(Newspapers of the Northwest)

Misc. Northwest Newspapers
1845-1854 Articles

"O who will come and go with me?
  I am bound for the promised land." -- (old hymn)

1845-1854   |   1855-1858   |   1859-1865   |   1866-1899

OSpec Jul 09 '46  |  OSpec Jul 23 '46  |  OSpec Aug 06 '46
OSpec Sep 03 '46  |  OSpec Oct 15 '46  |  OSpec Nov 12 '46
OSpec Mar 18 '47  |  OSpec Aug 19 '47  |  OSpec Jan 24 '50
OSpec Feb 07 '50  |  OSpec Feb 21 '50  |  OSpec Dec 05 '50
Oreg Jun 07 '51  |  OSpec Jun 12 '51  |  Oreg Jun 21 '51
OSpec Jul 10 '51  |  OSpec Jul 29 '51

Articles Index  |  California papers  |  Utah papers


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, July 9, 1846.                     No. 12.

The Mormons.

The Quincy Whig, after stating definitely that it is understood that the Mormons will retire to Nootka Sound, from the disgraceful persecutions of their neighbors in Illinois, gives the following account of the place of their proposed residence:

"Nootka or Vancouver Island, on the northwest coast of North America, we have it from good authority, is to be the final destination and home of the Mormon people. This island is about three hundred miles long, and from seventy-five to one hundred in width. It is separated from the main land by a long, narrow strait, and lies between the 47th and 28th and 51st or 52nd degrees of north latitude, extending along the coast in a northwest direction. The boundary line between the American and the British possessions will probably pass across the island. The English, we believe, have one or two trading posts on the island, but for the most part it is inhabited by Indians, of not a warlike disposition. It is a long journey, but can be accomplished. If the Mormons do emigrate to that distant land, they will be out of the reach of harm from white men, and may enjoy their peculiar notions in quiet, until the devil breeds his own discords and confusions among them.

We understand from the same authority that companies are rapidly organizing at Nauvoo, for an early start in the spring. The church authorities and leading men will go out in a very large company, and without doubt the remainder will follow

Note: This was the third newspaper published west of the Mississippi River to print news of the Latter Day Saints in its columns. The first paper in the west that mentioned anything about the Mormons was the Sept. 7, 1844 issue of The Polynesian, distributed to sailing vessels docking in the Sandwich Islands. See also the Honolulu Friend of April 1, 1845 and Monterey Californian of August 15, 1846 to see what the Oregon Spectator's western contemporaries were saying about the Mormon emigration.


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, July 23, 1846.                     No. 13.


We give below a copy of the Proclamation issued by Wm. B. Ide, one of the emigrants from the U. States to California. Mr. Ide is said to be a Mormon -- one of the twelve apostles of Jo Smith. He has a small body of armed men united with him, and under his command; they have succeeded in taking possession of Sonoma, which the commander now makes his headquarters, and from which he issues the following


"To all persons, citizens of Sonoma, requesting them to remain at peace, and to follow their rightful occupations without fear of molestation.

"The commander-in-chief of the troops assembled at the fortress of Sonoma gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California, not found under arms, that they shall not be disturbed in their persons, their property or social relations, one to another, by men under his command.

"He also solemnly declares his object to be first, to defend himself and companions in arms, who were invited to this country by a promise of lands on which to settle themselves and families; who were also promised a republican government; who, when having arrived in California, were denyed even the privilege of buying or renting lands of their friends; who instead of being allowed to participate in, or being protected by a republican government, were oppressed by a military despotism, who were even threatened, by proclamation from the chief officer of the aforesaid despotism, with extermination if they would not depart our of the country -- leaving all of their property, their arms and beasts of burden; and thus deprived of the means of flight or defence, we were to be driven through deserts inhabited by hostile Indians to certain destruction.

