A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
The "Utah War," (Concluded.)
When that friend of the Latter-day Saints, Colonel, afterwards General Thomas L. Kane,
heard of the troubles in Utah, he left his home in Philadelphia and went to Washington to
see the president. Though feeble in health, he offered to go to Utah and try to settle the
difficulties in a peaceable manner. The offer was accepted. Colonel Kane arrived in Salt
Lake City in February, 1858, where he was gladly received. In the cold and snow of that
winter he went to the camp of the army and had a talk with the new governor whom the
president had appointed to take Brigham Young's place. Colonel Kane told the officers
with the army that they would be welcomed in the valley and kindly treated, but the
troops must not locate in or near any settlement of the territory. The Colonel also
convinced Governor Cumming that he had no need of an army to help him take charge of
his office, and even prevailed on him to go back to Salt Lake City with him.
To this, General Johnston of the army was very much opposed. The president had sent
him with an army to put the governor into his office, aided by sword and cannon; but
now, if the governor could enter peaceably upon his duties there would be no need of him
or his soldiers. The general didn't like it a bit; but nevertheless, Governor Cumming went
with Colonel Kane to Salt Lake City in charge of some of the Utah militia.
Governor Cumming was received with the respect due such an officer, and duly installed
into his position. He found the records and books of the courts safe, and learned that the
reports which had led the president to send the army were not true.
The new governor was a good man. He said the troops would have to come into the
valley in the spring, but the people's rights would be respected, and no harm should be
done to any of them. The Saints, however, could not trust the army. They remembered
the scenes of the past, and resolved that they should not be enacted over again in the
valleys of Utah. So, early in the spring, the order came for all the Saints to pack up their
goods, get together their stock, and move southward, leaving their deserted homes in the
care of a few guards who were to set fire to everything should the army attempt to locate
in the settlements.
On seeing the Saints thus leaving their hard-earned homes, the kind-hearted old governor
entreated them not to do so, promising them full protection. When his wife arrived from
the camp of the army and saw the towns lonely and deserted, she burst into tears and
pleaded with her husband to bring the people back. The governor, however, could do
nothing. The 30,000 people in Salt Lake City and northward took all their goods and
moved south, most of them into Utah Valley.
President Buchanan, now having learned the true condition of affairs, sent two gentlemen
to arrange for peace. They arrived in Salt Lake in June and had a number of meetings
with the leading brethren who came from the south for that purpose. A letter was read
from President Buchanan which, after telling of the many crimes committed by the
"Mormons" against the government, offered to pardon all who would submit to the laws.
In reply President Young said that he and his brethren had simply stood up for their
rights, and they had done nothing to be pardoned for, except, perhaps the burning of some
government trains, and for that act they accepted the President's pardon. President Young
then said they were willing the troops should come into the country. They might march
through the city but they were not to make a camp less than forty miles away. "No mobs
shall live in the homes we have built in these mountains," said the president. "That's the