LAST DAYS OF BRIGHAM.
THE PROGRESS OF THE REVOLUTION.
THE STORY OF THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION
OF U. S. REVENUE ASSESSOR TAGGART—ELDER TAYLOR'S REPLY TO MR. COLFAX—THE ELECTION—ROWDYISM OF THE BRIG-HAMITES—WOMAN SUFFRAGE—THE NEW MOVEMENT—WHAT NEXT ?
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 16.—The story of the attempted assassination of U. S. Assessor Taggart in this city, which has been published widely, rests on a "slimpsy" foundation. He told the circumstance to me as follows: As he was going into the Post-Office one night, between 9 and 10 o'clock, two men came running by, a little way apart. The first struck at him as he passed; he couldn't tell whether with a knife or a slung-shot. The blow was not a heavy one, and was warded off, seeing which the second man turned and ran across the street and away. Mr. Taggart had had some words with a Mormon recently discharged from his employ, and thought this was, perhaps, begun by him or some of his friends for a thrashing, and given up as a bad job. These bloody "saints" have enough to answer for with-out charging crimes against them falsely.
ELDER TAYLOR VS. MR. COLFAX.
"Elder" John Taylor appears in the Mormon press re-cently with a flippant review of an article written by Mr. Colfax on the Mormons, and published first in The Inde-pendent. Mr. Taylor begs the question through six solid columns of The Deseret News with an air of triumph that completely overwhelms him. It remains, after all he says or can say, either in the | nature of a defense, a denial of the charges In the indictment of his people, or a counter indictment of ours, that the Mormons are not a religious sect so much as they are a band of land pirates, by their creed and practice the common and mortal enemies of the human race. "The earth is the Lord's and He has given it to his Saints," said Joseph, "Ye, are his Saints." The perpetual Convention of Bishops, called "The Utah Legislature," has perpetrated the biggest joke of the age by giving woman in Utah the elective franchise. Two years ago, some of the idlers around Brigham put up in the regular way one of his nephews, a mere boy, for City Judge. Brigham was at Provo, and his lieuten-ants, Wells and Cannon, finding general dissatisfaction with the nomination, allowed Bishop Woolley to be run in his place. The Bishop was elected, but Brigham made so much fuss about it that he dared not qualify, and so the old incumbent hold over. The crime was, first, presuming to do anything without consulting him ; and, second, scratching the "regular" ticket. This, I believe, is the only instance in the history of Utah where there has been a sign of opposition to the Church or Brigham ticket. Indeed, there never was anything so farcical as a Mormon election, Church or State.
THE WOMAN VOTE.
Now, these inheritors of the promise to Abraham—that his seed should possess the gates of their enemies "—have admitted their women, whom they first broke of their rank in creation and made breeding cattle, to par-ticipation in this farce! Stuck their heads in the sand, and imagined their entire bodies covered! The truth is, there seemed a fair chance of the Opposition to Brigham electing the Delegate to Congress and the Territorial Leg-islature next August, unless something desperate was done. Giving their concubines the suffrage arms them with four-fold means for the perpetuation of their power. The less they say about their high motives in this, the less ridicule they will subject themselves to.
But an effort was made, pending the late city election, to break into this serried phalanx of dumb, devoted stu-pidity. On the evening of the 10th about; 100 Gentiles and Godbeites held a preliminary meeting in the Masonic Hall, at which an Opposition ticket, headed by Henry W. Laurence for Mayor, and bearing the name of Bishop Woolley as candidate for Probate Judge, was agreed upon, and an Executive Committee, composed of resi-dents of from five to twenty years' standing, appointed to manage the affair. The meeting adjourned to the next evening and a more public place to get a larger attend-ance. Meanwhile posters had been put out for mass meeting, headed, "Come one, come all," which were injudiciously, as it proved, made to do duty for the adjourned meeting. The Brighamites saw their chance, by reason of this un-guarded invitation, and determined to take possession of the meeting, which they did half an hour early—a mob numbering hundreds, many of them armed, led by bish-ops, teachers, and some of the highest dignitaries of the city, church, and Territory. When they forced the doors and rushed in from front and rear at once, tearing up and breaking the benches, yelling like Indians, jeering and threatening, Mr. Kelsey stated that "it was an ad-journed meeting, of which he was regularly Chairman, but that, as they had overpowered him, he submitted." They hustled one of their number into the chair, nom-inated by acclamation the whole regular Church ticket, and then adjourned sine die, having shown the world that they take to small-beer politics like ducks to water.
