1868 June 10 Letter to the Captains of the Emigration


1868 June 10 Letter to the Captains of the Emigration


Captains are instructed on how to organize each emigration company including rules of conduct, the duties of the captains and guards and safety measures. Missionaries should travel free but should assist with camp duties.




Brigham Young


D. D. McArthur
E. T. Mumford
J. R. Murdock
John Gillespie
W. S. Seeley
H. D. Haight
J. G. Holman
C. Loveland
Joseph Rawlings
S. A. Molen


1868 June 10


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Church Leadership
Overland Travel


Salt Lake City
June 10th 1868


Dear Brother

After taking charge of your Company, you should organize it by appointing a Chaplain, arrange the Mounted and Camp Guards and by appointing their Captains,

The Company, with the exception of the Cattle guard who may be on duty at the time, will assemble and attend prayers Morning and evening of each day

There must be no swearing, no drunkenness no card playing, no contentions no unreasonable whipping or other abuse of Animals nor any conduct contrary to good order & the welfare of the Company and the proper observance of each others rights, and whoever fails to observe these specifications and persists in so doing should be discharged and turned out of the Company by the Captain.

The men detailed as Cattle and horse guards are required to be vigilant in the care of the Animals when out of the teams and to be careful that they have the best opportunities that Circumstances will permit for obtaining sufficient food and grass of the best quality the locality will afford.

The Captains will be held responsible for the conduct, property, management and rates of travel of his Company and will so regulate the days travel as will keep the animals in good condition.

Each person should have a good gun and pistol with sufficient Ammunition & be careful that they are always in good condition for use at a moments notice.

In view of the many unprincipled persons -- white and red -- that infest the road east, extra care must be taken of your animals, never for a moment should they be left without a sufficient guard to protec them from surprise, If it can possibly be avoided never camp near places where such persons can have the least advantage of you or near where Companies of men are at work.

The Trains must be at the Terminus before the Emigrants arrive so that the passengers and their luggage can be put from the Cars on the wagons & as soon as the train is loaded it should start off so as to get as far from the Rail Road as possible before camping while there should be a vigilant guard detailed to keep the Emigrants in Camp and prevent outsiders from entering

While waiting near the terminus for the arrival of the emigrants very strict care must be taken of your animals and a respectful decorum be observed in all needful associations with strangers during such stay, no person, with or without teams should leave the Camp to obrain work unless they can be well spared to do so, which must be determined by the Captain.

Where you deposit flour for Emigrants and Teamsters for your return, if any Captain is doubtful of its safety let him detail a good & judicious man to remain with it

No charge will be made for the transportation of Missionaries and their luggage but they are expected to assist in driving teams, in standing Camp guard & in performing such other duties as will promote the welfare & good progress of the Company.

Read these instructions quite often to your Company which we trust will be carefully observed & praying for the welfare of yourself & Company & all that does or may pertain to you in going or returning.

We remain your Brethren in the Gospel

Copies of the foregoing instructions were sent to the captains for 1868 viz:

D. D. McArthur  St George
E. T. Mumford S. L. City
J. R. Murdock  Beaver
John Gillespie  Tooele
W. S. Seeley  Mt Pleasant
H. D. Haight  Farmington
J. G. Holman  Pleasant Grove
C. Loveland  Brigham City
Jos Rawlings  S. W. Creek
S. A. Molen  Hyde Park