THINGS IN UTAH.
POLYGAMY AND SLAVERY.
GLORY OF POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY.
The Advantages of Having Many Wives.
NO CHANCE FOR ONE-HORSE POLITICIANS.
MOVEMENT FOR CONVERTING THE WORLD.
From The Chicago Tribune.
Through the kindness of a friend who resides in this city, we are permitted to publish the following letter from one of the “Saints" of Salt Lake City, concerning his experiences in religion, the character of Deseret, its climate and society, and that "pe-"culiar institution" of Deseret, Polygamy. It is the clearest exposition and boldest defense of Polygamy that we have yet seen, and coming from a person who possesses three wives, with a prospect of more, its arguments, and the facts stated, demand attention. We especially invite a perusal of it by Judge Doug-las and his friends, whose "Popular Sovereignty" doctrine is to legalize Polygamy in Deseret and Utah, and, it may be, in Illinois also.
CITY OF SALT LAKE, (Deseret,) July 29, 1854.
MY DEAR FRIEND: I have been promising myself the pleasure of writing to you a long family sort of letter for the last eighteen months, as I assured you I would when we parted, and I should have done so, only that, somehow, when I have opportunities of sending one, one thing or another was sure to inter-fere with my time for writing.
The fact is, the Salt Lake City is a place for work, and loafers and lazy people are entirely out of their element here. I never lived in a place where there is so prevalent a spirit of industry, or where drones are so little tolerated. As a consequence, there is scarcely any poverty—none, I may say, except that which is the result of sickness and other misfortunes; and in such cases it is not marked by the painful fea-tures which are observable in the quarters of the poor in Rochester, Buffalo, and Chicago, where I have had opportunities of seeing for myself; for here, the poor are taken care of by the voluntary and lib-eral contributions of all, which are made in a pro-fusion that you could not find in a community of skin-flint Presbyterians, iron-sided Baptists, expe-rience-telling Methodists, or with sanctimonious mem-bers of evangelical churches in general. No, no. Here there is a brotherly feeling, such as marked the character of the early Christians; and here is under-stood in its fullness the great truth, "He that giveth "to the poor lendeth unto the Lord."
When I last saw you, in 1851, now nearly four years ago, you expressed your regret that I should connect myself with a church and become a member of a community, the doctrines and rule of conduct of which were repugnant to all the social virtues and the re-ligious principles which I had been taught from my childhood up to 1846. I had then (1851) lived five years a believer in the truths of the Book of Mor-mon—had steadily, and as faithfully as I knew how, examined the tendencies of those truths, and com-pared them with the old church of my father—I may say fathers, also, for they were all of one faith for three generations back—and I had come to the con-clusion that I had at last found out what was best for my spiritual wants, here and hereafter. It was after this long experience—this forty years in the wilder-ness—that I became satisfied with my duty, and set out, with my family, for the City of Deseret. Sarah Ann, you know, had her doubts about the move, es-pecially as she had heard awful stories about the Mor-mons, who, following the example of the old Patri-archs, from Abraham down, had established social laws different from those which she had been accus-tomed to look upon as sacred. Louisa, our eldest girl, then fourteen, shared the feelings of her mother somewhat, but it had no foundation beyond educa-tion, and, I felt, would soon be eradicated.
When I arrived in this city I found all the comforts that I had expected, and was treated with a kindness and consideration that I never met with in New-York, or any other State. While each person here was in-tent upon the acquisition of wealth, and all were as busy as bees, their conduct toward myself and all other new comers impressed me with the belief that they only labored for wealth that they might have a means of benefiting those whom fortune had not fa-vored. My subsequent observation has not effaced but deepened that impression. There appears to be the greatest pleasure manifested by high and low, and especially by those who are high in the church, in aiding the poor and helping them to help themselves—the highest order of charity, in my estimation. Each one seems to feel that "it is better to give than "to receive;" and the universal practical rule is, "that he that giveth to the poor lendeth unto the "Lord." And the truth of this latter principle has been fully and satisfactorily tested. The poor who are assisted soon become active and useful members of society and the church, and are enabled to repay back, an hundred-fold, all that they ever received.
So much for things in general. And now a word about the country. My dear friend, you have read Moore's enchanting description of the "lovely vales "of Cashmere," but I venture to say they will not at all compare in beauty, or in delicious atmosphere, with the charming valleys which are scattered all over Deseret, like little Edens; while our mountain scenery is magnificent—grand beyond the power of description. Here is the place for poetry and song, where one is perpetually surrounded by scenery and associations that develop the highest religious senti-ments. The soil of our valleys is good; not as deep as the soil of the Genesee Valley, or as the Illinois prairies, but it is more lively, and produces more than any soil I ever saw in its virgin state. There is scarcely any species of grass, grain, or fruit, that we cannot grow in the fullest perfection, and, if farming receives the attention that it does in England and Holland, as I have no doubt it will, Deseret will be capable of feeding a population as large as three or four States like New-York.
