1859 June 16 Letter to Asa Calkins


1859 June 16 Letter to Asa Calkins


Details about Capitan R. H. Anderson encamping 100 troops on private property, destroying wheat fields and then ignoring a writ of habeas corpus. Details are also given concerning obscenities and theft by troops under Major Lyons. Advise is given on how and what to print in the Stars.




Brigham Young


Asa Calkins


1859 June 16


Great Salt Lake City
Islington, Liverpool, England

Number of Pages



Financial Matters

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City,
June 16, 1859

President Asa Calkin,
No 42 Islington Liverpool England,

Dear Brother:--

Since last writing to you I have received yours of April 15, also a letter to Elder D. O. Calder concerning the Jones draft. By letters from Elders Eldridge and Coward I learn that you have rendered them material aid for the accomplishment of business intrusted to their care in the States, with which I am highly gratified, as also with the conduct of the business and the condition and spirit of the Saints in your Presidency, so far as I have information upon the subject. I have drawn on you draft No 108, favor of Samuel Frances, for twenty five dollars ($25.00) also draft No 109, favor of Chas. H. Rhees, twenty five dollars ($25.00

General news, except as noted weekly in the 'News', is not of much interest further than some late conduct by detachments from Camp Floyd. Not long since a detachment of some 100 troops, under command of Cap. R. H. Anderson, returned from a trip to Fort Hall, or that neighbo<o>rhood, in oregon Territory. They passed through our streets on the 13th inst. on their way to Camp Floyd, encamped for the night, when they could easily have stopped short of or gone beyond the city, on br. Jno Van Cotts five acre lot of wheat in the S. E. part of this city, and pastured their animals upon that and some 4 or 5 other five acre lots adjoining. Bro Van Cott visited the camp and enquired of the gallant Cap. Anderson why he had encamped upon his field, to which civil and very proper question the gallant and civilized captain responded with very unbecoming language and threats, and arrested br. Vancott and confined him in guard quarters until the next morning when he released him, but said nothing about indemnifying him for the gross outrage upon his property and person. what Gen'l Johnston may order in the case is not yet known here, for sufficient time has not elapsed to enable Governor Cumming to fulfil his promise that, if the citizens would keep quiet, the wanton abuse should be made right. Had it not been for respect to Gov. Cummings and his statements, the gallant Captain would probably have been rather unceremoniously ejected from his lawless encampment and grazing upon the grain fields of American citizens. All as yet done in the matter, so far as I am informed, was the issuing a writ of habeas corpus by Judge Sinclair, U. S. Marshall, P. K. Dotson, who, for some cause, served the writ upon Van Cott instead of Anderson, and was reprimanded by the Judge and sent back for Anderson, when Anderson immediately released Van Cott struck camp and pursued his way to Camp Floyd. What answer the brave, civilized and gallant Cap. Anderson, 2nd Dragoons, U. S. A. will make to his contempt towards a U. S. Judge and Marshall, in paying no attention to the issuance to and service upon him of a writ of habeas Corpus, ha not transpired. What a howling would have been raised in the dwellings of Japhet, had a citizen of Utah conducted as did the gallant Captain in the 2nd Dragoons, U. S. A. is easily imagined by any person but slightly <acquainted> with our past history.

Another detachment of some 150, under command of one gallant Major Lyons, encamped just east of the Penetentiary, and adjacent to the Southern line of the city, on the 14th inst., and during the following night it is reliably stated that some 25 or 30 persons hailing from that camp entered, after threatening to break in, the house of bro. Moon, where they drank some 2 gallons of whiskey, and took away with them a saw, an axe and a number of fowls, without so much as offering any compensation for the liquor extorted by threats of violence, and of course none for the property stolen. Is this the boasted law, order, and civilization of those sent to "restore the supremacy of the laws in Utah? On the 15th inst. the gallant Major Lyons and command passed through the city on their way to the Humboldt or Mary's river, and while passing through some portions of the city it is reported that some of them sung obscene songs, used filthy language and made indecent gestures. It may be that the gallant Army of the U. S. has become subject alone to a "higher law" so much spoken and written [sentence cut off] themselves answerable to principles couched in laws founded in justice, nor even to the commonest amenities that should characterize the bearing of individuals of one great family, to say nothing of their being citizens of a common and renowned Government. Patience is ranked upon the virtues, and we certainly enjoy a most excellent opportunity for exercising it; but the just limits to patience can be transcended. However, we trust that Gov. Cumming, Genl. Johnston and President Buchanan will exert their influence to bring about a better line of conduct on the part of those under their control who are disposed to be reckless, ere Utah ceases forbearance, though she has already endured more abuse and that too without any cause therefor on her part, that any other State or Territory would or could.

Our fruit crop will not be large, owing to the blighting influences of a violent East wind when the trees were in bloom. Wheat and other crops, notwithstanding the lateness of the winter, bid fair for a plentiful harvest. All are busily engaged in their several avocations, and good health is general. Your family are well, and I presume you have ere this received letters, from your wife who is in the States.

The business portion of letters from this Office do not, to my eyes, look well in the "Stars"; it would be well to use a very wise and politic discrimination in the selection of matter to print from letters sent to you, also in the time for printing such part of parts as your judgement might dictate to be proper and beneficial to appear in print; and very often a mere synopsis of the news in such letters, in your own style and language, without any quotations might best render every useful purpose.

Your brother in the Gospel

(signed) Brigham Young

The Presidents own signature was attached to the letter sent to Bro A Calkin