The-Honey Bee, or Deseret---Efforts to Become a State.
Lake Timpanagos---Southern Utah---Mountain-Storms---Ap-proaching Spring.
The March Across the Plains---Years of Trial---Provisional Govern-ment.
Mines---Railroads---Southern Sil-ver Sites---Mormon Laws.
From Our Own Correspondent.
UTAH, March 13, 1873.
The Territory of Utah is called by the Mor-mons,
The reason for this is found in the first chap-ter, third verse, of "Ether," in the "Book of Mormon," in the following words: "And they did carry with them Deseret, which, by interpre-tation, is honey-bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind." The bee-hive is the favorite sym-bol of the Latter-Day Saints ; and the honey-bee, they think, is typical of the industry of a Mormon community. At all events, the conven-tional bee-hive is a common emblem, and is as unlike anything in the shape of a bee-hive used in this country as can well be. On many of the signs this emblem is painted, and the word Deseret looms up on all sides,—on banks, stores, dwellings, newspapers, dining-rooms, and crack-er-factories.
On many different occasions, there have been efforts made to get Deseret admitted into the Union as a State ; but it is plain to everybody that this would indeed be overdoing the thing. Our Mormon brethren, as it is, stick to us as close as wax, and, if they were admitted into the Union, and had full charge of a State, there is no telling how neighborly they would soon be-come. Men's wives would be carried away by them, like mist before the morning sun, and
would be more popular than ever. There is no end to the curiosity which he excites in thee feminine breast, and scores of ungainly Saint-ness follow him about, with their beds on their backs. In all respects, Brigham is as "sweet-scented a huckleberry" as could be seen in a summer's day. He is so innocent that he re-minds me of that pink of propriety, Slender, in "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Slender says to Sweet Anne Page:
"You are afraid if you see a bear loose, are you not ?"
"Aye, indeed, sir."
"That's meat and drink to me now. I have seen Sackereon loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed. But women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored, rough things."
This speech is so innocent, it would almost do for Brigham himself, and his attitude would be almost as graceful as that of Slender when woo-ing Sweet Anne.
Since seeing the Mormons, I am convinced that the female form can be put together with as little grace as there is in an old-fashioned hand-loom.
THE GREAT SALT LAKE,
or Lake Timpanagos, has been known to the Mexicans for over 200 years. It is claimed that it was circumnavigated, about forty years ago, by a party sent out by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company for that purpose; but this is extremely doubtful, as the men who said they had circum-navigated it reported that no fresh-water streams emptied into it. We know this is false, as Bear, Weber, and Jordan Rivers pour their waters into it, besides several smaller streams. Fremont sailed upon it, and gave the first correct account of it. He was followed, years afterwards, by a party under Capt. Howard Stansbury, who com-manded an expedition which thoroughly explored it, in 1850-‘51. There are seven rocky islands in the lake, which is 80 miles long and 40 wide, and it is quite a curiosity to strangers. In old times, the Indians had a great many superstitions con-nected with it, and it was supposed to be the home of a great Manitou, or fish-god, called by the Shoshonies, Peyah-hapah. But this super-stition in connection with lakes is a very com-mon one among all the Indian tribes, and amounts to but little.
contains fresh water, and the River Jordan con-nects it with Salt Lake. Down in this direction, the Territory is being opened and improved, and there are several fine towns and villages, even as far south as St. George, which is in the south-western corner of Utah. It is needless to say that the Mormons have everything their own way, and their odious religion leaves a blight on the whole country.
is a short distance from the Rio Virgin, which is a tributary of the Colorado. From this place to Los Angeles, in California, there is a good road, with many settlements scattered along. Here, too, there are some fine orchards, and the cli-mate is delightful. This appears to be the win-tering-place of the Mormons who have become old and feeble, and who need recuperation. They seem delighted while holding their relig-ious meetings in the little hamlets of the inte-rior, and feel grateful if any high church-digni-tary gives them a call. When some knotty point of Mormon theology is being unraveled, they lis-ten with rapt attention, and have a knowing look that would do credit to a lot of sand-hill cranes assembled together in council. The most of these elders seem to have reached the age of the Viceroy in "La Perichole," when, according to that high authority, "it is easier to commit a folly than to pierce the bull between the shoul-ders."
