1868 May 23 Letter to Franklin D. Richards


1868 May 23 Letter to Franklin D. Richards


Brigham contracted to do the grading and masonry for the railroad. The emigrants need to reach the terminus the middle of July. Free passage from Omaha is offered to all men willing to labor on the road. The contract will bring jobs and money to Utah. Money is sent for the emigration.




Brigham Young


Franklin D. Richards


1868 May 23


Great Salt Lake City
Liverpool, England

Number of Pages



Financial Matters
Building and Construction


Salt Lake City, May 23, 1868

Elder Franklin D. Richards
42 Islington, Liverpool. England

Dear Brother:

I have contracted for the grading and masonry on the Union Pacific Railroad from near the head of Echo Canon to the lake short or to this city, depending upon which end of the Lake the road passes. To complete this work by the time agreed upon will require a large number of laborers, perhaps some thousands more than we can well spare from farming and other necessary home operations. To help us in this work, as our trains will leave here so as to reach the terminus by the middle of July, I wish you to close with the steamers upon the best terms you can, in time to have our emigration reach New York in season to be forwarded to the terminus by the middle of July. I mention steamers, among other good reasons, because there is so little difference in their prices for passage and you can calculate upon their time, which is an important item when you want to make so important a connection as the one at the terminus. True, did either the trains or the emigration arrive first at the terminus, they might if desired, find employment on the road while waiting for the arrival of the other; but, aside from the many disadvantages attending their laboring there; we want all their labor here on the contract I have made. All men physically able to work on the road will be passed free from Omaha to the terminus, and can at the same time travel with their families and friends on the cars and so on with the trains to this place, where they can be distributed on the work required. The number of free passages from Omaha, of which I have also advised br. Hiram, and which is in the cash part of the route, will probably enable you to emigrate more than you anticipated with the money at your command for emigration purposes, and will by so much the farther aid me in fulfilling my contract. At the same time, as previously advised, I do not wish you to venture so far as to incur indebtedness for me to pay.

For many reasons that will readily occur to you, this contract is viewed by the brethren of understanding as a God-send. There is much indebtedness among the people and the Territory is drained of money, but labor here and coming we have in large amount, and this contract affords opportunity for turning that labor into money, with which those here can pay each other and import needed machinery and such useful articles as we cannot yet produce, and those coming can pay their indebtedness and have ready means with which to begin to gather around them the comforts of life in their new homes.

Your very welcome favors of March 28 and April 25 were perused with much satisfaction, and we rejoice with you in the blessings of our God upon his people in foreign lands.

Br. D. O. Calder left for the Eastern States on the 21st inst., and I forwarded by him about £1150.0.0 in gold dust and coin to br. Hiram, and have instructed Hiram by this mail to forward that amount to you to be by you used in the operations of this season's emigration, in addition to the amounts already forwarded for aiding the poor.

The weather continues cool and rainy -- splendid for grass and grain -- and we trust the Lord designs to bless us with abundant harvests, at least sufficient for our wants and the wants of those immigrating this season and the strangers who may in friendliness wish to sojourn within our borders.

Praying that all needed blessings may attend you thos associated with you the Elders in the vineyard and all the Israel of Our Lord, I remain,

Your brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young