you have him; haven't ye?

The anxiety to reach President Young here betrays itself into consumate folly. What need was there for the highest military authority we have among us, to ring in such advice? What military commander needs less than Gen. Wells with his troops extraneous aid to make his orders obeyed? And had such advice ever been given, and such a foul deed ever been contemplated, Gen. Wells would have been the last man in the world to have ordered it, and -- for to please the blackest scoundrels who think us capable of everything their own hearts can conceive -- had it been even so, would Gen. Wells ever have published the name of President Young as responsible for the deed? The whole twaddle is preposterous and fitly winds up with "secrecy is required." Imagine "eighty teamsters" are to be killed and "secrecy required." "Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad" -- and what but blindness of rage and the damndest corruption could ever have dictated such a document, to palm it upon the world as an emanation from two such men as President Young and Gen. Wells? Now, we come to the material facts that refute the infamous lie.

That Mr. Ferguson could never have written such an order, all who knew him will bear witness; but we have more conclusive evidence than what we have adduced. We have on our table the copy book containing the military orders issued at the time referred to, and for years before and for years after. Let the reader look again at the style of this pretended order. Onserve first the evident care that "Special Order" is without number! Why? Because the infamous wretch who fabricated it, or those who used it, saw clearly that a wrong figure would have betrayed the fabrication! Very smart indeed! Very! Should not wonder but they knew something of vouchers! Again; the order is dated "Salt Lake City, April 9, 1858." Not an order, in all the books before us was issued by Mr. Ferguson in that manner. He had a style that evidenced a military preciseness, and as this bogus order is dated April the 9th, let us furnish a veritable order issued on that day: --
G. S. L. City, April 9, 1858.         }
              No. 16.        }

The Commissary-General of Subsistence is authorized to debit his department with the subsistence drawn from the prisoners brought in from the Weber Station on the 2d of March. He will issue from this date, on the requisition of Col. R. T. Burton, three rations daily at the rate of 1.5 lb. flour. 1.25 lb. beef and 2 oz. of pork, (or in the absence of beef 2 lbs. of pork) per ration. The provisions to be cooked by the prisoners.
By order of                                   
Lieut - Gen. DANL. H. WELLS.     
JAMES FERGUSON,           
Adjutant General.   
Mark the difference between the style of the orders. The last emanated from gentlemen, the former from the infamous scoundrels who would lie in the face of heaven to obtain their ends. Every order from Mr. Ferguson's pen was numbered, addressed from "Headquarters," etc., "by order of Lieut-Gen. Danl. H. Wells," "James Ferguson, Adjt-Gen.," and not "by order of General Daniel H. Wells," "James Ferguson, Assistant Adjutant-General." Mr. Ferguson never was "Assistant Adjutant-General." From the organization of the Legion, in May, '49, he was full "Adjutant-General." Again we throw back in the teeth of those miscreants that their document is a falsehood and a forgery, and the Committee at Washington can have no difficulty in satisfying themselves on that point -- if they desire the truth. Here we might rest and be satisfied, but we are not yet through with this falsehood and forgery -- there are other facts worthy of notice.

The bogus order is an unblushing lie and thousands of persons who will read this article well know the facts which stamp it so. It is unfortunate in date: because at that period the madness of King James Buchanan had cooled down, and if ever there had been a disposition to shed blood there was at that date no excuse for it. But every one knows that Governor Young was emphatic in his counsel that blood should not be shed, not a shot should be fired by the militia of Utah, unless they were forced to do so in self-defence; and the famous order of General Wells to that effect was found upon one of our citizens when taken prisoner, and was published in the official documents in Washington at the time, and though it was pretty difficult for men to be fired upon and never retaliate, the order was implicitly obeyed and not a drop of blood was shed.

"The bloodless war" was over. Col. Thomas L. Kane arrived here from Washington on the 25th of February, over six weeks before the date of the bogus order, had gone to Bridger, and on the 12th of April -- just three days after the date of the falsehood and forgery -- returned to this city accompanying Governor Alfred Cumming, who was escorted into the city by the militia and courteously received by every body -- the war was ended.

Many of the teamsters and others who had followed in the wake of the U.S. Army to Bridger, stole away from that place, though at risk of perishing in the snow, only to reach this city where they expected better treatment. Many of them conducted themselves with propriety. The two or three lawless were made prisoners and taken charge of by the Sheriff of the county and provided for, as were our own militia on duty, as the published order shows; but the others moved in the city freely, and when it was considered safe to travel, every facility was afforded them...

It is probable that we have tired the patience of many of our readers; we shall therefore refrain from comment on the infamous conduct of this clique for fat contracts who have lied and used lies to promote their villainous purposes -- they are contemptible at any time: we will, however, in closing ask for the respectable Mormon merchants to come out and tell how they came to make affidavit to a forgery. Whether they knew it was a forgery or not -- let them come out and tell the unvarnished truth -- but for our part, we are prepared to believe the statement as gross a lie as the order itself.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, February 28, 1867.                 No. 203.


GUNNISON, Feb. 23, 1867.       

Dear Brother: -- I arrived in this place to-day, on my way up the Sevier, to visit the settlements in that region. I intend speaking here to the people to-morrow morning, and likewise in the evening, and expect to start southward on Monday morning.

Our friends in Sanpete county seem to have awakened afresh to the importance of the times in which we live. I have been at home but very little since my last arrival in Sanpete. The winter has been very mild here, yet much falling weather. Of late, however, it has been most severe, with snow and much frost; but in this place the roads are dry and dusty, likewise up the Sevier to the extent of my contemplated journey.

In my late travels through this district, I have often been asked the question: "Why did the Legislative Assembly again memorialize Congress for the admission of the Territory into the Union as a State, after having so often done so before and so often been rejected?" My answer has been, "We wish to do the will of Heaven by asking for those rights and privileges which the Most High hath vouchsaved to us in the constitution of our common country." When forced away from our homes in Missouri, we were commanded of the Lord to importune for redress at the feet of the Judge, and if he heeded us not, we were required to importune at the feet of the Governor, and if the Governor heeded us not, we were required to importune at the feet of the President; and if the President heeded us not, then would the Lord arise and come out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation, and in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, would cut off those wicked, unfaithful and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

The foregoing instructions were given to the Church in the month of December, 1833, see Book of Covenants, Third European Edition, page 283, section 12. Since the date of the commandment referred to, has the nation been vexed with a sore vexation, and is it still vexed? Have many rulers singularly disappeared from their official stations? These questions inspire grief and sorrow in every feeling breast, so much so that I answer them not, but leave the reader to furnish his own answer.

It is partly to obtain our constitutional rights that we have so often memorialized Congress to be admitted into the Union as a State. but more especially to comply with the requirements of Heaven, believing that a series of importunities on our part, and a series of refusals on the part of Congress will cause the nation again to mourn more sadly than it ever yet has done. God has made us differ from other people in many things. We have not caused this difference ourselves, but the respect we cherish for Heaven's laws has caused it. As was our Saviour a stone of stumbling and rock of offence unto the Jews, so also are the Latter-day Saints in Utah a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to Congress and the people of the United States. Time and time alone, will solve the Mormon problem. So I will quietly bide my time, believing the just will triumph, despite the odium cast upon them by infuriated madmen.

I still remain, with much respect,
Your co-laborer in the cause of Zion,     
                    ORSON HYDE.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VII.                    Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, June 22, 1867.                    No. 142.

Divisions  Among  the  Saints.

The followers of Joe Smith are not more successful in keeping up their ranks and keeping down divisions than other folks. Mormonism has assumed a bifurcated appearance of late years; and the wrangle going on between the two divisions promises not to lose any of its interest to the outside vulgar world for some time to come. As we have taken no stock in the differences between them -- in fact we have no invitation to participate -- we will state impartially as near we can, the difference between the two factions

Young Joe Smith, the son of the Mormon Prophet, is the acknowledged head of the large body of Mormons in the Western states, who accept the "Book of Mormon" and the prophecies of Joe Smith; and he denounces polygamy and blood atonement as innovations on the faith of the Latter-day saints; and styles such practices grievous crimes against the well being of society. Brigham Young is the acknowledged head of all the Latter-day saints in Utah, who accept the "Book of Mormon," the prophecies of Joe Smith, believe in polygamy, blood atonement and Brigham's special revelations. Joe Smith, jr. is determined to be recognized and acknowledged as the head of the Mormon Church; and Brigham is determined that he won't. Some of the Smith family came out here last summer to preach the "pure quill;" but they didn't run away with the people. They met poor success. Brigham aired all that was left of the Smith family one Sunday afternoon in the Tabernacle, including the wife of Joe Smith, the Prophet; "who," he said after pointing out all her other good qualities, "was the damnedest liar he ever knew." Brigham is at home, in Utah. So, now the Smiths are on their own dung hill in Iowa; and flop their wings, and stretch their necks, crow real loud, and have unanimously resolved Brigham Young out of office and young Joe, in. Some of the faithful think the prophetic mantle descended in a lineal manner to young Joe. Brigham thinks nothing of the kind -- in fact he knows better still for the sake of harmony and a good understanding all around, he is willing to accept the principle of "lineal descent," and apply the rule to his own family, from and after this date. In fact it is rumored that an application of this principle has already been made; and that Brigham, Jr., has been chosen "head" of the Church, and without doubt is the coming man. Joe Smith, Jr., has about 40,000 souls under his wings, in the Western States, ready to back up his claims and aspirations. Young has double -- treble perhaps -- that number to back them down again. Some of the defective have left, and are leaving Utah, to enroll themselves under Joe Smith's banner. Already two Josephite preachers are holding forth over at Austin, and may find their way into the Utah settlements this summer. This falling off will be more than made up for the fall, when the Scandinavian emigration pours in here. On the whole, we are decidedly of the opinion that Brigham Young has much the advantage of the Smith family in both power and position.

The only curious feature about the whole matter is to see "Saints" -- for they all style themselves such -- divided against each other; and one wing charging that the tenets of the other is a "swindle," and the head of it "a wicked imposter;" while the other wing looks upon its opponent as no better than apostates.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, June 23, 1867.                       No. 302.


It is impossible to imagine a man more fitting to succeed Joseph Smith than Brigham Young, and he was as much a necessity to the Mormon mission and programme as Joseph himself. They are as two halves of one whole. Eminently they stand to each other in the two characters of the Prophet and the Fulfiller. It is certainly very remarkable that two such men should come together, and that, moreover, so close on their work that they seem to be not two, but one -- as wo have said, the two halves of one whole. And hence, also, the character of the Mormon work and the Mormon community bear the same features and relations, for each of these men, the Prophet and his Fulfiller, have typed the whole with their own character. Hence, though the Mormon Church is but thirty-six years of age, there are two distinct phases of development, both social and religions, represented in it and in its history. They are no longer a people whom we can distinguish as the church with prophets, apostles, revelators, seers, dreamers of dreams, and speakers in unknown tongues; nor can we now, when they offend our judgment and views of what ought or what ought not to be, have the satisfaction of calling them Impostors, fanatics, and pretended miracle-workers. All that they ever were of this they are still, but it is in their history of the past. They have, since Brigham Young took the Presidency of their Church, and molded and directed their energies and controlled their forces, been passing through an entirely new phase of character and of religious and social development. He has been transforming the people into his own form and likeness; and they are now so many greater or lesser Brigham Youngs, as they once were so many greater or lesser Joseph Smiths. Brigbam is the last man in the world that one could appropriately call fanatic; and we are all more apt to speak of his great executive qualities of mind than his aptitude to imposture. The whole of his presidential ministry and character is entirely free of the elements which make him either an impostor or a fanatic. He never sends out any new revelations, either to his Church or the world, and makes no manifestations of impositions. He makes no pretentions to being a seer or a prophet in the sense that Joseph Smith was, and never claims to be what he does not honestly believe he is. He is the chief apostle of Joseph Smith, and the fulflller of his mission. This he claims, and he claims to be no more. Of course this, in the eyes of the Mormons, would make him God's vicegerent upon the earth. The ruling power of the community fell into his hands in virtue of his being the chief apostle of the Mormon Prophet, and he carries on the work that was left to him, and consolidates and enlarges it. A very singular fact concerning him is, that he lays down no new programme superadded to that of his predecessor, leaves intact all the organizations and intricate ramifications of the Mormon priesthood, adheres with the greatest fidelity to all that Joseph Smith indicated before his death, or his mission leads to; and neither he nor the rest of the Apostles and Elders undertake, or expect, anything more than they undertook and expected a quarter of a century ago. Their Prophet laid down the entire programme, and founded all the institutions, and left it to Brigham to carry out; and if they are more to-day than at the death of Joseph Smith, it is because Brigham Yonug has fulfilled more than was fulfilled then; and if he succeeds with his people in accomplishing what the Mormon Prophet laid out in design, and prophesied as the results of his mission, he and his community have enongh to do for several quarters of a century to come, and perhaps fulfill the prophecy of John Quincy Adams [sic - Josiah Quincy?].

All this is in keeping with Brigham's giving no new revelations, and with our view that they are as the two halves of one whole, and that they sustain in their mission the relative characters of the Prophet and the Fulfiller, and that out of these two characters have grown the two fundamental phases of Mormondom. We are speaking of them purely as pyschological and sociological problems, and not with any reference to the divinity or non-divinity of the missions of the two men. The Mormons and their works are facts of the age, and neither the phrenologist nor the social philosopher must condescend to a narrow-minded bias in treating of them. Our functions are those of science, and not of theology -- to read the characters of men and explain, or at least show up, the phases of society that grow out of man. The majority thought that when Joseph Smith was killed, the Mormon work would die out. Doubtless that was the expectation that helped much to bring about the tragedy of his end, and it might not have occurred had those guilty of that deed been fully convinced that they were giving a ten-fold life to Mormonism. And so, according to ordinary probabilities, it would have died out or been crushed out, and the Mormon Church scattered to the four winds with the antagonistic agencies around, and the rapid circumstances of the exodus of the people which followed, had not a man arisen fully the equal of Joseph Smith, not like him in type, but his other half, and brought about a new phase in Mormondom. It must be remembered that there were many aspirants who arose for the leadership of the Church, such as the famous Sidney Rigdon, who was supposed by many to have had more right to load the Church than Brigham Young. It was not remarkable that the chief apostle should take the leadership when the body of the people sustained him, but it was remarkable that he should have been the Brigham Young everybody now knows him to be. That he should have been a man equal to the management and carrying on of such a mission as that of Joseph Smith -- that he should have been equal to the task of holding the community together, conducting them through their exodus to the Rocky Mountains, consolidating the impetuous forces and agencies that his predecessor had thrown into the work, building up a powerful territory of the Union, and preserving them through a strange history which takes in such events as an army of the United States being sent against them by President Buchanan, are matters certainly striking.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VII.                    Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, June 25, 1867.                    No. 143.

The  Apostates.

On Sunday afternoon, as we are informed, President Young held forth at the Tabernacle, in a speech or sermon of some length, in which he boldly and openly announced that Amasa Lyman, Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt had apostatized and were cut off from the Church. Orson Hyde was chosen as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, at the conference in April last, and Orson Pratt was one of the Twelve. We believe Lyman had been at one time one of the Twelve Apostles too. President Young was severe on Hyde and particularly severe on Pratt. He was denounced as an unbeliever and now in the possession of that unpopular fellow, vulgarly known as the devil. Pratt is said to be on the way here from England, determined to advance his views to the Saints on things temporal and spiritual and Young vehemently charged his followers not to listen to any apostates, and particularly to him. Where Hyde and Lyman are we are not advised, but suppose them to be in the southern part of the territory. The people were cautioned to have nothing to do with Gentiles or apostates. These three men, Lyman, Pratt and Hyde, are said to be among the ablest and most intelligent of the Mormon leaders, and have done wonders in building up the Mormon church; and their defection at this time is ominous of a change in that Church; and bodes no good to the one-man power in Utah, that has so completely ruled in all matters relating to this world and the next. Outside speculations account for this change of heart in various ways; among which the fact that Brigham Young, Jr. was chosen to succeed Brigham Young, Sr., over the apostles is prominent.

If Brigham would now only abolish polygamy in Utah he would head off those able apostates, who are determined to make mischief in the ranks this summer. and do him "dirt." He can do it just as well as not, and it would recommend him to the American people, and the civilized world, more than any act of his life, or anything else in his ability to perform.

Note 1: Amasa Mason Lyman was temporarily disfellowshiped in April of 1867 and "suspended" from his apostolic duties in July, but he was not officially removed from the LDS Quorum of the Twelve until October of that year, (no matter what Brigham Young might have preached on June 23, 1867). The semi-weekly Deseret News published a transcript of Brigham's June 23rd discourse in its issue for Aug. 17, 1867, but it did not mention the three errant leaders by name. Despite some continuing difficulties, both Hyde and Pratt remained Apostles in the Mormon Church between 1867 and the time of their respective deaths in 1878 and 1881.

Note 2: The Deseret News and the Salt Lake Telegraph remained silent about these developments -- not even taking advantage of an opportunity to criticize the Vedette's questionable reporting. On August 9th, the New York Times announced that "In this instance, it is to be apprehended that the Vedette, in its eagerness to make a point against the Mormons, rather stretched the facts, or at least made them as sensational as possible..." The Vedette editor stood by his original report, however -- see his "Good Logic" article of Aug. 8th, "Is There a Schism..." on Aug.15th, and "Is There a Schism Among the Mormons?" in the issue for Aug. 20th. Finally, on August 17th the Deseret News responded to a New York Herald article from August 13th, and denied the New York paper's "schism" charges without ever mentioning the three problematic Apostles. The editorial in the News was printed on the very next page after the sanitized (?) transcript of Brigham's June 23rd remarks, raising the question of whether or not the Mormon leadership decided to retrospectively soften its rhetoric against Lyman, Hyde and Pratt after the schism story "went national."


Vol. III.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, June 25, 1867.                   No. 303.


The editor of the Montana Post takes a fling at the Mormon people. We presume he was strengthened for the work, by the Mormon bread and butter with which our people have supplied that Territory. The Post man makes his attack upon us on the paradoxical principIes so commonly acted upon by those who condemn and threaten the Mormons. The Mormons are credited with industry, thrift, economy, fortitude, enterprise, ability, wealth, but as this is a long string of good things, per contra there is something said in general terms about infamous and detestable criminal practices, pernicious and demoralizing institutions, hostility towards resident unbelievers and the federal government and its officers, intimidating courts, defiance to the laws, locally legalized abominations, and so on.

We have lived in this city quite a time, and must confess to utter ignorance of the prevalence hereabout of the crimes somewhat indefinitely preferred by the Post. We suppose the Post people know all about such crimes being common here, on the principle that one must go from home to leave the news. We do not know but that we might live at Salt Lake all our days and innocently consider our people a very decent, law-abiding and worthy sort of people, did not our neighbors in Montana and other Territories and States frequently inform us in strong terms that we are wonderfully mistaken if our thoughts run in that direction. We are more energetically than amiably assured that we are entirely in the dark concerning the character of our people, who, though they have many industrial and economic virtues, yet are very monsters of iniquity, and merit and must eventually receive condign punishment. Well, really. Heaven bless us! Who wouId have thought it. Is it possible that the inhabitants of Utah, whom we in our simplicity think quite equal to the average of Americans or any other living humanity in all sorts of virtues, can be really so far in the rear? Well, well! We shall have to cry out like the Apostle to the Gentiles. -- We the chief of sinners are! But we certainly could not have believed it, unless we had been told, and even now it seems strange, passing strange, and we shall have to consider the subject a little.

So far as the good fauIts of our peopIe are concerned, our modesty permits us to doff our hat and say mereIy that we are glad that things are so. But we are concerned about those criminal matters charged, for none of our people wouId ever dream that they were all so bad as they were represented, if they were not told to the contrary by editors, and lawyers, and judges, and parsons, who, everybody knows, never tell anything but the truth, and no more of that than they are well paid for.

We are at a great loss to know what those infamous and detestable criminal practices, pernicious and demoralized institutions mean. We have not the remotest idea of any such things in connection with the people of Utah. We know that a great many hard things have been said of the inhabitants of Utah for their vigorous and persistent opposition to certain criminal practices indulged in elsewhere, but we are very certain that nothing of the kind has been encouraged by our citizens. We are aware that in New York and Missouri and other States recently, the legalizing of the abomination of prostitution has been strongly advocated, and that at Nashville, during the war, that abomination was"kinderr" legalized under military law; yet we do not know of the first citizen of Utah that ever dreamed of advocating any such corruption.

As to hostility to unbelieving residents, to the federal government and federal officers, as such, it is entirely a mistake. There is such a thing as political hostility, commonly indulged in by very many of the citizens of the U. S., both against persons and institutions, but less by our citizens than any others, materially less. Unbelieving residents, men and gentlemen, are as civilly treated and as free frommolestation here as in any city in the United States, quite so.

Intimidation of courts and defiance of the law we know nothing of. We believe, however, some of the Courts have tried to intimidate the juries and other citizens. That is how the matter stands, so far as our recollection serves.

In regard to defiance of the laws, we must reiterate that we have frequently stated that our community are the most law-abiding that we know, but that there have been federal officers and unbelieving residents here, of whom no man could conscientiously say as much.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VII.                    Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, June 29, 1867.                    No. 148.

About The Mormons.

The London correspondent of the San Francisco Bulletin of the 20th inst., writing from that place, under date of April 30th, dishes up the following in his letter.

"I own to being a great sinner. For three months I have been in lodgings, within ear-shot of a Mormon missionary tabernacle of Latter-day Saints, and never once darkened the door of this house of the Lord. I should have attended divine service there when B. Young's 45th son preached the gospel according to Joe Smith, but for half a dozen reasons which prevented. The chief was that my wife put her foot down resolutely against my aiding by my presence the "beastly polygamy" of Brigham Young. I dislike family jars, and denied myself the luxury of an audience with the Saints. The semi-annual conference of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" was held in the Music Hall, Store street, Bedford square, a semi-fashionable quarter of London adjoining my place of abode. The Quarterly Review sent a reporter to catch the drippings of the sanctuary where Brother Brigham's son, by his fiftieth or sixieth wife, held forth on the 7th of April. The gathering was the anniversary of the 37th year -- 6th April, 1830 -- when Joseph Smith formed his church of six members. But about this there must be a grave mistake, for I know a Mormon missionary itinerated [through] New York in the yeat 1829. It was in 1826 that Joe "dug up" his Mormon gold plates or tablets, from which he wrote out the Mormon bible, but which said plates consisted of a religious manuscript novel, written, as tradition has it, by an invalid clergyman in Cherry Valley, New York, after the manner of Ossian's poems. How it got into Joe Smith's and Sidney Rigdon's hands, I forget, and I also forget when Smith, Rigdon or a farmer of Palmyra endeavored to hire Thurlow Weed, then editing a paper in the city of Rochester, near Palmyra, to print the book of Mormon, which negotiation fell through. I do not think Brigham Young was among these primitive and immortal, or immoral, six apostles who followed their brother Joe Smith. Young was a religious enthusiast with a family whom he would leave for weeks, with "nothing in the house," to the protection of the Lord, while he, in his white choker and white wool hat, was far away, "howling at camp meetings" or so his neighbors profanely called his ministrations, while they fed the family of this "ornery sass," as he was familiarly styled by all both great and small."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, July 14, 1867.                       No. 9.



Editor Daily Telegraph:
      In these distressingly dull times, when the people of Montana at least the mining portion of them, are at their wits' end for something to say to bolster up each other's hopes as to the splendid "rich thing" which they fondly hope is in store for them, when merehants sigh for customers and miners are said to have found a way to live without eating, when, in short, many of her most enthusiastic admirers of a year ago, mournfully shake their heads and pronounce Montana "played out," it is positively refreshing to read such articles as have appeared lately in the columns of the Montana Post, and the one in this morning's issue is unusually good. Of course, you guess the subject to be that godsend to mountebank parsons and itemless editors, ycleped Mormonism."

A few days since, your humble servant and correspondent, together with a few other homesick denizens of Utah, whose business or inclination led them to this northern EI Dorado, suffered moral annihilation at the hands of that paper by the publication of an article bearing the eminently cheerful title of "The beginning of the end," in which the writer, after fortifying himself with a quotation from scripture, conclusively shows that [a] very encouraging state of things now exists in Utah. Of course we know that such is the case and that probably in a moment of generous candor the writer told a great truth about a most important subject. The "beginning of the end" not of Mormonism, but of wickedness, which is its antithesis, as a ruling power amongst men, has indeed been ushered in and it would be well for the Post, and all the tribe of Utah's villifiers, to take hold of the fact and prepare themselves for that "end," which was begun when the Prophet Joseph Smith first preached the Gospel to the world, and which will surely and speedily reach its consummation in the triumph of Mormonism over its enemies.

In its last article, the Post undertakes the modest task of "defining Mormonism," and very well it does it, although one can hardly help wishing especially if they have, as I have, a regard for the reputation of the paper, that just a slight dash of originality should have been imparted to it, to redeem it from the nauseating and stereotyped style of that "lively little paper," which the Post amiably pats on the back in return for a similar compliment, which said ''little paper" -- doubtless with its fingers jocosely placed at the side of its nose, pays to the Post. Arguments there are none. Because the Telegraph does not prove a negative by disproving therandom, nay reckless and absurd charge of the Post made without a shadow of foundation or reason, but contents itself by, sarcastically it may be, but none the less truthfully, stating that it had no knowledge of the truth of the allegations made, which knowledge it must, from the very nature of things, have had if such allegations were true, the eminently logical "definer of Mormonism," (save the mark) affects to hold its evidence, its constructive denial of his charges, as worthless. To say the least of it, this is somewhat discourteous, after the compliment you paid him in noticing his puerile and nonsensical attack. He then goes on with what he calls "specific" charges, with the "proofs" thereof. This consists of the old, old thing, the mixture, "to be taken as before," no or any other way, of "Mormon rebellion," Cradlebaugh & Co., extracts from speeches (having no reference to the context), Mountain Meadow massacre (this being a new ingredient is copiously dealt out), Titus' curiosity, the martyred or the narrowly-escaped-being-martyred, Harding and his satellites, &c., and occupies nearly three columns.

The "definer," by his "synopsis of historical events," has sustained, he thinks, "his former position." Not a doubt of it. His "former position" was so indefinite and illogical as to have amounted to nothing, if let alone, but being enlarged upon has become ridiculous, and I take it to be a sign of returning wisdom, in which I have hope of his future, that after putting up the above mixture and, let us hope after having swallowed a dose and finding how nasty it is, he "thinks," careful to the Lost, you see, "he has fully sustained it." Again I say, so do I.

Had our "definer'" stopped, here it would have been a triumph for him, we should have aIl been proud of his success in "defining Mormonism," and who knows what he might not have got as a testimonial of his briIliancy and talents, so prodigally expended in their cause, by the grateful people of Utah? But alas! he must go further and talk about doctrines of the Church, and "specificaIIy" too. You recollect the oId woman who was "afraid to open her mouth, lest she should put her foot in it." Careful old creature! What a pity the "definer" had not some of her wisdom. As it is he has made a most complete and lamentable failure of this part of the subject he undertook to "define," being in no part of his article more conspicuously displayed than in this. Yet where "ignorance is bliss," you know, I offer him my sympathy and would gladly put him in the way of improving his education, in order that he may be better prepared than he now is to define light from darkness, truth from error, and as a consequence Mormonism as it is. In his present state of ignorance on these important points, I should hardly think the course of instruction he has commenced and promises to continue will be very profitaule to him or his readers. To you, though, it may be useful, as we are prond of your "magnificent proportions," are anxious that they be not diminished, and to promote our wishes in this respect what so good as to laugh, and what so laughable as the Post on Mormonism? May the instrnctions then be continued and may you "'laugh and grow fat."
Virginia City, July 6, 1867.


When it is desired to make out a case against "the Mormons," the favorite mode of procedure, with many people, is to hunt up all the cases of violence which have occurred, add many which never did occur in the history of this Territory, dish them altogether, highly season and spice them, and then charge them to the Mormons. By such means an indictment is often preferred, very plausible to some people. but very transparent to others, who are not satisfied with looking at the surface only of things.

What a magnificent case could be made out against several of our Territorial and State neighbors, by adopting the above mode of procedure! Montana for instance -- if we were to fish up all the shootings, and stabbings and hangings perpetrated in that Territory during its brief history, and charge them in a lump against the dominant party! Colorado also, for another instance, also ldaho, and our western neighbors -- Nevada and California. Some fine day, when we have nothing else to do, we may take up this subject at length and see where it would lead to. It is a poor rule that won't work both ways.

Note: Both Elder Stenhouse and his Virginia City correspondent were careful not to address (or attempt to answer) any of the specific charges leveled against the Mormon leaders in Utah by the editor of the Montana Post. The two articles obliquely addressed were "Mormomism Defined" and "The Beginning of the End," both of which appeared in the Post's July 6th issue and both of which (minus quotations from external sources) appear to have been written by Editor James H. Mills. The latter Post article reprinted the Vedette's June 25th charges regarding Apostles Lyman, Hyde and Pratt, but the Telegraph editor resisted any temptation of being drawn into that unresolved LDS leadership discord.


Vol.VIII.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, July 17, 1867.                 No. 10.

(From the Montana Post of the 6th inst.)


A recent article in the [Montana] Post, touching mildly on the abominations practiced by Brigham Young and his followers, appears to have touched a tender place in the Salt Lake Telegraph, and it thereupon devotes a couple of editorials to the Post. The Telegraph builds its article on this kind of theory: "The legalizing of prostitution is advocated in some of the States. Polygamy is no worse than prostitution, therefore why disturb it?" This kind of argument is its own refutation, and would not merit a reply were it not for the following assertions:

"There is something said in general terms about infamous and detestable criminal practices, pernicious and demoralizing institutions, hostility toward resident unbelievers and the Federal Government and its officers, intimidating courts, defiance to the laws, locally legalized abominations, and so on.

"We have lived in this city quite a time, and must confess to utter ignorance of the prevelence hereabout of the crimes somewhat indefinitely preferred by the Post.

"We are in a great loss to know what those infamous and detestable criminal practices, pernicious and demoralized institutions mean. We have not the remotest idea of any such things in connection with the people of Utah....

On the 7th of January, 1863, Judge Cradlebaugh stated in the House of Representatives that "while he was an Associate Justice of Utah, the Grand Juries utterly refused to do anything and had to be discharged. He added:

"Sitting as a committing magistrate, complaint after complaint was made before me of murders and robberies. Among these I may mention, as peculiarly and shockingly prominent, the murder of Forbes, the assassination of the Parrishes and Potter, of Jones and his mother, of the Aiken party, of which there were six in all, and, worst and darkest in the appalling catalogue of blood, the cowardly, cold-blooded butchery and robbery at the Mountain Meadows, September 10, 1857. At that time there still lay, all ghastly, under the sun of Utah, the unburied skeletons of one hundred and nineteen men, women, and children, the hapless, hopeless victims of the Mormon creed."

He stated that the wholesale murder was committed by Mormons, partly painted as Indians, by written authority of Brigham Young. They were a train of emigrants who had passed through the the city and been joined by disaffected Mormons. United States officers reported officially the same thing. The train was a wealthy one, was from those States from which the Mormons had been expelled, and Revenge and Avarice inspired the deed. It consisted of 40 wagons, 800 head of cattle, 60 horses and mules, and nearly 150 men and women and many children. The people were all massacred except the infants, and Hon. J. Forney testifies to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs that a few days after the massacre that there was distributed among the leading dignitaries $30,000 worth of property. Captain Campbell who was appointed to enquire into these affairs reported to the A. A. General of the U. S. Army, July 6, 1859, that

"These emigrants were [here] met by the Mormons, assisted by such of the wretched Indians of the neighborhood as they could force or persuade to join [them], and massacred, with the exception of such infant children as the Mormons thought too young to remember or tell of the affair."

Judge Cradlebaugh visited the scene of the massacre, was thoroughly convinced that the Mormons concocted the deed and were the main parties in executing it. Numbers of Mormons who had apostatized offered abundance of evidence if they were assured of military protection. He took affidavits and issued warrants for the arrest of thorty-eight Mormons including three Bishops, when orders were received from Washington to withdraw the military and so ended, for the time at least, the investigation. Brigham Young, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at the time, made no mention of the massacre in his report. The Deseret News made no mention of it for several months. The Indians, apostate Mormons and the children saved in the massacre; goods found in the possession of the Mormons, known to have belonged to the emigrants, and traced back to the day succeeding the massacre, every evidence of a direct or circumstantial character, fastens upon the Mormon people the stigma and guilt of this damnable outrage. If this not sufficient, there is this day in possession of Judge Titus in Salt Lake City, the original order, issued by Lieut. Gen. Wells, commanding the Nauvoo Legion, in the handwriting of his Adj. Gen. Spangler (?) sworn to as authentic by two witnesses, and admitted last winter by the widow of Spangler (?) to be his handwriting, ordering the murder of over forty teamsters who had incurred the displeasure of the Mormon dignitaries. This order is published in a report in the United States Congress last winter....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, August 1, 1867.                     No. 23.

A New Book -- Mormonism.

We are favored with the prospectus of a new work on the "origin of Mormonism, its rise and progress," to be published by D. Appleton & C., in September. It says:

"The author of the history about to appear was himself cognizant of the facts and incidents he relates in regard to the origin and development of the imposture church. Beyond these he has collected from a great variety of sources, -- a comple and connected account of Mormonism, as it has progressed since its early founders and followers left this state, and since their departure from Nauvoo. Those who can speak from personal knowledge of the early history of this delusion, are rapidly passing away. The world should have their testimony. When the book appears, it will be found to bear the impress of entire truthfulness; and its facts bearing upon the most stupendous religious imposture known to this century, will alike aurprise and interest the public at large."

If the author can shed any new light upon the subject, all right! let him write away! But if it is to be a catch-penny, sensational production, it will do more harm than good; and will not be read with much favor except by those who never saw a live Mormon in their life. We don't go a cent on these book writers, who say all manner of ill-natured and naughty things about people long since turned to dust, or distant thousands of miles away. If this is a sample of the style in which the events of the past are done up, we predict a dull sale for the history in these parts.

"Smith's family (his father's family) all resided in the neighborhood. They were remarkable only for their worthlessness; people whom nobody cared to know. Joe himself was a village vagabond, a loiterer about stores and taverns, liking everything better than useful work. Whether he became a prophet on his own motion, or at the suggestion of some others having more quiet cunning and education, but no more principle than himself, we cannot say, but he ebcame one, in pretension. A deposed clergyman, named Rigdon, did the first Mormon preaching. One or two honest farmers of Palmyra were drawn into the scheme, and nearly impoverishd themselves by furnishing the money to print this "Gold Bible" -- all translated from the mysterious plates which Smith had dug out of Mormon Hill!"

We suggest that the acrimonious and disparaging tone so common to book writers on Mormonism, be smoothed down a trifle, or better still, entirely dispended with, unless they are writing for glory, and not for cash -- money. No Catholic ever became converted from his faith by reading the blood and thunder phillipics launched against "popery," "popish mummery," "popish idolatry," etc.; nor can it readily be shown that Protestants are in the habit of becoming converted from their faith, by being upbraided as "heretics," and "schismatics." There is a grand error in that style, that won't win in these mountains. It is not the way to appeal to one's reason, by starting out with that kind of an argument, that is apt to "rile" your subjects' temper before you have fairly begun. As well might Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and others of the Mormon church, try to make converts of the Gentiles of this place by abusing and vilifying the men and calling the women cruel, bad names, (which they do) as for P. Tucker to succeed by dishing up Mormonism in a malignant style. It will not convert them very fast from the faith of Joe Smith, and can do but little good. When we get the book we will pay our respects to its merits.

We give this portion of the prospectus for what it is worth.

But comparatively few are aware that the imposture had its beginning -- its very first "peep" -- in Wayne county in this State. Such is the fact, and evidence of it is abundant, specific and reliable. There are hundreds in Western New York who were personally cognizant of the delusion when it was "no bigger than a man's hand;" very many in the neighborhood of Palmyra who knew "Joe Smith" and his family long before he thought of being a "prophet," and who remember the thousand and one ridiculous nothings which marked the inception of the imposture enterprise and its developement, until after a year or two of public disgust, when the "faithful" gathered themselves together from Wayne and Ontario counties, in the "promised land" of the "Latter day Saints," first in Ohio, then in Missouri, and afterwards at Nauvoo, Illinois, where Joe lost his life in the county jail by the assassination of an infuriated populace -- all this prior to the Mormon flight to the wilds of Utah. "Mormon Hill," from which Smith pretended to exhume the "golden plates" revealing to himself the will of Heaven, is but a little way out of Palmyra, and if we mistake not, the hole from which the plates were said to have been taken, is not yet wholly obliterated.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, August 8, 1867.                     No. 29.


The following, from the New York Tribune of July 22d, logically demonstrates the "Mormon Problem," pointing out its religious absurd ties and probable destiny. We insert it for perusal by our Mormon, as well as Gentile readers.


Not by any means for the first time in his remarkable career Brigham Young is in difficulties and he is meeting them with his usual boldness and sagacity. The short and ready resource of such a hierarch is to excommunicate his antagonists, and Brigham we must allow, excommunicates with all the promptitude and audacity of a Hildebrand. He has already publicly consigned to damnation Hyde, the President of the Twelve Apostles, together with Lyman and Pratt, both of them apostolic gentlemen. There is a grand schism, with Young upon one side, and Joseph Smith. jr., upon the other -- the first the leader of the Utah Mormons, and the second of the Western [sic -Midwestern?] Mormons who are not gathered into the fold. Smith has recently carried the war into Utah itself, and has had the impudence to make converts to his side under Brigham Young's own nose, ridiculing his sacred revelations, his doctrines of polygamy and blood atonement, and his claims to be regarded as the head of the Church. This has aroused Young to unusual exertions, nor will he yield an inch of his power or his doctrine without making a good fight for the same. While he lives, it is not probable that in Utah his extraordinary hold upon the popular heart will be materially diminished. Authority like that which he possesses is neither to be won nor lost in a day. Of course there is in Utah as everywhere else, the usual proportion of sneaking knaves and of snuffling hypocrites, of men who merely like the coarse sensuality of the creed, and of women who feebly yield to its intellectual and moral absurdities to-day as they would readily accept others tomorrow; but a man cannot govern a community almost absolutely for many years, and especially an isolated community, without securing an habitual deference. This becomes fixed in the old and is accepted without question by the young, and there is no reason why it should not last for the life-time of its object. Unfortunately, prophets are mortal. Brigham's weak point is that some morning he will be taken sick and die. All the modern prophets, both men and women have perceived this mortality, and have guarded against influence upon their authority, by promising to come back again, some of them in fifty years, and some of them a century after apparent death. But time wore on; the defunct failed to keep their word; the societies which they left grew smaller and smaller, and some of them have entirely disappeared. We are not learned in Mormon theology, but we believe Brigham makes no promise of a personal resurrection or speedy second-coming; and if he should do so, the chances are that he would not rise according to appointment. He will depart, and then we suspect the grand Kilkenny scrimmage will begin, the Twelve Apostless breaking each others heads without compunction; this able shepherd leading off his share of the sheep and the other enterprising pastor proselyting in his turn, until the Gentile element becomes predominant in the territory of the saints and Mormonism hides its diminished head in small conventicles and thin communities. In such a result we see nothing to regret. Nobody in his senses supposes that polygamy can ever become a permanent feature of American or of any other civilized society. Nobody outside the pale believes that there is anything fresh or important in the Mormon theology. Nobody can reasonably reckon that it will ever outgrow the taint of its original imposture. It may linger a little after the death of its great champion, but we have never been able to find in it anything to save it from ultimate extinction, for we do not, of course, reckon its judicious social e economy as one of its religious characteristics. A similar shewdness and industry have been exhibited by other sects; by the Shakers, the Rappites, and the Moravians. The Mormons are entitled to a certain degree of credit for their enterprise, energy, industry and perseverance; but much as we value these, we have no desire to see them promoted by the aids of ignorance, of superstition, and of priestcraft. The very fact that their preachers and writers are accustomed to boast of a period not far distant when the sect shall possess the world, shows how little they comprehend the present abe intellectual and spritual advancement of mankind. These are not the days of Mohammed, nor of Peter the Hermit, and religious ideas have ceased to be the great promoters of political changes and of remarkable emigrations. Even if it were otherwise, Mormonism, pure and simple, has nothing to offer to a race hungry for a pure spiritualism; it is in itself coarse and material, philosophically a muddle, and religiously a superstition. It could offer bread to the hungry, work to the unemployed, and shelter to the homeless; but we have yet to learn of the first truth, new and consolatory, in its creed which it could present to anxious and intelligent religious inquirers. It must fail and disappear as a form of faith, whenever the practical ability by which it has been supported is withdrawn, and the civilization from which it fled once more reaches its borders, to take advantage of its dissensions, to lighten its bigots, and to rescue its professors from religious despotism. All the signs of the times point to the beginning of the end. The abandonment of polygamy would do much to save the sect; but the question is whether the leaders will agree to abandon it. The religious despotism might be saved by giving up the social, but the question again is whether the leaders will care for the former without the latter.

Note: Part of the reason Vedette Editor Daniel McLaughlin chose to reprint this New York Tribune article, was perhaps because it bolstered his own claims regarding "the apostates" in the Mormin Quorum of Twelve. Of course the eastern papers had picked up the schism news from McLaughlin's original report -- so their confirmation served little practical purpose. See also the Vedette of Aug. 15th and Aug. 20th.


Vol. VIII.                  Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, August 11, 1867.                  No. 32.

Special Correspondence to the N. Y. Tribune.


Salt Lake City -- Despotism on the Great Plains -- Character of
Brigham Young -- His Wives -- Polygamy --
Schisms Among the Saints.

Salt Lake City, June 18, 1867.        
I have seen Mormonism in its best garments only. Its dignitaries have made me welcome. Its hospitality encompassed me. Its fruits and flowers; its light spots and pleasant recreations were all before me....

Not only is licentiousness ever pleading the cause of polygamy, but the church demands it of all men who can afford more than one wife, and women are caught [sic - taught?] to consent to it on pain of eternal damnation. I heard four Mormon sermons on Sunday -- two by fools and two by knaves. The one for instance, who declared that he had seen Joseph Smith perfectly personated in Brigham Young, when he thrust Rigdon out and assumed the Presidency himself, even to a broken front tooth was simply a lunatic. In the course of his sermon he gave the particulars of his conversion. He paryed to the Lord that if He would appear in person to him he would believe, and the Lord appeared to him, and he thenceforth became a saint. He was followed by one of the shrewdest of the Elders, who argued with some plausibility that the original Church of Christ had strayed and broken into descondant branches, and that it had been founded again by Smith and Young, and was separate from the world and united in its great work. In the afternoon we had an incoherent and senseless harangue from a Cockney, but Brigham Young pulled him down by the coat tail in a short time and took the pulpit himself. His speech would read away in the East like a foolish ebullition of a conceited blackguard, but never were remarks more timely or better adapted to the people he addressed. He argued for twenty minutes that not one person in 40 knew how to take care of himself in either temporal or spiritual matters... he told the young ladies of the church that they had no capacity for taking care of themselves and their honor, and that the church with its ceremonies and covenants was their only safety. He closed by demanding that Gentiles and apostates be shunned in all dealings, even although it costs more to purchase from a Saint. "You may answer," said he, "that it is none of my d____d business. Perhaps it is not, just now, but the time will soon come when it will be my business to testify respecting this people, and I pledge you that those who disobey this command shall not enter into the staright gate.... let the righteous be saved, and the wicked go their way to everlasting punishment." I saw poor infatuated Mormons shudder at this terrible anathema from what they supposed to be an inspired oracle of God, and fear of his malediction is one of the strongest elements of cohesiveness with the deluded masses of his followers....

There are palpable signs of dissolution in the Mormon Church. The Josephites (the followers of Smith) pronounce polygamy a sin, and they claim to be the true Mormon Church and entitled to the church property. When Brigham went south last Spring he had to cut off several hundred members for heresy, because they adhered to Smith, and over 100 wagons of emigrants are now in the mountains on their way east to escape his fearful vengeance....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, August 15, 1867.                 No. 52.


We have received a telegraphic dispatch from a Mormon apostle emphatically denying the recent statement in the newspapers that there is trouble among the Saints at Salt Lake City. He says: There is no split among the Mormons. They were never more united, prosperous, and peaceful." Well an apostle ought always to speak the truth; his character for veracity should be above suspicion, and especially if he is inspired, his word should not be doubted. But we are troubled with an uncomfortable recollection that in the thirty years during which we have closely watched Mormonism none of its leaders, from the days of Joe Smith down to the present, have ever hesitated at denying the truth. Whether or not there is a schism among the Mormons time will show. Sooner or later, however, it is bound to come. After Joe Smith left Kirtland, in Ohio, for Nauvoo, in illinois, he induced his relatives to adopt polygamy. But his cardinal point of doctrine -- and on this point his successor, at least, is strictly orthodox -- was his divine right to taxes and tithes. An humble recognition of this claim has hitherto characterized the Mormons. A report is going the round of the newspapers that Brigham Young's yearly income amounts to five hundred thousand dollars. No doubt there will ultimately be a revolution in Mormondom. The influence of newspapers, telegraphs, railways and other quickening elements and agents of civilization must end by destroying a monopoly so hostile to the spirit of the age. How little did the short-sighted Saints dream, when they fled from Nauvoo to the wilderness, that they would pitch their tents on the direct route of civilization from the Atlantic to the Pacific! Almost overtaken already by the westward march of progress, they must either abjure their errors, or again -- fold their tents like the Arabs, and silently steal away. -- N. Y. Herald, 13th ult.

A VENERABLE PRINTER. -- Benjamin F. Cowdery died in Rochester, N. Y., on the 25th of May, aged something over 77 years. Deceased was a journeyman printer in the office of the Rochester American: did his regular work at the case up almost to the day of his death; and wrote a clear, legible hand, and good sense. He was the father of our friend J. F. Cowdery, Attorney, San Francisco. He has set type and published papers in half the states of the Union, printed the first Book of Mormon, traveled over the continent, did almost everything, by turns, that honest men do for a livelihood, an at length, weary with long wandering, settled down, perhaps not more than twenty or thirty years ago, to work at the case. Peace to his ashes! We trust his form is made up for glory. -- Trespass.

Note 1: The writer of the above notice was probably William J. Forbes, who was originally from Ohio and who may have met printer B. F. Cowdery when the latter worked at Oberlin. Forbes was employed as a printer with various pioneer California and Nevada newspapers. He purchased the Virginia City Daily Union, early in 1867 and re-named it as The Trespass. Although Forbes arrived a few years too late to operate as a rival to that city's Territorial Enterprise, while Mark Twain was still on its staff, he may have known the humorous journalist in San Francisco. Possibly Forbes was also a friend of Jabez Franklin Cowdery, Esq. (1834-77), who moved to San Francisco in 1865 and remained in the city for the rest of his life.

Note 2: B. Franklin Cowdery's terminal illness was noticed by the Rochester Daily Union in its issue of May 22, 1867. He died of pneumonia at Rochester on May 26, 1867. Although he was a cousin of the Mormon Elder, Oliver Cowdery, he had no direct association with the Latter Day Saints and took no part in the publication of any edition of the Book of Mormon.


Vol. VIII.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, August 20, 1867.                 No. 55.



We recently copied an article from the New York Herald under the above heading, in which some pretty severe reflections were indulged in by the editor of that paper on the veracity of the Mormon leaders. The Deseret News in its last issue is virtuously indignant at the Herald and complains of the reflections of that paper upon the leaders here, in a tone that shows that it feels injured. There is no doubt that the Herald gave currency to the report published in the Vedette of June 15th [sic - 25th?], that Brigham Young did on the previous Sunday handle Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde and Amasa Lyman without gloves, and condemn and denounce them and cut them off from the church. At the time we published that statement we believed we were stating facts. We openly declare that we would not wilfully misstate anything in relation to the Mormon leader or leaders, anymore than we would in reference to any other sect; and if by any chance we fall into error in any statement about them or anybody else we stand ready to make every honorable repartition. We think men should always have manhood enough to do what is right -- what reason and conscience approves. The statement on that occasion has gone the entire length and breadth of the land, and if untrue, it was as easy for the Apostle to deny it here as to send to New York. It won't do to say that they don't and won't recognize the Vedette -- that only proves that hate and prejudice rules. The Vedette is here, published here, edited here, and there are none so blind as those who won't see. While it asks no favor from the mandates of the Church leaders, or any other dictum of authority -- demanding only the acknowledged and admitted rights of an American newspaper, "free speech" -- it does openly say that it would be exhibiting a better spirit to correct errors and misstatements at home, if there are any.

Upon reading the article in the News we set out and made particular enquiry in relation to the June statement of the Vedette, and we are assured that the statement then given was in the main correct. We cannot then see how the News, with its usual dignified fairness, makes this declaration:
"That rumor, which came to us in the dispatches, is as false and groundless as the thousand and one rumors circulated concerning us generally are, having not even a foundation for truth."
Parties who were present on the occasion, both Mormon and Gentile, inform us that it was as represented in the Vedette. Did we really think otherwise, we would be glad to say so. But the News may think us very odd and obstinate in still believing it. We do not desire to be considered unfair; but when we inform that journal that we are assured that the ententie cordiale does not yet exist between Brigham Young, President of the Church, and Orson Pratt, one of the Apostles, it may be satisfied that we do not manufacture these statements. We can inform our cotemporary that the result of the interview between Brigham Young and Orson Pratt on the afternoon of the 9th of the present month, does not substantiate its reckless declaration that the rumor it alludes to was false and groundless. Not being at liberty to state any of the particulars of that interview, as [related] to us, we will be content to simply declare from information that we have received, and which we consider altogether reliable, that the curled lip of scorn, the taunt, the withering contempt of the head of the church showered upon the Apostle on that occasion is known to a few outside of the church, here, and confirms them that the News does not in this instance present the facts to public view. Young is believed to be at outs with Pratt, Hyde and Lyman

Note: Elder Stenhouse's Telegraph avoided making any further comments regarding the "schism" pointed out by the Vedette, but both it and the Deseret News appear to have taken special pains to report the activities of Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt, as though they were having no difficulties at all with the LDS First Presidency. Amasa Lyman was conspicuous by his absence from those kinds of reports. On August 22nd, Stenhouse published a letter from Hyde, which, among other things, said: "We have no war of opinion amongst the Saints in Utah, though some would represent division and strife here; but whatever division and strife there may have been... They have not srawn one-third part after them, nor yet one-hundredth part..." Whether the "They" Apostle Hyde referred to included himself, Amasa Lyman, or merely the Reorganized LDS missionaries then active in Utah, he did not specify.


Vol. IV.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, September 5, 1867.                   No. 64.


It is generally understood that the Mormon community expect, some fine day, to return to Jackson County, Mo., and possess, develop and beautify that promising region, as they are doing with this naturally uninviting one. We consider it very likely to be actually brought about, and not at a very distant day either.

In the first place, our people years ago did actually purchase lands there, and improve them. from which they were unjustly and cruelly driven. They have never been reimbursed for their losses, and consequently somebody yet owes them what they thereby lost. Furthermore, the interest on the principal invested is still running on, and if it should run long enough the whole will accumulate to a sum sufficient to purchase a large part of the State, if not the whole of it. So far as the right of possession is concerned, therefore, our people are on the side of justice, and there will be nothing against their taking possession at their convenience. There would not now, if justice was supreme in the land.

But it may be said that the Mormons are a small people, and have no intelligence to bring about such an event as their safe return to Missouri. Perhaps that is true enough just now. But the Mormons are a growing people, growing faster than any other people in the country, and if they continue growing as they have done, how large and influential will they be within twenty more years? If they are not then numerous and influential enough to exercise such a bearing on the general public sentiment as to make it safe and agreeable for them to go back to Missouri, why then tell us of it, and we will wait a little longer for what must surely come to pass.

It may be said that the numbers of the Mormons even then will be small and their influence but limited. Perhaps so, perhaps not. Their influence is not very limited now, though their numbers may be small. They know, what is unknown among any other people in the world, the way to magnify their influence largely by union, by oneness in all their public movements. This gives them an immense advantage, and it will tell how powerfully on the national policy just as soon as they have their rights and privileges as American citizens. There is now a far greater respect shown to our citizens than was for a long time the case, and it is very likely that this respect will increase and increase until even our enemies will consider probable a great many things which they now think, or affect to think impossible.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, October 6, 1867.                       No. 81.


It seems proper, at the opening of the New Tabernacle, on the Temple Block, in this city to furnish our readers with some particulars concerning its construction, and to give such items of its dimensions, etc, as we have been able to glean from a few of the brethren who have had the oversight of various departments of the work. Brother Henry Grow, the designer and builder of the Tabernacle, furnishes us with a large proportion of the following particulars:

The form of the building was the design of President Brigham Young, who was desirous that the lattice work principle should be introduced into the construction of this large edifice. Brother Grow commenced the work with a small force of men, September 1, 1865 In consequence of accidental delays in procuring lumber and other material, and from other causes, progress in construction was not so rapid as would otherwise have been the case. The work on the building, however, progressed steadily, and latterly with great accelerated rapidity, through the hearty response of the masons, carpenters and plasterers of the city and Territory to the call made by President Young some weeks since.

The maximum number of men employed at any one time in the construction of the building was 205, and the average for the last three weeks has been 137. These figures do not include laborers nor plasterers. We have not the exact figures, but we understand that about 70 men were engaged in plastering the inside of the building.

Mr. Grow thinks that any person who has not seen the building can have a very good idea of the roof by imagining the back or shelf of a common eastern ground turtle of huge proportions, but it is more frequently likened to the hull of an old fashioned ship without any keel and turned topsy turvy! This immense roof, which is in fact the principal portion of the building, rests upon 44 piers of cut sandstone masonry, each nine feet from outside to inside of building by three feet the other way, and the whole averaging twenty feet high to the spring of the roof. On each side of the building are nine piers in a straight line. From these, an arch of 48 feet is sprung. Thirteen arches spring at each end from thirteen piers which stand on a circle. The height from the floor to the ceiling is 68 feet in the center of building. There is a space of nine feet, from the ceiling to the roof.

The building itself is 250 feet from east to west, and 150 from north to south. The room is 100 feet straight from east to west in the center, with a semi-circle of 75 feet at each end. There are no columns in the building.

The roof is framed of lattice arched bents, twelve feet from center to center, each arched bent converging and meeting at the highest given point of the two main outside bents, where they are securely fastened.

On the northern and southern sides of the building are 30 spaces between the piers which are filled with windows, containing altogether 2,500 lights of glass. On the north and south sides are also twelve spaces between the piers, filled by double doors On the east side are two doors, but it is intended to have tour more some time. There are two small doors on the southwest, two on the northwest, and one private, door on the west, opening to the, stand.

The scaffolding was taken down on Wednesday without injury to any of the workmen. The single accident which occurred during the erection of the building resulted from carelessness, and was not fatal.

Above the piers there is over 1,000,000 feet of lumber; in the floor 80,000 feet; in the joists 100,000; in the sleepers 30,000; in the doors, stands, benches and other parts not enumerated, 290,000 feet; in the aggregate 1,500,000 feet. The roof is covered with 350,000 shingles, besides a space at the top, averaging 60 by 130 feet, which is covered with "patent roofing." A spiral stairway from the ceiling affords access to the outside of the roof.

The floor of the building was completed on the 4th inst. There is supposed to be ample room in the building to seat comfortably 8,000 to 9,000 persons....

The spaces between the piers are all numbered from 1 to 44, and the gentlemen will see to the best order and silence being preserved around the Tabernacle. The entrances for the public are on the east side, numbered 3 and 42; on the south side, 8, 9, 10, 11 12 and 13; on the north, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37. On the southwest and northwest are the entrances for the Bishops and Priesthood occupying the stand. The choir enters by the door numbered 24, and the President's private entrance is by the door numbered 22, on the west end.

The stand for the speaker is at the west end of the building, and covers 7,500 feet of surface.

The front of the stand is a segment of a circle. Before it are a seat and desk for the bishops and others who administer the sacrament. The first seat in the centre of the stand or platform is for the Presidency of the Stake, the next for the Quorum of the Twelve the third for the First Presidency. Back of these are seats for a choir of 150 singers, with the great organ, yet unfinished, behind them. On the right and left are seats for from 800 to 1,000 persons.

The speaker's desk is 60 feet in front of the western piers. In front of the stand, for 70 feet, the floor is horizontal, thence to the east end the floor rises with a grade of one foot in ten. The horizontal portion of the floor is seated with very comfortable permanent benches. The remainder temporarily with the old benches from the Bowery.

During the past six months, and for some time before that, Elder Truman O. Angel has been engaged in designing the cornice of the building, the stand, floor, seats, &c.

More than three-fourths of the timbers were supplied by Elder Jos. A. Young up to within a few months; since which several hundred thousand feet of finishing lumber was furnished by President Wells, and a large quantity also obtained from Elders Feramorz Little, Samuel A. Woolley, and from a few others.

The work from beginning to end has been closely supervised by President Young, who in this, as in everything else of a public character, "has been in all and through all" and encouraged by his confidence all engaged in it.

After the departure of President Young for the North, and since, President Wells has been most assiduous in his labors, superintending and furnishing everything, and latterly, when the work had to be done within a given time, and that also very short, his constant presence and encouragment to the workmen and those in charge added greatly to the early completion of the work. Bishop John Sharp, as Assistant Superintendent of Public Works, has rendered a very efficient share of labor, and Elder John D. T. McAllister was constant in his superintendence of the laborers, and had under his direction over a hundred men and thirty teams working.

So far as we have been able to judge, from the frequent conversation we have listened to, President Young seems fully satisfied with the accomplishment thus far of his design. It will take a great many men some months yet to make the seats and finish other portions of the edifice. By the 6th of April next the whole will be finished and ready for dedication. It is a grand building, of which the Saints have reason to be proud, and we but echo the feelings of every faithful Saint in wishing a lengthened life to President Young, that he therein may long continue to instruct and lead Israel to the accomplishment of the designs and purposes of the Most High.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, October 13, 1867.                       No. 87.

THE NEW TABERNACLE. -- When writing the description of the New Tabernacle, we gathered our information from those whom we credited in that report, and from others possessing any information that we could reach. Brother Truman O. Angel, the Church Architect, was not at the Tabernacle on the Saturday preceding Conference, at the time we were gathering the information, so that we could say but little of his labors. We had opportunity yesterday of conversing with him, and he tells us that he draughted the whole of the interior portions of the building, and detailed the same on the trussel board for practical execution, and likewise superintended the workmanship thereof, as chief foreman, until the opening of the building at Conference. We may have omitted in our report other persons deserving of notice.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, December 6, 1867.                       No. 134.


A considerable portion of President Johnson's message is taken up with the subjects of negro suffrage and domination and Africanizing the country. He opposes indiscriminate suffrage, especially to the negro, and deplores the reconstruction policy which virtually gives the political majority in some of the Southern States into the hands the negroes, most of whom recently held the position of slaves and being extremely ignorant, have little idea of the true nature of the duties of citizens and electors. The President, from this source, anticipates trouble, serious trouble. He thinks it the greatest danger which now besets the country, and sure to entail enormous expense upon the nation, from the fact that a negro government over whites can not be maintained without the backing of a large standing army, an idea that is very likely to be true, for it is scarcely in Caucasian blood to sit down quietly and be ruled by negroes. Such rule is evidently reversing the order of natnre and Providence, and cannot be considered promisory of social or national peace, harmony or union.

The late history of Hayti, under negro rule, and of Jamaica, where the negroes are free, is not very encourging. Nor is there much to encourage in the present aspect of things in the Southern States. In some of those States circumstances are such as to lead many persons of experience and observation to apprehend a violent conflict of the two races before long. Even now we read in our exchanges of the negroes in various parts of the Sonth arming and drilling and threatening. In Richmond, Va., they have inaugurated a negro vigilance institution. Late despatches brought news of an uprising in Alabama, the negro loyalty league having resisted civil process, made a code of laws, opened court, arrested opposing negroes, threatened extermination of the whites, and carried things with a high hand generaIly.

There are troops enough near, probably, to quell that insurrection speedily; but that will not pacify the blaks, if it should reassure the whites, and if the spirit of hostility of the two parties should increase and be embittered, as it may, the outbreakers will be very likely to adopt the policy of a word and a blow, but the blow first; in other words, they may exterminate first and threaten afterwards.

We should be very much pleased to see the whole nation once more on the high road to peace and prosperity, union and harmony, but the prospects, for a consummation so devoutly to be wished are by no means so favorable as could be desired.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                    Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, December 10, 1867.                    No. 137.

EPHRAIM, Dec. 2, 1867.         

Having just returned to this place from Manti, accompanied by Bishop Peterson, I sit down to address a few lines to you and to the numerous readers of your valuable paper. It is argued by the followers of Joseph Smith, sometimes called little Joseph, probably because he was once small, that from the death of the prophet up to the time when he assumed the presidency over the apostates from this Church, a period of some fifteen years, the Lord had not spoken from heaven unto His people, that Brigham Young had all the time administered without revelation from God.

I was not a little amused the other day on hearing the repetition of an argument which a friend of mine had with one of these apostate Josephite preachers. My friend said to him, When your father commenced his career and temporarily established the Church at Kirtland, Ohio, and had the Lord to help him, the two got the Church into quite a muss and the Church had to pull up stakes and go to Missouri. They had not long been in that State till the Lord and his father got them into another difficulty and permitted them to be driven from county to county and finally out of the State. Illinois was their place of refuge and the twon of Commerce, afterwards Nauvoo, was their last gathering place in that State. That was a very sickly place, where hundreds and hundreds of the Saints lay down and died. That action proved very disasterous to the Saints, though led by the prophet, with the Lord to help him, The Church tarried not long there and the prophet was killed. Now, said my friend to this distinguished preacher, is not this true also? He replied, Yes. Well, continued my friend, did not Brigham Young then take the lead of the people? He answrred Yes. And you say without revelation or authority from the Most High to do so? He answered in the affirmative. My friend asked him still further, has Brigham Young ever got the people into any such difficulties as the prophet and the Lord did? Did he not lead the people across the plains in safety and have they not remained in these valleys peaceably, and have they not enjoyed health in general and uninterrupted prosperity ever since -- a period of upward of 20 years? This teacher of apostates could but reluctantly reply that it was even so. Now, says my friend, what is the true inference from the foregoing? It is simply this, that Brigham Young, without inspiration, without revelation, without authority, and without God, according to your argument, has led the people into greater prosperity and happiness than the Prophet did who had the Lord to help him. Therefore, we prefer Brigham Young as our leader to young Joseph, though he claim to be as full of revelation as the heavens are of stars.

Preacher called for his hat and unceremoniously left.

Joseph Smith, the prophet, was in reality inspired of God. He waded through much tribulation and so also did his people, in order to follow him, and last of all laid down his life for the testimony which he bore, that a just condemnation might come upon their persecutors and that the testament might stand in force after the death of the testator.

Brigham Young's administration is eminently characterized by the widsom of heaven, and every intelligent person, who is at all acquainted with the man, and is free from a prejudiced and darkened mind, must say that God in truth is with Brigham Young. So say I, and all Israel will confirm it by a cordial Amen.
Your brother in the Gospel,               
                ORSON HYDE.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, December 11, 1867.             No. 138.


Brick Pomeroy is rather heavy on the Mormon-eaters, if we may judge by the following from the La Crosse Democrat --

"Those felIows out in Utah whose 'best holt' is being much married -- having what Gentlie popular opinion and Gentile legislation consider a superabundance of spouses -- who are 'old businesd' on increasing and multiplying, and have a weakness for reviving the Scriptural custom of polygamy in that far away region shut in by mountains and environed by deserts, are to be attended to without delay!

The fiat has gone forth! Polygamy is doomed! Mormondom must pack its traps and take up its line of march for a less virtuous, moral and enlightened land -- or its devotees must go into the divorce business wholesale and come down to one wife level with the rest of those afflicted with marriage!

Long ago the 'loyal' party, now controlling the Federal Government, declared slavery and polygamy to be twin relics of barbarism, to be done away at the first opportunity. Slavery has been attended to -- the right of property in negroes forever abolished in this country, and the meddling faction of fanatics, bigots, and despots have also made considerable progress in converting, by legal terrorism, the American people to the imbibing of cold water, and the banishment of liquors, vinous and malt, from stores, saloons and hotels. Therefore the next movement of Radicalism must be against the honorable Saints!

'On to Salt Lake City' is the cry of the progressives! Destruction to the man who clings to his numerous wives and refuses to obey the edict of the great governing power of the republic!

Ben. Wade -- perhaps we should say Benjamin Wade, acting Vice President of the United States -- so a Washington dispatch informs us, writing to a friend in Washington, says that he will introduce, the first day of the next session, a bill repealing the act organizing Utah as a Territory. Ben further decIares that the action of the Mormons in denouncing the Government as tyrannical and unjust must be punished by a prompt suppression of polygamy. Having abolished slavery, Senator Wade says the next great measure of the radical party is to abolish Mormonism!

We can imagine what a terrible commotion this news will create in the Kingdom of Brigham; in fancy behold the undaunted Polygers surrounded by the numerous wives and untold hosts of children preparing to contest with Radicalism, -- making ready to meet those who with impious hands would invade patriarchal rights and seek to destroy the cornerstone of Mormondom!

Go it, Rads -- don't back an inch, Mormons -- suppress polygamy, Ben. -- fight the audacious Gentiles and Rumpers, Brigham -- don't cave in, either of you -- and there will be some fun to chronicle by and by! You bet!

It will be a war of the radical party, to carry out the whole remaining 'moral idea' of that pure organization -- a sort of holy crusade -- a gathering together of the 'loyal' to extirpate the last remaining heresy against which radicalism levels its moral and physical artillery, and therefore conducted in a manner a little unusual with military men, thete will be no occasion for calling into requisition the regular army, and General Grant can be dispensed with. Ben. Wade will take command.

The first corps, or advanced portion of the grand army, will be composed of political parsons, sIang-whangers, bible-bangers, ministers of the Howe-Wendts-Merrill-Kalloch stripe, who for their peculiar sanctity occupy the post of honor to guide the hosts to victory, and to reclaim the Mormonesses from the paths of sin into which they have strayed, by the persuasive arts for which the ministerial shepherds of the North have become so well noted.

Following these pious veterans, a corps of niggers, 'the wards of the republic,' the black and lecherous swarm who, when white bravery failed to beat back rebellion, 'saved the life of the nation' and became, the priviledged class in the Union.

Then should come that noble corps of sneaks, cowards, thieves, assassins and fools who herd together in secret, and under the name of the 'Grand Army of the Republic' boast of the great deeds they will do in the conflict with Constitutional authority on behalf of the Rump Congress.

All the 'loyal' white niggers of the land, the tribe of mobbing loyalists and office-holding beggars, Loyal Leaguers, speculators in shoddy and other such wares, should form the fourth corps.

Ben. Butler bringing up the rear with a train of empty wagons in which to store the Mormon spoons and valuables.

Wouldn't such an exodus from the States be jolly for us, but unfortunate for the Mormons? Wouldn't every praying man, woman and child in the republic ask for a few such visitations and acompaniments upon and with the invading army as Job and David of old, called down upon their enemies! For pestilence, and famine, and sudden death to go with them on their way -- for the lightnings to scathe and blast them -- floods to impede their progress and drop them by thousands -- whirlwinds to beat and buffet them -- Indians to scalp, kill, torture, at their good pleasure, and at every opportunity -- and what all these agents of destruction spared, to become food for Mormon steel and powder? Yea, verily,

Go for Polyg., you nigger loving tribe of fanatics, just as soon as the Lord will let you -- a Mormon war would furnish a splendid termination to the radical career of blood, crime and folly -- a suitable ending for a rule of brutality, bigotry, and hate!

Sail in Ben., nener mind the impeaching business until the Mormon account is settled!"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, April 21, 1868.                     No. 249.


A correspondent of the New York World gives a rather innocent and rosy meaning to the Ku Klux organization. It originated in Middle Tennessee, where and when Brownlow held iron ruIe, but is rapidly spreading all over the South. The impelling causes of the organization of the K. K. K. are thus presented -- "History is full of instances where a people greatly oppressed, and with no present remedy, have had secret organizations arise among them to dispense a wild justice in those cases where the laws are powerIess to either protect or avenge."

The K. K. K. therefore may be considered as equivalent to Regulators, Vigilantes, Vehmgericht or Tribunal of the Bounds, and other organizntions of like character, ostensibly established to bring out the right triumphant, but probably none of them guiltless of shedding innocent blood, and all of them executing swift and secret judgment.

The assertion that "no man enters the order but 'a true man,' and a true man is one that hates a tyrant," may be in accordance with the facts, but most likely not, inasmuch as "true men" are very rare beings.

The mysterious operations of the Klan and the influence thereof are in some respects ludicrous, as will be seen by the following representation:

Wherever a petty tyrant, or a great one, oppresses the people, there the K. K. K. rears its head, and wherever there are soldiers' graves the order has a "Den." The idea put forth is that the dead Confederate rises at midnight and, forming into the Pale Brigade, rides forth to redress the wrongs inflicted on those for whom he died. Dire portents are said to be seen by night, mystic lights and cloudy forms, and squadrons that go charging by, all in skeleton forms, mounted on shadowy steeds that move with the speed of the whirlwind and without a sound. The negroes, superstitions at all times, given over to beliefs in Obi and conjuration, and the Evil Eye, are in huge perturbation at the K. K. K. This Cuff has met in his midnight rambles a man, and, falling into converse therewith, has suddenly heard his bones rattle or seen fiery lights in a fleshless head, and, of conrse, knowing this was Ku Klux, has fled. And then that Sambo, not to be outdone in trepidation or lying by Cuff, has had his hand shaken at his own cabin door, and found bress de Lor', skeleton fingers left within his palm. "Ku Klux!" but whispered after nightfall, is a sound to scare the Great Enfranchised into fits. Great throughout the South is now his fear. And whereas once he prowled about at all hours, haunting the Loyal League; and drinking in, poor, impressible, doomed barbarian, the murderous talk of incendiary reconstructionist agents, now he keeps close within doors after sundown. Mysterious placards appear in public places. Men are pointed out as a probable Grand Cyclops or a possible High White Death, and in the midst of all the superstition and surmise and joking, the fact appears that there is a Ku Klux Klan that is growing with the rapidity of a snowball rolled in the snow.

The views thus expressed appear to be very liberal to the Klan, and will certainly be taken as the views of a friend. General Grant appears to be of an entirely opposite opinion, as manifested by his recent order for the suppression of the K. K. K., an order far more easily issued than executed.

Note: Editor Stenhouse seems to have developed a habit for quoting exchange papers featuring articles about "Sambo." Under his editorship the Telegraph took a decidedly anti-Black position; though the editor was generally careful in publishing his own biased language. In once instance, at least, Stenhouse was caught in his racism -- by none other than the editor of the New York Herald, See "A Mormon Organ onChinese Immigration -- Poor Sambo!" in that paper's issue of July 7, 1869.



Vol. I.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, May 21, 1868.                    No. 11.

The construction of two sections, of about fifty miles each, of the Union Pacific Riilroad, have been let to parties in this city. The initial point of the work will be at Weber canyon, about thirty five miles north of this city. The work, we understand, is to be completed by the 1st ot November next.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, July 2, 1868.                     No. 310.


In a notice of the decease of President Kimball, the Omaha Herald of the 22nd uIt., has the following: --

Whatever peculiarities of faith may distinguish the Mormons from other classes of religionists, one thing is undisputed -- they have been the pioneers of the great American Basin, and as incessant workers and progressionists in the field, the garden, the factory, and in general industry, they will contmue to be looked after with more than ordinary interest by all who look to the empire of the West. As the deceased has ever been among the foremost of that laborious brotherhood in leading the way among the disciples, the writer supplies from memory a brief synopsis of his career.

The deceased attained to his sixty-seventh year on the 14th inst., and but from accident he might have lived for many years. He was a man of large stature, very temperate, and of exceedingly kind disposition. He was probably the most popular man in the community -- with Jews, Gentiles and Mormons.

He was born in the State of Vermont. and in his youth went to the State of New York. He was early left an orphan, and in his boyhood got more initiated into the industries of the field than into the mysteries of education. In addition to outdoor labor, he acquired the trade of a potter, to which he was always proud to allude.

At home in the mountains, he was a great worker. He carried on farming extensively, owned several gristmills, a woolen machine and a linseed oil mill. He has a very large family -- probably over fifty children. His first wife died less than a year ago, which has been a very heavy and constant afIliction to him, and something seemed to impress upon him that his own earthly career was of short duration. Up to five weeks ago he was in excellent health; then he was thrown from his buggy at Provo, in crossing a deep ditch, and severely stunned. He had apparentIy recovered from this, but two weeks ago he exhibited signs of feverishnes. He had a sudden atlack of apoplexy (paralysis) from which he has succumbed.

From private telegrams received here yesterday, we learn that the city of Salt Lake has, since the death of Mr. Kimball, been draped in mourning, flags were at half mast, business all suspended and the Theatre closed. Yesterday the New Tabernacle was crowded by mourners who attended the funeral services of this distinguished man. His death is probably the greatest affliction to the people of Utah since the death of their first

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, July 31, 1868.                     No. ?

SOLUTION OF THE MOMON PROBLEM: -- If our fellow citizens want to abolish polygamy, why don't they act like men and every one marry a woman and honor her and her children, and leave no extra women to be taken care of and made happy by other men? If polyamy will ever be abolished, that's the way to do it, and no honorable polygamist would complain of or offer any obstacle to such a solution of the Mormon question. But so long as some men will rail in their obvious duties to the women, other men have sufficient generosity and right feeling to do all they can to honorably supply the deficiency Nor can they be righteously blamed for so doing. On the contrary, honors ought to be heaped upon them, and they will.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, August 15, 1868.                     No. ?

ANOTHER MONSTER: -- We are told that one of the monsters now becoming so fashionable all over the country has been seen in Utah Lake. It will hardly do to make trout ponds until the reign of these monsters is over. No fear of them getting into Salt Lake.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, August 18, 1868.                    No. 102.

[Yesterday's Telegraph says] "No sensible man expects that the Mormons will stop and stoop to bandy words and filth with every miserable calumniator who, like a useless cur in the streets, makes it his business to 'yaffle' and snap at passers-by. There is one proper way to meet such human curs, to ignore their existence, so long as they do not bite. When they do that, dust is the most fitting thing that they should bite. In the mysterious dispensations of Providence it frequently happens that such is the course of events, and far be it from us to murmur and repine at the dispensations of Providence, for we are told that they work together for good."

