|Paper||Salt Lake Herald-Republican|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Don Platt on Utah Matters|
|Paper||Salt Lake Herald-Republican|
DON PUTT CM UTAH PMTTtRS. I'm I'oitr, tin; Wa.-'i nelou :,',; i p-mlent of (ho U ineiiinafi (Juniinriunl, is not (V.tntically attached to President Giant's administration, and speaks his mind on matters with a freedom that ,' is not to be looked for from republican journals. He has at times ventilated Utah affairs in a very plain-spoken manner, and with a liberality toward ! the people of this Territory .somewhat unusual. On the 7th inst. he wrote to 'the Coniimrci'd a letter in which he treats on the removal of Chief Justice Wilson, and from it we make some i pointed extracts. After having re- ; ferred to the appointment of Governor Shaffer, and the reasons for it, and having expressed himself concerning Benjamin F. Hutler, he goes on : Accordingly the cunning Bjiijamin stole into the committee-ro mi of the committee on territories in the house, and beguiled the innocent Cuilom, who resembies Grant inasmuch as he is weak of understanding, but strong in frood intent beguiled the inoffensive (..'ullotn into a .Mormon bill that, if passed to a law, would be the begin ning oi a very respectable war. Ihen when the bill came before the cave. Benjamin arose in his place, and (said, piou-ly, "Lu the name of God, amen, let us make war on the. Mormons, for polygamy is offecaive to the sight of cha-te congressmen. '' But the cave failed to see it. While perfectly willing wil-ling to satisfy their chaste ou:s by a sacrifice of the polygamous Brilliant, they were not prepared to wipe out the trial by jury, the writ of habeas' corpus and a few other little liglits lunch vaunted, if not believed in by a radical congress. iSo all the war features fea-tures were taken out of the bill and the mere shell sent to- the senate. Have I not recorded all this, and further how that Senator Pumpkin Howard and tt.e chaste Cragin, surreptitiously sur-reptitiously stole the bill from the committee, com-mittee, of which the humorous Aye, whose gigantic brain Ls covered with a gigantic skull, the dimensions of whtuh nave been given to the world where did 1 leave oil ? Oh ! I forgot is chairman and reported the tame to the tuitbank with all the war features re-inseited. But the fogbauk proved as hard to lead as the cave. ' When tlie chaste Cragin uttered his prolonged pro-longed howl, two senators one drunk and the other stupid listened, while senator Anthony, who presided, en gaed two able-bodied doorkeepers to waken, him up when Cragin ended. The sen-ate was polled and tound to be in a more polygamous condition than the cave. Some innocent people believe that this was the end of the Shaffer-Mormon war. Such people don't know Benjamin the belligerent, lie took a little rest and then he went at it again. The next news that reached us told of the removal of Justice C. C. Wilson, of Utah, and the secretary. Now Chief Justice W ilson is known to Illinois and Utah as a man of hue lei: il attainments, and of unimpeachable unimpeach-able ititeirrity. lie had been the one official that had giveu general satisfaction satis-faction to both gentiles and true be lievers. Judge Wilson, having learned of his removal, went to .Washington, and j with congressman Ilawley called on the President. According to Don Piatt there was a good deal of smoke about the visit, coming from the direction direc-tion in which President Grant was seated. The annexed is part of what i.s said to have passed at the interview inter-view ': "lie would like as' his friends would," continued Hawley, "to know the grounds of his removal." His EMulIeHcy said with evident effort, "G iveruur Shaffer wished it." "Why?' "Because he says Judge Wilson is in the habit of naturalizing applicants woo come in from other lii-t iets. " Ilawley looked at the Judge, and the J udge made reply : " may have done so; I do not know. But if I did, it :s because my district is the only one in which court is held. All the law business of Utah is transacted at Salt Luke City. Courts are held uot more. frequently nor longer thin one day in a year, in the -other districts. There is no law prohibiting their eomimr " "Bur," said His Excellency, after a long pax-e, "Gen. i Suffer, charges that you d i not 'put the test cath to the a niihi-ant ' "What is that?"" ' "As to KW bem; a 'Mormon orbe; lieving in f jlygaiuy," coolly said the President. ' I eei tai l' Lave not; I am not authorized by 1 to make any such ttst. The questions I have t t a;k are pie-ribo l i i s i many words, and I I'juli as wl! ask a iiisti if he had ever loleii horses, or be'ievc-i in h u -e .stealing, or refuse' aduniii-tering the oath becia-e t'u auync-iiit wis not Soatil Oi iai'aut bapn-ia or sec-.iud marridi;''. I went to Utah to admin ister the livr, not to uuke. nor, above all, to brvak the law. If judges are needed, iu ac-oidiuee vhh Governor SI a'Tt-r's wl!i"S. to p-;ri'ir t lifiusel ;es by vio!at:n the I aw they l.av.; nv. rn ; to .sustain, it is well to get me out of tile way." This closed the interview. Don Piatt sobs .