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They,
therefore, gathered up their worldly goods, and, in 1846, set out on the
long journey to the far West. Reaching the Basin of Utah, they founded
Great Salt Lake City, which is one of the handsomest, best governed, and
cleanest (in a physical sense) cities in the world.

While referring to these peculiar people, we may as well complete their
history by anticipating events that followed.

In 1857, our government attempted to extend its judicial system over
Utah Territory. Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, until then
had not been disturbed, and he did not mean to be interfered with by any
government. He insulted the Federal judges sent thither and drove them
out of the Territory, his pretext being that the objectionable character
of the judges justified the step. Our government, which is always
patient in such matters, could not accept this explanation, and Alfred
Cumming, superintendent of Indian affairs on the Upper Missouri, was
made governor of Utah and Judge Delano Eckels, of Indiana, was appointed
chief justice of the Territory. Knowing that he would be resisted,
Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston was sent thither to compel obedience to
the laws.

The United States troops, numbering 2,500, entered the Territory in
October and were attacked by the Mormons, who destroyed their supply
train and compelled the men to seek winter quarters near Fort Bridges.
Affairs were in this critical state when a messenger from the President,
in the spring of 1858, carried a conciliatory letter to Brigham Young,
which did much to soothe his ruffled feelings. Then, by-and-by, Governor
Powell of Kentucky and Major McCulloch of Texas appeared with a
proclamation of pardon to all who would submit to Federal authority. The
Mormons were satisfied, accepted the terms, and in May, 1860, the United
States troops were withdrawn from the Territory.

Since that time our government has had many difficulties in dealing with
the Mormons. Although polygamy is forbidden by the laws of the States
and Territories, the sect continued to practice it. In March, 1882,
Congress passed what is known as the Edmunds Act, which excluded Mormons
from local offices which they had hitherto wholly controlled. Many
persons were indicted and punished for the practice of polygamy, while
others abandoned it. Brigham Young, who had become governor of Deseret
in 1849, and two years later was appointed governor of Utah, died in
1877, at which time he was president of the Mormon church. The practice
of polygamy was never fully eradicated, and Utah, at this writing, is
represented in the United States Senate by men who make no attempt at
concealing the fact that they are polygamists.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1848.

The former Democrats and Whigs who were friendly to the Wilmot Proviso
formed the Free Soil party in 1848, to which also the Abolitionists
naturally attached themselves. The regular Whigs and Democrats refused
to support the Wilmot Proviso, through fear of alienating the South. The
Free Soilers named as their nominees Martin Van Buren, for President,
and Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts, for Vice-President; the
Democrats selected Louis Cass, of Michigan, for President, and William
O. Butler, of Kentucky, for Vice-President; the Whig candidates were
General Zachary Taylor, of Louisiana, for President, and Millard
Fillmore, of New York, for Vice-President. At the electoral vote Zachary
Taylor was elected President and Millard Fillmore Vice-President.




CHAPTER XIV.

ADMINISTRATIONS OF TAYLOR, FILLMORE, PIERCE, AND BUCHANAN, 1849-1857.

Zachary Taylor--The "Irrepressible Conflict" in Congress--The Omnibus
Bill--Death of President Taylor--Millard Fillmore--Death of the Old
Leaders and Debut of the New--The Census of 1850--Surveys for a Railway
to the Pacific--Presidential Election of 1852--Franklin Pierce--Death of
Vice-President King--A Commercial Treaty Made with Japan--Filibustering
Expeditions--The Ostend Manifesto--The "Know Nothing" Party--The Kansas
Nebraska Bill and Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.


ZACHARY TAYLOR.

[Illustration: ZACHARY TAYLOR.

(1784-1850.) One partial term, 1849-1850.]

General Zachary Taylor, twelfth President of the United States, was born
at Orange Court-House, Virginia, September 24, 1784, but, while an
infant, his parents removed to Kentucky. His school education was
slight, but he possessed fine military instincts and developed into one
of the best of soldiers. His services in the war of 1812 and in that
with Mexico have been told in their proper place. His defense of Fort
Harrison, on the Wabash, during the last war with England, won him the
title of major by brevet, that being the first time the honor was
conferred in the American army.

