WHAT HAS THE ARMY DONE?
From Our Own Correspondent.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Feb 24, 1860.
Probably, by the time this reaches New-York, the subject of the removal of the Army of Utah will be occupying the minds of the M. C's., that is, provided a Speaker of the House will have been elected. If the whole, or the main portion of the troops, quit Utah the coming Summer, then the far-famed Utah Expedi-tion will have occupied three-fourths of James Bu-chanan's presidential term, employed perhaps double the number of men that comprise the national stand-ing army, and will have cost probably one half the annual revenue of the nation, which would have done something toward laying a telegraph wire across the continent, or have given a vigorous impulse to a Pacific Railroad, or even have purchased Cuba. And with what results? Let us see.
Scraping them together from all sources, I find the principal of them to be as follows: I. A drained treasury. On this I will not enlarge. The bare fact is bad enough, especially when the most grinding forced economy acts as a perpetual and remorseless reminder.
II. Acknowledgement of Federal authority by the Mormons. This is generally assumed as one result of the Utah expedition. But is this really so? Have those who hold this position shown satisfactorily that Federal authority was not submitted to here previous to the Utah excitement and the sequent march of troops to this Territory? There may have been, and may now be, violent persons and violations of law in this Territory, but, has it ever been made clear that previ-ous to the Utah expedition the bulk of the people of this Territory, or even any considerable number of them, rebelled against any legal proceedings of Fed-eral officials? I am not advocating the innocence of the Mormon community, but I think they should have the benefit of the common right of being uncondemned until fairly proved guilty. I think the American na-tion is great enough and powerful enough to be just as well as generous.
And is it perfectly clear that the peaceful reception of Gov. Cumming and his brother officials in this city can be justly ascribed to the proximity of 3,000 Fed-eral bayonets? I do not see it. Unless I am seriously mistaken, not the slightest symptom of ''backing down" was manifest in the Mormon people until the arrival in this city of a respectable, peaceable citizen of Philadelphia, Penn. Then, but not before, the Mormon resolution for war weakened, and the star of peace was in the ascendant. Then negotiations com-menced, and shortly after Gov. Cumming was quietly and respectfully received by the Mormon leaders, under the escort of said citizen of the Quaker City, and immediately entered upon the duties of his governor-ship.
It would be a very difficult thing for the most rabid Mormon-eaters to prove that Col. Johnston and his troops had any influence in the introduction of Gov. Cummings to ex-Gov. Young and the people of the Territory. Indeed, if the common report of that time be true, the gallant Colonel and his brave troops were rather opposed to the Governor's trip to Salt Lake City, and appeared to have a far greater desire to light and force their way than to enter this valley peaceably.
It would not be a very easy metter to prove chat Gov. Gumming and his associate Federal officers could not have entered this city and performed their duties, bad their trip from the Missouri to this Territory been entirely innocent of the flourishing of trumpets, the roil of drums, the thunder of cannon, the glistening of bayonets, and the escort of armed legions. I am rather of the opinion that the Federal appointees would have found no chevaux-de-frize in their way to Salt Lake City, if they had come unpretendingly, as civil officers of the Government. I incline to the be-lief that the whole of the anxiety, excitement, trouble, suffering, and expense of the Utah expedition might have been saved. The army should not have been sent until the appointees, or until special commission-ers, had been rejected. This, I think, would have been sound, wholesome policy.
Since the arrival of the army in Cedar Valley, the only operational of any magniture was the expedition of a thousand men to Provo, in obedience to the requisition of Judge Cradlebaugh, a proceeding which drew forth the most unequivocal and severe rebukes from Gov. Cumming and from the President at Washington, as having a direct tendency to frustrate the ends of jus-tice, disturb the peace of the country, and establish a precedent of the most dangerous character.
