Opening of the Campaign Burning of Supply Trains Strategic Movement of Colonel Alexander His Retreat Arrival of Albert Sidney Johnston the March to Fort Bridger Winter at Camp Scott Mission of Colonel Kane Governor Cumming at Salt Lake City Pardon Proclaimed the Peace Commissioners the Army of Utah Advances on Zion the City Deserted the Mormons Return to Their Homes the Troops Cantoned at Camp Floyd Conduct of the Soldiery and Camp Followers Judges Sinclair and Cradlebaugh the Reformation in Utah.
"I am ordered there, and I will winter in the valley or in hell," exclaimed General Harney, who had now joined the expedition, when Van Vliet on his way to Washington reported to him the condition of affairs among the Mormons. With such prospects before them, it was probably fortunate for the army of Utah that the command changed hands early in the campaign, the general's services being again required in Kansas, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, then at Fort Leavenworth, being appointed his successor, and Colonel Alexander, the senior officer, meanwhile assuming command.
About the middle of August, Colonel Robert Burton with seventy men from the first regiment of the Nauvoo legion, afterward joined by a company from Provo, had already been sent eastward as a corps of observation, with instructions to follow the main emigrant trail, protect incoming Mormon trains, ascertain the number, equipments, and materiel of the
United States troops, and report to headquarters. On the 22d of September the colonel, accompanied by three others, the remainder of his command being ordered to return slowly toward Salt Lake City, selecting on their way the best points for a defensive campaign, encountered the vanguard of the army of Utah, in the vicinity of Devil's Gate, thence accompanied them to Camp Winfield, on Ham Fork, and afterward proceeded to Fort Bridger.
A few days later General Wells, in command of 1,250 men, supplied with thirty days' rations, established his headquarters at Echo Cañon, a defile some twenty-five miles in length, and whose walls are in places almost within pistol-shot of each other. Through this cañon, the Mormons supposed, lay the path of the invading army, the only means of avoiding the gorge being by a circuitous route northward to Soda Springs, and thence by way of Bear River Valley, or the Wind River Mountains. On the western side of the cañon dams and ditches were constructed, by means of which the road could be submerged to a depth of several feet; at the eastern side
stone heaps were collected and bowlders loosened from the overhanging rocks, so that a slight leverage would hurl them on the passing troops, and parapets were built as a protection for sharp-shooters.1 Leaving his men in charge of staff-officers,2 the general set forth with a small escort for Fort Bridger, where he was informed by Burton as to the movements and strength of the invading force and the location of its supply trains. It had been ascertained that the army had pressed forward on Fort Winfield to protect the trains, which had been left insufficiently guarded, and it was now feared that the men would be ordered to pack a few days' provisions in their knapsacks and make a forced march on Salt Lake City.
At this juncture a letter from General Wells was delivered to Colonel Alexander, together with copies of the organic act, the laws of Utah, the proclamation forbidding the entrance of armed forces into the territory, and a despatch from Brigham. The last was a remarkable document, and must have been somewhat of a surprise to the colonel, who had proved himself one of the most gallant soldiers of the Mexican war. He was informed that Brigham Young was still governor of Utah, and that he had disregarded his prohibition. He was ordered to withdraw by the same route that he had entered. Should he desire, however, to remain until spring in the neighborhood of his present encampment, he must surrender his arms and ammunition to the Mormon quartermaster-general, in which case he would be supplied with provisions, and would not be molested.3 The colonel replied in brief and business-like phrase. He addressed Brigham Young as governor; stated that he would
1For cut of Echo Cañon, see Hayden's The Great West, 313; Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 363. The remains of the breastworks and darts were to be seen ten years later. Kirchoff, Reisebilder, i. 107-8.
2Colonels N. V. Jones and J. D. T. McAllister.
3For copies of both letters, see Secretary of War's Rept House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., ii. pt 2, pp. 31-3.
submit his letter to the commanding officer immediately on his arrival; that meanwhile the troops were there by order of the president, and that their future movements and operations would depend on orders issued by competent military authority.
On receiving the answer of Colonel Alexander, Wells determined to open the campaign, a plan of which had been before arranged at Salt Lake City. Inviting to dinner Major Lot Smith, who had conveyed the despatches to and from the enemy's camp, he asked him whether he could take some forty men, the only available force then at the Mormon camp at Cache Cave, where Wells was now encamped, and, passing in rear of the foe, turn back or burn the supply trains still on the road. "I think I can," replied Lot Smith; and the next evening he started out. Wells then addressed to Major Joseph Taylor the letter of instructions already quoted.
Riding all night at the head of his detachment, Smith came in sight of a westward-bound government train on the morning of October 3d, and ordered the drivers to go back. This they did, but turned round when out of sight. During the day a party of troops passed them, and relieving the wagons of their freight, left them standing. Smith then started for Sandy Fork, sending a few of his men under Captain Haight in another direction. Soon he observed a cloud of dust in the direction of the old Mormon trail, and was informed by his scouts that a train of twenty-six wagons was approaching. Halting and feeding his men, he approached them at dusk, while encamped at a spot known as Simpson's Hollow, on Green River, and there lay in ambush for several hours. Meanwhile he ascertained, as he relates, that there were two trains, each of twenty-six wagonsthere being, in fact, three, with seventy-five wagons in all.4
4Rept of Commissary Clarke, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., x. no. 71, p. 63. Col. Alexander, however, in his official report to the adjutant-general, dated Camp Winfield, Oct. 9, 1857, says that only two trains were destroyed on Green River, but that one was burned on the Big Sandy, together (cont.)
It was now near midnight; but a few of the wagoners were still gathered round the camp-fires, some of them drinking and some smoking, when armed and mounted men, as it seemed in endless procession, noiselessly emerged from the darkness, their leader quietly asking for 'the captain.' Most of the teamsters were asleep, their weapons fastened to the awnings of the wagons, and resistance was almost hopeless. The captain of the wagoners, Dawson by name, stepped forward, surrendered his charge, and bade his men stack their arms and group themselves on a spot pointed out by Smith, who dealt with the other trains in like manner. Then, lighting two torches, the major handed one of them to a gentile in his party, dubbed Big James, remarking that it was proper for the gentiles to spoil the gentiles. Riding from wagon to wagon they set fire to the covers, which caught rapidly in the crisp air of this October night. "By Saint Patrick, ain't it beautiful!" exclaimed Big James; "I never saw anything go better in my life." Dawson meanwhile was sent to the rear of the trains to take out provisions for his captors. When all the wagons were fairly in a blaze, the Mormons rode away, telling their panic-stricken captives that they would return as soon as they had delivered the spoils to their comrades near by, and instantly shoot any one who should attempt to extinguish the flames.5
(4cont.) with a few wagons belonging to the sutler of the tenth infantry, a few miles behind the latter. Probably the colonel was for the moment misinformed as to the train abandoned on the morning of the 4th. The destruction of the sutler's wagons was perhaps wrought by Haight's party, as Smith states that they were sent after the convoy of the tenth infantry. Otherwise I find no evidence that this was the case.
