elders it has been believed that there was some foundation for the accusation that
Joseph had taught some sisters in Nauvoo that it was their privilege to entertain
other brethren as " proxy husbands " during the absence of their liege lords on
mission. One lady has informed the Author that Joseph so taught her. All such
teaching has never been made public, and it is doubtful if it ever extended very far,
if, indeed, at all beyond the momentary combination of passion and .fanaticism.
302 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
etc. [Emphasis was laid on the words 'Tiewn down? 'judgment,' 'trem-
ble,' and others equally suggestive.] ' We must not,' it was said, ' ask
'God to punish our enemies, when we could do it ourselves.' Threats of
personal violence or death were common in the settlements against all who
dared to speak against the priesthood, or in any way protest against this
' reign of terror.'
" I was at a Sunday meeting in the spring of 1857, in Provo, when the
news of the San Pete castration was referred to by the presiding bishop
Blackburn. Some men in Provo had rebelled against authority in some
trivial matter, and Blackburn shouted in his Sunday meeting a mixed
congregation of all ages and both sexes 'I want the people of Provo
1 to understand that the boys in Provo can use the knife as well as the
' boys in San Pete. Boys, get your knives ready, there is work for yon !
' We must not be behind San Pete in good works? The result of this was
that two citizens, named Hooper and Beauvere, both having families at
Provo, left the following night for Fort Bridger, and returned only after
Johnston's army came into the valley the following year. Their only of-
fence was rebellion against the priesthood.
" This man, Blackburn, was continued in office at least a year after this,
and was afterwards taken from his bishopric and sent on a mission to
" The qualifications for a bishop were a blind submission and obedience
to Brigham and the authorities, and a firm, unrelenting government of his
subjects. Strict and invariable obedience to their file leaders, ' asking no
'questions for conscience sake,' makes a good Saint. To pay tithing will
cover a multitude of sins.
"I might fill page after page in illustrating the condition of affairs, but
I presume you are posted generally on the subject
"As ever yours, . . . ."
To note the hurried expressions of extempore speakers in
moments of excitement, and treasure them up as evidence
against their authors, would justly be considered by every can-
did person a highly censurable action. In like manner, had
the influence of the Tabernacle speeches already alluded to,
from which resulted the " Keformation," ended with their im-
mediate effect upon the audiences present, it would perhaps be
unfair to resuscitate them. But the "discourses" were not
intended to be forgotten, neither did this occur upon one occa-
sion only : they extended over a period of several years. The
Church organ, the Deseret News, carefully printed them after
they had been trimmed by a cautious secretary and super-
vised by the speakers themselves. It was the intention of the
Prophet and the apostles that their words should circulate
HUMAN SACRIFICE TAUGHT. 303
widely and be engraven upon the hearts of the people. They
believed that they were moved by "divine inspiration" as the
favour of "the gods," and could do no less than desire that all
the world should benefit by it.
After these noteworthy sermons had been published in
Utah, they were republished in the " Journal of Discourses,"
in Liverpool, in order that the European Saints might also
"learn the will of God" through his servants. If ever the
modern prophets and apostles could afford to challenge criticism
upon their sincerity it was then. They were in earnest, even
to the sacrifice of life, and a faithful historian has preserved
the record of that time of zeal and devotion among the Saints.
Fortunately there was a government of the United States
with a name of authority over Utah if even no more than a
name or what might not have transpired ? If men, standing
at the head of the Church, could utter such sentiments as were
then openly taught to the Saints and published to the world,
while at the same time they were restrained by the knowledge
that their words were noted by 'the Government and people of
the United States, what would they not have said and done
had their kingdom been established and they bearing unques-
tioned rule over the people in the mountains? Besides which,
these sentiments were not the utterances of a day or a year ;
they were the enunciations of a programme that was sacredly
believed. What Utah might have been under an unchallenged
theocratic .rule, what she would be with the full sway of the
priesthood guaranteed under the proposed State of Deseret, is
clearly shewn in the following edifying passages.
