1854 February 28 Letter to John M. Bernhisel

Title

1854 February 28 Letter to John M. Bernhisel

Description

Brigham outlines payments due by the Federal Government to finance the Governor's Office and Indian Affairs. He acknowledges that the Government has not paid anything thus far for suppression of Indian hostilities and they ignore invitations to appoint good men as officers of the Territory. Brigham encourages Bernhisel to boldly communicate that Utah will rid itself of demagogues and demand to live under a Government free of corruption and favoritism.

Type

Correspondence

Sender

Brigham Young

Recipient

John M. Bernhisel

Date

1854 February 28

Location

Great Salt Lake City
Washington City, D. C.

Number of Pages

9

Subject

Finances
Indian Affairs
Government

extracted text

Great Salt Lake City, Feb. 28th 1854
Hon. John M. Bernhisel
Dear Brother
The January Mail is at last at hand, and your letters of December 11th & 13th are before me. In regard to the Drafts which which were forwarded to you for contingent expenses for the Governor's Office, it was altogether an oversight owing to a change of making Quarterly instead of Annual reports which it was supposed would suit the Department better, that being their usual method of doing business. The money is all right. I have received the $3000. as per your Account up to 30th of June A. D. 1854. As regards the bills over-running the appropriation that is the true statement abou it moreover what might be expected, and is what I have to pay myself. I of course did not expect the Department to pay more than the one Thousand a year. The amounts, of course, to be cut short to partly that Amount would not be true and full accounts if they were. If they prefer it however it shall be done hereafter. The papers, credits, vouchers, etc. have been regularly sent, but it appears not received. Copies will now be forwarded. I have also written to Mr. Whittlesey in relation to the subject and am sorry that any such mistake should have occurred as sending the Drafts, the more especially as he done me the favor of advancing the One Thousand for the year ending 30th of June 1854. the previous season, but such oversights will sometimes occur in the multiplicity of business and must therefore be excused.
The Indian Department is altogether another affair; on the 30th of June 1853 I forwarded a Draft notice of which was given in my a/ct Current for $8865.77 being for the Quarter next previous, the 30th of September 1853. I again forwarded my draft notice of which was also given in my Account Current for $3437.22, being for the Quarter next previous to
In the expectation that these claims would be promptly paid by the Department I drew upon you as follows, to wit.
In favor of James 1000
" of Livingston & Kinkead 3841.24
" 2000___
Total $6841.24 besides
..... McThane & Mrs. Beach which you have paid having that amt. of means in your hands subsequently received, a letter from the Department written under date of Nov 15[th] the following words. "Sir. Your letter of <the 30[th]> Sept. last has been received transmitting the Accounts and property returns of Agent Bedell and Sub-Agent Rose, for the Quarter ending on that date, and the Accounts of your superintendency for the same Quarter," "The Accounts will be examined and the proper parties informed of the Results. The drafts accounts will be paid on presentation not of any delinquency on your part the department." I had previously received a letter under date of Aug l0th, acknowledging the accounts for the Quarter ending June 30, 1853. Having received notice that the Accounts containing notice of the Drafts had been received and would be paid on presentation. Therefore, nothing doubting of that you had by applying for those funds sufficient to meet them my own salary was accumulating I draw upon you

O. H. Cogswell for 1340.35
W. Woodruff 858.00
McDonald & Adams 258.69
Livingston & Kinkead 193.00
10,900.60
Total former Drafts 6,841.24
Total Drafts both issues $ 17,747.74 17,747.74
The Quarter ending Dec[r]. 31, 1853, having been also forwarded amounting to $2274.22 would make the Accounts to stand as follows
Ending June 30th 1853 8845.77
" Sept 30 " 2427.22
" Decr.31 " 2274.50
$ 14557.49 14,557.49
Leaves a balance of 3,190.25
Deduct from the Amt of this year
ending March 31st 1854. 1875.
would only leave $ 1315.25

