Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 3, 1888, Part II
Mr. Winchester to Mr. Bayard.
Berne, October 24, 1887. (Received November 7.)
Sir: Last May a very strong and exhaustive memorial was addressed by the direction of the police of Berne to the executive council of the canton concerning the organization and operation of Mormon agents in the canton, and suggesting the measures necessary to be taken for their effective suppression. The memorial has been referred to the federal council, and, although not yet published, a copy has been obtained and the translation herewith transmitted. It has been well known for years that the canton of Berne was the seat of Mormon propagandism in Switzerland, and the memorial based on official police investigation and sustained by the depositions of numerous witnesses shows the open public manner in which it is carried on, and discloses the disgraceful fact that its victims are largely children of very tender years and persons of feeble minds. The memorial further clearly proves that these Mormon emissaries are in every sense emigration agents, and the emigrants obtained by them are all destined for the United States. In all probability the appeal made by the memorial for “protection to their own people against the evil influences of the Mormon [Page 1501] propagandists” will cause the federal council to propose some additional legislation for its more effective prohibition. The federal council has denied the appeal of the Mormon Loosti, referred to in the memorial, condemned by the tribunal of Zofingen, and who invoked the guaranty of the liberty of conscience contained in the constitution.
I am, etc.,
Memorial from the direction of police of Berne to the executive council of the canton concerning the measures to be taken against the sect of Mormons.
The existence and the action of the sect of Mormons in the canton of Berne has many times been brought to the attention of the Government, and has formed the subject of several inquiries hitherto remaining without any conclusion. The last of them dated from last year. It had been provoked by a piece of advice from the parochial council of Nydeck, dated 7th of December, 1885, calling the attention of the prefect of Berne and of the town council to the dangers of the Mormon propaganda in the canton of Berne. The town council on its part had transmitted the same advice to the direction of the police the 13rh of January, 1886, begging it to take measures for stopping the propaganda, and putting an end to the scandal of the enrolling for Utah that is openly practiced.
The town council, with the parochial council of Nydeck, ascertained that the Mormons did not conceal their action any more, and announced openly their assemblies to which all friends of the truth were invited.” It is true that the complaint acknowledged that the conduct of the members of the sect did not give place to any complaint, and that taken individually they generally enjoyed an excellent reputation.
The inquiry brought forward the following facts: The Mormon mission at Berne has existed since 1849, hut for a long time previous to that date the sect strove to recruit itself in Switzerland. In 1885 there were 610 Mormons, divided in four conferences and twenty-one communities. The canton of Berne is their principal place of recruitment. They have founded there seven communities, which counted three hundred and thirty-six members last year. It seems that this number has increased since then, in consequence of the endeavors of the agents of the mission, which is directed by a bishop named Schonfeld, established at Berne since February 8, and who shall be soon replaced, the duration of the functions of a president being generally triennial. The expenses of the mission and its agents are covered by more or less voluntary contributions of the adherents, comprising the collections made at their assemblies and principally the tithe.
The latter is commanded by the Bible, but actually it is also a voluntary tax (deposition of Bishop Schonfeld). The members of the community pay into the hands of the “apostles” about 10 per cent, of their income. A special account is opened to them in the large book (ledger), and every three months an extract of it is delivered to them. (Deposition of Meier, carpenter.) Apart of this money is employed to cover the expenses of their voyage when they are decided to set out for “the new Zion.” Every year there is at Berne an assembly-general, which lasts several days, and in the course of which the new converts are baptized. It seems that the mission of Berne is the directorial committee of the propaganda in Europe, or at least on the continent. It publishes a monthly journal, The Star, the subscription to which is obligatory for all members of the sect.
At the end of 1885 the committee of Berne had the following effective force:
The mission has occupied since 1870 a particular locality at Berne, Post street, 36.
A search took place in this locality the 21st of May, 1886. Three members of the community were present. They made no resistance whatever, and delivered all documents that were in their possession and the list of the members. Likewise they furnished every information they were asked for in the course of the inquiry by the prefect of Berne and the direction of the police.