THE STORMS IN THE MOUNTAINS
of Utah are something awful. It may be a clear, sunshiny morning, when, all at once, the snow-storm seems to break in the air, and it is impossible to see more than ten steps. The icy particles cut like knives when they strike the face, so that neither man nor beast can face the blast. It blows all day in this way, and some-time all night. The streams are drifted full of snow, and the cold weather freezes up nearly all of the water. A more dismal and disagreea-ble, not to say dangerous scene. it is impossible to find anywhere. Not unfrequently men are frozen to death in these storms, and their re-mains are found when spring opens, the flesh having been eaten off the bones by the wolves and ravens. No house can be made sufficiently tight to prevent the snow from driving in through cracks and crannies, and frequently the plaster-ing overhead is covered with a thick coating of snow, which soon makes its presence known when the room becomes warm, and small rills commence running down from the ceil-ing. A man considers himself fortunate if the whole plastering does not come down in a solid mass. Elsewhere, snow-storms come down easily, and the snow falls lightly; but here it comes as if it had been shot out of a gun, with noise enough to rouse the Seven Sleepers. Men and animals, under the circumstances, hunt their holes in quick time, and remain housed up as long as the storm lasts. He who has a good supply of provisions on hand is in big luck.
These storms put me out of all patience, and remind me of a story I heard years ago about Jeff Davis and Gen. Twiggs. Some one asked Davis if he knew Gen. Twiggs.
"Yes," said Davis, "I know him; and I know him to be the d—dest old scoundrel now living."
So it is with these storms: I know them, and I know them to be — and so forth.
BUT SPRING IS APPROACHING,
and about next June we may expect some warm weather. The days are lengthening, and ice cannot last forever. This is satisfactory news, as no one can imagine how this winter-weather has been spun out, until it has become altogether too monotonous. It will be a relief once more to see the roads fully open, and be able to travel wherever a man may be inclined. Most of the roads in the canons are filled with snow, and travel is entirely suspended. Some of the ava-lanches that have occurred on the mountain-sides have been of the most fearful character, and men and animals have been swept into eternity by scores.
THE MARCH OF THE MORMONS
from Council Bluffs, Ia., or from Winter Quar-ters, as they call Florence. Neb., was one of con-siderable interest, They were organized on the Elkhorn River, about eighteen miles west of Florence, into companies of hundreds, fifties, and tens. Each fifty had a blacksmith and wagon-maker, with tools for shoeing animals and repairing wagons. Three hundred pounds of breadstuffs were provided for each person, and each able-bodied man had a good gun and 100 rounds of ammunition. Many cows were worked in the yoke.
Each family took a supply of seed-grain and implements of agriculture, and every wagon was carefully inspected to see that all was right. Pigs and poultry were not forgotten, and went sailing along on the stern of the prairie-schoon-ers. A strict guard was maintained, and each night the wagons were formed into a corral, with the animals inside. But little hunting was allowed, as there was danger of men losing them-selves; and thus no person was lost, and but few accidents occurred, and all of these were of a trivial nature. On Saturday afternoons, the trains halted; and, at that time, baking, mending, horse-shoeing, and re-pairing were carried on. Sunday was a day of rest, when prayers were offered up and ortho-dox Mormon sermons preached. Thus they traveled across the plains and over the moun-tains, and finally reached the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. For about three years after their arrival here,
DAILY RATIONS WERE ISSUED
to each head of family, varying from one-half to three-quarters of a pound to each individual, according to the amount on hand. In 1850; there was a good harvest, and no necessity to continue the system of rationing. This went on until 1855, when most of the crops were destroyed by grasshoppers and drouth, and they were again obliged to issue rations. In the winter of 1855-'6, great numbers of their cattle died, and there was considerable suffering. In all these times of scarcity, measures were taken to supply those who were unable to furnish themselves. Fast-days were proclaimed in all the congrega-tions, on the first Thursday of each month, and the food saved in that way was distributed among the poor. It is said that thousands of persons who had an abundance of bread put their fami-lies on rations, so as to save the same for those who could not otherwise obtain it. These wise regulations prevented any one from perishing with hunger, and no one suffered to any great extent. During this season of enforced absti-nence from food, the people were remarkably healthy.
The Provisional Government of the "State of Deseret" was organized in March, 1849, and
A STATE CONSTITUTION
was adopted by a convention. A delegate was sent to Congress, with a petition for the admis-sion of Deseret into the Union. A Governor, and all the necessary officers for carrying on the new State, were duly elected. But Congress did not see fit to admit the State, nor has it yet seen fit to do so.
The Utah Territorial Legislature, in Decem-ber, 1855, passed an act providing for the hold-ing of another convention, which convention adopted a Constitution under the old name and style of the "State of Deseret." Congress again refused; and, in 1862, the same farce was again enacted. It would seem as if this ought to have been sufficient, but it was not, and again, on the 20th of January, 1872, the Legislative Assembly of Utah passed an act authorizing an election to be held for the purpose of electing delegates to a convention for the formation of a Constitution and State Government. The Governor vetoed the bill. The Mormons, however, went on with the election; the delegates assembled in due time, and adopted a Constitution, which was rat-ified by the people. A Representative to Con-gress and two United States Senators were duly elected; but the scheme would not work, and Congress again refused to admit Deseret to the sisterhood of States.
