Lee and Major Egan, followed the battalion to Santa Fe, and there received a draft on Leavenworth, for the first month and a half's pay, with the understanding from the soldiers it was to be paid to their families. The authorities of the church drew the amount, and then took out the tithing for themselves, one tenth. When he McCord arrived in Utah, October, , he found his family not here, and was prevented by the church authorities from going after them; and was not permitted to leave until January following.
When he reached his family at Winter Quarters, Missouri, he found no preparations made for their being forwarded to Utah, and there were none made afterwards. This enabled him to fit out an expedition to explore the country west of the Rocky Mountains. Accordingly, in the spring of , with one hundred and forty-three of his tried adherents, he made the journey to Salt Lake, where they arrived July 24, A colony was at once established, and a part of the number left to commence farming operations. Brigham, with the remainder, returned to "Winter Quarters.
Brigham at once commenced alleviating their suffering, and in the excess of their gratitude, these poor deluded creatures did not see that he was the cause of all their misery. Young was now ready to enact another scene in this Mormon drama.
He was ruling the church in the capacity of President of the Twelve Apostles. He desired greater power; he wished to occupy the place of the Prophet of the Lord.
This was the more difficult, as the people venerated the memory of Joseph Smith, sanctified as it was by the remembrance of his cruel and untimely death. Brigham knew well the extent of this feeling, and that it would be impossible to supplant Joseph in their affections, and extremely difficult to occupy his position. But his plans demanded that he should be in form what he was in fact,—the absolute head of the church. On the morning of the 24th of December, , he ascended the pulpit to preach; and with that power of mimicry and imitation for which he is so remarkable, aided, doubtless, by works of art to enable him to represent the features and personnel of Smith, he so completely assumed the tone and manner, and presented the appearance of Joseph, that the congregation believed that their dead prophet stood before them.
The effect was electrical. Women screamed and fainted; strong men wept; the delusion was complete. One old brother told me that he really believed that Joseph was present in the flesh, so strong was the personal resemblance at the time.
Kimball and Willard Richards as his counsellors. These three constituted the "First Presidency. Brigham was now the nominal as well as the real leader of this strange community. A greater trial demanded his forethought. The whole church was to be removed over a thousand miles, through an almost unknown country, full of dangers and difficulties.
The following account of the manner in which this difficult undertaking was executed, is from the pen of John Hyde, Jr. Without strife, without discord, almost without a murmur, this heterogeneous mass moved off. Many groaned with anguish, but none with complaint. Brigham's energy inspired them all; his genius controlled them all. Marking their road with their gravestones, they arrived at Salt Lake Valley, destitute and feeble, in The desert to which they had come was as cheerless as their past history.
From cruel foes they had fled to as unfeeling a wilderness. Renewed difficulties demanded a renewed effort from Brigham. Everything depended on him. Starvation and nakedness stared in the gloomy faces of the desponding people. Murmurs and complaints were uttered. He quelled everything; scolded, plead, threatened, prophesied, and subdued them.
With a restless but resistless energy he set them to work, and worked himself as their example. He directed their labors, controlled  their domestic affairs, preached at them, to them, for them. He told foolish anecdotes to make them laugh, encouraged their dancing to make them merry, got up theatrical performances to distract their minds, and made them work hard, certain of rendering them contented by-and-by. Feared with a stronger fear, venerated with a more rational veneration, but not loved with the same clinging tenderness that the people still felt for Joseph Smith, Brigham swayed them at his will.
They learned to dread his iron hand, and were daunted by his iron heart. While he was thus consolidating his power, laying plans for the foundation of a monarchy more despotic than that of Austria, important changes were going on in the political condition of the country. Mexico was conquered, and much of its territory, including Utah, was annexed to the United States, and the Mormons thus again brought within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
New York: W. Page By the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, concluded between the United States and Mexico in , the country now embraced in the Territory of Utah was transferred from the jurisdiction of the latter to that of the former, and on the 9th of September, , Congress passed an Act to organize the Territory of Utah. When the peace between the United States and Mexico was concluded, the Mormons were left without a government.
