Ovando James Hollister (1834-1892)

1863 O. J. Hollister book  |  1867 O. J. Hollister book  |  1882 O. J. Hollister co-authorship |  1886 O. J. Hollister book

19th Century Reporting by and about

(The Western Press -- Rocky Mountain News, etc.)
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Vol. I.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Thursday, May 5, 1864.                                        No. 133.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.

SALT LAKE. The Deseret News is after Frs. Hugh Ludlow and E. P. Hingston for "writing down" the Mormons through the Eastern papers, in a two-column editorial.

Nat Stein, who has been in charge of all Overland Stage affairs in Salt Lake for over a year, has gone to Virginia City, Idaho, to occupy the same position for the company. Geo. S. Adams, Esq., of New York, relieves him at Salt Lake.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Friday, February 3, 1865.                                        No. 55.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.

The Union Vedette, published by the "sojur boys" at Camp Douglas, Utah Territory, is not a very ardent supporter of Brigham Young and Polygamy. Its articles upon that institution are strong, truthful, bitter, and effective. They strike home to the very seat of Mormon government, and the Mormon principle. Go it, little one, there's lots of us to back you.

Ross Hutchins has departed for Salt Lake, at last. We with others, have felt the necessity of this departure for some time; but now, that his cheerful visage has gone from our gaze like two or three beautiful dreams, we are overwhelmed with sorrow, and cannot repress the heavy sigh which nearly every moment breaks from our surcharged bosom. Farewell Roswell, may happy days await you in Mormondom. Boo hoo-o!

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Thursday, March 21, 1865.                                        No. 94.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.

The Mormon Temple, now building at Salt Lake, when completed, will be capable of seating 9,000 persons. About the time it will be finished, Brigham Young and Heber Kimball's families will nearly fill it.

The Register says that Gen. Conner arrived in Denver, last evening. That paper presumes at once "that our Indian troubles are at an end." This reminds us of a similar presumption when Dodge assumed command at Leavenworth -- when "2000 troops and 360 militiamen were to wipe the last lone Indian from the continent."

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Saturday, April 15, 1865.                                        No. 115.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.

Decay  of  Mormonism.

A close observer of affairs in Mormondom cannot fall to note the gradual change in the policy of their leaders. A few years ago the open defiance of that people, located In Utah, to the authority of the Federal Government, brought a large force of U. S. troops to their doors. To prevent the effusion of blood, the matter was compromised, so to speak. But the Mormons did not give up their open and avowed hostility to the Government, and when the present civil war broke out, they took no pains to conceal their exultation. It was the simple visitation of judgment on the nation for its cruel opposition to the propagandists of the Latter Day Church and was in fulfillment of their imprecations, but slightly cloaked under the term, predilections. -- That was the tone up to a very recent date. -- Since it has been patent to the dullest that the Federal Authority would inevitably triumph over the gigantic sedition of the South, the Mormons have somehow discovered that their interest lay in the adoption of a very different policy. Accordingly, on the assembling of the last Deseret Legislature, we find Gov. Young manifesting considerable desire to get into the Union, and recommending that in order to smooth the way, the laws of the Territory of Utah be enacted and put in force by the. Deseret Legislature. He also gives a glowing picture of the moral and material prosperity of the Territory, very different in tone from the bigoted, exclusive, "Praise-God-Bare-Bones" style heretofore in vogue with him and the Dignitaries of his church. Again, on the occasion of President Lincoln's second inauguration, the greatest celebration ever known in Utah was gotten up by the Mormons in honor of the event. Speaking of this event, the Union Vedette, published by the Camp Douglas Soldiers, remarks that "many are not prepared to believe in such miraculous conversions from former apathy, not to say secret aversion, with respect to the successful issue of our civil revolution, for, that such has not all along been the condition of public sentiment in Utah, it would be difficult to convince those who have carefully watched the under-currents of opinion among Mormons.

However, while these doubts are entertained, there is also an universal willingness to accept the present indications of a better feeling in the spirit that appears to animate those who make the tender of patriotic devotion. We are not disposed to depreciate the value of this tender from that expressed upon its face, nor to cavil at the secret motives that prompted the offering, conscious that all human actions are, more or less, the result of selfish influences. On the contrary, we are prepared to extend the hand of fellowship in the most generous spirit, but must be allowed to reserve our judgment for further development."

It has not been long since Gen. Connor directed a detachment of his Provost Guard to take up quarters in the city. Brigham sent word that he would give them until sunset to remove from the city, when they would be driven out. Gen. Connor leveled his cannon on Mr. Young's harem and returned word that he would give the female Youngs until sunset to get out of that, when they would be driven out. Brigham appears to have thought better of it for he made no more objections to the Provost Guard. -- Whatever the cause, the fact is apparent that the hitherto obstreperous Mormon High Priest is become gentle and meek as a child.

We see also the inevitable taste for improvement, for filthy lucre, which distinguishes the world at large and Americans in particular, invading the Mormon church. This is doubtless attributable to the discovery of valuable and extensive gold and silver mines on every side of them. One of the best markets in the world has been furnished for the entire range of Mormon produce, especially agricultural, and the consequence is the inauguration of gigantic irrigating and navigating enterprises. The Mormon paper admits that "the mineral deposits of the Territory are very rich," and adds that "far ahead of the possession of these metals is the development of those energies that produce increasing prosperity and true power." Strange words indeed, proceeding from the organ of the most inveterate, stupid, and prosy sermonizers of the vanity and illusory nature of all earthly things," who ever existed! -- About the first of December last, a company was organized for the purpose of constructing a canal, to be three feet deep, twelve wide, and thirty-two miles long, to bring half of the river Jordan's waters into the city and vicinity of Salt Lake, irrigating many thousands of acres. It is calculated to discharge nearly five million cubic feet of water every twenty-four hours and is estimated to cost $287,080. On the 14th February, 1865, the First Church of Jesus Christ (Congregational) was organized in Utah. Gold, silver, and copper mines have been discovered along the Overland Route from Egan Canyon, on the western confines of Utah, including Antelope Springs, Deep Creek, and West Mountain, to the canyons leading to the summit of the Wasatch Range, way east of the city. --

The Vedette claims the credit of these discoveries for the soldiers. We are inclined give them credit not only for the discovery of the mines but also for enabling the Mormons to discover the absurdity and wickedness of their impotent vituperation of the American Government and the people of the world at large beyond the pale of their church. This discovery will avail the Mormons much if properly developed, as they seem now inclined. It is just that elevation and expansion of ideas, if possible among so brutal a people, should go hand in hand with material improvement. Everything points to that result. The Mormons are turning their attention to the advantages of their central location, occupying as it were, the crater of the great Rocky Mountains whose base is over a thousand miles square, and whose resources are almost illimitable. They are, as stated above, inviting rather than repelling Gentile enterprise, they are instituting and encouraging domestic manufactures, extending by immense canals and acequias their means of internal communication and the breadth of productive land, and making earnest efforts to transfer their base of foreign supplies from the Missouri River to the Rio Colorado. The old wagon road to Los Angeles has been diverted onto the Colorado at the mouth of the Rio Virgin, not 400 miles from Salt Lake City, a navigation company has been formed in San Francisco, and the first steamer laden with an hundred tons of freight has arrived at a point within a few miles of Call's Landing, with nothing but the absence of trail to prevent penetrating much further. It has been ascertained that freights can be brought to Salt Lake City via this route at a reduction of 33 per cent. on Overland charges. The importance of this to Utah it is not easy to over-estimate.

In truth, the Mormons seem to be falling into line and catching step with the irresistible advance of the age. So far from endeavoring to exclude Gentiles from their territory, they are taking hold with them in earnest to develop its great resources. It is our belief that Brigham Young, with that shrewdness which has enabled him to ride into a most ample fortune on the first great wave of Mormonism, conscious that the stupendous humbug will not bear contact with the intelligence and spirit of the Western Americans, will be the first to abandon it to its inevitable fate; that within five years, the last will have been heard of Mormonism as a live institution of the day. Our conviction of this grows into an absolute certainty when we reflect upon the fate of the incomparably more powerful foothold and tenacious nature of African slavery, which has been called the "twin relic of barbarism," with the creed and practice of Joe Smith and Brigham Young. The institution is opposed to our laws, is repugnant to the free and swelling spirit of our people which is above laws, and therefore doomed to decay and death. Brigham Young seems to be aware of this and to have concluded to adapt himself to circumstances.

Note: The above article offers only slight indications as to whether it was penned by O. J. Hollister or by his co-editor, Frank Hall. Considering the subject matter and vocabulary, it appears to have been Hollister's concoction, with the writer relying almost entirely upon the reporting of the Union Vedette (and perhaps with no significant personal knowledge of Utah and the Mormons). Hollister's journalese and composition skills would evolve in subsequent years. During the war years he was obviously the amateur, ex-military novice editor attempting to comment intelligently upon Colorado mining developments and associated topics.

Vol. II.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Wednesday, May 31, 1865.                                        No. 153.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.


Denver, May 28, 1865.          
Messrs Editors: -- Yesterday the Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Lt-Gov. Bross, Samuel Bowles and A. D. Richardson, arrived in town. They were received by a committee and made as comfortable as possible. In the evening Gov. Evans threw open his house to all the people to pay their respects to the visitors, and pertinent, eloquent, feeling and practical addresses were made Mr. Colfax, Gov. Bross, and Mr. Richardson. Mr. Bowles is a modest man and has demonstrated the old French Cardinal's proposition that the pen is mightier than the tongue, and he was therefore silent. The grand legacy of Mr. Lincoln to the people of the mining regions you will receive from the lips of Mr. Colfax before you receive this... DENVER.

THE VISITORS. -- The Honorable Speaker Colfax and party, accompanied by several of the citizens of Central and Black Hawk, yesterday visited Empire in Clear Creek Co., where Mr. C. made a short speech which was received in the best feeling. To-day they have been traveling through the mines in this vicinity. They are disappointed for the better with our progress. Coming here without means, paying an average of twenty-five cents per pound for all we consume, frozen in winter, and burnt in summer, and flooded in spring, we may point to results achieved with pride -- we may take them as an earnest of that future when the iron road shall have placed us in reality in the Mississippi Valley. The temporary depression under which we now suffer, is owing to causes entirely disconnected with the home resources of the Territory. They havew not failed nor are they unavailable. Brighter days will dawn ere long. We suppose our friends will leave to-morrow morning, since we hear that Mr. Colfax has agreed to pronounce an eulogy on the late President Lincoln in Denver, to-morrow.

PUBLIC SPEAKING. -- We understand that the weather permitting, Hon. Schuyler Colfax and perhaps others of the gentlemen of his party will address the citizens of Black Hawk, briefly, this evening, from the Post Office steps. Probably not before half past 7 or 8 o'clock.

Note 1: From contemporary accounts it appears that Miss Carrie Matthews, half-sister to Speaker Colfax, accompanied this political touring party. She would have thus been in Black Hawk at the time Colfax arrived there on May 27, 1865. It is likely that editor O. J. Hollister first met her there and then. In 1892 William Hyndman recalled, that "he (Hollister) was then publishing the Black Hawk Daily Journal, and about the time the Colfax party crossed the continent, with which party Hollister first met Miss Matthews, half sister of Schuyler Colfax, who in three years thereafter became Mrs. Hollister..."

Note 2: With Schuyler Colfax's taking on a more prominent position in Washington, D. C., Carrie Matthews became "one of the belles of Washington" during the Lincoln and Johnson administrations. Probably her last presence in the nation's capital occurred around New Year's Day, 1869, when the Washington National Republican reported: "Mr. and Mrs. Colfax were assisted in receiving [guests] by Mrs. Matthews and Miss Carrie Matthews..."

Note 3: For a published account of O. J. Hollister's 1868 engagement with Carrie Matthews see notes appended to the Rocky Mountain News of Aug. 24, 1868

Vol. II.                                        Black Hawk, Colorado, Friday, June 2, 1865.                                        No. 155.

HOLLISTER & HALL, Editors and Proprietors.

Our Eastern visitors have gone. They had some misgivings about coming, but were not sorry they came. Neither are we. The West depends upon the East for the materials of growth and Colorado among other Western states and Territories will get some unusual notoriety through the press as the result of this visit. Once overcome the difficulty of communication and Colorado presents superior advantages as a mining country to any of her rivals. That is not boasting but our firm belief. The Pacific Railroad is our one paramount interest. Mining titles even are secondary to that. Without the former, the latter is of little moment. As Mr. Colfax says, it is the duty of men who aspire to a national reputation and influence to visit all parts of this great country, acquaint themselves with its various interests, its physical peculiarities, its respources and capabilities. Without this personal knowledge they can not act intelligently as national men. It is a more important branch of education than any other. We hope to see more of the same class here ere the end of summer.... We make no apology for the lengthy report of the speaking here the other night. We are glad to see that our struggling people have caught a gleam of hope from the visit of our Eastern friends. Of course much that they say is buncombe, but straws show which way the wind blows. They are only the straggling drops which precede the shower. Everything goes to show it.

Note: The Journal devoted an entire page in this issue, to reporting the public addresses of the "Eastern visitors." This was an unusual step for the editors to take and it probably demonstrated their approval of the national agenda of the Republican Party of those days.

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, May 4, 1868.                                        No. 216.

Byers & Dailey, Editors and Proprietors. -- O. J. Hollister, W. B. Thomas, Associate Editors.

To Our Readers.

We have engaged Mr. O. J. Hollister, well known in Colorado and in the west as a writer of ability, as associate editor of the News, who makes his bow to the public elsewhere in this issue....


Having been more or less before the public every day for the last five years, perhaps I may be pardoned for thinking an extended introduction of myself, on taking editorial charge of the News, unnecessary. Neither would an essay on the aim and scope of journalism be quite pat to the occasion. Besides, were I to give my ideas of that, my readers would have a higher standard by which to judge me than I fear me I can afford. All I claim for myself in the past is good intention. With that, in future, I shall join the result of some experience, and thereby hope to be of more service to myself and friends than formerly I could be.

I hardly need call attention to the style and appearance of the News. I have often remarked it in the east and west, and been proud of it. There are few papers, metropolitan or otherwise, that compare with it. The prime object of both its editors will be to give the freshest and fullest intelligence possible. And as there are now two instead of one engaged on it, the composing force also being increased, a decided improvement ought and doubtless will be observable. It will, of course, advocate the political ideas it always has, and in such spirit as to promote harmony and unity in the party of which it is the organ. Only by concerted action can we hope to carry to successful issue the policy announced by Jefferson in the Declaration, which was for a long time lost sight of, but at length, and before it was too late, powerfully engaged the conscientious intelligence of the nation, for which, through the last few dark years, we have struggled so hard, sacrificed, sworn and suffered so much.

Recognizing in Denver the commercial and political headquarters of the territory, it will be my endeavor to give the paper something of the same character. Knowing also the importance, the nature, condition and necessities of the mining interest, from a long identification with it, I shall without doubt have the opportunity, as I certainly have the disposition, to be of constant and essential service to it. Neither will I spare trouble to promote the agricultural interest, well knowing that the wealth of a country is its soil, and being as anxious as one can be, that the particular nature of our agriculture and the great advantages of Colorado as a field for stock growing shall be known abroad, to the end that our broad acres become the homes of an intelligent, prosperous and happy people. In my judgment there should be none but a generous rivalry between the various industrial interests and the different towns and localities of the territory. So far as I am concerned, I shall be more careful than heretofore not to create or foment them, to smooth away and conciliate them where they unhappily exist.

Such, in belief and general terms, is my idea of what the News ought and is to be. Whether I succeed in realizing it or not, I beg the public to believe that it is my meaning. Fallible and liable to err and mistake, like other men, I may often fail of hitting the mark, but it will only be to try again. With my brethren of the press I hope to maintain the cordial relations that now exist between us. Difference of opinion need not necessarily create ill feeling; difference as to facts can be settled one way or the other by reference to admitted authority. So that with courtesy in discussion, it must be fair sailing. I expect the support and encouragement of personal friends in all parts of Colorado, whether of my politics or not, and the confidence at least of the general public whose servant I am and shall be, most respectfully.
O. J. HOLLISTER.          

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, August 24, 1868.                                        No. 311.

Byers & Dailey, Editors and Proprietors. -- O. J. Hollister, W. B. Thomas, Associate Editors.

Speaker Colfax's South Park Excursion was entered upon last Saturday. The day was terrifically hot, and the party, when it went into camp on Turkey creek, some twenty miles from Denver, wore a most lugubrious air for a pleasure party. Nearly half of them were prostrated with headache or fatigue. A rest of thirty hours, the cool night air, the novelty of a woods camp, the beauty of the place and surroundings, revived them up, however, and they moved out of camp for Slaght's on the Platte, fifty miles from Denver, about nine o'clock, Sunday morning, a great deal nearer alive than could reasonably have been expected. To this, their first camp, the writer and Secretary Hall accompanied them, thence returning yesterday. Let us make an inventory of the party: The Hon. Speaker, Mr. and Mathews, Misses Carrie Mathews, Susie Mathews, Sallie Bowles, and Nellie Wade; Mrs. Daniel Witter, Mrs. Hiram Witter, Mrs. Gov. Hunt, Mrs. R. L. Hatten, Miss Allice Hatten, Miss Issa Hunt, and little Cora Witter; Wm. Todd, the Speaker's private secretary, Mr. E. G. Mathews, Gov. Hunt, Mr. Hiram Witter, Maj. Oakes, and the necessary help, teamsters, cooks, servants, &c. Gov. Bross and Mr. Sam Bowles will meet them in the Park. This morning Mr. Daniel Witter, and Gov. Evans and family, started out, expecting to overtake the main party about to-morrow evening. We are afraid the zeal of the efficient chairman of our Central Committee, and also that of some of the members of the Speaker's party, have laid out too much work for the Speaker and Gov. Bross to allow them much time for pleasure. Unless, indeed, there is more pleasure in work than play to an active, vigorous man. They have agreed to speak at six or eight different places during the two weeks allotted to the trip, places with no railroads between them, but terrific ranges of mountains rather. They are to make an excursion to the summit of Mt. Lincoln; the apex of the Sierra Madre, on Thursday, if a pleasant day; which can be done chiefly on horseback from Buckskin. Next Sunday they will spend on the borders of the Twin Lakes and from there they will journey leisurely homeward, via Canyon and Colorado Cities, reaching Denver again, Saturday, September 5. The round trip is about 350 miles in length, giving them twenty-five miles of travel per day. If they don't think pleasure hunting in the Rocky Mountains hard work by the time they get back, we shall be agreeable disappointed. The trouble is, the session in September compelling the presence of the Speaker in Washington forces them to crowd a month's work into two weeks. They are well provided with conveyance, carriages and saddle horses, and with provisions and camp conveniences, tents, blankets, &c., Mr. Witter and Governor Hunt having outdone themselves in the Quartermaster and Commissary line. The Speaker has all his politics as well as his genial humor with him, talks them days and dreams them nights, so true is it that a man cannot escape from himself. Altogether it is a jovial party, and will find pleasure because they have it in their hearts and keep it with them, under any and all circumstances. The mountains are very agreeable now, weather dry, sky clear, moon full, sun and stars bright, the air fragrant, the herbage still green, "tides of grass breaking into the foam of flowers," the shrubbery luxuriant and in blossom, streams clear, and trout hungry. The roses are gone, but there are myriads of other bright colored flowers; you can't walk twenty feet without seeing a new one, and proceed forever in one direction -- at least until you get clear out of the mountains. Governor Hunt and Major Oakes have along a load of Indian goods and mean to meet the Southern Utes, and get their assent to the treaty as amended by the Senate. With the politics, Indian business, traveling, sight-seeing, fishing, camping, riding, &c., the party is not likely to suffer from ennui at least. And after they return and rest, they will no doubt feel great benefit from the jaunt in an increased appetite, flow of spirits, and general physical health.

Note 1: The above report offers no indication as to its authorship. The paper's associate editors (O. J. Hollister and W. R. Thomas) were sometimes sent on such traveling assignments. William Russell Thomas (1843-1914) accompanied the Colfax party on this particular excursion (see Ansel Watrous' 1911 History of Larimer County, Colorado, pp. 36-37). Thomas was the nephew of William J. Bross, then Lieutenant Governor of Illinois and Bross (who was one of the party) probably arranged for Thomas to report on this event. -- Frank Hall (Hollister's former partner in the Daily Mining Journal) wrote in his 1889 History of the State of Colorado: "On the 22d of August, 1868, Mr. Colfax and friends left Denver for a tour of the mountains via Turkey Creek Canon, the South Park and the Arkansas River, in the vicinity of California Gulch. The cavalcade consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Matthews (since deceased), Miss Sallie Bowles (now Mrs. Hooker), Miss Nellie Wade (induced upon this excursion to become Mrs. Colfax), Miss Carrie Matthews (now Mrs. O. J. Hollister of Salt Lake City), Miss Sue M. Matthews (now Mrs. Frank Hall of Denver), Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Witter, Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Witter, Governor and Mrs. A. C. Hunt, W. D. Todd, E. G. Matthews, Major D. C. Oakes, O. J. Hollister and Secretary Hall. Governor Bross and Mr. Bowles had preceded them by a day or two, but rejoined them in the South Park." -- Thus, it may have been W. R. Thomas who remained with the excursion party, while O. J. Hollister returned to Denver to file this news report.

Note 2: The "Carrie Mathews" (or Matthews) mentioned in the article was the daughter of Hannah Colfax Matthews and George W. Matthews. She was Speaker Colfax's half-sister by his mother's first marriage (before she became Mrs. Matthews in 1834). In his 1886 biography of Schuyler Colfax, O. J. Hollister relates the following: "Mr. Colfax left South Bend for the mountains of Colorado, with the following party -- namely, his mother, Sister Carrie, and stepfather; Miss Sue Matthews, Miss Nellie Wade, ex-Lieutenant-Governor Bross, Sam Bowles and daughter, and the Speaker's Secretary, Will Todd.... The trip had to be made in part by stage, and had not yet lost the charm of novelty... stage brought them to Denver [August 10, 1868]. After a few days' rest they prepared for camping, and in company with Mr. and Mrs. Witter, Governor Hunt, and others, making the party about twenty in number... Miss Wade accompanied the Speaker's party on the invitation of Miss Carrie Matthews... On the 4th of this July the author, then editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and a stranger to both of the ladies, started from Denver for the South Park... In August [22?] the Speaker and his party were in the park, and on the top of Mount Lincoln, and there he and Miss Wade plighted their troth... When the party left Denver for the park the author accompanied them the first day out. On that day he and Miss Matthews became engaged."

Note 3: Although Hollister says that he was "a stranger to both" Carrie Matthews and Nellie Wade, in 1868, there is good reason to conclude that he had at least become somewhat acquainted with Carrie during her 1865 visit to Black Hawk. In that year Colfax, Bross, Bowles and other eastern politicians made a precursor tour through the Denver area and Carrie accompanied her half-brother on his various jaunts during that tour. See the 1892 recollections of William Hyndman, who said: "Hollister...was then publishing the Black Hawk Daily Journal, and about the time the Colfax party crossed the continent, with which party Hollister first met Miss Matthews, half sister of Schuyler Colfax, who in three years thereafter became Mrs. Hollister in the union that proved the embodiment of domestic happiness and devotion for nearly a quarter of a century."

Note 4: As an associate editor and reporter, Hollister had sufficient credentials to accompany the 1868 Colfax party to South Park and his invitation to join that excursion may have been formally offered by Daniel Witter, Carrie Matthews' brother-in-law in Denver. Witter (who was briefly considered for the Governor's office in an abortive attempt at Colorado statehood) was then U. S. Assessor for the Internal Revenue Service's Colorado District and a prominent Republican. As Hollister became more and more of a Republican advocate his path would have naturally crossed that of Witter. It is also likely that Witter helped Hollister secure his subsequent position as Collector for the U. S. Assessor's Office in Salt Lake City.

Vol. II.                               South Pass City, Wyoming, Saturday, December 26, 1868.                              No. 10.

==> O. J. Hollister, Esq., has severed his connection with the Denver News. Messrs. Byers & Daily, proprietors, are both at home, now, and have resumed charge of the paper.

Note: Although Hollister's name soon disappeared from the Rocky Mountain News masthead, he did not completely sever his connection with the Denver paper. Starting on Jan. 5, 1869 a series of his letters appeared there, under the title: "From O. J. Hollister."

Springfield [ Daily ] Republican.

Vol. XXVI.                                Springfield, Massachusetts, Friday, January 1, 1869.                                No. 1.

O. J. Hollister has retired from the editorship of the Rocky Mountain,
Denver, News.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, January 5, 1869.                                        No. 102.

Byers & Dailey, Editors and Proprietors. -- O. J. Hollister, W. B. Thomas, Associate Editors.

From O. J. Hollister.


Laramie, W. T., Jan'y 1, 1869. -- This letter is my "New Year" to the readers of the News. It is the first act of my 1869 career. It is a very bright morning up here, and I might "put it in," walking over to the mountains, some twenty of thirty miles west, elk hunting in a buggy, behind Dr. Latham's "Raven," or "calling" on the Laramie ladies, after the manner of civilization, with most of whom I have already made acquaintance; but I am true to the old love, so I wish all my friends (and enemies) in Colorado "a happy new year," and as many returns of the same as they want -- no more. But I must not get ahead of my story, dull though it may be.

There is no more fascinating picture in the world, I believe, than the Colorado Rocky mountains in a bright day, from the stage coach, as it passes between Denver and Cheyenne. The morning I left Denver was cool and foggy, so that for hours we were lost in an ocean of frost. But after a long and close struggle with this breath of the storm, the sun cooperated and rolled it apart, huge wreaths retiring to the right and left, and finally dissipating and vanishing entirely; and as he majestically rounded the arch of the zenith the upper clouds followed the lower, retreating and disappearing on all hands, leaving the sky of the most unearthly purity -- all but a few fancy rolls and white banks, which drew up in pretty good order along the mountain tops, remaining in sight during the day, sometimes torn and agitated by the storm spirit, who keeps up there "his ancient state," sometimes settled in repose in fields of embodied light, sunning themselves, again bathing in the ethereal blue so coldly pure, perhaps coquetting languidly with the warmer, or wreathing loosely the brows and temples of the most wintry and towering summits. As the sun descended toward the west the foot-hills gradually grow into the deepest shadow, the snow having blown together in the chasms and melted on southern exposures, more strongly marking their grotesqueness of form; the great banks often sweeping in regular curve from base to summit, again forming horizontal bands, contrasting strangely with the alternating black bands and patches of bare earth. Higher up and further off there were great sections resembling stereoscopic pictures, soft and light, and loose; beyond, the white surface was unbroken and hard, looking coldly on yon from the shadow, glistening bright as the finest diamond in the sun. Description I am not attempting; it is a picture of Nature's painting, un equaled anywhere else -- the possession of Colorado. One never tires of studying and admiring it. What can be or suggest a wider contrast than these old, old hills, the play ground of light and color, the battle-field of the elements, always the same, yet ever changing; the watchtowers of the continent, the vertebrae of the spine of the New World, "the image of eternity," insurmountable, unconquerable, inaccessible; a fact, matter, hard, still and solemn; and that intangible, to the eye impalpable, and to the eye incomprehensible ether which bathes their summit, invades their recesses, and is ever endeavoring to crumble and level them, and from which we suppose they, and the earth, and innumerable worlds like unto ours were somehow created, or condensed, or eliminated -- spoken into being! Why may not matter and mind be coexistent from and to eternity, one in substance? What puny, distressed creatures we are, tortured with all-absorbing aspirations for greatness, for knowledge, and so limited in capacity as to be unable to comprehend anything. I speak advisedly, and mean it. We speculate boldly on the past and future, the laws of the universe and of being, we establish formulas, and creeds, and opinions which we exhaust ourselves in making converts to, and what does it amount to? We stand a million chances of being wrong to one of being right even as to how to eat and drink, or catch a fish! But where am I drifting? I'll never do so again. After all, the Colorado mountains are a most interesting and fascinating picture.

We had good company besides the mountains, and the sleek, fat and contented cattle grazing along the road, as is not unusual in the stage coach. One old gentleman who crossed through here forty years ago, and two Californians, very intelligent fellows, who went overland to the Golden Gate of the West in 1849 and 1850, and have never, till now, been on "this side" since. Last year they bought a three league ranch (about 13,000 acres) back of San Diego, for 62 1/2 cents an acre, and started for Salt Lake to buy 2,000 head of cattle to stock it. Arriving there they could not find their man, but struck our [Holt], the great railroad beef contractor, and were by him directed to Colorado. They made a trade in Denver amounting to $45,000, the cattle to be delivered on North Platte, and 300 to 400 head of horses and mares to be taken in part payment. In explanation, they say all the stock in California died during the drouth of 1863-4, and the construction of the two railroads has caused an unusual consumption. Probably; but for the existence of Buffalo point out the Plains, of which Colorado contains the creme de la creme, as the source whence the best beef of the entire country will and must be eventually drawn. At present. beef in California, Salt Lake and Colorado is about the same in price, eight or nine cents a pound. Where we have the advantage is in the cheapness with which we produce it -- from nothing to a cent or two per pound.

We took dinner at St. Vrain's, supper at Cache-a la-Poudre, and arrived in Cheyenne at 4:00, the moon full and high, flooding with her gray light the shabby, dirt colored, straggling buildings of the town. We stopped with Ford & Durkee, who keep the house of Cheyenne. It holds a hundred guests, is well furnished for the country, the beds good, the sheets clean and sweet, the tables well served, and guests made to feel at home.

Cheyenne looks and feels much better than last spring; the Julesburg or Omaha faction who built "up town" in contradistinction to the Denver faction who built "down town," is weakening, moving down on Eddy and Ferguson, between and including Fifteenth and Eighteenth streets, where some new buildings have been put up, and old ones repaired and enlarged. The Railroad Company are erecting some large, fine buildings, made of stone, roofed with tin, the stone brought from up the road -- a sandstone, soft, but hardening by exposure. The machine shop is only indicated by the foundation, which is about 116x210 feet, exclusive of engine and boiler house, 50 feet square, and located between the machine and smith shops. The latter is about 80x180 feet in size, the walls now half way up. The round house, half of which is finished, contains forty engine stalls, and from outside to outside is 366 feet in diameter, in the center of which is a turn table. The front of the building is thirty feet high, supported by forty arches resting on great cast-iron pillars; fluted cast iron columns also supporting the roof. The company have put up a large stylish hotel the past season, which is just being furnished.

Cheyenne wears a rigorous business air, grasps the present well and looks forward confidently to the future. Her trade extends in every direction except northeast. The country round is setting up more or less, northward as far as Fetterman, 73 miles beyond Ft. Laramie. The Union Pacific Railroad runs through the town, changing there from light to heavy grades. The Denver Pacific then joins the Pacific road. Two stage lines run out to Denver and one to Ft. Laramie. Four telegraph lines radiate thence like the four rivers from Paradise, the Western Union, the Denver Pacific, the Union Pacific and the Cheyenne and Fort Fetterman. The Catholics and Episcopalians have built pretty little church edifices, and the Methodists have an organization and place of worship. There is an excellently conducted school, the town owning the school-house. The Masons and Odd Fellows are both established and flourishing. The five hundred nymphs du pave, who used to make the place unbearable, have scattered, gone away, and improved property is worth $100 a foot. There is a population probably of 3,000, casting 1,000 votes, a Democratic municipal government, politics not having much meaning there yet, however; three live daily newspapers, three prosperous banking houses, four or five first-class hotels and a dozen second and third rate ones, thirty to forty business houses of all grades, five or six of which stand as well as the best in the East, selling from $10,000 to $30,000 worth of goods per month. A water cistern has been made in the heart of town and a steam fire engine purchased. There is a new and handsome postoffice building. Fort Davy Russell, near by, is a first class post, and the best laid out and built of any in the West. Moreover, the town possesses a distant view of Long's Peak and is blest with limitless room for expansion. It expects to be the capital of Wyoming Territory, after Grant shall have fully organized the latter. Between the military and the Railroad company, and the trade of such surrounding country as will naturally center in Cheyenne, it will be a town of 10,000 inhabitants before anybody knows it. Crow Creek, and Chugwater, and North Platte, and perhaps the Cache-a la-Poudre, which offer nearly the same facilities for settlement, will find a common head center in Cheyenne. The grazing capacity of the country is the same as that of Colorado, wherever water is accessible. Such is my opinion of the present and future of Cheyenne. I haven't room to explain further, but am content to go on the record, prophesying for the town a steady growth for a number of years.      O. J. H.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, January 11, 1869.                                        No. 107.

From O. J. Hollister.


Bryan, January 4. -- I left Cheyenne about 5 o'clock last Wednesday (Dec. 30) for the West on the regular train, soon striking the heavy grade of the Black Hills, the cuts and fills becoming more frequent and deeper, the engine laboring harder -- Indeed it balked once outright, near the summit, just after drinking and coaling, and the train happening to stand on a considerable embankment, the "bucking" of our iron broncho was not pleasant. There was a superb sunset behind dark strata of cloud, and an exquisite moonrise an hour or so later, from behind, I doubt not, the same cloud bank, which we, meanwhile, seemed to have passed through; the shadowy curtains, I imagined, dividing the first Act of the Union Pacific Railroad from the second. As we flew onward the face of the landscape grew wrinkled and scarred, now and then disfigured by a scrubby pine or huge wart of rock, casting long uncouth shadows. Otherwise it was not much of a variation from the Plains. We expect much, we grasp little. It was with a feeling of disappointment I observed so little novelty in a country which had often busied my imagination these last few years. The sky and constellations, the moon and clouds, light and shade, trees and rock, and all that came beneath the eye as we rolled on, were old acquaintances. Well, they are not so bad. In due time we were at the summit, Sherman, a weird, desolate place, 8,842 feet above tide water, the highest ever reached by the iron horse on this continent. How obstacles vanish as we approach them! If anyone would study how, let him make a trip over five hundred miles of railroad in mid-winter, having an average elevation of 6,500 feet, (higher than Mt. Washington,) on the fortieth parallel of north latitude. In another hour, bearing northwardly from Sherman, we had descended to the Big Laramie, where the road crosses it, (Laramie City,) 7,175 feet above sea.

The Laramie Plains are abut fifty by one hundred miles in extent; have an average elevation of 7,000 to 8,000 feet, are watered by the Big and Little Laramies, Rock and Cooper creeks, &c.; are covered with the grasses native to the vast interior, and are not unlike, in any respect, the other parts of the Rocky Mountains I have seen, except that the enclosing hills are less imposing, and they are not so broken up by spurs and ridges. It is claimed that there are 150,000 acres of arable land in the vicinity of Laramie City. Doubtless the vegetables and small grains can be raised successfully on the Laramies, and their valleys certainly afford the best of grazing. The Medicine Bow Mountains lie along the west, thirty to fifty miles distant -- a great storehouse of tie and bridge timber, lumber, fuel, &c., for the railroad, the nearest and best between Chicago and Wasatch, if I except Colorado, the Laramies running water enough to float it down. Mines of gold, silver and copper exist in the range; some mining has already been done at a place called Last Chance, fifty miles west of Laramie City, and I have seen fine samples of gold bearing quartz, showing the native metal, picked up at Elk Mountain, fifty miles up and fifteen off, the road. Gold has also been found in the spurs of the main range, running down to within twenty miles of the road, west of North Platte. There is no question with me that it will be found in the Uintah, the Wasatch, the Wind River, and all the other broken ranges that constitute the Rocky Mountains. The mines of the Medicine Bow are what particularly interest the people of Laramie City, however. They expect to be their depot, and to get a good start from doing their business.