The information was especially bearing on the character of the emigration which is evidently the scope of the Mormon propaganda. Certain facts pointed to show that the emigration was organized in the locality of the Post street, and that the emigrants were assembled in convoys, in order to start for Utah, accompanied by special agents. So a man named Jacob Diehr, shoemaker, living in the next house, gave evidence that in spring the Mormons were sending children from five to fourteen years to America. He declared that he had seen them dispatch children to the number of twenty at once, and he indicated witnesses who could confirm his deposition. It is shown by the inquiry that these expeditions of children are really made at more or less regular intervals, although Diehr may have a little exaggerated their proportions. So M. Hauer, of Durrenroth, clerk of the mission, avowed that he had already sent to the Salt Lake three of his children seven, nine, and sixteen years old, and that he was decided to join them with his wife and his two other children. One of them, five and one-half years old, was to depart within a few days with the woman Friedli, of the Matte, who was about to emigrate with her son. He had sent the first children to Utah on the advice of the preachers Gass and Cannon. He acknowledged that every year the mission was dispatching children from Berne, with or without their parents. Besides he declared that he had good news from his children, that they were well placed, and that he re-imbursed by degrees the money that had been advanced to him for their voyage (deposition of the 14th of May, 1886). The woman Friedli confirmed the declaration of Hauer. She was ready to join her husband, already established in Utah, who had sent her the money for the voyage. According to her deposition, children are never dispatched without being accompanied by their parents or by agents relieved from their station and going back to their country. The members who are willing to emigrate pay the tithe until they have succeeded to gather the necessary sum, or they repay later the sums advanced to them for their emigration. Another witness stated that the Mormons prefer to dispatch children because their transport is cheaper than that of adult persons. Mr. Meier, carpenter, baptized in the Aar in 1879, acknowledges to have sent since then his four children to Utah. He had paid a part of the traveling expenses; the rest had been advanced by the chest of tithes.
A woman, Knörri, living in the same house with Diehr, declared also that one named Zahler, wood-cutter, had some years ago sent his three children to Utah, the youngest of them eleven years old, then his wife with two children, and at last he had rejoined them with his last child. The expedition of the children Hauer was also known to her.
The same witness states that the neighbors have not to complain of the assemblies of the Mormons which take place every evening at the Post street. These assemblies are frequented by people of both sexes; the boys seem particularly to be country people. The congregation prays and sings, but without molesting anybody. This is also confirmed by Mrs. Hofstetter, landlady of the house occupied by the Mormons. She declares herself satisfied with her lodgers. She herself shuts the door at 10 o’clock, and has never to complain of the Mormons, neither of their assemblies.
Bishop Schönfeld, president of the mission, endeavors in his deposition to present these expeditions of children in a favorable light. According to him the children are only sent to Utah when they have relations there to receive them. The mission does not occupy itself with the emigrations, but now and then missionaries sent for a certain time to Europe come back with the emigrants.
But several facts contradict this testimony. It is, namely, proved by a communication of the commission of police of Basle, dated 17th of June, 1886, that the Mormon emigrants are dispatched by the agencies Schneebeli & Co., of Basle, and Guyon & Co., of Antwerp, and that the missionaries are employed as intermediate agents, the emigrants’ agency never treating directly with the emigrants. As for the question of polygamy, the Mormons show themselves, of course, very much reserved. Of the American agents sojourning in Berne several acknowledge to have practiced it themselves. So Mr. Kung originally of Simmenthal declares that he is a bigamist since 1874, and that he feels well being so. Bishop Schonfield is polygamist since 1878; his families, as well as those of Kung, have remained at Salt Lake. But all are eager to sustain that polygamy is interdicted to the Mormons everywhere but in the promised land, where besides it is subordinated to the authorization of the first wife, and that it is forbidden to the missionaries to preach it. They are only authorized to speak of it to those who ask for explanation on this matter, and although justifying it by biblical citations, they teach the neophytes that their first duty is to obey in this matter the laws of the country they live in. The fervor of this sect is sustained by frequent [Page 1503] appeals of their apostles and priests and by the perusal of the journal of the mission, which every month publishes enthusiastic correspondences from Utah, calculated for inflaming the zeal of the believers who are not yet freed from the captivity of Babylon and for inspiring them with the wish to set off as soon as possible for the promised land. The propaganda of the journal is, besides, sustained by a special literature, which exclusively shall be the only reading of the Mormons. It contains first the Book Mormon, the fundamental book of the sect; then the book of doctrine and confederation, comprising the innumerable revelations of the prophet Joseph Smith; the Voice of Warning by Daniel Carn; the catechism for children; the book of songs, the Precious Pearl; the restitution of the original Gospel, the only true Gospel, a Word of Defense, etc. All these tracts are furnished by the house of the Post street, and the fact that all these books have already had numerous editions prove that they are a mighty auxiliary agent to the activity of the Mormon agents. Of all the communities spread over the canton of Berne one of the most curious is that of Gündlisch-wand,inthe Oberland. A report of the prefect of Interlaken, dated 8th of June, 1886, states this community then counted ten members. The sect had already been established about twenty-five years. Two brothers, Abegglen, were then converted and had set out for the “New Jerusalem.” They seem to have prospered, for one of them, Conrad Abegglen, on the 6th of March, 1884, wrote a letter to his relation, John Boss, carpenter and mayor of Gündlischwand, in which letter he praised the fertility and the institutions of the country of Sion. Boss, who is, besides, a very respectable man, was convinced, and established a new community. This does not extend further than ten members, who compose it. As soon as they shall have departed for Utah, the district of Interlaken will have no more Mormons. The baptisms take place in the Black Lütschinen and cause no scandal of any kind.