to be paid by future claims even if none of our old claims were or should be allowed. I am sorry that you were compelled to draw upon the Liverpool Office as I was extremely anxious that all of those funds should be applied to assist the Emigration.
In regard to Horace S. Eldredge we shall forward means from here to him and also instruct him to pay some of those bills in case that you have not received the necessary funds and settled them.
We are also desirous of disposing of the Woollen Factory Machinery which is in St Louis, which if it can be done will relieve us essentially from these difficulties which have occurred exclusively in consequence of Indian Affairs, doubtless rather augmented by Indian hostilities. The Commissioner had promised to give his reasons for not paying those drafts. I acknowledge myself a little with them the more especially after saying that he would pay them upon presentation. After all, it will be all right for it continues to teach us more and more to depend upon our own resources for everything pertaining Government. We are to it and were it not that other States and Territories are furnished we would not expect it. There are doubtless plenty of excuses when there is no disposition to pay it if it if it happened to suit them they would not even stop for an appropriation from Congress. In our case they might certainly have come up to it if they were so disposed the more especially when they naturally know that our expenses must necessarily have increased in consequence of the hostilities of the Indians and even if they should over run the regular appropriation, I suppose they never heard of such a thing as a Deficiency Bill which annually laps up from three or four Millions of Dollars. Estimates for appropriations cannot be expected to anticipate every circumstance that may happen. I do not care what their reasons are they could have those drafts had they been so disposed and would have done so by their own showing had they been presented as soon as the l0th Nov when the Commissioner stated to me that they would upon presentation. It is most inconvenient to be thus annoyed, but we will rise above it, and in due time the Commissioner will probably pay them.

In regard to the claims for depredations for the suppression of Indian Hostilities all will be presented as soon as they can be obtained from the several Military Districts. I had supposed that they had been forwarded by the Adjutant Generals. The Returns I am informed were nearly all in, and will immediately be forwarded but not probably before the next mail Reports of this kind may be found in the War Department at Washington City if they have not miscarried, for they have been made out and sent in previous years, but they appear to sleep very quietly while we are every year gradually paying them off. The United States Government do not appear to know that they have never yet paid a solitary dollar for the suppression of Indian hostilities in the Territory, although they and all the world do know that we have had more or less Indian difficulties since the winters of 1848 & /49. You shall have the full reports duplicated to you in good time.
Be of good courage, for all is well, let nothing dishearten you or <swerve> serve you from freely and fearlessly telling them how they act; let them see and know that we are not duped by their sophistry, but that still we ask no odds, we are as independent as they dare be and the time is not far distant when they will have to answer to the same Judge as ourselves and render an account of their stewardship.
We wish that you would procure the appointment of a mail Agent resident in the territory. The Great Salt Lake Post Office should also be a distributing office. The Government does not pay near enough for the transportation of the Mails to and from this Territory to insure their punctual transmission.

The Estimates which were mentioned were forwarded, but will be again, as it appears you have not received them. Your estimate is none too much and the policy you suggest is the one which we have always practised-- that of feeding and clothing them, and that too with a very little exception, at our own expense.
As regards the Officers, if the Government or our friends think they are conferring any favor upon us by making such changes as they have recently, they are exercising a mistaken kindness. I should have been much pleased to have had the old entire bench of Supreme Court retained, neither is our long continued Petition and invitation for the appointment of Dr Willard Richards for Secretary of the Territory answered or satisifed by the appointment of men like A. W. Babbitt. So little regard having hitherto been paid to our wishes in regard to who we would prefer for our officers, of the Territory, that it makes me almost feel indifferent about saying anything about it.
There is one item in your letter in relation to myself which I wish a little explanation upon as regards my re-appointment. "Those difficulties" which are in the way, and which you are familiar with." Do you know to what he aludes? If you do I shall be obliged to you if you will intrust them to me, and if you like myself are ignorant about what they are, will you please to ascertain what they may be, and inform me in your next. I tell you however to give yourself no uneasiness in the matter. Office I have never courted nor do I expect to of this administration, but I expect to be Governor "the difficulties in the way" thereof to the contrary notwithstanding.
Mr. Bedell has received an intimation from Col. Warren of Quincy that Peradventure Geo. W. Edwards will not come to the Territory as Associate Judge. If this should prove true and there should be a vacancy try to get some of our citizens appointed, Elias Smith, Geo. A. Smith, Orson Hyde, S. Williams or even Judge Snow. He was always a Democrat and moreover makes a very good Judge & would do better than a stranger. James Ferguson would make a good Attorney.
The Hon. L. K. Reid & Lee Shaver, the Two Judges who expect to leave this Season in consequence of being removed, are gentlemen of worth, and have seemed to take an interest in our affairs far beyond any other non-resident officers. They have certainly won <more> the respect