"To overthrow a government which has seized upon the property of the Mission[s] for its individual aggrandizement; which has ruined and shamefully oppressed the laboring people of California, by their enormous exactions on goods imported into this country; is the determined purpose of the brave men who are associated under his command.

"He also solemnly declares his object in the second place to be, to [unite] all peaceable and good citizens of California, who are friendly to the maintenance of good order and equal rights, (and I do hereby invite them to repair to my camp at Sonoma without delay,) to assist us in establishing and perpetuating a republican government, which shall secure to all: civil and religious liberty; which shall detect and punish crime; which shall encourage industry, virtue and literature; which shall leave unshackled, by fetters of commerce, agriculture, and mechanism.

"He further declares that he relies upon the rectitude of our intentions; the favor of heaven and the bravery of those who are bound to and associated with him by the principle of self preservation; by the love of truth and by the hatred of tyranny for his hopes of success.

"He further declares, that he believes that a government to be prosperous and happyfying in its tendency, must originate with its people, who are friendly to its existence; that its citizens are its guardians; its officers [and] its servants, and its glory their reward.
          {"Sd,)      WILLIAM B. IDE,
      "Head Quarters, Sonoma, June 15, 1846."

There are many things in the above which we cannot comprehend, and which we think will be found to be hard to be understood by most of our readers -- such, for instance, as the invitation given to Mr. Ide and his party to immigrate to California by the promise of lands and the enjoyment of a republican government. The Proclamation leaves us entirely in the dark as to the source from whence those promises emanated -- whether from the proper authorities of California, or from some individual wishing to settle a colony in that country; nor are we informed as to whom the promises were made -- whether to Mr. Ide & Co. as Mormons, or as American citizens. The whole affair, however, is bit another fact in evidence of the now unquestionable truth, that the spirit of republicanism and free trade is abroad in the world, and its tread is disturbing the protracted repose of Mars, the god of battles. Republicanism -- in the proper sense of the term, like all other truths -- has nothing to fear so much, as the indiscretion of her avowed votaries.

Note: The above article imprecisely chronicles the "Bear Flag Revolt" in Sonoma in 1846. Mr. Ide briefly became President of the "California Republic." Although Ide lived at Springfield, Illinois, not far from the Mormon "gathering" at Nauvoo, during the early 1840s, there is no record of his having interacted with the Latter Day Saints, prior to the arrival of Sam Brannan's party of emigrants in California in 1846. By the time Elder Brannan's group had established themselves in the region, Ide's presidency and the "California Republic" were already over and finished.


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, August 6, 1846.                     No. 14.


The ship Brooklyn, from N. York, was at the Sandwich Islands with 175 passengers, principally Mormons, bound to St. Francisco. We learn further, that an immense emigration of Mormons, or, as they now style themselves, "Latter Day Saints," exceeding twenty-five thousand in number, were to set out in May from Illinois and Missouri, bound to California and the southern part of this territory.

Note: See the Honolulu Friend of July 1, 1846 for more on the passage of the ship Brooklyn through the Sandwich Islands.


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, September 3, 1846.                     No. 16.


Some fifteen or sixteen emigrants have arrived, having performed the last part of their journey with pack-horses. They state that between 300 and 400 wagons must be near the Dalls at this time and nothing extraordinary preventing, they will probably arrive at Oregon City about the 25th instant. Mr. Barlow has gone to meet them in order to conduct them safely over his road. They state that between 500 and 600 waggons that were bound to Oregon and California, were counted after leaving the states. They think that between 50 and 100 waggons followed Mr. Hastings to California. Gov. Boggs, (formerly Governor of Missouri) and family, are in the company coming to Oregon. It is reported that one family in the company is bringing a hive and swarm of bees to Oregon.

These emigrants state that between 500 and 600 waggons accompanied with Mormons crossed over the river at St. Joseph, bound for Oregon. But it is presumed that they wil not arrive here this season.

