PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR
We are invaded by hostile forces, who are
assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction.
For the last twenty-five years we have
trusted officials of
the government, from Constables and Justices to Judges, Governors
Presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted and
houses have been plundered and then burned; our fields laid waste, our
principal men butchered while under the pledged faith of the Government
their safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that
the barren wilderness, and that protection among hostile savages, which
denied them in the boasted abodes of Christianity and civilization.
The constitution of our common country
guarantees unto us
all that we do now or ever claimed.
If the constitutional rights, which pertain
unto us as
American citizens, were extended to
Our opponents have availed themselves of
against us, because of our religious faith, to send out a formidable
accomplish our destruction. We have had no privilege, no opportunity of
defending ourselves from the false, foul and unjust aspersions against
before the Nation. The Government has not condescended to cause an
investigating committee or other person to be sent to inquire into and
ascertain the truth, as is customary in such cases. We know those
to be false, but that avails us nothing. We are condemned unheard, and
to an issue with an armed mercenary mob, which has been sent against us
instigation of anonymous letter writers, ashamed to father the base,
falsehoods which they have given to the public; of corrupt officials
brought false accusations against us, to screen themselves in their own
and of hireling priests and howling editors, who prostitute the truth
The issue which has been thus forced upon us compels us to resort to the great first law of self preservation, and stand in our own defense, a right guaranteed unto us by the genius of the institutions of our country, and upon which the Government is based.
Our duty to our families requires us not to tamely submit to be driven and slain without an attempt to preserve ourselves. Our duty to our country, our holy religion, our God, to freedom and liberty, requires that we should not quietly stand still and see those fetters forging around, which are calculated to enslave and bring us into subjection to an unlawful military despotism, such as can only emanate (in a country of constitutional law) from usurpation, tyranny and oppression.
Therefore, I, Brigham
Young, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory
in the name of the people or the United States in the Territory of Utah,
First - Forbid all armed forces of every
coming into this Territory, under any pretense whatever.
Second - That all the forces in said
themselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice, to repel
any and all
Third - Martial law is hereby declared to
exist in this
Territory, from and after the publication of this Proclamation; and no
shall be allowed to pass or repass, into or through, or from this
without a permit from the proper officer.
Given under my hand and seal at Great Salt Like City, Territory of Utah, this fifteenth day of September, A.D. eighteen hundred and fifty seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the eighty -second.
(Signed) BRIGHAM YOUNG