The Bishop then left, and Kelsey tried to get the mob to empty the house, saying there would be no more busi-ness done there that night. Some one replied, "We daren't trust you," at which the little band of Gentiles and Godbeites, numbering a dozen or so, stepped down from the stand and walked through the crowd and out at the front, happily without a collision. Drifting about, they finally gathered at Col. Kahn's store, when the mob again appeared at the door. Then they got the OddFellows to adjourn a session they were holding in their Hall, intending to use that. But concluding finally that there would be bloodshed if they persisted in the attempt to hold a meeting, they desisted, and scattered to their places of rest. Next morn-ing Brigham's chief clerk appeared at The Tribune office, to tell Mr. Kelsey that any bill for damages (to seats, &c.) would be paid if presented to Bishop Little, thus acknowledging the little game to have been the work of the Church. The Tribune came out the same day; the editors and the committee, told the story of the night before, presented the ticket agreed upon in preliminary caucus, and urged the necessity of voting, at whatever personal risk. They were well satis-fied at having compelled "the immaculate and infallible Zion, dressed in her beautiful garments," to acknowledge them, as an opposition, and at her own voluntary and extra-ordinary signalizing of her entry into the dusty arena of Ward politics, by a resort to the lowest strategy known to them.
The more prominent actors in this mistaken business, on the part of the Church, were grouped about the streets, with the most self-satisfied air on their faces ever seen. This time it was a very one-sided affair. It isn't much of a trick for five hundred bravos to browbeat twenty honest men; but before long the two sides, since there are two sides, may be more equally matched, when this little game will return to plague the inventors. Those laugh best who laugh last. It is one of the most singular phases of this most singular phenomenon that, its victims so hug the chains that fetter them. Nothing could be more sad, not to say shameful, than the specta-cle of 3,000 women meeting together as they did in this city a few days ago, to advocate their own degrada-tion. It would be inexplicable on any other ground than the fact that polygamy de facto is all that stands between them and disgrace. Abolish that, so that it will not exist in fact more than in law, and all these women are prosti-tutes, in plain English. But one would think they would rather bear the shame themselves than condemn their children and children's children to it.
During the morning the Gentiles thought of applying to the Governor of the Territory for protec-tion at the polls, the spirit manifested by the Church having excited fears of personal violence should they presume to vote. But upon reflecting that the Governor ad no power to call out anybody for that purpose but, Brigham's militia, it was concluded to apply to the Mayor of the city for such protection, and also for the privilege of challenging and assisting in clerking. He replied to the Committee, but gave them no satisfaction. On Sunday evening the Bishops duly instructed the faithful at the ward meetings, in many cases "stuffing" them with the most outrageous lies about our people and Govern-ment. "Brigham expected every Mormon to do his duty" on the eventful morrow.
HOW THE VOTING WAS DONE.
The fact that there is hut one polling place in the city made it and vicinity very crowded. For the first time in the history of the town canvassers with tickets in hand assailed the innocent voter, clamorously forcing upon his attention the names and virtues of their favorite candi-dates. Only five or six of the sisters voted. One of these, inadvertently mentioning that she wished to vote for Laurence for Mayor, was forbidden to deposit her ballot. Some of the Gentiles objected to having their ballots numbered, when they were returned to them. There was considerable stir round the polls, no rowdyism, and little fun. The atmosphere of the place is not suggestive of fun. There was one "saintly" canvasser who kept crying, "Vote the free and independent ticket, Daniel H. Wells for Mayor." He no doubt thought there were bigger fools present than himself, which there weren't. There was a great crowd, and as often as the police would allow, a batch would be jammed through the doorway into the hall. These would vote, there being two sets of judges and clerks, and pass out another way, when another charge would be pressed through the door. Men living a hundred miles from the city voted. Boys at-tempted to, but desisted on being challenged. No one knows how many foreigners voted, nor how many who suppose themselves to have been naturalized by the Probate Courts, nor how much repeating and proxy voting was done. A Godbeite named Brooks says that, the clerks often, by slight-of-hand, substituted Orthodox for Heterodox tickets. After the polls were closed the judges sent a note to Secretary Mann, inviting him to he present at the counting of the ballots. He did not appear, and so no one knows whether the announcement of the result in the theater that evening was correct or not. It was in round numbers: Orthodox, 2,000; Heterodox, 300. Some of the best-informed and oldest residents of the city say there are no more than 1,200 legal voters ill it. There are 200 who have openly joined the Godbeites, all voters, and there are certainly as many Gentile voters, to say nothing of 100 or 200 Josephites.
Thus is the railroad gradually solving the “Mormon problem." First, we have a public print in Salt Lake City daring to discuss all measures affecting the public interest. Next, men cut off from the Church and still permitted, because the eyes, if not the clutch of the world is upon the head Danite, to live. They think and speak their own minds and not that of another. They acknowl-edge that they have been groping in dense and life-long darkness, building on a false foundation, going backward instead of forward. They organize a church on ad-vanced principles; they preach loyalty to the Govern-ment, they in effect abandon polygamy. I know what I say. That is coming. At present it is too strong meat for these babes.
They have stumbled out of Brighamism into Universal-ism, to which they have super-added Spiritualism—both as disreputable, nearly, as stealing—and they think they have received "the grandest revelation ever vouchsafed to man." With all this, they are infinitely preferable to the besotted Brighamites. Next, we have men presum-ing to run a munioipal ticket in the Holy City of Brig-ham in opposition to his most high and mighty behests. The "Vice-Regent of God" has been forced down from his lofty throne and compelled to recognize these men, and, what is more, treat them with what passes in popu-lar politics for civility. He dare not kill them. And it is not yet a year since the continent was banded by the iron rail.
