climate with the nation's attitude toward a belengered sect. A few months
later, the arbitrary George L. Woods was replaced as Governor. Then after
Judge McKean outraged both Mormons and Gentiles by sentencing Brigham
Young to a day in prison on a technicality during a divorce case,
President Grant dismissed McKean for acts "which are considered
illadvised and tyrannical, and in excess of his powers as Judge."
"The Federal officers which followed the McKean ring were a better
class of men," Roberts states, "and for some years Utah had a period of
peace; a circumstance which vindicated the wisdom of Elder Taylor's
counsel to `Be quiet.'" (13)
(1) MS, 11 March 1873.
(2) Deseret News, also MS, 17 March 1874.
 (3) Deseret News, also MS, 25 March 1874.
(4) It will be noted that Utah has grown by 30,000 since Taylor's
previous series of letters.
(5) Salt Lake Herald, also MS, 31 March 1874.
(6) Baskin, a most active member of the "ring," was at this time
prosecuting attorney for McKean's court. He subsequently became chief
justice of the Supreme Court of Utah, and mayor of Salt Lake City. For
the Gentile view of the controversy, see his Reminiscences of Early Utah,
Salt Lake, 1914.
(7) Salt Lake Herald, also MS, 14 April 1874.
(8) Gilson also arranged the deal with Bill Hickman in the attempt
to convict Brigham Young of murder.
(9) Salt Lake Herald, also MS, 28 April 1874.
(10) A Gentile wagon company consisting of some 140 people camped in
southern Utah at Mountain Meadows, located between Cedar City and St.
George. Mormon zealots, enlisting Indian support as a cover, ambushed the
company. After a siege of three days the Mormons negotiated with the
company and arranged to lend the members to safety under a flag of truce.
Instead, after the company was disarmed, the Mormons killed men, women,
and all except seventeen small children. Some fiftyfive Mormon men were
involved, and the plan was conceived and directed by local church
(11) At the time this letter was written, it was still policy to
attribute responsibility for the massacre to the Indians. Subsequently,
John D. Lee's Confessions, and the testimony at his trials, established
that local Mormons were responsible for planning the affair, and that
they did the actual killing. Three years after the above letter, Lee was
convicted and executed as a scapegoat to quiet the matter. However, it
was not until 1950 that Juanita Brooks told, as far as possible, the
complete story in her Mountain Meadows Massacre. She followed this in
1962 with John Doyle Lee; ZealotPioneerBuilderScapegoat. Largely
because of her work in clearing his name, Lee was restored to church
(12) Deseret News, also MS, 12 May 1874.
 Chapter 18
"A SOLEMN DAY FOR ISRAEL"
Zion continued to prosper. Branches of the church cooperative store,
ZCMI, spread throughout the settlements. Brigham Young instituted the
United Order over the length and breadth of Mormon country. New colonies
settled the desert, to make it blossom as the rose.
Writing to Joseph F. Smith on 11 January 1876, John Taylor outlined
the method of establishing a new colony:
Dear Brother: Five hundred missionaries are being called to make
permanent homes in Arizona Territory.
We have apportioned to each county what is deemed fair and equitable
according to its size, and your quota is 20 from Davis County.
You will please meet with your Bishops and make early arrangements for
raising that number, and report immediately when ready. We want good, faithful
men, who are willing to carry out the principle of the United Order, taking
with them not more than one wife, and who are able to fit themselves up with
an outfit, or assist those who are unable to do it themselves.
At a special meeting of the Bishops of this city, last Saturday evening,
two were called for from each ward and we expect a report from them on
Thursday, Jan. 13th.
We want all of them to be ready at the earliest possible date, so as to
enable them to reach their destination in time to put in crops this spring.
All should be in readiness by the 30th of January.
It was not unusual that John Taylor should organize this colony,
instead of Brigham Young. Brigham, afflicted with arthritis, customarily
wintered at St. George's balmy climate. With advancing years he had been
delegating responsibility. President Young had "stated that John Taylor
was the man that stood next to him; and that where he was not, John
Taylor presided." (1)
On 16 December, 1876, Taylor wrote a letter to Brigham Young at St.
George that was both official and personal. "Permit me," he said, "as the
season approaches to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year,
with a hundred thousand more added."
I have listened with very great pleasure to the accounts given of the
progress of the Temple and your zeal and energy in hastening its completion;
and I shall feel, as yourself, like shouting Hosannah to God and the Lamb,
when another Temple shall be completed and dedicated in which the ordinances
of the Lord's house can be performed, in accordance with the holy priesthood
and acceptable to our heavenly Father.
