1856 July 4 Oration


1856 July 4 Oration


Governor/Territorial Legislature

Date (allowed formats: yyyy, yyyy/mm, yyyy/mm/dd)


extracted text

By <his Excellency Brigham Young.> Governor B. Young July 4th 1856

Eighty years ago, on the day we now celebrate, our forefathers, few in number but strong in their united love of of the right, declared to the Mother country and <to> the world that they were, "and of right ought to be, free and independent." The oppression which hastened this declaration, the long strugle, <which followed,> the sacrifices, <endurance> and hardships which followed, and the glorious results are <too> so generally known that I need not task your patience by <ree> rehearsing them on this occasion. You are also aware that integrity, patriotism and an enlightened policy long marked the course of our Government. Our rulers studiously sought the best interests of the people, and they in turn sustained their rulers by yielding <by yielding> a cheerful obedience to wholesome laws. But through human weaknesses we <have> are now in a position well deserving the serious consideration of every lover of freedom. <For this which reasons> and to avoid reading what you have been annually accustomed to hear, the Constitution <has> of the United States has been read in lieu of the Declaration, that your minds may be more familiar with the powers granted in that inspired <docume>
Again, to avoid the repetition of what you have so often heard, the Constitution of the United States has been read in lieu of the Declaration. This course will also better <enable> prepare your minds for contrasting <political and principles now so much> <the conduct now in vogue,> many of the political movements of the day, with the guiding principles contained in that inspired governmental system <which> so worthy of our admiration and support, In a country so choice and extensive, <possessing a> occupied by a people so aspiring and dauntless, together blest with every facility for advancing the true interests of the human family, it must <surely> truly be a source of regrets that human weaknesses should mar so fair an opportunity for <th> the <highest earthly state> development of the highest <condition> degree of human government. But though in the midst of so many advantages, <and> possessed of so much unquestioned power and ability, and aloof from the tangling juxtaposition of powerful neighbors, still there is reason to fear that the ship of State <has reached> in fast verging to those narrow circles which border <an> an engulphing vortex
For a like reason the Constitution
That our past history and present condition <in the remembrances of> By Glancing at the past, perhaps we as a people have more <cause to more> reason to <to> respect, honor, & love and cherish the Government of the United States, her Constitution, and free Institutions, than any other people upon the face of the earth. <and I might say with equal Propriety, less cause to respect and honor the Governors rulers and administrators of that Government who have been and are entrusted with the administration of thereof We have We owe our existence as a people> but it is lamentable that professed statesmen should so far deviate from wise and correct principles of republican government, as to fail of being entitled to that respect and confidence which <should> ought to be deserved by those entrusted with its administration, In this connection permit the <enquiries> reflection as to what favorable <circumstances are> action we are indebted for our existence as a people; to what <fortunate> casual circumstance can <we> be attributed the asesemblage of this vast concourse, <of People in this isolated spot to> for the purpose of celebrating <this auspicious> the anniversary of <this auspicious> so memorable a day upon this isolated spot where but nine years <ago> past solitude reigned unbroken, save my the music of the elements, the <howlings> cries of wild beasts, and the untutored sounds of the still more savage red men. <supreme> What <has> cause has awakened to life and civilisation <and> improvement these desert plains, these barren wastes? <Can we live> We exist and are sustained by the protecting power of Almighty God, <in> amid the constant and fierce oposition of those who seem unwilling to recognize his right to rule upon this planet of his own creation. <never ending hue and ery of the>
We live <then independent of your favors> through the blessing of the Almighty, and by his blessings and have nourished and sustained ourselves; <We> we are willing to continue so to do. <so we ask no odds nor favors save to be let alone.> We came here to <get rid of> be free from oppression and mobocracy, and we do not wish such characters <do not want you> to follow us or to tarry in our mmidst, But we say to all <gentlemen citizen and people of the world> lovers of <truth> freedom, virtue and good order in every land, you are welcome, <here but we expect that> for you will respect our rights, our laws, and the ligitimate obligations of <society will be respected> our Republicn Governmente.
We know how to repel <th> aggravated insolence, <of Or> how to tear off the mask off hypocricy <and> <to> and expose the imbecility and corruption <which> preying upon the vitals of the body politic and how to <or> thwart the <coughigat> deadly malice aimed to destroy us, our free institutions, <either by anonomyomous letter writers secret enemies> <through> whether emanating from <within> secret enemies in our midst, of from foes without. Jesus said, He that is not for me is against me; he that <scathereth> not with me scattereth abroad.