Some time before the " Reformation " had got fairly under
way, this Jedediah M. Grant, the counsellor of Brigham, the
third man in "the kingdom," addressing the Saints men,
women, and children in the Tabernacle, March 12, 1854,
upon the proper penalty for breaking the covenants of the
Church, says :
" Then what ought this meek people who keep the commandments of
God do unto them ? * Why,' says one, ' they ought to pray to the Lord to
Mil them? I want to know if you would wish the Lord to come down and
do all your dirty work f Many of the Latter-Day Saints will pray, and pe-
tition, and supplicate the Lord to do a thousand things they themselves
would be ashamed to do
304 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
" When a man prays for a thing, Tie ought to be willing to perform it him-
self. But if the Latter-Day Saints should put to death the covenant-
breakers, it would try the faith of the ' very meek 1 , just, and pious ' ones
among them, and it would cause a great deal of whining in Israel.
" Then there was another odd commandment. The Lord God com-
manded them not to pity the person whom they killed, but to execute the
law of God upon persons worthy of death. This should be done by the en-
tire congregation, showing no pity. I have thought there would have to be
quite a revolution among the Mormons before such a commandment could
be obeyed completely by them. The Mormons have a great deal of sym-
pathy. For instance, if they can get a man before the tribunal adminis-
tering the law of the land, and succeed in getting a rope around his neck,
and having him hung up like a dead dog, it is all right. But if the Church
and kingdom of God should step forth and execute the law of God, oh, what
a burst of Mormon sympathy it would cause ! I wish we were in a situation
favourable to our doing that which* is justifiable before God, without any con-
taminating influence of Gentile amalgamation, laws, ancf traditions, that the
people of God might lay the axe to the root of the tree, and every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit might be hewn down.
" What ! do you believe that people would do right, and keep the law
of God, by actually putting to death the transgressors ? Putting to death
the transgressors would exhibit the law of God, no matter by whom it was
done. That is my opinion.
" You talk of the doings of different governments the United States,
if you please. What do they do with traitors ? What mode do they
adopt to punish traitors ? Do traitors to that government forfeit their
lives? Examine also the doings of other earthly governments on this
point, and you find the same practice universal. I am not aware that there
are any exceptions. But people will look into books of theology, and
argue that the people of God have a right to try people for fellowship,
but they have no right to try them on property or life. That makes the
devil laugh, saying : I have got them on a hook now ; they can cut them
off, and I will put eight or ten spirits worse than they are into their taber-
nacles, and send them back to mob them."
In the midst of the excitement of the " Keformation," Brig-
ham assured the Saints that these throat-cutting, blood-spilling
doctrines that had been taught to them by the elders were
meritorious, glorious, and soul-saving. Here are his words :
" There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive for-
giveness in this world, or in that which is to come ; and if they had their
eyes open to their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their
blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as
an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins;
whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them
in the spin 'it-world.
DISSENTERS TO BE HEWN DOWN. 305
" I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off
from the earth-, that you consider it is strong doctrine ; but it is to save
them, not to destroy them .....
" It is true the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the
fall, and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can,
never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day ; and though the
principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not un-
derstand them ; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can
be atoned for by an offering upon an altar as in ancient days ; and there
are sins that the Hood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves cannot remit,
but they must he atoned for ~by the 'blood of the man. That is the reason why
men talk to you as they do from this stand ; they understand the doctrine,
and throw out a few words about it. You have "been taught that doctrine,
hut you do not understand it.
Jedediah, ever ready to bless the Saints, urged an immedi-
ate beginning. The following is a choice piece of counsel :
" I say there are men and women here that I would advise to go to the
president immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their
case; and then let a place ~be selected, and let that committee shed their
Believing that the reformation was to bring to pass that
day of separation of " wheat and tares," " sheep and goats,"
the divine inspiration of Brigham, on the 2nd of March, 1856,
was very emphatic and clear on the manner in which the work
should be accomplished.
