Salt Lake Daily Tribune, Tuesday Morning, January 25, 1876
THE PRIESTHOOD ARRAIGNED
We find space to-day for Rev. Mr. Lylord's lecture delivered in the First
M. E. Church on Sunday evening. It is, perhaps, the most severe arraignment
of the Mormon priesthood that ever was made in a public discourse. His
facts are gathered from authorities whose credibility is not to be doubted,
and many of the assassinations he so hurriedly recapitulates are still matter
of notoriety in the localities where the bloody deeds were perpetrated.
His incentive to this labor, as the preacher explains in his lecture, is
the vituperation that has been poured upon his head by the Mormon priesthood
and their slavish journals during his three years ministration in Utah,
and to rebut the charge, so constantly repeated that he has wantonly stirred
up strife in a community exceptional for its peaceful, law-abiding habits.
The Mormon scribes and their jack Mormon aiders and abettors of whom
John Codman is a shining example, have a great fondness for resorting to
figures to show that deeds of violence are less frequent in the Latter-day
community than in other pioneer populations of equal number. Such a statement
is glaringly untrue, as comparative figures will show. It
is estimated that no less than six hundred murders have been committed by
the Mormons, in nearly every case at the instigation of their priestly leaders,
during their occupation of this Territory. Giving a mean average
of fifty thousand persons professing that faith resident in Utah, we have
a murder committed every year to every twenty five hundred of population.
The same ratio of crime extended to the population of the United States
would give sixteen thousand murders every year and to the British Isles
13,800 murders annually. The record of crime in these two countries shows
a minute fraction of that ratio.
But these figures do not show the full enormity of the case. In every
country a certain proportion of ignorance exists which takes revenge upon
society with an outgrowth of violence and crime. But the efforts of the
government in all these countries are directed to dispel this ignorance
by the diffusion of education, and repress crime by punishing criminals.
But in Utah the shedding of blood is urged upon an ignorant, fanatical
people by teachers, who claim infallibility, as a religious duty. Federal
Judges and other officers of the law who have honestly and fearlessly set
about the task of bringing known criminals to justice, have been paralyzed
with the discovery that the whole community were in sympathy with these
offenders, and that no amount of evidence produced would induce juries to
indict or convict. Such was Judge Cradlebaugh's experience when he held
court in Provo, as the preacher shows in his narrative. And such was Judge
McKean's experience when Mr. Baskin, acting as prosecuting attorney, procured
indictments for murder against Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells and other
chief priests and rulers. Day after day the court house was thronged with
armed and fanatical ruffians, whose object was by threats and intimidation
to deter the court from proceeding with its duty. And at Beaver, during
the trial of John d. Lee, the sympathy of the populace was openly with the
prisoner. A swarm of glowering faces was present in the court-room during
the trial, threats were made upon the street of violence to the United States
Marshall and the chief witnesses for the prosecution, and the city of Beaver
band serenaded the red-handed assassin in his cell.
Under such influence, the tendency to violence is constantly on the
increase, and with the crazy notion dinned into the ears of an uninquiring
community at every religious gathering, that the whole unregenerate human
race is doomed to speedy destruction in order that God's chosen people may
attain to universal dominion, it is easy to understand how a fanatical sect
can be readily taught to believe that the "using up" of a few
hundred obnoxious individuals is only aiding the Lord in His work, and that
murder and spoilation are the most acceptable offerings that can be made
to an offended Deity.
The object of the preacher, as he makes known in his lecture, is not
so much to bring the attention of his audience to the long catalogue of
crimes which reddens the annals of Utah, as to arouse the attention of the
American people to the flagitious* character of the Mormon priesthood, and
the dangerous and blood-thirsty nature of the doctrines they inculcate.
Outside of Utah it is popularly supposed that the filthy practice of polygamy
is our only social bane. Whereas the truth is, that serious and debasing
as are the effects of this twin relic of barbarism, this is the least of
our evils. So foul a crime could never be tolerated by any people possessed
of a healthy and correct sentiment; but as this is only a symptom of the
religio-moral disease which effects "this people," that would
die with the restoration of health to the body public.
What is required of the American people is first to disabuse themselves
of the belief, so insidiously inculcated by the few and feeble Mormon priests
and the lying tramps sent to propagand among the heathen, that the non-Mormons
in Utah are a set of greedy adventurers whose sole object in raising a clamor
against God's chosen people is to bring persecution upon their victim's
heads, in order that they may seize upon their fertile farms and peaceful
homes. When we rebut this lie by asserting that in Salt Lake-which is Utah,
the sane as Paris is France-there is a high order of culture among the Gentile
element, that they are liberal in the support of churches , schools and
useful literature, we assert a truth which will be corroborated by thousands
of travelers who have looked in upon Zion and have not been caught by the
blandishments of Brigham's intrusive courtiers. The vast mineral wealth
of Utah has brought hither capital and enterprise from the States and from
Europe; and it is safe to say that if the best farms in Utah were offered
to any one of this class, with the ceaseless labor of irrigation and the
absence of railroads, on condition of his living upon it, not one could
be found to accept the gift. All that we ask of Congress is an election
law that will secure a free expression of the popular will at the polls;
and all we ask of the Administration is to sustain fearless and incorruptible
judges and other officials in the honest performance of their duty. Or
if marplot** hands must be laid upon the execution of the laws in Utah,
and judicial causes decided in our courts must be appealed to the Cabinet,
that the President will send us men free from the taint of corruption, and
who have the will to do right without regard to the political air that reaches
them from Washington. To solve this vexed Utah question, we only ask a
free ballot, an amended jury law, and administrative support of men who
honestly perform their duties. If Judge McKean had been retained on the
bench, the corrupt and law enslaving Mormon priesthood would ere now have
been curbed in their soul-curbing exercise of power; but this humiliation***
at the most critical moment has encouraged them in their lawlessness, and
plunged the loyal element in Utah into hopeless confusion.
*fla-gi-tious (fle-jish-es) adj.
1. Characterized by extremely brutal or cruel crimes; vicious.
**mar-plot (mär-plot) n.
A stupid, officious meddler whose interference compromises the success of
an undertaking. [After Marplot, a character in The Busy Body, a play by
Susannah Centlivre (1669-1723).]
***Presumably the unseating of Judge McKean??