Wife number 19 by Ann Eliza Young, chapters 11-20
"DIVINE EMIGRATION." - THE PROPHET AND THE HAND-
Early Emigration to Utah. - The Prophet Meditates Economy. - The "Divine Plan" Invented. - How it was Revealed to the Saints. - They Prepare to "Gather to Zion." - How the Hand-Carts were Built. - The Sufferings of the Emigrants. - On Board Ship. - An Apostolic Quarrel. - Base Conduct of the Apostle Taylor. -The Saints arrive in Iowa City. - How the Summer-time was Wasted. - Beginning a Terrible Journey. - Suffering by the Way. - "Going Cheap." - They reach Council Bluffs. - Levi Savage Behaves Bravely. - Lying Prophecy of the Apostle Richards. - How the Emigrants were Deceived. - Brigham Young sends Help to Them. - Two Apostles are Denounced. - The Prophet in a Fix. - He lays His own Sins on the Backs of Others. - Preparing to Receive the Emigrants.
In the history of any people there has never been recorded a case of such gross mismanagement as that of gathering the foreign Saints to Zion in the year 1856.
Until this disastrous year the emigrants had always made the journey across the plains with ox-teams, under the charge of some of the returning elders, who were triumphantly bringing the fruits of their labors in foreign vineyards to garner them in Zion. The able bodied walked, and those who were too young, too old, or too feeble to perform the journey on foot, went in the wagons with the baggage. It was in the same war that the Saints themselves made their first journey across the plains, and in the proper season of the rear was a safe and a pleasant journey. Tedious and wearisome, to be sure, but in no way perilous, as plenty of provisions, bedding, and clothing could be carried, not only for the journey, but sufficient to last some time after the arrival.
The cost of emigration in this way was from £10 to £12, English money, or nominally $50 to $60 in gold - not very expensive, surely, for a journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake City; but to Brigham, in one of his fits of economy, it seemed altogether too costly, and he set to work to devise some means for retrenchment. During the entire winter of 1855-56, he and his chief supporters were in almost constant consultation on the subject of reducing the expenses of emigration, and they finally hit upon the expedient of having them cross the plains with hand-carts, wheeling their own provisions and baggage, and so saving the expense of teams. The more Brigham thought of his plan, the more in love he grew with it, and he sent detailed instructions concerning it to the Apostle Franklin D. Richards, the Mormon agent at Liverpool, who published it in the "Millennial Star," as the new "divine plan" revealed to Brother Brigham by the Lord, whose will it was that the journey should be made in this manner.
My father was in England when the "command of the Lord concerning them" was given to the gathering Saints, and their enthusiastic devotion and instant acceptance of the revelation showed how entirely they entrusted themselves to the leadership of their superiors in the church, implicitly believing them to be inspired of God. They were told by Richards, in the magazine, and by their missionaries in their addresses, that they should meet many difficulties, - that trials would be strewn along their path, and occasional dangers meet them, - but that the Lord's chosen people were to be a tried people, and that they should come out unscathed, and enter Zion with great triumph and rejoicing, coming out from the world as by great tribulation ; that the Lord
would hold them in special charge, and they need not fear terror by night nor pestilence that walketh at noonday, for they should not so much as hurt a foot against a stone.
It was represented to them that they were specially privileged and honored in thus being called by the Lord to be the means of showing His power and revealing glory to a world lying in darkness and overwhelmed with guilt, deserted by God and given over to destruction. Considering the class of people from whom most of the converts were made, it is not at all strange that all this talk should impress their imaginations and arouse their enthusiasm. Emotion, instead of reason, guided them almost entirely, and they grew almost ecstatic over the new way in which they were called to Zion.
The United States government was beginning to trouble itself a little about Utah; and in order to make the church as strong as possible, in case of an invasion, Brigham was anxious to increase the number of emigrants, and requested Apostle Richards to send as many as he possibly could. To do this, the elders counselled all the emigrants, who had more money than they needed, to deposit it with the Apostle Richards for the purpose of assisting the poor to Zion. The call was instantly and gladly obeyed, and the number of Saints bound Zion-ward was thereby nearly doubled. In the face of the disaster which attended it, it has been the boast of some of the missionaries and elders that this was the largest number that ever was sent over at one time. So much greater, then, is the weight of responsibility which rests upon the souls of those who originated and carried out this selfish design, made more selfish, more cruel, and more terribly
culpable for the hypocrisy and deceit which attended it from its conception to its disastrous close.
Great, however, as was the number of emigrants who that year crossed the plains to Utah, as many, if not more, have, during various seasons since then, traversed the same route; although, of course, for obvious reasons, it is difficult to give approximate statistics. During the summer of 1862 - the same year in which Eliza Snow and Geo. A. Smith, the fattest of all fat apostles, together with a select company of Saints, wandered off to the Holy Land in order to bring it within the dominions of Brigham - it was said that more Mormons were landed at Castle Gardens than during any other previous year. I cannot say whether this is true but it is a fact that only a few weeks ago seven or eight hundred were landed in New York, and every few weeks, all through the summer, other ship-loads will arrive.
On the 14th of March, 1856, my father, who was at Sheffield, England, engaged in missionary work, received a telegram from Richards, telling him to come at once to Liverpool for the purpose of taking passage for America in the mail-packet Canada, which was to sail for Boston on the 15th. He had no time to say good-bye to his friends, but made his preparations hurriedly, and left Sheffield as soon as possible. On arriving at Liverpool and consulting with Richards, he learned that he had been sent for to assist in the proposed hand-cart expedition, and that his part of the work was to he performed in the United States. He, being a practical wagon-maker, was to oversee the building of the carts. In twenty-four hours after the receipt of the telegram - his first
intimation that he was to be called home - he was on his way. The passage was unusually rough, and he was glad enough to see the shores of America after tossing about on the ocean for fifteen days. He landed in Boston the 30th of March, and went immediately to Iowa City, the gathering-place of the Saints prior to their departure for Utah, arriving there the 10th of April.
He expected, of course, to go to work at once, and was very impatient to do so, as it was very nearly the season when the emigrants should start to cross the plains, and the first vessel filled with them was already due in New York. He knew that it would be a waste both of time and money to keep them in Iowa City any longer than as absolutely necessary; besides which, after a certain date, every day would increase the perils of crossing the plains. But when he arrived, Daniel Spencer, the principal agent, was east on a visit, and did not make his appearance until an entire month had expired; and there
was all that valuable time wasted in order that one man might indulge in a little pleasure. What were a thousand or more human lives in comparison to his enjoyment? Less than nothing, it would seem, in his estimation.
Not only were there no materials provided to work with, but no provision had been made for sheltering the poor Saints, who had already commenced to arrive by ship-loads. Their condition was pitiable in the extreme; they had met nothing but privation from the time they left England. The trials that had been promised them they had already encountered, but so great was their faith, that they bore it all without a word of complaint, and some even rejoicing that it was their lot to suffer for the cause of their religion; they were sure they should all be brought to Zion in safety, for had not God promised that through the mouth of His holy Prophet? Their faith was sublime in its exaltation; and in contrast to it, the cold-blooded, scheming, blasphemous policy of Young and his followers shows out false, and blacker than ever. To have deceived a credulous people by wanton misrepresentation is wicked enough, but to do it " in the
name of the Lord" is a sin that can never be atoned for to God or man. It is the height of blasphemy, and I fairly shudder as I endeavor to comprehend, in some slight degree, the magnitude of such an offence.
They had been crowded and huddled together on shipboard more like animals than like human beings; their food had been insufficient and of bad quality; the sleeping accommodations were limited, and there was not the proper amount of bedding for those who were compelled to sleep in the more exposed places. Some of the persons who saw the emigrants, say that it was like nothing so much as an African slave-ship, filled with its unlawful and ill-gotten freight. The air in the steerage, where most of the emigrants were, was noxious, and yet these people were compelled to breathe it through all the days of the voyage. Many were too ill to leave their beds, and a change of clothing was out of the question. The entire floor was covered with mattresses, and it was impossible to walk about without stepping over some one. Men, women, and children were huddled in together in the most shameless fashion.
Affairs were not much bettered when they arrived at New York; the Apostle John Taylor, whose duty it was to provide for them there, was too deeply engaged in a quarrel with Apostle Franklin D. Richards, as to which of the two who were thrown on his protection, penniless and helpless, was higher in authority, to attend to these poor creatures, in a strange country. But everyone must understand that his personal dignity must be attended to and his position maintained, if all the poor Saints that were emigrated, or dreamed of emigrating, should die of starvation and exposure. I think the great body of Saints must have learned before this time that it is by no means safe to trust to the tender mercies of a Mormon Apostle. When, after a while, the Apostle
Taylor's imperative personal business allowed him a moment in which to think of the unhappy emigrants, he started them for Iowa City, where they arrived only to experience a repetition of their New York sufferings, and see another illustration of apostolic neglect. Nothing had been prepared for them either in the way of shanties or tents, and they were compelled to camp in the open air, their only roof a sky that was not always blue. While in camp, there were several very severe rain-storms, from which, as they had no shelter, there was no escape; they got completely drenched, and this caused a great deal of severe illness among them. They were unprotected alike from burning sun and pitiless, chilling rain, and it is no wonder that fevers and dysentery prevailed, and that hundreds of longing eyes closed in death before they beheld the Zion of their hopes.
It would have been strange if the faith of some had not wavered then; yet none dared complain. There was nothing to do but to go on to the end. They were thousands of miles from home, with no means of returning, and they were taught, too, that it would be a curse upon them to turn their backs on Zion. So there they remained through the long summer days, waiting helplessly until they should be ordered to move onward.
At length my father saw his way clear to commence his work, and he went to work with a will, pressing everyone who could be of actual assistance into his service. But here the trouble commenced again. He was instructed to make the wagons on as economical a plan as possible, and every step that he took he found himself hedged about by impossibilities. The agents all talked economy, and when one did not raise an objection to a proposal, another did, and difficulties were placed in his way constantly.
They did not wish to furnish iron for the tires, as it was too expensive; raw hide, they were sure, would do just as well. My father argued this point with them until at last the agents decided to give up raw hides, and they furnished him with hoop iron. He was annoyed and angry, all the while he was making the carts, at the extreme parsimony displayed. A thorough workman himself, he wanted good materials to work with; but every time he asked for anything, no matter how absolutely necessary it was to make the work sufficiently durable to stand the strain of so long a journey. the reply invariably was, "0, Brother Webb, the carts must be made cheap. We can't afford this expenditure; you are too extravagant in your outlay;" forgetting, in their zeal to follow
their Prophet's instructions, what the consequences would be to the poor Saints, if delayed on their way to the Valley, by having to stop to repair their Carts.
As soon as was possible they started companies on the way. My father strongly objected to any of them starting after the last of June; but he was overruled, and the last company left Iowa City the middle of August, for a journey across arid plains and over snow-clad mountains, which it took twelve weeks of the quickest travelling at that time to accomplish; and in the manner in which these emigrants were going it would take much longer. He also opposed their being started with such a scanty allowance of provisions. He insisted they should have at least double the amount; but in this attempt, also, he was unsuccessful, and one of the survivors of the expedition afterwards said that the rations which were given out to each person for a day could easily be eaten at breakfast. They consisted of ten ounces of flour for each adult, and half that amount for each child under eight years of age. At rare intervals, a little rice, coffee, sugar, and bacon were doled out to the hungry travellers, but this was not often done. Many of the people begged of the farmers in Iowa, so famished were they, and so inadequate was their food which was supplied them by the agents. They were limited, too, in the matter of baggage, and again my father tried to use his influence, but all to no purpose; so much might go, but not a pound more.
Almost discouraged, and altogether disgusted with the meanness and heartless carelessness which were exhibited throughout the whole affair, as far, at least, as he had experience with it, he yet made one more attempt to aid the unfortunate travellers, whose trials, great as they had been, had really not fairly begun. His last proposition was, that more teams should be provided, so that the feeble, who were not likely to endure the fatigues of the long march, should have an opportunity of riding; but he was met again with the inevitable reply, "Can't do it, Brother Webb. We tell you we can't afford it; they must go cheap." It was dear enough in the end, if human lives count for anything.
My father never speaks of those days of preparation in Iowa City that he does not grow indignant. It might have been averted had not Brigham Young been so parsimonious, and his followers so eager to curry favor with him, by carrying out his instructions more implicitly than there was any need of doing. They were only quarrelled and found fault with, and reprimanded publicly in the Tabernacle for their faithfulness to him, when it became necessary to shield himself from odium in the matter. Nothing more would have happened if they had obeyed the instincts of humanity, and deferred a little to their consciences, and they certainly would have been better off, as they would at least have retained their own self-respect, and the regard of their unfortunate charges, which, it is needless to say, they lost most completely.
When some of the last companies reached Council Bluffs, - better known to most Mormons as "Winter-Quarters," - there was considerable controversy whether it was best to try and go any farther before spring. Most of the emigrants knew nothing of the climate and the perils of the undertaking, and were eager to press on to Zion. Four men only in the company had crossed the plains; those were captains of the trains - Willie, Atwood, Savage, and Woodward; but there were several elders at this place superintending emigration. Of these, Levi Savage was the only one to remonstrate against attempting to reach Salt Lake Valley so late in the season. He declared that it would be utterly- impossible to cross the mountains without great suffering,
and even death.
His remonstrances availed about as much my father's had done in regard to their starting. He was defeated and reprimanded very sharply for his want of faith. He replied that there were cases where "common sense" was the best guide. and he considered this to be one. "However," said he, "seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help you all I can, will work with you, suffer with you, and, if necessary, die with you."
Very soon after the departure of the last company of the emigrants from Iowa City, my father, with the other elders, started for the Valley in mule-teams, intending to return, if they found it necessary, to bring succor to the poor wandering people. In the company with my father were Apostle Franklin D. Richards, and Elders W. H. Kimball, G. D. Grant, Joseph A. Young, Brigham's oldest son, and several others, all of whom were returning to Utah from foreign missions, and all of whom had been engaged in the expedition.
They overtook the emigrants at their camp on the North Fork of the Platte River, and camped with them over night. Richards was told of the opposition which Savage had made, and he openly rebuked him in the morning. He then informed the Saints that "though it might storm on the right hand and on the left, yet the storms should not reach them. The Lord would keep the way open before them, and they should reach Zion in safety." It may be that he believed all this nonsense himself. It is to be hoped, for charity's sake, that he did. If that were the case, however, it is a pity that he had not been endowed with a little of Levi Savage's common sense. It would have been much better for the Saints than all his vaunted "spirit of prophecy."
It is a significant fact, that in the very face of his prophecy, delivered to the victims of his zeal in the cause of Brigham Young, he was anxious to hasten his arrival in Salt Lake in order to send assistance back to the patient Hand-Cart emigrants, who, he must have seen, would soon be in sore straits for food and clothing. The rations were scanty, and would soon have to be lessened; the nights were chilly, and fast growing cold; and already the seventeen pounds of bedding and clothing allowed to each one were scarcely sufficient protection; and as the season advanced, and they approached the mountains, it would be totally inadequate. It was fortunate that they did not know the climate of the country, and the terrible hardships to which they were to be exposed, else their hearts would have failed them, and they would have had no courage to have recommenced the journey. My father realized it, and so did most of the party with him; yet they had no idea how horrible it was to be, else they would have insisted upon their remaining in camp until spring. Even the usually indifferent heart of Joseph A. was touched, and he hurried on to impress upon his father the urgent need for immediate assistance for those poor, forlorn creatures whom he left preparing to cross the mountains, where they would of a surety meet the late autumn and early winter storms, and where so many of them must of a certainty perish of exposure and hunger. He had no faith in the apostolic prophecy, which seemed a mockery to all those who knew the
hardships of the journey which lay before these faithful souls before they could reach the Zion of their hopes.
My father had been four years absent from us, yet such was his concern for the poor people whom he so recently left, and who had been his care for so long, that he could only stay to give us the most hurried greetings. His gladness at his return, and our responsive joy, were marred by the thought of the sufferings and privations of those earnest, simple-hearted Saints, who had literally left all to follow the beck of one whom they supposed to be the Prophet of the Lord. After all these years of absence, he only staid two days with us, - as short a time as it could possibly take to get the relief-train ready with the supplies.
I think Brigham Young's heart and conscience must have been touched. for he really seemed for a while to forget himself in the earnestness with which he pushed forward the preparations for relief. He fairly arose to the occasion, and held back nothing which could contribute to the comfort and welfare of his poor, forlorn followers. Yet he was only acting as both justice and decency commanded that he should act. He was the cause of all this terrible suffering, and he felt that he should be made answerable. Such a transaction as this could by no means remain unknown. It would be spread over America and Europe, and used as a strong weapon against Mormonism and its leader, already unpopular enough. He realized the mistake he had made when too late to rectify it, and, with his usual moral cowardice, he set about hunting for somebody on whose shoulders to shift the blame from his own. Richards and Spencer were the unfortunate victims, and he turned his wrath against them, in private conversation and in public assemblies, until they were nearly crushed by the weight of opprobrium which he heaped upon them. He was nearly beside himself with fear of the consequences which would follow, when this crowning act of selfish cupidity and egotistical vanity and presumption should be known. Love of approbation is a striking characteristic of this
Latter-Day Prophet, and he puffs and swells with self-importance at every word he receives, even of the baldest, most insincere flattery, and he cringes and crouches in as servile a manner as a whipped cur, when any adverse criticism is passed upon either his personnel or his actions. A moral as well as a physical coward, he dares not face a just opinion of himself and his deeds, and he sneaks, and skulks, and hides behind any one he can find who is broad enough to shield him.
My father's disgust at a religion which submitted to such chicanery, and his distrust of Brigham Young, were so great, that he was very near apostatizing; but my mother again held him to the church. She argued and explained; she wept and she entreated, until he said no more about it. But though, for her sake, he took no steps towards leaving the church and renouncing the faith, he felt daily his disgust and distrust increasing, and he never again believed so strongly in the Mormon religion, and ever after regarded Brigham with much less awe and respect than formerly.
BRIGHAM'S HAND-CART SCHEME, CONTINUED. - FAILURE
OF THE "DIVINE PLAN."
Arrival of the First Train. - Fearful Sufferings of the Emigrants. - Women and Girls toiling at the Carts. - The Prophet's "Experiment." - Burying the Dead. - Greater Mortality among the Men. - Arrival of Assistance. - Hand-Cart Songs. - scenes in the Camp of the Emigrants. - How every Prophecy of the Elders was Falsified. - How the Tennant Family were Shamelessly Robbed. - One of the Vilest Swindles of the Prophet. - Mr. Tennant's Unhappy Death. - His Wife Views the "Splendid Property." Bought from Brigham. - Brigham Cheats her out of her Last Dollar. - She is reduced to Abject Poverty. - The Apostle Taylor Hastens to Zion. - Richards and Spencer are made Scape-goats. - Brigham evades all responsibility. - Utter Failure of the "Divine Plan."
The first Hand-Cart Companies, which had left Iowa City early in the season, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley the last of September. They were very much fatigued, and were greatly rejoiced when their journey was ended.
The entire company had waded every river on the route to Salt Lake, and, as a consequence, the health of almost every man and woman was completely broken. The married women suffered the least, as they only had to assist their husbands in pulling the hand-carts. The young girls had to pull theirs unassisted, and they were literally worn out with the exertion. The children were placed on the carts when they became tired, and so added weight to already overburdened wagons. It was when the second of these companies came in that Brigham Young was heard to say, as he rubbed his hands and smiled with overflowing complacency, "This experiment is a success."
Alas for Brother Brigham, this remark was overheard by some of the emigrants, and it is needless to say that their faith in "inspiration," and "revelation," was very much weakened; and the subsequent adventures of their friends and companions, whose arrival had been delayed, by no means tended to reassure them, or restore their waning belief. It was enough to be the victims of a heartless and mercenary experiment; but to be deluded into the belief that it was by the direct revelation of the will of the Lord made it harder to bear, and there was much bitterness of spirit expressed when the people who had endured so much, and gloried in the endurance, because in so doing they were obeying the commands of God, learned that their sufferings were borne merely to help fill the purses of a false prophet and his corrupt followers.
When the relief train reached Captain Willie's company, they were camped on the Sweetwater, near the Rocky Ridges. They had eaten their last provisions, and death was staring them pitilessly in the face. The camp was filled with dead and dying. There was no help for the latter, and the poor souls had lost all desire to live. They were waiting, with almost apathetic indifference, for release, while those dearest to them were doubly agonized because they must see the loved ones perish, and they were helpless - even to bring comforts to them, or make life easier while it lasted. Those who were strong enough, dug one large grave in which all the dead were laid together. - It was the best they could do; but their hands were no less tender and loving, their hearts no less sore, than if the last rites had been as imposing as those of royalty itself. The only thing they could do to prepare their dear ones for the grave was to close the eyes, the loving eyes that, to the very last, had turned longingly Zion-ward; to fold the pulseless hands over the silent hearts that, through all the hardships and toil, had kept their trust firm and their faith bright; to straighten out the tired feet that, bleeding and sore, had yet toiled joyfully along the rugged path that led to the fair Canaan of their dreams; to smooth the tangled hair away from haggard faces, where the lines of care lay heavily, and yet through which the light of peace divine shone serene and pure; to arrange as decently as possible the tattered garments, which were their only clothing for the tomb, and to lay them, coffinless, in their cold bed in the Rocky Mountains, in their last, long sleep; then to go away and leave them there, with the relentless winter storms beating upon them, and no stone to mark their resting-place. The road from Winter-Quarters to Salt Lake was a via dolorosa indeed.
Thirteen had died in Willie's camp the day that succor reached them; two more died the next day; and all were buried in one grave. The men succumbed to death before the women. The cause, no doubt, was the greater weariness on account of their more arduous exertions, and their wonderful self-denial for the sake of their wives and children. They would work just so long as they could, then fall dead in front of their carts, their hands still holding them tight in the tenacious grasp of death. There was no time for mourning or delay. Hurried graves were dug, and the bodies placed therein, hastily covered, - then the survivors must press on again. Wives left their husbands, husbands their wives, parents their children, and children their parents, under the frozen earth of the desert and mountain ridges.
When the poor Saints knew that assistance had really reached them, that starvation was beaten away and death held at bay, their joy knew no bounds. They cried like children, men as well as women, and burst forth into prayer and songs of praise. They attacked the food like famished animals, and ate it with a wolfish greed. The scene is one that can never be adequately described. It was full of a terrible pathos. It told of a suffering that never can be comprehended except by those who endured it. The clothing and bedding were then divided between them, and they were made comfortable as they could be under the circumstances. That night, for the first time for many weeks, the sounds of rejoicing were heard through the camp. They were not forgotten of the Lord, nor deserted by his people; and again they found heart to sing their hand-cart hymns which had been written for them by some enthusiastic members of the train.
Contrast one of their songs, if you please, with the situation when relief from Salt Lake reached them: -
"We're going to Zion with our carts,
And the Spirit of God within our hearts;
The old, decrepit, feeble dame
Will lend a hand to pull the same;
For some must push and some must pull,
As we go marching up the hill,
Until we reach the Valley, 0!
"Our maidens, they will dance and sing,
Our young men happier be than kings,
Our strength increasing every day,
As we go travelling up the way.
Yes, some must push and some must pull,
As we go marching up the hill,
Until we reach the Valley, 0!"
Rough in phraseology, and rude in structure, it yet shows the spirit which animated the converts when they first started on their pilgrimage to the promised land. Another favorite song had a stirring chorus, as follows : -
"Hurrah for the camp of Israel!
Hurrah for the Hand-Cart scheme!
Hurrah! hurrah! tis better far
Than the wagon and ox-team."
In this song the "divine plan" was extolled with all the enthusiastic fervor with which it was first expounded to them by the elders in England. It is needless to say that these songs were written in the first glow of the furor, before any of the hardships even of the sea-voyage had been encountered. They were not sung after the first encounter with a mountain storm; that took the heart out of them. Even in the rejoicing at their deliverance, they sang only the hymns, making no attempt even to revive the spirit of the hand-cart songs.
After seeing Captain Willie's company made comfortable, the relief train started east again in search of Captain Martin's company. This they found in camp at Grease Wood Creek, twenty miles from Willie's camp. The suffering in this company was quite equal to that of the company just relieved, and precisely the same scenes were enacted. They were wild with joy, and men and women fell on the necks of their deliverers with sobs and kisses, calling them their saviours, and invoking blessings of all kinds on their heads.
The camp was filled with dead and dying, and many had been left behind that day, having fallen exhausted in the way. The storm had been blinding, and their companions could not stop for them; they could only hasten on while daylight lasted, making their slow, painful progress towards the haven of their rest. My father and his comrades spent the night in searching for those that were left behind, and bringing them into camp. where they were tenderly cared for. Many of them died very soon after being brought in others lived, but they were maimed for life, feet and hands, in many cases. having been literally frozen off. This was the people, "the chosen people of God, for whose benefit the Indians, the seasons. nay, the very elements themselves, should be
controlled." Their belief in "prophecy" must have been severely tried by this shock.