They took advantage of this opportunity to set up an independent government. Early in they met in convention to frame a constitution for "the State of Deseret. On the 15th of March, , the convention appointed the following persons a committee to draft a constitution for the State of Deseret, to wit: Albert Carrington, Joseph L. Heywood, William W. Phelps, David Fullmer, John S. Fullmer, Charles C. Rich, John Taylor, Parley P. Pratt, John M. Bernheisel, and Erastus Snow. March 18, , Albert Carrington, chairman of the committee, reported the following constitution, which was read,  and unanimously adopted by the convention: [The preamble only is here given.
It will be noticed by the phraseology of the foregoing preamble that this government was to be "free and independent," and was intended to remain such until the new State, thus constituted, should be admitted into the Union.
In other words, they intended, through the machinery of this independent State, to harass and annoy the government, and the gentiles, until the "saints" could force themselves into the Union upon their own terms. This theory is fully sustained by the subsequent history of this inchoate State. The very  first steps taken were independent of, and in hostility to, the officers appointed by the Government of the United States, as will more fully appear in the following pages.
The formation of this government for the State of Deseret was the first effort to throw off the yoke of the Federal Government,—an effort which has been persistently persevered in to the present time.
There never has been a time since Brigham Young crossed the Rocky Mountains, when he has honestly entertained the idea of being a good and loyal citizen of the United States. The Assembly met, and after listening to the Governor's Message, proceeded to frame a code of laws. This pseudo State government remained in force until the 22d of September, , when the Territorial Legislature convened.
In the mean time Brigham, having been appointed Governor of the newly organized Territory, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and seeing a fair prospect of lining his pockets from the treasury of the United States, concluded to forego for a time his ambitious projects, and consented that the new "State" should be merged into a United States Territory.
The federal officers were appointed during the session of , but owing to the difficulty of transportation, did not arrive until July, Young, who had been appointed Governor, had, on the 3d of February, , taken the oath of office before Wells, Chief Justice of Deseret. The first session of the Territorial Legislature was convened, in pursuance of the proclamation of the Governor, on the 22d day of September, , and continued by adjournment from time to time, until the 18th day of February, This was succeeded by a special session, called by  proclamation of the Governor, commencing the following day, and continuing until the 6th day of March, What there was in the political condition of this community, subjected as they were, in almost all the relations of life, to a complete and comprehensive system of religious government, to require a continuous session of the Territorial Legislature for nearly six months, has never yet been explained.
The following is extracted from the published proceedings of the first Legislative Assembly:—.
Both houses of the Legislative Assembly met in joint session, according to previous arrangement. The President of the Council in the chair. Snow [Mormon], one of said Judges.
They reported that they had visited the Hon. Perry E. Brochus, and Mr.
Secretary Harris. But the answer returned by them was so vague and indefinite that they did not know whether they would respond to the invitation or not. The committee also reported that they did not see the Hon. Judge Brandenburg. Blair, Esq. The hostility to the federal officers had already been so openly and offensively manifested, that the respect which these gentlemen owed to themselves and the government and people whom they represented, would not permit them to be present at the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
It will be noticed that one of them was not seen at all, and the reply of the other two was not even reported! The enjoyment of a free and independent people can be accomplished only through this principle: produce what you consume. Draw from the native elements the necessaries of life; permit no vitiated taste to lead you into expensive luxuries, which can only be obtained by involving yourselves in debt.
Let home industry produce every article of home consumption. This Legislature, besides passing a code of laws for the government of the Territory, sent some twenty memorials to Congress, most of them calling for appropriations of public money, and divided up the canyons, ferries, pasture-lands, woodlands, water privileges, and, in fact, all the most valuable portion of the public domain, among prominent "saints," giving always to Brigham the "lion's" share.
To this he was entitled by his recognized appellation of "the Lion of the Lord. To this day he holds, by virtue of an Act of the Legislature, the most valuable canyon, near Salt Lake, called City Creek, or Brigham's Canyon,—having taken actual possession of the same, by fencing in the mouth of the canyon  completely, and thus preventing all ingress or egress, except upon the payment of toll. General Connor, upon his arrival in Utah, in the fall of , was justly indignant to find himself fenced out from one of the national thoroughfares, but thought it prudent not to add to the causes of irritation by interfering.
During this session Brigham issued eight proclamations.