To the foul spirit of the assassin coiled up in this paragraph from the Telegraph, we would not utter a word directly, did we not fear that reticence would be construed into cowardice by the dastard who made the threat; and, therefore, to avoid being misunderstood, we will say that we do not intend to be driven from this Territory by threats, but intend to remain at our post and exercise the freedom of the press in the columns of the Reporter to its fullest extent. We have made no threats, nor do we wish to drive any law-abiding person from here, nor will we be driven. We came here for business, and thousands of others will come here for the same purpose in a very short time. This is a hard, stubborn fact which will have to be recognized by all who crave seclusion, and they will have to govern themselves accordingly. This non-Mormon accession to the popultion will come from parts where espionage is a thing unknown, and where the freedom of speech and action knows no odious curtailment, and they will submit to no odious curtailments of their just rights here. If an attempt is made to hedge them round by violence, and drive them from the territory, such an attempt will be met by violence, and terrible will be the day of retribution for those who strike down an innocent man. And now a word with you, editor of the Telegraph. You are a cowardly whelp that might bite a man in the heel, but would not dare face him; and you would only dare to bite in the heel when you were sure you could get away before the man turned round. We don't know you personally, and don't want to. We base our estimate of you upon the dastardly paragraph under 'consideration,' and the article from which it was clipped.

Governor Stanford, President of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, arrived in this city last evening, accompanied by his brother. Both are in good health. The Governor, we understand, will remain here a few days and then go West, via the north end of the Lake.

General Dodge had not left the city at a late hour this afternoon, and we believe ho is still here.

David Fisher, a native of Scotland, engaged on the railroad, on the south side of Weber Canyon, three miles from its mouth, and east of Devil's Gate, while filling a wagon from a steep side hill, was caught by a landslide and killed.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, September 10, 1868.                    No. 125.

UTAH TYRANNY. --are informed that Brigham Young has given orders to Bishops throughout the Territory to cut off from the Mormon Church every member who deals at a Gentile store or purchases of an outsider. We have heard it stated by parties coming from the North that preaching upon that subject had been done at Ogden and other places. This is but a part of the plan arranged by Brigham and carried out by his subordinates, to place an effectual embargo upon the location of Gentile business men in this Territory; and which would be made a total prohibition, had they the power to enforce it. It has been the constant aim and object of the Mormon leaders to keep out Gentiles, and prevent them from selling in this Territory. To such an extent was this formerly carried that Mormons were even prohibited from renting houses to Gentiles; and several who dared to brave the displeasure of their rulers were considered as apostates. Lately owing to force of circumstances, the rigor of that rule has somewhat relaxed in this city, although the intolerant feeling toward Gentiles, upon the part of church authorities still exists in the country settlements of Utah. It seems to be cropping out with a determination if possible, to drive Gentile traders out of Utah. Preaching against the Gentiles is indulged in to a greater extent in the country settlements than would be considered prudent in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. Thus while matters are kept quiet at Mormon headquarters, to pull wool over the eyes of some, elsewhere the anathemas against outsiders and the government are as loud as ever.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, September 12, 1868.                    No. 127.

How the Mormons Do It.

We understand that a person in this city, having a couple of friends in England, whom he wished brought out with the emigration this year, deposited the sum required in the office of Brigbam Young, with the express understanding that it should be applied to pay the expenses of the persons named by the depositor. He is now informed that the money deposited by him, for the purpose mentioned, was appropriated to the use of other parties; and his friends were refused the benefit of it by the manager of the Mormon mission in England. We have heard it stated by other parties, after having been cajoled out of their money, have been served in the same way. Some people burn their fingers repeatedly before they learn to let fire alone.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. I.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, October 29, 1868.                    No. 174.

A burly Brighamite, whose name indicates more pluck than his nature carries out, proposed a few days ago to "bet $500 that the Reporter office would be cleaned out before spring and the Mormons would do it." We will wager $500 that if this office is destroyed before another spring the "bulwarks of Zion" will be leveled to the ground, if it takes a gallon of blood for every letter in this paper and a life for every brick in these walls.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, February 25, 1869.                     No. ?

The coming summer will be one of the most noteworthy in the history of the Great Basin, as it will witness the completion of the great railroad that consumates the spanning of the continent and binds the two slopes together in far more intimate relationship than heretofore. With the conclusion of the construction of the railroad will come a host of travellers of all kinds, and they will continue to come. Commerce will flourish in an unwonted degree, and population will increase much more rapidly than it has been wont. Mormonum will rise into greater notice and respect, because it possesses the elements which serve and eventually command respect. Work and pay will be abundant, and there will be the beginning of a more regular and lees fluctuating market for produce aid field for reasonable compensating labor than have been common in this territory. If the Central Pacific Railroad shall continue southward and eastward there will be an abundance of railroad work all through our valleys, and the whole length of the Territory will become one of the great highways of the world. ln times past Mormonism dwelt and grew in the remote interior of the continent, but that time is no more. The railroad brings up this Territory into prominent and central and close relation to the whole country, and especially to the vast Rocky Mountain region. This must be an evidence that the country and the world are about to accord to the Mormons the consideration of equal humanity, what has hardly been the case thus far.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Monday, March 1, 1869.                        No. ?

The track of the Union Pacific Railroad made its advent into this valley last evening, and was laid, when our informant left, to a point some one and a half miles west of Weber Canyon. Grading between the mouth of Weber and Ogden was all completed on Friday night last, and a temporary track had been constructed across the land-slide on the contract of J. W. Young. The side-track or switch at Taylor's mill was also completed on Saturday last. With a continuance of the present glorious weather, there is no reason why the track should not be completed to Ogden by the middle of this week. During the temporary lull of track-laying, caused by the incompletion of the grade at Slate Point, in Weber Canyon, the railroad company were enabled to store up a large quantity of track-laying material, and it was extremely fortunate that this reservation for a snowy day was accomplished; because, with the present blockade, it is hard to say when more material can be brought from the east. Whether the material on hand is sufficient to complete the track to Ogden or not, we cannot say; but hopes are entertained that it will be, and that this week will see the rails laid to Ogden the great railroad city of the future.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                             Corinne, U. T., Friday, March 5, 1869.                            No. 92.


We make a lengthy extract to-day from the Montana Post, which contains many good ideas on the Utah question, but shows in one or two points that the same several mistake prevails everywhere out of Utah. Why is it that the outside world will persist in saying that polygamy is the only great evil of Mormonism! Perhaps the other evils grow largely out of that, but there are a dozen such that equally demand reform. Mormonism was an unmitigated evil long before polygamy was instituted; the priests ruled the mass by fraud and imposture, while their fanaticism made them a constant danger to all their neighbors. Note but a few of these evils: Church tyranny is a constant menace and plague to all who have dealing with the people; their law is simply wrong reduced to a written system; their mode of voting and arranging Territorial Government is calculated to, and does, produce the worst species of political espionage, and their boasted liberty simply means liberty to think and vote as the Hierarchy dictate. As Captain Burton says of them -- "They are thus allowed the harmless privilege of voting without any danger from the evils that result from universal suffrage." Twice every year, in their Conference, Brigham Young is proposed and voted for as President of the Church but suppose any Mormon should dare to vote against him, he would be hustled out of the Tabernacle so quick it would cure him of heresy for the rest of his life, and if that life did not turn out to be rather short, he might consider himself in "big luck." Can any stretch of the imagination entitle this liberty or republicanism? Popular ignorance is fostered by the Hierarchy, because it is their best support; and as to disloyalty, it is scarcely denied. Hatred to the American people is avowed every day on the streets; it is meat and drink for them to prophesy evil to the country, and three-fourths of the common saints, if we may judge from their talk, believe that in the States every other man is a rogue and every woman a prostitute.

As to the social evils growing out of polygamy, incest for example, it is not even denied, it is rather advocated. "We bring down this charge fair and square to the Mormon papers and speakers and dare them to the proof. And to put the matter fairly in issue, we will not argue, but ask these questions:

1. Are there not many instances in this Territory where a man is married to the mother and one, two or three daughters?

2. Are there not several men here, each of whom is married to two or three sisters?

3. Did not one of the foremost men of the Church many a widow, and then get her oldest son sent on a mission and marry that son's wife while he was gone? His stepson's wife?

4. Did not a well known individual in this city marry his half-sister, with the consent of Brigham Young, and live with her as his wife several years

5. Has not Brigham Young openly justified such marriage in the pulpit, saving "the time might come when brothers would marry their own sisters in order to raise up a pure priesthood?"

6. Did he, or did he not, make substantially the same statement to Hepworth Dixon, as set forth in the latter's work on this country, adding, however, that he "kept that doctrine to himself just now -- it was too strong doctrine for the people?"

7. Have not men here married their daughters-in-law, directly contrary to God's word as laid down in Deuteronomy xxvii?

8. Has not the President of the "stake" at Brigham City two of his brother's daughters for wives?

These are a few of the questions to be answered. If they are "slanderous" it will be easy to show it. If denied, we will proceed to offer some proofs.

(From the Montana Post.)

...[The New York World] says, "with the Mormons, polygamy is religion," and again, "its existence is not in opposition to Divine law." The first assertion is untrue, and if the latter is true the Book of Mormon, which all Mormons believe of Divine origin, is a swindle, notwithstanding Mormon confidence in the integrity of Joseph Smith, of whom sixty of the most respectable citizens of the community wherein they resided testified, in 1833, that "the Smith family were immoral, false and fraudulent characters, and Joseph was the worst of them." That Book is accepted as the Bible of Mormonism and the cornerstone of the religion. To show polygamy is not part of it, we quote from it...

It was not until 1838, when Josepg Smith became mixed up in intrigues and adulteries, for which he should have been penitentiaried, that he publicly got over "delighting in the chastity of women," and claimed a revelation to let him out of his troubles. The public scandal created thereby was combatted by a card from the recognized leaders of the Church in 1845, published broadcast, and asserting that "one man should have but one wife and one woman husband." And it was not until Brigham had his people in the remote west in 1852, that polygamy was claimed as a revelation. If "polygamy is religion" with the Mormons, they managed to get along without religion for a good while, and must have a remarkable faculty of interpreting their Bible. The impression in the West is, it is the nearest approximation to beastiality that humanity is capable of, and the monogamist who approves or excuses it is no better than those who, having opportunity, practice it. We accord the Mormon masses compulsory industry, temperance and ignorant credulity; the leaders crafty, cunning, nerve and success; but the spontaneous "moralities" that will flourish steeped in the sensuousness of concubinage, have a taint in every fibre, that only emit fragrance to such places as a charnel house, the Five Points, or nostrils that minister delights to a badly diseased brain. The "territories" would not deprive the World of its pleasant reveries.

Note 1: Editor J. H. Beadle makes a mistake in referring to the incestuous LDS official in Brigham City as "the President of the stake." He was evidently citing the example of High Priest Samuel Smith, who was one of Apostle Snow's Counselors in that LDS stake. Beadle made a complementary mistake in his 1870 Life in Utah, where he said: "...the marriage of uncle and niece has occurred often enough to establish it as a Mormon custom. Bishop Smith, of Brigham City, numbers two of his own brothers daughters among the inmates of his harem, "sealed" to him by Brigham Young, with a full knowledge of the relationship."

Note 2: Jessie L. Embry explains the situation Mr. Beadle was attempting to communicate, in her 1992 Journal of Mormon History paper, "Incest and Mormon Polygamy" -- "Beadle is referring to Samuel Smith, Brigham City mayor, a probate judge, and a counselor to Lorenzo Snow, then stake president. Of his five wives, two were sisters (Sarah and Frances Ann Ingram) and the last two were his nieces, Jenetta Maria and Caroline Smith, daughters of Samuel's brother George."

Note 3: Mr. Beadle's Mormon readers did not take kindly to his condemnation of their occasional lapses into incest. Years later Apostle Abraham H. Cannon, noted that President Lorenzo Snow had prophesied that he "would live to see the time when brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such an union was due entirely to prejudice and the offspring of such union would be healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of Pres. Young when alive, for Bro. S. talked to him freely on this matter." If Mormon leaders like Young and Snow preached such doctrines in private, it is no wonder that the same Lorenzo Snow would approve of his counsellor taking nieces into his "harem." However, in 1869, divulgence of such LDS "family matters" was not the business of a Gentile editor, and one of Samuel Smith's sons eventually demonstrated that fact to Beadle in a life-threatening assault -- see the Reporter of Nov. 2, 1869.



Vol. II.                             Corinne,  U. T., Saturday, April 10, 1869.                            No. 128.

Brigham Young expressed himself very frankly as well as forcibly concerning the United States Government, in his last sermon before the Mormon conference, recently held in Salt Lake City. He first paid his respects to former administrations in language, the authenticity of which is positively guaranteed:

Whom did they send here for officers? The vilest scalawags that could be raked out of hell; the d___dest set of rascals they could pick up, who did us all the harm they could. But we have grown in spite of them; we ask no odds of them, and if these d___d low-lived fellows that are now crowding in here give us any trouble, we will rise up and put every one of them right out of the territory! We will make them leave; we won't have such a d___d set among us! There was old Drake, the d___dest old rascal in the country, that said he "loved to d__n the Mormons; he'd get up at midnight and walk ten miles over thistles to d__n them" and "he'd d___n any man that wouldn't d___n them... and I say, God d__n him, and God will d__n him, and all such scalawags as they send out here. And these men are the representatives of Congress and of the President. Who goes into the White House in these days? A gambler and a drunkard. And the Vice President is the same. And no man can get either office unless he _is_ a gambler or a drunkard or a thief. And who goes to Congress? You may hunt clear through the Senate and the House, and if you can find any men that are not liars, thieves, wheremongers, gamblers, and drunkards, I tell you they are mighty few, for no other kind of men can get in there!

Now I suppose some of their reporters will set down what I say and publish it, (fixing his eye savagely on a gentleman with book and pencil.) Set it down and publish it as far and wide as you please. But don't say I abused the Government. I am only abusing these scalawags that now manage the Government; and I tell you the whole thing is as rotten as hell. They've hammered and hammered at the Constitution till there's nothing left of it, and the whole country is going to the devil.

They sent an army here to destroy the saints. And when that army got to Fort Bridger I told them to stand off. I sent word to the Colonel: "That land where you are is mine; I bought it, and paid my money for it; but you can stay there. But if you attempt to encroach any further upon us, we'll kill you all!" The Colonel said if I caused one drop of blood to bashed, there would be a million shed in return. I told him to keep off, to go where he would, but not to come on us. And they did keep off; and they didn't hurt anybody; no, nor they never will be able to hurt anybody, as long as the saints are united. They came and they went, as so many others have come and went, and now if these Gentiles give us any more trouble we'll drive them every one right out of the country. We won't be bothered with them. The d__d scalawags can't hurt us as long as we're united. We defy them all.

Now talk about plurality of wives and say it is such a bad thing and some of them want our women to vote and vote it down. And some of them have said to me, 'How many wives have you got?' Why, brethren, I cannot really say. I never trouble myself to think about it. I've got a good many women one place or another; I guess I have got a dozen or fifteen that I take care of and support; and some day I will take the trouble to count them all up, so I can tell the world just how many I've got. I have one wife and many women. And I take care of them and their children. But these poor wretches in Washington that are talking about me have children that they won't even acknowledge. They have children all around, and if one of the mothers was to come and show one of them his child he'd deny it. He wouldn't own his own his own child. And I say God d___n the man that does such a thing; and God will damn him too. Yes, and He'll damn the nation that permits it. Now you'll say I oughtn't to swear about this. But I say to them: Give up your women, and then we'll talk about giving up our plurality of wives. So much for that. But here's an evil right among the Saints. Some of these young women are so foolish as to say they must go to the Gentiles to get husbands. And some of these young men talk as if they wouldn't marry till they can have a fine house, and piano for their wives to finger, and all that sort of thing. Now, I want you young women to go to them and tell them you are willing to marry without these things, and to go to work and help them get a living. But the young men are lazy dogs, and are full of excuses.

Now, I say for all the saints to stick together and be united, and all the d___d scalawags in the country can't hurt us. We defy them all! and we ask no odds of the Government."

That every word was spoken as here published, we have the most positive proof. If such things are spoken in public, what must be their utterances in secret council? If such are their open expressions, what must their thoughts and feelings be?

Note: This was evidently the first issue of the Reporter issued in Corinne. The actual printing masy have been done in Salt Lake City, as Editor J. H. Beadle was closing up his shop there.



Vol. II.                     Corinne, U. T, Wednesday, May 12, 1869.                     No. 160.

[After attending the driving of the golden spike, editor J. H. Beadle wrote that] it is to be regretted that no arrangements were made for surrounding the work with a line of some sort, in which case all might have witnessed the work without difficulty. As it was, the crowd pushed upon the workmen so closely that less than twenty persons saw the affair entirely, while none of the reporters were able to hear all that was said.... Ceremony was then at an end, and general hilarity took place. The western train soon set out for Sacramento, but that of the Union Pacific remained on the ground till evening, presenting a scene of merriment in which Officers, Directors, Track Superintendents and Editors joined with the utmost enthusiasm.... At a late hour the excursionists returned to Corinne...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne, U. T., May ?, 1869.                            No. ?

A certain number, said to be twelve, of the most desperate characters in the church, were selected from among the Danites to commit such assassinations as might be found necessary by the prophet for the "welfare" and "advancement" of his holy cause. The murder of Governor Boggs, and many others, was planned in the secret conclaves of the Danites, and executed by the chosen "twelve." The attempt to murder Governor Boggs fortunately failed, and at least one of the would-be murderers is now known to live in Utah. Both of these secret societies now exist in Salt Lake City. The discipline is more perfect under Brigham Young than under Joe Smith, and consequently the aims more sure, the objects more certainly accomplished. No sooner does a Gentile enter Salt Lake City than he is placed under the surveillance of the secret police. A member of the Danite organization is deputed to watch him from the time he comes until he leaves. His habits, words and careless expressions of opinion are noted and reported, that the Mormon authorities may determine whether he is a friend, a secret enemy, or an open and avowed opposer of Mormon iniquity. The day has been when expression of opinions inimical to the Mormon leaders would result in assassination to the bold offender, and sometimes even the mere suspicion that a Gentile was opposed to Mormon rule would produce such a result.

The true secret of Brigham's great success in controlling the discordant elements of which his church is composed is due to fears of the Danites. The Mormons know that certain death by assassination awaits a violation of their oaths, and that although the day of their doom may be postponed, it is sure to come with the opportunity. It is true that many apostates have escaped assassination, but this was owing to the fact that they used subterfuge to place themselves beyond Brigham's power, but even these instances are not wanting of Danites having followed apostates into different cities of the United States, hoping for a favorable opportunity to assassinate. Others escape, because for a time it is deemed inexpedient to kill them. Recent mysterious deaths of Gentiles near Salt Lake City have for a short time excited comment, but finally they have been forgotten. No coroner's inquests have investigated facts and circumstances, and no inquiry has been made by the authorities into the cause of their deaths. But such a system cannot be perpetuated. The Government must, sooner or later, throw her protecting banner over her citizens in Utah, and not allow it to be scoffed at and spit on by a vile and lecherous priesthood.
"Of that saintly, murderous brood,
    To carnage and the Koran given,
Who think through unbelievers' blood
    Lies the directest path to Heaven.

Note: This article evidently appeared in the Reporter in mid-May, or a little earlier. The exact date has yet to be verified.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, U. T.,  Wednesday, June 23, 1869.                   No. 20.

MISS ANNA DICKENSON. -- This lady who has a world-wide reputation as a lecturer on Women's Rights, Education, &c., paid us a visit this morning in compay with her brother, the Rev. J. Dickinson, and Alderman Samuel W. Richards. Miss Dickinson and her brother arrived in this city with the Congressional Committee on Saturday evening, and would have proceeded with them to the Pacific coast, but being desirous of seeing more of Salt Lake City and its people than was possible during the very brief stay of the Committee, they determined to remain here two or three days longer, after which they will proceed westward. Miss Dickinson is thoroughly cosmopolitan in her manner and upon conversing with her one cannot help believing that she is just the woman to advocate any cause on the side of which her sympathies and sense of right are enlisted.

Note: This item was initially published in the Semi-Weekly Deseret News of June 21, 1869. Dickinson's slightly extended stop-over in Salt Lake City allowed her sufficient time to conduct some interviews and to attend Sunday morning LDS preaching services in the Tabernacle, the results of which were published in the San Francisco Chronicle of Sept. 7, 1869. See the News of Sept. 16, 1869 for a less approving estimation of Miss Dickinson's abilities and motivations, following Editor George Q. Cannon's perusal of her San Francisco lecture comments.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 23.                   Salt Lake City, U. T.,  Wednesday, July 14, 1869.                   Vol. XVIII.

We are indebted to President George A. Smith for the following letter:

PALMYRA, June 29th, 1869.        
Geo. A. Smith: -- Dear Brother, -- I am now seated on the roots of the tree from under whose branches, I believe, the plates were taken containing the records of the "Book of Mormon." My business having called me to Utica, on my returnI determined to pass the Sabbath in this place and reconnoiter "Cumorah's Hill." This tree stands on the northeast of a sharp ridge or hill, which runs almost directly north and south, and is elevated some 100 feet above the surrounding country, while around its base is stretched out a landscape of beauty unsurpassed. As far as the eye can reach, lie beautiful farms covered with grain and grass, the earth groaning under its burden; beautiful farm houses dot the landscape. As you pass to the south on this ridge it widens out into a great plateau of beautiful sugar maple, and is covered with a heavy growth of white clover verdure as soft as down. Further to the south lies the village of Manchester, almost smothered with shade trees; the houses are large, stately, and well built and beautifully painted. The north points of the hills are covered with a good crop of wheat. At the foot of the hill stands a small, neat-looking white house, flanked by a large orchard of apple trees, where a man named Robinson now lives. A little further north and on the Canandaigua road stands the biggest old willow tree that I ever saw. Its trunk is over 4 feet through, and its branches reach 50 feet each way from the trunk of the tree.

Here in this vicinity I have spent some three or four hours in reflection and meditation, realizing that I was in the immediate vicinity of the most sacred and valuable treasure that this earth contains; and also that I was treading the ground that Joseph had trod, and where he had walked and talked with angels, who still keep vigil here and guard these sacred treasures. Oh, how sweet were these reflections and meditations!

On my return to the hotel it had got bruited about that there was a "Mormon" in town, and on my expressing a desire to see Mr. Pomeroy Tucker and Mr. J. H. Gilbert, the men who assisted in publishing the "Book of Mormon." Mr. Cram, the landlord with whom I was stopping, kindly offered to introduce me. Finding him at the Collector's office near the canal, we soon engaged in conversation and the house was soon nearly full, when I spent some two hours answering questions and bearing my testimony to the truth, apparently very much to the satisfaction of those present. There arose a great desire amongst them to hear me preach, which I was obliged to decline on account of business that I could not delay. If I had known in the morning that such was their wish I should have tried to preach to them. A spirit of general inquiry seems to be waking up in the minds of the people grown here in relation to the "Mormons" and "Mormonism," and an intense desire seems to pervade all classes here to hear and know more about, us, and a better feeling seem to obtain a feeling of respect instead of contempt. I could not wish to be more kindly treated than I have been since I have been down here.
Your brother in the Gospel,            

Note: From the text of his letter to LDS Historian George A. Smith, it does not appear that Elder Van Valkenberg's brief interview session with Pomeroy Tucker and Major Gilbert resulted in anything significant enough to report. In April of 1872 William P. Nottingham visited Palmyra on behalf of George A. Smith, but he evidently obtained no useful information from the aged Gilbert. Both Tucker and Grandin were deceased by that time. See also the Palmyra Courier's issues of June 26th and July 2, 1869 for additional mentions of Van Valkenberg's Palmyra visit. The impressions he left with the local population, regarding Mormonism and its adherents, probably were not so positive as the visitor attempted to portray in his letter to Apostle Smith. Smith's implicit endorsement of the notion that the golden plates and other Nephite artifacts remained buried in "Cumorah's Hill" presents an interesting historical sidenote. Evidence for that apparent belief might be cross-checked with the preserved statements of other members of the extended Joseph Smith family.



Vol. ?                               Corinne, U. T., Saturday, July 24, 1869.                               No. ?


The Sons of Joseph Smith Propose to Desestablish
Brigham's Pet Institution.

A few days ago we mentioned the fact that William Alexander and David Hyrum, the younger sons of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, were on their way to Salt Lake City to set up the standard of the reorganized or anti-polygamy church. A singular interest attaches to the name of David Hyrum. A few months before Joseph's death he stated that "the man was not born who was to lead this people, but of Emma Smith should be born a soon who would succeed in the Presidency after a season of disturbance." Joseph Smith was killed June 27, 1844, and the son, named from his father's direction David Hyrum, was born at the Mansion House, in Nauvoo, on the 17th of the succeeding November. This prophecy is secretly dear to thousands of Mormons who are weary of the tyranny of Brigham Young, and yet hold to their faith in Joseph Smith. A few days ago the young men reached Salt Lake City, and soon called upon Brigham Young, and announced their intention to organize their church at once, asking permission to defend their faith in the Tabernacle, purposing to argue with the Brighamites from the original Mormon books.

We have but scant reports of the interview, but it is said to have been very warm. Brigham was very angry at their presumption, and denied them the use of the Tabernacle, sending word at the same time to the Bishops to shut them out of the ward meeting houses. The brothers, at one point of the conversation, denied that their father ever practiced polygamy, citing their mother's testimony, to which Brigham retorted that their mother "was a liar, and had been proven a thief," with much more of the sort. Be it remembered that the lady thus spoken of is the Electa Cyria, or "Elect Lady of God," in Mormon theology, who was the glory of their earlier history. Like Pope Pagan, of the Pilgrim's Progress, Brigham doubtless gnaws his nails in vain rage that he cannot, as in former times, let loose the vengeance of the Nauvoo Legion upon these sectarians, and crush the rebellion in blood. If his power were now equal to his feelings we should have repeated the story of the Morrisites, when a high civil functionary of Utah led the legion in broad daylight to slaughter men and women who had surrendered themselves prisoners. But nothing more than petty persecutions will be attempted at this late day, and we earnestly hope the young men will succeed in their enterprise. Of their religious principles as opposed to Brighamism we know but little, but recognize in them tolerant men, good citizens and loyal subjects of the United States.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Sunday, August 8, 1869.                             No. ?

[Schuyler Colfax] is making the trip [to Utah] in as much quiet as possible, that he may be the better able able to view and appreciate the natural grandeur of scenery, and examine the line of the two Pacific roads. But few persons were aware that the party were on board the train, and, in consequence, no public demonstration was made [upon his arrival here]...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Sunday,  August 15, 1869.                             No. ?

THE SON OF PROMISE -- Those of liberal sentiment -- and we hope no others are among our readers -- will peruse with curious interest the communication of David Hyrum Smith published in another column. The question will at once arise: How is it that "the son of promise," the successor and son of the Prophet, should use the Reporter as a medium to reach the public? Be it known that while no people talk so incessantly of "persecution" as the Brighamites of Utah, none are so bitterly intolerant and proscriptive to the extent of their power... The sons of the Prophet are forbidden a hearing by the man who claims to be his successor, and though daily maligned and their mother villified by the men who profess their father's faith, they are denied space to reply in the columns of the Mormon papers... The young Smiths are driven to a Gentile paper to get a hearing... We war against no man's religion; to us Mormonism is nothing; we contend only against the theocratic despotism set up by Brigham Young..."

[Reconstructed text: A meeting was held in Salt Lake City on Aug. 8th... Joseph F. Smith, son of "Hiram the Martyr," and cousins of his opponents, David and Alexander Smith, sought to prove in a public meeting that the original Joe Smith actually received a revelation establishing polygamy, and that both he and Hiram his brother, practiced polygamy secretly, and in the face of their positive denials contained in The Times and Seasons. The first witness introduced to the congregation by Joseph F. Smith was "Elder Howard Coray." All who have read Mary Ettie V. Smith's book, Fifteen Years Among the Mormons, will at once recognize this name as that of the "older brother Howard," often mentioned by her. His narrative was somewhat amusing, but it ended in leaving no other impressions upon the mind than that of disgust at its flippancy and pity for the weakness of mind which it betrayed. By way of introduction, he stated that he was Joseph Smith's clerk for many years and very familiar with him. He continued: "In fact I rastled with him -- no, I didn't exactly rastle with him, for he was a big man and I am a very little man; but he played with me and threw me and broke my leg." But wonderful to relate, the "prophet" set Coray's leg, laid hands upon him, blessed him and the leg became well amd strong in three weeks. In reference to polygamy, he stated that about the time his leg was broken and prophetically healed, his wife had a dream, in which "Brother Thompson sealed upon her the five points of fellowship;" that she told part of her dream to Hyrum Smith, but felt a delicacy about telling it all; and that Hyrum Smith then explained to Coray and his wife the entire revelation authorizing polygamy, received but a few days before. He further said that Hyrum Smith's sister-in-law soon after moved to Hyrum's house, and another sister had her house built alongside of Hyrum's, so there was a passage to his bedroom -- and anybody might see what that was for. It must have occurred to the congregation that there was hardly need of a revelation to enable them to see what that was for.]

Brother Coray then gave way for the regular speaker, Joseph F. Smith. He is my favorite among the preachers; but I never remember having him so excited and nervous as he was on this occasion, and well he might be, for the case was one to try the son of Hyrum Smith, the nephew of Joseph, and the cousin of young David. He had a heavy task to perform. Be it remembered that the date of this pretended revelation in favor of Polygamy is as early as July 12, 1843, but that it was never published until September, 1852; that in February, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith published a card in the Times and Seasons, at Nauvoo, denying that they ever received any such revelation; that in April, 1844, Hyrum Smith made an address to the elders starting on a mission, in which he emphatically denied the doctrine and forbade their preaching it; that about the same time he wrote a letter to the mission in Lapeer county, Michigan, again denying that such was a doctrine of the Church, and that all these things were published in the Church paper, and are not denied by the Brighamites; and it will be plain that if the latter prove polygamy did then exist, they only prove Joseph and Hyrum to be most inveterate liars.

These denials have been made much of by the sons of Joseph, and in view of these facts, in presence of a large and excited audience, Joseph F. stood up to prove his own father a liar! And I must add that he succeeded in doing it. He began by announcing that many would run after the young Smiths simply because they were the sons of Joseph, who would treat with contempt any other person who preached the same doctrine. In view of this fact, it has been determined to hold a series of meetings in this and other words, to answer the statements of David Hyrum, and before they were through the Brighamites purposed to present testimony to convince any honorable man who heard it and damn any one who rejected it.

He stated that he had in his possession, and would present the affidavits of twelve women, now living, that they were the spiritual wives of Joseph Smith, and so continued to the time of his death; that he had the evidence of hundreds of men who had been taught the doctrine of Joseph and Hyrum, and that he knew to a certainty that his father, Hyrum Smith, had two other women while his mother was still alive. This seemed proof enough, but Joseph F. was powerfully wrought up, as well as the audience, and he went on at, some length in an interesting account of affairs at Nauvoo: "I cannot," said he, "help the position this places my father and Joseph in as to their denials. I only know these facts. But everybody knows the people were then not prepared for these things, and it was necessary to be cautious. They were in the midst of their enemies, and in a State where this doctrine would have sent them to the penitentiary. The brethren were not free as they are here; the Devil was raging about Nauvoo, and there were the traitors on every hand; yes, right in their councils, the right-hand man of the Prophet, one Marks, was a traitor of the blackest dye. And when Joseph and Hyrum left Nauvoo [while the mob was after them, and crossed into Iowa], intending to come to the Rocky Mountains and pick out a refuge for the people, as hundreds of persons now in this city know their intention was, that man Marks and Emma Smith joined in writing them a letter, in which they called them cowards, unfaithful shepherds, who had left the sheep in danger and fled. And when Joseph read that letter his great heart was overcome, and he said: -- 'If that is all my best friends care for my life, then I don't care for it;' and he and Hyrum came back and gave themselves up, and were taken to Carthage and murdered. And the blame rests upon that woman, their mother, Emma Smith. This is hard, but I want these men to know that if they came here to raise their party we will give them facts, and some of these facts will cut; and it they don't want them told, let them go away and keep their mouths shut. And I say in plain fact, that the blood of Joseph and Hyrum is upon the souls of Marks and Emma Smith, and there it will remain until burned out by the fires of hell!"

By this time the excitement of the audience was intense, and the suppressed breathing of the audience showed how deeply they were wrought upon by this recital. He continued his recital of facts in a very effective manner, and succeeded in making the occasion one of great interest to me from its historical value. No people talk so earnestly of [the] "one true Church" as the Mormons, and no people are so divided in so short a time. The original Mormon Church has, from time to time, split into twenty-four sects, of which about half a dozen survive. When they left Nauvoo, about 20,000 followed "the Twelve," and afterwards united under Brigham; Sidney Rigdon led a large party of the most wealthy to Amity [sic - Antrim?], Pennsylvania, where he still resides, while his church has vanished; Strang took a still larger body to Wisconsin; White led a colony to Texas; the Cutlerites went somewhere else, while those who went with Sam Brannan to San Francisco mostly apostatized or went crazy, the only alternative left.

The interest awakened by this late movement here is wonderful: the mass of the Mormons are fully impressed with the idea that they are on the eve of a great change; and many of them begin to have visions and dreams presaging something grandly mysterious, though they hardly know as yet what it is. It has been a settled point in the Mormon creed for years that there must be a great split in the Church before the final gathering, and the impression is general here that this is the "big split."

After all the rubbish is cleared away, the road will be open for the faithful to go back to Jackson County, Mo., where all the Saints will gather, with the property of the Gentiles who have been destroyed; the surviving Gentiles will be servants and their wives concubines to the faithful, while the latter will be bully boys and their goose will hang high in New Jerusalem. And can the human mind be made to believe such stuff! If you doubt it, come and talk with a few of these lop-eared Welsh and Danes, who are already rejoicing in anticipation of the day when such as we shall black their boots, and our most refined ladies shall be subjected to their lascivious passions. This is Mormonism as a religion, when stripped of a few flowers of poesy thrown over it by Parley P. Pratt and others.

Salt Lake City, August 13, 1869.      
Editor Reporter Dear Sir: You have kindly granted us space in your columns, and as channels through which we might have reached the people that might be friendly to us are closed, we gladly avail ourselves of your goodness. My brother, Alexander, being otherwise occupied, the representation of our mission and views, principles, and idea devolves upon myself.

As a beginning I was informed lately that, having heard both sides, I had become sick of "Josephitism." This is the greatest city for rumors that ever I have visited, though it were a useless task to contradict or attempt to notice one half of them; yet this one will serve as a text to what I may pen. "My free, willing, independent, unfaltering service, faith, countenance, aid, and influence, I give to my brother Joseph, because, in the first place my knowledge of him finds him a man every way worthy such trust. Of great strngth of mind, clearness of judgment, goodness, and purity of heart, remarkable for integrity, honesty, and charitableness, all who know him must own that his character is of sterling worth. Without such qualifications no man should be upheld in the spiritual standing that he occupies even had he once been called of Christ himself. Another reason is, that in reading the books given us of God through the person of my father, of loving memory and respected position, over whose lowly grave I have prayed for the light that fadeth not, I find recorded, speaking of Joseph Smith, the Martyr -- "for this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him, and as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph, in thee and in thy seed shall the kindreds of the earth be blessed" -- Book of Covenants, section 103, paragraph 18.

The third reason is, that I have been credibly informed by many good persons, witness to the fact, some in this City of Saints, that in accordance with the above my father did anoint, appoint, and dedicate, by laying on of hands, his eldest son "head of his posterity" to stand in his place in God's own time as President and Prophet to the church. Again the spirit of God bears witness with my spirit to the words of truth, the principles of virtue and holiness that I have heard him expound, and when "thus saith the Lord" emanated from him my soul bears testimony with God's Spirit that he stands in the office whereunto God has called him.

Now, my friends and brethren, I have given you four sound reasons why I should stand hand in hand with my two brothers and give them all the support my unworthiness will admit; so with your patience I will give some of the reasons that many have endeavored to make me swallow to make me sick of "Josephitism," but, sir, my pipes are too small for such sized doses, and as to "Josephitism" I am sound as silver, spry as a bird, and thankful as I well may be.

They say to me, "My dear young friend, your father taught polygamy and practiced it, and I know it." Well, then in the name of all consistency, why did he in the Times and Seasons, a periodical of the church in his day, under date February 1, 1844, just prior to his death, pronounce it a "false and corrupt doctrine," and why did his brother, Hyrum Smith, in the same volume 5, page 475, declare that "no such doctrine was taught here, (Nauvoo) neither is there any such thing practiced here." This was in March, 1844, and the summer following he was killed. "Why, my dear young man, his life was in danger, and he was justifiable in telling a lie that he might save it." Christ says: "Break not my commandments for to save your lives." -- Matthew 16:27. In order to get me to swallow polygamy, you roll up another dose nearly as bad, about his lying; neither will down. Here is my father's testimony against yours; I believe his in preference to yours, with all due deference to yourself, so great is my respect and love for my father. Pluck away from him the mantle of truthfulness and he becomes a follower of the father of all lies.

Furthermore, my father labored day after day, persecuted, hated and despised, to bring before men, the Book of Mormon, now you that love polygamy and have read that work, know as well as I do, that it condemns polygamy time and again, utterly. Now, I believe that work, my father's work, consequently in harmony with its great truths, I can not believe in polygamy. Also the Book of Covenants, in more places than one, puts the thing utterly down. But just hear what they next advance to sicken me of "Josephitism." We live by the living oracles; those books were for time past and are of no value now -- of no more value than the "ashes of a rye straw." See with what consistency they profess to teach me to respect my father, and yet ask me in the next breath to throw aside his valuable, dear bought, blood-sealed works, and testimony, for a thing utterly contrary to them in letter in spirit that they have given to the world long after he slumbers with the silent dead. I am sick. but not of Christ's gospel or sacred books, that I should throw them away for that which is contrary and evil; but sick of seeing this people, many, many of them go about with that within they dare not declare, fearing for the sake of their bread and butter to speak the convictions of their souls, yielding to the stream of oppression, because they dare not stand upon their feet and be men free in the gospel and beneath the flag of our blessed land. Oh! Saints of God, arise, assert your rights; be men and women, free and pure; cease to bow submissively to the arm of flesh and the doctrine and commandments of men; open the word of God and read the doom of evil; shake the harp of Zion until its harmonies shall drive away the spirit of bondage for ever.

Note: The wording of the second paragraph of the first news item above is uncertain. It is taken from a later report published in the San Francisco Bulletin of Sept. 1, 1869 and may not represent accurately John H. Beadle's editorial in the Reporter. The text will be corrected at a future date.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Tuesday,  August 24?, 1869.                             No. ?

The special excitement in Salt Lake City, consequent on the mission of the young Smiths, seems to have quieted down and given place to a more quiet and argumentative discussion on the merits of the case. This is one of those singular controversies in which both parties "know they are right," and can prove it too. As far as human testimony can prove anything, it can be proved beyond a doubt that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, practised polygamy, while, with still more certainty, both by human testimony and documentary evidence, it can be proved that he constantly and bitterly denied it, that he "silenced" all the Elders who preached it, and that nearly the last day of his life he pronounced it a false and damnable doctrine. Sixteen women swore most positively, and allowed their affidavits to be published in the Nauvoo Expositor, that Joseph Smith had made proposals to them to become his concubines, and twelve women, now in Salt Lake City, subscribe to affidavits that they were the spiritual wives of Joseph Smith, and lived with him as such. It were difficult to prove a case more plainly. When the Expositor came out Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, Dr. Bernhisel, and all tho Nauvoo Council, composed of the leading Mormons, pronounced it an infamous libel and the women perjured liars, and destroyed the printing office. In conversation with Governor Ford,shortly after, both the Smiths, John Taylor, and Willard Richards most solemnly averred that polygamy or spiritual wifery was no doctrine of the Church, and that by such a charge they had been cruelly maligned by the publishers of the Expositor. Could that side of the case be more plainly proved? But there is other evidence. The Brighamites claim that the revelation authorising polygamy was given July 12, 1843; on the 1st of February, 1844, the following appeared in The Times and Seasons, Church paper at Nauvoo: --
Notice -- "As we have lately been credibly informed that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hyrum Brown, has been preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines in the County of Lapeer and State of Michigan, this is to notify him and the Church in general that he has been cut off from the Church for his iniquity, and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges. JOSEPH SMITH,}
HYRUM SMITH,} Presidents of the Church."
Only six weeks afterwards Hyrum wrote to "the brethren on China Creek" that as he had heard of a man preaching that doctrine there, "it was false doctrine, not taught or practised in Nauvoo," &c. For nine years the church kept up this deceit. And now comes John Taylor, Brigham Young, and others, and deny their old denials, claim that they lied in their statements to Governor Ford, and that they did practise polygamy extensively in Illinois. How can we believe the testimony of such people on any subject? They do not claim to be consistent in this thing, but justify it as "pious policy," and state distinctly as their views that "the Lord allows his people to lie for a good cause." Within a few days past two prominent Brighamites have avowed it to me, quoting the example of Abraham in favour of judicious lying, and one of them supplemented his statement by the remark -- "Anyhow, it's no harm to lie to a gentile!" But Joseph F. Smith, who is conducting the discussion on the Brigham side, seems still to have a faint sense of honour, and in his sermon last Sunday evening grew quite indignant over our published statement that he "had proved his own father a liar." He said that he "made a great distinction between telling a lie and not telling all the truth." He then read Webster's definition of the word polygamy, and stated that "that kind of polygamy was not practised by the Saints; that was the kind his father, Hyrum Smith, meant, and that was a false and abominable doctrine." This is a nice distinction, but I give him the benefit of it if any one can see it. But with such quibbles on words, such ingenious evasion of the plain meaning any sensible man would put upon a statement, and especially with their avowed doctrine that "it is no harm to lie for a good cause," we hope the Mormons will not expect us to believe anymore of their professions.

Note: The date of the above article has not yet been verified. It may have appeared in the Reporter of Aug. 25th.


Vol. ?                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, September 3, 1869.                       No. ?

Last night we had the pleasure of meeting Ex-Governor John Wood, of Illinois, who, with his lady and daughter, and a number of friends, have been paving a brief visit to our city. Governor Wood proved himself a sincere and constant friend to our people through a period darkened by the bitterest of persecutions. When the Saints were driven trom Missouri and compelled to take refuge in Illinois, he was then Mayor of Quincy. He received the fleeing multitude with open heart and hands, administered to their necessities, and bestirred himself in their behalf with a large-souled philanthropy that did honor to his manhood. Many of the workmen in that city dreaded the result of such a large number of working men coming suddenly in among them, and manifested a disposition not to receive tbem kindly; but the Mayor stood their friend, then and subsequently; and in all our troubles in Illinois he was ever found on the side of the persecuted and suffering Saints. When at last they were driven from Nauvoo, and hundred, were lying exposed, suffering and destitute on the west bank of the Mississippi, he personally solicited donations for them, went, to Quincy and brought assistance to them, of clothing for the naked and food for the hunpry. One incident, related last night by President George A. Smith, will show the character of his friendship and active benevolence. Brother Moses Jones, now turned seventy years of age, and residing in Provo, was digging a well in Quincy, which caved on him and he was buried under the earth, where he remained for twenty-six hours and a quarter. Governor Wood worked all that time, hired men and kept them busy endeavoring to get Brother Jones relieved trom his living tomb, and never relaxed his efforts until he succeeded. It was a perfect miracle that the buried man could live through it; and when he was dragged out he thought every bone in his body was crushed; but, although the doctors said he could not live, in half an hour after he was got out he was walking about. President Smith mentioned the incident with a great deal of feeling, as illustrative of the untiring energy of the Governor in behalf of our people.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. II.                   Salt Lake City, U. T.,  Thursday, September 16, 1869.                   No. 252.


MISS ANNA DICKINSON, the popular lecturess, who passed through Salt Lake City some few weeks since, en route to California, delivered a lecture, or "Lay Sermon," on the Mormons in the Opera House, San Francisco, last Sunday night week, and said as many disagreeable things as she could in a speech two hours long, about the people of Utah. Her lecture has furnished capital to our amiable co-temporary the San Francisco Chronicle and other papers in that city which have been rendered conspicuous by their strong anti-Mormon proclivities.

Had the address, sermon or tirade of the fair lecturess been a personal attack, merely, gallantry would have forbidden our replying to it, but as it was an attack upon the entire people of Utah, we, as a public journalist, representing that people, feel bound to make some reference to it.

Miss Anna Dickinson tells the old stories about Salt Lake, with its licentious looking men, women of sorrowful countenance, and sickly children, bearing upon their juvenile faces the unmistakable impress of men's most brutal passions. She also tells of her visit to the theatre, and, to one Mormon dwelling. About the former she makes willful misrepresentations (they would have been lies in a gentleman,) and, in regard to the latter, does what no woman possessing really refined and lady-like instincts ever would have done, namely, reveals to the world a confidential conversation which, she says, she had with the mistress of the house.

Anna tells what a beautiful city Salt Lake City is, and says that within its borders quiet and order reign both day and night, and neither drinking, gambling, noise nor riot can be found there. And while, with one breath she delivers this panegyric upon the metropolis of Utah, with the next she denounces it as a modern Sodom, a plague spot, and as a foul blot on Nature's face, and declares that after seeing the fearful evils existing here, she has found something to live for. If the last statement be true, Anna is under great obligations to the people of Utah, for we certainly have never been able to see what any woman has to live for who, like Anna, repudiates marriage and deprives herself of the joys and responsibilities of wife and mother, and thus shirk some of the most important of all the duties devolving upon her sex.

Anna is virtuously indignant at distinguished ministers, Senators and Congressmen, who, having visited this city during the summer, and having seen so much to commend and praise, have had honesty enough to say so. She thinks they ought to be as loud in their denunciations of the "Mormons" as she is, and because they have not been so she says they were "humbugged" (elegant word for a lady) by "Mormon" civilities; and for allowing themselves to be so, they come in for a good share of this lady's powers of invective.

When Miss Dickinson was here in Salt Lake City she visited our sanctum, and without any apparent effort, made herself agreeable and pleasant. In fact her manner seemed so hearty and cordial, and she expressed such admiration at what she saw here, that we were half inclined to think she was free from animus towards the "Mormons;" but if she felt as indignant at what she saw as she has expressed herself in San Francisco, she must be a fearful dissimulator! But there is some secret reason for Anna's tirade against the people of Utah; the grief and indignation, which she says her righteous soul experienced at the sights she beheld here, are all a sham. These may be the ostensible, but we think we can give the true reason. A short time ago we were shown a letter from a gentleman in the East to a sojourner here, in which it was stated that an anti-Mormon clique back there had organized a crusade against Utah and its people, part of which was public lectures through the country, and that Anna had been chosen as one of the "spouters." We presume that this San Francisco harangue is the opening part of her role in the programme.

We think we can assign another reason, the clue of which is rather unwittingly furnished by our usually astute cotemporary, the Chronicle. Miss D. has been in San Francisco for several weeks, and some of her lectures have not been very remunerative. The night previous to the delivery of the "Lay Sermon" on the "Mormons," she gave a lecture in Piatt's Hall at which, judging from the account published, the audience was not very large. Anna had not struck the right chord! But a bright and happy inspiration presented itself, and she resolved to try the "Mormon" Question. This proved lucrative for the house, says the Chronicle; was worth addressing when compared to that in Piatt's Hall. The italics are ours, and are used in a strictly commercial sense, but we have no doubt the lecturess will endorse them.

We know of only one cause tor real chagrin to Miss. D. while here, and that, we admit, was very annoying to one of her turn of mind, and it is not to be expected that she will forget it. She talks about visitors to Salt Lake City being "humbugged" by Mormon civilities; we don't believe it; they may have been; we shall not discuss the point. But we do know that during Anna's stay here she desired to deliver a lecture or two; but they to whom she broached the subject did not seem at all favorable to the project; in fact they did not see the necessity or propriety of the people of Salt Lake City paying several hundred dollars to be humbugged by Anna! That was annoying under the circumstances, seeing that she, at considerable cost, had come fifteen or eighteen hundred miles. Traveling expenses were a desideratum at such a time.

But enough on this subject; we have already devoted more time and attention to it than it deserves. The attacks, springing from the petty malevolence of Anna and the clique by which she has been hired cannot harm the people of Utah or the cause they are laboring to promote. And though the hope of gain and popularity may induce male and female demagogues and adventurers to utter lying, inflammatory harangues against the "Mormons" and "Mormonism," they will never gain honor by the operation. And, long after the last of all such tools for the performance of dirty work have sunk into well-merited contempt and oblivion, "Mormonism" will be honored and revered, and accepted as a system of eternal truth by the righteous in all lands.

Note 1: All but the last two paragraphs of Apostle George Q. Cannon's editorial was reprinted in the weekly Deseret News of Sept. 22nd. Dickinson's conducting interviews and her attendance at the Salt Lake City theater and at Sunday morning LDS preaching services in the Tabernacle, appear to have been spur-of-the-moment decisions on her part, and not the "opening part of her role in the programme" of a conspiratorial "crusade against Utah and its people." See Dickinson's preserved correspondence from this period, as published in Angela G. Ray's 2005 The Lyceum and Public Culture, for some insights into her motivations for composing the 1869 "Whited Sepulchres" lecture.

Note 2: Although the News editor opined, "enough on this subject; we have already devoted more time and attention to it than it deserves," his ecclesiastical superior (the President of the Church) evidently felt that her remarks on high Mormon infant mortality (due to polygamous inbreeding?) deserved at least one more public review -- see Brigham Young's discourse of Jan. 2, 1870, as well as the Salt Lake Telegraph of Oct. 28, 1869 and the News of Jan. 15, 1870.



Vol. ?                           Corinne,  Utah, Saturday, September 18, 1869.                           No. ?

Major Powell -- This gentleman, concerning whose fate the world of science and letters was long in suspense, has been spending a few days in Salt Lake City, where he delivered a lecture on Thursday evening, at Bishop Woolley's church. His subject was: "What I saw on the Colorado," which was quite interesting, though the lecturer labored under the difficulty of making a rapid selection from such a mass of facts as he had evidently collected. A painful uncertainty rests upon the fate of three men connected with the expedition. They declined to attempt the passage of the large rapids towards the latter part of the trip, and started to make the journey of nearly a hundred and fifty miles overland. The Major states that he has not yet heard from them, but within a few days a report has reached the city of three men having been killed by the Indians on that route. He fears that his former companions were the victims. Immediately on the conclusion of the lecture the Major took the stage for the east.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 37.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  October 20, 1869.                 Vol. XVIII.


A Col. J. W. Howard contemplates, it seems, delivering at an early date a lecture to the people of omaha on the origin of the Book of Mormon. A late number of the Omaha Herald contains some extracts from the proposed lecture.

He starts out with the idea that, laying aside all speculation, it is clear that the brain necessary for the starting and establishing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the work of some one else other than Joseph Smith; because he was an unlettered man entirely incapable, according to concurrent history, of producing what is today known as the Book of Mormon. His theory is that the Book of Mormon had its origin in the speculations of Mackintosh, who published a work on the North American Indians, in which he assumed that they were descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Shortly after the appearance of this work, "one Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a local preacher of some repute," commenced the preparation of several speculative papers on the same theory. It is evident to Howard, he says, that Spalding hig got his cue from this work of Mackintosh's, and that being of a lazy, indolent nature, and not being able to find any written evidence to corroborate the theory which he was framing, he fell back on his imagination and prepared in manuscript the he tale, which, according to Howard, was afterwards told by Joseph Smith.

the opponents of the Book of Mormon in the past pact have styled it a crude, ungrammatical work, written in imitation of the Bible, but evidently compiled by an illiterate man. But Howard discovers in it passages of the choicest morality and some of the finest sentiments taught. It is clearly evident to his mind ffrom what he has has seen, he says, of the writings of Joseph Smith and of Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon, whom be he calls Joseph's attesting witnesses -- betraying thereby his utter ignorance of the book the origin of which he attempts to account for -- that neither one nor all of them combined [possessed] the requisite amount of ability necessary to produce the Book Mormon.

Is there any connect connection between Howard's discovery of the beauties in the Book of Mormon and the advocacy of that Book -- as quoted by late telegraphic dispatches -- by our distinguished Vice President? The Book of Mormon must be increasing in value in the estimation of the world when two such men as the Vice President and Col. J. W. Howard condescend to notice it, one by quoting from it to prove the Latter-day Saints are not orthodox and the other to describe the choice morality and fine sentiments which it teaches!

This Spaulding story hasteen has been so often exploded by our people that it seems almost like a waste of time to allude to it here; but the Omaha Herald should know better than to call such ideas as Howard advances concerning its origin a plausible theory.

We freely admit all that he says about the choice morality and fine sentiments contained in the Book. They cannot be surpassed; but an unprejudiced person who will read the Book will readily perceive that the story about Spaulding writing it as a work of fiction is balderdash. The Book of Mormon dos does not convey the idea that the North American Indians are descended from the lost tribes of Israel, and when Mr. Howard makes such an assertion he betrays his utter ignorance of the subject which he professes to discuss. One portion of the Book gives an account of two families which were of Israel; another portion is a record of the settling of a few families in America at a time long anterior to the birth of Israel.

His assumptions that the Book of Mormon was not the work of Joseph Smith but of some man -- Spaulding for instance -- of superior education and ability are ostensibly based on the idea that Joseph Smith was illiterate. If this should be admitted, to whom shall the authorship of the book of Doctrine and Covenants be attributed, a work which no one has ever presumed to doubt as emanating from or through Joseph Smith? Its morality is as pure, its sentiments as exalted and godlike, its language as elevated and enoice choice as any contained in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. What will Mr. Howard do for a Spaulding to carry out his theory in this case? Carry out his theory of Joseph's inability and an author would have to be found for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Such theories serve to amuse would-be great men, pseudo-philosophers and people who are anxious to believe everything that is evil about Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints; but they do not satisfy thinking, reasoning men who are familiar with the subject under discussion.

To our mind it always seemed to require more blind credulity to adopt such theories as these of Howard's, than to adopt the testimony that the Book of Mormon is a true record and that Joseph Smith was divinely inspired to translate it and to reveal the revelations contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

In this connection we have not alluded to the important fact that many people are yet living who know that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were engaged for years in the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, October 28, 1869.                       No. ?


We cannot think just now of any two things more diverse, than the woman and the quality which heads this article. She is sailing around the country, giving her lecture on "Whited Sepulchres; or, Salt Lake City," and in doing so she keeps so wide from veracity that there seems no danger of their coming together. We can't call her a flippant Miss; she was born too early in the century for that; neither will a reckless scold exactly fit her; but she is another living illustration of the poet's exclamation: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned;" for did she not want to lecture here and couldn't get the chance? Nothing but the rankest spleen conld account for the unblushing manner in which she lets fly the wildest romancings and the most shameless untruths when speaking of Utah and its people. This language may be deemed strong when writing concerning a lady (?); but Anna affects the manners and position or the other sex, even to mounting a mustang male fashion, and as such we will speak of her. Her "talking apparatus" seems hung in the middle, and moves at a two-twenty gait; and her great effort in the lecture in question seems to be getting off the grossest and most unsubstantial fabrications. To go through it in detail would be impossible, for we only get a scrap here and there from our exchanges: or a synopsis now and again, in which the reporters vary as different points strike them. She has been at the "Hub" lately, giving the Bostonians a taste of her quality; and those who judge of Utah from what she is reported to have said there, may accept Munchausen as a veritable chronicler of facts.

After the usual compliments on the appearance of the city, Anna pitched into religion and politics, government and everything else here, with the air of an old hand at book and speech-making; rivalling Mark Twain's proposed journey around the world, concerning which he assures the public he can write most and best of places of which he knows nothing. It would be a treat to anybody who can enjoy reckless romancing and is acquainted with this Territory, to listen to this lecture. If Anna had taken pains to learn facts while here, it would have spoiled her lecture sadly, for she could not have indulged her exuberant fancy quite so readily. We have not time nor space to quote all the ridiculous and baseless fabrications to which she gave utterance, but will content ourselves with a few specimens. She calmly says that there is a very common mistake in regard to Utah, and that is, that the women outnumber the men; but, instead of this, Anna avers that there are really more men than women, and the majority of the men have no wives at all. Anna had great opportunities for finding this out, seeing that she spent most of her brief stay here riding around with an embryo United States official who knew nothing of the Territory -- oh, she is posted concerning the three hundred and odd cities, towns, and settlements in Utah. We always thought this was a marrying portion of the country, and that if any man remained single the fault was his own. But these single fellows are all poor, and the girls won't marry a poor man, she says. We think the single man who remains in poverty in this country offers very poor encouragement to a girl to become his wife. But what about all the squalid poverty which other romancers on Utah delight to picture? Anna says there are no schools here, and then asks pardon -- she has good reason to do it -- and says there are school buildings that will accommodate from one hundred to three hundred pupils, but they are private schools. Don't Anna know a heap about Utah? By-the-by, she is a greater goose -- somebody has named one after her, you see -- than we imagined, or she would never have allowed that to get into print. She should have examined the minutes of the last session of the Legislature, and then quietly told the reporters that she only said that for effect, but didn't want it to get in print. She didn't know of about two hundred and fifty schools in Utah, some twenty-five of them, with two colleges in this city, all public schools. "She had looked into the houses and seen half a dozen rooms and half a dozen wives." Anna, you didn't do it, and you know you didn't. What do folks at the "Hub" call such a way of talking? "She had been in the theatre where one man would be attended by a score of women, all of them his wives;" which is another, Anna; and then she cried, "Oh, God, let me die where I stand;" but she thought better of it, and not wishing to make a disturbance by getting up a good die in the audience, such things being reserved for the boards, she cried again, and this time she said, "Oh, no, let me not die, for that would be cowardly indeed, but give me strength to withstand and do battle against this iniquity;" which is all clap-trap and bosh, and shows that Anna is a specimen of the female charlatan. But we cannot follow her much farther. She said "Brazen-faced things went openly on the streets of Utah that elsewhere wore a mask -- that were covered up in some way;" and in this, Miss Dickinson, you villified women a thousand-fold nobler and purer in thought and act than yourself; women who aided to pioneer this great West, self-sacrificing, noble, pure, holy, and blameless. These you traduced as you did the noble pioneer ladies of California; for in your venomed spleen you are incapable of appreciating and estimating true nobility of soul and loftiness of character, but, endowed with a brazen impudence and loose tongue, you let the latter run on gabbling of subjects concerning which you are totally ignorant, and depend on the former for carrying you through, and thus set yourself up as a teacher in the nation. Go to; learn the Christian faith, and apply the injunction of Paul, "Bear children, rule the house, and give the adversary no occasion to speak reproachfully" -- but get married first.

Note: Salt Lake City Telegraph Editor Stenhouse somehow managed to churn out dozens of sentences, reporting on Miss Dickinson's lecture, without bothering to convery to his readers its actual details. Perhaps he was unwilling to place too much reliance upon the San Francisco Chronicle's summary, without some eye-witness evidence of what the entire discourse entailed. Considering the content of transcriptions of Dickinson's "Whited Sepulchres" lecture, as given in Boston, New York, and St. Louis, she likely played upon popular interest in Harriet Beecher Stowe's contemporary criticism of incest and how that embarrassing topic related to certain instances of polygamy then being manifested in Utah Territory. The Deseret News later published a tepid mention of Stowe, incest, etc., but did not take the trouble to openly defend Mormonism's own leaders (Aaron Johnson, Samuel Smith, etc.) who engaged in the disreputable practice. The Gentile editor of the Corinne Reporter might have added some interesting commentary to the Stowe-Dickinson-incest-polygamy topic, had he not just then been preoccupied in his own, personal encounters with an incestuous Mormon family.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Tuesday, November 2, 1869.                             No. ?


J. H. Beadle was knocked down and brutally beaten, in the streets of Brigham City, yesterday, by old Judge Smith's son. Mr. Beadle at this writing, 10 P.M., lies in critical condition. This settles the matter right here. If we have got to have a war with these fiendish Mormons, let us have it at once, and know what we have to depend upon.

Note 1: T. B. H. Stenhouse, then editor of the pro-Mormon Salt Lake Telegraph, complained in that paper's issue of Nov. 6, 1869, that Mr. Beadle had engaged in slander and had not been punished enough: "...the slanderer goes free, having escaped with the whipping only." Judge Smith's son "escaped" with even less than a beating -- by only having to pay a small fine, following his vicious assault upon Beadle. In later years Stenhouse subsequently found Beadle's reporting more reliable, and quoted from his Life in Utah, as supplying evidence for Mormon involvement in the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Note 2: For details regarding the assault upon Mr. Beadle, see the Reporter of Nov. 11th.


Vol. ?                       Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, November 6, 1869.                       No. ?

...the slanderer [J. H. Beadle] goes free, having escaped with the whipping only.

(under construction)

Note: This clipping will be updated when the full text of Editor T. B. H. Stenhouse's remarks can be transcribed.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 40.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  November 10, 1869.                 Vol. XVIII.


It has become exceedingly fashionable of late, whenever a man of note visits an eastern city, for newspaper reporters to draw him out in conversation, and publish the account for the delectation of their readers. So common is it now to give reports of interviews, in which there is a dialogue between the reporter and the notable personage "interviewed" -- very frequently well constructed and made pleasant reading -- that it is said that many of these reputed conversations are wholly imaginary.

A case in point is that of Father Hyacinthe, the French Roman Catholic priest, who recently landed at New York. His fame as a preacher is very great, and to this is now added his recent recusancy. Of course he was a good subject for the reporters; but he was difficult of access. He evaded those ubiquitous individuals, the Bohemians, and shut himself up in his hotel. Notto be foiled in this manner, however, they hung nround the lobbies of the hotel, peeped through the key-hole, waylaid the waiters, and pounced from dark passages upon the chambermaid. From the servants they got what descriptions they could of the gentleman's looks, garb and appetite. The New York Tribune, while boasting that its reporter was the only one who had a really good opportunity of conversing with the distinguished priest, tells a story about the dodge adopted by the reporter of the World to obtain a sight of him. Not to be beaten, he bribed a waiter, it is said, to change clothes with him, and got access to the room under the pretext of a pitcher of ice-water; but as he did not understand French, the result of his attempt was not the most favorable. The next day five or six of the New York city papers had long reports of conversations with him, and each one of the reporters boasted that he and he alone had access to the stranger, and wormed his opinions out of him. Father Hyacinthe, upon seeing these reports, must have been astonished. He denies having held any conversation with any of them, though he had answered one or two questions, and the "interviews" were built on the very few words he spoke to them; but they put sentiments into his mouth which he never uttered.

A reporter of the Philadelphia Post of the 28th ult., learned, he says, that Elder Brigham Young, jr., was in Philadelphia, and made up his mind to "interview" him. He accordingly repaired to the residence of the gentleman whose guest he was, and sent in his name. During the few moments which he spent in wafting he says, his feelings and thoughts were something similar to those of a country bumpkin on his first visit to a theatre, prior to the raising of the curtain. He had heard so much about the Youngs -- father and sons -- he says, that for a time he was at sea as to what he should expect. He did not know but that he should see something other than a mere man, and he had serious doubts as to whether he should not catch a gIimpse of the "cloven foot" so often spoken of. "But," he adds, "alas for human expectations, he that appeared before us was nothing more than a plain, blunt man, made in God's own image and likeness, and in no way dissimilar from the majority of human beings."

After describing him he says "the whole appearance reminded us more of a country gentleman farmer rather than anything else, and was plain evidence to us that, so far as healthiness is concerned, there is no discounting the climate of Utah. From the first moment we judged him to be what he afterwards proved, a thorough highly educated and cultivated gentleman." He had objections to being "interviewed or placed before the public;" but upon the reporter stating that he was seeking after genuine information, he entered into conversation. Then follows a report of the conversation nearly two columns in length; which, whether real or imaginary, is very favorable to affairs here, and is free from any of the flings so often indulged in by writers when commenting upon Utah and her affairs. Such "interviews," reported, as this has been, do no harm; on the contrary, they make many people familiar, with the views of the people of Utah, who, drawing their opinions from the many misrepresentations and slanders which go the rounds of the preas, might entertain gross misconceptions of their real, character

Note: See also the Deseret News of Nov. 24th.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday, November 11, 1869.                             No. ?

Details of the Assault Upon Mr. Beadle.

The friends of Mr. Beadle will be pleased to learn that he is recovering very rapidly under the skillful traetment of Dr. J. W. Graham. The evidence shows the dollowing state of facts: Mr. Beadle was just leaving the court-house, being in advance of the crowd, when he was struck a terrible blow in the back of the head, which caused him to fall forward upon his knees. The crowd of Mormons surrounded him while his assailant, Smith, continued to beat him upon the head, only two blows touching his face, one on each side of the forehead. When reduced to complete helplessness, Smith finished by a heavy kick with his cow hide boot, which took effect on Mr. Beadle's collar bone, making a complete fracture near the shoulder. The whole affair was over before any of the Gentiles who were in the company, reached the spot. The Mormons followed their usual rule to "take no chances" -- strike in the back and avoid a fight, a refinement of the cowardice in this instance, as Mr. Beadle is about half the size of his assailant, and was entirely unarmed. During the entire affair he never saw Smith, and would not be able to identify him, nor did he have a moment's warning or time to speak a word. The whole affair was "put up" after the most approved style of the "Saints," and having the treble advantages of numbers, surprise and attack upon weakness, they gained a victory of which they no doubt feel unusually proud. Such prowess should not go unjonored among the Latter-day chivalry, and we expect a proper presentation will be made to "brother" Smith for his skill and daring. When Weston was whipped, Elder Stenhouse and a dozen more brethren seized him at midnight, took him to Temple Block and carefully tied him before they began; the last attack showed quite an improvement in the Mormon sense of honor. We ought to be thankful that our gracious Government permits us to live here, even with broken bones, as but a few years ago death was the portion of those who spoke against the hierarchy. Mr. Beadle was at once brought to this city and very kindly cared for at the residence of Mr. John Closser, his wounds dressed and the collar bone successfully adjusted by Dr. Graham, and at the end of a week he is able to walk about and "rejoice in the truth." Friend Beadle expects to recover soon, and hopes to live long enough to deal many more blows at the despots of Utah, besides which the notices he has so far given will rank as mere flattery.

Note 1: In his interview with the New York Times reporter (published April 14, 1872) Mr. Beadle related the 1869 assault incident thusly: "I was summoned on a civil suit before this lecherous old "Saint," Smith in November, 1869. When coming out of the Court-house I was hit suddenly and without warning in the back of the head by somebody, I know not who, and knocked senseless. They then trampled on me with their heavy boots till I had bones broken and was subjugated generally. My friends hauled me home, the doctor set me on my pins in a month or so, and that was the end of it. The "Saints" had all that fun, and it never cost them a cent. Suppose I had brought suit for damages. I should have had a Mormon Judge and jury, and you can guess would have been the result. I had "damages" enough already! In those days we were almost without resource, except the right of appeal to the District Court."

Note 2: In a biographical sketch of John H. Beadle, published in Maysville, Kentucky Evening Bulletin the of July 2, 1897, his 1869 assault is briefly mentioned, along with the statement: "In the melee he received a wound which caused the loss of his left eye, besides being otherwise injured." In his own telling of the incident, in his 1882 Polygamy: or, The Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism, Beadle said it was his right eye that was hurt. While one of Beadle's eyes was evidently seriously injured, he seems to have eventually recovered from that damage.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 42.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  November 24, 1869.                 Vol. XVIII.


The report of the interview which one of the staff of the Philadelphia Morning Post had with Elder Brigham Young, Jr., has proved so interesting, and excited so much comment, that a second one has been solicited, with the object of obtaining views on certain matters which had escaped the attention of the reporter during the first interview. The reporter says that he has had a great deal of interesting knowledge relative to the belief of the Latter-day Saints imparted to him; but it would be entirely too voluminous for the columns of a newspaper. He omits everything that would not be of public interest, and many points that, doubtless, would be very readable, he cannot give for want of space.

The first subject talked upon was patriarchal marriage, about the moral effect of which the reporter was anxious to obtain some information. He was assured the effect was most excellent, as a lewd woman is a thing unknownin Utah, there being no houses of prostitution nor any of the evils attendant thereon. The next question was in relation to the conduct of the United States officers; to which an appropriate answer was given.

Then came the enquiry how it was that the people of Utah ccaaimnee to sympathise with the Southern Confederacy. The reporter seems to have been under the impression that we leaned to the side of the Confederates during the war. He was told that "We did not sympathise with the rebellion;" but on the contrary, earnestly and persistently refused all overtures made to us to take sides with the South....

Then followed a series of questions... The reporter expresses himself as being highly satisfied with the interview. He gives Elder Young credit for being a man of more than ordinary ability, who has traveled a great deal and has profited thereby, and also, says that he has a forcible style of delivery which rivets his hearer's attention and gives weight to his words.

Note 1: The Desert News editor (George Q. Cannon), did not take the trouble to quote the Philadelphia newspaper at any substantial length, in regard to the "series of questions" put to the namesake of Brigham Young. One important part of that Nov. 1, 1869 interview addressed the "Indian problem" in Utah: "Have they ever troubled you? -- Oh yes, indeed; but we have always considered it cheaper to feed them than to fight them. We would rather [at] any time give them one hundred head of fine fat cattle than lose the life of a single man, woman or child, and this is the policy we have pursued from the beginning. Some years ago, said he, a party of emigrants, in crossing the plains, lost a couple of horses, and at once suspected the Indians of having stolen them. As a piece of malice they sprinkled the meat of an ox that had died through the night with strychnine. After their departure a band of Indians found the meat and ate of it, the result was that nearly all that did so died; the remainder of the tribe then took up the trail, and gaining fresh accessions by the way, came up with the emigrants at Mountain Meadow, where in three days they killed 130 of the party. Some of our people, noticing that something was wrong, followed after, and arrived in time only to save the remainder of the train, some 16 women and children. That is the history of the 'Mountain Meadow Massacre,' for which we have always received the blame. We have frequently rendered trains assistance, for the Indians in a measure respect us, and our words with them have weight..."

Note 2: Although there was no admitted link between the two 1869 LDS communications, it should be noted that George Q. Cannon followed up on Brigham Young, Jr.'s suppressed public summary of the Mountain Meadows massacre, by publishing in the next issue of the Deseret News, a detailed statement on the subject by his fellow LDS Apostle, George A. Smith.

Note 3: It was during this period that the topmost LDS leaders began to take some new notice of the old allegation, that white men (Mormons) were involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre. At the time, George A. Smith and Brigham Young, Jr. were still re-telling the old Mormon lie, that only Indians were active in that 1857 event, but massacre participants like George Spencer of SanPete Co. (see C. F. McGlashan's "A Damaging Story," Chicago Tribune, Jan. 6, 1875) were openly telling of Mormon involvment. See Spencer's March 27, 1867 letter to Erastus Snow in the LDS Church Archives' Brigham Young Collection. President Young solicited a timely meeting with Apostle Snow on March 30th, but the topics of their eventual private discussions (during the last week of April and first week of May) are not known. Will Bagley comments: "It is not clear if Snow or Young ever replied to this [Spencer's] letter." According to B. H. Roberts, "In 1870, through some representations made by Elder Erastus Snow and Bishop L. W. Roundy, who had been meantime investigating the crime of the Mountain Meadows, President Brigham Young became convinced of the absolute responsibility of John D. Lee in that affair." See also Lorenzo W. Roundy's 1867-70 correspondence with George A Smith and Charles W. Penrose (Roundy was set apart as Bishop of Kanarra, Iron Co., by Erastus Snow, on Apr. 29, 1867).


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 43.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  December 1, 1869.                 Vol. XVIII.


In the delivery of the lecture "Six Months in Utah," by Mrs. St. Clair, on Tuesday last at the Theatre, there was an allusion made by the to what is known as the "Mountain Meadow Massacre." There was nothing in her treatment of this point in her lecture that was offensive to her audience; but she evidently was unfamiliar with the facts, and as a general misapprehension exists abroad in relation to them, simple justice demands that they be correctly stated. Our silence upon this subject is frequently construed as an evidence of the inability of the people of this Territory to defend themselves against the cruel charges which have been made against them in connection with that tragedy.

It is almost a pity to break this silence now, for there is a class of anti-Mormon writers whose entire stock of trade consists of the "Mountain Meadow Massacre," and a few other acts of violence which have occurred in this Territory, and upon which they ring constant changes, holding the massacre over our heads somewhat as an old schoolmistress would a rod over a naughty child. We scarcely know how these threats and menaces sound to people who live outside of this Territory; but they only excite either amusement or contempt here where the facts are understood.

After Governor Alfred Cumming reached this city and was fairly installed in office -- considerable having been said about the massacre of a company of emigrants at Mountain Meadows the previous Fall -- ex-Governor Young urged upon the Governor and U. S. District Attorney Wilson the propriety of taking steps to investigate this occurrence. In the wish for a thorough examination he was seconded by the entire community, for all felt that most cruel and unjust aspersions had been cast upon them. To render what aid he could President Young profferred to go with the Federal officers to the vicinity of the outrage and, use every effort in his power to sift the matter to the uttermost, and discover the guilty ones. But this was no part of the policy of the Judges who were then here, nor the attaches of the camp. Such a course would settle the question; but they were interested in keeping it open.

At Provo in the Spring of 1859, a Grand Jury on U.S. business undertook the investigation of the "Mountain Meadow Massacre." They requested the U.S. District Attorney, Mr. Wilson, a citizen of Pennsyvania, to be present with them and examine the witnesses. Two Indians, Mose and Looking-glass, had been committed for the crime of rape perpetuated upon a white woman and her daughter, a girl of ten years. In the midst of the investigation of the Mountain Meadow case, the Judge, John Cradlebaugh, called the Grand Jury into the court room and administered to the members an abusive lecture and summarily discharged them! At the same time he turned the savages Mose and Looking-glass loose upon the community. The Grand Jury protested, but in vain, against this unwarrantable proceeding by the Court. District Attorney Wilson, also reported that he was present at the deliberations of the Grand Jury, and, at the request of its members, had examined the witnesses and that the Jury were proceeding in the matter efficiently. Thus ended the attempt to have the transaction investigated judicially.

From the earliest years that white men traveled through the country now incorporated in the southern portion of this Territory and the northern part of Arizona, outrages upon the Indians were frequent. When Colonel Fremont passed through the southern desert in 1842, his party killed without any provocation, several Pah-Ute Indiansa near the Rio Virgen. When New Mexico was organized, Governor Calhoun, Superintendent of Indian Affairs recommended to the Department aatt Washington the extermination of the Pah-Utes. Emigrants passing through by the southern route to California had also frequently shot them whenever they came in sight. To such an extent had this custom prevailed that when President Geo. A. Smith and party made the settlement at Parowan, Iron County, in January, 1851, then 200 miles from settlements on the North and upwards of 500 on the South, a delegation of Pah-Utes from New Mexico, now Arizona, visited him and besought that the indiscriminate shooting of Indians by emigrants should cease, as they were disposed to be friendly and wished to trade with them. President Smith could only speak for his own people.

