The John Taylor Papers, by Samuel W. & Raymond W. Taylor Volume I, The Apostle

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of communication, the sure and decided commingling of interests, a universal

interchange of sentiment, an increasing desire among mankind to shake off the

shackles of despotism and enjoy the liberty of speech and conscience, all

conspire to show that such a combination of circumstances must eventually

result in some kind of universal government . . . .

Again we ask, who can take the helm of state? Whilst new political

elements are rising, and our healthy institutions grow, spread, and increase;

whilst wave after wave of population strikes our shores and penetrates our

territories; whilst demagogues at home, or cabals and intrigants abroad, worry

and fret us, who can say to the troubled elements, "peace be still?"

What were America's capabilities for assuming world leadership? "Is

she competent for the task?" Taylor asked. "Is she equal to the


The intelligence of the people will soon see the necessity of adopting

rules and regulations which will bring them to a closer acquaintance with

longdisused and forgotten laws of God of former days, which, when compared to

human laws, will be seen to be so far superior that the universal vox populi

will be for its establishment, as the only permanent and true basis for a good

and wholesome government . . . .

Our national sins have been small in comparison with other nations. We

are at the present time, comparatively, in our infancy. By pursuing a just and

honorable course we [197] should soon become the arbiter of nations and the

wonder and admiration of the world. (14)

From out of Taylor's most harrowing memory came a visitor. George J.


A man called into the office this morning asking about Bro. Daniel

Spencer and stated that he was his brother. Father asked him if he had not

made an affidavit against Joseph Smith once in Nauvoo. He

said yes he had, and that he never denied anything he ever did. Father then

told him pretty sharply that he did not want any further conversation with

him. The man turned pale and muttered something about wanting to find out

about his brother. Father did not answer him, whereupon he marched downstairs

again, and perhaps it was as well he did so at once, for if he had lingered, I

am not sure but he might have been assisted to the foot of the stairs by an

Irishman's hint.

John Taylor's mission in New York ended in May, 1857. On that same

month, U.S. President James Buchanan dispatched the United States Army to

quell the "Mormon Rebellion" in Utah.

Taylor left T.B.H. Stenhouse in charge of The Mormon, and hastened

to the defense of Zion. Upon his arrival, he received high praise from

Brigham Young for his work on The Mormon.

I have heard many remarks concerning the editorials in that paper, not

only from Saints, but from those who do not profess to believe the religion we

have embraced; and it is probably one of the strongest edited papers that is

now published. I can say, as to its editorials, that . . . I have never read

one sentence in them but what my heart could bid success to it and beat a

happy response. (15)

[198] (1) JD 1:221.

(2) Life

(3) It will be remembered that as a child, George J. was run over by

a wagon while enroute from Winter Quarters to the Valley. Now, on his

first trip East, he was a young man of 20, of artistic and literary

leanings. His journal contains many sidelights concerning the trip,

affairs in the East, and problems involved in publication of The Mormon.

The reference to "Caroline Gilham" concerns Caroline Hooper Saunders

William, an emigrant with the sugar train, and the most recent wife of

John Taylor. She was 39 at the time Taylor married her, in December 1852,

at the home of his friend, Luman Shurtliff, in Springville.

Caroline occupied an anomalous status in Taylor's family. Although

she was never publicly acknowledged as an "official" wife, she was

accepted in family circles as "Aunt Caroline," and ordinance work was

performed for her kindred in the St. George Temple after her death. (See

"Notes on the Lesserknown Wives.")

Caroline was the only "littleknown" wife acknowledged in John

Taylor's will as his wife; she also was the only one to be buried in the

John Taylor cemetery plot at Salt Lake.

On this trip east, Caroline left Taylor's party at the Missouri

River, taking a paddlewheel steamer downstream to visit her friends. She

evidently returned to Deseret without joining Taylor's group in New York.

(4) MS, 23 Dec. 1854.

(5) Plans for the Cincinnati paper never materialized.

(6) The paper's heading, drawn by George J. Taylor, proved to be a

striking one occupying a quarter of the front page. It portrayed the

American eagle, the AllSeeing Eye, the Mormon beehive, the flag, and

several mottos including the Mormon Creed, "Mind Your Own Business."

(7) Letters 15 July 1855 and 24 February 1857; JD 9 April 1857.

(8) Letter to Brigham Young, 24 Feb. 1857; JD 5:119.

(9) JD 9 August 1857.

(10) 17 February 1855.

[199] (11) The Mormon, 28 July 1855.

(12) Twenty years previously, Taylor had published in the Millennial

Star a poem in blank verse, "Lines Written in the Album of Abby Jane

Hart, of New York City." The above is essentially a prose rendition of

the "Lines."