I stopped at the Railroad House, kept in eastern style by M. L. Ohr & Co., a building 200 feet long, with spacious rooms, hard finished and well though plainly furnished, with a fine, large dininq hall, used also for social festivities, until the decorations for such occasions have become part of the furnishing; attentive waiters with black faces and white aprons and [livery]; an excellent cooking-range and convenient outbuildings; lodging-rooms with high ceilings, one bed in each, spring mattresses, the sheets and pillow cases bearing evidence of a close acquaintance with the sweet Laramie water; a neat, agreeably furnished parlor looking out on the distant mountains -- in fine, a most pleasing place to stop a day or week. I fell in with Mr. Offley at once, and through him was soon acquainted with everybody. Major Bird, of Wilmington, Delaware -- the Birds are a gallant race, were all in the war for the Union, two or three of them are now in the service, one a Colonel, among the first people of Delaware -- who is freight agent at Laramie, devoted himself to making my stay agreeable. With him I went through the railroad building, of stone and roofed with tin, smith shop 80x125 feet in size, containing steam tilt-hammer, and eighteen cast iron forges, an invention of Mr. J. W. Corydon, master mechanic of the Company, all in use; with coal brought from Iowa; machine shop 90x145 feet on the ground, full of lathes, planers and drills, also in use; between these an engine and boiler house; adjoining, half a round-house containing 20 stalls, to be finished by adding the other half when necessary. The Company have also a hospital for their employees, with room for thirty patients, Dr. Latham the attendant physician. Then there are the depot and several offices and residences for officers of the road.

Of business houses I notice Aleck H. Huyett, Ed. Ivinson, M. G. Tunn & Co., L. T Wilcox, C. A. Wright & Co/. groceries; Wagner Bros., McMurray Bros., Ruth & House, Garfinkle, clothing and dry goods; Strong & Finirock, Boswell & Taylor; druggists; Sutphen & Co., tobacconists; Abbort & Co., stationers; Myers & Co., Miller & Pfeffer, jewelers; Dawson & Bro., liquors; Rogers & Co., (Col J. W. Donnellan) bankers. There are many other houses, perhaps equally worthy of mention. About 200 tons of merchandize per week are received, and 1,000 railroad employees are paid off at Laramie. Mr. Baker keeps a hotel in the European style, the accommodations for travellers are very good: there is fine driving, hunting and fishing within reach; fresh, lively streams, and considerable lakes; the country so smooth that one may go elk hunting in his buggy -- and Laramie should and no doubt will be a favorite place of resort during the warm months. It has much the advantage of Cheyenne in beauty of location and surroundings, but no far as appears now, not so good a show for business. A year may reverse the situation, however. An effort is being made to start a newspaper, the citizens looking forward with a hope to its being the capital of Wyoming Territory. It is and always must be the prettiest and pleasantest place on the whole line of the railroad. Fort Saunders, the Government post, is near by, and Indians above Elk Mountain now and then pass an arrow through a pale face, furnishing a pretext for keeping troops there. The Sweetwater Mines will doubtless have their depot further west, but still cannot fail to help the town considerably. It is a pet of the Railroad Company, the road thence over the Black Hills to Cheyenne is the worst part of the entire line, the heaviest grades, and it will always be the company's interest to do as much of their work for the road west at Laramie as possible. They will be laying a double track in a year or two, and their business alone is likely to build up a nice town, at the only point, and that about central, on their entire line, where nature has prepared the conditions precedent. I am a great believer in mines, too, and I know not why those of the Medicine Bow should not pay as well as those of the Sierra Madre -- the same range, further south.

This letter is stringing out unreasonably, but l owe Mr. Baker mention of the very pleasant ball he gave at the Railroad House New Year's night. He had prepared supper, not at his own house, where you can get a dozen raw and a hot whisky at any time of day or night, but in the attic of the Railroad House, at a table nearly a mile long, for six hundred guests, but there were only sixty tickets sold ($10 each) and from thirty to forty Iadies present, they having come from Fort Saunders, Cheyenne, and the first station west, Wyoming. People were expected from Denver, Omaha, and end of track, but expectations "gang aft aglee." I represented Denver, however, with my accustomed grace, I trust the Laramie ladies will forgive me for saying no more than that they compared very well for beauty, dress, style, and elan, (is that a good word?) with similar assemblages of their sweet sex I have seen in Colorado, at Denver, Golden, Central, or Georgetown. The dancing haII was perfect for the purpose, clean, and well if not brilliantly lighted up, and tastefully decorated; the music kept better time than is sometimes done, if, the orchestra using only brass instruments, it was a little harsh and loud; the "calling" was barely passable, the supper past all praise. I was only sorry to see so few assembled and doing it honor, with its fine flavored soup, its delicious jellies and rich cakes, its superlative coffee, and elegant wines. It was a wonder, there where Government agents were distributing goods to the Indians a year ago, or might have been. I met some old friends and made some new and pleasant acquaintances. Indeed I must give the Laramie ladies credit for being charming and gracious. Remarking that I am chiefly indebted to them for a really delightful New Year, and upon my positive inability to follow the younger Weller's advice in letter writing, I am very faithfully yours, certainment.
O. J. H.            

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Wednesday, January 13, 1869.                                        No. 109.

From O. J. Hollister.


Bear River City, January 7. -- Being in the neighborhood of the "end of track," the construction of which will doubtless furnish ample material for an interesting letter, I take the present opportunity to give you my impressions of the country between Cheyenne and Salt Lake. The Union Pacific Railroad has crossed the Rocky Mountains on an elevated, undulating plain, constituting one gigantic Pass, five hundred miles in length and between one hundred and two hundred in width, lying between the Wind River range on the north and the Uintah range on the south, having an average altitude of about seven thousand feet, with no water fit to use for any purpose save that of the widely-separated streams, destitute of life but abounding in death, producing no timber nor vegetation but sagebrush, and without doubt underlaid with a passable combustible coal throughout, which crops out of the bluffs in many places so near the track as to be wheeled aboard the cars. The adjacent ranges of the Rocky Mountains, the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre, running north and south and shooting spurs northward nearly to the road; the Uintah, an east-and-west range, whose jagged outline bounds the far-off southern horizon; the Wind River, also ranging east and west, away beyond the northern horizon; and the Wasatch, over and through which the road passes into the Great Basin of Salt Lake, are full of gold and silver veins and covered with timber; and their slopes, intervening valleys, and parks, afford the best of grazing and arable lands; but one gets no idea of them riding on this road. On the contrary, the landscape under his eye is the most desolate imaginable. It is a desert whose deathly qualities it will task the utmost energies of man to overcome.

Reaching an elevation above sea of 6,046 at Cheyenne, by means of an inclined plain, totally destitute of timber, 517 miles long, the Black Hills, a spur of the Sierra Madre, have to be surmounted. Their summit, at Sherman, 8,248 feet above tide water, so that a rise of 2,202 feet has to be made in about forty miles. Then we go down fifteen miles, to the Big Laramie, which is 7,123 feet above the sea, at the railroad crossing. This is the latitude of the Laramie Plains. Fifteen miles further west we cross the Little Laramie. The timber and gold and game of the Black Hills and the Medicine Bow Mountains are accessible by means of these streams and they have made half a dozen townships of good land, considering its elevation. Shortly west of Little Laramie all vegetation may be said to cease, and the coal begins to crop out, but for which lucky circumstance the latter, the operation, of this road would certainly have been impossible except at a loss. The coal is of the tertiary age, varying in quality at different localities, but generally the same in character and the same as that of Colorado in heating power, about half way between dry hard wood and the bituminous coal of the Mississippi Valley. Some of it burns up nearly clean, some is so light as to be drawn out of the smoke stack before it is half burned, some of it merely melts down into clinker, and some of it will coke, they say, I hope truly. But none of the mines are more than opened, and doubtless the longer they are wrought the more they will assimilate to the best quality yet found. In digging a well for water on the continental divide, two beds of coal, each about two feet in thickness, were struck, sixty, and eighty-five feet from the surface, respectively. It does not crop out all along the railroad, but that is no sign that it does not underlie the whole country, but on the contrary quite the reverse. As near as I can learn, for one can't see everything riding over the road in the night, the most extensive coal mining at present is at Carbon, on the Laramie Plains, the best coal is found on Bitter creek, the thickest beds or veins, in the Wasatch Mountains. There is perhaps more money in furnishing the road with fuel than in anything else in the country, but for reasons I have not room to give, it is no business for poor or common men.

About one hundred miles from the Big Laramie, meanwhile having overcome the desert wave answering to the Medicine Bow Mountains further south, the summit of which is 6,700 feet high, we cross the North Platte at an elevation of 8,476 feet.

Then we ascend to the crest of the continent, the Sierra, Madre, or what there is left of it, 7,100 feet above sea, after passing which, the face of the landscape gets worse, if possible, and we have the Black, and Red, and Bitter Creek Deserts in rapid succession. The winds whistle and shriek as if both astounded and terrified; the sand rocks, constituting the brows of the occasional bluff, whitened by the cutting storms into grotesque shapes, some not unlike a wrinkled, weatherbeaten, bearded human face, seem animated with the genius of the place and watching in stolid anguish the invasion of their solitude; the engine itself no longer whistles but yells, as if mad at being forced to traverse the unearthly desert. Bitter creek itself, famous since the commencement of the overland travel as a "jornada del murerto," is sixty to seventy miles long, crooked as the trail of a serpent, there being twenty railroad bridges on it, the valley from two to six miles wide, bordered by sand stone bluffs furnishing the best building stone on the route. There and a hundred miles westward are found beautiful agates and other curious and precious stones. Bitter Creek is the nearest point on the road to the Sweetwater mines. Its waters are alkaline and poisonous generally, and this is true of the entire route between North Platte and Green rivers, a distance of more than a hundred miles, as to eat up an engine boiler in a few weeks, often "killing" the engine" while on duty. I was told there were eight dead engines on the division, which extends from Rawlings to Wasatch, 264 miles, the day I came over it (we had a cold stout wind in our teeth) and the report was given color to by the fact of our own dying, compelling us to stand on a switch at Bitter Creek Station ten hours. I suppose it is the worst place to operate a railroad in the world.

With Bitter Creek we at last reach Green River, 5,962 feet above the sea, where we cross it. Rising a divide, 6,305 feet in altitude, we descend on to Black Fork, of Green River, which, with its tributaries, we ascend to Reed's Summit, 7,463 feet high. Whether this is one of the ridgess of the Wasatch, or a spur from the Uintah, I am uncertain, at least the waters flow thence into Salt Lake Basin. Descending a few miles we cross Bear River, at an altitude of 6,969 feet, follow down t ten miles, leaving it 6,656 feet above sea, thence surmounting Echo Pass, 6,785 feet in height, we commence the descent into the Basin through Echo and Weber canyons, crossing Weber River at an elevation of 5,240 feet and striking Salt Lake at an altitude above sea of about 4,290 feet. The landscape from Green River westward is the same old story until we approach Reed's Summit, when it becomes more broken, with scrubby timber on the northern, western, and northwestern exposures of the ridges and hills. This is the best, indeed the only, wood and timber region on the route from Omaha to the Sierra Nevada, except that of the Black Hills and Medicine Bow. The timber region here lies off toward the Uintah range, ten to twenty miles from the track.

A word concerning the rivers. They are about one hundred miles apart, the Laramie rising in the Medicine Bow and flowing into the North Platte at Fort Laramie, one hundred miles north of Cheyenne. The North Platte rises in the North Park and flows northward a long way beyond the road, then sweeping eastward, and finally southeastward, joins the South Platte about three hundred miles west of Omaha. The road crosses it at its mouth, and again 400 miles westward, comparatively near its head. Green River rises in the Wind River Mountains, near the head of Snake, a tributary of the Columbia, and of the Yellowstone flowing southward and southwestward into the Colorado. Bear river rises in the Uintah, and flowing northward finally makes a great bend westward and again southward, emptying into Salt Lake. Eighty miles north of the road it spreads out into a sort of lake, surrounded by furnishing Mormon settlements and producing fine speckled trout, often weighing five or six pounds. The road crosses Bear River near its head, and again perhaps a hundred miles westward, near its mouth.

The towns westward of Laramie City scarce deserve mention. They must all depend on railroad for their business. Benton, on North Platte, is entirely deserted. Bryan, fifteen miles west of Green River, on Black Fork is half cloth, is located in an ash pit, surrounded by ugly bluffs and ridges. It has temporarily been the end of a division, and it has nothing before it but desertion. Probably the Sweetwater depot will be on Green River. This is the best place for a town, indeed the only one, west of Laramie, I have seen. It is in a little recess between two ridges, like the "hog backs" of Colorado, which come down close to the road, is handy to the timber I spoke of, has white sulphur and oil springs, also copious springs of soft, sweet water, perpendicular veins of coal in the ridges, precisely like that at Golden City, the coal the same in quality too; but it is against it that the track has a sixty-foot grade upon which of cars won't stand without the brakes on, and there would have to be considerable filling to bring the unoccupied part of the site up to the road level. It was a lively place before the "riot," as they call it, and I think it will do for a place. Between the vigilantes, the roughs, the Index, and the railroad men, and also it is true, construction of the road passing it, it is about "played," though I am inclined to think it will be a better place a year hence than now. There are about a hundred buildings of all kinds, and they are being pulled down and moved on.

In these towns I found T. T. Cornforth selling groceries in Bryan and about to engage in merchandising and mining in the Sweetwater country. J. M. Fierman is there doing a banking business with General Williamson, of Iowa. Here J. B. Cooper, & Jno. McNeil are banking and keeping store; Mark Myers, doing business for Deitsch & Co., Isidore Deitsch himself is at Echo City, forty miles west of here; W. T. Field, keeping hotel; The Hoswell pulling up stakes and going into the valley; Captain Bates with Cooper & McNeil, and many other Colorado men; Wanless & Diefendorf, furnishing fuel between Green River and Salt Lake, in all kinds of business. Colorado is well represented all along the road from and including Cheyenne. With few exceptions it is my opinion they have as hard work to hold their own this last year as though they had staid in Colorado.

Of the towns around here, Evanston, Wasatch, Echo City, and so on, I know little and think less. The railroad is building too fast for them. By the way there is a good deal of dissatisfaction with the management of the town business, but I think no one could reasonably expect the great national work of building this road to stop that a few people might have another Cheyenne this winter. There is no law compelling folks to buy town lots, that I know of, and as to the company not living up to their engagements, the burden of proof lies upon those who make the charge. There may be a slight ground for such a charge in the case of Bryan, but it is only slight. But I must quit.
Truly,                                 O. J. H.                                    

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Friday, January 15, 1869.                                        No. 55.

CALLED. -- Mr. Hollister, recently connected with the press of Colorado, and now correspondent of the Denver News, paid his respects to this institution yesterday evening. Mr. Hollister is not struck as favorably with "Zion's commercial center" as he might be. He thinks Denver represents twice as much capital as this burg does. We will wager a suit of fine broadcloth clothes with Mr. Hollister that this city represents a hundred fold more illegal currency than Denver or the whole of Colorado, as a "stand off" to its lack of commercial greatness.

Note: For the remainder of this issue's Mormon-related articles, see the on-line Reporter clippings.

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Thursday, January 21, 1869.                                        No. 111.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, January 12. -- I hasten to tell you as plainly and briefly as possible about the construction of the railroad. It is open to Bryan for public business, and to Wasatch, about 965 miles from Omaha, on the summit of Echo Pass, for supplying the contractors and bringing up material. There is where it begins to descend into Salt Lake Basin. The seven miles next west of Wasatch are heavy work, large cuts and fills, and one tunnel 800 feet long. Men and teams swarm all over it like bees round a hive in spring, and it will be done within sixty days. From the head to the mouth of Echo Canyon is 20 miles, and as I rode by the end of the track yesterday at sundown, they were within seven miles of Echo City, at the mouth of the canyon, with the track; the ties being all bedded as far as Echo City. They have been detained lately by their spikes being snowed in, in Iowa, strange as it may seem. They arrived yesterday morning, and Durant, who had been pacing up and down his car chafing like a lion in a cage, is himself again. They have ties enough on hand not to be detained from that source, and sufficient iron is on the way from Omaha now, to complete the track down the Weber and to Ogden, 42 1/2 miles from Echo City.

In Weber Canyon the easy work is all done; there is a heavy cut in slate, which the contractor says cannot be finished in less than 40 days; there are two tunnels one of which can be excavated in time and a temporary track will be built around the other. Durant says they will be in Ogden in 30 days; Reed says in 40; Isay in 60. They believe they run no risk of detention by any possible weather, having got through, one might say, to Weber, which is below 5,500 feet in altitude, and in which they have nothing of the grade to make but through rock.

Beyond Ogden to Monument Point, where Durant is bound to get if it is within the scope of human (superhuman) energy, a distance of 80 miles, the road bed is being made, and there is little doubt of its keeping out of their way. That part of the route I have not seen and can only judge from the best of hearsay.

As for the Central Pacific, Mr. Stenhouse, of the Telegraph, tells me the track was within 21 miles of Humboldt Wells, 222 miles west of Ogden, yesterday evening, and that the grade will be done to Monument Point, by the fifteenth. That they have sufficient iron to lay to this city on hand and rolling stock enough to bring it up as fast as they need it; two things, the want of which has been detaining them. That they will be able to average the laying of 2 1/2 miles of track per day from this time on till they catch up with their grade, which is under contract and being worked from Monument Point to Ogden, side by side with the Union Pacific. The latter were grading eastward from Humboldt Wells, but they gave that up some time since. Ogden, or near there, will be the point of divergence for this place, and the company which gets there first will build a branch, perhaps both of them; President Young making the grade if he chooses. If my statements are correct, and I believe they are, the roads have each about 80 days yet to work, possibly 90 or 100, and they will probably meet somewhere between Bear River north and Promontory Point. The chances of detention by bad weather, either in the work or in getting up materials, are about equal; the Central having the advantage in the former, the Union in the latter. Setting aside speculation, the Union will be at Echo City by next Saturday night, sixteenth, and the Central will be at Humboldt Wells by the twentieth or twenty-fifth at the latest. The Union will doubtless cover Ogden and vicinity as far as Bear River north and within a few miles of Ogden either way, or at it, as shall best favor the cheap operation of the road, will be the town, the point of transfer for this city. I do not think they are looking to the Idaho and Montana business so much as to that of this Basin. This is in sight, that isn't. The Oregon, or Puget Sound Branch, is further in the future than any but quite young men will see, in my opinion. The Idaho and Montana travel already concentrates 25 miles from Ogden; it can be drawn that far.

With regard to the construction of the Union Pacific, from Bryan westward it is not finished, no one pretends it is, the culverts and bridges are all trestle work; the grade itself in some places is made of frozen lumps which will soften into mush when warm weather comes; there are no buildings to speak of, and I don't suppose there is sufficient rolling stock. But the object has been to get to and over, or through, the Wasatch Range, extending from Bridger to the mouth of Weber, more than 100 miles, a snowy region, and where most of their heavy work was, before the winter should close them out. They believe they have succeeded. I hope so. Hercules, whom the ancients deified for vast physical labors, was a baby to this man Durant. Let him alone. If necessary he will build all that poor road over again in three weeks when the necessity arises. I see the Government has continued to issue the money subsidy as the road was completed, and it is right. But if it should not, it will make no difference; the work will go on, and with all considerations whatever, except its rapid progress, disregarded. No one can have any adequate conception of the prodigious magnitude; of the magnificence of this enterprise; not undertaken to aggrandize individuals, a company, or even a nation, but to benefit the world, and pushed more for glory than for money, until he has seen it. Seeing is believing, they say, it is comprehending to some slight extent. People say it won't pay; that it is only being built to get money out of the Government. Why they are wasting twice as much money in pushing it as they will get for the additional miles they will make by their energy. The same men own the stock, the first mortgage bonds, and are doing the work. It will cost, clear through, say $60,000,000. The way business alone will count 100,000 tons a year, to be increased directly 100 per cent. The trade between the Occident and Orient, which scattered opulent cities all over the Persian Empire, and made Tyre, Carthage, Jerusalem, Rome, Alexandria, Venice, Amsterdam, when it amounted to but a few thousand tons per annum, done since the discovery of America and the Pacific Ocean by and through London, making her the world's emporium, has grown to enormous proportions; estimated at 500,000 tons a year. One-half of this at least will pass over the Pacific Railroad, all articles of light weight and great value. They may open a way for ships from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea; they may span Asia and Europe with overland railroads, and our way is eleven days the shortest of all, which ensures us the bulk of the travel at least. The road may certainly count on business, passengers, express, mails, freights, amounting to 250,000 tons a year through freight, which, at $100 a ton, will be $25,000,000 a year. The road will be the best paying investment ever known. It is to get at this work that Durant and Stanford are bending their great energies. The spectacle is sublime. Their countrymen should be proud of them.

I have wandered from the subject of the manner of construction. They are putting in culverts of masonry, and either arches of masonry for bridges or piers and abutments for the same, just as fast as they can, having completed it last year from Sidney to Cheyenne. They have bent every energy to it, too, using money lavishly, giving a man $6 a day where he was worth $4, and getting all the men they could. At the same time they built 430 miles of road last year over the most frightful of desert, all of it more than a thousand miles west of Chicago, whence, and still further East, they drew their supplies. Their buildings, as far as they have gone, are as substantial as any in the world; of stone, everything right and tight.

I have gone on longer than I meant in this letter, but I couldn't help it. I came into Salt Lake City this evening with Mr. Hussey, who is doing four-fifths of the banking business of the city. The ride from Echo city was delightful, up over a ridge of the Wasatch and down through canyons just like yours, only longer, and deeper, and crookeder, and the view from where the road emerges into the valley was the finest I ever saw. Having found excellent quarters at the Townsend House, a cordial welcome from such friends as I have met, and passable cigars for ten cents, I am "well heeled," as they say on the railroad, and "here's luck to the ugliest."
O. J. H.           

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Saturday, January 23, 1869.                                        No. 113.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, January 15. -- I gave you a labored description of the route of the railroad from Cheyenne westward as far as Bear River in a former letter, and in a later one the condition of construction. Wishing to make my letters a summary of my observations, I must go back a little. From Green River westward, in the country of Black's and Ham's Forks, off a piece from the road, there is considerable bunch grass among the sage brush, and the bottoms of the streams provide hay. The stock used in grading did very well in that section. We left Bryan about noon, and running eight or ten miles an hour, saw the sun set in the Wasatch hills and ridges, which bear a little scrubby timber. These extend a hundred miles westward, breaking suddenly off into the Salt Lake Basin, from an average height of perhaps 8,000 feet. Where the overland stage crosses the last summit, through a sort of pass, about 7,500 feet high. It is a region of snow and cold, with good sleighing all through it now, since the first of the year, and zero weather. And old stage agent living on the Weber, says travel has often been obstructed between Echo Pass and Reed's Summit ten days at a time. It is a curious formation, where I could see it; sandstone or slate, always soft, and from the amount of snow, subject to the action of water, whence I argue the multitude and depth of the canyons, the whole country being a succession of ridges, side canyons worn to the base of the bordering hills, making into the main canyons every thousand feet. Echo Canyon, with Weber, seemingly made for the passage of a railroad, is very curious; on the north side a plumb wall of sandstone 200 to 300 feet high, on the south side no rock whatever nor abrupt wall, but a succession of ridges sloping evenly toward the bottom of the canyon. I didn't go down Weber, but its canyon, I am told, is the ruggedest of all, like that of the Vasquez above Golden City. Dry Creek Canyon, making into Weber, leads up to a fine body of timber. Its walls approach so near at the bottom, often overhanging above too, as to leave no room for teams to pass. They all go up to the timber together and come down ditto. These canyons are all the beds of rushing torrents when the spring snows are melting. On the northern and northwestern exposures of the hills there is more or less timber, and in places on the Weber and on Bear rivers, large beds of excellent coal are found.

Bear River City is rather favorably located in a little cove between ridges, just north of the track, on Sulphur Creek, two miles east of Bear River, at an altitude of about 7,000 feet above sea. A fine soft water spring bubbles up just on the opposite side of the track, and a few steps eastward, two free-flowing white sulphur springs like those of New York and Virginia. In the ridges spoken of occur vertical veins of coal, accompanied by fire clay, as at Golden City, one of them being wrought, coal wheeled directly on to the cars. Not far south of the sulphur springs is an oil spring from which eight or ten gallons of oil may be skimmed per day. A gentleman has been boring for it, reached a depth of 400 feet, got "busted," left his augur in the hole, and went into the timber for the railroad to make a raise again. There is the finest body of timber on the road off south toward the Uintah range. There are a hundred buildings in the town, logs, dirt-roofed, like miners' shanties, being fast taken down and moved above. These fellows are kept poor, accompanying the track. They build in Benton, or Bryan or Bear River for $500 or $600, do business a few days, sell for $50 to $100, and move on. Generally they are the sickest and most played-out set I ever saw. Mr. Freeman, of the Index, is postmaster, but is trying to deputise somebody, so that he can go further and come the Phoenix on it. After his press was destroyed by the mob, he attempted to raise a subscription to buy another, but the people couldn't see it. Rough as they are, they perceived that the "press on wheels" disgraced them. Freeman himself is a walking index of this entire country, most of which he has visited, and had he devoted his paper to disseminating a knowledge of it instead of the lowest species of scurrility, he might have been successful. He is a live fellow, with more talent than tact, affected in manner, talks to you as if addressing a crowd, in a harsh, loud, nasal tone, hanging on every second word with the exhorter's "ah," going all round the world to answer a simple question, as if for display, talking tolerably well, however, on the whole. He has a peculiar look, given by his projecting jaws and wide mouth, exactly described by the expression of a drunken fellow I heard," shooting off his snout." Everybody talks against him behind his back, I notice, and wears a deferential air, to his face. He has been successful in achieving what he wanted -- notoriety. He may yet do much good or harm, according as he leads off. He has such a favorable opinion of himself, however, as to render it improbable that he will change his course. The ashes of his printing office and of the jail, and a dozen or fifteen graves on the hill-sides, illustrate the beauties of mob law to perfection. And the end is not yet. People talk in whispers of the Vigilantes, and go to bed with gray-backs and double-barreled shot guns for companions.

From this place the road crosses and follows Bear River down eight or ten miles, to the summit of Echo Pass, passing Evanston on the way, a few tents, already moving up to Wasatch. on the summit; those who had bought lots there being given one in the latter place. Wells, Fargo & Co.'s coaches for Salt Lake City connect with the cars at Evanston, and I failed to find there the U. S. mail lying over, as has been so often reported. The wonder is, not that the mails are irregularly forwarded, but that they are carried at all. The coach terminus has been moved to Wasatch by this time, which is ninety miles from this city. I was there on the tenth. The town is on a bald summit, 6,800 feet high, with no timber in sight, snow eighteen inches deep, a large spring furnishing water, about sixty tents and half-cloth houses already, and more building. Gen. Williamson, of Iowa, the agent for selling these town lots, had just arrived, and sold five lots for $200 each, within an hour thereafter. The only boarding house is that of Egerton & Sargeant; feeds 200 men, railroad employees, at a dollar a day; travelers and transients a dollar a meal, giving remarkably good grub, considering the circumstances. Durant and Snyder and Seymour are here for the time, living in the Director's car, luxuriously furnished. Affairs have been a good deal mixed up, what with the strait the company have been in to get to the Weber before winter closed them out, the track having come up with the heavy work in the vicinity before it was done, consequent trouble with the contractors, fuss with the team owners, snow in Iowa, and a thousand other obstacles. But everything has been smoothed out, the spikes and material have come up, the team owners have been brought to their marrow bones, their wages and perquisites reduced to a reasonable figure, the unfinished grade adjoining and in Weber covered with men, and the contractors disposed of.

Wasatch is to be the end of a division, engine house and machine shops, and depot already under way. Next morning a negro barber was lying dead on the snow, in the midst of the town, with his toes and chin turned up to heaven, his breast full of stabs. Two other men had been robbed, and narrowly allowed to live during the night; three or four robberies had been committed in Carmichael's camp near town; one man killed, and another shot in the leg, at Echo City, twenty-seven miles further west. A notice had been posted for a city election on the twelfth, which it was thought was a movement of the roughs to get control of the town.

By means of seven miles of temporary track round heavy work next westward from Wasatch, the end of track will be Echo City, already the headquarters of the construction department, by the fifteenth. Echo City is where Echo Canyon makes into Weber River. Mr. Jenks, formerly of Colorado, has rented the only hotel in the place, and is feeding a hundred mouths at a dollar a meal. The main street is lined with the cloth houses, already, among them the first dance house ever opened in Utah. I arrived there at night, and left before morning, so couldn't see much of it, even if there was much to see. Mr. Sam. B. Reed, Superintendent of construction, has his office here, and at the mouth of Weber Canyon. In 1864 he fixed the first stake of the Union Pacific on the Pacific slope. He is a most efficient man, engaged for years with Thomas and Chas. Durant at railroad building before they began this great work.

Echo Canyon is twenty miles long, running generally westward, making into Weber River, which comes down from the southeast, bends westward below Echo, and finally canyons through the divide between it and the Basin and empties into Salt Lake. From Echo the railroad follows it down as far as Ogden. But the coaches for Salt Lake turn tail and go up it twelve miles, there turning to the right and following up Silver Creek Canyon as far again, they cross the last ridge of the Wasatch at an altitude of about 7,500 feet, and follow down Parley's Canyon to the valley. Echo City will be their point of intersection with the railroad till the latter reaches Ogden, 60 to 90 days hence. Weber River itself has considerable Mormon settlements, both above and below Echo, and the railroad work below is very heavy. Five miles above, at the mouth of Chalk Creek, is Coalville, the depot of the Weber coal mines, long worked for the Salt Lake market. Twelve miles above is Wanship, county seat of Summit county, a town of 100 to 200 houses, small and shabby in appearance. At the head of Silver Creek, Wm. Kimball, a son of Heber, deceased last fall. keeps hotel, a Mormon with three women and eighteen children, one woman living in this city, one at the hotel, and one just across the road in a log house. There were two hired girls in the hotel. Mr. Kimball is a large burly fellow, his countenance indicating a good living; his woman -- a glimpse of whom I caught -- pale and delicate-looking, the children rosy and plump as could be. Sitting in the bar room I heard a Mormon toast given, to wit: "Here's luck to the ugliest," which I thought appropriate, and overheard one speak of a mutual friend, whose "first woman was dying," which sounded strangely, but was also fit and proper.

Thus I have given you some of my impressions of the railroad and its towns. I didn't see Durant, or I might be able to tell you something about the Denver Pacific. I have no idea the track of that road will be laid before the Union and Central are finished, which will doubtless be within 100 days; and I see not how they can then longer delay it, as the repairs and finishing up along from Bryan to Wasatch can not require the services of Casement's tracklayers. The Denver Pacific, or any possible road in Colorado, looks like small potatoes after traveling over the Union Pacific. That great company can build anything it pleases in your country, and scarce feel it. You will have the rails to Denver before next august, I believe, and also that it will be the best hundred miles of road connected with the line between Omaha and Washoe. Your country looks better and better to me the further I get from it. Utah is the Switzerland of America, a South Park with 3,000 less elevation, with tillable land, fine climate, lakes, rivers, the inclosing walls less grand, being scarce half as high, the inland ridges fine mountain ranges in themselves; but it is Mormon, and will be, and it is as far again from anywhere as Colorado is. I will give you something about Salt Lake in my next.
O. J. H.            

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, January 26, 1869.                                        No. 115.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, Jan. 18. -- The view of Salt Lake Valley from the mouth of Parley's Canyon, through which passes the overland stage route, is the finest I ever saw, like some view of South Park, only vastly more so. Looking toward the Northwest, the Mormon city, laid up as if inviting the kiss of the setting winter sun on the southwestern slope of a spur of the Wasatch, faces you seven miles distant, the most noticeable object being the huge arched roof of the Tabernacle, suggesting the mosque, the emblem of Mohammedanism, which Mormonism is not unlike. It is on the spot, they say, where Brigham saw an angel sifted from cloud and fire when he first entered the valley. He proceeded thither and laid out the town, dedicating Tabernacle or Temple square to the Lord. Over and beyond the city mountain islands ruffle the clouds with their blue crests, their feet forever bathed by the waters of the Dead Sea, or Salt Lake, which is seen a blue band drawn along their base. The vista between them is closed by other and further mountains and islands. In the far north the Promontory range divides the waters, finally sloping smoothly down to their level. Directly west and from the southern end of the lake rise the Oquirrh Mountains, bearing southward, lofty in height, wrinkled and scarred by the storms of ages, covered with spotless snow and partially veiled by the clouds. All through the Wasatch Mountains storm and sun and cloud mingle and play and contend in the strangest manner. There is never storm through which the sun isn't looking. Further south the clouds hang heavier and lower and the Oquirrh decline in altitude, mountains meeting at last the snowy spurs of the Wasatch, thrown out like an army in echolen. The Wasatch Range behind and on our right, rises into the clouds, white with new snow, the impersonation of winter. Shivering, you turn from it, letting your eyes rest on the peaceful valley, threaded by the river Jordan and dotted with the habitations of a strange peopIe, spread out like an unrolled map at your feet. It may be more beautiful in summer but can scarce be more grand and solemn.

Salt Lake Valley, including the lake, is thirty miles wide by a hundred long, and is one of several similar valleys, which constitute Utah. In general terms it is the South Pass, on an enlarged scale, with an inland sea laving the foundations of mountain Islands, and originally of mountain shores, with navigable rivers pouring into, but none out of it. Its undulatious mountain ranges, its enclosure and area three thousand feet lower in altitude, giving it a habitable climate. Strung on the same isothermal string as Denver and Santa Fe, all kinds of fruit common to the temperate zone are grown to perfection, the peach crop having failed but once in fifteen years. When first settled there was never rain between April and November, but within the last few years the fall of moisture has steadily increased, so that irrigation of crops is at last all but discontinued. This may account for the filling up of Salt Lake, six feet in four years, as indicated by the surveys, stakes &c., of the Pacific Railroad engineers. Ten miles from its mouth, the River Jordan, which rises in Lake Utah forty miles south and flows into Salt Lake, is about fifty yards wide and ten feet deep, with very little current, with no banks, having to be dyked in places, in others spreading out into considerable bayous. What should make the Basin fill with water is not so much a mystery as why it hasn't filled before. The fact [of] mountains all round, the islands and the inland ranges, bear unimpeachable evidence of the lake having been at least two hundred feet higher than now. The [fact] of the water being salty, indicating a long process of evaporation, precludes the possibility of an underground outlet, communicating with the Pacific. How then was it drained? Either by the bottom of the bowl being lifted up, pouring the water over the rim through Egan Canyon, or river bed, or some such passage, into the western desert, which drank it up, and then again subsiding, or by a change in climate from wet to dry lasting through a number of years, perhaps ages. Thus in the moist age the Basin was filled with water, which was evaporated by the sun during the dry, or present age. But the change should have been one of those which mark a geological era, and the marks on the hills, as of successive beaches, seem of quite recent origin, and there's the difficulty with my theory. Laying theory aside, the fact is indisputable that the seasons are growing moister and the lake is filling up and becoming fresher. Bringing theory to the rescue, it can be but a temporary aberration of Nature, since nothing else in the world that I am aware of indicates a great mineral, geological and climatic change such as would be required to fill the Basin up to the old beach marks with water.

