1859 September 17 Letter to George Q. Cannon


1859 September 17 Letter to George Q. Cannon


An update is given on Grand Jury charges and Court business. Members of the military and army followers were allowed to vote. The Indians are hostile due to unjust attacks. Cannon is asked to aid William Hooper.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


George Q. Cannon


1859 September 17


Great Salt Lake City
New York

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs
Legal Matters

Item sets

President's Office,
G.S.L. City, Sep. 17. 1859.

Elder George Q. Cannon,

Room No. 12 81 Nassau Street
Fulton & John New York,

Dear Brother:--
Our Delegate, the Hon. W.H. Hooper, a few Elders sent upon missions, and some going to the States on business expect to start on the 20th inst., affording opportunity for safe transmission of letters, &c.

Lest you may not have received full files of the 'News' and 'Mountaineer', I forward to Col. Kane a full file of the Mountaineer (4 numbers) and those numbers of the 'News' containing District Court reports, that you may be informed upon the Grand Jury charges by Judges Sinclair, Cradlebaugh and Eckles, and upon the Court business transacted thus far, with the spirit with which even the reports, devoid of minute detail, evidence it has been conducted. During this, the first, week of his adjourned term Judge Sinclair has shown a commendable spirit for the dispatch of business, and his official deportment has assumed a suavity altogether unusual in the Judges appointed by Pres. Buchanan. How long dispatch and courtesey may mark his court proceedings, it would, perhaps, be rather difficult to state, or why, of a sudden, he has so varied from the precedent course followed by himself and colleagues. But from whatever cause adopted, or however long it may continue, we hail the present proceedings as ominous for our good.

Notwithstanding Gen. Johnston's high sounding proclamation "To the people of Utah," June 14, 1858, "the sound has proved hollow and unreliable, and the presence and practices of the army have savored of evil, and that continually. They prohibit the Assessor and Collector of taxes in Cedar County, in which Camp Floyd is located, from entering said Camp in his official capacity and then, at the general election in august last, Judge Eckles took possession of the polls in Fairfield, which is adjacent to Camp and, through his invitation, or permission, the army and followers voted in utter disregard of the refusal to pay taxes having disqualified the whole of them, and of course paying no attention to questions of residency, citizenship and other qualifications of voters. It is probable that Gen. Johnston, in defending his aforesaid proclamation, might urge, in keeping with army practice, that 'Mormons' have no rights, but in such case he should not have proclaimed so loudly "that no person whatever will be in anywise interfered with or molested in his person or rights."

In the Box Elder affair, in which a Lieut. Gay and a company of dragoons attacked a camp of a few old Indians, squaws and children, without any knowledge of their guilt or innocence, and precipitately fled with several wounded and the cruel and wanton murder of a friendly Indian boy peacefully following his avocation, upon what principle did said Gay find and publish fault with the guide who, at said Lieutenant's particular request, piloted them to the Indian Camp? Oh said guide was a 'Mormon' and if the most reliable reports be true, <Lieut.> Gay and his command dastardly fled from an ignominious fight of their own seeking, with one soldier who would, in a court of justice, be convicted of "murder in the first degree". Since that disgraceful affair, Indians previously friendly have driven away quite a number of the citizens' horses and cattle, and other Indians have plundered emigrant trains on the northern route to California, indiscriminately killing men, women and children, while the detachments from the "Gallant little army" have ably managed to keep out of harm's way of said Indians, occasionally patroling in small squads where it was quite certain the Indians were not.

Bro. Hooper thinks of sending to Pres. Calkin for br. Thomas Williams, or if he cannot or does not wish to so engage, for some other trusty brother who is a good penman; and he has my permission for so doing. But whether he employs a clerk or not, it will afford me much pleasure and be very beneficial if you will lend br. Hooper such assistance in his duties and desires as you can consistently with the requirements of our good Friend and other duties devolved upon you. Cap. Hooper will open an office in Washington, and will probably wish you, so far as possible to take charge of it. And I wish br. Williams, or whoever comes as clerk from England, to do so as speedily as possible after receiving word.

Br. George, the casting your bread upon the waters, by way of your efforts in the states in our behalf, may at times appear to you a bootless labor, but it does not and at no time has so appeared to me. It is for us to labor, biding our time and resting events with Him who over-ruleth all things for good, caring only that we are lawfully striving for the right, which I have every reason to be assured that you are doing. The work in which we are engaged has to cope with a powerful array of opposition, and though our labors may at present seem puny, as they of themselves comparatively are, and the work may seem to progress slowly, yet it is visibly progressing and its progress will increase with an astonishing increasing ratio, and the results of our faithful labors, feeble though they be, will redound to the welfare of ourselves and all who love righteousness.

All is well -- be of good cheer.

Your Brother in the Gospel

Brigham Young