1867 June 11 Letter to Orson Hyde


1867 June 11 Letter to Orson Hyde


Indians kill a man and steel stock. Friendly intercourse has not prevented depredations. It is best to manage Indian relations without the government. Hyde is invited to travel North with Brigham.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


Orson Hyde


1867 June 11


Great Salt Lake City
Springtown, San Pete County

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs
Church Leadership

President's Office
Great Salt Lake City,
June 11, 1867.

President Orson Hyde,
Springtown, San Pete Co.

Dear Brother:
Your letter of the 5th inst, addressed to Bro. Geo. Q. Cannon came to hand on
Sunday, The news which we have heard from San Pete has been very saddening. We agree with you
that had proper caution been used, Fountain Green need not have suffered the loss of their stock, and
circumstances might have been different in other respects. Oh, that the people would live so near to the
Lord that they could have the revelations of His spirit with them continually that they might be warned
of every danger and be able to guard against surprise! We have had experience enough and the people
have been taught sufficiently to understand this; but they are careless, and nothing but bitter experience,
apparently, is able to teach them the necessity of caution and vigilance. Why cannot the people
understand that it is their privilege to have revelation about their stock, and about their own lives when
threatened by Indians, as well as to have revelation on any other point, say for instance, about an elder
on a mission preaching the gospel?
We cannot see that Superintendent Head is to blame for the course that the Indians took. We
ought to have more influence with them than a stranger who has just come among us; and yet, with all
the influence we have, gained by years of friendly intercourse, we can not prevent their depredations.
So far as we have been able to learn Mr Head has done about as well as a man in his circumstances
could do, and we do not feel to blame him.
Respecting the fort walls in the various settlements, it is not the wish to impose onerous and
unbearable burdens upon the people. Use the materials that you can get and that will answer the
purpose. You know what is needed, and can exercise your own judgement in relation thereto. All we
want is the safety of the people, and they should not feel that we are oppressing them in giving them
the counsel which is needed to ensure their safety.
Our policy has been to say as little to the troops, or to the officers of Government respecting our
Indian difficulties, as we could possibly help. We prefer settling them ourselves, for their interference
would very likely be hurtful, and might precipitate a general Indian war. The troops that are here could
not check the depredations of the Indians if they were to abandon the camp in our vicinity and go in a
body to Uinta. We must manage these Indians ourselves, put our trust in God and use the means he has
placed in our power.
I am intending to start for Cache and Bear Lake Valleys about the beginning of September, and
would be pleased to have your company on the trip. If you can make it at all convenient to come you
should be here by the first of September.
Peace and quietness prevail in the city. The late rains we have had have been very refreshing,
and the cool weather has had a tendency to check the water, which is higher in this valley in all our
streams than we have ever seen it before.
With love, and praying the Lord to bless you and to inspire you with every needed gift and
qualification to magnify your high calling
I remain
Your Brother
Brigham Young