When I first came here, I went at my trade and did well. Last year, however, I obtained a farm at the foot of one of the mountains which surround this val-ley, and I expect to have a little paradise of a place in a few years. Neighbors are numerous and good, and we shall possess all the educational advantages that you have in the States—and better, I think, for here our schools are better regulated. I still live in the city, that is, my family does, and I am here the greater part of my time, but I expect to take up my residence in the country early next year.
About the progress the Territory is making, I need not say anything, as you will get it more in detail from the papers I send you. Suffice it to say, that we go ahead at a rate I never expected, however large my expections were.
But I suppose by the time, or before you have read thus far, you have grown impatient, and wonder if I am going to avoid the subject which appears to con-cern the people of the States, as regards Deseret, more than anything else. No, my dear friend, I am not going to dodge it. There was a time when I might have been disposed to do so, knowing your feelings, but it is not right, and I shall be candid.
"Polygamy! POLYGAMY!! POLYGAMY!!! That is the word which you call it, and one would think, from the holy horror with which your editors, preach-ers and politicians utter it, that it is a crime of a mag-nitude surpassing all others. My dear friend, I do not doubt many of you think so, but it is all the re-sult of education—nothing else, I assure you; for I speak from experience, as do thousands of others hereabout, who once thought as you do. But you must know
that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints discards all sectarian dogmas and comes to the plain, simple truths of the Bible—the whole Bible, not a part of it. It looks to the lives of the Patriarchs and Prophets—the men of "pure religion "and undefiled"—for principles, as well as to those who came after them. It sees no higher or more heavenly state of society that that which existed un-der the authority and direction of Jehovah anterior to the Christian era. Not that it opposes any doc-trine of Christ, or those authorized to speak for him, for it would leave every one free; no, it gives the highest sanction it can give to every principle elab-orated in the New Testament, while it makes the old and the new entirely harmonize. The doctrine is founded on the Bible—the eternal rock of Truth.
But about the practical operation of Polygamy, as you call it. That is what you most probably want to know, and I shall enlighten you from my observation and experience.
When I came to Deseret there were not many who were in the enjoyment of more than one wife, and many, or most of the new-comers, were opposed to it. But as they saw how beautifully and harmoniously those families lived where there were two or more wives, their prejudices gradually gave way, and among no class was this change more apparent than the women. At the present time, if a vote were taken upon the subject, I venture to say that nine out of every ten women who have lived here two years, would sustain our present social system in this partic-ular. They are more for it than the men, for upon many of the latter it entails heavy burdens; though the truth is, our wives in Deseret made no pretensions to being fine ladies, their highest ambition being to help their husbands, and their poor brothers and sis-ters in the Lord's Church. There are very few man here who have more than five wives, and a large part have but one, while some have none. For myself I have three. Sarah Ann, your cousin, whom I married in York State, has the largest share of my affections, and takes precedence in the management of the house-hold. Two years ago I married Miss S., formerly of Ohio, and she has charge of the education of the children and attending to the clothing. My other, which I took three months ago, is from near Hamburg, Germany. She is larger than either Sarah Ann or Elizabeth, (the name of my second wife,) and, I say it without invidiousness or impropriety, is decidedly handsome. Her person is of good size, very round, full chest, bright flaxen hair, and a soft blue eye. She enters into the duties of her new situation with wonderful alacrity, and is very happy, as are also Sarah Ann and Elizabeth. There is tone of that jealousy—that disposition to tear out each other's hair—which you have probably imagined would show itself in such cases. We are all looking forward to the time when we shall be together con-stantly in our little Eden, where we can work for each other, and raise our children in "the fear and “admonition of the Lord." You may be surprised at this; but you will be still more so, when I assure you that all of my present wives are anxious that I should get another—one who is fitted by educa-tion, and physically adapted, to take charge of the business of the dairy. With such an arrangement of my household, every department of a well organized establishment, on a patriarchal scale, would have a head to it, and be governed in order. I have no in-clination to comply on my own account, as I am well satisfied with those I now have, but if I should do so, it will be entirely out of regard for them.
My daughter, Louisa, is engaged to be married to a man from Pennsylvania, who has already a wife and three children. It did not entirely meet my ap-probation, but I did not interpose a single objection, so long as she was satisfied, and the marriage would be in a high degree honorable to her, as well as ad-vantageous in a worldly view.
Now, my dear sir, you say, what is to come of all this? Let me tell you what has come of it. In Des-eret, there are no libertines, with their paramours, no houses of prostitution, no cases of seduction, or those which disturb the peace of families in the States, under your laws. Here, every woman can have what God intended she should—a husband—and every man that wants to, may have a wife. And the woman that is the wife of a man who has one or more other wives, is more fortunate than if she were the only one, for in case of plurality the duties of the house are divided. The children here are pretty nu-merous, I must admit, but this should and does con-tribute to the happiness of the true followers of the Lord, from whom we have learned that our duty is to multiply and replenish. But, mark this: there are no illegitimate children in Deseret, no children of shame who are ashamed of their mothers, and a disgrace to any but the lowest society.
I shall not enter into an argument to attempt to convince you that your sentiments in regard to the marriage relation are the result of education and are wrong. I wish you could live here a year or two, however, and I have not a doubt your acts would show you had changed your opinions.
