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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



The Mormon Purpose








When Colonel Johnston arrived at the Black's Fork camp the
information he received from Colonel Alexander, and certain
correspondence with the Mormon authorities, gave him a
comprehensive view of the situation; and on November 5 he
forwarded a report to army headquarters in the East, declaring
that it was the matured design of the Mormons "to hold and occupy
this territory independent of and irrespective of the authority
of the United States," entertaining "the insane design of
establishing a form of government thoroughly despotic, and
utterly repugnant to our institutions."

The correspondence referred to began with a letter from Brigham
Young to Colonel Alexander, dated October 14. Opening with a
declaration of Young's patriotism, and the brazen assertion that
the people of Utah "had never resisted even the wish of the
President of the United States, nor treated with indignity a
single individual coming to the territory under his authority,"
he went on to say:--

"But when the President of the United States so far degrades his
high position, and prostitutes the highest gift of the people, as
to make use of the military power (only intended for the
protection of the people's rights) to crush the people's
liberties, and compel them to receive officials so lost to
self-respect as to accept appointments against the known and
expressed wish of the people, and so craven and degraded as to
need an army to protect them in their position, we feel that we
should be recreant to every principle of self-respect, honor,
integrity, and patriotism to bow tamely to such high-handed
tyranny, a parallel for which is only found in the attempts of
the British government, in its most corrupt stages, against the
rights, liberties, and lives of our forefathers."

He then appealed to Colonel Alexander, as probably "the unwilling
agent" of the administration, to return East with his force,
saying, "I have yet to learn that United States officers are
implicitly bound to obey the dictum of a despotic President, in
violating the most sacred constitutional rights of American
citizens."

On October 18 Colonel Alexander, acknowledging the receipt of
Young's letter, said in his reply that no one connected with his
force had any wish to interfere in any way with the religion of
the people of Utah, adding: "I repeat my earnest desire to avoid
violence and bloodshed, and it will require positive resistance
to force me to it. But my troops have the same right of self-
defence that you claim, and it rests entirely with you whether
they are driven to the exercise of it."

Finding that he could not cajole the federal officer, Young threw
off all disguise, and in reply to an earlier letter of Colonel
Alexander, he gave free play to his vituperative powers. After
going over the old Mormon complaints, and declaring that "both we
and the Kingdom of God will be free from all hellish oppressors,
the Lord being our helper," he wrote at great length in the
following tone:--

"If you persist in your attempt to permanently locate an army in
this Territory, contrary to the wishes and constitutional rights
of the people therein, and with a view to aid the administration
in their unhallowed efforts to palm their corrupt officials upon
us, and to protect them and blacklegs, black-hearted scoundrels,
whoremasters, and murderers, as was the sole intention in sending
you and your troops here, you will have to meet a mode of warfare
against which your tactics furnish you no information....

"If George Washington was now living, and at the helm of our
government, he would hang the administration as high as he did
Andre, and that, too, with a far better grace and to a much
greater subserving the best interests of our country....

"By virtue of my office as Governor of the Territory of Utah, I
command you to marshal your troops and leave this territory, for
it can be of no possible benefit to you to wickedly waste
treasures and blood in prosecuting your course upon the side of a
rebellion against the general government by its
administrators.... Were you and your fellow officers as well
acquainted with your soldiers as I am with mine, and did they
understand the work they were now engaged in as well as you may
understand it, you must know that many of them would immediately
revolt from all connection with so ungodly, illegal,
unconstitutional and hellish a crusade against an innocent
people, and if their blood is shed it shall rest upon the heads
of their commanders. With us it is the Kingdom of God or
nothing."

To this Colonel Alexander replied, on the 19th, that no citizen
of Utah would be harmed through the instrumentality of the army
in the performance of its duties without molestation, and that,
as Young's order to leave the territory was illegal and beyond
his authority, it would not be obeyed.

John Taylor, on October 21, added to this correspondence a letter
to Captain Marcy, in which he ascribed to party necessity the
necessity of something with which to meet the declaration of the
Republicans against polygamy--the order of the President that
troops should accompany the new governor to Utah; declared that
the religion of the Mormons was "a right guaranteed to us by the
constitution"; and reiterated their purpose, if driven to it, "to
burn every house, tree, shrub, rail, every patch of grass and
stack of straw and hay, and flee to the mountains." "How a large
army would fare without resources," he added, "you can picture to
yourself."*

* Text of this letter in House Ex. Doc. No. 71, 1st Session, 35th
Congress, and Tullidge's "History of Salt Lake City."


