150 years ago today - Mar 31, 1870
A large group of "citizens of Salt Lake City" approve a memorial to Congress: "We - are believers in the principle of plural marriage or polygamy," the petition declared, "not simply as an elevating social relationship and a preventive of many terrible evils which afflict our race, but as a principle revealed by god, underlying our every hope of eternal salvation and happiness in heaven." Encouraging the Senate to reject the Cullom Bill, the petitioners expressed the predicament they would be in should the bill become law. "It gives us no alternative but the cruel one of rejecting God's command and abjuring our religion, or disobeying the authority of a government we desire to honor and respect." The Cullom bill would bar believers in polygamy from serving on juries and would not allow polygamists to hold public office, voting, or becoming naturalized citizens. It passes the house but does not pass the Senate.