Appeal of Brigham Young’s Private Secretary on Behalf of the Mormons.
SIR : Many persons having written on the sub-ject of Mormonism, it cannot be considered improper for me to write a few things that I am personally knowing to be true.
Many persons have written upon mere surmises, or hearsay statements ; some with a desire that what they write might be true, and some write, being in-fluenced by a spirit of wickedness, slander and calumny, or to satisfy the innate cravings of a de-praved passion against that people. I wish all who read these lines to give me credit for sobriety and truth, having a firm desire to do good to my fellow-mortals.
In the month of May, 1813, I landed in Illinois, the then gathering place for the society called Latter-Day Saints, commonly called "Mormons." Since then I have been nearly the whole time in the society of that people, and have had better opportunities to learn the character of the leaders than most other persons, and I have come to the honest, conscientious conclusion that the people, as a people, are most shamefully belied, and that too by many persons who knew they were writing falsehoods at each stroke of the pen.
The Governor of Utah Territory, BRIGHAM YOUNG, I am most particularly acquainted with, having been for several years his private secretary ; and having also fitted the responsible offices of Recorder for Great Salt County since its organization ; and also Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of Utah Territory ; and I do feel that I have had far better opportunities than men who have been only sojourn-ing in the Territory for a few weeks or months. I ask every candid man to give me credit for sincerity, and I hope they will weigh each and every statement they may have heretofore read, with this, and when they have the balance of truth in their hands, that they will give their judgment rationally and righte-ously as they hope to be judged at the great bar of Judgment of Almighty God.
Therefore, I declare fearlessly that BRIGHAM YOUNG is a better, more noble, more honest and upright men than any of his accusers ; and has done more good, virtuous and upright actions than all of them put together. He is the friend of the oppressed of every clime, and relieves the distresses of every per-son who is worthy, no matter what country or clime they may come from. He is the friend of peace, and would avert the angry strife of men if he had the power. He is not a rebellious man to the United States, but does uphold the Constitution of the Uni-ted States, and he always in private speaks of the Constitution as being the best there is on the earth; and he always declares that if the other States secede from the great Confederacy, that the Constitution will be supported by the Mormons to their dying breath ; and the time will come that the Stars and Stripes will float the most triumphant on the Rocky Mountains, and those States who desire to honor the glorious deeds of their forefathers will rally round it until it is exalted and honored above all nations on the earth.
But, he is opposed to wicked men, and the evil deeds that they perform ; and if it happens that a wicked man is sent to Utah, those wicked deeds will be exposed and rebuked ; if the wicked man will re-frain from his wicked deeds and determine to do bet-ter, he will be honored for overcoming these evil pro-pensities ; but if wicked men will continue their evil deeds, Utah Territory is soon made too warm for them to dwell there, equally as much so, as it will be too hot for an adulterer, a whoremonger, a thief, or a liar, to dwell in the courts of the Great God of this Universe. Every honest, upright and virtuous man in the United States indignantly shuts his door against the known thief, seducer, or a drunken man. Then surely, gentlemen and ladies, every one of you will grant the same liberty, not only to Governor YOUNG, cut also to all the inhabitants in that Territory!
Reflect for a few moments, and you will find that all the charges against that people are of a general and denunciatory character. If any of the charges were true, or bad the appearance of truth, why have not some of the accusers had those individuals sum-moned before the Judges to account for it; and then, if found guilty, let them in their virtuous indignation punish the transgressors of the law. If the state-ments of any of the accusing judges or others are true, now they are in the States and free from the fear of the Mormons, why do they not mention some circumstance, fix upon some person, or some day, and submit the same to the Supreme Court? and if that Court is not high enough in authority, submit the facts to the President of the United States, and at least, give a show of the color of truth to those state-ments! But they know they can not do it against the Governor or any of the leaders of the Church ; they are willing to lay the crimes of wicked men, who may be only sojourning in the Territory for a few weeks, at the doors of the Mormons as a whole, I ask you, gentlemen, would it be right for me to lay all the crimes that are or have been committed in the neigh-borhood of the Five Points of this notable City at the doors of President BUCHANAN, his Cabinet, and the Congress of the United States? Would they not in-dignantly spurn the accusation and brand me as a liar, or as one possessed of the spirit of the devil? Gentlemen and ladies, you know they would, then allow me the same privilege of hurling back the same accusations that have been made against Gov. YOUNG, and I call upon his accusers for their proof, their evi-dence, and I defy them to prove the crimes of trea-son, rebellion, murder, arson, larceny, theft, adultery, dishonesty, or even the crime of lying, against Gover-nor YOUNG. I thus throw down the gauntlet, and defy any man to take it up.
