1853 August 31 Letter to Henry Standage


1853 August 31 Letter to Henry Standage


Concerns military service, church property and building up defenses. Citizens and settlements are expected to become self-sufficient.


Nauvoo Legion


Daniel H. Wells


Henry Standage


1853 August 31


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Nauvoo Legion
Building and Construction
Civic Work

Item sets

Head Quarters Nauvoo Legion, U. T.
Adjt. Generals Office
G. S. L. City Augt 31st, 1853.

Capt. Henry Standage
Commanding Pauvan
Military District

Dear Brother.

The return of Bro. Hoyt affords an opportunity of communicating with you, which I gladly improve.

I perceive by the Report of some of the District commanders, that they giving things rather a terrifying turn by going into a strict Military order, issuing rations to citizens of all classes, Males, females, and children, as though all were in the service of the <U.> States, and were sure of getting pay.

I do not know, that you have pursued this course, but considered that I would indicate to you a proper course to pursue in such cases.

We consider it a safe conclusion, that in these Vallies of the mountains, we as a people have to sustain ourselves, build our own roads, Bridges, and defences, and further defend ourselves from all aggression whether Indian or otherwise.

In order to do this, it is perfectly honorable to conclude, that all of our settlements have to be laid upon a permanent system of defence, and that we should institute such an order of things as we can stand, can live under, what boots it if we have a little Indian excitement why should we reel to and fro, [?] property, issue rations, and keep a standing Army, any more than usual. Do we not live [?] when we have no excitement, and have [?] Do we not eat our own bread and beef if we have any, and why should [?] live any different or better <then> than ever we [?] of the forces at home, they have to [?] around them as much as ever [?] expeditions it makes a difference, and [?] animals, &c & supplies to last them from place to place. These are extraordinary at times, great exertions are required at the various posts, form exceptions, but you will realize [?] that all things should actually be done with a view of having to pay the entire expenses ourselves.

Now, on the other hand, we conclude that it is right for the Government to pay all of those expenses, and be assured they shall if we can make them, therefore it is necessary that all of these accounts should be made out, and what is expended or not with a view of payment.

I wish you to understand the difference between making up those accounts, and having to pay them. and let me tell you [?] that it is extremely doubtful if the government does pay them. It is like them paying us for cu[ea?]ting our own beef and bread. We require the Reports that we may be able to present them for payment in the proper [?] form.

In Fillmore we have undertaken to build [?] which we hope some day to accomplish. This property belongs to the Church, just as much as Tithing property does, only being set apart and devoted for the particular purpose of forwarding that work. Br. Saml. P. Hoyt is our agent to take care of and preserve that property, and should always be consulted about any exigency [?] any of it should be wanted for public use to [?] the Church property in the care of the Bishop.

We always expect that the Church will bear her proportion of Public expense, she has generously [?] she should do her share, [?] at once on a/c of the trouble in [?] is from the Salt Works as it would save trouble in [?] over and over again, as to the interest it is one and the same.

I have been pleased with your general activity, & efficiency in Military matters, and hope that you will continue, that you may have the proud satisfaction of pleasing your District, and planting your Settlements upon a permanent system of Defence. Wherever you work at your various avocations, farming, milling,, Public works, Kanyon, or anything else which you list to do, that you can do it with Safety, and that of your families, property, and stock may also be safe, while you are doing it, and also upon such a principle as that you can sustain yourselves without any help or expectation of reward or compensation, other than a full and free consciousness of having discharged your duties and preserved your lives.

Praying that heaven's blessings may rest upon you in rich abundance, I Remain Very truly and Sincerely.

Your Friend and Brother
In the [?] of Truth

Daniel H. Wells
Lieut Genl Commanding
Nauvoo Legion

P.S. [??] [..ding] you may have to as
with friendly Indians, you are at liberty to do so through S.P. Hoyt agent of the Superintendent of indian affairs of your district in [?] as he is [partially?] provided with a [?] for that purpose.

D.H. Wells