1854 April 29 Letter to Stephen A. Douglas

Title

1854 April 29 Letter to Stephen A. Douglas

Description

Brigham comments on Jim Bridger's efforts to destroy Utah's reputation, addresses the proposed reduction of Utah's boundaries and seeks to know the future route of the railroad.

Type

Correspondence

Sender

Brigham Young

Recipient

Stephen A. Douglas

Date

1854 April 29

Location

Great Salt Lake City
Washington City, D. C.

Number of Pages

4

Subject

Government
Railroad
Legal Matters
Territorial Boundaries

extracted text

Great Salt Lake City, April 29th, 1854.
Hon. S, A. Douglass
Washington City
D. C.
Dear Sir,
The last Eastern mail which arrived on the 13th, inst. brought but few papers, and but little news of any description. From what came to hand I learned that Congress were enjoying quite a set to on the "Nebraska Bill", and that now and then a senator amused himself, and perhaps, his audience, by wandering from the legitimate channel of the debate into episodical comments, upon our strictly constitutional domestic regulations.

It is also rumored that one famed Bridger, from Black's fork of Green River, has become the oracle to Congress in all matters pertaining to Utah, not only civil and political, but even historical and geographical, informing them, and the Missouri Democrat of the awfulness of Utah's assessing and collecting taxes (doubtless unlike any other State or Territory) or in other words having an applicable and well digested revenue law; that the Pah-van-te Indians were connected with Walker, and that Walker was waging war upon the Mormons; that the Mormons must have killed Capt Gunnison because the Pah-van-tes had no guns; that the Mormons are an outrageous set entirely, with no redeeming traits &c &c; and rumor further says, that all this nonsense was "confirmation strong as proof from holy "writ" for an onslaught upon our character, our institutions, and our boundaries. Now pleasantry aside, is it not a little singular that any person, in any clime, (let alone in the U. S, and that too in Washington and St Louis) should have been in the least inclined to listen to Bridger's yarns, more especially if they had eyes, and could see him, and still more especially when it is well known that our Delegate is a gentleman of the strictest integrity, and always ready to furnish all necessary reliable information. The perfect folly for any one to listen to Bridger's statements on any subject, even to Indian trade, and trapping, is so obvious, to any one possessed of the least discernment, that I dismiss the subject by wishing you to read the enclosed depositions of W. C. Wright and John L. Mosman, disinterested gentlemen who passed through this city last season, on their way to California; and who considered his conversation and conduct so uncivilized that they voluntarily gave their depositions.
From all I can as yet learn concerning the boundaries of the contemplated new Territories (Nebraska & Kansas) I find that the Eastern boundary of Utah is moved from its organic line on the Summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern rim of what is called the Great Basin. This may be a very wise, crafty, politic, and just alteration of boundary, but I must candidly say that I do not so consider it, for numerous reasons which I presume you do, or should, know; hence I will waive stating them, and tell you how it looks to me, viz: like "two faces under one hood," or like a card faced on both sides, and having on one side, for all mormon hating, legal voters, this motto, "can you not discern that the mormons are no pets of ours? do you not see that we have curtailed them of nearly half their Territory without the least show of reason, and manifestly to the disadvantage of all settlers between the present and former eastern boundary of Utah"? and on the other this "Oh! you dearly beloved Mormons please observe that you have still quite a scope of mountain, desert and arid plain, and how thankful you should be that you have any portion of Territory left you! for the prejudices of the wire workers are so powerful against you,--and are not your institutions preserved?" well
"Double double, toil and trouble,
Caldron boil, and caldron bubble."

No doubt many fancy that they have now succeeded in nearly swallowing us up; please say to all such that "I am sanguine that the Mormons are still here in their central position and are laboring diligently & earnestly, as heretofore, for the peace, union, prosperity and welfare of ourselves, of our common country, and in fine of all mankind, at an altitude of over 4000 feet above the strata of tumult, turmoil, and strife that are occupying the time, and energies of the great majority of the human family. In all frankness, Friend Douglass, I shall feel exceedingly obliged by the organization of the two proposed Territories, and with their proposed boundaries, for in Nebraska our population is even now the majority, and we had contemplated making several settlements therein in a short time, and you see that we stand every chance for having two Territories in liew of one. I wish the good people of the United States to understand further, that, so far from forgetting their interests, or welfare, we have already sent a large and new recruit of our elders to operate in the States east of the Rocky mountains, and to purchase lands, and form settlements in the neighborhood of Cincinnati, St Louis, and other localities, with all possible energy and dispatch, so that like the poor our Savior <spoke> of, you are in a fair way to have us with you, if not "always," at least quite a goodly length of time. In short "there is a better time coming, wait a little longer."
I do not design trespassing upon your time, but felt free to indulge in writing a friendly letter, for old acquaintance sake, hoping that you will as frankly reciprocate at your earliest convenience, and give me some of your candid views of men and meausres for the gratification of
Truly your friend,
(Signed) Brigham Young


P S. Friend Douglass, what are you going to do about a Railroad to the Pacific? Will you advocate the Route by the Box Elder Pass in the Black Hills, Bridger's Pass in the Rocky Mountains, Timpanagos or Provo Canon, &c, as the best line for the first Railway to be built from the Missouri to the Pacific, or what do you think of it? You need not be shy in expressing your views on this subject, for rest assured that whatever route that Road takes it will be the very best one for the interests of Utah, and precisely where we had rather have it.
B.Y

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, April 29th, 1854.

