« PreviousContinue »
4th district, Robert Holloway, 5th district, W. H. Carlin; 6th district, Virgil Hickox; 7th district, W. D. Latshaw; 8th district, A. H. Trapp; 9th district, S. S. Taylor.
The Ninth Democratic State Convention met (pursuant to the call of the above named committee) at Springfield, on the 21st of April, 1858, and nominated W. B. Fondey for State Treasurer and A. C. French for Superintendent of Public Instruction. It appointed as the State Committee the following persons: At large, John Moore, C. H. Lanphier. 1st district, C. J. Horsman; 2d district, J. W. Sheahan; 3d district, N. Elwood; 4th district, John McDonald ; 5th district, Alexander Starne; 6th district, V. Hickox; 7th district, S. A. Buckmaster; 8th district, O. B. Ficklin; 9th district, John White.
The Tenth Democratic State Convention met (pursuant to the call of the above committee) at Springfield, January 4, 1860, and appointed delegates to Charleston. The Convention did not nominate candidates for state officers, and by resolution continued the existing State Committee in office, until the meeting of the Convention to be held to nominate candidates for state offices, and an electoral ticket.
That committee have called the Eleventh Democratic State Convention to meet at Springfield, on the 13th of June, to nominate candidates for Governor, Lieutenant-governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, and Superintendant of Public Instruction, also eleven candidates for Presidential electors—electors pledged to vote for the nominees of the Charleston Convention.
For twenty-two years the authority of the Democratic State Committee has been transmitted in unbroken succession from each State Convention to the following one.
UTAH AND THE MO
An attempt has been frequently made by the enemies of popular right to show the failure of popular sovereignty by pointing to the enormities and outrages perpetrated by the Mormons in Utah. There is no question that the practices in Utah are dangerous to the peace of the Union, and dangerous to the moral and political character of the republic. That the political and social condition of the Mormon settlements in Utah are destined to be, especially if weak and timorous counsels prevail, a source of great vexation and trouble to the American people. Polygamy exists in Utah, but polygamy is not the result of popular sovereignty. Polygamy existed in Utah before the passage of the territorial act of 1850,
and polygamy will exist among the Mormons so long and wherever they have the political power. The Mormons are in a majority in Kansas, they constitute so nearly the entire population that Utah may be regarded as a Mormon community. They have peculiar doctrines, which form part of what they call their “religious faith.” They have an ecclesiastical organization, with its courts, tribunals, officers, decrees, mandates and punishments, to all of which the people, as members of a religious society, yield implicit obedience. In the list of powers claimed and exercised by this ecclesiastical authority is that of summary divorce, and of sealing in marriage. It is by the authority of this theocratical government, which rules above and independently of the civil government of the Territory, that polygamy and its attendant vices are encouraged, fostered and promoted.
If Utah were a state, we suppose there is no one who would admit that Congress or the federal government had the constitutional power or authority to legislate for the prohibition or punishment of polygamy, or any other crime of that nature within the limits of the state. It would be one of those instances where the federal government would be restrained, by a total absence of all power, to interpose its authority. The question whether Congress has the power, or having it ought to exercise the power of passing laws for the prohibition, or for the protection of particular institutions in the territories is one upon which there is, has been, and possibly will always be a variety of opinions. The Mormons, however, are not dangerous to the peace of the Union only because of their polygamy. That is a social evil, which, however infamous and dangerous it may be, is nevertheless one which is confined within their own territorial limits, and to their own people, There is a large class of people who seem to be horrified at the existence of slavery in some of the states, and who do not hesitate to attribute to that institution a character as revolting in many respects as is attributed to polygamy. Indeed the Republican party have in their platform linked slavery and polygamy as “twin relics of barbarism,” which ought to be rooted out by all constitutional means. They disclaim all purpose of interfering with slavery in the states, and we suppose would be equally forbearing to polygamy in the same localities. But against both in the territories they propose to wage a constant war-an “irrepressible conflict.”
