The Old Mormons Likely to Give
Approach to the Salt Lake Valley-- Weber Canon--Lacustrine View.
From Our Own Correspondent.
UTAH, March 2, 1873.
The great question for solution now is
THE MORMON QUESTION,
and people in this Territory are thoroughly roused up about it. One thing is certain, and that is, Mormonism is the most dreadful tyranny ever exercised over any white people on this Continent, and is full as degrading as old-fashioned negro slavery. People in the States can scarcely conceive how "like dumb, driven cattle" the majority of Mormons are; nor can they conceive what absolute delight the firm stand taken by the President gives to every re-spectable and law-abiding man. That this foul blot on one of our fairest Territories may be wiped out, is earnestly to be desired. It is no longer any use to dally with the matter; it is a thing that must be firmly dealt with, and, if necessary, the whole diseased and corrupt mass must be cut off. The Mormons have been trifled with long enough, and now it is necessary to take some decisive action.
If the Mormons leave the Territory
IN A BODY,
it will be the best thing that can happen, as, in that case, their places will be filled with an honest, law-abiding people, and a flourishing State soon be built up. As things now stand, they are a check upon all advancement, and their close corporation effectually stops any-thing like real enterprise.
If the Mormons had not monopolized Utah, it would to-day have been filled up with a happy population, and would have been
THE FOREMOST STATE
on the Pacific Slope, next after California. The cry that the Mormons have built up Utah is all nonsense; they filled it up in a certain way, it is true, but, in so doing, debarred respectable men from Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri from peopling her fair valleys, and opening the rich silver veins on the mountain-sides. Here, beside the great inland sea, there would have been a city far in advance of what Salt Lake City is now; and it is fair to suppose the Territory would have contained over 200,000 inhabitants. But respectable men, with their families, would not settle in Utah, for the reason that they were un-able to speak their minds freely, lest some bloody ruffian, like Bill Hickman, or some other rascal of the Mormon Church, should murder them; and, if any one had any doubts about the ability of the Mormons to commit murder, let him read Bill Hickman's life. A more sickening list of atrocious murders has never been printed.
During the cold weather, the great Tabernacle is closed ; but, if a person wishes to hear Mor-monism pure and undefiled, let him visit one of their
or meeting-houses, on Sunday, and his wishes will be gratified. There are twenty of the as-eembly-rooms in Salt Lake City,—being one for each ward. While in these assembly-rooms, the people observe great decorum, and the Elders preach to them. A majority of the Elders are foreigners, and the way they "slash about" the English language is a caution. But that seems to make little difference, as they go at it hammer and tongs, and pound away for dear life. The singing is creditable, and shows training. Their form of worship appears to be copied after that of the Methodists, and, were it not for the fre-quent use of the name of Joseph Smith, one could almost fancy he was listening to a regular Methodist sermon. Very few people, aside from the Mormons, attend these meetings.
IT IS A SHAME
that the whole of this fair land should be given up to this nest of fanatics. Were they removed, a fair commonwealth would spring up, and another star could be added to our National flag. But, as long as the Mormons hold this country, it cannot be done, as Americans are determined that no State shall ever be admitted into the Union which is blighted with the curse of Mor-monism, with all its senseless ceremonies and gibberish, and its criminal polygamy. It is high time something was being done with this com-munity of outlaws.
It has been too much the fashion to gloss over the failings of these people ; but the time for action has come, and I sincerely trust something may be done towards solving this knotty prob-lem. Here, in a Territory belonging to the United States, it has been almost impossible for a citizen to get along at all, unless he would fall in with the ways of these people. All of his enterprises came to naught, and all of his efforts to advance himself were rendered fruitless. Great mountain-ruffians assaulted innocent men in the streets, and left their corpses to stiffen in the cool night-air.
The Mormons are drifting southward, and it is difficult at present to tell
WHAT THEIR INTENTIONS ARE.
It is hardly to be presumed that they are going to prepare a new city, like the present one at Salt Lake, merely to be obliged to abandon it in a few years. For the fact is, polygamy must and will be broken up ; and the Mormons will be no more able to defend it than they would be to defend legalized robbery or murder. The whole system is rotten, and no one could have foreseen that a handful of ignorant people, full of bigotry, would have been able to build up a system which has given so much trouble to a great nation like ours.
