Monday, May 11, 2015

Joseph Smith’s First Choice for Running Mate

Joseph Smith
Who did Joseph Smith choose to be his running mate in the Presidential election for the United States?
a.                  Brigham Young
b.                  Martin Van Buren
c.                   James Bennet
d.                  Porter Rockwell
Yesterday’s answer:
b.   The children were unruly
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson in her book, “Whited Sepulchers,” described Salt Lake City as the “new Sodom,” claiming there were “no free schools, no general system of education, no libraries, no reading-rooms, no morality in the streets.” She commented that she had “heard of five out of six [children] dying,” and described the remaining children as “puny, sunken, stunted animals.”
“Anna E. Dickinson in Boston,” The Revolution, October 21, 1869, 241-42.

Apostate, John Hyde said, “every visitor [to Salt Lake] proclaims them to be the most whisky-loving, tobacco-chewing, saucy and precocious children he ever saw.”
John Hyde, Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs (New York, 1857), 77, quoted in Davis Bitton, “Zion’s Rowdies: Growing Up on the Mormon Frontier,” Utah Historical Quarterly 50 (Spring 1982): 182-95.

Some of the leaders of the Church even said, “the nuisance-loving children and at times like thugs and ruffians.”
Davis Bitton, “Zion’s Rowdies: Growing Up on the Mormon Frontier,” Utah Historical Quarterly 50 (Spring 1982): 191.

The New York Evening Post had the following to say about Salt Lake City children:
As might be expected, the mortality among Mormon children is frightful. The polygamists are like the old woman who lived in a shoe, and do not know what to do with their many children, at any rate they do not properly care for them.
“Mortality among Mormons,” New York Evening Post, August 23, 1869.
One last story:
The following from the pioneer journal of Martha Cragun Cox:
   I one day passed a group of boys who had stolen out of school to play marbles on the street. The poor old crone who was trying to teach them must have been glad they had played truant for they were of the age and disposition to be most trying in school. And truly, the fact that a great many children were growing up on the streets of St. George without schooling or moral training even was truly alarming. I said to the boys mentioned “If I were your teacher I’d be sorry to have you out of school.” A big fellow answered. “Oh the old woman’s glad we’re out.” I told the boys I was sorry to see them growing up without education. “If you’re sorry for us” they said, “why don’t you teach us? We wouldn’t stay out of school if you taught us.” “I wish I knew enough to teach you,” I said “and I’d see whether you would.” One bright little fellow spoke up and said “I should think you’d teach us that that you do know.” Here was a new thought. There were many children who knew less than I. Why not give the little I had, if I could not give much. The bantering words of these rude boys on the street aroused a feeling hard to resist, and I resolved that henceforth as far as it lay in my power to do so I would spread light into darkened chambers. I decided to become a teacher.

Kenneth W. Godfrey, Audrey M. Godfrey, and Jill Mulvay Derr, Women’s Voices: An Untold History of The Latter-day Saints 1830-1900 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1982), 276.

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