Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Her Refusal

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As a young girl and early pioneer, what did Margaret Powell Betts refuse?
a.                  Riding in a wagon while crossing the plains
b.                  Baptism
c.                   Entering into a plural marriage relationship
d.                  Her mission call
Yesterday’s answer:
(A)               William R. Campbell, a Presbyterian missionary
During an interview with a New York newspaper editor in 1899, Charles W. Penrose, editor of the Deseret Evening News, charged that Roberts [Brigham Henry] was the victim of malicious propaganda promulgated by disgruntled Protestant missionaries in Utah. “They are mostly men of small caliber,” he said, “and many of them are dishonest; by dishonest, I mean that they are not fair.” When asked to give specific examples, Penrose cited Methodist Bishop Thomas C. Iliff as one who socialized with Mormons and then went east and lied about conditions in Utah. In a follow-up question, the interviewer asked Penrose, “What about Mr. Campbell [William R.], the Presbyterian missionary?” Without equivocation, Penrose responded, “he is far worse than Ilef [sic]. He is about the worst man in Utah.

R. Douglas Brackenridge, “About the Worst Man in Utah”: William R. Campbell and the Crusade Against Brigham H. Roberts, 1898-1900, Journal of Mormon History, Winter 2013, 69.

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