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Posted by: notamormoncurious ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 11:33AM

Hello there I'm not a Mormon. Actually I'm a recovering Christian fundamentalist. So I have a lot in common with you guys. I have been watching the TV show Hell on Wheels set back in the 1800s about the building of the transcontinental railroads and it has a lot of Mormon characters in it including historical characters such as Brigham Young. I'm curious if any of you have watched it and how you feel about its portrayal of these historical characters.

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Posted by: pathfinder ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 12:15PM

Yes, and it is great. If you missed it, the episode was last night on AMC. It was called "False Prophets " and here is what it was about.

Cullen and Durant reunite in Salt Lake City to meet with President Grant about the future of the railroad. Meanwhile, Swede enacts his plan against the Mormons.

The Mormons have been intertwined throughout the series, and not ( for the most part ) in a good way.

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Posted by: Omma41 ( )
Date: September 06, 2016 06:45PM

I thoroughly enjoyed this portrayal of the historic railroad building from East to West. However, it gave me many moments of
pause. Why was the actress playing "young Naomi" swapped out for the next episodes, when she bore the child of Cullen Bohannon? Also, did one of Brigham Young's sons actually knife his father?
Will there be further seasons given the rather non-specific, vague ending with views not knowing whether Thor reached Bohannon's son and wife, or if Bohannon was victorious in coming to their rescue?
There were so many scenes left leaving myself to "imagine" what had or was taking place to fill in the void I thought my episodes were actually skipping content.

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Posted by: BSM ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 01:40AM

Just watched all 5 seasons of HOW, and stopped by the Golden Spike NHS north of SLC. Very cool. Also did a little research on Mormons. WTF, Over? Seems like a somewhat better organized version of what we have seen more recently in Waco, TX and Jonestown (S. Africa?). Just more proof that if you can come up with a half-assed story and an ability to sell it, there will always be sheeple that will follow you. I have some pretty gold plates too, but the only thing they tell me when I look at their empty surface is I need more food. Maybe one day I will stare at the plates until I find a deeper meaning and write a book about it. Gotta believe there are mood-altering substances involved with these folks. And if one takes even the ten commandments seriously, all of these folks are headed south when the day comes.

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 12:16PM

For the most part the portrayal of Brigham Young and the despotic way he dealt with the coming of the RR was accurate.

One thing that surprised me was to learn that U S Grant actually came to Salt Lake to resolve the issue of whether to go around the Salt Lake to the north or build it to the south with a terminus at SLC, which is what BY desperately wanted.

Having read Stephen Ambrose's book and studying numerous other accounts, that was the first time I've ever heard of President Grant actually travelling to Utah. I can find no mention of that fact in a google search.

Perhaps someone else here can confirm whether that actually happened.

Being such a pivotal and fascinating era in US history, I have enjoyed watching the program.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2015 12:19PM by Shummy.

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Posted by: notamormoncurious ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 01:47PM

Personally I'm not well acquainted with the history of this era and not well acquainted with Mormon history. Because I was curious as to whether the way that the Mormons were portrayed was accurate I did researching on Google while watching the series. For example was there a son named Phineas who actually attempted to assassinate Brigham Young? I found that there was a son named Phineas but he was a very young one and there's no record of him having tried to assassinate his father. So that made me curious about the accuracy of this Mormon portrayal

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: February 10, 2016 05:23AM

In fact many historians believe that his caregiver wife killed him by putting poison in his sugar bowl. He was the only one who merited white refined sugar and everyone else had to use the dark unprocessed kind. This wife wanted to protect her under-aged daughter from being forced to marry.

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Posted by: iplayedjoe ( )
Date: June 24, 2016 02:37PM

There was a son that was a drag queen. Her name was Madam Paterini.

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Posted by: MD ( )
Date: June 25, 2017 07:33PM

I don't know about the the accuracy of the show. I desend from a Mormon Hatch line......well , two different Hatch lines.
The main Hatch line who came to Utah and settled vernal Utah.
Let's just say I have never heard of anyone hanging any of my family, or their sons for anything.....but it was a huge family.....lots of wives :) not one hundred % positive.
There are things that get hushed.....but usually come out in the wash, so far I've never heard anything about hanging of Hatches son.
I'll go out on a limb and say this part was fictional.

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 02:26PM

I was also shocked at the son's attack on Brigham, especially when he was left for dead for a moment until he revived.

Methinks the producers have taken a great deal of artistic license with several facts.

But that's just show biz, as they say.

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Posted by: iplayedjoe ( )
Date: June 24, 2016 03:00PM

But Shummy, taking artistic license with the facts, if you think about it, IS an accurate portrayal, both then and today!

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 03:00PM

I'm a RR buff.

As I understand it, the RR did chose a route thru ogden thence East & West; remember, the transcon was an amalgamation of two lines, the Union Pacific (Harriman) from the east (Omaha) & the Central Pacific (Stanford, et al) from the West.

It's my understanding that engineering / gradient considerations indicated a northern route; trains don't like steep grades, and building them is more expensive.