Note: For more on Liliburn W. Boggs' move to the west, see the Oct. 17, 1846 issue of the Montery Californian, which says: "Governor Boggs was undecided as to his destination for a time, but has finally given California the preference, and is now near the settlement. The Governor comes with a determination to make California his future home."


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, October 15, 1846.                     No. 19.


FROM MEXICO. -- The New York Express of the 19th of May last, contains news from Mexico... The British ship Collingwood, 80 guns, Admiral Seymour, was at anchor off San Blas, 7th April. Emigrants from the United States were still pouring into California, to the great consternation of Gen. Paredes, who considers them an army in disguise. He gives up California as lost. Apprehensions are entertained that the Mormons, who were said to be crossing the mountains, would overrun the whole of Mexico, and subdue it. Their reputation has preceded them.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, November 12, 1846.                     No. 21.


Oregon Treaty Ratified. -- The Senate... ratified the treaty upon the Oregon question by a vote of 41 to 14 -- 27 majority...

The Mormons and Indians were committing great depredations on American property on the western frontier...

CALIFORNIA. -- Com. Sloat took possession of Monterey on the 7th of July, and hoisted the U. S. flag... Capt. Montgomery, of the Portsmith, took possession of San Francisco on the 9th. The whole of Upper California is now in possession of the Americans...

Gen. Ide on the 10th of July resigned his military honors and flag to Lieut. Revere, U. S. N, who took possession of Sonoma...

Every thing was quiet at the latest dates, and business not materially deranged. The Mormons would not, it was anticipated, be favorably received either by the Californians or the American settlers. -- Polynesian.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                     Oregon City, Thursday, March 18, 1847.                     No. 4.


The Mormons. -- There has been, it seems, an irreconcilable split among the Mormons at San Francisco. The little volcano has been rumbling for some time, and has at last broke forth in flames. The result of this explosion will be to throw them into different parts of California. In this dissevered state, they will undoubtedly do more good than a distinct community. --

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                     Oregon City, Thursday, August 19, 1847.                     No. 15.


THE MORMONS. -- According to all accounts these people are doing up their Mountain travel in the most magnificent style. They are said to be excellently well organized and abundantly provided with all the essentials of such a trip. They have a printing press and printing materials with them and we suppose it will not be long before they will be astonishing the natives about the "Salt Lake" with a "Rocky Mountain Herald." They have likewise a portable grist mill, as we understand, which, when they are encamped on a suitable stream, they put in operation. The cui bono of this we are at a loss to comprehend.

THE LARGEST IMMIGRATION YET. -- We have information by letter that there are nearly two thousand wagons on the Oregon route, all of which, with the exception of some four hundred Mormon wagons, are bound for this country. We think this rather a large estimate. One thousand wagons will do for this year.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                     Oregon City, Thursday, January 24, 1850.                     No. 9?

Deseret -- A new State.

Our readers will be interested with the news from the Great Salt Lake. The Mormons are determined not to remain always second best. We hope Congress will give them a good government and appoint officers who are not Mormons, and who will keep them away from the Oregon road while the emigrants are en route for this country. Our cattle were spirited off towards Salt Lake in '48 and so also were the cattle of our fellow travellers. We have heard of such things since. We hope the erection of a civil government there will have a tendency to arrest these evils. Yet this movement of the Mormons must be regarded as one of the strange and peculiar developments of the spirit of the age. Three years since Salt Lake was a desolate place in the midst of the great American Desert and a thousand miles or more from any civilized settlement. And now it asks to be regarded as a populous state of civilized people.

OCT. 16 -- The recebt intelligence from California has awakened a lively interest on the Atlantic border, and the spirit of emigration is again rife in all parts of the country, ignited by the flattering accounts of the continued richness and now indisputable value of the Mines...