" The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line, and right-
eousness to the plummet ; when we shall take the old broadsword, and ask,
* Are you for God f ' and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will
he hewn down." I
" We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for
letting the sword of the Almighty to be unsheathed, not only in word,
but in deed." J. M. GRANT.
The evidence that this admitted of no figurative interpreta-
tion, but meant truly all that it expresses, was furnished by
Brigham as early as 1853. A Mormon elder of the name of
Albert Smith, who had some leaning towards the revelations
of one Gladden Bishop (a genius who figured in Nauvoo), went
from St. Louis to Salt Lake. This Smith and some friends at-
* Tabernacle, September 21, 1856. f Ibid.
% "Journal of Discourses," vol. iii., p. 226. Dcseret News, October 1, 1856.
306 THE KOOKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
tempted to address the Mormons in the public street one Sun-
day just as Brigham was going home from the Tabernacle. On
the following Sunday, March 27, 1853, Brigham was running
over with " the Spirit," and revealed himself on the subject of
" When I went from meeting last Sabbath, my ears were saluted with
an apostate crying in the streets here. I want to know if any one of you
who has got the spirit of Morinonism in you, the spirit that Joseph and
Hyrum had, or that we have here, would say, ' Let us hear both sides of
' the question. Let us listen and prove all things.' What do you want to
prove ? Do you want to prove that an old apostate, who has been cut
off from the Church thirteen times for lying, is anything worthy of no-
tice ? I heard that a certain picture-maker in this city, when the boys
would have moved away the wagon in which this apostate was standing,
became violent with them, saying, ' Let this man alone ; these are Saints
'that you are persecuting.' [Sneeringly.]
" We want such men to go to California, or anywhere they choose. I
say to those persons, * You must not court persecution here, lest you get
so much of it you will not know what to do with it. Do NOT court perse-
cution.' We have known Gladden Bishop for more than twenty years,
and know him to be a poor dirty curse. Here is sister Vilate Kimball,
brother Heber's wife, has borne more from that man than any other woman
on earth could bear ; but she won't bear itagain. I say again, you Glad-
denites, do not court persecution, or you will get more than you want, and
it will come quicker than you want it.
" I say to you, bishops, do not allow them to preach in your wards.
Who broke the road to these valleys ? Did this little nasty Smith and his
wife ? No. They stayed in St. Louis, while we did it, peddling ribbons,
and kissing the Gentiles. I know what they have done here they have
asked exorbitant prices for their nasty stinking ribbons. [Voices, ' That's
true.'] We broke the roads to this country.
" Now, you Gladdenites, keep your tongues still, lest sudden destruction
come upon you. I say rather than that the apostates should nourish here,
I will unsheath my lowie-knife, and conquer or die. [Great commotion in
the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the
declaration.] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or 'judgment will ~be
1 laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. 1 [Voices generally,
* Go it, go it ! '] If you say it is all right, raise your hands. [All hands
up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this and every other good
The foregoing is a literal quotation from the Deseret News,
republished in the "Journal of Discourses," vol. i., p. 82.
These extracts, repeatedly published by the Church author-
BRIGHAM AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 30 7
ities, first in the Deseret News, in Salt Lake City, and after-
wards in the Millennial Star office in Liverpool, are evidences
of the sincerity of Brigham Young. No sane man fanatic
though he might be would use this threatening and blood-
thirsty language, at the same time being fully aware of his
own responsibility, unless he were sincere. He assuredly be-
lieved that " life and death " were in the hands of the priest-
hood. He believes it still ; and the exercise of such a power
was " not to destroy, but to save ! "
With Judge Drummond on the Pacific coast publishing
every possible charge of villainy and despotism against the
leaders of the Church, asserting that law could not be admin-
istered in the Territory, and that the records of the Supreme
Court had been burned ; with Judge Stiles at Washington rep-
resenting to the Government that he had been intimidated and
threatened, and had been forced to close his court ; and with a
host of correspondents writing exciting statements to all parts
of the Union about the " reign of terror," inaugurated by the
"Reformation," the nation was wrought up to the highest pitch
The administration of President Pierce was drawing to a
close and did not choose to inaugurate any new measures, but
this seeming indifference on the part of the Government only
stirred up the opponents of Brigham Young to greater exer-
tions, and every measure was adopted to secure some decided
That busy class of men who hang around Washington
" waiting for something to turn up," soon saw an appropriate
occasion for a display of force to bring Brigham to a realiza-
tion of his obligations to the national Government. Contrac-
tors and would-be contractors became urgent for action, rep-
resentatives and senators became fierce in their denunciation
of the outrages in Utah, and every violent word and action
of the Mormon priesthood henceforth was construed into "re-
bellion " against the United States."