From all that is known respecting the company of Arkansas emigrants who were killed at Mountain Meadows, they conducted themselves in a hostile manner towards the Indians wherever they saw them. At Corn Creek, Millard Co., President George A. Smith, who was coming from a visit to the southern settlements in company with several friends, found a company of emigrants camped; they had about thirty wagons and a considerable herd of stock. He and his party crossed the creek and camped about forty yards from them. Three of the company visited his camp, and one was introduced as the Captain of the company. After inquiring where President Smith and party were from, he asked if there was any danger to be feared from the Indians who were camped nearby. He was told that if his company had committed no outrage upon the Indians there was no danger. Next morning early, while President S. and party were hitching up, the Captain of the emigrant company again joined them. He pointed to an ox which had died during the night and wished to know if the Indians would eat the animal. He was told they would -- that they were in the habit of eating cattle that died and that if he would give it to them they would be thankful. As President S. was starting, one of his party asked him what the Captain was doing over at the dead ax with a bottle in his hand. He replied that he was probably taking a drink.

The Indians ate the ox and ten of their number died. It had without doubt been poisoned. A portion of these Indians were Pahvantes and others were Pah-Utes who lived in the vicinity of the Mountain Meadows, and were on a visit to the Pahvantes. There is reason to believe that this company poisoned the spring also, for thirty head of cattle which drank of its waters died with every symptom of poisoning. The Pah-Ute Indians who survived, returned with the news of the death of their companions. But the company that had occasioned their death was not lost sight of. Another outrage had been added to the long list which had been accumulating from the days when Fremont had passed through their country, and they were resolved to wreak a terrible revenge. They rallied all the neighboring Indians and when the emigrants reached "Cane Spring" in the Mountain Meadows, they attacked them.

After the attack was made the first intimation of it received at Parowan was by Indian runners to Ouwanup, a chief of the Pi-edes, in that vicinity, who was summoned to assist them. From the Pi-edes the citizens learned something about a difficulty between the Indians and a company of emigrants, and succeeded in keeping them from joining the Pah-Utes. Rumors still arriving that a battle was going on, a party of citizens from Cedar started for the purpose of relieving the travelers; but arrived too late. They succeeded, however, in rescuing a few children, who had been preserved by the Indians, agreeably to their custom, victorious, of keeping children to trade.

Another company, which was following the Arkansas company, fired upon some Indians near Beaver and wounded one of them. The Indians appeared determined to destroy them, and they probably would have done so, had not Col. Dame of Parowan sent a detachment of militia, who pacified the Indians to some extent, and guarded the company on their road some three hundred miles.

The above is a brief outline of the circumstances connected with this massacre. The determined policy of the enemies of the people of this Territory has been to not investigate this transaction. During the years 1858-9 an army of several thousand men were stationed in the Territory without any employmnet. The Federal Judges who were here at that time were the open and avowed enemies of the people; and it is probable that, with such force to back them, it there had been the least probability of criminating the "Mormons," they would have suffered so good an opportunity to pass? The fact is, the newspaper rumors concerning this affair answered a better purpose than investigation in affording an excuse for keeping up of sustaining troops where they were not needed.

There has never been a time when President Young and the people have not been ready to give every aid in their power to have this occurence rightly examined.

Note 1: The above article in the Deseret News was unique for its time. The paper's editor, Apostle George Q. Cannon, remarks: "Our silence upon this subject is frequently construed as an evidence of the inability of the people of this Territory to defend themselves against the cruel charges which have been made against them in connection with that tragedy." While it was Cannon's lot to put this message in print, little of its defense "against the cruel charges" was actually penned by Cannon himself. Except for the opening two paragraphs, most of the text closely follows an undated draft letter preserved in the papers of Apostle George A. Smith. A cataloger has added the notation "Nov. 1869" in the corner of Smith's draft letter, and it likely was penned during the final days of that month. In fact, a very similair text is reproduced in the LDS "Journal History of the Church," under the date of Nov. 25, 1869, in the form of a personal letter, sent from George A. Smith to "Mr. St. Clair" (who was no doubt the husband of the "Mrs. St. Clair" who gave the public lecture entitled "Six Months in Utah"). To what extent Mrs. St. Clair's lecture actually inspired the reaction of George A. Smith, in producing a statement regarding the massacre, it is impossible to discern at this late date. Possibly Smith's attention had already been drawn to the matter, by the Nov. 1st published remarks made by Brigham Young, Jr. in Philadelphia (see the News of Nov. 24th, above). -- In his 2002 book, Blood of the Prophets, historian Will Bagley says, "[Juanita] Brooks... identified Cannon as the article's author, but the text is derived from a George A. Smith letter." Since Apostle Cannon edited and added to Apostle Smith's original text, the Dec. 1st News article may properly be identified as the Nov. 1869 Cannon-Smith statement of LDS apostolic instruction on the subject of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Note 2: George A. Smith's claim -- that his party of travelers witnessed Captain Fancher poisoning the carcass of an ox at Corn Creek in Aug. 1857 -- is an incredible allegation. Possibly the emigrants did innocently offer such an ox to the resident Indians at that time; and probably Apostle Smith did encounter the "Captain" of the wagon train at that time, but Smith's manuscript draft assertion, that "There is no doubt but that the whole accumulated wrath of the Pah-Utes against American travellers from the wanton massacre by Fremont's men to the poisoning of the ox and the spring at Corn Creek by the Arkansas party was avenged at the Mountain Meadows," stands as an obvious apostolic fabrication. The fact that Smith would say such a thing, after the passage of more than a decade, during which time the essential facts of the massacre had been well exposed, indicates that he was purposely misdirecting the attention of the Deseret News readers to Indians, instead of the southern Utahns whom Smith knew for certain had planned and carried out the 1857 mass murder. Apostle Smith's carefully drafted falsehoods did not stand the test of time for even a few months, and the following year Mormon leaders like Erastus Snow and Brigham Young were openly admitting the involvement of some of their own people in the 1857 massacre. Considering the long-standing Latter-day Saint claims for special Divine revelation, the continual presence of the Holy Spirit with the topmost Church leaders, and the supernatural powers of saintly "priesthood discernment," it remains equally incredible that those same topmost leaders could profess both years of honest ignorance regarding the Mormon responsibility for the massacre and their own continuing standing as authentic latter day apostles.

Note 3: It is utterly impossible that Apostle George A. Smith could have been so ignorant of the actual facts of the massacre, as he pretended to be at the end of 1869. Smith was intimately acquainted with the Mormon priesthood members of southern Utah. He knew that some of them had been accused, indicted and published around the world for their participation in the massacre and its aftermath -- the secret LDS investigations -- the crafted cover-up -- the disposal of property stolen from the emigrants, etc. Smith's evident willingness to blame the Indians for the entire affair (along with his hypocritical readiness to see them discovered and brought "to justice") are inexcusable sins in the public acts of this self-professed, ordained "prophet, seer and revelator" and "special witness for Jesus Christ." For more on this subject, see Mike Taylor's 2011 article, "September 11 Significant to Utah Native Americans."


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 47.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  December 29, 1869.                 Vol. XVIII.


We have had occasion to refer to the Nauvoo Expositor in previous articles. This paper was published by a few men who had been members of the Church and had made great professions of friendship for the Prophet Joseph, but had entered into a secret combination to destroy him. They had worked in the dark until he exposed their traitorous intrigues; then, after attempts to hide their wickedness, they came out openly and avowed their intentions, proclaiming as the reason for their action that Joseph was a fallen prophet. To judge by their own expressions, they were prompted by holy zeal, the reformation of the Church, the purification of its doctrines, and the salvation of the people being the incentives which prompted them to action.

The "Movement" of those men posseses no importance of itself at the present time, aside from the fact that it is a specimen of the manner in which Satan operates; and though twenty-five years have elapsed since that "movement" was introduced, he still gives evidence that he is the same "old devil" now that he was then, however much the belief may prevail that no such being as he has an existence. Revelations from the spirit world through the agency of tipping tables, planchettes, writing or speaking mediums, spirit voices, spirit hands, spirit music, etc., were not known then; manifestations of that character had not been given, and Satan therefore did not avail himself of them to hoodwink his dupes. But he contrived to have them belileve that they were just as pious, as honest, sincere and conscientious as he does the same class in these days. To vindicate the purity and correctness of their views and position they judged it essential to publish their "Manifesto" or "Preamble." The document is only remarkable because of its similarity to the writings of other apostates. The writers desired the enemies of Joseph and the Saints to know that they were very brave; they wished to evoke their sympathy in advance, so in the opening praragraph they describe the furious and turbulent storm of persecution which they expected to burst over their heads. The "Manifesto" opens as follows:

(see original text in 1844 Expositor)

These men made the highest pretensions possible concerning their love for the truth and for the Saints. To judge by their language, they would not hurt a hair of their heads, would not harm Joseph, but only wished him to repent and reform his life. In their editorial they said: "The question is asked: 'Will you bring a mob upon us?' In answer to that we assure all concerned that we will be among the first to put down anything like illegal force being used against any man or set of men."

The paper containing this "preamble" or "manifesto" and resolutions was dated June 7th, and twenty days after its issue the prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum lay weltering in their blood in Carthage jail. The machinations of these apostates had brought them into the toils of their enemies; through their agency their deaths had been compassed. Within three short weeks after the publication of their "manifesto" their garments were dripping with the blood of innocence, and this, too, after all their pretensions of meekness and humility and the love of God and friendship for the Saints and their desire to reform the church and to establish the pure principles of the gospel and to eschew the use of carnal weapons

In considering our circumstances today there is one especial cause of thanksgiving -- it is more than twenty miles to Carthage and mobs cannot collect and raven and destroy at a day's notice. Twenty-five years have not produced any change in the hatred and murderous spirit of Satan; but they have produced many favorable changes in the condition of the people of God.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  January 15, 1870.                            No. ?

Salt  Lake  Correspondence.

The "Bulls Eye" Railroad Completion -- Driving the Last Spike --
Brigham Strikes the Nail on the Head --
War Declared from the Pulpits.

Salt Lake City, Jan. 10, 1870.    
Editor Reporter:
    Thinking a line from the "Lion’s Den" would be of some little interest, I have been taking observations to-day, and transmit the same for your disposal. It was generally given out that the last spike would be driven to-day in the "Bulls Eye Railway," and in consequence an immense crowd, estimated at 20,000, assembled to witness the ceremonies of one of the greatest and most daring enterprises of modern time -- building a trainway over a level plain the unparallel distance of thirty-five miles. The work is accomplished; the world -- that is Mormondom -- stands in awe at the magnitude of the structure. At about half past one o’clock everything was in readiness, the construction car came up with the last tie and the last rail, the workman bored a hole for the beautiful and elaborately engraved iron nail which had been prepared for the occasion at the enormous cost of 7 1/2 cents. The prophet descended from his $183 carriage, and approached the sacred spot which he and God had selected for the termination. The multitude stood in breathless silence; not a man stirred, not a woman stirred, not a horse stirred, but as Brigham stirred the band struck up a waltz, and then the crowd waltzed. As the "chosen prophet" advanced and stretched forth his mighty hand to grasp the magnificent chased and polished hammer, cost $2.50, the Saints cheered in basso, supprano, alto, howls, grunts and squeaks. The blow was struck, and bang went a three-pounder, succeeded by others in quick succession; then a savage looking man turned his camera on the spot, and in a moment his instrument reflected the [image] of the hiyu-muck-a-muck, with your humble servant at his elbow. The locomotive was driven to the end of the last rail, and then followed a short prayer, appealing to the Deity for the preservation and prosperity of Brigham and the railroad; then came the President’s (that’s Brig) address, which was read with a beautiful nasal delivery by Brig’s right-bower, G. Quill Cannon, in which he stated that Brigham and God had accomplished this great work, that they had neither asked nor received assistance from the heathen Gentiles, and with the assistance and advice of their prophet Brigham they would be able to accomplish even greater miracles than this -- they would exterminate all Gentiles, overthrow the Government, and set up God’s kingdom in this great valley -- cheers. He was followed by lesser lights of the church. Thus ended the grand hoo-doo at the terminus. A great many gentlemen were present from other places, including officers and employees of the C.P. and U.P. roads. Illumination and ball this evening; already more than twenty-three fire crackers have been fired up, and more are expected.

Yesterday I visited the tabernacle and listened, while a blush mantled my cheek, to the apostle’s insult of our flag, our Government and our President; listened to an open declaration of war, should the present Congress dare to pass the bill now pending against polygamy. They appealed to the assembled foreigners -- renegades of all nations -- for an answer as to whether they would obey Congress or Brigham Young, and then came the response from a thousand foul throats: "We will stick to our religion and Brigham Young -- for us, polygamy or death." So they talk all over the city, and dare the Government of the United States to interfere with them or their institutions. Bishop Woolley, in his discourse in the 13th Ward, mocked at the puny force on the hill, (Camp Douglas) and said they would send out enough women to demolish that show concern. Well, things are getting hot here, and if the polygamy bill passes, look out for lively times. The women are to hold an indignation meeting on Thursday night, on the question as to whether they will submit to the action of Congress or not. If they decide in the negative it will be rough on Congress.

Note: The above is the first known publication in the "Argus" series of letters and articles from the pen of Charles W. Wandell. His subsequent journalistic offerings became increasingly harsh (and less comic) in their condemnation of Brigham Young and Young's fellow leaders in the LDS Church.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XVIII.                   Salt Lake City, U. T.,  Wednesday, February 2, 1870.                   No. 52.


By President Brigham Young,
delivered in the Tabernacle, S. L. City,
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1870.



After contemplating what you have been hearing, I want to say, for the consolation of these my sisters before me, I give you my word for it, if your children were counted and their number compared with that of the children born in the healthy city of Boston, that you do not lose three where they lose five; and I think the ratio would not vary much from three to six. I want to say this for the consolation of those sisters who live in Utah and bear children.

As for what has been said here of our children and their state of health and general appearance, and how they present themselves to strangers and to friends, I am perfectly willing to compare ours with any in the world; and if the result is not favorable to us, I would be willing to part with them; but if the contrary be the case, let us have theirs.

This revelation about our children came through Anna Dickinson. When she came here I was not at home. She stayed here one day and one night; I understood she was riding a good part of the night with a stranger, for the benefit of her health I suppose. These great statements about the children of Utah have come through the great wisdom and experience of Anna Dickinson. How much does she know about family affairs here? She stayed here at the Townsend House, I suppose, nearly twelve hours. Did sister Townsend make the statement which Anna Dickinson gives to the world? Anna may say so, but I do not believe it. I will give you one specimen of her knowledge with regard to the ladies of this city. In one of her statements she says that Brigham Young will look after the young ladies, and on becoming acquainted with them will find some of them are his own daughters. Her researches in this community were immense. But let me tell you she is hired by some lackeys to lecture against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons." I say go ahead, lecture away until you get into ____; and then continue your lectures, and afterwards hire men to lecture. They may hire lecturers to say this, that and the other about this people; I do not know that it makes the least difference to you and me. It matters not to us what the press says, or what that judge or this officer, or what Congress says. We are here in these mountains; the Lord has called and led us here and sustained us and given us strength....

Note 1: President Young offers the following counsel to his followers: "let me tell you she [Anna E. Dickinson] is hired by some lackeys to lecture against 'Mormonism' and the 'Mormons.'" Coming from the "Living Prophet" such a pronouncement would be taken by many Mormons (in the 1870s as well as in later decades) as a divinely inspired statement of truth. However, the modern student of post-Civil War lyceum lectures can easily demonstrate that Dickinson composed her 1869 "Whited Sepulchres" spontaneously and on her own, without the benefit of secret payments from anti-Mormon activists. She did, however, evidently rely upon some some unidentified informant, in order to identify incestuous polygamists Aaron Johnson and George D. Watt, present in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle on June 10, 1869. In a detailed transcription of her March 4, 1870 presentation, Anna is quoted as saying: "Passing by the thousand minor offenders, there are such men as Bishop Johnson, we will say, who has four sisters, his own nieces, for his wives; there is George D. Watt, the church reporter and correspondent of the Alta California, respectable in society, conspicuous in entertaining members of Congress and others, yet married, in addition to others, to his own half sister, (sensation) and there is Curtis [Bolton], who has a mother and daughter for his wives, the daughter a child of thirteen." Perhaps her source for these sorts of details was the "stranger" Brigham discovered "she was riding a good part of the night with."

Note 2:


Salt Lake Daily Telegraph,
And Commercial Advertiser.

Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, Utah Terr., March 3?, 1870.                     No. ?

The Coming Mormon War.

Personally we entertain no dread thoughts of either "serious disturbance" or "open war." Past experience has taught us the lesson that there is a "Providence in the affairs of men," and with that assurance, we can listen to a great deal of bombast serenely, come from whom it may. To the war expectation now so prevalent in the East there can be no disappointment, and General Shafer is as likely to be as proper a Governor, as far as that is concerned, as any other man. There can be no war with Utah on any pretext whatever. Some of us may be silly enough to say ugly and provoking things, and dreamy enongh to anticipate all sorts of magnificent results; but there is a heap of hard sense out here in the Rocky Mountains, among men and women, and the talk, of war anywhere is to-day regarded as sheer balderdish. We have no personal acquaintance with Gen, Shafer, and, therefore, can disinterestedly tender him the advice to pay no attention to the folks down East, on the war question, but to come out here when he is ready, mind his own business, and he will get along well enough. His "wisdom and discretion," "ignorance or obstinacy," should he have either of these commodities even in super abundance, will make not a whit of difference to affairs out here; still we should like him with the former instead of the latter. Still, be it either way, progress and development are written on the scroll of Utah. We have neither time nor inclination for war, and we won't have it; it don't pay....

Should our citizens be attacked, be they poor or rich, high up or in low estate, wherever we can we shall delend them wiih the truth. It is supposed that the government designs testing this question of polygamy at no distant day. In this case the Telegraph will have something to say, always assuming the position that what is constitutional should be obeyed; what is not should be resisted. We will not, however anticipate in this or in any thing else, but hold ourselves in readiness to defend whatever we believe to be right....

[In relation to the Cullom bill, now pending...] The latest news from Washington is very encouraging to the friends of this anti-polygamic bill. It is said that the bill is sure to pass the House, and thongh it may be retarded in the Senate, still everything is very hopeful. We have no idea that Mr. Cullom has much to do with the bill, as it had its birth and perfectionment in this city; he will, however, have a lasting notoriety in that connection. We do not know a single Gentile in this city who does not say that he is not opposed to that bill as it is. But while they may be opposed to polygamy itself, tney cannot go the whole length of disfranchising men for the faith they yet may have. There is enough of folly and outrage in the Cullom bill to defeat its puipose. When men fight the faith or institutions of Utah fairly, we may have no objection to their course; but when they resort to inquisitions, we are opposed to them, and shall do our best to expose their folly and wickedness.

Note: On Jan. 3, 1870, Mr. Stenhouse inserted a notice in the Salt Lake City Deseret News, stating that due to "circumstances which are of much less interest to the Public" than they were to the readers, that he would "temporarily suspend the publication of the Salt Lake Telegraph." The paper was briefly revived on March 6th and issues continued to be published through the beginning of May of that same year.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 29.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  August 24, 1870.                 Vol. XIX.


KIRTLAND, OHIO. -- From a letter written on the 10th inst., in Kirtland, Ohio by Elder Edward Stevenson of this city we condense the following interesting items:

I am happy to inform you of my safe arrival at this place. On Sunday last I was invited to preach in the first temple built by our people. The building is in a fair state ofpreservation, having been repaired, new roof and and re-painted, and the windows replaced. The walls upon which were inscribed the names of in manytravelers who passed this way to see the Kirtland Temple, have been whitewashed, so that the building has quite a respectable appearance. The plastering on the outside, penciled in squares to imitate stone, of which the walls are built, stands just as it did thirty-six years ago and scarcely any of it marred. Many travelers who pass within three miles of this place on the Lake Shore and Michigan R. R., step off at Willoughby and visit the temple to satisfy curiosity; some who visit the Salt Lake Temple and Tabenacle call and visit this on their way east.

The entrance to the Temple is effected through two double doors from a large stone platform, ascended by stone steps from the entrance and two stairways. The lower room is entered through two doorways. This room is the only one fitted up for meetings. The 2nd story is similar to the first and the upper rooms, five in number, used to be occupied for schools, &c. I had much larger congregations, both forenoon and afternoon, than could be expected on such short notice, and the best of attention.

Martin Harris, who still lives here, is tolerably well and has a great desire to see Utah and his children that live there; and although a the old gentleman is in the 88th year of his age, he still bears a faithful testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, being one of the three original witnesses. He says he saw the plates, handled them and saw the angel that visited Joseph Smith more than 40 years ago. I have made arrangements to emigrate him to Utah according to his desire, and will start in about two weeks.

Note: The above report was first published in the Deseret Evening News of Aug. 22nd. Some writers cite an article about Martin Harris, published in the August 31st issues of the News, but no such item appeared in the weekly edition on that date.


Vol. I.                             Salt Lake City,  Utah,   August 31, 1870.                             No. ?


Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, arrived in Salt Lake City last night, accompanied by Elder Edward Stevenson. Two members of the Des Moines Branch of the Church accompanied them to our city.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             Salt Lake City,  Utah,   September 3, 1870.                             No. ?


We had a call yesterday morning from Elder Edward Stevenson, who introduced Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Mr. Harris is now 88 years of age, and is remarkably lively and energetic for his years. He holds firmly to the testimony he has borne for over forty years, that an angel appeared before him and the other witnesses, and showed them the plates upon which the characters of the Book of Mormon were inscribed. After living many years separated from the body of the Church, he has come to spend the evening of life among the believers in that book to which he is so prominent a witness. Mr. Harris, who has a number of relatives in the territory, came from the east under the care of Elder Edward Stevenson.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. III.                 Salt Lake City,  Monday,  September 5, 1870.                 No. 242.


SABBATH MEETINGS - the congregation in the morning was addressed by Elder Edward Stevenson, Martin Harris and President George A. Smith in the afternoon. The time was occupied by Elder John Taylor. The house was crowded to overflowing.

Note 1: See also the News of Dec. 28, 1881.

Note 2: Joseph G. Stevenson's 1955 M.A. thesis, "The Life of Edward Stevenson," reproduces the following on pp. 163-164: "Salt Lake City, September 4, 1870, Sunday morning: Testimony of Martin Harris, written by my [Stevenson's ]hand from the mouth of Martin Harris -- 'In the year 1818, fifty-two years ago I was inspired of the Lord and taught of the spirit that I should not join any church, although I was anxiously sought for by many of the sectarians. I was taught I could not walk together unless agreed. What can you not be agreed in? In the trinity, because I cannot find it in any Bible. Find it for me and I am ready to receive it. Three persons in one God—one personage I can not concede to, for this is anti-Christ, for where is the Father as Son. I have more proof to prove nine persons in the trinity than you have three. How do you do so? John tells us of the seven spirits sent into all the world. If you have a right to make a personage of one spirit, I have of the seven -- and the Father and Son are two more, making nine. Other sects also tried me. They say three persons in one God, without body, parts or passions. I told them such a God I would not be afraid of. I could not please or offend him. [I] would not be afraid to fight a duel with such a God. The Methodists teach two [one word illegible] them exceed from one. I told them to [retract] to my saying, "God would hold me accountable for the use I made of it. All of the sects called me "Bro" [Brother] because the Lord had enlightened me. -- The spirit told me to join none of the churches, for none had authority from the Lord, for there will not be a true church on the earth until the words of Isaiah shall be fulfilled. When interrogated closely, I told them, "If any church [be] the church of Christ, the Christians then claim me. But join and lectuien [?] as much as any other. The time has not come for you to take that name. At Antioch they were called Christians in derision. No thanks for your name, so I remained, for there was no authority, for the spirit told me that I might just as well plunge myself into the water as to have any one of the sects baptize me. So I remained until the Church was organized by Joseph Smith, the Prophet. Then I was baptized by the hands of Oliver Cowdery, by Joseph Smith's command, being the first after Joseph and Oliver Cowdery. And then the spirit bore testimony that this was all right, and I rejoiced in the established Church. Previous to my being baptized, I became a witness of the plates of the Book of Mormon in 1829. In March the people rose up and united against the work, gathering testimony against the plates, and said they had testimony enough, and if I did not put Joseph in jail and his father for deception, they would me. So I went from Waterloo twenty-five miles southeast of Palmyra to Rogerses, Suscotua [sic] County, New York, and to Harmony, Pennsylvania, 125 [miles] and found Joseph. Rogers, unknown to me, had agreed to give my wife one hundred dollars if it was not a deception, and had whet his knife to eat the [word illegible] of the plates as the Lord had forbid Joseph exhibiting them openly.'"


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 31.                 Salt Lake City,  Wednesday,  September 7, 1870.                 Vol. XIX.


Considerable interest has been felt by our people in the arrival in this city, of Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon. He arrived here at 7:30, p. m. yesterday, in the company of Elder Edward Stevenson, who left this city on the 19th of last July for the purpose of bringing him out from [Kirtland], Ohio, where he has been living since the Saints first moved there -- 1831 -- thirty-nine years ago. Bro. Stevenson has had a strong desire to have Martin Harris brought here. But he himself has thought for years that his mission was in [Kirtland], he feeling that the Lord required him to stay there and bear testimony to the Book of Mormon and the first principles, which he has been earnest in doing, and he has felt reluctant to leave. But when Bro. Stevenson corresponded with him about coming out to the Valley, he replied that the spirit testified to him that he should come here, and in every letter that he afterwards received from him he expressed a still stronger desire to come. Bro. Stevenson made a collection, and after raising sufficient means, went to Kirtland and brought him here.

Martin Harris is in his 88th year. He is remarkably vigorous for one of his years, and still retains the use of his faculties, his memory being very good, and his sight, though his eyes appear to have failed, being so acute that he can see to pick a pin off the ground. He has experienced many changes and vicissitudes; but one point, so far as we have heard, he has never changed: -- he has never failed to bear testimony to the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He says it is not a matter of belief on his part, but of knowledge. He with the other two witnesses declared, and their testimony has accompanied every copy of the book, -- "that an angel of God came down from heaven, and brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon." This declaration he has not varied from in forty-one years; and it is a remarkable fact that, thought away from the Church, and not maintaining their connection with the Prophet Joseph Smith, not one of the three witnesses has ever failed, so far as known, to bear testimony to the truth of their united declaration contained in the preface of the Book of Mormon! Deny whatever they might of other points of doctrine of Joseph's authority or of his management, they have never denied the testimony which they have given to the world concerning the Book of Mormon.

We are glad to see Martin Harris once more in the midst of the Saints. He feels that this people are led by God, that they are a happy and a blessed people and have the appearance of enjoying God's favor. They are doing the very work which the Book of Mormon said should be done, and are the only people, who as a people, believe in that Book.

The history of this veteran member of the Mormon church would no doubt be as interesting, if written, as his course, since the severance of his connection with the Prophet Joseph Smith at the early rise of the church has been singular. One of the original witnesses of the Book of Mormon, he saw the angel, and handled the plates from which that book was translated. In relation to this, his testimony has never wavered, yet he, for some cause or other, has kept himself aloof from the church for many years, and has taken no part in carrying on the great work, of which he, in connection with Joseph and others, laid the foundation. No greater proof could be given, than the history and course of this man, that the work of God is not dependent upon any man, however great, talented, illustrious or favored he may be. Martin Harris having seen that which few in the flesh are favored to behold, and having received a testimony of the divinity of this work, and of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon that it was utterly impossible to destroy, one might have supposed, viewing things from a merely human standpoint, that the progress and prosperity of this work would have depended to some considerable extent on his co-operation, and that, lacking that, it would have been retarded. But such is not the case, and in this fact human pride, vanity and talent may learn a salutary lesson if it will.

Mr. Harris saw fit to withdraw himself from the cause, but its course, owing to the workings of Divinity through faithful agents, has been onward to a most remarkable degree. The Saints, by thousands, have been gathered from the nations, a territory has been peopled and the foundation of a kingdom laid which will never again be uprooted from the earth; and Martin Harris, no longer able to resist the conviction that God still guides and controls the destines of his kingdom and people gladly returns to share in their blessings and privileges of that kingdom.

There is still one other of the "original witnesses" living -- namely Mr. David Whitmer. He now resides in Missouri. We would not be surprised if the yearnings of his heart should yet lead him to follow the course of Mr. Harris and again throw in his lot with the Saints and close his earthly career in their midst.

INTERESTING. -- We have been permitted to extract the following items from a letter to President George A. Smith written on the 21st. inst. at Chicago, by Elder Edward Stevenson, then on his way westward. He says:

"I arrived here a few hours ago direct from Kirtland, Ohio. I am well, as also Martin Harris who is with me, although he is now in the 88th year of his age and rather feeble. But he walks along remarkably well, and while at Kirtland hoed out quite a lot of corn, and last fall hired out by the day to dig potatoes. He stands his journey thus far quite well, and feels filled with new life at the idea of going to the valleys of Utah, to see his children and friends * * * He is coming to the conclusion, after trying everything else, -- although he has always borne a faithful testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, -- that the work of the Lord is progressing in the tops of the mountains and that the people are gathering in fulfillment of prophecy."

Elder Stevenson, during his trip East this time, has paid a visit to the Hill Cumorah, whence the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated were obtained. He says, "although the hill is very steep, -- the highest in these parts, wheat has been grown on the very spot whence the plates were taken." He visited and talked with an old gentleman, now seventy-four years of age, who, when the plates were exhumed, resided adjoining the hill and resides there still. The people now call the hill "Mormon Hill." In the country around, old buildings, forts, earthworks and mounds have been discovered, showing that in times long past it was thickly peopled, and that it has been the theatre of conflicts between contending armies.

Note: See the Portland Morning Oregonian of Sept. 16, 1875 for Martin Harris' obituary.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah,  September 12, 1870.                             No. ?



Salt Lake City, Sept. 10, 1870.    
Sir: My apology for delaying the writing of this, my second letter to you so long is poverty. A wretched pecuniary condition brought upon me by your peculiar and avowed policy of keeping your followers poor, lest like Jeshuron, they should "wax fat and kickick." When I reflect back upon the days of my youth, and consider the respectability of my relatives, my education and fair prospects in life, and consider the following years which should have been devoted to the realization of some, at least, of the nobler ambitions of life, but which, alas, have been spent (for a long time past unwillingly) in bolstering up the baseless fabric of your supposititious kingdom, and, passing to the present, find myself compelled to labor to earn a bare support for myself and the two sets of children entailed upon me by your Mormonism, I can only feel for you the most unkind of feelings. Indeed, sir, believe me when I say, when my sympathies for you are realized, you will have a bright and shining mansion in that eternal abode where mackinaw blankets are at a big discount.

Resuming the thread of my discourse at the point, in my last letter, where I dropped you without ceremony, and with the extreme of loathing I will say, that you imposed your pseudo convention and mockery of an election upon Congress and the Government, and although you did not get the "State of Deseret," you did get the Territory of Utah, with yourself as Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Here, for the first time, you had bestowed upon you legal, extensive, civil powers, which added to your assumed Presidency of the Mormon Church, made your authority in Utah over both the white and the red man undeniable and absolute. No man in America, since the days of William Penn, had had so excellent an opportunity to demonstrate the rare qualities of statesmanship, a true piety, and above all -- honesty. The whites attached to you by a common faith and hope, and the Indians to receive from you their first impressions of the race which was to control their destiny. How did you discharge the high responsibilities then resting upon you? Let us see. As Superintendent of Indian Affairs, the Government of the United States expected you to fully impress upon the red man just and truthful ideas of the Government -- its power, its justice, its peaceful policy, and its beneficence. As its almoner it expected you to wisely and honestly dispense to them the thousands of its unstinted bounties, and to pursue that policy that would make the Indian feel that the Government was his Great Father, and Americans his brothers. It must be admitted that in no State or Territory was the Indian ever so liberally treated as in Utah during your superintendency, but it was the people and not you who administered this liberality. You had instructed them so to do. There are to-day many in the Territory who, during that period, many a time divided their last biscuit with those savage wards of the Government, giving in the aggregate, out of their own scanty meal bags, thousands of that which you had sworn to give; but that was a "Gentile oath," and, by Utah inspiration, not binding on a Mormon conscience. I do not wish it understood that you gave nothing of the Government bounty to the Indians. Had you done so, you would have been more consistent with your general course in other things. But when you did deal out, the ideas with which you imposed the head chief, Walker, and the Utes generally, concerning the American Government and people, would have sent any other Superintendent of Indian Affairs to State’s prison for life. But when did you ever do an honest thing? You got up an immigration scheme, with yourself as its financial agent, through which you lapped up untold thousands of the hard earnings of the poor; you "appropriated" additional thousands of like hard earnings on railroad contracts. So it has ever been; and if you made the people feed and clothe the Indians while you kept the Government gratuities, it was precisely what might have been expected of you, and, in the diction you delight in, it simply showed the chronic propensity within you to swindle and to steal. But the financial history of your superintendency was the least criminal part of it. It was the sentiments you impressed upon the Indian mind that should crush you with the execrations of all honest men, and sink you to the lowest depths of infamy. You impressed the Indians fully that the Americans and Mormons were two distinct and separate peoples; and every bishop in Utah, and every elder, priest, teacher and deacon were expected to, and in the main did, re-echo to the Indians that damnable proposition. You used the Indian goods, what you did use of them, to magnify your own importance among the red men. It was the "peeup capitan Brigham" that gave this and gave that; and I doubt whether during your entire administration a single Indian recipient at your hands of Government presents, had the slightest idea that the United States had anything to do with it. During that same superintendency, the Indians were taught that they and the Mormons were and ought to be friends and brothers, and that the Americans were the natural enemies of both.

In those days, the ideas of a bright galaxy of States environing Utah, and trans-continental railroads passing near Salt Lake City, had not entered your extremely prophetic mind, and your consummate statesmanship had not comprehended the tithe of the tithe of the power of the United States; and considering the time near (a weakness common to your kind of prophets) when Utah would be transformed into the independent "kingdom of god," and acknowledged as such by the nations, you taught these same Indians to prepare for hostilities against the United States. They were to be the “battle-axe of the Lord” to lay waste the Eastern States, to “tear down, break in pieces, and there should be none to deliver.” This treasonable teaching was common throughout the Territory, and for which you were altogether responsible. The folly of such teachings was bad enough, but their criminality was most damning, and when your position under the Government is taken in connection therewith, “perfidious” is an inadequate adjective to prefix to your cursed name, and a gallows too respectable a structure from which to suspend your effete and used-up carcass. You had determined to form the closest possible alliance with the Indian tribes around you, and to this end intermarriage was "counselled," and was not long in taking practical shape; and Walker, poor innocent soul, supposing that he was on a perfect equality with his Mormon brothers, demanded a white squaw to help fill up his wick-e-up; but he died very suddenly by devouring, as is supposed, an innocent bowl of bread and milk! It cannot be truthfully denied that more or less of the murders and massacres on the Old Overland Road from Bitter Creek on the east to Gravelly Ford on the west, between the years 1849 and 1858, were mainly due to the kind of teaching above referred to, for you had numerous missionaries among the Indians preparing them for the great expected conflict, and in those little massacres and passages at arms the “battle axes” were just getting their hand in. The killing of that unoffending yet gentlemanly officer, Captain Gunnison, was directly due to such teachings, if, indeed, that cowardly assassination was committed by Indians; therefore, for that shedding of innocent blood you were responsible, and at the time of that awful massacre at the Mountain Meadows, the Indians were called out in common with the Mormons to do that bloody deed, but to the honor of the savages be it known, that they refused to participate in that wholesale murder after the surrender; even Mormons shrunk back and refused to obey J.D. Lee’s orders, until he made them a speech declaring that he was acting under your "counsel" in that affair, and even then, although the Mormons felt compelled to obey your commands, "even to the shedding of blood," and did so, even to the "wiping out" of that ill-fated company, the Indians stood back amazed, without firing a gun or shooting an arrow. To first disarm men by lying promises of life and protection, and then deliberately slaughter an entire company of unoffending men, women and children, was more than even savages could do. At that time you had assumed, and had unquestioned control of the issues of life and death over the whole of old Utah, reaching from Bridger’s Pass to the Sierra Nevadas, and from Bear River to the Rio Virgen; and you exercised that control without hesitation or stint; indeed, you appeared to have no more scruples of conscience in causing the murder of any one considered by you as an enemy, or that might become such, than you would to cut off a chicken’s head. Your rule in all things in Utah, at that time, was despotic beyond example or precedent. No man knew this better than that same John D. Lee, and with such knowledge, for him to have acted as demon-in-chief in that most sanguinary, merciless and inhuman of all your crimsoned felonies, citing you there and then as his authority for so doing, was impossible. I expect to renew my courtesies to you at my earliest convenience.
Salt Lake City, Sept. 10, 1870.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol III.                 Salt Lake City,  Monday,  October 10, 1870.                 No. 272.


...MARTIN HARRIS, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, arose and bore testimony to its divine authenticity. President George A. Smith spokes short time: he said it is remarkable to have the testimony of Martin Harris. The Book of Mormon, however, carries evidence with it. The promise has been fulfilled that those who do the will of God should know of the doctrine that it is true; thus the Book of Mormon has thousands of witnesses...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah,  November 5, 1870.                             No. ?


Salt Lake City, Nov. 2, 1870.    
Sir: For the third time I sit down to address you. In my last, I reminded you of a few items in the history of your administration as Superintendent of Indian Affairs; in this I propose to review some of the stronger points in your course as Governor of Utah. In accepting, you (by that act) acknowledged the rightful jurisdiction of the United States over the Territory of Utah, and your own absolute and unqualified allegiance to the same. You, by that acceptance, assured the [Government] of your readiness to perform to the full, the sum of your duties as an officer in high and responsible trust, as a true and loyal American citizens should do. It was a tacit pledge to the Government that its faith, its policy, its honor and its truth should be yours; and that your administration should be conducted with an eye single to its interests and fair fame. You were bound, your honor was bound, nay, you were solemnly sworn to all these, (I think I see your scornful "pshaw! that was only a d—d Gentile oath,") and to every obligation resting upon you as a public officer.

In due course the Legislature met -- the first Legislature of the Territory of Utah. The members were of your own choosing -- men willing "to do as they were told," who, in the mutual idiosyncrasy inseparable from and consequent upon a long acquiescence in your favorite dogma of "Obedience to counsel," were exactly fitted to form a Legislative body that was to entertain no proposition not made by you, that was to enact no law that had not first been gotten up and approved by you as President of a religious (?) body; and that was to pass all bills emanating from your (tithing) office without objection or serious debate. But lest some of those erudite and sage law makers should not understand their position, and yours, you called them together and made them a speech, in which you gave them very clearly to understand that you were, and were to be the all-in-all, and that the Legislature was to be a preciously small affair. That the sum of all the proceedings, from the sham Convention to the Organic Act, was merely a tub thrown to the whale to arouse and misdirect him. -- Uncle Sam was held by you to be rather an indifferent whale, at that time. -- You held your position as Governor of Utah to be of the least possible consequence, but your "priesthood," (heaven save the mark!) you regarded as the source of all real power in the Territory. In plain English, your kingdom and dynasty, yclept "The State of Deseret," was the power to be obeyed in reality, while the Territorial Government would mislead Uncle Sam, until you got strong enough to declare your independence. Thus was the United States made to be
"The fruitful, tho' reluctant tree
On which the gnarled lie adnascent grew."
You wanted no laws, no written statutes; you wanted only the "living oracles," which were simply the ipse dixit of Brigham Young, to rule the people of Deseret. It is needless to say that you got the legislators all right, and you were prepared to go to work. You had a difficult game to play; blowing hot and cold with each alternate breath, delivering a flaming and loyal message to the Legislature, and knocking the whole into a cocked hat, in the old "Bowery," before the public congregation, appearing at Washington as a faithful public servant, and at home as the only Sovereign Lord of Utah, whose word was the only law. One side of you as the loyal citizen of the United States, and the other as the demi-god of Great Salt Lake. It was indeed a difficult game to play; but you were no novice. Double dealing, so habitual with you, stood you in good stead and then, you had excellent help: Jedediah M. Grant, Willard Richardson [sic - Richards], Heber C. Kimball, with the Twelve Apostles, and other worthies of your ilk, stood ready, hat in hand, to put you up to what little of treason and damnation you did not happen to think of. The history of your rule from that time forth was purely dualistic in its character; Deseret was the active, and Utah the passive. The American people understood the latter, as a matter of course; it was altogether in accordance with the genius of free institutions; the former they never comprehended. The peace-loving advocates of and happy participants in the blessings of American free and equal laws could not conceive of such a despotic rule as yours. In this country, where freedom of thought, speech and action are fully guaranteed to all by the Constitution, it could not be believed that an entire community, making one of the Territories of the United States, could so far abnegate self, could so far forego their own individuality as distinct and separate members of a commonwealth as to place in the hands of one man the entire control of governmental affairs. No people ever gave more than that; no despot ever held more, or with a bloodier hand, though that hand might be, when occasion required, covered with a glove of faultless white. Hitherto you had held this power as president of the Mormon people. You still held it as such, and to perpetuate this priestly rule, gave the Probate Judges and Justices of the Peace (who were generally Bishops) to understand that as judicial offices they were nothing but as bishops, they were "judges in Zion," whose jurisdiction was unwritten, undefined; limited by nothing but your pleasure. All Utah, from yourself down, acted, or appeared to act, in accordance with such instructions, and upon that "policy," and it need not be difficult to understand how empty and hollow was your administration as Governor of Utah, and what a complete burlesque it was upon all legal rule whatsoever.

But let us look at some of your legislation. You got up an act punishing adultery with extraordinary severity. This was for two reasons: to scare off strangers, and to give you a reputation abroad for a superior degree of virtue; yet at the very time you had that law enacted you, yourself, were not only a wholesale adulterer, but a woman stealer. You stole Mrs. Cobb, the wife of a respectable merchant of Boston, and was living with her when that law was passed. You stole a certain Mrs. Smith, wife to one of your followers, nay, you worse than stole her, for the unsuspecting husband for years had no idea that his wife was only his apparently, and that your virtuous system of sealing was making her do as Gentile strumpets do. But why should I particularize when you had stolen women domiciled all over Salt Lake City, and you, so exceedingly virtuous abroad, in the preacher’s stand, and in the statute book. Your statute, however, was made for the benefit of Gentiles, and not Mormons, and is only one of the many instances of class legislation which occur in the laws of Utah. But while I am discussing this particular statute, permit me to call your attention to another fact which shows exactly the position which the soul of Brigham Young occupied at that time, not only upon the general question of Christian ethics, but also upon the particular sentiments of virtue between the sexes. I refer to the "proxy system." You had declared before the public congregation that "one man born and brought up among the Mormons, was worth a dozen immigrant Saints, bringing with them their Gentile traditions," as you term Christian ideas; also, you were anxious to increase the population of Utah for treasonable purpose; also, you annually sent abroad a strong corps of missionaries, many of whom left wives and "spirituals" at home. Your missionaries are usually absent three years. The average number of grass widows thus left in Utah is about three hundred. Now to carry out your policy of populating the "kingdom," the "proxy system" was introduced; and although you would have sent a Gentile to the penitentiary for twenty years for committing adultery with a Mormon woman, you would at the same time applaud these wives of the missionaries for bearing children by the Mormon priesthood in their husband’s absence. No, sir, notwithstanding all your loud prating of sexual purity, and your severe statutory prohibition it is clear that the marriage vow, made even over your own altar, is regarded by you as nothing. It is as clear as the noon-day sun that chastity, virtue, and all the pure and loveable instincts of woman’s nature must be crushed out in your dominions when they are supposed to contravene your unholy lusts and treasonable ambition. While I am upon this subject, I shall "say my say" about it, so in my next letter look out for the most earnest effort of

Note: Transcription courtesy of Will Bagley and Burr Fancher.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah,  February 11, 1871.                             No. ?

Lee  and  the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

(under construction)

Note: This was one of the earlier"Argus" letters, penned by C. W. Wandell -- see the the Nevada Carson State Register of Feb. 12, 1871 and other regional newspapers for reprints of the obscure "Argus" reports. H. H. Bancroft evidently consulted several such Nevada newspapers when writing his History of Utah.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah,  February 22, 1871.                             No. ?

Mountain Meadows.

Blood Atonement -- Preaching and Practice -- War Against Mankind.
Brigham at Bay -- The End is Near.

(Open Letter to Brigham Young.)

Salt Lake City,    
Feb. 17, 1871.    
Sir: The massacre at the Mountain Meadows was simply an effect resulting from a certain cause, which I now propose to notice. And right here I wish to state a proposition, which you will very much dislike to see, but one which is fully sustained by notorious facts; and that is, that the aforesaid massacre was but a realization, on a small scale, of a doctrine before enunciated by you, which had for years been publicly preached not only from your own stand in the old Tabernacle, but throughout the settlements in Utah; not only preached, but a prominence given to it second to nothing taught to your congregations, except polygamy itself, to which indeed it was very nearly related, for as the one was born of an unbridled lust, so was the other of the supposed necessity consequent upon the indulgence of that lust. I mean your doctrine of "blood atonement." Almost immediately upon the introduction of your polygamous practices in Nauvoo did you announce, not publically, but privately, to your "secret police," that it was right to shed blood in defence of the Church and its (supposed) institutions. Upon your arrival at Salt Lake in 1847, the same idea begun to be preached to the congregations, and continued to be so taught for years, and until there became too many Gentile ears around to hear; and in secret it is so taught to-day throughout the Mormon settlements of Utah.

Total Extirpation Taught.

You rejected the doctrine of atonement as given 1st John, II:2, and taught that the sin of apostacy could only be purged by the shedding of the blood of the apostate. You further taught that the killing of Joseph and Hiram Smith had to be atoned for by the shedding of blood, and, in that connection, I once heard you say that there was not enough of blood in the whole untied States to make full satisfaction for their death. The results of such teaching were, as a matter of course, such scenes of blood as were common in Utah before the advent of the United States troops. The New Testament teaches us not to kill; but you taught murder as a precept of religion. You justified, applauded, sanctified, first, the killing of apostates; second, the killing of Gentiles. At that time there were no territories of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona; there was no State of Nevada, but this entire Rocky Mountain region was for the most part an unknown country to all except Mormons, and the peculiar isomorphism of Mormonism was such that you expected to maintain your position here on American soil until you got strong enough to turn your arms against the United States, and revenge the death of Joseph and Hiram. You taught us that in due time the Mormons and Indians were to make war on the entire American people. They were to "go through, tear down, break in pieces, and there should be none to deliver." They were to lay waste "counties, States, and the United States." They were to extirpate the populations in satisfaction for the blood of the Lord's Anointed, Joseph Smith and his brother. It is probable that you cared precious little about avenging the blood of those two men, but you were ruling over Mormons who loved the memory of their illustrious martyrs; you were using them as materials upon which to found your empire and dynasty, and the manner of the deaths of the founders of their faith afforded you a convenient hook upon which to hang your favorite way of disposing of your enemies.

The Crimson Track.

Now, Sir, this doctrine of the shedding of blood had be preached and enforced among the people of Utah for a period of twelve years up to the time of the Mountain Meadow massacre. During that time blood had been shed on the old overland road, on the Territorial road, at Salt Lake City, in the settlements, in the canyons, by the rivers' banks, among the sage brush, everywhere; and all to satisfy the Utah god, incarnated in your person, and portrayed in your treasonable ambition. And in no case has there been a man killed by your orders who was not less a criminal than yourself; no man but had less of lecherous practices, who was not less debauched and less dishonest and corrupt, less a falsifier of his word, and a better citizen than you. Even John D. Lee was, in my opinion, less a murderer than yourself. By the way, there is a passage in Ezekiel, III:17-20, which I commend to your notice:
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou has not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness, which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
As you assumed the character of Watchman, as in the text, whom of all your victims did you duly and truly warn, first, as a preacher, and second, as the Chief Magistrate of a Territory? And on their failing to heed your warning, whom did you cite before your Ecclesiastical Court, and there give him a fair and impartial trial on your stereotyped charge of "unchristianlike conduct?" And then, if unrepentant, after excommunication, whom did you cause or permit to be indicted, tried, condemned, and executed legally, thus magnifying the law and clearing your own skirts? Not the first man, within my recollection. And, therefore, in all these cases, both civil and ecclesiastical law pronounce you a murderer; for the reason that, in the United States, church courts have not the right to try a man for his life; and, further, that their jurisdiction in any given case does not begin until the defendant puts in an appearance before the court, or has been duly cited so to do. Hence, in all your church trials, in which the defendant had not been served with notice, and was not properly before your tribunal, your sentence was without any legal force whatever. Now as your death sentences have been invariably pronounced by yourself as President of the Church, and under conditions as above stated, you are in the eyes of the law a murderer, and are responsible for every death produced in pursuance of such sentence. They are fearful things to contemplate, those secret church trials, wherein men have been tried for their lives and condemned to death, knowing nothing of the matter until the assassin’s bullet had executed the terrible sentence! And yet how often has that thing been done in Utah!

Results of Teaching.

At the time of the Mountain Meadow massacre, the Mormon people had been long and persistently trained to the idea of the necessity, sinlessness, and even piety of church murders. Jedediah M. Grant, then your "Second Counsellor," was your chief apostle of blood and it was in your presence, and with your approval, in the old Bowery at Salt Lake City, he would get up and preach murder by the hour. Incredible as that may appear to the outside world, it was notorious enough at the time in Utah. Those blood sermons, preached by yourself, Grant, and Heber C. Kimball, were caught up by the bishops and missionaries, and preached to the settlements all over the Territory, and the man who would dare demur to them had need to lose no time in setting his house in order, for he would surely die. The scope of those sermons did not only include dissenting Mormons, but Gentiles also. In fact the whole American people were declared to be accessories, after the fact, to the murder of Joseph and Hiram and I am confident there was not at that time a sincere, full-faithed Mormon in Utah, but what considered it no crime against Heaven to kill a Gentile, and his bounden duty to kill a dissenting Mormon, when ordered to do so by you. In such a condition of public sentiment, with the moral sense of the people blunted by your preaching, with a thirst or blood as a matter of conscience and of duty, it only required your order to make the massacre at Mountain Meadows a matter of course.

Legal Inquiry.

The question here [arises] as to what the relative degrees of responsibility truly rests between you and your soldiers who did that deed. Your military order to them was a positive act, while the execution of that order by them was a negative act, and must have been so regarded by a court-martial had one been ordered in that case. And here I respectfully ask our present Governor and Commander-in-Chief, whether such court-martial must not yet be called? Now suppose it should be, and your subordinate, Colonel Dame should plead in his defense "obedience to orders," and should make it appear to the satisfaction of the court, that the massacre was the direct result of such order. You were at the time Governor and Commander-in-Chief, therefore said orders to him were legitimate, though commanding him to commit an act of hostility to a party of peaceable travelers. To what extent can the court hold him criminally responsible? And what is true in his case, must be equally true of every office and soldier in the regiment. Did it ever occur to you that while the militia that served under Major Lee at the Mountain Meadows, have since scattered to different parts of the Territory and Arizona, the commanding officers have remained precisely where they are? That is so, and the reason is evident.

Fixing the Responsibility.

For while the ignorant masses only knew they had been engaged in a horrible massacre, Major Lee and Colonel Dame both knew that they were shielded by your order, and did not greatly fear trial, if one must be had. Do not suppose me to be the apologist of those murderers. The gusto with which many of them entered into that bloody work, and their persistent efforts since to justify the act, fixes their status as fiends, and excludes them from the sympathies of all proper-minded persons. My object is, simply, to bring you, the chief villain in that affair, to the light -- to drag you from your hiding place -- tear off your disguise, and exhibit you to my Mormon brethren and to the government as the champion monster of the continent. Did it ever occur to you, did you think in years now past, in the hated time of your crimsoned reign over the people of Deseret, that the time would come, and you live to see it, when your murderous acts would be stripped of the religious sophistries and philosophism through and by means of which you tried so long and hard to sanction them in the eyes of the Mormon people, when they would be exposed in all their hideous nakedness? when facts would be rated at their just value as special facts, as murders -- and you the murderer? I shall only be too happy to renew my attentions to you at my earliest convenience.

Note: Transcription courtesy of Will Bagley and Burr Fancher.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah,   July 15, 1871.                             No. ?

Argus'  Letters.

During a recent visit to Salt Lake City, we made arrangements for a continuance of the writings of this able correspondent and thoroughly versed historian of Utah. To-day (Saturday) the first of the new series of "Open Letters to Brigham Young" appears, and hereafter one each week until the completest history of Mormonism ever yet written, shall have been given to the world. There are only two men, living, capable of accomplishing the task of "Argus," namely, himself and Brigham Young. The latter dare not write the fearful autobiography, but the other meets the responsibility with a candor that is terrible to contemplate.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Salt Lake City, July 12, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: The company of emigrants slaughtered on the 15th of September, 1857, at the Mountain Meadows, and within your jurisdiction, was one of the wealthiest, most respectable and peaceable that ever crossed the continent by the way of Salt Lake City. They were American citizens -- were within the territory of the United States, and when they encamped by the Jordan river, upon the free, unenclosed and unappropriated public domain, and by the laws of Utah, their stock were 'free commoners' on that domain. The most of those emigrants had unquestionably been farmers, all of them rural in their habits of life; and from the fact that you did not charge them with being thieves, or robbers, or of trespassing upon the rights of others, or disturbing the public peace, or with behaving themselves unseemly, it is fair to infer that they were as upright and virtuous in their habits of thought, and as honest and honourable in their intercourse with others as people from country parts generally are. They came from Arkansas.

When they encamped by the Jordan they were weary and foot-sore, their supply of food was well-nigh exhausted, and their work-cattle nearly 'used up' by the labours of the long and toilsome journey. The necessity rested upon them of tarrying in Utah sufficiently long to rest and recruit their teams and replenish their store of provisions. The harvest in Utah that year, then gathering, was abundant, and mountain and valley were covered with rich and nutritious grasses. What was there to hinder this company from staying as long as they pleased, recruiting their stock, and pursuing their journey when they got ready? And, besides, what had they done that the protection of the law, represented in your person, should be worse than withdrawn from them? that they should be ordered to break up camp and move on? and, worse than all, that a courier should be sent ahead of them bearing your written instructions to the Mormons on said company's line of travel to have no dealing or intercourse with them; thus compelling them to almost certain death by starvation on the deserts? You were at that time the

Governor of Utah,

Commander-in-Chief of the militia, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, a sworn officer of the United States and of the Territory, upon whom devolved, and with whom were intrusted grave and important responsibilities, affecting the liberties of the people, the rights of persons and property, and the welfare and happiness of all within the pale of your authority without regard to sect, creed, name, or nativity, or differences between individual opinions. In addition to your magistrature, you were the chief high-priest of almost the entire body of the people, assuming to yourself extraordinary heavenly powers and an unusual amount of spiritual excellence. Without any modification of the term, you were professedly the earthly Vicar of the heavenly Saviour -- of Him who divinely discoursed on earth of mercy and of love, and whose last words were, Father, "forgive them!" It is supposable that one in such high position, and with an ambition such as yours, would hesitate to take any step that would in the end bring upon you the execrations of all just men. "Opportunity" is an inadequate term for that which you have had to hand your name down to posterity as one of the wisest, noblest, most humane and best of men; but your evil nature has seemed to inspire your thoughts and purposes, and it is such inspiration alone that must be your apology for the particular course you have taken, which has covered your soul with blood-guiltiness, beginning with that of the manly and noble Colonel Dunham in Iowa, and extending down through a series of dark and fearful years, including in its history the slaughter of this very company at the Mountain Meadows. Not being allowed to remain, this weary, unrested company "broke camp" and took up their line of travel for Los Angeles. Their progress was necessarily slow. Arriving at American Fork settlement they essayed to trade off some of their worn-out stock for the fresh and reliable cattle of the Mormons, offering fine bargains; and also sought to buy provisions.

What must have been their surprise when they found they could do neither? Notwithstanding that flour, bacon, vegetables in variety, poultry, butter, cheese, eggs, etc., were in unusual abundance, and plenty of surplus stock, not the first thing could be bought or sold! They passed on through Battle Creek, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Salt Creek and Fillmore, attempting at each settlement to purchase food and to trade for stock, but without success. It is true that occasionally some Mormon more daring than his fellows would sack up a few pounds of provisions, and under cover of night smuggle the same into the emigrant camp, taking his chances of a severed windpipe in satisfaction for such unreasonable contempt of orders; but otherwise there was no food bought by this company thus far. And here it is worthy to remark that up to this time no complaint had been made against these travellers. They had been accused of no crime known to the laws, and, undeniably, it had been a point with them to quietly and peaceably pass through Utah, in the hope of reaching some Gentile settlement where their gold and cattle could buy them something to eat.

The Query Arises Here,

What caused so strange and unprecedented a proceeding towards this particular company? The custom of the overland emigration at that time was well known; which was, to provision their trains for Salt Lake City, and refit at that place for California. If other trains could rest and recruit, could buy, sell and refit in Utah, why not this? I answered these questions in a former letter; and shall here recall only one item of that answer, namely, That those people were from Arkansas, a State in which Parley P. Pratt, one of your fellow apostles, had been killed for corrupting a man’s wife and stealing his children. Parley was an expert in the seducing business. He had already broken up a respectable family named Marden, in Boston, and one named Rogers, in New York, besides some adventures in England; but then he was the Lord's anointed! He was the Apostle of the pure Savior, and "to the pure, all things are pure," therefore his inveigling McLain’s wife and children from their once charming home, was a pious and holy act! For that act he was killed by the outraged husband and father, a Mississippian, who tracked them from New Orleans into Arkansas, and there did to him precisely what you have many a time said should be done to Gentiles in Utah under similar circumstances; and to avenge the blood of this anointed lecher, was one of the alleged reasons for your holy (!) wrath against these Arkansas emigrants. Mrs. McLain was living at Salt Lake City at the time the company passed through, and it was reported that she had recognized one or more of the party as having been present at the death of Pratt. Right here I will state the main items connected with Parley’s death, for the purpose of contrasting the manner of that death, and the chances of life that were freely given him by the people of Arkansas; with the relentless, merciless, inhuman manner of the slaughter of this unfortunate company. McLain had followed Parley with a warrant, and had him arrested by the proper officer, on a charge of kidnapping. He was taken before a magistrate, and cleared by the testimony of Mrs. McLain; the substance of which was, that her leaving her home was her own voluntary act, that she took the children from where they had been placed, and that she did not see Pratt until she met him in Arkansas. It was after the examination, while Parley was at the hotel, that some two or three gentlemen came into his room, and in the presence of Mrs. McLain, told him that McLain was exasperated beyond measure, -- that he was certain to kill him on sight, and that his only chance for life was, to get away privately and as expeditiously as possible. They got his horse ready at the back of the yard, and finding him unarmed, offered him pistols for his protection. Parley refused the pistols; but got on his horse and rode for life. But he was a very heavy man; and after McLain ascertained that he had left, he mounted a horse and set out to overtake him.

The Race was an Exciting One.

Parley at the start about a mile or so ahead, McLain gained on him rapidly, and when close upon him fired some six or eight shots; the last one taking effect and killing him.

But to return. This ill-fated company were now at Fillmore. They had left their camp at the Jordan with almost empty wagons, they had been unable to purchase provisions, as before stated, they had but three or four settlements yet to pass through; and then their way would pass over the most to be dreaded of all the American deserts, where there would be no possibility of obtaining a pound of food. What their prospects, feelings and forebodings were at that time, I leave for your consideration; but, sir, I beg to call your attention to the fact that, at the capture of their train at the Mountain Meadows, their stores were found to be inadequate for the journey in contemplation. They were, indeed, well-nigh exhausted, with the exception of two purchases which I shall describe presently, which purchases were made after they had left Fillmore. There cannot be a reasonable doubt that they were already on short allowance when they reached that settlement

Sir, there was that about the treatment which this company received from you and in

Pursuance of Your Orders.

That was so absolutely nefarious, nay, so utterly savage, that we look in vain in the history of civilization for a parallel. There have been times, as in late occurrences in Paris, when men’s passions have been aroused and excited, especially upon religious differences, and still more especially when associated with the idea of caste or race; outrages and wholesale butcheries have occurred; but here we have in free America a peaceable company of emigrants who were forced untimely into a journey, then half starved, and finally slaughtered in cold blood! And this was the result of the apparent action of an entire people. Do you expect the world to believe that action to have been spontaneous with them? That the whole people from the Jordan to Fillmore, should of their own free will, uninfluenced, uninstructed, uncoerced, should all as one unite in denying these strangers the right even of buying food? Impossible! For Mormons, after all, are men, and the mass of them can not be totally lost to the promptings and sympathies of our better nature.

There was but One Man

In Utah that could have produced that result, and that man was, -- yourself. And even you would hardly have treated this company as you did, had not your mad ambition led you into crime. Conscious guilt of multiplied criminalities perverted your judgment, causing you to see hostility in the friendly action of the general Government toward Utah, and red-handed enemies in this company of Arkansas farmers, traveling with their wives and little ones. And they had now traveled through and by fifteen different settlements, large and small, peopled by Mormons under your absolute control in all things, and had not been able to buy food. Oh! what a falling off was there from the words of Him, who said, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him!”

I close, assuring you that you are faithfully remembered by

Note: See Will Bagley's book, Blood of the Prophets, which quotes from C. W. Wandell, in regard to Parley P. Pratt, on page 98, as follows: "[the widow Pratt] recognized one or more of the [Fancher] party as having been present at the death of Pratt." In a note on his page 404, Bagley cites this quote from Mrs. Pratt, as coming from the Wandell "Argus" letter, published in the Reporter of July 15th.



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  July 22, 1871.                             No. ?


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Salt Lake City, July 20, [1871].    
                           An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: In my last, we left the emigrants of Mountain Meadow memory at Fillmore. Their store of provisions [was] too scanty to allow of delay; and so soon as they found they could do no trading there they moved on, and in due course reached Corn Creek. Here they saw the first kindly look and heard the first friendly word since they left the Jordan. And, strange to say, those friends were Indians! They sold the emigrants 30 bushels of corn -- all they had to spare -- and sent them away in peace. And, sir, these were the very Indians whom you afterward represented in the papers of California and elsewhere as having pursued this company and massacred them at the Mountain Meadows, alleging that the emigrants had poisoned an ox and certain springs which had caused the death of certain of their band.

Brigham as a Liar

This lie, like other fabrications of yours, has done you some service; but the old settlers know it to be a falsehood. There was a company of men who started from Salt Lake City for Los Angeles about three weeks after the Arkansans had left the Jordan. This company had trouble with the Corn Creek Indians. And I am well persuaded that said trouble was another little trick of yours, to put them out of the way. They were driven from Salt Lake City. Some had been merchants there. You were preparing your campaign against the Government troops under Johnson. These Gentiles had to leave. But no sooner had they gone than you received the news of the massacre at the Mountain Meadows. It would not do for them to see the horrible sight presented there, and state the truth to the press of California. These are, as I believe, the reasons why they had trouble with the Corn Creek band, and why the savages followed them as far as Parowan, expecting help from the Mormons to "wipe them out." But Colonel Dame had got an overdose of your Mormonism. He had sickened on the massacre, so most of this company were saved, but were not allowed to go by the way of the Meadows. They were compelled to make a rough and tedious detour via Washington settlement, avoiding the Meadows, so that when they arrived at Los Angeles they could give no certain intelligence concerning the massacre. There is not a particle of evidence to how that any Corn Creek Indian was in Lee’s fight with the emigrants.

The Trials of the Emigrants.

The Arkansas company passed on from Corn Creek, and, reaching Beaver, they found the same order of non-intercourse, the same prohibition as to trading as before; and, passing on, they came to Parowan, but were not permitted to enter the town. Now be it known, and the books will show, that the General Government had paid twenty-five thousand dollars in gold coin for the surveying and opening of this road which passed directly through the town of Parowan, and upon which this company was travelling and had travelled all the way from Salt Lake City, passing through American Fork, and all the principal settlements on the route. They had passed through those settlements without let or hindrance; but here they were forced to leave the public highway and pass around the west side of the fort wall. When they reached the stream abreast of the town they encamped, and tried, as before, to trade for food and fresh cattle, but failed. There was a little Englishman who was determined to sell them some provisions; but Bishop Lewis's son and Counsellor advanced before him, and, pressing the edge of a bowie-knife against his throat, compelled him to retreat without realizing his humane intentions. There was a grist-mill at Parowan, the first the company had "struck" since they left Corn Creek. They made application to have the corn ground which they had bought of the Indians, but were flatly refused.

A Pertinent Question.

Now, sir, why were these emigrants refused permission to enter and pass through Parowan? However unpleasant it may be to you, this question will probably yet be asked in such form and by such authority that you will feel constrained to answer. You are quite competent to give the answer, so is your Aide-de-camp and Brigadier-General, George A.   So is Wm. H. Dame, the Colonel of the regiment forming a part of the militia under your supreme command -- that same regiment that afterward fell upon that same unoffending company at Mountain Meadows and destroyed them. But you will not answer until compelled. Then let me suggest that Parowan was the legitimate headquarters of that particular regiment; that it was the place of residence of Col. Dame; that there was a certain military appearance inside the walls that it would not be prudent for the emigrants to see or [suspect], for their destruction had been decreed, and they must be taken at a disadvantage. And, further, the emigrants hitherto had encountered only a passive hostility, now it was to be active; and they must not be permitted to enter the town where their unoffending manners and quiet deportment might win upon the sympathies of the people.

A Seeming Favor.

The emigrants made their way to Cedar City, at that time the most populous of all the towns in Southern Utah. Here they were allowed to purchase fifty bushels of tithing wheat, and to get the same, and also the corn, ground at John D. Lee's mill[s]. No thanks, however, for this seeming favour; for the authorities that pretended to sell that wheat knew that they would have the most of it back in less than a week; at least they knew that it would never leave the Territory. But, waiving that, still this company of one hundred and twenty souls, or thereabouts, had not to exceed forty-nine hundred pounds of provisions, less than forty days' rations, all told, to take them to San Bernardino, in California.

Opinion of an Old Pioneer.

Now, sir, I have consulted with one of the old pioneers of the road from Cedar City to the Mojave river, one whose judgment and experience are worthy of respect; one who saw that company in Utah as they were passing along on the Territorial road, and knew the condition of their teams. I asked him how long it would have taken them to go from Cedar to the Mojave? He reflected, then answered, "Sixty days." From there to San Bernardino would have taken six to ten days. Here was a company made up of men, women and children, with at least one child to be born on the road, whose mother would require a little rest and at least some comfort, forced to undertake this journey under circumstances beyond their control, but altogether under yours, who were obliged to put themselves on short allowance on the start. Think of that, sir, and say, whose fault it was! But methinks I hear you say, "We did not mean to starve them. We had intended to provide so bountifully at the crossing of the Clara, that they would hunger and thirst no more forever."

A Home Thrust.

Brigham Young, never in the history of our country was a company of peaceable travelers so thoroughly and persistently outraged as was this all the way from Salt Lake City to Cedar. The chief wonder is, how they managed to keep their indignation within the bounds of resistance. Yet they did succeed in keeping their temper; and in no known instance did they transcend the limits of the strictest propriety. During their journey to Cedar, and upon their arrival there, no person had been killed or suffered harm; they had stolen nothing, they had not meddled with your concerns, had created no riots, and, indeed, their whole conduct had been inoffensive and irreproachable, except the, to you, unpardonable offense of giving shelter and passage to at least one apostate Mormon. Do not be impatient, sooner than you wish, you shall [hear] again from

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  July 29, 1871.                             No. ?


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Salt Lake City, July 27, 1871.    
                              An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: The Arkansas company remained at Cedar City but one day, and then started on that fatal trip which was but too soon to come to a tragic and sanguinary end. And here I will state a fact well known at Cedar City and Pinto Creek, to prove that I have not overdrawn the picture when speaking of the jaded and worn-out condition of their teams.

The Militia start on their Bloody Errand.

It took them three days to go to Iron Creek, a distance of only twenty miles. The distance from Iron Creek to the Meadows, about fifteen miles, was made in two days. The morning they left Iron Creek, the fourth after leaving Cedar, your militia took up their line of march in pursuit of them, intending to make the assault at the "Clara Crossing" -- your militia! you, Brigham Young, were at that very time Governor of Utah, and Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the Territory, and were drawing your salary as such from the treasury of the United States.

The Militia called out by Order.

These soldiers did not come together by chance. Indeed, sir, it is on oath, and witnessed by the seal of the court, that the calling out of those troops "was a regular military call from the superior officers to the subordinate officers and privates of the regiment." And said sworn testimony further states that "said regiment was duly ordered to muster, armed and equipped as the law directs, and prepared for field operations." I am fully aware, sir, of the fearful import of these quotations quotations, and how clearly and inevitably they point to you; yet, nevertheless, they are those which you cannot impeach, neither dare you gainsay or deny before a competent tribunal. How the order to make war on these emigrants passed from your office to the hands of Colonel Dame I have already suggested.

The Court that Condemned the Emigrants.

It is enough here to know that the aforesaid call to arms was the result reached by a regular military council, held in the town of Parowan, at which were present, President Isaac C. Haight (the Mormon High-Priest of Southern Utah), Colonel Dame, Major John D. Lee, and your fat Aide-de-Camp. By the way, when Gen. George A. received the express at Parowan giving an account of the "fight" and its horrid conclusion, he hurried back to you as fast as horse flesh could haul such a mountain of lye and soapgrease, arriving at Salt Lake so badly frightened that, tradition has it, "even his toe nails curled backward," and have been growing the wrong way ever since, to his very great discomfort!

John D. Lee commands the Troops.

The regiment camped at Cedar City -- was commanded by its Major, John D. Lee (who was also your Indian Agent for Southern Utah), and marched from that place in pursuit of the emigrants. It was accompanied by baggage wagons, and, with the exception of artillery, the other necessary "make-up" of a military force in the field. Lee had extended an invitation to the Piede Indians to accompany him; and with these auxiliaries he had a force which the poor, hungry emigrants could not hope to resist.

Attack on the Emigrants.

The emigrants were overtaken at the Mountain Meadows. Being entirely ignorant of the danger so near them, they "rolled out" from camp in a careless matter-of-course way, on the morning of the 12th of September, and as soon as the rear wagon had got a safe distance from the spring, the Indians, unexpectedly to Lee, commenced firing. The emigrants were taken completely by surprise. It is conclusive beyond a doubt, from the loose and unguarded manner of their travelling, that they had no idea of the military expedition sent against them until they saw and felt it. Yet, unguarded as they were at the moment of the attack, they had travelled too far over roads infested with Indians to become confused. They immediately corralled their wagons and prepared for defence, fortifying as best they could; but, alas! they were too far from water,

A Desperate Resistance.

They fought your troops all that day and all the nest. Major Lee, beginning to think that he had waked up the wrong passengers, sent to Cedar City and Washington for re-inforcements, which were at once raised and forwarded, forming a junction with the main body on the morning of the fourth day's fight. This call for reinforcements took every able-bodied man from Washington, and all but two from Cedar City.

Two Little Girls Shot.

During the third day's battle it became a necessity with the emigrants to get water. They were choking with thirst, and without water they could hold out but little longer. There it was in abundance, in plain sight, but covered by the rifles of your troops. They made several desperate but fatal and unsuccessful efforts, and finally, hoping there might be some little of humanity remaining with the Mormons, they dressed, two little girls in white, and started them with a bucket toward the spring. Your soldiers shot them down!

Orders from Headquarters.

On the next morning, the reinforcements having arrived, Major Lee massed his troops at a point about half a mile from the emigrants' fort, and there made them a speech, during which he informed them that (I quote from a sworn statement) his orders from headquarters were, "To kill the entire company except the children!" Now, sir, as to whether those "headquarters" were located in your office at Salt Lake City, or at Parowan, is a matter to be settled between you and Colonel Dame; and, if I am not mistaken, you will yet have to settle it. If Colonel Dame shall ever confess before a proper tribunal that he issued that extraordinary order on his own responsibility, and independently of you, I shall be very much mistaken. But, of the fact that such an order was actually made, there can be no doubt. There had been two military councils held in Parowan -- one before or about the time the emigrants passed that place, and one on the day they left Cedar. Haight and Lee were at both these councils, and from the last returned together to Cedar -- the latter to take command of the troops, and the former to stand prepared to render him any service which might be needed.

Brigham Young Directly Responsible for the Massacre.

It is on oath, sir, that it was at Cedar City, two days after the emigrants had left, that President Haight said to certain parties (who shall be nameless here), "that he had orders from headquarters to kill all of said company of emigrants except the little children!" This fixes the fact beyond dispute that Lee and Haight were professedly acting under orders from headquarters; and to suppose that such profession was false -- that two subordinates should take upon themselves the responsibility of such a bloody affair, professedly in your name, and yet without your authority -- is out of the question.
It is equally absurd to suppose that said order originated with Colonel Dame. All the reasons are against such a supposition. Besides, no colonel of a regiment would have the right or the authority to do anything in such premises except to promulgate and enforce the order of his superior officer. To do otherwise would be to subject himself to the eventualities of a military court; and it is certain that neither Colonel Dame nor Major Lee was ever court-martialled for his action in the military operations at the Mountain Meadows.

Negotiating Terms of Surrender.

After Major Lee had announced that fatal order to his troops, and instructed them as to how he intended to carry it out, "he sent a flag of truce into the emigrants' fort, offering to them that if they would lay down their arms he would protect them." This was on the 15th [sic - 11th?] day of September, and the fourth since the battle, or, rather, siege had begun. You will not forget that the little band of Arkansans were not "whipped." Though well-nigh exhausted with fatigue and loss of sleep, and burning up with thirst, they were not conquered, they were fighting for their wives and little ones more than for themselves, else, at any time, under cover of the darkness, they could have formed in solid column, broke through your lines and escaped. But to their honour, be it said, they refused life when associated with the condition of deserting their families.

The White Flag.

But the flag of truce came into their little fort: that white flag held by all civilized nations and peoples, from time immemorial, as an emblem at once of peace, of truth, of honor. By the message accompanying this flair, they were promised protection. Alas, that it should prove to be "such protection as vultures give to lambs!" But the message was not from Indians, it was from Major Lee, a regularly constituted officer of the military forces of the Territory of Utah, one of the Territories of the United States. What should they do but believe its promise? They marched out of their little fort, laid down their arms, marched up to the spring where Lee stood, and placed themselves under his protection; and his promises of protection were yours.

