The southern settlements were at first considered rather orderly, more so than some of those nearer this city, but in the spring of 1858, there was an influx from California of a large number of persons, who had gone there because they were not contented to live in this country, and who could not enjoy the liberty that was here. Many of them went to California to get rich, but a spirit came over some of them that the Lord was going to destroy all the Gentiles, and that if they came up here for a while they could go back after the Gentiles were killed off, and find better diggings, and many others thought their brethren were in trouble, and if they could not live Mormonism they would fight for it anyhow. Several hundred persons came into the southern counties under these and similar influences, and intended to stay, no doubt, until the vengeance was over and the Gentiles swept off from the earth, then some thought they could go back and keep tavern. A man who had been among the Gentiles and served the Devil for several years, would come up to this Territory and expect to be respected as much as those who stayed at home and attended to their own business and labored for the good of the kingdom, when it was as much as an Elder could do who had stayed at home and helped to build up Zion, to retain the Spirit of the Lord and magnify his calling. In this way there was grumbling, and a kind of daredevil influence scattered all through the settlements. We saw much of it here, but where the settlements were small, an influence of this kind took deeper hold and had a far more powerful effect. The spirit of avarice was not gratified, the Lord had not designed to cut off the wicked to please a few avaricious Mormons.
– George A. Smith, 10/20/1861