GREAT SALT LAKE CITY.
ONE of the most remarkable quasi-religious movements of modern times, is that of the Mormons; or, as they call themselves, the "Latter day Saints." Originating in our own State, and not many miles from our own city in the year 1825, the delusion has gath-ered strength and power until it pervades all Christendom and draws out of all nations its votaries and pilgrims. The persecutions—not perhaps altogether undeserved—the tragical death by the hand of violence of the original founder of the sect, the wanderings and hard-ships of the people, and the strong ties of a common faith which binds them to each ether have all contributed to fix their isolated posi-tion, and to build them up as a community both large and powerful.
After having been driven out of Missouri, and subsequently from Illinois by a mob, they set their faces westward, probably with the original intention of settling either in Cal-ifornia or Oregon. But, during the progress of their journeyings, having come into the re-markable valley of the Salt Lake shut in upon all sides by lofty mountains, possessing a soil and climate favorable to agricultural pursuits, and capable of sustaining a large population, they at once took possession of it as the prom-ised land. On the borders of this lake beside a stream of crystal water which flows from the surrounding mountains, they built the New Jerusalem and laid the foundations of the temple. The streets of the city are broad and regular, and each habitation possesses a plat of ground sufficient for a garden. This causes the city to cover a vast area, at this time even, as large as the city of New York.—Through the middle of each street a clear riv-ulet flows in an open trench, which cools and purifies the atmosphere and furnishes to each inhabitant the means of cleanliness and irri-gation.
There has been much doubt existing in the minds of men, in regard to the Mormon
fidelity to the Union; and a vague suspicion has for some time been entertained, which has gathered strength from recent events, that an intention exists on their part, at some time to set the laws and authority of the United States at defiance, and to build up in the val-ley of the Salt an independent religious oli-garchy. The declaration of BRIGHAM YOUNG, the great high priest of the sect, and late Gov-ernor of Utah Territory, that he would be Governor until the Almighty said to him, "BRIGHAM, you need be Governor no longer;" the almost treasonable, and certainly blas-phemous declarations made time and again in public assemblies of "the Saints" by the leaders; the jealous coldness and suspicious conduct manifested towards the military and civil authorities of the United States; the recent declension of Col, STEPTOE to act as Governor, concerning which despatches are now passing between him and the government at Washington, all seem to point unmistaka-bly to future difficulties.
The new political doctrine of Squatter Sov-ereignty, which permits the people of the terri-tories to make their own laws, opens a wide door for vicious legislation; and under it the Mormons claim the right to legalize polgamy. This custom, so offensive to every christian sense, so hostile to the peace and happiness of the household, so degrading to woman in all the relations of life, is now openly defended and practiced in Salt Lake City and all the other Mormon settlements of the territory,—Its blighting influences are vividly portrayed by a lady contributor to the August number of PUTNAM'S Magazine, who, as the wife of a government officer, has soujourned among that people, and had an opportunity to observe its workings. This single vice will in the end prove the ruin of the Mormons. If left to themselves, and not pressed upon by outside persecutions, the seed of discord and decay will sooner or later overthrow the Mormon power.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.