A 'separate' but later incorporated line was established between Ogden & SLC; I can't imagine why BY wanted (or didn't want) the RR to come to Utah/SLC, perhaps Will can respond. It may have been strictly economic reasons on BYs part. Perhaps BY 'changed his mind' about wanting isolation for the church/members. It also may be that he 'saw the handwriting on the wall' and chose not to resist it.

My information was that the gov't subsidized them on a mileage basis, and they raced to get the most mileage before meeting, which happened at Promatory Pt.(spelling!).

BY 'called' men to work under his contract with the UP, and many weren't paid; I believe that TSCC received UPRR stock in lieu of cash, that's why they were close for some time afterwards.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2015 03:02PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 07:59PM

Promontory point was not the meeting place.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 04:32PM

UP reneged on its contract to pay Utah workers with BY--John Sharp and John W. Young negotiated a settlement--the church got a lot of rolling stock in exchange, including a fancy private RR car that BY loved to roll around in. Source is Great Basin Kingdom and a couple of articles on Sharp and John W.
Journal of Mormon History 27:2; Utah Historical Quarterly 45:3. (Both of these are online.)

My great and great-great grandpas worked on the UCC line built from Ogden to SLC. There is information on the building of this line in the above articles.

I have a book called The Iron Trail to the Golden Spike by John J. Stewart. He says that Grant met with Durant and others at the officer's club room at Ft. Sanders, Wyoming on July 26, 1868. Grant wasn't yet president. I haven't been watching the show, although I did watch a clip of this that was in the online SL Trib.

The first visit of President Grant to Utah was 1875. I don't see anything earlier.

Later Sharp and Young approached Stanford, Huntington and Gould to help get Utah statehood.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2015 04:34PM by Phantom Shadow.

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Posted by: cakeordeath ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 04:55PM

What a great series, right? It's a western for gawd'sakes! What's not to like? The fact that the Mormons are part of the conversation makes it even more delicious to the taste and very desirable.

I'd like to have a couple of drinks with Cullen Bohannon, too. What a story he might tell over some cheap whiskey?


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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: August 30, 2015 06:01PM

Another historical embellishment was the girl with the chin tattoo. This character is most obviously based on the story of Olive Oatman, of whom I could find no reference to indicate that after her captivity by Indians and later escape that she ended up working in a frontier brothel.

I did however turn up this:

>In 1850, the Oatman family joined a wagon train led by James C. Brewster, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), whose attacks on, and disagreements with, the church leadership in Salt Lake City, Utah, had caused him to break with the followers of Brigham Young in Utah and lead his followers — Brewsterites — to California, which he claimed was the "intended place of gathering" for the Mormons.

Olive's family was traveling alone through Arizona, when they were ambushed by a group of Yavapai Indians. The Yavapai murdered all of the family members except for Olive, age thirteen, her sister Mary, age seven, and Lorenzo, age fifteen, whom they clubbed and left for dead (but survived). The Yavapai Indians took Olive and her sister Mary into captivity. Mary died from starvation while the girls were still in Yavapai possession. Olive was later traded to a group of Mohave Indians, supposedly for two horses and some blankets. Olive lived a much happier life with the Mohave. She assimilated with them completely, becoming one of their group. The significance of the tattoo was to identify her as a Mohave in the afterlife, thus the tattoo indicates that she was accepted fully into the Mohave tribe.

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Posted by: iplayedjoe ( )
Date: August 31, 2015 01:10AM

Awesome show! The Swede is probably a more authentic Bishop character than the Bishop character was! Sorry, pioneer stock but the mormons were some shady Jesus Freaks that did bad things. Did I say "were"?

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: August 31, 2015 12:00PM

Allow me, IPlayedJoe, to take polite but vigorous exception to calling Mormons "shady Jesus Freaks." Shady? definitely. "Jesus Freaks" hardly.Ask your typical TBM how Jesus enters into their theology, and they're likely to say, "Well, it is the Church of 'Jesus Christ' of Latterday Saints," right?

For the adventurous (with a good off-road vehicle) you can go around the Western parts of Box Elder County and check out some of the Central Pacific gradings. Very interesting. I blew a tire doing that last year, only to find that my stupid* rented SUV only had a donut for a spare!

I was about 50 miles to pave road, and another 120 miles or so to West Wendover to get it replaced. Talk about a bummer!

*Not "My-stupid;" I mean "ME-stupid!"

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: February 10, 2016 03:28AM

Brigham young liked getting his way. He tried to strong arm the Rail Road barons. It did not work out so well for Young or Utah. The economy of Utah was crippled and tithing was suspended before the issue was resolved. Remember how that LDS Inc propaganda video The Windows of Heaven talked about how Latter day Saints had quit paying tithing and Lorenzo Snow had to get after them to get them back to paying tithing. Well guess why the MORmONS had quit paying tithing - because Brigham Young had told them NOT to!!!!! but LDS Inc does not want to talk about that.

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