THE CITY OF THE GENTILES.
CORINNE, ITS RISE, FALL AND REVIVAL.
THE CURSE OF THE PROPHET BRIGHAM ON THE
UTAH CITY—HOW IT HAS FALLEN FROM WHAT
IT WAS, AND WHAT IT PROMISED TO BE—A POS-
[FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE TRIBUNE. ]
CORINNE, Utah, July 3.—In the days of Corinne's early prosperity one of the poets thus sang of her :
Then arose a magic city where a wilderness had been, Named in lovely maiden's honor, 'tis our own belov'd Corinne,
May its glory, never waning, gain increase with added years,
And perpetuate the praises of its early pioneers.
But the short career of the city affords, perhaps, one of the most remarkable chapters in the history of the West. It is probably the only town in America that has in recent years been the object of religious persecution, and the material interests of which have been made to suffer through religious intolerance. Started as a Gen-tile settlement in 1869, in the very heart of Mormonism, it has carefully preserved its original character, and forced its enemies to respect its pluck even while they openly detested its "Gentileism." Opposition to it began at an early day. Brigham Young standing upon the railroad bridge at the entrance to the town, and lifting his arms aloft to Heaven called down the vengeance of the Almighty upon the Gentile enterprise. Judging from present appearances, it must be confessed than the Prophet's prayer seems to have been more effectual than the poet's invocation. For though we have not yet witnessed the day so fondly predicted by the Saints, when the coyote should howl in our deserted streets, and our ruined buildings typify the fate of all enter-prises undertaken in opposition to the true church, yet the young town is now undergoing its third period, of com-mercial prostration, and is confidently declared by the Saints to be in its death throes. The curse of the Prophet is being fulfilled.
The need of a town free from the restraints of a silly superstition had long been felt by the more intelligent citizens of Utah. Gentileism was on the increase, and it was hoped that this settlement on the Bear River would supply the want, It was moreover once fondly believed; that the two Pacific Railroads would make their junc-tion here at a Gentile business town in preference to one under the thraldom of an ignorant and polygamous priesthood. It was owing to these circumstances that the town received its first impetus. The final adoption, of the Mormon town of Ogden as the connecting point, was a great blow to Corinne and the Gentile cause, but a signal triumph for the Saints. Instead of a great ra-diating point, Corinne then seemed doomed to the posi-tion of a mere way station on the Central Pacific.
In the meantime the faithful had received strict or-ders from Brigham Young to hold no intercourse what ever with the citizens of "Hell "(as the non-Mormon town was politely called), except to extort money from, them for pious uses. The town continued to grow, how-ever, in spite of prophetic anathema and priestly male-diction. Situated at the bead of navigation of Bear River, it seemed by its position destined to command the commerce of the Great Salt Lake. Its advantages as a shipping point for Montana freight soon became mani-fest, and the settlement shortly became a busy, bustling burg. Its business men made legitimate fortunes in a short time, and an air of general prosperity settled over the place. A steamboat built by the citizens was run from, here down the lake, thus bringing the city into easy communication with Southern Utah. Here was the terminus of the Montana stage line. A branch track of the Utah Northern Railroad was built town, affording direct communication by rail with Idaho, and eventually, it was believed, with Montana. The Portland, Dalles and Salt Lake Railroad, opening up, vast undeveloped regions in Idaho and Oregon, was pro-jected from this point as its eastern terminus, where its was to connect with the Central Pacific; and the pre-liminary work was even started here. The prospects, seemed bright for Corinne's rapidly becoming one of the, great railroad centres of the West. The place boasted of its mills and smelting works, water works, forward-ing houses and two daily newspapers. The Gentile and apostate population of the Territory looked to this city as a possible business metropolis, and visionary enthusi-asts prophesied the removal of the capital to the banks of the Bear.
Geutileism and apostacy, however, were not to achieve an easy victory. The Utah Northern was under Mormon, control, and a rare opportunity, connected, to be sure, with a trifling self-sacrifice, seemed at hand to strike a blow for the good of the church. Corinne was at that lime probably the best paying station on the road. Yet it was anti-Mormon. This was sufficient excuse for any breach of faith. Without any notice, the inspired au-thorities tore up the branch track, completely severing connection with the main line of the Northern. Protestations and appeals to self interest were in vain. The answer from the saintly managers was substan-tially that the road was built for local traffic, and really in the interest of the Church, which for obvious reasons could not regard Confine with very friendly feelings. The steamboat, once the pride of the town, has passed into the hands of the Mormons, who keep it idle at Lake Point, in preference to its revisiting the city of the Gen-tiles. The rapid extension into Idaho of the Utah Northern has caused the freighting interest here to de-cline, while the Portland, Dalles and Salt Lake Railroad still remains "proposed." Many of the leading business firms have removed to the present terminus of the Northern to follow the freighting interest. Montana-st., the principal business thoroughfare of Corinne, which a few years ago was a scene of busy activity, is now oppressively silent. The Saints are jubilant, and openly boast that the final blow to Gentileism in Utah will, be inflicted by the next Territorial Legislature in 1880.
Empty threats, however, avail little. For nine years Corinne has had an overwhelming power to con tend against. Its success in overcoming apparently insuper-able obstacles has gained for it the designation of "the pluckiest town in the West." Its inhabitants remain; hopeful and confident, and a brighter day already seems dawning. A new business enterprise, with capital and energy behind it, has been started, which will doubtless prove a more lasting benefit than the now almost de-parted freighting interest. In addition to this, the re-markably successful agriculture experiments made this year are expected to stimulate immigration hither. The construction of the new irrigating canal from Bear River will bring over 200,000 additional acres of arable, land under cultivation. Prom fifty to seventy-five bush-els of the finest wheat are reported to have been raised to the acre in the neighborhood. The "City of the Gentiles” may yet come out triumphant as the centre of one of the most flourishing agricultural regions of the West. The climate is unsurpassed. An elevation of over 4,000 feet insures pure air and cool nights in Sum-mer, while the Winters are milder than those of New-York. Though the feverish haste that once character-ized the town has disappeared, it is still believed that being deprived of its former adventitious aids, and hav-ing settled down to a normal growth, Corinne is even now entering a career of unprecedented prosperity; that her best days are yet to come. No better opportunity could be offered for colonists. Government and railroad, lands of the richest quality may be obtained at nominal prices. In the influx of Gentile colonists and the de-velopment of this beautiful valley, will be found one of the most effectual elements in the solution of the so-called "Mormon problem."
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