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News :: Globalization
do as you are told
02 Jun 2009
Logan, Utah Jan. 31, 1875

To Mrs. Elizabeth Durrant:
My Dear Sister:

How to commence this letter I have promised you so long. I
hardly know, but will say in the first place I have been deceived,
led into error, imposed upon, deluded, beguiled into a false
religion in my youth and spent the best part of my life in a
wilderness, a desert, a land of sage and salt, away from all
enlightenment and civilization, among the most degraded tribes of
Indians on the Western hemisphere. And what is still more worse, I
a set of treacherous villains, as full of meanness as old Satan, and
as thirsty for blood as a stinted leech.

While these are facts, they are not half told;
For hundreds have been killed for gold;
Both men and women have been slain
And robbed to add to Brigham’s gain.

I will here mention a few of the most inhuman and cruel acts ever
committed by any man-eating savage in the darkest ages, and which
none but a corrupt priesthood could ever perpetrated. All of these
have been done in Utah since I came here by men claiming to hold THE
HOLY PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON OF GOD, and sent by their great Prophet
and leader to do these deeds of blood and plunder in the name of God

On the 12th day of September, 1857, two days after I arrived in this
accursed land, 119 men, women and children were murdered while
traveling to California, by a band of Mormons painted as Indians,
and led by a Mormon high priest, a pious president of a stake of
Zion, and a wise ward bishop. After the emigrants had defended
themselves against those wretches for three days beneath a burning
sun in a sandy desert, WITHOUT A DROP OF WATER, they dressed two
beautiful little girls in white and sent them to a spring nearby.
But as they tripped along towards the sparkling stream they met the
bullets of those merciless Mormons and fell dead into the water they
were trying to secure to save their own lives and quench the parched
throats of their beloved parents. Finally John D. Lee, a Mormon
bishop, who had just been anointed A KING AND PRIEST TO GOD, and who
had eighteen wives given to him for being so great and good, sent a
flag of truce to the poor, parched up, bleeding emigrants and
promised them protection if they would give up their arms and go
back to the nearest town. This they gladly agreed to; but mark the
next act of this sanctified saint. They had not gone a half mile
from their camp, when this great deliverer gave the command to his
men to fire, and every man was shot down and every woman screamed
and ran. The terrible, sorrowful scene that ensued no tongue can
tell. Every woman was caught and ravished, murdered, robbed of her
jewelry, stripped naked and left unburied on the burning sand. In a
few days nothing was left of all those beautiful forms but the
bleaching bones the prairie wolf could not devour. Then every child
those bloodhounds thought could tell the tale of their infernal
villainy was beheaded or cut to pieces, and scattered quivering with
its bleeding friends. Then those pure-souled priests plunged their
hands into the gory clotted blood of their victims, and with
outstretched arms toward heaven, EXPRESSED THEIR GRATITUDE TO GOD
for so great a favor; to Him who doeth all things well; but who will
undoubtedly, when they meet Him, hear His laugh re-echo through the
caverns of the damned, saying, “I told you I would laugh at your
calamity and mock when your fear cometh.”

All the property of those murdered men and women was gathered
together the value of one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars,
besides thirty-five thousand dollars in gold, and sent to their old
master-murderer Brigham. And this is how he sits in his office,
wags his big toe, and makes his means, and then boasts that he is
THE GREATEST FINANCIER ON EARTH, and owns nothing but what the Lord
has given him.

Another and similar case is that of the murdered Morrisites, a
religious body of simple- minded souls, who had met together for
devotional exercise in a small valley on the banks of the Weber
River in the summer of 1862, when a corps of the Nauvoo Legion, led
by cowardly Captain Burton, who is now on a mission preaching the
Gospel of Mercy to you dark benighted Britons, and inviting you to
the home of the free and the land of the brave, but he is not
gallant enough to come home himself. He is the dastardly dog who
crawled on his belly, like his ancient progenitor which tempted
Mother Eve, until he was near enough to fire a cannon and blow down
the house where those poor souls had met. Then, after they had
surrendered, and given up their few fire arms, the poltroon shot and
killed Joseph Morris, Mr. Banks, and two women, one with a beautiful
baby nursing at her breast, took the rest of the camp prisoners, put
them in the penitentiary, and finally fined them one hundred dollars
each, just because they did not believe in the rascality of Brigham
Young, and do as they were told.

What bloody deeds, what sin and strive
What sacrifice of human life,
What deeds of plunder have been done,
To raise a gory throne for Young.