A Scene of Blood Baffling Description.

But now was to be enacted one of those scenes which the pen is inadequate to describe, and the horrors of which it is impossible for one not not then present to realize. Here were unarmed, unresisting men, innocent and inoffensive women, and helpless children, none of which had ever harmed you, or offended the majesty of the laws of Utah. They had every possible claim not only to Lee’s protection, but to life, liberty and their property; Their right to be treated truthfully, honorably and humanely was perfect. But, sir, your order was practically as irrevocable as it was terrible. And it would not do for the troops to think long about it, lest conscience should assert rights which even the thought of you could not overcome. There must be no time for parleying between obedience to you, and duty to humanity. So, without allowing these famishing prisoners time even to refresh themselves, the women and children were separated from their husbands and fathers, and started on ahead toward Cedar City, the men following immediately in their rear, and all guarded by the entire command, with Lee at the head of the column. There is no reason to suppose that up to the moment of the massacre, the emigrants thought they were going to be shot down. After they had been marched about a half mile, Lee gave the word to "halt;" then immediately the command to "shoot them down" was passed down the column, and before the poor emigrants could realize their situation the first volley was delivered! Then from the survivors went up such a piercing, heart-rending scream! -- such a shriek of blank dispair! -- then the flight of all except one young woman, who sprang to Lee, and clinging to him for protection -- then the chase -- then another volley -- and then another -- and still another, and then -- all was still! save the last death strugglings of the unhappy victims, the cries of the remnant of little ones who had been left behind in the flight, and the heavy breathings of soldiers, pale, trembling and aghast at the horrid scene before and around them! BRIGHAM YOUNG, THAT WAS YOUR DOING!

Reflection over the Innocent Dead.

And now, O, ye slaughtered ones! where are all those bright hopes and joyous anticipations which so lately animated and delighted you? Gone! all gone! with the last pulsations of that precious life which friends have taken, but which no contrition, no repentance can enable them to restore? Was it for this that you left your pleasant homes in the sunny south, and braved the discomforts and dared the perils of long months of travel over the American Desert? What sins had you committed, that you should make so fearful an expiation? -- that you should lie there baptized in your own blood? Methinks I hear you answer with your last grasp [sic - gasp], "This was Brigham Young’s doings!" Sir, no explanations can relieve you from the charge of responsibility in this bloody matter. No man who knows you, and has a fair idea of your doctrines and "policy" can doubt. You stand condemned before the bar of an enlightened public opinion. Now go, and in the presence of assembled multitudes put on that regal bearing, with face smoothly shaven, your toilet scrupulously exact, your person arrayed in broadcloth and fine linen -- wear that bland yet patronizing smile, and speak as though you were the very oracle of the Almighty, yet, sir with it all, a brand worse than Cain’s is upon you! You cannot hide it! It is plastered all over you in hideous, gory characters, and is pendant at your finger ends in great drops of blood!

Note 1: Transcription from J. H. Beadle Scrapbook, Utah Historical Society --- courtesy of Will Bagley and Erin Jennings.

Note 2: On this same day, the 77th issue of the Corinne Daily Journal was published. It contained no news regarding the 1857 massacre, John D. Lee, etc.



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  August 5, 1871.                             No. ?

Closing Scenes at the Mountain Meadow Massacre.

(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Closing Scenes at the Mountain Meadow Massacre -- The Crowning Horror -- The Bodies of the Female Victims Stripped Naked and Left Lying in the Sun -- Two More Children Murdered -- What Became of the Spoils -- Meeting of the Executioner and the Plotter -- The Grief of Brigham Over the News -- Lee Gloating Over the Massacre -- He is Rewarded for His Bravery by Four Additional "Wives" -- A Summing Up -- The Crime Fixed, Etc.

Salt Lake City, Aug. 3, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: One would suppose that your soldiers at the Mountain Meadows, having completed the slaughter of the poor emigrants, would have been satisfied. But, sir, they were not. Another scene was now to be enacted so utterly revolting to our sense of modesty, so grossly at variance with all our ideas of propriety, so altogether repulsive to the better qualities of human nature, that it vies even with the massacre itself in damnable wickedness. This remark is not intended to apply to all of the troops, for it is just and fair to understand that many a man was mustered in that regiment sorely against his will. But apparently a majority of them took to the whole work of the campaign with willing earnestness, and finally returned home seemingly without remorse. And, as good Utah Mormons, why should they not? Why should they not slay upon the right hand and upon the left, until they could wade in the gore of apostates and Gentiles, and then return home singing hosannas to God and the Lamb? They had been taught from your pulpits to expect and to do just such things. The carnage around them was simply a matter of course. It was but an episode in what was yet to be the gory history of the Kingdom of God. It was but a faint realization of those glorious campaigns when they should go through the United States "like a lion among the flocks of sheep, treading down, breaking in pieces, with none to deliver, leaving the land desolate and without an inhabitant." It was for these (your) soldiers, these demons to commit the last outrage upon their victims. Among the slain there was the nursing babe which the mother could not forsake, even in death; there were females of all ages, from budding girlhood to the prime of life; there was also the youth and the strong man. Those females were not abandoned characters; they had not unsexed themselves by whoredom; they were the chaste, the modest, virtuous and pure-hearted daughters, sisters and wives of the emigrants. Well, sir, your soldiers, with many a coarse, ribald, vulgar jest, with many an obscene, beastly remark, stripped them entirely of their clothing, and the whole company were left nude and stark, and without burial! Even the young maiden, who had implored Lee for her life, was found among the sage-brush with her throat cut, and stripped naked!

The order had been given to spare the little children; but in the excitement of the massacre some were killed. Seventeen, however, were saved. They were taken care of by Bishop Smith, who had been detailed by Major Lee before the massacre for that purpose. In this labour of mercy he was voluntarily assisted by John Willis and Samuel Mardy. The hapless orphans were put into two regimental baggage-wagons and taken to Jake Hamlin's rancho, and the next day to Cedar City, where they were distributed among the Mormon families. Two of these children afterward made some remarks which were thought dangerous, and they were privately taken out and -- buried! After the administration in Utah had changed hands, they were gathered up by the Government and sent to St. Louis. The troops at the Meadows, having stripped the bodies of the dead, gathered the stock, and Lee took possession of the wagons and their contents, and also the stock. He had barely time to dole out a moiety to his Indian auxiliaries, put the remainder in safe-keeping, and start with the tithing for Salt Lake City, there to meet you an the assembled thousands of Israel in holy communion at the regular Semi-annual Conference, on the 6th of October! Here was to be a meeting between you and Lee -- between the Governor of Utah and the commander of the Territorial militia at the Mountain Meadows -- between you as Superintendent of Indian Affairs and John D. Lee, your duly appointed Indian Agent, who had just been leading the Indians within his charge in a fatal attack upon a large company of peaceable travelers on the public highway. And, sir, your action at this meeting was to fix irrevocably the fact of your innocence or guilt. Did you, as it was your bounden duty to do, have that man arrested by a military order, and court-martialed? Or did you have your Indian Agent arrested and tried? Sir, you did neither, and for the only possible reason that you dared not do it. Instead of doing that which every consideration of duty and of justice bound you to do, you introduced a little ridiculous by-play. It is said you "cried" and "threw down that tithing gold." Out, I say, upon such contemptible subterfuge! Sir, in my opinion, you have never shed an honest tear since the last time your mother spanked you for lying! And you threw away that gold, did you? Well, sir, who picked it up again Pshaw! I guess the door of that big safe was open when you threw away that gold! Not only did you fail as a civil and a military officer in your duty to Lee; but the General Conference of your church was about to assemble, and then and there it was your duty to charge him with unchristianlike conduct in the affair at the Mountain Meadows -- to cut him off from the Church, and hand him over to the proper authorities for trial. You did not do it, because you did not dare to! Yet he had reported to you, and you had not the plea of ignorance to excuse you. In the language of a sworn witness, Lee "reported fully to the President (meaning you) the fight at Mountain Meadows and the killing of the emigrants." This fiend during his journey to meet you and the brethren at the conference, fully portrayed his dark and hellish nature. He stopped at the settlements, and with great apparent glee recited the history of his doings at the Meadows. He was particularly jubilant over the massacre; and facetiously tried to mimic what he called "the squealing of the women!" At the conference you did not even charge him with doing wrong. How, sir, do you account for that? You did not even wish to do so, and as you imagined there would be no end to your supremacy in Utah, you supposed you could afford to take no notice of him. The result was, that you received Lee in his official capacities as Major and Indian agent, and you sent him away as such. It was then and there you turned over to him as Indian Agent the property of the slaughtered company, authorizing him to make such disposition of the same as he might think best. Not long after that you sealed a woman to him in polygamy. And all Mormons know that no man can enjoy that "privilege" whose standing in the church is not good, and who is not fully fellowshipped. Lee already had twelve women when you sealed this last to him. The very next season you sealed another to him; and the next, another; and after that another. You have sealed four polygamous wives to John D. Lee since the Mountain Meadow massacre! and when public sentiment in Southern Utah began to turn pretty strongly against him, you came to his rescue in a public discourse, in which you are reported by good Mormons to have said that he "was the most perfect gentleman in the South." So much for what you have done for John D. Lee since the date of the massacre.

Now let us see how all this matter stands. You continued in the Gubernatorial office until superceded by Governor Cumming, fully one-third of a year after the aforesaid massacre had been officially reported to you by Lee. Yet, in all that time, you, as Commander-in-Chief, neither court martialed him, nor promulgated any order of censure or disapproval of his aforesaid military operations.

In all that time, you, as Governor of Utah, failed to institute a military court of Inquiry in the Mountain Meadow affair, and particularly with regard to his action therein, although you knew officially that he had employed a part of the military forces of the Territory in making an unprovoked and unlawful war upon citizens of the United States.

In all that time, you, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, failed to call him to an account as Indian Agent for his action in employing the savages within his agency, himself leading them, in making a barbarous and fatal attack upon peaceable emigrants traveling at the time within the geographical limits of his jurisdiction.

In all that time, AND FOR NEARLY FIFTEEN YEARS THEREAFTER, you, as the Chief President of the Mormons sect in Utah, did neither try him for his fellowship, or censure him for his conduct in attacking and murdering a company of emigrant families on the public highway.

Sir, did you ever consider how your action, as also your non-action, in this matter would look in after years, when the fitting time should come to present the same to you for your reading? Did you ever consider that the time would come when the recital, even in this brief and imperfect manner, of the crimsoned tale of the Mountain Meadows, would stir the hearts of men, aye, to the depths? Are you now living in the hope that in the influx of sundry populations -- in the great prospective increase of business -- in the mania for hunting up our mines -- in the multiplying in our midst of civil and religious societies and orders -- and, more than all else, in your new-born bastard-liberal and loyal seeming, that the multitude of your murderers, and, more especially, the fiendish massacre of the Arkansas emigrants will be forgotten? Is the rule to apply in your case, "That old debts are seldom paid, and old crimes never punished?" Are the wheels of the steam wagon, as they roll over our highways, and up and down our canyons, to crush into impalpability the blackened congelations there half sepultured? And, is the shrill whistle of the locomotive to stifle and drown that last agonized, hopeless scream of helpless innocence at the Mountain Meadows, that its frightful echos be heard no more forever? Never! sir, no never! with the consent of

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  August 12, 1871.                             No. 60?


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

The Object of These Letters -- Cause of the Mormon Exodus from Illinois -- Brigham’s “Policy” -- The Meshes of Polygamy Pervert the Mind of the Prophet -- His Minute Preparations for the Diabolical Massacre -- The Precautions to Prevent an Escape from the Bloody Scene -- The Arch Fiend Covered with Evidence -- Etc.

Salt Lake City, August 10, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: At the commencement of this correspondence, it was my purpose to write up, briefly, your history as Governor of Utah and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to consider the more important acts of your administration in order as they occurred, with the hope that the whole might form a collection of ideas and plain matters of fact, which might be neither uninteresting nor unprofitable to the student of Mormon history. But I had proceeded only so far as the assembling of the first legislature of Utah, when the startling and unexpected information was received of your action in excommunicating Haight and Lee from the Church, on Mountain Meadow account. That you should have clung to and screened those villains all through the excitements concerning that massacre -- that you should have for fifteen long years continued to them the right hand of fellowship as worthy of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints, and then, after so great a lapse of time, in an out-of-way settlement, almost totally off from any line of travel, suddenly and unannounced, cut them off from the Church, was so exceedingly strange that it seemed to me the better way to skip for the present over seven of the bloodiest years of your administration, and come directly to the consideration of the fiendish act for which you had apparently cut them off. Had I continued your history down through those seven years, there is much about the "massacre" now mysterious to the American mind, that would have been plain and easily understood. And, perhaps, it will not now be inapropos to state that there were two fundamental propositions adopted by you in the beginning of your career as the Mormon Chief, upon which the despotic and bloody fabric of your "policy" has been built; and they are, first, polygamy, and second, new kingdom and dynasty. It was in Nauvoo when you first conceived these ideas; and as polygamy could not long exist surrounded by Christian influences, you resolved on removing into the then unknown interior of the Continent, where the Mormon code of ethics might be of your own making. But, then, polygamy was not only to be established; it must also be protected. Again, it was not supposable that such protection would ever be acceded by a Christian nation; hence your determination to create a new and independent government specially designed to protect that institution, precisely and to the same extent that the South sought to establish a new government designed especially to protect slavery. This reasoning resulted in the "Great Mormon exodus" in '46, and the settlement of the Salt Lake country. And on the way, and after we arrived here, the favorite theme of yours, and the one ever present with the assemblies of the people, that it would be generations before polygamy would be disturbed in Utah, and by that time it could not be. Polygamy is the natural outgrowth of the Mormon system -- that is, the incorporation of the Patriarchal with the Christian dispensation; thus forming a new religion under the name of "The Ancient Order of Things;" and your bloody "policy" was the necessary result of polygamy. No sooner had we arrived here, than it was proclaimed that "Zion was free!" -- that you wanted nothing more to do with the United States, and that you didn’t intend to have. "You were the God appointed ruler of the people, and it was you alone that should rule them." Well, sir, that was a capital idea "to start in on," provided you could carry it out. You fixed your "policy" for success. It might have been fraught with moderation, justice, mercy and truth, and, indeed, all the virtues, had it not been for polygamy. That, sir, was the damning cause that perverted your reason, paralyzed the holiest efforts of truth, and turned your every purpose into blood. You began your rule, not with the scepter of righteousness, but with the sharpened steel. In your anomalous position of a feeble yet antagonistic Government within a stronger Government, you could not afford to have divisions among the people. There must be a positive unity. This you might have preserved by exhibiting in your acts, and those of your bishops a strong and an abiding sense of justice, ever tempered with mercy. But sir, you sought to accomplish that, first, by compromising every man in polygamy, and, second, by devoting every dissenter to "destruction in the flesh:" That is the language of your revelation, and means murder!

Now, sir, this "policy," as you loved to call it, formed an important part of almost every discourse pronounced from your many pulpits for years, even down to the time of Mountain Meadow Massacre, and for a long time thereafter. What must have been the moral effect of such teachings upon the people? I do not recollect in all my experience in Utah, of ever having heard from a Mormon pulpit and from a Mormon preacher a discourse addressed to the heart -- a discourse addressed to man’s higher moral nature, or one that was calculated to make him respect himself more, as a man, and a citizen. The preaching, even of Orson Pratt never reaches to the level of sound moral philosophy. The effect of such teachings has been unmistakably to brutalize the people. It was impossible for a whole community to sit Sabbath after Sabbath and hear sermons on polygamy, treason and murder; agriculture, cursing of "Uncle Sam," polygamy, and sending Gentiles to hell across lots; the setting out of shade trees, and other improvements, seasoned with platitudes on polygamy, treason, and the imperative duty of killing apostates, "obedience to counsel in all things, asking no question;" interlarded with polygamy, treason, and the shedding of blood; glowing descriptions of the "near prophetic time" when we should go through the American nation, waging a war of utter extermination, and fulfilling the bloodiest of the ancient prophecies; without absorbing more or less of the spirit of such damnable doctrines. This would be true in any community; but it applies with emphatic force to the people of Utah, whose more than ordinary credulity led them into Mormonism and to Salt Lake, and whose average low grade of education made it possible for them to be taught anything by you, who imposed upon them, in the first place, as a divinely inspired teacher. Sir, many a time have I sat in the congregation and marveled to see these simple people with eyes agape and tremulous with emotion, drinking from the fountain of your preaching just such intellectual poison as I have epitomized above. In your own language you were "teaching them to become gods;" but, in reality, you were transforming them into fiends. But, [sir], it was not all theory. There were frequent opportunities for a little practise: For as it was in the days of Elijah, the prophet, so it was in Utah. There were men who would not "bow the knee to the image of Baal." As the current of events would float such a man to the surface, and bring him to your fatal notice, immediately some calumny would be started against him, and then -- he would trouble you no more. Thus by precept and example were my brethren trained for years in the "school of blood!" and prepared for just such scenes as occurred at the Mountain Meadow, and by which Lee and his hellish crew could contemplate their intended action easily and calmly; as much so as they would a general turnout to construct a new irrigating ditch.

This remark does not apply to them only, but to the great body of the people from Salt Lake to Pinto Creek. For everything from the Jordan to the meadows showed calculation and design; and such design only as could be conceived by hearts trained in absolute abandonment and utter malignancy. From the facts that have been collected in these letters, it is evident that the plan for the destruction of that company was laid in Salt Lake City, before they had left their encampment at the Jordan. Understanding this, it is not difficult to comprehend that entire sameness of inhospitable action which the emigrants encountered in all the settlements they passed through. Not only was it concocted at Salt Lake, but it was laid with skill. Had the original order to assault the emigrants in Santa Clara Canon been carried out, not one of them would have been living in fifteen minutes after the head teams had been shot down. They would have been covered by the rifles of your troops from every possible direction. But ample provision was made to cut off any that might escape. For this purpose a party, headed by one Allan, was sent to watch the road between the train and the Muddy, and Ira Hatch and a fellow-missionary (!) were sent to the crossing of the Muddy. These good brethren were instructed to shoot down any who should chance to escape the attack of Lee. On the night of the second day of the battle, two men, on horseback, left the emigrants' camp, and started cautiously toward California. They had, probably, been sent. As they were passing Allen's ambush, one of them was shot -- the other got away. Word was dispatched to Parowan, and armed parties were immediately sent out to hunt down and kill him. They did not find him -- he had returned to camp, and was recognized after the massacre.

There was another little matter to be attended to: There were perhaps two thousand Mormons living at San Bernardino, and it would not do to permit the truth concerning the massacre to reach California, lest the people of that State, in their rage, might "wipe out" that settlement. So word was despatched to the authorities there, and a man named Boyle was sent on a mission to the Mojave Crossing well armed and with a key [[mail-sack key]], to prevent any suspicious mail-matter from reaching San Bernardino, and to pick off [[kill]] any one who by any possibility might have escaped and got along that far. There was, at that time, a monthly mail between Salt Lake City and that place. I mention this fact to show how thoroughly planned, and cold-blooded was everything connected with the war of extermination made upon the Arkansas emigrants; and to further show that extent of the operations prove that some other mind than John D. Lee’s had the direction and control of matters, and, in the very nature of the case, that mind must have been yours.

More anon,

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  August 19, 1871.                             No. 66?


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Brigham Young’s Indifference to the Mountain Meadow Massacre -- His Army of Defense -- Appeal to the Proper Authorities to Investigate the Massacre -- The Guilty Should be Exposed and Punished -- Etc.

Salt Lake City, Aug. 17, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: That an entire company of peaceful families, as at the Mountain Meadows, should be butchered in cold blood, anywhere in the United States, upon the public highway, and within the easy reach of the arm of the civil power created expressly for the protection of life and property, is a mystery which the purely American mind finds very hard to understand. And the marvel is only increased by the fact that no inquest was held over the remains of those slaughtered ones -- that no arrests were made of the murderers, although they were well and notoriously known, and that no official notice was taken of the matter (except as I have heretofore stated) during the remainder of your term as Governor, and no apparent authoritative notice since, except to gather up, by soldiers of the United States, what bones the wolves had left, and giving them respectable sepulture. Based upon American ideas, and, indeed, upon the more general notions of civilization, the whole story becomes incomprehensible.

In order to understand this matter, it will be necessary for the reader, first, to mentally segregate Utah geographically from the United States -- to consider it as absolutely a foreign State and nation, with a civilization such as existed thirty-five hundred years ago, and a religion as antagonistic to Christianity as Moslemism itself, including within its creed a tenet more cruel and bloody than the Thuggism of India. Second, to consider this Deseret nation as incensed to the last degree against the Government and people of the United States, for a series of wrongs committed against them, including exile and the loss of life and property. Third, to take into the account, that the American Government at that time had actually proposed to extend its jurisdiction over said Deseret (otherwise called Utah), and an army was then on its way to occupy said Utah for the purpose of maintaining the sovereignty of said Government there, and that a state of war was apparently existing between said two nations. Fourth, that you were, at the very time of the massacre at the Mountain Meadows, mustering and putting into the field an army of one thousand two hundred men, which was known in Utah as "The Standing Army," and that said army was designed for active operations against the forces of the United States, under Colonel Johnston, then en route for Salt Lake. Fifth, that you were the "Sovereign" Lord of Deseret -- that your rule was an absolute and unmitigated despotism -- that your word was the only recognized law -- that it was within your imperious nature to rule with a high hand and a stretched-out arm over all your subjects, and with fury poured out against your enemies. If the reader can grasp the ideas contained in the above items, and arrange them into one compound proposition, he will be able to form some idea of the causes which made the aforesaid massacre possible.

But the misfortune is, that said proposition being based upon falsehood and not upon the truth, affords you no justification whatever; for, first, Utah was a part of the United States, and not a foreign State; second, your intense hatred of Americans and their Government was without adequate cause; third, the occupation of Utah as a Military Department was altogether a friendly act, and in strict accordance with the known military policy of the Government; fourth, that all your acts in relation to the State of Deseret were and are treasonable in their intent, and therefore illegal and of no binding force. For these reasons, the American people will refuse to look upon that massacre from your stand-point. They will and do hold you to your responsibility as a citizen of the Republic. And as you were at that time the Chief Magistrate of Utah, they have the right to demand why you took no official steps to inquire into that sanguinary affair which is the shame and damning disgrace of your administration. They have the right to demand why you took no official action in the case of Dame, Haight, and Lee; and how it is that you have so far persistently and successfully screened those murderers from the officers and the action of the law. It is a foul blot upon the workings of the system of American jurisprudence that the Mountain Meadow Massacre should having been committed nearly sixteen years ago, and to this present writing you, and Lee, and Dame, and Haight, are at large, and come and go unquestioned by the proper authority. The blush of shame should mantle the cheeks of the Governor of our Territory so long as that bloody affair remains uninvestigated, now that such investigation is possible. The judges of our courts should not have the courage to look a law-abiding man in the face so long as anything remains undone which they can legally do to bring those murderers to justice.

It appears to have all along been the opinion that the investigation of the Mountain Meadow Massacre must originate in the criminal courts. With that view, and the Grand Jury subject to your dictation, and under your complete control, what could be done? Nothing, absolutely nothing, but to wait. Murder is shielded by no statute of limitations. But I will here suggest, that such investigation should be made by a military court, for the reason that the operations of Lee were purely and undeniably of a military character. Such a court would officially determine the military character of those operations, would collect all necessary facts in the case, and those facts would fix the responsibility where it justly belongs. Then such ulterior proceedings could be had as the case would seem to demand. If there are not Gentile officers enough in the Utah militia to constitute such a court, enough can soon be commissioned. But no Mormon should be allowed to constitute a part of that court, nor any Gentile who could be allured from duty by your sirens or be purchased by your ill-gotten gold.

And now, in conclusion, as a Mormon, I demand of the proper authorities that this long-neglected affair be investigated, in order that the innocent may no longer suffer that reproach which belongs to Brigham Young and others only. In this connection it is proper to state that there is a strong and growing feeling in Southern Utah against Lee and his co-labourers on that bloody mission, and against their confederates, apologists, and protectors. Even in Cedar City those characters are now known as "Mountain Meadow Dogs." As a citizen of the United States, I demand that the veil of mystery so long covering that butchery be rent asunder, and the foul deed exposed in all its repulsive hideousness, bringing to the light those latent agencies which superinduced its commission, in order that justice may be meted out to the guilty parties, thus wiping out a foul blot upon the American name. In the name of Justice I demand it, that it may no longer be said that in Utah the direst of felonies may be committed with impunity. In the name of Truth, I demand that the facts concerning the Mountain Meadow Massacre be ascertained and stated in official form by competent authority, in order that the people of the United States may know that said massacre, even to its most sickening details, was only too true. And I think, sir, that I but reflect the common sentiment of the country when I say that you and Lee, and the whole holy company of apostles, prophets and elders of Mountain Meadow notoriety should be punished to the full extent of the law; or, failing in that, be outlawed and driven beyond the pale of human society, to wander, as Cain, vagabonds and accursed upon the face of the earth.

For the present, adieu.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  August 26, 1871.                             No. ?


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

The Revelation of Polygamy Invented by Joseph Smith as a Cover for Incest -- His Brother’s Widow the Chosen Victim -- She Burns the Document -- Brigham Young Returns from England -- Assumes the Presidency -- Counterfeits the Revelations -- Disbelief of the Mormons -- The Rogue and Liar of the Church -- Etc.
Salt Lake City, August 23, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: Joseph Smith, in introducing Mormonism, took Moses for his model; and the idea of the original gathering of Israel to the land of Canaan, was adopted by him as the basis of a new "Gathering Dispensation." When the Mormons began to "gather up" to the new Zion, they were instructed to obtain their genealogies as far back as possible. A new Book of Chronicles was opened; and the heads of these original Mormon families were to become the recognized Patriarchs of future families, tribes, and generations. It was this idea an expectation that at the outset gave to Mormon society a peculiar domestic turn, manifesting itself in a thousand unaccustomed yet innocent ways; discarding many of the severer rules of etiquette and introducing a degree of sociability among the people unknown in gentile circles. So marked was this, that Gentiles in the earliest years of the church, accused us of fornication and polygamy. This accusation was met by a solemn and truthful denial by a General Conference, the highest authority of the Church, which denial was made a part of the text of the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants," which contains the Mormon ecclesiastical constitution, and there it remains in irrepealable and eternal protest against polygamous marriage.

Nevertheless, Joseph had commenced in the manner stated; and to build up a religious system upon such a foundation, would naturally call into being more or less of Patriarchal ideas and institutions. An although it was a sad leaving of the Heavenly and pure Spirit of the New Testament, for the world, the flesh and the devil of the Old, there can be no doubt that he thought to harmonize and blend the excellencies of both into one new system of surpassing purity, holiness and grandeur. I am satisfied that Joseph, himself, was surprised at the developments which gradually but surely came to the surface of his system, as [necessary] and inevitable sequences. It would repay perusal to note here certain facts in proof of this, but brevity admonishes me to pass them by, and come directly to the facts upon which you found your doctrine of polygamy.

Don Carlos Smith, brother to Joseph, died in Nauvoo, in 1842, leaving no male issue. After the usual period of mourning had passed away, Joseph went to Agness, his brother’s widow, and stated to her that it was not right that Don Carlos' name should be lost in Israel; and that it was the duty of his next of kin to fulfill a certain office for him, in the hope that a son might be born which should bear his name. During this conversation he made no pretense to any new "revelation" upon the subject; but simply quoted Deut. xxv: 5, 6, in support of his position. This conversation Agness subsequently reported to my wife; and afterward to me. Like a true and proper minded woman, she told Joseph she preferred doing her own choosing in a matter which so nearly concerned herself; which she afterward did by marrying a Gentile, and leaving Nauvoo.

Joseph left Agness evidently with a large sized "flea in his ear;" but, as was his wont, went to his room and "inquired of the Lord" upon the subject, and, of course, received a revelation! This he showed to his wife, who took it, and after reading it, made a burnt offering of it then and there! Such is the history of the revelation, of which you claim yours to be a true copy. What that document was, you have no personal knowledge, as you were in England a the time. And this, Sir, is all you know, and all the Church knows about that revelation. If it commanded polygamy, or if it was intended for the particular benefit of Agness, it was a document worthy of the flames.

After Joseph was killed, you hurried back to Nauvoo, and succeeded in usurping the Presidency of the Church; and it is certain that polygamy was the main idea that controlled your action after that time. Then it was that if you didn’t hurt yourself in seeking after righteousness, you did beget children! And it was nothing else but the excitement on that question, that compelled the great Mormon exodus from Illinois. For, notwithstanding the secrecy enjoined upon the polygamists concerning the New Order of things, the idea got out; and, reaching Gentile ears in a perverted and mutilated form, they supposed that sexual license, unbridled and unchecked, was the rule at Nauvoo, that the civil law and the bonds of lawful wedlock had ceased their guardianship of honor, innocence and virtue; and that a condition of things existed in that city which could not and should not be tolerated. At the time of our leaving Nauvoo, there were many Mormons who did not certainly know that polygamy was to be an institution in the church, and a practice among the people. Because it was too dangerous a secret to communicate at once and to all. Therefore, it would be affirmed to A. and denied to B. The elders would argue for it in secret, and deny it before the congregation; so that the uninitiated knew not what to believe. They knew, however, that a prodigious heap of lies was piling up with fearful rapidity, that would at some time roll over and crush somebody. On the way to Salt Lake it was preached openly to the congregation; but the numerous missionaries abroad were ordered to continue the denial of its existence in the church, and denounce as liars the apostates who should contradict them. I will risk the assertion, that, if all the lies thus told by Mormons about polygamy were printed and loaded on a cart, you havnt a horse in your stable that could walk away with the load! It is this fearful amount of lying -- which your polygamy apparently necessitated during its secret period -- that ought alone to forever damn it as a moral or religious institution, or one that God could bless if he were to try.

This persistent denial of your darling [sic - daring?] sin continued until the 29th of August, 1852; when, at a missionary meeting at the Old Bowery at Salt Lake City, you caused a document to be read to the people, read, too, from a printed copy, which purported to be a true copy of the revelation that Emma Smith had burnt. At that time you had been President of the church nearly eight years. You claimed that Bishop Whitney had copied it from the original in Nauvoo, ten years before, and before Emma had destroyed it -- that it had been found among the Bishop’s papers after his death -- that you had since kept it under lock and key in your desk -- and, that the time had now come to make it public. As the Mormon public have never seen that precious manuscript, it is fair to presume that it still remains in its dark and secure resting place.

Now, Sir, let us see how this matter looks. You claim as much importance to polygamy as Christians do to the vicarious mission of Jesus Christ; that is, it is by polygamy that you are to be saved! Such are the terms of your revelation. It is what the Savior is to Christianity -- the corner stone of the temple of you faith.

Without it Mormonism is without an object, and is nothing. Did it ever occur to you that a future generation of Mormons would be apt to inquire into the genuineness of that document? You saw Joseph after your return from England; why did you not get a copy from him? Bishop Whitney was with you for years after you became President of the Church. You were in almost daily communication with him. He was our head Bishop. He, too, was a polygamist, and perhaps, fully of your faith in the importance of plural marriages as a Mormon institution. He must have known that you, as the chief expounder of that "doctrine," had not the scratch of a pen wherewith to prove your position; and that he had the only copy in existence; and yet he kept you in the dark notwithstanding the close intimacy and friendship that existed between you; and that precious (!) document was only discovered by accident among his papers after his death! It wont do, Brigham! It may for the present generation of Mormons, but it will not pass the more enlightened criticisms of their children.

But there is another version of this matter; and that is, that Bishop Whitney gave you that copy soon after you became the President of the Church. Your own statement at Salt Lake City, on the occasion of the public reading of the document, favors that idea. You said: "This revelation has been in my possession many years; and who has known it? None but those who should know it." In that case you had it while the Bishop was still living, and your almost daily companion. Yet you suffered years to go by, with this, your only witness, within call at any time! You wait till he dies, and then and not till then -- when he can neither testify nor stand a cross-examination -- do you make public this all-important document! Brigham, you are too clever a rogue for so stupid a thing as that. Yet, Sir, when you published that bogus revelation to the Church and to the world, as a copy of Josephs, your only witness was in the graveyard!

Joseph Smith made it a point that there should be nothing apocryphal about his writings; and should his revelations exist a thousand years, no doubt will probably obtain as to their genuineness as coming from him. But you, at the outset, have covered your "copy" with a veil of darkness, with a degree of doubt and uncertainty which it will be impossible to remove in all time to come. But the essential facts are plain and easily understood. They are, first: That your "copy" was manufactured to order. And, second: when Bishop Whitney died, you improved the opportunity and exhibited the same, in printed form; to the people; citing the dead man as your authority, to prove it a true copy of the supposed original. Whitney had been held by the Mormons as a man of sterling integrity. I submit, sir, whether it is not an insult to ordinary common sense, to seek to impose a document of so important a character, yet of so uncertain an origin, upon a whole religious body as the most essential to salvation, of all the articles of their faith? Yet, that is what you have done. It was an act, corresponding in its transparent dishonesty, with the average of the public acts of Brigham Young.


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Monday,  August 28, 1871.                             No. 73.


THE JOSEPHITES. -- A Semi-annual Conference of the Utah District of the re-organized ' church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, will be held in the Liberal Institute, Salt Lake City, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 30th and 31st of August. All are respectfully invited. By order of E. C. Brand, President of District.

Note: RLDS Apostle W. W. Blair was among those attending this small conference. Edmund C. Brand had been the chief RLDS missionary in Utah since July of 1869. According to an 1872 report given by John H. Beadle, the only two persons to whom John D. Lee ever gave a full account of the Mountain Meadows massacre, were himself and E. C. Brand.



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  September 2, 1871.                             No. 78.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

The Revelation of Polygamy -- Brigham Young as the Agent of the Almighty -- Gentile Laws or Obligations Not Binding on the Saints -- The Re-marrying Farce -- The Social, Moral and Abstinent Endowments of the Mormons -- Evil Effects of Polygamy on the Youth -- Etc.
Salt Lake City, Sept 1, 1871.    
                An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: In the Salt Lake Tribune of June 14th the following language occurs: "It [meaning the Liberal Party in Utah] will support the Constitution of the United States instead of the unwritten laws of the so-called Kingdom of God, and will value the oath of a citizen beyond that of the Endowment House." This oath of the Endowment House, known there as the "new and everlasting covenant," an artfully composed item in your creed scarcely seeking to hide the treason, blood and polygamy which make up its substance, is what I propose to consider in this letter.

It was in Salt Lake City, on the 29th day of August, 1852, that you caused to be read for the first and last time to the congregation that most remarkable document, your "Revelation on Polygamy." You commenced by making the Almighty appear to say as follows: "Inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines: Behold! and lo, * * * I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant. * * * All those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; * * * and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that hath received a fulness thereof must, and shall, abide the law, or he shall be damned."

The above passages are quoted verbatim, but separated, for the sake of brevity, from less important matter. Such is the first section. The second reads thus:

"And verily I say unto you that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations or expectations that are not made and entered into, and sealed, by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed whom I have appointed on earth to hold this power, are of no efficacy, virtue or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are dead."

Such in the second section, interlarded with this parenthetic remark: "(And I have appointed unto my servant Joseph (Brigham) to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred.")

Now, sir, let us strip this section of the verbiage which overs it so nicely, and discard the resurrection and eternity adjuncts, and we have the following proposition: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, etc., in matters pertaining to "THIS LIFE" not administered by Joseph Smith (BRIGHAM YOUNG) are without efficacy, virtue or force -- that is, they are null and void! Is not that, sir, a true interpretation of that section? Is it not the exact meaning which you and your apostles have given it time and again to the congregation? It is. In virtue of that proposition, has it not been taught to the Mormons of Utah until they have become fully indoctrinated with the idea that a "Gentile oath" is of no binding force? If that section is not intended to nullify all obligations, even to the marriage vow, the most sacred of all human covenants, why is it that a re-marriage of couples already legally married is a necessary ordinance among the endowment rites? I know these to be true; so does every Mormon in the territory. They are among the treasured "mysteries of the kingdom," that every experienced "Saint" knows to be inseparable from Utah Mormonism. Even old gray-headed couples, lawfully married to each other in their youth, who have brought up large families of children, embrace what you call Mormonism, and emigrate to Utah. Here they are taught that no marriage is of any virtue or binding force not solemnized by you. They become exercised over the idea of having lived in adultery so long a time, and bringing up a house full of bastards, so they pay up their tithing, hasten to the Endowment House, go through the serio-comic ceremonies there performed, and hasten to your altar in order to get married! You marry them, calling the lady by her maiden name! And that you do every time, thus ignoring the idea of efficacy, virtue, or force in any previous marriage. Not only do you repudiate the idea of sufficiency for all honorable and necessary purposes of the non-Mormon marriage covenant, but that repudiation extends in the language of your "revelation" to "all covenants," etc. It includes oaths taken before a magistrate, the oath of office, and the oaths of commerce. It includes and means everything as already enumerated by yourself in the "revelation."

Now, sir, did you ever carefully consider the social and moral bearing of that proposition? That "principle and doctrine" at once monstrous and abominable beyond degree? Did you ever consider how well calculated it is to crush out and destroy every moral sentiment, and break every link in the golden chain that holds society together? Let us suppose that the whole people of the United States should theoretically and practically adopt the second section of that "revelation." Where, in that case, would be the marriage vow? What virtuous girl would dare trust that vow which she knew her lover disregarded? Where would justice be; and who could confide in her ministrations? And where commerce and trade, and business of any kind that impose obligations? Who could plant with a reasonable expectation of reaping unmolested by some stronger man who regarded not an oath as binding on his conscience? Who would care to exact a promise of performances for valuable considerations? Who would dare hazard capital, knowing at the start that contracts, bonds and obligations were worthless in view of the fact that perjury and subornation had tacitly ceased to be crimes? What would become of the government, its property and its treasure, the official oaths and obligations of its officers being null and void? Where would be the civil service? aye, and the military? and, appropos of this, where would Brigham Young and his apostles have been in the spring of '58, when Johnson’s army located at Camp Floyd, less than six months after the massacre at the Mountain Meadows? And, to my certain knowledge, those brave and manly, yet enraged troops were only kept from wreaking summary vengeance upon you for that cowardly and inhuman slaughter, by those very restraints and safe-guards which you have so sacrilegiously declared to be "of no efficacy, virtue or force."

Sir, I suggest to you a re-examination of that second section. You declared it to be a "law." Yet you may search to the heights and depths of legal lore, civil and ecclesiastical, and fail to find its fellow. It is without precedent, and without a model. It is truly a monster of literature, and you, sir, are its sire. It is a proposition which, if universally received, would disintegrate society, and reduce mankind to their abnormal condition. It would supplant peace and good order by war and anarchy, and destroy all government, human and divine. Did you ever think of this? Doubtless. But you will answer by referring me to the good order and morality so general in Utah. I reply that this good order is entirely due to fear – and fear or incurring your god-like displeasure; and as for the morality, it is a long way more shadowy than substantial. For instance, the people of Utah have a wide-spread reputation for temperance. But who ever heard, or knew, of a Mormon refusing an invitation to drink whisky? I have yet to know of such a marvel. Then this temperance is not based upon principle, but is the result of surrounding circumstances, and especially from the general poverty of the masses. I will venture the assertion that if our mining interests in their realizations come up to within fifty per cent. of our expectations, thus filling our purses with money, it will be but a brief time before there will be more whisky drunk in Utah, per capita, than in any other State or Territory in the Union. Even now you have made more money out of the Mormons by selling them mean whisky than from any enterprise in the Territory in which you have actually invested your own capital. You will please not take me to mean that we are naturally more inclined to inebriety than others; but I do claim that your accursed revelation on polygamy has besotted its believers; and the only spirit they have remaining is that which they get from your whisky mill.

Then, as to certain relations between the sexes, you with high-sounding phrase point to the absence of bawdy houses in Utah as though all else except professional prostitution is to be reckoned in the list of sexual virtue. Now, sir, with due respect to my Mormon elders, I will bring to your mind certain facts well known to you, though kept as much as possible from people outside of the Territory. I refer to the constantly recurring irregularities between the Mormon young men and women. It is true that when a Mormon girl is found to be enceinte the authority of the church interferes at once, and compels the youth who has thus disgraced her to marry her forthwith. Thus the child begotten in bastardy is born in wedlock, and the sin of fornication white-washed. How common this is I have no desire to hurt feelings by being too particular, but feel compelled to say that it stands to-day second in the list of the immoralities of Utah, and is outranked only by polygamy itself. The question as to how such a state of things can exist under your peculiar system of espionage admits of but one answer. In the "Gentile world" where a maiden’s honor is in her own keeping, and where parents and guardians are the only special mentors, seductions are comparatively of rare occurrence. Here the morals of the youth of both sexes are carefully looked after, not only by parents and guardians, but also by bishops and teachers of the church in every ward throughout the Territory, who make it a special duty to keep watch over the youth, and yet naughtiness is one of the commonest of events. It is not to be understood that our young folks are naturally more inclined to do wrong than others; but their moral sense is benumbed -- they are led astray and debauched by the teachings they hear and the practices they see, based upon your damnable revelation on polygamy. But more of this at another time.

The main idea to which I wish to call your attention in this letter is, that the aforesaid second section of your "Revelation," is accepted by all good Mormons in Utah, precisely as I have paraphrazed it, and the only oath binding on their conscience, is that of the Endowment House. There have been occasions, when Mormons have been obliged to appear before a magistrate and take the hated Gentile oath; I tell you, sir, that, in every such case, that oath has been taken with a mental reservation; and the more sincere and honest in belief in the "Revelation," the more decided and positive that reservation. This does not imply that every Mormon on the witness stand necessarily perjures himself; but, I do claim that if his testimony is true, it is because he is naturally of a truthful disposition, or because the matter in controversy does not affect the Church, or because there would be danger in testifying otherwise; but the idea of the sacredness or binding force of that oath, is utterly repudiated. It is true, the law makes it binding; but the higher "law" of your "Revelation," absolves his conscience from its demands. For example, let us suppose that you were on trial for the crime of murder, as you should have been long ago, and a Mormon witness is called and sworn. He would reason to himself in this way: "In my oath in the Endowment House, which is the only oath binding on my conscience, I swore to sustain, defend, and, if need be, avenge the priesthood and the Church. That oath is an integral part of the new and everlasting covenant; That covenant has been revealed to me through President Young, and is a 'law' unto me. Having been so revealed, my salvation depends upon my abiding by its conditions; those 'conditions' expressly declare the oath I have just taken, to be 'of no efficacy, virtue or force.' My duty is plain; I must swear the President clear!" There is not a sincere Mormon in Utah that would do otherwise, and this would be true, not only in your case, but in every case, where the reputation or interests of Mormonism, were supposed to be jeopardized.

Assuring you, that I intend resuming this subject at an early day, I subscribe myself,

Yours, etc.,

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  September 9, 1871.                             No. 84.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Revelations Refuted -- Blood Atonement, How Established -- Divinity Hedges the Prophet -- The Murder of Apostates -- Complete Exposition -- Prophecy and Petticoats.
Salt Lake City, Sept. 7, 1871.    
An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: In the first section of your "revelation" commanding polygamy, it is declared that said revelation is a "law" unto the people. In the second it is declared that "the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, oaths," etc., except the oath of the Endowment house, are null and void. The third section is nearly all verbiage; but contains this proposition: "No man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law." (Which means this revelation on polygamy.) The fourth states substantially that no Gentile can have his wife in the next world! In the fifth we have the doctrine, that though a man can marry a woman for time and eternity, if that marriage is not solemnized by you, it is null and void. The sixth section contains the "key" to your ideas of the resurrection, immortality and salvation in these words: "Which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever." This section is emphatic in the announcement that those parties married by you, at your polygamous altar, "shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities," etc. * * * Then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that "ye shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood." But in the tenth section, you show that the "innocent blood" spoken of, means your blood; (not such unanointed and unsanctified blood as that shed at the Mountain Meadows.) The seventh section is worthy of note. You say, (referring to those who go into polygamy under your administration, "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue." (That is, their posterity or "seeds" continue.) The eighth is nearly all surplus-age; but shows your pet idea that immortality consists in a "continuation of the lives;" that is, you expect to live forever in your offspring. The ninth I shall quote entire, because it is in this section that you affirm the necessity of murdering Apostates in order to save them.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word," (that is, in polygamy and by virtue of the requirements of this revelation,) "and they are sealed by the Holy spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, (that is, at your altar,) "and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood," (the blood of the Mormon priesthood) "yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; BUT THEY SHALL BE DESTROYED IN THE FLESH, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord."

In the tenth section you make the "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world," to be the killing of Brigham Young, or assenting to his death! By the eleventh section, this "revelation" is made the "law of the Holy Priesthood." Of the remainder of the revelation, the only section worthy of notice is the twenty-fourth, which reads as follows:

"And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood, -- if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given" (who gave them?) "unto him, for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery; for they belong to him; and they are given unto him; -- therefore is he justified. But if one, or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world; and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that He may be glorified."

I have now gone through your blasphemous "revelation," and gathered therefrom all that is worthy of notice as being distinctly Mormon. This effort of inspiration ptoposes, first, a Higher Law -- a law superior in its claims to the Law of the Land. Second, a law which at once and totally destroys the sacredness of Gentile covenants, the binding force of contracts, and the virtue of oaths and obligations. Third, a law which makes polygamy the great essential means by which mortals can attain to salvation and exaltation in the celestial kingdom of the Almighty. Fourth, a doctrine which teaches the defication of Mormons. Fifth, a law which delares a murder committed against the Mormon Priesthood, to be blasphemy against the Holy Ghost! Sixth, a command to murder apostates, in order to save them! Seventh, explaining the moral character of polygamy, which is, by the way, a very different kind of marriage system from that which you are practicing. Because that makes it a positive condition, that the espoused shall be virgins who have vowed to no other man; while the chief characteristic of your polygamy has hitherto been to corrupt, and steal away other mens' wives. You will nelieve me when I tell you, that I once heard one of the brightest of your apostles state, in a public discourse, that polygamy was the "sum of Mormonism;" -- "that the principles of the Gospel were but a net cast into the great sea of mankind to gather the people together, in order that they might be saved by means of polygamy." I heard that, sir, and it is but one among unnumbered affirmations of like character that have been uttered.

And this is your religion! It is the corner stone of the great temple of your kingdom of God! It is to you what slavery was to the South; aye, and more; for while that was but a question of economy and policy, this penetrates the charmed circle of the fireside, reposes volumptuously between your sheets, is deified as something worthy of adoration; -- as a goddess it rules supreme, giving shape, color and direction to all the experience of life, all of faith in God, and all of hope in Heaven. In so far as the reasoning in revelation is concerned, it is utterly sophistical and false. You begin by assuming that the ancinet Israelites acknowledged polygamy as a religious "principle and doctrine;" which is not true; because the word, principle, implies a fundamental truth, and, doctrine, consists in propositions based upon that truth; and in this sense it can not be proven from the scripture. God gave to David wives and concubines in the same sense that He did wheat fields and vineyards, the sunshine and the rain; and in no other. He and Solomon were polygamists because they wanted to be, and don't pretend to give us any other reason. They went into plurality for precisely the same reasons that the Indians do to-day. And, what is not to be forgotten, they did so in direct contravention of the command of Moses, which enjoined the kings of Israel from multiplying wives: Deut. xvii, 17. Polygamy occurs in the Bible in the same sense, and upon the same terms that the incest of Lot does -- that is, they were simply and equally matters of fact. It is nowhere mentioned, except as a matter of history, and nowhere as a "principle and doctrine." With regard to oaths and covenants, the Bible holds them as absolutely sacred, and to be performed. Nothing would have shocked the moral sense of Moses, more than the "doctrine" contained in the second paragraph of your revelation. Then, again, the most important of all the sayings of Moses, is found in Deut. v1. 4 -- Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord; and in chapt. iv:35, there is none else besides Him. That is the great idea of the Old Testament; and the one which more than all else distinguished the religion of Moses from the Polytheism of the world. But your revelation makes gods of the Mormons! Thus reviving, in the nineteenth century, the theogony of the ancient Pagans. Then as to your wonderful effort on the question of adultery, why, sir, if a man can not commit adultery with ten women, simply because he claims that they belong to him, how can he commit incest with his ten daughters for the same reason? And before the Emancipation Proclamation, how could a Southern planter commit adultery with his wenches? They belonged to him. Such is the wretched sophistry of your revelation.

And this is your religion! This os that divine system by which you propose to save the human family! You begin with the admoration of pretty ankles, progress by the prostitution of the niblest of the moral sentiments -- the obligations of contracts, and end with the cutting of throats -- for Christ's sake! I well remember, sir, when such vile stuff formed no part of the Mormon system; and so do you. You commenced in the spirit, and you have ended in the flesh. Heavens! what a progression! Insired prophet! Who shall sufficiently sing thy praises in the great congregation, or sound the trumpet of thy fame to a listening world? O, modern Solomon! why may reach the volumes of thy incomparable wisdom, or penetrate the depths of the multitude of thy loves? Divine teacher! How well hast thou made thy people in all things, whilst thou art content with honest poverty! How thou hast enrobed them by rich lessons in philosophic truths, thus bringing into active training the higher and better qualities of their nature! How pure and spotless thy life, how honorable thy every action, how unfailing thy every promise! Surely the saints shall laud thee, saying: "Thy word is as good as thy law!" With what impressiveness hast thou taught us to deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God! With what glowing eloquence and sympathetic tenderness, hast thou preached to the saints of the love of the Divine Redeemer, His humility, long-suffering and patience! How well and truly thou hast taught, both by precept and example, these great commandments: "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife!" Immaculate Apostle! Thou hast progressed in the divine life, as no servant of God ever did progress. By the power of thy faith, thou hast climbed the sacred pillars of hope and love, even to the Heaven of Heavens; and entered there, rending asunder the veil that hides the infinite from the view of mortals; and there prostratedst thou thyself in the presence of thy Creator! Thou hast seen thy God! To gaze enraptured on that Heavenly being, thou wert placed, not as Moses, in the cleft of the rock, while the Lord passed by; but beneath a huge, promiscuous pile of _______ homemade petticoats.
              Yours, undoubtedly,   ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  September 16, 1871.                             No. 90.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

The Crime of Murder Defined for Brigham -- The "Cutting Off" of Haight and Lee from the Church -- Why it was Done -- Brigham Fears the Arch-Fiends of the Mountain Meadows Massacre -- The Prophet as the Very Embodiment of Hypocrisy -- The Head of the Mormon Church Openly Charged with Murder -- The Modern "Macbeth" -- Etc.

Salt Lake City, Sept. 14, 1871.    
                               An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: There are times defined, limited and regulated by law, when the taking of human life is and may be justifiable. First, in the defence of life; second, when life is taken accidentally and without any intention of killing; third, when taken by soldiers within the military regulations; fourth, when taken in fulfillment of the sentences of the law. Any other life taking is murder; provided there be a union or joint operation of act and intention, or criminal negligence. Then, if a Gentile in the streets of this city should with criminal intent kill another Gentile, or a Mormon, it would be murder. Now, let us reverse the case, and suppose that a Mormon should kill another Mormon, or a Gentile, would it not be murder? The circumstances being the same, would there be any difference in the criminality of the two acts? Is it the man who kills, or the intent to and act of killing, that constitutes the crime? Would not the unlawful taking of human life be equally criminal whether taken by desperado in our streets or the highest civil officer in the Territory? And would not all just men consider it so absolutely? Why should the guilty in one case be condemned and not in the other? Certainly, intelligence, refinement and exalted position are considerations which bit tend to aggravate and intensify the criminality of that which is by the law made criminal. You can not be ignorant of the fact that in the United States no priest, as such, can sit in judgment upon a case of life and death. The power that legally take life must be, first, responsible; second, it must have been constituted and regulated by law, having bounds set beyond which it can not pass to the prejudice of the rights of the accused. These questions and propositions are introduced here because they are entirely apropos of the history of Utah, and are put for your grave and earnest consideration, not by myself as a Mormon, or an apostate, but as a man. It is immaterial who he is that puts these questions, and whether he sails in your boat, or paddles his own canoe. It is enough to know that they originate in that instinctive abhorrence which man has to the unlawful and irresponsible shedding of human blood, and a painful sense of the bounden duty of every good citizen at whatever time and in whatever place to aid in bringing the murderer to justice. This may be equally true of other criminals; but it is possible for such to offer reparation for wrong without the forfeiture of life. It is for this reason that the punishment for offences, other than capital, comes within the statute of limitations. But life can be the only equivalent for life; and therefore the duty of prosecuting the murderer ceases only with his life. This is not only in accordance with all known criminal law, but with our own Book of Covenants, which says: "He that kills shall be delivered up unto the law of the land;" and, again, "He that kills shall mot have forgiveness in this world." In this connection we are not only to consider the principal villain, but the accessory also. This latter is one who, being present, hath advised, encouraged and counselled the perpetration of the crime. The guilt of the accessory is equal with that of the principal. An accessory after the fact is one who after full knowledge that a crime has been committed conceals it from the magistrate, or harbors and protects the person charged with or found guilty of the crime.

My mind has been drawn to this particular line of thought by information lately received of your proceedings at St. George, when you excommunicated Isaac C. Haight and John D. Lee from the church. It appears that Lee, who was not present, knew nothing of your action in his case until after the meeting. In fact the first he knew of it was from your own lips. Haight was there; but was completely surprised at the steps taken to cut him off. He claims that he was not notified to appear. He had tried to speak in his defence, but you silenced him at once, and refused him any opportunity to defend himself. There was no formal charge presented against these men; there was no regular trial. They were simply accused of murders committed at the Mountain Meadows nearly thirteen years before, and voted out of the church without a hearing. Now, sir, I refer you to our Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which says that "any member of the church transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the Scriptures direct." And again: "In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have the privilege of speaking for themselves before the council, after the evidences are heard and the counselors who are appointed to speak on the case have finished their remarks." Then, after the decision has been given, "of the remaining counselors who have not spoken, or any one of them, discover an error in the decision of the President, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a rehearing; and if, after a careful rehearing, any additional light is thrown on the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly." You see, sir, that by the canons of our church every man is entitled to a fair trial. And you will bear in mind that any decision really or pretendedly predicated upon those canons is recognizable by the civil courts. To Illistrate I will say, that if previous to the excommunication of Haight and Lee you did not deal with them as the (New Testament) Scriptures directed, and if you did not cite them to appear before you substantially as required by the ecclesiastical code, and if you did not formally charge them, giving them a reasonable time to answer, and if at the trial you did not permit them to introduce testimony or speak for themselves, or if you abridged them in any of their legal rights as defendants, you are liable for damages in an action at law before our civil courts, regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendants. My informant, a good Mormon, who little thought she was talking to "Argus," told me that when Haight assayed to speak in his defense you immediately arose, and in an excited manner commanded him to keep silence, and commenced to walk back and forth, saying you wouldn't "hear a murderer speak." Oh? you wouldn't? Y-o-u wouldn't!! Immaculate prophet! Surely innocence shall die with you! After having fellowshipped those men for thirteen years since the Mountain Meadows massacre -- after having protected them from arrest and punishment by the courts during all that time -- after having deceived the American people and surprised your own by the most unjustifiable lyings through the columns of your official organs, in which you substantially denied that any Mormon had anything to do with that massacre -- after having sacrificed even your personal honor to Governor Cumming in 1862 by promising to have those very men arrested and tried -- you suddenly become so exceedingly good that you won't even hear them in their own defense! Out upon such hypocritical masquerading! Why, sir, a judge of our courts would hear the vilest and meanest of criminals. He would hear you in your defense. I will tell you why you would not let Haight defend himself. It was because he was a member of a military council that received and acted upon the instructions sent by you to govern Colonel Dame in his action toward those ill-fated emigrants. Isaac C. Haight knows perfectly who is and ought to be held responsible for that massacre. He could have told you to your face and in the presence of the people that in that inhuman slaughter neither Lee nor himself transcended the orders received from their superiors "both in the church and in the military!" He could have given a testimony which would have made you shake worse than you did when Judge Titus said to you in this city: "Sir, you are a murderer, and I have got the proof in my pocket!" There were indeed conclusive reasons why you durst not let Haight enter upon his defense, and why you dared not hold your very un-ecclesiastical court in the presence of Lee. And this was you who had become so shocked at "man's inhumanity to man" that you "wouldn't hear a murderer speak." Poor Macbeth, how that dagger must have frightened you!

Sir, your proceedings on that occasion were not only un-American, unjust and tyrannical in the last degree, but they reveal and publish the guilty conscience of Brigham Young as clearly as though your confession of guilt should appear in the next issue of the Deseret News. And as a fitting conclusion to those contemptible doings, upon your return to Salt Lake City, you stopped at Harmony and told Lee what you had done, saying "the whole proceeding was but a sham and pretense, for purposes of policy!" and advised him to remove to Kanab, and take his wives and all his family with him. Sir, it requires an effort to keep one's temper when coming so frequently and repeatedly in contact with your double distilled duplicity and treachery! After sacrificing Lee at St. George by withdrawing from him your still powerful protection, you cajole him into acquiescence by a falsehood. You artfully extract the fangs with which the serpent could effectually strike you by deceiving him with a few sift words and show of patronage which cost you nothing, while they serve to close his mouth and prevent the possibilities of vengeance. The cutting off of Lee and Haight was no sham. It was an earnest, serious action on your part, not because you was horrified at their crime, but, rather, alarmed for yourself. Yes, sir, you have succeeded in getting Lee off to Kanab, where he can be under the espionage of your Danites, away from Gentile interference, and where he can safely be assassinated whenever it shall be deemed necessary to your safety.

In conclusion, let me say to you in solemn earnestness that you are bound by every consideration of the circumstance, by the important facts involved, by the value you place upon your imperiled reputation and that of the church over which you preside, by the regard you have for a popular verdict which, if finally against you, may be found to be incontestable and crushing in its uncontrollable indignation, to nullify those extra-judicial proceedings had in the obscure settlements of St. George, and duly cite Wm. H. Dame, I. C. Haight, and John D. Lee to appear before a General Conference of the whole Church at Salt Lake City, giving them timely notice of the time, and the exact charge upon which they will be tried, with the privilege of employing counsel without regard to church membership, and then with open doors, free to all comers, give them a full and fair trial. And finally, be you there as their accuser, and face them like a man. You dare not do it.   ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                             Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  September 23, 1871.                             No. 96.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Salt Lake City, Sept. 21, 1871.    
                           An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: If you have ever asserted by a direct negation that you were not in some way connected with and responsible for the massacre at the Mountain Meadows, I am not aware of it. That you have in an indirect, non-committal, Mormon sort of fashion seemed to deny such responsibility is undoubted. It is true, however, you have said but very little about it. It was a bad egg to break, and the farther it was kept out of reach of expression the better. Besides, you have certainly rested your hopes of escaping the perils and possible consequences of a criminal charge in the matter by the ill-advised and unasked-for pardon of President Buchanan, and therefore hoped the whole subject, if it could be kept quiet, would die a natural death. But I think, sir, your attorneys will find that while said pardon included your operations in Echo Canyon, and the Plains and elsewhere where you were operating against the military forces of the United States it did not include a warfare against non-belligerents as in Lee's expedition. It did not include the extermination of peaceable families traveling upon the public highway, The massacring of those families was not an act of rebellion for which you were pardoned, but a commission of murder for which the principals and accessories are to-day liable to be hung. There is one plea which you have made ostensibly to establish your innocence, but really in extenuation of your crime. I refer to the story of your sending a special messenger to Colonel Dame forbidding the massacre. There are some items connected with this matter to which I wish to call your attention. To begin with, you never sent a special messenger at all after your troops had left Cedar, but you probably did send a reply by the courier sent by Colonel Dame asking you some question connected with the expedition against the emigrants. What that reply was is not certainly known, but was supposed to be in the emigrants' favor. I wish to ask you why it was that Dame should take the trouble and go to the expense of expressing through you any message whatever concerning a company of emigrants quietly pursuing their way and especially a message which evidently affected and was intended to effect their lives and property? What would be thought to-day if a courier from Colonel Dame should reach the office of Governor Woods with a similar message? That's the question! Then again, at what time did Dame dispatch that courier? Was it at the time the emigrants left Cedar? or at the beginning of the fight? If the former, then he had nine days before the massacre in which to receive an answer and dispatch it to Major Lee. If the latter, then he had five days. Now the time necessary to start a message from Parowan to Salt Lake City and receive a reply to the same would require not to exceed sixty-five hours, and from Parowan to the Meadows four hours. Then, supposing that Lee immediately started a courier to Dame at the commencement of the fight, I will add four hours more, which would have given twenty-three surplus hours in which a message from you would have saved the loves and property of the Arkansans had it pleased your Excellency to send such an order of mercy. But, then, what reason have we to suppose that Colonel Dame waited until the fight had begun before he sent his courier? On the evening preceding the morning the troops left Cedar there was a meeting of the troops in that town, at which Dame was present and instructed the militia in general terms as to the object of the campaign, and as to what they were expected to accomplish. After the troops had started, Dame returned to Parowan, and doubtless sent you word of the fact. If this be so, then he had nine instead of five days in which to save that company. And it is not to be forgotten that when the troops left Cedar, Dame knew the fate in store for the emigrants as well as he did at any time thereafter.

Now, sir, one of two things is certain; either the idea of exterminating that company originated at Parowan and Cedar, or at Salt Lake City, and if the latter place, then in your office. But if Lee had started that idea it would not have met with the sanction of Colonel Dame, who is one of the most timid of men, and is known and acknowledged as the greatest coward in Southern Utah. And one of the clearest evidences that Lee's expedition was the result of your direct and specific order consists in the fact that the militia was called out and started on by Dame. But if we draw so far upon our imagination as to suppose that the proposition of the expedition was Dame's, still it would not have met with the approval of General George A. [Smith], independently of you, and, of course, it would have been dropped then and there. And, besides, that precious trio were too good Mormons, and too well posted to dare originate anything, more especially so important a campaign as the one in contemplation. For a little regimental officer to originate a public measure or act would have been presumption unknown in the annals of Utah. They knew that your rule included everything civil and military within its active, vigilant, vigorous notice, and with a string and unsparing arm controlled public and private action throughout the Territory. Dame, Haight and Lee would no more have dared to order out the militia, and carry out to completion the campaign that accomplished the Mountain Meadow massacre, than they would dare sever their limbs from their bodies. Then why were the militia called out at all? There is an ugly fact that comes in here -- I mean the mission of your aid-de-camp, General George A. He had traveled ahead of that company, commanding the people to sell them nothing and to buy nothing from them, and was in Dame's office when the courier from Lee reached Parowan. But what is strange and somewhat tinges this "courier" story with romance is that your express and Lee's should enter Dame's office precisely at the same moment! Yours forbidding the massacre, and Lee's reporting to his Colonel that the job was done! Upon the whole, it is fair to doubt that you sent any such message, and if you did it was one of your artful dodges to shun responsibility, knowing, as you must have known, that the chances were a thousand to one that your message would arrive too late to save the emigrants. Here the inquiries come in: How was it that you sent your message of mercy to Dame and not to Lee? and why should it have been Dame who sent the courier to you if he was not as the Colonel of the regiment operating against the emigrants? The true answers to these questions would give to the while movement its proper military look. Now comes the pith of the whole matter: It was clearly understood, and was doubtless the fact, that you had put the Territory under martial law. Keeping this fact in view, the following queries include the whole matter: First, in the calling out of that regiment, did Col. Dame act upon his own responsibility? Second, did he act in pursuance of your order? Third, did he act upon his order based upon some general order of yours which would require such proceedings in such a case? Fourth, if he had that bloody job done without specific order from you, would you not have called him and Lee to an account fir it? Of course you would.

You perhaps think that Argus is pressing matters pretty closely. And I am satisfied that a possible future, terrible and retributive in its character, forces itself, not unfrequently, upon your guilty imagination. My letters are but thoughts, long pent up, but now finding expression; and that expression finds its justification in a clear and undoubted sense of duty. I have neither ambition nor desire to prosecute or aid in the prosecution of anybody. Notwithstanding I am so well satisfied -- so thoroughly convinced of your complicity in the massacre at the Mountain Meadows, and in all the blood-atonement murders that have been committed in Utah, that were I your judge I should undoubtedly hang you, and then States-prison every anointed perjurer who had tried to swear you clear. And severe as this language is, I am sure it will find responsible echoes in more than one Mormon breast. In order to consider the history of "your administration" in its true light, and to hold your acts at their just value, the Mormon mind must disrobe you of the regal purple in which you seem to be arrayed, and displace from your brow that imagined dazzling tiara of divine authority. For so long as the mind shall receive you as the monarch to rule and the inspired seer to teach, your voice will be the voice of God, your affirmation the inspiration of Heaven, and your every counsel and command a law which may not be disregarded. It was your ambition so to teach and impress your people; and their unhappiness to receive such instruction as the manna which comes from Heaven. It was this false and wicked estimate in which you have been held, that has compelled the acceptance as pure and true of dogmas which make no appeal to the scruples of a well-trained conscience, which have no voice for the heart -- no sympathies for the soul. It was the Mormon faith in the reality of the prophetic office, and in the inspiration of ots acknowledged incumbent, which enabled you to fasten "blood-atonement" upon the church as an institution, and to sanctify in their estimation as the perfection of holiness, pleas and practices which the moral and religious sense of Christendom has pronounced to be earthy, sensual and devilish. It is astonishing that in the United States a whole religious denomination can be found to accept as divine truths your favorite dogmas. That the right hand of the Almighty is red with human blood; and the road which leads the worshipper into the presence of God and the holy angels, should have petticoats for guide-flags! We will get bravely over this by and by, when the sober after thought shall come to dispel the illusion of your imaginary royalty and semi-divinity. Then the deceptive show, the false reasoning, the Utopian dream will disappear, and you will be to us simply as a citizen of the United States. Then will we be able to measure your words by the same rule, and weigh your actions in the same balance that we do other men's! Then, sir, will the dark and blood thirsty history of Utah appear to Mormons as it should appear, and her chief Priest, who has offered up so many human sacrifices upon the altar of his treasonable ambition and unholy lust, the foul murderer that he really is.   ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                         Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  September 30, 1871.                         No. 102.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

The Prophet's Sacred Person Guarded Night and Day -- His Abject Fear of Assassination. -- The Coward's Dread of His Own Shadow -- The Cost of His Protection -- Who Pays fot It -- The Cause of His Fear -- The Revelator's Guilty Conscience -- The Blood of a Hundred Murdered Innocents Before His Eyes. -- Etc.
Salt Lake City, Sept. 28, 1871.    
                           An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: The President of the United States travels without a bodyguard, and sleeps without armed sentinels at his door. This is also true of the Governors of States and of American citizens generally. There is not a bishop of any religious body in our country that goes thus guarded. There has not been a Governor of Utah, except yourself, that has about him, day and night, armed men regularly employed and paid expressly for his personal protection. It is not only a peculiarity, but one of the crowning glories of our republican government that magistrates and rulers can go and come and freely mix with the populace anywhere and at any time unattended, and without fear or danger of assassination. President Lincoln was only a partial exception to this rule; for he was not attended in such a manner when he was killed. But, sir, from the beginning of your rule over us to the present time you have had your person carefully and vigilantly guarded. This armed protection commenced in Nauvoo, continued during your journey hither, and has been continued ever since without any relaxation. This can be seen in the sentinel at your gate during the day, in the armed patrol upon your premises at night, and in the escort which ever attends you in your travels. All this costs valuable time and means. Allowing two dollars per diem in ordinary times for the last twenty-four years; and in the numerous times of excitement and imagined danger the increased expense of special patrols has been at least equal to the former, so that it is not unfair to say that you have cost the Mormons of this city fully two hundred thousand dollars to guard you in your own house! If this statement should appear extravagant to my brethren, they can make the calculation for themselves. Then, how do you pay those guards? Out of the tithing? By no means, except in certain cases. The onerous and exacting duty has mainly been performed by men obtained by requisition on the bishops. These brethren, having toiled all day for the support of themselves and families, have gone to your premises and stood guard all night, with not an enemy within a thousand miles of Salt Lake City. The time and tax upon the physical endurance of these guards were valuable and aggregate an enormous sum. Then the princely escort which never fails to accompany you in your frequent journeyings is ever quartered upon the people, and this has cost us, first and last, time included, not less than two hundred thousand dollars. That I consider a very moderate estimate. You can not better spend a day or two than in making the calculation for yourself. The cost, then, of guarding your person in Utah, has been fully four hundred thousand dollars in valuable time and hard-earned means, less than twenty thousand of which has been paid out of the tithing. I congratulate you, sir, that you are the only man in the United States, outside or inside of a county jail or a State's prison, that has cost the pockets, the time, the larders, the oat-bins, hay-stacks and chicken roosts of American citizens such a sum for such a purpose! And all entirely uncalled for, and without a reason or a necessity worthy of a moment's consideration. For I do not believe there has ever been a time during the entire period of your incumbency of the presidency of the church when you were in danger of being assassinated.

The causes of your taking such extraordinary precautions for your personal safety, lie in your Falstaffian nature -- your native cowardice, and the bloody spectres which haunt you as the unwelcome "teasers" of a guilty conscience. From the beginning you have been conscious of being a usurper and a traitor. It is clear and undeniable that the constitution of our church (the Book of Covenants) predicates the idea of "the succession" upon the well understood law of primogeniture, stating expressly, that it "was confirmed to be handed down from father to son," and that it should be in Joseph, "and in his seed through all their generations" you fully recognized this proposition in the earlier years of your presidency as applying to David Smith, because you knew the common sense of the people would not admit of too abrupt a departure from the text of the Book of Covenants, and the cherished traditions of the church, no man in Nauvoo, in 1844 knew better than yourself, who was the "hope and the expectation" of our unsuspecting faith; and you manifest that conviction to-day in your traitorous efforts to ostracise and repudiate the family of Joseph, and in your overwhelming ambition to fix the next ensuing succession in your son, Brigham Young, Jr. It was this consciousness of perpetrating a wrong and a treason upon the children of Joseph, that excited your fears in Nauvoo, and continued to alarm you until you had educated the Mormon mind to believe you to be the "legal successor." How many thousands of times has the lying cant-phrase been repeated in our "testimony" meetings: "I know by the Spirit of God, that President Young is Joseph's legal successor!" The blockheads! They might with equal reason and truth have said, they knew you to be the legal successor of Benedict Arnold, and the uncle of Jeff. Davis! But leaving the idea of the rights of the Smith family out of the question (and I here disclaim all interest in and concern for those rights, and only refer to them to show how basely and completely you betrayed them, and to illustrate the perfidity that forms a constituent portion of your mental constitution), if the church was to be governed by some one in the "quorums," still there were several persons whose claims logocally and canonically preceeded yours; and besides, there was an entire council organization which, as a presiding council, held precedence over the traveling councillors (or twelve apostles) over which you presided. This was the High Council of the Church, our ecclesiastical court of last resort, whose president must be the president of the whole church, and over which Joseph had uniformily presided as such; while of your quorums the Book of Covenants says: "The twelve traveling councillors are called to be the twelve apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the world; thus differing from other officers of the church in the duties of their calling."

But you had formed a ring composed of Heber C. Kimball, Williard Richards and others of nearly equal note, and by their aid succeeded in your attempt at usurpation of the Presidency of the Church. Like traitors sometimes do, you "flourished like the green bay tree." The cup of your ambition seemed overflowing in its happy realizations; but the poison of fear and conscious guilt was there to mar and spoil its enjoyment. You feared your brethren whom you had cheated and suplanted, and your fraudulently won honors rest uneasily upon you. You feared that they would do unto you what you would certainly have done unto them had their case been yours. Hence body-guards to protect your person.

After you had removed to Salt Lake and domiciled your family within that semi-fortification and those comfortable houses, built of tithing materials and unrequited, conscripted labor, and had become firmly fixed on the throne of the "kingdom," you still kept up the useless watch, turning your office into a small armory, where the most approved patterns of fire-arms were kept ready for a moment's use. The reasons for all this were, first the original cause of fear which still remained; second, there might be husbands lurking around, whose wives you had corrupted and stolen, who might consider a moment of sweet revenge to be an equivalent for a life-time of wretchedness and misery in their once happy, but now desolate homes; third, you had introduced your doctrine of "blood atonement," and the friends of recusant Mormons, murdered in prosecution of it decrees, might take it into their heads to get even. And (with the exception of a few contemptable outsiders, who crawl around the horizon of your murky firmament, and, in the permitted distance, humble themselves in shameless abjectiveness before you, and lick dirt in the hope that "favor may follow fawning") your insensate fear of Gentiles who never yet have harmed you, and probably never will unlawfully; together with the latent yet ever-increasing fear and distrust of your own anointed brotherhood, caused by your insatiable avarice, your never-ending series of dishonest and treacherous dealings with them, and their increasing disregard for you. These are among the reasons why you keep yourself so secluded and carefully guarded, why you do not mix freely with the populace; why you did not celebrate the [natal] day of our country with the congregated masses of citizens in Salt Lake City; why you did not then and there occupy your wonted post of honor in the great Tabernacle; why you fled like the wicked who flee when no man pursueth, and with palpitating heart wore out your own "little old" Fourth of July as best you could! And, so, in the midst of pleasures, surrounded by obsequious flatterers and pliant flunkeys; in the midst of piles of wealth and multiplied outward evidences of grandeur; in the midst of your ambition and dreams of royalty and greatness, this constant fear of assassination is the imaginary sword which hangs over your head suspended by a single hair; it is the acid which sours and poisons your every cup of sweetness, and turns your simplest beverages into blood. Sir, how nobly you must have acted toward the offspring of Joseph; how guileless your heart; how great the "wisdom of your administration;" how thoroughly you have won and kept the confidence of your brethren, and of all just men, seeing that you have a chronic torment in the fear of being killed by somebody in the church or out!   ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                         Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  October 7, 1871.                         No. 108.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

From Nauvoo to Council Bluffs -- The Mormon Battalion -- Brigham's Treachery -- Bishops Stealing the Supplies -- Some Splendid Rascality -- Incidents from Missouri -- Stupendous Lying -- The Two Governors of Utah.
Salt Lake City, Oct. 5, 1871.    
                           An Open Letter to Brigham Young.