and confidence of this Community in their honesty, capability, and desire to promote good. They have strictly confined themselves to their own business and let other peoples alone and will long be held in lively recollection as men with whom it was a pleasure to associate.
Dr. Richards yet continues very unwell altho much better than he was last mail. The news of Reese's loss as published in the News is confirmed. The weather is quite stormy. I have been rather unwell a few days past but am now recovering.
Mr. Babbit has the proposition of Feramorz Little for building the Penitentiary. The arrangements with him is, if the Government approves the proposition that the money be deposited with you subject to his order of which I wish you to keep an eye, to write to me in relation thereto.

Now Dr. be bold enough to tell Mr. Franklin Pierce that the People of the Territory have a way, it may be a very peculiar way but an honest one of sending their infernal, dirty, sneaking, rotten-hearted, pot-house politicians out of the Territory, and if should come himself it would be all the same. Talk about Democracy, or even Republicanism! How did our Fathers of 70 to 76 do when the Government of England imposed Government Judges, and Officers upon them contary to their wishes! Were they right in doing as they did and shall we submit to the same unnatural and cursed tyranny and not resent? No! by the manes of our Departed Fathers who bled for liberty. No! by respect we owe to ourselves, to our children, our country and our God. We will rid ourselves of as many such white livered, blackhearted, sycophantic Demagogues, as the Administration shall send, though they be like the locusts and frogs of Egypt. Even in this age of progressive Democracy are we to have our wishes thwarted and not respected in regard to who we shall have to govern us and pretend to live in a free Government? I feel indignant when I see such cursed hypocrisy. Hear! men, officers, Presidents if you please! prate about integrity in high places, about the "highest tone" and standard of public morality marking every part of the Administration and Legislature of the General Government! about unsleeping vigilance! cultivating the cardinal virtues! public frugality! official integrity and purity!! and all being so conducted that a settled conviction shall pervade the entire union that these things are so. What unblushing Effrontery to mouth virtues like these in such a sink of Corruption, iniquity and political debauchery! It is like the Imps of Satan singing prayers amid the howling of the Damned. Tell Mr. Pierce this and that we ask no odds of him, nor the bloodstained rabble which seems to him such a high and mighty honor to preside over. When we can have a President of the People and not of a party I shall feel that a reformation has taken place in our country. When I can see faithfulness in the discharge of public duties and an enlightened understanding and views pervade the action of Government, then will I begin to think that honest men have been elected to office. When I can see more practice and less prating about Economy "frugality, "integrity, and the Cardinal "virtues" I may consider that the Offices and Revenues of the Nation are not considered the Spoils of party, and dealt out under the most systematic Plan of extended corruption and favoritism. Tell him this and then ascertain how he likes the picture. He will doubtless feel himself indebted to me for the privilege of seeing himself, for the scum, and mists, are so thick around him, that I doubt if even he had as much enlightenment before, and the sycophancy and degeneracy of the age is such that I doubt if any man has had the temerity to hold him up for himself to look at. I wonder in my heart that the Spirits of the departed hereoes of the Revolution do not rattle the Archives of the nation about their heads. That the scab or rot if you Please is seen in dreams by the departed Nullification Senator of the south & doubtless felt by him when awake, does not come upon them and darken their hands, their face and bodies as it has long since their heads.
Praying the God of Peace and Mercy to bless and Preserve you in all
truth and Righteousness, I Remain as Ever

Your undeviating friend
& brother in the Covenant

Hon J. M. Bernhisel Brigham Young
Washington City
D. C.