5Lot Smith's narrative, in Tullidge's Hist. S. L. City, 173-5, when stripped of the braggadocio common to the saints militantand thus I have given itappears to be the best detailed account of this incident. The portions of it which conflict with the testimony of United States officials I have omitted. For instance, Smith says: 'His [Dawson's] orders to the train men were from the commander at Camp Winfield, and were to the effect that the Mormons were in the field, and that they must not go to sleep, but keep guard on their trains, and that four companies of cavalry and two pieces of artillery would come over in the morning to escort them into camp.' The truth appears to be, that Col Alexander knew nothing about the projected raid. In his report, ut supra, he mentions that Van Vliet had assured him no armed resistance would be offered if he did not proceed farther than Fort Bridger and Fort (cont.)
The army of Utah was now in evil case. Harney had accepted the command reluctantly, and returned to Kansas as soon as possible. Alexander was un-fitted for it, and Johnston had not yet arrived. Winter was at hand; forage was almost exhausted; provisions would fail within a few months; and if the troops could not move into quarters within fourteen days, there would be no animals left alive to convey their supplies. The pitiful strait that had now over-taken them is explained in a letter addressed by Colonel Alexander, four days after the Green River catastrophe, to the officers in command of forces en route for Utah. "No information of the position or intentions of the commanding officer has reached me," he writes, "and I am in utter ignorance of the objects of the government in sending troops here, or the instructions given for their conduct after reaching here. I have had to decide upon the following points: First, the necessity of a speedy move to winter quarters; second, the selection of a point for wintering; third, the best method of conducting the troops and supplies to the point selected." A council of war was held, and the point selected was Fort Hall, on Beaver Head Mountain, 140 miles from Fort Bridger. So little did the colonel know even about the disposition of the command, that, at the time and place when he expected to be joined by Colonel Smith, in charge of supply trains, this officer was still at South Pass, with an escort of two hundred men.
On the 11th of October the troops commenced their march. Snow was falling heavily, and for several days they were compelled to cut a path for their
(5cont.) Supply, and that 100 wagons had been parked for three weeks on Ham Fork without being molested. On the other hand, he states in the same report that Col Waite of the fifth infantry, though not anticipating any trouble, was preparing to send a detachment to the trains when he heard of their destruction. For other accounts and comments on the disaster on Green River, see Hickman's Destroying Angel, 117-21; Beadle's Life in Utah, 189; Burton's City of the Saints, 208-9; S. F. Bulletin, Dec. 11, 1857; S. F. Alta, Dec. 17, 30, 1857; Sac. Union, Dec. 11, 1857. The list of stores destroyed is given in Commissary Clarke's Report, in H. Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., no. 71, p. 63.
wagons through the dense brush, their trains being still of such unwieldy length that the vanguard had reached its camping-ground at nightfall before the rear-guard had moved from its camp of the preceding day. Meanwhile bands of Mormons, under their nimble and ubiquitous leaders, hung on their flanks, just out of rifle-shot, harassing them at every step, 700 oxen being captured and driven to Salt Lake City on the 13th. There was as yet no cavalry in the force. A few infantry companies were mounted on mules and sent in pursuit of the guerrillas, but the saints merely laughed at them, terming them jackass cavalry. The grass had been burned along the line of route, and the draught-animals were so weak that they could travel but three miles a day. When the point was reached where Smith's detachment was expected to join the army, the commander, disappointed and sore perplexed, called a second council, at which many of the officers were in favor of cutting their way through the cañons at all hazard.
At this juncture a despatch was received from Johnston, who was now at South Pass, ordering the troops to proceed to Fontenelle Creek, where pasture was abundant; and a few days later a second despatch directed them to march to a point three miles below the junction of Ham and Black forks, the colonel stating that he would join them at the latter point. On the 3d of November they reached the point of rendezvous, where Johnston arrived the following day, with a reënforcement of cavalry and the supply trains in charge of Smith.6
Albert Sidney Johnston was a favorite officer, and had already given earnest of the qualities that he displayed a few years later in the campaigns of the civil war. The morale of the army was at once restored, and at the touch of this great general each man put forth his utmost energy. But their troubles were
6Johnston's despatch, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., no. 71, pp. 65-6; Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 369.
not yet ended. The expedition was now ordered to Fort Bridger, and at every step difficulties increased. There were only thirty-five miles to be traversed, but, except on the margin of a few slender streams, the country through which lay their route was the barest of desert land. There was no shelter from the chill blasts of this mountain solitude, where, even in November, the thermometer sometimes sank to 16° below zero. There was no fuel but the wild sage and willow; there was little pasture for the half-frozen cattle.
The march commenced on the 6th of November, and on the previous night 500 of the strongest oxen had been stolen by the Mormons. The trains extended over six miles, and all day long snow and sleet fell on the retreating column. Some of the men were frost-bitten, and the exhausted animals were goaded by their drivers until many fell dead in their traces. At sunset the troops encamped wherever they could find a particle of shelter, some under bluffs, and some in the willow copses. At daybreak the camp was surrounded with the carcasses of frozen cattle, of which several hundreds had perished during the night. Still, as the trains arrived from the rear, each one halted for a day or more, giving time for the cattle to rest and graze on such scant herbage as they could find. To press forward more rapidly was impossible, for it would have cost the lives of most of the draught-animals; to find shelter was equally impossible, for there was none. There was no alternative but to proceed slowly and persistently, saving as many as possible of the horses, mules, and oxen. Fifteen days were required for this difficult operation.7 Meanwhile Colonel St George Cooke, who arrived on the 19th by way of Fort Laramie, at the head of 500 dragoons, had fared no better than the main body, having lost nearly half of his cattle.8
7Rept of Col Johnston, dated Camp Scott, Nov. 30, 1857, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., x. no. 71, p. 77.
8Ibid. On the 5th the command passed Devil s Gate, and on the following (cont.)