Everything had happened to them to make their journey hard. Their carts had broken down repeatedly, as my father had prophesied they would, and a great deal of delay had been caused by the frequent stopping for repairs; their cattle had stampeded, so that their supply of milk and fresh beef was cut off, and only oxen enough left to allow one yoke to a team; some of the men who dropped behind the others, wearied with the journey, were eaten by wolves; very many had died, and others were hopelessly crippled; the winter had set in earlier, and with severer Storms than have ever been known in all the Utah experience. It seemed as if the Lord were punishing priest and people, the one for the audacious assumption of power, the other for blind belief in, and dependence on, earthly promises, even when purporting to come from Him. Blasphemous presumption and foolish ignorance were alike hateful in His sight.
Richards had promised the people that they should find supplies at Laramie, but he was unable to reach there with them, and on their arrival the Saints found only a message telling them that the supplies would be at South Pass. It was with heavy hearts that they went on their toilsome way, more discouraged than ever they had been before. The swift-falling winter storms made matters worse, and it is only a wonder that so many survived as did, - that every one did not perish before aid could reach them.
The day after reaching Martin's camp. the party from Salt Lake pushed on about thirty miles farther east, walking most of the way, through a blinding snow, to meet Captain Hunt's wagon train. They found the people connected with this but very little better off than the Hand-Cart companies; they were suffering severely from the intense cold, and many had their limbs frozen. Captain Hunt might have hastened and reached Salt Lake City earlier, but he had been expressly forbidden to pass the hand-carts, which shows conclusively enough that those very persons who sent the emigrants off at that unfavorable season feared for the results. This was the last company that was to be relieved, and so my father and his companions remained with the train until it overtook the hand-carts at Devil's Gate.
At this point the train was unloaded, and all the goods which were going to Salt Lake City, that could actually be spared, were left there for the winter, and the wagons were filled with the sick and feeble emigrants, who could never have reached the Valley but for this aid. The progress was necessarily slow, but the people were so much more comfortable that the time did not drag so heavily. There were very few deaths after the mountains were well crossed, and a milder climate reached, and those who were ill grew better, although the majority of them have never been well since.
At Fort Bridger, one hundred and thirty miles from Salt Lake City, the emigrants were met by an order from Brigham Young to winter there and at Fort Supply. A general feeling of dismay spread over the camp, in spite of the joy with which the Saints received the added supplies of food and clothing. To be so near their destination, and yet to be kept from it, seemed doubly hard, after all the sorrow and hardships they had met and endured on their way. It did indeed seem as though the way to the land of promise was closed, instead of being opened to them. Were they, like Moses of old, to die in sight of their Canaan? Had they been brought all this way only to perish just outside the walls of their Zion?
The places designated by Brigham were totally unfit to winter in. Should the poor Saints, in their feeble and emaciated condition, attempt it, it was more than likely that they would perish before spring. Seeing the utter impracticability of the plan, and touched by the distress of the poor people, who were again to be made the victims of a prophetic blunder, two or three of the relieving party, among them my father, came at once to the city, travelling day and night, to have arrangements made to bring them to the Valley.
They were successful in their mission, and an express was at once despatched to bring the waiting Saints home. When at length they arrived, they were met with gladness, and given the warmest welcome. The people in Salt Lake City opened their houses to them, and took them gladly in, giving them the best and the kindest care. Those of the Hand-Cart companies, who had come in first, crowded round them, and met them with tears of rejoicing, in which sorrow mingled. It was then that they began to realize their loss. As one after another of their old companions came up. and missing some familiar face, inquired for the friend so dearly beloved, always the same sad answer came - "Died on the Plains." Sixty-seven were left on the way from the Missouri River to the Valley, which was about one sixth of the number which started.
I remember distinctly when these companies came in; their wretched condition impressed me at the time, and I have seen many of them since, poor crippled creatures, stumping about the city, trying to do enough work to keep soul and body together; more than that, they were not able to do I have heard, too, from some of them, the most harrowing stories of their journey, that terrible, fatal journey; which was one of the very worst blunders that the Prince of Blunderers, Brigham Young, ever made.
The recollection is made more vivid because my youngest brother, Edward, who went out with a team to assist the emigrants, got lost in the snow, and for a week we supposed him to be dead. After wandering for some days in the mountains, with both feet badly frozen, he was found by a mountaineer named Battiste, who kept him, and cared for him most kindly, until the arrival of my father, who had heard, while with the train, that he was missing, and had gone at once in search of him. It was a narrow escape, and the terrible expedition came near proving a tragedy to us as well as to so many others.
Among the emigrants was a very wealthy gentleman of the name of Tennant. He and his wife were among the early converts, and were very earnest Mormons. They had for a long time been resolved to come to Zion. and when the Hand-Cart scheme was introduced they decided to join that company. Humble followers of Christ, they thought they could in no better way show their love for Him and their devotion to their religion, than by such an act of self- sacrifice as this. Possessed of ample means to have crossed the ocean and travelled in the most comfortable and even luxurious manner, they nevertheless chose to go in this way, with the poorest of the Saints, and share with them all the hardships and dangers which should attend this toilsome,
Mr. Tennant gave liberally to the emigration fund, in order that as many poor Saints as possible might make the long-anticipated pilgrimage to Zion, and both himself and his wife provided liberally for the comfort of their poor fellow-travellers. A short time before the emigrant company left England, the Apostle Richards, in one of his eloquent dissertations on the "plan" and its divine origin, said that in order to assist the poor to emigrate, President Young had given to the Emigration Fund Society an estate in Salt Lake City, to be sold for its benefit. He dilated largely upon the disinterested generosity' of the Prophet, and his desire that as many' as possible of his faithful followers should be gathered to Zion during that season. Fired by this act of extreme kindness on the part of his revered leader in the church, Mr. Tennant at once bought the property, and paid, it is said, thirty thousand dollars down for it. There is little need, perhaps, of saying that that was immensely more than its real value; but that fact its purchaser was not aware of, as it was glorified by all the apostolic eloquence bestowed upon it, quite beyond recognition.
On the voyage, and during the journey across the States, and the tiresome waiting time at Iowa City, no one was more beloved than Mr. Tennant and his gentle, estimable wife. Sharing alike with the poorer Saints, no word of complaint ever passed their lips. They never for a moment seemed to regret their decision to emigrate at this particular time, but accepted every fresh hardship as a trial to their faith, sent by God Himself to test them, and prove their worthiness to enter His glorious kingdom on earth. They moved among their companions with kindly laces and words of cheer and comfort. They
encouraged endurance by their example and made the forced discomforts of some of the party seem easier to bear by their voluntary assumption of them. As far as they could they alleviated the distress which prevailed, and were always ready to perform any deeds of kindness.
The journey with the hand-carts was doubly hard for them, unused as they were to exertion; and day after day the wife saw the husband slowly succumbing to fatigue and disease, and she powerless to assist him. But, though his strength waned and his health failed him, yet his courage and his faith remained steadfast and fixed. Whatever came he believed would surely be right, and though he struggled manfully to keep up until he should reach Zion, yet he was overcome, and died at O'FaIlon's Bluffs, literally of exhaustion. His last thought was for his sorrowing wife, and his last word was of comfort and consolation to her. He had one thought to make the parting easier - he had provided a home for her in Zion; Brother Brigham held it in trust for her, and she would find the comforts to which she was used, and rest and peace in the Valley with the chosen people.
The bereaved wife clung wildly to her husband's remains, with the most heart-broken lamentations. To have him die was a misery in itself; but to see the slow, cruel torture which he underwent, and to watch him slowly dying such a horrible death, was almost unbearable. For a time it seemed almost as though she must be left there with him that her soul would follow his. Happier would it have been for her had that fate been hers. The cold earth and pitiless winter storms would not be so cold and so pitiless as the world was to her, after this loving protecting arm was taken from her. A woman, unused to toil and hardship, nurtured in luxury, reared in tenderness and love, she was left alone to battle single-handed with the world. And such a world whose ruling passion was avarice, and whose delight was another's torture; the world of Mormon Sainthood - ruled over by a grasping, lecherous, heartless tyrant, who laughed at a woman's sorrows and flouted at her wrongs. I think if she had known all that was to follow, she would have lain down on the plain by the side of her dead husband, and endured the torture of a horrible, slow death, rather than have gone on to the years of suffering which lay before her.
It is fortunate, indeed, that the future is so closely veiled to us; else we should all lose heart and courage in this unequal struggle called life, and lay down our weapons, convinced that it is of no use to struggle longer. Providence deals wisely with us, after all, and we are forced to admit it at every step of our lives.
The hurried funeral rites were over, and the man who had been so great a benefactor to the people among whom he had cast his lot, was left sleeping his last sleep in a strange land, and the sorrowing party resumed their weary way, saddened by this affliction. On the arrival at Salt Lake Mrs. Tennant at once proceeded to look after her property. The "magnificent estate" for which her husband had paid so fabulous a price, was a small wooden house, inconvenient and out of repair, and worth not a tenth part of what had been paid for it.
She was shocked and troubled at what seemed such a piece of swindling on the part of the President and the church authorities, although at first she was inclined to exonerate Brigham Young and blame Apostle Richards for misrepresentation; but an audience with Brigham soon convinced her that he was at the bottom of the whole affair, and she felt bitterly enough towards the man who, under the guise of religious benevolence, would be guilty of such a piece of trickery. Even this poor shelter was not left her very long. The place, and, indeed, most of the valuable things which her husband had sent to make their home in Zion more comfortable, were taken for tithing and on other pretences, and in a very few months this woman was compelled to go out to daily
labor to earn her bread, her rightful property going to fill the already overflowing coffers of the "Prophet of the Lord." Indeed, the entire Hand-Cart expedition was a good speculation for the President, and helped replenish the prophetic pocket.
There is no doubt that Young did repent of this foolish step of his, but it was not at all on account of the suffering and misery which he entailed upon so many innocent persons, but because he knew that an act of that kind, becoming public, would make him and his religion more unpopular than ever, and they were already in sufficiently bad odor with the outside world. He could ill afford to make such a blunder. It would also work against his influence with the Saints themselves, and he was always jealous of his authority over his people.
The Apostle John Taylor arrived home before either Apostle Richards or Elder Spenser, and he, as a matter of course, told his own story, throwing all the blame upon his two co-workers, so that when they arrived they found the full torrent of the Presidential wrath turned against them. They were sadly hurt, for, in their zeal to carry out instructions and gain the approbation of their leader, they had, they affirmed, all through the affair, acted against the dictates of humanity and their own consciences.
He was loud in his denunciations of them; he cursed them in the name of Israel's God ; " he ridiculed them in public until they were compelled to hide their heads in very shame. Their sole fault was, they had been too faithful to him. Spenser never recovered from the disgrace; he always remained a broken-down, helpless man, seeking no favor, expecting none, not even decent treatment, from his master, until, after lingering for ten years under the prophetic ban, he died heart-broken. Richards has, in a degree, overcome the President's feeling towards him, and is gaining favor all the time, but he will never stand as high as he did before this most unfortunate exhibition. The people will never forget his share in it, and those who came to Zion, influenced by his eloquent appeals and encouraged by his prophecies, associate him naturally enough with that unhappy experience. Then, although Brigham Young has partially restored him to favor by certain acts and kindnesses granted to him, yet he has never taken back any of the anathemas which he showered upon him, and they are by no means forgotten by those who heard them, and have a certain influence even now in forming public opinion.
Notwithstanding the terrible consequences of this "divine plan," its originator did not wish to acknowledge that he had in any way been mistaken. The plan, he argued ,was all right; it only went wrong through mismanagement, and he would prove its, feasibility to the satisfaction of every Saint in the Territory. The plan was "divine," and he would "sanctify it to the glory of the Lord."
So in the April following he sent a company of elders on a mission, compelling them to go with hand-carts. These were properly made, of good material, strongly finished, with iron tires, and everything to make them durable. They had plenty of provisions; so they would not be reduced to the necessity of eating their own shoes nor biting their own flesh in the mad frenzy of starvation, as many a poor fellow did in the expedition whose "divinity" they were sent out to prove. The season was favorable, and there was no danger of their being overtaken by terrible mountain storms, underneath which they would be buried. They were all robust young men, too; better fitted to endure a journey like the one ordained for them by their Prophet, than the feeble old men and women, the young wives, mothers, and maidens, and the tiny, toddling children, who formed a great portion of the other company. Then they started fresh, not wearied already by a rough sea-voyage, a journey thousands of miles across the Continent, to the final starting-point, nor reduced by hunger and exposure. They had the advantage in everything, and yet, although their expedition was by no means fatal, it was very far from being a success, such as Brigham expected it to be.
On his way to Chicago my father overtook them at Devil's Gate. He found them completely jaded and worn out. In truth, they were almost dead from weariness. They travelled slowly, making long stops to rest, and finally they reached the Missouri River in a perfect state of exhaustion. They left their carts there with the utmost willingness, showing wonderful alacrity at abandoning a "divine" scheme. To this day they all aver they cannot bear to hear the word "Hand-cart" mentioned. It was the last time the "experiment" was tried, and after this but little was said regarding the divine origin of the plan; and it is a significant fact that no one has preserved more utter silence on the subject than the "Revelator", Brigham Young.
THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS' MASSACRE. - "VENGEANCE IS
MINE: I WILL REPAY."
The Results of the Reformation. - The Story of a Fiendish Deed. - The Peoples Mouths Closed. - How the Dreadful Crime was Hushed Up. - Judge Cradlebaughs Efforts to Unravel the Mystery. - Who were the Guilty Ones -The Emigrants on the Way to Utah. The People Forbidden to sell them Food. - They Arrive at Salt Lake City is Ordered to Break Camp. - In need of Supplies. - Who was accountable - Why the Mormons hated the Emigrants. - The Story of Parley P Pratt. - How he Seduced McLean's Wife. - Their Journey to Cedar City. - Hungry and Weary, but still Pressing On. - They Reach the Mountain Meadows. - Attacked by "the Indians." - The Emigrants Besieged. - Dying of Thirst. - Two little Girls shot by the Mormons an Appeal for help. - The Last Hope of the Besieged.-Waiting for Death.
F all the numberless atrocities that succeeded the Utah Reformation, and were the direct outgrowth of the teaching of the revolting doctrine of the "Blood Atonement," nothing approaches in fiendish barbarity the Massacre at the Mountain Meadows, where, on the 17th of September, 1857, a company of emigrants from Arkansas and Missouri, on their way to California, were assassinated in the most cruel and treacherous manner, by a band of disguised Mormons and Indians, under the leadership of officers of the Mormon militia.
Nearly eighteen years have passed, and until within a comparatively short time, little has been definitely known concerning the details of the massacre, either by the Gentile world, or by the mass of the Mormon people, who, to give them the justice which they deserve, would have shrunk with horror from the very idea that the commission of the terrible deed could be laid to the charge of their beloved church.
I was but a child at the time, but I recollect, perfectly, hearing that an emigrant-train had been attacked by the Indians, and all members of the band, with the exception of a few of the smaller children, killed; and I remember, also, seeing these children, who were said to have been taken from their Indian captors by Mormon officers, and were to be cared for by the Mormon people. I suppose the remembrance is the more vivid because, before their arrival in Utah. the people were forbidden by Brigham Young and his elders to sell them anything during their journey through the Territory, and this was so unusual a command that it was a matter of wondering conjecture to most of the Mormons, although no one dreamed of questioning the justice of the Prophet's mandate.
Young as I was. I felt the mystery that shrouded the whole horrible transaction, and I knew instinctively, as did many others, that something was being hidden from the mass of the people, by their leaders, which it was not deemed prudent to reveal; but the terrible truth was not then even suspected by the faithful Saints. I can understand now, as I could not then, why all wonder concerning this wholesale murder was speedily hushed up; why any definite mention of it was avoided by the leaders in the church; why, when it was spoken of at all, it was with cautious manner, apprehensive glances, and in whispered tones under the breath. Priests and people alike hesitated to approach the dreaded subject, and there was an almost superhuman endeavor on the part of the church authorities to erase all remembrance of it from the minds of their followers. But occurrences of this kind are not easily forgotten, and the memory of that bloody and unprovoked butchery is still fresh in other minds besides my own, retained there so distinctly that neither time nor eternity can obliterate it. The very mystery which veiled it made it more awful to me, an imaginative, excitable child; and though I followed the example of my elders, and never spoke of the subject, even to my mother, it haunted me perpetually, and I grew absolutely terrified at the constantly recurring fancies
which I drew of it.
Although the people were so quiet, since there was a tacit understanding that they must be so, yet their eyes nor ears were never closed, and thought was by no means idle. Indeed, as the years have rolled on, what was at first a vague suspicion, which it seemed a sin to entertain, has grown to a horrible certainty, until to-day it stands forth, stripped of all its first mystery, fearfully vivid in its monstrosity, the foulest of all the foul blots upon the unclean page of Mormon history. It was a deed unparalleled in its atrocity; unapproachable in the treachery employed by its perpetrators more horrible in its sickening details than the butcheries by the most barbarous savages; the work of fiends rather than of men; and yet so successful has been the "quiet" policy of the
Mormon leaders, that I find the extent of its horrors but dimly understood east of the Rocky Mountains.
Attempts were made by Judge Cradlebaugh to discover the perpetrators, and, above all, the instigators of this deed, and bring them speedily to justice; but with a Mormon jury, blinded by their bigotry, who were taught from the pulpit that allegiance to the church and Brigham Young was paramount to all their duties and obligations to the government of the United States, whose Citizens they claimed to be, that perjury to that government would be forgiven by the priesthood, indeed was counselled by it, and that no Mormon was to be delivered over to Gentile justice, no matter what his crime might have been, nor how distinctly it was proved, it followed naturally enough that the efforts, earnest and untiring as they were, were utterly fruitless.
Judge Cradlebaugh's last attempt to ferret out the affair was made in 1859; and since that time no action has been taken by the government until last autumn, when the long-smothered suspicion broke forth into audible accusations, and in this new burst of popular demand for justice, the supposed leaders were arrested. I inadvertently said "supposed" leaders: but it has been shown beyond the possibility of a doubt that John D. Lee, a major in the Mormon militia, and one of the most active and zealous of Brigham Young's devoted adherents, led the attack in person; that many of the victims fell by his hand; and that he, assisted by Bishop Haight and the notorious Dame, acted under instructions from "a higher authority." The plans of massacre were fully
matured, at a council held at Parowan, by Brigadier-General George A. Smith, first counsellor to Brigham. and a fit servant for such a master, Colonel Wilham C. Dame. Bishop of Fillmore, Lieutenant-Colonel Haight. President of the Cedar City "Stake of Zion," Bishop Higbee. and John D. Lee.
Of all these men, Lee, who is now under arrest, has been the most closely identified with the massacre, in the public mind, until he has grown to be an object of popular aversion, shunned and dreaded. It may seem childish, but so strong a hold had this affair taken on my imagination, that I have never been able to shake off the feeling of terror with which it filled me; and when, last autumn, I was told of his arrest, and knew that he was safe inside prison walls, I positively experienced a feeling of relief and personal safety, as great as though some enemy of my own had been rendered powerless to harm me. I had never even seen the man; but knowing the record of his crimes, and always hearing of him in connection with some deed of bloody brutality, my horror and fear of him never diminished, and he remained, what he had always been, the ogre of my childish fancies.
It is a horrible story, sickening in its every detail; but it cannot be told too often, until it shall be known all over the country by every person who is ignorant of it now.
It was early in September, 1857, when it was first announced in Salt Lake City that a large emigrant party from Missouri and Arkansas had, entered the Valley on their way to California. As soon as the announcement was made, a command was issued by the President of the church, that nothing was to be sold to any member of this party, on the pain of death. The command was most arbitrary, and was totally without precedent, showing beyond a doubt the animus of Brigham Young towards this party, and rendering it much easier to believe that the terrible tragedy which followed was approved, if not instigated, by him.
Salt Lake had been for a long time the depôt for obtaining fresh supplies prior to crossing the deserts which separated Utah and California. Every emigrant train which had crossed the plains for some years, had made this a resting-place, and taken a fresh start from here for the remainder of the tedious journey. Much money was left in this way in the Mormon country, and, as usual, Brigham Young got his, the "lion's share," of all the profits.
This train, like all that had gone before it, had laid their plans to supply themselves for their journey at Salt Lake City, and had only brought a sufficient quantity of provisions to last them until they reached that point. Greatly to their surprise, they found themselves unable to purchase anything, and, in addition, were peremptorily ordered to break their camp at Salt Lake and move on. All through the country of the Saints they were met with sturdy refusals to sell them anything. Men who would gladly have placed a quantity of provisions at their disposal dared not do it, fearing to disobey their Prophet's mandate. In vain the emigrants offered them money, wagons, personal property of all kinds. Brigham's law was not to be broken, and the person who
should venture to disregard it pronounced his own death sentence. Now and then, however, one more humane or more daring than the rest, came to the camp at night with a small amount of provisions - all they could bring without danger of detection; but what was this little to one hundred and fifty hungry men and women, to say nothing of the little children who were to be fed? It might have met a present want, but it did nothing towards providing for future needs. Starvation was staring them in the face while they were journeying in the midst of plenty, - for it is a notorious fact that the harvests never were more plentiful in Utah than they were that year.
Whatever may have been Brigham Young's connection with the massacre itself, - whether it was done at his instigation or merely with his connivance, - he was, to all intents and purposes, the murderer of these people, and should be held responsible for their lives. What right had he, the governor of the Territory of Utah, appointed to office by the United States Government, amenable to its laws as a citizen, much more so as an office-holder, bound by an oath of loyalty to protect every person within the limits of his territory, to refuse food to peaceful, law-abiding citizens of the same government, knowing, as he did, that here was their only opportunity to obtain it, and that certain death was their fate if compelled to cross the desert with the scanty rations which
remained to them?
The treatment of these people from the moment of entering Brigham Young's dominions until the final tragedy, was so barbarous, and attended with so many horrors, that the Mormon people, contrary to their usual custom, feel obliged to offer some excuse in extenuation. But all the reasons which they give, when combined, are entirely insufficient to justify the deed. Yet, such as they are, they shall be given.
The "Reformation" was over, and the doctrine of the "Blood-Atonement" was still in full force. Young and his confederates were infuriated because United States troops were ordered to Utah. They considered this act of the government an open insult, and they revenged it on the first Gentiles whom they could reach. The train was one of the largest and richest that had ever crossed the plains. The value of their wagons, horses, and stock alone was said to be $300,000, and the women of the party had rich, full wardrobes and elegant, costly jewelry. Brigham, as you have seen, ignores the tenth
commandment, and the sixth is a dead-letter to him; to covet his neighbors' goods is to possess them in some way or other, either honestly or otherwise - generally otherwise.
A part of the emigrants were from Missouri, and the Mormon people will never regard the Missourians in any other light than that of the bitterest enemies. They had never, in all the years, forgotten the persecution which they received at their hands, and Joseph Smith's death they considered unavenged. It was reported that in the train was a man who had openly boasted of having been present at the assassination of Smith, and that he as openly threatened to take the life of the present prophet. This story is generally believed to be utterly without foundation, circulated by the Mormon leaders to stir
up the wrath of the people against the emigrants, and to exonerate themselves, if their share in the slaughter of these people should ever become known. The Arkansas members of the train, also, were objects of Mormon vengeance. Parley P. Pratt, one of the twelve apostles, and also one of the brightest intellectual lights in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, was sent on a mission to California. where he proselyted with such vigor that many converts were made; among them a Mrs. Eleanor McLean, wife of one Hector McLean, and the mother of three children, who was induced to embrace Mormonism and polygamy as embodied in the person of the seductive apostle. The command to "leave all and follow me" was readily obeyed, especially as she was
personally to add to the missionary's present pleasure and future glory, by becoming one of his numerous plural wives.
As there was no authority to marry them in a "legal" manner in this Gentile state. they were obliged to defer that ceremony until their arrival in "Zion." But in cases like this, which were often occurring to the missionary Saints, it was considered quite proper for the pair. who were in haste to wed, to "covenant together," and thereafter to be regarded as man and wife, without ministerial or judicial aid, until such time as they could celebrate their nuptials in the presence of saintly witnesses, and after the true saintly fashion. This covenant the Apostle Pratt and Mrs. McLean were not slow to make.
The news soon reached the husband that his wife was going to Utah with the Mormon Elder, and intended taking the children with her. This last design McLean frustrated by sending them to some relatives in one of the Southern States. He then informed his wife that she was at liberty to go where she chose, but that she must go alone, as he had placed the children beyond her reach.
