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REPORT

OF THE

UTAH COMMISSION.

CHICAGO, III., September 24, 1886. SIR: We respectfully submit a report of the operations of this commission during the past year, together with some observations on the present condition of Utah.

It is hardly necessary to set forth in detail our proceedings in relation to the execution of the law, as this would be substantially a repetition of what has been stated in our former reports. It is perhaps sufficient to say in general, that during the past year, as in the last and previous years, the law relating to the disfranchisement of polygamists and those living in unlawful cohabitation has been fully and successfully enforced.

All such persons, with very few, if any, exceptions, have been excluded from voting and holding office. During this period, as in the preceding year, criminal prosecutions for violations of the law of Congress have been numerous. A large number have been fined and imprisoned in the penitentiary for polygamy or unlawful cohabitation, chiefly for the latter offense.

It is reported and believed by many resident non-Mormons that during the last year a large number of polygamous marriages have taken place in the temples of Logan City and Saint George, located respectively in the extreme north and south parts of the Territory. We have not the means of verifying such reports, yet we have no doubt that a

considerable number of such marriages have been celebrated with the ó knowledge, approbation, and active co-operation of leading men of the

Mormon Church. Whether upon the whole polygamous marriages are on the decrease in Utah is a matter on which different opinions are expressed ; but undoubtedly many persons have been restrained by the fear of disfranchisement and the penitentiary, and we think it is safe to say that in the more enlightened portions of the Territory, as, for example, Salt Lake City and its vicinity, very few polygamous marriages have occurred within the last year, while, on the other hand, in the rural districts in some parts of the Territory we have reason to believe that such violations of the law are not infrequent.

By the law of Congress the duties of this Commission appertain to all elections-territorial, county, precinct, and municipal. The municipal elections occur under legislative provisions or local ordinances, at various times during the year; and at the proper time before the election in each city and town we are required to appoint the registration of. ficers, judges of election, &c. This work was begun early in the pres.

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CHICAGO, I11., September 24, 1886. Sir: We respectfully submit a report of the operations of this commission during the past year, together with some observations on the present condition of Utah.

It is hardly necessary to set forth in detail our proceedings in relation to the execution of the law, as this would be substantially a repetition of what has been stated in our former reports. It is perhaps sufficient to say in general, that during the past year, as in the last and previous years, the law relating to the disfranchisement of polygamists and those living in unlawful cohabitation has been fully and successfully enforced.

All such persons, with very few, if any, exceptions, have been excluded from voting and holding office. During this period, as in the preceding year, criminal prosecutions for violations of the law of Congress have been numerous. A large number have been fined and imprisoned in the penitentiary for polygamy or unlawful cohabitation, chiefly for the

It is reported and believed by many resident non-Mormons that during the last year a large number of polygamous marriages have taken place in the temples of Logan City and Saint George, located respectively in the extreme north and south parts of the Territory. We have not the means of verifying such reports, yet we have no doubt that a

considerable number of such marriages have been celebrated with the i knowledge, approbation, and active co-operation of leading men of the

Mormon Church. Whether upon the whole polygamous marriages are on the decrease in Utah is a matter on which different opinions are expressed; but undoubtedly many persons have been restrained by the fear of disfranchisement and the penitentiary, and we think it is safe to say that in the more enlightened portions of the Territory, as, for example, Salt Lake City and its vicinity, very few polygamous marriages have occurred within the last year, while, on the other hand, in the rural districts in some parts of the Territory we have reason to believe that such violations of the law are not infrequent. ·

By the law of Congress the duties of this Commission appertain to all elections-territorial, county, precinct, and municipal. The municipal elections occur under legislative provisions or local ordinances, at various times during the year; and at the proper time before the election in each city and town we are required to appoint the registration of. ficers, judges of election, &c. This work was begun early in the pres.

ent year. Besides, registration officers for each county and precinct were appointed to the number of about 280, and judges for the general election to the number of over 800 were selected and commissioned. These officers were chosen after diligent inquiry as to their fitness and qualifications.

Under the local law, as modified by the act of Congress, two revisions of the registration were made in the spring and summer, preparatory to the annual general election on August 2, at which time there were chosen three " commissioners to locate university lands," county sheriffs, clerks, probate judges, selectnen, assessors and collectors, prosecuting attorneys, treasurers, coroners, and various precinct officers, such as justices of the peace and constables.

A board of canvassers consisting of three non-llormous and two Mormous, intelligent and reputable gentlemen, appointed by this Commission, assembled in Salt Lake City and canvassed the election returns : and it appeared that all the candidates of the “ People’s” or Mormon party (except a few precinct oflicers) were elected, and certificates of election were given accordingly.

On January 11, 1886, the legislative Assembly of Utah met in Salt Lake City, and remained in session sixty days. A bill concerning reg. istrations and elections was passed by the two houses of the legislative assembly, but failed to become a law through the disapproval of the governor.

The effect of such bill would have been to return the registration and election machinery to the local agencies, from which they were taken by the act of Congress, and to restore to the mormon people the political power of the Territory, in derogation of the act of Congress referred to.

Since we submitted our last report, joint resolutions have been brought forward, and are now pending in both Ilouses of Congress, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting and punislıing polygamy in all the States, and in all places within the jurisdiction of the United States; extending the judicial power of the Fed. eral Government to the prosecution of such offenses, and conferring upon Congress the power to provide for their punishment. A bill which passed the Senate at the last session of Congress is now pending in the House, which, with the amendments proposed thereto by the Judiciary Committee of the House, furnishes a comprehensive plan for the treatment of public affairs in C tah. Bills have also been beretofore introduced into Congress proposing substantially to abrogate the local legislative authority in Utalı, and to substitute a legislative commissiou to be appointed by the President.

After the careful and deliberate consideration that has evidently been given by the Judiciary Committees of the two bouses of Congress to the recommendations of the President, the suggestions made through the reports of this Commission, which clearly appears trom the bill referred to, in which nearly all of our recommendations have been incorporated, we deem it unnecessary to press our views further at this time upon the same topics. But we consider it not improper or superfluous to make some observations in regard to the proposed constitutional amendment. While we are of the opinion that this should not supersede other meas. ures, we are satisfied that it would be an efficient factor in effectuating the desired result, namely, the abrogation of polygamy wherever it exists within the jurisdiction of the United States. In addition to the reasons so forcibly presented by the Judiciary Committee in their very able report accompanying the joint resolution, we would suggest that the incorporation of this provision in the Constitution of the United States

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