-pienriv had a conversation with I Jud'e Wilson, in the course of which the following questions were asked and answers tiivcn : : "And what, is your opinion of the Mormons as a moral, intelligent people peo-ple ?" "They are a quiet, industrious sort of people, appearing to us very moral from the contrast between them and their neighbors. As for their intelligence, intelli-gence, they are fanatic and Mormons. That tells the whole .story. The younger portion have been taught to read., and are therefore more intelligent intelli-gent and less Mormon. ' "'Have you had aav difficulty in the. just execution of the law since1 you have been there?" "None, whatever; on the contra-y, as soon as they found out I intended t act toward them in good faith, . they rendered me all the assistance in their power. I have decided many questions ques-tions adverse to their claims, and they always cheerfully acquiesced. The fact is that if any one will go among them and attend to. his own ' business, not meddling witli theirs, he will find them kind, considerate and neighborly neigh-borly " "What do you mean by meddling with their affairs ?" "Violations of law. as in any other community. And two-thirds of the ex: ggerated stories of their tyrannical conduct originates in this. A rough from the mines or the plains gets among them and commits any outrage; they know that .the ..United States courts will shield him, so they take the law in their own hands. This is so well known that the scoundrels give them a wide berth or while iu the Territory behave themselves." "What do you bedeve to be the t"i" solution of the polygamous trouble?'; trou-ble?'; '"Time. It is an unnatural relation, and so direcily in the face of modern civilizition that it cannot long survive the contact. Now, the rising generation, genera-tion, young men and women, are all opposed to it. The opening of the railroad has hastened this, and it would rapidly die out if the churches would- send missionaries; especially the Methodist." "Why the Methodist?" "Most ot the converts from Engl md w'tq of that faith, and would return if an opening were given." "But would not theae. missionaries be persecuted ?" "Certainly not. We have now a Methodist c urch and au Episcopal church in Salt Like City, both well attended The Methodist church' is not only ren'ed to the congregation by a Mormon elder, but befitted the room up for them." "What do you t'. ink of the crusade now aoin.s; on against them?'' 'If you mean the motive .or origin, I do not know. Jt certainly does not come from any hostility to their religious reli-gious belief or practices. 2 o two Gentiles Gen-tiles in the territory can look in each other's faces and talk that stuff without with-out laughing. There is a certain one niiu's power there which is irritating. Bue that is crumbling aw y. Brigham Young is an old man, not near so pow erf ul as he once was, and after bis death no man can be found to take his place" "You don't believe, then, that this spirit of persecution originates in chaste indignation?" , '' "Not at all. For example, there is one Gentile town in the territory, called Corinne; it is a groggeiy of about 500 inhabitants. I was solicited to leave Salt Lake City because of its immoral condition. I asked, how many gambling gam-bling hells have you in Corinne? The answer was forty. How many brothe's? Answer, nineteen. And how many drinking bars? I could get no answer; they were too numerous. Now, I said, iu Salt Lat;e City, of 20.000 inh.bi-tants, inh.bi-tants, there are no brothels, and no lewd women. There are only two drinking houses, and they are run by Gentiles. We have no gambling hells at all, and no gamblers. Had you not better clean up Corinne before abusing Salt Lake City? "What do you think of Governor Shaffr?" "Either that-he is a very ignorant man, or a vicious one. When he ar rived, he refused to commission the iiffj ;e rs appointed by his predecessor, and continued by the council, Threats were made of sueing out a writ of mandamus. lie asked me if I would issue such a writ. , I said, 'Certainly,, if a case were made out.' ' 'Well now,' be exclaimed, 'I like that. I am sent here to regulate things, and I am to be controlled by a judge.' 'I beg your pardon, Governor, it strikes me that you are to be controlled by law.' In the sam! way. in issuing commissions tj prolate judges, lie undertook to prescribe their duties. 1 instructed them to disregard his rules, and cuii-. suit the iuw as to their duties. . Where-up Where-up in he swore to remove we, and removed re-moved lam." "What is his purpose, do you sup- pOSe?'' "To provoke a collisiou between the United States officials and the Mor mons. so as to justily a call of troops and force on a. war."