Sunday, September 6, 2015
Brigham's Destroying Angel: The Life, Confessions, and Disclosures of Bill Hickman - William Adams Hickman
Hickman is not a writer. Initially he comes across as an ego maniac, bragging about his conquests as he relates how he killed a mountain lion or a wild boar when he was a kid, all by himself.
It sets us up for what is to come. The brutal murders under the direction of Brigham Young. Yes folks, according to Hickman, although Young never actually killed a man, he was the godfather of the wild Mormon west.
It turns out that Young did direct Hickman and others to do some killing for him. "Use him up" was the phrase even if there was no kissing involved.
Hickman also paints a picture of a man who expected everyone to give money to him but was reluctant to pay for services rendered.
Actually the more interesting parts of the book are the clearer explanations given by the editor. As J.H. Beadle points out that "Mormonism is sanctified selfishness" citing the belief that men with many wives (which leaves some men with no wife), will inherit the earth and lord it over everyone else.
Beadle is also careful to footnote some events and provide background information that supports what Hickman states.
Hickman tries to make us feel sorry for him when he's left without his ten wives, tries to take children away from one of his wives (because they're his and she's married someone else) and ends up in poverty, out of the church and friendless.
Not feeling sorry for him.
This is a fairly quick read, and it does no favors to Brigham Young.