THE REVOLUTION IN MORMONDOM.
THE SAINTS AND THE JUDGES—PERSECUTIONS OF THE PROPHETS AND THEIR POSSIBLE EXODUS PROM UTAH—THE POLICY OF THE GOVERN-MENT TOWARD THE MORMONS.
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 1.—You have been informed of what has already been done by the District Courts of this Territory in restricting, by an honest in-terpretation and vigorous enforcement of the laws, the influence of the Mormon leaders. For many years the Courts have been under the control of the Saints, having Mormon officers, in some instances, elected by a Mormon Legislature, in others appointed through Mormon influ-ence; and Mormon juries selected by Territorial Marshals who had usurped the authority of the proper United States officials. All sorts of concessions to the Saints were made by former Administrations, indifferent to the growth of the great social enormity which they have originated. This indifference has been owing mainly to the fact that the evil was far removed from public observation. Now it is grown strong and become domineering; it lies upon the great highway to the West, and, familiar grown, offends by its grossness the sensi-bilities of the nation. Further, it has now to contend with an Administration committed to the strict enforce-ment of the laws, and with officials who are specially in-structed by President Grant to maintain the authority of the National Government, and who have his promise that its whole power shall be exercised, if necessary, to enforce the laws.
The District Court which sits here has already decided that juries shall be drawn and selected by the United States Marshal, not his duplicate, which the Territorial Legislature presumed to elect. Under the former rule, the Mormon Marshal selecting, the juries were all Mor-mons—I had nearly written all Saints. It does not fol-low that the juries will now be composed wholly of Gen-tiles ; but thus far in Judge McKean's Court they have been exclusively non-believers in the Mormon doctrine. Another decision threw the Territorial officers—the du-plicate Attorney and Marshal—out of court, and the United States officials appointed by the President are the only ones since recognized. Further than this, natural-ization has been denied to polygamists on the ground of immorality of character, and the fact that they violate the act of Congress against polygamy.
But these decisions do not conclude the efforts to be made to curtail and break the power of the Prophets. There are other glaring abuses to be corrected. Brigham Young has persistently declared since the advent of Judge McKean that he did not intend to submit to the persecution (as he calls it) of the Courts, but will set their rulings at defiance. At the late reelection at the Tabernacle he declined to take the office of "Trustee in Trust," on the ground that he wished to be at liberty to travel about the settlements and preach. This he called his public reason for declining, and then he excitedly added his private ones. He alluded to the persecutions of the Saints at Nauvoo, and declared that this new persecu-tion of the Courts at Salt Lake was a visitation of God upon the followers for not obeying the Prophets. But he stoutly maintained that he did not mean to submit to this dispensation of Providence, but should resist the Courts, and "if the damned Judges interfered with him he would blow them across lots—by the great gods he would." He also asserted on another occasion that if compelled to abandon Salt Lake City he would leave it as he found it, a desert. These declarations and other indica-tions are believed to foreshadow Brigham's abandon-ment of this locality for one more remote and less attractive to the Gentiles, and not so sorely afflicted by upright judges. It is not improbable that the first col-lision with the courts will lead to his flight, and it is very probable that the occasion will arise at the next term of Judge McKean's Court, beginning Jan. 24, 1871. Brigham has declared that he will not obey any summons of the Court. He will doubtless be wanted as a witness at the next term. Judge McKean and others do not believe he will refuse to obey it; but, after his distinct declarations that he will pay no heed to any order of the United States Courts, to obey the Marshal's summons will be to sacri-fice much of his influence over his ignorant followers. If he refuses, Judge McKean cannot hesitate to use the power of his Court to compel his attendance or to punish him, lest the authority of the Government should come to be as much despised as formerly. In any event, Brigham's influence will suffer from a conflict with the courts, and I think the temper of the officials here is to bring about such a conflict.
There is another way in which the Courts are likely to offend the Mormons, and that seriously. There are num-bers of the prophets who hold immense tracts of this, and adjacent valleys under grants from the Territorial Legislature. Millions of these acres are public lands of the United States, not preempted or paid for, and when the United States or its attorney for this Territory chooses to enter suit the validity of the Territorial title will come in question. This granting of lands is only one of the many irregularities of which our Legislature (in common with those of other Territories, I believe) has been guilty. Its correction will, of course, give great offense to the Mormons. If the decision goes against them it will throw open a very attractive country to the emigrants, nine-tenths of whom are Gentiles; and thus Mormon power will become contracted by reason of the increase in numbers of the Gentiles. There are valuable mining as well as mineral lands included in these tracts, and as the mining fever is rapidly extending here the danger of early litigation on this question of their land titles depresses the Mormons. They fear, also, that the "Avenging Angels" of the tribe-the villains who in former times carried out the decrees of death pronounced by the Prophets—are to be prosecuted for crimes almost forgotten. Two of the most notorious of these—Robert T. Burton and William Hick-man—who have long been known but never prosecuted as murderers, were indicted by the Grand Jury of Gen-tiles lately summoned by Judge McKean's order. The Prophets employed one of their spies to watch the court-room while the jury was in session, and the name of every witness summoned before it while in secret session was reported to them. It was suspected from the char-acter of the witnesses that a bill would be found against Burton; he was spirited away, and has never since been heard from.
Other issues are likely to arise which cannot fail to counteract Mormon power. The great point with the United States officials is to do this without giving them occasion to raise the cry of persecution. The great ma-jority of the Mormons are blindly ignorant, and their passions are easily influenced by the cry of persecution which the leaders raise on every occasion. The officials here—and it is understood the Administration at Wash-ington also—unite in the opinion that harsh measures ought not to be adopted; but while the Government officials seek to curtail Mormon influence by vigorous enforcement of the laws as they exist, and as they have never been enforced, the issue should be left to time and the changes which immigra-tion is sure to effect. What is most wanted in the way of legislation at Washington is a law giving us the secret ballot. Here we have the ballot, but each voter is re-quired to write on his ticket the number prefixed to his name on the poll-books or registry lists, and thus the record of his vote is kept for reference. Of course there is no freedom of election under this system. If we had a secret ballot, such as most of the States enjoy, and which would leave the disaffected Mormons freer to vote their real sentiments, the power of the Mormons, I firmly believe, would be overthrown at the polls in two or three years. Let Congress confine its legislation to this, and it is all we ask.
Unless it be an honest and able Attorney. Major Charles H. Hempstead, formerly Attorney for the Terri-tory, has resigned. The salary paid him is inadequate, and he finds his more lucrative practice leaves him no time to waste in the service of the magnanimous Gov-ernment at a yearly salary of $250! This is the fixed pay of one of the most important offices in the Territory. There is great fear here that the President will be de-ceived into tending in Major Hempstead's place an in-competent officer or mere adventurer, without interest in the issue now involved between the courts and the Mormons. Without a competent Attorney, superior to the temptations into which the Mormons are sure to lead him, the judges and other Government officers are pow-erless to continue the revolution now begun.
Among other changes soon to be made in the Territory is that of the agent of the Associated Press in this city. He is a Mormon and a double son-in-law of Brigham Young, having married two of the Prophet's daughters. As the only telegraphic operator in the city, he is also the repository of all the important secrets of the community.
The revolution in Utah, you will understand from all this, is not at an end. We hope to maintain it and finally bring it to a successful issue, and rid the country of this shameful abuse of Mormonism.
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