When I left the train at Ogden, the dawn had touched the mountain snow crests with a delicate rose pink. The valley was still dark; those glowing summits hung like clouds in the sky. Then the pink turned to orange, the orange to chrome, the chrome to pale canary, and that to a crystalline white; and it was day. "What a paradise!" thought I. And with that took up a morning paper, and read in the headlines, “Po1ygamy,” and other things not to be mentioned. Oh it was saddening! The beauty of Utah is tarnished, its alpine atmosphere tainted, its moral trend vile and low. And yet, aside from the curse of plural marriage, you have here the very pearl of the Rockies: a land rich in gold and silver and lead and gleaming precious stones; marvelous in its resources for the breeding of horses and sheep; fertile of soil and varied of climate, so that farms produce wheat and potatoes in one part of the state, and almonds, figs, pomegranates, and cotton in another. Moreover, the Mormons have developed every source of industry that goes to the making of a commercially independent commonwealth. Unlike the other intermontane states, Utah possesses a complete social order, masses as well as classes, the foundations of a people as well as its proud superstructure.
In the beginning of Mormonism, Brigham Young, that extraordinary character, for daring a Cromwell, for intrigue a Machiavelli, for executive force a Moses, and for the utter absence of conscience a Bonaparte, led up his people into the wilderness. It was a veritable pilgrimage, a soultrying "move” across a trackless continent, harassed the while by savages. These wanderers trusted in Brigham Young as in their God. One hundred and fortythree persons, with seventytwo wagons, ninety-three horses, fiftytwo mules, sixtysix oxen, and nineteen cows, marched in the van. Two hundred Saints trod close in their rear. They traversed the wastes of Nebraska and Wyoming, crested the Rockies, and at last looked down upon a treeless, yellow valley. "See! " cried Brigham. "There is another Dead Sea, there another Lake of Gennesaret, and betwixt them another Jordan. This is the holy Canaan. Let us enter and possess the land." Accordingly, the Mormons halted their train, and began to establish themselves for permanent abode, a thousand miles from the borders of civilization, in what was then Mexican territory.