These men represent that in the slaveholding states, marriage is an institution unknown amongst slaves, and that owners have, and exercise the power of giving slave women to men as wives, and then of separating them, and forming new arrangements by which the husband of one woman is transferred to other women, and the wives of certain men transferred to other men. The anti-slavery orators affect to see but little difference between the moral statutes established amongst slaves, and that existing under the polygamons institutions of the Mormons. Hence, they style them, “those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery,” against whose existence in the territories there must ever exist an “irrepressible conflict." The Supreme Court has decided that any act of Congress prohibiting slavery in the territories must be void, but no decision in terms that such a power exercised against polygamy has been made. Where the power to prohibit slavery is denied, and where the power to prohibit polygamy is granted to Congress by the Constitution, is a question for constitutional lawyers to determine. The Democratic party unanimously agree that Congress possesses no such power to prohibit slavery; and Congress having no power over one of the "twin relics,”
it is yet to be determined whether the party agree that Congress has the power to prohibit the other “twin relic.” If Congress has no power to prohibit slavery, yet has the power to probibit polygamy or other intercourse between the sexes unless sanctioned by marriage, then Congress may, we presume, legislate upon the marriage relations to be preserved amongst all the slaves who may be taken to the territories, and if Congress may legislate respecting the marriage relations between slaves in the territories, Congress will shortly find that, from the same source whence it derives that authority, it can also obtain the authority to legislate upon the relation between slaves and the white people, and between slaves and their owners. The ultimate end to which the doctrine of intervention by Congress with the internal affairs of the people of the territory must lead is evident. It can not be exercised in one case without necessarily carrying with it an expression of authority to exercise it in all cases. The only safe rule is to abstain from the exercise of all doubtful powers and to leave the people of the territories, as long as they remain faithful to their political obligations, alone to work out their own destiny.
But, it may be asked, is there no remedy for the evils in Utah ? Must these Mormons go on in their works of evil wholly unchecked and unrestrained by any authority. To these questions it is only necessary to say that polygamy is not the only crime which the Morinons commit against the peace, law, and good order of the republic. They set up their ecclesiastical government in open and direct hostility to the government of the United States; they set up the decrees of their apostles as the “higher law,” which it is their duty as well as tbeir pleasure to obey, even when the laws and their obligations as citizens of the United States require a different rule of government. In short, the Mormons, though living upon the soil of the United States, are not of the United States; though living nominally under the government of the United States, that government is not their government, but their government is another established by themselves, of a social and religious character, to which they submit in preference and to the exclusion of all other governments. They are a people and a government wholly independent in all things of the people and government of the United States, and recognize no authority on the part of the government, laws or Constitution
of the United States to require of them the performance of any duty, or abstinence from any acts made unlawful by United States law. They are in organization, sentiment and feeling, as much and as essentially aliens to the United States as if they resided upon the plains of Asia. A territorial government was established in 1850 for tbe people of Utah, but it was designed and prepared for a people knowing no allegiance on earth save to the American Union. It was not intended for a people who repudiate the Constitution and the Union, declare themselves free and independent of United States authority, and claim for their apostles a power civil and religious far above that of the Constitution and government of the United States.
The searcher after an appropriate remedy for the evils in Utah will not find a practicable or a sufficient one in the exercise of the doubtful power of prohibiting polygamy. Let him go further and he will find the primal cause for all the abominations of Utah, and that cause is the entire disloyalty of the people; their utter repudiation of the American Constitution and laws, and their total want of political fidelity. The territorial government was designed for a portion of the American people; the people of Utah are not Americans in any sense of the word, they are a distinct race and a separate people, having no relations with any other race or people. They are a Mormon people, who bid defiance to, and hold in scorn and contempt, all other people; their government is a Mormon government, having no relations of any kind, much less allegiance to any other government on earth. The existing territorial government is used by these men only to draw money from the Federal treasury—“quartering upon the Gentiles”—and to cover up and hide as far as possible their enormities. The Act of Congress making polygamy a crime will be treated as a farce. The jurors and sheriffs and witnesses must be Mormons. The party accused of polygamy must be indicted by a grand jury each member of which has from five to twenty wives; he must next be tried by a jury each member of which has a dozen wives. That will be the practical execution of the act to prohibit one of the twin relics of barbarism. The barbarians will be the judges of each other's barbarity.
The only practical remedy for these evils is to treat these