SIR: The hardships and privations endured by the Mormons in 1846 at Mt. Pisgah, and indeed all along the road from Nauvoo to Council Bluffs, probably exceeded in real suffering anything of the kind ever before experienced in the history of voluntary emigrations. The labors incident to traveling over new and unbroken roads; unwonted exposures to the elements, and the malarias of the ciuntry; and an insufficient supply of food; told with dreadful effect upon young and old; and the road could have been traced by the graves by its side. Your headquarters had advanced as far as the Bluffs, while the main body of the emigration lay in a helpless condition at Pisgah. Absolute starvation was only averted by the sending into the settled parts of Missouri and Iowa of hundreds of men to labor for food. Even with this aid famine was in our midst, bringing with it its ever accompanying plagues. Deadly fevers and scurvy were slaying scores daily, and, to all human appearance, Mormonism had found its last resting place. The sufferings and sorrows of those days can never be written, neither can they be fully comprehended, except by Him who knoweth all things. It was during this dark and dreadful period in Mormon history that the intelligence reached the Bluffs, that the United States had declared war against Mexico. Immediately the way and the means to save the people occurred to you; and, besides, it would enable you to use the General Government in aiding you, in part, to accomplish your great emigration scheme. You without delay made application to the War Department at Washington, tendering a battalion of troops to aid in the invasion of California, coupled with the request that said troops at the close of their term of service should be discharged in that country. That application, sir, was, and doubtless is on file at the War Office, to substantiate this statement. And, what is more, you preserved a copy of that paper; and in 186_, it was (unintentionally), seen, and was read by one who had employment in your office. You had inadvertently left your desk open. The Government accepted your proffer at once, and the Mormon battalion was immediately raised, and as soon as could be, started upon its war mission. You, of course, had arranged to draw the advanced money for the troops, and was acknowledged by the Department as their financial agent. With this money you, without delay, loaded a steamboat at St. Louis with provisions, clothing and medicines for the Mormons, which was delivered up the Missouri in due time and distributed among the people. By this means they were saved from perishing. All this is to your credit. Notwithstanding you got the Lion's share, and the bishops (your distributing agents) were accused of stealing in some instances, your [action] at this time, and in subsequent distributions unquestionably saved the people.

It would give me a very great satisfaction indeed to write of this commendable action of Brigham Young's, had not his vile nature and vaunting ambition utterly neutralized its virtues and turned its sweetness by making it into gall the occasion of an unpardonable fraud upon the people, which had for [a] base intention, the alienation of the affections of the Mormons from their country. Your tender of the battalion to the Government had been kept a secret from the Mormons, who would haardly have forgiven you for initiating a measure which was to draw from them what little of strength they had left, and leave them exposed to Indian raids. It was probably known only to Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, by whom it was also signed. When it is considered how fairly and honorable the Governmant had dealt with you in this matter; how readily your request had been granted; with what dispatch the means had been forwarded to you which had saved so many lives, and averted so much suffering; and how fully an unusual favor had been accorded you in guaranteeing the discharge of the battalion in California; (then a foreign State) it was to be supposed that you, in the presence of the congregation, would give the Government due credit for the same, and when you spoke of it at all, it would be only in its honor.

But, sir, you, not as the man Brigham Young, but in your public capacity as the chief priest of the Mormon sect, told us that the Governmnet of the United States had concocted a plan for our extermination! The plot was, to demand troops from the Mormons to aid in the war against Mexico. In our present wretched and helpless condition we would refuse compliance; and that refusal would be the Government's excuse for a Mormon war. Such, substantially, was the falsehood told with such apparent sincerity, and its credibility enforced with such earnest declamation, that it deceived everybody. Ot was received as true; and for years made a standing subject for public and private discourse, until it became so fully impressed upon the general mind, that Mormons even of American birth and education could look upon the United States only as an enemy and persecutor of the church, whose cold-blooded purpose had been to destroy us with the edge of the sword, and exterminate the whole Church from the face of the earth, regardless of law or humanity! This outrageous lie, told in the first place only as you can tell a lie, and for so long a time carefully nursed and kept alive by you, did more than any other thing to make the people of Utah hate the United States; to reconcile them to your monarchical projects; and to create within them the hope that you might succeed in the establishment of an independent government.

Ot is a long time since I became convinced that you were altogether unscrupulous in your affirmations when it suited your purpose so to be; but I was amazed to find that you could conceive and publish such an execrable falsehood against your country! There was to it a degree of baseness that defies comparison with the fiercest assaults upon private character. You may search the record of Jeff. Davis and other leaders of the late rebellion, and you will find nothing in their history that equals it in moral depravity and damnable meaness. The United States had never for one monent been derelict in duty to the Mormon people. In the rise of the Church, our preachers in the several States, suffered less criminal persecution by thirty percent, than did the first American Methodist preachers. And, after the Jackson county troubles in Missouri, when we made an appeal to the courts for a redress of the serious wrongs we had suffered from the violence of mobs, and petitioned the Government for a military force to protect us during the trial of our causes; President Jackson responded at once, affording us all necessary protection; and if we did not then and there get the remedy we sought for, it was not the fault of the Government. It was because the courts and people of that State were prejudiced against us; and that prejudice was due more than anything else to Mormon blockheads who could not hold their tongues about the negroes; and Missouri was a slave State. It is but the truth to say, that in all the Mormon troubles in that State, the Government of the Unoted States was blameless. Unfortunately, Joseph had studied the Bible to the neglect of the constitution; and so in after years when the Church had settled in Illinois, he, by "revelation," went to Washington and laid our grievances before President Van Buren, who replied that, "our cause was just but he could do nothing for us." For that answer the Almighty was to curse the whole United States. Joseph should have known that the Mormon grievances, at that time were purely judicial questions, and that the Government could only afford protection to the courts, which it had already shown its readiness to do; and that President Van Buren's answer was altogether proper and right. But many in the church did not view the matter in that light, and were already feeling sore about it when Joseph was killed, and then when we, who were the proper parties, failed to make complaint against individuals concerned in his death, because the whole nation did not rise up and punish those murderers, you accused the country to consenting to his death and declared that his blood was required at the hands of the whole American people. For these reasons it can be readily understood that the Mormon mind was in a good condition to be impressed with the foul falsehood we have been discussing. It is not to be forgotten that at the breaking out of the Mexican war the people of the States, called upon to furnish soldiers, responded in overflowing numbers, and the Government had no occasion to call upon any church for men. The whole story of the demand for Mormon troops was a falsehood, concocted for the purpose of aiding you in your monarchist designs by its tendency to farther alienate the hearts of Mormons from their country.

Having disposed of your meanest lies, I can not close without a brief reference to your meanest one. When Governor Cumming assumed the duties of his office, the story of the Mountain Meadows was yet fresh in the minds of the people; the actors in that scene had not yet begun to scatter through the Territory, and were not yet lost in the multitudes, and the duty of the chief magistrate in the matter had not yet lost its impressiveness by the modifying influences of time. That massacre was uppermost in the mind of the new Governor, and he sought diligently to make its punishment the act of his administration. He, however, soon found that you were still the real Governor; that he was about the most useless individual there was in the land; and that even the arrest of the murderers of the Arkansas emigrants was out of his power. Still he determined not to give it up, and in his perplexity as to the best mode of proceedure he consulted "Argus." I told him that any one of those men could be arrested, but the force that could succeed in making the arrest would be insufficient to hold him, as the populace would undoubtedly come to the rescue, and, perhaps, make it "warm" for the officers. I told him there was but one way in which those men could be arrested and brought to trial, and that was, through your orders executed by Mormon officers. I advised him to go to you and get you to pledge your word that you would have Dame, Haight, Lee and Smith arrested and delivered into the proper custody; and assured him that if you so gave your word it would be done. I have thought of that many times since and wondered how it was possible for me to have been so "green." But I confess that I did think that if Brigham Young should pledge his word to a high public officer to do a certain thing, he would do it. Well, sir, His Excellency waited upon you at your office, and I had his word that you did so promise him. He was content, fully relying upon your honor. But as months passed by without any perceptible movement in that direction, he became uneasy and called upon you and refreshed your memory upon the subject. You renewed your promise and he left. Still, nothing was done. His term of office was now drawing to a close, yet no effort was made on your part to redeem your promise. He made you several calls; you putting him off with excuses until his term expired and he was about to leave Utah. Before he left he called upon you and told you to your face, and in your own office, that you had purposely lied to and deceived him. Now, sir, the corruption and faithlessness of Gentile officials is a favorite theme of yours. Yet I do not believe there is an officer in the service of the American Government so corrupt, so abandoned, so wanting in self-respect that would so shamelessly falsify his word pledged as yours was pledged, and so utterly repudiate his honor as you repudiated yours. You afterward made the flimsy excuse that those men "should not be tried before a Gentile Court." In this subterfuge you disregarded the fact that, except the first six days of their session, and by virtue of your own legislation in the premises, our Superior Courts were not Gentile Courts, in a proper sense, because, in criminal matters, they could have no business not furnished by Mormon grand juries; and could pass sentence upon no man not found guilty by a Mormon trial jury, which latter could find no verdict except for offences against our own Criminal Act, which, itself, was supposed to be based upon the common law, a compend of the legal wisdom of all the ages since the days of Moses, your model and great prototype. But, sir, the true reason why the President of the Mormon church shielded those men from arrest and trial can be seen and understood at a glance. He did not fulfill his promise to Governor Cumming, not because he was unable so to do, but because he dared not. Even with the juries at his command, and under his entire control by virtue of the Endowment House oath, he dared not take the risk of something leaking out during the trials that would reveal the dread secret that, after all, he himself was the murderous chief of the poor Arkansas emigrants!   ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                         Corinne,  Utah, Saturday,  October 14, 1871.                         No. 114.


(Written expressly for the Corinne Reporter and containing a
true and succinct account of the Reign of Terror in Utah. -- Ed.)

Argus on the New Movement -- He Settles the Question of Morality --
Grant Comparisons and Fine Deductions.

An Open Letter to Wm. S. Godbe.

Salt Lake City, Oct. 12, 1871.    

SIR: I write you over a [nom] de plume, but pledge you my open name whenever you demand it, in confidence, after you have fully and finally withdrawn yourself from the Utah institution miscalled polygamy. I beg you to overlook my blunt and uncouth manner of writing -- it is my style. Permit me to assure you that what I have to say shall be said in all brotherly kindness, without malice, and with a sincere desire to further the understanding of the truth. In your address of July 30th, in speaking of the comparative virtue of the Mormon people, you fall into the same error that Brigham Young has fallen, and from which he deduces his pet argument in favor of his peculiar institution, namely, the comparing of Mormon harems with the brothels of the world, which you substantially do. In this you are certainly wrong; because, first, those brothels are not institutions of any church. Prostitution has existed in all ages, and, probably, always will. It is common to all countries; but finds its natural home in great commercial centers where there is a great preponderance of men, and among polygamous nations where it assumes a form not fit to be mentioned. Second, they are liable to contain, and do contain Mormon girls as well as others. Ot is, however, but just to remark that of the whole mass of these poor cast-a-ways, but very few indeed were brought up under a careful Christian guardianship. Third, there is no Christian church that recognizes whoredoms as an institution of that church, nor in any other sense, except as the most abominable and most to be abhorred of all the dark ways of sin. From this you can see at once the unfairness of comparing polygamy with the lowest and most degraded type of fallen humanity, represented only by outcasts from virtuous society, holding the same to be a part of Christian monagamy. Fairplay suggests that the comparison to be made, should be between the marriage system of the Mormon church and that of some other church. To illustrate, I would say like this: Is there a higher standard of morality and virtue in the polygamy of the church of Brigham Young, than in the monogamy of the Presbyterian church? Does the polygamy of Mormonism endure to peace, quiet, contentment, and affection in the family circle in a greater degree than the monogamy of Catholicism? Does the polygamy of Mormonism tend to a holiness of heart and a genuine, practical Christian life, in a greater degree than the monogamy of Methodism? These are the just comparisons to [be] made, and, when made, polygamy goes to the wall.

Among the reasons you gave why a man should not put away his polygamous (not polygamic) wives, was one which greatly surprised me; namely, on account of his children. Now, sir, to my mind, the greatest and most fatal objection that can be raised to the "twin relic" is, the bringing up of children in polygamous households, and, in my opinion, any man in Utah living with more than one "wife," who has "outgrown" his faith in Brigham Young and his doctrines, should not hesitate a day to put away his concubines for his childrens' sake, if for no other reason. I use the term concubine, not as implying an impure woman, but because it is, after all, the proper one to be used in this connection, for the reason that in a full and proper sense, no woman can be a wife that is not lawfully so, and the common law, as well as the statute, restricts the marriage relation to one wife. The idea of bringing up children under the influence of polygamy, in which they see so many things they should not see, and hear so much they should not hear, is the most immoralizing feature of the institution. Here is matter for "serious thought."

Your long and elaborate discourse was clearly an apology for polygamy. But it was an ideal polygamy; and not the institution as it exists to-day in Utah. You treat it with faultless respect. You speak of love and affection as existing between a Mormon and his wives. Have you not heard the high expounders of Mormonism, time and again, publicly instruct the women not to love their husbands, because love was jealous and could not bear a rival? Polygamy is fatal to woman's love. To the concubine it is hell; to the lawful wife, despair! And your fine words -- "full force of religious influence," -- "lofty enthusiasm," -- "true affection," -- "free from sensuality," -- lived in amity together," -- "feelings of confidence and love," -- "the tendrils of her feminine heart entwined around his," are the veriest twaddle, and unworthy of one who has so far "out-grown" polygamy, as, at least theoretically, to have discovered its failure as an institution worthy of being perpetuated. Look at the old polygamist families of Utah. Not one of them -- no sir, however much they may seek to keep their troubles to themselves, and however pleasant and good-natured they may appear in public and before strangers, not one that has not a little hell of its own sufficient to burn and destroy the last particle of conjugal love, had any existed. Scarcely one that has not a feud of greater or less malignancy existing between the woman, and also the children, who naturally sympathize and take sides with their mothers. These feuds stir up and keep alive angry passions, and render a truly pious frame of mind impossible. There is neither love nor prayer in Brigham Young's religion. Yet you, with a disingenuousness unexpected in Wm. S. Godbe, leave these plain facts in the back-ground, introduce your ideal "Celestial marriage," make it to represent the real, then give to it an undisguised sympathy, and treat it with the gravest and most respectful consideration!

It is a fact which can not be unknown to you, the polygamous wives in Utah are the hardest worked set of women in America. Even in polygamous Turkey, a man can not marry a second wife until he has endowed the first with property, in her own right, sufficient to support herself and her children. But here women have been sealed to men without regard to their ability to support either them or the lawful wife; and, what is more, the women have been both publicly and privately taught to labor for their own support, the support of their children, and for the support of their husband! There are men now loving in Salt Lake City and county who commenced life here by domiciling two or perhaps three women in a single room, who, by the united labors of the family, by the most pinching economy, and by the rise in the value of real estate are now in comfortable circumstances. If there be a hardship in breaking up olygamous households, it would be in such cases. Yet, as the romance (!) of "celestial marriage" has, with them, long since passed away, as they have never seen a day without strifes, discords or heart-burnings of some kind, as there is no prospect of domestic happiness in their present relations, where is the hardship in an honest man saying to those "spirituals;" Our family arrangements are unlawful; are not right anyway; I will support you and the children until you marry, which latter you are free to do; and if you marry, you can, if you choose, send my children to me, and I will support and educate them, or I will now deed you a certain property and give you the children, but for our mutual good the apparent relation of husband and wife can no longer exist between us. Thus by his voluntary effort he can do an act of justice to those women and their offspring which under other circumstances he may not be permitted to do. As an illustration, let us suppose that Mrs. Godbe should prefer, before the court, a charge of adultery against you, her husband, and pursue it to conviction and imprisonment. It would be a short way to a divorce with the estate and the children all hers. Then poor Hagar and Ishmael would be at the mercy of Sarah, with a bottle of water for an inherotance.

Grave duties sometimes require sacrifices. Yet a sacrifice to a requirement of right, and especially to a clear appreciation of duty gives pleasure rather than pain, because it propitiates and satisfies the conscience. In this connection I make bold to say that there is not a polygamist in Salt Lake City, who can think at all, but what realizes upon his conscience and within his heart that "celestial marriage" has been in principle a wrong unto himself, and in practice an unmitigated outrage upon his "wives." Then, as for the woman, by such voluntary act put away, do you think they would break their hearts about it? Not at all. Why, sir, if polygamy in Utah were put an end to to-day, and without any preparation, by the submission of the Mormons to the laws of Congress, while it would perhaps create an indifferent sort of pain in some instances, would give any amount of satisfaction to the deceived, enslaved, over-worked "spirituals," and would be, O what a triumph to a multitude of lawful wives (including your own) who have for years borne a burden of wretchedness impossible to describe! It is a waste of time to speculate upon how these extra women are to geta long without Abraham. The great majority of them have more than paid their way thus far, and, if need be, can still sustain themselves. I am aware that there are women in Utah who, in the presence of others, will deny my propositions, while in secret communion with their conscience will weep bitter tears in acknowledgement of their orrefragable truth. I know a most excellent lady, a "spiritual wife" of one of the high dignitaries of Brigham's church, who, on a certain occasion, manifested great zeal in defense of her position. I afterward asked her why she was so earnest in her remarks to that Gentile. (She knew my sentiments.) She replied: "How could I do otherwise when my honor was called in question?" Then added, as the tears started, "Yet something tells me all the time that I am not living right!" If you have any sympathy for those wretched women, so unfeelingly placed in a false position, express it for them as they now are, and waste no time in speculating as to what their future condition will be, because when freed from their present enslavement they will stand in little need of your sympathy.

I congratulate you that you have taken a position against the continued practice of polygamous sealings. I do so the more earnestly because it is the first practical step as yet taken against that abomination, and will prove to be the entering wedge that will burst the rotten log wide open. Yet, allow me to inquire, is it any more of a crime against woman, against morality, against the law for a man to take a concubine to-day than it was when the law against polygamy was first published? You certainly know that immediately after the promulgation of that law, Brigham Young took another concubine, and paraded her through the streets, took her to the parties, to the theater, through the Territory, and boasted of this open defiance of the law, and by his example created quite a revival in the sealing business. It became a common thing to see the lechers hasten with new victims to the sealing altar expressly (of they were to be believed) to show their contempt of the act of Congress. Now, why should not all such parties be held to the same account as those violating the law at the present time? There is more matter for "serious thought." Upon the whole, Mr. Godbe, it will be well to understand that in this entire matter, we are dealing not with questionable sentiments, but with an ugly fact, and that in this as well as in other matters, honesty os the best policy. It is clearly the duty of every polygamist in Utah, while he has the matter in his own hands, to at once and forever do away with his unlawful manner of living, making such provisions as may be ample or within his power for the support of those who must be put away.
                    Respectfully,                     ARGUS.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV.                         Corinne,  Utah, Thursday,  October 19, 1871.                         No. 118.


The Corinne Reporter has a contributor who signs himself "Argus," who for some months has occasionally discussed the Mormon question with a candor unusual, and a vim and force more effective than often displayed by either party on this exciting topic. This apostate Mormon, for such he evidently is, has given Brigham Young's dynasty some of the most telling blows it has ever received. -- Carson Register.

This ablest of all writers on Utah will shortly publish in book form, a history of Mormonism, which will be, in fact, the only genuine narrative on that subject.

Note 1: The only major book on Mormonism, to which Charles W. Wandell made any substantial contributions, was the 1873 volume by T. B. H. Stenhouse, Rocky Mountain Saints. See Chapter 43 of that notable history. However, some of the same material, derived from Wandell, was used in Fanny Stenhouse's 1874 companion volume, Tell It All.

Note 2: In 1873-74 Wandell write letters to Joseph Smith III, telling of his desire to publish his Mountain Meadows massacre writings in the form of a book. The RLDS leader was not particularly supportive of this proposition, and after Wandell's death his compilations were filed away in the RLDS archives and forgotten. This material was later destroyed in a fire.


Vol. III.                Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, November 24, 1871.                No. 84.


The Prophet's Government a Model for
the Free Republic --The Land
of Industry and Propriety --
Brigham's Trip Southward --
Col. Baxter's Story.

A Sun reporter found Col. J. C Baxter, a prominent Gentile of Salt Lake City, in an up town hotel....


Q. -- Do you think that Brigham Young was concerned in the murder of Yates?

A. -- I believe the whole Mormon church to be concerned in numberless murders. I believe Brigham Young instigated the Mountain Meadow massacre, in which 127 Gentiles, men, women and children were slaughtered. The Mormons believe that they are authorized by Heaven to adjudge persons to death without the sanction of earthly law. Bill Hickman, on whose testimony Young has been arrested, killed a Spaniard at Stockton last fall, and I guess he wants to save his neck.

Q. -- But you say many Gentiles do not approve the present prosecutions?

A. Men like Buell and Bateman, two of the greatest mine owners in Utah, think that the Mormons have rights as well as the Gentiles; that congress should make a law abolishing polygamy for the future, by-gones to be by-gones, the Mormons to care for their present wives and children. Utah Territory does not owe a dollar, and without polygamy and the treasonable tendencies of the Mormon faith, it would be a model to the rest of the Union.

Q. -- What is the population of the Territory, and the proportionate number of Mormons and Gentiles?

A. -- The population of Salt Lake City is not more than 10,000, and the populalion of the Territory about 120,000. There are 8,000 or 10,000 Gentiles. Emigrants to the number of 5,000 or 6,000 came over from Wales and Norway the present summer to join the Mormons.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                             Corinne, U. T., Monday, April 15, 1872.                             No. ?


A Miners' League to Punish
Mormon Criminals...

Salt Lake City, April 14.    
...The miners on Star, Lincoln, and other districts in the southern part of the Territory, are forming a secret organization to oppose the secret influence of the Mormon endowment house, and among other objects, to bring to justice the instigators and perpetrators of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Already over two hundred members are in the league....

Note: Edward W. Tullidge, in his 1886 History of Salt Lake City, says on page 590: "Sometime after this (the 1870 founding of the Salt Lake Tribune), a secret society was organized in the city and mining camps, known as the 'Gentile League of Utah.' Its mission was to break up 'Mormon Theocracy,' made so famous by McKean's extraordinary official statement, that it was on trial in his court, in the person of Brigham Young." Andrew Jensen, in the 2nd ed. of his Church Chronology, dates the founding of the Gentile League of Utah to the year 1872 -- and by April 15th (the date the Engelbrecht decision was overturned, leading to Brigham Young's freedom from prosecution for murder), the G.L.U. numbered "over two hundred members." See also the comments attached to the Salt Lake Tribune for Apr. 16, 1872.



Vol. V.                   Corinne, U. T., Saturday, September 14, 1872.                     No. 244.



New York, Sept. 14. -- The fact that the Mountain Meadow Massacre was Mormon work, is fully confessed in an affidavit of Philip Klingen Smith, now of Lincoln county, Nevada. Smith says [he], at the time a Mormon bishop, at Cedar City, Utah, was forced to muster with a militia regiment, perpetrating the crime, that the assailed party, after four days fight, were induced to lay down their arms under promise of protection, after which all were shot down by the Mormon militia, except seventeen young children who were taken in charge by Smith and saved. The affidavit gives particulars and carries conviction to its truth.

Note: The first national news of the 1871 Klingensmith affidavit came in the form of a short Associated Press release, dated "Salt Lake City, September 4th," which merely said: "New and exciting testimony has been obtained with regard to the memorable Mountain Meadow massacre. The documents will be sent to the Department of Justice at Washington..." Other AP telegraphic bulletins from Salt Lake City followed, including one dated Sept. 13th, which reported: "An affidavit by one of the least guilty among the participants in the affair, showing conclusively that the terrible Mountain Meadow massacre was the act of the Mormon authorities, has been made here... the deponent is Phillip Smith, who was at the time of the massacre the Mormon Bishop of Cedar City..." Both the New York Times and the New York Herald published the entire Klingensmith affidavit in their issues of Sept. 14th, but a rival paper, the New York Tribune appears to have scooped them by printing a reference to the confession on Sept. 11th. Strangely enough, although the news report originated in Salt Lake City, the Tribune there did not run Klingensmith's statement until Sept. 23rd.


Vol. III.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Sunday, September 15, 1872.                 No. 84.


New York, 14. -- The fact that the Mountain Meadow massacre was Mormon work is fully confirmed by the confession of Philip Klingan Smith, now of Lincoln county, Nevada. Smith says at the time he was a Mormon bishop, at Cedar City, Utah, and was forced to muster with the militia regiment for the perpetration of the crime; that the assailed party, after four days' fight, were induced to lay down their arms under promise of protection, after which all were shot down by the Mormon militia except seventeen young children, who were taken in charge by Smith and saved. The affidavit gives particulars and carries conviction of its truth.
J. W. SIMONTON.            

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. -- [James W.] Simonton, chief of the associated press bureau in New York, sends a telegram west over his own signature, charging the Mormon people with the Mountain Meadow massacre, on the alleged confession of one Smith, now in Lincoln county, Nevada. This Smith, by Simonton's showing, is either a murderer or a perjured scoundrel, and in either case is amenable to the laws. He should be promptly arrested and brought to Utah on a requisition from Governor Woods to Governor Bradley, and if his statements could be substantiated by any credible testimony the guilty should be punished. But, the attempt made to charge the crime upon the Mormons, as a people, is an infamy only less in magnitude than the massacre itself. It has suited the malevolent policy of a few bitter anti-Mormons to refuse to avail themselves of every opportunity to fully investigate this matter, and continue to make general charges, which it seems they have at last got a second Bill Hickman to make affidavit to.

Note: The Salt Lake Herald editor appears to have copied the Klingensmith news item published in the Reporter of Sept. 14, without attribution. However, since this was a telegraphic communication, it was evidently released by Mr. Simonton with the intention that multiple newspapers reproduce his report. Simonton telegraphed the text of the affidavit to the New York Herald, where it appeared on Sept. 14th. A rival paper, the New York Tribune appears to have scooped Simonton, by publishing a reference to Bishop Klingensmith's confession in its issue for Sept. 11th.



Vol. V.                     Corinne, U. T, Monday, September 16, 1872.                     No. 245.


Whenever a Mormon falls from grace, which means a denial of the royal authority of Brigham Young, that moment the recusant is cut off, root and branch, as an apostate fore-ordained from the beginning to eternal perdition no less than mortal disgrace. To refuse to pay tithing into the coffers of ecclesiastical piracy is the unpardonable sun: far more so than to dispute the sangunary decrees of Blood Atonement. Depleting the treasures of the Church by contumacy in not pouring in the annual tenth of a man's net profits, sends out the anathemas of Zion; but when, occasionally, the dupe whose hands are gory in innocent blood shed by "divine" orders, repents his dreadful career by wholesome confession, then do all the curses of Danite theology find condemning speech to crush the penitent in his remorse, lest revelations of too worldly a character throw dangerous light on the dread secrets of Latter Dayism. Hence we find the Salt Lake Herald -- the Janus-faced organ of the Church -- in yesterday's issue making use of its choicest style of hypocrisy. The man Smith, who went into the slaughter at Mountain Meadow, was a priest of God, obedient to "counsel" when that crime of the century was perpetrated at the command of his then chief; but behold now the sanctimonious elder attempts to impeach the witness whose testimony comes up from the vale of murder! The Herald assumes a desire to bring Smith to Utah, in order that his declaration may be put to the test of corroborative evidence, so that "the Mormons, as a people," may not be charged with the crime. This is shallow. The Mormons, as a people, are not charged with the unparallelled massacre, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as impersonated by Brigham Young, and his Apostles, did through them make the sacrifice of more than one hundred and twenty human lives, showing no mercy to its victims. The witnesses are hurrying in, of whom Smith is one, but, as many of those will soon appear; we shall now quote the Herald's comments which may be stereotyped for use in the cases of all others who are to follow, seeking amnesty from God and man, under the plea of "Guilty."

"Simonton, chief of the associated press bureau in New York, sends a telegram west over his own signature, charging the Mormon people with the Mountain Meadow massacre, on the alleged confession of one Smith, now in Lincoln county, Nevada. This Smith, by Simonton's showing, is either a murderer or a perjured scoundrel, and in either case is amenable to the laws. He should be promptly arrested and brought to Utah on a requisition from Governor Woods to Governor Bradley, and if his statements could be substantiated by any credible testimony the guilty should be punished. But, the attempt made to charge the crime upon the Mormons, as a people, is an infamy only less in magnitude than the massacre itself. It has suited the malevolent policy of a few bitter anti-Mormons to refuse to avail themselves of every opportunity to fully investigate this matter, and continue to make general charges, which it seems they have at last got a second Bill Hickman to make affidavit to."

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                     Corinne, U. T., Friday, September 20, 1872.                     No. 249.


We give below the affidavit of Philip KlingonSmith one of the bishops who obeyed the orders of Brigham in the butchery of Mountain Meadows. The fearful story requires no comment, nor does it admit of a doubt.

State of Nevada, County of Lincoln ss:

Personally appeared before me, Peter B. Miller, Clerk of Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Nevada, Philip Klingon Smith, who being duly sworn, on his oath says:   My name is Philip Klingon Smith; I reside in the county of Lincoln, in the State of Nevada; I resided at Cedar City in the County of Iron, in the Territory of Utah, from A.D. 1852 to A.D. 1859; I was residing at said Cedar City at the time of the massacre at Mountain Meadows, in said Territory of Utah; I had heard that a company of emigrants was on its way from Salt Lake City, bound for California; after said company had left Cedar City, the militia was called out for the purpose of committing acts of hostility against them; said call was a regular military call from the superior officers to the subordinate officers and privates of the regiment at Cedar City and vicinity, composing a part of the militia of the Territory of Utah; I do not recollect the number of the regiment. I was at that time the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Cedar City; Isaac C. Haight was President over said church at Cedar City and the southern settlements in said Territory; my position as Bishop was subordinate to that of said President. W. H. Dame was the President of said Church at Parowan, in said Iron County. said Dame was also colonel of said regiment; said Isaac C. Haight was lieutenant-colonel of said regiment, and said John D. Lee, of Harmony in said Iron County, was Major. Said regiment was duly ordered to muster, armed and equipped as the law directs, and prepared for field operations. I had no command nor office in said regiment on the expedition which resulted in said company's being massacred in the Mountain Meadows, in said County of Iron. About four days after said company of emigrants had left Cedar City, that portion of said regiment then mustered at Cedar City took up its line of march in pursuit of them. About two days after said company had left Cedar City, Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight expressed in my presence a desire that said company might be permitted to pass on their way in peace; but afterward he told me that he had orders to kill all of said company of emigrants except the little children. I do not know whether said headquarters meant the [regional] headquarters at Parowan or the headquarters of the Commander-in-chief at Salt Lake City. When the said company had got to Iron Creek, about twenty miles from Cedar City, Captain Joel White started for Pinto Creek Settlement, through which the said company would pass for the purpose of influencing the people to permit said company to pass on their way in peace. I asked and obtained permission of said White to go with him and aid him in trying to save life. When we got about three miles from Cedar City, we met Major J. D. Lee, who asked us where we were going. I replied that we were going to try to prevent the killing of the emigrants, Lee replied, "I have something to say about that." Lee was at that time on his way to Parowan, the headquarters of Colonel Dame. Said White and I went to Pinto Creek; remained there one night, and the next day returned to Cedar City, meeting said company of emigrants at Iron Creek. Before reaching Cedar City we met one Ira Allen, who told us that "The decree had passed devoting said company to destruction." After the fight had been going on for three or four days a messenge[r] from Major Lee reached Cedar City, who stated that the fight had not been altogether successful, upon which Lieutenant-Colonel Haight ordered out a reinforcement. At this time I was ordered out by Captain John M. Higby who ordered me to muster, "armed and equipped as the law directs." It was a matter of life or death to me to muster or not, and I mustered with the reinforcing troops. It was at this time that Lieutenant-Colonel Haight said to me that it was the orders from headquarters that all but the little children of said company were to be killed. Said Haight had at that time just returned from headquarters at Parowan, where a military council had been held. There had been a like council held at Parowan previous to that, at which were present Colonel Dame, Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight and Major John D. Lee. The result of this first council was the calling out of said regiment for the purpose already stated. The reinforcement aforesaid was marched to the Mountain Meadows, and there formed a junction with the main body. Major Lee massed all the troops at a spring and made a speech to them, saying that his orders from "headquarters were to kill the entire company except the small children." I was not in the ranks at that time, but on the side talking to a man named Slade, and could not have seen a paper in Major Lee's hands. Said Lee then sent a flag of truce into the emigrant camp, offering said emigrants that "if they lay down their arms, he would protect them." They accordingly laid down their arms, came out from their camp, and delivered themselves to said Lee. The women and children were then, by the order of said Lee, separated from the men and were marched ahead of the men. After the said emigrants had marched about a half mile toward Cedar City the order was given to shoot them down. At that time said Lee was at the head of the column. I was in the rear. I did not hear Lee give the order to fire, but heard it from the under officers as it was passed down the column. The emigrants were then and there shot down, except seventeen little children, which I immediately took into my charge. I do not know the total number of said company as I did not stop to count the dead. I immediately put the little children in baggage wagons belonging to the regiment and took them to Hamlin's ranch, and from there to Cedar City, and procured them homes among the people; J. Willis and S. Murdy assisted me in taking charge of said children. On the evening of the massacre W. H. Dame and Lieut. I. C. Haight came to Hamblin's, where I had said children, and fell into a dispute, in the course of which said Haight told Colonel Dame, that, if he was going to report of the killing of said emigrants he should not have ordered it done. I do not know when or where said troops were disbanded. About two weeks after said massacre occurred said Major Lee (who was also an Indian agent) went to Salt Lake City and, as I believe, reported said fight and its results to the commander-in-chief: I was not present at either of the before-mentioned councils, nor at any council connected with the aforesaid military operations or with said company. I gave no orders except to those connected with the saving of the children, and those, after the massacre had occurred, and said orders were given as bishop and not in a military sense. At the time of the firing of the first volley I discharged my piece. I did not fire afterwards, though several subsequent volleys were fired. After the first fire we delivered I at once set about saving the children. I commenced to gather up the children before the firing had ceased. I have made the foregoing statements before the above-entitled Court for the reason that I believe that I would be assassinated should I attempt to make the same before any court in the Territory of Utah. After said Lee returned from Salt Lake City, as aforesaid, said Lee told me that he had reported fully to the President, meaning the commander-in-chief, the fight at Mountain Meadows and the killing of said emigrants. Brigham Young was at that time the commander-in-chief of the militia of the Territory of Utah; and further deponent saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10th day of April A.D. 1871.

(Copy of Seal -- District Court, Seventh Judicial District, Lincoln County, Nevada.)

Note 1: Although two Justices of the Utah Territorial Supreme Court certified Mr. Klingensmith's statement, the text published by the Corinne Daily Reporter appears to have dropped out a few lines and words, here and there, (none of which changes the explicit import of his testimony).

Note 2: The Reporter reprinted this same statement in its issue of Sept. 24th.



Vol. V.                   Corinne, U. T., Monday, September 23, 1872.                   No. 251.


If we may believe the sworn affidavit of a Mormon who claims to have participated in the Mountain Meadows massacre, says the New York "Tribune" of the 11th instant, the well settled suspicion that that dreadful deed was the work of the Mormons is now an established fact. Bishop Philip K. Smith of the Mormon Church swears that the immigrants slain at Mountain Meadows were not killed by Indians, as reported by the Mormons, but by the Mormon militia, who were called out for that purpose. His affidavit which we publish to-day, explicitly details the particulars of this frightful affair, all of which he saw while he was in the ranks. Few people familiar with the history of those times have ever doubted that the Mormons were guilty of that massacre; and the testimony of Bishop Smith confirms the belief of those who long ago set up on the bloody spot where the immigrants perished a monument bearing the significant legend -- "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."


Two dollars and fifty cents offered to-day for a copy of the New York Herald containing the expose of the Mountain Meadows massacre. The excitement among the classes is great. -- (Salt Lake Mining Journal 21st.)

A very good puff, Oscar, for the Ujijiji organ, but for the New York "Herald" you must surely have intended the Corinne Reporter, the first and only paper in Utah to publish the terrible story. We produced it last Friday, and at 10 A.M. next day two hundred copies were distributed to the people of Salt Lake City. That's how we do things on the Bear.

PROBABLY? -- A press dispatch from Salt Lake City says that "from two and a half to five dollars was offered for single copies of the New York papers containing the expose of the Mountain Meadow massacre," on Saturday. This is a sharp fling at the morning papers of Salt Lake which should have reproduced the evidence from eastern journals received the previous evening. It is rumored that Smith's affidavit will be published this Fall. In that city.

Note: Actually, the Salt Lake Tribune published the Klingensmith statement that very day (in its issue for Sept. 23, 1872).



Vol. V.                   Corinne, U. T., Tuesday, September 24, 1872.                   No. 252.


We give below the affidavit of Philip Klingon Smith one of the bishops who obeyed the orders of Brigham in the butchery of Mountain Meadows. The fearful story requires no comment, nor does it admit of a doubt...

(see issue of Sept. 20th for the text)

BY REQUEST. -- In order to accomodate a large number of persons desiring the story of Mountain Meadows, as given by Bishop Smith, we republish that document to-day. It will be found on the first page of the Reporter. In wrapper, ready for mailing, ten cents per copy. Send it everywhere. No such missionary ever yet went out from Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. V.                     Corinne, U. T., Friday, September 27, 1872.                    No. 255.



A correspondent of the Pioche Record endorses Philip K. Smith being formerly bishop of the Mormon Church, and says he is ready to return to Utah and give testimony in person relative to the Mountain Meadow atrocity.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXI.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, October 2, 1872.                 No. 35.

For the information of those who do not understand, we may say that there is an intention cherished by certain parties to raise an extensive disturbance here the coming winter. The reason why this disturbance should be brought about, the conspiring parties themselves hardly know, but the whole affair is a species of diabolism, though its movers affect an entirely opposite character and intention.

To bring about this purpose secret conclaves are held, where divers plots are concocted and probabilities discussed. Dispatches and correspondence of the most startling, sensational anou inflammatory character may be expected ever and anon, for the purpose of firing the public heart against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons." Nothing is too base for these plotters against the peace and welfare of ahlis community to attempt, if they think there is any chance of success. The vilest calumnies and the grossest illegalities are eagerly perpetuated if they appear to promise the accomplishment of the evil purposes designed....

Affidavit signers are in request just now. They are hunted after with great avidity and when discovered, collared, button-holed and variously plied and manipulated until deemed sufficiently limber for the grand Christian purpose which is in view. Apostates, with their proverbial venom are favorite subjects and are in strong demand. The great thing to be accomplished is the criminating by hook or by crook of the "Mormon authorities." The means is an entirely secondary consideration. It is not the "Mormon people" that the shafts are aimed at. O, no, it is the head, because injury to the head affects powerfully the whole body, while to injure a hand or a foot is not so material an affair.

Come on, then, all ye who can be persuaded to take oath lightly, there is work being cut out for you, and it is not difficult to find the parties who are anxious to see and employ you. You are wanted for the express purpose of swearing to some dreadful and infamous crime, which by certain legal kinds of legerdemain it is hoped can be traced to and [fastened] upon the "Mormon authorities." This is the grand object in view. If you will not take an oath of that nature, you are not the individuals wanted, you are literally of no account in this connection, and you can stay at home and follow the plow or push the plane, like other honest citizens, who can't be used as tools in infamous intrigues. It is the enterprising fellows with easy consciences and no scruples who are required to affix their sign-manual or "his X mark" to the most serious charges recognized by the law. Such are wanted to help on the incipient crusade which [as] designed, shall "solve the Mormon problem" during the coming winter, and reduce the whole "Mormon" body first to the originally monstrous and then to the present chaotic condition of a recently loudly pretentious but blubbery local organization.

Now is the time for the takers of tall legal oaths to make a few dimes, be patronized, petted and plied by unprincipled [plotters], and earn the ultimate contempt of every good citizen. But it should not be forgotten that the business is not only disreputable but dangerous, for perjury sometimes meets its proper punishment unexpectedly and promptly, apart from the fact that all business of the kind perpetrated against the "Mormons" has hitherto been very unpromising, and that the inference may be justly drawn that, in the future as in the past, and despite the atrocious bitterness of its enemies and the weaknesses and follies of some of its advocates, "Mormonism" will rise superior to every situation. That we firmly believe, is its unpreventable destiny.

Note 1: Editorial comments reprinted from the Deseret Evening News of Sept. 27th -- alluding to the Klingensmith affidavit of Apr. 10, 1871, (only recently published by the local press). However, anticipating such developments, Brigham Young had already excommunicated John D. Lee and Isaac Haight, two of the more notable promoters and participants in the Mountain Meadows massacre. The Mormon leadership at this time was quietly and carefully preparing the public mind in Utah, for the coming disclosures of Mormon involvement in the 1857 emigrant massacre. see the Salt Lake Tribune of Sept. 28th for the response from the local non-Mormons.

Note 2: The words, "perjury sometimes meets its proper punishment unexpectedly and promptly," may have been read by some Mountain Meadows massacure veterans, as a thinly-veiled warning from the writer (Apostle Cannon), that they not testify at all regarding the events of 1857, whether their intended testimony be a truthful witness, or less than truthful "perjury."



Vol. VI.                       Corinne, U. T., Thursday, January 16, 1873.                     No. 13.


The event of the week is the coming lecture of "Argus" on the awful tragedy of Mountain Meadows....

"ARGUS" LECTURING -- The celebrated writer on Utah history is announced to lecrure in this city to-morrow evening. See the advertisement pf "Argus" on Mountain Meadow, and be prepared to listen to a narrative such as finds no equal in the annals of cruelty and woe.


Colonel C. W. Wandell, of Pioche, Nevada, arrived here to-day from the West.

Part I. In the Fall of 1857, the lecturer left San Francisco for Salt Lake, via the Mountain Meadows -- Startling rumors of the massacre -- the armed sentinel at the Cajon Canyon -- Excitement at Fort [Tojon] and at San Berbardino -- The desert road -- The ruins of the emigrants fort -- The fatal waters -- The scene of the massacre -- The skulls and hair -- The vow.

Part II. The arrival of the emigrants in Utaj -- They are ordered to break camp and leave -- Their pitiable condition -- Hostilities neagative and positive -- The mission of the Governor's Aid-de-camp -- The council of war -- The Militia called out -- the siege -- The treacherous flag of truce -- The emigrants surrender -- The massacre -- The apostrophe -- O! ye slaughtered ones!

Part III. The closing atrocities of the massacre -- The emigrant children -- The spoils -- Meeting of Governor Young and the chief demon of the massacre -- Who was responsible? -- The present whereabouts of the Murderers -- Incidents -- Conclusion.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                           Corinne,  U. T, Friday, January 17, 1873.                           No. 14.

MOUNTAIN MEADOW. -- When it is known that "Argus" is to speak at the Opera House on the subject of the Mountain Meadow Massacre, that is enough to fill the house with auditors. To-night is the time to listen to the story of the Blood Atonement. Go and hear "Argus."

Judge Wandell's lecture on Sunday evening, on the massacre at the Mountain Meadows, was worthy of a larger attendance than it received. It abounded in pathetic passages, and was a succinct and authentic account of that terrible wholesale slaughter of innocent men, women and children. The Judge goes hence to Corinne, Utah, this evening. His genial manners and earnest conservation have attracted many, who have acquired the pleasure of his acquaintance, and wish him a prosperous journey and better success.

We clip the above notice from the "Sentinel," of Eureka, and have no hesitancy in coinciding with it, having known Judge Wandell for several years, and as a writer and a lecturer we take pleasure in recommending him to our citizens and hope to see them turn out and give him a rousing house this evening at half past seven o'clock in the Opera House.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                     Corinne,  U. T., Saturday, January 18, 1873.                     No. 15.

ED. REPORTER -- Permit me through the columns of your paper, to assure the Salt Lake "Herald" man, that in my lecture last night in Corinne, I did "touch the meat question" -- the most slaughtered at the Mountain Meadows by the butchers of Brigham Young, the governor of Utah.   C. W. Wandell.

Judge Wandell's very interesting lecture upon the subject of the Mountain Meadows Massacre will be repeated to-night at the Opera House. It commences at eight o'clock and is free to all.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, November 13, 1874.                   No. ?


Full Particulars of His Capture --
A "Herald Reporter Interviews
the Officer who made the Arrest.

(Special Dispatch to the Herald.)

Beaver, 12. -- Nothing which has occurred in this southern country for years has caused so much of a sensation as the


who has a national reputation on account of his alleged connection with the massacre of '57, at Mountain Meadows. Everyone is talking about the accused and his capture, and a dozen different stories of the particulars of the arrest are in circulation. Knowing that the Herald always wants the facts, and those only, your special correspondent went to the fountain head for his information which can be relied on as the truth. To-day I interviewed Deputy United States Marshal Stokes on the subject, who gave me the following particulars: The officials had been


for several days. Early on Monday morning a posse, consisting of deputy marshal Stokes, Thomas Winn, S. S. Rogers, Frank Fish, Thomas Leferre and D. Evans, arrived at Pangwitch, a small town about thirty-five miles southeast of this place. They had previously been advised that Lee was expected there; and soon after their arrival, before sunrise, the posse learned from parties who had been on the lookout that Lee was secreted somewhere in the village. A brief search discovered what was supposed to be.


a straw stack adjoining a dilapidated chicken coop. The old straw on the coop had recently been disturbed, and in the top was a small hole. This was evidence which convinced the posse that the cage of Lee had been "located," and it was the general belief that the bird was at "home." Stokes


and marched cautiously to the coop, and peering through the hole, discovered a portion of Lee's face, convincing the officer beyond a doubt that he had at last corralled his man. Stokes then called four or five times for Lee to come out, but there was no response. Finally the marshal instructed Thomas Winn to enter the coop and disarm Lee, telling Winn that if Lee made a move, but to surrender, he (Stokes) would shoot him through the hole in the coop. As soon as Lee heard the instructions he shouted


and immediately made his appearance, when he was taken into custody and brought to this city where he is now held under a strong guard. Deputy Stokes says no resistance whatever was offered to him or his posse at Pangwitch.

There is much talk here over the affair, and since Lee's calpture some sensation creatures have associated Brigham Young's name with the massacre, and asserted that Lee knew and would tell that which would connect Young with the horrible affair; but Marshal Stokes informs me that after Lee's arrest the latter held a hasty conversation with a man at Pangwitch, which he (Stokes) overheard. In that conversation Lee said, in answer to a question asked by his aquaintance, "President Young was not interested in this matter, and had nothing to do with it."

Lee's examination before a U. S. Commissioner is expected to come off every day.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.               Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, November 18, 1874.               No. ?


The Feeling in Regard to John D. Lee.

Arrest of Col. W. H. Dame, of Parowan.

He is Anxious for a Trial.

(Special Dispatch to the Herald.)

Beaver, 18. -- The excitement here, caused by the arrest of John D. Lee, is fast subsiding, and will soon be viewed as a matter of secondary consideration. Indeed, the people already begin to wonder that this matter-of-fact arrest should ever have caused any sensation whatever. Ever since the fatal day when the massacre at Mountain Meadow occurred, Lee's name has been closely associated with the affair, and either this community and the people of the United States have done him a great wrong or given him not enough justice -- he is either guilty or he is innocent; if the former, then he should be punished; if the latter, the shadow which has so long drakened his name should be raised.

Your correspondent has conversed with many gentlemen, old residents of this section, about the affair, and the universal sentiment expressed by them is one of rejoicing that the arrest has been made, as it is expected that it will be the means of unearthing and bringing to light a black crime which has too long been buried. So far as I can learn, Lee's friends only ask for him a fair, impartial trial, which request is seconded by all classes. It is understood that the grand jury, at its secret session, found indictments against several parties who are said to have participated in the massacre, and it is probable that a number of arrests will be reported within a few days, as the deputy marshals are continually on the alert.


About ten o'clock in the morning deputy Stokes arrested William H. Dame, at the latter's residence in Paeowan, Iron county. Col. Dame has been indicted for murder alleged to have been committed at the Mountain Meadow massacre. In connection with that murder his name has been given a prominence but little less than that of Lee's, however he has ever asserted his entire innocence, and says he is confident that a complete investigation will result in an honorable acquital of himself. There is one thing in favor of Colonel Dame -- he has not tried to evade the officers, though he has had ample opportunity to do so; but he has rather courted an investigation than avoided one. It has been freely talked all over this southern country for the last six weeks, that a marshal had a warrant for the arrest of Col. Dame -- a generally accepted rumor which the accused has frequently heard; yet he has remained at home as usual.

It has not been decided when the trial of these parties will begin, but it is probable they will be kept in suspense only a short time.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                         Salt Lake City, U. T., November 22, 1874.                        No. ?


Judge Spicer Interviews the
Notorious Individual.

An Accurate Pen Portrait of Lee Taken
in His Cell by Our Own Artist.

He is not the Ruffianly Desperado which he has
been Pictured, but an "Amiable, Agreeable Old
Gentleman." who plays a good game of Old Sledge.


(Special Correspondence of the Herald.)

Beaver, Nov. 22, 1874.    
To-day being Sunday, I improved it by visiting


in Camp Cameron. His room is a pleasant one, with only a stove, table and a few chairs for furniture; his bed being blankets and the floor.

I admit my astonishment on first seeing Mr. Lee. This astonishment was caused by reading the newspaper descriptions of Lee's personal appearance, and then beholding the original so different. Now allow me to drive my Faber over a pen, or rather,


He is five feet eight inches in height, weighs 175 pounds, is square built, with round, broad shoulders, full, deep chest, heavy body, with short, solid limbs. He has large bones, well covered with flesh, so that he is far from being gaunt, and at the same time is not corpulent nor even obese, but a well formed, solid, stout man. His hair is almost white, but was, before turning, of perhaps a sandy color; not a "strawberry blonde," but say brown. It is thin, short, and cut in style, with "fin pointers" over his ears; on top, it stands up, much after the style in which your particular friend, an ex-judge, used to wear his. His head is in exact proportion to his body, large, round and massive; but not such an one as I expected to see. His eyes are blue, not grey, but light, clear blue, of medium size, setting out full and prominent, but not remarkably so. His mouth is rather small, and his lips are in measure with it, neither thick nor thin, but with all, well formed and a pleasing part of his features. His nose is projecting and pointed, but well formed. His chin is small and delicate; his ears are large, with thin upper edges, leaning a little out or forward as if to listen; his eyebrows recede and point downwards; his neck is short and thick, setting firmly on his broad shoulders; his complexion has been florid, but is now somewhat faded by age and exposure, yet still retains much of its original gues; his face is round and broad, not long nor sharp; around his under jaw the flesh seems to fold, like it does in cases of "double chins," but this results from a superabundance of flesh and in consequence of age; his cheek bones are rather high and preminent, giving a breadth in appearance to the base of the brain. His cheeks are a little sunken, but obtain sufficient fullness, and are a glow with health. His general appearance is that of a good-natured old gentleman. He said he was sad to-day, yet when cheered up by a pleasant remark, his eyes shone with a laughing twinkle, and his mouth evidenced an amiable smile. His teeth are full and perfect, above and below; he talks with ease and smoothness; his voice is mild and even musical, and he is an amiable conversationalist -- nothing of the stern, fierce, selfish and cruel look about him that I expected from a man of his reputed character, but on the contrary he seems like a good-natured, kind-hearted, easy-going, pleasant-spoken old Pennsylvania farmer.


is still more remarkable for a man with such a diabolical reputation. His temperament is almost purely sanguine, giving him the endurance, mental and physical vigor that has kept him so blooming and robust, even at the age of 62 years. His perceptive organs are large, especially such as aid him in determining size, weight, distance and form; as also his bumps of causality, indivduality and memory. I remarked to him that he could guess close on the weight of a steer, to which he replied that he had seldom been beaten. His head rises from the bump of human nature, which is large, and endows him with his remarkable vivacity and good humor, and from his bump of benevolence, which is also very large, to the summit, where projects the bump of reverance, which is the most noticeable and


I could not help remarking to him that great elevation on top of his head would naturally make him a religious fanatic. Starting again from his face and tracing the phrenological developments around his head, we find he has large alimentiveness; he is an extreme gormandizer. He is a "good liver," fond of good eating, and can be seduced by a good dinner much easier than by pictures or poetry.


are positively moderate. One would expect them fearful in such a man as John D. Lee, but they are not. Rising from these bumps we find his acquisitiveness well developed, but not over much so; secretiveness is quite small, and sublimity still smaller. Now, again, we come to a very prominent development in his bump of amativeness, and still greater and very great protuberance in philoprogenitiveness. He is a man that loves his children and friends, loves pets -- horses, dogs, etc.; but prominently love his children. Then, again, we come towards the crown of the head, where we find firmness extremely large.


and not easily conquered or convinced. His self-esteem is not so large as his self-approbation, and with all it is far from being such a head, phrenologically, as we would expect to find on the shoulders of John D. Lee.


John D. Lee was born at Kaskaskia, Randolph county, Illinois, on the 6th day of September, 1812. His father was a descendant of the Lees of the revolution, and cousin of the Lees of Virginia, of whom Gen. R. E. Lee was one. His father learned the carpenter trade in Baltimore and went to Illinois, where he married a daughter of John Doyle, of Irish descent, who was then Indian agent, having been wounded in the Indian wars. John D. Lee was raised an orphan, as his mother died when he was only a year and a half old, and his father left at the age of eight years and went to Texas, and has never since been heard from. Upon the death of his mother he was given to nurse to a black woman, where he remained until he was eight years old. He was then given to his mother's sister, who had married a James Connor from Lexington, Ky., they then living ten miles north of Kaskaskia on the road to St. Louis.

During his childhood he was sent to school about eighteen months, but has since acquired a moderate education in the common English branches by his own efforts, studying nights and reading useful books during his leisure time. He studied grammar and some other branches after he commenced preaching, also read history and other valuable works. He was raised a farmer but did drive stage for a while.


His aunt, with whom he was then living, was rich. His uncle, her husband, was a gambler and had nothing. They quarreled and fought dreadfully but always gave all the beatings to "little John D." They abused him shamefully, sometimes knocking him down, leaving him on the ground insensible. He still has scars and dents on his head caused by their beatings. At 18 years of age he ran away from them, went to the Mississippi river and hired out as a deck hand on the steamboat Warrior, running from St. Louis to Galena. He related


as follows: "In passing over the rapids of the Mississippi I was detailed to work on the small boats to carry over the freight and passengers. The other men got drunk and I had to struggle hard to get the yawl up. The passengers in the small boat were a Mr. Boggess and wife. I was taken with the cholera, and for my efforts in their behalf they assumed charge of me and took me to Galena where I became his clerk and had the custody of his whole store. He had a grocery and provision store, a saloon and gambling room. Boggess was a gambler. I told them at the time of having cholera my whole history. I got $25 per month on the boat, but Boggess gave me $50."


At the age of 20 years, two years after going to Galena, he left and returned to Kaskaskia and followed gambling for two years. At the age of 21 he married a Miss Agatha Ann Woolsey, a poor farmer's girl. Speaking of this match Lee said: "My uncle was poor, had married a rich wife, and they fought each other so desperately that I considered I would marry a poor girl."

After gambling for two years, seeing the wrong and injury of it, and the trouble it brought upon innocent people, he swore off and has never gambled since. By his first wife he had thirteen children, the last two being twins; ten are now alive. She died at New Harmony, Utah, six years ago. Soon after marrying he went to Vandalia, then the capital of Illinois, where he lived about four years, engaged in trading, having a small store; also in stock raising and farming, during which he acquired a nice farm of 160 acres, with good buildings; had 1,000 sheep, 200 cattle, horses, etc., and was comfortable and independent. He there became a good shot with a rifle, seldom equalled at any shooting match; and not one man in a hundred of crack shots can equal him now, old as he is.


In the year 1836, one day when returning home through a dreadful snow storm, he met two men perishing with cold, their feet being already frost-bitten. It was on the open prairie, some distance from any house. He took them to the nearest neighbor's and had them cared for. They were Mormon missionaries. He says, "From them I first [heard] of the new religion, which they were preaching." It set him to thinking and searching the scriptures. It worked on his mind so that in 1838, two years afterwards, he went to Missouri where Jos. Smith was, to investigate the subject. On the 17th day of June 1838 he heard Sam. H. Smith, a brother of the prophet, preach, and was converted and baptized by Elder Daniel Cathcart, in Davis Co., Mo. His wife was also converted and baptized at the same time. He then took up his residence with the Mormons in Davis county; was with them when driven out of there as well as when they were expelled from Nauvoo.

He had a splendid house at Nauvoo, with 90 feet front, that would have cost $50,000 in Utah. It had twenty-seven rooms, all splendidly furnished, upon all of which he turned the key when he left and never got a cent for it. On the way to Council Bluffs he was contracting commissary for the camp.


the year after the pioneers -- in 1848. In Utah he has generally been a pioneer in the advance settlements. In Nauvoo he was a military man with the rank of major; also clerk and recorder of the Seventies. Then he learned the broadsword exercise and taught it, having 150 pupils. His several offices made him money and he got along well. Has been on missions about eight years preaching Mormonism, mostly in the south. At Nauvoo he had charge of the public works. In Utah he helped to locate Provo, Payson, Fillmore, Parowan, Cedar City, Washington, St. George and other places, and founded New Harmony himself. He has been one of the Seventies, a high councilor and an alderman; was also a member of the legislature for four years, and member of the constitutional convention from Washington county.


He took his second wife, Nancy Bean, in 1845, by whom he had one child, when they separated, and she is now the wife of Z. B. Decker, at Parowan. He married his third wife about six months after, one Sarah C. Williams, by whom he has eleven children, and with whom he is now living.

His fourth wife is the Rachel of whom so much has been heard, by whom he has eight children. Her name was Rachel Andora Woolsey, a sister of his first wife.

Besides these he has eleven other wives, and three "sealed women," they being old and only sealed for support, one of them being the mother of Rachel, and another two sisters. He is the father of sixty-two children -- one for each year of his life, fifty-four of whom are now living (and gossip says there will soon be two more -- gay old gambolier!) I told that on the strength of this: I intended at the next election to vote for Beecher for President, and John D. Lee for vice-President, not withstanding Lee's eighteen wives, giving Beecher the first place on the ticket. He says with pride that he has taken no wives since the law against it of 1862.


He was cut off from the church at the April conference, two years ago, he thinks unjustly and on account of the malicious aspersions cast upon him. He is active and strong, his eyes are good, and he still reads by candlelight without spectacles. He writes a fair hand, far better than I can, and plays a good game of old sledge. We played a set of three games, in which I beat only two points -- he plays a good game, very good indeed. (?) While at Council Bluffs he was sent to Santa Fe on a mission, to bring back the money from the Mormon Battalion boys to their wives. He returned with $7,000, having many narrow escapes from the Indians, and being shot through the hat, coat and pants. Many of the events of his life of interest I have not room to mention.


His defense to the charge against him will not be guilty, and he believes the prosecution will be able to prove nothing against him. So confident is he of this, that he proposes to have no attorneys, but defend in person. He will be ready for trial at the next term, and will insist upon having it disposed of. He asserts that he can show his innocence, and says he has lived under the imputation and reproach of this crime long enough. Heretofore he has been fearful of persecution and fraud, and not of justice; now he is willing to submit his case to a jury made up entirely of non-Mormons.


He implicates no one, nor does he intimate that he can damage any one; but says he has been hunted and harrassed until he has been ruined in property, until his means are limited, having only about 150 horses left and a few wagons and some other effects, most of which are in Arizona. He says he loves his children and wants to be cleared of this accusation so as to provide support for them; that twenty-four of his children still depend upon him, the oldest of these being only 16 years of age, and for their sakes he wants his name free from the obolquy of the diabolism with which he is charged, and which has so long hung over him, while he has been waiting for the time to come when he could obtain a fair and impartial trial. He admits, inadvertently and thoughtlessly, having been in a slight degree an accessary before the fact to that great crime, but only in so slight a manner that no crime can be made out of it; and says that from this alone have all the grave charges been made against him for which he has so long suffered.

He seems confident, pleasant and amiable; glad to see friends and strangers, but complains bitterly of having shackles put on him, as it was his desire to be arrested, and he came freely and voluntarily when he was warned and could have escaped.   SPICER.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                               Salt Lake City, U. T., December, 1874.                              No. 2.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

No.  1.

Polygamy stands upon many legs. It is, according to Mr. Orson Pratt, who took the thing in charge as soon as it was born, founded in nature; and several species of cattle and fowls are pointed to that practice it without any interference of Congress, or other artificial impediments, and why should not man? Surely, why not. Must man be circumscribed, while other cattle have the range of nature? But when statistics interpret nature here, producing less females than males in every nation, and in Utah also there are less, it is seen that polygamy, as a rule, is physically impossible. Of course, Mr. Pratt's logical mind takes in this dilemma and provides for an escape, by having a sufficient number of men destroyed -- "slain of the Lord" -- to leave a plurality for what men are left. Thus the idea of killing is germain to that of polygamy. Hence, Lamech, the venerable polygamist, seventh from Adam, in a direct line from the equally illustrious Cain, when he, being the first to broach the subject and enter upon its practice, says, "I have slain a man to my hurt." Enoch, the seventh from Adam through Seth, walked with God; while Lamech, seventh from Adam through Cain, walked with the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, and was the father of polygamy....

But when the instincts of nature and the cattle argument fail to convince, Mr. Pratt proceeds to place it upon another footing: The usage of the patriarchs; some of whom practiced it. But the same method of interpretation by which the practice of the patriarchs and others endorses polygamy, will also endorse murder, drunkenness, incest and lying. Thus to found it upon the practice of the patriarchs, is also to found the right to commit all the above crimes upon the same basis, and both are alike justified, and by the same arguments. So this position is untenable; for if its arguments prove anything, they prove too much, which is equal to nothing.

These two legs of the institution having given way; what is the next? "Why, the New Testament teaches it." "Polygamy is founded upon the New Testament." "Jesus was a polygamist. He furnished the wine at the marriage in Cana, therefore he was the bridegroom. Jesus loved Martha. and Mary, they loved Jesus, and Jesus loved them; therofore they were his wives. Mary Magdalene called him 'Lord,' that is, Sarah like 'husband.'"

The absurdity involved in the "calling of the bridegroom to his own wedding, is a trifling drawbaok to this position; especialIy to those who are allowed to think for themselves. But Mr. Pratt "lays hold of the promise to those who forsake houses, lands, fathers, mothers, and wife," to establish polygamy. He makes a little scripture by adding "wives," -- "a hundred wives," says Mr. Pratt....

In the seventh verse we are told that another qualification of a Bishop is, "He must have a good report of them without;" that is, unbelievers. If this last was applied to the Bishops in Utah, nearly or quite all of them would be compelled to "step down and out." This test was not applied in the case of Bishop Dame, (now in the penitentiary waitind trial on charge of assisting in the murder of one hundred and twenty-seven men, women, and children at the Mountain Meadow.).. .... ;"

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                             Salt Lake City, U. T,   December 27, 1874.                             No. ?


The "Herald's Special Correspondent
Interviews the Noted Rachael, Wife
of John D. Lee.


She Tells her Story of the
Horrible Massacre.

And Paints the Scene in Different Colors
to those Heretofore Used by Word Artists.

Rachael Clings to John D. with
True Womanly Affection.

(Special Correspondence of the Herald.)

Beaver, Dec. 27th, 1874.    
John D. Lee has long been known to the public. His recent arrest at Pangwitch brought before the community the name of a woman who should be held as the heroine of the "Wonderful Story" that newspapers are daily dishing out concerning this manufactured hero, John D. Lee. I say this because of the untiring and unscrupulous efforts of the papers and correspondents to make Lee the hero of the affair; the Joshua among the Moabites; the conquerer of Madgeburgh. His arrest was a very tame and commonplace matter of business, but was made memorable by the sensationists introducing Rachel to the public, as


by reason of all which cheap photographs of the hero, Major John, and his heroine, Rachel, sell rapidly all over the country. I have seen this Rachel and talked with her frequently; have heard her story, and propose at this time to give you a part of it, the part that has bearing upon the great Utah tragedy, leaving her personal history for her biographer. She has had many daring encounters with Indians, and has passed through many great dangers and difficulties; has endured wonderful fatigues and trials on horseback and otherwise, but of her feats, adventures, trials and achievements, I shall not speak at this time.


is that of a plain woman of 45 years; weight 124 pounds; eyes, grey, small and piercing; features aquiline and marked; head, high and narrow; hair brown, inclining to gray. She is thin of flesh, agile, wirey, and steps off with the elasticity and apparent confidence of one who depends entirely upon herself, which fact you may bet all your spare nickles on with safety. She will take care of Rachel against the assaults of the world, the flesh,


She is tanned and sunburnt by exposure to the sun and desert winds, yet withall she is in appearance just such a woman as we see by hundreds every day, and is not the hideous, cruel creature, that correspondents have represented her to be. I will bet a pack of pinyons that she is better-looking and a more pleasant woman than the wives and mothers of a majority of the men who cry her down as a female fright. She talks well, and like Mr. Lee does not use the ungrammatical western vernacular that scribblers have attributed to her. She has a tolerable education, such as girls of her time were able to obtain. She is kind-hearted and sympathetic, and "stays by" John D. with a woman's affection that would do credit to and even astonish circles of high modern civilization. She is not handsome, nor yet ugly, but a plain, ordinary, common-appearing woman.

It is proper here for me to state that in writing this article I do not consider it is in the least censurable because coming from the attorney of John D. Lee. I think so because the Mountain Meadows tragedy is a part of the history of Utah that has been written and re-written, and is being constantly again written, and that each and all of these writings have been composed and published by those whose sole aim is to fasten the blame of a horrid crime upon John D. Lee and the Mormon Church, and I think it perfectly proper to write and publish the


by one who, from her intimate relations with those who are accused of being chief actors, should be supposed to know the facts of the case. She is not a prisoner, nor charged with taking part in the affair, and relates her story as a contemporary of the times, giving her version of the occurrence. I will also state that Judge Hoge has been associated with me in the defence of John D. Lee, and am free to inform the prosecution and the public that under the plea of "not guilty" the line of our defence will be, 1st., that John D. Lee took no part in it in any way, except at the risk of his own life to save the doomed emigrants; 2d., that Lee was not present on the ground at the time, and neither in word, deed nor interest took part in, nor aided as accessory before or after the fact in the great crime; 3d., that he held no authority of any kind at the time, either in church, state or militia.

So much I will give you in explanation of this article, so that if I am accused of trying the case in the papers, I can point to the article and say that it is not from the defendant and is only a scrap of history related by one who lived amidst the passing events, and whose version should be held as harmless in print as the thousands of other versions of the affair, written by those who know nothing of it, and only written through malice to cast obloquy upon innocent people, and charge an innocent community with the crime, only to obtain political effect. The following is the narrative of the said Rachel, the fourth wife of John D. Lee, taken down in words as she uttered them:


"At the time of the massacre we lived at Fort Harmony, about forty miles from the Mountain Meadows. We had lived there six years or more. At the time Mr. Lee was farmer to the Indians, or rather a small band of them, near the fort, which position we had held only a short time. Isaac C. Haight, then stake president at Cedar City, was a bitter enemy of Lee, and had succeeded in having him thrown out of all offices -- church, territory, county and militia. Mr. Lee felt aggrieved at this and presented it to Brigham Young, who was then governor of Utah and also superintendent of Indian affairs in Utah. Brigham Young told Mr. Lee to act as a farmer for the Indians there and he would pay him for it. Mr. Lee was not Indian agent as has been reported, and had no authority over them. Rufus Allen had charge of the Indian mission, and T. D. Brown was also there as aid to Brigham Young, or as his secretary as superintendent. Mr. Lee understood the Piute language a little, but not much at that time. I could talk the language of the Utes, Piutes, Oribaha and Navajos. Mr. Lee was very friendly with the Indians. The Indians loved Lee on account of very many friendly acts of himself and family to them, such as dividing his last sack of flour or piund of meet with them when they were in a perishing condition, and by aiding them when in distress in many ways, and particularly on account of his generous treatment of an Indian called Tonnab, who attempted to kill Mr. Lee's first wife, Agatha, but succeeded only in cutting open her scalp, very nearly killing her. The Indians of the band took the offender and tied him to a tree in front of Lee's door, taking turns whipping him with gads on his bare back until he was nearly dead. Lee begged for his life, which the Indians reluctantly spared, when Lee dressed his wounds, fed him and let him go. At the


Utah was in a state of war, and the people were all in a desperate condition for the necessaries of life, such as provisions and clothing. They were positively in rags and the grasshoppers had devoured their crops. Johnson's army was coming in at the north, and hostile Indians surrounded the people on the east, south and west. The Indians in the territory surrounding the settlements were in a measure friendly, but their friendship was obtained only by constant concilliation and concession to them, and at the same time were not so very friendly but that the people had to maintain constant vigilance and build forts and block houses for protection to flee to in case of an outbreak, which might occur any day or night. The people were at all times at the mercy of the bands of Indians surrounding them, and hence used every effort to quiet and keep them friendly. Frequent disturbances occurred between the Indians and people over little difficulties. These troubles required the greatest efforts of the people to keep from ripening into a general Indian war of extermination.


When it was known that Johnson's army was coming, the Indians got the idea that there was a big war on hand between the people of Utah and some other people who were then sending their braves into Utah to fight the people here, and so they prepared for war. These Indians, the Utes, Piutes and Pahvants, being the friends and allies of the people, believed they should rally on the war path to fight the "Americats," as they called all emigrants passing through the country. They looked upon all emigrant trains as "Americats" and enemies, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the people could keep them from fighting every train that passed through, and that several trains were saved from destruction only by the greatest efforts of the people.

The emigrants that perished at Mountain Meadows might have gone through the country in safety with the assistance of the settlers as other trains had [done] before them, had they not brought destruction upon themselves by their own bad conduct, by exciting and maddening the Indians to such an extent that the people could not control them. At Corn Creek, forty-eight miles north of Beaver, and about 150 miles from Mountain Meadows, these emigrants excited the Indians to great hostility by


which caused the death of cattle, horses and some Indians, among the Nou-a-quich one of their leading braves. The Indians at Corn Creek were old Kanosh's band of Pahvants. They becoming infuriated followed the train and surrounded it between Corn Creek and Beaver, and would have then massacred the whole of them, had not the people rallied to their assistance and got them into Beaver in safety, guarded by a company of Mormons. The Indians still hovered around, but it was thought they could then get through in safety and so the guard who had saved them let them go alone. The train had no further difficulty until it got past Parowan, where the Indians began to rally from other tribes and bands to join until nearly all the Indians of southern Utah were on the warpath thirsting for blood and plunder. Their numbers and firmness appalled the entire white population, who were stricken with fear for their own safety. Gloom and terror reigned in the minds of all, and the strongest hearts were paralyzed with fear of the great army of hungry, relentless and frenzoed savages who were determined upon blood and plunder. They saw that it was not alone the hapless emigrants who were in danger, but that when once the Indians got a taste of blood and victory, their own firesides would be invaded and themselves, their wives and families would share the fate of the "Americats."


was then going on between the Indians and emigrants. A great many Indians had been killed, and they were furious over their loss and disappointed. The people fled to their forts and block houses; everybody was armed, watching with sleepless vigilance for the moment when the infuriated savages, after having drank the blood of those whom they were then pursuing, their instincts would rise above neighborhood distinctions, and in their intoxication of victory be able to discriminate only as races, and inaugurate a general massacre of all whites, whether "Americats," or "Mormons;"


At this dark hour John D. Lee, then only a lay member, holding no office whatever of any kind, called to his aid four of his friends of nerve, courage and discretion, and went to the Indians to try to persuade them to make peace and spare the "Americats." They continued their efforts for two days or more, until the Indians became infuriated and tried to kill them, while they were begging for the lives of the emigrants. The Indians called them "enimies" and "Americats," and attempted to shoot them down, two of the bullets passing through Lee's clothes, one of them inflicting a flesh wound. Lee and his comrades fled for their lives, pursued by the Indians, until they fell in with a company of people who had assembled to protect the settlements in case the Indians should turn upon them. Meeting this company, Lee begged and implored them that a message be sent to Cedar Fort to rally the people to protect and save the emigrants. Cedar Fort was then the headquarters of all Southern Utah. P. K. Smith was bishop and Isaac C. Haight was stake president there, Haight was also lieutenant-colonel, being the officer highest in command available. The message was sent, but did not return until the next day, the distance being too great to get back sooner. When it returned John M. Higby was on the field as major commanding. Mr. Lee was not there in response to any military order, nor does know that any other person was. The fight between the Indians and the emigrants was still progressing. The Indians had lost heavily in killed and wounded and were furious. The emigrants had lost several in killed and wounded and were nearly out of ammunition; besides the Indians had got all their stock except two teams, and had the train completely surrounded.

The messengers returned from Cedar Fort, saying that nothing could be done to save them. The Indians were still hovering about, and Lee did all in his power, remonstrating with them, but they were greatly enraged, and with savage grins mocked him for being so greatly overcome with grief for those whom they considered their deadly enemies. They called him squaw and yau-gots, (which means in English "cry-baby") because he shed tears -- a name that he bears among them even to this day. He is frequently called yau-gots by the whites.

The emigrants being entirely at the mercy of the savages, had also sent a message to Cedar Fort, imploring the people to save them from the Indians. Three men were sent by the emigrants on this mission, two of whom were killed, and the other returned wounded.

When the message returned from Cedar Fort to the company, where Mr. Lee was, there followed a scene of indiscribable confusion. Lee wept with great emotion because he could not save them, while the Indians, who knew Lee well, were yelling yau-gots at him. The train was about a mile distant, surrounded by Indians. At this juncture Maj. Higby ordered Lee and others to go to the train to assist the emigrants and try to get them to Cedar Fort in safety. The men obeyed the order, went to the emigrants, found them in great distress, many killed and out of ammunition. They told them to load their arms into the two wagons for which they had teams, and have the women and children to follow first, and the men after, and be as quick as possible and follow them to Cedar Fort, and they would do the best they could to save them; that they must be quick, as the Indians were angry and desperate, and the chances were against them, but that all would be done that could be to save them. The two teams started with Lee for Cedar Fort and had got only half a mile from the emigrant camp, when the firing of guns was heard in the rear of the corral [of] wagons that formed the camp, about a half-mile or more distant from where Mr. Lee then was, and entirely beyond where he could see the corral. Immediately after hearing the fire in the distance, he saw the Indians rushing in from all sides and commenced an indiscriminate fire upon the emigrants, and a general massacre ensued. Mr. Lee saw no one engage in it except Indians, and saw no one killed, he being ahead of the two wagons, the emigrants being beyond and out of his sight.


at what was going on, Mr. Lee and the two friends that were with him went to Hamblin's ranche, about seven miles distant, and passed the night without sleep, in anguish and tears. The next day, in company with Higby and others, Mr. Lee visited the field of death to assist in disposing of the dead. During the previous night everything available had been carried away by the Indians, even to the ticks of feather beds.