The recent movements of the Mormons enlist great attention. The formation of their new State, "Deseret," is an important feature in the remarkable history of this singular place. Driven from place to place; without a local habitation where they could be assured of rest and safety; and at least exempt from persecution in their new settlement in the Salt Lake Valley, the fortunes of the Mormons have always attracted the sympathy of the well-disposed and orderly community. This last effort to form themselves into a regular organization meets many tokens of gratulation. We cannot but be impressed with their energy and persevering spirit of Industry. Their agent, charged with a representation to Congress of their wants and desires, has arrived at St. Louis on his way to Washington...

Mr. Cahet and the Icarians, recently settled at Nauvoo -- the remains of former Mormon greatness -- it is said will be joined in the Spring by a large emigration from France, and perhaps from Hungary. The remodelling of the Temple is contemplated by its present ownewrs, for the purposes of a workshop, &c.

Note: (under construction)


Vol. IV.                     Oregon City, Thursday, February 7, 1850.                     No. 10.

The Wilmot Proviso.

While political parties on the Atlantic seaboard have been convulsing and remodelling over the humbug of a Wilmot Proviso, all account of our new territories, two mighty states have taken root in these territories, and between California and the Mormon Deseret, * the Wilmot Proviso has been, and will continue forever exploded. Our political demagogues and wise acres here, thought and hoped to make a handle of what they knew but little practically, and for which they honestly cared less. The prospective fate of freedom, west of the Rocky mountains on American soil, was a beautiful bone for political agitation, but, unfortunately for aspirants at declamation in Congress, and out of it, their political capital in the Proviso question is swamped. The Californians and the Deseretians have happily blown the "Dissolution of the Union" to the dogs, by taking their Constitution and State making into their own hands, a course consistent with their necessities, and necessary to the peace and prosperity of the Union. They will determine among themselves, as they have the right to do, whether they will tolerate slavery or not, and whichever way they decide cannot be altered nor shaken. There can be little doubt as to the future freedom and equality of the population of the United States on the Pacific, but at any rate, its political or social condition forms no longer a theme for sectional and humbugging politicians in the Old States. The Californians and the Mormons have shown the true republican faith, and if they carry out the policy they have begun with, they will reflect honor upon themselves and upon the Union.

* The name of the new Mormon State, signifying in Mormon, "Honey Bee."

Note: (under construction)


Vol. IV.                     Oregon City, Thursday, February 21, 1850.                     No. 11.


A member of the Darcy Overland California Company, writing to the Newark Advertiser from the City of the Great Salt Lake, thus describes that rendezvous of the Mormons:

The valley of the Great Salt lake is some 200 miles long and ranges from 15 to 25 in width, but is without timber except a few scattered cotton woods. It has a luxurient, fertile soil, and is well watered by the River Jordan and its tributaries, with many springs and smaller streams. It produces well the crops of the middle States. the climate, though much warmer than the temperature of the mountains we have been travelling in, is very agreeable; so refreshing are the breezes from the snow-capped mountains on the East and the Great Salt Lake on the South. -- This lake is sixty miles long and twenty broad, and contains salt in such abundance that it can be shoveled up like sand.

The number of Mormons in the Valley is supposed to be about 10,000; and those in the city -- which is regularly laid out 2 1/2 miles square -- are reckoned at 5000 to 6000; I think these are over estimates. The first settlement was made in the Valley two years ago this month; and in September 1848, when the large emigration arrived, there was not a house or fence standing within the present limits of the town. The houses are built of mud-brick, dried in the sun, are of one story, and contain but one room. They are comfortable dwellings for this location, being cool in summer and warm in winter, and as it seldom rains here, there is little inconvenience from the poreous material.

Each family is allowed an acre and a quarter of land in the city limits, and as much outside as it chooses. The lands have to be irrigated, and several of the mountain streams have been brought into the town by trenches. As yet they have no stores or taverns, and their house of worship is a rude shed entirely unprotected at the sides. It stands on an eminence overlooking the city and River Jordan. -- The ffect of a visit to the Sulphur Spring is so delightful and refreshing to me that I must describe it. The spring is situated three miles from the town, near the base of a high mountain, and is strongly impregnated with mineral. It is about 90 degrees Fah. -- quite warm enough to be agreeable. The water pours off of the mountain through a natural tunnel in the rock the size of a man's body, emptying into a basin some 20 feet square, the sides of which are rock and the bottom of pure [clay] and pebbles; the average depth being two and a half to three feet. -- Thursday and Friday of each week are reserved for female bathers. We all took a bath, and the effect was most heathful and invigorating. I would ask no greater fortune for myself than to own such a fountain of healing waters in New York or New Jersey.

