THE ANN ELIZA YOUNG CASE.
Origin of the Ann Eliza and Brigham Young Divorce Case--The Counsel's Charges Against the Rev. C. C. Stratton-- Matrimonial, Ministerial and Legal Complications.
From the St. Louis Daily Globe of August 15th we copy the following:
A Salt Lake correspondent says the di-vorce suit against Brigham Young is curi-ously muddled. All kinds of rumors are afloat. First, it is asserted that the Prophet has bought up Ann Eliza's lawyers, and that they have withdrawn from the case. Next it is reported that a compromise has been effected, the Mormon President agree-ing to pay the wife a specified sum. In order to straighten out the matter I called upon Judge Hagan, one of Mrs. Young's counsel, this afternoon. The Judge gave me the following explanation of the situa-tion, and told me to make it on his au-thority:
THE METHODIST MINISTER.
"The trouble," said the Judge, "is un-doubtedly owing to the Rev. Mr. Stratton, a Methodist minister in this place. Mrs. Young appears to think a great deal of Stratton, and implicitly follows his advice. She visits his house day after day, stays there hours at a time, and is preparing to join his Church. It is Stratton who induced her to leave Brigham forever and go to the Walker House. He seems to have made up his mind that it would be a great feather in his cap if he could convert her from Mormonism to Methodism. He urged her to bring the present suit, and called upon our firm every day for weeks, beseeching us to take the case in hand and draw up the complaint. For a long time we de-murred, but at length, on his persistent solicitations, we agreed to bring proceed-ings.
THE MINISTER'S CONFESSION.
"It was necessary that the suit should be brought in the name of her next friend, as the Jaw does not recognize the right of a wife to sue her husband in Chancery. We suggested that Mr. Stratton should allow his name to be put in the complaint as Mrs. Young's next friend, but he held back. We told him that it was a position of honor, and it was eminently proper for him to fill it. He certainly was her best friend, and his position as a Methodist clergyman would give the complaint a character and dignity that it could get in no other way. Stratton said he was not so sure of that. He declared that he had had some trouble years ago, while pastor of a Methodist church in Portland, Oregon. It was a case in which a woman was concerned, and one that created a great deal of scandal. He was placed on trial before the Conference, and was forced to leave the city. He thought if his name was inserted in the complaint that the Mormon newspapers might get hold of the Portland affair, and damage his reputation at Salt Lake. Upon hearing his story we agreed with him as to the propriety of his keeping out of the case altogether. General Maxwell's name was put in as next friend, the complaint drawn up and the papers served on Brigham Young. Maxwell is in the Land Office here.
THE MORMONS AFTER THE MINISTER.
"Now, from that day to this, the Rev. Mr. Stratton has not conferred with us, nor been near our office. Before that he would drop in three or four times a day. He has visited Mrs. Young, however, every day, and she has spent hours in his house. One would suppose that her counsel should have been her confidential advisers, but she ignored them and consulted with Strat-ton alone. As Stratton did not come near us we began to think something was wrong. Things looked suspicious. Suddenly we discovered that Ann Eliza's father and mother were visiting Stratton, and that H. B. Clawson, who is married to two of Brigham Young's daughters, was having secret interviews with him. Other prom-inent Mormons had been seen entering Stratton's house. We went to our client and asked her if she had listened to any compromise offers. She said she had not. But we felt positive that something was in the wind. The Mormons kept running to Stratton, and there were all sorts of rumors afloat, but the lady denied everything. Finally, to find out whether she was sincerely desirous of carrying on the suit, we resolved to give her to understand that we were on the point of throwing up the case. If she readily consented, it would be fair to presume that she had been ap-proached by the Mormons, and was trying to effect a settlement independent of her counsel. If she demurred, we would go on with the case and fight it out.
SENDING FOR THE MINISTER.
"On Friday last we told her that we thought we would withdraw from the case, alleging as a reason that our retaining fee was a shadowy one at best, and that con-siderable vexation and trouble attended the suit. She interposed no objection. On the contrary she seemed pleased. No sooner had we gone than she put on her bonnet and ran over to Stratton's. We were satisfied that she had been playing false all along. Then we decided upon our course. That night we informed her that we had not withdrawn from the suit, and that we did not intend to withdraw from it. She was somewhat startled, and immedi-ately sent a letter to the Rev. Mr. Stratton, asking him to come to the hotel as soon as possible. He was attending some kind of meeting in the church when he received the note. He visited her, however, as soon as the meeting closed, nearly 10 o'clock at night.
GEN. MAXWELL SWEARS AT THE MINISTER.
"Soon afterward we had trustworthy in-formation that she had compromised with Brigham. The basis of the settlement was $5,000 down, and $10,000 within ninety days. Stratton had affected the arrange-ment without consultation with us, or without any reference to our interests. He appears to have gone into the thing from the beginning with the deliberate intention of using us for the purpose of forcing what he could out of the defendant, dropping us at his convenience. But his game won't work. If he had been a lawyer he would have known it. He apparently suspects that he has undertaken more than he can accomplish, for he has been to see General Maxwell to find out whether the suit can be withdrawn, without our consent. Max-well told him no, and wanted to know if his lawyers had deceived him. Stratton answered that they had not. Maxwell then informed him that no suit in chancery could be withdrawn without the consent of counsel and solicitors. Maxwell was rather blunt, 'She can settle the case so far as she in concerned,' said he, 'for two bits if she wants to, but she can't settle it for me, I'll be d—d if she can. I am a party to the suit, and the law makes her counsel parties to it. I don't propose to go back on them.'"
"Stratton then left, and this is the way the case stands. Eliza has compromised, and the lawyers haven't compromised. we are going on with the suit. It will come on to-morrow at ten o'clock."
Such is the statement of Judge Hagan. Since I left him I learn that he and his firm served a notice upon Brigham Young this afternoon, warning him that they will recognize no settlement without their sanc-tion. A similar notice from General Max-well has also been filed with the clerk of the Third District Court.
The friends of the Mormon chief declare that the lawyers had no written agreement with Ann Eliza, and without that their case will not hold water. They have evidence that Judge Tilford, one of her counsel, visited the Salt Lake Herald office on Fri-day night, and explicitly told Mr. Harring-ton, the city editor, that he had dropped the case. He gave Harrington permission to use the information outside of Salt Lake city, and that gentleman telegraphed it to the Western Associated Press. I asked Judge Hagan if this was so, and he ac-knowledged that it was, but said that Judge Tilford's idea was to give the public an im-pression that he had withdrawn, hoping that the information would reach Ann Eliza. He could then ascertain whether she took any real interest in having the suit continued, or whether she was bought off.
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