« PoprzedniaDalej »
THE NEPHItes under THE JUDGES.
leader was slain and their army de- | their enemies, like snow beneath the heat stroyed; what few warriors remained of the summer sun. They fled from were taken prisoners. city to city, they retreated from land to land, until all South America was in Lamanite hands (B. C. 34). Presently they rallied, and the intrepid Moronihah, inspired by the spirit of his father Moroni, led them forth to again face the foe, and little by little they recovered the more northern portions of their country, until about half thereof had been reconquered from the dark skinned invaders (B. C. 31). The great afflictions of this war brought.partial repentance, and Nephi, their Chief Judge and High Priest, resigned the first named office that he might devote all his time to the work of their reformation. He was succeeded in the judgment seat by Cezoram, a man much Nephi's inferior, who owed his election to the growing influence of the evil disposed in the affairs of state.
Nephi, with his younger brother Lehi, accomplished one of the most remarkable works recorded in the history of the regeneration of mankind. These brothers not only brought thousands of Nephites to an understanding of their duties, but also led thousands of Lamanites, both in the lands of Nephi and Zarahemla to a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ; insomuch that the greater portion of the latter race were converted to God. Henceforth the distinguishing titles of Nephite and Lamanite do not relate so closely to the accident of birth and descent as they do to the manner of the life of the individual. Those who served God became known as Nephites, and those who rejected his laws and had pleasure in their iniquity and blindness were the Lamanites. After their conversion the repentant Lamanites delivered up to the Nephites all the lands they had wrested from them, and for a short period a reign of almost universal peace prevailed, and the members of both races could travel from one end of the continent to the other unmolested and undisturbed.
The death of Pacumeni rendered the judgment seat again vacant. Heleman, the grandson of Alma, was elected to fill that important office (B. C. 50). He was a righteous man and consequently his election was very displeasing to the Gadiantons. They determined to slay him as they had Pahoran. The same vile creature was chosen to do the dastardly deed. This time Kishkumen was not successful; he was discovered and slain by one of Helaman's servants. Gadianton finding that Kishkumen did not return, surmised disaster. He hastily gathered his followers and led them with all speed into the wilderness, which they henceforth made their rendezvous, and from which they sallied forth to spread rapine and havoc amongst both Nephites and Lamanites. Nor did they confine their depradations to the borders of the wilderness, but gaining courage from their immunity from punishment, they gradually worked themselves into the more densely settled portions of the country, where, unknown to the officers of the law they established themselves, through the connivance of the more wicked portions of the community (B. C. 43), though at that time the majority of the Nephite people were seeking to serve the Lord, and consequently were greatly blessed by Him, in things both temporal and spiritual.
This happy state of affairs continued several years, and had it not been for the leaven of unrighteousness which was surely working, there was every element at this period to insure stability, strength and prosperity to the Nephite commonwealth. But dissension, contention and treason made themselves manifest, followed by bloodshed and the usual migrations of the disappointed and defeated to the Lamanites (B. C. 38), where they followed the undeviating course of apostates, stirring up animosities between the two races. War followed (B. C. 35). On account of their stiffneckedness Heaven left the Nephites to themselves, and they melted before the outnumbering hosts of
This blissful epoch quickly faded like a transitory ray of sunshine in a stormcloud covered sky. The great peace brought prosperity, prosperity riches,
THE NEPHITES UNDER THE JUDGES.
riches pride, and pride divisions, divisions bloodshed. Cezoram was murdered on the judgment seat by a Gadianton assassin (B. C. 26), and his son, who succeeded him, was slain by the same means within the year. At this time there were many of these assassins and marauders amongst the Nephites, but they were the most numerous among the more wicked portions of the Lamanites. When the righteous Lamanites discovered this condition of affairs they energetically went to work to eradicate the evil, but the Nephites gave the Gadianton's succor, shelter and sympathy. The results of these opposite policies were soon apparent; the Nephites dwindled in unbelief, whilst the Lamanites grew exceedingly in the knowledge of God. When these latter captured any of the evil-doers they preached the word of eternal truth to them, and in course of time they cleared their land of all these bands, but in the midst of the Nephites they increased so rapidly that they seized upon the public offices, elected the rulers, and by fraud and force obtained the sole management of the government, prostituting their positions to the basest uses (B. C. 24). We believe Chief Judge Seezoram, who was murdered by his brother Seantum (B. C. 23), to have been a member of this band, most probably a prominent leader in violence and iniquity. As the years passed by the power of the robbers still grew, insomuch that through their instrumentality an internecine war of two years duration (B. C. 20 and 19) was waged through the land among all the people of Nephi. This horrible state of affairs was only termin-ings ated by the advent of a wide spread, desolating famine, which lasted three years, and which was ended by the mercy of the Lord when the people hunted out and exterminated the robber bands. Then, in answer to their pitious supplications and promises of reform, He sent the rain in its season, and a bounteous harvest once again crowned the toils of the husbandman (B. C. 16). The horrors of death by famine having been averted, the people for a few months made an effort to serve the Lord, and He
blessed them with exceeding great peace. It was unfortunately of short duration. Slowly and surely they returned to their evil ways, sin had become natural to their degraded natures, contentions and crime increased, and the Gadianton bands again arose to carry havoc and misery to the homes and lives of the citizens (B. C. 12). The next year actual, organized war was carried on between the government and the robbers, whose numbers had so rapidly increased that they could successfully defy the armies of both the Lamanites and Nephites. Swooping down from their mountain fastnesses on to the plains below, or rushing forth out of their hiding places in the wilderness, they carried death and destruction wherever they appeared. Terror reigned in the midst of the fickle minded people, they had little disposition to serve God, and cowered before the effects of His displeasure. The Nephite mothers frightened their children into submission with the name of Gadianton, and gossips repeated the stories of their bloody achievements and brutal atrocities with quivering lips and trembling limbs. And they had cause; many citizens were carried into the wilderness after their forays, especially women and children, who became the victims of their demoniacal passions. The Nephites lived in constant torturing fear of their incursions for a number of years, but still they repented not; they were again ripening for destruction. Whilst in this pitiable condition (B. C. 6), a Lamanite prophet, named Samuel, visited the city of Zarahemla, but they rejected his teach
and thrust him out. Still he had a message from the Lord and would deliver it. He climbed to the top of the city's walls, and from there he raised his warning voice. He told them in no equivocal terms of their ultimate destruction through their rejection of God's laws; he prophecied of the near approach of the incarnation of the Mighty One of Jacob, and gave the signs that should attend His birth and crucifixion.