She came to Utah, and immediately on her arrival was sealed to Parley, after having lived under a covenant with him for months. The mother-heart, however, yearned for her children; neither her new religion nor the fractional part of an apostle could fill the void left by the separation from them, and she determined to gain possession of them and bring them also to Utah. After much entreating, she succeeded in inducing her new husband to go to the States with her for the purpose of finding them. She went alone to the place where her children were at school, leaving Pratt in Arkansas, - which, by the way, was her husband's home. On reaching the town where her children were, she was obliged to assume a disguise. as McLean was there, having followed his children from California. She used every stratagem to obtain them, but only succeeded in carrying away one. She quickly made her way with him to Arkansas, and joined Parley, who was awaiting her there. Together they started to return to Utah, but were overtaken by McLean, who, maddened by the breaking up of his home, the seduction of his wife, and the abduction of his child, determined to wreak summary vengeance on the man who, under the guise of religion, and in the name of the Lord, whom he constantly blasphemed by taking His holy name upon his polluted lips, had wrecked his whole life's happiness.
Being examined before a magistrate, Mrs. McLean Pratt assumed all the responsibility of the abduction of the children. and the Apostle was honorably discharged. His friends, however, apprehended danger, and advised him to escape, if he could, for McLean was a violent man. They also offered him a couple of revolvers for his defence.
The Apostle fled, but McLean was on his trail. At length the wronged husband came within sight of his enemy, and pursued him like the avenger of blood. Pratt left the public road, endeavoring to reach a house not far distant; but McLean was too swift for him. Following him closely, with revolver drawn, he fired at the saintly seducer, but failed to touch him. Furious at Pratt's escape, McLean urged forward his horse, and, as he passed his enemy, made a lunge with his bowie-knife, and gave him a fatal thrust in his side. The wounded man fell from his horse instantly, and McLean fired again at the
guilty wretch as he lay bleeding on the ground, and the ball penetrated his breast.
The bloody deed performed, McLean returned to Fort Smith, walked through the town with his friends, and in the evening took the passing steamer for the South. He took his child and left the mother to return to Utah, now doubly widowed and childless. The people of Arkansas upheld McLean. and it was considered that he had only done his duty in ridding the world of such a wolf in sheep's clothing.
But the Mormons were deeply infuriated; they held every Arkansas man personally responsible for the murder of their Apostle, whom they at once canonized as saint, and worshipped as martyr, and whose name, to this day, is spoken with reverence by them; and the fact that any of these emigrants were from that state, gave them, as they thought, an opportunity of revenging Pratt's death, at the same time that they avenged the murder of their Prophet. Many of them, too, were from the immediate neighborhood where McLean resided, and where Pratt was killed; and at least one of the number was said to have been interested in his assassination. The fact that Pratt had brought his death upon himself was not taken into consideration. They found
no palliation for McLean's action in his wrecked home and blighted life; though no persons in the world are so quick to resent any, even fancied, interference with their families as the Mormons. Yet this is saintly consistency.
At the Parowan council, of which I have spoken, the mode of action was fully determined upon, and the plan of attack matured to the minutest detail. Meeting with the most inhospitable treatment, and unable to obtain provisions, the emigrants were fairly driven from camp to camp, until they reached Cedar City. They camped here only one day; but during their stay they were allowed to purchase fifty bushels of tithing wheat and have it ground at John D. Lee's mill. But this was an insufficient quantity, and would be exhausted several days before they could reach the nearest point in California where food was obtainable, even if they travelled with the utmost speed, and put themselves on the shortest possible rations.
From Cedar City they proceeded south-west less thin forty miles, and camped at the Mountain Meadows, which they reached after a five days' journey, so exhausted were they. It was a most cheerless and dreary spot, and so hemmed in that if attacked they would be completely at the mercy of their assailants. The Meadows are about a mile and a half long and a mile wide, and are shut in on every side by mountains; but at the lower end they converge and form a cañon. Cane Spring is situated just at the mouth of this cañon, and about thirty rods above this spring, a mound, two hundred feet long and one hundred feet wide, shuts out all view. In the midst of this gray desolation of nature, the emigrants settled themselves down for a few days' rest and final preparation before they resumed their perilous journey.
Beyond the annoyance they had experienced by the withholding of provisions, and their enforced march from camp to camp throughout the Mormon territory, they apprehended no ill-treatment from the Saints. I do not think the fear of personal danger had entered their minds at all, and they were resting quietly at the Meadows, when, on the morning of the 10th of September, while the women of the party were engaged in preparing breakfast, and the men in caring for their stock, they were suddenly attacked by the Indians. Seven were killed and fifteen wounded at the first fire.
JOHN D. LEE, BISHOP IN THE MORMON CHURCH, AND LEADER IN
THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE.
Has nineteen wives and sixty-four children.
As unexpected as the attack was, they did not lose for one instant their coolness and presence of mind. Had they done so, the massacre would have been general, and the entire party killed on the spot. But with a promptness unparalleled in the history of any border warfare, these emigrants wheeled their wagons into an oblong corral, and with almost lightning-like rapidity threw up the earth from the centre of the corral against the wagon wheels, making an excellent and almost impenetrable barricade.
It had been decided at the Parowan Council to make the attack at Santa Clara Cañon, at the point where it is crossed by the California road, and where the perpendicular walls, which it was impossible to scale, and the blockade of their own wagons, would preclude the possibility of the escape of a single soul. But the Indian allies, "The Battle Axes of the Lord," became impatient, and precipitated the attack. The liberal promises made to them by John D. Lee, the Indian-Agent, of blankets, clothing, rifles, ammunition, and trinkets, excited their cupidity; and so eager were they to obtain the promised spoils, that they could not wait to carry out the original plan.
As soon as the barricade was finished, the first fire of the Indians was returned, and three of the assailants were wounded. They had crept very close to the train, not dreaming a repulse possible, and lay concealed in the brush along the side of the creek. Two of the Indians died, notwithstanding they were taken to Cedar City, where their wounds were anointed with consecrated oil by Bishop Higbee. For once, at least, the "laying on" of "saintly" hands was not efficacious, and the mortal wounds refused to he healed in spite of persistent priestly prayers.
The leaders of the Mormon militia, at Cedar City, were thrown into a state of excitement by the arrival of an Indian runner, bringing news of the unsuccessful assault, and they at once commenced collecting their forces to go to the Meadows to the assistance of their allies. It is said that Haight told a man that orders had come from headquarters to slay every person in the train. The Cedar City forces being considered inadequate, Lee sent to Washington for re-enforcements. When the troops were within a short distance of the Meadows, they were told that the entire company was to be killed, with the exception of the children who were too young to remember.
The Mormons were disguised as Indians, and so successfully that the unfortunate besieged had no idea that their besiegers were white men. The very knowledge of this would have disheartened them more than all the perils of their situation had power to do, when they supposed they had only a savage foe to meet, whom they hoped speedily to repulse. Safely intrenched behind their barricade, they suffered only for lack of water. The spring was only about forty rods distant, and yet they dared not venture to go to it, and the water was as unattainable as though it had been miles away. Every attempt to obtain a supply was frustrated by the reports of cruel guns, hidden behind mounds of earth. The whole rim of the basin formed by the circling hills was a masked
battery sending forth destruction every time a form was seen inside the barricade. At first it was supposed only the men were in danger, and a woman of the party stepped outside the corral to milk a cow. She fell pierced with bullets. At length, their thirst becoming intolerable, they decided to send two of the little girls to the spring for water. Surely, they reasoned, they will be let to go unharmed; their youth and innocence will be their safeguard; the most barbarous savage would certainly be touched, and the hand of destruction stayed.
It might have been, had it been savages with whom they were contending; but no feeling of pity for even the children could enter the hearts of these "civilized" white men who were engaged in the "religious" warfare, and shot down their innocent victims in the name of the Lord.
Hand in hand the little ones advanced towards the spring, dressed in white, - fit robes for such lambs of sacrifice. Suddenly came the crack of scores of rifles, and the tiny bodies fell, fairly riddled with bullets, in the very sight of the frantic parents. It was deeds of this kind which, according to John D. Lee, "glorified the name of Israel's God."
Then the emigrants knew they could not expect mercy; but their courage did not fail them. If aid could only reach them! If there was any way in which they could make their situation known! They might hold out a few days, though starvation and the slow, keen torture of unallayed thirst stared them in the face. After four days of siege, they drew up a prayer for aid, telling how they had been attacked by the Indians, and how they were then surrounded; it contained a list of the emigrants' names, their age, place of birth, and residence at the time of the emigration. The number of clergymen, physicians, and
other professional men were given; also the number of Freemasons and Oddfellows, with the rank of each and the name of the lodge to which they belonged. The letter was addressed to any friend of humanity; and it was a heart-rending cry of distress from souls in mortal straits. Such a cry as that could not go unheeded; it must be answered by speedy relief. It was the only expression of despair that ever came from the brave hearts in the corral; but it told of torture beyond description; of suffering that exceeds imagination.
But how should it find its way outside the barricade? How could the world be made to hear this agonized appeal? No sooner was the petition finished than three men - all honor to their bravery - volunteered to break through the camp, dash past their enemy, and cross the desert to California. They more than suspected by this time that a portion of their assailants were white men, and they knew they were in more danger from them than from the Indians. It is said that, before these men started on their perilous and almost hopeless undertaking, the entire party knelt down, and an old, white-haired Methodist pastor prayed for their safety. They left the corral in the night under cover of the darkness, and passed their besiegers in safety. But in some way their flight was discovered, the Indian runners were placed on their track, and they were mercilessly .murdered. The first one was killed while lying asleep from exhaustion, by an Indian named Jackson, who has since boasted of the deed, and who, in years after, led a person to the spot where he committed the murder; the body had been burned, but the charred remains of the skull and larger bones marked the spot.
The appeal was found near the dead body of the man by Jackson, who gave it to a Mormon gentleman; he kept it for some time without allowing any one to know that it was in his possession; but one day he showed it to one of the men who was nearly concerned in the massacre, and he deliberately tore it in pieces on the spot. Its first possessor has no sympathy with the deed, and expresses himself ready to come forward at any time and testify to the contents of the letter, of which he is perfectly well aware. In speaking of it to a gentleman connected with the western press, he is said to have exclaimed, I believe that if the Masons and Oddfellows knew how many of their brethren were in the train, they wouldn't let the accursed murderers go unpunished. It
must be that in some manner they will be punished.
"The mills of the gods grind slowly." to be sure, but they grind with exactness, and retribution is certain to follow crime sooner or later.
The other two men were overtaken at Virgin Hills, stripped of their clothing, and told to run for their lives; a shower of arrows was sent after them, wounding them severely; one could scarcely crawl, and his captors soon overtook him, and, binding him to a stake, piled fagots about him and set fire to them, and exulted with fiendish glee over the death-agonies of their victim.
The last one made his way to the camp of the Vagas Indians, who, pitying his condition, gave him clothing and food. He then tried to make his way to California, but was met by Ira Hatch and his band of Mormons and Indians, and was put to death by slow torture.
In the mean time the condition of the besieged grew worse. Day by day passed, and their sufferings constantly increased; still they kept courageous hearts, and looked for the help that must come. Their food was nearly gone, their increasing thirst was rendered more unendurable, because just beyond they could hear the ripple of the water, as the little brook danced on in merry mockery of their sufferings. And yet not a murmur of complaint was heard; men and women looked calmly into each other's eyes, and parched lips spoke words of cheer and hope, to which, alas! the heavy hearts did not respond. On one thing they were determined; they would die, but they would never surrender. Their wives and children should never be given over to such mercy as
they would meet at the hands of their brutal enemies.
BETRAYED AND MURDERED. - TRAIL OF JOHN D. LEE.
The "White Flag of Peace. - Friends in the Distance. - A Cruel Deception. - Mormon Fiends plan their Destruction. - John D. Lee's Crocodile Tears. -"Lay down your Arms,
and Depart in Peace." - A Horrible Suspicion. - The Massacre. - The Scene of Blood. - No Mercy for Women and Children. - Robbed and Outraged. - Murdered by Lee's
Own Hand. - The Field of Slaughter. -Dividing the Property of the Murdered Ones. - Brigham Young Demands his Share. - Haunted by Spectres. - John D. Lee's Trial. -
Instigated by Brigham. - No Justice in Utah. - Lee's Confession made to Shield the False Prophet. - Eight Mormon and Four Gentile Jurors. - What was to be Expected?
The morning of the 17th of September dawned. The hearts of all the doomed party were sick with deferred hope. Suddenly a cry of relief broke from the corral. A wagon, filled with white men, bearing a white flag, was seen coming down the Meadows. Succor was at hand. Their terrible tortures were over. Strong men wept like children at the thought that their beloved ones, for whom they agonized through all those dreary days and nights of siege, were safe at last.
The deliverers were none other than John D. Lee and the officers of the Mormon militia. Immediately upon their appearance the Indians ceased firing, and, in their fancied security, the besieged emigrants rushed outside the corral to meet their rescuers. How their hearts warmed towards Brigham Young and the Mormon people. All the wrongs they had suffered at their hands dwindled into insignificance before this last crowning act of humanity. Into the sympathizing ears of their saviors they poured the terrible story of their sufferings. Lee is said to have wept while listening to the recital, and, at
the end, assured them of his deep sympathy, and promised all the relief in his power.
How much he would be able to do for them be was unable to say until he had consulted with the Indians, and he went back, and pretended to hold a consultation. The people were sure he could save them, since he was Indian agent, and must
necessarily have much influence over them, and their joy was unspeakable. He soon returned with the welcome news that they were free, but on condition that they would lay aside their arms. There was no thought of treachery in their hearts, arid, without a moment's hesitation, they complied with the strange conditions. They laid aside their trusty rifles, that had stood them in such good stead during all the days of the siege; they gave up revolvers and bowie-knives, faithful companions on their dreary journey, and came forth from their intrenchments unarmed, and as defenceless as the children themselves.
As they issued from the corral a guard of soldiers was drawn up to escort them to a place of safety. The men were separated from the women and children, and were placed in front, while the latter were in the rear. It seems almost strange that no suspicion of their deliverers entered their minds at this. But why should even curiosity be aroused? The white flag was waving over their heads, and they were under the protection of United States militia. Where that flag waved, they were safe and free.
Notwithstanding their exhaustion, and their weakness from hunger, they marched joyously along, exulting in their regained freedom, when suddenly the troops halted, and the fatal order to fire was given by Lee, and repeated down the line by all the under officers. In an instant it flashed across the helpless victims how cruelly they had been betrayed, and, with shrieks of the wildest agony, they fell bleeding to the earth. Young and old shared the same fate. Gray-haired men and beardless boys were alike cut down. The Indians, who were ambushed near by, joined the Mormons in the work of slaughter, until not one of all the men was left.
And what of the helpless women and children? All the womanhood within revolts at the thought of their horrible fate, and my woman's soul cries out in agony at the recital of the sufferings of these helpless ones. Some of them were killed by their husbands, fathers, or brothers, - happy souls, who thus escaped the most cruel torture. Death was nothing. compared to the fiendish brutalities which they suffered before they were allowed to die. Some of the women were too ill to walk. They were taken outside the corral, driven up to the scene of the massacre, stripped of their clothing, shot, and their mutilated bodies thrown down in a pile, with the rest.
To the honor of many of the men be it said, - the younger ones, especially, - they refused to join in this horrible work, and some of them made efforts to protect these helpless women from their fiend-like tormentors. I used often, while living in Payson, to see a man named Jim Pearce, whose face was deeply scarred by a bullet wound, made by his own father, while the brave young fellow was trying to assist a poor girl, who had appealed to him for succor. Another girl threw herself on her knees before Lee's son, and clinging to him, begged for mercy. His heart was touched, and he promised to spare her, but his father - shot her while she knelt. Lee also shot another girl, who had drawn a dagger to defend herself from him.
Even the children were not spared. They shared the horrible fate of their parents. In vain they begged for mercy. The bloodthirsty brutes to whom they knelt had no feeling of pity or compassion. They laughed at their entreaties, and mocked their terrified cries. Their little throats were cut, and their bodies thrown carelessly in a heap. Only seventeen of those supposed to be too young to remember any of the occurrences of this fearful day were saved and of these seventeen, two were disposed of after reaching Salt Lake City, for making some remarks concerning the massacre, which showed an intelligence beyond their years. It is said - on how good authority I do not know - that Daniel H. Wells, mayor of Salt Lake City, one of the First Presidency, Second Counsellor to Brigham, Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion, killed one of these babes with his own official hand. As I said before, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this rumor, but those who know the man best are the most ready to believe it. He is certainly capable of an act like this.
The whole affair lasted but about half an hour, when the assassins rode away, carrying all the clothing and baggage of the emigrants, leaving the bodies to the wolves and ravens. But they were past hurt now, and wolves' fangs or ravens' beaks were powerless to harm, although they might lacerate the already mutilated bodies until they should be past all recognition. A person who visited the field of slaughter eight days after the massacre gave the following account of it. He said men, women, and children were strewn over the ground, or were thrown into piles. Some were shot, others stabbed, and others had their throats cut. They were entirely stripped of clothing, and their bodies were mutilated by the wolves. There were one hundred and twenty-seven bodies in all. These, with the three men who were killed while undertaking to bring assistance, another who was shot outside the corral, but whose body could never be found, and the two children who were murdered at Salt Lake City, made one hundred and thirty-three victims of this fearful and unparalleled assassination.
The spoils were carried to Cedar City, and placed in the tithing-office there, after the Indians had received their share. It is told by a man, who then was a mere boy, that the night that the spoils were brought into town he and two companions slept in the tithing-office. The cellars were filled with everything that had been taken from the emigrants, and the bloody garments, stripped from the dead bodies, were thrown down on the floor. One of the men connected with the massacre came in, and threw himself down to sleep, without perceiving the boys. Scarcely had the place become quiet with the peculiar, painful silence which night brings, when suddenly the room they were in, and the cellar beneath it, where all the plunder was stored, resounded with cries, groans, sobs, and the most piercing, agonized shrieks. The guilty man jumped from his couch and fled out into the night, locking the doors after him. In vain the terrified boys tried to force the lock. It remained fast and firm, and still the wails and cries pierced the air. They were almost dead with terror, and, clambering up to the roof, managed to escape from the haunted spot. Nothing can induce this man to believe that his imagination played him a trick. I know," he says, " that the spirits of these foully-murdered men and women were in the tithing-house that night." It is not the first time, by any means, nor the last, that a Mormon public building has been haunted.
The property of the emigrants was sold at public auction, in Cedar City, by Bishop John M. Higbee, and they were readily bought by the eager saints. To this day, jewelry is worn in Salt Lake City, and teams are seen in the streets, that are known to have belonged to the fatal emigrant train. A lady in Salt Lake City was one day showing a silk dress and some jewelry to some friends, in the presence of one of the children who had been saved from the massacre. The little one, on catching sight of the dress, burst out into a frantic fit of weeping, and between the sobs cried out, "0, my dear mamma! That is her dress; she used to wear it. Where is my mamma? Why doesn't she come for me?" It is said that other children identified clothing and trinkets which they had seen worn by members of the party. Indeed, these children remember more than their captors fancy; else they would not have been allowed to have left the Territory, as many of them have done, having for the most part been returned to their friends in the States.
My valued friend and travelling companion, Mrs. Cooke, had two of them under her charge for some time, and she has told me that they recognized John D. Lee, and one of them said one day, very quietly, but very determinedly, "When I get to be a man I will go to the President and ask him for a regiment of soldiers, and I will bring them here to kill the men who murdered my father and mother and brother, but I will kill Lee myself. I saw him shoot my sister, and I shall not die happy unless I kill him." Mrs. Cooke says they used often, in their childish prattle, to tell events of the massacre, which showed that they knew perfectly what part Lee and his confederates had in the affair.
On their return from the scene of the massacre, the leaders determined to conceal the crime, but although they kept quiet a year, after that they were unable to refrain from speaking. Lee himself was the first to disclose the fate of the party. Like the Ancient Mariner, he went up and down compelling every person whom he met to listen to his story of an emigrant train that had been murdered by the Indians. By and by it was faintly rumored that the Indians were not alone in their work of destruction, but that they were assisted by the white men. Then the rumors grew louder, and some of the
participants, overcome with remorse, confessed their complicity in the crime.
A short time since a man died in Sevier Valley, who was at the Mountain Meadows. He always imagined that he was followed by spectres, and he grew haggard and worn from constant terror. "Brigham Young," he used to say, "will answer for the murder of one hundred and twenty innocent souls sent to their graves at his command." On his death-bed he besought those watching by him to protect him from the spirits that were hovering near him, waiting to avenge themselves, and he died in the fearful ravings of a horrible terror. Another man, much younger than the one referred to above, was also literally haunted to death. "Would to God," he would cry in the bitterest agony, "that I could roll back the scroll of time, and wipe from it the damning record; the terrible scenes at Mountain Meadows haunt me night and day. I cannot drive them away." He has been known to drive out for a load of hay, and return quickly in terror, leaving his team in the field. He used to say that the cold, calm faces of the dead women and children were never out of his sight.
And what of the mangled bodies, and "the cold, calm faces" that were left upturned to the September sky? They were the prey of wolves and vultures; but the bones were collected by an old Mormon, who had no sympathy with the deed of blood, and buried in the hollow they had dug inside the corral. It was a literal labor of lore. Alone he performed the last act of kindness, a task which was disagreeable enough, and one that of necessity was done hurriedly. The wild beasts again dug up the bones, and they were strewn all over the plain there they remained until 1858, when the government sent
General Carlton to bury the bones decently. A large cairn of Stones was built by the soldiers to mark the resting-place of the remains, and General Carlton erected a cross of red cedar, on which was inscribed the words, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." At the other end of the mound was a stone, with the inscription, "Here, one hundred and twenty men, women, and children were massacred in cold blood, early in September, 1857. They were from Arkansas." The cross was destroyed by the, order of Brigham Young, after a visit to the spot. It was the first promised payment that he ever rejected; and this, in spite of his destruction of it, will yet be forced upon him.
The trial of Lee, which has taken place since the fore-going narrative was written, shows more clearly than any- thing I can say, the ascendency which Brigham Young has over this people, and the utter futility of expecting anything like justice in a court where this man's followers are allowed to sit on a jury.
Of what value, think you, do they regard any oaths which they may take to serve with fairness, and to be unbiased, except by such testimony as mar be offered in court? If they are good Mormons, they have received their Endowments; and the oaths which they took when they went through with that rite, are a thousand times more binding than those that they take in court, which they regard as a mere form, without meaning, and which they are not only allowed by the church to violate, but which they are bound to break, unless the cause of the church can be furthered by keeping them, in which case
nothing can exceed their loyalty.
Unsuccessful as the trial was, it yet has been productive of one good result. It has forced the details of this fiendish massacre upon the attention of the entire community. There is no journal in the country, no matter how small or unobtrusive, which has not had brief but concise reports of the trial, and which has not expressed decided opinions upon the result.
A greater farce was never played before a larger or more disgusted audience than this which has just ended in Utah. It is a sarcasm upon justice, a gross, hideous burlesque from beginning to end. I have seen surprise expressed at the termination in some of the eastern journals. That shows how little they understand the autocratic manner in which the Territory is ruled by Brigham Young, and how impossible it is, under existing laws, to bring to justice any of his followers. I could have prophesied what the ending would be from the moment in which the jurors were drawn. Eight Mormons and four
Gentiles, - what could it be but "disagreement?"
As earnest as the prosecution was, and as determined to sift the matter to the very bottom, and get at the real truth of the case, without regard to whoever might be implicated, it was balked in every endeavor, not to prove the guilt of the prisoner, and others higher in authority than he, but to influence the jury to act according to the evidence. In the face of the most conclusive evidence, which the defence were, utterly powerless to refute, and indeed did not even attempt to move, the Mormon jurors voted solid for acquittal, and, to his endless shame be it recorded, induced one Gentile to vote with them. The other three stood firm, and would neither be coaxed nor bribed. They saw the right, and refused to desert it. Their companion, as many another has done, sold his principle for Mormon favor. He was in love with a Mormon girl, and hoped, by pandering to the Mormon leader's desires, to obtain her. It will be
but a step further into the Mormon Church, and when he has taken that step, and gone through the Endowment House, he will be in the place where he properly belongs, and no doubt will make a willing tool for the priesthood to use.
The trial strengthened the accounts which have already been given of the massacre; and, in fact, established the truth of the whole horrible affair, in its most brutal detail, and so fully that the defence did not attempt to overthrow the proof, but spent its time in assailing the witnesses, and trying to prove that the emigrants poisoned an ox, and then attempted to sell it to the Indians, who found out the treachery, and massacred the party, while Lee and others wept and wrung their hands, and prayed that the lives might not be sacrificed.
