1861 January 3 Letter to William H. Hooper


1861 January 3 Letter to William H. Hooper


Brigham believes that secession will end in bloodshed and that it is Constitutional for territories to elect their leaders. An old proposal may be used to request admission into the Union. Governor Cummings wishes Utah to have her quota of arms.




Brigham Young


William H. Hooper


1861 January 3


Great Salt Lake City
Washington City, D. C.

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G.S.L. City, Jan. 3, 1861.

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

Dear Brother:-- The Pony of the 1st inst brought your highly interesting and welcome letter of Dec. 18, thereby again affording us the gratification of receiving important news from you far in advance of the mail. The mail on the 29th also brought several of the packages of clippings advised of by you, under cover to Pres. Wells, for which please accept my thanks; and also the wish that yourself, dear wife and children, br. Williams, and all your friends may enjoy a happy new year, and a recurrence of so many as will suffice for acceptably completing the labors allotted to this our time.

It is not a little singular that any person of reflection should flatter himself with the idea of "peaceable secession," when prominent writers and speakers on both sides are so constantly inflaming the pubic mind to the utmost, and that too quite often, as you state, "in unmeasured terms and unpoetical language." True, South Carolina may be permitted to secede peaceably for a time, but as dissolution gains area it will also gain bitterness, until the fierce spirit urging to civil war will whelm fair portions of a once renowned Republic in rapine, flame, and bloodshed.

It appears that the House have not yet learned that a committee of one is the most efficient of all committees, and have been so imprudent as to appoint a committee of 33, or rather 32, from whom, under present circumstances, it is scarcely probably that even a respectable majority report will be obtained upon any important point submitted to their consideration. It would seem to be a curious time in which to propose amendments to the Constitution, (granting that any were needed) when the condition of parties and public feeling are considered in connection with Article V of said Constitution. It is rather amusing that any Congressmen should deem it necessary to amend the Constitution in order to enable citizens in Territories to elect their own rulers and enact their own Constitutional laws, for the right is inherent in the people in Territories as well as in States, so far as the Constitution or Constitutional laws are concerned; and they have been deprived of that right through the arbitrary exercise of an usage by England to the Colonies.

In relation to the papers in your hands touching the admission of Utah, I do not consider that their date effects the matter, for the date holds equally good as though made by the present Assembly; aside from that you are privileged to make the date to please yourself. However, the Assembly may see proper to memorialize Congress upon the subject, not that it can materially aid your operations, if at all; and there is not much prospect of its reaching you in time, should it be thought best to adopt it. The Republicans, if wide awake, will I think be smart enough to understand the policy of laboring for our admission, and act accordingly. Should any Member have any dubiety on this point, you can remark to him that, in these hurrying times, Utah, after patiently waiting so long, may not feel disposed to again trouble Congress with a petition for admission.

Gov. Cumming is anxious that Utah should have her quota of arms allowed by Government to the States and Territories, and it has been deemed best to make Utah's requisition for her quota to be furnished in Colt's revolver pistols, navy size, delivered in Florence, Nebraska Territory, in time for transportation across the plains this season. Please inform the Department what address and care to forward to in Florence, as you are the best posted on that point.

Since your departure I have written four letters to you, and purpose writing to you each week during your sojourn in Washington. The Poney and mail continue to regularly make excellent time, but the mail does not bring all papers and periodicals to hand.

On the 28th ult. the Assembly adjourned for the new year holidays, and again convened to day, of course not much legislative business has been done since my last to you.

I regretted to learn that your family and daughter were so afflicted with colds, but hope that ere this they are again blest with good health, and enjoying themselves to the full extent of their anticipations

The weather continues cold, with tolerably good sleighing in this valley and some other localities.

Money is still scarce, and Secretary Wootton has difficulty in negotiating his drafts in the Treasury. Pres. Wells' health at present is not very good, but generally the people are enjoying much better health than during the fall.

Please remember me kindly to your family and br Williams, and accept my best wishes for their and your welfare, prosperity, and happiness in all well doing.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young