170 years ago today - Jul 15, 1852
The NEW YORK HERALD publishes a letter from W. W. Phelps: "The constitution has no power over religion, neither has Utah's Congress.- The federal authorities have no control over morality-that belongs to the good old book, the word of the Lord." Utah's appointed representative in Congress, John M. Bernhisel, is incensed at Phelps's letter. He writes Brigham Young on Aug 14, that conditions for statehood were improving "until this inconsiderate and untimely letter made its appearance, reviving former prejudices and adding fresh fuel to the fire which had burned so furiously for several months. . . . so far as considering us a religious people, very many here and elsewhere, regard us among the most immoral and licentious beings on the face of the globe.- I therefore beg, entreat and implore Judge Phelps, as an elder brother, to write no more letters nor dialogues on this subject, upon which the nation is so sensitive."