We are occupying a region well known <to be> as being peculiarly undesirable, and one hitherto unsettled by the whites since the last discovery of America. We are almost a thousand miles from the nearest seaport. We are hemed in by lofty mountains on nearly every side, while numerous isolated ranges and barren, arid plains so crowd our surface that but a small <a> portion is at all suited to the purposes of settlement. In even those narrow localities ditches and canals have to be made by much labor, in order to irrigate a soil whereon rain seldom falls from early spring until October. And when all has been done, that as yet could be, towards supplying the thirsty cropps, the husbandman is oft comeled to witness the products of his toil droop and die ere maturity, through the failure <failure drying up> of the few small streams <as yet> so laboriously brought under control. Grass <and> hoppers and other insects swarm in myriads to devour what may have escaped the drouth, and the severe storms of winter <destroy the animals> complete the destruction of animals struggling to subsist upon herbage which has been so effectually cut off. But amid all these disadvantages, unendurable by any other people, we are still striving to extend the area of freedom, and to gladden the most
uninviting domain of a great nation with the blessings and privileges of her free institutions.
It is obvious that no person comes here because he prefers this country. None but sinister or pecuniary motives can promt those who are not of us to abide in our midst. All other localities have more tempting<ly inducements> facilities for the pursuits of the agriculturist, the artizan, the <politician> trader and, more especially, the lawyer and politician.
<This> If the People should leave these sequestered Vales. they would soon <again> revert to their <original> former waste condition; <The reign of> silence would again assert her supremacy. The country <simply> suits us merely because no other well informed people <are> can covet <envy us in the> us its possession <of it> If they do <it is because> it is because they grudge <envy> us an existence upon every point of God's footstool. There is nothing here except produced by the most arduous toil, and that often unrequited, to tempt <naturally to tempt> the or cupidity of any reasonable creature. Why then should we be followed up by Governent troops and hucksters, whose <only> aim can only be to annoy <us> and make merchandise of us?
<Why then should> It is useless, therefore, for official cliques, who never <shave more interest> have <be> indentified their interests with <us> the welfare of this Territory, and who never intend to, <their interests in the Territory> to seek to dictate, govern and instruct us? Why should the Federal Government <subject> still thrust upon us <such> opportunists, <who are every way predjucided to our interests, who are> known to be unsolicited and unsought upon our part <by the people of the Territory> of <such> persons <as> who feel no interest <whatever> in <the> our prosperity <of the Territory> but who would much rather see us languish and come to nought?
When has the world ever neglected to use an opportunity to use an influence against us for our overthrow. When have they failed to pick up every line or <thread> word they could find against us and publish it to injure us. What more could have been said against us than has been said and what <could> more could have been done than has been to distroy us as a people from the face of the earth. I answer <noth> at no time or place
have either individuals or Governments failed to use every item of advantage which they could obtain & control against us. I answer that they have even sought occasions and acted upon misrepresentations and false lying slanders to effect our overthrow --and to day there are those probably listening to my remarks only and solely to see if they can <cath> catch at anything which they can distort and use to our discomfort and disadvantage.
In view of these facts <it> we fondly anticipate the day when, in accordance with the <of> spirit and intent of our republican Government, we shall be <privileged> blest with the full enjoyment of our rights, and the <full> privilege of electing officers of our own choice, and be freed from the imposition of <those <officers> known to be unsolicited and unsought <fu> upon our part, and who feel no interest in our prosperity, but <much> would much rather see us languish and come to naught.
Statism should consider that a free people may be gouded to desperation, and that intelligent beings are easier led than driven. It is the act of Tyranical Goverments to stablish a system of appointments and military rule, <it was one of> <and> which were among the causes hastening <of the which led to> the Declaration of the Independence of these United States. Let not the Federal Government <not> presume upon the same suicidal policy, but rather, by taking an <course of conciliation> honorable, just, and upright course, conciliate the people and extend to them <unto them> this rich blessings of a free government. <man may be a Governor but not a father> Men may succeed in <being> attaining office and power, and rule with a rod of iron, instead of being <as> fathers to <his> the people. <Let them be as fathers them and yield unto the People if> This should not be, for rulers ought to be as <kind as> fathers in egard to <of> the welfare of the <governed> community, and be careful to grant, and guard every <unto them their> rights, If they <wish> expect or desire to have a dutiful <children> law abiding society. <subjects.>
