The Prophet and the Speaker- The Ques-tion of Polygamy in Utah for Congress.
The readers of the Herald were furnish-ed yesterday with the report of a spicy interview between the Hon. James G. Blaine, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Brigham Young, the Mormon Prophet. The points of the conversation were direct and incisive and indicate very conclusively that the Speaker cannot be enrolled among those Members of Congress who have been so glamored by Brigham or his agents. The Speaker's clear and emphatic enunciation that "Utah can never be admitted as a State so long as the institution of polygamy is upheld and practiced by the Mormon Church" fell upon Brigham unexpectedly, although the same fact has been announced time and time again by the President and other members of the government. The Speaker's further enunciation that "Con-gress will adopt such measures as in its opinion may be necessary to maintain the federal authority in this Territory" was as unlooked for, but a very proper response to the defiant query of the Prophet, "What are you going to do about it?" But there is underlying these semi-prophetic political assertions an unpublished history that prom-ises to be as deeply interesting to the pub-lic on the assembling of the next Congress as was the Credit Mobilier scandal during the last session.
During the last session of Congress eve-ry possible effort was made to induce that body to look at the judicial position of Utah. President Grant issued a special message asking the attention of Congress to Utah, and personally interested himself in asking both the Senate and the House to pass some act that would settle the anomalous condi tion of affairs in that Territory. The Sen-ate passed a bill that would have settled all this trouble, but the House would not look at it. There was no direct and open hos-tility to the Senate bill, but an unmista-kable determination to kill it by delay. It would be superfluous to repeat ail the state-ments made in the Capitol during the last hours of the session upon this bill; but nothing is more certain than the fact that Brigham Young's agents were successful in preventing any act of legislation, and the retiring delegate, the Hon. William II. Hooper, gloried in the fact that he had dur-ing his ten years' representation of Utah, been able to prevent any legislation inimi cal to the wishes of the Prophet. In con-nection with the defeat of the Utah bill we may state that the Gentile opposition in Utah affirm that they are in possession of one check for $10,000 that was paid to a prominent Representative, and also the checks paid to the publisher of a Washing-ton paper and to a popular correspondent of a Western paper, and, besides these, other evidences of corruption in favor of Brig-ham's projects. These facts were doubtless communicated to Mr. Speaker Blaine, and being added to his own observation of the judicial muddle in Utah, called forth his very direct and unreserved language, which the nation will endorse.
So elated had the Mormon Prophet be-come with his success in Washington dur-ing the last session of Congress that he has resolved to send down next December one of his apostles with his four wives to repre-sent Utah at the seat of government. If the sentiments of Speaker Blaine are to be regarded as any indication of the temper of the House, it is very certain that the "Apos tle" Cannon cannot hold his seat.
He has openly violated the Anti-polygam ic law of Congress. Should Congress per-mit Cannon to take his desk and retain it Brigham will achieve a great triumph. Should Congress maintain its dignity and oust the representative of this barbarism the national legislature will command the respect of the civilized world.
Ever since the Territory of Utah was or-ganized the Mormons have managed to keep up a perpetual strife between their own Courts and the United States federal Courts created by act of Congress; and by some fatality hovering over that unfortunate country, it would seem that this judicial wrangling and confusion will never be brought to an end. At the beginning of last year it did took at one time as if the sway of the Mormon Courts wasnearly over and as if the federal officers and the fed-eral Courts were triumphant. The rulings of Chief Justice McKean and his Associate Justices, Hawley and Strickland, were di-rect and trenchant, striking terror into the hearts of prominent Mormons who had been accrued of crime. About a dozen of the eld-ers and leaders, including in that number Brigham Young himself were indicted for murder and placed under arrest. The day of settlement then seemed at hand.
The Prophet's arrest told suddenly upon his health. He was dreadfully chagrined and mortified, and but for the fear of his dying in close confinement the Chief Jus-tice would have sent him to the military calaboose at Camp Douglass, overlooking Salt Lake City. He was accordingly, and very wisely, permitted to consider himself a prisoner in his own harem, wtih only a gentlemanly Deputy United States Marshal to give, for form's sake, a glance at him now and again, so that the Mormon people would realize that there was no foundation for the cry of persecution.
Everything that wealth and promise of political preferment could accomplish at Washington was enlisted to secure the deci-sion of the Supreme Court of the United States in reversal of the rulings of the Su-preme Court of the Territory. To this end donations were solicited and collections made everywhere among the disciples and their Gentile friends to meet the expenses of the Mormon agents, and money flowed freely "where it would do the most good." Curiously enough, a distinguished Repre-sentative and member of the House Territorial Judiciary Committee was understood to be retained as one of Brigham's legal advisers; and, what is no less curious, the de-cision of the Supreme Court was so well known in Utah before its delivery in Wash-ington that Brigham continued the session of his annual conference from the 6th of April, from Sunday to Sunday, till the decision was telegraphed, and he could ap-pear among the faithful in the enjoyment of the fullest liberty. On the Sunday fol-lowing he gave the assembled faithful his parting blessing, with a soul radiant with the glory of his greatest triumph "over his enemies."
The Mormon Probate Court sprung in-stantly into life again, and, in defiance of all precedent and law, at Brigham's com-mand, simply upon the unofficial announce ment of the decision of the Supreme Court at Washington, issued a habeas corpus com manding the United States Marshal to bring the body of Brigham Young into Court, & c The Marshal protested in vain, and, demoral ized by the unlooked for news, feared to call for military force to retain possesiion of the prophet-prisoner till the official docu mentreached him.
Brigham cracked his finders and walked out of court with imperial step and dignity. He has triumphed-he thought so. Since that day-a whole year ago-the Courts of Utah have been a perfect farce, a joke and a byword among the exultant disciples, and the federal Judges have only held court in matters of civil suit when the contestants would agree to accept the juries selected by the Mormon Territorial Marshal, and whom they have not failed to inform the Bar was not the proper officer of the Court.
This statement of Judge McKean was im mediately telegraphed to Washington and cognizance taken of it at the Judicial De-partment of the government. At first glance it was believed that the Chief Ju-stice of Utah had disregarded the decision of the Chief Justice of the United States, but on examination it was discovered that the present Mormon incumbent of the Territor-ial Marshal's office had been removed from office, by judgment of ouster, by the pre decessor of Judge McKean; and Utah is to day without a criminal court, and has only by mutual acceptance of litigants, a civil court. Such a condition of things in any Territory of the United States is a disgrace to the nation. Very recently Brigham Young himself acknowledged this muddle, and when a case was brought before the dis trict Court, in which the Prophet was plaintiff, he admitted that the defendant's challenges to the jury summoned by his own Mormon Marshal were points well taken, and the suit was struck from the docket. This acknowledgment when Brig-ham was plaintiff is a clear indication of his intention to challenge when defendant, and practically there is no federal Court in Utah.
It is certain that, whether Congress is willing or not, the subject of Mor- monism will be brought before it in a manner that will not admit of either procrastination or prevarication. We shall then find out on whose side the "worrying" will be. The exposure of Mormon intrigues may hurt somebody; but only the galled jades need wince. The aim, however, should be higher than this. The denunciation, the conviction of the corrupt is a duty; but the blotting out of the disgrace of Mormonism has become a necessity. The vulgar de-fiance which the Prophet has borrowed from the false and now fallen Prophet of Tammany will be asked in another tone when Congress meets-What are you going to do about it?
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