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, Feb. 28th 1854

Hon. John M. Bernhisel

Dear Brother

The January Mail is at last at hand, and your letters of December 11th & 13th are before me. In regard to the Drafts which which were forwarded to you for contingent expenses for the Governor's Office, it was altogether an oversight owing to a change of making Quarterly instead of Annual reports which it was supposed would suit the Department better, that being their usual method of doing business. The money is all right. I have received the $3000. as per your Account up to 30th of June A. D. 1854. As regards the bills over-running the appropriation that is the true statement abou it moreover what might be expected, and is what I have to pay myself. I of course did not expect the Department to pay more than the one Thousand a year. The amounts, of course, to be cut short to partly that Amount would not be true and full accounts if they were. If they prefer it however it shall be done hereafter. The papers, credits, vouchers, etc. have been regularly sent, but it appears not received. Copies will now be forwarded. I have also written to Mr. Whittlesey in relation to the subject and am sorry that any such mistake should have occurred as sending the Drafts, the more especially as he done me the favor of advancing the One Thousand for the year ending 30th of June 1854. the previous season, but such oversights will sometimes occur in the multiplicity of business and must therefore be excused.
The Indian Department is altogether another affair; on the 30th of June 1853 I forwarded a Draft notice of which was given in my a/ct Current for $8865.77 being for the Quarter next previous, the 30th of September 1853. I again forwarded my draft notice of which was also given in my Account Current for $3437.22, being for the Quarter next previous to
In the expectation that these claims would be promptly paid by the Department I drew upon you as follows, to wit.
In favor of James 1000
" of Livingston & Kinkead 3841.24
" 2000___
Total $6841.24 besides
..... McThane & Mrs. Beach which you have paid having that amt. of means in your hands subsequently received, a letter from the Department written under date of Nov 15[th] the following words. "Sir. Your letter of <the 30[th]> Sept. last has been received transmitting the Accounts and property returns of Agent Bedell and Sub-Agent Rose, for the Quarter ending on that date, and the Accounts of your superintendency for the same Quarter," "The Accounts will be examined and the proper parties informed of the Results. The drafts accounts will be paid on presentation not of any delinquency on your part the department." I had previously received a letter under date of Aug l0th, acknowledging the accounts for the Quarter ending June 30, 1853. Having received notice that the Accounts containing notice of the Drafts had been received and would be paid on presentation. Therefore, nothing doubting of that you had by applying for those funds sufficient to meet them my own salary was accumulating I draw upon you

O. H. Cogswell for 1340.35
W. Woodruff 858.00
McDonald & Adams 258.69
Livingston & Kinkead 193.00
10,900.60
Total former Drafts 6,841.24
Total Drafts both issues $ 17,747.74 17,747.74
The Quarter ending Dec[r]. 31, 1853, having been also forwarded amounting to $2274.22 would make the Accounts to stand as follows
Ending June 30th 1853 8845.77
" Sept 30 " 2427.22
" Decr.31 " 2274.50
$ 14557.49 14,557.49
Leaves a balance of 3,190.25
Deduct from the Amt of this year
ending March 31st 1854. 1875.
would only leave $ 1315.25

to be paid by future claims even if none of our old claims were or should be allowed. I am sorry that you were compelled to draw upon the Liverpool Office as I was extremely anxious that all of those funds should be applied to assist the Emigration.

In regard to Horace S. Eldredge we shall forward means from here to him and also instruct him to pay some of those bills in case that you have not received the necessary funds and settled them.

