Trivia - Mormon settlements in the 1800's were based on 'assignment' rather than personal choice. Brigham Young was the master of this spreading of the Church to fill the intermountain west.
Foreshadowing the next chapter, Brigham was unapologetic that his Deseret was a theocracy. While folks in Washington were wrong to attribute malevolent motives to Brigham's behavior, it is true that Brigham was setting up a large swath of the west loyal to a religion of which he was head, separating the United States from the riches of California and the other ore-rich western states, and making full use of every fertile woman to produce baby Mormons at an appalling rate. It didn't help that there was some verbiage prophesying that one day the constitution of the United States would hang by a thread and Mormons would be there to save the day - a statement that was mere oral history until 1970 and that has been misinterpreted to imply that Mormons planned to overthrow the US government [e.g., in the introduction and much of the text of the anti-Mormon book "One Nation Under Gods" by Richard Abanes ). I don't know that this misinterpretation fueled the decision by the ante-bellum United States to station a plurality of its armed forces in Brigham's territory, but it seems plausible.
- ▼ March (5)