THE MORMON AGITATION.
NO OUTBREAK PROBABLE.
REASONS FOR ASKING FOR MORE TROOPS—MEASURES
THAT WOULD BE RESISTED—WHEN TROUBLE
MIGHT BE EXPECTED.
[FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE TRIBUNE. ]
SALT LAKE, May 16.—In view of the dis-patches going hence to various Journals, representing that the old Nauvoo Legion (Territorial militia) are drilling and preparing to resist the process of the courts in case it should extend to Brigham Young or other high Mormon chiefs, a statement regarding matters here may not be inappropriate. In the Fall of 1870, Gov. Shaffer, then on his deathbed, assumed to disband the Territorial militia, organized under a Territorial law, and called "The Nauvoo Legion," because of its presumed treason-able spirit and purposes, and also because the chief command of it was not vested in the Governor of the Territory, but in Daniel H. Wells, one of the quorum of the First Presidency of the Church, and styled "Lieuten-ant-General." Whether this were sufficient to vitiate the legality of the organization or not has never been passed upon by any competent authority. Succeeding Governors have held Gov. Shaffer's proclamation to be a sort of standing order, and when it appeared to be neces-sary have sought to enforce it, once by arrest of persons who disregarded it, and once by calling on the officer in command at Camp Douglas, Who promptly responded. The men who were arrested were bound over to the Grand Jury, or something of the kind, but they had vio-lated no law that the court could take cognizance of, and the matter was allowed to drop.
Since that time, which was five or six years ago, I do not think there ever has been any general attempt to re-vive the organization, nor is there now. It is possible that in some localities, far north and south, local officers have called their men together for drill, but here at Salt Lake, and about here, there has been nothing of the kind. The young people may meet from time to time in some hall or other, in the night or day, for drill, but it is not worth noticing. The leaders of the Mormon Church are as well aware as anybody that any attempt to enroll their people, to arm, drill, or organize them, with the view of resisting constituted authority, would be the hight of folly—sure to result in their absolute de-struction as a political community m the United States. Still there is undoubtedly, since Lee's execution, an un-easy feeling among the Mormons, and this in turn has caused excitement among the Gentiles. On one side it is believed that Brigham Young is in some way or other to be brought to the, same pass that Lee was, and on the other that the Mormons are determined to resist by force of arms the first symptoms of legal proceedings against him. There happens to be in attendance at this term of the Third District Court a grand jury hiving a quorum of Gentiles, and there is talk of fresh evidence of old crimes. But the chances of Brigham Young being indicted are extremely few according to all I can learn, and if he should be he has already submitted to arrest—once, I believe, on a criminal charge—several times. In the Fall of 1871, I understood at the time, the question of submission or re-sistance to an arrest of this kind on his part was sub- mitted to a confidential caucus. There was so much dis-cordance of opinion that it was judged best to submit, and I do not believe the thought of resistance has ever been entertained by him or his friends since or would be now.
I said, by his friends. The only danger to the peace lies in the fact that in his party as in every party there are hot-headed men whom it is hard to restrain, whom it is hard for him to restrain. A thousand people, perhaps, accompanied him to the Penitentiary the night Judge McKean sent him there for contempt, and ho never was in court on any account when the room was not filled by the city police. If he were to be put on trial, say for murder, either as principal or accessory, be convicted and sentenced to the Penitentiary for a long term, or to execution, there would be great danger, I think, of an outbreak. Only in view of such a contingency is there any need of additional troops in Utah. The two Smiths were killed in prison, and no old Mormon chief ever goes to jail without really fearing the same fate. I doubt whether any evidence could be direct and strong enough to convince them that Brigham Young or any of those very near him ever com-mitted crime deserving capital punishment, or even im-prisonment. Undoubtedly the conviction of Lee is to be followed up if possible, and perhaps trial tor capital crimes awaits other leading high priests. In case of their conviction, or that of any of them, resistance to the exe-cution of sentence by somebody, ignorant, brutal, fanati-cal, is certainly among the possibilities. That, I am sat-isfied, is the view the Governor (Emery) takes of the situ-ation, and hence his call upon the Secretary of War for a moderate addition to the force now in Utah. It is proper to say that were his request granted outright there would then be no more troops in Utah than there have been for years up to the breaking out of the Sioux war.
In conclusion, there is really no extraordinary danger of violence or tumult of any kind in Utah at this time. People desirous of visiting the Territory for business or pleasure may depend upon it. The conflict between America and Asia in Utah—a kind of dumb war—goes on, and will go on until Asia is beaten; but I have been here several years, and I think I have seen times when the danger of a violent outbreak was tenfold greater than now, and still it did not occur. The state of things is perhaps calculated to excite mutual apprehensions, and rumors of intended measures of vengeance on the one hand and of resistance, insurrection, and rebellion on the other have some excuse for being. But there is nothing tangible in them, as a very little time will amply show.
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