A length the army of Utah arrived at Fort Bridgerto find that the buildings in and around it, together with those at Fort Supply, twelve miles distant, had been burned to the ground by Mormons, and the grain or other provisions removed or destroyed. All that remained were two enclosures surrounded by walls of cobblestone cemented with mortar, the larger one being a hundred feet square. This was appropriated for the storage of supplies, while on the smaller one lunettes were built and mounted with cannon. A sufficient garrison was stationed at this point; the cattle were sent for the winter to Henry Fork, in charge of Colonel Cooke and six companies of the second dragoons, and about the end of November, the remainder of the troops went into winter quarters on Black Fork of the Green River, two or three miles beyond Fort Bridger, and a hundred and fifteen from Salt Lake City. The site, to which was given the name of Camp Scott, was sheltered by bluffs,
(8cont.) day, while erossing what he terms a four-mile hill, Colonel Cooke writes: 'The north wind and drifting snow became severe; the air seemed turned to frozen fog; nothing could be seen; we were struggling in a freezing cloud. The lofty wall at Three Crossings was a happy relief; but the guide, who had lately passed there, was relentless in pronouncing that there was no grass As he promised grass and other shelter two miles farther, we marched on, crossing twice more the rocky stream, half choked with snow and ice; finally he led us behind a great granite rock, but all too small for the promised shelter. Only a part of the regiment could huddle there in the deep snow; whilst the long night through the storm continued, and in fearful eddies from above, before, behind, drove the falling and drifting snow.' Meanwhile the animals were driven once more across the stream to the base of a granite ridge which faced the storm, but where there was grass. They refused to eat, the mules huddling together and moaning piteously, while some of the horses broke away from the guard and went back to the ford. The next day better camping-ground was reached ten miles farther on. On the morning of the 8th, the thermometer marked 44° below freezing-point; but in this weather and through deep snow the men made eighteen miles, and the following day nineteen miles, to the next camping-grounds on Bitter Creek, and in the valley of the Sweetwater. On the 10th matters were still worse. Herders left to bring up the rear with the stray mules could not force them from the valley, and there three fourths of them were left to perish. Nine horses were also abandoned. At night the thermometer marked 25° below zero; nearly all the tent-pins were broken, and nearly forty soldiers and teamsters were on the sick-list, most of them being frost-bitten. 'The earth,' writes the colonel, 'has a no more lifeless, treeless, grassless desert; it contains scarcely a wolf to glut itself on the hundreds of dead and frozen animals which for thirty miles nearly block the road.' Rept in Id., pp. 96-9. See also Rodenbough's From Everglade to Cañon with the Second Dragoons, 214-18.
rising abruptly at a few hundred yards distance from the bed of the stream. Near by were clumps of cotton-wood which the Mormons had attempted to burn; but the wood being green and damp, the fire had merely scorched the bark. Tents of a new pattern9 were furnished to the men, the poles, to which was attached a strong hoop, being supported by iron tripods. From the hoops the canvas depended in the shape of a cone, somewhat in the fashion of an Indian wigwam. Even when the tents were closed fires could be lighted without discomfort beneath the tripods, a draught being created by the opening at the top. The civil officials, who arrived about this time, dwelt apart in structures resembling the Alaskan barabaraholes dug in the ground over which were built huts of mud-plastered logs. To this part of the encampment was given, in honor of the chief justice, the name of Eckelsville.
Though most of the beef cattle had been carried off by Mormons or Indians, a sufficient number of draught-animals remained to furnish meat for seven months during six days in the week, while of bacon there was enough for one day in the week, and by reducing the rations of flour, coffee, and other articles, they might also be made to last until the 1st of June.10 Parties were at once sent to New Mexico and Oregon11 to procure cattle and remounts for the cavalry. Meantime shambles were built, to which the starved animals at Fort Henry were driven, and butchered as soon as they had gathered a little flesh, their meat being jerked and stored for future use.
In loading the wagons at Fort Leavenworth the quartermaster had packed into each train such goods as were at hand, taking no trouble to procure for them
9The Sibley pattern. Aide-de-camp Lay's despatch to General Harney, in Rept, ut sapra, 8.
10Capt. H. F. Clarke, in Id., p. 105, gives a statement of the supplies stored at Fort Bridger, Nov. 28, 1857. There were 150 days' rations of flour for 2,400 men, 144 of tea or coffee, 217 of sugar, 222 of beans, rice, or desiccated vegetables, 28 of bacon or ham, 137 of vinegar, and 83 of molasses.
11The first under Captain Marcy.
their due proportion of other stores. The trains destroyed at Simpson Hollow, for instance, were laden entirely with provisions, while three others that followed contained the tents and all the clothing. Fortunately the latter did not fall into the hands of the Mormons, though when unpacked it was found that they contained more of utterly useless supplies than of what was really needed. For an army of about 2,400 men, wintering in a region 7,000 feet above the sea-level, where at night the thermometer always sinks below zero, there had been provided 3,150 bedsacksarticles well suited for a pleasure camp in summerand only 723 blankets; there were more than 1,500 pairs of epaulets and metallic scales, but only 938 coats and 676 great-coats; there were 307 cap covers, and only 190 caps; there were 1,190 military stocks; but though some of the men were already barefooted, and others had no covering for their feet except moccasins, there were only 823 pairs of boots and 600 pairs of stockings.12 One of the wagons had been freighted entirely with camp kettles, but brine could not be had, for at this time there was not a pound of salt in the entire camp, a supply proffered as a gift from Brigham, whom Johnston now termed the great Mormon rebel, being rejected with contempt.13
Thus did the army of Utah pass the winter of 1857-8, amid privations no less severe than those endured at Valley Forge eighty-one years before; but this army was composed of seasoned veterans, under able leadership, and the men were confident and even
12Assistant Quartermaster Dickerson's Rept, dated Camp Scott, Nov. 29, 1857, in Id., pp. 106-7, where will be found a list of all the clothing on hand at that date.
13A copy of Brigham's letter, dated S. L. City, Nov. 26, 1857, stating that he has forwarded a load of about 800 lbs, to which Col Johnston is welcome as a gift, but for which payment will be accepted if preferred, will be found in Id., pp. 110-11 Tullidge says that the salt was secretly brought into camp, but'that the commander would not eat of it, and that the officers' mess was soon afterward supplied by Indians at the rote of $5 per lb. Hist. S. L. City, 196.
cheerful. The festivities of christmas and new year were celebrated with song and dance and martial music, in pavilions for which the timber had been hauled by hand through miles of snow. Over each one waved the regimental colors, and over that of the fifth infantry fluttered the remnants of the flag that had been torn to shreds at Molino del Rey, and borne in triumph up the slopes of Chapultepec.
Meanwhile the Mormon militia had returned to the valley, as soon as the snow had closed up the mountain cañons. The saints of course regarded the disasters of the federal army as a righteous judgment of providence on a nation that took arms against Zion, and welcomed their returning warriors with pæans of triumph,14 stigmatizing the foe in sorry and insulting doggerel.15 At the tabernacle elders waxed bold, and all their remonstrances and overtures of peace being now rejected,16 they openly avowed, sometimes in braggart phrase, their contempt for the United
14In a song of welcome composed by W. G. Mills, and published in the Deseret News, Jan. 13, 1858, are the following lines:
15In Id., Jan. 27, 1858, is a song composed by Matthew Rowan of South Cottonwood, commencing:
A lengthy, and if possible mere silly, effusion appears in Id., Feb. 17, 1858. Stenhouse relates that after partaking of the sacrament at the tabernacle the saints concluded divine service with a chorus sung to the tune of ' Du dah day,' and commencing:
Rocky Mountain Saints, 372. I find no mention of such a song in the files of the Deseret News. In the issue of Oct. 21, 1858, is an adapted translation of the Marseillaise, also rendered by W. G. Mills, who afterward apostatized.
16For copies of further correspondence between Brigham and Col Alexander, see Tullidge's Hist. S. L. City, 176-84; for letter addressed by John Taylor to Capt Marcy. Id., 184-9. They are also given with some additions in the Deseret News, Jan. 13, 1858, and in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., x. no. 71, p. 48 et seq.
