1868 March 17 Letter to Hiram B. Clawson


1868 March 17 Letter to Hiram B. Clawson


Emigration expenses must not exceed the appropriated money. The railroad should bring jobs and money. Provo elections were successful and the city is advancing. A women's choice dance was held. Merchants should make smaller profits on a larger scale. Updates are given on the mine, silk worms and family.




Brigham Young


Hiram B. Clawson


1868 March 17


Great Salt Lake City
New York, New York

Number of Pages



Financial Matters
Business Matters


Salt Lake City,
March 17, 1868.

Elder Hiram B. Clawson,
215 Spring Street,
New York City, New York.

Dear Brother:-Owing to the scarcity of money, cash donations and drafts come in slowly and in small amounts, and an opportunity has not yet presented itself to exchange the donated stock for money, I am not, therefore, advised as to what additional amount, in full, I shall be able to furnish you for gathering the poor. But in any event, and in all events, I particularly require you to strictly confine all your money obligations and operations in this season's immigration to the amount of money you may be furnished with for that special purpose, and not to draw a single draft upon me for money to help the immigration beyond such amount as you may be furnished with, or be advised of by me, for money is too scarce, and likely to be, to permit me to allow any one to run me in debt. I wish you to give br Stains the same advice for guiding his operations in this matter. Should any circumstance transpire to induce you to think that this instruction might or ought to be waived, do not vary one partical therefrom without learning my mind upon the point, either by telegram or letter, for in no other way can I know how to plan and make my receipts keep pace with my disbursements.

Home affairs, financially and otherwise, are about the same as when you left, business continuing very dull. Should the U. P. R. R. Company begin grading in Utah, as is now talked of, money will soon be plentier and more generally disseminated through being paid out for labor and supplies. True, at present our surplus of supplies is not great, but more or less flour and beef can be furnished and a large amount of labors, and ere large various saleable products will be maturing, and soon wheat harvest will follow, for which prospects are at present very favorable.

In the late move in relation to Provo City, Elder John Taylor was elected Probate Judge in Utah County, Bishop A. O. Smoot was elected Mayor of the city and appointed Bishop, with br's William Miller and Elijah F. Sheets for his Counselors, Bishop Sheets was also elected Alderman and Elders Wilford Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith and George G. Bywater were elected members of the City Council. An excellent spirit prevailed at the meetings preceding the election and at the election, none seeming to rejoice more in the changes made than did the very great majority if not all the inhabitants of Provo, I have recently spent over a week there, and left my wife Mary there, with her mother and sister, in the house I bought of br William Miller. Brother Kimball also intends purchasing a house there and to move there a portion of his family. I expect to start to Provo soon, to spend a few days before our April Conference, and shall spend such portion of my time there as other duties will permit. This move will exert a mutually beneficial and happy effect, and we anticipate seeing Provo rapidly advance to that flourishing and commendable position her facilities warrant.

On the 13th instant I attended a very pleasant leap-year party in the Social Hall-- under the management of Mrs. Joseph A. Young, Mrs. Brigham Young, Jr. Mrs. W. S. Godbe, Mrs. F. A. Mitchell, Mrs. H. Park and Miss C. Cobb -- Mrs. M. G. Clawson, Floor Manager. It was quite a novel feature to be waited upon by a lady partner to conduct you to the party in her carriage, pay for the ticket, invite you to dance, find you a seat, invite you to supper and escort you home. As several of the ladies invited two or more gentlemen, and the extra gents was only 371/2 cents, sister Margaret caused considerable merriment by occasionally calling upon the gentlemen wall flowers and the 371/2 cents gentlemen to fill the floor, giving them the privilege of choosing partners. The music was good, conduct unexceptionable, and the whole affair passed of very pleasantly, but I can readily imagine that that style of party would not easily bear too frequent repetition. The proceeds of the party are to be devoted to the immigrating of the poor.

The feeling to sustain each other and labor for the kingdom is increasing, at the time, as the railroad nears this city, affording increasing facilities, both for our merchants and those having money, to purchase and send for articles east, it behooves our merchants to also comprehend that the same duties devolve upon them in regard to sustaining their brethren and laboring for the Church and kingdom of our God, inasmuch as they profess the same faith and the same hopes. Such being the facts, you will readily comprehend that our merchants must endeavor to consult the people's interests as well as their own, or, in other words, meet the requirements of the people in making smaller profits on larger sales, or the cash trade will leave our market entirely and go east through commissioners and agents which would work injuriously to our home deal. There is not the least doubt that the staunch and influential portion of our community, in fact the great majority, decidedly prefer sustaining our own traders, if they can be as favorably dealt with, which is a point that requires due attention.

What effect the Sweetwater mines will have upon our market is not as yet known, their approximate extent and value not being ascertained. Several who have passed the winter here have already started for those mines, and others are waiting the disappearance of snow to start. There is a report that some who have started had to burn one or more of their wagons in the neighborhood of Dry Sandy, to keep from freezing, and the weather is still stormy and cool, but it will probably soon moderate, when the remaining transcients and expecteds from Idaho, Nevada and California can pass on, and will soon be able to determine what can be done there.

Please inform Alice that her four boys are all well and behave themselves finely -- full of life and action. The rest of your family are also well, as is also Sister Stains, myself, family and your relatives and friends generally. Phineas H., the artist, br. Joseph Youngs oldest son by his second wife, died on the 13th inst., and was interred on the 14th; he was a lovely spirited and faithful youth, and passed to his rest in peace and true faith.

There is quite an interest awakening for the culture of silk, and I am making preparations to have some 100,000 Silk worms fed this season. We have every facility for making silk raising a very remunerative branch of industry, all that is wanting being the application of skill and industry in that direction.

I wish you to purchase for me, for which I will furnish the money, 4 doz Best French calf skins, 2 doz Black Morroco, and the trimings.

Please inquire and inform me what wove wire fencing costs per yard or rod and what it weighs, also how much galvanized wire, of the proper size, it takes to make a yard or rod of woven wire fence, of any neat pattern sufficiently tight for garden fence, and how much it weighs. I expect to get br. F. A. Mitchel or W. S. Godbe to attend to this matter, for I do not wish to add to your cares, but, for certain reasons, I wish you to learn and inform me of the lowest price for cash down, at which galvanized wire, suitable for garden or city lot fences, can be purchased, and what enough for a yard or rod of garden fence will weigh.

Praying that all needful blessings may constantly attend you and br. Stains in the accomplishment of your arduous labors,

I remain, Your Brother in the Gospel,
Brigham Young