J. H. (John Hanson) Beadle.

Western wilds and the men who redeem them : an authentic narrative embracing an account of seven years travel and adventure in the far West ... online

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Online LibraryJ. H. (John Hanson) BeadleWestern wilds and the men who redeem them : an authentic narrative embracing an account of seven years travel and adventure in the far West ... → online text (page 36 of 62)
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ones in this country? And could he hope to get them safely away?
Could he trust his own wives, whom the ward teachers, in accordance


with the " secret ritual," examined separately every week ? Could he
trust his dearest friend? Was there any one or any thing in this land
of intrigue and priestly supervision, who would be true? How
often did he gaze upon the snowy summits of the Wasatch, and curse
the hour when he made himself a virtual prisoner in these valleys !
It was easy to say that the laws of the country protected him in
going where he pleased. But there was another law here more pow-
erful than any written law. His property was "consecrated" by
deeds which he once thought a mere form, but now knew to be
valid. The church owned it all, if the trustee-in-trust but chose to
exercise his power. In his days of fanaticism he had bound himself
by the " Perfect Oneness in Christ," and now all he had was security
for all the other members of his "quorum." Though he had paid
his own passage and that of Marian from Liverpool to Salt Lake,
yet he had, as requested by the bishop in charge, indorsed the notes
for passage money of a dozen of his poorer brethren ; and he knew
too well that all these notes were ready to be presented at a mo-
ment's notice. And the good bishops and apostles who constitute
the Utah Legislature had taken excellent care on this point. For a
resident there was no end of exemptions ; it was scarcely possible to
collect a debt by law. But for "one intending to leave the Terri-
tory" it was expressly enacted that there was no exemption. And
if one should try to leave before every debt was paid, there was the
law against "absconding debtors" they could be imprisoned "at
the discretion of the court." And such a court! The probate
judge of each county was the presiding bishop thereof the sworn
servant of Brigham Young. Verily, the " cut-throat laws of
Utah " were made by men who have had experience in ecclesi-
astical tyranny.

For three years Elder Briarly had lived a stupendous lie. Know-
ing himself to be an apostate, suspecting himself to be the object of
suspicion, he thought, as thousands have thought, to make his posi-
tion more secure by a show of zeal. And then his wives what was
he to do with them? He was but a man, and in his secret soul he
confessed that he loved the one, was indiiferent to the second, and
"positively detested the third. What if the detested one should pen-
etrate his designs ? He groaned in spirit at the thought. There was
nothing for him but determined reticence ; and so his home life was
a continuing lie a lie so complex, so gigantic, that it corrupted
every element of his nature, and changed him from a man and
a Briton to a self-despised thing. And so it must be with .every


man in polygamy, unless, like the Oriental, he regard his women
as playthings or slaves, and look with lordly indifference upon
them all.

But there came a time when he must choose. He could no longer
stand behind the door and grit his teeth when the troubles of polyg-
amy pressed upon him. Brigham was now inaugurating schemes
which would make every submissive Mormon a slave. He must es-
cape with whatever he could take, or whoever would go with him,
and trust the others to follow. Very secretly he made a few prepa-
rations, Manson assisting as far as was safe. Assuredly there was
need of caution. The Gentiles were in a condition of panic. The
few soldiers at Camp Douglas were of no avail in the city. In one
instance a guard had been sent to see that Miss Sarah Carmichael,
the poetess, reached the stage coach in safety; but this was an ex-
periment not to be repeated. The President of the United States
was jiow devoting his mighty energies to thwarting the Republican
party ; and in Utah every Federal official suspected of " radicalism "
was removed, and a Mormon put in his place. Burton, the murderer
of the Morrisites, held the best office in the Territory. One Federal
judge was a Mormon elder. The Governor was expressly instructed
"not to irritate the Mormons." Other officials were the subservient
tools of Brigham Young. Among the army officers alone could the
harassed Gentiles and apostates hope to find friends. At length the
general commanding the department announced that an expedition
would start for the Missouri River on a certain day. and whoever
would might "travel under their protection through the Indian coun-
try." The priesthood laughed at this wording, and sneered at the
Gentile officer for thus insinuating that any one wanted to leave
Utah. The night before the day set, there was not a sign of prepa-
ration in the city. Daylight next morning showed a caravan of two
hundred people camped about the garrison : men, women and chil-
dren, miserably equipped indeed, but eager for the journey. Among
them were Manson and the Briarlys. They had got away with little
indeed, whatever the elder could convert into ready money, besides
his one team and wagon. The rest of his property would go ac-
cording to the apostolic law of "laying on of hands." But he
had all his children, and two "wives." For the one some provision
must be made in the States. For the present it was enough to get

