Hence, admitting for the sake of the argument, that under our liberal system of Government, the practice of polygamy, is among the topics of mere local interest, and subject to the unquestioned decision of the state and local legislature, yet the crimes and scandals, that always must, and as it appears have followed in Utah the violation of those wholesome limitations by which the Christiai marriage have been surrounded by a Wise HIand, are not exempt from the interference of the law officers of the General Government.
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But such interference will annihilate both Mormonism and polygamy, since it will hang all the leaders of any note concerned in these outrages. And thus we find this question easy of solution, requiring only a firm purpose, and an unrelenting application of justice, on the part of the administrators of public affairs, in carrying out, in a legal manner, acknowledged principles of jurisprudence.
But space will not admit of afull discussion of this important subject here. Trusting these pages may in some measure contribute to a timely and efficient adjustment of the Mormon difficulties, they are now submitted to that umpirage to which an American is always proud to appeaL, when questions of great and national interest are under discussion-to the American people.
ABOUT the first of March last, the writer of this Narrative was first introduced to the subject of it, by a mutual friend; and listened with astonishment to her extraordinary story.
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Subsequently much time was spent in weighing, sifting and comparing her statements. Convinced by this investigation of its entire truthfulness, and recognizing the claim she had upon the public ear, and the claim to be heard in this behalf by the thousands of her sex still in Mormon land, the following pages have been written, and are now offered without apology; albeit but little time has been taken to prepare for the press.
The appearance and general state of mind of Mrs. Smith, at this time, was very peculiar: and not without interest as affording evidence of her good faith. At times timid as the antelope of the mountains among which she has suffered so much, and but partially freed from the thraldom of her Mormon habits of life, she stood braced against all "Gentile" approach, and although she had in theory abandoned her Mormon faith, she had adopted no other in its place. The dread of falling into some new error, rendered Iher almost inaccessible to truth.
On one occasion, when the Mormon belief in a plurality of gods was under discussion, the fact was stated, that there was but one God over all the universe; she replied with unfeigned wonder, as if the idea was altogether new to her: "What? Do you believe there is but one God?
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The first questions the honest reader has a right to ask, are these: Is it true? Are these disclosures and revelations made in good faith? Are they really the actual experiences of a woman yet under twenty-nine years of age? A woman educated from childhood in the Mormon faith; familiar with all its details? One who has been a victim to its cruel hardships, and to its practical workings? Has she disclosed to the world what.
Is it true, that she has been held a prisoner, in common with many others of her sex, for years in Utah, and that by a singular good fortune, when hope had nearly gone out within her, she effected an escape?
And is it true, that to-day she exists as an actuality, courting investigation, and fearing nothing but Mormon intrigue and Mormon assassination? There is in simple truth an agreement and consistency, upon which the mind intuitively fastens, and upon which it bases its convictions iever found in the creations of the imagination. It is with confidence, therefore, that we refer to the internal evidence which this narrative itself affords of its own truth. The circumstance that real names are given throughout the book, of persons who are still living and who will be likely to make themselves heard, if they have been misrepresented, should furnish another argument in favor of its reliability.
Nothing in the following pages has been written with the design of feeding a morbid curiosity; and whatever has been admitted of fact or form of expression, which possibly may have that effect, has been from necessity, and as growing out of the nature of the subject, and not from any want of respect for that delicate and even fastidious public taste which has ever characterized the people of this country. Anearnest desire to subserve the public good, as regards the exposure of these enormities, has been the governing consideration. In fact, many things have been omitted, from a wish to avoid offence in this particular.
We give, in addition, an extract from an affidavit forwarded to the Government at Washington in answer to a communication from the State Department relating to affairs in Utah, as ftirther evidence of good faith on the part of Mrs. Smith: COPY. Affidavit of Mrs. Mary Ettie V. Smith, relating to certain matters in the Territory of Utah. Livingston County. New York, being duly sworn deposes and says:' That she has been a resident of said Territory for about five years; and has been a member of the community of Mormons for fifteen years: That she is at present twenty eight years of age; that she was a believer in good faith in Mormonism, until she discovered, after going to Utah, the principal business of the Prophet Brigham Young, and the other heads of the Mormon Church to be the commission of crimes of the most atrocious character; among which may be included robbery, murder, and treason to the General Government, and a large number of lesser crimes: and that she was held a prisoner there for a long time, against her wish and consent, after she had expressed a desire to return to the U.