We are also desirous of disposing of the Woollen Factory Machinery which is in St Louis, which if it can be done will relieve us essentially from these difficulties which have occurred exclusively in consequence of Indian Affairs, doubtless rather augmented by Indian hostilities. The Commissioner had promised to give his reasons for not paying those drafts. I acknowledge myself a little with them the more especially after saying that he would pay them upon presentation. After all, it will be all right for it continues to teach us more and more to depend upon our own resources for everything pertaining Government. We are to it and were it not that other States and Territories are furnished we would not expect it. There are doubtless plenty of excuses when there is no disposition to pay it if it if it happened to suit them they would not even stop for an appropriation from Congress. In our case they might certainly have come up to it if they were so disposed the more especially when they naturally know that our expenses must necessarily have increased in consequence of the hostilities of the Indians and even if they should over run the regular appropriation, I suppose they never heard of such a thing as a Deficiency Bill which annually laps up from three or four Millions of Dollars. Estimates for appropriations cannot be expected to anticipate every circumstance that may happen. I do not care what their reasons are they could have those drafts had they been so disposed and would have done so by their own showing had they been presented as soon as the l0th Nov when the Commissioner stated to me that they would upon presentation. It is most inconvenient to be thus annoyed, but we will rise above it, and in due time the Commissioner will probably pay them.

In regard to the claims for depredations for the suppression of Indian Hostilities all will be presented as soon as they can be obtained from the several Military Districts. I had supposed that they had been forwarded by the Adjutant Generals. The Returns I am informed were nearly all in, and will immediately be forwarded but not probably before the next mail Reports of this kind may be found in the War Department at Washington City if they have not miscarried, for they have been made out and sent in previous years, but they appear to sleep very quietly while we are every year gradually paying them off. The United States Government do not appear to know that they have never yet paid a solitary dollar for the suppression of Indian hostilities in the Territory, although they and all the world do know that we have had more or less Indian difficulties since the winters of 1848 & /49. You shall have the full reports duplicated to you in good time.

Be of good courage, for all is well, let nothing dishearten you or <swerve> serve you from freely and fearlessly telling them how they act; let them see and know that we are not duped by their sophistry, but that still we ask no odds, we are as independent as they dare be and the time is not far distant when they will have to answer to the same Judge as ourselves and render an account of their stewardship.

We wish that you would procure the appointment of a mail Agent resident in the territory. The Great Salt Lake Post Office should also be a distributing office. The Government does not pay near enough for the transportation of the Mails to and from this Territory to insure their punctual transmission.

The Estimates which were mentioned were forwarded, but will be again, as it appears you have not received them. Your estimate is none too much and the policy you suggest is the one which we have always practised-- that of feeding and clothing them, and that too with a very little exception, at our own expense.

As regards the Officers, if the Government or our friends think they are conferring any favor upon us by making such changes as they have recently, they are exercising a mistaken kindness. I should have been much pleased to have had the old entire bench of Supreme Court retained, neither is our long continued Petition and invitation for the appointment of Dr Willard Richards for Secretary of the Territory answered or satisifed by the appointment of men like A. W. Babbitt. So little regard having hitherto been paid to our wishes in regard to who we would prefer for our officers, of the Territory, that it makes me almost feel indifferent about saying anything about it.

There is one item in your letter in relation to myself which I wish a little explanation upon as regards my re-appointment. "Those difficulties" which are in the way, and which you are familiar with." Do you know to what he aludes? If you do I shall be obliged to you if you will intrust them to me, and if you like myself are ignorant about what they are, will you please to ascertain what they may be, and inform me in your next. I tell you however to give yourself no uneasiness in the matter. Office I have never courted nor do I expect to of this administration, but I expect to be Governor "the difficulties in the way" thereof to the contrary notwithstanding.
Mr. Bedell has received an intimation from Col. Warren of Quincy that Peradventure Geo. W. Edwards will not come to the Territory as Associate Judge. If this should prove true and there should be a vacancy try to get some of our citizens appointed, Elias Smith, Geo. A. Smith, Orson Hyde, S. Williams or even Judge Snow. He was always a Democrat and moreover makes a very good Judge & would do better than a stranger. James Ferguson would make a good Attorney.

