1860 April 19 Letter to J. E. Johnson


1860 April 19 Letter to J. E. Johnson


Counsel against investments between the eastern boundary and the Missouri river due to safety. Even within Territorial borders Lewis Robison lost his legal purchase of Fort Bridger. An ox train is leaving for Florence.




Brigham Young


J. E. Johnson


1860 April 19


Great Salt Lake City
Ellesdale, Pottawatomie County, Iowa

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Business Matters

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G.S.L. City, April 19, 1860.

Elder J.E. Johnson,
Ellesdale, Pottawatomie Co., Iowa,

Dear Brother:-Your brother Benjamin F. forwarded to me for perusal your letter to him, March 3, from which I learn that you are anxious to know the conclusion in regard to Deer Creek.

The experience at Genoa, were even that needed, has convinced us that, at least for an indefinite period, it is altogether unsafe for "Mormons" to make any description of investment, with a view to permanency or profit, at any point between our eastern boundary and the Missouri river; for, should we do so, we would do it under the foreknown certainty that some Indian or Military reserve would be located upon and around it, or some other device hatched up for dispossessing 'Mormon' occupants, or, failing all those plans, that a mob would be raised and permitted to drive and plunder at their pleasure, as heretofore.

Even within our borders br. Lewis Robison was dispossessed of Fort Bridger, and still remains so, after he had purchased it of the rightful claimants and paid them thousands of dollars in money; and now can neither possess the property lawfully bought and paid for in good faith nor be allowed a cent of rent for it by the Government which has pounced upon it. And at Camp Floyd our citizens are and all the time have been forcibly deprived of many of their rights. Under such circumstances we shall use our men and mens for strengthening and enlarging the present settlements within our borders, with the exception, perhaps, of occasionally stretching a little beyond the neighborhood, but not beyond the reach, of some already secure settlement inside our Territorial lines, and that too, mostly along the western foot of the Wasatch mountains.

This plan, you will at once perceive, precludes our operating in any manner in making any settlement on our line of travel between the Weber and Missouri rivers, as before mentioned, and for the reasons above stated.

One of your brother Joel's sons will start next week to help his father across the plains, and Don Carlos Babbitt starts in the same company to bring his brothers and sisters to this place; both have mule teams. We are sending an ox train to Florence to haul machinery and other freght this season, loading out with quite a quantity of flour. This course will enable us to do more freighting and assist out more of the poor than we otherwise could, unless we had more cash funds. The train expects to start on the 24th or 25th. inst.

I deem it advisable that you be making your way to Utah, with your family, as speedily as prudent and consistent.

Trusting that misfortunes will not discourage you, and that you will be guided and blest in every laudable effort, I remain,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young