Young Mormon Girls—Their Secret So cieties and Struggles to Escape-At-tempted Elopement of One of Brig. ham Young's Daughters.
[Salt Lake Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.]
Great efforts have been made to keep what I am going to tell a secret. I heard it pretty direct at the time, but doubted it. Since, however, I have re-ceived confirmation sufficient to convince me that it is substantially true. It seems that the Mormon girls, who have not yet ''got religion," are very much opposed to polygamy. They had rather spend an hour in the company of a congenial sinner than a year in that of a saint, especially if the former is young, holds his head high, and is withal good look-ing. There are occasionally such among the Gen-tiles, never among the Mormons. The girls call the young saints "cayuses," the Gentiles call them "Yahoos." The poor, dear things are very art-less, and unless you have so delicate a respect for their helplessness as to withdraw your eyes, you cannot help seeing through and through them the same as you do through a window. Well, they man-age to inveigle the Gentiles into an acquaintance through their brothers, through mutual friends, who are about 'alf-and-'alf, by telegraphing on the street, flirting at the Tabernacle or the theatre—with the eyes only, mind you, and that very slyly. Brigham once spoke in such a tone to one as to make her faint away, for looking from the Mormon pit of the theatre up to the Gentile dress-circle, where, I suppose, her lover sat. Suffice it that a likely young fellow, whom for variety I will call John Smith, became thus acquainted with Nabby, one of Brigham's daughters, and, in course of time, their intercourse ripened into true love. An elopement was planned, relays of horses stationed along the road hence to Uintah, and about two weeks ago, in the latter hours of the night, the streets rather deserted and darkness largely prevailing, the adventurous swain drove slowly west with his buggy along South Temple street, past the royal grounds, which were early closed that night for some reason; past Temple Block, and still further westward. Four or five po-licemen issued from the vicinity of the Tithing Of-fice and followed the buggy. Anon a slight scuffle and a smothered scream were heard, and a moment or two after the royal carriage, with blinds drawn, dashed by on the gallop and whirled through the Eagle gate. John Smith drove his buggy back to the stable, hung around the town for a day or two, and then went to San Francisco. A po-liceman with "a head on him" was seen occasionally. Nabby was locked up in the King's castle, and that is all. It appears that Nabby was to meet John Smith three squares west of her father's corral, and, getting into a buggy, they were to fly on the wings of love to a land of liberty. Both had evidently been watched, and just as the girl was entering the buggy the police appeared, chucked her into Brigham's carriage, which was also unaccounta-bly on hand, and, having thus effectually clipped the aforesaid wings, either from policy or fear, allowed Smith to go about his business. In former times he would undoubtedly have been killed without cere-mony, but it would hardly do now, and besides, John Smith happened to be connected with people who could and would have made some trouble had he been assassinated. The girls have a secret society for helping each other away, saving up their money, &c.—the little traitors. God bless them! Brigham knows all about it, and laughs at them, telling them that when they get religion they will be ashamed of such foolishness. It makes an honest man's heart ache to see and know of such things, and be powerless in the premises. The idea of girls, in the first blush and blossom of womanhood—the sweetest, most charming creatures on earth, frail as a flower, transparent as a trout brook—having a secret society! Why, such a man as Brigham can read their every thought. And that they should be driven to attempt it in self-defence, is pitiful. With a woman, as we all know, one thing is everything. Her purity—without that she had better never have been. Now, though they may themselves be as pure the twentieth wife as the first, still the opinion, and custom, and religion, and law of their race, the net result of ages of experience, hold them neither more nor less than concubines, in this plural marriage, to which every Mormon girl must look forward as her doom, through all the days of her maidenhood. Lost, immolated, a human being, with all its capacity for suffering or enjoying, fallen, ruined! We may regard it with a good deal of com-placency, since it doesn't touch us or ours, but it is terrible on the Mormon girls—those intelligent enough to know what it is—and are not their efforts to save themselves, humble and vain as they must be affecting to the last degree? This little episode, which I assure you is true, lets a whole flood of light in on the action of the Saints in so promptly in-augurating the Utah Railroad. It is plain that a railroad running from their chief city, which was not in their control, would be very damaging. There would soon be seven men laying hold of one woman instead of the other thing.
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