We learn from the States that you are greatly ex-cited about the Slavery question, and our institutions are much canvassed in connection with the Popular Sovereignty doctrine of your Senator, Mr. S. A. Doug-las. We wish your politicians would let us alone; that is all we ask of them. We have none of the breed here. The climate of Deseret is not congenial to them, and our wives will not give birth to children who are adapted to such a low life as the politician ne-cessarily leads. It is said that Gov. Young is to be re-moved, and a Washington politician appointed in his place. Very well, let him come. The people of Des-eret will treat him politely, and let him alone. He may stay in Washington and have just as many du-ties to perform as Governor, as if he were here.
But we believe in the Popular Sovereignty doc-trine. It is upon this that we stand, and with it we shall defend ourselves against the assaults of the world. It is the true doctrine, and I am sure it will triumph.
I have not had an hour's sickness since I came here; neither has any member of my family. I have four more children than when we left Illinois, and it is not improbable that I may have many more. Certainly I hope so.
You can get no true accounts from Deseret from your newspapers. The only way to appreciate, and to learn to love our institutions, is to live here. ***
From The Chicago Press.
We passed half an hour yesterday in the company of two very intelligent representatives of the "Lat- "ter-Day Saints" in Utah—Messrs. John Taylor and N. H. Felt. These gentlemen represent affairs in Utah in a very flattering light. The Saints are rap-idly surrounding themselves with the various com-forts and many of the luxuries of civilization. Im-migration and natural increase are adding daily to their numbers, and the day is not very far in the future when Utah will be "knocking" for admission into the family of States, or preparing to defend an independent sovereignty of her own, in the moun-tain fastnesses, by the hardest kind of "knocks." The crops of the past season had been somewhat in-jured by the grasshopper; but still, our informants assured us, there would be the greatest abundance harvested for the use of the Saints and a surplus for the constantly arriving emigrants, as well as for those who may take Salt Lake in their way to California. Messrs. Taylor and Felt are on their way to New-York for the purpose of establishing a paper in that City, to be devoted to the pro-pagation of the doctrines held by the "Saints," and for the purpose of "carrying the war into Africa," whenever and wherever provocation thereto may be offered. Mr. Taylor, in addition to the dignity of the "Apostleship,"—and a jolly, rubicund, wide-awake "Apostle" he is—brings to the Editorship of The Mormon a manifold experience in the profession, and we doubt not its columns will be eagerly and sat-isfactorily perused by the "Saints" into whose hands it may fall. Gentile though we be, we shall look for it with some interest ourselves, and our readers will doubtless be delectated with occasional excerpts from its columns touching the polity, politics and domestic institutions of the "Saints," as the same may be de-veloped to the world. The object in establishing an organ in New-York, Mr. Taylor assures us, is two-fold. First, to defend the people of Utah from the misrepresentations of lying letter-writers and de-signing politicians; and secondly to minister to the wants of the "Saints" scattered throughout the States. The mischief growing out of the two causes above-named has tended much to hinder the spread of Mormonism in the States, and greatly vexed and scandalized the pious souls who play the shepherd over the sheep collected in Salt Lake Valley. Our informants assured us that the peo-ple of the State have been led into many er-roneous opinions touching the light in which executive appointments for Utah are looked upon. They desire competent and discreet men—nothing more. Men of this character, they say, they have among themselves, more than sufficient to fill all the offices, and they think the President would only be carrying out his own doctrine of popular sovereignty, were he to so far respect the popular wish of the people of Utah as to select his appointees from among them. Nevertheless, they say, any competent, well-behaved man will be well received there, as a terri-torial officer, if he will devote himself to the legitimate business of his office, and let other matters alone. But the trouble has been, with a very few exceptions, that while the appointees were notoriously incompe-tent for the duties of their office, they also intermed-dled with the institutions and domestic relations of the "Saints" in a manner quite extra official, and earned things in a style of lordly superiority over those who considered themselves their equals in every respect. This is what they complain of. They want no tenth-rate lawyers placed over them, and they are by no means desirous that Utah should be made a Botany Bay of, for the banishment of broken-down political hacks, who have sunk their character and capital in the States. We inquired of them about the Governorship of the Territory. Their answer was, that the people of the Territory preferred Brigham Young in that capacity to any other living man. But they would not contend on this point. They would receive any competent man President Pierce might send out to them as Governor. As for brother Brigham him-self, he did not want the office—would prefer not to be incumbered with it—had his head, hands and heart full of other and more important matters. The ru-mors recently circulated respecting this matter, they said, originated at Washington, and were put afloat for political effect. The people of the Territory care but very little about the matter one way or the other.
As respects Slavery in the Territory we were assured there was but little of it there—yet it is there. Some slaves had been liberated by their owners since they were taken to Utah; others still remain slaves. But the most of those who take slaves there pass over with them in a little while to San Barnarding—a Mormon settlement in California, some 700 or 800 miles from Salt Lake City. How many slaves are now held there, they could not say, but the number, relatively, was by no means small. A single person had taken between 40 and 50, and many had gone in with smaller numbers.
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