Visit of Schuyler Colfax Godbe's Interview With President Grant Governor Shaffer Military Riot at Provo Governor Woods Judge Mckean Burlesque of Justice Arrest of Brigham Young and Others George Q. Cannon Chosen Delegate Axtell's Administration Governor Emery Death of Brigham His Obsequies His Character His Will.
"Will Brigham Young fight?" inquired Schuyler Colfax of Elder Stenhouse, during his sojourn at Salt Lake City in 1869.1 "For God's sake. Mr Colfax." answered the elder, "keep the United States off. If the govermnent interferes and sends troops, you will spoil the opportunity, and drive the thousands back into the arms of Brigham Young who are ready to rebel against the one-man power. Leave the elders alone to solve their own problems. We can do it; the government cannot." But with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, none of the presidents were of the opinion that it was best to leave the Mormons alone. At this date there is little doubt that Grant was resolved on the suppression of polygamy, even if need be at the cost of war. Meanwhile the famous Cullom
1Colfax also visited Utah in 1865. For reception and purpose of visit, see Richardson's Beyond the Miss., 345-6, 348-9; Bowles' Our New West, 203-4; Tullidge's Life of Brigham Young, 355-8; Stenhouse's Rocky Mountain Saints, 613-15. For speech of Colfax, in 1869, in which, probably, the sentence most acceptable to the Mormons was the concluding line, 'I bid you all good night and good by.' see The Mormon Question (S. L. City, 1870), wherein is also a reply by John Taylor, an article on the Mormon question by the vice-president, published in the New York Independent, and a rejoinder by Taylor.
anti-polygamy bill2 was before the representatives, and the honorable Thomas Fitch was amusing congress with his speeches on the prospect of another Mormon war.3 Early in 1870 mass-meetings were held at the tabernacle, by men and women, to protest against the bill, and to draw up a remonstrance against its provisions. A memorial was also prepared and forwarded to congress, setting forth the revelation on polygamy and the duties of the Mormon church in that connection, wherein it was declared that the church would stand by its faith and polygamy institutions in spite of all human will and law.4 During this year, also, an act was passed by the territorial legislature, granting the right of suffrage to women, but the measure subsequently adopted in Wyoming and elsewhere seemed to be in advance of the times,5 or was in some way unpopular, and little use has ever been made of the privilege.6
Among those who realized the danger of the situation were the leaders of the Godbeite movement, who well knew that, in the event of another Mormon war, the dramatic farce of Buchanan's administration could not be reinacted, and that if the United States government again entered into the controversy, it would never withdraw from it until it had cut with its sword the Gordian knot of Mormonism.
2For debate and amendments when the bill passed the representatives, see Cong. Globe, 1869-70, 2180-1.
3For career of Thomas Fitch in Utah, see Elliott & Co.'s Hist. Arizona, 289.
4For copy of memorial and resolutions, see Sen. Misc. Doc., 41st Cong. 2d Sess., no. 112, The Utah Bill, 33-40, wherein is a speech by delegate W. H. Hooper, delivered before the representatives March 23, 1870, and published in pamphlet form, as was also the speech of Aaron H. Cragin before the senate, May 18, 1870, the two forming nos. 4 and 5 in Utah Pamphlets, Political. The memorial and resolutions were referred to a committee which of course reported adversely. H. Corn. Rept, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., i. no. 21.
5Woods' Recollections, MS., 67. See, for report in favor of female suffrage, Utah Jour. Legisl., 1870, 81-2; for act granting right of suffrage, Utah Acts Legisl., 1870, p. 8; Utah Pamphlets, Polit., no. 14, 8; Deseret News, Feb. 16, 1870.
6At the municipal election held two days after the passage of the act only a few of the women voted, the first one being Seraph Young, a niece of the president. Tullidge's Women, 498.
Already the apostles had declared their intention of laying the settlements of Utah in ashes and leading their people in another exodus; but an effort was made to save them, and from a source somewhat unexpected. It was resolved by the leaders of the Godbeite faction that William Godbe should proceed to Washington and state to the president the true condition of affairs. "Mr Godbe," remarked the latter, after listening to his arguments, "I am as solicitous as you can possibly be to preserve the Mormon people;" and then he declared that he would save them from their leaders by checkmating their policy. During his visit Godbe also sought an interview with Cullom, and discussed with him the provisions of the bill, section by section, pleading his cause with such warmth and earnestness that all the animus of the congressman gave way, and the bill was not brought up for action in the senate. The substance of the policy recommended by the emissary of the liberal party in Utah was to establish over Utah a firm and efficient federal rule, rather than resort to special legislation or armed interference; and in these views the president heartily concurred.
J. Wilson Shaffer of Illinois, an old comrade of Rawlins, then secretary of war, was the man selected for the occasion, and on the resignation of Durkee, was appointed in his stead.7 At this time Shaffer was suffering from an incurable disease, and knew that he had but a few months to live. Nevertheless he accepted office as a trust from the president. "Never after me," he declared, "shall it be said that Brigham Young is governor of Utah." On the 15th of September, 1870, the annual muster of the Nauvoo legion being then at hand, he issued a proclamation forbidding all musters, drills, or gatherings of the militia, and all gatherings of armed persons of whatever
7The interregnum between Durkee's resignation and the arrival of Shaffer was filled by secretaries Edwin Higgins and S. A. Mann, to the latter of whom the women of Utah tendered their thanks for signing the female-suffrage bill. See Deseret News, March 2, 1870. For complimentary resolutions from legislature, see Utah Jour. Legisl., 1870, 183.
description, except as a posse comitatus ordered forth by himself or by the United States marshal.8
After some correspondence with General Wells, the musters in the various districts were postponed until further notice, by command of the latter, though they had been regularly held for eighteen years, and returns duly made, in accordance with an act of congress approved in 1803. In 1870 the militia, which has never since been assembled, included about 13,000 men, most of them efficiently armed, drilled, and equipped, while the United States troops stationed at Camp Douglas, Camp Rawlins in Utah county, and elsewhere in the territory, numbered only a few hundred.9
The proclamation was ill-advised, and for what purpose it was issued, save as a puerile expression of the
8For copy of proclamation, see Millennial Star, xxxii. 668; Smith's Rise, Progress, and Travels, 63.