At the organization of the Eepublican party, Brigham
Young and the Mormons occupied too much attention to be
overlooked, and in the framing of its first platform Utah was
raised to a kindred association with the South, and in every
308 ' THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
campaign procession where John C. Fremont was the standard
bearer of the party, there could be read :
" The Abolishment of Slavery and Polygamy ; the Twin Relics of
"While the affairs of Utah were thus tefore the nation, and
coming events, portending war, were casting forth their shad-
ows, a sad page was added to the history of Mormon emi-
EMIGRATING TO UTAH WITH HAND-CARTS. Mr. Chislett's Narrative-
The " Divine Plan" for emigrating the Poor Outfitting in Iowa City Organ-
izing the Company Journey through Iowa The Elders prophesy a Successful
Journey Brother Savage protests "Inspirational" Counsel followed The
Carts break down Cattle are lost The Apostle Richards prophesies in the
Name of the God of Israel The Elders eat the Fatted Calf Arrival at Fort
Laramie Provisions become scarce Great Privations The People begin to
faint by the Way Captain Willie's Bravery The Winter overtakes them
Snow on the Mountains The Sweetwater Great Distress, Disease, and Death-
Envoys from Salt Lake Valley Provisions all gone Captain Willie goes in
search of Aid Terrible Condition of the People Courage and Faithfulness of
the Sufferers Arrival of Timely Aid A Thrilling Scene Hope revived
" Too Late "Ravages of Death A Hard Road An Old Man's Death" Thir-
teen Corpses all Stiffly Frozen" Fifteen buried in One Grave The Ending of
the Journey Great Kindness of the Elders and People of Utah The Pilgrims
enter Zion Sixty-seven Emigrants dead on the Journey Greater Losses in
another Company Folly of Modern Prophecies.
THE story of the Hand- Cart Emigration to Utah that fills
so melancholy a page in the history of the Mormon people
could only be written properly by one who had himself passed
through the sufferings which it relates. A gentleman now in
Salt Lake City, and formerly a fellow-labourer with the Au-
thor in the Mormon missions, furnishes a graphic history equal-
ling in interest the finest pages of fiction, ye"t strikingly true,
and exhibiting a rare devotion that commands respect. He at
first declined to affix his name, but the Author, persuaded of
the value of his narrative, succeeded at last in inducing him to
Mr. Chislett is a gentleman who enjoys the confidence and
respect of those who know him, both in Europe and in the
312 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
United States ; an*d this episode of his life, illustrating as it
does a phase of Mormon emigration, and exploding the pre-
sumptuous folly of the predictions of modern apostles, will be
read with deep interest.
MR. CHISLETT'S NAKKATIVE.
THE PILGEIMS SET OUT FOR ZION.
"FoB several years previous to 1856, the poorer portion of the Mor-
mon emigrants from Europe to Utah made the overland journey from
' the Frontiers ' to Salt Lake City by ox-teams, under the management of
the Church agents, who were generally elders returning to Utah after hav-
ing performed missions in Europe or the Eastern States. . The cost of the
journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake by this method was from 10 to 12.
All the emigrants who were obliged to travel in this manner were, if able,
expected to walk all the way, or at least the greater part of the way.