III. The making of a new road from Camp Floyd to the Green River Valley, and another to Carson Valley. The people here think the credit for these works does not all belong to the army, for the reason that only parts of the roads can in any wise be ascribed to the labors of the army. The major part of the roads was traveled by the Utah people before the army explored them. The road to Green River Valley-at least that that portion of the road leading up the Timpanogas or Provo Kanyon-was perfectly impassable by the army until the Mormons, during the “move south,” opened the Kanyon, at an expense of about $20,000. Then, but not before, troops and supply trains traveled on it.
IV. The collections and perfecting in drill and discip-line of a large body of troops. This is so, but it could have been done without putting the nation to be needless expense of bringing those troops to Utah. Hundreds of parade or drill grounds might have been found in the States, far surpassing that at Camp Floyd, which is one half the year knee-deep of alkaline adobie mud. Costly circumlocutory strategy this, Mr. James Buchanan. Doesn’t pay, Sir. Bad investment of the public funds, Remember the old proverb, “Waste not, want not.”
V. The enrichment of the Mormons. Ha! This is literally true. While the Government at Washington was pinched for cash, little Mormon children could play with five-dollar pieces. Generally speaking, in this far-inland country, which has little commerce with the great outside world, cash has little commerce with the great outside world, cash is scarce, and at a very high premium. Such was the case before the location of the army at Camp Floyd. A humorous anecdote is related of a poor Mormon whose experiences with the “Mammon of unrighteousness” was very limited before he traded with the army and army followers. Re-cieving gold-coin, he held it forth in his hand, stared at it incredulously, turned it repeatedly out of one hand into the other, laughed and cried, and laughed, then mysteriously mixed the two manifesta-tions up together, and declared he had not seen so much money for many a long day.
Every Mormon smith and wagon maker or mender has now a plentiful supply of iron and oak, all from the States, liberally furnished by Uncle Sam at a mere-ly nominal price. Many persons who, two years ago, did not possess the first hoof of an animal, now boast of ox teams and mule teams; while the numerous Mormon belles and dames literally revel in calicoes and crinolines-all these furnished, too, through the over-flowing generosity of the same god old uncle.
A few figures will be appreciated here, showing the difference of prices before and after the advent of the army.
Wheat………………..$0 75 $2 00
Flour……………………4 00 6 00
Butter………………….. 20 50
Eggs……………………. 15 40
Potatoes……………… 50 2 00
Chickens……………… 20 50
Mules (per span)….200 00 60 00
Oxen (per yoke)…...100 00 80 00
Heavey wagons……100 00 20 00
Harness (per span)..40 00 10 00
Straw (per tun)……... – 20 00
Hay (per tun)…………10 00 30 00
Numbers of sets of harness, nearly new, for six mules, with whipple trees and chains, all complete, were sold in this city for $30 per set. The prices in the right-hand column prevailed in 1858 and 1859, though by this time, through the growing scarcity of money, other causes, they ere modified a little.
Thus it will be seen that the army has been a per-fect God-send to the Saints, not withstanding their much wincing. Even the meek Heber C. Kimball, in a sermon last Fall, publicly thanked the merchants for the good things they had so abundantly scattered through the Territory. “You have blessed us,” said he, though you did not mean to do it.” And The Mountaineer, in an article on “accompanying Docu-ments,” proudly perorates as follows:
“Victorious or vanquished, the gains belong to Utah. The dry goods and groceries that attached to the army, have found here their place of final deposit; and, after all the Territory is made wealthy by the spoils.” If the army removes, another golden harvest will come to the Mormons, when oxen mules and wagons will rise to fabulous prices, and Uncle Sam must bleed again
As for myself, I am essentially a peace man. I am opposed altogether to “standing armies.” I think they “stand” altogether in the way of human pro-gress. And it is my candid opinion that is the army at Camp Floyd were disbanded to-morrow, and the in-telligence, skill energy, and strength there collected were forthwith employed upon the construction of a “Pacific Railroad,” the peace, prosperity, and happi-ness of the country, and the general interests of hum-manity, would be enhanced thereby.
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