Let it ever be remembered that ours is a Government long cherished as <th> an asylum <of> for the opressed, to whose borders were invited the poor and down-trodden <races> races <of Men> from under every clime, from every nation. Here they could bask in the sunshine of liberty, and be protected in their natural rights. <Let this ever be the motto of all who come here, and of those who may hereafter until a> <The wide spread prairy and untiled> The broad praries and uncultivated riches beconed them to come and inhabit, and draw sustenance from her prolific bosom.
<Unfortunate> Painful indeed is the reflections that, while <yet> nature yet smiles and showers her bounties upon a domain so favored and extensive, <upon them wil it yet sh the sun she> it has the sun, the rain, the dew to gladden, <to> cheer, <and wa> warm nourish & and invigorate, while yet vast solitudes yearn for the peaceful hand of civilized cultivation, <that see strife> <That yet> while the nature's whiten every and <her own> high heaven smiles upon her rapid progress still over all is to a destiny yet unfulfilled, to a greatness and ower unknown, save to that supreme Being who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, <it is, I say a painful reflection that> a Nation in the enjoyments of all those <blessings> and a thousand other blessings, blest with <a> liberty and a full fruition of the benefits <of> with a Republican from of Government, for a <heri> which has come down to us <sealed> an invaluable legacy sealed with the<ir> blood of our Fathers and cemented by thousands of tender recollections, with the lives of kindred and the <gra> yet green of an honored and patriotic ancestry around us, whose counsels and examples are still fresh in our memories, <that we> should so soon forget <that> to be brethren of our grand Confederacy, and seek to sill each others blood.
How long, suppose ye, will the Great Ruler of our destinies hold <us> the nation as in the hollow of his hand, while the crimson law of unnatural and fatircidal butchery floods the land and <ere> arrises in a smoking incense, as a most damning testimony against it? Where shall we look in this our day for those great and enobling deeds <which are deathless to forces,> whose memory will never die, and which in times past have adorned the pathway of our illustrious sires? Not in the west, where the Spaniard, the Chilian, the Chineman and the Indian may be shot down like the prowling wolves and where murder at high noon comes an<d> unbidden <yet> though not an unwelcome geust. Not in Kansas, where should be brethren are hastening to cut each others' throats. Nor <M> yet in Misouri, where <Mobocracy rules and the and within her holds away eer with with her thousands with her> cloven- footed and hydro-headed Mobocracy holds her fearful <away> regin. Let the diminished greatness of her thirty years leaders, expounders, and exponents, be a lesson to her would be great Men <to not do as he has done> not to follow in footsteps that fall so low; not to exercise an influence to destroy the innocent, nor lend powerful aid to screw <those who> the society who break, abrogate. <thwart> and set at defiance all law and order, <which neither their> with a view to carry out their own <nefarious> wicked, selfish, and sisloyal purposes. X 1 (see next page)
Here let us pause, <upon> and consider the true principles of a Republican Government. It is and can be based only in a high tone <of> and sense of honer, liberal <views> enlightened, inteligent and extended views of human<ity> existence and progress, and a faithful, unyielding, ridgid and patriotic adherence to the Constitution and laws of the Country. The least departure from these principles, the least disregard to law, manifested and exercised by the people in their sovereing capacity, and we have the worst of all <Governments> Despotism, a hundred, a thousand Tyrants instead of one. Public security fails, and there remains <there is> no safety <security> for life, liberty, or the pursuits of happiness; anarchy, confusion, <and> infuriated and maddened excitements rule supreme.
Not in Washington, where the bludgeon, the Deadly missile, <is th> and revoler disgrace the hands of so called Honorable Members, not only of the more popular branch but also of that <grave> high, grave, and dignified body, the Senate of the United States, <and of a thousand lesser ills of such common occurence as scarcely to attract a passing notice Who shall When> Not where sordid ambition, political knavery, swindling, and Government stock-jobbing have grown green in session, and where the cesspool of political pollution <receiving> sends forth its foul streams to stench and corrupt the fairest domain, the richest heritage, ever vouchsafed to man.
Who shall cleanse the Augean stables? Who shall go in with the scourge of small cords, <and drive out> upset the tables of the money changers, and <dri> clear the Temple of those characters who are gambling away our freedom? Is there still left with the people virtue and power sufficient <with the people> to dry up their scource of foul corruption, and will they do it? Or will they contribute <other> to <still more> still swell the streamms, until it shall <flood> overwhelm and subvert the liberties of our country?