(13) For an unknown reason, they weren't sealed until almost five

years later, 29 June 1861, by which time Margaret had one child and was

expecting another.

(14) 6 October and 24 November 1855.

(15) JD 1:123.

[200] Chapter 13


While in New York, Taylor had been instrumental in unmasking the

guilty secret of one of the most obnoxious Federal appointees ever sent

to Utah, Judge William W. Drummond, associate justice of the Territorial

Supreme Court.

"It began soon after Taylor began publishing The Mormon. Leonora

wrote that, on Brigham's advice, she had consented to the marriage of

Mary Ann to a Gentile named Drummond. Mary Ann was John Taylor's oldest

daughter, the apple of his eye. He immediately wrote to Brigham. Young,

apprehensive that Mary Ann had had her head turned by a charming

blackguard. In response, Brigham reassured him:

In regard to Mary Ann, your daughter, marrying Mr. Drummond, and my

counsel on the subject, I wish to make a few remarks. She seemed determined to

go with the Gentiles, and keep their company, regardless of the remonstrances

of her friends, and when sister Taylor came to me to know what

should be done about it, I told her that if he wanted to marry her, and she

was a daughter of mine, I should let him do so . . . . When she has

experienced enough of the world, she will be glad to return and perhaps bring

her husband with her. He is a very goodlooking young man, and has been highly

recommended by Judge Kinney, who states that he is of a good family, and

respectable character. (1)


To Taylor's relief, he learned that Mary Ann had married another

Gentile named Drummond, before the judge arrived in Utah. (2)

Two years later, after a stormy career on the Utah bench, Judge W.

W. Drummond fled Utah and resigned, charging that Brigham Young's will

was superior in Utah to any law of Congress; that a "secret oathbound

organization," the Danites, enforced Brigham's orders, even commiting

murder at his bidding; that Federal officials were harassed, court

records destroyed; and that Brigham pardoned Mormon criminals and threw

innocent Gentiles into jail. (3)

These charges caused great public excitement in the nation. Taylor

immediately dispatched an associate on The Mormon, W. I. Appleby, to

Washington to investigate the character and background of Drummond.

Appleby reported that Drummond had abandoned his wife and family, and

taken a prostitute to Utah with him, introducing her as his wife. (4)

Upon his return to Utah, Taylor denounced Drummond and his ilk.

We had some United States officials sent out here, who were not

polygamists; but one of them went so far as to show us what beautiful

civilization they had where he came from . . . . Here was your Judge Drummond

you had here. I was not here at the time, but I heard all about it . . . . He

came here and seemed determined to get up a fuss, if he could; that seemed to

be his object from the time he came until he went away . . . .

Besides that, he was such an honorable representative of the U.S., and

wanted to introduce such beautiful principles among us. This very same

individual was so [202] pure, so religious and holy, so virtuous and

righteous, his soul was pained in consequence of the doctrine of polygamy. At

the same time, he must bring an eastern whore to sit on the bench with him,

and thus insult the people of this Territory, and left his poor wife desolate

and forsaken in Oquaka, Illinois. This is one of those immaculate characters

they sent out to ameliorate your condition. . . .

Such men are infernal scoundrels, and ought to be damned; and they will

be. Yet they are the representatives here of Uncle Sam, and everybody must

take off their hats and bow to such mean reptiles . . . . I will say, "We will

be damned if we will." That is about my feelings, gentlemen . . . .

He and some others went back to Washington, and reported that the Mormons

were in a state of rebellion; that we were a very wicked people, very corrupt

and very depraved, almost as bad as some of our truthtelling ministers make

us out to be. (5)

Curtis E. Bolton, Taylor's former missionary companion in France,

wrote a refutation of Drummond's allegations. However, before this

reached Washington, President James Buchanan already had appointed Alfred

Cumming to replace Brigham Young as governor of Utah, and had dispatched

an escort of 2,500 troops to uphold his authority and quell the "Mormon


Taylor's defense of the Saints during the Utah War was so spirited

that he became known as a modern Joshua. The Millennial Star reported:

When Johnston's Army of 1857 was camped on Ham's Fork , Captain Van Vliet came to Salt Lake for grain for the

command, but there was none for him. The people had made up their minds not to

be persecuted any more, and this is what [203] they said and did: Elder Taylor

addressed the meeting that the captain attended, and the Elder asked the

people, "Would you, if necessary, put the torch to your houses and lay the

land in waste and go to the mountains?"

Brigham Young said: "Try the vote."