The prosecution proved that Brigham Young gave orders regarding the disposal of the property of the murdered party, and ordered the men who brought him the news to say nothing about the matter even to each other. Absolute silence was imposed upon them, and the ones who gave them the orders, themselves followed the counsel which they gave. The defence failed utterly to prove that Brigham was ignorant of the affair, and even his deposition, from its very weakness, inconsistency, and contradictory statements, strengthens the prosecution, and establishes more firmly in the popular
mind the belief in his complicity in the matter, and his approval at least, if not his actual instigation.
There was a feeling throughout the trial that Brigham Young and the Mormon Church were arraigned in the person of John D. Lee, and the defence exhibited their understanding of the case, by endeavoring to clear the authorities, and paying very little heed to the real defendant in the case, rather allowing the odium to rest on him than to fall where it more properly belonged. For although Lee merits well the title which he bears, that of "Butcher Lee," there is no doubt that he was acting under orders from headquarters, and that his blind and unquestioning obedience was the effect of religious fanaticism.
It was expected that his confession would reveal beyond a doubt the truth of the whole matter, and place the blame where it had belonged. It was well known, that since his cavalier treatment by the church, he had been impatient of the odium which he had borne for so long a time, and had threatened openly to "shift the responsibility from his own shoulders, and place it on those whose business it was to bear it." His wives and children, hating the disgrace, and questioning the President's right to make a scape-goat of their husband and father, urged him to make a full confession, and take only what of
blame belonged to him. The document was prepared, and was about to be made public, when consternation seized upon his counsel. They labored with him, and brought such influence to bear upon him, that the unsafe paper was destroyed, and another substituted in its place, in which Lee merely gave the details of the massacre, but failed to implicate any of the higher ecclesiasts.
The trial had been appointed for the 12th of July, in the Second District Court, held at Beaver, Southern Utah, before Judge Jacob S. Boreman, who had been trying for some time, ever since the passage of an act of Congress, the 23d of June, 1874, which presented clashing between Federal and Territorial officers, to have some action taken toward punishing those persons who were shown to have been engaged in this Mountain Meadows assassination.
Judge Boreman's attempt to bring the Mountain Meadows' assassins to justice, the first that had been made since the failure of Judge Cradlebaughs essay to find indictments against any of the persons connected with the massacre, resulted in finding a joint indictment against William H. Dame, John D. Lee, Isaac C. Haight, John M. Higbee, Philip Klingensmith, William C. Stewart, Samuel Jukes, George Adair, Jr., and some others, for conspiracy and murder. Warrants for their apprehension were issued, but after a long search only two were apprehended - Lee and Dame.
Then came another long delay. It was almost impossible to obtain witnesses to testify. This was the same trouble which had sixteen years before beset Judge Cradlebaugh; and District Attorney Carey, who prosecuted the case for the people, was almost discouraged lest he too should fail to sustain his case. Hold your tongues has been so long a vital lesson, that the Mormon people find it difficult work to wag them. Over one hundred subpoenas were issued, but it was impossible to collect the witnesses. Some of the least important obeyed the summons, but those who knew the most about the affair, and whose testimony would be of the most vital interest and service, failed to put in an appearance. Among these, and the witness above all others on whom the prosecution relied, was Philip Klingensmith, formerly a bishop in Cedar City, a participant in the massacre, who wished to ease his conscience by a full confession. He had been known to talk very freely to outsiders on the subject. and it was he who was driven in such terror from the Cedar City tithing-house the night after the spoils had been brought thither. Another participant, named Joel White. was also among the missing, but, fortunately for the prosecution, both were finally found, and brought to Beaver.
The first week was devoted to legal skirmishing, and the preparation of Lee's confession. The counsel had agreed that he should confess fully. It was known that the men who appeared as actors on this field of carnage were but instruments in the hands of their authorities who had planned this deed, and the object of the prosecution was to obtain a knowledge of the instigators of this "deed of deathless shame."
Failing in this, and feeling assured that Lee was not acting in good faith, they refused to receive the statement. His own counsel. Wells Spicer. Judge Hoge, and W. W. Bishop, were anxious to save their client, no matter what other guilty parties might suffer. They were true to his interests, and had they been acting by themselves, there's little doubt that the confession would have been complete. and would have implicated the whole of the First Presidency. But fearing this, the church attorneys, Sutherland and Bates, obtruded their services upon the defence, solicitous to shield this precious trio, Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and Daniel H. Wells, no matter at whose expense. They worked upon Lee's feelings to such an extent that they evidently induced him to withhold his original statement, and substitute in its place a partial and palpably incomplete confession. I am certain that this is the case, and my belief is strengthened by contrasting the opening of the statement, with its somewhat indignant tone, and the air of sincerity with which it is invested, with the cautious, calculating, insincere tone of the latter portion. The 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 tip 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, 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 months 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 hear 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 commit the outrageous and unnatural acts, believing that all who participated in the lamentable transaction, or most of them, were acting under orders which they considered it their duty, their religious duty, to obey. I have suffered all kinds of ill-treatment and injury, as well as imprisonment, rather than expose these men, knowing the circumstances 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 would no longer remain silent on this subject, but, so far as lean, bring to 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 to humanity, to cast aside the shackles so long holding my conscience, I now submit the facts, so far as I know them, stating nothing from malice, or for the purpose of revenge, withholding nothing that I can state of my own knowledge, and willing that the world may know all that was done, and why the acts were committed."
In this introduction, Lee plainly accuses the leaders of the church. The men "were acting under orders." Whose? They could not have emanated from the local officers of the church, since it would have been in no wise a religious duty to obey orders from men who were no higher in authority than themselves. Alas for Lee's "conscience," the shackles were more firmly bound than he supposed. His sense of duty to his family, his God, and humanity was blunted by the superior sense of duty to the church, and he failed utterly to do what he had so faithfully promised in the opening sentences of his
After the disappointing delay caused by the preparation of Lee's confession, the trial went steadily on to the end. The prosecution brought forward about twenty witnesses, who corroborated the incidents of the massacre, and testified that the feeling against the party was aroused by George A. Smith, who everywhere preceded the train, and forbade the people selling them anything, under pain of the church's displeasure.
It was shown, too, that when, on being refused food at Cedar City, the last place at which they stopped, they asked where they could obtain it, they were told, at Mountain Meadows; which assists in establishing more fully the fact that the whole affair was premeditated, and that the party were deliberately led to their destruction.
But it remained for Philip Klingensmith to give the most thorough and vivid account of the whole massacre, from its very beginning, when the first plans were laid, until the day when he and Lee, and a man named Charley Hopkins, met in Brigham Young's office. He received them very cordially, took them to his barn to show them his fine horses, and treated them with great hospitality. He told Klingensmith, who had charge of the property, to turn it over to Lee, as he was Indian agent, and the disposal of it more properly belonged to him. He then turned to them, and said, "What you know about this affair do not tell to anybody; do not even talk about it among yourselves."
Klingensmith, with some others, strongly opposed the destruction of the emigrants, and made every effort to prevent it, but to no purpose; for Lee had received instructions from headquarters, and their fate was decided. The description of the attack, the steady repulse, the decoy from the corral, and the wholesale assassination, was given exactly as it has been narrated, scarcely varying at all, even in the slightest detail, ending with the interview with President Young.
Five participants in the massacre appeared as witnesses during the trial, hut not one of them, with the exception of Klingensmith, admitted that he fired upon the emigrants. In his cross-examination, Judge Sutherland said, "I suppose you fired over the heads of the emigrants?" "I fired at my man," was the reply, "and I suppose I killed him."
I think the transaction has never seemed so horribly real to the outside public, as it has since this man's testimony was published to the world. Given as it was by a remorseful participant, under the solemnity of a judicial investigation. it impressed the people with its reality, and the press of the country has been unanimous in its expressions of horror, and its desire that vengeance should fall speedily on the heads of the guilty instigators.
The pitiful defence only deepened the feeling of indignation, and when, in the face of all the evidence, that was entirely unrefuted, the jury disagreed, I think the eyes of the nation were at last opened to the utter futility of expecting justice to be done, when Mormons are on trial in a Mormon community.
The end is not yet. One of the chief instigators, George A. Smith, has passed on to a higher tribunal, where Justice is not blindfold, and from whose decisions there is no appeal. The other is left, for what fate no one yet can tell. It may be that his punishment will not be given him here; that no earthly judge shall ever pass sentence upon him. But, for all that, retribution is none the less certain, and the measure of suffering which he has meted out to others shall be meted out to him.
In the mean time Justice will not rest. The spirit of the nation, fully aroused, demands a fairer trial, and it will have it. A jury must be found who shall not be hound by the shackles of bigotry, and held by oaths of disloyalty which they dare not break, but who will do their duty honestly, faithfully, and loyally. Then, and then only, shall truth triumph, and hypocrisy and wickedness meet their just reward.
THE BLOOD-ATONEMENT. - THE DESTROYING ANGELS. -
DANITES AND THEIR DEEDS.
Sweet, Saintly Sentiments. - "He ought to have his Throat cut." - Too many Gentiles About. - The Spirit of "Blood-Atonement" Still Cherished. - Present Position of
Apostates. - How they used to be "Cut Off." - Cutting Men off below the Ears." - How "Accidents" happened to People who "Knew too Much." - How Mr. Langford
expressed his Opinion too Freely. - Mormon Friends kindly advise him to "Shut Up." - "Be on your Guard!" - Poetry among the Saints: a Popular Song. - Human Sacrifices
Proposed! - How Saints were taught to Atone for their Sins. - "Somebody" ready to shed their Blood. - "The Destroying Angels:" who they were, and what they did. -
Saints told to do their own "Dirty Work." - People who ought to be "Used up." - Murdering by Proxy - Brigham Young proved to be the Vilest of Assassins. - Hideous
Crimes of Porter Rockwell and Bill Hickman. - How Rockwell tried to Murder Governor Boggs. - Hickman Confesses his Atrocious Crimes. - Six Men Robbed of 25,000 and then "Used Up." - Another Frightful Assassination. - A Council of Mormon Murderers. - The "Church" orders the Assassination of the Aiken Party
It is only a very few weeks since two prominent officers of the Mormon Church were overheard in the street, in Salt Lake City, angrily discussing some person who had "broken his covenants." Said one,-
"He ought to have his throat cut."
"It wouldn't do," replied the other; "there are too many Gentiles about."
It is now nearly twenty years since the eventful "Reformation" and its horrible teachings, and the effects are still felt. The principles that Young, and Grant, and Kimball, and their fellows taught then have not been forgotten in all these years
that have intervened, and it is only the presence of a large "Gentile" element that prevents the full exercise of the "Blood-Atonement."
There never has been any real and impartial trial by jury in Utah. No twelve men could be found and sworn in who would dare to render an unbiased verdict. This has been repeatedly seen in trials which have taken place. So true is it, that hundreds of Gentiles who are conscious of the justice of their several causes, would never think of bringing them into court during the existing state of affairs. They know it would be useless. Prejudice runs high; in fact, so high that outsiders are perfectly incapable of realizing it. Still, murders have been fewer of late, for President Young knows that the eye of Uncle Sam is fixed with no small degree of sternness upon the City of the Saints; and, more important still, Deseret has not yet been admitted into the Union as a State!
Yet the spirit of assassination still remains; and were it unchecked, hundreds would be added to the already appallingly long list of men and women foully dealt with and sent into eternity without a moment's warning, for no crime at all except for daring to differ, if ever so slightly, from those in authority. If any person, deceived by the present peaceful attitude of the Mormon leaders and their constant boast that crime is almost unknown among them, thinks that they have altered in their real views at all since the days when they first advocated the "Blood-Atonement," he is very much mistaken. The feelings that they have been obliged to hide are bitterer because they have not dared to show them.
An apostate nowadays is comparatively safe from any deeds of violence on their part. The most they can do is to abuse him through their newspapers, and curse him in the church, and give him over to the tender mercies of Satan; but as "Deseret" newspaper abuse is rarely heard outside of the church which it represents, and as the cursing does not produce physical hurt, and as Satan's mercies are to the full as tender as theirs, the Gentile does not mind anything about the whole of it, but goes on his way quietly enough.
But twenty, fifteen, even ten years ago, an apostate's or Gentile's life was worth absolutely nothing. It was difficult to tell which of the two they hated with the most deadly hatred. The doom of either was irrevocably fixed, and it came, swift and sudden, often before he knew that danger menaced him. It did not need actual knowledge of a man's defection from the church, or that his disapprobation of the course pursued by leaders should be openly expressed; it was enough that he should be merely suspected, and his fate was just as certain, coming swift and sure, before he had even an opportunity of defending himself.
A strict surveillance was kept over the movements of any stranger in the city, and if his words or actions displeased the Mormon spies, he never got far beyond city limits on his onward journey be fore some sad accident befell him, which left him lying dead by the road-side. It was well when a stranger had any person to caution him against any expression of his mind against the people or their religion; above all, against their beloved institution of polygamy, for they are very sensitive on this point, hating and dreading criticism in the very thing, above all others, that provokes and invites it. In this case he might escape with nothing more terrible than the consciousness of a spy dogging his every footstep and listening to every word.
In the autumn of 1863, Mr. N. P. Langford, of St. Paul, Minnesota (the author of the "Yellowstone Articles," published a few years since in Scribner's Magazine), in company with several others, started from Montana for Salt Lake City. While on the journey they fell in with a party of Mormons, numbering eight, - all men, and all bound for Salt Lake City. The two parties travelled together the remainder of the way, and became very friendly. As a natural consequence of this companionship, the talk turned upon Mormonism, and the arguments between them were frequent and interesting.
One of the Mormons, named Cunningham, was a very intelligent man, and, while contending that his was the only true faith, would argue with Langford, without showing any ill feeling - a very uncommon thing for a Mormon to do, by the way, since they are usually so very intolerant that they will not listen to an opponent with the least degree of patience, but, at the first sign of opposition, lose temper. and, instead of fairly arguing the question, shower anathemas on the one who has dared to call their religion in question. It must be a weak position that can only be defended by vituperation.
At night, while round the camp-fire, the Mormons would sing of Brigham as "the word of the Lord," and what Langford called a "string of nursery rhymes," in which Cunningham would sing the solo, and the rest the chorus. The idea conveyed in these rhymes as, that only in Mormonism was happiness to be found, and that they were glad that they were Mormons.
After the party arrived in Salt Lake City, Cunningham called Langford on one side, and said to him, "You boys seem to be pretty good fellows, and I do not wish you to come to harm, and will give you a word of advice. Here in Salt Lake, you must not express yourselves about Mormonism as you have when you have talked with me; for, if you do, your lives won't be worth a cent."
"Why so?" asked Langford.
"Because you will be assassinated," was the reply.
Langford thanked him, and followed his advice. Soon afterwards he mentioned the fact to a Gentile with whom he had business, who in reply said, "You must do as he says, or you will never leave the city alive. Do you see that man with a gray coat? He is a Mormon spy, and is evidently watching you, and will watch you as long as you remain in the city. I say, as your Mormon adviser did, Be on your guard."
During all the time that Langford was in the city he was followed by this man, and he said he felt sure that if one word in disparagement, or criticism, of the Mormon people, or their religion, had crossed his lips, he would have been a dead man. He followed the advice he received, however, else the readers of Scribner would not have been so charmingly entertained afterwards, as they were by his readable articles.
It may seem like digressing somewhat, but I cannot refrain from quoting the "nursery rhymes" which the Mormons sang by the camp-fire, and which evidently impressed Langford with their absurdity. These rhymes are printed in the Mormon Sunday-school song-book, and are sung in Sunday-schools and religious meetings to the tune of "The Bonny Breast Knots." They are a most remarkable piece of religious composition.
"What peace and joy pervade the soul,
And sweet sensations through me roll,
And love and peace my heart console,
Since first I met the Mormons!
"They sing the folly of the wise;
Sectarian precepts they despise;
A heaven far above the skies
Is never sought by Mormons.
"To Sabbath meetings they repair;
Both old and young assemble there,
The words of inspiration share
No less can suit the Mormons.
"At night the Mormons do convene,
To chat a while, and sing a hymn;
And one, perchance, repeat a rhyme
He made about the Mormons.
"The Mormon fathers love to see
Their Mormon families all agree;
The prattling infant on his knee
Cries, `Daddy, I'm a Mormon!'
"As youth in Israel once decried,
To wed with those that Heaven denied,
So youth among us now have cried,
We'll marry none but Mormons.'
"High be our heaven, the Mormons cry,
Our place of birth, and when they die,
Celestialize and purify
This earth for perfect Mormons.
"So, while we tread the foeman's ground,
We'll make the trump of freedom sound,
And scatter blessings all around,
Like free and happy Mormons.
[Chorus to each verse.]
"Hey, the merry, 0, the busy,
Hey, the sturdy Mormons;
I never knew what joy was
Till I became a Mormon."
I have heard women singing this chorus in some meeting, because they dared not be silent, when their faces belied the words of the song, and who I knew hated the life which they were compelled to live, and who had seen nothing but the most abject misery since they had entered it; whose lives were one long, terrible torture, and who would have been perfectly happy had they seen any way of escape from it.
The dangers of non-Mormons in 1863, great as they were, were much less than in days just succeeding the "Reformation," which days have been rightly called "The Reign of Terror." It was a terrible time, indeed, and one fairly shudders to recall the blood-curdling atrocities that were committed at that period. All "in the name of the Lord," too, and as an exercise of religious faith. The Spirit of the New Testament, the Christ-like spirit, breathing out "peace on earth, good will to men," seemed entirely lost. The "Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints" forgot the sweet song of good-fellowship and love that the angels sang at the birth of Him whom they professed to follow, and by whose name they were called. The angry denunciations of fanatics and religious tyrants, and their servile followers, demanding blood and calling loudly and openly for the sacrifice of human life, and the destruction of all who dared to differ from them, drowned the angel voices.
The old Mosaic spirit of retribution was abroad in all its most fearful force. "Altars of sacrifice" were loudly recommended, and the victims were advised to place themselves thereon voluntarily; if they would not become willing sacrifices, they became involuntary ones, for "somebody" took the matter in hand, and saw that the "atonement" was made.
Usually this mysterious "somebody" was one of the "Danites, or "Destroying-Angels, a band of men regularly organized for the purpose of putting obnoxious persons out of the way. It is said that the band had its origin in Missouri, in the early days of Mormonism, before the settlement of Nauvoo. But they never became so very notorious until the "Reformation" times, when their peculiar talents were called into play, and their services into constant requisition.
As loudly as the Mormon leaders talked to the people about doing their "dirty work" themselves, they, nevertheless, shrank from soiling their own fingers; so they employed others to do their own share, and contented themselves by saying that such a person ought to be "used up," and thinking no more of it until they received the news of a mysterious death. In this way Brigham Young has "managed" a great many murders, of which he would probably avow himself entirely guiltless, since his hand did not perform the deed. But though his hand may have no bloodstain to haunt him, yet his heart must be terribly weighted with the load of guilt, which he cannot shake off, let him try as hard as he may. To look at the man, rosy and smiling, comfortable in every particular. you would never take him to be the hard, cruel despot he is. He looks clean enough outwardly, but within he is filled with moral rottenness to the very core.
Among the men he has employed, the most notorious are Orrin Porter Rockwell, known familiarly as "Port" Rockwell, and William, or, as he is called, "Bill" Hickman. "Port" was an old friend and ally of Joseph Smith holding very much the same relation to him that "Bill" Hickman has held to the present Prophet. Among other things of which he was accused, was the murder of Governor Boggs of Missouri. Joseph Smith and he were both accused, the former of instigating the murder, the latter for committing it; but Smith got free without a trial, through some quibble of the
law, and Rockwell proved that he was in another place at the time of the attempted assassination. He was always near the Prophet in the time of danger, and, in return, Joseph promised "Port" that so long as he wore his hair uncut his life should be safe. So he still wears his hair long, in braided queues down his back, and he says that he shall live until every enemy of Joseph Smith is killed.
His evil deeds will probably equal, if not outnumber, Bill Hickman's; but the latter, either touched with remorse at the remembrance of all the crimes which he had committed, or else annoyed because Brigham was so avaricious and parsimonious, and did not give him money enough, or because he thought to save his own neck, turned State's evidence against Brigham and the other Mormon leaders, and made what he calls a "full confession" of his crimes. The list of them is perfectly appalling, and he claims that he did them all at Young's instigation.
Among the most famous of the murders was that of Lobbs, and the massacre of the "Aiken party" - a deed that stands in cold-blooded atrocity and treachery next to the "Mountain Meadow Massacre," and in which Port Rockwell figures also. It was a deed that could be committed by no one except the fanatical Mormons, who were drunk with "Reformation" excitement, and filled with an insane desire for blood-shedding.
A party of six men, on their way from Sacramento, which city they had left in Mar, 1857, going, as it was supposed, to join Johnston's army. A part of the war they travelled with a party of Mormons who were ordered home from Missouri to assist in the "Mormon war."
The Mormon party took a great liking to them all, and the relations between them were very amicable. John Pendleton, one of the Mormons, said in his testimony, "They were kind, polite, and brave, and always ready to do anything that was needed." Unfortunately for them, they got impatient at the slowness with which the Mormon party travelled, and so they left it, and hurried on. At Ravsville, a town about twenty-five miles north of Salt Lake, they were all arrested on the charge of being government spies. A few days after their arrest, the Mormon party came in, and Pendleton, it seems, instantly recognized their horses in the public corral. He at once inquired what it meant, and on being told that the party had been arrested as spies, he replied, with an oath, that it was impossible; that they knew nothing about the army; that, in fact, they had been their companions nearly all the way. "Can't help it; we
shall keep them," was the reply. When it is remembered that they had property with them to the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars, I think their detention will be fully explained.
They were tried as spies, and nothing being proved against them, they were promised safe-conduct out of the Territory, but they must be sent by the southern route. Four of them went, leaving the other two of their party in the city, accompanied by Rockwell. John Lot, a man of the name of Watts, and one other man. At Nephi, one hundred miles south of Salt Lake, Rockwell informed Bishop Bryant that the party were to be "used up" there. A council was held, and the Bishop appointed four more men to assist the four who had the men in charge. Among these last appointed was the Bishop's own
counsellor, Pitchfor, and a man named Bigbee, who is now a Bishop. This party of four started early in the nights while the Aikens' party did not leave until daylight. When they reached the Sevier River, Rockwell said he thought they had better camp there, for the could find no other camping-place that day; so they stopped. Very soon the other party, who had been lying in wait for them, approached, and asked permission to camp with them, which was readily granted.
The men were tired, and removing their arms, they were soon sound asleep. Their treacherous companions hovered over them like greedy birds of prey. Why didn't something warn those men of the terrible fate that was in store for them? But there came no voice of warning, and still they slept on as peacefully and as trustfully as though in their own homes among those who loved them; and still the assassins hovered over them, waiting for what they did not know. They discussed the manner in which the deed should be done, and decided not to use fire-arms. Armed with clubs, they crept stealthily up to where their sleeping companions lay, and dealt furious blows at them while they slept. Two of the men died without a struggle; John Aiken was but slightly
wounded, and rose to his feet to defend himself, but received a shot from the pistol of one of the men which laid him senseless. A man called the "Colonel," believing the whole party were attacked by robbers, made his war into the bush, receiving as he went a shot in the shoulder from "Port" Rockwell's pistols. He succeeded in evading his pursuers, and made his way to Nephi, twenty-five miles distant, and arrived, pale and drenched with blood, at Bishop Foote's, whose guests the party had been during their stay in Nephi. He told his story, which was listened to with a surprise and horror that were well feigned.
The three bodies were thrown into the river; but in some miraculous manner, in spite of his wounds, John Aiken managed to get ashore, and, hiding in the bush, he heard one of the men ask Rockwell "if all the damned Gentiles were dead;" to which the other replied, that they were, all but one, but that he ran away. Aiken lay quietly until he heard the assassins leave; then he made his way, as best he could, through the cold November night, drenched with water, sorely wounded, and with very little clothing, back to Nephi. He knew who were his attempted assassins, and he knew that to go to Nephi was to go directly back into the jaws of death; but he did not know what else to do; so he plodded painfully on until he reached the town, where he sank fainting at
the door of the very first house which he reached. The woman of the house was surprised at his appearance, and told him that another one was at Bishop Foote's. "It is my brother!" he exclaimed, and moved away from the door. No one attempted to stop him; all were too much shocked at his appearance and manner, and he reached Bishop Foote's in safety, where he found not his brother, but the "Colonel."
The meeting between them was heart-rending. They wept like children, and, falling into each other's arms, embraced one another with all the tenderness of women. And the Mormon men looked on and coolly decided upon the manner of their death.
