Criticisms on the Cullom Bill.
Discussion of the Mormon Question,
Governor Shaffer at Corinne,
The Return, of Brigham Young.
[ FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.]
SALT LAKE CITY, April 26. I don't think the Senate amendment to the Cullom bill, on the whole, better it much. It is well to give concubines the right to sue for services on being put away, and to prohibit Mormon ecclesiastics from solemnizing mar- riage. The first places it within the power of the majority of polygamous wives to provide against want and distress, and thus obviate one great objection to the House bill; but how can the second be proved if the witnesses of the performance are made equally culpable? It seemed almost imperative, too, to strike out that clause which excluded from the jury- box all who simply believed in or ad- vocated ( without practising) polygamy, even though it should defeat the whole intent of the bill, which is, to convict of. a crime which is openly acknowledged and gloried in. For, most anything conceivable would be a less evil than the punishment of people for their belief. t leaves the bill possessed of more moral force, which is, perhaps, all the force it will ever possess. But it seems to me that the mention of the Mormon Church, as such, and the proscription of certain of its rites and no- tions, is unqualifiedly bad. The House bill scrupulously ignored the existence of the Mormon Church, or religion, so- called, struck directly and only at crime, and by no fair con- struction could the charge of proscribing a Church or religion be made good against it. I do not say that it can against the Senate amendments, but it looks auspicious that the Mormons like it better. Says the JDeseret News :
" If it is the determination to pass the Cullom bill anyhow, the form in which the benate Territorial Committee reported it suits us much better than as. it passed the House. Let there be no chance to mistake its meaning. Let its provisions be so plain that there can be no possible misunderstand- ing of its purport. Let God, angels, and men know that a distinct issue is raised against the re- ligion of the Latter Day Saints; that this bill means open and undisguised war against them and their faith. If the line must be drawn, let it be ao broad that the people of this Territory and toe whole world may see it."
Which is as much as to admit that the House bill, making no mention of the Mormon Church or religion, ignoring them completely, was not aimed at their religion but at their crimes, which is true. I hope Senators will give this suggestion due consideration.
I would like, also, to notice an objection to this bill, raised by the Rev. Mr. Frothingham, of New York, and the Rev. Mr. Bartlett, of Chicago, forever in the mouths of some news- papers, and especially of the Omaha Herald, which as strenuously advocates the cause of the Mormons as it used to that of the Confed- erates until it was lost, and that of the Indi- ans until its patrons choked it into silence. The Mormons keep a hawk's eye on the press for any crumbs of comfort that may drop from it, but they find little outside of the Herald. I wish they might find something on their side, once in a great while, in some respectable journal; I should feel more as though fighting on equal terms.
Those people I was speaking of hold that physical force should not be used to suppress polygamy. " Let the Christian Church, in all of its different denominations, pronounce against the monstrous barbarism practised upon the shores of the great Salt Lake," says one. And suppose it should? Suppose we had depended on the pronunciamentos of the Christien Church to destroy slavery and re- bellion in the South ? Suppose we should de- pend on the same to prevent horse- stealing, and counterfeiting, or any other evil against which the State is obliged to protect society ? The statement of the case shows its absur- dity. It is isolation, say these people, that has built up Mormonism. That is now done away, and the fabric must crumble, brought in con- tact with civilization. The fact is, that Mor- monism never flourished as in the midst of the great Christian States of New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. From April 6, 1830, when the Church was first organized, to the year 1844, although completely broken up and driven out for their lawlessness four times, in immediate contact with all Christian influences, the sect increased from 6.000 to 20,000 souls, more than 3,000 fold in fourteen years. Since that, a period of twenty- six years, as isolated as they could be on earth, and as far removed from all Christian influences, they have not in- creased five- fold, including at least 30,000 con- verts brought from abroad. So much for the crumbling properties of Christian influences, moral force, enlightenment, & c., applied to Mormonism. The crumbling, if any is cer- tainly not on the side of Mormonism, as the past abundantly proves, The Mormons and Indians are about equally favorable subjects for the manipulation of sentimentalists, with the odds, if any, in favor of the latter.
Somewhat akin to this subject is the indigna- tion of the Mormon Telegraph at the freedom of the speech indulged in by the Federal officials of Utah. It devotes itself to the freest possible expression of opinion on all subjects and persons, from day to day, but other people hare no such right, forsooth ! especially if they hold office under the govern- ment. And if not, why not ? The text of the Telegraph was some speeches made by Gov- ernor Shaffer, Messrs. Maxwell, Strickland, and Hawley, on a recent visit to Corinne. The people there, American to the core, bonfired. and demonstrated, and received, to the best of their limited ability, and, insisting on speak- ing, the gentlemen acknowledged the courtesy and complimented the citizeds for their whole- some American feeling. I heard ^ Governor Shaffer myself. He said, in substance, that he was glad to meet the people of Corinne • he felt as though he could rely on them in any emergency; he was not able to speak in public ; didn't come there for that purpose; would be glad to receive the citizens in their individual capacity to- morrow at his hotel, learn their views, and be largely governed by them in the administration of affairs. Was there anything malapropos about that, that the most thin- skinned saint need take excep- tions to ? The remarks of the other gentlemen mentioned were brief and similar in tone. The despatch sent East about it was slightly sensa- tional. But even had they said, as charged, " that the laws must and shall be enforced," who can successfully deny then: right to say so ?
