BRIGHAM YOUNG, JR., INTERVIEWED.
The Son of the Prophet Waylaid by a Newspaper Man, and His Views Extracted-What He Thinks of the Pacific Railroads-Their effect on Mormonism-The Girl of the Period-Where the Converts of the Church Come From-&c., &c., &c.
[From the Philadelphia Post.]
Learning that so notable a personage as Brigham Young, Jr., was in our city, a reporter of the Post yesterday paid a visit to the residence of the gentle-man whose truest he is, and shortly after our name being announced Mr. Young presented himself. Mr. Young is a man of apparently about 45 years of age, about five feet ten inches in stature, somewhat stout, of a ruddy healthy complexion; his face is round and full, his eyes large, clear, and penetrat-ing, his head slightly bald on the top; he wears closely cropped whiskers, and his whole appearance remindedus more of a country gentleman tanner rather than anything else, and was plain evidence to us that so far as healthiness is con-cerned, there is no "discounting" the cli-mate of Utah. From the first moment we judged him to be what he afterwards proved, a thorough, highly educated and cultivated gentle-man. On stating the object of our visit, Mr. Young very frankly said to us that he would be glad to give us any information possible, but that he strongly objected to being placed before the public for the simple reason that he, and the church to which he belongs, were in a majority of cases vilified. He cited to us several instances in which his statements had been garbled and distorted to suit the views of those who looked upon the people of Utah as a set of heathens. On our stating to Mr. Young that such was not our intention, but that we were, on the con-trary, seeking after genuine information, he readily assented to our request, and at once entered into a free, open conversation.
THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD.
''What is your opinion as to the effect the Union Pacific Railroad will have upon your church?" we asked.
He replied at once: "We consider it one of the best moves ever made for us as a people."
''You have no fear of the influx it will create?"
''No, sir; on the contrary, we are glad to have it; we seek such influx; we are glad to have all honora-ble people visit us, so that they may judge of us forthemselves."
"Will it not afford a chance of escape for the dis-contented ones?"
He smilingly replied, "Well, our people make this proposition—if the philanthropists of Philadel-phia wish to free those whom they think are impris-oned in Salt Lake City, let them pay the fares of all who wish to emigrate from here there, and we will willingly pay the fares of all that may wish to re-turn."
THE WOMAN OF THE PERIOD.
"What do you think of our people?" "Well, I think they have very near reached the zenith in dress. When I was in Philadelphia, in 1864, I was struck with a number of fine-looking women whom I met on the streets as being something un-usual for such a city, but during my present visit I have failed to meet a single handsome lady. High-heeled boots, the Grecian bend and the blending of all the colors of the rainbow in their dress has com-pletely overshadowed their beauty. I remember" said he, ''seeing the 'Girl of the Period' carica-tured at our theatre in Utah, and I then considered it overdrawn, but I have now seen the original in its perfection. Tell me." said he, "what do the sensi-ble men of your city think of the conduct of such women?"
We replied that "they looked upon it as a species of folly."
''Well. I think it is the extreme of folly" he re-plied. "Beauty unadorned is sufficient."
HIS OPINION OF CALIFORNIA.
"You were in California lately?" we remarked. "Yes, sir" he replied. "What do you think of the Coolie system? Will It affect you any?"
"No, sir. And in my opinion the Californians will not submit to the Coolie trade much longer. Why, the Coolies are more abused than we ever were. So far as we are concerned, I believe that the Califor-nians would be glad to receive us as a people at any time, sooner than allow us quit the country."
WHERE CONVERTS COME FROM.
"Where do you gain most proselytes?" we asked.
"The principal supply comes from England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and they make the best of citizens. Our emigration sys-tem is this: A fund is made up in Utah, to which all contribute according to their means; then we have elders in all the principal towns, to whom those that wish to emigrate pay as much as they can weekly, until enough has accrued to pay their ex-penses to Utah; the cost to bring a family is generally £100 sterling. When a man is out of work, and wishes to emigrate, the elders make advancements, for which he gives his note, payable after he has established himself comfortably in Utah. Before the construction of the Union Pacific we used to an-nually fit out 500 teams of eight oxen each, fully provisioned, at the cost of $500,000 annually, for the transportation of them from the Missouri to Salt Lake. The journey then generally took three months; now it is accomplished in fifty hours.
"How do your people look upon the general gov-ernment?"
Our feelings toward the general government are these: We will accept all the officers that are sent us, so long as they treat us as American citi-zens, and do not attempt to override us; we would like to be admitted as a State, but still are willing to remain as a territory."
"Yes; but how about polygamy?"
"I think the solution of that question will never be reached by government legislation. It can never be handled by the government, for sooner than sub-mit to any interference, our people would rise and desolate the spot they have beautified and move away. Let me tell you something about Utah" said he. ''The moral condition of Utah is excel-lent; our people have not the time to concoct schemes of immorality; they are too con-stantly occupied in building upon and improving the land, and therefore have no leisure time to spend in vicious pursuits or plea-sures. We have no houses of prostitution, no nymphs du pave, nor none of the licentiousness prev-alent in your cities. Neither have we vigilance committees nor murderers. Crime is unknown. We are determined that bawdy houses, rum shops and such things shall not spring up around us. If liquor must be sold it shall be done under the super-vision and control of the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen. Our police force is the best of any city in the world. We are not like you here, afraid to walk your streets after nightfall, but, on the con-trary, the veriest child can go anywhere at any hour of the night unmolested. An indecent word is a thing unknown upon the streets of Salt Lake City, and in them you are as safe at any time as we now are in this room. We have 130 cities, towns, and villages, with settlements in Arizona and Montana, and number over 200,000 souls. In what we call 'Southern Dixie' we produce cotton in abundance; that is, when the grasshoppers allow us. We have five woollen factories in full operation, and another one is being built at Provost, forty miles south of Salt Lake City, that will run 1,600 spindles.
THE EASTERN STATES TO BE PROSELYTED.
''We have quite a number of old Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians in Utah. Some of them have been there for over twenty years. They are to re-turn to visit their friends this winter, and, of course, proselyte all they can. Some 180 of our elders will come East and scatter among their friends, some going to Canada. We calculate that they will stump every State from Maine to Texas. Every State in the Union will have our elders preaching in it this winter."
THE SEX OF THE CONVERTS.
"You generally convert more males than fe-males?" we remarked.
"No, sir, strange as it may seem, we convert more females. We think strongly of sending," he added, smilingly, "missionaries down to Massa-chusetts to convert that thirty thousand who have no chance to marry. If they come out to us they can get husbands and raise children."
''Are there any persons in Utah that do not belong to your church?"
"Yes, sir. There are scores of people who are not of us but who live with us and are highly re-spected. Utah presents one advantage," he added, "the people there don't rent. We all live under our own roofs and own our own homes. This ac-counts for our prosperity.
WHERE HE IS GOING.
Mr. Young's visit to our city is purely for pleasure, he intends leaving immediately (having been here several days) for the East to fulfil some important business engagements. He expressed surprise at our visit, saying he had thought his presence in the city entirely unknown, and requesting that his res-idence should not be published. He is accompanied by one of his wives and seems to enjoy himself heartily.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.