forage for the animals, and such provisions as might be required
for the subsistence of the troops.
The Saints had no time now to lose ; the enemy was ap- *%
proaching their homes. "War was then everything in Utah. '
The leaders preached war, prayed war, taught war ; while
saintly poets scribbled war, and the people sang their ditties.
" The God of Battles " was the deity of the hour, and his in-
fluence was everywhere seen and felt. Public works and pri-
vate enterprise were alike suspended, while every artist who
had sufficient genius for the manufacture of revolvers, repair-
ing old guns, or burnishing and sharpening rusty sabres and
bayonets, was pressed into service for the defence of Zion. The
sisters-, too, were seized with the war-fever, and their weaving
and knitting talents were fully exercised in preparation for they
coming campaign. It was a great time for rejoicing in the
Lord, cursing Uncle Sam, and keeping powder dry.
Two apostles, Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich, had"*]
successfully established a colony of Mormons at San Bernardino,
in Southern California. Orders were immediately dispatched
to them, and to Orson Hyde's colony in Carson Yatley, to
" break up " and come home for the defence of Zion.* A
special messenger was sent to Europe to direct the apostles
Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson to send home immediately all
the Utah elders, and to return themselves the best way they
could. The elders who were on missions in the Atlantic and
Pacific States were all " called in " to protect their families iny
the coming struggle.
When " the Lord " called upon Joseph to go up and re-
The property then abandoned by the Mormons in Southern California is now
worth millions, and the claims of the others in Carson, Washoe, and Jack's valleys
ear after their evacuation of the country became immensely valuable through
(Tovery of the celebrated mines of Nevada. The Mormons had taken up the
whole of the land on both sides of the Carson river in Eagle valley. Carson City
the capital of Nevada, was the property of a Mormon, and the site of what is now
Dayton was sold by one of the brethren for " a plug of a pony " to help him back
to Zion. For all their property the six hundred persons did not receive, probably,
more than $50,000. Brigham's decision for a fruitless war cost something.
354 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
deem Zion in Missouri, the Prophet could only muster two
hundred and five " warriors," but the times were changed.
Israel had grown and multiplied, and in numbers was not now
to be despised. The republic was a great nation, but Zion was
greater. The prophecies were about to be fulfilled, and what
the Saints wanted in cannon and munitions of war they could
make up in faith. Not only were the missionary elders eager
to return to the mountains for the protection of their families,
but, could it have been accomplished, thousands of the Saints
in Europe and the States would have rallied round the standard
of the Prophet. There was no fear, no hesitation anywhere ;
every one believed that " the Lord " would come out of his
hiding place and vex the nation.
The Western Standard, the Mormon organ then published
^ in San Francisco, and The Mormon, published in New York,
were ordered to be discontinued the world was to be left with-
out light. The missionary elders returning from Europe landed
at New York as secretly as possible, and made their way west-
ward to the frontiers by various routes, so that they should not
be recognized or hindered by any action of the Government as
they journeyed home, or be delayed by any annoyances on the
part of the citizens as they passed by.
The Utah elders are by no means cowards, but many of
them when returning had formed the idea that TJncle Sam was
ready to devour them, and that the devil was always at their el-
bow ready to denounce them as they passed along. If a person
chanced to look twice at any of them, or ask a question about their
destination or object in travelling, he was instantly regarded as a
spy or some Government officer in disguise, who meant mis-
chief and peril to them. A number of elders returning from
their missions to Europe, while passing through Chicago, met
with a little difficulty which did serious damage to the cause
of human enlightenment. An officer in blue, with eagle but-
tons, chanced to put up at the same hotel, and one of the
brethren at sight of him was instantly demoralized.