9In 1875 the U.S. government called for bids for the rebuilding of Camp Douglas, or as it is now termed, Fort Douglas. The contract was awarded to the Watson Brothers. For description of buildings, see Surgeon-Gen. Circ. 8, 1875, 332-46. In 1872 a military post was established near Beaver City. For reasons and descriptions, see H. Ex. Doc., 42d Cong. 2d Sess., xv. 285; Sen. Doc., 42d Cong. 2d Sess., i. 12. For list of military reservations in 1882, see H. Ex. Doc., 47th Cong. 2d Sess., xviii. no. 45, p. 1181. For military organization for protection against Indians in Cache county in 1859-76, see Tullidge's Mag., ii. 122-31. For Indian raid on Kanarra, Iron co., see Utah Hand-book of References, 81; for Indian depredations in 1870, Utah Co. Sketches, MS., 78-80; S. F. Bulletin, June 30, July 6, 8, 1870; for troubles in San Juan co. on account of miners' encroachments, H. Ex. Doc., 43d Cong. 1st Sess., xii. pt 2, p. 193; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1872, p. 93; Sacramento Union, Oct. 1, 1872; S. L. C. Tribune, Sept. 14, 1872; Deseret News, Sept. 25, 1872. A brief report on the condition of Indians at this date, with statistics, will be found in U. S. H. Com. Rept, 42d Cong. 3d Sess., 365-72, 246-56, 325-6, 414-58. For remarks on the condition, management, and wants of Indians in 1872, see Wheeler's Surveys, Progress Rept, 1872; H. Ex. Doc., 43d Cong. 1st Sess., xii. no. 157; for condition and treatment of Indians on reservation in 1873-4, Sen. Doc. 43d Cong. 1st Sess., no. 42; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1874, 3-4, 52-3, 104-79, 270-1, 276-7; for Indian uprising at Corinne in 1875, S. F. Chronicle, Aug. 2, 3, 12, 1875, Sept. l, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17, 1875; for cause, Id., Sept. 6, 1875; for Indian outbreak in 1875, S. F. Alta, Aug. 11, 1875; Chico (Butte) Record, Sept. 4, 1875. Reports of agents on reservation Indians in 1876-7 will be found in H. Ex. Doc., 45th Cong. 2d Sess., viii. 550-60, 577-82. 642-62, 677-717. In 1878 congress paid to Ben Holladay $526,789 for property destroyed by Indians and losses sustained by change of mail-route. Portland Oregonian, June 21, 1878. For Indian troubles in 1879, see Or. Deutsche Zeitung, Oct. 25, 1879; in 1881, Deseret News, July 6, 1881; for information relating to Indian tribes and reservations in 1881-2, see H. Ex. Doc., 47th Cong. 1st Sess., x. 327, 344. For acts concerning Indians in 1882, see Utah Laws, 1882, pp. 32, 40. In August 1884 Gov. Murray made a requisition for troops to protect citizens against Utes. S. L. C. Tribune, Aug. 14, 1884.
governor's authority, does not appear. The result, however, was most unfortunate; for the soldiery, among whom discipline appears to have been somewhat lax at this period, now supposed themselves masters of the situation. At midnight on the 23d of September a party of forty or fifty men from Camp Rawlins entered the town of Provo, armed with needle-guns, bayonets, and revolvers, and crazed with whiskey. Surrounding the residence of Alderman W. Miller, they fired several shots into his bedroom window, smashed in his doors, and dragged him from his chamber. Thence passing up Centre street, they tore down the sign and stove in the doors of the coöperative store, and then proceeded to the house of Councillor A. F. McDonald, which they completely demolished, scattering its contents on the sidewalk. After some further outrages, as parading defenceless citizens through the streets, beating them with rifles and pricking them with bayonets, yelling, meanwhile, as they passed along the thoroughfares, "Come out, you God damned Mormons and Mountain Meadows massacreers," they returned to camp.10
The only provocation for this disturbance appears to have been the fact that Miller refused to grant the soldiers, at their own terms, the use of a hall in which to hold a social gathering, and that the bishops had counselled the people of their wards, and especially the young women, not to hold intercourse with them. An effort was made to bring the offenders to justice, but, as during the administration of Governor Cumming, there was no harmony between the chief magistrate and the commander of the forces. After waiting several days for action to be taken by the military, Shaffer despatched to General De Trobriand, at Camp Douglas, a letter, in which he stated that if the soldiery could not be restrained, it were better for
10A despatch from A. O. Smoot, mayor of Provo, giving an account of the outrage, together with the depositions of the injured parties, will be found in the Deseret News, Sept. 28, 1870.
the territory to be left to itself. To this the general replied that he was perfectly agreed; that it would be the best thing for all if the territory, its governor, legislature, municipalities, and militia, were left to themselves; and that if the troops had also been left alone, instead of being poisoned physically with bad whiskey and morally with bad influences, there would have been no trouble with them. Both letters were published in the Deseret News,11 and of course drew forth much comment from the saints, who were probably of opinion that, if the soldiers had such proclivities, it was at least the business of their commanding officer to restrain them.
