From the Albany Journal
The Plague of Grasshoppers.
The Grasshoppers Solve the Mormon Question.
God's Providence is seemingly disposing of a political question al-ready much debated throughout the Republic, and threatening to be of distracting interest in the future.—Statesmen will probably be saved the trouble of solving the difficul-ties growing upon the Mormon po-licy. The grasshoppers have them in charge, and are rasping and eat-ing a solution right through them.
The Salt Lake Valley is but a cluster of oases in a desert. The surveying engineers of the United States army have reported that there are but four hundred square miles of arable land in all the Basin. This is in separate tracts, with intervals of desert, and is con-fined to the streams of water that descend from the mountains. To be cultivated the soil of Utah has to be subjected to artificial irrigation.
Agriculture is the basis of the prosperity, and of the life indeed, of a State. Notwithstanding the in-dustrial training of the Mormons; notwithstanding their indomitable courage and all the great excellen-cies of the stock of which they are derived, deficiency of crops and po-sitive want of food must inevitably be the incidents of their life in the Salt Lake Valley, with longer and shorter intervals of recurrence. In seeking a hiding place and fortress for their faith they have seemingly made a mistake. Their agriculture can never flourish there, though their religion may.
Unfortunately, too, they have placed wide deserts on both sides of them to divide them from the food of the true agricultural soils. If they would they cannot exchange their iron, wool, cloth, leather, and crock-ery for wheat and flour. The im-mense distances of the transport from California, Oregon and Wis-consin preclude the idea of carrying food to the Mormons. It would be cheaper to move the Mormons to the food. It is already a debated ques-tion in the church of the Latter Day Saints if they can stay in the Salt Lake Valley. The Mormons of the East are of the opinion that its re-sources have been exaggerated, and that they can never suffice for the support of a great State nor main-tain an asylum for their persecuted faith and policy.
But an evil, extraordinary and superadded to those which are chro-nic and constitutional with Utah, now presses the Mormons sharply and threatens a speedy end to their civil existence, as well as a solution of all the religio-political questions which their organization has been projecting these three years past into federal discussion. Countless swarms of grasshoppers are busy devouring the vegetation of Utah. They have wholly ate up the wheat, save scattered patches which have been preserved by the labor of men, women, and children, organized into relieving squads, who with willow brushes, have painfully swept the in-sects into running water, where open bags caught them. These were emp-tied into trenches and buried up.
On the 1st of June the winter grain crop of Utah was represented to be lost. On the fields devastated by the grasshoppers the courage-ous Mormons were ploughing and harrowing in preparation for the planting of potatoes and corn. Are they not planting food for the grass-hoppers? Sixty thousand Mormons in the Salt Lake Valley may experi-ence hunger this winter. If they do, and if their faith be not stronger than the love of life, Utah is doomed to a steady depopulation and Mor-monism is broken and lost.
From The New York Evening Post.
The Mormons and the Plague of Grasshoppers.
Some of the newspapers are dis-cussing the chances that the Mor-mons, in their colony far remote from the markets of the East and the West alike, may be reduced to a famine by the swarms of grasshop-pers which have invaded the narrow region of fertility enclosed by the de-serts occupying the basin of the Salt Lake. This visitation seems to have taken the community of Deseret by surprise; they seem to have forgotten that all dry regions, in which the soil depends for its moisture in a great degree upon ir-rigation, are subject to devastations of armies of insects. In the East it is the locust, not the insect known here by that name, which, after it leaves the earth in its winged state, eats nothing, but an insect of a very different class, with remarkably om-nivorous propensities, that strips the trees of their foliage, devours in-discriminately every green thing, and leaves the earth bare of vegetation. On our continent the principal in-sect-destroyer of vegetation, parti-cularly of the gramineous plants, is the grasshopper. In dry seasons the ravages of the grasshoppers have frequently proved a serious calamity to particular districts of this country, not generally, however, of great ex-tent. They devour the grasses and grains; but, unlike the locusts of the East, they leave the plants; of the locust of Asia eats every thing—a bit of woollen cloth with apparently as much gusto as a leaf of cabbage.—Rain is an efficacious protection a-gainst the grasshopper. In a rainy season they are bred, if at all, only in very inconsiderable num-bers, and when they are numerous a plentiful rain drowns them by my-riads, or a few wet days exterminate them completely. In such a coun-try as that of the Mormons, how-ever, where rain rarely falls, no hope can be entertained of any relief from this cause, and the devastations of an army of grasshoppers once begun must go on till the term of life allot-ted to the insect is completed.
We suppose that all the countries which have been lately annexed to the United States—New Mexico and California, as well as Utah, and we might include with them the western part of Kansas and Nebraska—will, as they become covered with harvests of the cereal grains, be occasionally subject to this cause of dearth. It may thus hereafter happen that over an immense tract, from San Diego to where the fields begin to be moist-ened by the mists of Oregon, and from the Pacific to the Rocky Moun-tains, inhabited by millions of peo-ple, the fruits of the earth may be devoured by this pest, the expected supply of corn be suddenly cut off, and the country compelled to depend on the Atlantic States for bread.
The fruits of countries in which there is almost perpetual sunshine, and where agriculture is carried on by irrigation, are matured to the highest degree of flavor and sweetness, and the earth yields her increase earlier, and, under favorable circumstances, more abundantly. In the constant sunshine of Egypt they take three crops annually from the soil. The wonder of the inhabitants of our Atlantic shore has been awakened by the enormously heavy ears of wheat sent hither from California, the size of which is manifestly the effect of climate, for the soil here may be and often is enriched to any degree that is desirable. Against these advantages the danger of a perfect failure of crops, occasionally occurring from the ravages of insects, must be set off.
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