Hell on Earth, Part 9

This entry is part 26 of 50 in the series 2011A

“A man, by the name of Eldridge, was living with much apparent ‘happiness with his wife at Nauvoo, at the time of the great break up there. Emma Smith, the prophet’s widow, had seen enough of Mormonism, and, having secured some property out of the general wreck, resolved to remain in the States. When the Saints were on the point of removing, Emma Smith advised Mrs. Eldridge not to follow her husband to the valley of Great Salt Lake; told her he would certainly go into the plurality order, and then she would be treated with neglect; that was the case with them all. Mrs. E. replied that her husband had promised her that he would never go into it; that they were attached to each other; and that she had the utmost confidence in him. They went on together to Salt Lake, and, in 1851, the predictions of Mrs. Smith were verified.

Brigham Young, for some reason or other, desired to involve Eldridge in the meshes of spiritual wife-ism, and repeatedly importuned him on the subject. Eldridge told him he was living very happily with his wife, and that to bring another into the family would almost kill her. Young replied that, if his wife was opposed to the order of the Church, the ‘quicker she was damned the better.’ He also stated, among other things, that he was about to go off on an exploring tour in the Territory with a party (naming some of them); that he and the rest intended each to take along a new wife; that he (Eldridge) had better -do so too, and they would have ‘a nice time of it.’

Eldridge finally yielded, and so worked upon his wife as to compel her to give her consent to his being sealed to a miserable drab selected for this occasion. From this period he became a perfect brute in the treatment of his wife; turned her from the best room in the house to make room for his concubine; and she, thoroughly crushed and despairing, realizes that her once peaceful and happy home has been changed into a domestic hell. This is a fair history of the fate of the first wife.”

(Eldridge has wives “scattered all over the blooming shop” and is “a perfect brute.” Once when selling pictures I called at the house of one of his female “sleeping partners.” Another woman, also illegitimately related to Eldridge, was there, and as these slaves never have any money, they offered some eggs to pay for a picture called “The Resurrection of Christ.” While they were collecting the eggs Eldridge came in and raved out, “I’ll kick you and your bastard Christ pictures out of here if you ain’t off at once.” As I left I heard his female “white slaves” “catching it,” and thought what a pity they cannot also leave. Eldridge is principal director in Uncle Sam’s Bank, and runs the “Lord’s Store” in Salt Lake City, and holds the “Melchizedek Priesthood.”]

“In Utah it is an easy matter to obtain a divorce; all the legal wife has to-do is to swear that she cannot live in the conjugal relation in peace and union, and a decree nil:- is pronounced by the Mormon Judge. The second wife’s marriage being illegal is the more easily dissolved. She can he separated without legal proceedings. The Priesthood can dissolve whatever bonds exists in her case.

“Their theology teaches the legitimacy of marriage between brother and sister and between parties of near relationship, in order that a pure family may be raised up.’ Instances of a Saint marrying or being sealed’ to a mother and to her daughters at the same time, are of frequent occurrence. Contracts are made with missionaries to find a wife or wives for parties here -on condition of paying the expenses of the passage to this Territory. Young and innocent girls are thus purchased by old gray-headed polygamists and dragged into life as slavish in its character as was that system which always will be a foul blot upon our nation’s history.

It may well be repeated, and the declaration made emphatic, that polygamy means the enslavement and prostitution of woman; a venomous defiance of the authority of the United States Government, and the propagation of a horde of banditti in this Territory whose deeds will strike terror to every heart. The massacre at Mountain Meadows, the robber bands of Nauvoo, the outlawry of young Mormondom of today, away from the centers of civilization, are but the natural fruits of this terrible system, and only a forecast of the years to come, when those masses of ignorant, vicious, polygamous-bred ‘hoodlums’ of mixed parentage shall be thrown out like driftwood upon the sea of active life.