But let us go on into the city, which looks more like a nursery than a city, even in winter. We pass in quick succession a woolen mill, a sugar mill, and the U. S. Jail, and catch sight in the valley below of one of Brigham's farm houses, alive with gables, built of adobes, plastered and penciled. Ahead and well to the right, on much higher ground than the city, lies Camp Douglas, garrisoned by about three hundred troops, commanded by Colonel Lewis, I believe, of the Thirty-Sixth U. S. Infantry, quiet and still, as if, in this strange society, it were yet very sure of itself and fortunes.

We cross and re-cross the Jordan canal, begun many years ago, for irrigation, for use in the transportation of the Temple granite, for various purposes in connection with the city, not yet finished. Here are a score of children, coasting, happy as children always are at play, whether knowing their fathers or not. We enter the suburbs of the city, which is five miles square, the streets wide and crossing each other at right angles east-west and north-and-south, the squares containing ten acres each, divided into eight lots, and the houses and trees are plentier, the latter red as if full of blood. I could imagine the town beautiful with them leaved out and hiding the little, shabby, adobe houses and dilapidated fences -- not otherwise. All the world knows that clear soft water is led down the streets from Church Creek, which escapes from the Wasatch at the head of the city. This is very nice when kept nice; when allowed to have its own sweet will, nothing can be more disagreeable. It has its own way and play in some of the streets, and they are the worse for it. We are passing the Public Square, fenced but wholly unimproved. The Episcopal Rectory is the first neat building we see. Those adobe houses may be plastered and penciled in imitation of granite, or brown stone, or marble, so as to vie with the real article in appearance, but it is seldom attempted here. The Tabernacle, Theater, Court House, and City Hall, a few residences and a half dozen business blocks, some of them built of red sandstone, are the only respectable buildings in town, and none of them can lay claim to beauty. At last we are in the business heart of the place, near Temple Square, where are gathered in small space the stores, banks, hotels, telegraph, stage and post offices, &c.

Temple Square contains the Tabernacle and the granite foundations of the Temple, massive structures both, and is near the base of the spur of Wasatch spoken of above, which rises rapidly from nearly toward the northeast. This is the best part of the city, having a southern and western exposure, and commanding a view not only of the city, but of the lake, the islands, the valley, and surrounding mountains, unsurpassed in beauty by anything I have ever seen. Turn whither you will, the picture is exquisite, even now. What then must it be in summer? Property in this quarter is held at very high figures. The square east of Temple contains Brigham's residence, a shabby pile, the tithing office, Deseret News office, and other church buildings, and perhaps residences of the Prophet's women. The streets number from Temple Square, First, East, West, North, and South Temple, Second, Third, and so on. Those next [to] Temple Square are very wide, one hundred and fifty feet I should think. They are not paved, neither are the side-walks as a rule, a sort of McAdam is made to answer. There is a market building one hundred and eighty feet long, and about half occupied, in Second South Temple, where hucksters are obliged to rent stalls, and expose their meats and truck for sale, opening and closing by the law and the clock. It must be hard on people living out two or three miles. Church Creek is led down First North Temple in a large paved gutter, a fine piece of work. Between Second and Third South Temple, on First East Temple, or Main street, most of the business is done, many of the buildings being set sideways to the street, and resembling old-fashioned, plain, country houses. There are sixty stores, big and little, in this space, and if they do half the business Denver does, I am much mistaken. But of that anon.

I have brought you into the city but not into the novelties of the place, because I haven't had time to study them myself. I was directed to the Townsend House as the best hotel. The house is well enough, but it is not pleasant, the proprietor not being much seen, and the clerk not knowing the A B C of his business, which is good manners. I changed to the Salt Lake House, where I found several old acquaintances, among them McNasser and Atkins, recently of Denver, Nat. Stein, Tom Almy, and others. It is owned by a Mr. Little, and kept by Messrs. Stains & Sirrine, two very agreeable gentlemen, who make the house seem as much like home as a hotel can. All the hotels in the city are owned and kept by Mormons. McNasser is in company with General Conner and a Mr. Reynolds, furnishing ties for the Central Pacific, getting them south of the lake and running them across on a light-draft steamer. The machinery of the boat gave out soon after she was launched, but they expect new machinery from Chicago momentarily. I hear that Mr. Barth arrived to-day, intending to open a boot and shoe store here. The railroad reached Echo City last Friday, and the track is still on wheels.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXII.                                        Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, January 28, 1869.                                        No. 209.

U T A H.

Progress of the Pacific Railroad.

The Descent into the Salt Lake Basin.

The Construction of the Road.

The Coming Trade and its Value.

From Our Special Correspondent.

Salt Lake City, Jan. 13.          
Presuming that anything regarding the Pacific Railroad will be of interest to you, and having just come over it from Denver, or rather Cheyenne, I make no apologies for this communication. And first as being of most immediate interest, regarding its construction. The road is open for public business to Bryan only; for supplying the contractors and construction material it is open to Wasatch, about 965 miles from Omaha. The seven miles next westward from Wasatch, the first of the descent into Salt Lake Basin, are very heavy work. It was let to certain persons some months ago, one of whom remarked to a friend of mine that he had a good thing, since the track couldn't possibly reach him before next August. But the track came up with their work about the first of the year, and Durant proceeded to cover it with men and teams, all but the 800-foot tunnel, which was left in their hands, at first with company men. Later portions of it were let to different persons -- Whitman & Warner, Green & Hill, Reynolds & Dowling, etc., Miller & Patterson, the original contractors, being at work on the tunnel, and Carmichael on the other parts of it for the company. A thousand hands are engaged on it, and it will be finished in sixty days.

All this is not detaining the laying of track, for a zig-zag or switch-back has been made round this piece of work, and thus the head of Echo Canyon reached, down which the track is laid, to-night, to within three or four miles of Echo City, at the mouth of the canyon, where it makes into the Weber. It will be laid to that point, which will thence-forward be the headquarters of construction, in a day or two, certainly by the end of the work. It may seem strange, but track-laying has been obstructed lately, not by snow in the Black Hills or the Wasatch, but by snow in Iowa, detaining there a lot of spikes, to Durant's ineffable chagrin. He should remember that even Napoleon, the greatest of men, was beaten by the elements.

Below Echo City, down Weber River, is twenty-seven miles, on which there are two tunnels, one heavy cut through slate, and five or six bridges. All of this was originally in Brigham Young's contract, but it was to have been done by the first of the year, so that there is no dissatisfaction with the putting on of more men. William Hyndman, working 265 men, is excavating the cut at Slate Point, six and a half miles below Echo City. It is 70 feet deep by 500 long, and cannot be completed in less than forty days. He says Sharp & Young, Mormons, are working 250 men on a heavy side cut in rock one and a half miles long -- two-thirds of it done. It is of the hardest granite. One hundred feet of it are done, and it will be pushed at the rate of five feet a day till completed.

But this will not detain the track, since a temporary track can and will be made round it. A minor tunnel still below, and all other unfinished work in Weber, is in the hands of Mormons, and will not be in the way. From the mouth of Weber to Ogden is ten or fifteen miles, already done. The bridges are from 300 to 400 feet long. the timber on the ground and masonry mostly done for three of them. Every energy of the company is devoted to hurrying them up. The Wasatch Mountains are generally destitute of timber, but at the head of a dry canyon making into the Weber, the walls of which approach so nearly at the bottom that teams cannot pass, but must all go up together, and come down, ditto, they have found a fine body of it. There is iron enough started from Omaha to finish the track to Ogden, and no detention is expected from want of ties, a large number having been got out ten to twenty miles south of the track in the neighborhood of Reed's Summit. The company have weathered their stress for teams and all that, so that by general order their price has been reduced twenty per cent, and all extra time disallowed. Heretofore men owning teams and transportation have been fixing their own terms, making their entire value in six weeks or so. But no more of that now. Durant says the track will be in Ogden in thirty days, Reed says forty, I say sixty. From Ogden to Monument Point, eighty miles, the grade is making fast, and will not be found in the way of track-laying. According to the best information I can get here, the Central Pacific track was twenty-one miles from Humboldt Wells, last evening, that point being 222 miles from Ogden, and their grade will be completed to Monument Point on the 15th inst. They have put under contract and are making the grade, between the latter place and Ogden, side by side with the Union Pacific. They have sufficient iron to lay clear to this city, in San Francisco, with ample rolling stock to bring it forward, two things the want of which had been detaining them lately. They expect to average the laying of the two and a half miles of track from this on to the end, so that the two contending giants have each eighty, perhaps ninety, probably a hundred days yet before them, and will probably meet in the vicinity of Bear River north. The Union Pacific having got beyond the snowy region, so to speak, the chances of detention by the weather, either in the work or bringing up material, are about equal, the Central having the advantage in the former and the Union in the latter.

The coming town, the point of divergence for this city, and probably for Idaho and Montana, will be at or near Ogden. Many are looking for the immediate building of a branch to Puget Sound on the part of the Union, and of a connecting link through the mountains between Salt Lake and Denver on the part of the Central, giving each a through road. But the election of Grant seems likely to put an end for the present to money subsidies in aid of railroads, and no other private organization will attempt either of these enterprises, be very sure, with their own means. Nor does the country yet need them. At all events, they are in the indefinite future, while the trade of Utah, and especially of this city as the head-centre of Utah, is in sight, something palpable and tangible. The railroad town of the Basin must be located primarily with reference to this, and nature has so arranged things that it must be at or near Ogden, at present a mean little place of three thousand or four thousand inhabitants, but having the natural elements of a great town in her manufacturing facilities alone.

As to the construction of the Pacific Railroad, it is not done according to contract from Bryan westward: the grade is low, in some places made of chunks of frozen dirt, which will soften into mush in the spring; the culverts and bridges are all of wood, temporary structures; there are few buildings, tanks, sidings, and I suspect not enough rolling stock; but no one can have any conception of the magnificent proportions of the road as an enterprise, nor of the multitude of obstacles crowding the pathway of the adventurous builders. It is not being built to aggrandize individuals, a corporation, or even a nation, and that nation the United States: it is being built to facilitate and cheapen the trade and intercourse of the world, the object of the builders being glory rather than money. Why, they might have made this part of it for half the money had they taken another year for it. Think of giving railroad graders three dollars a day, and teams such hire as to pay for them in six weeks. The object in rushing has been to get through the snowy Wasatch before the winter shout set in, in earnest, and detain them and the expectant world four or five months. They think they have succeeded; I hope so. The best guarantee that the road will be finished up as a first-class road, according to contract, is what the company is doing now -- moving heaven and earth to water their iron horse in the Pacific, and bring through our country the trade between the Occident and Orient. That trade, in the ruder ages of the world, scattered opulent cities all over the Persian Empire, made Tyre, Jerusalem, Carthage, Rome, Alexandria, Venice, Amsterdam, &c. Since the discovery of America and the Pacific Ocean, it has been done by and through London, making her the head-centre of the world's commerce, increasing, meanwhile, from a trifling amount to half a million tons per annum. Once the world clustered round the Mediterranean. For the last three hundred years the Atlantic has been its centre of activity; henceforth the Pacific is to be its inland sea. The proportions of its business are well represented by the three seas named. At least a fair proportion of this immense traffic, all that in articles of light weight and great value, is bound to pass over the Pacific Road. It reduces the time from London to the East almost as a week to a month.

Let them open a way for ships between the Indian and Mediterranean Seas, let them span Asia and Europe with railroads, our route is still eleven days quicker than all, which insures us the bulk of travel at least. Say we get 100,000 tons of way freight, which is not a large estimate, and that we get 50,000 tons, about one-third of the Eastern trade, through freights, and that it is carried from sea to sea for $100 a ton; leaving out of view passengers, express matter, mails, government transportation, we have as the yearly earnings of the road $25,000,000, or one half its cost. It is to grasp and do this business, and to quickly double it in amount, that Durant and Stanford are devoting their great energies. The country should be proud of them. Durant will soon put the whole line in first-class shape, once his locomotive has met Stanford's. In fact, he is doing it now too fast for his own good, securing every man he can, giving them six dollars, if sure they can earn four, so as to have them at any cost. Putting in masonry, culverts and abutments, and piers and arches, is under contract, and doing from Green River westward. It was done last year from Lodge Pole to Cheyenne, $70,000 worth of masonry in the North Platte Bridge, $100,000 worth in the railroad buildings at Laramie, 3,000 yards in the crossings of Bitter Creek, since November, and so all along the line. It is in a fearful, frightful desert, and work is done at a great disadvantage. In all that devilish country between Cheyenne and this Basin, 7,000 feet above the sea, the sporting place of death, an eternal night, which the birds refuse to fly over, whose waters kill man and beast, and the iron horse itself; where nothing grows but sage brush, where the winds whistle and shriek like the ghosts of the damned, there is fun neither in building nor operating railroads. The water won't make steam, it froths and foams and makes a kind of spume which eats out the boilers and eats up wherever it touches the engines. Only the streams, which are a hundred miles apart, furnish good water. I protest, in the name of the Rocky Mountains, against this desert being taken as a sample of the great interior.

It abounds in a brown coal about half way between seasoned hard-wood and bituminous coal in calorific power, and that is its only virtue. But, without doubt, the ranges of mountains one occasionally catches a glimpse of from the car windows, are veined with gold and silver, covered with timber, and furnish the finest grazing and arable lands in their parks and valleys, and on their slopes. And here in Utah is the Switzerland of America, of which I may, perhaps, have something to tell you in the future.
O. J. H.              

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, February 1, 1869.                                        No. 120.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, January 22. -- I have been round the eastern and northern shores of the lake, as far west as Promontory City, about a hundred miles from here, along the route of the railroad, or rather railroads. It is easy enough from the mouth of Weber to the base of Promontory Range, some fifty miles. To get over said range, which is some 687 feet higher than the valley, a magnificent "meat-hook" is described, obtaining an 80-foot grade on the east and a 50-foot on the west. At the western base, and on account of springs, which are scarce in this region, commanding a fine view of the lake, is Promontory City, counting fifty or sixty tents, all pitched within two months. It isn't different from other railroad camps, and is filled with men who have not been without "a place to go to" each spring for a dozen years; some of them having been the first at Washoe, at Reese River, Pahranagat, Humboldt, Pike's Peak, Sweetwater, and Cimarron; and who are happier than ever in the contemplation of White Pine. Major Bent, who is grading fifty miles along there for the U. P., working a thousand men and expecting to get through in two months, has his headquarters there, and a plesant place I found it -- ladies keeping tent for him and champagne at dinner, bales of blankets for bedding, plenty of supplies (grain 12 cts. a pound) for men and teams, force well organized, several pleasant gentlemen around him, and a most generous welcome and hospitable entertainment for his friends. Guy M. Barton, formerly of Woolworth & Barton, is his right power, and strange as it may seem, has his wife with him, a bedstead for his mattress, tent walls lined with blankets and carpeted with raw hides, hair up. G. W. Howard, formerly of Howard & Akers, freighters, is there too, building railroad. You ought to see them plowing the frozen ground with eight 15-hand mules. Something has got to come, sure. Looking at the broken plows, the hauling of water for men and teams, five to fifteen miles, observing the difficulty of getting supplies, and feeling the frost, you would say it is impossible, this railroad building must stop for the winter. But you haven't calculated the indomitable spirit of these intensely western men, with Durant added. I daren't make any calculations ahead or on ordinary principles, for both these forces are incalculable, not reducible to figures or given quantities. I should think the finishing of the grade -- the seven miles next west of Wasatch, that in Weber Canyon, and that here, on the Promontory -- would require two or three months longer. That between these points is easy, and is mostly done now. At all events, it won't be in the way of track laying.

I said I had been along the routes of the railroads. Durant means to get to Monument Point first, and the chances are that he will. Governor Stanford, President of the C. P., tells me that the end of his track is nearly at Humboldt Wells, and that what I stated in a former letter about that road is substantially correct. From Monument to Ogden, the two roads run side by side, sometimes crossing each other, the grading of both is under contract and being done, and the Central road will be built to Ogden anyhow, calculating on drawing the Government subsidy as far as that point, on the ground that the U. P. has not made a completed road. According to the report of Secretary Browning's special commission, from Omaha 899 miles westward on the U. P., there are 944 bridges and culverts, of which only 250 are permanent, the rest acknowledged to be temporary structures. Besides many curves have to be straightened, and the engine houses and machine shops and rolling stock largely increased, before the law authorizing the road will have been complied with.

So much for the past and present. For the future, the U. P. are looking to Puget's Sound for an independent outlet on the Pacific, and there is a big object in it -- the way business of Idaho and Oregon, the capture of the overland trade and travel from Eastern Asia, Japan, Australia, and the East Indies to America and Europe, and the building somewhere on Puget's Sound of a great city, a rival of San Francisco. The proposed route leaves the main road near Monument Point, at the head of Salt Lake, and proceeds by easy grades through a wide valley, an excellent pastoral country, over a low pass in the Raft River Mountains, down Raft River to the Snake, thence without obstruction along the Snake and Columbia, through the Cascade, the only mountains on the route, to some point on Puget's Sound, avoiding the heavy grades and deep snows of the Sierra Nevadas. The trade winds and currents of the Pacific set directly into the entrance of Puget's Sound, and vessels now make shore there, thence proceeding down the coast to San Francisco. It is claimed that while they are doing this, their cargoes might be carried by rail to New York, disposed of, and return made by telegraph. Colonel Hudnutt, who has been surveying through there for the U. P., said to the Idaho Legislature on December 26, ultimo, that he was confident the company would build the road, whether they got any assistance from the Government or not. The opinion is as free to you as to me. If their road should be accepted to Monument Point, it would be 1,118 miles long. The would have borrowed of the Government and on their own credit, (their bonds at 92,) $56,617,680. The first 700 miles of their road cost about $35,000 a mile, the other 400 miles can not have cost less, I think, than $60,000; if I am right, making the average cost $45,000, aggregating $50,000,000, leaving them winner by six and a half millions. Their lands, 14,080,000 acres, at $2.50 an acre, would be worth $35,200,000. At twenty-five cents an acre, which is above their present value, they are worth about $4,000,000, leaving the company $10,000,000 in pocket at least, with their road done. At all events, they are a powerful organization, and we have seen enough of Durant to know that slight obstacles don't stop him. I infer they will keep trying till they build the road, somehow.

In like manner, and curiously enough, on a similar pretext, the C. P. is casting about to get through south and east from here, and form a connection with the Smoky Hill. They hold that the U. P. is liable to be obstructed by snow three months of the year, and that the Pacific Coast can not afford to have its communication with the Atlantic thus impeded. If the same objection is brought to their route across the Sierra Nevada, they reply that their snow extends only thirty-five miles, two-thirds of which is already covered by sheds, the rest soon to be; that the Sierra Madre is like the Sierra Nevada in this respect, which is true; whereas the U. P. is liable to need shedding, off and on, for five hundred miles, a distance so great as to render the difficulty insurmountable by shedding or anything else. It is perhaps four hundred and fifty miles from Ogden to Denver, where they would connect with the Smoky, more than one-fourth of which distance would be in Salt Lake Valley, already teeming with an industrious agricultural population, another fourth in the Uintah and White River Valleys, naturally better [every way] than this valley, and still another in the heart of the Colorado mines. Local business invites the building of the road. The route would not only pass through a succession of fine valleys, but among ranges full of gold and silver lodes, over deposits of coal, and oil, and salt, and on the western slope of the Sierra Madre, it would strike the finest body of timber anywhere in the latitude. They claim to have husbanded the money already drawn from the Government so well as to be able to build through on their own resources, and they express their determination to do it, subsidy or not. The Mormons have the labor, and would grade, tie, and bridge two hundred miles of the road as an inducement. A branch would seek its way through continuous settlements, from where the road finally left this valley, probably at Provo, to the head of navigation on the Colorado River. This would furnish an outlet to the Pacific, which would avoid the steep grades and heavy snows of the Sierra Nevada. But that apart. Surveyors will commence the exploration of the country south and east of here early in the spring, and the dream of Colorado this ten years may yet prove a reality.

Concerning the railroad towns in this valley, it is badly mixed. It depends something on where the U. P. & C. P. meet; or rather, on the success of the C. P. in getting its road accepted at Ogden as the Pacific Railroad. As being good policy, every way considered, I believe the C. P., if it should get its road accepted to Ogden, would not lend its influence to the building of another town in the valley, and that might settle the matter as against there being any large Gentile town. Because Ogden would be the end of the two roads, where their shops would be located. Ogden is a Mormon town, and they lack neither the will nor the power to keep the Gentiles out. They propose to be employed by the railroad companies, too, and of course the companies will find it to their interest to employ them. Ogden is forty miles north of this city, and seven-eighths of the Mormon settlements are south of that point. If the Central builds to Ogden, and its road is approved, it will come on to this place, and perhaps go further; it intends to, and that would make Ogden in turn a way station, leaving this city the metropolis of the valley, as it is well fitted to be. Of course it could not prevent a town springing up at the crossing of Bear River, twenty miles north of Ogden, the nearest point to Cache and Bear Lake vallies, having a Mormon population of 10,000 to 15,000 now, the nearest point to Montana, one-half of whose trade at least it might count on doing. Bear River Valley is ten miles wide by thirty long -- fine land, only bring the river out on it, and unoccupied by the Mormons, surveyed twelve years ago, but monuments mostly gone, open to settlement and pre-emption, of course, the land office here being about to commence business too. I don't think the Mormons will go to this point, being all-absorbed by Ogden, and if they did, the Gentiles would beat them.

If the U. P. gets its road accepted to Monument Point, it will make a town here (on Bear River) I think. Durant is not opposed to the Mormons, nor is he putting himself out much to win their particular good will, that isn't in his way. Neither is he paying much attention, really, to town making. He may lay off and try to sell two or three in the valley, but that is about played out. It failed at Evanston completely. And in this case nature has fixed it. If his road crosses Bear River, and is accepted, as I am inclined to think it will be, because he is in the habit of winning, at the crossing will be the "coming town," and no one need look further for it. It will never get much of the Mormon trade, however. It is twenty miles further from their Jerusalem than Ogden. But it will have the northern travel, a goodly portion of the Montana trade, the influence of the railroad, and agricultural country enough round it to give it an independent basis, finally, at all events. The point where the Puget Sound road will branch off is at least sixty miles west of Bear River crossing, the country being useful only for grazing. I almost forgot to mention the Malad Valley, which makes into Bear River about five miles above the crossing, and which is partially settled by Mormons. There is much good, unoccupied land in it yet, however. So now you know all I do about the towns and the railroads, and let me tell you, whether it is worth anything or not, it cost me a good deal of trouble to find it out. Something of Mormonism in my next.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Wednesday, February 3, 1869.                                        No. 122.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, January 24. -- It having got out that the watchword of Grant's administration is to be ECONOMY, the press of the country is crying in full pack, No more railroad subsidies! The fight in Congress has commenced on your poor little railroad bill, which asks the Government to loan its credit to the Smoky to the enormous amount of a million dollars. Economy is a good thing, but what is economy in respect of these great overland railroads? It is the prevailing impression that the Government has donated untold millions of acres of land and fifty millions in money in aid of the Central Pacific Railroad. It has granted the land, but in so doing has doubled the price of an equal amount of its own and brought it into market. It has not donated but loaned fifty million dollars for thirty years at six per cent. per annum in gold, taking ample security in the service of the road, by reserving a certain percentage of the net revenues, and by a second mortgage on the road itself. When the work was but half completed it was saving the Government more than the interest on the sum loaned, and had demonstrated its ability to pay the annual interest promptly and liquidate the principal before it should fall due.

Instead of seeking to plunder the public treasury the Pacific railroad builders, whether on the northern, southern, or central routes, which are all needed, are simply asking the privilege of opening the public domain to settlement, making the vast mineral deposites of the Rocky Mountains available, providing for the common defense, enlarging the area of human industry and happiness, creating a great internal trade, binding the East and West together with triple bands of iron, adding millions to the taxable wealth of the country, doubling the value of all property west of the Missouri river, and dispensing with the enormous expense of Indian wars and the maintenance of a military establishment throughout a million square miles of territory. To accomplish all this they ask not the gift of a dollar, only that the Government shall stand to them in the relation of a great banker who advances his paper in their aid on the amplest security. Yet we are deafened by the cry, No more railroad subsidies!

There is another thing they seem to be wild about at Washington, namely the partition of Utah between the adjoining States and Territories, with the view of extirpating Mormonism. That is to say, the General Government having found it too hard a nut to crack, will turn it over to these weak States and Territories! Mormonism is a faith, and people in all ages have been ready and anxious to die for their faith. No faith I am aware of was ever destroyed by killing off its professors; and the day for exterminating a people on account of their faith passed away hundreds of years ago. But, you say, it is not their faith we attack, we merely propose to enforce our laws. Leaving out of view for a moment that your law against polygamy, strikes at the most essential and distinguishing mark of their religion, how are you going to enforce it? The people of Utah are all Mormons, they have occupied and possessed, (nearly) all the arable land and all the water that is available for irrigation; the land was surveyed twelve years ago, a Land Office is about to be opened and they are going to pre-empt the land; there is thus no room for Gentile settlers, and where will you get a grand jury that will prefer an indictment for the infraction of a law hostile to Mormonism? Or a petit jury to convict? Or the physical force to execute the decision of your Courts? Will the Government furnish Colorado and Wyoming each with an army for this purpose? Divide Utah, and they would drop all pretense of a political and cling the more closely to their ecclesiastical organization, as their only protection from demoralization and disintegration.

If I were asked, then, what should be done, I should say nothing, at present. Very intelligent gentlemen who have resided here many years incline to the opinion that nothing can be done at all. They claim to number 170,000; that they have 15,000 militiamen, uniformed, armed, equipped, drilled, and organized thoroughly, and that the railroad will afford them the means of vastly increasing the immigration of converts from Europe. Suppose the Government should send troops here insufficient force to execute the laws, and that the Mormons, regarding it as persecution "for righteousness' sake," as the mass of them would, should glory in becoming martyrs and resist in force? I heard Elder Lyman say this morning in the Tabernacle that the Lord didn't want Utah divided, and therefore it couldn't be done; that the Latter Day Saints were possessed of the Oracle of God; that their safe path was revealed to them as they went along; that now the word was or is, non-intercourse with the Gentiles, to the end that the substance of the people of God be kept in the hands of those who would use it in case of war, in defense of the church. Whatever other people may think, be sure the Mormons regard themselves fanatically, as the chosen and favored people of God, the subjects of both past and present prophesy, directly led by Divine inspiration from day to day. I think they would fight for their religion. Their talk is constantly of it, and "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Every third Mormon is a polygamist, the husband in polygamy of three women, the father of twenty children, on the average, (perhaps). If you kill the husbands and fathers, what will you do with the women and children? And their (the masses') crime being ignorance, would it be right thus to involve the innocent with the guilty in a common destruction?

They are a curious people, sincere and honest in their faith us a rule, neither more nor less moral on the whole than other Christian sects, Man is the same unlucky rascal under all skies and in all ages. They make woman a cypher and man a slave, although the abdication of free thought and free will is demanded by every religion that I know of. The Mormon religion not only demands but obtains it. The head of their church wields the power of the Popes in the palmiest days of the Roman hierarchy. True, there is a kind of ecclesiastical court which for cause may try and depose him, but a most effectual way of disposing of rivals is the sending of rising men on foreign missions, thereby breaking them up completely.

But Brigham Young is an uncommon man, and has had twenty years of isolation in which to make himself a power. To his people he has been a kind and wise father, to the enemies of his church like the thunderbolt which is seen only in the havoc it makes. He is sixty-eight years old, and in the natural course of events must soon be gathered to his fathers. Were there a Mormon living capacitated to reign in his stood, there is no longer the same chance, since Deseret has been opened to the world by the Pacific Railroad, and assassination or murder, for apostasy, for marrying a Mormon's concubine or daughter, for attempting to pre-empt Government land, or for anything whatever, won't do any longer. So that the Mormon church is soon likely to be a body without a head,

It stands to reason, and intelligent Mormons have admitted as much to me, that the Mormon women are dissatisfied with their degraded condition. Mormonism is against human nature, so far as women are concerned, and human nature being of God, cannot be ignored by any human institution on a large scale and for a great length of time. Heretofore there has been no escape for the unsatisfied. The railroad supplies what I said a while ago that the Mormons had occupied nearly all the available land. There is one exception. There is a fine large tract of land on Bear River, between the lake and the Wasatch, unsettled, and making into it the Malad Valley, only partially settled. Where the railroad crosses this stream, is the nearest point to Montana, with which it is connected by a more or less useful country; it is the nearest point also to Cache and Bear Lake valleys, containing a population now of 10,000 to 15,000 souls. The Mormons have left Bear River valley unoccupied because it is a cold place, exposed to the north wind, and because they could more easily turn the water out of the smaller streams for irrigation. The Montana business and travel and the country round will make a smart town there, and I believe it will be left to the Gentiles by the Mormons, who are themselves bent on making Ogden a great railroad town. On Bear River, then, or near there, is a good place to plant a Gentile colony in Salt Lake Valley. The Government might find its interest in giving land in 40 acre lots in that vicinity, to actual settlers. It would form a refuge and support and means of safe escape for apostate Mormons. There the Mormon women, who are to be pitied, would see how the Saxon men treat their women, give them the preference always, make them queens, each man enthroning his own and remaining true to her worship. Be sure a little leaven of this kind would leaven a the whole lump.

Then the Mormons are mostly immigrants from Europe, unlettered. They have had a long and severe struggle with adverse nature. They are getting fixed more comfortably at last, and with the temperance and industry and simplicity of taste which prevail among them, will soon be comparatively wealthy. With riches comes leisure, then culture. They are making strenuous efforts to school their very numerous offspring. As their knowledge increases they will escape from priestly thralldom, from superstition, shake off ecclesiastical tyranny, even if they have to become irreligious, as the rest of the emancipated world has, to do it. I must not forget to add, in enumerating the influences which will tend to destroy Mormonism, the Woman's Rights movement. The apostle of women's rights will have won the suffrage for their sex within a few years, and the railroad will bring them here with this great achievement to give them prestige. Then wouldn't there be a rattling among, these poor religion-cursed women?

Finally, the country has advanced some since 1858. Brigham Young has been an intelligent witness of the civil war in the States. He knows how it resulted. He knows that Grant isn't James Buchanan. He knows that marching an army in these times 1,200 miles through the desert, from Fort Leavenworth, with Colorado, and Wyoming, and Montana, and Idaho, and Nevada, all unsettled, was different from what sending one over the Pacific Railroad from Omaha would be, with the Territories above mentioned full of mines and people, and the fact sufficiently demonstrated that all the rest of the Rocky Mountains are full of mines, which insures that they soon will be with people. In short, world has closed in on Deseret all round. Polygamy is what raises the gorge of all these noble-hearted Western boys, of the civilized world. Though there were philosophical reason against it, it is enough that the Saxon race, which rules America, is a United States race, a race that since it made head against the Caesars has deified woman because she was woman, the only race that loves or approaches to it -- it is enough that this race is prejudiced, if you please, against polygamy. It is all there is of Mormonism that they object to. They don't care whether Joseph was a true prophet or not, whether the Mormons return to Missouri or not, but they will never give them peace in the enslaving and brutalizing of women in the United States. Now, the object of polygamy -- the rapid increase of the Mormon church -- having been measurably accomplished, it is just possible Brigham Young may have a revelation from the God of Joseph Smith restricting the Saints to a limited number of women each, and finally, with St. Paul, to one. The occasion will not be wanting. The Gentiles will encroach on "the Kingdom of God" from every direction. And there will be trouble, Grant has said it would be his policy to make every part of this country free for every man who keeps within the pale of the law, free so far in thought and speech. The people suppose he means what little he says, and will hold him to this at aIl events. He may not be inclined to meddle, but he will be forced to. As I said above, the mass of the Mormons are ignorant and fanatical enough to fight for polygamy, but Brigham is God to them, and he would be very apt, in my opinion, to have a revelation closing up the polygamy business should Grant tell him to.

Any way, I hope no part of the Latter-Day institution will be fastened upon Colorado, The Country is more foreign to Colorado than Rhode Island is, worse separated I mean, in every sense. It would be just as good policy to unite Colorado and Rhode Island as Colorado and a part of Utah. I have written quite at length on the subject, supposing that your readers would expect me, being here, to say something about it.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Saturday, February 6, 1869.                                        No. 125.

From O. J. Hollister.


Salt Lake City, Jan. 26, 1869.

The Government Commissioners havee accepted the U. P. road to the thousandth mile post, which brings it to within about twenty miles of the mouth of Weber Canyon, and to within about forty miles of the first U. P. town in the Basin, which is now being surveyed into lots, and is situate seven or eight miles north of Ogden. General Dodge has no doubt located this town solely with regard to the operating of the road, it being near the end of the heavy grade thence eastward to the head of Echo. The crossing of Bear River, where I think the big railroad town of the Basin will be, is twelve to fifteen miles still further north. I hope the Railroad Company will not, through its influence and patronage against the latter, thus dividing the forces which ought naturally to co-operate in building up a large town in the Salt Lake Basin to become metropolitan, eventually, since it will be about five hundred miles from the head centers of Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Pahranagat. Nature has indicated the crossing of Bear River as the best point in the Basin for such a town, and it is to be hoped the U. P. or the C. P., whichever may get its road accepted along there, will not attempt to contend with Nature in the matter.


The new town and times expected in this valley and White Pine, about equally divide that attention of the floating public. There is no doubt the Eberhardt is the richest deposit of silver ore ever found in the world. It is well authenticated that it produced with a 10-stamp mill $700,000 during the first four months it was worked. And yet it is without casings or any of the evidences of permanence so eagerly sought for by the experienced miner. Other deposits in its neighborhood are not so badly off in this respect, however. As exploitation proceeds, no doubt the whole deposit of ore, as it has been called, will develop into well-defined lodes or ledges. About twenty ledges have been located and tested, the average yield $500 a ton, cost of mining slight of reduction $15 a ton with one's own mill, $50 when hired done. But for the whole western world to go to White Pine, as it means to in the spring, would be a great mistake, nevertheless. All the valuable ground, and a great deal that is worthless, is already located, much of it three or four times over, and the whole outside country, timber, water, ranches, everything, gobbled up, and held as a bait to string the spring run of suckers with. Business of all kinds, if not already, will soon be overdone. What is the use, gentlemen? The heaviest men of the Pacific slope are operating there, investing their money by the hundred thousand. It is too deep water for little fish. People are going from here, now, occasionally, but there is no rush yet. You can go by coach for about $120 currency, by wagon for half as much. Freight is fifteen cents a pound, board $15 to $20 a week, exclusive of lodgings, which one must furnish himself. Greenbacks are worth seventy-four cents only anywhere west of this longitude. Owing to the exposure and hardships this winter being little more severe than elsewhere in the same latitude, colds run into pneumonia, small pox is prevalent too, and the rate of mortality extraordinary. This is about the substance of what I can gather from those coming from White Pine, and from accounts in western papers.