The Mormon authorities meant just what they said from the start.
Young was as determined to be the head of the civil government of
the territory as he was to be the head of the church. He had
founded a practical dictatorship, with power over life and
property, and had discovered that such a dictatorship was
necessary to the regulation of the flock that he had gathered
around him and to the schemes that he had in mind. To permit a
federal governor to take charge of the territory, backed up by
troops who would sustain him in his authority, meant an end to
Young's absolute rule. Rather than submit to this, he stood ready
to make the experiment of fighting the government force,
separated as that force was from its Eastern base of supplies; to
lay waste the Mormon settlements, if it became necessary to use
this method of causing a federal retreat by starvation; and, if
this failed, to withdraw his flock to some new Zion farther
south.

In accordance with this view, as soon as news of the approach of
the troops reached Salt Lake Valley, all the church industries
stopped; war supplies weapons and clothing were manufactured and
accumulated; all the elders in Europe were ordered home, and the
outlying colonies in Carson Valley and in southern California
were directed to hasten to Salt Lake City. A correspondent of the
San Francisco Bulletin at San Bernardino, California, reported
that in the last six months the Mormons there had sent four or
five tons of gunpowder and many weapons to Utah, and that, when
the order to "gather" at the Mormon metropolis came, they
sacrificed everything to obey it, selling real estate at a
reduction of from 20 to 50 per cent, and furniture for any price
that it would bring. The same sacrifices were made in Carson
Valley, where 150 wagons were required to accommodate the movers.
In Salt Lake City the people were kept wrought up to the highest
pitch by the teachings of their leaders. Thus, Amasa W. Lyman
told them, on October 8, that they would not be driven away,
because "the time has come when the Kingdom of God should be
built up."* Young told them the same day, "If we will stand up as
men and women of God, the yoke shall never be placed upon our
necks again, and all hell cannot overthrow us, even with the
United States troops to help them."** Kimball told the people in
the Tabernacle, on October 18: "They [the United States] will
have to make peace with us, and we never again shall make peace
with them. If they come here, they have got to give up their
arms." Describing his plan of campaign, at the same service,
after the reading of the correspondence between Young and Colonel
Alexander, Young said: "Do you want to know what is going to be
done with the enemies now on our border? As soon as they start to
come into our settlements, let sleep depart from their eyes and
slumber from their eyelids until they sleep in death. Men shall
be secreted here and there, and shall waste away our enemies in
the name of Israel's God."***

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. V, p. 319.

** Ibid., Vol. V, p. 332

*** Ibid., Vol. V, p. 338.


Young was equally explicit in telling members of his own flock
what they might expect if they tried to depart at that time. In a
discourse in the Tabernacle, on October 25, he said:--

"If any man or woman in Utah wants to leave this community, come
to me and I will treat you kindly, as I always have, and will
assist you to leave; but after you have left our settlements you
must not then depend upon me any longer, nor upon the God I
serve. You must meet the doom you have labored for.... After this
season, when this ignorant army has passed off, I shall never
again say to a man, 'Stay your rifle ball,' when our enemies
assail us, but shall say, 'Slay them where you find them."'*

* Ibid, Vol. V, p. 352.


Kimball, on November 8, spoke with equal plainness on this
subject:--

"When it is necessary that blood should be shed, we should be as
ready to do that as to eat an apple. That is my religion, and I
feel that our platter is pretty near clean of some things, and we
calculate to keep it clean from this time henceforth and forever
.... And if men and women will not live their religion, but take
a course to pervert the hearts of the righteous, we will 'lay
judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet,' and we
will let you know that the earth can swallow you up as did Koran
with his hosts; and, as Brother Taylor says, you may dig your
graves, and we will slay you and you may crawl into them."*

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. VI, p. 34.


The Mormon songs of the day breathed the same spirit of defiance
to the United States authorities. A popular one at the Tabernacle
services began:--

"Old Uncle Sam has sent, I understand,
Du dah,
A Missouri ass to rule our land,
Du dah! Du dah day.
But if he comes we'll have some fun,
Du dah,
To see him and his juries run,
Du dah! Du dah day.

Chorus: Then let us be on hand,
By Brigham Young to stand,
And if our enemies do appear,
We'll sweep them from the land."