Elder Taylor"All you that are willing to set fire to your property and

lay it in ashes rather than submit to military rule and oppression, raise your

right hands."

About four thousand all voted.

Elder Taylor"I knew what your feelings would be. We have been

persecuted and robbed long enough, and in the name of Israel's God we will be


The captain was astonished and went home a friend of the people.

While preaching that day, Elder Taylor got very earnest, and President

Young caught him by the coattail as a reminder. Taylor turned around and

said, "Brother Brigham, let go my coattail. I tell you, the bullets in me yet

hurt! . . ."

Well, Elder Taylor was like Joshua, only more so; when he got into debate

or in a mortal fight, he wanted the sun, moon and stars all to stand still and

look on while he demolished his adversaries. (6)

Speaking of former persecutors of the Saints at Nauvoo, Taylor


The poor, miserable, cursed, damned scoundrels, I pray that they may go

to hell

They now put on a smooth face (they have, perhaps, been at a

classmeeting, some of them), and wonder why we won't let those officers come

in herewhy we won't [204] let the judges come here, such as they

appointwhy we won't let kind, gentlemanly men come here and rule over us.

You know such as we have had before in our midst. (7)

Fresh from experience in the East, Taylor compared people of the

outside world with the Saints.

Our young men and women who have not come in contact with it can scarcely

conceive of the amount of iniquity, depravity, corruption, lying, deception

and abominations of every kind that prevails in the Gentile world . . . .

Where are the men of truth? nationally, socially, religiously, morally,

politically, or in any other way? Where are the patriots? Where are the men of

God? I declare before you and high heaven, I have not found them. Sometimes I

have thought that I had got my hand upon them, but they slipped out of my

fingers . . . .

People back East used to blame me for speaking and writing plainly. I

talk the same now. I feel that I can be sustained by the truth; and if I

cannot live by truth, I will die by it. And I am not afraid of telling it

before any people . . . .

The ministers say it is right to tell the truth, and then go to work and

lie. One politician banters another on account of the hypocritical course he

has taken, . . . and deceives as much as he possibly can to sustain his party.

It is not whether a thing is true or not, but whether it is policy or not; and

if a thing becomes policy, every influence, every kind of chicanery,

falsehood, and deception is brought to bear upon it; and when a little truth

will tell better, they mix that up along with it, but it is generally the

least ingredient in the whole mass . . . .

I bless the God of Israel that I am permitted to mingle with the Saints

of the Most Highto associate with men who, when I meet them and ask them

concerning any[205]thing, I may expect to have an honest and truthful

answermen in whom there is some truth, some integrity, something to catch

hold of, something you can rely on . . . .

Every true man among us feels he is a Saint of the living God, and that

he has an interest in the kingdom of God; every man feels that he is a king

and a priest of the Most High God. He is a saviour, and he stands forth and

acts with energy and power, with influence, and he is full of the Spirit of

the Lord. Hence the difference between him and others, and hence the necessity

of the experiences we have to combat, and the difficulties we have to overcome

. . . .

I used to think, if I were the Lord, I would not suffer people to be

tried as they are; but I have changed my mind on that subject. Now I think I

would, if I were the Lord, because it purges out the meanness and corruption

that stick around the Saints like flies around molasses.

Speaking of the outside world, "You wonder why men act so much like

fools," Taylor said. "I wonder that they have as much intelligence as

they have: and the only reason . . . is that the Spirit of God is not

entirely withdrawn from them."

You can take an ox, or a hog, and put it into a stable, and feed it, and

it will get fat there. What for? For the knife. If you could only give it a

little revelationif you could only make that ox or hog understand that it

was being prepared to be killed and eatenI wonder how fat you could make it?

It is just so with the world; they are ignorant of their position, and

they glory in their shame, just as much as a hog does wallowing in the mire;

and they are just as ignorant of their destiny. This is the position of the

world, and that is the reason why you see things as they arewhy there is so

much darkness; and I only wonder there is so much light among them as there is

. . . .

[206] You cannot expect the conduct of a gentleman to proceed from a brute

beast; you cannot expect anything but a grunt from a hog. It is their nature;

and it is the nature of the wicked to act as they have done . . . . Not

desirous to retain God in their knowledge, they have given themselves up to

every kind of evil, and are led captive by the Devil; and the Scriptures say,

"His servants ye are whom ye list to obey." (8)

Regarding Federal carpetbaggers, Taylor was indignant.

We have been outrageously imposed upon by United States officials. They

send out every ragtag and bobtail, and every mean nincompoop they can scrape

up from the filth and scum of society, and dub him a United States officer.