I do not propose to waste much time on Mormon theology, doctrine and worship. The world is full of fools, lunatics, and fanatics, the peculiar method of whose madness is of little general interest. Suffice it that whatever of good there may be in their system, its great distinguishing feature outrages my feelings beyond all endurance. Of course it is antagonistic to human nature, but they get round that by taking the ground, common, I believe, to all religious sects, that human nature is all wrong. Whether it is or not, it has thus far in the history of the race been strong enough to assert itself, to outlive and beat at last every institution that leaves it out of the account. All it needs is the opportunity of asserting itself. That will come here, by degrees, with the Pacific Railroad, and in due time we shall doubtless see the last of polygamy in the United States. Whether Mormonism, as a faith, will survive the suppression of polygamy in practice, I have no idea, nor is it of any consequence, as I look at it. One religion is about the same as another, provided it is believed in sincerity and simplicitly, inculcates temperance, industry, honesty, and charity, and is lived as nearly as human creatures can, in their common weakness and frailty. But your readers would perhaps like to spend one Sunday in the Mecca of Mormonism, and by your leave they shall.

It is a very quiet day, the Mormons scrupulously observing the Sabbath, to keep it holy. There is a building in each of the twenty wards of the city, answering for worship, for school purposes, town business, and all social festivities. Each ward has its Bishop and other ecclesiastical officers, the Bishop presiding at all religious meetings; there is sacred music not unlike that of other Christian sects. Sunday schools ditto, since the era of McLeod, praying and partaking of the sacrament and preaching, the latter taking the widest possible range, done by Elders, Bishops, Apostles, Priests, or Brethren, as is most convenient, extempore and without previous notice, averaging from fair to middling.

Besides the ward meetings there is preaching in the Tabernacle, morning and evening. The Old Tabernacle is ten or twelve rods long, low and plain outside and in, as a country school house, an organ in one end, platform and pulpit in the other. It seats more than could get into Cooper Institute, the ladies occupying the centre, the gentlemen the outer tier of pews. The New Tabernacle, which may be described as an immense roof, in shape precisely like a turtle shell, resting on brick pillars twelve or fifteen feet high, covering an area of more than 21,000 square feet, said to be the largest building in America, capable of seating 15,000 persons, in which is just finishing an organ one-seventh larger than the Great Boston Organ, stands near by, but is not used in winter, wood being $20 a cord and coal $40 a ton. The Old Tabernacle could be put inside the New, and leave room for a large congregation round it still.

We enter about 10 o'clock, glance at the plainness of the house and then regard the people who straggle in for an hour. Gentiles may be known by an involuntary movement to remove their hats on entering. The buz of conversation fills the room and it seems like a vast social exchange. They look like Europeans, which they mostly are, and even Chicago is not old enough to show so many bald heads and gray beards for the number, in a promiscuous assemblage. Only a very few girlish faces in the throng. No one is dressed, in any sense of the word. The gentlemen wear the inevitable woolen shirt, home-spun, pantaloons tucked inside of big boots; the ladies' dresses and shawls are various, but all of the cheapest stuff, few bonnets or hats, many hoods, scarce a set of furs to be seen.

At 11 o'clock, the room being perhaps one-third filled, a Brother rises in the pulpit, and calling for the attention of the congregation, asks the choir to sing. The organ strikes up, the choir, counting seventeen voices, joins in, the whole sounding well in the distance. Gentlemen remove their hats. A Brother enters the pulpit and prays. Acknowledging the employment of many blessings, he asks for their continuance. He implores the Divine benediction on President Young, his Counselors, the Twelve, the Priesthood, "and Thy people, whether in these mountains or abroad in the earth. May the Kingdom of God be prospered, and the righteousness that shall go forth from it be its defense against such as seek its destruction." Finally, that the world at large might be converted to the Truth as revealed to, by, and through the Latter Day Saints. Another hymn by the choir, and a Brother was called up from the congregation to preach. I could not detect the heartbroken air attributed by so many visitors to the Mormon women. On the contrary, they and the men as well, appeared to be sincerely devout. The only disagreeable look they had to me was one of excessive self-satisfaction, as if they knew just enough to be dead sure they knew it all.

The substance of the discourse was that the Mormons are a peculiar people of God, led from day to day by Divine revelation. The word, said he, that turned aside the United States army in 1858 and brought the church out of trouble, was nowhere written, it was given at the time. Now, the word was non-intercourse with the Gentiles, not to trade with them nor admit them to our homes, to the end that the means and the substance of the church might be kept in the hands of those who would use it in defense of the church in case of war. This was the most important day the church had yet seen. United it would become a terror to the world. All efforts to divide and scatter it had bit increased its strength. The effort to divide it now would fail, because the Lord wanted it united, because the Lord had given these valleys and these mountains to His people. In obedience to His word, given through his servants (Brigham Young and his counselors) was their only safety. And so on. This was said over and over through the space of half an hour, then another hymn, when the congregation rose, and receiving a blessing standing, was dismissed for one hour. This is the only hour the post office is open on the Sabbath.

Returning at one o'clock, prayer was just over and the Deacons were preparing the sacrament, which is administered every Sunday. The house was packed, lending the impressiveness of numbers to the occasion. There were more young and well though plainly dressed people. The choir had swelled to forty voices. The sermon, by Elder Orson Pratt, one of the Twelve, and a man of considerable ability, was forcibly reasoned and delivered. I catched it as it fell from his lips, but must confine myself to the merest skeleton.

He argued that God revealed His will immediately to His people in these days the same as of old, sending angels and spirits to minister to them that should be heirs of salvation. That He did so reveal Himself to Joseph Smith and others, and that the Book of Mormon was genuine, as tens of thousands of living souls could testify. He claimed that the preaching and baptizing of the Mormon missionaries were followed by all the phenomena which attended the preaching of the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. That by the laying on of hands they did impart the Holy Ghost, the proof of which was the same as of old, seeing visions, discerning spirits, prophesying, speaking in tongues, working of miracles, and so on. What other christian sect could exhibit such proofs of Divine commission to preach the Gospel? They were cut off from the favor of God because they held that the canon of revelation was full, and scouted the idea of the ministration of angels and spirits. He claimed the Mormons as the people of whom Isaiah prophesied they should be gathered from all the ends of the earth into one place; that this country was that wilderness and solitary place which should blossom abundantly; that the Pacific railroad was what Isaiah alluded to in the following: "And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it, but the Redeemed will walk there." "In our return to Missouri," said Elder Orson, "we believe as firmly as in any part of our religion. We shall return and build up Zion on that spot dedicated to the Lord by our Great Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith. We believe it because God has revealed it in the Old Testament, and again in these latter days. And the time will come when the Latter Day Saints will flourish in Missouri and Eastern Kansas, and become a great people on the face of all that land."

This gives a poor idea of the discourse, or the effect of it on a congregation which drank in every word of it at every pore, and were generally not aware of the eclectic proclivities of the preacher in his use of Scripture. But my space is more than full, and I must quit.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Wednesday, February 24, 1869.                                        No. 89.


Brigham City, Feb. 21, 1869.          
Some of the squatters in the vicinity of the Bear river railroad crossing think that your head Quill rather slighted them in their making so short a visit in their neighborhood. To a disinterested eye that country offers more facilities for building up a metropolitan town in the Great Basin than any other. Already sharp-sighted men are locating on the even sections of land near there, although it occurs to me that they are a little fast, seeing that all lands within twenty-five miles of the track on either side are withdrawn from market in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior by the provisions of the Pacific Railroad Act. Nevertheless, those who go on them in good faith and live there will doubtless get them, because they will be on the ground and have the prior right when the lands shall be again thrown open to settlers. The Booths, father and two sons, settled there now nearly two years, have valid claims, even as against the railroads, or either of them, but I think it doubtful if others have. At all events, such as would not be overborne by the right of the railroad company, under the charter, to take such lands as they need along their route for depot and other building purposes.

It is supposed, though, here, that the powers of the special commission, to which two members have been added since Gen. Warren and Mr. Blinkensderfer went west, and which is expected in this neighborhood soon, are considerable, and that its recommendations will have more or less weight in fixing the place where the two roads shall meet. For myself, I don't take much stock in this idea, because Durant has come to be almighty in respect of the Pacific railroad. Like Caesar, he comes and sees and conquers. I suspect that the Union Pacific will be accepted just as far west as Durant can get his engines over the track before they meet Stanford's. As to the talk about his road being botched up in places this side of Bryan, while it is going on, he will see that it is mended. Things are getting so now that force enough can be spared from construction to build the road over where and as fast as it may require it. By the time spring is fairly opened the Union Pacific will be as nearly a first-class road in all respects as reason would demand, perhaps quite as near, all things considered, as the Central Pacific

But while this is the case, and the probability of the Union Pacific being accepted, as far as Monument Point, as the Pacific railroad by the Government amounts almost to a certainty, there can be no harm in putting in a word or two in favor of Bear river crossing as the site of the great Gentile town of the valley. Firstly, then it is the nearest point on the line of the railroad to Montana, whose trade alone in its veriest infancy, would support a respectable town. In 1867 sixty steamers, carrying probably 1000 tons each, were dispatched from St. Louis to Montana via the Missouri river. The rates of insurance were nearly five (4.8) per cent. The navigation is very difficult and dangerous, as high as ten boats engaged in it having been lost in one season, cargoes and boats, a total loss. The last two or three years have been very favorable, yet boats could only reach Fort Benton, between the middle of April and July inclusive. A man building a quartz mill pays five time as much for a keg of nails the first of April as he does the first of May. Provided, as the statutes say, that navigation has opened meanwhile. A Montana merchant must get in his year's supplies in the spring, consequently only turn his money once a year. Which won't do at all, with a better way possible. So that the bulk of Montana freights will be carried by the Union Pacific Railroad and transferred to wagons somewhere in this valley, probably at the nearest point to Montana, until the Northern Pacific Railroad is built, for which I believe a charter has not yet been granted, has it? And if not the bulk of Montana freights, still at least one-half of them, the piecing out of stocks, &c., amounting perhaps to 25,000 tons a year. I haven't room to expatiate on this point fully. Secondly, it is the nearest point to the northeastern settlements of Utah, counting now some 15,000 souls, and to go back an inch, it is connected with Montana by a more or less useful country, through which the overland coaches have always chosen to run, grazing and arable lands, minerals, salt, copper, gold, silver, &c. Thirdly, although I can't speak from the card on this point, it is probably as good a place for the divergence of the Oregon and Puget Sound branch of the Union Pacific, as any other, securing the Idaho trade as soon as it is built. It is twenty-five to forty feet above the level of Salt Lake, is at the foot of the grade running westward, and it is as pretty a plat of ground in itself as there is on top of earth. Fourthly, in Bear River Valley there are at least 400 square miles of the prettiest land. -- O, it does a farmer boy's eyes good to ride over it! We were all brought up on farms of course, and have an eye for beauty and richness in that respect. These lands are mostly unoccupied. An acre planted in peach trees produces year after year, 800 bushels of choice fruit. Sixty bushels of wheat, without irrigation, has been averaged through a field of twenty-five acres. With deep plowing, wheat can be raised as above, four seasons out of five, without watering. If irrigation must be resorted to, there are the rapids in the river, fifteen or twenty miles above, from which an acquia can be cheaply excavated on both sides, watering all the land within sight, and a man can be seen on the valley five miles, the same having a fall of five to ten feet per mile, eastward and southward both. Fifthly, it is the only pure water, in any abundance, between the Wasatch and Humboldt mountains. The river, as high as the crossing, is on an average fifteen feet deep and two hundred feet wide, navigable for boats of light draught thence to Jordan bridge, within a mile of the temple in Salt Lake City. A man steps off the cars at Bear river on the steamer, makes a tour of Salt Lake and is landed in the Jerusalem of the Mormons. The trip overland has novelty enough without counting the strange people fixed in the Switzerland of America and their Dead Sea with its mystery and its mountain islands. All round it and at the base of latter bubble forth, in no inconsiderable volume, thermal springs, hot and cold, sulphur, soda, iron, salt, and I know not what other properties. Taking the magnificence of the scenery, the salubrity of the summer climate, and the medicinal properties of these springs, no doubt very valuable in many diseases, specially cutaneous, together with the Asiatic religious and social notions of the people belonging and appertaining, and Utah must be the great watering place of the world, and that at no distant day. To indulge in a little highfalutin, it is about a half a thousand miles from the head centres of Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Pahranagat. It is about equi-distant from Melbourne, Yeddo, Yokohama, Calcutta, Petersburg, Paris, London, &c. In view of the mingling of the European and Asiatic civilizations already commenced, and which seems to go on spite of all distaste on our part, why should not the world's exchange, seeing its travel is bound to be via this railroad, eleven days shorter than any other possible route, be located in this valley? And the streets of this prospective town one day swarm with all nations, races and peoples of the earth, to an extent exceeding that even of Broadway? That aside, there is no reason why a town at the point indicated should not be a first-class success. The eye of the country is upon it. It is to be hoped specially from a public and disinterested standpoint, that the Union Pacific Railroad company will take this view of it. They can certainly sell more lots, if that be their object, that way, than any other. It would join their force with the popular energies guided by unfailing instinct and a town would be the result, among whose trophies might be the successful and peaceful solution of the Mormon problem. With everything concentrated on one point, the popular energies, the influence and business of the railroad, the weight of the Government, a good town may be built. With these forces divided between three or four different points, a stupendous failure, a nothing, will be the result.

Note: On February 15th and 16th, Reporter editor J. H. Beadle walked from Ogden to Brigham City, spending some time at "Hot Springs," along the way. In a letter dated "Brigham City, U. T., Feb. 17, '69, Beadle commented briefly on a new town being built "where the railroad line crosses Bear River, and is called Stanford." The next day he paid a quick visit to the place and found that its residents wanted to rename it "Connor," in honor of General P. E. Conner. -- Although Mr. Beadle then seemed little aware of its probable future significance, this site would soon become the Gentile town of Corinne. O. J. Hollister (writing under the pen name of "Observer") seemed displeased at the shortness of Beadle's visit to the area -- but Hollister himself was no more than a transient at Brigham City, anticipating in advance the value of Corinne as a potential railroad hub. -- For the remainder of this issue's Mormon-related articles, see the on-line Reporter clippings.

Vol. II.                                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, March 4, 1869.                                        No. 96.


Brigham City, Feb. 28, 1869.           
Sibce my last the tracks of the railroads have approached a few miles yet nearer the inevitable -- meeting; and still the grading of both goes on through this valley, side by side. Somebody is bound to lose money, but it certainly won't be the people along the route. To-night, I suppose, will see the U. P. track fairly emerge from Weber canyon into the valley of Salt Lake, since at nightfall of the 26th it was precisely three and a quarter miles from the mouth of the canyon, and last night it was at the Devil's gate and the bridge ready for the rails. According to the best information I can get, the C. P. track is now thirty-six miles this side the Wells. This leaves them two hundred miles apart, and nearly equi-distant from Locomotive springs, in the neighborhood of which they will probably meet, unless the snow blockade in the mountains shall detain one road more than it does the other. Meanwhile the graduation [sic - gradation?] goes steadily on. It is now finished as far as Willard City, and any quantity of men going on to the crossing of Bear river, the salt marshes beyond, and the eastern slope of the Promontory, where most of the hard work is, which remains to be done. The C. P. also has a large force on this "debatable ground," chiefly west of here. In future, nothing is likely to dfetain the track-laying but possible inability to bring the iron forward. With plenty of that on the ground, the binding of the continent with iron bands might be completedin four weeks. But with no eastern mails for three weeks, and the worst part of the winter for snow and wind still before us, there is no use in speculating on the future.

There is talk of moving the head-quarters of construction from Echo city to this point, but it is an old story, and may be only talk. Perhaps they are more likely to be moved, if at all, to the Promontory. Mr. A. J. Bradford, supply agent for the past four months at this polace, takes his departure for Omaha to-morrow or next day. In view of this, his brother employees of the Company, engineers, &c., last evening gave him a farewell dinner. Messers. Ross & Stuart furnished the table for the occasion with the best this market affords, and after partial justice had been done to the cold meats and coffee, a few bottles of wine were broken and the health and success of the guest of the evening appropriately given by Dr. Hurd and responded to by Mr. Bradford. The affair occupied perhaps two hours; there was no boisterousness, but everything in good taste. It was a token of regard on the part of his friends that Mr. Bradford has well earned.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Saturday, March 13, 1869.                                        No. 195.

From O. J. Hollister.


Brigham City, February 22. Your readers have always heard Utah, and especially Salt Lake valley and city, bragged up as the only place worth naming in the Rocky Mountains. Not by you, of course, but by those who had been here. I supposed it richer in resources, and more pleasant to live in than Colorado. It is not. None but a race of slaves, moved by one despotic and powerful will, would ever have made a settlement here, at all events in advance of railroads. It was such a race that built the Pyramids, and the shapeless masses of stone which are found in Mexico, Central America and Peru. The Mormons build temples, too. It is one of their peculiarities. Possibly Utah has a more equable climate than Colorado; that is to say, is not so subject to sudden changes, but I believe the mean is warmer in summer and colder in winter; and the mud, for a considerable part of the year, is usually fathomless. Nothing can be grown without laborious and expensive irrigation, unless we accept the change of climate noticeable within the last two years as permanent, in which case we must also accept the theory of the rapid filling up of Salt Lake valley, only the meagre borders of which are even now dry land. The settlements, and every settlement is a town, are confined to the streams which flow from the mountains. The land is held in lots of from five to twenty acres and upward, more under ten than over twenty. Excepting Bear river the waters have all been led from their natural channels into irrigating acequias. For this purpose an indefinite number of men join together and apply to the County Court for the privilege, or "a grant," as it is called, of such water and such land. The cost of excavating the canal and keeping it in repair is borne pro rata. It ranges between five and twenty dollars per acre, according to the magnitude of the work. If there is any land subject to the water to spare, "brethren" may occupy it upon paying their pro rata share of the expenses incurred, not otherwise. A watermaster is selected by the association, confirmed by the Court, and he regulates the use of the water among the owners. It is pretty well systematized, and needs to be. All the water and land in the Territory easily made available has thus been possessed and occupied by the Mormons. How they will acquire Government title is yet uncertain. Probably the presidents, bishops, elders, and more prominent men, will pre-empt in legal subdivisions, and deed to their "brethren." This will necessitate an immense amount of perjury, as in pre-empting land one has to swear that it is solely for his use and benefit. But the Mormons will doubtless be equal to it. They may apply for special legislation on the subject, and as they seem to be a privileged class, may get it. We shall see. Government surveys of the better parts of the Territory were made and approved in 1856, but the monuments are somewhat hard to find. Nevertheless, I do not think a resurvey is necessary, or would be judicious. ...

...Still it is all the talk here, among Gentiles, and one can scarcely help it. The Reporter, edited by Mr. Beadle, who drove a mule team to Utah last summer, is a harder hitter than even the Vedette. It is gaining in influence and circulation as Mr. Beadle's ability appears. He has the most inimitable style of newspaper writing, humorous, sneering and sarcastic, something like that of Charles A. Dana, and which makes the Sun read. He has studied Mormonism thoroughly, from observation, from Mormon Bibliology, and from the testimony of living witnesses, and is the right man in the right place...

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. II.                                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Thursday, March 18, 1869.                                        No. 108.


Corinne, Utah, March 15, 1869.           


The child is born, and her name, as you see, is Corinne. Gen. Williams was given permission to name the town at the crossing of Bear River, North, as the Saints call it, and he has christened it after one of his daughters, Corinne. Whatever may be thought of the name, it has escaped the all but inevitable "city" attachment under which most new towns in the west suffer during their infancy. Corinne is euphoneous; new, short enough and long enough, pretty, grand, and not without pleasant associations in itself for people acquainted with modern French literature, it being the name of one Madame de Stael's most fascinating books. So much for the name, and there's something in a name, W. Shakspeare to the contrary notwithstanding.


Of course, I wouldn't continue writing to you of this point, and of matters and things therewith connected, if I thought there was any possible chance of Corinne proving one of the mushroom towns of the last season. There are now about thirty canvas houses temporarily set up near the west ferry landing, and each of them represents from five to ten men, not to mention the women. And all of them, as well as the pilgrims passing through, agree that it is the best point on the Pacific Railroad for a town -- the best between Omaha and Sacramento.


It is on the railroad, and not on a stem. It is not only as nearly central as any other point on the railroad for Utah, but it is central as regards Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and the northern parts of New Mexico and Arizona. In short, it is the natural centre of the Rocky Mountains for a thousand miles square, or a million square miles, full of all kinds of pastoral, agricultural, manufacturing and mineral wealth, especially the last. It is on the only navigable stream between the Missouri and Sacramento rivers, which are eighteen hundred miles "asunder," as Gov. Gilpin would say. It is on the only good water in any abundance between the Wasatch and Humboldt Mountains. It is on the only considerably timbered stream in the Rocky Mountains -- Bear River being four hundred miles long and well timbered three-fourths of the entire length. Not less than 500,000 railroad ties and 5,000,000 feet of lumber will be rafted down Bear River to this point the coming Spring. From this crossing there is but little doubt but that boats of light draught might run through Bear River, Salt Lake and Jordan River, to Lake Utah, a distance north and south in the heart of Utah from 200 to 300 miles. Perhaps some dredging would be necessary at two or three points, but it would not amount to much, and no locks would be needed, as the current in both the Bear and Jordan is very sluggish, comparatively.


The Bear River valley, below and above, and in Malad Valley and Round Valley above, there are at least 250,000 acres of as good land as there is in the world, enjoying as fine a climate, equal to the production of 60 bushels of wheat, or 800 bushels of peaches to the acre; covered with bunch grass almost heavy enough to mow, and at least the lower and larger moiety of it subject to water at a comparatively light expense. Twenty miles above occur rapids in Bear River, the stream there falling sixty feet in a mile: and that is the place to take out an acequia carrying 20,000 to 50,000 inches, or any desired amount of water; the river itself averaging three fathoms in depth and thirty in width. Such an acequia might be constructed for, at the outside of $2,000 a mile, mostly in the labor of those to be benefitted by it, owners of land along its course. To get at it, I suppose the better way would be to apply to the County Court, as the Mormons do.


Nearly all this land is unoccupied, the government or even numbered sections within twenty miles of the railroad on either side, and all the sections beyond or outside of that line, being subject to pre-emption under the act of September 4th, 1841, the same having been subdivided by government survey, and quarter sections, and the survey approved in 1856. Recently a Register and Receiver have been appointed and a land office opened in Salt Lake City. I understand the plats of 200 townships of the aforesaid survey have been turned over by the Surveyor General of the Territory to the land office. That survey shows twelve townships, or 506,880 acres of agricultural lands, naturally tributary to this point, of which at least one-half is first-class. Beside this, are settlements in Cache Valley and beyond, containing a population, it is said, of 15,000 souls -- there are 250,000 acres of available land in Cache Valley by the survey -- and a wide belt of country to the northwest, which furnishes the best pasturage in the world. Then it is the nearest point on the railroad to Montana and Idaho, for which countries this place might become the source of supply. And finally, the mountains in sight in every direction are full of gold and silver, lead and copper ore, and the prospect is extraordinarily favorable for building up the Queen City of the West right here.


Capt. O'Neill has been laying out the town on the crossing west of the river, on section 31, north of the track, and on the north half of section 6, the former in township 10 north, the latter in township 9 north of range 2 west, of the Salt Lake meridian. Thirty-one is railroad land by the provisions of the charter, the north half of section six is government land, but the parties claiming it under the pre-emption law have been brought out by the Railroad Company. The survey will be finished in three or four days more at the furthest, and, it is to be hoped, lots immediately thereafter offered for sale.


People are coming in pretty fast, and from the character of a part of the railroad followers there is no living where a few of them are gathered together without law and authority of some kind, and it is desirable that we should be something besides temporary squatters before a town or city government is organized. Only last night some one in liquor was shooting at random among the tents, ending by shooting an innocent man through the hips. Word was sent this morning to the Sheriff of the county at Brigham City, but what will come of it is uncertain.


Steadily progresses. Hyndman & Westbrook have just finished a heavy fill here on both sides of the river, and the pile driving and framing of the bridge has begun. The track is understood to be at the Hot Spring north of Ogden. It has gone through the townsite located five or six miles this side of Ogden and still no lots in it are offered for sale. Perhaps it is because no one wants lots there and the company have wit enough to see and recognize it. Perhaps it is because Brigham has prevailed upon them to make their town at Ogden, which is the place for it on many accounts. If the latter should prove to be the case, it would force the Gentiles to this point. Because, if with years to strengthen themselves and extend their business roots in the soil of Salt Lake City, they are gradually being frozen out by the co-operative trade notions of the Mormons, there would be little inducement for them to endeavor to get their nibs in, in a totally new and strange place, one that will soon be made a way station too by the building of a branch to Salt Lake City.


I hear that Brigham and the Saints in this "Stake of Zion" have been somewhat slack in that they have not before squatted on all the land in the region. And further, that when the lots in Corinne are offered for sale -- it is understood that they are to be well advertised and sold at auction -- the Saints will be on hand and if they don't get a foothold in the new town in that way, make the Gentiles pay for it. But I'm inclined to think this mere talk. Brigham is shrewd in business whatever he may be in religion or priestcraft, and it is too late to attempt the expulsion of white men from Utah. Let the Mormons make as big a town as they can of Ogden and keep away from Corinne. [Then] there will be no trouble.


Mr. Reed tarried here a night or two ago with Mr. Burgess, one of the company engineers. He seemed uncommonly free from care and talked lightly on any topic that happened to be started, something of late quite unusual with him. On inquiry I learned the cause of his good spirits. He is pretty sure of completing 530 miles of railroad between the middle of April 1868 and the same of 1869, a feat entirely unprecedented. He is out of the canyon and has no further serious difficulty, the salt plains not proving so bad as has been anticipated. There is heavy work yet for forty or fifty days on the eastern slope of the Promontory range, but there are a thousand men on it, and soon will be two thousand. Mr. Reed may well be proud of his year's work, indeed of his entire part in the greatest mechanical or physical enterprise outside of war, of modern times.


Honored Corinne with a night's residence last week, Gen. Warren stopping with Mr. Burgess of the U. P. R. R., and Col. Williamson, perhaps the most distinguished engineer of the country, with Mr. Meredith, of the C. P. R. R.


We are told that the blockade of the U. P. has been raised and all is serene and lovely. My own opinion is, that it is not raised to any practical intent or purpose, and that it may not be before the first or middle of May. At any rate we have had no Eastern mails here yet. And the U. P. have not enough track iron this side of the mountains to build further than Malad City at present.


You see how I put it up, and I think so all the time notwithstanding a good deal of opposition, it is that the chances in favor of the two roads meeting in this vicinity, somewhere east of the Promontory range at all events. Neither does it look likely to me that either will run by the other, if the other can prevent it; and that the Government will recognize each as far as it can get its engines forward before it meets those of the other, as the road, would appear as certain as that it ever granted them a charter at all,   to a disinterested

Note: For the remainder of this issue's Mormon-related articles, see the on-line Reporter clippings.

Vol. II.                                        Salt Lake City, U. T., Saturday, April 3, 1869.                                        No. 122.


Corinne, Utah, March 31, 1869.           
Your compositors or proof readers make me to write very indifferent English sometimes, state some things that aren't so, concoct names for gentlemen their own mothers wouldn't know them by, and if I ever do by mistake say a good thing, the reader loses the point for the reason that it is left out. Nevertheless and in spite of the sticky storm of to-day the sound of the saw and hammer is never out of one's ears in Corinne. Already some ten or fifteen buildings have gone up on Montana street. So also have the lots, 25 to 50 per cent., Mr. House raising them in one locality from $250 to $400, out of his good heart I suppose, for the Company. Gen. Williamson sold about four thousand dollars' worth last Saturday and five thousand to-day. Captain O Neill has been directed by Mr. Reed to locate and let the grading for a switch, and to-day the Captain's party were to have commenced the survey of an acequia to bring Bear River out on the valley and the town site, but the storm prevented it. The siding east of the river, ordered three or four weeks ago for construction purposes, has been abandoned. A column of smoke way down toward the Lake, which if one would have it so, seemed to move, was watched an hour or so yesterday with a good deal of solicitude under the impression that it was Connor's steamer. But it wasn't. The cars came in sight however, during the afternoon of yesterday, the whistle of the locomotive could be heard, and after dark the eye of civilization on wheels gleamed brightly through the surrounding gloom. The bridge across the river and the piling beyond eastward, were both completed to-day and ties were laid on them.

The track entered the valley about the first of March, it will cross Bear River about the first of April. Then it will be quickly laid to the eastern base of the Promontory, say eighteen miles, where it is pretty certain to be detained till C. P. also arrives. Perhaps each will run on by the other, but I don't believe it. The law evidently contemplates that they shall join tracks, so that there shall be one continuous rail from Omaha to San Francisco, and that the cars and passengers of each shall pass over the other at the established rates. What kind of sense would there be in the people building a railroad across the continent and then being made to transfer themselves and all their freight and business from one train of cars to another in the middle of it? It won't do. It seems to me that the tracks of the rival roads will meet at the eastern base of Promontory and stop there, and there will be no transfer of freight or passengers at the point of such meeting. If additional legislation is needed to secure this, it ought not to be wanting. I don't believe it will be. At all events it is now tolerably certain that the ends of the two roads will be within twenty miles west of Corinne. There is no country in that distance worth naming in the same day with that of which Corinne is the head center. So that, if there must be great railroad buildings at the ends of the roads, some compromise is more than likely to be effected whereby they will be located at Corinne.

But this will have little to do with the future of the town. That depends on the citizens. "God made the country, man the town," is an axiom old as Pope, at least. Good men, enterprising, enthusiastic, with some money and more determination than there is in the whole world, are what is wanted to make Corinne, as well as Chicago or Sacramento. Mere speculators won't do, except as a curse. Men must put up good buildings, construct bridges, open roads, build churches and school-houses, excavate irrigating acequias, fence and improve the land in town and out, sow and plant, stick, stay, work and live; adopt the country and the town as their own, blow for it, work for it, fight for it, spend their money for it, fill it with goods of all kinds, advertise the same, send men into every mining camp within a radius of 500 miles to sell them, sell them, go ahead do it again, keep doing it, and the town is made. It can't help itself.

Corinne is the key to the vast and rich country northward of it. It lies directly in the gate of the only natural outlet of that region. It may do most of its trade, if it will. The government is sure to patronize it as far as it legitimately can, because it is the only point on earth where Christianity can be brought into actual contact with Mormonism and make itself felt. The Government as at present constituted, I think, I may safely say, is friendly to the whites; also to Christianity. Corinne is bound to be favored by the Government as soon as she becomes a fixed fact for the reasons aforesaid. It will be the military and supply depot for all the north country and for Utah. It will have the distributing Postoffice, because it is centrally located. That will make it the headquarters of the overland stages, whence they will start in every direction. Because it is in a rich country, insignificant, possibly, compared with Illinois or Iowa, yet magnificent by the side of anything east or west for hundreds of miles, it will be a great supply point for the continental railroad. That wonder which cost one hundred millions, which isn't half built yet, which will require thirty-five millions a year when finished to operate and keep in repair, and which is bound to pay upwards of ten per cent, on the investment from the start. It will be a city of refuge for such Mormons as are still minded to be men and women. That is, if the Catholic spirit shall obtain there, which ought to, and which no doubt will. Thousands of discontented Mormons may be drawn to Corinne, if the right course be pursued.

Everything is encouraging. There is a great deal more naturally tributary to the point as a town than one has room for in a letter, or can think of at one setting. All that is wanted is for the settlers in the place to realize that it is the last place on the road, that it depends on them, and on nothing else under heaven to make it a fine town, that they have alighted and flown, alighted and flown, like a flock of geese, until they have arrived at the center of the world, and it is time to stop and make permanent nests. The railroad has shown pretty satisfactorily what the end of a division is worth at the end of North Platte and Rawling's Springs. It isn't worth fifteen cents a year all round to a town of 2500 souls. That's what's the matter. And the surest way to get the co-operation of the railroad is for the town to make itself powerful of its own motion. Let the Company see that the people of Salt Lake Valley and those who have been doing business along the road are of one mind, and ready to go their last stamp on the place, and they will see it to be their interest to join in. By the way, your friend Ping Chong has come and yesterday bought a lot, although he protested against the price.

The storm is over and it has cleared up again, to our inexpressible delight. When is the REPORTER coming? Tell us that. Just whisper in the ear of

Note: For the remainder of this issue's Mormon-related articles, see the on-line Reporter clippings.

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Thursday, April 8, 1869.                                        No. 217.

By a private letter we learn that Mr. O. J. Hollister, so well known to our readers, is engaged in selling town lots in Corinne, and will not return to Colorado. His many friends will be pleased to know that he is doing well, and besides a profitable business, has been advanced to the dignity of Justice of the Peace.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Thursday, April 15, 1869.                                        No. 223.

From O. J. Hollister.


CORINNE, Utah, April 4. -- I have neglected writing you for a few weeks because I had so much else to do, and because the snow blockcade, which lasted us nearly a month, discouraged me. I think when I wrote you last, although I don't remember when it was, since I never see your paper anymore, the question of where the "coming town" was to be, was the all-absorbing one. Well, the "coming town" has come. A site five miles north of Ogden was surveyed about the first of February by the U. P. Railroad Company, and six weeks later it was christened Bonneville, after one of the earliest explorers of this country, and the lots offered at public sale on the twenty-second of March. But it was no go. A few lots were bought on condition that the company would make it the end of a division, otherwise the money to be refunded. Meanwhile another site had been surveyed on the west side of Bear river, where the two railroads cross it, about sixty-five miles north of Salt Lake City. This was selected by Gen. J. A. Williamson, of Des Moines, and Capt. John O'Neill, one of the company's engineers, and the General having been given permission to name it, called it CORINNE, after one of his daughters. Lots in Corinne were offered at public sale on the twenty-fifth of March, and although but very slight notice had been given, about seventy lots were sold at an average price of $420 each, the highest price given for one being $750. This settled the question as between Bonneville and Corinne, so far as the public are concerned, if there ever was any. The people of the West bet thirty thousand to one on Corinne as against Bonneville. An election was held for city offices before the public sale, on the twenty-second, at which Gen. Williamson was elected Mayor, Wells Spicer Attorney, James F. Meagher Clerk, Maxwell Kinner Marshal, P. O. Brennan Treasurer, John O'Neil, John McLaughlin, J. C. Shepherd, J. A. McCabe, and Joseph Crabbe, Councilmen. Your correspondent has been appointed Justice of the Peace, and David H. Short Constable for the precinct, (Malade) by the Territorial authorities. Everything is lovely, and as good order prevails here as in Denver. The only thing against the town is that it hasn't yet started a graveyard, and it is now four months since the Padrone built the first house. Little more than a week ago the railroad company were selling sage brush in lots 22 x 132 feet in size for $420 each, to-day buildings are going up

        "As at the stroke of the enchanters wand."

