Great Salt Lake City
Nov'r. 13, 1867.
Major Nelson Higgins,
Your favor from Pond Town dated the 10th instant making inquiries in relation to the settlers returning to the abandoned settlements on the Sevier river, is received. In answer I will say I have no doubt but that all those settlements will be reinstated in due time, and others also will be established when it can be done in a judicious safe and prudent manner. It seems very unwise to throw the poorest clas of the Community, such as usually congregate at such points, into positions or situations so exposed to depredations by the Indians. Such persons are not able to afford or procure suitable arms and ammunition for their own defence, cannot afford to expend sufficient labor, means, nor time to erect suitable fortifications wherein to live, nor time for efficient guarding, neither horses, with saddles and bridles; or if they have horses they are obliged to turn them out upon the range for sustenance, a temptation and a prey to the marauding savages instead of having hay or grain to feed and keep them up where they can have them safe and ready to use at a moment's notice. It is possible that you and others may think that because there are some intimations of peace, and hence that it will not become necessary to comply with all the requirements which have so often been made, to justify the reinstating those off Settlements,--but rest assured that not only those requirements must be complied with and that too before a woman or child or any stock is taken to those localities, but that I shall most peremptorily object to so few persons again settling in such exposed situations.
Not less than two hundred good able bodied and efficient men should go and live in each settlement. I consider this the only sure way to have peace with the Indians, or to keep peace with them if we have it. Such Settlements should have mills to grind for the people so as to obviate as much as possible traveling from one settlement to another; and should be composed of such persons as would in all their labors and trades act in unison, and truly and fully comply with such counsel as should be given for their peace and safety. A great share of those people who have left those Settlements had better find homes in the older settlements, as they are wholly unable and unqualified to take upon themselves the necessary duties, labors and obligations which appertain to making and sustaining new locations. It is also my opinion that we had better strengthen some of the settlements already existing before hastening to reinstate those now abandoned or making new ones. Again, Salina would be the first one to re-establish, and Gunnison and Scipio should be made perfectly safe, or at least as much so as possible extending to a greater distance, and then one might be a source of assistance <and protection> to one another, and thus progress step by step until we have secured all the rest. In this and in no other way can I see as we shall be secure from constant scenes of danger and consequent breaking up of settlements and homes, and loss of life and property. Constantly regarding the best interest of this people and desiring their welfare and happiness
We remain &c