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Henry Vincent Lecture attended (1813 - 1878) by Dr Coultate Dec 6th 1872

As reported in the Burnley Gazette:

The lecturer gave a description of the visit to Salt Lake City, and of an interview with Young. Mr. Vincent said he was not about to discuss the question of polygamy, because he had settled that point for himself some thirty years ago, by marrying the best of her sex. (Laughter.)

Utah was a third-rate city, but the most had been made of the site and the arrangement. As matter of course he went to see Brigham Young, whom he found was a well-preserved man of 70 years, with rather a hard face, but an expressive one, a lofty brow—a face altogether indicating power and of the "Thus saith the law" type.

Henry Vincent.jpg

He (Henry Vincent) told him, after the introduction was over, that he (Brigham Young) must not construe his presence as in the slightest degree assenting to the doctrines there held, but that he was a stranger desirous of looking at their little community.


He was courteously received, and on the following Sunday had opportunity of visiting the Tabernacle, where in the morning he saw the pulpit occupied by an orthodox Methodist minister, and in the afternoon by an orthodox Episcopalian clergyman—the blind preacher lately in England, the Rev. Mr. Milman. At the close of the latter sermon, Brigham Young ascended the pulpit, and spoke a few words, which were rendered by Mr. Vincent now to his audience with tone and gesture as nearly corresponding to those of the original as he could adopt. This little address intimated that the Mormonites were always glad to receive Christian ministers of good standing from the respective Churches and afford them the hospitality of their pulpit, so that if they had any word of rebuke, reproof, or instruction to offer, they might freely offer it. They acted thus, also, for this other reason—most of the elder Mormons knew what other Churches taught, but their children did not, and if they continued to hold only to Mormon teachings they would grow one-sided, and one-sided man was no man at all. They were, therefore, anxious that their young people should know what other Churches taught.


Afterwards, George Smith took his place, and his address was given with an imitation of tone and manner which, if not accurate, was at any rate so successful as to be a striking piece of impersonation. Smith's harangue was to the effect that a few Sundays previous some clergyman had preached to them who, reaching San Francisco, had declared that they did not feel at liberty in that pulpit; but the fault was not in the pulpit, and must have been in themselves. He further defended himself and brethren from the attacks of some Baptist minister, recently amongst them, and hurled back some vindictive charges made by the Baptist Church with characteristic unction, applauded by distant voices in the Tabernacle.


After dismissing the question of polygamy with the remark that it would gradually die out as its followers were brought more closely into contact with western institutions; Mr. Vincent brought his interesting address to a close.


Returned to England, feeling that America had before her a glorious future, and her advancement would add the glory of the English-speaking race, leading to the final triumph of civil and religious liberty, and of the great questions of peace and industry. The meeting was closed with the usual votes of thanks.

(Considering this lecture was given in 1872, his remark regarding polygamy was rather prophetic.)


Henry Vincent was a victorian social activist and MP who was also a gift speaker. He also toured extensively the USA about which he spoke at this lecture. For a full report of his talk click here. He concluded his talk with a short account of his visit to Salt Lake City Utah and meeting with Brigham Young.


Rebels Lane

Adventures of the Mind

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