“80 per cent, of the plural marriages were necessiated by previous immorality. And yet notwithstanding this convenient cloak of wrong-doing, I have been informed by jurists who have resided in the Territory a long time, and who are well posted in the legal facts connected with this thing, that there is a fearful amount of illegitimacy. And I could name a small village where no ungodly Outsider is found to corrupt the morals of the young Saints, and yet there were over a dozen illegitimate births in one year among a population of 400 people. I have also been informed by persons whose truthfulness of statement cannot be impeached, and whose honesty of purpose cannot be doubted, that there is a fearful state of morals throughout the Territory, especially among the youth connected with polygamous families. That the young Saints are practically carrying out the theory of the Church on this subject without troubling themselves about the ecclesiastical ceremonies of the Endowment House.”-Ibid, pp. 22.

“A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE.-Geo. C. Bates, well known in Salt Lake City, writes to the Denver Tribune that he was a resident of Utah for six years, three years of that time as United States Attorney, and three years as attorney for the Mormon Church. While acting in the latter capacity he was called south on church business, and gives the following account of his trip:-

“ In January, 1873, I happened to visit the southern parts of the Territory on business for the church, and, stopping to change horses and dine, I saw around one table five polygamic wives of one old bishop, and in and around the ranch some thirty-six large boys and girls of all ages, from ten to sixteen and twenty years, and then and there learned that these young Mormons all slept in one large single room overhead in the winter, like so many pigs, and in the hot weather in summer they all hurdled together in the straw in the stable, living in promiscuous concubinage, and that several of the girls were bearing children to their brothers and cousins and uncles, as so many cows or ewes would do, and that this was a matter of daily happening, and was not discouraged, but was winked at, by the church, as a natural consequence of their religious teachings that every woman’s future happiness was enhanced_ by the number of children she bore, no matter who might be their fathers.”-


I now quote from Anti-Polygamy Standard, VOL 2, No. 3, as follows:-

“ Old Jim Butler, over 60 years of age, was sealed to his step-child, x little girl fifteen years old, at the Endowment House, Feb. 14th, 1876 (The Great Centennial Year of American Independence and Progress). Brigham performed the ceremony very much against the wishes of the child, who was compelled to comply with the bestial request upon pain of being turned into I the streets destitute and homeless together with her mother. Both the mother and daughter, the pretended wives of this old heathen, live together with the old man in a little dirt hovel of one room.

“Old man Lareless, now seventy years of age, is using every means in his power to have his own grandchild, a girl sixteen years old, sealed to him.’

MORMON SLAVES. (From Salt Lake Tribune.)

“A horrible story is told by a correspondent of the Eureka Leader of what he saw at Ogden, a railroad town in Utah, where a number of Sweedish immigrants were waiting to take the train to Brigham City: I was looking on with great curiosity, when I discovered a tow-headed, buxom girl weeping bitterly. Two or three old women were scolding at her and a withered old Mormon stood with his arm around her. He finally coaxed her off to his wagon, she screaming and crying that she would not marry him, and he never letting go of her until he sat her down upon the wagon tongue. A girl was following them. I halted her and asked her what was the trouble. She said that this girl was pledged to the old man and that he paid her ‘passage out, and now she did not want to marry him, because he already had a wife and seven children. I asked if she would be forced to do so. The girl replied: Of course she will. They have pledged her to him.’ Poor thing! the last that I saw of her she was struggling to get away from him, and the withered old fellow was holding on with both arms around her. It was sickening to think of such doings in a civilized land. Dark as that girls mind was, she had some grains of virtue and some delicate instincts. The despair pictured on her face showed that.”

Any old brute that wants to import a fresh young female slave, gives the missionary the money to pay the passage out of a “nice young girl” This Missionary comes into the factory towns of England and other places, procures the girls, pays the passage, ships them off, and sends the bill of lading to the old lechers, who await their arrival in Utah.

Besides this, they have a Grand Lottery scheme called “The Perpetual Emigration Fund,” “All prizes and no blanks.” There are millions of money in this fund, which is used to import girls who cannot pay their fare to Utah. So soon as a man has paid in sufficient for one fare, he is entitled to draw “One Fair damsel.” Two fares-Two fairs, and so on and so _forth. While the Missionary is here ostensibly to “Preach the Gospel” but in reality to nab girls for Utah’s Harems. Now let the press of England re-publish the story and give my addition so that the girls may be cautioned.]