Bishop Bryant came with condolences and regrets at their own misfortunes and the sad fate of their friends, extracted the balls, dressed the wounds, and advised them to return, as soon as they possibly could, to Salt Lake City. In the mean time the murderers were in Nephi, concocting a new plan of assassination. It is said that the men had saved a watch worth two hundred and fifty dollars, and a pistol. When they got ready to leave, a bill for thirty dollars was presented to them, which, having no money with them, they promised to settle directly on their return to Salt Lake. They were told that such an arrangement could not be made; so Aiken said, Well, here is my watch and my partner's pistol; you can take which you choose. Without hesitation the Bishop took the pistol; so leaving the men entirely unarmed. As he gave it to Foote, he turned to his friend and said, with the tears rolling down his face, "Prepare for death; we shall never leave this Valley alive."
Previous to their departure, John Aiken had commenced to write an account of the affair; but it moved him so that he was utterly unable to proceed with it, and so he got a son of Bishop Foote, who had proved a good friend to them, to finish it for him. This account, by some mysterious good fortune, has never been destroyed.
They had got but a few miles from Nephi when the driver of their wagon - a Mormon, and in the plot - stopped in front of an old cabin, and saving that he must water his horses, unhitched them and led them away. Instantly, two men stepped from the cabin, and before the doomed men could realize the situation, fired at them, killing them instantly they were then taken from the wagon, and, loaded with stone, put in a "bottomless spring," - such as is often seen in Utah.
While this atrocious act of villainy was going on, Rockwell and his men had returned to Salt Lake, and taking the remaining ones of the party, had started southward with them, plying them with liquor constantly. One of them, named Back, feigned drunkenness; but the other man was absolutely insensible when they reached the "Point of the Mountain," where it had been decided to make away with them; or, in Danite parlance, "use them up." They were suddenly attacked with slung-shot. The drunken man was quickly despatched, without the slightest trouble; but Back, who had been suspicious of his
companions, and had been on the lookout for treachery, leaped from the wagon, and succeeded in outrunning his pursuers and in evading their bullets. He swam the Jordan, and came down to the city, where he told the whole story, creating a tremendous excitement. Brigham was terribly exercised, and sent at once for Hickman, telling him, in his usual refined manner, "The boys have made a bad job putting a man out of the way. They all got drunk, bruised up a fellow, and he got away from them at the Point of the Mountain, came back to the city, and is telling all that has happened, which is making a bad stink."
He then told him that he must find that man and use him up; that, first of all, he was to go and find George Grant and William Kimball, both of whom were "generals" in the Utah militia, and consult with them about having him taken care of. Hickman found the "generals" decidedly disgusted at "Rockwell's mismanagement of the affair," as they termed it; that something must be done, and that at once, and asked if Brigham had sent him up. On being told that be had, they informed him that they had arranged everything, and one wished him to carry out their arrangement and follow their instructions.
They had planned with a man with whom Back had stayed a great deal on his first arrival in Utah. and in whom he had implicit confidence, to invite him to visit him. He was to come to town to fetch him to his home, which was about twelve miles from the City, and Hickman was to meet them on the way and despatch Back. He was to go a certain road, which was very quiet, being but little travelled, was to drive white horses, and was to go very fast. Hickman and another man named Meacham started out a little before sundown, and rode to the appointed spot. About dusk, the wagon with the white
horses came swiftly along; the two men were talking interestedly, and the poor victim of this treacherous plan was entirely off his guard: supposing himself to be with a friend, no thought of harm had entered his mind, and he was entirely unprepared for his cruel fate. Hickman and Meacham stepped suddenly out into the lonely road, and called to the driver to halt, at the same time firing at Back, shooting him through the head and killing him instantly. The body was put into a ditch, a rag hung on a bush to mark the spot, and the assassins returned to George Grant's house to report their success. They found Grant, Kimball, and Port Rockwell all there, and after hearing the result of the expedition, all took spades and went out and buried the man. The next day Hickman gave an account of the affair to Young, who expressed himself as delighted that he had been put out of the way.
It was fourteen years before the truth of this affair was known. It was for a while shrouded in deep mystery, and the blood of the innocent victims cried out for, retribution unheeded and unnoted for all those years. Now their fate is known beyond a doubt, and foremost in the list of assassins stands the name of Brigham Young.
FRIGHTFUL DEEDS OF BLOOD. - MORMONISM IN ITS TRUE
The Yates Murder. - Brigham and the Leading Mormons Arrested for the Crime. - Mr. Yates accused of being a Spy. - He is Arrested, and his Goods Seized. - Bill Hickman
takes possession of the Prisoner's Body. - Brigham Embezzles his Gold. - Another Saint steals his Watch. - Hickman carries him to Jones's Camp. - He is Murdered there
while Asleep. - Hickman asks Brigham for a Share of the Spoil. - The Prophet refuses; sticks to every Cent. - Hickman's "faith" in Mormonism is Shaken. - His fellow-murder
Apostates Outright. - How Bill was finally paid in Wives. - He tries a little matter of Seventeen. - Fiendish Outrage at San Pete. - Bishop Snow contrives the Damnable Deed - The fate of his Victims. - A Mysterious Marriage. - The Feather-beds and the Prophet. - Mrs. Lewis comes to Live with Me.
Abput this time, when the Aiken party were cut off, as I have just related, by Brigham Young's express command, another horrible murder was perpetrated under circumstances of equal atrocity, which has since attracted a considerable amount of
The reason of the Yates murder becoming so notorious, was not because it was so much worse than hundreds of other murders which have been committed in Mormondom, but because Brigham Young and other Mormon officials were arrested as the murderers. Hickman turned State's evidence, and it is from his own account that I take the leading facts of the assassination.
Yates was a trader on Green River, and was accused by the Mormons of being a government spy. In those days, if no other charge could be brought against a person, he was called a "spy;" and this, of course, gave sufficient reason for putting
him out of the way very summarily. The Mormons were also annoyed because, although among his stores he had a large quantity of ammunition, he would not sell it unless the purchasers bought other goods. They then accused him of supplying
the army, and arresting him, carried him to Fort Bridger, while they took possession of his store, stock, &c.
Hickman was detailed to take the prisoner to the city, and Yates's money - nine hundred dollars in gold - was given him to carry to Brigham Young. His watch was taken care of by some one at Bridger. Hickman was accompanied by a brother of his, a Gentile, who was on a visit to him; Meacham, the one who was connected with him in the murder of Back; and a man of the name of Flack. On their way they were met by Joseph A. Young, who informed them that his father wanted Yates killed, and that he, Hickman, was to take him to Jones's camp, where he would receive further orders. The party arrived at camp that evening about sundown, and that night Yates was murdered as he lay asleep by the camp-fire.
Hickman and Flack carried the news and the money to Brigham. He was very affable until Hickman suggested that, as they had been to much expense, he thought part of the money ought to come to them. His manner changed at once; he reprimanded the men very severely, and told them that the money was needed for the church; it must go towards defraying the expenses of the war. Flack apostatized at once; renounced Mormonism on the spot; it evidently didn't "pay" well enough to suit him, and Hickman himself was disgusted with the meanness of his master. He said that Brigham never gave him one dollar for all the "dirty work" he had done for him; he never made him the slightest present. But he paid him, it is said, in wives. I think he had seventeen, and a large number of children.
It was a class of men like this that the Reformation brought to the surface, and capital tools they made for a corrupt and bloodthirsty priesthood. They were earliest disciples of the "Blood-Atonement," and could slay an apostate or a Gentile with no compunctions of conscience. Yet, bad as they were, they did not equal in villainy the men who employed them, and then refused to pay them.
Everything, even the most trifling, that a person did, which was at all offensive to any member of the priesthood, was accounted apostasy, and punishment administered as speedily as possible. Hundreds of innocent victims have been sacrificed
in this way, merely to gratify a petty, personal revenge, or to remove some person who chanced to be distasteful. Fanaticism and bigotry were at that time at flood tide, and some of the most revolting and heart-sickening crimes were committed. Many
of them were unknown outside the places where they occurred, and so common were they that, beyond an involuntary feeling of horror, and a vague sort of wonder as to who would be the next victim; nothing was thought of them; until, after the excitement began to die away, and the people had time to recall the scenes of horror, they began to realize, to a certain extent, what they had been passing through. Some of the crimes were
almost too shocking even to mention; they could not be given in detail.
Among the victims to priestly hatred and jealousy was a young man about twenty years of age, in San Pete County, named Thomas Lewis, a very quiet, inoffensive fellow, much liked by all who knew him, very retiring in his manners, and not particularly fond of gay society. He lived with his widowed mother, and the very sweetest, tenderest relations that can exist between a mother and child existed between them.
Contrary to his usual habit, he attended a dancing-party one evening at the urgent and repeated entreaties of his friends, and during the evening he was quite attentive to a young lady-friend of his who was present, and with whom he was on terms of greater intimacy than with any other in the company. She knew his shy, retiring disposition, and seemed to take pleasure in assisting him to make the evening a pleasant one; just as any good-natured, kindly girl will do for a young fellow whom she likes, and who she knows is ill at ease and uncomfortable.
It happened that Snow, the Bishop of the ward in which the Lewis family lived, had cast his patriarchal eye on this young girl, and designed her for himself; and he did not relish the idea of seeing another person pay any attention to his future wife. He had a large family already, but he wished to add to it, and he did not choose to be interfered with.
Lewis's doom was sealed at once; the bewitched Bishop was mad with jealous rage, and he had only to give a hint of his feelings to some of his chosen followers, who were always about, and the sequel was sure. He denounced Lewis in the most emphatic manner, and really succeeded in arousing quite a strong feeling of indignation against him for his presumption in daring to pay even the slightest attention to a lady who was destined to grace a Bishop's harem.
The closest espionage was kept upon him by the Bishop's band of ruffians, and one evening a favorable opportunity presented itself; he was waylaid, and the Bishop's sentence carried out, which was to inflict on the boy an injury so brutal and barbarous that no woman's pen may write the words that describe it.
He lay in a concealed spot for twenty-four hours, weak and ill, and unable to move. Here his brother found him in an apparently dying state, and took him home to his poor, distracted mother, who nursed him with a breaking heart, until after a long time, when he partially recovered.
He then withdrew himself from all his former friends, and even refused to resume his place at the table with the family. He became a victim of melancholia, and would take no notice of what was occurring around him. He staid with his mother for several years, when he suddenly disappeared. and has never been heard of since; his mother and brother made every effort to find him, but they could not obtain the slightest clew to his whereabouts.
Whether this victim of priestly rule is dead or living must for ever remain a mystery. It is probable that the emissaries of Bishop Snow have put an end to his existence. Yet during the whole of this affair the bishop was sustained by Brigham Young, who knew all about it. He has held his sacred office as securely as though the stain of human blood was not on his conscience; he has been sent on a mission to preach "the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor benighted nations of Christendom," and he has also taken more wives, which were sealed to him by Brigham Young in the Endowment House.
But a still greater marvel is, that the mother of Bishop Snow's poor victim still retains her faith in Mormonism, and since the cruel and disgraceful tragedy which deprived her of her son, has been sealed to Brigham Young as one of his wives. It was not pity that moved him to marry her, nor a desire to comfort her and lighten her burdens; but it was because he saw by so doing that he could advance his own interests. Mrs. Lewis is never mentioned among his wives, yet he was sealed to her about two years after his marriage to me. Brigham's matrimonial experiences hardly find a place here, but as
Mrs. Lewis's alliance with the Prophet came about in a way through this tragedy, it may not be out of place even in this chapter on "Blood-Atonement."
San Pete was filled with so many sad memories to Mrs. Lewis, after the terrible fate of her son, that she could not remain there, reminded as she constantly was of the affair; so she removed to Provo, where she bought herself a very pleasant home, and, being a woman of considerable wealth, was living very comfortably, when Brigham commenced building a factory so near to her that it spoiled the beauty of the place and made it quite unpleasant. The agents then proposed to bring the water-course through her front yard - an arrangement to which she objected most emphatically. The agents,
shocked at her unwillingness to have her property spoiled for the sake of Brother Brigham's factory, rushed in breathless haste to the Prophet, and told him of Mrs. Lewis's rebellion. He instantly formed a plan of inducing her to surrender. He went at once to Provo, and presented himself to Mrs. Lewis with an offer of marriage, sating at the same time, "I know you have had a great deal of trouble, Sister Lewis; you have suffered much for the sake of the gospel, and I pity you. I desire to do something for you; I wish in some way to comfort you; so I think you had better become a member of my family."
She was an old lady, with children all grown, and was perfectly independent of them or any one, and certainly had no need to marry for support. As the Mormons believe that no woman can enter heaven except some man go through the ordinances with her, very many are sealed in their old age to secure salvation; but as her husband had been a good Mormon, and they had attended to all the important matters, she was saved without prophetic intervention. She had no need to marry for a husband who should look out for her welfare, as her children were ready and willing to do anything she needed done in the way of business. So she informed Brother Brigham that she didn't see why she should marry at all.
But Brother Brigham assured her that he wanted to marry as well for his own happiness as hers. He wanted her always near him, and it should be his first pleasure and business to look out for a nice place of residence for her, where he might look after her constantly. In fact he played the devoted and anxious lover with all the earnestness of a youth who is wooing his first inamorata, and in a fashion that would have made some of his family stare had they overheard it.
The Prophet's earnestness was not without effect, and Mrs. Lewis took her lover's proposal into serious consideration. while he waited anxiously for an answer, with one eye on the coveted front yard, the other leering at the widow, who actually concluded to accept his proposals, and, absurd as it may seem, became one of his wives.
He was ashamed of himself after it was all over, and requested his bride to say no thing about " the transaction between them," as it was better that, for the present at least, no one but themselves should know anything about it. "They would not understand, you know," murmured he in his most drivellingly sweet accents. The trouble was, "they" would understand too well, especially when they saw the water-course running through the once pretty front yard of the last Mrs. Young's home.
In a very short time he began to talk about his farm-house, and extolling it as a most desirable residence. I was living there at the time, yet he said "it was plenty large enough for two families, and everything was arranged with such perfect convenience; " so he begged that she would move there at once. He grew eloquent over the beauties of the situation, and said, "It is a perfectly splendid place, the nicest farm-place I ever saw in my life. I would give anything if my duties would permit me to live there; but I am kept away by circumstances, and cannot even think of it as a permanent residence, ardently
as I long to do so." He continued, "You can raise all the fowls there that you desire; it is a beautiful place for raising ducks and geese, and you may make as many feather-beds as you wish."
What greater inducements could he hold out to her? Dear to every old housekeeper's heart are her plump, soft, billowy feather-beds. We moderns are stifled by them; they are oppressive, and suggestive of dust; but she pats their rotundity with loving hands; gives them many punches of affection, and builds a structure that is wonderful to behold - in which she hospitably smothers her chance visitor, and, while he is sweltering in its embraces, tells him proudly that "that bed is live geese!" The pride of Mrs. Lewis's heart was her feather-beds - she wavered.
Her sons were very reluctant to have her leave her own home, and expressed themselves quite strongly on the subject when she mentioned it to them and asked their advice. Yet, in spite of their disapprobation, she concluded to go. Her husband was also her Prophet, and it might be that he spoke from inspiration. At all events, she would give heed to his words, and regard his wishes; else what punishment and disgrace might she not bring upon herself? So, deaf to her children's protestations, - who, by the way, did not regard the call to the farm as a divine bidding, - she removed thither, and came into the same house with me. We neither of us liked this arrangement, as we were both firm believers in the theory that no one house was ever yet built large enough for two families. Yet we knew that it would not be wise to say anything to Brigham; we were as quiet as we could be, and awaited his own time for our
separation, Mrs. Lewis was a very kind, patient woman, and I got very fond of her, and we got on admirably together in our forced companionship, and managed to live together until my house in the city was finished, which was about four months after she arrived at the farm.
She said that she told Brother Brigham, most decidedly, that she had strong objections to moving into a house with another family, and he told me that he was intending to have me go to the city immediately, and that I would probably be gone before she arrived at the farm. She postponed her removal for some weeks after that, hoping that I would have gone by that time, and the coast entirely clear. She found on her arrival that Brigham had grossly misrepresented affairs at the farm. Nothing at all was as he had described it to her. This hoary old Claude Melnotte deceived his ancient Pauline most
cruelly in the vivid pictures which he drew of the elegance of her future residence.
She made it her first business to visit the Prophet and ask for some repairs to be made, - which, by the way, were sadly needed, - but he declared that he had no time to attend to them - the same answer that he had made to my requests ever since I had lived there. A busier man than Brigham Young, when he wishes to be particularly engaged, was never seen, I believe; and his business is always the most pressing when any of his wives ask him to do anything for their comfort.
When she had lived at the farm a year, she told me that Brigham had never been to see her once during all that time; but that he had got possession of her property, and was using it for factory purposes. The water-course ran through her yard, her house was made an office, and the whole place was so changed and so entirely spoiled as a residence, that she never could go there again to live. She must, whether she would or not, live there until Brigham chose to move her somewhere else, or until her children could find some place for her to go to. She supports herself entirely, independently of the man who has swindled her out of her home and her property; and the only assistance she receives is from her children, who are very kind to her, annoyed as they
were at her for giving up her home, and, above all, allowing it to fall into Brigham Young's hands. His duck-and-goose story was all misrepresentation, made use of merely to induce her to go to the farm; and when she got there she very soon found that she would have those lovely feather beds, not, at least, by raising the fowls to supply the feathers. The Prophet's imagination had evidently run away with memory when he ardently painted the glories of the farm to his bride. This poor old lady was made a tool for the gratification of Brigham Young's avarice, as her son had been the victim to one of his followers' jealous anger. She has little to love Mormonism for. Its two leading doctrines, the "Celestial Marriage " and "Blood-Atonement," have pretty thoroughly shut out happiness from her life, and rendered her in her old age lonely and dependent.
A man named Thomas Williams came early to Utah, was a good Mormon, and embraced polygamy. He was a lawyer, and had acquired both wealth and influence in his profession. He was, however, a very independent man, and a man of very decided opinions. He had differed from Brigham on many political questions, and he was a warm friend and staunch adherent of Judge Stiles, who had drawn upon himself the displeasure of the "boys" by his just and impartial judgments. Indeed, Williams had his office with the judge, and that was a crime, when Judge Stiles's standing was taken into consideration. Williams was also in possession of knowledge concerning some murders that had taken place, had spoken very openly of them, and was becoming actually dangerous to Brigham and the other leaders, - so dangerous that Brigham went to his parents and complained of him and his acts, and ended by saying, "If
Tom don't behave himself, and stop making me trouble, I must have him attended to."
Soon after that Williams apostatized, and expressed himself very openly concerning the Mormon church and its leaders, although he knew that it must come to their ears, and that they would try, at least, to punish him for what they would consider his wickedness and profanity. He seemed to have lost all fear, as he had previously lost all belief in or respect for them. He started for California soon after his apostasy, designing to stay there, and to send for his family to join him, so soon as he should be fairly settled. He was waylaid and killed by the "Indians" on the plains. His body was fearfully mutilated, and left hanging for the birds of prey. It was very well known, however, at Salt Lake, that the "Indians" engaged in this assassination were white, and that Williams
was murdered by the express order of the church authorities, who knew that he would prove a most dangerous enemy.
His fate was a direct contradiction to Brigham's famous sermon on apostates, preached a few years before. Here is what he says about "independent apostates."
"When a man comes right out like an independent devil, and says, `Damn Mormonism, and all Mormons,' and is off with himself to California, I say he is a gentleman, by the side of the nasty, sneaking apostates, who are opposed to nothing but Christianity. I say to the former, `Go in peace.'"
Williams was certainly independent enough, but his independence did not save him.
In this same sermon, which was preached particularly against the "Gladdenites," as the followers of Gladden Bishop were called, - a man who differed from Brigham in certain points of the Mormon belief, and who would not concede that he (Young) was the proper successor of Joseph Smith, - he said, -
"When I went from meeting last Sabbath, my ears were saluted by an apostate preaching in the streets here. I want to know if any one of you who has got the spirit of Mormonism in you, the spirit that Joseph and Hyrum had, or that we have here, would say, `Let us hear both sides of the question. Let us listen, and prove all things.' What do you want to prove? Do you want to prove that an old apostate, who has been cut off from the church thirteen times for lying, is anything worthy of notice? We want such men to go to California, or anywhere they choose. I say to these persons, `You must not court persecution here, lest you get so much of it you will not know what to do with it. Do NOT court persecution. We have known Gladden Bishop for more
than twenty years, and know him to be a poor, dirty cuss.'
"Now, you Gladdenites, keep your tongues still, lest sudden destruction come upon you. I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheathe my bowie-knife, and conquer or die. Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet. If you say it is all right, raise your hands. Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this and every other good work."
"I will unsheathe my bowie-knife," has been a favorite threat of his, and it has been unsheathed hundreds of times. But some one of his Danite followers is called upon to use it, and when the murders are laid at his door, he stands coolly and boldly up, and his lying tongue says, I did not do these deeds.
For six or seven years, the spirit of slaughter seemed to stalk about in the beautiful Utah valleys, and human blood was shed on the slightest provocation. Did one man bear a grudge against another, he died in some mysterious manner, a Mormon court of investigation could never discover how. Was a man obnoxious to any of the church officers, he disappeared, and was never heard of again; or, like John V. Long, a clerk in Brigham's office, who was the only person who heard the conversation between Brigham and the messenger sent from George A. Smith, just before the Mountain Meadow massacre, and who wrote out the instructions which the man was to carry back, was found dead in a ditch, "drowned in three inches water," accidentally, of course, since that was the decision of the Mormon jury. Did a man suspect his wife of infidelity, either she or her suspected lover, or both, fell a victim to his fury. Sometimes the suspicion was without foundation, but would be discovered too late, as in the case of the husband who murdered a Dr. Vaughan in San Pete for supposed intimacy with his wife.
The man was an enthusiastic Mormon; his wife, a lovely woman, whose reputation had always been irreproachable. Vaughan was a friend of both, until the husband fancied that he was too fond of the wife. He went at once Salt Lake City, took counsel of the Prophet, returned home, and shot the doctor dead as he was leaving church. He found out afterwards that his suspicion was unfounded, and that he had murdered an innocent man, who had never wronged him, even in thought. He was haunted by remorse until his death. Yet he had only followed the teachings of his religious leader.
Such were the results of the teaching of the Blood-Atonement doctrine in Utah.
TROUBLE IN OUR OWN FAMILY. - LOUISE COMES UPON
Increase of Polygamy. - Marrying going on Day and Night. - "Taking a Wife and Buying a Cow." - A Faithful Husband in a Fix. - How Men got "Married on the Sly." -
How Wives were Driven Crazy by their Wrongs. - My Father Marries Considerably. - He "Goes in" for the Hand-Cart Girls. - Marries a Couple to begin with. - Takes a
Third the same Month. - Rapid Increase of his "Kingdom." - How the Girls Chose Husbands. - Instructing the New Wives in our Family. - Louise doesn't want to Work. -
My Father goes on Mission Again. - Louise Flirts and Rebels. - She is Scolded and Repents. - Goes to Bed and Weeps. - Bestows her Goods on the Family. - "Lizzie"
Interviews Her. - She Poisons Herself. - Is a "Long Time Dying." - She gets a Strong Dose of Cayenne. -Is sent on her Travels. - The Last we Heard of Her.
Another immediate effect of the "Reformation" was to increase the practice of polygamy. To alter an old rhyme to suit the occasion, -
"Then were those wed who
never wed before;
And those who once were wed
now wed the more."
Marrying and giving in marriage was carried on to such an extent, that, as in the old days of the first "Endowments" in Nauvoo Temple, the ceremony of sealing was literally going on day and night. "The man who refuses to enter polygamy
will be eternally damned," announced Brigham Young from the Tabernacle. "Who marries out of the church marries for hell," supplemented Heber C. Kimball. Polygamy was preached from the platform, and taught by the ward-teachers in private. It was not only advised, - it was commanded, and no one dared of disobeying the prophetic mandates.
There was scarcely a family in the Territory at that time which was not increased by a plurality of wives. Men married in the most reckless fashion, with nothing in the world on which to support their families. Girls went to the Endowment House in the morning to take their Endowments, with no idea of marrying, and came away in the afternoon sealed to some brother whose fancy they had taken, or who, being advised by Brigham or Heber to avail himself of his "privileges," had left the matter in apostolic hands, and submitted to everything, even to the choice of a wife.
Wives did not know when their husbands would bring home another woman to share their home and their husband; for the clause in the "Revelation" that declared that a man should seek his wife's consent to a plural marriage, and that she should herself give the new wife to her husband, "even as Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham," was merely a dead letter, and was not minded in the majority of cases. Indeed, the men many times did not consider it at all necessary to inform the wives of their intentions, and the poor women would know nothing of the new marriage until the husband brought home his latest
acquisition, or until she was informed of it by some outsider.