The first expedition to Utah, under command of Gen. Albert S. Johnston, was a failure from beginning to end, and the Mormons were able to laugh their sleeves and deride the whole thing; but it was far different when
crossed the Jordan with his drums beating and colors flying, and the Mormons were given to understand that there would be no more fooling, and, though our country was engaged in a great war, she had yet time to give a dose to the polyg-amists which they would remember for a long time. Col. Conner’s men were California volunteers, ready and eager for a fight, and the Mor-mons knew well enough that the mockery of again abandoning their houses would not go down. There would be no one now to ran after them and implore them to come back, but the Californians would gladly see them go, never to return.
In those times, one hypocritical old Mormon met a volunteer officer, and commenced the old-fashioned whining way of talking and threaten-ng, saying the Saints (?) were determined to abandon the city and move off southward, but would first be obliged to burn the houses. The volunteer stood this for a little while, and then dryly remarked that there would be no house-burning done; "for, "said he, "we have some heavy guns at Camp Douglas, and those guns command your city; the first attempt you make towards the destruction of this property,
WE WILL OPEN FIRE UPON YOU,
and shell you until you are glad to get out of the way with your miserable carcasses. The day of threatening has gone by. You are at perfect liberty to move off as soon as you wish, but it must be distinctly understood that no property can be done away with.”
This was a new view to take of the subject, and, from that time forward, there was very lit-tle said about abandoning the city. Our soldiers were prepared to fight, and felt rather anxious to have an opportunity. Blood was being shed so rapidly on Eastern battle-fields that men in the Great American Basin felt that it would be a good thing to have a chance to shed some of it themselves.
The Mormon leaders are shrewd, and they knew well enough that their old cry of persecu-tion would be unheeded when the Nation was struggling for its very existence; and they knew, also, that the California volunteers were determined to make them behave themselves.
I have heard it said that Salt Lake City was one of the best governed cities in the world. It may be so, for strangers stood in
CONSTANT FEAR OF ASSASSINATION
if they dared to speak their honest sentiments in regard to the Mormon leaders, or the wretch-ed morality of the Mormon Church. It is cer-tainly a crying shame that so horrible a mockery of religion should be suffered to exist.
All through Utah, a blight seems to be over everything. It crushes the spirit of the enter-prising man, and puts a clog on every improve-ment. Slowly, however, this is being changed, and, in a year or two, a Gentile, or one who is not a Mormon. may consider himself safe in life and property. That a despotism, as firm and strong as that of Brigham Young, should spring up and flourish within the boundaries of a Republic, is one of the most remarkable things connected with the whole history of our Government. But the great majority of the Mormons were
SERFS IN THE OLD WORLD,
and it is not very difficult to keep them as slaves in Utah. A majority of the Saints have a stolid and unhappy look, like that which we see in the lower classes of animals; they are the mud-sills of Europe. Any condition in life would be bet-ter than their condition in the Old Country, and so they came swarming to our shores, and, in-stead of thanking us for an asylum and a home, must defy our laws, and help sustain as hateful a tyranny as any on earth. It is a humbug to say that they help to develop the country; they do no such thing, but, on the contrary, occupy the land which of right belongs to American settlers and law-abiding men.
There is an effort being made to bring this matter into politics, which I trust will be unsuc-cessful. The Mormons have a considerable amount of money,
WHICH THEY ARE FREELY USING,
in hopes to change the current of public opinion, which of late seems to be setting in against them. But the times are ripe for a full and free investigation, which will unquestionably result in the abandonment of polygamy by them, or a departure to new lands, where they may again flourish for a time, to be again driven away by an outraged and indignant people.
THE APPROACH TO THE VALLEY OF THE SALT LAKE, through Weber Canon, is one of the grandest sights on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad. On either side, the rocks are piled up to a great height, their jagged and rugged sides being broken by deep rifts and seams, while, through the nar-row gorge at the bottom, flow the sparkling waters of Weber River. At the Devil's Gates, the sides of the canon come down almost per-pendicularly, and the waters scathe, and roar, and foam, as if boiling in a large pot. There are a few pine trees growing along the steep, rocky sides, and large conglomerate masses overhead seem ready to fall and crush everything below. Bunch-grass, golden-rod, and sage-brush get a precarious support, and seem rather sur-prised that they are able to live under such ad-verse circumstances. It is a long way through the canon, and the railroad-track twists and turns in every direction, while making the de-scent from the summit of the Wasatch range of mountains. It was a great triumph of engineering skill to carry the road through this tremendous gorge, and cost an immense deal of time and labor. Here and there may be seen the remains of the old cabins formerly used by the workmen, while the two grand curiosities of the locality, namely: the Thousand-Mile Tree and the Devil's Slide, never fail to arrest the attention of the traveler. The Thousand-Mile Tree is so called, as it is said to be just a thousand miles west of Omaha.