Hon. S, A. Douglass
Washington City
D. C.

Dear Sir,

The last Eastern mail which arrived on the 13th, inst. brought but few papers, and but little news of any description. From what came to hand I learned that Congress were enjoying quite a set to on the "Nebraska Bill", and that now and then a senator amused himself, and perhaps, his audience, by wandering from the legitimate channel of the debate into episodical comments, upon our strictly constitutional domestic regulations.

It is also rumored that one famed Bridger, from Black's fork of Green River, has become the oracle to Congress in all matters pertaining to Utah, not only civil and political, but even historical and geographical, informing them, and the Missouri Democrat of the awfulness of Utah's assessing and collecting taxes (doubtless unlike any other State or Territory) or in other words having an applicable and well digested revenue law; that the Pah-van-te Indians were connected with Walker, and that Walker was waging war upon the Mormons; that the Mormons must have killed Capt Gunnison because the Pah-van-tes had no guns; that the Mormons are an outrageous set entirely, with no redeeming traits &c &c; and rumor further says, that all this nonsense was "confirmation strong as proof from holy "writ" for an onslaught upon our character, our institutions, and our boundaries. Now pleasantry aside, is it not a little singular that any person, in any clime, (let alone in the U. S, and that too in Washington and St Louis) should have been in the least inclined to listen to Bridger's yarns, more especially if they had eyes, and could see him, and still more especially when it is well known that our Delegate is a gentleman of the strictest integrity, and always ready to furnish all necessary reliable information. The perfect folly for any one to listen to Bridger's statements on any subject, even to Indian trade, and trapping, is so obvious, to any one possessed of the least discernment, that I dismiss the subject by wishing you to read the enclosed depositions of W. C. Wright and John L. Mosman, disinterested gentlemen who passed through this city last season, on their way to California; and who considered his conversation and conduct so uncivilized that they voluntarily gave their depositions.

From all I can as yet learn concerning the boundaries of the contemplated new Territories (Nebraska & Kansas) I find that the Eastern boundary of Utah is moved from its organic line on the Summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern rim of what is called the Great Basin. This may be a very wise, crafty, politic, and just alteration of boundary, but I must candidly say that I do not so consider it, for numerous reasons which I presume you do, or should, know; hence I will waive stating them, and tell you how it looks to me, viz: like "two faces under one hood," or like a card faced on both sides, and having on one side, for all mormon hating, legal voters, this motto, "can you not discern that the mormons are no pets of ours? do you not see that we have curtailed them of nearly half their Territory without the least show of reason, and manifestly to the disadvantage of all settlers between the present and former eastern boundary of Utah"? and on the other this "Oh! you dearly beloved Mormons please observe that you have still quite a scope of mountain, desert and arid plain, and how thankful you should be that you have any portion of Territory left you! for the prejudices of the wire workers are so powerful against you,--and are not your institutions preserved?" well

"Double double, toil and trouble,
Caldron boil, and caldron bubble."

No doubt many fancy that they have now succeeded in nearly swallowing us up; please say to all such that "I am sanguine that the Mormons are still here in their central position and are laboring diligently & earnestly, as heretofore, for the peace, union, prosperity and welfare of ourselves, of our common country, and in fine of all mankind, at an altitude of over 4000 feet above the strata of tumult, turmoil, and strife that are occupying the time, and energies of the great majority of the human family. In all frankness, Friend Douglass, I shall feel exceedingly obliged by the organization of the two proposed Territories, and with their proposed boundaries, for in Nebraska our population is even now the majority, and we had contemplated making several settlements therein in a short time, and you see that we stand every chance for having two Territories in liew of one. I wish the good people of the United States to understand further, that, so far from forgetting their interests, or welfare, we have already sent a large and new recruit of our elders to operate in the States east of the Rocky mountains, and to purchase lands, and form settlements in the neighborhood of Cincinnati, St Louis, and other localities, with all possible energy and dispatch, so that like the poor our Savior <spoke> of, you are in a fair way to have us with you, if not "always," at least quite a goodly length of time. In short "there is a better time coming, wait a little longer."

I do not design trespassing upon your time, but felt free to indulge in writing a friendly letter, for old acquaintance sake, hoping that you will as frankly reciprocate at your earliest convenience, and give me some of your candid views of men and meausres for the gratification of

Truly your friend,
(Signed) Brigham Young


P S. Friend Douglass, what are you going to do about a Railroad to the Pacific? Will you advocate the Route by the Box Elder Pass in the Black Hills, Bridger's Pass in the Rocky Mountains, Timpanagos or Provo Canon, &c, as the best line for the first Railway to be built from the Missouri to the Pacific, or what do you think of it? You need not be shy in expressing your views on this subject, for rest assured that whatever route that Road takes it will be the very best one for the interests of Utah, and precisely where we had rather have it.

B.Y