No man could have been less a politician than "Old Rough and Ready," for
he had not cast a vote in forty years. Daniel Webster characterized him
as an "ignorant frontier colonel," and did not conceal his disgust over
his nomination by the great party of which the New England orator was
the leader. It was Taylor's brilliant services in Mexico, that made him
popular above all others with the masses, who are the ones that make
and unmake presidents. Besides, a great many felt that Taylor had not
been generously treated by the government, and this sentiment had much
to do with his nomination and election.


THE IRREPRESSIBLE CONFLICT.

The "irrepressible conflict" between slavery and freedom could not be
postponed, and when, on the 13th of February, 1850, the President sent
to Congress the petition of California for admission as a State, the
quarrel broke out afresh. The peculiar character of the problem has
already been stated. A part of California lay north and a part south of
36 30', the dividing line between slavery and freedom as defined by the
Missouri Compromise, thirty years, before. Congress, therefore, had not
the power to exclude slavery, and the question had to be decided by the
people themselves. They had already done so by inserting a clause in the
Constitution which prohibited slavery.

There were violent scenes on the floor of Congress. General Foote, of
Mississippi, was on the point of discharging a pistol at Colonel Benton,
of Missouri, when bystanders seized his arm and prevented. Weapons were
frequently drawn, and nearly every member went about armed and ready for
a deadly affray. The South threatened to secede from the Union, and we
stood on the brink of civil war.


THE COMPROMISE OF 1850.

It was at this fearful juncture that Henry Clay, now an old man,
submitted to the Senate his famous "Omnibus Bill," so called because of
its many features, which proposed a series of compromises as follows:
the admission of California as a State, with the Constitution adopted by
her people (which prohibited slavery); the establishment of territorial
governments over all the other newly acquired Territories, with no
reference to slavery; the abolishment of all traffic in slaves in the
District of Columbia, but declaring it inexpedient to abolish slavery
there without the consent of the inhabitants and also of Maryland; the
assumption of the debts of Texas; while all fugitive slaves in the free
States should be liable to arrest and return to slavery.

John C. Calhoun, the Southern leader, was earnestly opposed to the
compromise, but he was ill and within a few weeks of death, and his
argument was read in the Senate by Senator Mason. Daniel Webster
supported the measure with all his logic and eloquence, and it was his
aid extended to Clay that brought about the passage of the bill, all the
sections becoming laws in September, 1850, and California, conquered
from Mexico in 1846, took her place among the sisterhood of States.
Webster's support of the fugitive slave law lost him many friends in the
North, and, has been stated, rendered his election to the presidency
impossible.

On the 4th of July, 1850, the remains from Kosciusko's tomb were
deposited in the monument in Washington, and President Taylor was
present at the ceremonies. The heat was terrific and caused him great
distress. On his return home he drank large quantities of ice-water and
milk, though he was warned against the danger of doing so. A fatal
illness followed, and he died on the 9th of July. Vice-President
Fillmore was sworn into office on the following day.


MILLARD FILLMORE.

[Illustration: MILLARD FILLMORE.

(1800-1874.) One partial term, 1850-53.]

Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth President, was born at Summer Hill, New
York, February 7, 1800. He learned the fuller's trade, afterward taught
school, and, studying law, was admitted to the bar in Buffalo, where he
attained marked success. He was State comptroller for one term and
served in Congress for four terms. He died in Buffalo, March 7, 1874.
Fillmore was a man of good ability, but the inferior of many of those
who preceded him in the exalted office. He was a believer in the
compromise measures of Clay, and performed his duties conscientiously
and acceptably.

Fillmore's administration is notable for the fact that it saw the
passing away of the foremost leaders, Clay, Webster, and Calhoun, with
others of less prominence. They were succeeded in Congress by the
anti-slavery champions, William H. Seward, of New York; Charles Sumner,
of Massachusetts; and Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio. From the South, too,
came able men, in Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi; John Y. Mason, of
Louisiana; and others. The giants had departed and their mantles fell
upon shoulders that were not always able to wear them as fittingly as
their predecessors.

The slavery agitation produced its natural effect in driving many of the
Southern Whigs into the Democratic party, while a few Northern Democrats
united with the Whigs, who, however, were so disrupted that the
organization crumbled to pieces after the presidential election of
1852, and, for a time, no effective opposition to the Democratic party
seemed possible.


THE NEED OF A TRANS-CONTINENTAL RAILROAD.

The population of the United States in 1840 was 23,191,876.



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