A Winter with the Mormons

Its the name of a book I was given. I mentioned earlier in another post.
I'm going to give a rundown on the profound atrocities suffered by the emigrants making their way to the Pacific coast. In several parts.
The editor of nine letters to the "Oregonian" after winter pit-stop in the Great Basin among the Mormon settlers. The whole affair was most horrible for all who had the misfortune to end up in the Salt Lake valley during the winter months prior to their exit to their new home.
They whole tale gives a very personal insight into the lives of those who were 'stuck' in Mormon land back in 1850-51.
Hopefully this post will give some clear insight into how the Mormon church treated 'outsiders' or 'those from the United States.'
The editor, David L. Bigler, to me, did a very fine job in compiling this book for all those who want to know the truth in what really happened in Brigham Young's group.

PART ONE:

"The first of Jotham Goodell's nine letters on Mormon society in the Great Basin appeared in The Oregonian at Portland soon after the publication of reports and correspondence on the 1851 clash between the American republic and its theocratic territory, the earliest of many to come over the next forty years. Goodell sought to discredit Mormon versions of the fight and support charges by the first of many federal officials who took flight from Utah during that period out of fear, frustration, or a mixture of such emotions.
The seeds of the controversy had been planted the year before. In September 1850, the month the Goodells arrived in Salt Lake Valley, Congress ignored Mormon petitions for entry into the Union as the State of Deseret and created instead a territory with the unwanted name of Utah."
[Lets skip some of the intro.]
"Soon after, Brandelbury was outraged at the 24 July 1851 Pioneer Day celebration in Great Salt Lake when governor Young said, among other seditious-sounding remarks, "[President] Zachary Taylor is dead and gone to hell, and I am glad of it!"
"Sir:-Recent intelligence from the city of Washington inform us that the delegate to congress from the territory of Utah has placed among the executive archives, his prompt, unqualified, and peremptory negation of the truth of the statement of the returned officers, respecting that most deluded people. To persons not familiar with the mysteries of that abomination, this may appear strange and unaccountable; but to those who, with the writer, spent the winter of '50 and '51, shut up in that den if infamy, each denial will not appear strange."
"It describes a most deplorable state of things at Salt Lake, so much so that it might be difficult to believe some portions of the account, were it not for the unimpeachable character of the gentleman who penned it."
"There with the snow drifting around us, our limbs benumbed with piercing cold, and those vile gestures of the High Council, the blood thirsty Danites prowling around, and an armed force repeatedly charging in upon us, threatening our property and our lives, we anxiously waited, wishing and praying that heaven might be propitious and open a way for us through the mountains, that we might find an asylum among the Snake river savages."
"But as I have spun out this introduction to such a length, I will close the present article by remaking that I know how to appreciate the privilege of speaking and writing what I think without the fear of losing my head. When imprisoned by the mountains among that ungodly people, we dared not even to speak aloud, much less to put a word on paper." (A Winter with the Mormons, David L. Bigler, The Tanner Trust Fund, 2001, Preface Xlll, pgs. 26-28)

This is just some of the first letter to the Oregonian back in 1852 after Jotham Goodell and family (along with many others) left the Salt Lake Valley while imprisoned a winter with the Mormons in 1850-51.
I suggest that if you need to read in depth this book (and I highly recommend that you do), please go to Utah Lighthouse Ministries and purchase it. Amazon might have it too.

TO BE CONTINUED

1 comments:

heather February 22, 2011 at 9:07 PM  

Hi there! Interesting blog. Jotham Goodell is my great-great-great-great grandfather. I have the book too. It's ironic: my dad grew up in Washington and became a mormon when he was about 12. Moved to Utah and went to BYU (where he met my mom). So I grew up in Utah and also "escaped" as soon as I turned 18! Fortunately everyone in my family eventually saw the light- not a mormon left among 'em.

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