1861 June 13 Letter to Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow


1861 June 13 Letter to Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow


Brigham returned from Southern Utah. He encouraged an increase in cotton manufacturing. He names two woman needing assistance to emigrate. Elders should return home if their safety is in jeopardy.




Brigham Young


Orson Pratt
Erastus Snow


1861 June 13


Great Salt Lake City
New York City



Item sets


G. S. L. City, June 13, 1861.

Elders Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow,
Post Box 3957, New York City,

Dear Brethren:-Please accept my thanks for your very welcome letter of April 29, 30, which came to hand on the 25th ult., 10 days after my departure on a trip to our southern settlements, and to which I hasten to reply by the first mail since my return.

Home affairs moving along quietly, and my sense of duty and my feelings inclining in that direction, on the 15th of May I started on a tour through our southern settlements, Pres. D. H. Wells, my sons Joseph A., Brigham, John W., and Heber, and a goodly number of brethren accompanying me. We traveled by the customary route to Cedar City, from there we journeyed to Fort Clara by way of the Mountain Meadows, and returned to Cedar by way of Tonaquint, Washington, Toker, (diverging at Toker to Pocketville and Grafton), and Harmony; from Parowan we traveled by the new road across the mountains to Minersville, and reached home on the 8th inst., having been absent a few hours over 24 days. We were much pleased with the privilege of meeting our brethren both in public and private in their several settlements, and they expressed much gratification that we had been moved upon to visit them. During our journey I addressed the brethren in Lake City, and dedicated their new meeting house; also addressed the brethren in Springville, Payson, Nephi, Fillmore, Beaver, Parowan, Cedar, Pinto, Fort Clara, Tonaquint, Washington, Toker, Pocketville, Grafton, Harmony, Cedar, Parowan, and Minersville; Pres. Wells, Elders W. Woodruff, G. A. Smith, and

John Taylor, Bishops A. O. Smoot, E. D. Woolley, and John Sharp, and other Elders in the Company also addressed the different congregations, all of which seemed to rejoice in the instructions given, and we trust those instructions will prove of much benefit to the true welfare of all the honest in heart who heard them. The Company highly enjoyed the trip, and returned much refreshed and invigorated for the renewed prosecution of home duties.

The settlements south of the rim of the Basin are as yet small, but it is expected they will rapidly strengthen and increase as the demand for cotton increases under increased facilities for its manufacture; they can also furnish a large amount of fruit to settlements north of them, in exchange for wheat, &c. also wine, olive oil, castor oil, indigo, molasses, and sugar, a trade so mutually beneficial that we trust soon to see it expand more commensurately with the wants of the people.

While at Parowan I conversed with Bishop Warren in regard to his starting a cotton factory in that place, and I have also conversed with br. Ebenezer Hanks upon the same subject, proferring the use of the building lately occupied as a bucket factory.

They both express a readiness to engage in the manufacture of cotton as speedily as circumstances will permit, and if they are energetic in the matter they can soon begin to supply a goodly portion of that class of goods we have thus far been obliged to import. Quite a breadth is planted in cotton this year, and the planting will increase as facilities multiply for its profitable manufacture.

We visited the mines near Minersville, and at once saw that an abundance of lead zinc, and antimony, and red, yellow, and white paint can be produced there, so soon as the proper skill and attention are devoted to those matters.

Upon our return home we found all well, with the exception that many, especially children were somewhat afflicted with an influenza or cold, which however appears to be passing off without having proved fatal to any, so far as I have heard, except a few small children. During our absence br. Isaac Chase and Elder W. Woodruff's father died.

On the 12th inst. I received by pony the following telegram, "Omaha, June 3, 57 wagons, 225 souls, started for Utah, 29th May, D. H. Cannon Captain" "620 Saints arrived, on the 2nd inst., with Milo Andrus. J. Gates"

Br. Snow's letter of Jan. 3 I promptly replied to on the 21st of Feb., but upon arriving home I found it returned with the following printed endorsement posted on the back of the envelope, "Dead letter office, Post office department, 1861. Returned to the writer because the carrier's fee is unpaid." I regretted that said letter failed to reach br. Snow lest he might deem me careless about answering his ever acceptable communications, and because it contained a business paragraph which I wished him to attend to. I will here repeat the business portion of the returned letter, though it may now be too late for this season:-- "Br Snow, Sister Susan Snively is very anxious that her niece, Miss Rachael Snively, daughter of John and Rebecca Hioner, near the town of Bloody run, Bedford County, Pa., and her sister Mary and niece Sophia Snively near Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa, have an opportunity to come here this season. Should they still wish to do so, I would be pleased to have you take the necessary steps to enable them to be at Florence by about the 1st of July next, in readiness to cross the plains." Of course you can not now arrange for the above named persons to be in Florence by the 1st of July, but I have re-forwarded my wish in hopes that perhaps the way may still open for them to come through this season, if they wish to.

I also wrote in the returned letter:-- "as informed at the time you left here, both yourself and br. Pratt are at liberty to stay as long as you please, and of course to return when you please, and of course to return when you please, being guided in that, as in other movements, by the dictates of the Spirit to yourselves under the circumstances by
which you are surrounded," which liberty is herein again renewed.

Political troubles indicate that it will be wise for you to instruct the Elders to be ever on the alert, and whenever danger threatens too closely they should be making their way westward, and be prepared at any time to safely secure their retreat home, for neither party in the great struggle convulsing the Nation loves "Mormons" and "Mormonism" any better than heretofore, and it is deemed prudent to give you and, through you, the brethren in the States this timely word of caution.

Your families and friends generally are well, with the exception of being more of less troubles by the influenza or cold before mentioned.

Prospects continue favorable for abundant harvests; and home affairs are progressing peacefully and prosperously.

Ever praying for your welfare and prosperity in every good word and work, I

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young