LETTER FROM SALT LAKE.
[CORRESPONDENCE OF THE UNION.]
SALT LAKE CITY, April 19, 1870.
"The Impending Crisis."
There is a universally prevailing opinion among this community of "Saints" and "Gen-tiles" that the present condition of affairs in Utah justify the acceptance of Helper's senti-ment in that famous revolutionary work that hastened on so vigorously the nation to its great work of freedom. There is here an "im-pending crisis" visible and palpable to every-one, and the "irrepressible conflict" so long foretold has in reality commenced. It is of little consequence if some persons sing long and loudly to the contrary—the fact is none the less indisputable and demonstrable to all but those wilfully or fanatically blind.
It is very gratifying and pleasant to witness the professed satisfaction of the organs of the opposing parties in this struggle. The Deseret News, representing the Church, is perfectly de-lighted with the increasing evidences of the people's happiness under the old regime, and the Tribune, the "organ of the Liberal cause,” is publishing in every issue communications from the best brains in the Territory, that the grand and glorious work for "mental freedom" is like John Brown's historical soul, "march-ing on," with "glory, glory, hallelujah," re-sounding through the valleys and canyons of the Rocky Mountains, to the dismay and terror of old orthodoxy. Bombast is a widely-diffused article in all controversies, and probably neither the old Mormon party nor the young Liberal party may be entirely guiltless of its service; but whether the one more or the other less is of no consequence. The facts are all in favor of the rising cause. Every disciple to the "new movement" is one less to the old.
For forty years Mormonism, under its two distinctive leaders, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, has held the aggressive position against "modern Christianity." Its elders, high priests and apostles have "traversed sea and land" in their great work of proselytism, and have, by their boldness and enthusiasm—testi-fying of angels, visions, dreams and miracu-lous powers—gathered the population of Utah, over 120,000 strong, from nearly every Chris-tian nation under heaven. Here they are—a singular and more varied population than can be found in any State or Territory of the Union. "From Greenland's icy mountains to Afric's coral strand," and from the islands of all the seas, there are converts within the geographical limits of Utah Territory.
Brigham Young was the greatest of the Apos-tles, at the death of Joseph, and was recog-nized the leader of the larger portion of the Church at the division that then ensued. Cleaving with dogged pertinacity to his pre-decessor's programme of empire founding in the Rocky Mountains, and successful as he has been in maintaining his own against all dis-putants, he has very naturally grown up fully confident of his immense influence, and to-day he is by far the strongest man in the country, and fails not to make it felt when his wrath is kindled against the rebellious. Hitherto he has had but little difficulty in disposing of his opponents. The few who have risen up against him were men only personally aggrieved. They were dissatisfied with him in some way, and with singular ease and grace he could turn about and brand them with some human frailty. They had done something, and if that was not quite as conspicuous as requisite, his never-failing ridicule was "the big head;" "they were trying to steady the ark." In vulgar parlance, they were trying to get in his place, and to direct things better. Assumption of au-thority in a Mormon mind is a fearful thing. The bare mention of the fact was enough—the opponent was crushed, smothered and sent to h—ll—figuratively, of course.
Another era, ours. Two men spring into public notice—Godbe and Harrison. The Mor-mons believe them deceived by the devil—a gen-tleman at every one's elbow, and willing to do everyone's work, provided that it opposes Brig-ham. They claim to be the exponents of the highest philosophical truths in theology and morals. To them Brigham is an excellent me-chanic, a splendid fanatic, but he belongs to another age and to another hemisphere. He should have lived in Egypt four thousand years ago, and not in the nineteenth century and in the United States. These two gentlemen (Godbe and Harrison) are old Mormons. The first is a merchant, the second a Mormon Elder—men of brains, of large intellectual culture, and they come to fight Brigham with his own weapons. "They are inspired;" they have heard "the voice of angels," and they whisper, "Brigham, obey the laws." Godbe has four wives—poor fellow! Harrison is a double widower, with no patriarchal proclivities, and says in public that he has never known "but one love." Unitedly, they urge the people to set aside fanaticism, and to obey the laws; never mind what they have been in the past; be right in the future.
This Godbe and Harrison "new movement" is gaining converts daily, The Government looks to it with hopefulness. It is believed that it will sap the foundation of priestly rule, and shatter the dogmas that have bound the people in the galling bonds of mental and re-ligious slavery.
The Government Programme.
President Grant says to the newly arrived Governor Shaeffer: "I have no other instruc-tions to give than that the laws of the United States must be obeyed." Once that the Cullom bill becomes law, the work will begin. Governor Shaeffer is instructed to proceed immediately to business. Brigham and a few others will be indicted by the Grand Jury. The Marshal will proceed to arrest them, and if they resist, the country will soon have lively times. The Gov-ernment will pour in any amount of troops.
The great fact is, the Government cares less about polygamy than about the oft-repeated taunts against their authority in this region. President Grant proposes to test that assump-tion.
Preparing for Work.
General Sheridan will be here to-morrow night, and General Custar will be here shortly with the Thirteenth Regiment. At the seat of Government, it is expected that there will be a revolt on the passage of the Cullom bill, and these are preparatory steps to be ready. There are quite a number of officers of the United States here just now "accidentally," and they are commanded to remain. At Wash-ington they are advised by appearances that mean but very little. I have just seen a tele-gram from a distinguished General, asking for information about the meaning of a "drill" that has no significance. The country may be assured that there will be no war in Utah. Brigham Young has too many wives and chil-dren, and too much property in Salt Lake City, to commit the blunder of arraying himself in hostility, as in'57. Grant is not Buchanan, the circumstances are not the same, and the nation feels its power to settle all such questions.
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