Action of the legislature—The Overland Mail Route.
Correspondence of the New-York Times,
SALT LAKE CITY, Thursday, Jan. 13.
The Legislature thus far has not transacted any business of importance. A bill has been introduced pre-scribing the qualifications essential to holding office in the Territory. No person can be elected a Delegate to Congress unless he has resided two years in the Ter-ritory; members of the Legislature must have re-sided two years in the district they represented. No person shall hold any office unless he has been a resi-dent of the district for one year. The following sec-tions indicate the special object of the bill:
Sec 4. A person is not eligible to serve and, therefore, shall not save on any Grand or Petit Jury in any Court in this Territory, unless he is a free, white male citizen of the United States, is over twenty-one and under sixty years of age, is of reputed sound mind and discretion, is not so disabled in body as to be unable to serve, has not been convicted of any capital or otherwise infamous crime, is not a notorious vagrant, is not a drunkard or otherwise disorderly is not in the employ of, nor holding an appointment or office under the United States, owns taxable property and pays taxes in this Territory, and has been a constant resident therein during the year last preceding his being selected to serve as a Juror; provid-ed, that he be a married man he shall have kept house with his family in this Territory during said year.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, that no officer or soldier of the United States, and no army suttler and no freighter or other person in the employment of the United States is eligible to hold any office, or serve on any Jury, or vote at any election in this Territory, un-less his home and place of residence was therein at the time of engag-ing in such service.
This bill has passed its second reading in the Coun-cil, and will perhaps be greatly amended before its final passage.
There is also a bill before the Legislature provi-ding for a new division of the Territory into Judicial Districts. By the provisions of this bill, which has also been printed, the Third Judicial District will em-brace all the principal settlements in this part of the Territory. The Second will embrace Carson and Hum-boldt Valleys, and the First will embrace Fillmore and the deserts south of it.
Congress should remove this power of changing the Judicial Districts for the United States Courts, as it has been greatly abused by the Mormon Legisla-ture. This is the third time that the limits of the ju-risdiction of the United States Courts has been changed since the organization of the Territory.
The system of keeping the people in subjection by keeping them reduced to a state of absolute poverty, is still kept up.
In addition to their regular tithing of one-tenth of all they earn, the Mormons in each Ward of this city, are now compelled by the Church to pay over to the bishops of their Ward one pound of flour per month for every hundred persons in the Ward. For in-stance in the Fourteenth Ward there are 2,200 per-sons—each individual has, therefore, to contribute 22 pounds of flour per month to the Church.
This heavy tax is collected under the pretence of feeding the poor, when it is well and pub-licly known that not one pound of flour is paid out to any poor person in the city. These are facts, but the people, although they writhe and murmur under this infliction, seem to satisfy themselves by complaining in broken whispers to the "Gentiles." They seem to be so fascinated by BRIGHAM'S serpent glance that they yield (although unwillingly) and become hopelessly his slaves.
I regret to see that certain St. Louis correspondents are endeavoring to create a prejudice in the public mind against the Central Overland Mail Route, by making invidious comparisons of the time in transit of the mails over this route and the Southern Butterfield Route. It must be borne in mind that the schedule-time laid down by the Post-Office Department on this route is 38 days from St. Joseph, Mo., to Placerville; that four days are consumed in the Winter season in reaching St. Joseph from St. Louis, and one day in traveling from Placerville to San Francisco, making 43 days the schedule-time from St. Louis to San Fran-cisco by this Central Route—nearly twice as many days as the schedule-time by the Southern Route. The contractors receive pay for this service only, and therefore would not be justified in carrying their mails at a faster rate of speed. So that in fact at present no comparison can be instituted with regard to the time in transit in the mail by the two routes. The fault lies with the President. A bill was passed by Congress authorizing an increase of speed upon the Central route from 38 to 30 days from St. Joseph to Placerville, which would make the time from St. Joseph to San Francisco 35 days, but the Presi-dent refused to sign the bill. The mails over this route have been carried by the contractors with un-precedented regularity and punctuality. Since the 1st of May but four mails have arrived a minute behind schedule-time; and those four were detained by storms unrivaled even in these mountains for their severity. The mail due from Placerville next Monday morning, arrived this morning, 48 HOURS AHEAD OF TIME, thus demonstrating that the snows of Winter present no serious impediment to the rapid transit of the mails by this route.
The advantages of this route over the other as a mail route are most striking and apparent. It is by far the shortest. We need not go into figures to de-monstrate this fact. There are no long deserts of heavy sand to cross without water, for there is not a single drive of twenty miles without an abundance of water the whole route. The Indians are all peaceable and friendly. There are numerous extensive settle-ments along the route, and new ones constantly form-ing, and the vicinity of the Pike's Peak gold mines to the less thickly settled portion of the route will soon line it with enterprising settlers. The Spring rains offer no obstruction to travel on this route. It is the old highway over which nine-tenths of the overland emigration to California have passed and will continue to pass.
The experience of this Winter has proven beyond all doubt or cavil that the snow will not prevent the rapid travel of the mails. And furthermore, it is a CENTRAL route, and the most northern route practica-ble in all seasons of the year.
The contractors are ready and anxious to carry the road's from St. Louis to San Francisco, tri-weekly, in less time than the Southern Route, for the same com-pensation which the Southern Route get for carrying it semi-weekly.
But little has been said through the Press in regard to this route, because, as I have before stated, there is no comparison between the mail arrangements on the two routes. It is not, however, because this route is not equal or superior to the other in every respect. The opportunity only is wanting to show that superi-ority.
A. B. C.
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