I can’t tell who was behind this burlesque petition sent to Brigham Young when yet another anti-polygamy bill was being debating by the U.S. Congress. I do think it’s rather a clever solution to several problems – don’t you?
To His Excellency
Governor B Young
Governor of Utah Territory
We the undersigned, comprising a large majority of the actual settlers of this Territory, would most respectfully represent to your Excellency,
That in view of the forthcoming Act of Congress, and priding ourselves on being a law abiding people, ever ready and willing to be sacrificed on the alter for our countrys good, and to yield obedience to the just laws of our glorious Head. And learning that we have (altho, ex post facto) laid ourselves liable to the penalties of the forth coming act aforesaid.
And having not even one wish or desire to paliate the crime we are (to be) guilty of. And being of too noble a nature to deny our acts,
Therefore to save the expense of law suits and Courts sitting to our noble Government
We and each of us, the undersigned, plead guilty under the forthcoming Act
And therefore, most humbly Petition your Excellency that in view of the immense expense of constructing a State Prison large enough to contain the guilty (under that act) estimated at this time at some 250,000,000 dollars, and would probably require the double by another year – we therefor pray, that Your Excellency will declare the Territory of Utah A Vast States Prison, whose walls are the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains and not yet roofed in. And that your Excellency will notify all persons Not guilty under that act to Vacate said State Prison forthwith or abide the consequences.
THE LATTER DAY SAINTS.