A Picture of Mormondom.—Utah and its People.
A Salt Lake correspondent of the Now York Post furnishes an interesting sketch of life among the Mor-mons. This singular and degraded people now num-ber about eighty thousand souls. Their country ex-tends from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to the silver mines af Sierra Nevada, a distance of over one thousand miles. About seven thousand persons will be added to the population this year by immigra-tion. The immigrants are of the lower and poorer classes, mostly English, born in the coal mines of Eng-land; some are Scotch, Welch, Irish, Swedes, Danes, Italians, French, Swiss, a few Germans and still fewer Americans. The latter include all the officials and "smart" men of the Church. The class of foreigners who adopt the Mormon faith for the sake of getting their expenses and that of their families paid to Amer-ica, and thence to the "land of saints," are paupers, uneducated, with nothing to lose but everything to gain, so that almost any change would be for the bet-ter. The social condition of these people, after they have arrived at Salt Lake and been initiated, sworn allegiance to the Church, sworn to do and believe all that Brigham Young tells them, been put to work— whether mechanics or laborers in the field, or picking granite blocks in the stone quarries in the mountains to build the "Temple" and the "Tabernacle"—is that of the most abject slavery. Many of them are greatly dissatisfied and would gladly get away if they had the means.
APPEARANCE OF THE CHILDREN. What first attracts the attention of visitors to this city are the swarms of dirty, ragged, idiotic-looking children running about the streets.
The number of old, decrepit women and men hob-bling about on crutches and with staffs excite our sym-pathies. Women eighty years old, with half a dozen grand and great-grand children hanging to them, are common. Many of these old people are stationed along the streets selling apples and peanuts.
Another pitiful sight is the great number of young married women, from fifteen to eighteen years old, who were seen in the streets and at church with an in-fant in their arms, and a child tottling along hanging to their skirts. These women are poorly and cheaply clad, their dress being generally goods of Mormon manufacture, as they buy nothing which they can pro-duce themselves. This rule does not hold good with the "chiefs" and "officials," many of whose houses are furnished with the richest rosewood furniture, pier-glass, medallion carpets, pianos and luxurious couches.
THE CITY OF SALT LAKE Contains some twelve thousand inhabitants. It is sit-uoted about twenty miles from the lake on a valley as smooth and as level as the lake itself. This valley is nearly surrounded by mountains. The Wahsatch range—which is a spur of the Rocky Mountains—ex-tends along the east side from Utah Lake to Salt Lake, a distance of seventy miles. On the west are the Oquirrh Mountains, and Southwest the Cedar Moun-tains, extending up to Lake Utah. Out of Utah Lake, runs the river Jordan, emptying into Salt Lake. This is a beautiful stream of cold, clear fresh water, run-ning through a country of green grass and thick shrub-bery. Utah Lake resembles Lake George, being about the same size and equally as beautiful. It is a singu-lar fact that three rivers—the Jordan, Bear and Web-ber—Blue, Spring and Willow creeks, and several other smaller streams of fresh water, empty into Salt Lake, but do not freshen the water the least. The plain or valley of Salt Lake is supposed to have been once water, covered like the lake. The view of the city and surrounding country from the top of the theatre, or from the military camp—some two miles up on the side of the mountain—is one of the most beautiful the eye ever looked upon, or the imagination ever conceived of. The camp has been located there with a view of commanding the city in case of war. The camp ground is on a sort of plateau or plain of several acres, which is fortified with trenches, rifle-pits, &c.
THE TEMPLE. This building has no particular form or shape. It is a mixture of many styles. It was commenced over ten years ago, and the basement or first story is now only a few feet above the ground. Its appearance re-sembles a Russian fort or fortress more than a place of religious worship. The walls average about ten feet in thickness, built of granite blocks of immense size, cut and hammered in the handsomest style of workman-ship. These blocks are hauled from Cottonwood canon, a distance of sixteen to twenty miles up in the mountains, and it takes ten to twenty yoke of oxen to haul one block.