The snow yet lay deep in the passes, and the winter wind still
howled over the high plains; but Manson confessed himself strangely


happy in the midst of all the hardships. For now he had a recog-
nized right to care for Marian. The miseries of the journey so
early in the season need not be recounted. The open sky, or a rude
tent, for women and children in March and April, on the high plains,
would seem bad enough ; but to Marian and her father they were lux-
ury itself compared with what they remembered of their journey out.
They mourned their kinsman, Thomas James, who had gone south a
few days before their departure ; but for themselves they rejoiced over
every mile put between them and Utah. The mountains were
passed, and early summer found them on the Missouri, eleven years
after they had left it as fanatical Mormons. Eleven years, from the
short span of life, in what had been to Elder Briarly a school of deg-

A new era had set in. The Pacific Railroad was pushing westward,
and paper cities were springing up along its way. Leaving his
friends in Iowa, Manson again turned his face westward, determined
to win a fortune before he should claim Marian for his own. Through
all the ups and downs of that strange moving community, from
Cheyenne to Promontory, he toiled on, ever keeping in mind the
prize that awaited him, and thus guarded against the temptations
which prevailed over so many. The autumn of 1869 found him
again in Utah, now among the new mines which were every-where
being opened. His old friend, Hank Briarly, w y as exploring the west
mountains, and urged Manson to join him. Before determining his
course, business called him to Green River. There, as he walked,
amid the ruins of that railroad "city," he was astonished at being
accosted by a lady of pleasant aspect, but with a face on which
trouble had left its mark. She had visited in turn every railroad
town, and her one inquiry was, "Do you know any man about here
by the name of Henry Beatty?"

Startled as Manson was by this inquiry, some instinct made him
cautious in his reply. Yes, he did know him, and he believed Beatty
was now in Utah. The lady overwhelmed him with thanks, and ac-
companied him on the next train to Ogden. Her joy prevailed over
her reserve. She talked to Manson as an old friend. While she
gently complained of the long silence of her husband, she yet found
a thousand excuses for, him.

"He was so high spirited," she said, "and not willing to plod
along the common road. I am English born, you know, and had
property left me in my own name ; and it worried Mr. Beatty that he
should not add as much more ; and nine years ago dear me, how


long it seems nine years ago he went to California, and then to

Manson winced as he remembered some things in that experience,
and dreaded something to come, he knew not what ; but he held his
peace. They had taken the coach at Ogden, and were fast speeding to-
wards Salt Lake, when the lady resumed :

"For a long time he wrote so regularly ; then not so often, and now
for eight months I have not heard a word. At first I thought it was
because he was coming home; and then I got afraid he might be

." She shuddered and paused. But she was too much pleased

with the information Manson had given her to treat him as a stranger,
and continued her reminiscences.

They reached the city, and Mrs. Beatty could scarcely rest till she
had learned that her husband had gone to Tooele, and had secured a
seat in the next coach for that place. Meanwhile she made a few pur-
chases, and again sent for Manson to make some inquiries. As she
mechanically unrolled the articles she had bought, talking cheerfully
to her new-found friend, her eye fell upon an old copy of the Salt
Lake Telegraphy in which they were wrapped. Suddenly her cheerful
tones ceased. For a minute she held the paper, with her eyes fixed
upon it, then a loud scream rang through the hotel, and she sank ap-
parently lifeless upon the parlor floor.

There was a commotion in the hotel. The landlady and chamber-
maids hurried to help the strange lady. Manson knew that the evil
he dreaded had come, whatever it was. When the lady had revived a
little, and been taken to her room, he picked up the Telegraph and
read this :


^ooSLE^Coroj^sS } In the Probate Court f Toode County, October Session, 1868.

Action for Divorce.

Defendant in the above entitled cause will take notice that plaintiff has filed his com-
plaint in this court, and due publication been made thereof according to law; that
plaintiff seeks .complete legal separation from said defendant, and exemption from all
the liabilities of matrimony. Cause alleged: Abandonment and refusal of said de-
fendant to live with him in marriage. Now, therefore, defendant is notified that un-
less she appear at the ensuing term of this court, to be holden at the court-house in
Tooele City, on the first Monday in December, 1868, and make due answer, said
case will be heard and determined in her absence.

JOHN WOODBURY, Judge P. C., Tooele County.

WILSON SNOW, Clerk P. C., Tooele County.

[Suit Lake Telegraph. w-5t.



Five weeks passed, and a pale shadow of the cheery English lady
was seated in the Tooele coach. She made no complaints, but rode
the long, weary way in silence. Arrived at the Mormon village, she
inquired her way, and proceeded to a neat cabin in the outskirts. In
answer to her knock, the door was opened by an apple-faced but


pleasant looking young Mormon woman, with that flush complexion
and sort of florid beauty often seen among the young Saints.

" Does Henry Beatty live here ? "

" Yes, ma'am ; will you walk in ? "

"Are you his wife?" asked the strange lady, with rigid countenance,
and paying no heed to the polite invitation.


"Yes, ma'am." (This with a slight courtesy.) "I'm his wife Dese-
reta, but he married my sister Nellie the same day. Maybe its her
you want to see. But she's with him now, up at the mine."

" No," was the reply. " I only wanted to see who it was that had
caused Henry Beatty to forget his family and his God. But if there's
two of you, I know enough. Good-day." And she moved silently
back to the hotel, and took the return coach for Zion. No one in-
quired particularly about her; no one asked any questions about the
notice of divorce eight months before. The bishop was satisfied with
it, and the council had directed that " Brother Beatty be fellow-
shiped," and that was enough. "Mind your own business," was the
rule in Tooele as well as in Logan.

The late autumn found our strange friend lying on a lounge in an
eastern city, "only waiting till she should get strong enough to make
the voyage." She had disposed of all her property in this blessed
land of equal rights and wholesome laws, and was going back to
monarchical England, where a man can not marry two wives in a
day, or a woman be divorced without knowing it. Her Yankee
friends said her head was "turned" by her troubles, or she never
would have preferred despotism to liberty. She was but one of ten
thousand whom the laws of Utah tacitly approved by the American
Congress have crucified.

But she had not gained strength as fast as the doctor predicted.
She had gazed out of the open window whole hours at the vessels in
the bay, but now she seemed to lack energy. Suddenly she spoke :
" Let me look toward Old England once more before I die."

The attendant raised her gently. She gazed long and lovingly over
the blue ocean, then lay down and, with one brief prayer for Henry,
passed away.

"Willie has struck chloride! Willie has struck chloride!" shouted
Marian, dancing into her mother's room with an open letter in her
hand, greatly astonishing that worthy woman, to whom this lan-
guage was scarcely more intelligible than Greek. She had not read all
that long series of interesting letters, running through the year since
Willie Manson and his partner settled down on Lion Hill, to dig for
a fortune; and, in her ignorance, was about to ask who "chloride"
was, and if he would strike back, when Marian continued :

"Willie has struck chloride! He can sell out for fifty thousand
dollars, and he's coming home right away, and and " She con-
siderately paused.




Marian had but one " mother " now. In the old Utah days she had
addressed her father's wives as " Auntie," according to the safe cus-
tom in vogue then ; but since the other " Auntie " had found a home
somewhere else, and her father's house had but one mistress, she had
promoted her to be addressed as " Mother."

Yes, Manson had "struck chloride," and though the vein was not
so rich by some millions
of dollars as the sanguine
partners had expected,
they sold it for enough to
satisfy Manson; and be-
fore the autumn of 1870
had passed, he once more
held Marian in his arms.
And now I, the writer
hereof, am embarrassed;
for, if I continue the
story, I can not dwell on
miners, Mormons and
Indians, mountains, mines
and adventures. The de-
tails of a marriage are
beyond my scope. Suffice
it, then, to say, that Willie
Manson and Marian Bri-
arly were made one, after
all their troubles, and con-
tentedly settled down in
Iowa, determined there
to spend the remainder of
their days.

And that firm resolution they kept just six months.

For, when the south wind blew softly, in May, 1871, they looked
around them and missed something. They did not see the circling
peaks, their summits ever glistening with snow ; nor the blue waves
of the Salt Lake, nor the crystal streams pouring from the hills ; and,
as they looked into each other's faces, Marian expressed the desire of
both, saying : " What a glorious place Salt Lake will be when things
get fixed."

Once confessed, her longing increased. She was desperately home-
sick. The troubles were forgotten, the joys remembered; distance



blended her life in Utah into one pleasing whole. What was there in
this prairie State to take the place of her beloved mountains? Where
was the rocky cafion, with ever-varying beauty of gorge, crag, and
wooded slope? where the gray and blue peaks standing out sharply
against the rosy evening sky ? where the Great Salt Lake, now spread
out like a molten mirror in the summer calm, now sparkling in the
light breeze, now tossing its white caps in the storm? There was a
calm beauty in the rolling prairie ; but where was the wild charm of
the Utah valley? The calm rivers had their pleasant features for
Iowa people but what could take the place of crystal streams dashing
down rocky cafions, of bright water-seeks gurgling by the road-side,
of the sacred Jordan and its mountain affluents? There was no charm
in this land for the eye of a mountaineer; and soon Manson also con-
fessed that, for good or ill, he must some day live in the shadow of the

After that their progress was rapid. They could not live away
from the mountains. And, as I sat in front of their tasteful cottage,
overlooking the city from the first " bench," and heard their story, I
did not wonder at their conclusion ; for surely there are few places in
this world which so charm the resident as Salt Lake City. Drink of
its waters, walk its streets for one year, and you will ever long to
return. Give but good government, and intelligent society, and Utah
would be to me even as the home of the soul Salt Lake City, the
particular spot at which I would pitch my tent forever.


ZION was hot in a double sense when I reached it in July, 1872.
The season was unusually warm ; the Saints and Gentiles were con-
ducting a bitter politico-religious campaign, and the nation was dis-
tracted by the spectacle of Horace Greeley running for President on
the Democratic ticket. The Mormons all swore by Greeley, and
prophecies of his election were abundant. He had visited them in
his overland journey of 1858, and out of his letters they had man-
aged to pick many comforting passages ; while the " squatter sov-
ereignty " doctrine of Stephen A. Douglas had suited their position so
admirably, that they inevitably became zealous Democrats. The con-
test was not pleasant to a traveler, and, after a ten days' visit, I jour-
neyed on to Soda Springs, then ambitiously styled " The future Sara-
toga of the West."

Leaving Corinne, Sunday, August 4th, on a narrow-guage mule, I
spent the first night with a Mormon rancher in Cache Valley. This
beautiful region was long the winter rendezvous of the North-west
Fur Company, and many are the legends of grand councils here with
Shoshone, Bannock and Uintah; of love-making between swarthy
trappers and dusky maidens; of grand revels, often ending in a free
fight, in which ordinary hostile divisions were ignored, and every man
went in for personal revenge. Now it is the abode of 15,000 Mor-
mons, and the granary of Utah. The valley, or rather basin, is in-
closed on all sides by lofty mountains, their summits tipped with snow
in mid-summer. Through it Bear River runs in many a winding maze
for seventy miles, and from all sides bright crystal affluents join the
main stream, each singing of the snowy heights whence it came. The
traveler along one side of the valley sees all the Mormon villages on
the other side, each set back in a little cove, but those near him are
hidden by the projecting mountain spurs.

From the upper part of Cache (" concealed ") Valley, the road rises
to a rocky plateau. There the Bear River makes a big bend to the
north, and the mountains, which have followed close on its eastern
bank for a hundred miles, give back, and we find here a broad, green

(371) *



valley some ten miles wide. The floor, so to speak, of this valley is
iron; upon it is a heavy stratum of rich earth, and through it, in a
hundred places, the subterraneous waters and gases have forced their
way. The plain is dotted by soda mounds from five to thirty feet in
height, and every-where upon and among them are the soda-fountains.
Some boil furiously with a loud, bubbling noise and escape of gas ;


others show but a faint effervescence ; some are always calm, and
never overflow, while others send out large and constant streams, and
still others sink a foot or two when the air is cool, and rise to an
overflow when it is warm. The springs on the soda mounds, are
mere tanks, but a few inches wide, sending out such faint streams that
all the solid contents are precipitated, and the water quite evaporated
before reaching the plain.

Some of the mounds have risen so high that the water has broken
out elsewhere, and thus new mounds are being slowly built. In some
springs the chemical mixture is pure soda, in others pure iron, in still


others iron, soda and salt mixed. The best tonic is from the Octa-
gon Spring, containing about equal parts of iron and soda, with slight
admixture of other elements. Invalids insist that the first drink does
them good, and that they improve every day they use it. On me its
chief effect was to create a marvelous appetite. The Ninety-per-
cent Spring, which Gentiles also call the Anti-polygamy Spring, is
most heavily charged of all. Of the solid contents, ninety per cent, is
pure soda ; the rest some mineral or salt which has strange effects on
the male human. A few quarts of it will destroy the strongest fuith
in the necessity for polygamy. This lasts but a few days, however.

Hooper's Spring is the largest and perhaps the greatest curiosity.
It is a rod wide, and presents the appearance of an immense^ caldron
boiling furiously; but the water is very cool, and rather pleasant to
the taste. The vale near by is covered with heavy grass, which lines
the spring and hangs into the water; on all sides rise the majestic
mountains, and from the pool a stream six feet wide and a foot deep
flows into Soda Creek. The water contains nothing but soda, and all
of that it will hold in solution. Mixed with sugar of lemons it
makes a drink equal to the best from a patent fountain.

Near by, "Wm. H. Hooper, late Mormon delegate in Congress, has
a summer residence. The elevation of the valley is some 6,500 feet
above sea-level, and the climate in August about like that of October
in the States. Farther up the vale may be seen the Formation
Springs, where the dripping chemicals have molded a thousand fan-
ciful shapes ; and down near the river is Steamboat Spring, from
which the water bursts forth at brief intervals with a loud " cough,"
like the " scape " of a slowly moving distant steam-boat. In a score
of places in the bed of the river are springs emitting water loaded
with various minerals and gases, from which the bright bubbles play
upon the surface. A little way up the river are sulphur springs, and
over the mountain eastward is a wooded region abounding in game.
The vale itself, some ten miles square, seems set apart by nature as a
region of curiosities. The only inhabitants are a few Morrisite
Mormons, the remnants of some two hundred taken there by General
Connor in 1863 ; and the few Americans who hold an interest with
Mr. Hooper in the location. The only hotel is a rambling log-cabin,
and all surroundings are rural and primitive in the extreme. But
when the narrow-guage road is completed there from Ogden, I fancy
this place will drop the prefix " future," and become at least the Sara-
toga of Utah and Idaho.

From my Idaho jaunt I returned to the Union Pacific, and late in


August left Ogden for St. Louis in one of those rolling palaces which
make travel over this line such a delight. What a change from the
back of an ambling American horse, on which I made the tour of Ari-
zona ! And I could but ask myself, somewhat doubtfully, too : shall
I ever roll along the line of the Thirty-fifth Parallel Road in a Pull-
man palace, as I now ride where four years ago I toiled with mule
teams? The change would be no greater than I have seen here.

As I neared the Missouri I read that twenty persons had died of
sunstroke in one day at St. Louis. And I had spent most of the sum-
mer where one needed two blankets at night to keep him warm ! I
concluded to wait a week at the delightful city of Lawrence, till nat-
ure should cool things oif. The same temperature in the East is
much more debilitating to one just from the mountains; it appears
more steamy and weakening than in the dry air of Utah and Arizona.
But the last night of August a tremendous thunder-storm swept over
Kansas and Missouri, and lowered the mercury twenty-five degrees!
So I visited St. Louis in comfort, and thence started to make the trip
over the Northern Pacific Railroad.

One day I lingered at Nauvoo, for I had long been curious to see
this old stronghold of the Mormons. Their elders are never weary of
telling the people that it is now a ruin, desolate as Tyre or Babylon.
I found it a beautiful town of some 3,000 people. It has the pretti-
est site in Illinois. The river makes a bend westward nearly in the
shape of a U ; the point in the lower part is a mile wide, and lies

Online LibraryJ. H. (John Hanson) BeadleWestern wilds and the men who redeem them : an authentic narrative embracing an account of seven years travel and adventure in the far West ... → online text (page 36 of 62)