1868 March 28 Letter to Hiram B. Clawson


1868 March 28 Letter to Hiram B. Clawson


The railroad may price gauge. A lawsuit is justified if the railroad will not reimburse losses incurred through their neglect. 500 teams will meet the emigration at the terminus and independent emigrants may join them. Money is sent with counsel to avoid debt. A 250 foot bridge will be built in Provo.




Brigham Young


Hiram B. Clawson


1868 March 28


Great Salt Lake City
New York, New York

Number of Pages



Financial Matters
Building and Construction

Salt Lake City Utah Territory
March 28 1868

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

Dear Brother:-

Your favor of March 8th came safe to hand, gratifying us with the information of your safe arrival in New York, though it was in a severe snow storm, which I presume you found shelter from, but omitted stating that fact

You are correct in making diligent, thorough and extensive inquiries about the railroad fares, and I trust you will not so hurry yourself as not to be able to finally close in time upon the most advantageous terms possible. As you mention, I shall be pleased to be advised upon the figures, when you finally close the bargain.

I think that the U. P. Railroad act very unwisely in not paying you for your losses by on their road, for those losses resulted solely through grossly culpable carelessness on their part as common carriers, as far as I can learn, for which reason, if there were no other, they are in justice bound to indemnify you. Inasmuch as they refused, your only alternative was, as you state, to institute suite against them, for when one should and is able to do, but will not, the law must compel him.

Since my last lengthy letter to you, March 17, I have visited Provo, returning on the 26th inst. I found all well there, and during my stay located the site for a new bridge across Provo river near the old site, and commissioned McKean made a contract with br. A Gardiner to build a bridge 250 feet long and 20 feet wide, on piling, for $7,000. On Friday 20th inst., myself, br. Kimball, my brother Joseph, Mayor Smoot, Alderman C. F. Sheets and a large number of the citizens of Provo turned out with teams and hauled brush and gravel to make good and permanent the approaches to the new bridge, and the work is to be prosecuted to the amount of one day in each week, until completed. The citizens are very cheerful, united and spirited in this and every other improvement thus far required of them.

Your inquiry in relation to wagons was probably well, as you may wish to purchase some for yourself or Firm, or some persons may wish you to purchase for them; at all events the information can do no harm, but so far as our imigration is concerned we expect that the 500 four-yoke teams and wagons now being raised to send from here to the terminus of the railroad will be amply sufficient for all their requirement, and that is all I am looking after.

Should any of the independent Emigration, so-called, wish you to purchase new wagons for them and you or br. Staines have the time and they are willing to pay either of you for your trouble in their behalf, all right; or should they wish, in preference to hiring their passage from the terminus, I presume they can purchase wagons and cattle, or horses, or mules, from the brethren who will be sent there with the teams. Flour, dried fruit, &c. will be sent from here with the trains, enough to last them, it is now calculated, from the terminus to this City; if however, it is found, when the trains start, that any portion necessary for the subsistance of the emigration from the terminus is lacking, I will give you timely advise. The so-called "Independent" Emigration have, as a matter of course, full permi to organize and travel with those who are assisted provided they will listen to such counsels and instructions as may be given them by you and bro. Staines and comply with the regulations and requirements devolved upon all throughout the whole journey, but will be expected to provide their own subsistance.

In making the railroad contract from Omaha require the Company, if possible, to transport our emigration and their freight as far west on the line as the work of track-laying will permit, without regard to Cheyenne or any other depot, for we expect our teams will be there in time, and they can receive them at once and start back. It is thought by some that the U. P. R. Co., having no compitition, may be disposed to be extortionate in their prices; if so, or too much so, please inform me as soon as you learn, so that I can arrange to order the down trains to go on to the Missouri River, or to purchase cattle and wagons on the frontier, as heretofore, which ever I may deem to be best.

As advised in my last, of the 17th, I wish you and br Staines in all your operations in the business and affairs of the emigration, except in relation of "Independents"-- those having means of their own to pay their way clear through to strictly and invariably confine your agreements and expenditure to the amount of means with which you are and may be furnished for the purpose, and not run me in debt one cent in their behalf. I wish this instruction rigidly adhered to by each of you; but should either of you meet with any circumstance leading you to suppose that I might vary from it, if I knew, you are at liberty to consult me thereon by telegram or letter, and I will further advise you, for money is too scarce for me to give permission to run me into cash indebtedness, at any rate without my knowledge and consent.

Money donations are still coming in, and in a marvelous manner, considering the scarcity of money; a large number of cattle is also donated and many more ready, but whether we shall be able to turn them in time is not yet known Besides the $9359 00/100 handed to you in coin and gold dust and the $14000 00 in currency handed to br. L. S. Hill Feb 16, = $23359 00/100, I now forward to you, herewith inclosed, draft No 1337, from Wells, Fargo & Co., Salt Lake City, on Wells, Fargo & Co., 84 Broadway, New York for $10,000, and expect to forward you some $10,000 more in a week or so. You will probably need to retain about one half of the money in your hands for expenses this side the ocean, but of this you and Franklin can keep each other advised. 

Cattle buyers are beginning to make some inquiries and offers, but as yet none that meet our views.

Home affairs remain as when last advised, except that the weather is permitting more extensive operations in fields and gardens, and several are returning to their vacated homes in Sevier County. I have some 2400 mulberry already set out on my forest farm and hands are busy at work and will continue and I have a large plantation for silk worms. I have set apple, pear and cherry trees on the Side walk line in front of the Grant house.

I will forward you a bill of small articles <in my next> which I wish you to purchase for me, and for which, as I have heretofore written, I will furnish the money.

Myself, family, your family and br. Stains' are all well, and Alice's little fellows are doing well and are as frolicsome and happy as kittens.

God bless you all and all His Saints is the prayer of

Your Brother in the Gospel
Brigham Young