THE MORMON QUESTION.
A Son of the Prophet Makes Out a Plausible Case for His People.
[Moncure D. Conway in Philadelphia Times.]
In conversation with an intelligent lawyer of New York he mentioned to me that John W. Young, the son of Brigham Young, was on the train and that he would be glad to in-troduce me to him. I readily accepted his offer and in the course of a day or two had frequent interviews with Mr. Young. I found him an affable and handsome gentle-man, with a great deal of that kind of intelli-gence which a man gets only from the uni-versity of life and experience. There was a certain sternness about his mouth, but his eye was light and genial. He received me kindly, surrounded by his young sons, who, I may remark, were polite and well-behaved lads. I told him that I should probably use my conversations with him in writing for the public some account of my journey, and with that understanding we at once entered upon a conversation on the burning question of polygamy. He held in his hand a book recently written about his people, by Phil Robinson, and also the statement of Judge Jeremiah Black, whose death the Mormons now lament. I freely agreed with him that there was much in masculine human nature which accorded with the Mormon system and which had a disastrous development in great cities. The evolution of man in conquering the lands and seas of the world, his life in camps and in ports have tended to make him a national polygamist.
Young said: “You can't go contrary to human nature." "But," I answered, "man is only half the human nature in the world; there is the nature of woman, whom all the conditions of life have tended to make a monogamist. There have been forces which have sometimes suppressed her instinct in that manner, as in the swarming populations of the far east, where there is no career for her and no support but in marriage, and where the excessive number of women seems to suggest polygamy as a necessary social economy; but these conditions having been left behind to a large extent, the question arises whether the charm and beauty and morality of life are not to be se-cured rather by the loyalty of one to one in matrimony." He then said: "Woman is necessarily the inferior of man. There are religious reasons why she should be the one to surrender her feelings in that respect." "But is it not found," I asked, "that the romance of life and the charm of the relation between man and maid is diminished by this plurality of wives?" He said: "Courtship goes on among us the same as in London. I believe in love, but not in infatuation. Whatever woman may suppose that she loses by being one among other wives, she is com-pensated for in a greater devotion to her children, for, in our system, the maternal feelings are regarded as supreme. These feelings are very early developed and form the chief earthly happiness of women. They also increase the affection of man, who can-not fail to feel a deep tenderness for the mother of his children. It must be remem-bered that in our faith this feeling concern-ing the production of the race is a profoundly religious feeling, and brings happiness which we believe is not realized where the relations are merely worldly."
I asked him whether, in the growth of society in Utah, it was not found that there were not enough wives for all, and was not this, to some extent, a reason for the hostility of the gentiles toward the Mormons. He re-plied: "The men who settle in this region are largely adventurers; they do not wish to settle down in permanent homes; they no doubt desire our women for immoral pur-poses, but they are not generally of the mar-rying kind." He dwelt largely upon the good order, the freedom from crime, which marked their settlement, even though many outsiders have come among them, and, un-questionably, Mr. Young made out a very plausible and no doubt sincere case for his people.
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