And are we expected to receive all manner of insults from such men without one

word of complaint? They will assuredly find themselves mistaken.

"What! You don't mean to say you will fight against the United States?"

We don't want to; but we feel that we have as much right to talk as

anybody. We have rights, as American citizens, and we cannot be eternally

trampled on; but we shall assuredly maintain our constitutional rights, speak

fearlessly our opinions, and take just the course that we think proper . . . .

In the East at this time, there has been a great hueandcry; and almost

every editor, priest, and dog that could howl, has been yelping. They joined

heartily with Drummond, one of our amiable, pure virtuous United States

officers . . . . This pure man commenced a tirade against us, then other dogs

began to bark. We soon told the truth about it; then, byandby, somebody else

would tell it; and he now stinks so bad that they actually repudiate him. He

is too much even for them, and they had to cast him off . . . . (9)

[207] What are they sending an army here for? . . . When I heard that the

troops now on their way here had sealed orders, were coming with cannon, and

had stopped the mail, it argued that there was the Devil behind somewhere.

I will give you my opinion about the present course. The Republicans were

determined to make the Mormon question tell in their favor. At the time they

were trying to elect Fremont, they put two questions into their platformviz,

opposition to the domestic institutions of the south , and to

polygamy. The Democrats have professed to be our friends, . . . but when they

do that the Republicans throw polygamy at them . . . . This makes the

Democrats gag, and they have felt a strong desire to get rid of the Mormon


Some of them, I know, for some time past have been concocting plans to

divide up Utah among the several territories around . . . . Now, they go to

work and send out an army with sealed orders, and, if necessary, are prepared

to commit anything that the Devil may suggest to them; for they are under his

influence. They wish to steal the Republicans' thunder, to take the wind out

of their sails, and to outHerod Herod.

Say they, "We, who profess to be the friends of the Mormons, . . . will

do more to them than you dare do; and we will procure offices by that means,

and save our party." And as Pilate and Herod could be made friends over the

death of Jesus, so they go to work and plan our sacrifice and destruction, and

make up friends on the back of it. They would crucify Jesus Christ, if he were

here, as quick as the Scribes and Pharisees did in his day, and the priests

would help them.

President Young says they shall not come here and destroy us; and I say,

Amen. (The congregation shouted, "Amen!")


In Washington, there had been utter misconception of the Mormon

people. It was believed that they would welcome the army as liberators

from "religious tyranny," that they were "kept in submission only by some

terroristic arm of the Church." (10)

Never were politicians more completely mistaken. John Taylor rallied

the people to the defense of Zion.

There are thousands of you who are Americans, who have been born in this

land, whose fathers fought for the liberties we used to enjoy, but have not

enjoyed for some years past. There are thousands of such men here who feel the

same spirit that used to burn in their fathers' bosomsthe spirit of liberty

and equal rightsthe spirit of according to every man that which belongs to

him, and of robbing no man of his rights.

Your fathers and grandfathers have met the tyrant when he sought to put a

yoke on our necks; as men and true patriots, they came forward and fought for

their rights and in defense of that liberty which we, their children, ought to

enjoy. You feel the same spirit that inspired them; the same blood that

coursed in their veins flows in yours. You feel true patriotism and a strong

attachment to the Constitution and institutions bought by the blood of your

fathers, and bequeathed to you by them as your richest patrimony.

There are others of you that . . . may, perhaps, feel qualms of

conscience, and think, probably, that if we undertake to resist the powers

that are seeking to make aggression upon us, we are doing wrong. No such

thing. You let your conscience sleep at ease; let it be quiet. It is not us

who are doing wrong. It is others who are commiting wrong upon us . . . .

Why do this people feel so comfortable when an army is approaching? Are

you not afraid of being killed? No, [209] not a great deal. Why are you not

mourning and sorrowing, and why are you not distressed and troubled? Because

you have got a principle within you that cannot be conquered in time nor in

eternity. You possess the principles of eternal life in your bosoms, that

cannot be subdued. You know what your relationship is with the Eternal God,

and His Spirit gives joy and consolation to your bosoms . . . .

Taylor revealed that church leaders were well aware of underlying

motives behind the Utah Expedition, one being "the clamor of speculators

and contractors, who have, of course, a very disinterested desire to

relieve their venerated uncle by thrusting their patriotic hands into his

pockets." Because of rampant graft, it was called the "contractors' war."

President Buchanan, goaded by the Republicans, wished to show them that

in regard to the Mormons he dared outHerod Herod, by fitting up an army to

make war upon the Mormons. But it was necessary to have a pretext. It would

not have been popular to destroy a whole community in cold blood; so he sent

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