1860 June Letter to Edward Hunter and Bishops throughout Utah


1860 June Letter to Edward Hunter and Bishops throughout Utah


The Saints are obligated to gather the poor. Brigham counsels to prepare for a larger Ox train next year to distribute flour along the route and buy cheaper supplies back east.




Brigham Young
Heber C Kimball
Daniel H Wells


Edward Hunter
Utah Bishops


1860 June


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Overland travel
Financial Matters

Item sets


President's Office,
G.S.L. City, June 1860.

To Bishop Edward Hunter and his Counselors and the Bishops throughout Utah,

Brethren:-You are doubtless fully aware that gathering the poor and providing facilities for their being the most profitably occupied after their arrival here are among the important duties devolved upon all Saints, and more especially upon those in this Territory. We have been privileged in gathering out from Babylon, we are blest with a choice land in which to learn and profit by the dealings of our God with His people, and we are anxious that all who love the truth should share in the privileges and blessings we enjoy. It is obvious that the achievement of so essential and desirable a purpose is far in the future, if the many after their arrival, employ nearly all their thoughts, energies, and accumulating means almost exclusively to their individual, real and fancied wants and desires, apparently forgetting the mire from which their feet have been taken. Probably such a course is more or less attributable to not comprehending or not being certain as to the best method for rendering the assistance within their ability, and we deem it proper to present a plan which promises to be very beneficial, and one which is easily within our reach.

In addition to bringing the poor from the frontiers, in order to apply our labor here the most comfortably and advantageously we require machinery and other articles which we are as yet unable to produce, and for procuring which we have but little money. That you may the better realize the difference in our favor through buying in the East and doing our freighting, we add the prices of a few leading articles:-


In St Lewis 

In Salt Lake City  

Cotton Yarn 


19¢ to 20¢ 


40¢ to 50¢ 




10¢ to 15¢ 


50  “  70 



19 - 20 


50  “  60 




8  "  10 


20  “  30 



11  "  12 


25 - 40 



10  "  18 


20 - 40 



5  "  6 



Tea (good) 


60  "  75 


1.50 - 2.50 



9  "  12 


33 - 40 



13  “  15 


33 - 40 



30  “  50 


75 - 1.25 

Lard Oil 


82 ½¢ 


6.00  "  8.00 




72 ½¢ 


6.00  "  8.00 


Star Candles 


16 ½  to 17 


.50  "  .75¢ 




4 ½  to 5 ½  


30  "  50 



White & Red Lead 




35  “  40 




$12  "  $25.00 


$90  “  $150 


and all other necessary and useful imported articles rate in like proportion. This connection it may also be satisfactory to state that the general average cash cost per head for emigrants from Europe is from Liverpool to New York $20, from New York to Florence $15, and from Florence to this City $25; but it must be borne in mind that the transportation from Florence involves the cash outlay of $50 to the person for cattle, wagon, and outfit. If all who are able, who are generally the great majority, will walk across the plains, each wagon can haul the bedding, groceries, meat, clothing, and other requisite articles, for from 8 to 10 persons, to the amount of from 150 to 200 pounds to each person, exclusive of bread stuff except sufficient to last from station to station, as it is contemplated to forward flour by the train on its way down, to be deposited at the most suitable safe points on the route. It must also be borne in mind that hundreds and thousands can cross to the States, and from point to point make their way to the frontiers, but on arriving there be obliged to idly tarry through want of team which the plan now proposed bids fair to provide in the most advantageious manner at present known to us, at least until money is much plentier in our hands, for which we see no immediate prospect.

A glance at the foregoing figures, and facts shows at once the great advantage of arranging, as speedily and generally as possible, to buy in the State such articles of import as we can not well and do not dispense with, and freight our purchases, and transport the poor from Florence with teams already in our possession without an outlay in money, which is so scarce and which we have so few present opportunities for procuring.

The experience of this season, so far as heard from, very favorably coincides with our previously formed judgement in this matter, and warrants us in anticipating a favorable result from the oxtrain now sent to florence, N.T. Sanguine that more of the poor and more machinery and other useful articles can be brought from the frontiers, with a given amount of money, by this method than by any other now within our reach, we feel anxious to be prepared to send out a much larger oxtrain next season, to be composed exclusively, if possible, of mountain raised cattle. To render this practicable we trust the brethren will view the matter in the light and by the Spirit presented to us, and that the Bishops throughout the Territory will interest themselves in at once beginning to adopt, and carry out by every reasonable method, measures for having from 100 to 150 wagons, with from 3 to 4 yokes of cattle to a wagon, in readiness to start for Florence as early next spring as the grass will permit. Some who go with the train may prefer to take their cattle without wagons, with a view to buying good, new wagons in Florence. If such persons will give timely notice at the Trustee in Trust's Office, and deposit the money there, arrangements will be made to have the best quality of Chicago wagons in readiness for them when they reach the Missouri, where they, in common with the rest of the train, can load up the poor, freight and a few articles they may wish to bring for themselves. So far as possible, it is much preferable that the cattle be well broke and valley raised, and from 3 to 6 years old inclusive.

To be acceptable co-workers with our heavenly Father in His work upon the Earth it is necessary for us to be wise in the understanding and management of temporal as well as spiritual affairs; and in regard to the movement herein advised, which promises so many advantages, we confidently anticipate that the brethren will cordially and actively unite, and successfully prosecute it to the desired result, for the achievement of which, as in every good work, you have the faith and prayers of,

Your Brethren in the Gospel,

Brigham Young
Heber C. Kimball
Daniel H Wells