That she saw and recognized his body after his death; and that she cut a lock of said Bowman's hair after his death and gave the same to Dr Hurt, at the time Indian agent of the Territory. That the account given of the same in her Narrative, now about to be published, is substantially true: and that among many others, the follow ing persons would swear to these facts, if properly approached, and well assured of protection against the assassination of the "Danites," to wit:: and- the two wives of and the mother of; and, wife of - wife No.
Roberts; and that afterwards she was present, when the said Dr. Roberts was robbed, at night, on the public highway, in pursuance of the said instructions of the said Prophet and Gov. Young; that said robbery was committed by Captain James Brown, now living at Ogden city, in said Territory, and Hiram Clauson, of Great Salt Lake city; and in presence of Ellen, the wife of said Clauson, and in pres ence of this deponent; and that she has good reason to fear the said Roberts was afterward murdered by said Brown and Clauson: that she can furnish proof of many similar crimes; an account of which she deems it unnecessary to give in detail at this time; and further this deponent saith not.
Subscribed and sworn this 21st day of Augast, , before me. The Exodus, Seeking my Mother,.. Aliong the Gentiles More Wives, Reconciled-Finding my Mother, The Family Broken Up, The Parting-Crossing the Tankio, Offer of Marriage-Setting out for "Zion,"..
Great Salt Lake City, Utah, Church Polity, Re,iben P. Smith's Arrival-Narrow Escape from becoming a "Spiritual," My Father's Friend-Dr. Preparing to Entrap an Old Man,.. Robbery and Probable Murder of Dr. Intrigues of Brigham Young, Thie Story of William Mac,.
Milking a Gentile, The Flight and Recapture,.. G-o:,ng to the Land of my Birth,.. Crossing the Plains, Continuation of the Narrative, My grandfather, John Coray, was accidentally shot by one of his neighbors, and a few years after, my grand mother married James Abbott, and moved to Allegany county, New York, near Arkport. It was but a short time after this event that my father married Mary Stephens, the daughter of Uriah Stephens, a revolutionary pensioner, and one of the six original proprietors of the township of Canisteo, now a part of Steuben county.
My parents lived here until after the birth of their first two children, and then moved to Pennsylvania, to occupy the farm my grandfather had left them but soon returned to New York. My father at this time owned over seven hundred acres of coal land, which has since proved to be very valua ble. When I was ten years of age he sold this fine property and removed with his family to Perry, Pike county, Illinois; where he bought a large tract of land, and soon after, while in the height of his various objects of enterprise, was killed accidentally while drawing a log to a saw-mill; leaving his business in a very unsettled condition, and mny mother with nine children then living, two of whom were younger than myself, named as follows: A uriilla, Sarah Ann, Phebe, Howard, George, William, Maray Ettie V.
At the death of my father, began that terrible series of misfortunes, a history of which will form the subject-mratter of the following pages MAy father's death occurred in January, Many members of my mother's family, tne Stephens, are yet living in Canristeo, and other parts of St-uben county, New York; and I have niany cousins in Pennsylvania, now living.
John R. Stephens, my mlother's brother, lives upon his estate near Hornellsville, New York; and is well known in that section of the country. About this time a Mormon Elder, who had been holding meetings in this neighborhood, called upon my mother, and among other things, told her that the Latter Day Saints claimed to be able to heal the sick, and that if she would consent to be baptized, the deafness with which she was afflicted, and which had become a great annoyance to her, would in a very short time be removed; and she would hear again.