The Mormons of Gündli schwand frequent assiduously assemblies which take place at Allmendingen and at Beschten, in the district of Thoune, where the sect seems to find a favorable soil. The population is hostile to them and insults them in the streets and troubles their assemblies. They are of an exalted fanaticism, as one may judge from their answers to the interrogatories of the prefect. So the son of John Boss, eighteen years old, declares that he receives books and tracts from Berne but that he would not need them, for the whole Mormon doctrine is to be found in the Bible. His sister Elizabeth, forty-one years old, waits impatiently for the moment of departing for Utah. She has already realized all her property for this purpose. She has the intention to take with her to Sion her sister, who is dumb and deaf, haying the conviction that the prophet will cure her by only imposing his hands on her. She believes that polygamy is conformable to biblical teaching. This is also the opinion of Margarita Lauener, twenty years old, who assists on the first and third Sunday of every month the assemblies of Allmendingen. She assures that polygamy does not frighten her because every one is master of his person. The community of Gündlischwand contains also a family Wyss, whose husband has been expelled the first time for not having the necessary qualities, his profession as cook obliging him to ramble about the world, but he will re-enter the church because it is a good cause. His wife entered the sect in 1885. She was baptized in September, 1885, at 8 o’clock in the evening, in the Lütschinen by the missionary John Kung, together with her daughter Anna, fifteen years old, and Margarita Lauener. The baptism is performed by immersion in presence of the witnesses. After that the neophyte goes home for changing his dress, and then to the assembly of edification where the elders impose hands on him. All members pay 10 per cent, of their income into the treasury of the community.
The Mormons of the environs of Langnau have their meetings every Sunday at Eyschachen in the house of a certain Nicolas Egli, farmer, who presides in the absence of the preacher, John Stucki, recently come back from Utah to make new recruits. According to the report of the policeman Spring, who assisted at the meeting of the 26th of September by the order of the direction of police, these meetings are frequented by thirteen persons of the environs, two farmers with their wives and children, a shoemaker, a laborer, a man servant and three female servants.
There is also a certain number of Mormon families at Scherli. The mayor, Kohler, is the chief of the community. He has accompanied a convoy of emigrants who left for Utah the 17th of May, 1886. The communal council of Köintz ascertains that there was never any complaint against them.
In the Simmenthal their number has considerably diminished according to a report of the prefect of the 10th of November, 1886. There are no more Mormons at Därstetten, neither at Oberwyl, which has furnished an apostle to the sect in the person of the teacher Spori, now at Constantinople. Some Mormon families established at Stocken emigrated in May, 1886, with those of Gündlischwand, to the great satisfaction of the whole country. Meetings organized at Diemtigen were not followed by any success, which is to be attributed especially to the unfavorable news received from a tailor named Hinnen, who a short time before had departed for Utah. There are still two families of Mormons at Erlenbach; they are composed of twelve persons in the whole. The meetings take place at Ringoldingen; they are commonly frequented [Page 1504] by about ten persons and presided over by Stucki, Schönfeld, or one of the brothers Kung, of Diemtigen. All these people are ready for emigration to Salt Lake.
The meetings of Aeschlen and Allmendingen, in the district of Thoune, seem to be little frequented. At Aeschlen there is but one Mormon family waiting for a favorable occasion for emigrating. At Allmendingen the meetings have taken place since 1883 at the house of an individual of bad repute named Beutler, but excepting the persons of his family they are only composed of persons not belonging to the place. The direction of the police has received no information concerning the other communities of the canton of Berne. In November, 1886, the public press called attention to meetings of Mormons at Wangen, but in reality they were religious meetings directed by a Baptist preacher named Gottleib Körber, who came back from America, whither he had gone in 1846. This sect has nothing in common with the Mormons but the baptism of adult persons by immersion. It does not seem that Mormonism has other adherents in the canton of Berne but the members of the communities whose enumeration we have drawn from the official organ of the sect.
