UTAH AND THE MORMONS.
Further Statements by Mr. Fred-erick Loba.
Condition of Society in Utah—Effects of Polygamy—Degradation of the Women—Shocking Crimes Perpetrated by the Saints.
From our Special Correspondent.
LEAVENWORTH CITY, K. T., Thursday, April 29,1858.
From my notes in relation to personal events transpiring in Salt Lake Valley, furnished by Mr. LOBA, the Mormon Ex-High Priest, whose personal narrative I sent you the other day. I extract the fol-lowing additional facts and incidents, which I give, of course, only upon Mr. L.'s authority:
Towards the end of the year 1854, a great number of Danish Mormons arrived in Salt Lake City, but learning very soon how terribly they had been de-ceived, half of them at least determined to leave for California. This resolution they carried into effect the following March. One or two days after they left, HEBER C. KIMBALL, in the hearing of a friend of Mr. LOBA'S, gave orders to a band of Danites to pur-sue them in the disguise of Indians, and steal their cattle. This was done, the cattle were stolen and brought into the city, where half of them were sent to "The Lord's Store House," and the remainder retained by the Danite plunderers. Some of the un-fortunates never reached California, having been murdered by the Mormon "Indians."
Some years ago the Mormons had a Church store in the city, which contained groceries and other arti-cles of merchandise to the amount of $28,000. These had been purchased at St. Louis, and were the pro-perty of "the Church," and, of course, under the control of the Prophet. This store was intended strictly for the benefit of the Mormons. At the end of the first business year a deficit was discovered of $15,000. BRIGHAM YOUNG therefore inquired of the storekeeper whether he could not establish a bal-ance. The answer was in the affirmative, and the balance was struck so as to cover up the wholesale thieving. Of course nobody dared to investigate and expose the fraud, for his life would have been the for-feit of any such attempt.
BRIGHAM used to say upon the stand, that his brothers JOSEPH and JOHN were twenty times better “Saints" than himself. Let us see what this means. In 1854 a member of the Mormon Church, named WILLIAMS, had a claim of sixty dollars against those gentlemen, for which he demand ed payment. The brothers told him, that as he was about to pass on their ferry-boat with some cattle on his way to California, they would pay him in ferriage. WILLIAMS assented to this,—the YOUNGS promising that they would instruct their agents at the ferry in regard to the arrangement;—but when WILLIAMS reached the stream he was shown a letter, directing the agent to require the ferriage money in cash. On his return from California, WIL-LIAMS compelled the YOUNGS to a settlement. But this enforcement of his rights led to his bitter perse-cution, so that in April, 1857, he was compelled to flee in order to save his life,—having, in the mean time, been expelled from the Church. You will re-member that your interesting Utah correspondence, early last Summer, or in the Spring, noticed the per-secutions of this same gentleman.
In the year 1855, the notorious BILL HICKMAN and YOUNG HATCH—two "Destroying Angels," received orders to destroy a certain individual. HATCH di-vulged the secret, and BRIGHAM, accordingly, decided upon his destruction. Accordingly, BILL HICKMAN shot him, not long afterwards, in one of their night excursions. The wound was not fatal, and HICKMAN finished him by poisoning. HATCH supposed he was shot by Indians, but after his death the facts, as above, became known to the initiated.
I referred in a previous letter to the horrible suffer-ings of the hand-cart trains in the Winter of 1856. It appears that when these deluded emigrants arrived at Fort Laramie in mid-winter, Colonel HOFFMAN, U. S. A., seeing their state of perfect destitution, en-deavored to dissuade them from pushing on at that inclement season. The leaders, however, insisted upon going forward, exhorting their followers against listening to the "d—d Gentiles." It was between Laramie and Salt Lake that their great misfortunes overtook these poor misguided people. The deaths by freezing or utter exhaustion soon began to be frightful, and finally hunger intruded its gaunt visage to cap the climax of horrors. The leaders, too, were some of them very cruel in their conduct towards their followers. This was especially true of one ELLSWORTH, a son-in-law of BRIGHAM YOUNG, who in some cases flogged young men who were fainting from exhaustion until some of them actually expired under his lash. Only about 240 of the 2,500 men, woman and children who started from the banks o Missouri in this train, over reached the valley. The bones of the remainder lie bleaching in the mountains, with the exception of a few picked up by the Snake Indians before life was quite gone, and who were thus saved. Of those who reached the valley many were sadly crippled in consequence of their limbs having been frozen so badly as to require amputation. These were sent out into the country where they could communicate to few persons the story of their sad march, and the population at large were warned never to mention the subject.
