THE MORMONS OF DESERET.
FROM THE REPUBLIC.
The readers of this paper have doubtless noticed, in the Congressional proceedings, the presentation in the Senate, on Monday last, of a memorial of William Smith and Isaac Sheen, claiming to be the legitimate Presidents of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and twelve other individuals of that church, charging the members of that community, now set-tled in the valley of the Salt Lake, with having taken an oath to avenge on the people and Government of this country the murder of Joseph Smith, and with a determination now to carry that oath into effect; and further accusing them of grossly immoral conduct, by adopting the doctrine of polyg-amy, &c.
Now, in relation to this matter, it is not improbable that these charges are exaggerated and untrue, and such as could not stand the test of a calm judicial investigation. We have no particular sympathies or regards for this Mormon people; but, judging from what we have formerly heard and latterly known of them, we deem these accusations to be entirely ab-surd and impossible.
In the first place, if were member aright, this William Smith, the first petitioner, is a brother of the celebrated Joseph Smith, who originally presided over the Mormons. At the time of Joseph's death, he presented himself to the Mor-mons, claiming to be the legitimate successor of his deceased brother; but the Mormon people refused to recognise him in that capacity. But, as we have been informed, inasmuch as he was a brother of one who was highly cherished among them, they consented to afford him protection and sustenance for a time; but his conduct at length becoming, as they al-lege, more and more dissolute, he was expelled from the pale of their church. Smith's hierarchical aspirations and his subsequent expulsion from the Mormon church sufficiently ex-plain his present hostility to that community.
It will be recollected, when the Mormons were on their way to the Far West, fleeing from the persecutions which they had suffered in Illinois and Missouri, overtures were made to them by United States officers, under instructions from our Government, inviting them to join in the hostilities which were going to be waged against the Mexican republic. This they promptly acceded to, and they rendered us efficient service during our war with that republic. Would this have been the case if they had sworn to avenge their wrongs ag-ainst the Government and people of the United States? We find them now knocking at out doors for admission into our Union, at a time when another more populous and less remote com-munity are in no hurry for such a consummation. Does this look like settled hostility to the United States? We think not.
The objections urged against this people on the score of their grasping for territory and their immoral practices, we are inclined to believe, are of an equally fragile tenure. With Texas and California claiming an area much larger than they have actually occupied, it is not surprising that Deseret should do the same. We believe, after all, that the people of Deseret will be willing to take such limits as Congress may choose to assign them. Can the same be said of other States which have applied for admission or been received into the Union? As to the polygamy charged against this people, we consider it almost too absurd to merit notice. That a people, the principal portion of whom have been born and brought up in the United States, and the next largest portion in England—a people stimulated by religion or fanaticism, whichever you please—should be addicted to such a demoralizing doctrine or practice, we consider utterly beyond the possibility of be-lief; and if anything would strengthen this conviction, it is the constitution under which they ask admission as a State, than which we have not seen one more lucid or better arrang-ed in any of the States of this Union.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.