At the same time the Government was informed of the revival of the Mormon agitation and the enrollments for Utah, it received through the federal department of commerce a document that threw a sad light on the situation of the Swiss people established in the Mormon country. The representative of a foreign state at Salt Lake wrote the following to the Swiss consul at San Francisco:
“The Mormon missionaries take yearly to this place about one hundred persons who enjoying an honorable and honest ease in Switzerland, are obliged to undergo here all the torture of poverty, after the Mormons have shorn them to the hide, leaving them nothing but their eyes to weep. I had to occupy myself with several cases, the recital of which would split the heart of a tiger, but was not able to move the stone which the Mormons carry in the place of their heart.”
This communication, which was published and commented on by the whole Swiss press, was answered by the Mormon agents. They transmitted to the Federal Council three protestations covered with about two hundred and fifty signatures of Swiss emigrants of both sexes, established at Utah (Salt Lake City, Payson City, and Logan). The subscribers of these addresses declared that the facts denounced to the Swiss consul at San Francisco were imaginary, and that far from being taken advantage of by the missionaries, the Swiss emigrants, on the contrary, found on their arrival a good reception and a hearty assistance by the members of the Church of the Saints.
This representation had evidently been produced by a public appeal in the Deseret News of 1st of June, 1886, which overflows with complaint against the correspondent of the Swiss consul at San Francisco and called upon the Swiss established at Utah to give the lie to these assertions. This appeal, reproduced by the Star, 1st July, 1886, is characterized by the style used by the Mormon literature. It is to be regretted, at all events, that the signers of the protest sent to the Federal Council were not able to have their signatures certified to by a proper official.
However it maybe, these protests did not seem conclusive to the direction of police, and they believed it their duty to publish an official advice in the public papers in order to dissuade from emigration all those who might be seduced by the tricks of the Mormon agents. At the same time they asked the Federal Council to furnish them the American laws against polygamy in-order to complete the elements of the inquiry going on. Among the documents that were transmitted in answer, the most important was the act of Congress of 22d of March, 1882 (Edmunds law), and the proclamation of the governor of Utah, dated 16th July, 1886.
The Edmunds law pronounces severe penalties against polygamy and denies to polygamists the exercise of the civil rights. It places the Territory of Utah under the charge, legislative and administrative, of the Union, and enacts energetic means for the enforcement of the Federal laws. The execution of this law was vigorously conducted and lately its provisions were re-enforced by a resolution of the Senate, the text of which we have not yet received.
The proclamation of Mr. Caleb W. West, governor of Utah, dated 16th July, 1886, reminds the Mormons of the severe penalties against polygamy; and to avert from emigration all the foreigners who might be seduced by the propaganda of the missionaries the governor states. “that the principal chiefs of the congregation are hiding, that several of the principal members, apostles, bishops, and preachers, are imprisoned for having transgressed the law, and that the tribunals are overtasked by the great number of transgressions.”
Two other Territories where Mormons are established in great numbers (Wyoming and Idaho) have likewise promulgated prohibitive laws against this sect. The execution of them will be easier than in Utah, because the legislature is not ruled there by a majority devoted to Mormonism. The vigorous measures taken against them in America do not at all slacken the zeal of the Mormon agents in Europe, and especially in Switzerland. Lately several rather frequented congregations were called to our attention; the propaganda seems to be exercised more actively than in the past. The number of the missionaries has augumented; among others the apostle Spori is said to [Page 1505] have returned to Berne from Constantinople, where he commonly resides, and from which place he sent the 18th of May, 1886, to the Government a long memorial for the defense of his co-religionists. The presence of I. N. Stucki, too, is communicated to us. This man was formerly well known as one of the most ardent propagators of the Mormon gospel. So the moment is come for the executive council to take definite resolutions concerning this sect. Shall it grow and develop itself under the shelter of liberty of conscience, or shall it be considered as a mischievous association from which it is the right and the duty to deliver the country? This is the question the solution of which can no more be evaded.
