"Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!" The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse


Affairs in Utah. 

From circumstances which have lately transpired on the plains of which we have heretofore given full particulars, as well as from the threatening attitude assumed by the authorities of Utah Territory towards the Government of the United States, the attention of the people of the entire Union is directed towards the movements of the leaders of the Mormon people. To place, in a full and fair light the sentiments of those leaders before our readers, we devote to-day a large space to speeches delivered by President Brigham Young, wherein he talks pretty plainly of his intentions, and fully lays down the course of policy to be pursued by his followers, in the event of the arrival among them of that portion of the army detailed for service in Utah. From such teaching, it is plain, that before this time, a collision will have occurred between the people and the troops—for the entry of troops upon any portion of that Territory is held to be a cause of war. The result must be deplored by every friend of humanity. Its immediate consequence may be the defeat of the small force known to be on its way thither—but it will ultimately cost an immense sacrifice of human life. The position assumed by “Brother Brigham” is a monstrous outrage upon common sense, as well as a heartless cruelty upon the people who follow his commands. The President has given instructions to the army, that no interference shall be attempted with the people, in any respect whatever. They have the rights of all Americans, of which no power can deprive them. They are secure in their religion in their liberty, in their property—all that is required of them is, that they shall be obedient to the laws of the United States. And to have these respected, and to protect the officers of the Government in the execution of their duty, to see that no obstacle is placed in the way of its discharge—that they are free from annoyance, insult or persecution, a small force has been sent to accompany them. Yet these troops are to be met by armed bands—their march to be stopped by the attacks of armed savages in league with the Mormon authorities, and if they should be able to withstand this terrible onslaught, and make good their way into the Saintly City, then the Destroying Angels are to be let loose, and the work of destruction be carried out till not a vestige of habitation or culture be left throughout the Territory. The people are ordered to sacrifice themselves—to face the rigors of winter, endure hardships as famine, rather than allow the troops of the Government to occupy their Territory. And yet we find the people of the Territory not only acquiescing in the ruthless mandates of their rulers, but even joyfully applauding them. Surely this is the very madness of fanaticism. It is deeply to be deplored to find men so wholly given up to work out the will of those audacious despots who rule them with a rod of iron, as not only to brave the power of the Republic, to rush on certain destruction but with incendiary hand to apply the torch to their own property, and burn and lay waste the whole country,—so that those whom they consider their enemies my perish in the unhospitable waste. And all this, for merely imaginary evils; but in reality that the power and authority of their rulers may be protracted and consolidated. This is the political enigma of the age—the world in astonishment, will await its solution.

We also give to-day the proceedings of the rulers of Utah, on the occasion of the visit to Salt Lake City of Capt. Van Vliet, the Quartermaster of Col. Johnson’s command. It is copied from their organ, the Deseret News.