It was gratifying for some time to hear of the good health that you
enjoyed, and I was very sorry to learn, more recently, of a slight attack of
your old complaint. I pray that your disease may stand rebuked and that the
lifegiving power of the Spirit of God may rest upon you, and flow through
you, that you may be enabled to carry out your desires in the advancement of
the Church and Kingdom of God on earth.
The Temple here is progressing as fast as we could reasonably expect, for
the season. There was a slight lull and withdrawal of hands for a short time;
but that is now avoided. Wells, myself and others have done a
little preaching on the subject, and laid before the people the necessity of
renewed and increased efforts in the  work, and there seems to be a
willingness and a strong desire among the people to complete this Temple. . .
. There are now between seventy and eighty stone cutters at work, and an
attempt is being made to get a number of fine workmen to do the face work.
As Territorial superintendent of district schools, Taylor discussed
in the letter the issuing of revised text books. The prophet's health was
failing, and Taylor closed with a fervent prayer.
Prest. Young, God bless you with health of body and strength of mind,
that you may be full of the Holy Ghost and the power of God, that your heart
may be joyous and happy; that your peace may flow as a river, the holy angels
watch over you continuously in time, and that in all the eternities you may
rejoice in the assemblies of the past, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
The following April, 1877, annual conference was held at St. George
in conjunction with dedication of the first temple completed in Utah.
Upon arrival in St. George, Taylor was concerned regarding Brigham
Young's health. The prophet had previously been using a crutch and cane;
but now he was unable to walk, and had to be carried about in an
armchair, made for the purpose by Howard Cottam.
Because of his health, there was talk that he might retire from
office in favor of his son, Brigham Jr., commonly known as "Young
Briggie." The Salt Lake Tribune published a number of predictions to this
 ST. GEORGE, April 6Three thousand Mormons attended the conference
today, which was declared convened by the Prophet Brigham. The Melchisedek, or
high priesthood, was represented by Brigham and his two sons, Briggy and
Johnny, the OneEyed Pirate , Cannon and nearly
all the Twelve Apostles....
This conference is proving a rather dull affair, as the real business,
the promotion of Briggy, is the absorbing thought of those who think at all.
Brigham Young made reference to persistent rumors by saying from the
stand, "Don't you worry who my successor will be. This is in the Lord's
Reporting the last day of conference, the Tribune said:
The conference was attended by the usual number of unwashed Saints today.
Wilford Woodruff addressed them in his usual corncutting style, exhorting
them to unquestioning obedience, and advising them to drink deeper of the cup
of Enoch. Apostle C. C. Rich also gave the Saints a long
discourse on Enoch, but . . . the truth is the priesthood does not feel so
exuberent as on former occasions . . . .
In the afternoon the officers of the Church were voted for. Old Brigham
was reelected President, Prophet, Seer, Revelator and TrusteeinTrust for
the Latterday fraud, thus beating the Prince out of his throne for another
six months at least.
Enoch! Enoch! Enoch! was the only subject brayed on today. Old Brigham is
trying to feather his nest before he dies.
A reason for emphasis on the United Order at the conference was to
rally the  Saints to unity in the face of grave danger. The truce
between the church and the world had been shattered recently by the trial
and conviction of John D. Lee for his part in the Mountain Meadows
tragedy twenty years previously. Lee had been executed nearby at Mountain
Meadows just three weeks before, and the Tribune called it "The Mountain
Publication of Lee's Confessions had engendered widespread
excitement. T.B.H. Stenhouse and his wife, Fanny, also had each published
an unfriendly book, which added to the furor. A typical reaction came
from the New York Herald.
The execution of John D. Lee, the confession he made when confronting an
ignominious death, the implication of Brigham Young and other Mormon magnates
as accomplices in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and the new sense of
indignant hostility to the bloody, beastly, lawdefying hierarchy on the
border of the Great Salt Lake, contribute to make this the most important
occasion which has yet arisen for effacing the foul blot on American life
which has so long existed in the region of the Rocky Mountains. . . . (2)
The time has at length come for vigorous action, and it would be unwise
to let so favorable an opportunity slip. The first and most urgent thing to be
done is to bring all the accomplices to the Mountain Meadows Massacre to
justice. Their trial, condemnation and execution would be a great step toward
putting the public mind in a proper temper for dealing finally and effectually
with the troublesome Mormon question. The next great step will be the passage
by Congress of such laws as will thoroughly uproot polygamy and the abject
slavery of women which it involves . . . .
 For the present we only insist on the vigorous execution of the criminal
laws against John D. Lee's bloodstained accomplices. (3)
In this resurgence of enmity, the Salt Lake Tribune became venomous.
