Mormon History

Misrepresenting President Garfield - 1881

The Salt Lake Daily Tribune

July 12, 1881


The Bad Position of Those Who Have Both -- Sidney Rigdon the [Brain].


Eds. Tribune. The Mormons have two spurs to prick the sides of their intent -- a Mission and a Grievance. Fortunate Mormons. They believe God gave them the first and the United States the last. Wofully deceived Mormons. As their mission was given to Mormons by Sidney Rigdon, so, likewise, indirectly and directly too, is the whole sum of their grievence to be fairly traced to him. He commanded "Latter day Israel" to gather out from the four quarters of the earth; and they gathered, and are still gathering. He commanded temples to be erected. It was done, and is yet doing. ("Some one has evidently got Sidney Rigdon on their brain -- badly." Some one? Some thousands have S. R. dreadfully on the brain, if they but knew it.)

Said George Q. Cannon at the Mormon Tabernacle Sunday, July 3:

"President Garfield knows better concerning us than any other man in public life; he was brought up in Ohio, near where our people had lived, in early days, in the days of his childhood. He was familiar with men who had been members of our church, and I believe was connected remotely by marriage with some of our people. [Yes. John Boynton, probably; an early Mormon who got his eyes open to see the absolute fraud Mormonism was and to detect Rigdon and Smith through all their disguises and to track them through all their doublings,] and while President Garfield has no sympathy with some of our doctrines, nevertheless he had opportunities of knowing many things concerning us that others do not know. He has visited this city twice, etc."

President Garfield was born in Mentor, Ohio, just about the time Rigdon was going through the shameless farce of being converted to Mormonism. Cannon would have it appear that President Garfield, while having no sympathy with some of our doctrines (meaning of course polygamy) yet he has sympathy with other [ones]. President Garfield is a man of immense geniality and cordiality toward persons -- a whole-souled, high-souled sympathizer with persons, especially if they are in trouble, but -- clear the track! He has no sympathy with fraud. And President Garfield knows the fraud Mormonism is, just as well as Hon. A. G. Riddle, of Washington, knows it, or as this present writer knows it, and we may be sure he will govern and shape his executive contact and action respecting the Mormons in accordance with the intimate personal familiarity with the case. May he live and may God bless him.

The Tribune never said a truer thing than what it said but a few days since. 'Tis the very institution of Mormonism that is to blame; an institution that cannot help betraying its hatred of all other institutions, because this is the very essence of its nature and being, and the institution has such hold of Mormons that they must be its slaves. It is an institution that makes a man, if not a fiend outright, less a man than he naturally is. (What can be more demoralizing than causeless and persistent hatred?) The enmity between Mormonism and mankind is claimed, we know, as the necessary and customary enmity between a good God and his bad children; but how if, as appears in this case, the children are far less malignant and devilish than the God? These are your sentiments and reflections. They are mine. They are truth's.

Now the one thing supremely needful is to get clearly down to the personality of this vindictive, unscrupulous, malignant, and crazy Mormon deity. And if no one else sees with entire clearness the personality of this Mormon God, I see it, and it is none other than Sidney Rigdon. Let fools and knaves -- but O pity, pity for the single-hearted, the honest! -- continue to be led by him, through his specious and damnable revelations, to their final, their certain ruin and discomfiture, if they will, if they must. Over and above (and yet through) the Government of these United States the very genius of justice and truth has a controversy with the stalwart and heaven daring Fraud. The mills of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.    VINDEX.
ALT LAKE CITY, July 9, 1881.