No further incident remains to be chronicled as to the career of Governor Shaffer, whose decease occurred in October 1870,12 his successor being Vernon H. Vaughan,13 a mild and conservative ruler, concerning whose brief administration there is nothing worthy of record.14 To him succeeded George L. Woods, a Missourian by birth, a pronounced anti-Mormon, and one who, as a ferryman in Idaho,15 and judge and politician in eastern Oregon, had accumulated and lost a considerable fortune. He was a man who, though by no means of the highest and purest morality himself, was, it seems, exceedingly jealous
11Of Oct. 5, 1870, and also in the Deseret Evening News, the publication of which will be mentioned later. De Trobriand states that, as there was no organization of military districts in the department of the Platte (which included Utah), the commanders of the several posts must communicate with the department headquarters, and that as soon as he received the requisite authority he proceeded to Provo and held an investigation. His letter is extremely insulting and indecorous.
12On the 24th of this month Wm H. McKay, with whom the governor had resided, and two others, robbed the U.S. mail about 100 miles south of S. L. City, in Juab co. They were captured the next day, and McKay was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. This was the first mail-coach robbery in Utah. Smith's Rise, Progress, and Travels, 64. For argument between J. P. Newman and Orson Pratt at the tabernacle on the polygamy question during the autumn of this year, see Millennial Star, xxxii. 599-604, passim.
13Shaffer's secretary, and about a month after his decease appointed governor. Geo. A. Black, secretary to Woods, was also acting governor in 1871. Paul's Utah Incidents, MS.; Harrison's Crit. Notes on Utah, MS.
14Harrison's Crit. Notes on Utah, MS., 32.
15At Lewiston, where he and his two partners made from $250 to $300 a day. Woods' Recoll., MS., 3.
for the morality of the nation. On the 10th of March, 1871, Woods took the oath of office, and about six weeks later arrived at Salt Lake City, James B. McKean of New York being appointed about this date chief justice, with C. M. Hawley of Illinois and O. F. Strickland of Michigan as associate judges.16
The administration of Governor Woods lasted for about four years, but during that period he sought no opportunity of making the acquaintance of Brigham Young. When invited by the first councillor to call, as had been the custom with his predecessors,17 he replied that the lowest subordinate in the United States ranked higher than any ecclesiastic on earth, and that he should not call until the president first called on him. The reader may judge the chief magistrate by his own words. "My first conflict with the church occurred," he says, "July 4, 1871. The organic act of the territory made the governor commander-in-chief of the militia. The Mormon legislature, prior to that time, usurped that authority, and invested it in Daniel H. Wells, the third in the church. (They had a pantomime, in which B. Young played God the Father, Daniel H. Wells God the Son, and John H. Smith the Holy Ghost.) That law was in force on my arrival. On July 1, 1871, Wells issued an order as commander-in-chief to the militia of the territory to assemble at Salt Lake City July 4th to participate in the celebration. I resented this usurpation, and forbade them to assemble, but my prohibition was disregarded. Thereupon I ordered to the rendezvous three companies of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, and dispersed them at the point of the bayonet. This practically ended the Nauvoo legion. Immediately thereafter,
16Chas C. Wilson succeeded Titus as chief justice. Harrison's Crit. Notes on Utah, MS. Geo. C. Bates, who in 1870 succeeded C. H. Hempstead, appointed in 1868, was now district attorney. For his argument in the Baker habeas corpus case on the jurisdiction of probate courts, see Utah Pamphlets, Political, no. 12. A list of federal officials between 1851 and 1884 is given in Utah Gazetteer, 254-8.
17With the exception of Shaffer. Woods' Recoll., MS., 45.
by concerted action of the federal officials, an effort was made to punish judicially the church criminals."18
The governor was ably seconded by the chief justice. In October Brigham Young, George Q. Cannon, and others were arrested for lascivious cohabitation. Motion made to quash the indictment was overruled by McKean; "for," he remarked, "while the case at bar is called the people versus Brigham Young, its other and real title is Federal Authority versus Polygamic Theocracy." In the indictment were sixteen counts, extending back to the year 1854, thus attempting to give an ex post facto interpretation to the act of 1862. The president's health was feeble at this time, and on the application of his attorney, a continuance was granted until the March term. One Thomas Hawkins, however, was convicted during this term, on the evidence of his first or legal wife, sentenced under this act to three years' imprisonment with hard labor, and fined $500. But the severest portion of the sentence was the homily. "Thomas Hawkins," commenced the chief justice, "I am sorry for youvery sorry. You may not think so now, but I shall try to make you think so by the mercy which I shall show you The law gives me large discretion in passing sentence upon you. I might both fine and imprison you, or I might fine you only or imprison you only It is right that you should be fined, among other reasons to help to defray the expense of enforcing the laws."19
Two or three days before sentence was passed on Hawkins, this being of course a test case, Daniel H. Wells and Hosea Stout were arrested on a charge of murder, Brigham Young, William H. Kimball, and others being indicted on a similar charge.20 Wells
19Deseret News, Nov. 1, 1871. For adverse comments of the press on the Hawkins case, see Austin Reese River Reveillé, Carson Daily Register, Sacramento Reporter, Omaha Alta, in Millennial Star, xxxiii. 764-5. In Townsend's Mormon Trials is an impartial account of McKean's anti-Mormon crusade.
