1859 August 18 Letter to Asa Calkins


1859 August 18 Letter to Asa Calkins


Update are given on current events including two shootings, attacks by the Indians, court business and the progress of the handcart company. Calkin's is encouraged to visit relatives.




Brigham Young


Asa Calkins


1859 August 18


Great Salt Lake City
Islington, Liverpool, England

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

G. S. L. City, Aug. 18, 1859.

President A. Calkin,
42 Islington, Liverpool, England,

Dear Brother:--
Since my last to you, July 21, I have received your favor of June 18, and am pleased that you are enabled to continue so favorable reports. The Pound2. draft, in favor of A. J. Stewart, is herewith returned with br. Stewart's endorsement. I coincide with your views in regard to your son, and, so soon as I can determine in my own mind in relation to the length of time wisdom may require you to occupy your present position, I shall be able to advise you upon the subject. I have drawn upon you draft No. 111, for Pound10.5.0, in favor of Peter Reid, Campbelton, Argyleshire, Scotland.

The kind and overuling providences of our God continue to be plainly manifested in behalf of His cause and kingdom upon the earth, and of all who are striving to maintain them, greatly to the confusion and disappointment of those who delight in oppression. The wicked are occasionally slaying the wicked, and many are floating off to the East and west, finding our locality and society uncongenial with their plans. Not long since one McNeil was shot and killed by some person unknown, but presumed to be a Joseph Rhodes, said to have belonged to Joaquin's robber band in California, and is yet at large. You will remember that br. Howard Spencer's skull was severely fractured last spring in Rush Valley by a brutal and cowardly blow given with a musket by a sergeant Pike, U. S. A. Last week said Pike was in this city, and, in broad daylight, on our most frequented street, in sight of a hundred or more persons, was shot and since died of the wound. Strange to relate, the person who shot Pike escaped and is still at large. There is much discrepancy in the statements of lookers on as to the height, size, &c. of the one who fired, but Pike deposed that it was Howard Spencer. There is also a difference of opinion among the new comers as to the criminalty of the shooting, many averring that if it was Spencer he did just as they would have done, except the being so daring. Some California emigrants on the northern route to that State were lately set upon by Indians who killed six or seven of the company, drove off their animals and plundered their wagons.

Upon a requisition from the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Genl. Johnston sent a company of dragoons to look <after> those Indians, and it is reported that some Indians attacked them near Box Elder and wounded from six to nine soldiers, two of whom it is said have since died. Genl. Johnston has dispatched one company of dragoons and two companies of infantry to their assistance, How the affair will progress is undetermined

Judge Sinclair has been holding a term of court in this city for some time but on to morrow purposes to adjourn for 2 or 3 weeks But little business has as yet been done in the court. Particulars of its proceedings you will learn in the Deseret News, which prints the Reporter's minutes considerably in detail

The camp followers and some other characters in Camp Floyd are becoming a little restive under the continued thwarting of their darling schemes, but Genl. Johnston still manages to keep them pretty well in check, though it is presumable that he is fully well occupied in the operation.

Bros. Horace S. Eldredge, Joseph W. Young and John W. Coward arrived here on the 15th inst., and report the hand cart and all other companies in the enjoyment of unusually good health and spirits, and making fair head way. Several wagons loaded with flour, bacon, &c. started to-day to meet the hand carts, which they are expected to do in the neighborhood of Green river, when they will deliver the provisions and load up with the weak, lame and infirm, if there by any, and return. The hand cart company will probably arrive in about two weeks. Bro Eldredge states that they have made a pretty clean sweep of the Saints who were in St Louis, Florence, &c. From present indications, our this season's emigration and mdz. will arrive in good time and condition.

Goods have already arrived in large quantities, and it is estimated that only one half are in. This, with the increasing scarcity of money, has caused quite a revolution in general. Sugar is selling at from 33 to 37(1/2) cents a pound retail. 30 by the sack, and other things in proportion. Large stocks of goods are being offered at cost and 20 cents a pound for freight, but buyers decline, as there is every probability they will [sentence cut off] cents lower, on the pound, and perhaps at Eastern cost.

You have doubtless, long ere this, learned of your wife's arrival in the States, and I trust that, if you have not already done so, you will find time to avail yourself of the privilege to visit your relatives in the States with her, as heretofore advised, and enjoy a pleasant relaxation from Office cares and labors. We shall probably send a few Elders to England this fall, and we may be able, ere long, to fix upon some one to relieve you next spring, in time for you to return next season.

Advise with bro. George Q. Cannon upon the matter, and, as fast as consistent with circumstances, let the Saints emigrate to the States and seek such temporary locations and employment as br. George may be able to counsel each reaching in this direction as far as may be convenient from time to time. This course will enable them to furnish facilities for earning a comfortable livelihood and working their way to our home in the mountains.
The wheat harvest has generally proved very good, and corn has never looked so promising.

The health of your family, friends, and of the community continues to be good.

Your Brother in the Gospel and ever praying for your prosperity,

Brigham Young