1868 December 21 Letter to John Brown


1868 December 21 Letter to John Brown


The construction of the railroad has employed thousands of Saints and blessed those who lost their crops. A co-operative institution has been established and prices fixed to discourage the enemy from taking advantage of the Saints. Brown is released from his mission. He may baptize Brother Harris.




Brigham Young


John Brown


1868 December 21


Salt Lake City
St. Louis

Number of Pages



Building and Construction
Business Matters
Missionary Work
Church Leadership


Salt Lake City,
Dec. 21st 1868.

Elder John Brown
2006 North 14th Street, St. Louis.

Dear Brother:

Your welcome favor of the 14th inst. has reached me safely, and been perused with pleasure. I am gratified to hear of the zealous and successful labors of yourself and the Elders associated with you, and of your general good health. I hope bro. Church has entirely regained his health long before this time. I am thankful to be enabled to tell you my own health is very good for this season of the year, so is that of most of the people. We have however been called to part with quite a number of our aged brethren and sisters of late, most of whom have filled the full measure of their life to the service of God. and the glory of His Holy name. Amongst the rest President Daniel Spencer has left us for that "brighter and better world" to the righteous, where free from the cares and weaknesses of mortality he can with greatest power and efficiency fulfill his master's will. While we sympathize with his family and share in their grief, we mourn not for him as one who died without hope, but look forward to the time when, with joy and rejoicing, we shall meet him with the rest of the sanctified who have gone before.

The rapid and continued approach of the Union Pacific Railroad towards our valleys has given employment to thousands of our brethren. My grading contract from the Head of Echo Canon to the shores of the Lake, as well as in getting ties, hauling &c &c. and proved a great blesing to those who lost their crops through the ravages of the grasshoppers the last two years.

We are doing all we can to help the railroad along; we look forward to its advent as one of the aids to the building up of the Kingdom of God, and realize that if any one people will be benefited by the great highway, more than the rest, it will be ourselves. Of course you have seen in the public journals reference made from time to time to the advancing wave of civilization (so called) that is to engulph the Mormons, uproot their institutions, and destroy their power. We have no such fears. If we will only be wise and faithful to ourselves and our religion, there can be nothing done by the enemy of righteousness but will tend to our good. But we must do our part well and constantly trust in the providence & watchcare of Heaven. No doubt the railway will bring with it a portion of the scum of the deserted magic cities that has lined its course, but it will also bring the honest and the good who will thus be enabled to judge for themselves between us and our traducers. As to those whom we do not care to have stay with us, as soon as we make it unprofitable for them to do so, they will leave for parts more congeneal to their instincts and habits. For too long the Saints have encouraged a power in their midst that would be used when the convenient time should come to crush and destroy them. They have traded with our avowed enemies, they have sold them their grain, their hay, their vegetables, their stock and every thing else they raised, at badly paying rates for store goods at an enormous profit. They have almost bribed outsiders to stay, some feeling as though we could not get along without a gentile element in our midst. But I hope and believe those days are passed, the saints, through the teachings of the authorities, are learning that it is wiser, safer, better in every way for us to sustain those who are of the household of faith, than those who will use the means we place in their hands for our destruction, and we have determined by the voice of the general conference that we will not fellowship those who trade <with> or sustain such as are not of Israel. As a result we have established a co-operative Institution in which all good Saints <are> invited to take shares, to do the trading of the Saints; to import such goods as are needed, sell them at low prices to the people, but still at such rates as will yield a moderate percentage to the shareholders. The constitution and bye laws have been adopted, the directors elected, and we hope to begin our general business arrangements early in the year. It is probable Elder H.S. Eldredge will be the Agent for the Institution, in the east, to buy goods this coming year. He will also most probably attend to next season's emigration business.

I have <the> no doubt the pleasing intelligence to give you, that you are at liberty to return home next spring, at such time as you judge will best tend to the interest of the work of the Lord, and the welfare of the people, over whom you preside.

With regard to bro. Harris, you can baptize and confirm him and if he wishes to preach very bad, you can ordain him to the office of an elder, If I recollect aright when he was here he lived at Kaysville and had a patent loom, which he left with them if he is the man, I consider him a pretty good man.

Praying the Lord to bless you, the Elders with you, and the Saints under your charge.

I remain,
Your Brother,

Brigham Young

P.S. Since writing the above your note of the 11th inst has reached me. Manage to bring Mrs Catherine R. Crawford, her mother will foot the bill.