The dimensions of the building, as furnished by the architect, Truman O. Angel, are as follows: Length, 181 feet; width, 98 feet 8 inches. There are 6 towers, one on each corner and one on the sides. The corner towers are 31 feet square on the base, and 168 feet high. The other towers are larger, being 36 feet 6 inches on the base, and 194 feet high. The main building is 100 feet high. On one of the-middle towers is the following inscription on a tablet of marble:
"HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
The House of the Lord, built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Commenced April 6,1853."
From a very beautiful lithograph, taken from the drawing of the building by an artist in London, the architecture appears to be of the Gothic order. There are now fifty workmen employed on this building.
The tabernacle is more of the mongrel order than the temple, being in shape something like that of an egg or a monitor turret. The building will stand on forty-six abutments, twenty feet high, three feet thick, and nine feet wide, built of cut stone similar to the "brown stone" of Fifth avenue. The abutments are all built. The building will be two hundred and fifty feet long, one hundred and fifty wide, and one hundred and fourteen feet eight inches high; the roof is to be lattice work, with several large ventilators. On all sides, under the eaves or cornice of the roof, are to be carvings representing the sun, moon and stars and the planets. The building will seat nine thousand persons. William H. Folsom, Brigham's last father-in-law, is the architect.
These buildings occupy ten acres of ground, and, like Brigham's own premises, are enclosed by a stone wall sixteen feet high and three feet thick.
INTERVIEW WITH BRIGHAM.
I found President Young an agreeble, affable gen-tleman, apparently not over forty-five years of age, although he is really upwards of sixty. He was dis-posed to converse upon any and all subjects very free-
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ly . The treaty with Japan he regarded at first as a failure, and the character of the embassy which visit-ed the United States has served to confirm that belief. The war, he thinks, will be continued till a great part of the North and South is used up or, to speak more plainly, till all are annihilated, when the "Saints" will be the people to occupy the country in peace and quiet-ness. The desolation caused by the war he regards as the judgment of the Lord for the persecution of the Saints. Brigham was disposed to give any information concerning his theatre, temple and tabernacle, and about his other public buildings. The ventilating of his private schoolroom, where his own children, num-bering some sixty, are educated, appeared to be a fa-vorite subject of conversation. The ceilings of those rooms are eighteen feet high, ventilated from the tops of all the windows. His own residences—there are several buildings —are large and airy, with double doors, and ceilings twenty or thirty feet in height. One large building is principally occupied by his wives.
Brigham sleeps alone and eats his meals alone. Whenever ho wants one of his wives he sends for her. It is not uncommon to see three or four of his wives at church sitting together and generally dressed alike. A dozen or fifteen children are about his premises at play at all times, apparently happy enough. Brigham Young, junior, a son about twenty-two years old—a pretty fair chip of the old block—has just returned from Europe, whither he was sent on a mission. Whilst there he visited most of the countries and places of interest, being supplied with as much money as he wanted to spend.
Brigham's last wife was rather an interesting young lady, the daughter of Mr. Folsom. It is asserted by the Mormons that the most perfect harmony and good feeling prevails amoug the wives of the "harem" but I have positive information which shows this to be false.
People visting Salt Lake are watched in their move-ments the same as they would be if they were known to be murderers or incendiaries; strangers never converse except in a low tone, so that they cannot be heard off the sidewalks. The spy system here is equal to that in Vienna or Paris. Men and women are frequently found curled up under the fence inside the yard to lis-ten to people passing along the streets. Men have come and listened under the window of strangers, when lights have been seen at what they considered unusual hours. To report anything to Brigham to attract his attention would be accounted a good work.
GOLD AND SILVER MINES.
There is little doubt that the mountains which sur-round the valley of Salt Lake are as rich in the pre-cious metals as California or any portion of the coun-try bordering on the Pacfic. Gov. Doty has a large collection of specimens of gold and silver which have been brought to him by friendly Indians, who have picked them up in the mountains and gulches, but re-fuse to tell where, because if they do the chiefs would kill them. Brigham Young has boasted that he could see more silver and gold from the door of his house than would equal the whole currency of the world. These mines are not allowed to be opened. The effect would be, according to Brigham's ideas, to bring near the "City of the Saints" a large mining population, which he would find exceedingly hard to rule. He is probably not far from the truth. When the United States Goverment gets a sufficient number of troops there—not less than ten thousand—the federal officers of the territory may then assert some little authority, which now it is not prudent to attempt.
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