1860 May 17 Letter to William H Hooper


1860 May 17 Letter to William H Hooper


Utah morality increases as troops and government appointees leave and many of their followers seek gold in California. Hooper is asked to look into the petition to pardon David McKenzie.




Brigham Young


William H Hooper


1860 May 17


Great Salt Lake City
Washington D. C.

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G.S.L. City, May 17, 1860.

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

Dear Brother:-

It gives me much pleasure to again improve the weekly recurring opportunity for communicating with you, and to inform you that the last mail brought letters from you bearing date April 8 & 15, with accompanying clippings, the perusal of which, as always, afforded me a rich treat.

Please accept my thanks for the maps, which came safe to hand, and for your prompt payment of my draft No 161; also my congratulations upon your improved health, and the renewal of my advice that you be very careful not to overwork either mind or body, but, having done what prudence and discretion dictate, confidently trust results with our God under the certainty that He will at all times order events aright, no matter how men may propose and plan.

The troops ordered away are reported to be moving as fast as convenient distances for traveling and camping will permit, and on the 16th Bill Martin and a company of some 40 persons from Camp Floyd passed through this City on their way East.

Some time past a petition for the pardon of David McKenzie, signed by Gov. Cumming, Judge Eckles, and several others, was officially forwarded by Gov. Cumming to President Buchanan, concerning which nothing has since been heard.

It is presumable that the petition may have been received during a press of business, and then laid aside and forgotten; and since Mr. McKenzie, his wife and the petitioners are very naturally anxious to learn the result of the petition as soon as practicable, it will be a gratification to them if you will, upon the earliest convenient opportunity, call the President's attention to the subject. Petition was mailed March 9.

Pike's Peak gold, Carson Valley silver, and the present movements in general are exercising a direct and highly ameliorating influence upon our moral atmosphere. And doubtless the great majority, if not all, of those now passing beyond our borders have vivid feelings that Utah is a poor rejion for them and their desires, designs, and practices. They are probably ready to coincide with us that the principal advantages possessed by Utah rest in its admirable fitness as a thrashing floor for Saints, and in its being so difficult to approach, and having so many extensive wastes, all very objectionable features to those at liberty to choose localities in more inviting rejoins. During the progress of the present exodus the people are very busily occupied in their various industrial pursuits, especially those pertaining to fields and gardens, for which the weather and state of the soil are very propitious.

In reference to land matters, I fully endorse your views thereon as expressed in your letter of the 8th ult.

I was much gratified with the information that brs. George Q., and Andrew were enjoying good health and spirits, and, if convenient, will be pleased to have you inform them that their families and friends are well, and their affairs progressing satisfactorily. I presume you realize with them that, but for the good of the cause in promoting the salvation of the human family, operating in the States is not the pleasantest of occupations, and we hope to again see each of you safe and happy in your mountain homes, so soon as your duties and the distance will permit.

The investigation of Dr. Forney's official acts in Utah is still in progress, under the commissionership of Mess'rs Stambaugh and Montgomery, and, so far as I learn, promises to result, if a result should be arrived at, quite favorably to the Doctor, at least so far as any dishonest malfeasance is concerned.

I am happy in being able to inform you that, with the departure of their backing, the depredations and boldness of thieves are sensibly abating. I am informed that Judge Eckles starts East in tomorrow's stage, whether to develope a new programme in Washington you will probably be able to learn sooner than we, though it will doubtless matter but little, except to himself, what course he takes. I am glad that you adopted dignified silence, so far as any public notice, in relation to Cradlebaugh, Hurt, Dave Burr, &c., for, though certain characters be brayed in a mortar, there is little or no prospect that the least good will result from so laborious and unpleasant an operation.

In all the ups and downs, plottings, counter-plottings, plannings, twistings and devisings of Congressional proceedings in regard to Utah, you would doubtless often be highly gratified to at once receive a word of counsel from your constituents, but circumstances preclude this, for which reason we assuredly trust that you will confidently rely upon your judgement and discretion guided by the unerring Spirit accessible to each of us, as you have thus far so satisfactorily and successfully done. Still, so far as opportunity and occasion may offer, we, as ever, hold ourselves in readiness to extend all the facilities in our power to aid you in the accomplishment of the arduous duties pertaining to your position.

President's Kimball and Wells are again enjoying a goodly degree of health, and your family and friends generally are well.

Should Congress adjourn in time in time, we shall expect to see you here a little before July 24, to accompany us into the kanyon.

May God bless you.

Your Brother in the Gospel,