Gt Salt Lake City
June 21st 1866.
Bishop Thomas Callister,
Your letter of the 17th ult., written to Bro. Geo. A. Smith, has been submitted to me. I have been grieved to hear of the shooting of a friendly Indian by a man professing to be a Latter-day Saint. It is a singular proceeding for a man who had so recently lost his father by an act of barbarity to seek for revenge and relief to his feelings by the infliction of a similar deed of cruelty on the person of an unoffending Indian.
By this act he has shown that he is not a whit better than the untutored and savage men who, when they have lost a friend or a relative by the whites, never rest satisfied till they have wreaked revenge by killing some white man, regardless of his innocence or guilt. While white men, who profess to know the distinctions between right and wrong, are guilty of such violence, how can we expect the ignorant natives to refrain from murder and theft when they have been taught from infancy, by tradition and example, that such things were justifiable and praiseworthy.
In killing Pannikary, as you describe the deed, James A. Ivie was as much guilty of murder as if he had stepped up and killed a white man, and he should be arrested and tried for murder. You speak about sending such men into the field to fight the hostile Indians; you may depend upon it that a man who would shoot down a friendly, inoffensive Indian in cold blood, is not the man to stand up on equal terms and defend himself against a foe. Such an act is too dastardly for a brave man to perpetrate; it is the deed of a coward.
To secure the confidence of the Indian we must act consistently without professions. We must be just. But if we permit such an outrage as this killing of that Indian to go unnoticed, every Indian who hears of the occurrence will set us down to untrue to our principles.
Inform Kanosh of all the things and tell him what his mind is.
With love Your Brother,