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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 Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience








In March, 1851, the two houses of the legislature of Deseret,
sitting together, adopted resolutions "cheerfully and cordially"
accepting the law providing a territorial government for Utah,
and tendering Union Square in Salt Lake City as a site for the
government buildings. The first territorial election was held on
August 4, and the legislative assembly then elected held its
first meeting on September 22. An act was at once passed
continuing in force the laws passed by the legislature of Deseret
(an unauthorized body) not in conflict with the territorial law,
and locating the capital in the Pauvan Valley, where the town was
afterward named Fillmore* and the county Millard, in honor of the
President.

* Only one session of the legislature was held at Fillmore
(December, 1855). The lawmakers afterward met there, but only to
adjourn to Salt Lake City.


The federal law, establishing the territory, provided that the
governor, secretary, chief justice and two associate justices of
the Supreme Court, the attorney general, or state's attorney, and
marshal should be appointed by the President of the United
States. President Fillmore on September 22, 1850, filled these
places as follows: governor, Brigham Young; secretary, B. D.
Harris of Vermont; chief justice, Joseph Buffington of
Pennsylvania; associate justices, Perry E. Brocchus and
Zerubbabel Snow; attorney general, Seth M. Blair of Utah;
marshal, J. L. Heywood of Utah, Young, Snow, Blair, and Heywood
being Mormons. L. G. Brandebury was later appointed chief
justice, Mr. Buffington declining that office.

The selection of Brigham Young as governor made him, in addition
to his church offices, ex-officio commander-in-chief of the
militia and superintendent of Indian affairs, the latter giving
him a salary of $1000 a year in addition to his salary of $1500
as governor. Had the character of the Mormon church government
been understood by President Fillmore, it does not seem possible
that he would, by Young's appointment, have so completely united
the civil and religious authority of the territory in one man;
or, if he had had any comprehension of Young's personal
characteristics, it is fair to conclude that the appointment
would not have been made.

The voice which the President listened to in the matter was that
of that adroit Mormon agent, Colonel Thomas L. Kane. Kane's part
in the business came out after these appointments were announced,
and after the Buffalo (New York) Courier had printed a
communication attacking Young's character on the ground of his
record both in Illinois and Utah. President Fillmore sent these
charges to Kane (on July 4, 1851) with a letter in which he said,
"You will recollect that I relied much upon you for the moral
character of Mr. Young," and asking him to "truly state whether
these charges against the moral character of Governor Young are
true." Kane sent two letters in reply, dated July 11. In a short
open one he said: "I reiterate without reserve the statement of
his excellent capacity, energy, and integrity, which I made you
prior to the appointment. I am willing to say that I VOLUNTEERED
to communicate to you the facts by which I was convinced of his
patriotism and devotion to the Union. I made no qualification
when I assured you of his irreproachable moral character, because
I was able to speak of this from my own intimate personal
knowledge."

The second letter, marked "personal," went into these matters
much more in detail. It declared that the tax levied by Young on
non-Mormons who sold goods in Salt Lake City was a liquor tax,
creditable to Mormon temperance principles. Had the President
consulted the report of the debate on Babbitt's admission as a
Delegate, he would have discovered that this was falsehood number
one. The charges against Young while in Illinois, including
counterfeiting, Kane swept aside as "a mere rehash of old
libels," and he cited the Battalion as an illustration of Mormon
patriotism. The extent to which he could go in falsifying in
Young's behalf is illustrated, however, most pointedly in what he
had to say regarding the charge of polygamy: "The remaining
charge connects itself with that unmixed outrage, the spiritual
wife story; which was fastened on the Mormons by a poor ribald
scamp whom, though the sole surviving brother and representative
of their Jo. Smith, they were literally forced to excommunicate
for licentiousness, and who therefore revenged himself by editing
confessions and disclosures of savor to please the public that
peruses novels in yellow paper covers."* In regard to William
Smith, the fact was that he opposed polygamy both before and
after his expulsion from the church. Kane's stay among the
Mormons on the Missouri must have acquainted him with the
practically open practice of polygamy at that time. His entire
correspondence with Fillmore stamps him as a man whose word could
be accepted on no subject. It would have been well if President
Buchanan had availed himself of the existence of these letters.
Fillmore stated in later years that at that time neither he nor
the Senate knew that polygamy was an accepted Mormon doctrine.