of a terrible fate troubled his mind ; lie and his brethren were
certainly going to be thoroughly overhauled, and, if any papers
were found upon them that would establish their identity as
Mormons, detection was a certainty. He communicated his
PANIC AMONG THE MISSIONARIES. 355
apprehensions to the others, and counselled the immediate de-
struction of all the books and papers that any of the brethren
chanced to carry about their persons or in their satchels. One
of the elders had been for years the " private secretary of
u Brigham Young," and had kept a pocket-journal in which he
had jotted down the inspired droppings of the sanctuary. It
was to him then a priceless treasure, and undoubtedly would
one day have become a valuable contribution to the historian's
office. It was brimful of choice sayings, bits of some rare reve-
lations and interpretations of others, dates, memoranda, " bless-
"ings," and receipts for money paid. In it, too, were tracings
of the names of his forefathers and foremothers, for whom he
was yet to be baptized in the Temple, in order to aid their sal-
vation and deliverance from the hands of the devil. It was one
of those priceless bijous that no one can ever part with, and
" brother Thomas " held on to it as a fond mother to her only
child. But obedience to " counsel " was insisted on, and this
rich treasure, this priceless journal, was tearfully consigned to
the dark caverns of a Chicago third-class hotel sewerage ! Poor
Thomas ! Years later, with tears in his eyes, he narrated to
the Author his grief and the annoyance which he suffered from
the loss of his treasured volume. Thomas probably may not
have quite so much faith to-day, and may fret less.
The apostles from Europe, and a few elders who attended
them as a body-guard, crossed the Atlantic incognito, preserved
themselves secretly in New York till the Pacific steamer sailed
for San - Francisco, preferring the long sea journey and the
western route, via Southern California, rather than the risk of
following the usual route of the Saints to Zion through the
Atlantic States, and across the plains where the troops were
A high priest, who was presiding over the Saints in the
Atlantic States at the outbreak of the Mormon war, was so
r stricken that, if he saw a sergeant or captain of police in
aTstreet car in which he chanced to be riding, he would become
perfectly nervous. He it was who had first in New York given
the Utah elders counsel to store away their books and papers
where they would be safe till they could send for them, and it
was the private secretary's attachment to his journal and dis-
356 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
obedience to this counsel that terrified the chief elder in Chi-
cago, till he could see nothing in the memoranda but a veri-
table Jonah that would sink the whole ship.
The high priest while in New York would have died from
sheer fright, had he not been stimulated to live by the kindly
glances of a sweet Connecticut maiden, who in time became
his second wife. Before the war, while he was a brave preacher
and defiant of all earthly powers, he had worn what was called
a Kossuth overcoat, but that was now too conspicuous, and all
the braid and filligree-work had to come off lest it should lead
to his identity. A coloured barber, who had long dyed the
high priest's locks, in a moment of gushing kindness and with
his blandest smile exclaimed to him : " Massa, I knows who
" you was ! Yah, yah ! '\ That ebony acquaintance was cut for
ever. The Author well remembers the last time that he was
chatting with " the judge " on the affairs in Utah, at a new
boarding-house where he had hoped that no one would recog-
nize him as a Mormon. He could scarcely speak above a
whisper, and feared that some one might hear through the
keyhole. Very different was the Author's own experience. He
was known and seen daily in the offices of the New York press,
and treated with more respect and attention by those who knew
that he was a Mormon than he would probably have been had
he been a Gentile ; he saw no signs of the nation's vindictive-
ness, and witnessed and heard nothing that could possibly be
construed into " persecution of the Saints " on the part of the
Major Yan Yleit arrived in Salt Lake City in the begin-
ning of September. He was politely received by Governor
Young, but was informed with great frankness that they had
abundance of all he required, but they would sell nothing to the
Government, and were determined that the United States
troops should not enter Salt Lake Yalley. Through the polite-
ness of Major-General Yan Yleit, the Author is able to give
portions of that officer's report to the commanding general of
the army, which throw great light upon this period of Mor-
mon history :
" He [Brigham] stated that the Mormons had been persecuted, mur-
PREPARATIONS FOR A SECOND MOSCOW. 357
dered, and robbed in Missouri and Illinois, both by the mob and State
authorities, and that now the United States were about to pursue the
same course, and that, therefore, he and the people of Utah had deter-
mined to resist all persecution at the commencement, and that the troops
now on the march for Utah should not enter the Ghreat Salt Lake Valley. As
he uttered these words, all there present concurred most heartily in what
he said. ... In the course of my conversation with the Governor
'and the influential men in the Territory, I told them plainly and frankly
what I conceived would be the result of their present course. I told them
that they might prevent the small military force now approaching Utah
from getting through the narrow defiles and rugged passes of the moun-
tains this year, but that next season the United States Government would
send troops sufficient to overcome all opposition. The answer to this was
invariably the same : ' We are aware that such will be the case ; but when
those troops arrive, they will find Utah a desert, every house will be
burned to the ground, every tree cut down, and every field laid waste.