20Wells and Stout were arrested for the murder of Rich. Yates, at the mouth of Echo cañon; Young, Kimball, Wm A. Hickman, O. P. Rockwell, (cont.)
was admitted to bail,21 Stout and Kimball were handed over to the authorities at Camp Douglas, and Brigham, hearing that his case was set for the 8th of January, 1872, immediately set out from southern Utah, where he was sojourning, and travelling over 350 miles of mountainous country in midwinter, delivered himself into custody. He was placed in charge of the marshal, bail being refused even in the sum of $500,000, and detained a prisoner in his own house, until discharged on the 25th of April, by Justice White, on a writ of habeas corpus.22
In sore disgust, the people of Utah adopted yet another constitution, which was forwarded to congress, together with a memorial for admission as a state, but without result.23 A bill was passed appropriating $50,000 toward the expenses of the constitutional convention, but was vetoed by the governor, who gave, among other reasons, the open violation of the act of 1862, and the crimes committed against law and public decency in the name of religion.24 So far, indeed, did the governor push his privilege, that he insisted even on nominating the territorial librarian and the superintendent of common schools.25
Meanwhile the condition of affairs in the superior courts of Utah was simply lamentable. During a
(20cont.) G. D. Grant, and Simon Dutton, for the murder of a man named Buck, at Warm Springs. Woods' Recoll., MS., 47; Millennial Star, xxxiii. 744, 808-9.
21The prosecuting attorney asked that the bail fixed at $500;000, but the judge said he would be satisfied with two sureties each of $50,000. Deseret News, Nov. 1, 1871.
22Millennial Star, xxxvii. 788-91. In the case of Clinton et al. vs Englebrecht et al., the judgment rendered for $60,000 against the municipal officers of S. L. City it for suppressing an unlicensed liquor store was reversed by the supreme court. Millennial Star, xxxiv. 296. For grounds, see Smith's Rise, Progress, and Travels, 68-9. This decision annulled indictments against more than 120 persons.
23A copy of the memorial and constitution is contained in Utah Pamphlets, Political, no. 8. See also Deseret News, March 6, 1872; House Misc. Doc., 42d Cong. 2d Sess., iii. no. 165. For counter-petitions, see Id., iv. no. 208; Sen. Misc. Doc., 42d Cong. 2d Sess., ii. no. 118.
24Woods' Recoll., MS., 50; Millennial Star, xxxiv. 117-80; Deseret News, Jan. 31, 1872; House Misc. Doc., 42d Cong. 2d Sess., iii. no. 155; Utah Jour. Legisl., 1872, pp. 85-7. For resolution censuring veto, and in favor of convention and election of delegates, see Id., 1872, pp. 104-5.
25Utah Jour. Legisl., 1872, p. 36.
portion of McKean's term of office there were no funds wherewith to defray expenses, and the so-called administration of justice was openly burlesqued. In 1872 the removal of the chief justice was urged by the legislature.26 This was not yet to be; but after some further judicial blunders,27 he was finally superseded in March 1875 by David T. Lowe.28
For ten years William H. Hooper had been delegate to congress, and was in need of rest. He had done his duty faithfully; more acceptably, perhaps, to members of congress than any of his predecessors, and it was no easy task to fill his place. George Q. Cannon was the man selected, although an apostle and a practical polygamist. The election of Cannon was contested by George R. Maxwell, registrar of the land-offlce,29 who in 1870 had received a few hundred votes, as against 26,000 in favor of Hooper; but in that year and again in 1874 had no well-grounded hope of success, save his reliance on popular prejudice. At the first session of the forty-third congress he prevailed on one of the members from New York to introduce a resolution embodying a number of charges against the apostle. The reading of his certificate was then demanded, in which it appeared that he had a majority of 20,000 votes, and thereupon he was admitted.30
26Utah Jour. Legisl., 1872, p. 231.
27In his charge to the grand jury, October term, 1874, MeKean, after quoting Montesquieu, 'I shall first examine the relation which laws have to the nature and principle of each government,' 'and if I can but once establish it, the laws will soon appear to flow from thence as from their source,' stigmatizes the Mormons in more vile and insulting phrase than had been used even by judges Brocchus and Drummond. See Deseret News, Oct. 14, 1874; Millennial Star, xxxiii. 550.
28Harrison's Crit. Notes on Utah, MS., 38. See, for opinions of press on McKean's removal, Millennial Star, xxxvii. 282-5; for message of the president on judicial administration in Utah, Sen. Doc., 42d Cong. 3d Sess., no. 44; for act in relation to judiciary, House Ex. Doc., 46th Cong. 3d Sess., xxvi. 997.
29Maxwell entered the union army when 17 years of age, and at 21 was a brigadier-general. During the war he had both legs broken, his right arm fractured, lost three fingers of his left hand by a sabre-cut, and had his collarbone broken by grape-shot, besides receiving several flesh wounds. Woods' Recollections, MS., 39-49.
30For further particulars as to the Cannon-Maxwcel contest, see House Misc. (cont.)
The contest between Cannon and Maxwell was sharp but decisive, a thorough canvass being made by the latter, and its results showing how completely the saints were in unison with their church leaders. Many persons could have been found better qualified than the apostle, notwithstanding his great ability, but Brigham had so willed it. At this election, if we can believe the chief magistrate, freedom of speech was first used in Utah, and by Governor Woods. Here as on other occasions31 he intermeddled, playing
(30cont.) Doc., 43d Cong. 1st Sess., no. 49; House Com. Rept, 43d Cong. 1st Sess., 484; Argument of Halbert E. Paine, in Utah Pamphlets, Political, no. 13; Millennial Star, 99-100, 104-6; Paddock's La Tour, 292; S. L. C. Tribune, Nov. 30, 1872. In 1867 Hooper's election was disputed by William McGrorty. For papers in the case, see House Misc. Doc., 40th Cong. 2d Sess., no. 35; for comments, Deseret News, May 27, 1868. At the opening of the 44th congress Cannon's seat was also disputed by a man named Baskin.
