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severely attacking the Federal Government: "We settled in these quiet vales to serve God and build up Zion, and by His help we will do it, and we see no reason why we should bow our necks to the yoke and submit to be smitten and spit upon by the vile and despicable crew who have provoked one small act of retaliation, which, if they do not desist, will be the first drop of the drenching shower to come." Other statements, equally gross, might be cited. But I think that the three instances I have given are sufficient.
If the reader is shocked —as well indeed he might be— at expressions such as these emanating from the leaders of the Latter-day Saints, with what increased feelings of horror and disgust would he be filled were he informed of the nature of the secret ceremonies attending the marriages of Mormon men and women in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City! I cannot expose the scandalous proceedings which accompany these ceremonies,—they are far too shocking to print,—although I happen to be in possession of a full report of them, which has been forwarded me this year from Salt Lake City by a young victimized English lady; indeed, a sufficient exposure of the proceedings alluded to has already .been laid before the public.* But there is one feature in the Endowment House ceremonies which ought, I think, to be noticed here, and that is the treasonable oath which every Mormon—whether man or woman—has to swear who is about to enter the marriage state. Every Mormon must swear that he (or she) will "obey the laws of the Mormon Church in preference to those of the United States!" There is a terrible penalty attached for revealing this secret oath. It is that you will have your throat cut from ear to ear, and your tongue torn from your mouth. The sign of the penalty is "drawing the hand with the thumb pointing towards the throat sharply across and bringing the arm to the level of the square, and with the hand upraised to heaven, swearing to abide the same."
No public record is kept of the Mormon marriages which are celebrated in the Endowment House. No marriage certificates are given, and, in some cases,—where, for instance, the woman is inclined to be perverse,—no witnesses are allowed to be present . "If occasion requires it," writes my fair correspondent (previously alluded to) from Salt Lake City, "and it is to shield any of their polygamous brethren from being found out, they (i.e. the Mormon priesthood) will positively swear that they did not perform any marriage at all, so that the women in this Church have but a very poor outlook for being considered honorable wives."
8 Sec An EnglisJiwumaH in Utah, by Mrs. T. 15. H. Stcnhoubv.
The interests of religion and morality demand that the power of the Mormon Church should be restrained at once. Mormonism has now flourished for fifty years —flourished through dire affliction and persecution—flourished in peace and tranquillity—until it has become a power not merely of importance to our Transatlantic friends, but one in which we as Englishmen are, or ought to be, as much concerned as are the people of the United States. It does not redound to the credit of Old England that she should allow such a scandalous institution as this to be fostered and strengthened by the proselytism of so many of her sons. Is it too much to hope that something will be done to put a stop to the evil?
WESTWARD TO SAN FRANCISCO.
Further westward—A run through the Salt Lake Valley to Ogden—A warm spring lake—Mormon husbandry—Successful agriculture—Ogden—An uproarious greeting—Choice of three dinners—Scarcity of berths— Leaving Ogden—Brigham City—" Gentile" Corinne — Promontory Point—The "great railroad wedding"—A word for the poor Indian— The way he is treated—Census of the Indians—A wash and a breakfast at Elko—The American Desert—" All aboard, all aboard !"—A rush for the cars—Battle Mountain—Winnemucca—The "noble red man" —An oasis in the desert—Peaceful reflections—On the rampage again— Junction for Virginia City—The wonderful mines of the Comstock lode —Ascending the Sierra—A twenty-eight mile snow-shed—7017 feet above the sea—Californian mining names—Quartz mining and placer mining—Rounding Cape Horn—A run down into California—Sacramento—I become an object of attraction—A word about English tourists —The State Capitol of California—At the Oakland wharf—On board the ferry—San Francisco.
ON June ii, 1878, we left Salt Lake City for San Francisco, California, a distance of 920 miles.
Between the Mormon metropolis and Ogden, where we rejoined the Pacific Railroad, the line runs for some distance close to the Great Salt Lake. On the way we passed a warm spring lake, of about a mile in length, whose waters approached so close to the railway that they almost washed the metals as the train sped along. This lake is only separated from the Salt Lake by a thin strip of land.