Samuel's words of warning were received by the few, but rejected by the many. Those who believed sought the
CHRONICLES OF UTAH.
high priest Nephi, and were baptized,, his own land and was never heard of more
"If" is the devil's whipper-in,
CHRONICLES OF UTAH.
Only two years after the arrival of the pioneers, on the 24th of July, 1849, a spectacle was seen and rejoicings were heard in this city that will never be forgotten. The day began with firing of cannon; a fine brass band paraded the streets in two carriages. A bowery was ready to receive the people, which had been erected on one hundred and four posts, and covered with boards. It was one hundred feet long, sixty feet wide, with a canopy or awning extending one hundred feet each side, for the multitude to dine under. At 9 a.m. a procession was formed at the house of President Brigham Young, directed by Lorenzo Snow, J. M. Grant and F. D. Richards. Horace S. Eldredge as marshal led the way on horseback, attired in military uniform, followed by a brass band playing inspiring tunes. Next in order were twelve bishops with the banners of their respective wards. Then twenty-four young men dressed in white, with white scarfs on their right shoulders, and coronets on their heads, each carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, with swords sheathed in their right hands. In their midst, a banner with the motto "The Zion of the Lord." Next twenty-four young ladies in white dresses with white scarfs on their right shoulders and a wreath of white roses on their heads, each carrying a Bible and Book of Mormon. Banner: "Hail to our chieftain." Then followed the presiding bishop, Newel K. Whitney; Thomas Bullock, clerk; John Smith, presiding patriarch. Then four abreast, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Charles C. Rich, Daniel Spencer, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Erastus Snow. Next were D. Fullmer and Wil
lard Snow. Then twelve bishops carry-
After arriving at the bowery a large
After dinner there were a number of volunteer toasts read by the clerk, Thomas Bullock. One of these toasts will be read with interest, as will also the impromptu response to it. Volunteer toast: By John Taylor: "The Ladies of the Lake-the lilies of the valley; our mothers, wives and children. May their posterity, from generation to generation, be found to emulate their noble examples of virtue, patience, industry and patriotism." Reply, by Miss Eliza R. Snow: "We feel ourselves honored by the sentiment, and will endeavor to prove worthy of your high anticipations; and, as you have hitherto proven yourselves patriots, and the protectors of innocence and vir
CHRONICLES OF UTAH.
tue, we cheerfully commit ourselves, families and lives to your protection, believing that the unflinching integrity, zeal and patriotism that has hitherto actuated you, will be to us a safe bulwark and defence."
At the time this bowery was crowded with people, the appearance of South Temple Street is thus described by a gentleman who was present. The building now used as a museum was in course of erection; scaffolding was round the present Council House. The house occupied Dr. William Sharp, dentist, was then used as a mint; President Young's house was east of that. The lots were not regularly enclosed, but rough log fencing was used here and there.
At the mint gold coins were struck off of the value of twenty, ten, five and two and a half dollar pieces. They were in fineness eight hundred and ninety-nine thousands, with a little native silver, no alloy being added. Most of these coins bear the date 1849, a few 1850. The late John M. Kay made the dies for the five dollar gold coins, and superintended the mint operations; in the assay operations he was assisted in 1850 and subsequently, up to the year 1861.
