This article documents Isaac's return trip, but also talks about polygamy
How They Regard Secretary Evart’s Letter of Protest to the European Powers.
Among the passengers of the Wyoming yesterday were 335 Mormon recruits, under the leadership of N.C. Flygare, and including 16 other elders, viz: Ralph Smith, Charles Monk, John Larsen, William McFadden, Isaac Wardle, R. Dansie, William England, Jonathan Midgley, Thomas Child, R. Nielson, John C. Scofield, J.F. Olsen, N.P. Nielson, James Hansen, G. Anderson, and William Goodman. All names, except Scofield, are returning missionaries, having been in this country before. They journeyed across comfortably as cabin passengers, their followers being relegated to steerage. About half of the latter are Scandinavians, the rest being English and Welsh. They are an unintelligent looking crowd, but are fairly clean as compared with other batches of their brethren who preceded them in Castle Garden. They are nearly all in families, and the sexes are about equally divided. There are about 50 children and 25 aged person who have relatives in Utah. They left last evening for that Territory via the Pennsylvania Central Railroad.
The importance of the arrival consists mainly in the fact that this is the first batch that has come hither since Secretary Evarts sent out his famous letter of protest against Mormon Proselytism in Europe. The Elders yesterday said that the Secretary’s letter had been widely published abroad, but had not met with a very favorable reception. Wherever it had not been pitched into, it had been mercilessly ridiculed. Many persons were of the opinion that is was a canard, not being able to believe that anything so absurd could be seriously father by the American government. The Mormons were not disturbed by it in the least. They considered that they had just as much right to preach their peculiar doctrines as any other religious body, and they looked upon the notion of prohibiting emigration, because there was the possibility of the emigrant violating the laws of another country, as too ridiculous for contemplation. They claimed that polygamy is not taught as something to be enforced, but as permissible. Abroad it is never practiced, and only in Utah here. The ”revelation” about polygamy was given in 1843, and it was practiced in Utah from that time until 1862 before the United States Government made the slightest move to suppress it. In the latter year Congress passed a law against it, but no attempt has ever been made to enforce that law. The recent prosecutions, which resulted in the conviction of Reynolds, were instituted under an old Territorial act, and Reynolds could not have been convicted had it not been for the defection of members of his own family. Out of 19 or 20 cases, his was the only one that it was found safe to proceed upon as a test one.
Such were the statement of the Mormon elders. They professed to look upon the new movement against the latter-day Saints as a purely spasmodic outbreak, that will soon die out and end in nothing. They announce that a further consignment of their brethren will reach her in October.
The New York Times Published: September 17, 1879 Copyright The New York Times