We have three years' provisions on hand, which we will cache, and then
take to the mountains, and bid defiance to all the powers of the Govern-
" I attended their service on Sunday, and in course of a sermon de-
livered by elder Taylor he referred to the approach of the troops, and de-
clared they sliould not enter the Territory. He then referred to the proba-
bility of an overpowering force being sent against them, and desired all
present, who would apply the torch to their own buildings, cut down their
trees, and lay waste their fields, to hold up their hands ; every hand in an
audience numbering over four thousand -persons was raised at the same
The Major further reported that he anticipated that the
Mormons would burn the grass on the plains, stampede the
cattle, and hinder the advance of the expedition till the snow
rendered it impossible for the army to force a passage through
the canons, and suggested that Fort Bridger should be se-
lected for winter-quarters.
At the very moment when this representative of the Gov-
ernment was listening to the harangues of JBrigham Young
and the Mormon leaders against the advance of the army, and
protesting their innocence of the charges preferred against
them, there was perpetrated, two hundred and fifty miles south
of Salt Lake City, the darkest crime on record in American
history the Mountain Meadows massacre, in which over one
hundred and twenty men, women, and children were butchered
by Indians and Mormons! A fouler deed of treachery was
358 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
never known in any nation professing the Christian faith.
Had Mormonism up to that hour been stainless, had its princi-
ples been as pure as the breathings around the throne of Je-
hovah, that one cursed deed un atoned for was alone sufficient
to shut against it for ever the portals of heaven. The histo-
rian's pen will yet record that the hand of an avenging angel
has been uplifted in retributive justice ever since against the
shedders of that innocent blood, and the withering curse of the
Almighty has followed that priesthood who had not the man-
hood to rise up and demand that the cause of which they were
the exponents should not be blighted by the bloody work of
savages who claimed to be their brethren in Christ and the
anointed of the Lord. The people were horrified at the deed,
and it has been the canker-worm of their souls ever since.
On the 14th of September Major Van Yleit left the city
and returned to the East. The next day Brigham issued the
following document :
" PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR.
" Citizens of Utah : We are invaded by a hostile force, who are evi-
dently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction.
" For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the Govern-
ment, from constables and justices .to judges, governors, and presidents,
only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted, and betrayed. Our houses
have been plundered and then burned, our fields laid waste, our principal
men butchered while under the pledged faith of the Government for their
safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in
the barren wilderness, and that protection among hostile savages which
were denied them in the boasted abodes of Christianity and civilization.
" The Constitution of our common country guarantees to us all that we
do now, or have ever, claimed.
" If the Constitutional rights which pertain unto us as American citi-
zens were extended to Utah according to the spirit and meaning thereof,
and fairly and impartially administered, it is all that we could ask all
that we ever asked.
" Our opponents have availed themselves of prejudice existing against
us because of our religious faith, to send out a formidable host to accom-
plish our destruction. We have had no privilege, no opportunity of de-
fending' ourselves from the false, foul, and unjust aspersions against us be-
fore the nation.
" The Government has not condescended to cause an investigating
committee or other person to be sent to enquire into and ascertain the
truth, as is customary in such cases.
MARTIAL LAW PROCLAIMED. 359
" We know those aspersions to be false, but that avails us nothing.
