1864 February 3 Letter to J. F. Kinney


1864 February 3 Letter to J. F. Kinney


Gold seekers depend on charity for flour. It is senseless to have troops in Utah. Memorials are drafted asking for Utah's admission into the Union. There is loss of life on both sides in the Battle of Bear River.


Indian Matters


Brigham Young


J. F. Kinney


1864 February 3


Great Salt Lake City
Washington City, D. C.

Number of Pages



Indian Matters

Item sets

Hon J. F. Kinney. M. C.
Washington City, D. C.

Dear Sir:-

Your welcome favors of Dec. 8, 15, 16 and 19 and Jan. 1, with enclosed draft in Dec. 19, for $409 20/100, have come to hand, notwithstanding the irregularities of our mails throug cold weather and snow.

The matter of the drafts all right, and <has> been placed to your credit.

Please excuse me for not writing more frequently than I have done, for it has arisen chiefly from the want of items that would be of much interest to you.

The occupants of camp Douglas continue very quiet, and in the main apparently not interfering in matters outside their camp, though there is more of less mingling between a certain class of residents and some of the sojourners on the Bench, of course of a character not very improving in its tendency to either party. Their quietness may be mostly due to the condition of their herder, for it is very reckless person that will quarrel with his dinner.

They rejected every bid that Bishop Sharp put in in reply to their advertisement for supplies, but one or more of their accepted contractors failed to supply, and for sometime, at my request, Bishop Sharp has been supplying them with flour, which I am not aware how they could otherwise have well obtained. Depending upon us for flour very naturally, as already remarked, has an effect to put them in the channel of tolerably  good behaviour. In the midst of the enormous expenditures by Government to quell the rebellion, how can President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton satisfactorily account for quartering troops, at a great expence, within the limits of a far-off, peaceful and loyal city? especially when those troops, which are worse than useless here, are so much needed near Charleston, on the Rapidan, at Knoxville at Chattanooga, in Texas, anywhere and everywhere where the war is being actually waged. Is not the position of those troops a proper subject for investigation by the congressional Committee on the conduct of the war? If frauds, swindling, malfeasance in office, &c., &c., which are bleeding the Treasury at a fearful rate, are fit subjects of inquiry, then surely a leak so large and more then useless should be exposed to the public, that it also may be speedily corrected in connection with other palpable abuses.

Notwithstanding the hue and cry about Gold in Utah by the diggers on the Bench east of the City, and their hunting high and low, far and near, and trying to buy information of red and white, I have yet to learn that they have found a single partical of Gold within all our borders, or are likely to find any upon which to base their gulling reports. A portion of them have been engaged for sometime in mining in the mountain on the west side of this valley, and have on discovered some lead ore containing a per cent of silver; and so far that is all they have to show to such strangers as their baseless rumers of gold in Utah may induce to come here.

As to those who, at all hazards, may be seeking a fancied asylum of retreat from the draft, we, of course, have nothing to say, for they would pay no attention. But to all who may think of coming on the rumers of gold in Utah, say be sure to bring flour enough to last you till next fall, or you will be very certain to have no bread.

Since writing the foregoing your very wellcome favors of Dec. 27, Jan.4, with copy of your letter to Maj<r> Gen<l> Halleck, Jan. 6, with copy of your letter to Attorney General Bates, and Jan. 9 have come safely to hand, for which please accept my thanks.

In regard to such seeds, cuttings, &c., as you may receive from the Agricultural Bureau it will probably best subserve the interest of all concerned to forward them to Mr Willford Woodruff, Pres. of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, who will endeavor to have them so distributed as to be of the greatest benefit. In the mean time forwarding them, as you have, to persons in this City is doubtless correct, for I presume they will properly distribute what they do not need for their own use.

So far as we learn through our telegraphic dispatches, the newspapers and your letters, your official course in Washington is very commendable for industry, zeal, prudence, and general conduct of affairs to the best advantage circumstances permit; and so long as this can be said of your official acts, you need apprehend no blame on the part of your constituents, but can continue in well-doing, with the strong assurance of their cordial support.

The Legislative Assembly of Utah and the Genl Assembly of Deseret passed Memorials to Congress, asking admission, which are being forwarded to you, to be used as your judgement may deem best.

In regard to the admission of the Deseret, you are aware it will be as the Lord pleases. And as to the use of the judgement, facilities and influence in our power to bring to bear upon the question, they of course are to be used in accordance with circumstances and the guidance from time to time. At present I have no particular suges tions to make in reference to the matter, further than, if they admit or enable us at all, they will be moved upon to so word the arrangement that, as Mr. Ashley says, it can probably be easily managed. No matter what constitution they give, so it be republican in form; we can manage that afterwards. God reigns. Borrow no trouble, only do the best you can.

Your communications to Maj. Gen'l Halleck and Atterney Gen'l Blair were very well conceived and arranged, much to the point, and should have a good influence

Your favor of Jan. 13 has just come to hand, and upon perusal and reflection I feel to coincide with Mr Ashley and yourself in your views as to an enabling act for Utah, like those for Nebraska and Colerado, being the most likely to succeed under present circumstances. But you are where the scene shiftings are constantly occuring, and I know of no better method for you to adopt than to be guided in your sayings and doings, as you have been, by that guidance which you realize is quicker, more certain and of incomparably more value than telegraph wires and mails. At the same time I will cheerfully give, from time to time, as often as may be disirable, such aid as may arise from views suggested to me upon different points of interest.

On the 29th ult. Camp Douglas celebrated the anniversary of what they call the "Battle of Bear river," but I have not learned whether the celebration was for losing some 150 men through wounds and frost, or for killing some 250 Indian men, women and children, a rather uncomplimentary excess of loss on the part of the Indians when the women and children are included in the count.

The winter with us, as in parts of the States, continues cold, but not severely so, 8 degrees below zero being the coldest thus far recorded by Judge Phelps this winter.

My health and that of your friends generally is good.

Trusting to be able to write to you as often as you may wish, I remain

Truly Your Friend,

Brigham Young