Mormons in Extremis.
The resignation by Brigham Young of the last function he had retained in Des-eret; his partition of property among his numerous descendents and proclaimed de-parture from Utah, if carried into effect as announced, most undoubtedly marks a point in the history of Mormonism and the civilization of the territory those misbeli-evers have so long controlled. Brigham is now seventy-two years old and has been a Mormon since 1832. His shrewdness was recognized in his appointment as a missionary and an apostel three years after he became a proselyte; and he was almost unanimously called to succeed Smith when that worthy was killed in 1844. He vin-dicated his sagacity by the exodus to Des-eret three years later—an exodus that is comparable only to that of the Targote Tarters. There his skill and energy moulded a community from discordant meterial; held them together against the Indians, and trained them to hostility to the country. He found a city, organized a State and was made its governor. He procured em-igration from northern and western Europe in considerable numbers, and employed the converts in turning the wilderness into a garden. He defied the authority of the United States, and was only induced to submit by the presence of an army. His followers in this country number about 60,000; in Europe 20,000, and are found in other countries. They control Utah—and last year cast 20,969 votes for their delegate to Congress, against only 1,942 for his Gentile opponent. The Territorial Legislature, too, is exclusive Mormon, both in the House and Council.
The first blow struck against the so-call-ed religion was in 1862, when Congress enacted a law against polygamy in the Territories. The great rebellion prevented steps for its enforcement. But the con-struction of the Pacific Railway was a wound that could not be cured, and the settlement of the adjacent country—Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona—with their rich metalliferous, agracultural and pastor-al resources, thundered more loudly against this great abomination than ten books of Mormon could answer, and dis-persion has since then been only a ques-tion of time. Hepworth Dixon saw many commendable and few objectionable things there; Major Burton was entranced with the patriarchal simplicity he met, and other English and some American apologists have claimed freedom of conscience for Brigham and his followers. But the rail-ways have let in practical men who be-lieve in no nonsense, and the grand exhibit of grazing, mining and wool-growing re-sources has lured others, until Brigham is constricted in his paradise like another Mokanna; and, convinced of the impossi-bility of stemming a current that can only swell, surrenders his pontificate, abdicates and leaves. He says that he will go to Ar-izona. It is no place of rest for him; nor is there, nor can there be any other spot in the country where defiance to common law and morals, and the very rudiment of civilization, can be codified into a religious and political system.
There is no other man who can take the reins Brigham drops. As a majority of the Saints prepared to accompany him when he contemplated removing to Mex-ico, to South America and to the Sand-wich Islands, so doubtless many who are orthodox will pack as many wives as they can and accompany this hegira. Others, more prudent, will remain by the flesh-pots of Deseret; and, in either event, the Mormon creed will be deposed from such power as it has had; deposed without per-secution—vile as it is; without a crusade that will sustain its embers until they can relight; and its hearths will give shelter to industry, domestic life, morals and or-der. Brigham's death would have explo-ded the humbug at any time. His resig-nation does the same, for there are no others who can substitute this despot. Crude as his culture was, he had innate knowledge of men and how to manage them; had immeasurable self-reliance and boundless expedients; and representing semi divinity to his followers, he repre-sented them as an unit to the country, and claimed to stand for that freedom of con-science it is our boast to defend. The in-stitution was an anomaly, and practically unassailable under our new laws. But our institutions, that have eradicated slavery, shows their continuing strength by peacefully forcing Mormonism to move, and abolishing a national disgrace, second only to slavery. To have destroyed slavery, rebellion and polygamy in so short a time and the latter peacefully, will be no mean or common laurel for Republican admin-istration.—North American.
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