Great Salt Lake City,
June 18, 1867.
President Geo. Nebeker,
Laie, Ohau, Sandwich Islands.
Your favor of the 17th of May has been received and perused with much interest. It is pleasing to hear of the increased good feelings which we have reason to believe, from your letters, exist among the elders. Your letters of the 10th and 21st of April, containing a description of your Conference afforded us pleasure in their perusal. We desire to see your labors crowned with success. The principle of gathering the natives together is the only principles upon which they can be redeemed from the degratation and vice in which the nation is involved. As you remarked, to permit them to remain where they embraced the gospel and associate with their old companions would be attended with but little real benefit to them. This is the case with the Whites and it would be especially so with them. It is encouraging to read in your letter that you think you can see some improvement in those who have gathered with you. We feel confident that your examples of industry, virtue and unity will have an excellent effect upon those who live on your land. If all who belong to the Church could be gathered as the few are whom you have around you, the beneficial effects would soon be visible, and an example <be> set to the nation that might do more for their redemption than the mere preaching of any number of elders; but we have to operate according to the means in our possession.
I am glad that you are arranging matters so as to let the elders who are familiar with the language travel among the people to counsel and build them up. Their labors will be attended with good effects.
We hear nothing from you about Gibson. What is he doing? Does he still occupy the place on the Island of Lanai? By this time I should imagine he would be glad to sell out, if he has not already done so.
We have bene troubled again with Indian depredations in San Pete and other places South this season, and a few lives have been lost. A detachment of men was sent from here this Spring to guard the Sevier and to assist in defending the Settlements against Indian depredation and attack. Through the carelessness of some of the people at Fountain Green, at this end of San Pete Valley, the herd belonging to that place was exposed without adequate protection and the Indians made a raid upon it, killing one young man and wounding another and succeeded in getting off considerable stock. An express was sent to Moroni, to the nearest telegraph office, and the Bishop sent a message to Mount Pleasant. A company of men started immediately to intercept the Indians; they were a few minutes too late, but pressed so hard on their rear that they abandoned all the stock, killing a few head before doing so, and riding off on the horses they had taken.
Four of our brethren belonging to this and Utah county left camp to visit Manti for the purpose of holding telegraphic communication with their commanding officer, Genl. W.B. Pace who was at Provo on business. They did not get through until six o'clock in the evening, and then started for camp. At the crossing of twelve Mile Creek they were ambushed and two of them killed, namely, Major John W. Vance of Mountainville and Sergeant Heber Houtz of this city. Captain Orson P. Miles and Nathan Tanner, Jr., barely escaped, being chased for some miles by the Indians. This sad occurrence has cast a gloom over the whole community.
The Indians are reported to be very bad on the road east; but, doubtless, the stories that we hear, lose nothing by their transmission. Our trains have gone east, as usual, and we have no fears for their safety if they will only be vigilant and live so as to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Affairs are very quiet in the city, times dull, money very scarce and the gentile merchants are scarcely doing business enough to pay their rents. Flour is somewhat in demand among the people, and is eagerly sought by many who, a few weeks ago, looked upon it as very poor pay. We hear that grasshoppers are doing some damage to the crops in Cache Valley; but in other places the wheat looks promising. We have had very high waters this season throughout this valley. The Jordan and the creeks through this county are higher than they have ever been since our settlement here. Our enemies have been uncommonly quiet of late, and the Saints never were more free from annoyance than they are at present. The Lord has preserved us, for no human arm could have warded off the attacks with which we have been threatened, and the blows which have been aimed at us. The feelings of the enemies of this Church have been very bitter, as you doubtless know by the papers, and they would have injured us, even to our destruction, had the Lord permitted; but all their plans have proved abortive.
With love, in which Presidents Kimball and Wells and Bro. Geo. Q. join, to yourself and family, and to the Elders and families who are with you, and praying the Lord to bless you all, and to sustain you in your labors, and when you shall have finished your missions to bring you home in safety.
I remain your brother
What are you doing about raising and getting ready to make sugar? When you talk about getting an establishment for making sugar that will cost from two thousand to three thousand dollars, it sounds reasonable. One that would cost 20,000 or 30,000 seemed too expensive for your purposes. Enclosed I forward you a draft on the Bank of California, San Francisco, for five hundred dollars in gold coin, drawn by the Miner's National Bank of this City, in favor of Alma L. Smith. This is the sum of which I wrote in former letters, and which I send for the use of Bro. Smith and the other elders who may need and whose names have been mentioned in previous letters.