Concerning Mormons and Republicans, history offers a large helping of irony. In 1843, an Army officer named John C. Fremont led a geographical expedition of 39 men more than 1,700 miles to the shores of the Great Salt Lake. His report on the journey inspired hounded Mormons to mount their wagons and resettle in the Great Basin.
Thirteen years later in Philadelphia, Fremont became the first presidential nominee of the Republican Party, which adopted a platform opposing the “twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.” The slogan, and the anti-Mormon sentiment behind it, caught on. A Republican rally in Indianapolis, reportedly attended by 60,000 people, included an ox-drawn parade wagon depicting Brigham Young along with six wives dressed in hoop skirts, each with a little Brigham in her arms.
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