Mr. Lee has been harrassed over this affair for years past, waiting the time to come when a fair and impartial investigation could be had, which time he believes is now at hand. He has told visitors to his home in Arizina for years past that he was anxious to go to any court for trial, and would do so as soon as he felt assured of a fair trial. When he was arrested he did not attempt to flee. The day of his arrest, which took place at 10 a.m., he was notified by three of his sons before sunrise that the marshal was there after him, and a horse, with saddle and bridle, was brought to him, but he refused to flee, saying he had borne the blame of this long enough, and that he now wanted to go to court to have it tried. When the marshal's posse rode up to the house where he was with their arms drawn, there was much excitement in the house, as many children were present. In the excitement I told Mr. Lee to get out of the way. I urged him so strongly that he went out of doors with me, and went into a hen coop covered with straw a few feet from the door. This was done after the posse rode up and were in plain sight. I went into the house and the arrest was made. Mr. Lee made no resistance nor attempts to escape, but was perfectly willing and even desirous of being taken. He told the marshal at the time that it was all right, and that he would go to Beaver for trial."   SPICER.

Note 1: If the above account honestly represents Rachel Woolsey Lee's understanding of her husband's role in the events associated with the Mountain Meadows massacre, her belief was either greatly imposed upon, or else she had a frail grip on reality. The editors of the Salt Lake Tribune were not favorably impressed with Rachel's account -- see their response in "Whitewashing Lee," in the issue for Nov. 28, 1874. Her account was reprinted in various newspapers, such as the Denver Daily Rocky Mountain News of Jan. 05, 1875.

Note 2: A fictionalized account of Rachel Lee and her infamous husband comprises "Part Four" of Judith Freeman's recent novel, Red Water. See also Wells Spicer's interview with John D. Lee: "A Pencil Picture of this Now Noted Man," in the Salt Lake Herald of Nov. 22, 1874.


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  January, 1875.                           No. 3.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

No.  2.

The several bases pf polygamy proving one after another to have weak places, proving not enough or else too much; extra props were suggested...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  February, 1875.                           No. 4.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

No.  3.

The revelation purporting to have been given July 12th, 1843, first paragraph, contains several noticeable points...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  March, 1875.                           No. 5.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

No.  4.


Paragraph nine provides for polygamists as follows:
"If he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, or all manner or blasphemies; yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation."
This paragraph is so revolting to the whole tenor of the gospel, that if the devil ever wrote a revelation with his own fingers, this paragraph must be the one.

How favored are polygamists! They may indulge in any single sin, any transgression, or in all, and in "all manner of blasphemies," and it will not stand in the way of their exaltation in the least; but this paragraph puts in the clause found in paragraph six, "You shall do no murder." Now in Ezekiel 3:20, and 33:18, we are told that when a righteous man doth "turn from his righteousness and commit iniquity, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered."

Paragraph ten defines the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost to be murder. Then murder is one of the "all manner of blasphemies," and will not stand in the way of entering into their exaltation. It is true, paragraph ten contradicts in this sense paragraph six, where murder would seem to stand in the way; but with the definition and with the promise in paragraph nine, even murder is no impediment. But the definition is false according to Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 92, paragraph 4, where we are told those who shall not be forgiven in this world nor in the world to come, are those who "deny the Holy Spirit after having received it;" of whom it is said, it had "been better for them never to have been born." These are the ones of whom Jesus speaks, applying these same words, that they should not be forgiven in this world nor the world to come. Mat. 12:32....

Paragraph twenty opens with the recognition of Emma Smith as the wife of Joseph, "whom I have given unto you." When did she become his wife? We answer, before the Church was organized in 1830; and, of course, that contract of marriage was made before coming into the Church, but here it is called giving her to him of the Lord. This is a correct prinoiple shining out of this medley of contradiction and absurdity, impudence and blasphemy, like a single pearl in a sea of mud. She was given to him just as all others are given, not by a special act, but by the constitution of their being wherein it is written, "It is not good to be alone." So all the pretense in this valley about the Gentile marriage of Joseph and, Emma, and its consequent nullity, is dissipated by the very document relied upon to establish it. Now, since Emma Smith, referred to in this paragraph, is then the God-given wife of Joseph on the 12th of July, 1843, the law of the Church at that time required, him to: "cleave unto her and none else." The next clause is as follows, "That she stay herself, and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her." That is, the Lord commands Joseph to make some kind of an offer to her, and then commands her, through him, not to accept that offer. ("Oh what tangled web they weave, who practice solely to deceive.") Further on it says, "Let my handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph." What! Had Joseph already entered upon his "enlargement" before this revelation was given; which Mr. Pratt shows was the sole warrant for it; and without the consent previously obtained of his first wife, as the same great author shows he should have done to make it legal, and as paragraph twenty-four enjoins? And worse than all, previous to this revelation it was sinful for "every member of the churoh was strictly limited to one wife." And then what about the preparation which the Lord tells him in paragraph one to make, in order to "receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for behold I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant." This covenant, as we have already seen, was to show him how to enlarge upon "the principle and doctrine of having many wives and concubines;" and, yet this paragraph shows that he had already understood and entered upon the practice. The whole thing looks to us at this point like a first-class burlesque, and we are tempted at this moment under this impression to drop its farther consideration. But a good brother assures us that thousands of good honest men and women "in these vallies believe that document to be a revelation from God, the Creator of the universe. We therefore repress our emotions, and proceed to evolve from this mixture the necessary consequences. Mr. Pratt establishes that at this point, if Josepb, or any other member of the Church had taken other wives, they were in transgression; and so far as the "enlargement" had proceeded, it was as the Book of Mormon says, "Abominable before the Lord." Now mark what follows. In ordinary cases of sin, repentance or punishment would follow; but here it is different. The Lord sanctifies the sin, and adopts the "abomination'' as a celestial order! If this is a "nest egg of hell" instead of a celestial order, that which is hatched from it will justify such conclusion. But we pause for reflection.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  April, 1875.                           No. 6.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

No.  5.


After due reflection we return to this momentous paragraph twenty. We had proceded with this paragraph so far as to learn that the Lord decided to celestialize sin and abomination. Hence "Emma Smith" is charged to "receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they WERE pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God."

What! some of those whom the Lord had given to Joseph expressly to "raise up a righteous seed," not pure; having deceived the prophet and the Lord too? Who gave them to him; for they "said they were pure" when they were not? What naughty girls to impose upon the Lord and the prophet in this manner!...

Having disposed of the authenticity of that document for the present, at least, we may enquire after its genuineness. It purports to have been given through Joseph Smith; which, if true, our conclusions respecting its character, would make him either the victim or the instrument of deception and fraud. It must be remembered that its appearance, other than in some dark corner, if indeed there, was not until August, 1852, over eight years after the death of Joseph Smith. And when introduced, certain statements are made, which, if true, would seem to establish the claim that it came through him. This statement of facts is, that when the revelation was given, Emma Smith got possession of it in its original and "burnt it." Upon this point we subjoin the following questions and answers from a memorandum of an interview with the Sister Emma Smith referred to, (now Mrs. Bidamon), at Nauvoo, in April, 1867.

J. W. Briggs. -- Mrs. Bidamon, have you seen the revelation on polygamy, published by Orson Pratt, in the Seer, in 1852?
Mrs. B. -- I have.

J. W. B. -- Have you read it?
Mrs. B. -- I have read it, and heard it read.

J. W. B. -- Did you ever see that document in manuscript, previous to its publication, by Pratt?
Mrs. B. -- I never did.

J. W. B. -- Did you ever see any document of that kind, purporting to be a revelation to authorize polygamy?
Mrs. B. -- No. I never did.

J. W. B. -- Did Joseph Smith ever teach you the principles of polygamy, as being revealed to him, or as a correct and righteous principle
Mrs. B. -- He never did.

J. W. B. -- What about that statement of Brigham Young, that you burnt the original manuscript of that revelation?
Mrs. B. -- It is false in all its parts, made out of whole cloth, without any foundation in truth.

This certainly stamps the most circumstantial fact alleged, in support of the genuineness of that document, as a base fraud, in keeping with the document itself. False facts are usually alleged to support false theories. Thus at every step in the investigation of this subject, proof develops how untenable is the position assumed to polygamy, both in its alleged facts, its principles and its fruits.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  May, 1875.                           No. 7.

A  Strange  History.

An article dated Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3rd, 1875, and published in the Chicago Times, over the signature of J. M. S., purporting to give a condensed history of the people of this valley, is certainly a curious production to have been written in a city where the writer could have been better informed had he sought for information, and where so many yet live who can testify to the falsity of many of his statements.

It is a great pity that the newspaper world is so greedy after sensational articles; for those who read are not supposed to know the certainty of what they read, and therefore these newsmongers take full loberty and dish out a deal of untruth, only now and then seasoned with a little truth.

We copy the closing portion of the article as a specimen of all the rest.

It is little to be wondered at, that such profound ignorance respecting the history of Mormonism, and the real issues of the belief of the Latter Day Saints, reigns in the world, when such statements as the foregoing are taken for truth; there being but two grains of truth in the whole; viz., "Rigdon now lives at his old home," and "He is not a polygamist and denies the genuineness of that revelation."

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. VIII.                 Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, May 14, 1875.                 No. 147.

Mr. Editor:
    A copy of your issue of March __ was sent to me by Mr. Nottingham, containing an interesting account of the settlement of Palmyra, Wayne county. Among other distinguished inhabitants of that locality, you refer to the family of Joseph Smith, Sr., and the rise of Mormonism.

The correction of some historical inaccuracies, as to date and circumstances, might be acceptable to your readers.

You say that Joseph Smith, Jr., "claimed" to have obtained the plate[s] in 1829. His date for this was September 22nd, 1827. It is well known to many that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery sepnt two years and a half in translating the Book of Mormon, and getting it printed. Cowdery, who was a blacksmith, wrote the manuscript from the mouth of Joseph Smith, and then learned the printing business in the office of E. B. Granden, setting much of the type for the book by his own hands. The book was mostly translated at Harmony, Susquehanna Co., Penn., and was published in 1830. It does not give an account of the ten tribes, who were never in America; but it is a history of a remnant of the tribe of Joseph.

The fallacy of the attempt to account for the origin of the Book of Mormon, in the writings of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth, is apparent to any one from a slight examination of said book, which proves conclusively that its author could not have been a graduate from Dartmouth or any other institution where English grammar was taught.

Joseph Smith, Jr., his father and family, moved west early in 1831, and not as you state, in 1840. He resided in Kirtland, Ohio, until 1837, erecting there a Temple which now stands. While they resided there, Joseph and Hyrum Smith made several missions to the State of Missouri, founding settlements in several counties; moving their families to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, in the winter if 1837-8, and one year after, the Smiths, with the whole of their people, were expelled from the State of Missouri, by an exterminating order of the Executive, being driven from lands for which they had paid the government of the United States (at Congress price, one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre) three hundred and eighteen thousand dollars, which together with the improvements thereon, were a total loss to the "Latter-day Saints."

In 1839 the Smiths and their friends founded the city of Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. In 1844 it contained twelve thousand inhabitants, and was the garden spot of the West, the city having grown up, by the surprising industry of its inhabitants, like magic.

In June, 1844, Joeph, Jr., and Hyrum Smith were arrested on a charge of treason, placed in jail in Carthage, Ill., without an examination. Their enemies, knowing that an examination would result in their discharge, declared that if law could not reach them powder and ball should. One hundred and fifty of them blackened their faces, surrounded the jail, and these innocent men were riddled with bullets, by them, in Illinois, and not as you state in Missouri.

In the Winter of 1845-6 the Mormon people were expelled from the State of Illinois, and denied shelter in every State in the Union. In the course of two or three years they forced their way into their present location, which was then in the Republic of Mexico, making new roads a distance of twelve hundred miles, and erecting bridges and ferry-boats across numerous springs. And thus they became the power of civilization in the West.

The statement that the $3,000 paid by Martin Harris for printing, broke him is evidently an eror. Mr. harris purchased land extensively in Jackson County, Mo., and in Ohio. He now resides at Smithfield, Cache, Co., Utah, in comfortable circumstances, at the age of ninety. Respectfully, etc.,
April 12, 1873.               GEO. A. SMITH.

The article which the foregoing assumes to correct was copied from the Democrat & Chronicle. -- [edited in] Wayne County (N.Y.) Journal, May 6.

Note: LDS Historian George A. Smith evidently obtained his identification of "Cowdery, who was a blacksmith," from Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed. Howe himself supplied no documentation for the assertion. It is highly unlikely that Oliver Cowdery "learned the printing business in the office of E. B. Grandin." Whatever training Oliver possessed in that trade must have been obtained at an earlier date. The circumstances of his probable early apprenticeship remain undetermined -- possibly Oliver worked for his printer cousin, B. Franklin Cowdery, at Geneva, in eastern Ontario County, New York, in 1828.


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  June, 1875.                           No. 8.

The  Basis  of  Polygamy.

NO.  6.

Those who have considered attentively what has preceded this upon this subject, will have seen the exceeding flimsiness of the grounds on which polygamy is based...

Again; upon the trial of Sydney Rigdon, by Brigham Young and his associates, Rigdon's revelations were condemned and set aside, on the ground that they had not been submitted to proper authority for examination and sanction. This same rule applied to the document of 1843 requires it to be set aside. The measure they meted to Sydney is here measured to them. Out of their own mouth they stand condemned for introducing that document in a clandestine manner. To the foregoing may be added the denial of the genuineness of that document by Sydney Rigdon; who, as First Counsellor, was entitled to know and to speak advisedly upon that point. Thus the evidence, and lack of evidence, completely invalidates the pretense that Joseph Smith was the author of that document called a revelation. Let us look elsewhere for its origin, and the origin of the doctrine of polygamy among the Latter Day Saints. In a speech of Brigham Young of June 21st, 1874, (see Deseret News of July 1st of that year,) is found the following statement relative to the origin of the doctrine of Polygamy.

"While we were in England, (in 1839 and 40), I think the Lord manifested to me by vision and his Spirit things that I did not then understand. I never opened my mouth to any one concerning them, until I returned to Nauvoo; Joseph had never mentioned this; there had never been a thought of it in the Church that I ever knew anything about at that time, but I had this for myself, and I kept it to myself."

What was this that was manifested to him, that he had for himself, and kept to himself so close; this that neither Joseph nor the Church had ever thought of before. He continues:

"And when I returned home, and Joseph revealed those things to me, then I understood the reflections that were upon my mind while in England. But this (communication with Joseph on the subject) was not until after I had told him what I understood — this was in 1841. The revelation was given in 1843, but the doctrine was revealed before this.

This is lifting one of the early disguises — an uncovering of his trail so long obscured....

Thus, upon a careful and impartial survey of the subject, the alleged evidences and arguments in its support, we are forced to the conclusion, that it is, as expressed by Joseph, a "cursed doctrine;" a fraud in its origin; false in principle; ruinous in practice; and founded in selfishness and lust; and only maintained by degradation on the one hand and violence and despotism on the other; and as a system it constitutes in its connections the sink or "mystery of iniquity" into which the latter day apostasy has taken the fatal plunge; like the millstone cast into the sea, whose future is the depths of darkness; except they repent and being forth works accordingly.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                             Salt Lake City,  Utah,   July 24, 1875.                             No. ?


New Indictments Against the Alleged Murderers.

The Statement of John D. Lee which
was Refused by the Prosecution.

Horrifying Particulars of the Massacre.

Thirty White Men and a Band
of Indians Engaged in It.

(Special dispatch to the Herald.)

Beaver, July [20]. -- Judge Sutherland this morning asked that the indictment against Colonel Dame be quashed, on the ground that there was a defect in it. He had intended to overlook the descrepancy and go to trial upon it, but learning that Lee's would be the first case tried, he made the request to quash. The error was that the crime was not alleged to have been committed in the territory nor in any county of it, but simply in Mountain Meadow valley. Mr. Carey immediately presented a new indictment, charging Lee, Dame, Elliott, Wilden, Wm. C. Stewart, George Adair, jr., John M. Higbee, Isaac C. Haight, Samuel Jukes and Philip Klingen Smith with conspiring with the Indians to kill certain emigrants, and in accordance to that conspiracy did kill them. The indictment will be read to-morrow, when Lee will be arraigned and plead to it


Beaver, 20. -- The Herald reporter is enabled by the courtesy of W. W. Bishop, attorney of Pioche, Neb., for John D. Lee, to give the following sketch of the confession of Lee, which sets out the character of the document which is very lengthy.

Mr. Bishop said after he got to Beaver he found the excitement against Lee great, and the people believed he should be sacrificed to appease the Moloch of the hour. He believed he could not get a fair trial in Utah, and consented that his client should turn state's evidence to get immunity for his own acts.

The prosecution agreed to enter a nolle prosequi as to the first indictment absolutely, Lee to take his chances as to future indictments. After a long consultation with his associate counsel he agreed to it, and so advised Lee, and the prosecution agreed that if the confession was satisfactory they would dismiss all kinds of indictments against Lee.

After Lee made the confession the prosecution found it did not implicate the high church authorities; but only those of brief authority in the Iron military district, so they refused the statement, believing, Mr. Bishop presumes, that they could, by trying Lee, procure testimony reaching nearer the apostolic centre, and so disregarded their agreements and placed Lee on trial. Lee's statement opens as follows:

"It now becomes my painful though imperative duty to chronicle the circumstances that led to, and fully describe that unfortunate affair known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, in Utah history, which has been shrouded in mystery for the last fifteen years, causing much comment, excitement, and vindictive feeling throughout the land. The entire blame has rested upon the Mormon people in Utah. Now, in justice to humanity, I feel it my duty to show up the facts as they exist, according to the best of my ability, though I implicate myself by so doing. I have no vindictive feelings whatever against any man or class of individuals. What I do is done from a sense of duty to myself, to my God and to the people at large, so that the truth may come to light and the blame rest where it properly belongs.

I have been arrested on the charge of being engaged in the crime committed at the time and place referred to, I have been in close confinement over eight mouths since my arrest; I was in irons three months of the time during my confinement; for the last seventeen years, in fact, since the commission of the crime, I have given this subject much thought and reflection. I have made the effort to bear my confinement with fortitude and resignation, well knowing that most of those engaged in this unfortunate affair were led on by religious influences, commonly called fanaticism, and nothing but their devotion to God, and their duty to him, as taught to them by their religion and their church leaders, would ever have induced them to have committed the outrageous and unnatural acts, believing that all who participated in the lamentable transaction, or most of them, were acting under orders that they considered it their duty -- their religious duty -- to obey. I have suffered all kinds of ill-treatment and injury, as well us imprisonment, rather than expose these men, knowing the circumustances as I do, and believing in the sincerity of their motives, as I always have done; but I have a duty to perform, and have, since I was arrested, become convinced that it was not the policy of the government or the wish of the court to punish those men, but rather to protect them and let the blame rest on their leaders, where it justly and lawfully belongs.

After much thought and meditation I have come to this conclusion that I cuuld no longer remain silent on this subject, but so far as I can bring to the light the circumstances connected therewith and remove the cloud of mystery that has so long obscured the transaction and seemed to agitate the public mind, believing it to be my duty as a man -- a duty to myself, to my family, to my God, and humanity to cast aside the shackles so long holding my conscience in silence, and in pursuance of the disinterested advice of my attorneys I now submit the facts so far as I know them, stating nothing from malice or for the purpose of revenge, holding that I can state of my own knowledge, willing that the world may know all that was done and why acts were committed, I submit the following as the exact, unvarying statements of facts and circumstances connected with the crime known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre:

At this point the pages of the confession relating to the details of the massacre were refused reporters for the present, but their character was permitted to be stated us follows. -- (Reporter.)

Lee gives at great length a detailed, concise and alleged perfect statement of the acts and facts connected with the massacre, giving the names of persons, dates and places. He claims to fully expose all classes of men and every man connected with the outrage. He starts with his first knowledge of the emigrant train, following through their unfortunate experiences and conflicts up to the termination of their sad career. He describes all that was done by the murderers after the commission of the crime, and the action of all connected with it; also the action of Brigham Young and the priesthood; also the acts of those in authority, the disposition of the children saved, and the particulars of their delivery to Doctor Forney, the agent of the government, who removed them to Missouri.

The statement of Lee fully explains why, for what reason, and how the tragedy was accimplished, stating the justification relied upon by the participants for the commission of that fearful crime.

The details fix the responsibility for the crime upon Isaac C. Haight and John M. Higbee, commanding officers, the former standing on an eminence and giving the signal agreed upon for the slaughter. After the emigrants had been decoyed out of their stronghold by a flag of truce, the wounded were hauled out and dispatched. There were engaged in the massacre thirty white men and a large number of Indians. The details of the killing of the men, women and children surpass in horror all that has ever been written concerning the massacre, and are more terrible, atrocious and bloody than the most vivid imagination can conjure.

In conclusion he writes as follows:

A few days after the massacre I was instructed by Major Isaac C. Haight, next in command to W. H. Dame, in Iron military district, to carry a report of what had been done to President Brigham Young at Salt Lake. Haight directed me to give my report and stand up with manly courage, and shoulder as much of the blame as possible, he saying to me that if I did so I should receive a celestial reward. It is my nature never to bind burdens on others that I am not willing to bear myself. I went to Salt Lake and reported to Brigham Young the exact facts connected with the transaction, shouldering a greater degree of responsibility than justly belonged to me.

In justice to Brigham Young I must say that when he heard my story he wept like a child, walked the floor and wrung his hands in bitter anguish, and said it was the most unfortunate affair, the most unwarranted event that had ever happened to the Mormon people. He said this transaction will bring sorrow and trouble upon us in Utah. I would to God it had never happened.

After hearing this I returned home with a drooping heart and reported the result of my mission to those in authority over me.

Lee says that seventeen children were saved and were all delivered to Dr. Forney, who promised to take them to their friends in Missouri and Nebraska. None of them were killed after the massacre. He sets out that the massacre was the result of military orders, Utah then being under martial law, under command of Brigham Young as governor, Johnston's army being on the east in Echo canyon, and an invasion being expected from the west by way of California, the Mormon people were in a state of excitement, and acted as desperation dictated.

Attorney Bishop alleges that Lee offered to give the prosecution the names of twenty-five of the murderers and where they could be found, as he believes.

Note: The Salt Lake Tribune of July 20 and 22, 1875 commented upon John D. Lee's abbreviated "Confession" and provided readers with some brief excerpts, but the Tribune's editors offered no special ctiticism its details, other than the observation that Haight and Higbee were being thus offered up as the real villains of the 1857 massacre.


Vol. V.                             Salt Lake City,  Utah,   August 10, 1875.                             No. ?


The Only Living Witness to the Authenticity
of the Book of Mormon.

The Old Man Interviewed on
What he Saw and Heard.

Past, Present and Future.

David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses who testified to "all nations, kindreds, tongues and people," that they had seen the golden plates upon which were engraven the hieroglyphics, that were translated into the Book of Mormon, has been interviewed by a reporter of the Chicago Times, and the result is given in four columns of that paper on August 7th. We reproduce the subjoined from the published interview...

(see original article in Chicago paper)


Note: See also the Herald of
Sept. 18, 1875.


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  September, 1875.                           No. 11.


George A. Smith died on the 31st ult., -- leaving vacant the First Counsellorship to Brigham Young, and five widows. He has thus taken charge of a venue, from the bar of public opinion, before which he stood arraigned for complicity in the darkest crimes known to God or man -- the Mountain Meadows Massacre -- of which John D. Lee says: "It was not necessary a formal order should be given by the authorities, a crook of the finger was sufficient."...

The council for the prosecution, and the defense of John D. Lee, agree in one important and significant fact, viz: that the miserable white savages engaged with the red ones, in the massacre of the emigrants at Mountain Meadows, acted under "orders," which even Bishops dare not obey...

Note: Under the date of Aug. 25, 1875, John D. Lee (then in prison) wrote in his private journal: the Rev. Parson [sic - Jason] Briggs an Elder in the Josephite or reorganized Church of the L.D. Saints called & paid me a friendly visit of about two hours. Asked Many question in reference to days of my early associations with this church & the Prophet Joseph, & with reguard to the Revelation on celestial Marriage. Gave me a letter to read from Joseph Smith, Jr., setting forth [and] giving his views upon certain crimes committed by individuals, who acted direct through the council & influence of their leaders in the Priesthood, that the sin is small in the Eyes of Heaven compared to the Magnitude of guilt that will be found at the hands of those who counselled & advised it. Said Jos. Smith, Jr., had written to him to visit Me & comfort Me, that I had been a faithful Man to the church in his father's Day & a true Friend, & as such he felt to respect Me & he, Briggs, sympathised with me & said that he would do all in his power to help Me out of My troubles; would see the prosecuting Attorney Gary on My behalf & advised Me to Make a statement in truth of that unfortunate affair, the M. Meadows, & let the blame rest where it should, & commended My course of firmness & strict adherence to the Truth." The c. Aug. 1875 letter from Joseph Smith III to Jason W. Briggs (editor and founder of The Messenger) has not been located. The documented existence of such instruction from Joseph III would strengthen the probability that the RLDS leader also advised Elder Edmund C. Brand to conduct his interview with John D. Lee (noted in Lee's journal, of "About July 20th, 1871," and mentioned in Lee's April 1875 interview with the Philadelphia Times reporter).


Vol. V.                             Salt Lake City,  Utah,   September 18, 1875.                             No. ?


He Says That Interview was Substantially Correct.


A gentleman from this city -- not a Mormon -- having entertained doubt of the genuineness of the reported interview of a Chicago Times correspondent and Mr.David Whitmer, relative to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and other matters, as published in the HERALD some weeks ago, wrote to Mr. Whitmer, making inquiry as to the reliability of the statements attributed to him, and here is the answer which he received:

RICHMOND, Mo., Aug. 17, 1875.      
In the fear of the Lord, and under the guardianship of my aged grandfather, I write to you for him: "The lines of my experience and history to the reporter of the Chicago Times, and published by them -- which was copied by the Herald -- is substantially correct. There may be a few minor errors, but they do not interfere at all with what I gave him in substance, or the purpose of the Almighty Father in disseminating his truth."

Under his instruction, (David Whitmer) I am sir, your obedient servant,   GEO. W. SCHWEICH.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, Utah,  October, 1875.                           No. 12.

From  Nauvoo  Expositor.

"It is with the greatest solicitude for the salvation of the human family, and of our own souls, that we have this day assembled. Feign would we have slumbered, and 'like the Dove that covers and conceals the arrow that is preying upon its vitals,' for the sake of avoiding the furious and turbulent storm of persecution which will gather, soon to burst upon our heads, have covered and concealed that which, for a season, has been brooding among the ruins of our peace: but we rely upon the arm of Jehovah, the supreme arbiter of the world, to whom we this day, and upon this occasion, appeal for the rectitude of our intentions. * * *

"As for our acquaintance with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we know, no man or set of men can be more thoroughly acquainted with its rise, its organization, and its history, than we have every reason to believe we are. We all verily believe, and many of us know of a surety, that the religion of the Latter Day Saints, as originally taught by Joseph Smith, which is contained in the Old and New Testaments, Book of Covenants, and Book of Mormon, is verily true; and that the pure principles set forth in those books, are the immutable and eternal principles of Heaven, and speaks a language which, when spoken in truth and virtue, sinks deep into the heart of every honest man. Its precepts are invigorating, and in every sense of the word, tend to dignify and ennoble man's conceptions of God and his atributes. It speaks a language which is heard amidst the roar of artillery, as well as in the silence of midnight: it speaks a language understood by the incarcerated spirit, as well as he who is unfettered and free; yet to those who will not see, it is dark, mysterious, and secret as the grave." * * *

Again, "We most solemnly and sincerely declare, God this day being witness of the truth and sincerity of our designs and statements, that happy will it be with those who examine and scan Joseph Smith's pretensions to righteousness; and take counsel of human affairs, and of the experience of times gone by. Do not yield up tranquilly a superiority to that man which the reasonableness of past events, and the laws of our country declare to be pernicious and diabolical." * * *

"That the laws of the land, based upon the revealed laws of heaven, are paramount to all other earthly considerations; and he who sets the laws at defiance, and evades their operation, either by direct or indirect means pursues a course subversive of the best interests of the country, and dangerous to the well-being of the social compact.

"That there does exist an order of things with the systematic elements of organization in our midst; a system which, if exposed in its naked deformity, would make the virtuous mind revolt with horror; a system in the exercise of which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations; the glorious fabric upon which human happiness is based, ministers to the worst passions of our nature, and throws us back into the benighted regions of the dark ages, we have the greatest reason to believe." Nauvoo Expositor, June 7, 1844.

Taking the foregoing extracts as foreshadowing the design and character of the opposition whose organ it was, the Expositor deserved a better fate. The system alluded to "which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations," and "make the virtuous mind revolt with horror," was no doubt the "elementary" order of things which has since unfolded itself in Utah, blossomed and filled the land with its accursed fruit, and reproduced the "dark ages," in the depravity in morals and terrible crimes. The system which Brigham Young says was revealed to him, "before the church ever thought of it," and which he calls the "cable of the church;" and Orson Pratt calls it "celestial marriage." The single note of warning by the Expositor at the first cropping out of this "pernicious and diabolical" scheme was creditable to its conductors, and their testimony to the original principles corroborates that of the Reorganization respecting the "old paths."

Note: Apostle Jason W. Briggs' candid reference to the "note of warning by the Expositor," was a rare RLDS admission of the Expositor's core anti-polygamy message. However, Briggs carefully edited out any reference to the polygamy advocated and practiced by Joseph Smith, Jr. He must have noticed the mass of documentation that the Expositor staff presented in that regard -- the fact that Briggs did not condemn their conclusions is probably significant -- but the pro-Smith religious environment within the RLDS Church did not allow Briggs to admit much more than his excerpts reveal.


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                       Salt Lake City, Utah,  November, 1875.                       No. 1.

History of the Reorganization of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints;


... Having already shown, in the History of the Apostasy, that the church established on April 6th, A. D. 1830, was "rejected," dissolved or disorganized... it now remains to show how, when, where, and by what means and authority it has been reorganized and reinstated...

Among these [splinter group leaders] appeared William Smith; who in the spring of 1850, called a Conference at Covington, Kentucky; from which time he visited many of the branches and scattered Saints, teaching "lineal priesthood" as applying to the Presidency of the Church; and thus disposing of all pretenders already arisen, or to rise out of the posterity of the original President of the Church. This principle, though pretty clearly shown in the books, had been almost entirely overlooked or forgotten by the Saints; but when their attention was thus called to it, many at once received it as the solution of the question of "Presidency." Wm. Smith taught also, in connection with this, that it was his right, as the only surviving brother of the former President, and uncle (and natural guardian), of the seed of Joseph, to stand, during the interim, as President, pro tem. And in this there seemed a general acquiescence on the part of the Saints among whom he labored; and he was so acknowledged, and began to organize, choosing Lyman Wight and Aaron Hook as Counselors, pro tem. to the President, pro tem., and Joseph Wood as Counselor and spokesman. Many branches, and nearly all the Saints in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin were identified with this movement, and among them was enjoyed a large measure of the spiritual gifts.

During the spring and summer of 1851, Palestine, in Lee County, Illinois, had been designated as a stake, and become the residence of Wm. Smith, Wood, Hook and others; and the two former had visited most of the branches... But in the course of their visit it transpired, that they not only believed in the principle of a plurality of wives, but were really in the practice of it stealthily, and under the strongest vows of secrecy. This created in some minds a terrible conflict between faith and infidelity. The case was this, here were these men ministering in the name of the Lord; baptism and the laying on of hands; and the gifts of the Spirit in prophecy, tongues, interpretation, healings, &c., followed according to the promise; and now it turned out that they had been, and still were, double-tongued, and practicing what the books declare "an abomination." The proof that such was the character of the men at the time, was full and positive; and at a conference held at Palestine, in October 6th of that year (1851), they threw off the mask, in a council called [the] Priests' Lodge, and confessed to the belief and practice of polygamy in the name of the Lord. Among those who attended that conference were James Blackeslee, Alva Smith, Edwin Cadwell, C. F. Stiles and E. R. Briggs, of Illinois; and Ira J. Patten, David Powell. Henry Lowe, John Harrington, John O'Neil and J. W. Briggs of Wisconsin....

Note: The above article was penned by RLDS Apostle Jason W. Briggs, who was then in Utah, serving as the editor of The Messenger. In a series of articles in the RLDS Saints' Herald, beginning on Jan. 2, 1901, Jason's brother, Edmund C. Briggs, supplied another, similar, "Early History of the Reorganization." There Edmund says: "Sometime during the winter of 1850, my brother Silas received letters from home and Jason, informing him of a visit from Elders William Smith and Joseph Wood; that they lived at Palestine, near what is now called Amboy, Lee County, Illinois, and were preaching the law of lineage, holding that it was the right of William's nephew, Joseph, to take the lead of the Church... early in the spring of 1852... I heard many stories about William Smith and Wood. I saw letters in Smith's own handwriting, claiming the right of the presidency of Church... one day my brother, Jason, asked me why I had not been baptized... He then took pains to tell me of his experience with William Smith, and of his attending a meeting held at Palestine in which Smith made extravagant calims and taught things so adverse to anything he had ever received before... I went down to Palestine. Here I became personally acquainted with William Smith, Elder W. W. Blair, Edwin Cadwell, Alva Smith, and others... I was working for a Mr. Alva Smith at the time, and I told him all about some letters that had been written by William Smith... showed them to Elders Blair, Cadwell, Jotham Barrett, and others -- and had the pleasure of seeing these good honest brethren withdraw from William Smith's faction...


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                       Salt Lake City, Utah,  December, 1875.                       No. 2.

History of the Reorganization of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints;


In the foregoing communication was committed to writing on the day it was received, in accordance with the injunction given; and on the following days it was read to several persons, among whom was David Powell, H. Lowe and J. Harrington...

During the remainder of the week it was noised about among the Saints that something of unusual interest was on foot, and on the Sunday following, November 24th [1851], a full attendance was had... The meeting concluded with an appointment for the evening, at the house of Br. John A. Williams. This meeting was in the usual manner, and then declared upon for general consultation and testimony. It soon took the character of an investigation; and many facts relative to the erroneous teachings of Wm. Smith and Wood were brought out. Ample opportunity for any to defend them was given, which was attempted by one or two; after which was an expression of sentiment respecting these men was suggested, and a motion made and duly seconded to withdraw the hand of fellowship from them. The vote was almost unanimous in the affirmative; only two voting against it.

The next few days was occupied by several brethren and sisters in copying the communication and sending it to all the places named; and subsequently to all the places known to them where plurality of wives or polygamy had been taught as a celestial law. Shortly after this a statement relative to the teachings and acts of Wm. Smith and J. Wood, signed by several of the members of the Branch [Beloit, Rock Co., Wisconsin], including all its officers, was sent to the several branches, including the one at Waukesha, and brethren Lowe, Harrington, Powell and J. W. Briggs met at the house of the latter for consultation.... David Powell at first hesitating, to adopt the same course with the rest at the time, wrote a letter of inquiry to William Smith, asking explanations. The answer, as constituting the first studied attack upon the position assumed by the Saints in Wisconsin relative to the presidency, is here given.

"Palestine Stake of Zion,           
"Dec. 25th, 1851.           
"Brother Powell. -- I have concluded to spend my Christmas in writing you a few lines. As to question in regard to my right of standing as Joseph's successor, I reply. In my first step in acting as the representative of Joseph's son, the matter was not made plain to me then as it now is. The increase in light began small at first, and so increased by degrees until the full right of my authority was made known by revelation. Something over two years ago, or thereabout, it may not be so long; by references to the record I can ascertain the time exact. By reference to the enclosed drawing, you will get the idea perfectly. No. 1 is old Father Smith holding the Patriarchy ordaining his seven sons, Alvin, Hyrum, Joseph, Samuel, Ephraim, William and D. Carlos. On the second line, No. 2, you will see the places for six of the sons are blank, all being dead but William, who now stands as the only head of the Church, holding the patriarchy, and also the only person now representing the old patriarch, Father Smith. This of course makes William Smith the successor of Joseph Smith. Also on the third line, No. 3, is William's son, ordaining Joseph's and Hyrum's posterity. And as none of these are ordained as yet, who shall preside over the Church of God but William Smith, who was ordained before Joseph's death, Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator; thus keeping up a regular chain of priesthood, as you can see in the drawing. On line No. 2, you will see William ordaining his son as his successor in office. It is in this manner my inheritance is preserved unto my children, and thus answering to the revelation I have received of late on the subject. Should William have no son, he would have the power to ordain one of Joseph's sons, provided one of them came forward and claimed rights. But should William have a son, or sons, the right of Patriarchy, not by expediency, but by law, rests in his family, -- a stream can never rise higher than its fountain, consequently Joseph's children, (nor Hyrum's, nor any of the brothers), can not preside over William, nor over his sons. The question is again, Is the building greater than the builder? Neither Joseph nor Hyrum ordained their sons, and no one can ordain them now but William, or his (William's) successor in office. To this you will add, the position takes away rights from Joseph's children, and also from Hyrum's children. To this I reply it does not. For the have no right of office in the Church, no more than Tom, Dick or Harry; not until they have been ordained. It is the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, which is after the order of the Son of God, that is handed down from Father to Son; not the offices of Prophet, Patriarch, Apostle, High Priest, Elder, Priest, Teacher and Deacon. This the error of Jason (J. W. Briggs), as well as many others that have fallen. They do not make the proper distinction between the orders of priesthood, (there being two orders, the Aaronic and the Melchisedec; see sec. 3, on Priesthood), and the different offices of these two priesthoods. The ORDER of priesthood, (not offices), is handed down from father to son. The offices are ordained by those holding authority, as the Holy Ghost shall direct; see sec. 2, par. 12, page 96. But the two orders of priesthood, meaning the Aaronic and the Melchisedec, is handed down from father to son, according to the flesh, &c., &c. A great ado is made over the blessing put upon Joseph's posterity. Now read the promised blessing, revelation of 1841, and you will see two things only mentioned; first, an inheritance for Joseph's children, in the Nauvoo house; second, the blessing upon Joseph's head that his children shall be blessed as Abraham's seed was. And to all this I have not the least objection. The Nauvoo House is not finished yet, and no prospects that it ever will be, at least not for many years to come. And then you will discover by the drawing, that should the time ever come that Joseph's children, or children's children, desired a place in the church of God, the authority to ordain them to the various offices in the Church is preserved unto William Smith and his posterity forever. It is in this way you will discover that the promise made to Joseph is fulfilled upon the head of his posterity; being ordained one an Elder, one an High Priest, and so on; holding a right of priesthood, (not of office), according to the flesh. If the right of office, as Jason affirms, is handed down from father to son, then Joseph would have four prophets in his family, and Hyrum three patriarchs and Samuel two High Priests, and D. Carlos none, his children all being girls. But Paul says, 'Not all apostles, not all prophets;' consequently it is the order of priesthood that is the inheritance, and not the grades of office, as I have previously stated. Jason makes an utter great blunder on the spokesmanship. No priesthood is taken from Hyrum's children; it is the office of spokesman conferred on Br. Wood. Jason makes another brush at the order, by placing the spokesman on the right hand of the Father. Will Jason tell us where Brother Wood (Joseph Wood) will be seated after his work is done? And as to certain parts of that celestial law, it was referred to future generations. If Brother Wood has done wrong, Jason should have given him the extent of the rule, if he repents. -- Read revelation of February, 1831, sec. 13, par. 7; consequently, Jason's revelation to cut off, is premature. Without applying the rule I however deny all such charges. God is on our side.   WM. SMITH, President.

That 'celestial law" referred to by William, is a pretended revelation to him, authorizing polygamy, apportioning the number of wives according to grade of office in the Church, from half a dozen to several hundred. It repudiated Gentile marriages. I have seen it, and of course know what it contained.

Even before this letter was received, Br. Powell had heartily entered into the compact to work for the restoration of the original faith of the Latter Day Saints, as taught in the books; and wait upon God in respect to the "presidency."

Letters having been sent to the Saints, at Beloit, (at one time called the Lehi Branch, but at this time called the Newark Branch), from Wm. Smith, denying that which had been charged upon him in the counsel of November 24th, and stigmatizing them as slanderous, and containing the proceedings of a council at Palestine, on December 3d, 1851, (near Amboy, Lee County, Illinois), at which J. W. Briggs was cut off, &c...

Note: William Smith's nephew, Joseph Smith III, made a tentative identification of Joseph Wood, Esq. as being one of the lawyers who facilitated his father's release when Jiseph Smith, Jr. was taken into custody at Palestine Grove, Lee Co., Illinois in 1843. For more on Elder Joseph Wood's experiences with secret Mormon polygamy, see William Smith's letter of July, 18, 1851, published in the April 30, 1853 issue of the Illinois Dixon Telegraph. Soon after the publication of the letter, Elder Wood became disaffected with William Smith's church. See the March 9, 1854 issue of the Dixon Telegraph for a description of the relationship between the two men as it stood by that time.


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                       Salt Lake City, Utah,  January, 1876.                       No. 3.

Blood  Atonement.

A correspondent enquires, "What do you mean by blood atonement? I do not understand the doctrine."

We have used the phrase, "Blood Atonement," to signify a doctrine held by Brigham Young and his confederates, the sense of which is, that some persons can not be saved without first being killed first, when their smoking blood ascends to heaven and is a sweet smelling savor to the olfactories of the God who reigns there, and who being appeased by smelling his blood, will take him to himself. We offered last winter to take the negative of this doctrine in a public discussion in Salt Lake City, against Orson Pratt and D. H. Wells; the one, a Brighamite Apostle; the other, a Brighamite Counselor.

But they refused, without stating on what grounds, and the matter was partially dropped. And as we are now called upon to tell what we meant by referring to it, our answer is, we only meant that such was the doctrine of B. Young and Company, and that we did not believe it. And to protect ourselves against the charge of "Munchausenism" in making these statements, we here transcribe their own words upon the subject, from their own publication, Journal of Discourses....   [numerous quoted passages follow]

Here is the doctrine of blood atonement by Brigham Young and Company; and here also is its rebuke and characterization by Joseph Smith, whom they profess to believe in. It "is of the devil," and the whole thing a "doctrine of devils," but taught by B. Young that this was what Jesus meant by "loving your neighbor as yourself."


Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                       Salt Lake City, Utah,  February, 1876.                       No. 4.

Blood  Atonement.

This ghastly doctrine so clearly taught and practiced by the priesthood of Utah, has a two-fold object. It was found necessary, in order to establish and maintain polygamy; not only to leave the land of civilization and law, but to affix and enforce several penalties against those who violated their "endowment oaths," -- to do as they were told -- and those penalties which, for certain offenses was death, must be inflicted from time to time, or the "priesthood" would soon cease to be obeyed; but with all their secrecy in carrying out their executions, it could not be kept secret from a large portion of the people; for if a man or woman was put out of the way in the dead of night, and buried in gardens by the roadside, or in ditches -- many of their skeletons are being dug up in Salt Lake City -- still they were missed and mourned and inquired for, creating much uneasiness, suspicion and unpleasant comment. To avoid this, and prepare the people for those scenes that has "marked" all the principal settlements in Utah with human gore, it began to be taught as "strong doctrine" just becoming understood, to save the victims. The priesthood adopted that view, and the rest were cowed into silence through fear of it. Another object, and the chief one was to get rid of persons who were troublesome by reason of their rebellious apirit, or of knowing too much.

The origin of this doctrine is not found in the latter days, no revelation or manifestation of the Spirit admits of it. Still, however difficult it may be to trace some subjects to their proper sources, happily it is not the case with this doctrine. Its record is clear and full, running back to the fartherest verge of antiquity. Cain, the distinguished progenitor of Lamech, the first polygamist, proclaimed it in a way not to be misunderstood. He practiced upon his brother what Brigham Young calls "Loving your neighbor as yourself, if it is necessary to spill his blood, spill it," just what J. M. Grant, O. Hyde and the Utah priesthood teach, as shown in the first part of this article; but when it was called into question by the superior Judge, he, Cain, did not, like them, deny practicing their own precepts, nor charge it upon the Indians, nor any one else; nor did he wine at being marked, so that honest men might know him as a practical blood atoner, and avoid him; nor did he call it vile persecution.

The patriarch Cain was the type of a class that have made their mark in the world in every age, though he could kill, lie and rob, he had not attained to that impudence and hypocrisy which characterizes his successors in "the last days."

There is a certain ancient rabbinical legend which details some of the circumstances of the life and death of Cain, which runneth thus, and exemplifies the inexorable course of justice...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                               Salt Lake City, U. T., May, 1876.                               No. 7.

History of the Reorganization of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints;


At the conference the branch known as the Yellowstone Branch, as being the most central, was made the principal or central place of business...

The closing of this conference was by a general testimony meeting, in which the various gifts were abundantly poured out; and a special charge given the seven who had been ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve, to take the oversight of the flock in the fear of the Lord, and an impressive warning against becoming heady, with an emphatic reinforcement of the precept, "He that exalteth himself shall be abased." That false spirits, false prophets, and false christs were in the world, and should come among us to deceive, and some should follow them; but that the organization should remain. That the acts of the conference were recorded in heaven, and the faithful should realize all the promises that had been made from the beginning.

On the last day of this conference the seven who had been ordained apostles met to choose a president of the quorum. It was proposed by J. W. Briggs, that the rule of courtesy should govern our choice; that is, that the oldest man among them should preside. Zenos H. Gurley [Sen.] being the oldest man, refused. It was then proposed (by the same) that the next oldest should preside, to which H. H. Deam being that one, refused, and both alleging that the rule of courtesy should only apply to pro tern. presidents, in the absence of the permanent one, and not to an original choice, it was then moved by them both that J. W. Briggs be the President of the Quorum, which was so voted. The attendance at this conference was large, and deep interest prevailed throughout.

It had been declared through the gifts that the various organizations of Latter Day Saints, under the lead of J. J. Strang, J. C. Brewster, Baneemy, Alpheus Cutler, Lyman Wight, Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, and others, together with some yet to arise, should one after another come to naught, and cease to be. And during the summer the elders came in contact with many of them, which served to put to the test their foundations and our own also.

Having stated the facts relative to the first acts, thus far in reorganizing the church, it is proper to give the ideal or theory upon which these acts were justified in the minds of those who performed them; for they were none of them accidents, but deliberative, and it must be conceded, were consistent with themselves.

First. It was affirmed that the church had been disorganized, or rejected as a church, but not as individuals.

Second. That those individuals not rejected were entitled to ask and receive what related to them as their duty.

Third. That these individuals, among whom were many elders, in seeking to know their duty were taught of the Lord and commanded to reorganize, or begin to set in order the church.

Fourth. That in the discharging this duty the Presidency was left to be filled as provided by the law in the case out of our reach, to be filled by calling one forth to whom the promise pertained.

Fifth. That as a preparation to that, the calling into power those whose duty it should be to ordain him.

Sixth. The highest authority for the time presiding and representing the Presidency of the Church.

And in justification of the course taken, and the principles involved, on "the question of authority," we have ever courted, and still do, investigation in the rigid character of the facts in the first organization. Here they are: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the lesser priesthood by an angel; then by this authority and a commandment, they on the sixth day of April ordained each other elders, and this eldership ordained high priests and apostles, and this high priesthood ordained, by commandment, the President of the High Priesthood, the highest office in the church; so that the alleged lesser ordained the greater, is common to both the first organization and the Reorganization he same class of facts justify both or condemn both.

But this stream, rising higher than its fountain, is only seeming, not real. By what authority, according to the law of the church, is anyone ordained? Answer. "By the power of The Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains him." Instead of this then being the stream, it is the fountain itself, from which flows the stream or authority of both priesthoods, from its highest to its lowest offices. Moreover, all ordinations are performed in the name and authority of the church, and is therefore the act of "the Spirit and the Bride." So that in addition to the authority which its adherence to truth guarantees, the Reorganization is technically right, and on legal grounds invulnerable; before which all the factions have melted away save the one - and they dare not assail it, but always "decline."

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXV.           Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 2, 1876.           No. 27.


Death of Sidney Rigdon. -- The name of Sidney Rigdon is one familiar to the Latter-day Saints as being intimately interwoven with the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this dispensation.

In the Friendship, Alleghany county, New York, Register, we have before us a notice of his death, at the village of Friendship, on Friday, July 14, where he had resided uninterruptedly from the year 1847 until his demise. He was born in Alleghany county, Pa., in 1793, and consequently was about 83 years of age at his death. The paper named states that numerous pilgrimages had been made to him from different parts by various persons desirous of obtaining further information from him relative to the origin of the Book of Mormon, but he unwaveringly adhered to his original theory on this matter, being the same as that held to by the "Mormons," and he treated with great scorn and contempt the statements of parties imputing the authorship of that work to himself.

Note: At his death Sideny Rigdon merited no headlines in the Deseret News; no front page notice; no mention of his Church offices and sundry contributions to the "latter day work." Indeed, half of the report of his passing was implicitly turned into an advertisement against the Spalding-Rigdon explanation for Book of Mormon authorship. The Deseret News's rival in town, the Salt Lake Tribune, published a slightly longer and more detailed Rigdon obituary in its issue for Sept. 12, 1876.


The  Messenger.

Vol. II.                               Salt Lake City, U. T., October, 1876.                               No. 12.

Joseph F. Smith in a Quandary
Over the Celestial Order, Applies to
Orson Pratt for Relief.

Elder Joseph F. Smith, in a discourse delivered in one of the ward houses of this city recently, said, that (the fact as stated by Brigham, see Desert News, of July 13, 1874) that polygamy was revealed as a doctrine before the revelation of 1843, and that document shows it was then being practiced, with the fact that the ground taken by Mr. Pratt, in the Seer, Star, and elsewhere, that it was "strictly prohibited" up to that time, and its practice sin, -- this had troubled him, he couldn't see through it, and he went to Mr. Pratt for light to harmonize them. But Mr. Pratt had no light on that subject -- the key to that mystery (of flagrant contradiction) had not been given. But Mr. Pratt offered the following as the probable explanation, -- he "presumed that Joseph understood the doctrine of polygamy before it was revealed."

Whether this answer was satisfactory may be doubted. But it suggested another question. If Joseph understood the doctrine of polygamy before it was revealed, why might he not understand the rest of the doctrines belore they were revealed; and then what need was there of revelation; to say nothing of the strangeness of the idea of revealing something already "understood!" If Utah is "the closet" of the Lord, it is a "dark closet" In which to "shut up" the rebellious, as some earthly parents do disobedient children. Fanaticism and logic are deadly enemies.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXV.               Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday,  January 3, 1877.               No. 49.


Black Oak, Dec. 11, 1876.    
Editor, Deseret News:

I left home on the 15th ult., accompanied by twenty-eight Elders, among whom were Presidents D. M. Stuart and J. Druce, all en route for their several fields of labor.

we arrived at Council Bluffs in good health and spirits. All "put up" at the Ogden House except Brother Eggleston and your correspondent, who partook of the hospitality of my partners brother.

we spent five days in the vicinity of Council Bluffs, allaying prejudice and talking upon the principles of the gospel and introduced Brothers Eli Pierce and Jno. Woolf to those that had expressed a desire to know more of the doctrine, then took train for Parkersburg, situated in the northern part of Iowa to visit the uncle of my friend, Bro. Eaggleston. We discovered, soon after our arrival, that we were forestalled and misrepresented as usual. The old gentleman, a secand adventist in belief, received us in a cool and formal manner. we left him next morning with a good feeling towards us.

We next put in an appearance at Try Grove, Ill., and were well received by my uncle, Mr. Nixum, a leading Free Will Baptist. This town of five hundred inhabitants has two very fine churches belonging to the Presbyterians and Free Will Baptists, but no preacher.

We found upon inquiry that lack of funds had brought this affliction upon them. With a readiness that surprised us, the Baptists proffered the use of their church, and we made the announcement that we would hold forth the next Sunday on the principles believed in by the Latter-day Saints.

At the time appointed full three hundred persons were assembled to hear us. Services commenced in a spirited manner. we proved that the Bible was an insuficient guide to latter-day Christians, closing with an effort to establish the divinity of the mission of Joseph Smith and through him the restoration of the gospel.

After dismissal and while the Baptists were passing the hat, Dr. ____ an influential Adventist, challenged us to public discussion, stating that he was prepared to prove that the plates we spoke of were brass plates stolen out of a glass box from Solomon Spaulding by Sidney Rigdon.

We replied that the plates referred to were golden ones delivered to Joseph Smith by an angel, not by Sidney Rigdon, that we were not personally acquainted with Mr. Rigdon, hence unable to defend him against the alleged stealing. The audience laughed at the doctora mistake and separated,

I parted with Bro. Eggleston at Blue Island, he going to Michigan, I to Black Oak. I found here elder Lyman Leavitt, visiting with his relatives, two of whom belong to the church. Indeed I was glad to see them.

We have held two meetings here, some four or five express a desire to join the church as soon as practicable.
        Your brother in the gospel,
                          JOS. R. PORTER.

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Messenger.

Vol. III.                               Salt Lake City, U. T., February, 1877.                              No. 2.



This brazen attempt to establish Polygamy by "changing laws" is a characteristic of corruptors of the truth in every age and dispensation.

The Church established in 1830 recognized from the first a principle of common consent both in respect to its faith and policy. "Therefore this ye shall observe and make it your law, to do your business by the voice of the people," Mosiah, Chap. 13, par. 2. "Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word," Doc. & Cov., Sec. 61, par. 1. "Neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this Church contrary to the Church Covenants; for aIl things must be done in order, and by common consent in the Church," D. & C. sec, 51, par. 4. In agreement, with these precepts, as soon as the various quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the Church, (Sec. 3, par. 11, last clause), had been established, and learned a measure of their duty, a general assembly of the same was convened on Sept. 24th, 1834. The assembly being duly organized: and after transacting certain business of the Church, proceeded to appoint a Committee to arrange the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of his Church of the Latter-day Saints, which Church was organized and commenced its rise on the 6th day of April, 1830. These items are to be taken from Bible, Book of Mormon, and the revelations which have been given to said Church up to this date, or shall be until such arrangement is made.   "Elder Samuel H. Smith, for the assembly, moved that Presiding Elders Joseph Smith Jun., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams compose said Committee. The nomination was seconded by Elder Hyrum Smith, whereupon it received the unanimous vote of the Assembly.
(Signed)             Oliver Cowdery,      
Orson Hyde, Clerks."      

We copy the above minutes from Doc. & Cov. 1st. edition, page 255.

Again on the 11th of August, 1835, another general assembly was convened to hear from said Committee. A portion of the minutes of that body we now quote, page 255-6-7:

"Whereupon Presidents O. Cowdery and. S. Rigdon proceeded and organized the High Council of the Church at Kirtland and President W. W. Phelps and J. Whitmer proceeded and organized the High Council of the Church, in Missouri. Bishop Newell Whitney proceeded and organized his Councillors of the Church in Kirtland, and acting Bishop John Corrill organized the Councillors of the Church in Missouri....

"According to said arrangement, W. W. Phelps bore record that the book presented to the assembly was true. President John Whitmer also arose and testified that it was true. Elder John Smith, taking the lead of the High Council in Kirtland, bore record that the revelations in said book were true * * * Whereupon the High Council of Kirtland accepted and acknowledged these as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. * * *

"President W.W. Phelps then read the written testimony of the Twelve... Elder Leonard Rich bore record of the truth of the Book, and the council of the Seventy accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. Bishop N. K. Whitney bore record of the truth of the Book, and with his Councillors accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. * * * Acting President, John Gould gave his testimony in favor of the Book, and with the Traveling Elders, accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. Ira Ames, acting President of the Priests gave his testimony in favor of the Book and with the Priests accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith by a unanimous vote. Erastus Babbit, acting President of the Teachers, gave his testimony in favor of the Book and they accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith by a unanimous vote. Wm. Burgess, acting President of the Deacons, bore record of the truth of the Book and they accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. The venerable President, Thomas Gates then bore record of the truth of the Book and with his five silver-headed Assistants, and the whole Congregation, accepted and acknowledged it as the Doctrine and Covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

"The several authorities, and the general assembly, by a unanimous vote, accepted of the labors of the committee. President W. W. Phelps then read an article on marriage which was accepted and adopted, and ordered to be printed in said Book, by a unanimous vote. President O. Cowdery then read an article on Governments and Laws in general, which was accepted and adopted and ordered to be printed in the said Book, by a unanimous vote.

"A hymn was then sung. President S. Rigdon returned thanks after which the assembly was blessed by the Presidency with uplifted hands and dismissed...."

That was no doubt the most imposing and the most important Assembly ever convened in the Church. It was indeed a "solemn Assembly," of the entire "spiritual authorities" of the Church. It was to the Church what Congress and the Supreme Court com- bined is to the United States, viz: the highest authority; to pass upon the labors of a committee of the chiefest of its Elders, appointed by a like previous Assembly, "to arrange the items of Doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of his Church."

The Book of Doctrine and Covenants was reported by that Committee and accepted by said Assembly. And among those items was an article on marriage, and if marriage is a doctrine, then the doctrine of the Church is contained in this article; which says "We declare that we believe that one man should have one wife and one woman but one husband, except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again" -- or another. This monogamic doctrine was adopted by a unanimous vote of that Assembly. And in Sec. 13, par. 5, of that Book is a commandment to "observe the covenants and Church Articles to do them." Now in the last edition of this Book, by Brighamite authority, this "Article on Marriage" is left out, and the Apocraphal document on plural marriage put in. By what authority was this omission and addition? None whatever appears in the Book. The Utah Elders, including their Editors, have all along contended that said article did not interdict Polygamy. Then why leave it out? And why add the Polygamy article? And why do both without a shadow of authorization by the body. --

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, May 9, 1877.                     No. ?

THE MORMONS are becoming more defiant to government authority every day. It is even said that they are aiming to resist and attempt that may be made to arrest Brigham Young for complicity in the Mountain Meadows massacre; and if they were dealt with a little more summarily than has heretofore been the custom, the lesson would doubtless prove highly salutary. -- San Francisco Call.

The Call, usually a reasonable journal, ought to know (for its editors must have become familiar with the character of unscrupulous inventions which such sheets as the Chronicle have indulged in about Utah,) that the hundreds of reports similar to the above which have been published for the past six or seven years have in every case been proved false and ridiculous. President Brigham Young has been several times arrested and once or twice imprisoned since 1871, without the slightest attempt made at resistance having been made in any case. Is it not almost time for respectable journals to stop giving currency and countenance to such reports as the above, which only tend to injure the business interests of the community and keep up a baseless excitement in those states where Utah and its people are not as well known as they are in California?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, May 10, 1877.                    No. ?


Loud Howls and Deuced Little Wool.

We have denied so often the infernal lies manufactured in the Tribune office in this city and telegraphed to the New York Herald and San Francisco Chronicle, concerning the arming and mustering of the Nauvoo Legion, that it is becoming, like Brick Pomeroy's diet of onions -- fearfully monotonous. Although we have made diligent inquiry we have failed to learn that a single company of the militia has met for drill, or that any drill is anticipated.

There is no denying the fact that some weak-minded people have become frightened by the sensational stories, and in California the excitement is said to be intense, a general slaughter of Gentiles in Utah being confidently expected. This seems like the veriest nonsense, and doubtless the villanous liars who started the stories snicker in their sleeves at the breeze they have created. We undertake to assert that not half a dozen sane men can be found in the territory who have the slightest fear of violence from Mormons. There is no occasion for the least apprehension, and all know it; yet two or three scoundrelly newspaper reporters have put into circulation a base lie which, if unchecked, might bring ruin and desolation upon a whole territory. We publish below an article from the Corinne Record, in which the editor of that journal gives the lie direct to his Kansas border brother scribe of this city. The editor of the Record, as can be seen by the extract, is no Mormon sympathizer, yet he has the manhood to deny the Tribune's falsehoods. Does any one suppose that if there were any real danger of the Mormons rising to do violence to Gentiles -- the proposition is almost laughably absurd -- that the handful of anti-Mormon citizens in Corrine would sleep peacefully, and Cache Valley, the alleged head and front of the military movement -- within a few miles of the burg on the Bear. Further, the wretches of the Tribune give the lie to their own words by moving about the streets of this city, without fear of molestation. If there were truth in what they said how long would they dare to remain in Utah? Again we assert that the business men of Salt Lake and of Utah, Mormon and Gentile, owe it to themselves to deny the truth of these stories, and send it out to the world that supremest peace and monotonous quiet exist in all sections of the territory. Here is what the Record has to say of the Cache Valley story:
For some weeks past rumors have been rife that the Mormons throughout the territory -- especially in the northern portion -- were arming and drilling with a view to resist the execution of the law. One sensation monger in particular -- the Salt Lake Tribune -- has spared no effort to set this community before the people east and west as in a state or insurrection, giving the impression that a general uprising of the Mormons was imminent, that destruction to the road-beds of the railroads was being planned, and that a feeling of insecurity of life and limb was prevalent among the Gentiles and apostate Mormons. These reports have not only been published here, but have been telegraphed east and west, causing great excitement and injuring the business interests of the territory.

Some few days ago the Record took up these stories, and, on information and belief, characterized them as sensational, much to the disgust of our rabid Salt Lake contemporary, whose only object it appears is to misrepresent Utah matters for the purpose of getting notoriety as the great (?) Gentile organ of the territory. In order to get at the bottom of the matter the Record sent a representative to Logan and other towns in Cache Valley -- the very stronghold of Mormonism -- to ascertain what grounds, if any, there were for the stories, and to make the most diligent inquiries and report just what the facts in the case warranted. The reporter performed his mission and the result only confirms our previous conviction, that a great deal of undue excitement has been worked up in relation to the matter.

Logan was the first place visited. In this town there is but one Gentile resident, the balance of the non-Mormon population being apostates. It was ascertained -- and this fact probably furnished ground for the Tribune's statement that the Nauvoo Legion and Mormons generally were arming and drilling by night -- that a small squad of boys had been in the habit of meeting and, without arms of any description, going through ordinary military drill, sometimes using private buildings. And as to the despatch reported to have been sent by Brigham Young to the Bishop at Logan calling on Mormons to prepare themselves with arms and ammunition and be ready for their enemies -- meaning the officers of the law -- there could not be found in all Logan a non-Mormon who saw the dispatch or heard the discourse preached by the Bishop. In answer to the inquiry of whether such movements were on foot by the Nauvoo Legion as to cause alarm and jeopardize the peace of the territory, it was averred by all with whom the Record reporter came in contact that no danger of any kind was anticipated, no outbreak feared, and no necessity for any steps being taken in the matter by Gov. Emery.

All along the line, at settlements above and below Logan, non-Mormons were met with who declare that, to their knowledge, no such drilling had taken place, and no cause existed for any alarm. Written statements to this effect have also been received at the Record office, sent by men -- Gentiles -- who are trustworthy in every respect, and who, if any real cause existed for alarm, are in a position to know it, and would not be slow to claim the protection of the proper authorities. One and all, they declare that the publication of such reports was uncalled for, sensational and calculated to injure their business interests.

In this immediate vicinity nothing of a military nature is observable in the doings of the Mormons, and now, so far as Northern Utah is concerned, our readers can judge for themselves whether any good ground exists for the alarm occasioned by the published and telegraphed stories of an insurrection. The Mormons are well aware that no such demonstrations will be brooked by Governor Emery, and although we cannot doubt that their will to defy his authority is good enough, still a fear of the consequences deters them from doing aught that would bring the officers of the law down upon them.


New York, 9.-- The Herald says editorally: Re-reading the Gilman affidavit in the light of District Attorney Howard's statement, we are led to the conclusion that the attempt to misrepresent Howard had its rise in Mormon quarters and was intended to procure the removal in disgrace of an officer who apparently knows too much and is too zealous for justice to be liked by the Mormon authorities. This attempt has failed. We are glad to see Howard relieved of suspicion, and we trust he will proceed fearlessly and energetically with his task of bringing to justice all who had a share in the Mountain Meadow massacre. No matter how high he strikes, he may depend upon the strong sympathy and support of the whole public.

It will be recollected that the New York Herald discovered and published the Gilman affidavit against District Attorney Howard, and gave some credence to its statements... The Herald has never claimed to place implicit faith in Gilman's statements, but has published the details of the controversy, in which he is simply a witness against Howard and other parties the principals, as it is -- a fight of the outs against the ins.

District Attorney Howard lost his head and playd the fool in this case, however, when in connection with Marshal Nelson he signed a statement chraging the Mormons with using Ned Gilman to break him (Howard) down and secure his removal, knowing, as he must have done, that this statement was utterly false and worthless.... Whether Gilman's statement is true or false, Mr. Howard's ridiculous attempts to clear himself from the serious charges made against him,and his false allegations, have involved him in grave suspicion, which demands an official investigation. This, we hope, will be undertaken by the proper authorities at Washington, for as the matter now stands District Attorney Howard fails to possess the confidence of the people, and will be apt to be regarded hereafter as an obstacle rather than an aid to the promotion of justice and the execution of the law.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, May 16, 1877.                    No. ?


A dispatch telegraphed to the New York Herald from this city on Monday evening, and retelegraphed to Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning, informs us that Governor Emery has made a requisition or request for the reinforcement of the several military posts in this territory, and Fort Hall, Idaho, with several additional companies of infantry and cavalry. The text of the governor's letter to the secretary of war is not furnished, but the correspondent of the New York Herald and the Tribune etates that his excellency has informed the war department that danger to the public peace exists here to an extent demanding the presence of the additional troops asked for. If these reporters state correctly the governor's language, he must either have some information on the subject which is not in the possession of the public, or he has given his official ear and voice in aid of the little clique who are working up an excitement in regard to Utah for outside effect. Of course there can be no objection to having additional soldiers stationed in Utah, and there will be very few persons in the territory who will object to this movement, were it not that the peculiar circumstances under which the troops are called here apparently cast a stigma upon the people and seem to give credence to the insane and reckless efforts of a few mischievous busybodies to create the impression that combinations are forming in different parts of the territory to defy the execution of the laws and obstruct the course of justice. Being satisfied that every county and settlement of Utah is in the enjoyment of profound peace and that no disposition exists or has existed on the part of the people at any point to disturb the peace or interfere with the execution of the laws, we can but regard the action of the governor at this time as injudicious and ill-timed, unless he shall be in the possession of some relialble facts to warrant his call for troops which have not publicly transpired.


Governor Emery places himself in a very unenviable position when he lends his official position to forward the ends of that rascally and radical class who are seeking the destruction of Utah's business and prosperity. We are unwilling to believe the governor is a knave, and we cannot consider him a fool; yet we are told by his organ, and it has been telegraphed to the New York Herald -- doubtless with his knowledge, if not by his authorization -- that he has asked the war department to send more troops to Utah to preserve the peace, and protect the lives and property of citizens....

As his excellency is neither knave nor fool, we con only consider him as one who has been whipped of his manhood, by a blackguard editor whose aim and effort is to get beneath his thumb all federal officials who come to Utah, and then to play upon them at will. The governor gave a promise of withstanding the lash of this renegade Kansan, and holding to the dignity of manhood; but of late he exhibited evidences of weakness, and has at last fallen into line of official tools of the Tribune.... In the meantime we advise the people to observe caution in all they do. We know, as all do, that there is no danger, but in the present state of excitement an utterance or demonstration, which in itself had no significance, might lead to trouble and serious consequences. Let the howlers, the falsifiers and the sensationalists defeat themselves, by having to swallow their own base calumnies and falsehoods.


A word to business men whose interests in the Tribune of this city claims especially to represent, may not be amiss at this time. What class of Utah people are likely to be the most injured by the success of that journal in stirring up an excitement and creating a disturbance? Not the majority of the old settlers -- the "Mormon" people, who are mostly engaged in agricultural and industrial pursuits...

It is not difficult for sober men to appreciate the fact, therefore, that the Tribune, while pretending to protect the "Gentile" population of Utah and their interests, is actually sowing seed which, if it comes to maturity, will prove a hedge of thorns that will drive many good citizens and honest people away from their homes and the fields of legitimate enterprise which they now cultivate. If that day ever comes the banished individuals can not truthfully attribute their misfortunes to the actions of the "Mormons." They will have to place the responsibility upon the heads of those who have made a business of hatching lying sensations for selfish purposes -- who, under the guise of morality and patriotism, and a "holier than thou" pretension, have aroused false prejudices and excitements which they at last find themselves incompetent to control.

While it is useless to attempt to discuss any questions of local concern with the red republican iconoclast of the Tribune, the Herald may appeal to the legitimate business men of the city and territory, and ask them soberly and candidly what is likely to be the effect of the incendiary course of that sheet. If they can see how any benefit can come out of it to themselves and their interests, we think the "Mormon" people can afford to quietly await the issue which they have done nothing to provoke.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, May 18, 1877.                     No. ?

All  Bosh.

Lieut. Gen. Phil. Sheridan told a correspondent of the St. Louis Globe Democrat that "the news being telegraphed from Salt Lake city to New York in regard to a Mormon uprising in Utah, was all bosh."

We said all the time that the New York Herald correspondent was being bulldozed into telegraphing a lot of bosh; but then he isn't so much to blame after all. The governor had to do the same thing. They were both instructed to gat up a sensation -- the one by the New York Herald, and the other by the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Civil and Military.

How will Gov. Emery's application for troops to protect citizens of Utah strike the army officials who already have Geo. Smith's report saying there is peace here, the Mormons are not purchasing arms or secretly drilling? The governor had better be bulldozed a little further by Kansas border ruffians.

A dispatch from New York says, in reference to the yarns which the Herald of that city is publishing in the shape of specials from Salt Lake, that dispatches have been received from here denying the sensational reports and reprsenting that the Herald correspondent had been corrupted. We think that bulldozed is the term that best describes the influences which have worked and are working upon the mind of the New York journalist. That gentleman is kept in such a whirl of excitement here, that between the fancied military movements, the alleged treasonable utterances with which he is stuffed, and the hospitality of his associates he can hardly avoid great confusion of mind. Such a condition can hardly be termed corruption. In some countries they call it "seeing snaix," in others "the borrors," "temporary aberration," etc., etc., but the Herald correspondent evidently presents a real case of voluntary bulldozing, the results of which may prove quite serious unless a change of climate is prescribed at an early day.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Tuesday, May 22, 1877.                     No. ?


The New York Herald of the 14th inst. contains another long defence of District Attorney Howard's course from its correspondent here. It is astonishing what an elaborate and continued bolstering up of this officer is required to demolish the affidavit of Gilman, who has been set down by Howard as an utterly unreliable person, without any character to speak of. There is nothing new, however, in this paper save a statement to the effect that Mr. Howard has shown his hand to the Herald correspondent, who says he has had opportunities "of examining the startling evidence which will eventually be produced against those members of the Mormon priesthood who are seeking the destruction of the enemy who holds the cards against them."

The writer appears also to have been further favored by the district attorney. The former says he has "read every line of the confession placed in the hands of Mr. Howard by Lee," and also that some hundreds of pages of unpublished manuscripts left by Lee are in his (the correspondent's) possession. The confession placed in the hands of Mr. Howard by the man be prosecuted to death, is the paper a synopsis of, or extracts from which Mr. Howard is understood to have sold to the press, and which was published after the execution. This paper Howard has claimed to hold as prosecuting officer in the interests of justice; but according to the New York Herald correspondent he has been allowed access not only to this document but to hundreds of pages of Lee's unpublished manuscripts, as well as the evidence upon which the district attorney relies for the conviction of other important criminals. This method of opening a criminal budget to newspaper correspondents may be entirely professional on the part of the prosecuting officer; and it is perhaps especially so in Mr. Howard's case, who is himself a journalist and a correspondent, which fact doubtless led him to take the extraordinary precaution to accompany John D. Lee to the distant point of his execution, permitting no other correspondent to interview the prisoner until within an hour of his death. The Herald desires to be entirely courteous to a distinguished brother journalist, but it must say that Mr. Howard, in attempting to fill the functions of newspaper correspondent and prosecuting attorney, has made a slight mistake. But his blundering is still greater if, as the New York correspondent alleges, he has disclosed to the press the evidence in his hands as a public officer for the punishment of suspected persons not yet indicted or arrested.

A  Base  Lie

On Sunday morning the Tribune published what purported to be the testimony of an eye witness to secret drilling by Mormons in the basement of the church in Beaver. This "eye witness" was said to be one Peterson, a recently discharged soldier of the Fourteenth infantry. The lying sheet says: "He saw them (the Mormons) put through the military tactics and heard the word of command as given in the hand-book of Casey." We are authorized in emphatically denying the truth of the article in question. Private Peterson denies positively that he saw any drilling in the place referred to, and says he knows nothing of the Mormons drilling except what had been told him by others, who doubtless obtained their information from the columns of the Tribune.

The lie was manufactured and published for a two-fold purpose -- to keep up the sensation, the foundation of which was a lie, and to give the border ruffians an opportunity for cowardly attacking General John E. Smith. They are mad at General Smith because he is taking the wind out of their sails by reporting truthfully in regard to the pretended "Mormon uprising." The ruffians have no ground for saying aught against the general, and hence are impelled to their usual resort -- lying. Their base insinuations, slang and dirty abuse, however, we apprehend will have little effect upon the general, who happens to be an official who doesn't need the support of newspapers to keep him in position. Give the Tribune an average governor and they will whip him into line, but there are one class of officials who fear not the border roughs.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, June 1, 1877.                    No. 304.

"Take that, You Handsome Son of a Bitch."

Jerome B. Stillson, the New York Herald's

Attacked -- In a Horn.

A Base Attempt to Keep up
the Sensation.

The Low Resort of a Drunken
Correspondent to Arouse
Popular Feeling.

Sensation and Nothing More.

A Job for a Tailor, and More
Money for Whisky Sellers.

One of the most despicable and damnable plots ever conceived to rouse the feeling of the country against the people of Utah was sprung yesterday. Late in the afternoon it was rumored about the town that an attempt had been made to assassinate Jerome B. Stillson, the correspondent of the New York Herald, wko has been in this city for some weeks. The news spread rapidly, as such news always does, and within an hour from the time the story was first breathed on the street it was in everybody's mouth. Crowds of men gathered on the streets and eagerly discusseed it and the probabilities of its being true. The general impression and conviction appeared to be that it was simply a villainous sensation, wholly lacking in truth. Among the scores that we conversed with on the subject not half a dozen were found who credited the story in the least. Of course, the tale, from being often reported was changed greatly from its original shape and dimensions, and in different mouths grew to be a most bloody affair. Long before dark Stillson had been a cold and mutilated corpse. To our certain knowledge he was unhurt last night, and able to take his regular drinks with decided relish.