I ask <in all sincerity of> the people of this great Republic, in all sincerity, <can> these questions, Can you see that the country is fast verging into this vortex of anarchy and confusion, in consequence of a disregard of <law and> the obligations of society in the support of the laws and Constitution? Can you realise a departure from true devotion and strict adherence to the principles of our Governent and her free institution;s, the land-marks of the fathers, and discern where it commenced and where it will most likely end? Our Government <&> and institutions, her constitution & laws, admit of no private interpretation, but must be taken <in their own> administered, observed and sustained in their most obvious meaning and general sense, and this should be done by all. <the people> Neither partisan <from> nor private feeling, <or so neither> nor sectional strife and contentions, should <ever> be permitted to thwart the <pr> enlightened and concervative policy of the Government. <her undertakings should while> at the same time <her> that policy should be just and liberal, and commensurate with the <great> laudable desires of a great and mighty people. <The Constitution provides that Justice shall be administered speedily publicly and impartially> Let her <Pe act> plans be taken, not to subserve party purposes for private emoluments, but for the public good.
<While the> Comingling not in domestic feuds, or foreign influences, let her steadily progress in the march of improvement <&> and patroising and in the arts and sciences; <extending the> and corresponding with a great and pacific policy, open <up> and extend channels of trade & commerce, and <pro> provide with a liberal hand for the development of her vast internal resources, by <extending> affording to her most distant states and Territories <Rail Road, conveyances> railroad facilities, and telegrahs, and such other useful and important <aid> helps as shall be conducive to the public interests. Let her millions of broad acres, now lying waste and useless, be given to the <poor> needy for cultivation and use. Let the poor Indians be taught the arts of civilization, and be learned to draw their sustenance from the and sure rescources of Mother Earth, and to follow the peaceful avocations of the tiller of the soil, raising stock & for a sustsitence, instead of pursuing the uncertain of war and game for a livelihood.
I <say again> have often said, & repeat it now, Let <the a pacific policy re> them be surrounded by a peaceful and frienly influence <be extended around them> and a human and benevelant policy. <in extending unto them>
Thus <shall> will they be redeemed from their low estate. and advanced in the scale of intelectual existance, and this Government & her citizens be redeemed from the curse of having wasted and destroyed them from the face of the earth.
These <my> are a few of the <items> topics which, in my humble opinion, should engage the attention of the Government, in order to ensure <peace> <respect abroad respect> peace <respect> and confidence at home, and respect abroad. Justice, justice, pure and clear as the noon day sun, should characterize her every act at home and abroad, & prompt and energetic redress of grievances <by should are> should be concluded. Virtue and Integrity should characterize her Officers and rulers, and when a good, wise, and pure minded man is found in the chair of State, let him be returned so long as he is willing to serve his country, regardless <to the> of party clamor or past usage. <of the government> Men of large <&> and comprehensive minds, who have <from and> proved themselves <pure from patron> capable, pure, and patriotic, are what we need, and when we get such, nomatter <from> in what party they are found, we should keep them in office for the good of the country, and cease this sensless twade
about rotation in office, and to the victors belong the spoils, for the arguments of <the> demagouges, who make<s> merchandise of <the> their country's situation for self-agrandisement.
A pure Patriot is willing to serve his country without <no> reward, or compensation, save the affection of a grateful people. Salaries should be <established, in order> abated in a great measure, to prevent office seeking and preserve purity at the ballot box.
A republican Government, such as ours purports to be, is capable of receiving and giving land to the inhabitants of half the world, with soil enough to sustain them, and of drawing from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and binding them together in one common brotherhood, as were the hearts of David & jonathan.
When you see discord and strife engendered in your midst, then know that the principles of Justice and good government are perverted for all of every degree, high and low, <pres> rich and poor, should be protected in <all> the <enjom> full and <complete> complete enjoyment of all the liberties, rights, and privileges which they have received from the hand of their Creator, subject only, in the formation of society, to one restriction, viz:-- which is, not to infringe upon the rights of each other.
While, therefore, we cheer the constitution, & celebrate the birthday of our National freedom, let us remember that the perpetuity of our free institutions, yea, of the Constitution and government itself, depends upon the intelligence, virtue, integrity, & <and> patriotism of the people, in the selection of such men for office as will sustain and uphold <such> these principples, and not subvert them, and in establishing to all, with <in> due courtesy to <all> each other, <to all> their native, their inalienable rights, among which are "life, Liberty, and the pursuit <to> of happiness."

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