THE EVILS OF MORMANISM.
Polygamy Not the Chief of Sins of the Mormons—Brigham Young's Despot-ism.
[From the Ogden (Utah) Freeman.
There seems to be throughout the States an utter misunderstanding of the situation in Utah, the most notable instance of this con-cerning polygamy. Speak to a person in the East about Mormonism, and he will immedi-ately begin to converse about polygamy. The remarks of the press are almost universally confined to the same subject. The allusions in the President's message indicate that he either intentionally or ignorantly ignores all other evils. It is easy to account for this; polygamy is so repulsive to Christian civilization, is so indecent and subversive of all that is desir-able in human associations, that it impresses itself upon the minds of the people to the ex-clusion of everything else. Nearly all the books that have been written on Mormonism treat largely of this crime and the state of so-ciety where it exists, and many of the most prominent lecturers upon Utah affairs have confined themselves to this topic.
But polygamy is only one of the fruits of the baneful tree that spreads its branches over this Territory—only one of the effects of a great cause that produces many other gigantic evils, that demand the attention of our Gov-ernment.
Brigham Young claims all the authority in Utah that belongs to a God in Heaven, and, through his priestly hierarchy, he aims to support his claim. He governs absolutely the Territorial Legislature, and no local legislative enactment can obtain here contrary to his will.
He also governs at will the local corpora-tions which cover nearly the whole Territory, and is therefore able to control nearly every department of human industry. No Ameri-can citizen can deposit a ballot in the ballot-box until it has been so marked that it can be taken to Brigham Young or his subordinates for inspection. He is able to so control juries that but few, if any, verdicts can be rendered except such as may be agreeable to him, and he has all the power over the great mass of Mormons here that a General has over his sol-diers in the field.
Such crimes as the Mountain Meadows mas-sacre cannot be punished. Such gigantic swindles as the Order of Enoch—the tithing system, etc.—cannot be interfered with, and such privileges as free schools and the per-sonal disposition and use of property, cannot be vouch safed to the poor people. To use one of the favorite figures of Brigham and the priesthood, the people are to be ground and molded as the potter's clay.
Let these evils be remedied and polygamy will gradually disappear. Let the ballot be made free from priestly espionage, let the jury law be amended and the courts be made effective; let this priestly absolute despotism be overthrown, and let the President appoint to Utah, and sustain faithful officials who will assert and maintain the supremacy of Amer-ican law and government and the appliances of civilization and Christianity will remove that abomination of abominations—polygamy. Moreover, 100,000 slaves will then be free in Utah, and will be, in fact, a part of America.
What we wish the nation to understand is that there exists in this republic a pretended theocracy, which, under the heel of one of the bloodiest and most absolute despotisms that ever afflicted humanity, grinds to the earth 100,000 American citizens. What we ask of Congress is a free ballot, an amended jury law, and free schools; and what we ask of the President is that he will not allow Brigham Young to defy and manipulate this Government, as he boasts that he has done for years through his multitudinous agencies.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
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