1854 October 30 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


1854 October 30 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


An invitation for Kane to return as the Utah Congressional Delegate. Brigham advises and discusses housing, transportation, government and personal matters. He petitions Kane to advocate for Utah's desired route for the Pacific Rail Road.




Brigham Young


Thomas L. Kane


1854 October 30


Great Salt Lake City
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
October 30th 1854

Col. Thos L. Kane
Phila. Pa.

Dear Colonel,

Your very acceptable, and highly valuable present of a splendid copy of The Grinnel Expedition, with a large bundle of papers, and several detached plates illustrative of the Expedition, came safe to hand, for which please accept my Thanks. Not merely for the real value of the present, but more particularly for its indicating a kindly and still enduring personal regard.

I take it for granted that you are sufficiently acquainted with me, and my course, to know that when I speak, or write, I do so in all frankness, and candor, for the best interests of the people of Utah, and their friends, and the lovers of truth in all the world, and I think I am not mistaken in your feelings when I presume that you will candidly receive, weigh, and act upon my business views in this letter as proceeding from one truly your friend.

After reflecting carefully upon the Territorial circumstances of Utah, and the expressed feeling and the action of the majority of the members of Congress toward us, I have come to the conclusion that it might not seriously interfere with your arrangements, and be mutually advantageous to all parties, if you will consent to be returned as the Delegate to Congress from this Territory, at the next August election.

I have suggested this idea to my Council, and other prominent citizens, and all unanimously concur in the excellenc of the plan, and you know this people well enough to be certain that they will vote as they may be counselled, hence you will have no dubiety as to the result of the election, in case you accept the nomination now proffered. This proffer is not made as a matter of compliment, nor for flattery, but in consideration of your past faithfulness and Zeal in our behalf in the days of our adversity, and as the only suitable remuneration therefor at present in our power; and since you have endured with us in the storm, we are anxious to enjoy your society in the calm, and trust from past experience, that we shall not be disappointed in our expectations.

Your undeviating friend Mr. Grant, assures me that this proposition will be cordially received by you as a token of our high respect, and regards; and that it will doubtless please you to comply with our wishes in this matter. Trusting that you may conclude to coincide with the frank proposition so cordially made, and knowing the uncertainty of mail communication during the winter I will take the liberty of offering a few suggestions. To secure a residence in Utah, it will be best to see Mr. McGraw, or Mr. Reeside, of the firm of McGraw & Reeside, our mail Contractors, and, if they have not such an one, have them fit up a carriage that will be comfortable, and convenient for the transportation of yourself and wife, and suth other portion of your family as you may wish to have accompany you; and be in readiness to start from the frontier with the mail by the first of April, or May next.

As some of the streams may be high, and difficult to cross, it will be much safer, and more pleasant for your family and beneficial to the mail carriers, if the contractors will provide a suitable India Rubber Boat, as the expense & transportation would be trifling, and it would enable them to cross over their passengers, and the mailsacks, with far less risk of accident, and would last several years, with proper care and usage.

Upon your arrival here, you can easily purchase, or rent a house and lot, you are then a resident, and eligible to any elective Office in our bestowal, and upon advices from you touching renting, or purchasing a house, furniture therefor &c, and any other suggestions for arrangements here, I shall be pleased to carry out your wishes.

Our election is held annually on the first Monday in August, and you will perceive that leaving the frontier with the April, or May Mail, gives you opportunity to get fully rested to enjoy yourself awhile in the society of your true friends, to become generally acquainted with our influential citizens before the election, and the privilege of starting back with the august, or September Mail, as you may prefer, and affords your family the pleasantest season of the year for a trip out and back, in case you do not wish to leave any of them here, in which event your house can be left with a good tenant, or in my care.

Not knowing your financial circumstances, and being aware that a trip to this place with your family, and perhaps an interruption in your business arrangements, will envolve considerable expense for which you may be unprepared, I am ready, and cheerfully anxious to extend any assistance you may desire, whether of a pecuniary, or other character, to enable you to carry out the design herein proposed.

The Hon J. M. Bernhisel, our present Delegate, is my Official business Agent at Washington, and in case you become our Delegate it would be highly satisfactory to me if you would accept of that Agency. Again, as Utah from her isolated position is much interested in the Pacific Rail Road question, and as I am sanguine that the route advocated by the Legislative Assembly last winter is the best for the whole union, for the first main trunk, and at the same time know that it is the best for us, any aid your position and influence will permit you to extend to Dr. Bernhisel, to enable him to bring that route favorably before the next Session of Congress will be duly appreciated, as also your Co-operation with the Doctor on any other matter interesting this Territory.

I am perfectly aware that President Peirce, when exercising his appointing power, has to rely more or less upon the representations of his friends, as to the capabilities and fitness of applicants for office, and perhaps Utah has fared no worse than other regions; for Chief Justice Kinney appears to be much of a gentleman, the Official course of Judge Shaver and Marshal Heywood, is highly satisfactory to the people, & the District Attorney evinces a frank demeanor, but Secretary Babbitt, and Judge Styles are broad exceptions to judicious selections.

I probably should not have thought it worth while to allude to our U. S. Officers had I not been informed that Babbitt and Styles are claimed by the party as being appointed to the credit, and for the gratification of Utah, when the fact is, they are persons we never should have dreamed of petitioning for, are not fit for the offices they hold, and have no influence here, only for evil; and neither of them could get any office depending upon the petition or votes of our population.

To change the topic, I take pleasure in informing you, that our missionaries who pass through Philadelphia report to me highly commendatory of your kindness and courtesy towards them, which they prize much, and none more so than myself, not alone from your position, and the rare occurence of such treatment from those not of our faith, but as evidencing that high toned fellow feeling so indicative of upright, sympathetic magnanimity.

My health, and that of my family, of Prests. Kimball & Grant, and their families, of your tried friend Dr. Richard's family, and of your other numerous friends here, is good, as also that of the people generally.

Peaceful relations continue between us and our red neighbors, and union and prosperity attend our efforts in the vallies of the mountains.

A change of our Delegate will make it obligatory upon me to acquaint Dr. Bernhisel therewith at the earliest date, that he may make arrangements accordingly, hence you will be pleased to favor me with your answer, as soon as it may be convenient for you to determine on the subject now presented for your consideration.

Should you prefer to come out in your own conveyance, many of your friends here will be glad of the opportunity of meeting you on the route and aid in accompanying you in.

To insure this letter's reaching you I shall forward one copy to you, one enclosed to Dr. Bernhisel for him to peruse and forward to you, and one by the next mail.

In a letter to the Doctor by this mail, I have requested him to keep the subject of this my letter to you strictly confidential between you two.

Hoping that your answer will be favorable, and my frankness be understood and reciprocated.

I Remain with high esteem
Most Truly Your Friend

Brigham Young 

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1854 October 31 Letter to John M. Bernhisel