1870 December 8 Letter to W. H. Hooper


1870 December 8 Letter to W. H. Hooper


Brigham inquires if Mr. Cullom is being pushed for Utah governor. Douglass postpones the collection of taxes on tithing while he obtains supporting legislation. Eight brethren apprehended for sedition are free on bail.


Financial/ Legal


Daniel H. Wells


W. H. Hooper


1870 December 8


Washington D. C.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Number of Pages



Legal Matters

Salt Lake City. U.T.
8 Dec. 1870.

Hon. W.H. Hooper
Washington D.C.

Dear Brother:

The brethren and your family, no doubt keep you well posted, with regard to matters and things in Utah, yet I thought, however well you might be informed in relation to what transpires here, a few lines from me at the present time would not be unacceptable.

A telegram arrived last saturday evening with the regular Press dispatches, to the effect that a big effort would be made to prevent the confirmation of Vaughan by the Senate, and that a like strenious effort would be made to secure the appointment of Mr. Cullom in his stead, as governor of Utah; who it is hoped will govern the "Mormons" with a "stern hand" and "force them into obedience to the laws of the U.S." It is added that "appearances indicate that the President intends to yield to the suggestions, and withdraw Vaughan's name; and adopt a more stringent policy towards the Mormons". This was published in the "Deseret News," and the "Herald," but there was appended to this another telegram, which was not published, to the effect that Douglass, who has succeeded Delano in the Int. Rev. Dept; has instructed Mr Hollister to collect the assessment, as assessed by Dr Taggert, against the Trustee in Trust, less the penalty, say in round numbers Forty Thousand Dollars. I should be pleased for you to find out, if possible, if there is any truth in this report, and if so, can an appeal be taken from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to the Sec.of the Treasury, in the same way as in land cases, where an appeal can be taken from the Commissioner to the Sec. of the Interior. It is evident, if the above telegram be true, that an unconstitutional and proscriptive policy, even worse than what we are now submitting to, is to be inaugurated against us, this coming season, and we have some fears that they desire to give us trouble in our land matters, as the business relating to the entry of Salt Lake City has made no progress since you left. The department has probably determined to over-rule Wilson's course, and impede our entry by every possible obstacle, that their ingenuity can devise to place in the way of a settlement.

The eight brethren arrested on the charge of sedetion and rebellion, for participating in the 20th Ward Muster, are now out on bail -- Mess Ottinger and Savage in bonds of $5000.00 each, the balance in $2,000.00 each. The mockery of a hearing having been gone through with, Judge Hawley sitting as examining magistrate, thus giving him an opportunity of making another ruling, for which he imagines nature and the administration have specially designed him, the boys were committed to take their trial at the next regular term of the 3rd District Court. As they refused to give bonds they were conveyed by the U.S. Marshal to a military prison -- Camp Douglass, where they remained until Saturday evening last. In the meantime efforts were made to bring the case up before Judge Strictland on a writ of Habeus Corpus, but this failed, Judge Strictland declining to act, as he considered the court of Judge Hawley equal to his in authority and position. Judge Hawley as judge of the district court was also applied to, but he also refused; the application gave him the oppertunity of making another ruling, for which, he no doubt, feels grateful. These having failed and the writ of Habeus Corpus being virtually a dead letter in Utah, it was decided to give bonds and the "rebels" after a very pleasant imprisonment, having been exceedingly well treated by the authorities at Camp, were released.

President Young accompanied by Prest. Geo. A. Smith and Elder Brigham Young Jun. left this city for "our Dixie" on the 22nd ult. He arrived at St. George on Thursday. From all we learn the party enjoy good health and has had a very pleasant trip.

Since writing the above another telegram has been received, which states that Douglass, has instructed Mr Hollister to suspend action in the collection of the tax for ninety days. This we presume is done for the purpose of obtaining legislation on the matter the present session of Congress. However it will be well to be prepared for the other alternative should we be mistaken. Mr Hollister, in conversation with me said he had no idea the tax could be collected by law, and thought that another assessment should be made consistent with what he considered the facts of the case as to amount deeming the assessment excessive and far beyond the amount that should have been assessed. Should however the matter be pushed to an issue, we shall certainly appeal to the law, and if the judges here decide against us, it is a matter of sufficient importance to appeal to the supreme court of the United States, for, as you are well aware, the tithing being a free donation or gift consequently according to the provisions of the law, exempt from taxation.

Vaughan appears to be completely under the dominion of the ring. He might do different were he not afraid to. I understand a very strong petetion has been sent to Washington, signed almost unanimously by outsiders and apostates, for his removal and the appointment of Connor in his place. So I suppose it will be an even race between Connor and Cullom. I dont think that there is much choice between them but I would rather not have either

I trust that your health will keep good and that you may be successful in all your labors

Your friend and Brother
Daniel H Wells

P.S. Do you think there will be any show, this winter, for the military appropriation bill?