States government and its army,17 and declared that Israel should now be free.
Meanwhile Governor Cumming declared the Mormons in a state of rebellion, warned them that proceedings would be instituted against the ringleaders by Judge Eckels, and bade the militia disband; but throughout the United States and throughout Europe the question was asked, this winter, "What has become of the army of Utah?" The expedition became known as Buchanan's blunder, and there were many who believed that a harsher phrase would have been more appropriate.
In February 1858 a messenger from Washington arrived at Salt Lake City by way of Los Angeles,18 and introducing himself under the name of Doctor Osborne, asked for an interview with Brigham Young. He was pale and travel-worn, but his request was immediately granted, for he was indeed a welcome visitor. It was Colonel Thomas L. Kane. The council was summoned, and as the elders recognized their old friend of the days of Nauvoo, every eye was fixed on him, for it was hoped that his mission would put a new aspect on affairs. "Governor Young, and gentlemen," he said, "I come as an ambassador from the chief executive of our nation, and am prepared and duly authorized to lay before you most fully and definitely the feelings and views of the citizens of our common country, and of the executive, towards you, relative to the present position of the territory, and relative to the army of the United States now upon your borders.
"After giving you the most satisfactory evidence
17In a sermon delivered at the tabernacle Dec. 13, 1857, Lorenzo D. Young remarked: 'If our enemiesI do not mean those few out yonder: a swarm of long-billed mosquitoes could eat them up at a supper spell; I mean the whole United States and the whole worldif they should come upon us, they can not prevail.' Deseret News, Dec. 23, 1857. The remarks of other elders, as reported in Id., Dec. 16th, were, however, for the most part rational.
18Overtaking in southern California the Mormons who had broken up their settlement at that point and were en route for Utah. Utah Notes, MS.
in relation to matters concerning you now pending, I shall then call your attention, and wish to enlist your sympathies in behalf of the poor soldiers who are now suffering in the cold and snow of the mountains. I shall request you to render them aid and comfort, and to assist them to come here, and to bid them a hearty welcome to your hospitable valley. Governor Young, may I be permitted to ask a private interview for a few moments with you?" The purport of this conversation has never yet been ascertained, but at its close the governor remarked: "Friend Thomas, you have done a good work, and you will do a greater work still."19
On the 12th of March the colonel arrived at Camp Scott, and was entertained as the guest of Governor Cumming. Being presented to Judge Eckels, he displayed credentials from the president and letters from Brigham authorizing him to act as a negotiator. He came as a peace-maker, but was received almost as a spy. An invitation to dinner from Colonel Johnston was construed by the sergeant who delivered itwhether in malice or mischief does not appearas an order for his arrest. The blunder was, of course, rectified; but Kane, who was now classed as a Mormon,20 challenged the commander-in-chief, and a duel was only prevented by the intervention of the chief justice. Nevertheless, he received a fair hearing from the governor. His mission was to induce him to proceed to Salt Lake City under a Mormon escort, and at once
19Col Kane arrived Feb. 25th. Deseret News, March 3, 1858. On March 2d Major Van Vliet reached S. L. City from Washington at 4 A. M., and started four hours later, probably for Camp Scott. St Louis Republican, Dec. 14th, in Ibid.
20Hyde, Mormonism, 146; Waite, The Mormon Prophet, 52, and others claim that Col Kane had actually been baptized at Council Bluffs in 1847. The colonel himself never made any such statement; and, as Stenhouse remarks, if this had been the case he would surely have been treated by Brigham with less respect, for implicit obedience was always required from those who embraced the faith. Rocky Mountain Saints, 382. The truth appears to be that Kane's Mormon proclivities were due to the kind treatment and excellent nursing which he received from them in 1847, whereby his life was saved when he sojourned in one of their camps near Winter Quarters, as already related. There is no reliable evidence that he was a Mormon.
assume his functions. The officers remonstrated, stating that he would surely be poisoned; but Cumming was a high-spirited man, anxious only that matters should be adjusted, if possible without loss of life. He resolved to trust himself to the colonel's guidance, and on the 5th of April set forth from Camp Scott.
After passing through the federal lines, Cumming was met by an escort of Mormon militia, and on his way to Salt Lake City, where he arrived a week later, was everywhere acknowledged as governor and received with due honors.21 Several interviews were held with Brigham, during which he was assured that every facility would be afforded him. The territorial seal, the records of the supreme and district courts, and other public property, the supposed destruction of which had helped to bring about the war, were found intact. On the second sabbath after his arrival Cumming attended the tabernacle, where he addressed three or four thousand of the saints, declaring that it was not intended to station the army in close contact with any of the settlements, and that the military would not be used in making arrests until other means had failed. After touching on the leading questions at issue, remembering, meanwhile, that he was
21It was arranged with the Mormon officer in charge of the escort that the party should pass through Echo Cañon at night, the object being, as Cumming supposed, to conceal the barricades and defences; but bonfires were lighted by the Mormons, illuminating the valley and the mountain-tops. Cumming's Rept to General Johnston, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., xiii. no. 138, p. 3. According to some accounts of Cumming's journey to S. L. City, Col Kimball, who with Porter Rockwell was in command of the escort, caused a plentiful repast to be prepared for the governor at Cache Cave, the first halting-place on the route. About 150 men of the legion were then ordered out and reviewed; and as the party passed other stations, troops drawn up on both sides of the road saluted the governor. At one point a mock attempt was made to arrest him, but Col Kimball interfered. At Echo Cañon hundreds of camp-fires were lighted, in order to deceive him as to the numbers of the Mormon soldiery. Cumming supposed that there were 2,000 to 3,000 of them in or near the cañon, whereas, in fact, there were but the 150 men whom he had first seen, a portion of them being halted at each stage, while the rest were ordered to pass by unobserved and await him at the next station. When within a few miles of S. L. City, he was met by a strong detachment of the legion, and escorted, amid martial music and salvos of artillery, to the residence of Elder W. C. Staines. Waite's The Mormon Prophet, 53-5; Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 389-90. These statements are not confirmed by Tullidge in his Hist. S. L. City.