I will next mention the most perfidious act coupled with the
foulest murder ever committed since the world began. IT WAS IN THE
DEAD OF NIGHT, when three of the Salt Lake City police were sent by
the great Seer and Revelator of all the world, to see Dr. Robinson
and ask him to set a broken limb for a poor man who, they said was
writhing in agony. The Doctor had just retired to bed, but at his
murderers’ entreaties, he dressed himself, and in a few moments was
on his errand of mercy. He had not gone far when one of the
villains, who walked behind, struck him on the head with a meat
chopper he had stolen for the purpose, and cleft open his skull.
The others fired their pistols immediately, and blowing out their
victim’s brains, fled.
But my soul sickens at these dreadful deeds, or I would tell
you of the brutal murder of Yates, the killing McNiel, the
assassination of Borman, the shooting of Brassfield, the slaughter
of the Akins party, the emasculation of Jones, and finally the
butchering of him and his poor old mother. I would also mention the
dead man in the meat market, the three men in the barn, the murder
near the Warm Springs, the shooting of Pike in the streets of Salt
Lake City in broad daylight, the murder of the Potters and Parishes,
IN COLD BLOOD, and robbed to satisfy the avaricious cravings of as
foul a man and as false a Prophet as ever disgraced this sin-stained
These horrible deeds have all been committed in our holy Zion,
and not one of the perpetrators ever brought to justice. In fact,
there has been no justice in the land. A few years ago a man’s life
was not worth a cent who durst utter such words as there is evil in
the land, or sin among the Priesthood. “You do as you are told!”
has been the Gospel preached in this priest-ridden place for the
last quarter of a century.
In the fall of 1857, I heard our Prophet in a congregation of
three thousands souls, tell his bishops they were to “counsel” the
brethren to do as they were told; and, said he “if they don’t do it,
lay righteousness to the line and judgment to the plummet. If you
don’t know what that is, come to me and I will tell you!” He then
threw back his head and with a revolting grin, DREW HIS FINGER
ACROSS HIS THROAT, a sign the anointed ones well understood. And
yet, the old bilk, with his smooth slang will make his innocent
dupes believe he is free from guilt, and that he is THE LIGHT, THE
TRUTH, AND THE WAY, and that he has a place prepared for them, where
the waters are flowing placidly – a land of milk and honey.

But the waters are stained with blood, and the milk is turned to
And the honey has lost its sweetness, the people seem to say;
And dupes are getting scarcer, and obedience is dead,
And all the old man’s judgments and plummets, too, have fled.


Then there was the hand-cart company that crossed the plains in
1856. The details of their distress caps the climax of all
horrors. Could I portray that terrible journey and the sufferings
of those poor souls, your very heart would bleed. Three ounces of
flour per day was all they had to eat. Upon this scanty fare they
dragged their carts with 100 pounds of luggage over the worst kind
of road, and more than five hundred miles through snow, fording
rivers whose currents are of the swiftest kind, and their waters
always cold. Then at night, when those poor, wet, shivering souls
came into camp they had no wood to make a fire. At times a few
small willows could be obtained, just enough to bake their scanty
cake. It did not take them long to eat their supper, for a mouthful
each was all they had. So hungry were they, that some gnawed the
flesh off their own arms, ate roasted hide, or fed upon their
shoes. One-fourth of all who started, DIED OF STARVATION ON THE
From five to fifteen died every night for over 300 miles of the
road. So weak and weary were these living skeletons that they could
scarcely bury their dead. Every night a pit would be dug just large
enough to place the dead in, and a shallow covering of dirt thrown
over them. Those that dug the grave one night expected to be placed
in theirs the next. Many a one prayed that his spirit might leave
his frame of bones for a berth among the blessed.
Why did they start in this way? do you inquire. Because this
false prophet had told them that it was the Lord’s plan of
emigration, and the only way to secure salvation. They believing him
to be a true prophet, had faith in all he said, and started on their
journey, 1,400 miles, as late in the season as August. As they
traveled on Westward toward the Zion of their hopes, songs could be
heard from every cart and prayers from every camp. But before they
got five hundred miles on their weary pilgrimage, THE SNOWS BEGAN TO
FALL, the wintry winds to blow, and the keen frost and piercing cold
set in. Then their suffering commenced in earnest. Still they
trudged along day after day, full of faith in God and holy
priesthood, and day after day endured greater pain. Finally their
limbs began to freeze, and pieces fell from their worn-out bodies.
They became dispirited and pined away and died, as I have already
told you.

So sad and sickening is this Gospel plan, As taught by Brigham, to
poor fallen man,
That every time I mention his ill name, It sends a shudder quivering
through my frame.
I also tremble for the deeds he’s done; For life destroyed, for
blood he caused to run;
For victims frozen on the plains, through him, While starving,
suffering, falling limb from limb.

Dear Sister, in this sad letter I have told you the truth, AS
IT IS IN JESUS CHRIST, and as I expect to meet at the final bar of
retribution. All these deeds and a thousand others equal to them in
baseness and brutality, have all been committed under the cloak of
religion. But I must tell you more of them at another time.

I will now tell you the reason why we could not leave this
blood-stained land, I mean ten or twelve years ago. In the first
place, we were a thousand miles from the nearest town East, eight
hundred miles to the nearest settlement West, and God only knows how
far to any place north and south. On all this vast tract of land,
NO WHITE MAN DWELT, no civilization was known, none but the red men
roamed the dreary solitudes. To travel such a space required
considerable food, a good wagon and team, in fact, everything
necessary for a three month’s pilgrimage. Nor was it safe for a few
men to go together, unless they were well-armed. Again, every
Bishop knew your business AND WAS ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT. If you
started, they would send men to drive off your stock, and thus you
would be compelled to return. Then, if you did not behave and act
the hypocrite, the bishop would send the Danites to use you up, send
you across lots to that bright brimstone home we read about. Thus
you see it was almost impossible to get away. But now we have a
railroad across the plains and settlements every little way and
civilization is coming to Zion. If the Lord won’t come the law
will, and if Jesus is not approaching, justice is. Then all who
want can leave. But now the priests want us to go, and we wish to

Burst off every fetter, remove this Priestly yoke.
And never rest contented, till every link is broke.
For every man in Utah and woman shall be free.
And shouts shall echo through the land for God and Liberty!

Hoping to meet you soon on earth life and finally beyond the
confines of time measured out to mortal man.

I am affectionately,

Your Brother,

This work is in the public domain