In the progress of the war, and the general interest with which all classes regard its prosecution, the proceedings of Congress, though of unusual importance, excite but little attention. The action of that body in respect of the passage of a General Bankrupt Law, and the establishment of a National Armory in the West, except to a few immediately interested, seems to have lost interest; more, perhaps, from the fact that the public had settled down in the conclusion that nothing would be done with either of these measures at the resent session.
A bill has recently been passed by the House of Representatives that is calculated to produce great excitement in one portion of our Republic, and perhaps lead to sedition. We allude to Mr. Ashley’s bill for the punishment of polygamy. This is the corner-stone of the proposed State of Deseret, just as slavery is that of the projected Southern Confederacy and the Mormons intend to demand immediate admission into the Union with a State government based upon this principle, so revolting to enlightened humanity. As congress “declares their fundamental system a crime, which morals and justice alike forbid,” and will not for a moment listen to the admission of a new State into the Union on such grounds, and the Mormon leaders are all in earnest in their demand, and emeute may be expected among the Priams of the far West that may require a few brigades to be kept in the field, after the little affair down South has been settled to the satisfaction of all loyal citizens.
As the Western troops have so distinguished themselves in fighting the rebels against our Government, we suggest that a sufficient number be detailed from them to whip the rebels against decency back into the path of virtue and morality. The ties of a common Westernhood will not unnerve our brave boys; though they love the beautiful West, its broad prairies and invigorating atmosphere, they love more the Government that protects them in their rights, and they wish to enjoy those rights uncontaminated by sin and shame.
The great lights of Mormondom have recently been reflecting their rays on the obtuse faculties of their followers, in a series of set speeches on this libidinous feature of their corrupt system. – Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and other “apostolic” dignitaries in Utah, who mould the deluded followers of the Mormon heresy at their will, we see it stated, boldly avow their purpose to make a direct issue with the Government. In effect, they say, “that they have suffered unjust persecution until forbearance is no longer a virtue, and that they now insist upon a full recognition of their rights, on an equal footing with the States.” Brigham recently expressed the views of the priesthood in a violent philippic; a single passage of which will reflect the whole:–
“We are not going to be satisfied with a mere pre-emption right on the soil in this territory. Should the Government grant to every head of a family six hundred and forty acres of land, and to each wife and child their portion, as was done in Oregon territory, that would give me and to my sons and daughters quite a scope of country, and the whole people would swallow up all the land in this territory. But shall we be satisfied with that? No, I am going to have a larger pre-emption that the territory of Utah. In a few years this territory will contain my own posterity. In twenty years from now this spacious hall will not hold them, and in twenty years more they will more than fill this territory. I cannot put up with this small possession.”
In a few years according to Brigham’s constructive tree of genealogy, Mormon offspring will be more numerous than the locusts of Egypt, and, like them, will devour the fat of the land. – Slavery and polygamy, “twin relics of barbarism,” must be wiped out from the fair record of our country, then our nation will march on to true greatness.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Saturday Morning, May 10, 1862, p. 2