<105 - 110>
Gt. Salt Lake City
Feb. 13th 1866
Hon. Wm. H. Hooper, M. C.,
House of Representatives,
Washington City D. C.
Your very welcome favor of Jan. 21st. was handed to me on Saturday, the 10th, by Bro Eldredge. I was pleased to receive it, and to learn therefrom of your welfare and progress. My last letter to you was dated the 8th instant.
I hope that your interview with President Johnson may be as satisfactory as you could wish, and that you will find him highly conservative upon Utah affairs. His course upon other matters leads us to hope for fair and straightforward dealing on his part in all things in which we are concerned. He appears to excite the ire of extremists, and they appear ready to denounce him; this, instead of being against him, is a favorable omen. and indicates a conservatism that, if sustained, might be attended with excellent effects in healing the breach made in the nation by the events of the past five years. But the work of reconstruction is a difficult one, and will not soon be accomplished, as there seems to be an entire want of union among those who are engaged in the process. Union and peace have fled, and there will have to be an entire change in feeling and action to have these precious gifts brought back again.
The question of extending the suffrage to the Negro is a vexed one, and is likely to provoke a great amount of feeling throughout the nation. I do not know that there is any President who could be obtained who could swallow all the niggers there are without bolting.
Our City election was held yesterday. There have been a few changes made in the Aldermen and Councillors, and President D. H. Wells has been elected as Mayor, Bro Smoot has received a respite from the arduous labors which have devolved upon him in connection with the Mayoralty. Steps were taken about <two> weeks ago to awaken our citizens to the importance of attending the polls and casting their votes for the candidates of their choice. Hundreds took the first steps to become naturalized citizens by declaring their intentions, and hundreds more took out their full papers. It was reported that our opponents had the intention of running an opposition ticket; but in view of the energy displayed by our citizens, if they had any such intention, they considered it hopeless, and the people's ticket was the only one voted for; 2433 votes polled in the City.
The Vedette informs us that it is the last election that will be held by us, and indulges in considerable vaporing about what they intend to do. Enclosed I forward you a marked copy of the Vedette, in which there is an article to which I wish to call your attention. Certainly the reason assigned to the soldiers as an inducement for them to attend the lecture of McLeod, that they might "know where, when and how to strike," might stir up trouble of a very serious nature among any other people less forbearing than our population. Those who are acquainted with newly settled countries, such as ours is, know that with incomparably less provocation than this clique has given us, communities have executed lynch laws and been justified in doing so. Still myself and ssociates are accused by this clique of being unscrupulous and law defying, habitually violent and disregarding human life whenever our influence or plans are interfered with. Their own course establishes the falsity of their statements and proves that they are liars; for were we what they represent us to be, they would not have been spared. Were it not for the restraining influence which we have wielded over the people, their indignation would have broken beyond all bounds long ago and made this country too hot for the wretches who have so systematically slandered and abused them.
You are familiar with the course which this class to which I allude has taken in the Territory. I do not write respecting them, for the sole purpose of advising you of their actions; but to make the record, and place it in your possession in such a form that it can be made available. These facts should be kept as much as possible before every man in the Government, and though it may seem like a hopeless task to attempt to allay the prejudice which is being continually excited against us, yet much good can be done and much influence be wielded and evil be averted by diligence and faith.
Rumors have been very prevalent for a few days past that P. M. Stenhouse has been removed and Horace Wheat been appointed in his stead; but they lack confirmation. They were doubtless started on the day of the election to create some excitement. Bro. Geo. A. Smith started South on the 2nd, in company with Bro. Erastus Snow, and will probably remain in that country until near Conference time. You will have seen by the papers that Dr. Whitmore and a young man, a stepson of John M. Moody's, had been killed by the Indians. There bodies had been found and some of their property had been obtained from the Indians. There will be vigorous measures taken by
Brothers Geo A and Erastus when they reach there to put an end to such outrages in future. The report has reached here that Peter Shirts is killed, and his family captured by the Indians; though this report has not been authenticated by any recent despatches, there is scarcely room to doubt its truth as his location was an exposed one. So far as we have heard no life has been lost that might not have been saved by following the counsel which President Snow gave to the people; but there are a great many who are so heedless that they never think there can be any danger until they are surrounded. We are anxiously awaiting news from the South.
In one of your letters you allude to the money due me being entered into the appropiation Bill by the Committee on Claims, &c., and the probability of its passage. Did I give you before you started, an open draft signed, or a Power of Attorney to collect? If not I shall send you one. Give no man any portion for collecting, for they have never collected or done anything.
The weather has been more mild lately; but it has again changed and we are now having keen winter cold. Peace and general good health prevail throughout the City, and we all enjoy ourselves, despite the secret plottings, the open threats and undisguised hatred of the wicked.
With love to you, in which Bro's. Heber and Daniel and Geo. Q. join, praying the Lord to fill you with wisdom, to give you influence with men in authority and to enable you to circumvent the wicked and to be a blessing to His Israil, I remain,
The news has just reached here that Hempstead is appointed U. S. Attorney, Hosmer, U. S. Marshal and Major Gallagher U. S. Collector.