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1 occurrence of roughing it
[Clear Hits]


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1 occurrence of roughing it
[Clear Hits]


Page Appendix


Mormonism is only about forty years old, but its career has been full of
stir and adventure from the beginning, and is likely to remain so to the end.
Its adherents have been hunted and hounded from one end of the country
to the other, and the result is that for years they have hated all “Gentiles”
indiscriminately and with all their might. Joseph Smith, the finder of the
Book of Mormon and founder of the religion, was driven from State to
State with his mysterious copperplates and the miraculous stones he read
their inscriptions with. Finally he instituted his “church” in Ohio and
Brigham Young joined it. The neighbors began to persecute, and apostasy
commenced. Brigham held to the faith and worked hard. He arrested
desertion. He did more—he added converts in the midst of the trouble.
He rose in favor and importance with the brethren. He was made one of
the Twelve Apostles of the Church. He shortly fought his way to a higher
post and a more powerful—President of the Twelve. The neighbors rose
up and drove the Mormons out of Ohio, and they settled in Missouri.
Brigham went with them. The Missourians drove them out and they retreated
to Nauvoo, Illinois. They prospered there, and built a temple which made
some pretensions to architectural grace and achieved some celebrity in a
section of country where a brick court-house with a tin dome and a cupola
on it was contemplated with reverential awe. But the Mormons were
badgered and harried again by their neighbors. All the proclamations
Joseph Smith could issue denouncing polygamy and repudiating it as utterly
anti-Mormon were of no avail; the people of the neighborhood, on both
sides of the Mississippi, claimed that polygamy was practised by the Mormons,
and not only polygamy but a little of everything that was bad.
Brigham returned from a mission to England, where he had established a
Mormon newspaper, and he brought back with him several hundred converts
to his preaching. His influence among the brethren augmented with every
move he made. Finally Nauvoo was invaded by the Missouri and Illinois


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Gentiles, and Joseph Smith killed. A Mormon named Rigdon assumed the
Presidency of the Mormon church and government, in Smith's place, and even
tried his hand at a prophecy or two. But a greater than he was at hand.
Brigham seized the advantage of the hour and without other authority than
superior brain and nerve and will, hurled Rigdon from his high place and
occupied it himself. He did more. He launched an elaborate curse at
Rigdon and his disciples; and he pronounced Rigdon's “prophecies” emanations
from the devil, and ended by “handing the false prophet over to
the buffetings of Satan for a thousand years”—probably the longest term
ever inflicted in Illinois. The people recognized their master. They
straightway elected Brigham Young President, by a prodigious majority,
and have never faltered in their devotion to him from that day to this.
Brigham had forecast—a quality which no other prominent Mormon has
probably ever possessed. He recognized that it was better to move to the
wilderness than be moved. By his command the people gathered together
their meagre effects, turned their backs upon their homes, and their faces
toward the wilderness, and on a bitter night in February filed in sorrowful
procession across the frozen Mississippi, lighted on their way by the glare
from their burning temple, whose sacred furniture their own hands had
fired! They camped, several days afterward, on the western verge of Iowa,
and poverty, want, hunger, cold, sickness, grief and persecution did their
work, and many succumbed and died—martyrs, fair and true, whatever else
they might have been. Two years the remnant remained there, while
Brigham and a small party crossed the country and founded Great Salt Lake
City, purposely choosing a land which was outside the ownership and jurisdiction
of the hated American nation.
Note that. This was in 1847.
Brigham moved his people there and got them settled just in time to see
disaster fall again. For the war closed and Mexico ceded Brigham's refuge
to the enemy—the United States! In 1849 the Mormons organized a “free
and independent” government and erected the “State of Deseret,” with
Brigham Young as its head. But the very next year Congress deliberately
snubbed it and created the “Territory of Utah” out of the same accumulation
of mountains, sage-brush, alkali and general desolation,—but made
Brigham Governor of it. Then for years the enormous migration across the
plains to California poured through the land of the Mormons and yet the
church remained staunch and true to its lord and master. Neither hunger,
thirst, poverty, grief, hatred, contempt, nor persecution could drive the Mormons
from their faith or their allegiance; and even the thirst for gold,
which gleaned the flower of the youth and strength of many nations was
not able to entice them! That was the final test. An experiment that
could survive that was an experiment with some substance to it somewhere.