By the way, Mr. Beadle has returned and is again editing the Reporter. He, last winter, prepared, a book on Mormonism which is be- ing published by some. Philadelphia subscrip- tion house. It is illustrated, contains more than 500 pages, and should have a large sale, for it is on one of the topics of the day, and is accurately and entertainingly . written. As a specimen of his newspaper style, let me quote briefly in reply to the Telegraph :
The Salt Lake Telegraph aon t like the official speeches here pretty well, and gives the " repre- sentatives of a paternal government" a lecture for their emphatic remarks while at " that terribly virtuous burg on the banks of the Bear,"— Corinne, — which, the editor ventures to guess, " contains more rottenness, multiplied ten times, than all the rest of Utah." That our readers may fully appre- ciate this burst of Mormon virtue, they need only remember that the editor is that same renegade Irishman, Sloan, who got on such a spree with an army officer about a year ago, raised a row at a Salt Lake bagnio and had his head shaved by the soldiers, for which he was exiled to the States for some months, a full account of which appeared in the Clivper, Po- lice Gazette, and other sporting journals. Of course he is . duly shocked at the morals of Corinne. Now we acknowledge, with regret, that Corinne is not quite eqal to the old towns of the East. It is one year old, in the centre of the mountains, crowded every day with a transient population, with every grade of new comers, and with a heavy represen- tion of four out of the five great races. We have a few " women " here who practice polygamy on a free plan, and without calling it religion; but they do not take and dishonor the sacred name of wife, nor do they claim to be Saints, be- cause they live in violation of decency and law. Some few of our citizens are not " strictly virtuous," but they are at least natural; and we have to blush for none of those horrible crimes against God and nature, which even brute beasts • respect, and which the Mormons alone of all peo- ple of America justify. Corinne is bad enough, and we shall labor earnestly to make it better; but our wicked people do not marry their mothers- in- law, daughters- in- laws, aunts, nieces, and nearer blood relations; we have some respect for nature and decency even in our vices, and do not violate at once the £ laws of Moses and Mahomet, and the voice of nature, and then call it " serving God."
Governor Shaffer has made a most favorable impression, except in the matter of his health, which is not so robust as might be wished. Perhaps, now the spring snows are over and the trees are leafing and blossoming out, he will stand it better. His rooms at the Revere House have been almost crowded, whenever he has been able to receive, mostly by Gentiles and other opposed to the reigning King. The Mormons have given him a cool reception, probably because they dare not do otherwise without orders, and the King has but just re- turned from a Southern '' progress."
He entered the city a week ago Saturday, as triumphally as a conquering Roman Consul, although the ostentation was of humility rath- er than of triumph. He came as near caricaturing Jesus riding into Jerusalem on an ass as he could, and not do it. He and his right- bower, Smith, rode in a shabby, dusty buggy, with the top thrown back, drawn by two sedate mules, which the King seemed to condesend to drive ( for the occasion) himself. Two squares from his corral the crowd appeared to be thick enough to jus- tify him in taking off his hat. Twenty or thir- ty vehicles, variously freighted, had gone out to meet him and follow in his train. The chief product of the city was out in Sunday School array, flags streamed on the air, music lent its inspiration to the occasion, the great State road, which heads in his corral, and on which he deigned to travel, was lined with people for half a mile, who, however, displayed no en- thusiasm, such as freemen might be expected to upon the return of a loved chief from so long an absence. This royal " progress " was about twelve hundred miles, or fifty- two days long. The faithful in Southern Utah have doubtless been admonished to fear the Lord and Brigham, to let the heathen rage, and not read the Mormon Tribune. Colonel Wickizer, who has just returned from that country, too, says that as he receded from the capital he found the people more liberal and sensible, much to his surprise. " Four- fifths of these folks are here out of mere curiosity," said a Josephite, in my hearing. " Itisn't nearly so large and spirited a turn- out as usual on such occasions," said a Godbeite. " It is very gratifying, said an Orthodox Apostle to a Bishop of the same kidney, " to see Brother Brigham so enthusiastically wel- comed just now while the Cullom bill is pend- ing and so many influences seem combining against us." " The Cullom bill is waste paper," said the Bishop. Others, most, said nothing, except what a scowling brow might indicate, and whether that was usually for mine or Brigham's benefit, I didn't stop to in- terpret,
Next day lus sermon in the Tabernacle was not much different from those he has been preaching thirty or forty years. Re dwelt upon the necessity of keeping the Lord's com- mandments. He said:
The Lord has commanded us to build up Zion. Talk about polygamy! There is no true philosopher on the face of the earth but what will admit that such a system, properly carried out ae- bording to the order of heaven, is far superior to Monogamy for the raising of healthy, robust chil- dren ! A person possessing a moderate knowledge of physiology, or who has paid attention to his own nature and the nature of the gentler sex, can readily understand this. But, says one, are we not all to be killed for our belief in this principle 1 I reckon not Are we not going to be driven from our homes ? I don't know. This is a good place; I would like to stay here; I would rather not go; I have considerable to leave if we should go from here.
If I have to go from here, if I live to do so, I want to go to Jackson County. May I? [" Yes," from the congregation.] That is the place I want to go to. It is not healthy like this: but the Lord will make it so, and He will bless the soil; the water, and the atmosphere^ and they will become healthy if the Saints will live their religion. Let us do the will of God, and there is no fear from any quarter. I never felt calmer since I have been in this Church, and I have- been in the wars. I have left my home five times* and a good, hand- some property each time; butt I do not feel a bit like it now. and I cannot get the spirit of it.
If the Cullom bill ever becomes a law, the Mormons expect to beat it in the court of highest appeal, and their first resistance, at least, will be in that appeal. By the time it shall have been decided, the chapter of acci- dents may have done much for us. I hope enough to preclude the possibility of any forci- ble collision. DOUGLAS.
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