William H. Hooper was born at the old homestead known as Warwick Manor, Eastern Shore, Md, in 1813, his father, who died during William's infancy being of English descent, and his mother of Scotch extraction. When 14 years of age he obtained a position in a store; and from this beginning rose step by step, until in 1836 we find him a member of a leading commercial firm at Galena, Ill. During the crash of 1838 the firm suspended, their debts, amounting to $200,000, being afterward paid in full. In 1850 he moved to Salt Lake City under engagement to Messrs Holliday & Warner, commencing business on his own account some four years later. In 1856 he was temporarily appointed secretary of the territory after the death of Almon W. Babbitt, and in 1859, as we have seen, was chosen delegate for Utah at the 36th congress, serving in the same capacity during the 39th, 40th, and 41st congresses. In 1808 Mr Hooper was appointed a director of Zion's Coöperative Mercantile Institution, and in 1877 became its president, retaining that position until his decease at the close of 1882. For further particulars, see Tullidge's Mag., i. 369-85, 427-30; Contributor, iv. 184-6, suppl. 25-7; Beadle's Western Wilds, 91-2; Deseret News, Feb. 8, 1860. Hooper was an able speaker, terse, to the point, and forensic. 'If,' he replied in answer to a memorial of the Salt Lake gentile lawyers, 'congress declined to enact a law that would have enabled Chief Justice Chase to pick out a jury that should convict Jefferson Davis of treason, ought it now to enable Chief Justice McKean to pick out a jury to convict Brigham Young of polygamy? It seems to me that the law would be a greater offence against the spirit of democratic republican institutions than is the existence of the evil thus sought to be reached.'
31In consequence of the military riot above mentioned, the police were instructed to arrest disorderly or drunken soldiers on slight provocation, and fine them or put them to work in chain-gangs. After protesting without avail, Woods reported the matter to the war department, and thereupon a general order was issued to the commanders of military posts, instructing them not to allow the arrest of their men except for violation of the known laws of the land. Soon afterward a soldier was arrested on a trifling charge, whereat, his release being refused, the governor proceeded to the jail with Major Gordon and a detachment of troops, knocked out the wall with a battering-ram, and 'amid hurrahs for the American flag, set the prisoner free.' Woods' Recoll., MS., 53-5.
the part rather of a sergeant of militia than of a ruler. A woman who appeared at the polls and offered her ballot was refused, and insisting on her privilege, was removed by the police, by order of Jeter Clinton, judge of election. Woods protested, whereupon Clinton threatened to arrest him, but after an unseemly altercation, the latter, according to the governor's account, narrowly escaping being lynched by the gentiles, was dragged fainting by the chief magistrate into a gentile store, while the life of Woods was also threatened by the Mormons. The matter was settled without bloodshed.32 What business the chief magistrate had at the polls he does not explain, though he closed the proceedings by a defiance of the Mormons and their threats, while illustrating what he considered freedom of speech in phrase which contained at least considerable freedom of language.
At the close of 1874 Woods retired from office,33 his successor being S. B. Axtell of California, whose policy brought on him the censure of the gentile press, by which he was accused of complicity with the Mormon leaders in their political and other designs.34 He was removed in June 1875, his successor being George B. Emery of Tennessee, who held office until January 1880. Emery's policy was strictly neutral,
33See for the memorial presented by the gentiles, setting forth the immorality and despotism of the Mormons and the insecurity of life among the gentiles, House Misc. Doc., 43d Cong. 1st Sess., no. 120; for opinion of various newspapers on the Mormon question, Deseret News, Jan. 17, 1872; for denial by gentile merchants of the disturbed condition of affairs, as alleged in various newspapers, Id., May 8, 1872. In 1867, and again during the administration of Woods, it was proposed to annex Utah to Nevada without consulting much the wishes of either. For reports of committee of the senate of Nevada on the matter, see Nev. Jour. Ass., 1867, 183-4, 195-7; Nev. Jour. Sen., 1871, 160-2; Millennial Star, xxxiii. 161-2.
Samuel Paul, a native of Londonderry, Ireland, who served for four years as a volunteer during the war, and came to Utah in 1865, says that while the Mormons would render no assistance to the governor or his so-called ring, he was well treated in all the settlements which he visited. Paul's Utah Incidents, MS. For description of and comments on the political ring from a Mormon standpoint, see Millennial Star, xxxiv. 68-70; xxxvi. 120-2; for Vorhees' and Wheeler's bill, introduced April 1, 1872, 'to aid the enforcement of the laws of the territory of Utah,' see Deseret News, April 17, 1872.
34Harrison's Crit. Notes on Utah, MS., 32.
and therefore he was roundly abused by the gentile press.35 It is worthy of note, however, that as the Mormons were now for the first time left undisturbed, there was little which needs record in their annals as a body politic,36 except that from their midst passed one whose place never could be filled. At the obsequies of the great president who had cut the cords of slavery, and being asked to banish its sister institution, said "Let them alone," believing that in time it would banish itself, none felt the nation's loss more grievously than did the Mormons. And now on the 29th of August, 1877, Brigham Young was summoned to render his account at the great tribunal before which all must appear.
Although for several years he had been in feeble health, he was able to attend to his manifold duties until six days before his death. Retiring at eleven o'clock on the night of Thursday, the 23d of August, after delivering an address before the bishops' meeting in the council-house, he was seized with an attack of cholera-morbus, and suffered severely till the morning of the following Saturday, when he obtained a few hours' sleep, opiates being administered to relieve the pain caused by cramping of the muscles. During the afternoon, however, inflammation of the bowels set in, and throughout this and the following day he continued to moan at intervals, though when asked whether he was in pain he invariably replied, "No, I don't know that I am." On Monday morning there were strong symptoms of nervous prostration, among which was a constant moving of the hands and twitching of the
35See S. L. C. Tribune, April 14, June 2, 1877.