The Hon. L. K. Reid & Lee Shaver, the Two Judges who expect to leave this Season in consequence of being removed, are gentlemen of worth, and have seemed to take an interest in our affairs far beyond any other non-resident officers. They have certainly won <more> the respect
and confidence of this Community in their honesty, capability, and desire to promote good. They have strictly confined themselves to their own business and let other peoples alone and will long be held in lively recollection as men with whom it was a pleasure to associate.

Dr. Richards yet continues very unwell altho much better than he was last mail. The news of Reese's loss as published in the News is confirmed. The weather is quite stormy. I have been rather unwell a few days past but am now recovering.

Mr. Babbit has the proposition of Feramorz Little for building the Penitentiary. The arrangements with him is, if the Government approves the proposition that the money be deposited with you subject to his order of which I wish you to keep an eye, to write to me in relation thereto.

Now Dr. be bold enough to tell Mr. Franklin Pierce that the People of the Territory have a way, it may be a very peculiar way but an honest one of sending their infernal, dirty, sneaking, rotten-hearted, pot-house politicians out of the Territory, and if should come himself it would be all the same. Talk about Democracy, or even Republicanism! How did our Fathers of 70 to 76 do when the Government of England imposed Government Judges, and Officers upon them contary to their wishes! Were they right in doing as they did and shall we submit to the same unnatural and cursed tyranny and not resent? No! by the manes of our Departed Fathers who bled for liberty. No! by respect we owe to ourselves, to our children, our country and our God. We will rid ourselves of as many such white livered, blackhearted, sycophantic Demagogues, as the Administration shall send, though they be like the locusts and frogs of Egypt. Even in this age of progressive Democracy are we to have our wishes thwarted and not respected in regard to who we shall have to govern us and pretend to live in a free Government? I feel indignant when I see such cursed hypocrisy. Hear! men, officers, Presidents if you please! prate about integrity in high places, about the "highest tone" and standard of public morality marking every part of the Administration and Legislature of the General Government! about unsleeping vigilance! cultivating the cardinal virtues! public frugality! official integrity and purity!! and all being so conducted that a settled conviction shall pervade the entire union that these things are so. What unblushing Effrontery to mouth virtues like these in such a sink of Corruption, iniquity and political debauchery! It is like the Imps of Satan singing prayers amid the howling of the Damned. Tell Mr. Pierce this and that we ask no odds of him, nor the bloodstained rabble which seems to him such a high and mighty honor to preside over. When we can have a President of the People and not of a party I shall feel that a reformation has taken place in our country. When I can see faithfulness in the discharge of public duties and an enlightened understanding and views pervade the action of Government, then will I begin to think that honest men have been elected to office. When I can see more practice and less prating about Economy "frugality, "integrity, and the Cardinal "virtues" I may consider that the Offices and Revenues of the Nation are not considered the Spoils of party, and dealt out under the most systematic Plan of extended corruption and favoritism. Tell him this and then ascertain how he likes the picture. He will doubtless feel himself indebted to me for the privilege of seeing himself, for the scum, and mists, are so thick around him, that I doubt if even he had as much enlightenment before, and the sycophancy and degeneracy of the age is such that I doubt if any man has had the temerity to hold him up for himself to look at. I wonder in my heart that the Spirits of the departed hereoes of the Revolution do not rattle the Archives of the nation about their heads. That the scab or rot if you Please is seen in dreams by the departed Nullification Senator of the south & doubtless felt by him when awake, does not come upon them and darken their hands, their face and bodies as it has long since their heads.

Praying the God of Peace and Mercy to bless and Preserve you in all
truth and Righteousness, I Remain as Ever

Your undeviating friend
& brother in the Covenant

Hon J. M. Bernhisel Brigham Young
Washington City
D. C.