Tuesday, December 29, 2015

As It Was: Porter Rockwell and the Miner's Wife

My paternal grandfather (good Mormon in a long line of Mormons descended from the earliest pioneers) told me the story of how Porter Rockwell (Brigham Young's 'enforcer') was sent to 'dispose' of a Mormon miner on the eastern side of the Salt Lake Valley.  The miner had a very attractive wife and Brigham had a 'gleam in his eye' for her which had been noticed by a friend of the miner. Once the miner was made aware of this, he began spending the nights in his mine above the house with a cache of supplies.

If you're very familiar with early Mormon history, you know what he suspected.  And the proof came bright and early one morning when Porter Rockwell came riding up to the house before breakfast.  He knocked on the door. Meanwhile, the miner kept his rifle trained on him from the dark mouth of the mine.

Once Porter was informed of the miner's whereabouts, he discretely remounted and left. He realized that Brigham's designs were known and that he was an easy target.  Though the miner spent more days and nights in the mine, eventually it was safe for him to resume a normal life as word spread of Old Port's visit.

Note: After the USA federal government came in and set things straight (1858), numerous bodies of previously disappeared persons were found buried in odd locations (e.g., basements).

p.s. - I'm not anti-Mormon.