In March, 1857, Mr. LOBA'S brother-in-law was in the office of BRIGHAM YOUNG correcting some docu-ments for him, when he overheard the Prophet give orders to his oldest son, JOSEPH, to follow Colonel PELTERHOLL and the small party accompanying him; with a company of Destroying Angels. The party were overtaken about 350 miles South, and, while encamped at night, the ruffians had, by the young Prophet's order, fired several volleys into their tents, and then carried off their cattle. The Colonel was severely wounded, but succeeded in reaching California.
A man, who was in the employ of Surveyor-General BURR, got into a discussion one day with some of the Mormons in regard to the moral influ-ence of polygamy and its effects upon the female character at Salt Lake. Beco ming excited, he very foolishly took out his purse, saying that, with its contents, he could purchase the favors of any wo-man in their polygamic households. The following night he was seized in his own house by a band of disguised ruffians, under the lead of BILL HICKMAN, who mutilated him in a most barbarous manner, which may be imagined but cannot be here more more particularly described. This victim of atrocity barely escaped with his life, which, for some time, was despaired of.
A few days before LOBA left the Valley, a Mormon suspecting, with reason, that his wife—who was familiar with many of the dreadful secrets of Mor-monism—was contemplating an escape, went into her room while she was asleep and cut her throat. Her body, the next day, was prepared decently for the grave, and buried—nobody venturing an inquiry, how-ever, as to the circumstances of her tragical end. For this monstrous act, BRIGHAM laid hands on the mur-derer, blessing him "in the name of Israel's God," because he had not "spared the sacrifice."
If a man has any influence with the Prophet, he has no difficulty in having any enemy put out of the way. He has only to go and assert that he heard his enemy blaspheme against the Prophet, and his doom is sealed. The accused is not informed of the accu- sation in such a case. There is no investigation—but the man disappears, and nobody inquires aloud what has become of him. Mr. LOBA himself had a difficul-ty with one STAINS, a favorite spy of BRIGHAM'S, from whom he obtained power to take his life. LOBA, knowing so well the under currents of the Mormon despotism, suspected the scheme, and getting STAINS into a corner, made him confess it in the presence of witnesses, LOBA then went to BRIGHAM at once, tell-ing him what STAINS had confessed, and asking why sentence of death was pronounced against him. YOUNG declared the whole story false, and told him that he shouldn't believe all he heard, adding, "In-stead of killing you, my brother, I feel to love and to bless you," which he did by "laying on of hands." LOBA watched him closely, and saw that BRIGHAM could not look him in the eye, and felt more than ever satisfied that he was doomed to destruction if he should be caught off his guard.
Mr. LOBA states that a very brief examination of life in the Valley presents indubitable evidence that Polygamy is destructive of social comfort and peace, as well as of female delicacy, refinement and virtue. It also induces extreme poverty, as Utah is a place in which the means of subsistence for even an ordinary family are very difficult to be obtained. Besides hi general acquaintance with the system, Mr. L. refers especially to the cases of an hundred families or more with which he was personally acquainted, some in which many wives of one man lived in the same house, and other cases wherein each wife had a little place for herself and family. Jealousy and conten-tion among the women is the rule rather than the ex-ception, and female happiness is out of the question in any house occupied by two or more mistresses. The children of polygamists are many of them weakly, poor and miserable. No provision whatever is made for their education, and not a few are seen upon the streets half naked and starved. Surveyor-General BURR has made the same remark from actual observation. In 1855 and 1856 the women suffered greatly. Being obliged to shift for themselves, many of them had to rely for subsistence upon roots which they dug from the earth.