Those were the days when even the most trusting wives lost faith in their husbands; when solemn, oft-repeated promises were broken, evidently without the slightest qualm of conscience; when the tender, watchful affection of the husband and father was swallowed up in mad desire of possession of the brute. There were tragedies enacted then that the world never will hear of; women died of broken hearts, and their sad fates brought no pang, or repentance, or remorse to the men who were as much the murderers as though they had deliberately taken their lives with the knife, the bullet, or the poisoned cup.
"Only a wife" out of the way; and what did that matter? - plenty more were to be had for the asking. "I think no more of taking a wife than I do of buying a cow," was one of Heber Kimball's delicate remarks. made from the stand in the Tabernacle to a congregation of several thousand. Most of his hearers thought even less of it, for they would have had to pay money for the cow; and as for the other, he had only to throw his handkerchief to some girl, and she would pick it up and follow him.
All the finer feelings and sensibilities of man's nature were killed by this horrible system. He regarded women's suffering with utter indifference; he did not care for their affection; their tears bored him, and angered rather than touched him. He lost all the respect and chivalrous regard which he once had for the sex, and spoke of his wives as "my women," "my heifers," or, if he, a Heber Kimball, "my cows." He was taught that they were his inferiors, dependent on him for everything, even for their future existence, and he considered that it was sufficient that he gave them his name; the rest they might get for themselves. He believed that the Mormon Church was to bring about the time "when seven women shall lay hold on one man, begging to be allowed to be called by his name," and should promise to eat their own bread and wear their own apparel. The latter they have been not merely allowed but obliged to do ever since they entered the system, and poor and scanty have been both bread and apparel in the majority of cases. It makes, in short, a brute of what might be a man.
I know a first wife who was driven to such utter desperation by the total neglect of her husband, that she determined to take her own life, since it had grown such a burden that it was intolerable to bear.
One night, in the dead of winter, the snow falling thick and fast, and the wind sweeping down the mountains and through the cañons, cutting to the very bone, as only a mountain wind can, she wrapped a tattered shawl about her, and rushed madly through the night and the snow to the river, intending to lay down her life and her miseries together. With a wild prayer for mercy, she was about to throw herself into the water, when she was restrained by a strong, imperative hand, and her husband's voice, hissing angrily in her ear, bade her go home and not make a fool of herself.
He was on his way home, or, rather, to his first wife's house, for a change of linen, that he might attend his second and more favored wife to a party, when he caught sight of the flying figure; and, suspecting her intentions, followed her swiftly, and was just in season to prevent her from taking the fatal step.
He had no word of sympathy for her; on the contrary, he was angered at what he called her obstinacy "and determination to make a fool of herself." Her anguish of heart brought no response of tenderness from him; he made her return home, get the articles of apparel which he wished, and assist him in his preparations for taking her rival out for the evening. In her frenzy, the maternal instinct which is so strong in every woman utterly failed her, and she went away to seek the death she coveted, leaving her little baby ailing piteously in its cradle.
My mother had a friend whose husband had, for a long time, withstood the desires and counsels of the priesthood, and had incurred their marked displeasure by neglecting for so long to "live up to his religion," and "avail himself of his privileges." At the time of the Reformation, however, he did not dare neglect his "duty" any longer, and decided to take a second wife. Neither did he dare tell his first wife of his determination, for he knew how entirely she loved and trusted him, and he knew, too, how bitter an opponent she always had been to polygamy. He knew as well how many times he had assured
her that she had nothing to fear; that he would be faithful to her, as he had promised to be in the old days when he married her, and before God had vowed to "cleave to her only until death should them part." And he felt how bitter would be her sorrow, how justly indignant her feelings towards him, how intense her anger, and he did not dare to brave it all; so he stole quietly away to the Endowment House one day, leaving his true and confiding wife ill in her bed, and fresh front her sick room, took the blasphemous vows which claimed to bind him to another woman for time and for eternity.
The first wife knew nothing of what had transpired until she was very delicately told by a kind neighbor, who, knowing that she must find it out sooner or later, thought it her duty to break the news to her as quietly as possible.
She was almost maddened by the intelligence, and at first she utterly refused to believe it. It could not be possible that the husband of her youth, the man whom she had so loved and trusted, would betray her thus; would take advantage of her illness to skulk away and take another wife, and that. too, after all his repeated promises to her.
"It can't be true, she cried, wringing her hands, and growing deadly pale. "It isn't true! I can't believe it. I won't believe it. 0 my God, help me if it is true. Tell me that it isn't; that you are mistaken."
But no such assurance could be given her, and her friend tried in the gentlest manner to comfort her; but what consolation could she bring that would heal a shattered faith or bind up a broken heart.
This story has had many, many repetitions since then, until now it has got to be "an old, old story often told."
It was all very well for this man to take this step as a religious duty, if he had been sincere. But would he, or would any true man who believed fully that he was obeying the revealed law of God, and doing what he did for conscience' sake. be afraid to meet any opposition, from whatever quarter it might come? Is not this very lack of courage a tacit acknowledgment that he does not believe in its divinity at all, and that conscience stings, rather than approves him for his cowardly act?
Another wife, whose husband had promised her as faithfully that he would not take another wife, did take one in the same way, and under precisely the same circumstances. On hearing the news she became a raving maniac, and died in the insane hospital. Still another, who was as bitter an opponent of the system of "Celestial Marriage" as either of the other two, was one day invited by her husband to go for a drive. Touched by this unusual act of kindness, - for he had been anything but kind to her, since he could not obtain her consent to his taking another wife, - she quickly made herself ready, and went with him. He drove her to the insane asylum, and left her, and she is still an inmate of the place, although she is as sane as I am at this moment.
I could cite hundreds of such cases that occurred during the first years that directly followed the Reformation, and that have multiplied since, until the recital of them would fill a large volume; but I will, instead, tell a little what the "Reformation," and the subsequent "Celestial Ordinance" fever, did for our own family.
It added several more to our circle in a very short time. My father was counselled, as were most of the Mormon men, to take some of the "Hand-Cart girls," as they must be provided for some way. My mother had already had her burden given her; and after she had been obliged to see another woman taking the love and care that by right belonged to her, and her alone, she grew indifferent on the subject, and declared that a few wives, more or less, would make little difference to her now, and she would be as well satisfied with one fourth of a husband as with one half. That is generally the way first
wives argue; if there is to be a plurality of wives, it may as well be half a dozen as one. The hurt comes with the first plural wife; no suffering can ever exceed the pain she feels then.
The second wife was made ill, however, by the new arrangement; it was the first time she had felt the hurt of being superseded; but she bore it very patiently, and made no complaint. After she recovered from her illness, she joined my mother in her efforts to make friends with the other wives, for two had already been added to the family, and placed under the same roof with us.
The Hand-Cart girls, not being disposed of rapidly enough to satisfy the authorities, they urged them to make proposals to the brethren, which, by the way, they were not at all backyard in doing. One young lady selected "our" husband, to use my mother's expression; and to quote from her description, "as it was done in obedience to counsel, we extended our arms to receive her, the third one that we had welcomed within the month. Our `kingdom' was Increasing, but each individual share of husband was growing small by degrees and beautifully less.'"
This last acquisition proved to be anything but an agreeable one, and she made plenty of trouble for us all. When she offered herself to my father, after having been counselled by the authorities to do so, he received her proposition somewhat coolly and cautiously, for, to tell the truth, he would much have preferred to make his own selection, and Louise (for that was her name) would, most emphatically, have not been his choice. Yet he would have been openly ridiculed, and held up to derision in the Tabernacle, had he ventured to refuse; so there was nothing to do but to take her, and make the best of it.
He had been so long absent that his affairs were by no means in a flourishing condition, and he needed all the assistance he could obtain from his wives. My mother and Elizabeth were both hard-working women, and as hard as they had labored during their husband's absence, they did not relax their exertions in the slightest now that he had returned. My mother took the young wives at once under her protection, and commenced teaching them to be useful. The two first ones proved very nice girls, and worked with a will, showing a great readiness and aptitude at learning, and a genuine desire to do their part.
But the "free-will offering," as Elizabeth and mother always called Louise, did not love work, and she would not do it. She said she was a milliner, and had once been an actress, and declined "to soil her hands with menial labor." That was her speech in refusing to assist about the household work.
There was some little friction in the running of the household machinery on account of this; but Mormon women are expected to exercise patience, and there was very little fault found audibly, although it was quite apparent that the new wife was unhappy, and that all the rest were disgusted with her selfishness and indolence, which amounted to laziness.
My father was appointed to another mission in the States, directly after he was married to Louise, and he left his entire family living all together on a farm about seventy miles west of Salt Lake City.
During his absence Louise made herself disagreeable in every possible way. It actually seemed as though she had made up her mind to annoy us all as much as possible, and that she tried every expedient she could devise to accomplish her intentions.
My mother was particularly annoyed by her familiarity with the men employed on the farm, and remonstrated with her on her undignified behavior. She was very impertinent, although mother had spoken to her in the kindest possible way, and informed her that she should do as she pleased; that she was my father's wife, and her rights in the house were equal to any other person's.
Fortunately, my father remained away but a short time, and on his return he was speedily made acquainted with the state of affairs. He disapproved of her conduct quite as much as my mother had done, and treated her with such a marked coolness that she demanded the cause. He told her that he was greatly displeased with her, annoyed particularly at her lack of respect for herself, him, or his family, and that he did not feel at all like acknowledging her as his wife unless she would most decidedly behave in a more becoming and dignified manner.
She was very penitent, and promised all sorts of things if he would only allow her to remain in his family; she went about the house the very personification of grief and humility, until my father was called by church business to Salt Lake City. No sooner was he fairly started than she determined to create a sensation in the family.
She shut herself up in her room, after announcing that she wished to be left quiet and not intruded upon by any one. However, one of the younger wives entered her room on some pretext or other, and found Louise in bed.
"Are you ill?" she inquired.
"0, no; only heart-broken!" was the reply, in the most doleful tone which she could possibly assume, and a great display of grief in the shape of a pocket-handkerchief which she applied to her eyes, then flourished in the air, and then returned to her eyes. After some more conversation, Eliza came out with a pair of valuable ear-rings in her hand. Mother asked her where she got them.
"Louise gave them to me, was the reply.
"Isn't that a sudden freak of generosity?" inquired my mother.
"She says she shall never want them any more, and she cried when she said it," was the answer.
Louise had always seemed to like Eliza better than she did any of the other wives, and my mother at once fancied that there was some trickery going on, and that Louise was trying to win Eliza over to her. I was a little curious myself, as girls of thirteen are very apt to be when anything unusual is going on in the family which they do not fully understand; so I determined to visit Louise myself, and see what was the matter with her.
She was very pathetic in her conversation with me, and made me quite miserable by the recital of her wrongs. Somehow I felt as though I was personally to blame for all her misery, and yet I didn't see how that could be. She gave me her watch and chain, which I had always admired and coveted, and told me she had done for ever with such gewgaws. I was so delighted with the jewelry that I quite neglected to be properly sympathetic, and rushed off to show my gift to my mother, and tell her what Louise said.
She began to be a little startled by this new development of affairs, and asked Lizzie, the third wife, to go up to her. Lizzie was not a great favorite with Louise, and my mother did not anticipate that she would receive such fine presents, to say the least. She came back, saving that Louise said she was going to die, and then she wished her wardrobe divided among the family. She also wished that my mother would come to her. She at first felt inclined to refuse, but upon consideration, and being urged by the different members of the family, she went, and found her groaning with pain, real or pretended. She couldn't tell which then.
"What is the trouble?" she asked.
"0," said Louise, with a groan, "I am dying. I shall never cause any more trouble in your family."
"It is not right for you to talk in that manner," replied my mother; "if you are ill, I will do all I can to relieve you."
"I don't want anything done; I only want to die: my husband does not love me, and I cannot live; all I desire is death," wailed the woman.
"It is not always so easy to die when we desire," was my mother's somewhat crisp reply, as she was a little annoyed by what she considered Louise's
"But I have made sure," answered she; "I have taken poison."
"You surely cannot be so wicked as that," was mother's surprised reply. "You are certainly telling me a falsehood."
Louise called on all heaven to witness the truth of what she had said, and made so many solemn asseverations to the truth of her having poisoned herself, that my mother began to fear that she had really done so, and that the affair was much more serious than she had supposed, for she had really no idea that Louise would do so desperate a thing as that, for she seemed altogether too fond of the good things of this life to relinquish them voluntarily. We had all considered before this that Louise was giving us a taste of her dramatic powers, and that it was a piece of very poor acting, after all. But if she
really had taken her life into her own hands, determined to throw it away so recklessly, she must be looked after at once.
So everything that could be thought of as an antidote to poison was given to her; she all the time groaning and screaming with pain. There was no physician within thirty miles and our nearest neighbor lived five miles away. My brother was summoned from the hay-field, where he was at work, sent for our father. There was not a horse to be had, as it happened, and my brother started on foot to try and overtake father, who had set out on horseback some hours before. He would necessarily travel very slowly, however, as he was driving cattle. The boy had to climb high mountains, and consequently made but slow progress; yet, on descending, he ran as fast as possible, and succeeded in overtaking his father when about fifteen miles from home. He was
perfectly exhausted by his efforts, and fell fainting at his father's feet, after he had managed to gasp out, "Father, Louise has poisoned herself!"
It was some time before he recovered sufficiently to tell the whole story, which my father instantly pronounced a hoax. "However," he said, "I will go back and settle the difficulty."
During all the time that elapsed between my brother's departure and his return with his father, Louise was continuing the tragedy in a way that was calculated to frighten the whole family. She reached out her hand and bade us all farewell, at the same time exhorting us to greater piety. She said it had been her desire to do right, but she knew she had failed in her most earnest endeavors; this she regretted, as she was now nearing her end, and had no means of rectifying her past wrong-doing. Yet she wished to die in peace with all, and she forgave the wrongs she had received at the hands of some
members of the family.
After talking on in this strain for some time, until, indeed, she had exhausted the topic and could find no more to say, she tried her hand at acting a kind of stupor; from which she soon aroused, however, and recommenced her exhortation, and ended by informing my mother that she had never understood her, and had never sufficiently appreciated her, and that she would rather die than be the cause of contention.
My mother at last was beginning to understand her most thoroughly now; and losing all patience with her, and feeling very indignant at her shallow attempt at deception, which was beginning to be very patent to us all, said, -
"It seems to me you are a long time dying, Louise; I feel quite satisfied that you are deceiving us all, and as I do not care to be duped any longer, we'll call the farce ended - for you can't make a tragedy of it, try hard as you may."
"It is your fault that I am not dead," Louise answered, her eyes flashing suddenly, and a great deal of the old-fashioned spirit in her will; "if you hadn't administered an antidote, against my will, I should be dead now."
We none of us could restrain a smile at her mention of the "antidote," for salt and water, salt and vinegar, and mustard and water, were the only medicines we had given her. With these very simple remedies, - none of which had the - slightest effect on the patient, - My mother's "medicine box" was exhausted, and there was nothing else which she could do, except to abandon the case, which she did.
Her friends, the hired men, came in at night anxiously inquiring after Louise. We were all totally undeceived by that time, and one of the wives replied to their questions, that they need have no fears about her, as she no doubt would outlive all the rest of the family and they had all decided to "leave her for Mr. Webb to deal with." The men thought this very heartless, and said they had feared they should find her dead.
My mother. who had overheard the last remark, replied, rather sharply, that nothing would kill her unless it was the mixture she had administered, for she was positive that she had taken no poison. Her object had been to frighten the family, and she had succeeded admirably. She had turned the house topsy-turvy, and sent Edward off on a wild-goose chase, and we were all getting quite angry.
About nine o'clock in the evening my father returned. My mother met him at the door.
"There's nobody dead" was her greeting.
I didn't expect there was, he replied, passing her and entering Louise's room.
"What are you in bed for? was his inquiry.
At first she declined to reply to him, but on his repeating the question, and insisting on an answer, she told the same story that she had told to the rest of us. He was as sceptical regarding the truth of it as the rest of us had been, but said that he would suggest the free use of cayenne pepper, and asked my mother to make her some tea of it. I am afraid there was a little malice in her heart, as she asked if she might make it as strong as she liked.
"Yes," he replied; "give her a strong dose. She shall have enough to make her sick of her nonsense."
There was no further assurance needed, and I fancy there never was a stronger decoction mixed than the one my mother prepared for the impostor. At first Louise declared she would not take it; but my father insisted upon it telling her that he knew nothing better for people who had poisoned themselves, and she was compelled to swallow the whole of it.
There was no need, after that, for her to pretend illness, for she was sick enough for one hour to thoroughly frighten her, and to satisfy the rest of the family, who felt that she deserved just the punishment she was getting for the deception she had practiced, and the fright she had caused, which was genuine for a while.
My mother was specially angry because my brother was made very ill by his long run after his father, and he came very near losing his life in consequence. After Louise had recovered somewhat from the paroxysms of pain into which she had been thrown by the cayenne pepper, my father had a serious talk with her, and told her that she must no longer consider herself a member of his family. Her conduct had been such that she had forfeited all right to consideration, and he would not have such a woman as she had proved herself to be in the house with his wives and his young daughter; so she
must go away and find a home for herself elsewhere.
She had not expected this, and she suddenly changed her tactics, and begged to be allowed to remain in the family in any capacity whatever. She confessed that she had been trying to frighten us all, and that she had taken no poison, but had got up the scene in order to create sympathy for herself. She professed great sorrow at her actions, and again pleaded to be allowed to remain.
But my father was inexorable; and, in spite of tears, entreaties, and protestations, she was taken to Salt Lake City, and we none of us ever saw her again, although we heard of her several times. She married again in a very short time, and in three weeks was divorced from her second husband, to whom she had been scaled "for time and eternity." After leaving this husband of three weeks, she went to the southern part of the Territory, and married another man, whom she persuaded to take her to St. Louis. While there she suddenly went away one day, taking her husband's money and leaving him behind. When next heard from, she was on her way to England. Her last husband made no attempt to follow her, but returned to Utah without either money or
wife, yet entirely reconciled to the loss of one, since it had been the means of him of the other.
Louise was the only one of all my father's wives who ever made the least trouble. The rest of them were good women, doing their best to make things pleasant. They did not like a polygamous life, and only endured it because they thought they must. They were not happy women, - no women in polygamy are happy, however loudly they mar claim to be, - and they made no pretence of being. Neither did they quarrel with each other, or complain of one another to their husband. Whatever difficulties they might have they settled among themselves, and did not trouble any outsiders. In fact, in my father's
family the best side of a polygamous life was shown, but the best side was by no means a bright one.
This episode of Louise shows the absurdity of marrying without previous acquaintance, and also the miseries that may be endured by other wives when there is one bad woman in their midst.
INCREASE OF POLYGAMY. - MIXED-UP CONDITION OF
Christ alleged to be a Polygamist. - The Men to save the Women. - Making "Tabernacles" for little Spirits. - The Story of certain Ladies who were Deceived. - They Discover a Mystery. - Their Fate. - Orson Hyde's False Prophecy. - Throwing Mud at Apostates. - Death preferred to Polygamy. - Frightful Intermarriages. - Married his Mother-in-law. - A Man who Married his Wife's Grandmother. Mother, and All. - Marrying a half-Sister. - Marrying Nieces and Sisters. - How Emigrant Girls were Married Off. - Frightful Story of a Poor Young Girl. - Polygamy and Madness. - One Woman's Love too Little. - How English Girls were Deceived. - How Claude Spenser committed a Damnable Wrong. - A Girl who was Martyred for her Religion. - How the Bereaved Husband Acted. - A Man with thirty-three Children. - "They never cost him a Cent." - A Many-Wived Saint. - Mixed-up Condition of Marital Affairs.
The "Reformation" was productive of nothing but evil. The most revolting and blasphemous doctrines were taught, and between Blood-Atonement, Massacres of the Gentiles, and the worst phases of Polygamous Marriage, there was nothing good in the Territory. The whole system of Mormon religion was a mass of revolting crime and wickedness. Bigotry was at flood-tide, and fanaticism ruled reason. The very thought of it brings a shudder. The most horrible things were taught from the pulpit, and decency was outraged every time a Mormon leader opened his mouth to speak.
They were all maniacs on the subject of Celestial Marriage, and the lengths to which they carried their advocacy of it did not stop with mere absurdities; it became the most fearful profanity. There was not a pure character in all the Bible history which their dirty hands did not besmear, and their foul tongues blacken. Not content with bringing up "Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David and Solomon," as their examples in the practice of polygamy, Brigham Young, in one of his sermons, delivered during the intensest heat of the excitement, declared that "Jesus Christ" was a practical polygamist; Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his plural wives, and Mary Magdalen was another. Also, the bridal feast at Cana of Galilee, where Jesus turned the water into wine, was on the occasion of one of his own marriages.
They appealed to women through their maternal as well as through their religious natures. Not only did they teach them that they could never be saved except by the intervention of some man, who should take upon himself the duty of resurrecting them at the last day, but they were also told that floating through space were thousands of infant spirits, who were waiting for bodies; that into every child that was born one of these spirits entered, and was thereby saved; but if they had no bodies given them, their wails of despair would ring through all eternity; and that it was, in order to insure their future happiness, necessary that as many of them as possible should be given bodies by Mormon parents. If a woman refused to marry into polygamy, or, being
married, to allow her husband to take other wives, these spirits would rise up in judgment against her, because she had, by her act, kept them in darkness.
No one dared to neglect the counsel of the priesthood. Whoever ventured to do so was charged at once with apostasy. Men and women alike were ruled by the arbitrary will of one man. There is no despotic monarchy in the world where the word of the sovereign is so absolute as in Utah. And never, in the whole history of Mormonism, has the despotic rule been so arbitrary as it was during the period of, and for a short time after, the Reformation.
It was a terribly trying time for women - a time that they have never forgotten. More misery was crowded into a few months than they had endured before in a lifetime, and the misery that began then will be life-long. No one outside of Utah and Mormonism can understand it in the least, because nowhere else is there a possibility of such wretchedness to exist. Only women living in a polygamous community, under the rule of a religion whose fundamental principle is the plural-wife system, can fully take in the utter helplessness and hopelessness of the situation - a situation from which escape, at
that time at least, was next to impossible.
If they did escape. the tongue of calumny pursued them relentlessly, and the vilest reports that the tongues and hearts of vile men could devise were spread concerning them.
In 1856, during the Reformation, and when converts were pouring into Zion almost from every quarter of the earth, were several lovely and refined ladies, who had been drawn thither by the seeming earnestness and deep religious fervor of the Mormon people whom they, had seen. Especial pains had been taken to bring these ladies into the church, for they were a much finer type of women than are generally found among the later converts, and nothing was ever told them of the existence of the plurality system. Among the converts were a Miss Potter, Mrs. Brownhead and three daughters, and Miss Stayner, who were filled with enthusiasm concerning, their new faith, and came to Zion most zealous Saints.
But when, on their arrival, they discovered that polygamy was in open practice, they were distressed beyond measure, and sought immediate refuge in the military camp. They were women, all of them, of fine social standing, and had left happy and luxurious homes to come to Zion, impelled by a sense of religious duty. The beastly god which the Mormons so devoutly worshipped had never been even alluded to in their presence.
As a matter of course, their flight enkindled Mormon wrath, and for a while it burned fiercely. They heaped every term of opprobrium upon them that they could think of, and defamed them in every possible way. There was nothing too gross or too indecent for them to say concerning them; and in addition to this wholesale defamation of their characters, they were properly cursed, according to the Mormon liturgy, and all manner of evil was prophesied concerning them. Orson Hyde was inspired one Sunday, in the Tabernacle, to foretell their fate, and he prophesied that they would perish miserably on the way to California. where they had gone under the protection of Colonel Steptoe and his command. It was, no doubt, a great disappointment to the Apostle that, in spite of his prophecies, they arrived safely in California, were married to men of wealth and position, and are now happy wives and mothers, with no thought of Mormondom to mar their happiness, except an occasional burst of thankful feeling that they succeeded in escaping from it. It may he a satisfaction for my readers to know - it is certainly for me to tell - that he not only proved a false prophet, but was publicly punished by one of the officers for the scandalous reports he had put in circulation regarding these ladies.
Calumny and scandal are among the readiest of the Mormon weapons, and its leaders are specially skilled in their use, as every person who has ever thwarted Brigham Young, or one of his satellites, knows to his or her sorrow. They not only lie themselves, but they hire others to do it for them. Occasionally, in this game of mud-throwing, they get bespattered, but not until they have bedaubed their victim very thoroughly. It is no wonder that suicides have been so common among the Mormon women: if they left Zion, it must be at the sacrifice either of life or reputation, and in the hopeless apathetic state into which they were sunk, it was easier to die than to struggle.