* For correspondence in full, see Millennial Star, Vol. XIII, pp.
341-344.


Young took the oath of office as governor in February, 1851. The
non-Mormon federal officers arrived in June and July following,
and with them came Babbitt, bringing $20,000 which had been
appropriated by Congress for a state-house, and J. M. Bernhisel,
the first territorial Delegate to Congress, with a library
purchased by him in the East for which Congress had provided. The
arrival of the Gentile officers gave a speedy opportunity to test
the temper of the church in regard to any interference with, or
even discussion of, their "peculiar" institutions or Young's
authority.

Their first welcome was cordial, with balls and dinners at the
Bath House at the Hot Springs at which, for their special
benefit, says a local historian, was served "champagne wine from
the grocery," with home-brewed porter and ale for the rest. When
Judge Brocchus reached Salt Lake City, his two non-Mormon
associates had been there long enough to form an opinion of the
Mormon population and of the aims of the leading church officers.
They soon concluded that "no man else could govern them against
Brigham Young's influence, without a military force,"* and they
heard many expressions, public and private, indicating the
contempt in which the federal government was held. The
anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers, July 24, was always
celebrated with much ceremony, and that year the principal
addresses were made by "General" D. H. Wells and Brigham Young.
Some of the new officers occupied seats on the platform. Wells
attacked the government for "requiring" the Battalion to enlist.
Young paid especial attention to President Taylor, who had
recently died, and whose course toward the Mormons did not please
them, closing this part of his remarks with the declaration, "but
Zachary Taylor is dead and in hell, and I am glad of it," adding,
"and I prophesy in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the
priesthood that's upon me, that any President of the United
States who lifts his finger against this people, shall die an
untimely death, and go to hell."

* Report of the three officers to President Fillmore, Ex. Doc.
No. 25, 1st Session, 32d Congress.


Judge Brocchus had been commissioned by the Washington Monument
Association to ask the people of the territory for a block of
stone for that structure, and, on signifying a desire to make
known his commission, he was invited to do so at the General
Conference to be held on September 7 and 8. The judge thought
that, with the life of Washington as a text, he could read these
people a lesson on their duty toward the government, and could
correct some of the impressions under which they rested. The idea
itself only showed how little he understood anything pertaining
to Mormonism.

There was no newspaper in Salt Lake City in that time, and for a
report of the judge's address and of Brigham Young's reply, we
must rely on the report of the three federal officers to
President Fillmore, on a letter from Judge Brocchus printed in
the East, and on three letters on the subject addressed to the
New York Herald (one of which that journal printed, and all of
which the author published in a pamphlet entitled "The Truth for
the Mormons",) by J. M. Grant, first mayor of Salt Lake City,
major general of the Legion, and Speaker of the house in the
Deseret legislature.

Judge Brocchus spoke for two hours. He began with expressions of
sympathy for the sufferings of the Mormons in Missouri and
Illinois, and then referred to the unfriendliness of the people
toward the federal government, pointing out what he considered
its injustice, and alluding pointedly to Brigham Young's remarks
about President Taylor. He defended the President's memory, and
told his audience that, "if they could not offer a block of
marble for the Washington Monument in a feeling of full
fellowship with the people of the United States, as brethren and
fellow citizens, they had better not offer it at all, but leave
it unquarried in the bosom of its native mountain." The officers'
report to President Fillmore says that the address "was entirely
free from any allusions, even the most remote, to the peculiar
religion of the community, or to any of their domestic or social
customs." Even if the Mormons had so construed it, the rebuke of
their lack of patriotism would have aroused their resentment, and
Bernhisel, in a letter to President Fillmore, characterized it as
"a wanton insult."

But the judge did make, according to other reports, what was
construed as an uncomplimentary reference to polygamy, and this
stirred the church into a tumult of anger and indignation.
According to Mormon accounts,* the judge, addressing the ladies,
said: "I have a commission from the Washington Monument
Association, to ask of you a block of marble, as a test of your
citizenship and loyalty to the government of the United States.
But in order to do it acceptably you must become virtuous, and
teach your daughters to become virtuous, or your offering had
better remain in the bosom of your native mountains."

