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would serve as an advertisement to the people of all civilized nations that in the United States polygamy had been put under a ban in the most authoritative and emphatic manner, so that the most ignorant of the deluded immigrants might reasonably be expected to take cognizance of the constitutional inhibition, and the consequences of violating the laws.
Again, the Mormon leaders have taught their people that the laws against polygamy are unconstitutional. They profess a high regard for the Constitution as an inspired instrument. But they claim that it has been subverted and misinterpreted by Congress and the courts. Now, if the anti-polygamy amendment should become a part of the Constitution they would probably not have the hardihood to say that the Constitution itself is unconstitutional, and it is not unreasonable to predict that the more sagacious and influential persons among the Mormous would realize the hopelessness of a further conflict with the Government, and accommodate themselves to the inevitable by the exercise of that 6 worldly wisdom" which so often tempers and modifies the conduct of religious fanatics.
In regard to the bill herein before referred to (Senate bill 10, amended in the House committee, and reported June 10, 1886), we would suggest that section 25 should be changed so as to require the registration and affidavit to be made before the proper registration officer of the precinct, at the usual time of registration when the voter takes the oath required by law for registration. As the section of the bill now stands, snch oath and registration are to be made before the clerk of the probate court of the county. Many of the counties are very large; some of them more than a hundred miles long, and travel in many localities is much impeded by the ruggedness of the mountain roads, and at certain seasons of the year by deep snows, and many of the voters would not be williug to incur the expense and loss of time required to go to the county seat to be registered. Besides, the amendment which we have suygested would be in harmony with the registration and election laws of the Territory, as modified by the act of Congress.
In our last report we called attention to the propriety of amending the immigration laws so as to extend their application to the Mormons. The President, also, in his anual message in December last, called the attention of Congress to the same subject. It seems to us that such an act properly guarded should be framed so as to forbid the immigration of all aliens into the United States who are polygamists, or who ophold polygamy by their profession.
The fullness of detail with which we have in our former reports set forth the condition of affairs in Utah dispenses with the necessity of again going into particulars, but we deem it proper to repeat a passage contained in our report of November 18, 1884.
As the Government has to deal here with a people who are wonderfully superstitious and fanatically devoted to their sistem of religion, the public should not expect, as the immediate result of the present laws of Congress, nor indeed of any legislation, however radical, the sudden overthrow of polygamy; and the most that can be predicated of such legislarion is, that it will, it no step backward be taken, soon ameliorate the harder conditions of Mormonism, and basten the dafor its final extinction.
Before closing this report we wish to impress upon the Government and the people of the United States the magnitude of the evil with which we have to contend, and the difficulties in the application of a remedy. The total number of Mormons throughout the world is over 200,000, a large majority of whom reside in Utah. While of these a great majority of the adults are not living in polygamy, yet every orthodox member of that church professes to believe in it as a divine revelation. The people have been taught this dogma in their temples, tab. ernacles, meeting.houses, and Sunday schools for a third of a century. Their church organization and ecclesiastical polity are marvels of skill and ability. Their leaders are fertile in resources, while the mass of the people are fanatical and superstitious to a degree that has seldom been witnessed in modern times.
In such a condition there is no remedy that would be immediate in its effects except military force, and this cannot now be applied, because no civilized government in this age will wage a war of extermination against unarmed men, women, and children. But the evils existing in Utah cannot be ignored by the Government. Devoted as the American people are to religious liberty, by education, tradition, and constitutional sanction, they will never allow this principle to be subverted by the toleration or sanction of crime. Here we inay say that while we recognize the obligation of the Government of the United States to protect the personal and property rights of the Mormon people, collectively and individually, and to deal with them as equals before the law, yet it is equally the duty of the Government to punish crime committed within its jurisdiction; and religious liberty cannot be pleaded as a bar to punishment for criminal acts in violation of the laws of the land and of social order.
The Mormon people ought to understand this. If they expect a toleration or protection of polygamy from any party or faction in this country, now or hereafter, such expectation is vain and futile. The laws, then, must be enforced. If present laws and the proposed amendments are not sufficient to suppress the evil, more stringent enactments must be adopted, and the result will be that at no distant day this relic of Asiatic barbarism, this blot on the fair fame of America, will be swept from the land. For the Commission.
A. B. CARLTON,
Chairman Utah Commission. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C.