1859 January 14 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


1859 January 14 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


Concerns local updates on the Legislative Assembly, government officers, politics and the court case of James Ferguson. Brigham expresses frustration with corrupt officials and the ongoing misrepresentation of the Church and its members.




Brigham Young


Thomas L. Kane


1859 January 14


Great Salt Lake City

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G. S. L. City, U. T.
Jany. 14th. 1859

Col. Thomas L. Kane,

My Dear Friend:--

Though having nothing direct from you; yet I feel to improve the opportunity of private conveyance.

We have thus far passed the ordeal without being forced into a collision, or even an outward quarrel with our enemies; although a few have spared no pains to involve us therein.  But the Lord has frustrated and thwarted their purposes, and left them to sip of their own folly.  The murmurings now are against Mormon Juries.  Is it not really a pity that the authority of Congress does not allow this sagacious court to import all the Jurors as well as other Officers and Postmasters, so that things could go, regardless of right, to their liking?  The Juries selected by Mr. Dotson for Mr. Sinclair's Court, just closed, consisted of half transient persons not citizens, and some of them known to be our bitterest foes:  and yet the junto failed in accomplishing a single thing which they so sedulously planned.  They reached no business of consequence, or, to speak more correctly, adjourned the juries so soon as they approached legitimate business for the court, leaving some eight or ten prisoners in custody untried.

The question, of which you have doubtlessly heard, that no Court had been broken up, or even disturbed in Utah -- is virtually decided by James Ferguson's acquittal before Judge Sinclair.  As in the case of destroying the Records, Library, &c., so now interrupting the courts, has upon the fullest investigation, before a court known to be unfriendly, fallen to the ground.  So will it be with every charge made against us as a people touching our loyalty, patriotism, or devotion to our country's constitutional Government, and her free and glorious institutions whenever and wherever fairly tested.  But let our present small annoyances pass, and let us look to the bright, the hopeful future.

I observe that Mr. Morris of Illinois has notified the House that he will introduce a bill authorizing the Territories to elect their own Governors, Judges &c..  I will merely observe, that if such a law should pass it would be very likely to obviate any necessity for a "Rebellion" in the Territories, and the attendant necessary expense of sending formidable and terrible armies to crush it out.

I hope that Mr. Secy. Floyd will accept our submission, "in whispers of terror" in advance.  This motion of Mr. Morris is a move in the right direction and will, I trust, prevail.

Admission is most desirable; but if Congress cannot accede to us so great a boon, let them at least extend an Enabling Act.  I understand from reports that Judge Eckels is in Washington.  I think he will not have much influence.  Hurt and Craig are removed:  those still are members of the junto, to which I am sorry to add Mr. Sinclair, and I fear Cradlebaugh, have thought proper to attach themselves.  Our imported Postmaster still remains, and Peter Dotson is still Marshal of the Territory.  The Army also we are told by Mr. Secy. Floyd are necessary to be retained in Utah.

What has become of the Report of the Commissioners?  It has not yet been received here.  It was strongly urged by them while here that the Army would be called elsewhere so soon as His Excellency the President could remove them with safety to all political parties, being already convinced there was no necessity for their prolonged retention in this Territory, & in our settlements especially.  

Those are all objects to be obtained and obstacles to be removed, and our friends must excuse us for directing their attention thereto.

I am happy to learn <tho'> through an indirect source, that you have recovered your health, and sincerely hope that you are quite yourself again.  We trust that you received your trunk and all your things safely and unimpairedly from the hands of Mr. Horace S. Eldredge, by whom they were sent.

Mr. Wilson, so far as his course is an indication to his intention, will probably act in concert with Governor Cumming on all general questions; and the Governor still holds his independent course, which gives his Administration power, and makes it effective in preserving good order.

The Legislative Assembly is now in session, and acting quite harmoniously with Governor Cumming and the Secretary, Mr. Hartnett.  A few Memorials will be adopted to the General Government, and forwarded to our Delegate; but it is doubtful whether they arrive in time to be presented before the adjournment.

You, Colonel, are daily and hourly remembered by us all our supplications to the throne of power, and in the domestic circle.  We shall ever appreciate the good, the generous, the energetic and talented Little Co.. Excuse me Col., and do not feel that I am intruding, knowing your views are so different from ours, as I express not only my own, but the sentiments of all around me -- those and many, very many more than you associated with while we were favored with your presence in this so far distant retreat.  So far distant why should we not expect to be left free from the interference of our enemies, instead of being forever pursued, misrepresented and traduced -- but forgive me for recurring to this unpleasant subject.

We have had a favorable harvest.  Many of our people have labored for the Army.  Trade with Merchants -- mostly Gentiles, as they call themselves --has been brisk, and high prices for their goods maintained.  A large quantity of cloth, homespun, has been manufactured, and a degree of general prosperity attends every interest of the Territory; and we trust that the strenuous efforts our enemies are now making in certain quarters will not soon again be able to interrupt the peace, quiet and general prosperity of our young and thriving Territory.

We have forwarded to Geo. Q. Cannon regular files of the 'Deseret News' and 'Valley Tan,' to which we expect you to have full access.

May the God of Abraham bless you Col.; your dear Wife and children; your Mother and all your reverend Father's family, with all that pertain to you and them; and may you rejoice continually in the prosperity and success which shall attend all your efforts, and the Holy One of Israel guard and protect you from every evil.

The health of myself, family and friends generally is good.

Sincerely and truly your friend

Brigham Young