The beach and flats about the Salt Lake are encrusted with alkali, which renders the earth barren, and vegetation, it would sccin, entirely out of the question; but such is not the
sc. Mormon settlements are scattered over this "desert," and signs of careful husbandry around neat homesteads are seen by the traveller as he journeys along. Though the soil was at one time so alkaline as to hinder the growth of trees and plants, and to be a bar to all attempts at vegetation, it has been watered and brought under such an excellent system of irrigation by the Mormon settlers, that the alkali of soda or potash has been completely washed out, and thus the country has been made fertile and productive. Sagebrush, indeed, prevails everywhere, covering the mountain slopes and plains beneath, springing up naturally where no other plant can be induced to grow. But, as I have observed, where the Mormons have settled they have irrigated and prepared the land, and turned it to the best account, have successfully planted and cultivated it—and this is about the only good word that can be said on behalf of the " People of the Lord." * Along the beach there are in places thick, white layers of pure salt, the result of the evaporation of the water which has been washed up and has afterwards receded.
1 In 1879 I received an invitation from a Mormon to look over his farm at Wood's Cross, distant about eight miles from Salt Lake City, on the Utah Central Railroad. The following facts which he stated to me concerning the produce from his land will show what can be done in this desert valley by the application of labour and intelligence —granted the possession of some capital to make a start with. His farm, which borders on the Great Salt Lake, comprises ninety-eight acres, or sixty-eight acres more than the average-sized farm in Utah ; and he has irrigated it with forty streams diverted from the neighbouring mountains. He had been most successful with wheat, Indian corn, barley, and oats. Fifty bushels of wheat to the acre he considered a very fair (!) crop; but he had also raised as much as sixty bushels of wheat to the acre, also one hundred bushels of oats and fifty bushels of Indian corn. He told me that seventy-five to eighty bushels of oats per acre were regularly raised in the valley. He had raised thirty tons of beets and carrots to the acre, and once he raised a beet weighing thirty-six pounds, and sold 200,000 Ibs. of carrots at 6s. per 100 Ibs. Fourteen hundred bushels of carrots on four acres of land have been raised in the valley; but the average crop per acre is 250 bushels. He possessed a roadside fence of sixty-eight rods in length literally bowed to the ground with peaches, plums, pears, mulberries, etc., and this fence alone paid his annual taxes (territorial, county, and local), which amounted altogether to I2/. His tithe to the Church which he paid in for 1878 amounted in value to ;8/. out of the yield from his farm, and included butter, eggs, corn, vegetables, fruit, etc.—a tenth in fact of everything raised on the premises.
After a run of thirty-seven miles, over ground we had already traversed, a distance which we managed to accomplish in two hours, stopping at four little stations on the way, we reached Ogden, and had to change from the cars of the Utah Central Railroad into those of the Central Pacific. Ogden, named after an old trapper who used to live in the neighbourhood, is a town of about 6000 inhabitants, is chiefly Mormon, and is the second town in point of importance in the Territory of Utah. Gentiles are fast pouring into the place, and the Mormons themselves are gradually getting "freezed out." Its streets are wide and regularly laid out, and have streams of pure water flowing at the sides, after the manner of Salt Lake City. Three times are kept here—Ogden proper, Laramie, and San Francisco times. The San Francisco time is I hr. 16 min. slower than Ogden, and the Ogden time is 30 min. slower than Laramie.
On reaching the station, we were received by such a clanging and banging and booming of gongs, together with such an uproarious and confused babel of voices from a number of excited individuals directly we stepped out of the train on to the platform, that it looked as if we had come to a place where everyone had taken leave of his senses. What did it all mean? In one word, it meant dinner. Yes, dinner it was, dinner and supper combined, and this is how the hour of the meal was proclaimed. There are four or five insignificantlooking little inns hard by the Ogden station, and the "runners" of these hotelleries, each armed with a big gong, came forth with their satellites upon the arrival of our train, and made the most of such a windfall by intimating through the media of their gongs and their lungs how pleased they would be to see us inside their respective inns, where dinner was ready cooked and waiting for us, and how they would see us "fixed" for the meal with the smallest of amounts. Three out of the four or five came and pressed themselves on myself and my friend—they left off banging about their gongs and commenced vociferously haranguing us. As