addressing a people embittered by many real and many imaginary wrongs, he stated that he had come among them to establish the sovereignty of a nation whose laws he was sworn to uphold, and to which he would require their absolute submission. Then followed harangues from certain of the elders, in which were repeated the oft-told story of the prophet's assassination, the services of the Mormon battalion, and the exodus from Nauvoo. One of the speakers declared that the government intended to occupy the territory with its troops, whether they were needed to support the civil officials or not. This remark caused the wildest uproar; and, writes the governor, "I was fully confirmed in the opinion that this people, with their extraordinary religion and customs, would gladly encounter certain death rather than be taxed with a submission to the military power, which they consider to involve a loss of honor."22
The tumult was stayed by Brigham, and no further symptoms of rebellion occurred during the governor's visit. About the middle of May he returned to Fort Scott, accompanied by Colonel Kane, and reported that the people of Utah acknowledged his authority, and that, before long, the transit of mails and passengers between the Missouri and the Pacific might be
22On the same sabbath Cumming, having been informed that many persons desired to leave the territory but were unlawfully restrained from doing so, caused a notice to be read in the tabernacle asking them to forward their names and places of residence. He states that 160 persons, most of whom were of English birth, claimed his protection, asking to be forwarded to the eastern states. They were sent to Camp Scott, where they arrived in a destitute condition, some of them without apparel except for garments made from the canvas of their wagon-covers. The soldiers shared with them their rations and clothing. In his report the governor also calls attention to the depredations of Indians, and says he has been informed that Garland Hurt had roused to acts of hostility the Indians of Uintah Valley. Hurt, who, as will be remembered, was the only gentile official remaining in Utah after the departure of Judge Drummond, states that when martial law was proclaimed he was unwilling to apply to Brigham for a passport, and, with the aid of Uintah Indians, made his escape, after much privation, to Johnston's camp, then on the Sweetwater. He declares that he was surrounded by Mormons and escaped at great risk of life. Brigham, on the other hand, offered him safe and speedy transportation, and tried to dissuade him from exposing himself to needless risk and hardship. Copies of the correspondence will be found in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., x. no. 71. pp. 205-10, passim.
resumed without fear of interruption. the colonel then took his leave and set out for Washington, to lay before the president the result of his mission. It was admitted that by his mediation he had prevented a collision between the Mormons and the federal troops, and in Buchanan's message to congress in the following December he was thus complimented: "I cannot refrain from mentioning the valuable services of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, who, from motives of pure benevolence, and without any official character or pecuniary compensation, visited Utah during the last inclement winter for the purpose of contributing to the pacification of the territory."23
The delay caused by Kane's mission was most opportune. The army was now ready to take the field. At Fort Leavenworth three thousand additional troops24 had been assembled, and it was intended that the entire force should be concentrated in Utah in two divisions, one under the command of Colonel, now brevet brigadier-general, Johnston, and the other under Harney. As elsewhere mentioned, money without stint had been voted for the expedition, subsistence being provided for eight thousand persons for a period of twenty months.25 On the 9th and 10th of June Colonel Hoffman arrived with a detachment at Camp Scott, in charge of the supply trains that had been parked at Fort Laramie during winter, and on the 8th 1,500 horses and mules, with an escort of infantry and mounted riflemen, had reached headquarters from New Mexico. The cattle at Henry Fork had thriven
23House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. pt 1, p. 10. A complimentary letter was handed to the colonel by Buchanan on the eve of his departure for Utah. Whether Kane was intrusted with any direct communication from the president to Brigham, and if so what was its purport, does not appear.
24The sixth and seventh infantry, first cavalry, and two batteries of artillery.
25At a cost of $1,220,000, the estimate being for 4,880,000 rations, at 25 cents per ration. This, of course, does not include freight. The effective force numbered 5,606, and there were 1,894 employes, 300 servants, and 200 women, for whom rations were also allowed, making 8,000 in all. Letter from the Secretary of War, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., ix. no. 33. A statement of all contracts made in connection with the expedition for 1858 will be found in Id., xii. no. 99.
well, and from that point mules could be furnished sufficient for a train of 200 wagons. By dismounting a portion of the cavalry, horses could also be spared for the field batteries. All was in readiness, and orders were given that the army of Utah should advance. There could be no longer a doubt, if ever there were any, that the troops would make short work of the Mormon militia. Behold, the days of the Utah rebellion were numbered!
But meanwhile events had occurred which promised a peaceable solution of the difficulty. The spirited resistance of the saints had called forth unfavorable comments on Buchanan's policy throughout the United States and throughout Europe. He had virtually made war upon the territory before any declaration of war had been issued; he had sent forward an army before the causes of offence had been fairly investigated; and now, at this critical juncture in the nation's history, he was about to lock up in a distant and almost inaccessible region more than one third of the nation's war material and nearly all its best troops. Even the soldiers themselves, though in cheerful mood and in excellent condition, had no heart for the approaching campaign, accepting, as they did, the commonly received opinion that it was merely a move on the president's political chess-board. In a word, Buchanan and the Washington politicians and the Harney-Johnston army must all confess themselves beaten, hopelessly beaten, before a blow was struck. The army was as powerless before the people it had come to punish as was Napoleon's at Moscow. All that remained to be done was to forgive the Mormons and let them go.
Through the pressure brought to bear, coupled with the expostulations of Kane, Van Vliet, and Bernhisel, Buchanan was induced to stop the threatened war, and on the 6th of April signed a proclamation promising amnesty to all who returned to their
allegiance. After dwelling at length on the past offences of the Mormons and the malign influence of their leaders, he declares the territory to be in a state of rebellion. "This rebellion," he continues, "is not merely a violation of your legal duty; it is without just cause, without reason, without excuse. You never made a complaint that was not listened to with patience. You never exhibited a real grievance that was not redressed as promptly as it could be But being anxious to save the effusion of blood, and to avoid the indiscriminate punishment of a whole people for crimes of which it is not probable that all are equally guilty, I offer now a free and full pardon to all who will submit themselves to the authority of the government."26
The proclamation, though it served its purpose, gave offence to both parties. The Mormons did not regard themselves as rebels; but claimed that when Colonel Alexander was ordered to withdraw his forces no successor to Brigham had been legally appointed and qualified, nor had he been removed by the president, and that in obstructing the entrance of an armed force into the territory he had not exceeded his powers as commander-in-chief of the militia.27 Moreover, that their complaints had been ignored instead of receiving a patient hearing, and that none of their grievances had been redressed, were among the causes that led to the disturbance. On the other hand, the gentile world declared that if the Mormon question was ever to be settled, now was the time to settle it. If the president had excepted from
26For copies of the proclamation, see House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. 1, pt 1, pp. 69-72; Deseret News, June 16, 1858.
27It does not appear that Brighain had been officially notified of Cumming's appointment when he sent his despatch to Alexander by the hands of Wells. In his answer Alexander addresses him as governor, it will be remembered; and in his official report, in House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., x. pp. 24-6, Van Vliet also speaks of him as governor. Cumming did not receive his appointment until the 11th of July, 1857, and in view of the interruption of the mails, it is probable that no official intimation had reached S. L. City as early as Oct. 4th, when the baggage trains were burned at Simpson Hollow.
his amnesty the Mormon leaders, this result might have been accomplished without bloodshed, and the proclamation would at least have been deemed an act of judicious clemency; but by purging their leaders of offence, he had rendered nugatory the purpose of the expedition, save to imprison the troops, during 'King' Buchanan's pleasure, in this western Siberia.
