The murder of the Aikiu party in 1857 came under Young's policy of keeping the Gentiles out of Utah. Six men from San Francisco, with an outfit valued at $25.000, were shot while be ing 'escorted' by 'Bill' Hickman, who was known as •Brigham's Destroying Angel.' In the same year occurred the most wholesale of these affairs, the Mountain Meadows Massacre (q.v.).
Chief among the reasons for governmental neg lect of the Mormons were the appointment of mere party mucks us Territorial officers and judges and the impotence of the Federal Gov ernment at the approach of the Civil War. Fur thermore. the authorities were ignorant concern ing Mormon practices and ambitions. Upon the establishment of the Territory of Utah, in 1S51, Brigham Young was appointed Governor. When the Federal appointee, Judge Brocchus, ventured to criticise polygamy, Young publicly called him a coward and asked him to "apologize to the sat isfaction of the ladies." President Pierce's offer of the Governorship to Lieutenant-Colonel Step toe led Young to threaten vengeance for this 'infringement' upon his individual rights and privileges. By 1856 the political parties began to make capital out of the Mormon situation. Stephen A. Douglas asserted that it was the duty of the President to remove Brigham Young and all his followers from office. In his message of 1857. President IlueInman declared that there was no longer any government in Utah but Brigham Young. All this was declared to be a Democratic scheme to blind the North regarding the pending slavery issue. However, a force of 1500 troops was dispatched under General Scott, whereupon Young announced that he "would ask no odds of Uncle Sam or the devil." The Nauvoo Legion was reernited from all able-bodied males liet wee!) eighteen and forty-five, martial law was (leelared in the Territory, and the .lormons Harassed the Federal column by setting, fire to the grass, stampeding their eattle, and burning the supply trains. An advance by winter into the Salt Lake Valley being deemed out of the question, Colonels .Johnston and Alexander joined forces near Fort Meanwhile Young, determined upon fife civil as really as lie was the eeelesiastieal head. commissioned Col. T. L. Kane as lobbyist at Washington. Taken with the pro-Mormon report of Governor Cumming. the result was a full and fret; pardon offered by President Buchanan to the very leaders W110111 Jinlge Eekles had charged with adultery.
The attitude of the Church being considered treasonable during the Civil War. in May. 1862„ Utah was put 1111414.1- military supervision. Colonel Connor's plans to overawe Young were frustrated by Lincoln's let-alone policy, and it was not until the lapse of a generation that the Mormon leaders unwillingly traded polygamy for State hood.
The anti-polygamy legislation began with the Morrill bill of February, 1S60. The severest pun ishment being merely the statutory penalty for bigamy, the measure was ineffeetive. The Cullom bill of 1860 was 1nm:rift by Delegate Hooper on the ground that the Mormon views of the mar riage relation were an essential part of their religious faith and therefore eonst it n t iniaranteed. Convictions under the Poland bill of 1874 being appealed. the United States Su preme Court ruled that religious belief cannot be accepted as a justification for an overt act made criminal by the law of the land. President in his message of December, 1879, struck at the root of the matter by declaring that polygamy could only be suppressed by taking away the political power of the sect which en couraged and sustained it. Like remarks of Presi dents Garfield and Arthur, in 1881, led to the Edmunds bill of 1882, which provided that no polygamist should he entitled to vote in any Territory or to hold office under the United States. Within two years 12,000 voters were disfranchised by this act, and within eight years 468 persons, mostly in the rural districts, were convicted for polygamy or unlawful cohabitation. When in 1890 the courts declared the ecclesias tieal property confiscated because the Mormon Church was an organized rebellion, Young's suc cessor, President Wilford Woodruff, issued a manifesto in which he advised the Latter-Day Saints to "refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by tbe law of the land." The difficul ties of obtaining Statehood and the unseating of Congressman Roberts in 1899 led the Church to so modify its views of political dominion as to declare that the Mormons "form not a rival power as against the Union, but an apostolic ministry to it, and their political gospel is State rights and self-government." A late estimate places the number of Mormons in the United States, exclusive of the Reorganized Church, at about 300,000. They are no longer receiving large accessions from foreign propaganda among Teu tonic races.