Great Salt Lake City throve finely, and so did Utah. One of the last
things which Brigham Young had done before leaving Iowa, was to appear
in the pulpit dressed to personate the worshipped and lamented prophet
Smith, and confer the prophetic succession, with all its dignities, emoluments
and authorities, upon “President Brigham Young!” The people


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accepted the pious fraud with the maddest enthusiasm, and Brigham's
power was sealed and secured for all time. Within five years afterward he
openly added polygamy to the tenets of the church by authority of a “revelation”
which he pretended had been received nine years before by Joseph
Smith, albeit Joseph is amply on record as denouncing polygamy to the day
of his death.

Now was Brigham become a second Andrew Johnson in the small beginning
and steady progress of his official grandeur. He had served successively
as a disciple in the ranks; home missionary; foreign missionary;
editor and publisher; Apostle; President of the Board of Apostles; President
of all Mormondom, civil and ecclesiastical; successor to the great
Joseph by the will of heaven; “prophet,” “seer,” “revelator.” There was
but one dignity higher which he could aspire to, and he reached out modestly
and took that—he proclaimed himself a God!

He claims that he is to have a heaven of his own hereafter, and that he
will be its God, and his wives and children its goddesses, princes and princesses.
Into it all faithful Mormons will be admitted, with their families,
and will take rank and consequence according to the number of their wives
and children. If a disciple dies before he has had time to accumulate
enough wives and children to enable him to be respectable in the next
world any friend can marry a few wives and raise a few children for him
after he is dead, and they are duly credited to his account and his heavenly
status advanced accordingly.

Let it be borne in mind that the majority of the Mormons have always
been ignorant, simple, of an inferior order of intellect, unacquainted with
the world and its ways; and let it be borne in mind that the wives of these
Mormons are necessarily after the same pattern and their children likely to
be fit representatives of such a conjunction; and then let it be remembered
that for forty years these creatures have been driven, driven, driven, relentlessly!
and mobbed, beaten, and shot down; cursed, despised, expatriated;
banished to a remote desert, whither they journeyed gaunt with famine and
disease, disturbing the ancient solitudes with their lamentations and marking
the long way with graves of their dead—and all because they were
simply trying to live and worship God in the way which they believed with
all their hearts and souls to be the true one. Let all these things be borne
in mind, and then it will not be hard to account for the deathless hatred
which the Mormons bear our people and our government.

That hatred has “fed fat its ancient grudge” ever since Mormon Utah
developed into a self-supporting realm and the church waxed rich and
strong. Brigham as Territorial Governor made it plain that Mormondom
was for the Mormons. The United States tried to rectify all that by appointing
territorial officers from New England and other anti-Mormon localities,
but Brigham prepared to make their entrance into his dominions
difficult. Three thousand United States troops had to go across the plains
and put these gentlemen in office. And after they were in office they were
as helpless as so many stone images. They made laws which nobody


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minded and which could not be executed. The federal judges opened court
in a land filled with crime and violence and sat as holiday spectacles for insolent
crowds to gape at—for there was nothing to try, nothing to do, nothing
on the dockets! And if a Gentile brought a suit, the Mormon jury
would do just as it pleased about bringing in a verdict, and when the judgment
of the court was rendered no Mormon cared for it and no officer could
execute it. Our Presidents shipped one cargo of officials after another to
Utah, but the result was always the same—they sat in a blight for awhile,
they fairly feasted on scowls and insults day by day, they saw every attempt
to do their official duties find its reward in darker and darker looks, and in
secret threats and warnings of a more and more dismal nature—and at last
they either succumbed and became despised tools and toys of the Mormons,
or got scared and discomforted beyond all endurance and left the Territory.
If a brave officer kept on courageously till his pluck was proven, some pliant
Buchanan or Pierce would remove him and appoint a stick in his place. In
1857 General Harney came very near being appointed Governor of Utah.
And so it came very near being Harney governor and Cradlebaugh judge!—
two men who never had any idea of fear further than the sort of murky
comprehension of it which they were enabled to gather from the dictionary.
Simply (if for nothing else) for the variety they would have made in a
rather monotonous history of Federal servility and helplessness, it is a pity
they were not fated to hold office together in Utah.

Up to the date of our visit to Utah, such had been the Territorial record.
The Territorial government established there had been a hopeless failure,
and Brigham Young was the only real power in the land. He was an absolute
monarch—a monarch who defied our President—a monarch who
laughed at our armies when they camped about his capital—a monarch who
received without emotion the news that the august Congress of the United
States had enacted a solemn law against polygamy, and then went forth
calmly and married twenty-five or thirty more wives.