Willing at least to try the experiment, she was baptized. The water was very cold, and immediately after her hearing was improved, and soon, it was entirely restored. I feel it my duty to do my mother the justice of stating this very remarkable circumstance, which was the real foundation of her conversion to Mormonismn, and of her implicit faith in Joseph Smith, as a Prophet of God; a faith that was never shaken until, years after, she found herself shut up in Utah, a prisoner, and an unwilling witness of abominations which in the States had been disguised. My mother, who is still living, now understands, that perhaps this apparent miracle, was the effect of cold water, or of some other natural though unexplained cause; but at that time, it hadl with her all the force of a real miracle.
It was the voice of God through His Prophet, which she dare not, disregard; and accordingly she removed at once to Nauvoo, where the Mormons had just laid the foundation for the Temple, taking seven of her children; two of my sisters, having husbands, did not accompany her. Her entire property, and all papers relating to my father's business, were placed in the hands of Stephen Abbott, a half.
This was the last trace, ori account, or benefit my mnother, or any one of our family, ever received of this valuable property, except a small amount of our personal effects, taken with us at the time, which probably went into the hands of Joseph Smiith, and was absorbed in the common stock. I' was probably a part of the large sum afterwards expended upon the Temple at Nauvoo.
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It may appear strange, that my mother so readily gave up her property into the hands of her new friends; but we have already seen that they had, by a pretended mniracle, restored her to heating; and thus, in a double sense, they had o[ tained a "hearing," and she readily received as infallible, the doctrine of the "immediate second coming of Christ;" and hence, it hi,oked reasonable to her, when they said she would no loinger need her property. She returned to Nauvoo, to make the best of her new religion.
I recollect that I was baptized into the new faith, as were all my brothers and sisters, except my two married sisters, who did not accompany us, and Howard, my second brother, who was a ready penman, soon became a great favorite with Joseph Smith, the Prophet; with whom he spent mos. It was by the advice of the latter that Howard had been married to Martha Jane Knowlton.
Some of our neighbors, about this time, began to say that I was old enough to be married. I was but thirteen years of age, and this greatly frightened me, as I verily believed there would be no escape from the will of the Prophet, if he should direct me to marry-a thing not unlikely to happen, for he was in the habit of doing thus with others, when he found they were at the age of puberty; and to refuse would be at the sacrifice of my own salvation, unless I could afterwards obtain his pardon.
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Every effort was made by the Mormons, apparently without the knowledge of the Prophet, to induce my brother to effect a marriage for me, by the offer to him of various presents and other inducements tendered by those who wished to marry me. But he paid but little attention to thenm, as he had hoped to win higher honors through my marriage. He had conceived the idea of marrying me to one of the Twelve Apostles, as soon as I was old enough to be a mother. I believed in Mormonism, for I knew no other religion, but I preferred not to marry an old man, but chose to have a husband of my own age, and of my own choice, if I must have one.
The Prophet, Smith, had not yet "counselled" My sister Sarah had married a Mr. Griffin, and was then living at Nauvoo, both herself and husband having been converted to Mormonism by the apparent miracle of the cure of my mother's deafness. My sister, who knew what efforts had been made to effe ct my marriage, became uneasy, and sent for me to come to her house; a-ld I accordingly went, and told her how matters stood; and, among other things, a brother Gully had strongly pressed his matrimonial claims upon my attention. I cried that night till I was quite sick.
My sister told me, if I would not betray her to the Church, she would undertake to find a husband for me, suitable to my age, when I was old enough; but that I was too young now, and that no man should have me for a wife yet, if she could prevent it; that I must go down and ask Howard if I could come and stay at her house until her husband returned, who was at the time absent in Iowa with his brother Henry The latter, who now lives at Scranton, Pennsylvania, knew and mnust recollect most of the facts I am now relating T'o this Howard consented after some delay, and raising various objections; and much elated at my success in escaping for the time the annoyance of old men looking for young wives, I went to her house, where I remained for several weeks.
One day my sister said to me, "Nettie, quite an interesting young fellow has been boarding with us, and if you were two or three vears older, you should marry him. My cousin was about my own age. She told me her mother wished her to marry Mr.