An able writer in the Evening Telegram of this city, dating at Salt Lake City, March 23, denies all the statements lately made by the Mormon elder Staines in regard to polygamy. This writer shows the horribly demoralizing effects of the vice, especially upon the children. He insists that it is rapidly extending itself into other Territories, and that Mormons claim to see in the near future, their power to control these Territories when they come in as States.
The difficulty of reaching the vice by law stares every intelligent man in the face. It is claimed by the Mormons that the relation is not the same as civil and Christian marriage, and that a State law imposing penalty upon bigamy or poly-gamy would not touch them who have a religious system of their own. Of course this is idle, and could easily be shown to be a mere attempt at evasion. But how to get at it where the Mormons are largely in a majority is the question of the hour.
Mr. A, G. Campbell, of Utah, who will contest the seat of G. Q. Cannon as dele-gate from Utah to the Forty-seventh Congress, has addressed a letter to the President on the subject of polygamy, in which he says :—
This is not a question of religion. It is a question of government, of law and morals. Mormonism is increasing and spreading in all the Territories and in many States of the Union. It already influences the politics of our youngest State, Colorado. It claims to hold the balance of power in Idaho and is making great headway in other Territories soon to become States. In Utah alone thous-ands of children, born of Mormon parents, are growing up with no other education than Mormon schools can furnish, with the Book of Mormon as their text book of morality, and the necessity of ”living their religion" and paying their tithes imposed upon them as the first duty of life.
After detailing the enormous revenues of the Church and the resultant power to the Mormons, he says:—
Long residence in Utah and large interests, acquired by hard labor in the development of the Territory, enable me to say that the Mormon Church is a bar to the material as well as to the moral progress of the country. Every enterprise that does not originate with the Church, no matter how beneficial it would prove to the Territory or the Nation, is dis-couraged. Every enterprise that does originate with the Church is required to pay ten per cent, of its earnings into the coffers of that body. The power wielded by these men is almost despotic and is entirely irresponsible. Polygamy is the corner stone of their institution. Strike down polygamy and the whole fabric will fall, so far as it conflicts with the laws and endangers the moral and material welfare of the American people.
It is true that polygamy is forbidden by an existing law of Congress, but that law cannot be enforced. No facts are better known in Utah than these, that the late delete from that Territory has four openly acknowledged wives and that Congress in place of Delegate Hooper, a monogamist, was dictated by the Mormon President, Brig-ham Young the avowed purpose of forcing Congress to recognize the insti-tution of polygamy.
Under the laws of Utah Mormon wives can go to the polls, taking with them, if they choose, girls under twenty-one years of age, and by simply declaring that they are the wives of a Mormon citizen and that the girls are his sisters or daughters they can all vote for a delegate to Congress, and many such doubtless did vote at the last election. Under the general practice of the country it is equally competent for these same persons, who were wives for the purpose of voting under the Territorial law, to appear next day in the Court House and deny that they were wives if the question of infring-ing the law of Congress prohibiting poly-gamy should be brought up. New, vigor-ous and direct legislation is needed to correct this great evil. Now is the time to strike.
“The Women's Central Organization for Suppression of Polygamy" have issued the following petition, which they wish to have extensively signed and sent, with the signatures, to the Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. G. C. White, 124 Amity street, Brooklyn, N. Y.:
To the Honorable, the Senators and Representa-tives in Congress of the United States of America:
The petition of the undersigned respect-fully shows:
That your petitioners view with alarm the rapid growth of a system recognizing and encouraging, under the pretext of a relig-ious institution, the revolting and degrading vice of polygamy, bestializing woman and brutalizing man,—a practice not only sub-versive of love, honor, duty, loyalty, and all the higher attributes of mankind, but de-structive of the sacredness of the conjugal and family relations, upon the inviolability of which the prosperity of a civilized State must depend.
That the fast-increasing population of Utah renders probable its speedy admission into the Union as an independent, law-making State; in which event, the legalization by the new State of polygamous contracts would, under our Constitution, entitle such mar-riages to judicial recognition and support in all other States of the Union.
That social and political evils, which, when young, can easily be cured by legislative ac-tion, finally reach a stage in which they be-come organized institutions, and either suc-cessfully defy all attempts at eradication, or else so modify the feelings, customs and laws of society, as to make themselves a recognized feature of that society. Wherefore, your petitioners earnestly pray the enactment of statutes :
1st. Providing for the prevention and sup-pression of polygamy, and the punishment of such persons as shall contract polygamous marriages.
2d. The enactment of laws protecting and providing for the women and children in polygamous households who desire to sepa-rate from and leave the same.
3d. The preparation and enactment of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, making polygamy a crime to be tried and punished in all the courts of the United States. And your petitioners will ever pray.
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