One woman, who arrived from England during the "Reformation," and who was to be rushed into polygamy, actually killed herself rather than become a plural wife: she had been given to a Mr. Goodsall, and was living in his family, awaiting the time when she was to be sealed; and one morning but a few days before the time appointed for the ceremony, she was found with her throat cut, a razor lying by her side. She saw nothing but wretchedness before her, and put an end to her life rather than follow priestly "counsels." It was better so than to face the misery life would bring.
Even the laws of consanguinity were not respected at that terrible time, and relatives intermarried in a manner that would shock even the most lax-moralled community. Uncles and nieces were married; one man would marry several sisters; and it was a very common thing for a mother and daughter to have the same husband. In one family, at least three generations were represented among the wives - grandmother, mother, and daughter; and a case actually occurred in Salt Lake City where a man married his half sister, and that, too, with the full knowledge and approval of Brigham Young. The
man stood high in the Mormon Church, and George D. Watt was quoted all through the Territory as a good Saint. He certainly availed himself of his privileges to the fullest extent. He has since apostatized.
Bishop Smith, of Brigham City, married two of his own nieces. Bishop Johnson, of Springville, outdid his brother bishop, and married six. The first one was the daughter of an elder brother; the other five were sisters, and daughters of Lorenzo Johnson. He first married the eldest one, Mary, who was only fifteen at the time; then he asked that all the others might be given to him, to be sealed to him when they should grow up. The youngest one was only two years old at the time that her father promised her to her uncle, and she was only about thirteen when she was sealed to him.
All this is sanctioned by the President; else, of course, it would not occur; and he does not hesitate to say that he sees no reason why persons who are nearly related should not marry; they certainly ought to think more of each other than of strangers: and all that he can see that stands in the way of such marriages being of very frequent occurrence is popular prejudice. He has said that he, as far as he is personally concerned, would not enter upon such a relationship. but prejudice alone, and not principle, would restrain him.
There are very many families where two or more sisters are plural wives to one man. This is the case in Brigham's own family. Among his first plural wives were Clara Decker and Lucy Decker; and two of his daughters, Luna and Fanny, are the wives of George Thatcher; two. Mary and Caroline, were married to Mark Croxall, and two, Alice and Emily, to Hiram Clawson.
Among the early emigrants were two Scotch girls, sisters. named McDonald. They had been but a few days in Salt Lake City, when a Mr. Uriah Brower, a would-be patriarch, presented himself before them with an offer of marriage. One of the girls favored the suit, but the other was more capricious, and not so easily suited with the prospect of a polygamous life. She hated the man for proposing marriage, herself for being an object of his patriarchal passion, and was annoyed at her sister for her willing- ness to accept him. She had yet to learn that women are by no means free agents in Utah, and have very little voice in the settlement of their own affairs; their destinies are in their own hands, but are entirely at the mercy of some man's caprice, or the commands of the priesthood.
Her lover was determined; and seeing that it was absolutely of no use for her to go on saying "No," since she must succumb, sooner or later, she gave an indifferent consent, and was sealed to him at the same time with her sister. She was miserably unhappy, and the very next day she applied for a divorce from him, saying she could not, and would not, remain his wife. She obtained the divorce; but, having no parents and no home, she was forced to live wherever she could, and she found existence anything but an easy or pleasant task. In a short time another good brother, seeking to enlarge his kingdom,
offered to take her; and she, poor girl: not knowing what else to do, and almost desperate in her loneliness and desolation, consented to marry a second time in polygamy.
Her new husband already had three wives, and she was placed in the same house with them. Her situation then was worse than even before. Being the last corner, all the rest turned against her, and she had to endure the hatred of them all. She was ill-treated in every way, but for a long time bore all the wrongs which were inflicted upon her in silence. After the birth of her child, she determined to leave at all hazards; so again applying for a divorce from her second husband, which was as easily obtained as her first one had been, she took her child and went away to earn a living for herself and him. She went out to service; she did washing and cleaning; indeed, she left no stone unturned to obtain an honest livelihood, and bring up her child properly.
After a time her first husband presented himself, and told her that as he had married her "for time and for eternity, he should hold her to the first marriage contract; that he could do so, since her second husband was no higher in the priesthood than he. He insisted on her returning to him; and the poor woman, seeing no way of escape, was sealed again to him, and was taken to his home. a miserable, comfortless place, where he had five wives already living in poverty and the most terrible degradation. Huddled together like so many animals, they respected neither the laws of decency nor morality.
Hannah was there but a short time before she became hopelessly insane. She is living still, but the light of reason has gone out for ever, quenched by the horrors of a system which she always loathed. Her sister, Margaret, still drags on a miserable, hopeless existence, not much better off than the poor, unfortunate maniac. She is a moral and physical wreck, and owes her depraved condition to the cause that made her sister a mental ruin.
Life opened brightly enough for these girls in their home among the Scottish hills, but the curse of Mormonism found them out, and then there was nothing but wretchedness and despair for them.
Incidents like these have multiplied from the beginning until now; and yet, in the face of all this misery, the world is assured that Mormon women are comfortable and content; that they find no fault with polygamy; indeed, that they prefer the system rather than dislike it; and the world, against all reason and common sense, believes what it is told.
Elder Orson Spencer, now dead. one of the strong pillars of Mormonism, whose letters and theological works are much quoted among the Saints, while on his first mission to England became the guest of a gentleman of considerable property and good social position, and the father of two interesting daughters, both of whom were recent converts to the Mormon faith. The young ladies were finely educated, possessed of more than ordinary talents, and had always been tenderly attached to each other.
When the young missionary from Zion became an inmate of their father's house, they, with all the zeal of new and enthusiastic converts, vied with each other in showing him every hospitable attention, for the sake of the glorious gospel which they supposed he came to preach, and before very long the elder of the sisters found herself becoming deeply interested in him for his own sake.
The interest was apparently mutual; it ripened into love. Mr. Spencer made a formal proposal to the father for the daughters hand, and very soon after the lovers were married. The young wife was perfectly happy; she was devoted to her husband, and it seemed to her that life could hereafter hold nothing but happiness for her, she rested so securely in her husband's love, that his care would compass her about, and his strength sustain her, all through her days. She was living her first romance, and sweet enough she found it. Ah, if the hard reality had not been so soon to follow it! But Mormon marriage soon kills all the romance of a woman's nature, and either kills her at the same time, or leaves her hopeless, apathetic, her finer nature crushed within her, bearing life because she must, and not because it holds anything for her of love, or care, or sweet tenderness of any kind. It is oftener this way than the other; alas, for the poor victims that such is the case!
Mr. Spencer had lived among a people who teach and practice the doctrine of a plurality of wives. His own father had brought home eight brides to grace his domestic circle, four of them in one day. The high-priest of his religion, the man to whom he had always listened as the mouthpiece of God, not only preached that it was the privilege and duty of every Saint to wed many wives, but practiced what he preached.
No wonder, then, that the disciple believed he should be living beneath his privileges if he contented himself with the love of one woman. His sister-in-law was a remarkably pretty girl, and fervent in her devotion to the new faith she had espoused. In time, perhaps, if caution was exercised in the manner of teaching, she might be won to a cordial belief in the doctrine of plural marriage - a doctrine which the missionary Saints, with damnable wisdom, had not proclaimed openly in England at that date.
This young brother, imitating the prudent course of his colleagues, preached only those truths which he thought would be received most readily. Such portions of the gospel as might be considered hard doctrine by the new converts he left to be learned by them after their arrival in Zion. His growing admiration for his charming sister-in-law he kept to himself; but when the time arrived for his return home with his wife, he had succeeded in making arrangements for her sister to accompany them. In the mean time, however, another young lady, also a new convert, had attracted his favorable notice,
and as she was to form one of a large company who were about to start for America, he kindly, and disinterestedly, of course, offered to take her under
his own care.
During the voyage across the ocean, and the hurried journey through the States, nothing worthy of note occurred. True, Mr. Spencer was very attentive to the young ladies who were travelling under his protection; but his young wife loved him too well, and believed in him too implicitly, to have any thought that he was actuated by other motives than brotherly affection and Christian kindness. At the Missouri River, where the emigrants took leave of civilization, and commenced their long journey over the plains, the members of the little party were thrown more closely together than before; and now even the all-confiding wife could not fail to see that her husband demeaned himself as a lover towards the two girls, - her sister and her friend, - and that they by no
means discouraged his attentions.
Her reproachful questioning regarding his conduct brought out an explanation of the doctrines of plurality, and an avowal of his intention to marry the girls as soon as they reached Salt Lake. He said that they had both embraced the great truths of their religion fully, and were willing and anxious to be sealed to him as their savior for time and her The poor wife, with all her faith in her husband, sister, and her religion, shattered at one blow, - but. alas for her, with a heart throbbing with a love that could not die, - never rallied from the shock she received when her doom was thus pronounced by the lips of the one dearest to her.
Day after day, as they continued their toilsome journey, her strength declined, and it was evident, even to the eyes of strangers, that she was dying. Her husband, however, saw nothing, was troubled with no anxieties. He was too much absorbed in his love for the two girls, whose souls he proposed to save, to have any time or thought to spare for his dying wife. The days lengthened into weeks, and still the lamp of life burned lower, while the love that had outlived faith and hope was yet strong enough to torture her with vain longing's to hear again the tender words that were never spoken now, and to lean, in her mortal weakness, on the arm that she, so short a time ago, had fondly hoped would be her support, even down to the brink of death. It is easy to say of
love unworthily bestowed, -
"I would pluck it from my bosom,
Though my heart were at the root;"
but many a wronged and forsaken wife could tell you that these are only idle words.
Many may wonder if the dying girl's sister had no compunction, no remorse for the part she was playing in this tragedy. None; for so completely was she carried away by the fanaticism with which she had been inspired, that she actually believed she was doing God service in trampling on the holiest feelings of her own nature, and inflicting upon her sister the most cruel wrong that one woman can suffer at the hands of another.
The weary journey was ended at length, and the wanderers reached the Valley which was henceforth to be their home. The wife lived only just to enter the city, of which she once fondly dreamed as a heaven upon earth. From the Zion of her earthly hopes she passed on to the true Zion, where the mercy and love of a God kinder than the one she had been taught to worship healed every earth-wound, and brought infinite peace to the broken heart.
Just two weeks from the day of her death there was a double bridal in Salt Lake City. The bereaved and sorrowing husband was united in marriage to the equally afflicted sister and her friend, the young lady who accompanied them from England. I have often wondered if there was a ghost present at that bridal, and if the white, dead face of the wronged and murdered wife did not look in sad reproach at them all as they took upon themselves the vows that bound them together, not only for time, but for eternity.
In a party from England which followed this other company very shortly, was a family named Right, who had, among other children, two lovely daughters. Such girls as they - bright, refined, and pleasing in manner and disposition - could not remain long without lovers in a place where marriageable men were so plentiful as in the Mormon Zion. They were very intimate with Brigham Young's family, and it was not long before the elder became the plural wife of David Candland, a prominent Mormon elder, and a confidential friend of the Prophet. He had had many wives, but only two were living at
the time of his marriage with Miss Right. He had thirty-three children, who, he boasted, had never cost him a cent, and the pretty young wife was installed as "mother" over his not very promising brood. He was, as he was pleased to term himself, an aristocrat, and would not descend to the performance of menial labor; but, as the family must live somehow, the wives have to get along as best they can, but they live in the depths of poverty and degradation, while he enjoys prophetic favor, stands high in the church, and is a Beau Brummel in dress. He has recently commenced the study of law, probably at the Prophet's instigation.
The other sister became the fourth wife of Mr. Charles Bassett, at that time a prominent merchant in Salt Lake. The third wife was cast aside to make room for her, and for some time she was the favored one, indulged in every whim, and petted and flattered until her head was nearly turned. But, as has happened with other favorite wives, her reign was short, and she was compelled to stand on one side and see another take her place. Mr. Bassett, when he tired of his fourth victim, married his niece and adopted daughter- a mere girl, only fourteen years old. She is the present favorite, and everything that she can possibly desire is lavished upon her - nothing is too fine or too expensive for her; and, in the mean time, the woman whose place she took - and who was herself the usurper of another woman's kingdom - goes out to work to support herself and her children. Her eldest daughter - a girl just in her teens, not much older than her father's new wife - has been compelled to go out to service.
This is the fate (and not an uncommon one) of two young girls who supposed they were marrying two of the best men in the "kingdom." These men were popular preachers, as regular as the Pharisee in attending to all their religious duties, and loud and earnest in their defence of the glorious institution of polygamy, which "institution" they so brightly adorn.
THE MYSTERIES OF POLYGAMY. - WHAT THE WIVES
Incestuous Intermarriages. - A Widow and her Daughters married to the same Man. - "Marrying my Pa." - The U. S. Government Conniving at Mormon Iniquities. - Beastly
Conduct of Delegate George Q Cannon. - Polygamists legislating for Bigamists. - Mother and Daughter fighting for the same Man! - it is Wicked to Live with an Old Wife. - A Young lover Ninety Years Old! - A Bride Eleven Years Old. - Brides of Thirteen and Fourteen Years! - I receive an "Offer" when Twelve Years Old! - Old Ladies at a Discount: Young Women at a Premium. - Respect for the Silver Crown of Age. - Heber gives his Opinion. - "Why is She making such a Fuss?" - Seeing One's Husband Once a Year. - The Rascality of Orson Hyde towards his Wife. - When Rival Wives make Friends. - A Very Funny Story about an Apostle and his Wife. - Rights of the First Wife Brigham Young in a Fix - He treats an Early Wife to a Dance. - Amelia in the Shade. - The Prophet becomes Frisky. - Poor, neglected Emmeline. - How Polygamy was once Denied. - A Mistake which a French Lady Made. - Milk for Babes
The marriage of mother and daughter to one man was of so common an occurrence that it ceased to be regarded as anything out of the ordinary course of events.
I had some schoolmates, two sisters, whose mother was married to a Mr. McDonald, and when she gave herself to him, it was with the express understanding that the daughters should be sealed to him as soon as they were of a proper age. The little girls knew of the arrangement, and used to talk very openly of marrying Pa, and in very much the same way they would speak of their intention to take tea with a friend.
That mother must have taken a great deal of comfort with her children! Fancy her feelings; knowing that she was bringing up her daughters as wives for her own husband!
Wives and mothers, living outside of polygamy, can anything be more revolting to your ideas of womanly purity, more thoroughly opposed to all the sweet tenderness of the maternal instinct, than cases like this? And yet, horror- stricken as you are by them, they are by no means exceptional, but are of frequent occurrence. And it is in your own country that these outrages against all womanhood occur, under your own government, upheld by our own chosen legislators - tacitly, at least - since in this time, as in
the days of Christ's actual presence on earth, those who are not for are against. And if your government and its rulers refuse to do, or even fail to do without refusing, anything to eradicate this foul blot upon national purity and honor, why, they are in so far encouraging its presence, and rendering it daily more difficult of eradication.
For the tide of evil that set so strongly in those terrible days of 1856 has never been stayed. It still rolls on with all the added ruth and abomination which it has gathered in its course, until it is one reeking mass of the foulest impurities.
Incest, murder, suicide, mania and bestiality are the chief "beauties " of this infamous system, which are so glowingly alluded to by its eloquent expounders and defenders.
And George Q. Cannon, one of its ablest apostles, - himself a practical polygamist, being the husband of four living wives, three of whom he grossly neglects, - goes to Washington from Utah as Congressional Delegate from that Territory, and helps to make the laws which send George Smith, of Massachusetts, to State Prison for three years for the crime of having two wives! Is it that bigamy is a punishable offence, and polygamy is not? If so, George Smith has only to take two more wives and he can, perhaps, enjoy the confidence of the government and the protection of its laws as fully as the Apostolic George Q.
If the gentleman in Memphis, Tennessee, who has recently been indicted for marrying his deceased wife's niece had only married six of his own nieces, he might now be enjoying his liberty and his youthful brides' society, with all the freedom which is accorded to Bishop Johnson, of Utah - that is, if he, too, had lived among the Saints in Utah.
The relation between mother and daughter, when one becomes the rival of the other, is by no means the pleasantest in the world, and it is usually the case that the mother has much the worse time. She sees herself neglected for a younger and fairer worn an by the man in whose service she has expended both youth and beauty, and sees the daughter whom she has so carefully and tenderly nurtured, and who should now be her stay, and her comfort, and the pride of her maternal heart, usurping her place in her husband's affection and in her home, and striking a blow at her happiness that is fatal. She can turn neither to husband nor daughter for comfort, and the religion which should be her stay is but a mockery, since it brings all the misery and desolation into her wrecked life.
The leaders of her religion teach openly that it is not right for husbands to live with their wives after they are advanced in years; and they also teach that a man is marriageable until he is a hundred years old. This has always been a strong point with them, and in urging polygamy, in the "Reformation" times, they used to advise the young girls to choose for their husbands men of experience, who would have the power of resurrecting them, rather than a young man whose position in the church was not fixed. They carried the practice of this doctrine to the same extreme that they carried everything else. One enthusiastic elder secured for a wife a girl of eleven years, and brides of thirteen and fourteen were often seen, especially in Southern Utah, where the excitement was most intense, and rose almost to frenzy. I was about twelve years of age, and my father had several offers for me from different church dignitaries; but however easily he might be beguiled himself into the snares set by the lecherous leaders of Mormonism and polygamy, he had no idea of making his little girl a victim; and though I was duly advised by teachers and catechists to marry into polygamy when I was a little older, I gave very little heed to the advice, and set about making my own romance, just as girls everywhere do, in my imagination.
It is painful to one used to the finer courtesies of life to see how age is neglected in Utah, and the want of respect that is shown towards it, especially towards women, who have passed out of the sunshine years of life, and are entering the shadow. When I came East, one of the strangest things to me was the deference that was paid to age, it was so unlike anything I had been used to; and when I saw an old couple clinging together, with no dread shadow of polygamy between them, with only the prospect of death to part them, I have been thrilled through and through with the sweetest, strangest emotion. I could scarcely believe my own senses; it seemed impossible that in this world such devotion could exist, and I could only wonder and weep, and thank God
that, in the world that I had been taught to look upon as so wicked and depraved, there was such a thing as love, and devotion, and thoughtful care for women, and that every added wrinkle or silver hair brought more tender care and tenderer devotion. In the light of affection like this, well-tried and long-enduring, the hateful form of polygamy would rise up before me more monstrous, more hideous, more revolting than ever.
Think, in contrast to this, of a woman who has lived with her husband during all the years of her fresh and mature womanhood, being left alone,when she becomes deserted by the husband whom she has loved so well and so long, at the command of the priesthood! Heber Kimball used to say, when he knew of a woman grieving over the neglect of her husband, "What is she making such a fuss for? She has no business with a husband." Who can blame the disciples when the leader sets the example? Brigham Young's first living wife, - his only real and legal wife, - a woman of his own age, is entirely neglected by him, and long ago ceased to be his wife but in name.
Sometimes these old and middle-aged ladies do not see their husbands once a year, and yet they may not live half a mile apart. A few years since, at a large party at the Social Hall in Salt Lake City, Orson Hyde, one of the twelve apostles, met the wife of his youth, the mother of many ofhis children. He had escorted some of his younger wives there, and she came with a friend. It chanced that they were seated near each other at the table, and were compelled to speak; they shook hands, exchanged a very
commonplace greeting, and that was all that passed between them. Neither is this an isolated case; it very often occurs that an elderly lady attends a party with friends, and meets her husband there with one or more younger wives; and sometimes both she and they have to watch their mutual husband while he plays the agreeable to some young girl who has taken captive his wandering fancy, and whom he intends to make the next addition to his kingdom.
It is then that wives, who have heretofore been rivals, join their forces against a common enemy; and the young woman who is engaging the attentions of the already much-married but still marriageable beau, is sure to suffer at the hands of the new allies, who have so recently struck hands in a common cause. She, of course, knows this instinctively, and she revenges herself by "drawing" on her admirer by every art in her power, until he becomes so marked in his devotion that the entire company know, as well as the wives themselves, what his intentions are; and, in addition to the pique caused by his neglect, they have to endure the congratulations of friends upon the approaching alliance. In cases like this, the first wife does not feel so much pain as the younger one, and the whilom favorite, who, no matter how she has snubbed her before, comes now to seek her sympathy. She would be something more than human, if, with the sadness of her heart was not mingled a little feeling of pleasure that she was getting her revenge in seeing the jealousy and suffering of her late rival.
To return to the encounter between Hyde and his wife. There is a little romance attached to their separation which I have just been reminded of. When
Joseph Smith first taught polygamy, and gave the wives as well as the husbands opportunity to make new choice of life-partners, Mrs. Hyde, at that time a young and quite prepossessing woman, became one of the Prophet's numerous fancies, and he took great pains to teach her most thoroughly the principles of the new celestial doctrines. It was rumored, at the time, that she was an apt and willing pupil. Hyde was away on a mission at the time, and when he returned, he, in turn, imbibed the teachings of polygamy also, and prepared to extend his kingdom indefinitely. In the mean time it was hinted to him that Smith had had his first wife sealed to himself in his absence, as a wife for eternity. Inconsistent as it may seem, Hyde was in a furious passion. Like many
other men, he thought it no harm for him to win the affection of another man's wife, and make her his "celestial" spouse; but he did not propose having his rights interfered with even by the holy Prophet whose teachings he so implicitly followed, and he swore that if this was true he would never live with her again. But he did live with her for several years after the exodus from Nauvoo and the settlement of Utah. Finally, the old affair was revived, and I think Brigham himself informed his apostle that she was his wife only for time, but Joseph's for eternity; and as she was no longer young, and other wives were plentiful, he left her to care for herself as best she could.
Although the Mormons have from the very commencement been very fond of parties, and of amusements generally, they are much more enjoyed by the men than by the women, although both attend. Occasionally some very curious scenes are witnessed, which, after all, are not at all amusing to the persons most nearly concerned. For instance: a man takes two wives to a ball, and, if he be a lover of peace, he is at his wits' ends how to preserve it. He must treat each one alike, as nearly as possible; dance with each one an equal number of times, and see that each one is equally well served at supper. The beginning of sorrow comes with the vexed question, which he shall dance with first. That, however, is quite easily settled, since custom, or, rather, Mormon
etiquette, demands that he shall give the older wife the preference. It may be she is not the favorite; but that does not matter: on this one point etiquette is rigid, and even the Prophet himself dare not defy it.
He had invited Amelia, the present favorite, and Emmeline, whose place in the priestly heart Amelia had taken, to attend a ball with him. It was a very strange thing to do, for generally, when Amelia went with him, he devoted himself exclusively to her. But on this occasion he had brought Emmeline along, too. Early in the evening, one of the committee of management came bustling up, with a "Brother Brigham, won't you dance?"
"Well, I suppose so," was the reply. Then he hesitated for a moment. There sat both Emmeline and Amelia, the former looking quietly unconscious, yet wondering very much, as she afterwards told me, "what Brother Brigham would do, and enjoying his dilemma immensely, while the latter looked very stately and dignified, and also threatening. There stood the Prophet, inclination pulling him one way, etiquette and duty the other. He hesitated a moment longer; then, walking up to Emmeline, said, ungraciously and gruffly, "Come along and dance;" and, without offering her his arm, walked on to the floor, leaving her to follow.
As is the custom' at balls which Brigham and Amelia grace with their presence. one of his satellites instantly begged for the honor of Amelia's hand in the dance, and led her at once as vis-à-vis to her husband. During the entire dance he did not address one word to Emmeline, and was evidently made very wretched by the demeanor of Amelia, who snubbed him most decidedly, and would take no notice of all his attempts to win her back to good humor.
At the end of the dance he led Emmeline to her seat as hastily as possible, left her without a word, and endeavored, with all the art which he possessed, to propitiate his angry favorite. Presently, the ubiquitous manager was at his elbow again:-
"Another cotillon, Brother Brigham; will you dance again?"
" With pleasure," answered the delighted President. Then, turning quickly to Amelia, he offered his arm in the most impressive manner, saying, - "Now I will dance with my wife;" and led her off in triumph, as pleased as any young fellow at the opportunity of showing his devotion to her. He was vivacity itself during the dance, and finally succeeded in coaxing a smile from the capricious tyrant of his heart. As deeply hurt as Emmeline was by his rude boorishness of manner towards herself, and the insult conveyed to her by the, remark to Amelia, which she overheard, she could not help being pleased at seeing the punishment he was receiving at the hands of the outraged favorite.