There is another spring of much higher temperature four miles beyond this one; eggs are cooked in a short time in it, and the Indians who inhabit the valley drive the large crickets which abound here, and which they esteem a great luxury, in the hot water, and they are soon cooked. -- The Indians also set fire to the grass in the vallies for the sake of the crickets. By the time the grass is consumed the crickets are well roasted, and are eagerly devoured. They are about eight times as large as the crickets of the States.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                     Oregon City, Thursday, December 5, 1850.                     No. 13.


THE MORMONS IN ENGLAND. -- Mr. Mackay has written for the London Morning Chronicle a full and interesting account of the Mormons, a large number of whom are constantly emigrating from England to this country. He says that the Mormons boadt of having an emigration fund of three and a half tons of California gold. Dr. Mackay saw and mixed much with these enthusiasts in Liverpool. He was introduced to one of their priests, who evinced the most friendly feeling, finding that he was the author of a piece of poetry which is in high favor amongst the sect, It seems that during the last ten years the emigration of Mormons from England has been nearly 14,000, and that during the last year it amounted to 2,500 -- chiefly farmers and mechanics of a superior class, from Lancashire, Yorkshire, Wales, and the southern parts of Scotland.

Note: (under construction)


Vol. I.                     Portland, Saturday, June 7, 1851.                     No. 26.


FROM FORT LARAMIE. -- A letter from Fort Laramie, dated 10th February, states that great preparations are making from the Spring emigration over the Plains, which it is expected will be mostly to the Salt Lake and to Oregon. The facilities for the journey have been greatly increased...

First Emigration.

The party of emigrants, commanded by Capt. Goddell, whom we noticed last week, as being near the Dalles, have arrived at this city. They number sixty-eight persons -- having crossed with twenty-five wagons, and about two hundred and fifty head of stock. There are several families, among which are 16 females. They left Salt Lake on the 28th of March, and arrived at the Dalles, May 29, making the journey om sixty-two days. The health of the company has been good during the journey. They were attacked by the Indians on Snake River, but lost none of their party. The Indians kept up a fire across the river upon them for two hours, which the emigrants returned, killing several Indians during the fight.

The Mormons at Salt Lake are represented as a very immoral and desperate set of men. They practice polygamy to a great extent. -- Some of their prophets are represented as having as many as sixty wives; all take unto themselves as many as may please their fancy, and their means will enable them to support. The above information was derived from several of the party who appear highly intelligent and respectable.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, June 12, 1851.                     No. 40.

New Immigrants.

==> The Rev. Mr. Goodell, captain of the company who have just arrived in Oregon, numbering in all some 105 persons, gives a dreadful account of the treatment received from the Mormons at the Great Salt Lake. The people are represented as being dissolute and immoral to a shameful extent. We learn from Mr. Goodell that they have appointed missionaries for South America, California, Oregon, and numerous other countries. The object appears to be to make proselytes, with the view to join them at the Salt Lake to increase their numbers. The two missionaries appointed for Oregan, it is expected will soon arrive to enter upon the duties of their mission. We cannot think for a moment that we have men among us who will join them, after obtaining the facts about their manner of living and their pross immoralities, which outcie in paractice, the seraglios of the Turks and Persians.

The principal part of those arrived are familes. There are some 20 families among the number. They left the Salt Lake about the last of March and arrived at the Dalles of the Columbia on the 2nd May, having been 62 days on the road. -- The Oregonian learns that they practice polygamy to a great extent. Some of the prophets are represented as having as many as 60 wives; all take unto themselves as many as may please their fancy and their means will support." Think of a harem in a country belonging to the United States.

