Saturday, November 22, 2014

Strangers in a Strange Land - Immigration, 1860

Here is one more view of Mormon immigrants in Carson Valley from our correspondent to the San Francisco Herald, July 25, 1860:
Considerable number of immigrants have already arrived in this country from Salt Lake; but I regret that they are not generally of a class that we can welcome, being mostly Mormons, or apostate Mormons. As far as I have been able to observe in a three years’ residence in Utah, I see but little difference between the regular Mormon and the apostate; they are all, or nearly all, of the very lowest class of English, Welsh and Danes.
With a very few rascally Americans and Irish, I am sorry indeed to say that the wretches are far more numerous here now than they were when I first came here, and I can see no improvement whatever in their conduct or habits. The other evening there was a public meeting held in Genoa for the purpose of raising funds to build a Court House and jail. After this business was done an old reprobate commenced a sort of Mormon sermon, in which he said that he fully believed, or knew positively, that Brigham Young’s wheat increased in quantity and weight after it was harvested and stowed away in his granary. A bystander shrewdly suggested that it increased by Brigham’s pilferings from his neighbors; but the old fellow contended that faith alone was the cause of the unusual phenomenon.
The listing of English, Welsh, and Danes hits pretty close to my genetic make-up. But they weren't all from the lower classes. I don't suppose the inclusion of my French-Italian or my old and New Amsterdam Dutch would help much. Even leaving the Mormon faith is no help under this southerner's harsh judgments.

Interestingly enough, he compared Abraham Lincoln to an "African" in the same letter. The direct link is Hannibal, but the implication seems a little broader in his distaste for the future Great Emancipator.

Captain Simpson's Company arriving in Genoa, 1859.

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