A system that engenders feelings like this can surely not be called, with any degree of propriety, a heavenly system, and religion is outraged every time its name is used in connection with it. It panders to the baser passions of men, and crushes the graces of Christian faith and charity out of every woman's heart. It engenders malice, and strife, and envyings, and hatred, and backbiting, and all that is worst in the masculine or feminine heart. It makes men selfish and mean, and women wretched and degraded. It takes from one the dignity and poise which come from absolute self-control, and from the other the sweet, refined, womanly assurance which comes from self-respect. Talk of its "celestial" origin! It is the devil's own device for rendering men and women both less godlike and pure. And the cunning of his device is shown in the religious mask which he puts upon its frightful face, and the Christian robes with which he hides its horrible deformity.
It began by deception, it has been fostered by lies.
When the first rumor of its existence as a religious ordinance among the American Saints was first exciting Europe, and the American missionaries were assuring their converts that the rumor was false, and was started by their enemies to injure them and their cause, the most eloquent and remarkable denial of it was made by the Apostle John Taylor, at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where there was at that time quite a large and successful mission.
The Apostle Taylor was the husband of five wives, all living in Salt Lake; yet that slight matter did not hinder him from most emphatically repudiating the charge brought against the church. He quoted from the Book of Mormon, dwelling particularly on the passage that expressly commands that a man shall have but one wife; then mentions the Bible command that a man shall take a wife and cleave to her only; and made the sermon so strong and so convincing that no further proof was asked by those who heard him. His manner was impressive. He was sorrowful, he was indignant, he was reproachful; he was eloquent, and fervent, and almost inspired, thought those who heard him. He was logical and convincing in what he said. In short, he was a
consummate hypocrite, lying in the name of God to a confiding people, with a smooth tongue and an unblushing face.
He employed a French lady - one of his converts, and a most charming and cultured person - to translate the sermon for him into her own language. He then had it published, and distributed largely through the country. Very many were kept from apostatizing by this tract, and a large number announced their intention of at once gathering to Zion. Among them was the lady who had translated the sermon for Taylor, and who, influenced by the spirit of the discourse, and the seeming earnestness of the missionary, had become more zealous than ever in her devotion to her new and ardently beloved faith. Imagine, if you can, her horror, on reaching Utah, at the social state of affairs which found her there, and discovered that she not only had been grossly deceived, but, in her ignorance, had helped to deceive so many others; for it was through the influence of her translation of Taylor's denial that nearly all the party with whom she emigrated had come.
She apostatized at once, but she was conscience-stricken at the part she had so unwittingly played, and could not be comforted. A more remorseful, grief-stricken woman was never seen, and she felt all the more deeply the harm that had
been wrought, when she saw how powerless she was to undo it. No effort of hers could ever bring these unhappy people from the infamous community in which they found themselves, and a part of which they were destined to become. For with
them, the men especially, as with all others who remain under the baleful influence long, the end was certain. They first endured, and then embraced; pity was left out altogether, although God knows there is no condition that calls for pity as does that of the polygamous wife. The lady herself left Utah, but her people were forced to remain. I wonder how those poor wives, decoyed into a strange country by priestly promises, and deceived by priestly lying, could bear ever again to look in the face, or listen to the voice, of the man who had so wickedly misled them.
When the missionaries were asked why they denied so stoutly the existence of the system, when it must be sooner or later discovered that they were falsifying, they excused themselves by saying that the people could not then stand such strong doctrine, and they must give them only what they could safely take; that in good time the Lord would open their hearts to receive his truth, - the "good time" which the brethren referred to being after they had left their own country, crossed the United States, and put themselves outside the pale of civilization, and were literally in the power of the church. When they had gone so far that retreat was impossible, then they would tell them the truth, knowing. that they could not choose but listen.
As long as they possibly could they denied it in the missions abroad, but, by-and-by, it became so notorious that it must be acknowledged; and in the face of all the denial, all the asseverations that there was no such institution, and, according to the laws of God and man there could be no such institution, the Millennial Star suddenly published the "Revelation," having given no warning of what it was about to do.
The excitement among the Mormons through Europe, in England especially, was intense, and it took all the eloquence and sophistry of the entire missionary board to prevent a general apostasy. Hundreds did leave the church, and many more were on the point of doing so. But the ingenuity of the Mormon Elders, which seems never to fail them, came to their rescue. They explained that this "Revelation" forced no one into polygamy; it only established it as a church institution that might be availed of by anyone who chose to enter the "Celestial Kingdom," but that it was entirely optional. In fact, the same arguments that were used to win single and special converts were used to convince the masses; and, strange as it may seem, all this sophistry had actual weight, and many worthy and sensible men and women stayed by the church who would have abandoned it in disgust, had they known the truth as it was forced upon them afterwards. But, as I said a little while since, the system begun in deception and fraud fattened on lies and treachery. May it meet with a speedy death, brought on by a surfeit of its favorite food.
BRIGHAM BUILDS WAGONS BY "INSPIRATION." - THE
CHURCH SETS UP A WHISKEY-STORE.
Saying "Yes" under Difficulties. - A Woman who Meant to have her Way. - Two Company: Three None. - Building Wagons by Inspiration. - My Father despatched to
Chicago. - He gets rid of his New Wives. - My Brother sent to the Sandwich Islands. - My Mother tells her own Story. - She Returns to Salt Lake City to see my Father. -
Wifely Considerations. - She finds two other Ladies at her Husband's Bedside. - He likes a good deal of Wives about Him! - A Heart dead to Love. - Brigham "asks no
odds of Uncle Sam or the Devil." - He proclaims Martial Law. - Fiery Speeches in the Tabernacle. - Preparing for War - Government Troops Arrive. - The Saints quit Salt
Lake City. - The Church Distillery. - Brigham shamelessly Robs my Father. - He fills his own Pockets. - My Father, being without Funds, takes his Sixth Wife.
Some time before our family bereavement by the loss of Louise. my mother and I went to Skull Valley, about seventy miles from Salt Lake City, where my brothers were keeping a herd-ground.
We had intended to go by ourselves; but one of the young wives, who was very much attached to my mother, begged to be allowed to go. She appealed first to my father, and he, in turn, referred her to my mother.
I shall never forget the look of desperation on my mother's face, the hunted look in her eyes, as she came to me after the request had been made and before she had given her answer. She told me of the new proposal, and added, in a bitterer tone than I had ever heard her use before, -
"Why can't she see and understand that I want to make my escape from this confusion and trouble, and go away alone?"
But she could not see, and as she was kind and affectionate, and my mother was quite well aware of her regard for her, she could do nothing but say "yes," although it was a great cross for her to be obliged to do so.
Here was the end of all her sweet dreaming. She had thought to go quietly away, taking me with her, and we two living with "the boys" at the herd-ground. To be sure, there was only a log-cabin there; but what did that matter? She would rest in her children's love, which at least was her very own; and with them about her, she would forget. as far as possible, the horrible system that had brought so much unhappiness to her. Fond as she was of my father, it was much easier for her to be separated from him in this way, than it was to be under the same roof, and see him bestowing attentions, that used to be hers exclusively, on others. Dear as the husband was, yet she took very little comfort with a fifth part of him; and she longed to get away where she could live in memory the old happy days over again, and, with her children's arms about her, forget the suffering the later years had brought, ignoring all but the very present, and close her eyes to the future, which promised but little better, after all, since what was her greatest cross here was to follow her into the hereafter.
I wonder sometimes, knowing as I do now what she suffered, and realizing it as I could not then, that she did not cry out in the bitterness of her sorrow, as one Mormon woman whom I know did, "0, if I could only believe that death was an eternal sleep, I think I should be better able to endure; but to think that we have got to live on eternally under this curse of polygamy, almost drives me mad." Or like another, equally desperate and miserable, "I would kill myself if I thought death would end my misery; but as long as I must suffer, it might as well be here as anywhere. 0 for the anticipation of one hour of peace and rest!"
Ever since my father's return from his mission my mother had begged to be allowed to go away, - to have a home by herself; but somehow my father could not bring himself to let her go until now. She was the balance-wheel in the domestic machinery, and things seemed to go smoothly when she was round about. She was always prepared for any emergency; and both my father and the other wives instinctively turned to her when anything was wrong. She was so strong, so helpful, so self-reliant, and so patient, that she seemed, some way, the protector of us all. I think, if my father had not seen her so
very much in earnest, and so determined to go at all hazards, that his consent would not have been won; but finding it useless to oppose her, he gave a reluctant consent.
Then there was a little season of quiet joy between us two; for we did not dare make any very open demonstrations, for fear of hurting the feelings of those whom we were going to leave behind us. Our joy was short-lived, however, for it was decided to take a third with us; and though we liked her, yet she would be what the children call a "spoil-sport;" and we didn't want any one outside of our very selves.
So we went, we three, leaving the others in Salt Lake City, where they did not remain long after we left, but, to my mother's great annoyance, followed soon after to Skull Valley.
Very soon after our removal, Brigham conceived the idea of establishing an express company, and called on my father to go to Chicago and superintend the construction of wagons and carriages for this purpose: They were to be built after plans which Brigham himself had drawn from "inspiration," and he insisted that the designs should be closely and faithfully followed; so he sent my father to see that this was done, he being a practical wagon-builder.
Like the labor he had been engaged in for the four previous years, we expected that this would be called "mission work," and he was not to receive a penny for his services; they were to be given for the good of the "kingdom." This would make the fifth year he had spent away from us, working for the "church," we receiving none of the benefits of his labors. He had no time, of course, to devote to his family, or to labor for its support; he must give his strength, and his time, and his labor to Brigham Young. During the three mouths that he had been at home, he had added as many wives to the
family-circle; but there were no added means with which to care for them; so that now, when he was called to go away and leave them for an indefinite length of time, it was considered expedient to send the whole family to us, to remain during his absence.
More log-rooms were added to the cabin, and down came the whole flock, so that we were all together again. My mother has said, since then, that she never, in her whole life, felt so rebellious as she did then. She had become so entirely disgusted with polygamy, that even the fact that it was an important adjunct to the religion to which she was so devoted, did not reconcile her to it one bit. She hated it; she hated everybody connected with it; and she did not care if she never saw her husband again in the world. She would not pray for his safe return, for she said she did not desire it, and she would not add heartless prayer to her list of hypocrisies.
She kept all this rebellion within her own heart, and I am sure that none of the wives knew at all the depth and intensity of her feelings at that time. An added sorrow to my mother came, when, about the same time that my father went to Chicago, my eldest brother was sent on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. She mourned his departure deeply, and even I could not comfort her. He was sent for five years, - that was the time designated in his order, - and my mother was so broken in health and spirits that she did not believe she should be alive when he returned. He was, however, immediately recalled on account of the opening of the Mormon War, with all other missionaries away from home.
In the autumn we heard that my father was coming home ill; he had got leave of absence from the head of the church, and was coming home to be taken care of. As soon as we beard the news, my mother suggested to Elizabeth that she should return to Salt Lake City, and prepare for his reception at the home there. She went at once, and my mother was going on quietly with her many duties, when a messenger arrived in haste from the city for my mother, to convey her to the husband who was calling for her.
I think I shall let her give the incident in her own words:-
"At first I declined going; so rebellious was I, and so bitter, that I actually felt that I could not go. There was a momentary feeling of triumph, that, in sickness or in trouble, my husband turned to me, his one true wife, for relief and comfort; that, however he might regard his younger wives while well and comparatively prosperous, he had no thought for them now; yet this feeling failed to move me, instantly, choking it almost before it became a definite thought, came the bitter impulse- `Let him alone; leave him to suffer: you have not been spared; why should you be more merciful than he has been? Let him feel what it is to need, and long for, and even starve for some one's love and care, and yet have it denied him in all his longing and his need;' and for a moment I was actually glad that I had the power to inflict this pain.
"`Let one of the other wives go,' I replied to the messenger's repeated and more urgent request. `I don't see how I can leave.'
"`But you must,' was the imperative reply of the man; `your husband is very sick, and has sent for you, and I shall take no one else.'
"In a moment I relented. I felt ashamed of my selfish heartlessness; something of the old-time feeling came over me, and, with a sudden revulsion of emotion, such as only women ever feel, I was as anxious now to go to him as I had before been indifferent. After all, he was my husband, - mine as he could never be anyone's else. I had a claim on him that none of the rest had, and he had a claim on me too. It seemed now as though I could not get to him quickly enough. I made my preparations in feverish haste, with fingers that trembled with nervous impatience, and in a short time was on my way.
The journey seemed so long and tedious! and yet we made it very quickly; but to me, whose heart outran the very swiftest conveyance, it was inexpressibly tiresome. I expect I wearied the patience of my driver by requesting him constantly to `go faster,' and perpetually asking if we were not almost there. I pictured to myself the pleasure of having my husband, for a little while even, all my own again. I would make the most of it. I would forget, by his sick bed, that there had ever been the slightest shadow between us. Polygamy should, in that sick chamber, be as though it never had existed. He
had sent for me; he had chosen me out of all the rest to be the companion of his sick hours. In his sick-room, at least, my sway should be absolute, and I would not give up one bit of my authority to anyone else. There, at least, as in the days of long ago, he should be `mine, - mine only;' but, alas! he could never again be `for ever mine.' In spite of my impatience, I was more really happy than I had been for years. I felt more like myself than I had since that fatal day in Nauvoo, when, after long and prayerful consultation, we decided that duty and right demanded that we should enter polygamy, and made the choice of the first plural wife. I was coming to my own again, and my life was positively glorified by the thought. His illness, rather than distressing, gladdened me. I should have, of course, the exclusive care of him, and he should miss nothing of the old love and tenderness in my regard for him. For the time, at least, we should be all in all to each other.
"We arrived at last, and I hurried to the sick-room of my husband, with my heart full of tenderness for him, my eyes brimming over with loving tears. But, in my dreamings, I had forgotten, or had ignored the fact, that others had the same right to minister to him, to care for him, to remain with and watch over him, that I had; and when I entered the room, the tenderness was driven from my heart, the tears from my eyes, and I stood there a polygamic wife, in presence of three of my husband's other wives, who had the same privileges of his room that I had, and who were doing their utmost to make the invalid comfortable.
"I was a good nurse, and, on account of my experience, the others deferred to my opinions and advice, but insisted upon sharing my labors. My husband made no objections; indeed, I daresay he would have been contented had the whole five of us been dancing attendance on him. I worked faithfully and hard in the sick-room, but very mechanically, and, in a dazed, bewildered sort of way. All the heart had gone out of my work. Feeling seemed entirely dead. I hadn't the slightest emotion for the man who lay before me there, and I was as indifferent to his fate as though he had been an entire stranger.
"I don't think it was heartlessness: I know it was not. It was because my heart had been tortured into numbness, and I no longer had any power to feel. If he had died, I do not think I should have shed a tear. The fountain of tears was absolutely frozen, and not one would have flowed had he lain before me cold, and mute, and motionless. I should have been as rigid as the white face set in death, on which my dry eyes would have looked vacantly and wonderingly, as on some strange, unaccustomed features.
"I did not wish that he might die; I was simply indifferent. With the last flickering light that burned up so brightly for a little while, until it entered the sick-chamber and was met by the chilling breath of the ghostly presence of polygamy, my life's romance went out for ever. The life or death of one man could not change the face of the world to me. Where I had thought I was strong, I was weak; my dream was broken; life was henceforth a dead level of mere existence. My only thought was to get away. I took my daughter, as soon as I could with decency leave, and went on a visit to some relatives in
Southern Utah, saying farewell to my domestic circle, without one regret."
Yet even this separation was of short duration, for just about that time came the famous "move to the South," which every Salt Lake City resident will remember - many of them to their sorrow.
In 1857 there was a prospect of United States troops being sent to the Territory, and Brigham determined to resist them. In a public speech on the 24th of July, the day celebrated by the Mormon Church as the anniversary of their first entrance into the Valley, he said, "God is with us, and I ask no odds of Uncle Sam or the devil."
When it was ascertained beyond a doubt that the United States troops were on the way, he counselled every warlike preparation to be be made. Business was suspended; an adobe wail was built back of the city for protection against Johnson's arms, the elders on missions were ordered home at once and all the people turned their attention to the task of repelling the invasion "For" said Brigham "they SHALL NOT enter the Valley" He issued a proclamations forbidding all armed forces from entering the Territory, and martial law was also proclaimed.
The latter part of the winter the Mormons received a visit from Colonel Thomas S. Kane, of Philadelphia. He had before this proved his friendship for the Saints, and was respected and listened to accordingly. It is supposed the colonel convinced Brigham that he was not yet strong enough to - conquer the United States, and advised a change of tactics. At all events, directly after his departure, Brigham began to talk of going south; he said he did not know where he should go; perhaps to the desert wherever the Lord should direct."
Satisfied that it would be better not to fight, I suppose he thought when the snow melted it would he impossible to keep the army out; therefore he issued orders to the Saints to pack up and take their flight. They obeyed the command, some going only thirty miles, others going three hundred; in fact, they were scattered along all through the southern settlements. In direct contradiction to his assertions made in the Tabernacle, everything was left standing-not even a tree or a stack of hay being burned. This move south brought our family together again under one roof, and we remained together until the church was recalled.
After the departure of the Saints from Salt Lake, the troops passed through; but they interfered with nothing: no spirit of retaliation was shown for all they had endured through the past winter.
Nearly the entire summer was spent in the move south, and in August, Brigham notified the people that he was going back, but that others might do as they pleased. All that could do so returned to their homes at once; others went when circumstances would permit; having been living from March until August in tents, wagons, or in the open air, they were glad to return. The people were poor, and dependent on their labor for sustenance, and could not well afford the time for this flitting; yet they obeyed Brigham implicitly, asking no questions and hazarding no objections.
With the return to the city our family was again divided. My mother was urged to go to Payson, and re-open her school, which she had relinquished on my father's return from Europe. She decided to do so, and the people furnished a dwelling-house for her, and she and I commenced living our old cozy life again. We had occasional visits from different members of our family, and the first summer that we were there, one of the younger wives, while on a visit, increased our already somewhat numerous family by giving birth to a daughter, and, in addition to her school duties, my mother performed the several offices of cook, housekeeper, and nurse, until she was able to return home.
In the mean time, affairs in Salt Lake City had assumed their usual quiet. The troops were camped about forty miles from Salt Lake, in Cedar Valley. They called the station Camp Floyd. While they remained in the Territory, some of the Saints, wishing to dispose of their produce, sold a large quantity to the troops, and were well paid for it. Brigham heard of it, and the very next Sunday forbade their selling any more, and cursed all those who had had dealings with our enemies, as he called those men who had respected the honor of their government and spared the people who had so injured them.
It was not long before it was whispered that Brigham had agents in Camp Floyd selling tithing flour and lumber; taking large contracts, and obtaining large prices. But in the meanwhile he did not relax his severity towards his people. The bishops were ordered to withdraw the hand of fellowship from every person in their wards who traded at Camp Floyd. It was a sure sign of apostasy to be seen there at all, on any errand whatever; yet the church teams started from the tithing-office, loaded with flour, in the night, and it was known that Brigham received large sums of money from the government in payment.
In this, as in everything else, he was determined to have the monopoly. If there was any money to be made, he must make it. He could not endure to see a dollar go into another man's pocket. I believe the sight was positive pain to him. This incarnation of selfish greed is made absolutely miserable by the prosperity of another. and he takes speedy measures to put a stop to it, as he did in the case of Moon and Badly, the distillers, whom he sent to the south on missions, and also in the affair with Mr. Howard, whose distillery he took possession of in the same manner, after having declared that it ought to be burned down, and the machinery destroyed.
After Howard was well out of the way (in England, I think), Brigham started the distillery again in the "church's" interest, which, as he represents the church, meant himself. And over the door he placed as a sign the All-seeing eye, with the inscription, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. ZION'S CO-OPERATIVE MERCANTILE INSTITUTION. WHOLESALE LIQUOR-DEALERS AND RECTIFIERS." His whiskey was not nearly so good as Howard's, but he got as much money for it; so what did he care about the quality?
More fortunate than either Mr. Moon or Badly, Mr. Howard returned from his mission; but he has ever since been an enemy to the Prophet, who, by the way, still runs the distillery.
Mention having been made of the President's "Improved Carriages," I think they deserve a more extended notice, coming, as they do, under the head of Brigham's sublime failures. He had purchased the contract for carrying the mails from Independence, Missouri, to Salt Lake City; so he decided to run an express between these two points, to be called B. Young's Express, for the purpose of carrying passengers, freight, and the mails. He wanted the assistance of my father in preparing the train, and although the latter was very much averse to leaving his family again so soon after his return to them from his four years in England, yet he was of course, overcome by the pressing eloquence of his leader.
It was very necessary that he should enter at once into some lucrative business, as his family was large, increased recently by the Prophet's orders; and when he informed Brigham of the necessity of instant and remunerative labor, he was informed that this would be the most profitable undertaking in which he could engage, and gave him to understand that he would be well remunerated for his services.
It is by this time a well-established fact among the Saints - taking his word for it merely - that Brigham Young knows how to do everything. Therefore no one will be surprised to learn that he understood all about wagon and carriage building, and nothing could be more natural than that he should produce plans representing the manner in which the carriages should be built. These designs. with the most minute instructions, covering several sheets of foolscrap, were laid before my father, and he ventured to suggest that there might be some slight alterations which would be for the better; but he was met with the sharp and abusive reply, that "there must not, on any consideration, be the least variation from this plan." Brigham insisted that it should be adhered to in every particular. He became very much elated, and made use of all his magniloquence in describing the ease and comfort with which passengers might cross the plains in one of his carriages, saving. "They will be just as comfortable as though they were at home in their own parlors."
Father said no more, but pocketed the plans, and started East with them, quite certain what the result would be. When he arrived in Chicago he presented the Prophet's model to every carriage-maker in the city, and they only laughed very heartily over it. They said they had never seen anything like it, which was true enough, as it bore not the slightest resemblance to anything on the earth, or in the heavens above, or the waters beneath. It was most decidedly "unique and only." They all declined to undertake the work, knowing that it must prove a failure. Finally, however, a Mr. Schuttler, being anxious
to secure the Utah trade, consented to try two of them, on condition that my father should render constant assistance, not feeling exactly safe to proceed in so important an undertaking without the aid of a Mormon who was supposed to know more about it than himself. The orders were to build fourteen carriages, besides a train of wagons. Schuttler's wagons being ordered by the Prophet, of course there was no difficulty about them.
When the two carriages were ready for transportation, they entirely filled a railway car. If my father had followed directions, and had the entire fourteen made. he must have chartered seven cars to convey them to the frontiers. These nondescript affairs were the amusement of all the passengers on the train. As they found no passengers at the frontiers, except "Uncle Sam's troops," the carriages were filled with freight; and I believe the wreck of one of them reached Salt Lake City the following year, after peace had been made with the government. The Prophet was satisfied with the two, and ordered no more built; his revelation had proved a great failure, and owing to the rebellion, the mail contract was taken from him. He laid the entire failure to the
United States troops, although it would puzzle a person of less acute perceptions than he to discover how the one had anything to do with the other. When a "revelation" fails, there must be some excuse, some reason for it, and President Young is never at fault for one; whether a valid one or not, it seems to make little difference.
Those who were so fortunate as to see one of those carriages in its entirety, say that no one could form any idea of them without seeing them, and that the only way to get an adequate idea of the size would be to take the dimensions of a "Prairie Schooner," and multiply them by five.
The wagons proved a success, as they were loaded with freight for Salt Lake merchants, for which they paid twenty-five cents a pound; and those wagons that came through with my father brought no less than five thousand two hundred and fifty dollars' worth of freight for the Prophet.
It is a poor plan that does not enrich him; he seems, in some way or other, to make money out of his very failures.
After my father's recovery from his illness he presented his accounts for the Prophet's inspection, and expected an immediate settlement, and his promised pay; instead of which, he was quietly informed that his services were to be a gratuity to the church, and at the same time he was presented by the Prophet with a bill from the express company for bringing his trunk of clothing through.
While in Chicago, he had sent two hundred and fifty pounds of freight home for the family's use, and they would not let my mother have it until she had paid the full freight-charges. The clerks told her that "this was President Young's order, and they dared not disobey." Mother afterwards said that she believed the clerks saw the injustice of the whole proceeding, yet were powerless to do otherwise than according to their orders.
A man that had literally worn himself out in the service of Brigham Young could not be permitted to send a few of the necessaries of life to his family, nor even a trunk of linen, used on a journey for this man, without paying freight, and that when they came in wagons which he had helped to build, and that gratuitously, for the aggrandizement of the church, or, to be more exact, of the man who was constantly crying, "Give, give," and was yet never satisfied. A man of our acquaintance, who had been similarly swindled, said, in referring to the subject, "Brigham Young would rob the King of heaven of His clown-jewels if he had the opportunity."
It was the unfortunate termination of this "business arrangement" with the Prophet that decided my mother to resume teaching again; but when my father was again in business, he was so urgent that my mother should return to Salt Lake, that, a little while before my sixteenth birthday, we went there again to live.