Mormon History

Republican Party Campaign Booklet 1860

The Freedom of the Territories.

The Republican party contends for no mere abstraction. It makes no professions of philanthropy, even, though it is not doubted that a conviction of the inhumanity of slavery has aided multitudes of its members to see its impolicy. The issues involved in our controversy with the slave power are of an eminently practical character. Our growth as a nation, our advance in power, in material prosperity, and aesthetic culture, the progress of civilization in the New, and of liberal principles throughout the Old World all these are to be effected, favorably or adversely, by the result of this controversy ; for slavery impoverishes the soil ; slavery retards the progress of the arts; slavery is, of necessity, the enemy of common schools ; slavery puts upon honest labor the brand of degradation ; slavery demoralizes the master and imbrutes the slave ; slavery, in time of war, endangers the public safety, and, in time of peace, is fruitful in outbreaks of lawless violence and ruffian passions. The territories are an invaluable trust committed to the guardianship of the nation, for the benefit of millions of freeman, who will desire them for their future homes. Whatever is calculated to depreciate their value, to retard their development, to shut out from them the institutions of learning, and hinder the progress of the liberal arts, be condemned and opposed, as both impolitic and unjust. We have only to contrast the slave States with the free, to see how destructive of material prosperity as well as hostile to educational and moral progress, is this pet institution of the South.

The territories, we are told, are our common inheritance, and therefore the slave States have the same right of occupancy therein that the free States have. True, the same right. But it does not follow, that because our northern farmer may take thither his sheep and cattle, the southern planter may therefore take his slaves, and hold them there as property. As well may the polygamist of Utah claim toleration for this "peculiar institution," in all the national domain, as the slaveholder for his. Because, in the first place, slavery is outside of the natural Iimitations of property, just as polygamy is outside of the institution, of Christian marriage. Milton, who was a philosopher as well as poet, and none the less a champion of liberty, tersely expresses the limitation of property rights, in the following lines:

"O execrable son, so to aspire
Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurp'd, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation ; but man over men
He made not lord ; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free."

So far as slaves can be called property at all, they are so only by the local law or the local custom ; beyond the jurisdiction of such law, or the force of such custom, are men. The law of nature never confounds humanity with property. And, again, though joint ownership carries with it the right of joint occupancy, the simplest principle of justice forbid that one party should so use the property as to destroy or greatly depreciate its value, or practically exclude the other from all participation in its benefits. Because A. and B. are joint of a house, it does not follow that A. may convert his undivided half of it into a brothel, or a hospital for the insane, or a gambling hell, or an infirmary for small-pox or yellow fever patients Yet, neither the wickedness of the one use, nor the peril to life of the other, would more certainly exclude B. from his possession, than the establishment of in any given territory abridges and depreciates the rights and the property interests of freedom in such territory. The freeman has a property convertible into, and represented by, material values

In the respectability of labor:
Slavery destroys this in its degradation of the laborer.

In free speech a free press:
Slavery permits the existence of neither within the limits of its jurisdiction.

In the of common school education:
The conditions essential to the life of slavery are fatal to the existence of common schools.

In a provident agriculture, which develops and makes the most of all the resources of the soil:
Slavery is a wasteful and improvident system, that exhausts the soil, until, to use the eloquent language of Mr. Faulkner, of Virginia, it becomes "barren, desolate, and seared, as it were by the avenging hand of heaven."

5. In the progress of the mechanic arts, by which labor is rendered more productive, and the of society is ameliorated :

To all of which slavery is, by the very law of its vicious existence, irreclaimably hostile.

We might extend this view of the case indefinitely, for the antagonism freedom and slavery must necessarily exhibit itself at every point of contact, socially, politically, pecuniarily, and morally. How fatuous, then, the pretence, that they can, in joint occupancy, possess the territories, and, like brothers in blood and faith, dwell together in unity.

Burleigh, William, editor. The Republican Pocket Pistol, a Collection of Facts, Opinions and Arguments for Freedom . New York: H. Dayton, 1860, pages 12-16.


 (Webmaster Note: Mormon Senator Harry Reid would have made a great 19th century Anti-Mormon Republican)

Reid: Polygamous groups are criminal gangs

July 24, 2008

WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- Polygamous groups are criminal gangs that commit welfare fraud and tax evasion as well as sexual abuse, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Reid, D-Nev., a Mormon, spoke at the opening of a Judiciary Committee hearing on the communities, the Deseret Morning News reported. He said he was glad the hearing was being held on Pioneer Day, a Utah holiday commemorating the arrival of the Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City.