36On the 22d of April, 1876, Dom Pedro, emperor of Brazil, visited Salt Lake City on his way eastward; and on October 3, 1875, President Grant, this being the first occasion on which a president of the United States set foot in the territory. For account of these visits, and also those of General Sheridan, Henri Rochefort, Jay Gould, and William Hepworth Dixon in 1874, James G. Blaine in 1873, generals Garfield and McClellan and the Japanese embassy in 1872, see files of the Deseret News; Utah Jour. Legisl., 1872; Ventromiles' Tour, 74-5; Tullidge's Life of Young, 441. Sheridan's visit was mainly for the purpose of establishing another military post in Utah, Provo being the point selected.
muscles. During all this time his only nourishment was a tablespoonful of milk and brandy, administered at brief intervals, in the proportion of one ounce of the latter to eight of the former. At 10 o'clock on Monday night he sank into a comatose condition, from which he was aroused with difficulty by stimulating injections, and early on the following morning he sank down on his bed apparently lifeless. Artificial respiration was resorted to, and hot poultices were placed over the heart to stimulate its action.37 Thus his life was preserved for a few hours longer; but at five o'clock on the afternoon of the 29th of August, 1877, being then in his seventy-seventh year, he passed away quietly, surrounded by his family and intimate friends, the last rites of the church being administered by several of the apostles, to whom he responded in a clear and unfaltering voice, "Amen!"38
At eight o'clock on the morning of the 1st of September the remains of President Youug, escorted by members of his own family, by members of the twelve, and by others of the priesthood, were conveyed to the tabernacle, the coffin being enclosed in a metallic case draped in white and wreathed with flowers. The funeral rites were appointed for noon on the following day, and during each hour of the interval a constant stream of visitors, numbering in all some twenty-five thousand, passed through the great aisle of the building, all being allowed to stop and gaze for a moment
37On the evening of Tuesday a consultation was held by his physicians, S. B. Young, W. F. Anderson, J. M. Benedict, and F. D. Benedict, and it was resolved to fill up the lower portion of the bowels by injection, for the purpose of causing an action through the alimentary canal; but this treatment was discontinued on account of fainting symptoms. The coma was attributed to the pressure of the swollen bowels, which checked the circulation to the heart and lungs. Deseret Ev. News, Aug. 31, 1877.
38Francis Dorr, who crossed the plains in 1850, and rendering assistance to the Mormon trains, was told by Brigham that he would ever be welcome to Salt Lake City, paid the Mormons avisit in 1877, and was kindly received by their prominent men. He is of opinion that Brigham's last illness was partly caused by fear of being arrested and tried for complicity in the Mountain Meadows massacre. Dorr's Statement, MS., 3. I find no confirmation of this theory, which is extremely improbable, in view of the evidence and the statements of the counsel for the prosecution at the Lee trial. See pp. 566-8, this vol.
on the features of him who had been to them for so many years as their God on earth, their faithful guide and counsellor. Throughout the territory flags were hung at half-mast, and civic and religious societies united in rendering tribute to one who had gained the respect and almost outlived the hatred of the civilized world. It was indeed a day of mourning in Israel, of grievous and heart-felt mourning, for to all his followers he had been a friend and benefactor, so far as they would accept his aid and receive his teachings. From Europe, also, and from various portions of the United States, came messages of condolence, and in every quarter of the globe the death of Brigham Young excited more remark than would that of a great monarch.
Throughout the entire day clouds lowered in heavy masses over the city of the saints, and from them fell light but frequent showers, as if in sympathy with the multitudes that thronged the tabernacle; but on the morning of the 2d the sun rose over a clear, unruffled sky, ushering in one of the calmest and brightest sabbaths that had ever been seen in Zion. Long before the hour appointed for the services, more than thirty thousand persons were gathered in or around the tabernacle, the aisles, the doorways, and every inch of space being occupied. The building was tastefully decorated. From the immense arch which spans the interior depended strands and garlands of flowers grouped in rich profusion, in their midst being a massive floral centre-piece. Under the entire gallery wreaths were festooned between the pillars with baskets pendent, the front of the platform, the stands, and the organ being draped in black. The coffin, constructed according to the late president's orders,39
39Nearly four years before his death, Brigham gave instructions as to his funeral, and at the same time a number of elders gave orders as to their own interment. 'I, Brighain Young, wish my funeral services to be conducted after the following manner: When I breathe my last I wish my friends to put my body in as clean and wholesome state as can conveniently be done, and preserve the same for one, two, three, or four days, or as long as my body can be preserved in a good condition. I want my coffin made of plump 1 1/4-inch (cont.)
decked with chaplets, but stripped of its case and drapery, stood on a plain catafalque in view of the congregation. On the president's stand were his councillors, John W. Young and Daniel H. Wells. The apostles, of whom ten were present, occupied their accustomed seats, the north side of the platform being set apart for the bishops and councillors of stakes, and the south front for the city council, the band, and glee club; while to the family of the deceased were allotted the seats immediately facing the stands, his four brothers being in front.
Precisely at noon the vast assemblage was called to order by George Q. Cannon, who, at the request of the president's family, presided over the ceremonies. First was sung by a choir of two hundred voices the hymn commencing:
to a tune composed for the obsequies of George A. Smith, whose decease occurred in 1875,40 and now
(39cont.) redwood boards, not scrimped in length, but two inches longer than I would measure, and from two to three inches wider than is commonly made for a person of my breadth and size, and deep enough to place me on a little comfortable cotton bed, with a good suitable pillow for size and quality; my body dressed in my temple clothing, and laid nicely into my coffin, and the coffin to have the appearance that if I wanted to turn a little to the right or left I should have plenty of room to do so.' After giving instructions as to the services and place and method of interment, he concludes: 'I wish this to be read at the funeral; providing, that if I should die anywhere in the mountains, I desire the above directions respecting my place of burial to be observed; but if I should live to go back with the church to Jackson county, I wish to be buried there.' Address of Geo. Q. Cannon, in Deseret News, Aug. 31, 1877.
