THE MORMON DIFFICULTY.
We have been rather astonished of late, at seeing intimations in various quarters, that the settlement of the Mormon difficulty— if it be settled, which is more than doubtful— was the work of our fellow citizen, Col. Kane; and that his success as a volunteer ambassador, proved the folly of going to the expense of sending regular officials, with an army at their back, to coerce the rebellious "saints" into submis-sion.
Now while we are willing to give all due credit to Col. Kane for his efforts to bring the Mormons to their senses, and trust that said efforts have had their reasonable effect, we can-not admit, without more proof than we have yet seen, that the real and potent negotiators in the matter were not the force of between two and three thousand men, who were only await-ing the arrival of their supplies to march to Salt Lake City, whether Brigham Young bade them welcome or not.
We apprehend that neither the eloquence of Gov. Cumming or of Col. Kane would have pro-duced much effect—"charmed they never so wisely"— had it not been for the presence of Gen. Johnston and his command at Camp Scott. And therefore we are far from thinking the action unwise which ordered that force to Utah, or the money wasted which was neces-sary to meet the expenses of its march. Neither are we able to perceive the wisdom of the counsel which would arrest the onward progress of Gen. Johnston to Salt Lake City, and make of the whole proceeding a farce equal to that described in the old couplet—
" The King of France, with forty thousand men, Marched up the hill—and then marched down again!''
It was the general understanding of the coun-try that the army was sent to Utah for the pur-pose of re-establishing the overthrown autho-rity of the United States, and to uphold the decrees of the judicial power in any matter that might legally arise, touching the reprehensible practice of polygamy. The general feeling of the country, without regard to party lines, was understood to be with the Government in this matter. If the two ends alluded to are not ac-complished, the expedition, in the general ap-prehension, will be a failure, and the millions it has cost be considered wasted. That this common-sense view of the matter is taken by the President and his constitutional advisers, we judge from a recent article in the Washington Union, the most important parts of which we here append:—
The march of the army into Utah was for the purpose of restoring the supremacy of the laws of the United States in that portion of the domain of the United States, and not for the purpose of making war upon the Mormons, or any other persons whatever, who, as good citizens, should obey the laws. So far, this object of the President has been accomplished without the shedding of a drop of blood, and it is hoped and believed that it will be entirely accomplished without a single act of collision or violence to a single individual.
But the duty of maintaining and enforcing the execution of the laws being imperative upon the President, and his right and discretion to dispose of the army as he may deem best for this purpose in the territories of the Union be-ing unrestricted, no individual or set of indivi-duals has a right to resist or complain of any allocation which he may make of the troops of the United States in the territories, so long as it is done in the discreet execution of this duty, and without intentional oppression or violence to their inhabitants. * * *
The formidable military power that he march-ed into Utah was the peace- maker—the sole peace-maker which calmed the noisy turbu-lence of the Mormon leaders, and impelled their emigration from Salt Lake City. It may suit the purpose of partisan agitators to represent the hegira as a stipulation of Young with Col. Kane, upon a pledge that the army should re-main immured in the bleak and barren fast-nesses of the mountains where it was, but the pretence is too preposterous even for partisan credulity. No person in Utah, official or un-official, has, or ever has had, authority from the President to limit his constitutional power - to dispose of the army wherever his duty to the laws and to the public service require; and we venture to affirm that this point has been expressly and zealously protected in all instruc-tions that have been issued in regard to Utah.
If Col. Kane has made any pledge of the sort, it was wholly unauthorized and inadmissible. The mission of Col. Kane was purely personal and individual— made at his own impulse and on his own responsibility. He was a personal acquaintance of the President, and possessed his esteem, and hence, we believe, took with him letters of introduction to officers of the army from Mr. Buchanan as from an indi-vidual.
But he went neither as agent of the President nor an officer of the Government; neither as secret agent nor as public officer; but simply on an individual, self- imposed mission, as a private citizen, philanthropist, well-wisher of the Mormons, or what you will. He took no message from the President, other than the President had publicly announced, in regard to the Mormons; and whatever assurances he may have given the Mormon leaders of the pacific intentions of the President, were such as were publicly advertised by the President in his offi-cial proclamation— such as any other person from the States might have given the Mormons with equal confidence.
It is, therefore, the boldest pretension in the world to magnify any conferences that may have occurred between Col. Kane and Brigham Young into pledges, of the dignity of treaties, between great, equal and contending powers, in order to convert the march of an American army, upon American soil, under the orders of an American President, into an infamous and outrageous proceeding.
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