Miss Field and Mr. Young

The Du Da Hymn and Other Concoctions

A reporter of the Herald yesterday called on Mr. Royal B. Young, whose remarks in the Tabernacle on Miss Kate Field have elicited some comment.

Mr. Young stated that while he desired no controversy with Miss Field, he would reiterate what he had before said, that a number of things he had personally heard her say in her lecture on the “Mormon Monster”—in Kansas city—he personally knew to be false.

It will be interesting to note whether Miss Field will have the sublime nerve to include these things in her lecture here.

Or will it turn out that she has two versions of it, one for use in the east, the other to be pulled from her trunk only when she visits Salt Lake?

“The thing that struck me dumbest with amazement,” said Mr. Young, “was her deliberate statement made to an audience of probably 2,000 of Kansas City’s most cultured people, that she would give them a sample of a Mormon hymn. She then sang, the old sheep herders’ slang edition of “Du da Day,” with some words that I have heard ever since I was a boy, but that I cannot now remember. She assured them that she had herself heard this sung in the Tabernacle. Speaking of the Tabernacle organ, she called it ‘a great pine barn,’ with the wood stained.

“Another thing she said was, that it was no unusual matter to travel in Utah and see man sitting on the fence with his whip in his hand, while his wives toiled in the field. The inference that he was herding them like so many cattle.

“Another statement she made was that it was a common thing for a man to have two, four, six, ten,–and for aught she knew, forty—women together, not only living in the same house, but in the same room. She gave an instance of it, and said that once she was invited out to tea at the house of a Mormon. He and his wife sat at the table with her. The tea was made somewhat strong for her taste, and she asked if she could have a little hot water. The lady of the house was engaged, and Miss Field had said never mind, and would help herself. Going to the door and opening it she obtained a glance into the back yard, and there she saw a sort of grove, under which were congregated a mass of women and children—I don’t know how many wives she said there were. At any rate they were being herded there, while the Mormon and his favorite wife entertained their guest.

“There was besides,” said Mr. Young, “the rehashing of the old exploded yarn about Brigham Young’s jubilation when President Lincoln was assassinated, the Mountain Meadows massacre, the killing of Dr. Robinson. For everything the Mormon people had to stand the blame. Not a word of praise did she utter—nothing as to their thrift, industry or honesty.

“The most astonishing part of it,” said Mr. Young laughing, “was that when she was through, our old Judge Twiss got up in the congregation and bore his testimony to the truth of her remarks, Du Da and all.”

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 13, 1887, 5]
[Salt Lake Herald, May 14, 1887]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


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