On Montana street, 684 feet south and running from Bear river westward parallel with the Pacific railroad, you can play billiards on as fine tables as those on Broadway, get any brand of wines, liquors, or cigars you've a mind to call for, sit down to nicely cooked and served, and abundant food at twelve dollars a week, buy anything you want from a hair pin to a railroad, hunt the early violets, very fresh and very modest, and very pretty, cut sage brush for fuel, the street full of teams and folks, and fallen angels. In the distance the eternal mountains stand guard, looking calmly on, as though perfectly sure that God is over all, and all will be well in the end. They are as fine things in the way of mountains as ever you can boast of and glory in. And the sun shines, the air is calm and clear, the climate delicious.

Let me tell you some of the natural advantages of the point for a town. It is on the Pacific railroad, a work which cost one hundred millions, and will require thirty millions a year to operate and keep up. It is the only good place in Salt Lake valley for railroad works of any magnitude, such as there must be, whether the two roads are consolidated or not. It is the nearest point on the railroad to Montana and Idaho, and is the key to the last and greatest Northwest, boundless in resources as it is in extent. It is the nearest point on the railroad to the northern settlements of Utah, containing a present population of fifteen thousand. Immediately adjacent and tributary to it are half a million acres of land equal to the production of sixty bushels of wheat or eight hundred bushels of peaches per acre, half of which can be irrigated from an acequia twenty-five miles long, for the construction of which the money is ready, and the men and teams and tools will be twenty or thirty days hence. This land, as Fate would have it, although by far the finest and largest tract in Utah, is unoccupied and subject to pre-emption. It is on the only good water in any abundance between the Wasatch and Humboldt mountains, and is at the heart of an inland navigation which with a little dredging near the head of Jordan river, extends hence two hundred miles south to Provo, through the heart of Utah. It is the place where the timber of Bear river, which flows four hundred miles through the Wasatch mountains, first reaches the railroad, the river being easily run with logs, although it is thought to be impossible to raft on it. It is the only point on earth where Gentiles can be brought into contact with Mormons in such a way as to make their influence felt, Gentiles in this instance means Christianity and civilization; Mormons means simply barbarism. Experience goes to show that before and from a well organized Christian society, Mormonism shrinks away as reptiles from the light of the sun. For this reason the Government is bound to throw everything in the shape of patronage it legitimately can, in the way of the town. It should incorporate it by special act, make it the headquarters of all its Utah business, military and civil; made it the military supply depot of the great and far Northwest; locate the distributing post office for this quarter of the Republic here, forcing the overland stages to make it their head center; in short, let the full light of its sunny countenance shine upon it, leaving Salt Lake City in the shade.

You remember Brigham's edict to the faithful, promulgated last October, against any sort of trade or intercourse with Gentiles. Well, it works. The oldest and strongest houses in Salt Lake City are gradually but surely being frozen out. They have no alternative but to concentrate their energies on one point and make a city and country for themselves. The occasion presents itself, the time is propitious, it has begun. Thousands of the more intelligent Mormons will follow them, invest and live in town, farming five or ten acres outside. The Salt Lake Reporter will move here in a week, or two, as soon as the Mormon Conference, now pending, is over; and McNasser & Co.'s steamer will soon be plying regularly between the southwestern border of the lake and our landing, which a large party of us "warmed" on the first of Grant and Colfax, (March 4.) So much for the prospects of Corinne, the Lady of the Lake, the Queen City of the West.

The recent talk about Congress forcing the roads to meet at Ogden, is breath wasted in my opinion. The charter says they may build till they meet each other, and Congress has no power to meddle with it, unless to abrogate the charter entirely. The special commission says one road is as near complete as the other, so that neither has any advantage on that score. It makes little difference where the roads meet, as there will be no transfer of business; the same cars will run through, bet on that. But the talk of Ogden has forever taken Bonneville out of the ring, and the start this place has got performs the same kindly office for any and all points west of here as far as Elko, the Central Pacific depot for White Pine. Ogden is in a mud-hole anyhow, and a "saintly" mud-hole at that. Nothing can redeem it from Mormonism and the luck of the Gentiles in Salt Lake City is ample warning for them to "come out from among them, for they are not of them." So, you see Corinne can't help herself. She is bound to be between San Francisco and New York in size, as she is in location. That is said "sarkastiklee."

I said the two railroads run through the town. You know they are building side and side from Monument Point to Ogden, a distance of eighty miles. There is no let up to it. If the Union Pacific is obliged to stop at Ogden, it will have spent three million dollars for nothing. If the Central Pacific is obliged to stop at Monument Point ditto. My opinion, is, they will meet on the eastern slope of the Promontory Range, half way between Corinne and Monument Point, and that about the first of May and there they will both stop, at least till they can catch breath. The gap is now eighty miles in length. The C. P. track is at Duff Creek, fifty-five miles west of the Promontory Range; the U. P. track is just across the river from here. The grading is generally done on both roads except right on the Promontory. From here, General Casement means to beat himself laying track, (he has beat the world,) for one day. Ten miles is his stent, and he will do it across Bear River valley. Wells, Fargo & Co.'s stages will make this their starting point for Montana after the cars get running here, which will be in two or three days, and very soon they will move from south of the lake and run between the ends of the two railroads from Corinne to Indian creek.

Now I think you know in brief what is going on out here. Hope to see some of the old friends out here with General Grant on the inauguration trip. Instead of being on the fourth of July it will be on the fourth of May.

As to laying the track on your road, Durant has said he never would do it if the junction was made at Cheyenne, but your getting the land grant will probably rouse him to reconsider that vote. Or, if not, it makes you independent of him. At least such is the opinion of railroad men of high station. Hoping you may be successful beyond your most earnest wishes, I am as of old for Colorado, against any and all the Territories, She is the Queen of the Rocky Mountains, the adopted home of the at present errant subscriber.       O. J. H.

The Salt Lake Reporter is moving to Corinne, and will change its name accordingly. It is the snappiest of our western exchanges.

The Salt Lake Reporter gives the particulars of a terrible snow slide in Mill Creek canyon, near that city, March thirty-first, by which Wilson, Wright, W. B. Stewart and Mrs. Robbins were killed, and James E. Crandall and John McDonald were badly injured. The whole party were employed in and about a saw mill. The avalanche came in the night. The mill and two dwelling houses were destroyed.

Note: A mass meeting of the citizens of Corrine, Utah, last night adopted a petition to president Grant to appoint Gen. P. E. Conner as governor of Utah...

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, April 19, 1869.                                        No. 226.

From O. J. Hollister.


Corinne, Utah, April 10. -- We have had a week of uninterrupted fine weather since my last, and the town is growing space. Montana street is built up almost solid from Second to Sixth, and a good many houses, booths and tents have been created on Colorado, Front, and the cross streets. The sound of the saw and hammer is earlier than that of the birds in the morning, and it ceases not with daylight. The track came across the river about noon and next morning, I suppose to keep their men from getting demoralized, and stopped to bring up material for a further advance. These first days of the iron horse gliding up and down this valley, embosomed in the Rocky Mountains, like a duck on the water, are well calculated to impress the imagination. North and south the view extends for nearly two hundred miles, east and west, fifty to a hundred, the horizon everywhere, resting on a mountain wall, more or less picturesque, grand, interesting or fascinating in proportion to its distance. Toward and after sunset the sheen of the lake may be seen glimmering along the eastern base of the Promontory Range, which is twenty miles to the westward, and projects quite as far southward into the lake. The weather is exquisite, the sun warm and bright, the air sweet and soft and balmy as a baby's breath; the sky
"Like the skies of poor Erin, our mother,
Where shadow and sunshine are chasing each other."
spring advancing rapidly, the ground covered with flowers already, the engine bell sending forth its cheering sound every hour, the rumble of the car wheels making bass for the lighter music of civilization, which always accompanies them, and the screech of the locomotive weakening echoes never so startled before. I say it is well calculated to impress one's imagination. Time advances with no more steady tread and equal progress than Anglo Saxon civilization. Where but fifty days gone your correspondent walked the unfinished grade in tribulation, trains now run hourly, and it seems a miracle.

On the seventh also, the Western Union ran their wire into town and opened an office on Montana between Sixth and Seventh. Wells, Fargo & Co. have been making arrangements all the week, and next Monday (twelfth,) commence running, carrying the United States mail, between this place and the end of the C. P. track, now about twenty-six miles only from Monument Point. They have bought a lot in Corinne and are going to build an office immediately. They would run the Montana coaches by Corinne, but they are crowded full without it. The Montana and Boise coaches will soon be forced to start from here, however, because it is the nearest point on the road to the north, and every body coming into this valley at all will want to come to Corinne. Mr. House, who has been here since the twenty-fourth ult., received a dispatch from Mr. W. Snyder, Superintendent of the road, on the seventh, saying, "I will put in a siding at Corinne, wherever you shall designate, and all trains shall stop on it." Mr. House says he will make it the finest depot grounds, so far as the railroad is concerned, this side of Omaha. Passengers will be run this far after next Monday. Orders are coming, accompanied by the money, from every direction, for the purchase of lots. The city jail is completed, lumber is coming in, in great quantity, the price has fallen from fifteen to twelve cents a foot, adobes are being made at every favorable mudhole round town, and permanent buildings are commencing. In short, every thing is lovely, and as they say out here, whoever thinks Corinne is not bound to make a big place, is a liar. Arrangements have been made for removing the Salt Lake Reporter from Zion to Corinne, and in fact the last number of that paper was issued this morning. As soon as possible it will be issued here as The Corinne Reporter. Among the strangers daily arriving, I notice Theron Johnson, Geo. McQuesten, H. Burton, Al. Tilton, Wm. Williams, Sam Howe, and Mr. Tufts, from Denver. I forgot to mention that we have a tithing office established, entitled "Sazerac," a saloon and gambling outfit of the most approved pattern -- like the worst or best ever seen in Denver during the palmy days of 1860. In that office some "Saint" or other invests from fifty to three hundred dollars, now, every day, in the strap game, ten-dice, or three card monte. It comes from habit. They bring lumber and country produce to town, get big prices for it, stray into this or some other like tithing office, and invest a tenth or so, sometimes a good deal more. Poor faithful souls! As an indication of the feeling, a lot on the corner of fourth and Montana, bid off on the day of public sale, (March 25) at $450, the minimum price, by Harry Creighton, was sold by him this morning for $1,200, cash down.

I Congratulate your readers, my old friends, in the steady improvement in their railroad prospects.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Monday, May 10, 1869.                                        No. 244.

Mr. O. J. Hollister, formerly of the News, but now a Corinnethean, permanently located, arrived from the west Saturday evening, and was the recipient of warm greetings from his many friends in Denver. He will remain for a few days only, and then will return to Utah to enter upon his duties as Collector of Internal Revenue for that Territory. He seems to regret his severance with Colorado, and announces his determination to yet make it his permanent home.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Thursday, June 3, 1869.                                        No. 264.

Our  Utah  Letter.

Corinne, Utah, May 25. -- I left Denver at 6 o'clock, p. m., of the 15th by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s line, had a whole coach to myself, took the cars for the West at Cheyenne twenty-three hours later, and arrived at Wasatch precisely two days and nights from the time I left Denver. Running on schedule time to Promontory Summit, had that day gone into effect, and ours was the first passenger train that ever went through on time. We left Wasatch about 7 o'clock in the evening, early enough to pass over the Z at the head of Echo and run far down the canyon in the twilight. A friend near me handed me Richardson's "Beyond the Mississippi," and turning to his description of Echo I had to laugh at the license he took with the truth -- "traveler's license" I suppose it might be called. He says that here the snows of winter often slide down over the towering walls and overwhelm travel, and again that those walls toward the lower end of the canyon rise perpendicular, like masonry, 2,000 feet. The fact is, there is just about as much snow in Echo as there is in the canyons between Denver and Central, and the said walls aforesaid, in my judgment, scarcely rise to a height of 800 feet. Captain Clayton was on the train and left it at the lower end of the temporary track for the purpose of immediately laying the permanent track at that point, which has meanwhile been done, so that trains begin running on it to-day.

I was rather depressed in spirits under the necessity of leaving Colorado temporarily, and possibly forever, for who knows what the future is to be, and the sour weather and lonely ride to Cheyenne in the night let me gently down into a stupor from which nothing roused me until after we had passed Echo. The moon was about half full, the sky and earth acknowledged her sway without question, everything was flooded with the silvery light or clouded with the deepest shadow. Everybody knows what a mysterious charm moonlight throws over a mountain landscape. Onward at its usual gait rolled the train through a gem of a valley for five or six miles below Echo City to the "Thousand-Mile-tree," where the mountains gather themselves together and the first canyon commences, the turbid waters of Weber keeping company and accompaniment, shimmering under the rays of the moon, now treacherously licking the feet of our embankment, now wandering on among the willows, now dashing the spray aloft and overpowering the rattle of the train, now resting quietly in eddies and bayous and arms and pools which mirror the watery moon and the round-shouldered, mossy-backed mountains. Here the valley becomes a gorge, the mountains tower to the sky and almost overhang the train; the fall increases, the waters continue to a channel less than fifty feet wide, become a torrent, dark and angry in appearance. Take up the slack of the brakes, settle the iron steed back in his breeching, set your teeth, brace your nerves, and say your prayers, for the bridges and trestles and things before you are not of the safest. Here your correspondent fairly came to life and stepped out of his shell, lifted out by the hair of his head. How carefully the monster, like an elephant, feels his way across the first bridge, a pokerish affair, perched up in the air on the slenderest of stilts, anchored and guyed and stayed with fish lines and props, round whose feet the black waters leap and dash and dive and roll over and over into themselves as if mad at the yoke laid upon them. Now across the river again as it curls from side to side of its deep trough-like bed, through a heavy rock cut and over a third bridge, this time literally with "thundering tread," as if to clear the chasm at a leap, every joint of the structure creaking with the rush and the sweep as of a great bird on wing, then under a mountain lying square across the way, on and over a long, rickety trestle work that creaks and squeaks in terror and to your terror, tearing through a fourth bridge, which, crossing the river diagonally, seems almost endless to your fears, and so for half a dozen miles, the raging waters, of the keenness of whose ruthless tooth this prodigious chasm is the proof, sometimes on one hand, then on the other, now under and ever threatening to be over you. It is worth the ride from either ocean to simply pass through this canyon by moonlight when the snows are melting and the water is high. It wants the moon to magnify and mystify the shapes and shadows. Now more peacefully we thread another "Devil's Gate." Thus far my friend had been riding on the engine. Here the engineer sent him back, remarking that he would be safer in the cars, and that he never started across one of these bridges without commending his soul to its Makes. But orders came to him to unhitch and go over alone, and an engine came down from Devil's Gate switch and pushed the train over. Some of us walked over the bridge, seventy to eighty feet high and two hundred and fifty long, under which the torrent here falling over the rocks sixty feet in twice as many yards, makes a most appalling roaring. It required, we found, well braced nerves and a steady head to walk across the bridge without getting down on all fours for it. The Devil's Gate is a mile or two from the mouth of Weber Canyon., and is not unlike a certain place in Vasquez Canyon in some respects, I think just below Guy Gulch. The mountains are here naked rock, and rise to an altitude of a thousand feet or more. A fixed rock dam a hundred yards high ages ago here disputed the free passage of the river, but it has conquered, torn and worn its way through and over at one end, and its song of triumph is very boisterous and ceaseth never. But we have passed the Devil's Gate, and thence are terraced along the side of the mountain high above the water, but not high enough to get much of an idea of the great altitude and stupendous mass of the bordering hills. Soon we emerge from the canyon, miss its cool, fresh breath, lose and find the river alternately, pass Deseret, the station for Salt Lake City and the South, increase our speed and receive gratefully the softer, more summery airs of the valley. We are over the mountains, having descended twenty-five hundred feet from the head of Echo -- distance sixty or seventy miles. Passing Taylor's mill and Hot Spring stations, we cross Bear River and arrive at Corinne between one and two o'clock next morning. N. B. -- The temporary structures across the Weber River have all been replaced by Howe truss bridges, resting on abutments and piers of solid masonry, except one, and that will be within a week. The bridge across Green River is now considered safe too, the piers and abutments having settled all they will. So, since I couldn't stay with you in Denver, I have done the next best thing, brought you all with me to Corinne.

Well, the "Lady of the Lake" is two months old to-day, and is not only pretty, but pretty well, I thank you. Since the Union Pacific have determined not to give up the road west of Ogden, contracts and legislation to the contrary notwithstanding, giving Corinne a little time, perhaps a year, to show for herself, she has plucked up courage vastly. The fact is, it appears to a man up a tree that there is no settlement of the quarrel between the two companies, with regard to the junction, possible -- except a compromise on Corinne, which is half way between Promontory and Ogden; and is an incomparably better place for the junction than either. Men of affairs, public men and members of the press, riding over the road this summer, can not but see this, and if the subject ever comes up before Congress again for settlement, that honorable body will know what it is about. The bearing of this Utah town business on the Mormon question will be better understood by that time, too. The ambition to see it, the wedge which shall eventually burst the Mormon iniquity wide open, accounts for more than half my interest in the town. In the town, Corinne, I say, because there is and can be no place for any other, and in that opinion I am borne out by the Western public, which has given all other mooted points the go-by and concentrated on this in obedience to an unfailing instinct.

But I was going to tell you what has been done in two months. The headquarters of the Overland stages for their only remaining routes of any importance have been established here. The mail routes for Idaho and Montana have been changed by the department so as to start from the railroad at this point instead of Salt Lake City, as formerly. Sufficient sidings have been put in to accommodate the present wants of business, and the largest freight depot on the road was commenced to-day. The heaviest and best known forwarders of the West have located their warehouses here; trains leave almost daily for the North and West; the prairie for miles round is [tied] down by stock awaiting employment in that line; in short, the commission, forwarding and freighting business of the North may be said to have concentrated here already. The W. U. T. Co. have run their wires into town and opened an office; the _Reporter_ is also full of live advertisements, mostly of Corinne houses, and is doing better than over in the Mormon city. A steam saw mill, capable of cutting 10,000 feet of lumber per day, connected with which is a planer and shingle cutter, has been put in operation on the town site, and three million feet of saw logs have been cut on the river shore, which will be run down within the next six weeks. The Pacific Express Company, a California enterprise, have signaled their intention of making central headquarters here, in a very short time. The "Kate Conner," having filled her contract delivering ties and telegraph poles at Monument Point, will be advertised to run on excursions from Corinne to the Dead Sea and the City of Brigham. It is said the railroad company will build a fine hotel here as soon as practicable, like those at Cheyenne and Laramie: I don't know with how much truth. The fine arable lands of Bear River Valley are being pre-empted as fast as the law and custom of the Land Office permit, and another year will surely see them extensively improved. The Wasatch mountains, and those on the heads of the Snake and Salmon rivers, and also the northwestern rim of the basin, are beginning to attract the attention of prospectors; parts of the region mentioned are already wrought largely for the precious metals, and I think twelve months will witness mining discoveries in the region tributary to Corinne as important as any of the last score years. A fair trade is growing up between the town and the people of the adjacent valleys and of the far north. The last week has seen a revival in real estate and the accession to the town of several heavy business firms, some of them building permanently, others buying out the dance houses, which are getting badly starved out. Montana street is closely built up for a distance of three hundred yards, and a fair proportion of the houses are engaged in legitimate business. There is still more of vice than is pleasant, bold and defiant too, at that, but Corinne has not only been the best governed and most orderly town on the entire railroad; it is fast improving even in this regard under the care and attention of those who hold its good name dear, "one of whom I am proud to be which," as Bill Arp says.

To one who has seen all this accomplished in sixty days with scarce an effort on the part of friends, and against bitter opposition on that of enemies, it is idle to talk of Corinne's proving a railroad bilk, or of its having anything but a sure, healthy, and prosperous future before her. It seems to me that if the citizens of the place will conclude to stay; shut their ears to all idle rumors; keep their eyes straight to the front; bet on their own judgment, believe in themselves and in God, display the commonest of enterprise meanwhile, that Corinne may at the last get the junction of the two roads, their undivided patronage and that of the government and the public, the good-will of the Christian world, the smiles of Providence, and what is else desirable, and may become what she is entitled to be from her location in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on the great highway of the world -- the Queen City of the Interior; a blessing to herself; a convenience to the great West; a credit to our common country, our institutions, religion, civilization, and race. "We wait," is said to be the summum bonum of human wisdom. The Apostle, speaking of something above and beyond the things of time, says, "In your patience possess ye your souls." The great mistake of most, and especially of young men, is, that they do not take time into their calculation as the chief element of success. How many of the early settlers of Corinne will make this mistake?
O. J. H.              

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. IX.                                        Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, June 29, 1869.                                        No. 286.

Our  Utah  Letter.

Salt Lake City, June 22. -- This city is in the height of its summer glory, this the longest day of the year, and for the last two or three weeks has been a better place than even Denver to meet distinguished people. Among the rest we had the Congressional Committee of Ways and Means, all but the chairman, last Saturday night and Sunday, traveling, you know, about the country, in accordance with a joint resolution of Congress, taking testimony as to the operation of the custom house, bonded warehouse, internal revenue and tariff laws, regulations and usages; especially those of the tariff, with the view of preparing themselves for a wise revision of the existing tariff. Like all new comers they were favorably impressed with the appearance of things in Utah. Saturday evening, after the theatre and circus were over, the city band first, and then the post band, gave them a serenade at the Townsend House, where they were stopping. Calls being made for Mr. Hooper, Hon. Sam. Hooper, of Boston (who was in Denver with Prof. Agassiz last summer), chairman of the committee, thanked them for the compliment paid, and expressed his pleasure on visiting the city. Another piece was played, and Mr. Kelly, of Philadelphia, was called for. He made what would usually be considered a neat minute-and-a-half speech, ending by saying (I give his words as near as I remember them): "Go on, build up your material interests, and thus add to the glory of our common country, and for myself and colleagues you may depend on our hearty co-operation." It seemed to me a little too good natured, but there was a listener on the balcony overhead -- Miss Anna E. Dickinson -- to whose finer and more interested ear it was -- but I will let her tell what it was, which be sure she will do in good time. She arrived here with her brother, the Rev. John Dickinson, last Saturday, and leaves for the Pacific to-morrow morning. On her return she will take Denver in her way, about the first of September.

To return to the M. Cs. They all went to the Tabernacle Sunday morning and heard a Presbyterian divine, the Rev. John Todd, of Pittsfield, Mass., discourse to about 2,000 or 3,000 of the saints, on the great change in the relative size and importance of everything we see or feel or sense, when young and when old. I have no critique to make on the reverend gentleman, except that he is too old, and of course that is not his fault. But is it not melancholy that people grow old, get beyond the hope and the faith which constitutes the charm of youth? As sad to me as it is grateful that when we have found by experience that all is vanity -- that man is nothing but flood wood on the river of time -- has really no power to alter, improve, amend, but must keep to his appointed groove whether or no, he dies! Just suppose he had to live on and on, after arriving, for instance, where King Solomon stood when he spoke the Proverbs, through hundreds of years! God forbid! That is indeed a merciful and beautiful provision of the Head Center of things which allows the old man, oppressed with the inevitable camel's load of vanity, to lay it down in the ground, whence he has fatefully gathered it, and be done with it; leaving the stage of action to the young, so that the world never grows old enough to despair.

In the afternoon the Ways and Means Committee went to the Tabernacle again, and George A. Smith, one of Brigham's Privy Council, regaled them with the bitterest kind of an arraignment, for their treatment of the Latter Day Saints since Jo Smith found the Mormon plates. They left, Sunday evening, unanimously in favor of Connor for Governor of Utah, so I am told. Brother Todd again told them that "we are all Christians together," and hoped to meet his hearers in Heaven. I hope he may, if that is his desire, but for my part, I would rather be excused. A Mormon missionary named Richards, fell in with Miss Dickinson at this meeting, and since that, it has been very hard for Gentiles to get access to her. Evidently not because it is her wish, but because the Saints are endeavoring, as they always do with those who have access to the world's ear, to overwhelm her with sufficient kindness to tie her tongue. They are showing her the city schools, introducing her to some of their most pleasantly situated harems, and pressing her to speak in the Tabernacle. One thing I think they will not do -- allow her an interview with any of their first wives. But we shall hear in due time what Miss Annie's woman's nature thought of and felt concerning polygamy, as presented by the lords of the harem themselves. They have a lingo of which, from long use, they little know the sound when addressed to an intelligent, high minded Saxon woman's ear. If she does not "out of their own mouths condemn them," I shall think more than ever that my friend Gus Chever's estimate of human nature -- namely, that "it is a dunghill" -- is correct. But I have no fears on that score. I have found Miss D. very much a woman, and that is enough. You may remember last winter, when they seemed about to divide the carcass of Mormonism, presenting one fourth to fair Colorado, as if she were a vulture, that I offered some suggestions through your paper as to the solving of "the problem of Mormonism." Among them was the influence of the elevation of woman, the appearance here in the fullness of time of some of those brave women who can and dare speak for their sex. It has come sooner than I anticipated, and just right. Miss D. is being Hepworth Dixonized, so to speak, so far as the Saints can do it. One day we shall see the effect. The only trouble is, that she cannot spend three months instead of three days here. That might kill her, however, so that perhaps it is better as it is. Some things need no investigation; they show in their own face what they are. No sophistry can make it appear even that two and two are five, or ten; no possible number of persons professing to believe the moon more powerful and life-giving than the sun, would ever convince an intelligent, sane man or woman that such is the case. The day is passed for making women a mere tail to man's kite; the tendency of the public mind and conscience is the other way. And that Mormonism means the enslavement of man and the degradation of woman, in the name and through the power of religious fanaticism, is as plain and palpable as the sun in heaven or the mountains on the earth.

The Howsons departed this morning and go directly to Denver. I think I wrote you something of them before. I wish to commend them without reserve, particularly the Misses Howson, with whom I am best acquainted, to the Colorado public, as very entertaining in the line of their profession and very agreeable and interesting as ladies. I hope the young gentlemen of Denver and Central will take pains to make their stay agreeable by the display of that gallantry which so ornaments their daily life, and for which they are so justly noted. The Howsons are natives of Australia; have been in San Francisco three or four years, where they were great favorites, both for their social and professional qualities and are now making a professional tour of the world. Let them take away from Colorado as sad hearts and as pleasing memories as they leave behind them, and I shall be satisfied. Trusting you will pardon this intrusion on your space, of what might by some be considered trivial matters, I am, as ever, fraternally yours.       O. J. H.

Note: O. J. Hollister was evidently present at Salt Lake City's Townsend House, when the visiting eastern dignitaries were serenaded. His remarks concerning Anna E. Dickinson indicate that he managed to converse with her, at least a little, before the Mormon leaders sequestered her. Hollister was correct in predicting that the popular female rights lecturess would have something to say about her experience in Utah. Probably a significant portion of the information presented in her famous "Whited Sepulchres" lecture (first delivered in San Francisco, Sept. 4, 1869) was derived from conversations with Utah Gentiles such as Hollister.

Vol. XXIII.                                        Chicago, Illinois, Monday, August 9, 1869.                                        No. 40.

U T A H.

Proposed Reduction in Rates
on the Pacific Railroad.


The Utah and Montana Trade.

Importance of the Junction Point.


The Mormons and the Sons of
Their Original Jacob.

Brigham Young and the Sons of Joseph
Discuss Polygamy.


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, August [9], 1869.          


A new era seems to be at hand for the West. It is understood that the continental railroad will soon "reduce through fares to $100 first-class, $50 second-class, and through freight to $100 a ton, from New York to Sacarmento, and from Chicago, pro rate. A still further reduction of 20 per cent on second-class fare is contemplated. Also, the transportation of building materials, agricultural implements, household furniture, &c., articles especially needed in the settlement of a new country, to the lowest possible rates, the companies wisely deeming it good policy to encourage such settlement wherever possible within the reach of their route, even at a temporary loss, and to depend on the business thus created for the future to make it up. Already freight and fare on the Union Pacific have been largely reduced, much to the gratification of the Western people, and the moment when the policy of the new men at the helm shall go into effect is liiked for with impatience. In harmony with this action is that of the stage companies still in operation in this part of the world. Messrs. Salisbury & Gilmer recently bought Wells, Fargo & Co.'s stage line from this city to the railroad at Uintah, reducing the fare one-half. They are negotiating for the purchase of the line from Corinne to Helena, Montana, and, when they get it, will reduce the fare to $60 currency, it having been lately reduced from $100 to $75, by the present owners, Wells, Fargo & Co. The Idaho and Portland line, which leaves the railroad at Indian Creek, sixty or seventy miles west of Corinne, owned by Hailey & Co., has also been bitten by the prevailing disease, -- has reduced the fare to Boise City and Portland about 20 per cent. The effect of all this must be to stimulate trade, travel, settlement, development, discovery, and business of all kinds, throughout the West.

(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXIII.                                        Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, September 4, 1869.                                        No. 66.

U T A H.

Mineral Resources of the Territory.

Coal, Iron and Precious Metals.

The Utah Railroad -- The Pacific Railroad.

The Smith Controversy.

Income Return of the Mormon Church.



Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 28.          
The idea of Zion's co-operative mercantile institution was to gather all the trade of Utah into a few hands, and to drive out of mercantile business all those not in the ring. Of course Gentile traders could not get into the ring, nor are they wanted in it or in the country. It becomes more plainly apparent with the advancing days that unless some new industry shall be created in the Territory. they must leave it...


The Smith boys have gone northward, crying aloud in the wilderness and sparing not. They scattered good seed here, but whether there was any good ground to catch it is perhaps questionable. Between them and the Brighamites it seems to be pretty well proved that polygamy had its origin in the extraordinary strength of Joseph Smith's passions. The affidavits of sixteen women were published in the Nauvoo Expositor, which the Mormons mobbed and destroyed upon the appearance of a single number, to the effect that Joseph proposed to them to be his concubines. These are twelve women here who will make affidavit that they were sealed spiritual wives unto Joseph, and the privileges of husband resfused him not. And there is plenty of proof that all this time Joseph was denouncing the doctrine as false, corrupt and damnable. All this is established by evidence that could not be thrown out of a civil court, and proves to disinterested people, who, indeed, need no proof, the bad character of the first prophet of Mormonism; but the contending sects get around it by pronouncing, and no doubt believing, the other side liars. In the absence of the sons of Joseph, the Corinne Reporter seems to be carrying on their side of the argument. The agitation cannot but do some good, which must have time to show itself, of course.

There has been some excitement in reference to taxing the income of the Mormon Church. Under a recent decision of Commissioner Delano, the Assessor, Dr. Taggart, required of Brigham, as Trustee of the Church, an income return. He first replied in the following singular manner...

(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)

Springfield [ Daily ] Republican.

Vol. XXVI.                                Springfield, Massachusetts, Monday, November 22, 1869.                                No. 275.


O. J. Hollister, United States revenue collector for Utah, and formerly of the Colorado Press, has come East and will report at Washington. When he returns, it is probable that a member of Vice-President Colfax's family will go with him.

Note: The Mormon leaders appear to have mistaken this notice to indicate that a politically active member of Colfax's family was about to arrive in Utah (and not merely an inoffensive bride). Quoting a late Nov., 1869 issue of the Deseret News, the following comments were published in the Liverpool Millennial Star of December 15th: "O. J. Hollister may be a friend to truth and virtue, but we have never heard of him acting in that capacity. If he is such a friend, he has a peculiar way of manifesting that fact. Nevertheless, he will make an excellent mentor for a member of the Colfax family. If Mr. Colfax tries to make political capital out of the Mormons, he may as well learn beforehand that it will be the great mistake of his life. It is a real charity to tell him so."

Carrie Mathews Hollister (left), Sister & Friend

Vol. XXIII.                                        Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, November 25, 1869.                                        No. 148.

U T A H.

Thirty-Ninth Semi-Annual Conference
of the Mormon Church.

Its Organization.

What it Means.

Celestial Marriage.

Polygamy--The Mormon Argument
in its Favor.


Salt Lake City, Utah. Nov. 15.          
Press of private business at last allows me to write up a Mormon on Conference for you. It was held in Salt Lake City from the 6th to the 10th of October, inclusive, five days, 'bating one afternoon session. The leading men of the Church were present from all parts of the Territory. I attended in throughout, and took notes of everything of interest, including the speaking.


The conference was held in the Tabernacle, which will seat 4,000 on the floor, and about 1,000 on the stand only. Each section was opened by singing and prayer, as Divine service is among us, Brigham Young, President of the Church, acting as master of ceremonies. The old man appeared quite the patriarch, especially at the opening session. He spoke but twice during the conference, but he often made suggestions to the Apostles, who did most of the talking, in a tone that could not be heard far from the stand. The singing, by a choir of forty or fifty voices, accompanied by the largest and richest-toned organ ever made in America, was pleasing in effect, although scarce a word could be distinguished. Occasionally the congregation was invited to rise and join in the hymn. There was a choir of seven or eight voices from the northern part of the Territory, which sang a hymn, now and then, between the discourses, in perfect time and with exquisite accord. The strains of this choir, wandering through the space enclosed by the vast building, constitute the only sweet memory the writer retains of the conference.

One hundred and fifty of their best men, including some twenty Bishops, were selected at the conference, and sent on a mission for the ensuing winter, to the United States. This letter may introduce them favorably to the country; I hope so. Missionaries are selected from three classes, to wit: Those specially qualified for the calling; those who may have expressed a desire to go, and those whom leaders wish to get rid of. A man is left to judge for himself to which class he belongs. When called, they go with alacrity, and without purse or scrip, Brigham holding that a man is poor trash who cannot support his family, and travel, and preach, at his own expense half the time. As the Prussians made of every able-bodied man a soldier, by compelling him to serve in the army a few years, so the Mormons make their entire church membership preachers, by requiring them to serve as missionaries for a longer or shorter period.


One afternoon they held a political mass meeting, about 7,000 being present, at which a "Memorial to Congress" was presented and adopted, reciting what the "Saints" have done in Utah: the condition of the Territory at present, and asking admission into the Union as a State. The document is strong and eloquent, and will doubtless command such attention as it deserves. A copy was taken home by each of the Bishops of the wards into which Utah is ecclesiastically divided, for everybody to sign -- the women, if they please, included. It will have appended, perhaps, 25,000 names when presented to Congress.







The American people have cause to object to Mormonism from beginning to end. Because in warp and woof, in form and feature, in temper and spirit, it is essentially antagonistic to our principles, equally aggressive, and, though weaker in point of numbers, far better organized, and propelled by religious fanaticism, than which there is no stronger passion within the human breast. The effect of it, so far as outsiders are concerned, is entirely political. Its disciples are a trembling little band, proscribed by the worls, -- struggling for existance as a nation and a sect, yet contemplating, proposing, aspiring to universal empire.