THE MINERAL POSITION
of Utah is by no means well defined, new and rich mines being frequently found. The belt of country known as the Big and Little Cotton-wood, American Fork, West Mountain, Tooele, and Ophir mining districts is exceedingly rich in silver ore, and several of the mines are well worked. This portion of the Territory occupies a superficial area of about 600 square miles, sit-uated in the Wasach range of the Rocky Moun-tains,—the range running through the Territory in a southwesterly direction. That portion known as the Cottonwoods and American Fork is the richest yet discovered.
The Oquirrh range of mountains, west of Salt Lake, also contains several districts, among which may be mentioned the Tintic and West Mountain. Reds of ligneous and bituminous coal have been found in the foot-hills, and some far up on the sides of the mountains. These beds are quite valuable, though the quality is not of the first class. The silver mines yield lead ore mixed with silver (argentiferous gale-na), and, in smelting it, the workmen are fre-quently attacked with lead-palsy, utterly wreck-ing their systems, and rendering them more helpless than children. To own a mine is one thing ; to work it is another. The huge silver bricks to be seen at the express-office are most cheering sights, but we do not know what days and nights of toil it took to get them out, nor how many poor wretches had their frames shat- tered in so doing.
THE NUMBER OF RAILROADS
being built in Utah Territory is something aston-ishing, and, if some parties do not get badly bit- ten, it will be still more astonishing. Every canon thinks it must have its own railroad, and small narrow-gauge roads seem to fairly bristle all over the land. How they are to be made to pay. is a thing that nobody can understand. But their projectors are sanguine, and, if you wish to be thoroughly bored, get one of them started on the theme of narrow-gauge railroads. Rights of way and subsidies are, of course, things they fully appreciate and understand; and they can prove to you how very valuable a narrow-gauge road will be to Hog-Eye Canon, where there is as yet no house built, and nothing whatever in pros-pect; and they will assure you that if you put your money therein, it will be the best paying in-vestment ever known.
They are pushing a road down toward Pioche, which is just over the line, in Nevada, and great things are expected therefrom. The Pioche Mining District has indeed proved a big thing, and a great quantity of silver has been taken out. It is in an exceedingly barren section, and it is almost a wonder how the miners manage to get along. If a road should be built to Pioche, is might possibly pay; at all events, several are trying to get there", and each is endeavoring to outstrip the others. Specu-lation is rife on every hand ; but these new men find it quite difficult to deceive the old miners of the Pacific Slope, and very few of them have as yet made fortunes. It is funny enough to see how fully and heedlessly
THE "PILGRIMS" FROM THE EAST,
as the Montanians call the greenhorns, fall into big mining schemes, and how poor they find themselves at the end of the year. For a good, self-conceited mining flat, give me an Eastern man who never saw an ounce of silver ore be- fore he came to the Territory, and who now, af-ter six months' experience, thinks he knows more than an old '49-er.
On the whole, the mines in Utah
HAVE NOT YIELDED VERY WELL,
and a great many men have been disappointed. Labor is very dear and scarce, and, without it, the best mine in the world is of but little value. A happy feeling is apt to come over a man's mind upon finding a find bed of ore; but, af-ter it is found, days and days of honest, hard work are necessary to get it out, and get it transported to the mills. There is an old say-ing in California, that it takes a silver mine to work a gold mine." This true in fact. It takes a great outlay of money to work a mine, as many a man's bitter experience has proved to him.
The Mormons seem to be pretty well satisfied with the failure of the Frelinghuysen bill to become a law; and it proves to them, more clearly than ever before, that the United States Government
IS UTTERLY POWERLESS
to do anything with them. It is deplorable to be obliged to admit this fact, but it is the truth; and there is no knowing to what lengths these people will now go. Brigham Young is now more powerful than ever, and his hateful laws seem more firmly bound upon the necks of the people than heretofore.
Of course, it makes little difference to people in the eastern portion of the nation what kind of laws they have out here; but, to those who are obliged to live in this section, it does make a great deal of difference; and it is most galling to an American citizen, not a Mormon, to be under the sway of these bigots and evil-doers.
I hope the day will come when this dreadful tyranny will be removed, and when every man can get equal and exact justice, irrespective of religious creeds and beliefs. The day must come when Church and State will be separated here, and when juries can be made up outside of the influence of religious fanaticism. But the Mormons have frequently declared that it was beyond the power of the United States to interfere with the community, and late events seem almost to prove this statement.
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