The document was intrusted to two peace commissionersL. W. Powell, ex-governor and senator elect for Kentucky, and Major B. McCulloch, a soldier of the Mexican war. They were ordered to set out at once for Utah, circulate the proclamation throughout the territory, and point out to the Mormons their unfortunate relations with the government, and how greatly it would be to their interest to submit promptly and peacefully to its laws. They were to assure them that the despatch of the expedition had no reference to their religious tenets, and that if they resumed their allegiance no power in the United States had either the right or the will to interfere with their religion. "To restore peace in this manner," writes the secretary of war in his instructions, "is the single purpose of your mission."28
On the 29th of May the commissioners arrived at Camp Scott, where they remained four days, gathering information as to the condition of affairs. On the 7th of June they reached Salt Lake City, where Governor Cumming arrived the next day. On the evening of the 10th they held an informal interview with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Daniel H. Wells, who constituted the first presidency of the church. During the two following days conferences were held, some in private, and some in public at the council-house, the apostles and many leading citizens being present at the latter. The result was that the Mormon authorities admitted the burning of the army trains and the stampeding of cattle, and for those acts accepted the president's pardon. All other charges
28Sen. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. p. 161.
they denied.29 At the same time they avowed their esteem for the constitution and government of the United States, and declared that under this constitution they desired to dwell in peace.
This concession, slight as it was, the commissioners accepted, and, at the close of the conference, Powell addressed a large number of Mormons, expressing his gratification at the result, and declaring that the army, which would arrive in the valley within a few days, had strict orders to molest no peaceable citizens in person or property.30 On the same evening a despatch was sent to Johnston stating the result of the negotiations, and suggesting that he issue a proclamation to the people of Utah and march to the valley at his earliest convenience. An answer was immediately returned, in which the general expressed his surprise
29The commissioners' rept to the secretary of war, in Id., 168-72. The Mormon version of these negotiations, as given in the Deseret News, June 23, 1858, confirms that of the commissioners. A concise statement of what was said at the conference on the 11th and 12th, addressed by the commissioners to the secretary of war after their return to Washington, in the report, pp. 175-7, is also signed by Brigham, who declares it to be substantially correct. Tullidge, Hist. S. L. City, 215-6, has a sensational account of the matter, in brief as follows: During the conference of the 11th he relates that O. P. Rockwell entered the council-chamber and whispered to the ex-governor. Brigham rose and said sharply, 'Governor Powell, are you aware, sir, that those troops are on the move towards the city?' 'It cannot be,' exclaimed Powell. 'I have received a despatch that they are on the march for this city. My messenger would not deceive me.' The commissioners were silent. 'Is brother Dunbar present?' inquired Brigham. 'Yes, sir,' was the response. 'Brother Dunbar, sing "Zion."' Zion was sunga favorite song with the Mormonsin which occur the lines:
Cumming and McCulloch then withdrew. 'What would you do with such a people?' asked the governor, 'Damn them! I would fight them if I had my way,' answered the major. 'Fight them, would you? Did you notice the snap in those men's eyes to-day? They would never know when they were whipped!' The 'gentile yoke' recurs ad nauseam in Mormon song and hymn. In their national anthem we read:
and in their national hymn:
30On the 16th the commissioners addressed a large number of people at Provo, and on the 17th at Lehi. Rept, ut supra, 171. Their speeches at Provo are given in the Deseret News, July 14, 1858.
at the uneasiness felt by the Mormons as to their treatment at the hands of the troops, and enclosed a proclamation wherein he assured the Mormons that none would be molested, but that all would be protected in person, rights, and the peaceful pursuit of their vocations. This proclamation, together with one from Governor Cumming, declaring that peace was restored, and that the laws, both federal and territorial, must be strictly obeyed by all, was immediately published.31
The army had marched from Camp Scott on the 13th of June in three columns, a sufficient garrison being left at Fort Bridger, near which a score of tents and a few stacks of turf chimneys still marked the site where the men had passed the winter. On the 14th the command was encamped on Bear River, where the express arrived from the peace commissioners, and thence moved slowly forward.
The scene is impressive, and not without elements of the picturesque. At Fort Bridger the westward-bound traveller has passed only the portal of the Rocky Mountains. Between that point and the valley of Great Salt Lake there is scenery of surpassing loveliness. The ridges that divide the cañons are richly carpeted with wild flowers, among which, in midsummer, still linger traces of snow. Thence appear glimpses of the Bear and Weber rivers, their streams, though swollen and turbulent at this season, flowing through valleys whose tranquil beauty recalls the fabled realm of Rasselas. Thence also the silver-crested lines of the Wasatch and Uintah ranges can be distinctly traced, while on every side snow-capped peaks are seen in endless perspective, so that one asks, Whither hurry the swift running rivers? Along the gorges the path winds here and there through densely interlaced thickets of alder, hawthorn, and willow,
31For copies of both proclamations. see Sen. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. pp. 113, 121; Deseret News, June 23, July 7, 1858; and of Johnston's proclamation, New York Herald, July 15. 1858, in Millennial Star, xx. 532.
where silence reigns unbroken, save for the rush of waters and the twittering of birds, whose nests are built in the crevices of cliffs high overhead.
Now all is astir throughout this solitude. Among the cañons and ridges appears for the first time the gleam of sabres and rifle-barrels, and the stillness of the valley is broken by the measured tramp of armed men and the rumble of artillery-wagons. Up the steep mountain sides bands of horsemen are seen spurring to the summit, whence they can observe the advance of the troops; while groups of half-clad Indians stand gazing at the pageant, or gallop to and fro with the wonderment of astonished children.
On the 26th of June, 1858, the army of Utah enters the valley of the Great Salt Lake. The day following is the sabbath, and the fourteenth anniversary of the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. "We will go far enough into the wilderness," said Brigham before the expulsion from Nauvoo, "so far that never again will we come in conflict with our persecutors." They had journeyed some two thousand miles, subsisting at times on herbs and roots, seeking but to be left alone. After years of patient toil and self-denial they had built up their new Zion, a city in which, whatever the faults of its denizens, there was less of gross dissipation, of lewdness and drunkenness, than among the gentiles. They had seen their wives and daughters coerced by a militia rabble. They had not as yet forgotten the days of Nauvoo and the posse comitatus of Governor Ford. And now the posse comitatus of Governor Cumming was debouching from the mouth of Emigration Cañon, the spot whence, twelve years before, the president of their church had selected for them an abiding-place.
The rays of the rising sun slant athwart the bayonets of the 5th infantry as, forming the van of the Union army, it approaches the outskirts of Salt Lake City. At dusk is still heard in its streets the rumble of caissons and baggage-wagons. But no other sound
is heard, save the murmur of the creek; nor is there sign of life in the city of the saints. Zion is deserted!32
Thirty thousand of the Mormons had left their homes in Salt Lake City and the northern settlements, taking with them all their movable effects, and leaving only in the former a score of men, with instructions to apply the torch if it should be occupied by the troops. The outer doors were locked, and in the vacant dwellings were heaps of straw, shavings, and wood ready for the work of destruction. In April, when Cumming first arrived in the city, he reported that the people were already moving from the northern settlements. The roads were filled with wagons laden with provisions and household furniture. By their side women and children, many of them so thinly clad that their garments barely concealed their nakedness, some being attired only in sacking, some with no covering but a remnant of rag-carpet, and some barefooted and bleeding,33 tramped through the deep snow, journeying they knew not whither, no more than at the exodus from Nauvoo; but it was "the will of the Lord," or rather of their prophet.34 Returning with the peace commissioners, the governor repaired to the house of Elder Staines, and found the
32Johnston's despatch, in Sen. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. p. 122. Tullidge says that Colonel Cooke, who had commanded the Mormon battalion in 1847, rode through the city bareheaded. Hist. S. L. City, 224.