inted to occupy them, at the October onference. On the twenty-second of October, Brother Parley P. Pratt, with a company of fifty men, explored the south country to learn its geography, etc., with a view to locations for settlement. An express sent by Captain Stansbury in December, to Fort Hall, was obliged to return, and so deep was the snow that business generally in the valley was suspended. A few mild days at the end of December enabled the roof of the Council House to be put on, the timbers having been prepared in the bowery, which was used as a workshop during the severe weather. On the fifth of January, 1850, Captain Stansbury sent a second express to Fort Hall; the express reached there. On their return
they reported that a large portion of the government cattle, at Cache valley, had died through the severity of the weather. and snow; that on the eighteenth and nineteenth of December snow was in some of the cañons six and eight feet deep. On the twenty-fourth of December a terrible wind swept over the valley from the south, and continued for twentyfour hours, driving all animals before it, the snow being so deep and light as to make them subject to its influence; piercing through the thickest clothing, causing men to seek shelter in the house, and cattle to gather in hollows,and under cliffs, where many were buried in heaps and frozen. This winter (1849-50) the snow slides commenced to be known by those who went to get wood in the cañons, an avalanche of fifty or sixty feet deep blocked Dry Cañon, but by leaving their wood and cutting their way, the brethren reached home in safety. By the third of January, 1850, a party from Fort Bridger reached the city, having left their goods and pack animals in Weber Cañon. Snow was nearly melted in the valleys by the end of February. Night frosts through March prevented field operations considerably. Prospects were good, however, for wheat sowing. Patriarch Isaac Morley, and about sixty families, settled Sanpete valley. They suffered greatly, but by shoveling the snow off the grass, preserved their cattle from starvation. They reported the existance of coal, salt and plaster of Paris (gypsum) in that region. On February 22d the shock of an earthquake was felt in Great Salt Lake City.
On the twenty-seventh of May emigrants began to arrive from the States, bound for the gold regions, and continued coming afterwards almost daily. On the twenty-eighth of May there had passed Fort Laramie, six thousand eight hundred and fifty-two men, sixty-one women, thirty-eight children, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine wagons, six thousand six hundred and thirty-three horses, two thousand two hundred and sixty eight mules, one thousand and sixty-two oxen and seventy-six cows, en route for the west. On June 15th the first number
CHRONICLES OF UTAH.
of the Deseret News was published in Great Salt Lake City, Dr. Willard Richards, editor. It was issued as a weekly paper. From the first number we learn that Oliver Cowdery, Esq., died at Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, on the third of March last (1850), of consumption. There was also to be a concert the evening the News appeared. The editor says: "We anticipate a rich treat this evening (June 15) at the bowery. The object of the concert is highly patriotic, and worthy the attention of every individual." The object was to raise funds for a new carriage for the martial band; and the funds were obtained. Over a thousand people were present to hear the music, everybody was pleased and the carriage for the band was made.
With the first number of the News also the first piece of poetry was published that was sent to the editor, here it is:
Let all who would have a good paper,
Their talents and time ne'er abuse; Since 'tis said by the wise and the honored, That the best in the world is the NEWS. Then ye who so long have been thinking What paper this year you will choose, Come, trip gaily up to the office,
And subscribe for the DESERET NEWS. And now, dearest friends, I will leave you; This counsel, I pray you, don't lose; The best of advice I can give you
Is, pay in advance for the News. G. S. L. CITY, May 27, 1850.
[This is the first poetic offering we have received, and, for aught we know, friend B's first attempt. Try again.—ED.]
Fancy the grand old Deseret News having such an usher. What might have happened had this effusion been consigned to the waste basket, we have no means of knowing. Apropos of the criticism of the editor:
"Satire should, like a polished razor, keen, Wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen!"
On the fourth of July of this busy year, Parley's canon was opened for travel under the name of "The Golden Pass." Captain Stansbury completed his survey,
the report of which was published in the government U. S. reports 1851-2-3. On the ninth of September the act of Congress, organizing Utah Territory, was approved. The city of Ogden was located. In October Brigham Young was appointed governor of Utah Territory. December 8th a party left Salt Lake City in charge of President George A. Smith,. including one hundred and eighteen men with six hundred head of stock and one hundred and one wagons, to take up locations near the Little Salt Lake in Iron County. They reached Parowan in safety and erected a fort there, similar in form to the first fort erected in Great Salt Lake City. Captain James Pace located a settlement at Peteetneet (Payson), in Utah County, which was in a flourishing condition when Brother George A. Smith passed there with his company, December 20th, 1850.
From the Deseret News, September 28, of this year, we read the following obituary: "Died.-In this city, on Monday the 23d inst., after an illness of only forty-eight hours, Bishop Newel K. Whitney, aged 55 years 7 months and 18 days." The notice given by the editor expresses a high sense of the moral dignity of Bishop Whitney: "In him the Church suffers the loss of a wise and able counselor, of a thorough, straightforward business man. It was ever more gratifying to him to pay a debt than to contract one, and when all his debts were paid he was a happy man, though he had nothing left but his own moral and muscular energy. He has long held the of fice of presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to receive from the rich and to distribute to the poor, of the goods of this world. He has gone down to the grave, leaving a spotless name behind him, and thousands to mourn their loss of such a valuable man. It is hoped that all members of this Church will be able to bequeath to the body at their demise, a pure and spotless name, which is of more value to those who remain than silver or gold."
One of the most important events connected with the development of this region, by those outside of this community,