1861 March 5 Letter to Walter M. Gibson


1861 March 5 Letter to Walter M. Gibson


Lincoln arrived in Washington amidst increasing division. A Pacific railroad bill may pass. Two hundred teams and loose cattle will be sent to assist the poor to emigrate. Updates are given on Construction projects.




Brigham Young


Walter M. Gibson


1861 March 5


Great Salt Lake City
San Francisco, California

Number of Pages



Pacific Railroad
Building and Construction

Item sets

G.S.L. City, March 5, 1861.

Elder Walter M. Gibson,
San Francisco, Cal.,
care of Dwight Eveleth,

Dear Brother:-- Your very interesting letter of Jan. 9, San Bernardino, came safe to hand, as did also your letter written at Beaver. We were much pleased to learn of your safe progress thus far on your long journey, and of your good health and spirits, with which we trust you may continue to be blest to the fullest extent compatible with our probationary state and our good works therein.

Since your departure beyond our borders, Territorial affairs have kept their usual peaceful and even tenor, though a great commotion has arisen in the States, and, so late as we are advised, there appears no prospect that the seceding States will ever again coalesce with their free State late copartners in the general government. Since the completion of the telegraph to Ft. Kearney, the pony telegraphic dispatches from there, at an average of two each week, keep us pretty minutely and very timely advised of prominent current events at home and abroad. The pony that arrived at 3 A.m. this morning brought Washington and other dates of Feb. 25, and St. Louis, 26, from which we learn that Mr. Lincoln had safely arrived in Washington, and within a week we are in hopes to have his inaugural address. I will waive further mention of outside general news, since all of it now in our possession will have become stale long before these lines reach you.

Advices from br. Hooper, Feb. 15, and 16, place but little confidence in any beneficial result's arising from the action of the Peace Commissioners. Congress has done but little, and is not likely to do much; though br. Hooper thinks a Pacific railroad bill and bill for a daily overland mail, by way of this City, will pass during the present Session

Our Legislative Assembly, deeming the present laws tolerably sufficient during the foggy condition of the political atmosphere East, found occasion for very little legislation last winter, and governed themselves accordingly. Even in fair political weather, you are probably aware that we believe in but few and plain laws -- rules of conduct founded in justice.

By latest dates from Elder Geo. Q. Cannon, Liverpool, we presume our foreign immigration will not be very numerous this season, owing to many being out of employment and the fact that most of those who had means have either emigrated or apostatized. Our ox-train experiment was so successful last year that we are about to send 200 teams this Spring, four yoke of oxen to each wagon, to start the latter part of April, and be in Florence by about the 1st July. The Bishops and their Wards have been very spirited in this matter, so far as heard from; and this City, to which 50 teams were apportioned, has about 60 teams now ready. This plan will enable us to materially aid the poor in gathering, for many can arrange to come to Florence, but by that time their means are gone, and they are in a rejion where there is but little employment. As we are rich in cattle, and possessed at present of not much money, this plan presented itself as the most feasible, under existing circumstances, for lending the most efficient aid to gathering the poor and supplying ourselves with necessary imported articles, with the least outlay of money. We also intend driving, at the same time, as many well broke loose oxen as our this year's immigration may wish to purchase, which will give us another use of quite a sum of money before it finally leaves our hands.

Aside from sending the aforenamed teams, it is purposed to erect, this season, the walls of the Seventies Hall of Science and put on the roof, make some improvements in the Tabernacle, build a Theatre, and lay the basement walls of the Temple; but as the Lord will. These jobs, with numerous other contemplated improvements, both public and private, and cultivating the soil in this arid rejion, &c., promise to keep us sufficiently busy to enable us to avoid troubling ourselves with affairs that do not concern us.

According to contract with our Territorial Road Commissioner, I have completed a double track lattice bridge over Jordan, stone abutments on North Temple Street, and will soon have completed a single-track lattice bridge across Weber, on the Territorial road north. Both bridges are made of excellent timber, the workmanship is good, and they are structures at once useful, ornamental, and durable.

Br. Geo. A. Smith and my son Joseph A. are absent on a trip through our southern settlements, preaching and settling difficulties, and, from a letter written by them at Fillmore, I judge they have been instrumental in doing much good; they expect to arrive home on the 9th inst. Monday morning, 4 inst., the day of the Presidential inauguration, a visitor called at my house and presented to me a little Talula, daughter of my wife Clarissa Decker. While the late United States and many other nations are in more or less commotion, and are taxing their ingenuity and lavishing their treasures for implements of war, Utah is very quiet and prosperous, and instead of studying to destroy, is lawfully striving the increase the numbers of those who will strive to serve the Lord our God.

We trust that you will be prudent and cautious in your movements, not hurrying or worrying yourself, and call at the Sandwich Islands & the Society Islands, if you can make it convenient, for there are many native brethren on those Islands. Br. Dwight Eveleth can probably give you names of persons and stopping places on the Islands, since I have not those names conveniently at hand nor in memory.

I hope during your stay in Upper California, that you will favor me with a letter as often as convenient to you, to which I will cheerfully respond; also that you will write at each opportunity, after you shall have left our shores.

Ever praying that the blessings of Israel's God may attend you in every righteous act and desire, I remain,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young

P.S. I forwarded after you a white dress of Tatula's, but it failed, for some reason, to reach you, and has been returned.