We are condemned unheard, and forced to an issue with an armed merce-
nary mob, which has been sent against us at the instigation of anonymous
letter-writers, ashamed to father the base, slanderous falsehoods which
they have given to the public ; of corrupt officials who have brought false
accusations against us to screen themselves in their own infamy ; of hire-
ling priests and howling editors, who prostitute the truth for filthy lucre's
" The issue which has been thus forced upon us compels us to resort to
the great first law of self-preservation, and stand in our own defence, a
right guaranteed to us by the genius of the institutions of our country,
and upon which the Government is based.
" Our duty to ourselves, to our families, requires us not tamely tj be
driven and slain without an attempt to preserve ourselves. Our duty to
our country, our holy religion, our God, to freedom and liberty, requires
that we should not quietly stand still and see those fetters forging around
which are calculated to enslave, and bring us in subjection to an unlawful
military despotism, such as can only emanate (in a country of constitu-
tional law) from usurpation, tyranny, and oppression.
" Therefore I, Brigham Young, Governor, and Superintendent of Indi-
an Affairs for the Territory of Utah, in the name of the people of the
United States in the Territory of Utah :
" 1st. Forbid all armed forces of every description from coming into
this Territory, under any pretence whatever.
" 3d. That all the forces in said Territory hold themselves in readiness
to march at a moment's notice to repel any and all such invasion.
" 3rd. Martial law is hereby declared to exist in this Territory from
and after the publication of this proclamation, and no person shall be al-
lowed to pass or repass into or through, or from the Territory without a
permit from the proper officers.
" Given under my hand and seal at Great Salt Lake City, Territory of
Utah, this 15th day of September, A. D. 1857, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the 82nd.
(Signed) "BRIGHAM YOUNG."
On the following day (Sunday) the Tabernacle discourses
were overflowing with inspiration. For years the Saints had
been listening to predictions which promised them national in-
dependence. They had been looking forward to the time when
the Government by some act of folly should rise up against
the Lord's anointed and force an issue that would justify the
Saints in throwing off their allegiance and verify the inspira-
tion of the apostle Taylor :
360 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
" We'll burst off all our fetters, and break the Gentile yoke,
"For long it has beset us, but now it shall be broke : "
" No more shall Jacob bow his neck ;
" Henceforth he shall be free
" In Upper California oh, that's the land for me ! " *
When the congregation in the morning had got well seated,
and prayer had been offered, in an unctuous tone Brigham
spoke of his confidence in the future, and then bursting out
revealed himself in this fashion :
" This people are free ; they are not in bondage to any government on
God's footstool. We have transgressed no law, and we have no occasion
to do so, neither do we intend ; but as for any nation's coming to destroy
this people, God Almighty being my helper, they cannot come here. [The
congregation responded a loud * Amen.'] . . .
" We have borne enough of their oppression and hellish abuse, and we
will not bear any more of it, for there is no just law requiring further for-
bearance on our part. And I am not going to have troops here to protect
the priests and hellish rabble in efforts to drive us from the land we pos-
sess ; for the Lord does not want us to be driven, and has said, ' If you
will assert your rights, and keep my commandments, you shall never again
be brought into bondage by your enemies.' . . . They say that their
army is legal ; and I say that such a statement is as false as hell, and that
they are as rotten as an old pumpkin that has been frozen seven times, and
then melted in a harvest sun. Come on with your thousands of illegally-
ordered troops, and I will promise you, in the name of Israel's God, that
you shall melt away as the snow before a July sun. . . .
" You might as well tell me that you can make hell into a powder-
house, as to tell me that you could let an army in here, and have peace ;
and I intend to tell them and show them this, if they do not stay away.
. . . And I say our enemies shall not slip ' the bow on old Bright's neck '
again. God bless you. Amen."
" Brother Heber," Brigham's first counsellor, an eccentric,
good-natured, jocular Saint, wanted to have a hand in the fight,
and gushing over with " the Spirit " he set forth his views of
the situation :
" Is there a collision between us and the United States ? No ; we have
not collashed ; that is the word that sounds nearest to what I mean. But
now the thread is cut between them and us, and we will never gybe again
no never, worlds without end. [Voices, ' Amen.'] . . .