With the same issue reporting the final day of conference, it published a
supplement of "Mormon Horrors!"
The Mormon priests, just now, are preaching louder than ever before the
three grand necessities of Mormonismunity, righteousness and obedience. This
sounds very sanctifying, no doubt to the people outside of Utah, who know
nothing of the significance of these terms in the Mormon vocabulary. Their
unity, righteousness and obedience are all expressed in one word of common
Englishsubserviencyto the will of Brigham Young . . . .
John D. Lee is an illustrious example of Mormon subserviency. For thirty
years he knew no human or divine will but that of Brigham Young. . . . When he
at last became a convict as a legitimate reward for a lifetime's compliance
with the will of the heartless despot who had made so good use of him, Brigham
sends him word by his faithful wife, Rachel, "Tell Brother John not to give
himself any uneasiness. Not a hair of his head shall be harmed."
Relying still, as in the past, upon the word of this insidious enemy of
mankindliterally hanging upon his inspired utterancesJohn D. Lee was
cajoled into silence which really cost him his life; for had he turned State's
evidence and made his confession prior to his final conviction, he would have
been spared to testify to the guilty conspiracy of his masters, the real
projectors and instigators of the terrible deed.
"See what a lifetime's obedience to Brigham Young has brought me to!"
exclaimed the sacrificed Lee, as he stood at the end of his coffin, upon the
brink of eternity.
At the height of the resurgence of the "Mormon problem," Brigham
Young died, 29 August 1877. The Deseret News reported:
At four o'clock this afternoon, PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG departed this
life, surrounded by his family and intimate friends. This announcement will
thrill the whole Territory with grief. We feel the weight of this great loss
to the world, and cannot at this moment express in the faintest degree our
deep sense of the void occasioned by his departure. He was a GREAT MAN in
every sense of the term. And he has left a mark upon the age which the future
will never efface, but which will grow brighter and broader as the man, his
deeds and his sentiments become better known and appreciated.
To the Latterday Saints he has been for more than thirtythree years a
counselor, a father, a friend, a guide, and a tower of strength. To all
mankind he has been a prophet and a benefactor so far as they would accept his
advice and receive his teachings.
He has, under God, rescued thousands from poverty and raised them to
independence, opened the deserts of these mountains to colonization, preached
the gospel of salvation to many nations, declared the counsel of heaven to
inhabitants of the earth, prepared the way in the Temples of God for the
redemption of hosts of the dead, organized and consolidated the order of the
everlasting Priesthood, and, having finished his work on earth, gone into the
spirit world to join with Joseph, Hyrum, Willard, Jedediah, Heber, George A.
and other great and glorious servants of the Lord, to continue the divine work
they all labored for on earth.
We mourn his departure. But they rejoice in great gain. If a mighty man
has left us in grief, a mightier spirit is received among them with welcomings
and gladness. For his freed soul, no longer clogged with the cares and pains
of fading mortality, will wield a potent influence behind the veil.
There were persistent rumors that Brigham Young did not die from
natural causes."Like all great men, he has had bitter enemies," the
Deseret News stated.
No man has been more villified, misrepresented and falsely accused than
Brigham Young. His life has been frequently sought. The bullet and the knife
of the assassin have been prepared to shed his heart's blood, and plots have
been illegally laid by the emissaries of the law to rob, imprison, and destroy
him. But the hand of the Lord has delivered him on every occasion. (4)
To quiet rumors of foul play, John Taylor arranged for immediate
publication of the report by attending physicians.
LAST MOMENTS OF PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG.
In order to satisfy the feelings of many of our readers and answer
numerous inquiries concerning the particulars of the last sickness of our late
beloved President, we publish the following, arranged from reports made by
Drs. Seymour B. Young and F. D. Benedict, and others who were present during
the last hours of the President's earthly existence:
President Young's sickness commenced on Thursday, Aug. 23, continuing the
whole of the afternoon. He had an inclination to vomit, but he continued to
attend to his business as usual. In the evening he was present at a Bishop's
meeting in the Council House, and instructed the brethren in their duties,
speaking with marked point and power.
At 11 o'clock at night, on retiring, he was seized with an attack of
cholera morbus, the usual symptoms of vomiting and purging being almost
continuous until five o'clock Friday morning, when, at his own request, a mild
opiate was administered hypodermically into each foot, to relieve the intense
pain, caused by the constant cramping of the muscles.