This question preoccupies the federal authorities, too, for the federal department of justice and police has taken the opportunity of a recourse addressed to them by a Mormon asking the Government to communicate the measures which the canton of Berne has taken or will take against Mormonism. This request from the department implies that the federal authorities will provide measures when their intervention will be necessary. This recourse, actually pending before the Federal Council, comes from a Mormon missionary named Loosli, of Wyssackengraben. He was condemned by the tribunal of the district of Zofingen to a fine of 100 francs or twenty-five days of imprisonment (beyond seventeen days of preventive prison) and to perpetual banishment from the canton of Argovie for having preached the Mormon doctrine, polygamy included, at Niederwyl (Argovie).
The federal tribunal has already decided that the Mormons can be pursued either for violation of the emigration laws or for the immorality of their doctrine, but that in this case it is a matter for the political authorities to decide if it comes within the principle of the liberty of conscience and belief warranted by article 49 of the federal constitution.
It can not be seriously contested that the Mormon missionaries are indeed agents of emigration, although they do not directly dispatch the emigrant and intervene personally in the conclusion of the contracts. The whole Mormon propaganda tends to sending the adherents to Utah or to the neighboring Territories on which the chiefs of the sect have already thrown their regards. The whole Mormon doctrine concentrates itself in the union of the “saints” in the promised land. The missionaries acknowledge, moreover, that they forward the funds necessary for the transport of the emigrants, and that the lattei re-imburse this advance with their savings, and that the chest of tithe centralizes the resources destined for emigration purposes as well as for the wants of the mission.
It results also from the declaration of the police commission of Basle that the missionaries serve as intermediaries to the agencies of Basle and Antwerp, and that these never directly treat with the emigrant. Besides the incontestable demonstration of this state of things the same conclusion results from the fact that all adherents recruited by the missionaries in the canton of Berne have expatriated themselves. Those who remain are either agents come back for the recruitment, or neophytes waiting for the moment of emigration. The Mormon mission at Berne is not and can not be anything else but an emigration business.
In view of the above-mentioned circumstances the Mormon propaganda is a flagrant and permanent infraction of the provisions of article 15 of the federal law, dated 24th December, 1880, concerning emigration, and it must be a duty of the Government to invite the attention of the federal council who are charged to execute this law.
It seems also that the Mormons are of the class of emigrants whose emigration is forbidden to the agents following article 10, number 4 of the law of 24th of December, 1880, for all opinions concur that the United States are interdicting the immigration of the members of the sect. However, the documents that have been communicated to us are not explicit enough in this respect, and there is desired for further information:
Proclamation of the governor of Utah, dated 16th July, 1886: “I warn all well-disposed persons from associating themselves with any person or organizations for the purpose of emigrating to this Territory.”
Still it is not to be supposed that the Government of the United States will mitigate the rigor of the measures which it has been necessary to take against Mormonism. Besides that, the “Church of the Saints,” if nothing impedes its development, would come to constitute a state in the state, and that by its constitution itself it must fatally enter into a conflict with the public authorities, which it can not absorb, it is certain that the Mormon doctrine must be considered as immoral as long as polygamy is considered wrong, for with the Mormons polygamy is not only an institution permitted, but it is dogma which they are taught to observe. One of the numerous tracts spread in the canton of Berne declares:
“It is an error to attack polygamy as immoral when the Holy Scriptures not only does not qualify it as such, but, on the contrary, authorize and prescribe it as a law. We think to be right to believe in the whole Bible and not to commit any immorality by denouncing the dogmas which it teaches.”[Page 1506]
So polygamy is the foundation of their doctrine, in Europe as well as in America, and we can not satisfy ourselves with their affirmation that this principle is only to be applied to the “saints” of Utah and that they interdict polygamy to those not living in the Territory, for by the fact that they recruit in Switzerland emigrants for Utah, declaring to them that they will be able to practice polygamy on their arrival in the “promised land,” they put themselves in opposition to the American laws which interdict it, and the Swiss authorities would become their accomplices by suffering indefinitely their propaganda.
Besides, it is difficult to take seriously this distinction of polygamy, permitted on the other side of the ocean and interdicted on this side. One of their preachers, named Vaterlaus, declared in their conference of the 19th of December, 1&85, in the Emmenthaler Hof, “We are resolved to observe all the laws of the countries we live in as far as they are not in opposition to the commandments of God” (Star, 15th of January, 1886, p. 20). As polygamy is a part of these commandments the rule of conduct of Mr. Vaterlaus may go far. At all events the Mormon agents look above all for recruiting women in our country. The last report of the town council states that they address themselves in preference to poor families that have many daughters, and that they choose especially weak-minded girls (report of Mr. Ochsenbein, pastor, p. 77). There is no doubt that with respect to them Bishop Schönfeld, in the conference above mentioned, declared that “woman has an important place in the church. She has all rights, even that of convoking meetings. Utah is one of the few Territories of the United States where women have the right to vote. We do not consider the woman as a slave, but as a help-mate, and we know that in eternity no man may appear before God without a wife and no woman without a husband.” (Star, 15th of January, p. 22.)