They claim that the "ancient covenant" is restored in all its fulness; that they have the Holy Priesthood, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the oracles of God; that they stand in precisely the same relation to the modern that the Hebrews did to the ancient world. In fulfilment of God's covenant with Abraham, "that his seed should possess the gates of their enemies," the Israelites were commanded to exterminate, without mercy or distinction as to age, sex, or condition, the heathen nations who were in their way; to seize and possess their lands and goods. It will be seen that, by virtue of this faith, practised as far as it could be done with impunity ever since they were organized as a Church, the Mormons are of necessity the common and mortal enemies of the human race.

They believe that all the authority and power and favor possessed by Moses, or Samuel, or Isaiah, rested upon Joseph Smith, and is to rest perpetually on his successors, each in turns -- so that God now reveals his will from day to day through "his servant, Brigham Young." Blind, absolute faith in him as God's vice-gerent on earth, and in themselves as the people specially chosen of God to break in pieces the nations, and make them a prey; and perfect, unquestioning obedience, are some of the results. The saying that one man with God on his side is a majority is forever on their lips, and they feel it. The true Mormon no more thinks of questioning the doctrine of his "President" than the members of one man's body in sound health questioning the dictates of his head.

Well, having a leader in God, what does He tell them to do? To preach the gospel, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and of Joseph Smith, to every living creature; to proselyte. The do it, as if life depended on it. Their church organization is a machine for making converts and drilling them in the necessary qulaifications for making converts in turn. Their sincerity, zeal, self-sacrifice, and devotion would be sublime, displayed in a better cause. It enchants their imaginations and flatters their pride to be associated with God in building up His kingdom on the earth. They promise their converts great improvement in their worldly condition, which promise they fulfil. "Why," said Brigham, during conference, "the poor Saints in all the earth would crawl on their hands and knees to this house (Tabernacle), and lick the dust from our feet, to be made partakers with us in the blessings we enjoy." No doubt they would, Mormon converts coming from a class whose conditions could be made worse by no possible change. They offer bewildering rewards in the life to come, denounce plagues, judgments, and damnation for disbelief and disobedience, enforcing all by the Holy Bible, supplemented by the Book of Mormon. They made converts faster the first five years, comparatively, than they have latterly.

Gathering to "Zion" from the world, which is Babylon, leaving all behind, is as essential a part of the gospel they preach as any. At present Zion is in Utah. It is to be all of North and South America. Joseph said so an hundred times. Finally, the whole earth, with headquarters at Independence, Mo., where they expect to build a city, and a temple, more magnificent than any ever created by men, which at the final destruction of the world is to be caught up into Heaven as Enoch and his city were of old. Destitute as they have been, they have brought to Utah from the distant lands, 50,000 to 75,000 souls in the last score of years. Gathering together in one place from all the earth they hold to be the fulfilment of a hundred Biblical prophesies. Building up the Kingdom of God on the earth is working like bees to improve their material condition. Dominion of the earth is what they propose to achieve for themselves and their Zion, and they have gone to work at it with system and determination. Opening roads, building bridges, digging canals, fencing and improving lands, planting orchards and vineyards, erecting houses, founding cities and towns, providing schoolhouses, universities, and churches, creating an army and a revenue, establishing manafactures, multiplying and replenishing the earth, making themselves numerous, prosperous, wealthy and strong. Zion is a temporal kingdom, as much as that of Great Britain, offering all the blessing of this life in full measure, and inconceivable rewards in the life to come, for faithful service.

It is wholly material. They have stripped earth and Heaven of all illusion. As the scimeter was the Mahometan, the knife may be fitly called the Mormon means of grace. Leaning on the Almighty Arm as never people did before, they yet believe beyond all other people in keeping their powder dry. Destitute from the start of spiritual or intellectual ideas, or scientific truths, they have depended on physical force for support, growth, and expansion. They have sought only to concentrate and husband it in their organization. Doubled and rolled together, the edges tucked in, re-rolled, dovetailed, kneaded, welded, theocracy, monarchy, and democracy, hope, ambition, fear, love, hate, terror, fanaticism -- no mortal engine so well illustrates the self-generated forces of Mormonism as the cannon -- entirely physical, and irresistible, except by heavier cannon -- so that its onslaught upon the world is like that of an army on a mob.


Glance at what they have done, and you will see that they are in dead earnest. The Church was first organized with six members, April 6, 1830. Less than forty years have passed. They have been driven from their homes and property five times -- once from Kirtland, O.; three times from different counties of Missouri; once from Nauvoo, Ill. About twenty years ago they came here, naked and destitute. They soon established themselves in spite of adverse nature, and their first surplus devoted to conveying the poor Saints to their new "stake." From 100 to 500 ox wagons have since yearly threaded the desert between Utah and the Missouri River, bringing home their converts. They have not been aided or encouraged by our people and government. They have been proscribed and reprobated by the Christian world. What they have accomplished under this weighty ban, with everything against them, in the midst of a desert, a thousand miles from navigable waters, from railroads, from the business and commercial marts of the country, their memorial to Congress, mentioned above, sums up in the following words...


They have been divided off the eternal world "from whose bourne no traveler has yet returned," into spheres, or "glories," as they call them, to one of which they assign the procreative power or function. This is the supreme glory of that world, and the exclusive inheritance of the "celestially married," who will come forth on the morning of the resurrection with the sexual passion intensified an hundred fold, kings, gods; thrones ready for them, an eternity before them to reign and revel in. While you who are married only "till death do you part" are debarred from such privilege and pleasure. They hold that God ordained marriage in the beginning as the law of love between immortal beings, and that, consequently, it was an eternal covenant. By the sin and fall death was incurred, which tore them asunder: but by the Atonement they were restored to each other, and to all their original privileges and powers, among which the eternal union between male and female, which they call "celestial marriage," was the greatest. Hence marriage, with them, is an eternal covenant.

They make no account of Christ's saying "They that are accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in Heaven." They carry earth and its materials into Heaven and eternity, instead of endeavoring to bring Heaven and its spirituality to earth. They make no account of the fact that God gave to the first man but one wife, and that Adam, and after him Jesus, said, "They twain," not they dozen or twenty, "shall be of one flesh." Neither of the self-evident truth that a soul is a soul, and there is no outranking it.

The opposite idea has full possession of the Mormon intellect. Those who so despise and ill treat them in this world, in that will not be permitted the poor honor of waiting in their ante-chambers. But, while they are increasing their posterity and extending their kingdom through endless ages and boundless space, you who are married only singly and for time will be condemned to a sort of bachelors' hall, your dignity that of an inferior grade of angels.


Here is where polygamy begins; the fact that there are more marriageable women than men in the world being taken for granted, in spite the census. They do not yet preach it, but it is their doctrine that none but polygamists can enter this highest celestial sphere. They hold that a man cannot be saved at all unless married (in the face of Revelation, ch. xiv., 1 to 5 inclusive), ....





(under construction)

Note: Although the above letter from Salt Lake City was published without a signature, the subject matter, vocabulary and writing style all identify the correspondent as O. J. Hollister


Vol. 114.                               Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, December 2, 1869.                              No. 17,152.


(Special Despatch to the Boston Daily Advertiser.)

Washington, Dec. 1, 1869.            

Miss Carrie V. Matthews, a sister of Vice-President Colfax, and Captain O. J. Hollister were married this evening by the Rev. Dr. Butler of the Lutheran church. The wedding was a strictly private character, the only guests present being the President and Mrs. Grant, Secretary Boutwell and Mrs. Boutwell, Commissioner Delano and Mrs. Delano, and a half dozen other intimate friends of the family. The bride was tastefully arrired in white, and the entire arrangements of the evening were characterized by the most elegant simplicity. Mr. and Mrs. Hollister, in company with the Vice-President, left for New York on the nine o'clock train. They will spend a few days there, then a few days in Massachusetts, and reach their home in Salt Lake City before New Years....       DIXON.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. III.                               Cheyenne, Wyoming Terr., Tuesday, November 30, 1869.                              No. 88.

O. J. Hollister, well known to Colorado as an author and editor, is about to enter the ranks of the benedicts. The fortunate lady's name is Matthews.

Note: The Corinne Reporter probably published the announcement for this wedding (which took place in Washington, D. C. on December 1st) -- but no copy appears to have survived. When the couple came to Utah they registered their recent marriage with the Box Elder County Clerk (Marriage ID#224805), leading some historians to conclude that they were wed at Brigham City or Corinne.

The National Republican.

Vol. X.                               Washington, D. C., Thursday, December 2, 1869.                              No. 6.

THE MARRIAGE of O. J. Hollister and Miss Carrie V., daughter of G. W. Matthews, of South Bend, Ind., took place last evening at the residence of Vice President Colfax, Rev. J. G. Butler, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran church, officiating. Col. HoIlister is the Collector of internal revenue at Salt Lake City, and numerous efforts were made to convert him to the Mormon faith, but Utah, with all its marriageable daughters, could not induce the gallant Colonel to forsake his affection for the estimable and accomplished lady who will accompany him on his return to Utah.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X.                               Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wednesday, October 12, 1870.                              No. 230.


Washington, Oct. 11. -- ...Rev. Dr. Newman, of this city, has returned from his visit to Utah. Before Mrs. Newman left Utah, she assisted in organizing an anti-Mormon society, with Mrs. Hollister, formerly Miss Carrie Matthews, the sister of Vice President Colfax, as the president. At the organization of the society several Mormon women were present, and seemed to take a deep interest in the movement. It was supposed that the movement would commend itself to the attention of the ladies at Washington.

Note: An abbreviated version of the above notice was reprinted from the New York City paper, The Revolution of Thurs. Nov. 17, 1870. (Vol. VI. No. 20). Little is known regarding Mrs. Hollister's tenure with the Salt Lake City Anti-Mormon Society. Evidently some of its members were part of a reorganization, in 1876, of a local ladies' club -- see Patricia Lyn Scott's "Jennie Anderson Froiseth and the Blue Tea" in the Winter 2003 issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly (vol. 71, no. 1).

Vol. XXV.                                        Chicago, Illinois, Monday, September 11, 1871.                                        No. 37.

U T A H.

The Emma Mine Case and the Politicians.

A Review of the Late Election.

Prosecutions for Polygamy.

Banks, Railroads, and the
Mining Business.


Salt Lake City, Sept. 2.          


Bill Stewart, Jim Lyon, Jo Chaffee, Judge Hillyer, and "the Committee of Nevada and California Capitalists" didn't get away with the Utah Judges, but it is understood that they have with a good share of the stock of the Emma Mine. After failing to supersede "the corrupt scoundrel" McKean, by Tom Fitch, or some other "gentlemen of integrity," they proposed the submission of the case to arbitration, supposing the other side would not agree to it, when they could charge with some plausibility that Judge McKean was corruptly in their interest. This trap caught no game, however, for the other side agreed to it without hesitation. That not being precisely what they wanted, they began to negotiate for a compromise, and within a week they have all left Utah with their carpetbags, smiling, while the other side looks serious, not to say annoyed. Wherefrom it is surmised that a compromise has been effected, and that the carpet-bags of the retiring crusaders are plethoric with Emma Mine stock. So that this great grab game, which threatened Grant's policy in Utah with defeat, apparently, for a moment, has been eliminated from the seething elements of the Utah problem.


That problem seems to be ripening favorably, in spite of the blunders of the agents at work on it. We are having a fine exemplification of the force of events; and how the current sometimes flows of itself, not only without human help, but against human resistance. It appears to be impossible to unite the incongruous forces opposed to Brighamism in any sustained political action.

The Liberal party was organized by general convention, held at Corinne, July 16, 1870, on an unequivocal anti-polygamy platform. The regular forces of the Gentiles, and the guerillas and free-lances as well, were marshaled, without difficulty on this platform, but there was little discipline possible -- everybody knew too much to follow, and too little lead -- and it was hard work to keep open mutiny from breaking out along the line when it came to the question of leadership. The rebellious Mormons, supposed followers of Godbe and Harrison, didn't like the platform, and so they stood aloof. Governments had not right, they maintained, to regulate the relations of the sexes; it should be left to the choice of the persons individually concerned. If polygamy in Utah was to be attacked at all, it should be by "reason." If, then, they had proceeded to attack it by "reason," no fault would have been found, because their votes never numbered one-fourth of a thousand, and would only have slightly swelled a trifling minority at best; but to this day they have never done so, and this year they have rather taken up its defence. But of that anon. Election came, after a spirited canvass of two or three weeks, and we polled 1,500 votes, including those cast by mining camps where the Mormons would not establish voting precincts.

Another year came round and is now nearly gone. It brought a few thousand adventurers from different quarters who had heard of the Emma Mine, and were consumed by the desire to become suddenly rich regardless of expense of wear and tear. A large division of this crew appears to have taken its cue from Stewart and Fitch, for they either stood aloof from our politics entirely, or threw their influence, such as it was, with the Mormons. Stewart took occasion, at a reception given him as Senator in Salt Lake, to give in his adhesion, practically, to Brighamism. Fitch went up to the Tabernacle on the Fourth of July, and, while professing to disapprove of polygamy, misrepresented, calumniated, and condemned those who are trying to set bounds to it.

That day in Salt Lake (the 4th) is worthy of a word in passing. The Gentiles first asked permission to be "the yaller dog" under Brigham's wagon on that occasion. They were cruelly snubbed, and then went to work and got up a very creditable celebration of their own. The Mormons, encouraged by the substantial adhesion of Stewart and Fitch, determined to parade a corps of the Nauvoo Legion, although that disloyal and illegal organization had been disbanded last fall by the Governor, and on its refusing to recognize the Governor's authority the question at issue was got into the courts, where it was and is still pending. Governor Woods was obliged to call on Colonel De Trobriand, commanding at Camp Douglas, to enforce his authority, and the Mormons only gave it up when the Colonel told them that if they persisted he would disperse them at all hazards. Had a collision occurred then, it would have stuck close to Senator Stewart as long as he lived.

The Liberal Executive Committee assembled about the time to prepare for the approaching political campaign. Having grown wiser than the body which created them within the year, at least in their own conceit, they issued an address to the people which was silent as to polygamy. Then came the the District Convention of Salt Lake, Tooele, and Summit Counties, and followed suit. All to catch the Godbeites. Please have an eye to the afterclap.

The leading Godbeites appeared at this convention and took an active part in its proceedings. They had also been very prominent in what was called the Gentile celebration of Independence Day, which, together with Mr. Godbe's large ownership in the Tribune of Salt Lake, professed Liberal organ, gave Tom Fitch occasion to say in the Tabernacle that he didn't propose to act with a party led by one who had gone back on everything Mormon but polygamy. This was a bad body blow, but it was regarded as "foul" at the time. The Godbeites were supposed to have concluded that polygamy was wrong, and to be moving heaven and earth to get out of it honorably. But what a mistake!

Soon came a ratification meeting, and had you been at this gathering of the clans, and known the chiefs, you would not have been surprised at what followed. Governor Woods was President of the meeting, supported by Colonel Warren, late of the Confederate army, as Vice President. The speakers embraced a Catholic Irishman, whose whole being revolts at the idea of an American Pope and hierarchy preaching and practicing the vices of the Grand Turk; a Union General, or what remains of one, who can fight better than he can talk, -- whose talk indeed bristles with fight; a polygamist, ten years older in that sin than the "revelation" commanding its practice is, now in high old rebellion against Brigham; and one unmistakable lunatic. The clans were more motley, if possible, in their composition. Judge Toohey, the Catholic Irishman aforesaid, of Corinne, was the sensation of the evening. Following is a specimen of his style, to wit:

"There is no such thing as a polygamist religion. No religion in American has any polygamy in it. I might as well go into a hog pen and take the morality of swine and call it religion. Out here in Cottonwood the miners have a name for polygamy, which is the true name, but not to be repeated here -- they have a just conception of polygamy, and they agree with me that it must be rooted out of this Territory." "The priesthood of Utah," he continued, "is not the priesthood of Jehovah, but the priesthood of the robber: not a priesthood for the good of the people, but a priesthood which builds palaces, every stone of which is stained with the blood of the innocent, and wet with the tears of widows and orphans."

Kelsey, the polygamist, was called for, and upon denouncing Judge Toohey's speech, and saying that he (Kelsey) was a polygamist and not ashamed of it, he was hissed down, and would have been turned out but for Governor Woods, who exerted himself successfully to stay the rising storm.

Thus was the bubble pricked. The chiefs retired, glaring, each to his corner, and the clans scattered. The Godbeites cried in full pack, "Hands off! Polygamy may be right and it may be wrong, but it musn't be touched. It is taught in your Bible, we learned it in your Sunday Schools, and if it isn't a man's constitutional right to live in open adultery with all the women he wants to, provided they are agreeable to it, what constitutional right has he? At all events, don't touch it; let it alone, and public opinion will soon strangle it." "Good dogs!" said Brigham. "Aren't we?" chimed Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart. "Let them touch a hair of your hoary head, Brother Brigham, and our last drop of blood is yours."

And now the Gentiles of Utah did cease to hope anything from the little band of hair-splitting lunatics called Godbeites, who for a year or two have imagined they were proving their claims to the leadership of mankind by bunting their heads against everything that has received the sanction of human experience.

This astounding new departure of theirs to the rear, in the full summer of 1871, A. D., left the Gentiles of Salt Lake without an organ, and so the Corinne Journal, a stripling of three months, was taken there and called the Salt Lake Review. It immediately began bull-ragging and slang-whanging the saintly polygamists, "reformed" and otherwise, in a manner very painful to witness.

The election came on in the fulness of time, and I suppose we polled about 1,500 votes, no more, mark it, than last year, when the Godbeites didn't favor us with their assistance, and when there weren't so many Gentiles in the Territory as this year by a long shot. So much for a sacrifice of principle for votes. So much for enlisting deserters from the enemy. Deserted in turn, and in the crisis of battle. So much for a professed opposition to polygamy by men who yet cling to it -- by men with several women, each of whom they cannot in decency live with nor in honor get rid of. This is the afterclap I referred to. The attempt to yoke the Gentiles and Godbeites made a farce of the campaign. Only at Corinne were the old colors displayed. A district convention at that place readopted the original anti-polygamy platform, and denounced all compromise with the great wrong on which Mormonism is confessedly based.

Without all this tomfooling, the election was farcical enough. The idea of less than 10,000 people trying to make headway at the polls against Brighamism, which possesses all power, has outlawed free voting, and can by the crook of its elbow return as many votes as it wants to, is absurd, though we confess to having sometimes entertained it.


But "the Colfax carpet-baggers," as he of the Omaha Herald dubbed the Federal officers in Utah, have had better luck. Allowing the grist in the political hopper to grind as it might, they have quietly stuck to their work. They have substantially wrested the courts from Mormon control, and, with the Gentiles flocking in the canyons, making it unhealthy for the Church to assassinate obnoxious people, the wives of Utah are beginning to raise their long-bowed heads. One, named Hawkins, has complained that her liege lord brought home a woman a few years ago, and still later, a second, with both of whom he lived as a man and wife right under her nose, after failing by the most brutal violence to thrust her out of the house. The villain is in the clutches of the proper officers, and is to be prosecuted under the Territorial statute, which provides twenty years imprisonment for adultery, and prohibits complaint except from husband or wife. That, you see, was to close us out, but how it does close them in! The mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine. The Mormons, in this dilemma, appear to think the courts won't dare to pronounce this offence adultery, although Christ did, and the laws do, because it was or is committed in the name of religion! Perhaps not many prosecutions of this kind will follow -- perhaps there will. Under another clause of the same law a person may be severely punished for lascivious conduct. And that is what keeping four or five women in one house, and having children by them, seems a good deal like to a decent man or woman.

Added to these things, Bill Hickman, the notorious Danite Captain, has given himself up to the officers of justice, thinking himself safer in Camp Douglas than at large. He has lived in constant fear of assassination by Church order for years, and is tired of it. Now, it is supposed, he is willing to endeavor to atone in some measure for his crimes by open confession. Two or three other Danite desperadoes were taken with him, and there is a shoal more of them. Should they make statements damaging to the Church, it may be cried down as an attempt on the part of the thorough villains to lighten the punishment of their own crimes by packing the blame on some one else, but it will be hard to cry down the same damning story in the mouths of numerous witnesses, corroborated, morally, by the notorious fact that countless secret murders have been committed in Utah, always of Gentiles or Mormons who refused to "obey counsel," and that no effort was ever made by the Mormon authorities, ecclesiastical or civil, to trace the murderers.

Two years ago I wrote you, after a close study of things in Utah, that, in my judgment, the best way to reach and break down Mormonism, in its political character, was to confront its head chiefs with their undoubted crimes, including Mountain Meadow massacre, one of the darkest on record. It could not be done then; it never could until now, because there were few but Mormons in the country, and all power was in their hands. Now it is different, and the victims of their crimes, of both sexes, are beginning to get courage to rise up against them. If it goes on it will corner them. They can't be so hopelessly demented and deluded as to attempt seriously to resist the Federal authority. The chiefs can't afford to face their crimes if brought unmistakably home to them on unimpeachable evidence. They can't reform any of them. Mormonism, if once taken into the system, taints the blood. The Mormons, high and low, are the veriest trash on earth, and everybody who comes in contact with them finds them so, unless it is to his interest not to. It is their religion to wrong the Gentile in any way they can with impunity. Talk about what they have done for the country! Sweep them out, as with a broom, to the last baby; remand Utah to its primitive state, and it will be worth ten-fold to the country what it is worth now. Why, it is as truly to-day a penal or convict colony of Great Britain as ever any part of Australia or New Zealand was. If tilling the ground and creating material wealth is a virtue, one-fourth the number of white people have done twice as much in that line in either of the surrounding communities in ten years as the Mormons have in twenty-four.

Let them get out. There isn't room on this continent for Asia and America both. If pressed to the wall, Asia will leave. And it is likely to be done, in spite of time-servers and trucklers, knaves, idiots, and lunatics. Brigham may go to the Sandwich Islands with the ringleaders, and the mass of fools follow as they can, and God grant they may all go, he, she, and it. Sustain the courts, pay their expenses, and something has got to give somewhere, soon. The strain is too great. And whoever thinks it will be Mormonism counts without his host. It may flee, but it won't give up, nor a jot nor a tittle. Fail to sustain the courts, recall "the troublesome Federal officers," consolidate Utah and Nevada, or adopt any of the other nostrums for curing the evil, and you will but give it new life. The joining of Utah and Nevada in one State, if it were possible, would soon precipitate war. You put 40,000 Americans beneath the heel of 90,000 Mormons, and they will fight. If you don't believe it, try it. A crisis in Utah affairs is approaching, in my opinion. What wants to be done is to simply and rigidly enforce the laws; that, and that only.


Meanwhile, they are branching out. Brigham has gone into banking. Hooper, Eldredge & Co.'s Bank, at Salt Lake, been made "The Bank of Deseret," with Brigham for President, and the good boys all round the table. They are building a railroad from Salt Lake to Provo, and projecting another from Ogden, through Cache Valley, to Soda Springs. They are likely to get the first done this fall, to all appearance. The other, not commenced yet, and promising nothing, financially, but only for the present a contrivance to isolate the Gentile town of Corinne from the Saints in that section, will doubtless be completed some time; and it is so written. The steamboat on Salt Lake is temporarily laid up for want of business, and the steam-wagon from California has gone home. The steamer was designed to pick up business with the southwestern shore of the lake, and to provide overland tourists with the means of traversing that strange sea. For the first, the mines of that section, about which such a lusty crowing has been kept up, are either not yet opened, or else have opened and shut again, or else they are neither one nor the other, nor yet what they have been held to be. For the second, it wants another host and a piece of railroad, 22 miles long, from the southern landing to Salt Lake City, when the lake would become part of the tourist's overland trip, keeping him only a few hours longer en route, but amply repaying that in the novel experience afforded.


And, by the way, it is rather against the Utah mines, so called, that out of the hundreds of croppings discovered, it would be hard to find tens that are not for sale. Men hunt them to sell, men buy them to sell again. In a late tour through the mining districts I heard of but one person or firm that was not on the sell. And you never heard of such fancy prices. A hole twenty feet deep, with any showing of ore at all, is held at from $20,000 to $200,000, according to the cheek of the owner. And, usually, he will neither work it nor allow you to. He is afraid it will pinch out. I suppose some few mines have been found and opened that are paying, but there is no telling. To be sure, 14,000 to 15,000 tons of ore have been sent off to date, last year and this, and about 12,000 tons of base bullion. But four-fifths of the ore was from the Emma mine, and, while there are at least a dozen furnaces of three to five tons capacity per day, the shipments prove that they are not doing well -- that they are not doing much of anything. Twelve hundred tons ought to be run out by the furnaces erected in thirty days. But it counts all that has ever been run out in the Territory, and there is no knowing how much of that has been done at a loss for the sake of backing up a selling speculation. In short, mining is not yet in a very healthy state, whether it ever becomes so or not.


Salt Lake City is improving some under the rush and fever. The buildings so far put up are lath and plaster concerns, and not of much account, however. The season has been very dry; Salt Lake has fallen a foot or more, yet the crops are harvested, and were scarcely ever better. Certainly so much ground was never cropped before in one year. One realizes, in such a season, the value of a stream of fine, fresh water. Salt Lake has got to resort to some other supply than City Creek, if she is to be a great town. Water is very scarce there this summer, either for irrigation or anything else. Some standard trees are dying for want of it, and many families are sorely pushed to get enough to use. But they can bring in the Cottonwood, and even the Jordan, if necessary.       DOUGLAS.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXXII.                                       Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday, October 30, 1871.                                      No. 58.


Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial.

Sketch of Brigham Young and His Associate
Polygamists, and of the United States
Court of Utah.

Salt Lake City, October 21.          
There are now two places in Salt Lake City of more superstitious consequence even than Brigham Young's Lion House or Camp Douglas. These are the Wahsatch Club -- the headquarters of the anti-Mormon "Ring" -- and the United States District Court room, over a livery stable... In this club meet by accident or design the members of the Federal Administration who are moving on the Mormon works, and at the same time upon the substantial interests of Utah, As they have written themselves up copiously for the Eastern press, they may not object to taking this current and third-party opinion of their qualifications. I give them in the order of brains and consequence.


1. Chief Justice of Utah, J. B. McKean, of New York State, an officer in the volunteer army during the war, and a prominent Methodist, formerly, it is said, a preacher. McKean came here upon a crusade against polygamy, and his fair abilities and great vanity have carried him through it thus far with about equal flourish and fearlessness. He is a wiry, medium-sized man, with a tall baldish head, gray side-locks, and very black, sallow eyes, at times resinous in color, like tar water. He looks, however, to be in the prime of strength and will, has never communicated with Brigham Young personally since he arrived, and is absorbed in the purpose of intimidating the Mormon Church or breaking it up. His behavior on the bench has been despotic and extra-judicial to the last degree, and he has also been unfortunate enough to compromise his reputation by mining speculations which have come before his court, and received influential consideration there.

2. R. N. Baskins [sic], the author of what is called in Congress the "Cullom Bill," and at present temporary Prosecuting Attorney before McKean's Court; a lean, lank, rather dirty and frowsy, red-headed young man, but a lawyer of shrewdness and coolness, and inflamed against Mormonism. He said, in a speech before McKean last Friday, that if Joseph Smith had been a eunuch he would never have received the revelation on polygamy. To this the Mormons retort that Baskins is married to a woman for whom he procured a divorce from a former husband, &c.

3. George R. Maxwell, an ex-officer from Michigan, with a game leg, a strong, dissipated face, and Register of the Land Office here; an indomitable man, but accused of corruption, and a chronic runner for Congress against delegate W. H. Hooper; thinks Congress is a vile body, because it will not put Hooper out of Congress for his creed, as promptly as Judge McKean would put him off a jury.

4. J. H. Taggert, United States Assessor; a person who was bitten by a dog some time ago, and charged the bite to Mormon assassins. Imperfect, indeed doubtful record in the army as surgeon, and chiefly potential as a gadder and street gossip against the Saints.

5. O. J. Hollister, United States Collector; uninteresting man who married the half sister of the Vice-President, and, although a determined anti-Mormon, does not agree with several of the Ring; the same is the case with several others; all want to be boss. Hollister deluges the Eastern press, from Chicago to New York, with letters of locums picked up at hearsay, and hardly reliable enough for a comic paper.

6. Dennis T. Toohy, editor and late partner with Hollister in the Corinne Reporter; an Irishman, witty and abusive, and incapable of working in harness. The Ring tactics have generally been to combine the Godbyites and the Gentiles in a "Liberal" or anti-Brigham party; but at a meeting of the two sets some time ago, Toohy denounced polygamy so violently that Godby and Eli B. Kelsey, apostates but polygamists, rose up and resented it.

7. Frank Kenyon, proprietor of the Review, a paper which has superseded the Salt Lake Tribune in irritating the Mormons; a Montana man, and with so little fortitude that when the indictment of Brigham was proposed, he sent his domestic treasures to San Francisco.

8. C. M. Hawley, Associate Justice with McKean, but not servile, like O. F. Strickland, the other Judge. Hawley bores people on the streets by reading his long opinions to them. He nearly made O. P. Morton a polygamist lately by reading to him opinions the other way.

8 1/2. C. M. Hawley, jr., son of the aforesaid, a weakish, flop-whiskered, insubstantial young man, who stood [challenged] at the polls in Salt Lake recently, with too many horns "into" him, and was arrested by the city police and confined two hours; he now has a suit against the corporation for twenty-five thousand dollars damages, and one of the usual packed juries may award it.

9. George A. Black, Secretary of the Territory, author of the proclamation against the Fourth of July here.

10. Geo. L. Woods, of Oregon, the Governor; a red-headed, gristly, large man, of little mental 'heft,' Woods refused to let the Mormon militia celebrate the Fourth of July last year, and ordered, through Black, General De Trobriand to turn out his regular army garrison and fire on the Nauvoo Legion if they disobeyed...     T.

(for the remainder of this text see George A. Townsend's original letter

Note 1: The Salt Lake Tribune of Nov. 11, 1871 took note of G. A. Townsend's journalistic adoption of the Mormon party line, attributing that rhetoric to a pay-off from the LDS leaders: "...on his last visit [to Utah] he was duly paid to write up one side of the [Mormon] question and it was becoming him as a Bohemian, that he should earn his stipend..." -- Townsend's probable connections with Nevada Senator William M. Stewart, Former Nevada Representative Thomas Fitch and the ongoing Emma Silver Mine litigation were not mentioned. Fitch (then the Gentile attorney for the LDS Church) probably supplied much of the information relayed by Townsend in his Oct. 1871 letters from Salt Lake City to the Cincinnati Commercial.

Note 2: Ovando J. Hollister (#5 on Mr. Townsend's list of bad Gentiles) submitted a series of letters throughout 1871, to the Chicago Tribune, touching frequently upon these matters. A line from one of his letters, dated Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 2, 1871 and published on Sept. 11th, reads as follows: "adventurers from different quarters who had heard of the Emma Mine, and were consumed by the desire to become suddenly rich regardless of expense of wear and tear. A large division of this crew appears to have taken its cue from Stewart and Fitch, for they either stood aloof from our politics entirely, or threw their influence, such as it was, with the Mormons. Stewart took occasion, at a reception given him as Senator in Salt Lake, to give in his adhesion, practically, to Brighamism. Fitch went up to the Tabernacle on the Fourth of July, and, while professing to disapprove of polygamy, misrepresented, calumniated, and condemned those who are trying to set bounds to it."

Vol. XXXI.                                        New York City, Saturday, November 18, 1871.                                        No. 9,554.



To the Editor of The Tribune.

Sir: A correspondent of yours at this place writes or telegraphs:

You have already published the section of the Territorial statute, passed by an exclusively Mormon Legislature in 1852, when Brigham Young was Governor, and approved by him, under which the present indictment is found. Of course that law was never intended to punish the act of polygamy as practiced by the Mormons. It was aimed at a totally different offense, that of sexual intercourse without the formality of a Mormon marriage. This fact has been variously commented upon by visitors since the commencement of these proceedings. It has happened that several prominent members of the bar, East and West, and one United States Judge, have visited the city temporarily during the past week. To all these the Court-room has been an object of interest, and criticisms not altogether favorable to the positions assumed by the Chief-Justice have been publicly indulged in. The visiting Judge to whom I have alluded remarked to your correspondent that in his opinion the intent of the law should govern the proceedings under it, and that as the man who passed the act did not intend to stand up as infamous one of the prominent articles of their religious faith, it would be a gross perversion of law as well as of justice to so construe the act as to make the system known here as "plural marriage" lewdness under the act. He characterized the course pursued by the prosecuting officer, under the sanction of the Court, as rather the trick of a pettifogger than the well-directed effort of a sound jurist to punish crime. With the act of Congress against polygamy -- the very crime which it is now sought to punish by this prosecution -- still on the statute books unenforced; with the duty of the prosecuting officer plainly pointed out by the terms of that Congress enactment, he failed to see the propriety of instituting proceedings under a Territorial statute, designed solely for the punishment of prostitutes and other vile characters.

Allow me to show that this is an assumption unsustained and unsustainable by a particle of proof. Nothing whatever was offered on the trial of Hawkins to sustain it -- it was not even attempted. There is nothing in the statute itself to show that those who made it did not mean precisely what they said, no more nor less, as McKean charged his jury. There is no proof but Mormon testimony that the men who framed the statute were polygamists, either in theory or practice; and that testimony has not been adduced yet in this controversy, doubtless from the knowledge that it would not and ought not to have any weight.

Why? Because, from the organization of the Mormon church in 1830 to Aug. 29, 1852, about six months after the approval of this statute, every Mormon leader, priest, publicist, preacher, missionary, agent, conference, book, or periodical, that alluded to the subject at all, classed polygamy as fornication, or adultery, or lascivious co-habitation, almost in the identical language of this statute, denounced and condemned it as a gross crime, denied indignantly that the church believed, taught, or practiced it, and characterized the charge that it did as a malicious calumny of its enemies. On one occasion Joseph Smith himself, John Taylor, Willard Richards, and other leading Mormons, made oath before a civil magistrate, at Carthage, Ill., to this effect. Let me cite their history on this point:

In 1830 the Book of Mormon was published, which explicitly condemns polygamy in divers places, declaring it to be abominable before the Lord and forbidding its practice. The next year the Book of Doctrines and Covenants was published, which also pointedly condemns it, repeatedly. In 1844 Joseph and Hyrum Smith publicly denounced and expelled from the Church one Hiram Brown, for "preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines," as appears of record in The Times and Seasons, Church paper at Nauvoo, vol. 5, p. 423. Shortly afterward Hyrum Smith repeated this denunciation and repudiation of polygamy in the same paper, vol. 5, p. 474. In 1845 The Millennial Star, Mormon organ at Liverpool, vol. 6, p. 22, characterized "spiritual wifery" as "a doctrine of devils and seducing spirits, out another name for whoredom, wicked and unlawful connection, and every kind of confusion, corruption, and abomination." In the following year the European Conference repudiated both the doctrine and practice in the strongest terms.