Since writing the above we have received the following from Mr. Goodell, who has promised to give us, as soon as he gets leisure, a more detailed account of the state of society, &c."

The number of our company, said he, is 105; of them 49 are men, 19 women and the rest children, included in 10 families. Being compelled to winter among the Mormons, it gave us an opportunity of becoming acquainted with their manners and customs. Concubinage, polygamy, and incest, are common among them. It is not at all uncommon for a man to take for his wives a mother and a daughter at the same time. Polygamy is publicly advocated by the leaders. Brigham Young, according to the testimony of the Mormons themselves, has over 80 wives.

Between 600 and 1000 persons, immigrants, wintered in the Salt Lake valley -- most of them were bound for California. They all suffered more or less of injustice and wrongs from the Mormons. The liberty of speech was denied them. Their lives were threatened by the heads of the church, if they said aught against the religion or practices of the Mormons. The most unjust measures were resorted to to rob the immigrants of their money. One man ventured to say "that if a man in the States had as many wives as Young, he would be called a wicked man," was immediately arrested and fined $50 and costs.

To cap the climax, an unjust and cruel tax was imposed upon them. After they had left their settelement, they were followed 60 miles from their city by teh State Marshal, with power to assess their property and collect tax at the same time -- authorized to seize their teams if the tex was not promptly paid. This tax was 2 per cent. on every kind of property they possessed -- even to the beds -- valued at the prices put upon such property in Salt lake valley. The immigrants had to pay from $15, up to as high as $50 and $60 each. This, considering the circumstances in which they were placed, they felt severely.

The Mormons are opposed to the Government of the United States -- speak against it publicly and privately, and predict its overthrow....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                     Portland, Saturday, June 21, 1851.                     No. 29.




Mail Routes Established.


... From Portland, via Vancouver, to the Dalles of the Columbia river... From Las Vegas to Santa Fe. From Santa Fe, via Ablein to Taos. From Sante Fe, to Salt Lake City.


From Great Salt Lake to Sanpete, via Utah Lake. From Great Salt Lake city, to Brownsville. From Great Salt Lake city, to Utah Lake, and Sand Pitch Valley... Approved, September 27, 1850.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, July 10, 1851.                     No. 44.


An intelligent gentleman from St. Joseph, Mo., informs the Cleveland Herald that

"There will be considerable overland emigration this season, mostly Mormons to Salt Lake valley, and families to Oregon. He estimates the Mormons who are preparing to leave Council Bluffs and vicinity, for Salt Lake, at ten thousand. The Latter Day Saints make Council Bluffs a sort of half-way house, in journeying towards the promised land, stopping over there and raising a crop, and then giving way to fresh hosts of Mormon converts from near and distant lands, of all persuasions, kindreds and tongues. The country around Council Bluffs is prairie and very fertile, and as the lands still belong to Government, and have not been put in market, the Saints take possession, and occupy where, and as long as they please. When about to emigrate further west, they dispose of their improvements to new comers at cheap rates, the motto among the brethren being to "live and let live."

Notes: (under construction)


Vol. I.                     Oregon City, Thursday, July 29, 1851.                     No. 47.

Latest News from the States.

The emigration across the Plains has commenced, but will be very small in comparison with that of last year. But two companies have started for California and the principal part of the emigration will be Mormons bound for the Salt Lake. The grass is abundant on the Plains, but the snow is reported to be very deep in the mountains beyond Fort Laramie...

Advices have been received from the Salt lake to the 8th April. The Mormons had sent out two new Colonies, one to the Lower End Basin, the other to Lower California. The General assembly of the Church for the State of Deseret have transferred all their power to the Territorial Government, and adjourned. The Salt Lake crops were promising....

Notes: (forthcoming)

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