I have also been most intimately acquainted with his counselors, HEBER C. KIMBALL and DANIEL H. WELLS ; they are gentlemen in every sense of the word and if the withering rebukes given by President KIMBALL to those who commit any crimes, have hurt their feelings, let them make restitution to those whom they have injured, if they can ; then they will feel better than their guilty consciences now allow them to feel, and they won't be so apt to make false accusations against these men.
As the cheif Clerk of the House of Representatives, I do know that the members who compose that Legis-lature, who are elected by the people, are not biased by any individual; they do study to make laws that will govern the people in righteousness, and punish wickedness of every description ; and the proof that they are good and wholesome laws, is manifest In the fact that the President of the United States, or the Congress of the United States, have not vetoed any law that that been passed by that honorable body. And again, in the fact that several members of the Cabinet, and the Senate, and the House of Repre-sentatives, have spoken highly of them, and wished that all the Territories were governed as simply and easily as Utah.
As the Recorder of Great Salt Lake County, since 1848, I do know that the people in that county are an honest, sober, virtuous, and upright people ; and I fearlessly challenge the Recorder of any county in any State of this great and glorious Union, to produce their records before an intelligent people, or a Com-mittee of three appointed by Congress, that they may determine which is the most virtuous county for its size there is in the Union. I claim Great Salt Lake County as the best. Now, gentlemen Recorders, try your strength, and take the palm from me, if you can.
Gentlemen, I wish you clearly to understand that I have not written the above by way of vain glory, but merely to refute the calumnious charges that are made against the Governor and people of the most peaceable Territory that you have in this great con-federation.
Questions have been put to me about the present movements of the Army against Utah. This has all suddenly risen up since my leaving that Territory for New-York. I know that the Governor is opposed to a wicked and licentious soldiery, having often spoken against the wickedness which is too generally known they are in the habit of committing in the hab-itations of citizens near whom they have been loca-ted ; the many ruined fair daughters of the citizens in the several States bear too strong evidence against them. Again, it is generally known to the Mormons that the United States soldiers, while traversing the plains from the Missouri River last year, were con-tinually boasting of how they intended to use the Mormon women when they had got to Salt Lake City. When that information was communicated to the Mormons, they have merely taken precautionary measures to prevent their entrance into the Valley ; and if it has become a crime to preserve the chastity of wives, sisters and daughters from the contamina-ting influences of a class of men who openly, un-blushingly, and unreservedly boasted of their deter-minations and ill intentions, then indeed are many of the Mormons now guilty of crime. I will here inquire if the fathers and mothers of the virtuous and enlight-ened portion of the United States will sit patiently still with their hands in their laps, and complacently fee another portion of civilized and intelligent com-munity of their fellow mortals thus invaded, without uttering one word of protest against such an unprece-dented and unheard of outrage? Or, are they willing to have the sanctity of their own homes invaded, and the virtue of their beloved fair ones as ruthlessly de-stroyed, as the troops in the army against Utah boast-ed they were going to do in that Territory?
It is said that the Mormons are a low, degraded class of people. If such a statement is true, why do not those persons who have made this discovery set a better example, and constrain the Mormons to rise from their so-called degradation, and exalt them in the scale of intelligence? I admit we have some fools in our midst, but we have no greater proportion than any other religious society.
If one man or a hundred men have committed crime in Utah, is it necessary to send a powerful army with cannon, sword and bayonet to try the demerits of their wickedness? and, if found guilty, to see them safely incarcerated, (which is the utmost penalty for any crime a Mormon may have committed,) and then return home again? Good Heavens! whenever was such a ridiculous piece of business before exhibited to the world?
If President BUCHANAN has believed all the charges true against Governor YOUNG, would not the natural channel have been, in any other Territory, to appoint a Committee to go and investigate the charges, and then bring him to trial: then, If resistance had been made, it would have been time enough to call on a military posse comitatus to go to Utah Territory. But I positively know that no resistance would have been made, and that Governor YOUNG would have been honorably acquitted and recommended to continue in his office, as he had been before, when Col, STEPTOE, with his military command, was there in 1855. If the archives at Washington are not destroyed, the recom-mendation signed by Col. STEPTOE and all the officers under him with others, might be brought out and read for instruction. But I overrule myself, that would be in favor of Gov. Young and the Mormons and therefore it would not be policy to publish the document, for the world would become enlightened by the testi-mony of their own officers.
I must conclude, and leave this defences to the judg-ment of an enlightened public; and remain
The friend of all good men,
Great Salt Lake County Recorder, now on a visit in New-York., WEDNESDAY, March 31, 1856.
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