In 1848, The Millennial Star, vol. 10, p. 137, called down the vengeance of Heaven on all the liars who charged "such odious practices as spiritual wifery and polygamy" upon the Church, saying: "In all ages of the Church the truth has been turned into a lie, and the grace of God converted into lasciviousness, by men who have sought to make 'a gain of godliness,' and feed their lusts on the credulity of the righteous and unsuspicious. Next to the long-hackneyed and bugaboo whisperings of polygism is another abomination that sometimes shows its serpentine crests, which we shall call sexual resurrection. The doctrines of corrupt spirits are always in close affinity with each other, whether they consist in spiritual wifeism, sexual resurrection, gross lasciviousness, the unavoidable separation of husbands and wives, or the communism of property." In 1850 Elder John Taylor held a discussion at Boulogne, France, with three English clergymen. They quoted from some anti-Mormon works, just then published, charging the Church with polygamy, to which Taylor replied: "We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief; therefore I shall consent myself by reading from a work published by us, containing some of the articles of our faith." He then read from the section entitled "Marriage:" "Inasmuch is this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." This is from the appendix to Doctrines and Covenants, which was adopted in full Conference the year after Smith's death -- 1845.

This is the kind of testimony the Mormons bore to the world touching polygamy from their very start down to Aug. 29, 1852, six months after the approval of this famous statute, when they first changed their tune and avowed it as part of their religious belief and practice. To this date we have seen they steadily condemned polygamy, and denied that they taught, believed in, or practiced it. There is no conflicting testimony; it is all one way, and sworn to at that. Suppose they should now make oath that, at the time of the enacting of said statute, or at any time, polygamy was a part of their religion, and its practice commanded them of God as a means of grace, could it be regarded as evidence? If so, upon what principle?

What proof, then, can be adduced that those who made this statute intended to except adultery and lascivious cohabitation when called "polygamy" from its operation? Is not the assumption that they did so intend more violent than the assumption that they did not? They didn't except it in the statute itself; I venture the assertion that there is nothing in the Legislative journals to show that they had such a thought; and for twenty-two years, extending beyond the passage of the statute by six months, they themselves had never referred to polygamy but in language almost identical with that if the statute, to wit: Doctrine of devils, fornication, whoredom, gross lasciviousness, wicked and unlawful connection, etc., etc.

The only question that remains is, Are we bound -- was or is the Government bound -- in the pending prosecution of polygamy, to take into account what has been avowed, averred, and done since by these slippery men in determining the intent of the Legislature which passed the statute referred to? Would it not be giving them more consideration than they are entitled to demand under the circumstances to do so? It might be more desirable, perhaps, to proceed under the Anti-Polygamy act of Congress, but it is impossible, because no legal proof can be procured of its violation; and that chiefly because the Mormon's endowment oath absolves him from all others whatsoever, so that he will go before a grand jury and perjure himself by the mouth to serve his Church. Nor can Congress mend the matter. It is as bad to disregard the forms of law and justice in one direction as another. Congress couldn't if it would make proof legal that isn't egal to meet a special case, even the confessedly bad ones of the Mormons. So that it would seem the prosecution for polygamy must proceed under this statute or break down entirely.

And if so much is to be claimed for these men, who have been as cruel and unscrupulous as the worst robber-barons of feudal times In forcing a worse than feudal custom on an unwilling people, beginning by threatening them with the displeasure of the Almighty, and ending, if they stood out, by cutting their throat -- of course "to save their souls" -- if these men are to have so much consideration, surely their victims should have some. What of Mrs. Hawkins, for instance, whose husband's brutal treatment in casting her off after she had borne him seven children, and marrying other women, bringing them into the house and trying to put her out, drove her to prosecute him? Are she and her class never to have redress? No one can be prosecuted under the law except on complaint of husband or wife. Usually, it would require a great deal of bad treatment to drive husband or wife to prosecute the other under this or any law. It is safe to conclude that where man or woman is compelled to invoke it, its punishment is deserved.

As to the community at large, it is not to be supposed that it is to be prosecuted for polygamy under any statute. It would be physically impossible. But polygamy can be stamped as illegal in the case of the more prominent leaders, and the Saints once for all satisfied that it is incompatible with our laws, and will be held so. That is needed to start it on the decline. It has not begun to decline, yet, despite the almost universal impression, outside, of Utah, that it has; and if it wins the field now it will be long enough before its decline comes. Defeated now, perhaps it would listen to terms, and if it would, Congress might meet it part way by condoning what has been done on consideration that it should now stop, absolutely. Two years ago, when this was tendered, substantially, the Mormons scouted the idea. It was "The Kingdom or nothing." When they find that the sovereignty of the Government, its laws, and institutions, must indeed prevail in Utah, it will be more reasonable, or it will pack up its hodge-podge of politics, religion, and social institutions, and leave the continent.

Brigham Young, presented by the Grand Jury for divers and sundry murders, and fleeing from justice with a lot of his concubines and a guard of the Nauvoo Legion, doesn't seem to me to be a very fine subject to favor, at the expense of his dupes and victims.     O. J. H.
    Salt Lake City, Nov. 2. 1871.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXXI.                                    New York City, Wednesday, November 22, 1871.                                    No. 9,557.





Salt Lake, Nov. 12. -- The fact is indisputable that the Mormon Church is practically without a head. Whatever excuses may be offered by his friends for his absence from home, there can be no doubt that Brigham is a fugitive from the officers of the law. To be sure he has often visited the Southern settlements at this season of the year, but his departure has not heretofore been taken silently and almost alone. In all his previous journeys his progress has been like the triumphal march of a conquering hero. His last exit was as the flight of a hunted felon. To-day he rests upon the Arizona line, 300 miles away from the seat of his late Empire, the destiny of which he has swayed with conceded skill for 24 years, but in which his rule is practically ended. Though still the nominal "head of the church," he no more governs its affairs than he would were his bones already in the grave which he cannot now long escape, in the natural order of things. His absence does not create so much as a ripple upon the surface of society. Younger men have taken his place in spiritual affairs, as well as temporal, and, from being his proxies, are now his practical successors. Although he would be unwilling to admit it, those who have watched him narrowly are aware that his intellectual vigor and business capacity have greatly waned during the last few years. No longer the great and powerful leader, he is now unquestionably led by a few of his more vigorous brethren, in whose ability and judgment he has learned to confide. These are the real Mormon leaders, the power behind the throne, and to them must the people look for future guidance. While only a small minority of them can claim great spiritual gifts, and while to the majority the "foolishness of preaching," at least grammatically and coherently, will never be charged, the little circle aggregates faith in the Mormon doctrines, great business sagacity and experience, and that large and hard-earned wealth which is the legitimate gauge of ability.

Of these men, I hope to speak fully hereafter, and I shall strive to so photograph them for the readers of The Tribune, that the future of the organization, which would to-day be a practical nullity but for their vitalizing influence, may be approximately foretold. To-day, I propose to allow one of these men to speak for himself and for the church of which he may yet be the spiritual head. It is useless for the Mormons to seek to conceal the fact that the possibility that a successor for Brigham may soon be needed has been widely discussed of late. During his sickness in September, he inquired of his first counselor, George A. Smith, how he supposed the Church would get along without him in the event of his death. As Brigham's lightest words are looked upon as semi-prophecies by the mass of his followers, this inquiry was accepted as a virtual admission of the probable nearness of that grim Marshal whose process even prophets rarely evade. To another he admitted his waning powers by the remark after his recovery, that he "thought the worn-out boiler might be patched up so as to allow the engine to make a few more trips." But now in addition to his more than three score and ten years, and the growing feebleness which he has long resisted but which he is at last compelled to confess, he finds himself a wanderer from home and its comforts; hunted like a dangerous thing beyond the confines of his own dominions; it is not surprising, therefore, that the claims of men to the successorship should be quietly discussed by the public at large, if not by his nearest friends.

It is admitted that the candidates are in number only two, and that upon one of these the mantle must fall. These are George A. Smith and George Q. Cannon. The former is a cousin of the founder, Joseph -- the second officer of the church, and probably the most popular man among the leaders. He is 54 years of age, of huge proportions, and has the reputation of being, like King Cole of convivial memory, "a jolly old soul." To the superficial observer he is little more than this; while to those who have thoughtfully analyzed his qualities, he is a most sagacious and thoughtful man. If his health -- somewhat impaired of late -- does not fail, he will probably be the immediate successor of the present incumbent of the office of "President."

Desirous of learning the views of one so near the throne upon numerous topics now under general discussion, I called at his residence, and was met with the intelligence that "President Smith accompanied President Young on his journey to the southern settlements." As the laudable ambition which animates all Tribune correspondents to secure the bubble, information, even in the Cannon's mouth, was strong within me, I determined to seek out that younger, though scarce less prominent Saint and Apostle, George Q. Cannon, editor of The Deseret News, and one of the leading pulpit orators of the Mormon faith. I found this gentleman in his great office, surrounded by numerous assistants, and amid a scene of industry so active as to be almost confusing. The News is published in the old "Tithing Office," although the composing-rooms and steam presses are in an adjacent building. Here are prepared and published the various editions of the Church organ, as also a doctrinal paper for children, and those fearfully unreadable volumes upon which, to the unregenerate mind, so much good ink and inoffensive paper have been wasted -- the "Book of Mormon," and the "Book of Doctrines and Covenants."

My possible future "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" proved to be a modest, mild-mannered, smiling gentleman of 42, stout of flesh, low of stature, rubicund of countenance, and ready of tongue. After a brief and pleasant fusillade of small talk, we settled down to the siege, which, unintentionally to your correspondent, assumed at times the nature of a discussion rather than a series of questions and responses.

Correspondent -- I have called Mr. Cannon, to have a little plain talk with you, and I trust you will not be offended if I ask you some questions which may appear impertinent. It is reported that Brigham Young is a fugitive from justice. Is it true?

Cannon -- No. Justice is the very thing he desires. He would gladly go any reasonable distance, I believe, to obtain it.

Correspondent -- How do you reconcile the fact of his departure under the cover of darkness, with the remark made by him to me a month since, that he should hold himself ready to answer any charge which might be made against him, and should "fight his enemies in their own courts and with their own weapons?"

Cannon -- I was absent at the time of his departure and am not aware that he went away at night. To prevent excitement President Young is fully justified in moving about with as much quietness as possible. He had good reasons to suppose that his trial, upon the only charge which had been made against him, would be deferred, if not till the March term of Court, at least for some weeks. It was President Young's intention, long before any indictments had been found against him, to spend the Winter in a milder climate, and when he started, there was no reason to suppose that his presence would be required in Salt Lake City for some time.

Correspondent -- Do you believe Brigham would be willing to risk a trial either on the present charges of lascivious cohabitation with his wives and the murder of Yates, or upon a charge of polygamy under the act of Congress of 1862, if he could be convinced that the trials would be conducted fairly, honestly, and ably?

Cannon -- A trial such as you describe -- fair, able, and honest -- could not, in my opinion, be obtained here as the Court is at present constituted. In fact, everything has been prearranged to prevent such a trial. Nothing less than conviction will satisfy the judge and the officers of the Court. I do not say this at random. Look at the pains which have been taken to set aside the Territorial statutes which prescribe the mode of impaneling juries, while, at the same time another statute, the penalties for the violation of which are severe, is selected under which to prosecute. Were a properly selected jury impaneled, either Mormon or non-Mormon, no conviction could be secured; but now the United States Marshal goes out on the street with an open venire and selects whom pleases him as jurors. If they are not of the right kind they undergo a process of winnowing after reaching the court-room, which leaves none whose opinion is doubtful. What chance has an innocent man, if a prominent Mormon and accused of crime, for his life before such a court? I honestly think that judicial murder is the object aimed at; for the decisions of these courts are final, there is no appeal from them.

Correspondent -- Suppose Congress should pass a law providing for appeals from the decisions of United States Territorial Courts in criminal cases, would your leading men, if convicted, carry up cases, and be governed by the decisions of the higher Court?

Cannon -- It is difficult to say what others would do under suppositious circumstances. If our leading men were convicted I think they would, without doubt, carry up the cases if they had the opportunity; and so fully convinced are they of acquittal by the higher Court that the idea of not being governed by its decision has never entered their minds.

Correspondent -- Let me bring the subject nearer home. You are now under indictment for sexual intercourse with your plural wives. If your case comes to trial do you anticipate a conviction?

Cannon -- I think, as I have said, that I have ample reasons to believe that conviction is the settled purpose of the Court and prosecution, evidence or no evidence.

Correspondent -- Well, then, imagine yourself convicted, and that a law exists whereby you can appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. You appeal to that tribunal, which affirms the decision of the Court below. Would you then feel it to be your duty to abandon the practice of polygamy?

Cannon -- So confident do I feel that our marriage institution does not conflict with the Constitution, that I never contemplate the possibility of the Supreme Court affirming such a decision as you suggest. In fact, such an affirmation would have been impossible by the Supreme Court at any period since its organization, and would be equally impracticable as the Court is at present constituted. I state this with the more confidence, because it is not simply my opinion, but the opinion of the best jurists of either hemisphere, the question having been widely discussed.

Correspondent -- Setting aside the religious bearing of the polygamy question, do you believe that the practice, if adopted by the world, would be conductive of morality?

Cannon -- With my views I cannot set aside the religious bearing of polygamy. I am a believer in polygamy because God, through revelation, has commanded it; but I cannot see why it would not be conducive of morality if adopted and honestly entertained by the world. With proper enlightenment, I think the system every way better for both sexes than monogamy.

Correspondent -- But is not polygamy a grievance and an injustice to woman?

Cannon -- No, not when engaged in a proper spirit; but any kind of marriage is liable to abuse. There is a class of persons who consider all marriage a grievance and an injustice to woman. But our religion teaches women to view marriage as essential to salvation; it is an ordinance entered into for time and to eternity. "The man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord;" they must be united, and, as the Savior says, "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage," they must be united here. We believe that women are more susceptible of religious impressions than men, are more pure, unselfish and true, and that more of them will be saved than of men. To conform to the order of Heaven, they must have husbands; hence their willingness to enter into polygamy. Any system which entails daily misery without justifiable cause or compensation is a false system. Polygamy does not have this effect. Let an equal number of polygamic and monogamic households be selected, and, in proportion to the numbers, I am convinced that the aggregate of happiness will be on the side of the former. Among wives whose husbands are polygamists, there must be a sacrifice of selfishness. This their religion enables them to make; yet it brings its compensations in being a more natural state, and producing a more vigorous posterity. That women are happy in making this sacrifice is evident from the fact that, if the fate of polygamy were left to the decision of the first wives of polygamists, the majority would vote to sustain it. They have proved this many times, and more recently in the petition lately sent to Mrs. Grant. I have not alluded to its effects upon society at large. Wives here have a confidence in the virtue of their husbands which you seek for in vain in the monogamic communities. Whatever relations a man enters into are known to his family, and, in nearly every instance, have their consent. There are no concealments or evasions upon the subject. You must have noticed that, so far as the Mormons are concerned, prostitution is unknown among them. If you consult physicians of long standing in the community they will inform you that through years of practice they have never met a case of the description which furnishes to many physicians, where the "social evil" prevails, a large part of their practice.

Correspondent -- Do you mean by this that polygamy in Utah supplies a demand which such houses would otherwise have to meet? If so, tell me the difference between the two institutions, except in name?

Cannon -- To do away with prostitution, several things are required; first, marriage should be honored, encouraged, and facilitated; second, if necessary for the marriage of women, there should be no legal objection to a man having more than one wife; third, sexual intercourse outside of marriage should be severely punished, especially so far as the men are concerned. That would abolish prostitution. I never compare marriage, singular or plural, with prostitution. There can be no comparison. The marriage of more than one woman to one man is for the benefit of the women; that each may have a husband and thus honorably fulfill her appointed maternal destiny. Houses of prostitution are established to satisfy the lusts of men utterly regardless of what becomes of the debauched women.

Correspondent -- You appear to look upon polygamy as the one sole panacea for the "social evil." Am I therefore to infer that, in your opinion, the system would ultimately win its way among cultivated nations, without reference to any religious belief?

Cannon -- There are many reasons why it should become general in the future, as it has been in the past.

Correspondent -- Do you believe with many Gentiles, and not a few Mormons, that polygamy is dying out?

Cannon -- I do not believe that polygamy will soon die out. Men are not all sufficiently honorable to marry, and while this is the case, there will always be women to whom polygamy will be a boon. Abuse of polygamy ought to die out, and the sooner the better.

Correspondent -- You admit abuses then?

Cannon -- Certainly. "Where is the palace into which foul things sometimes intrude not?"

Correspondent -- But why not abandon polygamy entirely, since the practice is so utterly at variance with the opinion of the Christian world and the laws of the land?

Cannon -- Had you asked a Christian in the days of Nero why he did not abandon his faith, which was so utterly at variance with the popular civilization and its opinions, what would have been his reply do you think? Why should we abandon that which we know to be right? Why should any of our fellow-citizens ask us to deny our faith and follow their lead in matters of conscience, when in the practice of our faith we trespass upon no one's rights? The only law of the land which is at variance with it was passed, as we hold, in express violation of the first amendment to the Constitution, and is a measure of religious persecution.

Correspondent -- You seem to construe everything into "religious persecution" which affects one of your people adversely. Do you not believe that the United States authorities should punish crime in Utah as well as elsewhere?

Cannon -- Of course I do. But, as an unprejudiced observer, you will not deny that the prosecutions now in progress here show a vindictiveness and partiality not consistent with the dignity of the United States Government.

Correspondent -- Do you believe this warfare to have been authorized by President Grant?

Cannon -- I am informed that he has lately remarked that he hopes to be able to say, in his next annual message to Congress, that polygamy is practically uprooted, and I have no doubt he believes that this statement would greatly aid him in his aspirations for a second term. But I have no idea that he is fully and fairly informed as to the unfair and tricky measures employed by his officers here.

Correspondent -- What do you mean by "unfair and tricky measures?"

Cannon -- I need scarcely answer that question, because you know, and this whole community knows, be they friends or enemies, precisely what I mean. But I will answer you. I mean the uniformly unfair and illegal rulings of Judge McKean; the careful packing of all grand and petit juries so as to exclude each and every man who is not an avowed and self-proclaimed hater and abuser of the Mormons; the trick, so generally condemned by the press East and West -- inimical as well as friendly -- of indicting and convicting Mormons for polygamy, under a Territorial law, passed by a Mormon Legislature, composed chiefly of polygamists, and designed to punish lewd persons and fornicators; instead of proceeding under an act passed by Congress to punish the actual offense complained of.

Correspondent -- How do you account for the fact that these prosecutions against polygamists were commenced under the Territorial law, and not under the act of Congress?

Cannon -- The reasons are obvious, to my mind. First, the act of Congress provides that the second marriage must be proved in order to convict. The prosecution evidently finds such proof difficult to obtain. Second, the penalty under the Territorial act is about four times as severe as the other. Third, the prosecution seek to humiliate us by distorting our own laws to suit their purpose. Fourth, they fear that we might possibly carry the cases tried under the Congress act up on a writ of error, which could not be done under our Territorial laws.

Correspondent -- There is abundant testimony to the fact that polygamy was really practiced by members of your Church as early as 1845, even while its existence was openly denied and denounced by your elders and in your publications. Do you consider that equivocation commendable?

Cannon -- I never denied polygamy when I knew it was a doctrine of this Church. If others have done so they can answer to themselves. The practice of polygamy was commanded by the Almighty in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, on the 12th day of July, 1843. I know there were some who were ignorant of the revelation for a considerable period, and who therefore honestly denied the doctrine. While equivocation may not be commendable, I can imagine circumstances where it would be defensible.

Correspondent -- If it was proper to "deny the faith" in the matter of polygamy in the early days of the practice, as a Mormon paper, The Times and Seasons, did in 1844 (page 423), and as The Millennial Star, another Church organ, did in 1845 (vol. vi, p. 22), as well as in 1848 (vol. x, p. 157), why is it not equally proper now?

Cannon -- I never denied the faith in the matter of polygamy in the early days of the practice, and cannot admit its propriety in my own case either then or now. But circumstances alter cases. What is proper to avow at one time it may be improper to avow at another time. Everybody knows this. As a people we have always been remarkably frank in avowing our belief. It is this frankness which shocks many people.

Correspondent -- Do you believe that Mormonism has improved the worldly condition of its followers and has made them better men and women?

Cannon -- I have no doubt of it. That it has improved the outward condition of the people, nearly all of whom were exclusively poor before coming here, and all or nearly all of whom now own land and live in their own houses, you will admit. Not one case of starvation or absolute suffering for lack of food has ever occurred among us. That the influence of the Mormon faith has made the people better, nobler, and purer, no one who knows them intimately can deny. Licentiousness, intemperance and vice have rarely existed in this or any Mormon community. Persons upon whose characters the least stain has been known to rest have never been received into the Church until they have manifested the most sincere repentance, and have proved their sincerity by a pure and honest life. The Mormon Church now numbers not less than 250,000 souls, and to all of these have come nobler views of life and its duties, a fervor of religious feeling in the presence of which no impurity or dishonesty can possibly exist; elevation of character, and material prosperity such as few out of this multitude could have otherwise enjoyed. Have not the Mormons then reduced the sum of human evils and largely increased the sum of human happiness? What system has done more than this? What one claims to have done more? When you charge us with offenses let me ask you to tell me, if you can, what religious system has always been blameless? What one has offended no moral sense, perpetuated no erroneous and dangerous doctrines, resorted to no violent measures, cherished no animosities, and sanctioned no crimes? Is not a so-called "Christian Church" now instigating the law to acts of lawlessness? and does not the spirit of religious persecution inform and animate the present crusade against a rival creed? In this respect we might well claim to be "holier than thou." We make no war upon other creeds. We say to each and every denomination, Come and build your churches, and though, as now, we outnumber you as a hundred to one, we will never molest or persecute you. Your religion is a matter between you and your God; ours is not less so with us. Are you willing to treat us as well as we treat you?

Correspondent -- But we see immorality, in the name of religion, in your system.

Cannon -- Pardon me if I give the lie to that assertion. You discover no immorality in our system. To give emphasis to my assertion, let me ask you if you have ever met any members of our Church in your travels outside of Utah?

Correspondent -- I have, hundreds of them.

Cannon -- Well, then, I challenge you to point out one act of licentiousness, impurity, profanity, dishonesty, intemperance, or vice, on the part of any Mormon, here or elsewhere. You cannot do it! Publish this challenge as widely as you please, and you shall find that while the whole Christian world will assert all manner of evil of us, not one credible witness will be able to speak ill of us from what he knows, or to testify against us from what he has seen. Every fragment of valid evidence will be found to proceed from the mouth of that common liar -- "common rumor."

Correspondent -- When I spoke of "immorality in the name of religion" I of course alluded to polygamy, which to our civilization is at once anomalous and offensive.

Cannon -- How offensive? Does it hurt you? Did you ever see any person who was injured by it?

Correspondent -- Mrs. Hawkins whose husband is now under sentence for the crime says she was.

Cannon -- The testimony proved that Mrs. Hawkins was a very uncomfortable person, who would have been unhappy under any circumstances. Possibly Mr. Hawkins was guilty of favoritism as charged. If so, he acted very unwisely, and did not fully live his religion. But the Hawkins case represents no general sentiment. It is exceptional in every way. Before Johnson's army was sent here by Buchanan to destroy us, it was widely published that as soon as an opportunity offered the Mormon wives would seek refuge with the army from their oppressors -- their husbands. The army came, but not a woman deserted. And now the Court comes and opens its arms to all who seek such relief as Courts can give, but no woman flies to its embraces, save Mrs. Hawkins, the termagant, as all people say, the denouncer of the new religion which she solemnly espoused, and now declares to be a "damned doctrine" in which she "never believed." But you charge that polygamy is an anomaly as well as an offense. There again you are wrong. In your narrow circle it is no doubt anomalous. But if you will travel and read the history of all nations and all times, you will find that polygamy is and has been practiced by all but a minute fraction of the human race, and that some of the most powerful, cultivated, and happy peoples have known no other system. Yet you oppose your minute fraction against the united voice of the majority of mankind. I do not object to your opposition. I only object to your persecution. I do not say that you shall believe and act as I do, or be deprived of your liberty, even though I am in the majority, and have been since the world began, and must be till time shall end.

Correspondent -- Let me refer to other crimes charged against you. There is a very general and widespread belief that many apostates from the Mormon faith, as well as many Gentiles who have been considered enemies, have been murdered here by direction of the Mormon Church authorities. What have you to say to this?

Cannon -- Nothing. I have committed no murder; I do not know of any one else having committed murder. These stories have been fabricated. There is no place on this continent where the lives and property of all classes have been more safe than in Utah Territory. Our citizens have endured insults and abuse from apostates and others, which, if they had been leveled against other communities by persons resident in their midst, would have provoked riots and possibly the organization of vigilance committees.

Correspondent -- There was the case of the Parrishes, for complicity in which one of your Bishops, Johnson, is now under indictment -- I suppose no doubt exists that a murder was committed there?

Cannon -- If the testimony of the self-confessed murderer, Durfee, can be relied upon, I suppose there was murder. I was away from Utah during that and subsequent years, and know only about the case from rumor. Durfee, I understand, says he killed somebody, and tries to implicate others in the transaction. The Parrishes, whom I never knew, were said to be abominably vile and licentious in every way. The fact that Johnson is released on bail shows pretty plainly the opinion entertained by the Court respecting his case.

Correspondent -- Then the case of Dr. Robinson, who is declared to me to have been a good, Christian young man. Is it not clear that he was shot by Mormons while on a professional errand by night? Cannon -- A strict investigation of this case, directly after the occurrence, in which ex-Gov. Waller of California took an active part as legal adviser in an attempt to implicate the Mormons, failed to elicit, so far as I ever heard, a scintilla of evidence against them. Had such evidence been obtained it would have been proclaimed trumpet-tongued through the land in a tangible shape, and not as bare assertion. I have heard that when the investigation took a turn In a direction exculpatory of the Mormons it was arrested. It has been reported, how truly I know not, that "galvanized Yanks," who had been punished for misconduct at Camp Douglass, of which he was post-surgeon, threatened his life. Certainly the Mormons had nothing to gain by his death. But why should this community be held responsible for the murder of Dr. Robinson? Mr. Nathan was killed in New-York. He was a Jew. His assassin is yet unknown. How would the Christian citizens of New-York feel to have his death laid to their door, or to be held accountable for his assassination?

Correspondent -- But the "Morrisites," as they were called, in which case the killing was not denied. How do you explain away the charge of cold-blooded murder made against the Mormons in that case?

Cannon -- The Morrisite case was simply a process of law. A band of people had organized themselves and commenced depredations upon the stock of citizens. Two men, whose stock had been stolen, went to their camp in search of their property. They were seized imprisoned, and their lives were threatened. Measures were taken to release them by civil process, but in vain. The Chief-Justice of the Territory called for a posse, which was at first denied by the Executive, but which, after repeated attempts on the part of the Sheriff to serve the writs had failed, was furnished. In the meantime Morris and his people had intrenched themselves, determined to resist the officers by force of arms. They shot and killed two of the posse, but were finally captured, some of their number being killed in the attack upon their camp. If ever officers of the law were justified in using force, it was in this case; and had this affair occurred in any other community, nothing condemnatory of the officers would have been heard. An attempt has been made to show that there was unnecessary billing on the part of the posse after the surrender; but the facts are, that after the rioters' stronghold had been entered and their arms stacked, Morris incited his followers to rush for their arms, he himself leading the way, for the purpose of shooting the Marshall and the few men who were admitted. This treachery was only prevented by the prompt shooting down of Morris and one or two more who were in the act of seizing their guns.

Correspondent -- It has been charged that the then Chief-Justice of the Territory, who was instrumental in procuring that raid upon the Morrisites, was assisted by the then Governor, and that both were influenced either by the Mormon leaders or by a desire to secure their favor. Is this view probably correct?

Cannon -- It is not correct. Their conduct was such as might be expected from officers sworn to maintain the laws under similar circumstances in any State or Territory, and nothing more.

Correspondent -- Were these Morrisites not apostates, and was it not a great satisfaction to the Mormons to have them broken up, and their leaders destroyed?

Cannon -- They were apostates. Their being broken up and their leaders being destroyed was no satisfaction to the people, except, perhaps, those who had suffered from their thievish propensities. Our experience has taught us that violence is a bad weapon to use against any system, true or false. It was no wish of the Mormons to form this posse; in fact, President Young expressed his views of the inexpediency of calling it out.

Correspondent -- But the Mountain Meadow massacre, in which more than a hundred immigrants -- men, women, and children -- were butchered. Do you deny that Mormons had a hand in that?

Cannon -- I cannot deny it, but I do not believe it. If they did, no punishment can be too severe for them. It was clearly the work of Indians, who have always been dangerous in those parts. President Young has repeatedly expressed the desire that the facts of the case should be investigated by the officers of the law, in order that the terrible stigma should be removed from the Mormons.

Correspondent -- Do you believe Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, or Hosea Stout authorized or in any way abetted the killing of Yates, as charged in the indictment?

Cannon -- I do not.

Correspondent -- If you were directed by Brigham Young to kill a person, would you consider it your duty to obey?

Cannon -- I consider your question an insult to me and to President Young. I never suppose any such contingency. I would be as likely to commit such a deed as he to counsel it.

Correspondent -- You were excluded from the Grand Jury by Judge McKean. Let me ask whether you would, if allowed to serve, vote to convict a brother Mormon under any circumstances?

Cannon -- Mr. Correspondent, would not a Baptist consider you impertinent if you were to ask him if he would convict a brother Baptist? If I were to sit on a jury I should endeavor to mete out justice to all, Mormon or non-Mormon.

Correspondent -- In your paper of Oct. 4, you published an editorial item from which I will read: "It would be an excellent thing for the names of all those who are engaged in attempting to harass the people, and eat out their substance, to be taken and held in remembrance for future use. Somebody will have to pay the costs of all these unrighteous proceedings, with interest, too. A day of reckoning will come, and if at that day the immediate authors of these proceedings shall have gone to their own place, their children, where they have any, can be called on to pay the accumulated debt, even though they have to sell themselves, body and soul, to do it. They cannot escape ultimate retribution." Now, let me ask, what did you mean by this? Your language is threatening, and your threats are evidently aimed at the officers of the General Government here. What is this penalty which you propose to inflict upon the persons to whom you allude, or their children, and how do you expect to collect the debt of which you speak?

Cannon -- I threaten nobody, nor do I propose to inflict any penalty upon anybody. It is a divine and natural law that the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the heads of the children. I consider that the present crusade against the Mormons is wholly unjustifiable and unmitigatedly malicious and wicked, and, therefore, as men are to be held accountable for the deeds done in the body, I expect to see the time when justice will overtake the instigators and perpetrators of these evil actions, and they must pay the penalty of their crimes in oppressing the Mormons. The Bible emphatically says, "The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet." I believe in the Bible, and expect that to come to pass in regard to the Mormons and all crusaders against them. It will be highly interesting to trace the hand of the Lord in accomplishing this remarkable overturn and retribution.

Correspondent -- Who, in your opinion, will succeed Brigham Young as President of the Church?

Cannon -- I have no opinion upon the subject. President Young has outlived many prominent young men, and may outlive many more; for he is as likely to live 20 years yet as almost any man of my acquaintance. He is of a long-lived family. His grandmother lived to be 98 years old; her sister lived to the age of 100 years. His father was near 80 when he died, and his death was the result of exposure in being mobbed, and of mortification at the thought that he, a Revolutionary soldier, should be driven by violence from a part of that land for which he had fought. The President and three brothers, two older than himself, are well-preserved men. His oldest brother died about two years ago, aged 78, and his death was hastened by an accident. He has cousins here who are upward of 80 years old, one verging on to 90, and all likely to live some years yet. Beside this inherited longevity, he has the prayers of the thousands of his people here in the mountain regions, from Idaho to Arizona, and scattered all over the world, that God will preserve his life.

Correspondent -- Many express the belief that at the death of Brigham the whole Mormon structure will fall in pieces. Of course you don't believe this?

Cannon -- Certainly not. A hope of this kind animated the murderers of the prophet Joseph Smith. They supposed he was the soul of the system, and that it was only necessary to remove him to destroy Mormonism. The history of the past 27 years has shown how fallacious are these hopes. God is abundantly able to take care of his own work.

Correspondent -- Your name has been mentioned in connection with the successorship. How does this thought strike you?

Cannon -- As most unwarrantable. A person who mentions it in such a connection betrays gross ignorance of the organization of the Church.

Here the interview terminated.

Note: The above letter was probably written by O. J. Hollister. It deals with topics he was interested in and it appears to echo the language often encountered in his other, positively identified correspondence to the Tribune during this period (that is, those letters signed "O.J.H."). The structure and substance of the interview resemble the contents of the one that Hollister conducted with Apostle John Taylor and which was published in the Tribune of Jan. 31, 1879.

Vol. XXXI.                                        New York City, Thursday, December 28, 1871.                                        No. 9,588.




Salt Lake City, Dec. 13. -- Once more Brigham Young's star is in the ascendant. The Court had directed his counsel to have him at hand and ready for trial on the charge of cohabitation with 16 wives, on Monday, the 4th inst. It was impossible for him to be here had he earnestly desired to come, because the journey from Southern Utah could not be made in the period allotted. But when to this was added the fact that Brigham was not inclined to come, and that the $5,000 bail was urgently needed by the officers of the law, against whom a large number of very troublesome bills have been accumulating of late -- the forfeiture of bail was looked upon as a fixed fact, which nothing short of a miracle could prevent. But the miracle occurred, and Brigham's bondsmen escape scot free, for this time at least. The arrival of the new District-Attorney, the Hon. George C. Bates of Chicago, turned the scale temporarily in Brigham's favor, as it became necessary for this gentleman to ask an adjournment of the Court for one month, to enable him to prepare for the pending trials. The desired time was granted, and the announcement was then made by the District-Attorney that, on the 9th day of January, 1872, he should call up the case of The People agt. Brigham Young, indicted for murder, and should expect counsel to have the accused in Court. Major Hempstead, the wheel-horse of the defense, stoutly contended for three months' time, urging the horrible roads, the distance, the rigor of a Northern Winter, the feeble state of his venerable client's health &c.; but his eloquence availed not. The great trial was fixed for the 9th prox., and there will be no further postponement, provided Brigham puts in an appearance.


Concerning his probable action in the premises, there is no little speculation. His counsel declare that he will be in Court on the day fixed; while leading Mormons assert that the lawyers have no authority to thus pledge their client. The fact is, simply, that as he left for the South, to escape imprisonment, he will remain South just as long as he deems his personal liberty in danger of restraint. If he knew he would be admitted to bail on any charge which might be brought against him, he would return at once; wanting this assurance, he will not voluntarily come back. The readers of


who have followed this correspondence, are aware that he went away hurriedly, by advice of counsel, and will credit the assertion that he will not return of his own free will until assurances reach him from the same source that he can do so with safety to his person. His lawyers admit that they were alarmed at the attitude of the prosecution, and believed that the life of their client was the objective point of attack. They knew that the Court earnestly desired to convict Brigham of murder, or of any other crime which it might seem desirable to fasten upon him, and they did not believe it would unduly exert itself to discover flaws in the evidence, or that, in the minds of the prosecution, the benefit of any particular doubt would be awarded him. With the attorneys for the defense, it was and still is a question whether the course of the prosecution would not be such as to irritate rather than conciliate. With abundant precedent for accepting bail in the action of the Court in the case of Wells, it has been believed that no such liberality would be extended to the more distinguished as well as more severely denounced prisoner, Brigham.


