The Mormon Delusion

Source citation
“The Mormon Delusion,” Flag of Our Union, Boston, 17 October 1857, p. 332.
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Boston (MA) Flag of our Union
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The Mormon Delusion
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Don Sailer
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Decidedly the most important and troublesome question which our national government has to deal with, at the present time, is the Mormon question. What shall be done with the Mormons? There they are, occupying the region of country over which Congress has established a territorial government under the name of Utah, and yet denying utterly the authority of the general government, and assaulting and driving off the territorial officers appointed by the national administration to rule over them. They set at naught all authority except their religious leaders, who rule over them with absolute despotism. Nor are these Utah Mormons small and feeble band in the midst of a body of loyal citizens that far outnumbers them. On the contrary, they are the people of Utah, constituting almost its entire population, and have a well-armed, organized, and disciplined military force of some six thousand men. The same community occupied a portion of the State of Illinois some years ago, and the people of that State drove them away, because Mormon rule and practice were disgusting to them, and they considered the community a foul blot upon their State. The Mormons then sought the valley of the Salt Lake and squatted there; and since that time, many thousands have been added to their numbers, mostly by immigration from Great Britain and other countries of Europe.
During Mr. Fillmore’s administration, Congress passed a law extending a territorial government over the Salt Lake community, under the name of the Territory of Utah, and so entirely was this people Mormon, that President Fillmore felt obliged to select a Mormon from among their number for the office of governor. He accordingly appointed the since notorious Brigham Young as Governor of Utah. Young never cared much for the authority of the United States government, and of late has openly renounced and disowned it; and he always relied upon his despotic authority as head of the Mormon church, and not upon his civil appointment as governor, as the instrument of governor. Of the Mormon stamp were the other officers appointed under Young, and a delegate of that faith by the name of Bernhisel now represents the Territory in Congress. Latterly a governor and other officers have been appointed, who are not Mormons, and who go out there to administer the territorial government in accordance with the laws of Congress and the Constitution. These officers will be defied and resisted by Young and his myrmidons, and the question thus arises–what shall be done with the Mormons? There is but one course to take towards them, and that is, to compel them to submit to the legal authorities, or treat them as pirates.
And they are pirates, to all intents and purposes. They are banded together by a secret bond of mutual support in abusing, plundering and murdering all who are outside their band. They entrap ignorant men and silly women into their association, bind them by appalling obligations, and compel their after silence and acquiescence by the threat of murder. They deny all civil authority, and pirate like, set up the decree of their leaders as the only valid law. They trample on the scared institution of marriage, and in principle and practice set up the disgusting and destructive barbarism of polygamy as a lure to the sensual. When to all these horrors and atrocities we add the consideration that the cunning and unprincipled leaders and managers of this sect are ever at work, in this country and in Europe, making proselytes among the ignorant, drawing them with their property to Utah, and that thousands of weak-minded dupes are thus led to their destruction every year, we may safely conclude that they are pirates, engaged in unholy war against the best interests of humanity, and that it is the duty of the general government to enforce its legitimate authority, whether it results in breaking up and dispersing this filthy nest of knaves and fools, or in restoring them to common honesty and common decency. One thing is certain–if the United States does not act, and promptly, the victims of this oppression and corruption will ere long right themselves; and then there will be a woful tale of rapine and bloodshed.

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