1868 December 24 Letter to Jesse C. Little


1868 December 24 Letter to Jesse C. Little


It is a rumor that Brigham is ill. The Western and Eastern railroad companies compete to reach the Utah terminus and establish manufacturing. The cooperative initiative is advancing but goods are delayed causing high prices. Transient cities move with the railroad. The theater runs every evening. Horses are stolen by Navajos.




Brigham Young


Jesse C. Little


1868 December 24


Salt Lake City
New York

Number of Pages



Performing Arts
Indian Affairs


Salt Lake City
Dec. 24th 1868

Elder Jesse C. Little
Box 3957, P.O. New York City.

Dear Brother,

I was somewhat amused on hearing your letter to Bishop Hunter read, at the ready belief you gave to the rumor of my unfortunate sickness. I am thankful to be able to tell you that I am very well indeed, quite hearty, and that I never felt better than I do now, at this season of the year, and your intimation of my serious affliction, was the first I knew of how much I suffered, While thus enjoying health myself, I sincerely hope that you also are in possession of the same great blessing.

Since your departure the rival lines of railroad have continued to approach us with rapid strides. The eastern company seem determined to crowd forward no matter at what risks or how great the cost. The Western company act more wisely, yet still express the greatest determination to push ahead with all their might. Ogden will probably be the terminus for the western line; the eastern line also intend to establish manufacturs there, no matter whether it prove to be the terminus of their line or not. The central pacific have a scheme of continuing their line through this valley and to the south east to a convenient spot where they can cross Green River, and thence eastward to meet the smoky hill route at Denver. Their expressed objects in doing this, is to avoid the heavy snows by a more southerly route, which snows they believe will seriously impede the winter trafic of the Union Pacific line. 

Co operation is advancing slowly, yet steadily. Most of our firms have the device of the Institution conspicious on their store fronts. The Committee on prices have attended to their labors and reported progress; they found but little difference in the amounts charged for goods at the stores of the various brethren. Elder H.S. Eldredge will probably act as buyer for the institution the approaching season, and may possibly attend to our emigration interests at the same time.

The weather has set in cold, nearly a foot of snow has fallen in the City, but is now thawing rapidly. Trade is brisk, would be much more so, if the merchants could only get the goods brought forward by the railroad that they ordered during the past summer and fall. Grain, produce, hay, coal and wood is very high and difficult to get, and feed for teams at the terminus of the line fetches almost fabulous prices.

Since you left, as you are, I presume aware we have been called to mourn with the family of Prest. D. Spencer. He left us as a shock of Corn fully ripe and has gone to join the righteous in that sphere where free from the cares and clogs of mortality, he can more gloriously accomplish his Savior's will.

Echo City is now looming up. Bear River City like most of its predecessors that marked the end of the track, is rapidly becoming a thing of the past; and the flood of immorality and ruffianism, that for a few months made it their nesting place, are now pouring westward to the mouth of Echo. Here they hope to establish a counterpart of their other railroad cities. But I think they will find that they have some difficulties to contend with, that they have not calculated on. There is also a City (said to have already two thousand inhabitants) being thrown together at the promentory, on the north side of Bear River. It is almost too near to the Settlements in Box Elder Co. to be pleasant or convenient to the "old settlers".

For several weeks past Bros. Clawson and Caine have been running the theatre every evening to good audiences. The fact that Madame Scheller appearing on our boards in conjunction with Messrs McCollough and Waldron, has given additional eclat to the performances, and caused many to attend, who would not otherwise have done so. The season of Christmas being near, we are also enjoying ourselves in the dance: I have had the social hall renovated for the purpose, and expect to spend many happy hours there this winter. You have noticed in our papers, if they reach you, that Navajos have made a raid on St. George and the settlements on the Muddy, succeeding in carrying off forty head of horses from the Missionaries and others, notwithstanding the vigilence of Elder Erastus Snow and the brethren. Two of the navajoes were killed by friendly Indians, in attempting to regain the stolen stock Peace prevails -- Your friends and the people generally are enjoying good health, and the saints feel like living their religion and continuing to do the will of God, and build up the Kingdom, in spite of the near approach of all the terror of civilization.

Praying the Lord to bless and prosper you in your labors,

I remain, Your brother,
Brigham Young