The story as told by the Herald's man is this: He says that about half past two o'clock yesterday afternoon he was in his room at the Walker House. His coat was off and he was sitting at the table, writing. A knock was heard on the door, he arose and opened it, was met by a man who held a paper in his hand, and who asked the Herald scribe if his name was Stillson. He answered in the affirmative, when the stranger, handing him the paper, said it was an affidavit which might be of use to him. Stillson reached out his hand to take the paper, when the stranger drew a knife and exclaiming "Take that, you handsome son of a bitch," struck him in the left breast with the weapon. Stillson was felled by the blow and laid prostrate on the floor for some seconds. Recovering himself he staggered to his feet, and seizing a pistol from the table, he ran into the hall, to "hunt for the man." Of course the would be assassin was not to be seen, and the doughty scribe retired to consider and count the damage. He found a hole cut through his vest, a couple of photographes in his pockets, and his shirt. The knife had struck the buckle of his suspender, glanced, and pricked the flesh, drawing no blood, but leaving a mark such as might be made by scratching the skin with a pin. This is the mark that Stillson shows of the contest.

After considering over the matter he sent for Major Erb, the proprietor of the hotel, who visited the correspondent and listened to his story. Major Erb immediately instituted an investigation, and discovered what, should and we confidently believe, thoroughly convinced him that the whole affair was concocted and put into execution for sensational purposes. The only way for a man to escape from Stillson's room is by the public stairs, or down the fire escape, It is admitted by all that the pretended assassin did not go down the fire escape ladder, which exhibits no foot marks, nor are there tracks in the soil at the foot of it, which there certainly would have been had antyone gone down the ladder. It would have been necessary to open a trap door in order to escape by that means, and it is certain that the door in question was not opened.

Again, in the only hall leading to Stillson's room three chamber maids remained constantly during the afternoon, and it would have been impossible for anyone to pass along the hall without being seen by them. These young ladies assert positively that the only person who was seen in the hall was United States Marshal Nelson, who went to Stillson's apartments, between 3 and 4 o'clock. We understand the Marshal went there at the request of Stillson after the alleged assault. The watch regulations of the hotel are so perfect that it would have been next to an impossibility for a stranger to enter the house and proceed to the apartments occupied by the Herald correspondent, without being seen by some of the employees. No one inquired at the office for Stillson, no one heard any disturbance, and very few knew of the occurence until some hours afterwards. It was not known at the office until the Marshal had seen Stillson and gone away, and the Tribune editor had visited the scribe, heard the story and was returing. Further than this, the fellow's own story is too thin on its face. His breast exhibits no signs of having been hurt, except the slight pin scratches mentioned above. Now, every one knows that if Stillson had been struck with a knife with sufficient force to knock him down the result would have been more than a scratch. He would have carried on his breast a mark that would have been with him for days. He describes his assailant as a dark complexioned, fleshy man, over six feet tall, a gentlemanly appearing fellow, well dressed in dark clothes, stylish cravat, clean shirt, etc. even down to the minutia. He wore no moustache, his only beard being a black goatee. The picture he draws is of a man that would attract quick attention; and the officers tell us there is no man answering to the description in the city.

These being the facts in the case, we unhesitatingly pronounce Stillson's story a base falsehood, from beginning to end, and denounce him as being unworthy the honorable name of journalist.

Shortly after one o'clock yesterday he went into his lunch and was at the time visibly, under the influence of strong drink. Between that time and 2:30 he swallowed several more drinks, and at 2:30 one quart of whisky was sent to him in his room. These are facts obtained from employees of the Walker House who hesitate not to assert that the alleged assassination is without foundation and that Stillson is very nearly in that condition popularly known as "jim jams," the fellow came to Utah a few weeks ago to work for the New York Herald. He went South, met and interviewed President Young, returned to the city, and was confined to his room from heavy drinking for seveal days. A doctor was called in to cure him of the "jim jams" and the scribe refused to pay the medical man's bill. The result was a suit in Justice Pyper's court where Doctor Thompson got judgement against Jerome B. Stillson, "commissioner" for the New York Herald, for $60 and costs. An execution was issued against him and he finally paid the money. Stillson has placed himself in the hands of the Tribune crowd, who stuffed him with base lies and slanders on the people of Utah, which he readily grabbed at and sent to the Herald. Any irresponsible plug, whose word wouldn't be taken in this country on anything, could go to Stillson and fabricate as terrible and improbable a story as his imagination could invent, and the scribe would send it to the Herald and vouch for its truth. Sensation was what he was after and would have. Truth he never sought, and ever declined.

In this way he has succeeded, through the influential journal which he represents and disgraces, in raising a mighty popular indignation against the people of Utah. Business has been prostrated by his efforts, trade is being demoralized and the people east and west are led to believe that anarchy prevails in the Territory, and that life and propery are unsafe, while it is a fact that there was never more supreme peace and quiet than have prevailed here for months. Truth which is not so fleet as his [lies], was beginning to crawl through the country and the real facts were coming out. Hence, it was necessary for Stillson to resort to some means that would keep up the sensation. This we sincerely believe to be the real object of the assassination story. He tells how, that last Sunday night while returning from Camp Douglas, he was fired at by a man who stood in the shade of some trees near the residence of Mr. B. H. Schettler, South Temple street. He says the man who made the attempt on his life yesterday was the same party who fired the shot on Sunday evening. It is a singular fact that no one in that vicinity heard the shot, yet it is a thickly populated quarter, and on Sunday nights many people are walking along the streets there until midnight, and even later. It is also singular that nothing has been heard of this shooting until now. And again who could desire to take the life of Jerome B. Stillson. This sensation is drawn too finely. The scribe has overreached himself. Even the radical Gentiles take no stock in it, but denounce it and its author in no choice terms.

But to the merchants, business men and officials of Salt Lake we say, it is time to act. We demand at the hands of the mayor and officials a thorough investigation of this affair, and when they prove it to be false, as they certainly will, an official statement of the facts should be made to the people of the United States; and if there is law for it, Jerome B. Stillson should be made to suffer for his conduct. It is time for the merchants to step forth and save themselves and Utah by contradicting the base lies sent east and west by unscrupulous, irresponsible correspondents. The hour has come when it is proper to speak, and not submit, without protest, to the foul calumnies manufactured and set before the world by unprincipled scribes.

Note: See the New York Herald of June 1, 1877 and several subsequent issues, for more on the Stillson story.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXVI.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 15, 1877.             No. 28.




On Sunday afternoon, June 17, 1877,
at a Special Conference, held at
Farmington, for the purpose of
organizing a Stake of Zion for
the County of Davis.



I esteem it a privilege to meet with the Latter-day Saints. I have visited Farmington many times, and I can say that as a general thing in attending your meetings, I have felt much of the peace and blessings that flow from heaven to this people....

When General Conner came here, he did considerable prospecting; and in hunting through the Cottonwoods, he had an inkling that there was gold there. Porter, as we generally call him, came to me one day, saying "They have struck within four inches of my lode, what shall I do?" He was carried away with the idea that he must do something. I therefore told him to go with the other brethren interested, and make his claim. When he got through talking, I said to him, "Porter, you ought to know better; you have seen and heard things which I have not, and are a man of long experience in this Church. I want to tell you one thing; they may strike within four inches of that lode as many times as they have a mind to, and they will not find it." They hunted and hunted, hundreds of them did; and I had the pleasure of laughing at him a little, for when he went there again, he could not find it himself. (Laughter.)

Sometimes I take the liberty of talking a little further with regard to such things. Orin P. Rockwell is an eye-witness to some powers of removing the treasures of the earth. He was with certain parties that lived nearby where the plates were found that contain the records of the Book of Mormon. There were a great many treasures hid up by the Nephites. Porter was with them one night where there were treasures, and they could find them easy enough, but they could not obtain them.

I will tell you a story which will be marvelous to most of you. It was told me by Porter, whom I would believe just as quickly as any man that lives. When he tells a thing he understands, he will tell it just as he knows it; he is a man that does not lie. He said that on this night, when they were engaged hunting for this old treasure, they dug around the end of a chest for some twenty inches. The chest was about three feet square. One man who was determined to have the contents of that chest, took his pick and struck into the lid of it, and split through into the chest. The blow took off a piece of the lid, which a certain lady kept in her possession until she died. That chest of money went into the bank. Porter describes it so (making a rumbling sound); he says this is just as true as the heavens are. I have heard others tell the same story. I relate this because it is marvelous to you. But to those who understand these things, it is not marvelous.

You hear a great deal said about finding money. There is no difficulty at all in finding money, but there are a great many people who do not know what to do with it when they do find it. This is the great defect with the human family. I could relate many very singular circumstances. I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters, and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with the prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says, he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the Sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting, enjoying the day, and by and by we separate and go away, forgetting most of what is said, but remembering some things. So is it with other circumstances in life. I relate this to you, and I want you to understand it. I take this liberty of referring to those things so that they will not be forgotten and lost. Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had; and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things; Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader.

Now, you may think I am unwise in publicly telling these things, thinking perhaps I should preserve them in my own breast; but such is not my mind. I would like the people called Latter-day Saints to understand some little things with regard to the workings and dealings of the Lord with his people here upon the earth. I could relate to you a great many more, all of which are familiar to many of our brethren and sisters.

Now, should you go prospecting for gold or silver, you will find just enough to allure you and to destroy you. But it might be said, "Are not the earth and the treasures the property of the Lord who created them, and will he not, according to the promise, give them to his faithful disciples?" O yes, this is strictly correct; but you mark this -- the man who is faithful to his calling and to this holy Priesthood, never goes hunting for gold or silver unless he is sent. Such men are found following their legitimate pursuits, working in their fields, in their workshops and gardens, making beautiful their habitations; in other words, engaged building up and assisting to establish the Zion of God on the earth, with their minds centered on the true riches and not upon the things of this world. People do not know it, but I know there is a seal set upon the treasures of earth; men are allowed to go so far and no farther. I have known places where there were treasures in abundance; but could men get them? No. You can read in the Book of Mormon of the ancient Nephites holding their treasures, and of their becoming slippery; so that after they had privately hid their money, on going to the place again, lo and behold it was not there, but was somewhere else, but they knew not where. The people do not understand this; I wish they did, for they would then do as I do, pay attention to the legitimate business that God has given them to perform. Do I run after mines or digging holes in the ground? No, not at all. It is like the will-o'-the wisp, a jack-o'-lantern. You ask our business men, or go to California, and inquire there whether it pays to hunt for gold.....

Don't you think we have a work to perform? Yes, and it will take a thousand years to accomplish it. In the Temple last winter the brethren and sisters enjoyed themselves the best that they ever did in their lives. So they said. And our children, just old enough to work, how happy they were! They would exclaim, "I never knew anything about 'Mormonism' before!" If you were in the Temples of God working for the living and the dead, your eyes and hearts would not be after the fashions of the world, nor the wealth of the world. Yet the whole of this world's wealth belongs to the Lord, and he can give to whomsoever he pleases. Amen.

Note 1: The account of the "hill Cumorah... cave, in which there was a large and spacious room" related at Farmington on June 17, 1877, did not originate with the Prophet Brigham Young -- even if that narrator added a few embelishments of his own. Bishop William H. Dame, (of Mountain Meadows notoriety) recorded in a Jan. 14, 1855 personal journal entry, that Wm. W. Phelps had "related a story told him by Hyrum Smith" in which "hill Cormorah" [sic] had a "door" that opened into an interior room containing "gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's brestplate," etc. In Phelps' version of the scene, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith and David (?) Whitmer all entered the cavity in the hill and that event occurred subsequent to the printing and binding of the Book of Mormon (a copy of which had been placed in the cave). Since some early Mormon accounts date the formal establishment of the Church to April 6, 1830, at Manchester, New York, that would have been a likely Mormon gathering that would have placed the Smith brothers, Cowdery and Whitmer in close proximity to "Gold Bible Hill" (which has no known artificial cave) and nearby "Miner's Hill" (which did have a man-made cavity, accessed through a wooden door).

Note 2: Palmyra editor Abner Cole was perhaps the first person to publicize Joseph Smith's excavation exploits south of Palmyra. According to Dan Vogel, Cole was particularly interested in Smith's activities around what later came to be called "Miner's Hill," because he had owned that piece of property a few years before the proto-Mormons dug a tunnel into the hillside -- see "The Locations of Joseph Smith's Early Treasure Quests," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27 (Fall 1994) pp. 204-207. In his Reflector for Jan. 18, 1831, Cole contrasted the prophetic careers of Smith and "the impostor of Mecca," noting that "Mahomet... retired to a cave in mount Hara, where he... [received] passages which he pretended had been revealed to him by the ministering angel." In his issue of Feb. 14, 1831 Mr. Cole said a little about the Smith family's money-digging and mentioned the money-diggers' claims that "great treasures" of the "Ancient inhabitants" of the region "remained secure" from theft "in large and spacious chambers" in the earth, in and around Ontario county, New York. In his 1830 "Book of Pukei" satires, Cole makes further mention of the local money-diggers' preoccupation with " treasures, hidden in the bowels of the earth," but he does not specifically refer to their activities at Miner's Hill. --- In Dec., 1833, the Smith family's old neighbor, Peter Ingersoll, recalled that "Joseph, Sen.... told me that the ancient inhabitants of this country used camels instead of horses" and "that in a certain hill on the farm of Mr. Cuyler, there was a cave containing an immense value of gold and silver, stands of arms, also, a saddle for a camel, hanging at one side of the cave." What Mr. Ingersoll meant by "the farm of Mr. Cuyler" remains unknown. William Howe Cuyler, Sr. once owned a large amount of property in and around Palmyra, including a large drumlin (Prospect Hill) located just east of his homestead. As late as 1840 the "heirs of William H. Cuyler" owned city lots on the east side of Palmyra, some of which may have then been farm land. However, by 1833 Prospect Hill had passed into the hands of Peleg Holmes and was not "on the farm of Mr. Cuyler." Mr. Cuyler's two sons, William Howe Cuyler, Jr. and George W. Cuyler, became prominent Palmyra residents. In 1833 William, Jr. would have been about 21 years old; he had earlier attended school with Joseph, Alvin and William Smith -- but he is not known to have owned a farm. In the early 1820s his brother George had a farm in Victor (two townships west of Manchester), but no substantial hill is known to have been located there. George later became President of the First National Bank in Palmyra. Ingersoll's allegations receive some support from another 1833 affidavit -- this one given by William Stafford, a Manchester resident who recalled that the Smith family members "would say, also, that nearly all the hills in this part of New York, were thrown up by human hands, and in them were large caves" and that in these hidden hill chambers were "large gold bars and silver plates."

Note 3: Oliver Cowdery published an article in the Kirtland Messenger and Advocate of July, 1835, in which he said: "At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed." In the October issue of the same newspaper, Cowdery went on to describe the hill and the stone box containing the record of those same "destroyed" Nephites: "I must not forget to say that this box, containing the record, was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being fiat and the upper crowning. But those three pillars were not so lengthy as to cause the plates and the crowning stone to come in contact. I have now given you, according to my promise, the manner in which this record was deposited; though when it was first visited by our brother, in 1823, a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass, from which circumstance you will see, that however deep this box might have been placed by Moroni at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth so that it was easily discovered, when once directed, and yet not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passer by." Although Cowdery does not specifically state that the stone box was originally deposited deep within Gold Bible Hill, in a cave, he appears to hint at that possibility. Still, he makes no reference to any door or other means of entrance to the hill's interior.

Note 4: The first known newspaper publication roughly matching Brigham Young's description of a cave in a Manchester hill appeared in an early December, 1841 issue of the New York Journal of Commerce, in which the writer said: "The delusion got up by Joe Smith, is one of the most remarkable, as well as one of the most successful of the age.... we see a miserable creature like Smith, all at once putting on the garb of sanctity, and guided by pretended inspiration, digging into the side of a hill, and there secluding himself for months, and then coming forth with the pretense that he has found a new revelation..." The problem that arises from this version of the hillside cavity, is that it is an excavation made by Smith himself -- and a secret spot in which he evidently fabricates his "new revelation" of the destroyed Nephites. These elements of the story are obviously incompatible with Brigham's account.

Note 5: There were other Mormon descriptions of the Manchester cave which were written down (and even published) before Brigham gave his 1877 lectue. Heber C. Kimball's Sept. 28, 1856 discourse mentioned that "Joseph and others... went into a cave in the hill Cumorah, and saw more records than ten men could carry... Those records this people will yet have..." In May of 1867 Kimball gave a talk in which he mentioned that "Father Smith, Cowdery, and others" entered inside the "hill Cumorah" and there saw Nephite "records upon records...that were piled up." Two years later Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal, a conversation in which Brigham Young said of Joseph Smith and the plates, that he "did not return them to the box... But He went [into] a Cave in the Hill Comoro [sic] with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates..." Brigham also recalled that "Joseph Smith said that Cave Contained tons of Choice Treasures & records." In 1873 non-Mormon Elizabeth Kane asked Brigham Young where the plates were, and he answered: "they were in a cave; that Oliver Cowdery... had been to the cave" with Joseph Smith and they saw that "round its sides were ranged boxes of treasure" and "a large stone table... piled with similar gold plates..." Two years later Elder Jesse N. Smith recorded something similar in his journal, when Brigham Young described "an apartment in the Hill Cumorah... there was great wealth in the room, in sacred implements, vestments, arms, precious metals and precious stones..."

Note 6: In late July or early August, 1878, Dr. P. W. Poulson visited David Whitmer in Missouri and forwarded this account to the Deseret News for publication in its issue of August 21, 1878: "I -- Where are the plates now?   He -- In a cave where, the angel has hidden them up till the time arrives when the plates, which are sealed shall be translated....   I -- where is that cave?   He -- In the State of New York.   I -- In the hill of Comorah?   He -- No but not far away from that place. I saw the place where the plates were found and a great many did so..." Here then is preserved a possible reconciliation between the "cave" Brigham spoke of, the "cave" mentioned by Peter Ingersoll, and the "digging into the side of a hill" related by the Journal of Commerce in 1841. Further clarification was provided by Pomeroy Tucker in 1867: "The work of translation this time had been done in the recess of a dark artificial cave, which Smith had caused to be dug in the east side of the forest-hill near his residence, now owned by Mr. Amos Miner. At least such was one account given out by the Mormon fraternity; though another version was, that the prophet continued to pursue his former mode of translating behind the curtain at his house, and only went into the cave to pay his spiritual devotions and seek the continued favor of Divine Wisdom. His stays in the cave varied from fifteen minutes to an hour or over -- the entrance meanwhile being guarded by one or more of his disciples... This excavation was at the time said to be one hundred and sixty feet in extent, though that is probably an exaggeration. It had a substantial door of two-inch plank, secured by a corresponding lock. From the lapse of time and natural causes the cave has been closed for years, very little mark of its former existence remaining to be seen."

Note 7: Joseph Smith's "cave" was subsequently cited in various books on the Mormons and in numerous newspaper articles -- culminating in a very fanciful story published in the Palmyra Journal of July 27, 1898. In the latter tale visitors passing Palmyra's "Prospect Hill" are surprised to discover a hidden cave, and behind "a huge oaken door" the actual repository of "the original gold plates, from which Joseph Smith compiled the first Mormon bible," along with "many other curious and beautiful things..." The writer does not say whether this "Hill of Mormon" cave was located in Miner's Hill or in Gold Bible Hill, but the tale roughly parallels what Brigham related in 1877. For more on the same topic see notes appended to the Rochester Times-Union article of April 25, 1974.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXVI.           Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, January 16, 1878.           No. 50.


An article has been going the rounds of the papers about "the original Mormon Bible." It started in the Detroit Post and Tribune, a reporter of which interviewed Major J. H. Gilbert, of Palmyra, who claims to have set up in type nearly all the matter for the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and worked it off on a hand press. He has the unbound sheets as he took them from the press and exhibits them as a great curiosity.

There is a great deal of nonsense talked about this first edition. It is said to be a very rare book and in many respects essentially different from the subsequent editions. There are quite a number of copies of the first edition of the book in this territory and its contents are substantially identical with all other editions of the work. The chief difference is in the printing and binding, which are better in the later editions than in the first.

The article to which we refer staces that "nobody but Joe himself ever saw the golden tablet tablets." It is evident that the writer of this statement is ignorant of the history of the book and of the facts in the case, and that he has never examined the work about which he talks so positively. The book is prefaced with the testimony of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, who state with words of truth and soberness that an angel of God came down from heaven and showed them the plates and the engravings thereon, while the voice of God declared to them that the record was translated by the gift and power of God. And lest this testimony might be objected to, as partaking too much of the supernatural, the testimony of eight witnesses is appended who state that Joseph Smith had shown them the plates which they handled with their hands. Thus eight persons saw the plates naturally, and three others in addition to Joseph Smith testify that they were exhibited to them by the power of God.

It has been represented that the three last named witnesses subsequently apostatized and denied their former statements. This is as grossly incorrect as the allegation that there were no witnesses. Those men having been greatly favored were tempted in a corresponding degree, and failing to endure were severed from the Church. But they never denied their statement concerning the plates and the heavenly manifestations in relation to them. On the contrary they always maintained the truth of their testimony under every circumstance. Two of them -- Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris -- returned to the Church and died within its fold, reiterating their first testimony to the last. The article in the Post and Tribune states that Martin Harris did not follow the "Mormons" eastward but "remained near his home where he died two years ago." This is also inaccurate. Martin Harris came to Utah asking forgiveness for his faults, was received into the Church and died in Cache Valley in this Territory, bearing testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon. David Whitmer has not yet returned to the fellowship of the Church but, like the other two witnesses, when questioned concerning the Book of Mormon repeats his former statement in the firmest manner, and, so far as we are aware, and we have conversed with many persons who have interrogated him, he has never denied his original testimony in the least degree.

There is one point connected with this argument about the expulsion from the Church of the three witnesses, which our opponents do not appear to perceive. If these persons were in league with Joseph Smith to palm upon the world as a divine revelation a work written or adopted with intention to deceive, would the chief conspirator have had the temerity to excommunicate his chief associates in crime, on their infraction of the rules of his church? Does not the fact of his dealing with them as with ordinary members prove, if it proves anything, that the notion of a conspiracy between those four persons is a fallacy? And if they were not conspirators and deceivers does it not follow that their testimony is true?

The article closes with a repetition of the Solomon Spaulding story, which has been so often refuted during the last thirty years or more that we will not waste space upon the matter further than this: the connection between the supposed Spaulding and his manuscript about the "lost ten tribes," and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is always mado made to be Sidney Rigdon. He is represented as a printer in the Pittsburg office, where the manuscript was said to have been deposited and to have cooked it up with Joseph Smith into the Book of Mormon. Passing by the fact that the Book of Mormon is not a history of the "lost ten tribes" and only mentions them once and that incidentally, it is well known that Sidney Rigdon never saw Joseph Smith nor had any connection with this Church until after the Book of Mormon had been printed for some time. Sidney Rigdon, a Campbellite preacher, was converted to "Mormonism" by Parley P. Pratt, and the latter was not baptized until September 1830, several months after the book was published. Elder Pratt first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith at Manchester, New York and being sent by him on a mission to the Western States, on his way met Sidney Rigdon in Ohio, to whom he presented the Book of Mormon and whom, with many other Campbellites he convinced of its truth. This is well established history.

Those who desire to devise or accept some plausible story of the origin of the Book of Mormon,should be shy of such silly inventions as the Spaulding nonsense. Yet it is copied from paper to paper, and standard Cyclopaedias print it with the utmost gravity. When the story was started it was exploded and so entirely shattered that its inventors never touched it again. But of late years it has been picked up and patched together, as the only means by which the production of such a work as the Book of Mormon by an uneducated youth can be accounted for. All that any person need do to disprove the Spaulding story to his own entire satisfaction is, to hear it carefully and then read the Book of Mormon.

The testimony of witnesses the of that book cannot be gainsayed nor disproved. They could have no object in making it except to tell the truth. It was of no pecuniary benefit to them. They had no prospect of reaping any reward for it but persecution and contumely. And it stands today to day unproven [sic] and unshaken as a witness to this generation of the work commenced for the consummation of all things and of the reopening of the long lost communication of man with his Maker. The "Mormon Bible" is the same Bible that all Christian sects profess to believe. The Book of Mormon corroborates and supports the Jewish record, but does not supplant it, and both unite in bearing testimony to all nations, Jew and Gentile, that Jesus is the Christ and that the day of His everlasting dominion is near at hand.


The Chicago Tribune has been "sold" by its Cleveland correspondent. In a long letter dated the 22d inst., he gives an account of a visit to a relative of the "late E. D. Howe," in Lake county and a search among the papers left by "the deceased," resulting in the discovery of two letters from John Spaulding and Henry Lake, which are transcribed in full and make about half the letter. The "late E. D. Howe" still lives in Lake county, and as the readers of the Herald have seen within a few days, is quite a lively corpse. The two letters copied with so much care by the Tribune's correspondent can be found on page 278-282 of Howe's "Mormonism Unvailed," published in 1834, which is spoken of by the correspondent as "a book called History of Mormonism."

The above is from the cleveland Herald. There are a good many papers besides the Chicago Tribune which are too eager to accept anything which reflects on "Mormonism," and therefore expose themselves to deception and open their columns to the most apparent falsehood and folly....

Note 1: The "the original Mormon Bible" article referred to in the above report's first paragraph was the "Joe Smith" piece published by the Post and Tribune on Dec. 3, 1877. The Detroit paper printed a chance interview given by John H. Gilbert during a visit to that city. It is likely that the Detroit article came to the attention of Salt Lake City journalist James T. Cobb early in 1878, perhaps due to its citation in the weekly Deseret News. Cobb later corresponded with Gilbert at his Palmyra residence, acquiring first-hand information concerning the origin of Mormonism. Cobb soon began to investigate other elements of early Mormonism through similar correspondence with other persons, and eventually used much of the information he gained to write an unattributed series of article on the Mormons for the Salt Lake Tribune, Throughout 1878-79 the editors of the Deseret News responded indirectly to issues raised by Cobb in the anti-Mormon Tribune, by publishing their own, faith-promoting series of articles. Quite inadvertently, the Mormon editors' rebuttals helped to spawn news readers' prolonged frenzy of fascination with the "true origin" of the Book of Mormon, a publishing phenomenon lasting well into the mid-1880s.

Note 2: Although the Deseret News editors express an unwillingness to "waste space upon the matter" of the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon, they launch into a tirade against "the Spaulding nonsense" which appears to betray their true apprehension with the possible further popularization of those claims. See the follow-up presentation of Daniel Tyler's letter on the "often exploded," but still evidently bothersome "Spauldin' story" in the daily Deseret Evening News for this same date.


view graphic of this article

T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XI.               Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, January 16, 1878.               No. 46.


Editor Deseret News:

The Spauldin' story so often exploded and so often revived I am somewhat familiar with and have been since about the year 1824 or 1825. In 1823 my father, with his family, moved from New York State to what is now West Springfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania, about four miles from the village of Salem, now Conneaut, in Ashtabula County, Ohio where "the mound builders" had made their mark. A superannuated Presbyterian preacher, Solomon Spauldin by name, had written a romance on a few mounds at the above named village, pretending that the ten tribes crossed from the eastern hemisphere via the Behring Straits to this continent, and that said mounds were built by a portion of them, to bury the dead after some hard fighting. The novel, as I was told by those who heard it read, referred to them as idolaters and not otherwise religious.

I think Spauldin removed to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, prior to my information of his tale on the mounds. In 1832 Elders Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith preached a few times in our neighborhood and baptized three persons, among them Erastus Rudd, in whose house much of the romance was formerly written, and from whom I received much of my information. In 1833 a large branch of the Church was raised up in our township, but no talk of the Spauldin romance being connected with the Book of Mormon until about 1834 or 1835, when Henry Lake began to claim that Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith's counselor, had made the latter from the former, while it has often been proven that Sidney Rigdon never had any acquaintance with or even knew said Spauldin or even heard of him, and at the time, in public print, averred that until one Doctor Philander Hurlbut, well known to the writer of this article, who had been cut off the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for adultery, published said false statement, he had never heard of the romance of its author, and demanded the proof. To this day it has not been forthcoming.

Previous to the publication of E. D. Howe's book (virtually the adulterer Hurlbutt's) which went in his name as everybody understood because of Hurlbutt's reputation, the said Doctor, who was not a doctor or anything else but an ignoramus, but so named by his parents because he was a seventh son, went to Pittsburg with the avowed intention of obtaining the romance to publish in Howe's (Hurlbutt's) book. He returned and the book was published minus the romance. The statement was that the novel could not be found.

Thus the story went the rounds until the year 1839 or 1840 when a relative of Mrs. Spauldin, now Mrs. Davidson, wrote her, asking certain questions, among others what became of the "Manuscript Found," this being the title of the tale. Mrs. Davidson, former widow of Solomon Spauldin, wrote for [an] answer, that this same Doctor Hurlbutt came to her house and got it with the promise of publishing it in his book, and of a consideration and the return of the manuscript. Subsequently she said he wrote her that it did not read as they expected and they should not publish it, but never returned it or any consideration. Some day it will probably be found among E. D. Howe's or Hurlbutt's "old letters." Mrs. Davidson's letter will be found in files of Quincy papers and the Times and Seasons published in Nauvoo at the time.

                                  DANIEL TYLER.

Note 1: Having written (for the weekly Deseret News of Jan. 16th), a resolute rebuttal of the "the original Mormon Bible" articles then circulating in some eastern newspapers, the LDS editors apparently solicited the above letter from Mormon old-timer Daniel Tyler, in order to further discredit what they called "the Spaulding nonsense." Rather than put an end to the origins controversy, the information conveyed in Tyler's letter simply opened new possibilities for further developing the old Spalding authorship claims.

Note 2: Andrews Tyler (1779-1837) in 1822 (or 1823). Several members of the Andrews Tyler family became Latter Day Saints in 1832-33, including Daniel, who was baptized a Mormon in Springfield Twp., Erie Co., PA, on Jan. 16, 1833. Daniel later traveled to Kirtland and was married there in 1836 before moving on to Far West, Missouri and Hancock Co., Illinois. Elder Erastus Rudd (who told Daniel Tyler about Spalding's writings), once lived just east of Spalding's old house on Conneaut Cr. (very near the north end of the OH/PA state line). Erastus was baptized an LDS in 1832-33, in or near western Erie Co., Pennsylvania. He died in Missouri, while a member of the Mormons' Zion's Camp march of 1834. Tyler moved west after the fall of Nauvoo, served in the "Mormon Battalion" during the Mexican War, and later wrote a popular history of that experience. Given his early residence in the Conneaut area and his demonstrated abilities in historical reporting, Tyler was likely a reliable witness in his telling what he knew of Solomon Spalding and Spalding's neighbors. Andrews Tyler (1779-1837), Daniel's father, was excommunicated from the Mormons at the end of 1833, and was probably the first Mormon to become disaffected over D. P. Hurlbut's circulation of the old Spalding authorship claims. However, Andrews rejoined the Saints a few days after D. P. Hurlbut's April, 1834 trial ended in Ohio.

Note 3: See also Daniel Tyler's articles, published when he served as editor for the Beaver City Southern Utonian; for example, his report for Apr. 3, 1885. Tyler was likely a reliable witness in his telling what he knew of Solomon Spalding and Spalding's neighbors in the Conneaut area.

Note 4: The Erastus Rudd who told Daniel Tyler about the Spalding MS, etc. was Erastus Harper Rudd, Sr. (1787-1834), a son of John Rudd, Sr. of Springfield, Erie Co., PA. The Rudd family and the Tyler family were close neighbors between 1823 and 1834, with the Rudds living on the shore of Lake Erie and the Tylers living a couple of miles south of them in Springfield Twp., section 531. Andrews ("Father") Tyler was one of the very first Erie Co. Mormons, having been baptized by Orson Hyde and/or Samuel H. Smith in later Feb. 1832.

Note 5: After the death of John Rudd, Sr. in 1830, his son Erastus may have taken over the occupancy of the original family cabin (on a site located a few rods north of the intersection of Rudd Road and the Old Lake Road). This or a nearby house was said to have been visited by Solomon Spalding during his residence in the area between 1809 and 1812. Spalding lived within a half-day's walk from the Rudds (just across the state line in New Salem, Ashtabula Co., OH). Erastus Rudd died near Liberty, MO on the Mormon Zion's Camp march of 1834. He is not known to have left behind any personal writings or published reminiscences regarding his old neighbor, Solomon Spalding.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXVI.           Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, January, 30, 1878.           No. 52.



Salt Lake City, U. T.    
January 21, 1878.    
Editors Deseret News:

Since it has pleased the publishers of Appleton's Cyclopaedia to assert that "the article 'Mormons' was written by one of our most intelligent and impartial contributors, Mr. Robert Carter, and Is entirely correct and just in all its statements," and as in that article it is stated that that the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon in subsequent years "renounced Mormonism and avowed the falsity of their testimony," will Messrs. Appleton be kind enough to tell us how, when, where or to whom the three witnesses made this avowal? We will wait in patience for their reply and whilst so doing will lay before them a few facts which it is impossible for them to controvert

Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, two of the witnesses, have passed into the presence of their God, the third, David Whitmer is still numbered amongst the living. We will notice the testimonies of eacch of the three separately

At a special conference held at Council Bluffs, Iowa on the 21st of October 1848, Oliver Cowdery was present. Elder Orson Hyde presided at that conference, Bishop R. Miller of Mill Creek was also there. To either of these we refer to substantiate the truth of our statement. Bro. Cowdery addressed that conference and among other things he said "Friends and brethren my name is Cowdery -- Oliver Cowdery -- I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreter.' I beheld with my eyes and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was transcribed. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy interpreters.' That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it, Mr. Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the prophet." Bro Cowdery (we call him brother though at that time he was not a member of the Church) said much more, but this is the portion of his testimony which more particularly refutes Messrs. Applestons' baseless assertion.

Oliver Cowdery died in Richmond, Mo., the year following. Elder P. H. Young, who was present at the time, says "His last moments were spent in bearing testimony of the truth of the Gospel revealed through Joseph Smith and the power of the holy Priesthood which he had received through his administration. Mr. Young is still alive and if Appleton desire to communicate with him they can do so by addressing a letter to this city.

And what of Martin Harris? He has been dead but a short time, and there are thousands of living witnesses in Utah to-day, of which your correspondent is one, who have heard him bear record of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon and that the testimony that he bore that he had seen the plates from which the Book was translated was true, as also his declaration that an angel of God laid them before his eyes, and that he had been commended of God to bear record of the fact. But it may be argued that Martin Harris was again received into the Church in his declining years, and this last testimony was given after he was so admitted. If that argument has any force we will take his testimony given a quarter of a century ago, when he was an outcast to the "Mormon" Church, and when it could not be claimed that the infirmities of years had impaired his memory or weakened hlia intellect.

This record is from a statement of Mr. D. B. Dille who called upon Mr. Harris at his residence at Kirtland, Ohio sometime in 1853 and was published at the time. Mr. Dille asked Mr. Harris, "What do you think of the Book of Mormon? Is it a divine record?" The following is the reply: "I was the right hand man of Joseph Smith, and I know that he was a prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true. *  *  * I know that the plates have been translated by the gift and power of God, for His voice declared it unto us; therefore I know of a surety that the work is true. For did I not at one time hold the plates on my knee an hour and a half, whilst in connection with Joseph. *  *  * And as many of the plates as Joseph Smith translated I handled with my hands plate after plate."

Again, some 40 years ago a gentleman now residing in this city met Martin Harris in Kirtland, Ohio. The following conversation ensued: "I believe your name is Martin Harris." "Yes." "I want to ask you if you really did see the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated." Do you see that sun in yonder heavens?" asked Mr. Harris, pointing upwards. "Yes." And just as plainly and distinctly did I see the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated." Here then we have four of this man's testimonies given at different periods his life when he was a member of the Church and when he was not. The first that testimony contained in the Book of Mormon the next in 1837 the third in 1853 and the fourth repeatedly within the last few years. When did he testify otherwise?

All this and much more has been published time and again in the Deseret News, Millennial Star and other works of the Church.

Let us now turn to the remaining witness, David Whitmer. He still lives. What of him? Has he ever denied his testimony? Let the following statement answer the question. Less than a monuth ago two gentlemen from this Territory. Messrs. Clark and Stevenson, called upon Mr. Whitmer at his home in Richmond, Mo. They were kindly received by him, and spent several hours in his company. Mr. Stevenson, in writing of his interview to a friend in this city, states that Mr. Whitmer him the original M.S.S. of the Book of Mormon in the hand writing of the various amanuensis who the word as they fell from the lips of the Prophet. Further on in his letter Mr. Stevenson says, "I also desired him to state his present faith in regard to the Book of Mormon and organization of the Church. He stated in the most positive terms that he saw the angel, the golden plates, the Urim and Thummim, &c. The plates were opened leaf by leaf, and he saw the characters and heard a voice from heaven bearing record; that he also knew that the Prophet Joseph did translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God that he did receive revelations and that the church was built on the rock, and that it was revealed that there were to be Twelve Apostles long before they were chosen and ordained." If any doubt this statement of Mr. Stevenson they can easily verify it. Mr. David Whitmers residence is at Richmond, Missouri and Messrs. Appleton and all the world can write to him if they wish and prove for themselves what his testimony is with regard to the diviniity of the Book of Mormon.

Should not testimony Such as this be ample evidence of how cruelly the "Mormons" are belied by the so called "correct and impartial critic?"     BRUFORD.

Note: For the full 1853 Martin Harris account, see D. B. Dille's "Additional Testimony of Martin Harris," published in the Liverpool Millennial Star of Aug. 1859, pp.545-46. The 1869 Martin Harris statement cited above appears to parallel an account recalled by Elder William H. Homer many years later (see "The Passing of Martin Harris," in the Improvement Era of Mar. 1926): "What about your testimony to the Book of Mormon? Do you still believe that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet?... Do I believe it! Do you see the sun shining! Just as surely as the sun is shining on us and gives us light, and the moon and stars give us light by night, just as surely as the breath of life sustains us, so surely do I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, chosen of God to open the last dispensation of the fulness of times; so surely do I know that the Book of Mormon was divinely translated. I saw the plates; I saw the Angel; I heard the voice of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I might as well doubt my own existence as to doubt the divine authenticity of the book of Mormon or the divine calling of Joseph Smith."


Vol. VIII.                     Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, February 2, 1878.                    No. ?


Hickman Co., Tenn.,     
January 21st, 1878.     
Editors Herald: -- This, my fourteenth trip across the plains -- five times by team and nine by train, was a successful one in every particular; no accident of any description on the whole route. The weather was delightful, and the scarcity of snow at this season of the year was very remarkable.

One of the reasons for my present trip was a desire to visit and converse with David Whitmer, the only one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon now living. On the 22d ult. I visited him at Richmond, Mo., and since that time have had three interviews with him, occupying in all about ten hours. Mr. Whitmer ia 73 years of age, 5 feet 10 in height, well proportioned, and possessing good physical abilities. I found him in a pleasant mood and very communicative on various topics. In reply to a question by me, as to his present views as a witness to the plates of the Book of Mormon, he said: "I was plowing in my field, when I heard a voice, saying, 'Blessed is the name of the Lord and those that keep his commandments.' After I had plowed one more round, the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery came along, and said: 'Come and be one of the witnesses.' We passed through a clearing and sat on a log. While there, a light appeared, which grew brighter, until an angel stood before them with the plates and other things. The angel turned the leaves so that we could see the engravings, &c. We then heard a voice, saying that those things were true and that the translation was correct. This was about 11 o'clock, a. m."

Mr. Whitmer also showed me the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon, written by Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, Emma Smith and Christian Whitmer. This fell into the present owner's hands at the death of Oliver Cowdery, and is now held as a choice relic. Mr. Cowdery died at the residence of Mr. Whitmer, in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri.

After these interviews with this aged surviving witness to the originals of that world-renouned book, I left for St. Louis, from which place I took the Iron Mountain and Southern railway to Chattanooga... The climate is moderate; the population mixed, but made up of affable, generous and kind people.

More anon,

Note 1: On Dec. 23, 1877 Elder Stevenson wrote to Apostle Orson Pratt, in Salt Lake City, reporting on David Whitmer and saying: "We asked David Whitmer in regard to his faith in the Book of Mormon. He smiled and his countenance lit up, saying, 'As I know the sun shines so I know an angel appeared while Joseph, Oliver and myself sat upon a log in a clearing about 11 o'clock in the morning,' a light first appearing which grew brighter until the angel stood before them and placed upon a table before them the plates of gold, also the brass plates, the Urim and Thummim (or interpreters) the ball or compass and the sword of Laban. He said there could be nothing to induce him to deny these things. He further stated that he knew that Joseph was a prophet, and did receive revelations and that he organized the Church on the rock of the 12 Apostles." (Journal History of the Church)

Note 2: On Jan. 7, 1878 Elder Stevenson wrote to President John Taylor, in Salt Lake City, reporting on David Whitmer and saying: "He stated in the most positive terms that he saw an angel, golden plates, and the urim and thumim, etc. The plates were opened leaf by leaf, he saw the characters and heard a voice from heaven bearing record, that he also knew that the Prophet Joseph did translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God, that he did receive revelation, and that the Church was built on the Rock, and that it was revealed that there were to be Twelve Apostles, long before they were chosen and ordained. From his only son David, who was born at Liberty, Clay County, Mo., in 1833, I learned that the first difficulty or dispute between his father and the Prophet was in 1836 about the name of the church, objecting to calling it the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he wishing it to be called the Church of Christ. He related many very interesting items of seeing one of the Nephites in company with the Prophet and Oliver, when Joseph's countenance became almost transparent, etc. (Journal History of the Church)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXVII.                Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, June 26, 1878.                No. 21.


The love of the marvellous is a very prominent organ in a majority of craniums, or the world would not believe the monstrous stories which traveling preachers and newspaper reporters delight in recounting about "Mormonism" and the "Mormons." No matter how many times such fabrications may have been refuted, or how inconsistent with themselves they may be in their construction and details, they are eagerly swallowed and taken with a relish, while the truth is rejected and despised.

From the day when Joseph Smith first announced the visit of the angel restoring the everlasting gospel, down to the present time, the most ridiculous reports have been circulated in reference to this Church, its doctrines, objects, ordinances, and people, and dying out at one period have in another been resurrected, rehabilitated, and palmed off upon the world as living facts. The Spaulding story which bears its own refutation upon its face; walking upon the water; working up slaves to rebellion; worshipping Joseph Smith; repudiating the Bible; killing apostates; tampering with the Indians; preventing escape from Utah; forcing women to marry; opening all the letters, and many other false and stupid things have been advanced and received as the truth about the "Mormons," and in consequence the bitterest prejudice has been engendered against them.

But the most widely spread story and one that has gained the greatest credence is the fiction about the "Danites." We remember hearing nearly thirty years ago that there was a secret society among the "Mormons" called "Danites" or "Destroying Angels," and that if any member of the Church attempted to leave the society, these murderous persons were set upon his path, and his death was swift and certain. By frequent repetition this silly story has come to be regarded as an acknowledged fact, and preachers and editors will repeat it as gravely as though it were indisputable. Only a short time since Rev. (?) Sheldon Jackson, who has visited Utah, told a congregation in Dr. Cuyler's church in Brooklyn, as a part of his experience among the "Mormons," that

"The women are expected to do all the work of the farm and support the man, leaving him to idle away his time as he likes, perhaps hunting or fishing. They are not only servants, but slaves, and if any wife tries to escape, she is shot down and her carcass left to rot on the ground."

Such tales are considered here too grossly ridiculous to need any denial, but there are many people who will believe anything about the "Mormons," however absurd, and we now offer the facts in relation to the "Danite" story that those who choose to be informed may have the opportunity, and then if they choose to believe and love a lie, they may do so and take the consequences.

The origin of the Danite organization is given in the History of Joseph Smith, and we make some quotations therefrom, as published in the Millennial Star, volume xvi. It started at a time when the great persecution came upon the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri, and Joseph the Prophet relates, in October, 1838, as one of the "perils amongst false brethren," which he had to encounter, the doings of one Dr. Samson Avard the originator of the "Danite" scheme:
"And here I would state that while the evil spirits were raging up and down in the State to raise mobs against the 'Mormons,' Satan himself was no less busy in striving to stir up mischief in the camp of the Saints, and among the most conspicuous of his willing devotees was one Dr. Samson Avard, who had been in the Church but a short time, and who, although he had behaved with a tolerable degree of decorum, was secretly aspiring to be the greatest of the great and become the leader of the people. This was his pride and his folly, but as he had no hopes of accomplishing it by gaining the hearts of the people in open strife, he watched his opportunity with the brethren at a time when mobs oppressed, robbed, whipped, burned, plundered and slew, till forbearance seemed no longer a virtue, and nothing but the grace of God without measure could support men under such trials, to form a secret combination by which he might rise a mighty conqueror at the expense of the overthrow of the Church.

"In this situation he stated that he had the sanction of the heads of the Church for what he was about to do and by his smiles and flattery persuaded them to believe it, and proceeded to administer to the few under his control an oath, binding them to everlasting secresy to everything which should be communicated to them by himself. Thus Avard initiated members into his band, firmly binding them by all that was sacred in the protecting of each other * * * and would often affirm to his company that the principal men of the Church had put him forward as a spokesman and a leader of this band which he named Danites.

"Thus he duped many which gave him the opportunity of figuring largely. He held his meetings daily and carried on his work of craft in great haste, to prevent a mature reflection upon the matter, and had them bound under the penalties of death to keep the secrets and certain signs -- which they had to know each other by day and night."

"After the performances he held meetings to organize his men into companies of tens and fifties appointing a captain over each company.

"When a knowledge of Avard's rascality came to the President of the Church, he was cut off from the Church and every means proper used to destroy his influence, at which he was highly incensed, and went about whispering his evil insinuations, but finding every effort unavailing, he again turned conspirator and sought to make friends with the mob.

"And here let it be distinctly understood that the companies of tens and fifties got up by Avard were altogether separate and distinct from those companies of tens and fifties organized by the brethren for self-defence, in case of an attack from the mob, and more particularly that in this time of alarm no family or person might be neglected, therefore, one company would be engaged in drawing wood, another in cutting it, another in gathering corn, another in grinding, another butchering, another in distributing meat etc., etc., so that all should be employed in turn and no one lack the necessaries of life. Therefore, leet no one hereafter, by mistake or design, confound this organization of the Church for good and righteous purposes, with the organization of the Danites, of the apostate Avard, which died almost before it had existence."

"After this evil disposed person had been excommunicated he tried to curry favor with the mob who were plundering and murdering the Saints, and the same history thus describes his proceedings:

"About this time Sampson Avard was found by the mob secreted in the hazle brush some miles from Far West and brought into camp where they were "hail fellows well met," for Avard told them that Daniteism was an order of the Church and by his lying, tried to make the Church a scapegoat for his sins."
While the Prophet was in prison in Richmond, Missouri, he wrote a letter to the Saints in which he gave counsel to them in their afflictions, inculcating the highest virtues, and exhorting them to patience, honesty, charity, and brotherly liove and honorable dealing with all men. He also refers again to the "Danite" scheme in the following language:
"We have learned also since we have been prisoners, that many false and pernicious things which were calculated to lead the Saints far astray, and to do great injury, have been taught by Dr. Avard, as coming from the Presidency and, and we have reason to fear that many other designing and corrupt characters, like unto himself, have been teaching many things which the Presidency never knew of being taught in the Church by anybody until, after they were made prisoners, which if they had known of, they would have spurned them and their authors from them, as they would the gates of hell. Thus we find that there have been frauds and secret abominations, and evil works of darkness going on, leading the minds of the weak and unwary into confusion and distraction, and palming it all the time upon the Presidency, while meantime the Presidency were ignorant as well as innocent of those things which were practising in the Church in their name."
This scoundrel Avard laid all the iniquity of his devices upon the Church, and the false witness which he bore on this matter is the rotten foundation on which our enemies have built their superstructure of nonsense, horror and imaginary bloodshed, with "Destroying Angels," "Danites," "Avengers," &c., by way of ghastly ornament.

Everybody who knows anything about the Latter-day Saints and tells the truth, bears testimony that they are a law-abiding, industrious, peaceable and simple people, whose religion has drawn them together from various parts of the earth. Search the books that form the standard of their faith and it will be plain to all that the deeds that are laid at their doors and related to their discredit, have no foundation nor excuse in any precept or commandment of the Church. On the contrary, such crimes are denounced as deadly sins and contrary to the laws of God and man.
"And it shall come to pass that if any person among you shall kill they shall be delivered up to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness, and it shall be proven according to the laws of the land." -- Revelation given February, 1831, Doctrine and Covenants.
In a revelation given in August, 1831 (see Doctrine and Covenants) it is emphatically declared "ye are forbidden to shed blood." A revelation was given June 22, 1834 in the midst of the persecutions of the Saints in which the following passagee occurs:
"For behold I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion, for as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfill. I will fight your battles." (See Doctrine and Covenants.)
In the law of the Lord in relation to those who should come against the Saints to war, the doctrine of patience and repeated forgiveness for the worst of injuries is taught, and the reward for non-retaliation is promised to those who forbear. (See Doctrine and Covenants, page, 312 N. E.)

These and many other references that might be given in the Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon and the Bible, which are equally the text books of the Church, prove that bloodshed and murder and the various crimes that have been charged upon the Latter-day Saints, form no part of their creed or practice, and that the atrocious stories about Danites, destroying apostates [sic], and other most remarkable romances about the "Mormons," are untrue as well as absurd.

The doctrines of this Church inculcate every virtue that should adorn the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ, the son of God. If any person professing to be connected with it takes a course contrary to virtue, honor, mercy, justice and truth, he give an account for his acts at the bar of God, and his iniquities find no countenance or fellowship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Several newspapers have recently given flaming accounts about the "Danites of the Mormon Church;" will they now give the facts in relation to the scheme of Avard, which the Church long ago repudiated, and stop spreading falsehood for the purpose of injuring an innocent community?

Note 1: This article first appeared in the Deseret Evening News of June 20, 1878. Apostles George Q. Cannon and Brigham Young, Jr. were then the Mormon paper's editors. It is absolutely ridiculous to suppose that they had never heard of Mormon Danites, except from the assertions of hostile Gentile accusors. As demonstrated by Apostle John Taylor's 1850 disengenious response to a question regarding Mormon polygamy, "The Brethren" were not above lying about secret saintly practices, while simultaneously quoting from their Standard Works in the defense of the Church's public denials.

Note 2: The 19th century LDS publications rarely mentioned either the Danites or ex-Apostle (and former President of The Twelve) Thomas B. Marsh swearing to their reality and their LDS origins in 1838. One interesting exception to this unwritten editorial policy occured in 1909, when the Deseret News editor proclaimed that there were "No Danites in the Church." This technically true statement was about as factually misleading as if the Pope had proclaimed that there was no "Knights of Columbus" in the Catholic Church. The only Danites in existence were Latter Day Saint Melchizedek priesthood-holders. The rival Salt Lake Tribune seized upon this very evidence to upbraid the Deseret News editorial staff for an entire year. Finally, in its issue of Dec. 13, 1910 the News obliquely addressed the issue, again laying the blame thusly: "Dr. Avard himself was the originator of the organization and that he lied when he represented to his dupes that he had authority from the heads of the Church to do what he did."


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XXVII.                Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, July 3, 1878.                No. 22.


Congress adjourned without doing anything in the direction of an arctic expedition. A bill passed the house for an appropriation to aid the Eothen enterprise, but we believe it did not reach any action in the Senate....

The Howgate colony scheme does not seem to have reached any practical form. James Gordon Bennett is more likely to play Polo than start for the Pole this year; Americus Symmes, son of the man who advanced the "Symmes' Hole" hypothesis, has received no encouragement to embark on a voyage to test the truth of the theory, so the Eothen will convey the only party this year devoted to polar navigation and Arctic discovery.

We hope success will crown their efforts... in them may be found new keys to the unlocking of the Polar mysteries and the company of adventurous spirits now on their way to the icy regions of the north may prove to be the fortunate demonstrators of the Polar problem, the most interesting question that now agitates the minds of scientific geographers

The Regions of the North. -- Last evening the lecture delivered in the 14 Ward Assembly Rooms, by Captain Tuttle on his personal observaions and incidents of travel in the Polar Regions, was attended by a rather small but very much interested audience.

He stated that he reached as far north as 82 deg. latitude, while engaged in whaling. The nearer he approached the Pole whales became more abundant and the farther he traveled in that direction the more interested he became. At 76 deg. the compass dipped and became useless. This he attributed to the he existence of metals at the bottom of the ocean, particles of which were brought up upon the sounding-led. He passed the north star, which was as visible in the day time in that latitude as it is in this in the night.

Finally a barrier or belt of ice, which proved to be twelve miles wide, was reached. An opening in this was sought for and one was found, but the current in it was so swift as to make the passage impracticable with a "whaler." In this current were seen broad leaves and pieces of wood, proving the existence of land on the other side. Some of the pieces of wood had upon them the mark of tools, some of the indentations being of such formation as to lead to the supposition that they were made with an adze. This proved to him not only that there was land beyond, but also that it was inhabited.

Near the ice barrier the temperature was comparatively mild and the water was of greener color. Captain Tuttle and a number of other men traveled some distance over the ice belt. On the way, one man slipped into a fissure and was never seen any more. The others then as a precautionary measure, tied oars across their backs and attached to each other by means of ropes, for purposes of mutual aid, in case of another similar accident occurring. When the summit of the ice barrier was reached, the eyes of the [men] were greeted by a sight of the "Open Polar Sea," mentioned by some of the explorers of the North. By the aid of a marine glass law Capt. Tuttle was enabled to see, apparently at a distance of about sixty miles, a cloudy substance, which might have been land. But of this he could not be positive.

Incidentally the lecturer stated his conviction that Captain Hall, the indefatigable explorer, was poisoned by one or more of his fellow voyagers. He heard him make a speech at Cincinnati, a short time before his departure, in which he said with great determination that he would reach the Pole or never return alive. Capt. Hall was determined, it was contended, to push on in his explorations while some of the others became afraid and put him out of the way, one Buddington being the party upon whom the strongest suspicion rested. On account of the belief of the Latter-day Saints regarding the location of the "Lost Tribes of Israel," in the "North Country," information regarding that region has a peculiar interest for them. We have given the leading points of the lecture, which Captain Tuttle claims to be an account of his own personal experience and observation.

The lecture would be still more interesting if condensed, by the Captain confining himself strictly to the subject, instead of introducing material essentially extraneous to it.

Note 1: When the Mormon editors of the Deseret News chide Captain Francis Tuttle for not "confining himself strictly to the subject," they perhaps meant to say that the old whaling master had not confined his his lecture topic to subject matter of "peculiar interest" to the Latter Day Saints. However, from the summary given by the News reporter, it appears that Tuttle tailored his remarks to an audience eager to hear of icey, inpenatrable barriers in the far north -- and of an unexplored, temperate land, sixty miles beyond the barrier, across a warmish, unfrozen Arctic Ocean. All of this turned out to be exaggerated elements, evidently taken out of context, from an otherwise unremarkable northern whaling narrative.

Note 2: More than five years later, in a letter addressed to Captain George E. Tyson, dated Dec. 7, 1883, Americus Symmes, of "Symmeszonia," Kentucky, urged Tyson to take command of an Arctic exploration expedition, "to be gotten up by subscription, for the purpose of finding the country that Nordenskjold, Wiggins and Capt. Tuttle found after passing the magnetic pole." Part of Symmes' argument in justifying this unlikely expedition, was based upon his re-telling of fantastic accounts attributed to Captain Francis Tuttle, regarding a temperate, inhabited, trans-polar land -- a land which Symmes said had been first discovered, in 1878-79, "by Captains Wiggins and Seabaum." According to Symmes, "Captain Tuttle also reported having found the same country and people, and describes the people as being very large, with black hair and whiskers, roman noses, and speaking Hebrew." In other communications Americus Symmes (the son of John C. Symmes, the originator of the fabulous "Symmes' holes theory" for a hollow world) professed that these purported Hebrew-speaking northerners were the very same ten tribes that had been lost to Israel centuries before. It appears, however, that Captain Tuttle did not relate such wild stories to his Utah audience in 1878. The Salt Lake Tribune of June, 23, 1878 announced Tuttle's upcoming lecture, but evidently the paper's editors found nothing in Tuttle's delivery worth reporting.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 26.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, July 31, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)





(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 27.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 7, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)





(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 28.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 14, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)





(under construction)



Testimony to the Book of Mormon.

The following letter contains several items that will prove interesting to the Latter-day Saints. We publish it without knowing anything personally of the incidents related by the writer. The testimony of John Whitmer however is prefixed to the Book of Mormon in connection with that of the other witnesses and remains unimpeached and unimpeachable.

            OVID CITY Idaho, July 31 1878
Editors Deseret News:
I received to-day a letter from Miss Sarah Whitmer at Far West, Missouri, in which she informs me about the death of her father, John Whitmer, Esq., one of the eight witnesses to the plates from which the book is translated. She writes
"I seat myself to a painful task this morning to inform you of the death of my dear father, who departed earth-life, the 11th day of this month (July). Father's disease was congestion of the lungs, heart and stomach. He died very easy. I have the great consolationin knowing that he was prepared to meet his God.

He asked only a few days before his death when I thought you would come. He always felt so very anxious only to see you again.

I visited Richmond directly after the storm and it was a sad looking-sight to behold. Uncle David (David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses,) has about recovered from his injuries and is out once more on the street."

So far from Sarah Whitmer's letter, I visited this last one of the eight witnesses in April this year, at his fine residence at Far West. On John's farm is located the foundation of Far West Temple and the cornerstone is laid of gray sand-stone. A short distance from John Whitmer's residence we discover the house in which the Prophet Joseph Smith dwelt with his family, and in the adjoining county is the beautiful valley, Adam-ondi-Ahman. John Whitmer received me as a dear father would receive a son, and answered readily all my questions. I said I am aware that your name is affixed to the testimony in the Book of Mormon, that you saw the plates?

He -- It is so and that testimony is true.

I -- did you handle the plates with your hands?
He -- I did so!

I -- Then they were a material substance?
He -- Yes, as material as anything can be.

I -- Were they heavy to lift?
He -- Yes, and as you know gold is a heavy metal: they were very heavy.

I -- How big were the leaves?
He -- So far as I recollect, 8 by 6 or seven inches.

I -- Were the leaves thick?
He -- Yes, just so thick, that characters could be engraven on both sides.

I -- How were the leaves joined together?
He -- In three rings, each one in the shape of a D with the straight line towards the center.

I -- In what place did you see the plates?
He -- In Joseph Smith’s house; he had them there.

I -- Did you see them covered with a cloth?
He -- No. He handed them uncovered into our hands, and we turned the leaves sufficient to satisfy us.

I -- Were you all eight witnesses present at the same time?
He -- No. At that time Joseph showed the plates to us, we were four persons, present in the room, and at another time he showed them to four persons more.

John Whitmer was about 77 years of age. He told me that he should not live and see the coming of Christ nor the restoration of Zion in Jackson County, Mo. That Joseph Smith gave him once the following blessing:
"Thou shall live to good old age, and shall walk over the ashes of all thy enemies. Then you shall sleep with your fathers and meet the Lord when he cometh in the clouds."

Now said John Whitmer I have lived to a good old age, and I have walked over the ashes of every single one of all my enemies.

We say farewell to one of those who wrote part of the Book of Mormon from the dictation of the Prophet's voice and one of the eight witnesses. He was firm as a rock in his faith and when Joseph Smith, living in Plano, sent word to John Whitmer to reaffirm his testimony, his answer was: "I have never recalled it, and I have nothing to reaffirm."

In regard to joining the Church, he said: "I have a testimony within me, that testimony I got when I was raised up as a witness -- that testimony has never left my bosom, it is by me to this day and I am in the very place where I have to be according to the Book of Mormon, which is the law that came out from Zion, which center stake is never to be taken away from here, in Jackson County, Mo." He had a firm and most absolute faith in the restoration and triumph of Zion on this continent and the building of temples in Independence and Far West, Mo.

John Whitmer was in possession of copies from the plates with the translation below and showed that to me and also of other valuable records. I shall correspond with Sarah Whitmer, and hope she will be willing, with the permission of David Whitmer, to restore those documents to the Church.

                    Yours truly,
          P. Wilhelm Poulson, M. D.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. XI.                   Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, August 16, 1878.                   No. 224.


Interview with David Whitmer.

We publish the following, the chief portions of a letter received from Dr. Poulson containing particulars of an interview with David Whitmer. We cannot afford space for the whole of the communication but give those portions which are likely to prove interesting to our readers, without being responsible for any of the statements made therein:
OGDEN CITY, August 13, 1878.    
Editors Deseret News:

Several persons have inquired of me about David Whitmer, especially since the publication in the NEWS of the letter about the late John Whitmer. If the DESERET NEWS will give the space in its columns it will afford me pleasure to write what I know about him from my visit to Richmond, Mo., and also my personal conversation with him.

He is now 73 years old but is a wonderfully well-preserved nan, tall and erect as a pinr, well proportioned, with a military bearing, Roman nose and dark eyes full of fire and expression. His forehead nearly bald, but well balanced.

In company with a son and grandson, Mr. Whitmer keeps a livery and feed stable at Richmond, Mo., the old grandfather is principally relieved from business, but he makes his regular trips down to the stables, and to the minute as in olden time. David Whitmer's sister was married to Oliver Cowdery, whose remains rest in the graveyard at Richmond, and who practised law in that town from 1828 to 1849, when he died in full faith and bore testimony about his visions.On his death-bed he requested to be buried without any display or large attendance, and he wanted no gravestone to be erected over his ashes. David Whitmer said that his brother-in-law was, in many respects, a peculiar man. David's brother, Jacob Whitmer, one of the witnesses, lived and died in Richmond, and his grave is only a shirt distance from Cowdery's. On Jacob's grave is erected a fine marble stone. On the top of the stone appears his name and next we discover the cut of the Book of Mormon laid open, with a blooming rose resting on the divide, and the book resting on the closed up Bible. Jacob Whitmer died April 21, 1856, aged 56 years, 2 months and 26 days.

After a self introduction to David Whitmer and some general conversation, I remarked to him:

I -- You are one of the three witnesses?
  He -- I am one of them.

I -- And you saw the angel, and he showed you the plates?
  He -- The Book of Mormon is true, as true as any record can be, I saw the angel, and I saw the sword of Laban, and the breast-plate, and the Urim and Thummin [sic], and the plates, and the director, and the angel stood before us, and he turned the leaves one by one.

I -- Did the angel turn all the leaves before you as you looked on it?
  He -- No, not all, only that part of the book which was not sealed, and what there was sealed appeared as solid to my view as wood.

I -- How many of the plates were sealed?
  He -- About half of the book was sealed. Those leaves which were not sealed, about the half of the first part of the book, were numerous, and the angel turned them over before our eyes. There is yet to be given a translation about Jared's people's doings and of Nephi, and many other records and books, which all has to be done, when the time comes.

I -- How large were the plates?
  He -- About eight inches wide and six or seven inches long, as they appeared a little wider than long, and three rings kept the plates together; one above, one in the middle, and one below, so the angel could turn every leaf entirely over. The thickness was about of a common sheet of tin used by tinsmiths.

I -- How did the engravings look?
  He -- They were characters. We copied some, and if you visit my brother John, one of the eight witnesses, who wrote for Joseph, John can show you some of the old manuscript which he borrowed from me. I must have it returned to me again, as it belongs to the Church, in connection with other records.

I -- Martin Harris, who died lately, in Smithfield, Utah, gave a testimony in Salt Lake City Tabernacle that he saw the plates by faith and power of God.
  He -- Martin Harris is correct. He was not by us at all when we first saw the angel. Firstr when we told him what we had seen, and were the second time in prayer all together, and when the angel appeared for a second time, we saw Martin Harris by us, and he saw, and we saw it, and our testimony, which we give to the world, is true exactly as you read it, we saw by the gift and power of God. As we were praying the angel stood before us in his glory, and all things were before us, as they were laid before us on a table, and we heard the testimony about the plates, and we were commanded to bear that testimony to the world, and our testimony is true. And when the angel had finished his words, and shown us the plates, one by one, which were to be translated, then the vision was closed at once, and exactly as it came even so did the sight disappear.

I -- But these things which you saw were material things, how could they come and vanish away again?
  He -- It is the power of God. He does those things, and his angels know how to do it. It was wonderful to us, but it was by the power of God. He had appointed his angels to be the guardians of the plates and the other things, and the angel knew how it was done.

I -- Did the eight witnesses not handle the plates as a material substance?
  He -- We did not, but they did, because of the faith of Joseph became so great that the angel, the guardian of the plates, gave the plates up to Joseph for a time, that those eight witnesses could see and handle them.

I -- Did not Joseph, at an earlier period, have the full possession of those plates?
  He -- Yes, he did so in the commencement, but the persecution grew so hot that the angel took possession of the records, and showed those things, as he did, to Cowdery, Harris and me, and in the presence of Joseph, and afterwards he was allowed to show the plates to the eight witnesses.

I -- Where are the plates now?
  He -- In a cave, where the angel has hidden them up till the time arrives when the plates, which are sealed, shall be translated. God will yet raise up a mighty one, who shall do his work till it is finished and Jesus comes again.

I -- Where is that cave?
  He -- In the state of New York.

I -- In the Hill Cumorah?
  He -- No, but not far from that place. I saw the place where the plates were found, and a great many did so, and it awakened an excitement at the time, because the worst enemies of "Mormonism" stirred up the confusion by telling about the plates which Joseph found, and the "gold bible" which he was in possession of, so he was in constant danger of being robbed and killed.

I -- How did the place look?
  He -- It was a stone box, and the stones looked to me as if they were cemented together. That was on the side of the hill, and a little down from the top.

I -- How did you know Joseph to be at that time?
  He -- He was a very humble and meek man, and very simple minded indeed. He did the will of the Lord, and an arduous task it was to translate the Book of Mormon.

I -- Did Joseph use the Urim and Thummim when he translated?
  He -- The Urim and Thummim were two white stones, each of them cased in as spectacles are, in a kind of silver casing, but the bow between the stones was more heavy, and longer apart between the stones, than we usually find in spectacles. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, Emma and my brother John each at different times wrote for Joseph as he translated.

I -- When will the temple be built at Independence?
  He -- Right after the great tribulation is over.

I -- What do you mean by that?
  He -- A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and peace all over.

I -- Will you live and see those things?
  He -- It was said to us, that the second great work should commence when nearly all the witnesses to the first plates had passed away, so I may live and see those things take place.

I -- You are in good health?
  He -- I am very well indeed for my age. I am not troubled with anything except a little rheumatism or what it is in my hips. I was thrown from a buggy, and feel ever since some weakness over my hips.

This conversation was mostly written down word for word half an hour after the interview with David Whitmer, Esq., and I send it that the public may form a better idea about this truly remarkable man.  Yours truly,

Note: This article was reprinted in the weekly Deseret News of August 21st.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 29.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 21, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)


Interview With David Whitmer

We publish the following, the chief portions of a letter received from Dr. Poulson containing particulars of an interview with David Whitmer. We cannot afford space for the whole of the communication but but give those portions which are likely to prove interesting to our readers, without being responsible for any of the statements made therein:

                       OGDEN CITY, August 13 1878.
Editors Deseret News:

Several persons have inquired of me about David Whitmer, especially since the publication in the News of the letter about the late John Whitmer. If the Deseret News will give the space in its columns it will afford me pleasure to write what I know about him from my visit to Richmond Mo., and also my personal conversation with him.

He is now 73 years old but is a wonderfully well-preserved man, tall and erect as a pine, well proportioned, with a military bearing, Roman nose and dark eyes full of fire and expression. His forehead is broad and large, and his head nearly bald, but well balanced.

In company with a son and grandson, Mr. Whitmer keeps a livery and feed stable at Richmond, Mo., the old grandfather is principally relieved from business but he makes his regular trips down to the stables, and to the minute as in olden time.

David Whitmer's sister was married to oliver cowdery, whose remains rest in the graveyard at Richmond, and who practisced law in that town from 1838 to 1849, when he died in full faith and bore testimony about his visions. On his death-bed he requested to be burlied without any display or large attendance, and he wanted no gravestone to be erected over his ashes. David Whitmer said that his brother-in-law as in many respects a peculiar man. David's brother, Jacob Whitmer, one of the witnesses, lived and died in Richmond, and his grave is only a short distance from Cowdery's. On Jacob's grave was erected a fine marble stone. On the top of the stone appears his name and next we discover the cut of the Book of Mormon laid open with a blooming rose resting on the divide, and the book resting on the closed-up Bible. Jacob Whitmer died April 21, 1856, aged 56 years, 2 months and 26 days.

After a self-introduction to David Whitmer and some general conversation remarked to him:

   I -- You are one of the three witnesses?
   He -- I am one of them.

   I -- And you saw the angel and he showed you the plates?
   He -- The Book of Mormon is true, as true as any record can be. I saw the angel, and I saw the sword of Laban, and the breast-plate and the Urim and Thummim, and the plates, and the director, and the angel stood before us, and he turned the leaves one by one.

   I -- Did the angel turn all the leaves before you as you looked on it?
   He -- No, not all, only that part of the book which was not sealed, and what there was sealed appeared as solid to my view as wood.

   I -- How many of the plates were sealed?
   He -- About the half of the book was sealed. Those leaves which were not sealed, about the half of the first part of the book, were numerous and the angel turned them over before our eyes. There is yet to be given a translation about Jared's people's doings and of Nephi. and many other records and books, which all has to be done when the time comes.

   I -- How large were the plates?
   He -- About eight inches wide and six or seven inches long, as they appeared a little wider than long, and rings three kept the plates together; one above, one in the middlie and one below, so the angel could turn every leaf entirely over. The thickness was about of a common sheet of tin used by tinsmiths.

   I -- How did the engravings look?
   He -- They were characters. We copied some, and if you visit my brother John, one of the eight witnesses, who wrote for Joseph, John can show you some of the old manuscript which he borrowed from me. I must have it returned to me again, as it belongs to the Church in connection with other records.

   I -- Martin Harris, who died lately in Smithfield, Utah gave a testimony in Salt Lake City Tabernacle that he saw the plates by faith and power of God.
   He --Martin Harris is correct. He was not by us at all when we first saw the angel. First when we told him what we had seen, and were the second time in prayer all together, and when the angel appeared for a second time, we saw Martin Harris by us, and he saw, and we saw it, and our testimony, which we give to the world, is true exactly as you read it, we saw by the gift and power of God. As we were praying the angel stood before us in his glory, and all those things were before us, as they were laid before us on a table, and we heard the testimony about the plates, and we were commanded to bear that testimony to the world, and our testimony is true. And when the angel had finished his words, and shown us the plates, one by one, which were to be translated, then the vision was closed at once, and exactly as it came even so did the sight disappear.

   I -- But those things which you saw were material things, how could they come and vanish away again?
   He -- It is the power of God. He does those things and his angels know how to do it. It was wonderful to us but it was by the power of God he had appointed his angels to be the guardians of the plates and the other things, and the angel knew how it was done.

   I -- did the eight witnesses not handle the plates as a material substance?
   He -- We did not, but they did, because the faith of Joseph became so great that the angel, the guardian of the plates, gave the plates up to Joseph for a time, that those eight witnesses could see and handle them.

   I -- Did not Joseph at an earlier period have the full possession of those plates?
   He -- Yes, he did so in the commencement, but the peirsseecution grew so hot that the angel took possession of the records and showed those things, as he did to Cowdery, Harris and me, in the presence of Joseph, and afterwards he was allowed to bow the plates to the eight witnesses.

   I -- Where are the plates now?
   He -- In a cave where, the angel has hidden them up till the time arrives when the plates, which are sealed shall be translated. God will yet raise up a mighty one, who shall do his work till it is finished and Jesus comes again.

   I -- where is that cave?
   He -- In the State of New York.

   I -- In the hill of Comorah?
   He -- No but not far away from that place. I saw the place where the plates were found and a great many did so and it awakened an excitement at the time because the worst enemies of "Mormonism" stirred up the confusion by telling about the plates which Joseph found, and the "gold bible" which hboe was in possession of, so he was in constant danger of being robbed and killed.

   I -- How did the place look?
   He -- It was a stone box, and the stones looked to me as if they were cemented together. That was on the side of the hill, and a little down from the top.

   I -- How did you know Joseph to be at that time?
   He -- As a very humble and meek man, and very simple minded indeed. He did the will of the Lord, and an arduous task it was to translate the Book of Mormon.

   I -- Did Joseph use the Urim and Thummim when he translated?
   He -- The Urim and Thimmim were two white stones, each of them cased in as spectacles are, in a kind of silver casing, but the bow between the stones was more heavy, and longer apart between the stones than we usually find it in spectacles. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, Emma and my brother John each at different times wrote for Joseph as he translated

   I -- When will the Temple be built in Independence?
   He -- Right after the great tribulation is over.

   I -- What do you mean by that>
   He -- A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and peace all over.

   I -- Will you live and see those things?
   He -- It was said to us that the second great work should commence when nearly all the witnesses to the first plates had passed away, so I may live and see those things take place.

   I -- You are in good health?
   He -- I am very well indeed for my age. I am not troubled with anything except a little rheumatism or what it is in my hips. I was thrown from a buggy, and feel ever since some weakness over my hips.

This conversation was mostly written down word for word half an hour after the interview with David Whitmer, Esq., who will recognize it as his words and I send it that the public may form a better idea about this truly remarkable man.   Yours truly,

P. Wilhelm Poulson, M. D.

Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 30.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, August 28, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)





Israel's Journey Northward -- Esdras and Modern Revelation
Compared -- The Testimony of Jesus to the Nephites --
Ephraim to be Gathered from all Countries --
The Coasts of the Earth -- The Ancestors
of the Latter-day Saints.

