1864 March 19 Letter to John F. Kinney


1864 March 19 Letter to John F. Kinney


Brigham has no interest in Indian Reservations. The government seeks to withholds property and financial rights. A new Governor and General will be appointed. Judge Titus works within his legal perimeters.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


John F. Kinney


1864 March 19


Great Salt Lake City
Washington City, D. C.

Number of Pages



Indian Matters
Financial Matters

Item sets

G. S. L. City, March 19, 1864

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

Dear Sir:

Since writing you on the 7th inst. I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your welcome favors of Feb. 20 and 25, together with two packages of garden seeds, four ditto of black oats, one tin box containing grape cuttings, one ditto strawberry plants, a Congressional Directory, for the 1st Session of the 38th Congress and 3 copies of Mr Windom's report, for which please accept my thanks. The grape cuttings and strawberry plants were dead, but the loss of the latter was not so material, as we have those varieties growing here.

Your very acceptable favor of Feb. 27 has just come to hand, and I was pleased that you had begun to receive my letters, even at so late a date. For fear they had all gone out of sight irrevocably, I began to duplicate them when I learned of their none reception, and completed their duplication by br. James Townsend, who has started by Stage with br. B. W. Kimball on their mission to Europe. I trust those letters will certainly go safe from New York to Washington, and that hereafter my letters will certainly go safe from New York to Washington, and that hereafter so detained and withheld them from their destination.

As to the Indian reservations, please amuse yourself and manage with them as you choose, for in reality I know of no one that cares much if anything about them, es-

pecially the Uinta reservation. Is the Indian's title extinguished, that they talk about selling the Spanish Fork reservation in fee simple? And if so, how about the title to the lands adjacent? And if declaring a reservation vacated gives the right to sell the fee simple to such land, whether the Indian title has been extinguished or not, please, if convenient, and for your own amusement, ask the President if he cannot make the whole Territory an Indian reservation, then declare the reservation vacated, and let the Indian Department sell the fee simple in such parcels as it may determine. But in all this, and in all they do about the public domain in Utah, you will find a general, constant and persistant feeling to withhold from us the pre-emtion rights so properly extended to encourage and <foster> settlers in other Territories, and that justice in land matters <which> has been so properly and generally conceded to others. But this conduct is only in keeping with other, and you are at <full> liberty to manage the affair in accordance with your own judgement under the circumstances; and having so far done admirably in the case, to continue striving for what you deem for the best in the question, or for your own amusement, or let it drop, just as you may prefer, for, as already stated, I am not aware that it will really make any particular difference.

I much approve your course, action and judgement in regard to the Judges, and the names and their order you propose to sustain for vacancies, and have only to say act your own judgement and do the best you can, as I feel assured you have so far done. 

Doubtless it was pretty clear to you, when before the Com. on Indian affairs, that there is, in the matter of my a/c with the Commissioner of Ind. Affairs, as in all else, a disposition to clutch at a straw by way of excuse to keep us out of our rights. In this  also I know of no better counsel than for you to continue to operate as you may be moved upon, for if you fail in obtaining payment, you will have the satisfaction of learning what they are and how bitterly they are opposed to justice and right.

Be comforted and of good cheer, for I learn of nothing in your course and conduct that in the least calls for disapproval, and of course certainly not for censure; at the same time borrow no fear but that I will frankly critcise any policy that I may deem unwise or incorrect, for which, however, I do not apprehend finding any occasion. I know of no harm that has arisen, or will arise, from your action in reference to Camp Douglas, and am pleased to learn that you place so correct an estimate upon what you saw in their paper. The relieving of Gen. Wright may have an influence on the plan and movements of that Camp; at any rate you can pick up the wires of the new commander of the department of the Pacific, when appointed, and be able to operate to advantage.

Upon the subject of our admission, you are at liberty to remind the President, and whomever else you wish, that they undertook to put down polygamy by force, and whomever else you wish, that they undertook to put down polygamy by force, and most signally failed; they are now endeavoring to put down the other "twin relic," to wit:- slavery; and pledge them that when this administ<e>ration puts down slavery and succeeds in restoring the Union as it was, we will agree to abolish polygamy.

Of course you bear constantly in mind that our admission or non-admission rests alone with the Ruler of events, and that the result, whichever it may be, will be pleasing to us. As it is they pay the Governor, our Legislaters, the Judges, &c., and what particular harm have imported officials been permitted to do us?

If Beau Hickman is alive, perhaps you can induce the President to appoint him Governor of Utah, as in that case the salary they have to pay would only be the same, and they would be relieved from the tithing and black mail levied by Beau.

Do, as you have, the best you can, and then borrow no trouble. for they will do all they are permitted to against us, and nothing for us, if they can help it. 

Judge Titus held the regular Spring term of his District Court this week, for Territorial business, and, after General Hughs procured Joseph Holaday's trial put over, there being no further business adjourned today to the next regular term, Nov. 2nd. As yet he has shown no disposition, so far as I know, to meddle in affairs outside his position, nor to lend his position to unjust or oppressive purposes. Upon the naturalization question he stated that he had been instructed to question candidates in regard to polygamy since the act of Congress on that subject. He carried out the instruction in a very candid and pleasant manner, but, if convenient, I would like to have you inform me who gave that instruction.

I inclose copies of two letters from Associate Justice Armour, Col. Ter., in regard to S. S. Harding. It is patent to all what kind of a house Harding kept while here, but it is
not often easy to prove the acts committed within the walls of another's residence, especially when the parties concerned would criminate themselves by their evidence. Was not he a pure specimen to wail and talk and print about polygamy?

You have been very fortunate and successful in your labors with the Post-office Department, and the increased mail service will be very beneficial to Utah.

Please continue to write as lengthy and often as your feelings and time will permit, and I will endeavor to respond frankly, and as often and freely as I may be able.

Truly your friend,

Brigham Young