With a multitude of rumors calculated to inflame the public mind it is not surprising that Brigham should keep at a safe distance from this scene of fierce, embittered, and often injudicious strife, and conclude that the post of safety, if not of honor, is a private station, remote from the scene of excitement and danger. One other circumstance of recent occurrence has given the Mormons cause for infinite rejoicing -- the removal of Maxwell from the position of Register of the Land Office in this city. This man has made himself especially obnoxious to the people by his vindictive course, and their criticisms upon his conduct appear to have the support of evidence. Why he received the place originally, would seem to be a problem difficult of solution, save upon the ground that he earned support at the hands of the nation by wounds received during the war. That he was destined to his course as an officer and a citizen should be fairly reported, few presumed to doubt. The hope of the rapidly growing element here, which regrets the fanaticism of the Mormons, while admitting and rejoicing in their industry, frugality, temperance, and honesty, has been that the parent government would take unusual pains to provide Utah with sterling, intelligent, honest, and moral men as its representatives during the transition period of the Territory. Fortunately, President Grant seems imbued with this thought, as recent changes indicate. The advent of an old-fashioned lawyer of high reputation, in the person of George C. Bates, who takes the place of two men appointed by the Court, is quoted in support of this position, to which additional force is given by the removal of Maxwell.


The allusion to Utah affairs in the Annual Message was not looked upon as unfriendly, considering the known determination of the Administration to destroy polygamy. To the unreasoning hater of all things Mormon, the language employed seemed tame and unprofitable; to the conservative thinkers -- among whom may be classed the leading Republicans outside the narrow circle of the office-holders -- the words seemed fitly spoken and appropriately selected. They carried out the sentiment so often uttered in this correspondence, that the practice of polygamy is the evil to be remedied, not the religious sentiment of the offenders. Not without reason, however, do the Mormons argue that the President has been imperfectly informed concerning the legal attitude of the United States Courts toward the Mormons. In the President's view, the paramount infraction of existing statutes is polygamy -- a crime as yet untouched by the Courts in Utah, although the law enacted by Congress for its punishment is now nearly 10 years old. If the Christian world does not demand that the practice of polygamy in Utah shall be suppressed, then it demands nothing at the hands of the General Government. If the President honestly believes that his representatives here are fairly fighting this great error, he is laboring under a mortifying delusion, and good men must regret that he was not earlier informed of the fact. No Utah polygamist has thus far been indicted for the crime of polygamy. Other offenses have been charged upon members of the Mormon sect, but this real, admitted evil, flaunts itself untouched and unchallenged by the law. The practice is confessedly lessening, but not through the promise of the Government, which, if wisely administered to attain this end rather than to harass and irritate, could give a death-blow to the enfeebled system in a few brief months. By fair and legal means, this delusion, now completely circumscribed by a growing and antagonistic intelligence, can be met and vanquished. By a system of trickery and evasion, the warfare may be greatly prolonged and the real offense may never meet its appropriate punishment. But if the President has been left in ignorance of the facts in the case, Congress can scarcely be thus deceived.


The most implacable enemy of Polygamy, because the most intelligent -- so far as the miseries which the practice engendered is concerned -- is its most secret one. In nearly every thrifty polygamous household this enemy lies in wait. The enmity may be fully concealed, but its aggregate power is sufficient for the overthrow of a hundred such delusions. It takes time to discover this enemy, and confidence begotten of long acquaintance to comprehend its extent and power. I allude to the intense hatred of the system which exists deep down in the heart of every son and daughter born of polygamous union. The system has no more inveterate, no more powerful enemy than that born of the system itself. The husband of many wives may manifest indifference to any one of them; but to the support and protection of the mother there comes the strong and willing hand of the son, and in sympathy with her sorrows such consolation as a daughter may give is not withheld. A bond of union and of suffering, to which the paternal head is not a party, may be said to exist in every polygamous family. Mother and children talk matters over and settle them among themselves. The decision may not be announced, but it is reached, nevertheless. It is unfavorable to polygamy every time. Here is the leaven which shall leaven this whole lump of Mormon mortality.


The human fruits which this misshapen tree of polygamy has borne, though considerable in numbers, are yet too immature to wield extended influence in business or social life. A few have attained to the age of 25 years; hundreds are 20 and more, while those ranging from 10 to 20 years of age may be numbered by thousands. These young men and women will compare favorably in intelligence with the young people of any land under the sun. In that kind of worldly wisdom which the pioneer and frontiersman require, they are vastly the superiors of the young folk of Massachusetts -- the native home of your correspondent. In mountain lore, woodcraft, hunting and horses, the boys "beat the world." In the economics of the households, the girls are the equals of any in the land. They are beautiful, too, in large proportionate numbers, and if not highly cultured, are at least gentle and pure. They like to dress finely, for this state of polygamous grace, even if as purely spiritual as its followers claim, does not seem to work any remarkable change in the natural man or woman either. Here are wives for thousands of young men, the daughters of polygamous connection, yet perfectly chaste. They are self-sacrificing, as woman ever is, but their unselfishness rarely goes to the extent of embracing polygamy lot themselves. In the face of facts like these, for the truthfulness of which I can vouch, and in support of which I could adduce abundant testimony if it were prudent, it is folly to tell me that polygamy has not yet begun to die out.

Note: The above letter may have been written by O. J. Hollister. It deals with topics he was interested in and it appears to echo the language often encountered in his other, positively identified correspondence to the Tribune during this period (that is, those letters signed "O.J.H.").

Vol. XXXI.                                        New York City, Tuesday, January 30, 1872.                                        No. 9,616.



To the Editor of The Tribune.

Sir: In considering the propositions now agitating the country as to the treatment of the Mormon question, it is necessary to bear in mind that polygamy is not a decaying institution; that all the Mormon leaders, in whose interest it is assumed that it is, deny that it is; so far, indeed, from admitting it are these men, who alone know, since its statistics are as secret as the revelations of the Catholic confessional, that they believe it is bound to become universal in time. Polygamy is to the Mormons what Slavery was to the South 15 years ago in a ten-fold degree. For, whereas Slavery was chiefly a question of property rights, polygamy involves all the interests and relations of the human being. The Mormons can no more be coaxed or bribed to relinquish it than the South could have been to give up Slavery. Indeed, they cannot abandon it voluntarily, as a condition precedent to mere worldly advantage, although they are Jesuitical enough to agree to anything or not to do anything to accomplish their end -- its preservation.


Of these propositions under discussion, that of admitting Utah as a State, with amnesty for the past, so far as polygamy is concerned, seems to meet with most favor with the people at large, Not with the Gentiles of Utah, however. They believe to a man that it would be not only a bootless surrender of principle, but that it would deliver them bound hand and foot to their foes, and that they would have to leave Utah or fight ultimately. They were temporarily relieved [from worry] on this score, by the passage in the House, of Potter's amendment to the Apportionment bill, providing that no Territory shall henceforth be admitted to the Union with less population than is required for one Representative, 134,675; since Utah, according to the census, had last year but 86,764 inhabitants, and the year 1871 cannot have swelled this number to more 90,000. But the amendment has not yet been adopted by the Senate, and besides this, the power that is competent to adopt it is competent to set it aside. It is evident an attempt is to be made to crowd Utah in, on the ground that the census is incorrect. It is claimed "that the saints feared the United States census-takers as partners in their persecution, and cut down the returns of their population by sheer shyness, from 130,000 to 86,000 odd." There was nothing, on the contrary, to prevent their making as good a showing as was consistent with the facts, and there were many reasons why they should want to do so. They live in about 125 villages, farming outside in a common inclosure, and, for tithing, voting, and other purposes, the local authorities have every soul in the settlement registered. The census-takers not only went from house to house in fulfillment of their duty, but they compared and verified their lists so made with those of the local authorities in every instance. They had no interest to subserve in belittling the result; there was less than the usual difficulty in getting it accurately; and it is preposterous to claim that they missed the correct result in a total of less than 100,000 by one per centum, to say nothing of 40 or 60 per centum. It is fair to conclude that the census of 1870 was correct, and the best observers put the increase for 1871 at 3,000 to 5,000, making the whole population about 90,000, possibly 95,000. Yet industrious and determined lying on this head, joined with prevalent desire among Eastern men to be rid of the Mormon imbroglio, and the conviction, honestly entertained from want of information, that this is the best way out of it, may overcome the force of this and other facts, and the Mormon problem be fatally complicated by the admission of a Mormon State into the Union.


In view of this danger, as the Gentiles here regard it, allow me to show why the Mormons cannot give up polygamy in good faith without, as they say, "giving up everything." For this purpose, I condense from their theological writings some of their fundamental religio-philosophical ideas.

There is no spirit distinct from matter; spirit is only matter refined. Matter in eternally existent, never created, never destroyed. What is called "creation" is the arrangement in new forms of the intelligent, self-reacting atoms of matter, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, itself the purest, most refined, and subtle form of, and pervading all matter. So was this world formed, "a son of God, when it was prepared, with His beloved spouse, removing to it from Heaven, or perhaps from the sun, and founding a colony." So new worlds are constantly formed of the unappropriated materials of the universe to make room for the offspring of the gods. Gods, angels, spirits, and men, the four orders of intelligent beings, are all of one species, composed, of like materials differing only in degree, not in kind. God is a perfected man; man is an embryonic or undeveloped god. There is a vast multitude of gods dispersed throughout all the worlds as kingdoms, families, and nations. There is, however, but one god regnant on each world, who is to the inhabitants of that world "the only living and true God." But each god having a first-born son, there is "one God and one Christ" to each world. Thus, "there are lords many and gods many," but to us there is but one God, the Creator of the world and the Father of our spirits, literally begotten. He was once a man of some world and attained His high position by successive degrees. "He is the Father of Jesus Christ in the only way known in nature, Just as John Smith, senior, is the father of John Smith, junior." The gods are in the exact form of men, of highly refined material substance; have the same organs of sense, thought, and feeling; the same "parts and passions" as human beings; have many wives each and become the fathers of the souls of men in the same way that men become the fathers of the bodies of men.

These souls or spirit bodies constantly augmenting in numbers, "wisdom moving the gods to multiply their species," render necessary the continual formation of new worlds. The first, or spirit stage of their existence, is an embryonic one, since they must "enter earthly tabernacles," be born of women into this world, and be subjected to earthly law in all respects before they can begin progress, this being the second or probationary stage of all spirits. Myriads of these creatures are waiting in other worlds upon the physical processes by and through which they may take earthly tabernacles with a view to this their progressive destiny. To bestow these tabernacles is the highest glory of woman; her "exaltation" in eternity will be in exact proportion to the number she has furnished. Such of these spirits as are faithful Saints (Mormons) will pass to their third estate, celestialized men or gods, and finally have worlds given to them to people and govern. Their earthly wives and children will constitute the nucleus of their heavenly kingdom, and they will rule over and increase their posterity forever. A grand council of the gods, with a president directing, constitutes the designing and formative power; but man, if faithful, will advance by degrees till endowed with the same formative will.

This is the Mormon conception of spiritual things. lf in his conception there are any spiritual things. It is sensualism and sexuality deified. Here we have the preexistence of souls, sexual resurrection, the generation and progression of the gods, things spiritual and temporal, gods and men, creation, redemption, government, destiny, woven into a great chain of which polygamy is the swivel. As The Salt Lake Tribune, edited by men who have been Mormons for twenty-five years, puts it:

The Mormon's idea of creation, salvation, and government, is essentially and fundamentally patriarchal -- God. the Eternal Father, is the Grand Patriarch. He has created millions of worlds, peopled them by the process of plural marriage, and governs them on the patriarchal order. Brigham and the saints are patterning after Him, that is all. They are connected with all the patriarchal gods in existence, and, with millions of their posterity in the same order, links, inseparable links, in the great chain binding together all that is. Indeed, they are going to the worlds themselves by faithfulness to the patriarchal order of marriage, polygamy, and government -- Theocracy. Similar is the case with their wives, and hence they are married for time and eternity. Having thus a patriarchal -- that is to say, a polygamic and theocratic God the Father, from whom he differs only in degree -- how can the Mormon surrender polygamy, the crown and glory of the universal patriarchal economy, unless compelled to by superior force?

It is not believed by those who understand him best that he can or will.


I assume as settled that this patriarchal system of marriage and government is incompatible with democratic marriage and government. The conflict between them is one of principles. A harmony, acquired, in the wrong way, is often more onerous' than a war. From this sullen conflict, always muzzled but always muttering, are born prejudices and hates more corroding and evil in their influence than any traceable to open war. For one, I disclaim any personal feeling in this matter, but, having studied the situation on the ground, I am satisfied the difference can only be adjusted by force, not necessarily operating through war, but still -- force; and I want to see an end of trifling.

It is imagined, in the second place, by the advocates of admission for Utah, that the proposed Mormon State can be bound irrevocably in this matter; can bind itself. A State of the Union can be bound only by the Constitution of the United States. But suppose an amendment to that instrument prohibiting polygamy were adopted, Congress given power to enforce it, and Utah, with a constitution conformable to this new law, were admitted into the Union: on the hypothesis that the Mormons cannot and will not give up polygamy, the Federal. Court in Utah would find itself face to face with the same old difficulty again. It would have to "pack juries" -- that is, exclude men from juries who believed in patriarchal rather than Federal law; it would have to punish one man for doing what it allowed another to do with impunity, at least in the case of all plural marriages contracted since 1862; and with the disadvantage of having compromised away its case by legalizing polygamy, directly or indirectly, down to a certain date. It would also have the semi-religious aspect of the question to meet, just as it has now.

Another proposition is hinted at in an article written by the Hon. Mr. Dawes, and published in The Boston Congregationalist. He assumes that by the breaking up of the existing Mormon families by law, 18,000 adult females, with numerous offspring would be beggared and thrown out of the community. He thinks that inflicting this great suffering should be avoided, if possible, and that the death of Brigham Young (which cannot be far off), the influx of Gentiles, and other causes, will soon crumble the Mormon organization. He intimates that he would prevent by law the consummation of any more plural marriages, but would leave the polygamists as they are now.


I have never heard the polygamists estimated by the most thoroughly posted Mormons at more than 3,000 males with an average of three wives each, making 9,000 in all, of whom but two-thirds -- 6,000 -- would be put away, It is well known in Utah that the most of those women already support themselves and their offspring. It must be so in the nature of things. The average man, the world over, can do no more than a husband's duty by one woman. How can he, then, in so comparatively unblest a country as Utah, which has to be watered by hand, and which is annually double-tithed by locusts, support these triple fanatics? The Mormon do not pretend to do this. They restrict these women in their freedom, however, prevent them from marrying men who would take care of them, and limit them in their choice of work, meager at best. For example, none of them would be allowed, by their jailers, to take Gentile boarders. As a rule, the plural wives of Utah would be benefitted, in a worldly point of view, exclusive of all others, by having the tie between them and the men who exercise the rights while performing few or none of the duties of husbands, severed.

Mr. Dawes illustrates the prevalent misconception of Mormonism as a system, by thinking that the death of Brigham Young, the influx of Gentiles, or some haphazard influence or other, will affect it a particle. Should Brigham die, and he bids fair to live as long as most of us, the great body would produce another head instantaneously, that is all; which in the Mormon mind would at once be divinely inspired with the wisdom necessary to lead aright the "chosen people." And so on indefinitely. There is nothing in Utah for Gentiles. The Mormons have United States patents to all the land susceptible of irrigation. As to the mines, they are at best no better than those of Colorado, of Montana, Idaho, Nevada, or California, and there are not in all those States and Territories together, as many people dependent solely on mining for a living, as there are Mormons in Utah. In trade and manufactures Gentiles are ostracized. So in every relation of life. All the material interests of Utah were Ioug ago grasped by the Mormon Church Ring, into which no Gentile can either force or insinuate himself.

Finally, how are we going to enforce on anti-Polygamy law in the future, after having admitted the soundness of the principle for which the Mormons contend by indorsing the past -- or, in fact, whether we indorse it or not? The law of 1862 was designed to prevent polygamy for the future. But it did not. We pass another in 1872 with the same design. What is there to lead us to suppose that this will? Nothing. The Mormons have derided the law of 1862, and defied us to enforce it. We swallow this mockery and impudence, admit that it is just, legalize what has been done, directly or indirectly, pass the same law over again, and expect them to obey it in the future. They refuse to obey in the future as in the past; on what principle, then, are we going to enforce obedience -- after having paid this premium on disobedience and surrendered our cause -- imprison one man for doing what we allow in another? The adoption of such a proposition would amount to a surrender to the polygamists.


What, then, should be done? As your Salt Lake correspondent of the 1st says: "Let the act of 1862 be amended as to make the recognized and admitted wives of a man his wives for all purposes of the law. Add to this the right of appeal, in all criminal cases in the Territories, to the Supreme Court of the United States, in order that a fair hearing may be had and an impartial judgment rendered." Then, if the pending prosecutions under a Territorial statute are "a perversion of justice," they could be set aside, and the same again instituted under a law of Congress. No one whom I know in Utah wants to see any judicial proceedings, even against, semi-religious concubinage and assassination, that will not bear investigation and review by the highest tribunal we have. Let Congress give us a just and adequate law, in view of all the circumstances, based upon the absolute incompatibility of monogamous democracy with polygamous, theocracy, and not on a supposed compromise; and then let that law be impartially enforced by the courts, of Utah, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States. This is the only way to meet the evil in the judgment of those best acquainted with it. Under this pressure it might possibly, be "revealed" to the practical mind of the Head of the Church that Mormonism must undergo a complete transformation or move on. In the former case the polygamists would put away their plural wives and live with one each, as the rest of us do. This would not be dishonoring these women and children; that is already done; it would be relieving them from dishonor and social ban as far as it is in human power to do it.

In the second case their loss would not be irreparable, even were they to destroy their immovable property in preference to selling it at its full value, as they might do. Their place would soon be filled by people with American ideas, and in five years Utah would be recreated, an American instead of an Asiatic State. If the Mormons cannot and will not conform to our wholesome and just laws, their room is better than their company. Their exodus, probably not involving more than half of them, as they themselves admit, would be a less evil than the establishment of the principle that obedience to the civil law was a mere matter of conscience, or than the permanent lodgment in the heart of the West of theocracy, polygamy, and blood atonement -- of Asia, in short.

This is the worst that could happen. And is the possibility, or even probability of such a chance to deter a nation from maintaining not only its rightful sovereignty, but its fundamental institutions of society and government in Utah -- while the same nation has just sacrificed half a million lives and ten thousand million dollars to maintain them in ten States of the union?

Moreover, this exodus might not happen. It was said Brigham would not submit to arrest. But he did. And it was not that "he trusted in God," but that he couldn't trust in men; not that "he controlled his people so wonderfully," but that he couldn't control them. To resist -- to fire and run, or to stand and fire -- required a fanatical unity to save it from being simply farcical -- a unity which the Mormons have not. He had no choice but to submit. In my judgment, the die is cast. There will be neither resistance nor exodus now, because there are divided counsels.

The best thing for the Mormons would be a compromise, in which they would gain and we surrender the principle at issue; whereby they would save as much of the evil thing as possible to leaven and corrupt the future. Hence every energy is devoted to it. Failing in that, unconditional surrender on their part will be the remit of firmness on ours. The Mormon conscience will be found Machiavellian enough to accept the inevitable, when it comes, without committing felo de se. But it must come, and in an unquestionable shape.       O. J. H.
        Salt Lake City, Dec. 24.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXXIV.                                        New York City, Saturday, July 25, 1874.                                        No. 10,394.



To the Editor of The Tribune.

Sir: In an editorial of the 13th inst. on the Utah question you say: "The minority in that Territory known as Gentiles are for the most part landless and irresponsible, having little or no stake in the Territory." Further:

"That this law (the Poland bill) is asked for by men whose sole object is to secure the offices and enrich themselves at the expense of the original settlers and present property owners. These men are making a burlesque of morality and religion when they pretend to be actuated only by a desire to purify the morals of the Territory and maintain the Christian religion," &c., &c.

This is but a sample of the way nearly all the papers speak of the Gentiles of Utah. I have known the most prominent of them, both in and out of office, several years personally, and I do assure you they are neither worse nor better than their fellows in New-York, Ohio, or elsewhere. What is the sense of forever styling them thieves? You might with as much justice style the people of the country at large the same. They are in a vast minority in Utah, but if that is a crime, lay it not to them. But for the hostility of the political Church by which they are here confronted, there would have been many more of them. This Church is framed after the model of by-gone ages, and is as antagonistic to everything American as anything can be. Outsiders are practically denied the rights of citizenship as enjoyed elsewhere throughout the Union, and it seems to be expected that they shall quietly submit to it. The citizen owes some duties to himself and the State; and no conscientious man, finding his lot cast in Utah, can perform them without opposing Mormonism, at least in its political character and pretensions. It is not, by the way, in the name of morals and the Christian religion that we oppose Mormonism; it is in the name of free thought, free discussion, freedom to act, within the laws, without dictation from any. It is a theocratic government, masked in enforced republican forms: it is the assumption, on the part of the Mormon State Church, of an authority superior to that of the United States, that we oppose, and we do it in the cause of free institutions, not specially in that of morals or religion, of one name or other unless incidentally. It is the right to commit treason and murder, incest and adultery, and all manner of crimes, in the name of religion, which we contest, and which we must contest, call as what you will, side with or against us who may.

But our kind having been systematically robbed, murdered, and proscribed in Utah for a quarter of a century, we are in a minority, and are obliged to invoke additional aid. We did so years ago, but to no effect. The Government did just enough to render it contemptible, and then stopped. Daily is the Anti-Polygamy Law of 1862 boldly violated. We ask the power to put a stop to this, that is all. There is no more danger of an undue use of this power, if granted, to oppress the people and steal their possessions, than there is of the indulgence in such excesses elsewhere. The oppression and despoiling is and has long been on the other side. Still, we do not seek to make reprisals. We seek justice, a tithe of the rights for the poor and the weak which you demand for the rich and the strong. What would be done with the proposed law is what is everywhere done where good government prevails. The poor we would protect from priestly spoliation -- the young women from further immolation on the altar of Polygamy; those who have been inveigled into the cruel toils of the system we would release with a fair share of the fruits of their own labor on application; the perpetual conflict over the jurisdiction of the courts we would end by confining the Probate Bishops to matters suited to their capacity and temper, and by making the District Courts a place where the citizen can obtain justice and the criminal be punished, not a Mormon tribunal with a Federal figurehead. There is no project of wholesale prosecutions for violations of the law of 1862, accompanied by confiscation of property. &c, entertained anywhere in Utah. One must seek the vain imaginings of such impracticable and preposterous undertakings in the brains of foreign editors, apparently anxious for some semblance of a pretext for standing on the strong side.

But laying aside all sentiment, let us look at it practically. Mormonism is an unmitigated evil, you say, but excluding polygamists from juries to try polygamists would be a worse one. Polygamy is a felony under the law. So is stealing. You insist that polygamists -- that is, felons -- shall form part of the court for the trial of polygamists. I insist that thieves -- that is, felons -- shall form part of the court for the trial of thieves. Better to let thieves ran rampant and prey at will on society than strike a blow at the rights of the citizens by denying them the right of jury trial by their peers -- that is, by thieves.

You may say that this is not a fair illustration. But of all the kinds of thieving on earth, I defy you to present one which, upon the most thorough analysis, shall be seen to be half so monstrous as polygamy.

We are asked to go slow, and to wait for public opinion. Public opinion can act finally in this country only through legislation. It is 12 years since public opinion was so embodied as bearing on this subject, and the polygamists, seeing that no one is in earnest about if, snap their fingers at it. A public opinion that is forever denouncing an evil and in the same breath decrying the only remedy for it, is no power at all. There is no polygamic Mormon society in Great Britain, nor was there ever any persecution or revolution or convulsion heard of on that account. Polygamy is a felony in Great Britain, and so treated. That's all there is of it, and there an end. Polygamy is a felony in this country, but at every attempt to enforce the statute, everybody protests. What wonder that it flourishes to our disgrace and scandal! What would you say of a national or State officer who should act as you all advise in reference to Utah? What did you do with the usurpation of Tweed? Yet you expect us to endure patiently a rule by the side of which that of Tweed was respectable, and if we do not, you subject us to the most violent denunciation.

If the pending bill were made active only from the date of its passage all good men will sustain that, and none more cordially than thousands of the Mormons themselves. It would not be persecution any more than the prevention of slavery and murder elsewhere is persecution. It would cause no sensible disturbance in Utah, because all men and women know it to be right. There would be no chance of illicit gain in any quarter. If you are going to do nothing to give effect to public opinion, why continue to express it? You might as well attempt to whistle down an ocean storm as to talk down polygamy, and calling the Gentiles of Utah thieves will not stop their earnest efforts to bring about a different state of things here any more than it will stop their breathing. Indeed they can as easily stop one as the other, and the two will go together until a change is effected somehow.      O. J. H.
        Salt Lake City, June 22, 1874

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXXIV.                                        New York City, Saturday, September 5, 1874.                                        No. 10,430.




To the Editor of The Tribune.

Sir: The day is past when an election could be held in Salt Lake City and the people at large know nothing about it until it was over and gone by two weeks. We had a Territorial election on the 3d, and carried one county, giving our candidate for Congress about 6,000 votes. The Mormons are very jubilant over our overwhelming defeat -- as jubilant as though we had had a fair show, which we have not. In the first place we have not a free ballot. The ballots are so numbered and recorded that the church junta can tell how each person votes. An unfair law. Nor was it, in the second place, fairly administered. One has to be a tax-payer under Territorial law in order to be a voter. This law was generally enforced against Gentiles or independents, but not against the faithful; so also of the requirements that one shall be a native or a naturalized citizen and 21 years of age. Given a free, fair, equal show at the polls, and the opposition vote would most assuredly have been largely increased -- perhaps doubled. As it was, we have no cause for discouragement.


One time, some ten years ago, the people dared to scratch a name on the Church ticket and it was defeated. But the successful candidate did not qualify and take the office. He dared not. Now, in the county which the Liberals carried the Church does not dare, as it did then, to browbeat the successful candidates out of their election, but talks of contesting, on the ground that many voted who were not tax-payers. The first time the Gentiles ever ran a candidate for Congress -- I think it was in 1867 -- he got about 120 votes. The voters were few beyond the members of the Convention which put him in the field, and which, to got a place to meet in at all, had to buy a lot and build a house. At the city election early in 1870 we made another effort, when the church people took possession of our mass meeting, driving us out by force of numbers, showing arms but not using them. Later in that season we put a candidate in the field for Congress, but were not allowed to hold a ratification meeting in the street. We held it on our own lot, before spoken of, and our candidate got perhaps 1,500 votes. In 1872 we were in the field again, with the same candidate. Gen. Maxwell, and attempting to hold a ratification meeting in front of the Salt Lake House, Main st., were howled down, and the doors shut. That year the Territory was overrun with new people, many of whom thought they could make more by toadying the Church than by fighting it. There was an impotent effort to organize Republican and Democratic parties, and generally we were at a great disadvantage, so that our vote showed but little increase upon that of 1870. About 2,000 was the figure.


This year there was more harmony and spirit, much less Jack-Mormonism, many having ascertained that paying their tithing to Brigham, even if only in moral support, was poor business. We had meetings in the city, on the street, unmolested, where thousands listened, and where our case against theocratic institutions was plainly and ably stated. Meetings were held in many other towns in the central part of the Territory, and upon election day our vote was more than double that of 1872. It was the kind of defeat that will ruin the victor after a while. If Congress next session will give us a secret ballot, the election of 1876 will make the Mormon priesthood tremble for the perpetuity of their rule. You can't transform a slave into a freeman, in mind, at once; it is a matter of growth and requires time. It may safely be said that that growth is coming on in Utah as fast as could reasonably be expected.


The disturbance at the chief city poll on election day is now undergoing judicial investigation, and as usual there is conflicting testimony, but the facts were substantially as follows, viz.: Gen. Maxwell appointed several special deputies for the day, assigning them to duty at the different polls, Instructing them to keep the peace, not to electioneer, not to interfere with any one's voting, nor to allow it to be Interfered with, and not, under any circumstances, to use violent means to enforce their authority. One of the regular deputies, named Orr, under the immediate direction of Maxwell, accompanied a voter whose vote had been previously peremptorily rejected to the poll with the view of having him swear in his vote, or, if that should not be allowed, enforcing the law against the Judge of Election, Jeter Clinton. Clinton not only refused the man's vote, but threatened both Maxwell and Orr with arrest if they did not leave, and after other words called aloud for the police to arrest them. Just then, a scuffle occurring in the hall which led inside the poll, between a policeman guarding it and a deputy marshal, Orr stepped up, placed his hands on each of them and commanded the peace. Instantly he was seized by three or four policemen and shut up in jail. Maxwell, upon this, secured a habeas and had Orr released. Orr immediately returned to the poll, when Mayor Wells, who stood in the door of the hall before mentioned, commanded him to leave. Orr told him that his duties compelled him to be there and he should stay. Wells raised his cane, and shaking it, again commanded him to leave. Orr replied, "Don't attempt to strike me with that cane," and Wells raising it higher, as if to use it, Orr took hold of him, saying that he arrested him, whereupon the police from behind seized the Mayor and drew him back into the hall minus his coat. There was a large crowd and a good deal of noise and scuffling. Just then Gen. Maxwell appeared, and being helped through the crowd to the City Hall steps, raised his voice and commanded the peace, making a little speech, and succeeding in restoring quiet. The poll had been closed meanwhile, but the crowd showed no disposition to disperse. The Mayor, after sending his compliments to Maxwell for the manner in which he had restored quiet, appeared on a balcony above and ordered the people to retire to their homes. Upon which the police, six or seven in number, rushed in a body from the building and dispersed the crowd by the free use of a Salt Lake "billie," somewhat resembling a small dumb-bell, on their heads, severely injuring several and aiming particularly at the deputy marshals. One of these "billies" was captured as it was descending on Maxwell's head.


There would probably have been a bloody fight but that Maxwell had instructed his deputies not to shoot under any provocation. One of them who did got out a revolver was sent home by Maxwell. Besides, the crowd was packed so densely that men in it could not use their arms. They could not even drop at the stroke of the iron "billie" on their heads. Some of the police had been arrested previously for breaking the peace, or for interfering with voters, and released on their own recognizance. Upon this last onslaught they were all arrested, together with the Election Judge, Clinton, and the Mayor, Wells. An excited crowd followed Clinton to the Marshal's office, and there was undoubtedly some disposition to take him from the officers and lynch him. Assembled round the Marshal's office, still clamoring noisily, they finally peacefully dispersed upon a few well directed words from Gov. Woods, an Irishman remarking, "It was the first time he had ever known the Governor to drive away his hearers." And thus ended the day, fortunately without loss of life. There is a constant moral war here, and if it doesn't reach some satisfactory issue by moral means ere many years, nothing will prevent its becoming a civil war. That it didn't on this occasion is due to Gen. Maxwell's great discretion, and perhaps also to an unconscious regard the disparity in numbers of the two forces. Of course the city authorities proceeded on the assumption that the Marshal and his deputies had no authority to act as they did -- as guardians of the polls and general conservators of the peace. Whether they had not, and whether, if they had, they exercised their authority with discretion and within its strict limits, will doubtless be made to appear by the judicial investigation now in progress.

The great points gained are that one can speak his free mind in the Holy City to listening thousands, as h couldn't five years ago in his private room safely; that one can watch the polls and challenge voters without being knocked on the head for it, and, finally, that we have shown strength enough to make our light seem respectable and hopeful in the future. Give us a free election by secret ballot, fairly conducted, and we will poll 10,000 votes in 1876 out of a total of less than 30,000.
        Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 11,1874.     O. J. H.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XXXVIII.                                        New York City, Friday, January 31, 1879.                                        No. 11,809.



(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. XLII.                                        Salt Lake City, Sunday, May 8, 1892.                                        No. 22.


How and When the Late O. J. Hollister
Met the Great Explorer.

With reference to the recent sudden death of O. J. Hollister, Mayor William Hyndman, in conversation with The Tribune reporter yesterday remarked: "Yes, I knew Hollister well, most intimately in fact for twenty-six years. Our acquaintance began at Black Hawk, Colo., in 1866, where he was then publishing the Black Hawk Daily Journal, and about the time the Colfax party crossed the continent, with which party Hollister first met Miss Matthews, half sister of Schuyler Colfax, who in three years thereafter became Mrs. Hollister in the union that proved the embodiment of domestic happiness and devotion for nearly a quarter of a century.

"We came to Utah about the same time in 1869, and settled at Corinne, where Hollister and myself soon brought our brides. I learned to know Hollister's traits of character thoroughly in our common strife against fate in attempting to build up Corinne and our constantly recurring defeats until we were stranded. He was ever honorable in all his dealings, even to a fault. He believed in most everybody and most every enterprise. Was full of confidence, except in himself; always underestimated his own strength and abilities, consequently never paraded himself or tried to press to the front or attain prominence. He was kind and generous in a quiet, unostentious way.

"I recall a conversation I had some four or five years ago with Henry M. Stanley when he first came to the United States to lecture under the management of major J. B. Pond for thirteen years Henry Ward Beecher's manager and remembered here as Ann Eliza's (No. 19) manager. It will be remembered Stanley was only a few days in the United States then, when he was recalled by the king of Belgium and sent in search of Emin who, recent report says, is now dead.

"A friend in London, Major Frank Cavanaugh knew Stanley intimately and instructed me to see him immediately on his arrival in New York where I was then living. With some difficulty I did meet him socially, and Major Pond told me afterwards I was about the only one who had a private social time with Stanley on that visit to the United States.

"He then knew nobody much in New York and was being greatly bored by interviewers. I found two gentlemen of some religious denomination interviewing him on the 'Gin traffic on the West Coast of Africa.' Hence when I said I was merely Major Cavanaugh's friend calling socially at his request, he expressed profound and pointed relief, detained and entertained me. Holding my hand he said" 'Major Cavanaugh is one of the most lovable characters I ever met.' And then commenced a series of inquiries about persons and places in the West. 'And do you know O. J. Hollister?' he finally said. Upon my responding that he was a warm personal friend of long standing, he made minute most inquiries about him, seemed very much interested in his career, and him eulogized him as a friend in need in his early manhood. He said he arrived in Black Hawk, Colo., a stranger and without means, there met Hollister, who took him in, gave him a place to sleep on the office floor (where all the hands slept), got him a job at the old Lyons smelter piling cordwood, etc., assisted him in getting employment as a correspondent, and befriended him generally in ways that could never be forgotten

"This is an eminent illustration of a characteristic of Hollister that was not generally well known and really of a trait in Stanley's character that he is not accredited with.

"The announcement of Hollister's sudden demise was a great shock to me as to all his friends. I always looked forward to the cordial greeting I was sure to experience at his hands on my occasional visits to Salt Lake of late years and I assure you that I miss it now. I do miss Hollister and his genial, unaffected greeting."

Notes: (forthcoming)

1863 Ovando J. Hollister book

(under construction -- text forthcoming)

1867 Ovando J. Hollister book

(under construction -- text forthcoming)

1882 Ovando J. Hollister co-authored book

(under construction -- text forthcoming)

1886 Ovando J. Hollister book

(under construction -- text forthcoming)

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