THE SALT LAKE SAINTS.
Discordant Elements in Brigham Young's Household—The Two Smiths Still at Work—How Brigham Tried to Es-cape the Internal Revenue Tax—Brigham, Jr., Inter-viewed Again,
&c., &c., &c.
[CORRESPONDENCE OF THE WORLD.]
SALT LAKE CITY, October, 1869.
SIR: The recent emeute in the Mormon Church is creating a great deal of excitement here among both “Saints" and “Gentiles." The detection of E. L. T. Harrison and E. W. Tullidge, editors and proprietors of the Utah Magazine, has been expected for some time past. Recent articles in that period-ical have pointed to exactly such a course as they have pursued, and the liberal sentiments proclaimed by them have been hailed as inaugurating a new era to Mormon journalism. It is yet uncertain whether they will publish the Magazine in the interests of the Smiths, or pursue a strictly neutral course, inter-meddling with the doctrines of neither party. They cannot hope to receive any sup-port from the adherents of Brigham, but will undoubtedly gain many subscribers among the "Gentiles" and Josephites. T. B. H. Sten-house, editor of the Telegraph, has for a long time been out of the "church ring," and Brigham has made many attempts to "freeze him out." The Deseret Daily News was started for that express pur-pose, and bishops throughout the Territory were re-quired to canvass for it, and use their influence in its favor. The faithful were even commanded to stop their subscriptions to the Telegraph and sub-scribe for the News. Under the pressure of circum-stances, Stenhouse removed his paper to Ogden, hoping that place would be made the junction of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads. Disap-pointed in this hope, and having lost money while waiting for some action upon the part of the two companies, the Telegraph was moved back to Salt Lake City. Its proprietor found himself getting deeper and deeper into hot water with the Mormon leaders, and finally an event occurred which capped the climax, and placed Mr. Stenhouse outside the pale of Brigham's church. The police of Salt Lake City and the Police Justice had been engaged in a black-mailing operation, in which a “Gentile" was the victim. A Mormon girl, a notorious woman of the town, had been in-duced to make an appointment with a “Gentile" hotel-keeper, who was known to have plenty of money, and, a month afterwards, to prefer a charge of rape against him. By threats of taking his life, they extorted from the "Gentile" over $1,100, and then ordered him to leave the country. Mr. Stenhouse reported the affair in the columns of his paper, animadverting in strong terms upon the conduct of the police and the "justice." They immediately complained to Brigham of the severe criticism to which their acts had been subjected in the Tele-graph. Stenhouse was summoned before the School of the Prophets," commanded to apologize to Justice Clinton, and ask forgiveness of the “priesthood." This he refused to do, and hence the action upon the part of the “Prophets." Brig-ham has given him one week in which to repent and ask forgiveness, failing which the action of the “School of the Prophets," will be confirmed by a vote of the people in the Tabernacle. W. S. Godbe, a leading Mormon merchant, and the husband of four wives, has also been suspended in con-junction with the others. He is a half-owner of the Utah Magazine, and was commanded by Brigham to suspend the publication of that journal on account of its too lib-eral sentiments. This he refused to do, and Brig-ham, who never hesitates to sacrifice a friend who opposes him, placed him at once under the ban of the church. The readers of THE WORLD may per-haps be curious to know what the “School of the Prophets" is. It is simply a secret assemblage of church dignitaries and leading Mormons in the inter-ests of Brigham. Cards of membership are issued to such persons as he wishes to attend, and he pre-sides over the meetings as chief ruler of the syna-gogue. The meetings are held every Saturday after-noon, and during its secret sessions contumacious individuals are tried for their offences, and ac-quitted or condemned at the pleasure of Brigham, who completely controls the action of the tribunal. The work inaugurated by Alexander and David Smith may yet become a splendid success; and the visions which the editor of the Salt Lake Reporter once had, in which he saw Brigham fleeing from the fury of his own people, and seeking protection with the United States troops at Camp Douglas, may be-come a reality. At all events, a schism has been started in the Mormon Church which may shake Brigham's power to its foundation, and possibly bring about a speedier solution of the Mormon ques-tion than has yet been anticipated. The schismatics should, however, be made secure by the govern-ment in the protection of life, liberty, and prop-erty, or Brigham will find a way, with the aid of his Danites, to effectually silence them. Dr. Taggart, the new Assessor of Internal Revenue, still remains firm in his determination to make the Mormons pay their share of the national debt by handing over the revenues of which the gov-ernment has been so long defrauded. Although the revenues of the Mormon Church amount to an im-mense sum annually, the former Assessor made no attempt to tax the church income, and even the private incomes of the Mormon leaders were re-turned at figures so low as to appear fraudulent upon the face of the papers. The attempt upon the part of the present Assessor to compel a proper return of church and other incomes is characterized by the Mormons as persecution, and threats are freely uttered against the Assessor if he persists in his determination to make the Mormons pay up. As an instance of the heavy loss of revenue which the government would sustain through the action of the former Assessor, if the mat-ter was not corrected, your correspondent gives the following: The Corporation of Salt Lake City has is-sued notes of the denomination of twenty-five cents, fifty cents, one and two dollars, amounting in the aggregate to the sum of $190,000. The returns of the Treasurer were made each month to the former Assessor, General Chetlain, of the issue for that particular month, with the tax figured out at 1-12 of 1 per cent., the amount of tax assessed on bankers, and this return was accepted by the former Asses-sor as correct. Section 6, of the act of March 3, 1865, requires a tax of ten per cent to be assessed upon the amount of notes issued by corporations, or private individuals, and designed to circulate as money.