40George Albert Smith, cousin to the prophet on the father's side, his mother being descended from the Lymans of revolutionary fame, was born at Potsdam, N. Y., in 1817. In the spring of 1833 the family started for Kirtland, where they were heartily welcomed, and during the summer George was employed in quarrying and hauling rock, and other duties in connection with the building of the Kirtland temple. He was also one of those who went up to redeem Zion in Jackson co., Mo., returning three months later after travelling some 2,000 miles, most of the way on foot. Of his missionary labors mention has already been made. Ordained a member of the first quorum of seventies in 1835 and an apostle in 1839, he was one of the pioneer band at the exodus from Nauvoo, and almost until the day of his death took a prominent part in settling and redeeming the vales of Deseret. Elected member for Iron co. under the provisional state government, he was afterward appointed church historian, and represented the same constituency during several sessions of the territorial legislature. After the death of Heber C. Kimball in 1868, he was appointed first councillor to Brigham, having previously been elected president of the legislative council, which latter office he held during (cont.)
used for the second time. Then followed prayer by Franklin D. Richards, after which addresses were delivered by Daniel H. Wells, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, George Q. Cannon, and John Taylor. A second funeral hymn was sung,41 a benediction pronounced by Orson Hyde, the congregation was dismissed, and the remains of Brigham Young were conveyed to their resting-place at his private cemetery in the suburbs of the city, where thousands gathered to witness the closing ceremonies.42
Some thirty years had now elapsed since the president of the church, stricken with mountain fever and seeking for the remnant of his followers an abiding-place, had stood enwrapped in vision on the Pisgah of the west, and as he gazed for the first time on the desert and dead sea that lay beneath, forecast the future glory of Zion.43 And who shall say that he had not lived to see his vision realized? During these years, which compassed scarce the span of a single generation, he had built cities and temples; he had converted the waste lands of Deseret into gardens and grain-fields; he had laid the basis of a system of manufactures and commerce that was already the envy of older and more favored communities; he had sent forth his missionaries to all the civilized countries of the earth, and gathered the chosen of Israel from many nations; he had rescued myriads from the sorest depths of poverty, giving to all a livelihood, and to
(40cont.) six consecutive sessions. For further particulars as to his life, character, and abilities, see Utah Jour. Legisl., 1876, pp. 65-8; Richards' Narr., MS., 94; Deseret News, Aug. 11, 18, 1858, June 16, Sept. 8, 1875; S. L. C. Tribune, Sept. 4, 11, 1875; Tullidge's Life of Young, suppl., 7, 13; Townsend's Mormon Trials, 47; S. L. C. Contributor, 1882, passim; Codman's Round Trip, 230-3; Beadle's Western Wilds, 92-3 (with cut). In 1860 the son of Geo. A. Smith was killed by Navajos. Deseret News, Dec. 5, 1860.
41Composed for the occasion by Charles W. Penrose.
42In accordance with his father's instructions, a stone vault had been built by John W. Young in the south-east corner of the cemetery. It was of cut stone, dowelled and bolted with steel and laid in cement. The interior was also cemented and whitened. Deseret News, Aug. 29, 1877, where is a full description of the obsequies, afterward published in pamphlet form, and entitled Death of President Brigham Young.
43See pp. 261-2, this vol.
the deserving and capable a competence. All this he had accomplished, beginning wellnigh without a dollar,44 and in a region forsaken by mankind for its worthlessness, struggling at times almost hopelessly against the unkindliness of nature and the unkindliness of man.
Esteemed by his followers as an angel of light, and considered by his foes as a minister of evil, an impostor, a hypocrite, a murderer, he was in fact simply an enthusiast, a bigoted and egotistical enthusiast, as the world believes, but a practical and farsighted man, one who by his will, ability, and intuitive knowledge of human nature was fitted to combat the difficulties that beset each step in his path of life, and to give cohesion to the heterogeneous elements of which his people was composed. "As I sat near his bed," remarked George Q. Cannon, "and thought of his death, if it should occur, I recoiled from the contemplation of the view. It seemed to me that he was indispensable. What could we do without him? He has been the brain, the eye, the ear, the mouth, and hand for the entire people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From the greatest details connected with the organization of this church down to the smallest minutiæ connected with the work, he has left upon it the impress of his great mind."45
Not least among the traits in the character of Brigham was the faculty for accumulating wealth; and this he did, not, as his enemies have asserted, by
44He had about $50, then almost the only money in Utah.
45For sketches of the character, physique, and policy of Brigham Young, see, among others, Hist. Brigham Young, MS; Utah Early Records, MS., passim; Richards' Rem., MS 15; Richards Narr., MS., 83-4; Burton's City of the Saints, 290-4, 300; Hyde's Mormonism, 137-8; Tullidge's a Life of Young, 456-8; Utah Pamphlets, Religious, no. 3, p. 19; Bowles' Across the Continent, 86-7; Mackay's The Mormons, 286; Stenhouse's Englishwoman, 163-7; Young's Wife No. 19, 162-5; Beadle's Life in Utah, 265-7,362; Richardson's Beyond the Mississippi, 352-3; Rae' s Westward by Rail, 106-7; Ludlow's Heart of the Continent, 366-9, 371-3; Rusling, Across America, 177-8. Mention is made of these points in more detail on pp. 200-6, this vol. A history of Brigham Young is published in the Deseret News, commencing with the issue of Jan. 27, 1858, and continued in subsequent numbers.
foul means,46 but by economy and close attention to his business interests. Of all the business men in Utah he was perhaps the most capable, but in the art of making money he had no set system; merely the ability for turning money to account and for taking care of it. He purchased saw-mills and thrashing-machines, for instance, and let them out on shares; he supplied settlers and emigrants with grain and provisions; from the lumber and firewood which he sold to the troops at Camp Floyd he is supposed to have netted some $200,000, and from other contracts a much larger sum. By many he is accused of enriching himself from the appropriations of tithes, and by plundering alike both saint and gentile, whereas none paid his church dues more punctually or subscribed to charities more liberally than did the president. That with all his opportunities for making money honestly and with safety he should put in peril his opportunities and his high position by stooping to such fraud as was commonly practised among United States officials of exalted rank, is a charge that needs no comment.47 He had a great advantage in being able to command men and dictate measures, but he did not rob the brethren, as many have asserted. At his decease the value of his estate was estimated at $2,500,000,48 though as trustee for the church he controlled a much larger amount.