The information reaching Europe concerning the fate of emigrants to Utah is quite contradictory, and it can not be otherwise. This society, completely secret, can not be penetrated by outsiders, and these can only inform us of incidents more or less characteristic which they have been able to observe. Whilst, therefore, the communications addressed to the federal council represent the existence of the emigrants to Utah as a moral bagnio wherefrom the greatest part wish to be delivered, other witnesses, whose impartiality seems to be incontestable, give quite contrary information. There has been heard among others during the inquiry Mr. D. Balmer, of Berne, who has visited the Territory of the saints and who admires the results obtained by the Mormons. To believe him, Utah is a model country, where drunkenness, debauchery, game-houses, etc., are unknown.
Perhaps these different statements are not quite irreconcilable. The strict discipline imposed by the sect on their adherents was no doubt able to produce a moderation at least in their exterior habits, and most of the emigrants did not wait for their arrival in America in order to contract the habit of labor and sobriety. But it is most probable that these poor people are victims of misrepresentation, the more refined as it takes the mask of public and religious interest, and are too narrow-minded and too blinded by fanaticism to perceive it. Some of the most intelligent accommodate themselves with this discipline, in which intrigue and ambition of course are finding wide room, or satisfying themselves, these ones take their part of the cake under the title of bishops, priests, and apostles, etc. The great mass feed the chest of tithe to win their salvation.
In order to increase the number of these deluded people, the Mormon agents dispatch every year for Utah a number of our country people.
The Government can not always remain indifferent to these facts. The warnings last year published by the direction of police are insufficient. They have rather furnished to the Mormon agents a topic which they missed till then—that of persecution—and their propaganda has only become the more active.
Half measures will not at all stop it. Either we must consider Mormonism to be a sect like all others, and allow it full liberty to develop itself, or we must loudly declare that we will extirpate it out of the country, and in this case decide to take really efficacious measures.
In our opinion there are only two:
- To refuse or withdraw the permission of establishment to every member of a foreign state who we are convinced is a Mormon agent or belongs to this sect.
- To interdict in an absolute manner, under heavy penalties provided in article 6 of the law of 3d October, 1875, every reunion or meeting wherein the doctrine of the Mormons will be preached or practiced, or wherein propaganda in favor of this sect will be undertaken.
The expulsion of the foreign agents would only aim at a few American citizens, and the United States would have the less motive to complain, as their country people affected by these measures abusing the Swiss hospitality are recommending and encouraging the violation of the laws of their own country.
As for the interdiction of the Mormon doctrine, it is justified by the fact that the dogma of polygamy being an essential part of the Mormon doctrine, the latter must [Page 1507] be considered as immoral and those who teach it committing an infraction of article 6 of the above-mentioned law. This article authorizes the police to dissolve the assemblies or meetings of religious communities in which there would be anything contrary to morals, and punishes the offenders by a fine of 200 francs or an imprisonment of sixty days. These measures would no doubt have the result to force the disappearance of Mormonism from our territory as soon as the members of the now existing communities would have emigrated to Utah.
This result would only be acquired in a provisional and precarious manner if the dissolved communities were allowed to reform themselves on the limits of the canton. The measure of prohibition ought, therefore, to be general and common to all Swiss cantons. But several of them having no interest whatever in this question, it is impossible to think of regulating the business by a concordat, and there is no other way possible but by applying to the federal council and asking it to make use against the sect of the Mormons of the power conferred by articles 50 (2) and 102 (16), or perhaps to enforce against their sect the interdiction provided in article 51 (Al. 2) of the federal constitution.
We are convinced that it will be sufficient to direct the attention of the federal council to the progress and dangers of Mormonism in order to bring about a general inquiry concerning the intrigues of the Mormon agents in Switzerland and to provide for the interdiction of this so-named doctrine in the whole Confederation.
Therefore, the direction of police has the honor to beg the federal council to order an inquiry concerning the actions of the Mormon agents in Switzerland and to take, with respect to this sect, the measures that will be found necessary for the public interest.
Accept, gentlemen, the assurance of our high consideration.
The Director of Police.