33Jennings' Mat. Progr. in Utah, MS., 2, where it is stated that, during the spring of 1858, the stock of clothing became exhausted and there were no means to replenish it. Among those who set forth from S. L. City was Mrs Jos. Horne, who started on the 1st of May for Parowan, her husband being employed in raising cotton about 100 miles to the south of that settlement. She had two teams for herself, her ten children, and her husband's second wife and baby. They were one month on the journey, sleeping in their wagons, and cooking at the roadside, were scantily clad and provisioned, and almost without money. On arriving at Parowan Mrs Horne earned the means for clothing her children comfortably by sewing, a party of Mormons having arrived there from San Bernardino, with a load of dry goods. Horne's Migr. and Settlem. L. D. Saints, MS., 36.
34Cummmg states that at the tabernacle, on Apr. 11th, Brigham mentioned Sonora as their goal. House Ex. Doc., 35th Cong. 1st Sess., xiii. p. 6, note. I find no mention of this in the files of the Deseret News. Between May 12 and Sept. 1, 1858, this paper was published at Fillmore City.
place abandoned,35 Brigham and those who took part in the conference with the peace commissioners being summoned from some unknown point to the southward.
"What has become of the Mormons?" was a question asked throughout Europe and America when this second exodus became known. "We are told that they have embarked for a voyage over five hundred miles of untracked desert," said the London Times. "We think it would be unwise to treat Mormonism as a nuisance to be abated by a posse comitatus," declared the New York Times. Meanwhile the Mormons were quietly sojourning at Provo, some sixty miles to the south of Salt Lake City. That they would have followed their prophet implicitly whithersoever he might have led, does not admit of doubt; but after some further negotiation, Brigham with the members of the first presidency and certain of the elders returned to their homes on the 1st of July,36 followed, soon afterward, by the remainder of the community, and the Utah war was practically at an end. Two days later the commissioners started for Washington, having faithfully carried out the spirit and letter of their instructions.
After remaining for three days on the banks of the
35Tullidge relates that at the elder's house a cold lunch was spread for the governor, and in the garden loads of straw were significantly heaped up. Inquiring the cause of the silence that pervaded the city, Mrs Cumming was told that the Mormons had resolved to burn it if the army should attempt its occupation. 'How terrible!' she exclaimed, 'it has the appearance of a city that has been afflicted with a plague. Every house looks like a tomb of the dead. For two miles I have seen but one man in it. Poor creatures! And so all have left their hard-earned homes.' Bursting into tears, she turned to her husband: 'Oh Alfred!' she said, 'something must be done to bring them back! Do not permit the army to stay in the city. Can't you do something for them?' 'Yes, madam,' he replied, 'I shall do all I can, rest assured.' A few days after the conference with the commissioners Cumming followed the Mormons 50 miles to the southward, pleaded with them, at first in vain, but finally induced them to return. Hist. S. L. City, 213, 225-6.
36Deseret News, July 14, 1858. The peace commissioners, whose last report from S. L. City is dated July 3d, also mention that the ex-governor and other leading Mormons had then returned with their families. Sen. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sees., ii. 173. Stenhouse, Rocky Mountain Saints; 399, and Tullidge, Hist. S. L. City, 226, state that Brigham did not start from Provo till the 5th.
Jordan, the troops were removed to Cedar Valley, where a site had been selected for an encampment about midway between Salt Lake City and Provo,37 from which the forces could operate in either direction. To this was given the name of Camp Floyd.38 In the valley there were but two small settlements, one of them, which was near the camp, containing only ten families. "I was desirous," writes Johnston, "to avoid proximity to any settlements, if possible; but this was not practicable, for every suitable position where there is water is occupied."
During the march of the army not a house was disturbed, not a citizen harmed or molested, and during its sojourn of nearly two years in the territory, instances were rare indeed of gross misconduct on the part of the soldiery.39 The Mormons, who had before been eager to fight the troops, were now thankful for their arrival. Many of the former were still very poor; they had a few cattle, and a few implements of husbandry, but little else of this world's goods save their farms and farm-dwellings. They were ill clad and fed, their diet consisting chiefly of preparations of corn, flour, and milk, with beet molasses, and the fruits and vegetables of their gardens. Now they had an opportunity to exchange the products of their fields and dairies for clothing, for such luxuries as tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, and for moneyan article still scarce among them.
Accompanying the troops, however, was the usual crowd of hucksters and camp-followers, and a more
37Salt Lake City was 36 miles north and Provo about the same distance south-east of the camp. Johnston's despatch in Sen. Doc., 35th Cong. 2d Sess., ii. 122. Grass was abundant in Cedar Valley, and also in Rush and Tintic valleys near by.
38So named after John B. Floyd, then secretary of war.
39The men were seldom allowed to leave camp, and only one serious affair occurred, a sergeant named Pike being accused of cracking the skull of a Mormon with his musket. During the sergeant's trial in Salt Lake City he was shot on the public street, and afterward died. His assassin escaped. Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 419. Waite, The Mormon Prophet, 73, says that the culprit, whose name was Spencer, was lauded for his courage in the next issue of the Deseret News. I find no mention of it in the files of that paper.
villanous throng was never gathered from the sweepings of the frontier states. At Camp Scott and on the march they were kept under strict surveillance, but here they found a safe field for their operations. Many of the younger Mormons were corrupted by their example, and in 1859 gambling, theft, drunkenness, and even murder were as common in Salt Lake City as they became in later years among the mining towns of Nevada and Colorado. Seldom were the offenders brought to justice, the authorities being only too glad to let these desperadoes kill each other off during their drunken carousals; but if arrests were made, resistance to an officer or any attempt to escape were considered a sufficient pretext for a free use of the revolver. Thus the community was relieved from the cost of the prisoner's trial and his support at the penitentiary, compared with which the expense of a coroner's inquest was an insignificant item. This was the anti-polygamous civilization which Buchanan and his army introduced into Utah!
The Utah war was an ill-advised measure on the part of the United States government. In this, as in other crises, from the time when the latter-day saints mustered six members until now when they counted nearly sixty thousand, the Mormons, hated as they were by their fellow-men, won the respect and almost the esteem of a large portion of the gentile world. The Utah war cost several hundred lives, and at least $15,000,000, at a time in the nation's history when men and money could least be spared, and accomplished practically nothing, save that it exposed the president and his cabinet to much well-deserved ridicule. That the Mormons had displayed contempt for Judge Drummond, who had made himself altogether contemptible, that their treatment of Judge Stiles was verging on sedition, that they intermeddled with politics and strove to gain political ascendancy, that they pushed forward their settlements
vigorously,40 cannot be disputed; but here was no cause for a military expedition to uphold the authority of the government.
