1860 May 10 Letter to William H. Hooper


1860 May 10 Letter to William H. Hooper


Congress is legislating unconstitutionally on polygamy and interfering in probate courts. Prospects are good for fruit but crickets have appeared.




Brigham Young


William H. Hooper


1860 May 10


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages




Item sets

G.S.L. City, May 10, 1860.

Hon. W.H. Hooper, M.C.,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Brother:-

The two last mails arrived without bringing letters from you, or, if brought, they have not come to hand; though, perhaps, you have nothing you thought of sufficient interest to write about. The papers by the last mail, which arrived on the 3st. inst., brought no State news of material importance.

It is rumored that the troops will begin to move to day, but the correctness of this rumor is undetermined.

Col. Stambaugh and Major Montgomery have occupied several days in inquiring into affairs pertaining to Dr. Forney's Superintendency, moving, it is said, quite deliberately. Of course the result of the inquiry is in the future.

I perceive by last mail's papers that Congress, in addition to special legislation concerning polygamy, are dabbling about Probate Courts. Such a course not only proves that many have not only cast entirely loose from all Constitutional moorings, but are disposed to busy themselves concerning very small matters which do not concern them, and that too after legislating to others the control of those very matters. Should Congress continue its present unwise, unconstitutional, and illegal course towards American citizens in Territories, it may be well for such citizens to petition Congress for grants of herd grounds, mill sites, water sects, &c. &c. Funing aside, Congress should know, if they do not, that in a republican government, as ours professes to be, their power and all governmental power emanates from the people, and that American citizens in Territories do and of right should heir the same inalienable rights with American citizens in States. This doctrine is too plainly Constitutional, and too well understood to be so, for Congress to successfully undertake to override it, and, to many unacquainted with the designs that be, it will seem marvelous that they even talk of so ineffectual and suicidal a policy.

Captain, what think you of laws not founded in justice? What of laws extra-legislative? Can any one reasonably expect them to be aught but a nullity -- dead letters upon statute books? However, all is right, as we hope you ever bear in mind, and constantly realize with us that the Lord overrules the results of the acts of men to His glory and the accomplishment of His purposes, and no power can hinder it, howmuchsoever it may appear, for the time, to prosper or prevail.

As advised in my last, May 3, the past winter killed the fruit buds on the peach trees, also many if not all the old trees, but prospects are favorable for good crops of apples, strawberries, currants, and the usual products of fields and gardens. The ground had become rather dry, but a snow storm on the night of May 5-6 moistened the ground amply, and did much good. It is estimated that snow fell to the depth of some 12 inches during that night, as the ground was warm, melting much of the snow as it fell, and it was 6 inches deep on the morning of the 6th. It was so mild a storm that it did even injure beans that were up. Crickets have made their appearance in some localities, so also have their antagonists, the Gulls.

As frequently informed, and as you well know, we wish you to start for home so soon as you can be liberated from your official duties in Washington; and doing and saying what your judgement and physical ability prudently permit, confidently trust results with Him who controls them.

May God bless you.
Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young