The subjection of women to the debasing and dis-gusting practices of Mormonism, has been reduced to a system. The process is directed from the begin-ning to the destruction of their delicacy, and subver-sion of their free agency, so that they may become the merest slaves. They are told always that the more wives a man has the higher he and they are ex-alted in the Kingdom, and the greater will be their reward. By arguments like these, addressed to their religious superstition and fanaticism, aided in stub-born cases by a few screws of the relentless vise of poverty, hunger and hopelessness, the instinctive shield of woman's delicacy falls at last and she is fitted for the sacrifice. They often rebel, but find at last that it is useless to resist. They frequently at-tempt to run away. But whither can they go ? HE-BER C. KIMBALL'S runaway wives are very frequently advertised from the pulpit in the Tabernacle, and the people are warned not to give them shelter or food. Subdued at last by starvation and frantic with despair, sooner or later they are compelled to re-turn, humble themselves at the feet of their exultant lords, becoming now more slavishly obedient and servile than before. All human affections and sym-pathies are repelled among them. Each woman is herself so occupied with her own sad history, that she has no sympathy for the others, or none at least to spare. They know that there is no escape for them but in death, and that avenue is not unfrequently sought by a suicidal hand.
Let us look into the house of Elder ORSON PRATT, one of the twelve. You remember that he started for Utah in 1854, from New-York, where he had been publishing a Mormon paper called The Seer. Mr. LOBA crossed the Plains at the same time. PRATT had with him an interesting young lady, his sixth wife, whom he had found at the East. The kindest attentions were bestowed upon her during the jour-ney, and the Elder assured her of a comfortable and happy home with himself upon her arrival in the Valley. They drove up at last before the door of PRATT'S house, which is rather a fine mansion ; but she was greatly disappointed upon learning that she could not even have the privilege of entering the house of the man to whom she had been legally united in marriage. She was shown to a small log house, with only one room, one hundred yards distant, for her future home. Before leaving the mansion she begged a glass of water, but even this she could not obtain from Mrs. PRATT senior. Arrived at the log house, she found it occupied already by four Mrs. PRATTS, with thirteen children, all occupying the single room. The poor girl died soon after with a broken heart.
Some time after this Mr. LOBA visited both these houses, in which, as High Priest, he was always wel-come. In the mansion he found the first Mrs. PRATT comfortably established, and surrounded by luxuries with her two sons, eighteen and twenty years of age, stretched out lazily upon the sofa. In the miserable single room of the log-house he found the four remain-ing Mrs. PRATTS, poor, squalid, sick and wretched, with their thirteen little children. They told him that PRATT furnished them with the house, but no means of subsistence. They themselves fenced in the lot, dug the soil and cultivated it. One of them, a milliner and dressmaker, sometimes obtained a little corn meal in exchange for her work, and thus they lived. They apologized for not offering Mr. LOBA something to eat, but declared that they had had no Bread themselves for several days. ORSON PRATT stands highest in the Mormon Church at Salt Lake, next to BRIGHAM and his counsellors !
Enough of these sad pictures of human degradation and vice. The reader may find it difficult to realize the truth of these details. I have only to repeat that Mr. LOBA, my informant, is a very intelligent, as he certainly looks to be an honorable and truthful man. But he has told nothing more incredible in relation to life at Salt Lake than I have heard from several other sources—nothing worse than has time and again been detailed to the Government at Washington, and by your Salt Lake correspondence of nearly a year ago. Horrible as are these views, there is too much reason to believe that they are true to the life. Can no scheme be devised which shall afford a radical and permanent remedy for such wrongs, and give succor and protection at least to helpless women who have fallen into the snare, and who desire to escape ? S.
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