The New York Evening Express of 20 February 1887 editorialized on the Edmunds-Tucker bill, passed by the U.S. Senate only the day before, and the widely touted view that this bill would finally put the last nail in the coffin of Mormonism:
According to the Washington correspondents Mormonism is to be killed forthwith, by act of Congress; in fact it may be said to be already dead, from the effects of the Edmunds-Tucker bill in the Senate yesterday. Mormonism has been so often killed before by act of Congress that it seems to thrive on fatal blows.
But Mormonism was killed in a similar manner even before Congress commenced the massacre. It was killed under Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, in the ’40s, and it was totally exterminated when driven out of Florence into the desert under the leadership of Brigham Young. After that it was annihilated by the U.S. army under Albert Sidney Johns[t]on, and next the discovery of mines all around Utah was to kill off Mormonism by the process of constriction. Then the act of Congress, prohibiting bigamous marriages in the Territories, was applied with the usual result of anti-Mormon remedies. Following that Mormonism was to be knocked off the track by the Union Pacific railroad, but even after the completion of that great work it kept on in the old way, apparently unconscious of how dead it was.
The destruction of Mormonism by the partition of Utah among the other Territories was the next process for its obliteration from the political and physical map, but as that didn’t “pan out” satisfactorily, the Edmunds Commission was invented to do the business. Still Mormonism and Mormons kept kicking without paying any attention to their very dead condition, and now the Edmunds-Tucker conference bill kills them over again. In view of the number of times it has been killed, Mormonism seems to be one of the best wearing political corpses this country has ever produced.