Having considered the cause that led the outcasts of Israel to determine to seek a home in a new and uninhabited land, we may be excused if we endeavor to follow them in fancy in their journey northward. We have no way of accurately estimating their numbers, but if the posterity of all those who were carried into captivity started on this perilous journey, they must have formed a mighty host. Necessarily they moved slowly. They were encumbered with the aged and infirm, the young and the helpless, with flocks and herds, and weighed down with provisions and household utensils. Roads had to be made, bridges built, and the course marked out and decided by their leaders. (Jesus distinctly states to the Nephites, that these tribes were led "by the Father out of the land.") Inasmuch as they had turned to the Lord and were seeking a new home wherein they could the better serve him, they were doubtless guided by inspired leaders, who, by Urim and Thummim, or through dreams and visions, pointed out the paths ahead. Perhaps, as in the days of the deliverance from Egypt, a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night guided their footsteps; no matter the means, the end was accomplished, and slowly and gradually they neared the frozen regions of the Arctic zone. The distance in a direct line from the conjectured crossing of the Euphrates to the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, would be about 2,800 miles or a seven months' journey, averaging 15 miles a day. But according to Esdras, one year and a half was consumed in the journey, which is an evidence that they were encumbered with families and cattle, who could only travel slowly and for whom many resting places had to be found where they could recuperate. It is highly probable that, like modern Israel in its journey westward to the valleys of Ephraim, they planted temporary colonies by the way, where the weary rested, and crops were raised for future use.

The length of the journey had its advantages as well as its drawbacks. The slow rate at which they traveled enabled them to become acclimatized to the rigors of the frigid zone. We must recollect that we are dealing with a people cradled in the burning sands of Egypt and who, for many generations, had dwelt in one of the most balmy and genial climates on this globe. Their temporary sojourn in the bleaker regions near the Caspian Sea had partially prepared them for that which was to come, but it required time to give them the capability to endure the rigors of a northern clime, as they were, by ancestry and location, distinctively children of the sunny south.

No doubt, as the hosts of Israel advanced, the change in the climate, the difference in the length of the days and nights, the altered appearance of the face of the country, and the newness, to them, of many of its animal and vegetable productions, struck them with amazement, perhaps with terror, causing some of the weak-kneed to falter and tarry by the way. These defections probably increased as the changes became more apparent and the toils of the journey grew more severe. But what must have been their sensations when they came in view, of the limitless Arctic Ocean, if the climatic conditions were the same as those which exist to-day; of which, however, there is perhaps some reason to doubt. No matter whether they drew nigh unto it in winter or in summer, the prospect must have been appalling to the bravest heart not sustained by the strongest and most undeviating faith in the promises of Jehovah. Supposing they reached the northern confines of the European continent in summer, they were in a land where the snow is almost perpetual, and scarcely else but mosses grow. Before them was a troubled ocean of unknown width, every step they advanced took them further north into greater extremes of cold. Well might they question, if so little is here produced for the food of man and beast, how will it be yet further northward? Must we perish of hunger? If, on the other hand, they approached the frozen shores of this unexplored waste of waters in the gloom of the long night of an Arctic winter, with the intense cold freezing to their very blood, their feelings of dread must have been yet more intense. No wonder if some turned aside, declared they would go no further, and gradually wandered back through northern Europe to more congenial climes. Again it may be asked, how did this unnumbered host cross this frigid ocean to their present hiding place? On this point both history and revelation are silent. The Arctic Ocean was no narrow neck of the great waters like the Red Sea, with the mountains of the opposite shore full in view. No, it spread out before them eternally -- north, east and west, with no inviting shore in sight beyond. Yet despite all this, they did cross it; but how, we know not -- perhaps on the ice of winter, perhaps the Lord threw up a highway, or divided the waters as he did aforetime, that they passed through dry shod. But we must abide His time, when this and other secrets of their history shall be revealed.

Since penning the foregoing ideas, we have been informed that certain ancient Scandinavian legends entirely agree with our theory. We understand that these legends state that the ten Ttibes, in their journey northward, erected at various points, on prominent mountain heights and such like, monuments or heaps of stones, so that if they determined to return they might have some guides on the road back to the Euphrates. These same traditions state that colonies of the very young and infirm, as well as of the wayward and rebellious, were left by the wayside, and from these colonies the fathers of the Norsemen sprang. These legends, in time became crystallized, and make their appearance as verities in the traditional histories of the nations of northern Europe.

Esdras says that he was shewn that they abode in this north country until the latter time, when they were to come forth again, a great multitude, to add to the glory of the Messiah's kingdom. This statement agrees with the word of modern revelation to which we now draw attention.

Nearly half a century ago the Lord, through Joseph Smith, in speaking of the lost ten tribes, says: (Doc. & Cov., Revelation called the Appendix.)

"They who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. (Query -- The Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.) Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water: and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And they shall fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim."

It is very evident from the above quotation that Ephraim, or at least a large portion of that tribe, had at some period of his history, separated from the rest of the tribes of Israel, and at the time of this restitution was to dwell in a land far from the north country in which the residue were hidden. These tribes are to have the frozen barriers of the north melted, so that they shall flow down, then a highway is to be cast up for them, in the midst of the great deep, next they cross barren deserts and a thirsty land and eventually arrive with their rich treasures at the home of Ephraim, the first born of God of the house of Israel, to be crowned with glory at his hands.

We must now draw the attention of our readers to certain extracts from the Book of Mormon, which show that at the time of our Savior's visit to this continent, Ephraim and the ten tribes dwelt neither on this land nor the land of Jerusalem. Jesus says: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I have other sheep which are not of this land nor in the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land, round about whither I have been to minister. But they of whom I speak have not as yet heard my voice, neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them; but I have received a commandment of the Father that 1 should go unto them and they shall be numbered among my sheep, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd, therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after I am gone, that if it be so that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me, and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes that they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fullness of the Gentiles the remnant of their seed who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth, because of their unbelief, may be brought to a knowledge of me their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel." (Book of Nephi, chap. vii.)

The statement of Jesus above cited, that the ten tribes did not dwell in the land of Jerusalem neither in any parts of that land round about, effectually disposes of the theory of Josephus a others, that they dwelt near the river Euphrates. The reason why the Jews had lost sight of their brethren of the house of Israel, is explained by Jesus, in the same chapters of the Book of Mormon as that from which the above quotation is taken. He states: "The other tribes hath the Father separated from them; (the Jews) and it is because of their iniquity that they knew not of them."

Some have imagined that it was unscriptural to look for Israel except in three places. The scattered Jews in all the world, the Lamanites on this continent, and the Ten Tribes in Azareth. But we claim that we have abundant reason from scripture to expect to find the seed of Joseph as well as that of Judah in every nation under heaven. The prophecies recorded in the Old Testament expressly state that Israel, especially Ephraim, was to be scattered amongst all people.

How completely they were to be scattered is shown by the following prophecies:

Hosea, (chapter xiii, verse 3) in rebuking Ephraim's idolatry in the name of the Lord, says:

"Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven by the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney."

Amos (chapter ix, verses 8 and 9) states:

"Behold the eyes of the Lord are upon the sinful kingdom, (of Israel) and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth."

Could any scattering be more complete?

We are directly told that the Lord will bring His sons (Ephraim still being his first-born) from afar and his daughters from the ends of the earth. It is further said that He will gather his Israel -- not from the north alone -- but from the north and from the south, from the east and from the west, and bring them to Zion; and that He (the Lord) will gather them from all countries (not America nor the Polar regions alone, but all countries) in which he had scattered them; among other places from the coasts of the earth. How apt a description is this last sentence of the lands from which the great bulk of modern Israel have been gathered. From the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, from the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas, they have come to Zion by tens of thousands.

President Brigham Young stated in the discourse, quoted in a previous chapter that ninety-nine out of every hundred of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ were of the blood of Israel. The people whom he was addressing were men of various nationalities, but by far the greater portion of them were descendents of those races that in the fourth and succeeding centuries of the Christian era, swarmed in myriads out of that mother of nations, Scandinavia, and filled central and western Europe with a new civilization, the people, in fact, who overthrew the great Roman Empire and laid the foundation of the majority of the nations of modern Europe. It was to the descendants of the Goths, the Danes the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans, the Franks, that he was talking, and in our next chapter we shall bring forward some of the historical arguments used by Gentile writers to prove the Israelitish descent of these races more particularly of that dominant one known to-day as the Anglo-Saxon. We do not this, because we think the word of God's servants requires proving by Gentile evidence, but because it is a satisfaction to many minds not only to know that a thing is so, but to be able to give a reason, or advance an argument to demonstrate why it is so.

(To be continued.)

Note 1: This 4th chapter of "Are We of Israel?" was reprinted in the Millennial Star of Sept. 30th and Oct. 7th, 1878. It is here that Elder Reynolds finally catches up to the 1867 pronouncements of Apostle Orson Pratt, and firmly ensconces the lost tribes of Israel in the Arctic ice, somewhere near the North Pole. And yet, in order to get them to this unlikely destination, Reynolds must resort to artifice and "follow them in fancy in their journey northward." In other words, not even the mythical dreams of Esdras, nor the "revelations" of latter day prophets can provide Elder Reynolds with the connecting literary bridge, necessary to link the wandering tribes, with the Mormon belief in their residence at or near the North Pole. Besides that, the writer can find no physical bridge, by which to remove the missing tribes from the northern shores of Europe. Had they remained in the high latitudes of Scandinavia or Siberia, these Hebrew-speaking tribes would hardly be "missing" at all. By 1878 the larger islands in the Greenland and Barents seas had all been charted and more or less explored, so Reynolds could not leave his Israelites to thrive (?) on some such frigid hunk of rock. No -- they must be farther north than that, and living on an undiscovered land mass very near the Pole itself. The best way Reynolds can imagine to remove the refugees from Europe, is to send them pole-ward over a magical highway or subway, which has since disappeared. Perhaps he should not be faulted too much in writing this poor excuse for a history -- after all, the Mormons yet believe that the ten tribes will soon return to the known world via just such a temporary, supernatural turnpike. Still, it is a striking omission in Mormon doctrine, that no satisfactory explanation for the transporting of these "missing" tribes to the far north has ever been offered up by the LDS leadership. Perhaps that is one of those accounts yet hidden from profane view, in the "sealed plates" of the Book of Mormon.

Note 2: LDS Elder Frederick Culmer was favorably impressed with George Reynolds' telling of the lost tribes story and quoted from it extensively when writing his own 1886 booklet, The Inner World. By that time Elder Reynolds' series of articles was available in pamphlet form, published by the Salt Lake City Deseret News (in which paper the items had originally appeared, between July 26 and Sept. 4, 1878), and Culmer took his several quotations from that sanctioned source. Perhaps Culmer viewed Reynolds' words as official Mormon doctrine, for he presents them under the heading of "Theological Evidences," after which the writer says: "having brought us to the confines of the present abode of the Ten Tribes of Israel, I will now proceed to give my own ideas on the matter." Culmer's argument is a simple one -- that God made a covenant with the missing tribes, and therefore must preserve them -- that Reynolds has shown how the reached the polar area -- and that Joseph Smith has said that they yet abide in that region. Having demonstrated (to his own satisfaction, at least) the the earth is hollow, with openings to the balmy "inner world" near the poles, Culmer then deduces that the missing Israelites must be inside the planet: "I maintain that there is no ship passage into the interior of the earth but that the openings are land, consequently the travel has been, and will be, on that element; and it will be the only one that will be used when the Lord's time shall come for the Ten Tribes of Israel to come forth again to the outside of the earth. I maintain that the interior of this globe has been inhabited by them for thousands of years, and that the word of the Lord through his prophets has been often directed to this people and recorded, but misinterpreted through the lack of His spirit and power." So much for Elder Culmer, his hollow world, and the hidden Israelites. For more on this matter, see the notes attached to a report transcribed from the July 9, 1831 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix.


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 31.             Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, September 4, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.

(For the Deseret News,)





(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 43.             Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1878.             Vol. XXVII.


                                    NEW YORK CITY,
                                    September 17, 1878.
President John Taylor and Council of the Twelve:

Dear Brethren. -- We desire to make the following hastily written report of our mission to the Eastern States, which we would have made from time to time as we journied along, but for the hurry and inconvenience of dally travel.

As you are aware we left home on the morning of September 3d, in company with Elder W. C. Staines and seven or eight missionaries en route for Europe and the States. We parted from these brethren at Council Bluffs, excepting Elder Thomas S. Higham, who accompanied us by the Council Bluffs, St. Joseph and Kansas City Railway to Kansas City and from thence to Independence by the Missouri Pacific Railway, where we parted from him, he continuing on to St. Louis and the Southern States.

We arrived at Independence on the morning of Friday, Sept. 6th, three days from home. We put up at the Merchants Hotel, the only one we saw in the place. After breakfast we visited the "Temple Lot," about three-fourths of a mile west of the Court House, or the centre of the town. (For description of which see letter of James A. Little, dated November15th, and published in Deseret News of Nov. 23, 1877.)

In 1831, or about 47 years ago, when Elder O. Pratt visited the ground, it was covered with trees, but now there is not a tree nor even a stump standing, except on the portions surrounding the immediate Temple site, which are occupied by dwellings and and orchards. The ground at the time of our visit was exceedingly dry and dusty, the season having been a very dry one.

Some years ago, Mr. William Eaton purchased a homestead just south of the Temple site, and on a portion of the original Temple grounds, as purchased by Bishop Edward Partridge, (which is said to have been 53 acres.) For this homestead Mr, Eaton paid $18, including a neat frame cottage then built on the ground.

Mr. Eaton also purchased one or two lots covering the Temple site, for which he paid $500. These lots we were informed he had deeded to the Bishop or Trustee-in-Trust of the "Reorganized Church." Subsequently we learned from a Mr. John Scott, of Plano, a member of the "Reorganized Church," that the Whitmers held the tax titles to these lots. We called on Mr. Eaton, of Independence, whom we found in feeble health. He informed us that his present wife was the widow of John E. Page. She was well acquainted formerly with Elder Pratt and many others about whom she inquired. She treated us kindly, brought us grapes of their own raising, which she remarked were "grown in Zion," and although the "gleanings after the vintage was done," were of very excellent quality and flavor.

We learned from Mr. and Mrs. Eaton that there were some 70 familes gathered in and around Independence, who are waiting the "Redemption of Zion," etc. These were all members of the "Reorganized Church," commonly known as the Josephites.

Land in the vicinity of Independence was low -- being worth from $15 to $25 or $30 per acre, and more distant from the town somewhat less, varying according to the improvements etc.

The number of inhabitants in Independence was estimated at about 3,000, and in Jackson County at about 60,000, some 40,000 or 50,000 of whom were in Kansas City alone. The farms wherever we passed had the appearance of being almost deserted, being neglected and overgrown with rank weeds, among which the corn and other crops seemed left to struggle against great odds for their existence. The farm houses, if proper to dignify them by that name. were almost universally small, old and dilapidated presenting unmistakeable evidences of unthrift and decay, the result of indolence.

In and near the small towns and occasionally on farms a better class of houses may be seen.

At independence we met with Wm. E. Mc McLellin, one of the first Council of the Twelve. He seemed very much pleased to see us, and urged us to prolong our visit. He pointed out to us the spot on which stood the fine two story brick printing office which was demolished by the mob in the summer of 1833, also the dwellings of several of families of the followers of "Young Joseph," and of a family named Humphreys, who still claimed to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We called on Brother Humphreys at his shop and found him pleased to meet with us.

Mr. McLellin related many circumstances relative to the early persecutions in Jackson County, referring to some of the mob, among others he mentioned "Sam Owens -- killed by Mexicans." Said Col. Pitcher was still living in Independence, that he was an exception to the rest of the mob being naturally a good-hearted man, but was acting under orders at the time of the persecutions.

McLellin himself was very eccentric, opinionated and he plainly evinced that his spirituality died and his growth ceased at the time of his apostacy in 1836.

While he claimed to hold to his faith in the Book of Mormon and its inspired translation by the Prophet Joseph, with the pertinacity of absolute knowledge, he denounced in toto all the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants and the idea of the restoration of the priesthood of Melchesidek or of the [Aaronic] to man, but believes in the Apostleship, which he be thinks comprises everything, although he had no faith in the ordination of the first Twelve.

With one breath he would extol and reverence the memory of the Prophet and with the next, fling at him some slanderous accusation in the most spiteful manner, as if mentally writhing under some real or fancied wrong. His contempt for Sidney Rigdon was unfeigned, whom he accused of introducing his own sectarian notions into the Church and leading Joseph and the Church astray.

He seemed to cling to us with unusual relish and it was with unmistakable regret that he parted from us at the station as we got on board the cars for Richmond.

Coming to Lexington by narrow guage railway, we crossed the Misouri River by ferry, and took broad guage railway from this point to Richmond, eight miles.

At Richmond we put up at the Shaw House before the cyclone, three-story brick building. but has restored since the tempest, only two stories, now kept by Mr. Warren Ewing, son-in-law to the original proprietor, Mr. Shaw, once a freighter to Utah, now dead. On Saturday morning, Sept. 7th, we met Mr. David Whitmer, the last remaining one at of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. He is a good-sized man, 73 years of age last January, and well preserved. (He was born Jan. 7, 1805), he is close shaven, his hair perfectly white and rather thin, he has a large head and a very pleasant, manly countenance that one would read readily perceive to be an index to a conscientious, honest heart. He seemed wonderfully pleased as well as surprised at seeing Elder Orson Pratt. Said had would not have known him he had grown so fat and stout, he remembered him as a slender, bashful, timid boy After a few moments conversation he excused himself, saying he would return again to see us. This meeting was in the bar-room of the hotel. When he called again he was in company with Col. Childs, a middle-aged man, and a resident of the place. By invitation we accompanied them to Mr. Whitmer's office, where we were introduced to Mr. David J. Whitmer, (eldest son of David), Mr. Geo. Schweich, (grandson of the old gentleman), Mr. John C. Whitmer (son of Jacob Whitmer), Col. James W. Black, of Richmond, and several others. A couple of hours were very pleasantly passed in conversation principally on Utah matters, when we parted for dinner, agreeing to meet Mr. Whitmer again at his office at 4.30 p.m.

Agreeable to appointment we met Mr. Whitmer and his friends, at his office, but as the place was too public for private conversation and as it seemed impossible to obtain a private personal interview with David Whitmer by himself, we invited him and such of his friends as he saw proper to fetch along, to our room in the hotel. Mr. Whitmer apologized for not inviting us to his house as it was "wash day," and he and his wife were "worn out" with the extra labor, exposure, &c., &c., consequent upon rebuilding since the cyclone. He accepted our invitation to our room and brought with him James R. B. VanCleave, (a fine looking, intelligent young newspaper man of Chicago, who is paying his addresses to Miss Josephine Schweich, grand-daughter of David Whitmer), George Schweich, (grandson), John C. Whitmer, (son of Jacob), W. W. Warner, and another person whose name we did not learn. In the presence of these the following, in substance, as noticed in brother Joseph F. Smith's journal, is the account of the interview.

Elder O. Pratt to D. Whitmer., Can you tell the date of the bestowal of the Apostleship upon Joseph, by Peter, James and John?

D. W. I do not know, Joseph never told me. I can only tell you what I know, for I will not testify to anything I do not know.

J. F. S. to D. W. Did Oliver Cowdery die here in Richmond?

D. W. Yes, he lived here, I think, about one year before his death. He died in my father's house right here, in January, 1849 [sic] Phineas Young was here at the time.

Elder O. P. Do you remember what time you saw the plates?

D. W. It was in June, 1829 -- the latter part of the month, and the eight witnesses saw them, I think, the next day or the day after (i.e. one or two days after). Joseph showed them the plates himself, but the angel showed us (the three witnesses) the plates, as I suppose to fulfill the words of the book itself. Martin Harris was not with us at this time, he obtained a view of them afterwards, (the same day). Joseph, Oliver and myself were together when I saw them. We not only saw the plates of the Book of Mormon but also the brass plates, the plates of the Book of Ether, the plates containing the records of the wickedness and secret combinations of the people of the world down to the time of their being engraved, and many other plates. The fact is, it was just as though Joseph, Oliver and I were sitting just here on a log, when we were overshadowed by a light. It was not like the light of the sun nor like that of a fire, but more glorious and beautiful. It extended away round us, I cannot tell how far, but in the midst of this light about as far off as he sits (pointing to John C. Whitmer, sitting a few feet from him), there appeared as it were, a table with many records or plates upon it, besides the plates of the Book of Mormon, also the Sword of Laban, the directors -- i.e., the ball which Lehi had, and the Interpreters. I saw them just as plain as I see this bed (striking the bed beside him with his hand), and I heard the voice of the Lord, as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life, declaring that the records of the plates of the Book of Mormon were translated by the gift and power of God.

Elder O. P. -- Did you see the Angel at this time?

D. W. -- Yes; he stood before us; our testimony as recorded in the Book of Mormon is strictly and absolutely true, just as it is there written. Before I knew Joseph, I had heard about him and the plates from persons who declared they knew he had them, and swore they would get them from him. When Oliver Cowdery went to Pennsylvania, he promised to write me what he should learn about these matters, which he did. He wrote me that Joseph had told him his secret thoughts, and all he had meditated about going to see him, which no man on earth knew, as he supposed, but himself, and so he stopped to write for Joseph.

Soon after this, Joseph sent for me (D. W.) to come to Harmony to get him and Oliver and bring them to my father's house. I did not know what to do, I was pressed with my work. I had some 20 acres to plow, so I concluded I would finish plowing and then go. I got up one morning to go to work as usual and, on going to the field, found between five and seven acres of my ground had been plowed during the night.

I don't know who did it; but it was done just as I would have done it myself, and the plow was left standing in the furrow.

This enabled me to start sooner. When I arrived at Harmony, Joseph and Oliver were coming toward me, and met me some distance from the house. Oliver told me that Joseph had informed him when I started from home, where I had stopped the first night, how I read the sign at the tavern, where I stopped the next night, etc., and that I would be there that day before dinner, and this was why they had come out to meet me; all of which was exactly as Joseph had told Oliver, at which I was greatly astonished. When I was returning to Fayette, with Joseph and Oliver, all of us riding in the wagon, Oliver and I on an old-fashioned, wooden, spring seat and Joseph behind us, while traveling along in a clear open place, a very pleasant, nice-looking old man suddenly appeared by the side of our wagon and saluted us with, "good morning, it is very warm," at the same time wiping his face or forehead with his hand. We returned the salutation, and, by a sign from Joseph I invited him to ride if he was going our way. But he said very pleasantly, "No, I am going to Cumorah." This name was something new to me, I did not know what Cumorah meant. We all gazed at him and at each other, and as I looked round enquiringly of Joseph the old man instantly disappeared, so that I did not see him again.

J. F. S. -- Did you notice his appearance?

D. W. -- I should think I did, he was, I should think, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches tall and heavy set, about such a man as James VanCleave there, but heavier, his face was as large, he was dressed in a suit of brown woolen clothes, his hair and beard were white, like Brother Pratt's, but his beard was not so heavy. I also remember that he had on his back a sort of knapsack with something in, shaped like a book. It was the messenger who had the plates, who had taken them from Joseph just prior to our starting from Harmony. Soon after our arrival home, I saw something which led me to the belief that the plates were placed or concealed in my father's barn. I frankly asked Joseph if my supposition was right, he told me it was. Sometime after this, my mother was going to milk the cows, when she was met out near the yard by the same old man (judging by her description of him) who said to her, "You have been very faithful and diligent in your labors, but you are tired because of the increase in your toil, it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness that your faith may be strengthened!" Thereupon he showed her the plates. My father and mother had a large family of their own, the addition to it therefore of Joseph, his wife Emma, and Oliver very greatly increased the toil and anxiety of my mother. And although she had never complained, she had sometimes felt that her labor was too much, or at least she was perhaps beginning to feel so. This circumstance, however, completely removed all such feelings and nerved her up for her increased responsibilities.

Elder O. P. -- Have you any idea when the other record will be brought forth?

D. W. -- When we see things in the spirit and by the power of God they seem to be right here -- the present signs of the times indicate the near approach of the coming forth of the other plates, but when it will be I cannot tell. The three Nephites are at work among the lost tribes and elsewhere. John the Revelator is at work, and I believe the time will come suddenly, before we are prepared for it.

Elder O. P. -- Have you in your possession the original Mss. of the Book of Mormon?

D. W. -- I have, they are in O. Cowdery's handwriting. He placed them in my care at his death, and charged me to preserve them as long as I lived; they are safe and well preserved.

J. F. S. -- What will be done with them at your death?

D. W. -- I will leave them to my nephew, David Whitmer, son of my brother Jacob, and my namesake.

O. P. -- Would you not part with them to a purchaser?

D. W. -- No. Oliver charged me to keep them, and Joseph said my father's house should keep the records. I consider these things sacred, and would not part with nor barter them for money.

J. F. S. -- We would not offer you money in the light of bartering for the Mss., but we would like to see them preserved in some manner where they would be safe from casualties and from the caprices of men, in some institution that will not die as man does.

D. W. -- That is all right. While camping around here in a tent, all my effects exposed to the weather, everything in the trunk where the Mss. were kept became mouldy, etc., but they were preserved, not even being discolored (we supposed his camping in a tent, etc., had reference to his circumstances after the cyclone, in June last, except only, as he and others affirm, the room in which the Mss. were kept. That was the only part of the house which was not demolished, and even the ceiling of that room was but little impaired). "Do you think," said Philander Page, a son of Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses, "that the Almighty cannot take care of his own?"

Next day (Sunday, Sept. 8) Mr. Whitmer invited us to his house where, in the presence of David Whitmer, Esq. (son of Jacob), Philander Page, J. R. B. VanCleave, David J. Whitmer (son of David the witness), George Schweich (grandson of David), Colonel Childs and others, David Whitmer brought out the Mss. of the Book of Mormon. We examined them closely and those who knew the handwriting pronounced the whole of them, excepting comparatively afew pages, to be in the hand writing of Oliver Cowdery. It was thought that these few pages were in the handwritings of Emma Smith and John and Christian Whitmer.

We found that the names of the eleven witnesses were, however, subscribed in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. When the question was asked Mr. Whitmer if he and the other witnesses did or did not sign the testimonies themselves, Mr. W. replied, "each signed his own name." "Then where are the original signatures?" D. W. -- I don't know, I suppose Oliver copied them, but this I know is an exact copy. Some one suggested that he, being the last one left of the 11 witnesses, ought to certify to this copy. Lawyer D. Whitmer (Jacob's son) suggested that he had better reflect about it first and be very cautious.

J. F. S. suggested that perhaps there were two copies of the manuscripts, but Mr. Whitmer replied that, according to the best of his knowledge, there never was but the one copy. Herein, of course, he is evidently uninformed.

Elder O. Pratt again felt closely after the subject of procuring the Mss., but we found that nothing would move him on this point. The whole Whitmer family are deeply impressed with the sacredness of this relic. And so thoroughly imbued are they with the idea and faith that it is under the immediate protection of the Almighty, that in their estimation not only are the Mss. themselves safe from all possible contingencies, but that they are a source of protection to the place or house in which they may be kept, and, it may be, to those who have possession of them. Another reason why they cling to this relic is that David Whitmer has reorganized the "Church of Christ" with six Elders and two priests, after the pattern of the 1st organization, the two priests as we suppose representing Joseph and Oliver as holding the Aaronic priesthood from the hand of John the Baptist. David and John Whitmer were two of these six elders, four others, viz. John C. Whitmer, W. W. Warner, Philander Page, and John Short, having been ordained by David and John. And as the recent death of John has diminished the number to five Elders it would be interesting to know if, according to their strict construction the vacancy can be filled.

Their creed is to preach nothing but the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Mr. Whitmer and others called on us again in the evening, at the hotel, and conversed during the evening, reiterating many things before stated. Upon inquiry, Mr. Whitmer informed us that Oliver Cowdery had told him all about his visiting the Church at Council Bluffs and of his having been rebaptized. He said, "Oliver died the happiest man I ever saw, after shaking hands with the family and kissing his wife and daughter, he said, "Now I lay me down for the last time, I am going to my Savior," and died immediately, with a smile on his face.

In response to some questions, Mr. Whitmer said: "Many things have been revealed which were designed only for the Church, and which the world cannot comprehend, but the Book of Mormon and those testimonies therein given were to go to all the world."

We replied, "Yes, and we have sent that book to the Danes, the Swedes, the Spanish, the Italians, the French, the German, the Welsh, and to the islands of the sea, the book even having been translated into Hindoostanee. So you see the Church has not been idle." To this he made no reply. In parting with him, he said "This may be the last time I shall ever see you in the flesh, so farewell."

This ended our interview with the last remaining witness who saw the plates of the Book of Mormon, yet not the last witness of its truth, for now such witnesses are multiplied into tens of thousands.

Note: See appended transcript from Joseph F. Smith Diary, below.


Joseph F. Smith Diary Excerpts: Sept. 7-8, 1878
While sitting in the clerk's, or reception, room of the hotel, conversing with the proprietor, David Whitmer -- one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon -- came by, and was called in and introduced to Brother Pratt and me. He seemed somewhat surprised and delighted at seeing his old acquaintance, Orson Pratt. After a few moments conversation he left us saying he would come back to see us again. When he returned he was in company with Col. Childs, we accompanied them to Whitmer and Co.'s livery stables office, where we were introduced to D. Whitmer's son, David J., and grandson, George Schweich, John C. Whitmer, son of Jacob Whitmer, Col. James W. Black and several other gentlemen. We spent an hour in desultory conversation, on matters generally relative to Utah, and parted for dinner, agreeing to meet Mr. [David] Whitmer at his office again at 4:30. He apologized for not inviting us to his house, saying he and his family were "worn-out" and it was "washday." He said the heat affected his head, and he had to be very careful of his health. He was born Jan. 7, 1805, making him 73 years old last January, eleven months and sixteen days older than the Prophet Joseph Smith. At 4:30 Brother Pratt and I, agreeable to promise, ,called at Mr. Whitmer's office, where we found Messrs. James R. B. Vancleave, John C. Whitmer, W. W. Warner and George Schweich. Soon after Father David came in. The office being rather too public for any private conversation, we invited the party to our room at the hotel, to which they consented. When comfortably seated the following questions were asked and answered:

Orson Pratt: "Can you tell the date of the restoration of the Apostleship by Peter, James and John?"
    David Whitmer: "I do not know. Joseph never told me. I can only tell you what I know: I will not testify to anything I do not know."

Joseph F. Smith: "Did Oliver Cowdery die here in Richmond?"
    David Whitmer: "Yes, he lived here about a year, I think, before his death; he died in my father's house, right here."

Orson Pratt: "Do you remember what time you saw the plates?"
    David Whitmer: "It was in June 1829, the very last part of the month, and the eight witnesses, I think, the next day. Joseph showed them the plates himself. We (the Three Witnesses) not only saw the plates of the Book of Mormon, but the Brass Plates, the plates containing the record of the wickedness of the people of the world, and many other plates. The fact is, it was just as though Joseph, Oliver and I were sitting right here on a log, when we were overshadowed by a light. It was not like the light of the sun, nor like that of a fire, but more glorious and beautiful. It extended away round us, I cannot tell how far, but in the midst of this light, immediately before us, about as far off as he sits (pointing to John C. Whitmer who was sitting 2 or 3 feet from him) there appeared, as it were, a table, with many records on it, besides the plates of the Book of Mormon; also the sword of Laban, the Directors (i. e. the ball which Lehi had) and the Interpreters. I saw them just as plain as I see this bed (striking his hand upon the bed beside him), and I heard the voice of the Lord as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life declaring that they (the plates) were translated by the gift and power of God."

Orson Pratt: "Did you see the Angel at this time?"
    David Whitmer: "Yes, he stood before us. Martin Harris was not with us at this time. I don't think he saw all that we did, but our testimony as recorded in the Book of Mormon is strictly and absolutely true just as it is there written. Before I knew anything about Joseph Smith I had heard about him and the plates from persons who declared they knew he had them and swore they would get them from him, and that he had promised them an interest in them when he should get them. The fact is he could not, for they were not to be made merchandise of, nor to be a matter of profit to any one -- they were strictly for sacred purposes, and when Oliver Cowdery went to Pennsylvania he promised to write me what he should learn about the matter, which he did. He told me Joseph had told him his secret thoughts and all he had meditated about going to see him, which no man on earth knew, as he supposed, but himself. So he stopped to write for Joseph. Soon after this Joseph sent for me to come to Harmony, to get him and Oliver and bring them to my father's house. I did not know what to do. I was pressed with my work. I had some 20 acres to plow and so I concluded I would finish plowing, and then go. One morning I got up as usual to go to work. On going to the field I found between 5 and 7 acres of my ground had been plowed during the night. I don't know who did it, but it was done, just as I would have done it myself, and the plow was left standing in the furrow. This enabled me to start sooner. When I arrived at Harmony, Joseph and Oliver were coming toward me, and met me some little distance from the house. Oliver told me that Joseph had told him when I started from home, where I had stopped the first night, how I read the sign at the tavern, where I stopped the next night and that I would be there that day before dinner, and this was why they had come out to meet me, all of which was exactly as Joseph had told Oliver, at which I was greatly astonished. When I was returning to Fayette with Joseph and Oliver, all of us riding in the wagon, Oliver and I on an old fashioned wooden spring seat and Joseph behind us, we were suddenly approached by a very pleasant, nice looking old man in a clear open place, who saluted us with 'Good morning, it is very warm,' at the same instant wiping his face or forehead with his hand. We returned the salutation and by a sign from Joseph I invited him to ride if he was going our way, but he said very pleasantly, 'No, I am going to Cumorah.' This was something new to me, I did not know what Cumorah meant, and as I looked enquiringly at Joseph, the old man instantly disappeared so that I did not see him again."

Joseph F. Smith: "Did you notice his appearance?"
    David Whitmer: "I should think I did. He was, I should think, about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches and heavy set, about such a man as James Vancleave, there, but heavier. His face was as large. He was dressed in a suit of brown, woolen clothes; his hair and beard were white, about like Brother Pratt's, but his beard was not so heavy. I also remember that he had a sort of knapsack on his back, and something was in it which was shaped like a book. It was the messenger who had the plates.

    "Soon after our arrival home, I saw something which led me to the belief that the plates were placed or concealed in my father's barn. I frankly asked Joseph if my supposition was right, and he told me it was.

    "Sometime after this my mother was going to milk the cows when she was met out near the barn by this same old man, (as I suppose from her description of him) who said to her `you have been very faithful and diligent in your labours but you are tried because of the increase of your toil, it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness, that your faith may be strengthened' and thereupon he showed her the plates. My Father and Mother had a large family of their own. The addition to it therefore of Joseph, Emma and Oliver very greatly increased the toil and anxiety of my mother and altho she had never complained she had sometimes felt that her labor was too much or at least she was beginning to feel so. This circumstance however completely removed all such feelings and nerved her up for her increased responsibilities."

Orson Pratt: "Have you any idea when the records will be brought forth?"
    David Whitmer: "When we see things in the Spirit and by the power of God they seem to be right here present. The signs of the times indicate the near approach of the coming forth of the other plates, but when it will be, I cannot tell. The Three Nephites are at work among the lost tribes and elsewhere. John the Revelator is at work, and I believe the time will come suddenly, before we are prepared for it."

Orson Pratt: "Have you got the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon?"
    David Whitmer: "I have. It is in Oliver Cowdery's handwriting. He placed it in my care at his death, and charged me to preserve it as long as I lived. It is safe, and well preserved."

Joseph F. Smith: "What will you do with it at your death?"
    David Whitmer: "I will leave it with my nephew, David Whitmer, son of my brother Jacob and my namesake."

Orson Pratt: "Would you not part with it?"
    David Whitmer: "No. Oliver charged me to keep it and Joseph said my father's house should keep the records. I consider these things sacred and would not barter them for money. "

Joseph F. Smith: "We would not offer you money in the light of bartering for the manuscript, but we would like to see them preserved in some manner where they would be safe from casualties and from the caprice of men, in some institution that will not die as a man does."
    David Whitmer: "This is all right. While camping around here in a tent and all my effects exposed to the weather, everything in the trunk where the manuscript was kept became mouldy, but that was preserved, not even being discolored."

    His camping in a tent had reference to their circumstances after the destruction of their property by the cyclone. His. barn and dwelling having been destroyed, save and except only the room in his house in which the record, or manuscript, was kept. This was spared, not even the ceiling being seriously impaired. This event by the whole family and connections is accepted as a miraculous interposition of Divine Providence, for the preservation of the sacred treasure.

"Do you think," said Phil Page, a son of Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses, "that the Almighty cannot take care of his own?"

Sunday, Sept. 8, 1878. I enjoyed a very comfortable night's rest and felt somewhat better this morning, though I am still troubled with cough. Some little time after breakfast Brother Pratt and I went down to David Whitmer's office, and from there, by invitation, returned to his house. Here we met David C. Whitmer, son of Jacob Whitmer, whom we had not before seen, and several others, among whom was Philander Page, the son of Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. After the usual ceremony of introduction, David Whitmer brought out and showed us the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, mostly in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery, some of the writings was thought to be in the handwriting of John and Christian Whitmer, but only comparatively a few pages. The fact also appeared that the names of all the witnesses were subscribed in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. When the question was asked David Whitmer if he and the other witnesses did not subscribe their own names to the respective testimonies, he replied that they did. Then he was asked, "Where are the original documents?" That he did not know, but supposed Oliver had copied them, but this was an exact copy. Someone suggested that he ought to certify to it, he being the only witness left, but the lawyer, Mr. David C. Whitmer, son of Jacob, thought he had better take time to reflect about it.

I suggested that it was possible there were two copies, but this was flatly denied by Brother David Whitmer, who said according to the best of his knowledge there never was but the one copy. Now herein he is evidently mistaken, as Joseph Smith expressly states in his history that before the Ms. was sent to the printers an exact copy was made and it is my belief that this is that copy and not the original, or if it is the original then there is another copy, or was, and with that no doubt are the actual signatures of the eleven witnesses to their respective testimonies.

Brother Pratt felt closely after the subject of procuring the Ms., but we found that this was impossible to all human appearances. The whole Whitmer family are deeply impressed with the sacredness of this relic, and are actually so imbued with the idea and faith that it is under the immediate protection of the Almighty, that not only the Ms. itself is safe from all possible contigencies, but that it is a souvenir of protection to the place, or house, in which it might be kept, to the possessor. I do not therefore believe they could be induced to part with it for love or money, nor fear or favor. Besides, it appears that David had ordained four Elders, with himself and brother John, making six, and two Priests, and set them to preaching the "Bible and the Book of Mormon, and nothing else." We are told their church, or branch, numbers some 30 souls in and about Richmond. David Whitmer, John Whitmer, W. W. Warner, Philander Page, and John Short, are the Elders, and James Morgan and Peter Page are the Priests. Some of these are out preaching today. After viewing the Ms., Mr. Vancleve brought out his collection of ancient coins, which was the most extensive I have yet seen in the possession of a private individual. Miss Josie Schweich, granddaughter of Father David Whitmer, a very fine young lady, came in and was introduced, also Mrs. George Schweich, a very pleasant lady. They showed me some views of Liberty, among which was that of old Liberty jail, where the Prophet and his brethren were so long and brutally confined in chains, etc. I asked if it would be possible for me to get a copy, whereupon Miss Josie very kindly presented me with hers, for which I am very thankful as it is a monument to me of Missouri cruelty and barbarism, which I hope never to forget until the righteous blood shed on her soil, and the terrible wrongs, outrages and cruelties inflicted by this State upon an innocent people, are all avenged or canceled. God help me to treasure this hope until it is realized.

Messrs. Vancleave, Schweich and Page took me to the spot where once stood the old Richmond jail, in which P. P. Pratt and others were so long and cruelly confined on account of their religion. This spot was recently occupied by a large mechanic shop and is immediately back or north of David Whitmer's residence not more than a couple of rods. This shop with all its contents was literally demolished by the cyclone. I saw the remains of a carriage just finished for Whitmer and Co.'s livery service, but not delivered when the cyclone passed over. It was absolutely smashed, twisted and riven to atoms. Such a wreck I could not have conceived, even the tires were twisted into inconceivable shapes and not a spoke, felloe, or scarcely a bolt left in its place. Some of the spokes being taken clean out of the hubs, where they had just been compressed by powerful machinery with a pressure of 20 tons. One man from this shop was blown a great distance right through a house.

Mr. Schweich showed me a gold ring which was absolutely blown from his finger, and was afterwards found in the ruins of a neighbor's house, some 100 feet distant, and almost directly across the path of the cyclone. He also showed me a piece of money, of which he had $6 as specimen coins lying on his table upstairs, which, after the tornado were found piece by piece lying several rods away in the direction of the house where his ring was found, in a straight line, each piece being about an equal distance from the others, except $1.50, which has not yet been found. Each piece was of the denomination of 50 cents. These are only specimens of the many fearful and wonderful freaks of this most terrible cyclone.

I learned that Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses, had three sons, Philander, Peter and John. The latter was killed in the way by "bushwhakers." The other two are members of the Whitmer organization called the "Church of Christ," the first being one of the six Elders (now only 5 by the death of John Whitmer, one of the Eight Witnesses) and the other one of the two Priests. John Whitmer had two sons and one daughter, namely, Jacob, Alexander (killed in the war) and Sarah, now Mrs. Sarah Johnson, living at Far West, as is also Jacob. Mrs. Johnson has two children.

Peter Whitmer, one of the witnesses, had three daughters, Vashti, Kate and Mary Emma. Christian Whitmer (one of the Eight Witnesses) died without children. Jacob Whitmer has two sons and a daughter. John C. and David, these are both in the "Church of Christ," John being one of the six Elders. David is the one to whom the Ms. of the Book of Mormon is to be left. David Whitmer has living with him his two grand-children, George and Josephine Schweich, children from the marriage of his daughter Julia to a Jew by that name, who left his wife. David J. Whitmer, son of David, the second of the Three Witnesses, is also living in Richmond and is one of the members of David's "Church of Christ." I also learned that Oliver Cowdery died here in Richmond in Father Peter Whitmer's house, in March, 1850, after a residence here of about a year. He had told David Whitmer all about his journey to Council Bluffs and his baptism into the Church, and when he died was the happiest man, so David says, he ever saw. After shaking hands with the family and kissing David Whitmer and daughter, he said, "Now I lay me down for the last time; I am going to meet my Savior," and he died immediately with a smile on his face. Some one remarked, "If I could die like that, I would not mind dying today. "

[Whitmer] again confirmed & repeated the circumstances of the messenger showing the Plates of the Book of Mormon to his mother the same person who appeared to them on the road from Harmony Susquehana Co, Pa. to Fayette,, Seneca Co. N. Y. He also repeated the names of the plates he and Oliver and Joseph saw viz the Book of Mormon, of Ether, the Brass Plates, and the plates containing the Record of all the secret combinations, sins & abominations of the world since Adam to the time they were engraved, with the sword of Laban—the "Directors" and the "Interpreters."

I always knew that David Whitmer's testimony was true, since I received the witness myself, but now I know that David Whitmer is as conscious of the truth of that testimony as he is of his own existence. No man can hear him tell his experience in these matters but he can see and sense that he is conscientiously telling the truth of his own knowledge. Some might say he was deceived, but I know that he was not. What is strange to me is that he should live only in the past, and that he seemingly cannot comprehend the present. He is alive, he possesses as much light perhaps as he did 42 years ago at the rise of the Church, but the Church has gone on towards it grand and glorious destiny fulfilling the purposes of God as revealed through his servant the Prophet. David remarked, "Many things have been revealed which were designed only for the Church, and which the world cannot comprehend, but the Book of Mormon and those testimonies were to go to all the world." I repeated, "Yes, and we have sent it to the Danes, the Swedes, the Spanish, the Italians, the French, the Germans, and to the islands of the sea, in fulfilment of that great design. So we have not been idle, and it is also translated into the language of the East Indians. " In parting, he said to Brother Pratt, "I may never meet you again, in the flesh, so farewell."

The visit was an interesting one, but I regretted that the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, even though it was the copy made for the printer, was in the hands of men who were unworthy and who were surrounded by benighted, darkened minds.

Note: The above text has been printed in various old, copyright-lapsed publications. Lyndon W. Cook inserts the following text into the third to the last last paragraph: "After supper that same evening, David Whitmer, J. B. R. Vancleave and George Schweich came to the room in the hotel occupied by Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith and spent much of the evening with them conversing on many subjects. David Whitmer showed the brethren a copy of a revelation he had received from the Prophet, which was written by Oliver Cowdery, which stated that he, David, should walk over the ashes of his enemies when their names should be blotted out. Elder Smith remarked that it was wonderful that David Whitmer was so well received both by Saints and sinners, so that he receives the friendship of both which perhaps no other man so prominently connected with the Prophet Joseph and the Church ever experienced."


T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

No. 44.                    Salt Lake City, Wednesday, December 4, 1878.                    Vol. XXVII.



New York City, Sept. 17, 1878.
President John Taylor and Council of the Twelve:

On Monday, Sept. 9th, we visited Far West. To convey a proper idea of our visit here, we think we cannot do much better than to give a few extracts from Bro. Smith's Journal: "We halted at the late residence of Mr. John Whitmer, deceased. I got out of the carriage and went to the house, where I met a man of whom I enquired if Mrs. Johnson was at home, and was informed that she was. I again aaked if I could see her, when this individual stepped to the stair door, and called -- "Sarah, there is a gentleman here who wants to see you." While waiting for her I said to the person before mentioned, "Is your name Whitmer?" "Yes sir, my name is Whitmer." I replied, "and my name ia Smith: I am a native of this place, as I suppose, and I have come here with a friend to take a look at the place of my birth, as I never saw it before to the best of my recollection. Can yon provide lodgings for us over night!" Mr. W. -- "I don't know; my sister can tell you when she comes downstairs." Just then Mrs. Johnson came down. Mr. Whitmer introduced me as Mr. Smith. I asked her about the same as above written. She seemed to hesitate a little, and then said, "Yes sir, I think we can." Noticing her hesitancy, I remarked, " We will go on to Illinois in the morning." Mrs. J. "Do you live in Illinois?" I answered, "No, ma'am, I live in Utah." At this, she and her brother looked strangely at each other, and then at me. I continued, "The gentleman that is with me, is Mr. Orson Pratt. Some more bewildered looks back and forth, but nothing was said for a moment; but presently Mr. Whitmer said to his sister, "You have heard of Mr. Pratt?" "Yea," she replied, "I heard father speak of him." Another pause -- then she continued, addressing her brother, "I do not know whether we can keep them or not; if those other gentlemen come, we shall be rather crowded." Here I remarked, We should not like to discommode you too much, but we would be pleased to stop with you, if you have room." To this she paid no attention, but suggested to her brother, that "Mr. Edwards and Mr. Somebody-else always kept strangers when they came along." Whereupon Mr. Whitmer said "Yes;" then turning to me, said, "You can get lodgings at Mr. Edwards' about a mile back on the road." I made some further enquiry about directions to Mr. Edwards, to which he gruffly replied. Said I, "I was in hopes, Mr. Whitmer you could have shown us about the place a little, as we are strangers." To which he replied, "Well I haven't time." Said I, "Will you go to the carriage and see Mr. Pratt?" Without answering he started towards the carriage, and I followed. On reaching which, I introduced him to Bro. Pratt, who tried to get into conversation with him; but he was insolently gruff and abrupt. Said Bro. Pratt kindly, "I was well acquainted with your father, Jacob Whitmer." (The name of this excessively polite gentleman.) "I suppose you was."

O. P. -- Mr. Smith was born here, and would like you to point out the site of the old town, and if you know his father's house, or the spot where it stood.

J. W. -- I don't know anything about it; that is, I know where the town was, and where the Temple site is; but I don't know where any person lived. He then pointed down in the field, northward, and continued, "There was a place over there that some said it as the Smith place; there was another place over there, (a little further west,) that some said was the Smith place, but Joe Smith lived over there, beyond that locust grove, just this side of where you see the tops of those tall cottonwoods, near them stacks, there's where Joe Smith lived, and the Temple site is just at the corner of that orchard, just over the fence."

I pleasantly remarked, "Have you not enough respect for Joseph Smith to call him by his proper name?"

J. W. -- I have no particular respect or disrepect for him; Joe Smith is the name he goes by here."

I retorted, " I generally respect all men enough, to call them by their proper names."

O. P. -- We were in hopes you could show us around a little, and point out those places to us.

J. W. -- Well, I have not time; anybody here can tell you as much as I can."

O. P. -- Your father was once the historian of the Church, and I am the present historian; we are anxious to preserve all the items of history we can, we would therefore like to see the MS. your father kept, and if possible, to make satisfactory arrangements with you, to purchase the same, provided there is anything in the MS. which we have not already published. I suppose you are aware that the history of the Church has already been published.

J. W. -- We've got no history here, all father's papers have gone to Richmond long ago.

O. P. -- We had a very pleasant interview with your uncle David, at Richmond. We arrived there last Friday, and remained two days, he showed us the MS. of the Book of Mormon, but said nothing about having any other papers.

J. W. -- We have got no papers here.

Convinced that there was no use of making any further efforts where the spirit of bigotry and opposition was so intense, we turned away, satisfied that all will come out right.

After viewing the Temple ground at Far West, we concluded, as it was not yet very late in the evening, to drive on ten miles further to the town of Cameron, the nearest point to the railroad, where we arrived before dark, making a day's journey of about 48 miles by team. From this place we booked to Quincy, Ill. (Sept. 10th), intending to visit Nauvoo, but on our arrival at Quincy, finding there was no convenient railroad connections to Nauvoo, we concluded to proceed directly to Plano.

Sept. 14th, we took the 5.30 a. m. train at Quincy for Colchester, about 50 miles distant, on our way, by the C. B. & Q. R. R. to Plano and Chicago. At Colchester we had a little over two hours to wait for the next train. We therefore spent the time visiting with the connections of Elder Joseph F. Smith. We found Mrs. Lucy Milliken, the youngest sister of the Prophet Joseph, her husband, Mr. Arthur Milliken, and their family, mostly in good health. Arthur and Lucy Milliken have eight children, one son and three daughters married, and one daughter and three sons living with their parents. We met with several of these, and also with the only daughter and granddaughter of Mrs. Sophronia Stoddard, who was the eldest sister of the Prophet. She is now dead. They were surprised and pleased to see us, earnestly requesting us to call again on our return.

We reached Plano the same evening; called at the house of Joseph Smith, president of the "Reorganized Church" and found that he was absent attending a protracted meeting or conference at Galland's Grove, Lee County, Iowa.

On the morning of Sept. 12th, we called again at Mr. Smith's, and had a very pleasant visit with his wife and her father, an old-time Mormon, a native of Scandinavia, by the name of Mads Madson. After this, we called at the printing and publishing office of the "Reorganized Church," where we met Mr. John Scott, foreman of the printing Office, Mr. I. N. W. Cooper, accountant and book-keeper of the institution, Mr. Harvey Dille and others. To these gentlemen we made some reference to the nature of our business, and found that they were already posted in relation to it. As they could do nothing in the premises, however, in the absence of Joseph Smith, they desired that we should remain until after the conference was over and Mr. Smith's return, which we could not promise to do on uncertainty as to the time of his coming. They therefore concluded to telegraph him and await his answer.

They sent the following telegram:

"Joseph F. Smith and Orson Pratt here, wish to examine the MS. of the new translation. When can you come? Is MS. here?"

They expected an answer about 3 p. m., but none came. We waited until the next morning, when we were informed that a postal card had been received, announcing that the conference would be continued over the following Sunday. We therefore concluded to come on, (leaving them our address at New York City) and upon our receiving information that the MS was at Plano, and could be seen, in time, one or both of us would call on our return. Messrs. Cooper and Scott were very anxious to have us preach. Mr. C. offered to advertise us, by printing hand bills and posting them in the windows of the stores, shops, and houaes about town, but we respectfully declined for reasons that we did not explain to him, and it is perhaps not necessary to state them here. They urged us to attend their prayer meeting on the evening of the 12th. To this we of course consented. Soon after we sat down in the meeting house, Mr. Dille, the presiding officer of the meeting, came to us and urged us to occupy the time. He said, "this is a prayer meeting, and I have no right to change it, but many have expressed a wish to hear you and we would like very much for you to accept our invitation." Elder Pratt replied, if it is the wish of all, I have no objections. Mr. Dille then called a vote which was unanimous,and after the meeting was opened we were invited to the stand. Elder Pratt then gave a plain, simple narration of his early experience in the Church, relating many interesting incidents connected with its rise; explained the circumstances under which several revelations were received by Joseph, the Prophet, and the manner in which he received them, he being present on several occasions of the kind. Declared that sometimes Joseph used a seer stone when enquiring of the Lord, and receiving revelation, but that he was so thoroughly endowed with the inspiration of tha Almighty and the spirit of revelation that he oftener received them without any instrument, or other means than the operation of the spirit upon his mind. Referred to the testimony which he received of the truth of the great latter-day work while as yet a boy. Testified that these things were not matters of belief only with him, but of actual knowledge. He explained the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the revelation on plural marriage. Refuted the statement and belief of those present that Brigham Young was the author of that revelation; showed that Joseph Smith the Prophet, had not only commenced the practice of that principle himself, and taught it to others, before President Young and the Twelve had returned from their missions in Europe, in 1841, but that Joseph actually received revelation upon that principle as early as 1831. Said, "Lyman Johnson, who was very familiar with Joseph at this early date, Joseph living at his father's house, and who was also very intimate with me, we having travelled on several missions together, told me himself that Joseph had made known to him as early as 1831, that plural marriage was a correct principle. Joseph declared to Lyman that God had revealed it to him, but that the time had not come to teach or practice it in the Church, but that the time would come." To this statement Elder Pratt bore his testimony. He cited several instances of Joseph having had wives sealed to him, one at least as early as April 5th, 1841, which was some time prior to the return of the Twelve from England. Referred to his own trial in regard to this matter in Nauvoo, and said it was because he got his information from a wicked source, from those disaffected, but as soon as he learned the truth he was satisfied. Elder Joseph F. Smith then bore testimony and the meeting dismissed. The congregation, not large, immediately entered upon a free and easy discussion of these matters among themselves.

From Plano we visited Kirtland, taking our tickets via Cleveland to Willoughby from Chicago. Kirtland is three miles from Willoughby, in a south-easterly direction. We passed through the Temple, which is now claimedby the "Reorganized Church," and used by them as a meeting house. Many of the windows are broken by boys throwing stones at them, the plastering on the walls and ceilings, and the woodwork inside are considerably marred ahd dilapidated. The pulpits on the first floor in the east end are just as they were left at completion, except that they have been re-lettered. The lower stand on the west end, same floor, is removed to the raised platform on which stands a speaking desk and Bible, and is used for speaking at their meetings. As very accurate description of the Temple was recently published in the News from the pen of O. F. Whitney, there is no need of repeating it here. We noticed the house of Bishop Whitney, the store building of Whitney & Gilbert, the house where Joseph lived when he received the Word of Wisdom and many other revelations, also the house where he subsequently lived up to the time he left Kirtland, Father Johnson's tavern, the "Church Store," the places of residence of Sidney Rigdon, Father Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman and Luke Johnson and many others, many of which have been re-painted and are kept, so far as outward appearance, in good repair. We called upon Rebecca Dayton, stepmother of Hiram Dayton, of Utah, far advanced in years and feeble. She is keeper of the keys of the Temple, as she lives near it. James McDowell, an old Pittsburgh "Mormon" is the authorized keeper of the House; he lives some distance away, on the other side of the "flats." He showed us about the building, being very careful to impress our minds with the fact that he had no connection whatever with "Brighamites," or "Salt Lake Mormons." He was greatly surprised when he learned a few moments later our names and standing. He wanted to shake hands though, and said he respected us for the sake of connections and former faithfulness. We also called on Mrs. Electa Stratton, who has resided in Kirtland ever since the departure of the Saints. These old ladies vividly remembered the history of early times in Kirtland, and answered many inquiries relative to the former locations of certain families. Mrs. Dayton waited upon the wife of Hyrum Smith, during her last confinement, until her death, and referred to her former associations with the family in affectionate terms. They still cling to their early faith in "Mormonism," and were especially pleased at once more meeting Elder Pratt, whom they well remembered.

After visiting Kirtland and after carefully inquiring the mind of the spirit, we concluded, while so near, to visit the Hill Cumorah, neither of us ever having been there. We therefore proceeded to Buffalo, a half day's ride on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern R.R., and from thence by New York Central, a little over two hours ride, via Rochester to Palmyra, a very pretty little town of about 3,000 inhabitants, with one Catholic and four Protestant Churchea, and about three and a half or four miles almost directly north of Cumorah. The little town of Manchester is about three miles south of the hill, on the Canandaigua road, and ia a pretty place of perhaps between 1,900 and 2,000 inhabitants. The north end of the hill rises abruptly to the height of about 200 feet, and is plowed on the north end and east side nearly to the summit, which is very narrow for some distance along the ridge, on and near the highest points not over six or eight feet across. Here stand seven large trees, that seem to have escaped the destruction of the forest that once covered this part of the hill. The west side is rocky, and only plowed about half way up, the plowed ground mostly seeded to clover. About one hundred yards south of the highest point the top begins to widen out and slope off to the south, from this point begins a forest with beautiful groves of hickory, elm, beach, and other kinds of wood, which extend to the base on the west side, and nearly to the base on the east, and about a quarter of a mile south. In this timber the top of the hill is quite flat, covered with thick underbrush and blackberry briar. South of the timber the hill becomes rounding and gradually declines southward for about two miles into the common level, all of which is under cultivation from base to summit.

In a beautiful little grove on this memorable hill, we bow«d in humble and fervent prayer, rendering praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the treasures of knowledge and truth so long concealed beneath its surface, to be brought forth by the gift and power of God to us and the world in this dispensation. The spirit of prayer, of blessing and prophecy rested upon us so that we rejoiced exceedingly. After prayers we laid our hands upon and blessed each other, giving utterance as the Spirit dictated. We spent several hours looking over the hill, viewing the surrounding country, in meditation, prayer and thanksgiving. After which we drove to the little town of Manchester, and returned to Palmyra, rejoicing and feeling that we had not spent our time in vain. We cut a few sticks, from near the summit of the hills which we brought with us as mementoes of our visit.

From Palmyra we came to this city (New York) about 14 hours ride by the New York Central and Hudson R.R.. Here we met Elder W. C. Staines in good health and spirits. We also met Bishop John Sharp. Through the instrumentality of these brethren, Elder Smith arranged for his passage home.

With affectionate regard, and prayers for the continued prosperity of Zion. We are your brethren in the Gospel of peace. Orson Pratt, Sen.,
Joseph F. Smith.

Note: Orson Hyde's testimony of plural marriage being taught to Lyman Johnson (at or near his Hiram, Ohio home) finds unexpected confirmation, an 1880 recollection provided by President Garfield: "Joe Smith when he suggested polygamy in this neighborhood for the first time. Some men went to his house in the night, pulled him out of bed, tarred and feathered him, and rode him on a rail." A somewhat similar (but probably less reliable) version of the 1832 tar and feathering, attributed the action to resentment of Portage County residents to a new Mormon precept -- "that of spiritual marriages or natural affinity. According to this dogma, when two persons realize a mutual attachment it should be regarded as inspiration, and they being the chosen of God, are not amenable to any law of the gentiles, and all the law of marriage they need observe is the law of natural affinity. At that early day it began to be hinted that the law did not necessarily restrict a man's affinity to one woman" (see Chicago Inter Ocean of July 10, 1882


The  Ogden  Junction.

Vol. X.                       Ogden, U. T.,  Saturday, June 7, 1879.                       No. 43.

Cook's  Alleged  Lecture.

Rev. Joseph Cook was advertised to give a lecture in Salt Lake last Sunday night on the "Certainties of Religion," but apparently the people who attended the Methodist Church at the time appointed were not entirely satisfied. From the account given in yesterday morning's Herald, it appears that Mr. Cook gave a prelude on "Mormonism," which he delivered without rising to his feet. After indulging for an hour in a torrest of jargon and vituperation, he announced to the people, nearly all of whom were leving the room, that the time being so far spent he would postpone his lecture to some future day! Notwithstanding this, the speaker did repeat his lecture -- or a portion of it at least, to the persons who remained. His prelude had occupied one hour, but the lecture itself, that which people had come to hear, was crowded into the space of forty-five minutes. We make the following short selections from the Herald's extensive report of the "prelude" and the proceedings during its delivery, as well as the opinions concerning it:

"As to your boasted industry, Colorado has made as good a showing in every respect: Denver is a great a miracle as Salt Lake; and Colorado has laws to punish seduction and adultery... Of course we smile when you speak of plates dug up by Joe Smith contained in a box commonly used for packing glass -- the fact was proven before a jury. (He then rehashed the antiquated Spaulding story, asserting that the Spaulding manuscript and the Book of Mormon were Identical.) True you print the testimony of eight witnesses or more, to its authenticity, but I have seen a certificate, signed by twenty or thirty reliable men to the effect that the whole Smith family were disreputable and noted for their indirections; and we are going to erect a monument in Pennsylvania inscribed with testimonials. You were not driven from the States because of your industry, but on account of your seclusion, and the only thing you needed to hide was polygamy; rob your religion of that and we will laugh at you." ...

The Herald then in its review says:

The opinion of a prominent member of the legal profession of this city is a mild epitome of those generally expressed. He spoke of the absurdity of a man coming all the way from Boston, and after being here forty-eight hours, attempting to tell something regarding polygamy to persons who have heard it discussed for years from Mormon pulpits, in the courts, in parlors, from opposition pu;pits and through the home press. It was an insult to the intelligence of the audience...

Note: It comes as nothing in the way of a surprise to discover that the Gentile press in Salt Lake City viewed Rev. Cook's lecturing in a rather different light. See the report in the June 6, 1879 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune. See also the notes appended to that article for more on the "monument in Pennsylvania inscribed with testimonials" regarding Smith's reputation and the origin of the Book of Mormon.


The Daily Ogden Junction.

Vol. VIII.                       Ogden, U. T., Wednesday, March 24, 1880.                       No. ?

"Anti-Polygamy  Standard."

We have received vol. I, no. 1, of a monthly publication bearing the above title which suggests its policy. We suppose it intends to make a name and achieve fame like unto the Anti-Slavery Standard of ante bellum days but ambition in this case is likely to overleap itself and still fall short of the mark; in the one case, eight States almost unanimously endorsed and upheld a doctrine which the remainder of the Union partly upheld and partly opposed, the country being nearly evenly divided upon the matter; in the other case less than one tenth of the population of one territory adhere to the practice of a system against which a certain public sentiment arrays itself, but there is no national contest presently or prospectively hedging about the question. The field of operations is so circumscribed that a journal representing but that one idea is not apt to possesess great vitality or longevity.

The Standard is an eight page paper of four broad columns each, and Is printed in very large type, the Anti-Polygamy Society of Utah being its conductors. Price, $1 per annum.

Note: The Junction editor's sense of newspaper marketability proved prophetic -- the Anti-Polygamy Standard only survived for three years.


Let every Man have his own Wife, and Let every Woman have her own hisband. -- 1 Cor. 7:2.

Vol. I.                           Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, April 1, 1880.                           No. 1.

To the Women of America:

Our day has seen a glorious breaking of fetters. The slavepens of the South have become a nightmare of the past; the auction-block and whipping-post have given place to the church and school-house; and the songs of emancipated millions are heard through our land.

May we not then hope that the hour is come to loose the bonds of a cruel slavery whose chains have cut into the very hearts of thousands of our sisters -- a slavery which debases and degrades womanhood, motherhood, and the family?

Let every happy wife and mother who reads these lines give her their sympathy, prayers, and aid to free her sisters from this degrading bondage. Let all the womanhood of the country stand united for them. There is a power in combined enlightened sentiment and sympathy before which every form of injustice and cruelty must finally go down.

May He who came to break every yoke hasten this deliverance!
Harriet Beecher Stowe.          


Since the publication of the Anti-polygamy Standard has been determined upon, the questions have been asked repeatedly, "what attitude do you purpose to assume in regard to Mormon women? Do you intend to prosecute a war against all Mormon women, or all those who believe in, or practice the doctrine of plural marriage? And this class who do believe in it as a religious principle -- and there are many such -- are you going to hold them up to the scorn and contempt of the women of America?

We start out with good intentions with pure motives, with kind feelings, and with hatred and contempt only for the sin, and not for the sinner...

...[Our mission is] to plan and execute such measures as shall in the judgment of its members tend to suppress polygamy in Utah and other Territories of the United States... is the mission of the Standard, to aid the ladies in their endeavors to suppress a system which had its origin in sin, and which is a inimical to progress and true Christianity as it is enslaving to womanhood...

What Polygamy Has Done for Women.

I have been requested by some of the ladies of the Anti-Polygamy Society to tell how I became a polygamous wife, and why I continued living in that unlawful relation, when I did not believe in the institution as a divine ordinance, and hated the system with my whole soul. My story is not an uncommon one and can easily find many a parallel in the history of Mormonism.

I was born in England and belonged to a respectable family of the middle class my father was a successful tradesman and being an only child, the best educational advantages were afforded me; in fact I received what is termed in that country, a finished education. When I was about sixteen years old my parents became converts to Mormonism, and as I had always been religiously inclined and the Mormon doctrines as there preached seemed to me so simple and beautiful and good, it was not long before I became an enthusiastic votary of the new religion. I had heard that the Saints in America practiced polygamy, but did not trouble myself about it, as I did not anticipate leaving my own country; besides the missionaries always denied it, and said the report was only a wicked invention of their enemies to injure the reputation of the Saints in the outside world. Subsequently, when I was sought in marriage by a missionary, my parents inquired into the matter very particularly, but were positively assured by him that no such thing as polygamy existed. We were married, and lived happily for two years, when he was recalled to Utah, and I, of course, accompanied him to the promised land. I left my childhood's home, and bade farewell to my parents with many tears and regrets, yet with many bright hopes and anticipations for a happy future in Zion. They were on the declining side of life, and could not bear to sever themselves from all old ties and associations, but they gave up me, their dearest treasure, and bade me 'God speed' with their last blessing.

The shock I received may be imagined when upon arriving in Salt Lake City, my husband brought me home to a house, where another woman was installed as mistress, his first wife, who was the mother of several children. They told me afterward that for several days I raved like a mad woman, then came a long period of unconsciousness. When I recovered from the attack of brain fever, and realized how shamefully I had been duped, I became a changed creature. Although my husband was always kind and tender, and provided well for my temporal wants, and his first wife was not especially disagreeable, I could not forget the miserable deception he had practiced upon me, and the very name of religion became hateful and obnoxious.

After my health became somewhat restored, I besought my husband to permit me to return to England, where, in the love and sympathy of my parents, I might find some consolation for the terrible sufferings I had endured in my brief absence from them. For some time he objected, but at last he told me that I might go, since I was so unhappy; but I must leave my babes with him, one scarcely sixteen months old, the other, not nearly so many weeks. I pleaded, oh so earnestly, against this cruel stipulation, but he was inexorable. I could not abandon my children, so for their sakes, I remained and bore my sufferings with all the fortitude I could summon to my aid.

Will any mother believe me, when I say that often I was tempted to give the little innocents something that would make them sleep their last long slumber, thus purchasing freedom from a life at which my nature revolted, and which my conscience told me was as sinful as it was degrading to my womanhood? But it is true and I marvel now that I resisted the temptation as well as I did. Upon learning the true state of affairs, my father made preparations to come to Utah after me, but he died suddenly; before his intentions could be fulfilled, and my broken-hearted mother was not long in following him to the grave. If I had only known how short a time they were to live, I should have spared them the knowledge of the bitter truth.

From that time until his death, my husband was kind and affectionate to me, and considerate enough of my feelings never to mention the word religion in private in connection with polygamy. In his public talks, for he was a member of the priesthood, he used sometimes to exhort the people to live up to their religious privileges We lived on quietly for years, no one suspecting or knowing of my disaffection, but one trusted friend, who would not betray me for her own life. In those days, it was a terrible crime for a woman to disbelieve any portion of the Mormon creed, especially plurality, and if known she was subjected to all manner of persecution. My husband loved me well enough to shield me from the consequences which must inevitably ensue, should my true feelings become known to those in authority. Though he deceived me so outrageously, yet he would not betray me; and I must do him the justice to say, that apart from his delusion, he was one of the best and truest hearted men that ever lived.

After he died I gradually withdrew myself and family from all Mormon influences, devoting myself entirely to my children, whom I taught secretly to abhor the very name of Mormonism. I was in very comfortable circumstances, because what my dear parents left had come to me, consequently I did not need to labor for a support. But I was obliged for years to use the utmost caution in teaching what was contrary to Mormon doctrine, and I tremble now, when I look back and think of my temerity in doing as I did. The same course has caused more than one woman, and her children also, to be blood-atoned. But I succeeded in rearing my children as I desired in that particular. If I had not, I would a thousand times rather have laid them in their graves.

As for me, I am sometimes at a loss how to define myself. Often I think I am more demon than human. I have two lovely and interesting daughters, both honored wives and mothers, (the rest of my children, thank God, died in babyhood, and in heaven, if there is one, there will be no slurs cast upon their birth), and, although I was so heartlessly beguiled into the system, sometimes I can scarcely help regarding them as children of shame. Before I came to Utah, I was a trustful, true-hearted girl, and in religious fervor almost a devotee. Now, I am but a poor, miserable apology for a woman. I have no belief in anything; no confidence in humanity, no faith in religion, no hope in! I am simply a wreck, like thousands of other women, whose lives have been blasted under this cruel system.

This, ladies, is my story. Take it, if you will and tell the women of America what polygamy has done for   'ONE WOMAN.'

Still in the Toils.

Help of the Nation Needed. -- Timidity of the Women Still in the Church. --
Their Despair. -- An Infatuated Wife. -- A Sad Story. --
Wives without Legal Rights. -- The Third Wife.

You have heard the stories of some who had the courage to come out from these abominations. Now listen to the appeals of those whom circumstances prevent from breaking their shackles, but who would gladly be free, would our Government but vouchsafe to them assistance and protection.

The saying "who would be free themselves must strike the first blow," is undoubtedly true in the majority of cases, yet the questions seem pertinent are all those in bondage so circumstanced that they can or will "strike the blow," and if freedom is not to be theirs, except through their own courage and resistance must they forever remain in fetters?

Had the abolition of slavery in the South depended entirely on the slaves striking for freedom, they would have remained in bondage until this day. There are thousands of women who abhor polygamy in their innermost hearts, who feel that they have been deeply wronged and deceived, who appreciate the degrading bondage in which they are held, yet who, from the force of existing circumstances, cannot, unaided, strike the blow that is to procure their liberation. Help must come from a mightier arm than theirs. The blow must be dealt with the entire might of the nation!

The second class of the women of Mormonism, -- those who are still in the church, and who, perhaps, believe in all the tenets of that creed except polygamy, -- are entitled to heartfelt sympathy and commiseration from every true woman in the land.

Some of these, the majority, no doubt, have been entangled in its vile meshes; and they hate, yes loathe, the .system, but remain bread for their children. The life of these women is a perpetual lie, and an outrage against every womanly feeling. They are obliged to deceive others constantly, and sometimes try to reconcile matters by deceiving themselves, but are continually doing all sorts of things against their better nature. They would greatly rejoice if polygamy was abolished; but they will not, or dare not, lift one finger in aid of their own deliverance.

Taking all things into consideration, perhaps they are not to be censured as much as people might imagine. They are very timid, because so many years of tyranny and oppression have robbed them of power to act or think for themselves, even in vindication of their own rights.

Nine-tenths of the women who have been Mormons have completely sunk their own identity in that of their masters. And though some of them are, in a great measure, unwilling slaves, they are securely bound, hand and foot, body and soul, and show no greater desire to burst their shackles than do the degraded few who pretend that they love their chains and would not accept freedom if offered to them.

Another reason is, they deem the attempt hopeless, and do not anticipate or look forward to anything better than the miserable existence they are now dragging out. They have long been taught that human law is powerless to interfere with the divine institution, and this assertion is verified in the repeated failures of Congress to enact efficient statutes.

If they should take an open position against polygamy, the limited support given them by their husbands would be withdrawn, and the church vials of slander and detraction poured forth upon their defenseless heads. A polygamist usually provides shelter, flour, and perhaps fuel for his families (other things they must obtain themselves), and a mother with little children will hesitate before taking a step that will deprive her even of these.

The Mormon emissaries abroad invariably lay much stress upon the point that the polygamists "support their wives and acknowledge their children." We assert, and challenge a contradiction of the assertion, that not more than one polygamist in ten furnishes his families with more than flour and fuel, and than not one in a hundred furnishes anything approaching an adequate support.

If these women had only the least idea, or the faintest hope, that the overthrow of the Mormon theocracy would ever be accomplished, some of them would no doubt come out and join the Anti-Polygamy ranks. But they have no faith whatever in Congress, and if the truth must be told, very little respect for a Government that cannot or will not enforce its own laws.

So they go on, bearing their burdens as best they may. If they have been in any manner instrumental in the husbands' entering polygamy, they are the more backward in openly condemning it. They are angry with themselves, and are often willing to acknowledge that they have been foolish; but they will not identify themselves with any movement for the suppression of the system that has ruined their happiness.

An incident illustrative of this point came under our notice not long ago. We accidentally became acquainted with a woman who told us her story frankly. She had once been a fanatical Mormon; and at a time when several of her neighbors were taking plural wives, she urged her husband to do the same, in order to give him future exaltation.

"One woman," she said, "as ignorant and superstitious as myself, taunted me because my husband did not have any prospects of a future kingdom, and so I never gave him any rest until he went into polygamy. "And yet it was a severe trial to me. When the time came, I had a terrible struggle with myself before I could go to the Endowment House with them. But I was so infatuated, or rather fanatical, that I really thought I was doing God service, by subduing my own feelings and conquering the flesh, in giving my husband to another, and thus preparing a glorious future for us both.

"I had not been ignorant of the evil effects of the system in other families; but when I saw the same things occurring in my own, when I found myself in part supplanted by another woman, when discord and wrangling began to disturb the harmony of the household, I began to have my doubts regarding the divinity of the ordinance. I soon felt convinced that an institution which was productive of so much unhappiness could not be from God, and that no amount of bliss or exaltation in the next world could repay women for the misery and degradation they endure in this.

"And now," she continued, "I see my folly. The money which should go to support my children, is given to the second wife, and I am obliged to work hard from morning till night, and sometimes until nearly morning again, to provide necessaries for them. My husband is a good man, but of course he must also do something for his other family; and how can a laboring man support so many in any kind of comfort? Yes, I have seen the evils of polygamy and almost wish I had buried my husband before he entered it."

"If you do not now believe in it as a religious principle, why are you not honest? Why not come out openly and join the Anti-Polygamy Movement?" we inquired.

"Because," she answered, "I caused my husband to go into it, and I must now bear the consequences of my own folly. If I should do anything of that kind, he would leave me entirely, for he is still a good Mormon, and for that, so am I. Though he is in polygamy, he is the husband of my youth, and I love him yet, for he is as good as any man could be under the circumstances. It was my fa