Utah and the Mormons,
[ Correspondence of the Cincinnati Enquirer.]
I have been agreeably surprised at, the appearance of Salt Lake City and the deportment of its inhabi- tants. In the States we are taught to believe that the Mormons are thieves, knave3 or assassins. Such, I find, is not the case. The people, three- fourths Eng- lish,' Scotch and Welsh, with an occasional sprink- ling of bastard Americans, are honest, thrifty and industrious, but ignorant, I have never seen a towR of equal magnitude where such universal order pre- vails, Every one appears to have business, and at- tends to it, without annoying his neighbors. I have seen no loafers, and find that there is not a single whisky or drinking saloon in the city. One estab- lishment is licensed to wholesale ardent spirits, but none is drank on the premises. Women promenade the streets after dark, unescorted, and without fear of molestation. These things certainly are creditable. When a man is caught stealing he is summarily dealt with. An intelligent citizen informed me that, for a number of years after the settlement of the valley, Salt Lake City was infested by a band of desperadoes, who murdered and pillaged indiscriminately, but that they have long since been killed or driven off by the peaceable inhabitants. There is at present but little field here for the operations of sharpers, and I ad- vise all indolent persons to remain in the States, where poor- houses are plentiful.
Of the Mormon religion I have learned out little. I think, however, that barring their great hobby of polygamy, the fundamental principles are good, al- though surrounded by a tissue of priestly hocus- po- cus, intended to deceive and awe the ignorant and superstitious. Every man has as many wives as he can support, judging by the juvenile population. I sincerely pity a poor fellow who is afflicted with more than one, if those that I have seen are a fair sample of Mormon beauty. The only passably fair women that I have seen are inmates of Brigham's harem. While driving out, some few days since, I overhauled the modern Solomon, who was going out into the country, on a bender, in company with a number of his concubines. The carriages, each drawn by four fine horses, and accompanied by out- riders aiid baggage wagons, formed a train half a mile long. I had a fair view of the stock— horses and women. The former were magnificent animals; the latter from fair to middling.
'• Some were fair and some were plain, And some were frightfully on the wane."
I noticed in the party women of forty and girls of twelve or fourteen. I have in vain endeavored to ascertain the number of Brigham's wives, but no one here knows. I doubt if the old sinner himself can tell. Men frequently marry sisters. The population with but few exceptions, consists of unnaturalized foreigners, who acknowledge no allegiance to the gov- ernment under which they live, and evidently look upon representatives of the Union as enemies, al- though they deal honorably with strangers. A regi- ment of United State?, soldiers is posted on a hill, commanding the town, and holds " the sword of Damocles" suspended over evil doers.
Salt Lake City is, I believe, situated in latitude three degrees north of Cincinnati and in longitude thirty- six west, but owing to its being on the Pacific slope, the climate is more temperate. The valley with irrigation, produces fine crop3. Fruit is becom- ing plentiful. I have seen many fine, thrifty or- chards of apples, peaches and apricots, and at; this season the trees are bending beneath their delicious fruit. I countcd on one limb, eighteen inches long, forty- eight pretty- developed apples! Flour ranges from three to four dollars per hundred weight; wheat one dollar per bushel; oats, ninety cents; barley, one dollar; potatoes, one dollar. Bacon is forty cents per pound ; brown sugar, fifty cents; coffee, seventy- five; sorghum molasses, two dollars and fifty cents per gallon, & c.
The large lake, some twenty miles distant, furnish- es a fine article of salt in abundance. There are al- so many hot and cold mineral springs in the vicinity of the city. In one of these, which ejects an hun- dred gallons of water per minute, I enjoyed the lux- ury of a hot sulphur bath. The hills are rich in ore and minerals of all kinds. The people are energetic and will ultimately become self- sustaining ar. d weal- thy.
But I cannot tarry. Destiny hurries me on. We start this morning for the Nevada range. Ho ! for the land of Ophir! Adieu ! sweet valley of saints! I depart without a murmur of regret, although with- in thy quiet shades I have enjoyed an exceeding tran- quility of mind and body. But I have failed to dis- cover the purity of thy creed or the dazzling beauty of thy women. I have sought the dark- eyed forest maid, bashful as a gazelle and beautiful as an houri,
but in vain. I have caught delicious frogs from
out the holy Jordan, and upon its bank feasted the grand sachem of the Utah tribe. I gave unto him an ancient red shirt, a jack knife, and a fine- tooth comb,— and we were brothers. But after his depart- ure, I discovered that the pewter spoon, with which he had gobbled his soup, had also gone upon the " war path." " Lo ! the poor Indian!"
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.