The teams were used for hauling provisions, and 100 Ibs. of luggage were
allowed to each emigrant. Old people, feeble women and children, gen-
erally could ride when they wished. The overland portion of the jour-
ney occupied from ten to twelve weeks.
u This was a safe method of emigration, and it added to the wealth of
the new Territory by increasing its quota of live stock, wagons, and such
articles of clothing, tools, etc., as the emigrants brought. These were all
much needed in Utah in early days, and families going to the Territory
with a surplus found good opportunities for exchanging them for land
and the produce of the Valley. Many families came out with their own
wagons ; some of the more wealthy having several well laden with neces-
sary articles. The growth and prosperity of the Territory were slow,
gradual, and natural, and as each successive company of emigrants ar-
rived they found the country prepared to receive them. Employment
could generally be obtained by the mechanics (especially of the building
trades) as soon as they arrived. The wealthy could find cultivated land
at fair prices without having to endure the hardship of making new
homes on unbroken land, while the agricultural labourer could always
find a welcome among the farmers. Artisans and men of no trade were
the only class who were really out of place. They had to begin life anew
and strike out fresh pursuits, suffering frequently in the undertaking.
But the general condition was prosperous.
" The growth of the colony was not, however, sufficiently rapid to suit
the ambitious mind of Brigham Young. Thousands of faithful devotees
of the Church were waiting patiently in Europe to join the new Zion of
the West, but all their faith in Brigham was practically valueless. To be
of any real benefit to the Church they must gather in Zion. The question
INTRODUCTION OF THE HAND-CART SCHEME. 313
was, how to transfer to Utah those who could not raise the necessary 10
sterling. The matter was discussed in the winter of 1855-6, in Salt
Lake City, by Brigham and his chief men. After much debate their
united wisdom devised and adopted a system of emigration across the
plains by hand-carts, as being cheaper and consequently better under the
circumstances for bringing the faithful poor from Europe.
" Whether Brigham was influenced in his desire to get the poor ot
Europe more rapidly to Utah by his sympathy with their condition, by
his well-known love of power, his glory in numbers, or his love of wealth,
which an increased amount of subservient labour would enable him to
acquire, is best known to himself. But the sad results of his Hand-Cart
scheme will call for a day of reckoning in the future which he cannot
" Instructions were sent by Brigham and his chief men to their agent,
Apostle F. D. Richards, at Liverpool, and were published by him in the
Millennial Star with such a flourish of trumpets as would have done hon-
our to any of the most momentous events in the world's history. That
apostle announced to the Saints that God, ever watchful for the welfare
of his people and anxious to remove them from the calamities impending
over the wicked in Babylon, had inspired His servant Brigham with His
spirit, and by such inspiration the hand-cart mode of emigration was
adopted. By going to Zion in this way some difficulty would be experi-
enced ; but had not the Lord said that He would have a ' tried people,'
and that they should come up 'through great tribulation,' etc. Thus
reasoned this grave apostle declaring the plan was God's own, and of
His own devising through His servant Brigham. Thus* the word went
forth to the faithful Mormons with the stamp of Divinity upon it. They
received it with gladness, believing in the assertion that ' He doeth all
things well,' and they set about preparing for their journey at least as
many as could raise means to reach the frontiers. Those who had more
money than was necessary for this were counselled to deposit all they
had with F. D. Richards, that it might be used to help others to that
point, as all who reached there would be surely sent through.
" Many, in their honest, simple whole-heartedness, and love for their
brethren and sisters, obeyed this counsel, while many others helped their
own immediate friends and acquaintances to emigrate. The result was
that a greater number of the Saints left Liverpool for Utah that year than
ever before or since. Of this, Richards felt proud, and frequently boasted
of it, as though the success of the scheme was certain when the people
had left Liverpool.
" What his instructions from Brigham were, or whether he exceeded
them, it is immaterial now to enquire ; but certain it is that the prepara-
tions on the frontiers were altogether inadequate to the number of emi-
grants, as indeed were the preparations throughout the entire journey
west of New York. For instance, several hundred emigrants would arrive
at Iowa City, expecting to find tents or some means of shelter, as agents
314 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS. *
had been sent on from Liverpool to purchase tents, hand-carts, wagons,