* The report of what follows, including Young's address, is taken
from Grant's pamphlet...


Mild as this language may seem, no Mormon audience, since the
marrying of more wives than one had been sanctioned by the
church, had ever listened to anything like it. To permit even
this interference with their "religious belief" was entirely
foreign to Young's purpose, and he took the floor in a towering
rage to reply. "Are you a judge," he asked, "and can't even talk
like a lawyer or a politician?" George Washington was first in
war, but he was first in peace, too, and Young could handle a
sword as well as Washington. "But you [addressing the judge]
standing there, white and shaking now at the howls which you have
stirred up yourself--you are a coward.... Old General Taylor,
what was he?* A mere soldier with regular army buttons on; no
better to go at the head of brave troops than a dozen I could
pick out between here and Laramie." He concluded thus:--

* In a discourse on June 19, 1853, Young said that he never heard
of his alleged expression about General Taylor until Judge
Brocchus made use of it, but he added: "When he made the
statement there, I surely bore testimony to the truth of it. But
until then I do not know that it ever came into my mind whether
Taylor was in hell or not, any more than it did that any other
wicked man was there," etc.--Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p.
185.


"What you have been afraid to intimate about our morals I will
not stoop to notice, except to make my particular personal
request to every brother and husband present not to give you back
what such impudence deserves. You talk of things you have on
hearsay since your coming among us. I'll talk of hearsay then--
the hearsay that you are discontented, and will go home, because
we cannot make it worth your while to stay. What it would satisfy
you to get out of us I think it would be hard to tell; but I am
sure that it is more than you'll get. If you or any one else is
such a baby-calf, we must sugar your soap to coax you to wash
yourself of Saturday nights. Go home to your mammy straight away,
and the sooner the better."

This was the language addressed by the governor of the territory
and the head of the church, to one of the Supreme Court judges
appointed by the President of the United States!

Young alluded to his reference to the judge's personal safety in
a discourse on June 19, 1853, in which, speaking of the judge's
remarks, he said: "They [the Mormons] bore the insult like saints
of God. It is true, as it was said in the report of these
affairs, if I had crooked my little finger, he would have been
used up, but I did not bend it. If I had, the sisters alone felt
indignant enough to have chopped him in pieces." A little later,
in the same discourse, he added: "Every man that comes to impose
on this people, no matter by whom they are sent, or who they are
that are sent, lay the axe at the root of the tree to kill
themselves. I will do as I said I would last conference.
Apostates, or men who never made any profession of religion, had
better be careful how they come here, lest I should bend my
little finger."*

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. I, p. 187.


If the records of the Mormon church had included acts as well as
words, how many times would we find that Young's little finger
was bent to a purpose?

Bold as he was, Young seems to have felt that he had gone too far
in his abuse of Judge Brocchus, and on September 19 he addressed
a note to him, inviting him to attend a public meeting in the
bowery the next Sunday morning, "to explain, satisfy, or
apologize to the satisfaction of the ladies who heard your
address on the 8th," a postscript assuring the judge that "no
gentleman will be permitted to make any reply." The judge in
polite terms declined this offer, saying that he had been, at the
proper time, denied a chance to explain, "at the peril of having
my hair pulled or my throat cut." He added that his speech was
deliberately prepared, that his sole design was "to vindicate the
government of the United States from those feelings of prejudice
and that spirit of defection which seemed to pervade the public
sentiment," and that he had had no intention to offer insult or
disrespect to his audience. This called out, the next day, a very
long reply from Young, of which the following is a paragraph:
"With a war of words on party politics, factions, religious
schisms, current controversy of creeds, policy of clans or state
clipper cliques, I have nothing to do; but when the eternal
principles of truth are falsified, and light is turned into
darkness by mystification of language or a false delineation of
facts, so that the just indignation of the true, virtuous,
upright citizens of the commonwealth is aroused into vigilance
for the dear-bought liberties of themselves and fathers, and that
spirit of intolerance and persecution which has driven this
people time and time again from their peaceful homes, manifests
itself in the flippancy of rhetoric for female insult and
desecration, it is time that I forbear to hold my peace, lest the
thundering anathemas of nations, born and unborn, should rest
upon my head, when the marrow of my bones shall be ill prepared
to sustain the threatened blow."*

* For correspondence in full, see Tullidge's "History of Salt
Lake City," pp. 86--91.