“A cargo commonly called emigrants, arrived in this city and were duly located in the stockyard at the Tithing office. Yesterday they branched off in all directions to view the beauties and attractions of Zion, and early in the morning a gentleman of the city had occasion to go into a saloon to get a glass of beer on his road home, and found the saloon literally packed with these new emigrants, both male and female who were punishing beer in a way entirely beyond the ability of the average Zionite. They were enjoying themselves hugely, and well they may while they have a little spare change, for when the priests get through fleecing them, they can look back on the little event with the satisfaction of knowing that all their hard earnings didn’t go into the hands of the Latter-day robbers.

“In one of the Mormon settlements of Utah, the Father of a girl 14 years of age has sold her to a polygamous bishop who has a harem of three concubines. And this is America in the Nineteenth Century.

[Elder Pitkin isa “Melchizedek Priest,” who prostituted his own daughter when she was but eight years old. I will spare the reader details. The child at the age of thirteen became a mother as the result of this incest. I could relate many similar cases which came under my own observation. I prefer, however, to quote other testimony, so incredible will these things appear to the uninitiated.] I continue to extract from the Salt Lake Tribune:-

“A girl, fifteen years of age, named Elizabeth Natrass, was brought before Judge Pyper charged with drunkenness and profanity. Her story to the Judge was simply horrible, and the language disgusting. She stated that some time ago her father had seduced her, and since then she had turned herself loose in all that was bad.” * * * *

“The Mormon Church Organ reports a case of a woman kicking in West Jordan, in which the kicker, in the shape of a man, was fined ten dollars. The Church paper praises the man and abuses the woman, thus illustrating how dearly the Latter-day frauds love the women.”

“Susie Vance, one of Brigham’s female Battle-axes, and by divine right to be some old polygamist’s queen in the celestial world, but now unfortunately-a soiled dove, was arrested last night for being drunk, and was lodged in jail Her usual place of abode is at the Palace de Lunatic, where, let us hope her royal highness will return.”

I leave this part to say a few words about the “Drunken Devils.”

The Mormons claim to be a sober people, but what are the facts? “The Resources of Utah,” published at Salt Lake City in 1873, says:-” There are five breweries in Salt Lake City. Shortly after this another very large brewery was built, and is now doing a tremendous business; while whiskey distillers. are profusely abundant, and large quantities are imported from the States. One of” Zion’s” Whiskey Firms, advertises in five languages occupying six columns-”

The Saints gathered from All Nations” take to whiskey. But “John Bull Saints” like their beer as well, hence we find advertized in the Mormon papers that “Brother Margetts “ makes “ENGLISH ALE A. SPECIALTY,” though he also deals in “Wines and Liquors.” We are informed that at another “Saloon,” “Choice Wines,” Pure Liquors, ENGLISH ALE AND PORTER, Ice, Cold Beer, Superior Cigars, and 1,000 Fancy Drinks” can be had. Polygamists in trouble are told that another dealer has “snug apartments, shady and cool, where the thirsty can take a cold lunch, and quaff the flowing bowl in PEACE AND QUIETUDE “-quite a consideration for “ Henpecked Saints.”

The Editor adds:-” Mr. S. is doing quite a snug business, and is therefore correspondingly ‘apy.’ “ He is not the only one doing “a snug business” in that line. The fact is the troubles of polygamy drive both men and women to drink. I have known “Saints and Saintesses “ sell their children’s bread for drink, and thousands have told me they must have drink to drown their sorrows; but in this chapter I give, as far as possible, the words. of others. Secretary Ferris on page 47, “Utah and the Mormons,” says:- “ The gross sensualities originating in Polygamy, coupled with parental neglect of offspring, occasion great mortality among children. To these may be added intemperance in drinking, very generally diffused, and which finds its gratification in a miserable article of whiskey and beer, manufactured in great quantities.”


I now quote from Salt Lake Tribune, June 3, 1881:-

“Don’t we Mormons have to suffer,” said an old drunken Saintess, yesterday evening, when Dr. McKenzie picked her up out of the gutter and placed her in an express wagon and sent her home. She was one of five-women belonging to the harem of an old polyg. on the East Bench of Zion.