 During the whole of that day his sufferings were great, continuing
through most of the night, but becoming less severe towards Saturday morning,
when he slept for a few hours. This was the first rest he enjoyed from the
commencement of his attack. During the whole of this period he endured his
pain cheerfully, and occasionally made humorous remarks as was his wont when
he saw those around him inclined to be troubled.
Inflamation of the bowels set in on Saturday at 3 p.m., and the abdomen
commenced to swell. One small dose, half a grain of opium, was administered,
and at midnight the same quantity . . . . Throughout Sunday he continued, both
while awake and asleep, to moan. When asked if he suffered pain his invariable
reply was, "No, I don't know that I do." During the same night his sufferings
were less severe, but continuous, although at eight o'clock he had a grain of
opium and at midnight half a grain.
On Monday morning, at eight o'clock, he showed increasing symptoms of
nervous prostration, by constant moving of the hands and twitching of the
muscles of the arms. One grain of opium was administered, and from then till
12 noon, he suffered severely. Another grain of opium was given him and at
8:20 in the evening and a half grain more. About 9 o'clock he sank into a
quite sleep, resting without moaning. During Sunday and Monday he had
received, at intervals of half an hour, a table spoonful of milk and brandy,
an ounce of the latter to eight of the former. . . . About 10 o'clock Monday
evening he sank into a semicomatose condition, from which it was difficult to
arouse him, although by persuasion, he swallowed the milk mixture every half
hour and a teaspoonful of ice water at intervals.
At one o'clock on Tuesday morning, warm stimulating injections were
given, after which he thoroughly aroused, and, by the aid of his attendants
got out of bed twice. At four o'clock the same morning he sank down in bed
apparently lifeless. Artificial respiration was resorted to, by  which
the lungs were kept inflated, and hot poultices were placed over the heart, to
stimulate its action . . . .
Hands were laid upon him by the various brethren very frequently from the
time he was attacked until his demise. President John. W. Young and others
administered to him the ordinance for the sick, calling on the Almighty to
restore him . . . . While lying in a kind of stupor, his son John W. asked
him, "Do you know me, Father?" He responded, "I rather guess I do . . . ." He
subsequently revived and spoke to those around him, saying he felt better and
wished to rest.
This condition remained until about 8 in the evening when partial
prostration again ensued, and his case was considered exceedingly critical by
the attendant physicians, Drs. S. B. Young, W. F. Anderson, J. M. Benedict and
F. D. Benedict. After consultation, an entire filling up of the lower part of
the bowels by injection was determined upon, for the purpose of creating an
action through the alimentary canal, but was not persevered in, on account of
fainting symptoms, and the patient objecting to the treatment, which caused
him to cry out with pain. He passed the night in a semicomatose state.
On Wednesday morning symptoms of approaching dissolution were plainly
evident. The early coma was entirely attributable, so the doctors say, to a
poisoning of the blood, from a pressure of the swelled bowels, causing a
prevention of return currents of the circulation to the heart and lungs. . . .
The temperature and pulsations were taken frequently, the temperature
remaining at 99 until 4 a.m. on Wednesday when it rose to 1013/4, and to 105
just previous to his decease. His pulse ranged from 120 to 128, the latter
being reached after the administration of the stimulating medicines. . . . (5)
It was reported that Brigham Young's last coherent words were,
"Joseph, Joseph, Joseph!"
On 3 September the Deseret News reported the funeral:
Yesterday morning the glorious sun, shining bright and clear from a
cloudless and lovely sky, ushered in one of the finest and calmest Sabbath
days ever seen in Utah. Special trains from the north, the south, and the
west, brought in vast crowds of people from points far and near to witness the
obsequities of President Brigham Young....
There was a continuous stream of living humanity passing through the
Tabernacle . . . to view the mortal remains of our departed President . . . .
It is estimated that nearly 25,000 persons took their last farewell of the
honored dead. . . .
Precisely at 12 noon, the immense congregation was called to order by
Elder George Q. Cannon, who at the request of the family conducted the
After opening prayer by Elder F. D. Richards, there were remarks by
President D. H. Wells, and Elders Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, George
Q. Cannon, and, as final speaker, John Taylor.
Today is a solemn day for Israel. We have before us the body of the man
who has led us for the past thirtythree years. Thirtythree years ago I was
with and witnessed the departure of our first President, Joseph Smith. . . .
Both of these presidents had the faith and confidence of the Saints of the
Most High, and the guidance and direction of the Lord. And the feelings of the
people as exhibited here, the gathering together of this Priesthood and the
Saints which I see before me today, is evidence of the respect and kindness
that beat in every heart and throb through every pulse. . . .
 As has been said, his name and his fame are known among all people, and
a knowledge of these events has spread to the uttermost bounds of the