Judge Brocchus wrote to a friend in the East, on September 20:
"How it will end, I do not know. I have just learned that I have
been denounced, together with the government and officers, in the
bowery again to-day by Governor Young. I hope I shall get off
safely. God only knows. I am in the power of a desperate and
murderous sect."

The non-Mormon federal officers now announced their determination
to abandon their places and return to the East. Young foresaw
that so radical a course would give his conduct a wide
advertisement, and attract to him an unpleasant notoriety. He,
therefore, called on the offended judges personally, and urged
them to remain.* Being assured that they would not reconsider
their determination, and that Secretary Harris would take with
him the $24,000 appropriated for the pay and mileage of the
territorial legislature, Young, on September 18, issued a
proclamation declaring the result of the election of August 4,
which he had neglected to do, and convening the legislature in
session on September 22. "So solicitous was the governor that the
secretary and other non-Mormon officers should be kept in
ignorance of this step," says the report of the latter to
President Fillmore, "that on the 19th, two days after the date of
a personal notice sent to members, he most positively and
emphatically denied, as communicated to the secretary, that any
such notice had been issued."

* Young to the President, House Doc. No. 25, 1st Session, 32d
Congress.


As soon as the legislature met, it passed resolutions directing
the United States marshal to take possession of all papers and
property (including money) in the hands of Secretary Harris, and
to arrest him and lock him up if he offered any resistance. On
receipt of a copy of this resolution, Secretary Harris sent a
reply, giving several reasons for refusing to hand over the money
appropriated for the legislature, among them the failure of the
governor to have a census taken before the election, as provided
by the territorial act, the defective character of the governor's
proclamation ordering the election, allowing aliens to vote, and
the governor's failure to declare the result of the election, his
delayed proclamation being pronounced "worthless for all legal
purposes."

On September 28 the three non-Mormon officers took their
departure, carrying with them to Washington the disputed money,
which was turned over to the proper officer.*

* Tullidge, in his "History of Salt Lake City," says: "Under the
censure of the great statesman, Daniel Webster, and with ex- Vice
President Dallas and Colonel Kane using their potent influence
against them, and also Stephen A. Douglas, Brandebury, Brocchus,
and Harris were forced to retire." As these officers left the
territory of their own accord, and contrary to Brigham Young's
urgent protest, this statement only furnishes another instance of
the Mormon plan to attack the reputation of any one whom they
could not control. The three officers were criticized by some
Eastern newspapers for leaving their post through fear of bodily
injury, but Congress voted to pay their salaries.


All the correspondence concerning the failure of this first
attempt to establish non-Mormon federal officers in Utah was
given to Congress in a message from President Fillmore, dated
January 9, 1852. The returned officers made a report which set
forth the autocratic attitude of the Mormon church, the open
practice of polygamy,* and the non-enforcement of the laws, not
even murderers being punished. Of one of the allegations of
murder set forth,--that a man from Ithaca, New York, named James
Munroe, was murdered on his way to Salt Lake City by a member of
the church, his body brought to the city and buried without an
inquest, the murderer walking the streets undisturbed, H. H.
Bancroft says, "There is no proof of this statement."** On the
contrary, Mayor Grant in his "Truth for the Mormons" acknowledges
it, and gives the details of the murder, justifying it on the
ground of provocation, alleging that while Egan, the murderer,
was absent in California, Munroe, "from his youth up a member of
the church, Egan's friend too, therefore a traitor," seduced
Egan's wife.

* J. D. Grant, following the example of Colonel Kane, had the
affrontery to say of the charge of polygamy, in one of his
letters to the New York Herald: "I pronounce it false.... Suppose
I should admit it at once? Whose business is it? Does the
constitution forbid it?"

** "History of Utah," p. 460, note.


Young, in a statement to the President, defended his acts and the
acts of the territorial legislature, and attacked the character
and motives of the federal officers. The legislature soon after
petitioned President Fillmore to fill the vacancies by appointing
men "who are, indeed, residents amongst us."





Next: Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers

Previous: Blood Atonement



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