WHAT WILL BRIGHAM DO ?
What next ? Brigham and Smith and Wells, the reigning triumvirate, are going down below the Rio Colorado soon on an exploring expedition. Some say it is his final exodus from the country—that he has been quietly preparing for it a year or so, deeding houses and property to such of his concubines as he is going to abandon—that he will doom certain apostles and Gentiles to the knife before he goes, the sentence not to be exe-cuted, however, till he gets a good way off, so that the blood can in nowise attach to his skim ; that he will in-stall Cannon here as Chief Devil, set up. "The King-dom of God" anew in some sweet dell of Arizona, gath-ering such of the faithful as will unto It, destroying of course what they can't carry away, appoint his son Brigham to succeed him as President, his sons John and Joseph to be young Brig's Councilors, and then give up the ghost, submitting, only to death, the self-willed little autocrat!
Some of the leading schismatics are badly scared at this prospect. The other day Prof. Tullidge was ar-rested. ostensibly for being too deep in his cups, really in the hope of getting important papers from his person. You should have seen him—a little, dried-up, weazen-faced old man, with small, black, deep-set eyes burning as a reptile's, walking the streets on his toes, looking up at the windows, backward and over his shoulders. “What's the matter with you ?" said a friend. "O, my throat isn't worth a cent." A preacher of Daniteism for a score of years, he knew its dark secrets, and trembled for the breath he drew. Kelsey's mother is one of Brig-hams wives, and the old man is particularly furious that his adopted son should have the presumption to think tor himself. Kelsey and Harrison are lifcely to have their throats cut with considerable "saintly " rancor—Godbe and Lawrence in the utmost tenderness of brotherly love. Their best safeguard at present is that some of the Danites have joined them, and they know how to strike back.
But I imagine that Brigham is not yet ready to leave this country. He has always an honorable retreat, one involving no humiliation. Lot the Government conclude that Mormon polygamy must cease at any cost, and so signify to Brigham in an unmistakable manner, taking care to have it understood that it is the deliverer and not the oppressor of the Mormon people. Bring some prominent delinquent to trial, and convict him. The case will be appealed, and meanwhile polygamy ceases, for Brigham can say to his people. "This is now a matter between the Government of the United States and the government of the universe. Before any one of you defy the authority and power of the earthly ruler, be very sure within yourself that the heavenly ruler has com-manded you so to do." How many would be likely to find such indwelling testimony as would cause them to stand out against the law? It should be remembered that there are but few of the saints living who were driven, as they style it, from Missouri and Illinois. The most of the present members of the church have been brought directly here from Europe, and their condition has been infinitely improved by the change. They have no reason to hate the Government whatever, and are kept up to the Mormon standard of hostility only by the outrageous lies of their leaders. Not one in three of them is a polygamist.
BRIGHAM'S FORMER EXPERIENCE.
Brigham has been tried in this wise before. Years ago Gen. Connor introduced a provost guard into the city, upon which thousands of Mormon militia assembled with their shot-guns and corn knives, resolved to conquer or die. After a few days it became apparent that a collis-ion would occur unless they were disbanded and re-turned home, and Connor sent word that if there should be a drop of Gentile blood shed through the agency of the said militia, ho would give them 30 minutes to move their women and children out of the town, which he would then batter about their ears. Immediately the re-cruits, which looked as though they might have come from Sleepy Hollow, departed in every direction for their homes, and it having come to Brigham through a spy that it was in Connor's mind to arrest him, he went to the Chief-Justice and gave bonds to appear any time he should be wanted. Brigham is more of a fox than a lion. He is not going to Arizona for good, although, in case things should go too hard against him, he would doubt-less rather know the nature and character of that country than not.
It is quite as likely, too, I think, that he should flee thither from his own people as from the Government. He has expended half a million dollars' worth of tithing a year for many years, "dividing nothing with nobody, and accounting for nothing to nobody." There is little else to show for it of a public character than the Tabernacle Square and what is in it. The rest Brigham has used purchasing and improving property, having, building, &c., &c. All this is hold by Brigham Young, so far as anybody in or out of the church knows, and when he dies will natural-ly fall to his children. Brigham differs from Joseph Smith in being avaricious. Joseph was everything for his church; Brigham is everything for himself. His leading passions are love of power and avarice. The theater was built with tithing, and lots of other buildings the prophet lives in and rents. The people, from whom the tenth of their gross earnings have been exacted, upon pain of excommunication, these many years, might take a notion to call him to account for it. There is no telling where rebellion will stop when once it is fairly in-augurated. It is pretty fairly inaugurated here, and very many of the more intelligent, and influential mem-bers of the church, as I believe, are only awaiting a favor-able opportunity to join it.
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