THE RIDE THROUGH THE GORGE
is one of exceeding interest, and, though a man may have seen many wild prospects, this is probably far more wild and chaotic than any he has previously met with. It seems almost a natural gate, and through it, on the old immi-grant road, have passed thousands and thou-sands of men, women, andchildren who were on their way to the lands of the Far West.
It is black and forbidding throughout its whole extent, but, at the Devil's Gate, its grandeur and horrors seem to be combined, and form a scene which can never be forgotten after it has once been visited. Through and through the cars de-scend, and, after a time, reach the opening of the valley of the Great Salt Lake, where a pano-rama of surpassing beauty breaks upon the view. On the right, the mountains seem to be piled up higher than ever, while, in front, may be seen the long, low stretch of country which is cover-ed by the waters of the lake, and, far beyond, the dim, blue outline of the Pah-o-tom and Oquirrh Mountains struggling up amid the dis-tant waters, or fading away and gradually losing themselves to view to the southward.
This valley has been described so often that it is not worth while to go over the ground again.
is a handsome place, and there are many fine farms and orchards round about. The Mormons here appear to be thriving and energetic, and many neat houses attest their desire for im-provement. It is at the depot at Ogden—which is perhaps a mile from the town—that passen-gers leave the brown coaches of the Union Pa-cific for the yellow ones of the Central Pacific Railroad. Here, too, the Utah Central joins from the south.
It is so like a marine view here that one ex-pects to see the white sails of ships in the dis-tance ; but, with the exception of a few luggers and some heavy punts, from about Corinne,
THERE IS NO CRAFT ON THE LAKE,
almost excepting the little steamer Kate Connor, which ordinarily hovers about the mouth of Bear River, near Corinne. Some day there will be a full supply of vessels on this dead sea, and a great deal of heavy material will be transported on its waters. I saw an old Indian who told me that he had hunted rabbits on the ground which is now occupied by the city. What a wonderful change has taken place!—though, when you come to think of it, twenty-five years is a long time, and in that period a great deal of work can be done.
Salt Lake has never yet been thoroughly ex-plored, and it was here that Capt. Gunnison found the poor old blind pelican which was fed by his companions, while the Captain was doing something toward such an exploration. From this one fact, scientific men have been led to believe that animals and birds are endowed with reason-ing faculties.
The time is surely coming when Utah
WILL BE A GREAT STATE ;
but this will not happen until the Mormons are removed. There seems to be almost everything in the Valley necessary for the welfare and hap-piness of man. I cannot believe the American people will give this up wholly and exclusively to the Mormons. Other citizens, it seems to me, have as much right here as the Saints, and they have a right to engage in farming and in mining without being persecuted; and they also have a right to express their opinions freely upon every subject, whether religious or other-wise.
There is nothing more pleasant, during the warm summer months, than traveling over this country; the weather is charming, and the air remarkably invigorating. From the number of
that are being built, one would almost believe a mania had seized upon the Mormons, and that they, too, are anxious to get their share of the public lands, which are being thrown away at such a fearful rate. Like a good many old men, Brigham Young is becoming grasping and penu-rious, aud it is thought he loves a railroad even better than the youngest beauty in his extensive harem. The grasping of the land-sharks re-minds one of what the old woman told the Hoosier schoolmaster : "Says I, git a plenty while you're a- gittin'; it never'll be no cheaper than it is now.', The impression here is, that the older Mor-mons
WILL GIVE UP THEIR WIVES
in preference to giving up their lands and rail-roads. It is so comforting to own some good railroad stock (provided it is not Credit Mobil-ier), and a man can sit behind it with the same resignation that he can behind "four aces " or a ''Straight flush." It seems as if every canon will have its own especial railroad, and that ar-ticles of merchandise wil be transported from one end of the Territory to another with speed and safety.
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