"I am here to tell you that polygamist communities in the United States are a form of organized crime," he said. "The most obvious crime being committed in these communities is bigamy, child abuse -- teen and preteen girls are forced to marry older men and bear their children."

Reid proposed a federal-state task force to police polygamous sects, CNN said. "The lawless conduct of polygamous communities in the United States deserves national and federal action," Reid told the Washington hearing.

Polygamists, including women in long dresses, packed the hearing room. The focus was on law enforcement, and the polygamists did not testify although former sect members did.

Bill Number: S. 3313 (IS)
Bill Title: Victims of Polygamy Assistance Act of 2008 (Introduced in Senate)
Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry   View all legislation sponsored by this member.
Introduced: 2008/07/23
Latest Major Action: 2008/07/23 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Notes: There are no notes for this Bill

S 3313 IS


2d Session

S. 3313

To establish a Federal Polygamy Task Force, to authorize assistance for victims of polygamy, and for other purposes.


July 23, 2008

Mr. REID introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To establish a Federal Polygamy Task Force, to authorize assistance for victims of polygamy, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Victims of Polygamy Assistance Act of 2008'.


Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Despite the fact that polygamy has been illegal in the United States for over 100 years, the practice of polygamy involving underage marriages is growing. Sizable polygamist communities exist in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, and are expanding into other States.

(2) Polygamist communities are typically controlled by organizations that engage in widespread and systematic violations of State laws and the laws of the United States in order to enrich their leaders and maintain control over their members.

(3) The crimes perpetrated by these organizations include child abuse, domestic violence, welfare fraud, tax evasion, public corruption, witness tampering, and transporting victims across State lines.

(4) Due to the systematic and sophisticated nature of these crimes, State and local law enforcement agencies would benefit from the assistance of the Federal Government as they investigate and prosecute these organizations and their leaders for violations of State law. In addition, violations of Federal law associated with polygamy should be investigated and prosecuted directly by Federal authorities.

(5) The work of State and Federal law enforcement agencies to combat crimes by polygamist organizations would benefit from enhanced collaboration and information-sharing among such agencies.

(6) The establishment of a task force within the Department of Justice to coordinate Federal efforts and collaborate with State agencies would aid in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activities of polygamist organizations in both Federal and State courts.

(7) Polygamist organizations isolate, control, manipulate, and threaten victims with retribution should they ever abandon the organization. Individuals who choose to testify against polygamist organizations in Federal or State court have unique needs, including social services and witness protection support, that warrant Federal assistance.


(a) Establishment- There is established within the Department of Justice a Federal Polygamy Task Force, which shall consist of the Deputy Attorney General, the United States attorneys from affected Federal judicial districts, representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services, and any officer of the Federal Government whom the Deputy Attorney General considers necessary to strengthen Federal law enforcement activities and provide State and local law enforcement officials the assistance they need to address the illegal activity of one or more polygamist organizations.

(b) Purposes- The Federal Polygamy Task Force established under subsection (a) shall--

(1) formulate effective responses to the unique set of crimes committed by polygamist organizations;

(2) establish partnerships with State and local law enforcement agencies to share relevant information and strengthen State and Federal efforts to combat crimes perpetrated by polygamist organizations;

(3) assist States by providing strategies and support for the protection of witnesses;

(4) track the criminal behavior of polygamist organizations that cross State and international borders; and

(5) ensure that local officials charged with protecting the public are not corrupted because of financial, family, or membership ties to a polygamist organization.


The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10601 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 1404E the following:


`(a) In General- The Director may make grants as provided in section 1404(c)(1)(A) to State, tribal, and local prosecutors' offices, law enforcement agencies, courts, jails, and correctional institutions, and to qualified public and private entities, to develop, establish, and maintain programs for the enforcement of rights and provision of social services (including witness protection, housing, education, vocational training, mental health services, child care, and medical treatment) for an individual who is exploited or otherwise victimized by practitioners of polygamy.

`(b) Authorization of Appropriations- In addition to funds made available under section 1402(d), there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section--

`(1) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and

`(2) $2,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

`(c) False Claims Act- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, amounts collected pursuant to sections 3729 through 3731 of title 31, United States Code (commonly known as the `False Claims Act'), may be used for grants under this section, subject to appropriation.'.


Section 506(a) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3756(a)) is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking `and' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

`(3) $2,000,000, to be granted by the Attorney General to States and units of local government to investigate and prosecute polygamist organizations that violate Federal, State, or local laws.'.