“It is quite evident that some of the brethren have been pulling the wool over the eyes of Dr. McKenzie in regard to the temperate habits of the-Mormons. By walking up Main street the Doctor will observe a sign “ Holiness to the Lord, Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution, Wholesale. Dealers and Rectifiers of Liquor.” This institution under the all-seeing eye sells more whiskey than any house in Utah, and it all goes into the stomachs of the Saints. He can extend his walk to several saloons in Zion where Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing deal out villainous whiskey to God’s elect. Of course this is all done for Christ’s sake.

“Some old hen writing in the (Mormon) Procuress winds her horn thus

“ The ‘Gentile’ women of Utah have prepared a memorial to Congress, -against the Mormon custom of plural marriage. But after all, what a sham morality is this cry against plurality of wives. In Utah, until the advent of the ‘ Gentile ‘ population, there were no liquor saloons, no gambling hells, no houses of prostitution, no paupers and few criminals.

“It is a little difficult to fix the exact date when the Gentile population came to Utah, but before they came Brigham Young and the priesthood manufactured a most villainous brand of whiskey known as Valley Tan, and dispensed it to the Saints at high figures; before the Gentile population came here-as early as 1857-whole trains of emigrants were murdered, and every leading elder kept a private house of ill-fame. Brigham Young and the priests. he has left here still owe a portion of the United States internal revenue tax on the crooked whiskey they made and sold to the people; only one of the murderers who took part in the wholesale human butcheries of early days has been punished, while some of the others are hid up in the mountains to escape -justice, and the private houses of prostitution have multiplied ten fold, so that the inmates thereof, according to Emeline B. Wells, the editor of the paper we quote from, now number 50,000”

“Whereas these polygamous delegates charge that dram-selling, dram drinking, prostitution and kindred vices were unknown in Utah previous to the advent of the Gentiles; and…

“Resolved, That it is a matter of public notoriety, that Brigham Young owned a large distillery, which not only supplied the Utah Saints but many-outside the Territory with whiskey; that Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile. Institution deals largely in all manner of intoxicating drinks; that it is a well known historical fact that at a large meeting of the priesthood, presided over by Brigham Young himself, nearly every man present confessed himself guilty of adultery, outside of his polygamous relations and that the Mormon, preachers themselves publicly lament the great number of illegitimate births in, purely Mormon settlements!’ Extract from THE ANTI-POLYGAMY MEMORIAL.

“ Allread, that one-armed soldier now languishing in a Mormon jail at Manti, bears testimony to the truth of that resolution passed at the Rep. convention in Salt Lake. Allread was a saloon keeper who sold better whiskey than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and therefore gobbled, the ducats of the boys. This was too much for the Lord’s anointed scoundrels.. and they cast him into prison. Such reports, you know, dear brethren, hurt business and you must not rile the saintly devils.”

“Apostle Rich called to account our peculiar people for collecting at saloons and drinking with the ungodly outsiders; and then, when drunk, these Mormons sit down and yell, even singing those songs of Zion which are sung here in this sacred edifice. He had seen on the State road a dozen: or so Mormon farmers too drunk to drive their horses, and in danger of getting hurt where not their horses so gentle. Nor was this all. Even our sisters drink. He happened to be in the Police Court one day when five Mormon women were brought up for drunkenness.”

“ EDS. TRIBUNE: Ask him how that difficulty ended which was brought about by that five gallon keg of whiskey that J. T. Barker brought from Evanston. Thomas, son of Apostle Rich, and others, after drinking and fighting all night, settled the matter in the morning of the 2d with a horse race in which Thomas Rich broke his neck and died instantly. It was the most disgraceful scene I ever witnessed. ONE WHO WAS PRESENT.”

I have seen Whiskey, Rum, and Brandy flowing in the gutters of Salt Lake City, and the ” Siants ” dipping the ” Spirits ‘ with buckets, and even Cling the washtubs so that very soon the satiated sinners became in reality ” Spiritual ” Saints.

“As early as 1869 there was 37 distilleries in Utah run by Mormons.”- Hand Book on Mormonism, pp. 76

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