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Very Talented Drinkers

Before lampooning Mormons in his comic sketch “A Visit to Brigham Young,” Charles Farrar Browne (whose pen name was Artemus Ward) devoted a few lines to the US soldiers that had been sent out in the Utah War of 1857: “I arrove at Salt Lake in doo time. At Camp Scott there was a lot of U. S. sojers, hosstensibly sent out thare to smash the mormons but really to eat Salt vittles & play poker . . . I got acquainted with sum of the officers. Thay lookt putty scrumpshus in their Bloo coats with brass buttings onto um & ware very talented drinkers, but so fur as fitin is consarned I'd willingly put my wax figgers agin the hull party.”

Charles Farrar Browne, “Artemus Ward Visits Brigham Young,” Vanity Fair, vol. 2 (1860), 231