Ten per cent on $190,000 is…$19,000.00
One-twelfth of one per cent, on $190,-
000 is… 158.33 1/3
Leaving the sum of…$18,841.66 2/3
which the government would lose did not the pres-ent Assessor enforce the provisions of the revenue act against the corporation. The profits derived from the circulation of these notes form a portion of the church revenues, although not appearing in that shape as the corporation of Salt Lake City, is a mere creature of the Mormon Church leaders, and a part of the church machinery. Brigham Young was also required to make a full, complete, and proper return of the rents, profits, and incomes of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Lat-ter Day Saints," in his character as trustee in trust of that organization. At first Brigham flatly refused, and stated that he would neither make the return nor afford the Assessor any information whereby he could make the assessment himself. The As-sessor, however, stated his determination to make the assessment from the best in-formation he could obtain, in case Brig-ham did not make a return within the time limited by law; that he should not estimate the amount of income at too low a figure, and should impose all the penalties which the law allowed him to. Under these circumstances, Brigham forwarded a return to the Deputy Assessor, a Mormon, in which he stated the total income of the Mormon Church for 1868 to be $440. The return was signed by Brigham Young, as a private individual, and not in his character of trustee in trust, and the affidavit attached to the return was filled up and also signed by him. It may have been sworn to or it may not, as Brigham has never yet personally sworn to a return made by him, the swearing having been done by one of his clerks, who was, of course, absolved from the sin of false swearing by Brigham's “divine" power. The tithing alone paid by the Mormon people each year, in produce, money, &c., cannot possibly be less than $500,000, and the probabilities are that the amount is double those figures. The revenue of the Mormon Church from the manufacture and sale of whiskey amounts to $100,000 more, besides nu-merous other sources of revenue, the amounts of which cannot be definitely specified. As in the case of the issue of corporation scrip, the Mormons raise the cry of persecution, and talk about an appeal to the courts, by which, however, they cannot gain anything, and will find themselves heavy losers. The papers and opinion of the United States District-Attorney for Utah thereon have been forwarded to Washington for the inspection and opinion of the Commissioner, where they now remain. Brigham and the Mormons profess loyalty to the government, and a willingness to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the United States, while at the same time they are doing all in their power to defraud the government of its lawful revenues. The incomes of all the leading Mormons have been returned at amounts far below what they actually were, of which fact the present Assessor is fully satisfied, and will see that it is not done in the future. David and Alexander Smith still continue their preaching in opposition to Brigham Young, and will do much to increase and spread the schism in the Mormon Church. Every scheme which Brigham could de-vise has been employed by him to counteract the effects produced by them on the minds of the people. One plan adopted by him is to send a certain number of polygamists from each ward to attend the Smith meetings, with instructions to fill up all the front seats, and, if possible, to crowd the house, to the exclusion of those not polygamists, who would be likely to become converts to the Josephite doctrines. Joseph F. Smith, one of Brigham's apostles, and cousin to David and Alexander Smith, still attends their meetings, taking notes of the discourses for the purpose of replying at the Fourteenth Ward meeting-house, in the evening. Joseph F. Smith is a polyga-mist, and a firm supporter of Brigham's authority. He claims that his father, Hiram Smith, and “Joseph, the Martyr," both practised polygamy in Nauvoo, and he gets over the published denials of their belief in, or practice of, any such doctrine, by the assertion that they were obliged to deny it under the circumstances in which they were placed, and the dangers which they ran in avowing it. He claims that, under these circumstances, their denials were only pious lies, fully justified by the situation of affairs. I shall endeavor to keep you posted upon the progress of the schism and the success of the Smiths, as well as other matters of general interest here. H. W. J.
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