Friday, April 7, 2017

Canada’s Federal Government View of the Saints

We know that the U.S. Government did little to help the Saints. What were the views of the Canadian Government to the Mormon settlers in the Lee’s Creek (Cardston, Alberta) area?
a.                  Indifferent
b.                  Didn’t want them
c.                   Sent an army after them
d.                  Wanted them to stay and feel welcomed
Yesterday’s answer:
(B)   16
Referring to the Federal army sent to Utah in 1857: The Latter-day Saints’ military strategy can be extrapolated from General Wells’s fall 1857 instructions to Nauvoo Legion Maj. Joseph Taylor to “take no life” and to Col. William H. Dame to “save life always if it is possible—we do not wish to shed one drop of blood if it can be avoided.”  Militia members were ordered, though, to “annoy them in every possible way,” and to “use every exertion to stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn, the whole country before them, and on their flanks.” Mormons are credited with destroying seventy-four government supply wagons (carrying an estimated 300,000 pounds of food and supplies) as well as capturing 1,400 head of cattle. Henry Hamilton, who served as a young soldier in the Utah Expedition, noted that the “Mormons, now began to trouble us considerable. . .  Every day when coming to camp they would set the grass on fire, using long torches, and riding swift horse, so that before pitching tents, we always had to fight fire.”
   The most famous incident associated with harassing the army occurred near Green River during the night of 4-5 October. As Lot Smith, who as a sixteen-year-old was the youngest member of the Mormon Battalion, was preparing to burn wagon master John M. Dawson’s supply train, Dawson said, “For God’s sake, don’t burn the trains.” Smith later reported, “I said it was for his sake that I was going to burn them.”
   Brigham Young explained that “Lot was a terror to that whole army, they would rather see the devil than see him,” but he asked, “Was anybody hurt? No.” Young also quoted Col. Edmund Alexander, the expedition’s acting commander prior to Johnston’s arrival, as commenting that the “Mormons were wonderfully annoying. . . . you cannot look on a hill but you may see  Mormons, or down into a valley but there is Mormons, if you try to get out of sight a little there’s Mormons, what the devil does it mean they are everywhere!’”

Glenn Rawson and Dennis Lyman ed., The Mormon Wars (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communication, 2014), 96-97.

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