" Do as you are told, and Brigham Young will never leave the gover-
norship of this Territory, from this time henceforth and for ever. No,
* Hymn Book, p. 353.
EXTRAORDINARY SERMONS. 361
never. And there shall no wicked judge with his whore ever sit in our
courts again ; for all who are against Israel are an abomination to me and
to our God. The spirit that is upon me this morning is the spirit of the
Lord, that is, the Holy Ghost though some of you may think the Holy
Ghost is never cheerful. Well, let me tell you, the Holy Ghost is a man ;
he is one of the sons of our Father and our God, and he is that man that
stood next to Jesus Christ just as I stand by Brother Brigharn. . . . You
think our Father and our God is not a lively, sociable, and cheerful man ;
he is one of the most lively men that ever lived. . . . Brother Brigham
is my leader, he is my Prophet and my Seer, my Revelator ; and whatever
he says, that is for me to do, and it is not for me to question him one
word, nor to question God a minute." *
Between sermons, Brigham had leisure for further reflec-
tion, and as, doubtless, many of the brethren had cordially
shaken hands with him on his way to and from home, and
blessed " the Lord " for his favour to his servant, he felt
that all had not yet been said. With such encouragement, in
the afternoon assemblage, after partaking of the sacrament, he
again addressed the Saints :
" There cannot be a more damnable, dastardly order issued than was
issued by the administration to this people while they were in an Indian
country in 1846. Before we left Nauvoo, not less than two United States
senators came to receive a pledge from us that we would leave the United
States ; and then, while we were doing our best to leave their borders, the
poor, low. degraded curses sent a requisition for five hundred men to go
and fight their battles ! That was President Polk ; and he is now welter-
ing in hell, with old Zachary Taylor, where the present administration
will soon be, if they do not repent.f
"Liars have reported that this people have committed treason, and
upon their lies the President has ordered out troops to aid in officering this
Territory ; and if those officers are like many who have previously been
sent here and we have reason to believe that they are. or they would not
come where they know they are not wanted they are poor, miserable
blacklegs, broken-down political hacks, robbers, and whoremongers ; men
* This is an excellent specimen of the compound of blasphemy and ridiculous
twaddle to which the audiences in Utah have had to listen. Opposition to such
tirades was designated " the Spirit of Apostacy." Were the subject not sacred,
what fund of amusement could be found in the apostolic sermons of the Taber-
nacle. Fancy the Holy Ghost as " a man performing the same offices to Jesus
" Christ as Heber did to Brigham ! " God himself " is one of the most lively men that
" ever lived," and naughty things " are an abomination to me and to our God."
f This language ill comports with Brigham's denial, seen on page 280, of having
used this language only as " an endorsement " of some one else's statement.
362 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
that are not fit for civilized society ; so they must dragoon them upon us
for officers. I feel that I won't bear such cursed treatment, and that is'
enough to say for we are just as free as the mountain air. . . .
" I have told you that if this people will live their religion, all will be
well ; and I have told you that if there is any man or woman who is not
willing to destroy anything or everything of their property that would
be of use to an enemy if left, I wanted them to go out of the Territory.
And I again say so to-day ; for when the time conies to burn and lay waste
our improvements, if a man undertakes to shield his, he will be sheared
down; for 'judgment will be laid to the line, and righteousness to the
" Now the faint-hearted can go in peace ; but should that time come,
they must not interfere. Before I will suffer what I have in times gone
by, there shall not be one building, nor one foot of lumber, nor a 4 stick,
nor a tree, nor a particle of grass or hay that will burn, left in reach of our
enemies. I am sworn, if driven to extremity, to utterly lay waste, in the
name of Israel's God." *
With such sermons and with such threats of death to the
lukewarm and rebellious, what could the dissenting among the
people do but bend before the storm? The masses were, in
the language of the Tabernacle, but " clay in the hands of the
" potter," to be shaped and fashioned according to the dictates
of a ruler's mind. Brigham's declaration to Major Van Vleit,
that " he and the people of Utah had determined to resist," is
interpreted by his Sunday sermon, wherein he informs the
faint-hearted who would not destroy their property that if the