G. S. L City, Sept. 30, 1853
Dear Brother Cannon,
Your letter dated June 14th arrived by the last mail, and I take much pleasure in answering by the first return mail, being fully aware that even a few lines from home will prove cheering to you in your far off Island Mission. I was highly gratified with the success that has attended your labors and those of the brethren engaged in the same mission, and with the extended detail thereof contained in your letter. The Lord is prospering all our missions so far as we can learn, though but little has been done in the West India Islands, & Bro. Orson Spencer and Jacob Houtz were expelled from Prussia without being heard there, and are now at home.
Union prevails in our midst, and crops are abundant, our labors, and efforts are abundantly blessed spiritually and temporally. During the last two months, Indian Walker & his band of Utahs have committed some depredations, have killed 4 of our people, and slightly wounded several, driven off quite a number of our stock, and have had eleven of their number killed. No disturbances has occured since the 13th inst. The names of the brethren killed are Alex. Keel, John Dixon, John Quayle, and Wm. Hatton.
This movement on the part of Walker, has caused the brethren to give heed to counsel in forming new Settlements, that is, to make them safe and secure by placing their buildings and sta<o>ck yards compact; that they may be able to defend them, and in addition to the ordinary labors of the season all the settlements are now busy in fortifying themselves to be ready for any emergency.
The inhabitants of this city will begin next week to make a ditch and wall entirely around it, the wall is to be made of earth, & 6 feet thick at the bottom & 12 feet high, with suitable gates, bastions, and culverts, and will probably cost about $40.000. The north line of the wall around the Temple block is all laid, ready for the coping stone and iron railing and the workmen are progressing rapidly with the West & South lines, and should the coming winter be mild we expect to be able to enclose the entire block by spring, and most of the deep excavation for the foundation of our temple is completed.
I approve of your intentions to expedite the printing of the Book of Mormon, with all reasonable dispatch, for it is obvious that the natives will be greatly benefitted and gratified with the privilege of reading our views in their own language, but be careful not to urge on the printing, or any expense faster than your means there will warrant.
On the subject of gathering, until a way opens, my counsel to the natives is, for them to exercise faith and patience, and situate themselves on the Islands to the best advantage that local laws, and circumstances will admit of.
Health continues to prevail, and there is an increasing readiness to pay tithing, and hearken to counsel, which constantly increases our union, and our sphere of usefulness.
This year's immigrations are arriving in goodly number, and in good spirits, and generally speaking, they have been blessed in their journeying.
Our governmental affairs are moving on smoothly, at present, both at home and abroad.
I shall be pleased to receive letters from you, as often as your judg<e>ment may dictate.
Praying that the spirit of the Lord may constantly enlighten you , and the brethren connected with you in the Pathway of all duties.
I remain your Brother in the Gospel
(Signed) Brigham Young