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The Mormons

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The following communication recently appeared in the ínter Ocean: In a recent publication we were treated to a report of an interview by a World repoiter with one of our leading Mormons now in New York, himself a polygamist and bishop of the institution called the Church of Jesus Chiist of Latter-day Saints. Our bishop tells the reporter, among other things: "I do not anticípate that congress will act rashly or unadvisedly, and our own people expresa no fear of auy such action. It would be hard to say what would be the result should the government act indiscreetly. Our people are peace-loving and law-abiding, but they are not to be trodden upon with punity." To us who have lived in the territory and had to do with THIS "MONSTROSITY,"' who have desired so long to see the government assertitself and stamp out this accursed relie of barbarism, this kind of talk is not new. But this is genuine Mormon bnncombe (of the milder kind). This is the idea the bishop desires to convey, and when we read it in the spirit in which the Mormons understood it, it would be as follows: There are, out in Utah, a few thousand men and women, say 6,000 or 7,000, who are supported by a so-called church, having the base and diabelical doctrine of polygamy as one, if not the principal, of its corner-stones. This so-called c) 'irch, with its dastardly, law-defying It iders und law-breakers (largely forei, hts) occupy a portion of the Uniteci .States and enjoy the protection of the laws and the general prosperity brought them by reason of being within the boundaries of this nation. These men and women say to government: "We admit that we late and destroy your laws. We have ' done so openly and deñantly since 1862. We have gathered together out in the mountains and valleys of one of your territories a few thousand people whom we advise to viólate your laws, and teach them deflance to this country. We never have, and do not now intend to obey the law. On the contrary, we openly and deflantly assert, and it is one of the trusts of our so-called church, that WE WILL DISOBEY YOUR LAWS, and advise others to do so." And now, addressing this government and its congress, this bishop, one of its leaders says, though not in these words, in substance this - be very careful how you act: "It would be hard to say what would be the result should the government act indiscreetly." "Our people are peace-loving and law-abiding, but they are not to be trodden upon with impunity." And this same man cliams to be a naturalized citizen of the United States. And to become such he swore, in one of the courts of the United States, that he was well disposed toward the ernment, that he was attached to the principies of the constitution, and that he would obey it. What do you think of this, you, gentlemen, who are ealled upon to make the laws, and you who have the welfare and honor of your country at heart ? In those turbulent days of 1859-60 and '61, when we heard some of the citizens of this ïTation say that slavery was a divine institution, and this government had better be careful how it interfered ; that certain faction in the Nation would resist any such interference, er, using the language of the bishop, "It would be hard to say what would be the result should the government act indiscreetly," such talk in deflanee of law, in defiauce of loyalty, and in every way opposed to good citizenship, such talk THEN WAS CALLED TREASON. It meant treason then, and no other constructien can be put upon it to-day. And has it come to this, that these Mormons, 100,000 strong, are to dictate to the congress what laws ate to be passed? There is no danger of congress passing any law that will be too extreme. The subject to be dealt with is one that demands heroic treatment. Extraordinary cases demand extraordinary remedies. That something must be done, and done at nee, we all agree. And I think I may say that it is generally conceded that mild measures will hardly meet the case. That this is a matter that must receive immediate and decided attention is evident. What shall we do ? What will be adequate ? These are the questious, and the only questions, to be considered. I have already expressed myself in a former letter upon the question of needed legislation. I do not intend to again go over the ground, but only desire to cali attention to one of themeasures I then advocated. A religious f:tnaticism is verydifflcult to regúlate. It can hardly be doue by puniahiug a few individual fanatics. Every man wltu has been convicted of polygam}' ims been LOOKBD UPON AS A MAETTK, and thus is rather ïaised in the estimation of the rest of the people. Prose cutions should be pushed, and the laws so amended as to make eonvicüous more easily attainable, Imiglitsay possible, but prosecutions and incarcerations in the penitentiary will never break up polygamy in Utah. There was a day when it would, bul that day has passed, and to-day something more radical, something determined, must be resorted to. Everv man and every woman who Uves in polygamy, or who advocates it, and aids and abets the commission of the offense should be disfranchised. And don'c let's have any kid-glove proceedings to arrive at these facts. Let the bilí be so drafted that when it becomes a law it will be efïective. Let the law be that when a man or woman is challenged at the polls for being a polygamist, that he himself must be sworn and examined by his neighDors ; that his alleged plural wives and his lawful wife may be called and examined under oath, either privately or publicly, as demanded by the challenger. No one need be afraid of the consequences. There are to-day akundredthousandmen, women and children in Utah who would hail the day when such a law would become operative. THE UTAH LEGISLATUBE. would not be composed as it generally is oí 95 per cent, of its members polygamist, and run by John Taylor and the Mormon leaders in the interest of the Mormon Ohurch. Instead of this, the young men of Utah, who are ily sick of the institution, would come to the front, and we would see a lawabiding people where now we see a lawdefying people. Why think of it, today in Utah there is a premium awarded to those who will defy and viólate the laws. The polygamist is rewarded by the best and most honorable positions. This law would change this and ïhe men who obey the law would be rewarded, and so it should be, for 1 teil you the mau in Utah who resists the demands of these Mormon leaders and darei to "come out from amung them" and be a law-abiding American citizen 1 is deserving of a rewavd, whpreas to' day he receives just tbe contrary. He 1 abandons every hope and shuts out f every chance of ever obtaining official ; position, and Bubjects himself to the vilest kind oí abuse. THE PASSAGE OV THIS LA' would revolutionize the politics of Utah, and this alone would bea power in this land which woold help materially to solvii Live vexed question. But more than this, it would be a continual (junishtnent inflicted upon the men and wometi who viólate the law. ïhere would bs no escape, but like the black nightof despair it would hover about tbem, and polygamy would be a mark upon whomsoever dared to viólate the law, like the terrible mark that was sot upon Cain. And soon they wno wore 11119 marK wouiü be dnven out, not by f orce of arms, but bj the coutinual consciousness of being aliena and enemies to the country and its laws. The passage of such a law would be actiug discreetly, and the consequences would be as I have predicted, the Bishop to the contrary notwithstandiug. Salt Lake Oitt, Utah, Jan. ÍJ, '82.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat