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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But as most of this would require canals on a large scale, such as
only government would undertake, there is probably less cultivated
land in Arizona to-day than in any one county in Ohio.

Coming back through New Mexico we find that old, old territory
also waked up on the subject of her mineral wealth; development of
many new and some old districts is in rapid progress, but statistics are
not so easily obtainable. Let us get back into Colorado and take
another start from Canon City, visiting Rosita and Silver Cliff. To
reach them we take the Grape Creek line, nearly straight south, some
thirty miles. The whole country abounds with wild scenery and
startling curiosities. Local geologists have a theory that West
Mountain Valley was once the bed and valley of the Arkansas river,
as the same formation extends along both. On the east of it is the
Greenhorn Range, and west of it the Sangre de Christo mountains ;
and on the west side of the first, in a beautiful glade, is Rosita, with
some 2,000 inhabitants. Eight miles away is the noted Silver Cliff,
three years ago unknown and unnamed, to-day a city of 10,000 peo-
ple, with miles of busy streets and all the bustle of a growing mining
town. The valley northward from Rosita is very fertile, now taken
up by ranches and meadows, which gives these two places an immense
advantage in the matter of cheap food and fresh vegetables.

The whole formation about Silver Cliff and Rosita is so remarkable
that it would require a technical education in geology and mineralogy
for the reader to understand it. Suffice it to sav that around and



partly over an original granite ridge was poured, at a very late geolog-
ical era, an enormous flow
of porphyry, or trachyte;
that after the trachyte had
become solid rock there were
terrible convulsions which
split and cracked it, and
through the cracks gushed
streams of obsidian, or vol-
canic glass. All these ap-
pear as they hardened into
shape; so there is little
wonder that the district
was at first a great puzzle,
seemingly destined to over-
throw many old theories.
Of course, too, there was
great waste at first in work-
ing this peculiar ore, but
with experience the total
cost per ton for mining and
milling has been reduced to
about seven dollars. This
makes, it possible to work
ten ounce ore at a profit,
and as the supply of ore of
that grade is practically in-
exhaustible, it looks as if
this magic district would
be as long-lived as it was
noted for sudden growth.
But time and space fail me
to detail each of the rich
districts of Colorado. The
following table, showing the
increase in the population
of the state by counties,
will give the reader a very
fair idea of the localities in

which the richest mines have been developed, since the crowd invari-
ably flocks to those places in which the rich metal is found:












Boulder .





Clear Creek









Custer ....



Dougl as






El Paso



Fremont .



Gilpin .



Grand. . . .









Hnerf ano








La PI ata






Las Animas












Rio Grande


1 946






1 972

San Juan


1 087




1 636




195 231

An increase of 155,370 for the decade just gone is a showing of
which the Centennial state should feel proud. It is safe to predict a
still greater increase for the ten years to come.

Almost any railroad office can supply you a table of distances and
fares from Denver to all points in Colorado ; and from eastern cities to
Denver rates have been so materially reduced that the cost of a sum-
mer in the Switzerland of America is brought within the reach of
nearly all enfeebled professional men.

Of other mining regions but brief mention is necessary. In the
Black Hills a prosperous community has suddenly grown up which
already challenges the attention of the world ; Nevada continues to
pour out her treasures, and generally throughout the Rocky Mountains
the business of mining grows with pleasing regularity. The following


table, from the Mining Commissioner of the United States, shows it
better at a glance than would many pages of comment:


1870 $52,150,000

1871 55,784,000

1872 60,351,824

1873 ' 70,139,860

1874 71,965,610

1875 76,703,433

1876 87,219,859

1877 95,811,582.

1878 78,276,167

1879 , 72,688,888

1880 77,232,512

Total $798,323,735

Adding the growth of 1881, and omitting the lead, we find that the
United States now produces annually at least $78,000,000 in silver
and gold. Thus, in 'the language of Commissioner Raymond, "The
western states and territories bear witness of our great inheritance of
natural wealth. Every period of geological change has been laid
under contribution to endow with rich legacies some portion of our
land. Our territory epitomizes the processes of all time, and their use-
ful results to man. Divided, yet in a stronger sense united, by
mountain chains and mighty rivers, our diversified mineral resources
may figuratively represent and literally help to secure and maintain
our characteristic national life a vast community of communities,
incapable alike of dissolution and of centralization ; one, by mutual
needs and affections, as the 'continent is one; many, by multiform
industries and forms of life, as the members of the continent are



WHILE the first edition of this work was going through the press,
the telegraph announced the death of Brigham Young. To Americans
generally this was simply a bit of interesting news, for this man was, in
the language of Elijah Pogram, " one of the most remarkable men of
our country." But what Gentile can realize the awful import of that
message to the 75,000 orthodox Mormons of Utah ; to the 4,000 Saints
in Great Britain ; to the converts in Scandinavia, and the " stakes of
Zion" in Arizona, Idaho and the Sandwich Islands In 1870 there
were, among European races, but three persons who were at once
heads of Church and State : the Pope, Queen Victoria and Brigham
Young. The British Church is not yet " disestablished," but the
Pope has lost his temporal power and Brigham Young is dead. It
was said, a few years since, anent the Beecher and Clendenning trials
and similar cases, " This is a hard year for parsons." Similarly :
This is certainly a bad period for theocrats. We may yet live to see
the Church of England divorced from the civil power.

I am no believer in that evasive maxim : De mortuis nil nisi bonum.
Certainly not, when the dead are public characters. The dead were
once alive, and moral responsibility is not evaded by the mere physical
incident of death ; and living rulers must learn to act with the as-
sured conviction that they will be judged after death. Of all, there-
fore, which the foregoing pages contain regarding Brigham Young I
have nothing to recant; it was my candid conviction when I wrote
it it is my assured belief now. That it will be the unanimous ver-
dict of posterity, I have not a shadow of doubt. It was not written
without overwhelming evidence to support it ; revelations yet to be
made in Utah, and hastened by Brigham's death, will only add to
that evidence. I merely ask that the reader will, in previous chapters,
substitute the past tense for the present where Brigham is mentioned.
It only remains to add a few incidents in the life of this remarkable
adventurer ; his person and character have been sufficiently described
in Chapter VI.

Brigham Young was born June 1, 1801, in Whittingham, Wind-



ham County, Vermont. His father was an old Revolutionary soldier,
of Massachusetts, the parent of six sons and five daughters. This
whole family embraced Mormonism soon after Brigham did. The
father died in one of the early migrations of the Mormons in Mis-
souri ; the sons and daughters lived to go into polygamy in Utah, and
become the parents of large families. None of Brigham's brothers
ever evinced any special talent for any thing. Phinehas and Lorenzo
Dow Young were barely mediocre; "Uncle John " Young for many
years was Patriarch of the Church, but was a mere puppet as pulled
by Brigham; Joseph sometimes preached, but with no particular
force, and the fifth brottfer was of so little consequence that his name
is scarcely known ki Utah. Nor did any of them acquire property to
any great extent ; at least two were so poor they had to accept assist-
ance it might be called charity from Brigham. The sisters are
equally obscure. Whatever Brigham's talent was, he alone of the
family possessed it. I have repeatedly talked with his nephews and
grandchildren concerning him ; but his career was as much a mystery
to them as to the Gentile world. Oscar Young, Brigham's oldest
child in polygamy, is now a thorough-going Gentile, and a frank,
outspoken gentleman; "but to him, as to strangers, his father's real
nature was a sealed book.

Early in life Brigham married, and was e/irly left a widower with
two daughters, both now living in polygamy in Utah. Mormonism
first took form as a religion in 1830, and among the first preachers
sent out was Samuel H. Smith, youngest brother of the Prophet Jo-
seph. He met and exhorted Brigham, and almost " converted " him.
A little later, in 1832, he gave in his adhesion to the new faith, and
was baptized by Elder Eleazar Miller. He at once set out for
Kirtland, whither the young church was gathering ; came upon Joe
Smith while the latter was chopping in the woods, and, according to
their mutual account, was at once blessed exceedingly. Joseph pro-
nounced him a man of wonderful powers, gifted of God for the
furtherance of the faith, and added that he would " one day lead the
Church." The anti-Brighamite Mormon sects add that Joseph also
said: "And. he will lead it to hell." He should have said so if he
did not, for it has proved very near the truth.

Brigham had previously quit farm life to become a painter and
glazier, and he now exercised his trade upon the Temple at Kirt-
laud, glazing the windows with his own hands. It was soon discov-
ered by Joseph that Brigham was the most practical of all his con-
verts; and, as that sort of a man was badly needed, he advanced rap-


idly in rank. The new church was now on the high tide of furious
fanaticism. The accounts given by a score of eye-witnesses would be
utterly incredible, did we not know from undoubted history, what
such religious mania tends to. Visions, dreams, miracles, speaking
in tongues and the interpretation of tongues followed in constant
succession. In their " experience meetings " the rule was for each
brother to rise and " utter whatsoever sounds came in his mind," the
speaker being assured that " God will make it a language." Some
men professed to see the Saviour and various holy persons; others
ran through the woods shouting and praying; some fell into trances,
and many recited rhapsodies or delivered prophecies. Through all
this madness, Brigham, it -is generally agreed, carried a level head.
It was then supposed that every Saint had the gift of prophecy, but
Joe Smith soon returned from a preaching tour in Canada and the
Eastern States and rectified that matter. It was announced that he
alone held the true prophetic gift. The general madness subsided;
several converts apostatized, and by their statements, published
broadcast, brought great scandal on the Church.

The Saints now established a cooperative mill, store and bank ; for,
as some wealthy men had joined, they were able to collect some
$20,000 in cash. Meanwhile the neighboring people held a meeting
and deputized one of thejr number to go back to Joe Smith's old
home in New York, and collect evidence as to his character. Sixty-
six of his old neighbors joined in an affidavit that they "would not
believe Joseph Smith or any of his gang under oath." It was also
abundantly proved that the Book of Mormon was a weak rehash of a
weak "historical novel," written by one Solomon Spaulding. But
such evidence has no effect on the class of minds caught by Mor-
monism. Troubles increased between the Saints and their neighbors ;
finally mill, store and bank failed, and Smith and Rigdon ran away
to Missouri to escape the sheriff. All this time Brigham labored in
his steady way, and was known among the brethren as " hard-working
Brigham Young."

The Saints had made their first settlement in Missouri, at Independ-
ence, in the spring of 1831, but were driven across to Clay County in
the fall of 1833. The people of the latter county "requested" them
to move again ; so they settled in Ray and Caldwell, built the town
of Far West, and eventually got political control of that section.
Then trouble arose, of course. When the Mormons elected the of-
ficials there was no justice for Gentiles, and the latter commenced fight-
ing. Brigham had meanwhile been advanced to the rank of an apostle,


and was credited with having added many hundred converts to the
Church. In the late autumn of 1838 open war broke out. Enraged at
some of their neighbors the Mormons drove them from their homes, and
eventually burned the town of Gallatin. They had previously driven
all dissenters away from Far West. In the first regular battle that en-
sued Edward Patton, an apostle, was killed; and, on the trials following,
Orson Hyde, President of the Twelve, turned State's evidence. This
left Brigham the senior apostle, and therefore President. But the
battle went against the Saints. Joseph and Hyrum, and nearly all the
leaders, were captured and imprisoned; Brigham and others escaped to
Illinois, and in the winter of 1838-39 all the lay members followed
them. Joseph and the others escaped early in 1839, and the Church
was once more organized, with Quincy, Illinois, as head-quarters.

Dr. Isaac Galland at that time owned a large tract of land at the
head of Des Moines Rapids, on the Mississippi, part of which he
deeded to Joe Smith, on condition that he would settle his people
there, and build a city. Forthwith Joe had a revelation that that was
to be the great "Stake of Zion" for the present; sold city lots at high
prices, and grew very wealthy, while the magic city of Nauvoo sprang
up. Brigham went to England ; reorganized the British mission ; es-
tablished, the Millennial Star, which has ever since been the foreign
organ of the Saints ; did wonders as a missionary, and came home in a
year with seven hundred and sixty-nine converts. Thereafter he stood
very close to the Prophet. But among those converts was a pretty
English girl, named Martha Brotherton, whom Brigham wanted for a
spiritual wife ; she rebelled, apostatized, revealed the inner workings
of the Church, and thus set up a popular outcry against the Saints.
Polygamy was regularly established so says the revelation in 1843;
and early in 1844 a paper was started in Nauvoo by some opponents
of the system, called the Expositor. It was "abated as a nuisance" by
the Saints, for which Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested;
and while in jail they were murdered by a mob, June 27, 1844.

The Church was now without a head. Brigham, as President of the
Twelve Apostles, claimed that they should govern till God raised up
a leader. Sidney Rigdon claimed the right of succession, because he
stood next in rank to the dead Prophet; William Smith claimed it as
the only surviving member of the Smith family; and Strang, Brewster,
Hedrick, Cutler, and others put in their claims. But Brigham circum-
vented them all. Rigdon had a revelation that the wealthy members
led by him were to found a new " stake " for the others to gather to ;
then the Church would grow till able to conquer all the kingdoms of


the earth; he would lead a party to rebuild Jerusalem, "and stop at
London on the way home to pull the nose of Little Vic ! " He was
brought to trial as an impostor and disturber, Brigham acting as
principal accuser; was "cut off, condemned, and delivered to the buf-
fetings of Satan for a thousand years." About a hundred voted " not
guilty." These were at once brought to trial and " cut off." It was
then moved, and unanimously carried, that all who should hereafter ad-
here to Rigdon should be "cut off." The church led off by Rigdon has
long since gone to pieces, and he died not long ago near Pittsburgh.
All the other factions have broken up, and the remnants reorganized as
" Josephites," under the lead of young Joe Smith ; except that a small
branch exists at Independence, Mo., and in that vicinity. The main
body who followed the Twelve Brigham being then merely President
of the Twelve were called " Twelveites ; " but are now considered the
Mormon Church proper.

It was not long till Brigham was exercising all the power of the
apostolic quorum, the other eleven soon sinking into mere lieutenants.
He finished the Temple, hurried the people through their " endow-
ments," in which they were bound to the Church by the most terrible
oaths, and hastened the preparations for departure. In January, 1846,
he and eight of the apostles started westward, afld with them 2,000
of the people. Others went as fast as they could ; by May, 16,000
Mormons had left, and not more than 2,000 remained in Nauvoo.
But an irregular war with their neighbors went on; and in Septem-
ber, 1846, a body of 1,000 or 1,500 militia besieged the city for three
days, and finally expelled the remaining Mormons at the point of the
bayonet. The Saints spent the fall of 1846 and ensuing winter and
spring in a line of camps in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska ; and
as soon as possible Brigham started with one hundred and forty-three
men to hunt a location " in some valley in the Rocky Mountains."
Before leaving Illinois he had received a copy of Fremont's Report
from Governor Thomas L. Ford, who suggested one of the large val-
leys of the Wasatch as their best location. The pioneer party entered
Salt Lake Valley the 23d of July, but Brigham had remained in the
caflon and did not come in till the next day. Reaching the present
site of the city he exclaimed : " This is the place," and ordered a halt
at once. Prayer was offered, a plow was lifted from the wagon, and
a considerable garden-spot plowed before night. A heavy thunder-
shower came on that day a very rare occurrence at that time in the
Great Basin in summer, and a good omen to the Saints. They put in
a crop, from which those who stayed gathered potatoes about the size


of chestnuts, and other things in proportion. Brigham returned that
autumn to Council Bluffs, and at a conference held soon after, was
chosen to all the honors and titles of the dead Prophet Joseph.
Thenceforward Brigham was Prophet, Priest, Seer and Revelator,
first President and Trustee-in-trust of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. The Mormons were hurried forward to the valley
as fast as possible ; there a pure theocracy, of the most absolute char-
acter, was established, and Brigham ruled as Lord temporal and spir-
itual, till late in 1850, when Congress-organized the Territory of Utah.

Meanwhile the Mormons had filled the country with written,
printed, and sworn denials of the existence of polygamy, and Col.
Thomas L. Kane had indorsed their denials ; so President Fillmore
appointed Brigham Young Governor of the new Territory, an office
he held till 1857. The President appointed one Mormon U. S.
District-Judge, the other two being Gentiles ; a Mormon District-
Attorney, and a Gentile Secretary, dividing the offices very fairly.
Of course there was trouble. Brigham kept the people in such an
excited state that the two Gentile judges soon left not to put too fine
a point upon it, ran away, to the great delight of the Saints. And
soon after, at the annual festival, the following toast was rapturously
applauded: "Our runaway judges; may they go on to where they
belong to hell!" And to further demonstrate his loyalty Brigham
preached a sermon on the " earthly reign of the Saints," in which he
said: "In that day the chief men of the earth will come to us begging
for a place ; I expect the President of the United States to black my
boots ! " Polite reference to the gentleman who had made him Gov-
ernor. But this sort of thing greatly delighted the foreign-born
serfs natural snobs who constituted a majority of the Church laity.
Unfortunately for them, Secretary Harris concluded to go with the
judges; and in spite of threats and injunctions, carried with him the
$24,000 Congress had appropriated to pay the legislature of the new
Territory, and the Mormons never got a cent of it. This hurt Brig-
ham right where he lived. He did not get reconciled to it, till long
after he had become a millionaire.

In 1854, President Pierce decided to appoint another governor, but
could find no suitable person to take the place. More judges were
appointed, and things ran along pretty smoothly till 1856, when the
climax of Mormon fanaticism was reached ; murder by wholesale was
inaugurated, the judges were driven out, and the Mormon war began.
As a result of that war, Brigham ceased to be Governor ; and a some-
what better state of things was established. We have now done with


Brigham as a Federal official, backed by the authority of the United
States ; it is time to consider him as a marrying man, a husband and
a father, in which capacity he is most popularly known. Brigham
had two reasons for being a marrying man : ambition and a vigorous,
sensual physique. He had a peculiar magnetic power over some
people. The way it affected some women may be guessed from the
fact that one of the handsomest ladies in Nauvoo got divorced from a
good man, in order to be Brigham's concubine, and a refined, rather
intelligent Boston lady literally followed him oif, taking along her two
children to be reared in Mormonism. Brigham was rather kind to
this one: called her "Augusta," and honored her with his supreme
affections for three whole years.

Brigham's physique was the very best that cool, hardy Vermont
could furnish. His youngest child, daughter of Margaret Van Cott
Young, was born in 1870; his oldest, now the wife of Edmund Ells-
, worth, must have been born as early as 1825, for Brigham was a
widower with two daughters when he joined the Mormons ; and his
grandchildren in this line are now well advanced men and women.
So his active parental life covered a period of forty-five years, and
(though I have no late returns) his children, grandchildren, and
great-grandchildren number at least one hundred and fifty. Not bad
for an alkali country ! Add widows and sons-in-law, and grandsons-
in-law, and the number interested in the estate amounted to some two

The old man outlasted three generations of wives, and had made
a pretty good start on the fourth ; for he married Amelia Folsom in
1865, and the last time I saw her she was beginning to look like an
old woman. Brigham lost his first wife quite young. Her daughters
are both in polygamy that is, their husbands have other " women "
than them, and have large families. Their daughters also have many
children, and, counting his first and second wives, it is said by some,
who ought to know, that Brigham's legitimate offspring are, after all,
nearly as numerous as his illegitimate. About the time he was " con-
verted," he married Mary Ann Angell. She was his only legal widow
and lived for many years in the "white cottage on the bench"
that is, on the hill just back of Brigham's. She was of the same age
as Brigham, and about 1843, he began on his second lot of wives.
Joe Smith got his " Revelation on Celestial Marriage," July 12, 1843,
and as soon thereafter as Brigham could get authority, he married the
Decker sisters. One of them, Lucy, had been for some time married
to Dr. Seely, a reputable physician of Nauvoo, but the High Council


unceremoniously set that marriage aside ; Brigham took her, and the

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 59 of 62)