With the army of Utah came also the recently appointed officials, Chief Justice Eckles taking up his quarters at Camp Floyd, Judge Sinclair being assigned to the first, or as it is now termed the third, district, which included Salt Lake City, and Judge Cradlebaugh to the southern counties.41 Alexander Wilson of Iowa had been chosen United States attorney, and Jacob Forney of Pennsylvania superintendent of Indian affairs, which office was now separated from that of governor. John Hartnett as secretary and Peter K. Dotson as marshal completed the list of officials.
Convening his court in November 1858, Sinclair, in his charge to the grand jury, urged the prosecution of Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, and other leading Mormons for treason, polygamy, and intimidation of the courts. The district attorney refused to present bills of indictment for treason, on the ground that pardon had been proclaimed by the president and accepted by the people. To ask a Mormon grand jury to indict the leading dignitaries of their church for polygamy was, of course, little better than a farce; while as to the charge of intimidation, referring to the occasion when Judge Stiles held court at Salt Lake City in 1854, all the bills were thrown out, with one exception.42
40Tullidge, Hist. S. L. City, 138-9, says it was feared they would settle territory which 'would come within the political boundaries of half a dozen states, in which they would cast their potent united vote, and that immigration and the rapid increase of offspring would, within the century, give them a million of people. In a leading article, the New York Herald stated that the Mormons held the whip-handle over the U.S., Fillmore and Pierce having given it into the hands of Brigham. Much similar nonsense may be found by turning over the newspaper files of this period.
41By act approved Dec. 27, 1865, the judicial districts were altered, Millard, Piute, Sevier, San Pete, Juab, Utah, and Wasatch counties forming the first district; Kane, Washington, Iron, and Beaver counties the second; and Great Salt Lake, Tooele, Summit, Green River, Davis, Morgan, Weber, Box Elder, Cache, and Richland, afterward Rich, counties the third. Utah Acts Legisl. (ed. 1866), 194.
42That of James Ferguson. See chap. xvii., note 18, this vol.
Thus Sinclair's judicial career resulted in failure, and to this day he is only remembered in Utah as the judge who appointed a Sunday for the first execution of a white man that had occurred as yet in the territory.43
To Judge Cradlebaugh belonged a wider sphere of operations; but, as will presently appear, his proceedings and those of his colleague wellnigh brought about a renewal of the Utah war, hostilities being prevented only by the timely interference of the government. The matters which he proposed to investigate included several outrages, commonly ascribed to the Mormons, among them being the Mountain Meadows massacre.44
Before presenting this episode, it may be well to make some mention of a religious movement known in Utah as the reformation, though more in the nature of a revival, and attended with all the excitement and bitterness of denunciation common to such movements elsewhere in the world. On the 13th of September, 1856, Jedediah M. Grant, Joseph Young, and a few others held a conference at Kaysville, at which the saints were exhorted to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, to pay their tithing faithfully,
43That of Thomas H. Ferguson for murder. The execution was, of course, postponed, and took place on Friday, Oct. 28, 1859. An account of it will be found in the Deseret News, Nov. 2, 1859, and the Sac. Union, Nov. 17, 1859.
44Stenhouse, Rocky Mountain Saints, 402-3, states that the judges were supported by the Valley Tan newspaper, the first number of which appeared Nov. 5, 1858. This was the first gentile newspaper published in Utah; it ran for only about a year and a half. The phrase 'valley tan'was first applied to leather tanned in the valley, and afterward to other articles of home production. Taylor, Reminiscences, MS., 14-15, says that the term was applied to crockcry, medicines, whiskey, furniture, and even to gold coin made in S. L. City. In fact, it became synonymous, as I have said, with home-made or Utah-manufactured. As to the manufacture of whiskey, President Taylor states that alcohol was first n made by the saints for bathing, pickling, and medicinal purposes, and was little used for drinking. Stills were afterward obtained from emigrants, and the manufacture and sale of alcohol were later controlled by the city councils. The first bar-room in S. L. City, and the only one for years, was in the Salt Lake House, owned by President Young and Feramorz Little. It was opened for the accommodation of travellers, whose requirements would be supplied by some one, and it was thought by the brethren that they had better control the trade than have outsiders do so.
to dedicate themselves and their substance to the Lord, to set their families in order, to purify their houses, their persons, and their lands.45
At the bowery in Salt Lake City, on the morning of the 21st, the day being a sabbath, Brigham declared that he would no longer dwell among a people filled with contention, covetousness, pride, and iniquity. Unless they put away their sins a separation must take place, and the righteous be forever parted from the ungodly. At the beginning of his discourse he requested that all who desired to obey the Lord Jesus and live to his glory, denying themselves of worldly lusts, would signify their intention by rising to their feet. As a matter of course, the entire congregation responded. He then asked if there was a man among them who knew how to handle this world's goods without setting his heart upon them, using and distributing them only to the glory of God, that that man would stand up. There was no response. "I tell you," he said, "that this people will not be suffered to walk as they have walked, to do as they have done, to live as they have lived." He was followed by Jedediah M. Grant who declared that there were some among them who, having received the priesthood, dishonored their cause by committing adultery, and every other abomination under heaven.
For many weeks the reformation was preached at the bowery and the tabernacle, the saints being ordered to renew their covenants, and many of them were rebaptized by the elders under the direction of Grant, who, on one occasion, remained so long in the water that he contracted the disease of which he died toward the close of the year.46 Meetings held by the home missionaries throughout the territory were crowded, and full and frank confession was made, followed in most instances by amendment. Some benefit
45For proceedings of conference, see Deseret News, Sept. 24, 1856. 'Saints, live your religion,' was the text of a sermon delivered by Brigham at the tabernacle.
46For a description of his obsequies, see Deseret News. Dec. 10, 1856.
was wrought by the movement, especially with regard to cleanliness; but as in other religious agitations, the effect was mainly emotional, the people being worked up to a state of frenzy, and most of them believing that the coming of Christ was at hand. The revival lasted well into the following year, and coupled with the excitement of the approaching war, may serve to explain the abnormal condition of the community at this critical period.47
47In Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 292-305, and Stenhouse's Tell It All, 310-23, are sensational accounts of the reformation, the former by an eye-witness, who appears to have witnessed things which no one else observed. He states that teachers were appointed for each ward, whose duty was to pry into every secret, and learn the private history of every family, men, women, and children being asked the most indelicate questions about private actions and secret thoughts. He declares that a catechism of all obscene nature was printed by authority of Brigham and put into the hands of every elder, bishop, missionary, and teacher, those who refused to answer the questions being in danger of the ban of the church, and those who answered them being reported to the authorities and roundly abused at the public meetings. At a gathering held at the social hall, attended only by men, Brigham bid all who had been guilty of adultery to stand up. More than three fourths of the audience rose to their feet. This Mr Stenhouse explains on the supposition that the crime was admitted as having occurred at any time during the whole course of their lives as Mormons. He also states that during his twenty-five years' connection with Mormonism he knew only of two or three cases of adultery. The account of the reformation as given in the text is taken principally from the files of the Deseret News.
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