Magraw’s Philippic Against the Mormons

“When Buchanan requested his cabinet officers to gather correspondence justifying his policy toward Utah, the Secretary old State, old Lewis Cass, could locate only one document in his files, but it was a dandy. It came from W. M. F. Magraw, whose hatred of the Mormons had been heightened by loss of his mail contract to Hiram Kimball. At considerable length Magraw charged the Saints with crimes against the laws of the nation and humanity. According to his letter the Church had destroyed all non-Mormon courts in the Territory, thus leaving the Gentiles to the mercy of ‘a so-styled ecclesiastical organization, as despotic and damnable, as any ever to exist in any country.’ The result was violence and murder by ‘an organized band of bravos and assassins;’ ‘indiscriminate bloodshed, ┬árobbery and rapine’ at midnight or in full daylight.’ . . .

Like many anti-Mormons in these years, Magraw possessed an inenviable character. After the mail contract had been taken from him, he became superintendent of a crew constructing a federal road across the Plains, and while serving in that capacity he was guilty of shady practices, if not outright theft of government property.”