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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

In Utah

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Brigham Young
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion








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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

* Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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





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Previous: After The War



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