A Visit to the Isle of Man

[Orson Pratt]

. . . After having dismissed our meeting, we left the hall to return to our lodgings. Immediately upon coming into the street, a herd of several hundred animals rushed upon us, following us to our boarding house, foaming, raging, and bellowing, as though they were labouring under some great mental agony. It would have puzzled the Zoologist to have determined to what particular species they belonged. The deep, long-toned, guttural sounds which issued from their mouths, very much resembled the braying of Jacks; and we were about to classify them with that species of animal; but upon a closer examination and inquiry, we found that they were actually a degenerate mongrel species of human being, under the name of civilized man, who had been reduced by priestcraft to their present degraded state.

Feeling a curiosity to re-examine more minutely those pitiful specimens of our fallen race, we attended our evening appointment; the hall was crowded with many gentlemen and ladies of the first respectability, who listened attentively to a lecture from Elder Benson, followed by ourself. During the time of our services, several hundreds of these semi-human beings congregated on the outside, and kept up a continued uproar until the meeting was dismissed, when we were again escorted by thousands to our lodgings. The unearthly bellowings upon this occasion far exceeded the former demonstrations; and upon making inquiry, we found that these were the usual methods of argument against the Bible doctrines taught by the Latter-day Saints.

Returning to Liverpool the next day, we found, to our astonishment, quite a number of these civilized animals on board, who exhibited themselves for several hours in the most obscene, low, vulgar language and epithets towards us. This gave us a good opportunity to leisurely contemplate the nature of their civilization, and were it not that we found them actually resembling the human form, we should have congratulated ourselves upon having discovered a new species of animals, occupying an intermediate link between the Baboon and Jack-ass.

(19 Sep. 1857, 19:38:604–5; the article begins on page 600 and gives a synopsis of President Pratt’s speech).