46Stenhouse, for instance, relates that in 1852 he balanced his account with the church, amounting to $200,000, by directing his clerk to place this sum to his credit for services rendered, and that in 1867 he discharged his liabilities, amounting to $967,000, in a similar manner. Rocky Mountain Saints, 665. Such statements are pure fiction.
47In the records of the internal revenue office at Washington his total income for 1870 is stated at $25,500, in 1871 at $111,680, and in 1872 at $39,952.
48It has been stated in several books and many newspaper paragraphs that Brigham had large deposits in the Bank of England, the amount being placed as high as $20,000,000. This is entirely untrue. Stenhouse, for instance, says that a New York journalist who visited him in 1871 inquired as to this report, the sum being then stated at $17,000,000. Brigham replied that he had not a dollar outside of Utah, but that the church had some small amount abroad for its use. The following extract from Richards' Narr., MS., may serve to explain the matter: 'The rumor that President Young ever had any money in the Bank of England is entirely false. When I was in Liverpool I (cont.)
Brigham was certainly a millionaire, but his fortune barely sufficed to provide for his family a moderate competence, for he had married twenty wives,49 and unto him were born more than fifty children, of whom 16 boys and 29 girls survived him. In the body of his will the wives were divided into classes, and to each of them was given a homestead, the sum of $25, payable one month after his decease, and such amount payable in monthly instalments as in the opinion of his executors might be needed for their comfortable support.50
(48cont.) opened an account with the branch of the Bank of England in that city, but finding their charges too high, transferred it to the Royal Bank of Liverpool, where it remained between 1850 and 1867. On the failure of the bank I was fortunate enough to get my money. There was a time in our business when there was $20,000, or $30,000 to our credit. This money came from the profits on publications, and from the deposits of people who wished to emigrate. Donations were also remitted to us from Utah, and the company's fund was sustained by the emigration business.' Franklin D. Richards, the author of this manuscript, was nephew to Willard Richards, who, as will be remembered, was appointed secretary of the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company. See p. 415, this vol.
49In 1869, at which date the Boston board of trade visited S. L. City, Brigham said that he had 16 living and 4 deceased wives, and 49 surviving children. This was the first time that Mormon or gentile knew how many his family mustered. Utah Notes, MS., 1-2. In Waite's The Mormon Prophet, 191-214, is a burlesqued description of some of his wives, and of their treatment. Wife No. 19, or the Story of a Life in Bondage, being a Complete Exposé of Mormonism, by Ann Eliza Young, is, though the writer affects to be impartial, rather a discharge of venom by a woman scorned. She was of mature age when married, and if she had not then sense enough to understand the responsibilities she was assuming, one would think that, some years later, she ought at least to have had discretion enough to abstain from inflicting her book and lectures on the public. The most valuable part of the work, if it can be said to have any value, is the chapter on the case of Young vs Young, in which Judge McKean awarded to the plaintiff $500 a month as alimony, and committed defendant to jail for refusing to pay it. His decision was reversed by Judge Lowe.
50For copy of will, see S. L. C. Tribune, Aug. 19, 1883. It has been alleged that Brigham claimed to be a prophet. This he distinctly denied. In Utah Notes, MS., it is stated that the lame, halt, and blind flocked to him to be healed, and that he used great tact in dealing with them. One man who had lost a leg came to him to be made whole. Brigham said it should be as he wished; but those created with two legs would have two legs in heaven; hence, if he casused a new one to be framed, the man would have three for all eternity.
Patriarch and President John Young, brother to Brigham, died April 27, 1870. For biographical sketch, see Deseret News, May 4, 1870. The decease of Joseph A., Brigham's eldest son, occurred Aug. 10, 1875. For biography, see Utah Jour. Legisl., 1876, pp. 206-8. On July 10th of this year died Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the authenticity of the book of Mormon. His age was 92. Among others whose decease occurred during the period to which this chapter refers may be mentioned Ezra Taft Benson, (cont.)
(50cont.) a native of Mendon, Mass., who worked on his father's farm until he was 16 years of age, afterward becoming hotel-keeper, and later proprietor of a cotton-mill in the same state. In 1839 we find him at Quincy, Ill., whither he had gone in search of a home, and where, during the following year, he was converted by the preaching of Orson Hyde and John E. Page. In the autumn of 1849 he was ordained an elder, and in the summer of 1845 an apostle, most of th interval being passed in missionary work in the eastern states. In April 1847 he accompanied the pioneers, finally settling in the valley two years later. After some further missionary work, he was appointed, in 1860, brigadier-general of militia in the Cache Valley district, where he lived until the dare of his decease, Sept. 3, 1869, his death being probably caused by heart disease. When the provisional government was established be represented Salt Lake county in the legislature, and when Utah was made a territory was chosen a member, first of the representatives for Salt Lake county, and for the last ten years of his life, of the council for Tooele county. Deseret News, Sept. 8, 1869. At his death joint resolutions were passed in the assembly as a tribute of respect, for which see Utah Jour. Legisl., 1870, 185-6.
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