Another still more popular song, called "Zion," contained these
words:--

"Here our voices we'll raise, and will sing to thy praise,
Sacred home of the Prophets of God;
Thy deliverance is nigh, thy oppressors shall die,
And the Gentiles shall bow 'neath thy rod."

When the Mormons found that the federal forces had gone into
winter quarters, the Nauvoo Legion was massed in a camp called
Camp Weber, at the mouth of Echo Canon. This canon they fortified
with ditches and breastworks, and some dams intended to flood the
roadway; but they succeeded in erecting no defences which could
not have been easily overcome by a disciplined force. A watch was
set day and night, so that no movement of "the invaders" could
escape them, and the officer in charge was particularly forbidden
to allow any civil officer appointed by the President to pass.

This careful arrangement was kept up all winter, but Tullidge
says that no spies were necessary, as deserting soldiers and
teamsters from the federal camp kept coming into the valley with
information.

The territorial legislature met in December, and approved
Governor Young's course, every member signing a pledge to
maintain "the rights and liberties" of the territory. The
legislators sent a memorial to Congress, dated January 6, 1858,
demanding to be informed why "a hostile course is pursued toward
an unoffending people," calling the officers who had fled from
the territory liars, declaring that "we shall not again hold
still while fetters are being forged to bind us," etc. This
offensive document reached Washington in March, and was referred
in each House to the Committee on Territories, where it remained.
When the federal forces reached Fort Bridger, they found that the
Mormons had burned the buildings, and it was decided to locate
the winter camp--named Camp Scott--on Black's Fork, two miles
above the fort. The governor and other civil officers spent the
winter in another camp near by, named "Ecklesville," occupying
dugouts, which they covered with an upper story of plastered
logs. There was a careful apportionment of rations, but no
suffering for lack of food.

An incident of the winter was the expedition of Captain Randolph
B. Marcy across the Uinta Mountains to New Mexico, with two
guides and thirty-five volunteer companions, to secure needed
animals. The story of his march is one of the most remarkable on
record, the company pressing on, even after Indian guides refused
to accompany them to what they said was certain death, living for
days only on the meat supplied by half-starved mules, and beating
a path through deep snow. This march continued from November 27
to January 10, when, with the loss of only one man, they reached
the valley of the Rio del Norte, where supplies were obtained
from Fort Massachusetts. Captain Marcy started back on March 17,
selecting a course which took him past Long's and Pike's Peaks.
He reached Camp Scott on June 8, with about fifteen hundred
horses and mules, escorted by five companies of infantry and
mounted riflemen.

During the winter Governor Cumming sent to Brigham Young a
proclamation notifying him of the arrival of the new territorial
officers, and assuring the people that he would resort to the
military posse only in case of necessity. Judge Eckles held a
session of the United States District Court at Camp Scott on
December 30, and the grand jury of that court found indictments
for treason, resting on Young's proclamation and Wells's
instructions, against Young, Kimball, Wells, Taylor, Grant,
Locksmith, Rockwell, Hickman, and many others, but of course no
arrests were made.

Meanwhile, at Washington, preparations were making to sustain the
federal authority in Utah as soon as spring opened.* Congress
made an appropriation, and authorized the enlistment of two
regiments of volunteers; three thousand regular troops and two
batteries were ordered to the territory, and General Scott was
directed to sail for the Pacific coast with large powers. But
General Scott did not sail, the army contracts created a
scandal,** and out of all this preparation for active hostilities
came peace without the firing of a shot; out of all this open
defiance and vilification of the federal administration by the
Mormon church came abject surrender by the administration itself.

* For the correspondence concerning the camp during the winter of
1858, see Sen. Doc., 2d Session, 35th Congress, Vol. II.

** Colonel Albert G. Brown, Jr., in his account of the Utah
Expedition in the Atlantic Monthly for April, 1859, said: "To the
shame of the administration these gigantic contracts, involving
an amount of more than $6,000,000, were distributed with a view
to influence votes in the House of Representatives upon the
Lecompton Bill. Some of the lesser ones, such as those for
furnishing mules, dragoon horses, and forage, were granted
arbitrarily to relatives or friends of members who were wavering
upon that question.


The principal contract, that for the transportation of all the
supplies, involving for the year 1858 the amount of $4,500,000,
was granted, without advertisement or subdivision, to a firm in
Western Missouri, whose members had distinguished themselves in
the effort to make Kansas a slave state, and now contributed
liberally to defray the election expenses of the Democratic
party."





Next: Colonel Kane's Mission

Previous: The Mormon War



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