Kingdom of Brigham Young - 1853
The Dixon Telegraph – October 8, 1853
While the people of the East
are recovering from the excitement of office seeking. and engaging in their
ordinary pursuits... the community of Latter day Saints, about the Great Salt
Lake, live on increasing and prospering by themselves, with their peculiar
religious, matrimonial, and civil institutions, only caring to be left alone.
The organs of Mormonism in the capital of Utah proclaim that all is well, and
the toast drinkers promulgate the sentiments of the community, in favor of the
non-intervention of the Federal Government in their affairs.
Governor Brigham Young, the head of the Church, is the head of the State, and wields the military power of the community, with vigor and efficiency. The military organization is kept up, the troops are upon duty, and the Indians are held in check by the forces of the territory, without authority or consultation of the officials at Washington.
Were these things progressing by the action of people uninfluenced by religious sentiment, or were that religious sentiment at all compatible with the creeds of the mass of the people of the United States, the growth and strength of such a community, might be a subject of congratulation. They would in time, and that too before long, cultivate and civilize a region, which would be the stopping place for travel and transport across the continent. The country would be the reliance, and furnish the resources for all military operations against the Indian tribes of the West, and with proper management the effect might be, in some degree, beneficial to the Indians themselves.
But for the first time since the United States were independent, we have in this territory of Utah, a union of Church and State, tacitly acknowledged too, by the Federal Government. Brigham Young, and his establishment, male and female, rule by the consent and appointment of the President of the United States, and the numbers and strength of the population are on the increase. How long would the quasi-obedience to Federal authority continue, provided interest or fancy, upon the part of the spiritual leaders advise them to throw it off? From the experience of communities, near which the Mormons have been located, previous to their last swarming to Utah, we doubt whether had they the strength, they would continue it now, and we think it highly probable, that an attempt upon the part of the President to displace Governor Young, would be met by positive and armed opposition. If such an event should take place, the Federal authority would be mocked and disregarded in the heart of territory peculiarly its own -- and from the distance of the route, the nature of the country, and the character of the people with whom the forces of the United States would have to contend, it would be exceedingly difficult and expensive to sustain that authority by military power.
In the mean while all Christian emigration over the plains passes Utah, and is spread over California and Oregon. The true believers stay and work with all the order of religious fanaticism for the community, and we believe that without the adoption of some action, the Mormon State will be exceedingly troublesome and annoying before the space of ten years.
Fortunately the action which will afford the strongest and best safeguard against any thing of the kind, is now under contemplation and discussion, and that too, with a fair chance of adoption. Religious communities banked up in the hot bed of their narrow prejudices, especially when they are based upon such monstrous creeds as that of Mormon. grow and enlarge both of physical strength and moral superstition; a free and unrestrained intercourse with the word carries off a portion of their material, opens the eyes of many of the deluded, and finally, if the last and worst expedient of checking their growth is resorted to, places them within the reach of the arm of power.
The Pacific Railroad if once built would break the isolation of Utah, give the chance of completely severing the present union of church and government, and place the community under the eye of the people, of the more thickly settled States, both East and West.
Any attempt, to break from the Union, or to get up a religious crusade for the propagation of the faith of Mormon, would be promptly met, and properly disposed of.
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